It’s a Good Mythical Morning Here at the Okay Corral

Since Dave MMO games on Star Wars: The Old Republic with the “Purge” Guild from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. nightly…

Dave's Nightly Gaming Addiction - Star Wars: The Old Republic, Purge Guild

Dave’s Nightly Gaming Addiction – Star Wars: The Old Republic, Purge Guild

…I’m the “morning person” who gets up with Jack. This is for the best. Jack and I start firing on all synapses the moment our eyes open–upbeat, excited, ready to carpe diem. Conversely, Dave is very slow to wake up and doesn’t appreciate our puppy-like energy first thing in the morning — our howls of laughter, our dance-offs, our shared penchant for weird breakfast menus…Jack and I would take last night’s sushi over scrambled eggs any day of the week.

Our Breakfast Entertainment: Good Mythical Morning

Our Breakfast Entertainment:                    Good Mythical Morning (like yours truly, Jack gets skeeved by the egg yolks)

One of the many blessings from Jack is his rich sense of humor. Even Dave begrudgingly admits this comes from my side. Especially the arrested development stuff that cracks up most 12-year-olds. Take this morning, for example. Jack introduced me to a show that’s been on for 5 seasons but is new to me “Good Mythical Morning” starring Rhett and Link. It’s age-appropriate, clean humor — clearly channeling some Weird Al Yankovic. Their OCD tribute parody song was brilliant — reminding me of a few special people in my life (and you know who you are!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnzz-eFmKaw

Just curious – do any of you reading this get skeeved out by egg yolks like Jack and me?

 

 

 

The Pop Culture Kid Enters 4th Grade

The Pop Culture Kid Enters 4th Grade

The Pop Culture Kid Enters 4th Grade

It’s hard to believe we have a 9-year-old, but time flies, even moreso, when your life is meted out in seasons of pop culture conventions. As you can see by his graphic tee (an Indy Pop Con purchase) and his Adventure Time BMO backpack (a San Diego Comic-Con purchase) young Jack has embraced the world of animation. I remember my 4th grade year. My teacher was an elderly woman well past her expiration date, with little tolerance for my 4th grade sense of humor. That was the year that I discovered I truly hated math, and math hated me right back. To quote my favorite deep thinker, the great Jack Handey:

Instead of having “answers” on a math test, they should just call them “impressions,” and if you got a different “impression,” so what, can’t we all be brothers?

Here’s hoping young Jack continues on his current path of friendly relations with Math, Science, Social Studies and all of the other subjects I’ve rarely if ever used in my adult life.

Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury

We Illinoisans derive some pride in knowing Ray Bradbury’s classic tales were influenced and informed by his environs growing up in Waukegan, Illinois. One of the first books that lit my fire for wanting to write fiction was Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

Today Ray Bradbury would have been 94, and I encourage those of you reading this to pick up his stories again. Really read them. No, really. Read them in the context of what’s happening in the world around you today. Like C.S. Lewis’ stories The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters, Bradbury’s legacy is his relevance, which withstands the test of time.

I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Ray Bradbury at San Diego Comic-Con for many years. In this photo, he was still bipedal, walking with his walker in 2001. He was always dressed to the nines, a sweet, pleasant smile planted on his face, always animated with the fans.

Ray Bradbury and Denise McDonald Dorman, San Diego Comic-Con 2001

Ray Bradbury and Denise McDonald Dorman,      San Diego Comic-Con 2001

By the following #SDCC, he was in a wheelchair with a blanket over his lap, but still smiling and very engaged with his fans. He was positively lovely. One of our foremost pop culture expert friends is John Hitchcock, an author in his own right and owner of Parts Unknown Comic Book Shop in Greensboro, NC. I recall him telling me one of his favorite moments in geekdom was witnessing history unfold in a small room San Diego Comic-Con panel Ray did with Forrest J. Ackerman around that time. Miraculously, before that panel, the two had never met before.

When people ask me, “What is so great about Comic-Con, anyhow?” I think not of the crowds, the money we lose exhibiting there, or the sheer exhaustion of the five-day show. I think of improbable, magical moments like this one: Me, a small-town girl from Illinois farmlands, touching greatness for one brief moment in time.

That Time I Wrote for Newsarama

Every once in a while, I’ll get pulled into a project for Dave, like that time he informed me at breakfast on a Monday morning that the manuscript for his autobiography IDW wanted to publish was was due by end of business day on Friday. (Good thing they were on California time!) I dropped everything and camped out in his studio with my laptop and wrote all but the Foreword and about 10 pages written by his BFF Steve Smith.

The book I wrote in technically less than 5 days. 5 lbs. of Art & Text.

The 358-page book I (mostly) wrote in 5 days… 5 lbs. of Art & Text.

But I digress. Before #SDCC one year, Newsarama was looking for a fun hook, and I’m like a heat-seeking missile for the silly and the ridiculous, so I suggested writing Dave doing an interview with Alien and Predator in an L.A. White Castle. I pitched it because Dave was renowned for painting Alien and Predator’s images over the years, and this particular summer the first AVP film was coming out, so it was timely. Dave had earned his Eisner Award for Aliens: Tribes. (The Eisner is like the Oscars of the comic book field, for the uninitiated reading this).

Alien v. Predator by Dave Dorman

Alien v. Predator by Dave Dorman

So, I wrote it. Mind you, some of my comedic pacing is thrown off by the forced promotional mentions, and some of my grosser humor got cut, but I am posting it here for you today, in all of its sick & wrong glory:

DAVE DORMAN INTERVIEWS ALIEN and PREDATOR in a WHITE CASTLE

Back Story: Renowned illustrator Dave Dorman, Alien and Predator are old friends, dating back 15 years ago to the days when Dorman was painting Alien v. Predator pieces to please the Dark Horse fans…today the threesome reunites for a pre-Comic-Con interview in this Newsarama exclusive.

POV: We see the famed illustrator and two of his favorite creatures lunching at a local White Castle.

Dave Dorman: Hi guys. Thanks for wearing pants today.

Alien & Predator (in unison): Ditto.

Dave Dorman: Let’s Q&A. How did you like being depicted as warring nemeses in your new film, Alien v. Predator?

Alien: Well, the fans have been dying to see me kick Predator’s ass in a live action piece…

Predator, interrupting: Hold on a ****in’ minute. Whose ass did they want to see getting kicked by who?

Alien, continuing: I believe the correct word is whom…but Dave, you were the first one who actually depicted us dukin’ it out 15 years ago in your painting for Dark Horse Presents #36. It was that first fight cover in the swamp, remember?

Predator: That’s right! You made us fly down to your Florida studio and pose under all of those hot lights. In the middle of summer, no less! That was the modeling job from hell. Just for that, you’re buying lunch today. And I’ll take an extra sack of sliders for the flight home.

Dave Dorman: Nada, Rasta-boy; you can afford to pay your own way! But that particular cover has been one of the most popular from my fans–and yours. You have to admit, Predator, you seemed to enjoy posing with that hot babe on the cover I did for Alien v. Predator #4.

Predator: Nah, she didn’t do it for me. Though I did like that slinky, latex costume.

POV: We see Predator struggling to fit a milkshake straw into his etiquette-unfriendly mouth.

Dave Dorman: Havin’ some trouble, Predator? Let me help.

POV: Dorman’s hand shakes nervously as he pours the vanilla milkshake into Predator’s gaping pie hole.

Dave Dorman: Hey guys, remember when I worked on those designs for that first attempt at the Alien v. Predator movie 12 years ago? Did I ever show you my hybrid Predalien character?

POV: We see Dorman revealing the Predalien illustration to an astounded Alien and Predator.

Predator (sniffs with disdain): That is sick and wrong…unnatural. Not to mention chromosomally impossible.

Alien (lighting a cigarette): Humans shouldn’t be playing God with the mother race.

POV: Predator slaps the cigarette out of Alien’s mouth and his long claws rake against Alien’s jaw. A few drops of blood drip onto White Castle’s table, hissing as they burn steaming holes through it, then the floor.

Predator: Alien, how many times do I have to tell you? There’s no smoking in California restaurants! Besides I didn’t bring my inhaler.

Alien: Thanks, pal. There goes my goddam product placement cash from the tobacco industry.

Dave Dorman: You know, Alien, I have this persistent rust stain in my toilet and I’ll bet a few drops of your blood would take it right out.

Predator: I’m bettin’ it’s not a rust stain…

Dave Dorman (indignant): Nice. And to think I painted your flattering side in that jail scene for the Predator: Race War piece!

Alien: He doesn’t have a good side. He’s a ****in’ four-toothed freak!

Predator (growling): Wrap it up, Dorman. I’m not sitting much longer with this slimed up gene pool abortion.

Dave Dorman: Right. So, guys, what do you think of my WASTED LANDS series?

Alien: I got your RAIL graphic novel, which definitely had some slick Schuiten and European influences, but my agent’s been hanging onto my complimentary copy of THE UNINVITED. He wants some cool beach reading in case Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman ever invite him over to their private Malibu sands.

Dave Dorman (offering Alien his book): Ah, well here’s an extra copy for you.

Alien: Thanks, man.

Predator: I thought the artwork and the stories kicked ass–just like I do with Alien on a regular basis–HAH!–however, I noticed you didn’t write any parts for me or Alien into your new series.

Alien: Yeah, we’re a little hurt. Remember, I helped you win that Eisner Award for your graphic story album Aliens: Tribes. Nice work with writer Steve Bissette…

Dave Dorman: I’d include you guys in a New York minute, but you have that contractual thing happenin’ with your movie studio. Since you liked the artwork, I’ll forward both of you my “Tales of the Wasted Lands” from Atomeka Press, which is a collection of three Wasted Lands stories with a color portfolio coming out in October.

Predator: Cool. Let me leave you with my home address this time so my agent doesn’t permanently borrow my copy.

Alien: What else ya’ got cookin’, paint-boy?

Dave Dorman: Promise not to get pissed?

Alien: I’m not promising anything except for some seriously stale White Castle farts in your van for the ride back to the studio.

Dave Dorman: Okay, let me reiterate, I would have written you in if I could…

Predator (nods, knowingly) to Alien: He’s stalling…

Dave Dorman: Well…it’s a new Wasted Lands sci- fi action adventure novel, featuring my popular character Iguana, called…just don’t get mad, guys… “A Thousand Angry Teeth.”

Alien hisses (dripping with slime and sarcasm): Gee, I wonder who inspired that title?

Predator to Alien: Last time I checked with the dentist, you weren’t the only one with a mouthful of sharp teeth, you cocky bastard!

Alien (revealing menacing, dripping teeth, slowly rising up from his chair): That****in’ does it!

Dave Dorman: Hey, look!!! Isn’t that Harold and Kumar at the White Castle drive thru’?!?

POV: Alien and Predator–both cursed with short attention spans–look toward the drive thru’ window, distracted just long enough for Dorman’s quick get-away. Dorman flips them some cab money as he casually exits the fine dining establishment, relishing the fact that his van will be Alien fart-free for the drive home.

Approaching sirens wail, tables overturn, plate glass windows shatter and fry jockeys quiver beneath the stainless steel counter at the White Castle as Alien and Predator stage their own private, kick-ass sequel. Were it not for the 20th Century Fox-licensed monsters, it would definitely resemble a scene from Dorman’s action-packed sci-fi series, The Wasted Lands. Don’t believe it? See for yourself: http://wastedlands.com.

Coach Dave

So Dave is moving forward in his new Assistant Football Coaching career, as you can see. He’s now officially certified to identify a concussion and give CPR, which might someday come in handy for the Hall H line at #SDCC. He ignored my suggestion to French kiss the Resuscitation Annie model and freak out the instructors, muttering something about them no longer doing the whole mouth-to-mouth thing.

Captivating Bathroom Reading.

Captivating Bathroom Reading.

Cue Up 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?': "He's Bonafide!"

Cue Up ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’: “He’s Bonafide!”

Dave’s vast football knowledge actually came in handy for me this week. I was writing a client radio ad to run during Auburn and Crimson Tide games, and my fast internet search wasn’t terribly forthcoming with whether a quarterback played offense or defense. And of course, my ADD brain simply turns off anything I find uninteresting. Like football.

I wonder if  tennis coaches are required to have concussion and CPR training?