Break My Pattern
Friday after work I took BART to San Francisco and attended an underground comix panel given by the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum. The panel members were listed as Lee Marrs, Victor Moscoso, Ted Richards, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez and S. Clay Wilson. I haven't seen Wilson in twenty years. I know Ted, Trina, Victor and Spain, but only to say hello, how ya doing, what's been happening.
We published a couple of Ted's Dopin' Dan books at The Rip Off Press and Trina was a member of the weekly comix syndicate. I'd forgotten she'd been a friend of Don McNeil when he was a writer for the Village Voice and she'd been drawing for The East Village Other. Don and I had been pretty good friends in college and the first I heard that he'd died in a drowning accident in upstate New York was reading an article in Evergreen Review after I'd gotten out of the army.
Victor was one of the original ballroom poster artists, an artist who, along with Rick Griffin, another poster artist, showed me how a simple line on paper can flip your reality. He did the second cover for The Rip Off Review of Western Culture when I was an editor. No, no one else has heard of it either. Wilson, one of the original Zap cartoonists, is an old friend, however, with whom I spent more than a few long nights talking art and life in the seventies. I was looking forward to seeing him again, my motivation, really, for going. I also wanted to see how they looked after twenty years. I know how I look, so, well, you know the issue, the old approach-avoidance routine.
Wilson was still Wilson, thinner, sipping a little wine at the table, wearing a medium brimmed black hat, tie and sports jacket, longish hair, goatee, plenty of grey, but not as much as mine. He sat down and took a hard look, pointing his finger finally like a gun: "Who? Who? I know you. Right! The eyes. The same eyes." We talked briefly after the panel and exchanged phone numbers. I'll give him a call tomorrow.
A good Friday, a good trip to the city, getting to bed early enough to get up and shoot the wedding today in Tiburon.
Tomorrow (Sunday) is the How Berkeley Can You Be? parade. Tuesday is the opening night of the Baz Luhrmann production of La Boheme. Luhrman is famous for his 1990 Opera Australia production that evidently caused some upset when it opened because it was set in 1950's, rather than 1890's Paris (when it was written). I have the 1993 Sydney opera house performance on video and it's great. Not many bohemians dying of Tuberculosis in 1950's Paris, I suppose, but who's paying attention? So I, who have not gone to an opera in decades (other than performances by my cousin in various Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan productions), have a ticket. This is high living. Next Friday is the Journalcon kick off dinner (hi guys!) and I'm looking forward to meeting some people I've only met thus far through their journals. I'm excited.
This has been a long week, seeing an old friend, shooting a wedding (which, if you were to ask me right now, at this minute, will be my last), a Berkeley parade tomorrow and a favorite opera Tuesday. And the kick off Journalcon dinner Friday. Feels nice to break my pattern.