Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: October, 2010 (121) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 121

October 5, 2010 at 3:58pm

24 Hour Comic Book Day vs. Weekly Volcano intern

Sequential art storyteller RR Anderson, left, powers through the final hours.

MAIDEN VOYAGE >>>

Last Sunday, I threw on my Zelda T-shirt and headed out to attend Comic Book Ink's 24 Hour Comic Book Day. The event, which is in its second year, was organized by C.L.A.W. (the Cartoonists' League of Absurd Washingtonians) in order to raise money for their student scholarship fund.  Amateur and professional illustrators alike were invited to participate in the challenge: to complete a 24-page comic book within 24 hours.  The madness started at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and didn't conclude until the same time Sunday.

I, freshly established intern and comic-book novice, arrived during the final hours (7 a.m.-ish on Sunday) hoping to learn a little about how comic books are created, but more hoping to see grown men in full fantasy costume. 

This was my first time ever in a comic book store.  And I have to admit I've made fun of those who are "into that sort of thing." Generally, I lump them in the same category as those who dress up for Harry Potter movies, and those who prefer hentai to real porn.  But, I was ready to cast aside all previous judgments and explore the comic book world with an open mind.   

I entered Comic Book Ink and took in the enormous wall of colorful action figures, realistic Spiderman weaponry, and a long line of comic books.  At 7 a.m. it appeared as though I'd missed most of the action (and all of the spandex).

C.L.A.W. member Mark Monolux

I was immediately greeted by a very friendly and enthusiastic staff. I'm not sure if their enthusiasm spurred from their love of the Weekly Volcano or if having a female want to talk to them was just that much of a rarity. Comic Book Ink owner, John Munn, gave me a quick tour around the mostly empty shop, telling me, "The party peaked at around 3 a.m. with about 25 people, which was a lot more than last year."

"The whole point of the event is to raise money," Munn continued. Between a crystal skull mug stuffed with small bills and a Paypal account setup for donations, C.L.A.W. had already raised a total of $734.40 - more than doubling last year's total. The donations are granted to students attending or just graduating art school.

The biggest draw of the event, besides the warm fuzzy feeling of donating to a good cause, was watching the comic writers at work. Several tables were lined up in a large corner of the store, and in the 22nd hour only five comic writers remained. They sat diligently sketching on electronic pads and drawing in notebooks, pausing only for coffee, and also, thankfully, to talk with me.

James Stowe, freelance illustrator and full-time cake designer ("If you've bought a cake at DQ, chances are I designed it," he told me.) set up a live feed on Ustream so anyone interested could watch his comic scenes unfold.  Stowe took suggestions through the website, Mad-libs style. Some creative suggestions he incorporated into his storyline included: "bearded dragon" and "wedgie corset."

Guest star Clayton Crain, best known for his work on Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation, Venom vs. Carnage and Sensational Spider-Man (vol. 2), according to a quick Wikipedia search, labored out a tedious design for an upcoming Marvel comic book. Just how tedious? He'd cranked out three pages in 22 hours.  But it was three pages of the most graphically intricate work I've ever seen.

So, what did I learn from my maiden exploration into the comic book world? Are comic book writers nerds? Hell yes. Probably the nerdiest of nerds. But DAMN, are they talented. These guys are imaginative writers, talented illustrators and masters of technology for the medium.

Intern Julie Holt punches a Comic Book Ink employee.

The bottom line: If you missed this year's Comic Book Ink marathon, make sure you mark next year's calendar. The talent is beyond, the action figures aplenty, and tights and capes are optional ... but highly encouraged (by me).

Filed under: Arts, Games, Books, Lakewood, Tacoma,

October 6, 2010 at 6:13am

5 Things To Do Today - now with more cavities

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 6, 2010 >>>

1. More than 40 of the fabulous Proctor businesses will offer free treats and/or discounts on chocolate items today through Saturday as part of the Proctor Chocolate Fest. May we suggest the brownie bites at Megs & Mo, and the $4 chocolate martini at Pomodoro.

2. At the Hilltop Artists Annual Fundraiser Breakfast you will learn more about organizations highly effective programs directly from the students. The muffins drop at 7:30 p.m. inside the Temple Theatre.

3. The Brotherhood Lounge has a variety of music and entertainment, from the best Elvis impersonator in the world, to dance parties, to rock ‘n' roll. It's awesome. What's even more awesome is their free, must-see aerialist performance the first Wednesday of every month. If you are not familiar with what aerialists do, think gymnastics on the ceiling. Check it out tonight at 8 p.m.

4. Dave Hannon Band, Bodybox and Gina Belliveau rock the freshly-painted Bob's Java Jive beginning at 8 p.m.

5. The New Frontier Lounge hosts Rock & Roll Bingo beginning at 9:30 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

October 6, 2010 at 6:19am

Keeping Up With The Coffeehouses: Metropolitan Market's Espresso Bar

SMALL ON SPACE, BIG ON FLAVOR >>>

Neighborhood: Proctor District

Address/phone: 2420 N. Proctor St., Tacoma/253.761.3663

Website: Click here

Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday

Standard Cup o' Joe: $1.45-$1.85

Bean Source: They roast their own blend espresso in small batches from 100 percent Arabica beans. The espresso is a real treat - rich and a bit nutty, thick but not so roasted as to make you feel like the beans have been burned (like, ahem, the coffees served by a certain national chain we know).

Crowd: Undercaffeinated shoppers lured in by creative specials on the espresso bar's blackboards, jazz trumpeters, neighborhood walkers and those same two guys every morning on the patio.

Soundtrack: The sweet sound of top-shelf wine crossing the barcode scanner, kids scavenging the candy bins, expensive jewelry rattling in the artisan cheese section and the occasional "Why it's Grey Poupon."

WiFi: Nope

Noshing/Sipping: You may tip or sip traditional espresso drinks, Italian sodas, hot or cold chai, 16 teas and fruit smoothies, or nosh on Gelatiamo Gelato out of downtown Seattle, wrapped cookies by Alternative Baking Company, four different kinds of biscotti, and oh lord the pastries.

Bonus: Morgan, Jenny and the other barista's have listed their favorite espresso drinks for the fall on the espresso bar's blackboard, complete with cute ghost drawings. Pumpkin Cream white chocolate mochas with pumpkin syrup, Citrus Ghost white chocolate mocha with Orange and vanilla syrup, The Muffin Man's Gingerbread Latte and many more. They also serve drinking chocolate - a 2-ounce steamed milk with bittersweet chocolate - that's kickass.

Oh, they also have a special parking spot in front of the espresso bar's side entrance for expecting mothers.

The House:

It's freakin' minuscule. It's smaller than a Starbucks bathroom. Customers sitting at the two tiny rectangular high-top tables could easily get slapped upside the head by a loaf of French bread. It's an espresso bar in the strictest sense. But it's also much, much more. Factor in relatively ambitious drink specials, some congenial barista banter, 11 tables outside on the patio and a design so cheerful it could cure seasonal affective disorder, and you have the perfect spot to grab a quick cup of delicious coffee and a croissant.

October 6, 2010 at 7:08am

TFF Sniff 2010: The Story

"Bass Ackwards" screens at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8 and 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, both inside The Grand Cinema.

YOUR DAILY GUIDE TO THE 2010 TACOMA FILM FESTIVAL >>>

The 2010 Tacoma Film Festival kicks off tomorrow night. The Rev. Adam McKinney wrote a Weekly Volcano cover story on the festival, which included a few recommendations. Here's an excerpt:

Four years ago, The Grand Cinema (specifically, now-former managing director and artistic director, respectively, Erik Hanberg and Shawn Sylvian) took it upon themselves to start up the Tacoma Film Festival. In the years since TFF's inception, it has grown exponentially. Now, films are submitted from all over the world, resulting in a seven-day barrage of every kind of film you can imagine.

Coming hot off the heels of the recent 25 New Faces of Independent Film Festival, The Grand Cinema is beginning the process of making a name for itself, not only locally but nationally, as a theater that cares about independent filmmaking and is dedicated to bringing it to as many people as possible. The hope is that, as the years go on and more TFF's and 25 New Faces Festivals are put on, that the film community of Tacoma will grow and spread and a wonderful intermingling of Tacoma with the rest of the country will begin to occur.

Read the full story here.

LINK: TFF goes local

LINK: TFF on twitter

LINK: TFF website

October 6, 2010 at 12:22pm

Friday: Two powerhouses share a Tacoma stage

Get ready for goosebumps Friday night.

BOYS IN THE HOUSE >>>

Friday the Pantages Theater hosts the Blind Boys of Alabama and Ralph Stanley, both legendary in their own right - and sure to be a jaw-dropping together. The Blind Boys of Alabama are have won five Grammies and are members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Stanley has been called "the most important figure in bluegrass music today," by the Chicago Sun Times. Together, they'll surely be amazing.

[Pantages Theater, pre-show lecture at 6:30 p.m. in Studio II, show starts at 7:30 p.m., $29-$74, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890]

October 7, 2010 at 7:11am

5 Things To Do Today - We're working on a Kickstarter for this post

Joe Penrod sees things in blue at Fulcrum Gallery.

THURSDAY, OCT. 7, 2010 >>

1. Weekly Volcano visual arts critic Alec Clayton reviewed an exhibition of Joe Penrod's intriguing blue-tape shadows three years ago at the now defunct Black Front Gallery in Olympia. The works Penrod's showing at Fulcrum Gallery in Tacoma - today from noon to 6 p.m. - are exactly the same only more sophisticated. Read Clayton's review of this new show, Object Permanence, here.

2. Joy Keniston-Longrie, author of Tacoma's Stadium District, will give a book talk and slide presentation, as well as sign the book, at 7 p.m. inside the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch's Olympic Room.

3. Chiqui Cartagena, author of Latino Boom! What Every Business Needs to Know about the US Hispanic Market, will lecture on Hispanic marketing at 11:30 a.m. in the Opgaard Student Center at Tacoma Community College.

4. A modification on karaoke chaos, Chopstix is a dueling piano bar where audience interaction is encouraged and bawdy jokes accompany the familiar songs. Don't expect much dueling; it's more of a sing-along/comedy show. The whole process makes more sense the more one drinks - and the drinks are strong. Tonight, it's ladies night beginning at 8 p.m.

Lenore, Odyssey, Seker and Terra Morta will rock your face off inside Hell's Kitchen beginning at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Arts, Books, Music, Tacoma,

October 7, 2010 at 12:19pm

Step up and sit down for the Tacoma Cut-A-Thon

The Salon Professional Academy in Tacoma is a happening place.

HAIR MATTERS >>>

So the days of the extra-short, "Caesar" haircut are long over, boys. That's right, the Jack Donaghy mane is in. Not short, not long. Donaghy. Besides, look at yourself. You need a trim. Sorry. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Drag that snowboarder hair (you know who you are) over to The Salon Professionals Academy Friday and Saturday for their Cut-A-Thon for a trim before it becomes a full-on mullet. Their professionally trained students will provide you with quality services while under the watchful eye of their experienced educators.

You can get your cut for the bargain price of only $10, safe and secure in the knowledge that all proceeds of this two-day-only event will be going straight to benefit City of Hope for Breast Cancer, which is the official charity of the TSPAs throughout our stylish nation. You can also pick up a TSPA for Ta-Tas T-shirt, which will look bitchin' with your new haircut.

The Salon Professional Academy

Friday, Oct. 8-Saturday, Oct. 9 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
3702 S. Fife St., Suite B102, off 38th Street, Tacoma
253.617.7009

October 7, 2010 at 12:50pm

Oyster Shenanigans

C.I. Shenanigans' Bacon Wrapped Oysters

THE RUSTON WAY RESTAURANT HAS OYSTERS ON THE BRAIN >>>

An oyster is the ultimate appetizer  - a little daring, an intense spurt of flavor and aroma that connects with your senses and all your nerve endings; eating a fresh oyster is the most efficient way to whet an appetite. Your mouth is awake, and even after inhaling a half-dozen or so, you may be sated, but you won't feel full. Oysters exude the aura of exotica, of opulence, and of lust.

C.I. Shenanigans on Tacoma's Ruston Way knows this. For the next couple of months you'll see their special oyster promotions sheet when you open their menu. Six different fresh shucked oysters, two appetizers, one sandwich and two oyster entrees will taunt you. I recently fired up their Bacon Wrapped Oysters entree - six juicy farmed raised Samish Bay oysters (the day's selected oyster) marinated in wine and wrapped in salty, chewy bacon - with a delicious Israeli cous cous and perfectly cooked broccolini for $14. It was love at first bite ... after bite ... after bite.

Here are their other special oyster dishes:

Appetizers
Oyster Tempura
Tempura battered oysters on a bed of apple bacon chutney with
horseradish cream sauce  8

Oyster Casino
Oven roasted oysters on the half shell filled with peppers, onions, bacon
and parmesan cheese  10

Sandwich
Oyster Po'Boy
Cornmeal fried oysters on a crusty baguette with spicy remoulade,
shredded lettuce and tomatoes 14

Entree
BBQ Oysters with Leek and Bacon Sauce
Broiled oysters on the half shell finished bacon and leek sauce served
with Yukon mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables 15

C.I. Shenanigans

3017 Rustonway, Tacoma
253.752.8811

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

October 8, 2010 at 7:54am

5 Things To Do: Aliens!

Vice President Joe Biden has shut down the Tacoma Link service from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

FRIDAY, OCT. 8, 2010 >>>

1. Vice President Joe Biden will hold Democratic Sen. Patty Murray's hand in the air during a get-out-the-vote rally at the University of Washington campus in Tacoma. The rally will take place around 10:30 a.m. on The Grand Staircase between Jefferson Avenue and Pacific Avenue. The vice-president is expected to arrive between 11 and 11:30 a.m.

2. Tacoma's resident from outer space Adam The Alien gathers his buddies from local comedy improv groups The Tokens, Norman Tweeter Productions and Small Change for a 6 p.m. improvaganza inside Tacoma's Amocat Café.

3. Seattle poet Nancy Dahlberg anchors the Distinguished Writer Series poetry open mic at 7 p.m. inside King's Books.

4. The Second City Chamber Series kicks off its Masterpiece Series concerts at 7:30 p.m. inside Annie Wright's Kemper Theatre featuring The Europa Chamber Ensemble and clarinetist Cindy Renander exploring the music of the Jewish diaspora, as well as the music of contemporary Israel.  There will be a touch of klezmer music (natch).

5. In the grand, and unusual, tradition of skinny English boys bopping about in even skinnier ties to American soul and jazz music, local DJs offer a night of soul, funk, jazz and rare grooves inside the Tempest Lounge under the tag Rare Groove. Back in the day, Brits loved obscure American soul records almost as much as they loved mayonnaise and cucumber sandwiches. Beginning at 9:30 p.m. DJs celebrate this phenomenon by playing authentic, obscure soul, funk and jazz records. It's the kind of music that would have been heard at all-night parties in Manchester or Blackpool back in the day. Bring your own skinny tie.

LINK: New movies open today

LINK: Concerts go on sale today

October 8, 2010 at 8:10am

Night Moves tonight

The Excellent Gentlemen perform at Jazzbones tonight.

WE RECOMMEND THESE LIVE SHOWS TONIGHT >>>

Capitol Theater Olympia - Downtown. Olympia Live! A Benefit For Young Breast Cancer Survivors. Rodeo Kill, Glass Elevator, The Jessica Blinn Quartet, Misère De Boisson, Victoria Williams, and other special guests. All proceeds benefit The Pink Daisy Project and Young Survival Coalition. All Ages. 8 pm. $5 pre-sale tickets, $10 at the door.

  • What an eclectic bill has been gathered together for Olympia Live! - a benefit show for young breast cancer survivors. You've got a little bit of everything here, from the country-fried rock of Rodeo Kill, to the jazz swing of the Jessica Blinn Quartet, to the warped psychedelia of Glass Elevator and the classic rock idolatry of the Hard Way - all your bases are pretty well covered. But the real treat of the event will be a special appearance from prolific songwriter, and slightly less prolific singer, Victoria Williams. Williams specializes in a sort of classicist folk with just a hint of weirdness lurking in the lyrics and in her light, wispy voice. This'll be an interesting show, and a worthy one, for those with diverse tastes. - Rev. Adam McKinney

Cedarwood Dome Milton. Flash Fridays, with Pill Brigade, Bell's Theorem, DJ Vinnymac. 21+. 8 pm.

Harbor Greens/Forza Wine Bar Gig Harbor. The Shy Boys. 21+. 8 pm. NC.

Hell's Kitchen Tacoma - Downtown. Sok & The Faggots, Dead Peasants, Koozbane, Muppet Fetish, Ruckers Tomb. 21+. 9 pm. NC.

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. The Staxx Brothers, The Excellent Gentlemen. 21+. 8 pm. $7.

Matrix Coffee House Chehalis. Fall Of Enosis, Murderers Etiquette. All Ages. 7 pm. $6.

The New Frontier Lounge Tacoma - Dome District. Double CD Release Dance Party, with Strength, Reporter. 21+. 9 pm. Read the full story here.

O'Callahan's Pub & Grill Key Peninsula. Junkyard Jane. 21+. 8 pm.

Pantages Theater Tacoma - Downtown. Blind Boys of Alabama, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. Pre-lecture at 6:30 pm. All Ages. 7:30 pm. $29-$74.

  • Friday the Pantages Theater hosts the Blind Boys of Alabama and Ralph Stanley, both legendary in their own right - and sure to be a jaw-dropping together. The Blind Boys of Alabama are have won five Grammies and are members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Stanley has been called "the most important figure in bluegrass music today," by the Chicago Sun Times. Together, they'll surely be amazing. – Michael Swan

SideBar Bistro Tacoma - Downtown. Saxophonist Michael Hershman. All Ages. 6-9 pm. NC.

University of Puget Sound Memorial Field House Tacoma - Northend. 8:30 p.m., $6-$10.

  • A cappella music may be easy to scoff at, but when it's performed with extreme expertise it's, well (crap!), still pretty easy to scoff at. Luckily, the Blanks brilliantly combine a cappella music with sketch comedy, and it totally works. Known on TV as "Ted's Band" from the show Scrubs, the Blanks will be at the University of Puget Sound Memorial Field House Friday. – MS

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

Filed under: Night Moves, Music, Olympia, Tacoma,

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