Thursday, April 29, 2021

A Much-Needed Day of Relaxation!

Hello?  HELLO?  Is anybody out there?  …Anybody?  

I could understand if you're not!  

It's unlike a dedicated Blogger like me to disappear for an unspecified period of time, so why should you think to look-in on this day, versus any other day of the past month or so.  

But, there were many reasons for my uncharacteristic vanishing act...  Nothing bad, I assure you.  Not all of it fun-and-candy either, I must add, but none of it bad!  

House matters including renovation, medical and dental matters for both Esther and me, moving new furniture in / moving old furniture out, scheduled Fantagraphics work / UN-scheduled Fantagraphics work, my local bus transit advocacy, and much more served to pull me in too many different directions at once. 

...And then, of course, these two cuties!  

They're ALWAYS at the top of the joyous priority list! 

Yesterday was a point of demarcation for me, and (as the post's title says) a "much-needed" one!  

With far more of the above-listed items behind us than before us, and on a perfect April spring day (Wednesday, the 28th), I did something I haven't done in a VERY long time - largely, but not exclusively, due to COVID-19... I enjoyed a quiet and relaxing day out, in my own special way!

With a sports-drink bottle in hand, I walked out the door (masked), turned right down my block, and proceeded to the corner.  

There, I caught a bus to a local transit hub, and transferred to another bus to Long Beach, NY (the self-proclaimed "City by the Sea").  

As if the gods knew... just in time for me to finally ride the busses I regularly advocate for, at the senior fare of $1.35 (vs. 2.75), COVID-19 hit - and I felt that riding a bus might not have been the wisest of transportation options... but, FINALLY I could go to Long Beach for 1.35!  

I have been "going to Long Beach" (not for $1.35) for a LONG TIME!  Since 1974, in fact!  It has always been one of my most favorite places to go, and its (also self-proclaimed) 2.2 miles of seaside boardwalk is without doubt my most favorite walking location!  

But, why take the bus when most suburban New Yorkers would just DRIVE to Long Beach?  

Um, precisely BECAUSE "most suburban New Yorkers would just DRIVE to Long Beach"!

Sitting on a bus - and I'll grant this might not be true in large urban areas - allows for SERENITY!  I can look out the windows at the wonderful world that still exists, despite the best efforts of people and especially politicians to screw it up.  No tailgating, aggressive, inattentive, or distracted drivers to be constantly mindful of.  No speed traps, red light cameras, or the ever present possibility of overtime parking tickets to keep you vigilant and on-edge... just "pwenty of west and wewaxation - at wast!"  (Wabbits notwithstanding, natch!) 

Of course, THIS could always happen...

...And it DID - in my childhood hometown, just a few years ago (above) - but, I'll still bet on the busses that I constantly advocate for, to elected officials and transit company executives alike, to get me to Long Beach safely... and SERENELY! 

I won "the bet"!  

And what a day it was!  2.2 (x2 - all the way out AND back) miles of board-walking on a perfect sunny day!  Adding the walk to and from busses - and the walk from the bus to and from the boardwalk, I think I can up that total from 4.4 (actual boardwalk walking) to something closer to 5 miles!  ...Both my doctor and I will take it! 

...I'll also "take" this view from the boardwalk!  (...and, with my "widdle phone camewa", I did!) 

Walking this boardwalk has always brought me that complete serenity-immersion that I so often seek, but rarely achieve!  It's too easy to forget that sometimes you must do things that are strictly "good for the soul" - and let the rest wait 'till later!  

After a complete out-and-back, I boarded a bus for home.  

This is the actual bus I took to leave Long Beach, as it continued to disgorge its passengers.  Next, a transfer for home - $1.35 again! 

Consider $1.35 twice for bus fare - and $7.29 at Burger King for early lunch before hitting the boardwalk (and, hopefully, burning some of the BK off) - for a total of $9.99!  

I challenge you to find me a more fun day... for under ten bucks... that doesn't involve buying comics, and does include exercise and exhilaration!  

Such "exhilaration" that it is now time to begin "clawing my way back to the surface"!  Over the coming week, I will begin addressing all the outstanding Blog comments, and (hopefully) outstanding personal correspondence as well.  Oh, and new Blog posts, too!  ...Won't that be dandy!   

I leave you with this... WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES! 

I just may do this regularly! 


Elaine said...

Great to have you back, Joe! I heartily agree on the importance of walking in beautiful places now and then. And congratulations on being able to ride the bus for the senior fare, for which you have fought so hard!

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you so very much, Elaine!

I’ve really missed this, and am happy to be first-welcomed-back by you!

It’s been an interesting time… two-or three evenings prior to my bus-beach jaunt, when putting out the trash, I just stopped and stared at the beautiful moon as the clouds passed over and around it – and took some photos of it.

They are not good photos by any stretch, and you might not even know what it is, if I don’t tell you… but it’s the wonder of the many things we ignore or just “look past” while scurrying to get things done that is the essence of those photos – not the image itself. That feeling – and my doctor’s orders for more exercise – is what prompted the outing in the first place.

And so, while riding the bus and walking the boardwalk, I just “took it all in” with a feeling of wonder that was AWOL for a while.

This world is SOOO wonderful, when you stop and appreciate the things that are “just around” every day! Why do so many people (of all walks and persuasions) try so hard to make it… “not wonderful”? I’ll never get it!

Debbie Anne said...

Welcome back! I’ve been busy with work and vaccinations myself, and dealing with the invaders from Jupiter and Saturn who have been plaguing Uncle Scrooge in “Jumpin’ Jupiter” that just landed on my doorstop today (but not delivered by an Interplanetary Postman, of course).

Joe Torcivia said...


Great to have you here again, and sorry you had to deal with “invaders from Jupiter and Saturn” during such a busy period… and WHA?


YEOW! I didn’t get my author’s copy yet, so color me surprised… and slightly green from envy!

So, you’re now reading “Fear the Wrath of Rebo” (Is it still my title, or did someone change it?), a title derived from both “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, mashing-up two favorites of mine.

If you liked Rebo before, you’re gonna love him in this! There’s more of him to love (or loathe) in this installment than in his debut – and his hapless Generals are even more obsequious than ever. And, of course, you’ll find a “Bertram” somewhere in there.

I don’t know what else is in the book, but I know it’ll be great too!

“Interplanetary Postman”? HA!

Debbie Anne said...

Barnes and Noble’s website sometimes has these books a week earlier than their release date (but not always). Being green, you’d fit right in with the Jovians (well, minus their metal eating habits). They kept your title for the story. I’ve only read the first of the two chapters of “Fear the Wrath of Rebo” so far, but there’s also another Rebo story, another surreal Uncle Scrooge story and one with Goofy meeting Witch Hazel.

Joe Torcivia said...


“Being green, you’d fit right in with the Jovians (well, minus their metal eating habits).”

Well, my doctor says I should change my eating habits, and I’ll try anything once. Though I should cut down on enjoying one of my favorite rock bands, AC-DC, to avoid… (ready for it?) heavy metal!

Side Note: Yes, I really do love AC-DC (have since the ‘70s). Esther, on the other hand…

Glad they kept my title… I hope they kept my final panel as well – a reference by Rebo to his Mama! (Who you may remember in the very first story I dubbed “Reba the Repulsive”.) There was some discussion about that.

Your description checks with what little I remember. My “Fear the Wrath of Rebo”, another Rebo story dialogued by Jonathan Gray, and a Witch Hazel story dialogued by Thad Komorowski – all edited by The Incomparable David Gerstein… so you have all of the “Core Four” wrapped-up in a nice “Rebo-Approved” package! And all aiding and abetting the wonderful work of Luciano Bottaro!

Sérgio Gonçalves said...

It sounds like a fun outing indeed. Good for you for taking the time to just relax and enjoy yourself after what seems to have been an… all-together now… “horrifically busy period.”

Exercise is important. I don’t get nearly as much exercise as I should. I do try to go for a walk around my neighborhood whenever weather and time permit. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

I also agree that all too often we fail to appreciate how wonderful this world is. I think everyone can benefit from just pausing once in a while and “taking it all in.”

Glad you’re back. Looking forward to some new blog posts.

Achille Talon said...

Oops! A mildly belated "welcome back"!

I too have recently, and ravenously, read the rapturous result of your rescripting! (How's that for Lockmanian alliteration?) It was a delight, possibly my favourite Disney Masters volume thus far released, and that is a title hard won. Although the first of the Rebo sequels, and Bottaro's Last Story with the exploration of the surreal land beyond the wormhole, were known to me, I had never actually read that first Witch Hazel-Goofy face-off — and I was caught completely flat-footed by the very existence of a Rebo/Dr Zantaf team-up, which was an extremely delightful and appropriate birthday gift for me, being such a fan of both villains. And of course, with the great dialogue, not to mention the handsome colouring, even the two stories I knew were a “new experience”!

As for the topic of this blog post, I fully agree about the joys of walks in beautiful places, far from crowds (madding ones? well… maddening, anyhow!). Health concerns notwithstanding, I was never much for them, crowds.

Achille Talon said...

Incidentally, before seeing your above blog comment, while I'd spotted the “Trek” parallel, I attributed the Fear part of Fear the Wrath of Rebo to a play on the saying “Fear the wrath of a patient man” — quite a funny implicit joke, since Rebo is many things, but “a patient man” he is not! …In fact, semantically, you might question whether he's a man at all!

Incidentally, have a free title for yet another Rebo sequel (if another should be found) that came to me as I was savouring the book: “Repeat of the Rebo Re-Do!”

Joe Torcivia said...


Yes, I think this period may very well have redefined my go-to phrase of “horrifically busy”!

I thought retirement would be easier… sitting by the fire in a rocking chair, telling the rapt young ones what it was like in the Silver Age of comics and imaginative television – inflating the tale just a tad, as “elder statesmen” are wont to do – and leaving them wishing they could “gladly trade away their youth just to live a single day in 1966”!

But, no… It’s a lot like “when I worked full time” … but without the income of working full time! From this perspective, Esther and I both wonder how we ever worked at all, with all the things to be done! HINT: We just didn’t do them!

Even with a very large backlog of posts ready-to-go, I still couldn’t find the time and ability to get near the Blog – or, for that matter, my personal correspondence.

For that, I apologize to all affected – and note that every comment left during that period has now been published and “return-commented”, and that the correspondence will be better caught-up soon.

New posts are absolutely coming, so stay tuned… or stay-Blogged, or whatever it is Blog-readers do!

Finally, I couldn’t be more sincere on “appreciating how wonderful this world is”! When you pick your head up and out of your “personal mess” (…and yes, we ALL have them - “personal messes”, that is… but also “heads”), there are such simple-yet-magnificent wonders to behold… even when looking through a bus window!

Joe Torcivia said...


Oops! A mildly belated "welcome back"!

And a mildly belated "thank you” in return!

YOU TOO!? Is EVERYBODY getting this book before my author’s copy arrives?! I got the PHANTOM BLOT book well before everyone else, so I guess this is penance, karma, cosmic balance, or whatever!

My goodness, “favourite Disney Masters volume” would indeed be a “title hard won”, with many more contenders than also-rans – including the first Bottaro volume! “Uncle Scrooge’s Money Rocket” may very well remain my favorite Rebo story… but I must admit that I had more SHEER FUN with “Fear the Wrath of Rebo”!

Why? Because in the former, I was helping shape Rebo’s over-the-top personality for the English-reading audience. However, in the latter, I got to play with the result of that “shaping”…“Rebo-Approved”, “Rebo says…”, the generals being more obsequious than ever, etc.

And, I even threw-in a call back to the “Donald Tries to Avoid Helping Daisy with Her Spring Cleaning” Barks story from WDC&S # 213! And, while “Fear the Wrath of Rebo” seemed an appropriate title the story (again drawing from other sci-fi and horror interests of mine – though I like your “attribution” a lot), thanks to a wonderful 1958 “Barks-base” one might also find one’s self “Fearing the Wrath of Daisy”!

Crowds are “maddening” even without a global pandemic. I hope there IS another Rebo story to apply your title to! And masterful Lockmanian alliteration!

Debbie Anne said...

The third Rebo story really IS a Rebo story, as the rooster-headed villain and his generals actually have more to do in this story than Donald or Uncle Scrooge! The “great hero of Earth” actually spends most of this story cowering in fear of the wrath of Uncle Scrooge and later Daisy!

Joe Torcivia said...


As I said: “Fear the Wrath of Daisy”!

Besides, “Great Heroes of Anything” get scant respect in their own time, and from their own people (except their Blog readers)… Just ask me!

scarecrow33 said...

Welcome back, Joe...and thank you for the inner revelations of your life that you have provided. It is always fascinating to me to see glimpses of what the world is like in and around NYC. I am so glad you had a nice getaway and got a chance to smell the roses...a thing we do far too little of in our hectic world.

My one experience of NYC was in the late 60's. We were on a family road trip and had just spent several glorious weeks visiting our relatives in Maine. When we reached New York, the place was fogged in completely...a thicker fog than I have ever seen before or since, anywhere. If there were any tall buildings or spectacular sights, we didn't see any of them. All that could be seen on the freeway was....more freeway. Everything beyond was completely erased from view. (This sounds like an exaggeration, but I assure you it is not.) My father exited the freeway for a few minutes and pulled onto a side street to study the map. While we were parked, I observed only a handful of people who emerged from the fog for a few seconds and then were almost immediately swallowed up again. There was nothing to see on the street except for traffic lights and traffic signs. There were quite literally no buildings to be seen at all. Only fog, fog, and more fog. And that is my memory of NYC.

So it's refreshing to know that there actually was a whole city behind all of that fog. One reads and hears many things about New York, but completely shrouded in fog is not usually how it's described.

Anyway, cheers for your return to this blog and for your fantastic excursion day, of which I hope you have many more. I look forward to more goodness!

Joe Torcivia said...


Thank you for the welcoming!

As you say, fog-shrouding is not something NYC is known for. It rarely happens but, when it does, it’s often a doozy the likes of which you describe. I can recall, when living in Brooklyn in my younger-adult years, standing on a pedestrian overpass spanning the Belt Parkway in such a fog, watching speeding cars rapidly “materialize” from out of the dense fog – and, just as rapidly, disappear back into it after they passed underneath. It was an unusual and memorable sight.

And, in my childhood home on Long Island there was once such a fog that you couldn’t see the end of the block! If you’ve ever seen the OUTER LIMITS episode “A Feasibility Study” (…which scared the holy-heck out of me back in 1964), you’ll know what that looked like.

It *is* a pity you didn’t get a look at, or feel for, NYC in the late ‘60s. That was the last gasp of its former greatness, before the decay of the ‘70s thru mid-‘80s overtook it. By the late ‘80s onward, it returned to its former glory! As long as I’m relating these things to TV episodes, watch “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” (1997) to see the best presentation of that particular topic.

Now that things are a little better COVID-wise (and I must add, only a LITTLE better), I plan to do more of these things, as they will be good for the body, and good for the soul. …Still masked, of course!

New posting, as well as a return to personal correspondence, will be happening soon!