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Dean Haspiel

History

1st March 2003

4:26pm: Get what you pay for
Post Valentine's [Saturday morning]: SBX & girls & I ate breakfast, shopped at the Food Co-op, scored sushi for lunch, The Haze & Ola had a girl fight over who would carry which bag, and they never made it to the war protest. SBX was going bananas. And I was peeling them.

AMERICAN SPLENDOR comic book writer/creator Harvey Pekar called me in a panic. Seems that Dark Horse is fuddy-duddy about publishing AS collections [10-years worth of comix] for when the movie hits theaters come August. I convinced him that he had options. SBX spoke w/him and told him she would talk to a book buyer at Barnes & Noble about publishing him. I told him that he should reach out to Doubleday and Four Walls Eight Windows about reprinting his anthology collections, Bob & Harv's Comics, and Our Cancer Year. Maybe get Alternative Comics publisher Jeff Mason to publish a regular AS series? I told Harv he should listen to me. I said that, if I could get a real movie producer interested in making his life/comix into a movie -- AND DID, then I could get real book publishers interested in publishing new AS collections, which I'm sure will happen, regardless. Harvey dubbed me his "guru."

Turns out that, years ago, Doubleday published two AMERICAN SPLENDOR volumes, collecting his earlier/self-published comix. The rights reverted back to Pekar and any material that was drawn by R. Crumb, was collected in another volume titled BOB & HARV'S COMICS, published by Four Walls Eight Windows, who also published AMERICAN SPLENDOR ANTHOLOGY, and OUR CANCER YEAR. Four Walls has three Pekar books in their catalogue [the one's I just mentioned] and plan to re-launch them by the time the movie comes out.

The remaining Doubleday book materials [sans Crumb] has NOT been republished. That, plus Pekar has 12-years worth of comix published by Dark Horse that has NOT been collected, which gives a smart book publisher 400-or-so NEW pages to publish. Dark Horse wants to split up the stuff they published in pamphlet form into three collections, only giving Pekar a grand per book. That's not a great deal. Pekar owns all the comix and can go/publish wherever he pleases. He gave SBX the right to shop those 400-or-so pages of AS comix to any publisher she saw fit [i.e. Barnes & Noble], and while she investigates that venue, Pekar is going to see if Four Walls is interested as well.

If Pekar burns that Dark Horse bridge, I'm trying to convince him to re-launch the comic book series with Jeff Mason at Alternative Comics. Mason is gung-ho and ready to roll. Hell, Mason would even publish the book collections, but respects and understands that a bigger book publisher would give Pekar more options, marketing push, and advance monies.

With all that stirring in our heads, SBX and I took a nap in front of the beautiful flames of a glowing fireplace.

Mike & Marie swang by and we caught up on Marie's day at the Protest/Peace March in Manhattan while eating snacks. We all [including the little one's] went downstairs to the TV room and watched IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, WORLD on DVD. Jonathan Winters kills me and Dick Shawn slays me. Not a very good film by a long shot, but I have fond memories of it as a kid, ergo, the attraction. We ordered Thai food from LONG TAN for dinner, and I went to sleep reading a sexy CATWOMAN graphic novel called SELINA'S BIG SCORE by animator cum cartoonist, Darwyn Cooke.

I enjoyed a Sunday morning spat w/SBX where rebel spittle from the back of my throat plants itself onto the tip of her tongue and we're wondering whose fault it is. Ridiculous, I know. But THAT is what the spat was about. Spat turns monumental and the floodgates open into an SBX rage of "I can't do this anymore!" She's drowning. Needs culture. Friends. Not just Work/Kids/Man-Size, rinse, repeat. Fingers point at me; suggests I work on NOT assigning blame when things go awry, rather, fix the problem sans fault. True that. I tend to search for the culprit when squashing beef and sewing rips is what I should be focusing on. So what if a glob of Agent X mocks our snog. We're sharing fluids, flu and all! Make up sex stables the rattled cage and SBX whips up a quick batch of tasty griddled drop scones [which are basically small pancakes sans butter] for breakfast. I tried to hook up her computer to download our Paris Trip snapshots from her digital Cool Pix camera, but to no avail. SBX needed a USB port on her 7-year old PC and could not enjoy candid images of the River Seine. DAMN technology! I wished SBX and the girls a safe trip to Florida and shared the hugs.

On my walk to the F-train home, I passed SBX's ex-husband's NEW restaurant in the making, GRACE TO GO [or whatever it's going to be called] and saw Mr. Ex, standing akimbo with a few staff members. I would have stopped. Said hello. Break ice. But, his stare was cold. Stoic. Animal. I couldn't tell if he saw me or not, or even would've recognized me. But, his attentions were elsewhere [putting a new window into the establishment] and I didn't want to push the proposed chance meeting. I felt as if he had seen me and didn't want to deal. Neither did I. So, we let it slide.

Or, so I thought.

A half hour later, I get a call from SBX. Crying. Mr. Ex swung by her house to drop items off for the kids trip and was peeved. Fuming. SBX got wind of the impending blizzard and wondered if he could shovel the snow from her stoop while they were on vacation. Livid, he said "Don't you have OTHER people in your life that could do that for you?" Hate to hand it to him, but he was right. She did. Me. I could shovel snow and lick boot while eating shit, if I had to. And I have. She figured, if Mr. Ex was a "team player" he'd play fair and do the do. She figured wrong. His instinct was right. Make your boyfriend do the do 'cause I got my own stoop to worry about, lady. SBX couldn't understand why he was so mean and I tried to explain that it's a dog eat dog world when it came to issues Mars and Venus. She didn't like it. I could sympathize w/her naiveté but backed Mr. Ex up on this one. His onus was to make sure his children were fed, clothed, and sheltered. Anything beyond was above. And, maybe catching a glance at me walking past HIS restaurant was pushing the limits of kindness.

With that frayed feather in my hat, I was late meeting up with Tim at the 10th street/Russian Turkish Bathhouse. We got into our poverty shorts and towels and met two chicks from the UK - their virgin tour. I acted the guide and got them hip to all the rooms. The minute I tell the tall brunette w/the eyeglasses that my gal-pal is from the UK, they lose interest in what I have to offer. Maybe they were looking for interior massage? So, I order a massage myself from an older Asian woman named Gale who climbed on top of the table and straddled my body. My eyes shut tight. I didn't want to know. At one point, she lifted my legs up in the air and pressed them in-between her crotch and thighs, lifting me up and rocking me side to side. The only words she uttered in her broken English was "Please, don't hurt me." At that point I HAD to open my eyes. Nothing nefarious, we gave each other an eye-check and I closed my lids while she continued her flight of the bumblebee tuna dance. Tim and I hang another hour and split. Our faces feel like baby butts as snowflakes start to fall. We give Doug a call for grub and grab curry at PANNA on 6th street. Green lighting. Red onion chutney looks like black worms in a bowl. They put a space heater next to a kid at a table closer to the kitchen. I never took off my two sweaters. Fingers were frostbitten. Cheap eats, fair food, freezing cold decor. That's what you get when a whole street shares the same kitchen.

The three of us caught a 7:30PM show of FINAL DESTINATION 2, based on recommendations from my LJ posse. Whoah! Excellent bad B-movie flick with gore galore and suspense. Perfect for buttered popcorn and Goobers. The best $10 I've spent in awhile. Tim splits and Doug and I browse books & DVDs at MONDO KIM'S and comix at St. Mark's Comics before walking in the blizzard to the F-train and home. @1:30AM SBX called me from Florida. She and the girls had arrived safely. I could go to sleep knowing they were a-okay.
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