A Public Service Announcement

Let's get serious for a second. The deadline for voter registration is next Monday, October 6th. Please please please, if you are not registered to vote yet, take (literally) a few minutes and do so. This site right here can tell you if you're already registered (it doesn't hurt to make sure) and get you registered if you're not. It's super easy.

Now, I'm not going to tell you who which candidate to vote for. Just vote. Educate yourself, watch the debates, listen to what's being said and done and what's not being said and not being done and vote for who you think will best get us out of this mess. Because it's pretty crazy out there right now.

That is all.


Mystical Mysticness!

I recently asked for you all to ask me "Yes" or "No" questions that would be answered by magical means. And now that one of you has actually asked a question, I can consult my magical device to divine an answer for you.

But first, you may ask "From whence do these answers come? What magical tome holds the answer to any question that can be answered either positively or negatively?" and to that I answer: it comes from This Old Box Of Comics. But more specifically, it comes from here:

The Original Ghost Rider Rides Again #4 of 5, a Ghost Rider reprint book published November 1991. It has magic powers. One time I had a headache and I held it up to my head and the pain disappeared. It holds every answer to every question in the history of the world. Because it is full of magic like a unicorn on drugs or something. For serious.

But I, as they say, digest.

Let's answer Chris' question, "What should I do?"

Oops! It looks like Ghost Rider is not too pleased that Chris' question cannot be answered by "Yes" or "No" and is threatening him with a beat-down of immense proportions.

Because Ghost Rider is a jerk like that.

I know, totally magic, right? What question will he answer next?! Only you can decide! Well, you and the magical forces that permeate the ether, but you know what I mean. Ask your question in the comments or you or someone close to you will get athlete's foot. It happened to a friend of mine' uncle's girlfriend. For serious. Spooky, right?


Kisses For the Crying Cooks

On a housekeeping note: I apologize for the lack of posting but this week was - and it's looking like next week will be - pretty nuts, so I may drop off until next weekend. Just so you know. I didn't die or anything. I just let real life get in the way of the Internet. I know, "priorities" right? Anyway, yeah.

Oh, and if you have some questions for the Magic Question Answerer, Please leave them here. The Mystical Powers await!

The Music Of Chance

If you know me at all, you know that I love the satirical fake newspaper, The Onion, like a baby loves, uh baby food? Anyway, I love it. But Did You Know? that The Onion has a "legitimate" pop culture wing called The A.V. Club? Well, they do. So now you know.

One of my favorite segments over at The A.V. Club is a feature they call Random Rules where they take a celebrity like, say, Patton Oswalt (or just some random hipster like Randall Poster, the guy who put together, among others, the killer Rushmore soundtrack) and have them shuffle through their iDevices and talk about what comes up. No skipping allowed.

Now, I'm no celebrity. But then again, neither are half the people that they refer to as "celebrities" on those dancing/circus/quiz/competitive BB-stacking shows that are all the rage with the kids these days. So today, I'm gonna play a celebrity and we're gonna do a Random Rules session. Except I skipped a couple doo-wop tracks and removed a Stephen Stills track to make room for something cooler. Because I must look super-cool at all times. Otherwise, I'm just some tall, handsome, pasty white guy in his 30's who just wants to talk about how cool his taste in music is in order to not feel like he's totally losing whatever amount of hipness he once had. And who wants to read that?

Nobody, that's who.

Morphine - "Kerouac"
Morphine makes music for some postmodern noir movie that has yet to be made. Like the sequel to Zero Effect (Speaking of which, have you seen that movie? Because it's really good.) or something. Something sort of seamy, smoldering, morally labyrinthine. Morphine makes that kind of music.

The Kinks - "I’ve Been Driving on Bald Mountain"
Not the best Kinks song or the best Kinks album (off of their self-titled debut), but it is good, classic rock & roll.

Tom Waits - "Army Ants"
I really love this album (Orphans). I'm guessing that this is off of the "Bastards" disc, as it sounds like he's reading from some sort of science textbook over a weird jazz scale. Tom Waits is on my "Must See Before He/I Die" list for sure.

Oranger - "Just a Little Dumb"
These guys are really good. Totally adept at crafting solid fractured (or is that a contradiction?) pop music. I read a review of their Doorway To Norway album a while back and when I saw they had a song titled "Mike Love, Not War" I immediately set about tracking down their work. It was not easy, but like the motivational poster says, it was worth it. This is off their Shutdown the Sun album, which is pretty excellent.

Marvin Gaye - "Baby Don't You Do It"
For a long time I'd only heard the Band version of this. Marvin's version is just as good. And that's saying something because I think that the Band version is aces.

The Creation - "Cool Jerk"
The Creation were a bunch of producers who decided they'd put out some Who-esque (and later Dylan-esque) rock and roll records. Their "Making Time" is on the indispensable soundtrack to Wes Anderson's Rushmore. This is a cover of The Capitols' song that you've probably heard on oldies radio like a million times. Not their best track, but still passable for sure.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention - "Who Are The Brain Police?"
I really never thought I'd ever be the type of music snob who was "into Zappa." But here we are. And while I'm not all gaga over him (I only have his first few albums with the Mothers. I don't think I'm adventurous enough to delve into the skronky, jazzy stuff of his later career. But who knows, right?), I must say, he makes some very interesting music. As in "This song makes me question my mental health, like, seriously"-type of "interesting." Still it's not as disconcerting as the music made my Zappa's former roommate, Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. Seriously, Trout Mask Replica is possibly the most disturbing music I have ever heard. Ever. And I'm not convinced that that's a bad thing either, if that makes sense.

The Who - "Sally Simpson"
I love the Who. Honest I do. But I hate Tommy. I think the songs sort of suck and the story is lame. Sorry. But I do. So yeah, this song, not may fave.

The Clash - "Washington Bullets"
Ah, the Clash. Who else could write a nice little punk tune about US foreign policy and make it sound this good? From their triple-album ¡Sandanista!

Old 97's - "Barrier Reef"
These guys are just plain great and this is one of their better songs. Clever without being too clever, the title refers to the narrator's drunken philosophizing as he chats up a girl at a bar. "What's so 'Great' about the Barrier Reef? What's so 'fine' about art? And what's so 'good' about a Good Times van?" These are the questions we need to address, people.

Anyway, so there it is, my installment of Random Rules. Here's your challenge: post the next 10 songs that come up on "Shuffle" in the comments section. I will send a prize to someone who does so. Because I am nice like that.


Punk Rock Will Kill You If the Government Don't Get You First

Another excerpt from This Old Box Of Comics and a perfect example of why I read this stuff:

Yes, that was a mutated wolf getting exploded by a magic floating baby head. Who talks. If that's not awesome, I will eat my hat.


From Star Brand #13, published May 1988, part of Marvel's failed New Universe experiment.

POW! - Cheesy


Monday Morning Meeting Doodles

I feel all left out because all my art buddies are posting their doodles and I have not. Boo hoo. So anyway: doodles! I did these during our staff meeting this morning because I totally have adult ADD. These can all be see in my Flickr photostream as well.

And while you're there, check out the beginning of my first real comic book work, a Sticky Note comic called Unauthorized Autobiography. It's very much a work in progress but I'd welcome any feedback on what I have up so far. It's the story of my life, with some minor embellishments for dramatic effect.

It's Magic!

You know about the Magic 8 Ball, right? You ask it a "Yes" or "No" question and it magically answers it using magic. Like so:

Well, I now possess a magic question-answering device. Only it's not a ball. It's a ... well, I can't tell you what it is because that would ruin the surprise. And I love surprises.

S U R P R I S E ! ! !

See? Now this won't be like that time when I answered questions you didn't even know that you wanted to ask. No, this time you'll have to ask the questions. So, how about it? Anything you just need to know? Ask now and the magic magicness will magically answer your questions. Magically.


Like A Cowboy Boot!

There's really too much funny stuff in this clip for me to properly break it down for you, but suffice it to say that whispering "What's a panini?" has become our new catchphrase. Allow me to indulge in some hyperbole when I say that John C. Reilly as Dr. Steve Brule is one of the most inspired character that ever charactered.



It Finally Happened

I finally stumbled across a recipe involving sausage that I don't want to immediately devour like some wild beast you see on the Discovery Channel or something. In fact, after reading the title alone, I want to vomit. Repeatedly. "Apple and Sausage Pie"? It sounds like some kind of euphemism, doesn't it?

Congratulations, Internet: you finally broke me.

City Beasts!

See those monsters? They're a set of stickers I whipped up a few weeks ago and plastered in secret spots all over Ohio City here in the Cleve. I call them City Beasts. I need to photograph a few of them before they disappear. I tried to draw and color them as quickly as possible and hoped that nature would make them even more interesting. I like the drippy blood on the claws and fangs.

You like?


TV Eye

Well, it's almost time for the TV to get good again. Not that this summer was horrible; the Olympics and conventions kept me occupied, entertainment-wise, but it'll be good to settle into some sort of TV-watching habit in the next few weeks. Here's what I'll be watching:

Sunday night sort of sucks for TV, though I will probably allow myself to be sucked in to The Amazing Race while flipping between that and The Simpsons. (Which is kind of like watching a once-majestic beast slowly bleed out in the middle of the road. It's sort of sad, The Simpsons. It's funny enough, but any more it just feels like a clearinghouse for jokes deemed too tame by the Family Guy writing staff, which I imagine to be populated by poo-flinging monkeys and 12-year-old boys.) Oh yeah, and I'll watch America's Funniest Home Videos because I'm a horrible person and I find other peoples' pain hilarious.

How I Met Your Mother is a must-see. And if I remember it's on, I'll watch Boston Legal. A big "no thanks" to Heroes (though I'll probably flip through it and wonder what's wrong with me because I just don't get that show) and I'll probably flip between The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Chuck while I wait for HIMYM because The Big Bang Theory causes cancer.

I'll probably miss House due to church responsibilities (we have no DVR because we have no cable. We have rabbit ears. Like savages. But hey, if it was good enough for the pioneers, it's good enough for us, right? Which, incidentally, is why we heat our house solely by burning cow pies.) and I'll stay on Fox for Fringe, which is still sort of not really clicking with me. It has all the pieces to be really freaking awesome but it needs to stop being so angsty and dramatic and just be fun and radical. (Remember when I said the same about Bionic Woman? Let's hope this lasts a bit longer.)

New Adventures Of Old Christine is a sure bet. I may try out Pushing Daisies, but other than that, Wednesday looks like a wash until Lost shows up and rocks my brains to pieces.

NBC's comedy lineup is locked in. I can take or leave My Name Is Earl and I'm not sure about Kath & Kim (Though I want oh so badly for it to be funny), but The Office and 30 Rock are complete gold. Especially30 Rock. Seriously, if you read this blog and have not watched it, I hereby decree that you must do so or, uh, I won't let you read the blog any more. Or something. Yeah.

Not much here except Life at 10p on NBC. I really fell in love with this show last season. It's like Kojak if Kojak were completely insane. Here's the high concept: Detective Charlie Crews just got out of jail, exonerated after serving 12 years for a crime he didn't commit. He likes fruit and kōan-esque bits of wisdom. Also, it's entirely possible he's completely lost his mind. Each episode is a done-in-one police procedural that also advances the overarching B-plot of Crews trying to figure out who set him up and why. It's very smart, sort of like a less acidic House with less medical stuff and more guns.

I'll check out the Knight Rider repeat if only to shake my head repeatedly and think of all the ways I would make it more awesome. Or just, you know, watch a movie or something.

So there's my TV Guide. What am I missing out on? What am I crazy for watching? Lemme know in the comments.


This Old Box Of Comics Strikes Back

Who hid Orion's eyebrow waxing kit? You better tell him now. He looks pretty pissed.


From Super Powers #4 of 4, published December 1986 wherein Orion looks like a total doofus for some reason. (I realize it's modeled after the Super Powers toy, but still. He looks like Ram-Man from Masters Of the Universe's "special needs" kid brother or something. Like he'd hurt himself severely if he took that thing off. And that monstrous unibrow is not helping. He's normally not so caveman-looking. Go figure.)

PS: A big "Happy birthday" to Chris Haley. Rock over London. Rock on, Chicago. 7-11: It's a sign of the times.


Make the Cowboy Robots Cry

I've been thinking a lot about the future. You know, jetpacks, silver unitards, teleportation rays. The usual. And one thought struck me so deeply that I just had to share.

See, it's pretty much a given that robots are going to take over some day in the not-too-distant future. Egghead-types call this the technological singularity. I call it "The Day We All Get Enslaved By Killer Appliances." Soon, our iPods will be shuffling us (get it?!) off to the charnel pits or shaving us bald to power their war machines or keeping us dumb and docile so they can feed us to the Morlocks. In any case, it isn't gonna be pretty, but it's inevitable.

It occurred to me that within the next thousand years (or less ... probably less), it's not unlikely that there will be a robot civilization not unlike ours: robot reality shows, robot door-to-door hot dog salesmen, robot hot dogs, robot politicians, robot news anchors (or are they ALREADY HERE!?!), robot game show hosts, robot haberdashers, robot chimney sweeps with thick cockney accents. Black robots, white robots, brown robots, yellow robots, purple robots. There will be robot baseball players, robot accountants, robot mechanics, robot popes (RoboPope? Did I just come up with the best idea ever?), robot astronauts and robot kung fu guys. Robots everywhere, bleeping and blooping forever.

Obviously, I thought about this a lot.

But then I started thinking about the less-fortunate robots? Those who have fallen on hard times or been phased out by technological progress or had their robot home repossessed by robot bankers or corrupt robot mortgage schemes? What about the robot hobos riding the supersonic bullet train rails from shining metropolis to shining metropolis to look for a little work and a can of robo-beans? What will they be called as they sit all sad and rusty, begging for spare power converters in the blazing chrome cities of the future? What would the other robots refer to them as?

"Hobots" sounds like either the robo-race of the main character of a tale told by JRR Robo-Tolkien ("Robo Baggins" maybe?) or, well, a "robot of the night", if you catch my drift (I mean a robot prostitute). "Robos" would probably be a catch-all term in a robot-led society like "people" or "dudes" or "schnauzer" is for us. "Rohos" sounds like some sort of robo-Spanish or what Robo Santa says when he's extra-jolly. "Robovagrant" is too clunky. Perhaps "Robohobos", or is that too clunky as well? "Robum" maybe? This is serious business people: What will the mendicant of the future be called? I have no clue and it's driving me crazy!


Anyway, so long story short: Basically, the future sucks.


More Mixes!

A few weeks ago, King Of the Internets and all-around swell guy, The Chris Haley and I did another Ping Pong mix, taking turns choosing songs to try and stump one another. Because we are incredibly clever, we named it Return Of the Ping (okay, that was Chris' idea, but it's a good one, so I'm gonna tag onto it). He did some drawings (that's Chris with his huge sword and me with, what else, a flaming skull), I colored them and made the album art and now it's available to download right here. Just for you.

Track # / Artist / Title

01 / Summercamp / Nowhere Near
02 / They Might Be Giants / Twisting
03 / Polaris / She Is Staggering
04 / FOTC / The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)
05 / Phantom Planet / Always On My Mind (London Version)
06 / Guided By Voices / Game Of Pricks (Live)
07 / Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / Need Some Air
08 / The Creation / Biff! Bang! Pow!
09 / Old 97's / The Villain
10 / Langhorne Slim / By The Time The Sun's Gone Down
11 / Hank Snow / Would You Mind?
12 / The Band / Rag Mama Rag
13 / Queen / Tie Your Mother Down
14 / Frank Zappa & The Mothers / My Guitar Wants To Kill Yr Mama
15 / Nada Surf / Mother's Day
16 / Born Ruffians / Kurt Vonnegut
17 / The Sun / (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman
18 / Steve Burns / Mighty Little Man
19 / Extreme / Star
20 / The Unicorns / Les Os


POW! - Alleyways & Avenues

Shot on the way to the train with my Lomo Action Sampler.


Something For the Weekend

You may recall that I purchased Kung Fu: The Year Of the Tiger by Lee Chang recently. You know, the book described on the front cover as "The most thrilling, action-packed series ever published!" Yeah, that's it right there; to the left. See. Awesome, right? Well, it is. What? You don't believe me? Okay then, let me convince you by reading (or, uh, typing) a randomly selected passage from this, the pinnacle of Western (Eastern?) literature:

That's when Gus saw that there were three men in the cab!

And that's when Mace turned to him, and the surprised Yard foreman saw that he was staring at - a Chinese!

Gus couldn't say any more! He felt only a flash of intense pain in his throat and then fell into a choking blackness.

Mace had swung around and tomahawked him across the Adam's apple!

I know, I know, it's incredible. Good luck finding any other copies. I did a quick glance online for #2 (this one's labeled as #1 and they refer to it as a "series" on the cover, so there must be more, right? Please say"yes"!) but came up empty. In any case, I'll be posting quotes every now and then. Maybe you artistic guys and gals out there will submit some illustrations? Maybe?


I Said I Wasn't Gonna Talk Politics...

Okay, so I wasn't going to talk about politics over here anymore. I was tempted to do so after the conventions, but figured that you all know who I'm supporting and the marked difference in tone between the conventions only solidified that choice and I figured that by now, you're either agreeing with me or have reasons why you're not. You're smart people. I trust your judgment.

But Sarah had other plans. She had a posted some political thoughts the other day and asked me to provide her with some support, so I drafted the following message. As usual, I didn't post it as it was crazy long and I didn't think it would help anybody out by posting a forever long rant in the comment section of someone else's blog. (Which is why I never jump in on your blog either, Chanel. Plus, your people are just plain nasty over there! ;) )

Also, because I'm a chicken or something.

Anyway, so here is my response to Sarah's question: "What do you think about Sarah Palin?"

Oh man, okay, so I'm only commenting because Sarah asked me to. I usually try and stay out of these political poop-storms if I can, mainly because you can't have a discussion via the beloved Internets, so consequently people squawk their two cents and tune out anything contradictory. It's my firm belief that politics is a conversation, not a monologue, but unfortunately, modern political rhetoric - between people as well as politicians - has devolved into people shouting stuff at each other with their fingers in their ears. And I'm not convinced that we as a culture don't like it this way. You can read a little more about my political feelings here if you'd like. Or not. Whatever.

Hold on. Let me make sure I'm doing this right. Fingers in ears? Check. Ready to shout? Check. Okay, then. Let's get this over with:

John McCain makes me sad. Watching him speak at the RNC was like watching, I dunno, a captive wolf or something. Some sort of proud, majestic, scarred animal who's been reduced to begging for scraps to survive. During his speech, I sat there thinking,"This, right here, this is a great American. It's too bad this John McCain isn't the one who's been running for President." Not that I agreed with everything he said (his education rhetoric is way off base and his foreign outlook is hawkish, ill-defined and way too informed by the Cold War), but at least here was a glimpse of a man who I didn't think was lying to me every chance he got.

Because that John McCain - the John McCain who up until the last, oh, 4 years or so has been an example of a successful bipartisan senator, extending his hand across the aisle numerous times to make this a better country - that McCain got put in cold storage a few years ago, when this John McCain, this "politics as usual," "repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth" John McCain started thinking about running for the Big Dance again. This John McCain has sold his soul to the all-too-familiar Rovian politics of outright lies and misdirection (of which he was a victim of in South Carolina in 2000 when GWB&co. put out a commercial that flat out lied about him at the last minute and scared a lot of voters, forcing him out of the race) in the name of victory, and his choice of Palin (who, let's be honest, was more than likely picked for him and not by him) is a constant reminder that, sadly, anyone can be bought.

He's not "that guy", you know? He's not GWB, who will do and say anything you want him to as long as you get him to the Big Dance. He is - was? I can't tell anymore - a man of conviction and resolve. Now, he's just another GOP candidate, slinging lies and fake outrage over out-of-context quotes, playing out the clock with little things like which animal it's okay to put lipstick on when the big issues - things like, oh, you know, the totally crumbling economy, for example - are being pushed aside for the latest round of "Did you hear what he said/did yesterday?"

The choice of Palin as VP is another example of how far he will go to pander to people who don't even really want to hang out with him, the "real" him, in the first place. As the sad English poet Morrissey once said, "In my life / Why do I waste valuable time / On people I'd much rather / Punch in the eye?" Which begs the question: If John McCain is willing to compromise on something as important for America as a competent running mate, what else is he willing to compromise on?

Meanwhile, you have Barack Obama. Had he chosen Hillary, his victory would have been all but sealed, and, it could be argued, would have cut McCain off from choosing Palin as a second-in-command. So what if they most likely would have butted heads every single day they had to work together. It would have been the smart move, politically. The safe move. Instead he [gasp!] chose the person he felt was best for the job. I know, crazy, right?

You can't tell me John McCain wouldn't have rather had long-time friend Joe Lieberman on his ticket. Or any of the other short list choices, really. But Lieberman and all those stodgy white guys aren't the sexy choice. Lieberman's boring and nobody was talking about John McCain and besides, wasn't Lieberman a [double gasp!] Democrat at one point?! He may have been the right choice (who knows?), but not the choice that will help McCain win.

And McCain knows what it's like to lose. Obama talks about it in The Audacity Of Hope and it sounds terrible. (Yes, that was a plug. If you're at all curious about the man and his ideas on America and policy, pick it up. It sold me on him a couple of years back and is very recommended.) I can imagine that losing what basically is the world's biggest popularity contest would crush me. I would imagine that John McCain would not want to feel that again. I understand, really I do.

So he added Sarah Palin to the ticket. Palin, a former mayor of an incredibly small town (with a population of roughly, oh, 5500 people if you round up. Or, like, four high schools.) and first term governor of Alaska. You know, that state way up there. Population of almost (!) 70,000 people according to the 2006 census (or roughly 40% of the population of Chicago)? Yeah, that Alaska.

He chose Sarah Palin, who so far sounds like some sort of Liberal caricature of a radical Right Winger: anti-abortion to the extreme (Not even in the event of rape or incest? Really?); opposed to gun laws; doesn't believe that global warming is happening &/or is man-made despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary; has a chair on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission but is determined to fight big corporations; against Federal earmarks unless, uh, they're for Alaska; thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in classrooms as a viable scientific theory; and, well, that's it really. Doesn't inspire confidence. And it doesn't sound anything like what John McCain stood for historically.

And that's not even touching her home situation, which is obviously in need of some attention. Or is that sexist to point out? I can't tell any more.

But in the end, it really has nothing to do with gender. If that was a guy's resume' would you want his finger one stopped heart away from total nuclear annihilation? No, you wouldn't, especially since the Friday before Labor Day, this campaign has been about hammering Obama's supposed lack of experience. And when it comes to experience Palin is sorely lacking.

Anyway, so yeah, I don't think much of Governor Palin. She's sort of like John McCain's scarlet letter, a public reminder of a bad choice, in this case, the choice to sell out to the right wing establishment in order to win.

Has she energized the base and got people talking about something besides how old John McCain is or how much his policies of late have resembled a certain president with a plummeting approval rating? You bet. She's a great choice ... if you're playing a short game, which has sort of been de rigeur for this sort of politicking over the last ten years or so. (Remember how muddy things got when they swiftboated John Kerry? Seriously, what was that whole flap even about? Something about Purple Hearts or something?)

But there's two months left until election day. You can't pull out that much controversy (or can you? Or rather, will the American people buy that much crap for that long? Oh, but wait, we've been fed wholesale bullcrap for the last eight years, what's another few weeks, right?) to cover the fact that while your opponents are out there, talking about the issues in two different places, you're stuck together, (because nobody wants to see you, you know, the guy who's running for the office) giving the exact same speeches you gave at the convention. It's like trying to run the clock down two minutes after halftime.

So in summation, Sarah Palin is, in my opinion not a good choice for someone who in all likelihood is going to be sitting behind that nice wooden desk in the Oval Office. She's inexperienced and honestly, a little terrifying once you start to look into what she stands for. Plus, her voice is ten kinds of annoying. There, I said it.

But she will work for what the McCain team needs her for, as a distraction to, as Obama said in his acceptance speech, make this election about small things rather than important things. She may even help John McCain win. We can only hope that the real John McCain, the John McCain who tried to run an honest, straight-talking campaign against the slimiest campaign team money could buy in the GOP Primaries in 2000, is still alive somewhere and can regain control of an obviously out of control situation.

Otherwise, well, if you're rich, it should be nice. The rest of us, get ready for more of the same.


A Dip Into This Old Box Of Comics

A while back, I helped somebody from church move out of their house. As we were finishing up, I noticed a box of old comics and asked what was going on with them. The guy told me they were the ones his son didn't want and if I'd like them. Now, I'm sure you know this, but asking me if I want free comics is like asking Dom Delouise if he'd like seconds. Yes. Please. Of course I do. Even if they're terrible. So I now I own what I will now refer to as This Old Box Of Comics. It looks exactly like this:

I'll dip in every now and then and give you a scan or two from this treasure trove of awesome. Like this for example:

Oh, look, it's Gotham City's commissioner Gordon on the phone with Batman! What could the problem be? Has Killer Croc escaped from Arkham and eaten a bunch of orphans? Perhaps the Joker has poisoned the water supply with a hallucinogenic agent that makes anyone who drinks it think they're the Kaiser? Or maybe Two Face has murdered a bunch of librarians in protest of the Dewey Decimal System?

Or, uh, that. Now if I were Batman, I'd hang up the phone immediately and go back to, you know, fighting evil while dressed as a large, flying rodent, but, unfortunately, I'm not Batman. Batman, well, Batman pretty much freaks out:

I don't know if I blame the fella though. I mean, this is a guy who tangles with some of the most dangerous lunatics in the DC Universe. As a hobby. I'd imagine the promise of a golden sponge cake with creamy filling inside awaiting his safe return to the Batcave is all that keeps him from snapping. And I just can't imagine what it would look like if Batman finally snapped. How horrible would that be?

Oh, and then there's this, from another advertisement in the same issue:

I can't tell, is Batman threatening me or hitting on me? You decide!


Panels taken from Action Comics # 458, published April 1976.


Conan the Brainbarian

So John posted a link to an article about creativity which says, basically, that it's all about routine. That the trick to doing it (whatever "it" is) is just, y'know, actually doing it. So I'm just going to do this blog thing. I'm not going to over-think it or whine if it's not coming and just do it. I'm going to try and be as regular as Metamucil, whether each post is killer or not, because I owe it to the Internet. I owe it to you. I owe it to America.

Ray Bradbury, in his excellent book on writing Zen In the Art Of Writing, talks about his secret to creativity (which is very similar to what Graham Greene is quoted as saying in the linked essay and also similar to the advice given by Chris yesterday): If you want to be a good writer (or blogger or designer or painter or accountant or alligator wrestler), do it and do it Every. Single. Day.

That's it. That's the secret.

Bradbury mentions that the stuff he writes daily is sometimes not very good, but the good stuff comes because of the continual "practicing", for lack of a better word, of the art. Because whatever muscle you're working when you work on whatever it is you're working on (hooray for convoluted sentences!) is being continually flexed, exercised, strengthened.

So yeah, let's get mind-buff. Operation: Shut Up And Just Do It You Crybaby! is in full effect. Who's with me? Let's rock some mamma-jammin' skulls:

Thanks to all of your for your support. You guys rock like heavy metal played by killer zombie aliens from the flaming planet Rawck which orbits the dying star Rowl in a universe full of mythical beasts with unpronounceable names. Forever & ever.


I Had It ... & I Lost It

If I told you how many times I sat in front of an empty "Create Post" screen only to come up with nothing in the way of delicious, nutritious new postiness, you wouldn't believe me. You'd say, "Dylan, seriously, you tried to post that many times and came up dry every. Single. Time? You are like some kind of a liar or something." But I am not a liar. I am a truther. Honest Abe, I have not been able to scrape anything together for my fellow Internet denizens as of late.

What is wrong with me? Did whatever organ that controls bloggingness suddenly stop functioning? Did the well of potential posts dry up in some freakish, Dust Bowl-type of mind drought? Am I a total blogging has-been? Seriously, am I like the Jason Priestly of blogging? Because for a while there I had a good thing going, and now, now I fear I will never have another good idea on what to post on again. Ever.

Is this what the end feels like? Because it sort of feels like something that sucks big time.

Can you help? What should I be blogging about? Seriously, I need help. I stand before you a broken man. Please put my blogmind back together again with the Crazy Glue of your brain juices. Please, Obi Wan Kenobi ... you're my only hope...


Neon Tan

Bonus mix!

I know, I know, I'm too good to you. It's true, but what can I say? You deserve it.

This was initially the September mix (or the beginnings of it, anyway), but my iTunes ate it, so I set about pulling together Hot Dog, which worked out better anyway (anybody listened to it yet? Thoughts?).

Still, I couldn't leave this idea of a sort of dancey, neon-soaked mix alone, so I started working on this, perfecting it over the last week or so. I like to think of it as the mix from the hippest punk rock dance club on the moon. Featuring tracks from Justice, Franz Ferdinand, Gang Of Four, MGMT and Black Kids (among others), it's a pretty slamming mix. Download it here and let me know what you think.


Hi. Did you have a good, looooong Labor Day weekend? I sure did. Anyway, check back in like 15 minutes for a surprise, mmmkay?


Hot Diggity Dog

This month's mix is titled Hot Dog, a delicious mix of this and that. Throw some ketchup, spicy mustard and sauerkraut on it and you're ready to party. Delicious.

01. Beef
02. Water
03. Less Than 2% Salt
04. Corn Syrup
05. Sodium Lactate
06. Dextrose
07. Sodium Phosphates
08. Sodium Diacetate
09. Sodium Erythorbate
10. Hickory Smoke Flavor
11. Extractives Of Paprika
12. Sodium Nitrite
13. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
14. Garlic Powder
15. Potassium Lactate
16. Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
17. Sorbitol
18. Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
19. Nisin Preparation
20. Flavor

Download it here. Yum.