Embrace The Creative

Last week was a hectic one here at the ranch. Hell, who am I kidding, the whole year has been hectic. It was Friday evening and I figured I’d drive into town and wander around the bookstore for a while. I needed to get out and be seen. I’m sure there were people waiting to spot me. Kinda like a Bigfoot sighting on a local level.

It was a typical Friday night. There were lots of cars and people swarming around the streets. A bunch of em’ going to the movies and some starting semi-early Christmas shopping. One of the local radio stations had a remote going on in the square. Their annoying Disc Jockey was blabbering on in his annoying disc jockey voice and playing annoying “Not Real Country Music” like Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw.

I found a parking spot for the truck and weaved my way through the Friday night date crowd and the old yuppies that had gathered around the square to drink their sissy Starbuck’s coffee and watch the Disc Jockey as he blathered on.

I shoved my way through the bookstore doors and figured out a path to take. Again, it was Friday night and I guess a lot of other people were thinking the same plan as me. It was a tad crowded.

I gave it a manly walk past the row of discount books and headed over to go through the maze of magazine racks. As always there were a batch of college kids sitting on the benches reading the magazines for free as they gouged the pages with their tattooed fingers and tried to get their friends to look at what they were looking at. I had to retrain myself from dope-slapping one of the pierced punks when he kept pressing his nose into the middle of the magazine and loudly saying “Sweet! I love the smell of a new magazine!”

The temptation was great. I resisted and moved on.

Empire Books. Huntington, West Virginia

I took my time and visited my usual haunts of the magazine racks. I picked up a couple of screenwriting magazines, the latest issues of Adventure, The Surfer’s Journal, and Outside, then slid over to the entertainment section and nabbed the latest copy of Texas Music. (The real stuff, not that country pop crap that oozes out of the radio like a bad case of the sugar coated squirts.)

Beau Can Read

It was about then the music started. Like most modern bookstores today this one has a coffee shop/music area where caffeine freaks can buy Nancy-Boy coffee and pay way too much for it. On weekends they clear off an area for a local singer or small band to play while folks browse the book racks and chit-chat on their boring, Polo wearing, Starbuck’s sucking lives.

Again, the temptation to smack helmet-haired yuppies is great. Manly self-control wins over and I lean against a book rack and check out the small band.

The band consists of four college-aged folks. A girl and three guys make up the band. Acoustic set up with some percussion. Just as the yuppies that watch them have their uniforms, so does the band. They’re all pretty much decked out in their Abercrombie & Fitch/American Eagle outfits trying hard to look different with the ultimate result of conformity.

For once the level of the music is just right. It’s loud enough to be heard, yet soft enough to blend into the background. They run through a series of cover songs by the likes of Norah Jones, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, and Mark Selby. A guy and a girl switch on lead vocals depending on the song. Both are pretty good. The girl is even better because she’s a cute little thing and her skirt is short enough to be interesting.

After a series of covers they go into a couple of original songs that they had written. I perked up at the announcement. Sure they had talent, but this would be the test of how much.

They didn’t disappoint. The guy and the girl split two songs each and I was impressed. I could tell that there was a little more nervousness in them before they started each song. After all, they were hanging out there for all to see now. They were exposing their stuff and they were responsible for the crowd’s reaction now.

I could see in their eyes and in their voices that they were committed. After the first 30 seconds or so they could feel the crowd was pleased and this made the level of comfort a lot warmer. They were really putting their all into the songs and it showed. They didn’t have the safety of a well- known cover song to guide em’ across the tight wire. They were on their own without a net and they were doing just fine.

After each song and a round of well earned applause you could see the rush in each one of em’. It was a good thing.

Ya see, when you’re a creative type you know you will always write, draw, sing, and perform your own art of creativity no matter if there is an audience or not. That will always give you a high level of satisfaction and a rush. It’s when there’s an audience that also accepts what you’ve done and “gets it” or gets pleasure from it, that’s when the extra reward comes in.

Any creative type that tries to tell you they don’t care if anyone else likes their work is telling a bigger lie than the ones I tell my wife when I come back from being on the road.

Creative people thrive on applause and acceptance. Most creative people want to belong. They wanna be a part of a bigger scheme. A lot of that goes back to being a creative kid and feeling “different” because they see and feel things differently than others. Screenwriters, comic book creators, actors, rock stars, politicians, they all want to feel the warmth of the spotlight when it shines on em’. Too little or too much ain’t good, but the right amount can be heaven. Sometimes finding that perfect balance is tough, but when you find it there is no other feeling like it.

If you’re a creative sort and out there reading this episode of Busted Knuckles right now you know what I’m talking about.

When the band ended their set they were greeted with a nice warm round of applause. You could see in their eyes that they were on good ol’ cloud 9. I could see that they would remember this evening for the rest of their lives. Even if they go on to be accountants, housewives and traffic cops they will always have that rush of acceptance from tonight and other nights like it.

That goes a long ways. Trust me, I know.

Accept the creativity of others and embrace your own. You’ll feel better for it.

Ho Ho Ho! A Christmas Gift Tip From Beau

This week is Thanksgiving. Right now most of ya are sitting at work or in your dorm thinking about all the food you’re gonna shove down your neck on Thursday. Thoughts of touchdowns on TV and you sitting there with your pants unbuttoned are dancing through your head like some sissified broadway dancer.

That’s all fine and dandy, but you also know what comes after Thanksgiving—Christmas!

You’re probably already thinking about what kinda gifts you hope others get for you. You might even be thinking about what you’re gonna get others. If so, I’m here to help you out.

This is a suggestion for every comic book reader you know and have to buy for. Y’all know how I’m always preaching to you about learning more about comic book history, well I’ve got a great way for ya to do that in the form of a gift.

The Comics Buyer’s Guide Standard Catalog Of Comic Books. This book is as big and thick as my own? manly ego. Over 1600 pages and four inches thick. It’s the ultimate guide to over 165,000 comic books published in North America. It’s got price listings, auction results, print runs, character debuts, story titles, cover prices, cover dates and so much more.

It’s written by four folks that know their stuff when it comes to comics and the history of comics. Maggie Thompson, Brent Frankenhoff, John Jackson Miller, Don Butler, and Peter Bickford are the research and word wranglers that make this book a must for any comic book collector, reader and fan. You won’t just spend hours reading this, you’ll spend years.

The Comics Buyer’s Guide Standard Catalog of Comic Books is published by the fine folks at Krause Publishing. It retails for $34.99 in most book stores and comic shops that you have as well as on the web. It’s a real deal for such a huge and informative book.

If you’re like me you could also use it as a blunt instrument to crack the skull of anyone that doesn’t get ya a Christmas gift.

Check it out and more info at: http:://www.cbgxtra.com

Beau’s Manly Comic Book Cover Of The Week

Wings Comics #98 Oct, 1948 Fiction House Publishing.

I don’t know about you, but give me a cover with a manly man saving a damsel in distress from any kind of danger and you’ve got my money.

To me it don’t get any more manly than a guy saving a hot babe or a kid from some kinda terrible menace. That’s what being an Alpha Male is all about. That’s being a hero. That’s not sitting around waiting for someone else to do the job for ya. It’s called being a man of action.

That’s why you just gotta love this week’s Manly Comic Book Cover by Bob Lubbers on Wings Comics #98 published by Fiction House 1948. Check this cover out. The hero pulling the gator’s jaws apart while the babe gets into the plane. It’s got it all, the ripped shirt, high heels and a teaser blurb of “The Witch-Queen Of Satan’s Skyways.” I wish I had wrote that.

The comic is has the lead story of of the manly Captain Wings. Captain Wings is a two-fisted CIA agent that busts heads of the terrorists of that time. What is interesting is that the other stories in the book pretty much have strong female leads that can more than handle themselves against a whole horde of demented bad guys. There is Jane Martin who battles bad guys and skis down a mountainside dressed in pearls and high heels. There is Suicide Smith and his girlfriend Dale. She ends up pretty much taking on the bad guys all by herself.

In The Flying Furies this chick named Lucy flies planes and fights off some very nasty jungle natives without even mussing up her hair. She does it all wearing a tight cocktail dress. What a woman!

In The Phantom Falcon Kate Barton machine guns bad guys while riding a Indian motorcycle at full throttle. As you figured, she does this while wearing a dress and high heels. The standard attire for a any babe of that time period.

This is another gem I picked up at Wizard World Chicago for next to nothing. Ok, it was a little more than that, but a deal at $10.00.

Be here next time for another manly cover that’ll make you wish you had a time machine.

From The Strongbox Of The Flying Fist Ranch

This past weekend I was going through the strongbox here at the Flying Fist Ranch and came across a few manly items I thought I’d share with you. These came from my art folders. The first is a mini-series that my co-creator and artist of Parts Unknown – Brad Gorby did. This was gonna be called Parts Unknown: The Roswell Agenda. I had written up the plot and outline, Brad had done up this cover rough and some sketches, then some how we got sidetracked and the months turned into years.

Art By Brad Gorby

I’m sure at some point we’ll pick this back up, but until then I thought I’d share this behind the scenes art with ya.

Next up is a rare piece of art that brought together two of the best artists in comics when they were still young pups in the business.

This promo shot of The Black Terror was penciled by Dan Brereton (Artist on our Eclipse series of The Black Terror) and inked by noted cover artist Tim Bradstreet. This was done back in 1991. It’s a very clean mainstream piece by two of the more cutting edge artists in comics. Either way it’s a real ball buster.

Art By Dan Brereton and Tim Bradstreet

While we’re on the topic of The Black Terror, here is a promo piece done by the very talented Flint Henry. Most of you know Flint from his work on Grimjack, Man-Bat and my own series-The Dogs Of Danger. This piece was also done around 1990. It’s a great spooky look that has a Jack Kirby/Paul Gulacy feel to it.

Art by Flint Henry

The last bit of art is a before and after piece from issue #4 of the series that me and my pal Chuck Dixon wrote?Catwoman & Wildcat. Here you’ll see the pencils by series artist Sergio Cariello and the finished page inked by the great Tom Palmer.

Pencils By Sergio Cariello

Inks By Tom Palmer

For those of you that never did pick up the four issue series of Catwoman & Wildcat I advise you to search through the back issue bins and get em’. I promise you no disappointment. It was one of the most action packed, violent, romantic, comedy, blood-soaked series you will ever read in a mainstream book. I’m very proud of the work in this series and to this day I think it best sums up the character Wildcat. You read it and be the judge. If you don’t agree, I’ll buy the issues back from ya.

The Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week

As most of you regular Knuckleheads know, I love my low budget B-Movies. I watch a couple a week and am always seeking out new ones. This week’s Busted Knuckles Babe of The Week comes in the form of Danielle Burgio. She is a well known stunt woman and actress.

You’ve all seen her stunt work, but you just didn’t know it was her. She was the main stunt woman in such hit movies as Monster In-Law, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, Daredevil, Ghost Of Mars, and Blade.

As far as her acting I just watched her in The Eliminator with former UFC fighter Bas Rutten. She has a couple of new movies heading your way called Backlash and House Of The Dead 2: Dead Aim.

She’s got a great look to her and is a superb athlete. I hope to see her land more lead roles real soon. Keep your eyes out for the leggy Danielle Burgio. You heard it here first.

Happy Turkey Day!

I wanna take time to wish all of you knuckleheads a great Thanksgiving. As everyone says, it is the time for family, friends and being thankful for everything good that has come your way. When it comes to giving thanks it don’t much matter what your religion or politics are. If you’re a decent human being then you’re bound to have something to be thankful for.

I wanna give thanks to all of you that read Busted Knuckles ever week and that write in with your thoughts, questions and words of iron. Not a week goes by that I don’t appreciate it.

I’m thankful that I work in a business that I love and enjoy. I hope to keep doing it for many years to come. I hope y’all are there with me all the way.

I wanna thank Jason Brice and the huge Deathstar like empire of Silver Bullet Comics for giving Busted Knuckles a home. It’s nice to be a part of something.

Make sure you stop by my website and check up on things. You’ll find all sorts of manly things, artwork, sports, comics, babes, and so much more. I would appreciate the visit.

Have a great Thanksgiving and save the white meat and deviled eggs for me.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author


Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin