Tuesday, October 24, 2017
So this kid Kyle, who I’ve just met after starting Miss Green’s class at Temuka Primary in early 1985, he reckons he’s into comics too, and says he’ll lend me the issue of the Judge Child Quest, if I want. He seems pretty cool.
Thirty-three years later, we’re still incredible geeks about things like Doctor Who and the X-Men. We’re a hell of a lot older now, but when it comes to this shit, we never really grew up.
The other week we went for an eight-hour drive just to go check out the comic book possibilities of Dunedin. He still seems pretty cool.
Monday, October 23, 2017
My birthday is exactly one week after New Year's, so usually falls on the one weekend of the year nobody wants to party any more.
So from a very young age, instead of parties, I grab some mates and go to the movies. I see a Bill and Ted film for my 17th, waste one birthday at the godawful Batman Forever, and see at least three different Star Trek films.
The best was probably my 40th, when I see John Wick at some hipster cinema in Portland, Oregon, after a night of deep degustation and classic video games. Some people want to rock all night and party every day, but I'd rather sit in the dark with the wife and watch Keanu shoot gangster scum in the face.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
The only right and proper place in all of this gleaming, shining space-time curve of the universe to read the Invisibles is on some beach in the mid-1990s, brain swirling with a cocktail of drugs and alcohol and dodgy existential ideas.
It always worked for me, anyway.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Sometime in 2003, I visit my little sister in Sydney, and it's great to catch up, and the short holiday gets even better when I find a bunch of 2000ads going cheap at a second-hand place in the centre of town.
I'm in a peak 2000ad period, and especially obsessed with the latest deepening of the Judge Dredd and the balls-to-the-wall thrills of Nikolai Dante. So I'm trying to snap up all the issues I've missed over the past eight years, a task that is proving surprisingly difficult, and when I see ones that are only a couple of years old, going for an Aussie buck each, I grab a fucking shit-ton of them.
To be more accurate, I end up walking out of there with about seven of eight kilograms worth of comics, which isn't a big deal, until I remember that my sister's place is a good few kays away from the train station, and I gotta walk there in the early summer heat, because I've blown all my cash on comics.
There have been a couple of times when being a total fucking nerd has almost got me killed, and this was one of them. I sometimes think that if I die and go to hell, it will all go a bit Sisyphus, and it will be something like that endless fucking walk along baking Sydney streets, carrying a dead weight of printed paper and getting weaker and weaker, and getting to the end of the journey, only to discover they were a bunch of issues I already have.
Friday, October 20, 2017
And when we’ve all just moved out of home, and are far away from Mum and dad, we discover we can stay up all night watching music video channels until dawn, and nobody is going to stop us. We’re grown ups now, and can do what we want, and what we want to do is watch music videos all night.
We ended up doing it a lot, and every night would end with a mission to the 24 dairy for some supplies, and a climb up some hill to meet the sun. It was so easy back then, but I am old now, and the last time I stayed up all night, it took me three days to recover.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
My relationship with the lovely wife started as a long distance relationship, which meant we spent a lot of time on the phone for a couple of months, before she made the ultimate sacrifice and moved to Blenheim with me.
At the time, Battlestar Galactica had just been rebooted, and was playing on Friday nights, and the soon-to-be wife would always ring up 10 minutes into a new episode, and I would completely miss what was happening. I got so lost, I gave up the series altogether, and didn’t catch up on this missing episodes until after the series had ended. Even though I was really enjoying the show, I gave it up without a second thought, because some things are more important than some TV show.
Spending a Friday night watching Battlestar Galactica is a fine thing, but sometimes a boy just needs to get out of the house and meet some girls.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
The first thing I buy with my first proper paycheck is a new, more powerful TV aerial, so I can watch season three of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is only playing on a station that doesn't yet broadcast in our area. It's not perfect, and I still have to watch most episodes through the static for another year or two, but it’s my only ticket to the final frontier.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
For some darn reason, every time I see a new David Lynch film for years, it's at the very end of a drunken, debauched weekend.
Me and my mates head off to Lost Highway one Sunday night, all still hungover from the excellent wedding party we'd all been to the night before; I see Mulholland Drive at the end of a massive bender of a weekend, still tripping from the night before, dry and confused in the cinema; and I'm too old to be getting that drunk at my sister-in-law's 21st, but the massive hangover doesn't stop me from staggering off to Inland Empire the next day.
It's not big, and it's not clever, and for a while I convince myself that it really helps, seeing movies with such fluid grasps of reality, when it feels like everything in my body and mind is turning inside out. That some kind of physical punishment boosts the intellectual connection with these fractured narratives, and these moments of goofball humour and shattering horror.
And when I watched almost all of the new Twin Peaks stone-cold sober on a Monday afternoon, and Lynch's work is as transcendent as ever, it looked like that theory was just a load of malarkey. Then I saw the last episode at two in the morning, and I'm still a bit traumatised by that.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Finding old issues of X-Men comics was an absolute fucking mission in the late eighties, but at least there were plenty of Classic X-Men comics to fill in the gaps.
I still have the same issues I bought off the shelves of Baird's Bookshop, all those years ago, and when I read them recently to see if they still held up - shit yeah, they do - I found myself reading a comic I first read by the public pool at the Temuka Domain. I know this, because the back cover is still crinkled from where I accidentally sat on it. I was almost inconsolable about the small damage to the pristine comic book back then, but that damage is now a direct wormhole to that day.
Summer days by the pool with new X-Men comics can feel like they last forever when you're 12-years-old. As long as I've still got the comic in question, they still do.