Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

The New Kung-Fu

Yesterday evening, I met up with Tim Hall at The Greene's on Montague and chowed down on delicious bean curd Szechwan style. I remember the first time I ever ate bean curd: I was working as an assistant to Bill Sienkiewicz in the Garment District of Manhattan, 5-days a week during my senior year of high school in 1985 (my Harlem high school Music & Art married downtown's Performing Arts and gave birth to Lincoln Square's La Guardia, in my senior year). Larrondo was assisting Howard Chaykin at Upstart Studios (also housing Walter Simonson, and James Sherman) down the hall from Sienkiewicz (who was sharing the back of a graphics studio with Denys Cowan and Larry Davis). Larrondo and I would usually snag a slice of pizza after school before heading off to draw the backgrounds and/or erase pages and fill-in the black spaces of NEW MUTANTS and AMERICAN FLAGG!. Sometimes, we would stay late and get hungry for some dinner. Down the block from Upstart was a cheap Chinese restaurant and Larrondo would order bean curd. One time, I tasted the offensive looking sludge and it was alright. I thought I would despise the soy stand-in for meat, but it complimented the gravy. I didn't mind the cubed/scrambled egg texture of the bean curd, as long as it was drowning in that delicious spicy garlic sauce with scallions. I was hooked.

After dinner, I convinced Tim to go see Ice Cube's BARBERSHOP movie with me. Three weeks post debut, we sat in a theatre that was 10% full. I guessed that all the entrepreneurs with their camcorders hidden in paper brown bags, had already taped and distributed the flick cheap on the street to all the interested yet economically challenged brothers and sistas, that first Friday release come Saturday. As previews rolled, the Blafrican princess to my right set-up her nachos and jalapeno cheeze-wiz with her 4-inch long finger nails being used as scoops for dip. Each finger nail had an intricate matrix of frills applied. I prayed that the proposed craftsmanship was a lick-on decal but knew better than that. Ms. Thang truly had spent a whole afternoon getting her precious nails painted. Excited by the previews and impending start of the movie, she hinted at how much fun we were going to have. I asked if she had seen the movie already. "Nine times," she answered. My eyes spun. I couldn't think of one movie I had seen nine times. This was a kept woman. A woman being kept by nail salons, movie theatres, and who knows WHAT she did beyond that. God bless her. BARBERSHOP was great. Even with all its power to the people diatribes and black pride debates, the message kept it real and posited good vibes sans hogwash. I was surprised by the levity and charm. Tim and I cracked up a million times or more.

Blafrican movies are the new Kung-Fu, yo. Where American produced Jackie Chan and Jet Li chop-suey flicks fail to raise the roof anymore, it's become the modern pro-Black "movies with a message" onus, starring rappers, comedians, and 'trying to make a dollar out of 15-cents' actors, to spark audience hoots, hollers, and high-fives. With all the assholia and cell phones and attitude people flex when trapped in the dark, I forgot how much I missed good old fashioned audience commentary and participation. Where once a flying dragon kick would bring screams, it's the funny looking black man eating fried chicken while dropping science about Rosa Parks, that heralds howls.

SBX flew back in late from Chicago and landed at my house. Cranky from losing her weekend to work, we tested out my new lava lamp and counted sheep. Woke up to some good loving and started the diz-ay riz-ight.

Today I killed TANGLED WEB 20! Put the line art to bed. Now, it gets lettered and colored and goes to the printer for a November release. After dropping off the last TW20 pages at Marvel, I met & spoke with FANTASTIC FOUR/THOR editor, Tom Brevoort about reading my rejected 'THOR SMASH' pitch as a possible inventory story for the THOR continuity. Mark Waid is big on writing it (which helped sell the initial interest) and I really want to draw it. Plus, I need to hustle work for after I finish drawing NIGHT FALLS ON YANCY STREET, come late Spring 2003. Fingers are crossed that Brevoort digs the pitch. Editor, Andrew Lis and I started thinking about covers for NFOYS and I came up with a few sketches. I start back on that job tomorrow morning.

I dipped into a cheap DVD/CD outlet on 40th street and bought AT CLOSE RANGE for $10. Haven't seen that movie since '85. Don't remember liking it much but I'm a big fan of Christopher Walken. So, I'm curious to watch this flick again. I bought KING OF NEW YORK for Walken's surreal performance, and for no other good reason. I dig Abel Ferrara, but I don't think he fares well with a budget -- works against his filmic sensibilities and the production slickness betrays his often greasy subject matter. BAD LIEUTENANT is Ferrara's TAXI DRIVER, and MS. 45 is his magnum opus. Also, picked up a few CDs: ICE CUBE - Greatest Hits, RUN-DMC - Greatest Hits, and THE POLICE - The Classics.

Grabbed Indian lunch with the core posse (Lisa, Shilpa, & Dave) from Cobite (my last part-time gig) and played catch up. Cobite has been like a 2nd family to me for over 4-years. The boss, Robert, afforded me a place to learn computer graphic skills/website design, and pay my rent for just-in-case my dreams to be a professional cartoonist never panned out. And for that, I am very gracious. I sat in Hanne's office for awhile and talked about the pros & cons of romance while being a single mom (she has two, just like SBX, only they're old enough to babysit themselves). It always helps to talk to Hanne.

Since I lost Sunday on inking TW20, I'm taking tonite off. SBX is hosting her Chicago pal Sophia in Park Slope, and so I rented BLADE 2 for some silly Blaggro vampire kung-fu action with my best pal Mike. Should I go three for three and see WAITING TO EXHALE? Nah - I don't think so. It's strictly DOLEMITE, BELLY, and ACROSS 110th STREET, for a Blaxploited, hair side-parted, nebro like me.

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