Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Listen Homeboys Don’t Mean to Bust Your Bubble

"But girlies of the world ain’t nothin’ but trouble.
So the next time a girl gives you some play,
Just remember my rhyme and stay the hell away."

Thanks to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince for the inspiration for this Blog title. There will be no thanks to Ice Cream Tee who provided the B-side “Guys Ain’t Nothin’ But Trouble” on side-B of the seminal DJJ and TFP album, “Rock Tha House”. She was a sucker MC who sucked.

If Will Smith never married Jada Pinkett and if this rhyme was juxtaposed with some of his notorious scenes from “Six Degrees of Separation” (which was actually a really good movie), Big Willy Style could take on a whole new meaning. But enough about him, let’s talk about the subject that brings us together on this beautiful April day, Room 19 Comics.

This week’s strip brings to light one of the best day of the year, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. Gone are the threats of snow, the cold and the long dreary nights of nothing to watch at 7:05. Baseball is back, and when your team is a bonafide contender like the Sox are, then all is right with the world.

Want to check it out, click here: www.room19comics.com

Much like Eddie, I too have a ritual that I perform before every season opener. It’s called Hot Dog Day, and it’s basically what it sounds. I spend the entire day before OD reading the Globe Baseball Preview, the Sports Illustrated preview, I boil up three Fenway Franks, slather on some Goulden’s mustard, get a bag of chips and wash them all down with a couple of beers. I usually eat the food while watching the premiere of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. I never let anything get in the way of this day, some times friends ask me to go to a bar to watch the game, but I never waver.

Kind of geeky? Definitely. But, that’s the way I am about baseball, especially the beginning of the season where the anticipation is often more fun than the season itself. It’s not just the games (which admittedly is a huge portion), but it’s all about what new parks are you going to see this year, where are you going for your vacation, it’s just the whole summer vibe. That’s why people (especially in the Northeast) look forward to baseball and Opening Day.

Like I was beginning to say, Eddie has entire day mapped out. He’s got his dogs, his brews and a seat in front of the tube. All of a sudden the phone rings and it’s a woman (nine times out of ten, I have found this to be true) and she chews his ear off for the entire game. An exaggeration, most definitely, but it has happened before … we’ve all lived it.

The few things that I like about this strip are: technically it’s a much better strip than the first few ones that I did. Look at the spacing between the panels and the straight, dark lines separating them. It’s a small, nit-picky thing, but shitty fundamentals can ruin the strip. If anything, this has come a long way since the beginning.

I am really partial to the second panel. Originally I was going to have Kurt yell out that Eddie has a phone call, but I feel that this works much better. It gives it a more comic-y type feel, especially with the word “Ring” leaving the panel. I also like the banal conversation in the background of Ed. He looks nervous in the third panel (I think that he knows where this is headed) and by the fourth looks completely worn out and disappointed.

Is this strip sexist? Yeah. It probably is, but I think that it’s still pretty funny and the art is some of the best that I’ve done in a while.

Aside from this week’s strip, it’s been pretty boring around Casa Magrane, though it’s going to get busy in a hurry. Aly has the marathon on Monday, and you have no idea about how proud of her I am. I can’t believe that someone I am so close with is going to do this. And I know that 20,000 plus run this thing each year, but it’s a completely different experience when someone you live with is doing it.

Hell, Nick and Debbie have done probably about 20 marathons combined, quick aside – if you’re in Copley or East Boston look for this billboard:

That’s Nick proposing to Debbie last year at the end of the marathon. Adidas has used it for their advertisements promoting the race this year. To continue with my point, those two have done it tons of times and I knew how much work it took, but I didn’t really know. Aly has opened my eyes to the amount of work and preparation, it’s not just the running either, that it takes to do this thing. Getting up early, going to bed early, eating correctly, busted up feet and ankles, the ever present smell of Icy-Hot and Tiger Balm, the mountains of sweaty and smelly clothes … there’s a lot of stuff here that you don’t think about.

And Aly has gone through it all. I am more proud of her than I could even imagine. I can’t wait to see her on Monday at the finish line. It’s going to be awesome.

BTW, do you think in some Scandinavian countries, the term “Finish Line” is changed? Norwegian Line in Norway, Sweedish Line in Sweeden, German Line in Denmark (the Dutch are pussies). Ok, bad Seinfeld-era joke.

In addition to the marathon; I’ve got a huge project in school that I’m finishing up, a freelance web site job, thoughts about completely redoing the Room 19 Comics site, regular work and the comic strip. It’s a lot. But it’s nothing compared to running 26.2 miles. I just have to remember that.