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Table of Contents RKYV # 33 {February 2010} RKYV LOGO - David Marshall {current} RKYV LOGO – r. j. paré {modified} RKYV LOGO – Roy G. James {original} Virtual Cover # 31 - Art by James Santiago - Layout by David Marshall Interior Art - By De Tourist, C. S. Cartier, r. j. paré, Yolande Gaspard, Roger Price, Mike Grattan, Carl Haynes, James Santiago Editorial Column - “At the Outset: A Few Thoughts from the Editor” - By r. j. paré World View - A Canadian Living in the USA - By Tom Rossini

Health and Wellness - By C. S. Cartier Featured Artist Review – Delbert Hewitt, Jr. - By r .j. paré Short Fiction - Bad Beat, part 5 - by r. j. paré Poetry - By Frances Nichols Vargas, Eric Lawson, Stephen Campbell, C. S. Cartier, r. j. paré Pop Culture - “Comic Book Review” - By Brad Bellmore - “Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons” - By Pauline Paré

Leaf Jam – by De Tourist


At The Outset A Few Thoughts From the Editor By r. j. paré “Gazing from my window to the streets below on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.” - I am a Rock, Simon and Garfunkel

[February] – According to Wikipedia, that font of fabulous factoids, this month was named after the Latin word februum, meaning purification and the corresponding Roman ritual of Februa once celebrated on the 15th of the month. It certainly is a strange month. February has been the cause of more than its share of confusion over the centuries. Once considered the last month of the year, since it was the last month of winter, the Romans bounced this month all over the calendar. Lasting, in ancient times, anywhere from 23 days to 29 days it could be rather confusing for record keeping, let alone the average citizen. Eventually things got standardized with Leap Years at regular 4 year intervals and things began to look up for good ole Feb. That is until… <ahem> [Valentine’s Day] – Of all the former pseudo religious and / or pagan traditions to continue in modern secular times… why oh, why did men get saddled with this bit of consumer driven nonsense? Advertisers, manufactures and retailers conspire to manipulate women into unrealistic expectations and men into emptying their wallets on pricey flowers, baubles and chocolates. What a ridiculous and contrived holiday. Which is my way of saying, I forgot.


Now, with limited time remains to me [have you ever seen an angry forty year old woman? Not a pretty sight] I should get on with welcoming you all to RKYV ONLINE # 33. This month we’ve got a whole lot of goodies to satisfy your creative sweet-tooth. C.S. Cartier once again helms this month’s health column navigating the turbulent waters of life with disability - with a self deprecating wit. From returning columnist Tom Rossini we have his thoughts on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Indie comic book Writer/Creator Brad Bellmore reviews another new title from his pull list. And the lovely and talented Pauline Paré shares her thoughts on the current TV season while celebrating her 41st Birthday!! [March 4th just before this issue is released, luv ya, hon ]. It is also my pleasure to introduce many of you to a talented young artist you may find published on the shelves of your local comic shops in the near future, James Santiago. James took the time recently to share his thoughts on his work, influences and future as an illustrator in an interview with RKYV. A sampling of his graphite sketches, pinups and cover art are available in this month’s Featured Artist Review for you all to enjoy. And now, the end is near I’ve said, what I needed to say. I’ve intro’d each and every by-line but more, much more than this I did it my-y-y way… r. j. paré, butchering Sinatra [RKYV ONLINE intern staffers would like to comment on the quality of monsieur Paré’s singing, but alas the bleeding eardrums have them all ensconced in the local emergency room until further notice.] Lift Off - by De Tourist


Roy Lichtenstein [style] Pop Art â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by Carl Haynes


Health & Wellness Disabled, Alive and Kickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;n By C. S. Cartier Randy [our beloved leader and editor] continuously hounds and badgers, like any good editor should, for me to write something for the new edition of this mag. I have handed in art this month. I have worked on a new comic for him. I am busy writing my own damn novel. Surely this is enough for him? What the heck does he expect from me? I spend most of my time sleeping or looking for the energy to just to keep my eyes open. Surely the art I handed in gives me some brownie points.

Alas, no!

[Give me a break, I am disabled here. Medication keeps me in a foggy and dreary state. The words hide somewhere like a memory not quite realized. I have money problems, family problems, health problems, what more can I possible give. Surely, I get a walk by.]

Still no. A thought occurred to me. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m alive. I have the heart and I have the will [the talent is a completely different column and issue]. The problems I face are the same as everyone else, perhaps a little more - maybe less. My burdens are my own. They are not an excuses and certainly not a crutch. I do not want them to define me.


< The Caped Crusaders in ink - by C. S. Cartier

For the last two weeks [I am writing this the day after the closing ceremonies] the Olympics have entertained, thrilled, awed, fascinated, and even inspired. These young people had a dream and they let nothing stand in their way from realizing that dream.

What gave them this special push for greatness? Is there a formula for it? Einstein did not figure it out so surely it does not exist..? [Or did he!] Greatness is not something you are, it is something that you achieve through hard work, persistence and a touch of luck. Could it be that simple?

Yes timing does play a small part, but timing only comes from persistence. Crosby taught us something during the Gold Medal game. If the puck does not go in, shoot again. Eventually the goal will be realized if you keep shooting. Did the American’s play well, hell yes, and they deserved the gold just as much. The Canadian team wanted it more. They were hungrier, worked hard, and persistent. We can learn a lot from them. They by definition are Heroes. Next week begins the Paralympics, like me these athletes are disabled. “Disabled, alive… and kick’n!” [Figuratively speaking of course, as some cannot kick. I am not picking on them or joking because I can’t kick either. Limits are set in your own mind. I do not believe in the phrase, “I can’t!” The phrase in my mind is, “I can’t YET.”


Congrats to all the Olympians, you earn a spot in the history books. Special congratulations to all the medal winners. I stand and applaud you. To all of the great Canadian athletes, thank you for reminding me that if you are going to dream…

…DREAM BIG!!!

It’s my shot at the goal and if I miss I will simply shoot again. Gold medal winners don’t believe in the word can’t either.

[Editor’s Note: The following is a short promo / preview for a new series of articles penned by C. S. Cartier on the topic of 2012 and all its associated theories, conspiracies, thoughts, fears and paranoia.]

The Last Footsteps to 2012 By C. S. Cartier It was only yesterday, the last time I heard yet, another, ‘theory’ espousing the doom that approaches. Just a fortnight since another prophet predicted the end. Not since the dawn of this new millennium has the ‘end of days’ concept been thrust at us with such biblical pandemonium. I am not really surprised by the level of fear and superstition that seems to be gripping everyone as the calendar marks us one more day and year closer to that dreaded day when the world will [supposedly] cease. Religion, politics, science and history seldom talk the same talk or walk the same walk. Yet somehow, the Maya civilization was able to mesh the four to some degree or another.


Could the beliefs in these predictions be based on the mathematical genius this culture seems to have had? 

No one questions how accurate they have been in calculating things such as astrological events and planetary positions.

Could they have actually known that 2012 would be the end of life on earth? I will be taking you all on an adventure to explore the different theories about how this end is supposed to come about. In a series called “The last footsteps to 2012.” I will try to explain what science there is behind all these theories and see if we can either debunk or substantiate the evidence. No one should face the end… uninformed. I will take an impartial look at whether we should prepare or if our kids may indeed graduate. 2012 is coming one way or another. The true question is what about the following years. Next issue of RKYV is Part One of the series which already is production. ‘Til then Regards, Cliff Cartier

The Last Footsteps to 2012 – by r. j. paré


Untitled â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by Roger Price


World A Canadian, Living in the U.S.A. By Tom Rossini

OH, CANADA!!! HOW GREAT THOU ART!!!

With the 2010 Vancouver Olympics closing just under 24 hours ago [at the time of writing], there is still much talk about the Olympics. From the opening ceremony, where 1 of the 4 cauldrons failed to work properly and thus, could not be lit. To the final Olympic medals awarded during the closing ceremonies but there are 3 controversial topics being discussed or shall I say debated heavily here in the USA. Now, I am a Canadian all the way and so maybe I am a bit more sensitive to the discussions going on here and am being biased but I am just going to say it the way I see it. First of all, a big discussion here before the big USA vs Canada Hockey game [to decide the gold medal] was Russia’s Medvedev demand for resignations over their country’s flop in these Olympic Games. Russia firmly believed that they were going to be top 3 contenders in the medal count but ended up in a dismal 11th place overall. Medvedev has called for the resignation of his countries Sports Minister. Mutko, as well as others who were in charge and if they did not submit their resignations …

“Those who bear the responsibility for Olympic preparations should carry that responsibility. It’s totally clear,” he said. “I think that the individuals responsible, or several of them, who answer for these preparations, should take the courageous decision to hand in their notice. If we don’t see such decisiveness, we will help them.” Yahoo Sports DAVID NOWAK, Associated Press Writer


Secondly, there has been a lot of complaining – almost what I call a cry baby attitude since the Men’s Canadian Hockey team defeated the USA in a game that was watched by more Canadians then any game previous.

[Editor’s Note: TV Ratings, released afterwards, have shown that the gold medal game was seen by more Americans than any other previous hockey game as well. Even more than 1980’s ‘Miracle on Ice’. For my money, Sid the Kid is simply the best player in the world today. And as the pictures show, he is passionate about the game.] Sidney Crosby scoring the winning Goal in Sudden Death Overtime - AP

Now I am a fan of the Detroit Red Wings… and coming from Windsor I guess you can say its understandable with a lot of fans from Windsor growing up on Detroit Red Wing Hockey. So, with the recent success of the Red Wings [and no I don’t see them being at all successful this year] I have had a bad taste in my mouth whenever I hear the name Crosby. He has come across to DRW fans as a cry baby and a non-gentleman – refusing to shake hands, for example, the year Detroit defeated them in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So, for me, watching the game last night was it hard to see him play for a team I wanted to win – especially since I despise him so much.

But I digress, let me just say that the US citizens, in general, have been such cry babies about Canada’s right to even play for the Gold Medal [since the Canadian squad had lost a game to them earlier in the week, during round robin]. Well… to this I answer… Is it not possible in the regular season to defeat another team every time you play them only to lose against them in the Stanley Cup Finals? Yet we don’t say that they did not deserve to be in the Stanley Cup so to those US fans I say suck it up. It goes both ways.


Lastly, Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21 of BAKURIANI, Georgia died when shot off the course and slammed into a steel post at a speed of almost 90 mph or approx 145 km/hr. Many have claimed that Canada and the IOC are responsible for this death in that the course was too technically demanding and that the Canadians were much more adapt to the course as they had run the course 100’s of times. Kumaritashvili ran the course 26 times. So, the questions surrounding this tragedy are:

1) Should the home country be allowed to practice on Olympic courses and in a sense have an unfair advantage over others? 2) Should the course have been as demanding as it was? 3) Who is ultimately at fault?

An investigation into the death of Kumaritashvili indicates that he was late coming out of the previous turn and just did not compensate in time.

[Editor’s Note: All governing bodies – the IOC, North American Olympic officials and the international governing body for Luge inspected and approved of the track used in Whistler, prior to the Olympics.]

Memorial – photo manip by r. j. paré


Untitled â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by Carl Hynes


Featured Artist Review James Santiago By r. j. paré

r. j. paré: Have you always known that you wanted to be or, rather, were an artist? James Santiago: As a kid I dreamt of being a soccer start ha, ha… I started drawing when I got my first ever comic (x-men). From then every one that ever saw my pieces encouraged me to pursue an art career. r. j. p: Did you study or major in art while in school? J S: Art wasn't considered a major in high school and I haven’t had any higher education as of yet so I would have to say I haven’t. r. j. p: Who was your primary source of encouragement, as a child, in pursuing art? J S: Mainly my friends. My parents and teachers tried to shy me away from drawing and focus on academics. The only teachers who gave me any sort of encouragement were my art teachers. r. j. p: What is your favorite media to work with? J S: Pencil, pencil, pencil, did I mention pencil? Ha, ha. People say pencil is one of the hardest mediums to work with because it has a small surface to work with, but I find it’s actually one of the easiest, especially for comic art.


r. j. p: Do you use any special tools and techniques to create your art? J S: I try to have a variety in my work, but I tend to stick with black and white. Colour is something I haven’t had much practice with so I don't really produce any work with colour.

Artist’s Name: James Santiago Title: Michael Jackson Media Used: Pencil Size: 8” x 11” Date Created: June 2009 r. j. p: The self-styled King of Pop powerfully rendered here as James captures an image of MJ as he lives in video memory. J S: This was a tribute pic after his death…

r. j. p: What inspires you to create art? J S: Work created by other artists is what inspires me to keep creating art. I find infinite comfort in viewing art. This gives me all the inspiration I need. r. j. p: How would you categorize your artistic style? J S: I would say my (comic) style of drawing is a mixture of all the styles I've ever seen. I'm always finding new techniques by other artists that I think would work well with mine or improve my work.


r. j. p: Would you say that there is a "message" or "unifying theme" in your work? J S: LOL Apart from the beauty of graphite, there is no theme I intentionally keep constant in my work. There is a special feel I find only graphite can create and I try to create this mood / feel in my works. r. j. p: Which artists / creators or styles have influenced you? Why? J S: I would have to say my greatest influences in (comic) art are David Finch, Jim lee, and Joe Madd. I can stare at any one of their works for hours without getting bored. They each have unique features in their work that makes their art look exceptional. r. j. p: Would you rather have an engaged & loyal but, ultimately, small Indie readership or work on the latest Spidey, Wolverine or X - book? [The old Art vs Commerce question] J S: I'm sorry but I could not find an answer to this question LOL...

Artist’s Name: James Santiago Title: Nataly Media Used: Pencil Size: 8” x 11” Date Created: Sept 2009 r. j. p: James’ talent with portraiture approaches photorealist. I would like very much to see him work in gouache with airbrush high lights. [à la Alex Ross]. J S: Nataly James is a friend of mine. I was practicing portraits at the time and I thought I might as well do it on people I know…


r. j. p: With advancements in computer graphic tablet technology, some artists are now creating their work directly in the digital medium and releasing it in purely digital formats... are the days of paper & pulp doomed to the realm of fading memories? J S: I don't think pencils and paper will ever be replaced as people love original pencil art. However, as time goes on, traditional inking may be completely replaced with digital methods as it saves a lot of time and is inexpensive.

Artist’s Name: James Santiago Title: Spiderman © Marvel Comics Media Used: Pencil Size: 8” x 11” Date Created: Nov 2009 J S: Spider man was me practicing my rendering technique for comics.

r. j. p: What do you think of the term "starving artist"? J S: The first thing that comes to mind is an artist that’s lacking the proper tools or equipment. The other thing I can think of is an artist that has a talent, but can't find any work. r. j. p: Do you feel more a sense of community with other artists or a sense of competition? J S: Artists can be great people to socialize and relate with. Its not so much a matter of competing as every has their own styles, but more of learning from each other and improving ones work from critiques.


r. j. p: How do you market yourself? J S: I don’t really market my self as much as an artist would or should. I’m still learning a lot of different techniques and looking for my permanent style. You could say I'm still in 'school' and when I 'graduate,' Ill do more marketing stuff. r. j. p: Do you find it difficult to stay motivated / inspired? J S: I never find my self short of motivation or inspiration. I just need to go to Google some art work to remind my self why I’m still drawing and how far I still have to go. r. j. p: While traditional publishing and distribution has become a difficult goal to achieve for the modern Indie comic creator, what do you think of the impact that social networks and POD services have had as an alternate means of connecting you, your work and your audience? J S: I think they are a great alternative ways to connect the audience to your work. It lets you to express your personality for your audience while showing your art work. It also allows for non finished/published work to be shown while still having meaning.

Artist’s Name: James Santiago Title: Sky Media Used: Pencil Size: 8” x 11” Date Created: Dec 2009 J S: Sky was just me practicing my rendering technique for comics again, the characters are made up. I especially wanted to practice rendering capes.


r. j. p: What other interests do you have, besides art? J S: I play several sports with my first being soccer. I barely watch T.V. but enjoy shows like Smallville, Heroes, and Stargate. I also watch the UFC and boxing when an exiting fixture is up. Actually I watch them all on the pc LOL, the only thing I still use my T.V. for is weather and xbox.

Artist’s Name: James Santiago Title: 52 Media Used: Pencil Size: 8” x 11” Date Created: Jan 2010 J S: 52 is part of a comic project [intended] to get me familiar with drawing panels / sequential art. However, I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it because of my portfolio. r. j. p: What strikes me about James’ development in his comic art is his ability to render visually interesting, realistic action sequences.

r. j. p: What advice would you have for a young artist starting out today? J S: I would advise a young artist to draw, draw, draw. You can never do too much drawing, and the more you draw, the more you learn. Learning as much as you can while young really helps when one is older and gives way to learn more complicated techniques. I would also encourage them to use all the negative comments they WILL get as motivation to keep improving rather than to get discouraged.


r. j. p: Do you have any big plans, shows or Cons coming up? J S: I plan to get into an illustration course later this year. I am currently in the process of applying which involves creating a portfolio. This is my main priority at the moment giving me little time for myself LOL. I don't have any other major things coming up so I'll be home free after this portfolio is finished. r. j. p: How would you like your art, and by extension yourself, to be remembered? J S: I would like it to be remembered for its diversity in subject matter and style. It’s my dream for future generations to ponder on my art work as I do to other artists like David Finch.

Artist’s Name: James Santiago Title: Rose Media Used: Pencil Size: 8” x 11” Date Created: March 2009 J S: The rose was me practicing using negative space… r. j. p: Considering Valentine’s Day, this beautiful piece seemed a perfect fit for the cover of the February Issue. It is another strong suggestion, to me, that this developing young artist would be a natural at watercolour / gouache. James has also drawn some covers for Speakeasy Primates comic studio due to be released later this year.


Leopard Lace-Wing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by De Tourist


Short Fiction Bad Beat By r. j. paré

[all images by r. j. paré]

The Turn

“When the fourth community card is dealt, face up, by the dealer.” Croupier “Represent strength, if your hand is weak and weakness, if your hand is strong.” Gambler “By now your either playing the hand you were dealt or you’re the one being played.” Recovering Addict

This would be the point in our tale, were it an ‘after school special’ [remember those?], that Mr. Grey would seek out counseling, perhaps a Gambler’s Anonymous group and turn his life around. There would be a sappy music score playing as a montage of Mr. Grey learning how to cope with his addiction, make amends to those he has hurt and find a way to reunite with his loving family – played across the screen. What a lovely, albeit saccharine, ending to a family-friendly cautionary tale.


This is not an ‘after school special’. And family-friendly cautionary tales are really fables that teach us we can always get another chance… and another… and another. At what point do we take the kid gloves off and face the unforgiving truth? That sometimes you just don’t get another chance and you’d best be prepared to face the consequences of your actions.

* * * “Stupid cow,” Mr. Grey mutters to himself as he steers the car down the street. Not the lame-ass minivan she made him use every day while she went to work in the two-door coupe. The kid, it was supposed to be safer for the kid. “Ya right,” he thinks “not a chance, that bitch has been keeping me down all this time. I know damn well why she wanted me to use the mini-fag, ha ha…” Oh, Mr. Grey believed he was on a roll now. As guilt and shame are replaced with anger and bitterness – emotions that are so tempting, so seductively comforting in that they place the blame for failures, mistakes; everything really, squarely on the shoulders of someone else – in this case Missy and her doe-eyes simultaneously accusing and sympathetic. He hung the dumb-ass St. Christopher medallion from the rear-view mirror. Rapidly shrinking from view, he could still make out Missy standing on the front porch watching him leave. He laughed at the clichéd warning stamped in the molded plastic, “Objects in the rear view mirror, are closer than they appear.” “To hell with that,” he says aloud “I’m gonna make a pile of dough, Missy-miss and then we’ll see who needs help… when you start begging for me to come back.” On the side of the road, a billboard caught his eye.

“The proud sponsors of Poker Mania Tournaments, invites you to experience the excitement and thrills of Live Casino Gaming at Pandemonium Hotel and Casino. Straight ahead, nine exits.”


Mr. Grey wonders… she took the credit card but there is no way she’s had time to call the bank, is there? He parks at the nearest ATM. As night begins to fall he turns the engine off and passing headlights reflect off the mirror, right into his eyes. Irritated, he flips the mirror up to the night setting and heads over to the money machine. Sure enough, their measly savings are still accessible to him. He stares at them and hesitates… Is he being too hard on Missy? It’s not her fault, she only knows about her loser Uncle Nate and his gambling problems. How could she be expected to appreciate his, Mr. Grey’s, talent at poker? After he makes some serious cash with this stake they’d be able to afford some of the finer things, for a change. Feeling happy with this deft bit of self-deception Mr. Grey punches the necessary buttons, answers “NO – A PAPER RECEIPT IS NOT REQUIRED” and cleans out their joint savings account. He drove past the first few exits for the casino; he didn’t want the resort or any other tourist attractions after all. Mr. Grey then took the fourth exit and followed the instructions as he was directed down a winding two-lane blacktop in the woods. He continues this way, down the dark road, for half an hour as he starts to worry. “This fucking exit can’t be right,” he barks exasperated “who the hell puts a casino resort out in the middle bum-fuck Egypt?” He had to laugh, that was always one of his favourite lines, politically incorrect or not. But still, a casino out in the middle of nowhere? He was almost certain he must have chosen the wrong exit. With that decided Mr. Grey was ready to turn back. If he had, who knows how this story might have ended? Traffic started to pick up and Mr. Grey doubts vanished. “With this many folks headed in the same direction, there must be something out here after all…” And so what, if the vehicles all seemed to have tinted windows, perhaps that’s more popular this year than he realized. Even so, things might have gone differently had Mr. Grey noticed that most of the cars, trucks and vans were of such late models – of the sort he hadn’t seen in many years and even then only in old TV programs and movies. But this, like many other possible turns that could have saved our bitter and pathetic young Mr. Grey, did not come to pass. His path was set and sometimes all we can do is bear witness. Just then another irritating glare, from the headlights of vehicles following him, flashed in his eyes. He glanced at the offending mirror and noticed it was still on night setting and was not to blame. Nope, dangling from the rear-view Missy’s St. Christopher medallion was catching the light and reflecting right back at him.


“Enough of this superstitious crap,” he growled “what is she trying to do, get me killed?” With disgust, Mr. Grey ripped the medallion from off the mirror throwing it on the floor. “Fuck that, fuck her and fuck that stupid medallion. I DON’T NEED ANYONE’S HELP!” Unfortunately, for this sad excuse of a father and husband, the medallion and chain did not come to rest innocently on the floor mats. The chain wrapped around his foot and the gas pedal. Within seconds Mr. Grey could feel that his foot was stuck and made a decision. Well, decision is a bit of an over-statement. Mr. Grey did what he usually did in most circumstances; he reacted without thinking. Reaching down for the chain that secured his foot to the gas pedal he never even considered using his other foot to hit the brake and at least come to stop before attempting to extricate himself. One could almost imagine the interior argument. “Ya know, it would be safer to pull over and come to a complete stop before doing that.” The less used, more prudent and wise part of the brain might have said. “You saying I don’t know how to drive? Fuck that.” The stronger and more often used, insecure man-child, part of his brain would have responded. In all fairness he tried to keep his eyes on the road. He did manage to keep one hand on the steering wheel, which of course was what was making his task more difficult. Un-wrapping the chain, that had somehow gotten itself into a knot around his foot and the pedal was hard enough – when you can’t look. But throw in the added difficulty of doing it one-handed? “Not sure if that’s an Olympic event Bob,” he chuckled “but this could net him the gold if he pulls it off!” Always the wise-guy, this Mr. Grey, I suppose, dear reader, that our ability to laugh in the face of danger is one of the things that separates us from the beasts. Of course, it makes no sense from a survival point of view. I mean really, of what use is a good chuckle to an antelope, when a lion’s jaws are snapping after its haunches? Where were we? Oh yes, our intrepid, neglectful and thieving family man, Mr. Grey.


If he could just loosen the knot… his eyes glanced down for a second. The first thing he noticed, while trying to figure out how on earth the chain managed to get so knotted, was that the front seat was rapidly filling with light. He felt a cold shiver briefly run down his spine as he sat bolt upright. His one-handed steering, ‘no eyes Ma, look!’ had led the car squarely into the oncoming lane. The eighteen-wheeler bearing down on him was the source of all the light filling the car and now, blinding him with glare. Mr. Grey wrenched as hard as could on the steering wheel, before everything went black.

Tune in next month For the 5th installment of “Bad Beat” One that could only be called “The River”

< The Edge of Losing Everything – by r. j. paré, from the Painted Aces series.


Scarlet-backed Flower pecker â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by De Tourist


Poetry Selected Poetry By Tindersen Blacktree Hoopdriver Fill Fill with sounds, ah hole in the ground. Spin yarns of all those connected. When frivolity collides with the jinx of goodbyes it harks back with what's starkly ejected. To silence the fool with a blood boiling cool, plant him there on the side to look in at the soil intertwined with his fearful surmise. Ah schooling before he goes in.

A collection of some of my work â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by Carl Haynes


Selected Poetry By Frances Nichols Vargas

Puppet Holding the strings over my head You make me dance To the music in your head Pulling me in the direction you want me to go Making me jump up and down At your beck and call Slamming me to the ground With an evil smirk Only to pull me up With a jerk You like to see me flounder You enjoy seeing me fall flat on my face You only feel like pulling the strings When it suits your desire and fate I am the puppet Tangled in the strings I no longer own My story is guided by you With each string you pull I am the dancing fool Waiting for the next string you choose.

Puppet Strings â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by r. j. parĂŠ


Selected Poems By Stephen Campbell

Untitled – by Carl Haynes

Re(li)gion disputes Protestants and Catholics learn to live together, They need religion to back up their mighty claims Of peace with one another now and forever. Hypocrites must learn to live in Jesus’ name. For what is in a name that they fought so long Over something as trivial as war to religion, That’s a sin. Such would use an explosion Of the message they utter to shield their delusion.


Medium Circled the table the souls where they stood Compelled by delusion of noble falsehood In calling lost spirits to the families delight In spite of the dead souls we dredge up this night

Bob Marley â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by Carl Haynes

Beasts Killed by snakes and slain as kin The two die and lay as one inherit sin The slain lay low as men light fiery boughs And slaughter the sacrificial gold cows.


Paré’s Poetic Perspectives By r. j. paré

To my wife, on her birthday Once, the gal that turned my head fueled my imagination with a smile.

Now, deft hands at parenting the other side of my coin completes me.

Then, glances frought with intent promised desires headlong rush discovering.

One day, our children will be grown the sunsets we’ll face, my gnarled hand in yours.

Tulip – by r. j. paré


Time is Love â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by Yolande Gaspard


Pop Culture Comic Book Review By Brad Bellmore Lucius Hammer

Thumb solidly up Ravenhammer Comics Group recently released the first issue of Lucius Hammer, written by Brian Williams and illustrated by Christian Colbert. Issue number two will be released shortly. This small independent group wowed me at the Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago last August. At that point they only had a rough cut edition of their book and it still was one of the best items I picked up. The tale is about Powerhouse, aka Lucius Hammer, a black youth growing up in America around prohibition, who has amazing strength, toughness and an inordinately long life span. Lucius samples a little from all the items on the menu of life: war, crime, sports, education. He finally settles into becoming a superhero, using his tremendous talents for the good of all. Having such a long timeline for the story allows exploration into the changing dynamics of interracial relations in America. I loved this. In another venue, I waxed on and on about how I loved this aspect of this title. Even with the idea of a Nixon administration being scared of a group of black superheroes working together. The social commentary hits on a wry and profound level.


The art in this book is a homerun to me. It elicits very fond memories of my days as a kid, picking up comics for the first time. Everything about the look reminds my why I fell in love with comics in the first place: the action, the look of the characters, the setting and the sense of all of this being greater than real. Under all of that, there is a slightly cartoon-y feel that lends a sense of innocence to it all. It’s an odd cross between a Saturday morning adventure cartoon and film noire. As much as I love the art, the thing that makes this book stand out to me is the writing. The story here is at a high level, introducing you to the character and letting you know how he became a superhero so it doesn’t get far into complexity of plot. It does go far on complexity of character. I love that Lucius tried being bad before deciding to be good. I enjoy that he deals with the reality of reconciling his hero status with being on the short end of the racial spectrum most of his life. The most brilliant part of it al, though, is the dialogue. This comic far outstrips almost everything I’ve ever read in terms of conversational rhythm, dialect and voice. The brilliance of this writing can be seen in the nuance of word choices to reflect the characters of different places and different ages. It is just flat out masterful writing. So, after all of this gushing, there is only one thing I can really complain about with this book – the price. Presently, you will have to order this online and the $7 covers the cost of the comic and the shipping to you, but it is still a bit steep for a single issue. I think it is definitely worth the read. I’ll leave it up to you about whether you want to accept the cost.


Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons By Pauline Paré

Dramatic Television I have often professed to be a great fan of sci-fi and fantasy themed television shows. However, one of the things that made Battlestar Gallactica one of my favourite all time shows was not the space battles but the major drama that was prevalent throughout the series. Drama can make your heart race and increase interest for next week’s episode. Drama is also the genre I wish to discuss this month. This year there are 2 new shows that are pure dramas and have greatly impressed me. The Good Wife premiered last fall. It stars Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth and it has been a surprise hit for CBS. This show is just pure drama, succeeding on the strength of its acting talent and amazing writing. The premise is a woman dealing with her politician husband’s very public infidelity and accusations of criminal activity. She is trying to put her life back together and sort out her feelings for him. This is not normally a show that I would check out, but I became a fan of Julianna Margulies while watching Canterbury’s Law. I love it when intelligent series do well and I wish this one a long life. A Canadian drama premiered recently on TMN in Canada based on the Giller Prize winning novel, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, by Vincent Lam. If you are not in an area that can see the show, I do hope it will be more widely available after a time or maybe even offered on DVD. The story centers around 3 main characters, Fitz (played by Shawn Ashmore of X-Men fame), Ming and Chen who are all involved in a very complicated love triangle.


The story is told in a very interesting and unique manner. We follow the characters through 3 different timelines, med school, residency and full careers at a fictional Mercy Hospital in Toronto. The timelines are never captioned so you need to pay attention in order to know which timeline you are viewing. This is never difficult, however, as when you get to know the characters (and you really get to know the characters!), you find the timeline transitions to be much easier. Another interesting form of storytelling is in the various charactersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fantasy sequences. Have you ever imagined telling off a mean boss? The characters seem to do just that, before the camera pulls back and pride is swallowed. In one scene, Ming who desperately wants a baby, finds a new mother of triplets that she just delivered, offering to give her one. You feel such empathy for her when you realize that this was just a sad longing fantasy. Wonderfully told and completely engaging, I recommend this show to drama fans and non-fans alike. For Canadians, this is available on HBO Canada and on TMN on demand. For all others, I will keep watch and write about it here in RKYV.



RKYV ONLINE # 33