Thursday, August 14, 2008

That's All He Wrote

This is my final post, pals.

Just thought I'd get that part out of the way, first. It's like ripping off a Band-Aid (I'm given to understand). Although I wouldn't be surprised if my delusional ex-roommate, Jeremy, added some kind of epilogue.

When last we left your favorite super-hero (me!) I had just laid eyes on the "specialist" that the Citadel of Doom's manager had sent after me. And the sight of this guy knocked me on my ass. Because it was Animal Lad. Remember him?



And it just so happens that Animal Lad is freaking gorgeous. And to top it off, he was wearing that costume I designed for him!


So, my mighty brain was churning with manly emotions. I was shocked and flattered that he somehow managed to find out that I'd done a hypothetical costume design for him, and had gotten somebody to replicate it for him. And I was more than a little irritated that he hadn't bothered to pay me. Also, I was horny.

I hurtled down from the mouth of my cave, roaring like a Venusian gyrak. Animal Lad was startled, but he held his ground. He gestured at me and bellowed, "SLEEP!" Truth be told, I felt just as energetic as before. I guess that's because Animal Lad has the power to "tame" animals, and I'm like, WAY more evolved than that. (No matter what Storm Boy says.) Uninterrupted, I kept barreling towards him. He backed away, and sputtered, "You-- you're a mouse! I command it!" But his power to transform humanoids into lower animals didn't work on me, either. I guess it's because I'm a shape-changer, myself. As a kid, I was diagnosed with "slippery molecules." Although I have been changed into a lot of stuff before. Wait, wait, I got it! It's because I'm in Stockade Boy's body now! Maybe he has some kind of natural immunity. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Before Animal Lad could utter another word, I'd tackled him, and pinned his arms to the ground.

"Nice costume, handsome," I purred. "You can pay me back for the design any way you see fit." I smiled charmingly through my massive beard.

He squinted at me, and gasped. "Blockade Boy--?!"

I nodded, and loosened my grip.

"I didn't even know you were still alive!" he said, sitting up. "Wow, this is a real honor! Still, I have to take you into custody for all the crimes you've committed here. Mainly 'malicious mischief' and aggravated towel theft. Nothing personal. But lawbreakers must be punished."

I grinned. "Actually, I'm the wronged party here. And I can prove it."

His taut, earnest face relaxed, just a tad. "That's... great! I can take your statement on my Omnicom, and...!"

"Nope! It doesn't work that way. You're gonna have to wrestle me for it."

He rolled his eyes. "So you're just messing with me, huh? Fine. Big deal if my powers don't work on you. I'll take you down manually." He scrambled to his feet and took a boxer's stance, adding, "Let's go, big boy."

(And I fell in love with him, right then and there.)

We had a rollicking, devil-may-care, two-man donnybrook that lasted a good thirty or forty minutes, at least. Just punching the crap out of each other. But I finally wore him out, and got him back down on the ground, with one of his arms twisted backwards and my knee on his back.

"Say 'Uncle!'" I growled at him. "Say it! Say 'Uncle!'"

He peered coyly up at me, and hoarsely whispered, "Daddy...!"

That was close enough for me. I spun his body around, and wrapped my arms about him, in a rough embrace. His tongue lapped hungrily at my neck and my chest. And then it moved lower...

Four-and-a-half-hours of sweet lovemaking later, we sprawled langourously on the jungle floor. His head was in my lap. "What were we talking about, before--?" he burbled.

So I told him the whole story. All about how I'd used up most of my space-cheddah last year by purchasing a "hot property" that turned out to be the nearly-worthless dwarf planet of Throon, a.k.a. "the Planetoid of Peril." I figured with a name like that, it was a perfect spot for a summer home. Or a roller coaster! But an unscrupulous hotel chain ("Squatter Suites") had moved into the abandoned Citadel of Doom... even though they didn't own the property! According to regional space-laws, I can do anything in my power to encourage them to vacate the premises. In other words, I can harass the hell out of them, with impunity. I had been planning to sic my lawyer on them anyway, but I wanted to have a little fun, first. I can't help myself! Deep within my furry chest, there beats the heart of a barbarian king.

For backup evidence, I summoned a copy of the planetary deed on my interbloggamunicator. Animal Lad was suitably impressed, and totally on my side. Motioning to the distant Citadel, he said, "You want me to turn 'em all into monkeys? 'Cause I can do that!"

I ruffled his hair. "Sweet kid. Naw, I'll get my lawyer to send some U.P. goods to hussle those bozos into a rocket-bus. Then we'll have this little slice of heaven all to ourselves."

Animal Lad gazed at me with a blissful expression. "I'd like that...!" he murmured.

I sighed, contentedly. "This has been one hell of an adventure!, I'll tell ya that!"

"But one with a happy ending, right?"

I chuckled. "You bet your ass! The last two people in a tropical paradise, with the promise of sweet, sweet lovin' to come...? Not bad, baby. Not bad at all. Even if it's kind of a rip-off of the last issue of Rom: Spaceknight."

"'Rom: Spaceknight?!' What the heck is that?"

I playfully stroked his goatee, and grinned. "You know what? It really doesn't matter."


(Luciously big version available here).

Hey, pals! It's me... Jeremy! [Told you so. -- Blockade Boy] Behold my handsome face!


Look! LOOK AT IT! Okay, that's enough for now. Seriously, stop. You're creepin' me out.

...Huh. I really don't like the way I look when I smile. (Although I sure do it a lot.) I prefer "brooding" mode.


...Ahhhhh, that's better. I'm ready for my soliloquy now!

I'll get a little business out of the way, first. The commissions I'm doing for all you great folks, (like MaGnUs) will now appear in my illustration blog. If I ever get the yen to do any more comic book panel scans (don't hold your breath), they will appear in my LiveJournal. And the first regular installment of "Viking Zombie Boyfriend" appears this Monday.

Since I want to concentrate more on my artwork, my illustration blog should become more lively. And maybe I'll get rid of that depressing black background, and come up with an exciting new logo for it... I dunno.

But it's time for me to put Blockade Boy to bed (preferably with a sexy bearded dude).

Working on this blog helped me grow a lot as both a creator and as a person. Most importantly, it helped me come to terms with my homosexuality. I remember an old "Comics Scene" interview with Howard Cruse (from the 1980's!) where he said that he had a character in his comic strip "Barefootz" come out as a gay man before he did. Little did I know that I'd end up doing something similar. I decided Blockade Boy was gay for the sake of a joke -- so that I could link him romantically to Weight Wizard, and say that Weight Wizard had always talked about dying by being eaten by a giant flower (which happened). I never wanted to make Blockade Boy's homosexuality a joke, in and of itself -- and I hope I never did. So from the get-go, I tried to treat Blockade Boy's gayness with respect.

Before I'd started writing this blog, I'd already discovered "bear culture" via the glorious internet -- but at the same time, I hated myself for being attracted to bears. Mainly because I'm genetically incapable of being one. Not hairy enough, not bulky enough, etc. I suppose it was cathartic for me to take on the "voice" of an absurdly masculine man who was gay. Still, it took me years before I could even admit that Blockade Boy was a bear. My body image issues came to the surface when I brought back the pint-sized Weight Wizard, who hated himself for being attracted to Blockade Boy. Weight Wizard was ultimately a miserable, isolated soul. Thank goodness, both he and my self-hatred are gone for good. A few months after I came out, I had Blockade Boy advise Storm Boy to embrace the fact that he was a "bear chaser." That kind of thing is very important to me: honesty, with others and with oneself. (Although my personal aesthetic has expanded beyond bears; I'm currently dating an otter! Sue me, I like 'em hairy!)

I have a lot of practical reasons for ending this blog. Lack of time, a need to concentrate on my art and on making more money (ideally, from my art). And although I learned a lot about storytelling with this blog, I ultimately feel like I've spent enough creative energy developing characters that are owned by DC Comics, and from whom I cannot derive one penny. With Viking Zombie Boyfriend, I hope to eventually sell some comics with collections of the strips, and maybe some tie-in merchandise like t-shirts and coffee mugs. BECAUSE I NEED THE DOUGH.

Finally, I want to say "thanks" to Scipio Garling for posting about this blog years back and bringing me my first big boost in readership. And thanks also to all the great folks who took a minute out of their days to comment on my posts. Y'all were the best! With my free time, maybe I can do more commenting on your own blogs (instead of just lurking, like I do).


Lazy Thursday

I'm bored.

Which is why I'm live-blogging this.

Still no sign of the "specialist" that the Citadel of Doom's manager hired to catch me or kill me or what-the-hell-ever. Although I do see a new spacecraft on the Citadel of Doom's rocket pad. It's one of those "environmentally-friendly" foreign models. Y'know. All tiny and cramped and snub-nosed and boxy-lookin'? Runs on starlight and dreams and vaporized cat pee? Probably has a little compartment to store your balls in? Yeah. One of those. If my pursuer is driving that weeniemobile, I don't anticipate him/her putting up much of a fight.

Criminy, but it's quiet this morning. Usually, I wake up to the sounds of the Planetoid of Peril's assorted fauna ripping one another into bloody gobbets. Today? Nothin'.

A flock of venomwings is flying past the cave, providing some welcome screeching.

One of the creatures just gave me the stink-eye, but I just stared it down like I always do. Yeah. You'd better keep going. Heh.

It looks like the venomwings have zeroed in on something below my cave, under the canopy of trees. They're circling, like they always do, and



out of the SKY


the hell

The venomwings, they just stopped flying and fell, all of them, all at once.

I don't like this.

I don't like this at all.

Well, now I suppose I have to go down there and see what all the hubbub is a

hang on


Not only can I not believe who they sent after me, but I can't believe what they're wearing.

I gotta go have a "talk" with the "specialist."

*cracks knuckles*


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Prank You Very Much

Yesterday morning, the usual gang of idiots over at the Citadel of Doom had their "brunchtime premiere" for "Space Movie."

It didn't exactly go like they'd planned. (Haw!)

Everything went down around 9:00 in the morning. Most of the actors and guests had partied all night, so they were already tuckered-out and totally plowed. Hours before, I had infiltrated the Citadel, to make my preparations. I lurked up in the catwalk and the ventilation system. Like the Phantom of the Opera. Only cooler. (For instance, I don't think the Phantom of the Opera ever sucker-punched bulky, floating security droids.) The whole operation was surprisingly easy, what with all the chaotic reveling going on. And the only person who sensed that something was amiss was one buxom gal who mused, "What's that smell--?"

The crowd of drowsy drunks shambled into the Chemical King Memorial Ballroom, pausing only to take the gift bags proffered by the Citadel's bright-eyed staff. Some of the guests lurched over towards the buffet tables, while others greedily pawed through their gift bags. It was this latter group who first felt my hairy wrath, as their fingers were assaulted by (formerly sleeping) leechbeetles. By this point, the folks over at the buffet had discovered that the enormous mound of kono fruit-flavored yogurt was actually a cave-protean. (They're like regular proteans, only larger, less-evolved, meaner, and randier!) This seemed like as good a time as any for me to release the crater vipers. And once everyone was herded into the center of the room, I dropped the enormous stink-wasp nest on top of them.

Keeping to the shadows, I made my way up to the Citadel's roof. I watched the angry mob of guests and hotel staff surge out the doors and onto the rocket pad (which is where I'd laid all the flesh-tearing cones from the local razorpines). Let me tell you... those guys were pissed. The guests were angry at the hotel manager, and they threatened lawsuits galore, while the hotel manager (quite rightly) blamed me. Not that he had any idea yet about who I was or even my real reasons for doing all of this. He claimed he had called in a "specialist" who would, and I quote, "put the kibosh on this caveman once and for all." (And yes, we still use the word "kibosh" 1,000 years from your time. It just sounds a lot prettier in Interlac.) This "specialist person" is supposed to show up some time today.

What the hell ever, manager guy.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Conversations With Dud People, Part Two

Another mystery solved! YEAH, space-boyee!

Okay, okay... I'll back up.

Yesterday, the Citadel of Doom started filling up with folks who -- and I can hardly believe this myself -- actually want to see the undoubtedly-execrable "Space Movie." Hell, not only do they want to see the wretched thing, but they want to be the first to see it! For "bragging rights", I guess. Honestly, what passes for culture in this day and space-age...! Give me Rimborian speed-opera (all-male and all-naked, if you please), any ol' day.

So. I was up in my cave, spying on all the stupid, hapless dolts who were milling around the Citadel, when suddenly I saw this one insignificant dot leave the mob and strike out into the jungle! I figured I'd track him. And once I found him? I dunno. Give him a good scare, at least.

I scrambled down the cliff and I plunged into the foliage. My handsome nose scented the air, searching for any human-type smells. I eventually latched onto something that was vaguely familiar. Like mothballs, soaked in rum.

After maybe forty minutes, I had gotten close enough to see my prey. He was a scruffy, gangly, dandy of a man, wearing a porkpie hat with a floating holo-card projected over the polka-dotted band. The man undid the little kerchief that was about his neck, and dabbed the sweat from his face. Slapping at the monstrous leaves that brushed against his arms, he minced into a clearing. There, he started to pluck mushrooms from the sward, stuffing them into a fanny pack.

By now, I had picked up another scent that wafted off of the man.


Holy shit. It was Phantom Lad.

I sneaked up behind him and I cleared my throat -- which sounds like the roar of a Parakat, by the way (the car, not the animal) -- and he jumped a good five feet up in the air. He landed about as gracefully as Ray Bolger.

When he spotted me, his eyes goggled. He hastily removed his hat, and all his long, greasy hair came spilling down over his shoulders.

"Blockade Boy--!" he gasped. A smile tried to find purchase on his face, and failed. Holding the hat behind him, he added, "Check it! Sometimes I land me a square job, y'know, for kicks, and then I take off my hat and I say, "Imagine that: me, workin' for you!"

"No, you don't," I said, flatly.

He looked down at his feet. "You're right," he admitted. "I don't."

"Let's see that hat!" I said. "A floating holo-card, huh? That's kinda cool."

"Oh, it's really not," he demurred, and he began to back away from me.

"Fork it over," I said.

With great reluctance, he did, but his finger "slipped" and deactivated the card before I could see it.

"Oh, c'mon--!" I spat. I quickly found the little on/off button in the brim, and the holo-card hissed back into view.

I know it was wrong, but I laughed my ass off. I'm sorry; I couldn't help it. Because it was a press card, naming him as one "Tod Hamplan", movie reviewer for "The Lallorwood Minute." And I was familiar with "Hamplan's" work. After all, I'd seen it on nearly every holo-film poster for the last three years.

I could barely talk, I was guffawing so hard. "DUDE--! This is that other writing job that Frigid Queen was always hinting at...? You're one of those guys? The guys who give glowing reviews to every movie that ever gets made, no matter how shitty it is? Aw, man! Seriously--! That is so weak!"

Phantom Lad attempted to blush, but the waxiness of his complexion rendered the color a sickly beige.

"I gotta make money somehow," he muttered. "And they give you free sandwiches. But yeah. I kinda hate myself for it."

"C'mere," I said, warmly.

He stared at me, warily.

"C'mon," I coaxed. "Hug time."

As he toddled forward, I grabbed him in a tight "bear hug." He began to blubber into my chest, occasionally stealing glances at where my thick, hairy dingus was pressing into his waist. I grabbed his head and made him look back up at my face.

"Listen," I told him, "You're better than this. I know I give you a lot of grief. But one thing I know is, you're better than this. Anybody is better than this. So nobody wants to buy your serious writing? Screw 'em! Find something else they want! You don't have to prostitute your art. Because your art is sacred. Trust me. I'm an artist; I know what you're going through. Keep writing. Keep writing and don't ever stop. But don't let somebody else turn your writing into a joke. They don't have the authority. Only you do."

He sniffled. "Yeah, I guess I oughta quit. The money's good, and the sandwiches are fucking heavenly, man, but you're right. It ain't worth it."

I led him over to a low boulder and we just sat there for a while, with my arm around him, while he softly cried.

Finally, I patted him on the back, and I stood up. "So, are you feeling better?" I asked him. Casually, I pulled my own long hair into a samurai-style pony tail (or "Patrick Swayze in 'Road House'-style pony tail" if there's something horribly wrong with you).

Phantom Lad stared at me, but didn't say a word.

"What--?" I prompted him, feeling mildly irritated.

"That's hot," he gulped.

"And that is a whole 'nother talk," I laughed. "Now get out of here, you bum!" With a slap to his ass, I nudged him out of the clearing and back into the jungle.

"Oh, and one other thing!" I called after him. "You might want to be well away from the Citadel of Doom around 9 AM tomorrow morning."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blockade Boy, Robot Fighter

My weekend was okay. Until I had to fight the giant robot.

On Saturday, I moved into this sweet cave way up in the side of a cliff. It's high up enough that I'm afforded a wonderful view of the Citadel of Doom. And yet, it's not so high up that it makes me tired to climb up to it while holding a bunch of "liberated" hotel swag, bound up in the hide of a Lesser Gurn (as is my wont).

And oh, what swag they got over at the Citadel of Doom! In my charming, care-free, breaking-and-entering style, I've "acquired" something like eighty assorted monogrammed towels (made of the finest, fluffiest Winathian cotton); a way-cool chef's hat; some silk drapes that I think I could make into a kick-ass waistcoat or smoking jacket; thirty-two bottles of Chateau Femnaz Sauvignon; and an ice sculpture in the shape of a hot naked dude (and I licked that fucker down to a nub.)

Saturday night, I almost swiped one of those complimentary Orandoan mints that they leave on everybody's pillows -- y'know those mints, the ones that are the size of an armoire? Yeah. Those things are the best. Well, I'd just about made it through the window with that thing on my back, when suddenly I heard a small sound, like the coo of a dove. I turned around, and there was a little Xennian girl. Her round, lidless eyes were wet with tears, and she wailed, "Sasquatch, why? Why are you taking my complimentary mint, why?"

"I ain't Sasquatch, honey," I sighed, and I hoisted the damn thing back onto her bed. Then, with my best coyote yelp, I jumped out the window.

The Citadel of Doom's manager sent the giant robot after me the very next morning.

Not that he knew exactly who I was or where I was, but he'd equipped the thing with some kind of vague, hominid-sensing tracking system. I remember watching the robot leave the hotel, while I thought, "Huh, I wonder where that thing's going," and then as it got closer and closer to me, I was like, "Aw, shit."

I let the robot chase me for a while, until I could lure it into a narrow canyon. Then I scampered up the side and started a rockslide, trapping it. From there, it was a simple matter to jump down towards it, turn myself into a steel wall in mid air, and repeatedly clobber the holy bejeebus out of it. The only bad part? I had to do it about six hundred times before the robot was destroyed. I could have spent Sunday napping and eating and planning how I was going to swipe more stuff from the Citadel of Doom, but no. And now my muscles feel like they're being flame-roasted, from all the climbing.

I'm looking out at the Citadel of Doom, now. That big holo-projector they have in the roof is showing an advertisement for something called "Space Movie." Poppin' planets! It looks like it's another one of those stupid Lallorwood holo-films that pretty much just duplicate scenes from other movies (with added fart jokes). And apparently, the "galactic premiere" is happening at the Citadel of Doom!

Oh, it is fucking on, motherfuckers.