And Gloria Steinem is Christian Bale’s stepmother, really…

Have you ever listened to that song All I wanna do is make love to you, by Heart?
It’s a late-1980s song all about girl empowerment in which this chick- the protagonist- is driving around in her car one given rainy evening and she stops to give a ride to this hitch-hiker whom she ends up sleeping with in a hotel room, then leaves him to wake up alone in morning (there’s also a bit about the girl using the guy to become pregnant, etc, but that’s kind of a moot point right now).

Anyway my point is, and I’m utterly annoyed by the thought every time I hear that music, who the hell paid for that hotel room?
I mean, not once during the whole song it’s ever mentioned whether the guy found out the room expenses all paid up once he woke up and left, or he had to pay it up himself. As if giving the tr*mp a child wasn’t enough.

Also, the story doesn’t even make sense if you really think about it, it’s like girl empowerment for retards:
It’s all over the evening news, buddy, chicks buying like frozen semen from an unknown but certified, selected donor at some fertilization lab, not giving rides (both senses!) to the first bum they meet on the streets at night, no condom, nothing, it’s the f*cking ‘90s you damn b*tch. People get Aids pulling dumb stunts like that.

…And that’s why I think Women’s Suffrage was such a lousy idea in the first place…


Still life

I sip from the half-stale beer over the desk and maybe leaf through a comic book or two nearby. I’ve been trying to pick up a specific song out of a few hundreds but I’m not really sure of what I want to listen. I think maybe some Opera for a change but all those CDs are back at my father’s, then AC/DC cuts right in with Money Talks and it makes me smile. “So it does,” I whisper to myself then take another drink. I smile again and find oddly surprising (but mildly disturbing) that the group’s been growing on me for the last couple of days or so when I specifically told my friends back in High School that I would never listen to AC/DC, ever.
But then, I told I wouldn’t be caught dead doing a lot of stuff back in High School, and what do you know.

I overheard this girl back in work today complaining she was feeling too old and she’s just what, twenty? It bothered me a little because I’m twenty-six and I feel I’m still younger than I should be.

D**** told me this thing once and it was many years ago. We were listening to Starship on the radio, on this then-favorite rock station, and it prompted us to paste this big sheet of paper with We built this city on rock’n’roll on it, over the wall in the den for no specific reason whatsoever other than, we thought it would look pretty cool and it actually did for that first year. Anyway.
“Freedom and range come with age,” he said, or something to that effect.
I asked him later that evening at the supermarket we’d gone to looking for toilet paper and some milk, if he was really certain of what he’d said. He looked at me and just shook his head, nodding in agreement.

It’s well past eleven p.m. now, eight years later, and the streets are quiet outside; you can just hear the wind changing gears as October looms closer in the distance but life itself continues to ebb into gray and I can almost hear D**** whispering, “It’s a riptide, boy…”


Bret Easton Ellis does the Superfriends (a parody)

His pitch-black cape flutters out of the customized Phantom F-4 and straight into the conference room, almost eclipsing the gorgeous black-haired apollo walking by his side.
“…been tinkering with a Nomex tri-weave for the new Batmobile canopy,” he tells Superman and the farm-boy from Kansas just smiles at the rich kid from Jersey.
“…been meaning to thank you for that dinner with Lois back in Los Angeles,” he says a little absently-minded. “What was the name of the restaurant again? Spazio?”
“Hh, Clark,” whispers the Dark Knight. “Spago.”
“You guys went to California and never called?” says Hal as he stands by the watercooler, leaning his strong, tan, shapely body against the bulkhead. Bruce checks him down from head to toe under the all-white eyeslits of his bat-cowl or whatever it is he’s calling his silly mask right now.
“We don’t mix business with pleasure, Jordan,” he barks back at the Green Lantern, his opaque eyes reflecting the glistening emerald jewel on Hal’s middle finger. The thought that playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne can actually get envious at something ought to make me smile but instead it makes me shiver.

Aquaman is there too- Arthur Curry- with the looks of a movie star and the personality of a poolboy, the golden scales from his shirt dripping wet all over his musky tights and I’m a little listless because I can’t really tell whether it’s made of velvet, corduroy or God forbid, neoprene.
Diana has both her hands resting on his broad, strong shoulders and she’s smiling like a schoolgirl. Hal said he thought Arthur was sleeping with her. I told Hal I thought Arthur was sleeping with him.
“Geez Barry,” he told me, “I know Arthur’s a total b*tch but come on.”
It was not until later that month, during a team-up with Black Vulcan and El Dorado against the Legion of Doom, that we found out Aquaman was actually sleeping with Elasti-Girl from the Doom Patrol.
Hal rolled his eyes when he learned that one.

My Rolex is budging awkwardly through my costume; I peel back at the red skintight gauntlet for a second and check the time, maybe for the fourth time that minute.
The Green Arrow cracks a joke about it behind me, to the Black Canary, something to do with my being the fastest man alive or something but she holds back her laugh. They made the cover of last week’s Newstime as the “World’s Finest Couple” but to me they are an absolute bore; why don’t they get married and scram the hell out of the Hall of Justice anyway? As if Ollie the p*thead doesn’t look like a retard enough with that Van Dyke of his, that hippie beard that went out of style like, ages ago.
And don’t get me started on the drunken brunette by his side with the Veronica Lake wig, fishnet stockings and half-full bottle of Stoli in her hands.

Arthur turns his face to Hal and whisper something lewd by the look on their faces. They both laugh, leaving Wonder Woman to her own devices.
Diana lumps back to the bar and I check her back: big, solid, plump buttocks like spheres of the purest marble under star-spangled satin shorts and I wonder for a second who’s the lucky bastard nailing her *ss. Or maybe she’s indeed a l*sbian. Clark once told me they were all l*sbians on Paradise Island. I mean, with a name like that…
“Watcharre havin’ Barry,” the words slur out of Wonder Woman’s mouth as I notice she’s holding a half-empty white wine spritzer in her hand. I think it’s her fifth this evening and I’m not counting the b*nghits she did with Ollie and Dinah half an hour ago. You can tell by her reddened, dilated pupils.
“Nothing tonight Di. Had a few little Demer*ls too many with Iris’ V*liums before coming over,” I tell her and it’s obviously a lie because my super-fast metabolism isn’t really affected by dr*gs or alc*hol and that’s why it’s such a drag coming over to these Justice League meetings.
“Well too bad,” she says mildly drunk, very st*ned. “How’s Iris anyway?”
“I don’t know.”

Superman, the only person visibly sober among us except for myself, insists on all of us sitting through a lame-ass presentation on the importance of keeping a secret identity and I just yawn.
Guys like Bruce and Hal do it because they’re total sl*ts and want to be able to wake up in bed with half of Metropolis without the other half being aware of it. I did it because it was the only way of getting out with other girls when I married Iris but of course it was a long time ago and she doesn’t really care anymore as long as I pay up the insurance on her Porsche and keep those prescriptions coming.
And God alone knows why Superman does it. I think he really buys it that no one’s buying the “Clark Kent’s glasses” bit but if he wants to keep on living in denial, fine by me.
As Clark speaks I turn my head back and Batman is speaking something to Wonder Woman’s ears. She opens her blue-red eyes wide, obviously startled, then smirks. He smirks, too and looks at Hal, who gives Bruce a thumbs-up with his Power Ring.
Batman and Green Lantern get to leave the meeting a little before it actually ends, each of them escorting Wonder Woman in their arms back to Bruce’s bat-cave or whatever it is he’s calling his silly headquarters right now.

Hall phones me the next day to brag and says Diana put Bruce in traction but for some reason I don’t think he’s really kidding. I stare out the window, past the venetian blinds and into the big ocean spread under a pale-orange sunset, and say nothing.
It’s the end of summer, 1982.

- - - - - - - - -
Contemporary North-American novelist Bret Easton Ellis is one my favorite writers of all time. He wrote such terrific books as American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction and Less Than Zero. He would probably be the last person you’d choose to write a Justice League of America comic book, by the way.
The above text is obviously a joke.


A gray Monday night in 2006 and a gray Wednesday afternoon in 1998

Keyword here is coping, it really is, because that’s what’s left for you to do once you enter the supermarket for some orange juice, deodorant, maybe some beers and what the hell, a few condoms that aren’t exactly buying themselves and that’s the only good bit of sharing a place with a half-dozen assh*les; you never get to buy your own condoms. Of course that was that time with K****’s, when he realized I’d borrowed one of his the morning after he caught me necking his cousin in the hammock on the balcony when he came back from a show that ended before it should have.
I was rather dismayed by the fact he never believed it to be a coincidence. Well, kinda. Geez, I barely got to kiss the girl that night, alright.

The beer I bought last night was that same one that no one seems to like, at least none of the kids, and it’s the very same beer I bought when I got drunk the first time after getting in College. I remember it to this day because Superman was on TV one afternoon, the first one, with Christopher Reeve. It was a gray Wednesday, mid-to-late 1998 and I had just returned from the supermarket with two six-packs and a few bags of nachos.
I don’t really remember why, but I was alone in the apartment and this other girl H****, who was a friend of K****’s, came over and we’d just spoken to each other a few times until that day. It was halfway through the movie, just before Luthor did his thing with the St. Andreas fault in California and I was a little dizzy. “You’re totally drunk,” she said as I opened the door.
“Hey H****,” I tilted the bag of nachos on her direction.
She came in anyway but never had any beers despite my pushing otherwise. We watched the tail-end of the movie, Superman turned back time or something (I never really understood that bit) and H**** left just as she’d come in, no good explanation whatsoever. That was a scene that would repeat itself many, many times during the following year and a half.
To be quite frank with you I was kind of into her and I think she was kind of into me too, but it was very clear to me that maybe K**** was also kind of into her and maybe she was kind of into him as well. To this day that’s the most pathetic love triangle I’ve ever seen because it never really amounted to anything special and I was such a dork back in ’98 anyway.

Of course that was all a few months after what happened with G**** back in our hometown and her boyfriend’s voice still echoed down the hallway during recess in my mind, saying he would beat the crap out of me. Since was in a better shape back then and could indeed afford to call in the right people when push came to shove, he never did anything.
Total wuss, you know?

By the way, did I ever tell you the day Marcus and his friends went after me because of you? It was so funny because it was one of those days in one of those years and I’d just flunked another class or something and I think it was D****, or the other D**** who was a fancy clothes salesman at the mall and was such a fag, and they came to me and started babbling something I never got to listen. I cut right in and said, “Look guys, this isn’t going to change anything alright?,” I told them. “So unless any of you has got a rabbit to pull out of your ass*s and actually make a difference on this, leave me alone.”
No rabbits left no ass*s that day.

I passed on the beers last night and stuck to the orange juice instead. When in Rome was on playing The Promise. I thought it was New Order then thought the better of it.
I sat back on the couch, with a book, and smiled at the coincidence.


Jailbreak Epilogue: There are times when you just plain ol’ run out of yourself…, an epic in 5-parts

Pt.I Avernus
The trip to I**** started out with me, as usual, struggling for control and having a rather difficult time accepting P**** as someone whose range is longer and knows a heckuva lot more than I do in our work. I think I’m the worst pupil that’s ever lived because I’m attempting to surpass my teachers even before the lesson starts. Sometimes, though, you gotta give in to sheer logic and make the most of it; so once I got the teamwork thing going we basically flew.

Week one was the local Front Office agency, namely post-sales, Customer Service- been there, done that. Then we rented a car (I drove) and did our S**** F**** do S**** port agency as well, on the next Monday and Tuesday, and since we had the car to ourselves during the weekend we basically let it rip; we went to B**** d**** C**** (thrice, I think, great bars!), and to J**** even though everybody said we should’ve chosen F**** instead. And it was raining. We went to see the new Adam Sandler movie and I thought of you because of that little romantic bit with the written notes in it.
What do you know.

When we got back to do the rest of our I**** agency, the back-office on Wednesday and Friday, we noticed we were basically teaching the cannon fodder and started wondering where all the bigwigs were; on Friday in came the last group and they’d saved the best for last: Lined up in the roll call were the four agency coordinators, the Regional Manager and the National Director himself. Order of the day was to scrutinize us under a microscope and give us hell with all those questions.
It made me smile; they honestly thought they had a chance against me and P****.

Cry “arclight” buddy, because we cut through their ranks like a B-52 on methadone and dropped all our payload straight into the heart of enemy territory. It ended with them buying into the idea and everyone was shaking hands and smiling afterwards. The National Director himself told us he was very impressed with how much we knew, that we managed to answer each and every one of their questions, and that it’d been the best presentation he’d attended in a long time.
I’m thinking I’m getting very good at speaking in public: Once eye contact with the audience is made and rapport is established it’s pretty much a question of reading their minds…
Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Of course that’s not all because on the eve of the day before we left for good we were returning to the hotel and we met this friend of P****, purely by chance, and he’s this insanely huge bigshot from headquarters back in S**** and he said they were having a very fancy party at this very fancy seaside place for their very fancy VIP accounts and invited us. He told his people to give us VIP treatment too and so they did. All of a sudden I’d gatecrashed Mount Olympus and I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with giants.
I think I could get used to this life so… hey, trust me on this one, I will.
2007, after all, does beckon ahead.

Pt.II Perspective
I’m standing alone over this wooden pier by the river watching small fishing boats bob up and down around me. The evening air is cool and the faint glow from a distant lighthouse shines through the bay in the distance. P**** is still jogging around somewhere but I’ve just gotten the cramps on both my legs. I’m so out of shape.

And it gets me thinking, you know?
I’m thinking of how inadequate I have been feeling for the last three or four years, starting with the night F**** left for good (a few months before I graduated).
I’m wondering about my self-confidence and why the hell it’s been bobbing up and down for years, like these boats, and why the hell I can’t really relate to most people, girls especially.

Once I got my act together, was it 2003 or what?, it should have been a simple point of walking the walk and never looking back but now it seems I’ve been second-guessing every move I make, and I automatically presume people to be either complete idiots or better than me.
Different than whatever it is that I think I am.

What am I?
Sometimes you walk a thousand miles in any given direction.

Pt.III Oneiric
I had the weirdest dream:

I was back in my hometown and you were there with me; I couldn’t really take a good look at the people around us because they kept changing from old friends from High School, to people from College, then from the office, and so on.
It was a sunny Saturday morning and you were wearing a yellow-ish, auburn-ish, orange-ish t-shirt, pretty much the same color of your hair the last time we saw each other and one of those friends asked me if I could still remember my enrollment number from back in College, and I said I couldn’t.
You took my hand, smiled, and said those very eight digits yourself. You said it was something you could never forget.
I took you in my arms and gave you a long, long kiss, kind of like in the movies and told you I was so glad we were finally able to do this out in the open, for real, to be together at last, regardless of the outcome and regardless of life itself…

I woke up as the alarm went off and took a steaming shower before getting dressed for work.
I could no longer recall the numbers for the life of me- I rested my head back against the tiles under the hot water- and smiled anyway.

Pt.IV Touchdown
The plane touched down on the tarmac back home on a Friday night, it was pretty late and I hadn’t slept at all the previous night because of the fancy company party, which led to my forgetting aboard some handmade cookies I’d bought for my grandma… something I only realized the next morning when


because I’d moved in two weeks before I actually moved in, as odd as it sounds, for I was away and I’d never seen the new place after I got the keys so it was basically, Whoa.

I felt totally lost for the rest of the weekend, way out of place, uprooted and swamped at the same time.

Pt.V Burma Shave mathematics
I’ve been stuck with the oddest sensation for a couple of months; it seems like every time I get a train of thought going inside my head it ends up in, Burma Shave.
You know? Like those old roadside billboards from the 1950s?

Either I’m coming down with some post-20th century Yuppie affectation or it’s really the time to bring my life-long, world-saving plan up-to-date.
I think it was Gandhi that once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Add that to the (crazy) Morphogenetic Field Theory and you have: one hundred apes, thirty-six Tzaddikim and one Superman who’s eternally twenty-nine; inspiration-wise the land is barren and filled with feet of clay. There’s gotta be somebody left to save the world- there’s gotta be somebody left to step up to the challenge and prove to people that whatever it is, it can be done.
It’s time to cut loose and dent the memetics of the mundane, get it?

Believe and you will be saved, buddy.

Words to live by.

Burma Shave.



When Pablo came over from Santiago last weekend he brought me a bottle of what he said was the finest Pisco available, saying he would teach me how to whip up the meanest “piscola” ever so as to celebrate the grand opening… He asked how did it fare, by the way?
“Aun és muy temprano, Zorro,” I told him in mock-Spanish. “Pienso que tendré mas noticias después.”

The truth:
I figure the odds are 50-50 of getting everything alright, but just in case… Do you remember that rubber-toy tiger shark I’ve been keeping within arm’s reach near the shower for years now, for no specific reason whatsoever other than a meaningless affectation?
I’ve got that one packed already.

So it comes to pass: A three-year buildup finally approaches its crescendo; Will Parsifal get to the spear in time to save the dying king?
Me, I guess I’m just looking for ‘em flower maidens.

Apropos of that, and so as to quite un-intentionally keep the reader dangling in suspense, I’m taking a two-week business trip to a couple of our Southern ports: I’d sure as hell rather stay and get things done myself but looks like the fate of the Free-World’s gonna have to be decided by proxy.
It’s kinda funny to think it’s probably the biggest stunt I’ve attempted in life and I’m not going to be present myself when it comes down to actually doing it.
Counting on a miracle now.

Also on the negative side the damn town is supposed to have, say, a third of the population of my hometown and in that sense I’m a bit like Jack Hawksmoor the comics character who was “built” to live in big metropolitan centers. Didn’t you tell me something to that effect the last time we met? It’s so true.
I lose my powers when far from big cities…

A good thing, though, is that I should indeed pack my best shirts and underwear this time, for we are talking about a portion of local geography significantly famous for having pretty blondes all over.
What do you know.

See y’all in two weeks.
Or… will I?


Excerpt from a book (Priceless!)

“I suspect that beneath your offensively and vulgarly effeminate façade there may be a soul of sorts. Have you read widely in Boethius?”
“Who? Oh, heavens, no. I never even read newspapers.”
“Then you must begin a reading program immediately so that you may understand the crises of our age,” Ignatius said solemnly. “Begin with the late Romans, including Boethius, of course. Then you should dip rather extensively into early Medieval. You may skip the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. That is mostly dangerous propaganda. Now that I think of it, you had better skip the Romantics and the Victorians, too. For the contemporary period, you should study some selected comic books.”
“You’re fantastic.”
“I recommend Batman especially, for he tends to transcend the abysmal society in which he’s found himself. His morality is rather rigid, also. I rather respect Batman.”

A Confederacy of Dunces
by, John Kennedy Toole
Published posthumously in 1980 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in ’81.


Sturm und Drang

I was having lunch yesterday at the mall here just below the office building and Eurythmics was on the big screen at the food court and I stopped for a minute to listen to Annie Lennox because well, she rocks, and it was the video to When Tomorrow Comes…

Tomorrow is a holiday then later on Sunday I’m going on this trip (for work) for two weeks down to a couple of our Southern ports because we’re kicking this thing here at the office in high gear and all this couldn’t be happening at a worse moment in time, because my personal life is a little… hectic… right now.
See, I pretty much liquidated most of my assets this morning and have this pile of photocopies of everything and the kitchen sink bundled up by my feet. I’m knee-deep in paperwork and barely keeping my head above the waterline; I’m f*cked up, I’m thinking I’ve probably bitten more than I can chew as usual and maybe I can’t handle this one by myself but I got no one else to run to- I’m swamped.

This is so cool.
Like, the first night I think I barely caught some sleep, if any at all. The second night I got kind of used to this constant feeling of being seasick 24 hours a day thrown in with impending doom, and slept like a baby.

It’s funny because what really scares the crap out of me is not the possibility of failing, not really, but of actually making it big:
Someone once told me I was either the bravest coward or the wuss-est brave man she’d ever seen and I kind of agree with that.
This is me, then: Eternally finding ways to jump before I look, knowing the odds of breaking my knees are insane and sorta crying in pain before I hit the ground- but then I jump anyway. Here goes nothing.
What do you know.

There’s this song I’ve mentioned here time & again for the last couple of months because it’s really stuck to the back of my head. It’s The Whole of the Moon, by the Waterboys (a classic 1980s vintage), and I’m thinking I’m there at the turnstiles, with the wind at my heels, I stretched for the stars and I know how it feels, to reach too high, too far, too soon… and hoping to hell I’ve really seen the whole of the moon.
Then the song mentions wide oceans full of tear later on and that’s life right there, you know? Because that’s what life does to you, it breaks all your dreams right in front of you then mops the floor with them; it shatters your soul and mocks any aspiration for greatness you might have. Me, I want out of this crazy cycle of sorrow and nothingness, I want to fill up nihilism with laughter and I want to punch through its veil of deception like Superman or Jesus Christ bursting through concrete.

…I mean, supposing Jesus could indeed punch through concrete. Can’t be that harder than atomic reconstruction like he did in that bit with the wine, right…?

I don’t believe in Jesus and people tell me Superman isn’t real either. Fine by me. Everyone we ever get to look up to is in the pages of stuff tucked in the back aisles at the bookstore (which is, tangentially, one of the coolest stuff anyone’s ever told me, that I’m the one guy to head straight for the back aisles at the bookstore…) but I’m thinking this whole world is flawed and somebody’s gotta step up with a flag or three.
Still, where have all those ******* tzaddikim gone to? Thirty-six wise men and not one will step up to redeem us in life?!
Word to the wise: Nature abhors a vacuum so we’ll have to make do with anything that’s available. That said, I’m half-dumb, I’m not really rightful and a lot flawed too and still, if I don’t get to see anybody from the Justice League or the Bible popping up, then man, I’ll just have to make do with myself.

Very honestly now:
I want to be able to step up to you some day in the not-so-distant future and look into your eyes and tell you with all my heart, “Screw all of this, I want a better world”.
So let’s give it our best shot, because baby this one here’s for tomorrow…
Whatever it takes.

All that said… This must be what people really mean when they say no guts, no glory, only nobody ever tells you how to make the butterflies in your stomach don their Kevlar… tri-weaving, twenty layers of it plus all those high-grade ceramic trauma plates…


Walking on Freud’s footsteps with an AT-AT

A few nights ago I had this strange dream in which a friend came up to me and said, “Dude you gotta see that new Star Wars flick! They got a thin Jabba the Hutt in it!”
So I went to see the movie, I think I rented on DVD or something, and this movie did really have a thin Jabba the Hutt in it, and he was thin like a regular guy, like a regular human guy.
Also, I think he sported a moustache and it was really weird.

After I woke up- and not just for the rest of the day but during the remainder of the week- I couldn’t help but feel slightly aloft but in a negative way (is there such a thing?), kind of out of touch with the world…


Waiting in the wings

If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia… If I roll double sixes my blue army gets to march into Mongolia…


Reading list for Aug.06

Title: Superman Returns: The Complete Shooting Script
Authors: Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris and Bryan Singer
Year: 2006
Publisher: No idea.
What: The full shooting script to the best, coolest, most amazing movie ever made, plus a few storyboard panels and interviews with each of the writers.
Comments: Now this one totally rocks and it’s far better than last year’s script for Batman Begins, because it’s duly typeset in a Courier-like font as movie scripts should be, the formatting is technically accurate and it even includes notes in the heading as to what specific review/date the each page belongs, so the reader is able to glimpse at the inner workings of a script.
The fun is not strictly technical, however (even though I’m a sucker for Holywood-style movie scripts) because in the scripts are included many pieces that never made into the final version of the movie, such as Superman’s trip to the Krypton ruins in a spaceship, right in the beginning, or Lex Luthor admitting he was the person responsible for the ruse of Krypton’s comeback.
Highly recommended!

Title: Death of a Salesman
Author: Arthur Miller
Year: 1949
Publisher: Don't know.
What: A Pulitzer Prize-winning play for the Theatre and supposedly the lynchpin of modern North-American drama, but of course I wouldn’t know that. The story centers on the twilight years of the career of this middle-aged traveling salesman and the struggles he and his family go through as they try to find their place in the world.
Comments: I really shouldn’t comment on this one because I’ve never seen this play reenacted nor understand zilch about drama; still the characterization is superb and the way the author explores the stage direction is, for a newbie like me, simply astounding.
The story itself is very solid with very moving characters and tender moments; it most certainly hasn’t become outdated after more than 50 years, for its themes (family, the dreams and aspirations of the common man under capitalism, coming of age, role-models, etc) haunt every one of us to this day.

Title: Alan Moore’s Writing for Comics vol.I
Author: Alan Moore
Year: 2003 (originally written in 1985)
Publisher: Clueless
What: An essay originally published in an obscure British fanzine by the greatest comics writer of the 1980s, and probably one of the greatest writers in the story of the medium (Moore wrote Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, Promethea, among many others), about the general techniques for creating a comic book script right from the start. It centers specifically on the relation between theme and plot and character development (the bit in which he describes how he came up with the personality for Etrigan the Demon is priceless!)
There is also an afterword written by the author himself in recent years, in which he basically says “Never mind me, I was a rookie, I didn’t know what I was talking about”- which is kind of sad because early, DC Comics-Alan Moore was so much better than late, ABC Comics-Alan Moore.
Comments: Alan Moore is good and early Alan Moore is downright perfect. Not only the essay is very fun to read and not technical at all (it reads like a conversation with the reader), it features many detailed examples of his works.
My only complaint would be for the lack of script examples per se (probably due to publishing rights) and the weird, meaningless illustrations chosen to go along with the piece.

Title: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Author: Scott McCloud
Year: 1993
Publisher: Forgot.
What: First and foremost, an Art book done in comicbook form, about the medium called Comics. The author explores the full range of the medium, going from its very definition as “sequential art”, passing through its evolution throughout History (not just comics per se but from Hieroglyphs to Impressionism, etc), and an in-depth examination of all of its structural elements.
Comments: Whoa, brainy book alert! This one blows you away, because you’ve read comic books for your entire life, for more than twenty years, so you pretty much think you’ve gotten a good handle on thing, what they mean and how they’re done… and all of a sudden it’s like this guy basically comes up to you and says, “I’ll tap into the full potential of comics as an Art form, and I’ll do it in a way that will make even the harshest critic respect the medium”… and… he… delivers... it!
Kind of like Hiroshima was to WWII, really: You never see it coming and makes you look at things (comics and Art per se) under a whole different perspective.
It’s kind of funny because I’ve waited more than ten years to read this book because well, because I’m such a d*ckhead and I thought the guy was a bl*whard… How wrong I was.

Title: The Rules of Attraction
Author: Bret Easton Ellis <-quickly becoming my favorite author of all time!
Year: 1987
Publisher: Don’t care.
What: Said to be the “death of romance”, it’s a story made of fragments of narration by each of the book’s main characters (two guys and a girl) plus the supporting cast, as they spend a term in a small East Coast College during the mid-1980s having meaningless, drunken sex with each other, doing drugs, going to parties, etc. It’s a cynical portrayal of a materialistic society that has let go of all its moral qualms or search for inner, deeper meaning on things, self-consciously trading outdated values for a me-centered, instant-gratification culture typical of the late 20th century (to this day, baby!), times a hundred, and yet it is chillingly realistic.
Also, characters from Ellis’ other books make an appearance (Clay, from Less Than Zero), and so does American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman in his very first appearance! (Patrick is the older brother to Sean, one of the main characters of The Rules…)
It was made into a terrific (but very toned-down!) movie in 2002 starring James Van Der Beek (yes, “Dawson”) and Shannyn Sossamon.
Comments No plot description will do this book justice; it is probably the best book I’ve read this year and mind you, if you remember past posts I did say the same thing of Ellis’ other works.
Characterization is nothing short of fantastic; you’d swear he’s writing about real people and you get the feeling those characters actually exist out there in the real world somewhere…
Look, trust me on this one and read the damn book, willya?!