As pop culture goes, my participation in same was pretty dismal. But I'm going to plod on and describe the highlights.
Last month, the Comic Reporter asked its readers to "Name Five Memorable Comics-Related Things About 2008 (A Book You Read, An Experience You Had, An Event That Made You Take Notice -- Anything That Would Help You In The Future Recall This Year." I failed to participate there, but I will here.
1a. Fred Hembeck's book came out, and I'm mentioned in the thank yous; I like seeing my name in print, what can I say? This also meant that I actually went to more comic-related shows (three) than I have in a while. At two of them, I saw Fred.
1b. At one of those shows, someone actually asked ME to sign some FantaCo Chronicles I worked on 25 years ago. What an ego boost!
1c. I also saw my friend Rocco Nigro, and re-met the inestimable Alan David Doane, who was probably an annoying teenager last I had seen him, rather than the charmer he is now.
2. Someone put out a Wikipedia page for FantaCo, a place I worked for 8.5 years, this summer. Frankly, the page was awful, riddled with errors and omissions. Fortunately, the guy contacted me, and it became the mission of mine and of my old buddy Steve Bissette to rectify the record; the thing is not perfect, but it's a WHOLE lot better. The incident also gave me a chance to get in contact with former FantaCo owner Tom Skulan for the first time in nearly a decade.
3. Reading Kirby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier. It explained a lot about Jack's motivation the times I dealt with him on the phone in the early 1980s.
4. The deaths of Steve Gerber in 2008, who unbeknowst to him helped inspire this blog, and of Raoul Vezina, 25 years ago.
5. Freddie and Me by Mike Dawson, which, among other things, made me want to listen to more of the music of the group Queen.
I got maybe a dozen 2008 albums all year, by Lindsay Buckingham, Elvis Costello, Randy Newman, REM, She and Him, Brian Wilson, Lizz Wright, a couple others plus the MOJO take on the Beatles' white album. I liked them all at some level, but the even snarlkier than usual Newman album "stuck" the most. More old fogey music I received for Christmas and haven't heard enough to judge: Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Johhny Cash. The latter is a 40th anniversary double CD/DVD box set of his Folsom Prison concerts; just on a quick listen, I'm happy to hear the Carl Perkins and Statler Brothers tunes for the first time.
A paltry number of 2008 pics so far: Iron Man (my favorite), Young@Heart, Man on Wire, Vicki Cristina Barcelona, and Synecdoche, New York. Three of them, IM, MoW and VCB made the Top 10 list at the WSJ along with WALL-E, Slumdog Millionaire and a bunch of other films I will try to see.
Yes, I did see some 2007 films in 2008 and I will undoubtedly see some 2008 films in 2009. Still, five is worse than the seven I saw last year, and catching up on video just doesn't seem to happen, not that it's entirely comparable anyway.
Oh, heck, TV deserves its own posting. Thanks to technology, it's about the only thing I have even a modicum of a chance to (barely) keep up with.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs
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