Friday, May 19, 2006
Zap! Pow! Lights! Camera! Pow! Action! Zap! Are you getting sick of this yet? 'Cause I'm not! Pow! Zing! Zap! Roll 'em! Blam! Makeup! Whizzzzz! Fwick! Cut! Okay, I'm done. Television and Broadway star Charlie Brown has been cast as the title character in "Duplicate Boy," the latest project from the director of "Uzumaki" and countless Japanese music videos, Higuchinsky.
The film, written by "The Ring 2's" Ehren Kruger, features a little-known DC comic book character. Duplicate Boy, an alien superhero with the ability to mimic other superheroes' powers, first appeared in "Adventure Comics" #324 in 1964 and made occasional appearances in that and other comic books in the following decades.
At a press conference, Kruger told reporters, "I hope to have the same wonderful experience I enjoyed working on the "Ring" sequel, when the director barely spoke any English, and didn't try like that hack Gore Verbinsky did to mutilate my beautiful script into something that was enjoyable and coherent."
Through a translator, Higuchinsky added, "To be honest, I couldn't care less about the script. I just want to use a lot of slow meaningless dissolves and filters and quick jarring cuts and warped-out cartoony eyeballs plus I'll add a lot of jet sounds and elephant noises for no good reason."
A reputed Hollywood insider calling himself "Blockade Boy" opines that the casting of Charlie Brown in the role is "pure genius." Said Blockade Boy, "Duplicate Boy's Who's Who entry from September 1985 says, and I quote, 'He has no training in use of his powers, personal combat, or much of anything else.' You know you're pathetic when even the slimmest biographical profile is at a loss to name things you're good at. Listen, honey, I met the guy and I can tell you right now all the stories about him are true. He's just a good-looking lunkhead who skates by on a natural talent he never bothered to develop. He's like that guy who was a football hero in high school and ten years later he's a janitor. Not that Charlie Brown ever struck anybody as good-looking or heroic, but hey, he's still a lame-ass. Just like Duplicate Boy."
With this latest bit of news, the future looks uncertain for Guy Ritchie's planned Duplicate Boy film, which was to star "Loser" of "Whizzer & Chips" fame.
In a related story, Marcie is in negotiations to co-star as Duplicate Boy's love interest, Shrinking Violet.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
A one-act play by Blockade Boy, adapting a scene from "Amazing Spider-Man" #195 (August, 1979) by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard.
Curtain rises on the exterior of Empire State University's cafeteria building. Ned Leeds leans pensively near the door. He checks his watch.
Ned: Where on earth can my wife be? It's not like her to be late!
Betty Brant Leeds enters from off-stage, walking briskly, a smile on her face. As she nears her husband, she pats and smooths her hair to make sure no follicles have slipped out of place.
Ned: There you are! What in blazes took you so long? You know I told you to meet me here at exactly twelve o'clock!
Betty: Oh, dearest, I feared my tardiness would anger you, but I did it for us! I just came from the beauty parlor! Don't you just adore what I've done with my hair?
Ned: To be frank, Betty, I don't adore it! It makes you look like Prince Valiant's nancy-boy cousin! And you know very well that any and all decisions about your personal appearance are to approved by me beforehand!
Betty (tearing up): I-- I only wanted to make you happy, Ned!
Ned: And you failed miserably. Oh, don't start sniveling now. I want us to practice one last time what we're going to say to that loser, Peter Parker. It is vital that we present a united front! Why, the poor fool thinks you're still in love with him!
Spectacularly, the set rotates, to the vigorous applause and orgasmic sighs of the audience. A massive chandelier descends upon the crowd, then rises again while a helicopter swoops overhead. Weirdly-costumed dancers swarm over the audience, fondling them, then vanish in a cloud of noxious vapor. When the gas clears, we can now see the interior of the cafeteria. Peter Parker kneels awkwardly over a dropped tray in front of the cashier. Harry Osborn and Flash Thompson point and jeer.
Harry: Hey, Flash -- it's Mr. Grouch of 1979! (giggles)
Flash: Christ, Harry, it's not that funny. And quit laughin' like that. That squeaky, nasal titter of yours always creeps me out!
Peter: Knock it off, Harry... I already apologized for missing your party!
Harry: I know what you said, Peter. It's just that I had ice-cream cake and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and everything.
Ned and Betty enter the cafeteria.
Ned: There you are, Parker! Your landlady said you'd be here.
Betty: Remember what I said, Ned -- don't get angry!
Peter: Ned Leeds?
Betty: Peter! What happened to your arm?
Peter: I broke it avoiding a cat!
The lights dim and a spot appears center stage. Peter emerges from the darkness and takes his place in the spotlight.
Peter: Oh, if only I wasn't leading this accursed yet wholly necessary double-life! If only I didn't have to spin this spider's web of lies! If only I could tell Betty that I was the swashbuckling-yet-sensitive hero Spider-Man and that I broke my arm chasing after a sexy cat-burglar with a great rack plus she totally has the hots for me.
Peter returns to his place in the scene. The lights go up.
Ned: All right, Parker-- we're going to end this game right now. Tell my wife you'll never see her again!
Betty: You don't have to, Peter... tell him you care about me...
Flash: Hey, Betty! Don't look now but your hair-do is eating your head!
Harry: Yeah, Betty, what's with the bouffant? Are you auditioning for the Shirelles? (giggles)
Flash: Once again, Harry, it wasn't that amusing. And teach yourself a new way to laugh. You sound like a freaking child molester.
Ned: C'mon, Parker-- I'm getting sick waiting for your answer! Are you going to stand between Betty and me? Are you going to break up our marriage!?? (He grabs Peter's busted arm)
Betty: Ned! For goodness' sakes-- stop it!
Peter (wincing): No! He's grabbed my bad arm! The pain!
Peter swings at Ned with his good arm. Ned lurches back, out of harm's way.
Peter: That tears it, Mister-- get your hands off me-- now! You want an answer. I'll give you one! I don't wanna see either of you loonies again!
Betty: What do you mean, Peter? We... we care for each other!
Peter (in another aside to the audience): Now's my chance... if I'm a heel, Betty will go back to Ned. I can never be the kind of husband Betty needs. Besides, that new hair-do of hers makes her look like a crazy person. Like a brunette Suzanne Sommers on coke! It's like she's wearing a snood made out of hair! No, she's better off without me and with a rage-filled, possessive lout who could get brainwashed into becoming a supervillain.
Peter takes his place once more.
Peter: Care? Don't make me laugh, Betty... even though that "Bettie Page meets Moe Howard" hairstyle of yours is a real rib-tickler... no, you were just convenient... You showed up when Mary Jane jilted me. Besides, I can tell your first love is a limp-wristed hair burner who's sucking your wallet dry while he gives you the ugliest hair-dos in all creation!
Betty (sobbing): No! You can't mean that!
Peter: Don't bet on it, lady!
Betty stares at Peter in disbelief for a moment. Then she slaps his face.
Betty: How could I have been so wrong about you? How could you say what you did?
Peter: Take a good look in the mirror, honey. That is, if you can see past the three pounds of mascara you have on right now. (to himself) Oh, now I'm overdoing it.
Betty: I-- I came to you as a friend... oh, what a fool I've been...!
Betty storms out the door.
Flash: Well, there goes another girl Parker's wiped his ass with and flushed down the toilet.
Harry: A journey through the New York sewer lines can only improve that mess she calls a hair-do! Am I right? High-five! (giggles)
Flash: Don't talk to me anymore.
The curtain falls.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I ben in prison again for two hole months now and you never come seen me or wrote me or nothing so I am writing you a new letter to say how come. Maybe you never got the last letter I sent you so to sum up, since I got outta prison I racked up some pretty heavvy gambeling debts but then I gotta job to pay them off only the job was for this supervillain named "Meeraj" and he was gonna kidnap the Thing from a hospitle but it turns out Meeraj ain't that good a supervillain and long story short we got caught and I'm in prison again. Also I asked you to send some mackaroons for me and my cell mate Fabian cause it turns out we both like mackaroons. But in case you DID get my last letter then you remmember how I said I would tell you what happenned when I was in that big supervillain army that was in all the papers so here goes.
Like I told you before Daredevil was beating the holy hell outta us henchmen but then Meeraj decides he is gonna take him on singlehanded and he uses his illuzhun deal to make dooplickets of himself so I elbow this other guy Charlie and I say "This hole jobs gone south so whaddaya say we make a break for it" and Charlie says "Thats a pretty good idea." So we take off those dumb head gear things Meeraj made us wear and we just stroll around the corner easy as you please trying to disguise our limps and trying to make sure none a the bloody teeth Daredevil knocked loose fall outta our mouths and also we pass a supply closet so Charlie and me slip in there real quick and put on some operating pajamas over our bad guy outfits and next thing you know we are near the front door. Oh and meanwhile a bunch a other crap is going on like Thor fighting the Mole Man so its not like people are paying any attenshun to us anyway. But right outside the front doors is four cops with guns and me and Charlie deside to double-back but then this guy in a black catfish mask or something knocks them all out with a gas grenade and we figger he's gonna walk right in thru the doors but instead he blasts a hole in the wall NEAR the doors and walks thru THAT which is just stupid. And then he gets punched in the kisser by Ant Man and then ants attack and he runs away. And then Ant Man flies off so we finally can make it outside and I am thinking we are home free but then we run smack dab into this guy named "The Melter" who right away can tell we are henchmen so he pretty much orders us to join his supervillain army. And I know what you say Gladys about how I shud stand up for myself more but I was really stuck there, I mean I don't got no super powers and the other guy was named "The Melter" which told me right then and there that if I did'nt do what he said he was gonna melt something offa me like maybe an arm or even my head. So the Melter marches us thru a alley to a old department store that nobody was using and it is filled to the gills with bad guys. I see a lotta guys I seen on teevee before like the Constrickter and the Rhino and the Beatle and Blacklash plus that one guy with the big giant head and the Pete Rose haircut, M.U.R.D.O.C.K. or whatever. And also my cell mate Fabian was there! Only I did'nt know it at the time since we had'nt met yet and also he was in a suit of armer and he called hisself the Meckano Marawder. Anyway some a them had already got their tails kicked in the hospitle but they figgered strenth in numbers so why not just head back down there in a mob? So we did.
Well I wish I could say we were a scary site but to tell the truth a lotta the guys were kinda chubby and out a shape espeshully the Constrickter and even the ones who were halfway fit were dressed like freaking circus clowns like Blacklash and that dumb green Judy Jetson ponytail of his or the Melter and his two-tone stripey pants and teeny helmet or even my pal Fabian who had a suit that made him look like a robot version of our nations capital. And then the women were'nt even hot or nothing they were wresslers I guess so they had man sholders and these huge fat asses and I swear that one lady Poundcakes even had what looked to me like a shlong. Oh and the only skinny one was Screaming Mimi but she was even dressed EXACKTLY like a clown with the face paint and the ruffly skirt like Cyndi Lauper and you know how much I valew our merrage Gladys so let me confess right here and now that yes I was thinking about putting the moves on her but then it ockurred to me how much I love you and also she came off as kinda twitchy and crazy and like a real ball cutter if you know what I mean so I left well enuff alone. So anyway we are marching down the street and me and Charlie are stuck in the back with the Mole Man's guys plus I have to walk right behind the Rhino who smells like our Naugahyde couch after that one time when your brother Freddie got drunk and peed hisself so already I can tell this whole mess is not going to turn out good. And alla the people on the sidewalks are pointing at us and gabbing and they look real ecksited but they do'nt look scared or nothing cause like I said we ressemballed a parade more than a army. That one guy M.U.R.D.O.C.K. even FLOATS like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon. If I remmember it rite I think one kid even yelled at us and wanted to know why we were'nt throwing any candy. And then we don't even make it back inside the hospitle cause there is a ekwally big army of superheros waiting for us right outside the doors and then we all throw down.
There were some good guys I reckognized like Captin America and the Fantastick Four but also a bunch I never seen before or at least if I did I do'nt remmember which cud be from all the times they knocked me in the head. Like there was this metal guy in red hip-waders and this furry blue guy with a devil tail and also the HULK was there if you can belive it even tho I still ca'nt cause I did'nt even know the Hulk WAS a good guy since he mainly just runs around destroying shit and also is'nt the US GOVERMENT looking for him rite now? I mean it'd be like if the cops in London were shooting at some bank robbers and then the Irish Republickan Army shows up and says to the cops "Hey can we help?"
So in the fight a couple a our guys get taken out right away like Meeraj OF COURSE and also the Melter which is just sad since the whole clusterfuck was HIS IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE but by then we are in the middle of it so we ca'nt just turn tail and run. Me and Charlie are just doing our best to stay out a the way, ducking and dodging and shit and then Thor nails Fabian right in the belly but he manages to get a few shots off which is cool but the only fighters he took out with them are the Mole Man's guys so that's like minus points for our team. Now I am not one hunderd percent positiv this next part happened like I saw it so bear with me but I coulda sworn Spider-Man shot a web outta his CROTCH and rode the Rhino around like a bull at a rodeo, anyways thats what it looked like from my angle. Also this short hairy-armed guy in a ugly orange and brown outfit is fighting Blacklash using KNIVES on his hands so I guess he's another villain who got confused like Fabian did. I bet his face is read now! The last thing I remmember this orange Bigfoot guy I never seen before lifts some robot guy I never seen before over his head and then M.U.R.D.O.C.K. shoots a squiggly laser outta his noggin and lifts the Bigfoot guy offa the ground and tosses him like twenty feet thru the air and guess who he lands on? Yours truly. Not to menshun the Bigfoot guy got knocked out so I'm trapped underneath him with his knee-length pubes in my mouth until the cops show up.
So now I'm in jail again. Gladys I know we had our problems but I miss you and to tell you the truth what scares me most is how much I DO'NT MIND seeing no women around here. Fabian is great and we can talk for hours and hours or sometimes we just look at each other which is nice too since he has these really good looking eyes and a nice smile and his back massahges are the BEST but you are my wife and we will always have that. So please come and see me here real soon okay? I love you.
Your faithfull husband,
P.S. Don't forget the mackaroons.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I know your sister says I'm a no good bum and you never should of merried me but I wanted to tell you I gotta job so there. And no its not exacktly on the up and up but you know with my record its dificult for me to find gainfull employment. Anyway to make a long story short I owed this guy Tommy a lotta dough and I could'nt pay him right away and he was gonna get the other guy named Ham-bone to chop off both a my legs but then he got this funny look on his face and he said that he knew this guy named "Meeraj" who was looking for guys to work for him and he was paying a pretty good finders fee and he said he knew I was strong and tough and all so he'd just kind of give me to him and take the money for hisself. So it turns out Meeraj is an acktual supervillain like you read about in the Bugle so that means I got to wear a fancy costume and everything.
To tell you the truth that was my least favorit part of the job because the costume is really kinda goofy and I'm glad you never seen me in it. For one thing it's got these little skinny stripes on it like a business man suit would have and I do'nt think that makes no sense on a supervillain suit at all plus the color of it is mainly a washed out orange like a nerf ball or something and the boots and the gloves are this BRITE BRITE blue and to see the two colors together at the same time makes my eyes feel bad. But the worst part of all is the head-mask-thing because it has handles on it. Handles! They go on the sides of my head and I do'nt even know what the hell they are suposed to be for unless Meeraj wants people to think we all have really big ears or maybe that we are the Human Pretzel Family. Also there is a third eye hole on the fourhead part so all that shows thru is skin and no eyeball. I told Meeraj I did'nt really unnerstand why we had to dress like that but he punched me real hard in the gut and said I needed to shut my fat mouth and he also said if I did'nt like the set-up that he could send my sorry ass right back to Tommy and Ham-bone and then I could be doing fashun crittisism with NO LEGS.
So Meeraj's big plan was to sneak us into the hospital where the Thing was and then we would "spirit him away" and hold him for ransome. I wanted to ask Meeraj how exactly the four of us were going to get a monster like the Thing out of the hospitle without nobody notissing cause he ways like a ton and a half plus he could probbly clobber us all to smithereens using only his pinky toe but then I remmembered about getting my legs chopped off so I shut up. So then Meeraj drives us to the hospitle and he uses his illuzhun doo-hickey to make us look like ambulence men and we just walk right inside like we work there and I'm thinking "Oh man I hope no doctors sees us and wants us to drive a ambulence." But so far so good and then when we are almost to the Things room Meeraj turns off the illuzhun for no good goddamn reason at all and then DAREDEVIL is there and he bounces his billy club off the wall right in front of Meeraj like a warning shot or something and THEN Meeraj tells Daredevil our whole plan and I figure out why Meeraj has to pay top dollar for henchmen. Because he's an IDIOT and nobody in their right mind wants to work for him. So Daredevil bounses off a window ledge and then he sproings right into us like we are bowling pens and knocks us silly. We get up and go at him again and he kicks one guy in the belly while I tackel him but then he does this kung fu move where he flips me and as God is my witness I swear it made this really strange sound like FWICK. And then the Mole Man drilled right thru the floor in another part of the hospitle and he had those scrawny little bug eyed guys with him and Thor was there so with everything that was going on we were able to scram out of there and regroup. Oh and then later I was in that supervillain army that was marching down the street back to the hospitle but you probbly heard about that but you probbly did'nt know I was in that so I will give you all the detales about it in my next letter.
Your loving husband,
P.S. Please please bring more of those coconut mackaroons next time you come to the jail because me and my cell mate Fabian love those. Thanks your the best.
Monday, May 15, 2006
I think we've all been there. You've had your eye on a certain special someone. You want to impress him, so you get yourself all duded up, above and beyond what you usually do -- it's practically a makeover! -- and then, at the very last minute...
...you get ants in your pants and flee the scene. (Panels from "Marvel Two-In-One" #96, February 1983.)
Such is the life of Shellshock, who appeared in only two comics before this and one afterwards. That last one being "Captain America" #319, in which he was killed by Scourge. I can't say it was much of a loss, costume-wise. And yet, I think if he'd had a better costume, he might have been used more often and therefore escaped his editorially-mandated death. And when I say "mandated," I mean the conversation probably went something like this:
Writer: Hey, you mind if I kill off Shellshock?
Editor: Who? Yeah, sure... whatever. Knock yourself out.
Seriously, look at the guy. There is absolutely nothing of interest in that costume -- except for that mask, which is merely odd and which bears no relation whatsoever to his codename or powers. It makes him resemble a blackened catfish, or maybe the lovechild of Daredevil and Doctor Doom. It's ridiculous.
If I had designed Shellshock's costume, I would have made him look less like the Golden Age Sandman and more like a policeman in riot gear, with a bulkier outfit and helmet. Maybe some shoulderpads! (Shoulderpads! Squee!) And I'd at least try to think of a villainous emblem for his chest or sumpin'. Maybe something with a grenade, or concentric rings. I dunno. The main point is, if Shellshock had gone to me for advice, he'd still be alive today and smack-dab in the middle of that Civil War crossover mess that's going on in his universe. Really, I'd like to think I could have deprived Scourge of all his victims. I can just see Scourge lurking around a corner, with the Basilisk in his gun sight, his hand trembling, thinking, "I must rid the world of his evil, and yet... he's just so damned handsome!"
And then he'd toss the gun to the floor, and run away, weeping hysterically.