Sunday, February 25, 2007



Spare had several incarnations within the Hurricane Studios "Atlantis" project and was then adapted out of it later, but never made it very far. Spare was the story of a man who discovers he is a clone and only allowed to live to keep his original alive. Other stories and movies have taken on this concept over the last decade as well. I started off both writing and drawing it but Gary then took over the art. We completed a little more than a chapter.

The Book of Ed

The Book of Ed

The Book of Ed was a project done under the Hurricane Studios umbrella in the mid-90s. The idea was to combine a classic superhero with a crazy street preacher and have the comic have pages of text in a biblical format in concert with the pages of panel to panel. Gary did the art.

The Police ... (pro and con)

The Police

Reunited and it feels so good ...

I am excited about The Police Reunion. And, had I the resources and had been actually paying attention to the fact that the tickets went on sale yesterday I would have purchased me a seat.

In a previous blog entry I discussed The Tours I Never Got To See. One of the ones I really wanted to see was The Police. I eventually saw Sting in concert solo (a great 1993 performance in Seattle) but still never had the chance to see the band.

I must now take the opportunity to once again plug Paul's Basement dot org ( in reference to the concert article Jason wrote about how much The Police tour I missed sucked. Last night, the conversation turned to this subject ... and I must admit I was being a bit hopeful when I made the argument that they would be better now ...

I still want to go.

I will be getting a Rose Tattoo ...

I will be getting a Rose Tattoo ...

... but not until my mother passes ...

Last night while walking with old friends heading to the Buttrock Suites show (which is a spectacle like no other, I am NOT making that up) the conversation turned to tattoos. I do not have any tattoos. But, when I was much younger did promise my mother that I would never get one, at least not as long as she lives.

Well, she's still alive and I want to get a Rose Tattoo for my daughter (and something regarding my son) but feel duty bound to honor that promise.

My friends don't believe that I should be under any obligation to honor a promise made when I was that age. They at least said I could get one that she would never see, (I am not getting a hidden tattoo for my daughter, that would be kind of creepy) and well, I was not old enought to actually contract. However, I will honor it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tony Bennett ...

Tony Bennett ...

... not the singer ... the Wazzu mens hoops coach, was an NBA player for a few years back in the early to mid 90s. So, I stopped by a card shop tonight and asked to flip through a box of old cards. While doing so the conversation turned to why I was looking through those cards and, of course, I mentioned the Cougs beating the Dawgs in Seattle the night before in a huge game that featured two very good teams playing a memorable and meaningful game.

With very liitle actual work - and a bit of help from the Dawgfan slash owner - I found a rookie card of our coach.

Given that the Cougs had won ... I got the card for free ....

Topps Stadium Club 1992 #238

I am not the father ...

I am not the father ...

of Anna Nicole Smith's baby ...

... just for the record.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Yet another pet peeve (or two) ...

Pet Peeves ...

I have always had this pet peeve about people from Eastern Washington (especially Spokane) referring to Seattle as "The Coast" for obvious geographical reasons ...

But really, what bugs me these days are ads on the radio from ticket brokers.

It doesnt matter that they advertise nicely, or offer delivery, or have a national association, they are still just scalpers. It is good that the real box offices do things to slow them down from buying all the tickets (even with the ridiculous ticket service charges) but scalping is still scalping.

JD Solo ...

JD Solo (with Cam Michaelis)

These pages were to be the first part of an introduction to the character JD Solo. There was a company called Newcomers (if memory serves) that was going to run this in their anthology, but then they stopped publishing during the mid-90s comic book glut and market collapse.

The Edwards Scenario

The Edwards Scenario

Basically, given that the Democratic nomination is Hillary’s to lose, the only really viable candidate running is John Edwards. There are a number of declared candidates, but most of them have little chance against the name recognition of Edwards or the war chest of Hillary.

I would have thought that Obama was never going to declare. It seemed more likely that he would look at this year as worth having dipped his toe in the water, but that failing to win now would end his political career too early. His recent comments about presidential politics being like a reality television show are very telling. I guess if he hadn't done it now he would have looked wishy washy or something, I don't know.

Clark is not going to get in the race and get the traction needed. I like him and supported him in the caucuses in 2004, but it is clear he needs more exposure to mount a future run. A cabinet position or the veep slot on a Clinton ticket would be a nice fit for him.

Biden. Not a chance. Dennis Kucinich, Tom Vilsack, Chris Dodd, et al all probably have hopes of catching a wave of support, but that seems to be unlikely given the intense coverage that Hillary, Obama, and Edwards get.

Many of my friends on the right hate Hillary. But, to their surprise they find out how much she is loathed by the truly progressive left. She is thought of as this crazy liberal, but the crazy liberals don’t really consider her to be one of them any more. The real electoral chance the party has in 08 (short of an Al Gore comeback that is not going to happen) lies in an Edwards campaign. Edwards was a solid member of an ineptly run Kerry campaign. He has the name recognition that does not carry with it the strong negatives Hillary brings. Edwards can carry the Kerry blue states without losing many of them and can bring in a few red states. He may not be the best candidate in the field, but he has the best chance in a national campaign.

In 04 there was all of this perceived momentum for Dean, yet the party regulars turned out for the guy that they thought would be a better national candidate. I can see all the attention going to Hillary and Obama, but the votes actually turning out for Edwards in Iowa and New Hampshire. The toughest sell for Edwards is that he is a better national or general election candidate than he is as a primary candidate.

Unless I am also completely wrong about the whole Draft Al Gore Movement. At least I hope so.
*** I wrote this assuming Obama would not run and changed it for this posting ....

Friday, February 09, 2007

Other sports ... (Ephemera Project)

Other sports ... (Ephemera Project)

I have not been to as cool a sporting event in my life as when the bro and I went to the Women's Luge Finals in Utah during the 2002 Winter Olympics. It was an amzing and beautiful day. We walked the Gold Medal Mile (which was basically a gimick to get people to walk up the mountain to minimize the traffic - you got a pin for doing it) and found our spot. Our mother even called us and found us on Canadian television (always better coverage than US stations) during the live coverage. I have never been so cold in my life as when the sun went down. I could not have taken any night time photos since they put blue masking tape over every flash bulb to keep disposable cameras from causing the death of a luger.

I have been to rodeos, bull riding, and other events like the following :

12.29.84 Truck Drag and Tractor Pull SCC
3.15.86 USHRA Motorsports in the KD
8.8.86 Golden Gloves Boxing Mercer
2.27.04 UW v UCLA Gymnastics, Hec Ed, + one other incl SPU, UA (+ WSU Gymnastic 86-87)

College Volleyball - WSU en mass, UI vs LBSt 11.7.96 Memorial Gym

Senior PGA Tour event - GTE Classic 1990

8.22.96 Emerald Downs, but no Longacres, off track when in Reno

1.9.04 Vancouver Ravens vs Calgary Roughnecks, L 8-10 GM Place w/Ringo - early lead then comeback, another of the coller sporting events I have ever attended ...

The Book of Lists (Ephemera Project)

The Book of Lists (Ephemera Project)

Back when I was in elementary and junior high I had this huge book of lists. I would keep track of all of the records I had. I would keep track of the states I had visited. I had detailed lists of all of the games my teams played from season to season with the game scores and my personal stats. I used to catch and lot of crap from some of my friends for that book, but I still in many ways continue that habit. And, truth to be told, it was a huge binder. The Ephemera Project is a logical extention of those old lists, even though the old lists themselves have long since been lost.

What I would not give for the youth sports results lists I had from elementary school ...

An example of the types of things I would list is plane rides. I actually came up with this from memory back in 02 on the way to Salt Lake for the Winter Olympics with my brother. I thought it was funny to point out to him that it would be my 25th flight on that trip, which was the same number of flights the Space Shuttle Program had when it exploded the first time. He did not find it funny. He didn't find it funny when I pretended to panic in 97 when going over the bridge in Portland when I told him and Tim that I was afraid of bridges and heights either. Sometimes I just have to be a little brother.

30 Plane Rides

1-2 Seattle to SF round trip (5-85)
3 LA to Seattle one way (6/87)
4-5 Seattle to Reno round trip (11-89)
6-9 Seattle to Frankfurt with stops in London round trip (6-90)
10-11 Seattle to Reno round trip (8-93)
12-13 Seattle to LA round trip (6-94)
14-15 Spokane to Seattle round trip (12-95)
16-17 Seattle to Dallas round trip (8-96)
18-19 Seattle to Pullman round trip (10-96)
20-21 Seattleto Dallas round trip (8-99)
22-23 Seattle to LA round trip (4-01)
24-25 Seattle to Salt Lake City round trip (2-02)
26-29 Seattle to New York City with stops in Cincinnati and Minneapolis round trip (6-04)
30 Seattle Seaplane Tour (3-25-05)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Innuendo (?!?)

Innuendo (?!?)

Back in the 80s, before Hurricane Studios and before Keeper Studios, I worked some of my creative endeavors under the heading of Innuendo (?!?).

During this time I produced a couple of small “chapbooks” of short stories and poetry with print runs of 200 and a price of $2.00 per book. Much to my surprise I actually recouped a lot of the costs associated with these projects and got a lot of positive feedback.

Gary and I were also trying to record an EP of four songs under the band name of Rhetoric with the EP tentatively to be titled “Pride and Anxiety”. The album was to consist of four covers; Steve Martin’s “King Tut”, David Bowie’s “Rock and Roll Suicide”, The Police’s “Invisible Sun”, and … I will have to look up the other one. The best intentions and lack of time before basic training meant that this project was one that was never finished.

Looking back, I cringe like all writers do at the work I did, but so be it. In order to get progression creatively in any of the arts that is just a part of things.



The year was 1986. I was a freshman at Wazzu and eating in the dorm cafeteria one day when my roommate chided me for salting my food so much. It was no big deal, I would grab the salt shaker and sprinkle a little salt on stuff. He challenged me to not salt my food for a week. I was thinking that was a bit silly, but up for the challenge. He then told me to go right back to salting it again the same way the following week. He was taking a nutrition class or something and was trying to prove a point about there being enough salt added to most foods that it was never necessary to salt food anymore.

A week passed.

I did not salt my food.

The following week I grabbed the salt shaker and went to work. It was disgusting. I could not eat it. In one week my taste buds had adjusted to the lack of additional salt. To this day I simply don’t grab the salt shaker.

I have told this story enough times now …

Thai Kickboxing

Thai Kickboxing

The bumps, bruises, and other fun things associated with taking tae kwon do three nights a week just weren’t enough for me. Last February, I took Master Richards up on his Black Belt Club offer and added two nights a week of Thai Kickboxing to my schedule.

So, as I was a deputy black belt and was progressing toward my black belt in one martial art I found myself once again wearing the white belt in another martial art.

Where tae kwon do is focused primarily on the legs and kicking, the kickboxing class has an emphasis on upper body moves. The first several classes damn near killed my shoulders. Over time I felt noticeably stronger and found that my shoulders and neck and chest fit in my tee shirts a bit more snugly. A friend even pointed out that I appeared to have buffed up a bit, which was very kind of her.

I am of the belief that the extra upper body strength I developed from the second martial art directly contributed to the lack of severe injury and ability to come back quickly from the recent rollover accident I had.

The recent WTO ruling brings back memories ...

I never tire of telling this story:

It was the weekend prior to the WTO meetings in Seattle in 1999. I had to go down to the Westin to pick up my Seattle Marathon race materials and the protesters were already out in force. There were a lot of them and yet I was able to get through pretty easy. If memory serves, inventor of “The Internets” Al Gore was in town that day and so the protesters had someone to focus on early. There had been a prank pulled on the local papers by protestors that week.

The morning of the race we ran down Fifth Avenue and passed a large group of protesters. These protestors were not blocking us, they were cheering us on. I remember seeing some women holding their signs, sipping coffee, and waiving politely. It occurred to me at that moment that maybe things would not get out of hand.

The next night all Hell broke loose. The city went into lockdown. I drove past the protests on I5 and the Viaduct and saw the lights and smoke from the ongoing rioting. Students from classes I was subbing were covering the protests and I heard some really interesting first hand accounts. Now, a movie is being made about it. People were arrested. The city and local politicians handled this poorly, incredibly so.

But, when I would hear how the protestors had succeeded I had to laugh. The following year, with so much hype and so many claims of success, both parties were so afraid of the fallout that they both nominated pro-free trade candidates. In the age of instant communications not being able to get to meetings doesn’t stop anything. Free trade agreements have gone into effect. Market Fundamentalism (as described in Tom Paine dot com) has continued to plow forward.

Recently, the City of Seattle was ruled to have violated the civil rights of the protesters. Duh. The leaders of the time have mostly been tossed out of office. The new ones can’t get anything done about the Viaduct six years after an earthquake. But, when I look back on what I remember of the coverage of the riots one image really stands out. I remember the protesters coming out of the jail to hero’s welcome, a couple of them looking smug, like they had actually accomplished something.

I still agree with what I wrote in December 1999.

From the original Shotgun Prose December 1999
WTO Protests
If you're on the street, you're not at the table.
The one thing I've learned in my studies of politics and society is that change rarely comes from protests any more. The WTO might have been disrupted, the City of Seattle might have received a black eye, but nothing changed in regards to policy. The ONLY way US policy regarding the WTO will ever change is if it becomes an election issue for federal offices.
The protestors claimed to have "changed the world" on the news. Nothing changed because you did what the WTO wanted, which was to stay out on the street where you can't actually influence policy.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Back in the 2000 primary season Orrin Hatch decided to throw his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination. I distinctly remember one commentator asking why would Hatch bother to run, since it didn’t appear that Hatch himself seemed to know.

Well, now Joe Biden is running again and I can’t help but think of the same thing.

All I can really come up with is that if you are in the US Senate long enough you have to run or they look at you funny on the Senate floor. It seems like since every senator thinks that they should be the next president one must at least make an attempt after a while.

But, Biden is proving to be a doof. He says stupid things. And, although some will try and spin that to say that he is not programmed and phony, it is not a positive reflection on him when they have to spin that for saying something dumb.

What will happen to the poor souls that decide to back his candidacy and slap a sticker on their car?


From the original Shotgun Prose January 2000

Hatch 2000
I actually saw a car on I-5 with a "Hatch 2000" bumper sticker. That makes one each for Hatch, Keyes, Bradley, Gore, Bush, McCain, Forbes, and one anti-Gore. Boy, things are really heating up around here.

The origins and incarnations of Shotgun Prose

The origins and incarnations of Shotgun Prose

Unlike the shifting origin of Wolverine, Shotgun Prose has a simple and easy origin.

Back in my college columnist days a fairly prissy copy editor did not like my writing style. He said it was like I was just blasting with a shotgun and hoping to hit something. I paraphrase here, but the gist is clear.

So, I actually took that as a badge of honor, since so much of the stuff I continue to read is narrowly focus and lacking in context. I might meander and ramble at times and find tangents to be a normal way of discussing and defending topics, but by doing so I am able to draw all of my thoughts together on a subject.

In 1999, I started something similar to a blog on a web page. I was going to do a monthly recap of thoughts and ideas. But, at the time the limited computer access I had made it impossible to really make that work. There were several months of attempts, but I could never really get it going. I did manage to get some thoughts down on issues related to the WTO Riots, Hillary running for the Senate in 2000, and the like, but it never really panned out.

A few years ago when attempting Nanowrimo ( I used the Shotgun Prose name to blog about it.

However, when I decided to really give this blog thing a shot, I still felt like the name needed to be used. I like it. Hence, the Shotgun Prose blog on blogspot.

16 weeks of couch potato Wednesday nights has begun ...

Fans get too possessive …

This is something I noticed back in high school, what you like defines yourself to others and will play a role in the formation of groups. Other people seem to care an awful lot about what you like, as though it is a reflection back on them. In politics, I am convinced that a lot the climate change opposition among many Conservatives is because they don’t like the people who back it and therefore don’t want to be associated with it.

Shows like Lost generate intense and loyal followings. In just a couple of years there has become something of a bandwagon jumping on for people who missed it at first and are now catching up. For some reason, people deciding to watch the show now is bothering the people who watched it at first, as though it somehow will make the show less enjoyable to those who happened to find the show at first. And, let’s face it, that is all that happened, some people just stumbled onto it first.

This is one of those pet peeve things. Someone tells me I should be watching something, that I am really missing out. So, I watch it and enjoy it and catch some reruns and recaps and now am on the way to enjoying how the story unfolds. But, because I am not home a lot and didn’t see it right away, I am supposedly not a real fan in the eyes of those who stumbled across it first. Whoop de doo. If I don’t watch it I am missing out, but if I do watch it I can’t consider myself a fan? Bite me.

The late Andy Wood was quoted in City Heat many years ago as not caring about who his fans were. It bothered him that people cared about what others liked. He just wanted people to come out and have a good time to the music.

My bro was giving me a hard time that I was having to have the show taped, that if I was a real fan I would watch it live. Well, with the switch to ten o’clock it is now harder for him to catch it because of his early schedule. I pointed out to him recently that if he was a real fan he would stay up and he gave me that pursed lip look he so often has given me.

So, last night a sixteen week stretch of couch potato Wednesdays began … and even though it is basically the only show I watch regularly I am not a real fan because other Lost fans don’t think so.

The autograph game ...


There was a recent story I read about a retired baseball player that found a box of old mail so he decided to go ahead and sign the items sent and to write back to those who had sent the letters years earlier. I found this to be cool for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that a relatively minor pro athlete would get so much mail.

See, for a while there I would drop a card in the mail with a SASE and ask for autographs. I probably got 75 percent of them back pretty promptly. It was a good way to get a lot of cards signed and since I could also keep the envelopes I had a sort of certificate of authenticity. (Unless they were being signed by staff, a certain amount of faith is placed in the process.)

I had tried on a number of occasions to get cards signed by going down really early to when the players would come to the stadium. It was like a circus. Players would get mobbed. I didn’t like it. It felt like so many of those items would just be immediately sold. In 1990 I can distinctly remember getting Erik Hansen’s card signed and watching as the crowd moved on to the next player. Hansen looked back over his shoulder and silently went in the stadium. No one continued to chat with him once the item was signed. I stopped doing that.

There is such a large amount of presumed fraud in the autograph market that I just don’t buy autographs on general principle. Often I will have a card or item personalized, which actually enhances the value to me but cuts its sales potential sharply. I hope that the athletes notice that.

On the wall in the kids’ room is an autographed photo of Shaq as a Laker. It was procured in a slightly different way. When the kids were really little I was watching the NBA Finals when the announcer gave one of those cute anecdotes about a player to try and make the player sound more interesting than just being an athlete. It was disclosed that Shaq likes to go to the zoo when he travels. So, I told the kids and we took a picture of them from the zoo and sent it to Shaq in Los Angeles with an invitation to go to Woodland Park the next time the Lakers were in town.

In short order the kids received a package from Shaq. They had been added to the Shaq Kids Club. Every year since they get cards and stickers, although they are no longer Lakers purple and yellow they are now Heat red and black. Well, in one of those packages in the fall of 2001 were these inflatable beach ball basketballs. Unfortunately, the material was packaged with a sort of talcum powder to keep the non-inflated plastic from sticking together.

Remember the fall of 2001? This was just after 911. Anthrax was being mailed around the country in the form of a white powder from somewhere in Florida. The return address was Florida. I couldn’t imagine it was Anthrax but I called the Lakers just in case. I was referred to a couple of different people, leading to a fairly frantic call from one of David Stern’s main people from NBA headquarters in New York who assured me that he had looked in on it after my call and that he was assured it was safe. The underlying current, don’t sue us for you getting freaked out. I was satisfied.

A few weeks later, a personalized 8 by 10 color glossy photo from Shaq and letters thanking me for basically not freaking out (in not so many words) came in the mail. This was not one of those obviously mechanically reproduced signatures, it was clear that a marker was used. I tend to believe that Shaq really signed that one.

Lt. Uhura, you're everywhere ...

Star Trek Tech

I see those ear pieces that people are now getting that are called a blue tooth. They look all high tech and like they are from a really bad 1990s science fiction cable television show. Every time I see one I want to say “Hi Uhura” to the person wearing it. They might work well, but despite what others may think, they look ridiculous.

Of course, I still want to say, “Scotty, beam me up!” into every flip phone I see …

Ten years without caffeine ...

My First Period Class was afraid of me.

I love coffee. I love the taste. I love the smell. I love the warm feeling. I even like iced coffee drinks. And for ten years this month I have not been able to have real coffee. I have had decaf everything.

It was joked in my 20s that my blood type was “House Blend”. I would drink pots and pots of coffee a day, huge cups of it at a time. When I went to Italy and was introduced accidentally to straight espresso I even started to scare people with how much coffee and caffeine I could consume.

And then it came back to haunt me. I was in the shower and lost my balance and hit my head and found out that I have a type of low blood pressure. The doctor “recommended” that I not just cut back on the caffeine, but that I eliminate it.

I did.

For a month I had headaches that you would not believe.

In May of that year when finishing up my student teaching my first period class disclosed their general fear of me. Well, I was going through caffeine withdrawals that semester and probably took some of it out on them.

And to this day, I avoid caffeine. It is an absolute pain to do so. At stadiums I have to order Sprite or its equivalent and can rarely get decaf coffee. I go to parties and can’t find anything to drink other than water. On occasion I have accidentally had the caffeine and get a jolt from it. When I order an Irish Coffee I usually have to wait for them to brew up the decaf.

People will ask me how I do it. I usually make something up about diet and exercise and drinking water that has some measure of truth in it. Basically, it is still sometimes hard to do when there is a Starbucks on every corner …

The only real exception has been at Ozzfest this summer. It was muggy and getting to the water fountains could take a while. There was an energy drink giving away free cans … and since it was early and going to be a long day I drank a couple of them. Hole Moley Andy! I can’t remember getting a buzz like that in years. The headache I had the next day was for different reasons than the headaches many other concert goers probably had.

But, here it is, ten years on and I still stay away from the caffeine.

This is not Mrs. Berlusconi ...

Former Italian Prime Minister and AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi got himself into trouble recently for comments about other women that upset his wife. The Italian media and public seemed to truly enjoy the soap opera like scene that led to his very public apology.

Well … I don’t care about that. It just made me think about posting these photos of another Italian beauty and AC Milan supporter, Cristina Scabbia.

On CONCACAF ... (Oxymoron project)

On Concacaf

Last night’s 2-0 win by the USMNT over Mexico and upcoming CONCACAF events led to a conversation with a friend over the value of CONCACAF.

CONCACAF is not as strong as other federations. Everyone knows that. However, the thought that it is a joke should be re-examined.

There are a lot of soccer snobs in this country. There are those that view Europe as the be all and end all of soccer and refuse to watch or support anything that doesn’t originate from the big leagues of Europe. I will agree that European soccer is likely the best overall, and given the financial strength of the tops leagues, the top players tend to migrate there from all over the world. But, that does not mean soccer in this hemisphere is not worth watching.

20 years ago CONCACAF was a joke. There was nothing like a true regional championship. There was little in the way of finances outside of Mexico driving any of the countries to success internationally. Mexico was trying to get into COMNEBOL, there was nothing on the radar to restart true pro soccer in the US, and the Canadian Soccer League was in its first season.

Since then, The USA has hosted a World Cup, qualified for every other one, and made the quarterfinals in 02. MLS has gone through growing pains but steadily emerged as a solid league with players coveted by the major powers. Whereas nothing was once on television, we have a nearly gluttonous supply of national, regional, and international soccer regularly to watch. Even CONCACAF club and country internationals are available on cable in the form of Champions Cup and Gold Cup matches.

The level of play has risen steadily. Mexico asked for the Gold Cup, got it, and now that’s not good enough for it either. This is a classic case of getting what you ask for when you really don’t want it, but are trying to look reasonable. Mexico will never be happy until it gets out of CONCACAF and into COMNEBOL or forces a merger. The CONCACAF Champions Cup may not be the Copa Libertadores, but given that the winner now gets the World Club Cup spot, I cannot imagine anything other than a sharp rise in play in the works.

World Cup Qualifying is brutal in this region. Where many of these countries are hardly powers, they are impressive and difficult on their home soil. I often wonder how many points from a series of qualifiers a European power would get playing in San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, Mexico City, Kingston, and San Jose. The simple truth is that although the USMNT has become a dominant team in this region, those matches will be brutal because those teams have improved.

I don’t think soccer fans should watch it just to watch it and therefore support mediocrity, but it is not the joke it once was. It would be nice for the Eurosnobs to recognize that.

Picture on this posting is from WC94 - USA 2 Colombia 1, Rose Bowl

Paul's Basement

Paul's Basement

I refer to something called Paul’s Basement in a number of blog entries so I thought it might be a good idea to explain what it is for those who read this and have no idea what I am referring to.

Paul’s Basement is a web site put together by four fellow alums of Mountlake Terrace High School as a means to create a collective memoir before all the stories we tell are lost like the great oral traditions of the past that were never recorded. I am a guest writer that has had a number of essays posted on the site as well. The guys who are the Fantastic Four of Paul’s Basement are gracious enough to have a number of us add our two cents worth to the collective story being told.

For a more detailed description of what it is and how it came to be I suggest for your perusal. There is some interesting and funny stuff on there and it is worth checking out from time to time.

"the comic book shop"

the comic book shop
a KEEPER Studios Production
“the comic book shop”

In April of 2000, feeling very frustrated creatively over my inability to really get anywhere creatively I asked Paige, the owner of Corner Comics in Kenmore, for a favor. If I were to put together a script for an idea I had for a sitcom would I be able to film it there. She agreed. I quickly got to work writing up the script of what would become the only episode ever filmed of “the comic book shop”.

Using connections of friends and acquaintances I managed to get enough people together to fill in the cast, given that my budget was at least tens and tens of dollars. Pre-production photos were taken. We rehearsed and walked through the script a couple of times. We had to change a major cast member at the last minute. In September we filmed a dress rehearsal; the footage becoming the opening credits so it looked like there were other episodes. In October on a Friday night and a Saturday morning we filmed the majority of the project. In January we filmed one more morning to complete what we missed or got wrong.

By April the editing was done and the show made its cable debut in April 2001 on SCAN in Seattle. Eventually it would be on about 15 times over the next year. I also had a partial screening at 911 Media and it also was on for three months.

There are a lot of things about “the comic book shop” I am proud of. There are a few editing glitches. The lack of a laugh track kind of makes segue ways drag more than I realized they would. But, in the end, it is out there, and even though no one took a bite on it, the project was valuable and worth doing.

As soon as I get the opportunity over the next few months a portion of the show will be on, maybe the entire thing in three or four chunks.