Tuesday August 15, 2006

Steven Who?

Last Tuesday after our intensive German class, The Wife and I headed over to Elliot Bay Books.  We were hunting a copy of Dzur, the latest novel in Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series.  Having just been released that day, it wasn't out on the shelves yet, we were told.  "We'll wait," we replied, and so we did until we had a copy in our hot little hands.  (Capsule review:  Good, but now I want another one.  For a full review, try here.)

Now, at this point you may be asking yourself, "Just who is this Steven Brust character?"—and you'd be right to do so.  For the answer to your question, let's turn our attention to the pages of Marvel Comics...

In issue #5 of Excalibur—written by Chris Claremont, drawn by Alan Davis, and currently available in a trade paperbackCourtney Ross, the former girlfriend of Captain Britain, has been captured by Arcade, a lame supervillain who, for decades, has repeatedly failed to kill various heroes by stranding them in his not-deadly amusement park Murderword.  (Don't get me started on Arcade.)  As Courtney runs for her life she encounters one wacky situation after another, eventually landing on a stage just before a rock concert begins:

(Click for a larger version)

The musicians on stage are the Earth-616 version of Cats Laughing, a real-life band.  The singer (in the glasses) is Emma Bull, who has written a number of science fiction and fantasy novels, but we're more interested in another member of the band.  See the drummer with the long, dark hair and the moustache, who Emma identifies only as "Steve"?  Yup, you guessed it—Steven Brust was the drummer in Cats Laughing, so there he is, immortalized in four glorious colors.  He even has a catch-phrase:

Olly-olly oxenfree—places, players—it's showtime!

I admit it's no "Up, up, and away!" or "Spoon!", but have you been drawn by Alan Davis and written by Chris Claremont?  No, you certainly have not.  (Unless, that is, you're NPR's Neal Conan or Manoli Wetherell, who have had several cameos in the X-books over the years.)

For more background on Cats Laughing, you can read this fan page by one Katherine "Kitty" Pryde, who describes herself as "Cat's Laughing's #1 Fan".  Notice that she, like Chris Claremont, spells the band's name with an apostrophe—I'm not sure if there was some sort of trademark issue, or if it was just a reference to Kitty's name.

For more information about Brust, head on over to his Livejournal, which he updates regularly.  (Did you know he's written a Firefly novel?  I can't wait!)  It occurs to me that, if I had appeared in a comic book drawn by Alan Davis, I might want to use that appearance as one of my userpics on Livejournal.  So, as a courtesy to Steve, here's a 100x100 headshot snipped from the picture above:

No thanks are necessary, Steve—just keep writing!

[Now playing: "Great Fire" by XTC]

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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I'll also recommend "A Rose for Iconoclastes": remember, "War is bad; peace is good; never use plastic when you can use wood; be kind to strangers; give good jobs to vets; recycle glass bottles; spay/neuter your pets."

Posted by: Doug Sundseth at Aug 15, 2006 10:40:31 AM

I would like to go on record with my belief that this is the best thing to happen on the internet today, without question.

Posted by: Carl Caputo at Aug 15, 2006 7:50:03 PM

How is it that you could write a post about how cool this guy is yet not mention that his full name is Steven Karl Zoltán Brust?

Posted by: includedmiddle at Aug 17, 2006 5:54:50 PM

I think that's the first time I have seen a picture of Steven without a hat. . .

Posted by: jeff at Aug 22, 2006 2:39:16 PM

Actually, Steve's wearing a beret in that picture. If nits must be picked. :>

Very spiffy, Tensor. I've linked you to Wiki. Hope you don't mind.


Posted by: ASZ at Sep 15, 2006 6:46:13 PM

I think that makes Steve the only person to have been in both Excalibur and Sandman.

Posted by: Emmet at Jan 19, 2007 1:25:28 PM

I guess I have seen a very useful blog tester at http://newfileengine.com/
Sorry, I don’t remember the name- just use the search.

Posted by: opius at Dec 2, 2008 7:32:13 AM