Thursday, October 18, 2018

Gritz and Project '62

A funny thing happened to me at a Chicago Bandits game last season. As I was meandering around the concourse, someone approached me, saying he finally got to meet me. I had no idea who he was on sight, but when he introduced himself I immediately knew him.
Gritz is the creative force behind Project '62. Ironically, he started Project '62 a couple weeks after I started Johngy's Beat. His first post featured Former Chicago Cubs Ron Santo and Jim Brewer.
He stated his goal as simply to chronicle his attempt to put together the 1962 set. He was self-effacing in stating that he figured nobody would be reading the blog. He was funny, but wrong about that. I always read Project '62, as did many others.
For me, the 1962 set was before my birth. I have seen many of the cards over the years, but it was interesting to see the cards posted, along with his insight. While his focus was the 1962 set, he did stray to other interesting topics.
All good things come to an end though. Gritz stopped updating Project '62 in 2016. Despite the lack of new content, there is still plenty of good reading material. He had a great 8 year run. He is still active and can be followed at @_Gritz_ on twitter.
Gritz and me in Rosemont, IL-August 2017.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

RIP Roscoe Lindsey

I had this scheduled as a separate bit about a favorite teacher wearing my Johngy's Beat short. Unfortunately, it now is an RIP piece about that teacher.
Roscoe Lindsey was my senior year English teacher at Mt. Carmel High School. It's not nostalgia which makes me think fondly of Mr. Lindsey. I considered him a favorite back in the day.
Obviously, he waqs an African American, but color was never an issue with him. He saw us all as one and we never saw color with him either. He was just a man who was always there for us.
English class was fun (or as fun as it could be) with him. He taught, without nagging. I still remember one of his favorite quotes. “Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative” was a quote by W.S. Gilbert. Why I remember a quote from 35 years ago speaks of the impact that he had.
Several years ago, thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, I reconnected with Roscoe. Well, actually, I connected with Rocco. I forget the exact path, but at some point, he started becoming known as "Rocco." I think the story was that there was a misunderstanding of his name and it just stuck. That would be typical of him. It didn't matter. Rocco or Roscoe or Mr. Lindsay, he was just a good-hearted man.
We exchanged messages on occasion. Sometimes I would toss a gramar question his way. Sometimes he would ask me about former students. Unfortunately, a few times we shared the passing of former students.
A few weeks ago, one of his relatives posted that he had a heart attack and had passed. At 63, Roscoe was gone. I'll miss our exchanges and I'll miss just knowing that this good man was walking among us.
RIP Roscoe "Rocco" Lindsey. You left quite a legacy and made an impact. You will be missed.
Roscoe Lindsey on the East coast-November 2012.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Parker Stevenson at REWind Con 2016

Parker Stevenson had been acting for a few years and was starting to build an excellent resume, when he was cast as elder brother Frank Hardy in television's The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.  The show, which co-starred Shaun Cassidy, was vry popular over the three season run.
Stevenson has kept busy acting since then, but he has also followed his passion of photography.  You can check out his work and get more info at ParkerStevensonShadowWorks.com.
I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few years back and that can be found at On the Beat With Parker Stevenson.  Last year, at REWind Con, we talked to him about his photography.  Actually, it started as he gave us tips when we were taking pictures with him.  It's not often I get tips from a real professional photographer, especially one as famous as Stevenson.  His work is outstanding.  He is not just an actor with a hobby.
He's also a nice guy.  He talked with us for several minutes, even remembering me from the interview years ago.  I look forward to seeing him again and hopefully doing an update interview.
Parker Stevenson and me in Bloomingdale, IL-November 2016.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Friendly Encounters: Madusa and Heather Owens

Friendly Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.

People who go to comic cons (or similar) meet lots of celebrities. Generally speaking, you will meet celebrities who mean something to you. On occasion, you will meet celebrities who really mean a lot to you. Such was the case earlier this year when Hardcore Heather Owens met wrestling legend Madusa at Days of the Dead.
Heather has been a fixture on the indy wrestling scene for several years. She's a hard worker, who can work either side, but is probably better as a villain. Outside of the ring though, Heather is an absolute sweetheart.
Heather is one of the unsung heroes at Days of the Dead. She is always busy making sure things run smoothly. While she is always a blur of activity, she always has time for a picture with her fans (like me) who recognize her there.
Heather has been a big fan of WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Madusa. I'll let her express herself here though.
What a sweetheart! 💕 Madusa is such an inspiration and just a super down to earth Classy Broad ❤ Sooo...if you are at DAYS OF THE DEAD right now...you NEED to meet her. DO IT! 🤗
The funny thing is that I could use those exact words to describe Heather. I have seen her at wrestling shows. I see the response she gets.
Basically, I would say these are two #ClassyBroads and 2 real sweethearts.
Days of the Dead returns to Chicago November 16-18. Check DaysoftheDead.com for more info. Heather will be ther, as will plenty of other celebrities. Of course, I'll be "On the Beat" as usual.
Madusa and Heather Owens in Indianapolis, IN-June 2018.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Celebrity Jersey Cards #395 Ashley Broad & Lupe Fiasco

Celebrity Jersey Cards is a regular series in which I create virtual trading cards for celebrities wearing sports jerseys. Today, we continue our alphabetical journey through all Major League Baseball teams.

Detroit's very own Ashley Gold gained fame on tv's Hardcore Pawn. Seemingly always at odds with brother Seth, Ashley's tv persona was much different than the sweet woman I met at Motor City Comic Con. Ashley borrowed some stuff from the family-owned American Jewelry and Loan for her Celebrity Jersey Card.
Wasalu Muhammad Jaco was born in Chicago, but grew to fame as rapper Lupe Fiasco. During his career, he has received mulpitpl Grammy nominations. With no known connection to Detroit, I am guess his Celebrity Jersey Card came from an appearance in Motown, although maybe he just wore the jersey for a random show elsewhere. Either way, I like the "green-ness" of this card.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Mad Magazine's Tom Richmond Loves Johngy's Beat

At the recent Wizard World Chicago 2018, I caught up with Tom Richmond, one of my favorite creators. Tom is perhaps best known for his caricature work in Mad magazine. I am the proud owner of an original piece of his, as his version of The Johngy hangs on my wall at home.
After our chat, Tom was kind enough to cut a promo for Johngy's Beat. Thank you, Tom, for your kindness over the years, for this promo and especially for The Johngy!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mickie Knuckles and The Resistance Are Back

The Resistance recently announced their next show. The Resistance Chapter IV Silent Night, Deadly Night will take place on December 1 in Summit, IL. It will feature all hardcore matches.
When you think of hardcore, Mickie Knuckles must come to mind. Mickie will be bringing her years of hardcore experience to The Resistance for Silent Night, Deadly Night. She won't be coming alone though. She'll be teaming with Jacob Black in an inter-gender tag team battle.
As hardcore as these two are, they will not have an easy night. Maria Manic and SHLAK are no strangers to the world of hardcore wrestling. Maria was very impressive in her last appearance for The Resistance. That was at Death Becomes Her, the 8 woman Death Match tournament.
I have seen Mickie wrestle many times and I am always impressed. While she can go hardcore all night long (see the previously mentioned Death Becomes Her video), she is also quite capable of old school technical wrestling. That makes her a total package and a dominant force.
I have not seen Maria wrestle, but her reputation is solid. I have heard rave reviews from everyone at Death Becomes Her.
Jacob Black and Shlak are not to be overlooked either. These men will make their presence felt, too.
In all, this match shapes up to be a slobberknocker of a blood bath.
There is more good news, too. This is only one of the several matches for the night. It's going to be a fun, hardcore night.
You can get more information on Silent Night, Deadly Night on The Resistance Facebook page. You can also find these wrestlers on social media, including Mickie Knuckles on twitter, Maria Manic on twitter and SHLAK on twitter.
Mickie Knuckles and me (with Erin Morris) in Chicago, IL-September 2014.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Colin Lawler at C2E2 2017

Cartoonist, illustrator, comic book artist Colin Lawler is another talented creator I have met at C2E2. Colin has done sequential art, logo design, watercolors, commissions and more.
He is extremely talented and a cool guy. He states he wants to "befriend a dinosaur, consume a strict diet of ice cream and cookies, use a jetpack as my primary means of transportation, live in a lighthouse, and spend my days drawing stories." I'm not sure about his progress on most of those, but I do know he does spend a lot of days drawing stories.
One such story that he is drawing is the ongoing comic Spirits: The Soul Collector on Webtoons. It is an all-ages, fantasy comic produced by Colin and Joseph Grabowski. It is described as being about the force and energy of life. It focuses on the lives of Norah and Will, a pair of seers.
Check out ColinLawler.com for all of the info on Colin. You can also follow Colin on twitter for regular updates and fun. Also, go to C2E2.com for the info, including scheduling and guest lists for C2E2 2019.
Colin Lawler and me in Chicago, IL-April 2017.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Butch Patrick at Wizard World St. Louis 2017

Wizard World Madison 2018 starts next Thursday, November 30 and runs through Sunday, Sunday, December 2. With Wizard World fast approaching, I am featuring some of the many great moments I have had there.
Butch Patrick rose to fame as Eddie Munster on tv's The Munsters back in the 1960's.  He appeared on a lot of other series as a youngster, but found little work as an adult actor.  Thanks to the nostalgia craze and comic cons, Patrick became more active over the last 20 years or so.  My interview with Patrick from a con can be found at On the Beat With Butch Patrick.
After years of bad times, Patrick started to be on the rebound, but prostate cancer knocked him back a bit.  Fortunately, it seems the cancer was found early enough and Patrick was given a very good chance of full recovery.
Patrick is an excellent guest at cons.  He embraces his role that made him famous and also his place in pop culture.  He makes the most out of these cons and gives the fans a real feelgood from meeting him.  I have met him several times and he has always been in a great mood.  I hope to see him again this year.
Check out WizardWorld.com to get all of the info on the next Wizard World near you. Maybe you'll see Patrick. You might even see me!
Butch Patrick and me in St. Louis, MO-April 2017.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ric Flair at Days of the Dead Chicago 2016

"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.  Thanks to Days of the Dead, I have had the pleasure of meeting him several times and actually spending some time with him.
Days of the Dead main man Adolfo Dorta gets credit for putting together a fantastic con that first started in July of 2011 in Indianapolis.  It currently also runs in Chicago, Atlanta, Louisville and Charlotte (which is Flair country, of course).  Adolfo also get some backlash for having wrestlers at DotD.
I might not be totally objective, but any criticism for bringing in wrestlers is completely unfair.  Despite my potential bias, I can also point to the huge lines that the wrestlers draw.
One of the great things about DotD is that they have remained true to their roots.  Despite growing into a big series of yearly events, Adolfo always has room for me as part of the press, when he could just take the bigger media outlets.
So how does bringing in wrestlers to a horror con stay true to the roots?  DotD is all about the fans.  When we interviewed Adolfo for HeroTV, he talked about video recording the line when Shawn Michaels was at an event.  The video lasted eight minutes.  Adolfo wouldn't bring in wrestlers if the DotD crowd didn't want them.  Unfortunately, a few grouches can be a vocal bunch.  The bottom line is the wrestlers do not take away anything from the con for those who don't like them, but they add a lot for those of us who welcome them, including me.
Meeting GFlair at DotD was a great experience.  I always arrive early, when the crowds are just forming.  I was lucky enough to talk to Flair for several minutes before it got too crowded.  The man is highly entertaining.  He was larger than life, but he was also very personable.  I can guarantee that the several hundred fans who met him were very satisfied.
The next DotD will be in Louisville and I am sure there will be several wrestlers on the celebrity list.  There will also be a few among the fans, perhaps including Mike Bucci (aka Nova, Dimon Dean etc).
You can watch our interview with Adolfo at HeroTV 2018: Episode 8 Days of the Dead.  Also, check out DaysoftheDead.com for all of the news, updates and more for this great convention.
Ric Flair and me in Schaumburg, IL-November 2016.