First and First - The Nexus Of The Universe

One of the funniest moments on the TV show Seinfeld (of so many funny moments) is when Kramer gets lost downtown in the episode "The Maid." He calls Jerry from a payphone at the corner of First Avenue and First Street and says he must be at the "Nexus of the Universe." Hilarious.

When Niki and I had visited 2 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in midtown Manhattan (referred to in The Dark Tower series as the "Nexus of Time and Size"), we were continuing our first New York City adventure further south later that same day and we decided to start at 1st and 1st to pay tribute to this other famous "New York Nexus" located in the East Village.

Ironically, shortly after this we traveled west to Greenwich Village, where we had the chance to see 177a Bleecker Street, the fictional home of Marvel Comics hero Dr. Strange, which is also known as the "Nexus of All Realities." So there you have it, one city, one day, three Nexus' . . . or would that be Nexi? Does this mean that Manhattan is the "Nexus of Nexuses?" Or maybe it should just be Nexus³ . . .

Argh, my head hurts.


A Punk Jacket Fit For A Princess

Some time ago, I began working on another jacket for my (then) two-year-old niece, Mia. Decorating the jacket itself didn't really take much time at all (child's size jackets don't usually take more than a few days to finish), but I had to wait on the delivery of one of the patches before I could truly call it complete. Besides, I've often found it's the labours of love that go by quickest and easiest, no matter how intricate or monotonous the task needed to complete it.

The jacket is essentially the same as the child sized jacket I shared on here a while ago, but with artwork and patches better suited for a girl.

Niki and I had given Mia a Hello Kitty and the Mad Barbarians stuffed doll the year before and it seemed like the perfect artwork to pair up with a jacket designed for a tiny punk princess.

There is another full-sized jacket in the works right now, but it's nowhere near complete yet. Once I do finish it up though, I'll be sure to post pictures of the end result.

In the meantime of course, there's always the other examples in the Apparel section of the DE/VL Design website.


My very own (sorta) homemade "The Death of Captain Marvel" statue.

A few weeks ago I needed to get the wheel rims replaced on the car and so, literally without any wheels and stranded on Ontario Street for about an hour, I took a stroll down to Value Village to see if I could #FINDtheFIND and, sure enough, I did. For me, "The Find" was a small plaster reproduction of Michelangelo's "Pietà," depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus. Goddam creepy, right? Of course, truth be told, when I saw it on the shelf what I immediately flashed on was one of my all-time favorite comic-book stories, the original cover for the graphic novel "The Death of Captain Marvel" by Jim Starlin. That's why I couldn't pass it up.

My plan? To paint that sucker to be just that, a passable version of the cover image of the personification of Death herself cradling the estranged Kree captain and cosmic protector, Mar-Vell, as he succumbs to his final battle with both the cancer consuming his life from within and a re-animated Thanos of Titan, called back to life to claim Mar-Vell's for his beloved Mistress. While there's already a beautiful version of this cover art in statue form, produced by Art Asylum back in 2002, it goes for about $200 . . . and that's if you can even find it!

So, starting with the faux-bronze statue as I'd found it . . .

. . . first I spray-painted a flat black basecoat . . .

. . . which, once I started applying the primer coat for the parts to be painted, immediately came to life as Mistress Death's cloak.

I threw a second primer coat on to make sure the paint colour would stand out . . .

. . . sketched the features of Mar-Vell's uniform and Death's face in pencil . . .

. . . and, after carefully painting some more definition in the more detailed areas, I quickly filled in the colour for the base and stone portions.

Then, once I'd filled in the larger areas of blue and red on the uniform, the whole thing really came together . . .

. . . and with just a few touch ups to Death's face and the eight-pointed star on Marv's chest, I was pretty pleased with the final outcome.

Of course, when looking at them side-by-side, mine still doesn't compare with the Art Asylum version, but for only a fraction of the cost, it's good enough to sit proudly on my shelf!



The Adam Warlocky Horror Picture Show?

Between the perfect bronze physique from the moment he first sprang to life, the platinum blonde bowl haircut and those rockin' gold lamé shorty shorts, I've always wondered if Dr. Frankenfurter's creation from the eponymously-named The Rocky Horror Picture Show was actually based on the first appearance of Adam Warlock in Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four #67, when he was known only as "Him."

It looks like legendary longtime Adam Warlock scribe Jim Starlin might have thought so too, since The Infinity War version of the Magus (Adam Warlock's twisted, evil future self) is nearly a dead ringer for "Space Riff" as well.

Come to think of it, there's an eerie resemblance between the Magus' original look from the '70s comic Warlock and Dr. Frankenfurter himself!

Cosmic . . .



To our friends on their day . . .

Jason & Jordaan,

May your wedding day, and your lives together from this day forth, be everything that you had hoped and planned them to be.



The DE/VLs


The Quest for the Dark Tower Pt. 13: The World Trade Center

***Spoiler warning! Though I've made every attempt to avoid giving away key plot points during this quest, it's still very possible that information discussed herein may spoil a new reader's experience, so consider yourself warned! ***

When Jake and Pere Callahan arrive in Midtown New York of 1999, they quickly track Susannah to The New York Plaza-Park Hyatt.

Finding a key left for Jake at the front desk by the most unlikeliest of sources, they eventually discover that although Susannah has left, Black Thirteen is still stowed away in the room's security safe. Taking the powerful talisman, they soon decide to store it in a more secure location.

After grabbing a cab south, Jake and Pere decide Black Thirteen should be kept in what Pere was once told were the safest storage lockers in all of Manhattan: The World Trade Center. Once there, they lock the evil talisman in a long term storage locker and feed enough tokens into it to keep it tucked away until June of 2002 . . .

Long days, pleasant nights!



The Quest for the Dark Tower Pt. 12: The New York Plaza-Park Hyatt

***Spoiler warning! Though I've made every attempt to avoid giving away key plot points during this quest, it's still very possible that information discussed herein may spoil a new reader's experience, so consider yourself warned! ***

In book six of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Susannah travels to Midtown New York in the spring of 1999 using the Unfound Door, a magic portal that can only be opened with the crystal ball or Bend O' the Rainbow known as Black Thirteen. Once there, she finds a scrimshaw carving of a turtle in a hidden pocket of the drawstring bowling bag being used to carry Black Thirteen.

Holding the scrimshaw turtle, Susannah inadvertently mesmerizes an unsuspecting passerby. Needing a place to clean up and regain her bearings, she uses the turtle's suggestive power to convince a UN ambassador's aide to book her a room at the the New York Plaza-Park Hyatt, located on 46th Street and First Avenue.

As Susannah enters the lobby of the the hotel she thinks that, aside from St. Patrick's Cathedral, she had never seen such a beautiful room.

Walking up to the front desk, Susannah notices a sign stating:


In fact, in our own where and when, the New York Plaza-Park Hyatt has since been renamed the Millennium U.N. Plaza Hotel and isn't located on 46th street, but on 44th.

At the front desk Susannah once again relies on the hypnotic power of the turtle - or sköldpadda - to convince the clerk on duty of her identity. Holding up one of her Oriza throwing plates, she convinces the woman behind the counter that it is her driver's license. Once she's checked in and has her room key, Susannah quickly takes the elevator up to her room.

In the book, Susannah's room is said to be on the nineteenth floor, but in reality the hotel's rooms don't even begin until the thirtieth floor. So the view we had out our hotel room window was a bit higher up than what Susannah would have seen, but it still offered a fantastic view of all the buildings in and around the Turtle Bay area.

That includes the Trump World Tower, which while not part of the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, is right next to it and may have been Sai King's inspiration for the 99-storey tower that 2 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is described as in Book VII.

Aside from the spectacular view, the room itself was also very nice. I highly recommend the Millennium U.N. Plaza Hotel to anyone who would be staying in New York, whether they are Dark Tower fans looking to experience a little bit of the quest or just New York bound and looking for that perfect place to stay in Manhattan.

Long days, pleasant nights!