Monday, October 31, 2005

True Tales of Lunchtime Horror

My scary Halloween post...

The package art was good and made this meal look fairly appetizing so I picked up several when I went to the store. I was really looking forwards to eating this stuff.

After cooking it per instructions, this is my result.

Not quite the same.

I'm old enough to know better than to buy into any consumer sales pitch, but I was really liking the idea of eating this. The actual meal had as much disconnect from the presented package as the average comic book cover does to the story in which the cover promises "In This Issue! A HERO DIES!"

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jesus appears in storm

From NBC-2

While watching NBC2 coverage of Hurricane Wilma about two dozen residents called the station reporting an unusual sighting. While watching a Doppler loop of Hurricane Wilma coming ashore, a number two appeared in the eye of the storm.

Obviously, the number 2 is a sign from God and not an incomplete digital display of a natural effect taken out of context or an error that displayed the station's call-sign at all.

Let me explain in a way that is much less convoluted and makes much more sense than ID: See, God is the Dad of Christ. Jesus is the Son of God, which makes him a Junior. In effect, the second of the know, of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost group. Don't make me draw you a map because it would be blasphemy since God already provided a nice Doppler one. It is obvious. Jesus is represented by a big number 2 floating in the water.

Repent now, sinners!

Worth repeating: Gene Colan and motion

I've said it before...

I think one of the few artists who can effectively convey a sense of motion in their art is Jack Kirby and my own personal comic-deity, Gene Colan. As Erik Larsen observes in a recent Comic Book Resources column One Fan's Opinion:

One of the many things we don't have in comics is motion. Motion, sound, smell, taste-- most of the big ones-- we don't do. In movies, characters move. In comics, we can only approximate it, at best. Gene comes about as close as we're likely to get. Gene's characters are often a blur of motion. I've heard he's a big movie buff and it shows on every page. While most of us struggle to make a guy in a suit look like anything other than a mannequin standing in a store window, Gene pulls it off with ease. His characters live and breathe.
When was the last time you saw a character get hit and the artist effectively included the illusion of impact? Probably almost never, I bet. Most artists, even the technically proficient ones, may as well be posing action figures and using them as art references. Using Phototshop to blur a scene is a trick, and while pretty and useful, is not art. Colan can give still images inertia and convey realistic cause and effect.

Rachel Van Helsing gets Drac-slapped in Tomb of Dracula #68 (Feb 1979)

Wonder Woman never has her breasts fly in opposite directions when she gets punched.

DC's Teen Sluts

Why can't you be a slut like your sister? This house didn't pay for itself, you know!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ron Frenz: Shark Bait

Spider-Man et al artist Ron Frenz is a regular contributor to the Outdoor Life magazine feature This Happened To Me, where he illustrates in perfect over-the-top comic book adventure-style the dramatically unlikely tales of adventure submitted by readers.

You can see my previous post of an impossible boat ride drawn by Ron Frenz here in The Perfect Storm.

More BS, but not by Ron Frenz...
Killed a bar with an axe

That'll teach him!

Rattlesnacks taste like chicken
I must have this recipe!

Rednecks are stupid

How that snake got a clothesline, I'll never know

In looking through the feature archives I notice that the stories have changed from brave tales of Man vs Beast to a more realistic theme of Misadventure. There are a lot more of the Falling From the Boat stories than there used to be. I guess even hicks know crap when they see it.

Still doesn't explain NASCAR though.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Jesus, Burger King of Space

Kung-Fu Space Jesus...will he save the Earth or destroy it?

Goes without saying...

After seeing this I now want a basketball that looks like Earth so I can play at being God, too! It will feed my delusions.

Phantom Zone exile Jesus

High altitudes give Jesus nosebleeds

Scary soul-drinker jesus

Robot Jesus

Dell's Money-Saving Monster Comic Book Cover

You could always tell when a Dell title was about to be cancelled when they published repeats of earlier covers. Dell saved money on cover artists by using an old issue when sales dropped below a certain point but the magazine was sent to press anyways. I'm not a businessman, but if your product is doing so badly that issue #4 is a reprint of issue #1, I think it is time to save the cash and call it quits. Dell was doing this in the biz a while ago so it may be that monies were already spent along the production channels that would not be refunded otherwise, so they went ahead with old material on the chance they would not lose their entire investment.

But in this one-shot they didn't even try to come up with an original cover. It is like Dell looked in the filing cabinet for the most generic pre-existing art they could find and glued a few head shots cut from other books onto it. Admittedly the background art is keeping with a dark theme by being set in a creepy field during sunset, but the lone figure isn't even the Frankenstein Monster, unless the creature has taken to wearing bowler hats.

The poor layout of the title also makes it appear the classic vampire was mummified somehow, which would not be a bad story itself. Of course, I'd only want to read that if Marv Wolfman wrote it and Gene Colan drew it.

Some Gene Colan art:
Shazam vs Dracula

Howard and Bev

Dracula meets Sherlock Holmes

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Old Photograph: To Be Married Aug 11, 1945

Mary Elizabeth Gregory
Eugene O. Phaneuf
June, 1945

to be

Aug 11, 1945

A while back a friend found this old photograph on the floor of a grocery store in Annapolis, Maryland. Wanting to get what might be an important family photo back to the owners she called all the names on the back of the photograph that she could find in the local directories but no one knew who they were.

I wonder what their story was?

Crossfire #23

I don't recall Crossfire doing any cross-overs with the lead singer of Night Ranger back in the 80's. I know it is in my collection in storage out of state, so can anyone explain this cover and character?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Jolly Green Giant dead at 80, Hayley Mills smeared and more!

Jolly Green Giant dead at 80.

Found this vicious LIES LIES LIES smear of my beloved Hayley Mills at Fred Hembeck's site. I'm not happy.

(Ken and Peter also sent me--independently--a rather curious link featuring the ever delightful Hayley Mills in a somewhat...modified...version of "The Parent Trap". Some might even call it "improved"--not that there's anything wrong with that! First click Paul Lacalandra, followed by "Ordinary Girls", then let the fun begin! Thanks, guys...)
What kind of house will you get?

Mecha Oil Toad!

Posterwire calls this the Scariest Movie Poster Ever. I prefer this one.

Death an 'Artificial Mark', says Army.

Speaking about decisions, I've got another decision to make, and maybe after the lunch you can help me, and that is what do I get her on the 28th anniversary? (Laughter.) Never mind. (Laughter.) Never mind. (Laughter.) Sorry I asked. (Laughter.)
Charlton does bad 70's porn.

Gorgeous soviet-era space pennants. I really like the titanium soccer ball one.

Being a housewife is a deadly profession, as I learned from watching More Dangerous Than Dynamite. Worth the watch just for the f/x.

Good thing this isn't the 50's, or this doofus' actions would be blamed on the bad influence of comics.

I don't think it is the neighbors who are confused, Henry.

Get yer Pulp of the Day at Pulp of the Day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Golden Lad is all about the love

I dare you to make fun of Robin after seeing this. You can't. I tried. The existence of Golden Lad makes all Robin jokes become weak, pale things once you see this.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Principles of low stress restraint

When dealing with the slaughter of cattle to supply me with the ingredients of my dinner, the principles of low stress restraint are:

  1. Solid sides or barriers around the cattle to prevent them from seeing people deep inside their flight zone. This is especially important for wild or excitable cattle.
  2. To prevent lunging at the headgate, the bovine's view of an escape pathway must be blocked until it is fully restrained. This principle does not apply to pigs.
  3. Provide non-slip flooring for all species of animals.
  4. Slow steady motion of a restraint device is calming, while sudden jerky motion excites. Applies to all species.
  5. Use the concept of optimal pressure. Sufficient pressure must be applied to provide the feeling of restraint, but excessive pressure that causes pain or discomfort must be avoided. This principle applies to all species.
  6. The entrance of the restraint device must be well lighted. All species must be able to see a place to go.
  7. Livestock will remain calmer if they can see other animals close to them.
  8. Engineer equipment to minimize noise. High pitched noise is more disturbing to livestock than a low pitched rumble from a conveyor.
  9. Restraint devices must be designed to avoid uncomfortable pressure points on the animal's body.
  10. Restrain livestock in an upright position.
This would be a cool amusement park ride for people, too, if not know...the death by pneumatic bolt gun and ginormous razor-sharp blade at the end of the ride.

After I read the essay about the humane restraint of livestock I developed a big hankering for a big juicy steak. Not having a big steak handy I made some authentic Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches using bread, some slices of Canadian bacon I had in the fridge, cheeze whiz and dried onion flakes. Damn, they were good.

I don't like vegetarians. What is the point of eating only plants? You want to eat rabbit food? Fine. But there is a reason why things that eat only plants get attacked by things that eat only meat. That's because they are tasty. Mountain lions are not tasty, but the bunnies they eat sure are. Eating only plants isn't really all that healthy for you. People that eat massive amounts of tofu get sick from lack of vitamins and get goiter. Pirates knew this, which is why on long ocean voyages they packed extra crates of baby lambs to keep from getting scurvy.

I like to eat animals that are smart enough to know they are getting gacked. People say that negative chemicals flood the body of a scared animal and that is bad, but it is okay with me. Adrenalin is what I call "Nature's Tenderizer."

I knew a girl who would "never eat anything with a face." I don't eat anything with a face either, since the features get cut off and thrown away long before I see it on my plate.

Comic Book Covers: Firehair vs Tiger Girl

Here are two comic book covers reimagined by the same publisher and artist. Not an homage, just lazy work.

Pioneer West Romances featuring Firehair
Fiction House, 1950
Cover Credits: Maurice Whitman (Pencils & Inks)

Fight Comics featuring Tiger Girl
Fiction House, January 1952
Cover Credits: Maurice Whitman (Pencils & Inks)

Even though the artist recycled his work, here is what makes the Fight cover better than the Firehair cover:
  • Monkey.
  • Covered wagons in Africa.
  • Natives riding zebras!
  • Looks like a vacationing Firehair is a captive of the marauders.
I have a feeling that Fiction House or Whitman may have duplicated the layout of this cover more than just these two examples. I must do research.

Tip of the hat to the great work done at the Grand Comic Database, who fill in the gaps in my collection and are a fantastic source.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Many Faces of the Maryland Lottery

Currently I'm working as a grocery store Manager until I move back to California. One of the things I do is stand around and observe things. I don't know what, really, but I manage to look concerned and busy while doing it.

While standing around being busy and concerned, I watch people. That is, watch in the non-stalking way of course (unless Hayley Mills came to shop here, then I'd be all over her like a psychic on a rich widow). I watch because I am all about the customer service. One of the things you notice is just how much garbage people purchase to eat. I know I've been guilty of the same things, too. Since starting at the store I have changed my buying-habits now that my eyes have been opened a bit. I didn't realize how much oil, sugar and crap chemicals I consumed and fed my family until I saw it pass before me all day long. The other thing you get to recognize are the types of people who play the lottery, or as I call it, the Stupidity Tax. Now that is unkind, but I think it applies in 90% of the ticket purchases.

For some reason, people often feel the need to justify to us why they buy a lottery ticket. Like anyone really cares. A buck is a buck. Nobody gives a damn where you spend it as long as you spend it in the store somewhere.

Here are the types of personalities I have observed buying tickets...

Charitable: Buys a few tickets every week. Usually makes the comment that 'they could do some good for people if they win'. Riiiight, me too. If I win, the first thing I'll do is give some money to the homeless*.

Desperate: Also 'Needy'. Those people who are at the end of their rope financially and drop a few dollars (sometimes way too much they can't afford) on the chance they will make a few thousand. The Desperate are closely related to the next type of player.

Addicted: Also 'Greedy'. Compulsive player. In every day or so. Drops hundreds on the Instant Scratchers. Wins $500 and then puts it right back in the machine.

Office Pool: Come in with $40 or $50 bucks and play the office lottery pool numbers. The also play a few more of their own. They remind me of the guys who take a few bucks for a slot machine from a co-worker to play when they go to Vegas, and then comes back saying "Nope. You didn't win." Even if he did.

Embarrassed: " guess I'll get a Lottery Quick Pick for Saturday. I don't know...somebody has to win...I guess...might as well be me."

Reluctant: Usually only plays when the prize is astronomical, because somebody has to win. It could be them. They are more honest than the Embarrassed types who are regular players. The Reluctant is also, I think, more prone to be crushingly dissapointed when they don't win since they will entertain the What If I Win? scenarios more strongly than the other serial players.

Forced: The customer that plays off the purchase like he is under orders. "My wife said get a ticket or else. Ok, I need a .50 straight, .50 box for midday and evening Monday through Friday, and give me a $1 combo straight/box with 7491, 8654 & 4366. And a $5 Mega for tonight and a $1 Lotto."

Grinder: Has a sure-fire system of numbers they always play on the lottery or the instant scratch cards. They would like you to believe they support themselves that way.

May-as-wells: The average player. Drops $2-5 a week because it doesn't hurt. Doesn't expect anything to happen but you never know. These are also the ones who are likely to never check a ticket. When you see an article about a jackpot not getting claimed, it is usually held by one of these.
I'm in the Forced category by the way. I think buying a lottery ticket is equal to throwing money in the gutter, but if I don't get them my wife will. I just drop a buck on a random pick. She has an expensive system based on birthdays and instinct I try to keep reigned in.

* Like hell. Eat crap and die, all of you. It's mine. I'm rich! I'm a happy miser.

Thrill-O-Rama fearlessly presents - The PIRANA

Thanks to bloggers, Entourage and Smallville, Aquaman has been getting some respect lately. Quite a change from the sammich-making joke he was made to be over the last few years. He might be cool now in an ironic way but Aquaman still has a pretty lame name and a weak-looking logo. For a cool name and logo Artie can't hold a lantern-fish to the Harvey comics water-based hero of the 1960's, The Pirana.

The writer had guts not to name a water-villain after a sea animal like everyone else does. Where Aquaman fights villains like 'Shark' Norton and Black Manta, the Pirana battles the Human Anchor, a foe who's power is to sit underwater and keep a boat from drifting!

The Pirana also matched wits with Brainstorm, the Thinking Man's Villain! Brainstorm is so smart his forehead sparks! You have to be hard core to take out a guy like that. Aquaman couldn't stop a guy who wore scuba gear and talked funny from killing his son.

The Pirana would never let his kingdom be taken away from him because he kicks ass! His costume also has a camoflauge pattern just like Aquaman had in his 1980's mini, but it is a manly green instead of ballet-dancer blue.

Let's look at those logos...

It's a moist Star Trek symbol.

Cool. How many logos have teeth? This logo is shaped like a scary fish and it says to me "I Will Tear You A New One". This logo looks really ticked off.

The Pirana has eels for friends named Bara and Cuda who assist him in his adventures. Aquaman has a seahorse for a pal. Male seahorses get pregnant and give birth. Giant eels have giant sharp teeth and can rip out large chunks of flesh when they chomp your face. Eels are cooler than seahorses.

Pirana: 1
Aquaman: 0

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Retail Store PSA: Kmart Cares

The sign on this sound-activated novelty ghost I saw at a local Kmart reads as "CLAP! I love to fly around"

Is this merely an in-store Halloween sales display...or is it a sign of a company that cares about it's community and shows it by educating us with a public health message about an STD?

Comic Book Covers: The Kama Sutra

Candy was one of the few comic books to display the positions of the kama sutra in the title logo.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Brenda Starr - Bitch!

Brenda Starr went to the big city to break into reporting as a young girl. The newspaper biz was a man's game back in the day and she learned some hard lessons fast. When talent did not work, Brenda used her stunning good looks and evil small-town wiles to become rich and famous. Brenda Starr is not a nice person.

Brenda teases her obese friend Abretha Breeze.
I bet Brenda and Wonder Woman hang out together and make fun of fat people in the park.
Like Wonder Woman & Etta Candy, I suspect their relationship was in the "Hottie" and "Nottie" category.

Brenda's insane jealousy leads her to destroy other people's happiness.
"I don't want him...but you can't have him either!"

Brenda can scarcely contain her disgust.
Her "Nottie" friend will eat anything at her demand...including puppies!
I blame Brenda for fostering a disfunctional relationship.
"Sure..I'll be your friend..I'll look even better in comparison! Now eat this ham before we go out."

Brenda is not above using Abretha's need for companionship for her own personal amusement. Brenda loves to humiliate others and keeps a scrapbook of her successful debasements.
Brenda's hobbies include blackmail.

Brenda is momentarily shocked as the magic mirror reflects her true soul.
Then she dismisses the vision as unimportant because she is really hot and men give her stuff so that makes what she does to others okey-dokey in her world.

Brenda hates short people.

Watch that hand, Brenda!
Looks like somewhere between issue #6 and #12 Brenda learned some manners and human compassion.
Either that or she's just a manipulative predator taking advantage of someone in a moment of vulnerability.

So that's her secret! Extensive Cher-like cosmetic surgery!
Brenda is so shallow. Her self-worth is wrapped up in what she can parasitize from others.
No wonder she surrounds herself with people full of self-loathing...

the disfigured...

...and the diseased.

Men are her puppets.

Sex is her weapon.

Brenda laughs as she enjoys the emotional pain she inflicted after seducing and discarding a pretty, confused secretary just for kicks.
The couples' marriage will be forever tainted by the stain of Brenda's sexual machinations.
"I'm not a lesbian...but now her husband will always worry his wife is! Ha Ha!"

Can even Death stop Brenda?