Tag Archives: dads and sons

Con Report: Paragould Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo

So, this post was written and somehow got filed away in my “saved” files without me ever posting. So, as is the mantra of many comic artists, better late than never! (oh stop it, you artists! I’m just kidding!)

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Me and mah boy!

Me and mah boy!

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Paragould, Arkansas was having a full-fledged comic/geek convention! And it happened to be near a time when I would be in town (Piggott, but that’s close enough) to try to attend. Of course, my second thought was “why didn’t they do that when I actually lived nearby!”

Regardless, I was extremely happy to be a part of the comic guestlist for the inaugural Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo in Paragould, Arkansas. And if you didn’t make it out, shame on you! It would have been well worth your time! The good news is, the con-organizer is already planning a second one!

New readers of Tiny!

New readers of Tiny!

There are three main things I enjoy when I go to comic conventions: the first is meeting fans old and new and talking with them about my projects. Yep, this is certainly an ego thing as all creative types like to hear that there is something about a work they’ve done that stood out with a fan. The second is getting to hang with the creators that I know. A third is getting to meet creators I’ve never had the opportunity to meet before. The cool thing about Paragould is all three of these things happened.

Me, Jason Boyster and son Greydon.

Me, Jason Boyster and son Greydon.

Jason Boyster approached me with his son, Greydon, and picked up a copy of (actually, I forget—but maybe it was Krey). Jason remembered talking to me in the late 90s when I’d actually been at a booth at the Piggott Fourth of July Picnic. He enjoyed our conversation and the books he picked up. He wanted to share a similar moment with his son. Yeah. Pretty cool, huh? Makes a writer all misty-eyed!

Friend Mitch Foust was an artist guest at the show and our mutual good buddy, mega-talented Dean Zachary made the drive up with his sweetheart (brave Dean, introducing her to the comic scene!) to say hi and to deliver a very cool item to me (sorry, that’s all you get for now. You’ll get more later—promise!). John Lucas was there, but didn’t get to talk much to him as he stayed pretty busy!

Timothy Lim (waving) and Mark Pellegrini (oblivious!).

Timothy Lim (waving) and Mark Pellegrini (oblivious!).

I also got to meet artists Timothy Lim, Kelly Williams, Larry Cathey as well as Timothy’s writer pal Mark Pellegrini. Many of us piled up and went to eat on Saturday night where we had a blast! (and my fifteen year old son got hit on by our 20-something waitress!) We talked comics, art, geeky stuff, a little politics (friendly, though, not that facebook hatred stuff) and more comic geeky stuff. Made me really wish I was back in that area because of the coolness!

My cousin, Dr. Kevin Mann stopped by to say hi. He’s made his home and dentist practice there in Paragould. Always nice to see family. And, of course, speaking of family, I love it when my kids get to go with me…and Brett got to attend the show with me! It’s always a fun papa time to show off mah kiddos!

So, not sure if I’ll get to make it back next year—I hope so. But if you’re in the area, you should plan to go!

View from the running track above

View from the running track above

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That happy summer magazine

With kickoff to the new season of football starting…today! (we’re talking college football, ya bums, which is the only football that really matters!) I thought I’d yak about it a bit.

NewMadridEarthquake1990Some years ago—long before the internet and email—I used to receive regular packages from my dad full of newspaper clippings of assorted stories of interest and sports pages. Now, he didn’t just save me all the sports pages, but only the ones that had news about the Arkansas Razorback football team. Back in the pre-internet days, it was very difficult to get news of my favorite team because I was outside the state of Arkansas. In fact, when I was living in California, during football season I’d get a vhs tape around Thursday that had the game from the previous weekend in addition to the sports pages.

I absolutely loved getting those packages. I’d read up the papers, watch the game…and often I’d call dad. This was in the day when you had to pay for your long distance call by the minute, so our football conversations were often brief.

Dad used to send me the summer preview edition of Hawgs Illustrated, which is loaded with roster/player/coaching info to get Razorback fans hyped about the upcoming season…after he was finished. Somewhere along the way—and I don’t remember exactly when—I got a copy in the mail addressed to me! And it was NEW! I called and asked Dad if he’d sent me a copy because I was confused why the publisher was sending me one…and he said he’d ordered me a copy when he ordered his copy. One year my magazine even came with a post-it note attached that said something like “From Dad.”

He’s been doing that every year since.

My happy summer magazine, courtesy of my dad!

My happy summer magazine, courtesy of my dad!

And it’s STILL a happy surprise to get the magazine in the mail…mostly because it reminds me that my dad was thinking about me when he ordered his copy.

Thanks, Dad!

Here’s to a fun football season! Go Hogs, WPS!

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On the treadmill

About a year ago, my son Brett asked if he could get on the treadmill and walk. He’d seen me do it a lot…okay, not a lot, but some. Anyway, he wanted to do it, so we let him. This happened at my parents’ house in Arkansas and the treadmill is kinda behind Dad’s chair. I hooked him up to the abort string—the little string that if you fall, the treadmill stops so that the user won’t go around and around like George Jetson—and set him walking.

So he’s walking at a decent little pace and the rest of us go back about our business, which was probably just chatting, solving all the issues of the world.

Unbeknownst to us, Brett was playing with the buttons on the top. We should have noticed the treadmill sound, but didn’t. What we did hear was Brett say—in a VERY calm voice, mind you: “Uh. Can somebody help?”

When we look over at him, he’s running full speed hanging on to the side rails, having accidentally cranked the speed all the way to the top. I wish I’d had a camera to capture the look on his face.

About a month ago, I started walking pretty regular on the treadmill. I’d gotten reenergized because of a “challenge” by a group of ACFW writers. While I don’t know what my cholesterol is now (I haven’t had it checked in some time), the last two times I’ve had it checked, it was high. I was even prescribed medicine at the last doctor visit. He said, however, that I could help myself a lot by losing some weight.

While I never really considered myself overweight, I figured it had to be an issue if the doctor was telling me to lose some. Truth of the matter is that I’m about 50 pounds heavier than when I graduated high school—oh so many years ago! Frustrating thing is that when I was a junior and weighed in a 170, I tried everything I could possibly think of to gain weight. As an offensive tackle on the football team, it wasn’t unusual for me to go up against guys 220 or more. I desperately wanted to get to 190.

Now, I’d love to get DOWN to 190.

I got out of the habit around the time I went to Minneapolis…but I’ve been back at it for about a week and a half now. I had a preacher once remind us that if you did something for 30 straight days, it was a habit.

I’m not sure about that. I hate exercising. Oh, I like to participate in sports activities, but just to exercise. I can think of 100 different ways I’d rather spend my time!

I’ve tried all sorts of things to help pass the time: watching TV (I have to turn it up so loud and even then I can barely understand), reading (I just can’t focus on the words) and other things. But this time, I’ve found a little trick this latest time around: Playstation.

Yep, I play NCAA football while I’m walking. Hey—I’m closing in on 2 miles per day, so it’s a victory—a minor one maybe, but a victory nonetheless!

On another happy note: The kids brought their report cards home on Thursday and they both made straight A’s! Mom and Dad are very proud! J

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Dear old Dad

Okay, before you read any further, you need to clearly understand I love my Dad. I need to make sure I’ve got that out of the way upfront here so there’s no mistaking it. For the most part, I’ve always had a good relationship with Dad—with the exception of this short period before I moved out of the house…and we couldn’t agree on the proper length my hair should be. J

But Dad has a knack for fixing things up. Well, mostly. If he doesn’t understand it, he’ll tackle it and try to understand it. He’s very mechanical-minded, too.

I’m not.

In spite of the fact that he tried very hard to pass that mechanical-mindedness down to me, it just didn’t take. It was just one of those things I never really had an interest in. Yeah, I like my car. I want to put gas in it and I want it to go. I don’t really care what happens under the hood as long as it gets me from point A to point B.

When my sister, Angie, and I lived at home, he would always do stuff for us, sometimes on the sly to see how long it would take for us to notice. Keep in mind, before he retired, my Dad would wash the cars once a week—whether they needed it or not.

Once, when my sister was having tire-problems of some sort (brakes? I dunno), Dad worked on them and then decided to go with her to buy new ones…or something. As Angie was driving down the road, she suddenly looked out her window and saw her tire passing her by on the road! Yep. Dad forgot to tighten the lugnuts and it held for a while, but the tire eventually came off and rolled right past her while she was driving on the road!

Throughout the process of our move down to Mississippi, most of our stuff has been stored in Dad’s big (new!) shed for some time. Once we bought our house, it was time for us to get all the outside stuff, too: lawnmowers, etc.

As I loaded up, Dad let me know that he’d worked on my riding lawnmower while we were in Oxford and the mower was under his shed—something I was very grateful for. He’d greased it and all that sort of stuff—tuned it up.

Well, the other day, I was mowing and suddenly noticed the grass was cutting funny. No, my tire didn’t sail past me. But as I got off the mower to look at the grass, I noticed a lawnmower blade sitting pretty as you please in the path behind me. Now, I would have thought if the blade came off, it would have shot out. But I think I’ve figured out that it simply just “unscrewed” as it cut…and then just dropped off. I found the nut right beside the blade.

That’s my dear old Dad!

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