Well, after the Crumb post, I thought I'd swing the other way completely and bring happiness to everyone, especially Nancy!
So, if I wasn't in a basement reading comics in my teen years, then what was I doing? Well, there are no basements in Cuba or in Miami. And in Hialeah, the section in Miami I lived in, there are plenty of bodeguitas, bakeries, mechanics shops, etc., but no comics shops that I came across.
So, I spent a lot of time at the Library, in the Art section, looking at books on Picasso, Degas, Klee, and many, many others. It was all alphabetized, they do that at libraries, and I went through them all. One of my favorites was Odilon Redon. I loved so many of his things. Especially his flower still lives done in pastel on paper.
Many people painted flowers before him, but I find a lot of those too pretty and boring. Redon's flowers just have a specialness to them. The compositions are sometimes unique, the vases at the bottom of the paper. When you see one in person, you can really appreciate the little dabs of pastel here and there that make up the whole of the arrangement.
Anyways, this post could be more controversial than the Crumb thing, since I'm telling a bunch of comics fans that I like pretty flowers, but I can take it. Redon rules!!!!
I spent many of my WILD teenage years in Miami entering art and Science competitions. It was a wild time for me guys. The pressure to keep my straight A report card and a clean 4.0 average was overwhelming. Reading all those Advanced Placement European history books, making my way through all that Calculus, I mean, talk about getting high on something.
I became addicted to Cuban espresso coffee, all provided by my mother, who kept saying "toma café, chico, toma más!". She's such a caffeine pusher. My dad would chime in and say "Study" every couple of weeks. That kept me straight and on the caffeine, man, you don't want to get that guy mad!
No LSD, pot, coke, or any of that for me, man, just straight up on the Bustelo café!