Saturday, April 30, 2022

Remember the Meerkats

The art and comics world has lost a legend, a creative genius who remapped how stories were conveyed, evolving the comics world to 2.0. I have nothing to add to the stories from his family, mentees, colleagues, and fans. Their loss is personal and raw, both joyous and sad. All I have to offer to our colleagues and Neal's family is my condolences and one amusing recollection.

I came into comics in 1988, when Neal Adams was working in advertising, so it was 12 years before I finally worked with him on a Marvel reprint cover. I remember being slightly terrified when I called the main number at Continuity, but Neal couldn't have been more kind. I didn't understand the final cover's joke about cows and Skrulls at the time, but I knew to shut up and accept that it was the right call, because Neal knows comics in ways I never will.

Years later at DC after we'd moved to Burbank, I had a custom comic about talking meerkats in superhero costumes, where the client asked "Can Neal Adams draw this?" And my first thought was "Don't be ridiculous, he's busy." But there was a part of me that remembered the silliness of the cow joke, and I said...hold that thought. Maybe.

Neal was amused and dove right into our goofy meerkats story. We all relished the experience, which was beyond absurd. I worked with Neal on plenty of other stories over the next few years, but I cherish the meerkats.

All my best to Neal's family, and all his mentees and colleagues.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

New Friend

There was a opossum under my stoop last night!

He's gone this morning. I'm glad—I was wondering what I would do if he'd decided to live there.

Friday, April 22, 2022

For One Penny

Yesterday morning, I biked the mile-and-a-half to the waterfront, my first "just for fun" ride of the spring. All was going well and good when the wind kicked in and I found myself biking against the wind, and I couldn't turn off the earworm from a Bob Seger cassette I had as a kid. Then I couldn't turn off the memory of getting 13 records or tapes for 1 cent from Columbia Record & Tape Club.

The catch was I had to remember to send back the little card every month or else I'd be stuck with something I didn't want. I was pretty good about the little cards, and I did sort out to finish my commitment and get out of the scheme. The whole thing was a good lesson. Nothing is free, kid Marie. Or even 1 cent.

Seems like yesterday

But it was long ago

So they say. We age. Time passes. The Record & Tape Club eventually became the CD Club before going out of business, but I was no longer aware of it, because I was out buying my own choices of indie records from small businesses in Dayton, in Austin, in Hoboken. And playing them on the radio in southwestern Ohio. As one does. As one did in the heyday of indie rock and college radio.

And eventually I sold most of my records to collector Bill Ryan when he and Otis came to my garage to alleviate the burden of me carrying the damn things around. I learned to travel a lot lighter over the years. You know, not...against the wind.

I headed back to the Citibike dock and 2022, to a world where I haven't thought of Columbia House in 40 years. It's funny what a phrase or image can trigger in our memories.

Saturday, April 16, 2022


Waiter, waiter! There's a opossum in my water.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022


I’m underground on the PATH train for the first time in three months, staring absentmindedly at the floor while contemplating the vast number of sneakers in a walking city. As we pull into 14th Street station, everyone’s phones screech simultaneously as an alert comes in with the identity of yesterday’s subway shooter.

They’re still buzzing as we disembark. One guy, a seemingly tired, middle-aged man with a beard and a look of despair howls back. “Get offa my phone, NYC dot gov!”

I scoot around him and head to the subway. On the platform, a maskless old man inhales deeply from a cigarette as the Brooklyn-bound L train pulls in.

The L takes me to First Ave. I’m heading to my PO Box near my old apartment. I’ve had the same address there for more than twenty years. Picking up mail gets me out of the house, gives me a shred of anonymity to the sometimes belligerent aficionados of fandom, and bonus, gives me the opportunity to pick up coffee beans at Porto Rico Imports.

Today is a perfect spring day, and emerging from the claustrophobic tunnels to the wide world of Manhattan feels achingly full of hope and nostalgia. It’s hard to think of Ukraine, of subway shooters, of the judiciary and the fear of fascism. Of aging. Of stress and decisions. Of the self-righteous ignorance of the clueless knights of social media, and the various applications of misplaced valor. Of having to start work at noon and needing to hurry home.

I’d stop to inhale and admire the morning, but the pedestrians around me are jaywalking en masse. If I want to pretend to still belong here, NY4life, I’d better keep up. Once a jaywalker on First Avenue, always a jaywalker on First Avenue.

Friday, April 08, 2022

Recently, But Not That Recently

 Here's a family portrait I drew a few years ago. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

The Devil Has Texas

Today I learned that Daniel Johnston writing about the Spirit World rising was rooted in Kirby, just like his ducks.

Monday, April 04, 2022


 My mom reminded me of this photo from long ago...I miss that shirt!

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Fancy Living

Last night, I found myself digging around in my closet trying to find something "cocktail festive" to wear to the GLAAD awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton.

I'm a comic book editor and a travel writer. This wasn't part of the plan.

BUT...we won! It wasn't something where I had to go up and make a speech, but it was still awesome. Or maybe awesome because I didn't have to go up and make a speech. 

I threatened to take the bus home, but this thing was heavy! 

Saturday, April 02, 2022