Tuesday, May 29, 2018

AMERICAN 191, 1979

It is a bit amazing that so many people I know don't immediately remember this crash. The 19th anniversary was last Thursday. I was in a comic shop in Blue Island when the news came over the radio. The plane crashed just after 3PM, less than a minute after take-off. Crashed near a trailer park and a few people on the ground were killed. Chicago holds so many damnable records.

Monday, May 28, 2018


I'll be watchin these episodes over Memorial Day. Set in 1989, the actors in make-up relate their lives after the war and the show's setting in 1969. Brilliant idea, really. The show debuted in the fall of 1989, and I was in the hospital for the first few episodes, my arm in a cast. When S2 aired, I was again in the hospital, the plates and screws having broken up in my ruined arm.

Somewhere along the line, Karl Edward Wagner, the guy who gave me a name by reprinting my stories in Year's Best Horror from 1986 until his death in 1992, learned of my crush on Dana Delaney in her nurse uniform. Every few weeks, I'd get mail from Chapel Hill NC, postcards in Karl's handwriting signed by "Dana". An article from TV Guide or the local paper, with a word balloon coming from Delaney's mouth as she professed her undying love for me. Old times, fun times.

But whenever I watch CHINA BEACH, I hear the moans and be actutely aware of the smells at 3AM, the ones at Holy Cross Hospital that I'd become intimate with.

Friday, May 25, 2018


Got this in the mail a few days back, and it is wonderful. The top photo I took because Grace wanted photos sent to her "PledgeMusic" page. By purchasing the CD for $30, not only was it signed, but I had it loaded into my computer the same night I bought it. I don't know how that works. Everyone knows that.

I first heard of Kelly through author Michael Connolly, whose character Harry Bosch name drops a lot of jazz artists. Self-taught herself the alto, tenor, and bass saxophone, has a fantastic singin voice and her first CD was recoded when she was in her teens.

You guys know I love jazz, and when I go old school it might be Chet Baker or Miles Carter, but most of the time Grace gets me through the rough times.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Eight Years Since LOST Ended

I was, as expected to be, identified with John Locke, since the Island had healed him of his paralysis. The two photos at the top were taken at 180 North State, where they have this weird vertical TV billboard thing for ABC news. The Locke Lives shirt came from a LOST convention that was set up locally and I was a GoH because I wrote the glossary for BenBella Books' GETTING LOST.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Thursday was the thirtieth anniversary of something we are used to now. A school shooting. The shooter was Laurie Dann, and her story is strange, she set fires, went into buildings and stole paper with letterhead on it and then used those pages to type out and mail harassing messages. She was in someone's house and piled shit underneath the couch cushions.

Her father was able to keep charges to a minimum, all of the crimes were in the wealthy north shore suburbs. She was able to buy guns. And one day picked Hubbard Woods Elementary School in Winnetka to walk into, choose a class at random, and wound six kids and kill another. The same range in age as the Sandy Hook victims.

It didn't stop there, she fled to a nearby house, entering a kitchen door and telling a mother and her son that she had been raped, then showed them the gun and was going to hold them hostage. The father came home and surprised Dann, who shot the son. The bullet punctured both lungs, but he survived. She then ran upstairs and fatally shot herself.

One of the headlines I saw on the network news was WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED IN THIRTY YEARS.Sixteen hours later I was watching news coverage on CNN, another school shooting. Ten dead. Sante Fe, Texas. The girl in the photo above is Paige Curry. Asked by a reporter if she was scared, she said that she had always expected it to happen at her school, and it finally did.

She is speaking with her head down, so if you go over to that wonderful Media Matters website, they are already posting that Curry is a crisis actor who was reading from a script the reporter was holding out to her. One person even called her stupid for needing a script. Just as Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg were called out after the Stoneman Douglas shootings in Parkland, Florida on Valentine's Day.

 What have we learned in thirty years? Regarding gun control and mental illness? Nothing. But in 1978 we weren't having shooting survivors being called out as crisis actors.

Monday, May 14, 2018

LETTERS IN SEX CRIMINALS #16 and #24 (read my bottom text first)

SEX CRIMINALS is an incredible book. Written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky, and the premise is hard to explain. It is the letter columns that are incredible. This book is one of the best examples of word of mouth comics to appear and the pages are like confessionals. I wrote my letter after reading of a character who is asexual, like me. Women have written in about their first time, their worst time, men write in about finding porn in the woods or how they got turned on by some guy and some girl at the same time. And then there was a letter by a man who stayed through his relationship with a woman who had miscarried.

Unless you've read the comic, thew second letter won't make much sense. Still, get a laugh from the photos, because there really is a guy who drives a hot dog truck and squirts out Kewpie dolls in the book.

Most people know my limitations in regards to my being able to have sex, so I'm not embarrassed by it, and understand if you want to ignore the letters altogether.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


David Bainbridge told me that Joyce Carol Oates will be one of the GoH at this year's Printer's Row LitFest. I have a one degree separation with her, not six, thanks to Mort Castle. I never would have thought I'd be in the same book as Oates, but there I am.