By Beau Smith

Just a few more days and the big day will be here. Christmas. For as long as I can remember, December has always been my favorite month of the year. It’s cold outside, it’s my birthday and of course? Christmas.

It seems that most folks are even a little nicer in December. Yeah, I know they should be like that all year round, but most aren’t, so I’m happy with em’ sortin’ themselves out for one month out of the year.

With just a few days until Christmas I wanted to make sure that my Five Manly Questions took me to a place that would reflect the holiday season. I needed a place with snow and cold weather. That place would be Vermont. The person that I needed to talk to was Scot Eaton.

For those of you that don’t keep up with who’s who in comics, Scot Eaton is one of the finest artists and craftsman that comics. He has been at it for well over 10 years and is getting’ better every day. He has worked for most all of the major publishers and has spent most of his time workin’ on characters that most of ya know very well. Characters like Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, The X-Men, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing and many more. He even did 2 years at the CrossGen compund doin’ some extra nice work.

Ya may not know, but for a few years runnin’, Scot was the heavyweight weightlifting champion of the state of Vermont. This boy has bench pressed 500 pounds! That’s pretty damn good for a man that stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs a little over 250 pounds. Scot has always been into bodybuilding and weightlifting. He is a student of throwin’ iron around. I’ve gone to Scot for tips on many an occasion. If you’ve ever met Scot you won’t soon forget him. He looks like he should be a WWE Superstar tossin’ the likes of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin around the ring. He is a fireplug with arms and legs. Sometimes I think that Marvel Comics has modeled The Juggernaut after Scot.

What ya also might not know about Scot is that he is one of the nicest fellas you will ever meet. He reminds me so much of Hoss Cartwright from the old TV series Bonanaza. A good heart, a sweet nature and? THE VERY LAST GUY IN THE WORLD YOU WOULD EVER WANNA PISS OFF! Do not back this guy into a corner. Do not insult his family or friends and do not lay an unwanted hand upon his person. There is a reason his lovely wife Claudette has a sign on his studio door that reads: DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL OR STICK YOUR HAND IN HIS CAGE.

Scot and I have been buddies for a while now. He’s a part of my “Cornbread Mafia” that I have in the comic book business. He’s an Earp Brother. Those are my very closest friends. So needless to say I was lookin’ forward to packin’ up the truck and headin’ up north to Vermont. I was lucky to have the Christmas spirit all the way up on the trip. Lots of cold weather and either snow or snow flurries. I had my Dean Martin and Chris Isaak Christmas CDs a playin’ along the way. Best of all, I had my own self-satisfying company to entertain me on the trip.

It was planned that I meet Scot at one of his favorite local bars in the area that he now lives. The name of the place was The E.R. It wasn’t long after I go there that I found out why.

It was getting’ evening when I reached The E.R. I’d estimate that there was roughly around a foot of snow on the ground with more comin’ down? There was an odd mixture of vehicles in the snow covered parking lot. I recognized Scot’s four wheel drive Jeep along with a few other SUVs and assorted workin’ man’s pick up trucks. Then there were all these, what I call “Units”. Units are company cars. Borin-‘all -look- the-same four door cars. You know? Ford Taurus, Chevy Malibu’s? that sorta stuff.

The E.R. had some cheap Christmas lights stung up around the windows and the entrance. Looked like they were the kind that got left up all year round. I parked the truck and high stepped through the knee-high snow to the front door of the place. I opened the door and stepped in out of the blowin’ snow. A beer mug flew past my right ear and smashed into the wall next to my head.

I immediately felt like I was at home.

I quickly looked the situation over. I had to. Bodies and various bar fixtures were flyin’ all around at a high rate of speed. What I saw was like what would happen if ya had Quentin Tarantino direct a John Wayne bar room brawl. It didn’t take me long to tell the locals from the non-locals. The units parked outside should’ve tipped me off right off.

The locals were hard workin’ regular guys. Men that rolled their sleeves up and got the job done. Farmers, power line workers, mechanics and construction workers (No cracks about this bein’ a Village People bar.) The non-locals were the owners of the units. You’ve seen a lot of these guys in the news as of late. Certified Public Accountants all jacked up on steroids and other growth enhancement drugs. Ya see em’ with their borin’ black pants, short sleeve white shirts, black ties and pocket protectors with a minimum of eight pens and pencils stuck in em’. The ones that were sportin’ that balding horseshoe ring of hair were back to back with the ones with the black, tapped, horn-rimmed glasses. Each one of these hopped up accountants weighed in at least 275 to 300 pounds. Their muscles had muscles and there were veins on top of veins. It was Revenge Of The Nerds mixed with Conan The Barbarian.

In the middle of the room I see Scot. He had one of these CPAs in a crushing headlock. The accountant’s face was all red as Scot applied the pressure. Scot spots me and in his typical laidback tone says “Hey, Beau, I was wondering when you were gonna show up.” With that said he squeezed a little harder and the ‘roid rage accountant passed out.

I ducked under a flyin’ bar stool and put a boot into the steroid shrunken testicles of a pencil pushin’ 300 pounder with a serious case of acne. I followed that up with an elbow to his nose, blood spurted across his face like a bad paint job.

I looked up to see Scot standin’ on the pool table. It was like something outta one of those old Steve Reeves Hercules movies. He had an accountant up over his head and tossed him into three other on rushing CPAs. I could tell by the look on Scott’s face he was havin’ a pretty good time. That’s when I saw a huge bean counter chokin’ the Veromont sap out of a local. I knew there was no way I was gonna take this tax form lovin’ titan out with fist to the head so I took my belt off from around my manly waist. From behind I took the belt and wrapped it around his 22-inch neck. I made sure that I placed it right where his Adam’s apple should be and then I proceeded to pull on that belt with every ounce of my 185 pounds. He dropped the local, but I couldn’t tell I was hurtin’ him or just pissin’ him off.

Normally when I’ve used this trick on guys much bigger than me they start to cave after a few seconds. Not this freak. He started staggerin’ around with me on his back pullin’ on the belt. His neck was all puffed up as he clawed at the belt with his massive hands. I arched back with a hard line tug of the belt. I could hear him finally startin’ to gag. He went down on his knees, makin’ him about my height. He was a big ol’ boy. It was then that the local guy I helped out stood there with a pool cue and did a Mickey Mantle home run number on this beefed up Barry Bonds of the accounting world. Teeth flew into the air like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Scot was busy givin’ head butts away like they were party favors. Nothin’ dents that massive bullet shaped head of Eaton’s. I should’ve been payin’ attention because it was about then that one of those penny pinchin’ throwbacks back handed me and sent me sliding across the floor. I landed just under the pool table, dazed, but ok. There was a bar towel on the floor. I grabbed it and then reached up on top of the pool table and grabbed a billiard ball. I stuck it in the towel and wrapped it up so that I had the ends as handles. I then got up and started swingin’ it with deadly results.

I busted heads, eyeballs, knees, guts, balls and other parts of the body too numerous to mention. ‘Roid Rangers were fallin’ left and right. I saw Scot double clothesline two of the accountants and send them into a heap on the floor. From there he did a speed bag number on a guy’s face. Hard to believe, but he made the guy uglier than he already was. By this time I had run out of CPAs to DOA.

Not Scot.

He had the last of the addin’ machine addicts in a Russian leg sweep. Once on the floor Scot slapped the dazed monster into a Mongolian Man Breaker. It’s a deadly submission hold that I’ve only seen once before in my whole life. That was back in 1977 when I had the honor of seein the greatest bouncer to ever live do his work in a bar in Mississippi. That man was Dirty Dick Murdoch-The Mississippi Mauler.

With seconds the accountant had not only tapped out, but had passed out. Scot calmly got off the floor and dusted his large frame off, looked around to inspect the damage then smiled and asked me if I wanted a beer.

The local police showed up and carted the trouble makin’ accounting firm off. No charges were made on the locals. Seems that the police looked at this as community watch situation and let it go at that. I just love local law enforcement in a small town.

By this point, Scot and I found one of the tables that wasn’t busted and we sat down with some very cold beers and some pork rinds. I thanked Scot for the tour of local color. He mentioned that one day they were gonna open a real gym there in town to work out in. It seems that The E.R. was getting’ a little shell shocked from these local throw downs the boys had been havin’.

Lucky for me my recorder hadn’t been busted in the big dance. I pulled it out and told Scot that now as a real good time to start his Five Manly Questions. Scot ripped open another bag of pork rinds and we began our little Q & A. Here’s how it went:

Beau: Scot, What annoyin’ celebrity would ya like to smack in the head with a shovel or stab in the eye with a fork?

Scot: Well, Beau? I would raise a shovel–way up high–crack Rob Reiner on the backswing— and bring it down squarely on Martin Sheen’s melon. What? It’s maybe 4 feet off the ground, right? I’d hit him hard enough to form the shape of his dome in the metal, Beau. Reiner and Sheen were kind enough to personally campaign with my former governor, Howard Dean. Then after he failed to win a single primary with the exception of his home state–they segued deftly to John Kerry’s side. With a similar result. It wasn’t that long ago that those two and a lot of others had Dean picking out drapes for the oval office. They were painfully wrong about the mood of the country and I feel like they should pay for Hollywood’s inflated opinion of themselves.

Sadly my Mom and Dad dearly love Sheen and that whole West Wing scam he has going on. In fact everyone I know does. But me–and I brought the shovel.

Beau: Other than your own beautiful and understanding wife, Claudette, name some of the sexiest babes on the planet.

Scot: Lemme see? As you said the lovely Claudette is first and foremost in my heart. Close second would be Rachel Hunter. Claudia Black is fantastic and so is Angelina Jolie–just as she is in Sky Captain, eye patch and all! Charisma Carpenter is sweet and I know you love her as well, but my kinky dark horse pick would be Madusa Micelli from the old WCW. I guess I’m just sweet on any girl who can drive a monster truck and kick my ass. Speaking of which, I dig your personal friend Cynthia Rothrock. I really like her!

Beau: Scot, you are so right? Charisma Carpenter is a real beauty and has great legs. You also hit it on the head about Cynthia. Not only cold she kick your big ol’ butt, but she is a really nice lady as well. Okay? next question? Name some manly movies that every real man should see if he wants to rev up his testosterone.

Scot: Always start with the Duke, brother. The Cowboys, The Shootist, and my fave-The Undefeated. I have a soft spot for the Commacheros. Very few people know it but it’s a movie loosely based around how you and I first met! The Wind and the Lion starring Sean Connery and Brian Keith is primo. And before everyone loved The Chronicles of Riddick I had watched Pitch Black about twenty times. Gotta also mention the one movie I have watched more times than any other in my life–My Name is Nobody. Patton is probably the best depiction of the comics industry I’ve seen yet. And The Rundown is the best unauthorized Maximum Jack film ever made!

Beau: Very good picks, amigo. You named some of MY personal favorites there. Nice plug on our Maximum Jack project too? I knew if ya hung around with me long enough you’d become a shameless self-promotin’ machine like me. Here is you next question, Scot- What manly CDs are ya listenin’ to right now. Is it stuff that motivates ya to draw or bust heads?

Scot: I’ll give you what’s on my table today. Everything by DIO including Black Sabbath. OK–some Ozzy, too. Black Label Society properly blessed by Paul Pelletier. A band called Brand New Sin and Edguy. Metal bands one and all. I listened to each and every Hammerfall album while I worked on Thor. And I never go far without my copy of Iron Reign.

Beau: Awww, that stuff is too heavy for this ol’ cowboy? I knew we’d part company somewhere. Here’s your last question, Big boy–Name your latest and upcoming manly work in comics and entertainment so my manly readers can steal the money from their mom’s purse to buy it. Name the publisher as well.

Scot: I am currently working on the last four issue arc of Spectacular Spider-Man with Samm Barnes and Cam Smith. It’s the second part of the Sins Past story line from Amazing Spider-Man called “The Story of Sarah.” I will admit it’s very character driven but in a rugged, manly fashion. Speaking of manly; everyone ought to check out Rogue once Tony Bedard and Karl Moline take it over with issue 7. Tony once broke a bull’s neck just to settle a bet! But the good news is that I will be doing the covers along with Don Hillsman the Second–skateboard king, full contact fighter and inker. And they are colored by Frank D’Armata, samurai color master. I have seen him color comics in a kimono. It’s true, it’s true. It’s damn true.

After that–who can say??.!? Returning your sketchbook?

[Note To Readers: Scot has had my sketchbook for over 4 years and has yet to give it back to me.]

At this point things were startin’ to clear out at The E.R. Scot and I decided that we’d get in the truck and head out to his house. Maybe Claudette would rustle up some breakfast for us. Then again, when she finds out that Scot busted up the bar again she might just serve us a cold stare. Seems Claudette was getting’ tired of tryin’ to explain Scot’s little bull in the China shop routine to the girls at lunch.

We trudged out into the early morning snow and made our way to our vehicles. Looked like it was gonna be a really nice day. I was gonna enjoy my time here visiting with Scot and Claudette. Of course I was also gonna be glad to get home and do Christmas up right West Virginia style.

Beau’s Stocking Stuffer:
Like I said before, Christmas is comin’ The fat man in the red suit will soon be doin’ his home invasion act on your house and his ill-mannered little elf buddies will be drinkin’ all your beer as you sleep. So I thought I’d give ya a tip on something that will make a great stocking stuffer for any manly friend you have. Or for yourself!

Recently my very good buddy Larry Young the head publishin’ cowboy at AIT/Planet Lar sent me a great little book called Tales From Fish Camp by Danielle Henderson. I looked the book over and read the blurb on the back of the book. Here’s what it says:

    Tales From Fish Camp-Bear chases. Stabbings. Broken bones. Sleeping three hours a day. Drinking whiskey all night. It all comes with the territory when a New York City girl takes a job in an Alaskan fishing village.

I read that and knew this was a book for me! I was right. I read the whole thing in one setting and couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want it to end?much like anything else in my life that I enjoy and is usually against some sorta law. Be it a man made law or one against nature or proper morals.

Danielle is a very talented young writer that makes ya feel like you were right there with her livin’ these adventures. That’s a gift and one she doesn’t mind sharin’ with the reader. Danielle Henderson was born in New York City and has lived in Boston, San Francisco, and Queens. She currently lives in Alaska and works for the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She will eat you alive if you stand still long enough. That right there tells ya she is a real woman that ya don’t wanna mess with. As you can tell by her photo here she is also a very attractive young woman who is easy on the eyeballs. (What?? Did ya think I was gonna miss a chance to be my knuckle draggin’ self??)

You can find and buy Tales From Fish Camp at http://www.ait-planetlar.com or your best bet is to visit Danielle’s very cool website at http://www.knottyyarn.com The site has all kinds of great stuff, Danielle’s blog, photos, and a way to buy her book. Check it out or I will hurt you very badly.

Christmas Time-Beau-Ho-HO!
I’ve already beat ya over the head with this, but I wanna hit ya a little more. Christmas is comin’. It would sure mean a lot to me if ya had a really good time. It’d mean even more to me if ya’d stop and really appreciate your family and friends. I know that sounds corny and all in these modern-hip-hoppin-reality TV-watchin’-forgettin’ your manners times, But I mean it. I just had a birthday. Let’s put it this way? it’s too late for me to die young and leave a good lookin’ corpse. Those days are behind me. What I’m sayin’ is that we really ain’t on this dirt clod very long. You should really make your mark in it by bein’ the best son, daughter, mother, father, friend that ya can. Everything else will fall into place. Have some passion for the things that mean something to ya. The ultimate creative team lives in your body. The brain that makes that big sack of flesh you call a body carry out orders that help to move you along in this physical world we all gotta walk in. The heart pumps out the emotions that ya need to treat others like you want to be treated yourself. It’s the place that knows the difference between right and wrong. I hope it always tells ya to make the manly choice. Last ya got the stuff between your legs where ya make more people like yourself. If ya let your heart and brain work together then maybe the little people ya make with the stuff between your legs will produce something even a little better than yourself. That’s the goal, amigos?leave this place better than when ya entered it.

A big thanks go out to my very good friend-Jason Brice who makes sure Busted Knuckles is readable and he also does my website for me. Without him things wouldn’t be any good at all. Thank you, Jason.

Thanks for hangin’ with me this past year here at Busted Knuckles, amigos. I appreciate every email, message board posting and letter that ya send. Most of all I thank you for your time. Ya don’t have to spend it with me but ya choose to. That means a lot to me.

Merry Christmas, amigos.

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
http://www.flyingfistranch.com


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About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin