Sunday, March 22, 2015

NIX Comics, March Madness


So I'm sitting around watching some college hoops, and playing around on facebook, when up pops a post from my buddy at NIX Comics, Ken Eppstein.  He was looking for someone to proofread a new book, and I immediately replied that I'd do it.  He shoots me a PDF of NIX Western Comics #3 right away, and shortly thereafter, I'm reading what turned out to be one of the best stories I've read in awhile, The Coward Earl Vance. 

Written by Ken Eppstein, and brilliantly illustrated by Michael Neno, The Coward Earl Vance is a perfect example of what's best about Indy comics, when they're at their best.  Ken doesn't produce books that simply emulate or imitate the same old tired drivel being pumped out, week after endless week, by the "Big Two".  Whenever I read a NIX Comic, I don't feel like he's trying to prove he's worthy of landing the "big job" with either of the "Big Two" companies.  Ken does his own thing.  His books are never thinly veiled covers of the latest flavor-of-the-day super hero team.  I really like that a lot.

The Coward Earl Vance may be set in the Wild West, but the story is socially relevant to a major issue of our day, without feeling forced, phony or preachy.   I was floored at how good a read this turned out to be.  And no, I'm not going to give away anything about this story.  I'm just going to say this, "This story deserves an award for Best Short Story of the Year."  (So far)

If you're planning to attend either PIX, in Pittsburgh, Pa, next week, or, EXTRA SPACE, in Columbus, Ohio on April the eleventh, this is THE book you want to buy.  I'm telling you, The Coward Earl Bruce is so good, I had two cigarettes afterwards...

Please buy this book!  Trust me, you won't be disappointed...

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Day the Music cried...

Sugar-free they may have been, but the Players were laying down funk as smooth as twelve-year-old scotch.  Local legends, international successes, they filled the stage at Gillys and played music for the reason its supposed to be played, for the joy of playing music. Roller Coaster of love...

Then they were whisked off stage faster than the folks who came to see them could get in the doors.

Then came twenty minutes of awkward silence, followed shortly thereafter by the most bumbling, stumbling troupe of pretentious coffee-house wannabes assembled upon one stage I've ever witnessed in my entire life.  And it was a train wreck.  Miscue followed miscue, highlighted by a genuine, Nancy Kerrigan moment, when a woman I would have expected better of, given her obvious age, stopped mid-song and whined, "I think my monitor is too loud, can I start over?"

Even if they'd been playing around a bonfire in my backyard, we'd have booed them off the stage.

My wingman looked at me and said, "Taco Bell sounds a lot better than this, let's get out of here." And we did...

I love Louie, I love his shows, and have more often than not enjoyed some surprisingly good music at them.  I'll just think of Friday night's portion of Dayton Does Dayton a sour note in what up until then has always been a fairly solid composition. 

On a positive note, High 5 Riot will be playing Gillys on April 25th and I'm sure they'll be bringing some energy.  See you then?