My car broke down.

It was sometime early in 1994 when I had this car. An old convertible. Its carburetor needed fixing. I thought I could do it myself. Turns out it ran horrible. I called around and found a shop in Berkeley that specialized in old cars and carburetors. They could rebuild it for cheap, and done right.


I limped the car over there one Saturday, planning on taking BART back home and picking it up in a few days. No biggie, problem solved.

I got there early. They weren't open for another half hour. Across the street was a used book store that was open, so I went in. Amongst the books were a number of decent graphic novels, one of which caught my eye: The Tower. I'd heard of it advertised in the back pages of old Heavy Metal magazines. Flipping through it, it looked pretty interesting. So I bought it.

When I first read it back then I was mildly entertained and filed it with the other books. The Tower's a kind of story that unfolds with small events and very gradual action, almost no action really.

I think was intended to be a meditation on dreams and fantasy, something that we've lost a bit in this 'right now' yes-or-no factual world we live in.

Story-wise, it's the tale of a 'sector keeper' of sorts of an enormous tower. His name is Giovanni, and he's pretty upset that no one's been coming around to relay his reports. He keeps his part of the tower in good order, but eventually has had enough. He decides to fly in a glider over to the other sectors to have a word with his superiors. There's an accident, and he plummets! Later, he wakens to find himself under the care of a well-to-do philosopher/doctor/astronomer named Elias Aureolus.

He introduces Giovanni to his assistant, a beautiful woman named Milena. She saw Giovanni fall in her telescope, which led to his rescue. The two of them pair up (both romantically and in adventure) to discover the top of the tower. Along the way they see many wonders. Each panel is a beauty to behold, very much in keeping with old engravings by Piranesi or Doré. At the very end they wind up in color and in battle!

Stories can wander...

I forget that sometimes, I think we all do. You can have a story that meanders. A plot that plays out quietly without big fanfare. The Tower is more in alignment with someone who stares at paintings, imagines stories, scenarios, characters.

I'm glad my car needed fixing.

Read Mayfield Eight Part 1: Into the Rat Hole!

Calvin Ryder, a young fry cook agrees to go on a motorcycle road trip to celebrate his birthday. He runs into a Biker Gang: The Banshees!

Read Part One

Read Mayfield Eight Part 2: White Meat!

Trouble ensues for Calvin as his friend conducts a back- room drug deal. He didn't count on it taking place at The Banshee's headquarters!

Read Part Two

Read Mayfield Eight Part 3: Faster, Faster!

The Banshees are onto Calvin and out for revenge. He gets the help of a lone confederate: A woman named Angelina.

Read Part Three
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