This is one of those entries I loathe to write. Words cannot exactly pinpoint the myriad of emotions that are leapfrogging through my thoughts at this moment. Anguish, sorrow, disappointment, consternation; etc, etc; the list goes on and on. What I really wanted to talk about, well actually a smorgasbord of subjects to be exact - but with fate rearing its' beastie head, I will have to put aside those feelings of discontent of what I went through the last time I was in Vegas attending that rip off of a comic book con and what some neighboring comic book retailer discovered when he attended that same convention - is going to have to wait .... Again. I took notes of what I saw on the movie set early one morning while rushing to attend the opening of a omelet bar at the commissary and things are definitely different on the Constantine movie shoot than they are at night. I really saw something that really knocked my socks off that I wanted to share- but once again, it has to be put on the back burner. Wish I could divulge my high hopes of the Deposit Man possibly getting coverage on the cover of a distributor catalogue- sorry Charlie. The same with porn actress, Tiger Lily who was kind enough to sit with me at my table over at the Shrine Auditorium just yesterday helping me to hock my Deposit Man wares. No, I'm afraid this is something that is going to have take precedent.
Well, to get thing squared off, portions of this entry is going to be used for a letter to the Oh So section of the Comics Buyer's Guide, my old stomping grounds that has been instrumental in helping me nurture a prose style that I've come to grow very fond of (I think the practical term would be the official care Coatney 'baffle you with bullshit' signature style that I so prominently display on the Ska8e Hay Zeus forum ) over years of practice - to be presented as a sort of farewell letter to tie up those loose ends as I gravitate towards an attempt to write and maintain the production of my own comic book.
This is not going to be an easy thing to do. Over the years of composing miscellaneous letters to the Oh So column, a good portion of them usually dealt with the subject of those who played a influential part in my life after they just happened to shift off the mortal coil (and maybe that subconsciously plays a part in my creating the series of The Deposit Man books). There are days when I pace back and forth believing in the notion that time and space will come to a sudden dead halt - if it were that a great person of such gregarious stature would suddenly just poof out of the realm of existence. I mean, there are days when I simply cannot imagine a world without the presence of a Harlan Ellison cranking out bits and smatterings of literature like instant oatmeal in the morning. There used to be days when I couldn't imagine the world without the magical comedic talents of Bob Hope- and now he's gone - but yet, I seem to be getting along just fine. Just preparing to brace myself for my own inevitable demise is tough enough, but yet when it's a person right next to you, the first defense mechanism that kicks right in doesn't really begin to assuage the bottled emotions churning inside. The memory from two years ago since a roommate of mine, who was practically like a brother to me still stings as he was in and out of institutions was always in constant need of supervision from a Nurse Ratchett, passed away and I still feel out of sync with reality that these dying man's last words were uttered to me: I. Don't. Like. My Eggs. Overeasy.
Now it's barely two years later and John J Lindsay, my ex-boss comic book/baseball card owner of Rookies & Allstars of whom I was prone to his rivalry as equally as much as to his camaraderie has now unexpectedly expired due to surgical complications to an ailing problem that has been plaguing him for a long number of years just last Friday morning. This is a complete shock to all of us who knew him and fostered respect for him. Last Thursday afternoon, the usual standard repetitious health problem hit unexpectedly before closing the store for the night and as usual the paramedic were called to take him away to get it all snapped back into place and right there on the spot we were told that he'd probably be back doing a tap dance again right after Thanksgiving - and we were all casually laughing about it and brushing it off by early evening, thinking nothing of the unforeseen complications that were in store.
The call came to my house shortly after arriving home from a Union meeting on Thursday evening from one of his sons. And upon hearing that John had some difficulty breathing after some complicated surgery on his popped out hip, I had what some Stephen King aficionados calmly refer to as 'that bad dog feeling' after reading Cujo a few times. I knew in the deep black recess of my rolaid swimming stomach that something of some intangible force wasn't playing it's cards rights- So I was shocked the next day when I called the store from my place of employment and, and... let's just say that I hate it when these sinking heart feelings begin to manifest itself.
Needless to say, a lot of hearts are broken- the pulse and the rhythm of this twelve year old business venture has been sorely put in serious jeopardy. John's affable approach in life has been very infectious to all his patrons, no matter what political or religious agenda you may subscribe to. Debates and words exchanged over a eclectic blend of subjects - usually revolving around politics and comic book movies will be missed, even the ones he got me engaged in. I remember distinctively that his favorite comic book character was always the Spectre due to the way that Jim Corrigan mercilessly dispensed justice without regret or remorse. John got a kick out of it and even more so got a kick out of John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake's version more so than Michael Fleisher and Jim Aparo. Never got around to properly debate him on the comparisons having now just reread the series recently.
John's motto to all his comic book buying customers was ' I can forgive bad art, but I simply cannot forgive a bad story '.
Maybe we should all abide by that credo.
A memorial service will be held at 1: 00 PM at the Pierce Brothers cemetery off of Victory Blvd at Cahuenga Blvd.