Tagged: John Ostrander

ComicMix Week 4, 4 U

ComicMix Week 4, 4 U

Have you sprung forward this morning?  Feel like you’ve missed an hour or so?  Well, come spend another one with us catching up on the weekly columns you may have missed!  Here they are all in one place for your convenience:

Yeah, John and I switched days this week, for reasons which you will discover when you read our respective columns.  And of course, Mellifluous Mike Raub is making history thrice weekly with his podcasts:

Lots of surprises in them thar audios!  And as a bonus for our first month online, here are our past roundups:

One other thing.  You may have noticed the site redesign starting, with the addition of more items per page and such.  Trust us, there’s much more to come!

John Ostrander: Now… now… now

John Ostrander: Now… now… now

There are some things they don’t tell you how to do. Sometimes it’s things no one can tell you; you just have to experience it for yourself. Sometimes it’s just stuff people don’t like to talk about. Stuff like death and grief.

I’m going to tell you what I know. Obviously, I can’t talk about what it is to die; I haven’t walked that road yet and I hope not to for a while. I can tell you, however, what it’s like to deal with death and with grief — at least, what it was like for me. As they say on the car commercials, your mileage may vary.

There are all kinds of death that you experience in your lifetime. Some are not physical — the death of friendship, the death of a dream or hope, the death of an ideal. These are no less real; the grief we feel for any of them may be no less than experiencing a physical death. However, they are different.

Perhaps the first real sense of my own mortality happened when I was about eight; it was one Saturday in late spring and I was outside on my bike. Our house was actually across the street from our church and I watched a funeral procession come up the street to the church’s front door. As I watched, I was hit with the thought that one day I would be in a casket and a boy on a bike would be watching me pass. With that vision came the realization that the world wouldn’t end with my death and that, consequently, it hadn’t begun with my birth. The axis of my own private earth shifted. I pedaled away but I have never pedaled far away enough.

This all comes to my mind because it is the tenth anniversary of the death of my wife, Kimberly Ann Yale. She died of breast cancer in March of 1997 — too soon, as many have noted. Here’s some of the hard facts I learned from that experience.

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ComicMix linky love

ComicMix linky love

Another week older and deeper in debt — to you, our readers!  Here again is your one-stop shopping post linking to this past week’s regular columns: 

Meanwhile, Mellifluous Mike Raub is making history thrice weekly with his podcasts:

If you’ve only been reading ComicMix and not listening as well, you’ve been missing out on a lot!  And of course, there’s much more to come…

John Ostrander: “We hold these truths to be self-evident”

John Ostrander: “We hold these truths to be self-evident”

I just read where the Anglican church, now controlled by conservative African bishops, are threatening to lower the boom of the American branch — the Episcopalians — to the point of tossing them out over the issue of appointing an openly and actively gay bishop and the issue of offering blessings to same sex couples.    

Never mind that the bishop in question, V. Gene Robinson, happens to be in a very monogamous relationship, or that he is, by all accounts, a very good man and capable administrator. Never mind that he is being open about his sexuality and his relationship — there would be no problem if he just kept it a secret and lied about it. Never mind that the couples in question are seeking stability in one on one relationships in a loving situation and are looking to commit to one another. Never mind that the Anglican Church has a history of not being doctrinal, of open inquiry, of autonomy for each of the Churches within its communion. What matters is that once again the Christian Right(eous) have determined that their version of the truth is the only truth and will impose that view on everyone and it doesn’t matter what they destroy along the way.

The Crusades live.

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ComicMix catchup

ComicMix catchup

We at ComicMix are dedicated to bringing you as much stuff as we can, but we also know that means sometimes you miss things.  We know you want tagging and site feed and comments and that’s all coming down the pike real soon, but in the meantime here’s your handy-dandy guide to the second round of entries by our regular columnists. 

Look for Mike every Monday (in fact, his latest should be right below), Denny on Tuesday, me on Wednesday, John on Thursday, and Michael on Friday, and guest features on the weekend.  For those of you who, like me, grew up with the Marvel superhero cartoons in the ’60s, that means Mike = Captain America, Denny = the Hulk, me = Iron Man, John = Thor, and Michael = Namor.  (Hey, don’t knock it, that’s how I first discovered that Thursday was named after Thor!)

We also gave you a special "mother and child reunion" pair of featured columns this past weekend:

And our latest podcasts, hosted by Mellifluous Mike Raub, continue:

Happy reading and listening!

 

John Ostrander: Scattershot – Past / Present

Perhaps it’s a sign of aging when you’re more attuned to what came before than what’s going on now, especially in entertainment. Oh, I’m up on what’s going on with movies and TV (less so in music) and I certainly have my faves in those areas. Recently, however, I’ve been re-discovering some music I’d had before, some TV I had seen when I was a boy, and have found that some of my favorite movies were created before I was born. This column is a grab-bag (hence "scattershot" — it’ll be our code for columns that have a variety of topics) of some of those. Given the age of the material, these are probably less reviews than post-mortems.

• We Five came out of San Francisco about 1965 when I was still in high school. If you know this folk-rock group at all, it will be for their one big hit, "You Were On My Mind". I not only loved their big single, I bought their two albums, the first named for the hit single and the second was "Make Someone Happy". They broke up after the second album and later reformed with new members. I’ve discovered that the reformed We Five still plays venues today.

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Forward into the past

Forward into the past

News travels fast these days, columns and podcasts (and lunchtime) even more so.  Here’s your one-stop shopping guide to the debut columns on ComicMix in the past week, so you don’t have to flip through screens to get it all.

And here are our first three podcasts, hosted by Mellifluous Mike Raub:

John Ostrander: Why do I do this?

John Ostrander: Why do I do this?

Back in a previous life I was a very struggling actor in Chicago. One summer I was working with a small troupe that, among other things, did children’s plays outdoors and in various venues. This particular show we were doing was called Wiley and the Hairy Man, based upon a children’s book. I played the Hairy Man – a swamp-man/boogeyman  – and, while I kept getting chased offstage by the Wiley in the title, my character kept sneaking back in. It was not a part of particular subtlety but it did require some finesse. I was the monster in a children’s play which meant I couldn’t be too scary; just enough to produce the tinglies and a lot of laughs.

To be honest, I loved the role. In every venue, after Wiley would chase me away I would look for different places to come back at the required time through the audience. Even my fellow cast members were never quite sure where I would be coming from which kept it fresh for all of us. Sometimes I would pick up a child from where they were sitting in one part of the audience and deposit them somewhere else in the audience. My make-up was absurd, my costume had tatty fur glued on a work shirt, and it was a "Brian Blessed" roaring over the top performance – all in all, it may have been my finest role.

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