Passing From One River to Another

29 Feb

Piotr-Grudzinski-nie-zyje_-Mial-40-lat_article

I was supposed to be posting my newly anointed Comic Book Show Secret Rating Wars Sweepstakes February Sweeps edition – but silly me, I forgot that I won’t be privy to Live + 7 stats until early next week.

So here’s a new blog about some other assorted happenings instead.

First off, today I’ve been appointed my first full on staff job at the SECRET PLACE THAT SHALL NEVER BE NAMED. It’s my first FULL TIME entertainment related position I’ve held without being under the auspices of a third party contractor since March of 2009 when I was let go due to a contract dispute with Sony Picture Television’s syndication department. From 2010 and forward, it’s been a series of mishaps with NBCUniversal Television, Universal Music, SAG-AFTRA, and the DGA. So it’s a triumph for me, and with the reasonable annual salary that I’m getting, it will be good to churn out some new comic book projects at a faster rate, including the long gestated DEPOSIT MAN: PLAYGOD ACT III which has been in development limbo for the good portion of six years now. Approximately eight pages, plus two covers have been in the can for the past year. I’ve been focusing a lot of my spare time on the sequel series being developed by myself and a splendid artist by the name of Rodolfo Valenzuela. Hopefully by the end of this month, I may be able to divulge more about it, but I don’t want to blow crap about it, in case someone steals the snazzy name I came up for the lead character.

Since I’m scrambling to post up something worthwhile this evening, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few words of passing of a wonderful musician, Piotr Grudzinski, lead guitarist for Polish progressive rock band, Riverside under mysterious circumstances. Not much has been revealed as the cause of death for the forty year old musician, but rest assured I considered him to be a vibrant talented force behind the music and has been heralded as the worthy successor to the legacy of David Gilmour in some sense. I certainly praise the quartet’s latest album, Love, Fear, and the Time Machine released last September as the most incredible effort to date, and it was in my top three of last years’ releases, along with Steven Wilson’s Hand.Cannot.Erase, and Gazpacho’s Molok. I sure hope the band under the guidance of bassist and songwriter Mariusz Duda can still forge ahead despite this tragedy. I know it’s really a low key passing besides the greats of David Bowie and Glenn Frey, but nonetheless shocking. Ex-Dream Theater drummer, Mike Portnoy was one of the people to see him alive when he showed up at his Winery Dogs performance out in Poland, so something must have went afoul shortly after he left that gig. So we shall wait and see if and when the band decides to make it public.  Jeez, how many great lead guitarists can you say hail from Warsaw, Poland? Not that many. But bring it upon yourself to pick up their latest album, which is a mixture of great prog music in the vein of Porcupine Tree with a sprinkle and dash of the Cure and Big County, along with other great 80’s style music throughout.

riverside-love-fear-and-the-time-machine4

I wish I could go on a further tangent about them of how I was introduced to them by the same distributor, Dave Mulloy who also turned me on to The Pineapple Thief, but I’ll save that for another blog. Really the only thing that’s nagging about me about Piotr’s passing, is that I missed the opportunity to go see Riverside play their first LA area gig (on the outskirts of Los Angeles) – but I didn’t want to indulge in the long commute to get to Whittier to see them, when they’ve could’ve easily packed the Roxy or the Rainbow instead.

The following is two recent videos of Riverside:

Last Friday, I attended a tribute gathering to fondly remember the last of the great Twilight Zone writers, George Clayton Johnson, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Great turn out and there was hardly a dry eye in the house when it was all over. I’m thinking of sending in a dedication about George to this year’s Comic Con International Souvenir book, because he was a special part of it every summer whenever he attended, and I think I owe him that much for all the great conversations that I’ve had with him.  I think I can find the time to squeeze it in.

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