Saturday, May 29, 2010

For the Veterans...


If I were keeping on-track with my Sepia Saturday posts, earlier today would have been a great day to discuss my father's military record in World War II, since this is Memorial Day Weekend! Unfortunately, I haven't had time to find and scan the photos which will accompany that upcoming post, so I decided to post a filler of sorts instead.

My father didn't discuss his own military career at all. Ever. He made vague references to the army and the war, but that was it. For whatever reason, he (and I) did watch a lot of the 1960's television programs which dealt with WWII, like Combat, Hogan's Heroes, Twelve O'Clock High, The Rat Patrol, Garrison's Gorillas, and others. We also watched a lot of old war movies on TV. He even took me -- without my mother and sister -- to the drive-in on two separate occasions when I was a boy, to see Battle of the Bulge and The Dirty Dozen.

But, as I said, there were few occasions when he and I even discussed soldiering in general, and I'd like to share one brief instance with you today.

My parents were very supportive of my reading habits, including -- unlike some parents -- my love for comic books. How could they object to comics, when the comics I read spurred me to constantly crack open the World Book Encyclopedia? I'd read an issue of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos and go to the World Book to learn more about this "Hitler" guy they'd mentioned. I'd read Journey into Mystery (featuring The Mighty Thor) and spend hours reading World Book entries about Norse mythology.

There was one issue of Sgt. Fury (pictured at top) which my father noticed, and thought was rather stupid:

His main objection was that the Nazis on the cover of this comic were firing their weapons "point blank" at the heroes... and missing.

I guess he felt like the critics of the sitcom Hogan's Heroes did, who said things more or less like "If the Nazis were really that incompetent, the war would have ended in a matter of days!"

* * * * *

The other thing I'd like to share for Memorial Day is a true anecdote. (This is edited from a comment I left on someone else's blog shortly before the November 2008 Presidential Election.)

One day, in a grocery store parking lot, I called out "Thanks, man!" to the driver of a rather beat-up looking pickup truck.

"For what?" asked the guy, who looked to be in his late fifties or early sixties.

I pointed to the bumper sticker on the back of his truck, which read, "If you love your freedom... Thank a Vet!"

"Oh, that," he said. "I've had that on there almost as long as I've had the truck. In all that time, you're only the second guy who's ever said anything about it."

I walked away, feeling rather ashamed for all of us "civilians."

I don't care what your politics are, nor which party you vote for on election day. If it weren't for our liberties -- liberties which our armed forces have maintained for our sakes -- either you or I would be forced to accept the other's choice. Or you and I would be forced to accept a third person's choice! And that would be many times worse than letting the "lesser" of two candidates get elected.

It's men and women like those whom Tom Brokaw referred to as "The Greatest Generation" (as well as those who came before and after them, too, of course) who have gone where this country has sent them -- regardless of whether they felt the war was "justified" -- to insure that you, myself, and everyone else in the USA -- and I certainly don't mean to slight servicemen and women in other countries as well, although I'm speaking mainly for myself and my own country this time around -- have kept the rights and freedoms we were given over 200 years ago... And today's post is dedicated in honor & remembrance of all of them.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chickening Out ~~ A "Flash 55" Post




"Chicken again?" he said to his wife. "Almost every night, chicken! Fried... roasted... chicken salad sandwiches... chicken soup...! How about a nice steak, or some pork chops?"

"Excuse my interruption..." said his wife. "The economy's been picking up. Did you bother looking for a job today?"

"Uhhh, no..."

"So, you were saying...?"

"Pass the chicken."

* * * * *

This is the third time I've tried a "Flash 55" story. Click on the link to find out more.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Everybody Sing Along!



Finally, my great friend and writing partner, Skip Simpson, and his ex-wife (and my newest friend), Sandy Herbert, have confirmed (on Skip's blog) what I've known about for a while: They've not only gotten back together, but two years from yesterday -- I'm posting this just after midnight on May 26th -- they're getting remarried!

Well, you know I couldn't let such an announcement pass without more than a little fanfare, so I'm giving you an instrumental (and shortened) version of "Love and Marriage," the classic by Frank Sinatra which was used as the theme for Married with Children, with my own lyrics available right below it so you can follow along!


Skip and Sandy

Skip and Sandy, Skip and Sandy,
Back together and it's all just dandy!
Screw the stormy weather,
It's Skip and Sandy, back together!

Skip and Sandy, Skip and Sandy,
Like Hume Cronyn and his wife, Jess Tandy,
I hate to use "forever,"
But they'll grow old'n'grey together!

Serenading her outside her home...
He's so romantic!
True, at first, she almost called the cops...
The girl was frantic!

Skip and Sandy, Skip and Sandy,
She's the cultured one, and he's just randy!
Whips... and chains... and leather...
It's sweet and pure!
(Good luck to her!)
It's "goo-goo," sure!
But they're together!

Congratulations, Skip & Sandy!

And thanks for your time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Norman's Perfect Murder Scheme -- A "Flash 55" Post


Being the wordy sort, to say the least, I've only tried a "Flash 55" story once before. Here's my second attempt.

* * * * *

Norman wanted to kill Burt!

Burt had countless friends. (Potential witnesses!)

Burt inhabited an island cottage on a small lake.

Late tonight, Norman insured (via binoculars) that Burt had no guests. Norman grinned, knife at his side, and dove into the lake. (No boat rental, no evidence!)

Only then, Norman remembered that he couldn't swim...

* * * * *

And now, for something much more serious:

I just learned that May is ALS Awareness Month.

I have more than a passing familiarity with this disease, unfortunately.

In my sidebar, I have a link to something which I, my own worst critic, refer to as "Probably the Best Thing I Ever Wrote." It's an as-yet-unpublished memoir that began as a proposed seven-part series of blog posts on my old, retired "David'Z RantZ" blog, entitled My Island. I say "began" because typically, I ended up writing a lot more than I'd originally intended. I finished the story twenty-eight chapters (and an epilogue) later!

If you're one of those who misses my multi-part stories, you might want to check it out for yourself. As a friendly warning, I should mention that it's a bit "saltier" than my usual "Foxyblog" entries. Nothing remotely pornographic, I hasten to add, but there's a very important reason why the personnel in this story act more like "real people." It's because they are -- or were -- real people.

Having said that... you're on your own. I hope you sample the first four or five chapters before deciding whether or not it's your proverbial "cup of tea." And even though it was posted almost two years ago, I would absolutely love reading any new comments which you wish to add.

End of commercial message. Thanks for your time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Tippy's Lessons" ~~ A "Theme Thursday" PET Post


Wow. I haven't done a "Theme Thursday" post in quite a while, have I?

This one ought to make you all wonder...

I originally wrote this one-pager about ten years ago, in response to a situation involving a close friend named Jennifer. (She was one of approximately 47 Jennifers I've met in the last thirty years or so, several of whom have become quite close to me, at least for a time. I've always enjoyed "one-on-one" time with my closest friends, but Jennifer was so popular that there were always visitors -- mostly guys -- because Jen was fun to be around, and frankly, somewhat easily seduced.

Anyway, the little story I wrote for her wasn't about her, exactly. It was about one of my pets! My first pet, a cat named Tippy. (And no, I didn't name him!)

I didn't have time to transcribe the story, so you're stuck with a scan of the original. Sorry! In order to read it, right-click on it and open it in a new tab or window, please! Hopefully, you'll be able to read it then!


Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

David'Z RantZ ~~ Meet the New Boss...



Someday, the human race may collectively go insane (more than it has already), and I may indeed be elected -- or appointed -- King of the Entire World.

Laugh if you want, but in the meantime, be nice to me... just in case I'm right.

Naturally, I'll have several new rules for Planet Earth. One of them will be that anyone who claims to love anyone else -- romantically, or even platonically -- will not be allowed, under penalty of...

Well, not death, certainly, but some other penalty that's pretty extreme. I'll come up with that later, when the time comes.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.

Anyone who claims to love anyone else -- romantically or platonically -- will not be allowed to predict anything about their relationship which uses the words "forever," "always," "eternally," "for the rest of my life," etc.

Just to keep things honest. And realistic.

The very first completed collaboration between myself and Skip Simpson (circa 1982) included the following phrase (written by Yours Truly, of course):

"Love always," what a colossal joke!

Yep. Almost thirty years younger than I am today, and I was already that perceptive!

And you thought I didn't become a genius until after I started my blogs? For shame!

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No Photos THIS Time!


Would a video (or photos) of cats having sex be considered "kitty porn?"

Thanks for your time.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Garfield(s)


As I said in a recent post, "I've always had a particular affinity for [Abraham] Lincoln, perhaps linked to the fact that the last successful assassination attempt on a US president -- John F. Kennedy -- occurred during my own youth." This "affinity" extends to the other three assassinated US presidents -- Kennedy, McKinley, and Garfield -- as well as Lincoln. Kennedy, of course, because he was shot when I was an impressionable seven-year-old; Garfield, primarily because of a great Robert Klein routine which I heard when I was in high school; McKinley... not so much.

But it's President James Abram Garfield whom I wish to discuss today.

I actually own one of these memorial plates, issued shortly after
Garfield's tragic death in 1881 and valued between $75 and $85 today!

I believe the first time I made the connection between the slain president and the comic strip Garfield (the famous cat) was in 1986, when a two-issue comic book mini-series called The Phony Pages was released. It was a collection of reprints (from Alan Light's Buyer's Guide for Comics Fandom) by artist Terry Beatty which parodied many famous comic strips and comic books. The first issue contained this little gem:


Since then, others have latched onto this idea as well, notably a website called Garfield As Garfield, which replaces the feline Garfield with images of the president. All of the strips published on the site since its beginning in July of last year have been similar to this:


However, it seems like no one has acted on my idea... and by "my idea," I must confess that after more than twenty years, I honestly don't recall whether said idea was actually mine, or that of my then-employer Paul Howley, owner of the "pop culture emporium" known as That's Entertainment as well as the author of his own blog, My Life With Comics.

Artist's conception of Paul Howley... well, sorta!

My idea -- or Paul's! -- was to manufacture stuffed toys in the image of President Garfield, complete with suction cups on their hands and feet so you could stick them to your car window.

And for that "special touch," I'd even include a bullet hole in their backs.

Sure, it's sick... but it's well after midnight, and I'm so loopy-tired that even my own cat won't talk to me!

(And Paul? If you want to go ahead and manufacture these things, can I at least get a royalty?)

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Honey of a Character! (or, "Ambushed!")


This (true) story originally appeared on the Simpson/Lynch Studios blog, but has since been deleted from there. Anyone who reads that blog as well as this one has probably seen it. If you've already seen it... oh, well. But I'm betting you probably haven't.

* * * * *

The team of Simpson and Lynch was formed in the early 1980s. In relatively short order, we had several concepts upon which we wanted to collaborate. Some of these got completed, and offered to publishers, comic strip syndicates, etc.

The very first comic S'n'L offered was -- I'm quoting from my own article about Mark Slamm, the Humiliator, on the Simpson/Lynch Studios blog, here! -- "a comic strip called Hawklad (which was later published as a comic book called The Bird). We received seven rejections from seven newspaper syndicates. Two of those seven said that they liked our stuff, but wanted to see something other than a funny superhero. So Skip and I decided we'd try to give them what they wanted. The second comic strip concept from Simpson/Lynch Studios was a sitcom of sorts called Life with Skip... A prominent member of Life with Skip's supporting cast was Skip's next-door neighbor and de facto best friend, author Mike Serf."

And there's one more thing worth mentioning. Author Mike Serf had a wife. Oh, yes, we can't forget her!

(Okay, everybody, get those Tarantino Pulp Fiction "honey-bunny" comparisons out of your systems. Our character, which pre-dated Pulp Fiction by more than ten years, was a woman whose name was either "Honey" or "Bunny." One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Besides... sappy, cutesy, goo-goo terms of endearment like "honey-bun," "honey-bunch," and the like have been around a lonnng time.)

If Life with Skip had sold, I doubt we'd have utilized Honey-or-Bunny all that often. She was pretty much a one-joke character. Maybe whenever she appeared, the other characters could have called her both Honey and Bunny interchangeably... and we could have ignored the confusion except whenever someone wrote in to say, "Okay, now which is it? Honey, or Bunny?!?" To which we'd have replied, "Uhhh... Yes."

One of the aforementioned syndicate editors who rejected Hawklad actually liked the idea of a funny superhero. In fact, he actually suggested that he'd have been more interested if Hawklad had been even more outrageous, and as a comparison, he cited DC's Ambush Bug character, who was then undergoing his first burst of popularity. (I was familiar with the Bug, being a comic book geek follower; Skip was not.)

Now, I'm not sure if Skip suggested something along the line of "If you want Ambush Bug, why don't you contact his owners?" or not, but whether Skip did, or the syndicate editor thought to do so all on his own...

(Okay, my conjecture starts here!)

I'm guessing that the editor contacted either DC Comics (Ambush Bug's legal owner), or the Bug's writer (Robert Loren Fleming), or the character's artist (Keith Giffen), or both of the latter.

I'm guessing that the editor asked if anyone was interested in doing Ambush Bug as a daily comic strip.

I'm guessing that the offer was never acted upon, either because DC wouldn't allow it, or Fleming & Giffen didn't want to "dilute" the character with over-exposure, or... hell, I can come up with about half a dozen reasons.

But I'm also guessing that at some point, the editor talked with Fleming and/or Giffen about how he got the idea to contact them in the first place. And I'm guessing that he mentioned Hawklad, and some other Simpson/Lynch ideas... like "Honey-or-Bunny" from Life with Skip.

And I'm pretty darned sure that the conversation I'm imagining resulted in this little gem, which finally saw the light of day in 1986's Son of Ambush Bug mini-series:

I -- seriously -- don't want to accuse Fleming and/or Giffen of anything above and beyond "vaguely remembering" the ditzy blonde character from earlier -- i.e., two to four years earlier -- conversations about their own Ambush Bug character, but... Total coincidence?

I think not.

Draw your own conclusions, folks.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Mother of a Day -- a "Sepia Saturday" Post


Left to right: My Aunt Josie, my Uncle Eddie,
Anita (my Mom), and my Uncle Joe, late 1920s

I didn't have time to scan all the photos I wanted to scan in order to post a "proper" Sepia Saturday entry this week about my family's history, but since tomorrow is Mother's Day, I felt I had to do something to mention my own Mom.

As I've said so many times lately on this blog, my mother recently died. Sorry to keep referencing her passing, but it's obviously something that would have a huge effect on my life... and I know -- "know," not assume" -- that virtually all my readers understand.

I set up at a local flea market every Sunday, selling various collectibles. This will be the first year I don't have to rush to my mother's place afterwards to give her a card, buy her a meal -- the last few years she kept saying "Don't keep giving me gifts. You kids will have too much junk to get rid of after I'm gone!" -- or whatever to celebrate "her" day.

In other words, this year's Mother's Day is gonna kinda suck.

Nevertheless, Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

For the full story of this shot -- "Pigeon-Toed" -- click here!

My mother in the early 2000s

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How It All Began (Part Two)


In Part One of "How It All Began," I told how I was cast in an amateur theatre production of Michael Weller's "Moonchildren" in 1981. During an informal party for most of the play's personnel, Vic, one of the cast members -- and I'm quoting from myself here -- was standing in front of a lighting fixture of some kind, experimenting with different brightly-colored filters. He placed a green filter over the lens, and suddenly began reciting "In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight..." The words Vic spoke were the beginning of the fabled "oath" which DC Comics' Green Lantern character recited as he "recharged" his power ring. Naturally, I recognized this immediately. And so did one of the other "Moonchildren" cast members, a thirty year old guy who'd read comics as a youth. The name of that "guy" was Skip Simpson.

Shortly after Vic had done his quickie homage to Green Lantern, Skip and I privately began discussing that DC Comics superhero, and comic books in general. Skip had read comics as a boy; I had never "outgrown" them.

Briefly digressing... To say that Skip and I "clicked" would be putting it mildly. In terms of our pop culture influences, it almost seemed like Skip and I had had parallel childhoods. Movies, TV shows (which would come in handy when we wrote or co-wrote various issues of Entertainment Publishing's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. comic book series in the late 1980s), MAD paperbacks... One of us would make some ridiculously obscure reference, and the other one would immediately know it.

(Yeah, yeah, I know... You and your friend [fill in the blank] do that all the time, too. Well... Skip and I did it more! Just sayin'.)

Eventually on that first night at the Gateway Players "barn," Skip and I started talking about a story he had envisioned for Green Lantern.

At this moment, nearly thirty years removed from that conversation -- blame the years and/or the alcohol -- I don't recall exactly whether Skip came up with the plotline then, or had already had it in the back of his mind for some time.

First, some necessary background on the Green Lantern character. Test pilot Hal Jordan had a power ring bequeathed to him by a dying alien named Abin Sur. As Hal learned not long afterwards, this powerful piece of jewelry had actually been created by an ancient, immortal cadre of identical, balding, white-haired, blue-skinned men called the Smurfs Guardians of the Universe. Hal Jordan became one of 3600 Green Lanterns in the universe, designated as "the Green Lantern of Sector 2814." For the most part, his activities were confined to that section of outer space. He mainly operated on Earth, his home planet.

Green Lantern's power ring could do just about anything that Hal's own imagination -- backed up by his will power -- could come up with, but due to a necessary "impurity" in its make-up, the ring had no effect over anything colored yellow. Additionally, the ring had to be "recharged" every 24 hours by a "power battery" in the shape of a... well... a green lantern... which Hal had also been given by Abin Sur. No recharge, no powers! Sucked to be Hal whenever that occurred.

Hal Jordan implicitly trusted the Guardians in almost every instance. There were occasional rebellious episodes during Hal's tenure as GL, of course, but these were few and far between.

Yup. Hal Jordan, intergalactic butt-kisser.

Anyway, Skip's intriguing concept was this: What if the Guardians approached Hal with a mission, a mission involving a
yellow planet in Sector 2814 which had dangerous properties ("space spores" or the like, IIRC), and needed to be destroyed somehow?!? (For the "greater good of the universe," that sort of thing.) The problem was that this planet was inhabited by intelligent, humanoid life forms! (That's "people" to you, fellow babies!) The directive to destroy this planet would therefore be against the Guardians' core beliefs, as well as Hal's own.

Skip and I brain-stormed together on this plot constantly in between the rehearsals and production dates for "Moonchildren" and possibly(?) after the production dates of the play itself. Skip even did some preliminary sketches based on our plot.

I'd never worked with an artist before. In fact, at this point in my life -- my early twenties -- I'd never had a paid writing job, nor had I ever scripted a comic book, either amateur or professional! I wrote a couple of pages of script for Skip, envisioning each "panel" -- the comic industry's term for each individual image on a comic book page, or each succeeding image in a comic
strip -- as a reworking of something I'd seen in one of the many comics I'd read. I went so far as to photocopy certain images. That was tantamount to saying, "Here. I'm not an artist myself, but here's exactly how you should do it!" But in my own defense, I should point out that if that was indeed arrogant of me, it was only out of my own youthful naiveté. And to his credit, if Skip was insulted, he didn't show it, probably chalking it up to my inexperience.

I wish I had a copy of the panels he penciled, so I could share them with you! They were impressive. Skip drew a brief introductory sequence wherein Hal Jordan aims a lethal power beam blast toward the surface of a strange alien world. The planet erupts violently, and Hal screams soundlessly as he is assaulted by fragments from the exploding planet, debris which he had mistakenly thought he was far enough away from. And then... Hal
wakes up, sweating. Later that same day, he is visited by a representative member of the Guardians, and confronted with his "impossible mission," as it were.

It was blatantly obvious that Skip had talent, more than enough talent to draw the story we were co-plotting. And he definitely didn't need help from my Swipe File. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking something akin to "Oh, good! He can draw! Now, if we write it and he draws it, we won't have to worry about any outsiders messing with it!" (Well... other than DC's editors, of course. But that's part of the comics game.)

Eventually, I discussed the fact that Skip and I were working on a Green Lantern story with Paul Howley, the owner of my favorite comic book shop,
That's Entertainment. Paul actually knew the then-writer of the Green Lantern title, a comic legend and fan favorite named Marv Wolfman. (And yes, "Wolfman" was/is indeed his real name, in case those of you who are unfamiliar with comics are wondering! And by the way, one of Wolfman's best continuing titles, in my not-so-humble opinion, was called Tomb of Dracula, oddly enough!)

Paul contacted Marv Wolfman, and unfortunately told me that Marv and DC Comics were soon to send their Green Lantern title in a totally new direction, and thus, they were not accepting any story submissions at that time. Needless to say, Skip and I were quite disappointed. Crestfallen. Disillusioned. Pissed Off. Suicidal. (No, no, no! I'm kidding about "suicidal," of course. But... not about "pissed off.")

Shortly thereafter, the Green Lantern title officially entered this new phase... and as it turns out, it involved the Guardians temporarily "banishing" Hal Jordan from Earth itself, forcing him to perform all of his Green Lantern duties in outer space!

Yup. In other words... Our plot would have fit in perfectly with their new direction! So it goes.

So, in conclusion, fellow babies: This, then, was the very first collaboration of Simpson and Lynch, which, although stillborn, as it were, showed the two of us that we had a creative chemistry which both of us wanted to pursue!

And even though the following illustration wasn't drawn until a couple of years after the events of this two-part post, I wanted to share something with you. It's the original illustration Skip created for the logo of Simpson/Lynch Studio(s), scanned from "ancient" SnL stationary!


Like Skip often says, I save everything!

Thanks for your time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

How It All Began (Part One)


Today's "historical" post -- and its follow-up on (I promise) Thursday -- were originally posted on the Simpson/Lynch Studios blog, but they've since been deleted from there. So unless you follow that blog as well as this blog, you probably missed it. It was published before Skip and I decided to turn "SnL" into a blog comprised of ongoing fictional storylines. If you've read it before, I apologize. And if not, then we'll both be happy... I hope.

Ah, hell, at least I know Sandy will enjoy reading it.

* * * * *

Today, I want to share with you the genesis of the Simpson/Lynch partnership.

First, a digression. (What else is new, right?)

I make a big deal -- some say too big a deal -- out of being called "David" rather than "Dave," or -- God forbid -- "Davey" or "Davy." But such was not always the case (except for the "Davey" part). In high school, a lot of people called me David or Dave -- enough with the quotation marks! -- interchangeably. It even lists "Dave" as my nickname in my high school yearbook... and I wrote that (The listing, not the yearbook! Ah, if they had only known...).

(Hey, when I'm rich and famous, I wonder if anyone will try to sell my yearbook on eBay for a gazillion dollars?)

Somewhere in my early adulthood -- we're talkin' late 1970s, fellow babies -- my best (male) friend was a guy named Dave. It got confusing. When someone would call, "David?" we'd both answer. And when someone would call, "Dave?" we'd both answer!

Finally, I asked him, "If you had to pick between the two, would you prefer David or Dave?" He replied "Dave." I said "Good, cuz I'd prefer David.'"

Dave was involved with a community theater group in Southbridge, Massachusetts, known as the Gateway Players. They were casting for a Michael Weller play, "Moonchildren." Even before auditions, however, the director of the play had openly admitted that he'd mentally "pre-cast" Dave as "Norman," a part which Dave didn't want. Instead, Dave wanted to be one of a duo of colorful characters named "Mike" and "Cootie."

Dave's "Norman-avoiding" strategy was to convince me to audition for one or both of these characters. He was going to audition for the other. Dave assumed that our natural personal chemistry would shine through, and he and I would be cast as Mike and Cootie.

Dave really gave me the hard sell, too. (He had to; I'd done some acting with my high school drama club, and even before then, but I wasn't too thrilled about taking time away from my first fiancée for the sake of an unpaid acting gig.) "It's about the sixties!" he'd said. "And you love the sixties, right? And you love watching M*A*S*H, too, right? The Mike and Cootie characters are always wise-cracking and playing practical jokes on people, like Hawkeye and Trapper John do!"

Eventually, I heard "They're like Hawkeye and Trapper John!" more times than I could count.

So I agreed to audition.

I got the part of Cootie. Dave got the part of... Norman. Someone else got the part of Mike. I'll spare you the sordid tales of Dave's post-adolescent jealousies. You're welcome.

As most casts tend to do, the cast of "Moonchildren" became a temporary family. Some of us hit it off more than others, forming little sub-groups, but the majority of the cast would often congregate after rehearsals for drinking and other types of partying.

One evening, several of us drunks cast-members were gathered in the so-called Gateway "barn," a large structure where "Moonchildren" was to be performed. We had access to Gateway's costumes, lighting equipment, props... Oh, what fun!

At some point during the evening, Vic (one of the cast) was standing in front of a lighting fixture of some kind, experimenting with different brightly-colored filters. He placed a green filter over the lens, and suddenly began reciting "In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight..."

My eyes bugged out. I'd read comic books since I was a child, and at this point in my life had become, I daresay, somewhat of a historian on the subject. I had a sizable collection of comics, old and new, as well.

The words Vic spoke were the beginning of the fabled "oath" which DC Comics' Green Lantern character recited as he "recharged" his power ring. Naturally, I recognized this immediately.

And so did one of the other "Moonchildren" cast members, a thirty year old guy who'd read comics as a youth.

The name of that "guy" was Skip Simpson.

DC Comics' Green Lantern character

The poster for "Moonchildren," as delineated
in 1981 by Skip Simpson. He's the guy on the
bottom of the peace symbol; I'm the
bearded guy wearing sunglasses, on the right.

(To be continued...)

* * * * *

My next post, naturally, will be Part Two of this story.

Thanks for your time.

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