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A friend of mine once described my writing style as Hunter S. Thompson meets Hemingway. He did not specify Ernest or Mariel Hemingway, but I thought it to be an interesting thing to say. I told him to go easy on the Guinness & shots for awhile.


Opus IV: A New Hope

 article about opus berkeley breathed
2005-01-22 23:52:22
You thought I forgot about you, didn't you? You've been sitting in your
fancy office reaping the benefits of another well-read cartoon strip.
The sales are piling up and the checks from another best-selling compilation of your cartoons
are pouring in once again. All this has gone on without a single peep
from old Andy Martello. You have been living quite the happy-go-lucky
and care-free existence these days, haven't you, Berkeley Breathed?

Time for old Andy to start a peeping again!



Breathed Hates Me


He Hates MeIt all started out so innocently. I got this gig at The Cheers and
decided to push the envelope a bit and see what sort of power the
internet possessed. How would I find this out? I would abuse my growing
audience and hipster cache' by trying to get the attention of a more famous person in the field. That person? Cartoonist and author, Berkeley Breathed.

I
figured that if I were funny, clever, and hip enough I would gain the
following of a few folks online with time on their hands. I asked folks, my loyal fans (both of them) to e-mail Breathed at his site and tell him about the crazy juggler/writer guy and the fascination with all things Bloom County or Flawed Dogs.
Toss in a few well-placed references to Mr. Breathed's work in my
articles and eventually I would get a little note from Berkeley telling
me to keep up the good work. Maybe even a little signed sketch of Opus
the Penguin for my wall would grace my mailbox.

Enough people
e-mailed Mr. Breathed that his webmaster was forced to remove the
contact page from his website. A good start, but not quite the
recognition I was hoping for. I know the song says you've got to "build a mountain from a little hill," but that minor accomplishment wasn't enough to make the little hill. To HELL with the mountain. Besides, his contact page is back now. He thinks I'm dead, no doubt.

Initially
I thought a little note acknowledging my work would be enough. Then
when it became painfully obvious that my prey was playing hard to get,
I decided to play hard to get rid of and changed my request. I took it a step further and asked to be IN his current comic strip, "Opus".

I
didn't want anything fancy. A little sketch of me in the background or
a mention of The Cheers as graffiti scrawled on a wall somewhere would
have been fine. Just SOMETHING to let me know that we're on the same
page, but not quite cohorts as of yet. I've been buying my Sunday paper
religiously but alas, no mention of old Andy or The Cheers.

So
what do I do now after all these months? Common sense tells me to
simply give up. Quit. Stop thinking I can gain the attention of any
sort of noteworthy figure and concentrate on selling a few articles.
That was exactly what I planned on doing. I'd lost hope and therefore,
lost the war. My quest was over. Or was it?

Fellow writer, staff member at The Cheers, and all around nice lady, Marjo Moore brought me and my quest for a penguin-shaped holy grail back from the dead. How did this happen?



David Lipsky, A REAL Hero!


Lipsky, A REAL Hero!A long time ago Marjo started a blog. That blog was titled, "David Lipsky, Will You Be My mentor?"
Now I am not much of a reader so with all due respect to Mr. Lipsky, I
have no freaking clue who this guy is, but I can safely assume he is a
writer as well.

Marjo, aside from the mild bit of pandering in
the title of her blog, made one simple plea within the "About Me"
section of the site. It read, "This December, all I want for Christmas is a new copy of 'Impossible Dream,' by David Lipsky." That's all she wrote, folks.

"Impossible Dream" was an article written by Lipsky for US Magazine some ten years ago. This article detailed the life and death of Rent creator Jonathan Larson. According to Marjo's new blog, "Marjo Moore: Everywhere You Want to Be,"
she carried that article in her pocket for five years until it is was
too mangled to read. After that, she carried a photocopy of the piece
for another couple of years.

This article meant something
special to her and all she wanted was to one day get another copy of
this wonderful essay, presumably to doom it to a life inside her dark
and gloomy pants pocket.



For whatever reason, Marjo
abandoned the Lipsky fan blog and went about her business developing
her skills as a writer and trying to make a living in this awful
profession. Rumor has it she also started a blog titled, "Andy Martello, Please Stick to Juggling, You Arrogant, Moronic Prick!" but I have no confirmation of such a website existing.

There
her old blog stayed, wasting away in the vast nothingness that is the
internet. There are so many sites out there that are in dire need of
updating there really was no reason for Marjo to worry about leaving
this one out there. She didn't really use up enough bandwidth to upset
the World Wide Web's apple cart, after all.

One day, out of the blue, Marjo received an e-mail. That e-mail was from none other than the author of The Art Fair, and contributing editor to Rolling Stone himself, DAVID LIPSKY! The e-mail was simple and direct.



"Marjo,

Thanks
for taking the time to blog about me and my work. It is the love of
fans like you that makes being a writer mean something more than a
paycheck and an excuse to drink to excess. You're da bomb!


As
for getting a new copy of "Impossible Dream", why don't you take your
stalker ass out of from behind the computer and go to a freaking
library and check their microfiche files? Better yet, cough up a few
measly dollars and order some back issues of 'Us' Magazine. What? I've
got to spell it out for you? Zeesh!


Now leave me alone. You'll be hearing from my lawyer if I ever see you rooting through my garbage!

Your Pal,

David Lipsky

PS: Sorry So Sloppy!"

All
right. We all know that this is not how the e-mail read and how the
story ends. I have had a lot of wine during the writing of this week's
column and that just crept out.

Marjo DID in fact get an e-mail from her hero,
David Lipsky. He found her old blog and was moved by her genuine
emotion, devotion, and admiration for his work. He also sent her a new
copy of "Impossible Dream". Why did he do this?



BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE DO WHEN THEIR WORK IS APPRECIATED BY HUMBLE FANS, BERKELEY BREATHED!




N-O-B-O-D-Y!


N-O-B-O-D-Y!
Believe it or not, I have fans. I get e-mails and letters from people who've seen my shows and read my work. I answer ALL my fan mail and I'm nobody. Do you hear me? N-O-B-O-D-Y! I've sent out souvenir collector's cards,
given out tips to young jugglers, and even gone to shows of other
performers simply because they took the time to write me and tell me
how I've affected their lives. What's one little Opus sketch to you,
sir?

Marjo's tale has inspired me! I have found new life in an otherwise ridiculous journey. I WILL GET MY SIGNED OPUS SKETCH!

I
don't know what I have to do. Perhaps I will have to create a regular
column detailing the sales of Breathed books. Maybe I will start
pursuing the man and his penguin-drawing genius by writing about
Berkeley Breathed in other magazines stupid enough to publish me. I am
gaining popularity and I have quite the internet presence. Sooner or
later, Berkley will have to notice me!



Juggling Penguins!


Juggling
Penguins!Perhaps I should offer a trade. Mr. Breathed, I will trade you
one Flying Penguini Juggling Kit, a rare and out-of-production set of
beanbags with juggling instructions, in exchange for one personalized
and signed sketch of Opus the Penguin. You don't even have to pretend
to like me or my work. You simply have to like the offer and maybe even
want to learn how to juggle.

Somewhere lies the solution. I suppose the only way I can truly find the answer is to ask myself, "What Would Berkeley Do?"

Stay tuned! This is not over!...


Get to know Andy by visting his blog at andymartello.com. Recently he also published a book, The King of Casinos: Willie Martello and the El Rey Club, which you can learn more about here.




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