Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bits of Bloggy Business

I've got another illustrated mega-post over at Next Top Hero (so that's where all my artwork is going nowadays).

Also my old roomie -- and alleged "author" of the blog (as if!)-- Jeremy Rizza now has a LiveJournal. Go there right now and get your mind blown.

Me? I'm going to go play with Cootie, my new sixteen-legged, rainbow-striped cat.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Make Love to the Death Ray


Somewhere in the jungles of Vietnam...

Pvt. Kenworth: Death Ray Duty is the worst. I hate bein' out here alone. It gives me the creeps!

Pvt. Becker: You ain't alone, Kenworth! I'll protect ya!

Pvt. Kenworth: You know what I mean, Beck. Just the two of us, by ourselves. The rest of our unit off God knows where. Hell, for all we know, we could be surrounded by the goddamn VC right now! All them eyes, watchin' us...

Pvt. Becker: Big deal! Hell, I wouldn't blame 'em for starin'. You look like a friggin' movie star!

Pvt. Kenworth: Shut the hell up! I do not!

Pvt. Becker: No, for real! You're one good-lookin' guy!

Pvt. Kenworth: Naw! ...Honest? No, my nose has this little bump in the middle. I'm like deformed.

Pvt. Becker: I ain't bullshittin' ya, man. You have kind of a Steve McQueen thing goin' on. Real rugged.

Pvt. Kenworth: Okay, okay...!

Pvt. Becker: I bet you got a dozen gals droolin' over ya back at home...

Pvt. Kenworth: Naw, not really. I ain't never been much of a "ladies' man" to tell the truth.

Pvt. Becker: Huh. Well, those dizzy broads don't know what they're missin'. You're like sculptural, like one o' them old statues or somethin'!

Pvt. Kenworth: Awright, now I know you're pullin' my leg...

Pvt. Becker: I'm one hunnert-percent on the level, pal. You ever think about modelin'?

Pvt. Kenworth: ...Yeah. Sometimes.

Pvt. Becker: 'Cause you can make some good money that way. A guy gets in with the right photographer, he can make hisself four hunnert, five hunnert bucks a session, easy.

Pvt. Kenworth: WOW!

Pvt. Becker: Yeah, I had me a good business goin' back in the States, linin' up guys for this kinda thing. I sorta got me an "eye" as they say. For example... go lean on the death ray. *mimes that he's holding a camera*

Pvt. Kenworth: Like this?

Pvt. Becker: *laughs* Relax, for Chrissakes! Pretend like it's a '68 Camaro and you're a bigshot who owns a whole garage full o' classic cars, and you're about to take that sweet baby for a spin, maybe pick up some honeys for a little action... yeah, there ya go! Maybe smirk a little. Attaboy! See? You're a natural!

Pvt. Kenworth: This is fun!

Pvt. Becker: Now, undo some of those buttons...

Pvt. Kenworth: How many?

Pvt. Becker: All of 'em!

Pvt. Kenworth: Yeah, awright...

Pvt. Becker: The hell?! Is the heat gettin' to me or is that a goddamn orange t-shirt you're wearin' under there?

Pvt. Kenworth: You like it? My cousin got it for me at one o' them fancy boutiques in Philadelphia. Only, don't tell Sarge, okay?

Pvt. Becker: Can do, kid. But now you owe me... more posing! Really work that death ray!

Pvt. Kenworth: *salutes* Sir, yes sir! How's about this? *leans back over barrel of death ray with legs splayed wide apart and a soporific, open-mouthed expression*

Pvt. Becker: Sweet Jesus! You sure you never done this before?

Pvt. Kenworth: Well... maybe once.

Pvt. Becker: I thought so, ya big phoney! Climb on top o' that bad boy!

Pvt. Kenworth: *balances self on death ray and strikes a surfing pose* Dig me! I'm hangin' ten!

Pvt. Becker: Good, good, now get mean!

Pvt. Kenworth: *snarls, makes tiny clawing motions with his hands*

Pvt. Becker: Yeah! Show that death ray who's boss!

Ten minutes later...

Pvt. Becker: Man, you really gave that death ray a work out!

Pvt. Kenworth: I guess I did! I hope all my yankin' and pullin' on it didn't hurt nothin'.

Pvt. Becker: Are you kiddin'? This baby's made by Stark Industries! It's like the Cadillac of death rays!

Pvt. Kenworth: I guess you're right. Hell, all that posin', my uniform is soaked clean through with sweat! Maybe I should... take it off?

Pvt. Becker: Leave that part to me, killer! What I want you to do is put your hand on the back of your neck, kinda seductive-like, see?

Pvt. Kenworth: Like this?

Pvt. Becker: Christ awmighty! Now hold still while I get those pants--

*the death ray collapses into about three thousand pieces*

Pvts. Becker and Kenworth, in unison: Aw, shit.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

One Panel Makes You Larger, and One Panel Makes You Small


"...So you're saying I shouldn't have made the whole thing out of popsicle sticks, then?"

*stoner voice* WHOA. I like, totally get it now, maaannn...! The whole plot, like it's gonna turn out to be out of the Three Little Pigs, maaannn, like Slasher is the Big Bad Wolf, and Demitrius is... like, the Big Bad Wolf's friend, or maybe his hat or his suspenders, and Stark is like, the little pig... the little Capitalist Pig, dig it? And his armor is like, the house, the last house, the one, the one with the bricks, understaaaannnd, maaannn...? 'Cause nobody's gonna blow Iron Man dowwwnnn, mmmaaaannnn!!!"

*regular voice* Yup, that's about the only way I could imagine enjoying a Young Gerry Conway script.

John Madden's Shadow Puppet Theater


Conspiracy buffs take note: Crandal is giving Stark a top secret Masonic handshake. ...Well, sure, you don't recognize it. You've never seen the real handshake. Until now. Sadly, this means I'm now obligated to track every single one of you down and kill you. Kindly put all your affairs in order.

(I'm sorry. Is that rude, threatening to kill my entire audience? It's rude, isn't it? I'm sorry.)

Or maybe Crandal's going to pull some kind of awesome martial arts move and jab one of Stark's pressure points, causing him to crap his pants right then and there. (Because "the till" is their little code name for Crandal's secretary/mistress.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Blockade Boy Committee on Unheroic Activities


Now that Young Gerry Conway has been sworn in, the interrogation -- er, I mean, "inquiry" can begin!

Why did Tony and Marianne (or "Marrianne") never get "that chance for reconcilliation?" They had just arrived at an airport, and by plane, for Pete's sake! You don't land at an airport and then just merrily be on your way. It takes forever to get out of one of those hellholes. Wouldn't Tony and Marianne have run into each other at the luggage carousel? Or the parking garage? Or the little place that sells nachos?

Who is this Senator My Seventh Grade Haircut guy and what is the deal with his orange word balloons? Is it supposed to be a clue? Is he the Vision's flabbier, phlegmier brother? When he talks does it sound kinda tropicale (French!) like you can hear steel drums in the background? Is he morbidly afraid of contracting scurvy, and he's ingested so much vitamin C that it's coloring everything that emerges from his body? (When he sweats -- which is often -- he resembles a low-impact Gatorade commercial. And when he poops it looks like a Play-Doh Fun Factory!)

When is Tony going to realize that brooding about brooding is Spider-Man's bag, as the aging, Social Security-draining hippies like to say, and not Iron Man's? Tony's so far out of character at this point he might as well shave off the mustache, quit his high-paying job, move into a crappy little apartment and just sit there, not banging devastatingly beautiful honeys for the rest of his life. And finally, what does his hand smell like? (I'm guessin' it's a combination of "English Leather", Wild Turkey, and that white-panted guy.)

Well? Explain yourself, Young Gerry Conway!


Oh, you've written yourself into a silent panel, eh? Tusker, hustle this crumb-bum outta here! What's that? Oh, I'm letting you walk alright, Conway... on the plank! *deep, throaty laughter that devolves into a coughing fit*

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dave Predicts!


I have the smartest, most perceptive commenters in all of Blogdom! Also, hello, SEATTLE!!! Are you ready to ROCK?!! ...Sorry, I don't know what came over me. I'm not even near Seattle. Anyway, as the clever Dave figured out, Marianne has indeed "stomp(ed) off in a huff, leaving Tony/Iron Man to wallow in self-pity." But what he didn't guess is that while the fitfully feminine Marianne has left an obviously injured and/or sloshed Iron Man to fend for himself, the armored AA member has been assisted off the field by another male. This athletic, white-panted Samaritan is ready to lend Iron Man "that proverbial hand"... in the privacy of Tony Stark's jet, natch. Of course, the whole time that guy is proverbially handling Iron Man (in the cramped confines of the jet's bathroom) he'll get an extra thrill over the idea Tony Stark could burst in on them at any moment! Poor dumb dope.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Get Girls Through the Power of Prestidigitation!


It doesn't work if you're not holding the mystic hypno-coin, Iron Man. Sheesh! Don't they have Charlton Comics where you live?

And from what I can glean of Marianne's hysterical speech, she's finally gotten around to reading the script.

The Carpetbagger


Marianne, don't pester Iron Man about a romance when you're dressed like the Invisible Girl and he's drunk. You just might find out more than you bargained for. Case in point:

Marianne: The man I love? Where is he?

Iron Man: He's still with Ben and Johnny in the Negative Zone, sweetheart... don't you worry your pretty little head about it...!

Marianne: Who? What are you talking a--?

Iron Man: They won't be back for daaayyss, baaabyy! Remeb-- remebber? Re-mem-ber? Member? They're tryin' to get Annihilus to donate a stool sample or somethin'... I dunno. Hey! I got me a l'il idea. You jus' truck that egg-squisite bee-hind o' yours ober, over, o-ver to the bar and get your ol' Tony the Tiger another bourbon...! *reaches for her breasts but dizzily tumbles over*

Marianne: Tony, yes, Tony Stark! He was in the plane, and then--!

Iron Man: Listen, listen, I gotta ask you somethin'... *he struggles to his feet and attempts to whisper through his electronically-amplified mouthpiece* IS THE BRAT STAYING WITH ENDORA OR WHOEVER TONIGHT CAUSE I WANNA DO STUFF TO YOU THAT'S GONNA MAKE YOU SCREAM LIKE BLACK BOLT, BABY!

Marianne: I think you have me confused with someone else...

Iron Man: Hey, hey, hey... hey. Let's go fog up the widows... windows on your Pogo Plane, awright? Lonely I-- only I wanna fly it myself, okee-dokee bay-bee? Naw, no, I'm good to go, look at these hands! *holds up his hands, which flutter wildly* Solid as a rocket. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon. You 'n' me. Up there. Anti-gravity, honeybuns! C'mon, let's buzz the Mansion, I wanna see the look on Jan's face when she sees your sweet invisible cooter pressed up against the piehole -- porthole, and, and Myron -- my iron thumb jammed up your-- *abruptly snorts, farts, and keels over unconscious*

Marianne: Maybe I'll just have Tony paged by the Information Desk.



Man, the balcony collapsed like two seconds ago, and already Iron Man is surrounded by trial lawyers! And of course Marianne has to skitter over there like a cracked-out sandpiper and hang her own drama queen bullshit on him. Sure, Marianne, you need to find Tony right away! The pair of you have much more not talking to do!

And Iron Man, I wouldn't grant an "exclusive interview" to the guy in the foreground if I were you. He's only pretending to hold a microphone. (No, thank me when you're sober.)

Goodbye, Mister Teeny Eyeballs


Remember that alternate-universe Legion I glimpsed on my way back from the 21st Century? The one where everybody had taut, vaguely-English faces with tiny noses and tiny mouths and tiny eyeballs? Where everyone's hair was feathered (or else looked like Toni Tennille's) and nearly every female wore a belly shirt? Yeah, that one. It was horrific.

Well, a friend of mine from the Time Institute space-mailed me a snapshot of that Legion, and I have to say those poor shmoes seem to be pulling themselves together! For example, that Legion finally has an Invisible Kid whom I don't instinctively want to punch in the mouth (the better to wipe off that stoner smirk, y'see). My friend's letter quoted that Legion's new costume designer, one Mister Francis Manapul, as saying "I'm trying to simply rather than modernize. I think simplicity carries over and creates a timeless look." Amen, brother! Finally, that Legion has somebody working for them who shares my aesthetic. Not that it's a complete success, but still, it's a step in the right direction. Let's review...
  • I'm pleased as punch my "off-the-shoulder" look for men is catching on, as Timberwolf is wearing... oh. Those are just orange patches on his shoulders which are blending with a crappy spray-on tan. My bad. It's still a pretty sweet costume. Love the bare toes! (Although I thought they'd be hairier.)
  • No more belly shirt for Light Lass! It looks like a proper costume now! Huzzah! See what a difference it makes when you don't go for a trend... that expired eight years ago? Also, I love the longer hair on her. Very fetching.
  • Alternate-universe versions of Triplicate Girl continue to be prudish frumps with Moe Howard haircuts, I see. And this one's cape still has that ridiculous cowl-neck... presumably so she can duck her head down into it like a turtle whenever the paparazzi show up. Ugh. Why is mine the only universe where Luornu is allowed to be sexy?
  • Not sure why Shrinking Violet (or Atom Girl or whatever the frig they call her over there) needs hotpants. Whatever.
  • Their version of Element Lad still looks like a complete tool.
  • Is it just me, or does Colossal Boy (or Micro Lad or whatever) looks way better, proportionally, if you mentally erase the random-looking brown quilting on his arms, neck, and head? Also, who designed that thing? The Constrictor? He looks like he's part-armadillo now.
  • Chameleon (Boy?) is dressed for Ye Olde Renaissance Faire and I have no idea why. It's not an unattractive costume; it's merely generic and blandly colored.
  • Sun Boy's still in his "pants on fire" costume which does absolutely nothing for me. For someone with an allegedly "dynamic" personality he sure looks insipid and tacky.
  • Brainy's tunic rawks. I heartily approve! Let's hope he doesn't still have those dumb Bedazzled cheeks anymore.
  • Shadow Lass's costume? Still slutty. I don't care if you put a grandly proportioned cape on her. I've seen hookers with floor-length mink coats; it didn't stop them from looking like hookers.
  • Star Boy and Karate Kid? Been there, done that. Big yawn.
  • Ultra Boy's costume is an old reliable, but at least it's not boring. Not sure about the cut-outs on his forearms. Maybe his forearms need the freedom to expand in battle, like they get really huge, like Popeye's. Also, I'm sure he'll pass that kidney stone eventually.
  • Interesting variant on the classic Lightning Lad costume. Simple, but it works. And I applaud the absence of white on this version. It's actually kind of refreshing. Assuming that's not a printing error. For example, the lightning crackling from his hand has been rendered totally invisible, and it's making Saturn Girl's thighs look all wrinkly. And with this much yellow, I wonder if the navy blue should have been replaced with black. Or maybe a deep red! That'd be cool.
  • Saturn Girl's costume got a deep, gravelly, rollicking laugh out of me because although I like it, I couldn't help thinking that in a Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely universe all the white bits would be exposed skin.
  • Princess Projectra is still in her Count Jugula get-up with the stupid collar on it. Feh.
  • Phantom Girl... yikes. I'm sorry, but the sheer number and placement of those cut-outs are just sad (and desperate). Whenever a group of people is ignoring her -- which is often -- she whips out the scissors and cuts another chunk out of her leotard. She's fast approaching the point of "no return," where she'll just be walking around buck-naked clutching a few scraps of fabric to her bosom and ladycrotch.