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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"A True Coward Can't Face the Reality"

Should you ever find yourself doing some soul searching in Minneapolis, I highly recommend visiting Comic Book College. They had a huge holiday sale last week and I went a little crazy.

Among the stacks was a book I hadn't really seen before but came highly recommended by my brother, an Uptown celebrity turned Seattlehead. I know it's an oldie, but Coward is seriously making my pre-New Year's partying head spin.

Written by Ed Burbaker (Captain America), the protagonist (or least worst villain), Leo, is a criminal who escapes prison and death by being flighty and cautious . He has wounds and baggage, but nevertheless takes a risky job because he didn't have the heart to say no to a smackhead hottie from his past. Romantic! (my favorite Farm Talk) Tom Fontana's introduction officially stressed me out and made all of my resolutions appear vapid. Am I a coward? Do I play life too safe? "If life is only about survival, then what is the ultimate cost?"

At times a little too Ocean's Eleven, it's still a page turner. As I put it down I'm determined to pull on my party pants and set aside Leo's lifesaving rules for another day.

To all of the cowards out there, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Farm Talk: Web Comic of the Year

Okay, it might not be web comic of the year -- not that I'm qualified to even say what might be -- but it's damn good! Our very own Chris Bacolo made one post about his new web comic, Farm Talk, but I just wanted to jump in and encourage everyone to check it out (Chris is either too lazy or too humble to self-promote it, but I'm not).

Farm Talk is a (somewhat) all-ages comic starring farm animals talking, flying kites, drinking, killing, and lots more -- and it's actually very funny. Chris publishes new strips every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so be sure check his page on DrunkDuck then for new comics. Here's my favorite so far:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Wrestler - The Story Behind The Guy Who Lives In A Van Down By The River...

I just saw Mickey Rourke's highly anticipated comeback vehicle The Wrestler, and (spoiler alert), he does live in a van and though no river is specified, a close proximity to a river (or rivulet or stream) is inferred since it is set in NJ (Rahway and Linden mostly - exit 136 or exit 137 on the Garden State Parkway depending on who you ask) and since most towns in NJ are near a flowing watercourse of some sort, Mickey Rourke is actually playing a guy who lives down by the river. Thank you, Chris Farley for a lesson in art imitating art.

Rourke's performance is nothing short of immersive. Director/producer Darren Aranofsky drops us into Randy "The Ram" Robinson's life as if he's pushing us out of a low-flying airplane with a barely working chute. Upon landing, we surey the cold landscape of a lesser New Jersey, a county somewhere central that appears as if it hasn't seen a spring in years. Think desolate town roads punctuated with 99 cent stores and hardly lit bars. And while The Ram suffers through the working week, working in the stockroom of a grocery store under the hulimiating thumb of NYC alt-comedy scene's Todd Barry, the Ram's weekends are when he steps into the intoxicating light of fan adulation, though just barely since walking requires his damaged bones and tendons to function as they did in his prime. Forget Candian Destroyers, Graveyard Smashes, and Tiger Drivers, it's a physical feat to see him put one foot in front of the other and make it to his van (an appropriate Dodge Ram).

Marisa Tomei gives voice and face to NJ strippers and does so with a matching accuracy to Rourke's performance. Working in the actual ill-famed Cheeks strip club in Pemberton, NJ (Route 38, east of 206, it was also the sight of several prostitution stings over the years, remember Burlington County?), Tomei plays both single mother and seasoned older stripper and best tries to alternate between the two in her interactions with Randy. Evan Rachel Wood cannot help being shadowed by Tomei and Rourke, but she keeps a strong foothold in Randy's story and without her, we can't see Randy for what he truly is, a man who sacrificed it all for the one thing he was best at, and ultimately for a life of lonely VFW bars and American Legion Hall backrooms.

Rourke's own troubled and enigmatic life provides the vehicle for a man beaten down by his profession and the mistakes of a life long forgotten by most. But when approached by die-hard fans with faces lit up and flushed with ecstatic 1980s memories, Rourke responds with an all-too-creepily genuine reaction of self-validation and pride. Go up to Rourke right now and tell him how much you loved him in Pope of Greenwich Village and you may experience the same reaction.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Webcomic!

Hey guys, if you have a spare second, check out my new webcomic over at 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Carl Perkins + George Harrison and Dave Edmunds = Kick Ass

This is from a Carl Perkins tribute show in the 80s, and is some prime rockabilly. George Harrison and Dave Edmunds in particular seem to be having a great time, which just adds to the great sound and vibe.

28 years later...

Twenty-eight years ago today, John Lennon was murdered outside his apartment. I know that singing the praises of the Beatles is almost a cliche at this point, but in the end, these guys were THE best. And what happened to John (and George) is not what he deserved, as he and all the Beatles really gave something positive to the world.

Here's a video of "(Just Like) Starting Over," a tune from Double Fantasy that I really love.