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 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.