The Samurai goes to S.P.A.C.E.

S.P.A.C.E. Con, The pinnacle of the independent comic scene, a summit of those who have tossed off the shackles of mainstream publishers to run free of the sunny meadow of creativity and originality. Many of them have suffered under the whips of Marvel, DC, or Archie and SPACE is where they gather, in a basement of a hotel in Columbus Ohio, far from the creeping searchlights of their oppressors. The Samurai knew, he had to see this. The best and worse ideas in the world are the original ones, and all the comics at this con are either ingenious well written yarns, to barely readable literary abortions. The Independents lack a middle Ground, but whether the comics they pen are great or grating, these creative juggernauts are my kind of people.

I arrive via bus, and I we met by Dawn Best and her partner in crime Matt Eshleman. I’m an good friend of Dawn and Matt, and they had agreed to be my guide in this world, as the most I knew of Columbus was the layout of the bus station (It’s a common stop on bus rides to my old job). Dawn was peddling her own comic, Varulv and Mat was in his own words: “Along for the ride”. Why had the Samurai gone? To see old friends, to make new friends, and support the independent scene. The dealer’s room was large and vibrant, both expansive and cavernous. The exhibitors didn’t just sell Comics, but Art, toys, cupcakes, magic potions, sprite sculptures, antennae and home made geek wares of every shape and size. I picked up a number of items, some novelty items and some comics.

One Highlight for me was the discovery of Urban Fey, a comic about the fair folk in the city, the idea of a traffic light Fairy and a band of talking animals got my creative juices flowing. “Diary of a Gay kid” was an enjoyable slice of life, not a preachy political rag like many gay comics, just a story about being a kid. Tribute waters was another fave of mine, a well written “Nautical Fantasy” with amazing art, done with inking brushes. I finally got to Read Dawn’s comic, and being a huge fan of werewolves I wasn’t let down, her art is something I can look at for hours, and Horay for were-bats! I finally got to meet Scot Hedlund, picked up one of his mini art portfolios and a copy of his two-part “Chaos Punks” which I really liked. M.L. Walker’s Hero Corp may have restored

The Devil's Venom

Lucid Absinthe, it's like Concentrated regret with a twist of lime

my love of super hero, having long been burned by the genre’s bland representation. He Also did a pretty kicking pic of the Samurai, defending the mean streets of “New Wooster”. Thanks to Indie comic legend Max Traffic for giving my a copy of one of his classic books “Truth be known” I have a special place in my heart for the Psychedelic old style indie comics of the 80’s.

The Con went well, other than an absinthe-fueled argument with the floor I’m told I had, and an uncomfortable incident where an inebriated gentlemanattempted to “Put out” the flames on my shoes (I’m not sure if he was serious) I had a wonderful time Rubbing elbows with the upper crust of the Indie comic world. I hope to get back there next year, if only to meet more of this burgeoning fandom’s adherents, The Samurai Has Spoken.

 

 

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Michael Jackson’s Hidden History!

Like many kids in the 80’s I thought Michael Jackson was cool. His amazing dance powers could subdue evil alien robots and Zombies alike, he was something of a real life super hero. In the 90’s when things started going weird for the pop rocker it was really a blow to fans of his music, suddenly the infallible dance warrior was accused of child molestation and acting less like a hero to millions and more like a frikkin’ weirdo. Jacko fans either abandoned their hero, or turned to a cult-like band of uber-fans willing to accept Michael not matter how many nasty bizarre things he did.

The Samurai belonged to the first group, as soon as Jacko went wacko I burned my rhinestone glove, and left that music behind me forever. However, I’ve always longed for the days when Michael was a hero worthy of admiration, not just a twisted plastic surgery addicted drug addict. It sort of Like learning that Green lantern is hooked on Vicodin, or Batman was convicted of tax fraud. However, I made a stunning discovery recently, that will doubtlessly change the face of MJ history. Today, I will share it with you.

About a Year ago, Christian Slater and I were on one of our frequent trips to Eastern Europe to take in the post-soviet club scene. We were at a great club called “Bourstageadge” (No I’m not sure how to pronounce that) enjoying our absinthe-coladas when we saw a man on the dance floor, doing moves that none of the Baltic club goers would know. It was unmistakable, with moves like this, he was either Michael Jackson, or John Travolta. I knew for a fact Travolta was off-world fending off Ferengi invaders, so as unlikely as it was, this man was Miachael Jackson. Christian and I approached the man, who at first claimed his name was Anton Shleshkin, a local man. This was hardly convincing since he was still noticeably African American in a room of pasty-white Slavs, so he came clean with us: He was the real Michael Jackson, the one that died was an imposter. He’d ducked out of the spotlight, and has been living happily, working as a factory manager in a local corn meal packaging plant. He enjoyed the 9-5, and played on a local lacrosse team on the weekends. Apparently it took years of searching to find the one corner of the globe where he wouldn’t be regularly recognized, and in this small unnamed Slavic republic he could live his long awaited dream of a normal, simple life.

This brings up further questions, who was the man who became Michael

Jackson Famaily Photo

Cooter Lee Jackson with he fellow mountain folk

Jackson? Was it a clone, a Robot, or someone from an alternate universe? Nothing so interesting as that. As we ordered another round of drinks, he told me the sorted truth, there was a lost Jackson brother, one that has been hidden by the mass media his entire life. Cooter Lee Jackson, the lost Jackson. Other was in fact Michael’s half-brother, born with a month of him in the hills of West Virginia. He was the son of Jackson’s father and a white mountain woman whom he loved for a brief time. While Micheal’s father payed enough child support to keep Cooter and his mother well fed, he disowned the child and never visited him. Micheal had mercy on his lost half-brother and often visited him in the hills of Leron County West Virginia, teaching his brother to dance and sing just like he could. Alas, Cooter was far too unstable to ever have a normal life, after a lifetime of isolation and drinking dandelion wine had driven him quite insane, and he rarely wandered from the 150 acre soybean farm. After Michael Jackson disappeared, Cooter Lee Jackson was offered the chance to take his place in the media, Cooter used his fortune to go on a weirdness rampage, all the while the real Michael Jackson was in hiding.

Christian and I encouraged Michael to return, and real himself to the world. But Michael assured me he was happiness here than he ever was as a media starlet. He’d married a portly Slavic woman who bore him two dozen

Cooter Lee

Cooter Lee Jackson, the only white man to ever be on the cover of Ebony Magazine

children, and while he sometimes missed the fast lane, his children were now his life. For better or for worse, he was happy now, so the Samurai decided to leave him in peace, gratified in the knowledge that the real thriller is still out there, living a simple, satisfying life.

Scot Pilgrim Vs. Hollywood

Ladies and gentlemen, one of the coolest independent comics ever made, Scot Pilgram is now being made into a movie.  Now, the Samurai is usealy against comics being made into film.  The reason? A comic is a comic, a move is a movie, both are different art forms and should be dealt with differently. As a comic,  Scot Pilgrim’s creator has an amazing amount of creative control.  In hollywood you can’t wipe your butt without six weeks of focus groups, production meetings and re-writes.  Can a dynamic, cute and edgy story like Scot Pilgrim make it in the creativity-crushing world of Hollywood? Well . . .it is yet to be seen.

I can say from what I’ve seen so far it feels like the comic, but with one enormous snafu.  Michael Cera, a man who could’t look and act less like Scot Pilgrim is he tried, is playing Scot Pilgrim.  The only reason I haven’t given up hope completely is two reasons: they actually found a half decent Ramona

Ramona Flowers, good choice, Scot? Naw . . .not even close

Flowers (the most halarious character from the comic) and Michael Keaton.  What does he have to do with this? Well . . .think about it, Michael Cera is an annoying goofy flavor of the month actor who appears sorely miscast.  When Michael Keaton was cast as the original Batman, he was a hack standup comedian best known for his roll as the crazy ghost in Betelgeuse.   That guy as BATMAN?

Michael Keaton did a wonderful job as the dark knight, then went on to make more irritating unfunny comedies.  So, can Michael Cera, who normaly plays mumbling nurotic nobodies, play the ultimate slacker Scot Pilgram? The samurai will give him a chance, and open his mind to the possibility that he’ll do a good job.  However, if Hollywood ruins one of my favorite comics, the Samurai will reap revenge sevenfold.

Letterman’s Lovelies

For those of you who were in a hole under a mountain with their fingers in their ears for the last couple of weeks, here’s the big news:  David Letterman was  blackmailed by some guy into admitting on the air he’s been sleeping with co-workers.   Yeah yeah, blah blah who gives a damn!?!?

Really folks, are we so easily fooled?  Letterman’s always been just a bit less

Your average David letterman Guest wigging out

Your average David letterman Guest wigging out

Funny compared to the next best thing on at ungodly hours of the night (One Mr. Jay Leno) so he’s always had to make up this lack of overall funniness by being shocking.   Think about all the famous people who wait until they’re suddenly on the late show to get fed up with the world and go ape crazy in the middle of an interview so the news can buy him some more ratings.  Let’s list a few while we’re at it shall we?
1.  Andy Kaughman and Jerry the King Lawler almost coming to blows
2. Crispin Glovers drug-induced tyraid which he later revealed was him acting “In character” to promote a movie
3. Tom Wait’s appearing on the show numerous times, tipsy,  surly and sometimes barely verbal
4. American Sweetheart Courtney  Love flashing her boobies
5. The Slightly more attractive Drew Barrymore also dancing on his desk and doing the same thing
5. Juquin “Don’t call me Johnny Cash” Phoenix and his mumbled, fractured interview where he reveals he’s going to try hip-hop
Why does all this (And more) happen on Letterman’s show and nowhere else?   Does he not drug test his guests or are we being suckered?  Honestly folks, I think Letterman just loves the scuttlebutt produced by celebrities

Watch me!  Im funny and no sex scandals!

"Watch me! I'm funny and no sex scandals!"

behaving badly.   So much so that when he was blackmailed, he saw the perfect oppoutuniy to get ratings by coming clean with his own dirty past.   Think about it people, did he look entirely broken up and being forced to come clean with his dirty deeds?  What normal Person makes jokes about cheating on your long-time girlfriend with co-workers?  Letterman isn’t all that funny, and he NEEDS the negative press to keep him going.  Do yourself a favor, flip on over to Conin, the only thing controversial about him is the claim he’s had illegal leg extensions and freckle enhancement surgery.

Comedy show

Greeting folks, I’m gonna be doing comedy night at the Canton Elks Club next Saturday night, doors open 6pm show starts at seven. Come see the up and coming talent folks! YOU NEED TO BE HERE OR ELSE!

Head shops: Who are you fooling?!

A few days ago the Samurai had an important meeting in the blustering metropolis of Akron Ohio. Known for producing rubber and Lebron James this city’s roads seem to be designed by the same man who designed the rubix cube. To Get from point “A” to point “B” often requires passing through points “G” through “X” before coming upon another closed one-way road, traffic jam, or in my case: A Marathon route (Good luck to Akron’s runners but get the hell out of me way PLEASE!)

Finding myself Low on pipe tobacco after being lost in the city for what seems like a geologic age, I decided to stop at a store that said it sold “Tobacco and Gifts”. Now in my sleepy little hometown of Wooster Ohio, “Tobacco and gifts” means a store sells Cigars, pipe tobacco, and witty greetings cards with dirty jokes in them. Apparently in a college town such as Akron, “tobacco and Gifts” takes on an entirely different meaning.

They come in Small, Medium, and Its time to admit you have a problem

They come in Small, Medium, and "It's time to admit you have a problem"

Inside, I found the most Extensive collection of bongs, pipes, vaporizers and witty bumper sticker that I’ve ever laid witness too. Undaunted, (and needing a smoke) I go up the the counter and asked the clerk, (A pasty, twenty something with spiky black hair who vaguely resembled the lead singer form Greenday) if they had any Pipe tobacco, and if so where it was.

I might as well been asking for weapons grade plutonium for the look the clerk gave me, a puzzled “Duh” look worth a thousand words. His surviving brain cells strained to precess the request, finally managing to sputter the half answer “I’m kinda sure we don’t” before returning to his work stocking Bob Marley bumper stickers in a glass case.

Places like this make me honestly mad, and not just because they sell Marijuana paraphernalia, I’m not really up against stoners as much as the collective stupidity regarding the drug Marijuana. I know the questionable legality of places like this, but do they honestly think they’re fooling anybody with the whole “We sell tobacco products and glass art” shtick? As if a police officer is gonna go in there to find a bunch of drug paraphernalia and slink away in disappointment when he reads the sign that says all those bongs and vaporizers are for “Tobacco use only” as if all the patrons are just eccentric smokers who like to smoke cigarettes by way of a six foot long glass tube.

I also got a beef with the people who assign this same logic to the argument of legalizing weed for “Medicinal use”. Let me spell it out: Weed has no practical use whatsoever, it’s a lousy pain killer, and it does nothing to cure or treat any disease that can’t be done by a hundred other better drugs.  There’s no

Finnaly!  The Answer to heath care Reform

Finnaly! The Answer to heath care Reform

one laying in hospitals right now  gasping with their last breath “If only I could have marijuana I could get better and go home to my family!” The drug lobbies are not fooling anybody with that argument. Allow me to says this as simply as possible THEY WANT TO LEGALIZE IT AS A MEDICINE SO THEY CAN GET A FAKE PRESCRIPTION FROM A SHADY DOCTOR AND SMOKE IT FOR FUN!!! Perhaps some brain damaged stoner is dumb enough to think he’s on some kind of noble crusade for the sick and dieing but the truth is no legitimate  medicine on earth is taken by way of a glass pipe shaped like a wizard.

As for weather it should be legal or not, frankly I don’t care. I don’t smoke the stuff and their’s good points on both sides of the argument. I’m simply angry at the folks who insult my intelligence by trying to convince me their weed habit is for the betterment of Mankind.

Period. End of Argument, Fineto, DONE

The Samurai Has Spoken

The Truth About Obama Revealed!

WOW!

I suspected Obama was in fact a robot, but I didn’t want to come strait out and say it, so the Samurai employed his armies of  intelligence gathering allies and I found a cryptic clue to our president’s true nature.

While meditating in my expansive garden, I received mysterious  manila envelope via messenger pigeon  with the words “The Truth” scrawled on it in crayon.  Suspecting it was just another death threat written to me by an angry circus midget,  I opened it, instead finding two photographs.  The first, is  This:

An inocent meeting

An innocent meeting?

An Innocent enough Photograph of our president meeting with prominent Black Leader Al Sharpton.  Innocent enough perhaps,  but The Sender of this mysterious  message had informs me of something disturbing: this photo was a fake!!
Immediately I wondered what this had to do with my queries into the true nature of our President? Why would President Obama, a known associate of Sharpton, fake a picture of the two meeting?
Then, I was hit with the hideous truth, the REAL picture, in all it’s utter weirdness:
Obama Battles Mecha-sharpton!

Obama Battles Mecha-sharpton!

I was, needless to say stunned at the skill that must have went into altering this photo to hide the real truth.  Obama wasn’t meeting with Reverend Al Sharpton at all!  He had obviously been photographed confronting a mecha-Sharpton in a twisted Mexican standoff!
A few things that Must be taken into account about the real photo: Mecha-Sharpton is armed with a chainsaw for a hand, and apparently can be wound up with a large key for extra powerful attacks.  Also, our President must be experienced in battling evil robots from the future, as he’s armed himself with a sword/gun Combination, as we all know this is the best weapon for fighting robots of any kind, especially one s from the future.   Additionally the portrait in the background is now a portrait of Ron Pearlman smoking a cigar.  Why this was covered up is unknown,  the greater mystery being why Reverend Al Sharpton has a large portrait of a Jewish character actor in his office.
No explanation was given for the photo, and the story behind it wasn’t revealed anywhere in the message.  The picture shows a small part of what is doubtless a frikkin-AWESOME fight scene, most likely involving missiles being shot from Mecha-Sharpton’s chest, a machine gun coming out of his mouth ,some really cool martial arts moves from Obama,  and in all likelihood the president running on the wall to avoid machine gun fire.    This epic battle, worthy of an  issue of  “Magnus: Robot Fighter” had one of the following possible outcomes:
1. Obama wins,  Mecha-Sharpton is annihilated, and the real Reverend Al Sharpton  is rescued from the future, the world is safe . . .for now.
2. Mecha Sharpton Wins, Captures our president, dragging him back to the future and throwing him into stasis.  Then Replacing the president with a roboticic replacement that probably transforms into a motorcycle.
3. Both Combatants fight until they’ve completely spent.   Just as the Military arrives to capture the Mecha-Sharpton but he escapes safely into the future just before the military storms into the room.  This lead to a military mission to a future to rescue the REAL Al Sharpton.
What is the real truth? My greatest fear is that I may never know.  Whoever altered this photo has an agenda, be it good or bad is unclear.  When I learn more, rest assured you folks will be the first to know!
The Samurai Has Spoken
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