Noel Interview, Vodou and...well...words fail me.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bunch of images today, click any of them to enlarge.

Props to Sean Maher of the Zealot’s Lore who interviewed Elk’s Run artist Noel Tuazon and made it interesting (I usually never read interviews with comic guys because they’re usually boring).

And, while I’m in pimp mode, how about a promo for Hoarse & Buggy’s upcoming third title, Vodou, writing by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Scott Keating (edited by me, of course). It’s sort of X-files meets The Shield and it is going to destroy you:


I honestly have no idea where to begin.

Yesterday I was cleaning out my office when I came across my old portfolio. This is all stuff from Junior High and early, early High School. And it’s a comedy goldmine. I mean…it’s just really good stuff. It’s easily a weeks worth of stories but I couldn’t wait until Monday so I’m going to stretch it out to six days worth of stories. Technically, I should start at my short story I wrote in the 8th grade, because that was the earliest thing in the portfolio, but I like to keep Fridays really funny – so you get my 8th grade poetry portfolio – the second oldest piece within the collection and easily the funniest.

In the 8th grade I fell under the illusion that I was a really good writer. I’ll talk about my teacher (and the person I consider to be my first mentor) on Monday but I will say that I remember staying after class and looking at listings of publications that accept blind submissions, noting ones that paid – as if an 8th grader has any shot of getting published and paid for it.

Anyway, this poetry portfolio was our midterm project and came after the above mentioned short story which was the first thing that anyone besides my parents have ever said was really good (the teacher I eluded to above). My head was huge at the time I wrote these poems and it shows.

I don’t even want to give a commentary; I feel that if you read them, they speak for themselves. But I’ll go page by page for those that don’t feel like reading the original poems or don’t like cursive.

Please keep in mind I was thirteen years old when I wrote these – I’ve gotten a lot better.

Let’s start with the cover:

It’s a maze where the dead-ends are: 1) a dodo bird 2) a gun 3) a Miami Hurricanes hat and 4) a city. You may be thinking there is no-way these images have anything to do with the poems inside the portfolio. Well…let’s continue on, for now.

Below is the introductory page, a poem called “The Maze”. It’s a metaphor for choosing your path in life – how ingenious. Before I continue I want to note something. As bad as these poems are, they’re pretty much as good as anything I see written on Live Journal these days. So, you know, fuck off. Also note how I sign every poem, increasing their value. Ok, “The Maze”:

Notice that I got an A+ on this portfolio because I fucking rock. I also think it’s because my teacher was scared of me. Why? Read on, read on. It’s a window into my thirteen year old soul.

The Table of Contents:

I scanned in the “Workshop Poems”, my Shakespearean Sonnet and the “Extra Poems”. The Extra Poems thing is kind of funny. I thought my work was good enough to include “bonuses” for my teacher. Next week you’ll see the funniest bonus, in my 8th grade short story final paper I included “Bonus Sketches” (and actually called them that) – it’s the comic fan in me. I did not include the Collaborative Poems (it was basically a group poem, not as funny) nor the Edgar Allen Poe section since that was just analysis.

So, let’s move onto The Peculiar Object:

If you read it you’ll notice it was a poem about being awestruck (for no explicable reason) by a Miami Hurricanes hat. I don’t think I need to take that one any further.

The next poem is The Last Dodo, and ode to the great flightless bird:

I think, reading it now, the last dodo (according to the poem) was shot and killed and died alone but really didn’t give a fuck – he was a proud dodo (two words you never really see together).

Here’s were I get all emo. Dark Society:

Thirteen years old and I was already disgusted with people. Notice I thought people killed themselves for a quarter (as if it was a common occurrence) and I also completely ripped off “Pride and Prejudice” and thought my teacher wouldn’t notice. She may have noticed but she didn’t take off points, at least (A+, remember). Also notice how territory or honor, to me, was a justifiable excuse for homicide.


I bring back the maze thing, give some insight into my parents. I get all fancy with my gun and drugs metaphor and get all Eco on your ass with my “A car is the ozone’s pesticide”. I’m the metaphor master.

Outside verse Inside, here’s where I get all introspective and shit:

I get a little clever here, get fun with it. And yes, I said that I was unbelievably handsome. You have to remember, at this point in my life I was thirteen years old but I already made out with a 16 year old, got an 18 year old to promise to wait for me while I went into the Airforce and had a current girlfriend who wasn’t mentioned yet but I was cheating on her with a 17 year old who also wasn’t mentioned yet. I was getting major fucking ass. Of course, once I hit high school, it was an awkward Greek chasing dry-spell but Junior High School was the bomb…and my sexual peak, unfortunately.

The Maze, my sonnet, the title poem:

Again, massively emo. Winding paths, dogs eating dogs and criminals tip-toeing. I was so fucking emo it hurt.

Inner Wounds was a poem I wrote about my Uncle Mike, it was one of the first things I wrote:

Not funny but I felt it made his story that I told last week more real. The poem is still bad but grounding, you get some insight into how much that fucked me up. It wasn’t my first death, my Uncle Joe was, but it was the first fucked up one. Since then I’ve had a lot of fucked up deaths – I talked about my uncle Alex who died of AIDS and my cousin Steve who died when he was eleven (and although I didn’t say the cause yet I’ll spill it now, he also died of AIDS, blood transfusion). I had another cousin die of AIDS, a second cousin, older. He was the first one in my family to get the disease and really bring it home, for me, that this shit is real. That’s my family, tragedy after tragedy. I just told you about 25% of them. It’s a bitch for a kid to deal with, and I think the above poem really highlights how it got to me. Not looking for sympathy, I dealth with this shit many times over with four different therapists.

Sorry to depress you, the last one is the funniest of the bunch; end this on a good note. Civilization:

Here I am, an eight grader, talking about rape and maiming and husbands beating wives with a “heavy, iron pan”. It might seem depressing but the last line is fucking glorious. It is THE line you would expect a kid to write:

To civilization,
I turn my back.
Down with violence,
And kill the crack.

Kill. The. Crack. Out of left field comes this anti-drug commentary with a line you would expect Nancy Reagan to say.

Kill. The. Crack.

Dude, I don’t care how much I depressed you, that shit is fucking hysterical.


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