Back-up Vocal~ In crafting this one, I was struck with the revelation that Manny and Soxx could only be baffled upon real, first-hand exposure to British culture. In the mind of Manny, the teatime tradition would make no sense if not served in a GIANT mug bearing the DBS 3 logo. Because, any custom that was not designed to empower our hero’s ego problems can only be flawed at its core. I drink a fair amount of tea myself, since a majority of our Pittsburgh seasons are comprised of autumn and winter (if we get spring at all, blink and you WILL miss it). If given the chance, I would welcome the opportunity to indulge myself in a steamy, hot beverage served in a GARGANTUAN DBS 3 mug. After reading Manny’s thoughts on the prospect, I can’t help but feel that he’s right and I must be missing something. 

Longtime readers will know that Marillion is my absolute favorite band and I throw down with free promotion in these pages whenever the moment presents itself. Manny’s observation is dead on the money. In 2017, Marillion completely SOLD OUT the Royal Albert Hall in WELL UNDER 30 minutes. Wanting to mention it in my Comic and provide accurate information on the matter, I dug around as best I could to cite the time count. I even consulted the Marillion – North American Fan Page on Facebook, as I am a member there and reaching out to my extended family felt the proper way to go. Even there, reports varied. At last I got my hands on the “Marillion All One Tonight Live at The Royal Albert Hall” CD and Blu-Ray release (worth EVERY penny) and drummer Ian Mosely even commented on the matter in the accompanying movie. Still, the window seemed to range between 3-10 minutes for my boys to part with every last available ticket. In the end, I opted to error on the side of caution and 20 minutes was the safest route to take. While I haven’t been to England in decades, from everything I can gather I am still surprised myself that Marillion are not more of a household name in their homeland. I’ve even had occasion to meet British folks as they’ve passed through Pittsburgh over the years. When I’ve brought the name to the table, I find that they either only vaguely remember the band and think they broke up decades ago, or they don’t know about them at all.  Meanwhile, Marillion have been making albums and touring THE WORLD for WELL over 30 years now. Part of it lies in Progressive Rock being such an insulated and specialized music genre. Part of it also rests in the fact that major record labels have really never known how to promote Marillion the right way. That’s why Marillion INVENTED what we now know as “Crowd Funding” back in the very late 90’s and handle their future themselves. It may not get them U2 or Kiss caliber notoriety, but it gets them the most ravenous and devoted fans on the planet…and I’m one of them! For yours truly, they are a magical band (Bass player Pete Trewavas is A GOD) and I am so thrilled their Royal Albert Hall performance was such an incredible validation for them, that my own guys agreed WE NEEDED to give them a Shout-Out, too.  Well done, Gentlemen! 

Honestly, I’m not sure how much Cricket as a sport still holds sway in current British culture. That bit was more of a wink and a nod to the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie. Couldn’t resist it. Whilst writing this Comic, I found the old “Red Dwarf” sitcom theme song stuck in my head. I not only watched the title sequence online, but I also procured used DVD copies of Seasons 1 and 2. Once I started watching again, I instantly remembered why I used to love it so much. What’s more, I also found I felt a certain kinship with the crazy nature of the show, in relation to Mannyacs. Now, I mean in NO way to place my work on the same level as “Red Dwarf” brilliance. It was really because both the foundations of the show and my Comic represent a considerable step to the left of center and both require an unorthodox mindset to be loved. Manny wouldn’t have it any other way, “Govna”!