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Poetry: A Lost Piece

Posted in 104, bad ideas, blame society, family, poetry, randomness, ranting, whimsy on February 22nd, 2014 by Hannibal Tabu
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I’m working on a fairly big project with my wife, and it required me to take a trip down memory lane through files more than a decade old, or more. Some of the memories might be best forgotten, truth be told — betrayals I’ve chosen to ignore in order to keep the peace, opportunities that ended up fruitless, and so on. Some, however, cracked me up.

This is a poem I wrote in June of 2003. That was an interesting time … anyway, here goes …

Evanescent moment
between locked eyes and locked lips
where everything is possible,
romance is Schroedinger’s cat
and all the wars and tears of all the world
mean nothing compared to us
here
now

“To The Girl My Brother Slept With On Her First Date With Me”
June 22, 2003
By Hannibal Tabu

Simpler times …

Playing (Music): “I’m Your Baby Tonight” by Whitney Houston

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Comics: Torturing The Weak And Stupid For My Own Amusement (and Profit)

Posted in 104, bad ideas, blame society, buy pile, comedy, comics, fandom, randomness, ranting, snark on September 27th, 2013 by Hannibal Tabu
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Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I’ve done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, if I feel like it, after the reviews post, I try to come over to my blog and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s gibberish, but it’s always about comics … let’s see what we get this week!

Actual email I got after my Buy Pile reviews posted on Thursday, September 26th (profanity edits are mine)…

holy f***, we get it, you like transformers. if fables and transformers weren’t on the shelves you’d have to drop the industry entirely. time for a new reviewer.

Hh. My response.

Hello!

Thanks for writing in.

Also, thanks for reading the column, especially (in the last month) the glowing reviews of Saga, Sex Criminals (brand new this week!), Astro City, Batman #23.2, Chew, Lazarus (only on issue #3) and Kill Shakespeare.

Hold on, you might think Kill Shakespeare is too much like Fables. Well, at least there’s the other wildly different comics not involving giant robots or classical literary characters during one of the most diverse and engaging periods in the entire history of comics.

Thanks again for writing in!

Earlier this month, my pal John Layman went to war with … honestly I can’t remember the guy’s name, or what his website was. Anyway, some reviewer wrote up John’s book and said that something happened in the book, something that absolutely did not happen. John went after the guy, demanding an apology. The guy hemmed, hawed, played at “really being a big fan,” and all kinds of foolishness, but would not retract and did not apologize for the actual clearly provable offense. It reminded me of this, even if tangentially, because John’s incredulity at this ill-informed person on the unpaid side of the screen somewhat mirrored my own.

just some of the comics i've reviewed glowingly ... not that some people can be bothered with facts ...

Everybody won’t like what I like. I know that. Some people hate read my weekly column and gnash their teeth that I get paid to do this while their (in their minds) clearly superior opinions languish in perhaps lesser seen corners of da intawebs.

I get it. I’ve felt the same way at times. I’ve echoed Kanye’s thoughts, “damn, these ******s that much better than me?” reading names of new writer assignments and multimedia deals off of Twitter accounts. I remember even staring, gape jawed, at Roger Ebert (spirit bless his soul) when he completely misunderstood the film Biker Boyz. I’ve gritted my teeth when reading licensed properties that saw me through puberty, wishing I was turning in the script and cashing the check so things could be the right way. My way. I understand all of that.

What I don’t understand — and being raised in the south never really understood — is the lack of civility. I may think (and do) that 2 Chainz is the worst thing to happen to hip hop since the word “recoup,” and if asked, I’d be happy to say the same (and have, via Twitter), even directly to him. However, angrily volunteering my opinion, especially with profanity … what’s that supposed to accomplish exactly? Did this guy believe I’d look at the screen and say, “My god … he’s right! Well, time to write up a letter of resignation and stop doing the job I’ve done consistently for longer than my stepdaughter has even been alive!”

It’s not just the “more honey with flies than vinegar” issue (which I had to learn and strive to apply all the time, another reason I talk about the work, not the people, because I don’t know them). It’s basic human decency, the fundamental idea of going out in the world without trying to start a fight that serves no purpose and returns no profit. I write these reviews for three reasons: I love comic books, I get paid to do this, and when I do it lots of people take a look at what I’m doing, which is all good for a writer. It’s a business relationship and I do try to approach it in a professional manner. Any effects of antagonism upon people are purely accidental, but my laughter at their reactions is often quite genuine and intentional.

It’s not like hate mail even bothers me — I kind of love it, because I don’t really know how to process the admiration of others. Bad wiring somewhere in my head, I guess. I know what to do with unprovoked hatred, though. Black guy, survives growing up in the south, that’s a very early lesson. In laughing at it, I still can’t comprehend the thought pattern that goes into it … which brings us here I suppose.

To be fair, I don’t understand much of human behavior. I am able to write characters due to observation, but most people I know don’t even know why they do things. Most of that kind of foolishness, generally, has the common decency to stay out of my inbox. Funny old life.

Playing (Music): “Speechless” by Lady Gaga

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Life: “… showed heart but got cardiac arrested …”

Posted in bad ideas, children, family, life, ranting, sadness, wife on July 27th, 2013 by Hannibal Tabu
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robin roberts got scared too, and she can afford way better coverage

People often ask me “how are you” or “are you all right?” My honest answer of late has been “I don’t know.”

Sitting in a doctor’s chair on Friday, I learned some of what’s happening with me. Papillary muscle ventrical tachycardia. A muscle inside the lower part of my heart has some kind of electrical problem that’s unusual, leading to something weakening the heart muscle and my heart pumping a little less blood than it should. I’d say more, but I don’t want to look it up.

For years, I’ve considered myself the healthiest person I knew, and sitting in that chair, it settled in on me that I am now a completely different person. Now I am a person with a chronic health condition, one where doctors have advised me to keep taking medicine for the next two or three years while they hope that my heart heals itself.

I’m not “that healthy guy” I once saw myself as. Given that this could have lurked in my chest for years with me being none the wiser, maybe I never was that guy. Any minor indiscrepancies in my work are the swinging of the sword of Damocles over my head, the need to maintain employment and health coverage now having nothing to do with my wife or kids for a change.

On one hand, I had an epic run as “apparently flawless.” I did things that would make Brothers’ SportsCenter, I have a laundry list of accomplishments that I worked hard to achieve and inspire me. Still … I want to do so much more, for my girls, for my marriage, for myself.

The sentence that most affected me was “you didn’t do this to yourself.” My diet, my lifestyle choices, all of it was fine. I did everything I was supposed to do, from sodium to exercise and it didn’t make a lick of difference. They said I’m doing well on the treatment and just have to keep it up along with my doctor visits. It doesn’t treat my fear, my anxiety, my worry for my girls to never be young and ask Tatiana Grant’s fateful question.

“I don’t know” is my answer to how I am because I felt fine all along. I have to recalibrate my entire sense of what “being okay” is about, and I have no idea where or how to start. I am forty years old and driving fast in the dark with no headlights and no idea where I’m going.

I’m still here and I’m still trying. That’s the best I can say right now. How am I? I’m here. That’s all I’ve got.

Playing (Music): “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John

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