As a native New Yorker I'm trained to look over my shoulder. Be super aware of anything and everything. Watch people's eyes and feet and listen. Take an immediate temperature and quickly assess a situation. Give people space (as best I can). Know when to engage and when to avoid. How to appear tough and/or friendly. Know when to help and HOW to help. More importantly, I try to be open and communal because all we have is each other. Empathy = humanity.
I've ridden the NYC rails all my life and navigated a lot of humanity. The subway system is important and essential. I could write a book of personal stories riding the trains. But during this pandemic -- the amount of people rebelling, smoking, not wearing masks, camping, snoozing, jerking off, pissing, shitting, vomiting, drinking alcohol, cursing, screaming, threatening, fighting and (understandably) having nervous breakdowns and psychotic freak-outs ALMOST EVERYTIME I GET ON THE TRAIN (which isn't often), on top of the fact that half the time I use the subway it skips stops and/or gets re-routed (calling you out F-train!), has made traveling underground untenable and dangerous. And there's hardly ever a police officer to be seen.
The pandemic made a lot of things much more difficult and expensive, exposing so much economic strife and disparity but I can no longer recommend riding the NYC subway system. It's old and broken and -- I hate to admit this -- scary and dangerous. I'm tired of bracing myself and scanning the platforms and cars as I pay my fare and enter the subway fray.
I don't have any smart thoughts or answers of how to make it better. Just felt compelled to express myself after a horrific shooting incident last week inside a Brooklyn subway that got ten innocent people shot and a lot more than that hurt. It launched a citywide manhunt and I was on my way to the Russian-Turkish Bathhouse in the lower-east side of Manhattan when citizens spotted the gunman and cops captured him right around the corner.
More exclusive preview pages from my upcoming Fox story in THE FOX: Family Values one-shot from Archie Comics at Comic Book Resources.
Here's an excerpt from the interview:
"Archie Comics is best known for inventing and publishing classic characters with evergreen stories," Haspiel told CBR. "And they often do it in 5-8 pages! Which is not easy. But time and the undeniable library of Archie Comics's digests that you can still find beyond the comic shop is evidence enough. I tried to honor that tradition in my new Fox story about a reluctant superhero with the worst superpower of all: existential crisis. But it's something all readers can relate to and will most likely confront several times in their own lives as we grow up from junior to senior and watch the world evolve around us, for better or for worse. What writer Vito Delsante, the late/great Alex Toth and I aim to do is humanize a pulp hero, no matter the era, by telling tales of the heart. Therein lies the emotion tether that connects us."
"Mae (She-Fox) was the most interesting character for me to revisit. Half her face and shoulder got incinerated during her fight with The Iron Fox aka Mr. Smile. And there’s only a few ways to respond to such life-altering damage, physically and emotionally, and I’m excited for what she has decided to do in order to move forward."
On April 9th, 2022, I was invited, along with studio mate/writer/cartoonist, Whitney Matheson, and old high school pal//cartoonist/teacher, Josh Neufeld, to help inaugurate the Brooklyn Independent Comics Showcase at St. Mark's Comics in Industry City, BK/NY.
We were interviewed on the video podcast that was live streaming throughout the day. You can see/hear us -- starting 35-minutes in HERE.
Big Ups to Aynsley and Mitch for their hospitality and generosity. Viva BICS!
DO YOU MAKE COMICS? My Nightwork Studio partner Whitney Matheson and I are co-jurors of an upcoming exhibition at 440 Gallery. “Sequential Synergy: The Art of Comics” will explore how comics artists utilize the real estate of the blank page.
Application deadline is May 10th! All artists are encouraged to apply—we can’t wait to see your work.