Reviews and Rememberance

Its Sunday, September 11, 2011, and this is The Side. Been a few weeks since I've posted a Sunday update. Its also been a while since I did a comic review. Let's get to it.


I was on a roof when it happened. I had a rope tied around my waist with a guy sitting at the peak of the roof hanging onto the other end of the rope as I was power washing the shingles. This was the second time I was up there because the stains just weren't coming out, and I was redoing the stupid job. It was even goofier in that when I asked the lady who lived there if she wanted to come out and look at it after I was done, she told me it wouldn't do any good because she was legally blind and would barely be able to see the roof from the ground. Made me wonder why I had to go out there and redo the job. So I called my pal, Brian, to tell him how insanely stupid the situation was and before I could say much of anything he asked me if I had heard what was going on.

By the time I had the radio on it was clear that we were under attack. My father's house was close by, and we were heading there anyways to use the bathroom. My stepmother was home and had the TV on the news. My dad was part of an Air Force Reserve unit and was on base when it happened. I had heard what had happened, but the visual was still took me aback. The towers had fallen. The first image I saw was of the city from across the water. The cloud had engulfed much of the picture. My stepmother was very nervous. She wondered if my father would be activated and sent in. My brother was in the Air Force. We live in a military town. Our family and the families of everyone we know were going to be directly affected in some way.

I was still working, and my next stop was Norfolk. It wasn't lost on me that I was driving into one of the top strategic targets on the east coast. Essentially the top three are Washington, New York, and Norfolk. It was lunch time by the time we got there. We stopped to eat at Dog-n-Burger, which is a little grill joint that we liked a lot. It was a noisy joint with music playing and the staff and customers all chatting and carrying on. Not that day. The staff worked in silence as the new feed played in place of the normal music. Everyone ate quietly and listened. It was truly an eerie moment. The only other time that had happened was when the Cole was attacked.

I called my girlfriend's house even though I knew she'd be in class. Her housemate answered, which shocked me because he was a Navy guy. I asked what the hell he was doing home. It was his day off. He hadn't turned on the TV or the radio. He had no idea what was going on. That stunned the hell out of me.

The remainder of the day was spent painting a church. The thought of the events transpiring were stage front in my mind. We didn't know if the attacks were over. There was the chance that Norfolk could still be hit. Fear was trying very hard to take hold of me, but I kept working. The painting actually because sort of meditating.

That night I talked with my family members. My cousin was attending Columbia University at the time and we got confirmation that she was well away from everything and safe.

In the days that followed, we saw the locals here rally in support of the people that leapt into action to do what they could during the attacks. We rallied behind our troops who we knew were getting ready to go on the offensive to beat back the crazies that attacked our people. Of course there were a few hippy losers standing on street corners with their "War is Terrorism" crap signs pissing and moaning that our fighting forces were getting deployed. There's always going to be people who just don't get it, and think one big hug will solve the world's problems.

The world changed that day. America woke up to the fact that there's a group of people who would see us all dead just for how we live our lives. We were and are the enemy to a fanatical bastardization of a religion. There are still those people who say we'll never win this fight. They are right, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't fight. There will always be some group of crazies who want to kill people simply for not being just like them. Time and time again in history people have had to beat back the crazies. September 11, 2001 was when we got reminded of that.


Murders, deception, a hidden romance, and a really bad poet all get served up in USAGI YOJIMBO #140. This issue completes the "Murder at the Inn" two-parter, which has Usagi teaming up with Inspector Ishida. This is an old-school detective story here. We follow the Inspector and Usagi as they make a few discoveries and then its promptly on to the "parlor scene" in which the detective lays out the case before the suspects and reveals the guilty party. We're not talking about any great twists and turns on the genre here, but this story is done with such an exceptional elegance that its just a joy to read. Stan Sakai is a master cartoonist and you see this with every page. There's not a lot of sword swinging action, but this is a detective story first and foremost. Great read, and beautifully executed storytelling. I recommend this especially to young cartoonists who really want to see how to do things properly.

On to 50 Girls 50 #4, which kind of annoys me. It started out as a bit of a space cheesecake book. Last issue they dropped that angle, and went for straight space sci-fi. They're trying to continue that with this issue, and have succeeded a bit. Its not a bad issue, but its confusing. The story as contained in this issue is fairly clear, but everything around it isn't. I've seen this same group of women in every issue, but aside from Oskana, I couldn't begin to tell you any of their names. That's not just because I'm checking out their figures in their skin tight spacesuits. Its an ensemble cast, and one that is still new to readers. This book seriously needs some captions to let me know who these women are, and what they do. Also, despite the title telling me twice that there's 50 girls somewhere in this story, I still haven't seen them. I count, maybe, seven. And with all this stuff going on around Oskana and it being alluded to repeatedly that there's something really wrong with her, I have no clue what the deal with her is. Its not a bad book, but I feel like I'm watching a story unfold with no clue who the players are.


This song was the hotness, and was getting major radio time, but then the 9/11 attacks happened and the song went away because it seemed kinda wrong to laugh and kid around for a while.

That wraps up today. Please take a moment to think about those who sacrifice to keep us safe and maintain our freedom. Thanks, and I'll see y'all Wednesday.

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