Hello Stranger #3 Stranger Kids Pinata Sneak Peek
Hello Stranger… It’s been a savage couple of weeks. Two dear friends, Britta and Lee, have taken flight on their next spirit journey, so I wanted to honor them this month by talking on the importance of family… and what it means to us.
I know this isn’t your typical comic blog, but it fits with what Stranger is doing to build foundations. We are creating our STRANGER KIDS division, which will be up on the site very soon. Children’s stories and folk tales will be presented with heart and soul. The classic fables of yore had a way of binding old and young so that all could immerse themselves and travel upon fantastical voyages together. Those tales were the ties that wrapped us up, connecting us to each other and the worlds outside our own. With Pixar, perhaps the greatest filmmakers of today, we are lucky to experience that on film. But it’s when I watch movies like Dumbo, Peter Pan, or Bambi, that I truly appreciate the attention to detail that nourishes all of our senses and our spirit. I remember those times with my family as the most magical of all.
With Stranger Kids, we will keep the dreamers leaping, singing, and wishing. Our maiden property, Piñata will be released very soon. An instant classic created by Ken Locsmandi, it is a fable about sacrifice and salvation. When Pancho, a newly-made pig piñata realizes his destiny at the ultimate “party,” he has a choice to make. Ken, a visual effects guru who has worked on films ranging from The Matrix to Apocalypto, pours his soul into this beautiful property. On the book, Sebastian A. Jones (The Untamed), has co-authored and adapted Ken’s masterpiece, and art genius Tomo has painted it with loving hands. Darrell May and Christopher Garner are responsible for the art direction and beautiful production design respectively.
Here are some sample pages:
Lee D. Haymore
I am listening to the De La Soul (feat. Maceo Parker) classic, I Be Blowin’, and I’m immediately transported back to ‘93: Cruising the streets of Los Angeles in my cherry 1965 Mustang convertible with my New York native brother, Lee Haymore. It’s a Saturday on Crenshaw Blvd, a special time when all the young folk come out, and Lee is head nodding half-sideways with a smile the size of Jamaica. We’re on our way to Leimert Park to get a dose of truth and hopefully catch an eye from a walking tall princess (it was hip hop back then). The Sun God beams down upon Lee Haymore… His angel… My guide.
A king among men.
Lee was an original. I have never met anyone more selfless and brave. The man was utterly fearless, and what I mean is, sure he never backed down from a fight, or from asking out the prettiest girl in the room… but all that came from a sense of “I can” or “I am, I Be.” He approached each day with reckless joy and a sense that nothing in life was unattainable. From humble beginnings, he reached for the stars, ever remaining modest, always with a zest for life. Even when he was sick, which was often, I never heard him complain… ever… about anything.
He was a legend that had stories for days, most of which seemed like they were out of a movie to me. But I will not speak of them, in honor to his humility. It was funny though, whether we were in New York or L.A., everyone knew him, and often by a different name. You could know him too: Smitty, Le Derrick, Big Lee, Magic, Nappy Lee, and Cheda Jones were a few of the many he went by. We worked together on building MVP Records, which became the most critically acclaimed compilation record label by releasing artists that included Muddy Waters, James Brown, John and Alice Coltrane, and Billie Holiday. With Stranger Comics, we were also building something special, both of us comic junkies with a need to make a difference. Lots of stuff we were cooking up: books for charity organizations, teaching troubled youth to read and write, college tours, foundations… this was what I did with Lee, but it was always him. He was a teacher… and a leader. He made me a better man, and I felt safer with him.
So now he is our guardian angel, watching over us, walking us safely home with a smile.
Rest in Peace, Lee. I miss you.
If you want to know more on Lee, please friend him friend him on Facebook.
His legacy lives on through his beautiful wife, Denise, and his courageous son, Justin.