Yesterday I woke up at before 2 AM and couldn't fall back asleep. So I got up and did a couple loads of laundry and cropped the scans I had made last week of Master of Kung Fu #2, a delightful Shang-Chi yarn that is part of Marvel's Secret Wars reboot. Master of Kung Fu is written by Haden Blackman (who did a great job on Elektra) with superb art supplied by Dalibor Talajic, another talented Croatian penciller.
The main reason there has been a drop-off in comic posts on this page is that scanning requires a fair amount of labor. When I was posting weekly on comic books I had trained myself to scan on Friday night and then edit the scans and upload them to the blog first thing the following morning. But things have been topsy-turvy lately. The hundred-plus year-old apartment building I live in is experiencing upgrades this summer: painting of the entire exterior has just been completed, and now I'm due to get new kitchen plumbing and a sink.
Both the painting and the plumbing work to be done have also required work on the tenant's part. The exterior painting required masking all the windows from the inside to prevent water and debris from blowing into the apartment from outside pressuring washing; -- the plumbing, relocation of the contents -- clothes and comic books -- of my main closet so that the plumbers can gain access to the new tie-in point.
On top of the apartment upgrades, another distraction is that I seemed to have come down with a case of tennis elbow. It hasn't progressed to the point of disability, but it is painful and bothersome. I think it is primarily caused by the way I lean on my right arm while holding the mouse as I navigate the wonderful World Wide Web. Subsequently, on the weekends, I am trying to spend as much time away from the laptop as possible.
Last Saturday I watched a DVD of Marlowe (1969), the MGM version of Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister (1949) which happens to be Bruce Lee's major Hollywood feature film debut.
Last month on the 4th of July after spending a delightful 45 minutes running square laps around the artificial soccer turf of Miller Playfield I jogged over to Lake View Cemetery to pay respect to Bruce and Brandon Lee. I do this periodically.
I got there before 9 AM and no one seemed to be around. But as I was just about to walk down the path that leads to the grave site of the father and son martial-arts legends I noticed a barefoot guy about my age dressed in grey sweats and a white v-neck t-shirt drinking coffee out of a ceramic mug.
So I said hello and we proceeded to shoot the shit for about 20 minutes. A good guy, a fireman stationed in the tony Madison Park neighborhood (Howard Schultz's home base), he grew up on Capitol Hill; his grandmother is buried in Lake View Cemetery. On that July 4th morning he was there to visit her, as well as kill time until his daughter, who is a homeowner on a street that runs parallel to the graveyard's northern boundary, woke up.
My acquaintance remembers as a kid being in the cemetery when Bruce Lee was buried in 1973. I got the sense the event confused him. He speculated about the suspicious nature of Brandon Lee's death. Then we got talking about retirement, life, Seattle and politics. Next thing I knew it was time to go. I had a lot of reading to do. So I thanked him for the chat and excused myself. In the interim another well-wisher had arrived at the Lee graves. I jogged home without actually visiting the graves.
Of course, Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, was Marvel's attempt to cash in on Bruce Lee at the zenith of his popularity, as well as the popularity of the David Carradine television series Kung Fu. For some reason, whenever I think of the Bruce Lee early '70s of my childhood I always hear Al Green songs from his Willie Mitchell-produced Hi Records of the same period, songs like "Love and Happiness":
Below you will find ten scans from Master of Kung #2: