The staff at Würst Bier Hall won’t serve their beer in just any pint glass and call it good. With their lineup of more than 30 beers on tap, each one calls for a specific beer glass to showcase the flavors and look of the beer the way the brewer intended it. General Manager, Andrea Williams, filled The Good Life in about eight beer glasses and their purposes behind the bar.
F LU T E
This stein made of glass is a dimpled mug that goes with the German theme at the Würst Bier Hall. This sturdy and easy to hold glass is reserved for traditional German beers like Bocks or lagers. The heaviest body beer served in this style glass may be a porter.
This flute is made by the brewery specifically to serve the Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock beer. Flutes are reserved for sweeter and more delicate beers. This double bock is a dark, but sweeter beer with a 6.7 percent ABV, so it’s a lower level of alcohol content for the style.
eiz e n v as
P ILS N E R
ST EI N
This Hefeweizen vase is made specifically for the Hefeweizen style of beer. The tall and flared shape is going to release aroma and keep the head tight and held up throughout the whole beer.
The tall flared shape of a pilsner glass helps maintain the head while capturing the colors. When drinking a Pilsner, if the thick dense head slips up it’s going to taste better when you’re drinking it. Even though a Pilsner is a more earthy hopped beer, it ends up tasting lighter, has a higher carbonation and generally is smoother.
e e r f lu sb ’ t n
T U LI P
L C H A IC E
S n if t e r
This stemmed glass receives its name for resembling a tulip shape. The top of the glass pushes out to form a lip in order to capture the head and amplify the aroma of a beer. Double IPAs, Belgian style tripels and other aromatic craft beers are served perfectly in a tulip glass.
A chalice will always have good weight, thick wall, hefty base and a wide bowl to allow the beer’s entire aroma to fill the surrounding area. Belgian style ales such as Dubbels and Quads are served in a Chalice.
An everyday Snifter is reserved for higher ABV beers that are stronger in flavor such as Imperial stouts. The smaller glass allows control over serving sizes. The wider part of the glass focuses aromas and helps with head retention, which overall captures and enhances the aroma of a craft beer.
Li n d
By: Jessica Jasperson | PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
This flute is made for Lindeman’s Kriek, which is a lambic ale. Lambic ales are fruity, and this one in particular is a Belgian cherry beer. A flute glass creates an elegance that showcases the rose color and carbonation of the beer.
ISSUE MARCH-APRIL 2014
VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 5
IN EVERY ISSUE HERO 30 LOCAL BRYAN KUTTER Sniper Cuts Military Career Short
06 FATHERS: STORIES FOR DADS You Can Be a Good Dad Even in Tough Situations
ON THE COVER OFF THE WALL 09 Four Local Artists Take Their Work to the Streets
ARTICLES BEERS AREN’T MEANT FOR A 02 ALL PINT GLASS CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dawn Siewert email@example.com PHOTOGRAPHY Darren Losee firstname.lastname@example.org
JUST A STAGE: 08 IT’S Stereotypical Dates Illustrate Different Points in Life
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Soo Asheim Jessica Ballou Meghan Feir Paul Hankel Jessica Jasperson Alicia Underlee Nelson
REASONS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY 18 5LOOK INTO BUILDING A RAT ROD A Fun and Affordable Way to Build Your Own Street Monster
PUBLISHED BY Urban Toad Media LLP www.urbantoadmedia.com /urbantoadmedia READ AN ISSUE ONLINE: issuu.com/thegoodlifemensmag ADVERTISING SUBMISSIONS Urban Toad Media LLP 624 Main Avenue, Suite 7 Fargo, ND 58103 701-388-4506 | 701-261-9139
COMICS-N-CARDS: HELPING 22 PARADOX YOU GET YOUR GEEK ON SINCE 1993 A Visit and Sit Down with Paradox’s Owner, Richard Early
YOUR BEST SHOT 26 TAKE Marksmanship Center Aims at Education, Safety
The Good Life Men’s Magazine is distributed six times a year by Urban Toad Media LLP. Material may not be reproduced without permission. The Good Life Men’s Magazine accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction arising from content in this publication. The opinions expressed, or advice given, are the views of individual writers or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Good Life Men’s Magazine.
You Can Be a Good Dad Even in Tough Situations
A while back, I was talking about Championship Fathering on a radio program. I told my stories about the importance of loving, coaching, and modeling for your kids, encouraging other kids, and Enlisting more dads to join the team. After the program a dad wrote to me and said, “How can someone be a ‘Championship Father’ when the system and the mother won’t let him?” For a growing number of dads today, this dad’s question is the only one that matters because they don’t have access to their kids; they don’t have opportunities to be the dads they want to be. I don’t fully understand how dads feel when they’re shut out from the lives of their children, but I do hurt for them. In today’s culture it’s easy to lump all non-custodial dads together. We talk about custody battles and child support and we forget that these are individual dads who love their children and are fighting for the chance to be involved fathers. That’s real, and it’s a tragic consequence of the divorce culture that we live in. The impact on children is even more tragic. These dads already know there are no easy solutions, but they don’t give up calling attention to their challenges and the injustice they feel. If you can relate to this situation, I hope you’ll keep reading, because I want to offer three pieces of encouragement that can apply to whatever fathering challenges you may be facing: 6
By: CAREY CASEY | WWW.FATHERS.COM
First, focus on your long-term commitment to your child. That will help to see you through daily ups and downs or even major roadblocks to your fathering. One dad we know was separated from his three kids by a very bitter divorce when they were school aged. Barred from direct contact with his kids and faced with parental alienation, he remained steadfast in his attempts to connect with his children. His oldest daughter eventually sought contact and moved in with him when she was able to do so independently. Just a few months ago, after seven years of separation, his son expressed a desire to connect and re-establish a relationship. No one wants to go through something like that, but some dads do, and an unwavering, steadfast commitment will a huge factor in making the best of it. Second, find ways to keep practicing the fundamentals of Championship Fathering. I do believe in the validity of the research behind loving, coaching and modeling, and I know they can make a difference for you. Every dad needs to soak these in, practice them, and make them part of his skill set. These fundamentals can be creatively applied to just about any situation. Years ago, one dad worked on a submarine for 90 days at a time, and he had to cut off all communication. That was a huge fathering challenge. So ahead of time, he wrote postcards to his children for every day of his trip, then had a friend drop them in the mail every day. So his kids
had messages just about every day from their dad, and they felt special that he thought enough to do that. He adjusted his fathering for his situation, and found ways to be effective despite his challenges. So what about the dad who doesn’t have access to his children because of divorce and his custody agreement? That dad will have to live out loving, coaching, and modeling in different ways from other dads. For example, if loving the child’s mother isn’t part of the equation, that dad can at least work on respecting her, cooperating with her, and giving his children access to other people who are modeling healthy relationships. Maybe the best coaching you do is through email and texts. If you aren’t able to be an everyday role model for your kids, keep doing what’s right in your work and other areas of your life, and do all you can to stay positive with your kids. Trust that your high character and poise will make a difference in the long run, and that through the months and years your children will notice and appreciate how you carried yourself despite horrible circumstances. Those are just a few examples. You may face a challenge of different a kind, and you can find ways to make the principles work. That goes for active duty dads, stepdads, dads who travel a lot, dads in prison, and so on. Loving an infant is much different from loving a 12-year-old. Coaching a daughter will likely require a different approach than that involvement and insight with a son.
If you want more specific tips for applying loving, coaching, and modeling, you’ll find some on our website. Finally, I encourage you to get together with other dads in your situation. You may be a divorced dad, a single dad, an adoptive dad, stepdad, traveling dad. You may be very busy. I know there are dads out there like me that struggle in this area at times, trying to find a balance. Find a dad who’s a step or two further along, and ask him, “What’s working for you?” “What have you learned?” “What’s the best way you show consistency for your children?” Dad, no matter what, don’t let frustration get the best of you. Other dads in your situation have found ways to stay connected with their kids. You can do it too.
Action Points for Dads on the Fathering Journey • Write a letter to your child where you share about a significant memory from your life and an important lesson you learned from it. • In whatever situation you’re in, communicate unconditional love and blessing to your child — through letters, emails or texts, or verbally. Say, “I love you for who you are, no matter what happens or how often we get to catch up with each other.” Tell him often that he’s special to you. • When you are with your kids, make as many deposits into their “emotional bank accounts” as you can, since time apart gradually drains that account. • Are you denied access to your children? It may be that you could see them more by getting involved at their school. (Check out our WATCH D.O.G.S. program for one great way to do this.) • Does your child use social networking websites and apps? Join in and learn about those, and use them as a way to connect, especially when you’re apart. • If you’re in a challenging fathering situation, try to maintain healthy routines with your kids — but also allow some flexibility. Be very understanding when they don’t handle the challenges in the same way you do. 7
By: meghan feir
Just as Frank Sinatra goes through life in the song “It Was A Very Good Year” – how he went from being 21 and dating city girls with perfumed hair to being 35 and going for blue-blooded girls of independent means – dates can change flavor over time. Perhaps one of these intensely stereotyped stages fit your current situation.
For the half-boy, half-man Okay, so you’re not quite a kid, but not yet an adult, in a sense or more. It was hard to choose between playing video games and hanging out with an attractive woman, but you decided it was time for a change of pace. A date it is! (Or is it?) If one or both of you are bad conversationalists, do an activity, or go to a movie, like so many conventional dates of the 20th century. Fill your mouth with popcorn, instead of words. If you proceed to go on other dates, talking will be necessary, at some point. If you tend to draw a blank, ask questions about the other person, even if the only question that pops into your head is why she chose blue nail polish and not pink. (Hey, it’s something.) You should also consider taking her to the Fryn’ Pan Family Restaurant on Main Avenue anytime after 10 p.m.
Stuck in the middle class with you Save your money and go to The Olive Garden. If it’s your birthday, go to Paradiso. Wear nice pants, a collared shirt and comb your hair. Offer to pick her up, especially if the roads are icy. If she says she can drive herself, okay. Order chicken alfredo. You’ve tried it before, and it was pretty good. As a fine middle-classer, you’re more grounded and down to earth than some of your counterparts. You don’t immediately assume people are using you, and you no 8
longer live in your parents’ basement – two winning features that can help you rest easy at night. My piece of advice for you: Don’t be afraid to try something out of the ordinary – your ordinary. Go out for some sushi; go on a picnic; pretend you’re more romantic of a man than you’ve ever considered yourself to be, which may inspire unique ideas, like composing yet another variation of the “Roses are red/ Violets are blue” poem.
The man with more than one suit in his closet If you’re considered “successful” in the eyes of society because you’re making bank and wear a suit every day to the office, you should consider bringing this class to the dating field. Your father taught you that women are only after one thing – your money – so, instead of your heart, wear money on your sleeves. Due to the copious number of jokes, memes and Ecards found on the Interwebs dealing with women and wine, it’s probable that many females (excluding me) would enjoy an expensive bottle of the substance. If there’s a vineyard anywhere in the area, take her there. You can pretend you’re 18 percent Italian, which will increase your appeal. If you’re a combination of these three groupings, whatever – you’re on your own. In all seriousness, if you’re interested in someone, go for it. Ask them on a date. “Just do it,” as Nike would tell you. Don’t wait for months or years because someone else will probably come along while you’re still contemplating if it’s worth the effort and risk of potential pain. Prevent regret. If you are unsure of what she would like to do and where she would like to go, discuss the possibilities with her. A novel idea, I know.
Four Local Artists Take Their Work To The Streets
By: Alicia Underlee Nelson | PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA Some of the most interesting art in the region isn’t hanging on a wall. Although you can find work by Scotch “Noel” Anderson, Beau Fraase, Eric A. Johnson and Punchgut in galleries and museums across the Red River Valley, these guys believe in knocking art off its pedestal and into people’s faces. You’ll find their designs emblazoned on T-shirts, on that gig poster that catches your eye at the coffee shop, at street fairs and studio tours, in underground art zines, on Etsy, in the pages of your local paper and even on the dumpster behind your favorite bar. Here’s what makes them tick. 9
Noel “Scotch” Anderson’s cartoony style (which he said is “sandwiched somewhere between old Warner Brothers’ animation, Mad magazine, and the underground comics of the sixties and seventies”) is a gleeful mash-up inspired by everything he loves – B movies, action figures, “straight-to-VHS 80s classics”, comic books and humor magazines. “Seems the more pop culture garbage I have to look at, the more I feel the need to create and put out my own special brand of debauchery into the world,” said Anderson. And create he has. Anderson’s paintings and pen and ink comics, combined with his wit and multitasking skills have earned him a career that’s as multifaceted as he is. When he’s not working on his latest creations in the basement studio of the Hawley home he shares with his wife and kids, he’s either the air on Rock 102, regaling readers with his own unique blend of art and satire on his website, goofroof.com, or cranking out clever takes on the headlines for his gig at The Forum. He’s been a regular contributor to Cracked Magazine and Hustler in the past and last year he created his own magazine, the happily low-tech zine Art Riot, which he manages with fellow artist Beau Fraase. “We felt there was really a need for an underground art magazine in Fargo and so we knuckled down and found some other like-minded artists and made it happen,” said Anderson. “We have a really talented arts community in Fargo and if you can show young people that that’s something to be valued, they may take interest in it themselves and contribute something to the culture. I think that’s a lot more important than them being raised thinking that vapid, soulless, celebrities like the Kardashians, who contribute absolutely nothing of artistic value, are to be emulated.” The pay-off for creating something new is its own reward, says Anderson. “The good life for me is knowing that my art is getting seen and that quite possibly it is putting a smile on somebody’s face, if even for just a few seconds.” 11
Graphic designer Beau Fraase’s work is everywhere – but you might not know its his. And he’s okay with that. “Most of it is throw-away, pop culture art that hangs in barrooms, is printed on T-shirts, or posted on the Internet,” he said. “When it works, it makes you want to see a band, feel cool in your clothes, or at least gives you a chuckle.” Fraase, who’s operated Boneskot Design Co. in Fargo with Scott Syverson since 2006, has been creating for as long as he can remember. “I was the kid in the back of the class drawing pictures of the teacher to make my friends laugh,” he said. Now the Fargo resident creates images and branding campaigns for Boneskot Design Co. customers as well as gigposters, CD designs and other branding elements for local bands and performers like local favorites October Road and 24SEVEN. Although his style shifts to accommodate his clients’ needs, combining graphic punch with a distressed or gritty element for contrast is a Beau Fraase signature. He’s already living his own version of the good life, which is “to make enough of a living doing what you love so that you don’t have to do anything else. And being good enough at it so that others don’t tell you what to create — they want what you do.” With a thriving business under his belt, Fraase is especially excited to introduce local art fans to emerging artists on the pages of Art Riot. “I believe supporting your local arts is important because they are the benchmarks of local culture. They record (and sometimes question) the thoughts, feelings, and happenings of your area for a point in time,” he said. “As a society we’ve heard the top 40 pop tunes, seen enough reality show reruns, and bought enough Tapout shirts — see what’s out there locally.”
Printmaker Eric A. Johnson’s work is instantly recognizable as his. His prints pulse with energy, motion and Johnson’s characteristic use of vivid color. Making them requires painstaking attention to detail. Johnson uses the reductive relief printmaking method, made famous by Picasso in the 50s. He knows printmaking is a mystery to most non-artists, so the educator (who is an adjunct professor at NDSU, Mayville State University and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes and Wadena and also serves an Artist Development Residency at NDSU) is used to telling people how the process works. “This method uses one block to print a multicolored image instead of using one block for each color,” he continued. “The first color is printed from the largest area of the block. After printing a color, the area of the print that is intended to stay that color must be cut from the block. As the image develops, the block is reduced with each cutting.”
The process requires patience and planning, but the results are worth the effort. Johnson’s colorful trees and swirling cityscapes are favorites with national and international buyers and corporate collections, but he also sells other types of prints and smaller items like magnets and cards on Etsy.com (under the shop name EAJarts) and at Gallery 4 in downtown Fargo so that anybody can purchase his work, no matter their budget. When he’s not teaching or hanging out with his wife Dera and their kids at home in Hillsboro, ND home, you can find him in his studio space in the Printmaking Education and Research Studio (or PEARS) at NDSU’s Renaissance Hall in downtown Fargo. Johnson is a fierce advocate for the arts and art education and he’s happy to discuss his work with anyone who’s curious. “I think for me the ‘good life’ is being able to continue to make art,” said Johnson. “It’s rewarding for me to see something go from a sketch or marks on a plate to something that is on the wall in a gallery or in someone’s home in a frame. It’s almost as much fun for me to see what people think of my work as it is making it.” 15
Punchgut Punchgut cut his teeth on screenprinted gig posters and they helped make his name. His posters for acts like Lucinda Williams, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings and Queens of the Stone Age are collector favorites on his website, punchgut.com, and they landed him in the pages of “The Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion”, which is basically the gigposter hall of fame. He hasn’t left screenprinting behind, but these days the Fargo artist is flirting with other media, from pencil sketches, stickers and T-shirts to spray paint applied to interesting pieces of salvaged wood and tin that catch his eye. He even painted a dumpster as part of a public art installation last fall. His inspiration is similarly eclectic. “Inspiration can come from everything and anything,” said Punchgut. “A clip from a movie, a line from a song, a shadow on a passing train or a middle finger from a passing car….anything can spark an image. I try and take notes on my phone as soon as they pop into my head because they can quickly be replaced by taco daydreams.” No matter the media, Punchgut’s work almost always combines dreaminess and darkness. Even his most quiet and reflective pieces — the ones inspired by his children or the North Fargo neighborhood where he works and lives with his family — aren’t immune to this effect, so even his images of softly falling snow or an ocean of prairie sky have a just a hint of menace about them. This dichotomy is essential to Punchgut’s work and to his definition of the good life. “I always try and break things down to the basics, have more good times than bad times with people you love. That’s really all it is. Enjoy what you do with people you enjoy,” he said, shrugging off the philosophical question with characteristic Punchgut aplomb. “I’m a simpleton.” One of the simple pleasures he recommends is to support local artists. “We have our house filled with great local pieces that brighten my day,” he said. “So it’s important to support local artists so you can show your out-of-state friends they are not sooooo cool and we DO NOT buy art from gas stations.” Words to live by.
By: PAUL HANKEL | PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
movement began in the mid to late 1950’s. It was a movement based off of one question: How could someone build a fast, customized car, without having to come up with lots of cash in order to do so? The answer: by building a car from, basically, whatever was laying around the shop, scrap yard or, even, the side of the road. According to Mark Schefter, a local rat rodder who began building rat rods in 1975, “You put whatever you have together. For example, one of my first rides had lawn chairs for 18
seats.” In other words, it’s not about the cost, it’s about having fun with the creative process and coming up with the wildest ideas you can. In a show of true American ingenuity and resourcefulness, car lovers began simply piecing together cars from parts that they could find almost anywhere or by building the needed parts themselves. The result was the creation of a whole new genre of cars called rat rods. The name, ‘rat rods,’ means pretty much just what it sounds like. Custom built cars that are built
without aesthetics in mind. The engine may be from a truck, while the frame may come from a salvaged street racer from the 1970’s. It’s about total customization, without the constraints of cost and social norms. Rat rodding has gained more and more of a following over the years. With the cost of buying, driving and maintaining a car continuing to go up, car enthusiasts with the desire to build their own cars continue to look for cheaper ways of doing so. Building a rat rod is becoming one of the most popular options.
The Good Life stopped by the shop of Mark Schefter and some other local rat rodders to see just what building a rat rod was all about. We came up with five reasons that you need to check this hobby out.
#1. It’s a Chance to be Creative and ‘Manly’, at the same time. Let’s be clear, building a rat ride is just about the furthest things from knitting or pottery that you can do. It’s about busting out the blowtorch and making your vision of a completely custom car a reality. “You can put together your car however
you want,” said Haybale, who’s been building rods since 1971. “You don’t have to be politically correct. You just mix and match parts, make sure your cars safe, and you’re all set.” According to the guys, rat rodding isn’t just confined to car, either. Motorcycles and trucks are just as easy to cheaply customize as car. “That’s getting to be a big thing too, now.” Said Kenny J, a rat rod enthusiast since the late 1950’s. “I’ve seen some bobbers being made out of 350 Hondas and lots of things. When you go to these car shows, you’ll see some pretty wild stuff.” Rat Rod cars typically consist of
a frame and spare parts, most likely salvaged from a scrap yard or car auction. All you need, according to the guys, is a few dollars for the parts, some tools and creativity. Rat rods have been made using parts from tractors, busses, decommissioned race cars and even lawnmower parts.
#2. It’s not as Expensive as You Think. One of the most glaring differences between building a rat rod and what most people would consider more ‘traditional’ car restorations is the cost. Instead of plunking down 19
hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars for club dues, car parts and a paint job, all a one needs in order to make their own rat rod is a car frame, tools and an imagination. According to Kenny J, “There’s no washing your car, or maintenance. You can mix and match [parts] and, as long as it’s safe, you’re good to go!” Kenny J has been customizing rat rods since 1958. “It’s something we’ve always enjoyed doing.”
more as a theme or backdrop for anyone who wants to build a car from outside the traditional process of custom car building. Over the years, rat rodders have, sort of, found each other and built their cars together. There aren’t any club meetings, monthly newsletters or charity rides. Instead, there’s a, “loose consortium,” of guys who want to build an awesome custom car, on a budget.
#3. It’s Not a Car Club.
#4. Rat Rods are Unique and offer Owners the Chance to Express themselves.
“We aren’t a club,” said Schefter. Instead, the term ‘rat rods,’ serves 20
“The weirdest thing is, we will go to a car show and there could be a million dollar car sitting there, and people won’t even pay attention to it. They wanna see the $600 rat rod, because it’s special and they’ve never seen anything like it.” said Schefter. America’s eye has, traditionally, been drawn to the flashier side of things. The biggest houses, the nicest clothes, the most expensive cars, and the newest gadget always seem to get the most attention. That is… except in the case of rat rods. In this case, spectators are drawn to the uniqueness, ingenuity and creativity
used to, literally, weld, bolt and piece a fully functional car together using old spare parts.
#5. Building a Rat Rod is a Passion Project, with No Time Limit. According to the local rat rodders we talked to, you can take a year or two to build your ride, or if you had to, you could piece one together in a few weeks. It’s about building your car, how you want it, at your pace. As time goes on and the cost of everyday hobbies continues
to go up, people will continue to find cheap and easy ways to do the things that they love. Rat rodding is a perfect example this. You don’t need money, membership, or a leather jacket saying that your part of something. Living the good life according to Mark, Kenny J, and Haybale, means doing what they love. And what they love to do is build sweet custom rides on a shoestring budget and at their pace. So, since a rat rod is built out of a collection of spare parts, one could think of it as the ultimate ‘collector’ car. Do ya see what I did there?.... 21
hen Richard Early started Paradox Comics in 1993, he had no idea his once-small game and comic book store, tucked away off Broadway, would turn into a local ‘Mecca’ for local comic fans and gamers. The Good Life stopped by Paradox, located at 26 Roberts Street North, in Fargo, to check things out and to see how Early turned his passion for comics into a successful business. Good Life (GL): How did you get into comic books and collecting? Richard Early (RE): I’ve been into comic books since I was about 5 years old. I also got into lots of different role playing games and things in high school. Then, in the early eighties, the industry was booming and it, eventually, became something I stumbled into doing as a job. GL: Do you have a favorite comic book character or hero?
RE: When I was growing up, The X-Men were the ultimate comics. This was even before The X-Men were a huge franchise. When I started reading them, there was actually only one X-Men comic book series being published. Early went on to explain that the Marvel comics are often the most appealing to younger readers, due to their realism, while DC Universe is more of a fantasy universe and more popular with teenage and adult readers. GL: Has there always been a strong fan base of comic book and gaming fans in this area? RE: When I opened in 1993, I was, unofficially, the sixth comic book shop in Fargo-Moorhead. Now, there are only two shops, but we do pretty well. Most readers, nowadays, are reading comics as a hobby and they want to collect them as well. Early described a fan base that has subtlety flourished, due in part to the rise in popularity of gaming, fantasy role playing, board games and graphic novels. Popular card games such as Magic the Gathering and graphic novels such as the blockbuster hit The Walking Dead have helped stores like Paradox Comics thrive over the years. Along with these factors come the influence of Hollywood and its blockbuster superhero franchises. GL: How has Hollywood impacted the world of comic books and gaming? RE: Weâ€™re in an interesting phase right now. We are in the midst of about a fifteen year run of movies based off of comic books. Hollywood has definitely helped sustain excitement in existing fans. 23
I just don’t know how many [fans] these movies have created.
GL: Can you tell us the name of a popular series of comics that our readers may have never heard of?
Early posed the question of whether or not blockbuster Hollywood franchises, rather than serve as a conduit to comics, possible serve as an alternative to reading them instead.
RE: That would have to be Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples. It’s currently outselling every Marvel and DC comic I’ve got on the shelves right now!
GL: Name a few Hollywood movies that you, personally, thought were terrible.
GL: Lastly, have any comics ever sold for over a million dollars?
RE: (laughs) Well Elektra was REALLY bad! I’d also have to throw Spiderman 3, X-Men 3 and Wolverine: Origins in there too.
RE: There definitely has been ones that have, especially in the last three or four years. The most interesting phenomenon now is that 1960’s comics are starting to really go up in value. People are collecting comics with the first appearances of Spiderman or Wolverine, for examples. The values of those comics are skyrocketing. The next time you find yourself downtown and looking for something to do, be sure to make a stop at Paradox and check out their selections of today’s most popular games and comics. Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or looking to add to your collections, Richard Early and his staff at Paradox Comics-NGames has you covered.
For those wanting to check out Paradox Comics, they open at 10am Monday through Saturday, and are open from 12pm until 5pm on Sundays. Also, be sure to check out their weekly gaming sessions, held in in-store and in their new Event Center located on the premises. Paradox also hosts a monthly Tabletop Night, which is held on the first Saturday of every month. Lastly, be on the lookout for the Paradox Comics booth at both of the yearly comic and gaming conventions, Comic Con and Valley Con, held at the Doublewood Inn, in Fargo. For more information on Paradox and these conventions, visit their websites or Facebook pages.
By: JESSICA BALLOU | PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Growing up in the Midwest, shooting sports is a pretty common hobby. Dave Gaboury has been involved with shooting sports his whole life, but when the local law enforcement center decided its indoor range was no longer available to local club shooters, incentive arose for a public center where anyone could come and practice shooting. There are a few outdoor shootings ranges in the area, but winter typically poses a problem, which is one reason Gaboury joined as a member right when the Red River Regional Marksmanship Center opened in the fall of 2009. Then he started as a volunteer working at the front desk before he was certified to be a range safety officer. Later, he became a board member for the facility. The center’s indoor pistol range has 15 50-foot shooting lanes with a moveable target. A range safety officer is always on duty to answer questions, provide tips and help with any safety concerns that may arise. There are safety rules posted throughout the facility that everyone must follow. 26
Gaboury said the feedback for the facility has been overwhelming positive since the facility opened.
“People are amazed we have a facility of this type in the Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo metro area since we have a lower population center than a lot of ranges,” Dave Gaboury said. “It takes a certain population size to be able to successfully run a business like this.” Everyone must check in at the front desk, where volunteers will determine if the person is a member or not and if he or she has entered the facility before. If not, they will receive a safety briefing about gun safety and the rules of the center before entering the pistol range. Everyone must wear eye and ear protection, but they don’t have to be a member to shoot at the facility; anyone can walk in, pay a daily shooting fee, sign
DAVE GABOURY, VICE PRESIDENT BRUCE TOWERS, CHIEF RANGE SAFETY OFFICER
a liability waiver and receive a safety briefing before practicing. The center is a volunteer-run organization that doesn’t have a retail gun shop on the property. While some ranges rent firearms and sell ammunition to patrons, shooters here need to bring their own firearms and ammunition. Since the building can’t profit from income generated in a retail gun shop, volunteers are very important. The center partners with retail stores in the Fargo-Moorhead area that sell guns and supplies with the use of shoot cards that entitle someone who just bought guns or accessories to stop by the center to shoot once for free. “It’s great for local retailers because they can tell people there is a range to try out the gun they just bought, here’s a card and it helps them close the sale,” Gaboury said. “It’s great for us, too, because then we get another shooter in the door and they can see the facility, and if they like it, they may consider buying a membership.” 27
The facility also has a classroom with an air gun range, which has a maximum distance of 10 meters. The classroom is used by the North Dakota State University marksmanship team, as well as kids enrolled in the junior air rifle or junior air pistol programs and other shooting sports enthusiasts. External instructors teach a variety of courses that cover topics like concealed carry laws, huntersâ€™ education, classes for beginners and more. In both Minnesota and North Dakota, an individual must have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, so the class details that process, as well as the laws for other states a person may be interested in. Classes for beginners detail the appropriate way to handle firearms, shoot properly, clean them and the other basics. There are also classes for kids who are just starting to learn about and shoot firearms called the junior air rifle and junior air pistol programs. The Boy Scouts, for example, have some merit badges related to shooting sports. Some 4-H groups come to the center to learn and practice from time to time as well. An underground rifle range now being built on 28
the property with its own lobby is expected to open this spring. Shooters will be able to shoot any caliber rifles a full 100 meters underground, so many more training and practice opportunities will be available than the center currently is able to offer. The rifle range will have six 100-meter lanes. The hours have yet to be determined, and Gaboury said they have the flexibility to set them differently than the pistol range. He said many people are anxiously waiting for the rifle range to open. He also said the most important responsibility of a gun owner involves safety, such as knowing your state’s gun laws, handling a gun properly, making sure the gun is pointed in a safe direction, keeping your finger off the trigger until the gun is pointed at the target and you’re ready to fire, knowing what is behind the target before shooting and more. “As a range, our goal is to facilitate shooting sports in the Fargo-Moorhead area,” Gaboury said. “The addition of our new rifle range will be a big win for local shooters.”
SNIPER CUTS MILITARY CAREER SHORT By: SOO ASHEIM | PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
n 1996 Bryan Kutter was still in high school when he made the career decision that ten years later placed him in the sites of a sniper. One bullet changed Staff Sergeant Bryan Kutter physically for the remainder of his life and ultimately determined the end of a long planned and hoped for twenty year career. With a waiver approved and signed by his parents, Bryan joined the Minnesota Army National Guard when he was going into his senior year of high school. Joining his company for weekend trainings and drills, Bryan graduated from Fergus Falls High in 1997 and for the next several years between continuous training with the Army National Guard and deployments to Bosnia and Kosovo in 2002-2003 he worked for Menards, where he met a pretty coworker named Amanda who became his wife in 2005, three weeks prior to shipping out for a six month training in Mississippi followed by what he expected to be a sixteen month deployment to Iraq. photo submitted by: Bryan Kutter
photo submitted by: Bryan Kutter
As a gunner on a Bradly Vehicle, Staff Sergeant Kutter was with his battalion in Iraq only seventy-five days into their mission of clearing areas of IED’s and securing a village from insurgents when he was taking the place of Commander Eric Marts seat up-top, purveying the area behind what the military refer to as the “Pope Glass.” Call it bad timing or just bad luck, but as he stood behind the Pope Glass with his arms folded, watching the action and movement below he heard and recognized the sound as the sniper’s bullet rang out from inside a Mosque hitting SSG Kutter in the left elbow, traveled up and through 31
photoS submitted by: Bryan Kutter
his arm into his neck and finally exiting inside the collar of his body armour. Suddenly the excruciating agony of being hit combined with the gush of blood bursting from his arm hit within nano seconds. Kutter’s screams of torment brought his driver up from the second tier of the Bradley and within seconds Gunner Mike Felt pulled Kutter down into the bottom tier while attempting to stop the profuse bleeding with pressure and tourniquets as he 32
called the Medevac’s for more help. One tourniquet broke, but Gunner Felt managed to apply the second tourniquet, then their Bradley driver drove to an outpost about a mile away. Amazingly with unimaginable proficiency SSG Kutter was lifted aboard a helicopter within 14 minutes to fly him to Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, where his medical team attached an external fixator (metal bar) in order to keep Kutter’s arm stable. From Taqaddum he went on to Balad
(Iraq) then into Germany where he stayed for three nights and two days. Staff Sergeant Bryan Kutter’s long journey of pain, surgeries, physical and occupational therapies for the next several months were just beginning. After Germany, Kutter was flown to Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., then on to Augusta, Georgia’s Ft. Gordon’s Eisenhower Army Medical Center to face more surgeries and months of therapy.
DEAR, GUESS WHAT HAPPENED ? Not wanting to frighten Amanda any more than necessary, Kutter practiced how to ‘understate’ his condition yet let her know he needed her with him. There is a seven hour difference between Minnesota and where SSG Kutter was able to call Amanda from and knowing that he would awaken her at that hour of the morning, SSG Kutter tried to sound as “up-beat as possible” in order to not send Amanda into a frantic worrying frenzy. Amanda
was happy to hear the voice of her far away groom as she shook off her sleepy fog. As Kutter calmly said,
“Well, there’s good news and some bad news.” Now fully awake, Amanda asked for the bad news first. “ I’ve been shot”
Kutter said still trying not to alarm Amanda any more than he knew she already would be. Amanda sat listening then finally asked “what’s the good news?” And just as Kutter began to tell her “I’m coming home,” the phones went dead on both ends. While it was only a matter of minutes before their satellite feed was reengaged and they were able to hear one another again, for Amanda it seemed an eternity! Once back on the line Bryan was able to finish his sentence and said “I’m coming home.” 33
photo submitted by: Bryan Kutter
Amanda Kutter, Bryan’s mother (Tamrie Kohoutek of Detroit Lakes, MN.,) and Bryan’s father, (Keith Kutter of Breckenridge, MN.,) all flew to Ft. Gordon to be with Bryan. Amanda was the first to arrive very late the same night that Kutter was flown to Eisenhower Medical at Ft. Gordon. It was after the surgery two days later that Bryan’s parents arrived. As an only child not being with him was extremely stressful coupled with Kutter’s medical team still were not able to determine definitively whether they would be able to save his arm or not. At this point, all anyone could tell them was that they were doing all they could. And after the first surgery at Ft. Gordon, the doctors inserted two plates, one pin and some 25 screws into his arm. As the second surgery required more blood to be transfused into Kutter, he started to feel the worst he had felt since the beginning when he had been shot. At one point Kutter said “for the first time I thought I just might die.” As the medical experts prepared Kutter for his second surgery, this one to graft skin from his leg to the gaping wound on his bi-cep, Kutter was getting the last of five extra pints of blood needed for the surgery. He began to react violently with jerks and gasps. The medical team began checking all the lines hooked to Kutter one by one. Whatever was going on inside him was not getting better, only worse. Finally after several questions and checks with rechecks were going on a doctor in the surgical room simply said “when all else fails, return to the original path.” And with that the doctor grabbed the blood transfusion line being pumped into Kutter and unplugged it. Within mere minutes, Bryan Kutter felt his life had been saved yet again. They found the blood Kutter was having pumped into him for the surgery had bacteria in it that was causing him to basically shut down.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME In November of 2006, Bryan was able to transfer home through the Army Community Based Health Care Initiative. During his continued rehab, Bryan went through Merit Care in Fargo (aka Sanford). Kutter’s last surgery was in 2007. Bryan was awarded the Purple Heart for and Bronze Star Metal for his service in combat. Today Brian Kutter is retired from the Army with an Honorable Medical Disability and while he would never want to go through any of his ordeal ever again, when asked if he misses the Army, he doesn’t hesitate to answer “yes. I miss my friends in the service and I think the mission we were on had merit.” When asked about the injuries he sustained and how they have affected him, Bryan says due to the limitations and obvious disability of his left arm he’s not as physical as he once was. Basketball, a sport he played often and loved he is not able to push to the competitive level he once could. Golf is another sport he enjoyed but he rarely plays anymore nor does he go hunting as he did prior to the deployment to Iraq. Yet, even with his disability, Bryan understands that he escaped what could have been a much worse fate in Iraq and has learned to appreciate a much calmer and sane lifestyle.
photo submitted by: Bryan Kutter
Some five months later, after being in an activeduty rehab unit at the Augusta Veterans Hospital and also in an out-patient wing at Eisenhower, Kutter was sent back home, to Minnesota. In August, Bryan and Amanda spent their very first wedding anniversary together when Amanda flew back to Ft. Gordon to be with Bryan.
Living the good life for Bryan today is enjoying the extra time he has to spend with Amanda and their two children, Avery and Madison. Bryan Kutter is a sales representative for Cross Insulation and Construction and enjoys being able to “just enjoy each day with my family.” 35
Fargo’s premier men’s magazine! A local hero featured in every issue as well as local inspirational men. This issue contains four local arti...
Published on Feb 28, 2014
Fargo’s premier men’s magazine! A local hero featured in every issue as well as local inspirational men. This issue contains four local arti...