This random photo popped up tonight. From 1984. Me and Sparrky and Vincent Johnson in my studio apartment. We just got back from the printers with big stacks of TWISTED IMAGE #6 — the issue with the Charles Scultz interview. So I’m showing off. Exulting in having a “success.” It was a good day. And I’ve had worse. It took a lot of effort to pull it off…… At the same time I look at this photo and I look back at my young self. I was like 27 years old or some shit. And I remember I was striving for love. For happiness. Trying to make a life for myself. Mostly failing. Coming up short. But that’s life. You try your best.
Its weird now when I look back on my life when I was a young man in my 20s. It’s like everything I did was about sex. Sex was like the underlying motivation for just about everything I did…. It seems so stupid now. Now that I’m an old man. That it seemed so important at the time.
Sparrky was an odd duck. One of those guys who very much lived in his own world. Had his own — often strange but definitely unique — take on things. Primarily a loner, but he was also part of our scene. Was pretty close to Duncan for awhile and they collaborated on a bunch of different artistic projects. Eventually he left the Telegraph scene and lived the last decades of his life camping at the Albany Landfill and going by the name Picasso Mike, and created many outdoor sculptures and paintings amidst the landscape, some of which may still be there to this day. Quietly passed away about 10 years ago. Sparrky.
My friend Sparrky had the worst luck in the world. He often reminded me of the Li’l Abner character that perpetually had the dark cloud raining overhead on him. One time Sparrky drew some doodles of the Peanuts characters and signed his pen-name Sparrky to them. Not even knowing that Sparky was also Schultz’s nickname. Duncan printed them in his Tele Times zine and sent a copy to Schulz. Schulz’s lawyers ended up sending Sparrky a cease-and-desist notice and threats of legal action. They thought he was trying to pawn off fake copies of Schulz original art.
Vincent Johnson was another unique character. Around 35 at this point. It’s funny, at the time Vince seemed so OLD to me. But looking at him now I can see how young he was. One of the most idealistic (in the best sense of the word) people I’ve ever known. For much of his life he had this dream of creating his own sort of hippie commune — which he dubbed Rainbow Village and then later Rainbow Juncture. And lived out his dream to varying degrees of success. While never wavering in his vision of creating a better world.
Me and Vince were such a classic case of opposites attracting. We were polar different in just about every way. He was calm, peaceful, placid. I was exciteable, mercurial, explosive. He was an idealistic dreamer. I was a cynical realist. But somehow we connected