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Table of Contents

RKYV # 30 {November 2009}


RKYV ONLINE LOGO - David Marshall {current}
RKYV ONLINE LOGO – r. j. paré {modified}
RKYV COMICS LOGO – Roy G. James {original}

Virtual Cover # 31 Life


- Art by Pablo Martinena - On the Darker Side
- Layout by David Marshall - By C. S. Cartier

Interior Art Featured Creators Review


- By De Tourist, Engin Korkmaz, Lisa – Sam Johnson & Pablo Martinena
Marie Mueller, r. j. paré, Josh Bowe, - By r .j. paré
Giorgos Tsopanos, Mike Grattan, Bob
Labute, Matthias Crasso. Poetry
- By Frances Nichols Vargas, Eric Lawson,
Editorial Column Marie Lecrivain
- “At the Outset: A Few Thoughts from the
Editor” Pop Culture
- By r. j. paré - “Comic Book Review”
- By Brad Bellmore
World View
- Happy New Year - “Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons”
- By Tom Rossini - By Pauline Paré

Untitled – by Josh Bowe


At the Outset
A Few Thoughts
from the Editor
By r. j. paré

“But we’ve wandered many a weary


foot,
since Auld Lang Syne.”

-- Robert Burns

 I resolve to be the best damn Dad, I can be.

 I resolve to be the best damn husband I can be.

 I resolve to write more, work harder and live up to my potential.

Ah hell… I just hope I make it through the coming year without going bankrupt. 

With each New Year comes the opportunity to re-affirm, re-invigorate, or even
completely re-invent one’s self. Embrace this time and make the most of it. Welcome, by
the way, to the latest issue of RKYV ONLINE, your art-lit [free]-Zine. I hope everyone
enjoyed their holidays and I hope everyone is primed and ready to make 2010 and
creative success!

This issue, returning columnists C. S. Cartier, Tom Rossini, Brad Bellmore and
Pauline Paré, once again regale us with their oft times witty and thoughtful opinions and
observations. As well, contributing poets Frances Nichols Vargas, Eric Lawson & Marie
Lecrivain share intimate, timely and poignant lines verse with us. I am grateful for their
continued support. As we are every month, RKYV is pleased to share the works of many
contributing artists [credited throughout the issue] and thanks them for the beautiful
pieces they have submitted.
This month also marks a first for us here at RKYV ONLINE. We are featuring a
creative team as opposed to a single artist. Sam Johnson and Pablo Martinena sit down
with us and share their thoughts on Geek-Girl [their indie comic hit], art, writing and the
creative process. I hope everyone enjoys the interview & review.

With that I say “toodles” until next month and invite you to… the rest of the
issue! Although, come to think of it, I never actually say “toodles.” I mean, does anyone
actually talk like that? Outside of, say… a middle-aged socialite carrying a Pekinese
pooch in her arms and waving goodbye to her latte drinking friends while she heads off
shopping at some ridiculously expensive boutique… where was I? Oh ya, shutting my
yap and getting on with RKYV # 31.

Twilight, New Moon – by Mike Grattan


health
Is it real or is it Memorex?
By C. S. Cartier

I have recently been in communiqué with an associate and she


broke down into tears after a couple sentences of pleasantries. [I
know I sometimes am a bore to talk to but come on.] The truth
was that her home life was so bad, and she was wound so tight,
that she could hardly hold it together. Her mate would say she was
complaining all the time; that all she did was whine and complain.
Comments about her lying around, sleeping on the couch twenty
four - seven sounded all too familiar to me. [And man do I mean it
did sound familiar.]

When it was all said and done it turned out that my associate had severe Pancreatitis and
an infected spinal cord. The cord had swelled between something called C6 and C7 and
was pinching nerves that were sent to her arm. Did I mention how this sounded?
Anyway, being familiar, aside from the specific health issues, and of course contrary to
popular belief - I’m a man, well I started thinking. [This is contrary to popular belief
also, I do think and it was out from the gutter where I tend to dwell.]

“The country needs a heart attack.”

No, no wait, hear me out. Only when faced with death does someone change their ways.
Only when faced with extinction do we analyze our life and make changes for the better.
I thought my ex-wife was just a big be-auch, I was right mind you, but the way she was
treating me [and yes I can admit it] treating a disabled person, I thought was unique. I
was wrong, and I can admit that as well. [Something else the %^*&# says I never do.]

 Are people that uncompassionate and that insensitive and narrow minded?
Orders – by De Tourist

 Are they that shallow and care only about themselves and the current goings on?

People jump to their own conclusions about absolutely everything and are either blaming
others, the government, some odd conspiracy or who knows what else. Taking
something at face value or doing a little research is so time consuming, I guess.
Listening to someone, I’ll call him my Father, [names have been changed to protect the
innocent (or guilty)]. Well, this fictitious person was griping about China and how
everything comes from there. They steal our jobs and only make crap, etc, etc.

 Fact: There are over one billion Chinese. That is just under a quarter of the
planet, meaning one out of every four people is Chinese. Ya, chances are a
Chinese person is making it. It comes down to simple numbers.

Let’s continue down this line of thinking, shall we.

 Fact: Everyone needs to eat, so everyone needs a job.


That includes everyone in China. You have any idea how much food you need to feed all
the Chinese? [I don’t but I bet you it is a lot. I just wanted to know if you did. It is
something I have always wanted to know. I digress.]

That is a billion people jockey for a job, any


job, our jobs. They will do it, all of it, any
of it. They do not whine and complain
about paid holidays and smoke breaks and
standing for too long or bend and picking up
garbage. I was a manager once and was
actually told by an employee, “I don’t clean
toilets!” These people [Chinese] are proud
people, not second class citizens. But, they
are willing to work hard and for much, much
less than us.

Frankly, I think they deserve our jobs. Who


do you think companies would want to work
for them? If it was my company, and I had
to pay the bills, who do you think I would
hire? Someone that was willing to work for
ten or twenty? Someone that would do
‘anything’ for the job [now whose mind is in
the gutter], or want a union as soon as you
said no to any question or asked them to do
someone else job. Now, be honest,
everyone wants to make money. Isn’t that
the real reason we start a business?
Untitled – by Josh Bowe

 Fact: if nearly one thousand people are applying for the same job, your resume
better be F’N good and it better really stand out.

Those other nine hundred or so people that don’t get the job, well, I bet you that they will
work for pennies or do anything while Bobby Joe is screaming for milk and the fridge is
empty. We have become so complacent in the two mighty kingdoms that somehow we
didn’t see the global economy smack us in the ass. While we are sitting at home, getting
fat watching our big screen TVs, others are watching us and resenting our way of life.
Government policies are speaking for us, and we allow them to dictate foreign policies
that rub our way in their faces.
Of course they are going to want this, but we are destroying this so call paradise before
they even get here. We are no longer the leaders were once were. Our economic and
educational laws, along with family and social trends make us cry babies. Damn right we
need a heart attack. My great grand fathers fought and died to make this country great,
and the spoiled kids of my generation do not want to fight to keep it great. Drinking,
drugs, crime, laziness, gluttony, selfishness, stupidity; these are things that this country
represents now. Mighty? My arse... My generation was once called generation “why.”

It should have been called “Gen More.” Everyone has so much junk, that we now store
it. I remember a commercial from my youth about a native person crying because of the
garbage that was everywhere. Man did we learn from that. Now there are islands of
garbage in the ocean… no kidding. The commercial today would be a native person
laughing. Something as plentiful as water, dirt, stones and rocks, trees, and plants are
sold. We actually spend money on these things. We buy bugs and animals, and people
actually are spending money on poison, ‘er I mean food. We have lost the art of growing
it and instead make it with chemicals. We whine and complain about gas prices.

“Oh no Martha fill up the car today, it is going up to a dollar a litre.”

Will I or won’t I? – by De Tourist

I was shopping yesterday, maple syrup was twelve bucks. Twelve bucks. Maple syrup!
It’s a bleeding tree for pete’s sake. We will spend anything on anything. It wasn’t too
long ago that our ancestors did everything they could to payoff the house.
Now, we get bored with the one we have and buy a new one every decade or so and at the
end of the day own nothing and cry when the economy collapse and we are threaten with
losing everything. The junk we own is so precious. Do we learn from this…? Home
sales were up last week…!

If an economic crisis is not good enough, if a terrorism attack was not good enough,
maybe a heart attack will be. Sadly, probably not. Sometimes, a horse with a broken leg
must be put down. Eventually the mighty does fall and I think perhaps this is its
beginning. Perhaps it starts with the more generation. Other countries really have
nothing to be envious of because we only care about one thing and that is ourselves. That
is just… sad.

So what did we learn from all this? Our ancestors are buried in forgotten graves so that
we have the freedom and liberty to ignore tradition and religion so we can spend our time
collecting junk and mocking the weak and sick.

A place to bury strangers – by Giorgos Tsopanos


Daredevil © Marvel Comics – by Matthias Crasso
World View
A Canadian,
Living in the USA
By Tom Rossini

Happy New Year – 2010


Or so I hope...

I did some looking back over the years and well here is what I had discovered:

 2007 was the year of the cow -- Mad Cow Disease


 2008 was the year of the bird -- Avian Flu
 2009 was the year of the pig -- Swine Flu
 2010 was the year of the cock -- Is anyone else worried here???

But with every New Year comes a tradition…

A New Year’s Resolution


So where did this tradition originate from?

It took some digging but according to Wiki: "some say it originated back
around 153 BC with the mythical King Janus."

Today, we view this tradition as a commitment to change - usually for the individual
making the resolution. So what are the traditional resolutions?

 Well approximately 83% of all resolutions have some sort of effect on improving
their health such as exercising more, drinking less, smoking cessation etc...
 The next most popular resolution is changing one financial status - maybe getting
a better job, paying off loans or even starting a retirement fund / savings account.

 While searching the internet’s various websites, it seemed a majority of the sites
indicated that men, more than women, were most successful in sticking with their
resolutions and that the average length of time one kept a resolution varied from
18 to 39 days.

So, why not keep things easy on yourself and make a realistic resolution like...

My New Years Resolution is to submit my RKYV articles on time to our Editor!

Happy New Year


Thomas Rossini

Communication – by De Tourist
Untitled – by Engin Korkmaz
Featured Creators
Review
Sam Johnson & Pablo Martinena
The creative team behind…

Interview presented by r. j. paré

Intro: Words and Art – Image and Script – Illustration and Story. Eddie Wilson confides,
in regards to creating great songs “Words and music, man – they need each other,” in the
cult classic “Eddie and the Cruisers.” In much the same way, words and art need each
other in order to create a great comic book. For the unfamiliar, Geek-Girl is just that – a
great comic book. This book has it all: slick art, smooth pacing & witty dialogue. I was
able, recently, to correspond with the creative talent behind this book and they graciously
took the time to participate in the following interview and share some very cool preview
images for Geek-Girl!

Now, what is Geek-Girl all about, you might ask?

Some excerpts from their official Press Release:

“With great glasses comes great responsibility:” Ruby Kaye is GEEK-GIRL!


When 'Little Miss Popular' RUBY KAYE lands a pair of super-tech glasses--invented by
brainiac college geek Trevor Goldstein--in a game of Strip Poker, she's granted flight, super-
strength, and--due to a flaw in the glasses' programming--super-klutziness.

“We’re used to it being the geek that stumbles upon super-powers and becomes cool as a result.
Geek-Girl is a flip on that,” says Johnson.
New up-and-coming writer Sam Johnson
(Cabra Cini, Gold Town and the creator
of comics’ über-cheesecake site,
FANBABES) and artist Sally Thompson
(Little Thoughts) introduce us to the
world’s newest, klutziest super-heroine:
Ruby Kaye a.k.a. Geek-Girl!

And Geek-Girl #0 is just the beginning


for Ruby Kaye, says Johnson, “How she
adapts to her new-found powers and
clique-alienating klutziness just might be
the making of her--as she learns that with
great glasses comes great responsibility,
and that geeky can be sexy!”

As well as featuring Geek-Girl’s 12-page introduction, Geek-Girl #0 also includes a 3-page


preview of the in-the-works 4-issue Geek-Girl mini-series, illustrated by red hot artist Pablo
Martinena. Johnson says, “I’ve been keeping Pablo’s pages to myself until now, and when
you guys see them--and his smokin’ variant cover--jaws are gonna drop.”

Who is Geek-Girl?  A co-ed studying Public Relations at Acorn


Ridge college in Maine, Ruby Kaye is something
of an ‘it’ girl. She hangs with the in-crowd, is
top of the party-invite list, and has guys queuing
up. “But…” Johnson continues, “When she gets
ahold of these glasses that she thinks are going
to be oh-so-cool, she finds that what they do to
her is seen as anything but by her clique--headed
by the über-bitchy Karin Carpenter--who thinks
Ruby’s lost it, big time.

“This is where Ruby finds out just how flimsy


her ‘cool kid’-based friendships are,” says
Johnson; “and by the end of Geek-Girl #0, she
ain’t gonna have many left.

“Oh, but that’ll be the least of her problems, with


who--or what--then shows up.”
Note: Sam Johnson is the creator/writer of Geek-Girl
& Pablo Martinena is the artist for the Geek-Girl
4-issue mini-series.

r. j. paré: Have you guys always wanted to write & draw comic books?

Sam Johnson: Not always…like many


comic fans, I was into them as a kid,
then left them and later came back.
Originally I was more geared towards
journalism, it wasn’t ‘til I was Eighteen-
-and around the time Wildstorm comics
ran a Talent Search--that writing comics
was what I decided I wanted to do.

Title: Cover to Geek-Girl #0


Writer/Creator: Sam Johnson
Artist: Sally Thompson

Pablo Martinena: I’ve wanted to


devote myself to drawing comics since I
can remember; this desire fully defined
since I was fourteen years old.

r.j.p: Who was your primary source of


encouragement, as a child, in pursuing
writing & art?

PM: My parents and Fabian, my big brother.

SJ: Well, as a child, my parents, but it wasn’t something I was hell-bent on


‘til later. :)

r.j.p: What inspires you to write?

SJ: Any number of things; a great movie; other creators doing their thing in
comics; new ideas striking…
More than anything, though,
having a concept I believe in and
then building on it. Geek-Girl is
one of those. The concept is that
‘when 'Little Miss Popular' Ruby
Kaye lands a pair of super-tech
glasses--invented by brainiac
college geek Trevor Goldstein--in
a game of Strip Poker, she's
granted flight, super-strength, and-
-due to a flaw in the glasses'
programming--super-klutziness.’

Title: Geek-Girl #0, Page 1


Writer/Creator: Sam Johnson
Artist: Sally Thompson

Geek-Girl #0--illustrated by Sally


J. Thompson--is out now and
seems to be catching people’s
imagination--and it’s just the
beginning for Ruby:

I have big plans for her--with Pablo (Martinena) on board for the in-the-
works 4-issue mini-series that will follow (previewed in the back of
issue #0).

r.j.p: Did you study or major in art while in school?

PM: My father taught me and encouraged me to draw, but for the most part,
you could say I’m self-taught.

r.j.p: Do you feel more a sense of community with other comic creators or a sense of
competition?

SJ: Definitely a sense of community. I did my first convention--Leeds’


Thought Bubble in the UK--in November and it was a brilliant experience.
Everyone was friendly and receptive--and as for competition: well,
crossovers are one of the things that appeal to me about comics, and if I see
a book that has similarities to something I have, ‘Crossover’--as opposed to
‘Competitor’--is the first thing that comes to my mind.

Title: Geek-Girl #0, Page 2


Writer/Creator: Sam Johnson
Artist: Sally Thompson

r.j.p: What is your favorite media to


work with?

PM: All that are related to


comics.
r.j.p: When working on a comic
script, what method do you prefer: do
you send the artist the finished script
or a page by page outline of the story?
[In other words, do you write finished
script, based on the visuals created or
does the artist draw each panel based
on precise descriptions from your
script?]

SJ: I’ll write the finished the


script--though I’m not too rigid
with the visual descriptions; an
artist will naturally have a
greater flair for visuals than me;
that’s why they’re the artist! :)
r.j.p: Do you use any special tools and techniques to create your art?

PM: I’m currently using a WACOM for my work.


r.j.p: While traditional publishing and distribution has become a difficult goal to achieve
for the modern Indie comic creator, what do you think of the impact that social networks
and POD services have had as an alternate means of connecting you, your work and your
audience?
SJ: I think they’re great. facebook has been a great way of reaching my
audience with Geek-Girl. Over 75% of the copies of Geek-Girl #0 I sold at
Thought Bubble were to people who’d heard about it through facebook.

I think you have to be careful not to ram products down people’s throats on
social networking sites, but I’ll add people that I think would dig the idea of
the book, and then invite them to join the Geek-Girl group for if they’d like
to receive news--and from there, if they want more, they can go to
www.geekgirlcomic.com if they want to check out Previews and buy the
book.
Print on Demand is great
because it takes the financial
risk out of things. If you put
your book up at a POD site,
it’s out there without you
risking breaking the bank on
potentially unsold copies of a
book.

Title: Geek-Girl #1, Page 1


Writer/Creator: Sam Johnson
Artist: Pablo Martinena

r.j.p: Which famous artists /


creators or styles have influenced
you? Why?

PM: When you're a fan, you


have many artists that
influence your art, they are
very numerous, but I will
mention a few: Jim Aparo,
Ariel Olivetti, Joe Quesada,
Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane,
Greg Capullo, Romita, David
Finch Michael Turner, Quique
Alcatena and my list goes on…
I'm attracted by their well-defined style, they don´t need to sign their work,
because you can recognize them from a distance.

r.j.p: With advancements in computer graphic tablet technology, some artists are now
creating their work directly in the digital medium and releasing it in purely digital
formats... are the days of paper & pulp doomed to the realm of fading memories?

PM: I think there will be a long, long period when both coexist, but we'll get
used to the new technology, I think it is easier to have a graphics tablet than
thousands of comics in your backpack when you travel, isn’t it?

SJ: I hope not; downloaded


and online comics aren’t
something that personally
appeal to me; I’m not against
them, but I like to have the
physical comic, and I know a
lot of people feel the same. If
the printed comic is done
away with, what are geeks
gonna fill their basements
with?!

I certainly hope it won’t


happen.

Title: Geek-Girl #1, Page 2


Writer/Creator: Sam Johnson
Artist: Pablo Martinena

r.j.p: What do you think of the


term "starving artist"?

PM: As far as comics goes:


that term comes from a
generation that doesn’t pay
attention to the potential that
comics can provide.
r.j.p: Would you rather have an engaged & loyal but, ultimately, small Indie readership
or work on the latest Spidey, Wolverine or X - book? [the old Art vs Commerce question]

PM: I’d prefer to answer this one when I have both experiences. :)

SJ: I’d like to work on both indie and Marvel/DC books. With Geek-Girl’s
debut comic out, a mini-series is already in the works and I have other indie
projects planned.

It’s great to have creative freedom and have something you can fully invest
in as a creator, but it would also be a blast to work on books for the Big
Two; I’m really enjoying what Marvel are doing right now and would love
to take on any number of their books. I’d also love to write Doom Patrol for
DC; Grant Morrison’s out-there run on the book, back in the day, is one of
my biggest influences, and part of the inspiration for Geek-Girl villain Mr.
Mash-Up: ‘the bastard lovechild of an alien goddess and other-dimensional
demon.’

Title: Geek-Girl website pic


Writer/Creator: Sam Johnson
Artist: Pablo Martinena

r.j.p: What advice would you have for other indie


creators, trying to break into the biz, today?

SJ: Get stuff published in anthologies; get a


good creative team together--that you have
good communication with--get a book done
and get it out there.

In my experience, one thing has lead to


another, but you have to start by getting
something published.

r.j.p: Do you have any big plans, shows or Cons


coming up?

PM: I am new to this, I would love to be invited to conventions and shows.


SJ: Yeah, I’m going to be doing a bunch of cons with Geek-Girl #0 in the
UK this year. If you friend-request me at www.facebook.com/geekgirlcomic
you’ll get news on those as they approach (as well as news on the mini-
series). And for anyone outside of the UK, you can get the book at
www.geekgirlcomic.com :)

When the mini-series is


out, I hope to also be doing
US cons with that, but
that’s gonna be awhile... :)

Title: Variant Cover to


Geek-Girl #0
Writer/Creator:
Sam Johnson
Artist: Pablo Martinena
Interior Art:
Sally Thompson &
Pablo Martinena

Geek-Girl #0 and Geek-Girl #0 Limited Variant Edition, published by FANBABES, are


16-pages b&w, with color cover, and priced $1.99 and $2.50 respectively. Out Now and
available to purchase at www.geekgirlcomic.com and at IndyPlanet.com

http://www.indyplanet.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=geek+girl&osCsi
d=h0ekqo67pghm5mlg766gmi5150
Untitled – by Lisa Marie Mueller
Bad Beat
By

r. j. paré

The Flop

“When the first three community cards are dealt, face up, by the dealer.”
Croupier
“Read your opponent’s reactions and bet accordingly.”
Gambler
“There’s always some jack-ass who’ll bet with any hand, just for kicks.
How the hell are ya supposed to ‘read’ – an amateur?”
Recovering Addict

At this point it would be important to provide a little background. Our dear Missy
had an Uncle Nate, whom she dearly loved, that committed suicide when she was only
eleven years old. He just gave up.

Now don’t get me wrong Nathan White was a likable sort of fellow. He was
charming, in a roguish manner, and could always be counted on tell an amusing whopper
or two. For Missy White, youngster in pig-tails, he was larger than life. Uncle Nathan
would always take the time to pay her attention. When the other grown-ups were busy
doing grown up things and being oh-so serious, Uncle Nathan was there with his tongue
sticking out, a wink in his eye and tossing her airborne until she fell into fits of laughter.

But Uncle Nathan wasn’t very amusing to her parents.

What Missy didn’t know, at the time, was that Uncle Nathan’s visits were never
purely social. He was always borrowing money from her dad. Nathan had a serious
gambling problem and always seemed to owe money to the wrong sorts of people. Things
came to a head when these folks started coming directly to Missy’s parents asking for
payment on Nathan’s debts. That still might not have been so bad, except when Mr. and
Mrs. White saw how these, slimy, debt-collectors leered at their little Missy.
Something had to be done.

The Whites cut Nathan out of their lives. They’d simply had enough. About two
years later, on a cold January morning, they received word that Nathan, after a period of
alcohol and drug abuse, had ended it all by taking a swan dive off a bridge and into the
freezing water below. I’d like to say they were shocked, but really, they’d already
mourned his loss – this was more confirmation, than revelation.

So, you can understand how Missy might object to finding her husband has been
spending his time gambling online, instead of caring for their child… their home. Well,
perhaps “object” is a bit of an understatement.

***

“Listen sweetie, I can explain….”

“Don’t sweetie me, you son of a…” Missy growled. Her demeanor was like that of a
wounded animal, ready, willing, and eager to lash out.

Mr. Grey cringed at the sight of her anger. But really, it’s not like he should be surprised.
She’d told him all about dear old Uncle Nate back when they were dating. And at first, using
the free credits, it wasn’t really gambling anyway, it was more like playing for “fun-
zees”. At least, that’s what Mr. Grey kept telling himself.

The problem, from his point of view, was that Missy had an unreasonable bias
about this entire subject. He wasn’t her Uncle Nate, dammit. He had ‘learned’ from the
free site that he had a gift, a natural talent for Poker – so it isn’t really gambling when it’s
a skill, is it?

Sure and if you were wondering if Mr. Grey was intimately familiar with a river
in Egypt – well… now you know.

She threw him out, of course. But Missy wasn’t one to give up on a loved one.
She would still try and make him understand that their life, their family could be
salvaged. Missy never wanted anyone to feel hopeless and abandoned like her Uncle Nate
– especially not the father of her child.

“Get help honey… there are support groups that can…” she tried.

“What?!” he snapped. “Some twelve steppers are gonna teach me to surrender to a


higher power and quit doing something just because my wife is nuts?” Mr. Grey was
angry at his wife, her tears – which made him feel guilty, in turn made him all the angrier
at her for that. He slammed cupboards and closet doors, while packing to leave.
Pausing, at the front doorstep, he turned to her, “will you please get it through
your pretty little head that I am not gambling?”

“I AM WINNING!!”

With her head down, trying to hide the tears, she manages to stay firm. “Until you
get the help you need, you’re LOSING your family – think about that.” From inside her
pocket she pulls forth a small chain. “Here, I love you. I just can’t live with you right
now. I want you take this and I hope and pray it helps keep you safe. Remember, you are
always in our prayers.”

The Saint Christopher medallion glints under the porch lamp, catching two almost
glaring, accusing points of light off its face staring into Mr. Grey conscience. He shoves
it in his pocket and storms off, stomping his petulant feet and muttering.

“Stupid girl, who needs prayers - when you’ve got skill?!”

.
Tune in next month
For the 4th installment of “Bad Beat”
One that could only be called
“The Turn”

Addiction Hurts – from the Painted Aces series


– by r. j. paré
Untitled – by Josh Bowe
Poetry
Selected Poems
By Frances Nichols Vargas

Holiday Rush

Running in angst to the next big sale


Looking to cash in on the greatest deal
Standing on endless lines
Watching while babies and toddlers scream and cry
Clamoring for the next available seat
Just to be able to rub your feet
Planning every last meal and bite around the prize
Bumping and tripping all those in your way
To be able to make your way
Feeling the crush of people
All waiting to be first in the store
Along with the body odors
Finally done with the holiday rush
Time to go home and proclaim you have won

Family – by De Tourist
Time Will Heal

I understand things are difficult.


I get that you want things to remain the same.
Believe me, when I say “I am feeling your pain”
I walk around grasping at nothing and everything
Wondering if there is some way to ease your angst
Knowing full well nothing familiar will remain.
I take the responsibility for placing you in this uncomfortable and
Unfamiliar, Unwanted place
Wishing there was any other way
I stand by ready
To wash the tears and heartache away

I need for you to recognize in my eyes and view upon my face


How difficult it is to witness your disappointment, sorrow and your anger
In all the many displayed ways

I really do understand things are difficult


If you take a minute to breathe
You will see a glimpse of what is left of me throughout the day
When I watch you play

If only you knew how hard I was trying


To make your life as comfortable as could be
During this difficult time in life
You would understand how much you mean
In each and every way to me

Untitled – by De Tourist
New Year Poem

Scanning images of yesterdays past


Vivid images flash

Playing back days gone by


One by one I take stock in time
Secretly congratulating myself on how far I have come
Looking back to see the hands on the clock stuck

All the events moving around me in slow motion


Turning back for one last look at all the comotion

Reaching for the handle of the closed door


Glad to bid farewell to all the yesterdays
Looking forward to happier days
Eager to turn the page

Ecstatic for the opportunity to write a new chapter


In the story and adventure I have been chasing after

Hearing glasses clang and songs of Old Lang Syne


Repeating in the background of my mind
Smiling, I open the door
Twirl around once more

Give a nod and a smile


Blow kisses and catch my breath
And step into the new excitement
Passing thru the strange threshold

To face the New Year day


With anticipation for the adventure ahead of me

2010 – by r. j. paré
Selected Poems
By Eric Lawson

Failure Begets Success

You must kill the previous you


You must bury him asunder
You must banish your identity
You must erase the epitaphs

All in the name of progress

When you can sink no longer


When you have given up
When all others have shunned
When there is no alternative

You are finally ready to fail

Fail without fear


Fail in the absence of love
Fail to God and man
Fail to infinity and back

Now you are ready to succeed

Your authentic self emerges


Your quest for Truth begins
Your own path calls to you
Your destiny has been revealed

Take my hand, my heat


My heart, my love, my learning
Take whatever you need
Take it fast, take it now

There is much work to be done

Untitled – by Lisa Marie Mueller


Yellowstoned

The land that we haven’t killed


Yet
Where trees tickle the sky

Without fear
Bears forage
Moose graze
Salmon leap upstream
Old Faithful salutes

I am at peace
I am lost and found
Again and again

The wind smells alive


The forest beckons

The symphony of life


Sends me

Untitled – by Lisa Marie Mueller


Selected Haibun
By Marie Lecrivain

Editor’s Note: This piece previously


appeared in Subtle Tea.

Once in a Blue Moon – by Bob Labute

January Moon
A pyramid of dirty cups rises silently from the sink. A discussion next door becomes
strident. My computer screen is ablaze. The luminous streetlights fail to cheer me.

10:32 PM on a Wednesday in January, three weeks to Valentine's Day, and I feel spiky
like a hedgehog, bristly and attenuated. The last of the holiday cheer evaporated this
Sunday past when I paid a neighbor boy $5 to haul the Tannenbaum corpse to the curb.
My "thank you" sounded foreign to our ears; the first gracious words I'd volunteered to
someone else this year.

You are three states above and one time zone ahead of me. Right now, you are spooned
against a woman who has adopted you, your frailties and your cruelty, where I could
barely manage yours in foster care. It's 40 degrees colder where you are, and the chill in
my bones reminds me you are the lucky one.
Where you are the moon shines down upon the snowy mountains, through the icicles that
line your roof, and into your window. It highlights the paleness of your skin, and the
frosty line of your mouth as my name wafts through your dreams. Where I am, Luna has
already ridden the dusk past the horizon. The low hanging clouds wait for me to fall
asleep. They will keen for you where I cannot.

tonight the moon is


veiled in seven layers
of cloud - the same
number of sorrows you used
to shackle my heart to yours

copyright 2006 m. lecrivain

Bio: Marie Lecrivain is the executive editor and publisher of poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles and
is a writer in residence at her apartment. Her prose and poetry have appeared in a number of journals and
anthologies, including: Aesthetica, Askew Poetry Journal, Luces y Sombras, Poetic Voices Without
Borders 2 (copyright 2009 Gival Press), The Poetry Salzburg Review, Re)verb, The Los Angeles Review,
The Toronto Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Spillway, and Beside the City of Angels: An Anthology of
Long Beach Poetry (World Parade Books, Fall 2010). Marie's new poetry collection, Antibellum Messiah,
(copyright 2009 Sybaritic Press), is available through Amazon.com.

Cloudy Blue Moon – by r. j. paré


Untitled – by Josh Bowe
Pop
culture
Comic book review
By Brad Bellmore

Azrael

Thumb Up

DC has a new “Azrael” title out, drawn by Ramon Bachs and written by Fabian Nicieza.
“WOW!” is about the easiest way to begin talking about this. I haven’t really followed
the DC universe much, so I am aware of the character but have not really experienced
him.

This tale is opening of the latest incarnation of the hero Azrael, which sounds like a job
with a short lifespan. The character himself is a fascinating combination of the mystical
and your more typical super powers. I love what this character represents and how he
achieves his ends:

 Taking on those priests in the Catholic Church who molest children, both to bring
justice to them, and also to purge the church of the taint that they have brought.
That is bold territory to walk.

This issue contains a solid balance of revelation and suspense, informing about the hero
and the man who became him, while hinting at plenty of mystery yet to be revealed,
making me want more but enjoying the tease of having to wait for it.
The art fits perfectly. It is dark and moody. It is sinister. It is dynamic and action packed.
It is dramatic and reveals as much through the characters faces as through their dialogue.
Azrael has a very cool and vicious look that hints to the wrath (perhaps even righteous
wrath) that drives the man.

Unless superhero comics make you want to puke, I recommend you give this a read. This
is one of the stronger books that I’ve experienced recently, hitting on all levels of what I
like in a comic.
Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons
By Pauline Paré

Valley in Action

A quote from the Human Target Trailer:

Client: You wore a vest! Where’s MY vest?! (Referring to Chance’s flak vest)
Christopher Chance: I’m your vest.

Ever since I first saw Mark Valley in Boston Legal, I wanted to see him in an
action role. Valley has a strong physique, chiseled jaw and that all American hero look
that would be perfect for a leading man. Just recently, he was voted to be the perfect
choice to play Captain America via internet poll and I can see why.

Mark Valley was chosen to be the lead in the revival of Human Target. Based on
a comic book, Human Target was made into a short lived series in 1992, starring Rick
Springfield. This new version of Human Target will star Mark Valley and Chi McBride
(Pushing Daisies) and features a full orchestra soundtrack by the prolific and talented
Bear McCreary. I am a little leery that it will premiere on the same night (Jan 17th) as the
eighth season of 24. It may be overshadowed or it may attract the same audience as 24.
These shows will eventually settle into separate nights.
Human Target is a series about a personal bodyguard, Christopher Chance, who
takes his job to the next level. He integrates himself into the lives of his clients in order to
find and eliminate the threat to their safety. The promo trailer is intriguing and the casting
seems to be top notch as well. I loved Chi McBride as Emerson Cod in Pushing Daisies
and I am looking forward to seeing him in a more dramatic role.

I know that there are always plenty of action series on the tube to choose from but
I personally am looking forward to giving this one a chance because of the actors and
also, it was a popular comic book. Comics are laid out just like a storyboard and it is very
difficult (but not impossible) to misinterpret. There is a new client every week so there
will be plenty of opportunities to get some great guest stars. Human Target will also have
a built-in audience which bodes well for a series’ survival. I get shell shocked this time of
year with unfinished stories and premature cancellations of my favourite shows, which
leads me to my second topic.

Once again, a show gets


cancelled just when it is getting good. I
am talking about Eastwick, based on the
novel The Witches of Eastwick by John
Updike. The series started out slowly but
really picked up pace and became
exciting just after its cancellation was
announced. How unfair is that?

I will truly miss many aspects of


this show but especially Canadian actor
Paul Gross as the evil yet amazingly
sexy Daryl Van Horne.

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