Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Larry Norman

Larry Norman, also known as the Grandfather of Christian Rock, went to heaven Sunday night at age 61. Rolling Stone Magazine had named him the second most important songwriter next to Paul Simon. Nothing for nothing, Paul Simon's got nothing on him.

Larry never got the respect or recognition he deserved, and frankly I doubt he wanted it. He sang gorgeous, hopeful songs of the rapture and the second coming and fearful songs of the end times, songs that pleaded for salvation, songs that showed us how cool it could be to be a Christian and how uncool it could be to NOT be one. He'd make you laugh. He'd make you cry. His way of speaking was simple, his faith simple, his message so simple.

I had the good pleasure of seeing Larry in concert twice. His peaceful voice got straight to my heart so many times. He is a large reason I do what I do. A quote from his song UFO is the basis for my upcoming comic book series Colossians.

I am truly at a loss for words for what a tragic loss this world has suffered with his passing, and so grateful to Larry for his obedience to God and what his songs have meant to us.

I Hope I See You in Heaven, Larry. Thank you so much.

If you appreciated Larry as I did, you can leave his family a message at his message board off his home page.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Makin' Waves with Mecha Manga Bible Heroes

A few weeks back I talked briefly about a comic I co-wrote called Mecha Manga Bible Heroes.

The bad news is that Diamond Distributors decided not to carry it.

The good news is that lots of other right-thinking distributors and stores WILL be carrying it, and once the press release came out, everyone started talking about it!

How bout THEM apples chump?

Superhero Quiz

Go ahead and take it!

Apparantly I'm Spiderman... although Supergirl and Catwoman tied for a close second.
I think it was because I admitted to wearing a thong.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Musings at 39- Concerts

As the dad of teen and pre-teen daughters, one of the inevitable events has come to pass. It is the dreaded concert scene. We're talkin mondo bucks here people. Seriously. But hey, that's what second mortgages are for. In this case, it is the Jonas Brothers, one of whom my youngest is quite convinced she will marry.

Personally, I'm just glad I didn't need to endure Hannah Montana.

It brought me back to my first big concert, which was in 1985 at Nassau Collesium: Prince and the Revolution, with opener Sheila E, on the Purple Rain tour.

Sheila E, by the way, was worth the price of admission alone (I believe the tickets were about $85, which was a huge chunk of change for a $3.35 minimum wage part time dishwasher like moi). But as the electric organ held its first note to "Let's Go Crazy", and the lasers and smoke poured fourth, and Wendy and Lisa and the Doctor rocked in sync as the purple one rose up through a trap door in the floor, it was pure magic. They continued through his huge catalog of music for the next three hours, hitting fans with twenty minute renditions of "I Would Die 4U" and others, joined onstage by Jerome and Sheila E toward the end. Say what you want about Prince- he is a master entertainer.

I guess it is one of those "coming of age" things, as you begin to realize how huge the world is and how you can be a part of it, standing in the same (huge) room with the likes of Prince or the Jonas Brothers. It's amazing to see a celeb live and in person for the first time. It's exciting and inspiring. And I look forward to sharing that with my girls.

Button Up!

The very first Megazeen buttons- I just love stuff like this. Can't wait to show them off at the shows this year. The two designs selected are Joshua Warren's classic Megazeen logo and the cover art for the Colossians ashcan from 2005. More to come!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It Was 20 Years Ago Today...

Feb 7 1988. I drove my little 5-speed Dodge Omni to the college theater at William Paterson College. I was picking her up from work. It was our first date.

I remember staring at a painting in the lobby of some old lady (I later found out it was the person for whom the theater had been named), pretending to be interested in it so she’d be impressed with me when she turned the corner to find me. I don’t know whether it worked or not, but after a while the painting actually did grow on me.

When she emerged from the office she was every bit as lively and lovely as I’d grown to find her in our year of friendship. We made some small talk as we walked to the car, where I announced that we’d be dining at Masen’s Mountainside Inn, a restaurant I had worked in as a kitchen manager (read senior dishwasher) followed by a movie. I had planned on Masen’s not just for the familiarity, but also for the somewhat lengthy drive so we could spend more time talking our way through the transition from friends to couple. She later told me she was impressed that I had made the decision of where the evening would take us.

Dinner was wonderful- Lillian (my favorite waitress, a grandmotherly Edith Bunker type of woman) set us up in a private, dimly-lit corner booth. I don’t recall everything we talked about. I do recall that she mentioned an annoying habit her ex-boyfriend had of tossing wadded-up napkins all over the table, something I was careful never to do from then on. I recall how she told me that she could not tolerate sugar and learned about hypoglycemia that night. I recall laughing a lot and enjoying healthy conversation about family and relationships and college. I recall how fair her skin was in the candlelight, how green her eyes were and how hypnotizing her perfect voice was.

After dinner we headed over to the theater- I had selected some abominable movie like Lair of the Spider Woman, but Marie suggested Moonstruck (a movie she’d already seen, she told me later, but a far better choice for sure). We shared popcorn and held hands.

On the way home I drove her past my high school and house as we continued to talk. At some point, I believe I was turning the final bend on Otterhole Road in Bloomingdale, I found myself asking an unusual question. Since we were both former Catholics, and our families were Catholics, and I was now Baptist and she was a Nazarene, I pondered where/how we would get married.

Not kidding.

Finally, back in the parking lot of the college, we kissed an awkward soft kiss somehow amongst my bundled up ski jacket and her dress coat, and we said goodnight.

It remains to this day the best night of my life.