Thursday, October 25, 2007

You will always have a lucky star

Local #6I don't review it often, but I buy and enjoy Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly's comic Local, a beautifully drawn, immensely detailed, sometimes frustrating saga of different towns and neighborhoods across North America and the people who live, work, and love in them, including recurring character Megan, who spends much of the series running from locale to locale. Running from something, yes. Running to something? We don't know yet; the series isn't over. (I imagine, like life and The Sopranos, Local won't end with a neat-and-tidy conclusion.) One of the things I (ironically) like about it is Megan: she's unlikable but compelling; she makes dumb choices, but she's progressing. She's not the same from issue to issue (some stories she's simply in the background as a bit player). She grows a little, regresses in other ways. Repeats dumb mistakes. Just like us.

My favorite issue of Local? No contest there: it's #6, set in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. That's where yours truly lives, a skip and a jump away from the green green Prospect Park, a ramble down the slope to 4 & a Tail and Mister Falafel. Brian Wood lives here, too, so he's captured the beat and the zeitgeist and the verve and the zizzer-zazz and the other words describing the spirit of the place. Ryan Kelly's artwork captures the Park Slope I know and love (or am sometimes frustrated with) to a T, much closer than that issue of Fantastic Four set in the Park Slope Starbucks where Johnny tried to pick up the barista. How closely did he capture my Park Slope? Let me ramble around and show ya.

Tiny and friendly (just like me!) indie music store Music Matters:
Local #6 panel

Yummy yummy Park Slope bakery and café Two Little Red Hens (now named Ladybird Bakery):
Local #6 panel

My subway stop (7th Avenue on the F train) and local eatery Dizzy's:
Local #6

And even though he's drawing a slightly more plain one than the big wrought-iron front door of my apartment building, Ryan Kelly has the heavy mega-sized front doors of Park Slope down pat:
Local #6 panel

Local #6 is not a new comic: it came out last year. I took these pictures last year, almost exactly twelve months ago. In between a lot has changed—not merely the name of Two Little Red Hens, but my life as well. It's been dramatically new in those twelve months, to the point where it became an entirely new and different life. Sometimes it's a tough life. But it's usually a good life.

I thought I might be leaving Park Slope myself this month. Didn't work out. I was very disappointed. But Park Slope is a good place to live, and as I walk its streets I usually smile: it feels like home because after all this time, it is.

So here I am. It's my home, me an' my pal John and our kittycat and my sister Marshall and all my animal pals, in my still kinda new life in Park Slope in Brooklyn. It's a good place to read fun comics, pet a kitty and get a cupcake from a hen-themed a lady bird-themed bakery. And it doesn't need to be Brooklyn. Remember wherever you go, home is there. It follows you on your back like a shell on a turtle. To paraphrase Leonard McCoy: treat her like a lady and she'll always be your home.

You will always have a lucky star
That shines because of what you are
Even in the deepest dark
Because your aim is true
And if I could only have one wish
Darling, then it would be this
Love and happiness for you.
— "Love and Happiness" by Emmylou Harris and Kimmie Rhodes; recorded by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris


Sleestak said...

An actual SWEAR in a Bully post?


QATim said...

I thought that at first as well (the swear word). But then when he started writing about leaving Park Slope, I was afraid he was going to follow Johnny Bacardi's lead. But thankfully, I still have Bully (sorry the new job opportunity didn't work out, but hopefully there's something you crave even more on the horizon).

Great reference photos with Bully. It would be great if Bully could do some Alex Ross scene recreations at some point. :)

Thanks for a great blog.

Anonymous said...

Yay, Local!

I'm the only one I know who buys it, let alone reads it.

It's always worth a careful read.

I can't wait until the tpb comes out, then I'll re-read and start forcibly shoving into peoples hands to read.

Bully said...

Oh, I'm not leaving, not Brooklyn, not the blogosphere. I was jus' bein' sentimental.

Novice said...

Love letters to our homes are always great to read.

No one writes them to Worcester.

Maxo said...

Aw, Bully — sometimes you break my heart.

And Local is a great one. I'm always impatient for the next issue, but at the same time I'm going to hate to see it end.

Anonymous said...

From the sublime to the...infinitely huggable. Thanks, Bully, I know exactly what you mean.