The Stairwell

I worked on Ben Ten this morning, bringing a little Darkstar into the booth with a whole bunch of my friends who I don’t get to see nearly as often as I want.

We had a hell of a good time, as usual, and when we were on our way out, Yuri, Ashley, and I lingered in the lobby of the Cartoon Network building, which is essentially a gallery of wonderful works of art created by artists who work there.

One of the other actors came out of the recording booth, and saw us. “What are you guys doing?”

“Looking at art,” Ashley said.

“And wishing I could afford to buy this one,” I said, pointing to a gorgeous acrylic on canvas of the main characters in Mad Monster Party.

I didn't get the artist's name. If someone knows, tell me and I'll update this.
I didn’t get the artist’s name. If someone knows, tell me and I’ll update this. This was done by Rick “Dienzo” Blanco. Thanks for helping me out, Tara!

“Have you guys ever seen The Stairwell?” He asked us. I could tell by the way that he said it that The Stairwell was capitalized, and important.

We all shook our heads. “No,” one of us said.

“Oh you have got to come see this,” he said. “I didn’t even know it existed until recently when I opened the wrong door trying to find the bathroom.”

He walked us across the lobby, to a door that I’ve seen a hundred times, but never really noticed, if you know what I mean. He opened it, and I said, “… and they were never seen or heard from again!”

The walls in The Stairwell were covered with drawings of all sorts, done in pen, marker, spray paint, and other media. Some of them were dated as long ago as 2005, which I realize isn’t quite The Before Times, but is still one Pon farr ago.

Without realizing it, I was climbing the stairs, drawn forward by drawings of Cartoon Network characters, hilarious scenes and commentary that is most certainly not for being shared on a blog, and then this thing that blew my mind.

I rounded a corner a few flights up and saw that a cardboard Darth Vader had been hung in front of a florescent tube, making it look like the tube was a light sabre. “Yuri you have to come up here right now!” I hollered down the staircase. A moment later, Yuri poked his head around the corner of the landing, and saw what I saw.

“Oh. My. God.” He said.

“Right?” I said. I took a few steps up so I could take a picture … and saw that it was even better: Mace Windu was on the other side, holding out a light sabre of his own. That’s when I noticed that … well, here, let me just show you the crappy cell phone picture I took:

florescent light sabre battleIf you click to embiggen that, you’ll see even more awesome detail.


Yuri climbed the stairs and stood next to me. We looked at this work of art in stunned and reverent silence. Ashley joined us.

“This is amazing,” I said. They agreed.

We walked all the way up The Stairwell, until we got to the top floor. “I hope this is one of those magic stairwells where you get to the top, and when you go down to the bottom you discover all this artwork that you didn’t see the first time,” I said, “and also there’s a circus at the bottom where they give you beer and burritos.”

It was agreed that this would be a fortuitous turn of events, were it to come to pass, and we all started to walk down The Stairwell. As if by magic, or perhaps by merely looking at things we had not looked at on the way up, new works of art materialized on the walls around us, including this little bit of hilarity from 2009:

Star Wars RulesWhat I love about that, other than the obviously correct commentary, is the idea that someone wanted to write “Star Wars Rules!” and someone else thought up what the literal Rules of Star Wars would be, if they existed. There was a lot of that hilarious thing you see on college campuses where someone writes one thing, and someone else adds a comment to it, or subtly changes its meaning.

We made our way out of The Stairwell. I thanked David, the other actor who showed us that particular passage to Art Narnia, and hugged Ashley goodbye.

“Hey,” I said to Yuri as we walked toward our cars, “it’s Wednesday. Want to go to the comic shop?”

“You know I do,” he said.

“I’ll meet you there.”

“Done and done.”

A few minutes later, we were in the comic shop, picking up a few books that are perfect for rainy afternoon reading. When we said goodbye, I told him, “tell your wife I love her, and we hope to see you guys soon.”

“Give my love to Anne, and all your pets,” he said, “and we’ll get together when you guys get back from Texas.”

“Have a great day,” I said.

“I’ve already had a great day!” Yuri said, “everything else that happens today is just icing on the cake!”

Before I could tell him that I don’t like cake, he said, “Wait! This is the icing, because the icing is the best part.”

“Yeah, I just throw the cake away, anyway” I said.

We waved goodbye, and headed to our respective cars. Raindrops began to fall from the dark grey sky.

13 thoughts on “The Stairwell”

  1. Wil, I’ll be honest. Sometimes I think you punch up what you say in your stories just a little so it’s funnier, but here I can tell it’s absolutely you.

    Also, those drawings are so epic it makes me want to throw up.

  2. Haha awesome, my art school had a Stairwell too, covered with a couple decades worth of layers of graffiti. It was much less pleasant to peruse though because it also doubled as a smoking area…

  3. Finally, someone else who doesn’t like cake! I’ve gone through life trying to explain that cake is just not right and no one understands me. Course it also means we would be immune to GLaDOS’ “prize at the end of the maze” manipulations so score on that point.

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