NOTHING ON FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IS EVER REALLY FREE: The 2017 Edition

24 May

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Over at EARTH 2, my friendly neighborhood comic book specialty shop, I had a few words for my fellow comic book buying brethren who swarmed in like a dust cloud of locust to get their hands on any FREE COMIC BOOK DAY editions that they could. Their limit was to five copies per customer. Which is really generous, considering that nearly every other independently operated comic book store were handing out two per customer out of the 53 titles printed specially for this monumental celebratory day (the day after the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie was released and was slated to make 73 million buckeroos in a single day) which has been aptly designated as FREE COMIC BOOK DAY has been a tradition for the past decade and half and happens to fall on the first weekend in May whenever a major big budgeted comic book super hero movie is released).

BUT I found a surefire way to circumvent that 2 – 5 limit per customer (what is this? Last call at my local pissing hole?). For those who follow my blog on a regular basis, you pretty much know I followed the same YONDU colored blueprint as last year as chronicled in this two parter NOTHING IN LIFE OR ON FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IS EVER REALLY FREE & NOTHING IN LIFE OR ON FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IS EVER REALLY FREE – THE DRAMATIC CONCLUSION.

But I shall reiterate in smaller sound bytes this time around.

For the past previous years, I’ve become increasingly frustrated that for every FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, I had to visit at least seven to eight store in the Metropolitan Los Angeles area to accumulate at least half the offerings. From early Saturday AM, I would traverse from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica to Hollywood to Culver City. I The whole arduous sojourn would take me from early morning to early evening. I noticed more stores would be cutting back on the limit of what a customer would take. OF COURSE I would take up the effort to least buy a little something to patronize their business. But by last year, I realized I’m up nearly to my mid-fifties and I’m quickly running out of stamina, I can’t go galvanizing all over the city to seven or eight store and only yield less than half of the available output. There had to be a better way.

And the answer had been staring me locally all this time. I knew Carr d’ Angelo, the owner of Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks (and now a 2nd location in Northridge) for nearly two decades now. He opened the store near my house near the Sherman Oaks Galleria sometime in 2000 back when both owners of the store I used to manage in North Hollywood called Rookie & AllStars Cards & Comics LAUGHED at me when I said that SHERMAN OAKS, the hot HOLLYWOOD AGENT capital of the SAN FERNANDO VALLEY  would be the best venue to open a comic book shop in (where the hell are they supposed to park without paying the meter??). When word spread that EARTH 2 was packing in customers by the truckload, just by the sheer volume of WALK-IN TRAFFIC, it was I who had THE LAST LAUGH. As previously mentioned, Carr had been generous enough to allow 5 copies of FREE COMIC BOOK DAY EDITIONS per customer. IF YOU WANTED more, Carr simply whipped a jar full of dollar donations to the charity organization who call themselves THE HERO INITIATIVE – which is an organization that Wikipedia states more eloquently than I:

The Hero Initiative, formerly known as A Commitment to Our Roots, or ACTOR, is the first federally recognized not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping comic book creators, writers and artists in need. Founded in late 2000 by a consortium of comic book and trade publishers, including Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Wizard Entertainment, CrossGen Comics and Dynamic Forces Inc., the 501(c)(3) charity aims to assist comic creators with health, medical, and quality-of-life assistance.”

The Hero Initiative utilizes many methods of fundraising. Foremost is their annual art auction, auctioning donated original comics art-work at fan conventions. Year-long, they sell donated art and special edition comics at conventions and through the Dynamic Forces website. Artists, writers, and publishers are invited to donate work, and fans are invited to donate money directly to the fund. ACTOR also sells a green Excelsior! wrist-band similar in design to the Livestrong wristband.”

Also, they are the developers of the Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award given out each year at the Baltimore Comic Con Harvey Awards. Their headquarters is based in West Los Angeles.

I became lured to their cause, because it’s one that identifies with me. I, too had moments of despair in the early nineties when I thought back to my twenties living the California dream wasting away many valuable brain cells to the beach life of San Diego and thinking just because I had it good with a sound engineering gig in North San Diego didn’t necessarily mean that had the chops to make it in Los Angeles. So after a year of failure, I came back penniless to live on the beaches of San Diego, realizing those who once took me in ended up throwing my panhandling carcass out to sea. I couldn’t get my old place and job back, so after three weeks of sleeping on the beach, a friend of mine ran into me by chance and let me stay with him until I got my shit back in order. It was at his little cottage in Ocean Beach that I turned back to my first true love: reading and writing comic book scripts. In 1992, I got a letter published in Comics Buyer’s Guide and that sort of launched me into a new direction. And when I raised enough money to give LOS ANGELES a second try, IT WAS THESE letters that I had gotten published in CBG that won over these wo sixty- something year old businessmen who were opening a comic book shop and they began relying on my historical knowledge of silver and bronze age comic books (not to mention my skills of navigating through a price guide) that helped planted the mold.

Another key motivator in my support for the HERO Initiative was going to several giant conventions, most likely Comic Con International in San Diego, that I would run by their booth and you would get to see comic book professionals such as Peter David, Jim Valentino, and Mark Waid help out, BUT it was writer Steve Perry (not the singer from the band Journey) whom I often see managing the booth who clutched my heartstrings. Perry, once the writer of many animated episodes of Thundercats, Silverhawks, and Batman: The Animated Series, as well as the creation of Time Spirits, an Epic/Marvel comic book series, was found tragically decapitated by his roommate and girlfriend in his home state of Florida. Perry was nearly dead broke (blame it on animation writers not getting their due residual payments). Perry relied upon help from the HERO INITIATIVE for him and his young boy when he was nearly destitute himself.

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So I proposed to Carr last year, in exchange for the ENTIRE LOT of Free Comic Book Day editions – which I know he orders all that are available, why don’t I contribute a GOOD sized donation of more than $100 to the Hero Initiative? That way, I feel I’m doing good to give back to the comic book community that has spawned me? I have the cushy Hollywood position that I’ve searched highland and Hollywood boulevard low for – I can do it as long as I remain GAINFULLY EMPLOYED.  Last year, I donated in cash $120.00. This year I went for $150.00 as you can see by the picture up above of the money order/cashier’s check I bought from my bank to show that I MEAN BUSINESS.

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FREE COMIC BOOK DAY could also be looked upon as PILOT SEASON for most comic book publishers, as its’ timing coincidently falls in lockstep with most cable and television networks rolling out their schedules for next fall as they delve deep into hoping with lavish parties and giveaways (i.e.; SWAG!!) in presentations that they like to refer as the UPFRONTS that will hopefully entice you to tune into their new shows. FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is in most ways designed for me to sample the new wares and to be talked about as the big man among this summer comic book convention circuit. I wouldn’t have become fan of either IDW Publishing’s ROM or Archie Comics’ The Black Hood had I not read them first in FCBD sample form

So, anyway – rather than go through the rigmarole of making this a two-parter like I did last year, I’m just going to go through the pile of what I’ve read so far of this year’s sacrificial four-color digital offerings and say a few words.

It seems as less companies got less involved this year. There were only fifty-three titles available this year. A couple of companies who I wish would have got involved with prepping up some pilot presentations would have been Aftershock Comics (who publish their high quality wares DIRECTLY across the street from Earth 2. I’m particularly fond of two titles from their line, Rough Riders – which is a secret society historical super team up of President Theodore Roosevelt, Houdini, Thomas Edison, Calamity Jane, and Casey Jones,  and then there is American Monster by 100 Bullets creator Brian Azzarello – which is details the tragic events of a Viet Nam veteran who’s been physically transformed from the devastating effects of Agent Orange comes back to his southern hometown for revenge on those who did him wrong before enlisting.

I sorely lament no Hermes Press edition of collected Phantom stories from the Charlton and Gold Key eras this year.

And just once, JUST once, I wish Titan Comics would stop it with a DOCTOR WHO edition every year. In case you missed it, I was all a flutter with their new line of comics based on their crime mystery novels that the London company publishes called the Hard Case Crime Comics line. In the previous set, they published two mini-series based on popular Hollywood director and writer Walter Hill’s unmade film, Triggerman and one mini-series based on his new LOWLY distributed movie based on the screenplay of The Re-Assignment starring Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez about a mob hitman who forcefully undergoes a sex operation (I haven’t seen it yet. It went in and out of theaters within a week out here in LA). There was also a series by Christina Faust called Peepland, its’ last issues still buried someplace in my independent must read pile.

Also to note, it seemed that a lot more of the big companies doubled down with the their FCBD editions. DC Comics had two different variations of Wonder Woman to offer in anticipation of the new movie with a reprint of Wonder Woman Rebirth Issue 2 and the kid friendly Super Hero Girls. Archie Comics wants to make sure you’re really checking out the new Riverdale series by proposing you check out the Riverdale special edition (which could be handy as a series guide as the book lists profiles of the characters in the show) and a Betty & Veronica reprint of issue one of that stand alone series. In addition to Doctor Who from Titan, there was a Monster High edition for the kiddies. Dark Horse gives out a two-fer in the so-so debut of the world of Avatar by Sheri Smith and Doug Wheatley with Brian Wood’s Brigg’s Land as back up and another book with Buffy The Vampire Slayer with a back up featuring video game favorite Plants & Zombies. For the hard-core anime enthusiasts, Viz Media passed out one book on Dragon Ball Z and another featuring Zelda: Twilight Princess. Papercutz showed what they’re doing lately with the Nickelodeon Brady Bunch x 2 inspired The Loud House written by the animated show’s creator Chris Savino and another featuring Barbie, which gave me the oddest looks from fellow subway riding commuters when they caught me reading it.

Just remember: there’s nothing really bad to say about any of the titles. All took tremendous work and tender loving care to put out with hardly any ample compensation from the creative top to the local neighborhood retailer who’s most likely taking a financial hit in order to present the book to-day for zero profit. All genres were well covered this year, there was a book for practically everyone this year and if you are a giant fan of diversity – such as I am, you were definitely a happy camper.

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Let’s get the preliminaries out the way. We all know that they was the big grubby grabber. Stores were probably giving them out by the truckload. I haven’t had the chance to read it. I assume it takes place between issues 1 & 2 of the mini-series which is still in my Marvel reading stack – so that’s where I stuck it.  Marvel also released a Guardians of the Galaxy FCBD edition to herald the debut of new writer Gerry Duggan and to break in the fans of the movie franchise. Again, that went in my Marvel reading stack in the GOTG sub category which also includes a Jim Starlin mini-series and a couple of GOTG Vol 2 related one shots that I haven’t touched yet.

I’d like to go on a whole spiel of how I think it’s stupid for both the comic book industry professional and the public to constantly throw writer Nick Spenser under the proverbial bus, but I might have to save that until the Secret Empire mini-series is in full swing (as of this posting, the series has had a zero issue and two issues out of nine) and I’m just sick and tired of this event series getting the worse possible publicity reported and commented on by people WHO ARE NOT READING THE GODDAMN THING and all seem to be lately but Trump supporters who are suddenly experts on everything that is Captain America. I’m going to weigh in on this topic in a later blog during the summer that I’ll probably won’t get around to writing until Comic Con rolls around.

So onward to the books I’ve enjoyed the most and honorable mentions to those that were published in the same genre that I probably liked or didn’t liked, however since they were free – THEY’RE ALL GOOD!! So technically, there’s really no stinker amongst the batch.

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Skottie Young – once upon a time Rocket Raccoon artist provided us with “I Hate Image” one shot featuring Fairyland girl killing off every last one of those Image super dork doofuses that’s ever existed even the entire cast of the Walking Dead, that is, if anyone is still keeping track. Image also passed a separate pamphlet of a glimpse into the kid friendly Kid Savage graphic novel by Man of Action’s Joe Kelly and artist Ilya, which is sort of cross between Quest of Fire and Lost in Space.

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DC Comics gave out the debut issue of Superhero Issue (little knowing that it was based on a series of Youtube shorts made specially by WB Animation. Both the one shot from last year and the animated shorts was such a success that it spawned an animated series on Cartoon Network and a popular series of YA novels. Unfortunately, since I was committed to stopping at other stores in the San Fernando Valley, I missed the creative team of Shea Fontana and Yancy Labat coming by later in the afternoon to Earth 2 to get my copy signed.

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As revealed in this comic book issue, HILDA is on its’ way to becoming a Netflix series. Since I’m already a big fan of GON, another independent comic book property brought to CGI animated life to stream on Netflix, I’ll definitely be in the queue to check this out as well.

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There was a massive crowd waiting outside Earth 2 that Saturday morning because one of the actors from the show that the comic was based on was signing copies (was it Randall Park? I wasn’t sure, since I’m not a big fan of sitcoms. And you can yell at me until you’re blue in the face and call me an idiot LIKE MY SISTER DOES for not watching a single episode of Big Bang Theory. I fucking loathe all sitcom shows with laughtracks.) Boom! Entertainment also gave out a book with a trio Hodge podgy tales featuring the ever flawless Mouse Guard by David Peterson, Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes & Selina Espirtu, & ending with Coady and the Creepies by Liz Prince & Amanda Kirk.

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Out of all the kids related titles – the lead story in this issue was my favorite. It was an undersea tongue in cheek homage to the FREE COMIC BOOK DAY event in itself with a lot of heart and humor ending with a lesson in humility of Free Comic Book Day itself  Bongo Comics also released its’ traditional Simpsons free for all comic and American Mythology Comics is currently  breathing new life into Casper, the Friendly Ghost & the rest of the Harvey Comics gang along with long time Saturday morning cartoon stalwarts, The Pink Panther and the brand new Underdog comic book series, who’s photo graces the introduction of this entry.

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The appearance of Miraculous entices me to either check out the dvds I see selling for cheaply at your neighborhood Target or see streaming on Netflix. I am sorely in need of some summer Saturday cartoon fare. Other dishwasher safe fare also included IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that sort of serves as a jumping ground for new readers as the main story contains a little background intelligence of practically each major and minor TMNT character who’s ever graced all its’ multiple publishers and series. New England Comics held its’ 6th annual FCBD issue of the Tick. Instead of Grumpy Cat last year, Dynamite Entertainment is trying to lure young viewers who are fans of the online game of Animal Jam to read up on its comic book adventures. Tokoyopop has The Descendants – which is a Disney property detailing the adventures of the children of Disney villains Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Jafar, & The Evil Queen and the good they try to do in their evil predecessors’ rampaging wake   I wasn’t aware that Disney had licensing out their characters for manga, but apparently there are plans for more on the way.

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This issue was a treat as well. The creations in this book: Moomin & the Brigands, Anna & Froga, Elise Gravel, & Kitaro could easily be at home on Adult Swim.  Drawn & Quarterly also doubled down with a truly Middle Eastern slice of life in real life despair with the double feature book, Guy Delisle’s Hostage & Brigette Findally’s “Poppies of Iraq” which was fascinating insight that brought back memories of haunting lessons once learned in Joe Kubert’s Fax from Sarajevo graphic novel.

Speaking of Adult Swim, One Press has been publishing comic books based on the cult hit, Rick & Morty, which is going to take some getting used to since I just literally started watching the series on Hulu. I wonder if Oni Press has the drunken courage to publish a series based on The Venture Bros?

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This free comic book day gave us two rare looks into some European imported fare. Above is Tex: Patagonia imported from Italy courtesy of Epicenter Comics by Mauro Boselli and Pasquale Frisenda is a Western based comic book that goes back decades – was PROBABLY one of the influences to Sergio Leone in creating the Clint Eastwood starring spaghetti westerns.

Below, is a Humanoids FCBD short glimpse presentation into the world of The Incal by visionary French artist Moebius and Chile writer Alejandro Jodorowsky (Metal Hurlant Magazine). Alejandro also wrote a few episodes for the French/Belgium anthology series Metal Hurlant Chronicles that used to air for two seasons on the Syfy channel that was loosely based on the magazine of the same name that translates into Heavy Metal out there in the States. Jodorowsky once attempted to outdo David Lynch in a disastrous 15 hour remake of Dune with a proposed soundtrack to be recorded by Pink Floyd and H.R. Giger sketched storyboards that only ended up flopping like a dried up sand worm fished out of a dune from a Miami golf course on the cutting room floor and was recently chronicled in the documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune”.

Today, the Incal could probably made faster and cheaper. Years, after its’ original graphic novel publication, The John Difool god chasing science fiction opus still holds fresh to this very day.

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Besides, who would be stupid enough to resist free Moebius??

Other international adventure inspired books were the 2nd annual Attack on Titan by Kodansha Comics with a brand new original story by Valiant Comics’ Faith writer Jody Houser and artist Emi Lenox. Personally, I’m one of those johnny anime come lately by getting into this show last year on Netflix. The second season is up and running and I’m waiting for it to show up on either Hulu or Netflix.

Youneek Studios offers up the first chapter of their Game of Thrones invigorated Malika, Warrior Queen. But sadly, that’s all it comes off as: a black person’s guide to Game of Thrones with the title character coming off as African version of Daenerys Targaryen.  Still, the ads in the back of the book sate my curiosity into their other concepts of African superheroes in their respective titles of Exo: The Legend of Wale Williams and Windmaker that’s somehow supposed to connect to this book.

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Perhaps the most ingenious concept to grace the FCBD in a freebie is a Red 5 comic featuring KEYSER SOZE, the legendary mystery man explained by actor Kevin Spacey in the Bryan Singer directing debut movie, THE USUAL SUSPECTS. Now that’s what I call digging deep into the well of licensing properties for a comic book series also features a back up of a World War II time travel adventure, The Rift which is based on some Hollywood project that involves actor Jeremy Renner – but the only listing I see on imdb for it is a Russian imported film that’s also science fiction based, but has something more to do with a monster invasion than time travel.IMG_0342

A couple of years back, local San Fernando Valley artist Joe Benitez debuted his steampunk bad girl Lady Mechanika in a FCBD edition. I was impressed enough to finally catch up to in his two full graphic novel editions when I suddenly sprouted amnesia standing in front of his table over at this year’s Wonder Con in Anaheim. HOWEVER, I regained my mental facilities JUST in time to hand over $20 for the two gloriously glossy looking volumes that. This edition reprints the same lead story from the last edition that won me over, but the second half of this edition has previews of upcoming projects such as a peek into the third trade and two new mini-series debuting this summer.

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I was harping earlier about how Titan Comics would’ve perhaps made good with the FCBD format to energize some new fans to gravitate towards their Hard Case Crime line, if they had done a sampler of their upcoming line including the new adaptation of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo novel or the Cinemax series, Quarry – but I guess F2 Comics provided the next best thing with this crime noir-ish tale written by Gabe Sunia and illustrated by Warren Pleece that takes place mainly in the dark hidden hills of Hollywood and Laurel Canyon – which is the BEST EVER SETTING for any Los Angeles based mystery. And all this crazy murder and racketeering over the rights to a jazz song.

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a sneak peek into Star Trek: The Next Generation offers a diabolical reflection of the new mini-series based on the sequel to the original show. I thought the show already covered this type of parallel universe, but IDW Publishing is revamping it with new costume designs for our happy Enterprise crew doppelgangers. Star Trek comics are not really my food replicating cup of tea, but I tip my hat to editor Chris Ryall for making me a fan of both ROM and Micronauts, a habit that was started for me by last year’s IDW Publishing comics.- both titles are still on my regular pull list.

Wrapping up, since I’m pressed for time:

more sci-fi treats abound in The Looking Glass Wars Crossfire from Automatic Publishing

Antarctic Press gave out Steam Wars: Strike Leader.

Dillion aka 2000AD offered up more Judge Dredd hijinks in the only title given out with bonus DIGITAL CONTENT (which I haven’t had time to access yet).

Chapterhouse resurrects Canadian super hero Captain Canuck in his very own one shot with a Die Kitty Die back up.

The Overstreet Guide to Collecting tells us for the umpteenth time on how to collect and store our comics.

Valiant has a X O Manowar freebie, that’s going to be read when I get around to reading my Valiant Comics care package I received at Wonder Con.

Help the CBLDF…defend comics has a lead story called Rock Stars by Jeffrey Brown is about a the discovery of prehistoric drums found in a caveman’s cave, which I don’t understand what it has to do with the defending of civil rights in the comic book industry.

Udon Capcom Comics, Street Fighter. Ho hum.

Zenescope, Grimm Fairy Tales. Double Ho-hum

If you’re a big fan of Stranger Things on Netflix, I recommend reading First Second’s preview of Scott Westerfield’s “Spill Night“. Ten Speed bike fighting black ink monsters. You can’t go wrong with that.

Oni Press – in addition to the Rick and Morty special, there was also a Bad Machinery comic by John Allison offered up a second helping by the Portland, Oregon area publisher.

Finally, Lion Forge Comics previewed “Catalyst Prime, a Christopher Priest penned independent sci-fi government and space program series that’s just as good as Warren Ellis’ work on DC’s Wild Storm. Definitely interested in checking out more.

Next week – more crazy Steven Wilson shenanigans with the double two punch release of his collaboration with Aviv Geffen on the recent released Blackfield V and his upcoming 5th solo album, To the Bone, slated for released before the end of this summer.

By the way, almost all of the FCBD editions were sponsored by:

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THREE MOURNINGS LATER IN THE EXTRAORDINARY AFTERLIFE OF HARRY PERZIGIAN

29 Apr

Hey, before we begin, I want you all to watch something.

Ever since my “Songs of Harry Perzigian” blog entry got posted from last November, things have gotten quite peculiar in the blogosphere. Other than the usual douchebags who come from all shapes and sizes of rat holes who come-a-trolling for the proverbial mousetrap without cheese, a whole different breed of people have been directed from LA Kings website traffic, when the mythical song “Rudy Hrudey Is on Duty Tonight” inspired by superstar athlete goalie Kelly Hrudey was in very much in demand.  My website which hosted the video was getting over a hundred hits a day as a link to this site appeared on the three-time Stanley Cup winning team’s official team website..

However, there was that one caveat: what people discovered about the song that aired constantly on LA Morning Zoo radio was it was that it was written by the SO CALLED ACCUSED CARROL O’CONNER SON KILLER, HARRY PERZIGIAN AKA HARRY PARIS, who acted as the lead singer of the PUCK BOYS.

Not only that – Harry wrote songs for artists such as Vixen, Quiet Riot, Asia’s John Wetton, and co-wrote most of Toto’s former lead signer Bobby Kimball’s solo album, “Rise Up“.

But no one really expected Carroll O’Connor, TO KNOW THAT before he decided to ruin and humiliate Harry and his career. After the guilty conviction was handed down, Harry’s entire catalogue and contract with Warner Chappell music was torn into teeny tiny pieces and much of what songs that company had ownership over was ‘easy pickings’ for other artists, such as “Love in A Elevator” that Aerosmith coldly ripped off of him (and I have the original demo of that in my possession by the way). And if that wasn’t enough of a proverbial kick to Harry’s horse crotch, all the local Brentwood celebs living in the mid-nineties at the time such as Jeff Foley, Linda Hamilton, Dean Cain, Benicio del Toro, and a host of countless others suddenly treated Harry as the town’s pariah, EVEN though they thought it was okay for a while to snort coke at Harry’s apartment.

That video you watched is a shoddy piece of television journalism – just as they mostly were back in those days on either ABC’s 20/20 or NBC Dateline. the only thing I found to be a revelation during the WHOLE ENTIRE segment was that it was a massive trip to see the apartment that I once occupied and visited for many years was painted stark brilliant white. I’ve always known it to be a beige or light brown.

I’m going to have to make this blog entry as meticulously brief as possible. In the three years since Harry Perzigian’s passing, a lot of stuff has been going on. I’ve been steady employed for the two years and then there’s impending entertainment industry related strike about to occur after this week, and its been suggested to me by my employer that it should be ‘all hands on deck’ to get prepared (the running joke about this strike is ‘winter is coming’ – a famous catch phrase borrowed from the Game of Thrones) for something that will be blowing harder than the Santa Ana winds.

So if I come off scatterbrained, and unclear about events – It’s going to have to be blamed on the crazy overtime I’ve been putting in and the looming deadline of April 29th dangling like a carrot over my rectum. It would be pointless to write a Harry Perzigian tribute blog on any other day than April 29, so I should be obliged to give you all something.

I’m going to try to level off a speculation of possibilities as to why or what made Harry topple over the edge to shift off this moron coil.

Believe me, there’s no two asshole ways about it, it’s trouble with woman.

Harry and I had something in common: we both had tumultuous relationships with porn actresses in the past, Harry with Danielle Martin (aka Danielle) and I,  with the lopsided tit anal fucker, Rikki Lixxx. Both porn actresses also had something equally in common:  other than being blonde, they were both fucking whacked in the head. As I outlined in a previous blog entry concerning Rikki;  I detailed certain crazy events which started with her sending me lewd e-mails to my Paramount Pictures e-mail account after we had a fight at each other abodes over at Hazeltine Hellmouth in its’ splendorous backdrop of Van Nuys, California.  Yeah, it turned out  we were neighbors. Events escalated with her seeking a restraining order against me after I had her arrested for prostitution,  breaking & entering, and all other assorted petty crimes at other surrounding neighboring apartments including my own when she stupidly ran off with one of my credit cards (my Disney card) and charged $150.00 for a stripper pole at some slut shop in Tarzana. She also had a posse of johns and various gangbanging thugs of whom she would leave the security gate open at night for them to break into tenants’ mailboxes to help themselves to social security and pension checks. with a few drug deals thrown in for good measure. The battle her and I was fought lasted for three long years and cost me positions at three different studios (Paramount, Fox, & Sony Pictures) until I got her saggy unproductive ass evicted in 2009. Getting her arrested for a second time for a soliciting parole violation (she refused to take your Escort website down). Once the evil bitch had been purged, I packed up soon after her and moved in with Harry when a long gestating girlfriend of his moved out.

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Harry admitted to me that my adventures with Rikki really trumped his experience with Danielle.

Danielle was the short and sweet name she selected for himself. The only short biography I could find for her is pulled from her imdb page:

Danielle was born on April 3, 1962 in Sacramento, California, USA as Tracy Danielle Martin. She was an actress. She died on November 30, 2011 in the USA. Tattoo: Small heart on left wrist.

Writer Shauna Grant wrote a more detailed mini-bio for her youtube page:

Porn Star Danielle was one of the first blonde porn superstars, a woman whose stunning beauty seemed almost out-of-place in hardcore — until you saw her in action, that is. Danielle had a toned, tanned body with a backside you could eat your lunch off of and large, enhanced breasts that strained the seams of many a costume. Born in Sacramento, California in 1963, Danielle debuted in the hardcore industry in 1981 and her star took off when the video boom hit the porn world soon after. Danielle was a natural sex star whose personality and good looks demanded your attention.

Danielle’s first on-screen appearance was in 1981’s ‘Night Dreams 1,’ and it wasn’t long before she was one of the hardest working women on the scene. Danielle was known as a hard-charging sexer who took control of her carnal scenes and drove them with lusty abandon. Danielle never met a stud she couldn’t handle and was willing to go anywhere and do anything for the camera. Her career spanned the decade, finally ending in late 1988. By that time, her reputation as the nastiest of blonde starlets was starting to be usurped by the likes of Amber Lynn and Debi Diamond, but Danielle’s contributions to the hardcore industry won’t be soon forgotten by anyone lucky enough to have caught her in her carnal prime. And with over 100 features to her name, Danielle’s sexual fireworks are still able to knock your socks off ten years later.

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As Harry explained it to me on numerous occasions while I was boarding with him in 2009, Danielle used to live with him sometime in the early 1990s before the whole Hugh O’Connor debacle began. She was fine at first, being submissive, sucking off that huge Armenian cock all the time without hesitation or question, but Harry confined that at some times, she was mentally unstable and possessive. She became very clingy – as if she were a doting wife wondering the whereabouts of Harry were at all times – EXCEPT when it came to her to shoot her porn movies, THEN no one was allowed to QUESTION her whereabouts.

Harry got sick of her ass and her complaints about his constant partying after gigs with LACE or whoever he was drumming for along the Sunset Strip that he took her porcelain doll collection (of which he claimed she a lot of expensive ones) and threw it all out in the hallway of his Brentwood condo – which took her weeks to clear out when she finally got the message that she was no longer wanted

Harry decided that once the coast was clear, he managed to get a threesome happening in his bathroom jacuzzi – but what he didn’t count on was not knowing that…

….when Danielle was locked out of the Brentwood condo, Danielle could climb trees.

And there was a tree that Danielle climbed that led up to Harry’s bedroom window and when she came in through the bathroom door.

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All sorts of chaos ensued which involved a lot of screaming, knives being flung, fisticuffs, and some lame excuse that the girls couldn’t use the shower because it was rumored that Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow had stopped by and jerked off at least eight times in it.

It was after that night’s colorful event that HARRY eventually HAD to get a restraining order against Danielle. There wasn’t much beyond that Harry told me  about her other than that he introduced her to his mother when they were all invited to be her guests at an adult film award ceremony where she was nominated ‘as best white girl who could suck two huge black dicks at once’ category.

Shortly before Harry’s passing, he did find out from someone that Danielle had passed away in 2011. Of what, he did not disclose to me. But from the small amount of research I’ve assembled, not many other people do either.

COULD THIS HAVE DEPRESSED HARRY ENOUGH?

Sam – the gorgeous black girl who see in the video was Harry’s live in girlfriend. I think she was a mutual friend of Todd Bridges, the actor from the show of Different Strokes who helped Harry out of jail by vowing to be his sponsor during Harry’s rehabilitation that he was court ordered to do (in addition to cleaning up at a nearby Good Will store).

Anyway. Harry once told me this wacky story of a time when he was walking around Venice Beach and he had gotten jumped by gangbangers and had sliced his stomach wide open (yeah, the scar was definitely a conversation piece) and he had driven himself to the hospital where he signed himself into the emergency room at the proverbial nick of time and almost died on the operating table (I propose a harbinger of a very uncomfortable situation to come).

When Harry had died, the hardest thing I found himself to do was call the people that he OFTEN TALKED ABOUT (aka his ex-girlfriends) on his speed dial – and one of those he talked often about MORE than most was the black girl Sandy. He loved her and her family the most – despite the racist overtones that Harry was not shy of exhibiting. For example, one of the main complaints that Harry used to scrutinize at Sandy was that every time she sat down to watch television, he noticed that she always had it constantly tuned to NBC.

which to Harry’s estimation was an acronym for N***** Bitch Channel.

And from there, the afro sheen fir began to fly.

When I had talked in length to Sandy on the phone, she revealed to me, that the story about Harry being stabbed in Venice was indeed, nothing more than a fabrication.

Sandy said SHE had been the one who stabbed him, when he got a little too high on pills and violently attacked her. When Harry had gained conscious in the ER and was questioned by police and how he got stabbed, Harry concocted the story so that the police wouldn’t arrest her.

COULD HAVE THIS DEPRESSED HARRY ENOUGH?

PERHAPS FARRAH FAWCETT- MAJORS???

Harry and actor Ryan O’Neal used to work out together at a gym in downtown Brentwood (whatever they call that strip that San Vicente Blvd circles around), Farrah Fawcett used to sometimes go to the gym. She took a shine to Harry at one time. So when Ryan and Farrah used to go around coldcocking each other, she would then run into the arms of Harry and as such rotten luck would have it, some paparazzi sleaze snapped a photo of it and the photo wound up on the cover of PEOPLE MAGAZINE – with the caption reading: FARRAH FAWCETT RUNS INTO ARMS OF DRUG DEALER. This enraged Ryan so much that Harry and Ryan nearly mixed it up in the gym’s parking lot.

When Farrah had died of colon cancer during the time I was rooming with Harry, Ryan O’ Neal had extended an olive branch and called Harry to invite him to the funeral. I was the one who took down the message after Ryan confessed that Farrah, even being out of touch with Harry for many years had always spoke about him with fondness AND had always said that she felt Harry got treated unfairly in life since the Hugh O’Connor and that she definitely would have wanted Harry to attend Farrah’s memorial service, but Harry didn’t feel comfortable about wanting to go and nothing I said to him could convince him otherwise.

COULD THIS HAVE DEPRESSED HARRY ENOUGH?

Possibly none of the above.

BUT MY PREDICTION OF WHAT COULD’ VE HAVE HAPPENED TO Harry to inundate himself into a suffocating tidal pool orgy of seven industrial giant-size bottles of Canadian Mist whisky and a few scattered small ones that one could compare as to monsters being found under the bed?

Loss of command and control.

During the packing of my return exodus to Sherman Oaks, when realizing this condo sharing partnership wasn’t working out in the six months I was there. Work in the entertainment field froze on me and I wasn’t able to keep up with the expenses, but the silver lining was that I was rewarded with a back log of unemployment checks from a claim I had filed on Sony Pictures that came out to the sum of close to five grand, I invested at least three of it to the publication of my last Deposit Man comic book and I really didn’t want Harry to squander the rest of it, so my sister came through for me and found a roommate at her apartment complex who asking for half at what Harry was asking in rent. None of them wanted to come visit me down in Brentwood, so in order to be close to them, I thought it best to move up there (and my sister was a good cook. While negotiations for my exodus were going down, Harry kept telling me about this married girl he kept running into at Joe’s Gym.

I’ll call her Elf girl – because she was very elfish and bore quite a striking resemblance to actress Hope Davis.

Eventually, Elf Girl got a divorced and decided to start courting Harry, ultimately swooned over by his gift for gab and to pick up an acoustic guitar to make up some romantic diddy on the spot. I didn’t get to meet her until months later after I was settled back in Sherman Oaks. I remember remarking to Harry that she certainly looks like a better fuck than that fat old lady that he used to fuck during the time I took trips to Las Vegas to work on getting my Deposit Man books to a printer that I used to utilize out there.

For the longest time, depending on whether he was living with a girl or not, Harry had some kind of granny panty fetish that he shared with this woman who claimed to be Jon Voight’s housekeeper and Angelina Jolie’s nanny when she was a little girl. All I remember about her was that her name was Gretchen and she moonlighted as an artist and became a manager or bartender for a topless bar in North Hollywood when Voight had gone done using her as garbage receptacle.

Harry like to leave remnants of his giant 100 + 1 fluid filled panty conquests in between his couch cushions and had a habit of trying to throw them at my face.

Then he one day while visiting on a Sunday, he tried to throw the Elf Girl’s teeny tiny thong into my face.

And it was a vast improvement. His throwing arm technique that is.

Harry loved to brag incessantly about ELF GIRL. Even about the most intimate things such as her getting a permanent wax of her pussy and wanted to bet me that I would cave in front of him and start masturbating at the sight of a picture of her dressed up in a sexy Green Lantern costume.

ELF GIRL vowed to show that picture to no one else but Harry. So, to this day, I’ve never got to see it.

Then there was a time that Harry called me up inviting me to come over and fuck ELF GIRL as he watched.

“Dude, I’m not getting in the same room with you, your giant Armenian horse cock, and your teeny tiny girl friend – four’s a fucking crowd”

Harry would tort back: “but c’mon dude, she secretly told me that she has a thing for short balding guys with a big gut”. No I flat refused. I’ll do a threesome with two girls – BUT I definitely  WOULD NEVER EVER get in a threesome with a couple. It’s not in my Coatney nature to engage in any amount of swordplay or dueling with dicks, especially with mine resembling a little dagger and his, of which he used to nickname EXCALIBUR. There would have been no hope of winning that battle.

As much as the sex life could seem blissful, still it was not enough to make Harry happy. EVEN though ELF GIRL went to great lengths to get an apartment close to Harry’s – she just did not want to take the plunge and move in directly with Harry because he had a young daughter that she shared custody with her ex-husband. This made Harry lose control. All girls who get in a relationship with Harry must understand that it is a automatic prerequisite to move in with him.

BUT ELF GIRL wasn’t having any of it. She knew Harry had some unresolved substance abuse problems and she didn’t want the daughter exposed to it.

Harry got mad. Fights and arguments broke out. Harry sought to take his anger out on escorts and prostitutes. It didn’t matter to him, he wouldn’t get caught, even though fights and arguments broke out – ELF GIRL would still come over on weekends to get that waxed pussy a workout so it wouldn’t get a waxy build up. However, the mistake Harry made was that ELF GIRL had the key to Harry’s apartment, and on a Wednesday night, Harry ordered take out for the night and the ELF GIRL unexpectedly had no motherly duties to attend to that night, having dropped the daughter’s off at her ex-husband, so she decided to surprise Harry with a Wednesday night blow pop special, ONLY when she got there SHE FOUND that some stranger was already in her parking spot ass up

From there, it was Harry crying to me on the phone of how much he fucked up and a little more than a week later, his fat Armenian horsecock was sizzling on the grill of a local Los Angeles crematorium.

So here’s to another year.

The Frantic Frightful February Sweeps Free for all Fray for All Systems Failure

18 Apr
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Ow! Ow! Ow!, My eyes! MY EYES!! All these comic book related tv shows are killing MY EYES!!

Here we are with Round 2 of the 2016 – 2017 Television season as it pertains to comic book related genre. As I have explained in previous blogs around delayed viewing and its’ ratings. There are three pre-designated periods from September to May in which a show’s story arc will reflect on when advertising buying is heavier than usual, and usually in turn, for show to keep having selling power, producers and writers will schedule their strongest peak episodes to coincide with these periods called “SWEEPS”. They occur on every November, February and May- which also coincide with the usual suspect season finales and UPFRONTS presentations that grant you your ‘renewal papers’, otherwise, some new super hero wet behind the ears turk will just take over your slot (and look, is that Black Lightning warming up in the dugout?).

However, this year, there may be a slight delay in those upcoming upfront presentations due to ruffling of storm clouds and work related strikes.

BUT I don’t mind making a game of what little I’ve managed to pull.

As explained many times before in previous comic book show genre entries on this blog, every week I post to my facebook  the weekly overnight ratings of network and cable comic book based shows. What shows are the strongest, and which deserve to blow away like Pharaohs out pissing sand (If Powerless would be so kind…)

Three months out of the year, (as soon as data is released), I like to post the delayed viewing ratings on HERE and make a big fucking contest out of posting the Live plus three and Live plus seven ratings to really see who are REALLY the winners and who the losers REALLY are. Usually, I like to post up cheesecake photos of your favorite female co-stars of these shows that you can spunk off to in the midst of really complicated looking data and long-winded explanations, so that ALL OF YOU CAN REMAIN FOCUSED. I know how incredibly hard it is to sustain in your head all this heavy jargon about demo rankings and competitive tracking.

So I’d like to thank Arrow’s Katie Cassidy and the Flash’s Candice Patton for not really volunteering the cheesecake photos. It’s better that you not tell them , otherwise they’ll want compensation. And since this blog is supposed to be free.

We’ll sweat the small stuff first…

L +3 ratings

Week of Feb 6 – 12

“The Walking Dead” roared back to the top of the cable ratings with the opening of Season 7b on Feb. 12. It has only increased its lead with three days of DVR and on-demand viewing.

The episode improved from a 5.7 to a 7.7 rating in adults 18-49 in the Live +3 ratings for Feb. 6-12 and from 12 million to 15.93 million viewers. In both cases, it widened the lead it held over the No. 2 show for the week, “Talking Dead.”

What was a 3.5-point lead is now a 5.2-point lead among adults 18-49. In viewers, “The Walking Dead” increased its margin over “Talking Dead” from about 7.2 million viewers to more than 10 million.

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Feb. 6-12, 2017

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18 -49 rating 7.7 Gain vs. L +SD 2.0 % gain vs. L +SD 35%

LEGION (Premiere!!) FX  L +3 18 -49 rating 1.4 Gain vs  L +SD 0.7 % gain vs. L +SD  100%

Week of Feb 13 – 19

“The Walking Dead” made up some of the (small) ratings declines its Feb. 19 episode suffered thanks to DVR and on-demand playback.

The episode fell 0.4 in adults 18-49 vs. the prior week the night it aired (5.7 to 5.3). It regained a tenth of a point with three days of delayed viewing, rising to a 7.4 (vs. 7.7 the previous week). It also added more viewers (4.16 million) than the previous episode’s 3.92 million.

Legion” was the biggest gainer in the Top 25 aside from “The Walking Dead.” They both added 0.7 to their initial ratings.

THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18 -49 rating 7.4 Gain vs. L +SD 2.1 gain vs. L +SD  40%

12 LEGION FX L +3 18 -49 rating 1.2 Gain vs. L +SD 0.7 gain vs. L +SD  140%

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for Feb. 6-12, 2017

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC 15,243 4,156 37%

The Week of Feb 20 – 26

The Walking Dead” is, per usual, perched way above everything else on cable for the week of Feb. 20. It was that way when the initial ratings came out and remains so after three days of DVR and on-demand viewing.

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Feb. 20-26, 2017

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18 -49 rating 7.1 Gain vs. L +SD 2.1 gain vs. L +SD 42%

18. LEGION FX L +3 18 -49 rating 1.0 Gain vs. L +SD 0.5 gain vs. L +SD 100%

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for Feb. 20-26, 2017

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC 14,740 4,317 41%

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Week of Feb 27 – Mar 5

THE ONLY show to break the Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in the Live +3 adults 18-49 category for Feb. 27- March 5, 2017 was…

 20. THE FLASH CW 1.7 0.6 55%

“The Walking Dead” cemented it’s No. 1 spot among adults 18-49 with a 1.9-point gain to 6.6. It also moved ahead of Fox News’ coverage of the presidential address for first place among viewers.

Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Feb. 27-March 5, 2017

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18 -49 rating 6.6 Gain vs. L +SD 1.9 gain vs. L +SD 40%

20. LEGION FX L +3 18 -49 rating 1.0 Gain vs. L +SD 0.6 gain vs. L +SD 150%

Note: HBO debuted the cable premiere of the theatrical X-Men: Apocalypse and it managed to mind meld its’ way into the L+3 SD category.

31. X-MEN: APOCALYPSE HBOM L +3 18 -49 rating 0.9 Gain vs. L +SD 0.1 gain vs. L +SD 12%

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for Feb. 27-March 5, 2017

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC 13,669 3,496 34%

6

And now the competition grows even more fierce – for here are the lightning rounds for broadcast shows. Winners in broadcast categories receive a commemorative WINNER, WINNER SWANSON TV CHICKEN DINNER JPEG PLAQUE

L + 7  Ratings

 Week of February 6 – 12

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L + SD 0.7 L +7 1.5 7 Day Increase 0.8 7 Day % Increase 114%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

5 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD 0.7 L +7 1.5 7 Day Increase 0.8 7 Day % Increase 114%

14 ARROW CW L +SD 0.6 L +7 1.1 7 Day Increase 0.5 7 Day % Increase 83%

Viewers – Percentage gain

2 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD (000’s) 2085 L +7 (000’s) 4129 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2044 7 Day % Increase 98%

  1. ARROW CW L +SD (000’s)1608 L +7 (000’s) 2731 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1123 7 Day % Increase 70%

17 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW L +SD (000’s) 1774 L +7 (000’s) 2873 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1099 7 Day % Increase 62%

19 RIVERDALE CW L +SD (000’s) 1197 L +7 (000’s) 1903 7 Day Increase (000’s) 706 7 Day % Increase 59%

  1. THE FLASH CW L +SD (000’s) 2906 L +7 (000’s) 4586 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1680 7 Day % Increase 58%

22 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD (000’s) 2428 L +7 (000’s) 3809 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1381 7 Day % Increase 57%

WINNER, WINNER, SWANSON’S TV CHICKEN DINNER!!!

tvdin11

goes to….. MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD

The return of “The Walking Dead,” per usual, outdistanced everything else in the cable Live +7 rankings for Feb. 6-12 — just as it did in the initial rankings and those after three days of DVR and on-demand playback.

Sitting at No. 2 in both adults 18-49 and viewer gain, however, is the premiere of “Legion” on FX. The show grew by 0.9 in adults 18-49 (0.7 to 1.6) and by 1.97 million viewers, more than doubling its initial numbers in both measures.

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD 5.7 L +7 8.2 7 Day Increase 2.5 7 Day % Increase 44%

2 LEGION – (Premiere!!) FX  L +SD 0.7 L +7 1.6 7 Day Increase 0.9 7 Day % Increase 129%

Adults 18-49 – percentage gain

13 LEGION – (Premiere!!) FX L +SD 0.7 L +7 1.6 7 Day Increase 0.9 7 Day % Increase 129%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000’s)12015 L +7 (000’s) 16837 7 Day Increase (000’s) 4822 7 Day % Increase 40%

2 LEGION – (Premiere!!) FX L +SD (000’s)1623  L +7 (000’s) 3592 7 Day Increase (000’s)  1969 7 Day % Increase 121%

Viewers – percentage gain

7 LEGION – (Premiere!!) FX L +SD (000’s)1623 L +7 (000’s) 3592 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1969 7 Day % Increase 121%

Week of Feb 13 – 19

Yes, we’ve been here before: “Agents of SHIELD” was the top performers in the Live +7 rankings for the week of Feb. 13-19.

“Agents of SHIELD,” meanwhile, had the highest percentage gain in adults 18-49 (150 percent, 0.6 to 1.5) and was second to “Timeless” in terms of percentage gain among total viewers.

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L + SD 0.6 L +7 1.5 7 Day Increase 0.9 7 Day % Increase 150%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

1 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD 0.6  L +7 1.5  7 Day Increase 0.9 7 Day % Increase 150%

7. RIVERDALE CW L +SD 0.4  L +7 0.8 7 Day Increase 0.4 7 Day % Increase 100%

Viewers – Percentage gain

2 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD (000’s) 2126 L +7 (000’s) 4152 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2026 7 Day % Increase 95%

13 RIVERDALE CW L +SD (000’s) 1139 L +7 (000’s) 1873 7 Day Increase (000’s) 734 7 Day % Increase 64%

20 ARROW CW L +SD (000’s) 1663 L +7 (000’s) 2563 7 Day Increase (000’s) 900 7 Day % Increase 54%

WINNER, WINNER, SWANSON’S TV CHICKEN DINNER!!

tvdin11

goes to……  MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD….. again.

Fellow FX show “Legion” tied for second in total gains among adults 18-49, each growing by 0.8.

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD 5.3 L +7 7.9 7 Day Increase 2.6 7 Day % Increase 49%

3. LEGION FX  L +SD 0.5 L +7 1.3 7 Day Increase 0.8 7 Day % Increase 160%

Adults 18-49 – percentage gain

9 LEGION FX  L +SD 0.5 L +7 1.3 7 Day Increase 0.8 7 Day % Increase 160%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000’s) 11087 L +7 (000’s) 16171 7 Day Increase (000’s) 5084 7 Day % Increase 46%

3 LEGION FX L +SD (000’s)1133 L +7 (000’s) 2910 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1777 7 Day % Increase 157%

Viewers – percentage gain

4 LEGION FX L +SD (000’s) 1133 L +7 (000’s) 2910  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1777  7 Day % Increase 157%

The Week of Feb 20 – 26

even shows at least doubled their 18-49 rating, with “Agents of SHIELD” and “Riverdale” leading the percentage gains with a 133 percent jump each.

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

12. THE FLASH CW L + SD 1.0 L +7 1.9 7 Day Increase 0.9 7 Day % Increase 90%

17. AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L + SD 0.6 L +7 1.4 7 Day Increase 0.8 7 Day % Increase 133%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

1 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD 0.6 L +7 1.4  7 Day Increase 0.8 7 Day % Increase 133%

2. RIVERDALE CW L +SD 0.3  L +7 0.7  7 Day Increase 0.4 7 Day % Increase 133%

9 THE FLASH CW L +SD 1.0  L +7 1.9  7 Day Increase 0.9 7 Day % Increase 90%

14 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW L +SD 0.6  L +7 1.1  7 Day Increase 0.5 7 Day % Increase 83%

17. ARROW CW L +SD 0.5  L +7 0.9  7 Day Increase 0.4 7 Day % Increase 80%

 

Viewers – Percentage gain

1 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD (000’s) 2013 L +7 (000’s) 3885 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1872 7 Day % Increase 93%

7 RIVERDALE CW L +SD (000’s) 975 L +7 (000’s) 1689 7 Day Increase (000’s) 714 7 Day % Increase 73%

8 THE FLASH CW L +SD (000’s) 2787 L +7 (000’s) 4747 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1960  7 Day % Increase 70%

13 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW L +SD (000’s) 1643 L +7 (000’s) 2698  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1055 7 Day % Increase 64%

16 ARROW CW L +SD (000’s) 1537 L +7 (000’s) 2457  7 Day Increase (000’s) 920  7 Day % Increase 60%

21. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD (000’s) 2236 L +7 (000’s) 3532 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1296  7 Day % Increase 58%

WINNER, WINNER, SWANSON’S TV CHICKEN  DINNER….

tvdin11

goes to…..  THE FLASH!!

You could chalk it up to NBA Championships for the win, since many CW stations were obliged to carry it (especially Chicago!), which preempted The Flash, thereby cockblocking a possible third Agents of SHIELD win.

The Walking Dead,” per usual, made the biggest gains via DVR and on-demand viewing for the week of Feb. 20. The magnitude of its lead is notable.

“The Walking Dead” also added 5.32 million viewers, 3 million-plus ahead of the No. 2 show in the rankings (“Major Crimes,” which grew by 2.29 million people).

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD 5.0 L +7 7.7  7 Day Increase 2.7 7 Day % Increase 54%

6. LEGION FX  L +SD 0.5  L +7 1.2  7 Day Increase 0.7  7 Day % Increase 140%

Adults 18-49 – percentage gain

16 LEGION FX  L +SD 0.5 L +7 1.2 7 Day Increase 0.7 7 Day % Increase 140%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000’s) 10434 L +7 (000’s) 15756 7 Day Increase (000’s)5322 7 Day % Increase 51%

7 LEGION FX L +SD (000’s)1043 L +7 (000’s) 2489 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1446 7 Day % Increase 139%

Viewers – percentage gain

8 LEGION FX L +SD (000’s) 1043 L +7 (000’s) 2489 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1446 7 Day % Increase 139%

The Week of Feb 27 – Mar 3

Legends of Tomorrow” grew by 100 percent.

THE FLASH CW L + SD 0.9  L +7 1.6  7 Day Increase 0.7  7 Day % Increase 78%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

  1. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW L +SD 0.5  L +SD 1.0 7 Day Increase 0.5  7 Day % Increase 100%
  2. THE FLASH CW L +SD 0.9  L +SD 1.6   7 Day Increase  0.7  7 Day % Increase 78%

16 RIVERDALE CW L +SD 0.4  L +SD 0.7   7 Day Increase  0.3   7 Day % Increase 75%

  1. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD 0.7  L +SD 1.2  7 Day Increase  0.5  7 Day % Increase 71%

Viewers – Percentage gain

4 RIVERDALE CW L +SD (000’s) 1042 L +7 (000’s) 1798 7 Day Increase (000’s) 756 7 Day % Increase 73%

  1. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW L +SD (000’s) 1538 L +7 (000’s) 2608 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1070 7 Day % Increase 70%

7 THE FLASH CW L +SD (000’s) 2524 L +7 (000’s) 4232 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1708 7 Day % Increase 68%

12 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD (000’s) 2179 L +7 (000’s) 3458 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1279 7 Day % Increase 59%

WINNER, WINNER, SWANSON’S TV CHICKEN DINNER..

tvdin11

goes to…… THE FLASH!! Yes, again!!

Due to a power outage in a Nielsen data storage facility in Florida, the DVR L + 7 for cable shows of the week of February 27 – March 5 were lost. Not that it really matters, we all know how great and powerful the Walking Dead is despite declining audiences. Legion has a long way to go to match the monumental ratings mountain top that the Walking Dead has building prime real estate on for the past five or so years, BUT its proving itself to be no slouch in increasing its’ potential audience. No show that I’ve seen, let alone a show that I’ve heard about in this category has ever scored above a 157 % like that. Hopefully overnight audiences will start flocking in droves when the second season comes around next year. Same almost could be said about Riverdale, whilst their audience share is miniscule, it’s audience percentage harbingers a stronger performer in its’ sophomore season. I’m pretty sure it’s the same method that got iZombie renewed for a third and fourth season.

Hopefully by the time I gather all the DVR data for May Sweeps, we’ll have some numbers for Marvel’s Iron Fist.

Finally, I’m getting to finally see the Syfy channel’s adaptation of IDW Publishing’s Wynonna Earp on Netflix. I’ll definitely be milking that for the entire summer. I meant the show, not the title character.

In couple of weeks, my third anniversary blog about my departed friend Harry Perzigian.

And after that, I will be having a special guest blogger on board to do a handful blogs about a very dire health subject.

HONEY, LET’S JUST SKIP THE MUNDANE SATURDAY NIGHT BLOW JOB AND WATCH CARTOONS INSTEAD

30 Mar

This should be a quick and easy blog to write about.

So I keep telling myself for the past 75 blogs or so, otherwise they’d all be less time-consuming and quick and easy to write.

Saturday morning cartoons should be one of the those grandiose subjects that should naturally flow from my hands to the laptop keyboard like electricity through my fingers or easier than my penis piercing through cold refrigerated butter.

But it’s not. You still have to do the obligatory blasted research before posting.

I love most animated shows produced today. I feel that over the years they have grown up with me RATHER than me having grown up watching them.

Saturdays these days my eyeballs are glued practically 6:00PM to sometimes nearly 2 to 3 in the morning to nothing but animation. With the addition of online platforms such as Hulu and Netflix, and not to mention some real long out of circulation golden oldies that can be found on Netflix, there’s more of a library to fulfill a lifetime.

On Hulu:

The Simpsons. 28 years and still going strong. One of my favorite radio hosts, Peter Tilden from KABC, (of horror movie Shocker fame), wrote the episode where the family takes a vacation to Cuba in “Havana Wild Weekend.”

 

Bob’s Burgers. A NETWORK animated show that’s both hilariously funny and has a lot of goddamn heart. The other show that I’d stick in the same category in the cable and streaming end is BOJACK HORSEMAN.

Family Guy. 15 years and still going strong. Laugh out loud, crude and very possessive dark hearted and cruel for a NETWORK animated comedy. And that’s why I adore it and immediately after watching it need to smoke a cigarette afterwards.

I would presume that Son of Zorn ran its first thirteen episode probation season and we’ll just have to wait to hear word from Fox at the May upfronts on whether it’s going to get renewed or not.

Now I purposely utilize Hulu for all my current Fox Animation Domination and Adult Swim needs. I tried to follow a few MTV series like The Maxx,  Liquid TV, or Beavis & Butthead, but as soon as I got around to streaming Daria, I got JERKED before embarking on the third season which was probably a message for me to go out and buy the massive expensive complete series set. Hulu is fucking notorious for this type of action. Certain shows get clipped for some reason while you’re in the middle of that and they disappear entirely from your queue. This also has happened to me during streaming golden sixties oldies Naked City and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Meanwhile on Netflix:

The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show. (pictured above) is a modern take on the sixties classic created by Jay Ward that was an alternating segment on the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. It’s produced by DreamWorks Animation for Netflix exclusively, but by the imposed commercial breaks I would assume that it’s shown globally on commercial television. Voice actors Chris Parnell and Max Charles reprise their roles from the DreamWorks CGI movie. It’s already on its’ third season and has been renewed for another season to start this fall. The animation is little crude and doesn’t do its’ best Ward impersonation, but the stories and its’ unique David Letterman type of talk show format gets the job done.

Danger Mouse is back with a whole look minus the flash and dash. The 1981 series was very limited in using Flash, but now produced in brilliant Toon Boom Harmony, able to give the show more depth and scope. Co-creator Brian Cosgrove is a consultant in the series and each episode is a bite size twelve minus. So if you’re that tea and crumpets kind of phase, you can easily devour two in one day – that is, if you can get the appetite make room for occasional guest voice Lena Headey as female American super spy Jeopardy Mouse

Gon – I love the person whoever is voicing the grunts and maniacal laugh of this title character. Gon is based on a manga series created by Masashi Tanaka and I was exposed to it by DC Comics through its imprint Paradox Press during my years when I was managing a comic book store in North Hollywood. The American reprints tapered off, but the character of a mischievous little dinosaur who can eat entire trees and bushes with one gulp and fight any living creature no matter how big or small always manage to stick in my craw. I never forgot that little fuck and I was caught completely off guard when I saw that a CGI animated series had been done (he’s also star of a video game. Wow, image that) and was recommended to add to my cue. I don’t know how many seasons I have to waffle though, but I think I’ve got plenty to last me for the rest of the summer.

Voltron Legendary Defender. Logical progression from Legend of Korra producers. Renewed for an addition seasons 3 & 4. It’s got that same quirky heart and pulse pounding suspense that were noticeable in Korra and the Last Airbender.

On my blu ray / dvd player:

Though technically a Amazon Prime acquisition – I’ve somehow managed to get my hands on a third-party dvd copy of the original UK broadcasts of THUNDERBIRDS are GO!, therefore saving me a good thirteen bucks a month that I would have otherwise was willing to shell out just to have the subscription service. Thunderbirds Are Go would have been another reason I would’ve chomped at the bit of getting Amazon Prime besides the magnificent live action adaptation of The Man in the High Castle, but again, I was also lucky to obtain a screener copy of the latest second season that I’m now currently in the process of finishing up.

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With a little more GO! power to muster, I’ve sort of surrender to terms with myself that TEEN TITANS GO! is the new norm and has improved time and time again since I’ve declared time after time to infinity and the edge of ad nauseam that this show is nothing more than a Technicolor eyesore, but once the show was showing that it was willing to guest star YOUNG JUSTICE in one episode and found myself laughing myself silly, the show has become acceptable. I work my way through the dvd sets whenever they’re released.

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Beavis & Butthead. I was Target one day and I happen to see that this DVD set boasted on the cellophane wrapping that it was the entire series, movie, and music videos – ALL IN ONE COLLECTION.

And guess what?

I’ve never seen every Beavis & Butthead episode, movie, and music videos EVER MADE.

So into the shopping cart it went.

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THE CENTURIONS was a 1986 Jack Kirby & Gil Kane model designed series as with most afternoon kiddie fare, it was sorely a shill for toys. Max Ray, Jake Rockwell, & Ace McCloud were former military men who are gathered together to work as a team with enhanced exo-frames provided by their space satellite orbiting headquarters SKYLAB in defeating evil cyborg scientist Doc Terror. Sixty five syndicated episodes managed to slip past my mid-twenties (I dunno, maybe I was too infatuated with Defenders of the Earth at the time or lusting after my roommate’s sister Jennifer Ellis since I was living in San Diego at the time) but luckily Warner Archive recently becoming  my new best friend has the whole series in their manufacture by demand series of products.

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Predating Jack Kirby’s work on the Centurions was another series designated to the toy shelf, but this one certainly RESONATED more with viewers  (I understand that there are cults who worship this series on college campuses . I have a couple of facebook friends, Buzz Dixon and Mark Evanier who once wrote for this series – but the sole germ of this apocalyptic world  idea came from the same mind of the creator of Howard the Duck, Steve Gerber. – although I swear it has remnants of Kirby’s Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth sprinkled all over it. It could have been a collaboration of Gerber saying to Jack: what if Kamandi was a grown up and was hanging out with a hot young sorceress and a Mok creature and they were out saving the world from evil sorcerer, mutant crocodiles, cosmic vampires and  a pack of werewolves led by their leader “ZEVON” (there’s some Gerber humor right there). I betcha that’s how Gerber & Kirby pitched it to Ruby Spears. I just know it.  Again, mostly available through the kind shippers and packers at Warner Archive. (I believe I picked this collection up at Amoeba Records used).

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I’ll have enough Jonny Quest The Real Adventures episodes to at least last me throughout the year. The Real Adventures is Jonny Quest & Hadji depicted in their teens along with Race Bannon’s daughter, Jessie joining the team. However, creative differences occurred between producer Peter Lawrence and Hanna Barbara  that he was let go after the first half episodes were delivered. The second half of the season reverted back to its’ original setting of the kids being younger, but still kept the same model sheets, and sadly jettisoning the computer graphic enhanced Questworld segments.  I wasn’t keen on the mid-eighties series, but watching most of the episodes for the first time (I didn’t have cable to watch the original runs), I feel the first season had to be a natural extension to the original. I think what Lawrence was trying to demonstrate that characters that you once had an affinity can’t just grow up in a vacuum. You need to show progression in a child character. since one that could be viewed as someone who could have a possibility of existing. There are some goofy outlandish episodes and VR is quite the rage these days, and there are some that tried to educate us. Take for example,  the last episode I watched, The Spectre of the Pine Barrens was interesting and at least historically inaccurately amusing. The Revolutionary War is still being fought in the mountains of the Pine Barrens between the redcoats and the minutemen more than two hundred years since it began, The Declaration of Independence (the real one) is at stake. Posting this just in time for the release of the DC experimenting with this year’s annuals in which your favorite DC super-hero teams up with a Hanna Barbara character, such as Suicide Squad and the Banana Splits, Green Lantern and Space Ghost, and Jonny Quest with Adam Strange. The first wave arrives in comic book specialty shops this week.

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AVENGERS ASSEMBLE: ULTRON REVOLUTION (season 3) is very loud – just like their movie counterpart. I have issues with Marvel Animation. They constantly insist in stiffing people who don’t have cable television, like me, and only sell their episodes, FUCKING ‘a la carte for two bucks on iTunes. I was comfortably watching them on my Netflix, which was another reason I caved in and got a subscription in addition to the Marvel live action shows – but they took them all off!!. I’m paying a goddamn two bucks per episode of Ultimate Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy or for this show for that matter. Since they absolutely refuse to make blu ray or dvd season sets, I’m just going to have to go the BOOTLEGGER route, and buy the entire season set at conventions for $ 15 dollars a pop. Fuck you stingy assholes at Disney.

LOOKING FORWARD TO:

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The seventh season of Archer should be out on dvd by the time I’ve posted this.

I usually conclude with a movie.

Movie nights in the recent past have included Nerdland, the Blu Ray version of GHOST IN THE SHELL, Kobu and the Two Strings, and usually all DC Universe Original Animated movies will have me on animation adrenaline until at least 3 o’clock in the morning. And then on Sundays, I’ll write for an hour or two, read some DC comics and go on another cathode ray induced marathon for all the super hero live action dramas and the best of today’s cable shows until the coach potato ass sores set in.

I’m looking forward to this one (finally, one without Batman, Superman, or Justice League in the title!!) and the collected CW Seed edition of Vixen.

 

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IF YOU CAN’T DO THE READING TIME, THEN DON’T COMMIT THE COMIC BOOK CRIME!!

17 Mar

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I’ve been delving of late into the subject of reading a brand new line of American crime noir comic books being printed today by Titan Distribution from the wonderful wacky country of the United Kingdom usually known the world-wide over for their monotonous multitude of Doctor Who and Assassin’s Creed comic books.

Sounds sketchy I know, but hear me out your honor.

Crime comic books kick ass. They’ve always been kicking ass since their inception from way back when Gangbusters was born on radio and made the transition to DC Comics back in the 1940’s.

NOT everything I read concerns spandex. I’ve had my various other genre kicks over the years. I was first  on board when DC Comics launched their own more mature content under the imprint umbrella called Vertigo Comics (seeing as how Piranha Press failed to make the cut in when it failed to ensnare readers with the heart wrenching Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children) that originally coined the phrase “mixology’ when it came to blending some of the more abstract DC heroes such as Animal Man, Shade the Changing Man, Sandman, & the Doom Patrol into their own stand alone warped universe adventures smattered with a few original creator owned books such as Enigma and Sebastian O in a vast world nearly unpopulated by the term ‘mature readers only’.

Back in the 1990’s, Frank Miller was making the scene again with his independent fare of his grimy black & white world with a splash of red, yellow, or blue here and there called Sin City as a regular feature in Dark Horse Presents that basically tore the world loose as other popular artists and writers let off with a barrage of the ultra violent nitty-gritty that made Negan back in the day come off in short pants and swinging a mean wiffle bat.

When I was a manager of a comic book store in North Hollywood, I experimented for a time of bringing sole creator made comics into the spotlight that used to make me a champion for the underdog with a passion for the independent creator that was a subject in my many essays and letters to Comics Buyer’s Guide that eventually led me to a position for Comic Con International to serve as their small press coordinator in 1997.

One of those books from that period that I carried a good ten copies or so for my store was very memorable in practically creating a cottage industry in itself called Stray Bullets by rising talent David Lapham, who had become jaded with working with Jim Shooter on a  book at a new publishing venture Defiant Comics that failed to launch called Warriors of Plasm. It went for fifty issues or more before it took a much needed hiatus.

But as time and fist pummeling to the face marched on, the genre softened a bit, making it less prominent in the majors. Darywn Cooke was somewhat keeping the wheel turning with his series of I Parker adaptations for IDW. Lapham is still now doing Stray Bullets for Image. Also I’d be remiss if I didn’t make mention of Ed Brubaker collaboration with artist Sean Phillips for their platform of crime based mini-series they’ve been doing for Image Comics that started off with Fatale back in 2012, but by blog posting time, I didn’t have time to cobble together a mini-series or two for observation.

So here is one of the waves of Hard Case Crime Comics published in junction with Titan Books that I happened to hang ten on. Hard Case Crime also serves as an imprint of a series of paperback novels from some nifty knucklebuster film noirishing writers such as Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Max Allan Collins, Lawrence Block, Erie Stanley Gardner, Donald E. Westlake, and a host of many others. Six of the novels in the series have been nominated for Edgar Awards. Movies and tv shows such as King’s The Colorado Kid was turned into Haven that aired for a time on the Syfy Channel. 2016’s The Nice Guys was first published as a novel in this series and more media related projects are on the way.

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Peepland is a five issue mini-series (the final issue hasn’t been released as of blog posting time) that uses the much publicized 1989 Central Park rapes as a back drop concerning the possession of a video tape of these widely reported rapes that’s captured by a sex worker and friends that could possibly incriminate certain people of power. It’s a mini-series ride rifled with scumbags that even cockroaches wouldn’t scatter from.

I’m not too familiar with Christa Faust’s hard-boiled mystery writing, but with some of he events that happen in this book, she does succeed in making one squeamish and I’d supposed some of her roughshod style carries on in the novels she pens for Hard Case such as Money Shot. Christa has said in interviews that Peepland was a dream project come true for her as it literally five years to get off the ground and that’s it’s a love letter to the era of New York City that she grew up in. With artists Gary Phillips (The Rinse, Captain Action, Vigilante: Southland) and inker Andrea Camerini, that dream has now become a hard-core reality.

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Walter Hill, director, writer, and producer of many cinematic and television late seventies masterpieces such as Alien, 48 Hours,  Tales From the Crypt, and The Warriors is responsible for scripting the remaining two out of the three latest wave of The Hard Case Crime Comics line. Triggerman  is a operatic Prohibition era mini-series about a convict risking life and limb to save the girl he loves, co-written by Walter Hill and French writer Matz, illustrated by Jef. is based on one of many unproduced screenplays left lying in a desk drawer whereas…

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the third offering is a three issued double-sized adaptation to the just recent released “The Assignment” movie starring Sigourney Weaver and directed by Hill is also done by the same creative team of Triggerman. Great premise, by the way – Hitman Frank Kitchen  (Michelle Rodriguez…..huh?) is hired to do a job but gets interrupted, or rather KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS along the way only to wake up to a very unwanted and a very unexpected SEX CHANGE operation (oh, ok, I get now)performed by a certain unhinged doctor (played by Weaver) as part of a plan of revenge for Frank killing somebody close to her. The comic book is probably getting wider exposure, since this low distributed movie is barely in any theaters that I know of. Where I work in the Hollywood biz, the director of operations at my office is even finding it tough to book this film our employee theater. So this may serve as the next best thing.

For the next wave of upcoming books recently announced.

The Cinemax show, “Quarry” will be a mini-series to be published by Titan and it’s based on the series of books by Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition, Ms. Tree). I knew I had good instincts when picking up the recently released blu-ray set since I was in the mood to pick up the void that the four season Banshee left in my purest darkest heart. The blurb written on the back of the package sold me. I hear it’s based on the latest book series by Collins who is the co-creator of Ms. Tree, a FAVORITE independent comic book of mine back in the 1980’s only reinforced my natural gravitation to exquisite taste. Quarry just happens to be your normal average everyday traumatized Viet Nam sniper, who comes home from war only to snapped up by the local Mississippi mob to do their dirty work.

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As for these two beauts – well, Vertigo had already done an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, so I don’t know what the purpose is behind for another publisher to tackle the same type of material, but its’ announcement couldn’t have been of coincidence since Sony just announced a sequel to the American film version called “The Girl in the Spider’s Web“, which to me is an entire bastardization of the original Swedish material (I sat through all 3 original Swedish versions of the Larsson’s novels and they’re vastly superior to the Americanized David Fincher adaptation , which was impossible for me to stay awake through, as it offered nothing new for me to explore.

Normandy Gold by author Megan Abbott details the events of when a female Washington DC sheriff goes ballistic when she finds her sister murdered and the trail to find the culprits responsible goes through a labyrinth of prostitution and drug rings leading all its’ way up to the White House. Almost sounds like something true to life since we recently got an orangutan elected commander-in-chief.

So those I hear are coming out this June.

Also, a couple of other companies making crime waves with their assembly line of comics:

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Homegrown in my own hometown of Sherman Oaks, California is American Monster from Aftershock Comics (currently occupying a high-rise building near the renown Sherman Oaks Galleria where I used to count box office receipts for Paramount Pictures) by fabled Batman: The Dark Knight III and 100 Bullets wordsmith Brian Azzarello and artist Juan Doe (Juan Doe? Seriously?)  According to the book description found on the publisher’s website; “In a small Midwestern town, a large man with a horribly scarred face gets off a bus, and takes a room. He spooks the locals–nobody knows him–or do they? It’s impossible to say be-cause he seemingly has no face. The man’s intentions remain unknown, until he takes on a corrupt sheriff and the rural crew of racist arms dealers. The town’s impression of the man changes, and he’s seen as a hero…until his real intentions bubble to the surface. The man isn’t there to end the gang, but to take it over. And he’s just getting started.”

Maybe both American Monster and Quarry could compare notes on how to avoid stepping into even more shit after leaving Vietnam. I love the look of the product as much as I’ve seen of the entire Aftershock line with its’ great quality and generous portion of previews of upcoming projects which also made me pick up the alternative history action adventure Rough Riders, but AM’s infrequent shipping schedule has made me lose the gist of the story. Sometimes its three to four months before you even see an issue pop up in your subscription box. At the time of this blog posting, I don’t think even the sixth as even shipped and it’s been three months since issue five has shipped.

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I never thought I’d see the day when I’m willing to admit that possibly one of the best written comic books in the world today would be published by ARCHIE COMICS. Black Hood is currently the most bone crunching cringing in pain comic book that can realistically kicks you hard in the stomach with a very sharp object, having your entrails spill sloppily onto the concrete and still you’re willing to turn the page as your life fades to black. Each issue is the most fifteen minute dark ride you will take before calling it quits into the night THAT IS, if you ever wake up again.

The character goes way back to the nineteen forties was an average day super-hero when he had his own comics and a radio show who was probably blah, blah, blah – caught in the super underwear glut, but after many unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate his reboots through the decades, it wasn’t until the last few years or so when novelist Duane Swierczynski took a hard-core urban approach and made him a pill popping beat cop by day and vengeful black masked motorcycle riding skull cracking thuggish vigilante by night all over the city of Philadelphia that gave him his true panache. The series is fucking brilliant and really messes with your head after you finishing reading. It’s not only the great scripted pages and various artist to have graced its’ three mini-series, but also the crazy research into true crime stories to have occurred throughout the city of Philadelphia provided by actual crime historians that serve as back up filler.

The series is currently on it’s *ahem* second season. I recently read the last three issues a few nights ago. As much as I love this series, but please a word to all comic book publishers – ESPECIALLY those who publish books published on Joss Whedon properties: FUCKING STOP IT ALREADY with the fucking referring to your comic books as television seasons!! It’s novelty has pretty much worn off.

Next time it’s more cartoon showtime. Look for it in two weeks.

Coming Soon to A Purple Pinup Guru Panache Platform Near You…

28 Feb

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I’m having one of those off-blogs, where I originally was going to prepare a little tribute to the current state of true life crime stories in comic book form, but my world has been in a blender of late due to all the awards season events held in my town but I spent Oscar weekend instead with friends visiting out of town that had me nowhere near a laptop and the Purple Pinup Guru’s penis left dangling and exposed on his failure of picking Academy Award winners.

Rather than scour the e-mail archives or re-post repeat performances from the mothership, http://www.purplepinupguru@blogspot.com, let’s just preview what ideas I have in store for the next two months instead of digging up regurgitated time machine soliloquys from a decade or so back.

Like I mentioned two paragraphs ago, I’m interested in cobbling together a little investigation into the current crop of crime comic books being published today. You would think the major publishers such as Marvel, DC or Dark Horse would have this market clinched. But believe it or not, a publisher from across the pond, Titan Books, a small flourishing company in my hometown of Sherman Oaks called Aftershock Comics, and Archie Comics – yeah you heard me- the house of Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Josie & the Pussycats AND recently the developers behind the brand new show, RIVERDALE which give the Archie mythos a delicious Twin Peaks type of slant which debuted on the CW last month, ARE the companies putting out spectacular comic book gumshoe adventures. I’d like to examine that in two weeks time, PROVIDED that I get the chance to read the reference materials.

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By month’s end, I need to write a follow up to my Jonny Quest blog that was a hit sensation on this blog. I recently discovered some great gems other than the acquisition of the entire REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST series that bears some serious investigation and deep rooted Saturday Morning cartoon analysis (in my case, late Saturday evening plus whatever bottle of Absolute Vodka I manage to crawl out from )- plus by that time, I’ll have a good idea of how well the forthcoming amalgamation between the DC Universe and the Hanna Barbara is shaping up.

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Also by the time I get around to posting those two- data should be presented of the Live + 3 and Live + 7 numbers of how all the comic book genre shows performed for the February sweeps.

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Switching back to music, I have my fingers twisted in knots that K-Scope Music will have their US distribution problems resolved by late March or April. I’ve been very irate at how their American distribution just without a word of warning, decided to bail and shut their doors without a word to fans of bands such as Anathema, North Atlantic Oscillation, Gazpacho, The Pineapple Thief, and most especially the release of the new Blackfield V album being head hostage from February to March. I wanted to dedicate a tribute blog to the band and perhaps reprint another concert review of the band just like I did with Asia in my previous entry.

And finally, late spring will be the last reminiscence of my late good friend Harry Perzigian on the third anniversary of his passing in late April. I will be backtracking the events that led to Harry Perzigian’s downward descent to confront his personal demons..

Fun times ahead.

 

 

 

 

“Been Chasing Rainbows For A Lifetime” said the Bass Player with a Lugar Strapped to His Thigh

17 Feb

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John Wetton, the everyday solidary man and favorite session & lead bass player and also a very distinctive lead singer for a who’s who resume of progressive rock bands died in his sleep on January 31st of colon cancer. I have to admit folks, that this one really tugs at my heartstrings.

Wetton was one of my favorite all around versatile bass players, harking back to high school  when I first discovered his amazing ferocious power playing when teamed up with boy genius violinist/keyboardist Eddie Jobson and the meticulous powerhouse drumming of Terry Bozzio touring as the tantamount trio known as U.K. as they stole the thunder of Jethro Tull in support of their fall of 1979 Stormwatch album. I remember barely getting to my seat at the Madison Square Garden when I was a risk taking sophomore taking trips to New York City by myself to attend concerts until the following year of my 1980 junior year when I started asking girls out to accompany me. But back then I was ‘solo in the game’ and if I remember correctly: I think I went back to the same venue shortly for Foreigner by myself when “Head Games” was released.

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But I distinctly remember being mesmerized by UK up on that stage as an usher was leading me to my seat. The grandiose performance of mostly songs from the Danger Money album released earlier that year such as “Caesar Palace Blues” “Nothing to Lose” “Time to Kill” and the ever instrumental defying gravitational digit dexterity of “Carrying No Cross” of Jobson switching back and forth between the savage attack of a swinging bow plexiglass violin  and a large keyboard assemble lead by its’ classic Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer as blinding flashing neon sign of the letters U an K slowly tipped forward as to engulf the trio, there was Wetton in the center standing as cool as a cucumber ending the show and thanking us all for their patronage. Then Jethro Tull followed with their rocking stranded ship at sea stage craft of their newly crafted Stormwatch, although as great as Ian and company were – Jobson, Wetton, and Bozzio managed to make more of an impression on me. Anderson did give an equally brave performance as he was singing on stage for “Too Old To Rock’n’ Roll, and Too Young to Die,” a careless female fan threw a rose onstage to Anderson which struck his eye, causing it to bleed. My seat in the arena that night hobbled between of what I could see onstage and also what I could see backstage, and during a good portion of the set, I could see Anderson running back and forth between instrumental breaks to grab fresh towels to dab at his eye.

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I’m going all over the place with this reminiscent, just as  Wetton’s career did I suppose. As I grew older in high school and expanded my prog rock vocabulary to bands such as King Crimson, Roxy Music, or Uriah Heep, I’ve learned that they too all shared the Wetton stamp of approval. However, as time marched on through my overall music appreciation, I look back at Wetton’s contribution to the 1972-74 period of King Crimson’s output as his most innovative and improvisational. Those three albums would be Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, Starless & Bible Black, Red, and the somewhat live USA accompaniment that former Roxy Music band member (and later on U.K) Eddie Jobson helped with violin overdubs. It was with King Crimson that Wetton got to spread his creative chops and proved that he was a songwriting tour de force with songs such as “Easy Money“, “One More Red Nightmare” , and “The Great Deceiver” eventually leading up to the pinnacle of epic finales, “Starless“. Those three studio albums were a phenomenal must listen to back in my high school and I will regard them as the final straw of dividing myself from the status quo of a normal high school teen-ager. Founder Robert Fripp, along with Wetton’s tremendous front man contributions was aghast with tonal experimentation and served as the progenitor to the birth of grunge and alternative rock of the latter 21st century masses led by Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Tool, or even Nirvana. There aren’t many bands to this day that perform along the Sunset Boulevard at either the Roxy and Whisky crowd that don’t cite the album Red as one of its’ main instigating influences.

After the break-up of UK, and before Wetton formed that was perhaps the most powerful supergroup in progressive rock pop history known as Asia,  Wetton briefly served a stint as a collaborator of the twin neck guitar blues rock band Wishbone Ash in a special guest star capacity. On the 1981 album, Numbering the Brave, Wetton contributed one song called “That’s That .”

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I suppose wandering aimlessly into the clutches of A & R record label matchmaking of Geffen Records who were back in the early nineteen eighties a label still finding their voice with the likes of signing  Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell and the tragic death of John Lennon (or rather stealing each individual artist away from their former labels) gave them enough star power, but not really much of an identity or a thumbprint. John Kalodner seeing as how progressive rock bands such as UK, Yes, Emerson, Lake, & Palmer were dropping like flies in the advent of punk rock, managed to set Wetton up with ex-Yes and ex-Buggles keyboardist Geoff Downes to see what would stick And with the recruitment of former Yes guitarist Steve Howe and the ELP drummer Carl Palmer;  voila! Asia was born and so was the anthem of my senior year “Heat of the Moment” took center stage blazing up the single charts.

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Getting to see that initial world tour in support of the debut album was no easy task. Tickets sold out like gangbusters and I had no choice but to scalp my first ticket off the streets of New York at The Palladium along 14th street. It was a 100 bucks I paid, but after I was attempting to get to my seat with my official tour shirt, I got hassled by an usher claiming I had a counterfeit ticket and I had to bride the fucker who was shaking me down for an extra fifty bucks to keep me from kicked out. That tour was especially memorable because they had debuted new material, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” and “Midnight Sun”  for the second album that wouldn’t see the light until next year.

I was originally supposed to take Linda Freeman (now Yarosh), my high school gal pal to the 1983 second tour in support of Asia: Alpha in Forest Hills, NY  as the condition of having me taking her to see David Bowie, but of course, she neighed on her word but I wound up taking her older sister, Lisa instead. The stage was bigger and amazing. Keyboardist Geoff Downes had the entire upper tier of the stage to myself to house all 24 of his keyboard synthesizers that had him practically doing marathons to be in cue to reach certain keyboards to be within arms’ length. I don’t think I ever seen John Wetton on such as massive stage as I did on that tour. Sadly, the Alpha tour hemorrhaged a ton of money before it could end and some west coast dates had to cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

And Asia was done. I didn’t get to see John Wetton perform again until a 1995 solo tour that brought him to Los Angeles as part of a progressive rock festival held out here. He also had another outstanding keyboard player working for him by the name of Martin Orford formerly of IQ and Jadis who worked heavily on producing a few of John’s solo albums such as Sinister and Welcome to Heaven for the Giant Pea Electric label that Martin ran for his two bands. I believe that was the only time I ever got the time to say a few words to the man (such as ‘hey, how’s it going. Looking forward to the show tonight.’) as I sat a couple of tables down from him at the fabled eatery, The Pantry hours before he was slated to take the stage.

It was also during this period that Wetton made periodic journeys to Los Angeles to work on demos with various area songwriters and musicians such as my late friend Harry Perzigian and guitarist Brian Young who later went on to play in a Van Halen cover band Atomic Punks where he was then quickly snatched up by the real David Lee Roth to be the lead guitarist for his band.

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To my utter amazement, I came across three songs co-written by John Wetton and Curt Cuomo along with Harry entitled “I Can’t Tell You”, “Back in Your Loving Arms” and “Power, Sex, & Money” in a box of demo tapes that the Perzigian family told me to take to burn as a compilation to give to attendees of any LA memorial service. Big freakin’ deal. They were only 7 of us that bothered to even show up, but I used the first two songs on that collection.  The latter song was re-tweaked by John Wetton and Geoff Downes to be included on their Icon 3 album released in 2009. Harry nor I were aware that John brought that song back out of the mothballs. I gave up looking for it in the record store bins a long while ago, even though I own the first two records in the Icon series. I’m sure if Harry was aware of its’ existence, I’d think he’d be a very different man today. I wish I had the know how on how to download audio files, otherwise I’d share them all with you.

Finally Asia kicked John Wetton’s replacement, John Payne to the curb to regroup with its’ original members, Wetton, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and Grand keyboardist extraordinaire Poobah Geoff Downes. Deep down, in my personal regard, I think Wetton realized that during his absence Payne sort of matured the band into other unfamiliar covered areas such as world music, jazz rock, ambient, and calypso on the Arena and Aura albums, so some of the music that Wetton c0-written on albums Phoenix and Omega had to reflect a more serious tone. I talk more about this subject in the special commemorative review I wrote of the band’s Las Vegas appearance in support of the Phoenix tour.

So my final words on John Wetton:

He certainly had a love affair with the word ‘solidary’.  The word has crept up in individual songs for three of his bands, King Crimson, U.K., and Asia. And I’m pretty sure, WHILE we weren’t looking, it’s more than likely, it’s reared its’ ugly head in a few of his solo songs.

I have not heard his first solo “Caught in the Crossfire” since I moved away from New Jersey. It’s probably still buried in my mom’s shed at her house in Parsippany, NJ.

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The last place I saw John Wetton alive on Asia’s Gravitas tour 2014 (along with Keith Emerson, who was there to cheer Carl Palmer on.) The Saban Theater, Beverly Hills, CA

 

Wetton’s death was shocking, but not totally unexpected. He had many bouts and issues with the bottle same as my friend did, (but not as loopy as Harry did). In fact, I remember a story I heard about a time when he was totally too soused to attention a fan convention held in his honor somewhere out in Pennsylvania, where they kept finding him passed out the front doors of the hotel lobby or sleeping it off on a park bench. But his battle with colon cancer was long and courageous. He stuck it out thick and thin. not giving into the pain and suffering as Keith Emerson did as he copped out. He kept performing even as his body was distressed. I remarked at one time how frail he looked when he made an appearance on the dvd video portion of  Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s last Ayreon project, The Theory of Everything that he had a guest starring role on. The passing of John Wetton is a different sort of feeling;  Wetton, while not really a household name had a voice that was remarkable identifiable with the mass audience that know him through Asia. So basically, he was a musician that surely had crossover appeal.

The review below has previously appeared on a European website dedicated to progressive rock news and reviews called http://www.dprp.net (you can also find another review of mine of a Asia concert with John Payne on that website as well).

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Asia

3rd May 2008
The House of Blues, Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Article By Cary Coatney


 

The Four Original Members Of Asia In Lost Wages

My first ever concert review in Las Vegas, NV @ the House of Blues Mandalay Bay

Having seen Asia probably a good handful of times ever since David Geffen assembled the band in 1982 – including both tours featuring the early founding members and later on, with other members of good standing such as John Payne, I thought I might not had nothing more to add since I’ve already reviewed the band for this website a few years ago (at a Border’s book signing no less) – but this new tour in support (or not so much support, depending on how you look at it) of the first studio recording in more than twenty-five years with the line-up of all four original members: John Wetton, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, and long stalwart gatekeeper Geoff Downes called “Phoenix” merits a mention.

The Asia concert I saw over at the Mandalay Bay House of Blues Casino in support of the new Phoenix disc was the first concert that I saw in which I can safely say served as a crossroads in a difficult defining moment that I’m going through in my present life – both happy and sad. On the happy side, I wasn’t the one who bought the concert ticket, instead I was treated to this show by the printer of my new comic book series, who’s very proud of the professional quality that I put into the new product (for the record, it’s called the Deposit Man: Playgod). Sad – that the whole new publishing venture has left me practically penniless (or euro-less for those reading across the Atlantic) and my day job’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable in cutting off my overtime at the time I was paying off the balance – which leaves me pretty much in the red. Sad, also because of my father who lives in the Las Vegas area is also going through a similar situation with his job.

The show for the evening also held a double entendre as far as euphoria was concerned. It was a gathering of my old friends of who I grew up with in a sleepy New Jersey town called Parsippany and they used the Asia concert as an impromptu bachelor party for one of the oldest of my high school friends who just happens to live in the Las Vegas area. He was getting married that weekend and couldn’t get me an invite to the nuptials (I didn’t know he was living in Vegas until his brother e-mailed me a few days before heading out) so once he heard that I was in town, he made sure to declare the Asia show the unofficial bachelor Asia Gig. So in addition, of seeing the Four Original Members of Asia performing some Alpha material – some of which hadn’t been heard or performed live in some twenty-five years was also on par with some people I hadn’t seen in that same duration of time away from my high school days such as their uncles and cousins. I was simply wrapped up in the nostalgic moment, being around so many memories that I couldn’t really bear to nitpick the performance itself… but….

However, I was mildly disappointed in the fact that when you’re announcing that you’re touring in support of a new album – PLAY SOME OF THE NEW ALBUM!!

I thought this was going to be a monumental milestone in the band’s history – as management has sort written off the last 15 years or so John Payne collaborations as something that might have occurred in a parallel dimension as to it never happened as it pertained to a parallel world. I’m sure, it’s nothing personal on Geoff Downes end, as I have personally hung out with both gentlemen in the past, and I could attest of never catching a whiff of animosity between the two. So, if the band with all the original members is psyched about releasing their first recorded album together after a quarter century has passed, you’d think once they herald in a bunch of the new songs, the boys would be anxious to test them out live. BUT what happened? Only two got to pass the smell test, the bookend tracks: the opener, Never Again (which sounded marvelous) and the end song: An Extraordinary Life.

With that being said, I will now draw your attention to the show itself. Now, please keep in mind that this was the first ever concert that I’ve seen in Las Vegas rather than being pulled away from rather my old Los Angeles Sunset Blvd stomping grounds of the Whiskey or The Roxy. I was in town to finish up business with the new book – and the convenience of having them stop over in town coincidentally was too good of an opportunity to pass up (I was also in town to take my dad to see the Iron Man movie – as an early father’s day present). I’ve heard rumors from people who attend shows regularly in the LA area that there is a restriction on performers in the LV area. You’re required to finish your show by 11:00PM so they can set up some stupid DJ and have disco dancing go tirelessly on until 4 or 5 in the morning. I don’t know who came with this stupid rule or why the entire town has to cap all live music by some unholy witching hour – just chalk it up that it’s freakin’ Las Vegas and there’s usually no such thing as a rational argument.

With no opening act, the four original members of Asia took the stage at 8:30PM and immediately led off with a virtually rare performance of a ‘Alpha’ B-side called “Daylight’ (if I remember correctly, I think it was on the flip side of the “Don’t Cry” single ) which was a real treat. Most of the show was strictly a routine of the last reunion tour with a few slight variations. Plenty of the song list repertoire once again focused on mostly the first Asia album and some from the second, Alpha. There was only one song, Voice of America, represented from the Astra album, which was on the third one, and the first to feature the dissension within the ranks with the abrupt departure of Steve Howe and being replaced by Krokus guitar player, Mandy Meyers – so there was really no hope of hearing choice meaty selections such as Go or Rock and Roll Dream being performed that night. Which was fine by me, having already heard John Payne do fantastic renditions of them on the tours he’s done with the band in the past. Most of the show stoppers of the evening were of course, the bits and pieces pulled from each individual’s past and present bands – one or two selections from either Yes, ELP, King Crimson, or the Buggles were the ones that drew the most applause from the audience.

However, personally, having already been there, done that…..

I can’t stress enough when witnessing these bits performed for the umpteenth time: without trying to sound like the harbinger of a telegraphed Moody Blues set list: but I can’t figure out why they have John Wetton try to sing Roundabout. The song just isn’t written for him and when one of my friends caught me shaking my head in dismay, he pulls me to the side and says: “dude, you got to remember, he’s trying to cover both parts that (Jon) Anderson and (Chris) Squire used to sing”. And does every Steve Howe solo bit have to include the Clap? Or Mood for the Day? I know it gets a little more dramatic with age – but how about Mr Howe for once would mix it a few other Yes guitar melodies such as Giants Under the Sun, or perhaps, even that small little track he did for the Union album called Masquerade in which he got nominated for a Grammy for best rock instrumental? It’s just with Steve Howe, it’s redundant and very, very quite mechanical he’s got such a wide catalogue to his name and he’s always reduced to performing the same two numbers over and over. Geoff Downes did an impressive solo spot utilizing some of his solo work and mixed it all (I think you can hear a demo of it on his myspace page) in with the orchestral Fairlight sampling coda that closes out the next to last track on the first album called Cutting it Fine.

As I mentioned before, John Wetton performed the only track from the Astra album, Voice of America, just on vocal and guitar. the floodgate of progressive rock’s beginning was showcased by the alluring haunting performance of King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” which to this date baffles me because that song was written by Greg Lake when he was in the band and when John Wetton replaced Lake, Wetton never performed the song when he was with Crimson. Personally, I thought better if Wetton had done some of the songs he did with U.K., such as In the Dead of Night, or Rendezvous 6:02. U.K. was the band that was discarded before Wetton joined forces with Asia. The highlights of the prog masters’ tribute series was when Geoff donned dark sunglasses and sparkling silver coat for a rousing rendition of Video Killed the Radio Star and the virtuoso pulse pounding of all four original members of Asia for ELP’s version of Fanfare for the Common Man simply brought the house down and brought them to a standing ovation – however – me and my lot were having a lot of stoned induced giggles when the video monitors all around started showing off each individual member ‘s close up on their playing techniques framed against some kind of psychedelic visual effects( while trying to keep score of the stoical freezeframes of each rock star pose).

Another oddity during the show worth mentioning is when Geoff Downes and Carl Palmer were finished performing their drum and organ solos respectfully during the middle of “The Heat Goes On” Wetton returned to the stage to resume the final chorus – but there was no sign of Howe to help put away the number. Steve was mysteriously missing from the stage. You could see the bafflement on both Wetton’s and Downes faces which slightly threw their playing off – but as soon as the monumental historic Ab minor chord opening of Heat of the Moment sounded the gladiatorial clarion call, Howe was up front and center with his Stratocaster as if nothing had happened. Someone told me that he was too busy backstage trying to get his slide guitar tuned up for the encore “Don’t Cry” . I hear he’s very picky when it comes to people tuning his instruments.

My personal favorite moments from the show was the opener Daylight, like I mentioned before and another was an acoustic version of another rare b side from the first album “Ride Easy” . That flip side of the “Heat of the Moment” single was such a monumental memory for me growing up because I remember, my high school sweetheart Linda Freeman would come over my house sometimes just to put that song onto my stereo system. I was joking to my buddies – that maybe they would pull another rarity out such as “Lying to Yourself” which was the flip side of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes single. They all echoed fat chance of ever hearing that one performed live.

Sorry I had to rant one with a few discrepancies here and there – but I was really hoping to hear a good portion of the new stuff performed. I really enjoy the new tracks from Phoenix such as Alibis – which has this brilliant coda ending that sounds very similar to Paul Mauriat’s Love is Blue – and the lengthy multi-parter, Parallel Worlds. Although, John Wetton takes credit for most of the writing on this album he’s takes on a more serious approach on some of the songs – instead of the usual bubble gum overblown verse /chorus fluff that’s a mandatory pre-requisite in the sound of most 1980’s AOR recordings ( forgiving some of the trespasses on tracks such as Heroine and I Will Remember You ), you can’t help wonder if Wetton is taking a page out of John Payne’s spiritual thirstiness that’s so heir apparent in his lyric work with in new songs such as An Extraordinary Life and Nothing’s Forever. Anyway, I really don’t want to turn this into a record review, at least I should be knocking on the DPRP asking for a contest winner handout.

The total gig time with encores was approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Plenty of time left over to get all jiggy with it on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning.

Had some real snazzy merchandise goodies this year, but the guy working the souvenir booth wasn’t very enthusiastic about selling Asia T-shirts and hats (broadband wrist bands that record the show? That’s what they were touting for $60 a piece to take home a copy of the night’s performance and download it to your computer. I tell ya, These techno whizz kids these days!!) as evident when someone wanted to buy a wall clock of the band. He told the customer that the clock was guaranteed to work at least twice a day. I just settled for a simple $25.00 t-shirt to take home and all the memories of that gig is imprinted on that t-shirt forever more ….or at least until the true colors start to fade away in the wash.

Setlist
Daylight
Only Time Will Tell
Wildest Dreams
Never Again
Roundabout
True Colors
Geoff Downes keyboard solo featuring the coda to Cutting It Fine
Steve Howe solo – The Clap & Mood for the Day
John Wetton solo – Voice of America & the Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Ride Easy
Time Again
Open Your Eyes
Fanfare For The Common Man
Without You
An Extraordinary Life
In the Court Of The Crimson King
Video Killed The Radio Star
The Heat Goes On – Pausing for a Carl Palmer Percussion Moment
Heat of the MomentEncores:
Don’t Cry
Sole Survivor