The week has flown by since I last sat down to write this thing. I’m not feeling incredibly inspired, so this will probably be a short week. Certainly shorter than last week!
How are you doing out there? Feeling content? Living life? I hope so.
I just finished up the short run of Descender, which is a spectacular comic series. It’s sci-fi, it’s “what is family?”, it’s “what is a person?”, it has action and it has surprises. Basically a young android wakes up in a world where androids have been outlawed and he’s on the run throughout the 32 issues. It’s great!
But what struck me most when I picked up the book is the art. Dustin Nguyen painted the entire thing. Rather than the traditional pencils and inks, it is page after page of watercolor art. It’s beautiful!
Incidentally, I read most of my comics via my local library. To wit I recently found out about Hoopla, which makes library comic reading even easier. The only downside is that my library only allows five checkouts per month.
Oh, and this came to me months ago from my friend, Mike. Amazing soccer finishes never get old, though.
From my middle school through college years, my parents owned a two-screen movie theater in the small town in which I grew up. Though it was a night job for them, I think it was a fun business to own. Even though the movie theater was work on top of the one or two other jobs my dad happened to be working at the time.
Growing up there were a limited number of entertainment opportunities: play basketball at the rec center, play basketball in a friend’s driveway, play video games, go hang out at the pizza place, or go to the movies. So you went to the movies a couple times a month. It didn’t matter if you wanted to see the movie. You met your friends there. You talked too much in the theater and received scoldings from the ushers.
As a teenager the movie theater was a great place to work. The hours were flexible. You got to see friends and classmates as customers. You were able to see free movies with free popcorn and pop (that’s what we call soda around here). There are very few small-town-America-accepted movies from the 90’s that I have not seen. I’m quite surprised when I do run into a 90’s movie that I somehow missed.
Toward the end of my parents’ movie theater ownership I was allowed to host an after hours screening of I-don’t-remember-what. In the past I had been trained to run the projector, but, being in college, I hadn’t been working at the theater consistently. So it was my folly that I thought I could run the projector after my dad had left for the night.
Thirty minutes into the movie the dreaded melting film appeared on screen. I ran up to the projector and started troubleshooting. Where did things snag? Did I not flip this or that switch?
It turns out I did not have the film platter motor spinning the right way. While we blithely watched the movie, the film tightened by the minute around the center rollers. I called in the cavalry (my dad), sent everyone home, and we spent the next couple of hours trying to unwedge the film from its stuck position. It was mostly me watching and my dad saying, “I’ve never in twenty years seen a film end up like this. How did you even do this?!”
And thus ended my career as a projectionist. If I ever get back into the movie exhibition business, please don’t tell anyone!