Thursday, August 20, 2009

For the Love of Comics

Seth and Christopher trade off Fridays to talk about the comics they love, as well as the people who made them happen, in these personal entries.

Christopher’s Love:

1: Tales from the Crypt Amidst a Twister

I can tell you the exact date I first picked up Tales from the Crypt: May 5, 1990. In a very dramatic way, it was minutes before a twister came through my hometown.

2: Remembering Joe Gill

Joe Gill was the most unique and outstanding anonymous author I knew. He's also my "fuckin' hero".

It was 1989 when I first stumbled across a copy of Comics Buyer’s Guide on the wire rack in a used bookstore in my Virginia hometown. CBG was a literal weekly newspaper for comics then, featuring everything from breaking news, to columns by industry insiders, to previews of upcoming comics. To a 12 year-old boy, it was heaven smudgingly printed on cheap paper.

In the end, the Holden Caulfield walked away with his kid sister, while the well-meaning Peter Parker walked away alone.

Seth’s Love:

01: My Youth in Comics

Between the ages of three and seven, my comics were picked up sporadically from newsstands and I got collected editions, treasuries and digests from various used bookstores. When my addiction started hitting it’s stride around the time I was eight

02: How Harvey Pekar Got Me Laid

I met her in front of the Sunshine Theater on East Houston Street. I waited beside the poster of Paul Giamatti channeling Harvey Pekar when she arrived and it took me a moment to recognize her.

03: Jeff Newelt ACT-I-VATEs the Hype

I arranged to talk to Jeff Newelt on the rooftop of the building that houses Deep 6 studios, in Gowanus, Brooklyn. It’s the type of location where one would almost expect to meet a superhero, or a superhero’s publicist, in this case.

04: My Lifetime of Collecting Star Wars Figures

Actually, it wasn’t all that far away; it was Brooklyn, at the Toys R’ Us on Flatbush Avenue. It was 1977 and I was four-years old. I walked next to my father down the aisles of toys and they seemed to extend up so high that to me they could have reached the stars...Just then we turned a corner and there they were, right on the endcap—the Star Wars toys. My face must have lit, as though I were looking at the blinding explosion of the Death Star itself.

Schmuck: The term entered English as a borrowed pejorative from the common Yiddish insult, where it is an obscene term for penis. It a range of meaning depending on context. In its most innocuous use, a schmuck is a person who does a stupid thing, in which case "dumb schmuck" is the appropriate expression. A schmuck's behavior ranges from pesky and inconsiderate, to obnoxious and manipulative.