One of my friends I've yet to really mention yet in this blog is Shane, a.k.a. "Foxy Bano" one of the many older guys I met in my circle of friends. Shane was a tall, pale, lanky fellow with a very interesting facial structure. When I first started hanging around all the thrasher guys he always seemed to give me the business. It was as if he had something against me for being younger, or perhaps he felt threatened by a new person entering the circle. Never the less I really paid him no mind, but inside it was starting to bother me.
I asked some of the guys what his deal was, and also inquired about the nick name "Foxy Bano" As the story goes, Shane was quite pale as i mentioned prior, so the guys used to call him "Shane Albino" which didn't flow or rhyme to well, so it morphed into "Shane-o Albane-o" or "Shane Albane" Over time it was shortened to simply "Bano" Then one night while partying at Dove's listening to Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" a guy named Danny had a bright idea to sing "oooooh Foxy Bano!" over the chorus. The room erupted in laughter and the rest was history.
One day in an English class, that coincidentally about 10 of us from the circle were in, the guys were swapping stories about Shane. Most of the stories were funny things that had happened to him, the kind of stories you really didn't want your buddies spreading around. Myself still being a noob to the group and looking to impress my new older friends, thought it would be a great idea to make a comic strip about Bano. I quickly hammered out a full page comic strip illustrating one of the stories they had told me in class. All of the guys were in hysterics and I had never really seen this light hearted side of them. Feeling like I was finally accepted by these guys, I did what any other impressionable kid would do.....I made more Bano comics!
The next week I was at the Hex Arcade in Bramalea City Centre playing "Altered Beast" when I was approached by Bano. He gave me the usual business like always, but he was extra douchey because he had caught wind about the comics. Now he was challenging me to step outside and fight him in the exact same parking lot where I watched Boots whip Maggot's ass. I guess I was fed up with him trying to bully me and I hit my boiling point. I flung my hands away from the coin op machine, looked him dead in the eye and said "Ok let's go!" The look on his face was priceless as he was a bit taken back by my reaction. Bano paused for a minute, then said "today's your lucky day, I've been Christmas shopping and I've got breakables in my coat pocket" I thought to myself "bullshit" It was clear that my standing up for myself slightly intimidated him to some degree, and he left on his merry way.
The following Monday at school I was hanging with the guys on lunch in the commons area of our high school when along came Bano. This time around his attitude was quite different. He sat right beside me and asked me how I was doing, and he actually genuinely seemed to care. The next thing I knew we were chatting and hitting it off. Bano even asked if he could read the comics, and surprisingly he was a big enough man to have a laugh at himself. We went on o be good friends and he even asked if he could have the comics because he liked them so much. I agreed as long as he was cool with me having copies of my art.
When I first introduced Jerry into the circle, Bano didn't like him either, and he was constantly trying to get me to ditch Jerry. As the years passed on, Jerry and Bano ended up becoming best of friends. Who would of ever thought? As far as my comics go, I had enough story ideas from the guys to make a second comic book, but I never did get around to it, probably because I was accepted, and now good friends with Shane.
Bano never got around to making me photocopies of my own artwork. Was this all a ruse just so he could possess the comics, knowing full well no one would ever have a laugh at his expense again? Now in present time I kind of resent him for this, as these comics were really what won my friends over and I feel they played an important part in my life. Plus as an artist not having your own art is also very frustrating. Perhaps now, 25 years later, I should put out volume two just to spite....and to preserve the legend of Foxy Bano... ;)