Got back to drawing NIGHT FALLS ON YANCY STREET, today. I drew four cover sketches and penciled half of pp23. Getting a slow start drawing THE THING again after taking that two-month hiatus to draw TANGLED WEB 20. Getting my groove back on such a classic, tragic monster. I can't wait to tell the entire fantastic noir romance that Dorkin and I cooked up.
On my bike ride over to Minnow [a fancy fish restaurant in Park Slope], a modest rain took advantage of me and I got soaking wet. It was the first time I had gone outside for the day. Naturally. Anyway, I entered the air conditioned establishment with matted hair, soggy clothes, and chilled bones. SBX was studying documents, bringing her 9-5 work to the dinner table. Shame on her. SBX looked up at me and her overworked visage managed to eke out a divine smile while those tortured eyes ignited a sexy twinkle. Even in the trenches, that's one hot mama. We toasted my completing TANGLED WEB, as this was the occasion for such a special dinner. I lifted my cloth napkin only to find a lovely handwritten note on the tiniest of gift cards from SBX, congratulating me on my drawing board efforts and for sticking it out with her through these tough times. Such mollifying sentiments. SBX ordered the fish special and I ate rare charred tuna in a red wine/shallot sauce with mashed basil potatoes and a glass of red wine.
During the main course, I scanned the dining room and took a sharp sweep to my right where I discovered Chris Claremont, comic book writer extraordinaire, sitting with his wife, eating lamb chops by the front window. Until Grant Morrison's current tongue-in-cheek spin, Claremont & John Byrne's legendary run were the definitive X-MEN (their arc and characters were the ones Hollywood based the movie on). Sure, Lee & Kirby invented 'em and created great underdog icons, Roy Thomas & Neal Adams shot some modern blood back into their arm, Paul Smith and John Romita Jr. did bang-up jobs post Byrne, but I remember biting my nails to the bone every month waiting for the next issue of Claremont & Byrne's X-MEN to hit the newsstand rack. With epic story lines that involved the villainy of Arcade, their arch-nemesis Magneto, the evil White Queen with "The Hellfire Club," Sentinels in "Days of Future Past," and Jean Grey's death in the "Dark Phoenix" saga, you couldn't top that mutant soap-opera, not never no how. Still stands the test of time. Claremont and I have met at the Marvel offices a few times (my editor, Andrew Lis edits his books, too) and I so I went over and said 'hello.' We traded knowing nods, made small talk, and I sat back down with SBX and explained the legend to my right. I am such a geek. Which is why I more than make up for it by beating up old ladies that look at me funny. Show them who's what!
After a delicious dinner, SBX and I went back to her house, scoured cook books for good black bean chili and jalapeno cornbread recipes (for Friday nights' coming social gathering), and hit the hay for some squeaks and murmurs. Got her snuggled and tucked under the covers and headed off back on my bike to Carroll Street under the heavy sprinkles of light clouds.