Saturday, June 28, 2008

McCains' Defaulted on Home Taxes For Last Four Years

Rich Republican dogma states that there are the rules that the rest of us must follow, which they can ignore. We have a president who has made that painfully clear for the past seven and a half years and now we see that the Republican party would like to elect as our next president another anointed one, who can ignore and violate the laws that are just too much of a bother for him to follow.

Hey, can I ignore my taxes for four years like the McCains do?

Imagine the 24-hour scandal coverage this would incite on Fox News if the name of the couple was Obama instead of McCain.

Friday, June 27, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #85

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #85 (On Sale: June 25, 1968) has pretty cool cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "When Lois Was More Super Than Superman" by Leo Dorfman, Irv Novick and Mike Esposito. Lois joins three other women who are invited to visit Kandor as part of a cultural exchange program. Lois is knocked unconscious by some Kandorian protesters who are angry that Superman has not spent more time trying to restore the city to normal size. Lois is revived by Dr. Cor-Lar, a Kandorian scientist who gives Lois a super-serum which grants her temporary super-powers.

Lois uses her new powers in Kandor and protects ski jumper Karen Varley from an accident. When the powers begin to wear off, she has withdrawal symptoms. Dr. Cor-Lar offers her more serum, but forces Lois to sign a contract in which Lois promises to do a job for the doctor.

Lois then returns to Earth and protects Superman from a Kryptonite trap set by Dr. Ulrich. When Superman sees that Lois has super-powers, he proposes to her. However, Lois's powers begin to wear off again, leaving her under the control of Dr. Cor-Lar.

The back-up is "Lois Lane's Childhood," a reprint from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #26 drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. When Lois Lane was a child, she was just as curious as she would be as an adult. Her curiosity got her into many dangerous situations including wandering into the woods one day as a baby. Fortunately for Lois, baby Kal-El left a rattle toy in an experimental rocket belonging to his father Jor-El. When the rocket was sent into space, it found it’s way to Earth. The toy saved Lois from a rattlesnake before becoming lost in quicksand.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Intelligent Thing He Has Said In Years

"The Republican Party is a dead rotting carcass with a few decrepit old leaders stumbling around like zombies in a horror version of 'Weekend With Bernie,' handcuffed to a corpse."

-Robert Novak

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Brave and the Bold #79

Brave and the Bold #79 (On Sale: June 25, 1968) has a wonderful cover by Neal Adams featuring Batman and Deadman.

Inside we have the classic Batman/Deadman team-up, "The Track of the Hook," by Bob Haney and Neal Adams. Deadman comes to Gotham to seek the help of Batman, the world's greatest detective, to locate Hook, the man who killed Boston Brand. Batman is involved with another murder case involving small-time racketeer Whitey Marsh who was also killed by a man with a hook. Batman decides to leave the case for the police, while he tries to find the identity of a syndicate leader known as the King. Deadman takes over Batman's body, then leaves a recorded message revealing himself and his story. He succeeds in gaining Batman's commitment to finding Hook.

The trail leads Batman to Max Chill, the brother of Joe Chill, the killer of Bruce Wayne's parents. Max wore a fake hook on his wrist to throw suspicion away from himself. Max dies trying to escape. Deadman realizes that his own killer is not involved in this case.

Crusader Carleton K. Kaine has been pressuring Batman and Commissioner Gordon to find the King. Batman believes it is Jack Le Sabre, while Gordon suspects Big Jim Coltrane. Batman traces clues found with Chill that lead him back to the crime syndicate and realizes that Kaine is the real crime boss. This classic has been reprinted in Super-Team Family #2, Deadman #5, Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1 HC, and Showcase Presents: The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In The Shadow of the Moon

I was watching the Ron Howard produced documentary In The Shadow of the Moon last night and it contains a abbreviated clip of this event. You have to keep with it through almost the whole thing, but I have to say that when I watched this last night I almost fell off the couch!

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

Religion convinced the world that there's an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. And there's 10 things he doesn't want you to do or else you'll go to a burning place with a lake of fire until the end of eternity. But he loves you! ...And he needs money! He's all powerful, but he can't handle money!

I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.

Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.

'Older' sounds a little better than 'old,' doesn't it? Sounds like it might even last a little longer. ... I'm getting old. And it's OK. Because thanks to our fear of death in this country I won't have to die — I'll 'pass away.' Or I'll 'expire,' like a magazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital they'll call it a 'terminal episode.' The insurance company will refer to it as 'negative patient care outcome.' And if it's the result of malpractice they'll say it was a 'therapeutic misadventure.'

-George Carlin

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Country I Love

Barak Obama released his first general election ad last week. It will air in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. If you don't live in those states, you can watch it here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Big "O"

I was watching the local PBS station last night and they had on a show of musical footage from the old Johnny Cash Show. One of the acts I missed (because I came into the show late) was Roy Orbison. Growing up my brother had the album Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits and years late when I joined the infamous Columbia House Record Club it was one the "free" 12 albums I selected. Over the years I have been haunted by this man's voice and do still sorely miss him. Here is what he sounded like in 1969.

My Disappointment Knows No Bounds

Friday, June 20, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Hawkman #27

Hawkman #27 (On Sale: June 20, 1968) has a great cover by Joe Kubert on this, the last issue of Hawkman.

Inside we have "...When the Snow-Fiend Strikes" by Raymond Marais, Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera. Hawkman and Hawkgirl prevent the Leopard Gang from robbing the Midway City penthouse of Prince Sabul o Tala, who tells them how his country was attacked by Yeti. He is also afraid that they may have to accept military assistance from outside to handle the problem, and that this could lead to occupation. Hawkman agrees to help, although he insists that Shayera stay behind.

He is attacked by a Yeti upon arrival, and Hawkgirl, monitoring him from their ship, flies to his aid, as he is taken in by Golo, the last of the true Yeti, who explains that the others are not of his race. The couple tracks the false Yeti to a cave filled with foreign soldiers, and this leads to Sabul's throneroom.

Hawkman now suspects Sabul has lied to them and that he is the leader of the flying Yeti, but Sabul gathers his people to allow the hero to indict him publicly, an action which backfires when they don't believe him. Hawkgirl disproves the theory when she hears General Kin-Yo's plan to assassinate Sabul and his cabinet with the Yeti, and the attack of the Snow-Fiend reveals it as a robot, guided by Sabul's cousin Vana.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Not Loving America

"I didn't really love America until I was deprived of her company."

-John McCain

So John McCain is basically saying that for the first 20-odd years of his life he did not "really love America." And in what way is this different from Michelle Obama saying she was proud of America "for the first time in my adult life?" Only right-wingnuts see a difference. What a shameful party, those Republicans.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

At Least He Hasn't Forgotten

"I refuse to be lectured on national security by people who are responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States. The other side likes to use 9/11 as a political bludgeon. Well, let’s talk about 9/11.

The people who were responsible for murdering 3,000 Americans on 9/11 have not been brought to justice. They are Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and their sponsors – the Taliban. They were in Afghanistan. And yet George Bush and John McCain decided in 2002 that we should take our eye off of Afghanistan so that we could invade and occupy a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The case for war in Iraq was so thin that George Bush and John McCain had to hype the threat of Saddam Hussein, and make false promises that we’d be greeted as liberators. They misled the American people, and took us into a misguided war.

Here are the results of their policy. Osama bin Laden and his top leadership – the people who murdered 3000 Americans – have a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world. That’s the result of the Bush-McCain approach to the war on terrorism."

-Barack Obama

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Metal Men #33

Metal Men #33 (On Sale: June 18, 1968) has a dramatic cover by Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos as we get a new direction for the book, The New Hunted Metal Men.

"Recipe to Kill a Robot" is by Robert Kanigher, Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos. Doc Magnus enhances the Metal Men and increases their powers. However, he is injured in the process and slips into a coma. Will's brother Colonel David Magnus takes charge of the robots and sends them out to stop a fire. However, the Metal Men find their new powers hard to contain. They end up causing more harm which soon turns the public and the authorities against them.

The Metal Men become hunted. Lead stays behind to protect the retreat of the others. Then a giant alien fly creature known as Fferka attacks. Tina helps Lead stop the creature, but it bursts open and several smaller creatures emerge. They are forced to run away as the tiny flies grow into giants.

The Metal Men return to Doc's lab and are temporarily deactivated by Colonel Magnus. When the authorities are unable to stop the attacking flies, he reactivate the robots and sends them into battle. The alien flies are from another planet and intend to conquer Earth.

Edited by Jack Miller.

The Audacity of Fear

If only it wasn't so much like reality when Jon Stewart says, "Oh, this is interesting. SomeguyI' is reporting presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama has lady parts. Obviously scurrilous and unfounded, we'll examine it tonight in our special, 'Barack Obama's Vagina: The October Surprise In His Pants.'"

Now That's What I Call A Beer!

My step-son John and I have what I would call a strained relationship. We don't have a lot in common except our despise of Apple Macintosh computers. Mine stems from the fact that I am no fool and John's stems from the fact that he owns one and knows first-hand what a piece of shit it is. So if one of us teaches the other something, I am the one doing the teaching and John is the one doing the learning (or not, I told him not to buy that Mac). However, a week and a half ago, on the occasion of his 40th birthday, John taught me something. I'm not sure I should thank him or not.

We met John at his latest digs in downtown Los Angeles and headed for Pete's Cafe, a place that John used to be a waiter at when it first opened. My wife and I ordered wine with dinner, John ordered something I had never heard of before; he ordered a Chimay. Chimay is a brand of beer, made since 1862 by Trappist monks at the Scourmont Abby in Chimay, Belgium. No pun intended, but "Holy crap is this great beer!" Then again, at between $8.50 to $10.00 a 25.4 oz bottle it better be. Those are store prices, at Pete's it ran $18.50 a bottle.

Chimay comes in three flavors, Red, White or Blue. That night John offered me a taste of his Chimay Blue, which had the unmistakable tang of cinnamon. While shopping at Whole Foods yesterday I picked up a bottle of Red and Blue and had the Chimay Red last night with dinner. My god, what an amazing beer. It froths and expands in your mouth like a creamy root beer and has a spicy taste and a fruity aroma. The monks describe it so:

Topped with a creamy head, it gives off a light, fruity apricot aroma produced by the fermentation. The taste perceived in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruity nuances noticed in the fragrance.

Its taste, which imparts a silky sensation to the tongue, is made refreshing by a light touch of bitterness. To the palate, the taster perceives a pleasant astringency which complements the flavour qualities of this beer very harmoniously.

This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurised.
However you want to describe it, Chimay Red is unlike any beer I have tried before. If only it didn't cost so much!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Evil Ones, Look At Thy Selves!

Yeah, I'm talking to you Republicans, you fucking racist bastards. There is a word for this type of shit: evil. And your party reeks of it. I'm so happy you worthless excuses for human beings will be marginalized into buzzing little gnats, no more than a nuisance we can swat with our hand.

This is indeed the party of John McCain.

Helmsley's Dog Loses $10 million

Well, you sort of hoped this was going to happen. What kind of stupid asshole leaves $12 million to a dog?

What I find curious though, is the picture that accompanied this news article. My question is how did the manage to get the dog to wear lipstick and eyeliner?

Friday, June 13, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Showcase #76

Showcase #76 (On Sale: June 13, 1968) is a classic issue featuring the debut of DC's most conflicted western hero, Bat Lash. It sports a nice cover by Nick Cardy and puts forth the question asked in dozens of DC house ads in the previous months: "Will he Save the West -- or Ruin it?"

(Pheasant in Aspic) is written by Sergio Aragones and drawn by Nick Cardy. Bat Lash is forced to leave town when the boyfriend of a woman that he has been romancing tries to kill him. On his trip to the next town of Welcome, Bat Lash catches a pheasant which he intends to have for dinner. When he reaches Welcome, he notices that most of the honest people are leaving town. Criminals have taken over the town making it unsafe for good people.

Bat Lash brings his pheasant to the local restaurant to have it cooked. Diane, the woman running the place, wants to leave town, but Bat Lash refuses to let her leave until he has dinner. He then goes to the general store to buy additional ingredients.

Bat is confronted by crooks who try to force him out of town. The cowboy proves stubborn and hard to kill. Despite several attacks and trouble from the locals, Bat Lash finally gets Diane to finish cooking his dinner. When he offers her the first bite, she refuses to eat since it has been poisoned. Diane admits that she is the head of the criminal gang, so Bat Lash escorts her to the nearest jail before leaving town. Shamefully never reprinted.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Can You Spell Flip-Flop?

Obama burps and it is a major story, but John McCain can lie through his yellow teeth and the main stream media does not even bother to pick it up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Blackhawk #242

Blackhawk #242 (On Sale: June 11, 1968) has Pat Boyette's first cover and first artwork for DC. It features a new Blackhawk logo, good for this one issue only and the return of the original Blackhawk uniforms.

This book tells you everything you ever should need to know about what kind a editor was Dick Giordano. When Dick was given the Blackhawk book he was told there were only three issues left before cancellation. Last issue featured the inventory work he was given from previous editor George Kashdan; it is in these final two issues that we see Giordano's take on Blackhawk.

In Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day At A Time by Michael Eury, Giordano relates, "Blackhawk was one of my favorite comics when I was a kid." As such Giordano hoped to resuscitate the series or at least send the book off in a style he felt it deserved. Dick found a way to do that by perusing Kashdan's unopened mail.

From Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day At A Time...

Recalls Marv Wolfman, who was then in his late teens and active in comics fandom: "I had sent in a spec script for Blackhawk, which was being edited by George Kashdan at the time. I didn't like the direction of the series. They had changed the Blackhawks into something called the 'Junk Heap Heroes'--which they where." Wolfman's treatment restored the Blackhawks to their former glory, and Giordano, having met Marv at several conventions, called the teen and offered to print the story (although it was dialogued by Bob Haney). "The was my first published work for DC," says Wolfman.
Giordano was not satisfied to just return the book to its former direction, he also wanted something special for the last two issues, so he phoned Blackhawk creator Reed Crandall and offered the last two issue to him. Crandall was hesitant to accept the assignment, but was finally won over by Giordano's enthusiasm for the project. This was one of those times that Dick's "hands-off" style of editing almost proved fatal.

He called Crandall two weeks before the art was due for a status and Crandall confessed that he hadn't started and the aged Crandall admitted he "couldn't do this anymore." Really in a tight deadline bind, Giordano called on his old Charlton friend Pat Boyette to knock out the last issues of Blackhawk.

"My Brother – My Enemy" is plotted by Marv Wolfman, scripted by Bob Haney and drawn by Pat Boyette. The Blackhawks learn that G.E.O.R.G.E. has been wiped out by a villain known as the Black Mask. Without their special equipment, the Blackhawks are forced to return to their original uniforms and tactics to track down their foe. Blackhawk soon learns that the Black Mask is secretly his brother Jack, whom Blackhawk thought to be long dead.

During the early days of World War II before the Blackhawks were formed, Bart Hawk (Blackhawk's real name is revealed for the first time) and his brother were pilots flying a mission against the Nazis. Jack's plane was used as a decoy and shot down. Bart believed his brother dead and left his unit to become Blackhawk. However, Jack survived and was found by the Nazis. His damaged body was molded into a weapon and his mind was turned against his former allies and brother. Before the newly created Black Mask could seek vengeance, the Blackhawks bombed the Nazi camp. The Nazis were killed and Jack fell into a sleep of suspended animation.

Having recently awakened from his long slumber, Jack, now the Black Mask is eager to destroy his brother. The Blackhawks return to Blackhawk Island where Black Mask unleashes the War Wheel against them. The Blackhawks prevail in the fight. Black Mask is able to elude capture following the battle when Blackhawk is unable to fire upon his own brother.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is There Anything This Guy Knows That Is Actually Right?

Jim McKay and the Role of Sportscasters

To me Jim McKay will always be the voice of "Wide World of Sports." Through the years he was a part of how I vicariously experienced, as his voice-over said every week, "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."

But I will also never forget in 1972 when he informed America of the fate of the 11 Israeli athletes taken hostage in Munich during the Olympics, "They're all gone," McKay said, quietly, calmly, sadly. You could hear the loss in his voice; you could hear the finality of it as well.

It was a remarkable, told to us by a man who most likely never thought he would be the relater of such tragic news. After all, he was just a sportscaster. That got me thinking back to another sportscaster who was the messenger of tragic news during a broadcast of Monday Night Football on December 8, 1980.

Howard Cosell: Yes, we have to say it, remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy, confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City. John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the west side of New York City, the most famous perhaps of all of the Beatles. Shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital; dead on arrival. Hard to go back to the game after that news flash, which in duty-bound, we have to tell you.

Maybe these "sportscasters" end up in these historic roles because we as a nation spend so much time doing the vicarious thrill-of-victory thing that it almost becomes inevitable that important news will be disbursed though these less than journalists. Then again, who knows more about tragedy than those who weekly cover the "agony of defeat?"

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I Don't Usually Fall For The "Feel-Good" Stories...

But this story from last week's Los Angeles Times just got to me. Here is the hooker...
Saturday's nuptials at a Camarillo Baptist church had the usual trappings: flowers, an emotional ceremony and a lovely bride in antique silk. But this was no ordinary spring wedding.

More than 200 guests broke out in loud applause and even a few cheers as 95-year-old Bernice Jenkins started down the aisle escorted by her two balding sons to the strains of "Here Comes the Bride."

And no one clapped louder than Bernice's soon-to-be husband, Wallis "Rich" Richard, also 95, as he gazed with a wide grin when his bride approached the altar.

"Finally," he whispered as he clasped her hand.

With a combined 190 years of age between them, Bernice and Rich Jenkins are among California's oldest newlyweds. It's not known if they are the oldest because the state doesn't easily track late-in-life marriages.

But the significance of the event was not lost on their circle of family and friends, who seemed giddy -- even inspired -- witnessing the couple's union.
You can read the rest of the story here.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I Got A Song In My Head!

I can't get this out of my head. Here, you take it for me!

Forgive and Forget?

After watching Hillary Clinton's speech this morning with my wife, she turned to me and asked, "Well, do you forgive her now?" I don't think that was the point of the speech, that we should forgive Hillary to going so amazingly negative toward a fellow Democratic opponent and I said so. I think she did a whole lot to repair the damage she has done over the past few months, but it will take more than one speech to heal the wounds Hillary opened among Democrats.

I am pleased that her support for Obama was presented as whole-hearted and forthright, but I think she could have said more directly at those who were booing when Obama's name was spoke. She could have been more focused on the differences between Obama and McCain (whose name was never uttered today). She could have said something about the Democratic Party following the rules in Florida and Michigan that she agreed to and even bending them in the end to her favor, rather than letting so many of her supporters go on with this fantasy that Obama stole votes from Clinton in those states.

I will have to watch her actions over the next few months to decide how I feel about her and Bill. Burned bridges have to be rebuilt piece by piece, and Hillary laid the foundations today; we will see if she continues in that vein or not. A good beginning, but it could of and should of gone a little farther; maybe in the coming weeks she will rectify those omissions.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Better Late Than Never?

"Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has written a tell-all book, and it's full of inside information about how the public was mislead prior to the invasion of Iraq. The title of the book? Stuff That Would Have Been Really Helpful 5 Years Ago."

-Conan O'Brien

Neal Baker, R.I.P.

I've mentioned before about growing up in the City of Fast Food and how even two people from the small community of Muscoy where I grew up were the founders of two fast food chains. Well, we lost one of them last week. Here is his obituary by Michael Sorba of the San Bernardino Sun Telegram:

Neal T. Baker, founder of the Baker's Drive-Thru fast-food restaurant chain, died at his Redlands home Saturday at age 84.

Baker pioneered the "twin-kitchen" concept, opening his first Baker's Burgers restaurant in 1952 at Highland and Genevieve avenues in San Bernardino. It offered burgers at one window and Mexican food at another.

"If people wanted both, they had to wait in line twice," Baker said, laughing, as he spoke during a meeting of the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society last year. "I got a lot of guff over that."

Today, Neal T. Baker Enterprises, the restaurant chain's parent company, operates 36 Baker's drive-through restaurants in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Baker went to high school with and was a friend of Glen Bell, who founded Bell's Hamburgers in San Bernardino, which eventually evolved into the Taco Bell franchise.

Baker and Bell got the idea to start their restaurants while marveling at the crowds standing in line to buy hamburgers at the first McDonald's restaurant at 14th and E streets in San Bernardino.

"Glen (Bell) and I would take our wives down there and just watch," said Baker in a 2006 interview. "One of those times, Glen told me, `I'm going to start a hamburger stand.' I said, `You don't know anything about hamburgers!"'

According to Baker, Bell replied, "I know, but you're going to help me build my first restaurant."

Bell opened his first Bell's Hamburgers in March 1948 at the corner of Oak Street and Mount Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino. The tiny stand, hand-built by Bell and Baker, was the first in a succession of fast-food restaurants that evolved into the multibillion-dollar Taco Bell empire.

Baker was a recipient of Cal State San Bernardino's Arrowhead Distinguished Executive Officer award.

Other executives honored with the award include Jack H. Brown, Martin Matich, Evlyn Wilcox, Larry R. Sharp, William E. Leonard Sr. and D. Linn Wiley.

He was also known for his philanthropy, giving generously to various charities in the Inland Empire.

A private memorial service will be held Thursday at the University of Redlands Chapel.

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Batman #204

Batman #204 (On Sale: June 6, 1968) has a pretty interesting cover by Irv Novick that sure looks like it was based on a Carmine Infantino design. This is the first Batman cover to feature a darker, more moody feel. Carmine Infantino bought out Bob Kane's Batman contract and this issue ushers in Infantino's new direction for Batman - darker and more serious, with stories that are much more mystery and action oriented.

That new direction begins with "Operation:Blindfold" by new Batman scribe Frank Robbins and new Batman artist Irv Novick and inker Joe Giella. People talk about how Neal Adams redefined the batman character, but Novick and the over-all editorial direction at DC had just as much to do with the transformation of the character.

A criminal mastermind known as the Schemer kills a blind man and plants evidence to make Commissioner Gordon believe the man is Batman. Since Gordon believe the Caped Crusader is dead, when the real Batman arrives on the scene, the police commissioner thinks he is a phony and has him arrested. With Batman out of the way the Schemer then stages an armored car robbery using crooks disguised as blind men. This new direction began with a story continued next issue.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

40 years later: The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

People say that newspapers are dying, that the Internet is killing them, but look at this video, created by the Los Angeles Times and maybe you are looking at the future of newspapers. It is a moving, timely piece and I think an indication of what these local news organizations are capable of creating, through a medium they never imagined.

I remember going to bed 40 years ago tonight and being woken up by my mother, "They shot Bobby. Oh my god, the killed Bobby too!"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Alton Kelley

Alton Kelley, who along with his creative partner Stanley Mouse, created the iconic posters for the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore Auditorium, has died. Kelley also created the Grateful Dead "Deadhead" logo and the Steve Miller Band "Pegasus" logo.

When I was a much younger my brother Jack used to collect the small posters from the Avalon and the Fillmore, many of them featuring the work of Mouse and Kelley, and so my teen years were spent in bedrooms with walls covered by the Mouse/Kelley artwork. Do a Google image search of "Alton Kelley" or check out this website and be dazzled by the amazing collection of psychedelic posters that he and Mouse created. Depending on your age, it might make you feel young again.

When I mentioned this on the Tony Isabella board, fellow Tony boarder Rob Allen reminded us that, "Those Kelley/Mouse posters from the 1960s, along with similar posters by other artists, have a lot of significance in the comics world. The posters were so popular that by 1966 there was an established network that distributed posters to stores in & around the Bay Area, and eventually to points beyond.

When artists in San Francisco started publishing comix, they were sold thru this same network, which quickly spread across the country. In a few years the poster business faded, and the distributors focused on comix. A decade or so later, a comix distributor in New York finally convinced Marvel and DC to sell him their comics the same way Last Gasp and Rip Off Press did. The "Direct Market" basically meant Marvel and DC adopting the undergrounds' way of selling their wares - which derived from the popularity of psychedelic posters in San Francisco.

So the next time you pick up the contents of your pull box at your LCS (local comic shop), thank Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse and the hippies who loved their art."

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Secret Six #3

Secret Six #3 (On Sale: June 4, 1968) has a cover by Jack Sparling.

"To Kill a Mockingbird!" is plotted by E. Nelson Bridwell, scripted by Joe Gill and drawn by Jack Sparling. After five of the Six have unsuccessful attempts on their lives, they pair off to keep an eye on each other. While working with King, Mike is kidnapped by the Syndicate -- who were responsible for the other murder attempts.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tonight We Made History!

For the first time in a very long time, I'm proud of something done in my country. If it took the excesses of King George the Doltish to make Americans crave change like a junkie craves the needle, then maybe these last eight nightmarish years were worth it.