Things i still wish i could do: a not that old man’s walk down memory lane

This may well sound like a rant from an old man but I can tell you I am not even middle age yet

and this is more of a fond look back at dead tech and other such enjoyable things.

Saturday morning cartoons: Was my religion back in the days of my youth. I remember

waking up one morning sometime in the late 80’s (yeah I was a teen then so what?) I had

my cereal with a gallon of milk and the required bowl and spoon. I cut on the TV to channel two

and nothing. I move over to channel five and there is some lame crap on like Saved by the Ball. I

am nervous by the time I turn to channel seven to catch a glimpse of some sports bs. What

the hell was going on here? For the next few weeks I would actually get up Saturday mornings

to see if cartoons were on. Gone. I can roll with the punches with most things but you could at

least give me a damn warning that you were going to change your programming. Fox would

eventually have some of their own cartoons and as much as I enjoyed X men and the Tick it

was never the same after that horrible Saturday morning. Now there are networks dedicated

to cartoons but I miss the day of the Super Friends and Captain Power

Cassette tapes: When I was a teenager one of the coolest things to was to record music from

the radio to a tape. Back then I listened to mostly hip hop and some old school rock. The

modern music of the eighties for the most part seem very very gay. I have only recently just

begun to listen to 80’s rock. If you didn’t have the money to buy the Less Than Zero soundtrack

to rock to “Going back to Cali” you could just wait until it came on and press the play and record

buttons at the same time and that was it. If you could afford some new music you ran down to

your local record store and pay for it. You could even buy a single or a special import.

Someone told me places like Rose Records and Coconuts had the same music plus more and

was actually cheaper. So long over priced ghetto record hello franchised record stores with

employees who followed me around with that “this black is going to steal something” look on

their face. For the lower prices I would learn to deal with that……..a little bit. Sometimes

I would give an employee who is lurking in the shadows checking me out that nervous crack

head “I am going to steal something” look. The thing I loved the most about audio tapes was

the fact that I could make a mix tape for the girl who happened to be courting me at

that time. I could express in a song much easier the love I felt for a person then the words that

came out of my mouth.

Cheap sports tickets: Before the Bulls became World Champions tickets to their game where a

dime a dozen at the good old Chicago Stadium. You could have a great time in the

nosebleeds. People would bring their own alcohol to get smashed and talk a gang of crap about

the players and coach. It was even better when the Bulls lost. I would not want to think about

how much I have to pay to take my kids to see a game there.

Paper food stamps: If you had enough food stamps back in the day you could buy a baby.

Those small Arabs run corner store were always more than willing to barter with you when you

came in with food stamps. One of the main reasons I could never get into Islam was the way

how Arabs in the hood treated black people. Just because we had food stamps did not make

us sub human. Those Arabs were not very good representatives of the Muslim culture. On

the other hand a lot of black people who came into their stores could be rather ignorant and I

could understand the reaction.

The Super Transfer: Back in the days in Chicago you could travel the buses and trains all

Sunday with what was called a super transfer. I tried to make it a point to be out of the

house as early as I could to take advantage of that policy. If I had no money I would just

ride a train from end to end. The only thing that worried me was going into Hispanic hoods

because they had the nasty habit of starting trash with me. If I did have money it was

comics and movies all damn day .

Newsstands: What the hell happened to all the news stands in Chicago. One day in the

90’s I’m buying my comic books from a newsstand the next I have to go to a comic shop

to get my books. I would get use to this eventually I just wish people would inform me

about what ordinance you are passing that screws up my plans.

Last but not least. A dirty run sketchy downtown is felt better then a clean boring downtown.

I understand that a clean “less” dangerous downtown brings in more revenue but I had so

much more with a “run down” downtown Chicago. You would have had to see it get what I

was talking about.

comics tobg: Why comics?

Reading a comic involves all the senses except taste which is why I drink a nice beer or smoke a

Partagas whilst reading. The art of a great comic artist can be more distinctive then the style of

any movie director or painter. Any real comic book fan can recognize the art work of Jack Kirby,

John Romita jr, Alex Ross, Alan Davis, George Perez, John Byrne, Joe Quesada, Barry Windsor

Smith, Mark Texeira, and Whilce Portacio without the benefit of any cover or title pages.

How many modern day writers in any genre are better than Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis,

Mark Gruenwald, Steve Gerber, Mark Waid, Bill Willingham, Brian K Vaughan, Jeph Loeb, Mark

Millar and Neal Gaiman? It bright, shiny and fits right in your hand. It’s not just for

superheroes any more. You go as silly as you want( Milk and Cheese, Quantum and Woody) as

serious as you need (X men God loves Man Kills, Miracleman) to just fucking horrific (Crossed,

Blood and Shadows) to Indie gems (Stray Bullets,Love and Rockets,). Comics are like a Nevada

whorehouse they will have what you want and if they don’t they will find it for you. If I know

you I have at least a miniseries you will enjoy. I got my wife hooked on the Preacher, Y the

last man, and Fables for a while.

One of the hardest times I ever had was when I had to stop collecting comics for about

six months. I was just starting at Wal Mart and Stacie did not have a job yet. I am not so

obsessed that I had to think about if I should feed my child or got get my comics. The boy and

my mate would always come first but that doesn’t mean liked it one bit. I had to drive past the

comic shop everyday day to work. I was more irritable and snapped quicker then usual. I could

have gotten two or three books at a time but that would have just made it worse. Do you know

how much can change in the comic world in six months? When my brother came over with his

books I decline to read them. I needed my own books in full in my fucking hands. When the

glorious day came for me to get my books I bought a few pints of Paulaner from Stang Kelly and

a Baccarat cigar 50 ring with a dark maduro wrapper. I was drunk, a little high from smoking the

cigar too fast and in heaven having waited six months for my comics.

Some of my fondest memories are getting certain books. I bought what if series 2 # 4 second series

the day I saw Batman (89′)which was playing either the Esquire or McClurg Court. The first

comics I ordered from a comic book ad was from Mile High Comics and I brought the maxi series

Crisis on Infinite Earths. I bought the last three issues of Vigilante when I got off work early

from work.I was totally shocked when the main character blew his own head off. My brother and I were

watching The Transformers when my mother decided to be nice to us and bought us a bad of

comics and one was the first issue of Secret Wars first series. I of course have many fond

memories of many other people and places. Losing my virginity, getting into fights, spankings

from my mother, the joy of having my first job, having great lovers, meeting the woman whom I

would marry and have kids with . The family are the truly the only part I hold more dear then

my comics. Some my equal but only one surpasses.