Friday, May 29, 2020

“Real Men Eat Whatever They Goddamn Want!”: Making Salmon & Mozzarella & Asparagus Quiche (and Eating It, Too!)

Is that an asparagus sigil I’ve placed into the top of my quiche? Bwah-hah-HAH!

 In 1982, humorist Bruce Feirstein published Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche—Reagan-era, populist anti-intellectual humor.
Even as a kid, I thought, “To heck with you; real men eat whatever they goddamn want!”

And I was a kid who ate cereal for dinner, and hamburgers for breakfast.
So there.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

My STAR WARS Day (1977)

The line for You-Know-What outside
the Loew's Astor Plaza, circa 1977
It was 43 years ago today—on the afternoon of Saturday, May 28, 1977—that I saw the movie that changed everything.
Really, everything: I even believe that the film was partially responsible for getting Reagan elected… (but that’s an unsubstantiated theory for another day).

It had opened in NYC earlier that week—on Wednesday, May 25—at only a handful of theaters, none in Brooklyn, I recall (or else we would have seen it there).
We had arrived at the Loew’s Astor Plaza (now gone, sort of), right off Times Square, at 11:30am, but they were only selling tix for 4pm. Shrug, we got no choice.
Holy moly! There was a line that stretched around the block, all the way around the four corners and back again! The theater across the street showing The Car was deserted. Tumbleweeds.

In Loew’s, the excitement was palpable. The theater was a’buzzin’! We’d scored decent seats in the smoking section (and there were already slight whiffs of something other than tobacco already in the air), and the lights went down. No trailers, just the extended 20th Century Fox fanfare (a sign of quality!), those clean graphics in that groovy blue font in silence (build the tension), WHAM—

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Short Story Long About Meeting Mike Mignola (and “Hellboy”)

Before the release of the first Hellboy movie, Mike Mignola came to NYC in April 2004 to do a signing/promo-tour at St. Mark’s Comics—
but the store had forgotten to publicize the event! I was the only person there—and I had never even read the comic before!

I had no idea who the guy was but took pity and started a conversation with Mike Mignola. He was gracious and kind, and very willing to promote his creation. I asked him which graphic novel a neophyte should start with, and he recommended The Chained Coffin and Others (1998).
I bought it, and asked him to sign it. (See above)
I’ve been a Hellboy fan ever since.
Thanks, Mr. Mignola!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

BACK FROM THE DEAD! (Both Me and Dracula)

“I vant du suck yur blud…”

Dracula! Everybody knows the story—but mainly through the movies (Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Frank Langella’s turn on Broadway for New Yorkers of a certain age) or through comic books (I was a regular reader of the Gene Colan-illustrated Marvel publication The Tomb of Dracula), but how many of you have actually read Bram Stoker’s tome? Not many, right? Well, that’s fine, because, lemme tell ya, as a read, the book Dracula is, for the most part, a snooze—everything is explained and detailed to the Nth degree: “I placed upon my foot a leather covering with laces used to tighten the processed cowhide around said foot called a shoe…” That type of thing—Yawnsville with a capital “Y.”