What can I say? If you're gonna read this, read as much of it as possible in as short a time span as possible.
Or maybe this is the strongest endorsemWhat can I say? If you're gonna read this, read as much of it as possible in as short a time span as possible.
Or maybe this is the strongest endorsement I can make for wearing helmets and avoiding drugs and alcohol.
"Kids, when you grow up, there will be comics you like. But when you're older, you'll only get about 22 pages every 30 days. You can do the math on that, it's not a lot. And when these stories get complicated, you are going to need every ounce of brainpower to remember the details of what the hell is going on. Please. Don't do drugs. Don't drink alcohol. Wear a helmet. Don't do it for me. Do it for the love of comics."...more
I'll be honest, it's too long between volumes for me to keep track of what the fuck is going on in this series. It's like East of West that way. If II'll be honest, it's too long between volumes for me to keep track of what the fuck is going on in this series. It's like East of West that way. If I go a couple months without reading, I don't remember shit. Who was doing what? Where? Why? How is pretty much out of the question in this book, but those other ones apply, and I don't have any answers.
It's stil enjoyable as a book, and I think the real problem is not reading the volumes close enough together and reading other stuff in between. So is that a problem with the book? The book's publication? The delivery? Am I putting myself into that category of people who review stuff on Amazon and say things like, "UPS dropped this off and it got wet in the rain"?
I hate those people. Monsters. Why would you put that information under the rating for a book? Who does that help? I wish everyone who did that had written a book so I could review THEIR book and say, "Left unhelpful review on another book that didn't make any goddamn sense."...more
The mind-blowing thing about this collection, it's a perfect sample for the whole "everything old is new again" thing that happens in comics.
Can we taThe mind-blowing thing about this collection, it's a perfect sample for the whole "everything old is new again" thing that happens in comics.
Can we talk about a few thing that happened in 1998?
1. Captain America V. Iron Man Yes, Earth's Mightiest Heroes had a fistfight in 1998. Of course, it involved some weird bullshit and they weren't real enemies, but we still had the two exchanging blows.
2. Sam Wilson Captain America Yep! In 1998, in this series, Sam Wilson took on the mantle of Captain America when it appeared that Cap had been killed. Now, this story was quite bizarre for a few reasons, but none more so than the involvement of a white power group trying to make it appear that Cap was a big fan, and the leader of this group not only tried to make a gas that killed black people while leaving white people unharmed, but also claimed that geneticists were refining sickle-cell anemia as a favor to this white power group. I guess what I found really confusing about this, other than all of it, was...why would a white power group bother trying to make it look like Cap was on their side if they were making a gas that killed all black people? Were they hedging their bets? "Well, if our black people killing gas doesn't work, a PR campaign is the next step down to racial dominance"? If this is their two-pronged plan for success, if one prong succeeds, it totally negates the need for the other prong. Also, with the sickle-cell thing? Did a portion of the company just run out of shit to do and they were like, "We have a murderous gas in the works. Maybe keep perfecting sickle-cell, eh?" To what end? Why are these people working on all these different projects that, if successful, make the other projects totally obsolete? Who is running this thing? These are not very smart white people.
3. Bucky's return (sort of) Growing up, there were a few comic book people who died and DIDN'T come back to life.
There was Uncle Ben, who is still dead.
There was Gwen Stacy, who was cloned, and also had some secret babies, but was mostly kinda dead on Earth-616, but was alive on as Spider-Gwen on Earth-65, and on Earth-TRN565 there was a Gwenpool. I guess if you're going to make a hero an alternate version on another Earth, Stacy is where it's at. Also, I'm beginning to suspect that the numbers assigned to these planets are arbitrary. TRN565? That's a buncha bullshit.
There was Jason Todd, the Robin the Joker killed. If you're not a student of comics, interesting fact, Jason Todd replaced Dick Grayson as Robin, and DC set up a hotline people could call into in order to determine Todd's fate at the hands of the Joker. Would he live or die? The votes were pretty close in the end, after more than 10,000 people had called in. There is a rumor that some guy setup an auto dialer of some sort to call every 90 seconds for 8 hours in order to sway the vote, but this is unproven lore. And of course, Todd came back in 2005.
There was Bucky. Bucky stayed dead for a long time, until he didn't. Such is comics!
4. Nazis use the sunken city of Atlantis to mount an unexpected attack on the Allies Okay, this hasn't ACTUALLY happened again that I know of, but of all the ideas here, I feel like this one's got legs. With flippers on it. It's got Nazis, it's got a legendary underwater city. It's got 1940's scuba helmets. It's got it all....more
This is definitely from the period before Batgod, the time when Batman became not the ultimate man, not a masked crimefiKinda lame, but kinda awesome.
This is definitely from the period before Batgod, the time when Batman became not the ultimate man, not a masked crimefighter, but basically the most capable being in the universe.
On the one hand, it's kinda goofy. It's got this weird, very emo feel to it where Batman seems to be constantly shaking his fist at the sky and saying things about the darkness.
On the other hand, it's kinda goofy in a different way. Alfred leaves, and Bruce and Tim fuck up the laundry!
Kelley Jones' artwork is really interesting. It features that crazy Batman cape that's like a goddamn circus tent, but it still sort of works. It's a different take on the Batman, and there are times when his lips are pulled back and it looks like he's rocking a huge crap, but he's just sort of talking. My theory: Jones was a little bored here and there and decided to make his own fun.
My favorite moment from this volume, far and away, goes like this:
Batman sneaks his way into some mobster's house, as he's known to do, and is trying to intimidate the guy while he's in the shower. He succeeds, gets the information he needs, and then, on the way out of the bathroom, flushes the toilet and the guy says, "YAHHH! Freezing!"
This totally tickled me for two reasons.
One, I thought the shower was supposed to be hot when you flushed the toilet. This is based on some experiments I performed on my brother as a kid. I have one distinct memory of doing this on accident, where I had to piss while he showered because I couldn't wait, and he said, "Don't flush." I pissed, and on instinct, flushed. He came flying out of the shower, screaming, and it took all I had in me not to laugh my ass off before I got out of the bathroom.
It turns out that this CAN happen, the water can go cold when the toilet is flushed. It's actually a bit of a raging debate online. The best answer I can find, it depends on the plumbing. There's a thing called a Thermostatic Mixing Valve, and some are designed to keep the water pressure constant while others are designed to keep the proportion of hot and cold the same. So, if you have one that kept the proportions the same, when the toilet flushed, there'd be less cold water, and the amount of hot water would be reduced as well, resulting in a lower pressure and the same temperature. If you had the other kind, the type that keeps pressure constant, it would bump the temperature hotter when the toilet flushed because more hot water would flow to compensate for the lack of cold water, which is rushing to fill the toilet tank.
So why is this mobster's shower suddenly cold when Batman flushes? Looks like he's got a Thermostatic Mixing Valve installed, which he should as a man of means, but it's not functioning correctly.
But the second thing I loved about this toilet flushing incident was it was a real dick move on Batman's part. It wasn't like a bold move or anything, not like a sweet "Hasta La Vista, baby" or something like that. It was just a tiny fuck you.
Which made me think of a new character I call DickBatMan
This is a Batman who, instead of beating criminals unconscious, goes around and is kind of an asshole to them.
The advantage to this type of vigilantism is that you could do it in everyday life. There's no one to stop you from, say, following a criminal in your car, then when he parks, you pull into the spot next to him and park SUPER CLOSE. Or when he's on the treadmill, you stand next to him and time his treadmill use, demanding he gets off at the 30 minute mark because you want to use that specific treadmill. And then you walk your dog, let it crap on the monster's lawn, and you pick it up with a bag and everything, except you leave just a tiny nugget behind. Whoops!
It had never occurred to me, before reading this, that I could be a vigilante too. Fear, criminals! I am minor vengeance! I am the earlier part of the night! I am BatDickMan!...more
So here's the concept: What if we made characters out of yarn, and we told the story of a classic book, but kid friendly and in only 12 words?
The answSo here's the concept: What if we made characters out of yarn, and we told the story of a classic book, but kid friendly and in only 12 words?
The answer to that question is No. Wait, it's Cozy Classics.
I'm sure you're dying to know which 12 words make up this classic tale of madness and society and describing every goddamn stick of furniture in every room and every meal everyone ate.
But really, the only super important one is STAIRS.
In the picture, we have two creepy-ass dolls ascending a staircase. One of them is holding a candle. Now, readers of the OG book will know what's about to happen, but in this version, the dolls go up the stairs, then the woman doll leaves the house. I feel like this version skips over a pretty significant part of the story. Maybe the most significant?
I don't know. What do I know? I don't read a lot of stories that are made for babies. Except the ones that teach you how to defecate properly. "IN the toilet," I read aloud and then nod....more
For this one, I made an attempt at crowdsourcing. I posted the decision points on a forum and asked people to help make the right decisions.
The storyFor this one, I made an attempt at crowdsourcing. I posted the decision points on a forum and asked people to help make the right decisions.
The story is about a dude who disappeared while doing some kind of reporting on Mayan temples.
So you go to check things out, you meet the requisite creepy guide who seems to know more than he's letting on, and you immediately stumble on some kind of transporter beam taking people to a space ship.
You go into the beam, and here's what the text says:
Gaining confidence, you step into the transporter beam and are carried up into the spacecraft. You hear nothing as you shoot up and away into the far reaches of the universe, to the planet Merganatic and the great Congress on Intergalactic Life. You wonder why the Mayan sites were chosen as contact points. Their brutal and complex society seems an odd choice for other planets. Who knows what lies ahead?
Okay. So in this "adventure" you make a few choices about which sites to check for your missing friend, then you go into a SPACESHIP, and that's the end of the story.
Let me say that again. The story ENDS when you go into a spaceship and things get exciting and cool.
There was this thing Kurt Vonnegut said about writing, that you should start your stories as close to the end as possible. In a way, this story succeeded AND failed. Yes, it didn't take long to get to the ending. But at the same time, I feel like the thing we're calling the ending is really the beginning in this case.
I didn't die. I also solved the mystery of the Maya, or A mystery of the Maya, I guess. But it was unsatisfying, to say the least. This book, it's like if Star Wars started where it did, and then ended when the group decided to go and save Leia. You go through all the boring stuff, the moving characters around stuff, and just when it gets good, that's when it's like, "And then, what happened after that? Who knows? Use your imagination!"
Oh, I should also mention the cardinal sin, this book starts with an "It Was Only A Dream" moment. So it's not that the whole story is bad, just the beginning AND the ending, and the stuff in the middle....more
Whoo! Okay, this is the story of America's first marathon, but it reads more like a script for an episode of Wacky Races.
Someone vomits in the first mWhoo! Okay, this is the story of America's first marathon, but it reads more like a script for an episode of Wacky Races.
Someone vomits in the first mile. Another dude steals a bunch of peaches from some spectators and runs away to eat them. The race doctor falls off a cliff. A racer is chased a mile off course by a dog.
Okay, then the leading runner is begging for water, but his trainers will only give him, get this, strychnine. Yep. Because they figured it would make him run faster, and of course, being old times, they combined it with an egg white. And then they do it again. And then they give him a warm sponge bath in the Missouri heat!
And this man won the race in 3 hours, 28 minutes.
Now, please know I'm not bragging. Quite the opposite. I ran a marathon in 3 hours and 25 minutes! Haha! Take that, first marathon winner ever! Then I had a margarita and fell down some stairs, after which I spent the evening at some clothing-optional hot springs where the only naked people were me and a very old local man who complained that the race screwed up the arrival of his mail. And THAT is why we run. Not for the stickers on Subarus or the desire to keep up with water bottle technology. Nope, for the humiliation and old man nudity.
I was pretty proud of myself as I read this, until I thought about the fact that I ran about as fast as a dude who drank no water and instead consumed RAT POISON MIXED WITH EGG. TWICE. I mean, that's like if I stabbed myself with 5 miles to go, just to up the ante or something.
Sam Patch was a "Daredevil Jumper," as stated in the title, but after reading, I can't say I totally understanOh, Sam Patch, you old-timey anacronism!
Sam Patch was a "Daredevil Jumper," as stated in the title, but after reading, I can't say I totally understand the difference between a Daredevil Jumper and a Guy Who Falls Off Tall Shit.
Sam jumped from high stuff, then higher stuff. Then he went to Niagara Falls with his pet fox and pet bear, which is great, and then he threw his pet bear off Niagara Falls, which was kind of a dick move. I guess if you've got a pet bear, you want to do SOMETHING with it that you couldn't do with a hamster, but maybe just take pictures of it with its hand in a bee hive or something. Also, are bears known for being able to fall really far? Is this another animal science thing I didn't know? Supposedly the bear was fine, although that's gotta be a terrible day for a bear. I'd be pretty confident that, for a bear, falling off Niagara Falls would be the worst day of your life, provided you don't have some entitled little punk sleeping in your family's beds and eating their food, critiquing every little thing along the way.
As the story is told, it turns out that watching a dude jump off tall shit was big entertainment back in the day. And I kind of feel like it still would be. I would watch a dude jump off...well, whatever! But not a guy who drinks Red Bull and stuff. It's gotta be a normal guy, like Sam, who doesn't even have a uniform or anything.
If you can believe it, Sam met his end when he jumped off a tall thing, pinwheeled down, and hit the water hard. Never to surface again...until a farmer found his corpse, I guess. It made me wonder, when you went to watch this kind of thing back in the day, how long did you hang out before you shrugged and walked off, assuming the dude was dead? What's the polite interval there?...more
The other day I was looking at children's books and thinking, "Hey, that would be a good way to learn some shit that I'm embarrassingly bad at. Such aThe other day I was looking at children's books and thinking, "Hey, that would be a good way to learn some shit that I'm embarrassingly bad at. Such as science. And History. And Geography. And most of the things you were supposed to learn in school. The 3 R's, and I hear they've got some STEAM or condensation bullshit going on too."
So, I picked up this gem. No longer would Pete be confused about those damn northeastern states, the ones that they made WAY too small because they made them before we had cars (I assume. Again, DUMB!).
Well, I'm here to say I learned almost nothing. There was a weird elf guy, who was made out of states I already knew, and I feel like his memory tricks were reminiscent of Michael Scott's name remembering tricks.
Sad to say, I'm still dumb. But we'll see what comes up next....more