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.