Friday, August 12, 2005

Ron Frenz: The Perfect Storm

So a few weeks ago I'm at one of those oil-change franchise shops over in the Glen Burnie area getting my car serviced. I got to say that was one of the best oil-change places I have ever patronized. Not because of the decor, which has the typical uninspired funtionality, It was because I didn't get a hard-sell.

I went in, told them I wanted an oil-change and they did it efficiently and quickly. The staff didn't try to tell me I needed extra equipment, transmission flushing or wiper blades. I can't tell you how much I appreciated that and they will get my business again.

Without exception while getting service in San Diego, I or my wife always got the scare tactics from the crews. On one particular visit I changed the car's air-filter in my driveway just before heading down to the service center, and they tried to tell me I needed a new one for $25 or it could damage my car. Apparently they didn't notice the brand-new empty air-filter packaging I left on the front seat of my car when I came in. On another visit to a different garage one of the staff hurries over, dip-stick in hand and shows my wife the 'dirty and dangerous' state of the transmission fluid. Now this is just predatory and it really got me annoyed. I told the guy we declined the additonal $55 service but he ignored me and kept talking to my wife, who was starting to get freaked about the 'possible $5000 repair in the future if YOU DON'T ACT NOW'. So then I had to get firm. Go ahead and do your 13-point inspection, I appreciate it and will listen to you if you find any problems and address them...but don't try to scam us.

So while waiting for the service to get done this time I was flipping through the selection of magazines and came across this single-page feature in the May 2005 issue of Outdoor Life.

Some of you may be familiar with Ron Frenz' work. He did the art chores on Marvel's Ka-Zar, Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, Thunderstrike, Thor & DC's Superman, among other books. I always appreciate seeing a comic artist work in other than the traditional outlets fans may be familiar with, like Joe Kubert's (and probably students and sons) military illustrations for PS Magazine.


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