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RKYV # 16 {September 2008}

RKYV ONLINE LOGO - David Marshall { current }
- Roy G. James { original }
- R.J. Pare { original online adaptation}
Virtual Cover # 16
- art by Bob Labute Interior Art - pieces by Josh Bowe, Mirit
- layouts by David Marshall Ben Nun, Nadide Gurcuoglu, Holly
Jewell, Steve-O Mullock, Kurtis Jewell,
Editorial Column - “At The Outset:” Bob Labute, Mike Grattan, Yousif Al-
A Few Thoughts From the Editor Hamadi,
- by RJ Pare’
Short Fiction –
Featured Artist Review “Somber Thoughts - One”
- by Wade Ferris & R.J. Pare’ - by Nathaniel Baker

World View “The Seventh Son”

- “A Canadian Living in the USA” - by Scott Claringbold
- by Tom Rossini
Non-Fiction - “Futurism in the Funnies”
Writer’s Column - by Roy G. James
- “Creation in our World”
- by Larissa Gula Pop Culture –
“Comic Book Review”
Poetry - by Larissa Gula, R. J. Pare’, -by Brad Bellmore
Steph, Stephen Campbell, Anna “Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons”
Gehmacher - by Pauline Harren Pare

- by
Mirit Ben
A Few Thoughts From The Editor – by R. J. Pare’
The title of this monthly collection of opinions, reviews, art, poetry and prose is
RKYV [as you should know if you are reading this]. Most of you are aware that the
magazine’s title is a stylized method of spelling ‘ARCHIVE’. In previous editorials I
have explored the definition of this word and this ‘Zine through comparison. I think it
would be interesting at this point to take a closer look at the word ‘ARCHIVE’.

An ARC in literature is a series, or course, of events in the development of a character
or plot. It is a specific element within the construct of the greater whole that is the
finished piece of poetry or prose. A HIVE can be used to describe the functioning of any
group of people that are organized into shared purpose. This can be a pejorative [the
employees at work are a bunch of drones… the place is a hive of automatons] or it can
serve as a compliment [the disaster victims were industrious in rebuilding… a busy hive
of activity that saved many lives, in the long run]. Seen in a positive light, a hive can be
viewed as an inter-dependent functioning community.

Dusk – by Bob Labute

Untitled – by Nadide Gurcuoglu

A Course of Events – A Community

In a very real sense an ‘ARCHIVE’ is just that, a repository for the recorded events,
dreams and wishes of a given community. In our case, RKYV ONLINE is a vibrant
record of the creative energies of our contributors. Our writers and artists, indeed, are a
community. Their visual and literary inventions make up the content of this not – for –
profit E-zine. Through constructive feedback this content continues to evolve along with
the growing and changing nature of the community.

In this month’s issue I would like to welcome Brad Bellmore onboard as he begins a
new feature… the Comic Book Review. I look forward to his column, as the ‘funny
books’ [what some folks use to call them] were my entry point, early in life, to the worlds
of Art and Literature. These four-colour gems were fantastic portals to lands rich in
myth-making stories and breath-taking illustrations. I do not exaggerate when I suggest
that without comic books… my love of the creative arts and this mag in particular might
never have been...

Until next month

Untitled – by Holly Jewell & Steve-O Mullock
By Wade Ferris & R. J. Pare’
Bob’s Artist Statement

Went to school to take Fine Arts at Fanshawe College

in 1979. Went back to school to take Advertising Art
in 1990 at St. Clair College. I have been showing in
galleries, bars ,coffee shops and street shows since

I’ve worked in the commercial art business for 15

years and been a fine artist 28 years.

My work has gone through many changes over the

years; at the moment my style is a mix of surrealism,
contemporary and church art. I can’t really say who
my favourite artists are or who inspired me the most
because I love all art and have been influenced my so

My art to me is a way to tell stories, like the poet or the song writer. Things that happen
in my life or to my friends and family around me become my subjects. Current events,
life and death, love and sorrow are all mixed in with the paint to become my art.

My art is my therapist my art is my child my art is my spouse and my art is the way I see
the world.

1. RJP: Did you study or major in art while in school?

Yes art was my major , when I was the one in high school how always went against the
grain, I had a few good fights with my art teacher I always had to do things my way and
draw the way I saw the world . After high school I went to Fanshawe College in London
Ontario. WOW, was that ever a good class they opened my eyes wide. I only stayed there
a year and moved back to Windsor I met a lady, Joyce who owned an art supply store and
a little gallery she helped me start my career as an artist I had a couple shows in her
gallery and she introduced me to a lot of the local artists that were here in the 1980s.
Ten years later I went back to school to take advertising art at St. Clair College in
Windsor . After my first year there I got a job as a designer in an embroidery shop. Now
I’m working in an art gallery and I can truly say I learn something new about art and the
people who create it every day.
Artist: Bob Labute
Title: The Rock
Media Used: Acrylic and Stones
Size: 12 X 20
Date Created: 2007

WF: Labute focuses on the object of

man's desire with this piece, giving
insight into how he views and appreciates
woman in her entirety. She is at once
beautiful, glorious, and fascinating. Her
form draws man's eye and makes him
yearn to explore her, to experience every
hill, slope, plateau, and stream. She's
fertile and bountiful. There is danger there
as well- if he doesn't watch his step, if
he's not deliberate, if he doesn't respect
who and what she is, he may well die on
the rocks. He could never dominate her,
and he loves that. He never tires of getting
to know her, not simply her terrain, but
also the inner caves of her soul. She is
exclusively her own, and he could love
nothing more than to be alone with her in
the sea of love.

2. RJP: Who was you biggest influence or source of encouragement, as a child, in

pursuing art?

As a child I don't remember any one really encouraging me I just like to do Creative
stuff. My mother always gave me the white cardboard that came with her nylons it was
like Bristol board I could paint on it draw on it even glue things to it. So I would say by
doing that she helped plant the seed to take a piece of useless paper and make something
beautiful and useful out of it. By the time I was in grade 9 she took me out and bought me
a good set of oil paint and then that opened a hole new can of worms.

3. RJP: What is your favorite media to work with?

It changes, right now I'm painting most of the time .I like acrylic paints - they dry fast. I
work on five or six paintings at a time and go back and forth working on them so I never
get bored of working on the same painting. Sometimes these creative runs I have only last
for a month or two; sometimes only for a week or so. So I like to work fast and get as
much done as I can while I'm inspired. Sometimes I work with pencil but because of an
injury to my shoulder a couple years back I find pencil to be uncomfortable to work with.
I have done many colour pencil drawings over the years. In my younger days I was
very good at doing portraits in colour pencils . In the mid to late 80's I did most of my
work with ink I liked using black ink with very geometric shapes and added a splash of
colour using colour pencils or just plain black and white ink drawings. So to pick a
favourite is hard… they all served me well when I needed them. Who knows what my
next phase will bring?

Artist: Bob Labute

Title: Letting Go (finding peace)
Media Used: Acrylic and Stones
Size: 12 X 12
Date Created: 2007

WF: "If you love me, you'll let me

go." The words are practically
audible, but the imagery renders
them unnecessary. How could he
let go of his very heart? How could
one loved so much even want to
leave? And yet loving someone
means seeking their happiness,
their peace, above your own. And
so he lets go.

4. RJP: How would you categorize your artistic style?

It may sound strange but I think I'm a realist all my artwork tells stories of real people,
real events and real feelings. Through other peoples eyes they may not look real so
people can call it anything they like. I just create the art you guys can give it a title.

5. RJP: Would you say that there is a "message" or "unifying theme" in your work?

My message is what ever is in my heart at the moment. You may notice I use a lot of
hearts in my work, because that’s were it all starts.

6. RJP: Which famous artists or styles have influenced you? Why?

All of them I feel what artists are saying. I borrow from other styles I've been using a lot
of panels cut like old church are triptychs like stain glass windows with an almost surreal
looking painting inside. I guess my favourite style is the surrealist; I love Yves Tanguy’s
paintings. A lot of people say I paint like Dali but I think that’s only because he is the
only well know surrealist so that’s why they compare me to him. I don't think I paint like
him at all he is more of a masterful painter like the Dutch master, I'm not even close to
being that good. But it is a nice complement I think I paint more like Bob LaBute and I
want to keep it that way.
Artist: Bob Labute
Title: Healing
Media Used: Acrylic
Size: 8 X 10
Date Created: 2007

WF: How much abuse can one heart

take? The heart is mortal, it can be
stopped, it can be killed. One little
stab and it could be over. It seems
this heart has taken more than its fair
share of abuse, and yet somehow it
struggles on to keep beating. It's
done what it can to mend itself, but
the holes persist, weakening the
lover's will. At this point perhaps the
love represented, once healthy and
true, is now mostly co-dependent.
Eventually abuse can cause any
lover to become so concerned with
surviving, so bent on stopping the
pain, they lose sight of the hate and
damage being done to it. It turns
black, cold, and dead but for the
desire to keep trying.

7. RJP: If you could meet any living or dead artist, who would it be?

Van Gogh... somehow I feel connected to him, not sure how to explain this but I've
always felt we share the same spirit. 'Freaks me out to think about it sometimes.

8. RJP: What is the one question that you would ask him/her?

.......Why the ear???

9. RJP: What do you think of the term "starving artist"?

Most artists I know (but not all artists) focus on making art, not selling art. We make art
because it makes us feel complete; it’s what we have to do; it’s almost like an addiction
when an artist gets into his creative cycles. So the selling of the art is an after thought for
many of us, mainly because we are so right brain that we can't see that far ahead. That’s
why there are so many starving artists. If you don't believe me go to the local book store
and read up on your favourite artist. Most of the ones that sold a lot, did so because they
had someone in there lives who sold it for them or helped them to sell their work (it goes
back to that defective gene I was talking about earlier lol).
10. RJP: Do you feel more a sense of community with other artists or a sense of

At this time it is great to live in Windsor; there is lots of art happening here. A lot of the
artists seem to all be banding together to make this a good city for the arts. We have
places like the Phog lounge were lots of arts come out to draw together and mingle with
each other . The Phog lets artists show their art free of charge and change up the shows
every two weeks. They are only one of many places that are helping artists out… I could
sit here and name off several more, but you'll just have to come to Windsor and discover
them for yourself. So yes there is a great sense of community here. I don't really see
anyone trying to be better than anyone else… after all it is art and art is a very personal
thing. So how can you compete with someone trying to be themselves?

Artist: Bob Labute

Title: Letting Go (black balloon)
Media Used: Acrylic
Size: 8 X 10
Date Created: 2007

WF: A man has held on to so much

darkness and pain, it seemed to be
the only thing keeping him afloat.

As a child walks through the park

clutching mindlessly his string,
looking around and behaving as
always, all of a sudden he lets slip
his floating crutch and screams out
in sorrow.

How long before it rises out of


How long before he forgets it was

ever there?

He looks on, watching it rise forever upward, and peace returns. The loss is real, but it's
a wonderful and freeing loss.
Artist: Bob Labute
Title: ?
Media Used: Acrylic
Size: ?
Date Created: 2007

The theme of much of Bob Labute's work is loss, pain, and the journey toward healing. It
seems in this work love is in its autumn days, still alive but slowing toward its eventual
slumber. Will it be a short period of rest, a long and painfully cold winter, or an end? We
can't know, as it hasn't happened yet. This is a painting of experiencing the present state
of things, feeling the cooler breezes and watching the leaves cascade toward the ground.
Apprehension and romanticism seems to be simultaneous at this point. And so nature
takes its course.

11. RJP: How do you market yourself?

I work in a gallery so I use that as one of the ways. I've had a lot of shows this past year,
so that makes people pay attention. I use any free ads I can get on cable tv, flyers… and I
have a big mouth and I'm not shy so I tell everyone I know. I find Facebook and e-mail to
be the most effective of all.
12. RJP: Do you find it difficult to stay motivated / inspired?

I've been doing this for a long time now. I understand my mind and how it works. I go
through cycles, spurts of creativity. It takes over my world and I’ve learned to take
advantage of it when they come I work hard sometimes I don't get much sleep. Last year
I took the whole year off just to paint and when these cycles came around I would shut
out the world and just paint… when it came time to take a break I would chat with other
artists on line to keep me in that artsy mood 'I made a lot of friends over seas... other
artists that I could talk to when I was pulling an all-nighter. I lived the crazy life of an
artist, wow… it was wonderful.

I’ve learned so much about myself doing this. I don't really need to inspire myself any
more, I just let it happen when it needs to happen.

Artist: Bob Labute

Title: Black Sun
Media Used: Acrylic
Size: 11 X 14
Date Created: 2007

WF: Black Sun is at once peaceful

and unsettling. The first
impression is peace- a serene
landscape with a flowing sky and
the sun above. It could be mid
morning or approaching evening,
but I get the sense it’s the latter.

But the first impression gives way

to wonder at the colour of the
majestic light. Instead of bright
and warming, its dark, black as
death itself. The question of
whether the day is beginning or
ending becomes more important,
as the sun seems to represent
trouble and difficulty. Is the time
to endure just beginning, or is it
nearly over? Night seems to be
coming for the sun from above,
and so yes, it is nearly finished.

Peace comes with the night, and I come away from Black Sun with the same peace.
13. RJP: Do you create your art full time or part time?

Last year I did it full time... maybe even overtime. This year I'm working in an art gallery
(Paula's Gallery) and doing my art and I'm also promoting some other art shows here in

I’m still doing art full time just not painting full time.

14. RJP: What other interests do you have, besides art?

I'm Canadian Eh! We drink beer and watch hockey all winter... go leafs!

15. RJP: What advice would you have for a young artist starting out today?

Paint from your heart, that’s where true art lives. It could be dance, theater, poetry,
music, whatever you do... you can do it to please people or you could do it to please

When you do it to please yourself and you find yourself in the art you will gain respect, it
just takes a long time to reach that point so don't give up.

16. RJP: Do you have any big plans or shows coming up in 2008?

The next show I'm in is called the freak show, it’s a pop surrealist and lowbrow art show.
This is my first year in this show, they only put this show on once a year it’s a one night
event that attracts a large number of people. So I'm proud to be in this show.

I will also be having a show soon at Paula's gallery and we are putting on a show in
November it will be the first time for this show. It is open to all artists; it’s in an old
building that use to be home to trolleys cars back in the old days. It was converted into a
play area and restaurant for kids and now we are trying to make it into a large art gallery
and a functional building for artists to use. There is still lots of planning to do with that

I still would like to book a few more shows downtown Windsor. Next year, I want to
show more out of town and see if I can bring some out of town artists here to Windsor.

17. RJP: How would you like your art, and by extension yourself, to be

I don't want to be known as someone who painted pretty pictures but as someone who
painted what he knew and felt and cared about… someone who talked through his
paintings and shared those moments with the people who related to them. I would like
people to say I know what he is trying to say because I have felt that way too.
Artist: Bob Labute
Title: Different Paths
Media Used: Pencil
Size: 8 X 10
Date Created: 2007

WF: Escape! A man and woman, once held together by such a bountiful love, have
turned in opposite directions and are running away from each other. This piece speaks to
anyone who has ever left a romance.

The heart between them, their love, is very large, very great. It seems to still cling to
each of them, though it’s ripping in half as they separate. The woman seems still drawn
to it, her mind still longing for the relationship, though the rest of her is pulling her
away. The man seems determined in his escape, even pushing away his feelings as he
flees. Both seek the nearest mode of escape.

Perhaps if the drawing were in colour we’d get more of a sense of what had happened -
had they grown cold toward each other? Was there rage, despair, anguish, passion they
each ran to? Instead of the emotional facts, we’re left with truth.

Love sometimes ends, no matter the means.

Sycli Tower – by Yousif Al-Hamadi
The Next President of the United States….
Who should it be???? – by Tom Rossini
Untitled – by Mike Grattan

As a Canadian Citizen / US Resident, I

do not have the ability to vote in this
year’s up coming general election.
There are so many firsts involved with
this election that they could be clouding
up what really matters. Will we have the
first female Vice President? Will we
have the first African American as
president? I decided to do some digging
and see what exactly each candidate
stood for and historically believed in and
came to find a website that helped you
pick your candidate based on your
primary concerns.

What do I believe is most the most important issue – Cutting taxes, building a morally
responsible society, privatizing social security, upholding the constitution, universal
health care for everyone, creating more jobs for women and minorities, taking tax cuts
from the rich and give to the poor, ending poverty in America, Protecting the
environment, ending the war in Iraq or limiting the government from being overly
involved in the citizens lives… then the next question is what is the second most
important issue – Eliminating terrorism by increasing national security, Being tough on
criminals, tax cuts, improving our civil rights, universal health care and protecting the
environment. Then come the normal every day questions – from whose commercials do
you find appealing? What are your concerns about the greenhouse effect? What is your
opinion about abortion? What kind of health care system do you want?

After being bombarded with over 150 questions, I got an answer that I really did not
expect and at first I believed the web site was trying to be funny, but as I looked deeper
into the questions and the results I realized that this was one of the most honest results. It
stated that I should vote for Obama but that I had a strong interest in Ron Paul. I also
greatly supported the need for a 3rd party ( green party) as well as ( and here is the kicker)
should consider moving to Canada, due in part to my views on health care, a 3 party
system, as well as the views about the war and handgun reform. I was very surprised by
this but then again considering where I grew up and my beliefs – Roman Catholic, its
should not be a surprise. I clicked the next button only to get more shocking news. It
told me that I could not trust McCain and that I could not support Palin. I must agree with
these results as I personally cannot stand McCain as I feel he is another George Bush and
do not feel that Palin has the skill to be the VP and possible President. Being that
McCain is 72 it is quite possible that Palin could end up being the President of the United
States of America.

So here I am, a Canadian in USA and all I can think about is how screwed up the USA is
– we spent the weekend bailing out the financial institutions with the CEO’s COO’s
getting huge financial pay outs, we bailed out the airlines post 9/11 and we are fighting a
second Vietnam war, a war that no one will win. Time to move back to Canada…

[Editor’s Note: This site has a ton of junk mail scams attached; try the one below for a
more straightforward survey & result]

[Editor’s Note: Just for fun I have included both Tom’s and my results]
Randy’s Results: Tom’s Results:

John McCain 42 Barack Obama 90

Barack Obama 27 John McCain -66
You expected: Barack Obama You expected: Barack Obama
Your recommendation: John McCain Your recommendation: Barack Obama

Party: Republican Party: Democratic

- by Mike Grattan
Creation in Our World – by Larissa Gula

The definition of art is a long, complex page with multiple branches for each division of
work covered by the simple three letter word. To even try to focus on one definition
would be rude. It would be a claim that one single definition rules supreme over the
others, without question.

Therefore, for this column, it is best to state that art is a product of mankind, one that is
meant to bring pleasure or stimulate the mind in some sort.

It is now safe to say that this definition is incredibly broad. Then again, the amount of
artwork one can find around the planet is staggering. Some of it, at first, might not even
appear to be creative works. It is only upon another person’s exclamation that one
realizes exactly what they have on their hands.

This, of course, may explain why some people walk through a museum exhibit and find
that another human being designed the exact same creation they once did, and now it’s
the other person’s work that is being displayed. Perhaps creators themselves, in their
desire to simply create and satisfy their raging muse, do not realize what they have on
their hands. To them, the creation, the art, is nothing more than their baby.

Take my own experience. While wandering through our local art museum during this past
late August, I saw many things that looked as if anyone could have scribbled. Everyone
has seen this before. I think many have hurt themselves asking, “Why didn’t I think about
making a living doing this? I could do it!”

This form of self-attack is not limited to hand paintings or painted clay mounds. The
simplest of photos in a gallery are often the most powerful. Backgrounds captured at just
the right moment; animals in the perfect pose; people in candid photos; all of these are
often items in one’s own personal gallery.

Most art forms are still completely respected. Carvings, which take hours of dedication
and resources, are often sold in stores as little art replicas. I myself have a perfect wooden
fox figurine that cost me 50 Franks while in Switzerland last summer; it is in fact my own
motivation to continue until I think the details are complete.

Other art forms are not quite revered as much as the woodcarver’s. In 2007, Pittsburgh’s
local greenhouse took in glass artwork that imitated plant life and built the glass
structures into their exhibit. This included seaweed-like tentacles in shades of purple and
pink reaching for the roof, and an entire golden glass flower set up to appear to be
dropping its withering petals into the water beneath it.
I went to see this and was stunned by the mastery the craftsman had over glass, to create
such elegant and monstrously oversized structures.

Yet groups of people had the audacity to claim that this entire project, a series of
masterpieces of color and observance in nature, was not art. The skill of glass blowing
and sculpting, one that none of them could ever have achieved, was almost blocked out of
the greenhouse by one group’s intolerance.

And this intolerance goes on into everyday life. Rap, a “music” form I myself cannot
consider music by scientific definition, I will begrudgingly admit to being an art: it is
badly written poetry to background beats.

In fact, my high school Imaginative Writing teacher could recall poetry readings and
contests he would take his students to around Pittsburgh. The students from well-funded
schools usually placed higher because of their usage of all elements within a good poem,
because they could develop poetry to its
maximum potential. Despite that, there was no
denying that the minority competitors would
indeed always have a good sense of rhyme and
rhythm, two aspects of poetry they certainly
learned from mainstream rap music.

I still hesitate to call it music, because while I

may sound good to some, it certainly does not to
me. Yet many people listen to this and consider
it tasteful. I myself might be more tolerant if
only the listeners would respect my displeasure
and not blast this noise from cars and buildings.

Tolerance is the key to this issue.

Tolerance from all parties is as important as the

artwork itself. Art, in all of its forms, is
universal. It is universal in the fact that all
cultures and all people have their own style of it.
It is universal in the fact that people dislike it
utterly or relish and bask in its glory, and in both
cases there is some thought process as to what
they see in the artwork.

Always be sure to give all art forms the benefit

of the doubt and a good analysis before you
write it off as terrible art completely. It just
might not be terrible; it just isn’t made for your

Best of luck,
Larissa Untitled –
By Nadide Gurcuoglu
Untitled – by Mirit Ben Nun
Cruelty – by Larissa Gula

Here in Pittsburgh, the world can find its cultures meeting on one little avenue.
That avenue is known as the Strip District – and no, not because of the profession.

There, sword props sit on display in the costume shops next to the princess gowns;
Comic books are always on sale for $1 to satisfy the desire of the local dork squad.
Food from various places is mounted on wooden stands and sold in bargain deals.
All can find a fish net sprawled and pegged a restaurant’s kitchen door; I visited once,
To meet with a chef within, looking for cheap fish to give to my diabetic father.
I remember the heat bouncing off of the white-tiled walls, and the creaking of
The ceiling fan made me woozy, within the center of a noisy sauna. I left with nothing.

Down the crowded streets I continued to walk; I cut through a puddle-ridden parking lot
And found a box of abandoned puppies, wailing between velvet lips. I gulped back tears,
And carried the dripping box all the way to Animal Friends. Within the old
Office’s confines I signed the tiny little beings away to the sweet stranger’s hands,
And kissed one good-bye, whispering my wishes for his finding a happy ending
When he left this place – be it the kennel, the city, Earth…all of the above.

I took off, tore down that street, slid into my car, stomped on the gas. I drove
Back to my best friend’s house, fuming. We went to his room, and sat on the bed
Where he began cradling me while I fought the hot frustrated tears yet again.

Damn it, humans, I cursed; one of you dared to dump puppies in a puddle-ridden
parking lot?! You all claim to love one another, with your sweaty hands
Entwined and glued – but no one picked up those little golden puppies!

And Pittsburgh wonders why I hate it and humanity so much? It’s because I see
No one worth my love within the city’s limits. All I ever see, on a daily basis,
Are forms of torture and cruelty, there on the avenue point where the world meets.
Anna’s poems – by Anna Gehmacher
Here I am now,
all lost and confused.
Here I am now,
looking for the truth.
Here I am now,
don't know what to do.

And so I sit,
alone in my dark room,
and think to myself,
am I the fool?

Here I am now,
with no one to hold,
no one who listens,
no one, no soul.

And so I am here,
not even slightly amused,
lonely and nervous,
my soul has been used

Untitled – by Bob Labute

Reflections on a returning poet – by R. J. Pare’

Here I stand But sad rhymes Love returns
on the precipice tremble metered in its own time
the young Dam are outward signs the embers burn
so long absent of passion fevered new flames sublime

How I've read To have loved and lost For now, our choice
breath bated is a noble journey as we gaze over each new stanza
the path she tread so fret not the cost to smile, rejoice!
broken hearted stay open and ready at last... the return of Anna !!!
Steph’s poem

As I sit here,
them scissors and knives looking more
I think...

Who would really care??

Who would come to my funeral?
Would anyone really miss me?
I waited for someone


To text me, to see if I was ok,

to check if I was alright.
But no message came,
no-one cared

I wondered...
What’s so wrong with me?

I picked up the knife

slid it across my wrist
blood appeared
it cut like a knife through butter
my hand shaking
it pierces the skin so easily

I look out the window

at the rain
Untitled – by Nadide Gurcuoglu wondering would it end quickly
or would it be painful?
At least all of the pain in my heart

Would be

The Parable of Love and Religion - by Stephen Campbell
Where have thou been my dear friend beloved?
Many days departed from my keen sight,
Holding close my frame in hands un-gloved,
Upon mad love the moon smiles in the night.
Behind my heart lies a pain unspoken,
As years have hidden my sweet grief from thee,
Want of you leaves me tearful and choken,
All have known of my desire, but He.

If He discovers our love long impure,

Throws down all nations to punish our wrongs,
Destroys both our lives with host thousands strong,
Would His lasting dominion endure?
Or would the wretched love forever be,
A hallowed union beneath a tree?

- by Bob Labute
Untitled – by Mirit Ben Nun
Ok this is a short from an anthology set that I'm working on. The set is called Somber
Thoughts, and the stories are all based around people's fears. It's about ten pages long,
and is posted on my website in the short story section.

Somber Thoughts - One:

The moment when you begin to fall asleep a place pulls at you. It is a place where
dreams and nightmares are a reality; a place where everything exists and still is
nothing at all. This is a place where time means nothing, existence means nothing.
This is where it can all begin, and all end. Is life not just this… a somber thought
before you drift away once again.

Fear of a Stranger
Melissa set the small coffee cup down on the coffee table. “Finally…done,” she said
with satisfaction.

She looked around at the now filled apartment. Only two days ago the room was
completely vacant with the exception of the mountain of boxes that filtered through from
her parent’s place. She brushed back her long straight blonde hair.

“Now all that’s left is… finding someone to talk to other then myself.” She sighed as she
looked around depressed at the thought of being so far from all of her friends. “That’s
what I get,” she thought to herself “the price to pay for fame.” She smiled a little at the
thought. She took a final sip of coffee before moving to the back of the apartment.

In the second bedroom she had set up everything to be her art room. Since she knew
there was no need to keep it open for a roommate. She had tried living with someone else
before, but it ended in a bad way. She shuddered at the thought of allowing those
nightmares back into her life. The fear of letting anyone close to her again was enough to
make her blood run cold. She shook her head snapping herself out of the thought as she
flicked the radio on.

“This is DJ Rex, giving you all the hits all the time. How are all of our lovely ladies
tonight? Just remember to keep it safe out there. Police are still tracking our night time
friend that the media has dubbed Dr. Love. So if you’re feeling alone and scared tonight
just be sure to give your good friend Rex a call at 555-7399, or 555- REXX with two X’s.
Hahaha, and now for a little something to bring some light into the night.”

With that, the radio clicked onto an upbeat tempo electronic dance mix. Melissa
moved her head a little to the beat as she moved her paints and brushes around. She set
up a canvas and began to mix paints. Before she knew it the mix of sounds and the mood
brought out a dark vibrant image onto her canvas. The shadowed figure painted in front
of her sat on his knees looking down so his face was not visible. The room around him
seemed to appear as an operating room, but the décor was in disarray and splattered with
red blotches.

She shuddered as she stared at her new work. “Sometimes I scare me…. Maybe I should
see a shrink.”

She rolled her eyes on her own suggestion and sat back in the large cushioned chair
she had put in the room for the purpose of admiring her own work. She stared hard at the
image as the thought of sleep slowly paraded her mind. Her eyes grew heavy as she
drifted away without giving it any thought.

She looked up from across the room that was vaguely familiar yet completely different
from the one she was in before. She could hear moaning through the walls. Without
hesitation she stood up and in what seemed like a single motion moved from the room
and into the hallway. She peered around at the framed photos and paintings that filled the
walls. Each one stared back at her with a blackened face. She turned her head to the side
to listen for the sounds again, and sure enough the sound rang through the hall. With slow
and steady steps she gradually walked down the hall, listening to each sound as she
moved closer to the end of the hallway. The noise was louder, clearer now. She could
also make out what seemed to be the sound of crying from behind the last door in the
hallway. Something struck her as familiar as she reached for the door knob. In her chest
sat the heavy feeling of dread yet she couldn’t stop herself from turning the knob and
pushing the door open. She stood there eyes open in fear and pain as she stared into the
bedroom. A man turned back to look at her. As he did, the face of the women lying on the
bed was clear. Melissa stared at her own teary, bruised face.

The scream that left her lungs brought her almost out of her chair. She stopped to look
around only to realize she was in her art room.

She sat there for a minute still sitting on the edge of the chair as her heart raced and
her mind stuck with the images of her nightmare. The tears began to flow from her eyes
as she put her face into her hands.

After what seemed like too long she stood out of the chair and walked out of the room.
She moved into the bathroom across the hall as she wiped her face clean and stared hard
at herself in the mirror.

“Your safe now….your stronger, and your safe.” She said it a few more times while
breathing in and out of her nose. The tears began to swell up again as she slammed her
fist onto the marble sink countertop. “Fuck!” She sighed with a heavy breath and began
to make the motions for her normal morning routines.
She had no idea what time it was but she knew that sleep was no longer an option.

The morning flowed quick, and by the time she had finished breakfast and checked
her email it was time for her eight AM orientation for her college classes. The motions
she went through for the rest of the day were vacant and almost instinctual. Before she
knew it she was back at her apartment with bags filled with both school supplies and
groceries to last her she hoped for the next week or so.

After watching an old movie that was on

the TV she wandered back to her art room.
She stopped at the doorway, leaning against
its frame, staring hard into the room. The
painting sat on the wooden easel looking
away from her yet still held the ferocity of
her nightmare the night before.

She began to take a step forward as the

doorbell buzzed through the apartment.
“Who is it?” She shrugged at the thought
and slowly made her way to the door.

As she peered through the peephole in the

door the sight of a well-dressed good-
looking man with short black hair greeted
her. She stopped leaning on the door as
another ring filled the apartment.

She opened the door, “Hello?”

The Easel, Sketchy – by R. J. Pare’

The man slightly stumbled as he regained his composure. “Sorry I was starting to think
no one was home.”

“Yeah, sorry about that…..can I help you with something?”

The man took a step back showing that his hands rested behind him. Almost as if they
were concealing something.

“Miss Melissa Holmes, right?”

Melissa stammered as her thoughts began to swirl around. How did he know my
name, who is this guy, why me?
“How do you know my name?” She quickly fired back before her mind had the chance to
process the whirlwind inside of it.

“I... uh… I’m Ross, Ross Mc…”

“How do you know my name?” This time the demand in her voice even startled her.

Ross looked down as he pulled his hands around him to show the small bundle of mail he
held. Melissa looked down and immediately felt the pulse in her chest change. “I’m….”

He cut her off before she could finish the apology. “They’ve been putting it in my box by
mistake. I would have brought it by sooner, but I was… well mustering the courage.” A
red shade moved across his face as he looked down. “Please forgive me for the
intrusion.” He held his hand out holding the small bundle.

Melissa reached out for it slightly scolding herself as she looked down through the return
addresses. “Thank you… Ross, right?”

Ross nodded eagerly as a smile spread across his face. “Umm before I go… would you
like to go out to eat with me one night this week?”

Melissa stopped fumbling and looked up at his face. His eyes were brown and the
black suite jacket he wore over the white shirt and jeans reminded her of a magazine
model. She pushed back a blonde lock that hung in front of her face as she smiled,
nodding. “I’d like that.”

Ross couldn’t help but smile, “How about Friday night, around seven?”

“Sounds good.” She said nodding one more time to make sure the words from her mouth
were committing to the thoughts in her mind.

He smiled wider this time showing off his almost perfect teeth. “Alright I’ll see you

“Mm… hmm,” Is all she could say to reply. As she slipped back into the apartment her
knees began to shake. She pushed up against the door closing it as she slid down the front
bringing her face into her knees. “Shh, its ok… it’s ok, I’m safe.”

Friday night came with no interruptions, and before she knew it she was sitting in
front of the mirror in her room. She spun around once to catch the full view of her outfit
in the mirror. Black skirt, button up white shirt with long sleeves, and her knee high
heeled boots. She smiled at the look of it. She took a hard breath realizing how hot she
could really be when she wanted to. She began to pull her hair back into a ponytail as the
doorbell rang. She continued through the steps of getting it pulled back and up before she
opened the door.
As the door swung open his eyes quickly took her in before he stammered a “hello. You
look… wow.”

He smiled nervously causing her to giggle slightly before she returned with a “thank you.
So, where to?”

He straitened his suit jacket right before he finally replied. “A little Italian place I
know… it’s right off the pier. You’ll love it.”

Her eyes flashed with what seemed to be excitement as her mind began to flow into the
fears and doubts she was so familiar with. “Sounds… nice.”

He nodded, “we should probably go before it gets too much later.”

She nodded and grabbed a brown jacket, throwing it on before following him out.

The restaurant was astonishing. Very high class, suit and tie kind of place. She
frowned at the thought of how underdressed she probably was, but as soon as the doubt
started to cross her mind he nudged her. “You look amazing by the way.”

She smiled, trying to hold back the blush, “I think you’ve already said that a few times

He jerked back at the comment and looked her over again. “Yeah… I know, I’m
definitely going to say it a few more dozen times before the nights over though.”

She smiled again shaking her head. A familiar voice rang in her head, “you’re
beautiful.” She closed her eyes, mostly to keep the tears from showing as she shut out the

The dinner went on with light conversation. She faked a smile and a laugh from time
to time. To her surprise maybe too well, but in the end the night moved on like her week
had. By the end of the night she faked a smile, again, as she walked into her apartment.

“Have a good night,” he whispered before walking away from the closing door.

She let out a breathe realizing she had made it through the night, and then realizing
how cold she really was to him. She slammed her head against the door, maybe a little
too hard. “Ouch,” she exclaimed as she rubbed her forehead.

She moved back through the apartment and settled in the chair in the art room. Her
head fell back as she started examining the texture and patterns in the ceiling tiles. Before
she knew it, the dim light of the room had completely faded away. She looked around the
pitch black room with a blank numbness. Slowly her eyes adjusted to the utter darkness
which revealed two distinct shapes that were shambling towards her. Her first reaction
was to scream, but as the figures moved closer and closer she realized that she wasn’t
even making any noise. She tried to move her body but the pressure of some invisible
weight kept her pinned to the chair. The two figures stood in front of her now, staring
down at her. She looked up feeling the sting of her tears as her shirt began to unbutton
itself. Her screaming and crying now only reverberated in her skull as the long blackened
faces stretched down to hers. Her last scream sent her flailing from the chair down on to
her knees. She coughed heavy into the floor as she gasped for air.

The next few weeks went by as vacant as any other day. There was school, her intern
job at the art gallery down the street, cleaning, shopping, homework, painting, TV, and
what sleep she could get. The nightmares plagued her less and less as she vented onto the
canvas; each work, of course, being just as or more disturbing then her last ones. In time
her days blurred together until the day she came home from a late night at the gallery, to
find her apartment door unlocked.

“Oh no,” she stepped back running through the thoughts in her mind. She knew without a
doubt she had locked the door before she left. She reached into her purse grabbing the
can of mace she’s kept on her unused for the past two years.

“Not this time,” she turned the knob as quietly as possible while pushing open the door.

The thought crossed her mind that her body was completely calm, almost as if it was
waiting for a day like this, waiting to go back into her past and face it head on. She
fluidly moved past the door and into the living room area. She panned around with the
mace held out in front of her face. She paused for a moment to adjust to the lack of light.
Looking down the hall she could tell that the lamp to the art room was on. She swallowed
hard as she began to force her feet forward into the hallway. As she moved closer to the
door the courage that had propelled her in here began to fade. The old memories were
beginning to flood back into her mind. The memorable feel of his body against hers made
her want to scream. Her hand quickly moved to her mouth and muffled the gasp before it
could become something more then just a thought. Her body began to shake as she fell to
her knees. She tried to focus as her mind betrayed her.

The sound of movement and the flicker of the light brought her back into reality. She
lifted the can of mace as high as she could as her body trembled and as soon as the
darkened figure emerged from the doorway she slammed down on the trigger. The figure
screamed out in shocked pain before he dropped to the floor.

“Melissa, oh fuck! Oh shit!”

Melissa stopped in her tracks and dropped the can. Her jaw dropped to the floor as she
too well recognized the voice in front of her. “Dad? Oh my god!”

She watched her father rock around in agony, knowing there was really nothing she could
do. The two of them sat in the dark, for what seemed like an eternity, quietly hoping it
would take some of the sting away.
“So I see you’ve been taking care of yourself out here?” Her father broke the long line of

She almost jumped at the sound of his voice as she tried to shut out her mind which kept
revisiting the event hours before. “Dad, I’m s…”

He cut her off quickly, “Don’t! I shouldn’t have dropped by like this, and trust me I’m
glad to see your being careful. Anyone else in the same situation would have done the
same thing.”

She nodded, trying to believe what he said, but in her mind she knew her paranoia had
finally hurt someone who has always been there for her. She placed her half eaten tray
down on the counter as she turned back to him.

“I think I’m going to get some sleep.”

He nodded with approval, “You’ve had a long day. Get some sleep, we’ll talk in the

She smiled weakly, “Goodnight dad.”

As she lied in bed, dreading the silent ache that was soon to come her eyes grew
heavy. Before she knew it she was waking up to the slight nudging and the soft sound of
her father’s voice. “Melissa, wake up.”

She opened her eyes one by one making sure she was capable of reacting to the world
that so badly wanted her to come back. “What time is it?” She managed to squeeze out of
her vocal chords before her conscience tried to spiral back into the sound sleep she had
just climbed out of. “Twelve thirty seven.” A smile spread across her face as if the
correlation of time and her sleep really didn’t matter to her even though she had just
asked. Then the realization of what time it really was hit her.

“Oh my god really!?” she asked frantically as she shot up out of her bed becoming a blur
of pajamas as she rushed down the hall and into the bathroom.

“Melissa?” Her father called down the hall. “Should I leave?”

“No Dad your fine.” She yelled back in between brushes. “You’re just going to have to
wait here while I hope I make it to work on time.”

“How long will you be gone?” He asked back, hoping in the hint of his voice that they
would have a little quality time together.

“Around four… will you be ok here while I’m gone?”

“Yeah, definitely.” He answered back maybe a little too quickly.

She moved back into her room. “Good, now go so I can get dressed.”

She hiked her thumb towards the door as her dad moved out of her way and out into
the hallway. She threw on a white tank top, and a pair of blue jeans, “Quick and simple.”
She smiled at herself in the mirror noticing how much of a difference it had in her
complexion when she actually got a full night’s sleep. The thought of the night before
started to parade through her mind once again. The image of her father screaming in the
dark, sent chills down her spine. The breath in her lungs stopped short as she looked
away from the mirror and shook the thought from her mind. She took in a deep breath
before walking out of her room.

“Ok dad, there’s plenty of food here, basic cable, enjoy. I’ll be back around four.”

Her father nodded, “have fun at work.”

She laughed sarcastically while opening the door. “Oh yeah… tons… oh, and try not to
burn the place down while I’m gone.”

He glared at her as she moved around the door and out into the hallway.

The sound of a door echoing shut at the end of the hall grabbed her attention as she
was about to reach for her keys. She looked down noticing Ross turning towards her at
the exact same time. Her eyes tried to trail away, but the red tone to her skin was a dead
give away that she noticed him. The two moved towards each other as they made their
way simultaneously towards the elevator. “Hey,” they both echoed to each other

“So how have you been?” Ross managed to choke out a good question before she could.

“Umm, good.” She nodded, wishing she could really convince herself that all was well.

“How about yourself?” He shrugged, “busy with work at the hospital lately. I… um, I
wanted to talk to you about dinner the other night. Well I guess the other week.” He
chuckled at his own joke.

She smiled realizing how hard he was trying to lessen the tension between them as they
entered the elevator. She nodded, “go ahead, ask.”

He looked back at her, staring hard into her blue eyes as he looked for the words. “I….I
had a good time at dinner. I liked talking with you…..but well. That’s just it, I did all the
talking. Hell I don’t even think you were there for most of the night.”

She winced at the thought of how distant she normally was from people. As she
opened her mouth, to give some type of explanation, he stepped forward locking with her
eyes… and then with her lips. Her mind hadn’t even registered what had just happened
when he leaned back to look at her expression.

“I like you Melissa….hell I can’t

stop thinking about you, but I
don’t want to be another pretty
face. Give me a chance, let me

Her voice cracked a little, “I….I

don’t know.” The elevator door
slid opened allowing the light of
the lobby to really show off his
perfect skin, hair, teeth. Her eyes
were visibly scanning over him
as he stepped out of the elevator.

“I won’t wait too long for a

chance, but I’m not going to
stand by without giving it my
all.” She nodded slowly stepping
out of the elevator. “We’ll talk
more about it later,” he said as
he looked down cursing silently
at his watch.

Before she knew it she was

alone in the lobby. Her mind was
racing a hundred miles a minute.
Where did she go wrong?
Untitled – by Mirit Ben Nun

Is it ok for her to want more than the nightmares, the paranoia? Is it ok for her to want
to invite a complete stranger into her heart, her home? Was it ok for her to want what he
just gave to her in that elevator? She blushed realizing that her heart beat was still
thudding all the way to the base of her fingertips. She smiled at the thought just before
the realization that she had ten minutes left before she needed to be at work.

The rush of her jog to, and the strange yet almost needed drama before, work seemed
to drain most of her newfound energy she had gained from her undisturbed sleep. Sadly
though, as she pushed herself through the few hours she had, she realized that by the time
she gets home her social and motor skills would be close to that of a sloth. Though for
some reason, the imagery of a sloth lead her to giggle a little louder then she should had
in the complete silence of the gallery.
Her work day ended after what seemed to be the longest day of her life. She rushed
out the door hoping that she would be able to save some energy to give her father the one
on one time he deserved after the ordeals of the night before. Her ascent up the building
also seemed to take much longer then she would expect. As if all the detail to the time
that she barely paid any attention to was deciding to get all of the attention it could on
this day. Once she reached the top of the building she stepped out of the elevator into the
hallway and immediately felt a strange weight on her chest. For some reason, her mind
had decided at that moment it would recall memories that she had done so well up to now
to vent away on canvas paper.

She stopped short in the hallway as she fought back the swelling of tears in her eyes.
The images of the man she once thought she was going to spend her life with holding her
down. These images, the feeling of the weight of his body, the helplessness… she
couldn’t stand it. She immediately shook her head as she ran for her door. She wiped
away what little tears had already accumulated.

“Ok, I just go straight to my room, and I can do this.”

At this point she wasn’t sure if she was telling herself this inside her head or out loud.
She pushed through the door of her apartment and quickly moved through the hall and
into her room. She closed the door leaning her head against it heavily. She felt the
paranoia creeping back in. The tears started forming again, and just as she was ready to
fight it all down again a pair of dark arms reached around her pulling her back away from
the door. Before she could let out the scream she was desperately reaching for, a hand
moved over her face. The scent and taste of something awful filled her mouth. The
burning, gave way to dizziness as she felt herself fall back into nothing.

- by R. J.
Her eyes with much effort fought back the heaviness that now hung over them. The
feeling of no time, of no real vision past the utter blackness that sat in front of her caused
her heart beat to quicken. Her breaths began to become shorter and more erratic as the
full weight of the situation sat on her chest. The tears formed up under her eyes as they
began to flow down her face. She moved slightly realizing that her arms and legs burned
when she attempted to move them, but her eyes couldn’t see far enough through the pitch
black to see how bad off she really was. Time moved on… what was probably minutes,
became hours in her mind; only allowing for more time to really concentrate on the
horror of the situation.

A small bit of light began to flood into the room as Melissa looked up to see a dark
figure standing in a stream of light. She could now see the blood that was covering her
arms and legs, but shut her eyes to not look further into her wounds.

“I see you’re awake.” The voice that spoke now was muffled behind the leather mask that
stared back at her now. She forced herself not to scream and sat back closing her eyes

“Well that’s no fun.” The demented voice moved closer in the darkness till she could feel
his breath beating down on her bare chest. “I just want you to know that you were right. I
want you to know that tonight you’re going to die, and you have no power to stop it. You
were careful up to this last point and that’s all I needed to act.”

He slid the cold leather on his hand down the side of her face. The images of her dad
from earlier that day played through her mind. Was he ok? How did this guy get into her
apartment? Did I forget to lock my door? She began to play her day backwards in her
head. Was this guy, Ross? Was she right to keep her distance or did she really fuck up the
only chance she was ever going to get to be with a decent man?

She had so many questions… so little time. Slowly, yet surely, the pain began to set in
and the door began to close... cutting off the only source of light into the room; shutting
away the outside world for the last time. Her mind began to fall back to her countless
nightmares before. How was this any different? Soon she would wake up and find herself
in her bed, or in the chair in her art room, right?

Somber Thoughts before the final darkness takes hold: Fear, Paranoia, Betrayal and
Acceptance. Just another course through life, another thought before you fall asleep and
fall into the endless void that we can all relate to.
7th Son – by Roger Formosa; Digital Cover Design – by David Marshall
7th Son – pencils by Victor Castro & inks by Roger Price

Patrick sat in the prison cell and thought, for what seemed like the millionth time,
how ironic that a man who could see the future could not have foreseen this turn of

Six months earlier. The carnival had arrived under the cover of darkness several
nights ago. The town’s kids had all ran to lend a hand in the hopes of seeing some of
the animals. Tommy Finn assembled the booth at the end of ‘Freak Row’. The
carnival owner James Montgomery liked Patrick and whilst his act was intriguing
there was no denying that it was spooky.

“A quarter…” Tommy removed the coin and held it up for the crowd to see, “And a
white lace handkerchief with a gold R embroidered in the left hand bottom corner.”
Patrick ‘Howling Wolf’ bowed his head and the audience clapped their approval.
He was an odd looking fellow and the patrons weren’t quite sure whether to
believe his story that he was of Cherokee/Irish stock. Standing there with a bare torso
and muscular dark skinned frame he looked every part Cherokee but his red hair made
people think he was embellishing the truth a little.

Patrick looked out over the crowd and his eyes settled on a man in a long black
coat. The man was wearing a wide brimmed hat and walking like a gunslinger from
way back when. The man turned and another man ran up to him, dressed in a similar
fashion. The first man was talking to his companion when he caught sight of Patrick
looking at him. Patrick had a sudden sensation wash over his entire body, he took a
sharp breath and grabbed at his forehead.

Tommy looked over to his friend and began to usher the crowd away. “Show’s over
for now folks looks like Howling Wolf needs a rest.” The younger man caught his
friend by the elbow. “You ok?”

Patrick said nothing as if struck dumb.

Tommy led Patrick to a nearby tent and sat him down. “Hey Pat, come on what’s

The older man seemed to snap to attention and shook all over. “Wha…? Tommy? Oh
thank the spirits! I just had a vision….”

“You always have visions Pat, that’s your gift.”

“No, not like that. I saw the future but it was much farther than ever before.” Patrick
exclaimed excitedly.

Tommy had known Patrick for several years now.

Their first meeting had been very eventful. Finn had been trampled and kicked in
the head by a runaway horse. As he lay looking up at the sun and bleeding to death
he had been aware of a tall figure standing over him. Patrick had picked up the
fallen youth and carried him over to the side of the road. Using his abilities Pat laid
his hands on the boys head and soon the bloody gash receded. Through their
friendship Tommy would learn of Patrick’s special abilities; that he could heal the
sick and injured and on occasion would see visions of the future. Tommy clicked
back in to the present as his friend told him about his latest vision.

Patrick finished his tale and sat back looking at his young friend. Tommy shook his
head. “That is impossible...”

“I’m telling you what I saw, the ending was hazy but I know I stopped what was
going to happen.”

Later that evening Butch Dylan and Jed Jefferson climbed out of the foliage. The
carnival goers had all gone home for the night and the site was quiet as everyone had
finished up and retired to their tents or caravans.
Butch looked at his friend. “Are you ready to do this..?”

Jed nodded nervously, “I think so.” He mumbled quietly.

A light in a nearby trailer went out and two figures emerged from the door. One
was a tall muscular man carrying a large tin case and the other was a woman who was
locking the door.

Butch suddenly appeared out of the shadow and pointed his knife at Biffo, the
strong man. Biffo sneered and tensed ready to beat the interloper when Jed flew from
the bushes and smashed his pistol down on top of Biffo’s skull. The strong man fell
with a grunt. It all happened so fast that Gertie hadn’t even had time to scream for
help before a rugged hand clasped over her mouth.

Butch sniffed the woman’s fragrance as Jed reached for the money tin. “Come on
Butch I got it let’s get out of here!”

Butch however wasn’t ready to split just yet. He leered at Gertie showing his nasty
yellow stained teeth. “I think I might just take me some fun while I’m here.”

Jed stood and looked around nervously. “Butch, come on man…”

The sentence remained unfinished as Patrick felled the man with one swoop of his
fist. Butch turned to see Patrick standing several feet away. Gertie let out a muffled
cry as Butch dragged her closer and the blade took a slice of her neck. “Jeez, would
ya look at this. What are ya boy? Injun?”

Patrick demanded “Let the woman go!”

“Or what?” Butch replied

Patrick lunged at the man and reached him just before Butch could plunge the
knife any deeper in to Gertie. The proud warrior struck out at Butch but the crafty
robber had been in a few fights in his day and knew when to duck and when to run.
Jed started to come round and looking on at the two men tussle he raised his gun.
Patrick spun round at that precise moment and executed a perfectly timed quick which
caught Jed flush on the jaw and sent him hurtling back into oblivion.

Butch pushed Gertie to the ground and ran at Patrick with his knife raised. The
men collided and fell to the ground. Gertie picked up the money can and began to
shout for help as the men traded punches. Patrick realized that this was where his
‘vision’ had ended. From now on he didn’t know for sure what would happen.

People began to rise from their sleep and look out of their abodes at the
commotion. Suddenly the fight stopped, both men lay in a heap on the ground.
Several of the carnival workers ran up to see what was happening. Gertie reached
down to shake Patrick.

“Hey Wolf, are you ok?” she saw a pool of blood and she cried out for some help.
Patrick rolled over and his eyes flickered open. He coughed and tried to raise himself
“I’m ok.” He answered.

Even as he said these words he looked down at Butch Dylan who lay prone with a
knife embedded in his side. The sight knocked the man off his feet and he crumpled
under his weight, sitting back down hard. “No, that’s not right…”

Despite the witness statement of Gertie, Patrick was led away and charged with
Butch Dylan’s murder. He knew there would be no chance that a jury of his peers
would give him a fair trial and he expected the worst.

And so he sat in his prison cell and waited for the inevitable to happen and

Could he have saved Butch’s life? Dylan was a dangerous criminal; he might have
killed Patrick if things had gone different. Yet Patrick was haunted by the thought…

If he had acted quickly, would his ability to heal have been able to spare the man’s
life? And, if so… does that mean he wanted Butch dead?

Does that not make

him… a murderer?

The Seventh Son’s story

will be continued in the
graphic novel, from
Speakeasy Primates:

“When Heroes Were”


R. J. Pare’
David Marshall
Roger Formosa
Victor Castro
Roger Price

7th Son – pencils by

Victor Castro; colours
by Jonathan Biermann
Untitled – by Josh Bowe
Futurism in the Funnies – by Roy G. James

Figure 19 – Telekinetics - Adventure Comics #446, National Periodical Publications,

Inc. 1976 -- “Mind Over Murder”

Figure 20, 21 – Medicine

 Hospitals even today are places of mystery to the average man-in-the-

street. We place a great amount of trust in doctors and medicine. This
mystery factor will only increase with the future. Figure 20 shows a
revolutionary interpretation of a hospital bed, while Figure 21 offers a
look at strange new machines and techniques – micron-cannons,
microscopic reductions, etc.
Figure 20 – Green
Lantern #91, National
Periodical Publications,
Inc. 1976
“The Revenge of the

Figure 21 – The
Incredible Hulk #200,
Marvel Comics Group
“An Intruder in the Mind”
By Brad Bellmore
Tell Me a Story

Virgin Comics started telling tales from

India almost two years ago. Their monthly
Devi is now on issue 20. Along the way have
been a variety of stories told in miniseries (4 –
6 issues), the latest of which is Kshatriya
(pronounced shut-REE-yuh).

The intent of Virgin is to put the rich

history and culture of India in an easily
accessible and digestible format for the
western world. They have done so
wonderfully with most of the titles that I’ve
read. A few were a bit confusing in their
psychedelic grandeur, making me wonder if I
might understand them if I were high. Most,
though, present the tales clearly with
breathtaking visuals.

Kshatriya is a beautifully drawn magazine

mixing Indian art with traditional American comic style. I prefer my comics to have a
little more action with more dynamic drawings. This mag tends to lean toward a more
static and iconic style, but that fits these tales well; after all these are gods and legends
whose stories are being unfolded before us.

Issue #1 of Kshatriya is on the shelves now and presents the tale of one of the great
warrior legends of ancient India. The story opens as Alexander the Great is riding into
Indus, astounded at the beauty of the next land he will conquer. He gets separated from
his army and must wait out a storm in the ruins of an ancient temple. An old man stuck
there with him begins to regale him with the tale of Kshatriya in order to help Alexander
understand that duty and honor have greater places of importance than glory in the life of
a warrior.

Centuries before, India enjoyed a golden age when everyone prospered. The king,
Amitabha, decided to crown his younger son as his successor since he had the purer
heart. The older brother, Mayadeva immediately proves his father’s point by selling out
to a demon god, promising to serve him by using a demon horde to steal the throne.
After slaying his father, Mayadeva uses his demon powers to burn the right hand
off his brother then has him thrown into a river to drown. Kshatriya doesn’t die, being
rescued by Skanda, the god his father served. Kshatriya is merged with a tiger to repair
his body and restore his life. Given the option to flee or fight his brother, Kshatriya
chooses to fight, taking a mission from Skanda to deliver his land and people from the
demons that rule them.

I found myself disagreeing with philosophy lightly peppered into the story. But I
am a westerner trying to get my mind around trains of thought that might be as common
as breathing to an easterner. I plan to read the rest of this miniseries as I enjoy both the
story and art enough. I strongly recommend picking up any Virgin comic just for the
shear beauty of them and the opportunity step into a different culture, even if only for the
space of 24 pages of brightly colored panels.
Untitled – by Mike Grattan
Raised on Saturday Morning Cartoons – by Pauline Pare’

Hurray for September premieres! Couch potatoes… raise your bowls of microwave
popcorn! And whatever you do… don’t watch Knight Rider. In a moment of temporary
insanity mixed with childhood nostalgia, I tried the first episode. After the first half
hour, we (Randy and I) just couldn’t bear the pain any longer and changed the channel
with no regrets. It wasn’t even engaging enough to find out if K.I.T.T. gets the bad guys.
There wasn’t any character development and the holes in logic were appalling. My
prediction is that it will be cancelled shortly before the new 90210 gets the axe.

I have found that several premiere episodes were weak this year but several shows had
ended prematurely due to last year’s writer’s strike and had the unenviable task of
bringing viewers up to date before any future stories could develop. I loved the season
premiere of Chuck; there was character progression and lots of action and hilarity. See
more about Chuck at
In my last article I mentioned two new shows that had me excited about the return of
television. Fringe was good enough for me to continue watching it. I am not sure it lived
up to the hype but it is entertaining and fun.

The show that was my 2nd pick moved up to 1st. True Blood is a vampire show but
with a new twist and a new backdrop. I love how the show takes place in a small
Louisiana swamp town with a cast of characters who are as peculiar as their
surroundings. The story takes place in a reality where everyone knows about vampires
and treats them as a minority race. The narrative revolves around a young waitress,
Sookie Stackhouse, who is capable of hearing other people’s thoughts. Her love life thus
far has been bleak because she just could not handle hearing the secret thoughts of the
men she was dating. She is smitten by a vampire she rescues when she cannot read his
mind. The tone is darkly humorous, sexually charged and maybe a little warped. What
makes this show stand out is that it is actually unique in so many ways… a rare concept
in modern television viewing. If you do not have HBO or TMN you will have to wait
until this is released on DVD but from what I have seen of the show so far, it is worth the