Last week the topic was on how I am a big baby when I get sick. That caused a lot of email to come my way during the rest of the week as well as things getting posted on various message boards.
It seems that I’m not the only man that turns into a 3-year-old baby when he’s sick. In fact, there seems to be a lot of us out there. As they say, misery loves company. I also got a lot of emails that mentioned they were surprised that Beau Smith “Real Man” didn’t just drink his symptoms away or slip into a red meat coma until the snot had drained away.
Well, surprise. I’m a little more complex than I’ve been given credit for. Get to know me!
I bet you didn’t know that I was a surf freak. Yep. Been that way since I was a very small child. My parents used to take us on vacation to the beach, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for over 21 years straight. I have always had a deep love and fondness for the sand and surf. Still do.
The Barbee Apartments-Wrightsville Beach North Carolina. Smith Summer Home For 21 Years.
I’ve been as much a fan and historian on surf culture as I am on the old west and cowboy culture. Pretty equal. If you were to look at my personal library of over 7,000 books you’d be surprised to find that there are almost as many books on surfing as there are on the old west.
Tom Blake & Duke in the 1930s
To answer your question, yes? I have surfed. I’m not very good. I resemble one of those bears in the circus that rides around on a bike. Not very pretty to watch, but I do make the attempt. As I’ve gotten older, it’s even more amusing.
But that doesn’t dim my love for the culture. Make no mistake, it is a culture. The stories and history is incredible. Through the years I’ve sat and watched tapes and DVDs of endless hours of Bruce Brown surf films. I remember as a kid going to the movie theater over and over to watch Endless Summer. I never grow tired of it. I had the poster of that movie in my room for years until it got worn out from moves.
Every now and then a friend of mine will see some of my surf collection and be surprised that the photos they are looking at are over 40 to 50 years old. They think that they are recent photos. That’s another one of the traits of surfing? you never seem to grow old. Photos of surfers 40-50 years ago look like young people of today. The same with the attitude. It lets you know that teenagers change, but in another way they remain the same.
Circa 1957 ? Teenagers Never Change
Clothing and styles really haven’t changed all that much. It’s like something that never goes out of style. I think that’s the way it is when there is true style. That’s a definition that has been altered or forgotten through the last few decades.
When you read about the attitudes and culture of surf in the days gone by you will be amazed by the purity of the love of the water and the act of surfing. I don’t mean to get all Zen like on you, but there is a hardcore connection and once it’s felt it never leaves you even if you haven’t been in the water in years. One step on the sand and one breath of the salt air will bring you instantly back.
Surfing Great Buzzy Trent, 1962
What’s this got to do with comic books? Not much, unless you were like me. I can remember I was at the beach when I bought Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #13 with the appearance of Captain America. I can remember reading it and re-reading it that week at the beach. I remember the little mom and pop store I bought it in. I can remember the weather that day and how the sky looked. I can remember sitting under the raised porch of the place we were staying and reading it as I drank a bottle of Royal Crown Cola. That’s right? a bottle. Not a can. There weren’t cans, then.
I remember the little gas station where I bought Daredevil #7 and being shocked to see he was wearing a red costume. Where the hell did that come from? Daredevil fought the Sub-Mariner in that issue. I studied those panels over and over. Great Wally Wood art, and a true underdog story.
My biggest comic book thrill with the beach came when I bought the Fantastic Four Annual where Reed Richards and Sue Storm got married. I was pretty shell shocked by all the characters that were in that issue. It was a true event. Back then you only go the big event once a year in an annual, unlike today where there is an event going on every week. The word “special” has been taken out of event.
That Fantastic Four Annual made such a lasting impression on me that many decades later when I was writing Guy Gardner Warrior for DC Comics, in issue #29 I got to have my own version of that extravaganza with the opening of Warrior’s Bar. I had every DCU character I could think of in that issue. I will always be in my friend, Phil Jimenz‘s debt for being man enough to step up and not only deliver great art, but he hit it out of the park with that issue. That summer and that Fantastic Four issue were huge influences on me. Some things stick.
Back as a child in the early 60s everyone was caught up in The Beatles. Sure I liked and enjoyed their music like every other kid, but my heart was still with the music I heard every summer at Wrightsville Beach. It was Dick Dale, Bo Diddley, The Ventures, and Link Wray that meant something to me. Even The Beach Boys and Jan & Dean better satisfied my need for rock & roll more than The Beatles. Sure, I know I’m in a minority there. Not a problem with me. Never has been. I lost even more interest in The Beatles after time went on and they felt, in my opinion, that they’re views and ideas on the world were more important for people to listen to than their music. Paul’s music became more wimpy pop stuff and John Lennon seemed to feel that being a rock star qualified him to know more about world matters than world leaders. I guess he had something going on because he sure had a lot of young people believing in his self-absorbed views.
Bill and son Laird Hamilton – Surfing Legends
I’m not trying to start a fight with all of you followers of John Lennon. It’s just my opinion and let’s just agree that I’m not gonna change your views on him any more than you’re gonna change mine. I’m just happy that you’re entitled to have an opinion. Some countries don’t allow that.
Part of me always envied those that lived on the coast all the time. Part of me didn’t. For me I had that once a year time to go to the beach and enjoy it and the memories for a whole year until I returned. I guess like anything else, if you have something every day you may tend to take it for granted. Some do. Some don’t.
Like my cowboy heroes, Wyatt Earp, Jeff Milton, Bucky O’Neil, Andy Adams, Charlie Siringo and others I could be that kid in Huntington, West Virginia and day dream of riding range and hunting down bad guys. I was also the same kid that daydreamed of being Greg Noll, Tom Blake, Nat Young, Gerry Lopez, Robert August, and Tom Curren riding the waves and kicking up the sand. Now days there are guys like Laird Hamilton the undisputed king of big wave surfers that is amazing to watch. His Riding Giants DVD is always in my player.
Comic books have always been a strange path that has led me to a lot of different places. Because of comics I’ve been blessed to travel all over. Because of comics I’ve been to Tombstone, Arizona, for me, the cowboy Mecca. Because of comics I’ve been to the most noted beaches on the west coast where many of my childhood surf heroes rode waves.
Not bad for an old stump jumpin’ kid from West Virginia. Surf’s Up!
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
Since I’ve been talking about the good ol’ days I thought it’d only be right to have this week’s babe of the week be one of the best from any days. Raquel Welch. The ultimate dream girl of any man with blood running through his body. She is and always has been the way a woman should be built. She can act, sing, dance, cook and has a glow of pure Hollywood class that remains decade after decade. She is just as beautiful today as she ever was. I thought this vintage shot best sums up the way I’ve always pictured her in my head?and that is quite often.
Enjoy and check any of her movies out for a good time and to remember what a real woman looks like.
Hunting Season On Monsters
This week I’m gonna bring a couple of comic books to your attention that you may not know of. After all, that’s what I’m here for? to educate and entertain.
The good folks at Antarctic Press down in Texas have been putting out a fun comic book that I personally have been a fan of. It’s called I HUNT MONSTERS. It’s done by Rod Espinosa, Wes Hartman and Craig Babiar along with Robby Bevard.
I HUNT MONSTERS is full of manly things like guns, babes, hunting, tracking and killing werewolves, mummies, vampires, zombies and just about any other demon or monster that you can think of. There is plenty of action, humor and fast paced story telling. This book is manly, but your girlfriend will like it too. This is one of those rare comics that you can get your better half into if you feel that you need to share.
The story and dialogue is top notch and deserves the best beer. The art is in the animated vein and fits well with the mood of the book and the writing. A darn near perfect mix of good planning. I’ve read the first nine issues and look forward to more. Each issue has a recap in the front so you don’t go in lost. There are a couple of trade paperbacks out there as well. You should drop by their website and see what you can find out about them. Go to http://www.antarctic-press.com and tell those boys that Beau sent ya.
While you’re there you will wanna check out their very manly comic book ANTARCTIC PRESS PHOTO REFERENCE: WEAPONS FILE #1. This is a great photo reference comic with pages of manly weapons for any artist to use to draw upon for a story. This issue cover weapons A through C. There are shots of the weapons in uses and from all sorts of camera angles. It even has one of my favorites and a gun I won; the Mossberg 500 12 gauge pump action shotgun. No home should be without one.
Scope this one out before it scopes you.
Busted Knuckles Manly Comic Book Cover Of The Week
Crime Clinic #11
Okay, I defy you to tell me that there is anything or manly or strange for that matter than a ventriloquist dummy gone bad. It’s more scary than any evil clown in a circus. This is everyone’s nightmare come true. Famed painter Norm Saunders makes it a reality as this dummy blasts away with his handgun that sure ain’t made of wood. Pinocchio was never a bad ass like this natural born wood killer. This little maniac is sportin’ wood AND hot lead.
Make sure you check this comic out at the next convention. You also will wanna throw some pity Chuck Dixon’s way as he throws up another tired attempt to out man my manly cover. As always he throws up another Atlas Western cover where they shoot the guns out of each other’s hands. Go to http://www.dixonverse.com to see the some old thing.
Cobb vs. Barreto
Here is a unique item that was sent to me after the news broke on Cobb: Off The Leash #1, my latest comic book from IDW Publishing.
As you may know, the legendary Eduardo Barreto is doing all the art on the series. What you may not know is that it seems that Eduardo and Cobb have faced each other before as it shows in this vintage boxing poster.
Just a unique little item I thought you’d enjoy. This comes from Knucklehead Cynthia Garcia and her boyfriend Luis Jones from Austn, Texas. Thanks, guys. Much appreciated.
Here is another exclusive advance page of art by Eduardo from Cobb #1:
Parts Unknown—The Movie???
Here’s another possibly unique news item. I was contacted this past week by ADV Entertainment about the possibility of optioning Parts Unknown. As most of you know, Parts Unknown is the sci-fi action franchise that myself and Brad Gorby own. The comics and trade paperbacks are currently being published by Afterburn Comics (http:://www.afterburncomics.com). I have spoken with ADV Entertainment a few times and they are very knowledgeable of Parts Unknown. It seems the director that is attached is a long time Parts Unknown reader.
They seem to really “get” that Parts Unknown is an over the top Sci-Fi action, drive-in type of retro movie. They wanna do it up that way as well. Granted, we’re talking low budget and straight to DVD. But that’s the way I’ve always seen Parts Unknown. After all, it’s about an invasion of sex crazed aliens looking to hook up with Earth women and enslave the men. It’s got tough guys, beautiful babes and lots of shooting and killing. What more do you need?
I’ll keep you posted on this and let you know if a deal is made.
Show’s Over, Folks. Break it up. Go On Home.
I hope you found something fun and informative this week here at Busted Knuckles. If you have any questions or thoughts just email me and let me know.
Beau At Wrightsville Beach, 1967
I appreciate all the support that you guys throw my way. It is remembered and appreciated. With all of you behind me I’m hoping that come May when Cobb: Off The Leash #1 is released we’ll be looking at some good sales numbers. Don’t forget to pre-order it with your local retailer and let them know to order it. For those of you without a local retailer you can check out Westfield Comics online. They not only will let you order it, but they have a lengthy interview with me that’s up and live right now. So check it out at http://westfieldcompany.net/wow/frm_int_140.html
You can also check out Cobb at the new IDW Publishing website at http://www.idwpublishing.com
See y’all next week. Keep it manly.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!