January 14th, 2003



I helped SBX w/some domestic chores, Saturday morning and ate her delicious blueberry pancakes before splitting to finish NIGHT FALLS...2/pp20 at my studio. I worked on the cover for AIM TO DAZZLE and got frustrated. Mojo wasn't working. I went out for a grilled Swiss cheese sandwich at DONUT HOUSE and bought The Dolemite sequel: THE HUMAN TORNADO, at BLOCKBUSTER for $10. I'm seduced by the seediness of this awful blaxploitation genre. Whether it be Dolemite, Super Fly, Our Man Flint, Dirty Harry & The Man With No Name, Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen, Chow Yun fat, and even the modern Austin Powers, society has always wanted a seedy, underground, low-budget, super-savvy parody, anti-hero. Ergo, my attraction and deconstruction of said genre in Billy Dogma.

SBX biked over and we went to grab a coffee at Helen's Bakery while her mincemeat pies heated up in my oven. SBX got frisky and we hit the hay for an afternoon romp. Afterwards, SBX surfed the Internet for a Pocket PC Phone while I struggled with the ATD cover. We listened to the CLASH's "London Calling" album and kept the afternoon simple. By dark, we were looking to shed the doldrums and made inquiries about town. Seems that the bitter cold was keeping most pals behind locked doors and under blankets. The only body willing to risk the weather was Myla Goldberg, who came over for TRIVIAL PURSUIT and Jerry Lewis' THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. We drank Merlot, ate snacks, and ordered spicy Thai from Tuk-Tuk. Had an easy evening of competition and levity, keeping snuggly while the weather made the streets pale with winter fright. I put SBX to bed before the King of Comedy could deliver his "nutty" moral, hugged Myla sayonara, and wrote a little with the cats at my side.

On Sunday morning, SBX finished the last half-hour of THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, while I worked on finishing the cover to AIM TO DAZZLE. SBX went out for a run to the end of Red Hook and back, with a wave and holler at Mike & Marie's and pit stop at Helen's Bakery for bagels and scones. I brewed coffee while digitally coloring the cover. I suspect that watching one work can only yield so many minutes of interest before one's mind lingers and fantasizes about this and that. SBX got frisky and sideswiped my deadline with a little bit of Female Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. After schooling me of the finer wine in the cellar, SBX napped for a few while I became determined to wrap up the cover by sundown! Later, we hopped our bikes to Cobble Hill Cinema's and caught the 5:50PM show of ADAPTATION, which was great! I think I liked it better than BEING JOHN MALCOVICH. Could somebody PLEASE tell me why Frank Pledge is writing screenplays under the pseudonym “Charlie Kaufman?” That movie was all FP, no doubt.

We biked over and ate dinner at LONG TAN on 5th Avenue in Park Slope, where I munched on a delicious amalgamation of Thai-talian, while SBX's period cramps tried to foil her meal. A quick jog to the corner deli for Advil helped block the coup, and we enjoyed a romantic dinner. Went back to her house and finished watching the awful MOULIN ROUGE spectacle and repaired to bed, putting SBX and her cramped stomach to sleep. I read a few more chapters of Lansdale's CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, which is getting a little better [passed the halfway point], but nothing to write my mom about.

Hold the phone!

Were we dead? Jaws torn open, tongues slack, and our guts wrapped around a big oak tree from some terrible car accident? Or, had SBX and I managed to go an entire weekend, two whole days, without bickering? No fight? Not even a raised eyebrow? No way!

I rushed to the obituary section of the newspaper and scanned for our names. Nope. We were alive.

And well.

Little bit of FETT

Monday started with me writing snazzy solicitation copy and hype for AIM TO DAZZLE. Then, BATMAN editor, Bob Schreck, returned my call and he, like every other DC Comics editor, is all booked up with a years worth of stories. Still, he's giving me a chance to pitch my BATMAN/12 ANGRY MEN idea at him for consideration, come late Feb. I called up cartoonist/pal Nick Bertozzi, to see if he would write the script from my plot idea, and he was into it. I penciled most of NIGHT FALLS...2/pp21 and had a mini-revelation.

I realized that most indie/alt/art comix are boring me. They don't tickle my pink like a good HULK or DAREDEVIL comic, or the occasional Warhol-esque pop spin on the super-dupers [read: X-STATIX and DOOM PATROL]. Once in a blue I like to get semi-heady with a book like Y - THE LAST MAN, LOVE & ROCKETS, and/or RUBBER NECKER, but at least they keep it cheeky. I don't know how Chester Brown continues to resonate, but he does. I'm over the neo-Charlie Brown wannabe's who putter about naval-gazing [CLYDE FANSsszzzzzzz] and spanking their McGank [PEEPSHOW anyone?]. Call me lazy & silly, but I actually get MORE out of psychedelic escapism than neo-reality. I get more out of DOLEMITE than IT'S A BEAUTIFUL LIFE. Sure, TAXI DRIVER is a masterpiece, no doubt, but TOUCH OF EVIL fucks me up to no end. Why? Dunno. Ask me next year. I might actually have my head screwed on then.

ALSO, there is something to be said about regularity. Like taking a healthy dump, I count on my monthly [nay - WEEKLY] comix fix. It's warm and fuzzy to know that I could drop FANTASTIC FOUR today and probably pick it up 10-years from now and Johnny Storm will STILL be playing pranks on Ben Grimm and Dr. Doom will STILL be pissed at Mr. Fantastic. Why is that important? Why is family important and you'll answer the same question.

And just so folks don't think I went TOTAL Darth Vader, I still got a little bit of Boba Fett left in me; check out the cover to my New BILLY DOGMA comic, AIM TO DAZZLE, due to debut at MOCCA in June: http://www.indyworld.com/deanhaspiel/billy/dazzle.htm

AIIEEEEE!!! Comfortslut mailed me the newest Lansdale hardcover, A FINE DARK LINE, the one she jacket designed. It’s so cool - and a spiffy jacket, if I may say so. Thanks CS, you ARE the bee’s knees. I love you!

SBX came over to my pad after work and we watched MAGNOLIA [her virgin tour, my 4th]. We ordered hot food from the Cobble Hill Grill, and I finished penciling pp21 during the 3-hour viewing. SBX hated the song and frogs but basically dug the premise and stories. With arm-twisting, I can forgive the song. But the frogs stay. To me, that's where Paul Thomas Anderson gets my vote. He went all Latin on an Anglo-Saxon and flexed the metaphoricalz. Anybody knows my work, knows I cherish and champion off the wall/purple shit like that. 45-minutes should be hacked from the flick and it could almost be perfect.

We hopped a cab to SBX's and I read her a Jonathan Ames short story and an Amy Sohn sex column from NEW YORK MAGAZINE while she casually drifted off to hibernation. I cracked open CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS and read a few more chapters by the tungsten fire while squirrels galloped back and forth atop the roof, building a nest to hide acorns for the winter.