Zeesmuse’s writing is the best in pleasure reading. Well planned out and executed plots, excellent character development, realistic emotional responses from those characters, these stories never fail to engage me and make me forget everything else. ūüĆĽ

Judge for yourself, the link to her latest story is below:

via When the Ribbons Dance – Prologue

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NFC_Monstress_01_pg3_panel_adMarjorie Liu’s Monstress with artwork Sana Takeda is out¬† today and it is a huge first issue. Beautiful 68 pages of high quality paper stock which really showcases the fabulous artwork by Sana Takeda. What is not obvious at first glance, is Marjorie’s writing. She creates what could be a post-apocalyptic world that I hate to admit, I can identify with. Then again, it just might be my experience working retail that makes me think that way.

This writer, Liu, is honing her craft with every new project, not only has this first issue been great fun for me to read, but I like how Liu captures and infuses the human condition into the main protagonist to make me feel like it is my struggle too.¬†The struggle to survive under impossible emotionally crushing odds, while remaining laser focused to serve out, what I believe will be justified (possibly wrong for me to take delight in) revenge, while keeping us on the edge of your seat suspenseful.¬†Liu’s ability to make the main protagonist’s experience our own every step of the way through the first issue is important. Nothing loses my interest like apathy towards the characters in a story, so the fact that Liu gets¬†me involved, concerned or worried in what happens to the characters, well that keeps me coming back for more. Without that factor, I’m not reading it, or watching it for that matter. How does she do it? I have no idea, but it might involve crossroads or secrets we are all better off not knowing about. Each panel of gorgeous art doesn’t hurt the story either, but in all honesty, I’d keep reading if the artist were as skilled as I am, which means to say, other than a stick figure, I cannot draw anything. That is how much I enjoy the writing talent Liu possesses.

IMG_4129_MonstressSince I cannot predict where this story will¬†end up, I can assure you, it will be worth the journey Liu has planned for us. I don’t say the following, just ¬†to¬†hear myself talk (wait that is me being my mother) because I’ve read and have enjoyed most of Liu’s New York Times best selling novels and comic book work already. Nor am I saying any of this because I stock and sell her work in the comic store. Note: As long as you are not stealing your comics, I do not care where your purchase them, as long as you are paying for them. ¬†Not everyone can know who I am so, while I realize we all don’t have the same taste in music, books, clothes, men, shoes, whatever, there is only so much a review, minimal as this is, can do to sway you one way or the other.¬†IMG_4127_Monstress

If you however, you subscribe to the idea that no thought is original, that all stories have been told, then like me, you read a lot, you might find yourself rarely surprised. I believe, unoriginal can be forgiven, if the experience a writer is providing is made worth the time you invest to read it. To date, Marjorie Liu has never failed to surprise me or keep my undivided reading interest with every page turn. For those that have not read her work before, this one is, without hesitation a must have, a must hold, a must read!

You are a fool if you don’t read it, just sayin’.

Prince Charming is a Unicorn

Forgiving Man

Well, I suck hard, but never in a good way for my poor hubs. Meaning, once again I have forgotten our wedding anniversary. I don’t know if I have ever remembered the date the whole time we’ve been married either. We have a pretty good relationship and don’t really need a special date to do special things for each other. (Now I’m just trying to make myself feel better about my inconsiderate character.)mimi_alan_just_married_crop_2

I thought to pull a Homer Simpson, slowly walk backwards toward the garage door, jump in my car then rush to the store to buy him a gift. That however, was not going to work in this situation. He was so sweet when he gave me a bag (he is a dude and does not gift wrap) from the mall before he left for work this morning. I seriously doubt I’ll think of something to make up for it by tomorrow, when I see him again, because we aren’t going to take time off work for this milestone.

All I can say in my own defense is this, he knew I was not domesticated when he originally pursued and married me. I know, I still suck.man_logic

so_that_happenedWhile at CCI this year, Kiley and Jon re-merchandised the Romance section, adding hearts and images of Spider-man kissing Black Cat and another one where he is kissing Gwen Stacey. (Even though there is resentment towards her for having Norman Osborne’s baby.)


Funny enough, when guys talk ‘romance’ around here, it has more to do with actual ‘scoring’ rather than sentimental concepts or big picture ideals.


I’m not trying to be cynical, however working with dudes for many years makes me see (not nessararily agree with) ¬†what they value most when attracted to the opposite sex. ¬†With rare exception it is goal oriented. ¬†

Can you guess what that goal is? I bet you can. My hubs calls it nature’s imperative and he is not saying it in reference to HG Wells quote “nature’s inexorable imperative” regarding adapt or perish to your work environment.

 I will probably tweek this section sa tiny bit, but overall, I am pleased.

¬†I think it is the hearts. Kiley printed out a bunch of hearts and it makes me smile to see them. Maybe he wasn’t making it up when he said to his wife once, “I’m a sensitive guy, baby.”
 

so_that_happenedSomeone was in need of urgent assistance.¬†My cell phone buzz’d and while I initially could not identify who was on the line, the way they said my name, that one utterance, clearly conveyed the concern and unhappy situation they now found themselves. Last week at ComicCon International, I received an unexpected call from someone being chased by a pack of celeb-stalking girls. They ran after this person through a hotel and without subtly. In a way, I’m shocked they were not stopped by anyone working in the hotel before it was necessary to phone me. I was there in the same hotel, but miles away, (figuratively speaking since¬†I was in heels) and as I started to run towards the hotel lobby, I ask myself, ‘why do I always end up running balls-to-the-wall when I am at ComicCon?’¬† Hilton_Bayfron_CCI_2015Luckily, working the Eisner Award show for longer than my feeble memory cares to recall, managing retail comic book stores, artist events and answering phones for Robert Redford when I was 18 helped prepare me for totally unpredictable occurrences like this one. (I am not proud of this fact, it is a product of the work I already do, but it is also not a skill developed, some can do it innately, others can never put aside their own self-interest to focus on the task at hand.)¬†I run as fast as my high heeled feet and short legs allow, staying calm on the phone while I try to get a clue which direction he might be once I get outside of the Indigo hall, I simultaneously signal to Lorrie to get her ass running along with me, (which in all fairness she was already with me when she saw me take off) leaving Kathy Jones in charge of the Green Room. I don’t need to acknowledge I have a ‘situation’ to deal with, she instinctively knows by my immediate reaction. As I clear the Indigo Ballroom Hall, I also notice a group of young girls looking for someone. They walk with a posturing determination that says, ‘we’ will not take ‘no’ for an answer, (they literally stalked like a pack looking for their target) so when I finally emerge from the ballroom hall turning the corner, they were not focused on who was around them, ¬†I was able to locate the person requesting assistance and get him between me and Lorrie before they noticed we were even there.

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Fables comic art panels ‚ÄĘ Bill Willingham

Why am I the boss of you?¬†My hubs teases me that I am not always in charge and that eventually I will run into someone who will not do as I say. For now, that is mostly my¬†hair-balls. (sigh) Lorrie at 5’7″ and myself at 5’5″, are not the black suit, sun glasses, radio-ear-bud wearing bodyguard-types one would expect to have¬†a celeb’s back. homer_secret_agent(Well the black suit part actually applies.)¬†We are better, because no one expects us. Plus an authoritative attitude can make all the difference in these situations. We are both good at that too. Once we arrived on the scene, I could control the situation (being a control sympathizer does have it’s advantages) and things went¬†smoothly because, well because of attitude really. We acted in charge, so we were. He was fine, we got him between us and he clearly felt ‘safe’ because as we were walking him to the Green Room, he turned to the girls following closely and assured them he would be back out the way he went in ¬†. . . well maybe he would, but it would be hours later, more than likely, he would be leaving through the super secret unglamorous celeb exit/entrances with others of his own kind. IMG_6386

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Yes, there is shoe shine service in the hotel

There are a couple things I wonder at, not the least being, where are these young girl’s mothers? In a way the question answers itself, either (a) the mothers do not care what their unattended daughters are up to in a hotel full of thousands of wandering (do I really need to point¬†it out? horny!) men willing to plow a willing grandmother cos-playing Cloris Leechmen’s Frau Bl√ľcher in Young Frankenstein, well, as long as their friends don’t know about it; or (b) the mothers are of similar disposition and encourage stalking behavior? Does it come from a society that has moved backwards from teaching children the minimalist of manners, that actions have consequences and you have to be responsible for your actions? The ridiculousness of these incidents is sheer idiocy, is this not supposedly civilized society we live in? Oh yeah, forgot, people do not take responsibility for themselves, their children or their actions¬†anymore. (sigh) In full disclosure, I am not an expert in appropriate social manners. (I only play one on TV, haha) I am blunt when talking to people. That character trait is perceived as rude by many and more than one dude has gone away crying after we’ve spoken. I can disclose this, I have never stalked, chased, harangued or pestered anyone. ¬†Mostly because I am busy, but when I had free time, I had better things to do, well that and I suppose the nuns raised me right. IMG_5593The hotel in question is a bit, IMHO, over priced, regular room run $350 to $500 a night +$35 a night for parking, $20 a day for internet and of course tax. Like many of the impossibly large hotels I’ve been in, this one is not easy to navigate. Their parents might be staying in the hotel which might make it easier to learn the landscape of the hotel. Still, how wise is it, to allow underage children to roam an impossibly large hotel. Full disclosure, I am geographically challenged, I¬†get lost looking for the ice machine on my floor late at night. Yet, I cannot imagine it is remotely¬†prudent to let minors roam crowded (or not) hotels alone. Then I remember three 12-yr-old girls in a rather large hotel in Paramount City when I was at a DC Comics RRP* meeting years ago. ¬†When a one¬†goes missing, are these the parents who proclaim their innocent well behaved child was taken by force when their attention was called away for only a few seconds? I’m beginning to question it all.¬†IMG_1211 Ulltimately, I wonder what these silly little girls think they are going to acomplish by chasing a full grown man? ¬†What do they expect to happen when they “catch” the hunky handsome but clearly overwhelmed celeb? Or am I right to suspect they never ever think that far ahead? ¬†If all they want are some “selfies” with him, why not just ask politely? Could it be, they don’t know how to behave politely, much less ask? ¬†I guess I don’t have much of an imagination because it is really beyond me to know what those girls expected. You think they could have realized that his sprinting as he runs away would mean he was not interested in their attentions? ¬†I do not think he was wrong to run either. I understand his wanting to get away from them, they are clearly putting him in danger. How easy would it be to say he stalked them? Accuse him of inappropriate behavior with them, or on them? R Kelly style or something? Really? Peeing on underage¬†girls? Sad for those girls that did not¬†have had fathers who loved them. Pretty privilaged underage girls in this sort of situation can be dangerous and now that I think about it, I wish I had stopped to ask them where their parents were so I could speak to them. Damn, I would have been an excellent nun.

hairball_2014

Only does what I ask when grilled chicken is ready

When the call came in, I was a good 50′ or more behind the VIP check-in table. For some reason it occurred to me to look to see how long the phone call was to prompt this accounting, any guesses? Two minutes.¬†While it did not seem to take me very long to find him, as soon as I spotted him and knew he spotted me, I immediately hung up on the call and moved to block anyone from getting to him even while he was a good 25yards away. In a panic situation, two minutes can be a very long time.

Jonathan Ross and Rich Johnston

Jonathan Ross & Rich Johnston ‚ÄĘ Eisner Awards 2015

The photo with Jonathan Ross and Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool News) give you a view if not perspective of the hallway outside the 2,000 seat capacity for the Eisner Awards. For the record, it was not Jonathan Ross who was being chased by little girls. He assures me that he is very famous in the UK and fabulously wealthy. I have never had to rescue him from anyone.

Eisner Awards 2015 with artist/friend Batton Lash

Eisner Awards 2015 with artist/friend Batton Lash

*DC Comics RRP was their Retail Representative Program Paul Levitz and Bob Wayne insightfully organized back in the late 80s.

Hannibal_S3_Red_Dragon_05_c

Admittedly, I’m pretty excited to see the new season of Hannibal. I enjoyed reading the books years ago, geez, that was the 90s! Like the way they filmed food prep too, even though I am sure some would find it nauseating to think about. However, it is fiction and the food on the screen is not likely real or edible either.

Hannibal_S3_Red_Dragon_01
Back in the early days, when the state of Utah was Lake Bonneville, and Michael Mann directed the film Manhunter, Tom Noonan played the Red Dragon/Fairy Tooth serial killer. I usually don’t find sympathy for the evil killer ones, but have to admit, Noonan made me feel sorry for him. ¬†Even believe he might have redeeming qualities. Sheesh, I know! Did not feel the same way about the Ralph Fiennes version of Red Dragon, but the tattoo they had on his back was cool.Hannibal_S3_Red_Dragon_04_bAnyhow, I don’t know what to expect from the new invention of this story, but believe they will at least live up to the last season, so that is worth sticking with the series, even if they didn’t have a first class actor taking on the Tooth Fairy role. Like a lot of people I know, I am looking forward to Richard Armitage’s portrayal of the Red Dragon/
Tooth Fairy serial killer, and trust he will undoubtedly shock, surprise and horrify us all with his interpretation. Just hope I don’t hate him for it. Hannibal_S3_Red_Dragon_02¬†So E! On Line posted this link up today:¬†http://www.eonline.com/news/658888/it-s-a-completely-new-hannibal-season-3-preview-is-full-of-red-dragon-lots-of-gillian-anderson-and-moreHannibal_S3_Red_Dragon_3_b

so_that_happenedWhen the ridicule begins . . . ¬†At work unpacking books and in my usual tunnel vision focused state, I searched for a copy of invoices we needed this week. The monopoly run comic distributor had once again neglected to supply us packing lists for the convenience of verifying the 1400+ items in the shipment we’d just received. The shop was now closed, I was not paying attention to what was going on around me and we had the music turned up to 11. The Hubs, unnoticed by me of course (he is so good at this) had walked in and was standing very close behind me. When I finally noticed him, I was sitting down (he is 6’3″) on one of those swivel office chairs. Side note: ¬†I am not shy about touching him, in our private lives. However, I am not a person that is normally PDA touchy-feely with people in general anyway. Back to the incident…mimi_hand_on_knee_crop_ mimi_hand_on_shoulder_smDelighted to see him, I swiveled the chair around to hug him while I was still sitting down. My arms wrapped around his legs because I was sitting. My right arm around his back legs and the left arm around his front legs where the palm of my left hand promptly came to rest right on his middle leg. I snatched my hand away as if I touched a hot stove. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had his D in my hand before, but not in front of anyone.

The secret is out!

The secret is out!

Once again, I am¬†embarrassed, ashamed and finding myself on the defense because whenever anything like that happens, of course it is witnessed by one or more of the guys I work with. The ridicule begins (sigh) then continues through phone calls and on and on with all sorts of wild proclamations of my intentions in describing what happened in that split-second of contact. Not only how intentional I was, but how desperate I am for the D, what I did once it was in my hand, etc. etc. etc. Through all the ridicule, The Hubs said and did nothing but smile. No defense, no ‘ease up on her‘ guys request, nothing. ¬†Which reminded me of one male friend telling me of how at first he was embarrassed to have a woman doctor check him for a hernia until he remembered he wanted as many women as possible to see and touch his “junk” as he phrased it. After he recalled that goal, he was no longer uncomfortable. After all said and done, The Hubs was not bothered in the least because even if it was only a split-second, he liked it, will take whatever he can get. Whaaa? The guys at work were having fun at my expense and I was defensively explaining to juvenile-male-deaf ears how it was an accident over and over.

Is it just my experience with men, or are they all like this? Because this is almost always what I ever see of the male portion of the population.

Jollytr_edit_0014_middle_leg_00 Jollytr_edit_0014_middle_leg_01 Jollytr_edit_0014_middle_leg_02 RACentral_Banner_Link

‚ÄĘ Sir Guy edits are Thanks to Jollytr and used with her permission from her Tumblr.

‚ÄĘ Screen caps from Richard Armitage Central, Thank You.

. . . Well, I Got Better

The_Crucible_Hdr

Bedevere: How do you know she is a witch?

Peasant: She looks like one. [Crowd indistinctly shouts]

Bedevere: Bring her forward!

Girl: I’m not a witch.

Bedevere: But you are dressed as one…

Girl: They dressed me up like this. [Crowd murmurs]

Girl: And this isn’t my nose. This is a false one.

Bedevere: [inspects the nose and confirms] Well?

Peasant: Well, we did do the nose.

Bedevere: The nose?

Peasant: And the hat. She’s a witch!

Peasant Crowd: Burn her!

Bedevere: Did you dress her up like this?

Peasant Crowd: No, no, no!¬†[beat]¬†Yes, yes. A bit. But she’s got a wart.

Bedevere: What makes you think she is a witch?

Peasant: Oh, she turned me into a newt! [Bedevere gives him a disbelieving look]

Bedevere: A newt? [Silence]

Peasant: Well, I got better.

Peasant Crowd: Burn her anyway!

[Script excerpt from Monty Python and the Holy Grail]

HolyGrailWhatMakesYouThinkShesAWitch

Terry Jones in Monty Python & the Holy Grail

I have a love/hate relationship with The Crucible. While I love the work Arthur Miller created, I hated the truth it revealed as I experienced it back then. I read the play within a year of what had happened to make me feel as if I had lived my own version of The Crucible. Well that and I was 12 at the time. ¬†I had been on the receiving end of a false accusation when I was in 8th grade¬†by a small group of girls in school.¬†Holy_Grail_turned_me_into_newt¬†It was a bitter pill to learn how like wildfire their completely false words spread and burned me. Why else would I still remember it all as if it happened yesterday. I suppose the past¬†had to come up¬†with my interest in this particular production and of course my sister bringing it up. The teachers did not believe or support the accusation, mostly because they already knew the truth, however, many of my peers and friends did believe that false accusation. That hurt the way only a young girl can be hurt when learning the truth of what a ‘fair-weather-friend’ actually means. suck_my_fat_oneIt was mean-girl-bullying before there was a name for it, but I would not succumb to it. Even though they hurt me with their claims, I was too young to have known how inconsequential it all was. I stubbornly fought back the only way I knew how, by refusing to let them see how they hurt me, nor would I shrink from them¬†by avoiding them or seeming to be¬†shamed by anything they said.

The-Crucible_017_outrageous_bitchesThen they recruited one of my younger sisters in an attempt to convince me to admit publicly (on the playground) that I did what they were accusing me of doing. And if I did admit to it on their terms, well then all would be forgiven. And they would all be my friends again. Needless to say, even at that naive age, I was the person then that I am today, stubborn. I also, no longer wanted any of those girls for friends.  Had I done the thing, I would have indeed admitted to it from the start, but my outrage at their false accusation would never allow me to admit to something I did not do, nor did I attempt to reason with them.

RA_John_Proctor_crucible_unbelievableI try to be the person that admits when I am wrong (not always in a good way according to hubs) and take responsibility for what I did. In hindsight, it was not the desire to be honest, but my anger that would not let me consider their ‘solution’ to the problem they created. What a trap, tell a lie, pretend I did what I did not do and thereby make myself, publicly, a liar? Even privately, I could never do that. ¬†I am sure my determination to be uncompromisingly true made it difficult for my sister. We had not talked about it since it happened, but oddly enough, or not, it came up last year when she helped me at WonderCon. She told me how sorry she was for her part in the whole thing, but I had never blamed her for any of it then or now.¬†The whole thing was silly and stupid.

Proctor_Abigail_now_you_are_sorry? Proctor_Abigail_show_you

That experience did make me more resolute to live my life honestly and in a way that would make it difficult for anyone to believe me anything but what I appear to be. Fortunately¬†and unlike the characters in The Crucible, it did not ruin my life. However, when you are twelve, things have a way of being bigger than they really are so when I read Arthur Miller’s The Crucible the following¬†year, I climbed right up on that metaphorical cross, in my mind anyway. (The never ending influence of Catholic culture.)Holy_Grail_got_better

 

Like many students, I read, studied, wrote papers and attended live performances of The Crucible.pop_quiz I had plans to attend¬†this play in London but life conspired against it, so resigned myself to never seeing it. When it was announced that Digital Theater would be filming the play, my hopes rose that I would be able to watch this particular production of The Crucible. Why this production? Note: I don’t say performance, because like most live events, when repeated, the performance will differ each time. Does it really need to be pointed out that ¬†I am not alone in my appreciation of the artistic talents and abilities of Richard Armitage? His talents, reputation and obvious draw would ensure a successful attendance and ticket sales to make the play economically feasible.¬†Together with his and the whole cast incredible performances,¬†from what looks like consistently sold out shows, critical acclaim, I cannot help but think this production will be the longest lived.crucible_better_be!_

On a lighter note . . .

Despite the digital dilemma of problems making this performance of The Crucible available to the masses, I still wanted to see it and purchased it last Saturday. After work, my husband (usually referred to as ‘hubs’) wanted me to join him for dinner and a movie. I asked if we could watch The Crucible at home and he agreed. We picked up dinner and went home. I should mention that my hubs is a terrible tease, he takes every opportunity to do so with my interest in this play as well. Even so, he has a great sense of humor and does make me laugh about it more often than not. ¬†When we got home, had taken the dogs out, fed them and put the take-out dinner on the coffee table in front of the television. We then settle in to watch The Crucible.

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Hubs kicks back after work

AlanPants01

Hubs before he broke his leg in a football game.

It is everything I had hoped for and more in the production and performances. I am certain it would have been better live. I¬†wonder if I could hold back the emotion it brings up if seen¬†live? Viewing a recording of it was so powerful and I do not mean by one actor, the whole group was strong. It had to be for the whole play to be as good as it is. Only as strong as the weakest link, right? Before intermission, while no one is speaking, my hubs drops, what to me is a bombshell. “We studied this play in high school . . .¬†I was in a performance of it as well.” What!?! Shut the Front Door! What? I didn’t know him in high school, we grew up in different states, over 600+ miles apart. I knew he was an impressive academic (better than I was by miles) and athlete. Football, basketball and track. I also knew he was in drama classes, plays, but he rarely talks about those experiences, even though when we first married, he still had a bunch of drama make-up and props in a trunk. I learned of¬†several accounts of his activities, most of it about sports from his family, newspaper clippings and a scrapbook his mother put together.¬†There are also my first had accounts, more than a few and some horrifying, highlights of games played with his friends. Mostly what I refer to as ‘jungle-ball’ where he plays basketball (‘shirts and skins’ to tell who is on what team) on the asphalt. It is a typical display of testosterone run rampant and I admit that I occasionally watch and enjoy the display, but it can be brutal, someone almost always ends up in the emergency room. Back to The Crucible, I had never really heard much about¬†his¬†drama classes/play experiences. spare_me_your_dramaHe wasn’t going to tell me now either. What part did he play? He says he doesn’t remember, but when I ran through a few of the parts, he said he was the only male in most of the scenes. Not that I believe it was so long ago he doesn’t remember. Eventually, after my endless questions, we had stopped at the intermission so I could grill him until I accepted, the subject was now closed. (sigh) Nothing for it but to go back to The Crucible.

Note: this was written the last week in March, but had to work, could not finish to post it then. To date, I have not had time to watch the second half of The Crucible.

Crucible_watch_it!_

Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Mimi Cruz, Kathy Jones ‚ÄĘ WonderCon 2015

Kevin J Anderson Talks Star Wars Canon, The New Movies And The Novels – Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News.

[click the link above to read and listen to Kevin J. Anderson talk Star Wars]

Retail Therapy: Confessions Of A Catholic School Girl – Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV NewsMimi Cruz, Victor, Cruz, Vicki Cruz; a few of her siblings

Mimi Cruz is a comic book retailer in Salt Lake City and appears on the Top 100 Power List. She writes

Everyone who loves comic books has their own unique story of how they fell in love with them. This is mine.

I was a hyperactive kid. At the age of 3, when I could read most of the comic strips in the daily newspaper, write the alphabet A to Z, and count to 100, I decided it was time to start school. After mother and the nuns discussed it, they relented and I was allowed to begin the following year. I remember walking up to the front door with my mother and, with my right hand on the door handle, turning to her and waving her off with my left, saying; ‚ÄúI got it from here.‚ÄĚ Later, she told me she went home and cried until it was time to pick me up after school. Unlike the super cool stars of most angst ridden teen flicks (not to mention my real life friends), I loved every minute of school. Like Lisa Simpson, I even had my own emergency school desk set up at home in case I ever had to miss a day. To this day, I love the smell of new office supplies.

As in many classic kid stories, I read under the covers with a flashlight. My mother would regularly take away the flashlight, so until I could find or buy another one, my late night reading habits would cease.

We moved the summer after 4th grade. I was unhappily riding my bicycle around the new neighborhood to scope things out. As I rode by her house for the third or fourth time, a lady called out to me; she had a box of stuff her grown children had left behind. Being the typical suspicious city kid, I stared at her for a few seconds, peddled my bike home, then jumped off, not watching while it continued to roll before falling onto the grass as I walked back. She had placed a lidless worn cardboard box at the bottom of her porch steps. As I cautiously walked towards the box, she told me through the screen door that it was all mine if I wanted it. I noted two stacks within. One was a pile of comic books, with a copy of Jonah Hex right on top. I had never owned a comic book before then, but with the gorgeous face of Jonah Hex staring at me from the top, I instinctively knew I wanted them. Next to the stack of comics was a stack of Motown 45s. I took the box and walked home with my new treasure. I don‚Äôt remember if I even said, ‚Äėthank you‚Äô to that generous lady, (probably because I wasn‚Äôt supposed to talk to strangers) but I do remember being really happy. She changed my life forever with one act of kindness.

At home, I found a quiet corner to explore my treasure box. I resolved to read only one new comic book a day and listen to one new 45 each day. Raised Catholic, I had already learned about depriving oneself and to instinctively feel guilt if I enjoyed anything too much. Granted, I would listen to that record over and over all that day or to the ones I’d already listened to the previous day. I would reread comics I’d already read, but kept to allowing myself one new comic book and record a day. I was careful to study and appreciate each item slowly. At least that is what my 9-year-old brain thought was appropriate at the time. I may have had a bit more patience back then.

I fell in love with Jonah Hex. He reminded me of those Clint Eastwood movies my parents would watch at the drive-in while us children were supposed to be asleep in the back. I, however, did not fall asleep with my siblings; I would watch the movies. As I grew older, my kid brain wanted more comics, more books and more music. To this day, that zombie-like hunger has never been sated.

So I took jobs babysitting, mowing lawns and by 11 years of age, I was delivering 141 newspapers, seven days a week. I needed the money to buy what I could not check out from the local library and I had discovered MAD Magazine.

Swampthing_#36In the years that followed, while working for Hasbro Toys in Providence, Rhode Island, my husband and I visited a comic book shop, named Starship Excalibur. My husband picked out his weekly comic books and I noticed Swamp Thing #36. I had read the Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing issues, but this was something different. When we returned the following week, my husband picked out his usual while I eagerly looked for more Swamp Thing and picked out one of everything they had. The pile was a bit of a shock to my husband, when I decisively plopped them all down on the counter, but there was no turning back. That same enthusiasm has carried me from Alan Moore, to Frank Miller, to Frank Beddor with many wonderful stops in between.

Two years later, when asked to choose between buying a house, a Corvette, or opening a comic book store, the answer was a no-brainer. I no longer read under the covers with a flashlight, but I do manage comic book stores.

My love of comics has grown deeper than just my appreciation of the artists I personally treasure. From those first few days after opening Night Flight Comics, there were many opportunities to work with educators and librarians. In the fall of 1987, Paul Levitz and Bob Wayne stepped up to help with our first classroom presentations for ninety 12-year-old students. The 90s brought help from Bill Morrison, Dr. Robyn A. Hill, Batton Lash, Jackie Estrada, Mike Carlin, Karen Berger, Vince Letterio, Mike Richardson and Jim Valentino. Then Matt Hawkins, Alan Payne, Dave Hawksworth, Frank Beddor and others joined in. The desire to share our mutual love of comics runs through many of us working in this industry. For the help I receive in sharing my love of comics, I will always be grateful.

And the moral of this story… sometimes taking candy from a stranger can be a good thing.

Mimi Cruz
Manager
Night Flight Comics
Salt Lake City, Utah

Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, Swamp Thing, DC Comics, Vertigo Comics, Night Flight Comics,

 To this day, that zombie-like hunger has never been sated

Just another day at work¬†today ‚ÄĘ I’m slightly preoccupied with working on quarterly sales tax reports (trying not to make any mathematical errors as I punch in numbers on my spreadsheets) and even if I don’t drink it, I of course had a cup of black coffee close by.

Thought I was over flu and subsequent cough, but no chance of that as the occasional cough will happen. While taking a sip of coffee, a cough started to form, I was able to time it perfectly too. The spray that ensued from that was enough to get onto my laptop before I could completely cover my mouth and turn away. My iPhone got the brunt of it, but it is fine.

Now my MacBook Pro won’t turn on. I hope that it is just a temporary shock to the system and not a fried mother board.

Trying not to be too emo

I never learn, no beverages around computers, comics, books, etc., but I refuse to cry, I am going to smile and see if I can get the laptop working again.

 

suggestions for decorating anyone?

zee's muse

Yes I DO have windows!

WP_20180518_004

You can see my messy workspace. That‚Äôs going to be redone as well! Somehow I have to make this room more ‚Äėwarm and inviting‚Äô ‚Äď something that is difficult as I really have no where to hang posters because the walls are surrounded with sound absorbers.¬† The ceilings are VERY high (15 feet)¬† so hanging stuff from them is impossible as well.

Any suggestions???

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I like catching Library Shenanigan posts, they are so much fun!

The librarians at Martinborough Library in Wellington, New Zealand posed for some excellent ‚ÄúGame of Tomes‚ÄĚ photographs. Thanks, Esau Katz! Also, this happened on Facebook. Thanks, Sarah¬†Milteer!

via social media shenanigans ‚ÄĒ Library Shenanigans

Thanks to Guylty for sharing my pro-literacy efforts

Guylty Pleasure

Interrupting my usual scheduling for a little advertorial. Anyone remember WonderCon?

There, I have jogged your memory, I hope. WonderCon is a comics/movies/TV con, taking place this weekend in Anaheim, CA. No sightings of Mr A in California, but instead, our very own Mimi of Night Flight Comics is heading to WonderCon to take part in the series The Secret Origin of Good Readers. From the program:

Revealed with a live comic book creation. Bill Morrison (Bongo Comics co-founder and illustrator, The Simpsons, Futurama) and Mimi Cruz (Night Flight Comics, Salt Lake City) will demonstrate how you can write and draw your own comic book. Educators will be able to use this model in their own classrooms to jump start reading, writing, and illustration

For your kind consideration. Sounds pretty cool to me. If you happen to be in the area, you might want to…

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Read this little Halloween treat just now and enjoyed the gruesome threat that is Sir Guy‚öĒ even in deathūüíÄ

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