THE SHOCK OF THE OLD.
I am in the throws of a strange type of recrimination. Did I do the correct thing by being so aloof and being so uppity as one person called it, in my stance of Roman centurion against the forces of barbarian darkness....? I was elected to nothing, and funny thing is, for the hurled crap at me of racism, sexism, ect, by Coppolla's fag phalanx, in my life, Blacks, Jews, Asians, Arabs and Poles have given me less of a hard time than some Italians have, most of whom seemed desperate to put on heirs, which my roman minded, anise sipping, parents found appalling. Which by even saying, seemed to prove my point. A black woman thought my work was important about Roman literature, another Jewish yenta agent type said to me in 2002, with BUSH in power, I MUST READ MORE ROMANS, and most wished me well personally, not in that form letter way. And yet, the Sicilian gangster movie maker wanted to call the cops on me, and had me exiled from his little artist colony-brewery-wine merchant villa, where Scipio and Agrapinna his brats, no nepotism there, are in the back, with her melotto feet stomping the Sardinian grapes, ala Lucy.
While I was in art school, there was a creepy scummy foe in a class in which I had been sent into for various reasons, some including, perhaps maybe having hurled a drafting table into a wall. There was a creep here in this class who was the perfected comic creep, but with affectations of art, down to a goatee and thin arms and a nose like seen on jug head. Every construction I made was met by vindictiveness by this drawer of racoon's, this low rent cretin who made variations on Audubon Society duck paintings. But, I brought in some pages I had done in Neal Adams style of my renamed hero, Megaman, then, who was the previously pictured Mister Stupendous. A small crowd gathered, and some were quite impressed, as by my attempts at creating textural gritty roman wall art works, they were not. But now, it was seen I could draw, which some had guessed all along anyway, and wondered why I didn't just slavishly copy as it seemed I could anyway.
But I noted the goatee boy, a miscreant slob, who to this day a buddy of mine from then refuses to mention his name, and like the word Satan in a Neapolitan church, will not name him out loud. He stood there, almost mind you admiring, or at least impressed, that I could ape Neal Adams, or could then, just to show the caliber of art which passed for good in this pit of Spiderman drawers. There was no commiserate shaking of his goteed head from Modigliani over here, no snide remarks, from this creep who acted to Clevanger and the red headed bitch girl as a always affable stooge partner in crime. And by crime, of course I mean, their white knuckled art. What bothered me most about this shlub was his new found quiet, his deference to me, his silence, as if shocked, and his now acquiescence to my talents, which I despised more than his sneering, shaking his head or snide remarks. It was he who actually once, when one made a real effort to speak to me and said, bless her brunette cheerleader--the best kind-- little heart, that my work was vibrant and colorful, this asswipe was seen by people who would befriend me later, as actually shaking his fucking goteed, hef pipe smoking, yes I said pipe smoking, head. I immaculately begged the roman gods for justice and hope, to this day, that he is slaving away in some comix book or other like low life guttural sweatshop, of course, drawing varmints, as Yosemtite would call the flea bitten creatures. Hmmmn... Why did I edit that out the first time...?
"NO COMMENT,..." I asked, " On this art, this time from the Robert Hughes of Steelerland, TODAY...Gee, I am allowed in the mouseketeer club now, pals...? "I don't think anyone else there even knew who Robert Hughes was, and I would fleetingly meet him when he came to Pittsburgh to trash the Warhol art museum and bowling lanes, saying it didn't have any art in it.
He was stunned by this, and feigned a slimy smile, and again shook his head and sauntered away. The Room was quiet, everyone had only known me from repute, including my Roman art, admired by Flavia and Ciotti--[though I think neither really liked me as a person]--but mostly perhaps, as I have said, occasionally hurling drafting tables in to walls upon which the prints of the incandescently dull Pointillists and Kandinsky--great wrestler that Kandinsky--, had been pinned up. I saw the reaction I got, from some who would become friends, for in the previous year when I was in another room egging on a couple of buddies to do ace Ventura rifts because the rest of the room found it insufferable, this creep had smarmy and meanly been something along the lines of a cheerleader amid the dorks, and thought he was bulletproof. This time, he slimed away, for he was what the great Classy Fred Vlassey called a pencil necked geek, and I look like captain Lou Albano, more or less.
Every time I wonder if I should have just spent my life copying Neal Adams, or should have become just another comic hack, I think of these mists of recalled memory of doing roman punitive battle with zoetrope and comics queens, and I am reassured in my devotional place as defender of the republic.