Non-Sequitur #12: Rolling With the Punches to Get to What’s Real

Adam Hughes for the Win!

So the thing about decorating the tree started ‘cuz back in the old days people thought that spirits lived in trees and…what? What do you mean no one wants hear about why many Christmas traditions started as Pagan rituals? Look, many Christian theologians say…what do you mean I’m being a buzzkill? C ‘mon, they used to have the Solstice and folks would…OK! I’ll knock it off! Merry Christmas, alright?  We’ll just move on.

Just wait ’til  Easter comes…

Random Website Plug: Our Valued Customers. One panel gag strip about the true utterances of customers at an east coast Comic Book Shop. I got hip to this strip through the Inveterate Media Junkies ( look to the right ). Planned to spend maybe a few minutes peeking at it, I spent the next hour and half laughing my ass off. Check it out now

Random Political BS:  Rev Meeks withdrew from the Chicago mayoral race. There’s several black contenders . Meeks claimed he dropped out ‘cuz there should only be one strong african american candidate ( which is a BS concept in and of itself ). The real reason is ‘cuz he said some unenlightened things about ethnicity and folks called him on his BS. Basically, he said something to the effect that only black people and not asians, hispanics, or women(!) should be considered minorities. I’m sorry…I’m black, but I think that’s an ignorant statement. I’m glad he’s out of the race, saves me the extra effort of not voting for him out spite.

Hey, they just played “Jump” by Van Halen on the radio. Someone should do an article about how hard rock/heavy metal and guitar solos aside, Van Halen wrote some nifty melodic pop songs. Here’s a cover you can play for your aunt that hates heavy metal. Just don’t tell her who the original composers were.

Random Street Story: I was waiting for the bus a few days ago and had an interesting conversation with a man who claimed to be a Viet Nam veteran. It started with him talking about how he thought the cops were lazy these days, then he told me about how he was able to smuggle drugs from Amsterdam back in the day. He narrowly escaped a pat down once. The drugs were in his underwear. The authorities asked “What’s this?” He said, “That’s my dick.” They backed off. After his escape, the vet got in a cab with a driver who didn’t mind him lighting a joint. The $20 ride only cost $5 because the driver got lost due to an extreme contact high.  Never a dull moment back in the 70’s.

I got a couple of comics.

Neonomicon #3: It’s a de-construction/tribute(?) to H.P. Lovecraft. I’m no expert on Lovecraft, so I can’t comment on that aspect of it. I can say it’s sick, twisted and thoroughly suspenseful. I can’t wait to see where the next issue goes. Not a comic book I’d give to a first date though.

Secret Avengers #8: Hey, that business I brought up about the name of Shang Chi’s father  in a previous column? It’s addressed in this issue! The former ( because of legal reasons ) Fu Manchu is now called Zheng Zu. John Steele makes his his presence felt. Fight with cult guys with swords happens. Ancient mystical stuff gets babbled about. It’s all superhero team goodness. Ok, stuff I’m gonna whine about…Valkyrie has a fight in broad daylight along side the other Avengers. There’s not one clear drawing of her face.  And maybe this has been addressed in a comic I haven’t read, but what’s going on with the Beast these days? Does he have 4 fingers or 5? It seems  the artists nowadays are trying to split the difference between cat Beast and old ape Beast. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

Avengers, Children’s Crusade #1: There’s a editor’s note on the first page that explains that because the story was written a few years ago, it is kinda hard to fit in continuity. I’m glad they just admitted it upfront. The gist of the set up is Wiccan and Speed might be long lost sons of the Scarlet Witch who went missing at the end of “House of M”. The Scarlet Witch had powers great enough to warp reality and the concern is that Wiccan may be just as dangerous. The Young Avengers decide to find the Witch and discover the truth. There’s tons of exposition and dialogue and none of it seems forced or unnecessary. THIS is how you do a comic book about superheroes talking.

Speaking of the Avengers, here’s the first part of  an interesting analysis of the the first issue of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Avengers. Parts 2 and 3 are on this site as well. Have a cup of coffee and enjoy!

There was no mistletoe in the manger where Jesus was born. Ok, I’ll stop now.

Non-Sequitur #11: She Used Me Like An Ashtray Heart

Dig if you will the picture. Awesomeness by Cliff Chiang For more art by Cliff Chiang go to his website

I went to bank today. There was a guy standing across the street with a protest sign. He was having a hunger strike against Obama. I don’t know why exactly he was protesting, but I gotta admire his dedication seeing as it was snowing and he was standing in all that icky slush. Hm..hungry, wet, and cold, maybe I don’t admire him after all.

Woo Hoo! Go Bears! What? Why, yes I AM a johnny-come-lately just now jumping on the bandwagon..scoot over!

Thor Movie Controversy: Yes, I had as much fun as everyone else laughing at white supremacists who were upset about a black actor playing a 2nd fiddle Norse god. On the other hand, WHAT HAPPENED TO MY WESLEY SNIPES/DAVID GOYER BLACK PANTHER MOVIE, HUH ? AND WHERE’S THAT LUKE CAGE FLICK THAT WAS GOING TO BE DIRECTED BY JOHN SINGLETON, DAMMIT!

The Expendables: It’s exactly what it was promoted as…an old school action film starring a multitude of ex-action stars. I, um…enjoyed it. The plot had something to do with Stallone’s group of mercenaries being hired to overthrow a dictator and Sly is infatuated with the general’s daughter and Jason Statham has boring girlfriend problems or something. I would have enjoyed a more “serious” take. Like maybe  a modern day The Wild Bunch, where the past their prime bad-asses have to reflect on their place in a society that’s passed them by. But like I said, I had some fun with this anyway. My favorite parts were the Jet Li/Dolf Lundgren fight and Jason beating up some dudes on a basketball court.

Dog Eat Dog: I still haven’t figured out how to write about this film.

Captain Beefhart art-rock/avant jazz pioneer passed away recently. He was truly one of a kind.

I learned a phrase from yesterday, “Shenanigans are Awesome”-LiusMarvel316

Non-Sequitur #10: I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts

Was feeling pretty cool about the way things were going, this week...not so much

I went to work Monday. End of the  day I was to call Tuesday afternoon to see if there was going to be work Wednesday. Then I was told to call back Thursday. Thursday I was told there’s probably not going to be work for the rest of the year. They’ll call me when it’s time to come back. Yikes! Scary, but I’m going to try to maintain a positive outlook. If only there was something to occupy my time, some creative outlet…oh,yeah!

Haven’t bought any new comics this week and didn’t plan to, but I might change my mind seeing as I’m going to have more free time on my hands in the upcoming weeks.

I still have this novel by Dean Koontz that I haven’t cracked open. It’s sat on my table for months. Gawd, I’m a lazy bastard.

Listening to “More Fun in the New World” by Los Angeles band X. They got good critical acclaim back in the day, but seem to be almost ignored these days. Might put on Prince “The Hits 1” later. Depends on how I feel and how drunk I get.

Trolling around on the interwebs and looking at various websites, female comics fans tastes are as varied as one would expect, but two characters seem to come up often as favorites…Power Girl and Nightwing. I imagine women like Power Girl ( or Peej ) for the same reason guys like Logan…strong, confidant, and  a take no crap attitude. Nightwing’s appeal seems to be about  he’s a nice well adjusted guy with sex appeal, which is what a lot women like in real life as opposed to metal skeletons and berserker rages.

I haven’t paid the P.O. Box bill yet. I should get on that.

I was going to make some pork chops for dinner. I think I’ll save them for breakfast tomorrow and fix them with eggs and hash brown potatoes. That works, right?

Stuff in the news about Rahm Emmanuel having stuff in the basement which means he was coming  back to Chicago meaning he’s eligible to run for mayor. This is what the race is about? Not what he’s going to do about crime or education, but whether or not he kept dishes in the basement? Welcome to big city politics.

” It’s about time, it’s about space”

Random Comics Review: Sabre #7, 1983

Sabre was an independent comic published by Eclipse Comics in  the 80’s. The character was created by Don McGregor  and drawn by Paul Gulacy initially. The art in this arc is by Billy Graham. The series was set in a post apocalyptic near future. Sabre is a poetic believer in passion and free will  who fights against oppression and for the love of the lovely Melissa Siren. The series is very much Don’s ideas of romance and personal integrity and satire. The comic is full of grand adventure and overly colorful characters.

This issue is the fifth part of a six part story called “An Exploitation or Everything Dear”. Sabre finally makes it home just in time for the birth of his and Melissa’s child if government forces on his tail. There’s chaos as violence erupts between freedom fighters and government troops right as Melissa goes into labor. The main story ends on a cliffhanger as Melissa appears to be giving birth to twins while the main villain draws a bead on Sabre.

The writing is typical Don McGregor. Overwritten and very passionate. The dialogue  and the captions are very wordy. Extremely wordy. Wordy wordy. Characters have names like Wilhemina Divine, Joyful Slaughter, Midnight Storm, Summer Ice, Blackstar Blood, and other over the top monikers. Sabre seems to be the continuation of some of the ideas McGregor began in his Killraven series for Marvel Comics. In fact that’s probably the biggest drawback in this comic. This issue should be edge of your seat excitement with the childbirth and all the confrontations, but it drags due to all the speeches  and narration pointing out the importance of individual freedom and passion and self determination. Those ideas ARE important, BUT there’s a robot lizard SHOOTING PEOPLE over there!! Let’s get a move on! Also notable, there’s a gay kiss in this issue and it’s not made a big deal of. Risky move for 1983. Billy Graham’s art is interesting here. It’s very fluid and angular and almost underground comix-ish in couple of spots. I prefer the work he did or Marvel in the 70’s, but this works for me as well.

The back-up story about Melissa Siren  has lovely art by Kent Williams. The story is a flashback to Melissa’s escape from a government lab. The visuals are dark and moody with nice placements of shadows and very realistic anatomy. The tale is “meh” but the art is top notch. There’s an interesting editorial on the letters page by Don(?) that criticizes Marvel without mentioning them by name. Basically stating that Marvel’s practice of flooding the market with re-prints caused the distributors to cut back 10% across the board. The big publishers could handle this but the independents could be hurt.  Only three ads in this comic. Two for other Eclipse comics and one for a Sabre T-Shirt.

Non-Sequitur #9: What, You Expect This Beer to Just Drink Itself?

I haven't been following the comic,but I thought this was an amazing drawing of Power Girl by Bruce Timm. I found it at

Snow storm in Chicago! Now is when you find out what your made of! Get your chairs out and save those parking spaces!

Earlier, on the train today, a young guy literally gave his coat to a homeless(?) man. There’s still compassionate people out there despite what you might think from reading the newspaper.

I watched the Scott Pilgrim movie. I really enjoyed it. I ignored the comics in the past just because I thought I wouldn’t be able to relate to them, but now I think I might get them. The film works not because of any of the “hipster” aspect that journalists went on about a few months ago, but because it’s an unashamed live-action cartoon and it has HEART. I remember reading that it had a disappointing box-office opening, but hell…it’s a small movie based on an indie comic set in Canada. Do you REALLY expect it to do Iron Man numbers?

I also saw the Superman/Shazam thing with all the DC animation shorts. Very entertaining with lots of fun extra stories. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I might do a seperate post about it or maybe a video clip. I haven’t decided yet.

I have to be at work two hours early tomorrow. Sure, I guess the sensible thing to do would be to turn in early, but I have The Expendables movie and there’s another can of high gravity lager just sitting here….

There was a comic book charity drive at a local comic book store yesterday. I found out about a day too late and missed a chance to meet Lance Briggs from the Chicago Bears. I’ ll still go there tomorrow and donate some old comic books. Some of these I was going to give to my nephew, but I think I give these to some other kids and just buy him some new ones.

I was at the grocery store  an saw a wine called “Monogamy”. I was thinking maybe I should start a wine for adulterers called “Creepin”. Or maybe one for non-committed folks called “We’re Gonna Get Laid Tonite”.

I know I lot of folks are getting geared up for the Captain America movie with Chris Evans ( him again! He’s been in the FF, The Losers, and Scott Pilgrim..he’s the go to guy for comic book movies) , you might want to check this out. This guy, Will Kouf did a rock opera based on Cap!

Thanks for reading. And in the wise words of Casey Kasem who was the voice of Shaggy from Scooby Doo and Robin in the Superfriends, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!”

Or if you prefer… Steve Gerber “Waaugh!”

Non-Sequitur #8: I Thought It’d Be Different

It snowed today! Snow in Chicago sucks!Hell...

Random Petty Grievance: I’m having internet issues. Ridiculously slow download time. Part of it is my hardware, part of it is the 30 degree weather. But anyway…

Random Alt Pop Song That I Like That No One Else Cares About: ” Judas My Heart” by Belly.Tanya Donelly is one of the great over looked songwriters of our generation.

Franklin Richards, Super Summer Spectacular #1: I saw this on the rack at one of my local comic book shops and thought it was left over from a few months ago. It’s from 2006! Has it been sitting there all this time or was it in inventory and they thought, “Hell, just put it up front, no one will notice”?  Hell, I didn’t…I bought the thing! I’m glad I did. It’s a fun family friendly kid’s comic. Franklin and his baby-sitter H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot have wacky mishaps. The stories are by Marc Sumerak and the art is by Chris Eliopoulos. Very Calvin and Hobbes like. Cool.

Secret Avengers# 7: Stuff I liked…Shang Chi and Ant-Man, Valkyrie’s new suit with pants and a jacket, a henchman recognizing Steve Rogers, lots of action. Stuff I didn’t like…Moon Knight’s on the cover, but he’s not in this issue, it’s cool we had some chase scenes, but now it’s time for some more plot. There’s an ad for “Age of X”. I so hope this isn’t another lame alternative X-men history/future. They ran that idea into the ground 20 yrs ago!

Avengers, Children’s Crusade #3: I had alot of fun with this comic. I enjoy it alot more than I thought I would. Basically Wiccan and the other Young Avengers discuss whether they should trust Magneto and go to Latveria to find the Scarlet Witch who may be the mother of Wiccan and his brother Speed.The adult Avengers want to find Wanda too and the debate is whether or not they should kill her. There’s lots of dialogue in this issue and lots of exposition, but it’s done right. It’s talking that is entertaining and advances the plot. I didn’t notice until it was over that there’s only ONE PAGE of fight. Also…lovely, lovely art. Kudos to Heinburg and Cheung.

No real dinner tonight. I will have some pork skins and the rest of the beer that’s in the frig. But tomorrow morning I will have pork chops and Spanish rice for breakfast. Yum!

Non-Sequitur #7: Agh!

AH! Augh! Arrgh!

The weather has gotten weird here and thus my internet connection has decided to act wonky, but in the words on 70’s Thor, I “…Shall press on!”

Came home from work today. the police were standing in the doorway of my building and there was a strange smell in the hallway. Someone was shot at yesterday in the middle of the day. Two days earlier, the cops roped off the street two blocks down from where I live. I remember a couple years ago a friend of mine teased me for moving up to the “good side of town”. If he only knew…

Last Friday I took the red-line downtown. Everyone had to get of the train due to a “suspicious package”. Some yuppie dude actually got snippy with the cops talking about,  “Well, when is the next train coming?” Guess the guy would have been happier if a dirty bomb had gone off, then he would’ve had a great excuse to be late to wherever he was going.

Ok, some comics and movies I think are interesting are, um…screw it! I’ll talk about that stuff in a couple of days, I can’t contain myself any longer…SOME DUDE CAME TO MY JOB SHAT HIMSELF! Agh! LITERALLY! AGH! Now, if this was just some regular person that was sick, or had a bladder issue or just happened to have an accident, I normally would say that’s nothing to laugh at. BUT he called the office on a previous day whining and then before his incident he made a juvenile sexual remark to one of the ladies that work here, so I feel ok about trippin’. Dude comes in at 1 o’clock for a 4pm appointment. He sits in the waiting room snoring for awhile. He overheard one of the girls talking about lunch plans and made an innuendo. Then he had his mishap in the waiting room, tried to clean himself up and came back THINKING NO ONE WOULD NOTICE. Moving around  for whatever reason  he ended up ruining four chairs. Our project manger sent him home. The killing part is, I actually booked his guy’s appointment.

Normally, I try to wait until Friday night to start my drinking binge, but I really need a beer tonight.

Ice-T and Slayer. This is really 3 songs stuck together UK 82, War, Disorder by the Exploited.