Thursday, February 26, 2009


Yesterday I asked to borrow my dad’s camera so I can take pictures for my show on Friday…and he said “No.” Can you believe he had the nerve to say no after all I’ve done for him? I mean, I let him wipe my butt when I was a baby and I let him see my vulnerable side when I would throw tantrums and scream “I wish I’d never been born.” He had the luxury of watching me beat Street Fighter II over and over as a kid, stopping him from watching the oh-so-depressing 10 O’Clock News. Or all the cultural events I’d take him to: like the movie “Batman and Robin” or “Six Flags Great Adventure.” I offered to pay but he insisted on it, and ticket takers don’t like being paid in sacks of quarters. I thought he liked the fact that I put him up on a pedestal…sure it was for ridicule but still. And I would always talk about my dad in such positive tones, like “I’m positive my dad is trying to ruin my life!” or “I positively can’t stand him!”

You know what, dad? No more! I see now that you don’t care about my career path. I get that when you would say things like “I don’t understand why you couldn’t have been a doctor” that that’s not an old Jamaican saying, that was [gasp!] the truth. Or when you bared your teeth when I told you I wanted to a writer/comedian – I know now that that wasn’t’ a smile; it was a grimace. Listen here buster, the time for fun and games is over. Now I’ll be calling you less (unless it’s for money, in which case I’ll still call you on the 1st and the 15th…but now we won’t talk about what I need the money for).

Secretly though, I think he’s mad because I didn’t send him a Facebook invite to the show (which is this Friday at 7 PM in Comix’s Downstairs Room – 353 West 14th Street just east of 9th Avenue. Subtlety is my middle name).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Madea Can Kiss My @$$

Recently, one of my good friends went to see the new Tyler Perry movie: Madea Goes To Jail. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Madea is a large sassy black matriarch who talks like a Maury Povich audience member reprimanding a baby daddy on stage. The role of Madea is played by Tyler Perry, a black man who clearly doesn’t get that this stereotypical acting was so last century and went the way of the sitcom “Martin.” Quite frankly, I’m not surprised Madea went to jail considering she spends every single movie threatening to “get all up in someone’s ass” or punch out a strumpet. Hell, she’s at least facing aggravated assault charges.

People ask me why I’m not a fan of Tyler Perry’s movies. The short answer is because I have a high school diploma. The long answer is because I’m tired of these tired tropes. See, I used to work retail in a video store where the televisions looped popular videos all day. I had the displeasure of watching Diary Of A Mad Black Woman on loop and it does awful things to your head. I would always be embarrassed when non-black people would ask me about the movie as though I had a connection to it. I mean, if you were using this movie as a way to learn about black culture, you’d think all black men are dogs and all old black women have a 5 o’clock shadow.

Now there are people who can enjoy his movies qua frivolous entertainment, but I’m not easily entertained by a “No she di’nt!” and a finger wag. Honestly, if I wanted to watch a black guy crossdress and fail to make me laugh, I’d go to Eddie Murphy’s house. I can at least tolerate Eddie’s trademark chortle.

Friday, February 20, 2009

[New Title Pending]: Rapid Rack Reads 2

Dark Avengers #2:

In which the team wastes half an issue shooting the shit before rushing in to save Dr. Doom from bitter ex-girlfriend Morgan Le Fay. Cue Sentry doing something ultra-violent, which in a neat change of pace, doesn’t work! So next issue, we’ll see the real fight.

You know, I just don’t know what to think of this book. It’s Bendis sticking to formula and he’s on rather good form here. The Deodato art is wonderful as always; the layouts are eye-catching. And yet, taken within the context of the entire Marvel Universe, this book feels…well, wrong. The climactic event where the Sentry ends it by ripping off Morgan Le Fay’s head is a cool scene, but when you think about it, you realize this action doesn’t remotely befit his character (and the whiny “Did I do good or bad” line made Sentry look pathetic not conflicted). It would have made more sense for Ares (a violent war god) to deliver the blow without equivocation (which would have built on his bad-ass attitude established in Mighty Avengers). Or the scene between Moonstone (Ms. Marvel) and Daken (Wolverine) where she says “I have no idea who the %*&^ you are.” Surface thought: clever. But upon deeper inspection Moonstone (as a trained psychiatrist) is never that blunt and Daken (a young powderkeg) would be much more offended at that statement. Or even the Bullseye joke about killing his mom. Sure, he has a sick sense of humor but the lines don’t jive with his temperament at all. The man’s homicidal, not matricidal. These characters don’t sound like themselves; they sound like snarky football players toweling off after defeating their rivals. And the Morgan/Doom fight was rather boring and poorly plotted. Generic purple blasts equals yawn. I feel conflicted because there’s some wonderful potential here and a gold mine of character conflicts that could be set up but the dimensionality of this team isn’t there. The story’s not bad but I just don’t see why I should care. 3 Cs out of 7.

X-Force #11:

In which we find out the motivations of Eli Bard, New Resident Bad Guy, as Warpath tells the team of Eli’s past as a shamed patrician/general in the Roman Empire who Selene (yay!) manipulates into falling in love with him. This ends badly when poor old Eli effs up Selene’s spell to steal all the souls of Rome. A pissed-off Selene curses him with eternal life and spurns him for centuries. But now he’s back to make good on stealing a bunch of souls for her…from dead mutants. Or techno-zombies. Or something.

I honestly have no grounding in this new X-Force and I only picked it up for Selene. The backstory itself was interesting and sad. I mean this guy basically got shit on his whole life and is cursed with immortality and an undying love for a psycho witch. An issue-long set-up for a major villain seems a bit much but the art (especially the past scenes) and the dialogue make it a nice read. Plus, it features a back-to-basics approach with Selene as a covetous demi-god wanting power for power’s sake and pulling the strings of “mere mortals” behind the scenes, which was always one of the stronger aspects of her character. I’m not too thrilled by Eli; he hasn’t shown any other sides of himself beyond lovesick lap-dog. But we’ll see what happens, and hopefully there’ll be some betrayal or triple-cross or something. Overall, a good story arc intro. 5 Cs out of 7.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nouveau Poor Is At Comix Next Friday!!

Next Friday, I’m at Comix. I’m even on their website!

Here’s the blurb und drang:

TITLE: Nouveau Poor
LOCATION: Comix (Ochi's Lounge: The Downstairs Room) – 353 West 14th Street (just east of 9th Avenue)
COST: Free, 1-item minimum
DATE: February 27th, 2008
TIME: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Auld Lang Syne has come and gone, but the entertainment keeps on rolling! Let these wonderful recruiters and raconteurs regale you with funny stories and humorous job tips! Created by Calvin S. Cato (Game Show Network, Stand-Up New York, Naked Comedy Show), this is the only comedy/music variety show that encourages people to trade resumes as well as laughs.

Comedy By:
Sean Crespo (Comedy Central's Root Of All Evil, Drink At Work Show @ Comix,
Hilary Schwartz (Eastville Comedy Club's, Jewish Princess of Darkness)
Jermaine Fowler (DC Comedy Showcase, opened for Patrice O'Neal)
Del (BET's My Two Cents, Caroline's on Broadway, Comedy For The F&%* Of It)
Roman Rimer (Magnet Theatre's, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Trannies)

Music Interlude by:
Kierstin Gray (Award-winning songwriter, performed in LA and Tokyo)

Improv by: Black Boxes In The Corner (Boston Improv Troop)