Friday, October 28, 2011

Aoki Doki!

My former boss (cartoonist and Manga freak) Deb Aoki posted a tweet about Ho Stage the other day. I'm not sure how she found it, but it's cool that she mentioned us to her friends. My favourite thing about it is the first word: "Huh!" I usually see that word with a question mark attached. This is the first time I've ever seen an exclamation point after it. If you read it right, it sounds like you say it. A pronounced breath? Like a respirated "okay", or "gee", or even "well I'll be darned". Surprised, but not shocked? That's how I took it.

Deb acted suprised, but I wasn't shocked when the owner of Funk Pistol, the store we worked at, fired me over the phone. He said "you know why I'm doing this, don't you?", and I figured it was because we weren't making much money, so I said "yes." Deb seemed not to have expected my firing, but her roomie at the time let it slip that Deb told her before work that day "I gotta go fire somebody tonight."

About a year later, I realized it looked like I was stealing. Not that I wish I was, but I'd rather get in trouble for something I did, than be falsely accused. But I didn't actually get accused, neither. Business wasn't booming at the time I got fired, but I was still airheaded & unfocused as ever. Groups of cute skaters/graff artists/break dancers would come into the store when I was working. I was obviously a big fag, so some of the guys would act as a distraction, while the others would get away with jeans, shirts, shoes, whateva! I must have looked real shady to my co-workers the next day, when there'd be no money in the deposit, but lotsa bare racks & empty hangers. How embarrassing.

I ran into Deb recently one First Friday out in front of Kumu Kahua Theatre. (That's us in the pic above, with writer Gary Chun) They were having an artists' signing featuring about 10 illustrators & comic artists. I'd remembered Deb used to draw, but since I don't read the newspaper, I hadn't realized that she had a regularly featured comic strip in the paper! I dug through her comics, and although I couldn't find any that had to do with sex work, one could be read in a naughty way, if you're feeling tacky. It's a bit of a stretch. But even by itself, it's cute, and very her.

Thanks Deb!

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