Tagged: Michael Jackson

Michael Davis: I Am Not Tyrone

hulkthug

I am Not Tyrone Cash… but I’ll get to that later.

Let me make some things clear. I bare no ill will towards Milestone 2.0. I’m doing what I need to do to deal with my bouts of depression and because my business requires I do so now.

What is it I need to do, exactly?

Telling what transpired so to destroy any and all doubts, there was something unprofessional about me that caused my former partners and friends to dismiss me with not a word before or since as to why.

Derek Dingle gave a hint (before he hung up on me) that when I left Milestone 20 plus years ago. It was my lawsuit that prompted it all. OK, that’s revisionist history if ever there was.

There was no lawsuit. And even if there had been, so fucking what?

Derek if you’re reading this I suggest you take a look at the memos from that time. If you lack some, don’t worry I have them all. Including the letter from DC and Milestone that Clarence Avant called me enraged over.

You know the one it involved my status at Milestone and DC. I was speaking to Clarence not too long ago about that very letter; he’s not too happy about it now either.

Like I said, I’m not looking to hurt Milestone; for almost two years I’ve written very supported articles. Yeah, some digs but much more positives.  The only public statements attributed to them concerning me was I was not lead creator on Static I was ‘one of five guys in the room.”

Well, I can prove otherwise. Can they?

As I said I’m not trying to hurt them, I just want to help me.

I’m also not telling my side of the story. I’m saying what happened to me; there’s a difference. Everything I write I can prove with validation.

But not today.

This was to be another installment of my Milestone 2.0 narrative. I’d like to get what happened to me on the record before Rich Johnson goes live with his story but this is trivial shit compared to what’s crucial in Black America, chief among that the recent crop of unarmed Black men killed by police.

I thought I’d attempt to explain to those readers at ComicMix how it affects us as comic book creators but more importantly as black men.

Regardless if it’s a huge misunderstanding or horrible decision making the odds of Derek Dingle, Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Michael Davis coming together are slim to you must be out of your motherfucking mind.

That does not mean I don’t care about them. I do.

We may not be on the same page regarding Milestone but as black men, we are united because we are all seen as one in eyes of some in law-enforcement. If one of those men were felled by a policeman’s bullet, it would hurt me beyond measure.

And I would know, I would know without a shadow of a doubt they were wrongly targeted. Because they live the kind of life that defy that ending to theirs as do I.

It won’t matter, any black men is subject to capital punishment no matter if talking to friends, selling cigarettes or reaching for what an officer asked for.

Mothers of young inner-city black boys’ have one thought over all, how to keep their child alive.  Poor parents of any race face the same problem. Black parents face the added danger of protecting their sons from those who are entrusted to protect them, the police.

Soon, very soon, I will be off probation. Why was I on probation? Two white people harassed me all night at a Karaoke bar. I ignored what they were saying. Their goal for was for me to engage them.

As I was leaving, I heard something along these lines: “Don’t forget to bring your grandmother and sister some crack.”

That’s not an exact quote (music was playing), however sister and grandmother I understood.

There was no way they could know both my sister and grandmother died horrible deaths at someone’s hand it was just another series of insults to them.

I didn’t give a fuck. They went there.

I waited for the music to stop and the applauds to die down before I went here:

“Fuck you and your families.”

They ran across the floor towards me punched me in my face a couple of times and wanted to hurt me badly that was clear.

The man currently residing in a tree lined lovely community left, and the guy from Far Rockaway, and South Jamaica Queens showed up.

That was the wrong nigger to fuck with as they found out.

Once they met that guy they pussied away. Just as quick the person from the tree lined block returned, saying goodbye to the bartender and my waitress who both asked me if I was alright telling me those guys are never coming back.

I was under the impression the bartender was going to call the cops. I told him if he needed a statement from me I’d be happy to oblige and the moment I said that I regretted it.

Rule # 1: If A Black Man, Never Talk To The Cops Unless You Absolutely Have To.

Then I thought, I had not done anything wrong, plus the whole thing was captured on tape. I went home secure in the knowledge I’d done nothing wrong and had ample proof to such.

Witnesses?

Check!

Videotape?

Check!

A warm send-off from the staff?

Check!

I was the one attacked?

Check!

The deck was stacked extremely high in my favor. What possibly could go wrong? I thought of every conceivable way it could go south and came up with only one answer.

I was black. When I was asked to give a statement some days later I was accompanied by my lawyer. Witnesses, videotape, warm send off from the staff and a high priced attorney.  Now that’s what I call stacked!

As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about, exactly what I thought would happen, happened.

I was arrested. Did I mention the whole thing captured on tape?  The tape that showed they attacked me? I did say that right?

This incident is not unusual at all to black men. Those who had no doubt I was lying included the two who attacked me, the police and DA.

The only people on my side was everybody else in the bar. That includes a witness from Japan, and I’ll never forget her name: Sony Camera.

So, I looked forward to my day in court so I could quickly take a plea.

Why did I take a plea? When the D.A. refuses to look at the videotape but is ready to go to trial the two witness statements used to arrest me were written by the two people who ran across the room and attacked me and all other eyewitness accounts are ignored, if you’re a black man it’s time to take a plea.

I took a plea because I could afford what a good lawyer charges. I can’t afford what the criminal justice system may cost me.  No black man has that kind of wealth. When a black man with the means to fight goes to court, he may be found innocent, but we’re suspects all our lives.

Michael Jackson was considered innocent in the eyes of the law, but every effort is being made to ensure he remains guilty in the eyes of history. Now they find kiddie porn? Ya think that would have been useful during the trial?

Name a famous black person once acquitted not still thought of as guilty.

They found kiddie porn now?

That’s some Tyrone Cash bullshit and by Tyrone Cash bullshit I mean stupid. Cash is a Mark Millar creation. In a nutshell, he’s a genius scientist who figures out the formula that gives him the powers of the Hulk.

When his brilliant mind becomes a simple one he no longer understands the complex theories of gamma radiation all he wants to do is smash, like the other Hulk Dr. Bruce Banner.

Sorry, I forgot Tyrone Cash is black.

He retains his intellect and uses his Hulk powers to become a drug dealer! Why? The same reason some police would shoot an incident hard working man reaching for his identification, it’s easy to believe all we are is thugs. That’s what FOX News tells everyone, we’re thugs on television, we’re criminals in the movies, and now the Republican Party Nominee is telling the world African Americans are thugs.

In other news, as soon as I’m officially off probation I’m suing some individuals over what they did to my life. In civil court they won’t refuse to look at the tape and all those witness reports will also come into play.

It’s a little thing but someone needs to answer this question, I was attacked, so why I was arrested? I’m going loud on this with a little help from some well-placed friends. I’m not Tyrone Cash I’m not a thug nor is most black men. So why must we fight and die to prove it?

Martin Pasko: The Age of Michael Jackson Comics

Pasko Art 130801Before I Do This Thang for the week: I’ve been getting messages from readers. Apparently, I do have them. Or, as Bob Hope might have said, “I know you’re out there, because why else would Dolores be propping me up in that direction?”

These messages I’m talking about are all “Why do you use so many links?” Clearly, if you’re asking this, you’re not clicking on them. Hint: Some – not all, or even most, but some – of them don’t lead where you might assume they do. They are instead meant to be weird, “disconnective,” hit-or-miss jokes in and of themselves. So, as the most celebrated member of The Hair Club For Men once put it, “’Nuff said.”

Now, on to That Thang. Meaning I have to stop vamping with jokes about what I didn’t learn in San Diego the weekend before last, and, God help me, actually come up with a third and final part of my highly speculative and putatively uninformed rant to go with the first and second parts. [I say “putatively” because Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey, writes, “Aren’t the comics selling better than ever? What should I do?” (And, no; no link this time. Get off your fat ass and Google it.)]

If you’re just joining me here for the first time, please feel free – unless your ass really is too fat to allow you to lean over and reach your mouse or trackpad – to check out those previous parts. And maybe click on some on those links you’ve been skipping over. Go ahead. I’ll wait. It’s not like I have anything better to do.

Back now? Good.

One thing Iwasn’t joking about last week: SDCC really didn’t shed much light on whether the Big Two might be incrementally but profoundly changing how they think about creating and marketing comics. Specifically, that they might have to take back total creative control from the freelance talent, to better justify their claim that comics help generate new, original movie and TV properties – titles and characters that aren’t mere spin-offs from the oldest, best-known super hero “brands.”

But I remained in the dark not, as I facetiously suggested, because of the conditions endemic to the con itself, but, rather, because the Big Two’s massive “booths” at least appear to still be doing their dog-and-pony shows in much the samo-samo way as they have been since the beginning of The Gastrotrich Super-Star era and the annual “continuity stunt.” You know – the age of what I like to call Michael Jackson Comics. As in, “We’re going to keep rearranging our face because it gets us publicity even though we don’t entertain anybody anymore. (But we do have a few pet chimps who clap for us when we do it.)”

At first, superficial glance, little seems to have changed this year. There were the same long lines of people waiting for something, but you couldn’t quite be sure what because the crowds were too dense. And there were the same old book signings by the Flavors Of The Week – those comic book “creators” who have been rocketing out of obscurity and vanishing back into it just as fast, ever since Hollywood’s “‘bankable’ star” mentality was first applied to four-color pamphlets by, if memory serves, Jenette Kahn. She was the first Big Two publisher to wonder, for example, whether Superman might not sell better if it were John Byrne’s Superman.

And it did.

For a while.

Thirty years ago.

But this year at SDCC, when I took a closer look at those exhibits, and let my eye follow carefully where that long line was snaking to, it seemed as if more and more of those people were queueing up for a chance to glimpse some “teaser” footage from an upcoming movie or TV show, and the lines to buy signed copies of Flavor of the Week’s Superman or Smokin’ Hot Newcomer’s Spider-Man were shorter. The “brand” – the property – was what was making the loudest ka-ching, ka-ching.

But the people who decide what will be presented in these exhibits seem not to notice, and persist in announcing new comic book titles whose selling point is presumably the name of the creative talent rather than the super hero brand. Meanwhile, superhero feature films continue to succeed without being dependent on major stars in their casts, a phenomenon that is a reflection of a larger, industry-wide paradigm shift.

The early warning signs might be barely noticeable, but I really think they’re there. And it’s getting harder not to wonder whether someday – maybe sooner than even cynical me suspects – Disney and Warners will have convinced themselves that they can endlessly exploit their existing brands, through reboots not unlike those in the old annual face-changing stunts, without any help from their four-color pamphleteers. And if their comic book divisions will have ceased to yield new brands they can add to the product mix as break-out hits, they might start to wonder whether all those Flavors of the Week and their pamphlets are any use to them at all.

LATER TODAY: Emily S. Whitten Returns!

FRIDAY MORNING: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY MORNING: Marc Alan Fishman

 

 

REVIEW: Peter Pan

Peter PanOf all the classic animated films, Peter Pan may be the one that has spread its influence furthest. From James Kirk’s reference to the second star on the right to Michael Jackson’s compound being called Neverland, the enduring story of the boy who didn’t want to grow up resonates with us all.

Walt Disney has shined its latest crown jewel to a brilliant luster in the Diamond Edition release of Peter Pan, a combo pack featuring Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital copy (along with a Storybook app for tablets). Said to be one of Disney’s favorite stories, he intended it to be among his earliest releases but circumstances delayed it from being completed until its 1953 release. As a result, some of the lush rotoscoping we saw in Snow White is replaced with complete hand-drawn animation, but it also means some of the figures, from Smee to the Lost Boys are exaggerated and cartoony.

Still, the film moves nicely and takes us on a grand adventure as we quickly move from London to Neverland, from pirates to Indians, all set to one of the strongest scores of the Disney treasure trove. Everyone loves the notion of never having to grow up, take on adult responsibilities, and the problems that come with them. As with all Disney adaptations, it takes great liberties at times with the source material, which means entire generations incorrectly recognize this as the canonical version. One of the charming additions to the original 1904 J.M. Barrie play that Disney used as the template, moreso than the prose versions that followed, was having George, the father, note he too once saw Peter when he was a boy.

The film is a delight to see once more even though critics will decry the stereotypical appearance of Tiger Lily and the Indians. Thankfully, we also understand that the underlying stories were a product of their time and certain allowances can be made without getting all PC.

The timeless tale works because of the story, the music and the fine voice work of Hans Conried (father/Hook), leading a cats that also includes Bobby Driscoll (Peter). Kathryn Beaumont (Wendy), Paul Collins (John) and Tommy Luske (Michael).

Peter & WendyThe transfer from film to high definition is pretty flawless and only the true connoisseurs will recognize the modest color modifications made during the restoration process in this, the seventh jewel in the Diamond collection. There remains a richness to the color that can be tricky to preserve so kudos to the team. Even better is the sound mix, preserving the score and songs, sound effects and dialogue.

Diane Disney-Miller introduces us to the usual trove of extra material, the highlight of the program. Roy Disney is represented with his audio commentary, picked up from the Platinum release. If you haven’t heard it, he nicely recounts many of the stories behind the film’s evolution.

Growing Up with Nine Old Men (41 minutes): The nine key animators to work under Walt and to train the next two or three generations of talent are given their due in this piece. There is a nice assortment of Deleted Songs and Scenes (15 minutes), rescued from the Disney Vault, two deleted scenes and two deleted songs, presented using the original storyboards, concept art, rough cel elements and key frames. The previous DVD Bonus Features are here so this is as comprehensive a collection of Peter Pan material as you are going to find. For parents sharing the disc with their children, there is the optional Disney Intermission so you can pause the film and keep the kids entranced with  clips and activities.

Martha Thomases: Heroes and Big Hair

For no reasons that are indefensible intellectually, I went to see Rock of Ages the other day. I like Alec Baldwin, okay?  It’s loud and it’s fun, and while hair metal was never my genre, I kind of like the power ballads that dominate the soundtrack.

The main plot is almost identical to Get Crazy,  one of the greatest movies ever made. A sincere rock club on the Sunset Strip (in this case, The Bourbon Room), run by Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, is in the rapacious site of greedy real estate developers. Our heroes must put on a show that will sell enough tickets to raise money and thwart the evil plans. Meanwhile, a sweet young girl (Julianne Hough) from the heartland comes to Los Angeles with dreams of rock stardom, and falls in love with a boy with similar dreams (Diego Benota).

Mixed up in all this is Tom Cruise as Axl Rose, Malin Ackerman as a Rolling Stone reporter, Mary J. Blige in not enough scenes, and Paul Giamatti as Cruise’s manager.

Will the sincere and noble rockers triumph over the skeevy politicians and music executives who want to replace The Bourbon Room’s metal with malls and boy-bands? What do you think?

The acting is broad and fun. My only quibble with the casting is that Diego Benota looks a lot like Jonathan Groff, only he’s not, and that was distracting. I’m sure he’s a lovely human being in his own right.

And yet, as I watched it, I found myself getting irked. “That’s not historically accurate,” I would think, and then I’d remember that it’s a movie based on a Broadway jukebox musical. It’s like complaining that F Troop isn’t historically accurate.

I wasn’t in Los Angeles in 1987. I was in New York. Not only that, but I had a three-year-old child, so I didn’t spend a lot of time in rock clubs. Still, my memory of popular music of that time includes a lot that wasn’t metal. The biggest album for most people was Michael Jackson’s Bad. The biggest albums for me were Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love and Warren Zevon’s Sentimental Hygiene.

From this movie, you wouldn’t know there was any hip-hop. You wouldn’t even know there was any punk, even though the black leather and studs that denote authenticity among the rockers owe nearly as much to punk as they do to rockabilly. I don’t know what it’s like in L.A. these days, but you can see every one of those outfits today on St. Mark’s Place in Manhattan.

The other place you can see all these fashions is superhero comics. For some reason, the big hair, the fringe, even the shoulder pads live on at DC and Marvel. I guess once your creative vision of women is limited to bitch, naif, and slut, your visual imagination is similarly locked in the past.

The difference is that in Rock of Ages, they know they’re being camp. It’s funny, and they expect the audience to be in on it. For those of us who are superhero fans, the joke is on us.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

 

Happy 56th Birthday, Alfred E. Neuman!

Hard to believe it, but Alfred E. Neuman is celebrating his 56th birthday today.  Ever since he first graced the cover of MAD #30 in 1956, he has become a national icon and symbol of that era. His enduring gap-toothed grin has become an internationally recognized image and has been imitated time and again.

We salute, Alfred and share with you some fun facts about the fellow:

Although Alfred has appeared on the front of most issues of MAD, he has not appeared on every cover.

Over the years, Alfred has been depicted in a wide variety of roles, including Uncle Sam, George Washington, Barack Obama, Rosemary’s baby, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and Batman.

Alfred’s signature slogan, “What – me worry?” exemplifies the satirical and care-free tone of the magazine.

Alfred has run for president every election since 1956 with the campaign motto, “You could do worse, and always have!”

Alfred’s eyes are not aligned straight, yet they always manage to make contact with the reader. He is never depicted in profile.

In 1983, a man wore an Alfred E. Neuman mask while attempting to hold up a gas station in Michigan. The attendant working at the station could not take the man seriously and the robber left the scene without any money.

In MAD #322 (October, 1993), the magazine asked readers which real life celebrity Alfred E. Neuman most closely resembled – David Letterman, Ted Koppel or Prince Charles of England. While TV personality Letterman was leading the vote for the majority of the polling period, a last-minute influx of votes from Canadian readers crowned Prince Charles the victor of the competition. This was ironic considering that in 1958, MAD received a letter from Buckingham Palace (reprinted in MAD #48) to shoot down comparisons between Charles and Alfred. To this day, nobody knows if the note in fact came from Prince Charles himself.

As MAD’s mascot, Alfred is often referred to by the Usual Gang of Idiots at MAD as the magazine’s “Playboy rabbit.”

MINDY NEWELL: Music To Write By

Every writer has his or her way of settling down to write. Mine is to bring a Diet Pepsi and a pack of Salem cigarettes – yeah, yeah, I know… my bad – to my computer desk. Oh, yeah, and slipping in a CD.

Here’s the dope.

I’m pretty much out of the loop when it comes to music.

On the radio I listen to our local NPR (I love everything about that station); the local CBS sports station (especially during the football season – and during the past two or three weeks, the Peyton Manning-Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez drama here in New York City has mesmerized me); WRL-1600 AM (the progressive station that took over for Air America here); occasionally WWOR-710 AM (though the station has moved too far to the right for my tastes – at least they got rid of Lou Dobbs!); and CBS’s “oldies” station when I’m commuting.  I also play my CD’s, which are eclectic to say the least – the soundtrack to Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s musical episode, Once More With Feeling; a lot of Sinatra; the soundtracks to Yentl and South Pacific; a lot of Beatles; Michael Jackson’s Thriller; The Greatest Hits Of Diana Ross and The Supremes; and a great mix of punk, alternative rock, jazz, and Ethan Hawke singing Your Song from Moulin Rouge (which is amazing) that my daughter made me that she called Rod Stewart Sucks,because she knows I like him. Here’s the problem – I groove to all the songs on that CD, but except for the aforementioned Your Song by Hawke, and Midnight Train To Georgia, I’m hard pressed to tell you the names of the songs and the groups who perform them. I’m not even sure of the name of the song that Etta James performs on the CD – I think it’s I’d Rather Be Lonely (Than Be With Somebody Else), but I’m not sure – and it’s one of my favorites.

My musical tastes when writing are equally weird. I listen to soundtracks.

Right now I have the soundtrack to Ben-Hur playing at full volume. (It was composed by Miklos Rozsa, whom I had to look up on Google to discover that he won three Academy Awards – for Double Indemity, Spellbound, and Ben-Hur – and also composed the music for The Lost Weekend, The Jungle Book, The Thief Of Baghdad, Ivanhoe and Lust For Life, to name just a few others.) I find the music of Ben-Hur inspiring, poignant, thrilling/ It’s romantic in its classical sense, meaning that the pieces are passionate and expressive.

Other orchestral soundtracks that inspire me, take me into the heart of my characters or my theme – and this isn’t the complete list – are:

  • The Last Of The Mohicans – which, by the way, was also a favorite of “My Friend Kim”
  • Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back
  • Superman
  • ET The Extraterrestrial
  • Amadeus
  • The Godfather (I and II)
  • The Winds Of War and War And Remembrance
  • Angel (the television series).

I also listen to musical soundtracks. I love that the songs are expressions of emotions and perplexities, which is why I write. I especially love Rodgers and Hammerstein. Lerner and Lowe ain’t bad either. And then there’s Sondheim. Some examples:

  • Carousel
  • South Pacific
  • Brigadoon
  • The King and I
  • Oklahoma!
  • West Side Story
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Funny Girl
  • Glee (every season)

Just put on the second CD to Ben-Hur. I gotta write a paper for school.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis

Twitter Updates for 2011-04-12

Twitter Updates for 2011-04-12

The Point Radio: Joel Gretsch On ‘V’

The Point Radio: Joel Gretsch On ‘V’

His road has led from TAKEN and THE 4400, now Joel Gretsch is a part of the cast of ABC’s V remake. Joel shares what appealed to him about yet another science fiction based role, plus Elizabeth Mitchell gives us the scoop on parts of the original series that will be included in the new version. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson’s concert film gives an almost 10% boost to the box office and FAMILY GUY finally nails a sponsor.

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One more tragic connection between Michael Jackson and comics

One more tragic connection between Michael Jackson and comics

The one Michael Jackson comics reference I haven’t seen mentioned yet is from Wasteland #16 from DC Comics, in a story entitled “Heartshadow” written by John Ostrander and drawn by Rick Magyar. It’s a story where a young fan of “a dark prince named Michael” commits suicide.

Now, in the wake of Jackson’s death, reports are coming in of Michael Jackson fans committing suicide:

Fans of MICHAEL JACKSON have
been hit hard by the star’s death – 12 devotees have allegedly killed
themselves following the tragic news.

The King Of Pop passed away on Thursday (25Jun09) from a cardiac arrest and millions of his fans worldwide went into mourning.

But several of them found it too hard to cope and subsequently
ended their own lives, according to the founder of an online Jackson
fanclub.

Gary Taylor, president and owner of MJJcommunity.com, says, “I
know there has been an increase (in deaths), I now believe the figure
is 12. It is a serious situation that these people are going through
but Michael Jackson would never want this. He would want them to live.

“They (fans) can’t accept it, they feel in some sort of different
reality. I’m stunned that he’s dead. One minute he is coming here for
concerts and the next he is gone. I think the funeral will be where the
reality kicks in that he is gone and won’t be coming back, there will
be a huge depression in the fan community when that happens.”

The Point Comic-Con Planning Starts Now!

The Point Comic-Con Planning Starts Now!

The first comic book tribute to Michael Jackson is announced, plus more with SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN‘s Josh Keaton, TRANSFORMERS morphs into Big Box Office and get your schedules ready for the start of the San Diego Panel Barrage! 24, WATCHMEN and…GLEE?

PRESS THE BUTTON to Get The Point!

And be sure to stay on The Point via iTunes - ComicMix, RSS, MyPodcast.Com or Podbean!

Don’t forget that you can now enjoy THE POINT 24/7. Updates on all parts of pop culture, special progarmming by some of your favorite personalities and the biggest variety of contemporary music on the net.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE FOR FREE or go to GetThePointRadio for more including a connection for mobile phones including iPhone & Blackberrys