Tight on Peer: To open big, or to open forward?

Up until now I was planning on starting #1 of Peer’s story (current working title: Path & Peer) with events happening two days into the story’s future.
Meaning, #1 would open up with a one-to-three page sequence which would basically foreshadow the story per se, up until the start of #4 (the conclusion), which would open up exactly alike and pick up from there, where #1’s future sequence would have become the present by then and head straight to the climax.

I have since thought it over and again and again and again and on second (or hundredth) thought I feel #1… and not only #1 but all four issues… should open more graphically.

There’s this one recent trend in most “cool” superhero comics which is the Big Screen movie approach to storytelling: Warren Ellis and Mark Millar immediately come to mind on this one, the way they usually open their stories with a one-panel-only first page, but not a splash page per se, but actually a normal-sized page-wide centered panel, and silent with no captions or speech balloons, framed by two very large all-black borders, up and down, conveying the impression the audience is at the movies instead of merely reading the book.
That’s how I would like to open each of the four issues, you know? With an introspective, silent image, calm and frozen in time, in order to pull the reader right into the story, make him downright absorbed by it.
And pick up from there right in the first panel of page two.

Yes the foreshadowing bit is one hell of a cool plot gimmick and I’m extremely sorry to see it go. But its effectiveness is somewhat limited (as it is) to a couple of issues, one and four, and providing the reader is smart enough to catch that… Whereas the open-cinematic approach would not merely affect the whole four issues, but if properly used could impart a visual standard-ization of some sort to the series. I mean, if I would have it continued past #4… with a new story arc and establish it as a continuing series & etc.
But of course this is me already thinking of the second story arc while I haven’t even finished writing the first issue…

But in case you’re curious, and most times I do have a rather over-active imagination to go on rambling forever & execute nothing, the second arc would be called Faust & the Urfaust and would expand upon the many different origins given to the Centurion through the years & etc. The third arc, Refugees from the 20th century (because I love the sound of that), would lead us up to #12 and close the first year with a story set twenty years into a dystopic future where the Earth is ruled under an iron fist and etc etc etc.
I mean, it’s a f*cking classic isn’t it?

But I digress.
But I digress a lot.


Imitation is the greatest form of flattery

So it turns out M**** has been reading from my copy of Less than Zero, then he e-mails me to tell he’s found Bret Easton Ellis’s style oddly similar to how I’ve been writing in here for the last year or so myself, and I reply with a short review of this other book, Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors, which M**** lent me in return. Only I wrote it under Clay’s words.
Clay obviously being the protagonist from Less than Zero.

I ended it with, I especially liked the one with the cat who was like a guardian angel to the family of this writer guy and fought off the devil who wanted to invade their home, or maybe I'm totally misreading it. Just so that you know.

In the end, I mean, this end, here, it all boils down to the fact that most posts I’ve written for the last year or so have been intentionally done mimicking Ellis’s style (emulating, not mocking it!) because I admire it enormously. I really do.
I have also used the writing style of the following masters for inspiration & guidance: Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, and the eternal & omnipresent Jack Kerouac, patron saint of amateur writers everywhere.


Tight on Peer, pt.II

Okay, this is my second attempt at dusting off an old character of mine who’s been left mostly unused and discarded for the last seven years or so.
The short-term goal here is to make him fly in one page, and not “away from the reader and into the sunset”, but really fly. In the long run what I’m shooting for is, prep up the character for the ordeal of undertaking the lead role in an upcoming 4-part story…
This time, though, we’re using some preliminary planning before we begin.

The premise:
Narrator must make an old forgotten character able to fly after being grounded for years.

The rambling:
Story opens up in an undescript alien environment during sunset. Montgomery Peer is there alone, he used to be the superhero called the Centurion back when he was a kid, but he’s long since retired and grown into adulthood.
Peer, still wearing his full superhero costume, is talking to the omniscient narrator, who is himself struggling to find a way to make Peer fly again.
A first attempt ultimately failed due to lack of planning, and let’s be honest here, also because the narrator ended up losing heart halfway through the page.
Current strategy should minimize catchphrases and attitude and focus on motivation: Why would Peer fly again? Where to? What for?
And this is not like the narrator is pushing for one big spiritual revelation here or in-depth personality study. No. This is basically a “make him fly, period” situation. The rest of it should be left for the story itself, which is to happen in a few months from now.
So the narrator has thought of a mere game of catch: Sending out Peer after something: perhaps after a small, pulsating energy sphere or engaging in battle giant kill*r robots.
Or maybe both.
The narrator has just smiled, by the way.

And by the way that was no synopsis. Let’s not kid ourselves in here.
That was rambling. But as long as it works…

Panel 01
We open this one with MONTGOMERY PEER, age late-20s, athletic, in full black & blue superhero costume, shot from his waist up, arms akimbo and hands resting over his hips, looking kind of restless at the dead center of the panel, facing the reader, against a backdrop of large rock formations and eerie cliffs at twilight.

1.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Seven years later.

2.CAPTION/NARRATOR: I want to believe in you, Montgomery Peer. I really do. I want to believe in you just like I did when I was 9 or 13 or 17 years old. I want to believe in you right now.

3.PEER: Show me the way home.

Panel 02
A small, pulsating glob of reddish fire, about the size of a grapefruit, materializes by Peer’s left and stand there hovering in midair near him. Peer is slightly startled by its appearance.

4.CAPTION/NARRATOR: This is a level-4, cool-temp plasma discharge contained within its own electromagnetic field.

5.PEER: Whaa--?

6.PEER: No, actually it isn’t. Not all that anyway. It’s just a figment of my imagination. But it is able to accelerate itself at a few times over the speed of sound and get the hell away from you through extreme maneuvering and etc.

Panel 03
Shot from Peer’s waistline and looking up at a crooked angle as the energy ball flies away from Peer, shooting upwards into the early evening sky, leaving behind a faint trail of flames.

7.PEER: And you want me to tag it, I presume?

8.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Peer. Show me what you got.

Panel 04
Same perspective, but Peer takes off like a rocket, shooting upwards after the energy ball.

9.PEER: Damn…

Panel 05
Shot with the energy ball straight on the foreground of the panel and to the center, coming at full speed straight towards the reader. Peer closes in on the ball, in the distance.

10.PEER: …right!

Panel 6
The energy ball executes a series of spins and close curves, the so-called extreme maneuvers and so on. Peer follows close, his energy trail mingling with the balls in a dynamic shot that should mostly convey the idea of speed.

11.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Not fast enough, Peer.

12.PEER: Nnnngh…!

Panel 7
Tight on Peer, clearly giving everything he’s got after the ball.

13.PEER: Why.

14.PEER: Can’t.

15.PEER: I.

16.PEER: Just.

17.PEER: Blast.

18.PEER: It.

19.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Because I’m not giving you back any other powers at this moment save for flight.

Panel 8
Extreme close-up on Peer’s face, flying at high speed. We can see he is smiling behind his mask: He’s just come up with a plan.

[no copy] .

Panel 9
Peer suddenly hits on the breaks, shifts to a vertical position in midair, and opens his arms wide. He’s actually very close to the energy ball and his multi-Mach speed is strong enough to generate a vacuum strong enough to dissipate the speeding energy ball

20.PEER: Wrong…

21.PEER: ….Aghhh!....

22.PEER: You’ve given me free will.

23.PEER: …Tag, by the way.


Okay, this is a partial success:
It’s a success because we’ve actually made Peer fly and not only that, because we’ve made Peer Peer, and without solely relying on catchphrases.
Next step is to properly flesh out the flying sequence into something more elaborate and fit to the page, two pages actually, regardless it’s not really part of the story per se.


Tight on Peer, pt.I (this one ends unsuccessfully)

This is a comicbook script tryout so as to dust off a dear old character of my own whom I left mostly untouched for the last seven years or so.
Consider this a “pre-flight inspection” of some sort, completely unrelated to and independent from anything else, either past or present stories or continuities, with the sole objective of seeing how my handling of the character- and the character himself- have both fared after all these years.

We open this one tight on Montgomery Peer, age late-20s, athletic, in full black & blue skintight superhero costume… and I’ll pretty much think of the rest of it as we go.

Panel 01
A page-wide panel with MONTGOMERY PEER, age late-20s, athletic, in full black & blue superhero costume, shot from his waist up, arms akimbo and hands resting over his hips, looking kind of restless at the dead center of the panel, facing the reader, against a backdrop of large rock formations and eerie cliffs at twilight.

1.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Seven years later.

2.CAPTION/NARRATOR: The present.

3.PEER: So?

4.PEER: Jesus Christ if that’s the way you usually greet old friends after so long then just go straight to the bar and buy me a beer, sailor...

5.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Ahh. It’ll take us some time getting used to it I suppose…

Panel 02
A page-wide panel with Peer looking contemplative: holding his chin with his right hand, with right elbow leaning over left arm crossed around his solar plexus.

6.CAPTION/NARRATOR: …but there’s the whole attitude thing again. I like that

7.PEER: Five bucks you just can’t wait to get to ‘em catchphrases…

8.PEER: “Solidarity is for assh*les.” Remember that one?

9.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Sure. 1996 and the Centurion- yourself- and Lightpath had just gotten themselves- yourselves- in a brawl against the archangel Gabriel. That was pretty cool.

Panel 03
Peer looks down on the backside of his left wrist, as if looking at a watch (which isn’t there). The sky behind him has just gotten a little darker.

10.PEER: Is it just me or did it really take you a full hour between last panel and this one?

11.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Sorry. Off to lunch and so on.

12.CAPTION/NARRATOR: But I did leave the restaurant on earlier so I could come back here and at least see us through the bit in which you get to fly.

Panel 04
Tight on Peer, we can see he’s smiling from the creasings on his mask.

13.PEER: Why would I fly? I mean, where to? What for?

14.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Okay, I don’t really think this is working anyway.

Panel 05
Peer scratches the back of his head in a rather funny manner.

15.PEER: This is real awkward, you know…


17.CAPTION/NARRATOR: I haven’t plotted this through, see? This is what happens when we’re all pumped up and full of good intentions, but without a solid premise to fall back on…

18.CAPTION/NARRATOR: At least so as to frame the dialogue, y’know? Because simply typing down “Peer flies off into the sunset, away from the reader” just doesn’t cut it. That’s not flying.

Panel 6
Peer flies off into the sunset, away from the reader.

19.PEER: If you wanna see some real flying man, just remember: Plot first, then the script.

20.CAPTION/NARRATOR: Well, that was particularly… well either inspiring or nihilistic, I suppose.

21.CAPTION/NARRATOR: At least we got to learn a valuable lesson here. And the “buy me a beer, sailor” line itself was pretty inspired anyway. I think I’m keeping that one.

22.CAPTION/NARRATOR: And also, there’s no way Peer’s dressing up in a costume ever again. Regardless of the story. I mean, the freakin’ 1990s are over anyhow and he could probably do with but a cool shirt and some designer sneakers anyway, maybe a tattoo too...

Okay, back here next week for the second attempt...


1995: The Vampire & the green-eyed Nisei (A tale of times past)

I’m thinking back to that wondrous year which was 1995 and all those wondrous things we’d do back in High School: It makes me sink my teeth into the corner of my lower lip but gently, then curl it up in a cocky half-smile, and think of yesteryear, and think of times past…

I’m thinking of that girl who was friends with P**** and also with B**** and whose father, I think it was the father, was of Japanese origin and so she was this damn cute Nisei girl with green eyes and thick, strong thighs in a miniskirt and we were all at the Vampire’s house. It’s a Saturday night and the Vampire’s having everyone over to his house, in fact his mother’s.
The Vampire’s true name was J****, by the way. I’ve sort of forgotten why we ever got to call him that. He had this funny gait in his walk, the way he moved his shoulders about as if he would forget to remove the hanger from his shirts before dressing up for school each morning…

So we’re sitting on this ancient leather couch all dusty with the upholstery cracking dry like old parchment, the Nisei girl and I, and she’s asking whether I’m into Green Day or what.
I have absolutely no idea of what she’s talking about but since I’m kind of planning a move on her (remember: green eyes and hot legs and the miniskirt) and tell her yeah, sure. I mean, who doesn’t like Green Day.

This guy P**** comes over afterwards and sort of jinxes my thing with her because it gets damn clear then & there the Nisei girl is all over him even though he’s not really into her.
…Local fifteen-year old boys usually seemed so less bold than in the songs they’d listen to back then, anyway…

So P**** dismisses her, okay? And then calls me over to the Vampire’s brother stereo where we produce a cassette from under our shirt (I forgot who was packing the tape, P**** or I), and what we’d done beforehand was, we’d found earlier that week at P****’s dad hard-drive a recording of the Vampire singing along some rap music and we kind of spliced in some bits we mixed together with some bootlegged software, and transferred it to a cassette tape.
Now, how the hell we ever managed that particular stunt is a matter related to lots of bad wiring and a technology altogether lost to the mists of time: It was but the dawn of the Creative Labs multimedia kits and Soundblaster cards, anyway. A year before the internet hit big-time. But we did it, anyhow. And it worked like a charm. And it just killed everyone once we cut in Green Day with the Vampire singing his rap piece, including the Vampire himself who was one hell of a kidder in the first place.

I met the cute Nisei girl once again the following afternoon at this basketball game I think P**** was playing and she was probably over just to see him play, despite his being entirely oblivious to that fact or to herself.
In hindsight I think I probably did hit on her that afternoon by the basketball court during half-time but I’m not sure. Either way it wouldn’t have amounted to anything, anyhow.

The cute thick-legged Nisei girl with the green eyes moved over to Japan, eventually, and returned to her native shores on one particularly dismal evening a few years later, in those days when the 20th century was drawing up to a close.

B**** took her over to this place I shared with some friends in São Paulo while at College and I had just undergone some minor back surgery. I don’t think I had the hots for her anymore. I mean, not then with all the cotton stuck into a bleeding gaping hole in my lower back just below the edge of my underwear.

She asked in a funny accent, which she picked up while in Japan and sure didn’t have back in 1995, if there was any tea at the apartment because she was all jet-lagged and feeling constipated. It was the first time a girl ever told me she was constipated.
Oddly enough, I’ve heard it many times ever since, from different girls on different occasions.

She went away the following morning, I think B**** and I walked her to the bus station or the train station or something. I clearly remember limping a bit because of the wound on my back.
Before saying goodbye B**** and I asked her if she’d bought any hent*I p*rn while in Japan and she said No, she hadn’t.

B**** once told me the story of the girl’s boyfriend back in Japan, whose forefathers had been Samurais or something, and had their wonderful armors and kabutos encased in glass at his place, and I felt vaguely jealous:
Not because the boyfriend was the guy getting it on with her, not really, not then & there, but because there really weren’t any Samurais in my family and I really have a soft spot for that kind of stuff.

The day after the basketball game with P**** back in ’95- it was a Monday- and after school I sort of eloped to the Shopping Center and finally bought myself a Green Day album.
When I got home later that afternoon I listened over and over to tracks, Basket Case, Burnout and She, just so as I’d have something to talk about to the cute Nisei girl if I ever got the chance.
If I ever met her again.

Funny thing is, I did meet her again many times during that year and the next one too, but the subject of Green Day songs was never really brought up, anyway.

But I haven’t forgotten.
In the end, I mean.

In hindsight, I don’t think I’ve quite forgotten anything.


Livin’ it Catholic!

At the office, a couple of days ago:

Kid: Okay, I need to tell you of this weird thing that happened to me when I was waiting in line at the supermarket the other day.
Me: Mmmm… Is this one of those tricky bits or could I actually care any less about your very sad existence?
Kid: No, c’mon. I’m serious.
Me: Okay. But I’m not. But do go on.
Kid: Okay, know how you’re always saying everybody’s like the devil’s son, and how you’d rather have lunch with Hitler than with us, and all that crap?
Me: So?
Kid: So I was there at the supermarket, standing in line, and this lady behind me calls me up and says she’s sort of sensitive and that I’ve got all this negative energy over myself and stuff.
Me: And you think it’s happened because I curse and swear a lot?
Kid: Well… could be.
Me: Mmmm… could be indeed. Look, are you a Catholic?
Kid: Yeah sure, why?
Me: Jesus Christ, man! Leave it to Catholics to believe in anything they hear, including new-age bag ladies at the supermarket, save for the sh*t they preach themselves at church.
Kid: No, c’mon, it’s not like that. It’s just that…
Me:Yeah, right. Then quote me from the gospel according to Enya or something…


Sowing the seeds of working late, I suppose

Let’s see:

The mas*chist in every one of us, spinning earthward at 186,282 mps in all our underpaid overworked whitecollar splendor, building up enough caffeine-induced momentum so as to gatecrash through the ramparts of migraines and blurred eyesight at late hours, burning the eight-o’clock pm-oil but hopefully not the midnight one, holding on to that one-only torch of a pristine tomorrow under the Kali Yuga that will probably never happen anyhow: The halcyon yet utopic promise of a loft with all the wood paneling, concealed lighting and fancy stucco works we deserve, also central air-conditioner, with the BMW parked downstairs just a couple of floors beneath the heated swimming pool and the gym. And by god, the totally badass big-screen plasma TV with all the sub-woofers and trimmings and whatnots, too.

There just is a bit of panache in Corporate life, isn’t it?
It gets us going through the thick & thin, man, it really does.

This is what happens whenever I get to disagree with the top management, then get to come up with an unbearable situation where I’m pretty much crushed under their heels for two weeks or so, up until the seeds bear fruit and the need for change kicks in, and guess who wins:
The cocky kid with the long-distance plan always wins, see? I mean, almost always. And in the long-run. And providing his luck doesn’t run out, that is…
Jesus Christ, either we’re all f*cking born without fear or we’re plain addicted to risk, and downright witless to boot, no responsibility at all save for to thrillseek for all eternity.

But that’s OK: First blood went to the management, but dibs on the spoils of the battle are all mine this time.
Problem is, I pretty much wasted an entire day on it and have gotten sooooo freakin’ behind schedule I’m almost scared I’ll miss my deadline for the first time ever, for delivering those reports.

Almost scared.
Five bucks I get ‘em delivered on time…

Feels so damn good to be alive. And hyper-active. Like thisssss
But especially hyper-active anyway.
Refugee from the 20th-century, bipolar, boy-genius in day-glo brain-paint. Wham. Bang. Pow. Crash. Wow!


Us, a haiku

The apex of you,
with all the world left to lose--
Late-night nude perfection.


Feels like a lawsuit comin' up at the office...

Me: Dude, you're like, the son of the devil. Damn it man, just send me the freaking report willya!
Girl: You use such heavy words...
Me: (pointing to a boy) But look at the shape of his head, and look at the crappy stuff's he's sending me. And tell me guy's not the son of the devil!
Girl: We're all God's children here...
Me: Well, yeah, only that guy's like the son of some Sumerian pagan deity or something. Like those earth-mother archetype statues and stuff. All he's missing are the hooves and the horns and the pitchfork thing, too.
Girl: I don't feel very comfortable when you say things like that.
Me: Hey, what can I do. This is the iron age and we're legion. Wanna see us spinning our head around?


More pop-art psychoanalysis: The Id, the Ego and the Super-Ego

Here’s how I’ve ultimately come to understand the inner workings of my psyche:
I’ve since come to think of the components of my psyche as represented by figures familiar in pop culture, sort of halfway between an archetype and an avatar, so as to translate their function and drive more easily and achieve a thorough understanding of myself and my reactions to the outside world.

My Id is Patrick Bateman, a character from a Bret Easton Ellis book, American Psycho, which was also a movie starring Christian Bale.
Bateman represents the basic needs of mankind, albeit in an extreme, twisted manner, but everything he does boils down to atavistic cravings for sex, money, violence, buying expensive things he doesn’t really need, and masking his shortcomings by enforcing his (alleged) superiority over women.

My Ego, and I like to think this one kind of goes for everybody else as well as to me, is Batman. Because that’s how we all perceive the world around us, see? Struggling to be the best, struggling to accept that no matter what you do it’s not nearly enough, struggling to beat the rest, struggling to coping with an ever-growing paranoia of having the rest of the world against you, maybe up to the point where you actually come up with this really bright idea of placing a spy-satellite high up in the atmosphere to watch over the friends you believe have had you brainwashed a few years ago.
And maybe thinking that choosing to wear black is actually a mandate as opposed to an option. But it does make you look thinner, which is always preferable.

Last but not least, my Super-Ego couldn’t be anyone less than Don Johnson’s character Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice, circa 1985, in the very same vein (and I have just figured out this one bit right now) John Wayne was used as Jesse Custer’s conscience and moral drive back in the Vertigo Preacher series a few years back.
There’s just something about that whole New Wave, cocky, sexy unshaven streetwise blue-eyed all-American corn-fed ladies’ man with authority issues and perpetually clad in designer clothes ensemble, that just kills me: Guy walks around skimming at all the darkness and the foul deeds and the bad people in life, also survives Vietnam before that, and never ever veers off being the consummate knight errant stepping out of the shadows, bursting with panache and bad-boy attitude, knowing exactly just the thing to say to look both cool & tough at the same time- the perennial lone ranger- and ending every damn sentence with pal just because he’d probably get away with it anyway.
(See, you can almost hear a post-Genesis, pre-Disney movies Phil Collins singing in the distance now…)

And now, so as to drive the point home, the following conversation illustrates the inner-workings of my Id, Ego and Super-Ego in shaping up my psyche:

The Id, or, Patrick Bateman: Kill! Maim! Dismember!
The Super-Ego, or, Don Johnson’s Sonny Crockett: Surf’s up, pal. Lose the axe, Bateman. Just drop it: let it go. We’ve caught you, pal. It’s over.
The Ego, or, Batman: You’re all against me…


This is how I’ve been preparing for that script…

So I promised the world a 4-issue full comic book script by Jan ’08.
The premise, which was given me, which was imparted upon me, is: She doesn’t live here anymore.

Here’s quoting from my own creative notes, then… well, scratch that. Here’s probably all I’ve got so far… regarding how I’ve been preparing to write the script as per the instructions:

Lessee… Today is May ‘07 and I have to deliver the stuff by January next year.
Okay, that means I’ll probably start worrying about actually writing it once September rolls in…

I’m mean, it’s not like I’m a total slack nor anything: I have most of it pretty much figured out. Cross my heart. It’s true.

There’s like this sequence which is a Top Gun reference and it sort of refers to the new guy who’s the Pope these days and it’s pretty funny. Oh, that and also that not too many people get shot during the climax because I’ve sort of decided to tone down on the content. But I’m keeping the s*x-scene anyway even though most of the action happens in-between panels.

The one thing I still haven’t figured out entirely it’s whether the big bit in the ending happens on a desert in the Middle-East, or at a hospital somewhere on the North America Eastern seaboard. There’s also a rather long sequence set in outer space and on another planet, but that is mostly issue #2.

Here’s the playbook anyway:
#1: Hospital in North-America;
#2: Outer space.
#3: Hospital in North America, then Mid-East.
#4: Mid-East then back to hospital in North America.

Interesting spur-of-the-moment trivia:
I’ve just realized most of the story happens in a hospital and yet none of the characters is a doctor.

Oh yeah. One more thing:
One of the characters is called Jack, even though he’s sort of got a secondary role in the story. I mean, have you ever seen fiction without a character named Jack? Only, this Jack is white. Like, Caucasian-white and I have just realized I don’t have any black characters yet. Do you think that could be an issue?

I mean, not having any African-American representatives?
I’m not really into pulling a “Pete Ross” here you know… Like in that Smallville TV series? The black Pete Ross?
I do have one time-displaced white Roman soldier from back in the days of the Empire. Do you think that counts for diversity? And also a white girl who’s married to an Elf, who’s also white, and the girl might get to come out a l*sbian by the story’s end. Or the Elf will turn g*y. Are there any g*y Elves in fiction? I mean, save for that wussy archer from the Lord of the Rings movie anyway. And what is the proper plural for Elf? Elfs or Elves? I think it’s probably Elves but I’m not sure. I have thought of a g*y cop too anyhow, but that’s probably being left off until the sequel. Supposing there’s a sequel, I mean.

The Roman soldier isn’t g*y, though, because he’s pretty tough and votes Republican and everything, and neither is that Jack guy, because I’m sort of picturing him like Don Johnson in Miami Vice: This really cool, unshaven ladies’ man and etc, but he’s not the one with the s*x-scene.

But he’s gonna say “pal” a lot.

The worst bit is, of course, that all information above is indeed what I’m actually thinking…


Hero gets girl (Stop me if you’ve heard this one… in a long while)

Me: Sonny?
Crockett: Yeah, pal?
Me: Something’s come up, man.
Crockett(lights up a cigarette): Don’t tell me.
Me: I’ve got a girlfriend now, alright? I mean, it’s gone sort of official and everything.
Crockett: So how long have ya kids been together?
Me: Umm. Not really long. You know. “Jumping before you look” and all that.
Crockett: You’re out there, pal. Out where the buses don’t run. You know that?
Me: But lovin’ it anyway, Sonny!
Crockett: Spoken like a true Don Johnson, pal!
Me: I’m like, the sorcerer’s apprentice with all those Miami Vice re-runs on disc, dude…


She (a haiku)

The fleetest moment-
a pantomime in silver.
Eyes saying, Touch me now.


Cool running (CONT’D)

Me: Crockett?
Sonny Crockett: Yeah, pal?
Me: I think I got a problem, dude.
Sonny (lights up a cigarette): Shoot, pal.
Me: I think I might’ve met someone.
Sonny: You think?
Me: Yeah. I mean, I’m pretty sure.
Sonny: Hey, a real ladies’ man! Hell freezes over or what!
Me: No, c’mon. I’m sorta worried, you know?
Sonny: Tell ya something, pal: Ya know all that bad stuff ya keep telling me ya got going in your head?
Me: So?
Sonny: Well. It’s all in your head pal, for one thing.
Me: So what do you think I should do?
Sonny (imitating Tubbs’s mock-Jamaican accent): Remember, man: Cool running, man.
Me: The gospel according to Don Johnson… Thanks Sonny!
Sonny: Anytime, pal!


Pop-art psychoanalysis, pt. III: Cool running (excerpt from an imaginary Miami Vice screenplay)

Whenever the founding fathers of psychoanalysis and the world’s greatest funnybook characters all fail to help with my current condition, I’m forced to call in the professionals.

What follows is my idea of psychotherapy, only in (faux) screenplay format, and ditching both the Freudian and Jungian approaches and going straight to the heart of the matter, namely with Miami Vice characters from the mid-80s TV show.

It’s a seldom-known fact about life:
If Don Johnson can’t help you, then you might as well pack up and go home ‘cause you’re toast, pal.

M****, the protagonist, 27 and strikingly good-looking (hey, it’s my script!), stands alone on the pier with his back leaning to a tall wooden column used for mooring.
He is approached by TWO DADE COUNTY MIAMI DETECTIVES in civilian attire (SONNY CROCKETT, as played by Don Johnson, and RICARDO TUBBS, as played by the other guy who did Miami Vice with Johnson and no one ever remembers his name anymore… Philip Michael Thomas).

SUPERIMPOSE: Miami. Late 1985.



Jesus. I’m f*cked up, Crockett, that’s what I am. Knee-deep in sh*t. It’s like in that old routine, you know? Sometimes you walk a thousand miles with no specific direction… I just don’t know, man. It’s like my self-confidence’s gone bipolar; does that even make sense to you? It wanes. It bobs up and down. Take the other day, for instance, and I was at the supermarket to buy some cake for dessert, and I suddenly froze because I just couldn’t make the call between chocolate cake or a brownie with nuts. And I do mean “cake” quite literally here! And most times I also get insecure whether I’m overplaying this whole lone ranger shtick: Maybe I’m actually choosing the easy way out of problems I don’t really wanna face, and stuff like that. Then I consider the alternative and it just seems like using other people to reassure myself. Which is totally uncool. I need to see some line drawn in the sand, I guess. I think I could use the closure.


If yer asking me, it just looks like ya think way too much, pal.


Yeah, man. You just gotta know when to go with the flow, and when to act like a man. It’s all about action, see?


(lights up a cigarette)

C’mon Tubbs, let’s go. Kid’s got some serious figuring out to do by himself.


(in mock-Jamaican accent)

Just remember, man: Cool running, man.

Exit Crockett and Tubbs.



Riiight. “Cool running” will probably do it. Whatever the hell that even means anyway. Hey thanks a bunch, fellows, eh?

M**** is left alone for about thirty seconds, then he’s approached by LT. CASTILLO (as played by Edward James Olmos), coming from the other side, opposite from Crockett and Tubbs.


(looks grim as hell)

I’ll tell you the ancient Japanese tale of the samurai who was torn between family and duty…



Oh god, just what I freakin’ need right now: The tough Latin cop telling me about the ancient Japanese tale of the samurai who’s torn between a donkey’s ass and three-day leftover microwave junkfood, for crying out loud! Go chase a Blade Runner or something, willya dude!


(looks even more grim)

Our time’s up.

Shot is interrupted; scene freezes.

SUPERIMPOSE: Produced by Michael Mann.

Cut to credits.

The end.


Pop-art psychoanalysis, pt. II: Sigmund Freud vs. Arthur Curry

Last week I came up with this really bright idea which was customizing my DC Direct Aquaman action figure, the one from the “Justice” series which is based on painter Alex Ross’s work. I decided I would paint Aquaman’s classic silver-age black trunks over his green tights to give him more of a retro look.
Regardless that the whole enterprise was eventually called off before it even began due to it being, well, some f*cking dumb idea in the first place, I later realized the whole concept of it would probably be rather unexplainable to anybody else. Such as in the following example:

Somebody: “Dude, did you just paint black trunks over your Aquaman action figure?”
Me: “I have lots of unresolved childhood issues.”

Now, that wasn’t even the worst bit.
The worst bit of course was calling my mother from the office and asking her to bring the Aquaman action figure to my place whenever she dropped by for a visit.
The conversation below is a veritable, true-to-God excerpt from our dialogue:

Me: “Say mom can you please go to that place in my wardrobe where I keep my comics and stuff?”
Mom: “There’s no way I’m touching that crap.”
Me: “C’mon, please.”
Mom: “Okay, what do you want me to do?”
Me: “Could you please, like, bring me one of those action fig… I mean, male dolls and bring it over the next time you drop by? It’s like, broken and I need to fix something…”
Mom: “Which one?”
Me: “Aww, okay: That one in the back with the orange shirt with the fish-scales, and the green tights… who’s sort of holding on to that golden trident… pitchfork… thing…?”
Mom: “Doesn’t look broken to me.”
Me: “Jesus Christ, mom, please, just bring it over, will ya…”

And if you think that was bad, consider then that for the oddest of reasons all managers from the national Sales department were holding some impromptu meeting just behind my desk, standing up and etc., at that same moment.


Pop-art psychoanalysis, pt. I: Carl Jung vs. Eddie Brock

A few days ago, when I opened the drawer in which I keep those old T-shirts I use for sleeping, those ones with the sleeves and collar cut off, I noticed the only clean sleeping T-shirt I had was this one from the mid-1990s that’s got MARVEL written in yellow block-like, sans-serif all-caps lettering running vertically from neckline to waist, and a character file-like imprint of Venom, the Spider-Man villain, in artist Mark Bagley’s early-1990s style with of the character’s particulars such as height, weight, hair color, powers & weapons, etc.

The fact that I’m actually (and coincidentally) able to produce such a piece of apparel with those very details from my wardrobe at age 27, in the same week the Venom-featuring Spider-Man 3 movies opens in the cinemas probably corroborates Carl Jung’s concept of Synchronicity: Related effects without a cause underlying an alleged order to the Universe itself, something like that.

Or, I suppose, it further corroborates the sheer miracle of having gotten laid before I turned 40.


For whose black Spider-Man coffee mug the bell tolls

I’m sort of pissed at Hemingway and I think at Metallica too, only by proxy with both of them.
One must learn to focus his anger towards a proper object: Namely in my case, this preacher guy from back in the Mesozoic or something called John Donne.

I have been preached a lot by different sources in the last few years and even though the words are different the message they carry usually sticks to the No man is island sequence. Which comes from Donne. Which they use on me whenever they say that clean, neat boys in their late-20s shouldn’t be hanging around without girlfriends. Which happens because most of the free-world still rides the XIX century.

Anyway. I’ll grant them the point on this one occasion only, when I actually missed having someone with me:
I went to the movies yesterday, see, and regardless of how bad that Spider-Man 3 sucked… and boy, did it suck… I wanted the black Spider-Man coffee mug they were giving at the cinema when you bought along popcorn and such, but given that no man except for your truly, is an island, and yours truly isn’t really up for popcorn because I makes his fingers all wet and sticky… I ended up returning home sans mug.

I mean, Christ, at least McDonald’s sells their Happy Meal Justice League giveaway figures without the need of actually buying the Happy Meal.

Whenever someone asks you- and we’re still quoting from Donne here by the way- “For whom the bell tolls”, you damn well bet it tolls for my black Spider-Man coffee mug.
Man, I wanted that mug so bad…

(Well actually the bell ends up tolling for the black goo thing as well, in the movie, in the end, and quite literally, when that guy from the 70s Show who looks like Gizmo from Gremlins, only, sans all the white fur coat, is standing there and… et. al.)


At power-play in the fields of the lord

I was going for a raise next Monday, you know?
I mean, that was the initial plan: Sort of corner my boss at first then wait for his customary slick move to revert the situation and not give me the raise, then only then I’d open the A-bomb bay. Kind of like Rocky in the movies, you know?

But then something happened yesterday that got me thinking:

A raise in pay is always plan B, as odd as it sounds. Money alone doesn’t really get you far in life. This is what I’d end up doing with a raise anyhow: I’d probably double the amount of books and comics and DVDs I’ve been buying, and find myself a nice, little cozy mutual stock fund for the rest of it at the bank.

Now plan A is where we should all be aiming at: Plan A is power, plan A is clout, and all those things. There’s a line from this comic book I read about a couple of years ago and it says that villains like Luthor and Grodd do it for power. That’s so beautiful, you know?
It’s in having the President of the company knowing who you are and greeting you on a first-name basis in front of the entire office whenever he drops by for a visit. That “Hola, M****” is power you can’t really buy, you know?

So whenever I’m a little lost or wandering aimlessly I let the instincts take over. My grandfather never had proper education yet his gut feeling for business was nothing short of amazing.
So I pretty much let the instincts take over and came up with this e-mail for A****, who is P****’s boss in Chile and also the worldwide coordinator for the Project. In it I told A**** I was a little frustrated with our local performance and requested a conference with him. Oddly enough I was being honest about the whole thing, I really was.
My boss, head of the national management, is on vacations and would only return on Monday.

So then A**** sends over some pretty cool material regarding comparative performances and stuff and we end up talking for an hour. The following words were mentioned more than once by him: Trampoline and opportunity and in-company career development.
Boy I was pumped.
I mean, this guy A**** is one hell of a professional himself and... picture this: I was amazed when I trained under P**** last year, and to think that P**** was actually trained by A****… wow.

And here’s where the story gets better:

After the conference I went to the bathroom, had to take a leak, etc. While I was at the urinal these two guys came in: One of them is the guy who handled I.T. with us until a month ago and was just transferred to HQs. Since we worked close together on the Project we get along very well, especially on a professional level. He sort of recommended my name to HQs when they were looking for someone crazy enough to tackle the monster, even though this girl whom he used to date worked with me in the beginning and actually trained me, but downright hated me because I ended up stealing her job. But she was pretty dumb, so what. No room for dumb people on Earth, you know.
Anyway, the guy gets to introduce me to his friend, whom I’d never seen before but sort of looks like a younger Dan Aykroyd, while I was all telling him about my conference with A**** and the changes we’d end up needing with the telephone structure. I joked I didn’t want to shake hands with the new guy because I hadn’t washed them yet, etc, and then it turned out the new guy is the new Customer Service manager from HQs, also from Chile, and he’s saying he (obviously) works with A**** and he’s heard about me and would like to talk in the near-future about some specific bits of the Projects which actually involve us and his HQs… et. al.
“Sure,” I said doing my Patrick Bateman-bit. “E-mail me and we’ll schedule something.”

Jesus, to hell about asking for a raise next Monday, you know? I’ve never had to ask for a raise before and will not start doing so now: I’m skilled, I’m self-motivated and I’m resourceful. Leave the others to panhandle, you know?
If I got a raise now I would sort of owe it to my boss, like, morally, and it would sure hinder any shots I might have at… getting my ass transferred to HQs, maybe?

Let’s see how the ballet turns out and let’s make the most of it, because all my mistakes must ultimately be my own.
That’s the most anyone could ever expect from life.


Physical therapy, day four

So I’m lying on the bunk bed and Dr. C**** (who is kind of hot even though I think she’s a l*sbian) is pouring some cold water-based, transparent colloidal goo over my knees in order to get the electrodes attached with the bandages.

The thing that worries me the most is-- since I’m doing this early in the morning I sort of just sprang out of bed and breezed through the shower, then slipped a shorts & t-shirt combo over my still-moist body, and went straight to the physical therapy place which is pretty near my own place, and where Dr. C**** delivers electric shock to my knees among other weird sh*t on a daily basis-- I’m not really wearing any underwear and this whole gay-girl-in-white-apron bit added to the electrodes actually make for one hell of a…. funny combination.
You know…

Then she’s asking me whether the shock gizmos are strong enough and I keep saying, “Oh crank it up, I can take it” because I’m childishly assuming it’ll make me look tough before her eyes but in fact only makes the situation a lot worse, and my only way out of an embarrassing situation due to the aforementioned lack of underwear is thinking about novelist Kurt Vonnegut, who died last month, and was himself a very ugly person. I’m saying that because I’ve brought his Breakfast of Champions book to read while the electrodes do their thing, but also to avoid coming up with crazy thoughts about the situation at hand.

Or at knee.

Situation at knee.
…good one…

As in, “I’m so knee-deep into this egotrip of mine I’m almost lacking the time to have actual work done here.”


Little Nemo in f*cked up land

Last night I dreamed about this girl M**** who was K****’s cousin and was friends with me back in High School and afterwards, and in the dream I met her purely by chance on the street and we went back to her place which was under this huge bridge near the docks, with huge semi-circular windows with thick metal grating covering them, and she showed me this magazine in which there were nude photos of herself because she was modeling or something, then we kissed and I went home but before that the dream sort of became lucid because I clearly remember thinking, Jesus, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I went back to her place to carry on with the kissing bit and stuff.
Funny thing is that I haven’t seen this girl in what, seven or eight years or so. But she kind of looks like the girl in the lead role in this soap opera I was watching before going to bed, and the actress even plays twins. Not that I usually watch soap operas, you know, I was just changing the channels for an hour or so as I waited for the happy pills I’d taken for sleep to kick in…

A few nights before that I dreamed I was walking my grandfather, who’s already dead but by the time he was alive a few years ago he was struck pretty bad with Alzheimer’s, by some desert on Northern Africa, and we were captured by Nazi troops in khakis and taken to a POW camp, where I got to ask permission from that guy Rommel so that the Nazis wouldn’t whip my grandfather and stuff because he had Alzheimer’s, and also whether I could keep this Superman comic book I had with me because I sure wanted some reading material to spend time with while waiting for the war to end.