Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sir Richard Francis Burton

A drawing I did this evening of Sir Richard Francis Burton, for Mark Clegg's Richard Burton art gallery:

He (Burton) reminds of Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Josef Suk

Ever heard of Josef Suk? I hadn't. What a sap I was, because this turn-of-the-last-century Czeck composer now seems to me on the same level as other late-Romantic luminaries such as Sibelius, Janacek and Smetana.

A pupil of Dvorak, Suk's work has been described as a mid-way point between Suk's teacher and Mahler, and that seems about right; it recalls the slightly conservative (though quite beautiful) melodies of Dvorak mixed with progressive instrumentation and unpredictable twists and sonic colorings which recall or look forward to Mahler.

The disc I purchased (actually a two-disc set) contains three orchestral works: the Asrael Symphony, Podhadka, and the Serenade for Strings. The writing is highly emotional work; the Symphony is informed by both the death of Dvorak and Suk's wife, Otilka (at the age of twenty-seven), and the Serenade contains exquisite passages weighed down by melancholy.

Anyway, I've listened to the CD at least ten times over the past several months. The recordings are given what are probably definitive interpretations by Jiri Belohlavek conducting the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and the production is top-notch.

Originally a Chandos recording from 1992, I purchased a copy of the CD licensed, in 1998, to the Musical Heritage Society. MHS no longer offers it, but you can order the Chandos recording (with more beautiful cover art) on Amazon here:

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Thursday, August 28, 2008


A very cool EC reprint page artist Al Feldstein signed for me. His comics were some of the first I remember reading (in the Ballentine EC reprint paperbacks of the '60s).
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fitzgerald Agenda

I'm currently enjoying Tender is the Night as part of my quest to read the complete F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I had heard vague rumblings that this novel represented a substantial drop in quality in a short collection of novels which was of varying quality or tone to begin with (that latter part is true). The theme, characters, and structure of the novel are just revealing themselves twenty pages in, but some of the writing is the best Fitzgerald I've taken in, casting off 19th century characteristics that clung sporadically and tenaciously to his second novel The Beautiful and Damned. Try these paragraphs on for size. They take place on a lazy beach:

Noon dominated sea and sky - even the white line of Cannes, five miles off, had faded to a mirage of what was fresh and cool; a robin-breasted sailing boat pulled in behind it a strand from the outer, darker sea. It seemed that there was no life anywhere in all this expanse of coast except under the filtered sunlight of those umbrellas, where something went on amid the color and the murmur.

Campion walked near her, stood a few feet away and Rosemary closed her eyes, pretending to be asleep; then she half-opened them and watched two dim, blurred pillars that were legs. The man tried to edge his way into a sand-colored cloud, but the cloud floated off into the vast hot sky. Rosemary fell really asleep.

I have to say I had to hunt down a used paperback copy of the novel to read (shown above), due to the fact that the current cover is so blah, and thus vaguely inappropriate:

I hate to carry around and read books with lame covers. Scribners has been publishing Fitzgerald since his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. So, c'mon Scribners, do right by the man! (Since I'm in a complainin' mood, bring back Scribner's Magazine while you're at it.)

A full report when I'm done.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Paste Pot Pete

My take on ol' Pastey, drawn for Lyle Tucker.
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One of my favorite signs: Tootle's Pumpkin Inn, with Liquor, in downtown Circleville, Ohio.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008


Speaking of Silver Comics, here's a panel from my The End story, "The End Meets the Ricket-Meister", appearing in Silver Comics #8, now on sale.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Silver Comics 2008 Annual

Fans of fun, retro superhero comics will want to check out the Silver Comics 2008 Annual, a sampler of the Silver Comics series now in mind-blasting color.

Featuring Cloud Buster, Doctor Monster, and Tin-Toy-Boy, the Silver Comics 2008 Annual contains no ads - just wall-to-wall candy-colored action, headed by master of retro-ceremonies, Juan Ortiz!

Order it and all the entire Silver Comics line here:

And check out the Silver Comics blog here:

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Suit Up!

A spacesuit for criminals, designed for the story "Big Blue" (a tribute to Fletcher Hanks), published in All-Fist Comics #1.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Buckeye Hall of Fame

Sighted at the recent Jeff Harper comic show at the Buckeye Hall of Fame: cartoonists Molly Durst and J.D. "The Bee" Larabee.

Molly had copies on hand of her entire suspenseful Symphony of the Universe series. You can check out it out and a bunch of other cool stuff here:

Thanks for the three-eyed cat, Molly!

Larabee has a super-fun, cartoony style you can peruse here:

Rock on in a free world, gals and guys.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

My First Comic Book

...or, at least, the earliest comic book still in existance that I worked on, this one co-written by my cousin, Little Timmy. We sold this to our grandmother for 26 cents.

Little Timmy records his own radical music nowadays, in a studio he built by hand, inch by inch.
You can check out Little Timmy's official Pig City Sound tour here:
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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mailer and God

Interesting thoughts from Norman Mailer's last,
posthumous book:

"Reason, ultimately, looks to strip us of the notion that there is a Creator. The moment you have a society built on reason alone, then individual power begins to substitute for the concept of a Creator. What has characterised just about every social revolution is that sooner or later revolutionary leaders go to war with each other and turn cannibalistic. Only one leader is left, an absolute dictator. Once you accept the notion that there is no God, then the ultimate direction for the Left, the Right, or the corporate Centre is totalitarianism."

From: On God: An Uncommon Conversation by Norman Mailer with Michael Lennon.

Another thought (this one mine): doesn't individual power begin to substitute for the concept of a Creator in the minds of men regardless of the theocratic nature of a society?
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Mesh Panels

My online serialized graphic novel, The Mesh, has been updated with four new panels. Here's one of them.
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Hot Music for a Hot Day

Sweet Sixteen put some real jazz into the Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest last Sunday afternoon
(a common complaint of the Rib Fest is: where's the real jazz? Kenny G. wanna-bes and New Age tinklers don't count).

As befit the sunny weather, Sweet Sixteen was blistering, and the crowd (one of the largest they've played for) was appreciative.

From left to right: Dave Rainey on bass, Helen Hagerty on flute, Wes Hart hidden behind the drums, and the amazing Rocco Siriano on guitar.

Check out Sweet Sixteen's MySpace page here:
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