The Inter-net is a wonderful thing, besides bring information to you it also brings old friends. Lyle was a artist I found by way of a comic shop owner in Califorina in '83 (I think), He was a truly amazing artist with a style I hadn't seen before though I guess Bode' comes to mind. Well now Lyle is back with us and I will be updating this page with art and stories as Lyle now lives in works in TOKYO!!!!
Hopefully Lyle will give us an inside view of BADLAND.
Welcome back Lyle. Some of his stories from the Land of the Rising Sun
It was inevitable; I am a sports fan, I’ve got a TV and I live in Japan. I am now into Sumo and watch it at any given opportunity.
The appeal of Sumo lies in tradition and simplicity; two naked dudes trying to push each other out of the ring or make any part of their opponent’s body besides the soles of their feet touch the ground. It has been like that for over a thousand years, the same way. Tradition bound Japanese in the Sumo association work to make the sport as authentic as possible. In the ring where the action is, truly it is the same, but things are changing outside the “dojo”.
The big change over the last fifteen years is the foreign invasion. It started in the 1970’s with Hawaiians. The looming behemoth known as Akebono is actually a home boy from the island whose real name is Chad (Akebono is his wrestling name). He was the first foreigner to have taken the title of Yokuzuna, grand master. At the time there were also Japanese grand masters so perhaps there was a somewhat harmonious feeling with these new bloated imports. But with the recent retirement of Takanohana, there are no Japanese grand masters, in fact there is only one grand master. Asashoryu, the Blue Dragon, from Mongolia.
This Sumo bad boy had proven to be a nightmare for the Sumo association. At a mere 130kilos Asahoryu is lean, mean, fast, vicious, arrogant and nearly unbeatable. His antics on and off the ring have brought unwanted controversy to the sport. When he pulled on the top knot in the hair of a fellow Mongolian wrester he was known to dislike, Asashoryu shocked traditionalists who feel the Yokuzuna should be the embodiment of the restraint and stoicism in Sumo. There where calls to strip him of his rank. Most recently Asashoryu failed to show up to the traditional Sumo event on New Years day because he was in Mongolia visiting family. Then a photographer caught him wearing a business suit, when he should only be seen in public in his Kimono. The Sumo association was outraged and once again threatened to strip Asashoryu of his rank. In response Asashoryu came to the tournament and trashed the competition. In a display of fast and furious wrestling the Yokuzuna took out every competitor within seconds, throwing men 100 pounds heavier like sacks of potatoes (see drawing). Slapping, pushing and thrusting to a rare “Sensho Usho”, meaning an unbeaten 15 and 0 tournament winner.
I love Sumo, it is really violent and brutal. When the fighters fly off the raised wrestling mat into the audience or when the sound of the initial impact picks up on the TV like two coconuts smashing together, I feel I am watching one of the most intense and real sports in the world. I appreciate Asashoryu not only because he is a great Sumo wrester, but because he’s the outsider. I really relate to him because he is dedicated to excellence in the ring, but he’s his own man. I feel the same way. I want to dedicate to excellence in what I do; my drawing, teaching, cycling, but I don’t want anyone to dictate to me how to live my life. Just respect the results.
|| Tokyo Crow.|
Enough already, you think were soft here in Sushi-ville? Oh, New York, so tough. And Chicago, chi town, don’t mess. No, you folks are way off. There is one thing every so called “tough” city in this ever loving globe of ours lacks that makes Tokyo just that much tougher. The Tokyo Crow..
Oh, you say, oh Lyle, you silly. We have crows right here in California, they’re noisy little pack animals on wings..
The animal you call a crow is a laughable, mere Karen Carpenter like version of the crows of Tokyo. This animal first came to my attention as a baleful cry on a deserted early October morning in my first days here. I thought it was a cat fight, and though it is true that Tokyo streets are swarming with the feral spawn of un-neutered felines this echo from the streets above caused me to inquire to Yoshiko what it could be. She was surprised that I had no afore knowledge of the Crow, and though it would be days later before I would truly behold the winged beast, it’s haunting cry in our early jet lagged wanderings would leave me curious..
In the days coming up to my first sighting I found more disturbing information on the Crows. They invaded the streets ripping apart trash cans and tearing plastic bags with ease, strewing garbage across the normally tidy Japanese streets. Some objects that were taken from garbage cans were frighteningly large, leading me to believe I was dealing with a sort of uber-crow. Yoshiko informed me to take caution on trouncing through the local parks as it has been reported that Crows attack people from above, drawing blood and inciting fear in the hearts of early morning joggers..
Finally, it was my turn to witness the beasts. It was when I first moved in to my apartment on garbage day. The crows gather in teams and call out where the good morsels are easiest to render and plunder. These crows are about the size of a hawk, with large squared heads and beaks a raven would be envious of; big and scimitar like. The calls of the crow can range from the cry of an infant to the sound of an ambulance call horn. Because there are no rivals to the winged menace, they walk the street like sinister pigeons, unafraid of you coming within feet of them..
Though I had heard stories of the crow’s viciousness, I took the risk of riding my mountain bike through the trails carved into the slopes by the homeless folk, who camp out in Yoyogi park. The tree tops and leaf covered embankments were filled with crows calling at me and each other upon my appearance. They were loath to move and bobbed around or hovered close as I passed. But though I was intimidated, I found that crows save their most vicious nature for each other. What I believe to be alpha male struggles are to put most other animal species to shame. The crows rip and rend each other while grabbing with their claws causing feathers to fly and total loss of control while the other crows gather around and squawk their approval and place their bets. The most dramatic battle pitted to especially big fellas who tumbled down the slope of a hill in a death grip. The slope ended with a ten foot brick wall which the two tumbled off of and fell to the sidewalk below, neither yielding as blood feathers and shreaking caught the attention of even the most self absorbed salary man walking by. Then the two flew off still nipping at each other, neither giving ground..
Attached is a drawing, as the crow is one of the inspirations that I have found in my time here so far..