A Fearless Journey

Observations on the Road to...

Monday, November 2, 2009

A supreme Halloween 2009: Justice!

Hands down, one of the best Halloween celebrations I've ever had. The entire night was absolutely amazing. When we first got to the Shrine, CLASSIX was already about half way through their set, and one of the first tracks we heard from them was a remix to Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Heads Will Roll, which pretty much got my friends and I up and going as far as dancing, and we kept dancing all night long, like you would not believe. When it drew time for Steve Aoki's set, I was ready to hear some Bloody Beetroots. Even though, we came to Hard only for Saturday, and not see the Beetroots on Friday, we still got our fix with Aoki's set, and it was simply fucking awesome.

Up until this point, I was dancing for sure. But hearing Aoki do a remix to Kid Cudi's Pursuit of Happiness sent me into overdrive like you cannot imagine, and I mean maximum. Without question, it's the my favorite track off Cudi's album, and I danced/ spit the lyrics out like there was no tomorrow. Eventually, Aoki busted out the Warps: 7.7, then later on with 1.9 to finish things off like a house on fire.

When Warp 7.7 started, I admitted to Dang that I preferred it over 1.9, and as much as I might really believe that, my legs and body went ballistic a couple songs later when 1.9 finished things up for Aoki, and I just jumped in the air like the people in the song's music video. Having the space to do so because we made our way closer to the back, with more crowd space, so thank goodness we started heading to the back when we did.

At any large musical gathering, there is always going to be conflict schedules, and tough decisions will have to be made. On this night, it was between Justice and Crookers.

Crookers inside on the Expo Stage, and Justice outside on the Hard Stage. As much as I love Crookers, it was gonna be Justice all the way. Justice did not disappoint. Gaspard and Xavier came out dressed a couple of pilots straight out of Top Gun, and of course along with them their large, glowing cross, and proceeded to blow us the fuck away.

I've only seen Justice live once before, at last year's Treasure Island Fest, but I've some friends who have seen them multiple times, and as great as seeing Justice live, they had yet to see a switch or change up to how their set goes...

A tweaked remix to Genesis started things off, and we all knew Justice was definitely gonna do things differently this time around. Things were so crazy I didn't even get to meet up with a friend I was hoping to, but I did get to text this: "dunno when you'll get this, but 10mins into Justice, and I'm sure you would agree that they are
fucking killing it!"

Screaming the lyrics to DVNO was a highlight for me considering the damn song has been stuck in my head for the last couple weeks now. But now... I really, really don't think it's gonna be leaving my brain's memory banks anytime soon. As the set went on, we inched ourselves closer to the stage, hearing the guys spin, scratch, and distort all of the beats and lyrics to their songs that my friends and I have come to love, all in totally new ways we haven't heard before. Amazing. My shoulders are sore from raising my arms in the air all damn night long. Yeah, amazing is the right word.

The night, let alone Justice's set, was a big giant blur. Which most of the time, is a great indication of how much fun the whole thing was. 2MANYDJS/SOULWAX, who also performed on Friday night took the Hard Stage following Justice. They had a great set, which included their remix to MGMT's Kids, but I was still reeling from Justice's supreme set. There were definitely some other highlights, including the fact that there were so many other Where's Waldo costumes out there on Saturday... I knew there was a good chance I wasn't going to be the only one, but surprised that there were so many. Again, pretty awesome. I don't think I've ever had a Halloween quite this fun before, and next year will definitely be difficult to top.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October Update

Goodness gracious, I haven't updated or done anything at all with this blog in over three months? Damn, well, alrighty then.

Well, at the very least, I can say that I've had quite the wild ride since my last post, and I think things are only going to get even more wild for me. Recently, I got me a new writing gig at TheFlickcast, and done some interviews with friends and comic industry professionals, so yeah, like I said, wild.

There is also my Examiner gig, as well, and I will continue on with that as much as I possibly can.

There's a bunch of other stuff I'm working on, including quite a huge project. This one is a little more long-term, but it's too damn good for it to not work out... just so long as I keep hustling at it. But then again, that's pretty much life.

Life is pretty good right now, and shaping up for better things, just gotta keep things going. I'm looking to finish out 2009 nice and strong, and start 2010 with a bang.

This weekend is Halloween. I will be going as Where's Waldo, and will be down in Southern California with friends to see Crookers and Justice headline Hard Haunted Mansion. It'll be interesting if I stick out like a sore thumb, because then it'd be kind of ironic. But in any event, we will do what we do best: we will dance. Of course, it shall be a grand time. Then following week is Boys Noize at the Mighty in San Francisco. I'm going for my friend Alex's birthday, and it too shall be a night of grandness, as much as it will be of dancing.

Have fun this weekend, people. Be safe, too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I think I'm turning 25. I really think so.

I am now 25 years old. It's really quite weird. I'm a quarter century years of age now. So much I've learned, yet so much yet to be experienced.

I'm getting up there in age, but I'm not that "old" quite yet.

I suppose that is where the "quarter life crisis" is supposed to hit, yeah?

I mean, you know that you're on the verge of something, but you're not quite sure what it is. Whether it's good or bad, or happy or sad. You're gaining momentum. You're just not sure in which direction.

I find that there's always something fun about living by the seat of your pants. I've been living by the seat of my pants for all my 25 years now, and I've had a great time. Sure there's been life's many ups and downs, but you take them as they come. I'm in a good place right now: I've got a great family, and great friends, and as much as I know them to be a great show of care and support, I enjoy the unknown that still awaits me. The one without safety nets or back-up plans.

It's part of the thrill. It's part of life. It's what makes everything that we care about so damn worth it.

It feels pretty good to be 25.

Friday, July 31, 2009


So my last entry in this bad boy was May 1st? Damn. Well, alright.

Last week, as most of you know, was Comic-Con. It went by pretty damn quick, and I don't know whether that's a good thing, or bad thing. Either way, it was absolute blast. The majority of my time was spent with my fellow Caballeros/Castaways, and there were a few other friends I had at the con that I didn't even get to hang out with.

I'm crunched for time, so I'm just gonna write down some things and hope it all just happens to make sense. Deal?... ok

Thursday, I had to wake up at 5am, get ready, and make my 7:50am flight. Thankfully, I didn't have any delays, and got into San Diego by about 9:15. Got to the hotel, the Hilton-Bayfront, which is right across the street from the convention center, at about 10, and started my day.

That fuckin' line for Hall H (re Twilight) was so fuckin ridiculously long that it snaked around the convention center, and even behind it.

LongBox Digital Comics panel.

Quiet lunch by myself at Petco Park's Park in the Park.

Tron 2 scavenger hunt. It was awesome! Really, all you need to know. That, and Daft Punk. Sweet.

Really fuckin good Thai-dinner.

Friday. Darwyn Cooke panel. Batman panel. Dinner at Hooters.

Saturday. Roamed exhibit hall. DC panel.

Pop Candy meet-up. I talked to Whitney incessantly about Justice, Crookers, and The Bloody Beetroots. Especially JUSTICE. If you've never read Whitney's blog, then that's just a shame, really... kidding. Well sorta. Anyway, she was gracious enough to put this picture here as part of her recap of the party. You can find that here.

Later Saturday night, I went to the PopculTour party for the CBLDF at Onyx/Thin. I missed Paul Pope's DJ set, and was to drunk to realize Murs was performing down stairs, and not up on the main stage. Oh well. Me, Nick, and Mike still had a good time dancing upstairs on the main floor. Me also trying to get the attention of one of the girls dancing in a circle as well as the one really hot girl off to the side. The only thing there is I couldn't if the girl was talking to a guy whom I wasn't sure if she had come there with. Again, oh well. Still had a grand time. Even got to talk with Paul, and Murs. Took a picture with Murs, too.

Sorry if these pictures appear too big, but these are lifted from my facebook, and I still haven't uploaded them to my flickr.

Sunday was spent mostly roaming the exhibit hall, and saying goodbye to friends as I went along. Even saw Whitney again, and yes, I plugged Justice, again. What else is new, right?

Some cool comics I got: To The Power Against #4 (Carrie and Stephanie's comic series), Phonogram fanzine, CoolJerk mini-comic... I tried to keep my wallet in my pocket as much as I could this time around, as you can tell.

Other swag: I got Jamie McKelvie to add another sketch to my noir sketchbook: this time in the form of Phonogram's David Kohl. Haven't scanned it yet, sorry. "Flynn's Arcade" token from Thursday night, as well as a "Flynn's Arcade" t-shirt, and a "Flynn Lives" poster.

A fun time with Caballeros/Castaways, in no particular order: Mike, Nick, Carrie, Stephanie, Randy, David, Jen, and Janine... okay so the last two aren't technically Caballeros, but they are definitely cool people. David and Jen went to the con on Thursday dressed as Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers. There are some really cool pictures that Bryan Lee O'Malley took with them. If you know David and Jen, you know which one they are.

I hitched a ride with Mike and Nick up to Irvine so I could hang out with my ol roommie, Niks for a day and a half. Saw The Ugly Truth on Sunday night, then had lunch on Monday at Pink's Hot Dogs, then 500 Days of Summer on Monday at the ArcLight.

There are so many pictures taken, and so much more word I can use to describe how awesomely wonderful last weekend was, but I am super pressed for time. Maybe I'll get to it, maybe not. But here are some links to a couple write-ups I didon my Examiner page. Check it out!

DCU Editorial panel from Saturday.

Batman- New Dynamic panel from Friday.

My write-up of Darwyn Cooke's spotlight panel from Friday/ review of his adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker novel, The Hunter.

Later ya'll! I'm off to Tahoe!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Phonogram 2.2

Here's a link to a 5 page preview to PG2.2 that was just released this week.

I have a confession to make: I haven't been a very good comic reader of late. I just haven't been reading a lot of comics lately. I get a small amount of books from my LCS each week, but I've been having trouble just keeping up. But right now, one comic that I'm particularly fond of is Phonogram. So if you're one of my friends who reads comics, but not this one, or just doesn't read comics, or a stranger who found this blog completely of a whim, I urge you to pick this issue up, even if you hadn't read the first series, or the first issue of this current series. In fact, I dare say it's probably the best issue for someone like me to peddle to someone who's new to Phonogram to get that person hooked.

And yes, fellow CSS fans, the words on the cover to PG2.2 is in reference to "Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above." There's actually more CSS goodies in the back of the issue as part of the annotations and etc., but I'm gonna make you go and read it for yourself. So if you like comics, you'll dig it. If you like music (particularly indie-rock), you'll dig it. (I kind of used a similar enough line in an earlier post concerning PG2.1 back in December, but hey, it still applies, so whatever.) And if you don't like either, then what the hell is wrong with you?... kidding, of course. But I gotta believe there's something awesome for any and everyone to latch onto with this book even if you *think* it isn't your cup of tea. So find a comic shop that has a copy, and pick it up.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

coacHELLA 2009

So by the end of the weekend, I realized that I did not twitter all that much throughout the festival, and on the way home I tried to figure out a cool way to recap the my first Coachella. Eventually, I settled on the idea of just recapping the memorable something(s) by throwing out short, succinct sentences the same way I would have done had I actually, you know, twittered in the first place.

Make sense? Yeah, me neither. I'll try to go in chronological order, but there are some things that ran pretty much the whole weekend. So here it goes:

Three key words of the weekend
: Zip-Ties (technically two), HELLA, and Iowa.

Some key things that any one of us COULD NOT go any considerable length of time without
: frozen lemonade slushies, our Coachella waterbottles, dancing, shade, sandwiches, and candy.

We got to the Polo fields at about 7am after spending an hour at the local grocery store.

Of the sixteen, three of them I hadn't met nor partied with before: Drew, Rob, and Amy.

Because there was so much of us, we had hella room to set up our tents, which meant we had HELLA shade. In fact, if our campsite were a house, you could say that our tents were our bedrooms, and we had enough space that one E-Z-up was our living room that everybody hangs out at, and the other covering was the family room you go to chill.

We brought PVC pipes to hang our NORCAL flag.

It took HELLA long for Mikey and Dang to plant that NORCAL flag. But worth it.


We got HELLA compliments on the Norcal t-shirts that Alex, Anderson, and Christina made for us.

There were hella people crowding, and rushing at Crystal Castles set. Alice Glass is cool and all, but, all she was doing was meowing during the beginning of the set, and we bounced.

Some people were on the fence about Sir Paul's performance on Friday night, but I thought it was amazing, and the sore legs, back, and shoulders were absolutely worth the 2 and a half hours, and 2 encores.

Because there was so much shade, to go around, that Mikey, Thao, and I slept outside the first night. Eventually, most of the others would do the same for Saturday and Sunday.

Since most of the group spent the majority of the first day separated, we actually had planned meet-up spots on Saturday and then on Sunday too. Both days of which were made infinitely more awesome.

Personally, I had the most fun on Saturday.

The showers were the most ridiculously longest on Saturday, too. And I mean Stupid long, and felt completely justified in taking a shower the night before after getting back from McCartney's ass set. Just felt refreshed as walking back to the campsite from the shower trailer.

Our Iowa neighbors showed us how to play "flippy-cup." We kicked their arses.

I think most of us have resolved to just refer to each of them as "Iowa."

To close out their set in the Sahara Tent on Saturday night, MSTRKRFT's brought out John Legend to perform a live to their remixes to "Green Light" and then "Heartbreaker."

I wanted to use our NORCAL bandana do something clever with them in a photo, 'say no evil, see no evil, hear no evil.' Only thing this I'm the one who isn't all the way visible... ha! plus some random yahoo made it into our picture, too. oh well.

Once I started telling Rob about Phonogram, and he showed an interest in it, I pretty much talked his ear off about it the rest of the time. (This is what happens when I find out someone new I meet shows even a remote interest in comics, btw. My nerdery knows no bounds.)

I felt a kind of "the apprentice has become the master" kinda moment when Mimi took my phone and plugged it in an outlet behind the computer desks of the internet cafe tent. Very reminiscent of what her older brother, Dang, would do.

Thao recalling to us her reasoning as to why she first introduced Alex and Dang: "I just think you guys should meet."

Yeah Yeah Yeahs were pretty cool. Karen O was very rock and roll by taking swigs of of her Heineken mini-keg in between songs. But it took her a moment or two to jog her memory on the first few lyrics to Maps. Being the big YYY fan, I can over look it for the most part.

During the YYY's set, I saw Robert Smith walking and wondering around the crowd with someone. Rob was less than sure. That is until we realized he was wearing the same thing he was on stage as he was wandering through the crowd. thus, concluding the fact that Rob and I did indeed see Robert Smith walking through a crowd of people. We even shook hands on it.

I'm not much for The Cure, but their set was pretty solid. Too bad, Coachella's organizers did them dirty by cutting off the power for playing past midnight.

Anderson and Christina, the masters of fun facilitators, never cease to amaze. In addition to the shirts, they had bandanas made up, and passed out confetti to us to throw into the air at the end of the Cure's set. (before the unplugging occurred, of course)

We broke out into chorus of Happy Birthday at different point of the weekend, singing it both to Rob and Anderson.

Dang got Rob a woman's tank-top at the merch booth.

After we got back to the campsite on Sunday night, nobody really wanted to go to sleep. So the first one to fall asleep would get drawn upon. Brian was the first, but Rob only got to P-E-N- (you can guess what was the goal)

Addendum: I joked with Alex that in a lot of ways, Coachella is a lot like San Diego Comic-Con: long lines everywhere, multiple things you'd like to see but they're scheduled at conflicting times, lots of partying. The only real difference is that there's more females at Coachella.

Also, we followed the coachella parade of crazy people around. Too much fun was had, and I just can't fit everything else in here. I didn't use flash photography for fear of safety.

A couple weeks back, a co-worker of mine asked me why I was so excited about Coachella this year. What with the lineup being so-so, at best. Well, with the right people to party with, a good time is always to be had.

I hope I've answered his question.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


In about 24 hours from right now, I'll be sitting in a movie theater. But for now, I'm gonna admit something I'm quite frankly, very embarrassed about admitting in public: I barely finished reading Watchmen just last month.

I've been reading and collecting comics for almost six and a half - going on seven years now. The nerd in me feels like I should have read this book long ago. It's like I'm losing my "street cred," my "nerd membership," or something. It just feels wrong that I discovered comics and really got into the medium, but had never read the one story that many of today's creators and the works they've spawned have been influenced by.

Just last year, or maybe even the year before, I inadvertently found out which character it is who in fact 'watches the Watchmen.' Or, if you'd like the simpler, less verbose sentence, a piece of the ending was spoiled for me. At first, I was pissed, but then realized that it was my own fault. Spoilers have a statute of limitations, and I should have had already read it. However, just this past weekend during WonderCon, some things were put into perspective for me even more so.

Waiting anxiously in line to get into the con's exhibition hall on Friday, I struck up a conversation with the guy in front of mr in line. He seemed like a nice enough guy, I invited him to come out to the Isotope's Tiki Tour. I had already invited some friends to come out anyway, so I figured, why not?

These friends, with the exception of one, don't read very many comics, but practically all of them have read Watchmen by now.

Anyhow, during the Tiki Tour, as you would expect, talk of Watchmen the book, and the movie turned up in conversation a couple times. It got hard to believe when I found out that this guy wasn't a particular fan of Moore and Gibbons' book. If that wasn't enough, he'd rag on it every chance he'd get. There was also a point when he mentioned that when he saw the movie's first trailer he was excited until he realized what it was. True, he was drunk for most of the night (it was a pub crawl after all, and I had a nice buzz most of the night), but there is only so much disagreement you can take. He mentioned how much he hated the stuff about the Black Freighter, and I responded "but that's one of the best parts." That the other different tangents Watchmen goes into are some of people's favorite parts, as well.

I internalized how my friends who don't read comics, but have read Watchmen recently, absolutely love the book. It really left me at a lost, and since this guy was really buzzing, and we were out there for a good time, going into an even deeper discussion just wasn't worth the bother.

Later that night, my friend, Jamie (the one friend in the group who reads comics more regularly than the others), pointed out that maybe the guy just didn't get "it" about the book, and instead of saying "I don't get it," and coming off as a fool and/or dumb, and without even knowing (or maybe he is conscious of it), just sticks with the opinion that the book isn't that great.

Looking back now, I think I might be grateful I didn't read Watchmen til just recently. Maybe I wouldn't have comprehended certain portions or just wouldn't get "it" in general.

People are of course, entitled to their own opinions, but even now, I'm wondering what does he read on a regular basis? What is on his pull-list at his LCS? What, if any, comic book that gave him pause, that broke through, that made him think. What comic book out there has reached out to him?

For some people, it's Watchmen. For others, Watchmen might not be the one, but I'd bet they'd rank it pretty high. Then there's those that have no care for Watchmen at all, like this guy. There are also those who might not "get" Watchmen, but I reckon they at least recognize the comic's importance.

I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't even recognize its importance, and that's the weird thing. All that said, my anticipation for this movie couldn't be higher, and midnight Thursday night can't get here fast enough.