The New Vintage

Clothing options had dwindled to a dangerous one or two work shirts. I’ve never been a clothes horse, but it had gotten ridiculous. “Didn’t you wear that shirt yesterday?” had become a common question at work. Please note that I always washed shirts between wearings, so the answer was always, “No, it was… the day before yesterday… probably.”

I’d been on a hunt for new shirts for a long damn while, but it seems like most of humanity changed shape slightly over the years, making it impossible for me to find shirts that fit. (I assume it was everyone else who changed and not me, because there wasn’t a rash of shirtlessness on the streets as far as I could tell.) Nothing in the XL range fit me, and I refused to move up to XXL, even though my body has been swelling this past decade.

This body-swelling is why I’d been moving up in clothing sizes for a few years now, but a while back I declared no more! I would refuse to go up in any more sizes! I’d either have to get my manboobs under control or just wear old, worn out shirts; I’d either have to get my gut in check or wear too-tight jeans that hurt me physically as well as emotionally!

Last week it got critical when I bent my arms and tore holes in the elbows of one of my three “almost-fitting” shirts Hulk-style. Another shirt had had a similar fate not long ago. It was a near-panic moment, and a trip to the store was necessary. I’m not comfortable going topless at a beach, let alone at work.

So… shopping. It’s a nightmare for me. Everything is too expensive, even on the sales racks. The styles seem to have left me behind in the late 90s. And, as stated previously, nothing ever fits — at least in the size I’m willing to buy. I felt like Phillip Seymor Hoffman’s character trying on fine Italian shirts with Marky Mark and Dr. Steve Brule. (That depressing tug over the gut breaks my heart every time.) My long-suffering ladyfriend went with me to help me out, but her spirits were quickly crushed by my crushed spirits, as is often the case.

Though the shirt situation was dire, I declared shopping a waste of time and was about to leave when she insisted upon one more store…

And, would you believe it? Success! Right to the sales racks, and there were shirts she liked and I kinda liked, so I was willing to try them on. They were “vintage fit,” which in my day meant, “for skinny people,” but something has happened as the years ticked by! Apparently, vintage had gone from slender waifs to barrel-chested husky dudes! This is why no other shirts fit me! Vintage is the new normal, so now normal is vintage!

It was a happy time. My moobs and gut fit in the shirt well, and it was were cheap, so I got another in a different color, too. What a relief. No need to go skins to my coworkers’ shirts. XL vintage! Who’d a thunk it? Kinda felt okay.

Then, this morning, I cut the tag off of one of my new shirts and saw… XXL. Son of a bitch. How had I missed that? Here I was all excited that I fit into XL and amused that my fat size was now Vintage, and… the dreaded two X’s.

Did my ladyfriend see this and sneak it by me in desparation and fear I’d continue down this shirt-destroying path? Or will she be as surprised as me when I whine to her about it after work today? Yeah, the shirts fit, but I’d sworn to not go this route. This way lies me just eating more and more until all I can fit into are the pleated jeans and Cosby sweaters at the big ‘n tall stores! (Why, big ‘n tall? Why? We big fellas like cool clothes, too.)

So, all my theories about Vintage being the new normal and all that shit… probably not. I just accidentally went up in size. Like I’d promised myself I wouldn’t. It’s better than wearing post-Hulk-out shirts at work, but still… XXL. Dammit.

I guess that makes this morning’s breakfast burrito okay, though… gotta fill out that extra “X” now… XXXL, I’ll see you in a couple years!

Comikazee invades LA with me, Atreyu, and others in tow!


The Comikaze Expo descends upon us this coming weekend, November 5 & 6! Why am I posting about it on my blog? Well, I shall be sitting at table #92 with copies of all four volumes of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning POPGUN comic book anthologies from Image Comics, my ninja poetry book DO YOU BELIEVE IN NINJAS? (featuring Chris Moreno illustrations), and a special-printing comic book issue of the AGENTS OF THE W.T.F. stories I co-wrote with Adam P. Knave for POPGUN’s 3 & 4, featuring art by Matteo Scalera. Basically, I’ll have some cool stuff. And I’ll sign anything you buy for you and take pictures with you if you want for some reason and help you with simple math problems if need be.

The rest of the show is going to be cool, too! Get your ticket on here!

Baltimore Comic-Con or bust!

Hi, heroes!

For your information, I will be sharing table 1710K with my esteemed and bearded co-writer/bff Adam P. Knave at this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con! If you happen to be in Baltimore August 20 or August 21, please stop by our table for book signing and chatting and whatnot!

We’ll have copies of the POPGUN books! Adam will be selling his terrific novel STAYS CRUNCHY IN MILK and his hilarious book of essays I SLEPT WITH YOUR IMAGINARY FRIEND! And I’ll have some of those silly DO YOU BELIEVE IN NINJAS? poetry books!

Oh, and we’ll have a special, discounted, 100 copy run of our one-shot comic AGENTS OF THE W.T.F.! It features stories that appeared in POPGUN 3 and 4, plus some bonus coolness.

Really, to be perfectly honest, it’s going to be the best time.


Do you live in LA? Do you love ninjas? Do you love and live poetry?

If you answered “yes” to the three questions in the subject line, swing by Golden Apple Comics on Melrose. There are many terrific reasons to go there, but I’m posting this right now because they have copies of my ninja poetry book “Do You Believe In Ninjas?” from Creative Guy Publishing in stock. The book is a weird little thing — not a spoof or a goof, just kinda goofy and spoofy … not really spoofy. It also features delightful illustrations from Chris Moreno. Honestly, you should own it.

If you are not able to make it to Golden Apple, you can always order the book on the Amazons dot coms.

Whatcha up to, Bon Jovi?

Sometimes I wonder, I wonder what Jon Bon Jovi is up to. In my daydreams, as I zone out from my boring daily life of living boringly each day, I occasionally drift away from the day-to-day boredom of reality… just let my mind drift and wander to where it’d really rather be.

And where it’d rather be is in the body, or head rather, of Jon Bon Jovi.

No! Wait. Um… I don’t want to possess Jon Bon Jovi or have some sort of brain transplant with him, for that would curse one of the rockingest musical heroes of our age to suffer in the failing body of, well, me. That wouldn’t be fair.

Still, I do kinda wonder what JBJ (“J” for “Jon,” “B” for “Bon,” and “J” for “Jovi”) is up to while I’m toiling away in the bowels of pointlessness for just enough money to scrape by. Is he wearing red and black leather pants with gold highlights? Is that just cas (short for “casual”) to him? Or has he outgrown the red and black leather pants with gold highlights look? Does he ever miss it?

There has to be a lot of pressure, despite being super successful, to replicate the glory of the Slippery When Wet days. It’s not like New Jersey or Keep The Faith were slouches, but… c’mon. “You Give Love A Bad Name.” “Livin’ On A Prayer.” “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” WANTED FUCKING DEAD OR ALIVE, PEOPLE! Just that song alone secures JBJ and the rest of the band a spot in Rock Valhalla.

Okay, I have to come clean. I’m now still really actually wondering what it’d be like to actually be Jon Bon Jovi. Especially mid to late 80s era Jon Bon Jovi. It must’ve been awesome. The whole Bon Jovi team (I see them as even more of a team, perhaps a superhero team than a mere band) rocked out what is arguably their most amazing music, and, c’mon… they looked AWESOME.

Can you imagine what it must’ve been like to be those guys back in those days of rocking in amazing style? To be David Bryan, Alec John Such, Richie Sambora, JBJ, and Tico “The Hitman” Torres. Yes, they’re still doing great (well, not sure about Alec, as he’s not in the band anymore, but, well, I hope he’s swell), and, yes, they still sell lots of records, but I don’t know who is buying them. Lots of people, sure, but the Bon Jovi in the above picture is the Bon Jovi about which I daydream.

Why, I bet even JBJ himself, richer in nearly every single way a person can be rich than I could ever imagine, still looks at pictures from this era and wishes he and his pals could still rock that look. And what a look to rock. My word. These fellas were not messin’ around.

Shit. I really do wish I was Jon Bon Jovi. No lie. No offense to anyone who actually likes me, but I’d rather be Jon Bon Jovi. You’d probably like me better if I was Jon Bon Jovi, likers of me. Admit it. I’m not lyin’, so you shouldn’t lie either.

Let’s rock this blog out like it should be rocked out…

Run and tell that.