Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Rally to Restore Parking

You may have heard about a rally around here this past weekend. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a setup on the National Mall near the Capitol Building. It was supposed to be a Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or fear), but what it really did was drive the city nuts.

Me? I didn't go. I was trying to make it out to a comic book store in College Park where Frank Cho was signing stuff.

I left the house at around 11:00. In the three blocks I walked to the Metro station I encountered three groups of people with signs and outfits just starting out for the rally. Parking was becoming tight as people were parking near my place two and a half miles from the mall. I was glad I didn't have to drive.

Outbound subway traffic was pretty easy. Nothing special there. Then I got off at College Park. The platform was packed. I worked my way to the turnstiles. Behind them was a mob that ran out of the station, up the stairs, and down the sidewalk. A few signs stuck up. Many strange outfits were on display.

As I walked up Calvert Rd to a nice little diner I passed a few dozen more people in outfits walking toward the Metro. I recognized the looks on some of those faces. As long as they were just with their friends they were having fun with their costumes. Once their psychological bubble was burst by someone from the outside world peeking in they started getting embarrassed. Even when that person (i.e. me) laughs at the outfit along with them they still get red faced.

Even with the mob being drawn off from the University of Maryland, the campus and surrounding area were packed. It was homecoming weekend for them. Frank Cho's daughter was cheering at a football game (different from the college game) and it ran long. So when I got there Frank was just calling in from his house to say he was running late. Because of the traffic from the rally and homecoming he showed up more than an hour later.

I should clarify here that Cho went to the University of Maryland and still lives in the general area. He knows the guys who run this comic book store and comes here every few months. This wasn't the usual signing that I've been to where there are dozens if not hundreds of people and the author talks for an hour first. In the hour that we waited about a dozen people showed up and waited for him. He did tell some stories while at the table and we just kinda formed around him and listened. But seeing him there isn't like seeing Scott Adams or Bill Amend. They don't get this way often and would get a mob. Cho gets bigger numbers at the Small Press Expo in Baltimore or at any of the other conventions he goes to. If you see him ask him about his trip to the comic conventions in Germany and Brussels.

I did ask him about some new Liberty Meadows project that... I haven't told you who Cho is yet, have I?

While at the University of Maryland Frank created the comic strip "University 2". Having that portfolio of funny strips produced on a deadline he immediately got his strip "Liberty Meadows" syndicated. It ran in a whole lot of newspapers while it ran. But after a few years Frank was completely fed up with the censorship of the syndicates and quit. Now he works for Marvel Comics where he does art for Shanna the She-Devil, Hulk, and Mighty Avengers, among others.

Someone said that he'd likely say something about an upcoming Liberty Meadows project. Since he didn't volunteer it I had to ask. Apparently he's in regular conversation with someone about making an animated Liberty Meadows movie. While there are lots of things that get optioned and never picked up he says there are regular phone calls and he seems optimistic about this actually happening. If he's optimistic then so am I. I'll be there opening weekend.

On the way home we stopped at a few places. So it was 4:30ish when Yummy and I got back to my place. Thats when we found out that Howard University, which is super near my place, was also having homecoming. I think the high school around the corner, the one that Duke Ellington attended, was having homecoming, too. We could hear their marching band, anyway. So Yummy had to park some distance away.

Estimated attendance for the Rally to Restore Truth and/or Fear was 215,000 people. This stomps Glenn Beck's 87,000 and effectively tells Congress "The Tea Party may have the crazy, but the sane have the numbers." And that 215,000 doesn't count all the people who got to the Metro and turned back. It doesn't include those who heard about the traffic and the parking and stayed well clear.

Now get out there and vote. DC's results may have been determined in the Primaries, but yours aren't.

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