At least three people have asked me where the new edition of my column is. So due to popular demand, here it is. I think, however, that in this time of crisis and worry the title that I originally chose, YOUR TIME IS NOW MINE, is inappropriate. I don't want your time anymore, you should be spending that finding a new job. Instead, I want your undying devotion and worship. Failing that, I'd like at least to create a new tone meant to alleviate tension and create good will. We'll keep the numbering system, but this column shall henceforth be called ETHAN VAN SCIVER'S HOPE, UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION, and this is #11.
ITEM: You'll be happy to know that I left the house on a few occasions over the past few weeks. Megacon, which is Orlando's biggest annual convention, was a nice distraction and a chance to see some friends, confront some enemies, and dodge sexual predators. I was surprised and alarmed to hear so many people mention this column, which used to be called YOUR TIME IS NOW MINE but is now called ETHAN VAN SCIVER'S HOPE, UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION, and do so fondly. I must admit when I write these things I imagine a few very strange and bored people skimming it for their names, but the readers I met surprised me in that many of them smelled of Irish Spring and not camel dung. Also, many agreed with me about Sesame Street, which was validating. But then again, a few of my peers in the comix industry confronted me about it, and this put me in an awkward position. Here's a tip for those who confine themselves from social situations whilst telegraphing your eccentricities to the outside world via internet: Don't bother denying that you are crazy. It only makes you sound crazier.
Dan Didio bought me Eggs Benedict at the hotel restaurant and discussed my future, a conversation that lasted just long enough for me to cut the English muffin into 4 triangles. "Draw faster and I'll give you more stuff to do" doesn't take long to say unless you stutter hopelessly, which Dan certainly does not. The waitress exerted a strange influence over his own breakfast choices, which was odd, but worth studying. He patiently listened to my impassioned and clumsy pleas to spare this fictional life and that, but his OJ glass may as well have been a gavel. Everyone is doomed. And if it turns out that way, you can blame me.
Knowing Downtown Orlando as well as Sharis and I do, we made it a point to visit two of our favorite haunts before heading back to Charlotte, North Carolina. The first was Sam Flax, which is the greatest art supply shop that I've ever frequented. I miss it. They have everything, including Zip-A-Tone, which most comic book artists have completely abandoned out of embarrassment. Yes, it's vintage, but I like it. I also took a chance and bought two new Rapid-O-Graphs, which are notoriously fussy tech pens that I swear by and at. When choosing the finer tipped pens, you take the chance that in shipping, the microscopic wire located inside the tip shook loose making the pen unworkable. You should buy four of them in the hopes that you'll get one that works, because a working hot-pink capped Rapid-O-Graph is a powerful, precise drafting tool. I bought two and scored. One worked, enabling me to continue over-rendering my drawings to hide the many flaws.
The other place we visited again was a very fragrant Asian supermarket that Sharis used to enjoy. It's full of fish parts and huge tentacles, which it's clear are meant for eating, and not for that other thing. I enjoy it because I like to study the bizarre logos and mascots on various boxes. A few are genuinely upsetting to a student of subliminal imagery like myself. I'll ask you to use your imagination, since I didn't bring a camera. There was a box of pancake mix, and the mascot was an English king type of character. He was holding a giant fork with a triangle shaped piece of pancake in the tines. It was clearly meant to resemble an ax, and the way the character held it gave the game away. Looking at the stack of pancakes he stood over was equally alarming, since the syrup was dripped in an unnatural way so as to resemble a prostrate human being. A small pat of butter was placed where the heart would be. I can only guess that someone in the advertising department mentioned his concern over the "execution" of the packaging art, and someone got too literal. Very strange.
I did buy an amazing DVD at the supermarket though, just based on the cover art. A beautiful woman sits on a broomstick with a man dressed like a dog, while the giant face of a toddler cries with despair behind them. It made me laugh, so I asked the guy at the register what the text said. He told me it was a horror movie about voodoo. I'll make time for it soon, language barrier be damned.
ITEM: It does still annoy me that the inventor of the Hover-round personal mobility unit introduces himself as "Tom Kruse". He says, "Hi, I'm Tom Kruse, inventor of the Hover-round." A lot of people disagree with me about this, and they have every right to feel the way they do, but in a situation where information is being received with our hear-holes and not our see-holes, I think it's important for someone to somehow distinguish himself from the wise and famous Scientologist who shares your name phonetically. You can be "Thomas Kruse". Or "Thommy Kruse." But when you say, "I'm Tom Kruse", it sounds like you're saying, "I'm Tom Cruise," and a lot of confusion and hurt feelings ensue. I do not recognize this man as the underpanted subway fornicator from Risky Business. This older "powchur" inventor may have had the name first, but I recommend he yield to the younger man who did more to make it famous.
I would abide by this standard in my own life if I needed to. If my name were Dick Van Dike, I wouldn't pop out my hand and say, "Hi, I'm Dick Van Dike." Sure, my name would be spelled differently than the slightly more famous Dick Van Dyke's, but I couldn't expect you to realize this merely by pronouncing it. I would respectfully introduce myself as Richard Van Dike. Or Rick. Or Rickie, or Richie. I'm sure you understand my point by now, no matter how hostile you've become by having to read about it.
ITEM: Speaking of "See-holes", if you very slightly rearrange the letters in the name Chloe, you get C hole. And I do think that's very funny, though I'm still angry about Tom Kruse and can't laugh about it now.
ITEM: Many people have already heard about my wife's encounter with a stray and severely neglected Rottweiler this past Wednesday. If you didn't hear about it, here's a thread she started about it, complete with local news report links. She was bitten, but she's okay, and we've just gotten word that the animal wasn't rabid, just very, very hungry. I can relate. But Sharis is doing fine, and we want to thank everyone for the very kind messages of support and well-wishes she received. They cheered her up quite a bit.
ITEM: It's the end, the pitiful end of Blockbuster. It serves no purpose anymore, since pay-per view cable services are convenient and inexpensive, and those who still wish to rent dvds can either use NetFlix or the new RedBox machines that require no memberships and no waiting in line. For a while, I thought that this once hugely successful chain still had relevance, since perhaps the employees working behind the counter would have a wide knowledge of movies, and would hopefully be opinionated movie geeks that'd happily tell you something you were about to rent sucked. This doesn't seem to be the case, though. I felt bad for Blockbuster the other day, and went in to buy some movies. I bought How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and W, and was warned about neither, which I should have been. Because I did ask the pierced methamphetamine addict (my allegation, based only on my own prejudices) what he thought of The Haunting of Molly Hartley and he shrugged and said he didn't see it. How can that be? The shop is empty and you have nothing but a room full of dvds and televisions. It just makes me sad.
That'll do for now. Thank you for joining me for my first edition of ETHAN VAN SCIVER'S HUAC which is numbered #11. I'd love some comments, particularly opinions about The Haunting of Molly Hartley or any other recent dvd releases that you think I should see, since I can't get any help from Blockbuster. Also, be a dear and tag the "recommended" box at the top of the page, please? This helps this amazing information reach the largest possible audience, and we all want that.
Peace be unto you,
Ethan Van SciverMake sure you time is fully lost, or rather, you're filled with Hope, Understanding and Compassion: Your Time is Now Mine, 10 Your Time is Now Mine, 9 Your Time is Now Mine, 8 Your Time is Now Mine, 7 Your Time is Now Mine, 6