Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jim Steranko, Warrior

Growing up in Brooklyn in the 80's, you certainly come out with some stories. Fortunately for me, I was 6 foot with long hair and a motorcycle jacket with two pairs of handcuffs hanging off the shoulder, so gangs didn't mess with me much. For legendary comic book artist Jim Steranko, youth was a time of gang clashes the likes of which you might see in the movie the Warriors! Last night, Jim took to Twitter to spin a tale of blood and victory...

Street gangs were prominent when I was a kid. Mine was called the Spartans, but it wasn't all about fighting.
Occasionally before school events, war councils of rival gangs would schedule a fight and lay out the ground rules.

The fight you mentioned was far out of town, but at a major football game, with several busses hauling kids to the site.

Our gang drove their own cars & assembled after the game in the school parking lot opposite the local punks & their groupies.

The rules were no knives, no guns, no bottles, but there was no plan to start the gang fight. What the hell--I volunteered!

I said I'd throw the first punch & walked halfway across the gravel of the parking lot. Everybody wore leather jackets & jeans

One of their guys did the same thing, except was he was literally TWICE my size! David and Goliath: Part Two. Damn!

It was too late to turn back-- I thought of it--and we closer I got, the more attitude I saw in him. He'd never lost a fight.

And it was that attitude that did him in. Well, almost. That and a little piece I'd carried for insurance.

It was a solid brass WW1 bayonet grip--without the bayonet. No knives, remember! But it did have four knuckle protectors...
..four brass arches over the fingers with a sharp brass point on each arch! Who says it doesn't pay to plan ahead?
He was smirking, so arrogant he even had his hands in his pockets. Terminal swaggering pretense. That was when I clocked him!
But he was so damned tall, I had to jump up and throw a punch over my head (what the hell is that!). BAM! It connected!
Imagine this: four pyramid-shaped holes suddenly appeared in a line across his forehead--and he began to fold up.
I'd never thrown a punch like that before (or after) and never saw anyone fall like that.

But I didn't stick around for a critique; I got the hell off the front line and let the gang take over.

I'd developed a strategy beforehand that if we were losing the fight, a couple drivers in cars would plow in...
and run over the rival gang or at least block their path. Never happened! The loss of Goliath sapped their nerve.
The fight was over in a matter of minutes--and the lot full of groupies and spectators faded away just as quickly.
If only they all would have been that easy.
Jim Steranko, ladies and gentlemen. This is why God made Twitter.               

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