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Life: Older 2014

Posted in 104, anniversary, awesomeness, bad ideas, blame society, comics, family, happiness, inspiration, life, relationships on January 20th, 2014 by Hannibal Tabu
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hannibal tabu 2014

Once again, I stand poised on the precipice of change, winds of possibility buffeting me as I wonder at tomorrow.

The last year has been interesting, from my first health crisis to moving to winning the Top Cow Talent Hunt to a host of other opportunities, challenges, amusements and foibles. I got into Eccleston’s Doctor Who. I saw my wife’s design business expand. I got an iPad upgrade. I DJed the LA County Fair after parties again, plus a number of other fun private affairs. I had enormous challenges in my professional life. I got to see more of my little girls becoming little people, their personalities gelling and becoming what they will be. I cemented a new tradition of birthday karaoke, low stress, fun times, no drama.

I’m still standing. I’m still here. I’m grateful and determined and sleepy and moving forward.

I’m showing off art from an Eisner winner, made from my words. I’m in a long term partnership with a brilliant independent from my home town.

I’m not afraid, most of all. It feels good, especially since I spent most of my life believing I wouldn’t survive my 40th year, like Malcolm or Martin or many others.

On the other hand, Stan Lee allegedly created Spider-Man when he was 40, so let’s see what’s next, shall we?

Should be fun!

Playing (Music): “As” by Stevie Wonder

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Life: Older 2013

Posted in life on January 20th, 2013 by Hannibal Tabu
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“… I tried to be perfect
it just wasn’t worth it
nothing could ever be so wrong
it’s hard to believe me
it never gets easy
I guess I knew that all along

As the clock ticked over to start my fortieth trip around an impossible ball of gas explosions, I sat in a run down bar in Torrance, California, bracketed with commentary on Doctor Who and reminiscences over a fallen friend. One of my best friends stood on stage, maybe twenty five feet away, finishing up strains of “The Ballroom Blitz.” The songs I sang on the eve of this milestone will provide punctuation for these musings.

“… there are many thing that I would like to say to you
but I don’t know how …

On one hand, I have a laundry list of accomplishments worth noting. Edited a national magazine with a circulation of 200,000 by the time I was 21. Guiding hand in the construction of five multi-million dollar websites. Two novels published. Poetry published in a number of anthologies and journals. Talented wife, wonderful children, steady job at a company investing in growth.

“… off in the night, while you live it up, I’m off to sleep
waging wars to shape the poet and the beat
I hope it’s gonna make you notice
I hope it’s gonna make you notice

… someone like me …”

I have my share of demerits and disparagements against my name. A failed marriage during the first Dubya presidency. Financial catastrophes. Car accidents, almost dying four or five times … in the vernacular, “sh** got real,” too.

“… a heart that’s full up like a land fill,
a job that slowly kills you,
bruises that won’t heal …”

Through out my childhood and my twenties, I had a recurring dream that in September of 2013, I would be run down in the middle of a street by a yellow Ford Gran Torino. It was as crystal clear in my mind as any memory. I don’t seriously believe it will happen, but let’s just say I am going to be very conservative in my movements in September, and likely to drive right up to anywhere I’ll need to be.

“… it’s the terror of knowing
what this world is about
watching some good friends
screaming ‘Let me out’
pray tomorrow gets me higher high high
pressure on people, people on streets …”

One of my strongest beliefs was that a brother younger than 40 in a Cadillac was begging for trouble. I imagined the birthday would come and I’d magically transform — grow gray tinted dreadlocks, ditch the t-shirts and jeans for button shirts and slacks with a mean crease. You know, look like a grown up.

I find the all-purpose style I’ve had since college still holds up, that I can dress it up with a button shirt and take a meeting, but in general, my Nissan Altima’s a more innocuous (and cost effective) choice, that even a week’s worth of hair on my head feels so hot and itchy that it’s simpler to get my latter-season Ben Sisko on. I don’t wanna be somebody different, not like that. Just a more effective me.

“… even the best fall down sometimes
even the wrong words seem to rhyme
out of the doubt that fills your mind
you finally find
you and I
collide …

I say all this to say that I could go in any direction. I could toil away my days like the beleaguered protagonist of The Police’s “Synchronicity 2″ or I could become the Black George Lucas, or hit any point in between. All my best laid plans lie shattered on the road behind me, diminished from the second they made contact with the harsh light of reality. I honestly don’t know where I’m going, or what’s next, but I’m at a point where I care a lot less about it.

“… don’t give up your independence
unless it feels so right
nothing good comes easily
sometimes you gotta fight …”

What I do know is that I’m finding a balance to know what’s right for me. I tweeted this past year that every minute for me is stolen from one of you. That’s fine. It’s not every minute, and I do a lot for others. There’s a space between the vile jackass I once was and the non-stop normal guy I could become where I can take care of business while still furthering my own star-shattering ambitions.

“… nobody said it was easy,
girl it’d be a shame for us to part
nobody said it was easy,
no one ever said it would be so hard

I’m going back to the start …

So, this is 40, with apologies to Judd Apatow.

Playing (Music): “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

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Comics: The Commentary Track for the January 20th Buy Pile

Posted in 104, awesomeness, bad ideas, birthday, blame society, buy pile, cheap publicity, cobra, comics, g.i. joe, marvel, whimsy on January 24th, 2011 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, 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!

What? This week’s reviews

YOU JUST DON’T EVEN CARE ABOUT BEING ON TIME ANYMORE, DO YOU? Look, it was my birthday … which just happened to have been the best birthday evar. If you had all that going on, you’d be late getting your unpaid blog done too. The stuff I got paid for? That was on time. Let’s move on, and I’ll try to do better this week.

CAN WE STILL NOT CALL IT A COMEBACK? If you’re inclined to visit the links to the right under “where else is Hannibal?” you’ll find that, after a year-long sabbatical, I’m back on social networking. Facebook. Twitter. Maybe even MySpace. Definitely Last.fm and Tumblr. In the words of racist jackass Michael Richards, “I’m out there, Jerry, and I’m loving it.”

Well, maybe not “loving” yet — I don’t honestly remember how I kept up with Twitter, and Facebook doesn’t seem very stimulating. We’ll see how it goes.

TONY STARK IS A SUPER VILLAIN: There, I said it. Tony Stark has released more destructive, murderous ideas on the world than anybody short of Hank Pym (Ultron) or Reed Richards (opening the Negative Zone, which essentially made the Annihilation Wave possible). He’s constantly trying to put the genie back in the bottle with middling success. He’s haphazard, he’s unprofessional, he’s smarmy, he’s resistant to oversight and I love every minute of his adventures under the sure hand of Matt Fraction. Seriously.

The only thing that redeems him is how much worse his antagonists are — Mandarin wanted to kill Earth, dude. That’s intense. Zeke Stane upgraded suicide bombers, who then blew up underprivileged little girls. Not cool. The Controller … the less said, the better. It ain’t easy being in 616, and if the guy’s saving you (today), there’s not a lotta time to think about yesterday or tomorrow.

Speaking of Pym, I’m not sure more than one of his Avengers Academy charges won’t go the villain route. He’s doing a crappy enough job as headmaster. It was good to see Tigra fleshed out (no pun intended) as a character, though.

IS THAT THE WAY THAT YOU GON’ BE-HIZZ-AVE? Chuckles is now, on record, the illest G.I. Joe ever. That’s an insanely tough race to win and gives him juevos on a scale that make Snake-Eyes look like he cries himself to sleep every night.

I’m not gonna spoil that amazing ending (although I did see the striking image online some places), but wow. That may lead to buy-on-sight status all by itself, just to see what Chris Ryall’s dangerously crafty crew of lunatics will devise next.

THAT’S THE NEWS, AND I AM OUTTA HERE: Not much else worth discussing, honestly. Off I go for DJ practice!

Playing (Music): “The Sweetest Goodbye” by Maroon 5

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