Thursday, December 30, 2010

The more things change... know the rest, I'm sure. I've been away from this blog for a bit because I've been so damn busy with "real" jobs and life in general. But I just came across something interesting I wrote in 2005, on the cusp of 2006. I figured it would be interesting and/or amusing (maybe somewhat sad...?) to share it here because five whole years later, I'm pretty much in the same place...maybe a baby-step or two closer to my true goals.

"As 2006 begins I find myself at a crossroads, both personally and professionally. I’ve been working far too long at job which I have grown to despise and seriously fear is turning me into a person even I do not like – a bitter, callous misanthrope who casts spiteful dispersions on anyone and everyone in his range. I have a second job and/or hobby I love, writing, which I think I’ve spent more money on than I’ve actually earned. And, unfortunately, it seems nigh-impossible for me to catch that ever-elusive “break” that all artists strive for, regardless of how talented I think I am or other people tell me I am. What “catching a break” means to me is that I would get to do what I love on a daily basis, as a “job.” I’ve tried several different avenues to achieve this goal: films, comics, prose fiction and video games and have come tantalizingly close in each field. But, in the end, I’ve always had the rug yanked out from underneath me at the last possible moment (and that’s usually the point where a binding contract and/or real MONEY becomes involved…).

Every New Year’s Eve for the past ten years or so, I’ve said to myself, “This is the year, dammit, this is year where it all happens!” And, of course, I found myself saying the same thing at the stroke of midnight this year. (This is kind of a non-squetor but was anyone else totally wigged out by how fucked up Dick Clark looked and sounded this year?? I know the man survived a stroke and all but, Jesus Christ, he was seriously killing my buzz. I think it’s due time ol’ Dickie-boy hung up the microphone, for his own sake and ours. I DO NOT need to see that train wreck again next year. Ya hear me, ABC?)

Will 2006 be the year that it all comes together and I “break on through to the other side?” That I cannot say, but if it doesn’t happen this year, how many more New Years’ can I endure, thinking those same thoughts, without genuinely questioning my grip on reality?

Still, I have my hopes…but they are dwindling. Fast.

Personally, the crossroads I face on a daily basis is rectifying the “family man vs. artist” argument. I love my family and I also love my writing. Are these things mutually exclusive or can I give both the attention they so desperately need and deserve? The answer here is (of course!) the proverbial Catch 22. If at some point I can sustain my family via writing then, yes, I feel I can give both the necessary attention. If writing always is secondary, or remains in its current “hobby” phase and I have to keep my “day” job, then at some point something is going to have to give one way or another because when I am writing, I feel like a shit for not spending enough quality time with my family, and when I’m doing something with the family, I feel like I’m slighting the writing.

Quite the conundrum, eh? Anyone care to switch places with me for a day or two? Didn’t think so."

Monday, October 4, 2010


I just don't get salesman. Never have, never will. I just don't like, nor do I understand, that "always on" personality. It's all about hyperbole and bluster mixed with an undertone of false cheer and "glad ta meetcha" bullshit that never fails to turn my stomach. The late, great Phil Hartman was the comedic master of this smarmy persona.

Case in point, I have a salesman as a patient in the sleep lab tonight and in the 12 or so years I've been doing this job, I've seen and heard just about everything (good and bad...mostly bad) that you can imagine. But never, ever have I had someone try to sell me something...until tonight, that is.

Mr. SalesDouche oozed into the lab (almost an hour late without any explanation), loudly yammering away to someone on his cell phone. After I manage to pry the cell phone away from him, he proceeds to regale me in the fact that he has "the worst case of sleep apnea his doctor has ever seen" and that his CPAP machine at home is "set to the maximum pressure allowed." My Vulcan-like mind finds this all highly illogical for various reasons; the two most prevalent being that he's only in his early 40's and, while he's chubby, he's nowhere near morbidly obese. Typically, being very fat and very old will greatly enhance the probability of a person having severe sleep apnea, as this chucklehead claims to have. And that's another thing that bothers me about those statements: what kind of self-important idiot would be bragging about those facts if, indeed, they were true? I mean, no one really wants to get in a pissing match about whose sleep apnea is worse, or whose CPAP machine is set they?!?

So as I am setting him up before bed (and to get him to this point I almost literally have to pry his laptop and cell phone away from him once again), he hits me with his lame-as-fuck-all sales pitch for his wannabe "green" Amway-knockoff-products that I have less than zero interest in. I politely decline of course with a simple, "No, I'm good."

Well, you would think that I set fire to a family of fluffy, little kittens by the look that he shoots me over his shoulder. His sales pitch wasn't that good, so I'm sure he's heard a few "no's" before mine. Or has he? I've noticed over the past few years that people really have a problem saying "no" anymore. As an example, there was an editor I worked with at a rather prestigious gaming site and I would regularly pitch this person ideas for articles and the like. If s/he didn't like it, s/he just wouldn't get back to me. This was rather confusing for me until I figured out that no response meant "no, I don't like that" in this little fiefdom. Wouldn't it have been easier for all parties involved if this person just had the stones to say no? It's easy. It's simple. It's fun. Try it sometime... you'll like it. It's very empowering, that simple, little syllable. NO!

Back to our salesman friend, he's full of shit, as predicted. His sleep apnea is moderate at best and I have have his CPAP set at 10 (half of the maximum) and he's holding steady. Even if he was telling the truth, I still wouldn't have bought anything from him. I thoroughly enjoy slamming people with the "NO HAMMER" from time to time...especially some blow-hard salesjerk.

Oh, it doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


There's a new kid in town. A new video game Web site, Game Dynamo, has hit the scene and is gearing up to take over the interwebs.The former Editor-in-Chief of Cheat Code Central, Maria Montoro, and her husband, JC Marx, have just launched the latest and greatest destination for all things video game related.

And, of course, they had the foresight and wisdom to hire little ol' me as one of their writers, so that's something cool too! 

Stop by for a visit, if you have a moment or two to kill, and you'll be treated to a smorgasbord of top flight coverage of the ever-expanding video game industry.

Check out the samples below:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why Marvel Comics Can Suck My Left Gonad (or Why I Will, Henceforth, Be Boycotting Any and All Marvel Products)

The simple answer to the question(s) in the title above is that they stole from me. They blatantly stole ideas/concepts from me and used them in their high profile books, The House of M and Civil War. There are no two ways about it and I have a good deal of evidence to back up this claim. I'm not going to post the evidence here but if you are truly interested I will email it to you. The real smoking gun is that the editor (who will remain nameless) I was in contact with and submitted my material to worked on both of the titles mentioned above. I thought I was taking crazy pills at first, but when I saw this person's name in the credits on both books, well, that cemented this intellectual heist in my mind.

Beyond the obvious "ass raping and pillaging of the little guy," there are a few other reasons why this is genuinely sad. The first is that there isn't really much I can do about it, it seems. Now, I'm not a litigious person by ANY means. I have never sued anyone in my life, and I think that there are waaaaay too many frivolous lawsuits in this country to begin with. That being said, I did contact a couple lawyers in regard to this matter and one high-powered, NYC law firm seemed to think that I had a solid case. But...they wanted a $50,000 retainer to take the case. I seriously had to suppress a giggle when this legal eagle casually threw that number out there because the image that ran through my head was me withdrawing almost two-thirds of my yearly salary from the ATM in the fucking Wawa (how long does it take to dispense $50k in $20 bills, I wonder...) and then handing it over to this joker like it was no big deal. Funny, right?

Realistically, I really don't want any money or a "cash settlement" from Marvel...and I'm sure that would have pissed off any lawyer I did hire because they are, as we know, "all about the Benjamins."  All I want is acknowledgement/credit for my work and a sincere apology from all the parties concerned. Period.

Secondly, I was warned of this exact scenario by an artist, Ron Fontes, who worked for Marvel in the 80's. He told me a lot of fantastic, anecdotal stories of those halcyon days, which I ate up like they were exquisitely prepared filet mignon. Most of these stories centered around guys I grew up idolizing: Jim Shooter, John Byrne, Chris Claremont, et al., but he also hipped me to some of Marvel's shadier business practices, which included ripping off ideas/stories from unknown talent and serving these concepts up to "big name" writers. Now, I understand that a book with Brian Michael Bendis' name on it will sell a shitload more copies than a book with Jerry Bonner's name on it. I get that...but it doesn't make it right. Not by a goddamned long shot.

It's funny, in a "gallows humor" kind of way, because when Ron told me that story I kind of laughed it off...I mean, how could they get away with just blatantly stealing from people? But, as you can imagine, I'm not laughing anymore. What can I say other than, you were right, Ronnie, you were right...

And lastly, this whole affair is heartbreaking because, as a kid...and even as an adult, I loved Marvel Comics with a passion uncontested. I loved many of the DC books too, but Marvel was always the apple of my eye. As a lad, I dreamed, almost to the point of obsession, of the day when I would work for Marvel. And when a few years ago, the Editor-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named and I began discussing just that possibility, I was downright giddy. Then, s/he got back to me, dismissively stating that (and I will always remember this; it is emblazoned in my memory), "You aren't ready for Marvel work." Fine. Maybe I wasn't at the time. But, if that is truly the case, then why the hell would you steal my ideas, my writing, from me unless it has some quality and/or merit? Riddle me fucking that, Batman...

Marvel has the audacity, the sheer temerity, to call itself, "The House of Ideas." Really. No bullshit. As you can imagine, I find this to be a misnomer of the highest order. What I think they should rename themselves is, "Another Heartless Corporate Entity That Crushes the Little Guy Under the Wheels of Big Money." Doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, does it? Too bad, because it is a much more fitting title than, "House of Ideas."

So, I'll be boycotting any and all Marvel products from here on out (except for the Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 video game because it looks friggin' awesome and I'll be helping Capcom more than Marvel by purchasing it) and I urge YOU to do the same, my friends. It's a small gesture, to be sure, but they'll only notice if/when their profit margins go down and that...that...

...that appears to be the only way we can sally forth and tilt this shitty, corporate windmill.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

S l o w

Man, I hate going slow.

And that goes for just about anything/everything (well, maybe not sex...), but especially driving. In my mind, every road is an Autobahn and every trip is a race that I need to complete in a certain amount of time. If you are in front of me and, God forbid, impeding my progress, GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY. I have things to do. Unlike you my Q-tiperiffic, senior citizen friend or you, ridiculous, self-absorbed lady with the cell phone glued to her ear, who appear to have nowhere to go and all day to get there. I also think that there should be special roadways constructed for buses, trucks, caravans, RV's and other slug-like vehicles that always seem to congest the highways that I am traversing. There's a special circle of Hell reserved for all these offenders and their unique torture would be to plant a kiss on Satan's shiny, red hiney for every precious second of my time they have wasted.

I know that there are stiff fines and penalties in most states nowadays for driving while texting or talking on the phone. But, as far as I know, no city, state, country or otherwise has anything on the books in regard to "over-age" driving and there damn well should be. You can say I'm prejudiced, or it's ageism, or what-the-fuck-ever but the simple fact of the matter is that when you get older your eyesight, your depth perception and your hand-eye coordination rapidly decline. Aren't those three things incredibly important when you are driving? Yes. Yes, they are.

My solution to this matter would be that every licensed driver over the age of 65 would have to take a driving test every year and if they pass, no worries. Keep on truckin', gramps. But, if they fail, then their licence is revoked (such a great word...) for 3 months, after which they can take the test again. If they fail again, well then, the license goes bye-bye and suitable public transportation accommodations would have to be made. I  know it sounds harsh at first blush, but seriously think about it for a few minutes and I'm sure that you'll find that I ain't just whistlin' Dixie here...

One final thing to mention in regard to my speediness is that I think I put people off because of it. I move fast, I think fast and I talk fast. This has its advantages, to be sure, but I can also appear brusque to those who don't know me when ( I think) I'm simply being efficient, or like a "know it all" when I excitedly interject my thoughts or opinions in a conversation. Believe me, I mean nothing by any of's just who I am. I always have been that way; always will be, it seems.

And I'm OK with that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


My oldest boy just turned 18, which by all accounts is fucking weird. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was turning 18 and now here I am on the cusp of 40. Time (and our perception of it) is a funny, funny thing...

In his 18 years on this planet, Kyle has dealt with more ridiculous nonsense than I know I dealt with in my first 18 years, and he appears to have come through it all relatively unscathed. He's a good kid with big dreams (much like his father...) and I am very proud to call him my son. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In Dreams...

Oh Roy Orbison, where have you gone? That's're dead. Too bad.

I had a dream the other day (I sleep during the day because I'm a professional vampire, FYI...) that disturbed me. It wasn't a nightmare or anything like that; it disturbed me because it was unfair, cruel even.

The dream was of four people sitting around drinking, laughing and having a grand old time. It was something out of a movie: dripping with atmosphere and full of urbane wit. Doesn't sound so terrible does it? gets better.

The four people are myself, Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb and Blair Butler. Adam, Blair and Morgan are all personalities for G4 TV in case you don't know. What you also may not know is that I had a couple of interviews with G4 TV a few weeks ago.

I didn't get the job.

I should have because there is no way in the universe that I couldn't have done this job. I would have kicked this job's ass every day of the week. This job would've called me "Daddy" and begged me for seconds. You get the idea...

But as the phone interview wore on it was clear that Eric, the Head of I-Forget-Your-Fucking-Title, had barely glanced at my resume before speaking with me. He knew nothing of my work; read none of the articles nor watched any of the videos. He was a nice enough guy and all...but why were we talking? I have no idea. And that question vexes me. I'm quite vexed...

So, back to the dream. The dream was cruel because Adam, Morgan and Blair would have been my colleagues if I had gotten the job. In my mind, we would have been friends and sharing moments like the one that danced across my dreamscape. Roy Orbison once sang, "In dreams...I walk with you. In dreams...I talk to you. In're mine." Only in dreams can I have these things. Only in dreams...

It is clear that my subconscious mind is a heartless tease who wants to destroy me from the inside out. I gave my subconscious mind a sound talking to before I went to sleep yesterday morning. I told it, in no uncertain terms, that I wasn't going to tolerate any more of these "vividly showing me my heart's desire and then waking me up to go do a job I despise" shenanigans.

I don't recall having any dreams at all yesterday, so there you go.

But I still would like to, someday, have that drink with Adam, Morgan and Blair...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On Football

First and foremost, I cannot believe football season is upon us once again. The summer seems to be a "blink and you miss it" affair anymore. I guess that's one of the (many) drawbacks of getting older: "time keeps on slippin', slippin' slippin' into the future..."

Anyway, I don't see much happening with my beloved Eagles this season. I foresee a mediocre 8-8, 9-7 year at best and that's if Andy Reid makes the right choice and decides to start Michael Vick over Kevin Kolb. Concussion or not, Kolb should sit; he's just not ready for prime time. I think that is pretty obvious.

That being said, I must stress that I am in no way a Michael Vick fan. I think he's a terrible human being, but he is an electrifying football player. He is the best option the Eagles have at quarterback this season, like it or not. On top of that, he's a blast to watch because you NEVER know what is going to happen when the ball is in his hands...much like a guy who wore #12 for the Birds during the late 80's and early 90's.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Dave Cullen's unflinching, in-depth look at the infamous tragedy is tough to read, even tougher to put down...and scary as hell if you are a parent of high school aged children.

It dispels many of the myths and falsehoods surrounding the event (i.e. Eric and Dylan had shoddy, uncaring parents, specific groups were targeted, Cassie Bernall was a saintly martyr who died professing her faith in God, when it was actually Val Schnurr, etc.) and puts a human face on almost all the parties involved. It reminds me a great deal of Capote's In Cold Blood and Waumbaugh's Echoes in the Darkness, two paragons of the true crime genre of non-fiction.

As I mentioned before, the book is downright frightening if you are a parent of a teenager and the reason for this is two-fold. The first reason is obvious, NO ONE wants their child to be put in harm's way and experience an event as horrific as the Columbine massacre was. Secondly, the massacre happened for one reason and one reason alone: Eric Harris was a full-blown psychopath at 18-years-old. He fooled everyone (parents, teachers and mental health professionals alike) and masterminded every nuance of the attack. He had no agenda other than the utter annihilation of the human race, which he wrote about incessantly. Dylan Kelbold had his own issues to be sure but he never would have harmed anyone, other than himself, without Eric leading the way to slaughter.

Now you think about that fact the next time you catch your kid in a lie or breaking a rule or two. After reading this book, you'll have to ask yourself, "Is this just normal, teenage behavior or is this something much, much more?"

You'll never know until it's too late, unfortunately. Eric Harris was banking on just that; that shadow of a doubt, that "not my kid" thought process would allow his master plan to come to fruition and alter countless lives forever.

It's a goddamn scary, haunting and somber thought, no?

Great works of art illicit such thought provoking questions and Dave Cullen's Columbine is just that, so pick it up if you have the chance. You will not be disappointed...scared maybe...but not disappointed.

Friday, September 10, 2010


...I've finally gotten around to creating a blog. Yay me.

I'm not usually big on this kind of self-indulgence. I've never in my life kept any kind of diary or journal. I don't consider my thoughts and feelings all that important, I suppose.

So, what you won't see here is any kind of ranting, raving or pouring my heart out all over the interwebs. I'm a bit too old to be Emo, and I fully realize that most people are just too busy nowadays to give that much of a damn.

If you are interested, what you will see here is my work, my opinions on various forms of art (books, movies, games, music, etc.) and any random, "slice o' life" bullshit that I happen to find amusing at that particular moment in time.

If you do care to stick around and read any of the stuff I post, I'll gladly welcome your thoughts, opinions, comments and/or critiques.

- Jerry