The interesting and unexpected result of this blog is that I’ve become a keeper of the flame for things related to FantaCo, the comic book store where I worked from 1980 to 1988, and its early staff. A fellow named Jim Abbott emailed this picture of a sign by Raoul Vezina (d. 1983), the great artiste of Smilin’ Ed.
Jim writes: “I doubt you’ve seen this. It was on the front of 279 Fair Street in Kingston [NY], owned by my friend, the late Bruce Talbott, of New Paltz [NY – my college town]. I don’t know if his widow still has it in her garage or not. Take care.” Thanks, Jim.
In that vein, I should note:
My friend Penny, who is married to former FantaCo employee Broome – he who came in late to work on his first day at FantaCo so he could go on a first date with her – recently went to the hospital for appendicitis and a hernia. There are some complications; still I dare say Penny is faring better than Broome in this process.
FantaCo’s owner, Tom Skulan, lost his dad, Thomas, on April 20. I did not know him well, but Tom and his brother Joe spoke eloquently about his intelligence, eclectic nature, and love of music. Joe posted a version of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony – 2nd movement, which is one of my all-time favorites.
John Hebert, who drew and scripted the FantaCo comic book Sold Out that Tom Skulan and I co-wrote, suffered the passing of his mother Annamae. She was widowed at a young age and was left to raise her son John alone.
Her obit said, “The major highlight in Annamae’s life was when she became a grandmother for the first time at the age of 80.” That was probably true. I’d see her at comic book shows, or at Free Comic Book Day at Earthworld Comics in Albany with John, perhaps with his wife Jodi and one or more of her grandkids.
She was a real mom, in the best meaning of the word, even to me, and very proud of her son. I enjoyed the time I spent with her, as she was quite delightful.
And speaking of passings:
Prince, who died at the age of fifty-frickin’-seven, was a massive part of the soundtrack of my FantaCo days, and well beyond. I own on vinyl this extended, almost otherworldly, version of Let’s Go Crazy, which, naturally, I can’t find online, and I’m OK with that. Here are some articles from the Los Angeles Times, plus my source for an appropriate sign on a Tulsa, OK church. I will probably revisit this topic once I get over the shock and sadness.
I never watched Everybody Loves Raymond very much. But I was a huge fan of actress Doris Roberts, in dozens of TV appearances, plus her regular gig on Remington Steele. But she was tremendous in her single appearance on the first season (1982) of St. Elsewhere, as a homeless woman taking care of another mentally ill homeless man played by James Coco; they both won Emmys for the roles. I have the episode on DVD and need to watch it again.