Monday, September 29, 2014

Who Farted? -- The Hacker

The Poon Tang Chain Gang was not the only group I belonged to that needed a banner. I also belonged to a group called Who Farted? For their banner I decided to depict all of the members as of the group as members of a super-hero team, in this case the Flatulence League of America. Starting today with myself, I present my initial concept for The Hacker.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Poon Tang Chain Gang -- Take Whatever

So I am looking back to find the link for the head detail in the Poon Tang Chain Gang when I think, maybe I published the finished poster at one time. So I search my blog for "Poon" and find that not only did I publish the finished piece, I published all the works in progress as well, so rather than do it all over again I just thought I would link to the original Poon Tang Chain Gang post and be done with it.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Poon Tang Chain Gang , Take Two

In this second take on the Poon Tang Chain Gang, I have merged the three men together into one three-headed being and added the ball and chain. The woman is no longer dragging them about. Instead they are now escaping from her and the clutches of her vagina cave.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Poon Tang Chain Gang, Take One

Years ago I was tasked with creating a banner for a group called the Poon Tang Chain Gang. You are free to make of that name what you will. This was my first take at it, done somewhere around 2000-2001. The three men in chains were later more detailed in this piece.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Misc Figures

My guess would be I was flipping though the pages of a magazine and drawing what I found interesting. But that is just a guess.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Deadman

I have been a Deadman fan since, hell, since I first came across the character. This is my heavily Neal Adams influenced sketch from some time in the 70s.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Aquaman

I became an Aquaman fan when I first laid eyes upon the cover of Aquaman #37. I was just a kid, but it moved me. There was just something about the figure of Aquaman hold the body of his dead wife surrounded by a rotting sea that grabbed me. Shortly after this Dick Giordano took over as editor and brought in Steve Skeates to write the book and Jim Aparo to draw it and what followed. for the next few years, was my favorite comic series of all time. Anyway, Aquaman, cool character.

Glasses are for Pussys

Glasses were for pussies, or people who gave a shit; Eddie raised the bottle up to his mouth and swallowed twice before tilting it down. He began to cry. What he was doing was a crime; you didn’t treat a good single-barrel bourbon like this. Screw the price, you didn’t do this to something so finely crafted. Good bourbon was an art unto itself; guzzling it was just being disrespectful to the artist who created it. At least he wasn’t watering it down with ice or destroying its delicate flavor by drowning it in Coke like some clueless a-hole. At least he had enough respect to honor the craftsmanship.

Besides, he knew where the road he was traveling down was leading and he decided he didn’t want to go there, no matter how tempting. And he was tired of waking up on the floor covered in puke. He rolled into the kitchen and pulled a glass off a shelf. Eddie was no pussy, but he had decided that he actually did give a shit.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The 44s

We will be cruising with the 44's in less than two weeks! Yes!

Daily Sketch -- The Flash Layout

When I was a kid and first thinking about drawing comic books, there was a Flash 80-page Giant that contained a 2-page section by Carmine Infantino called, "How I Draw the Flash" and it was the first real instruction I ever had on constructing a body or face. I think because of this short feature, I became a huge Flash fan. Makes no sense I realize, but there you have it. So over the years I have played with the Flash over and over. This is just me trying to do some storytelling using a static six-panel structure.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Royal Southern Brotherhood

We will be cruising with the Royal Southern Brotherhood in two weeks! Lucky us!

Daily Sketch -- Contemplation

I drew this a long, long time ago, maybe in the 70's even. It was the beginning of a page layout for a story about a guy contemplating suicide. I don't remember anything else about it.

Bernard Allison - Voodoo Child

Two weeks from today we will be cruising with Bernard Allison. Yeah baby!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Posing

Just a page of miscellaneous poses from my sketchbook. Just me doodling around sometime in the distant past.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Daily Sketch -- The Star Queen

I have no idea how old this one is. This is a character I created in high school, The Star Queen. I haven't seen her in a long time. What a surprise to find.

This Could Be the Last Time

People always talk about the first time they did something; the world seems to revolve around it. Parents remember the first time their children walked, the first time they talked, their first tooth and their first day of school. People remember their first kiss and their first date, their first job, their first car and their first real relationship. That’s the way life is supposed to be, a collection of firsts. They fill your memories and get re-experienced in your dreams. But for Eddie, it was all turned around, all backwards. He couldn’t remember the first time he did anything…but he remembered the last times.

His healthy body he had taken for granted; he had always had it and always would, or so he had thought. He sat in his chair and looked out the glass doors onto his patio and at the brilliant sunset painted in reds and oranges and startling violets across the expanse of sky, and none of the beauty registered in his consciousness. He sat in his chair, sipping a cold beer and the reflection on the window glass made a sort of canvas upon which the movie of Eddie’s lasts played over and over.

On it he saw Emily Connors as he picked her up in his arms and carried her to his bed, where he gently laid her down and then crawled on top of her, kissing his way up her body. He didn’t know that would be the last time he felt the full weight of a woman in his arms. He saw himself in the gym, his strong muscles pushing against the leg press for the 10,000th time, never guessing that the last time he slipped off the machine was the last time he ever would. He saw himself walking to the green and addressing the ball and sinking the four-foot putt, never considering in a million years that it was the last one of his life. He saw Betsy Sherrod, glistening with sweat as he took her hand, his last dance, and her glistening again later that night, his last fuck. For Eddie that one hurt the most. He prided himself in the pleasure he could give to a woman and now that thing in which he had assigned so much pride, so much of himself, was gone and nothing he could do would ever get it back.

It was times like this that Eddie was pleased that he didn’t own a gun. 

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Back to the Creeper

Or maybe, "Back of the Creeper" would be a better title. Another of my Creeper sketches. There is just something about that unusual Ditko costume that keeps drawing me in. This might have been done around 2000 or so.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Canyon Living

Rough sketch for what a much larger piece I did as a possible portfolio page for Mayhem #3. This is called "Canyon Living" and it is an alien world where humans can only live in the depths of canyons and have built a city into the canyon walls. You can see on the right that I added a scale to use when moving this over to a larger art board.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Daily Sketch -- The Creeper

I have found literally dozens of Creeper sketches in my old sketchbooks. I always loved the character and wished something more had been done with this Steve Ditko creation over the years. Most of my Creeper sketches are like this, half-assed and unfinished. This looks to be from around 2002.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Box

It slid slowly down the street, moving in fits and starts along the concrete curb, pushed by the rising waters of a late summer rain. It was unsightly, a white and brown blob skittering past the rows of once-fine houses. Its original shape was undiscernible, this soggy mass of fibrous material. Next week a street sweeper would gather up its dried carcass and it would take its final journey, to the city dump where it would be covered by the flotsam of modern society, compacted along with the other junk of the world back into the soil where it would decompose and never be seen again.

But it wasn’t always a misshapen mass of fibers floating in the gutter. It once had a form, it once had a purpose. It once was new and pristine, with sharp edges, tight corners and neat creases.  It was born in a Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Washington State, created out of recycled paper, corrugated pieces glued to flat surfaces, trimmed, creased, scored, cut, printed and packaged. Sold in a plastic-wrapped package of ten at a Staples office supply in Southern California to the recently widowed Ruth Carlyle.

It was kept flat, wrapped in its plastic packaging for two weeks in the Carlyle garage till Karen Sorenson, Ruth’s eldest, had come to help pack up the belongings of the man whose death had left a hole in her heart. The box was pushed in at the sides to form a rectangle, then flaps were folded this way and that to form the sturdy bottom and double-thick ends. It was a perfect empty box.

The first things it held were three teardrops, shed by Karen as she had attempted to pack up her father’s holiday ties. Instead she had broken down in a blubbering mass as she recalled the years of Christmas mornings, St. Patrick’s Days and Fourth of Julys that were the fabric of her childhood.  The ties were imbued with the odor of her father’s cologne, and when the scent had hit her senses, Karen was bathed in the memories of being held in her father’s strong arms, snuggled into the nape of his neck.

Eventually, the holiday ties made their way into the box, followed by nine leather belts and three cedar shoetrees. All were unharmed by Karen’s dried tears.  

How could something that held the precious memories of a woman’s childhood become just another fragment of societies’ debris? Time. The box had been packed into the back of Karen’s SUV and taken to the nearby Goodwill, emptied of its cargo and thrown into a dumpster, where it sat for two days till a March wind had caught the box and blown it across the parking lot and out into an empty field, where time took its toll. It took six years for the box to make its way across the field to the street beyond.

Then the August skies had opened up and the box’s final journey had begun. 

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Daily Sketch -- Waiting in the Airport

This one is dated so I know it was 2002. I sort of remember drawing this while sitting in an airport waiting room. It is one of those where you don't want it to be too obvious that you are drawing a specific person, so I tried to look nonchalant at I would look up and scan my surroundings then zero in on this woman to actually let the pencil touch the paper.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


The desert stretched out before Carsten, a uniform panorama of wind-swept dunes. He had no idea where he was. He figured this was the Sahara, maybe still in Morocco, maybe in Algeria. Who the hell could tell? You’ve seen one vast sandy wasteland, you’ve seen them all.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing to beat yourself over the head with. When Poplovsky first came to Carsten with talk of transporting a small Holbein portrait to a buyer in Marrakesh, it sounded like an exotic, fun adventure. “You’ll have a blast,” Poplovsky has promised; “Africa is wonderful this time of year.  I would go, but so busy right now. I’ll pay you. No, not hazard pay, it is a straight exchange. You give him painting, he gives you money. No big deal. Really.”  Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with this?

Carsten was to meet the buyer at his hotel in Medina, the old fortified section of the city, at 6:30 PM on Thursday, but Carsten never even made it to his own hotel on Wednesday. His cab from Ménara International Airport took him to an alley where he was pulled from the vehicle at gun point. That was the last thing he could remember before waking up here. The tender spot on the back of his head and the constant throbbing filled in a portion of the blanks in his memory.

Looking at the rising sun he guessed it was Thursday morning. Sun rising in the east, no desert this big to the west of Marrakesh, Carsten turned and started walking west. Not that it would matter. He had no water, he had no shelter, and he had no chance of survival.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Dail Sketch -- Man With No Attitude

This was maybe 15 years ago at a life drawing class at PCC. While waiting for the class to start I did this quick sketch of the model, Dave, doing the same.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Motorcycle

This is a sketch I did while working on illustrating a story by my good friend Alex Ness. Someday I have to finish that final page.


Do you remember the exact moment when you decided Connie did not deserve to live? Sure, it was only milliseconds ago. One moment she is just another bitch busting your balls, making you feel small and foolish and insignificant. The next she has crossed some line you didn’t even know was there. One moment a pain in the ass, the next, dead meat. Don’t you think it is amazing how fluid and adaptive we humans are? One moment you feel depressed and put upon and marginalized and small. Then, like flipping a switch on the wall: let there be light! Let there be fulfillment and a sense of satisfaction. Let all that other shit just fall away. You are going to make the bitch pay. Ah, you rejoice, inside, of course, quietly, for she is looking at you and wondering what you are thinking, wondering the meaning of that strange little smile that has suddenly worked its way across your face.

Let her wonder, you think. Let her have doubts. Soon she will have none. No doubts, no thoughts, no nothing. Soon she will be nothing. Hell, she already is in your eyes. How could you have ever thought you loved her? She is a worthless little twat. She is almost undeserving of even your concern, but no, you can’t let her get away with belittling you. She brought you to this place and you have to make her pay for doing so.

You ponder your next move; how will you do it? You don’t own a gun, and a knife, though somehow seeming to hold a great deal of satisfaction, her ugly red blood spilling from her worthless body, you really don’t want all the mess that a knife entails. But you do want it personal. You do want to look in her eyes as the life seeps out of them. And then you know, you want to feel her struggle under you as your hands slide around her neck, as she realizes she has fucked with the wrong guy. Ah, now there will be some satisfaction for you, there will be exactly what you need to regain your manhood.
So you lunge at her, forcing her to the carpet, landing on top of her. She wonders if you are playing with her, but when your hands meet around her scrawny little neck, she knows. Oh god, you could almost cum from the look in her eyes as she realizes you are not playing around. She tries to struggle, but you keep up the pressure on her juggler. She is thrashing about, but she can’t get away can she? No, she is caught in a trap of her own making. She toyed with your emotions until you just snapped!

And now she knows it. You can see it in her eyes. She stops struggling, she bows to your superiority. She was wrong the way she treated you. You win, she loses. She understands the mistakes she has made. And like that, it is gone. The madness. Your fingers lose their resolve. You stand up as she gasps for breath. You stand up and you walk out the door and you never see her again.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Cabo

This was done in 2007, a sketch of some of the rocks at Cabo San Lucus.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Buns

This one is actually fairly recent. I had a commission to do a book cover a few years ago featuring a young, sexy female serial killer. I downloaded a ton of images for it. This one did not end up being of use, but I always thought it was an incredibly cute butt.

Bad Apple

Oak Glen had become more of a Southern California tourist attraction than an agricultural community, so they did their best to hide their secrets. During the late summer and fall people came in droves to visit Oak Glen and get a case or two of apples or a few gallons of fresh-squeezed cider. Not many knew that the small community ran out of apples by early August and that most of what people bought were from Washington State. Would it matter to most? Probably not. With places like Oak Glen it was the journey not the destination that counted. What mattered were the orchards, the large apple presses creating buckets of cider, the hay wagon rides, the petting zoos, the strudel and pandowdy, and the getting out of the city and into a higher elevation where the smog was not so prevalent. The apples and the cider may have been the destination, but they were not the reason people came.

But still, why press your luck? So the trucks from Washington only pulled into town between 4:00 and 6:00 in the mornings, in and out so fast that no one who wasn’t already wise would get so. Now if out of state apples was the only secret the townspeople hid behind their perpetual smiles and twinkling eyes, things would not have been so bad in Oak Glen. But Oak Glen was not as tired and sleepy as it looked.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Airplane Hoodie

This would have been 2008. I was flying back to Boca Raton every three weeks for two-week stints at Campus Management Corp. to work on their CampusVue software. From the seat I can tell this was on JetBlue.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Faces

I don't know. Faces, but for what or from what I have no idea. Something makes me think I was going to do a Tarzan picture, maybe for the 90th anniversary of the character in 2002, but this is only a guess.


Kyle Talbot sauntered up to the bar and, in his grittiest, mouth-full-of-range-dust voice, addressed the bartender. “Whiskey” was all he said.

A bottle appeared and a shot was poured and Kyle downed it in one masculine, leading man type gulp.

“Cut!” yelled the director, Scott Winningham.

Kyle was upset. There was no burn to the “whiskey,” it being just colored water after all. Kyle needed it to be the real thing today. His head was pounding from last night’s binge and he could certainly use a little hair of the dog.

“Kyle, could you at least look like you get some relief from the shot?”

“Maybe if my motivation were clearer to me, Scott. You’re not much of a director.” Kyle grinned at his own joke, while trying to move his throbbing head as little as possible.

“Yeah, and you’re not much of an actor.” Scott sighed then barked loudly, “Take fifteen everyone!” Scott went over and put his arm around Kyle and started pulling him off the set. “Let’s take a walk Kyle.”

They walked out the door and into an alley between sound stages. Scott leaned into Kyle. “Here’s the thing Kyle. I don’t mind you wanting to screw Beverly; she is a real star and every straight guy on the set wants to give her a pounding. I don’t even mind that you have taken just about every extra on the shoot to bed; hell, they are extras, they have to expect to be screwed. But Kyle, my friend, I do mind when you screw up my fucking scene! You got fifteen minutes, Kyle. Go to your trailer, get yourself a drink, maybe do some blow. Hell, I don’t care if you shoot up, just when you get your ass back, act like you enjoy the fucking shot of whiskey! Because if you don’t Kyle, I will see that this is the last fucking movie set you ever darken. Is that a clear enough motivation for ya, Kyle?”

“Yeah, sure Scott. I got it.” As Kyle walked off towards his trailer he saw a group of extras, huddled together, smoking. One blonde extra in a saloon girl outfit caught his eye. He hadn’t had her yet, maybe she could be his lunch.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Sideview

Another sketch from around 2002 taken from a book of poses.


“What a piece of junk!” Junior eyed George’s new car with distain. It was a 1968 Dodge Dart, so calling it “new” was a misnomer, though it was newly owned by George.

“Man, you aren’t seeing the potential in this baby. Once I soup it up, drop in a Hemi, give it a new paint job, some tuck-n-roll, you will eat those words, my friend.” George shook his head, like he was in disbelief. “Calling my mamacita junk? You will eat every one of those words.”

“That’s no mamacita, more like a skank.”

“Well, that is your area of expertise. I’ve seen who you’ve been sneaking around with.” George laughed and wagged his finger in Junior’s face. “Juanita Hernandez, jeeze bro, and you talk about my taste?”

Junior sheepishly grinned. “What can I say, she may not be much to look at, but she has it where it counts.”

“The problem is bro, you and every other guy in the neighborhood knows exactly what she’s got.”

Junior just shrugs. “You like a well-used car that you don’t need to break in or be gentle with, I’m that way with my women.” Junior leans against the dusty, dented fender of his friend’s Dart. “Man, she does like it rough. Sometimes…sometimes she scares me. I mean, she asks me to do things…things I’ve never done before.”

“These things she asks you to do, do you like them?”

“That’s what scares me bro, I do. I really like them.”

George wrapped his arm around his friend and gave him a man hug. “Some guys are meant for Ferraris, some for Dodge Darts. Some guys need Jennifer Lopez and some need Juanita Hernandez. If you like what you got, own it man. No need to go sneaking around. Take that be-yotch out in public like a man. Show some huevos.”

“You’re right man, I’ve got to treat her better.” Junior smiled. “Who would want Jennifer Lopez anyway?”

“Yeah, who needs a Ferrari when you got a Dodge Dart?”

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Daily Sketches - Poon Tang Chain Gang Portraits

Some preliminary sketches I did for a team banner I once made, back in the day, for a little group we called the Poon Tang Chain Gang. You may be wondering about the odd selection of men, Gandhi, Clint Eastwood and Curly. There is a story there somewhere...

16 Psyche Passes

I don’t know how I’m alive or why.

Worn is not the word to describe my shoes. Hell, there is so little left of them that shoes is not even the word to describe my shoes. I walked for four months through constant rain to get here. Whatever level of abrasive destruction comes after worn, my shoes definitely qualify.

When people first talked of actually mining the asteroid belt it all sounded pretty simple and safe. Most of the precious metals on the crust of the Earth came from asteroids. Along with the comets they also brought all of the water to our planet. So, as we used up what little we had to build circuit boards and microchips and all the other little goodies we had all become dependent on for day-to-day living or what we laughably called social communication, why not go back to the source for more? Only, that damn asteroid belt is a hell of a long way from here. So they decided to pick a big juicy M-Type asteroid, 16 Psyche, and move it closer to Earth.

It was hellishly expensive, but 16 Psyche was the mother lode of all mother lodes. One rock that made up a little less than 1% of the mass of the entire asteroid belt and M-Type to boot. No water on this baby, all metal, 133 miles long, 112 miles wide and 90 miles thick.  They spent years figuring out how to move it. They mined smaller bodies, C-Types, for water and then converted the water into liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen which they used to fuel the large motors they buried into the surface of 16 Psyche.

By the time it came time to move 16 Psyche, they had had lots of practice with the smaller bodies they had consumed for fuel, but, 16 Psyche was different. It was a solid block of metal the size of Maryland and 90 miles thick. 16 Psyche was 155 million miles from Earth when they fired the first of the rockets. They hoped to move it slowly into an orbit between Earth and Mars, about 22 million miles away, then they decided to try and move it closer. That was when they lost control of it.

We knew for years that it was coming and then for weeks that it was not going to miss, that it was the end of all things.  Facing extinction the human race did not show its nobler self. We went out in an orgy of death and violence. It was sickening to see. I took to the mountains of Colorado to watch the world end from high above and to avoid the not so tender touch of my fellow man. I saw the messenger of death kiss the atmosphere and was almost pleased that at least now the inhumanity of man would end.

The mountain began to crumble around me just from the passing of 16 Psyche overhead. I fell and welcomed my death, but I awoke days or weeks later, surrounded by rock but alive. I missed the impact into the Indian Ocean and the blast that traversed the globe after that, but the sky was dark and it rained and rained and rained.
I had expensive meds and a backpack full of dehydrated food and energy pills. I walked and walked through the rain. For a while I scavenged off the carcasses I found and stumbled on day after day, till one day I found this place. I’m guessing it was a really exclusive ski lodge at one point, built right into the rock. More than half of it was crushed, but what wasn’t offered shelter and more rations.

How many of the human race are alive I have no clue, but the world is a dying wet mess and nothing living will survive the perpetual rain and darkness.  I bide my time and wait for my world to end.

I don’t know how I’m alive or why.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Backside

This is from around 2002, I think. I must have been looking through a book of nude poses and drawing them around that time.


I brushed past the outstretched hands holding flyers plastered with pictures of scantily-clad women as I made my way down the strip. Maybe my least favorite thing about Las Vegas was the constant bombardment with escort service flyers in a town where prostitution was supposedly illegal. I’d heard the stories of guys spending $400 for a bottle of Andre sparkling wine and a woman to drink it with in a “special” back room, only to discover that that is exactly what they got. No sexual favors, “Keep your hands off of her buddy; prostitution in illegal in Las Vegas. Drink your wine and then get out.”

I didn’t need the aggravation, though the strip clubs did call and I had a pocket full of ones and twenties, which I knew would be gone by the end of the evening, last known whereabouts, the panties of one stripper or another. We men are puppets to our hormones and hard wiring. Really, it isn’t even a fair battle; most of us don’t stand a chance. We are so easy, so susceptible to the lies that fall from the mouths of strippers as they move in close to talk, their intoxicating aromas filling our heads, their cleavage delighting our eyes.

There is an indignity to it, being manipulated and controlled so easily. I know guys who refuse to go into strip clubs, hell, refuse to even go to a Hooters because they don’t want to give over control to women in that way, and they know they are slaves to their body’s wiring. These friends are probably right; the only way to resist is to not put yourself in the position. Like the end of that movie War Games, “The only way to win, is not to play.” Yeah, that about nails it.

I walk into the strip club and a beautiful young thing takes my arm and shows me to a seat next to the stage. Yeah, so much for winning.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

One Month and Counting

One month and counting. I am going to do my best to enjoy every minute of this.

Daily Sketch -- Vows Page Two

This is maybe 10 years old. A layout for the second page of a comic version of the screenplay "Vows" I wrote with Tom Fudge, this the opening scene, someone waking up after having a vision, getting out of bed and kicking an accordion, then walking past a picture of him in the Polka Pimps.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Dail Sketch -- Vampirilla

This one is within the last few years. I would love to be able to draw this character like the legendary Jose Gonzalez did. He drew the sexiest women in the world.

Dealing With It

I love a good casino with good air filtration. I don’t smoke and the air I have to breathe is usually the only thing I don’t like about casinos. Today there was another thing I disliked.

I play blackjack, not because it is the fairest game you can play (it isn’t), but because I like the simplicity of it. The rules are simple and it doesn’t take long to learn them. The thing to remember in blackjack is luck comes in streaks. If you are not on a streak, you bet the minimum, when you are on a streak you escalate with each bet. When you can, you get your money out and play with the house’s money. It is the only way to really have a chance at winning.

I am sitting in the sixth chair, next to last. I like this position because I get to see a lot of cards before I have to make a decision. I’ve been playing for a half hour or so at a $5 table and am about even. I win some, I lose some, but no real streaks. In chair one and two are these two Asian women who are running the table. They know how to play and they are telling everyone when to split pairs and when to double down and when to hit and when to stay. I like them. They know the rules very well.

The dealer sends an eight and a queen my way. He shows a 3. The Asian women start barking orders to the table, “Nobody take a hit. Let the dealer take the face card!” They are correct. We are all over 10 and in good shape. The dealer has a king in the hole and then draws a jack. He goes bust and we all win. I didn’t know it was the beginning of my streak, but it was.

My $5 bet became a $10 bet and when I won that I pulled my original $5 out and was playing solely with the house’s money from then on. My $15 bet turned into a $25 bet as I pulled in my first profit. After 10 straight wins. I had pulled over $250 in profit and had $150 on the table.

We all get low cards and paint, but the dealer is showing a three. Perfect again. Once again the Asian women send out the word, “Nobody take a hit! Let the dealer bust! Let the dealer bust!” We all do as we should till it gets to the guy in chair seven. He has a minimum $5 on the table and 12 showing. He goes, “Should I take a card?”

We all yell in unison, “NO!”

He gives us this strange, drunken look and slams his palm down on the table, “CARD!” he yells into my ear. He pulls a deuce. His 14 is really no better than the 12 he had to begin with, but he stops. We all stare at him in disbelief that he would take a card when he didn’t need to.

The dealer has a 10 in the hole and pulls an ace, which puts him at 14, then pulls a seven. Twenty-fucking-One. I look at the drunken asshole to my left and say, “You need to learn the damn rules you jackass. You just cost me $300.”

“What, what did I do?”

“Think about it for a while.”

He soon left, but his mistake took all the luck from the table. The Asian women left a few minutes later and I lasted ten or so more before getting up and leaving. Yeah, they call it gambling for a reason.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Daily Sketch -- Green Lantern

Back to some rougher sketches. This would be from sometime around 1987-88. Can't nail it down any more than that. Green Lantern obviously.