Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pregnant Pause

Two weeks ago I did the piece above at Bill Stout's place. I'm trying to get back into actually "drawing" things again (though this is obviously pastels), after taking a number of months off.

I wanted to get back to Bill's this past weekend, but we had a pet "emergency" that day, which took us over five hours to handle. Word to the wise: don't ever go to the Emergency Vet on a holiday weekend unless you have a real serious problem; they take forever to get to you.

TiVo Finally Does It!

Yep, they finally made a profit! Way to go!

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Adventure Comics #358

Adventure Comics #358 (On Sale: May 31, 1967) has a great Curt Swan/George Klein cover. The design of this thing is so out of character for Swan; looks more like something you would see in the next few months from Neal Adams. I really wonder about this cover.

Inside "The Hunter" is by Jim Shooter and George Papp. On the jungle planetoid Simballi, the billionaire financier known as the Hunter traps and kills a beast called a tigerram. That night, at a great feast in his castle, the Hunter expresses boredom and dissatisfaction with his existence to his assistant, Jakra. He has trapped and killed the deadliest beasts in the galaxy, but he craves even more dangerous game. Pulling back a curtain to reveal plastic heads of the Legion members mounted on a wall, he tells Jakra that the Legionnaires will be his next conquest.

Ships from Orion Enterprises land at spaceports all over Earth, each containing vicious animals from the Hunter's private zoo. When the time is right, the Hunter issues a threat to the Legion by forming words in the sky. The heroes on duty at the Clubhouse, Superboy, Invisible Kid, Chameleon Boy, Karate Kid, Ultra Boy, and Shrinking Violet, fly over the city but fail to discover the source of the threat. The Hunter then has his animals released, and as they swarm over Metropolis, the heroes do their best to stop them. The Hunter appears, offering to halt the stampede if the Legionnaires will surrender to him. Since their efforts to quell the beasts have failed, the heroes reluctantly agree, and watch in amazement as he stops the creatures with a simple spoken command.Reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our Long Local Nightmare May Be Ending!

I was a Lakers fan for almost 40 years when the team was hijacked by Kobe Bryant and went from the Lakers to the laKers (big K for Kobe's ego). I have not paid any attention to them since the summer slaughter of the team at Kobe's insistence. It looks like our long local nightmare might finally be ending and we may be getting our team back. Yes Kobe, please, leave!

Stop Thief!

OK, it may be too late to yell that, but I've just been informed that someone stole Burt and my idea for a porno version of Jaws 31 years ago. "Stop Thief!" I say!

I was totally shocked and disheartened to get this email today...
Dear Barry;

Love your blog, but I think you should know that there was (is?) a porn film titled "Gums", made around the time you were thinking about it..... I picked this thing up on videotape around 1979, 1980 while living in Europe and if you can track down a copy of it it's definitely worth one viewing..... bizarre and surreal in a stupid way, it's about a mermaid..... but with Brother Theodore and an assortment of horney puppets added to the live action it's a truly bizarre experience ... I sold my copy to a friend (I don't know, should you do things like that to friends ??) shortly after I bought it... it was just too strange.....

... and oddly enough it did play the Pussycat Theatres in southern California... back when the San Diego Comic-Con was in a school gym.

Gums (1976)

A mermaid? Not even close to our concept, but prettty creepy none the less.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Question of Power

I just saw a news item about a former elementary school vice principal convicted of murdering his estranged wife, three children and mother-in-law in Bakersfield California. I had to check to see if I knew the guy (I didn't). I've mentioned before that in 1990 I quit my job at EDS and moved to Taft California, where my wife took her first job as a City Manager. Taft is a small town of six thousand people in Kern Country, 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield. Given that, I spent some time in Bakersfield, mainly when I was a member of KIPUG, the Kern Independent PC Users Group.

Strange things happened back in my three years in Taft; strange death-related things. The first had to do with WESTEC, the Westside Energy Services Training and Education Center in Taft. I owe most of my career since I left Taft to WESTEC.

I was a member of the Taft Rotary Club when one day a fellow member said he wanted to talk to me about an idea he had for some software. Dick Mallard was the head of WESTEC and he told me about something he wanted to call Skill Trac. It seemed too ambitious for a one-man shop like me, but a few weeks later I got a copy of Microsoft Visual Basic 1.0. I remembered everything Dick had said about Skill Trac and the first program I ever wrote in Visual Basic was an abbreviated demo of the basic Skill Trac screen.

I showed it to Dick and got a contract to finish the demo to show the WESTEC board and from there I got another contract to build the entire system. I later got another contract to build a version that used Microsoft Access as a database rather than the home-grown engine I had written for Skill Trac 1.0.

I only found out a few months after I signed the initial contract that Dick had already found another programmer to write the software, but that the day he was to come in and sign the contract he had a heart attack and died. His death is the only reason I got to write Skill Trac, and Skill Trac is the only reason I've had a non-stop Visual Basic career ever since.

At KIPUG I was the editor and main writer for the group newsletter and I was constantly locking horns with two other KIPUG members, both who were also KIPUG board members and both of who happened to be named John. Except for the two Johns, I was pretty much loved by everyone in the group. My problems with the Johns became more and more heated over time and who knows to what level it would have escalated to had they not both died within a month of one another.

It seemed like every time I needed a break in Taft, someone died and gave it to me. It was a strange power to have and I'm glad when I left Taft I seemed to have left it behind.

The Answer to the Question...

...What could possibly be wrong with throwing billions of dollars down the bottomless rat hole known as the Star Wars Missile Defense Program?

Russia says new ICBM can beat any system


This week one of the cable channels was doing an "All Jaws" Weekend. I started to watch the original, when my wife informed me that it scared the shit out of her and to turn it off. I reluctantly did, but it got me to thinking about a movie my friend Burt Griswold and I dreamed up in 1975 after seeing Jaws. Let me tell you about it...

Back then porn was a lot different than it is today. OK, maybe not that different in content, but very different in deployment. In 1975 there were no VCRs, no PCs, no DVDs, on Internet; there were Super8 projectors and theaters and that was pretty much it. Porn movies had releases just like other films and would play at your local porn theater (in San Bernardino it was a Pussycat Theater), and stay as long as it had business and then the next feature would move in. A number of the films were based very loosely on current TV shows or movies.

Burt and I dreamed up a porn version of Jaws, called Gums! We even came up with a tag-line and a poster. I don't remember all of the plot points, but it loosely followed that of Jaws.

The bodies of dead men are being found along the streets and back alleys of Hollywood; in each case their genitals have been mutilated. The local police think it might be a serial killer, but the Chamber of Commerce says they are mistaken.

They eventually hire a specialist, Matt Pooper, who tells them, "Well, this is not an industrial accident, and it wasn't any sexual toy mishap, it wasn't any blow job gone bad, and it wasn't Jack the Ripper. These men were gummed to death!"

There is a big erotic convention coming to town for the Fourth of July weekend and the Chamber doesn't want their business chased away. As the honorary Mayor of Hollywood puts it, "You yell Accu-Jack mishap, everybody says, "Huh? What?" You yell sexually mutilating serial killer, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July."

Pooper determines that each of the victims was extremely well-endowed and wearing a specific type of cologne, one made with some very odd pheromones. "The woman we are looking for is attracted to the exact kind of odors that occur whenever well-hung human beings put on this cologne and get nasty in back alleys. You cannot avoid it."

In the end the Sheriff, Pooper, Quim (a porn star they hire as bait for the killer) and a case of cologne all end up late one night in a Volkswagen Beetle (cause guys with big dicks can afford to drive crappy cars) cruising Hollywood Blvd. They are stranded on a side street when one of the tires is ripped right off of their car. The Sheriff catches sight of a woman scampering away, a tire in her large mouth and tells them, "You're gonna need a bigger car."

But it is too late for that. Their car is repeatedly attacked by the toothless, denture-less woman. She gums the small car, ripping off bumpers and fenders as she continues her relentless assaults. During a lull in the attacks Quim goes out for a cigarette and can not get back to the car in time. She gums him to death right in front of the others.

Eventually they toss a can of feminine hygiene spray into her gummy maw and shoot at it with a pellet gun till it explodes. The film ends with Pooper and the Sheriff getting blow jobs in a back alley from two hookers.

"I used to hate anonymous, impersonal sex" says the Sheriff.

Pooper laughs, "I can't imagine why."

If we had only had the connections to get this gem made!

Memo to NBC

So you've ousted your chief programming executive Kevin Reilly only three months after giving him a new three-year contract. Smooth move. That will sure engender a feeling of confidence to the ol' Peacock Network.

I'm also not sure that it is the greatest of ideas to put in charge a guy whose claim to fame is that he takes British shows and turns them into American shows, sometimes horrible American shows. We shall see.

If you want to get people back to watching NBC I have an idea. Right now, order full seasons of every new show on the network. That's right, all of them. Show people that you actually believe in what you are putting on the air and that you have confidence that if a show doesn't find an audience in the first few weeks that eventually it will because what you put on the air are the best shows on TV.

If you don't feel that a particular show is one of the best shows on TV, order zero episodes and save us all the trouble.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Possible Yellow Makes Definite Red

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars. We were discussing this on the Tony Isabella board yesterday and I wrote the following:

I'll take "Possibly Embarrassing Moments" for 1,000 Alex!

I remember seeing Star Wars for the first time with a bunch of friends at the Avco Cinema in Westwood on an absolutely gigantic screen with about 2,000 other people. When it was over and I stood up there was this huge wet spot between my legs. To this day I don't know if I spilt my coke or had a different type of accident.
What I found strange was my wife's response to the same story when I told it last night in front of a couple of her friends. She was embarrassed by it, something that happened a good seven or eight years before we met.

When things like this happen, I wonder why I ever married her and then I remember: the sex was amazing.

The Day the Turbines Died

Does anyone really know what STP is or does?

I know as a kid I didn't, but I sure knew about STP. Under Andy Granatelli STP became the king of the free product. Normally it was just a big honkin' sticker that said STP in white letters on a bright red background. Not only did I know about STP, it might have been the only company at the time whose president I knew by name and by face. Andy Granatelli not only marketed STP, he marketed Andy Granatelli and Andy and STP promoted heavily at races.

Granatelli stuck STP stickers on every flat surface he could find. A lot of those flat surfaces were the bodies of race cars. Granatelli wasn't satisfied to just sponsor cars though, he was a revolutionary kind of guy and he wanted to change the face of racing, so he had his own cars built. Never a man to do anything half-ass, Granatelli had Indy cars built, Indy cars with turbine jet engines.

In 1967 one of Granatelli's turbines came within eight miles of victory in the Indianapolis 500 when a six dollar ball bearing failed. The engines were said by some to generate 700 horsepower and were damn near unstoppable. The turbines were so much faster than any of the other cars at Indy that the U.S. Auto Club set new limits on the power of turbine engines — thereby banning the STP cars from Indy.

I got my only look at a Granatelli turbine on the final race of the 1968 season and the final race for the STP Turbines, in the Rex Mays 300 at the long departed, but much loved, Riverside International Raceway in Riverside California. The track was about twenty miles from my home in San Bernardino and my father used to take the whole family to the races in those days.

We loved Riverside, a track gouged out of the hard California desert. The track had everything: a series of fast esses that reeked havoc on those foolish enough or desperate enough to try passing on them, a number of tight hairpins, medium and long straightaways and a massive banked 180 degree final turn, Turn 9, that was a fan's delight for high-speed action passes. Somehow my Dad always got great tickets for Riverside, across from the pits that offered an unobstructed view of Turn 9, the pits and the series of ess turns. Never were these seats so wonderfully placed than for the action on December 1, 1968, the day the turbines died.

The two STP turbines were driven that day by Art Pollard and Joe Leonard and though they were a big part of the race's attraction, there were other forces in motion that day that would make it one for the record books. It was the final race of the season and Mario Andretti was locked in a very close battle for the Championship Title with Bobby Unser. With a 308 point lead, Andretti needed only to finish fifth or better to clinch the title and was running second when his Brawner Hawk-Ford's engine blew after 59 laps, setting off a crazy series of car hopping moves.

On lap 27 Andretti's back up "insurance" car driven by Jerry Titus rolled into the pits with a broken rear suspension. When Andretti coasted into the pits with a dead engine on lap 59 he dejectedly walked away from his back up car and headed over to the Granatelli pit. There was a heated discussion between the short Andretti and the bulky Granatelli, which ended with Joe Leonard being told to pit and get out of his car. Andretti hopped into the turbine. Pulling out of the pits just in front of Art Pollard's similar Lotus-turbine, which had also pitted, Andretti let Pollard pass and pulled in behind to learn his way around the unconventional car, which he had only once before sat in, during a tire test at Indianapolis.

After a single lap, Andretti apparently felt comfortable enough in the turbine to attempt a pass on Pollard entering Turn 9 on lap 63. But Andretti misjudged the pass or the speed or the handling, and the two cars collided with one another in a spectacular accident along the wall of the Turn 9 bank!

The era of the STP turbine had ended in a pile of smoking, mangled metal; black tire marks on the high bank wall their only gravestone.

Both drivers quickly got out of the wreckage and waited for the field to pass by before crossing to the infield. As soon as the accident happened, Parnelli Jones ran for a motorcycle and hurried off to the Turn 9 infield. A few moments later, the motorcycle screamed into the pits with Andretti on the back. After a seven lap consultation, Lloyd Ruby's Gene White owned Laycock-Ford was called in to the pits and Andretti took over his third car of the day on lap 70 and went on to finish the race in third place by using all three cars.

For all his efforts though, Andretti lost the USAC National driving championship by a mere 11 points to Bobby Unser. Had Mario hopped directly into Ruby's car, and by-passed the turbine, he may have won the USAC Championship. Mario later said he could not pass up the opportunity to race one of the STP Lotus Turbines. The USAC shortly ruled that drivers would not be allowed to change cars during a race, most likely as a direct result of Mario's antics on the day the turbines died.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Nuts for Jericho

I talked earlier about my unhappiness with CBS cancelling Jericho. I appear to not be the only one unhappy, as a grass-roots effort to get CBS to change its mind is in full swing. In the final episode Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) used the historic phrase "Nuts" in response to a final offer of surrender from a hostile neighboring city of New Bern. Fans are borrowing that phrase as well and sending nuts to CBS executives in a sign of their displeasure with the cancellation.

On-line nut source has gotten in on the protest and is offing "Nuts for Jericho" at what they say are discounted prices. So far they have shipped over 18,000 lbs of nuts to CBS. CBS in turn is donating the nuts they receive to local homeless shelters and to the troops in Iraq, so fans can continue to show their displeasure with CBS and actually give to a worthy cause or two at the same time.

CBS says they are listening to the viewers and though they make no promises, I think they are becoming quite aware that Jericho had a great deal of hard-core fans who are demanding a modicum of satisfaction.

"We have read your e-mails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment," CBS president Nina Tassler wrote recently. "Please know that canceling a television series is a very difficult decision. ... Thank you for supporting 'Jericho' with such passion. We truly appreciate the commitment you made to the series and we are humbled by your disappointment. In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure to the compelling drama that was the Jericho story."

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Green Lantern #54

Green Lantern #54 (On Sale: May 25, 1967) features wild Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson cover. Nothing frightens small children as much as a guy in an iron lung!

"Menace in the Iron Lung" is by John Broome and Gil Kane. In it Hal Jordan is sent to investigate the insurance claim of Baron Tyrano, who claims that Green Lantern has damaged his property. When Hal approaches the area as Green Lantern he is attacked by a flying robot. When GL is hit, he is divided into two separate beings, Green Lantern and Hal Jordan.

Green Lantern is soon captured and taken prisoner, but Hal escapes. Tyrano, who is trapped in an iron lung, plans to switch bodies with GL. Somehow I kinda guessed that this one would not be reprinted anywhere.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yosemite - Part II

I remember when I was a child and my whole family would go to Yosemite for vacation. We would not spend the whole vacation there; we would split our time between Yosemite and Sequoia or King's Canyon; California is a treasure trove of National Parks. I remember long hikes and beautiful waterfalls, but most of all, I remember the Firefall at night. For 88 years during the summer they would build a bonfire on the edge of Glacier Point and after the sun set, it would be slowly pushed off the cliff, creating what looked like a waterfall made of pure fire. As a child I was captivated by the magical sight.

The Firefall was discontinued in 1968 as part of deemphasizing artificial attractions at the park, but I will never forget the voice of the Park Ranger echoing across the valley floor, "Let the Fire Fall!" A hush would descend over the gathered throng and then the magic would occur. I realize it might be hard for you to imagine what that looked like. Maybe this will help...

One With the Earth

Well, sort of. Last night my wife and I are in bed reading, when I feel the earth move. No, not the kind of "feel the earth move" one would hope for when in bed with a member of the opposite sex; the kind where you literally feel the earth move. As it is happening I ask my wife, "Do you feel that?"

"What?" she asks.

"The earthquake," I reply.

"I don't feel anything. You're imagining it."

A few minutes later I feel it again. "How about that? Do you feel that?"

"What?" she again asks.

"This one is slightly stronger," I say.

"You're imagining things again."

Not only was I not imaging it, I was right that the second quake was the real one and the first one was a foreshock as a quick look at one of my favorite sites proved with the 3.9 coming less than four minutes after the 3.8. Damn I'm good!

Film Found of Alberto Gonzales Strangling Puppies!

President Bush said today that Gonzales has his "full support and confidence and those puppies must have asked for it."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Keith Olbermann had another "Special Comment" tonight, about the betrayal of the American people by the congressional Democrats. Here is a transcript...

This is, in fact, a comment about… betrayal.

Few men or women elected in our history-whether executive or legislative, state or national-have been sent into office with a mandate more obvious, nor instructions more clear: Get us out of Iraq.

Yet after six months of preparation and execution-half a year gathering the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies, the Democrats have managed only this:

* The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president-if not the worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history-who happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats "give the troops their money";

* The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;

* The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.

* The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave, and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions-Stop The War-have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform support of those who elected you… for a handful of magic beans.

You may trot out every political cliché from the soft-soap, inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this is the "beginning of the end" of Mr. Bush's "carte blanche" in Iraq, about how this is a "first step."
Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning… is our collective hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.

Because this "first step"… is a step right off a cliff.

And this President!

How shameful it would be to watch an adult hold his breath, and threaten to continue to do so, until he turned blue.

But how horrifying it is to watch a President hold his breath and threaten to continue to do so, until innocent and patriotic Americans in harm's way, are bled white.

You lead this country, sir?

You claim to defend it?

And yet when faced with the prospect of someone calling you on your stubbornness–your stubbornness which has cost 3,431 Americans their lives and thousands more their limbs–you, Mr. Bush, imply that if the Democrats don't give you the money and give it to you entirely on your terms, the troops in Iraq will be stranded, or forced to serve longer, or have to throw bullets at the enemy with their bare hands.

How transcendentally, how historically, pathetic.

Any other president from any other moment in the panorama of our history would have, at the outset of this tawdry game of political chicken, declared that no matter what the other political side did, he would insure personally-first, last and always-that the troops would not suffer.

A President, Mr. Bush, uses the carte blanche he has already, not to manipulate an overlap of arriving and departing brigades into a ‘second surge,' but to say in unequivocal terms that if it takes every last dime of the monies already allocated, if it takes reneging on government contracts with Halliburton, he will make sure the troops are safe-even if the only safety to be found, is in getting them the hell out of there.

Well, any true President would have done that, sir.

You instead, used our troops as political pawns, then blamed the Democrats when you did so.

Not that these Democrats, who had this country's support and sympathy up until 48 hours ago, have not since earned all the blame they can carry home.

"We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame," Winston Churchill wrote to Lord Moyne in the days after the British signed the Munich accords with Germany in 1938. "My feeling is that we shall choose shame, and then have war thrown in, a little later…"

That's what this is for the Democrats, isn't it?

Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War. All that's missing is the landing at the airport, with the blinkered leader waving a piece of paper which he naively thought would guarantee "peace in our time," but which his opponent would ignore with deceit.

The Democrats have merely streamlined the process.

Their piece of paper already says Mr. Bush can ignore it, with impunity.

And where are the Democratic presidential hopefuls this evening? See they not, that to which the Senate and House leadership has blinded itself?

Judging these candidates based on how they voted on the original Iraq authorization, or waiting for apologies for those votes, is ancient history now.

The Democratic nomination is likely to be decided… tomorrow.

The talk of practical politics, the buying into of the President's dishonest construction "fund-the-troops-or-they-will-be-in-jeopardy," the promise of tougher action in September, is falling not on deaf ears, but rather falling on Americans who already told you what to do, and now perceive your ears as closed to practical politics.

Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to-for their own political futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the individual futures of our troops-denounce this betrayal, vote against it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.

For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.

* Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats… have failed us. They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as possible.

* Mr. Bush and his government… have failed us. They have behaved venomously and without dignity-of course.
That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.

We are the ones providing any element of surprise or shock here.

With the exception of Senator Dodd and Senator Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidates have (so far at least) failed us.

They must now speak, and make plain how they view what has been given away to Mr. Bush, and what is yet to be given away tomorrow, and in the thousand tomorrows to come.

Because for the next fourteen months, the Democratic nominating process–indeed the whole of our political discourse until further notice–has, with the stroke of a cursed pen, become about one thing, and one thing alone.
The electorate figured this out, six months ago.

The President and the Republicans have not-doubtless will not.

The Democrats will figure it out, during the Memorial Day recess, when they go home and many of those who elected them will politely suggest they stay there-and permanently.

Because, on the subject of Iraq the people have been ahead of the media….

Ahead of the government…

Ahead of the politicians…

For the last year, or two years, or maybe three.

Our politics… is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.

Mr. Bush has failed.

Mr. Warner has failed.

Mr. Reid has failed.

So. Who among us will stop this war-this War of Lies? To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.

To all the others-presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party-there is only blame… for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Girls' Romances #126

Girls' Romances #126 (On Sale: May 23, 1967) has a very mod cover by Tony Abruzzo. Roy Lichtenstein directly lifted panels from issues of Girls' Romances by Abruzzo for some of his works. God I hate Roy Lichtenstein!

Inside we begin with "You Can't Run Away from Love" drawn by Jack Sparling, followed by "Believe Me, Beloved" penciled by Arthur Peddy and reprinted from Secret Hearts #67. Lastly is our cover story "Afraid to Love" drawn by Tony Abruzzo.

Edited by Barbara Friedlander.

Tampon Man Strikes Again!

In some way it's kind of fitting that a douche bag like Rep. James Sensenbrenner would have gotten rich on tampons, although adult diapers would have been even more apropos as this guy is so obviously full of shit.

Today in an act of craven hypocrisy he said during the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's probe of Gonzales' firing last year of nine U.S. attorneys that it was a "fishing expedition. There ain't no fish in the water and we've spent an awful lot of time and an awful lot money finding that out."

This from a guy who in 1998, acted as one of the House managers during the impeachment of President Clinton. That was part, of course, of the Whitewater probe, a Republican "fishing expedition" that cost us $80 million.

Rep. Sensenbrenner, you need to plug that hole in the middle of your face. Might I suggest a Kotex brand tampon!

Beatles' Son Wins Reality Show

Apollo Anton Ono, the son of slain Beatle John Lennon won this year's "Dancing With the Stars" show... What? It's Apolo Anton Ohno and he's not... Oh. That's different.

Never mind!

Emily LaKella

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yosemite - Part I

The first vacation I took my wife on twenty-two years ago was to Yosemite. We spent most of the nights sleeping in a small tent in a campground outside of the valley. It was cold at night. which I thought was kind of romantic as we had to snuggle together at night to keep warm. My wife felt differently; it was too cold for her and she finally said, "We sleep in a cabin tonight or we leave." We slept in a cabin that night in the valley.

It took us almost twenty years to go back, but we did so a few years ago, and though my wife never takes photos, she wanted to try some black and white film and see what she could do. I think she did great and I'm gonna show a few of her pictures here from time to time. Each will come with a personal story about that most wondrous of valleys, a place like no other on Earth.


I'm beginning to feel like I need to change political parties. These gutless Democrats are really starting to get on my nerves. The majority of Americans want this ungodly Republican war ended and they want it ended yesterday, and yet these hopelessly spineless "representatives of the people" don't seem to believe it.

What you do is you send President Shit-For-Brains an even more restrictive bill than the last time and if he vetoes it you send him an even worse bill and you just let him keep the clock running and you keep making the bills more and more restrictive. And if he keeps it up there will soon be no money for troops and it will have been his fault. If he gets tired of it all, you resubmit the first bill and give him one last shot at it, but you never cave in. Never.

I wouldn't send any of these guys to a swap meet to get me anything (or to a dealership to buy a car); they have zero aptitude when it comes to making a deal.

John Edwards called this a huge mistake on the Democrats' part. Maybe I'll vote for him or maybe I just need a new party. Libertarians can't win elections, but at least they have the balls to stand by their convictions.

Doggie Doo-Doo

That's how I would categorize reports that Paula Abdul broke her nose in a dog mishap. Not that I have any inside information mind you, just that given her propensity to show up for TV gigs stoned to the gills, I have, shall we say, a bit of a problem believing Miss Abdul was in an unaltered state when said "mishap" occurred.

I also doubt there was any dog involved at all, though there might be a sheep involved, as I think her publicist is trying to "pull the wool over our eyes."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

People Unclear of the Concept

So Jimmy Carter says of President Shit-For-Brains' administration, "as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history," and the response of the White House is to say Carter is "increasingly irrelevant." If this were true, they wouldn't even comment or have to comment on what Carter said. In fact, by commenting on him, they put the lie to their own words.

As they have been on just about everything so far, this administration proves that on the concept of irrelevance, they are completely unclear and sadly mistaken.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Network Nonsense

Of the shows presented last year on the "big five," the few I watched have done exceedingly poor. On Monday nights I watched Heroes and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. One dead, one still alive. On Tuesday I only watched Veronica Mars. Dead. On Wednesday I only watched Jericho. Dead. On Thursday Survivor, CSI and Shark all survived, as did 30 Rock. On Friday I only watched Raines. Dead. Are there shows on Saturday and Sunday?

I note that most of the shows that I watched, which were axed, were shows with fairly high critical acclaim. The TV business sucks.


"Bush has made us weaker. Why don't the Democrats just say the word 'weak' over and over? 'Bush lost the war. He made us weaker.' Because he did. The National Intelligence estimate that came out last year said, undeniably, all our intelligence agencies agree, the war in Iraq has created more terrorists."

Bill Maher

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Inferior Five #3

Inferior Five #3 (On Sale: May 18, 1967) has a cool Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito cover featuring the Five and Darwin of the Apes!

"Darwin of the Apes" is written by E. Nelson Bridwell and drawn by Mike Sekowsky. The CIA contact the Inferior Five to help locate Dr. Livingroom, who vanished in the Congo in 1960. The famed Darwin of the Apes will be their guide. They use their new Inferiplane to fly to his home. They are surprised to find that Darwin is a refined gentlemen, now called John Claypool, Lord Gravestone. His wife Jayne helped with his return to civilized ways. When questioned about their youthful appearance, Darwin explains that he was given eternal youth by a witch-doctor, then he later picked up immortality pills for his wife and friends. Darwin and the Inferior Five finally locate and rescue Dr. Livingroom from Oompah, a lost colony of Atlantis.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tick Scam!

I hate it when people forward bogus warnings on the Internet, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally...but this one is real, and it's important. So please send this warning to everyone you know.

If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!! They only want to see you naked.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday...I feel so stupid!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Right You Are, Superstar!

When I was in high school I was a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar. I knew all the words, loved the music and would lay in my room listening and singing along with my 8-track of it for hours at a time. When the movie came out I wrote a full-page review for the school paper and even did an illustration of Ted Neely as Jesus.

Some of the Hispanic kids at school treated me strangely around that time. I remember walking into one of the buildings at school one lunch just as two guys were beating the crap out of a third guy. They took one look at me and stopped. They even picked the guy up off the ground and apologized to him. I wonder if this might not of had something to do with the costume I wore to school that Halloween?

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics

Starting today and going back at least to the beginning of this month, I am collecting and expanding on my 40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics writings in a new blog, DC Comics 40 Years Ago. I will be covering all of the books released each day rather than just one as I do here. Come check it out and tell a friend!

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Teen Titans #10

Teen Titans #10 (On Sale: May 16, 1967) has a nice Nick Cardy cover with some great biker action, which is once again marred by Go-Go Checks and ugly logos. Also, the coloring adds nothing to this guy. Jim Smith on the DC History Yahoo group wondered why Kid Flash couldn't keep up. I wonder why, if you were as fast as he is, you would bring up the rear where you had to choke down all that dust!

Inside we have "Scramble at Wildcat" by Bob Haney, Irv Novick and Nick Cardy. Robin and the Titans attend a bike rally in the oil ghost-town of Wildcat, only to be ambushed, one-by-one, by the Scorcher and his outlaw cycle gang, the Bike Buzzards, during the race. The Buzzards loot the surrounding area and take over Wildcat as their base.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Word out of Variety is that CBS has cancelled its post-nuclear war drama Jericho. I found Jericho, for the most part, enjoyable, when it wasn't trying to be the post-holocaust 24. My wife tired of the FBI/CIA stuff real quick. Like Invasion last year, it had a number of interesting characters and a strong central plot moving it forward, but I was already tiring of the "New Bern is going to get us" arc and seeing how the series ended, it looks like the producers were too. Still, considering how truly awful most shows on the "big four" are, it's sad to see shows like Jericho and Raines not make it.

Jericho did well early in the season, but never gained back its viewers after it went on hiatus. This is something that is happening more and more often, it seems, where shows take a break and lose the viewers. It looks like NBC is attempting to address it some (with a second Heroes show to be shown when it is on hiatus), but the real answer is to increase the season for shows that show momentum or are bona fide hits.

Over on the DC History Yahoo group we were discussing the Maverick TV show after a bunch of Maverick comic covers were shown. In the late 50s and early 1960s, Maverick's seasons were 39 episodes long, which is one of the reasons they had so many Mavericks in it. These days 23 or 24 episodes seems to be the norm for a hit show, and some shows, like LOST, are lucky to spit out 18. With the competition for viewers tougher than ever, the networks need to seriously look at extending the seasons of shows any way they can.

If a weekly show were to take three months off for the summer, that would be 39 episodes. If you extended the off-season a month, and took off a couple of weeks around Christmas you could get by with 33 episodes. If the show is a hit or could be made into one, it would be worth it. The networks have gotten by with less and less original programming each season now for decades, and I think that is one of the factors in the erosion of viewers. Why stick around for a repeat or a cobbled together "season update" show, when you can got to cable or DVD or VOD and see something new.

Would there be difficulties in doing nine or ten more episodes a year of a hit show? Sure, but NBC used to be the master of this kind of thing. They used to have a show on called The Name of the Game, which was an hour and a half long and to get through a whole season of shows, they had three stars, each a reporter for a different magazine run by the same publisher. So, though it was the same show each week, the star of the show rotated and some of the cast moved from star to star to add continuity to the series. Later they did The Bold Ones and The NBC Mystery Movie, both series that rotated shows in and out. The Mystery Movie had Columbo, McMillian and Wife and McCloud. They even did this with comedies with 90 Bristol Court which had three series about people who all lived in the same apartment complex.

My point is there are imaginative ways to make this work, ways that have worked in the past. If the networks want to keep their viewers, they need to stop giving them a reason to look elsewhere for weekly entertainment. The chopped up seasons they now have, do exactly that.

Farewell Falwell

It couldn't have happened to a more deserving person, and to be honest, I don't really wish he fare well. I'm actually just tickled pink he is gone. As Mark Evanier says on his site today, "In his honor, let's all think of some way to exploit this sad event to advance our causes and line our pockets."

That pretty much sums up the creep's life to me.

Again A Question of Talent or Taste?

ABC released its fall schedule this morning and one of the items caught my eye:

"Women's Murder Club," based on James Patterson novels, is a drama about four women in San Francisco — a detective, district attorney, medical examiner and reporter — who work together to solve crimes.
As I've mentioned before, I've only read one James Patterson novel in my life, Honeymoon which suckered me in with its designation as the 2005 International Thriller of the Year, whatever that means. It was, however, one of the worst written books I have ever read. Every character was plastic and unrealistic, the dialog was laugh-out-loud unintentionally funny. It was trite beyond belief and even the sex scenes were boring.

I have since asked repeatedly on-line for people who read Patterson books to tell me what they like (I want to know if the book I read was a fluke); so far, no takers. Recently we were over at a friend's house and I noticed a Patterson book on their shelves. "Was it good?" I asked. They didn't know. They couldn't for the life of them remember anything about the story, even though they did remember that they read it. This guy seems to put out a book every month and they all go on the best seller list for about a week, maybe two, and then they disappear. He must have a very loyal following of people who read his stuff, but I have never met any of them.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Dammit! NBC announced it's fall line-up today and, as expected, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip did not make it, but equally disturbing, Raines is not there either.

Raines was a really unusual detective show starring Jeff Goldblum as LAPD Detective Michael Raines. Raines is crazy, or at least he thinks he is; Raines sees and interacts with the dead victims of the crimes he is called in to solve. He doesn't see ghosts, he hallucinates the victims and he knows it. It was a unique show, only given seven episodes, and should have been given a better shot at making it. God Damn You NBC!

El Paso

A while back I wrote about going to the Los Angeles County Fair and how I loved to try the new "deep-fried food" of the year. Last year it was the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich, but if this is this year's entry, I think I'll pass.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Not So Sweet Dreamz

Well, on the Survivor Fiji finale tonight Dreamz had his chance to show his son what it means to be a man, and failed so miserably that he ended up selling his integrity out for nothing. He went back on his word to Yau-Man and then tried to cover up his lapsed manhood by saying he always planned on screwing Yau over. What he forgot was all the private film of him saying how grateful to Yau he was and how he was a "man of his word" and would take this opportunity to show his son what it meant to be a man, even if it meant losing a million dollars.

What a pitiful sight, and one that so enraged the "jury" that they basically spent most of their time screaming at the final three players. The final tribal council was just plain ugly. Never was a finalist so deserving of zero votes.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

We Tip!

No, I'm not talking about eating out and giving the waiter a gratuity; I'm talking about helping the authorities find the crazy people. Well, not really me, Bill Maher actually, on his HBO show Real Time:

Guns don't kill people; crazy people kill people. Last week, in response to the Virginia Tech shootings, President Bush said, "When people see somebody who is exhibiting abnormal behavior, you do something about it." Thanks for the heads-up, McGruff.

But, if that's the case, then I want to warn the country about a man I saw last night on TV. He's six feet tall, Caucasian and he goes by the title "President of the United States." [photo of Bush making face shown]

I'm not kidding. George Bush is the crazy person we need to keep an eye on. He needs to stop taking money from the pharmaceutical lobby and start accepting samples. Only a delusional person could watch Alberto Gonzales before Congress last week do everything but say, "No hablo Ingles"- and rip up a picture of the Pope, and conclude that it "increased his confidence in the man." That's called disassociation from reality.

There's an old, frequently-used definition of insanity, which is "performing the same action over and over, expecting different results." And then it says, "See: 'The Surge.'" Now, I'm no doctor, but I am on TV. And in my professional opinion, George Bush is a paranoid schizophrenic.

He thinks the terrorists hate us for our freedom, and believes they're going to follow us home. That's why he keeps obsessively clearing brush, so Osama can't use it for cover.

Other symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia are: Do you see things that aren't there? Such as a link between 9/11 and Iraq? Do you - do you feel things that you shouldn't be feeling, like a sense of accomplishment? Do you have trouble organizing words into a coherent sentence? Do you hear voices that aren't really there? Like, oh, I don't know, your imaginary friend, Jesus? Telling you to start a war in the Middle East.

Well, guess what? There are a large number of people out there also suffering from the same delusions, because there are Republicans, there are conservatives, and then there are the Bushies. This is the 29 percent of Americans who still think he's doing "a heck of a job, Whitey." And I don't believe that it's coincidence that almost the same number of Americans - 25 percent - told a recent pollster that they believe that this year - this year, 2007 - would bring the Second Coming of Christ!

I have a hunch these are the same people. Because, if you think that you're going to meet Jesus before they cancel "Ugly Betty," then you're used to doing things by faith. And if you have so much blind faith that you think this war is winnable, you're nuts and you shouldn't be allowed near a voting booth.

There's only one job you can be trusted with, and that's picking out Phil Spector's next hairdo.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Da Bears!

Two nights ago my wife was putting a check for our cleaning woman out under the mat on our front porch (our cleaning woman had forgotten to take it with her earlier in the week), when she called to me to come outside. I joined her on the porch where she nodded her head toward the street and said, "The bear is taking a walk." I looked across the street and, sure enough, a large brown bear was slowly sauntering down the street. We watched him or her for a minute or so before the bear veered off the street and disappeared in the brush across the street.

We don't have a swimming pool, but our neighbors who do have to contend with a couple of bears that love to swim at night. On Monday mornings some weeks a lot of us have to put our garbage back into our trash cans sitting at the curb as the bears walk down the street on Sunday nights and sample like it's a smorgasbord set out for their perusal.

I had a more intimate, more personal confrontation with one of the neighborhood bears about two years ago. Sometime soon I'll tell you all about it.

Victory In Iraq

"My definition of victory is when we stop making young Muslim men in this country, but mostly all around the world, stop wanting to kill us. And the Iraq war is having the opposite effect."

–Bill Maher

Twenty-Six Miles Across the Sea

Well, it sure has been one of those weeks for southern California landmarks. One of the unique spots of southern California is the town of Avalon on Catalina Island. Avalon feels like nothing else in California; it feels like Europe. At least it does to me.

We don't get out to Catalina nearly often enough, but when we do we always enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that envelopes you when you step off of the ferry, 26 miles off the coast of Long Beach. Avalon is a great place to take someone for a romantic weekend, as the island is beautiful, the town is quaint and there is not a damn thing to do there, except rent a golf cart and putter around the city area (very few actual cars on Catalina which is one thing that adds to the atmosphere) or sit at one of the bars on the boardwalk drinking and people watching.

So, we were shocked to turn on the TV yesterday and see the island in flames that were slowly making their way to Avalon. It would have been a real shame to have lost such a special place and I'm heartened to see today that they have the blaze under control.

I think a weekend to Catalina might just be in the cards for this summer. Strange how the thought of losing something you take for granted makes you want to experience it again.

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Our Fighting Forces #108

Our Fighting Forces #108 (On Sale: May 11, 1967) has an interesting Irv Novick cover. Big hands abound, which is not at all typical of Novick's work. I know that the DC editors were being told to make the books look more like Marvel's comics and I wonder if this overly exaggerated anatomy was an attempt to make the art look more like Jack Kirby, who was a mainstay on the Marvel covers at this time and known for over-extending foreshortening in order to juice up the dramatic impact.

Inside we have Lt. Hunter's Hellcats in "Kill the Wolf Pack" by Robert Kanigher and Jack Abel.

Lt. Hunter's Hellcats were DC's answer to The Dirty Dozen. In the early 1940s, the United States Army chose a former homicide detective named Ben Hunter to lead a new Special Forces team to fight the threat of the Axis powers. Unlike more conventional military units like Easy Co. or the Haunted Tank, Lt. Hunter's team was considered an expendable party. He culled his soldiers from the riff raff of an army prison stockade – all of whom had served time as hardened criminals in their civilian life. Among his recruits was the excessively violent Brute, a con-man who appropriately took to calling himself Snake-Oil, a revenge-crazed soldier from the Woman's Army Corps named Heller, a pick-pocket named Light Fingers, a former acrobat named Juggler and several others.

The backup story is "Flying Jeep" a reprint from Our Army At War #47 by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What's Wrong with America

"What's wrong with America is the way in which we are being forced more and more to equate criticism as something counter to democracy, when, in fact, it's the core of it."

Sean Penn

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The French

At the infamous poker game I went to last month, my neighbors not only ridiculed Al Gore, boasted about President Shit-For-Brains and repeatedly reminded us that "global warming isn't real, it was invented by Al Gore for that movie of his," they also made faces every time the French were brought up. If only I could have been as eloquent in my speech as Bill Maher was last week on his show...

And finally, New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word, "France." Like just calling something "French" is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, "What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully-conceived and brilliantly-executed war in Iraq?"

And, yet, an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement, "France has a better health care system than we do, and we should steal it." Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. "John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him; he looked French." Yeah, as opposed to the other guy who just looked stupid.

Now, last week, France had an election, and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent of them turned out. You couldn't get 85% of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between "Tits" and "Bigger Tits," and they were handing out free samples!

Now, maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback.

The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with; nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Ségolène Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a Socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him "liberal," he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something!

Madame Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches; because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts!

They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even the mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, "I'm no good at multi-tasking."

Now, like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music. But, their health care is the best in the industrialized world. As is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. And they have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil!

They invented sex during the day, lingerie and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?

So, from now on, all you high-ranking Bush Administration officials, because the French are righter than you on most things, when France comes up in conversation, you are not allowed to roll your eyes. The only time you get to do that is when your hooker from Ms. Julia is blowing you.

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Adventures of Jerry Lewis #101

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #101 (On Sale: May 9, 1967) has a strange Bob Oksner cover. What is strange about it is that Oksner did the cover and not the interior artist.

Inside we have "Jerry the Astronut" written by Arnold Drake and drawn by Neal Adams. This is Neal's first book-length story for DC and only his second piece of comic book work at DC (Neal did a three-month stint at Archie a few years earlier and had also just started doing work for the Warren horror magazines, Eerie and Creepy). Given that he came from the Ben Casey strip, Jerry Lewis seems like a strange book to be doing. I found this in an interview with Adams.
"...that (Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope) was my best money in comic books. I could pencil ten pages in a day. I could ink ten pages in a day. And when I did the realistic stuff I only did two pages a day so there was no comparison. It was the best money I could make but that wasn't really what I wanted to do."
I've never seen the Jerry Lewis work Neal did, but I own most of the Bob Hope stuff. I'll show some interior pages when we get to that next month. It's interesting stuff.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Veronica Mars

I make no apologies for being a rabid Veronica Mars fan. In its three short seasons it has been consistently one of the best written shows on TV. Yeah, it's sort of a modern-day Nancy Drew, but it is so damn smart that I just don't care. This is most likely the last season for Veronica (unless NBC decides to add it to its anemic schedule when the CM cancels it in a few weeks), and I anxiously await each new Tuesday night episode. So I tuned in last night and saw... Griffith Park burning!

Now I might be fascinated by this if I had not just watched two hours of Griffith Park burning on channel 9, but since I had, I really needed a break from wall-to-wall "LA is on fire!" coverage. At a time when the WB is deciding whether or not to give Veronica Mars another season to find more fans and the ratings the show deserves, something like this sure fucks up the ratings.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

America's Most Beloved Guest Reviewer

I'm the guest reviewer today over at Tony's Online Tips, the review and commentary site of my good friend, and "America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist," Tony Isabella. I review "Stop Forgetting to Remember: The Autobiography of Walter Kurtz" by Peter Kuper. I thought this book, wait a minute. That would be cheating. Take the link and find out what I thought!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Just Another Day in Paradise

The great GOP takeover of our nation has resulted in another beautiful day in paradise, just as we always knew these brilliant conservative leaders could deliver. The president hosted the Queen of England today, at one point adding two-hundred years to her age, then winking at her and then comparing her to his mother.

In Kansas there are not enough National Guard units or equipment to handle the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes from this weekend and if there are any more disasters there is no one to help the citizens at all. But not to fear, our great leader says that everything will be back to normal by 2012.

And finally, in that utopia of democracy we have created in the Middle East only 68 were killed today. The surge is working!

A Smart Call?

I received an email today from the dealer I purchased my Mercedes from a half dozen years ago. They are opening a SMART dealership and the email was an invitation to go down to a special event to preview the cars. I signed up for it just to get a closer look at these half Swatch, half Mercedes mini-mini cars. I saw one driving down the 210 freeway not three weeks ago and have to admit to being slightly intrigued by the car. Not that I'm going to by one, but it might be kinda cool to test drive one, just to see how it feels to be in that small a vehicle.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A String in Time

At three minutes and four seconds after 2:00 today, the time and date was 02:03:04 05/06/07.

Filing a Protest

We, the people of La Verne California would like to file a protest against the judge in the Paris Hilton case for not allowing Paris to choose her place of incarceration. We know we were in the running.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Apparently Someone Has Been Paying Attention

The latest Newsweek poll is good news all around. In brief...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's approval rating has fallen to 28 percent in a Newsweek Poll released on Saturday, an all-time low for Bush in that survey.

Nearly two out of three Americans -- 62 percent -- believe Bush's recent actions in Iraq show he is "stubborn and unwilling to admit his mistakes," Newsweek reported. Just 30 percent think Bush's execution of the Iraq war demonstrates he is "willing to take political risks" to do what's right.

Bush's unpopularity may also be casting a dark shadow over Republican chances for keeping the White House in 2008. Democratic front-runners lead potential Republican contenders in head-to-head match-ups across the board, the poll suggests.
You're doin' a heck of a job there Bushie!

Friday, May 04, 2007

NRA Wants to Arm Suspected Terrorists

This story is absolutely amazing.

WASHINGTON - The National Rifle Association is urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit suspected terrorists from buying firearms.

Something tells me the NRA might be going too far this time, no matter how much money they continually shove into the pockets of Republicans.

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Superman #198

Superman #198 (On Sale: May 4, 1967) sports a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein. Whenever I would see a cover like this, I always suspected one of the Clarks was a robot, or a guy from the bottled city of Kandor, or Batman dressed up as Clark for one reason or another. This story uses none of these standard Weisinger cliches.

"The Real Clark Kent" is by Cary Bates and Al Plastino and is Bates' first Superman story. A bearded and beaten Clark Kent stumbles into the office of the Daily Planet where another Clark Kent is working. The bearded Kent uses an x-ray gun to reveal the other Clark's costume under his clothes. The bearded Clark claims that Superman had imprisoned him and taken his place as Clark Kent.

The backup story is "The Fate of the Super-Super-Superman" also written by Cary Bates and drawn by Curt Swan and George Klein. In it Superman responds to a distress call from an alien brain creature who has been trapped by a mutated tree root. Superman rescues the brain, which claims to be of a superior race. Before it disappears back into space, it provides Superman with additional super power.

With his enhanced strength and power, Superman is unable to control himself. He causes damage to everything he touches.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Paris Hilton! Come on Down!

As we speculated might happen a month ago, Paris Hilton has been ordered to jail. She "must go to jail on June 5 and she will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or any electronic monitoring in lieu of jail," Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled after a hearing today.

The only question now is, "Which jail will she serve her time in?" The jail here in La Verne is nice and cozy and we are all such nice people; just ask Christian Slater. You have to serve somewhere Paris, why not in La Verne?

Paris Hilton! Come on Down!

An Anti-Evolution President?

A shout out to Rob Allen over on the Tony Isabella board for bringing this to my attention...

From news reports about this week's Republican candidates' debate:

"The field split on another issue, with Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo raising their hands when asked who did not believe in evolution."

Political blogger, Adam Felber, had this comment:

"Should this disqualify those guys for the Presidency? Nah - nobody should be disqualified for their faith. Not unless they’re members of some church that worships bacon bits or hamsters or Ryan Seacrest or something like that - we have to be rational, after all, and limit our tolerance to faiths based on magic superheroes who can’t ever be killed, really, and the cryptic ancient texts that describe their adventures. Once we start opening the door to belief systems that don’t involve science or gigantic supernatural unknowable beings (be they men or lobsters), things could get messy.

But at the very least we should take the raised hands of Brownback, Huckabee, and Tancredo as persuasive evidence of dumbassery. Plenty of responsible, intelligent Christian men and women have figured out how to have a worldview that includes both their faith and the overwhelming evidence for evolution. I’m sure there are even some Seacrestians or Hamsterites out there who’ve managed to pull off this trick.

Do I have something interesting or funny to say about this? Apparently not. But it’s worth reminding ourselves - we’re living in a country where an atheist can’t even get near the podium in a Presidential debate, while these three unwise men can blithely hop onto the national stage and tell children that science just doesn’t work.

… and then they’ll start talking about education, and their plan to help America’s children get back the smarts and that old-fashioned quality book-learnin’ that somehow - mysteriously, almost supernaturally- seems to have disappeared.

God help us."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The King of Bogosity

From Keith Olbermann's Countdown, the bogus Mission Accomplished speech from four years ago. If it seemed a little fishy then, it's become downright embarrassing today. The emperor has no clothes (except that pitiful, large, over-compensating codpiece!).

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Our Army at War #182

Our Army at War #182 (On Sale: May 2, 1967) has another great Russ Heath "Sgt. Rock" cover.

Inside we have "The Desert Rats of Easy" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath featuring "Sgt. Rock."

The real news here though is the backup story, "It's My Turn to Die," written by Howard Liss and introducing the Pulse-Pounding Penciling Wizardry of Neal Adams! DC Comics will never be the same. Over the next few years Neal will turn DC on its head, redefining comic book super-hero art forever. But it all started at DC right here, on a Bob Kanigher war book.

I have a copy of this in the mail to me as we speak. When it arrives I'll scan a page or two and put it up here; this book is history in the making.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy Mission Accomplished Day!

What a milestone! What a day to veto a spending bill on troops! What a fucking joke this guy is! Is he ever right about anything? If you want to know how wrong "Mr. Look-At-Me-I'm-A-Make-Believe-Dress-Up-Fighter-Pilot-Cowboy" was and still is, take a gander at this chart!

If we accomplished our mission four years ago, what are we still doing there?

We're Number One!

For a while there we had lost the crown, but Los Angeles has once again topped the American Lung Association's bad air list of most polluted cities in America. We'd like to thank all the little people who made this possible along with our wives and kids and the best damn agent in the business!

Though I don't live in Los Angeles per se, I can see Los Angeles from my bedroom window. The picture here was taken a week or two ago when a tire plant in LA caught on fire and did its part to add to our title.

Apparently There IS Something Wrong With That!

LONDON (Reuters) - John Browne, the architect of BP Plc's (BP.L) renaissance as a giant of the global oil industry, stepped down on Tuesday after his homosexuality was exposed to the full glare of publicity.
The full Reuters story can be found here.

The Erotic Art of Bob Oksner -- Part II

Look at that face. Does that look like a man you could trust? Sure it does, he looks like a real pussycat doesn't he? But it was with pussycats that comic book artist Bob Oksner slipped another one past his editor and the monolithic industry sensor, the Comics Code Authority.

The story I heard was that Oksner tried repeatedly for years to sneak a cover like this past his editors. Every time he tried it, it was rejected. I don't think even he knew why this one finally was allowed, but it was. The cover in question is for Supergirl #3, February 1973.

This was the second of Oksner's two infamous Supergirl covers (see The Erotic Art of Bob Oksner -- Part I for the other). This issue of Supergirl was a tale about rejection, a tale about loneliness. Supergirl, poor, poor Supergirl, she can't be like other girls. She longs to go on dates with boys, but for her it is not to be. So all alone she watches the other girls having fun with the boys, while all she can do is sit there and play with her!

I can't for the life of me remember where I first read of this cover, though it had to have been an interview with Bob Oksner. I have learned though that if you type "Supergirl plays with her pussy" into Google, you will discover a world of super-hero porn you never knew existed (Well, I never knew it existed. You might be a frequent reader!).