Monday, December 29, 2008

Mighty Magic Wiz

Who had the creepier era in the 1960s, England or America?

Diana #235
(August 1967).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You're too late, ROM!

Day late and a dollar short. That's what I get for sending a cyborg to do a Sleestak's job.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Eye of Odin explains the Christmas miracle

In The Mighty Thor #293 (March 1980) the malevolent Eye of Odin, cast into a magical well by its previous owner as part of a bargain to gain knowledge imparts some forgotten Asgardian history upon Thor. In a several issues long story that covers several mythological epics the Eye tells the Thunder God about the Cycle of Ragnarok, that the destruction of the Norse pantheon is a recurring and not a singular event. Along the way, the Eye of Odin tangentially reveals the true story behind the miracle of Christmas.

You know, I'm going to make a point of insisting that the fabled Star of Bethlehem was actually the burning ruins of Asgard in any of my future discussions of religion. No reason one myth can't be grafted onto another.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Terminator: Babe-O-Rama

In a bleak, post-Apocalyptic future mankind is on the brink of extinction. The machines rose from the ashes of atomic Armageddon. Their war to exterminate mankind had raged for decades. Nuclear fires rage across half the North American continent. The sky is dark with ash.

Terrible, thinking machines called Terminators hunt without mercy the pitiful remnants of humanity. The people the Terminators kill immediately are the lucky ones. Those that survive being captured are made into slaves and when their usefulness is ended, fed into ravenous incinerators to serve as fuel for nightmarish factories.

And yet in this horrible, dying future one woman looks fan-freaking-tastic.

That woman is Tara, the wife of destined savior of humanity, John Connor. Squalid living conditions, high background radiation count, rampant disease, lack of clean water and malnutrition have had no deleterious effect on her magnificent, giant, firm breasts and awesome hair. Tara's smooth, clean and finely toned body are nothing less than a sexy, totally bad-ass shout of defiance against mankind's tireless enemies, who are clearly cool (being Terminators and all) but are not really intended to be fanboy fantasy material. We should all look that good during present day.

If Skynet sent the Terminators back in time to kill the creators of the panty before they were born then they apparently failed, so it's heartening to see that after nuclear Armageddon hot, hot, hot Uber-babes will wear thongs into battle against killer cyborgs. Because sexy underthings will recruit more humans into the Resistance than any old speech by John Connor.

From Terminator: Revolution #1 (2009).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Greatest rough-country vehicle ever built

From the November 1950 Boys' Life story Satellite Scout. Written by Robert A. Heinlein. Art by Reynold Brown.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Waste lots, want not

As consumers people are getting used to the increasing amount of advertising that appears next to, above and even on the products they buy and they are getting good at ignoring the information overload. It is also that after each purchase the customer is bombarded with one last plea to get their money before they leave the register by the use of secondary printers on each check stand that spit out coupons and advertisements shortly before they receive their receipt.

While sometimes as annoying as those subscription cards in magazines at least coupons have the possibility that it might be recycled in some manner when the offered discount causes a customer to return and buy the featured item. What is maddening is the increase in useless advertising that prints out along with and sometimes in lieu of coupons.

Once items are scanned at a register the coupons and ads begin to print out. In conjunction with a discount card that identifies the shopper targeted discounts and coupons will be applied and printed. But there are failures in the system. Ads, often duplicates of two or more, will print out promoting the very same product the customer just purchased. Considering how intimately the buying habits of each customer are tracked the seeming randomness of the advertising is causing a consumer backlash. The message is getting drowned in a sea of junk spam at the register. Additionally, the coupon dispenser beeps with false error messages that prompts the cashier and customer to pay attention to the device and printing ads. While the false error tone is intended to signal the end of the coupons being dispensed the real result is that the public is being desensitized by "false negatives" and are ignoring the messages altogether.

The coupons and ads have become such an annoyance that by the end of a shift each cashier has a full trash can of strips of paper the customers refused to accept. The avalanche of ads and coupons are the treeware version of email spam. Most customers just leave the junk print outs behind. Many cashiers act as content filters for the spam by sorting and applying to the purchases only those print outs that are immediately useful such as cash back or used to get a discount during the purchase for items they are buying. While the intended use of the coupons and ads are to get return business, customers appreciate more receiving an instant discount than a ream of useless paper they will never use on their next shopping trip.

Other than the annoyance of the ads and coupons that often print out during each transaction the spamming of a shopper shows how much lip service some companies pay to being "green". Not to suggest that the two companies in the advertising examples above are not fully committed to managing their use of the environment wisely. The coupons are printed out via a service they subscribe to in order to make consumers aware of their products and discounts. However, any company committed to being "green" should be responsible enough to be aware of just how much waste is generated by their vendors and affiliates.

Just think, if just one 6-inch ad is printed out during each transaction, times 3000 customers a day at each store, times 2400 stores nation-wide that is...Well, someone else can do the math. That's the result of waste from just from one company. That is a lot of paper. That much waste seems not only criminal, but sinful as well.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kingdom Come climax?

I have not been following the forums, blogs and previews close enough to know what is going to happen to the Kingdom Come Superman when the Magog storyline concludes in JSA but when I read this page from the January 2009 (JSA #21) issue...


I thought of this scene from the May 1975 issue of Kamandi #29 being a possible finale to the story.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Volcanic!

Silver Screen Magazine (April 1951)

Often websites with content that consists mainly of a couple of cool daily pictures or two are thought of as being managed by the lazy. Sometimes that is true. More often than not though what is perceived as the hastily posted picture is actually the result of extended periods of research and editing.

Long hours wandering flea markets and swap meets for old magazines and then sitting in front of a keyboard or scanner are required to find nifty pictures for all those disposable posts. Also, many of the online resources for images are posted "as is" and the yellowed, torn or stained pages usually need cleaning up if you are the type who want to regurgitate a cool image and post a unique and interesting scan.

All that work and time spent results in a quick image post on a site or forum that is dismissed by readers during their hit and run newsreader browsing. The "placeholder" image posts are usually part of a cycle of diminishing returns for the blogger. The entries are swiftly forgotten and other than for the love of it, there is little to be gained by the single image post other than to let a reader know the owner of the site hasn't died or lost interest in blogging all together. There are exceptions, of course. Mike Sterling could make a career on posting nothing but images of Chalk Thing, Percy Trout is in a semi-NSFW league by himself, Bully laboriously researches his Ten of a Kind covers and the Fail Blog definition of failure is vague enough that their will always be enough content available for the site.

What was challenging about repairing the Bird of Paradise advertisement poster is that the duo-tone image contains artistic layers of mist that serve to aid a gradual transition through multiple scenes. Interestingly, some of the wear and tear of the ink and paper created effects that unintentionally added to the misty, tropical atmosphere of the poster.

I couldn't tell in a few places where the ink ended and the scuffing began when I cleaned up the image but I'm pleased with the results as the artifacts of damage and age of the the paper added to the overall artistic effects.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wynken, Blynken and Zod

Wynken, Blynken, and Zod one night Sailed off in a wooden shoe. Sailed on a river of crystal light, into a sea of dew.

"Where are you going, and what do you wish?" The old Moon asked the three.

"Revenge! We will kill the son of our jailer! Come to we, son of Jor-El! Kneel before
Wynken, Blynken and Zod!"

While many of you reading this blog undoubtedly have lives that routinely lead you to sobbing relentlessly, howling your grief into the night until exhaustion pulls you into fitful unconsciousness, I quite often laugh (or at least giggle) myself to sleep.

The laughter isn't the shrieking, maniacal cackle of the unhinged, but rather a gentle chuckle that goes off and on for a few minutes before slumber. It annoys the wife greatly. I keep telling her it is just relief, the release of stresses at the end of the day as I finally relax, but it drives her crazy.

Is that weird? Am I the only one who giggles themselves to sleep? I can't believe I am the only one.

Monday, December 01, 2008

22 lines about 1 MP3 player

  1. Night is draggin' her feet, I wait alone in the heat.
  2. I try to discover a little something to make me sweeter.
  3. On the way up North, up on the Ventura.
  4. Trees swayin' in the summer breeze, showing off their silver leaves.
  5. Has anybody seen my old friend Abraham, can anyone tell me where he's gone?
  6. I was the third brother of five, doing what I had to do to survive.
  7. Adia I do believe I failed you.
  8. I know you wanna leave me but I refuse to let you go.
  9. This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice.
  10. What else should I be? All apologies.
  11. I said "Go if you wanna go, stay if you wanna stay".
  12. Everybody all around the world, gotta tell you what I just heard
  13. Come on, Babe. Why don't we paint the town?
  14. I am through with hangin' 'round all the boys in town.
  15. Why dont you stop and look me over?
  16. A long, long time ago...I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.
  17. And she was lying in the grass and she could hear the highway breathing.
  18. Have you ever seen a sight as beautiful as that of the rain-soaked purple of the white birch in spring?
  19. The case was pulled from under the bed. She made a call to a sympathetic friend and made arrangements.
  20. Do you remember a guy that's been in such an early song, I've heard a rumor from ground control.
  21. [Guitar instrumental].
  22. Now the party´s over, I'm so tired. Then I see you coming out of nowhere.
First lines from the first 22 songs on my MP3 player.