(My student Young Foster, drawing in class.)
What are your most impressive skills, and what skills do you wish you could possess?
(shirt by Alterior Facial Mandala, Meat Puppet photo by Margaret: http://flickr.com/photos/griffis/sets/72157600174926532/)
So many triumphs, so little time. I have reached the mountaintop quite often. The glory days of the post-punk late eighties contained some of my greatest successes, and they are one of the things I still revel in. Last night there was a Nirvana Unplugged marathon on TV, and it brought back a flood of championship memories.
We would paint shirts, and then bring them to the show to break the ice. Our heroes (Minutemen/fIREHOSE, Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Husker Du) would always be hanging around somewhere, usually in a van outside the club. We would find them, grab them, and tell them how they must wear the shirts onstage for the show. It worked every time.
That photograph is from one of the highlights. Curt Kirkwood, wailing. One night in Tampa I was chilling after the show and two bimbo/blondes came giggling into the room. They gushed about how great the band was, then passed around a jacket for them to autograph. The girl gave the pen to me first, even though she had just seen the show and should have known that I was not in the band. I signed it while the Puppets laughed under their breath. I told the girls, who wanted to get to know the music better, to get the album called Meat Puppets II. Curt disagreed, telling them to buy the newer stuff.
A few years passed, and then Nirvana invited the Meat Puppets to play on the Unplugged show, and confirmed my tastes. Kurt Cobain agreed with me, chosing three songs from the record that I knew was their best.
Then a couple years ago, Meat Puppets II was re-issued by Rykodisc. Derrick Bostrom the drummer did the design on the new package. One of our painted shirts was featured in the photograph under the CD. It is one of the crowning achievements that carry me on toward even greater things, especially when Kurt Cobain sings “Lake of Fire” on national television.
I slept until noon, but woke with a splitting headache from not drinking six cups of coffee before 9:00 am. So I closed my eyes and fell back asleep. I dreamed of The Tubes. Their song “Don’t Want to Wait Anymore” is top ten all time for me, and it cured my headache.
The sketch in the frame is by Dave Devries, from his William Burroughs piece in the Big Book of Weirdos.
Here’s your link, the new video is called Canopy Cruise: http://youtube.com/user/fullbodytransplant
(Promethea leading the Ultimate Hero Team at http://rohrmuller.deviantart.com/)
What comic book myths do you know best, inside and out, like the back of your hand?
(Promethea Saves, from http://carrie-ko.deviantart.com/)
Whew. 24 hours later, and I feel 144% better about life. I had a rough day at work yesterday. So much has changed, and the school that I used to love is decaying around me. One of us three remaining founding members of the faculty bailed out. Tuesday was the first day without him. I rolled around in the blues for a bit, went to a hockey party, and then the magick came all the way back.
Thanks to Promethea, of course.
Here’s the sequence of events. im_all_noobish posted pics of the new Giant Size Coming of Galactus set. The pics showed us the new planet trip, including the new Broodworld. Flashback81 said “Broodworld? It looks more like Stu’d World!”
And he was right. The 1-cost Army pinata/planet card inspired me. It gave me my heart back, and I burned baby burned. The whole random planet mechanic got my soul spinning back into the magick of the myths. Promethea is my favorite, the only comic book in the whole world that I know inside and out. Dreaming of the ways that our new planet cards would work in Alan Moore’s masterpiece healed me completely, and there is a New Day Rising today in my head.
In case you don’t know about Promethea, Matthew Craig did the sweetest review ever. It has always captured the essence for me. Enjoy this excerpt:
What if stories could walk the Earth?
Promethea is the tale of Sophie Bangs, a quiet college student with a trampy mother and a sarcastic best friend. In the course of writing a college paper on Promethea, a fictional character that had appeared and reappeared throughout history in different guises, Sophie discovers that Promethea is very real. Sophie learns that Promethea can be brought into the real world through the act of telling her story…but that she needs a human host to make it work.
Cue legions of demons, trying to stop Sophie from becoming the new Promethea, while the last surviving host tries to enlist the aid of all the Prometheas that have gone before. Throw in a multiple personality mayor (whose psyche is so fractured, even his personality facets have their own problems), a science-fiction New York, with flying cars and floating billboards (with comicbook advertisements – how fictional is that?), and a team of white-collar adventurers who are really just Five Swell Guys, and you have the first chapter in the story of Promethea. While the comic has a lot of the trappings that one would normally associate with superhero books – secret origins, special powers, nefarious villains, corsets, and so on – Promethea is really about other, more enlightened things.
Promethea is probably the single best new comicbook of the last ten years. It’s certainly the most beautiful. J.H. Williams, Mick Gray and Jeremy Cox provide the acme of artwork. Even when depicting the “real” world, the pages exhibit a stunning depth of field, and a mastercraftsman-like attention to detail. Williams, Grey et al. play with the page layout as often as not, giving the comic an aesthetic freshness that even the better of the more traditional books lack.
Promethea is a visually stunning book which can be read on as many levels as you feel you need: as a straight adventure book; as a meandering journey through the imagination; as a philosophical and magical primer; or as the happiest, most hope-filled book this side of The Little Book of Calm. However you read it, make sure that you do, for Promethea is probably the richest, smartest, most worthwhile comicbook this writer has ever read. It’s funny. Intellectually, it takes you places that you might otherwise pass by. It makes the world a better place.
In short, it’s magic.
The top two are Don Maitz, the bottom one is Tom Kidd. Both were produced in the mid 1990’s. The world made a little more sense back then. Now I am not so sure. When I get home to the Love Grotto, everything is still paradise, just like those paintings. When I go outside into the “real” world for the paycheck, I find a big mess. Madness takes many forms, some I like and some I don’t. I just need to keep my focus and continue to use magick as my guide.
That’s what they get for giving us a day off.
Check it out, Nina and I made a video:
(the first Pro Circuit draft of all time, photo by Craig Gibson)
Things only seem to be organized and complete, in life, no matter how structured and ordered our categorization skills are. There is no possible way for the human mind to catalog, study, predict, and prepare for the upcoming moment. By the time this moment is properly analyzed and squeezed loose of its data, it is gone.
So what then shall we do? Find the source of that “glow pheneomenon” within the process. Many external stimuli can cause it, choose the one that you want to dedicate your existence to. Then structure your attention and efforts around creating the glow as often and as intense as possible. Discard the things that are not neccesary or conducive to the glow. Discard them from your attention. Just like 30-card limited deck construction in Vs. System, there will be things you lean toward including in your life. Some of them need to be left out.
Are you thinking about something all the time that lessens the glow in your life? Leave it out when you build your daily deck. Each morning we get a chance to re-build ourselves from the mind up. Play around with your limited headspace, and see if you can glow a little brighter every day.