Peter's Comic Book Ramblings

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Yup, that's right. My fabu roommate has convinced me to do a Cleanse since I, basically, have nothing going on right now. Lemon drinks replace food and she's coaching me through the process. I surely could stand to lose a few pounds (or eight) and it'll be nice to kinda get my eating back on track eventually.

So this is Day 1. It's been a piece of ca... I mean, a breeze so far. The next few days should be interesting however.

Going to Florida in March. Gotta look good right? Okay, okay, I should have better reasons for doing this - but come on. It's always about looking good right? Just being honest. I'm determined to keep my 32" size in jeans that I've been since college. And honestly, my asthma gets worse even when I'm 4-6 pounds over my ideal weight. So there - that's a good reason to get healthier. Only wish it was a little warmer so I could walk more.

Anyway, just wanted to write this down so I could look back on it a few days from now and either laugh, cry or beat myself.

We'll see...

PS/ Given my track record, I fully expect some new stories concerning my butt. If you have to ask, you just don't know me as well as you should. haha.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today I attended the viewing service of one the many great Tap Dancers I've had the honor of learning from over the years.

LaVaughan Robinson passed last week just two weeks shy of his 81st birthday. Today was a mixture of sadness, pride, encouragement and many other emotions and I was reminded just how influential he was to me as a performer, a dancer and as a teacher.

The morning turned into a little University of the Arts reunion of sorts - which is where I met LaVaughan back in 1992. I was a Musical Theatre major but the Dance Dept. held classes in the old 313 building (now torn down). I'm fairly certain I was introduced to LaVaughan's class of hoofin' tap for dance majors from a classmate and I would attend even though I wasn't a dance major. It was a whole new world of tap for me - his style, his approach, his attitude - all of it. I was probably the only guy in the class at times and I could tell he was happy that I took the class. In fact, I can remember him asking me where I was when I would miss a class or two. It probably wasn't easy for him to teach ballerinas and modern dancers how to tap - without using vocabulary or even counts. He was about the sounds and listening and that's not always easy to pick up. But it certainly trained me to become a better dancer.

LaVaughan was one of two great tap teachers I had at UArts. The other being Michael Lanning. Michael , a silver haired Italian man, was more of a classic tap dancer, in the style of Astaire and Gene Kelly. LaVaughan grew up dancing on the streets of Philly and his style was rhythmic and down to the ground. There were many days when the two of them, opposites in so many ways, would argue about sports or politicians, usually with Lou the guard or Ralph the maintenance man. I have to assume they respected each other's talents though and each taught me so much.

At the service today, I saw classmates, teachers, an old roommate, castmates, people I knew but never took class with, people I knew from the lounge or the hallways. When LaVaughan's family came in, it hit me that I don't think I ever heard LaVaughan talk about his wife, kids, family - ever. And yet there they were. And they were so happy to see the crowd of people who attended because of LaVaughan's legacy. Savion Glover's mom was in attendance and before she sang a moving song of memory, she asked the Philadelphia Tap Community to stand. And I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. Here were teachers and students. Students who are now teachers. And teachers who are now peers. People who will continue to pass on what we've learned. In fact, I did a gig about two weekends back where I had to dance two numbers. And sure enough, LaVaughan's steps were in the mix.

I would continue to see LaVaughan after college mostly at tap functions in Philly or when he was a special guest artist at a concert held by the Allentown tap company I was part of for years. I would always take his class, even if the routine was the same, because you never really learned it fully. Each time you picked up something new. And that was so worth it.

You know, in all those years, I'm not quite sure he remembered or knew my name. But he knew my feet. And in that, I hope I can pass on to others what I've learned from a true artist.


Saturday, January 26, 2008


Good News: All the various gigs that I've had the past few weeks are finished. They all went over well and I made great connections in the process.

Bad News: All the various gigs that I've had the past few weeks are finished. I'm between jobs until I start choreographing Mystery of Edwin Drood in March. "Between jobs" is the fancy way of saying I'm unemployed.


Good News: I'm fairly close to possibly teaching tap in the area at a great location. Yay tap!

Bad News: One of my college tap mentors passed away a few days ago. LaVaughan Robinson was the first person to introduce me to "hoofin'" and rhythm tap. He grew up in Philly and was a true master. I'll miss him greatly.


Good News: Comics Now Magazine 1 hit comic shops across the country on Wed. Jan. 23. The feedback has been great and there's been some excitement created. Which means good things for the podcast.

Bad News: Hmmmm... I guess in this instance, everything's good news (so far).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


On New Year's Eve, my roommate and I created a drinking game for the A&E reality/documentary show Intervention. Well, last night we put it to the test.

And I got snookered!

Here are the rules (the ones I can remember):
1.If the main focus of the episode does their addiction of choice, take a sip.

2.If a man cries, do a shot. If the same man cries more than once, you can change this into mini-shots.

3.If anyone says "I want the old ______ back" take a shot.

4.If the main subject, after realizing they're at an actual Intervention, leaves the room, take a shot. Keep doing a shot if they continue to enter and leave.

5.If main interventionist Jeff says "Love you like crazy" take a shot.

6.Anytime main interventionist Candy compares the main subject to her own past addiction take a shot and do a dance.

7.If the main interventionist is sweaty Ken or the other chic, drink water.

8.Keep taking sips from the time someone asks during the Intervention "Will you go get treatment?" until the main subject gives their answer. Your mileage may vary on this one.

9.If it's revealed on the Black Screen of Judgment that the main subject falls off the wagon after their rehab, take a shot.

10.In the rare instance there are two interventions in one family, take two shots.

11.If the main subject of the episode dies, do an irish car bomb.

Feel free to substitute drinking with the addiction of the episode (food, gambling, bulemia, etc. Although I wouldn't recommend it.)

Coming next episode: a food addict. Twinkies anyone?

Who says Monday nights aren't fun anymore???

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


So many of you probably don't know about my "side-project" as co-host/producer of the popular Comic Geek Speak podcast. What's a podcast? Think "online radio" but it gets downloaded directly to your ipod for free as we update with each episode so you can listen to each episode whenever/wherever you want.

We're coming up on our third year anniversary and if doing 3-4 episodes a week isn't enough, we finally put together our new comics magazine, Comics Now!. It ships next week to comic stores and into the hands of many many waiting listeners. My Co-Host Bryan is the mastermind behind it all and I know he's proud as hell. Instead of bitching about what we want in a magazine about comics, we put one out ourselves.

It's pretty exciting. It's fairly crazy. But hey - it's out there.

Check it out.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Is it wrong that my roomie and I pre-gamed the night with a drinking game for the Intervention marathon on A&E?

Quite possibly.

...Happy New Year!