By Hart D. Fisher
Some of my favorite memories during the 1991-94 era of Boneyard Press.
You know, for all the destruction and heartbreak behind the scenes I’ve been revealing, there were also so many great times. I miss all of my friends back in Champaign, so many to even begin listing off (Eric, Dave, Tom, the whole Third Stone crew, Daga Dan, fuck, so many great guys back there).
The “Welcome to the Nation Motherfucker” photo shoot was a full on blast. I had all the thugs come over to my place by the railroad tracks with their favorite toys and we did a full photo shoot barbecue Chevy rodeo. We were drinking, riding the hood of Johnny’ G’s big ass beater around the dirt, being full on knuckle draggers, grilling up steaks.
There was one guy just walking by and when he saw all of the guns, assault rifles, us, shit man, he just ducked his head down, staring at the ground in front of his feet as he walked. You know he was just thinking “don’t look, don’t look, just don’t make eye contact.” God that makes me laugh.
There was a time a buddy of ours, I called him Chemo for his fucked up hair cut, and it was his birthday. He gave himself up to us blindfolded. I mean, he was nervous, but he gave himself up to whatever we had planned and we were fucking with him in the car so bad. I’ve got it all on videotape. I’m planning on posting it on my YouTube channel.
The best is when we got to my buddy Nick’s tattoo shop (Mark of Cain), and Nick’s just revving his gun. rrrrrRRRRNNNNNN. rrrrrRRRNNN. While we laughed and laughed, Chemo’s just shitting his big black boots. It was a hoot. He didn’t take the blindfold off until the tattoo was done either. That’s trust and some will their man,
I loved the bunker comradery that comes with intense life and death situations that were a regular part of my life then. I was a bouncer at a Rock Club in town (Mabel’s) and working there, that could lead to a sucker punch in the mouth from behind to a knife fight on Halloween night. For a couple of years there was a gang problem in town. It was an initiation for the black gangsters to group up and put a white guy in the hospital. It got so bad that the police posted officers on the rooftops downtown with binoculars. I almost got jumped by nine guys in front of the bar one night but I faced them down until the cops showed up.
It was a crazy time, like living through a war. My friends were dying in gunfights, drug overdoses, suicides, fucking brutal, but when we were all together, none of that shit mattered. You drank, you celebrated life with your friends. You clung to whatever ray of sunshine there was because that’s all you had.
I was very poor through ’93 and ’94. There was a time where I was literally fed by my friends who worked at places like Lox, Stock and Bagel. When the manager would go out, I’d slide in, get a big lunch, then take home the old bagels and cream cheese for me and my dogs. I was an insane broke motherfucker with absolutely nothing to lose. When I found out that I had lost my first court case with the Dahmer people because my cocksucking lawyer didn’t show up, I literally put my head through my bedroom door.
When I found out from the police that Michelle had been raped before she died, I ripped the new bedroom door apart with my bar hands then rampaged through the whole house in an incoherent rage. My friend Eric was sitting in my easy chair when it happened, when I came out of my rage and saw him in the chair, his face was white.
“I wish I never saw that.” Was all he’s ever said of it.
SUICIDE – Pencils: David Brewer – Inks: RENFRO
I was a wreck and my friends got me through it. My mother was alienated and repulsed by this new person her son had become. My family was up in Chicago and they were kidding themselves about my mental state. But all the locals in town, the metal heads, the people the college kids looked down on, those were the motherfuckers that had my back rain or shine.
The local metal bands, the wrestling fans, the bikers, the bouncers, they came out in support of me when no one else would. When I was at a bar there was always a drink in my hand from a friend. When someone came to town and needed a place to stay they crashed at my place or me theirs. There were many black nights and I had many friends to walk me through them. My friends and the poetry are what kept me alive. I miss them.
I was the first person to publish Dimitrios Patelis in America, an immensely talented Greek artist who I clicked with right away even through he drove everybody else nuts with his confidence in his art. Dimitri was living in Chicago alone, he’d just split from his chick, and he was working at a Harold’s Fried Chicken shack. I knew his birthday was coming up and she’d just come over and taken their stereo so he had no tunes.
I bought him a big ass boom box and sent it up to him at work just in time for his birthday. The phone call I got from him when he got it, yeah, that was a good day.
I loved getting to work with my heroes in the business. I loved working with hungry new talent like Guy Burwell or Duncan Rouleau, Albert Holaso, William Harms, Eric Perukin, Lance Polin, Stephen Elliot, Dimitri Patelis, Brad Moore, Kyle Hotz, Mark Beachum, Nelson Danielson, Will at Avatar, Wayne Allen Sallee (I don’t get to see him often, but I love this guy like a brother), Vincent Locke, That maniac Buzz and his troll buddy Nelson, Garry Way (another young thug I’m proud as fuck of, and you guessed it, I published him first. His last album with My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade, it really helped me get through some tough moments last year during my wife’s chemo therapy and that’s saying something. Next time I see this kid, I owe him a big fuckin’ hug.), Big B Mark Bernal who walked me through the comic business, Carol B (who helped me start the company), I mean, so many fucking people and so many good times,
Facing down the cops and all of those protesting assholes at the Dahmer cue, that was a shining moment. It was supposed to be a bloodbath with the KKK in full strength, the cops asked me to get out of town that weekend. I hate the fucking KKK so I wasn’t going anywhere. Third Stone played, I had all of my friends backing me, a keg, free watermelon for everyone, yeah, that was a great day.
The conventions and the fans. I love the conventions and the fans. For every douche bag comment in the press or on television, there’s been ten fans who’ve come up quietly to tell me how my work affected their lives, got them through bad times. That carries me a long way. The fact that I turned my idols in comics into friends of mine, to go from reading Cry For Dawn with your Cheerios in the morning, to leading a blind Joe Monks through the back alley barrooms of Mexico City at 2 in the morning..that’s a heavy thing. It’s a beautiful thing that brings me comfort when it’s cold inside.