Ten - Sons of the Black Swan


     The high school I attended had a Masonic Lodge right across the street, and at one point, a friend of mine went over and asked the guy at the front door how to join. And the response he got, as I recall it, was the last line of this comic: I've been waiting more than twenty years to use it somewhere.

     The thing is, that same friend eventually did indeed join the Masons--only to be kicked out a few years later for being "too divisive."

     In other news, I took off all day Thursday--the day before posting this--to have a Big Art Day. I drove up to Los Angeles, the first time I've done so this year, I think, and visited the "Masters of American Comics" exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Westwood and MOCA in downtown L.A.

     They had the earlier stuff--from Winsor McCay to Charles Schulz--at the Hammer, and the later stuff--Will Eisner to Chris Ware--at MOCA. And I'm talking about original Krazy Kat pages that George Herriman had watercolored as gifts to various folks; McCay's originals so big, he was drawing on what looked like two sideways pieces of Bristol board, one above the other, and then Art Spiegelman's Maus pages so small, they seemed about the same size as the published versions; Chris Ware's insanely detailed stuff even more hard-edged in black-and-white, and with his blue-pencil sketchlines and notes visible...

     A good couple hours, in other words. And then, on the way back down here to Orange County, I stopped off at the Ben Maltz Gallery on the campus of the Otis College of Art and Design to see their show From the Island of Misfit Toys, featuring work from Dan Goodsell's The Imaginary World including, of course, Mr. Toast and all his friends.

     It pretty much charged me up for the next couple months, I'd hafta say. So if you're in southern California at any point in the next couple weeks--the shows at the Hammer and MOCA close March 12th, I think, while the Misfit Toys will be on display till April 15th--consider swinging by any or all of these places and giving 'em a squint.