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May 30, 2008

Crazy Kids

Monolith trades friendly banter with Captain Cadaver.


(Page from Elementals #17, written & penciled by Bill Willingham of Fables fame. Comico, 1987)

Banter, baby!

* * *

It's the end of another frabjuous week. Summer semester started Thursday, but things have been pretty dead. Monday I expect it'll pick up. As for myself, I have big plans this weekend. Big! I might go outside!

May 29, 2008

Strange Video = Post!


Things you might not expect from this mid-60's Saturday morning cartoon starring the Fab Four:

  1. "Plot" centers around Beatles leaving NY voluntarily, rather than being deported due to destruction left in their wake
  2. Early foreshadowing of Heather Mills
  3. Ringo = Gimli, sans axe
  4. Surprisingly frank groupie portrayal

May 28, 2008

Ian Fanservice


A shot of the boy from the weekend, wearing the official family reunion t-shirt. Yes, we all had matching shirts. No, I don't want to talk about it.

May 27, 2008

I Remember This Guy

We have returned from the mountains of North Carolina, which were haunted by bands of motorcyclists and the occasional sleek 'Vette cruising the twisting roads outside Santa's Land. Lisa's clan gathered for the purposes of celebrating their patriarch's 80th birthday. This was done by eating steak, telling stories, and killing the hornets in our cabin. Well, that last one was more my thing. All too often you can't have a good time unless you kill something.

Still catching up on what happened in the real world. So far, I've gathered, both Syndey Pollack and Robert Asprin died, Hillary Clinton said something incredibly stupid, most of you who went to WisCon were struck down by the plague, and gas hit $5 a gallon (in Death Valley, which is a special location. But still).

Anything else I need to know? Here, a song to listen to while you think: Bip Bippadotta sings "Opposites."


May 21, 2008

Robots For All

Soon, you will be replaced.

You cannot stop them with your puny kicks.

They come in all shapes and sizes.



Your only hope? Sam Waterston.

May 16, 2008

Giant-Size Tales Of Whatnot

It's a tale as old as time itself, and I think H.P. Lovecraft told it best in his story, "Sweet Ermengarde" : Boy discovers gold on girl's property. Boy persuades girl to elope.


Girl expresses herself to the boy with complete frankness.


Of course, she soon regrets her hastiness.
Remember kids, always plan ahead.

(panelage from "Sweet Ermengarde, or, The Heart of a Country Girl," adapted by Rod Lott and drawn by Kevin Atkinson, Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft, Eureka Productions, 2002.)

* * *

Sorry for the lack of postage this past week. Allow me to catch you up on the doin's that have been a'transparin'.

Jon Stewart was quite hilarious. Some political humor (Clinton and Obama, but no McCain), some personal, and some observational. We then followed it up with a late night showing of Iron Man. Sweet. I wonder if Marvel will, in fact, make all those movies they announced while high on opening weekend tallies. Y'know, Captain America, The Avengers, Thor, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange, and (ahem) Ant-Man.

I'm still having some trouble with that last one. Oh, he's a fine hero. But I don't think it'll play very well with the non-fan crowd.

Also, Lisa and I enjoyed getting out of the house so much we've decided to do it again. Got ourselves a couple tickets to see the funniest man in England, Eddie Freakin' Izzard, in June.

Lisa also thinks I should get tickets to see Rush when they come to town in July, but she also flatly refuses to go. Concert going is no fun by yourself, and unfortunately, the only other Rush fan I'm still in touch with lives on the Left Coast (hi Greg!). So, probably not.

* * *

In Left Coast news, there is the remote possibility I'll have to go out to Long Beach sometime this summer for a seminar. Not definite, but quite likely (read: my boss's idea, not mine).

* * *

Had a cold that came and went, then came back and left again, then back again for another third try. I think it had frequent flyer miles in my respiratory system. My lungs are the Atlanta airport.

* * *

In the Good News for Ian department, his mighty swingset/slide has been assembled in the backyard. Did it myself, only took two hours, and I didn't injure myself. Hooray!

In the Good News for Ian, Bad News for Mom & Dad department, Ian has now graduated from his crib. Yes, he got himself a big boy toddler bed. He is so excited by this new development, it's not even funny. Of course, he's now pushed his bedtime back another half-hour because of our inability to get him to stay in it. If we hadn't invested on that extra high-child gate in the doorway to his room, I doubt he'd ever sleep again.

* * *

The writing dare has concluded.

Yes, it's true. And coming in at the end, we have 103 words last Friday, 155 Saturday (one-shot stand alone), 114 Sunday, 130 Monday, and 148 Tuesday, the last day. So, how'd I do?

  • Of the 100 days, I wrote on 99 of them.
  • I produced just over 21,000 words, or 8 stories & flash pieces plus one abandoned and one in progress.
Holy cow.

Of course, I kept on going: 127 Wednesday, and 144 last night (another one-shot). I think it's safe to say that this is now a well-ingrained habit. I'll probably spare you all further detailed reports. Yes, you're welcome.

Reading: The Ten Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hajdu.

May 09, 2008

My Roots


Whak!

This is from The Avengers #164, October 1977, one of the very first superhero comics I can remember reading (but not the very first; that would be Spectacular Spider-Man #7, the June issue). I don't remember if I bought it or Paul did, as if it matters. We each got a dollar allowance every Friday, and every Friday we'd make Dad drive us to Ray's Corner, a local convenience store in a concrete shack that sold RC Cola and Moon Pies, and yes, had a spinning rack of comics. We'd each get three, read them and then trade. A handy thing, siblings.

As far as I'm concerned, this little exchange sums up the essence of all superhero action: there's some semi-witty banter, then one character punches another so hard they fly off into the distance. Hopefully they'll do some of that in the new Hulk movie.

* * *

I have been keeping up with the writing, I promise. Although I've not reported in a while, the numbers are 173 (Monday), 119 (Tuesday), 891 (Wednesday - Go Elmo Baggins!), and 123 last night. So, I've stumbled but not fallen. Yay, not falling.

I also have a rejection to report, my second of the year: 87 day no from Flytrap.

May 07, 2008

I Have No Excuse

(Irresistible music plays. A voice sings)
La la la lah! La la la lah! Middle-Earth!
Elmo loves his Samwise! His shire too!
Thaaat's Middle Earth!

(A figure covered in red curly hair appears. It's Elmo!)

ELMO:
Hi! Elmo Baggins is so happy to see you! And so is Samwise! Isn't that right, Samwise?

(Elmo looks at a hobbit sitting on a stool nearby. Elmo laughs)

ELMO:
Can you guess what Elmo Baggins is thinking about?

(Loud thump at door. Elmo turns and opens door. Through it the Eye of Mordor appears.)

EYE:
I see you!

ELMO:
Eeep! (Slams door)

ELMO:
That's right! Elmo Baggins is thinking about the Ring! You know, the Ring!

(Video montage: Sauron battling the Five Armies, Isildur losing ring in the river, Bilbo picking up ring)

ELMO:
Samwise has a question! What is it, Samwise? (Listens to hobbit) Samwise is wondering, how do you destroy the ring? Ooh, good question, Samwise! Let's ask Mr. Noodle.

(goes to Shade, which raises. Beyond can be seen a man in grey robes with a beard, hat, and staff. He waves to Elmo.)

ELMO:
Oh, look, everybody! It's Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Gandalf! (waves) Hi, Mr. Gandalf! Mr. Gandalf, Samwise has a question. How would you destroy the ring?

(Mr. Gandalf destroys a banana, a nightstand, and a bell before finally realizing what Elmo means. He draws a picture of a volcano and a stick figure throwing the ring inside.)

ELMO:
Thank you, Mr. Gandalf! (suddenly turns to Samwise) What's that, Samwise? (nods) Samwise wants to ask somebody else.

(A series of interviews with small children)
FIRST CHILD:
Samwise, I would tie the ring to a large rock and shoot it into the volcano with a catapult.
SECOND CHILD:
Samwise, I would give the ring to a giant eagle and have them drop the ring into the volcano.
THIRD CHILD:
Samwise, I would give the ring to Tom Bombadil.

ELMO:
Thanks, everybody! And now, Elmo Baggins will ask a baby!
(approaches baby)
Baby, how would you destroy the ring?
(gives ring to baby, who throws it on the floor)
Hahahaha! Thank you, baby!

ELMO:
And now, how many Nazgul are hunting the ring? Let's count them and see!
(A series of black figures on flying reptiles fly across the room. Elmo ducks and counts as they go past)
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine! Nine Nazgul!
(A single figure, skulking along, creeps across the room)
Oh! And one Gollum!

ELMO:
That makes Elmo Baggins wonder: who can use the ring? Let's find out!
(Elmo goes to his table. He pulls on the drawer a few times before it suddenly opens and out flies a picture. A picture of a birthday cake with the ring around a candle appears)
ELMO:
Can a birthday cake use the ring?
(The ring disappears)
CHORUS:
No!
(A picture of a school bus appears, with the ring hanging from the rearview mirror)
ELMO:
Can a school bus use the ring?
(The ring disappears)
CHORUS:
No!
(A picture of Bormoir appears, wearing the ring. Boromir is grinning)
ELMO:
Can Boromir use the ring?
(Boromir turns into a ringwraith)
CHORUS:
No!
(picture rolls up and goes back into the drawer)

ELMO:
Thank you, Drawer. Elmo Baggins still wants to learn more about the ring. How can Elmo Baggins do that?
(A large palantir rolls into the room and bumps him)
Oh, that's a great idea! Elmo Baggins can watch the Ring Channel on TV! Turn on, TV!

(a cartoon eye appears, staring out)
EYE:
Welcome to the Ring Channel, where we're always looking out for you. And now, here's Mandy, with a song about the ring!

(a cartoon figure of a woman in floral tights appears)
WOMAN:
Hello, everybody!
(music plays)
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie!
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lieeee!

(cartoon eye reappears)
EYE:
Coming up next on the Ring Channel, our movie of the week, The Invisible Hobbit.

(palantir turns off)

ELMO:
Thank you, TV! Elmo Baggins still wants to learn more about the ring. How can Elmo Baggins learn more?

(a knock at the door. Elmo goes and opens the door. There stands Gollum).

GOLLUM:
Would you like to talk to Gollum about his precious?

ELMO:
Oh, yeah! Elmo Baggins would love to talk to Gollum! What's it like, losing the ring?

GOLLUM:
THIEF! THIEF! WE HATES IT FOREVER!
(attacks Elmo, who, with the help of Samwise, manages to beat Gollum back out through the door)

ELMO:
Phew! Now it's time to sing the Ring song!
(pulls up a piano and begins playing the tune of Jingle Bells. Door opens and Gollum reappears)

GOLLUM:
Gollum loves the Preciouses song! Can Gollum sing too?

ELMO:
Oh, all right.

ALL SING:
Ring ring ring! Ring ring ring! Ring ring ring!
Do do do dah! Do duh duh daaah!
Thaaat's! Middle! Earth!

ELMO:
Say goodbye, Samwise!
(Samwise waves)
Say goodbye, Gollum!

GOLLUM:
THIEF! WE HATES THE BAGGINSES!
(Elmo and Samwise throw Gollum back out the door)

ELMO:
Goodbye, everybody! Elmo Baggins loves you!

May 04, 2008

Damnation

I missed writing yesterday.

Been feeling like the crap all week, but y'know, I'd been getting by. Did 113 words Friday night, and 131 tonight, but nada on Saturday. 77 days into this, and I blow it.

I am highly annoyed with myself.

May 02, 2008

The Sequel I'm Hoping For

In honor of the opening of the new Iron Man movie, tonight's throwdown will be between Ol' Shellhead and the Not-So Jolly Green Giant himself. I understand Tony Stark actually appears in the new Hulk movie in the summer. Hopefully the dialogue will be at least this amusing.


Ouch.

Not actually sure when I'll get to see Iron Man. And so, I'll admit, I actually bought and read the official movie novelization by Peter David. Pretty good read. If you don't know who Peter David is, he's the guy who wrote "The Death of Jean DeWolff" story arc in Spectacular Spider-Man way back when. If you still don't know who he is, well. Hm. He's a writer. He writes stuff.

* * *

212 words last night. Yay, words.

Reading: Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, by Stan Lee and George Mair.