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TABLE OF CONTENTS RKYV # 14 {July 2008} RKYV ONLINE LOGO - David Marshall { current } - Roy G. James { original } - R.J. Pare { original online adaptation} Virtual Cover # 14 - art by Giorgos Tsopanos - layouts by David Marshall Editorial Column - “At The Outset:” - by RJ Pare’ Health Column - by Christina Marchetti World View “A Canadian Living in the USA” - by Tom Rossini Interior Art - pieces by Josh Bowe, Giorgos Tsopanos, Mandie Fortin, Jonathan Biermann, Bob Labute, Belinda Da Fonseca, R.J. Pare, Roger Formidable, Roger Price. Poetry - “Meaningless Jibber Jabber” - by Mandie Fortin Short Fiction - “618 A.K.A. Asher” - by Larissa Gula Non-Fiction - “Futurism in the Funnies” - by Roy G. James Family Life - “Cook Book for Working Families” & “My Journal” - by Amanda Fortin Writer’s Column - “Creation in our World” - by Larissa Gula Pop Culture “Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons” - by Pauline Harren Pare Untitled - by Bob Labute


At the Outset : A Few Thoughts From The Editor - by R. J. Pare’ So this begins a new editorial column for RKYV ONLINE. For those of you new to the E-zine, I am Randy Pare’, a father, husband and proud owner of a new boxer pup “Lady”. But this mag isn’t about any of that. Rather it is about the opportunity to share your creativity with a community of writers and artists. This column is my chance to MC the gig. I get to welcome all of you each month to this collection of articles, artwork, poetry and prose. I dig that, I really do. In the past the editorial page has been done off the cuff so to speak.. Sometimes it served to intro the issue... sometimes it was an excuse for me to get on a soapbox... other times it was a release valve for me to ramble in my own peculiar way. But this is a new editorial column. This column will apprise you, the readers, of cool features located in this month’s issue and inform you about upcoming features in future issues. This month, for instance, we get to feature a creative artist from Greece in one Giorgos Tsopanos. Tariq Rafiq turns his appraising eye towards the works of this young artist – interview pen and notepad... at the ready..:). We are also pleased to get another installment of useful and informative medical advice from Christina Marchetti a nurse from Windsor, Ont. & the first girl I ever met that could whip my butt. LOL. Untitled - by Josh Bowe

Ya want more?


How about the next installment in our retro look at comic book sci-fi with Roy G. James serialized essay - Futurism in the Funnies? Still more you say? How about another short story from the talented Larissa Gula? A talented young award winning poet... Larissa is quickly developing into an author of engaging and entertaining short fiction. And before I forget, Larissa has begun her own column this month reflecting on what life is like being a writer and the world writers... and artists... live in. But, you insist, ya still need more? How about the foibles and follies of Family Life? Mandie Fortin shares this experience with us in entertaining and revealing fashion. To wrap this issue up I would be remiss as an editor and in deep doo-doo as a husband if I didn’t mention the TV review column in the PopCulture section that brings this issue to a close. Pauline pays tribute to the talented and entertaining geezers that crack us up each week on Boston Legal. Luv ya babe - good work! And with that I present Issue # 14 of RKYV ONLINE – Enjoy! Untitled - by Josh Bowe


Preview of upcoming graphic novel - “When Heroes Were” - art by Roger Formidable, written by R. J. Pare’ - in association with Speakeasy Primates comic studio.


Health Murdoch’s Medical Missives - by Christina Marchetti Hi there Folks, Sorry there was no article for last month. This was supposed to be it, but ten pages later and still writing, I had to find a way to cut it down. So here it is, a brief simple overview of diabetes-types, causes, effects and treatments. Diabetes - the word brings feelings of sorrow and regret from people when they find out that i can't have that piece of chocolate or that oversized cookie they are offering me at two oclock in the morning. But really it isn't all that bad. It just means that I have had to learn to have will power, eat better, exercise more and take better care of myself. Really, something we can all afford to do. With the above regiment, and proper medication (I am insulin dependant), I lead a perfectly normal life, or as normal as you can get considering I work permanent midnight shifts on a neurosurgical unit.

X-Ray Torso 2 - by Josh Bowe

Types - There are three types of diabetes, all managed similarily, but each being different in their onset. Type I diabetes, also known as juvenile or insulin dependant diabetes. Type II diabetes or adult onset diabetes makes up almost 90% of diabetes. The third type is called Gestational Diabetes. It occurs in 3.5% percent of pregnancies.

Type I - Usually diagnosed in children and young adults. For some odd reason, their bodies just stop producing insulin. it is believed that the bodies immune system is attacking and destroying pancreatic beta cells. These cells produce the body's insulin supply. People with this type of diabetes are usually underweight or of average weight. Type II - Also known as adult onset diabetes. In this case the body is either not producing enough insulin or is not using it properly. Most people with type II diabetes are over weight, do not eat properly and live inactive life styles. An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with type II diabetes due to the increase in childhood obesity.


Gestational Diabetes - As said before, 3.5% of pregnancies end up with gestational diabetes. It is felt that pregnancy hormones and insulin just don`t mix. It usually goes away after the child is born. However, it has been found that 40 - 60% of all women with gestational diabetes end up with type II diabetes with in 10 years of their initial diagnosis. Symptoms - in all cases, symptoms are pretty much the same. Increased thirst and urination (the body trying to rid it self of sugar). Ladies, do not assume it is the baby sitting on your bladder!!! Weight changes, extreme fatigue (not able to burn calories for energy), blurred vision, slow healing cuts and bruises and for men, not being to get or maintain and erection. Side Effects - In uncontrolled type I and II diabetes long term effects can be as followed - limb amputation due to poor healing wound and poor circulation, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, neuropathy, stroke and death. Gestational diabetes has it`s own set of problems. Not only does it affect mom, it affects baby too. Baby ends up being large due to high sugar levels, making labour and delivery hard on mom and baby. Baby has a higher risk of jaundice, congenital heart problems and respiratory problems due to underdeveloped lungs. Also has a higher risk of spinal cord problems. Treatment - in all cases, proper diet, and exercise is a must. Gestational diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, but in most cases, insulin is a must. Oral meds are not used with gestational diabetes due to the fact that they affect baby. Type I diabetes also requires insulin. Type II diabetes can be controlled with just diet and exercise, but usually oral medication is added. As time goes on, insulin injections may also be added. In all cases, a strong dose of will power is needed as well. It isn`t always easy to bypass that double chocolate fudge brownie sundae that is being passed under your nose!!!! Regular trips to the doctors for check ups are needed to keep and eye on things too. Blood work and foot care must be looked after as well. Having diabetes does not mean you can`t have what you want. You just have to learn to do it in moderation and learn to work it into your diet. I still had a piece of my daughters birthdaycake, but I had to give up the baked potato and garlic bread with supper in order to have it. It is a life of compromise. By the way she just turned 13. I was diagnosed on her 5th birthday. If you have any questions, there a couple of awesome community services out there that can answer questions for you. The Canadian Diabetes Association can be easily reached online, and “Diabetes in Action�, a community organization that follows and helps people to monitor and control their diabetes. Eat healthy, exercise healthy and stay healthy Yours in Service, Chris.


World View A Canadian Living in the USA - by Tom Rossini Instead of picking on Randy or belittling Americans‌.. 1. I decided this month to poke some fun at those from Ontario. 2. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 36 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Ontario . If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Wawa is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Ontario . If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you might live in Ontario . If you instinctively walk like a penguin for six months out of the year, you might live in Ontario . If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Ontario . If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Ontario . If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Ontario.


You Know You Are a True Ontarian When: 1. "Vacation" means going South past London for the weekend. 2. You measure distance in hours. 3. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once. 4. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again. 5. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching. 6. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit. 7. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow. 8. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction. 9. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a Deer next to your blue spruce. 10. Down South to you means Toronto . 11. Your 1st of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost. 12. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car. 13. You find 0 degrees "a little chilly."


Featured Artist Review By Tariq Rafiq Background: Giorgos Tsopanos was born in Athens, Greece in 1980. When he was 6 years old he started to read comics, and from that time on he started to draw his favourite heroes from the comic books that he had read. As an adult he studied Maritime Economics at the Marine Academy in Greece. Today George still lives in Athens. He has been drawing professionally for over one year and he says that he hopes that he will continue to draw on a professional level. Giorgos also says that working as an artist has been a life long dream for him and he hopes that he will be able to continue to pursue his dreams in the coming years. 1. How long have you been an artist? How did you get started? I am drawing since I was 6 years old and all started by the comics that I used to read back then. 2. Do you go to school and get formal training or are you self taught? I always wanted to go to art school and get formal training but I couldn’t. So I studied other things because I had to but I was never stopped dreaming about being an artist and to make my own drawings and art works. So in the past year I made it come true, just by myself and some help from a friend of mine. So I think that I am self taught. 3. Who in your life has been the biggest influence on your art? Because my interest in art started when I started to read comics, I could say that my biggest influence is Mike Mignola the artist of Hellboy.


Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Zombie Cowboy Media used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 745 kb Date created: April 2008

I like the vivid colors used to draw the character against the simple background. The character is drawn with a combination of comic book style and fine art. This piece reminds me Sergio Leone western movies. 4. What is your favourite media to work with? I always draw in a paper with a pencil, I scan the drawing and then I add colors in Photoshop!! 5. Do you use any special tools and techniques to create your art? I use my computer and a lot of photographs. 6. What inspires you to paint and generate new ideas to create a piece? I must say that I was always inspired by the history of humanity and all the things that makes that history an ugly one, a savage one, a history of greed and fake religions. Beside that I listen to a lot of music, I read books and comics and I watch movies, so all these things together become my ideas and helps me to create new pieces.


7. What style do you consider yourself to be? I don’t think that I would call it a style, but my biggest influence is Mike Mignola and Ben Templesmith. Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Frog Scream Media used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 1.23 mb Date Created: April 2008 This is a very strong and powerful piece. The artist has captured her terrified and shocked expression very well. The question is what has terrified her? The way this one has been drawn gives the piece an air brush feel to it. Colors again are very well used. [editor’s note: this piece was chosen as the cover art for this issue] 8. Would you like to tell us anything else about your

paintings?

My paintings based a lot to Cthulhu Mythos and the books of H.P. Lovecraft and I mix this with all the others influence that I have in my head. 9. Which famous artists have influenced you? Why? My favourite artist is M.C. Escher. I think he was one of a kind, he made his art work and he made a whole new world, a world that was in his head, a reality for all the others that we couldn’t imagine, never. I have read about his life and work and I really I admire him, his work have many levels and depth, so in a way I am influenced by his work.


10. If you could met any living or dead artist, who would it be? There are so many I can’t choose. 11. What is the one question that you would ask him/her? Probably about his/her inspiration and how he/she manage to make something new and unique. Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: End of Religion Media Used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 210 kb Date Created: March 2008 I love the use of bold vivid colors used in this piece as well. This piece reminds me of 3 people awaiting their fate on judgment day. The old man and women are grimly thinking about all the sins that they committed during their life time and they are wondering what fate awaits them. The man is the middle whose face can’t be seen because of the use of a skull makes one think: Who is he? What did he do during his life? Was he a murder victim or was he the one ended an innocent life? It’s a great piece that anyone can interpret the meaning in their own mind… 12. Do you think today‘s weak economy are effecting artists? Yes, of course in a lot of ways. For example an artist needs two basic things to work time and money, so if you have this two things you can go on and make your work and you can even, through your work to, criticize the weak economy and how is effecting all the people around you. But if you can’t have these things, then the effect is much greater because you have to work as something else beside art and then you do not have time to think and to create. This is my reality.


13. In today competitive world how to you set yourself apart from other artists? I try to have my own personal style and be myself. 14. How do you market yourself? I believe your magazine will help me to this task and a site that I upload my artwork deviantart.com.

Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Cthulhu Family Media Used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 1.35 mb Date Created: February 2008

The colors used in this piece makes one think that you are looking at an old photograph taken of a family in a western movie. A very close knit family where the brothers and sister are following in their parents traditions and ideals. I like the imagery used in this piece. [editor’s note: Cthulhu being a Lovecraftian other-worldly demon, I would guess that the empty eyes/vacant stares and non-committal expressions... somewhere between a grimace and a grin... are intentional markers/hints that below the surface, this family is not what it appears to be.]


15. When you get a creative block while working on a painting, how do you get yourself back into the mood to paint and how do you keep yourself motivated? I live and work in a small house in Athens so in there I have all my favourite’ things and that helps me to create new ideas and to get myself back in the mood any time.

Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Humiliation Media Used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 952 kb Date Created: March 2008

This piece is a very strong piece. It reminds me of the work by Ralph Steadman. The piece can represent any part of the world where someone is being humiliated and the world is watching without lifting a finger to stop it.

16. Do you create your art full time or part time? Right now is part time but I really want to work full time.


Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Lady Cthulhu Media Used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 1.31 mb Date Created: March 2008

This is one of my favourite pieces. The piece shows a very sophisticated drag queen that has arrived from another dimension. Once again I really like the vivid colors used to draw the character and her surroundings against a simple background. This technique makes the character pop.

17. What other interests do you have besides painting? I collect comics and figures and I listen to a lot of music.


Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Octopus Man Media Used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 429 kb Date Created: February 2008

The octopus man is standing in front of an old shack. Mixing the yellow with the brown work very well together because the colors are blended discretely together to form the background. The use of the lime green contrast to the background colors also work very well in this piece.

18. What would you tell a young artist starting out today? Just to be his/her self and to believe that they can make it.


Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Waiting Man Media Used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 532 kb Date Created: March 2008

The use of colors captures a western salon very well. A smoky salon atmosphere where an old man is enjoying his cigarette and whiskey after a long day.

19. Do you have any big plans or shows coming up in 2008? The only thing until now is that I will make the art work for a CD of a band called “Hoots from the Woods�.


Artist: Giorgos Tsopanos Title: Mysterious Man Media Used: Pencil and Photoshop Size: 1.57 Mb Date Created: March 2008

This piece reminds me of a cold and cloudy day in London. A man is standing in his rain coat in front of an old brick house with all the secrets of his life on his shoulders.

20. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? I don’t know, guess we will find out 10 years from now. See ya.


Jack Nicholson - by Jonathan Biermann


Poetry Meaningless Jibber Jabber - by Mandie Fortin The luring scent of roses, the enticing flavour of chocolate. The candles flames teasing your eye, bringing life to dark shadows. Soft delicate sheets, pink petals scattered. A glass of white wine, a kiss of red lipstick. The evening is perfect, at least it was. Woken by an explosion, smoke filled sky lit up.

First Ever Sculpture - by Mandie Fortin photography - by R.J. Pare’

Fear returning, readiness to die. Screams and orders, coming from all around. Why should they be there? When they should be home with their wives. Men, women and children, fighting for what they think is right. What has existence come to? What is the meaning of life? Extinction!


A rainbow - by Mandie Fortin The bluest of skies lurk behind the thick grey clouds, rain threatening to pour down on top of us. A rainbow waiting to show off it's beauty, but it just won't come. The air is thick, hot and humid. Where's the relief? It's in the future, waiting to become present. The leaves on the trees turn over, showing a white under belly. With these days, come down times. Stress filling every ounce of life, strangling it. Suffocating me, holding me back. A drop, a drop of hope. Now two and three, more joins in. The rain finally comes, relief and coolness. I wait, and wait. Where is it? There it is, hope....a rainbow. Beauty of colour, all in one. Untitled - by Bob Labute


Pare’s Poetic Perspectives - by R.J. Pare Muse Mort they placed brushes in hands. Fingers they urged, delicate to the keys, restraining our will to pound with meaty primate glee. they were an origin of impulse. Taken, from Olympic heights, orphaned now... by rationale man. searching, now, for an organ - responsible. Fleshy pulp the logic ape can measure, enhance or excise according to unnatural selection. no more a divine spark. Defense mechanisms versus entropy, so decreed, by the pontiffs of reason.

Something to Say - by R.J. Pare’


the muse rails ignored. Blankly sits page and canvas from man’s ignoble de-mystification. at some future juncture. Spirits defeated, return to ethereal oblivion and hominid shambles onward in bleak animal function. an Eden abandoned. Fey inspiration replaced by empty bio-chemical knowledge. no more wisdom of mystery. Theurgic whispers ignored in exchange for banal organic need. instead of poetry, paint and prose... the monkey scratches his ass and throws feces at The Louvre. Splat - by R.J. Pare’


Short Fiction 618 A.K.A. Asher - by Larissa Gula April 16, 2089 Bones in the earth’s soil are the proof that monsters roamed our planet. But some monster’s met their fate in a very different type of boneyard. Those monsters were melted down and recycled. In their prime, they roamed the earth, carrying their passengers and good. All the while, they roared and whistled, a thunderstorm flying on wheels while by some miracle under human control. There has always been an aura around the majestic locomotive in front of its coaches. Even the ones pulling freight and trucks had an air of dignity about them. The sound of their eerie whistle and pounding pistons bothered some but calmed many more. To help rebuild and preserve their beauty would indeed be a fortunate, pleasing job for— “Sam! Put that journal away and come here!” Samantha Whistler scowled from her seat at a circular table within the Steam Town Mall food court. Brianna Whistler, her mother, stood at the window of the enormous room. She seemed frustrated with Sam for daring to record personal thoughts in public. As if doing so were illegal. Sam sighed, closing the journal shut with an audible thump. Her mother’s reflection scowled, although perhaps not at Sam; at that moment Sam’s little brother, Ted, was tugging at his mother’s hand in impatience. As he distracted Brianna, Sam slipped her green Mead notebook into her checkerboard pattern shoulder bag and stood to join her family at the window. Beside them was the door that led to a deck outside. The deck connected to a winding ramp that reminded Sam of a roller coaster line. The ramp ended at a platform and station at the end of the museum’s property. Sam turned her eyes from the door to observe the land stretching away from the mall and ramp. Multiple branches of rail track branched from the museum’s storage barn. More steel rails ran past the station or even beneath a replicated coal shoot. Scattered on display on the tracks were preserved coaches and engines, all gleaming proudly. Visitors strolled on the gravelled aisles between the tracks, admiring the years of work being dedicated to each item at the museum.


Brianna suddenly huffed as she struck hair off of the shoulder of her blouse. Sam hid her annoyance and tried to focus on a line of six green coaches, complete with a matching caboose in the back and a baggage truck in the front, beside the russet barn. Her mother was just too clean, from the neat violet blouse on her torso, to the sophisticated dark denim on her legs, to the tight bun on her head – so tight Sam had to wonder where the stray hair had come from. Sam was not like her mother. Where her mother was neat, she was dressed in ripped denim jeans and a red v-neck shirt. Her hair was a short as her little brother’s, and the same vibrant russet colour. Only her figure gave away her gender. Sam was a true tomboy who just enjoyed good-natured fun with her friends. At least, she did when she wasn’t needed at home to baby-sit her brother. And babysitting duty happened often. It could have been because her father had left years ago, leaving one working parent without money to ask for a neighbour to do the job. Or it could have been Brianna creating a busy schedule to keep Sam from applying for jobs at scrap yards and repair shops. That was what Sam wanted to work on during her summer; but every time she began to search, her mother became mysteriously busy, so much so Sam could never form a predictable schedule to offer employers. As her thoughts turned bitter, Sam subconsciously rubbed her brother’s head. Ted stood beside her, laughing at the sensation. Brianna huffed again before smiling. “Are you two excited for the trip?” “I am, I am!” Ted jumped up and down. Sam smiled and nodded over the bouncing head. Much more than you, she added silently. Brianna had to be cringing inside despite the smile on her pale face. She had wanted to take a plane to visit family in D.C., arguing that it was faster and cleaner than anything else available. Before she had reserved their tickers for the flight, Sam found a brochure advertising a special trip from the local museum. The museum was beginning to offer round-tickets, cheaper than the airlines, for travel to those who were interested in travelling on updated technology with a historical spin to it. After showing the brochure to her brother, the pair had been able to beg their mother into submission. Now they were waiting for the train to begin boarding below them. Their baggage was already handed in so that it would be numbered and loaded. All they had remaining were their carry-ons.


“Where do you think our train is?” Brianna asked, already slightly impatient. There was a loud clang below as one of the stations below rang an enormous bell to call attention to the area. Visitors were ushered away from the displayed items by volunteers. The visitors were told to stand on the station and sidewalks, and then ordered not to wander until the train had left in an hour or two. Sam smiled at the sight of the bustle, walked around her mother, and pushed the food court door open to step onto the ramp and see what would happen. A man in overalls pushed a door of the russet storage barn open. Standing a slight distance from the track was a man in a black suit, white shirt, and chain pocket watch: the uniform of the conductor. With a radio in his hand, he beckoned to the shape inside of the barn. Steam began leaking from the open doors, and the sound of pushing gears echoed outwards. And finally, slowly, carefully, and gracefully, the newly rebuilt and modernized steam engine slid noisily out of her stall within the barn. She was welcomed by a loud gasp of awe. Several children shrieked in delight at the sight, and parents were too stunned to order them to behave. Though the beautiful locomotive appeared to be the same build as her steam ancestors, her insides were built with electric motors and several sturdy, strong batteries that collected their power from transparent solar panels on the top and sides of the engine. She mimicked the 46-6-4 Challenger type, and she was glamorous in appearance. She had been painted a beautiful, shining forest green colour, and she glimmered under the sun. The bell set on the top of her front metal plate clanged. Beneath her bell white paint formed her number, 618; the number almost jumped out at the crowd. Inside of her cab, her lean and lank electrician laughed. “Save your strength, beautiful,” he told the machine. The toned and tanned motorman chuckled. “Don’t worry, Henry. Our Asher can handle a little viewing, rebuilt or not. We’re getting extra payments depending on how much people donate or comment on this little spectacle, too. Let her help us out if she wants.”


Train - by Roger Formidable He then pulled on a rope hanging near his open window. Among all of the dials meant to run the engine in place of her firebox, this single piece of equipment was the most primitive. No one had wanted to update the rope. It would have eliminated the chance to make a historically classic pose and noise all visitors recognized. The whistle of engine 618, A.K.A. Asher, shrieked along with the delighted children. And indeed, she sounded as haunting and beautiful as her ancestors had. The sound floated gently over all of the communities surrounding the museum. As the engine left her stall within the barn, Sam’s brother ran out the door to join her, excited. “Sam, come on! Lets go ahead of Mom, I wanna see the engine!�


It took several tugs to draw Sam out of her silence. She was as awe-struck by the sight of the beautiful engine as everyone else. The skill that had gone into designing such a sight for modern-day workings… “No, bro. Let’s wait for Mom,” Sam told him reluctantly. “It’ll make her happy, at least.” Brianna eventually lumbered up behind the two. By then, Asher had rumbled past the station to a round of applause, shrieks, and catcall whistles. The track she had rolled down had been laid two tracks over from the station. Now the enormous engine continued on to one of the switches. As she prepared to cross and carefully move back to the platform, a jade-painted tank engine carefully and slowly pushed the line of coaches beside the barn to the platform. They were just as much a spectacle as their proud locomotive. All were painted in a shade of green to match the beautiful engine, with white window frames and wheel axles. The sights did not impress Brianna; her scowl made that apparent. Sam sighed sadly, gazing at the engine below. When the family had ambled down the lengthy ramp with their luggage to join the growing crowd of passengers on the large station, 618 was proudly coupled to her coaches. The motorman waved out of his window, taking time every few minutes to check that the engine’s multiple dials and settings were normal in the cabin. “This is so small a crowd!” Brianna complained noisily. In truth, the bustling platform was full of passengers; Brianna herself was used to the crowded terminals of the airlines. The smaller train platform was foreign and unnatural to her. “Ma’am, I hope this is not going to dissuade you,” a voice begged. Brianna turned to see a dirty-blonde haired man in a navy blue suit. He wore a nametag clip on his shirt that pronounced him as one of the workers for the trip. “This train is the museum’s pride and joy. Six coaches plus the baggage and caboose is enough work for her after her recent last-minute touch ups.” The engine before them huffed as he spoke, releasing a thin jet of steam from the roof of her long body; the motorman patted her gleaming cabin with a chuckle. “He isn’t trying to offend you, silly girl,” he told the engine. 618 seemed to calm beneath his hand; the steam eased off and she did not huff a second time.


Brianna eyed the train once more, the man in the suit kneeling to lift her carry-on. “Thank you, sir,” she eventually told him. “I am in room 36, car 4, I believe…” With this information in mind, the man led Brianna to the correct coach, her items in tow. Sam and Ted followed the man and their mother through the narrow hallways of the fourth coach. The man said he would arrive as promptly as possible if they pressed the red button by the door handle. With a tip of his hat, he excused himself and retreated to his duties on the platform. Sam and Ted remained with Brianna long enough to place their items in the room, which was a bit more spacious than the hallway. Then, with her younger brother safely in tow and Brianna’s permission, Sam went back outside to admire the beautiful train. She settled on one of the benches, smiling as the seat automatically began vibrating and massaging her back. Ted laughed at the sensation, wiggling in his seat. Despite the relaxation the bench was creating, Sam felt sad and out of place as workers began to bring on the suitcases passengers had dropped off earlier in the day. She wanted to be one of the workers, wanted to have the chance to explore the engine… “She’s beautiful, huh?” The man who had taken Brianna’s baggage on board had reemerged. “A good 201,000 hours were spent rebuilding this beauty. You know, she has a sister engine, engine 610. Built at the same time originally, when they were still trapped in Diesel technology.” “610…that was the first Glowtrain to safely carry nuclear waste without incident, right?” Sam asked. “Good girl,” the man beamed. Sam now looked at him, brown eye to brown eye, and realized he was much younger than she had originally suspected. He offered a callused hand. “The name’s Alex.” “Samantha – Sam,” she replied, taking the hand and shaking it firmly. “Good handshake. You must be pretty confident in yourself to have such a good grip,” Alex complimented her. Sam shook her head. “Not so much, sir. This is Ted, by the way.” The little boy cowered behind his sister, to her benign


amusement. There was a scream from the back of the train. Before anyone could move, an unshaven and dirty man had emerged from the back door of the sixth coach attached to the train. A silver clutch bag clearly belonging to a woman was clasped firmly in his hand. The two security guards in sight were already running down towards them, but were only at the top of the lengthy ramp. Laughing gleefully, the man ran down the length of the platform. There were shouts as he shoved the museum visitors away from him. Somehow his hands never actually made contact with any of the poor people he knocked to the ground. As he swiftly drew closer, Sam could see a silver bracelet around his arm giving off a red glow; it was a Deflector, cheap yet strong enough to keep all humans away from the man. The criminal passed Sam and the group. Alex had jumped to his feet at the sound of the scream, and now tried to grab the man. The man swung an arm out, and the invisible force field his bracelet formed sent Alex crashing against the concrete platform stomachdown with a painful thump. Sam, though holding the frightened Ted in her arms, tried to trip the man while his attention was diverted; she quickly straightened one of her legs out towards the man. She managed to hit his knee. He stumbled but did not fall with the same strength as Alex. He craned his head to find the cause of his fall and sent a malicious glare towards Sam. Ted cowered further into his sister’s embrace. As she held him, Sam glared directly back at the man, unafraid. “Bitch!” the man shouted. Before the criminal could react further, the green locomotive beside him released bolts of electricity from between her massive wheels. The unsuspecting man screamed in pain and fell to his knees, shivering with a seizure-like violence. Sam stared at the engine before her in frightened bewilderment. The motorman above laughed as he began to climb down the narrow footsteps that dotted their way up the cabin. “Ha! And they say a machine is merely a tool! Not these machines! They’re more human than we are, down to their morals and personalities!”


Asher whistled proudly. Sam was shocked; the motorman’s hand was nowhere near the rope. The electrician was beneath her line of sight, kneeling down to check Asher’s power monitor. The beautiful locomotive had whistled by her own free will. There was a small thump as the fried remains of the man’s Deflector fell to the ground. Alex stumbled to his feet, recovering from the blow he had been dealt. Sam patted Ted gently on his head as Alex grabbed the man’s arms and pinned them to his back. It didn’t appear that he wanted to move any time soon. “Will he be OK?” Ted asked, frightened. Somehow he had found concern for the cause of his fright. “Yes, sir!” Asher’s electrician called down. “She can release electricity to relieve her circuits, or in this case, deliver some fine justice, but only so much at a time. It’s like steam blowing out was to her ancestors – they only released enough to relieve pressure without losing all of their power. That was a small jolt our thief felt there.” ‘Small?’ Sam asked herself. The sight of this other side of the machine, powerful and free-willed, was almost frightening. By now, the security guards had arrived, handcuffs ready. The clutch bag was retrieved, and with the moaning man in police custody, Alex began the walk to the end of the six-car train to return the item. “C’mon, Ted,” Sam told her brother as she finally found her own steadiness again. “We had better go inside and get ready.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Brianna, of course, wanted to know what the commotion outside had been. It took Sam and Ted the considerable part of ten minutes to update their mother. All the while, Asher’s coaches were loaded with baggage and passengers ready to set out. “But, children, this train clearly isn’t safe if a crime was committed right outside!” Brianna exclaimed at the end of their tale.


It took another ten of arguing to keep Brianna on the train. “Mom!” Sam growled near the end of their debate in frustration. “The engine herself stopped the crime!” Brianna shuddered. “Machines with genders, machines taking sides…that frightens me more than---“ There was a shrill whistle outside of the coach. One of the conductors shouted out to the front of the train. As her motorman began to release her brakes, and her electrician carefully opened her circuits to allow power to flow through her, Asher began to move. Brianna settled into one of her seats in knowing defeat. Sam and Ted smiled as they gazed out of the window. The exit Asher made from the station was smooth. The visitors to the museum cheered again as the glorious train left the station, and headed down the tracks that left the museum. The tracks wound their way out of the city; Asher huffed through Scranton carefully and slowly. Cars stopped and honked friendly greetings at the black-and-white crossing gates; people waved from the weed-riddled tracks that left the city. Finally, as the last coach left the borders of Scranton, Asher whistled one last time in farewell and began to build her speed. Her black wheels spun and pounded the track, still without jolting the coaches behind her. Even Brianna relaxed under the calm feeling of the coaches following their powerful steam engine. “I think I will take a nap,” Brianna declared. “Children, go see the display car, will you?” Sam and Ted eagerly left their mother in peace. The pair walked hand-in-hand through the hallways of the coaches, eventually entering the one just behind the baggage car. Its windows were massive powerful glass, covering three quarters of the walls and the ceiling. The entire coach seemed to be nothing more than a transparent door to the world outside. The area directly before them was nothing but a green and brown blur, not very interesting to the eye aside from an occasional flash of colour. The true treat was the distance: snow-capped mountains hued with purple, along with green grasslands and various species of tree at their base. Small towns also flew past, and the train outraced the cars on the occasionally visible highway. “It’s so beautiful,” Sam sighed. “And to think Mother was worried about the speed and comfort!”


Alex appeared from behind them, carrying an empty tray. “Room service,” he explained with a grin. “Give me one minute…” He went off to the bar to return the tray. When he returned, Ted was bouncing on one of the leather seats, expressing his happiness through small shrieks of joy. “Easy, lad,” Alex laughed. Then he looked at Sam sitting in the chair beside him, her bag on the carpeted floor and journal in hand. She smiled and closed it when she caught him looking. “What is it, sir?” she asked. “If it’s about Ted, I am sorry---“ “It isn’t,” Alex assured her. “When you went inside your coach, the electrician said he caught Asher eying you.” Sam stared at Alex, disbelief on her face. “Huh? But how---“ “She directs her energy to one spot. Then she can observe the reflections on her solar panels,” the man explained. “Sounds bizarre, I know, but she is as real as you or I.” “I believe it. All machines have personalities like people. Even our cars.” Sam smiled. “Our cars, though, haven’t begun to capture criminals yet.” Alex laughed. “I like the way you think. Well, the electrician said that when you return home, he wants you to take a job under him to learn repairs and management. He said he’s getting old and needs someone to know his job.” Sam stuttered. “I…I would love it!” “Great!” Alex stood and wiped a bit of dust off of his pants. “Have to appear presentable to the guests,” he said. “The one downside of this job. Well, I hope I’ll see you at the barn soon!” he told Sam. He saluted her as he walked to the bar to pick up another tray.’ As Asher puffed proudly towards Washington, Sam leaned back in her chair, beaming. Her mother would never hold her back again. Not this time. Not when the beautiful engine herself had looked at Sam and chosen her! Sam would find someone to replace her as babysitter from now on, and was determined to pay him or her out of her own paycheck if necessary. Asher was too special, too unique, too human, to pass off.


Preview of upcoming comic series - “Buddha Monkey” - art by Roger Price & Jonathan Biermann, written by R. J. Pare’ - in association with Speakeasy Primates comic studio.


Non - Fiction Futurism in the Funnies - by Roy G. James

Figure 15 – The Flash # 244, National Periodical Publications, Inc., 1976 “The Last Day of June is the Last Day of Central City”. Characters: The Flash, Mirror Master.

Optics and Light Man’s knowledge of light and optics has only begun to emerge with the relatively recent discovery of lasers and masers, colour television, holographs, polarization, dioptrics, etc. The Mirror Master’s devices are not too far fetched.


Figure 16 – The Brave and The Bold # 129, National Periodical Publications, Inc. 1976 “The Claws of the Emperor Eagle”. Characters: Batman, Green Arrow, Atom.

Physics of Solar Energy The great demand for new sources of energy for heating, cooling, doing work seems to be directing researchers toward the sun, a relatively inexhaustible source. Harnessing and storing are the problems at this stage. Bell Telephone is presently experimenting with solar cells while the Japanese are seriously looking at solar furnaces.


Family Life ~Cook Book For Working Families~ - by Amanda Fortin Nothing says summer like BBQ parties and Lemonade. I've grown very fond of a new BBQ sauce, 'Brown Sugar'. Mmmmm It's rather yummy. BBQ’s open up your ideas to a variety of relaxing meals cooked outdoors in the sun, or shade. Adding a little flavour will add a little light to your meals. Don't forget the corn on the cob. Mmmmm Mmmmm Good. Ingredients Ground beef garlic - crushed Onion - diced Brown sugar BBQ sauce Salt Pepper

Tomatoes - sliced Lettuce Mayo Ketchup Mustard Relish Onion - sliced

Mix your BBQ sauce, ground beef, diced onions and crushed garlic together, knead it till it's mixed well and solid. Add crushed crackers if needed to stiffen the meat. Roll and flatten into large patties, place on BBQ and cook till the way you like it. While cooking, spread more BBQ sauce on them for more flavour. After cooked, add cheese, place on buns and serve with your choice of toppings. Enjoy.


My Journal - by Mandie Fortin Curses are things you hear about from ancient legends, myths, movies, books and I'm finding, in everyday life. It seems that anything and everything that can go wrong, will and in just a matter of a day. You're world can go from sunshine to stormy weather with a blink of an eye. It's been 2 months now and still no luck, I'm thinking I crapped it out when I made a decision that I feel is a mistake that I might have made. If only with a snap of the fingers I could change the choices I've made in my life. Life is a constant struggle. Happiness seems to be something that only comes with time but for me, time is taking forever. When will my luck return? When will things start working out for me? When will the happiness finally find me and will it find me in time? All I need is one good thing to happen before my life is turned completely upside down.

... gone slightly wrong... - by Belinda Da Fonseca


Preview of upcoming comic series - “Knight Reavers” - art by Elisa Feliz & Jonathan Biermann, written by R. J. Pare’ & Jonathan Biermann - in association with Speakeasy Primates comic studio.


Pop Culture Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons - by Pauline Harren Pare I just read that 2008-2009 will be Boston Legal’s final season. This news evoked a variety of feelings in me. You see, I slowly became a fan of the show over the years. At first I was resistant. I am not a fan of lawyer shows. I am, however, a fan of quality television. This is what drew me to this show. Boston Legal is not just a lawyer show but a hilarious comedy that dares to tackle the sensitive subjects. Boston Legal is also the stomping ground for many a great veteran actor. It has proven to me that the great Candice Bergen and Rene Auberjonois still have acting chops, along with many a fantastic guest star. The biggest surprise of the series has been William Shatner as Denny Crane, the boisterous, opinionated, right wing named partner. Shatner’s performance is surprisingly strong and only a little over the top. The friendship between him and James Spader ‘s charactor, Alan Shore, is incredibly entertaining. I am excited about this being the last season because I am certain that the show will be stronger than ever with a great finale...but these feelings are mixed with sadness that the show will be ending. The show has been a critical success but not a monetary one. It seems like the right time to end Boston Legal while it has a chance to give it’s loyal viewers a satisfactory ending.


RKYV ONLINE # 14