Sad, sad news to pass on. A dear friend and colleague, Rod Gilchrist, has passed away from cancer. Rod was director of San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum and graciously allowed me to join the Board of Directors after I barged into his office in the late 90s and gave him a list of 20 things to improve the museum. He could’ve punched me in the face right there and then, but he didn’t.

Instead, I got to watch first hand as the museum grew and flourished under his watch. Working with him and the rest of the museum staff is one of my fondest memories of living in San Francisco.

I was fortunate enough to visit Rod a few months back and show him photos of the Fetus formerly known as Lil Gravy. The last thing he said to me was that he was looking forward to meeting the lil bugger at Wondercon…

A public celebration of Mr. Gilchrist will be held at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum (655 Mission St.) on Fri. March 20th at 7pm.

*WONDERCON WRAP-UP..
Lo and behold, the recession is in full swing!! I say that because Wondercon was a bit slower for me this year, though still very good. It was enhanced by the presence of one Mr. Steve Notley and the first public appearance of aforementioned Fetus formerly known as Lil’ Gravy.

The boy charmed the heck out of everybody, but forgot to sell books. I’m already disappointed in him.

Great party and Watchmen exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum on Friday night. If you’re into the movie or the comic, you gotta check out the exhibit. It runs til July.

*WATCHMEN
Friday at midnite, I attended an Imax preview of Watchmen with Steves Leialoha and Notley. I have not read the graphic novel, so I was going into it purely with movieness on my mind so please take this assessment with a grain of salt.

It’s a very good, flawed film. The opening sequence and credits are worth the price of admission. But there are some things that work in a comic book that don’t work on the movie screen. Such as Dr. Manhattan’s endless contemplating. I need mutant on mutant action when I see a superhero movie.

They used one or two too many pop songs in there, also.

But it’s good to see Jackie Earle Haley working regularly. And I enjoyed the ending, but am looking forward to the squid in the director’s cut.

*JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME..
I just caught JCVD on DVD the other day. If you haven’t heard about this movie, don’t. Just rent it through Netflix or at yer local video shop and git the bootleg, cuz it’s the poor man’s The Wrestler.

It’s basically Jean Claude Van Damme playing a pretty realistic version of himself: A down and out has-been actor with drug and marriage problems. It made some noise on the festival circuit last year, but barely played in theaters ‘cept for NYC, LA, and SF. See this movie and be surprised. They should’ve used the tagline “You will believe this man can act”.

*PJ MORTON
I’ve tooted this dude’s horn before. He’s a singer/songwriter/keyboardist who channels Stevie Wonder/James Taylor and so much more. He’s amazing and will be playing the Mint in Los Angeles March 27th. Don’t sleep on this dude!!

*MY OLD COLLEGE ROOMMATE IS ON THE PRICE IS RIGHT THIS FRIDAY!!
If you’re reading my daily strip the Knight Life, you’ve been reading about Pudge, my Boston sports-obsessed bud out for a visit. He’s based on the real-life Johnny C., who will be coming on down on the Price is Right this Friday. I kid you not!!

*LETTERS/EMAILS OF THE WEEK..

Keith:
I so enjoy your comic on the Salon site. Your character feels like somebody I know from my neighborhood or somebody I went to school with and I identify with him. That is so unusual and refreshing. Thanks for what you do. Gonna buy the book.

Regards,

E. in N.Y.C.

My Little Victory:

Opening the newspaper’s comic page and finding out
that my favorite comic strip is the newest daily addition! YES!

I am sooo happy you are on the SF Chronicle.
I discovered you reading Funny Times.

Peace,
Vanina

(i just read that hearst and the newspaper union may reach an agreement to keep the chronicle going…BIG victory!!-kk)

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