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I'M A MAN!!!

Hello.

In case you're wondering about my title of this particular column, "I'M A MAN!!!", I really have no idea...I thought of a simple title relating to the Easter weekend but that seemed obvious and I really had no desire to espouse any religious opinions of any kind or wish any of you a Happy Easter...sorry. I mean, I hope your Easter is happy if you choose to celebrate this particular holiday, I really do,I'm not "anti-Easter" by any means. So, I guess I hope you have a Happy Easter. But that's not what this column's all about. And so I thought about writing something related to the books I've read this past week (which are many) but I couldn't think of anything catchy or clever. Perplexing since I'm usually quite clever and something of a wordsmith...I am a professional writer after all. So, it is rather puzzling that I couldn't think of some wondrous title relating to recent reads. Of course I really only gave myself about 12 seconds to think of something for the title of this column...didn't really give myself a fair chance one might say. I don't know why...given the opportunity--say, 15-30 seconds--I think I probably would've come up with something quite intelligent, indeed.

Sigh. But here's the rub! I'm impatient. I like to have things right away. I work that way, play that way, interact that way...I'm compulsive.

And so, when thinking for those, seemingly, long 12 seconds (an eternity to a compulsive, impatient person) I quickly lost patience and wrote the first random thought that popped into my head..."I'M A MAN!!!"

Like I said, I don't know why, and I'm sure "Freudian" psychologists would have plenty to say on the subject...That I'm overcompensating and deep down suffer from feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Maybe. It's possible I guess. They might hypothesize that I struggle with my sexuality and my inner woman cries to be released. Hmmm...interesting. I've sometimes wondered what it would be like to be a woman. I think I'd be a nymphomaniac if I was. Yes. Perhaps they would surmise from my title that I long to have my voice heard...that I feel people should recognize my greatness more and that because they have not that I am angry at the world and feel the necessity to stand up and scream for them to do so.

Again...perhaps. All very analytical and plausible conjectures.

Personally, I think it's because I wrote this right after inadvertently bumping myself in my genitalia region where my good buddy, one Mister Gregory Ott, rammed a shoulder into those same nether-regions whilst playing basketball this past Wednesday and has left me with one very sore pee pee. Maybe it just kind of reminded me that biologically I am, indeed, a man.

But hey, I'm no expert in pyschology, so what do I know.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!...

Besides my profound realization of my manhood recently, I have read some pretty darned cool comics this past week. And here's a couple quick recommendations...

CRIMINAL by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. A story about a lifetime criminal who is not only very good at being a criminal--meticulous in planning, never breaks his own rules and always has a way out if the gig goes south--but this guy is also one of those "bad" characters you just can't help rooting for. It doesn't hurt that the other bad guys in this story are a bunch of ruthless, honorless bastards that make the main character look lik Mother Theresa, I guess. This is a wonderfully wicked crime noir comic book by two of today's most talented comic book artists. And what a perfect match of writer and artists. Sean Phillips is one of my all-time favorite artists--ever since I first discovered his talent on Hellblazer many years back. He is a gifted one. He teeters ever so magnificently on the "comic book artist" "fine artist" razor's edge. His take on this series is brilliant and I find myself reading the panels over several times because I'm absolutely enthralled by his art. And that's a great thing...to be so absorbed by both the writing and the art that it literally takes me about three times as long to get through these comics as it would an average read.

And lest I forget Ed Brubaker's wonderful work I must also point out that I've been onboard the Brubaker bandwagon since he was a relative unknown on the indy circuit. Ed's got a way with these gritty, realistic, crime stories and he's really taken it to the next level with CRIMINAL. I am so glad Marvel decided to take a chance with a comic representing the crime genre again. But when you've got these two talents at the helm I guess the risk wasn't all that great now, was it?

And I've also been reading "THE END" FANTASTIC FOUR mini-series by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer. I'm at issue 4 of a 6 issue series and, once again, I am so enthralled with the beautiful artwork that this is probably taking much longer to read than usual. Alan Davis is, by far, one of the greatest artists to ever put pencil to comic book paper and Mark Farmer is one of the top 2 or 3 inkers ever! He should win "Best Inker" every friggin' year! And yet, for whatever mysterious reason, he's never even on any ballots!!! What the hell?

So, anyways, THE END is pretty darn kick ass so far and I'm pleased as punch that Alan has blossomed as not only a brilliant artist but a pretty darned good writer as well. His ideas are intelligent and what I would consider "lofty" in that he seems to like to write his stories on a grand scale. Just like with his popular THE NAIL mini-series he likes to involve a lot of the characters in each respective universe and write an epic storyline where some pretty big things happen..."lofty."

But I haven't finished this one yet so I can't give a final verdict...but come on!...It's Alan Davis! Every panel belongs framed and on a museum's wall somewhere!

'Nuff said!

Word!

r

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