December Morn…

2 Dec
December promise you gave unto me
December whispers of treachery
December clouds are now covering me
December songs no longer I sing
Collective Soul
Hardly the cheeriest song, come to think of it. But hey, it was the 90’s, an era when grunge had run its course and hip-hop & gangsta-rap were now dominating the charts. It was okay for a white kid from the burbs to  wear his cap side-ways, cross his arms and pepper his speech with “yo,  represent” and “word.”

Or was it? No. Most. Definitely. Not.

Here’s the thing, we [rock audiences] were waiting for a band to lift rock out of its [insert modifier]-rock doldrums. We were tired of the sub-genres reigning supreme and wanted to hear some friggin’ rock music again. Not Southern Rock; not Punk Rock; not Grunge Rock or even Rock-a-billy damn it!

For Those About to Rock We Salute You
And Collective Soul did just that. Starting with 1994’s  HINTS ALLEGATIONS AND THINGS LEFT UNSAID – they got us cranking up the volume again. They reminded us we didn’t need to wear drug-lord amounts of gold chain or shiny synthetic clothes. We could don a simple tee-shirt, pull up our jeans and take a hot chick out to a concert on Saturday Night. Maybe we’d even get lucky.

Now what has any of this to do with comics, pop culture, art or Speakeasy Primates you say? Oh.. Mr. Smarty-Pants huh? Well, to quote Dr. Demento:

Boot To The Head

Actually it all does make sense in a round-about fashion. I write & create according to my moods. The tunes I am listening to usually play a part in getting me in a particular mood or vibe. For example if I’m listening to John Denver, you bet your Grandma’s Feather Bed I am not gonna be able to muster the emotional zone to write dark, violent scripts, poetry or prose. Just not happening.

Don’t believe me? Try it sometime. When you sit down to write, listen to some tune-age that reflects the tone of your material. Need to write a comedic scene? Why not listen to some Weird Al. Going to write your lady a love-poem? Try listening to some classic AM GOLD. About to script the pay-back sequence in the next action blockbuster? Go ahead and crank some metal.

Let me know the results – I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Now before I go… what the heck, I’ll share a bit of verse I wrote some time ago, while listening to  “Shine” from Collective Soul and thinking about the Gulf Oil Spill. It attacks the notion that corporations can get away with phrases like “this was an accident” – somehow absolving themselves of negligence & responsibility. No! Accidents are the result of unavoidable circumstances not the careless practices of greedy corporations & corrupt regulatory bodies. Since I am a comic creator – I felt the well-known and greatly feared image of a careless spill over a page of art would make for an interesting contrast.


The ichor sweet stank
—- of india ink mars
——– the cartoonist’s fare
His errant hand grasped
—- lacking ill intent
——– the brush without care
Now all his marvels
—- lie ruined ‘neath black
——– he must start fresh anon
Since he’s no captain
—- of rich industry
——– his spills harm no one
But him and his art
—- not thousands of lives
——– all screaming and noisome
After all ‘tis ink
—- alone that here stains
——– page, not a Gulf of Poison


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