Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Growing a New Friend.

One of the great things about having nieces is that you will be buying things for them.  At least twice a year, you can guarantee that you'll find yourself in the aisles of a Toys R Us.  This, of course, is not a problem.

I usually stop on by at least once a month, in a weird attempt to "stay on top of things," even though I will never be questioned, asked or interrogated about the current toys fads and obsessions of young children.  The trip to a TRU is entirely for me, myself and I, okay?

With kids in the family, though, you really can justify the trip, which I usually do, no matter the occasion.  Lord knows how many times I've asked for a gift receipt to sway curious minds, as if anyone truly gives a shit that I'm buying a concoction of Transformers, Pokemon and Twizzlers for myself.  But for those who do?  You've been duped.

Now, one of the worst things about nieces?  I have no clue what a young girl is into.  Christmas and birthdays roll around and I'm in a state of panic.  The older they get, the more the lines begin to blur.  Like, what's cool with an eight year old girl?  Are Barbies totally out of the question already?  Is a Nerf gun that shoots out eight-hundred foam darts too excessive?

So I go for the age old trick: buy exactly what they want, with a few, special "Bobby Calabrese Bonus" gifts added on.  See: I bought Garbage Pail magnets and a "Grow Your Own Finn" Adventure Time...grow thingy.  Don't know if she even understands what "Adventure Time" is, don't care.  It's just too good to pass up.  Happy birthday, kiddo!

You know exactly how they work.  Throw them into water and wait, ever so painstakingly, for them to grow into monsters that will eat your parents.  It's the ultimate kid fantasy to have something so tiny morph into a brand new friend you can talk to and keep in your backpack.  Turns out, it's my fantasy, too.  So I got my own and here I am today.  Friday nights have never been so exciting!

One of the key selling points right there, bold and proud and maddeningly unbelievable.  "Adventure Time" aside (which is a cool show, no doubt) it simply wasn't the reason I had to have this.  It's because water makes him grow up to five-hundred times his original size.  Is that even possible?  THIS SOUNDS LIKE INSANITY.

Now, how big is that?  I'm not good with numbers that look and sound threatening.  I've done these before and I can't remember anyone ever claiming such large of an outcome.  Five-hundred times the original size has to be huge, right?  What would be the ramifications of something growing that immense?  Do I need to clear out the living room for this?

For height reference, I set him up against grape Pez.  He's small, but not as small as these things usually are.  Which is, like, walnut sized.  This is far beyond the size of a walnut, clearly a front-runner in total-growth-annihilation.  He's made of a thick, hard material that I can only imagine will suck up the shit out of some water.  I have a very good feeling about this.

Basically, this has to work.

Into the bucket of water you go, mah friend. 

For the next few days, I'll be out and about and away from the apartment.  When I return, it will have been a week, and the results will be in, which I'll be posting accordingly.  If it ain't the size of a Cadillac by the time I get back, I'm gonna be pissed.


See what I did there?  "Grow" was in caps, imitating the growth of...ah, never mind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Phoenix Comicon, 2012!

It's a few weeks late, but the Phoenix Comicon has come to an end.  Let's try to hold in the tears.

I really, really like the Phoenix Comicon.  Hell, I like comicons in general.  It's hard to admit that aimlessly wandering around a convention center full of people who really like giant, wooden swords is is an awesome way to spend the weekend, but I've since torn down the emotional curtain, removed the mask that's hiding my true feelings.

I am those those people.  I am that guy dancing and play-fighting with a plastic lightsaber.

I'm sad that it's over.  I'm sad I can't mix and mingle with artists and writers and old dudes selling overpriced Japanese monster toys.  I'm sad I won't ever see those two hot girls dressed as the Blue Beetle and Booster Gold again.  The entire experience left me feeling hollow, not because it sucked (of course it didn't suck!) but because I won't be a part of this circus of nonsense until a full fucking year from now.  So many costumes, so many skimpy costumes, so many things that'll blow your mindballs.  So what am I supposed to do now?  Get a job?  Talk to a real person?  FUCK YOU.

...unfortunately, the music portion of the night was a complete mess.  There, it's been said.  It's off my chest!

Now, the crowd was great, the stage and setting and excitment and energy were all present, don't get me wrong.  The main headache lied in the case that not a soul had any idea that music was involved in any way, shape or form.  Sure, there was a slight buzz and a small rumor circulating around that, yes, there were live bands performing, but even if you beat the mystery and solved the puzzle, you'd still have no idea as to where those bands would be.  In the convention center lobby?  Next to the bathrooms?  In the fucking Starbucks?

I'd hate to complain, since I took put zero effort into creating the event, and I'd only come off as ungrateful and a total sourpuss.  But yeah.  The show was in a hotel down a few blocks.  Up on the second floor, down a dark hallway and to the right.  Don't walk too far or you'll miss it.  Did you see it?  It's the unmarked and unassuming room.  It's actually hidden, so put on your Invisibilty Tracking Glasses.  Can't find it yet?  Oh, actually, I think it may be in the Starbucks after all.


At least the Honky Tonk Man kicked off the show with an introduction to fun and excitement.


We played, we rocked, we rolled.  For all the heartbreak and cofusion, we honestly had a lot of fun.  Met new people, hung out with friends and fellow comic book creeps, etc.  No harm, no foul.

We wiped off our sweat, packed up our van and hit the road.  The next few days were limited to time behind the merch booth, allowing us two full days to do whatever the hell we wanted to do.

One of my main goals was to spend at least spend a hundred bucks.  I don't know where I got this idea from, since I don't have any right to be burning money so senselessly and with no real reason, but I was hellbent on wasting hard cash on plastic crap.  I was looking for a hidden treasure, something I couldn't necessarily describe, but I had a weird collection of sparse imagery and dreamlike fantasies about this "somthing."  I was on the hunt for a ghostly and indescribable Holy Grail.

I didn't buy shit.  Not sure if I started feeling guilty about willingly wanting to spend money on pure nonsense, or the sad fact that I couldn't find what I was looking for (whatever that was) but I walked away epty handed and...well, kinda bummed.  Hundreds of vendors hocking everything under the sun and I couldn't settle on a damn thing.  The least I could do was photographic everything and anything, bbut even that turned into a task I wasn't willing to force upon myself.  I didn't get close enough to any celebrities to warrant a quic scrable for my camera phone, so I ended up just...wandering.  Kind of in a daze.  I saw my favorite section of the con (weird and bizarre bootlegged DVDs!) and made my way past a booth selling customized "lazer swords."  People dressed as medieval knights were banging on each other in their armor, a crowd circling their every move.  Corn dogs, ice cream, junk food.  A massive city built out of Legos, complete with skyscrapers, automobiles and natural landmarks...just fucking 'cause.  It was surreal.

And I'm gonna miss it.  It's been weeks since the place shut down and we said our goodbyes, but I'm still a little bit sad that I won't get to see at least two different Batman's roaming the city streets of downtown Phoenix, every single day for four days straight.

I wouldn't haven't bothered to take photos, really.  I either totally forgot to, was super lazy or a combo of the two.  But good thing I had Davey with me -- he took most of the photos.  Okay, alright, he took ALL of the photos.

These are those photos.

One of the first stops was the Arizona Ghostbusters section, a near block dedicated to the ghost bustin' weirdos who reside in this great state of ours.  They have their own gang-like meetings, a massive, blow-up Statue of Liberty and a life-size portrait of Vigo the Carpathian.  The love of the film drives them into this frenzy, and altogether it's not the worst obsession to fall into.  I like the idea of doing whatever is they do when you sign up to be an Arizona Ghostbuster.  We can go to the DMV or eat at as long as I get to wear a proton pack.  I'll even settle for a Jansport with a vacuum hose glued to the side.

Hey, it's me!  It's us!  It's Calabrese!  I only posted this photo because, I dunno, I like the way my face looks.  Ya know, like a duck.  With a beak full of cake.

This is with Eric Esquivel, the dude who wrote the Calabrese comic, issue number one.  Will there ever be a second issue?  Sometime down the line, you betcha.  Was that noticeably vague and imprecise?  You betcha!

Davey couldn't resist a photograph with the greatest Hulk costume under what looks to be two feet tall.  I swear, that kid was a little kid.  To see such a small dude wearing matching Hulk feet, hands and abs to die for was...bizarre.  It's hard to explain, but it felt out of the ordinary, confusing and altogether super-fucking-cute.  A total cocktail of emotions and feelings went swirling and sloshing through my body.  I think that troll-like mask struck a hidden nerve -- I might be kinda freaked out by it.   Like, whoa.

Oh, and when the shot was taken, he roared.  Totally into the part, inside and out.  IT WAS AWESOME.

Obviously, one of the highlights of any comicon is the intense drive and dedication to fabulously dressing up as your favorite superhero, anime star or character that no one's ever heard about but, hey, you get to walk around with a plastic gun the size of a taco truck.

One area of the con hosted the Arizona Avengers, a group of fans who not only dressed as the team, but hosted their own gnarly obstacle course.  Both DC and Marvel seemed to merge in this venture, but that was alright with me.  Where else could pose on a ledge looking over Arkham city, swap friendly blows with Black Widow or take a photo with Commissioner Gordon?  It was really fun, held a lot of charm and successfully made me look like a goon in a prison lineup.  Anyone could get their mugshot taken, complete with "Arkham Asylum" placard thingy.  Six foot three, greasy hair, pure evil.

My name?  I am "The Long Locked Strangler."  I stalk, strangle and condition my hair with over the counter products.  I'm not cheap, I'm economical.

Davey is the "Face Slapper."  He throws aftershave into your eyes and then rigs your staircase with Micro-Machines and forces you to spell "Macaulay Culkin."  I've tried, and it's impossible.  He is a man with a certain conviction...and a whole hell of a lot of time on his hands.

Lastly, Jimmy with something from Dr. Who.  If you had any questions about Dr. Who's popularity, go to one of these convetnions.  Right after we played, the Dr. Who themed dance party (complete with lazers and glowsticks and horny-Who-fans) was an unbelievable sight to see.  I felt the word "mount" was the perfect word to describe the night.  "Mount."  What a creepy word.


You've done it again, Phoenix Comicon!  You've done it again!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Walking Dead" Zombie Roamer!

Me like!

Me have "The Walking Dead" Zombie Roamer.  Maybe you do, too, but me think not, because me am better than you.

Me sorry, me be rude.  Me having a bad day, and me think the only way to get past me problems is to insult not-me with bragging and taunts.  Me just cranky, tired and bloated -- me having one of those off days, you know?

So me go through my Big Pile of Forgotten Toys.  Me constantly collect a bunch of stuff, adding to this mountain of fun.  Me understand it's just an absolute eyesore in the corner of me bedroom, but me find happy times with this heap.  It's where me go to calm me nerves.  It's a smoke break, a calm pond and a summertime hammock all rolled into one.

Zombie Roamer was in my pile.

Me got this long time ago, me not sure why, though.  Me have plenty of zombie toys and figures and stuff, and this only adds to the madness and clutter.  Truth be told, me don't care about that.  Clutter?  Me can live with clutter.  Me just can't believe I spent twenty dollars on this thing.

"Head Splitting Action!"  "Removable Body Parts!"  Me no know if I should feel happy or sad that me didn't first think of a twenty dollar toy that's supposed to instantly break apart.

Him disgusting, that's for sure.  Me like the tattered vest, drippy skin and the excruciating detail in him's head cracking open.

Me open?  Or me keep in box?  It's hard to tell what me will do.  Me really want to see that head burst.  On one hand, me want to touch and feel and enjoy, but on me other hand, me really afraid me going to lose that tiny axe.  People are afraid of public speaking, people genuine mental disabilities that cripple them from the inside out.  And me just afraid of losing tiny, toy hatchet.  Figure that one out.

Other figures are cool, if only because of Rick's eighteen different shotguns and Michonne's yellow drill.  Me really like that thing.  It's so tiny and unique and yellow.  In conversation with other "The Walking Dead" enthusiasts, me certainly would bring this up, but me have no idea how to pronounce "Michonne."  Me stick with roamers and lurkers.

Me keep in box.  Me really don't want to lose that axe.

Me hate myself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I need to write about something. I rarely update, and when I's more or less just a promo for the band. Doesn't hurt, but it doesn't satisfy, ya know? There's a hunger, deep down, that eventually needs to be fed. Kidna like a Tamagotchi. For the love of God, don't forget to feed it. When your virtual pet dies, it's really quite heartbreaking. 

Keep checking back, I'll have eventually said something interesting or unique, if not altogether dumb. I say a lot of dumb things. 

Until then...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Coffin of Ruins" and "Heart Possession."

You know the drill.

Two new songs off of the soon-to-be-released album, DAYGLO NECROS.

After listening to these jams, I absolutely understand if you were to head on over to, pre-order the CD and wait impatiently for it's arrival.  You'll toss and turn at night, pace back and forth and chain smoke for hours on end, easing your nerves and nursing the tension.  Your mind will spin, your heart will race, you won't be able to think about anything except DAYGLO NECROS and how it will ultimately change your life.  Will it bring you unbridled riches?  Will it invigorate your tame and worn-out love life?  Will you become president of the United States of America?