Sunday, February 24, 2008

tough enough?

From a New York Times article about Barack Obama’s riding high in the race for the Democratic nomination:

He lists the arrows that critics sling his way. He’s too hopeful, too inexperienced, not tough enough. At mention of the last, he bobs his head, steps toward the crowd, leans in and says: “Listen, I’m a black guy named Barack Obama running for president. You want to tell me that I’m not tough enough?”

He smirks. “Shoot.”

Friday, February 22, 2008

Trapped in a world he never made!

I never understood that tagline. It was a tagline for Howard the Duck, a comic book series written by Steve Gerber. I bought a few issues of Howard the Duck; but it was my brother who became a regular reader. When we were buying comics it was rare we’d be able to start with the first issue. You want to start at the beginning, right? So we’d have to buy back issues at the comic store in Santa Rosa (what a relief when we discovered such a thing existed!) Usually back issues were fairly inexpensive – we weren’t investing in the old back issues, like Avengers #1 or Amazing Fantasy #15, because, well, we didn’t have that kind of money. But the first issue of Howard the Duck I bought was a low number. #4? Something like that. “Something Winkie this Way Comes,” was the story. An old Ozzy, I doubted the Winkie in the comic had anything to do with the Winkies of Oz (in the MGM movie they’re the guys who work for the Wicked Witch of the West and chant OH-WEE-OH); I was right. Nothing. When we tried to buy the Howard back issues they weren’t to be had, and when any showed up they were pricey. It seems Marvel had printed only a few, having little suspicion of success; those first issues sold out and no one wanted to part with them (for cheap, anyway). I’ve not read a Howard the Duck in, oh, thirty years? Nice that reprints are available now, though.

I discovered Steve Gerber’s blog a year or two ago. As I recall he was bent out of shape at Jonathan Lethem’s poaching Omega the Unknown, a comic character Gerber had created for a short-lived comic series also published by Marvel. How dare he! Gerber fumed. Omega was very personal. Maybe he had created Omega as a work-for-hire, meaning Marvel owned everything about it and could legally do whatever it wanted with the “property”, but it wasn’t like Gerber had had any choice at the time. That was the way the business worked. Jonathan Lethem can create his own characters; he doesn’t have to steal mine! Gerber said.

I sympathized. Somewhat. But I stopped reading the blog. After reading an obituary at SF Gate I dropped by Steve Gerber’s blog again last week. Mark Evanier has been putting up new posts, encouraging fans to leave appreciations.

I wonder if I have those original Omegas in a box somewhere.

I haven’t read any of Lethem’s version of Omega the Unknown. I feel like I have to be loyal to Gerber and boycott it. On the other hand, I’ve flipped through it at the comic store and it looks interesting.

Friday, February 08, 2008

P&P v. P&P

When I go to an event these days I’ll sometimes check afterward to see if anyone has blogged it. Two people blogged the Harold Norse reading at the Beat Museum, for instance.

So has anybody blogged Poetry & Pizza, the reading series in SF I help run? Other than me, it seems, no.

However I did come across a post about New Jersey’s Pizza & Poetry night at Slice of New York Pizza. So, instead of Poetry & Pizza, it’s Pizza & Poetry. Instead of the host restaurant being Escape from New York Pizza, it’s Slice of New York Pizza. It’s a monthly reading. And it sounds like they are reaching capacity, too.

“I fear the Monkey Man's group may outgrow Slice of New York Pizza, because on Tuesday night we filled every seat. It's not a big place, but it's big enough -- we're just getting more and more folks all the time,” says Anne at her blog, Gods Are Bored.

To keep with the symmetry Katharine, Clive, and I will have to change our names to the Monkey Collective or Baboon Troops or, um, Trio Lemur.

For our own P&P I did find a review of sorts at Is this one for the scrapbook? becca h. says , “i love all-you-can-eat pizza and poetry nights... go for the pizza, run from the poetry. pizza's always good, and the slices are just right. mmm, pesto and potato!” That was from 1/4/08. Run from the poetry!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday Night

Congratulations to whoever won the Super Bowl. I’m sure it was a giant accomplishment!

Good luck to you big presidential candidates come Tuesday (and beyond). I’m sure the best president will emerge from all the noise and bother. Like usual.

May all of you with diseases, get well soon. And all of you under the bombs (or stepping on them), be blessed with dud after dud, and flowers in the mud.

Ah readers, I wish you especially, great wealth and happiness. (If you want to pass that along, more power to you.) And more power, too.