Saturday, November 28, 2009

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Vacation Monday!

Goodness, what a week it was! It was far from relaxing, but I got a lot done and sometimes that has to be just as good. Let's catch up a bit.

First, here is my mom-in-law's dog, Charlie. He watches tv:

We were watching the Dog Show on Thanksgiving, and Charlie systematically went bananas whenever he saw some dog on television he considered offensive.

Did some Black Friday shopping, and saw a few things. I'm surprised anyone buys this:

So, am I to understand that young girls are going to sleep with their heads in direct proximity to that image? I would wake up screaming if I happened to awaken in the middle of the night and saw this:

Sweet dreams, Ellie May!

I also found this at a grocery store. This is the most awesomely truthful thing I've ever read:

Excuse me, but "Grilled Meat Patty"? I appreciate that you aren't trying to fool me, but that's a little vague. What poor animal wandered onto the grounds of the Banquet Frozen Foods Factory and found themselves in this situation? I didn't read the ingredients list because, frankly, I'm afraid of the truth.

As you can see, I got a lot done. I woke up at 4 a.m. to snag some deals on Black Friday. Beloved made the mistake of leaving me in the line to just "go check on one last thing" and missed her opportunity to check out with me. So, here's a shot of Beloved waiting for her turn in line:

That's her drinking the coffee. She can tolerate almost anything as long as she gets coffee from QuikTrip. Seriously, it's only a buck or so and it's awesome. I'm surprised Starbucks is making it at all around here.

I had almost forgotten for a moment that you tune in for stuff about comics. Well, don't worry. I would never leave you hanging:

I have no idea what a "flitter fun bag" is, but I'm not touching Wolverine's "fun bag" under any circumstances.

Now, check this out:

Spider-Man's looking pretty proud to be hawking generic crayons. I suppose one should always take pride in one's work, but no matter how much you puff out your chest, that's still a bag of generic crayons. And of all the female characters in the Marvel Universe, why do they always resort to Sue? Is she really the most notable female character Marvel has?

I scored a few Black Friday goodies, but my most hopeful purchase was my fifteen dollar video Ipod knock-off, upon which I shall put on the entire Pink Lady and Jeff series:

I'm not used to seeing Hugh Hefner at less than 127 years of age, but there you go. The fact that he outlived the chimp from BJ and the Bear just gives me further reason to conclude that the universe is monstrously unfair.

Actually, I have no idea if the Bear is alive or not. That kind of information is surprisingly difficult to find. But it doesn't take additional research to learn that Jeff Altman was one of the least funny comics ever. The fact that he was able to make any kind of living at all gives me hope that I'll be able to start a second career doing stand-up someday.

And what did Pink Lady and Jeff have to do with comics? Why, one of the writers was none other than prolific comic scribe Mark Evanier! Didn't think I'd be able to pull that off, did you? Aren't you glad I rested up over the holiday to give you this bit of awesomeness?

I'm very glad to be back. See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Would You Want a Woman in Your Foxhole? Friday!

Dear Ones,

As my United States readers know, next week is Thanksgiving, and I'm taking the week off from everything (including work) to enjoy the holiday with Beloved. As such, this will be the last post until Nov. 30th. I hope everyone who celebrates the holiday has a safe and happy time.

Why those wacky dames just didn't cut it as sidekicks:

Don't be mistaken into thinking that the young lady took a bullet. Oh, no. She just heard the sound of the gun going off, and she fainted. Way to represent, "Aqua-Girl." Fortunately, she had retired by the end of this story from World's Finest #133. Had this story taken place in the 1980's, she would have been leading the Justice League by the next issue.

Still filling out your holiday wish list? May I suggest:

Granted, this would never top the leaf blower/vacuum that I got last Christmas, but nothing will ever top that. All I know is, I would be thrilled to find this under the tree on Christmas morning.

Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn and do something constructive!:

That's right, ya punks! Show some gumption!

I love preachy comics.

Again, my best wishes to everyone next week, and I'll be back on November 30th with more comics hijinks to keep you from being productive at work!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Love! Love is Always the Answer! Thursday!

Yes, I know I promised we'd look more into the time-travel story, but I got bored and moved on.

Here's yet another reason why Superman is so lame:

Really, Clark? You found it necessary to explain to Batman that you had to sneak away to go change? You've been teaming up for over 50 issues now, I think he gets it. Were you afraid that in the heat of battle he was going to go, "WHAT THE-? I just left Clark Kent over there, and now Superman's here and.... oh, wait. NOW I remember. Silly me. Next time, WARN a fella why don't you?"

Enough of that. Let's watch Superman build a giant light bulb.

Most people would rather forget the Eclipso: The Darkness Within crossover event of the 1990's, but I thought it was awesome. And in E:TDW, we learned that there is a world of difference between sunlight and light that comes out of a light bulb, no matter how big a light bulb it is. So, this really shouldn't have done anything to the creature but make him say, "Sweet Nickelback, that's a big ass lightbulb!"

And while I'm on the subject, I think I've heard enough Nickelback to last me a lifetime. That has nothing to do with comics, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to say that.

Hey! Random Ray Usage! (tm!):

Can't get enough Random Ray Usage! (tm!)

And, now we're going to just give up on this story all together.

Wow, for a story about "Creatures of Darkness," this wasn't exactly ripped from the pages of Hellblazer, was it?I realize this was from a simpler time, but I hate it when love just solves everything. For example, I have been given no other flavor of ice cream but vanilla for more than six months. When I told Beloved I had hit the wall and would be buying another flavor, she told me that the reason I was burnt out on vanilla was because I "wasn't eating it right." Yes, that's exactly what she said. And she was serious. Love will never solve that kind of disagreement. Of course, love will help you get past it, but that isn't going to put anything but nasty plain vanilla ice cream in my bowl after dinner.

No, I would have preferred anything to love repelling the monsters, even that the monsters were fake or something. Yeah, I would have gone for the traditional Scooby-Doo ending over this. "Why, these hell spawn creatures were really just Farmer Picklewhacker wearing a velvet curtain and making loud noises using this modified duck call! You would have gotten away with it, too.... had it not been for us meddling super-heroes!"

Still no calls from Marvel, DC, Image, or Wildstorm asking me to work for them. Why do you suppose that is?

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let's Nitpick About Time Travel! Wednesday!

Sometimes, it's the easiest things that give you the most trouble. For example, the invulnerability of Superman made for an easy escape out of whatever trouble a writer might have written him into, but it's hard after a while to come up with things that would pose a threat to an invulnerable person. That's why they came up with kryptonite. True story.

Time travel is another big problem that causes more problems than it solves. For example, it gives the writer room to come up with ideas beyond the confines of Gotham or Metropolis, but one must then deal with the infinite possibilities it creates.

For example (and you knew I'd have an example), World's Finest #132:

It always amazed me when Batman needed to time travel for an urgent mission. And it wasn't just to keep DC Comics from allowing Jack Nicholson to play the Joker back in the 1980's.... oh no, it was always for something very far removed, like 15th Century Italy. As of this writing, I haven't finished reading this story, but I can't wait to see how they justified this.

At this point, you can see the problem. If you send someone to another time with a button that will yank them back to the present when they're ready to come home, they will either immediately re-appear or they are lost forever, presumably dead. Yes, probably dead. But at the very least, they are lost forever or they would have been back already. You didn't send them to another planet, you sent them to another time, and since time is relative, their absence is conclusive evidence that you sent them to their deaths. Nice work, Professor.

But Superman, contrary to what others might have us believe, is an idiot, and he goes right along with the idea:

Now, I'm not sure how he navigates time without a machine to give him an idea of where he is. I'm pretty sure that God didn't obligingly put decade markers in the timestream, so I'm not convinced he's even traveling in the right direction.

But, there he is. He left 20th Century USA, and finds himself in 15th Century Italy. Why he didn't land in 15th Century USA, I'm not sure.

Now again, considering how user-friendly the timestream was, I think Superman could have easily just deposited himself at the moment in time when Batman and Robin appeared. His presence could have saved them a lot of potential difficulties, not to mention their lives, because as we have already conclusively established, they are dead and lost forever.

My head hurts. Let's finish this tomorrow! Good day, my lovelies!

Our Third Blogversary Tuesday!

I always get excited when I hit an anniversary. Granted, three years isn't long in the grand scheme of things, but for a near-daily blog, that's a pretty good run. That also gives me an excuse to evaluate things.

At this point, the blog has more readers than ever, easily topping 65,000 hits annually. Compared to commercial sites or blogs that aren't just silly fun, that's also not breaking any records. But for a personal, Google blog that hasn't exactly endeared itself to Marvel, DC or Wizard, I am amazed. I realize I am competing for your entertainment surfing time with lots of other sites (many of which I frequent myself), and I am humbled that so many of you come by day after day just to see what old comic book made me stop and go, "what just happened there?"

So, will the site continue? Absolutely. There are hundreds of thousands of comics out there that many fans and industry insiders would like to forget, but that just gives me motivation. I'm thinking that in the tradition of most television series, I am obliged to bring on a precocious child to liven things up at this point, but I think I'll keep on with what works.

Like characters who actually went to the trouble of developing a big remote-control ram's head:

And yes, we do have to wonder what would possess someone to put in the time and financial resources into researching and developing such a thing, but that's my bread and butter. So today, Crimson Avenger of the 1960's, I salute you. Yes, your modern counterpart who is forced to do the bidding of her possessed handguns is all kinds of awesome herself, but you have a big remote-control ram's head, and for that reason, I shall remember you always.

And we can't forget costumes like this one:

You know, if you're going to drape a big octopus-looking garment all over your head and torso, you must be pretty confident that no one is ever going to be close enough to take a swing at you. I mean, besides the obvious visibility problem, you are going to have about as much freedom of movement in your arms as someone who threw a bedsheet over themselves.

Basically, you are taking the appearance of Sigmund the Sea Monster:

and combining it with the battle-readiness of the Peanuts gang's outfits in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:

And there are old lessons that are still worth learning:

And yes, we do have to pause and wonder what kind of parenting is taking place where young Johnny feels justified in blowing off his outdoor chores for the purpose of writing down some introspective revelations about character flaws that need improvement over the course of the following twelve months. My suggestion to Johnny is that perhaps he needs to work on his ability to prioritize tasks so that he is not burning daylight doing something he can easily do using a lamp at a later time. But you made us think, Johnny, and for that you deserve to be remembered.

In short, I have no intention of stopping or changing the purpose of this blog. As always, I am very grateful to everyone who has started reading over the past year, and I especially want to thank everyone who has been here since the early days. Without you, there would truly be no sense to this blog, and I thank you.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 13, 2009

They Look Friendly Enough Monday!

Let's say for a second that an alien lands in your backyard. What do you do?

Do you: (a) Hide and call the authorities for help
(b) Arm yourself as a precaution before approaching them
(c) Take whatever object of unknown origin or purpose they give you and put it around your own neck, hoping that it doesn't scramble your brains or quickly constrict your airways and choke the life out of you?

I presume that most of us have enough sense to do (a) or (b). Not Batman:

Probably universal translators. Or shock collars. Whatever. We won't know until we slip these noose-like devices around our throats, will we?

You know what's even more amazing that aliens. This:

Mind you, I have never seen Bruce Wayne so much as make his own peanut butter sandwich when Alfred is around, but he does his own landscaping? Really?

Tune in next time when:

That's right. Random Ray Usage!(tm!) With Bonus Disfigurement! (tm!)

Because if you're a super-villain, that makes a lot more sense than coming up with a ray that will just kill a guy.

See you tomorrow!

Because Being Different Always Makes You Popular Friday!

I'm watching Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, and while it isn't bad, I enjoyed reading the graphic novel a lot more. Is DC missing a bet by just doing animated versions of previous (albeit very good) storylines? For me, I think so, but I suppose time will tell.

Here's where DC definitely missed a bet, circa 1960:

Oh, Johnny DC. Never did a company spend so little time putting together a mascot than they did with Johnny DC. As you might imagine of a stick figure with a face like a Lemonhead candy, there wasn't a whole lot of personality to Johnny DC, which is the opposite of what you're going for when you are promoting comics. Whenever you have to have popular characters perch a new character on their shoulders, you know there isn't a lot of confidence here. Welcome to the Character Hall of Shame, Johnny DC!

You know who we haven't seen in a while? The Fudge Judge!:

That's a little Veteran's Day Fudge Judgin' action for you there. When you pray for the troops, remember to include the service animals (like dogs) that are also out there in harm's way.

You know who else is in harm's way? This kid:

I don't care if motorcycle cops had windshields like that or not, you were begging to be the neighborhood pariah if you had that sort of thing on your bike. Rather than "windshield," perhaps we should call it what it really is: "Something to aim for when you are hocking loogies at the kid with overprotective parents." You're just asking for the other kids to see how much protection the thing really provides. It will only end in tears.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Trains Shall Run on Bat Time Thursday!

Every so often, you'll hear some fellow nerd discussing how lame Batman is because he can't match his super-powered compatriots. This was overcompensated (in the late 90's, in particular) by constantly resolving stories simply by giving Bats enough time to figure out the way to take enemies down. Perhaps it's because of my early childhood attachment to the character, but I always liked the fact that a mere mortal without super-speed or magic rings could succeed where sheer power could not.

I give you Exhibit "A", courtesy of World's Finest #127:

Despite having a bitchin' car, Bats has memorized every train schedule in Gotham to the point that he knows exactly where a train will be at any given time. Some might call that anal-retentive, and you might be right, but Bats got the job done.

And for no real reason in World's Finest #128, he turned into a human buzzsaw:

We've seen many oversized buzzsaws in comics, but that, my friends, is the stuff of legends.

Let's be more popular!

I found this at the back of an issue of All-Winners, and it slayed me. First, I don't think an 8 year-old boy in the 1940's was interesting in being more charming and popular. Second, even if I was interested in being more charming and popular, purchasing this product requires either crushingly low self-esteem or a remarkable level of self-awareness that I had kinks in my personality that needed intervention. In either case, I think I would have simply spent a few moments wondering what it would have been like to make out with the girl in the ad and moved on.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

For all of those who have served, and for those who serve today, with my deepest respect and gratitude.

And if I ever get my hands on this costume, I'll be the happiest guy West of the Mississippi.

See you tomorrow!

I Know How to Make the Eggs! Tuesday!

Did everyone catch Heroes last night? I thought we had seen a major plot shift, then they showed me in the previews how they were going to undo everything the following week. Way to kill the suspense, NBC!

Speaking of television, I know I'm not the only Hell's Kitchen fan here, but apparently what old Gordon Ramsey does to the contestants on that show is nothing compared to what they did back in the Golden Age:

Yes, if you didn't guard your egg-making secrets carefully, you risked outliving your usefulness. That's some hardcore culinary school they had going on there.

More from All-Winners #10:

I can understand why many young readers tended to forget that the Human Torch wasn't human at all, and was therefore not subject to the rules of life and death like everything in the Animal Kingdom. But since Toro was around the Torch 24/7, you'd think he'd be able to remind himself at a time like this that all the Torch probably needs is a quick run to Jiffy Lube.

Will Namor ever run out of fish-related expletives? Not today, he won't!:

This is actually one of my favorites. I'd like to see a thundering tadpole.

I don't show a lot of panels from the Destroyer stories because, while they weren't great, they didn't reach the level of silliness we've grown to expect from this site. But here, they more than made up for lost time.

For starters, how can anyone not see through this disguise? I mean, the guy didn't take off his face mask, which covers his entire head. It's the same side of the coin as the Starman "complete lack of face covering yet people still don't recognize me" situation. Yet, because it is the Golden Age, no one sees through the Destroyer's clever ruse.

This is a great dialog exchange:

I also like it because the Destroyer has to divest himself of every last stitch of the stolen uniform before he's recognized. People didn't jump to conclusions back then.

And here we push the envelope with the same disguise flaw, made worse by the fact that there isn't even a hat or a helmet covering the Destroyer's mask.

But you know, I just can't argue with success.

And we finish it off with this triumph:

See? Not only does the guard not recognize the Destroyer, he actually thinks the Destroyer is a particular person (a General, no less!). This is one of those situations that is so ridiculous, we would have hid it from our friends back in the 70's and the 80's. But these days, it borders on awesome. Time vindicates dang near everything if you wait long enough.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nude Pictures of Megan Fox Monday!

Okay, I don't really have nude pictures of Megan Fox. I just wanted to get this message out, and I figured I'd attract a few extra Googlers that way:

I will say this once: If you are using the Redbox, and you have no idea what movie you want, common courtesy dictates you step aside to make up your stupid mind and let others play through. I stared at the back of this guy's head for a good ten minutes while he scrolled around aimlessly and a line of 8 people built up behind him. There is a concept called "justifiable homicide," and I'm sure that if I had given him a whoop-ass like I so desperately wanted, no jury would have ever convicted me.

There are people that do that at the movies, too. They hold up the ticket window by asking a bunch of damn fool questions that they can answer themselves just be reading the descriptions that are posted. These people transcend "douche" and move up to pure grade "a-hole." So, don't be that person. I'd hate to lose my shoe up your ass.

You know who has too much fun? 1950's Batman:

There's just far too much frivolity here. Not that I blame him for trying to impress the chicas.

Check out Dad's smooth moves here:

Yeah, no way Jimmy is ever going to suspect he's getting a bike for Christmas with that kind of subtlety.

It's time for a new feature on CMNS I like to call A Great Moment in Comics! (tm!):

Don't eff with a parrot in Mexico. Many tourists make that mistake. But Batman is rockin' that mustache! He's looking a lot like Jimmy's Dad, Buyer of Bicycles and Smoker of Pipes. I just noticed that.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fear THE GONG! Friday!

Some super-villain origins are a little anemic. I give you Batman #55:

We're down to this, are we? I'm waiting for the super-villain motivated by his hatred of traffic lights.

So, how does one prepare for a career in bell-based super-villainy?

We read everything there is to know about bells. Now, granted, I've never actually read up on the subject, but I'd be surprised if that was a lengthy course of study.

Naturally, a guy who is that annoyed by the sound of bells would have something of a weakness:

Yes, despite his mastery of the bell (which never struck me as an overly complicated piece of equipment to begin with), he lands in prison, where he just doesn't see the error of his ways.

Of course, Bruce Wayne does. Bruce Wayne always sees the error of other people's ways:

That's right. Lesson learned, kids! The next time you're late for school, you just tell your teacher, "I refuse to be the servant of your bell." And let me know how that turns out.

See you Monday!