Stan Lee was the American dream.  The son of immigrants, he was born to modesty, grew to wealth, and made a million people smile along the way.  He never took himself too seriously and he respected what he did.  He spoke for those who had no voice, looked to the future, and left the world better than he found it.  His legacies are many but I hope the legacy of creating smiles and feeling proud of doing just that is never overlooked.

I never had the honor of meeting him, but I’ve known many who have and to the one, they all spoke of a man who was modest and pleasant and a delight.  He seemed encouraging and fun and kind.  As you scroll through social media and see people sharing their pictures and their stories of him, note how many of them show genuine, unguarded smiles.  Stan Lee helped create much of our modern world, in ways big and small.  He helped pioneer ‘the great hero as an ordinary person’ perspective of fiction.  He inspired.

Not a bad legacy, that.

RIP, Stan Lee.

New Short Story!

Sorry for the delay!  Technology isn’t as reliable as it once was, it would seem.  Which seems apropos because this story is about an up-and-coming DJ trying to track down the origin of a mysterious record.  Distantly inspired by HP Lovecraft’s The Music of Erich Zann, Block-Rockin’ Beats is live now, in the Serials & Short Story section.

I’ll see you on Tuesday morning for Election Day!

One Week Away

There are two types of voters: informed and misinformed.  There are no uninformed voters because in this day and age, you cannot help but draw information and form opinions of the world around you.  And given the misinformation campaigns at play these days, without actively seeking out facts, a person is almost certainly misinformed.  It is only a question of by how much are they misinformed.

I don’t want to urge you to vote.  I want to urge you to become informed.  By being informed, by learning the facts, by learning the reality of the world, the course of action will become clear: you MUST vote.  Not should.  Not have a vested interest in.  Must.  If you don’t know in your heart of hearts, in your soul, in every fiber of your being that you MUST vote, then you are not informed.  You are misinformed.

Learn the facts.  And then do what the facts reveal to be absolutely necessary, absolutely imperative.

Learn.  Study.


Anime USA

I think Anime USA was best summed up for me when, on Sunday morning, I was running across the dealer’s room to go through artist’s alley one last time.  I was diverted by a crowd of onlookers marveling at the doodads and doohickeys for sale at the myriad of dealers, and thus was taking a route I had not taken before.  Lo and behold, what should I find in a corner of the dealers’ room but a small display of the convention’s twenty-year history.  There, laid out for enterprising onlookers to see, were the cast and crew, the teams and entertainers, who made the convention possible in years passed.

                Winding all the way back into the tail end of the last millennium, we see program guides and lists from the first Anime USA.  The convention that would become a cornerstone of the Virginia con scene, that would grow into the mid-fall highlight that it is, started modestly.  It hasn’t yet grown too large but it has prospered and thrived, like an independent store that continues to do admirable business even sandwiched between monolithic giants. Continue reading “Anime USA”