Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alum Richard Rivera

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. First I have to say congratulations to Chicago on experiencing a moment of bliss that does't involve beer, cheese, or meat. The Chicago Cubs just won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, defeating the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling game that went 10 innings. And while the Cleveland Indians have been maligned for their racist mascot, everyone loves the Cubs' avatar: Bill Murray. Based on my Facebook feed I see that Bill Murray won the World Series. I'm just happy for Bill Murray. Finally something in his life went his way. Before the Cubs won the World Series and Bill Murray rampaged across the field in ecstasy, a tweet from 2014 began to go viral.

That's because the game was tied in game seven in extra innings. It was the Cubs vs. Indians. And as an extended rain delay stopped play just before the 10th inning, it looked like there was only one part of the prophecy left to fulfill. The world had to end. Despite many users calling the tweet "fake," as Snopes points out the prediction wasn't really so "far-fetched." The Cubs and Indians were the two teams with the longest World Series droughts... so it's a pretty natural joke to make, even if it seems insane in the wake of last night's game seven. The prophetic tweeter also explained his logic behind picking the Cubs and Indians two years in advance, which was based on the Cubs signing their manager Joe Maddon and the Indians' crop of young talent. By the way, the world didn't end. That'll be next Tuesday.
Notorious dick pic sender Anthony Weiner is checking into a rehab center that specializes in treating cybersex addiction, the "Daily Mail" reports. It's about time. The unidentified facility reportedly has a specific program geared towards treating people with an addiction to cybersex and exhibitionism, as well as porn and anonymous sex. The center is segregated by gender and all electronic devices are banned, says the "Daily Mail." So, no e-mails allowed. This seems like a good fit for the disgraced politician, who was back in the news earlier this fall for allegedly engaging in an online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. This was a new low, even by Weiner standards. This latest scandal also had wider repercussions. While investigating his sexting, the FBI found emails connected to Hillary Clinton on devices belonging to Weiner and his soon-to-be-ex-wife Huma Abedin, Clinton's top aide. This re-opened the FBI investigation into Clinton's emails, which may have tightened her race against Donald Trump in the polls. So basically, Weiner's behavior could screw over not only his family, career, and the women (and girls) involved, but the entire country. This is the first time Weiner has sought inpatient treatment for his issues, according to the "New York Post." After his first sexting scandal in 2011, he took two weeks’ paid leave from the House of Representatives for “professional treatment” and said he was working on becoming “a better husband and healthier person." “A couple of days I worked with a therapist in Texas I was referred to... two days, twice, for a total of four days. Or, it might have been three,” he told "The Post" in 2013, "[but] I didn’t go to rehab anywhere.” Let's hope Weiner finally gets the help he needs and also that we never see his name in the news again, ever.
In a time-honored tradition, the faculty at Jericho Elementary School in Centereach, New York decided to hold a mock election, allowing the 6-10 year old student body to discuss, debate, and vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, depending on their personal prepubescent politics. But unlike in years past, this time teachers were forced to cancel the mock election before voting could take place, because it was starting to look too much like the real thing. Principal Glen Rogers told ABC News that he decided to cancel the election after kids started repeating "negative rhetoric about minorities." He explained, "Teachers have said they've heard some kids in the cafeteria chanting 'Trump! Trump! Trump!' or saying they don't want Muslims here… I mean, kids often repeat what they hear on the TV or the news, but it doesn't mean it's okay. We have a diverse community here. We want all our students to feel valued." If only the actual election was held to those standards. Now, students at Jericho will still have a mock election tomorrow, but instead of the president, they'll be voting for their favorite school lunch. Although like all elections, their votes won't actually make a difference in what they're served. Rogers explained that while he wants the kids to be informed about the election, he and other administrators decided that it was a topic "better explored in the classroom, where teachers can lead and guide discussions, rather than in the cafeteria among students." Like the difference between a moderated debate and a raucous rally full of hate speech and violence. Rogers added, "One thing we're really trying to teach the students is the differences between opinions and facts. It's important for our students to be able to express their opinions, but it's also important for them to be informed about it and not just repeating what they happen to hear." Can we put Principal Glen Rogers in charge of the election before Tuesday? Because this thing is a shit show.
Holy moly! On October 31st, the last day of Black History Month in England, "BBC Newsbeat" shared a video for their "That Black British Feeling" series in which they asked and then investigated the ridiculously racist question, "Is it true all black people like chicken?" In response, I would like to ask them, "Are you freaking serious?" Their scientific research seems to involve just asking a bunch of people, some black, some white (why would they ask white people?) whether or not they think that all black people (even vegetarians, BBC?) like chicken. The "BBC Newsbeat" Twitter account deleted their first tweet with the video, which read "Black people and fried chicken—is there any truth in it?" and then, because apparently they didn't think it was bad enough the first time, sent it out AGAIN, only this time with the text, "We're talking about being black and British and the stereotypes you might face, like this one." Please join "BBC Newsbeat" next week, when they delve into the question, "Are our viewers really as dumb as we think?"
Well, it finally happened. A police report out of Berlin, Germany says that a teenager dressed up like a clown to scare a friend and ended up getting stabbed. What did he expect to happen? According to the Chief of Police in Berlin, a 16-year-old wearing a clown mask and wielding a hammer tried to scare his friends when a 14-year-old acquaintance pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the alleged aggressor in the torso. It was only after they removed the clown's mask that they recognized the boy as one of their friends. The 14-year-old administered first aid on the older teen until he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. The 14-year-old boy was initially arrested before being handed over to his parents, because it is probably pretty easy to convince authorities that you acted in self-defense when you explain that you were pursued by a FREAKIN' CLOWN WITH A HAMMER. "Creepy clown" bonanza started around August when reports of gangs of clowns trying to lure children into the woods came out of South Carolina. Since then, reports of creepy clowns have popped up all over the world. Why? Because some sick people want to make 2016 even worse than it already is.
So, pretty much all through my life people have made fun of my last name... Peverett, calling me Pervert. I feel kinda lucky, though, because my last name could be worse...

Hahaha. Tugnutt Phile does have a good ring to it though, right? I was switching through the channels the other day and came across "Wheel of Fortune" and pretty much figured the clue out right away.

So, next Tuesday we might have a President that can do this...

That's pretty cool, right? You know, if you don't wanna vote for Trump or Clinton you can vote for someone else.

He has eight things that are good. Do you kids like pugs? Did you know there's a new species of pugs called butt-pugs? No? Check it out!

Sam, that joke is for you. This year is the Phile's 10th anniversary year and I have been showing you what some people look like when they are reading the Phile. But it's just not people who read it...

Awe. Apple has revealed some brand new emoji's. I'm here to tell you what they really mean. This one means...

I just thee up in the bucket next to my sickbed. Gross. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Overheard In The Cub's Victory Pile
5. Cubs lose! Cubs lose! Sorry, force of habit!
4. Hey, guys? Coach said no rough-housing!
3. You know what? I'm going to use the privacy of this huddle to change into my street clothes.
2. Watch out! You're stepping on the rosin bag!
And the number one thing overheard in the Cubs' victory pile was...
1. Now Chicago has no problems of any kind!

Hmmm. Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. Is it really a Mindphuck though? Maybe I should show you another one just to be safe.

That's better. I wish they were Giants fans though. Alright, it's Thursday so we have to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. How's it going?

Jeff: Always glad to be back on the Phile. It's going. How about you?

Me: It's going. So, I have to say something about the NFL... I hate it there's just one overtime allowed... and there could be a tie. That really, really annoys me and it has happened two weeks in a row... is that rare? How often does it happen? What's your take on it?

Jeff: I'm okay with ties, I guess. It depends. Hockey has ties. Soccer (or as you'd call it football) has ties. It is rare actually. Even more rare to have ties two weeks in a row. I don't know that it's ever happened three times in a row so we shall see next week.

Me: Did you see the story of the vibrator thrown onto the field at the Bills/Patriots game that had "Brady’s Dildo" written on it?

Jeff: I can't believe I'm about to say this but did the dildo come up a little flat? I hadn't heard that. I wonder if someone caught it during a security check and figured dildos aren't illegal.

Me: Haha. Alright, so what other football news do you have?

Jeff: No real big news. Cam Newton is complaining that he gets hit too much. Maybe if he didn't run past the line of scrimmage so much he wouldn't. Yes, some of the hits are a little late on him. But he kind of came off as a big baby. Other news like we discussed was the ties. In addition to Arian Foster retiring midseason, it happened again. This time with Colts receiver Andre Johnson. Ironically he was teams with Foster for many years in Houston.

Me: Did you hear the Browns went as a football team for Halloween?

Jeff: Sadly that was a bad trick they've played on the NFL. Cleveland at least you have the Indians and the Cavs.

Me: Speaking of Halloween, Jeff, did you dress up this year? I was a giant banana. Don't ask me why.

Jeff: I didn't dress up per say. I did wear my Ghostbusters t-shirt to work on Halloween but that was about it for me this year. I'm just not feeling it anymore and that makes me sad.

Me: Okay, so how did we do last week?

Jeff: As I said last week, both our teams had bye weeks so we had to get points the old fashioned way. Unfortunately you went 0-2 (you had the tie game in one of yours) and I went 1-1 so I extend my lead. I'm now up by 5.

Me: Ughhhhh!!! Shit!!! Damn it! Okay, let's pick this week's games. I say your Steelers by 2 and Chargers by 6. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks are Dallas by 6 and Panthers by 4.

Me: Okay, I'll see you next Thursday.

Jeff: Later!

That's sick! I apologize, people.

The 52nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Jeff will be the pheatured guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum and the creator and writer of the very cool comic book "Stabbity Bunny." Please welcome back to the Phile... Richard Rivera.

Me: Hello, Richard, welcome back to the Phile. So, how have you been?

Richard: It's been a very exciting year, thank you for having me back.

Me: I take it you have been going to a lot of conventions, am I right?

Richard: Yes, last count so far this year, fourteen conventions, including Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Me: Do you have a favorite convention you have been to?

Richard: Three stand out: New York, Clermont and Acme Superstore. Each of these for different reasons, but all three are outstanding conventions and of course vary greatly in scale.

Me: I recently was downtown Orlando by the hospital and I saw this chick with a "Stabbity Bunny" t-shirt... the same one I have. I didn't get to mention it or ask her about it, where she got it or such, but I was so excited... and it's not even my creation. Hahaha. Have you ever been out somewhere that's not a convention and seen someone wearing a "Stabbity Bunny" shirt? If so, did you approach them?

Richard: I don't get out too much, besides conventions, LOL. However, I did see an exhibitor wearing our t-shirt at Wizard World Columbus and we spoke. He said he wears it the opening day of every convention as a good luck charm.

Me: That's cool. What about a Stabbity tattoo? Ever see that?

Richard: Not yet, are you volunteering? We'll supply the line art for transfer!

Me: Ummm... no. Haha. So, how is your comic "Stabbity Bunny" doing? Pretty successful, right?

Richard: We are very pleased and at the very least we feel we're going in the right direction. There is more interest and more fans talking to us about their Stabbity experiences each month.

Me: Have you come out with a Stabbity plush yet? You know I want one when you do.

Richard: That is in the works. We have approached a couple of vendors and feel we have a solid lead for 2017. We'll keep you informed.

Me: Remind the readers what the comic is about, Richard. It's a pretty cool concept.

Richard: We say that "Stabbity Bunny" takes place at the intersection of Nightmare on Elm Street and "Sesame Street" where an enchanted plush bunny and his little girl, Grace, battle an ancient evil.

Me: How many issues have their been so far?

Richard: We are currently involved in a Kickstarter to help with issue #5!

Me: You know I would love a character based on me in the comic. Has anyone ever asked you about that before? 

Richard: We have offered that in a Kickstarter form before and a few people have mentioned it.

Me: You are not the artist on the comic, right?

Richard: Our fantastic illustrator is Dwayne Biddix from North Carolina and our color amazing artist is Liezl Buenaventura from the Philippines.

Me: Before this comic did you write any other comic?

Richard: I've written (and boxed up) treatments for 40 years. "Stabbity Bunny" is the first series I took to completion, though now there are a few other series out there including "Storm Pirates," "Wild Bull and Chipper" and a coloring comic.

Me: How do you write a comic anyway? Is there a particular way that you learnt or does every writer have a different way of doing it?

Richard: I'm sure there are certain commonalities in structure and planning, things that are necessary to communicate with the creative team and provide direction. As far as loosely planning the story, plotting, tightening up the pacing and dialogue... those have parallels in the creation of the artwork from thumbnails to loose pencils, tightened pencils, inks and color. I'm sure though every writer adds their own twist to how they accomplish these goals.

Me: Who is your favorite comic book writer? I think Peter David is really good... especially the stuff he did on the Hulk comic in the 90s.

Richard: I will always be amazed by Alan Moore. I was reading his work in a British magazine called "Warrior" which had the serialized chapters of "Marvel Man" and "V for Vendetta" way before they were in the U.S. in comic book form. His planning, attention to detail and sensitivity to character and genre in creating a layered story still awe me.

Me: Remind me sometime to tell you my Alan Moore story. What comics do you read? Ever read "Richie Rich" when you were a kid?

Richard: I read EVERYTHING as a kid. I had a virtually unlimited new comic book budget thanks to my relatives and during the week would make several trips to the convenience store and every place comics could be found. I find I have less time to read now that I am writing.

Me: I was a big Batman fan, but I am more of a Marvel person. "Richie Rich" was my favorite non-superhero comic though. I was so excited when I went to Acme and saw they had so many back issues. You did a convention at that store?

Richard: I love Acme. They have an astonishing selection of toys, comics and collectibles. This year they had a day where they hosted local creators in an in-store convention. It was terrific!

Me: Okay, let's get talking about this Kickstarter fund campaign you have going... it's for the release of issue 5, am I right?

Richard: Yes, issue #5, an important issue and turning point in the series.

Me: How did you come up with the idea for Kickstarter after the four issues?

Richard: Well, I haven't been a frequent Kickstarter campaigner, but having self-funded 7 different comics and self-published, help was needed to keep us in track.

Me: So, what does someone get if they pledge?

Richard: We have issues of the comic including a signed convention variant signed by Dwayne and me, glasses, t-shirts, prints and some last minute surprises... maybe.

Me: What's your goal, Richard?

Richard: Our initial goal was $2,000 and we have passed that before the midway point of the Kickstarter.

Me: Okay, so, you know I'm an official backer of "Stabbity Bunny" #5, right? I am not gonna say how much I pledged.

Richard: Dwayne, Liezl and I appreciate your support and your enthusiasm for our series.

Me: So, are you gonna do the same for issue 6?

Richard: If we do well enough with this Kickstarter, no. We will roll those funds into issue 6. Every penny is spent on the comic book.

Me: Has anyone approached you to do a "Stabbity Bunny" cartoon? I think it'll be so cool! If so, I wanna do a voice. Ha!

Richard: Not yet, but it would make a great show, I'm sure. If we have any creative control, you're in!

Me: So, will you be at the Clermont Comic Con again this year? The Phile will be there. That's where we met, right?

Richard: Yes, it is and we will be at every show Florida Geek Scene puts on, if they'll have us. Spectacular show.

Me: So, it's the Phile's 10th anniversary this year so I am asking my Alum guests what they were doing ten years ago... so in 2006 what were you doing?

Richard: Ten years ago, I had recently moved back to the Orlando area and I was putting together my business, building my team and scouting locations. I own a tax office, but I am not one of the preparers. As far as writing, at that point I was working on another comic book as far as research and series foundation. This particular title, which I'll reveal when the series launches, has been one I have worked on and shelved, dusted off and retooled over the last twenty years.

Me: Cool. Richard, thanks for coming back on the Phile. Good luck with the Kickstarter campaign. Go ahead and tell my readers where they can go and pledge.

Richard: Go to and search "Stabbity Bunny" #5, or even easier, go to and click the link. Take a look around our site while you're there!

Me: Thanks again, see you at the con.

Richard: Thank you, Jason! I'll look forward to seeing you again!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and Richard Rivera. The Phile will be back on Monday with singer Anna Atkinson. Remember to set your clocks back one hour on Sunday. On Tuesday, be careful you don't set the country back 50 years. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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