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Table of Contents RKYV # 35 {April 2010} RKYV LOGO - David Marshall {current} RKYV LOGO – r. j. paré {modified} RKYV LOGO – Roy G. James {original} Virtual Cover # 35 - Art by Victor L. Castro Jr. - Layout by David Marshall Interior Art - By De Tourist, r. j. paré, Engin Korkmaz, LeeAnn MacDonald, Mykl G Sivak, Nadide Paker Gurcuoglu, Victor L. Castro Jr. Editorial Column - “At the Outset: A Few Thoughts from the Editor” - By r. j. paré Sports - Rossini’s Ramblings - By Tom Rossini

Featured Artist Review - Victor L. Castro Jr. - By r .j. paré Short Fiction - Questions I wanted to ask Jesus after Leanne & I spotted him at the corner of La Cienega/Third St. in Beverly Hills, but never got the chance… - Micro Darwinisms - By Marie Lecrivain Poetry - By Frances Nichols Vargas, r. j. paré Pop Culture - “Comic Book Review” - By Brad Bellmore - “Learning from those that do” - by CS Cartier - “Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons” - By Pauline Paré

From the album – signing on – by Mike Grattan

At The Outset A few thoughts from the Editor by r. j. paré “And the man in the suit has just bought a new car From the profit he’s made from your dreams.” Steve Winwood & Traffic – “Low Spark of High-heeled Boys – 1971 S.P.A.C.E. – The Small – Press – Alternative – Comics – Expo Held annually in Columbus, Ohio this small press con exemplifies the spirit and creativity of the small press creator & independent publisher. There’s none of the aforementioned “suits” profiting off your dreams here. What there is – and if you haven’t gone I highly recommend it – is a vibrant community of artists and writers being given the opportunity to showcase their amazing creations to patrons specifically looking for “indie” publications. What I appreciate, each year, is so many creators taking the time to share their experiences, offer tips, critiques and suggestions as they genuinely want to help each other succeed. In the coming months I hope to introduce to RKYV readers to some more of the amazing creators I have met @ S.P.A.C.E. by inviting them into these pages as “Featured Artists/Creators of the Month”. Now as for this month’s issue, what can I say? In this editor’s humble opinion it is most definitely a GEM! I am sure by now the eye-catching cover art has already gotten your attention – Kudos to David Marshall for another killer design & layout – this time using the fabulous pencils of Victor L. Castro Jr., a professional comics artist who is beginning to really ‘make a name’ for himself with his incredibly detailed & textured drawings.

CS Cartier begins his 2012 series exploring the public phenomenon/obsession of “end-time scenarios”. Brad Bellmore & Pauline Paré review their latest comic book reading and TV viewing – respectively. Meanwhile, Tom Rossini eats crow in his rambling sports report. Marie Lecrivain graces our pages with some more of her creative short fiction, while Frances Nichols Vargas, Stephen Campbell & yours truly [r. j. paré] wax poetic sharing some of our unpublished verse. Returning columnist James Gibson hits home with an insightful look at our fascination with food and its relationship to good health while managing a digestive disorder. My own 12 year old daughter is struggling with Crohn’s diseases and is heartening to read a “happy ending” [pardon the pun]. I cannot thank the contributing artists enough. Credited throughout the issue their beautiful and dynamic truly makes this e-Zine “POP”. Without which, it would merely be a series of visually bland lines of text. Enough of my drivel, “On with the good stuff!” you say. Very well, enjoy the issue. r. j. paré EIC RKYV ONLINE e-Zine [NOTE: The RKYV Board of Directors officially disavows any knowledge of what Mr. paré does on those mysterious 3 hour lunches – but we’d appreciate if you’d forward the cell phone pics to our inbox. We could use the laugh.]

Untitled – by Carl Haynes

Untitled – by Engin Korkmaz

Health & Wellness

FASCINATION WITH FOOD – A Crohn’s Patient’s Perspective – by James Gibson

Introduction Food is an integral part of our lives as we need it to survive. But no less an authority than Voltaire said that, since it is essential, “nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” Taking it up a notch, George Bernard Shaw proclaimed that “there is no love sincerer than the love of food.” Mind you, in my case, the cards were stacked against any true love of food given my British heritage. The actress, Martha Harrison in fact suggested that what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal. Oh, welcome to the Church of the Holy Cabbage. Lettuce pray. When I gained my independence and married my wife, Sharon, she patiently instilled in me, through example, an appreciation for good, healthy food. As the novelist, Thomas Wolfe wrote: “There is no sight on earth more appealing than the sight of a woman making dinner for someone she loves.”

Among the many things I gained from my wife’s cooking were a respect for the contribution of gravies and sauces to a meal, and the vital role of butter in revitalizing cabbage, turnip dishes, and corn; I agree, to a point, with the satirist, Garrison Keillor that, while sex is good, it’s not as good as fresh, sweet (buttered and salted) corn. Over the last four decades, however, my wife’s cooking and our mutual fascination and celebration of food was tempered by the realities of Crohn’s, a disease estimated to affect over a half a million people in North America alone.

What Can I Eat? The Crohn’s was diagnosed shortly after we were married. In fact, just before a Japan trip to the 1970 World’s Fair- where we experienced sushi before sushi was sushi (I guess we should have remembered standup comic, José Simons’ reminder that in Mexico they have a word for sushi: bait), she was having intestinal pain, went to an internist, and received the diagnosis. She was then given two choices, have surgery or live with it. She chose the latter.

While the Crohn’s dictated parts of our diet, we still ate very well, just within limits- plenty of lean meat, fish, and poultry for the protein, but less high-fibre foods because of an obstruction; and with a few alterations. For instance, one of our favourite dishes is braised cider pork stew. It calls for two kilograms of trimmed boneless pork shoulder and apple cider; but we substitute pork tenderloin for the pork shoulder because it’s less fatty and apple juice for the cider because it doesn’t interfere with medications.

What Do I Want To Eat? Recently, my wife spent half of the year in hospitals; we called it the ‘culmination of forty years of Crohn’s with a good ending’, because she emerged Crohn’s free, although susceptible. From that point on there was a paradigm shift, as her eating experiences changed from ‘what can I eat’ to ‘what do I want to eat’. Needless to say, life after the surgery changed for the better. We could now more fully enjoy sharing food with friends and family. One drawback, however, was that weight gain loomed as a threat; so, on a daily basis we continued to include the seven foods known to nutritionists to boost your body’s fat-burning potential - oats, eggs, skim milk, apples, red meat, cinnamon and almonds, and we constantly visualized our plates in three sections- half filled with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with whole grains, and the last quarter with the lean meat or protein needed for healing. At first, Sharon’s healing process involved several short stays back in the hospital and daily home-nursing care. But during a weekend pass, a sister from Kansas and her recently-retired husband, on their ‘Tour of the Relatives’, spent an afternoon with us before spending the American Thanksgiving with a fourth sister in Missouri. During the visit I prepared my favourite meal, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, which everyone enjoyed, all the way from the smells of the cooking up to the eating. The experience reinforced that it’s the simple pleasures of food and conversation that make life so great! Now, you may think that red meat is not exactly what one should eat but research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared diet results for women who ate red meat and those who didn’t and the meat eaters lost more weight. Experts think it’s the dense protein in lean red meat that helps you maintain muscle mass as you wear off fat during exercise. Even Tommy Smothers has come forward in support of red meat. “Red meat is not bad for you,” he says. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!”

The savory scents of our food being prepared were picked up by others. “What do I smell?” the homecare nurse asked on several visits. “It makes me want to rush home and do some cooking.” “Stew,” I replied the first time and “Chili,” the second. On a nursing leash or not, we never get bored when there is food to prepare. In these cases, Sharon browns the meat for the chili and for the stew, and I chop up the onions, carrots and peppers. Meanwhile the heady aromas fill the house.

Epicurus. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder and at its peak, Sharon’s illness caused us to miss many family gatherings. Epicurus said that we should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, so, after the surgery we were determined to rectify that, including Thanksgiving with family. On the day before the holiday we went to a Swiss Chalet in Waterloo where many of our nephews and nieces and their children- all with noise makers and using them- were excited to be together. Then, on the big day, we all gathered again, this time at a home. “Oh... oh my, that looks good,” I remember commenting, as my brotherin-law surprised me by placing a platter of sliced ham on the table. He loved to be in the kitchen, cooking, carving, and basting. “And sis, this looks nice,” I complimented, admiring the assortment of items on the table- bowls of fruit, vegetables, nuts, a horn of plenty, and carafes of juices. “Yeah, you’re always so festive,” interjected Sharon. “Thanks,” my sister replied graciously. “But there are no kumquats,” I quipped; George Carlin once labeled this edible fruit that closely resembles the orange, the funniest food of all. I received only silence and a blank stare. Then the remainder of the food - turkey, mashed potatoes, turnip, stuffing, Ambrosia salad, gravy; a simple, home-cooked, but very British fare – was passed around and the group stayed quiet while it ate. In this gastronomical solitude, however, I let my eyes wander the table; what I observed were the smaller portions on the plates of the younger people.

Over the following months came further celebrations over food: Christmas, and then Easter. But just before summer, came the annual Smith/Rennie Family Reunion, held in rural Grey County. Always scheduled the second Sunday in June, this picnic has existed without interruption for over half a century. There has always been a time of socialization, followed by games, and then the now-fashionable pot luck supper at 4:00 PM. There is nothing spectacular about this Gathering as attendees are requested to bring a dessert and a meal of some sort, place settings, lawn chairs and family birth dates, with only juice, pop, coffee and tea supplied. But the assortment of food is spectacular, albeit without hot pasta dishes; which is unfortunate because, as an unknown author once stated, “those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it.”

Conclusion The best summer festival in Southwestern Ontario is the mid-June Carrousel of Nations that celebrates Windsor’s diversity. On the second and third weekends, one can enjoy Carrousel Around the City, a celebration of food, music, dance and tradition located at different ethno-cultural “Villages” throughout the Windsor area. Visitors and locals alike can take a world tour without leaving town! In the past, Sharon could never truly indulge in the festivities without worry, but now she and I can consume what we want, be it German, Chinese, Polish, Hungarian, Caribbean, Greek, or even Scottish cuisine which is enjoying a renaissance. Care for a Kipper? Bon Appetit!

Outdoor Shower


Sixteen – by Mykl G Sivak

Featured Artist Review Victor L. Castro Jr. by r. j. paré BIO: Victor L. Castro is a freelance penciller who continues to make a name for himself as he makes his way up the ladder towards the comic industry giants and takes his place among comics greatest pencillers.

r. j. paré: Have you always known that you wanted to be or, rather, were an artist?

Victor L. Castro Jr.: Not until recently, most artists spend a good amount of time just being someone who can draw. It is when you choose to apply your talent to the public, galleries, and in my case comics that you get a sense of being an artist. Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. [pencils] Mark McKenna [inks]; Tom Chu [colours] Title: Atrocitus [© DC Comics] Size: 11 x 17” print Date Created: Feb 2010

r.j.p.: Wow… just wow. As an unabashed fan-boy of anything GL related, I have to say this team ought to be doing work on one of DC’s many GL related books – And I do mean, now!

r.j.p.: Did you study or major in art while in school? V.L.C.:

attended a junior college in Albany for one semester that was focused on Fine Arts but other than that no.

r.j.p.: Who was your primary source of encouragement, as a child, in pursuing art?


That would have to be split between my father and brother. My Dad influenced me more on the traditional art styles while my brother introduced me to comic art.

r.j.p.: Do you use any special tools and techniques to create your art? V.L.C.:

No not really, some pages I use a non photo blue pencil for laying out the camera angles but I usually just jump right in with pencil.

Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. [pencils] Jason Embury [colours] Title: Spawn vs Ghostrider [© Todd McFarlane & Marvel Comics respectively] Date Created: 2009

r.j.p.: What a dynamic scene. Victor detailed pencils have laid out a really cool pin-up that could easily serve as a kick-ass crossover cover. [Marvel, Image – are you listening?]

Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. [pencils and ink], Jeff Balke [colour] Title: Ironman [© Marvel Comics] Date Created: 2009

r.j.p.: Robert Downey Jr., eat your heart out, here is heavy duty mod to your super-suit that you’ve [so far] not had the pleasure of test driving…☺

r.j.p.: What inspires you to create art?


At this point my inspiration is coming from a drive to find a place among the top pencilers in the industry.

After I reach that point I am not sure what will inspire me, it might be a drive to create a new idea or remake a past idea with a new look.

r.j.p.: Which famous artists / creators or styles have influenced you? Why? V.L.C.:

Whew, top of the list has to be John Byrne, Walt Simonson, John Romita Jr., David Finch, Todd McFarlane, and Michael Turner. Primarily because I grew up reading their books and absorbing their lines and if you look closely you can see the mix of their influence on me.

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]


I think at this point I would like to work with latest titles, I feel building credibility by working with mainstream titles can lead towards a strong independent following later on in my career as opposed to being vice versa.

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?


I don’t think so, I am one of those old school pencil artists that will hand the board over to the inker and wait for the magic. There is a touch that can’t really be compared to with a computer. Don’t get me wrong they are doing some amazing things with this technology but I am going to stay with paper for a while.

Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. Title: Alpha Flight [© Marvel Comics] Media Used: pencil on EON board Size: 11 x 17”

r.j.p.: The classic line up for Marvel’s much maligned heroic Canucks. I can see a lot of Byrne-influence in the composition and I really enjoy Victor’s command of perspective & anatomy.

r.j.p.: What do you think of the term "starving artist"? V.L.C.:

I think the term is relevant to your personal decisions; it is fine to have a passion but when your personal decisions have an impact on the lives of your family and friends you might have to re-evaluate your priorities. I work full time for the Department of Defense and only do comic art part time.

r.j.p.: Do you feel more a sense of community with other artists or a sense of competition?


A little bit of both, some of that competition leads towards inspiration and then happy fans.

Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. Title: DC Study pencil [all characters © DC Comics] Media Used: pencil on Blue Line pro comic board Size: 11 x 17”

r.j.p.: Interesting study as Victor practices filling the page with detailed renderings of DC heroes in full “JLA vs” mode. I love how Plastic Man is drawn stretching from background to foreground and right off the page!

Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. Title: Marvel vs Superman [all characters © Marvel Comics & DC Comics respectively] Media Used: pencil on Blue Line pro comic board Size: two-page spread, both 11 x 17”

r.j.p.: Ah… for the heady days of nostalgia and the fan-ticipated company cross-over. Two behemoths engaged in years of battle have kept scenes like this from your local comic shops. No, I’m not talking about Thor throwing down with Superman [alas!] but rather DC & Marvel not wanting to work on any [for the time being] of these types of collaborations. Get your act together BIG TWO and bring back events like these. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to have Victor pencil them… ☺

r.j.p.: How do you market yourself? V.L.C.:

The Army taught me to be a professional, so I market myself that way. If I say I am a penciller than I have to be one and understand what it takes. If I am representing a company like DC or Marvel you have to act accordingly and present yourself in a professional manner.

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?


I have had a good amount of success in the social networking boom and it is a great platform for interacting with all echelons of the comic industry. I have friends from top CEOs, VP of content development, editors, inkers, colorists and other artists right in one place. I like the fact that anyone can contact me at anytime for comic related stuff.

r.j.p.: I understand you are working on a graphic novel "Scionic" for Arcana Studios, can you tell us a little bit about the project?


Sure, this is the synopsis written by Philip Daay

"In the year 2074, a long and devastating global war called the Geno-Purge explodes between two factions, ordinary humans and those who have enhanced themselves with technology. Two new races of humanity rise from the ashes. Those with genetic manipulations are named the Homo Geneticus. Those with cybernetic enhancements are known as the Homo Roboticus. Now decades later, another wave of technology threatens the world balance of power. A secret government program breeds innocent children to serve as living weapons of mass destruction‌ and a lone, disillusioned general named Theophilus is determined to rescue them." It is a great story and will be very entertaining; you won’t be able to put it down.

r.j.p.: Are you inking your own pencils on "Scionic"; who else is part of the creative team?


No inks, the publisher is comfortable with my pencils going directly to color and within the last couple of weeks we just added the colorist.

r.j.p.: When should fans expect to see this book in their local comic shops? V.L.C.:

We are trying to make NY Comic Convention in October 2010 as a release date or at least have some copies at the show, after that it shouldn’t be much longer before it is in a shop near you.

Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. Title: Super Kids Media Used: pencil on Blue Line pro comic board Size: 11 x 17” Date Created: Mar 2010

r.j.p: Kal & Kara taking Krypto for a walk, err… fly. LOL – One thing I really like about this pencil sketch is Victor avoids the temptation to “buff up” Superboy. When drawing Kal-El, at any age really – but more so when he is young – there is no need to go all “steroid” on his anatomy. It is his alien physiology that grants him strength and not rippling muscles. Just a quick note to DC artists – when drawing batman and Superman together Bats should always be drawn as the more muscular of the two [as he is the product of intense physical training] .

r.j.p.: What other interests do you have, besides art?


I enjoy spending time with my family a lot; I am manager of my son’s little league baseball team as well. Other than that it is work, family and then art.

r.j.p.: You are a Combat Simulations Specialist for the United States Army, can you tell us a little about that? Do you feel your military experience has influenced your artistic style in some fashion?


I work for the Department of Military Instruction (DMI) at West Point’s Warfighting Simulation Center (WARCEN). We specialize in combat simulations using gaming and tactical simulations to teach cadets in the Military Science curriculum the in and outs of combat and leadership. Without a doubt my experience in the military has given me focus and a drive that is unique to Soldiers and will play a big part in my career in comics. Artistically, having firsthand experience in combat gives me a unique perspective on what war really looks like and will play a big role in certain parts of my pencils; but not all of it.

r.j.p.: You are also a member of a cooperative creators studio, Speakeasy Primates, what can you tell us about that? V.L.C.:

I first came on board with Speakeasy as they began developing a good portion of their titles; I spent some time helping them with initial designs and concepts and with one title in particular called “When Heroes Were.” I have yet to complete the pencils for WHW but when things start slowing down in the future I would like to get back to that book.

r.j.p.: Do you have any big plans, shows or Cons coming up? V.L.C.:

I will be at New York Comic Con in October promoting Scionic, if all goes well I should also be in Artist Alley if anyone wants to stop by and say hello.

r.j.p.: How would you like your art, and by extension yourself, to be remembered?


As one of my mentors says:

“I am just another guy doing comics”

– Walt Simonson. For more on Victor L. Castro Jr. please visit:

r.j.p.: On the page following is the striking pencil drawing of General Theophilus from Victor’s break-thru graphic novel Scionic [Arcana Studios]. It was an easy and fitting choice for Dave Marshall [Associate Editor] to choose it as the cover art for this issue and while Dave’s cover re-touch is cool I’d like to thank Victor for sharing the original [in all its unvarnished glory] as well as for participating in this Featured Artist Review for RKYV.

Artist’s Name: Victor L. Castro Jr. Title: General Theophilus [© Arcana Studios] Media Used: pencil on Blue Line pro comic board Size: 11 x 17” Date Created: Feb 2010

Sports Rossini’s Rambling’s by Tom Rossini ...this one is a hard one to swallow Three… Two… One… The Habs have defeated the Washington Capitols with a final score of 2-1 and win game 7, and the series 4 games to 3, in a showdown that had very few believers ( our editor was one of them). As Halak’s teammates piled on him with the sounding of the final horn Ovechkin skated all alone … his stick resting on his knees and his head slumped over in disbelief. The home crowd was quiet and many stood there with their mouths wide open wondering: “How, could we lose game 7 – when we were up 3 games to 1?”

Fine examples of the solid & sometimes spine twisting saves that Jaroslav Halak performed in helping Monteal oust the heavily favoured Capitals. – The Editor Jaroslav Halak was nothing less then spectacular guarding the net causing the Washington Capitals, the President’s Trophy Winners, the NHL’s best regular-season team to be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The last 5 minutes of the game were spectacular and one of the best games in history in my opinion. The Score was 1-0 and both teams were fighting for every inch of ice and with 3 ½ minutes left in the game Dominic Moore made it 2-0 for the Habs and effectively silenced the home crowd.

The Capitals did not give though and the final 3 ½ minutes were definitely a white knuckle affair. With only 2:16 seconds left in the final period Ovechkin scored for the Capitals. Then with 1:44 to go in the game, Ryan O’Byrne [of Monteal] was called for a high-sticking penalty. The Capitals were relentless but their efforts were not enough. After the game, Bruce Boudreau coach of the Washington Capitals stated “I would have bet my house that they wouldn’t have beaten us 3 games in a row and that we would have only scored 3 times in almost 140 shots.” ( Halak stopped 131/134 shots in the last 3 games according to the AP). Most sports fans would have to agree with Boudreau’s statement since they had the best home record in the NHL. Montreal will now be heading to Pittsburgh to play Cindy (Sidney) Crosby ( Detroiter’s call Sidney Crosby Cindy as we feel he is a cry baby ), in the second round starting Friday. Even though this writer has voiced his dislike for the Habs on several occasions to our dear Editor-In-Chief… I must say that I hate the Pittsburgh Penguins and Cindy Crosby even more.


Lake Ontario Ice Volcanoes – by L A Raven

Short Fiction RKYV ONLINE e-Zine is, once again, pleased to present a selection of short prose pieces by the talented Marie Lecrivain.

Questions I wanted to ask Jesus after Leanne & I spotted spotted him at the corner of La Cienega/Third Cienega/Third St. in Beverly Hills, but never got the chance… •

Am I to assume by your corporeality that the Rapture started already, and if so, why in Beverly Hills as opposed to Little Rock, Arkansas, or Bremerton, Washington? Barista Jesus – by r. j. paré As a healer, where do you stand on healthcare reform?

This country is being taxed to death. Would you consider a repeat performance on some of our state budget-handlers like you did back in the day with the moneychangers?

That’s a nice looking robe. Did you get that at Bloomingdale's, or at H & M?

I see you are carrying a Starbucks coffee cup. Is it true that their coffee, as opposed to Pete’s or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, can actually cure stigmata?

What are your thoughts on never being, even posthumously, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?

What was it like hanging with lepers back in your day; I mean “real” lepers, as opposed to social ones?

Which hurts more; crucifixion, or resurrection?

I know this is kind of personal, but inquiring minds want to know: were you crucified in the buff?

If there was one thing you could change about this world, barring anything that would infringe on another’s freedom, civil liberties, or right to download Internet porn (adult only), what would that be?

Are you really Jesus, or a psyche patient released on his own recognizance from Cedar Sinai Hospital Psyche Ward?

Were all the rumors about you and Ms. Magdalene true, or were you “just friends?”

Do I really have to love my neighbor? He’s kind of old and smelly.

Is it true that Oprah is bigger than you are, or is it because she has better PR people?

Can I have your autograph?

copyright 2009 marie lecrivain additional graphics by r. j. paré

Note: The following 3 pieces are a part of a series Marie wrote while trapped in a call center in 2008 / 2009.

Micro Darwinisms #3 This morning, the McStarbucks barista noted my confusion as I almost abandoned my breakfast. He then gifted me with an extra shot of espresso – gratis – to help wash away the tiredness. While I am grateful, I wonder when/how did a cup of kindness get downsized to a thimbleful, and why has compassion become a victim of the recession? In turn, must I then downsize my hopes and expectations to succeed to the lowest form of gratitude for subsistence? I guess this is the new American way – no, not really, it is the re-emergence of social Darwinism at work – the deliberate reprogramming of the definition of gratitude; to force myself and others to be grateful for their poverty, to be happy with a pittance of mercy. There is an equal and opposite force at work; the rising tide of anger as those things we become familiar disappear, down to the very air we breathe. One day, a Girl Scout will come to my door to sell me a box of Thin Mints and she will be greeted with a 120 decibel stream of ultraviolet invective and a volley of rusted thimbles aimed squarely at her head. copyright 2009 m. lecrivain

Mark Ruffalo Bill – by Mykl G Sivak

# 77 In a Democratic administration, the new Savior of the Middle Class has boosted taxes at both ends of the financial spectrum. I am , at the next to lowest tax bracket, paying the same or damned near the same percentage in taxes as those who are making over $250,000 a year. This IS the revenge of the bourgeois; a financial fall of the guillotine. I wonder if our new savior has read Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, and especially that line… you know, the one that says, it is a far, far better thing to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, it is a far better thing to protect a middle class that no longer exists… copyright 2009 m. lecrivain

Swimmie The Salmon – by Mykl G Sivak


ASK LEVELS “On a sliding scale, here is what I can offer you. For $50, you purchase 25% of my dignity, a lap dance on the Las Vegas Strip, or ten wool blankets for two displaced Afghani families who are trying to survive through the harshest of winters. For $35, you can purchase my self-esteem (all of it), a dinner for two at Tony Roma’s, and five pages of lobbying materials earmarked to assist the fight in Federal Court to award the Polar Bear full protection under the Endangered Species Act. For $25, you can claim a small piece of my soul, two tickets to a matinee along with a small popcorn and Raisinettes, or, a medical exam that includes responsible reproductive choices for a 16-year-old-girl in Chino, CA. No?… Well, thank you for your past support of “the non-profit you used to give a damned about. It was a pleasure to speak with you. Have a good evening.”

bio: Marie Lecrivain is the executive editor and publisher of Dashboard Horus: A Bird's Eye of the Universe, and is a writer in residence in her apartment. Her work has appeared in Askew Poetry Journal, Leaf Garden Press, Re)verb, RKYV, The Bicycle Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Toronto Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Spillway, and Beside the City of Angels: An Anthology of Long Beach Poetry (World Parade Books, Spring 2010). Marie's poetry collection, Antebellum Messiah, (copyright 2009 Sybaritic Press), is available through

copyright 2009 m. lecrivain "Act passionately; think rationally; be Thyself." – Liber Librae "What you risk reveals what you value" – Jeanette Winterson

< Untitled – by Nadide Paker Gurcuoglu


The Last Footsteps to 2012 by CS Cartier Part One The bible talks a great deal about Eschatology (any system of doctrines concerning last, or final, matters, as death, the Judgment, the future state, etc.) and so do many other religious texts and scrolls. Prediction and soothsayers have always barked the coming of the ‘End of Days’, sighting stones, tea leaves, the stars and planetary positions, etc. etc. It is very easy to say something terrible is going to happen to you… eventually. It does not matter who you are or where you are, this prediction is not really a prediction but a numerical fact. The vagueness of this prediction allows for anything to fill the prescription. So, what happens when we make it more specific? Let us say, a year. Something terrible is going to happen to you, I don’t know let’s say in 2012. Well, now, I am going to be held to that prediction. Either something bad does indeed happen or not. That is the magic of predictions. Mass hysteria clouds common sense in this regard as the last of the great predictions draws ever closer. First, nowhere does any prediction indicate the world is going to end. Second, all fears are based on hearsay and ignorance.

My big question is why everyone so hung on one specific date? Many, many end of times predications have come and gone. If you do not believe me listen to Coast to Coast and you will hear dozens. Obviously, no one has been correct or this is one freak’n dream.

2012 – Let us get back to the article.

Not my prediction, but a people in the south. The kicker is it all is around this, a piece of rock carved long ago; the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar which was used by pre-Columbian Maya civilization. The date in question notably completes a "great cycle" of thirteen b'ak'tuns (periods of 144,000 days each). Does this signify anything more than the end of space on a piece of stone? The answer is connected and lost to an Ancient People, ’The Maya’. The 2012 phenomenon is a period of time in which many speculate change, both negative and/or positive from countless societies, religions and cultures. If you take the calendar literally it is the end of time. I remember the same talk at the end of the last century. My personal believe aside we have to wonder if something incredibly dreadful was coming could we count on the government to keep us informed. We all know the answer to that question so we are left to speculate and forced to analyze the facts. The prophecies of Nostradamus in the 16th century to numerous ancient societies’ predictions seem to signify 2012 be a date of great importance both then and now. Let us take a step back, and again we will analyze the facts. Would the government tell us what they know if they know? Well I do know this, they are preparing for something. Hidden away on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean is the “Doomsday” Vault. It has the capacity to store 4.5 million seed samples from all regions of the planet. Its purpose is to safeguard the world’s agriculture from future catastrophes, such as nuclear war, asteroid impact, climate change, natural disasters, poor agricultural management and disease etc.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located on the Norwegian Island of Spitsbergen which forms part of the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. It is approximately 1120km (700 miles) from the North Pole.

Anyone can take isolated incidents which may just be circumspect, great climate change, migration patterns altered and clump them together and say darn is something really going on here. The Blue Whale ‘Guardians of our Earth’ now sings the “Song of Death” as an ‘announcement’ to all human beings to prepare for the ending of all things. So says the Yupik shaman council (I don’t speak whale). This among many things have the scientific community fascinated as it is now being reported that these largest animals our World has ever known have indeed begun to mysteriously change their ‘songs’, all over our Planet for the first time in recorded history. The conclusions of my Footsteps I will be entertaining the different 2012 doomsday theories and ideas. As there are literally dozens upon dozens, I will focus on the most interesting and popular.

Closer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by CS Cartier

poetry Selected Poem by Frances Nichols Vargas Granted A Suprise It is funny how life can pass by so fast So fast in fact Twenty years go by as fast as the ocean tide One day, granted a surprise Turn around and caught my eye A smile A wink Chase takes place Another year soon passes And a phone call tantalizes Yet more time flies by Granted another surprise

A smile A wink A date to contemplate Laughter gives way to feelings of comfort And familiarity It is the feeling of knowing There is a thread that binds Understanding all too well where each one has been A desire to know where each one is heading A smile A wink And a drink

Some funny stories and promises take place A wink, a smile and a hug goodbye Looking forward to the next time Some more time flies by Another surprise Another date to contemplate A wink A smile An all too familiar hug Time slows down Only to be granted another... Exclamation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by De Tourist

Paré’s Poetic Perspectives by r. j. paré How s[l]ick… a spill spells ill the ichor slick ratings soared. are there no longer enough starving sibs in Somalia? I guess not. they say Rome wasn’t built in a day… … But I doubt it took long to burn. socialites sip mint juleps chatting of disaster with nods, insincere what will I tell my child when she can no longer swim? “we made a mess of things, but understand how great we imagined ourselves.” drill baby drill how s[l]ick.

delta sludge – by r. j. paré

Untitled â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by Engin Korkmaz

pop culture Comic Book Review by Brad Bellmore Green Hornet

Thumb solidly down. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this disappointed in a comic. I don’t know if it is because my expectations were too high or that this title from Dynamite just failed to deliver. In an attempt to own up to the possibility of my expectations being too high, I bought this book with a bit of eagerness. When I was a kid, Green Hornet was still on TV. It wasn’t the greatest show, but it was fun. Sometimes it was flat out cool. When I look back on it, I think that it might have been great if handled better. The fact that this comic was written by Kevin Smith immediately made me think that would happen here. I love Kevin Smith. I think he is an amazing writer. His dialogue carries everything he touches. His storytelling is ok, but his dialogue… I crave his dialogue. So what more could a cool/campy action story need than clever dialogue. Apparently a lot.

The book compares Green Hornet then (old school) and Green Hornet now (hip and brash and high tech). I didn’t immediately get the comparison since I missed the “now” caption that told me the story had changed gears. And I’m not sure if there is a connection between old and new other than to let us know that this isn’t our parent’s (or grandparent’s) Green Hornet. I think the idea is that there is a new guy caring on the office and, well , as succeeding generations tend to do (at least in entertainment), he feels a need to break from the old an d create his own brand of Green Hornet. This one moons the paparazzi outside his home. Jonathan Lau drew a decent book here. I like the art that has something of a classic style in the beginning and a modern edge in the now. The pictures did a better job of communicating this than the story. That said, the action seemed quite wooden. Somehow Lau missed the ability to make movement look like movement that most other comics accomplish. Even though the drawing is good, the panels all seem to be the simplest way to accomplish the writer’s needs not the best way to tell the story or to move it from frame to frame. And this book desperately needs that help. Even though I didn’t like the art overall, I blame the problems with this book on the writing. It is a poorly told story. I expected more than that from Kevin Smith. And I never got the dialogue that I hoped for. Try to avoid this one when you next go to the comic store.

The Guild

Thumb all the way up.

Dark Horse released anew title, “The Guild” written by Felicia Day and illustrated by Jim Rugg. For those of you who don’t know, Felicia Day is an actress who has done a variety of work but one of her most memorable is her role as Penny in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.”

That factors in here because this comic is also a web show. The web show is about a young woman’s video blog that her therapists suggested she keep. Felicia day plays Cyd, the main character both online and on the page. The art by Jim Rugg works well for this story. It’s not great detail work and even feels a little rough at times. It however tells the story well, carrying the mood and main thread throughout each page. Cyd looks like Felicia Day and is easily recognizable.

There is a fun transition between the look of reality and the look of the fantasy world where Cyd spends a significant part of her time. The Guild is a look at the life of Cyd, a young lady with a job she is unhappy with and a boyfriend who she is happy to be with even though he’s a jerk. Her life is a disappointment that she’s trying to improve. Escape seems to be a better option which she finds through an MMORPG where she can be anyone she wants. She becomes a revamped version of herself, using the name Codex. Online, in the fantasy world, she is powerful, sexy, confident, everything she wishes she was but can’t believe she could possibly be. Soon she finds that she would rather be online and has developed friends there – her guild. The highlight of this comic is the writing. The story is fascinating and the dialogue clever, with lines like “dying sucks!”. There are moments when laughter erupts in response to the bizarre circumstances of online role playing. Other times pierce your heart with the poignancy of feeling alone or powerless or worthless. This is a uniquely honest look into a character’s soul sharing all the tears and giggles that can only be found in a deeply intimate place. This is worth the money. Grab it the next time you go to the comic store. The only not to would be to wait for trade paperbacks to come out and get the story in big chunks.

Learning from those that do by CS Cartier

Geekdom – Geekville USA.

How many of the world’s nerdiest nerds can be gathered together? Answer is the question; how big is the room? Young – and old – from the infant to some of the original fans of Sci-Fi from way back in its infancy were all collating, conversing, communicating and attempting to find commerce for their one of a kind original idea, brand, theme and even dream. These are the ones that had enough drive to ‘just do it’. That is the true secret to finding it big. Getting off your butt, ironically sitting down and put your talent where your month and pen are. The Big Bang nerd show came to life during the weekend of April 24-25th @ S.P.A.C.E. [small-press-alternative-comics-expo] in Columbus Ohio.

Many ideas; one theme. Many dreams; one goal. To be the next ‘Harry Potter’, the next ‘X-men’, or even ‘Twilight saga’.

It matters not guy, girl, Klingon, or “want-a-be Mystic Sheep”. The drive is the same, in each face you can see the wheels of creativity turning and in each, the passion was obvious. They do not have the airs of artist, they are just as creative if, it may seem weird or warp. Strange and bizarre most definitely had a place on the weekend of the Con. The laughter was real, not forced. An odd snort was most definitely not out of place which makes all around smile. The wine was cola or coffee, our cheese replaced with sugary goodness. Artists, you bet. Yes, Geekdom, pure innocent fun with the heart and soul in the hours and years it takes to accomplish their dreams. I do not want to get into the who’s, what’s and where’s of CON, I simply want to relay that if you to have a dream… …get it done. I was so pumped seeing what everyone accomplished. They were proud of that, and rightfully so. I’d be lying if I said I was a fan of all the work and projects displayed. They did something I have yet to do, and that is to own their dream and stopped the excuses and actually produced. My hat went off to each of them. To make it big, no one wants to hear an idea. The idea speaks for itself. Fans are made by producing something that they find so good that they are willing to spend their hard earned money to purchase. They tell a friend and so on and so on. The con made me refocus my energies, and next con I will be doing more than walking around with my fellow geeks. I will have something to show them. That is my goal. Goals are the beginning, only the beginning. A car can only get you to where you want to go with a map, and fuel. Is your desire fuel enough to get the job done? I hope mine is. If you ever have a chance to go to a similar con, I recommend it. It is pure harmless fun. And just maybe, you will discover the geek in yourself.

Get your geek on! Cliff S Cariter, son of Clifford, son of Doreen, father of three, dreamer.

Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons by Pauline Paré Spring is in the air where television is concerned. Lois and Clark of “Smallville” are finally together and theirs is a romance written in the stars (or at least written in the pages of DC for many decades) There are a large number of romances blossoming, at least in several of my favourite shows. Many series have been created with the express purpose of telling the story of a romance. We currently have Vampire Diaries and Castle but I am sure many TV fans have noticed the similarity between Castle and Moonlighting. The “will they won’t they” questions along with a heaping helping of sexual tension keep these shows fresh. The trick in these series is to keep the show interesting and to allow obstacles to the romance or at least hold it off as long as possible.

There hasn’t even been a hint of a date between Rick Castle and Kate Beckett but the sexual tension is present in every episode. When David Addison and Maddy Hayes finally ended their long flirtation and took the plunge, Moonlighting’s ratings dropped dramatically. If the romance begins at the beginning of the series, we need other interesting plot devices to keep the show fresh such as in Pushing Daisies where the two lovers could never actually touch or Vampire Diaries and true Blood which have…well… vampires. In these series, we always know that the main characters are destined to be together but they can still intrigue us with the intricacies of the complicated courtship.

Shows that keep us wondering for seasons on end can be extremely exciting. No one was really sure if Rachel and Ross of “Friends” would get together but their touching reunion in the series finale was the hot topic of discussion around many water coolers. It was even touch and go with Jim and Pam from “The Office” for a while although I have never rooted harder for two fictional characters to be together. Every landmark in their relationship was fun and fresh. No one knew who Carrie would end up with on “Sex and the City” and everyone was surprised when Sam and Dianne went their separate ways on “Cheers”.

Even Chuck and Sarah seemed doomed to fall for other people in the beginning of this season of “Chuck” I, for one, was cheering when their romance finally came together recently. And “Gilmore Girls” had me wanting to slap Lorelei for not realizing that Luke was and always had been the one for her.

I think that my favourite romances have to be the unexpected fan favourites. By this I mean the romances that occur between supporting characters that begin to steal the show. This year, Angela and Hodgins from “Bones” are still apart but seem to be coming back together slowly. These characters couldn’t be more different, Angela is such a free spirit and Hodgins is a geeky scientist from a wealthy family. Yet they are still able to make it work. I am still a little sore at the series writers for breaking them up but a good reunion could make me forgive them. I will never forget when Xander declared his love for the former demon Anya on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and changed our entire idea of where that romance was heading. Daphne and Niles eventually became the heart of “Fraser” when for several seasons; Niles was hopelessly infatuated with her without even a hint of encouragement.

The love triangle can always be a steamy and intriguing concept, dividing fans like two sides on a battlefield. Who can ever forget the Joey/Pacey/Dawson controversy? This love triangle was the fuel for many a heated internet debate about whom Joey should give her heart. I, personally, was rooting for the winning side in the end.

An even hotter triangle was from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy had a long relationship with Angel but then eventually fell into the arms of a former enemy, Spike. Regardless of the motives behind the forbidden romance, the result certainly heated up the screen, especially when Angel became aware of the relationship. A more comedic predecessor to these triangles was the Diane/Sam/Fraser triangle on the long running “Cheers”. Although Fraser was always a more stable choice, it is hard not to root for the bad boy. It turned out in the end the Dianne was the unstable one and both Sam and Fraser were better off for having her out of their lives but it was great fun while it lasted. Why this obsession with romance. Why even ask! If we aren’t in a romance, we are recovering from one or searching for romance. Love makes the world go ‘round and it also makes for good television. (While I was finishing this article, Hodgins and Angela of “Bones” not only declared their undying love for each other but married in a jail cell by cornering a judge the same day they reconciled. All is well in the world!)


Featured Artist of the month: Victor L Castro Jr Cover: Art by Victor L Castro Jr design by David Marshall