Column de la Cox #1

Alex Cox was supposed to begin his column today, wherein he would speak on books of interest from week to week. He was quite excited to write a lengthy review of FREDDY AND ME by Mike Dawson, which he loved very much and speaks highly of at many given opportunities. However, he has evidently been quite busy at work [increased foot traffic due to lovely spring weather, heavy releases of fine quality books, etc...], and also quite depressed [small lump on neck that is possibly cancer, new computer desk purchased by girlfriend that he hates but cannot complain about or she will yell, sighting of neglected elderly male, etc...]. Therefore, Alex has recruited a surrogate to complete his first column. I wish to apologize for his incompetence. - BC)

Comics should be F'N Awesome!!!

by Gus

Hey hey, comic fan type people! My name is Gus (Mr. Gustav to my employees) and you probably know me from the seven successful bar/restaurants I own throughout the metro NY area. I don't want to name them, but let's just say that cocktails are twelve to Eighteen dollars, and there's no happy hour, if you get my drift.

My latest spot is located in yelling distance of a certain comic shop, and ever since we opened, I find myself in there quite a bit, mostly shooting the breeze and keeping up with Captain America (my main dude), but also kicking back from time to time with the brave men and women of the BPRD. (I would totally high-five Abe Sapien's fishy paw, no shit.)

So yesterday, I noticed that Alex (the counter guy, chubby, but not too bad) was rubbing his eyes and sighing a lot more than usual. I inquired as to his troubles, and I must have hit a nerve, because the guy unloaded! (full disclosure: I have been known to tend bar in my day, so I have the vibe of a

"friendly listener" type. I also speak in warm, soft tones. It helps the troubled dude open up, and makes the single ladies want to be in intimate surroundings with me. Sexually.)

After a laundry list of troubles that included some hypochondria, and a lot of complaining about some new computer desk, Alex mentioned that he hasn't been able to start a column he's been meaning to write. I said "Dude! I'm pretty much the smartest guy you know! I'm successful, loaded, handsome, and I happen to have a free hour today between a manicure and a lunch date with a Brazillian model (very hot)". I told him I would get my feet polished up, then lift some of his burdens by writing a column for him, and then proceed to have some strip steak, a bloody mary, and satisfy my date (sexually). What can I say? I'm a humanitarian, and the poor guy looked like was about to cry. I can't stand to see a man cry, by the way.

He told me that he wanted to write about FREDDY AND ME, which is apparently a memoir about a guy's life as juxtaposed with his QUEEN obsession. Alex swears it's terrific, and I believe him. He actually got really animated about it; talking about the pacing and the structure and how expressive the dude's cartooning is. I was all like "Okay okay! I'll read it!" and maybe I will someday. Right now I'm too busy earning mad dollar bills and can't make the time for anything longer than a 22 page Cap A comic or an interview with Giselle Bundchen in GQ. You know how it is.

CAPTAIN AMERICA is prime cuts of beef. I have to tell you, before I was turned onto it, I figured Captain America to be a pretty corny individual. But Ed Brubaker was totally like, "Oh yeah, he's totally boring... PSYCHE! He kicks ass, and you should be up in business, Gus!". My dad used to read these men's adventure magazines in the Seventies, with wicked lurid covers full of Nazi women whipping prisoners, or some enlisted soldier in a tattered shirt punching a swarthy tattooed guy that's holding a bloody dagger. Captain America feels like what I imagine was in those magazines. (I was never allowed to read them, and once my dad kicked it from congestive heart failure, my prick brother sold them all on ebay so he could buy a Segway.) The covers have that same rough, painted look, and the stories are filled with mind control and karate and tough chicks in tight clothes. It's a comic that you read while you eat a cheesesteak and drink a boilermaker. (Not that I recommend that dietary combination.)

Alex loves Cap A also, but he was really insistent that I write about FREDDY AND ME. Personally, I think he should just be glad that I'm writing his column for him, and let me talk a bit more about how great CAPTAIN AMERICA is, and how it should be read while listening to LYNARD SKYNARD, punching your fist in the air every time someone kicks a little ass. He said that everyone is aware of how good CAPTAIN AMERICA is already, but may not know about FREDDY AND ME. I can dig it. It's the same way everyone always orders buffalo wings at a bar, and you want to say "Come on dude... get the tempura! No way you're getting laid with wing sauce under your nails!"

The other thing that I'm supposed to mention is that FREDDY AND ME is "one of the best memoirs Alex has read since FUN HOME", and "it not only perfectly captures the high drama of adolescence, but it really encapsulates what it is to be a Fan of something, and love a bit of culture so much that you tie that love into the most meaningful moments of your life." Then he talked about how he associates a different PIXIES album with every ex-girlfriend. At that point I was imagining how delicious a vodka gimlet would be, and I kind of zoned out.

And now I have to split to meet Margarite for brunch. It was real, comic dudes, but it's a sunny day, I'm starving, and my date wears that awesome stripper perfume that is very distracting. FREDDY AND ME, CAPTAIN AMERICA, and vodka gimlets: there's your recipe for happiness while I go get sweaty (sexually).



Post script:

So the date with Margarite was a total bust. Despite previous rum-soaked sensualities, it became obvious pretty quick that she just wanted the hostess position at my upper east side joint. Totally trashy. That's some amateur-hour, bush-league stuff right there. First of all, I can't get oral from my employees. There are laws. Secondly, she doesn't have the necessary ankles to be on her feet all day. That's just a fact- you can't argue with science. I was pretty bummed about it all, so I went home and read FREDDY AND ME. Alex was right; it was damn good, and I even got kind of wet in the eyes, although might have been the INXS album I was listening to. I got awfully sentimental, and called my ex-fiance Janice (bad idea). Still, excellent book.

Post-post script:

Janice is still in Greece for a few weeks on business, so if any cute nerd-birds want to meet up, you should know that I am totally foxy for a dude. I keep myself groomed, have abs like a bamboo cutting board, and my clothes are strictly dry-clean only, if you know what I mean. Plus, I'm a hell of a chef! Just ask Zagats! (seriously). Send any photos care of bcronin@comicbookresources.com..... I've only got like a two week window here ladies, so anyone with Celtic tattoos or a lack of tan lines need not apply. Alex will be back next week if he can type without having a panic attack.

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