Friday, December 14, 2007

They Weren't Steaming Before He Got In


Whosoever knows fear burns at the audit of the Accountant-Thing!

That's the sign of a good detective, by the way: he's not afraid to get his socks all squishy. Of course, he's going to need about three hundred luxurious, sensual bubble baths with copious moaning and grunting and bossa nova music and candles everywhere and the windows open before he can get the swamp-stank off of him. But that's just a hazard of the job.

This panel is from the lead story in "Strange Adventures" #203, and it's loads better than the godawful "Split-Man" tale that snagged the cover. Not that it would take much. But still.

If I had to complain -- and I do, frequently -- it would be about the hero's overuse of scare-quotes (see above) and ellipses (see below).


That key's going right up his nose, isn't it?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Spilt Man


This sentiment crops up frequently on the "comment cards" I have my boyfriends fill out at the end of a date.

Speaking of which... I'm going out with that friend of Flev's this weekend!

I visi-phoned him just now, and set the whole thing up. His name is "Glub Tortu", or something equally stupid. But who cares about the name? Dude is hot. His "friendly muttonchops" are large and (begging for somebody to be) in charge (of them). He's also pierced to high heaven, which is normally a turn-off for me, but on him, it somehow works. I asked him what kind of art he does. After about five minutes of him explaining it to me, I still don't know. All I can say for sure is that he's a blacksmith, and he produces mammoth "installations" of some sort. Whatever. He seems like a cool guy, anyway. Bonus points: he didn't mind when I ordered politely asked him to remove his shirt and dance around for me. That's always a good start.

I'm taking him to see the touring android revival of the classic musical adaptation of Ben-Hur, "Sweet Chariot." I'll let you guys know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Everything Must Go

Last night, we lost another store.

And naturally, it happened on my shift. Balls.

Y'see, when my security shift extends past regular mall hours, I change from Santa Claus into my other other (other) identity: Gud "Whiskers" Florpzu, prematurely-grizzled mall custodian. That means I just wear a backwards baseball cap; steel-toed work boots; suggestively-unzipped coveralls with no shirt or underpants; and a rolled-up copy of "Barely Legal Clones" magazine in my back pocket. And I drag around a sonic mop and a hover-bucket, and occasionally I pause and pretend to clean the floor. If I hear a suspicious noise, I'll turn myself into one of those little folding plastic signs that say "CAUTION: FRICTIONLESS SURFACE".

So! It was nearing 2 AM, and I was on the lowest level, doin' my thing, when a terrible groan reverberated through the mall. It sounded like metal beams getting wrenched apart. Scanning the darkened complex with my multi-spectrum I-noculars (an officially licensed Eyeful Ethel tie-in product), I saw a massive cloud of sawdust billowing out of and quickly obscuring the Lumbak Liquidators discount flooring outlet. Lumbak's is -- or was! -- all the way at the opposite end of the shopping complex, two levels up, by the way. Eschewing the mall's slow-ass levitator platforms, I bounded up the stairs, four at a time. As I bounded towards the dust cloud, I encountered the mall's real custodian, working the riding hover-vac. Since my adrenaline was in the red zone -- and for the sake of DRAMA! -- I kickboxed him off of it* and commandeered the thing. I shifted it into high gear (a surprising 140 kilometers-per-hour!) and hurtled into the roiling cloud. I air-skidded to a halt when I suddenly found myself outside. Above me should have been Lumbak's ceiling. Instead, I was looking at Lallor's fallout-ridden sky, dotted by a few malfunctioning spy satellites; plus a private blimp that flashed the message, "THE END IS NEAR." And instead of Lumbak's floor, I could see the rafters of the Old Space Navy on the lower level. Thank the Luck Lords, I was driving something that floated!

Before I could back up, a blinding light exploded into my eyes. The next second, I was airborne.

At first, I thought I was floating. Then, I realized that my keen Amadan brain had merely altered my perception of time (as it often does in times of stress) and I was actually perceiving the world in slow-motion. I traveled in a graceful arc over a primer-gray, rusted-out (29)'72 Parakat GT rocket-car. As I neared the tail-end of the vehicle, I grabbed onto one of the fins. Time sped up again, and I winced as my arm was nearly torn from its socket. Avoiding the blast of the rocket engine, I clambered over the car until I was standing on its hood. The windows were tinted black, so I couldn't see who was inside. I screamed at the driver to stop, and when that didn't work, I dug my security badge from my pocket and slammed it against the windshield. The driver kept swerving, trying to throw me off of the rocket-car. That really pissed me off. With a powerful leap, I did a back-flip off of the hood. As I landed in front of the car, I changed into a steel wall. Only I didn't land quite right, because the fucker just ran over my sorry ass like I was a fucking ramp. And of course I hadn't finished changing yet -- my face is always the last to go -- so now I have a black eye. I changed back and fired my forcefield bracers at the car. It was too far away by then. Damn it.

I trudged back to the mall and set about collecting evidence. I could tell exactly where the rocket-car had come from, by the scorch marks in the adjacent parking tower. There was a thin trail of white granules leading up to it. (Drugs? Plastic explosive?) I scooped some into an envelope. The agency is still waiting on the results from the crime lab. We've already learned that the rocket-car was reported stolen yesterday morning, although the owner claims she had never tinted the windows. Huh.

As I'm writing this, I have another hour to go before I have to put on my Santa Claus get-up. So I'm still dressed as "Gud", and I can hob-knob with the rest of the mall staff. Like this dude named "Flev", who's in charge of the mall's seasonal props and window displays. Flev brought me a mug of space-java about ten minutes ago. We joked and bullshitted a little, while we watched his staff erect another giant tent to hide the spot where this latest vanished store used to be. Flev says he wants to set me up with a friend of his: some artist guy whom he describes as having "friendly muttonchops and an even friendlier mouth." Sounds like fun to me!

And I sure as hell could use some fun right now.

*And if I accidentally hurt you when I did that, I sincerely apologize, Duplicate Boy.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mayday! Slope-Shouldered, Mouth-Breathing, Racist "Bandito" Character at 3:00!


That "head-band" is many things, but "legendary" isn't one of them. (By the way, I caught "Winston and the Diggers" back in '66. They opened for the Beach Boys at the Coco Beach Surf-a-Go-Go Festival. And they sucked.)

So, what wondrous abilities do you think that zany Aztec-Kirby helmet will bestow?


Oh. Gesundheit, I guess.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Everybody Was Feng Shui Fighting


Never rearrange your furniture without consulting Batman first!