Typically, I don't go to comics-related gallery openings, but if I lived on the Left Coast, I probably couldn't resist attending the premiere of Under the Influence: A Tribute to Stan Lee, cosponsored by Golden Apple and Gallery 1988, Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 7-11 p.m.

First off, Golden Apple and Gallery 1988 will sponsor a Be a Superhero fund raiser, in which real, live and professional comics artists will doing sketches to benefit the Hero Initiative (formerly ACTOR) of donors as their favorite superhero, so expect to see more sketches of Batman and Wolverine's less athletic brothers floating around Hollyweird than you'd ever care to see. And, Stan Lee of Who Wants to Be a Superhero? will be in attendance too.

I suspect, however, the real attraction for most of you will be the bizarre (who knew Magneto loved ducks?) and cool paintings by folks like Disney designer Eric Tan and Brandon Bird. If you love Eric's take on the X-Men below as much as I do, 100 signed and numbered posters will be available at the opening. Check the Gallery 1988 Web site the day after the show if there are any extras, should you want one...

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