Friday, November 30, 2007

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

Action Comics #358 (On Sale: November 30, 1967) is like a line of demarcation in the history of Superman covers. Neal Adams' dramatic staging of a grieving and distraught Superman is just a stunner. If you ever needed an indication that this was not your father's Superman, this cover was it.

Inside is a different story though as "Superman... Guilty of Homicide" by Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan and George Klein is only a marginal departure from the standard Superman fare. Members of the International Crime Exchange develop a plan to frame Superman for murder. Dr. Frost has created a method to temporarily resuscitate the dead. He uses the procedure on Bullets Stacey, a dead crook, now given about ten hours of new life. Before Stacey can meet Superman in a boxing match, his revived heart gives out, and he dies.

Ron Noble the chairman of the Crime Exchange volunteers to take Stacey's place. During an exhibition boxing match, Noble swallows a poison pill which kills him after a Superman punch. The hidden poison makes it look like Superman lost control of his powers and hit his opponent too hard.

Frost then complicates Superman's defense by posing as the coroner and further demonstrating Superman's lack of control. Superman is then taken into custody and will be tried for murder.

The back-up Supergirl story is "Superboy in Argo City" by Cary Bates and Jim Mooney. While retrieving a space jewel for his mother, Superboy is captured by a space-probe. He is taken back to Argo City which is currently floating in a red sun solar system. Superboy was hit in the head and has amnesia. He is taken in by Zor-El, though neither one knows that they are related. Superboy befriends Zor-El's young daughter Kara and gives her the space jewel that he intended to give to Martha Kent.

Zor-El eventually completes his project to build engines which can transport Argo City to another solar system. The city soon enters a new system inhabited by hostile alien life forms. The Kryptonians agree to leave the system, but the aliens demand that someone remain behind. Superboy volunteers.

The aliens then erase the memory of Superboy from the minds of the people in Argo City. Zor-El then pilots the city to a different solar system. Superboy regains his powers and is able to escape from the aliens, but he has no memory of his time in Argo City. Reprinted in Four Star Spectacular #3.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Seeing It In Black and White -- Part II

This is the second of the white on black drawings I did in my class this past week using a white charcoal pencil and a small bit of white Unison pastel on black Canson pastel paper. I don't draw or lay out these before I draw them, I just pick a spot on the paper and a spot on the figure and start laying out the highlighs. As such, I sometimes have proportion issues as I did here, getting some distortion in the face. Not my favorite piece, but I like the technique.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Seeing It In Black and White -- Part I

I did a few white on black drawings in my class this past week using a white charcoal pencil and a small bit of white Unison pastel on black Canson pastel paper. This one was the first one I did.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Metamorpho #16

Metamorpho #16 (On Sale: November 28, 1967) features a cover by Sal Trapani.

"Jezeba, Queen of Fury" is by Bob Haney and Sal Trapani. When Sapphire unexpectedly marries Wally Bannister, Metamorpho seeks a return to his old life as Rex Mason. He is approached by a mysterious figure known as Mr. Shadow and recruited to find the legendary land of Ma-Phoor. He embarks on the quest and soon finds the city south of Ethiopia.

Upon his arrival, Metamorpho soon realizes that Mr. Shadow is actually an agent of Ma-Phoor and has intentionally brought Metamorpho to the city. Metamorpho then meets Jezeba, the Queen of Ma-Phoor. She tells him about her history and of her former lover Algon, who is a doppelganger for Metamorpho.

Jezeba believes that Metamorpho is Algon and wishes to marry him. With Sapphire lost to him, Metamorpho agrees until he learns that Jezeba plans to invade the outside world. This story has been reprinted in Showcase Presents:Metamorpho Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Spineless Republican Throws In The Towel

So Trent Lott is taking his toys and going home too! Another spineless Republican who only wanted to be in office if he could bully the other party around and now that he can't the little shit quits like the spoiled child he is. Boo Hoo you fucking baby!

None of the these GOP assholes are real patriots, they only stay in power so long as they can abuse it and when they no longer can they CUT AND RUN!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

And I Think to Myself: What a Wonderful World

Over on the Daily Kos, Bill in Portland Maine makes great fun of Washington Post columnist David Broder who spins that the problem with the country is that the parties are too ideologically set and that, to fix the country, the parties need to become even more alike in ideology.

Bill offers this list of things Democrats can do to become closer aligned to Republicans and hasten Border's wonderful world:
    • Discriminate against minorities a little more.

    • Be a little more skeptical about global warming, and give "global cooling" advocates a seat at the table.

    • Think a little less about the poor.

    • Slow down on trying to provide guaranteed health care for all Americans. The ones who don’t have insurance are probably fat, drunk, chain-smoking lazy asses, anyway.

    • Don’t be so quick to badmouth abstinence-only education, even though studies show it's not effective. We just need to give it more time. And money.

    • Practice putting profits above people---those who don’t earn much money have been blessed by God with conveniently-located Wal-Mart stores, so everybody wins!

    • Repeat after me: Every time the government takes away one of my civil liberties, I become a little safer.

    • Dial down your curiosity and start trusting your leaders to know what's best for you.

    • Be patient with Iraq. Give the surge more time. Six, nine, twelve months tops. And stop saying how bad the Iraq war is for the troops. They're doing what they were trained to do: be the de facto police force for a bickering, do-nothing sovereign government that's not our own.

    • Ladies: a little more time in the kitchen, if you please.

    • Complain a little louder about sexual immorality, but don't deny yourself the pleasure of the occasional steamy affair or public bathroom hookup.

    • At least admit that the planet might be six thousand years old, and that Adam might have ridden a triceratops to get his Pabst Blue Ribbon at the local 7-11.

    • Stop fretting about how Republicans gutted the government over the past seven years. Look forward, not backward. Remember the famous quote: "Those who forget the past are taking the perfect combination of fine pharmaceutical products."

    • Be a little more hateful of illegal immigrants, especially now that we've just discovered over the past year that they exist. Come help build the wall---you can even carve your initials in it!

    • Ask yourself: how come there's not a single liberal judge who knows how to properly interpret the United States Constitution?

    • Be more skeptical of candidates for government positions who have the necessary skills and background to do their jobs well. Nobody likes a showoff.

    • Buy more guns---nothing builds confidence like the feel of a Glock tucked in your shorts

    • Be a little more "me me me" and a little less "we we we"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another Friend-of-Bush Pays the Price!

Australian Prime Minister John Howard is unemployed, thanks mainly to his close ties with Loser-In-Chief George Bush. Slowly, in parts of the world, sanity returns.

SYDNEY, Australia - Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.

Labor Party head Kevin Rudd's pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that had made Howard one of President Bush's staunchest allies.

Rudd has named global warming as his top priority, and his signing of the Kyoto Protocol will leave the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.

Rudd said he would withdraw Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq, leaving twice that number in mostly security roles. Howard had said all the troops will stay as long as needed.
The people of Australia made short work of the Blunder From Down Under.

Friday, November 23, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Inferior Five #6

Inferior Five #6 (On Sale: November 23, 1967) features an odd Mike Sekowsky and Mile Esposito cover. Odd because how often do you see Superman and Superboy on the same cover?

"How to Make a Bomb""How to Make a Bomb"is by E. Nelson Bridwell, Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito. In the offices of National Periodicals, the big boss known as I.D. seeks out Jack Miller the editor of the Inferior Five. I.D. informs Miller that the latest issue of the Inferior Five is due, so Miller corners E. Nelson Bridwell to get him to write the script. Miller and Bridwell then walk through the National office meeting other staffers in an attempt to get them to finish the issue.

When they return to Miller's office, a bald villain attacks them. The villain is removed to be used in a better feature. Bridwell finishes his script, while Miller is dragged away to a padded cell. The Inferior Five then falls asleep in Miller's office having missed out on taking part in any sort of adventure.

Besides Jack Miller, Irwin Donnenfeld, and E. Nelson Bridwell, the story also features appearances by Barbara Friedlander, Robert Kanigher, Julius Schwartz, Mort Weisinger, George Kashdan, Murray Boltinoff, Mike Sekowsky, Carmine Infantino, Mike Esposito, Jack Schiff, Jack Adler, Sol Harrison, Gil Kane, and Joe Letterese.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Spectre #2

Spectre #2 (On Sale: November 21, 1967) has somewhat effective cover by Neal Adams.

"Die, Spectre -- Again" is by Gardner Fox and new series artist Neal Adams. This is Neal's second super-hero series at DC and one that I thought he was ineffective with. The supernatural aspect of the Spectre just seemed in conflict with Neal's style. It's like with the Phantom Stranger; Neal did wonderful, evocative covers for the book, but in the one story he illustrated I think the art fell flat.

Jim Corrigan is puzzled by a series of impossible crimes. The Spectre realizes that the crimes are being committed by an ethereal being. When he confronts the spectral criminal, he finds that his powers are not enough to defeat his foe.

The Spectre links the thief to magician Dirk Rawley, but Corrigan saw Rawley at the same time the robbery occurred. The Spectre theorizes that if Corrigan can hit Rawley's physical self at the same moment as he hits the ethereal Rawley, then the villain will be defeated.

When Corrigan and the Spectre attempt to execute their plan, the physical Rawley avoids Corrigan's blow, which allows his ethereal self to imprison the Spectre inside a gem. The Spectre manages to escape, but Corrigan is suspended for the unprovoked attack on the magician. Reprinted in Adventure Comics #495.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

And These Crazy Fucks are Bush's Good Buddies!

The Saudi judiciary on Tuesday defended a court verdict that sentenced a 19-year-old victim of a gang rape to six months in jail and 200 lashes because she was with an unrelated male when they were attacked. These are the crazy fucks that Bush kisses on the lips and walks hand and hand with and you wonder why his middle east policies are all shit?

What Does He Eat? Anything He Wants To!

How cool is an eight-foot long sea scorpion? The Los Angeles Times reported this morning on a fossilized claw that British researchers say belonged to one.

"We knew the sea scorpions were among the largest creepy-crawlies ever, but we didn't realize just how big they could get," said paleontologist Simon J. Braddy of the University of Bristol, the primary author of the report in the journal Biology Letters. The fossil was found in a quarry near Prum, Germany.

Sea scorpions became extinct about 250 million years ago, but they were precursors of modern land-based scorpions. Smaller varieties are common in the fossil record, and evidence suggests that they ventured forth onto land for at least brief forays.

But "there is no way this thing could have crawled out onto land," Braddy said.

"This is simply too spindly. Its legs would break under its own weight."
Reminds me of the Dan Brown book Deception Point where he discusses how the tasty things from the sea that we like to eat so much (shrimp, lobster) are really just very large bugs, too large in fact to live out of the buoyancy of the sea water.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

McClellan says Cheney and Bush misled about Plame leak

Here is the juicy quote from McClellen:

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.

"There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

Monday, November 19, 2007

'Tis the Season(ing)

We salted our turkey this morning. It's a nice-sized 17.5 lb. bird. Now it has to sit breast-side up in an air-tight bag the refrigerator till Wednesday morning, when we turn it over for the day. Then Wednesday night we remove it from the bag and let it breathe. All the salt will be absorbed into the meat by then. Thursday morning it goes into the oven upside down for a half hour then gets turned over and bakes right-side-up for the next two hours or so.

This is how we did it last year as I mentioned here before and it was the best-tasting turkey we have ever made. Not too late to try this method yourself.

Friday, November 16, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Teen Titans #13

Teen Titans #13 (On Sale: November 16, 1967) features another wonderful Nick Cardy cover. This was the first issue of the Teen Titans that I bought.

"The TT's Swingin' Christmas Carol" is by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. The Teen Titans find themselves reliving the events of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol when Tiny Tom Ratchet involves them in the secret dealings of junkyard owner Ebenezer Scrounge and Mr. Big, a smuggler with a strange device that recycles junk into "new" goods. With the Titans playing the roles of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Scrounge repents and helps them bring in Mr. Big and his gang. This story has been reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-34, Best of DC #22, Christmas with the Super-Heroes #1 and Showcase Presents:Teen Titans Vol. 1 TPB

Edited by George Kashdan.

Colorful Self

Given the previous item, this is the last self-portrait that you will see for a long while with a ponytail. This one was also done for the drawing class I am attending and was meant to be a study in color. I picked the three secondary colors as my pallet. This is done on green Canson paper using my Unison pastels.

I Made a Donation Yesterday... Locks of Love. It was two and a half years of growth, somewhere north of 10 inches of hair. Knowing that my hair would be used to return a sense of normalcy to an ill child suffering from hair loss made it a little easier to part with the hair. Plus, I need a job and I need to look like I want one.

My head is ready, now I just need to find someone looking for a great programmer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Our Fighting Forces #111

Our Fighting Forces #111 (On Sale: November 14, 1967) features a cover by Irv Novick featuring Lt. Hunter's Hellcats.

We begin with Lt. Hunter's Hellcats in "Train of Terror" by Robert Kaniger and Jack Abel. This is followed by "No Movies in a Foxhole" drawn by Jack Sparling.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

How Slow Can You Go?

I recently ordred a couple of books from Amazon and since I just finished a novel last night I decided to check on the status of my order this morning. Here is what I found...

As you can see the package left Bell California on November 10th and is expected to arrive in La Verne California on November 16th.

Well, I know the US Postal Service is slow, but as you can see on the map above Bell is only about 34 miles from my home in La Verne. I guess my question is why does it take the Postal Service six days to move a small package 34 miles? How slow can you go?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hydrogen for the Masses?

Two months ago we learned that plain salt water could be coerced into flame and now Pennsylvania State University has come up with a way of creating cheap, abundant hydrogen from renewable sources. Lets get this shit done and kick Exxon and the curb already!

Another Gauntlet

A few weeks ago I was writing here about the gauntlet we had to run when trying to publish comics in the 1970s. I talked about censorship and hypocrisy and was in fact in a pretty emotional state at the time. I was supposed to have my first salon showing of my artwork this past weekend and the day I wrote about the gauntlet was the day I learned it was not going to happen.

The flier above was created for the event and when I saw the Narnia artwork I hoped there would not be any problems with religious conservatives attempting to impose their out-dated beliefs and their comical prissy fucking attitudes on my artwork. I had reason to worry.

Apparently my nudes were a problem for the Narnia artist, who demanded a new flier be created, one that did not include any nudes. She also put some pressure on the supposed art lover whose house was being used for the salon and suddenly she didn't want my nudes either.

I was never told not to attend, but it was made clear that I and my artwork were not wanted.

My son said I should do the show and only take nudes, shove it right in their face and laugh at their discomfort. I thought about doing that, though I never considered my nudes a political statement of any kind. Maybe I should. In the end my pancreatitis sapped all my strength and ate up all the time I should have been using to prepare for the show and maybe that is just as well.

Fuck, I'm still pissed.

Reasons to Strike

One of the main things the writers are striking for is a piece of the Internet revenue generated by the products they help create. Some have argued that there is no profit to be made from the Internet, well, that's the story when writers ask for a piece anyway. here is the other story, straight from the horses' asses mouths...

Harlan Ellison on the Writer's Strike

- Sunday, November 11 2007 11:58:36


I got out here in 1962, very soon after the WGA strike that damn near bludgeoned into poverty every screen/tv writer I knew ... including the magnificent, dear Robert Bloch, who loaned me $300 to find a place to live upon my arrival. Three hundred bucks Bob did not have, nor could he afford to loan out. It took me six years to pay him back.

I have been through every strike since that time, sat on prelim negotiating committees, sat on the WGAw Board of Directors for two tough terms, have worked on policing committees whose purpose was to keep the Alliance honest, and I have written "pr" voicing the writers' position for all manner of mediums...many many times.

And I must tell you, from a clear and high view of the past, THIS strike is singular. It is unlike any OTHER strike of the writers I have ever been witness to. In the following way:

The general public...all of YOU who come here...totally uninvolved and essentially unaffected people in Wisconsin and New Jersey and Montana and even all GET IT!

Miraculously, unbelievably, no amount of AAMPT badmouth of writers in general ("MILLIONAIRES PICKET FOR MORE $$$") is making any inroads. Heaven only knows what it'll be like in a month or two, but RIGHT NOW this is perceived by the general public and (to my amazement) the internet as a gestalt, as a RIGHTEOUS WORK STOPPAGE!

As one who has unrelievedly been a growl and snap pit bull about the Internet, per se, I humbly and a bit embarrassedly thank you all for your yeoman support.

And you may post this everywhere, anywhere, it makes you feel good to have a committed viewpoint tug its forelock in public.

I ain't saying I have come to love trolls or scammers or YouTube jackasses...but gee whillickers, folks, I am impressed as hell by your sagacity and solidarity.

With considerable respect,

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another Reason to Go To Denver

I remember not too long ago that many were boycotting the city of Denver. OK, maybe it was a while ago, but times have changed. If you were ever tempted to go to Denver (I used to live there, so I have been tempted in the past),, Denver recently added another arrow into its quiver of enticement: they legalized marijuana!

Ain't nothing like that Rock Mountain High!

RoboCop, Closer Than You Think!

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times ran a story on the new equipment the LAPD has started to use including the T3 personal vehicle pictured to my right.

Two cool things they have added to a new LAPD SmartCar are an automatic license plate recognition system that identifies stolen cars parked on either side of the street and in traffic ahead of the car, and a dart-gun system that when fired can attach a GPS tracker to a fleeing car.

Maybe RoboCop is the wrong image; maybe the Batmobile is closer to the truth!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Father

Right up until the time my mother had her stroke, our Mexican cruise was pretty much a wonderful vacation. Besides being with family, I had hoped to get some artwork done on the ship. Toward that end I brought most of my pastels and an easel. I did paintings of both my mother and my father, and as usual the one of my mother just did not turn out. I have never created a good likeness of her. However, the one of my father I think turned rather well, based on a photograph taken during our first night's dinner on the ship.

Odd Numbers

As previously mentioned, I had a CT scan on Tuesday, which revealed a few problems with my liver and pancreas, but that most of my digestive system was in pretty good shape. The CT scan was enhanced with a contrast agent, in my case I believe it was an iodine solution. As a diabetic on Metformin, the contrast solution causes problems, as the two mixed together can have an adverse effect on my kidneys. So I was told to stop taking the Metformin until told to begin using it again.

This leaves me in a bad place. Earlier in the year I was taking Metformin, Glyburide and Actos for my diabetes, but the Glyburide worked too well and sent my blood sugar dangerously low, putting me into hypoglycemia three or four times a week. I had to quit the Glyburide. Actos was found to increase the risk of heart attacks and I was taken off of it in July leaving me with only Metformin between me and high blood sugar and now I was being told to stop the Metformin.

An odd thing has happened though. My blood sugar numbers this morning, four days after last taking anything to regulate it, are better than they have been in months and as an unregulated fasting blood sugar, are better than they have been in years. In fact, the 112 reading I had this morning is not even considered diabetic.

Could all this be because I have been on a very low-fat diet for two weeks? Could it really be that changing my diet and, hey, maybe even exercising now and then, could really get me off of these pills, at least for a few years? I'm reminded of what Bill Maher said in one of his "New Rules" just two months ago...

In Hillary Clinton's health plan, the words "nutrition" and "exercise" appear once. The word "drugs" 14 times. Just as the pharmaceutical companies want it. You know, their ad weasels love to say, "When diet and exercise fail..." Well, diet and exercise don't fail. A fact brought home last week by a new Duke University study that showed exercise - yes, exercise - is just as effective a cure for depression as Paxil and Zoloft.

So ask your doctor if getting off your ass is right for you!
Son of a bitch!

Friday, November 09, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #80

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #80 (On Sale: November 9, 1967) features a cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams. They made a pretty good team and I love the visual here of Lois ripping out the words "Girl Friend" from the logo.

"Get Out of My Life, Superman" is by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger. When Superman misses Lois Lane's birthday party, the girl reporter is humiliated. She leaves town and moves to Coral City, home to America's space program. Lois changes her last name to Lorne, takes a job as a nurse, and vows to forget about Superman. Her plan is made easier when she saves the life of astronaut Rand Kirby which begins a romance.

Superman misses Lois after she has left town. When he is assigned to cover a story in Coral City as Clark Kent, he finds Lois. She tells Clark that she doesn't want Superman to find her, but when danger presents itself, she suggests calling Superman for help. After the danger has been averted Lois pretends to be under the influence of truth serum and tells the Man of Steel that she doesn't want to see him anymore.

I believe this was one of three comics I bought the first time I bought comic books. The other two come out in a few days.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Health

I had my CT scan on Tuesday and a nurse from my doctor's office called yesterday to say that it showed sort of what they expected. I have a fatty liver (not sure what can be done about that except the obvious change of diet and more exercise), some inflammation of the pancreas indicating pancreatitis, two small polyps on my pancreas and no problems with my gall bladder or any thing else.

I am scheduled to see the doctor again next Monday; until then I am to keep eating a low-fat diet. Ha! Like I'm gonna chance feeling that pain again! I should know more after I talk to the doctor.

I am feeling a lot better today. I ate beef for the first time in almost two weeks last night to no ill effects and, except for feeling tired and rundown and a little sore in the digestive tract area, feel pretty good. I stopped the vicodin after a few days and just use Tylenol for pain.

I think I am mending.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Wonder Woman #174

Wonder Woman #174 (On Sale: November 7, 1967) features a cover with the unusual team of Carmine Infantino and Irv Novick.

"Steve Trevor – Alias the Patriot" is by Robert Kanigher, Irv Novick and Mike Esposito. Angle Man discovers a way to remove Wonder Woman's super powers. He knows that she will continue to fight crime, so he provides Steve Trevor with pills which give him powers. He hopes that Wonder Woman will retire and marry Steve, then he will ensure that Steve runs out of pills and cannot renew his powers. However, Steve shares the pills with Wonder Woman and together they track down Angle Man. Wow, is this a really awful sounding story or what?

The back-up story, "Wonder Woman Vs the Air Devils" is also by Robert Kanigher, Irv Novick and Mike Esposito. Capital City honors several super-heroes with statues placed around the city. Wonder Woman's statue is made of gold and is protected by Steve Trevor. The King of Crime plans to steal the gold statue by diverting Wonder Woman with attacks on the other statues. He succeeds in taking the statue and kidnapping Trevor. Wonder Woman is unable to pursue him to his island hideout because she fears for Steve's life.

Wonder Woman returns to Paradise Island, where she meets with her mother. A passing meteor shower gives Wonder Woman an idea of how to rescue Steve. She hitches a ride on a meteor which strikes the King of Crime's island. Her surprise catches the crook off guard, allowing the Amazon Princess rescues Trevor.

And people wonder why the O'Neil/Sekowsky/Giordano Wonder Woman reboot was so desperately needed?

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Slowly Working It

When my doctor found out that the ER released me without determining what was wrong (basically they released me from the ER in the exact same state I entered the ER) and didn't even perform the CT scan he had requested of them, he was furious. I have been waiting since then for the hospital to call and schedule the CT scan; it only took them thee days. I now have a CT scan scheduled for Tuesday and maybe then they can start to figure out, besides the initial attack of Pancreatitis, what all is wrong with me.

I actually got to eat something I could chew today, some chicken and rice that my wife made. Along with some peas it constituted the first real meal I have eaten in eight days. I had a small portion and it seemed to give my stomach a slight problem, but now four hours later I feel fine. I've lost 13 pounds the hard way and would love to keep some of that off, but at some point I will regain an appetite. My digestive cavity is still tender and I have a hard time sleeping, but I am hopefully off the Vicodin and only on Prilosec and Tylenol.

I hope to be back to normal soon; of course, since my mother's stroke, back to normal will be anything but.

Friday, November 02, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Aquaman #37

Aquaman #37 (On Sale: November 2, 1967) features just a stunning Nick Cardy cover; it's beautifully designed and masterfully executed, full of raw emotion. How could anyone pass up this comic on the stands? To me this cover marks the beginning of Cardy's ascendancy as one of the greatest cover artists of all time.

"When the Sea Dies" is by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. A great cataclysm under the sea interrupts a fight between Aquaman and the Ocean Master. The sea itself begins to rot. Aquaman traces the source of the disturbance to a scorpion-shaped vessel piloted by the Scavenger. The villain is searching for a time decelerator hidden under the ocean. Aquaman's best efforts are unable to penetrate the Scavenger's ship, so he forms a temporary alliance with the Ocean Master.

Mera and Aquababy are then kidnapped. Aquaman is unable to free them, but when the Ocean Master locates the time decelerator, the Scavenger leaves his ship. Ocean Master tries to double-cross Aquaman, but he is stopped. The Scavenger uses the time decelerator in an attempt to become immortal.

This strip is sort of a turning point for Aquaman as it features the last appearances of Tusky the Walrus, and Storm and Sea Imp, Aquaman and Aqualad's giant sea horses. I know, I said this about the sea horses in Aquaman #35, but I was misinformed I guess.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Back Again

This is going to be short. I began having the same problems as before on Tuesday night, but wanted desperately to stay out of the hospital, so I took some of my wife's Vicodin and toughed it our through a pretty rough night. Since all they did in the hospital was manage my pain and not feed me I though I might be able to do the same at home, but I wanted to let my Dr. know what was going on. He wanted to see me within the hour and after looking over my file from the hospital stay told me to go back, that they would be waiting for my in the ER. So back to the hospital I went. Unlike the first time, my amylase count (a digestive enzyme that only goes high if you have Pancreatitis) was low, so after seven hours they cut me loose again, with my own prescription for Vicodin. Morphine it is not. I hurt like hell and almost constantly, but it seems to be getting weaker over time. I hope to beat this thing by just not eating.

So I'm back again, but for how long I have no idea.