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Dean Haspiel

History

19th February 2003

1:56am: St. Valentine's Day
On Friday, Fiffe came over to erase my inked pages and fill in the blacks while I inked the next page. We broke for lunch and I cooked us some cheese ravioli in a sausage red sauce w/salad. We watched a little bit of the new ‘Amazon SURVIVOR’ show and got back to work. I inked another page and Fiffe cleaned it up and split. In and out like a true pro. My homeboy.

Took another break and read an industry article online that got me in a snit:
http://www.newsarama.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000146

Seems that, if you read comix or make them, you are less likely to get a job at Marvel. I need to make a feature film, a hit TV show, or write a hot novel ~ in order to write an issue of IRON MAN.

What? Only film director Kevin Smith can sell 100,000 GREEN ARROW comics? Nigga please.

Yet, in a weird way, it makes sense; Franchise comix need to make a creator fan base OUTSIDE it's littered ghetto. Nobody cares about X-MEN the comic book, but they'll watch the DVD three times. If Quentin Tarantino or Philip Roth decide to write a 6-issue arc of HULK, their allegiant fans may buy the comix, especially if they're made available at bookstores [preferably sold as collections] because they're writers that pop culture digs. If I mentioned Peter Milligan or Bruce Jones, would anybody outside the comix ghetto know their names, much less their work? Only Bob Kane, Will Eisner, Walt Disney, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, and Neil Gaiman, have successfully crossed-over to the uber-media arena. Merely a handful of comic book creators have worldwide brand recognition out of...how many?

Thousands, upon thousands...

It’ll be a long time coming before the likes of Brian Azzarello, Garth Ennis, Evan Dorkin, Bob Fingerman, Grant Morrison, Tom Hart, Brian K. Vaughan, Nick Bertozzi, Ed Brubaker, Mark Millar, Eddie Campbell, Brian Michael Bendis, Colleen Coover, Warren Ellis, Milligan, Jones, etc., etc., poke that pop-culture ozone. And there’s plenty more from where they come from.

Whoa. Didja see that? Looks like Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Michael [THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY] Chabon is writing a short Golden Age MISTER TERRIFIC comic book story for JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA: ALL STARS, come May from DC Comics.

Ruffled, I skipped outside to run last minute errands when I bumped into the lady from upstairs down in the mailbox vestibule. Seems that my upstairs neighbor is in the US Army Reserves and just split for the war. He was going to renew his lease in March, but duty called and he was out. Just like that. I barely knew the kid. He wore an expensive suit to his corporate job and looked like the all American boy; a Ken Doll face w/his hair side-parted. I could easily see him owning a bible and flag with no sense of irony. I suppose his mom baked one mean son-of-a-bitch apple pie.



Valentines dinner was running late because SBX was trouble-shooting a weeks worth of work, tying up last minute strings, and putting out fires so she could safely leave her job and go play in Disney World, explore the Epcott Center, and swim with her daughters and parents come Sunday night’s airplane launch for seven days of R&R sans corporate interruption in Orlando, Florida.

I put the wooden wobbly kitchen table in the living room and tightened up the legs. Placed a glittery red bag full of goodies on her chair. Arranged candles and a red rose. Set up two lights to reflect a red & blue glow against the white wall. Made a big salad with feta, red onion, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, carrots, cucumber, and mustard vinaigrette. I prepped garlic couscous, and opened up a bottle of red wine. Ben Webster was in the CD player ready to blow his melancholic horn, and the lava lamp was bubbling in the bedroom.

Then, I waited. I inked a page. And, I waited some more.

SBX finally walked in the door @8:30PM, wearing that sexy hot pink t-shirt with the white bunny rabbits, I bought her in Paris. I was a tad ticked that, ONCE AGAIN, work had eaten into our personal time, but I went into BBQ-mode and got the couscous going. I gave my sweetheart her Valentine’s kiss and goodie bag and she opened up the plastic heart box, which housed various chocolates and a small key chain of SNOOPY riding a pink convertible with WOODSTOCK chilling in the back seat. SBX got a giggle out of that and then I gave her the brown box.

The brown box.

I had bitten my lip and kicked my shin a bunch of times this week for ordering her this gift box a few days earlier. My prude and conservative half tussled tooth and nail with my liberal/buck wild BETTER half, and ultimately, curiosity won, throwing caution to the wind. Not only had I ordered ONE of these dreaded things but, undecided, I had gotten TWO of them. Different kinds. And now was the moment to see if they would pay off…

Styrofoam peanuts snapped and popped as SBX dug inside and pulled out a pack of AA-batteries. Curious, she dug a little deeper and pulled out what appeared to be a short, thin box. She pulled out the nefarious item and looked at it before she squealed and blushed, recognizing it for what it was: a Pocket Rocket. A pink Pocket Rocket, at that. My heart was racing. I told her “There’s more.” She looked at me like I must have been joking. “More what?” SBX dug deeper into the brown box and pulled out a clear plastic case housing what looked to be the Silver Surfer’s mighty cock. It was, in fact, a classic vibrator in the shape of a scud missile accompanied by two, fully charged C-batteries. Her wide eyes reflected off the metal sheen.

The look on her face.

SBX was in shock that I had buckled, suppressed my prudish jitters, and walked the proverbial pony. I still couldn’t believe I had purchased those two enforcers of the enemy. I suppose that’s what makes life a series of challenges; by confronting issues and reducing their power, eking one-inch closer behind the green door. SBX knew my trepidation with sex toys quite well, and the fact that I had succumbed to the proposed “playfulness” of such common household sin, inherently brought a whole new level of trust between us.

I’m not proud of the fact that these twat robbers give me the jezebels. Sure, I wondered if the easy to please throb of a battery operated man-cannon would circumvent a libido induced bike ride or three to her house when the loins got vivacious, but, that’s the breaks, monkey-shine. Sometimes you go for the spank and tickle over the stroke and snuggle for economy reasons. One night loses out to a fuck machine. So what? Worst case scenario: SBX takes that Pocket Rocket for her week long vacation, gets enamored by its flood of orgasmic prowess, and comes back with a black & blue leather cheerio and a pink slip for me. At best, she negotiates its swift qualities on her own damn clock [at work?], maybe rub out a tight knot in my shoulder, and/or perhaps uses it as a device to expedite our love jaunt on a school night when work is smoking up the space in her mind that’s supposed to be filled with the billows of Cloud 9.

No skin off my nose.

Besides, I couldn’t take back the gauntlet I had dropped before her lap. Not with batteries begging to be employed. So, I flicked the band on the Pocket Rocket to start it up and it hummed like a rattlesnake. Kinda scary. We both laughed, finding it difficult to imagine pressing that plastic shivering Popsicle anywhere near ones nether regions.

Excited by the gifts, SBX hopped up and brought over a HUGE bag. My God. What kind of pocket pussy was I about to behold? It was slim, wide, and black. It had a zipper and it was waterproof. It was a portfolio case made of canvas! I have never owned a professional art portfolio as splendid as this and SBX managed to find me the best one EVER! And, to top it off, she also gave me a beautiful, 24-page, archival display book for original comic book art. Hot damn. Suddenly, I felt really silly getting her those mischievous toys.

We sat down and ate dinner as Ben Webster charmed us with romantic ease. Red wine shed the workday from our tense muscles and the flicker of candlelight, backed by the hue of red and blue, let us drown in each others eyes, mouths, shadows, and hair. Too full for dessert, the second course was taken to the futon where we made closer inspection of those dastardly sex props.

SBX admitted that the vibrator was somewhat off-putting, and the buzz of the Pocket Rocket felt alien. Still, this was a journey she would need to take slow and on a day-by-day, basis. Devices that would maybe enhance personal pleasure, but never detract from the real deal. Right off the bat, she knew that these devious doppelgangers could never compete with flesh and blood ruled by two heartbeats. Regardless, the idea of their promise and a little probe about the mound got her horny and razzed for action. Jeans grumbled and shirts draped chairs.

As we made love, I remembered a year before, this very night, spending a secret Valentine’s evening in the confines of SBX’s bedroom lair, having chocolate brushed upon my body from a blazing fondue pot, as she painted me like a Zulu Warrior and then, meticulously licked each stripe off my body with her talented tongue. I returned the favor in spades and was delighted to find a steamy bathtub filled with flower petals surrounded by a frontier of votive candles, waiting for us to bask our sugar and saliva swathed bodies in, only to make love, again and again.

Pulsating plastic didn’t have JACK over undulating flesh.

We called a taxi to Park Slope and ate a slice of Lemon Meringue pie. SBX made sure the girls were tidy and asleep and I read her an Ames story in bed. Satiated, SBX nodded off and I read and issue of ASTRO CITY before calling it one hell of a night with one hell of a dame.
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