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About "Dan Brown"

I do a bit of everything for The Free Press. I edit copy, write columns, report, and blog on I've been with the paper — which I delivered as a kid growing up in Poplar Hill — since 2005. My main passions are pop culture and local personalities, and I also do a weekly column about graphic novels. Like what you read? Got a beef? Send me an e-mail at or tweet me at @DanatLFPress. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cho displays towering talent in urban Shoplifter

- September 14th, 2014

You can read my latest graphic-novel column by clicking here.


Forest City Comicon tickets on sale

- September 11th, 2014

Have you circled Oct. 19 on your calendar yet? I have.

That’s when the first-ever Forest City Comicon will be taking place at Centennial Hall.

I’ll be there. And I hope to see you there, too.

As you’ve likely heard by now, the featured guest is Firefly’s Ron Glass. He was also on another little show called Barney Miller back in the day.

You can buy early-bird tickets online or at select London retailers, including L.A. Mood, Uber Cool Stuff and the Game Chamber.

Click here for more info.

This is why I teach

- September 8th, 2014

I heard an amazing story about Joan Rivers in the wake of her death last week.

As an aspiring stand-up, Rivers came up through the comedy clubs in New York in the 1960s with a bevy of humour heavyweights.

Among her contemporaries: Woody Allen, David Brenner, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.

Quite a rogue’s gallery of talented funnymen, hey?

Although they didn’t have much else in common, they all revered the same mentor — the foul-mouthed Lenny Bruce, who was then reinventing comedy as it was known.

Bruce didn’t tell mother-in-law jokes. He was describing the world as he saw it, telling it like it is with words that inflamed and outraged the authorities.

Rivers, just starting in her career, wanted to do a similar thing.

She was at one point playing a series of shows – and bombing every night. Life as a woman on the comedy circuit wasn’t panning out the way she had hoped. Her confidence was faltering.

At many shows, she worked for hat money – the audience passed around a hat and chipped in a few bucks for the laughs.

Then, a bolt from the blue: One night, Bruce passed her a note. She opened it up. The masterful comedian had written, simply, “You are right and they are wrong.”

The supportive message literally changed her life. She got the courage to persevere. She cherished Bruce’s thoughtfulness so much, she kept the note close to her heart when she went on stage, right inside her bra.

It was a moment that meant something.

Flash-forward to decades later. Along with the others, Rivers had gone on to redefine comedy again. Those other starving comedians had all become giants in their own right. Their collective impact on the culture was huge.

Rivers met up with Pryor and they got to reminiscing. Bruce was gone, dead before his time. Rivers revealed to Pryor that if not for the fateful note, she likely would have quit and gone back to being a suburban housewife.

You’ve already guessed the punchline, I’m sure. Bruce had given the same note to Pryor.

Behind the scenes, unknown to anyone else, he had been working to support Rivers and her friends. He saw something in them that the world hadn’t recognized yet. He passed on the spark of his confidence and, in a very real way, changed the profession forever.

One person can do only as much as one person can do. But one person can do so much, change the world even.

And that, my friends, is why I am a teacher.

If you’ve ever wondered, this is the reason why I do what I do – in the hope, in some small way, that the world will become a better place.

If you haven’t tried being a teacher or mentor, maybe you should.

I have always believed in the power of the individual.

Maybe you, like Lenny Bruce, will wind up changing forever how we think about life on this planet.

We would all be in your debt.

Antennas Everywhere a break from comic norm

- September 7th, 2014

You can read my latest graphic-novel review by clicking here.


Bookworms will warm up to Hitchcock parallel

- September 1st, 2014

Check out my latest graphic-novel column, which you can read by clicking here.