Hello, and welcome to another Wednesday entry of the Phile. How are you? It's been a few days, hasn't it? On Monday I went to Epcot to celebrate it's 30th birthday... anniversary, whatever you want to call it. When I started working there, Epcot was called EPCOT Center and was just five years old. And now it's all grown up. So, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave an interview to "60 Minutes" on Sunday. In the interview, Arnold says you can't run from your mistakes. Yeah, especially when they have feet of their own. Man, there's a huge storm going on right now. How many times have I done the Phile hoping the electricity doesn't go out? Let's take a look out the window.
It's worse then it looks, trust me. Anyway, here in Florida election officials say at least 10 counties have identified suspicious and possibly fraudulent voter registration forms. And they were turned in by a firm working for the Republican Party of Florida. I guess they got suspicious when they realized most of the votes were for Bob Dole. The man who made that film mocking Islam has been arrested. I don't know if that's a good idea. I mean, if they start arresting everybody in Hollywood who made a bad film, Hollywood is dead. According to people who are supposed to know these things, we're now entering a worldwide shortage of bacon and pork. Finally, a crisis Al Gore will find even more troubling than global warming. Ann Romney says that if Mitt is elected she would worry about his mental health. Well, there's a ringing endorsement. Tonight is the first of many presidential debates, kids. Are you going to watch the debate? How many wish it was like the NFL and they could just bring in replacement candidates? I understand they are going to have "fact checkers" standing by... just in case either candidate happens to say something factual. I love the presidential debates. At my house, what we do each night before they begin is we put out a plate of milk and cookies for Jim Lehrer. At a campaign rally in Charlotte, Vice President Joe Biden said, “The middle class has been buried the past four years. Buried.” Which candidate is he campaigning for? I’m confused. Al Gore is going to be covering the debate for his network, Current TV. Al Gore on Current TV, talking about Mitt Romney. That is like the perfect storm of boring. And I don't meant the one outside right now. Are you familiar with the McArthur Foundation? They give out the McArthur genius award every year. Guess who got the genius award this year? The genius who told Clint Eastwood to go out there with an empty chair. You know, I don't know who is doing Obama's ad campaigns, but he or she needs to be fired. Check this out.
And have you seen Romney's new campaign poster?
Ronald Reagan is rolling in his grave. Screw that, Slim Whitman is rolling in his grave. Is Slim Whitman even dead? So, During his performance on Saturday, Justin Bieber puked out his Canadian guts all over the stage. Suffice to say, the copious barf was the best thing to ever come out of his mouth during a concert. Bieber claimed that his ralphing was caused by drinking too much milk... just how wholesome is this weiner?!? Anyway, the folks that do those got milk ads hired him right away for some reason.
So, who has the new iPhone 5? I don't have one but I heard there's a problem with the maps app on it. I saw a picture of the maps and it doesn't seem wrong to me.
Alright, I have to say something important... guitarist Big Jim Sullivan passed away today. I was gonna make a blurb under the pheature Someone Phamous Has Died like Dead Jim Sullivan but I decided against it. You see, I was talking to his wife Norma and he was supposed to be on the Phile next month. His wife said when he gets better he'll be happy to be on the Phile. You've probably heard him, even if you haven't heard of him. Big Jim was a prolific session guitarist who played on hits by stars including Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Dusty Springfield. He was reputed to have played on more than 1,000 hits including 55 number one singles. His credits included Petula Clark's "Downtown", "What's New Pussycat" by Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger" and "Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck. Norma said he died peacefully at home in West Sussex, England. Sullivan was one of the most sought-after session musicians of the 1960s and 70s. The list of Sullivan's recordings on his website features many of the era's biggest names, including Billy Fury, Adam Faith, Frankie Vaughan, Helen Shapiro, Freddie the Dreamers, Cilla Black, The Kinks, Marianne Faithfull and Sandy Shaw. His other notable singles included Frank Ifield's "I Remember You", "Make It Easy On Yourself" by the Walker Brothers, "Space Oddity" by David Bowie, "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry the Pacemakers and "Sunshine Superman" by Donovan. He started playing the guitar aged 14 and turned professional within two years. He backed Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent on the 1960 tour during which Cochran died, and would give guitar lessons to a young Ritchie Blackmore, who went on to form Deep Purple. Sullivan was a member of Tom Jones' touring band between 1969-74 and went on to become a part of the James Last Orchestra. He is also credited with playing a part in a number of key developments in rock, including pioneering the use of the fuzzbox and the talkbox. Big Jim, may you rest in peace. Okay, now that is said, there's a lot of blogs out there on Blogger, or Blogspot. Not all has interviewed the President and First Lady, and not all have 540 entries like this one, but there's some good ones out there. So, once again, I like to pheature one of those blogs in...
The award goes to...
Here is a picture and a blurb from the blog newcolumbiaheights.blogspot.com...
Sprint store replaces Eastern Empire Chinese at 3018 14th Street NW
Just got this update from a reader, a Spring store has just opened in the spot that used to be Eastern Empire, the Chinese/chicken/fries place at 3018 14th Street NW, a couple spots north of the 7-Eleven. Eastern Empire has had some problems in the past with crime, and often had a lot of people hanging out there. I think a Sprint store is a pretty blah use for the space. The last we heard, a "national food retailer" was looking at the block, but I guess that's not happening. So what do you think, happy to see a Sprint store?
Fascinating stuff, kids. Go to newcolumbiaheights.blogspot.com after you read this entry of the Phile of course. Well, it's Wednesday, and you know what that means, right? I like to invite my good friend Jeff to the Phile to talk football and do our football picks for the week. So, please welcome back to the Phile... Jeff Trelewicz.
Me: Jeff, it's Wednesday again, and you know what that means. How are you?
Jeff: Yes! It's Wednesday. It's time for more football talk!
Me: So, Epcot where I worked and where you work just had it's 30th anniversary. What did you do on that day? Anything cool?
Jeff: Yes, Epcot just turned 30. I worked on the day then I went merchandise hunting. There was only one thing sold out so it wasn't too bad.
Me: I went there as well but there was a two hour wait for the 30th anniversary merch so I didn't buy anything. I did get a free button though. Okay, Jeff, what is the big NFL news this week?
Jeff: The biggest news is the regular referees returned to work. Yet there was still some controversial calls. But at least no one got fined by the NFL for grabbing a ref this week. This week featured some pretty close games including an overtime game and another that came down to the last play. And New England scored 52 points. Good thing Buffalo played defense... Oh, they didn't? My bad!
Me: That's funny, and the Tebow Jets lost 34-0. So, this weekend is the first bye week, Jeff. I have a lot of readers overseas that don't know what that means. Can you explain the bye week?
Jeff: The term bye week means some teams didn't play a game this week. Each team gets one bye week through out the course of the 17 week regular season. For example Pittsburgh, my team, had a bye week. If it wasn't for my fantasy football I'd have been bored on Sunday. Though from my picks last week, I looked bored.
Me: Alright, so, how did we do this past weekend?
Jeff: I went 0-2-1. You went 1-2 with a Giants lost. Regardless you still increase your lead now 12-9.
Me: I'm winning? Whoo-hoo! Alright, now for the picks. I say Carolina will win by 7, Tennessee will win by 9 depending on Roeth.. Rothis... Ben's health is. LOL. And Indy by four. What do you pick?
Jeff: I will go with Ravens by 6, Texans by 3 and da Bears by 7.
Me: Jeff, good Job, I will see you next week.
Well, as you know the first of the presidential debates are tonight... on the Obama's 20th wedding anniversary. Anyway, I invited members of both parties to the Phile to talk about the debates but only the Democratic party answered... of course. And they invited the lovely and hottest politician I know. So, please welcome back to the Phile... Stephanie Cutter.
Me: Hello, Stephanie, welcome back to the Phile. So, the first presidential debate is this tonight, how do you think Mitt Romney is prepared?
Stephanie: Hello, Jason. Mitt Romney has had a lot of practice.
Me: How do you mean?
Stephanie: In addition to the more than 20 primary debates he's done over the past year, his staff have told reporters that he's been preparing for the debate for months now.
Me: Good point, Steph.
Stephanie: He's even been memorizing some "zingers" to attack the President and score political points.
Me: Do you think Romney's allies are very confident that this strategy will work?
Stephanie: Just the other day, Governor Chris Christie said that Romney will do "extraordinarily well" in the debate and use it to "restart" the race.
Me: That's his opinion, what do you think the voters will think?
Stephanie: My guess is that voters watching will be using a different scorecard... not who can fire off the best one-liner, but who lays out a detailed plan to get the middle class thriving again.
Me: Okay, so, how does President Obama see this debate?
Stephanie: As an opportunity to talk about his specific plans to continue moving the country forward.
Me: I was told you put together some items about Romney's record, am I right?
Stephanie: Yes, both as a corporate buyout specialist and as a governor... and his economic plans so that you have all the facts you need to tell your readers why he's not the right guy for the job.
Me: Okay, the first is things you need to know about Mitt's business record.
Stephanie: Mitt Romney has based his candidacy for the presidency on his experience as a corporate buyout specialist. But a closer look at Romney's business record reveals a pattern of job loss, bankruptcies, and outsourcing... a kind of economics that Americans just can't afford. Before the first debate, listen to middle class workers talk about what Romney economics meant for them, and check out ten facts you should know about Romney's tenure at Bain Capital. Make sure others know them, too.
Me: Okay, the second is things you need to know about Gov. Romney's Massachusetts record.
Stephanie: Ten years ago, Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts on his promise of more jobs, less debt, and smaller government. He left the state with the largest per capita debt in the nation and increased spending, and the state fell to 47th in job creation. At the debate, beware of Mitt Romney claiming that he cut taxes for middle class families 19 times as governor. In reality, Romney created or raised more than 1,000 taxes or fees during his four years as governor. Romney economics didn't work for Massachusetts, and it won't work for America.
Me: And finally, because we're running out on time... What you need to know about Romney's tax plan.
Stephanie: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a big economic plan. Offer $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted towards the wealthiest Americans without adding a penny to the deficit. According to Romney, they'd pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions for the wealthy. The problem is that the math doesn't add up, especially because they've taken measures that benefit the wealthy, like the loophole for carried interest and preferential treatment for investment income, off the table. Nonpartisan experts, including some of Romney's own outside economic advisers, have added it all up, and they say that in order to make the Romney-Ryan tax plan work, deductions that middle class families rely on... like mortgage and child deductions... will have to be cut, leading to a $2,000 tax increase for the average middle class family with children. When Ryan was asked this past weekend to explain how they'd actually pull this off, Ryan said, "I don't have the time. It would take me too long to go through all the math." But no amount of time would make that math work.
Me: Stephanie, thanks for filling us in. Like I said, I invited a member of the GOP to the Phile to get their side but they have been staying away from the Phile. Is there anything else you wanna say?
Stephanie: Your community is better off thanks to President Obama. Thank you, Jason.
Me: Thanks, Stephanie. Good luck at the debate and I will talk to you soon.
Back in March I had a guest on the Phile named Lee Abramson who is a musician who has Lou Gehrig's disease named and who is actually running for President as well. He won't be at the debates, so I thought I would invite him back to the Phile so he can say whatever he wanted to say. So, please welcome back to the Phile...
I just got done talking with my father about the electoral process as described in the United States Constitution. He explained that we have an indirect voting system, in that when we cast a ballot we are voting for an elector pledged to vote for that candidate. Most of these people are party hacks which is why there are so few "faithless electors" who end up voting for someone other than who they had pledged to when the Electoral College meets in mid December. If there is no majority after the Electoral College mails their votes to Washington, the Congress decides the winner, as in the 1824 election. I suggested that it could be possible that some cataclysmic event were to occur, it might lead to a mass defection to an Independent candidate. What event could that be, Jason? Abramson for President. Party of God, current position: Chief Musician. New hope for America through music. Leeabramson.com.
Lee asked me a question and I didn't know how to answer. Hmmmm. Anyway...
Today's pheatured guest is the 25th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery and a founder of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society. Please welcome to the Phile, the very talented... Jeffro Kilpatrick.
Me: Hello, Jeffro, welcome to the Phile. So, should I call you Jeff or Jeffro?
Jeffro: My friends and family always called me Jeffro.
Me: Jeffro, I first discovered your art when I purchased this from Teefury.
Me: Great design. What was the inspiration behind it? "Cheers" or Star Wars?
Jeffro: Both, actually. I loved "Cheers" when I was a kid. I remember my whole family watching the final episode at my grandpop's house on the night of his wake. But that bar scene in the first movie was one of my first memories of what I can only label as inspiration. I got bored with all the politics and laser spaceship fighting. But I feel like those monsters woke up a lot of creative craziness in my little kid brain. It was a catalyst.
Me: How did you decide what aliens to put in that piece, Jeffro?
Jeffro: I think for the most part, I put the the aliens that were my favorite action figures. Action figures and toys also inspired creativity in me as a kid... to be able to have control over these awesome creatures and stuff. I think there was one or two I didn't have a figure of, but I must have remembered details from the movie.
Me: What did you use to get the way those aliens looked? Photos, pausing the movie or action figures? And when you were done did you think to yourself, "Man, I wish I added so and so alien"?
Jeffro: I pretty much just used my memory of the movie and the action figures. When I was a kid, I lived for my toys. I dreamed about them. So I remembered all the details I wanted to remember.
Me: Jeffro, you're from Philadelphia, right? What part?
Jeffro: A blue collar neighborhood (now caught in the throws of gentrification) called Fishtown.
Me: How long have you been an artist, sir?
Jeffro: Since I was 4. I remember the first day my dad started teaching me how to draw. I was 4 years old.
Me: Do you remember what you used to draw mostly as a kid?
Jeffro: Monsters mostly. Also, things that were derivative of the Muppets. I also used to draw a lot of underground cities.
Me: You founded something called the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society, right? What is that exactly?
Jeffro: I co-founded the PCS with Andrew Hart and Christine Pomroy. Andrew and I met in film school and would draw together a lot. Chrissy was a longtime friend from the neighborhood. We just wanted more cartoonists to hang out together and inspire us to keep drawing cartoons. Then more members came along. We BBQ'd, self-published books, held art shows, did charity stuff, taught together, drank together, and it just keeps snowballing.
Me: How many artists are in the Society?
Jeffro: We have over 100 on our distribution list, but I would say about 40 are active members at the moment... people who publish together and participate in group projects.
Me: What kinda stuff do you do together? A lot of charity events and stuff you said, right?
Jeffro: All of what I listed above. But it's more than that. It's family after all these years. We visit each other in the hospital. We help each other move. We go to funerals and weddings. The main charities we've done work for are CcTC, the Children's Crisis Treatment Center (cctckids.com), the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness (pceh.org) and several cancer-related charities after PCS mainstay Christian Patchell (artbypatch.com) beat the shit out of cancer!
Me: So, if anybody in the Society would like to be featured on the Phile tell them to drop me a line. You are also part of the Meathaus Comics Collective. What is that? Is it like the PCS?
Jeffro: I was invited into the Meathaus Collective for book 6. It's an amazing group of artists and I am honored just to be part of it. It's opened a lot of doors for me and made me look at different ways artists can brand themselves. It's different than the PCS, geographically speaking. Meathaus initiated at SVA in New York City, but they are all over the country and beyond these days. I get a lot of work just being affiliated with them.
Me: How many artists are involved in the MCC?
Jeffro: It's really hard to say. That would be a question for Chris McD, who is the ringleader these days on publishing and website stuff.
Me: Where did the name come from, Jeff? Meathaus. It sounds German.
Jeffro: I've heard them talk about it, but I am really not sure. I think when the core group was in SVA, they found the made up word "meatus" very funny. I think it may have somehow derived from that.
Me: Are you into comics yourself, Jeffro?
Jeffro: I am in awe of comics.
Me: The MCC have put out a few books, and the latest is "Go For The Gold! 4". It's a book featuring a lot of different artists' art work, right?
Jeffro: The "GFTG" books are the group's sketchbook works. McD wrangles it all together and with each one, the list of contributors increases in quantity and quality.
Me: What art work did you add to the book?
Jeffro: A bunch of sketchbook stuff that I wasn't completely embarrassed of.
Me: You are not only an artist, but you teach art, don't you? Where do you teach at? High school, college?
Jeffro: I taught art for 7 years at North Catholic, the high school that me, my brother, dad, and grandpop went to, but it shut down in 2010. Now I teach cartooning part-time at the University of the Arts (www.uarts.edu). I also run several workshops and programs all over.
Me: What kinda art do you teach?
Jeffro: I used to teach life drawing and portfolio workshop. Nowadays, it's usually cartoon-related.
Me: I have to ask you about "Sketches of Fishtown". That is a book, or comic about people you know in Fishtown, I take it. How long have you been doing this, Jeffro?
Jeffro: They're like editorial comics about all different aspects of my neighborhood. I've been doing it since 2004.
Me: How many issues have their been?
Jeffro: About 107 so far.
Me: Do you remember what the first book or project you have worked on? Was it the comic "Petey"? Do you still work on that?
Jeffro: A: Petey was a one-shot comic, my first solo work. I published shorts in Meathaus before that. But Petey was finished and put on a shelf since 1998. I took it back out and reworked it for self-publication in 2002.
Me: Jeffro, I have to mention, as I am a big "Doctor Who" fan, the piece you did of the 4th Doctor and Harry Potter... both with long scarves.
Me: Are you a "Doctor Who" fan?
Jeffro: I have to be honest, I don't know much about the new show. My friends love it. I only knew the Tom Baker Doctor from my youth.
Me: Is the 4th Doctor your favorite then?
Jeffro: He's all I know really. Maybe I should watch more.
Me: So, I like to ask artists who are on the Phile, if they were gonna design the logo for the Phile, what would they do?
Jeffro: Maybe an extremely streamlined illustration of a file folder on fire. Or a file cabinet with no drawers.
Me: Thanks, man, for being on the Phile. Like I said, I love you art, and please come back here again. Go ahead and plug the sites for the PCS, and MCC and your own Blogspot.
Jeffro: My blog: jeffrokilpatrick.blogspot.com. My FB: facebook.com/pages/Jeffro-Kilpatrick-Art/182619028455312. Meathaus: meathaus.com. PCS: phillytoon.org. Phantom Hand Gallery: phantomhand.blogspot.com.
Me: Take care, and keep up the good work.
There, that about does it for another entry. Thank God the storm is over. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz, Stephanie Cutter, Lee Abramson and of course Jeffro Kilpatrick. The Phile will be back on Sunday with Gilson Schachnik from Muzik and on Monday it's Dave Rosin from the popular Canada band Hedley who today had their video for their song "Kiss You Inside Out" surpass 1.7 million views. Freaking crazy. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.