Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Meta Flight

If you get that pun, you’re about as big of a comic book geek as I am. One of my favorite books when I was a kid was Alpha Flight, which was about a band of Canadian superheroes, that were put together by their government. Alpha Flight was the varsity, Gamma Flight were the freshman team and Beta Flight was the JV squad. Their arch enemies were Omega Flight.

Anyhow, after promising you last week that I was done with the Meta stuff, it looks as if I did it again. The reason? It was well-received by the folks over at SoSH. An avalanche of support (two posts) came in and said that they wanted more post modern strips. Who am I to give the finger to my only two fans?

This week I decided to rip a story from this week’s headlines about the use of steroids and a certain baseballer who hit his 715, passing the “white guy”. Yes sir, that lovable scamp Barry Bonds had us glued to our televisions, radios, computers and CBs hoping and praying that he’d finally pass the Babe. I don’t think I can recall a time where our nation has been pulled closer together … this is probably what the country would feel like if 9/11, Pearl Harbor and the Christmas of 1984 (the year I got Castle Grayskull and a bunch of He-Man stuff) all happened on the same day.

Poor Byung Yung Kim, he had to be the sacrificial lamb and give up Mr. Lovable’s second place shot. Hey, it sucks for Kim, but awesome for America! Go America! USA! USA! USA! Is BK’s record breaking pitch some sort of Babe Ruth curse? I don’t know, but if rearrange the spelling of his name you get something weird. I’ll let the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughenessy take care of that.

What am I talking about? Feast your eyes on this, jerkstores: www.room19comics.com

That was a long preamble to what the site is about, my comic strip. This week, I decided that Eddie was going to take steroids and get absolutely huge so he could dominate waffle ball. Notice the size of his arms and head. That’s the tell-tale sign of a roid-freak. At least that’s what I’ve heard on sports radio. In any event, he’s ripped and his shirt is very tight. Plus, he’s wearing American flag pants.

Have you ever been to the gym and noticed the ultra-serious weight lifters look as if they forgot to buy clothes after 1993. Zubaz pants, pants with designs that shouldn’t be on them (like American flags), ripped t-shirts, spaghetti tank tops. I mean, really, what the fuck? Is it that hard to buy a t-shirt or a pair of shorts? And the weird thing is all of these dudes congregate together, so they sort of look normal. It’s when you take one of these freaks out of their natural habitat that they start to look like the morons that they really are.

After Kurt tells Eddie that he sucks, that’s when the Meta madness begins; first with a shot across the bow at me. That bastard called me lazy. Actually, I called myself lazy, because it’s true. I don’t think that I’m ever going to get the “time” I need to get this strip off the ground, so I should probably stop waiting around for it and start making the time I need to get things moving. Quick aside, this weekend Aly’s brother John and his family came up from Atlanta. He’s a writer and was telling me about how he starts correspondences with other writers about the books that they’ve written, etc.

Granted, he has an in (he wrote an awesome book about a year ago), but what’s stopping me from doing something like this with either other writers or other cartoonists? Nothing really. In fact, with the ultranet, it should be ten times easier to talk to people and share ideas. He inspired me to this, so this weekend wasn’t too bad. Just for the record, even though it was a long weekend, I didn’t do a hell of a lot. Everyone was up and we just hung out with them and the two kids. Pretty relaxing, yet I felt warn out this morning.

Back to the strip, Kurt assures Eddie that things will be back to normal next week and sure enough he peels back the paper that reveals next week’s strip and he’s right. Things are back to normal. This week’s strip came to me on the precipice of falling asleep so I wasn’t sure a. if I’d remember it and b. if it was going to turn out ok. I glad that I did remember it, because I think that it turned out real well. I think I did a good job with the art and I didn’t over write it like I have been doing.

That’s the one thing that I have to watch … know when the joke is over. For example, in last week’s strip, I should’ve just ended it with Kurt saying, “You should just say shit, it’s easier.” But I had to try and go a step further. The strange thing is I know that it was too much, but my buddy on SoSH (Shoeless Joe) confirmed it. Plus, Aly says that I’ve been too wordy lately too. She suggests that I go back and touch things up by editing them. I just might do that.

Last Wednesday, Brownie got us tickets to Pearl Jam at the TD Banknorth Garden. It was one of the better concerts I’ve seen since the last concert I’d been too, also Pearl Jam which was also at the Garden. They played for an incredible two and a half hours, and I don’t care who you are, that is a mammoth show.

Were there some down times? Yeah. But like I said, it was two and a half hours, give these guys a break. I’ve now seen them five times (I’m doing an EXTREMELY geeky project on this, which you people will bear witness to soon) and each time they have delivered. This was their set list:

Set 1 Release, Severed Hand, World Wide Suicide, Corduroy, Animal, Red Mosquito, Love Boat Captain, Better Man, Unemployable, Even Flow, Sad, Wishlist, Gone, Green Disease, Down, Jeremy, Life Wasted, Why Go

Encore 1 Forever Young, Masters Of War, Crazy Mary, Inside Job, Alive

Encore 2 Spin The Black Circle, Do The Evolution, Whipping, Rats, Comatose, Rockin' In The Free World

Twenty-nine songs, five of which came from their first album and six came from their new disc (which is actually really good, I suggest that you buy it). Brownie saw them the following day too and he said it was even better. So good in fact, that Theo Epstein jumped on stage, played guitar and sang with them on “Rockin’ In The Free World”. Now that is pretty cool.

Speaking of cool, I seem to be losing mine. Before the PJ show last week, I almost got into a fight at the Boston Sports Grille (on Canal Street, near the Garden) with a jackass who snagged Brownie’s seat. We just bickered back and forth for like ten minutes and he told me to take a swing at him. I almost did, but decided it wasn’t worth it. This guy was a real piece of work. He told me that I look like a guy who “sits in front of a computer all day”. I’m not sure what that means.

Then on Saturday night, this girl who lives across the street from me was yelling at her boyfriend (through her cell phone) at around midnight. I went to bed shortly after only to be woken up by her meathead BF at 2:00 am who was loudly screaming for her (Lindsey) to let him in the house. He was screaming and screaming, so finally I yelled, “Shut the fuck up”, which was met with a “Why don’t you come out here and fight?”

I didn’t feel like it, so I stayed inside. His buddy got him to calm down and he drunkenly drove away. Why am I doing this? Do I want to get an ass kicking? The guy on Saturday would’ve ruined me, though I think that me and the Wednesday guy would’ve been a decent row. I really think that I am looking for to get my head beat in. Not sure why though.

Two final things: one, I’m not sure why Jeff never emailed me back with his Simpsons quotes. I’ll have to ask him about that. Two, I’m going to be in St. Louis next Monday and Tuesday, so I’m not sure when next week’s strip is going to be loaded up. Hopefully on Wednesday, but we’ll see. Until then.