I read three books this week and two comic collections. All were from Will Hines who bi-annually gives away 3/4s of the books he owns. I know… get a library card, right? Jesus.
Two of the books were retarded, but he was offering them for free so I took them.
One was The Sandman Companion, which had one interesting chapter talking about how Neil Gaiman (and a bunch of other British comic book guys) broke into writing/drawing for American comic books in the 80s but then the bulk of it was a bizarre sort of cliffsnotes summarizing all the Sandman comics. If you’re so fucking lazy that you can’t get through a comic book, you’re unlikely to tackle it in essay form. I read pretty much all the Sandman comics the first month of my freshman year of college, I borrowed them off a semi-goth who lived in my dorm. I thought they were somewhat interesting but ponderously smug.
Will also had Bob Newhart’s memoir I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This!. I pretty much knew all the stories in it through a combination of watching the American Experience biography of Newhart and listening to the DVD commentary on Catch 22. That said, expecting absolutely nothing from this book, it did make me laugh. He talks about getting offered a stand up gig in Lake Tahoe for $2000 a night (he was getting a couple hundred normally). “I wondered what the catch was. Do they beat you up between shows?” That caught me by surprised and I laughed. Maybe the idea of Bob Newhart walking off stage, prop telephone still in hand, and two bouncer times waling on him with bats.
The for-real book I read was Black Swan Green, which is not at all like the author’s last book I read Cloud Atlas. This book was pretty straight-ahead bildungsroman set in a shitty English down in 1982. So, it was pretty much The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole only with more beatings.
Will and Matt had their show on Wednesday which went better than expected—there was an audience… of strangers… who came to see it. It was an unadvertised try-out at an awkwardly early hour and there were over 30 people there.
Afterward, Will, Matt, me, Mitch and his girlfriend Kaveri went to a bar for food and beers. At some point in the evening we were talking about clones. Probably Mitch made his usually statement to Will as if it had just occurred to him, “Hey, we look similar.” Some time after that I asked if you could get a clone of yourself, would you marry it. Mitch instantly said “yes.” Will looked horrified and said “God, no.” So, there it is.
It was rainy and gross so people started to peel off and go home. Will and I were going to split a cab, but it was super early so I went out to Williamsburg so we could watch Meatballs which came in Will’s Netflix and neither of us had ever seen. Despite Will recalling his grade school classmates assurances that it was “hilarious” and “you could see boobs in it,” we discovered neither of these to be true.
I borrowed an Optic Nerve collection and some Johnny Ryan thing for my ride on the L and uncharacteristically, got unwanted attention from drunk Billyburg douchebags. While waiting for the train, I sat next to a scruffy-bearded hipster who reeked of PBR who said “Is that Adrian Tomine? Is it good…” I made some disinterested small talky whatever and he sighed wearily and started in “It’s probably better than this Jewy jew jew book I HAVE to read—Oh, I’m Jewish by the way, I didn’t want to offend you—I mean, I FUCKING GET IT, you’re a Hassid and you have 17 kids. Your life sucks, I don’t want to READ about it.” The train pulled up about five minutes into his complaint assault and I slipped into a different car.
I switched to the Angry Youth Comix collection as I sat down and a different extremely drunk shouty retarded-seeming guy bounded up to me tapping my book and yelling, “That’s Johnny Ryan! He’s AWESOME and FUCKED UP! He RULES! Gababababsbsb!” trailing off into incoherent mumbling as he bounced away to a different part of the car.
Lesson learned, don’t read comics on the L train at 1 AM on a party night like Wednesday. Fuckers.