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Table of Contents RKYV # 19 {December 2008} RKYV ONLINE LOGO - David Marshall {current} - Roy G. James {original} - R.J. Pare {original online adaptation} Virtual Cover # 19 - Art by Sol Lang - Layouts by David Marshall Editorial Column - “At the Outset:” - A Few Thoughts from the Editor - by RJ Pare’ Health Column - “Tom’s Therapeutic Tidings” - by Tom Rossini Featured Artist Review – Sol Lang - by R.J. Pare’ World View - “Tom’s Travel Tips” - by Tom Rossini Short Fiction - “Southpaw Smith” - By Scott Claringbold

Untitled – by John H. Drew Jr

Poetry - by Anna Gehmacher, Stephen Campbell .Interior Art - pieces by Mohammed Abdullah, John H. Drew Jr., Kalinda Higgs, Engin Korkmaz, Jonathan Biermann, Marc Olivent, Leyla Sabah, Lisa Marie Mueller, Sol Lang Writer’s Column - “Creation in our World” - by Larissa Gula Pop Culture - “Comic Book Review” - by Brad Bellmore - “Raised On Saturday morning Cartoons” - by Pauline Pare’ 2

At the Outset A few thoughts from the Editor – by R. J. Pare’ [Resolution] – The mental state or quality of being comprised of a firmness of purpose. I welcome you all to RKYV ONLINE # 19. This issue is comprised of submissions received in December of 2008. As you sit at your PC [or if you have downloaded this to your portable device] I want to take this moment to thank you for being a part of this creative and FREE endeavour. It is my pleasure to share the visual and literary inventions of our contributors [myself included!] each and every month. This E-zine’s #1 resolution for 2009 will be to make a greater effort to be released during the first week of every month [where have we heard that before? LOL]

Untitled by John H. Drew Jr.


This issue showcases the first photographer chosen as our artist of the month. Sol Lang has graciously taken the time to share his thoughts and his beautiful, erotic images with us in the Featured Artist Review. Our columnists Pauline Pare’, Brad Bellmore and Larissa Gula provide us again with insightful and entertaining looks at TV, comics and the nature of creativity itself. This month also marks the resumption of Roy G. James classic essay Futurism in the Funnies. For those of you that love the medium and enjoy a retro look at the concepts of sci-fi and futurism, this serial continues to be a hoot. This month the Health column begins a new chapter as Christina Marchetti and Tom Rossini [both RNs] share the load by taking turns writing medical advice on alternate months. Christina in the meantime has agreed to help us bring a recipe section back to the mag – starting next month. I look forward to her tasty concoctions. On a personal note, I resolve to make 2009 the year I dedicate myself 100% to my writing, editing and creative endeavours. I hope all of you that appreciate RKYV join with me in continuing to make RKYV the most fantastic and exciting production it can be. Pick up a pen; take brush to canvas; pound away at your keyboard or capture the world through the camera lens… whatever gets your artistic juices flowing – embrace it and share it with the rest of us!

Untitled by John H. Drew Jr.


Health Tom’s Therapeutic Tidings – by Tom Rossini What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSA). Sleep apnea means "cessation of breath." It is caused by upper airway obstructions that occur during sleep, usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. In other words, the airway becomes obstructed. The upper airway can be obstructed by excess tissue in the airway, large tonsils or a large tongue, and usually includes the airway muscles relaxing and collapsing when asleep. Another site of obstruction can be the nasal passages. Sometimes the structure of the jaw and airway can be a factor in sleep apnea. What are the symptoms?      

excessive daytime sleepiness frequent episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep. (The patient may be unaware of this symptom -- usually the bed partner is extremely aware of this). morning headaches loud snoring un-refreshing sleep a dry mouth upon awakening

Associated Problems seen with OSA

       

high blood pressure overweight irritability change in personality depression difficulty concentrating excessive perspiring during sleep heartburn

      

reduced libido insomnia frequent nocturnal urination (nocturia) restless sleep nocturnal snorting, gasping, choking (may wake self up) rapid weight gain confusion upon awakening


How serious is sleep apnea? It is potentially life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. The risks of untreated obstructive sleep apnea include heart attacks, strokes, impotence, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, obstructive sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness that can result in accidents, lost productivity and interpersonal relationship problems. The severity of the symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. How does the doctor determine if I have Obstructive Sleep Apnea? A sleeping test, called polysomnogram is usually done to diagnose sleep apnea. There are two kinds of polysomnograms. An overnight polysomnography test or is a home monitoring test. A Sleep Technologist hooks you up to all the electrodes and instructs you on how to record your sleep with a computerized polysomnograph that you take home and return in the morning. They are painless tests that are usually covered by insurance. How is Sleep Apnea treated? Mild Sleep Apnea is usually treated by some behavioral changes. Losing weight, sleeping on your side are often recommended. There are oral mouth devices (that help keep the airway open) on the market that may help to reduce snoring in three different ways. Some devices (1) bring the jaw forward or (2) elevate the soft palate or (3) retain the tongue (from falling back in the airway and blocking breathing). Sleep Apnea is a progessive condition (gets worse as you age) and should not be taken lightly. Moderate to severe Sleep Apnea is usually treated with a C-PAP (continous positive airway pressure). C-PAP is a machine that blows air into your nose via a nose mask, keeping the airway open and unobstructed. For more severe apnea, there is a Bi-level (BiPAP) machine. The Bi-level machine is different in that it blows air at two different pressures. When a person inhales, the pressure is higher and in exhaling, the pressure is lower. Your sleep doctor will "prescribe" your pressure and a home healthcare company will set it up and provide training in its use and maintenance. So if you’re a snorer or if you spouse or child is, take them to see your doctor and have them evaluated. Also, if your child is having difficulty in school, has any behavior problems, or has sleep issues; then a sleep study could benefit them. 6

Featured Artist Review

Sol Lang By R. J. Pare’


Bio: A graphic designer and photographer, Sol Lang is co-founder (with wife, artist and graphic designer, Mary Bogdan) of Crayon Design & Communication, a design firm in Montreal established in 1980. Sol Lang has won numerous national and international awards and was on the board of directors of the Société des Graphistes du Québec. He has been actively producing photographic art and has participated in numerous solo as well as group exhibitions. His works are in public and private collections. Sol Lang has graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal in 1976. More recently he has participated in the Advanced Photography Seminar at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts and is now a member of the “8 Versions” photo group, which holds exhibits and meets regularly. Sol Lang is represented by the Sandra Goldie Gallery in Montreal, Galerie Image Photographie Encadrement in Sutton, Eastern Townships, Québec and M!WAA at New Art Center in New York City.

Artist Statement: It would be hard to list all the influences I’ve had in my life that can be held responsible for the artistic expression I state today. Having been raised in a matriarchal home environment is not the least of these influences. But it would be unreasonable not to place much of this responsibility on the Internet as well, with all of its converging media and its democratization of everything, including art. As a member of Flickr, an international, multi-cultural on-line community, much of which is made up of artists, my work is being virtually exhibited daily. With over a million views in the span of one year, my photographic expression has been commented upon, censored, liked and disliked, stolen, copyright infringed upon, revered and insulted. My right of expression has been revoked more than once and I have been politically attacked. Reactions abound. The work as it stands today is a commentary on ongoing concerns of womankind in her ceaseless struggle to shed her stereotypical, objectified image of femininity as it has been depicted by the media-culture and western society. I present my images with the skills and craft of a fashion photographer, but without the entourage of a large production crew. Working alone with the models, these are intimate sessions without the help of assistants, stylists or hair and make-up artists. They are collaborations whereby I create visual, thought-provoking statements of beauty, irony, sadness, erotica and humour… always achieving powerful images of very high production value. Unfortunately I have been requested by FaceBook to remove images that contained nudity from this series. I therefore, am providing a link to where more of my work can be seen. Just copy and paste this link:

8 Title: Dealing with Light and Enlightenment Artist: Sol Lang Model: Kerri Sol Lang: I’ve been getting much resistance for my erotic art. It took me some time to arrive at calling it “my erotic art”. But that is what it is. Many of my friends, fellow artists, acquaintances and media, seem to differentiate between all other art forms and mine. I am speaking of people, some of which have known my previous work for years. Art connoisseurs [who have considered my work sophisticated, aesthetic and very powerful, in the past] are having difficulties with what I am working with at present. So I need to ask myself why. What is it about my present artistic investigation into nudity, erotica and the study of human sexuality, that is so repugnant to the most extreme critics and less than acceptable, artistically, to my more tame, yet still, critical friends? I am not investigating into areas of art that are all too new historically. The nude is iconic in art and has historically always been a part of the collective artistic journey. Is it because I am touching on ancient social taboos invoked by religion? Am I, too strongly implying that sex is ok? As an artist I deal with light and light is also what we need to see things clearly. But something in my art appears to be unclear. I need to understand what that is. I am beginning to catch a glimpse of it when someone (female) says to me that they can imagine “some creepy guy looking at my pictures and jerking off”. Let me say that this person is amongst those most accepting of my work. Others have said that I objectify women, not concerning themselves with the fact that these works are a collaborative effort between myself and the model. I spend from three to nine hours with each model in the process of planning and discussing our shooting session. So to say that I objectify my model is hardly accurate. Can a model objectify herself? I wonder… This is just the beginning of a much larger discourse I am in the process of developing. It will grow as I am growing. As I learn what it means to me. R. J. Pare’: I think, when dealing with North American mores especially, the definite sexual hang-ups are largely the product of media manipulation of our existing base-line Christian beliefs. This is not to say this is purely a religious issue… but rather that these lands / cultures were founded predominantly by Christians and as such those values exist in our cultural psyche. The media takes this and perverts it. A culture that in many regards has moved away from Orthodox beliefs can still have those values twisted by the media when they falsely portray the root cause of violence and abuse to be an individual’s taste in music, games and art. This is preposterous, of course. Individuals that prey on others do so by their own sick and depraved choices… no piece of music – no video game – and certainly no works of art are responsible for their


behaviour. But media examinations / sensationalisms, after the fact, of a criminals taste in such areas... try to draw the conclusion that these were somehow the “cause”. I, personally, find that suggestion offensive. It takes the blame away from the offender and is a blatant attempt by a puritanical minority to override our freedoms and establish a “state-enforced” censorship. I love that fact that we live in a free society and have no desire to be trapped in a theocracy. By the way, this photo, used on the cover of this issue, is gorgeous and makes excellent use of light and shadows. Title: Inspired Shoes and 300 Spartan Warriors Artist: Sol Lang Model: Isabella SL: Lately I have been wondering if my work is making a difference in the world. I seek out beauty and truth. Of course I can only follow my own aesthetic, which is subjective. Truth is absolute. I believe that there is only the one. Unfortunately, it is subject to interpretation. As I saw within 3 minutes of the Republican debate in the race for party leadership, truth is quite illusive to men (and women) seeking power. This was the most pathetic group of uninspired and uninspiring individuals I have ever seen vying for this position. Not one ounce of charisma among them. I am not an American and I know very little about the details and facts pertaining to American politics, but I am a fairly good judge of character and I found not one of these men gave me a sense of strength of character. They were unsure about what they were saying. If I were a voter I would have a tough time. Unfortunately I had not seen the Democratic debate at all, so I cannot address it. The part I saw was when they were responding to the question about believing in the word of the Bible. It was so obvious to me that they were saying what would get them votes rather than saying what they really believe. Not a true conviction among them. I finally saw the movie “300”. Violence in abundance, but visually it was quite delightful. The story too, although quite simple, was interesting with some human values in heroism: The age old conflict between nations; two (or more) camps of humans, each believing to be superior, each trying to annihilate the other for the good of humanity. Kind of where we are today. Nothing changed in 3,000 (?) years. We humans are still trying to destroy each other… nation against nation. It is the true definition of obscenity. And here I


am NIPSA’d by Flickr. What a sad joke! Isabella, with her super shoes, comes to the rescue. She looks quite proud to be wearing them. They are sexy. Can anyone really stand safely on such heels? Maybe that is why we see her sitting here. But no, really, she stands and walks with them quite well. It’s like I am describing a doll. She also speaks and moves. But here she sits and is looking quite lovely. When she poses for the camera, I sense a story going through her mind. She must be thinking of something that has made her feel emotion, desire, passion… shoes? RJP: What I find most fascinating, about this piece, is the manner in which Sol has staged it. The lighting creates a sense that there is nothing before her and nothing beyond… that somehow Isabella exists only at this time – at this spot – and we are captivated as much by her striking choice of footwear as we are by her knowing gaze looking down at us through her raven locks. In this singular moment, who is the “fly in amber?” – The observed or the observer?

Title: The “Sitting on The Stairs” session Artist: Sol Lang Model: Natalie SL: An image of Natalie from the Zivity set. This one is probably, not, an out-take. It will be included once the work on this set is complete. It acts as a preview. RJP: Contrasting this piece with “Inspired Shoes and 300 Spartan Warriors”, where Isabella seemed to be isolated in a moment of time… Natalie seems to be anticipating something. Her wringing hands and the shadowed backdrop give a sense that she is about to leave these stairs. From there, where does her story go? We are left to wonder and fill in the blanks. Her eyes convey a sense of a decision almost reached and the well lit stairs in the fore-ground can lead us to the conclusion that she will be able to proceed on her journey clearly seeing the path ahead.

RJP: 1. Have you always known that you wanted to be, or rather, were a [photographic] artist? SL: I have been an artist as far back as I can remember. Photography came to me in my mid-teens when my friend Eli got a camera for his birthday and I borrowed it for a while. I quickly became hooked and decided to purchase one of my own. RJP: 2. Did you study or major in art while in school?


SL: I graduated from Concordia University in Montreal with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Photography was just one of many disciplines. I did painting, drawing, printmaking, cinema and all the academics, of course. One of my favorite studio workshops in those days was photo-silkscreening. I still have a few editions in a closet somewhere in the house. RJP: 3. Who was your biggest influence or source of encouragement, as a child, in pursuing art? SL: I can’t really attribute that to any one person. My home was always a creative environment in one way or another. My parents worked hard to support the family through many hardships, but my dad was an avid musician and my mom had the visual sense for aesthetics. She used to draw a bit. I would say that as far as influences went, it was just that they did not discourage me from fulfilling my creative instincts that helped me to stay with it. RJP: 4. What do you prefer to work with as subjects: live models, landscapes etc.? SL: In recent years I have embarked on fulfilling a long-time desire for doing artistic nudes/erotic/ boudoir/ glamour photography, using female models. I think this was an area that I didn’t pursue earlier in life due to my own intimidation with the subject, although wanting to. As a photographer, I did develop working in many terrains. Landscapes, urban decay, portraiture are all areas I have developed expertise and facility in. Having worked as a studio photographer and photo re-toucher has extended my skills even further. I apply all these skills and more in the work I am doing now in my erotic photography. It is what I am doing at present, but who knows where my work will lead me.

Title: On her Belly Artist: Sol Lang Model: Joelle SL: I needed these images to be processed before I could reach this point in understanding where I am going with my art. The answer is not yet fully revealed to me, but it has to do with my own sexuality. It has


to do with my age and my deepest fantasies and desires. As I write this I am viewing this image above the text box and am listening to my iTunes in "shuffle" mode. Suddenly a piece of music comes on. A haunting little 2 minutes and 17 seconds of beautiful, soft, pensive music. I stop to look at what it is. From the movie "Girl With a Pearl Earring" composed by Rachel Portman. How appropriate this music is. How appropriate to the story line and to my creative state of mind. For anyone not aware, the story is about the artist Vermeer and his love for light and colour. But mostly his intriguing relationship with a young model who was also a house-maid for whom he develops a special interest that goes beyond just making her his subject for the famous portrait by the same name. So I set the iTunes to "repeat 1" and am letting this haunting piece of music accompany me as I view this image and go back to writing about my own feelings. I am suddenly filled with great emotion and sadness. These are feelings of desire and longing. But longing for what? I pride myself as an individual of high morals and yet I am feeling lust and arousal… feelings that are socially frowned upon. Are my intentions less than honorable? Is the artist supposed to feel this way toward his subject? What is my motive in choosing to photograph the female nude? What artistic benefit is in that? Why am I questioning myself? My sadness turns to anger. What was a feeling of tenderness towards myself, my art and my model has become a source of questioning in an accusatory fashion. Questioning In a way that makes me feel ashamed and immoral when trying to answer. What or who am I angry at? My feelings are real and deep. I feel myself normal in every way. I observe society around me and feel that my life fits very well within it. I am assuming, therefore, that these are normal feelings that come with a reassessment of self and where I am in my life. The answer seems blunt and brutal, but obviously common enough to have its own name. I am uplifted by that fact. “Mid Life” It is a good term. It implies that if your life until now has been pretty good, you can expect yet another and equally good amount of life to follow before having to accept the ultimate end of life. But there is another term, “Mid Life Crisis.” Is it this that I am experiencing? My adult sons would, perhaps, express it that way. But is it a crisis? Maybe it’s a need to not accept my age; a need to feel young again. So I am given a dose of youth through having this soulful, young, female beauty lying naked before me; awakening desires that have been dormant since the time when my age and such desires were defined by youth. No not a crisis. It is coming to terms, an acceptance of age and a celebration of wisdom that comes with age. My music is still repeating, as its meaning changes along with my mood, as I am writing, which affects how I feel, as I am going through this self-analysis. I will not arrive to a conclusion this time, but will continue to do my art and continue this process of discovery of self through my art and my emotions. Where this will lead me I have yet to find out. RJP: Nabokov would probably smile and understand this predicament [all too well]. His exploration of the “old man and Lolita” archetype is far more compelling and literate than any short blurb I can jot down here. Look it up, dear readers, and enjoy. Once again, a beautiful piece, intriguing that her stocking foot [foreground] appears to be the point of focus… some fetish, perhaps beyond the Lolita imagery?

RJP: 5. What equipment do you prefer to use and do you use any special techniques? [ie: lighting, special effects or post production manipulation] SL: Although I come from a traditional photography background, I took to the new technologies like a duck to water. I love digital photography. Although I was quite expert in the traditional


medium, digital feels much more natural to me. I feel like I am back to drawing or painting. The flow that comes from my camera, through my computer, and finally to a framed print, is much more controlled; it is a much more a direct translation, from initial cerebral concept, to the final execution of a print. RJP: 6. What inspires you to create art? SL: A simple question that requires a complex and lengthy answer. I will try to present it as briefly and clearly as I can. When one is an artist, inspiration is a constant flow of energy that is only interrupted by certain required practical activities like balancing your bank statements or doing your tax return. I am lucky to be in a creative field professionally, graphic design, so that energy is allowed to run freely and continuously. I believe that inspiration comes with the constant questioning in pursuit of truth. Or in pursuit of the question that will reveal the truth to the asker. For an artist, creating art is inspired by life. Everything around us is inspiration to create. Art is all around us if we only choose to see. Notice I didn’t say “look�. One does not always see, even if one looks. RJP: 7. How would you categorize your style? SL: I have a strong sense of craft. I believe that art should not only be provocative conceptually, but it should also look good and be well done from a craft point of view. I can appreciate the grungy art forms and recognize that banality and dullness can have an aesthetic that enhances the concept they convey. But for me, much of the awe and wonder that makes art succeed, is the attention to details and craftsmanship. I prefer my art to be intelligent and beautiful, rather than intelligent and plain or worse ugly. Title: Erotica Redefined Artist: Sol Lang Model: Milena SL: Strong words to describe my model. But I think they are quite accurate when it comes to Milena. Her image, a vision of classic beauty, is compelling and arousing. So much so that she can just stand there in a portrait, fully clothed, and be just as tempting as she is in our nudes. Although I have shown many images of her in the nude, I keep coming back to these - which I took before she actually undressed. It may be her utter facial beauty with perfect features and


skin, or her expressive stare with eyes that one can get lost in. To have helped create and capture all this with my art, gives me great satisfaction. RJP: Her casual dress and pose would lead one to assume that this piece is misnamed. Milena appears relaxed and is presented in the manner in which one might see her in everyday company. This apparently “effortless” demonstration of beauty and sex appeal on further reflection makes her more erotic. Somehow, by showing her in more “realistic” staging Sol has magnified Milena’s allure by creating a sense of “attainability”… if only in our imaginations.

RJP: 8. Would you say that there is a "message" or "unifying theme" in your work? SL: My feminine erotic work is following a few themes at the same time. My “Un-shrouded” series is speaking of the beauty of femininity in the physical sense as well as the beauty of feminine thought and feminine sensuality. My themes also speak of the power of the feminine, being rebellious against social stereotyping of women as they are portrayed in the media, art, literature and film as it pertains to our western society, although, through the internet, I am beginning to realize that these are really global issues that transcend geographical, political and cultural boundaries. It is a celebration and an appreciation of feminine beauty in all its facets. RJP: 9. Which famous artists, photographers or styles have influenced you? Why? SL: I feel a bit like I have multiple personalities. My background and education was fine arts in general. I hold a bachelor degree. But I have been exposed to art and artists of all kind for so many years, that it is hard to say where influences come from. I think that to be a visual artist one must have extreme capabilities to observe with the eyes and to intellectualize what one sees. As artists we have a responsibility that goes beyond the creation of objects for decoration. We need to expose and compel; to provoke action and draw emotion. I guess if I were to talk about artists that have influenced me... I will list all the ones that come to mind off the top of my head. I guess if they are part of my memory they must have had influence on me. In no particular order or discipline they are: Sarah Moon, Avedon, Herb Ritz, David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Cartier Bresson, Andre Kertez, Edward Steichen, Manray, Imogene Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Andreas Feininger. But why stop at photographers. Raphael, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Salvador Dali, Paul Gauguin, Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Andy Goldsworthy, Christo/JeanneClaude, Frank Gehry, I. M. Pei, Louis Kahn, Mies Van Der Roh, Jackson Pollock, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, I have many and diverse interests, but when a work of art touches the soul, it deserves noting. RJP: 10. If you could meet any living or dead artist, who would it be? SL: I have never been an idol worshipper. I have met many artists in my lifetime and see them as anybody else: Human, vulnerable, fragile, insecure, wise and less wise. To some they are like royalty, but royalty doesn’t impress me much either. I am not answering your question, am I? Hmm… I think it would be fun to have met John Lennon. He was on a specific level intellectually that I think coincides with my world view: “Cynically optimistic.” I sometimes think I want to give the world a swift kick in the butt [like shaking a child into awareness]. Sadly we are living in a world that needs enlightenment in a big, big way.


RJP: 11.What is the one question that you would ask him/her? SL: Ha ha... “What have we done since you requested of us to ‘Give peace a chance’? Not too much. All that work, John. You died for us, like Jesus, to take away all of our sins and we spat on your memory. What do you see from out there? I hope it is goodness and redemption.” I feel I am starting to sound evangelical. I am not religious at all although I consider myself highly spiritual. Title: Caitlin’s Condescension Artist: Sol Lang Model: Caitlin RJP: A couple of wonderful things stand out here. Firstly this young beauty in her titillating attire contrasted against a very “domestic” backdrop… the classic image of the “French maid” comes to mind. Secondly the technical accomplishment Sol achieves in using this staging… the colours and flooring pattern make for a striking photo.

RJP: 12. What do you think of the term "starving artist"? Specifically, does the struggle to pay the bills; to be compensated for one's work; influence what an artist will or won't pursue based on perceived commercial value? SL: It’s an age old question that is finally being answered, for me, with the advent of the digital communications age. As it turns out art is much more significant in our lives than we ever before believed. And we did believe it was extremely significant. There are many more of us, artists, out there, than we were aware of before the Internet. And good artists, too, producing excellent work. This is good for the soul and the spirit of humanity, but not too good for the business of art. As much as people love art – love to do art, they are not that interested in paying the big bucks for art… hence “the starving artist”. I mentioned earlier that I know many artists. Well except for a very few of them, most hold jobs in art related professions or non-art related professions at all. There are very few who’ve had the


good fortune of making a living from their art. I consider myself lucky to be self-employed in my own graphic design business. This gives me total freedom in pursuing any artistic direction I wish to. Galleries that cater to the general public tend to dictate to the artist to produce art that sells, thereby imposing limitations and intervention in the free creative spirit that is true art. The free creative flow from the artist’s gut is compromised. So if you adhere to this premise, art must not be made to sell. It should just be made, period. Later on, once the artist is done with the work (or dead) it can be sold knowing that it was not compromised by market demands. Title: Bathed in afternoon light – The gift, Elise Artist: Sol Lang Model: Elise RJP: How fast can you say bored housewife? This sexy woman is transformed into an erotic fantasy in this elegant staging. All I can say is the husband better get home before the gardener or pool-boy start looking good to her. [LOL]

RJP: 13. Do you feel more a sense of community with others in your field or a sense of competition? SL: I feel mostly a sense of community than a sense of competition. That is not to say that when I see something of great brilliance produced by a fellow artist, that I don’t wish I had thought of that. I belong to a very supportive artistic community. I believe that artists in general are a great bunch. Certainly with whom I bond best with and would rather spend time with than members of any other profession, vocation, avocation. RJP: 14. How do you market yourself? SL: I try to show in as many venues as I can as long as it doesn’t take precedence over the actual production of my art. Eventually, the pursuit becomes tiring and ones notoriety makes them become the pursued. I am starting to get to that level just about now. I still need to pursue, but having established some of this recognition has made it easier to open doors. I will be showing in a museum in 2011. We are on the cusp of 2009, so you see how booked museums are. RJP: 15. Do you find it difficult to stay motivated / inspired? SL: No. I am always doing something that helps motivate: searching, writing, looking. There is no reason to not always find something to keep one inspired and motivated. I don’t let things discourage me and try not to invest emotionally in too much, lest be disappointed. I am lucky to


have a wonderful, artist/wife, who helps keep things new and fresh. We certainly do support each other in our graphic design career as we do in our artistic one. RJP: 16. Do you create your art full time or part time? SL: To live an artistic life is to eat, dream and breathe art. I consider my creative process as an ongoing stream. I work on my graphic design business daily as I do on my personal artistic projects. RJP: 17. What other interests do you have, besides photography? SL: Video production, music, architecture and all the visual arts‌ I am on-line all the time, so it would be remiss of me to not mention life on the internet, especially the social networks like Flickr, FaceBook, Zivity and the soon to be discovered by artists the world over – HeuteKunst [ TodayArt ] This was a plug. My wife, Mary Bogdan created it and we plan to make it a strong on-line community entity.

Title: What is Christy’s concern? Artist: Sol Lang Model: Christy SL: Art is about asking questions, not giving answers. I guess, by now, everyone who ever took the trouble to read the texts that accompany my images, has heard my complaints/fears/worries of saying something poignant and relevant to accompany what the images already convey. As an artist I often hope that the visual communication is all that is necessary. However, I have found that the number of comments and responses are far greater when the image is accompanied by a well thought out text. It starts a dialogue that not only makes the images more interesting to the viewer, but also to me. As I create intuitively with images, the words alone can sometimes be quite limited. It is then that the comments left by viewers complete the communication of the art. I want to thank all the Flickr members that have continued to comment on my images and have added so much to their meaning and my own understanding of my art,


bringing to light that which has until now only been feelings, sensations and undefined concepts or thoughts. This image, for example, is very appealing to me. As a professional visual artist and aesthete, I recognize the success of this photograph. Technically, it is very sound. Pleasing colour and composition, lighting and drama. The model’s pose is exceptional and the look on her face (and what a face!) is precious. But what does it say to the viewer? What does it say to me? I know it elicits emotion. It certainly does for me. At the very least, a reaction of some kind from whoever sees it. But what does it all mean? I can consider writing an entire scenario about Christy, my model. I could write about her life, aspirations and dreams. Give many answers to explain her expression in both facial as well as body language. But if I do that, I might as well just be a writer rather than a photographer. So I ask myself... writer or photographer? The answer is quite clear. I am a much better skilled photographer than I am writer. RJP: For me this almost haunting piece conveys a sense of vulnerability. The darker lighting, the darkly coloured fabrics, the classical furniture… an almost austere environ for this beauty to be displayed in. Through pose and expression she seems alone, as though she herself is but a trophy in this room. This is a beautiful composition, Sol; quite a “literary” a piece that truly tells its own story.

Title: Kimmey in Red 2 Artist: Sol Lang Model: Kimmey RJP: On the one hand, a delightful composition of red lips, red taffeta and beautiful woman. The demure, modest pose of her hands and arms would ordinarily convey the image of vulnerable sexuality. But, on the other hand, this is no delicate guileless waif… her expression tells a different tale – there is an intensity that forces you to re-evaluate your preconceived notions. This is an image of a sensual woman, existing so, on her terms an no one else’s. Once again, Sol’s talent for crafting a story – within the image – is extraordinary.


RJP: 18. What advice would you have for a young artist starting out today? SL: In brief: Definitely, go through the art education route... preferably a university that gives a degree in fine arts. Stay informed, stay open, don’t become a slave to the “business of art”. RJP: 19. Do you have any big plans or shows coming up in 2009? SL: I will just keep going with the work I am doing. The art takes me on a journey that takes turns and paths that I may not have chosen. Except for what I have already mentioned, I have no concrete plans in 2009. There is a proposed trip to Italy in the works. That will certainly feed and influence my creativity. It is largely my reason for this trip. I also crave to get back to hand work such as drawing and painting. I used to do that and it beckons me back again. RJP: 20. How would you like your art, and by extension yourself, to be remembered? SL: My work is honest. It comes from the depths of my soul. I would like to be remembered as an artist who broke ground and provoked emotion and thought, presenting concepts at a time that wasn’t quite ready to accept these truths yet eventually became understood as universal as all truths are.

Title: Isabella con café’ 1 Artist: Sol Lang Model: Isabella SL: Casually holding her coffee mug she was as beautiful and as natural as any pose she would enter even while relaxing between shots. I couldn't resist. I took the shot and she responded. So I kept on shooting and shooting. RJP: Often, in life and art, the “happy accident” can be quite fulfilling. Sol’s eye for what beauty and mystery lies beneath surface of the everyday is to be commended. His skill and talent has rendered what could be a mundane moment in time [the coffee break] into a sublime commentary on life, sex, art and the roles women play in our imaginations versus reality of living in the world with us. Isabella seems aware that we objectify female beauty… that we are entranced by that which we can never fully understand – the female mystique. Yet, she is comfortable with her beauty, her sexuality… and hey… it’s all in a day’s work… so have a cup of joe…


Erica Durance – by Jonathan Biermann


World View Tom’s Travel Tips – by Tom Rossini With winter here and the frigid weather nipping at our toes it’s not too late to prepare your vehicle now for the winter weather. This can be done by following a few simple guidelines 1) Drivers are urged to have a winter car check up and have your local mechanic check antifreeze levels, battery and ignition system, brakes, exhaust system, fuel and air filters, heater and defroster, lights, oil, thermostat and windshield washer equipment. Also highly recommended install good winter tires and make sure tires have adequate tread. All weather radials are usually adequate for most winter driving conditions but to keep from water build up in the gas tank you should keep your gas tank at least ½ full at all times. 2) Winter Emergency Kit- Should included a shovel, windshield scraper and small broom, flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, water, snack food, matches, extra hats, socks and mittens. Additional items for emergency use include a First Aid kit, pocket knife, necessary medications, a blanket, tow chain or rope, road salt and sand, booster cables, emergency flares and a fluorescent flag. 3) If traveling with pets - should plan and prepare ahead of time for this member of the family. Make sure the pet has an ID tag, collar and leash. Make sure you have pet food, adequate water and any medication the animal needs. Take a pet carrier and favorite toy to help ease anxiety and keep your pet safe. 4) Severe weather driving - If you must drive during severe winter weather travel during daylight, don't travel alone if at all possible. Make sure you have extra cell phone batteries and keep others informed of your travel schedule. Stay on main roads and avoid any back road shortcuts. 5) Trapped / Isolated and or stuck - If a blizzard traps you in the car pull off the highway, turn your hazard lights on and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window. Remain in your vehicle where rescuers can find you. Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from exhaust pipe. Exercise to maintain body heat but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold use road maps, seat covers and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket. Bring in snow to the car and allow it to melt and drink to keep from becoming dehydrated. 6) Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews. Drink fluids to avoid dehydration. Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs-the use of lights, heat and radio-with supply. Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.


Southpaw Smith – by Scott Claringbold 23

Part Two:

“NO MORE TEARS NOW; I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE.” Mary Queen of Scots Grainger jolted back into consciousness. He struggled to remember where he was for a second. He was aware that he was soaking from the shoulders up. Or should that be down? As he realized that he was hanging upside down. Several very large bright lights were trained on him. He screwed his eyes up and the motion made him wince as there was a flash of pain across the left hand side of his face where his jaw was broken. Whoever had tied him up here knew what they were doing. The lights disoriented him and what was that noise? It sounded like demented hellion beasts scraping through his soul. Grainger saw the shadowy figure come into view and he panicked for a second. The noises stopped. “Hello Mister Grainger.” The voice announced. Grainger’s shoulders visibly relaxed as he realized who it was. “It’s you.” He chuckled. “What you smirking at tosser?” “Nice bravado Smith. Let’s get this over with, I won’t tell you anything.” Grainger stated. “I don’t need you to tell me anything pretty boy.” Smith sneered in reply. “Hahahaha! Very good, now be a good cop, untie me and let me down.” Smith grabbed the hair on the back of Grainger’s head and bent to whisper in his ear. “Like everyone keeps me reminding me, I’m not a cop anymore!” Southpaw swung the wrench in his hand. There was a squelching ‘pop’ as Grainger’s knee separated from the rest of his leg. Grainger screamed. “You…bloody psycho…” “At least you get the chance to beg for mercy. It’s more than you gave Roxxi.”


“That was an accident. The girl got in the way. It was just meant be a warning.” That admission made Smith even angrier. Suddenly the pulley that Grainger was attached to started to lower. Grainger’s head was submerged in a tank of water. He tried desperately to control his breathing. His breath came in quick shallow gasps. Smith gave it ten seconds then hoisted the man back up. Grainger spluttered as fresh air rushed to fill his lungs. “How did you find me?” Grainger muttered. “Been following you for about six weeks now. A few nice evenings out with Miranda, jogging every morning through the park, visits to various establishments carrying out your bully boy duties. Yes you lead a very busy and a very nasty life.” “ wasn’t my idea. Xander wanted you on board. Your bird, she just got in the way man.” Southpaw cracked Grainger in the jaw with his fist. A stabbing white light of pain shot across Grainger’s eyes. “GET ME DOWN!” “OK!” Smith shouted back. Smith pressed the button and the pulley descended again. Grainger thrashed about, shouting abuse. Smith ignored him and checked his watch. The water covered Grainger’s head and he wriggled furiously. Bubbles burst to the top of the tank as he fought for air. Southpaw dropped the wrench and headed for the door. Grainger slowed in his attempts to get free and as Smith closed and locked the warehouse door Grainger gulped his last breath.

Smith slugged down the scotch, he put the glass down and grabbed the side of the bar with both hands. The rage and anger inside had subsided for the moment. He had been a copper for the last fifteen years and he had ‘nicked’ hundreds of toe-rags. However from the countless junkies, thieves, dealers and several murder suspects he had seen in the back of his car he had never wanted to kill any of them. It hit him then that with his actions of the past couple of hours he would never be allowed to be a policeman ever again. It had taken him about ten minutes to get to the Saint George. He’d used the back alleys and discarded his black hooded top, making sure he was wearing a bright coloured t shirt when he got to the pub.


This was a haunt for the uniforms when they got off their shift and he could see a couple of familiar faces across the other side of the bar. Buying himself a beer Southpaw wandered over and engaged his former colleagues in a chat. Although he didn’t really feel like joking and laughing with the guys he knew that when Grainger’s body was found he was going to have a cast iron alibi.

Benson had proved a little more elusive to catch on his own than his former partner. Smith had sat outside The Obsidian for a week before mentally chastising himself for being so stupid. The reason he hadn’t seen Xander or Benson enter or leave the building was because they were using an underground access. Once he’d figured that out it still was not as easy as he thought it was going to be. Benson had boasted on several occasions that he was ex Special Forces. The truth was that he hired himself out to several Middle Eastern militias. Benson was nothing more than a glorified thug. He had however picked up some good tips along the way. Like right now. Smith watched the S.U.V. leave the tunnel and pull on to the road. The vehicle then headed back toward the city. Smith followed puzzled. About a mile down the road the S.U.V. pulled up in to a car park. Benson climbed out and surprised Smith by getting in to silver Astra. The Astra pulled out of the car park. Smith turned the car round and mingled in with the traffic behind it. Smith kept as far back as he could watching for tell tale signs that he’d been spotted but none came. After fifteen minutes of heading away from the centre of London, Benson made yet another stop. This time he sat himself behind the wheel of a very nice looking Jaguar. This was his pride and joy. Benson had taken the car from a businessman who had crossed The Organization. Smith felt that he couldn’t follow him anymore tonight. Benson was already heading for an open area and Southpaw was worried about being spotted.

A few nights later. After a vehicle change of his own Smith had finally found Benson’s end destination. The house was about an hours drive out of London. It was a big detached house with a long driveway. Smith knew that he wouldn’t be able to take Benson down here. He was going to have to catch him during one of the vehicle swaps.

Benson checked the mirror again. He didn’t know how to spot anyone tailing him really but he liked to give the impression that he knew what he was doing. He figured that he could fake enough to deter anyone from trying.


He pulled up next to the Jaguar. Benson climbed out and ran his hand over the top of the car lovingly. As he put the key in the ignition he was suddenly aware of a very loud ticking. His first thought was ‘BOMB!’ Benson tugged the seat belt off and jumped out of the door. Peering through the rear window he noticed a brown paper parcel on the back seat. It was then that Southpaw hit him. Benson fell sideways at the blow. Trying to climb back up to his feet Southpaw grabbed the back of his head and slammed it against the Jaguar. Benson could taste blood in his mouth. He lunged upwards at Smith trying to catch the man off balance but Smith ducked and jabbed Benson in the stomach. Benson doubled over and met Smith’s knee as he went down.

Benson woke up strapped to his own kitchen table. He tried to get up but the restraints kept him in place. He heard the TV in the other room. “Smith?” he asked. Southpaw came through from the living room. “Hey look who’s awake. Have a nice sleep?” “What the hell are you doing Smith? You have something to do with Grainger’s disappearance?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Smith smiled and took a bite from the chicken leg he was carrying. “Nice pad Benson.” “Glad you like it. I’ll let you know if I ever sell it. Although I don’t think you’d be able to afford it.” Smith laughed. “So how are you going to do this? Drown me in a water tank. Starve me to death. What?” Benson asked. Smith flopped down on a kitchen chair beside the table. “Drowning would be too quick. Starving wouldn’t be messy enough.” He gripped Benson’s mouth in a vice like grip. “You murdered my girlfriend in cold blood. You and your bloody Organization are going to pay mate!”

Topshelf Terry put the phone down.


“Who was that?” Maria asked. “Just a mate. Look I need to nip out for a while.” “Is everything ok?” Maria asked concerned. “I hope so.” Terry kissed Maria on the cheek, grabbed his keys and left the house.

Smith put the mobile back in his pocket. He looked at Benson. The man hadn’t tried to break his bonds. “They’ll come for me you know. Grainger and I are not the only ones who work for Xander.” “They won’t need to come for you Benson. I’m taking you to them.”

Terry sat on the roof of the building opposite The Obsidian. He looked through the guns scope. This was going to be a piece of cake. Southpaw had been a bit scary on the phone. Terry had said he’d wanted to help but didn’t want to get on the wrong side of the law. “Trust me.” Smith had replied. “The cops are going to have a much bigger mess to deal with than a few paint bullets on a camera.” Terry knew Southpaw was gunning for revenge. He bit his lip. This was the least he could do. Roxxi had been his friend too.

Southpaw shoved the larger man in to the back of the Jaguar. Benson flopped on to the back seat. His eyes suddenly went wide with fear. It took Smith a couple of seconds to realize what had spooked the man. Smith picked up the package and held it up to Benson’s face. Benson tried frantically to bury himself further into the plush seats. Smith laughed and ripping the parcel open he took out the large iron clock and showed Benson. The man just had time to roll his eyes before Smith smashed the clock off the top of Benson’s head.

Terry clicked the mobile phone off. Smith had given him the go ahead. Terry aimed the gun and lined up the shot. He squeezed the trigger gently and a second later the first camera was dripping with red paint. Terry swung the sight to the reception area. The guards had stood, one tapping the monitors the other looking out through the window. Terry aimed at the second camera and fired. The shot missed by a half inch. Terry cursed and steadying he shot again.


Half a mile away from The Obsidian and Smith pulled the tarpaulin from over the car. Benson roused from his slumber and realized he was tied by a webbing of chains to the front of his car. He tried to move but the chain bit into his forehead holding him tightly against the vehicle. He tried to talk but Southpaw had taped his mouth. Smith removed a lipstick from his pocket. It had been Roxxi’s favourite. Viciously he tore Benson’s shirt open and scrawled something over the man’s chest. Smiling Smith put the lipstick back in his pocket and tapped the man on the cheek. “Enjoy the ride.” Smith said and then climbed into the car.

Terry had taken out the last camera and then did a runner. As he jumped from the last step of the building opposite The Obsidian he sent the text to Smith. Southpaw glanced at the mobile’s screen for confirmation, smiled a particularly nasty smile and revved the car’s engine. The peace of the back streets of the city centre was rudely shattered as the Jaguar roared through them. Benson was screaming but no one could hear him under his gag and the noise of the engine. Smith had deliberately chosen the area. No cameras and less chance of being spotted. He would be at The Obsidian in the next minute or so.

Xander spoke loudly into the phone. “I don’t care if it is just kids messing about get someone down there to take a look.” He slammed the phone back down. Walking over to the window he looked out at the little ants below. He noticed the vehicle approaching fast and although he couldn’t make out any specifics a cold chill shot through him. The building was looming up ahead of the car and Smith accelerated. He had to judge this just right and make sure he was clear at the precise moment. Xander tried to raise security but they had gone off to look for whoever had vandalized the cameras. Xander ran to the lift and pressed the button for the ground floor. Benson knew what was about to happen and deep down he believed that he deserved it. It wasn’t going to make it any less painful though. Smith jumped clear with about twenty feet to go. He picked himself up and managed to sprint a few good yards before the car smashed through the glass front of the building. Glass rained down on the figure of Benson. Several shards fell and sliced into his body piercing organs and arteries. He gurgled on his own blood still unable to open his taped mouth. Xander ran out into the reception area just as the car came through the window. He threw himself to one side as the vehicle barreled along and after hurtling through the


seating area and monitors of the security guards station it came to rest against the wall. Xander picked himself up just as the guards came back into the corridor. “Are you ok sir?” One guards asked. Xander pushed him aside as he made his way towards the car. The guard noticed the body strapped to the front of the car for the first time. “Sweet Jesus!” The guard muttered. Xander read the single word scribbled on Benson’s chest with lipstick ‘UNORGANISED’. At that moment Xander felt someone burning a hole in his soul. He looked up and over the street to see a dark figure watching him. “Smith.” He whispered Two people emerged from the stairwell at that point, a man and woman. Both were smartly dressed. “Sir, let’s get you out of here.” The woman said taking Xander by the arm. Xander stood rooted to the spot staring out across the street. The woman followed his gaze but saw nothing. “Sir, let’s go.” She repeated. In the distance the sirens wailed. Smith had stood and watched as the car crashed through the glass. He’d felt sorry for Benson for about a second before he reminded himself what the scumbag had done to beautiful Roxxi. Southpaw watched the ensuing commotion and had felt happy with the outcome. He had put the fear of God in to Xander and that thought justified his actions.

Terry switched on the news. “…drunk driver has crashed into a building in the centre of London. Reports indicate that the owners of the building can not be traced and apart from the dead driver no one else has been injured. More news as we have it.” Maria said something but Terry was too engrossed in the report to hear. “What love? Sorry I was miles away.”

The next morning and miles away was where the man on the dock wanted to be in the next several hours. Bernie wandered down the marina. “Damn it boy! You’ve taken the wrong name again.” He muttered to himself as he read the sheet in front of him.


Simon was always taking the wrong names. Bernie would have fired him years ago if he hadn’t been related to him. Bernie was sure he was looking for a woman but the only person he could see was a man in his mid thirties. The man was wearing shorts and a patterned ‘aloha’ shirt. “Excuse me.” Bernie said. “I’m looking for someone called Jacobs.” The man turned around and removing his hat he ran a hand over his shaved head. “That’s me.” Smith said holding out his hand. “Jacobs, Tracy Jacobs. My parents always wanted a girl.” He joked. “Please call me TJ.” The boat cruised out of the bay about an hour and a half later. Smith watched as the city faded away behind him. Tracy had always wanted to go on a boat trip, just the two of them. He glanced down at the photo in his hand. Smith kissed the tip of his finger and placed it on Roxxi’s lips. “For you sweetheart.” He whispered and left his troubles behind him. For now!


Afterword I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Over the years I’ve written and created comic book characters and stories but not being able to draw has really hampered my progress. One of my creations, Rabid, is mentioned briefly in this story as the only other survivor of experiments with the serum. Marc Olivent and I created Rabid ten years ago and he seems to be enjoying a revival as he is set to join other heroes in various crossovers during 2008 and 2009. So keep an eye out. Southpaw Smith was originally going to be the British counterpart to the America based Rabid but he gradually took on his own personality and this book grew out of that. On creating Southpaw I knew exactly who I wanted him to look like. Jason Statham. Having watched films like Mean Machine, The Bank Job and Crank I visualized Jason as Smith and wrote this little story for him. I hope one day he gets to read it. Thanks to the following people who made this possible: Marc Olivent for the cover. A truly talented artist. Mal Earl for the inspiration, another great artist. Tommy Hoodless for the support. Mam, Dad, Steven and the rest of my family who put up with my endless supply of new characters. Everyone who took the time to read the draft and tell me what they thought, thanks guys! And most of all thanks to you dear reader for taking the time to read this little book, I hope you enjoyed it. Scott Claringbold, August 2008.


Untitled – by Lisa Marie Mueller 33

Writer’s Column Creation in Our World – by Larissa Gula

Untitled – by Mohammed Abdullah A very happy New Year, readers! I hope your holiday season was an enjoyable one. Mine was amazingly decent, considering the years of personal trauma my house has to offer in memory storage. There was, however, one thing not related to the past that bothered me. I noticed it when I was eating my chocolate. Who remembers the days when you opened a wrapper decorated with a Santa and inside the chocolate was detailed with lines that recreated the Santa in your chocolate? Sadly, the Santa chocolate I had was line-less, a simple mundane piece of chocolate without a defining figure. The details that created the tiny image were gone. I was appalled at first. Where was the effort to create something wonderful for eaters? Where was the attempt to bring a smile to the person’s face when they saw how much energy went into their food to remind them of good old St. Nick? Clearly if they bought chocolate with a Santa wrapper there was no need to worry about offending them with political correctness.


It didn’t take me long to make a connection back to the art of writing I myself miss at the moment. We can have a fantastic idea in our heads, but let’s admit it: without the details to complete it, we aren’t going to go far in a book. Details need to be everywhere. The character design in writing ought to have a fairly good background to make it consistent. Even when no one reads your character profile, the writers themselves ought to know everything possible. The scene must be set and no room must be left for confusion. Even you artists out there can’t abandon detail. There can be a minimum number of defining lines in the artwork, but let’s admit it – there’s always at least one. I can’t go too into depth myself with this one, unfortunately. Every writer and artist has his or her own style, so I can’t critique everyone as a whole. What I can safely say is that, just like the lines on my Santa chocolate were missed, the details in your works will be missed if you don’t put forth the effort into them. Work hard to make your craft as complete as possible. Happy New Year, Larissa

Home is Where the Heart is - Personal work describing my relationship with family and partner – by Kalinda Higgs



Anna’s Poems – by Anna Gehmacher I can promise you Tim, that it still hurts because I don't know where you are or who you're with. Because you're still my star and I know that without me you can't live. I still hurts because I know that you're the one, I now know that I was wrong, that we were perfect all along.


It still hurts because you're not here to hear these words and watch me bleed. It still hurts because I have no one to dry my tears, no one to hold me tight and listen to me breathing in the middle of the night. It still hurts because you're not here and I'm not where I used to be, but that won't make things any more easy. It still hurts because you're the one that said you'd like to stay in touch and I was the foolish one that said "no thank you very much". It still hurts because I was the one that said goodbye while you tried, oh god did you try, to keep me from doing exactly that. It still hurts because now there's no one to dry my tears, the tears I cry because of you, the tears I cry because of me, the tears of a girl who belongs to you.

Allison Mack – By Jonathan Biermann


The Needles Eye - by Stephen Campbell DVD’s in their hundreds, books of every type, Hype! Grave obsession feeds it, and in kind, A destructive consumption, a wary lechery In the very pit of my mind. Ah! To be alive. Life expectancy 38.5… Life’s opportunities pricked by death, A breath, a blessing, a painful scorn, Of life cut short before being born. The gift of a sister or a new baby boy, Hope! Certainty takes away youthful joy, A baby in a cot, a gun by the bed, 38.5 and then he’ll be dead. Alfred writes: “The weather is cold And it rains.” He wants to be a soldier. A sigh, And at seven years old it pains me To hear of my boy lashed from on high. Untitled – by Engin Korkmaz Malawi on TV again and then to bed. I dream a poor dream. Precious Pyre! I stir against my covers. I awake. Music! I hear the deafened drumbeat, I read the letter again and lay it by raised receipts.

Revelations - by Stephen Campbell An empty page my soul on page, How I transcribe the genius of my age? The stage I choose is lies and deceit The men use I, I flounder in heat. Oh sunken plank I cannot shift But here I judge the times, the rift, The rapture calls I will answer nay, I not yet ready for that grey day. A man aloft within the clouds Calls fear, joy down on uneven crowd, The crowd lists still, friends do go, And leave their kin in field to sow.


And sow their short end of life, For life’s sudden turn to heat and strife Will come to lonely man in field alone: Women will know nothing but their groans, Their homes cast down, the seas sudden rise, The stars are cast streaming from the skies, The city descends and levels the world Whilst Heavens great banners cast unfurled Upon the world, world made anew. World made anew for you. For me I know not if I be saved I wait…it could be that very day.

Self Portrait – by Kalinda Higgs; mixed media collage.


Ambition and Honourable Men - by Stephen Campbell Caesar wept and I, Mourning wasted years Do sympathize with The bitterness of those tears. Twenty years and none wrought But the genius that I bought, I wish for the day when I can weave Poetry contending with ancient tapestries. Our minds bend to ancient ways And the eloquence of barbaric days If I a Homeric parallel carry, the armour, Of noble Achilles I would gladly bear. To live battle of life so brief but swift And lifted from this life fleet footed swift, Yet create a legend in deaths respite And ascend as such the bane of life.

Justin Hartley – by Jonathan Biermann Worst days endure out of honourable ambition, As noble enterprise, now is wealth’s full coffer Filled with blood currency twisted of pitiable attrition; The sacrifice of poor souls we guiltless offer.


Untitled – by Leyla Sabah


Non – Fiction Futurism in the Funnies – by Roy G. James Oceanics and Aquaculturalism Life and work, as we know, will be considerably altered. “When scientists who study the ocean describe the underwater world of the future their visions rival those of science-fiction writers. The fanciful drawing [figure 22] – was created for a soberminded industrial firm – Litton Industries, Inc.

Figure 22 – Compton’s Yearbook, 1966, pp. 556 - 557 It is entirely possible, say oceanographers, that human beings may someday live and work in colonies on the ocean floor. Tomorrow’s sea dwellers may commute by submarine between their colonies. They may use submarine barges for their commerce. A new breed of miners will make claims on the seas’ storehouse of riches. The mineral nodules lying under thousands of feet of water might be brought up by suction dredges. “Aquaculturists” will operate huge fish ranches on the shallow, fertile continental shelves. Fish will be fenced in and protected – perhaps by sonic barriers – fed and herded by remote control devices on shore. No one expects this world of the future to be achieved soon, but a start has already been made.” 1 1. “The Ocean – Its Vital Present and Exciting Future.” The 1966 Compton Yearbook, Chicago, Ill., F.E. Compton Co., 1966 pp. 554-560. It is uncanny the similarity between this drawing and that of figure 23 [drawn nearly twenty years ago]. Underwater cities of this type have been proposed by comic artists for some time.


Figure 23 – Aquaman # 48, National Periodic Publications, Inc., 1969 – “How Aquaman Got His Powers”

Arcology Another of the cities of the future may be mile-high super cities constructed on limited areas of land or sea, dictated by the necessity to preserve valuable productive soil [See figure 24]. Each structure within the city would be its own community with shopping facilities, educational and recreation areas, etc. Many high-rises of present day Toronto have similar arrangements.

Figure 24 – Superboy # 220, National Periodic Publications, Inc., 1976 – “the Soldiers of the Slave-Maker” 43

Untitled – by Engin Korkmaz


Pop – Culture Comic Book Review - Ythaq: The Forbidden World – By Brad Bellmore Marvel Comics unveils a new title, Ythaq: the Forsaken World, a release of Soleil Comics monthly here in North America, written by Christophe Arleston and drawn by Adrien Floch. Soleil, a French comic publisher and leaders in the industry in Europe, joined with Marvel Comics to increase their distribution. What a stroke of fortune for those of us who have not had the opportunity to find these works before. Currently on sale is the first book of this series, Terra Incognita. This is a nice techno-fantasy, a sci-fi story that incorporates large portions of the fantasy genre. The story begins with a high end space cruise liner encountering distress and the ship getting torn apart. We follow three characters (Granite, a navigation officer, Narvarth, a repairman, and Callista, a passenger) as their portion of the ship separates and crashes on an uncharted world. Though the aid of Tao, a Feng (a travelling scholar), they manage to escape justice in a small fishing village and then travel to a bigger city. There they try to discover the fate of the rest of the ship and the other passengers. Margrave seeks to capture any of the aliens from the ship in hopes of controlling this new power. She is quite brutal and ruthless in her attempts at this. I greatly enjoyed the story. Ythaq offers the single most intriguing love triangle that I have ever encountered, with attraction met with unrequited love on every front. The flow of the story and the separation of characters rise organically form the circumstances and the characters involved. Even the cliffhanger change of fortunes for Callista bodes for some interesting changes and complications ahead. Overall, the story here has the depth of prose fiction, providing a depth of intrigue beyond your typical comic.


Visually the book is quite interesting. The Soleil commentary on the inside front cover talks about the mix of influences on their creators is evident, expressing a blend of both North American and Japanese styles. The detail of the backgrounds lends to establishing the world that we have been thrust into. My only issue with the look of the book is that volume of panels per page and how small they end up being to accommodate this. I would prefer to enjoy the art more by getting lager pictures to look at. This is well worth the purchase. You actually get 48 pages of comic for the cover price. There is a mature content label on the front cover for language and nudity, both of which are tame compared to other comics out there.

Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons – by Pauline Pare’

‘ ‘Tis the season for canceling television shows. Many shows truly deserve such a fate yet there are many cancellations that make us want to weep. I need to rant on this subject because there are 2 shows: “Pushing Daisies” and “My Own Worst Enemy”… that are the latest victims of the network axe. Would you walk into a bookstore and purchase the first chapter of a novel only to be told that the rest of the book may be written if deemed popular enough? Yet we are drawn into these amazing series with long and involved plotlines only to be left without the final chapters. Frankly, I want to know what happens next. It is no wonder that fans go into an uproar when left with a cliffhanger and no resolution. This is what happened with “Jericho”. The fans were so upset that they sent thousands of angry letters and tons and tons of peanuts. (‘Nuts’ was a famous line from the final episode of season one.) Consequently, the network agreed to a 7 episode wrap-up of the series. 46

I truly believe that when a series with a long running plotline is introduced, there should be a contract between the viewers and the network, that the show will have some kind of satisfying resolution. Even if the show is not a success, there are certainly some viewers. Eventually viewers will become tired of investing time in a series only to have it yanked away prematurely, leaving only questions. This has happened to several shows that I enjoyed, including “Wonderfalls”, “Firefly” and “Surface”. I am sure that RKYV’s readers could create their own lists of cancelled shows that they miss. If a network started promising to finish all that it starts, they would earn my undying loyalty. In the meantime, we need to keep raising a stink whenever a network ends a beloved story without giving us the final chapters. We could also boycott television altogether but that would be insane - A world without television? What a nightmare!



Issue # 19 of RKYV Features the work of photographer - Sol Lang