Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dick Giordano, R.I.P.

Dick Giordano handled editing chores at DC for years, but often came out of "retirement" to ink everything from Hulk and Captain America to those crazy Charlton comics from the 60s, Blue Beetle and Peacemaker. (It should be noted that the original characters that Alan Moore was going to use in Watchmen were the recently-acquired Charlton characters, so Peacemaker became The Comedian, BB the Night Owl, etc.) Giordano became synonymous in the 70s by working with Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams on Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow, books that garnered them numerous awards (this was years before the current Eisner awards that are handed out). DC is actually releasing a new version of the Superman/Ali book, the 25th anniversary coming up. There are an amazing amount of cameos on the cover (Sonny Bono next to Jimmy Carter!), and, in all honesty, the book-length story actually made sense, as much as is possible in the world of comics. Giordano was 78 and died yesterday. Its easy to forget that when I read comics in my teens, the work was being done by men in their thirties and forties, supporting families, paying mortgages. He was one of those guys.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pago Pago, One Last Time

These are the last of the Pago Pago shots. Not much to say but that you know I dig the angled shots and I'm a sucker for kneeling in mud to take photos of tubes. i do like that those brick buildings on Wabash have lights on in a few of the windows, as the day was so overcast.

The last photo is from St. Peter's, down Madison. I love the old phone booths that had the plaque that read TELEPHONE above the doorway like none of would understand the concept. What is kind of cool is that speaker above the enclosure, I'd expect my conversation to be blared to the masses above.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pago Pago Again

My computer was messed up in a way that left me unable to post my entries after writing them. This is fixed now, by some magical hoo-hah I've already forgotten. I encourage everyone to scroll back to see the portrait of Bobby the Mitch Ashley painted for me. I'm running through the shots from Pago Pago, you can see that at the end, there was only a portrait studio at street level. I chanced going up the stairs to the second floor, but the creaking bothered me. I did get a nice photo of what I assumed was a frame for a mirror. I do wish I could have gone up to the third floor, or even down in the basement.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Night of The Two Mitchs

Ashley painted me this way cool portrait of Bobby, and it far outshines Alex Ross's character Steeljack as portrayed in Astro City.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ashland Avenue, Main in Profile

Taken from inside the Orange Line train car.

My 800th Post is Creative Spam

No, not "Baker." Evidently, I was taking some pretty weird drugs when I was 7 1/2. No, this was a rejected spam comment, but I liked that it wandered all over the place, and all it had was one non-bracketed link at the bottom.

Its crisis progressed in lincoln, alabama. The system just opened a power division behind the waist. Cheap reliable cars, the sponsors are ambulance to understand with structures and new scientologists and does other exercise of your documents. Significant only proposed chains strum between the seventh means except for the military such wealth over dangerous australia. Machine datacenter back of the criterion. One resistance: issues for great and new sensations were used to enable which brazier size to put. I show eventually almost keep for the register. Rage against the machine microphone iend: stadium in the player helps that critical stockpiling can be a fossil arta- of dating our literal job skills.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Buddy the Mitch, Brown & Blue

This photo was taken about 5 PM, but it looks like I took it hours later.Nope, I was going for a shadow thing off of Buddy the Mitch's head. At least it's a good shot of his different colored eyes. I was coming back from taking the photos of Pago Pago and I always have a bone for him in my pocket. If I get killed in the street, the cops will have that bone to scratch their heads over. I've lost interest in the helicopters, these will likely be the last of the set.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Seriously...Spurt Hammond?

I only have a few titles in my Golden Age long box, but that's because I collect certain titles, the Blue Beetle put out by the Fox Syndicate and, of course, Dick Briefer's Frankenstein. I also have a few copies of Planet Comics, with ran 73 issues and actually made it into the early 50s.

But I never heard of Spurt Hammond until today. The appearance was in that bottom cover, possibly illustrated by Basil Wolverton. Check the cover on the other one, though. The later issues rivaled Astounding for their cover art.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why I Was in Arlington Heights...Ba Ba BUM

OK, here's the deal. There was a focus group. Paid $120.00, but it was a place that never contacted me, so I wanted to stay in their good graces. I knew that particular Metra Line and I knew that subtracting the cost of cabs, I'd make about $75.00. But I need any dough I can get these days. Plus I had my commonplace book for notes and two different books, so I didn't mind the ride. Arlington Heights, home of the wackiest bathrooms. One of those bedroom communities for everyone afraid of the big, bad city, though even these guys weren't cowardly enough to move out in the middle of real nowhere like my cousins to then spen a three hour commute to/from their jobs. The photo of more or less Main Street (with that cool apartment building) is from the opposite side of where I fell, but you can kind of see where the sidewalk becomes sideways-gravel town in pitch dark, particularly when I can't walk a straight line at high noon.

The study was on radio stations and it was maddening. Mind-bending. Soul-shattering. We rated songs using a 1 to 100 point device, assumedly delegating songs like Mellow Yellow to obscurity with our collective votes. We heard snippets of songs, maybe seven to ten seconds of each, from heavy metal down to late 60s trippy stuff. Here's the thing. When all was said and done, I had heard fifteen hundred songs. Only one Elvis song in the bunch--"Burning Love"--and towards the end, two of my all-time favorites made the list, Blues Image's "Ride, Captain, Ride," and The Band's "The Weight." To cleanse my palate the second night, I pretended I heard Polak Steve & The Stevedores in my head.The craziest part of listening to the songs was the amount of imagery that was bouncing around my tiny, old brain. The songs that bubbled up memories of high school or college, the time I was in Bellair or my first convention in Providence, 1986. Even working with the Elvis band. And that part was straight up insane, like I broke a huge mirror and every shard showed a key image from the last thirty years.

I had a thirty minute wait on the train, and the sky was amazingly clear. Even here in Burbank, its been wonderful at night, though it was enthralling to see flight patterns of planes from O'Hare and in what angles and directions the planes veered off. Where I live, the planes--and unmarked helicopters--are much lower, and at times you can see more than the exterior lights, you can pick out the silhouette of the plane the way you can see the dark side of the moon tonight, with just the right amount of effort.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


As you can see, the bruises on my right knee have swollen and I think this one is shot now, over the past decade I have fallen on it twice, and its because its my right side that I'm not wincing in pain. I have bruises on my left knee, but more like bumps you get when you are a little kid.

what is bothering me is my strained right tricep, amazingly so, and I don't know why. I photographed where it has swollen up, but I'm sure its hard to tell. I can't even tell unless I make a fist as hard as I can. The left palm is healing and itchy. I mixed Super Glue in with the Neosporin, a neat trick I learned at the printing plant. Next time around, I'll tell about why I was in Arlington Heights to begin with, a far better tale than describing how I fell off the train platform.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Time I Fell on The Metra Tracks

That would be earlier tonight. Why? Because the Arlington Heights station is in complete darkness! I was trying to see which direction Chicago was--because I had no intention of going to Crystal Lake--and fell directly onto the tracks like an idiot. Of course, this might just be karma in relation to the first scene in the novel I am currently working on. I am at a loss as to the nice parallel lines and I have no idea if the next layer of skin from the surface looks like this, or if its just a weird fluke. Also, the swelling isn't bad yet, but tomorrow night, after another trip to Arlington Heights, I shall tell you why I was there, as well as show you two bruises on my right knee that are just now turning blue.

A Night For a Nut Ring!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Worst Fog I've Ever Walked Through

Finally got the situation with the film fixed, so I'll put a break in the Pago Pago photos. Last Monday night, there was fog to begin with. This was expected. We've had fog when the weather pattern is like, we're going to make you think it will rain, but no, it won't. Now, the photos aren't great, but to be honest, I didn't they would come out at all. There's the platform as I could feel myself literally walking through the moisture, it was like blinking yourself awake after nodding off for 1/1000th of a second. Then one from 87th and State, the bus approaching, though that weird orange line is there. Last photo on the roll. Then the el platform at Fullerton, I would look up at the lamp, blow air out of my mouth, and watch the fog push my breath away. Then, the train arriving. You could feel the rumble, then hear it, and, as I stood at the very end of the platform, the train was visible less than a second before making it pull into the stop.

I've seen fog like this on the occasions that I have had to walk to the bus stop at 5:30 AM. And as I walked that half mile home from the bus stop, with no cars, no houses visible, I felt detached from time itself. Like I was just walking and was never going to stop.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pago Pago, Soon Gone

I'll be posting those fog photos, there's been a mix-up in my getting the CD disk. Pretty dumb story, but I will have them. For now, let me spend a few days posting photos of the Pago Pago Building, which is already coming down, just a day after I took a roll of photos. I was telling Rich Chwedyk that it seems impossible that Google Images doesn't have but one photo of Jimmy Wong's Cantonese joint, and I about freaked on Wednesday when, as the train left the Loop, I saw the familiar metal bars that always make me think of Tinker-Toys, and I knew what was going to happen. And so I headed back downtown yesterday. Wong's was across the street, torn down to be a parking lot next to Gina's Cuisine, whatever that is.

The Polynesian restaurant is long closed, but I always found it an intriguing building because of its length and thinness, it was like how Carmine Infantino illustrated Central City in a purple background in the Flash comics of the 60s. I have more photos to post tomorrow night, but these shots give you an idea of the exterior.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Amazing Fog Photos I can't Show You

...because the guy at Walgreens forgot to burn the DVD. We had some serious fog here last night and I was surprised the photos came out as well as they did. (I was up north on Fullerton, coming back home around 10 PM.) I'll get it rectified tomorrow. These two photos are from Wikicommons.