Sunday, May 31, 2009

Carded...Posted...Oh Deer...

For some reason, I have these in my my pile of stuff.

Not exactly certain where these came from. It may have been from a mailing from a friend when I was working on collage projects or I might have grabbed them from an antique shop in Upstate New York.
If I had picked them up in New York, it must have been years ago with the intention to mail them to a British woman I was working with that summer whom I had become quite infatuated with...but that was years ago. In the end, I never got her address, never quite figured what to write, and figured that an ocean plus a continent plus her being seven years older than me meant she really would forget about me after a few months anyway.


These old post cards were never mailed...

Is this a sad story? Maybe just mildly pathetic.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


A number of people have asked me whether I have seen the recent Star Trek movie and of course I tell them, "No." But I do like to let them know that I have read the following book by Mr. Leonard Nimoy:

Why should I watch Mr. Nimoy dress up as some alien, when I can spend the evening at home reading a book length ballad about the search for meaning in earthly existence?

If I went to see the movie, I would have spent ten dollars or something only to see a few minutes of Mr. Nimoy in some weird time paradox, that inevitably some Trekkie will get bent out of shape about. But I spent two dollars for this book, and I can voyage beyond any star field and galaxy with this book.

Why? Because reading is cool!

Actually...this book is pretty much tripe. Yet, some people love tripe and other offal. I don't quite know if I am one of those people. This orange book is what it is--a book length piece of sometimes rhyming literature written by a celebrity. I still would take it over most any pop-autobiography out on the market today.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Science Made Easy...Dinosaurs

Sometimes I truly believe that I missed my calling in life. I really should have been a naturalist, or taken up a career in in biological illustrations, or studied dinosaurs...

I must have made this when I was in fifth grade or there about.
Somewhere, I have a sequence of drawings I did of creatures I made up for different environments. All of the drawings were inspired by the illustrations of Dougal Dixon and Golden Guide Books . When I find these, they will be posted. 

A Favorite Comic Story: Doctor 13: Architecture & Mortality

DC Comics has close to seventy-five years of history. Everyone knows Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman, and most of the major heroes of this universe, but when you span seven-and-a-half decades of serial stories, there are bound to be a number of characters that get swept away.

Very often, most of these characters "die" the metaphorical death of comics written out of popularity. Times change, and certain heroes just don't make much sense any more. But sometimes, some characters have some relevance even well past their prime. Or not. But they still have potential. I guess with the correct writer, even a D-list figure can be made interesting. Case in point, the story at hand. With Brian Azarello writing and Cliff Chiang on art duties, Doctor 13 is a book for comic book nerds with a love of comic book tropes, DC Comics history, metafiction, comedy, and Nazi gorillas.

One things I love about this story is how it includes so many bad ideas: Ghost pirates, a tank haunted with the ghost of a Confederate general, a caveman thawed from ice who speaks only French, and, of course, Nazi Gorillas individually probably would not work on their own. However, together as a team pulled together in absurdity, with only one person playing the voice of reason, we end up with magic.

Okay a bit a of history: The Primate Patrol (the group of Nazi Gorillas) was an idea from a comic titled "Weird War Tales" back in the 70s. I believe they only appeared a few times, kind of around the era when Planet of the Apes movies were reaching their fourth or fifth sequel. Now, nobody really likes Nazis. But people love monkeys. With the following page, Azarello does something that is kind of odd...he gives a sense of pathos to these outcasts of outcasts. You kind of feel for these Nazi Gorillas abandoned in the wilderness believing in a war that was ended sixty years earlier.

If you think that Nazi Gorillas are a bit much to handle and on the absurd side. Consider the following: Julius, the leader of the Primate Patrol sacrifices himself to help one of Doctor 13's allies, "I, Vampire"-a vampire who fights against evil vampires and refuses to drink the blood of the innocent. While "I, Vampire" has never feasted on the blood of primate before it does restore him and they continue their quest. However, Julius transforms...

Yep...Nazi Vampire Gorillas. I have two words for this: Fucking Awesome!

There are a lot of good things about this book. And I figure I will leave you with the following images. I show my true roots as an Merican.

Few things to mentions: Don't ever mess with our nations founding fathers. A good number of our presidents (except Bush the Lesser) will kick your ass. And never challenge a national monument wearing spandex shorts.

Seriously...Nobody fucks with Mount Rushmore.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A series of bad ideas...

This evening, I have nothing really important to say.
So I present two lists...a list of the comic books I will be reading tonight and a list of the songs I have had stuck in my head.

Today's reading list includes the following comic books:

Tiny Titans: Welcome to the Treehouse
Justice Society of America #27
Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? One Shot
Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink #1
Trinity #52
Green Lantern #41
Justice League of America #33
The Last Days of Animal Man #1

Songs stuck in my head include the following:

"Sweetpea" by Tommy Roe
"Little Willy" by Sweet
The jingle for Meow Mix
"Epic Problem" by Fugazi
"Blue Moon" by The Marcels
"Take a Chance on Me" by Abba
"Hooked on a Feeling" by BJ Thomas

That is about all I have to say...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Every so often, I encounter something that makes me wonder:"Hmmm...well how bad could it really be?"And then I think. Stand there for a minute and question the logic of that question. Perhaps if this were more of an imperative statement.YOU SHOULD REALLY GO SOMEPLACE ELSE RIGHT NOW
I would think, "Oh, man that bathroom must be really messed up."Or even a simple out of order sign would make me turn away.
But the simple suggestion that I "May" want to use someplace else seems to imply that I really wouldn't have a problem with whatever lurked behind this benign door.
Well...Instead of discovering what the mystery was. I decided to take the above picture and leave it as one of those great unknowns. I consider it to be the Holy Grail of my office...I am forbidden to really see what is beyond the door.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Very Special Interview...

Today dear readers, we have a very special guest. In fact I was kind of surprised to have encountered this gentleman for many reasons. First of all he lives far, far way. Second, most Americans don't really like him very much; yet he is an elected leader of his own country. He's the man who puts the terror in Tehran...and other bad puns that I really have no use in using right now...

I present Mr. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Wonderful Wonder of Clutter: First of all President Ineedtoshavemydad it is a pleasure to acquaint. What brings you to Portland? And what brings you to my neighborhood bar?

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Well, I was on my way to Seattle, the Space Needle to be precise. But I got lost. So I ended up here. I really like the Motel 6 they...umm...Keep lights on for you. Use our oil and such.

WWC: That's wonderful, but don't you find it a bit odd being here in the US? Not too many people in America really are fond of you.

The Prez: You know sometimes people are like that. But I must say, I like this Portland. The climate is so nice. People are not nearly as strange and other places in this odd country of yours. I do wish you had more of the Put-Put.

WWC: Put-Put?

The Prez: Yes, with the little clubs and the balls...In Tehran, everything is sand traps and there are no windmill par 3 holes. 

WWC: You mean Mini-Golf?

The Prez: Yes.

WWC: Seriously?

The Prez: Why would I not be serious? You think I make joke? This is why Americans earn our wrath. I come to this country to see your Space Needle and to tour your Put-Put and now you make fun of me?

WWC: Sorry about that, I did not mean to make jest in any way. I honestly.

The Prez: No!

WWC: Excuse me. 

The Prez: Fuck You...Fuck you and your silly blog...may the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your mustache! Good day!

Please note no Presidents were harmed during the making of this blog entry. And in all honesty, I really want to visit Tehran some day. I think I might have blacklisted myself with this little ditty.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Things people put in their hair...

Well, sometimes even I am at a loss for words...
However, it doesn't seem to stop me.

I just imagine some intrepid young stylist somewhere thinking, "You know what will make this hair coloring stay in place much longer than normal? The nurturing afterbirth of some young animal!"

Science is a wonderful thing. The process of trial and error, trial and error, trial and error, ad infinitum. But sometimes the end results puzzle me. The above product puzzles me a bit. Maybe if it wasn't named Henna and Placenta I wouldn't be quite as perplexed. This just makes me think that this was marketing joke and mistake. People like rhyme schemes, it helps them remember; however, maybe...well, hell, I can't even figure out what the hell people were thinking when they put this on the shelf.

The placenta in itself is not a gross thing. In fact none of us mammals would be around without it. It is no more gross than a penis, vagina. Maybe many people just don't know what the placenta is or where it comes from. Or maybe people love putting afterbirth in their hair.

The Emptiest of Orchestras

Karaoke literally translates as, "empty orchestra." And this evening, I participated in this hollow pursuit. 

To be honest, I actually love karaoke. I think it is the Japanese part of me, and the half of me that not-so-secretly wants to be the singer in a band. Somewhere out there, in four-track cassette land, there exists a two random tracks of me singing songs recorded with an old college roommate--one an odd emotive country ditty, the other some pogo-punk think with a faux-British accent. Hey, I was nineteen. 

About four years ago, while I was working on my master's degree I took an immersion journalism course. The purpose of this class was to embed oneself into an environment and write about it, much like the journalists who were at the time joining troops in Iraq. My cohorts spent time at nursing homes, bookstores, shelters for runaways; I to the contrary, chose to spend every night for six weeks at a karaoke bar.

At the time I had a passing fancy with karaoke culture. By the end of the class, I was sickened by the who enterprise. A person can only listen to Fly Me to the Moon, Total Eclipse of the Heart, and other songs that allude to celestial bodies a specific number of times during a six-week period before experiencing mental and physical collapse. The number of times one can hear those songs is four. The times I actually heard them was at least thirty. 

Needless to say, it took me a year before I could set foot into a karaoke bar again. 

I don't quite know why I am writing. I am tired...and I nearly got stuck got stuck singing the Aimee Mann version of "One" as opposed to the original Three Dog Night single.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Language Lessons

In my professional life, I share an office with a Taiwanese immigrant who recently gained her citizenship. Often, we have miscommunications. She interprets everything I say literally. And almost all cultural idioms are lost on her at this point in time. Figures of speech are orators on a podium or words on a value chart. It makes things, well, a pain in the ass.

My office mate has been in the United States for almost fifteen years and learned English while she was growing up. Although she is quite fluent, we sometime struggle with some of the nuances of my native tongue. But of course, English is not American...and American is not Uh-Merican...and there ain't no "Uh in Merica."

So every once in a while I have decided to help me office mate in learning more about being 'Merican.

For example, I figured I would post this simple daily reminder on our door. That way she remembers every time she enters and leaves the office that...

This is a pretty big lesson to learn at first. Imagine early man touching the Monolith in
2001: A Space Odessy--It is that glorious, but different.

Also my office mate is quite frugal, which is a wonderful trait to have in ever-environmental oregon, but there is a point of obsession, where I have to tell her, "Just throw the damned paperclip away. It is not going to be recycled!"

My office mate will almost always question, "Why? But I try to recycle everything..."

And I always have to retort, "But you're 'Merican now! And # won ain't # too!"

There are other key 'Merican phrases I am trying to teach her. These consist of the short proto-troglodytic yokelisms of
Yup, Git r done, and Jus' move it a pecker hair. Fortunately, she has already mastered the "Well No Shit..." which is both a great interrogative and exclamatory statement.

This linguistic experiment will probably continue for many months. We have to work on accent issues, and the semantics of humor. Since I already believe that irony died along with God, Nietzsche, and Alanis Morisette's portrayal of divinity in Dogma, I know that I cannot instill any of that into her to even fathom what I am trying to create.

I just believe that Shaw, Quine, and Chomski would be some sick, sick way.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Slightly Dirty...

I figure we are all adults reading this, so I don't believe have to be to afraid to post some semi-risque images that I found today I while I was sitting at my neighborhood bar, The B-Side. 

I don't think they are too absurd. No flesh is blood, guts, or vulgarity is even spoken.

Just pen and ink drawings on a bar table...Of Batgirl...

I officially have a new favorite place to sit while reading about super heroes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Standing by...

Two nights ago, I downloaded fifty songs by Ben E. King. 


That is about all I have to say right about that.

Sometimes people poke fun, make jest of my musical tastes. But you know what? Just because I might want to listen to C.W. McCall sing Convoy, or listen to the Archies sing Sugar, Sugar at least once a month, I am not a lesser person.

And yes, I am fully aware that both of these musical acts are not entirely "real." Yes there is a physical song, even a physical album that could be purchases, and even a string of ones and zeroes that make up our MP3s, but the actual people that wrote these songs were complete fictions. 

The Archies, of course were comic book characters. C.W. McCall was a fictional truck driver popular during the days of CB radio. Convoy was actually the jingle for a bread company commercial.

Metatext and metafictions aside, let me elaborate on how the world truly stays in orbit and how all of us do not dissolve into a realm of entropy.

Do you remember the video for A-Ha's Take on Me? Well, if you don't brief synopsis. A young woman sits in an all night diner reading a comic book. The hero of the book magically winks at her from the a panel in the paper. And a hand reaches out from the page and draws her into the comic book. The real world has been drawn (no pun intended) into a the world of a comic book. All courtesy of a song. A-Ha does not have a real comic book, but they are a real band. 

In contrast, the Archies, represent a polarity of musical and comic book reason. The Archies have real existence in comic books, yet their musical representation in the concrete realm of Riverdale will never cross to the realm of three-dimensions. Archie, Jughead, Veronica, and Betty exist purely in the realm of comics; real people are not pulled into their realm. However, through a song, they have asserted a real physical entity into the physical world making them a real band manifest on the pop charts of the 1960s.

The simple balance of the cosmic order rests upon these too entities. During the late 60s and through the 70s there were years of unrest. And why? Because the cartoon world of the Archies had dominated for too long leading to LSD, war, hippies, Woodstock, Altamont, Nixon, Watergate, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All of this lead to the 80s and the virtual and cultural dead time of Reagan. When A-Ha appeared, they balanced the scale. However, because the counterweights had been absent for so long, we are still awaiting true equilibrium to appear. 

If A-Ha had not appeared at that point in time. Who knows what might have appeared? I firmly believe it would have been entropy...or...some combination of beastial entity fused from the dark dreams of Eddie Money's attempts to sell albums on QVC, the sweat of Morton Downy Jr. after a long day's broadcast, Senator Bob Packwood's dirty hands, and the bastard love child of Nancy Reagan holding a Carebear.

To make the comparison of Yin and Yang, is too simple, and I believe the comparison to be much to trite. I like to think of it more like the alchemical balance between lead and gold. The transmutations take precision, time, effort, and an understanding of arcane symbols. The Archies and A-Ha both understand that moving picture and the still caption can capture the soul...and that the sound, the circle of fifths can create celestial harmonies.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who lives in your neighborhood?

There are few times that I have found myself completely stars struck.

One of those moments came a few years ago when a very important individual came to former place of employment.

The picture is small so I apologize.

But this is Mr. Bob McGrath. Bob from Sesame Street.

He signed an old album of Sing: The Hit Songs of Hit Sesame Street which featured a picture of him and Maria thirty-five years younger, while I stood there stuttering about how I grew up watching him every morning on television. Bob mentioned how he hadn't seen a copy of this album in decades. 

Unlike other "celebrities" I have encountered, Mr. McGrath was quite like meeting a forgotten grandfather. He was super nice, very friendly, no pretension, or level of arrogance and self-importance. 

Currently I am reading, Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street , by Michael Davis. It is amazing how this show of rag-tag creative people revolutionized how people raised children. And it amazes me how things have changed to this day. Today, the show is not what it was. Puppets are replaced by computer animations. And I think the children on the show have been replaced by androids...but I may be wrong.

Today, I don't live with television. Which is perfectly fine with me. But let me ask you this: Who lives your fuckin' neighborhood?

Monday, May 18, 2009


Hi Everyone...

I was thinking about writing about the NY TImes Magazine Travel Edition article I read today about unique boutique shops in Portland. But then I started to rethink that.

Instead, I found it much more important to post two pictures that I took of a squirrel that I saw when I was walking with a friend this weekend.

Sometimes I just need to weigh my priorities. And sometimes, squirrels are much more important than puff pieces about hipster boutiques.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tiny Objects

I am constantly amazed by the intricacy of tiny objects and by the ability of the Japanese to perfect creation of tiny objects.

Since I was little I was a collector of doll house miniatures. When I was a child my parents took me to a tourist trap in Victoria, British Columbia, called Miniature World. This little walk though attraction featured dozens of tiny dioramas of towns, historical events, doll houses, and everything imaginable small scenario in the world, well everything except for the "Nutshell Studies."  

For a number of years now, Re-Ment, a Japanese toy company has been producing spectacular food miniatures.  Here is a portion of my collection:

The thing that I love about these, tiny pieces of plastic is very difficult to elaborate clearly and in precise words. On one hand there is the childhood fascination with a fabricated world--a moldable, moveable controlled environment of color and organization. There is an element of nostalgia for those childhood strolls through museums and the dreams of having my own diorama some day. Another element is a bit more hard to pin down but is more closely tied to my Japanese heritage.

Neurosis. Perhaps that is the best way to explain the precision, the intricacy, detail, and desire to make something so small.  As a Japanese American, I do not have a problem making the following statement, but I firmly believe that the Japanese are the most neurotic people on the face of the planet. Broad sweeping generalization time: there are so many odd quirks, obsession with honor, obsession with cuteness, obsession with precision, obsession with education, work ethic, the way food is presented, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. 

Think of the following items: Square watermelons. This is not an American invention, This can only be a Japanese invention. Same with the recently developed Heart-Shaped Melon. Japan is the only place where a person will exercise in public with hundreds of coworkers in the morning, work for twelve hours, and commit suicide if a business deal falls through in order to preserve honor for the sale of cute objects with the face of a kitty cat on it.

I still have more of these tiny objects, more miniature traditional Japanese foods, and other small items of plastic to be organized and sorted, catalogued and indexed, placed and arranged. 

The Body is a Marvelous Plastic Machine: Part Sequel

For the second lesson of Medicine for Times of Economic Collapse, I want to continue on the brief and broad sweeping overview of the gross human body.

Last time we covered the parts of the body used for the eating of food things and getting rid of them, and those parts for thinking, and those other parts used for breathing.
Now we cover the most important organ of them all, other than the one used for thinking. The one used for love and pumping: the Heart.

This, to the contrary is not your heart, but is the heart of a swine. No, not that ex-boyfriend/boss/mouth-breathing-weird looks bar. These are from the animal that make the most important food known to humanity...bacon. Which has the hazard of stopping the heart, but all blessings have their ouchie parts.

The next image is of your kidneys. These are bean-like shaped organs for which the legume is named. They filter stuff, make pee, and keep your electrolytes in check. Pretty cool. They are kind of like the aquarium filter of your body like your liver, but different. 

And when you stick all of the stuff together and put into one big shell of a goes into this thing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

On a more positive note...

In regards to two of my recent posts, I want to send out apologies.

I am not a hater of people who are non-natives of Portland. Nor am I anti-vegan, or against my neighborhood vegan grocery store.

Those two posts were written fairly close after a recent surgery, and, well, writing a pain pills are never an eloquent combination. All literary cliches considered, they just don't work.

Excuses aside, if I offended, in this instance, I apologize. 

So here is a picture of a giant fiberglass bull:

A favorite Comic Story: Crisis One Million

Every once in a while I shall post a favorite piece of this instance, it shall be a comic few pages from one of my all time favorite comic book stories written by Grant Morrison. 

The following pages are taken from DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1,000,000, which was an anthology book as part of a cross-over event where the major heroes of the DC universe were transported into the future to the 853rd Century, when the 1,000,000th issue of many titles would be published (kind of genius if you think about the timing). 

Anyway, the story is kind of odd, complicated, and filled with lots and lots of super heroics, villainy, time paradoxes, double-crosses, and redemption tales. Kind of like the bible...but with more colors than Joseph's technicolor dream-coat and less singing. 

So with respect to the writers, artists, and publishers, these images are property of DC Comics: 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some things just aren't right: Food Edition.

Last summer I ventured into my neighborhood vegan grocery store and happened to find this object of curioussity:

I was not really certain whether to be disgusted by the notion of vegetarian haggis or whether to think of it as just one of those complete absurd things that vegans/vegetarians need to create. I wish I had taken a picture of the contents of the can of vegetarian haggis. But if you are curious here is the link the manufacturers website

Before I get into a long rant about dietary preferences, full disclosure time. I used to live with three vegans, and three vegetarians when I was an undergrad in college. We ate communally, all chipped in for food, but I had no political aim with the choice. It was a matter of simple economics of the time. Basically we ate vegetables and grains, that was it. No processed food because we couldn't afford them. I also used to work in the specialty food industry with some of the individuals who brought Slow Food to America. 

While the notion of haggis is extremely gross to most everyone who hears the mere mention of the word; the simple gist of it is that it is a giant sausage...a really, really big sausage.

The following recipe was taken from the Food Network Website:


  • 1 sheep stomach
  • 1 sheep liver
  • 1 sheep heart
  • 1 sheep tongue
  • 1/2 pound suet, minced
  • 3 medium onions, minced
  • 1/2 pound dry oats, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground herbs


Rinse the stomach thoroughly and soak overnight in cold salted water.
Rinse the liver, heart, and tongue. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook these parts over medium heat for 2 hours. Remove and mince. Remove any gristle or skin and discard.
In a large bowl, combine the minced liver, heart, tongue, suet, onions, and toasted oats. Season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Moisten with some of the cooking water so the mixture binds. Remove the stomach from the cold salted water and fill 2/3 with the mixture. Sew or tie the stomach closed. Use a turning fork to pierce the stomach several times. This will prevent the haggis from bursting.
In a large pot of boiling water, gently place the filled stomach, being careful not to splash. Cook over high heat for 3 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes, if you serve it at all.

Maybe it is the idea of mixing a bunch of odd sheep parts into your oatmeal and sewing it into a stomach that grosses people out, but to be honest, grinding up pork belly, odds and ends, and stuffing it into intestinal casing doesn't sound much better.

The vegan option consists oats, beans, nuts, rutabaga, lentils, salt, fat preservatives, and a tin can. Basically a slurry instead of a a tin can. 

I don't know...Not certain what the point of this post was. People often complain about vegans and vegetarians eating imitation meat that "looks and feels just like the real thing." I am not certain how many people who have "converted" to a no-face-on-my-food policy really have a craving for haggis. I am pretty damned certain it isn't like bacon which seems to be the downfall of almost every vegan I know.

But Like I said, I have no idea what  the point of this post was. Sometimes we try things and fail. I think it made more sense than the pictures of the imitation fish not made of animal product that looked black and sludgly.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Portland History: A Test

For those of you who may not know a bit about the author of this web-log-clutter-entity, I grew up in the great land of Portland, Oregon. 

Portland is home to many things, such as: the worlds smallest park, Mill End Park, a place for leprechauns to play and picnic; The Kingsmen's version of Louie, Louie; and Tom Peterson and Gloria too. And well our own kind of superhero, Kiteman!

Kiteman was part of public safety campaign during the 80s informing us all about the importance of not getting out kites stuck in power lines. But there were great non sequitur moments in the commercial that seemed to have slid into the collective childhood subconsciousness.

Basically, here is a test for those who claim they are from Portland. If they grew up in Portland and were children during the 80s more than likely, they will understand this reference. The dialogue will proceed as following:

Person A: Where are you from?
Suspect Portlander: I'm from Portland.
Person A: Oh Really? Well, What about Frogs?

Two little caveats.  Caveat 1: Person A, could easily stand for Person Asshole, because let's face it this line of questioning/interrogation is a ham handed. But let's say the Suspect Portlander doesn't mind the passive aggressive tendencies of the hipster-prove-your-roots scene where we all come from slightly bitter undertone and just passes this off as part of the urban culture we abide by. Caveat 2: This is where you will need to give the person a minute to look and search their memory banks. If they are drunk they won't get it, or they might plant a fake memory into their head as so many alien abduction victims and/or people who say they actually remember Woodstock in 1969, not the movie, the event in Bethel, New York.

Continuing back to the questioning: If the person responds with a "huh?" Forget it, they might have grown up in...oh let's say Salem, Silverton, or Scio, but definitely not Portland. However,  If the Suspect Portlander responds with either, "I like Frogs," or "Kiteman!" with some level of glee. They were a child of Portland.

The things about Portland is, being a native, is a rare thing.  And in all honesty, I wasn't born here, my family moved here when I was 9-months old, but except for a brief run off to college and upstate NY, I have spent the entirety of my life in this fishing village. So I claim native. Most everyone I encounter has just moved to town. They have been here for 3-years or less, sometimes they are passing through, sometimes they moved with a boyfriend/girlfriend, a band, a mistake, et cetera. In the end, they are here. But they haven't seen this city grow, change and develop, and secretly hate all of the transplants.

There ways to test Portland by knowledge of landmarks, institutions, and media:

You can ask for the cross-streets of the 3 locations of the locations of the 24-Hour Church of Elvis.
In the 80s on AM radio you couldn't escape on Quarterflash; what was the band originally named?
Where was Beeper City?
Did you ever get a Tom Peterson haircut?
Where was the Big Bang?
Who was Baloney Joe?
More important who was Mr. Bumpity? I was kind of terrified and enamored of this local fixture of Saturday mornings as a childhood. Still to this day, I don't know if he was a frog, or something else.

Tangential thinking aside: Kiteman was for everyone.

Protecting the children, the frogs, the power lines, the skies.

Portland isn't the best place to fly kites, or catch frogs...but it is a good place dress-up weird and have a mustache.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An open Letter to Mr. Geoff Johns

Dear Mr. Johns,
Thank you so much for writing some of my absolute favorite comic books of all time. I am a big fan of the Justice Society of America and of your work on the Flash.
I am eagerly awaiting the start of Blackest Night in the Green Lantern books and I had what I though would be a million dollar idea that only you would appreciate. So please take a minute, grab a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (blue for Hope, right?) and hear me out.
So you have established that a war of light is going to occur. But where does that leave our color-themed villains that we all love and grew up with?
You know who I am talking about, geniuses of menace such as:

Rainbow Raider

Doctor Spectro

Crazy Quilt


Well, Chroma had some other god-complex issues and technically was killed by Gog 2, Superman villain from the future who was a kid who survived Kansas being destroyed (no not the years of crappy albums, the state) when Imperiex drones tried to concur the planet), not the Gog 1 of Earth 22 Anti-Hero who made Superman realize he was kind of a wash-up and not "proactive" enough for today's villains; while Gog 3, Lance-Corporal-Something-Something-Great-Great Grandson of George Washington (not a son of slaves)-And some-how also a Roosevelt...

Oh and he claimed to be a god of not only color but Music...Kind of Rad!!! but only kind of.

Train-wreck of a sentence up there...wouldn't you agree?

So yes, Dr. Spectro is Dead. Rainbow Raider is Dead (And replaced by a team of Rainbow Raiders...a whole team needs to replace just one villain!)

As for Crazy Quilt, everyone made fun of him...Even villains like Monocle. Ouch.
The original one hasn't been seen for a while but a new woman has been dancing around in the Crazy Quilt role. But she recently had her butt handed to her by the Secret Six.

So here is the the pitch:

War of light...
Every hero is tied up. Villains are taking advantage of what is going on. But the Original Crazy Quilt notices his powers are in flux, just like all the rainbow rings out there. And his color-commies are coming back. First Chroma is resurrected via a Black Lantern Ring, then Spectro, then the Rainbow Raider. Since they all have color based powers, and all are in touch with the emotional spectrum, and music (and we all know how much some villains always hated music). These newly resurrected villains aren't fighting for the side of good, nor are they simple instruments of villainy as mapped out in the many issues of Blackest Night. 

They are unknown agents fighting...for something.

But as of right now, they are kind of zombies, but more than normal zombies because they have emotions...and colors. And that is really the problem with zombies today. Very little color.

Crazy Quilt calls is his female replacement for help, and also the Team of Rainbow Raiders. They need to figure out what is going on with the Original Rainbow, Spectro and Chroma.

And they attract the attention of two unlikely heroes. Donna Troy, who for some reason is back to being a Darkstar and G'nort who is no longer a Green Lantern, no longer a Darkstar, but has become a Yellow Lantern because every other lantern is ghastly if not morbidly afraid of what a pain in the ass he might be if they must share sectors.

With Darkstar Donna and G'nort on teamed with the Crazy Quilts and Rainbow Raiders, they begin to explore the mysteries of the emotional spectrum and try to take their fellow fallen villains to the center of all concerns. The Black Lantern.

When I think about this book...I think Neon...Crayola...Airbrush...Acid Washed Jeans...

All of those glorious things that we don't want to remember loving but love....Love a lot.

So Mr. Johns, please consider this.

Thank you,


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Support Local Reads

Having worked as a poetry editor for a literary magazine, I know how challenging it is to get one going.  So I want people to throw out their support for this in the Local Effort Category.

The Editors of this publication will be at the Portland Zine Symposium which is a wonderful chance to see what is happening in the small press world. And the sub-small-press world.