Friday, November 28, 2008

an arguement

Derek looked at me through slitted eyes.

"Kill him," he said.

I laughed.

"Are you serious?" I asked him. "It was five years ago."

"All the pain...all those fucked up relationships that will do nothing?" His devious smile haunted me.

"I will be his friend. I'm over it. It's stupid to rehash unnecessary feelings and pointless drama. Five years has gone by since I met him. I will do nothing."

"You disappoint me, Brock. I fear this side of you will only warrant defeat and heartache."

"You're the side of me that warrants defeat and heartache. To give in to all ill-willed emotions, that is the not my way."

His devious smiled faded into a twisted frown. He started to back out of the room, engulfed in darkness. As the last remnants of his face darkened completely, he spoke.

"He will be the death of you."

He was right, of course. But I can't give in to Derek. I must find someone else to give in to.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Derek's dilemma

It was raining and God wasn't smiling on me.

Bet it had to do with the threesome I had the night before.

Everyone seems to have it out for me. But I am paranoid. The slashing of tires? Coincidental. The pelting of my apartment window? Most likely accidental. Yeah, I'm just paranoid.

I wish people would let me breath. Narrow (that's what I call her now) said that I'm not letting myself breath. What does she know? She's one of the oppressors!

Speaking of oppression, my mother is trying to marry her longtime love, Donald. I hate him.

More to come.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

a journey disrupted - part 1

Saint, Thrill, Derek, and Purity protect a boy named Thomas from forces that wish to use him for evil. Sounds awesome, right? A villain, the Equivalent, wishes to kill Thomas so her power is stronger. This is one of their encounters.

It was raining when Thomas awoke in the car, curled up between Purity's lap and Derek's leg. Saint was still vigilantly driving while Thrill stared at the road from the passenger's seat. The air was cold, like early morning. The digital clock illuminated in green on the dashboard read 6:12 p.m. The sky was darkened. Thomas was scared.

"Where are we?" he asked sleepily.

"Some piece of shit-" Saint began.

"SAINT!" Purity snipped.

"Some...podunk town in Ohio. I give us another two days and we'll be there," Saint finished.

Derek yawned. "I'm gonna need to eat soon."

"We might have to skip a meal tonight. We need money," Thrill stated, still staring forward as the road disappeared beneath the car's wheels. Derek groaned in disappointment, then leaned lazily to his side and closed his eyes. Thomas watched him for a moment then followed his lead, closing his eyes and hoping he could fall back asleep. The cold made him queasy.

When his lids shut completely, he saw her staring at him.

Thomas jumped up, knocking Derek and Purity with is elbows. "She's close!" he yelled in reflex.

"The Equivalent..." Saint muttered before hitting the gas. "Are you sure, Thomas?"

Thrill's focus on the road had become narrowed. "Fuck..." she whispered without moving her lips. Her arm still hurt from the last disruption they had.

"Don't ask him that. He doesn't ever know if he's sure," Purity defended.

"She's close!" Thomas yelled again.

In the distance, her breath became heightened. She felt a hand on her shoulder and power surged through her. She felt the rain land on her face and then evaporate. "Go now," she told him. The figure behind her straightened. "You will catch them if you go now." He leapt through the trees toward the bridge. She watched him and smiled.

Saint was beginning to fatigue. His arms and hands had become numb, his eyes dry and red, and the foot on the gas pedal was heavier. The gray sky and cold rain only relaxed him further. When Thomas announced that the Equivalent was near, he was disappointed to find that his body did not respond as accurately as he had hoped. If a fight was near, he doubted their chances.

Thomas was in Purity's arms, her curly brown hair falling around his head. Derek was staring back and fourth at Thrill and Saint, trying desperately to catch an idea of what they should do.

Thrill reached in the glove compartment and pulled out the gun. It gleamed in the reflection of the watery windshield.

A bridge was up ahead.

She smiled brighter as she walked toward the bridge. She saw their car down the road. She looked below and watched the river thrash violently in the storm. It was perfect.

"She's at the bridge!" Thomas screamed.

Saint slammed on the brakes. The crew lurched forward before catching on their seat belts. Thomas bounced in Purity's lap.

"What the fuck-" Derek began.

"DEREK!" Purity snipped.

"What the...hell are we going to do?"

Saint gripped the steering wheel for a moment, focusing on the small metal bridge ahead. The trees on the roadside completely blocked the view of the river below, but the wind occasionally blew the branches aside long enough for Saint to take in the choppy dark water. He could fly, he couldn't fly all of them. If he drove the car, it would be attacked. If they attacked the bridge, the car would sink fast. If they walked, they couldn't get anywhere. If...

That's when the car began to move forward at an alerting speed. Saint glanced down. His foot was still on the brake.

She smiled as she watched him push the car. What a great power, she thought to herself, to be invisible and have unbelievable strength. Such a surprise it must be to them.

"Saint, stop the fucking car!" Thrill yelled over the isolated tires screeching against the gravel road.

"I CAN'T!" he yelled back.

Thomas held his head in his arms and started to think really hard.

The car reached the bridge. It kept going until it was in the middle of the two-car-length bridge. Then everything was still.

Yes, she thought...

Thrill cocked the gun. Derek took off his seat belt and stared at his hands. A dull glow came from the circles in his palms. Purity looked around the area frantically.

"How did the car move? I didn't see anyone!"

"Get out of the car," Saint instructed.

"Are you insane?" Purity yelled.

Thrill and Derek began to open the car doors diligently. Saint turned in the driver's seat.

"Stay in here. Protect him," Saint told Purity. Then he exited the car.

The rain was in a torrential downpour. It was hard to see. But Saint could make out a form, moving at him quickly.

Thrill shot the gun. Saint was falling over the side of the bridge. Derek shot a beam in the air, simply instinctively. His left hand smoldered in the rain.

She watched as he dove off the side with Saint beneath him. How smart he is, she thought. Then she began to think really hard.

The bridge began to sway.

Thrill and Derek were listening for a splash. Saint never hit the water.

Then the ground beneath them disappeared.

They were falling. Derek shot his hands beneath him in a frenzy. The water leapt at the beams.

He heard a giant splash and his heart sank. The car... Then he hit the water. Hard.

I'll continue when I see fit.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Fictional Letter

Listen, I really don't need this shit. You either talk to me cause you're serious about making this happen or don't talk to me at all. If you choose the latter, have fun trying to find another guy to fuck behind your girlfriend's back. Hope the closet is big enough for all the shit that comes along with you. And, go fuck yourself.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ten points of interest....

1.) Love my job. Don't get paid enough, but enjoy it none-the-less. Getting ready for the boss to be gone for a week where I will fill in for him. That's right; for a week, I'm going to be running a comic book store. I can strike that off my 'list of accomplishments before 25'.

2.) Need to quit smoking. Not concerned about health reasons (I could care less) but I am concerned with money. Fucking economy.

3.) Burgeoning romantic possibilities. More to come.

4.) Re-connecting with old friends to show that I still care. Trying desperately to wash myself clean of apathy. Successful results to (hopefully) come soon.

5.) Turn 23 in five weeks. Makes me think of "23" by Jimmy Eat World. Also, makes me wanna cry.

6.) Still in love with Minus the Bear. (Greatest.Band.Ever.EVER.)

7.) Interested in getting back into theatre. Still pondering and weighing my options.

8.) Family is good, although I'm realizing that they're better individually than together. Can't stand the tension.

9.) Saw The Dark Knight three times the first weekend it was released. One of the best comic book movies ever made.

10.) Reading comic books like I'll die tomorrow. Slowly realizing I should have been a superhero.

That is all. Hope you feel as enlightened as I have become.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Collection of current sins and knowledge...

God, this is weird.

I find myself in situations I didn't expect, talking to those on random surprise moments and filling myself with escapism. Comic books and my job take up most of my time, and TV. Friends are so scattered and varied, I don't know who I can truly open myself up to and be emotional towards. A lot of it is in my head. A lot of it is just the moment in time, adjusting and flexing, reaching some climax and finally settling.

I stopped hurting those who didn't need it. I stopped hurting myself in ways that are tougher than you would think. This is a time of reconnection. So many loose ends needing to be tied...

I'm not a stronger person. I just know now what it takes to be strong, and I'm attempting to apply it to my person. It's a constant stress, really exhausting. But needed.

Mainly, I've accepted that I don't know a fucking thing. And people can't be truly understood. Not all the way.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My blog for my job's website....

Greetings from Wizard World Convention in Chicago! Brock Graham, your fellow Marvel zombie, here to tell you some big announcements from the Marvel Comics panels from yesterday and today.
Yesterday, at the Mondo Marvel panel, guests Peter David (writer: X-Factor, She-Hulk), C. B. Cebulski (editor/writer: The Loners, Avengers Fairy Tales), Brian Reed (writer: Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel), Tom Brevoort (executive editor), and Mike Perkins (artist: Stephen King’s The Stand) had some great announcements for upcoming Marvel projects. The first was Marvel Zombies 3, which for the first time will impact the regular Marvel universe continuity starring the Machine Man himself, Aaron Stack. Writers of the hit series Nova, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, have signed an exclusive with Marvel, ensuring a lengthy run. Peter David announced a crossover between the gang at X-Factor and the superhero lawyer She-Hulk stemming out of Secret Invasion. Starting with Captain America#43, Luke Ross and Steve Epting will be alternating duties as artist on the title. A new mini-series from the talented writer of X-Force and X-Men: Emperor Vulcan, Chris Yost, was announced: Storm: Worlds Apart will deal with Storm balancing her duties as ruler of Wakanda with her husband Black Panther and her loyalty to the X-Men. Cebulski promised that Storm “kicks lots of ass” in the series. In the pages of Ghost Rider, for the first time, the two ghost riders, Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, will face off. A new run on What If?was announced, with stories of what could have happened with House of M (what if Wanda said “no more powers”?), Fallen Son (what if Iron Man had died instead of Captain America?), the classic Secret Wars (what if Dr. Doom had kept the power of the Beyonder?), and Spider-Man: Back In Black (what if Mary Jane had been shot instead of Aunt May?). All What If?issues will feature a back-up story written by C. B. Cebulski dealing with the Runaways and Young Avengers (what if the Runaways had become the Young Avengers?). Fresh off of his run on Wolverine, writer Jason Aaron will be writing a new Wolverine mini-series titled Wolverine: Manifest Destiny. Other fun announcements include Starhawk showing up in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy#3 and the possible return of Magick in an upcoming X-Men event. Another interesting annoucement was C. B. Cebulski discussing the still-in-development video game Ultimate Alliance 2 which will be based on the Marvel Civil War. Cebulski, who wrote the first Ultimate Alliance video game, had to decline writing the sequel.
Later in the day, I attended the Marvel: Ultimate Universe with guests Brian Michael Bendis (writer: Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, Secret Invasion), Bill Rosemann (editor of the Ultimate line), and C. B. Cebulski. Although the panel was less informative, it was still fun. Bendis confirmed that Ultimate Spider-Man will not be cancelled after the events of Ultimatum, but the tone will change drastically. Up and coming artist David LaFuente will be doing the next Ultimate Spider-Man annual. The issue, which Bendis described as a “hard-sell to the editors,” will address Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s physical relationship. Also appearing in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man will be ultimate Daredevil and Elektra, original villains, and even characters from the 1960’s cartoon Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Bendis also revealed that the upcoming Ultimatum event will feature the debut of ultimate Watcher.
This morning at the Marvel: Secret Invasion panel, Bendis revealed even more amazing series and one-shots that will be coming out post-Secret Invasion. In January of 2009, Nick Fury’s Secret Warriors (which debuted recently in the pages of Mighty Avengers) will get their own ongoing series co-plotted by Bendis and scripted by up-and-coming writer Jonathan Hickman (writer: Image’s Nightly News). Mighty Avengers#16 will show Nick Fury training his Secret Warriors. Also, look for the Skrull Kill Krew to show up in Avengers: The Initiative#16. Probably the best announcement at the panel was the reveal of the a never-before-seen Alex Maleev picture of Namor, the Hood, Loki (still a girl), Dr. Doom, and two unidentifiable characters (one possibly being Emma Frost). Bendis teased, “It almost looks like an evil Illuminati.”
Later this evening, due to the absence of Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, but Bendis filled his place quite nicely. This panel, dubbed “Cup O’Bendis,” had mostly fan questions, but a couple of big announcements were made. After Secret Invasion, Lenil Yu is leaving the title and Billy Tan will be taking over as regular artist. Also post-Secret Invasion, Spider-Woman will FINALLY be getting her own solo title, although Bendis teased, “It might not be Jessica Drew in the costume…” Bendis went on to reveal that the full title for the book will be Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.
Well that’s all for tonight! Check back tomorrow for an update on the last day of the con! Thanks for reading!
-Brock Graham-

Monday, June 9, 2008

What you've got here... a great big mess. The funniest thing about the mess is how easy it is to pick up, and how it's really quite simple. But a mess, non the less. Ha, that rhymed.

Ask me how I got here.

Decisions of sin with angelic improvisations. But enough about my weekend.

I am not a happy man. I am an optimistic young person. I do as I shall and wish for the best. It has not worked out for me for about 75% of all occasions, but I insist on it. To not do it would be to compromise my integrity.

I must be consistent with my failings, and I must deal with them as they come.

When I feel overwhelmed, I must remember one thing,

"What you've got here is an opportunity to work things out to your advantage."

Let's see if it sticks.


Monday, May 19, 2008

The Saints - Night Meeting #1

Everyone had thought that Thomas was asleep when they met in the main room of the decrepit two-story building that they referred mockingly as "the shit-hole headquarters of failures." Derek had thought of it. The walls were dangling with falling strips of wallpaper and the floors had some kind of major water damage down to it years ago.

"We need a knew safe house," Thrill complained.

"Don't call it a safe house. Makes us sound like criminals," Derek said. Thrill laughed at his remark, muttered something about "pathetic" and then was quiet.

Saint gave them both a stern look. "Don't worry about the safehou-"(Derek glared at him)"...I mean, headquarters, right now. We have to find a full-time caretaker Guardian for Thomas. The three of us may need to fight in order to keep him safe, but we need someone to stick by him at all times, guaranteeing his safety. Do any of you know where we could find one?"

Derek and Thrill gave Saint blank looks. "Great," he said.

"I know where one is," said a young voice behind them. In the shadows of the main room, Thomas stood rather stoically. "She took care of me when I was young. Aunt Hestia said she would forever take care of me. Then she moved away and went to college. I haven't seen her sense."

"Your aunt Hestia said that?" asked Saint.

"Yeah. She said her power would be perfect for the Caretaker. She described all of my Guardians to me. And I know Purity is my Caretaker. It just fits."

The three Guardians looked at their dependent, stunned. "Well, I guess it's settled then," Saint finally said. "We go find Purity and appoint her Caretaker of Thomas."

"Who the fuck is Aunt Hestia?" Thrill asked.

"Language, Thrill!" Derek said, nudging his head in Thomas's direction.

"Whatever. Who is she?"

"She was Thomas's aunt, and she was a prophet. She could see things before they happened. And very well, I might add," Saint explained.

"So you've met her?" Derek asked.

"Yes, when I first met Thomas 10 years ago. She explained that I would be his main Guardian, and that Thomas was the most important person in the world and he must be kept alive. Her predictions never failed. So I'm going to trust this one," Saint finished and started heading toward his bedroom. "Let's all get sleep and find Purity in the morning."

"Why don't we just go to this Aunt Hestia and make her tell us who the other Guardians are?" Thrill suggested.

"Maybe," Saint answered. "We'll see." With that, he vanished in to his dark room, closing the door behind him.

"Good meeting, everyone. Have a good night!" Thomas said with a bright smile, then skipped into his room.

Thrill and Derek stood and looked at each other for a moment.

"This is getting more and more fucked up every day," Thrill replied.

"No shit," Derek said.

Then the two left for their rooms, and the old building was silent.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

excerpts from a letter to him

You were not meant to read this whole letter, only he was. But here are parts of it I found to be incredibly self-realizing sentences.

"Part 1

My mind is lost. Lost forever.
Admittedly, it is the least of my problems.
You see, I'm the most important person in my life.
At least, right now, I am.
This stems back to years of trying to please
and, needless to say, I lost my mind.

Drugs were involved. (Lots of drugs.)
And my first true love rejecting me.
And my family finally revealing themselves.
I dated around, not very much.
But all ended on my terms, under my control.
When I decided to change myself,
Boys were pushed aside.
My friends were pushed aside.
My family were pushed aside.
Only I remained, scared shitless.
I had lost my mind.

The only thing left to do was rebuild.
I started remembering bits of me.
I took the bits and built upon them.
/I am an intelligent person./
/I am a loyal person./
/I am an observer./
/I am a great listener./
/I am a driven person./
/I am a stubborn prick./
/I am a talented mind./
/I deserve love./

As the bits returned and expanded,
A new mind was created.

  • A mind of knowledge, useful and useless.
  • A mind of emotion, sensitive and caring.
  • A mind of hopes, optimistic and grand.
  • A mind worthy of giving love to those who earn it and give it back
  • A mind capable of independence

I became someone who didn't need anyone.
It was scary, but I realized it was maturity.
The mind, forever lost, was now fixed.
I am the most important person in my life.

And then I met you."

"Part 2

Tonight I asked my love what he thought of you.
He looked at me straight in the eyes.
'You know I don't have the answer. What do you think?'
I was taken aback. 'But you are my love!
Certainly my love that I have inside me would know if I was
In love or not!'
He stared at me, smirking. Then he answered my question.
'It is too early to tell. But I do stir when he is around. It makes you
'Shut up,' I told my love, and left.

The term 'boyfriend' doesn't agree with me. When I have a boyfriend, I'm usually unhappy and eager to end the relationship. Every boyfriend I've had, I've been focusing on their flaws and little annoying quirks. I become this over-analytical grumpy mess until I break up with the guy. I have avoided having a boyfriend for a year and four months now. The experience has been rewarding, reassuring myself that I am a person who doesn't need to lean on others to get by. I had decided I don't want a boyfriend. Not unless I fell in love, of course. And that'll never happen, right? RIGHT?"

The rest of the letter was not meant for your eyes. Only his.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Final paper in W131

(It may be hard to understand without the appendixes (spelling?) but here's my final research paper for my English class. Read if care.)

If someone were to approach you with a stack of comic books or graphic novels and said, “You should really read these,” you might laugh at such a childish suggestion. Why bother with dumb superheroes when you can watch a movie, read a novel, or go see a play just as easily for a good story? Instead of reading Batman or The Incredible Hulk, you might prefer the tales found in The Great Gatsby, Huck Finn, or The Catcher In The Rye. Sure, those novels are intriguing, thought provoking, and entertaining reads. But there might be something about comic books that you could be overlooking. Behind the glossy cover page, the pictures and words found within create a reading experience that is utterly unique. Comics has gained a legion of followers that consider Superman’s triumphs over Lex Luthor to be more fulfilling than Huck Finn’s journey down the Mississippi River. Some people prefer the adventures of the teenage superhero Invincible to the teenage cynic Holden Caulfield. Why would that select few comic book “geeks” prefer such frivolous things? What do comics do to create a different experience from all other mediums?

Comic books and graphic novels have been a growing medium since the 1940’s. Characters like Superman and Captain America stood for the American dreams and freedoms during World War II, and years later, superheroes such as Batman, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four were flying off the racks and into popular culture. For decades, capes, catch phrases, and women in peril were common vernacular in successful comic books, but the market would soon change. In 1941, Will Eisner, pioneer of graphic literature, described comic books as, “…embryo of a new art form…an illustrated novel. It is new and raw in form just now, but material for limitless intelligent development. And eventually and inevitably it will be a legitimate medium for the best writers and artists” (Eisner 17). Comics would soon become much more than just superheroes, but explorations of humanity, of what is to be a hero and what it takes, of concepts unimaginable in modern day reality, and sometimes explorations on what reality really means to us. Comics became a mirror to the world such as novels and poetry, art, movies, and theatre, but in its own unique way.

As Mark Siegal, publisher of First Second Books, an all-graphic imprint of Roaring Brook, explains, “In any other medium, they (movies, prose, or theatre) might tell the same story, but they would never be able to give you the same experience. And the reading experience is the key. You read a graphic novel with a different part of your brain, it elicits a different mental circuitry and a different emotional possibility than movies or prose or theatre…When people tell me they don’t ‘get’ how to read comics, it’s often because they aren’t actively joining in the storytelling – at some level, you have to tell yourself what you’re seeing in the pictures, as well as read the words. And let the two do their dance in your mind” (quoted in “The Art Of Graphic Literature”). The dance Siegal is referring to is between the visible and the invisible. It is unique to the comic book form, using only the sense of sight to convey all the experiences and emotions that may actually exist in the scene or scenes (McCloud 89-92).

There are a number of examples in popular comic series today that show the dance between the visible and invisible. In the series Fables, the first page of issue #5 is an excellent start of how one page can set an entire atmosphere as well as set up the action (Appendix A). The reader sees the cityscape against a dark night as the background for the first panel. Dialogue (from the character Detective Bigby Wolf) seems to float over the city while a square panel to the right focuses on Bigby’s hand selecting a match out of a matchbook, informing the reader of what action is taking place during the dialogue. The next panel down is still the cityscape, only closer to the rooftop where a party is being held, the same party Bigby is attending. His dialogue continues to float down toward the rooftop to his position while another square panel to the right depicts Bigby striking the match on the matchbook, igniting it with a “sssstrrrcchh” sound effect written over the action. Already, the reader reads the words, sees the location, and also sees what Bigby is doing while he explains how life as a cop isn’t as exciting as it may show you in the media. The last panel at the bottom is a very close view of the rooftop party, and the reader sees Bigby surrounded by the main characters featured in the series. The last square panel to the right shows Bigby lighting his cigarette, finally finished with his verbal tirade. On that page, in those three panels, the reader is made aware of all the necessary action, the location and atmosphere, the other characters present, while giving an insight into Bigby’s views on his law-enforcement duties (Willigham 98).

Some comic books can create very comedic scenes through the use of this unique medium. Take, for example, Invincible issue #8 (Appendix B). As the reader sees in the top three panels, the teenage superhero Invincible (also known as Mark) is consoling his superheroine friend, Atom Eve, after she has discovered her boyfriend has been cheating on her with a fellow superhero on their superteam. By the middle panel, she has laid her head on Mark’s lap when he starts to say all the right things. In the bottom left panel, Mark’s mother has walked into the room, and from her position, the whole scene seems a little provocative. The following two panels are obviously humorous due to the misunderstanding. This scene might have been easily pulled off in a movie or TV show, but accomplishing it just through art and words makes it somehow more funny and you feel almost as humiliated as Invincible does (Kirkman 78).

Really, it’s not that difficult to achieve any genre of storytelling in comic books and graphic novels. A popular genre in comics is horror, and one of the shining achievements of the horror/fantasy genre is Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. In issue #6 entitled “24 Hours,” an insane, homicidal villain named Johnny Dee has taken a small-town diner and its occupants hostage for twenty four hours, controlling their actions and torturing their minds and bodies. Johnny Dee uses the power of a mystical crystal to do this, a mystical crystal that rightly belongs to Dream, the Sandman, and one of the seven Endless siblings. The scenes of focus (Appendix C) are of hour fifteen and sixteen. The top four panels, hour fifteen, Johnny Dee decides to give the victims their rational minds back for a moment. They plead with him, beg him to explain why he is causing such terror, but he scoffs at their questions. His simple response of, “Because I can,” juxtaposed with the frightening image of Johnny Dee’s barely visible skeletal face sends shivers down the reader’s back. The bottom four panels are of hour sixteen, which is entitled “Party Games.” “Murder in the dark…” is the only clue the caption in the first panel gives us, against a pitch-black square, signifying that all the lights are off in the diner. The second panel is still dark, but now eerily quiet. In the third scene in the left bottom panel, a scream rings out in the darkness. In the last panel, we “hear” Johnny Dee giggling manically. Whatever happened in those four black panels are up to the reader to figure out with the few clues that were given. The end result can terrorize your imagination (Gaiman 175).

One of the most innovative, critically acclaimed, and award-winning graphic novels thus far is Watchmen, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons. The dark, intricate, political, and almost satirical tale of superheroes and the real-world issues they face became an instant classic in the comic book community when released between 1986 and 1987, as well as becoming respected by literary readers and critics. One of the most fascinating and innovative chapters in the twelve issue series is issue #5 entitled “Fearful Symmetry,” a nod to the William Blake poem, Tyger. The first page of the issue (Appendix D) is sectioned into nine panels, each differently colored due to the flashing of a sign hanging off-page. The last page of the issue is sectioned exactly the same (Appendix E). The interesting thing that comes into play is the skewed symmetry of this entire issue. The first panel on the first page directly mirrors the last panel on the last page. The second panel on the top of the first page, depicting the character Rorschach’s foot stepping into a puddle, directly mirrors the second to the last panel at the bottom of the last page, which shows Rorschach’s feet lying in the puddle. The trend continues throughout the issue, meeting in the middle for a glorious splash page (Appendix F and G) showing Ozymandias taking down an assassin who has attempted to take his life. Each side of the pages directly mirrors each other in action and intent. The technique of this “fearful symmetry” is one that could never be truly captured in any other medium (Moore Chapter V 1, 14, 15, and 28).

These examples are to illustrate the stories, concepts, ideas, and emotions that could not be as easily accomplished in other mediums such as TV, movies, prose, art, or stage production. These certain contextual and visual clues are only available in comic books and graphic novels, making it an innovative medium for any creative and artistic persona. It is still hard to perceive comic books and graphic novels as young and still developing, but that only leaves room for more talented artists and writers to tell us stories and excite our minds. The innovation of the medium is only improving, and there is such much more that could be achieved. Some may say it’s never going to replace the classics mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be given a glance. Comic books and graphic novels will steer your mind into a direction of storytelling you may have never experienced before, and that alone is worth a look. It is a completely different reading experience, one that you should cherish. So pick up that stack of comics you’ve been asked to read. You may be pleasantly surprised.


“The Art Of Graphic Literature.” Kirkus Reviews 01 December 2007: page 18

Eisner, Will. Life, In Pictures. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, INC, 2007.

Gaiman, Neil. The Sandman – Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes. New York: DC Comics, 1995.

Kirkman, Robert. Invincible – Volume 2: Eight Is Enough. Orange, California: Image Comics, 2004.

McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, INC, 1994.

Moore, Alan. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics, 1986-1987.

Willingham, Bill. Fables – Volume 1: Legends In Exile. New York: DC Comics, 2002.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Room - slow ride

He stood, looking forward.

The room was still.

The room then shifted into the restaurant. He had on his black apron, covering his waist and pelvis in pens, notepads, smudges of various dips and dressings, and paper straw wrappers. "Slow Ride" was playing over the dining floor, and no families sat in the maroon chairs. It was empty. Jill glided by, showing off her new tye-dye hoodie and cyst, laughing like an 80 year old man who had smoked all of his life, and bitching about the new servers. She looked at him demeaningly, then smirked. "Here's your money," she rasped, placing a five twenties in his hand. "Hope it was worth it." She glided away.

He looked at the money. He felt humiliated and self-conscious. It wasn't worth it.

The restaurant shifted. The room returned.

"What did you see?" I asked him.

"It's starting to become not worth it anymore. You should quit," he answered.

I would take it into consideration.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gravity - Entry #1

And the day he died it was a birthday, and I noticed it was mine.

My father, my sister, and I were fans of the song "Winchester Cathedral" by Crosby, Stills, & Nash. I vividly remember laying in the family room on the pull-out bed in the couch next to my sister and my father, listening to the song with no lights on while watching the fire in the fireplace and the shadows it cast on the ceiling. A line in the song is sung very quickly, and goes, "And the day he died it was a birthday, and I noticed it was mine." My father and I had the inside joke of singing the lyric to each other as fast as we could during unexpected moments. We would spring the lyric onto each other and then laugh at the fact the other didn't see it coming. It was a strange contest, yes, but I felt like my father and I had something no else did.

I think I was in third grade when my dad was Santa Claus at my school. Santa Claus would go around to each classroom giving out candy canes and bellowing laughter. I remember most everyone in my grade found out there wasn't a Santa Claus around second grade, me included. The thought of Santa Claus visiting us children in our third grade classroom seemed cheap and irrelevant. And as Santa Claus walked into Mr. Hapke's classroom, dread filled my being when I immediately recognized my father underneath the white beard and red hat. My only thought was, "Don't embarrass me." My father walked through the aisles of our desks, handing us candy and asking what we want for Christmas. Some kids, mostly the girls, just giggled and played along. Most of the boys, including me, thought it stupid and it showed in our faces. When my father got to my desk, he placed a candy cane on top of my open textbook, leaned down close to my face, pulled down his beard, and softly said, "And the day he died it was a birthday, and I noticed it was mine," as fast as he could.

The other children stared for a moment. My face flushed to a bright red. He continued across the room to the door wishing us all a merry Christmas before moving on to the next classroom. All the other kids kept asking what Santa Claus said to me and how I knew him, but I didn't bother explaining the joke. I just said, "It doesn't matter. It was stupid." Mostly, I was pissed he had gotten me so good.

On Christmas morning, my father had left a note in my stocking that read, "And the day he died it was a birthday, and I noticed it was mine," in tiny lettering and very close to each other, for the effect of the quickness of the message. In retaliation, I made him a Christmas card that had the words scribbled on the inside. He saw it coming before I even handed him the construction paper card.

I was so mad that he had gotten me twice and really well. After that Christmas, I never really tried to out-do him anymore. The game died after that.

When my father and I lived in South Carolina, we would listen to every cd in our collection because of all the driving. One night on the road, I put in a cd with "Winchester Cathedral" by Crosby, Stills, & Nash on it. He was surprised I remembered the song and liked it so much. When I recounted the memory of our game, he didn't remember it.


Monday, March 24, 2008

they speak to me

I sat, staring at the keyboard that lay before me, staring at a blank Word document with the blinking indicator, ticking away moments I could spend filling the screen with words, then faces, then places, etc.

I noticed the small boy, around 9 or 10 years of age, sitting in an upright fetal position in the corner adjacent to the computer screen. His clothes were a size too big and worn, draped over his thin and pale frame, and his hair were separated into large tufts and obviously had not been washed for quite some time. I stared at him for a moment, then he raised his head and looked at me with his sad eyes. His expression was almost cold, but mostly blank. I could sense the power inside him. It scared me.

"Are you ever gonna write about us?" he asked, his expression remaining blank.

"Where are your Guardians?" I asked him in return.

"They'll be here. I wanted to talk to you first. Don't you think it's important?"

"What's important?"

"Our story?"

"Yes, it is very important. And I will write it....someday..." I told him

"You always say that."

I took a quick glance back at my blank computer screen. When I looked back to the corner, the boy was gone.

I looked back at the computer screen. In the reflection, I could see the outline of three individuals standing over my shoulder, placed parallel to the lines of my head.
On my right sat a young man, probably my age, who resembled me a great deal. He had thin blue wire glasses and soft brown hair covering his head and chin. His clothes were plain and earth-toned, and also looked worn and battered.

To my left sat a beautiful black girl, around 19 or 20, with a hardened expression and her short, dreaded hair placed neatly around her face. Her dress, colored in purple and black leather, was short enough to show her toned, seemingly powerful legs.

Above my head stood a man, between 25 and 30, with short blond hair and piercing blue eyes. He oozed confidence and leadership, and his handsome face appeared reassuring. His wardrobe was the darkest black fabric available, with a hint of silver thrown into his long jacket and belt.

"I know why you're here. Thomas already told me," I replied calmly. Thrill did not look amused, but Derek and Saint gave small smirks.

"Then you shouldn't be nervous. But you have to do it soon, writing our story," Saint stated.

"We work our asses off, risking our lives and crap, and you can't write down one little fight scene?" Thrill said. I blushed at her words.

"And quit using excuses," Derek picked up, "I don't care about you working two jobs and going to school and all that other useless excuses. Just write it, and it'll all work out."

"I know," I said, almost whispering.

"They have to know why we are his Guardians. They have to know what we've been through, about the ones who came before us, about everything. You have to tell it," Saint said.

And then they were gone. I stared at the blank computer screen. The story would begin shortly.


Friday, March 21, 2008

hiding behind other people's sung words

"It's like I'm pressed on the handle bars
Of a blind man's bike
No straws to grab, just the rushing wind
On the rolling mind
Spilt Needles - The Shins

It's strange how emotionally sensitive I truly am. And that I'm a lot like my father. A lot more than I want to be.

Yes, my health hasn't been great. And I'm stretched a little thin. Two jobs, school, trying to maintain a shred of a once-thriving social life, figuring out what I am really going to do and how I'm going to do it.

It's been four years since I graduated high school. I'm only now completing my first successful semester of college. Well, I shouldn't speak so soon, I have a month left. The only real accomplishment I've done in the last four years has been moving 600 miles away and experiencing a new state, really leaving my comfort zone.

"Like the naked leads the blind
I know I'm selfish, I'm unkind
Sucker love I always find
Someone to bruise and leave behind
Every Me Every You - Placebo

I am not a weak person. In fact, I'm quite the bitch. But I can be a helpless person. Many times stubborn and arrogant, many times irritable and foul, and many times ungrateful and selfish. You can't help me with those things.

But I digress. I'm a very emotional person, as aggravating as I find that. Today I felt extremely exhausted and stressed. Not to mention I had a cyst removed from my left shoulder blade today and the stitches hurt like a bitch.

So when my mother called me and said my 1 year old nephew was in the hospital and they think he might have a hole in his heart, I freaked.

"I was just a boy like every other
I thought I was something fierce
I thought I was ten times smarter
Love would be something that I just know
How you gonna know the feeling till you've lost it?
I've been losing plenty since
Always Be - Jimmy Eat World

One thing I really thought about for most of the night was, "I really could use someone in my life right now." Then I thought how pathetic that must sound, that I should be able to do this on my own. But the truth is, I don't fucking want to. I want to be in love. And I have no idea if I'm even capable of it.

I am not a martyr. This is the fucking shit hole of life and everything that goes with it. The truth is, I was sheltered. I was what some may say "lucky" for not experiencing true worry and loss. My life has been this gleeful romp of fortunate situations and it has forever damned me to these uncontrollable outbursts when everything goes wrong.

"That's when it turned on me
A motorcade of 'meant to be's'
Parades of beauty queens
Where soft entwines make kindling
These many detailed things
Like broken nails and plastic rings
Will win by keeping me
From speaking to my new darling
And there's no way to know
Our future foe scenarios
That's when it turned on me
Where bobby pins hold angel wings

It's alright
Future Foe Scenarios - Silversun Pickups

I must adjust. Before I lose anything else.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

I don't mean anything I say.

And just as things were looking up...

I don't know where this sudden fascination with my own misery came from, but it seems as if something is getting a kick out of it. I mean, first you throw me no boyfriend at all, then you throw me a group of misfit drama queens for friends. My family, which is now split into individual sectors, each one more and more pathetic, looks at me like the retard who should be applauded for putting on his shoes. My health has deterorated from "healthy as a horse" to "why is there blood in my stool? why does my right nut hurt? why is the lump on my back growing larger? why does my heart skip beats when I'm trying to fall asleep?" What happened? What have I done? Am I a martyr, or someone blinded by their own flaws? Is this something to overcome, or to bring about my downfall? What is the plan here?

I mean, really...

...what is the fucking plan here?


Monday, March 17, 2008

I've arrived?

Saint's collection of sins and knowledge starts here, on this, the most Irish of all days.

I'm not sure what every blog will contain, but I hope to develop some semblance of a theme. Perhaps it will be entirely fiction, perhaps not. I haven't decided.

A brief history of I, the Saint, the last of the Grahams:

At the beginning of time, I served as Destruction of the Endless, one of seven siblings who are higher than all gods. I have now since renounced the title, and if you're interested in the whole story, ask Neil Gaiman.

I was born into this mortal form on September 10, 1985. My mother and father decided that I would be the last of their planned two children, leaving me and my older sister to bear the cross our parents have placed on our shoulders: we must be successful or God will never notice us.

I am the last of my family's name, passed down from Irish immigrants through our Catholic blood. I am the only remaining Graham capable of passing on the name.

When I was 15 I came out of the closet as a homosexual. No one has taken me seriously since.

After some time fighting the forces of evil as a superhero (upon discovering I was a mutant), I graduated from Leo High School in 2004. It was a horrible expierence. My parents divorced when I was 18, leaving me more confused over the concept of love than I was to begin with.

After employment at a nursing home, a craft store, a furniture factory, and finally, a bar/restaraunt and a comic book store, I, the Saint, have decided to continue my aspirations of college, and ultimately a writing career, preferably in the comic book industry. No word on whether I will most likely sabotage my own dreams, but stay tuned.

The only two towns known for containing the richness of me have been Fort Wayne, Indiana and Greenville, South Carolina. Both reject me, but I refuse to let them be.

There is no romantic situations in my current life, and none have really been relevant for the past year and half of my single lifestyle. This will probably be a hot topic for these blogs.

My friends are my family. The Saint's alumn includes the crafty Aaron, the mischevious Chris, the adorable Josh, the stoic Todd, the lovely Robin, the magnetic Jessica, and the motherly Brooke. Although sometimes they can be an emotional burden (mostly through ridicule), I trust these people with my good name.

I, the Saint, the last of the Grahams, the mutant, the Endless Destruction, the alternative rock junkie, the constant eater, the comic book collector, the writer, the wannabe singer, the theatre geek, the mick, the red-headed step-child, the agnostic, the fag, the friend, the brother, the son, and the soul: I am so much and then more.

These blogs should turn out quite interesting.