Talking TAKIs

In an emergency grocery store run this a.m. since we were out of eggs on Dave’s birthday (D’oh!), Dave Dorman made the mistake of taking Jack, which always means a 40% higher bill at the checkout line. In addition to the eight taffy apples and chocolate chip Lego waffles they returned with (NOT on the list), Jack procured this:

Guacamole TAKIs, meant to be savored, just not smelled.

For those of you who have never partaken in TAKIs, you’re not alone. They appeared on my radar about six months ago. They’re the rage of this YouTube generation — a super-compressed taco chip, saturated in flavor dust, shaped like a rolled Dorito doobie–by design, I’m sure. This morning, Jack couldn’t find his regular-flavored TAKIs, so he brought home the guacamole flavor. In theory, it sounds good, but…Jack opened the bag and we each took turns taking a whiff. It took a leviathan amount of cajoling to convince Dave to join in, but he eventually caved because Jack has the master persuasion skills of a Harvard law professor. Here are the Dorman Family’s Top 4 Guacamole-Flavored TAKI Smell Descriptions.

(Your results may vary.)

  1. Rotting corn field (Dave)
  2. Lawn Clippings-flavored Jelly Belly (Jack)
  3. Dead Bugs on the Windshield (Denise)
  4. Dead Box Elder or Lightning Bugs (also Denise)

Despite the funky smell, they actually tasted pretty good, but Jack still favors the original flavor. I favor the “original,” too…as in: DORITOS.

For fans of Stephen King’s IT and Pennywise the Clown, Dave did a pencil illustration of Pennywise the Clown yesterday on Facebook Live. Here’s a link to that footage for your viewing pleasure:

https://www.facebook.com/DaveDormanArtist/videos/10159276116220063/

You’ll hear Dave responding to questions posted by those watching him, which is often enlightening commentary about comics, entertainment and publishing. If you do a search, he’s done several other demonstration painting and illustration art videos that have been well received — follow him on Twitter @DaveDorman and you’ll see him post links to those videos as they occur.

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An Author You’ll Wanna Know (If You Don’t Already): F. Paul Wilson

If you’ve never read author F. Paul Wilson, I hope by sharing his most recent newsletter below, you’ll click on a few links and start paying closer attention to him. In his other life outside of writing, he’s a semi-retired medical doctor in New Jersey. F. Paul Wilson is amazing, prolific, gracious to his fans (including this one) and I love his writing. Even Stephen King, my favorite author of all time in the horror genre, deems himself “President of the Repairman Jack Fan Club,” which is one of F. Paul Wilson’s many series. (I often wish Bruce Willis had starred as Repairman Jack, back in his 30s. It would’ve been perfect casting. It’s who I picture when I read Repairman Jack stories.) Without further adieu, here’s the F. Paul Wilson Newsletter! 

THE REPAIRMAN JACK NOVELS

“Jack’s saga has become the most entertaining and dependable modern horror-thriller series.” (Publishers Weekly)

“One of the most consistently entertaining series in modern fantastic fiction.” (Publishers Weekly)

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I’m on Twitter (@fpaulwilson) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/fpaul.wilson)

NEW!

PANACEA paperback! It’s here! It’s cheap! Get it!

EPHEMERATAThe Odds and Ends of a Writing Life. 120k words of ephemera I’ve written and published (or not) over the decades. Available in ebook only for the time being. (I explain why in the Author’s Note which you can read by clicking “Look Inside” on the Amazon page.)

After a commercial break we’ll get to the usual tedious tidbits, trivialities, and miscellanies since last we met:

BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR IT: a signed limited edition of PANACEA is on the way. Preorder here: http://tinyurl.com/hc66thw

***BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR IT – Part Deux: a paper edition of Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong

FAMILY SECRETS (sequel to DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS) is an ebook at last: http://tinyurl.com/jjlv7gm

FREEBIES!!! (new free story added)

SCENES FROM THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WORLD

“Demonsong” – Glaeken and Rasalom’s first meeting

“Lipidleggin'” – started off as an SF story, now it’s non-fiction.

OTHER STUFF

****THE ISHER BOOK SHOP IS OPEN: http://www.repairmanjack.com/store/

*****E-BOOK BONANZA!!! GET THEM WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!!!!
(Oh, wait . . . you never run out of ebooks, do you. Ignore that last part)
Browse a ton o’ titles – some free, many just $3.99: http://tinyurl.com/jjygskx

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1) OCCURRENCES
2) THE LATEST FICTION
3) IN THE PIPELINE
4) PUBLISHING SCHEDULE 2016
5) FOR COLLECTORS
6) “REPAIRMAN JACK” – THE MOVIE
7) WHERE I’LL BE
8) REPAIRMAN JACK STORE
9) FF MOVIE REVIEWS

1) OCCURRENCES

8/1 – ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA, FLOOR.
Sounds like the Mexican version of Dorothy Parker’s martini poem.

8/4 – Just getting back to speed on the WiP post-Nantucket when 1st-pass page proofs of THE GOD GENE arrive. Ah, well…

8/6 – If you’re not following the Bloom County Facebook page, you’re missing an American humorist and artist at the peak of his powers.

8/8 – RiP Glen Campbell. What a career — from the Wrecking Crew to his own TV show to films, and a zillion hits along the way.

8/13 – With a little help from a good friend, the 1st-pass proofs of THE GOD GENE are done and will be on their way back to the publisher tomorrow.

8/16 – GODZILLA anime. Nice chiaroscuro effects – I don’t usually see that in anime (but I don’t see much anime)   http://tinyurl.com/y7kk8nu3

8/17-20 – at Necronomicon in Providence.  All Lovecraft all the time (except for a little Robert E. Howard)

8/21 – In typical Jersey Shore perversity, the sky stayed nice and clear until just before the eclipse was to begin. Then the clouds rolled in…and stayed until just after the eclipse was done. Sheesh!

8/24 – I’m guessing that my “Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong” will not be a big seller in Beijing.  http://tinyurl.com/y7ygudvd

8/25 – Alcohol Again Tied to Lower Death Risk — but don’t forget the J-curve.   http://tinyurl.com/y766ljtn

8/26 – Best horror flick title this year: “Eat Locals.”

8/29 – Goodbye, Columbus? You know, I’m as fed up as the next guy with these grandstanding PC clowns, but for some reason, this doesn’t bother me. Ay-tall. I’ve always thought Columbus Day stupid (except when it netted me a day off from school). He didn’t “discover” a damn thing, and he landed in the Bahamas thinking he was in India or China or wherever. AND he was sent by the royal a-holes who started the Spanish Inquisition. So Goodbye, Columbus. http://tinyurl.com/ya9cyzja

8/30 – now THIS is scary!  http://tinyurl.com/yckkyo3v

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2) THE LATEST FICTION:

EPHEMERATA has bits of fiction in it, but is mostly non-fiction. Over 100 short pieces of this and that.

PANACEA is my latest novel – about a hunt for the legendary cure-all. No, it’s not Repairman Jack, but if you liked the Jack novels, you’ll like this. There’s a little bit of Jack in Rick Hayden (I couldn’t help it) and Panacea fits into the Secret History. I mean, what’s not to like? Now in paperback

FAMILY SECRETS, the 2nd Nocturnia novel (sequel to DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS), is available in a signed, limited edition from http://tinyurl.com/l4jw8o3 and in ebook form: http://tinyurl.com/jjlv7gm

DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS
ebook: Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/odcge7x
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/myvoolr
Trade paperback: http://tinyurl.com/nmavxma (NB: purchase of the tpb nets you a free copy of the ebook)
SIGNED COPIES: http://tinyurl.com/kvzrpk9
the signed limited collector’s edition of DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS is just about sold out – http://tinyurl.com/l4p4zfr

THE HOGBEN CHRONICLES – I coedited this collection of Henry Kuttner’s wonderful stories about a mutant hillbilly family – first time together in the same volume. SIGNED by Neil Gaiman (who did the intro) and yrs trly.http://tinyurl.com/nf2kmgs
HOGBEN EBOOK – finally THE HOGBEN CHRONICLES (wonderful stories by Henry Kuttner, illos and all) is available as a Kindle ebook for $2.99: http://tinyurl.com/lg936xo

Fix” – a novella-length Repairman Jack mashup with Codename Chandler:

Wayward Pines was the #1 scripted show on TV in 2015. Have you read “The Widow Lindley,” my Wayward Pines story?

FEAR CITY
The paperback here
In case you missed the book trailer: http://tinyurl.com/n8dsxzk

A stand-alone edition of “Infernal Night” co-starring Jack (written with Heather Graham) http://tinyurl.com/k8yuush

The Dead World” – my Burroughs pastiche set in Pellucidar with a fabulous Bradley W. Schenck cover – is available as a single.

“The Compendium of Srem” ebook: http://tinyurl.com/pqvxn2b

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3) IN THE PIPELINE

THE SILENT ONES – the 3rd and final Nocturnia novel in limited signed 1st edition

PANACEA – a signed limited edition. Preorder here: http://tinyurl.com/hc66thw

THE GOD GENE – December 2017

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4) PUBLISHING SCHEDULE – 2017

FAMILY SECRETS – the 2nd Nocturnia novel in paperback

a signed limited edition of PANACEA

THE SILENT ONES – the 3rd and final Nocturnia novel in limited signed 1st edition

THE GOD GENE (sequel to PANACEA) in December

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5) FOR COLLECTORS:

FAMILY SECRETS at http://tinyurl.com/q3joxts

DEFINITELY NOT KANSAS at http://www.gauntletpress.com/

THE HOGBEN CHRONICLES (editor) http://tinyurl.com/nf2kmgs

The Borderlands Press ADVERSARY CYCLE:
THE KEEP, THE TOUCH, RAKOSHI (formerly THE TOMB), REBORN, REPRISAL, and NIGHTWORLD are all available in signed limited editions. This is a unique and beautiful set, and will be even more so when inserted into the über slipcase with its wraparound art. Check out the spine art at: http://www.borderlandspress.com/adversary.html

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6) “REPAIRMAN JACK” – THE MOVIE . . . wait – THE TV SHOW . . . wait . . .

[Historical note: Years ago I sold film/TV rights to THE TOMB to Beacon Films. The idea has been to title the film “Repairman Jack” and turn our guy into a franchise character. The project has spent 20 years in development hell, chewing up 6 or 7 writers who’ve churned out reams of scripts.

We’re looking toward TV now. Can’t say any more because I don’t know any more.

***************************************************

7) WHERE I’LL BE AT (yeah, I rite good)

Thrillerfest – July 12-15 – NYC

Necronomicon – Providence, RI – August 17-20

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival – October 6-8 – Portland, OR – Guest of Honor

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8) REPAIRMAN JACK STORE

It has stuff with a neato-cool RJ logo on everything from T-shirts to caps to coffee cups to a wonderful poster by Susan Lee. (Even thongs!)

For you SF nuts and fans of my LaNague Federation series, Susan and Lisa have added a new line at the Repairman Jack store: the LaNague Federation logo on front and “KYFHO” on the back. [For those unfamiliar with the term, I invented the acronym way back when for AN ENEMY OF THE STATE and now it pops up everywhere. Google it if you can’t guess the meaning.]

And now, by popular demand from you gun nuts and fans of Abe Grossman, ISHER SPORTS SHOP shirts and stuff are available. A design by the inimitable Susan Lee with a clever logo created by members of the website’s Forum. Check it out. http://www.cafepress.com/repairmanjack/

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9) FF MOVIE REVIEWS

The FF Rating system is gauged by use of the FF button in increments of 10% of running time. If I FF through a tenth of the film (i.e., 9 minutes of a 90-min film), its FF Rating is 1. Thus, the lower the FF Rating, the higher my level of engagement. (Note, I didn’t say the better the film. Crap can – and often does – engage me.) FF = 5 is the threshold of unwatchable.

Bail Factor: If you turn off a film at the halfway point, that’s an automatic 5. If you bail after only a quarter or so, that’s an automatic 7.5. Then you add how much FFing you did before shutdown.

Why should you care what I think of a film? Beats me.

Movie plot summaries abound on the web, so you don’t need me for that.

NB: I’ve now collected all my FF reviews (I was shocked at the hundreds of reviews I’ve done) in one spot: http://fpaul.wordpress.com/about/

Only 1 movie this month. Been watching HINTERLAND, a very dark police show from Wales. I’m on season 3 now.  The episodes run 90 minutes, so it’s like watching a theatrical film each time. I’ve been watching one episode a night and I’m wondering: Is there a cop on a drama (not a comedy) dumber than DCI Mathias?  He consistently acts on impulse (instead, say, waiting for backup), blundering into bad situations and making them worse. Makes you wonder how he made DCI in the first place. Yes, I know he’s fictional, and I know it’s the writers’ doing to add complications — and running time — to the show, but it’s hard to respect a character when you repeatedly find yourself saying, “Aw, no…he’s not really gonna…yes, he is. He’s doing it again!” I’m staying with it because the rest of the cast is well drawn and for the evolving backstory of high-level corruption.

GIFTED
An intriguing film about how to treat the truly gifted among us. Little McKenna Grace does a star turn as the 7-year-old math genius. Her grandmother wants her to realize her full potential via tutors and the uncle who’s raising her doesn’t want her to grow up isolated like her mother (who committed suicide). A great cast but you will fall for McKenna Grace like you fell for little Dakota Fanning.
FF=0

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve taken up enough of your time. More next month. Back to work.

F. Paul Wilson

fpw@repairmanjack.com

http://www.repairmanjack.com

Stranger Things: I Want My ’80s Back!

My fitness trainer Kim shared with me her iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts during our Monday night workout. According to Kim, this was no ordinary iced coffee. This one had been cold-brewed for 12 hours. Whatever that meant … it was a new offering on the menu. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. As much of a coffee addict as I am, iced coffee rarely calls my name.

Dunkin' Donuts Cold-Brewed Coffee: Heaven in a plastic cup.

Dunkin’ Donuts Cold-Brewed Coffee: Heaven in a plastic cup.

I took one tiny sip, just being polite. I was instantly transported.

Were this a Twilight  Zone episode, you’d see that bad special effect of me, sans color, dizzily spinning backwards in time, calendar pages flipping past me in fast succession. In my case, I time machined back to age six. I was standing on our kitchen stool so I could reach the sink, washing the family’s dinner dishes. The first part of this evening chore meant washing my dad’s lunchbox tupperware, and his khaki-green metal coffee thermos. Dad had engraved his name into the side of the metal. I’d trace his signature with my fingertips as I was washing the outside of it. When no one was looking, I’d sneak a sip of its contents — his day-old java — pretending I was a grown up. (I know, I know … I’m still pretending.) This Dunkin’ Donuts cold-brewed fare mimicked Dad’s day-old coffee, perhaps because Dad’s had steeped for a good 12 hours in his thermos. While it can’t bring my father back, the nostalgia of those lost days washes over me with every swallow. I’m hooked!

On the website CockedEyed.com, you can create your own "STRANGER THINGS" Lightbulb Message Encoder. How cool is that?!?

On the website CockedEyed.com, you can create your own “STRANGER THINGS” Lightbulb Message Encoder. How cool is that?!?

The much-talked-about Netflix horror series Stranger Things became my other childhood time portal recently. I binge-watched the entire series in two nights. It was beyond amazing. Winona Ryder portrays the emotional fragility of a frantic parent as believably as Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice. Maybe moreso. The camaraderie feeling we get from Stephen King’s Stand By Me (and the origin story to that film, The Body) combines with the government conspiracy style narratives of Dean R. Koontz. The music, the fashion, the cars, the bad basement decor. The vulnerable, gawky, tender awkwardness of being a teen. It all felt so familiar — like an old friend returning. A friend I didn’t realize I had been yearning for as hard as I had.

For us Gen-Xers, those were magical times. Whenever I discuss Stranger Things with my peers, I always ask them, “If you could go back to the ’80s, would you?”

Without hesitation, faces telegraphing that “Are you daft, girl?” expression, every single friend has declared, “In. A. Heartbeat.”

RIP, Christopher… “Like Pieces of Glass in My Head All of the Time…”

The last image taken of Christopher, holding his new niece.

The last image taken of Christopher, holding his new niece.

I wave the white flag. I cry “Uncle!” I can bear no more losses this year. There’s been too much death. (In a future blog, when I’m feeling ready to talk about it, I will share the story of my bio-mom’s death in March of this year. That, too, was heartbreak.)

If there were any way I could take away the pain Darlene, my BFF since kindergarten, is feeling, I would. Her heart is broken. In a million pieces.

My BFF since kindergarten, my beautiful friend Darlene, and her beautiful son.

My BFF since kindergarten, my beautiful friend Darlene, and her beautiful son, gone too soon.

Here is a link to the eulogy she wrote, and below is the funeral program I wrote for her son Christopher. While one of the saddest assignments I’ve ever received, it was also the greatest honor and privilege that they entrusted me–the irreverent friend who attempted slipping a “There Once Was a Man from Nantucket” poem into my own wedding ceremony–to do this for them. (Darlene was my official photographer that day.)

So…here it is:

Christopher Ryan Nauman grew to become a big man with an even bigger heart. In fact, he had one of the biggest, most loving hearts many of us ever knew. Like John Coffey, the character he loved so in The Green Mile, Christopher lived his life vibrating on a different frequency than the rest of us…feeling things more deeply and intensely than we could ever possibly understand. He was God’s instrument, so sensitive and finely tuned…so fragile inside of a body seemingly so sturdy and strong.

Screenshot 2016-06-02 15.53.55

There was never a doubt of Chris’s deep, abiding love for his family and his friends, which knew no bounds. He was loyal to a fault. There were times in his life when those who would prey on loving souls mistook his kindness for weakness. But that was not Chris’s journey. He continued being kind, overlooking their faults.

Screenshot 2016-06-02 16.05.05

From the time Chris was small, his love for children was obvious to anyone near him. He relished his time with every one of the children in his orbit—Riley, Mazie, Colbie, Teagan—protective and clearly smitten, always playing with the little ones and loving on the babies.

Chris was blessed in being raised with family who always saw the essence of who Chris truly was, despite the challenges he faced; they saw the true potential in his God-given gifts. They nurtured his love for reading, feeding him on westerns by Louis L’Amour, adventures by Clive Cussler, and the diverse fiction of Stephen King, informing his vivid theater of the mind.

They also encouraged his natural talent for art. Illustration came easily to Chris. His parents helped him parlay that gift into the imaginative tattoo art that was innate to Chris. We treasure those who forever carry the touch of his ink on their skin.

Christopher, the Illustrated Man.

Christopher, the Illustrated Man.

Being outside surrounded by nature gave Chris so much peace; mowing the lawn was the chore requiring the least amount of prodding. One of his favorite jobs was installing piers, since it combined being on the water with being outside, although his fair skin would pay the price at day’s end. He loved working in the yard, helping Darlene build their brick flowerbeds and plant the gardens in front of their home, working tirelessly alongside her on those ambitious outside projects.

The beautiful flower bed Christopher helped build and plant with his mom.

The beautiful flower bed Christopher helped build and plant with his mom.

Screenshot 2016-06-02 15.56.30

Another joy in Christopher’s life aside from music, art, books, and video gaming, was his dad’s cooking. He’d regularly call home and query Robert with “What leftovers do you have?” or “Dad! What are you going to make?!?” His favorites were Robert’s spicy chili mac and his barbecued pork steaks. If he’d had the luxury of choosing, those would have been on the menu for his last meal.

Screenshot 2016-06-02 15.58.17

Joining his Uncle Darrell, another gifted artist, we believe–no, we know–Christopher is in heaven, collaborating with all of the artists in residence, making heaven an even more beautiful place.

We ask that you pray for each member of our family to heal our heartbreak, and that you always remember Christopher in your prayers. He will hear you.

Screenshot 2016-06-02 15.59.11

My sweet friend wrote this on Facebook just now:

True Blue.

True Blue.

What’s Your Favorite Fourth of July Meme?

I spotted this on Facebook and had to share – the Fourth of July Lynda Carter Wonder Woman meme floating around was really great, but this one is–to quote the cray-cray Charlie SheenWINNING!”

I love how this image makes me feel.

I love how creeped out this image makes me feel.

My friend & client, comic book creator and Colorado resident Mike Baron saw me post this and commented, “Come on out – I’ll take you up there.” I’m taking Mike up on this someday – it’s on my bucket list, since I’ve only seen it from afar (As a young teen, I kept glancing at The Stanley Hotel looming in the background as I was sitting in Estes Park, CO reading THE SHINING, having no idea it was Stephen King’s inspiration for the book I was reading, and thinking to myself that it matched the story perfectly.)

My friend Phil Burnett secured this autograph for me at San Diego Comic-Con in 2003, before I was married to Dave Dorman. You know how you have that running list in the back of your mind of items you’d grab in the event of a house fire? Yeah. This is one of mine – the autograph of actor Joseph Turkel (who was also in another favorite film of mine, Blade Runner.)

This is on my Top10 List of items I'd grab in a house fire.

My house fire future rescue.

And here’s an XCU of the personalized autograph:

One of my favorites in my autograph collection. (My other favorite is Frank Darabont's autograph in  my copy of The Green Mile, where it says, "To Denise, who worships me like a God.")

One of my favorites in my autograph collection. (My other favorite autograph is Frank Darabont’s in my copy of The Green Mile, where he signed it as                                                      “To Denise, who worships me like a God.”)

 

 

 

The Happy Things I Focus On During Sad Times

I’ve done a fairly good job of keeping my game face on during the impending sad days ahead (and let’s face it, watching one’s beloved father decline daily in hospice is incredibly sad as well). So here’s my Top 10 List of Happy Things I’m focusing on today to keep a smile on my face.

1. Groundskeeper Willie. Those of you who know me know WHY.

My animated love, Groundskeeper Willie.

My animated love, Groundskeeper Willie.

2. The birthday cake my “Sister Wives” had made for me last year. 

Peter Dinklage....

Peter Dinklage….

3. THE STAND by Stephen King. My favorite book of all time by my all-time favorite author.

THE STAND by Stephen King...the greatest book ever written, IMHO.

THE STAND by Stephen King…the greatest book ever written, IMHO.

4. The news that Harper Lee is releasing a 2nd novel. 

The book I cannot wait to read...

The book I cannot wait to read…

5. WGN Morning News – I can always count on them to make me laugh hard at least once every morning:

WGN Morning News Crew - The Funniest in the Biz.

WGN Morning News Crew – The Funniest in the Biz.

6. Bob’s Burgers Valentines, posted today: http://www.buzzfeed.com/annas31/21-hilarious-valentines-only-bobs-burgers-fans-942y?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgy#.hhePP6LM3

Bob's Burgers Valentines - a Big Bowl of WIN.

Bob’s Burgers Valentines – a Big Bowl of WIN.

7. Rediscovering this photo from my Jamaica trip with my hilarious BFF, who is always making me double over in giggles.

Marovich, Sporty C Spice & Me in Jamaica.

Marovich, Sporty C Spice & Me in Jamaica.

8. This book tattoo, which makes me tempted to get one for the first time in my life (and has several tattooed friends volunteering to go with the world’s biggest chicken shit–me): 

Amazing book tattoo that has me tempted...

Amazing book tattoo that has me tempted…

9. Kim Stover, a terrific teacher, who helps me burn off my stress:

Kim Stover, Founder of Dance It off

Kim Stover, Founder of Dance It off

10. This Jack Kirby meme, which reminds me to never, ever, ever give up:

Jack Kirby Meme

Jack Kirby Meme