I’m still working on what is becoming a bloody huge blog about UKCAC that’s spanning 12 years and it’s getting a bit out of hand, so I’ve decided to separate the GLASCAC part of UKCAC’s history for a separate series as it was getting too big for it’s boots. Also, working at the Bristol Expo at the weekend meant more and more tales were remembered so I’m going back over things and adding in stuff.
However a few stories don’t fit in anywhere and are so grotesque they sound like sketches from Blue Jam. Be warned, don’t go on if you’re at all squeamish…..
The first story is of Siegi’s Comics who were based in Canterbury in Kent. The shop was run by a pair of brothers, and named after the eldest, Siegi. Both brothers made morbidly obese American’s look like Posh Spice. This is a fact you need to remember…
I knew them because they used to do the various London markets and of course, UKCAC. They were harmless enough but the general consensus was at the time that how on earth they weren’t dropping dead of heart attacks as they’d turn up to say, the Camden comic mart, set up and proceed to demolish as much fast food as possible.
Then they vanished from the scene and the shop closed sometime in the late 90’s with nobody knowing what exactly happened to them. Thankfully Justin Ebbs of Just Comics filled us in with the full story one day while we were setting up at a London mart, possibly even a UKCAC….
Seigi had died of a heart attack. This came as zero shock, but what happened when he had his heart attack did as you see, when Seigi had his heart attack he was standing at the time so he collapsed on his haunches as the weight of his body split him in two so he disemboweled himself as he died.
Now I have no proof this is real and Justin was known for the teller of tall tales and Google doesn’t have all the information on the planet so file this under ‘skeptical’.
The second tale is real, and the facts are all so very true as we move from Kent to New York for the tale of George Caragonne.
Caragonne was another morbidly obese person who was desperate to get into comics. Now that’s the reality for 95% of people reading comics in that they will never, ever do anything in the world of comics. That’s why I count myself in being extraordinarily lucky in falling into the world of comics, but for most people it’s a dream as you either have to be very fucking lucky or work like a total bastard, sometimes it’s a mixture of both and yes, I’m ignoring the horrible nepotism and misogyny in parts of mainstream superhero comics because that’s for another time.
Anyhow, back to Caragonne. He was working in a number of crap jobs and somehow managed to blag himself his way into the industry due to Jim Shooter giving him work for some of Marvel Comics lesser titles and their children’s comics in the 80’s. One version of this is that Shooter felt sorry for him and decided to cut him a break. For those who know Shooter’s story that’s possible but realistically Caragonne probably had enough to convince Shooter he was a reasonable talent and gave him a job. Whatever the reason, he found himself in the comics industry and in one of those massive instances of luck I mentioned he managed to meet Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse and a very, very, very rich man.
Somehow Caragonne convinced Guccione to start doing soft porn comics firstly for Penthouse, then as a separate line of comics and they were very, very successful for the short period of time they were around.
Problem was that Caragonne was suddenly rocketed from a world of comic book geekdom into that of millionaires and porn, so he developed habits and built up a world of debt which is admirable when the story was he was getting paid a six figure salary. To help supplement his income the rumour was he started dealing coke using the Penthouse Comics office as a base, not to mention ”borrowing” money from Guccione without ever having the intention of paying it back.
Eventually his employers sussed all this out, fired him on the spot and this pushed Caragonne over the edge, which considering by now this already sketchy person was a massive coke user suffering from mental illness this was not a good thing.
One day he decided to go to Times Square in New York and went into the Marriott Marquis hotel.
He entered the hotel. Asked if it was true that this was the tallest building in Times Square, to which he was told by staff it was, so he took the lift to the top to the atrium. Here he stuck on his Walkman headphones, put on a tape featuring film themes including the James Bond theme, stuck his face in a massive bag of coke and jumped off the ledge to plunge 45 floors to what he probably hoped was a quick and painless death.
Problem was that as he jumped, his arm and head were torn off when he hit part of the building on the way down which meant he died quickly but painfully however the worst is yet to come.
Caragonne’s head, arm and body landed on the glass roof of a restaurant on the ground which was full of families enjoying a buffet spread while watching Caragonne’s head with it’s wide-open eyes slid gorily on the glass roof. To say that people were traumatised is an understatement.
Now for years, we’d passed this story off as one of Justin’s Tall Tales. We brought it up this weekend as one, until a few hours ago I remembered to Google it and found that Caragonne has a Wikipedia page and there’s also this post which confirms much of the story.
Who said comics were boring?
So after all that here’s some satire for a bit of light relief.