Non-Sequitur #16: Fade Away and Radiate

Crunch! Bam! Pow!

I was going to do a review of Vigilante #13 from 1984, but I haven’t finished reading it. Or I should say I haven’t read it carefully. I skimmed through it. The story is by Marv Wolfman and the art is by Gil Kane. It’s interesting because they seem to take great pains to strike a serious cop show/action movie tone, but it’s contrasted by all the ads for candy and Saturday morning cartoons. It’s funny cuz these days it’s not unusual to see mainstream comics that have ads for automobiles. The march toward adult superhero comics was indeed a slow one.

They opened a Harold’s Chicken in my neighbor hood. It’s okay. I’m going back for some fries okra.

Check it out! Someone clicked to my site from a site called Dead Homer Society. It’s all about love for the Simpsons TV show. Dig it.

Johnny Storm from the Fantastic Four is dead! Yeah, sure he is…

A Wonder Woman TV show has been green lit by NBC! David E. Kelly is in charge! His wife played Catwoman in a very entertaining movie that made no sense! Wonder Woman is going to be a corporate exec that fights crime! Uh, what? I’m concerned, but who knows…they haven’t shot one scene yet and  none of us fans know what the script actually is.  Even if it isn’t traditional WW there’s still the chance it  might turn out to be good. Let’s wait for the show to air before we start calling for be-headings. On another hand, it’s interesting how many of us comics fans feel legitimized once Hollywood makes a movie or TV show out of our favorite characters. Comics are cool because they’re comics! Comics! We should be promoting comics because they are fun as a medium onto themselves, not cuz somebody might make a mediocre film from them. I’ll take a cool comic book with a clever story and great art featuring a B-list character over a drab big budget movie  starring a famous character that we’re supposed to automatically love because it features an “icon”. I’d like both, but if I had to choose, I’ll take George Perez returning to the Wonder Woman comic for  a year over a WW TV show.

This week at work wasn’t as productive as I would have hoped, but boy was Friday fun. One lady brought cupcakes, another made peanut butter fudge, and my boss brought coffee cake. Just because. Yes, I did partake and yes I realize that I’m slowly destroying myself. Anyway…

Debbie Harry and Chris Stein rule. They just do.

Non-Sequitur #15: Out In The Cold

Storm! Please come to my town and fix this terrible weather, bright lady!

Don Kirshner just passed away. Younger people might not be be familiar with him but he was a music industry big wig during the sixties and seventies. He was also one of the producers of the Monkees TV show ( oh, was good bubble gum pop tunes…sneering at it doesn’t make you hip), I mostly know him though from Don Kirchner’s Rock Concert. Rock Concert was a live music show that would feature various music acts; rock, pop, soul and what have you. This was in the days before rap songs could be used as ring tones, before heavy metal songs were obligatory video game and movie soundtracks, hell…before MTV even existed. If you were a little kid and too young to go to actual music concerts, the best you could do at that time was to stay up half the night on weekends and watch either DKRC or Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special. I remember one particular night seeing Prince performing in black bikini briefs and thigh high boots, and yes…my young mind was significantly blown. Prince is very protective of his music and image these days, so here’s something a lot more mellow from Don Kirshner’s show.

Bedbugs! They’re coming for you!

It’s windy and cold where I live. Snowing and damn near 15 degrees below zero wind chill factor. I live near the lake, so sometimes the weather is particularly wonky. Sure, I’m used to it as far as going outside and braving the temperature, but it plays havoc on my internet connection. If I fail to download You Tube videos it’s no big deal, but when I’m trying to pay bills online or whatnot, I get real paranoid. “Did it go thru? Should I do it again? Am I gonna get charged twice? What? What? Do I have a virus? Maybe it’s going slow cuz someone’s hacking my info?”  Seasonal cyber- paranoia.

The comics I sent my nephew through the mail came back to me due to some law involving weight that I never had to deal with before, but apparently has been in effect for about three years. So, I’ll go to the Post Office later in the week and try to re-ship them along with comics I was planning to sent my other niece and nephew. As far comics I’ll probably keep for myself…

Black Panther Man Without Fear #514: Ok, this is not a bad comic book. It’s actually a pretty good comic book. Writer David Liss is able to strike the right balance between plot and character. It’s a so far intriguing street level tale of T’Challa trying to protect his neighborhood from a crime boss named Vlad the Impaler who appears to be more than he originally seemed. No obvious filler yet, but we’re still only on the 2nd issue of this arc. I like Francesco Francavilla’s  art. Dark and moody, but not flashy. Realistic placement of  shadows. I don’t know what else he’s done, but I would love to see him work on other crime fiction comics if he hasn’t already. My main problem is with the explanation of why he agreed to protect Hell’s Kitchen. This whole “having to prove himself  journey of self discovery” thing doesn’t wash with me. T’Challa JUST BEAT DR DOOM! WHAT THE HELL DOES HE HAVE TO “PROVE”? If he wanted to go celibate for a year or give up glutton or just said ” Hey, I want to catch up on some reading and don’t wanna be distracted” I would’ve said fine. But the idea that he has to find himself is absurd.

Scarlet #4: Ok, the cover made me laugh. Screw Me. Scarlet shot a cop and filmed it and now there’s a big  flash mob protest meeting downtown supporting her. A protest rally with no real ideology other than “the system is broken”. Yeah, and..? One detective suggests that the corrupt cops on the force don’t want to bring her in they want her dead. So why don’t  they just do it? I live in Chicago and the police had no problem shooting Fred Hampton. If the police in this story were able to shoot Scarlet’s boyfriend and frame him as a dope fiend, it shouldn’t be hard to brand her a terrorist. Hell, she admitted in public to killing someone! Everyone saw it! Bad cops in my town torture people and get full pensions. These so-called corrupt cops go “oh, she’s making us look bad, oh”. They seem kinda like pussies (sorry).

JLA #53: I admit it. I gave this another chance cuz I was sucked in by the Mark Bagley art. I don’t know…the story has everything I would have loved as a 15 year old superhero fan. It’s full of heroes and villians and punch ups and cosmic machines and double crosses. However, it just seems kinda…blah. I might give it away or I might keep it for the art. I dunno.

Grocery store’s still open. The snow’s stopped. I haven’t had ceaser’s salad in awhile…I think I’ll brave it.

Non-Sequitur #14: Dream A Little Dream

Just so you know, Dr Strange and the Ancient One were entering dreams before Leo was born

The lesson that we can take with us throughout the rest of our days is that everything’s better with Barbecue Sauce. Honey Chipotle.

They called me back to work, but I could only do 3 out of 4 days because I had important family stuff to take care of  and I was on a time limit. Three day weekend coming up. Feeling somber about it all…

If you like silver age comics check out Arlen Schumer’s lecture that he posted on You Tube. Like any other comics geek, I could quibble about some minor points, but I find his presentation interesting. And don’t forget to watch the other 3 parts.

So, I’m in the grocery store the other day and a young man who seemed to be an African immigrant and an employee of the store asked me if I wanted to open an account with the bank that has a kiosk in the grocery store. I explained that all my banking needs were taken care of and he politely accepted this fact, but then he asked me, “Are you African?” At first I was almost taken aback like, “What?! A brutha from Chi-Town cain’t talk like he got some edjamacation? What you tryin’ to say, Shaka Zulu?” But I remembered a day few years back when I lived on the west side a dude supposedly from Jamaica asked me something similiar. I guess it’s probably a combination of my physical looks ( I’m mid to dark complexion and my father was in fact from Haiti) and my speech pattern ( yes, I DO have some edjamacation…you mutha fucka, you).

This reminded me of an even earlier incident from like ten years ago. I was working day labor and they sent me out to a moving company and I helped move for the day. The driver and his other helpers were white. Things went pretty well. Toward the end of the day, the driver asked me, “So, where are you from?”  I told him Chicago. Then I said, “You asked that like you expected me to say California or something.” He was like, “Well…” and muttered something about how laid back I seemed. Then his helper added, “Yeah, and you don’t seem like you hate white people.” Okaaay…On the other hand, most of the other black guys they sent from my agency that these fellows worked with, were literally straight from the joint. So I was going to say something about making assumptions, but  whatever…

I saw a couple of movies…

Inception: Very good film. I’m not sure how much I can say about it that hasn’t been said already. Solid acting, smart tight script, and excellent directing. Leo Di Caprio is a freelance agent that can enter a person’s dream and extract secrets and other information. He gets a risky job to implant an idea in a subjects mind. The further they go into the subjects subconscious, the deadlier risks become. Really though, this is a film about regret, loss, and guilt wrapped around a sci-fi thriller chassis. Great film.

The A-Team: Screw you, snobs…it’s the A-Team! You can’t hear me, but I’m singing the theme song right now! 80’s rule! Yo Joe!  Actually, I wish this movie made as much sense as some of the better TV episodes. Ok, stuff I liked…the opening scene with Hannibal’s escape in Mexico, the caper Bagdad, the fact that Rampage didn’t do a Mr T imitation, and I thought the character Pike was a very good movie villian. Ok, the rest…Jessica Beil,some folks don’t like her. I think she’s ok, but I wish her character was smarter and well, just smarter. The crime set-up, it just doesn’t make sense that everyone automatically assumes it was the A-Team. They’re in the mid-east and there’s terrorists and mercenaries and bandits all about…why do folks think it’s the A-Team’s fault? Similiarly, how do the team know Pike’s the bad guy? All they see is him and his guys running. Hell, maybe they’re running cuz the general’s jeep just blew up and they want to get out of there? I saw The Losers a couple of months ago and it’s funny cuz there’s a couple of scenes that are close in both movies. I’m not hatin’ on either team, I just saying. I wasn’t expecting Citizen Kane with this film, but I wish it was a little smarter, maybe gone through another draft.

Free your mind and the rest will follow.

Non-Sequitur #13: Three Months Later, I’m a Gal in Trouble

This is from Resonance of Fate? I don't play video games, I just thought the picture was cool.

Teena Marie passed away recently. She will be missed.

My job called me. I went to work for three days. Had four days off. Went to work for three more days. I have the next four days off. Hanging in there…

Been seeing Hunger Strike Guy…once last week and again today. He was in the same spot, across the street from the bank I go to. I keep debating whether or not I should try to start a conversation with him.

I sent my nephew some comics right before Christmas. He still hasn’t gotten them. I’m angry at the US Mail. But you know what? I’m still going to send my other niece and nephew comics probably by the same method. Yeah, I know…what’s the definition of stupidity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Thing is, with the US Mail you WILL get different results. It just depends on how the stars are arranged.

Chicago Politics: Pissin’ me off this week! Let’s talk about something else!

Knight and Day: A spy movie starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. I like both stars, but this film was crushingly mediocre. However, “Cameron” is a cool name for girl. If I had a daughter, I wouldn’t mind naming her Cameron. I DID have an ex who’s son was named Cameron. It works equally well for boys and girls. Oh, I was supposed to be talking about the movie…er, it wasn’t that great.

My aunt gave me a recipe for broccoli and cream of mushroom soup with cheese. Shut up! It’s tasty!

New Avengers #7: I was going drop this comic because of the filler- writing for trade-Bendis-isms , but I read a couple of spoiler reviews that actually made me curious. Stuff I’m confused about…Brand New Day aside, I thought most the New Avengers knew who Peter Parker was? Guess not. This next point was brought up in the actual comic, but yeah…Luke invented Hero for Hire. Why would he balk at taking a check from Steve Rogers? When I was a kid it was established that Avengers who lived at the mansion got $1000 for living expenses. Didn’t Luke know this during the BMB/Finch run? Why would he have an issue  now? Another thing, in the oral history in the back of the comic, it’s suggested that Hank Pym became Yellowjacket  as a publicity stunt for his marriage to the Wasp. I don’t have much of a problem with this version, but it contradicts Joe Casey’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes that says Hank DID have a nervous breakdown and forgot who he was temporarily.   Stuff I liked… Stuart’s art is still beautiful. What made the comic for me though was the two page spread of nanny interviews. Aaron Stack ( “it’s like Shakespeare with lots more punching!” ), the appearance of US 1 Trucker, and my favorite; Nighthawk declaring that the team is really the Defenders under a different name.

Avengers Children’s Crusade #4: Very nice art by Jim Cheung. Nice dialogue from Allan Heinberg. The story is progressing at a nice pace. Dr Doom makes his appearance. He’s due to marry the the Scarlet Witch, but is it true love or something else? I wish more comics were as well written as this. Each issue feels like a chapter in a larger story, but so far nothing feels like unnecessary filler. The biggest flaw is Wolverine’s speech seems to be written like Wolverine from 1977. You know, “Grr, I argue with folks and talk about killing, grr!” But for the most part, this is a very solid comic.

Tank Girl Bad Wind Rising #1: By Alan Martin and artist Rufus Dayglo. Booga and Tank split up and some people are after them and some other characters are involved and blah,blah, blah… I’m disappointed to say it’s not as funny or outrageous as I expected. The whole thing was rather “Meh”. Maybe it’ll pick up next issue.

Ok…I’m listening to an old mix tape with everything from David Bowie to Bill Withers to Cher on it and my beer buzz is starting to kick in, so I’ll catch you all later.

Hey! Cameo!  Sing with me! “If it’s music we can use it we need to dance, we don’t have the time for psychological romance…”