The Henderson Nerd Posse
By Ilan Mochari
I went back to my hometown not long ago, and the trip (family, holidays) made me so nervous that I had to buy a new book for the ride down. I stopped inside Hub Comics (19 Bow St), where manager Jesse Farrell – after listening patiently to my likes and dislikes – recommended the graphic novel Human Diastrophism by Gilbert Hernandez. I’m not the only Somerville resident grateful for a store providing such personal service. But I had no idea how beloved Hub Comics was – and is – in this community until Scout began researching the sad passing of Hub’s founder, James Welborn. Michael Schulman’s feature (p. 24) paints a vivid picture of the Welborn so many residents loved, and the store he leaves behind.
In high school, Welborn wrote two issues of a comic about his hometown in Nevada, which he called The Henderson Nerd Posse. His experience trying to create a series is one reason he was so supportive of Somerville’s aspiring comic artists. I hope that somehow, he knows that his store made it easier for me to return to my own hometown.
Ever wish that the media asked candidates some real questions? And that the candidates answered? In Adam Vaccaro’s overview of Somerville’s elections (p. 30), almost every candidate offered specifics about two things: (1) Wal-Mart coming to Assembly Square and (2) ideas for improving the city. Their answers about Wal-Mart might surprise you.
In addition to quizzing candidates on Wal-Mart, Scout spoke with Somerville Local First (21 Properzi Way) about the retail behemoth. Martha Spizziri’s article (p. 28) probes SLF’s views and offers a “Pros and Cons” breakdown of what a Wal-Mart in Somerville would mean for all of us.
Speaking of pros and cons: Scout writer Shannon Cain Arnold assessed them recently when it was time for her and her husband to choose: Should they stay or should they go? They loved Somerville, but explored moving to a suburb to start their family. If you find yourself contemplating a similar decision, you’ll enjoy Shannon’s candid essay (p. 14).
And if you’ve had your fill of politics and serious subjects, fear not: This Scout also includes a profile of singer-songwriter Dan Blakeslee (p. 26), also written by Adam Vaccaro. Blakeslee served the first ever residency at Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave). And at two in the morning, he sometimes leaves his apartment and sneaks into a stone chapel at Tufts to practice his music.
Don’t tell all your friends.
Scout would like to thank music writer (and occasional Scout blogger) Mike McCullagh for the Blakeslee story idea.
Corrections: In the previous Scout, we misquoted two candidates. Michael Nionakis cited hockey coach Jack Parker as someone who said, “What Park? What Parish? and What Square?” were the three defining questions everyone who grew up in Somerville could answer. Scout mistakenly wrote “One Park, One Parish, One Square.” Todd Easton referred to the issue of school flight, i.e. residents leaving Somerville because of the schools. Scout mistakenly wrote, “fights” instead of “flights.” We regret the errors.