Fourteen years ago, waiting outside an art history class on my first day of college, I noted a skinny kid sitting on the floor furiously drawing the best Spider-man I had ever seen outside of actual comic books. I would have said hello, but his long green trenchcoat and the way he was muttering the lyrics to Lithium to himself made me very nervous. I'd make other friends that first semester, and by my second semester one of them suggested we work on some comic book ideas together, and introduced me to Rey, the aforementioned “scary” artist.
Four years after graduation, when it was time to find a new job, Rey recommended me for a position at the company where he worked, I got in, and I've been there ever since. Somehow, six years elapsed, and now with a wife and two kids, my friend has bought his first house. Unfortunately, New York salaries being as disproportionate as they are to the cost of living, his first house is somewhere in the vast plains of Pennsylvania, near his in-laws. Tomorrow is Rey's official last day at work, but the final days leading up to this milestone constitute tonight's Photo Blog Wednesday.
The past few years, with the exception of Rey, I saw my college buddies once a year, usually for weddings, baby showers, or funerals. His imminent departure was a good reason to get the gang back together last week, and we gathered at a new rib place for laughs old and new.
Once on a camping trip, while the rest of us wanted to stay up late, Rey tried in vain to get some sleep. At one point he woke up, if only partially, and shouted at one of my friends to “pass [him] the blue animation cel.” Irritated by our confusion, he repeated the request, possibly adding the phrase “you fat b*stard!” The next day he had no recollection of the exchange, and denied swearing. For years, “blue animation cel” has been a running joke in our group and at dinner last week, the friend he yelled at presented him with a framed blue animation cel depicting a generic comic book babe, which he's proudly displaying in the second photo.
Today we held a Star Wars®-themed “surprise” party for him in one of our company's conference rooms. The above shot is a spinning light thing that I got for the party, which I tested in my living room last night. My mom thought it looked really cool and ruined video footage of it by saying “Wow, that looks really cool. Are you shooting a movie?” while I was recording. My dad meanwhile started getting anxious, and insisted that it was “enough” and I should turn it off and turn the lights on before the neighbors called the cops and reported a fire, apparently of the spinning technicolor variety.
We set up a mannequin in the center of our conference room with a breathing electronic Darth Vader mask. Fortunately, a coworker dressed identically, sat to the right of the mannequin, and scared a few unsuspecting guests as they arrived.
Knowing something was up, though not the full extent of it, he walked in extra late, to ensure everyone would be waiting in cramped quarters and suffering several false alarms whenever the door opened and it wasn't him.
The cake read “Oh my word!”, one of his catch phrases, and was punctuated with a simple “goodbye”.
Here he is chilling with our live Vader.
And now in a cardboard mask, he tries to summon the Force.
Attendance was excellent, but I don't think I can legally show all these people without their consent, hence the blur.
Hmm, animatronic was this little figure. Talk much and blink did he.
Mesmerizing little talking green Yoda he is.
What mysterious figure could be behind this mask, using the reversible screen on his new working camera that he got today to take a picture of himself?
Labels: PBW Photo Blog Wednesday