Friday, October 30, 2009

The Evolution of Comic Books On Teh Internets

October 29, 1969: Teh internets launched

October 30, 2007: launched*

October 30, 2009: Marvel for iPhone launched on Comixology

October 29, 2012: DC Entertainment "Neural Implant" launched

October 30, 2025: Marvelopolis's "Excelsior 2.0 Brain-Download" launched, option to virtually live in one of several fantasy settings: Asgard, Wakanda, Lemuria, Atlantis, Queens

October 26, 2050: Superman's robot doubles go crazy, enslave planet

October 27, 2099: Kenshiro "Zero" Cochrane, an under-achieving but lovable rogue, gets shot in Transverse City and subsequently becomes the robot Ghost Rider. Kenshiro battles the Superman robots, liberates teh internets, and becomes the avatar of the new age. Kenshiro's nickname "Zero" was ironic, because at heart...he was really a hero.

October 29, 2031: That long-awaited pole shift happens.

October 24, 4025: The printing press invented. The first book to be mass-produced? The Holy Gylrsfarbx, of course. Then a reprint of Detective Comics #27.

October 23, 5026: The beginning of the Direct Market.

October 25, 5089: The Diuoyygfyuf ComicCon starts becoming too commerical.

October 26, 6002: The 26th reincarnation of Stan Lee develops a webcomic, tells 17th reincarnation of Elvira to "get out of paper comics."

October 30, 6005: More damn Superman robots.

October 22, 6025: Dogs and cats become people, use iPhones, enslave humanity, pee in corners of house.

October 28, 7025: Motion-comics become the dominant form of all entertainment everywhere, saves humanity, reduces dogs and cats back to their previous servile state, cleans pee out of carpets, defeats Superman robots.

October 29, 7056: Damn pole-shift.

October 30, 9009: Printing-press invented.

*Please note: between the 38 years that the Internet was invented and launched, there were also a number of comics of various sorts released online: funny comics, sad comics, happy comics, angry comics. But did they have a werewolf western? Nooooooo...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hot "Dark Wolverine" Custom Action Figure

Some action figures look ugly. I mean, their faces: ugly ugly. One day I'll do a post on that, "Top Ten Ugliest Action Figure Faces," though I suspect Topless Robot has already done it.

But this custom Dark Wolverine figure, by "Cal's Customs," looks awesome and scrumptious.

Best of all, when you get sick of looking at Daken's mohawked-mug, you just pop the head off and...Ta-da!

Words I Don't Like

This is a list of words I don't like:

moist: makes me think of water-logged pound cake

yogurt: an ugly word for something that is awesome

multitask: "we just fired three other people in your department. we're going to need you to multitask for a while and do their jobs for free."

maybe: if somebody tells you "maybe," that usually means "probably not" but they don't have the heart to full-out turn you down

never: if somebody tells you "never," what they really mean is that if you send them a big chocolate cake, they will change their mind

anywho: the person who invented this word should be hurt

bran: I know we need bran to poop, but would have preferred "poo-poo grains" or something more fun

chillax: a great word to use when you want to make me even more angry

menses: it always reminds me of the actress Heather Menzies

uterus: a very awkward word that I feel distances women from the wonder of their own bodies. I prefer "baby cave."

content: I know I'm guilty of this too, but...when any sort of creatively-derived work is referred to as "content," I just feel it reduces the referred-to entity to packing peanuts or cans of peaches. It's like Michelangelo is working on the Sistine Chapel and his boss looks up and says: "hey, that's going to be great content! We could syndicate that on these new e-readers and run banner ads on them and shit."

product: see "content"

intellectual property: see "content" and "product," with the added insinuation that you are going to be screwed in some way.

metrosexual: created and nurtured by a slick band of marketers to convince dudes that paying attention to one's bodily hygiene and personal appearance isn't "gay"

tween: created and nurtured by a slick band of marketers to sell bellybutton rings to eleven-year-olds.

lol: outside of an actual chat room or cat photo, I don't want to see this word

fanboy: I always pictured that this word was invented by some comic book collector who thought he was better and more mature than all the other comic book collectors. A line of demarcation, if you will. "No, he's a fanboy; I'm a sequential art collector." Of course, this guy isn't a "sequential art collector," he's just a pompous dipshit who God forbid might actually have access to a blog.

cunt: I prefer "coont," which I think sounds a little more playful and vaguely British

Orwellian: too often used by people who are for anybody's right to free speech but yours

McCarthyite: see "Orwellian"

tampon: for some reason I immediately think of a large Styrofoam floatation device whenever I hear this word. "We're sinking fast...break out the tampons and hold on for your dear lives!"

vegan: immediately makes me think of the word "Vulcan," and the fact that Vulcans think they're superior to rest of the Federation. If you don't know it by now, I use a lot of word-association to remember things. I also think of Pulp Fiction hitman Vincent Vega when I see the word "vegan". And Suzanne Vega. And Sega.

bullet-point: annoying when used in a non-ammo context

inner-child: my inner-child is very skillful at chewing up Ritz crackers, spitting them up onto a fresh Ritz cracker, putting another fresh Ritz cracker on top of it, and calling it a "Ritz Cracker Sandwich." Getting in touch with her has almost as many pitfalls as benefits.

What words do YOU not like?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken"

Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken by Mattel

Seriously, this is the actual name of an actual Ken doll offered by Mattel right now: Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken.

From the product description:

"Cool sophistication in breezy Palm Beach! Sporting a dashing jacquard-patterned jacket with a light pink polo shirt and crisp white pants, Ken doll is ready for Palm Beach social season, sunning by the pool and a stroll with his little companion."

For some reason Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken immediately reminded me of this guy:

Billy Crystal as Fernando Lamas

Via Topless Robot, "Mattel Has Lost Their Minds, via Geek Girl Diva, "Sugar Daddy Ken?! Barbie You Saucy Minx!"

Sexy Halloween Costumes For Your Pets

Halloween Costumes For Pets
A common dilemma pet owners have during the Halloween season is: "how do I find slutty costumes for my dog?"

Look no further. Whether your pooch is set to play the sexy schoolgirl or an imperious dominatrix, Leg Avenue has the hot Halloween costumes for your pet. Inappropriately sexy outfits need not be the sole domain of the Cyrus family spawn any longer!

Misses the old days when Halloween was an innocent time for canines:

American Vampire Re-Visions The Wild West and The Jazz Age

An exciting new series from Vertigo Comics hits stands in March: American Vampire.

American Vampire combines a supernaturally-themed western with a supernaturally-themed jazz-age motif.

I said, American Vampire combines a supernaturally-themed western...

...with a supernaturally-themed jazz-age motif.

Now, if you can't wait until March to read this fascinating and unique take on the horror genre, be sure to check out High Moon and The Night Owls on Zuda. They're free!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Microsoft Just Realizes Now That Family Guy Is Tasteless

Wasn't anybody at Microsoft "hep" to the notion that Family Guy features tasteless jokes about tampons, incest, the Holocaust, etc., BEFORE the company decided to become the cartoon's sponsor?

According to The Hollywood Reporter's "Live Feed" blog, Microsoft has suddenly pulled out of being the exclusive sponsor for the upcoming Family Guy "Variety Special." This partnership would have included highly integrating Microsoft product in with the cartoon, as you can see from this promo:

The reason Microsoft has given for the about-face?

"We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of 'Family Guy,' but after reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand."

Well, duh!

On the other hand, isn't Microsoft trying to seem more hip n' edgy through their recent marketing campaigns? What screams hip n' edgy more than the "I'm A Prom Night Dumpster Baby" song and Peter doing the farty-footy pajamas shtick?

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Chris Farley Direct TV Ad

Is this new Direct TV ad starring Chris Farley and David Spade tasteless – or awesome?

I'm torn on it. It's kind of nice seeing Farley and Spade together again, even if it's just shilling some damn product. And when lifelike 3-D animation is totally perfected you're probably going to see whole movies starring dead people. So this is tame in comparison.

(my favorite YouTube comment for this commercial is: "can't wait til they make an awesome Kung Fu movie with Bruce Lee when the technology gets better." Or you could just watch "Game of Death," which has an actual picture of Lee's head taped on some nameless actor's body.)

Question: What TV Show Is Way Past Due For Cancellation?

I'm putting to you the following question:

What TV show currently on the air is way past its expiration date and is starting to really stink?
This is not merely a show that is bad: but a show that used to be good that's either stayed around too long and became bad, or showed early brilliance and has made a swift inexplicable decline.

Note: the Simpsons graphic above was not meant to imply that I think it is one of those "way past due" shows. Though this season is really hit or miss for me, and the Seth Rogen superhero episode was kind of painful.

Recommended: Jeff Lemire's "Sweet Tooth"

Whenever I write that a comic is more than a comic, but "literature," I worry that such an assessment also insinuates in effect that most comics are not literature. That assigning the word "literature" to a comic is some sort of aberration – or, worst yet, mere patronizing praise. And that's not what I mean to say. I mean to say that I put various comics in various categories, the way I put various books in various categories. There are some books that I enjoy as tight legal thrillers or exaggerated action-adventure potboilers; I don't consider them "literature," but instead more like straight entertainment. A best-selling author like Stephen King can fall either way depending on the book. Ditto for Grant Morrison. But to me, there's a difference, a (highly subjective) line of demarcation.

I consider Jeff Lemire's comic "Sweet Tooth" to be literature.

In his guest-editorial for Vertigo, Lemire describes "Sweet Tooth" as a "post-apocalyptic, neo-western, action-adventure, science fiction, road-movie hybrid." Forget all that & back up. "Sweet Tooth" is an affecting tale of isolation and forbidden knowledge. The first issue finds a strange young man expressing the desire to learn more about the world and who he is. His father has isolated him in a cabin surrounded by snow and emptiness, and seeks to keep his son from attaining this self-knowledge: hoping to keep him safe in ignorance. But like every good hero's journey, this situation cannot stand.

Why does this boy look the way he does? What is the "accident" his father refers to? And what's with all the shooty-guns and violence?

I read this comic after finishing a book with a similar desolate, snowy tone, Russell Banks' "Affliction." Both works successfully utilize the vast, empty landscapes of the American north to convey the utter alienation, and paradoxical yearning for self-awareness, of the main characters.

Books like "Sweet Tooth" and "Air" are what Vertigo Comics should be producing, in my opinion. I like Vertigo's "action" stuff, and of course "Fables" is the big cash cow at the moment, but I fear that quirkier comics like Lemire's work gets potentially lost in the shuffle and the flash. Then there is the question of, once I've spent the introductory price of $1 for "Sweet Tooth" #1, buying the other single issues or waiting for the trade or hardcover. My temptation, honestly, is to wait for the collected edition. But then does my waiting contribute to hurting the longevity of this title? Or has Vertigo/DC figured this reluctance to purchase monthly issues as part of the equation?

Answering my own question: in this economy, I would think the monthly issue sales are crucial & necessary for supporting a new title.

What's Up With Smallville?

Smallville: All-Justin, All The Time

Did anybody see last week's episode? A second emo Oliver Queen story in a row! I couldn't believe they had the stones to do that. It was near-unwatchable. And the last 15 minutes of the episode was like one scene of two people talking "blah blah blah" after another. Seriously, it was Oliver talking to Lois, then Oliver talking to Clark, then Clark talking to Chloe. And not even talking about interesting, dramatic stuff. But just using that time to regurgitate exposition and go over the same emo talking points over and over and over again.

Justin Hartley is hot, but I just don't find his Oliver Queen a compelling enough character to go through two concurrent episodes of his "personal hell." I don't find this new General Zod compelling either, nor the entire Kryptonian storyline. I don't want to watch an entire episode of Tess Mercer getting progressively more facial bruises.

To me, the "rock" of that show is simply Clark Kent himself. He is the only person I still find interesting in that show, who I feel is believably growing and evolving as a character. But I think the key to shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is that there is a strong supporting cast to back the main character up. The main character shouldn't have the burden of being the "rock." You know, maybe Willow or Xander was the "rock" on BTVS. But who is the "rock" of Smallville? Chloe? Good God. Talk about a character whose only perceived value at this point is being prophesied to die.

But this is all about a series which is probably on its last season anyhow. I just want the "permission" to stop watching it. I always feel this "duty" to watch it because it is a superhero TV show, but really I could be catching up on the episodes of "Community" I missed on Hulu or something.

A superhero TV show should never be boring.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tom Cruise: American Psycho?

The fact that Christian Bale used Tom Cruise as his inspiration for playing Patrick Bateman is just so awesome...

As quoted from an interview with American Psycho director Mary Harron:

"We talked about how Martian-like Patrick Bateman was, how he was looking at the world like somebody from another planet, watching what people did and trying to work out the right way to behave. And then one day he called me and he had been watching Tom Cruise on David Letterman, and he just had this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes, and he was really taken with this energy."

I think I've mentioned this already on my blog, but I recently viewed that Oprah appearance Cruise did in its entirety, and it is SCARY. Definitely the "nothing behind the eyes" thing there.

And yet: Cruise actually seems more human when he acts. Many of his performances, from "Born On The Fourth of July" to "Magnolia," seem so heartfelt. Even "War of The Worlds" – I mean, he played such a believable concerned parent, just this ordinary down-to-earth guy.

Anyway, Tom Cruise, for being the inspiration for Christian Bale's performance as Patrick Bateman – I salute you!

"I Eat Planets" from Superhero Movie

"American Psycho" Movie Trailer

Tom Cruise

I'd Like To See This Scene Directed By Paul Verhoeven

found on Post*Boy

October Sad Month For Pop-Culture Fans

While nowhere as prolific as this year's infamous "summer of death," October has been a sad month for pop-culture fans, with several passings that I wanted to take note of but haven't had the chance to until now.

First, kiddie TV host Soupy Sales has just passed. By the time I was a child of TV-viewing age (you know, three months+), his show had been off the air – but I got to know him through his many appearances on talk shows, game shows, etc. The Soupy Sales show was like interpretative jazz for youngsters...I don't know how else to explain it. He never talked down to his viewers, and often seemed to be maintaining a private joke with his crew.

In this clip, an older Soupy explains the importance of "micro-payments":

Second, as I'm sure you are well aware, pro wrestling legend Captain Lou Albano died. It was my privilege to meet Lou at a comic book convention several years ago, and he was an extremely nice guy. Yes, as a child I regarded him as an Italian role-model on national TV. By the time I was old enough to be embarrassed at the portrayal of Italians in the Super Mario Bros game and TV show, the role-model thing had lessened a bit. But I'd take Lou over Bob Hoskins any day of the week. As a recent South Park episode spotlighted, a lot of the best pro wrestling involves more acting than wrestling; Lou could do both, and it's as an excellent and entertaining performer that I will remember him.

And Addams Family composer Vic Mizzy died! I always remember Mizzy's name in the old Addams Family TV show closing credits:

Did those closing credits, where the cast had to stand still through the entire thing, make you nervous? I was a very sensitive kid: it made me nervous, watching the actors twitch and fidget slightly as they tried to stay still.

Joseph "Dr. No" Wiseman also passed on. He played the first Bond movie villain, and the last surviving actor to have played a Bond villain in the Sean Connery era.
Finally, comic book great George Tuska died on Oct. 15th at the age of 93. There's an oft-quoted description of his work from A.V. Club that patronizingly/derisively refers to his art as follows: "Tuska was perfectly competent, and his art for titles like Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk is decent, though unspectacular. But his drawing was so quickly assayed, and so essentially flavorless, that he became the King Of The Fill-In Issue, hopping in to provide bland, forgettable work whenever someone else blew a deadline."

And I really want to say: that opinion is crap! Artists like Tuska not only brought in the work on time, but their renderings and page compositions were of a superior illustrative quality that you just don't see much of anymore. Maybe some would call it "classic," and say that this style just isn't relevant anymore; I hope not. I appreciate the work of people like Tuska a hell of a lot more now than when I was a kid and buying books from "flavor of the month" artists.

As for A.V. Club's assignation to Tuska of the "King Of The Fill-In Issue" title – as a former comic book editor, I THANK GOD for pencillers and inkers who can turn around clean, tight, well-composed comic art quickly for whatever reason. Some of these artists work on such crazy break-neck schedules that it would make your head spin. And I think they are often taken for granted because they seem like they're always there and ready to take the work.

And that's it. Let's hope that the last week of October proves not to be as "busy" as the first three weeks. I want my childhood idols alive, dammit!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Got No Time To Wear Fake Mustaches

My schedule is so tight, that every time I decide to sit down and do something fanciful like a "top ten" post or whatnot, I picture Stewie standing over me with a flamethrower saying, "Oh, you got time to wear fake mustaches, huh? A little top ten post on your favorite TV shows? A witty anecdote about funny thing your cat did? Must be real nice, living a life of leeeeeisure. GET BACK TO WORK!"

Seriously. That's my day.


Actually, nobody has ever said that to me. But I do it to myself to keep me honest. I am my own Stewie with a flamethrower.

How My Kitten Lets Me Know She Needs To Be Fed

Flying leap into the air and biting me on the back of my thigh.

It's like: "Hey! Stop f**king around! Feed me, dammit! I'm only six months old and my body is growing at an amazing rate!"

Then she bites at my fingers as I scoop the food into the dish:

"Scoop faster, dammit! Stop f**king around! What are you making: an art installation?"

I like to chalk up her wild, impatient, and somewhat violent nature to the fact that she is a kitten, after all, and full of energy. Plus, we found her on the street, and I think she probably had to fight to survive & stuff like that. So I think the biting and scratching, the sniper attacks, the attempt to eat my extremities if I don't get out of bed fast enough – I think this is all natural and something she will grow out of.

Anyway, I'm hoping the costume I buy her for Halloween will show her how much I care and help us bond more:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

12 Days Of Halloween: New Nightmare On Elm Street Trailer

I think this will be the first of a "12 Days Of Halloween" thing where I discuss some horror topics...

I just saw the trailer for the "Nightmare On Elm Street." The first thing that immediately struck me was: "A Michael Bay Film." Wow.

I think a Michael Bay "NOES" won't suck, necessarily, but I fear it's going to have a slick & shiny quality that the original movie lacked. The Wes Craven version was DARK. I know people say this new version will be darker. But I repeat: the Wes Craven "Nightmare On Elm Street" was DARK DARK DARK. An absolutely brutal film, even watching it over 20 years later. Yeah, Freddy had a couple of wisecracks, but in the context of how visceral the film was, those quips only added to the horror.

There's dark and visceral and gripping – and then there is dark and bleak and boring. I would love to see this new film, especially with Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy, be perhaps a deeper mediation on the character. My fear is that it might fall into dark/bleak/boring. Or slick/shiny/dark/bleak/boring.

But I could be wrong. I'm not going to be a complete crybaby fangirl about this – but 85% of the reason I'm withholding judgement is Jackie Earle Haley.

BTW, I once interviewed Robert Englund at San Diego ComicCon. He was a far smaller, more compact person than I though he was going to be. But he just crackled with this energy about him, and was just totally fascinating.

BTW BTW, I liked the Rob Zombie Halloween remake; liked the Dawn of the Dead remake and even Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So basically, I'm an easy mark.

Lieutenant Thompson: "What did the coroner have to say?"
Cop: "He's been puking in the john since he's seen it."

The Man In The Spider-Man Suit

If you want to read some fascinating stuff about being a "Spidey Mascot" in the 1980s, be sure to check out the "Heroes In My Closet" blog. Think of it as the memoirs of a "cosplay pioneer," who officially portrayed Spider-Man, Green Goblin, and other Marvel characters in North America and Europe for ten years.

I love these details:

"The Spider-Man suit was brilliantly crafted—comfortable, functional and visually stunning. It worked on anyone from 5'9" to 6'3". It’s ease of transport made it possible to fit in any over-the-shoulder bag as small as a Ziploc. I never had to waste time at the baggage carousel, or worry that the suit might get lost in transit."

"Despite all the great qualities of the Spidey suit—it’s nigh-perfect interpretation of the character; the ease of movement and relative comfort for the wearer; the vibrancy of its colors; the facility in its tranportation, cleaning and upkeep—it did present an odd downside: one-dimensionality, a tromp l’oeil effect that flattened the character, making him appear like a cardboard cutout, i.e. not real. From afar the affect is more pronounced. A child may not “see” me, even though directly looking at me, or sees Spider-Man, but thinks it is just a display."

"McFarlane’s popularity made my appearances more difficult. I was frequently asked, “Why are your eyes so little?” Some of the more confrontational fans challenged with “You’re not Spider-Man. Your eyes are too small.” I’d remain unperturbed and counter with “You must be referring to that McFarlane guy’s wild interpretation of me in the comics,” but the “eye” attacks only increased while my patience decreased."

The last quote comes from a fascinating post that describes how Marvel changed the standard "personal appearances" Spider-Man costume to fit the Todd McFarlane "look." I think a bunch of us remember the old Spidey costume from the TV show "The Electric Company" and other places: the one with the small eyes.

I never ran into Spidey at one of those events, but I did get Wolverine's autograph at Jim Hanley's many many many years ago. I remember analyzing his handwriting carefully: this was, after all, the hero who survived the Weapon X program and so many adventures. How did he dot his "i"?

Anyway, it's a fun blog – never crass or bitter about the subject matter – with a header and original illustrations drawn by the late great Rusty Haller, and is recommended.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Next Project

I was looking for some interesting project to write/blog about, and have been kicking this idea around for awhile:

It's been pointed out to me by a number of people that I've led a relatively sheltered life.
Among the things I've never done:
  • Attended a rock concert
  • Drove a car
  • Rode a bike
  • Camped out
  • Walked in legitimately high heels
Then there are things I've might have done once or twice, but attach a great deal of anxiety to. Such as traveling by plane. Or traveling to a foreign country. Or exercising. Or getting my eyebrows waxed (which really does make a difference on the overall look of one's face).

There are also things that are considered frivolous or fanciful that I would like to try, but have never justified it to myself enough to do. This is probably the longest list. I haven't done a lot of these things because I just I didn't want to cause any trouble. I mean, people do this type of stuff all the time, just to try new things. But whenever I consider these things I just think: "Better not. Don't want to cause any trouble." Stuff like:
  • Getting a tattoo/body piercing
  • Learning how to play the guitar
  • Finally taking a course on cartooning so I can make my own comic
  • Going to Burning Man or some other type event
  • Taking acting lessons
Oh, I just thought of one more category: the sort of unique stuff you really have to force yourself to do. Saying things you were going to leave unsaid. Cleaning up karma. Trying to live in someone else's shoes. Going to a haunted house. Attempting to go vegan. Reading "Dianetics." Stuff like that.

Lastly, I'd like to do things that only shy people like myself might appreciate as bold and daring. Going to a party where I don't know anybody and starting conversations with complete strangers. I've never done karaoke – that might be fun/scary as hell. Taking a public speaking gig on purpose (instead of getting drafted into it by a friend).

So this is sort of what I was thinking of focusing on as my next project. Making a point to do these things and then record the process. Even if some of these things fail miserably, I want to document that. I figure the end result will either be me as this totally different person, or me at least being sure and comfortable with the fact that I'm shy and sheltered. I mean, I don't really mind if the conclusion I ultimately make is that I'm shy and don't like new things – I just want to be sure that's the case. I don't want to regret things I haven't done. I'm 35. Next February I'll be 36. I've lived such a restrained, sheltered, fearful, xenophobic, anxiety-filled life. The only place I've ever been bold was this blog, and even that has become relatively reserved.

You know, when I was a kid my parents really instilled a fear of everything in me. My dad told me that if I attempted to cross the street by myself, I'd probably get hit by a car. My mom told me after I had my first period that if I even went near boys, I'd get pregnant (because the sperm was like lice...they'd jump from the boy's clothing to mine and infiltrate). And whenever I'd try and fail at something, my parents decided to keep me from those things so I'd never get hurt again. So I would go to a roller-rink for the first time, come home with a bloody nose because I fell – and that was the end of me going to the roller-rink ever. I wasn't allowed to go again. And when I would try to do anything unique in terms of self-expression, it would just get so incredibly shot down, ridiculed, condemned. Even my initial request for eyeglasses was considered by my mom as just a cry for attention (instead of, you just not being able to see the blackboard at school). "Oh, you just want to wear glasses to so you can be special..." Yeah, as if.

So: the world was this scary place, with possible sex offenders and child murderers around every corner. Or weirdos with strangely-colored hair. Or leaping randy sperm with the acrobatic skills of an Olympic gymnast. Or runaway cars ready to mow me down. The world was fucking terrifying for me. And so when something actually did happen to me that was bad, I used that as proof that my parents were right – instead of recognizing that both good and bad things will happen. Because you know what? There is a deep, primal comfort in proving that your parents are right, even if they are dead wrong.

To sum up: basically, my next project is Myself. And it might be as interesting or as boring as hell, but maybe it will do me some good.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Marge Simpson in Playboy Magazine

Does Marge Simpson appearing in Playboy liberate or exploit this cherished cartoon mom? Is it a case of Marge "owning" her sexuality, or being reduced to a tarted-up plaything?

Also: do you find Marge hot?

Ten Cent Comics Orgy

Nothing beats a TEN CENT BIN at Baltimore Comic Con. Formerly a "3-for-a-dollar-bin," the last day of the show the price was substantially knocked down at this particular booth.

Actual quote from my BF as he handed me a 20-dollar bill at the booth: "this does not mean you buy 200 comic books."

I bought about a hundred comics.


* a large run of "Generation X"
* a run of old Avengers written by Roger Stern
* a run of the old New Warriors
* a smattering of 1980s Superman & Batman – remember these? "Done-in-ones?" You know, when it was just an issue of Superman & Superman was actually in the comic and everything?
* a smattering of the old "DC Comics Presents" which was basically "Superman Team-up"
* a near-set of the "Slingers" series from Marvel
* some issues of the old First series "Whisper"
* the complete set of "Fantastic Four Vs. The X-Men." Remember that miniseries? It had these weird nightmarish covers featuring Franklin Richards that kind of had nothing to do with the plot?
* the complete set of the '93/'94 miniseries "Spider-Woman"
* really random X-Men/mutant stuff
* a really messed-up old issue of "Kamandi" (messed-up in the sense that it looks like one big acid trip)
* and of course, an issue of "Wally The Wizard"

Usually with these discount bins I tend to buy mostly oddball items and a lot of "Bronze Age" stuff. This time I mainstreamed it up a bit. I just love buying old stuff in general, especially for dimes. I really would have brought home a whole longbox of those comics if I could.

Selling Green Lantern

You know, as much as I'm personally inclined to dislike this Green Lantern event thing, I have to say that the people at the DC booth in Baltimore were so friendly, so sincere, so absolutely enthusiastic about "Blackest Night" – explaining to me both the concept of the event and the promotional strategy – that when I had left with my black ring and promo copy of "Green Lantern," it was hard for me to continue my enmity for this series. Which is really the job of anybody in promotions & advertising – to become the "face" of the product being sold, to weld that personable quality with the product in order to leave people feeling good.

That said, I haven't really read a great deal of this event, so I couldn't give a real assessment of it at this point. I heard there's a lot of dead characters in it, right? And something with colors?

Emmy-Winning Female Writer On "Mad Men" Fired...

Kater Gordon worked her way from personal assistant for "Mad Men" writer Matthew Weiner to a writer on the show herself. She even co-wrote this season's finale. Now, not long after winning an Emmy for her work on "Mad Men", she is let go because Weiner allegedly "reluctantly decided that their relationship has reached its full potential." Whatever the hell that means.

But the good news is, Gordon has been offered her old job back making coffee, answering phones, running off Xeroxes, and generally being a pleasant feminine helpmeet to the "Mad Men" office.

(No, not really.)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Archie Andrews: Playing The Field, Breaking Hearts

Archie: All-American Boy, Bigamist

I just received a press release for Archie #603-605, where Archie will now marry Betty. To catch you up, Archie has just married Veronica. To my understanding, this is all some sort of "Elseworlds" parallel universe thing. Nevertheless, the press release asks some tantalizing, TMZ-worthy questions:

What about Veronica?
She will go crazy and start shoplifting at Barneys as a cry for help.

Will Archie and Veronica divorce?
Archie of course sues for alimony.

What about the twins?
They are starring in a new TLC reality TV series.

Will Archie lose his job?
Archie just cleaned out the joint bank account.

What will Jughead think???
Jughead makes a play for Veronica while she is still vulnerable, marries her, becomes head of Lodge Enterprises, is invited to become a Mason, joins a top-secret cabal that seeks world domination, adopts an Italian orphan that turns out to be the antichrist, and then eats the world's largest hamburger.

Anyway, that's how I would write it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Jackman Overtakes Pitt As Guy Most Guys Want To Be

According to this article, Hugh Jackman has usurped Brad Pitt's place as the guy whose "look" most guys idolize.

Just so you understand, a guy made famous playing this guy:

is now one of the top movie idols in the world. And not in spite of starring in a superhero movie, but because of it.

Remember when acting in a superhero movie or TV show was like the kiss of death for an actor? The typecasting, the fear of not being taken seriously anymore? Remember when a movie idol like Clooney almost had his career destroyed by acting in "Batman & Robin?"

Of course, this is also a world where Johnny Depp maintains his world fame as a movie headliner by starring in three movies based on a Disneyland attraction...

This post needs more Jackman:

What -- SERIOUSLY?! (political rant)

Look, I consider myself independent politically, in the sense that I don't hold to one party line in my viewpoints. I'm on the Left on some issues, and more towards the Right on others. I also do not think that President Obama is infallible, or above criticism.

That said, the fact that members of the Right-leaning media are now criticizing Obama for keeping us in Afghanistan IS DRIVING ME @#%$@ CRAZY!!!!

Are you shitting me? Seriously? After 6 years in Iraq under Bush? Members of the Conservative press are just starting to care about dead soldiers in Afghanistan, calling for peace, showing coffins?



Wait – wasn't Obama just criticized for not being tough enough on Iran? Like, last week? Like: a few days ago?!

And now he's being portrayed as a war-happy president sending our children to die in the Afghan desert?

See, this is why I hate dogma, party lines, talking points, everything. Because it's never really about the stated issue. And it's a damn shame, because people from both sides of the political aisle really do have important issues to discuss. But all this bullshit keeps us from a real dialogue, from making any real change or headway. And maybe that's the point.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My All-Time Favorite Comic Book Panel

From Animal Man #19

Of course this particular issue took things to the extreme, but I wish all comics had that sort of immediacy, interactivity, and intimacy with the reader. Like it's just grabbing the reader and pulling them into the story, making things vital, making the reader feel as if she or he has a stake in the action.