Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Comic Readin'!

I found a comic I wrote back in the Jurassic Period for Tyim Courts' Narcoleptic Man. Check it out here!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quiz Kids

I asked the kids in my classes a question: do you believe your generation is more intelligent than, less intelligent than, or equally intelligent as your parents' generation?

Some said their parents' generation had more common sense. Some said they're equally intelligent, but today's generation is much lazier, so they do less with it.

I was struck the most, though, by the number (about half) who said that their generation is more intelligent because of the technology we have today. It suddenly dawned on me that these kids view the exponential development of technology over the last few decades as THEIR OWN. They see the advent of computers and DVD players and Blackberries as evidence that they're a quantum leap beyond their predecessors.

Ah, but it was time to throw a monkey wrench into that ointment. When I asked them, by show of hands, how many of them can build a computer or DVD player, though, or if they'd be able to repair their Blackberry if it went belly up, the room was strangely silent.

What they fail to realize is that they're merely the recipients of the magic boxes, the beneficiaries of technology which requires little beyond the memorizing of which buttons to push in what order (something "lesser" primates have been doing just fine for years; these kids got nothin' on Koko the gorilla).

Y'know, our parents and grandparents may have had nothing more sophisticated at their disposal than indoor plumbing and a rusty Studebaker. But my dad could fix that plumbing when it went wonky, and my grandfather could put a new water pump in that Studebaker when the old one breathed its last.

I just quoted the great Robert Heinlein in my last post, but another bit of his wisdom comes to mind at this moment:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

And sometimes, especially here lately, I find myself sitting up in the middle of the night, worried that the colony just keeps on growing...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bob Got It Right

"The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome."
Robert A. Heinlein (To Sail Beyond the Sunset)

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Favorite Ebay Description Ever

From a current post selling the Rush album Signals:

This LP is the ninth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1982 . Signals was the follow-up to the successful Moving Pictures and highly influenced by Geddy Lee's input. Stylistically, the album was a continuation of Rush's foray into the technology-oriented 1980s through increased use of electronic instrumentation such as keyboards, sequencers, and electric violin. The album reached #10 on the Billboard album charts and was certified Platinum. The opening trackfrom Signals is "Subdivisions." The track would become a staple of the band's concert setlists for many years. "The Analog Kid" and "Digital Man" served as the inspiration for writer Troy Hickman to create the comic book heroes of the same name, Digital Man and Analog Kid, in the 2004 comic Common Grounds. "New World Man" would become an FM radio hit for the band. The song was written and recorded at the end of the recording sessions. This LP is getting harder to find now, especially in this EXCELLENT CONDITION !

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Trippy History of Troy Hickman

Hiya! Sorry I haven't posted much here lately, but as you may have heard, Twilight Guardian won the Pilot Season voting, and I've been spending a lot of my free time on interviews and such for a while.

I'm back, though, and I thought what I might start doing, along with the rest of my usual goofiness, is present some of the oddities from my small press days.

This time out, I'm going to show you a very odd piece that I did with Max Traffic some, I dunno, fifteen years ago? Max asked me to write eight pages of text to go along with his rather psychedelic artwork, so I did. What resulted was mighty peculiar. Check it out (you can click on 'em to enlarge them). Artwork (c) Maximum Traffic

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008


Gang, we have something like six hours left. If you haven't voted yet today, please do, and if you know anyone else who can, please hit them up for it.

Vote for Twilight Guardian here.

Thanks for any help, and for all the aid you folks have given me so far.

You're the best.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quick, Kato, to the Hickmobile!

Just bought a used Mercury, and I'd thought Lea might like to see it (but you folks can look, I'm not shy).

I hate buying cars because (A) I'm massively cheap, (B) I'm massively poor, and (C) you never know what you're going to get.

Hopefully this one will last me for a while. The pictures don't really convey the sportiness of this one. I feel like Batman when I drive it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Read Twilight Guardian For Free!

If you haven't read it yet, gang, Newsarama is running the entire first issue here.

Check it out, and if you are so inclined, please vote for TG every day from now until Sept. 8 at www.topcow.com


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In Case You Didn't Hear...

Twilight Guardian is currently at #1!


This may not last long, though, gang, as the competition is turning up the heat, so if you can, please get out there and vote for Twilight Guardian every day from now until September 8th!

And thanks so much for helping us to get there!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Help Another Brother Out!

While you continue to vote for Twilight Guardian once a day until September 8th here

...please also help out our pal Jay Chuppe by voting for his wonderful Red Mullet & Cowboy here

And for the also fantastic Gulch by Matt and Gabe White here

If you want great new comics, you've gotta support 'em, folks.

This message approved by Friends of Twilight Guardian.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Twilight Guardian #3 and closing!

Folks, Twilight Guardian is currently third in the Pilot Season voting, and closing in on the vaunted #2 position. We just need to get out there and vote, vote, vote, and she'll get her own mini-series! Voting will continue from now until September 8, and you can vote ONCE PER DAY, so if you can, please get out there and help make this happen!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Keep Voting Twilight Guardian!

Just rallying the troops, gang! Remember that voting last from now until September 8th. Vote early, often, and with great relish and vigor!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Vote Twilight Guardian!

OK, folks, Pilot Season voting has begun!

EACH DAY, you can vote here or here (more sites later).

I need your help, gang. Vote every day if you can (voting last all through August) and if you can get your pals to lend a hand, that'd be great.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

I'm in Canada, but I'll be checking in daily with updates and such.

Vote Twilight Guardian!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rocque On!

Good Ladies and Gentlemen, I beseech thee to cease beating your oafish servants long enough to enjoy musical merriment beyond reckoning at the cultured hands of the greatest hard rocque band in the world...The Upper Crust!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ideas Are Scary Things

Y'know, when the Nazis wanted to march in Skokie, I hated that there even WAS still such an abomination as that group in existence. But I believed that aside from them having the constitutional right to demonstrate, it was also the right thing to do if you're someone who opposes their brand of ignorance. The way to defeat evil is to bring it out from under its rock and let the light of truth get to it. I believed, and still do, that the hearts and minds of good men and women can see right through such hatred, and will reject it.

And when there was an effort in the 40s and 50s to ferret out the Communists in our society and silence them, that was simply wrong. There's probably no one in this country more anti-Communist than I am (they are, after all, possessed of one of the few mindsets that can actually be said to have caused the deaths of far more people than even the monstrous Third Reich), but again, I believe that the better angels of our nature will turn away from the Maos and Castros and Pol Pots of the world when we actually come face to face with their evil.

Y'see, folks, more than just about anything in the world, I believe in free speech. And no, I don't mean just the God-given right to speak ones mind; that's self-evident. No, I'm also talking about the belief that your own opinions have enough weight, substance, and truth to them that you have NO NEED to suppress the thoughts and ideas of your opponents.

I mention all this so that you have some context to the anecdote I'm about to relate.

Tonight I stopped in to our local Barnes and Noble bookstore to browse. While I was there, I walked by a display right up at the front of the store (in front of the info desk) marked "In the News." Ah, I thought, this sounds good. I'm all about topical issues and such. Let's see what they've got.

Well, gang, it's amazing what's in the news these days. There were approximately 45 non-fiction books on top of the table. They included books on how evil and/or incompetent George Bush is, why the war has been such a mistake and was tremendously mishandled, how capitalism is a bad idea, why man-made global warming is a FACT and anyone who says otherwise is either an idiot or a liar paid by corporations, why Barack Obama is the only choice for our next president, why the U.S. is more evil because of Abu Ghrab than islamic extremist are for beheading innocent people, and on and on.

Amazingly, almost everything in the news these days fits one political viewpoint! Imagine!

Of the books on the table, only three had any viewpoint that was not far left of center. One was by George Will. One was a biography of Ronald Reagan (although that was one of the few books on the table I haven't read any part of, so I guess it MIGHT have been critical of Reagan). The last one was a biography of Barry Goldwater (I assume that one was probably positive, as it was co-written by his son, although I guess if I made that same assumption about Mommy Dearest I'd be wrong).

Amazing. Out of 45 books on current politics, only three did not necessarily support a stereotypical liberal viewpoint. Wow, what are the odds, especially given the fact that according to the last couple of presidential elections and just about every poll taken in the last twenty years, this country is divided about 50/50 on almost every major issue.

Was this display a Barnes and Noble corporate decision? I assume not, since they DO carry books with dissenting opinions, and many of them sell VERY WELL. No, the judgment call to set up the display this way was obviously made by one (or maybe a few) of their employees.

So given everything I've said above, how little faith do you have to have in the strength of your beliefs that you are not willing to give the other viewpoints equal time? If, for example, man-made global warming is so obvious and "the debate is over" as Al Gore says, what's the harm in having even ONE book (out of the dozens and dozens in existence) that says the contrary right there alongside the half dozen that claim man-made global warming is a given?

And if you're someone who's reading this and you have the same beliefs as the authors of those 42 books on the table (and I probably agree with some of them, too), how do you feel when you read about something like this? Does it make you happy that folks who believe as you do are willing to stoop to things like this? Or does it make you as incensed as me? And if you had walked by that display tonight like I did, would you have even noticed the imbalance of opinions?

And if you do think it's ok, since it supports your views, ask yourself how you'd feel if it didn't. For example, what if you walked into a Walden Books or a Chapters and you saw a display that said "Opinions on Religion," and when you took a closer look, you realized that almost every book was about how Christianity is the only "correct" religion. Nothing there about Judaism, Islam, Wicca, agnosticism, atheism, nothing. Just "Jesus is the only way TO think" and that's it. You have a problem with that? I sure as hell would.

Ideas that have merit can stand or fall on their own. They should be given that chance, whatever they are. Only cowards need to literally or figuratively shout down their opponents, whether it's people trying to get "The Last Temptation of Christ" taken out of theaters, or college students not allowing a guest speaker to be heard.

Shame on them.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Let There Be Rock

Continuing in our vein of people whose death really pisses me off, I've been thinking a lot about Bon Scott recently (yesterday was his birthday, in fact). As many of you know, I consider Paul Rodgers the greatest rock vocalist of all time, and that's a given. But when it comes to blistering hard rock, no one has ever touched me like Bon. No offense to Brian Johnson, who is a talented man, but the early AC/DC albums are a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Bon, buddy, I loved you, but to hell with you (and I know you'd like that) for depriving us of a lot of years of balls-to-the-wall rockin'.

Here's a little bit of Bon and the boys. I picked this one specifically for Lea (even though she more than likely can't watch the video):

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Are You Kids Scared Yet?

OK, I commented on the first episode of "Fear Itself" a while back. Since then there have been three more excursions into TV horror. Did it get any better? Well...

* "Spooked" - Eric Roberts stars as a dirty cop who gets haunted. There was some decent eerie imagery here, and truth be told, I've always kind of liked Roberts' performances (unlike his sis, he does have a lick of talent). But there was soooo much padding here, too. Look, folks, I'll say it again: a one-hour horror TV show is fine, but break it into shorter vignettes! Most of the plots you're dealing with here DO NOT need an hour to unfold. You end up stretching a 22 minute idea into 44, and it just tends to drag.

* "Family Man"- OK, this had a decent premise: a good father and husband is involved in a car crash with a serial killer, and their two souls trade bodies. Potentially suspenseful stuff, and there are a few decent moments. But the ending...sheesh. Newsflash: horror stories DO NOT have to end in a hopeless, nihilistic manner. That's not scary, just depressing.

* "In Sickness and In Health" - Probably the worst of the bunch so far, and almost totally because of the script. I think I've pointed out before that I'm not a plot guy, and Lea is very much the same. But five minutes into this, she turned to me and told me how it was going to end, and I said "Oh, if it does, man, am I going to be disappointed." And I was disappointed. Shame on you, Victor Salva, and not for your conviction of molesting (and videotaping) a twelve year-old boy (excuse me for sounding less than "progressive," but I can remember a time when sexually abusing a child might make folks in Hollywood a bit reluctant to hire you). No, shame on you because, criminal offenses aside, you have more talent than this crap. You made the truly scary Clownhouse, and the pretty darn good Jeepers Creepers movies (and the fairly craptastic Powder, actually). But this is the best you could do for your TV debut? Since the ENTIRETY of this piece hinged on the ending (a mistake), the worst thing you could have done was to make the conclusion easier to see coming than the Underdog balloon in the Macy's parade. And yet you did.

Sooooo...I'm not really digging this show so far. I'm pinning my hopes on tonight's episode, which is directed by Stuart Gordon (who, at the very least, directed a couple of movies twenty-odd years ago that I really dug). As Boris Karloff would say, only time will tell.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Either It Flams or It Doesn't

Thanks for a lot of laughter, buddy. Catch you later.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Love Funnybooks! #2

OK, let's see what wonders from the Silver Age of comics we have today.

* First up is Our Fighting Forces #117. At one time OFF was a fairly standard war comic, but as with a lot of DC's non-superhero books of the 60s, fantastic elements began creeping in. Here we see Lt. Hunter and his Hellcats (I'll bet that named inspired fear in Uncle Adolf) being confronted by...uh...hell, I don't know. And neither did Hunter, as we see him yell out "Hellcats--what the devil are those things?!" It's an odd thing to exclaim. How should they know any more than he does? Is he expecting Light Fingers or Brute or Snake Oil (yes, those are their "battle names") to say "Lieutenant, those are the Snow Creatures of the Black Forest, created by the Nazi Cyclotron process! Didn't you get the memo?" And what the hell ARE those things? Some sort of frigid creature, ostensibly, but what's with the funky helmets? I think they're supposed to be standard German helmets, but the way they're drawn makes them look like fishing hats. And they seem to be wearing loincloths with ammo belts (but they have no weapons, far as we can tell). Good gosh, they must be those giant Nazi ice fishermen I've heard so much about!

* Here's Secret Hearts #103, one of those romance books that were a mainstay of the comics landscape at one time (though damned if I knew anyone when I was growing up, male or female, who read them). Picture here, far as I can tell, is Amy Ames, a recurring Ann Landers-type character who wrote the column "The Listening Heart." And what exactly is Amy doing here? Well, her dialog says "This is the only way I can stop Johnny from taunting me--!" What the hell? If I had known that the secret of getting girls to plant one on you is merely "taunting" them, I would have made Don Rickles look like Gandhi. Really, though, I think there's a lot more going on here than she's letting on. Look at the way Johnny's just lying there. Look at the way Johnny's eyes are closed. Look at the way she seems to have to hold up Johnny's head.

Folks, Johnny's dead.

Tune in next issue for more of "Amy Ames, Necrophile!"

* Ah, Mystery in Space #24, featuring the "Hitchhiker of Space" How could you not love this cover? This was the 1950s, so they certainly KNEW that a guy couldn't survive in the vacuum of space with just a FISHBOWL ON HIS HEAD, but they didn't care! It made for a cool image, and that was enough. I think the greater question is why the hell is this guy sitting on a tiny asteroid? Since he's hitchhiking, did the last spaceship that picked him up just leave him there, rather than on an actual planet or moon? I'm guessing the guy has shrimp salad and asparagus for lunch, so he was persona non grata.

The biggest mystery on this cover, though, is not how he got there, or how he's surviving in space, or even why there's a floating direction sign next to him. No, the real question is...who the hell coordinates their shirt to match their socks?

*Finally, we have the covers of Hawkman #11, 17 and 22.

What do these tell us? Well, mainly the fact that Hawkman fought waaaaayyyy too many villains in bad bird costumes. Hey, let me give you a lesson in superhero writings 101: Hawkman's main claim to fame is that he's a guy in a bird suit. That's largely it. Other heroes fly, other heroes use melee weapons, other heroes have female partners. Unlike most of them, though, Hawkman dresses up like a bird. So if you constantly put him up against OTHER bird men, it takes something away from what makes him unique, or at least uncommon. To put it in other terms, if Spider-Man fights the Tarantula, that's OK. But if the next six issues have him fighting Daddy Longlegs, Black Widow, Wolf Spider, Tunnel Spider, Cave Spider, etc., you're likely to say "hey, I'm dying for Will o' the Wisp here!" (well, ok, maybe you wouldn't say that).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Link To Your Blog?

Y'know, it occurred to me that I only have a few links to other blogs. The reason for that is simply because no one has asked me to link to them, and I felt kind of funny just doing so without anyone's permission (though I guess if you didn't want folks reading what you've written, you probably wouldn't put it on the internet, don'tcha think?).

So if you'd like me to put you on my link list, please just let me know. You, too, could have nearly a dozen readers a year!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lord, I Was Born a Ramblin' Hickman

Some thoughts:

* I've been on a diet since April, and so far I've lost 22 pounds. I still have a long, long way to go, but I've never been more determined to get in shape, or been more certain that once the weight is off that I'll be able to keep it off. I'm thinking about taking all my ridiculously large clothes to the Goodwill, because I can say without any hesitation that I won't be needing them again (actually, I thought it might be fun to auction off a pair of my old giganti-jeans on ebay for charity, since so many folks over at the CoH boards like to talk about my pants for some reason).

My weight has fluctuated all my adult life, and I've weighed as much as almost 400 pounds and as little as 175. I think I've finally licked it, though (that's what SHE said!).

I'll probably periodically report my weight loss here as a way of having to answer to someone, always a good strategy. Spur me on, kids (which is a line that's undoubtedly been overheard at Neverland Ranch).

* Damn you, Mitch Hedberg. Y'know, I'm sure lots of folks are sad about Mitch's death a while back, but all I can feel about it is ANGER. Here was a guy with soooo much talent, so much comedic wit, and he @#$% overdoses and steals it from a world that could sure use more laughter. Mitch, I loved ya, man, and I'm sure you had your demons, but people with talent, REAL TALENT, have a gift. And while I think it's your right to do whatever you want with that gift, it sure pisses me off when someone throws it away, when it could do a lot of folks a lot of good. Wherever you're at, I'm sure you're cracking 'em up, but I sure wish it was here.

* I really love frozen fruit. No, I don't mean the stuff you buy already frozen in a bag. I mean buying fresh fruit and freezing it. A frozen strawberry is quite a delicious thing. A frozen peach is wonderful. Frozen grapes are a euphoric experience. And if you like bananas, try one frozen; it really brings out the sweetness. I can't eat a ton of fruit on this diet, but when I do, you can bet it's almost always been in my freezer (right there next to Walt Disney and Capt. America).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Who Do You Love?

As you've no doubt heard, Bo Diddley died recently. What can I say in memorium to the guy that hasn't been said already? When a man is so influential that there's a freakin' musical beat named after him, what more needs to be said? With the exception of perhaps the great Les Paul and his namesake guitar, who else holds that kind of honor?

No, today what we do is, and no offense to you, Ozzy, but we shut up and enjoy the Bo Diddley:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Oh Ye Of Little Faith

Hey, Neonox, buy my comics!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Where's "Trilogy of Terror" When We Need It?

I watched the debut of "Fear Itself" on NBC last night. What a steaming pile of...er...television. The script was weak, the plot was skeletal (and if I have problems with a plot, you KNOW there's a problem), and the characters were a bunch of faces without personalities that I didn't give a rat's rosy red ass about. Beyond that, at times this thing was filmed so darkly that ANYTHING might have been happening on-screen, but damned if you could tell what.

I'd love to have a new horror anthology on television, but if Fear Itself doesn't get better pronto, it's not going to be that series. This is not a Night Gallery, a Dark Room, a Tales from the Darkside. So far it's more like a bloody, badly filmed version of Supertrain.

It does have ONE scary thing going for it, though. The next episode features Eric Roberts...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Twilight Guardian's Own Blog

I've started another blog just to cover Twilight Guardian questions, comments, reviews, etc. Check it out here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The World's All Et Up With Twilight Guardian!

The book apparently comes out in two days!

Here's a preview of the first five pages

and an interview.


Monday, May 12, 2008

It All Tastes Like Maple!!!

I'm in Vancouver at the moment, so it may be slim pickin's blogwise for the next little while. How will the world survive??!!??

Here's what my view looks like, approximately:

Nice place, though I hate the crowds and the public transportation (buses are for rock bands and million-man marches).

There's a very nice comic shop called "Big Pete's" in North Van that I highly recommend. Pete and the gang are good people.

OK, off to hunt for Sasquatch (my long lost brother). Seeya later, masticators!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Love Funnybooks!

Challengers of the Unknown #1 - Y'know, comics are somewhat notorious for expository captions and dialog, and rarely will you see it more evident than this cover. "Our young captor from out of space left the top off our cage---and his household pet is going for us!" Thanks for the revelation, pal; I couldn't see the giant kid and his space-schnauzer there.

And why is the tyke from "out of space"? And hey, why does it have to be his "household" pet? What the hell does that mean? As opposed to the pet he keeps on his uncle's spacefarm? I love the Challs, I really do, even if their first issue used a sci-fi cliche that was old during the Great Depression. They were living on borrowed time. I'm just living on borrowed furniture.

My Greatest Adventure #7 - MGA was always one of my favorites, and not just because it eventually launched my beloved Doom Patrol. Just take a look at this cover, and marvel (er, DC) at funnybook greatness. The assemblage there (all in formal attire for some reason not clear on the cover) is unaware that he's a "cop from outer space." Y'know, I'd think the little green alien sitting on his shoulder might be a tip-off, but what do I know? And do you really need strange space-powers to outwit a criminal mastermind who can't think of anything better than hiding the incriminating weapon in a vase?

Justice League #51 - Ahhhh, few books from my youth grabbed me like the JLA. I ate up that stuff with a spoon, and went back for seconds and thirds. Looky here. We've got Zatanna either appearing out of, or basking in, a flame apparently coming out of a giant candle...which appears to be sitting on an alien landscape. Wha---huh? But wait, if it's a giant candle, why is the Atom so relatively large in comparison? That would imply it's a normal sized candle but...but...but...Norman, coordinate! And what's this about Elongated Man being the "surprise guest star"? He's ON THE COVER. Once you walk by the comic rack and see his stretchable mug staring back at you, it's hardly the sort of startling revelation that's going to give you a grabber.

Witching Hour #8 - Ooooh, spooky, kids. DC's mystery books of the 70s had a major effect on me (I think they may have actually spawned the unspeakable horror that I have become...or maybe it was Clutch Cargo). This cover completely boggles me. The old...uh...lady, I guess, locked in her room seems clueless as to the monster party going on outside, so she calls to Winifred. But who is Winifred? Is it the woman in the maid costume? And if so, why is Winifred apparently surprised by the old lady? And why is there a lock on the OUTSIDE of the old lady's door? Didn't she ever notice that before and say "hey, what's up with that?" And what kind of half-assed monsters are those, anyway? They're all assorted hues, like a pack of Chuckles or the result of a misused coloring book. It was nice of them to all dress up for the affair, though.

I love funnybooks!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Crushing Dog Heads and Crapping My Pants

In an effort to get in shape, and hopefully put off my demise, I'm starting to walk again at night. I "got back on the horse" last night, and the solitude and night air were conducive to thinking about...stuff. Here are some of my thoughts:

* I love walking at night. It's something I've done for a large part of my life. It started when I was a teen-ager and would find myself up in the wee hours with nothing to do (and burdened with my own natural voyeuristic tendencies; I had to be watching SOMETHING). It's a lonely, lonely thing, though. In fact, my Twilight Guardian book (the new version of which comes out next month) came into being as a result of the feelings and experiences I've had while wandering the streets between midnight and dawn.

* I hate yappy little dogs. Don't get me wrong; there are few folks who love the canine species more than me. But those little noise-bags that won't let you pass by a house without alerting the entire neighborhood (and then continuing their barrage when you're three blocks away), well, I have to admit I feel like picking them up by their grapefruit-sized heads and crushing their lemon-sized brains. Does that make me a bad person? And why the hell are they so often Yorkies? Were they bred specifically to annoy?

* You have weird thoughts at 3 a.m. For instance, while I was walking, I suddenly felt some intestinal crampage and "the urge." At first I started to panic, thinking "my god, I'm a mile from home, and there's not a public bathroom anywhere near me." But as I kept walking, a weird solace overtook me. I began asking myself what is the worst thing that could happen. I could crap my pants? And it occurred to me that even if I did, who would know about it? I was walking around a dark neighborhood in the middle of the night. If the "worst" happened, it would just be a sloshy kind of walk home, followed by considerable, but private, clean-up. The only hitch would be if the police happened to stop me on the way (a pretty common occurrence when you walk through residential neighborhoods at this time of night). The whole thought process made me cognizant of just how much our lives are affected by other folks and their knowledge of our faults, foibles, idiosyncrasies, etc. If we didn't feel constrained by a lot of that stuff, we'd probably have relatively stress-free lives. Imagine how you would live, how relatively free you would feel, if you were the last person on earth, and you could be completely YOU.

And no, I'm not suggesting that you crap your pants. Ewww.

Anyway, more walking reports to come. Time to go!

Monday, April 14, 2008

That Grills My Ass!!!

Here's a new feature at SUAETO that will allow me to occasionally vent even more of my spleen: That Grills My Ass!!!

Our first installment deals with the concept of someone "giving back to the community." Around here, there's a very prosperous car dealer named Bob Rohrman. Bob has been selling cars in this area for many, many years, and he's quite a fixture in our community. Well, recently Bob donated 3.5 million dollars to my alma mater, Jefferson High School, and since then, I've heard numerous folks say...(pause as I steel myself)..."well, it's nice to see him give back to the community (or even worse, "it's about time that rich SOB gave something back!").

Look, you malletheads, let me do the math for you. Bob Rohrman sells cars. He provides the community with transportation, and in return you give him money for it. Right there, Bob and the community are even. Bob doesn't owe the community anything beyond that. HOWEVER...

(1) Because Bob has a large number of dealerships, he creates a great number of jobs in this area. Between his salesmen, mechanics, etc., he employs quite the array of folks. Score one for Bob.

(2) Because the folks he employs spend the money he pays them primarily in this area, that stimulates the local economy, which helps everyone. Score one for Bob.

(3) Because he has to pay substantial taxes for his dealerships and all that entails, the local and state government make a huge amount of revenue off his business, which pays for all sorts of services (and pays for probably 10,000 times more services than Bob himself ever uses). Score one for Bob.

And yet you assclowns can't see that Bob has "given anything back" until he actually cuts a check for 3.5 million dollars? You mealy-mouthed little government-teat sucking bags of crap. You're as clueless as you are spineless.

That grills my ass!!!

Four Poster Bad, Part 4

OK, let's get right into it. First off is Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold. Y'know, the titular character had been around for over a hundred years when this flick was made; you'd think they'd get it right by now. This was the sequel to King Solomon's Mines, and I'd like to think Solomon would've had the wisdom to cut this turkey in half (and no one would have intervened). Wasn't Chamberlain getting a little long in the tooth to capitalize on the Indiana Jones craze by this time? The poster is just as craptastic as the film. Check out the image of...uh...I guess it's supposed to be Sharon Stone, but it could just as easily be Shelly Long, Audrey Landers, Estelle Getty, hell, I dunno. There's also the Arab-looking fellow who doesn't seem to know how to wield a knife (careful there, Farhat, you're gonna lose a digit!). And who are the guys at the bottom in the hoods and skirts? Half Klansmen, half 60s gogo dancers? The best part, though, is on the middle right. See him? It's Richard Simmons! He's making the gogo klansmen sweat to the oldies! Go, Richard, go!

Next up we have Backfire. And before you ask, no, I don't remember this movie either. It apparently stars Keith Carradine and Karen Allen, and the plot is listed on the Internet Movie Database thusly: " A shell shocked Vietnam Vet is driven over the brink by his greedy wife and her boyfriend." Ah, I see. This is what is usually referred to by cinema devotees by the technical term "the kind of movie Hickman won't bother watching." I think the main question viewers of the poster probably found themselves asking was "who the hell's legs are those?" They're clearly not Karen Allen's (unless she grew a foot for the movie), and presumably they're not Keith Carradine's (although it's possible, due to genetics; not too many folks know that John Carradine had a fine set of gams and was one of the original Radio City Music Hall Rockettes). It appears that the young lady in question here is also going commando, which I guess is supposed to be titillating, but it just keeps making me think about yeast infections.

Ahem. Blue Monkey."While working in a greenhouse, a man receives an insect bite after touching an exotic plant. Immediately, he falls ill and is taken to an emergency room where the doctors diagnose him as suffering from an unknown bacteria, and a strange parasite which emerges from his mouth as a large slimy wormlike creature. Soon, there are more cases of bacterial infection, but the more immediate problem for the hospital is the wormlike creature which after accidental exposure to a genetic growth stimulant grows to monstrous proportions and starts a reign of terror and bloodshed in the hospitals abandoned wing."

Where the hell is the blue monkey???

And why does the head on the poster look like some kind of animatronic thing you'd see at Chuck E. Cheese??? And what are those things on the side of his head??? Have his mutton chops gone rogue???

I'm fairly sure Blue Monkey is a flavor of slushy.

Finally we have Creepozoids (and if you have creepozoids, I'd recommend Tuck's Medicated Pads). Well, the poster seems to be attempting to make this flick look like an Alien rip-off, which is what it is. The monster is really, really badly painted, though, so it COULD be the monster from Alien, or it could be...um...Sharon Stone, Shelly Long, Audrey Landers, Estelle Getty, I dunno. It really doesn't even look like it's on the same plane of existence as the human figures, like it was cut out of a different poster and pasted on as an afterthought. To be fair, though, the humans are not exactly Maxfield Parrish-level, either. Check out the macho dude, protecting the ladies by heaving his pecs at the monster. And the woman in the center is so frightened that her buttons have, in a Casper cartoon fashion, jumped up, screamed, and left her shirt. Most disturbing is the prone woman, however, who disregards the monster entirely in favor of an attempt to suckle at her homegirl's now exposed bosom. Hey, lady, I like a glass of milk as much as the next guy, but there's a time and place for everything.

Tune in next time for more Madison Avenue garbage that didn't put a single ass in a seat.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


So excuse me if I'm wayyyy behind the times here, but I was just reading some stuff about Ayn Rand's phenomenal Atlas Shrugged when I came across...THE RUMOR. I'd like to think it's a leftover April Fool's joke, but apparently not. No, Hollywood is all set to make Rand's masterpiece into a piece of cinema (assuming cinema is French for "feces") and the two leads are to be played by...Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Excuse me, Hollywood? Shouldn't you be busying yourselves elsewhere with telling us why Castro is actually a saint rather than a monster, or writing George Clooney's next self-absorbed smugfest Oscar speech ("America didn't even know there WERE black people, until we in Hollywood set them straight!")?

But no, you choose instead to take one of the most brilliant novels of the last century and cast it the same way you did with Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I read a blurb on the IMDB where the film's plot was referred to in this way: "a powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her." Huh? That's like referring to Of Mice and Men as "slow guy pets rabbit."

I don't know how to break this to you, oh great Hollywood elite, but Atlas Shrugged is primarily about objectivism and rugged individualism and the notion that FOLKS HAVE THE RIGHT TO KEEP WHAT THEY EARN. Have any of you actually read the book? I'm guessing not, since the idea of self-determination rather than government control is anathema to most of you. You use your award nights to grouse about funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. Do you have any idea where Ayn Rand would've told you to stick your NEA?

I can't say I'm surprised, though. The last time Hollywood attempted anything Rand-related was the atrocious cable sleazefest The Passion of Ayn Rand, in which they turned the life of one of the most important writer/philosophers of our time into something that should've starred Shannon Tweed rather than Helen Mirren. It was a shoddy attempt to cast negative light on Rand's beliefs through some seedy sex drama. Blech.

And now they want to tear down Atlas Shrugged in a similar manner. "A powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her"? It's not a corporate drama, you mallet-heads. The reason society is crumbling in the novel is because the folks who keep it running (i.e. the folks who actually get off their asses and produce things) have decided they're fed up with being overtaxed and underappreciated. And you pinkboys seem to want to turn it into another John Grisham whine-fest. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Maybe after this flick is made, the director can take a cue from Howard Roark, protagonist of another Rand novel, The Fountainhead, and blow the crap out of every print of the film.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Slacker SOB!

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. Been busier than a crazed weasel on crack. This will change very soon. Now, go about your business.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I've been asking myself whether I want to incorporate more of my personal life into this blog. For the most part so far, I've dealt with STUFF: pop culture, movies, tv, comics, etc. Occasionally I've mentioned a bit of my daily Hickmania: my son, my love for Lea, etc. But even that has been kept on a pretty surface level. Now, some of you folks know of my love for any sort of autobiographical material, and my almost compulsive drive to be self-revelatory, so I'm torn as to, as Mr. Bob Seger would say, "what to leave in, what to leave out." Over there on the right-hand column, I've posted a poll. Let me know what you think.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nananananana, Today is My Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

I'm not getting older. I'm getting more distinguished. And also older.