Exactly what it feels like. Back to the grind and all.
With this entry, I'll probably going back to my twice a week rigor of supplying a couple of blocks a week and going back and forth with the things I am particularly fond of - spotlighting myself of course.
Last week, there was a memorial for my ex-boss, John J Lindsay who was the co-owner of a comic book store I used to work for and basically without his approval, set up my base of operations of writing commentary for Comic Buyer's Guide under the auspices of the store and am now using the store's address to launch my own small press publishing venture, Landescape Productions. As of right now, I don't have the official word whether or not the store is being shut down as the ownership of the store's operation has been bequeathed to his sons and daughters- but it remains to be seen, if there are interested in keeping it going. His partner, Dan Hunt of whose residence I share doesn't really want to be involved with the day to day headache, so I would assume he is looking at the current managers to buy out the current inventory and raise enough capital to make an offer to keep it running. I've been reinstated as the ordering person or manager or whatever the fuck I used to do when John had those long extended jaunts in the hospital for those hip surgeries and left me in charge during the years of 1995-1997. The only thing is- the whole ordering system for Diamond has changed since I left the assignment. What used to be captured on a 3 1/2 disk has now been converted to e-mail and there's me up the creek without the proverbial paddle and password to get in. So I got to hope for the best and get it in tomorrow at the earliest before the ordering for January shuts down Wednesday.
The service wasn't that hard to sit through. Being a full pledged atheist, I thought maybe I'd instantly be devoured by flames or explode like a victim of spontaneous human combustion once I would step foot inside a chapel. John was the very first person that I ever got up the nerve to pay tribute to, something I would think that I would never venture to do even for my own mother - whose own living breathing stupidity is very much at large to this very day. I was late to the service, being thrown off that I thought that it was going to be a burial ceremony, so I was out combing the graveyard and not seeing any crowd out in the distance of the grounds, I thought I must have been too late and missed the entire service. As I doubled back to the chapel, I was curious to discover that there were two Air Force servicemen standing outside the door taking in a smoke and as I approached up the steps one of them asked me directly, 'are you here for John Lindsay?' I told them yes, and they opened the door to usher me in. So I was little unqueasy entering a building of religious worship - having not been in one since I was like, five or six for Vacation Bible School for Tots and I figured right there and then that was John was hovering me right now, he's up there laughing his ass off. I'm having this instant epiphany that I'm going to get plastered by his angel droppings and they're going to stain the shirt on my shoulders more seriously than those freaking pigeons ever will.
So I stumbled in looking for space in the least occupied pew, not pausing to look at the familiar faces and hoping they don't notice me doing pratfalls down the aisle trying to avoid that scolding look on the chaplain's face. Upon entering, there some modern R & B song playing off a portable cassette recorder. I can't indentify the artist, but I never figured on John ever listening or liking some Motown record. Of all the conversations we had about music, it was either Hendrix or ELP that he spoke highly of to me. Then the minister or the chaplain, or whoever, I don't tend to notice the difference with these hieratic titles these guys throw their paper wafer diets on started talking about Psalms and whatever else these gibberish verses were chosen by the surviving family members. I just sat quietly and shut my mind off of all comprehensible thought as usual when I'm confronted with scripture. It just goes in one ear and out the next. None of it ever makes to me when it's read out loud. Next everyone was asked to rise up as the two Air Force guys made their way down the aisle and proceeded up the front with a unfold the flag demonstation and then fold it back again demonstration and march on out while a third Air Force guy played taps on his bugle. Impressive, but I stood there baffled, not even realizing that no one ever told me, not even John himself, that he served in the Air Force back in the Korean War. Just goes to show: just when you think you've known a person for about ten years.... Anyway, it was an interesting experience- those Air Force guys drove all the way up from Edwards Air Force Base to attend this service.
The chapel wasn't really as condescending as I thought it would be. No one came over to brainwash me into jumping off the 6th street Bridge in Los Angeles all in the name of Jesus- there really wasn't a cross hung all over every nook and cranny and there weren't too many other religious subliminal trinkets etched inside the stain glass windows to really not make me feel too uncomfortable. I would assume that everyone gathered there were all on equal footing- all races, all religions, and all genders of those who were there simply to pay tribute to a man who relished each sale that he made in his career as a store owner either it be a nickel piece of bubblegum to a $ 200 comic book or baseball card - it was a boon to his existence and it all counted for something and that outlook on life could put a smile on anyone's face without even half trying.
Switching gears - Fucking Las Vegas. What a piece of shit experience to put one self through. I can't stop thinking about it even long after now that a month has passed.
Another retailer acquaintance local to me, told me of this gruelling story that he had to drive up on the last day of the show to get some customers old book appraised by the sponsors of the convention, happening to be Comics Guaranty LLC. One of the graders took the books out of his hands to study them and he swears that he kids me not, that the grader ran his hand along the spine of a Swamp Thing issue one and indented his thumb into it to purposely deface the value of the book from all that mint to near mint to very fine to all that grade point average hogwash that they've come up with.
Personally with the attendance deflated as it was from these holier than thou pre registered numbers of 30,000 to the actual shown up number of 1500 to 2000- I did get a good number of new e-mail subscribers who were actually too cheap to buy anything from my table, but the traffic at my booth was absolutely horrendous judging by how quickly other exhibitors packed up camp and were back on the I-15 to whence they came by mid Saturday afternoon. However, the only other good thing about this convention that may have benefitted me in the long run will be discussed in length in my next entry
And then I had a couple of con artists sitting next to me throughout the entire show in the form of Tarot readers and psychic readers. They even went as so far as to lifting wallets while they were conducting their seances and the rest of their hocus pocus. This one artist knew there was some kind of scam afoot when he came back realizing that his wallet was missing not longer than 3 seconds after they packed up for the day and split in a real hurry.
I would have hated getting sucker punched like that. I thought the convention itself was screwing me up the ass as it was. They went to great lengths to promote the new book on their website but didn't go as so far as to place me at a location next to other people who were self publishers just like me. That would have been equal footing and some desolated area where there were hardly any foot traffic. I would have had better luck setting up a booth in the middle of Death Valley.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to try out an omlette bar that the commissary at my place of employment was to guinea pig on us. Had to get there by 7:30 AM. I said what the fuck why not, things were probably way different on the lot than getting off work. And how. I saw people unloading a tons and tons of these rusted automobile carcasses off of transport trucks. I was told by someone that they were needed for the giant soundstage that is shooting the Constantine movie. What the hell do they need all these pieces of junkyard scrap for?
After punching in I immediately went to consult some of the script processing people. They didn't have a clue what it was about unless it was something that was changed in the final draft at the very last second - unless it was something depicted in a series of flashbacks. I was told that there is a massive scene that Constantine spends a long time alone in the room with the devil and they're using some of kind of mind stabbing telekinesis technique to ward each other- so I didn't bother to pry from beyond that point.
Someone finally gets the nerve to write a few words about the new Deposit Man book and I'll share it with everyone here. Plus new developments in the Last Great Gate of Mortality Act Two.