Non-Sequitur #53: Outside It’s Cold It’s Misty And It’s Raining

It got up to like 80 degrees this week, but today it's 20 degrees cooler and miserable out. Tha's ok, summer's coming soon.

Nothing, I just like saying “Golf-Shirty”

I didn’t work the other day, but I did go to my job to pick up my check. I wore a red pull over shirt with a collar and a navy blue horizontal stripe across the chest. The lady who’s kind of the receptionist there said that I looked  very “golf-shirty”. That’s going to be my new nick-mane…Golf Shirty Ed.

My job is keeping me healthy

Got more free food from work. This time it was two heads of lettuce and some celery. Wait, what?

Middle-Aged Man makes himself a meal

So, yeah…I made myself a big salad. It had lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs and salad dressing (ok it was really mayo). It was delicious and I topped it off with a nice glass of beer ( ok it was really a 24 once can of malt liquor, shut up I’m eating healthy).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVWRU3KqUfc

Jerk bought some comics

Secret Avengers # 23: Story by Rick Remender is pretty decent. I’m interested in the struggles of Antman here and what might happen in the hidden “robot” city. I wished I liked the art more. Gabriel Hardman is a decent penciler, but it might be a little too down to earth for this type of superhero comic. It’s just a wee too sketchy. I might like it more on a horror or crime comic.

Avengers #24:   I didn’t plan on buying this comic. I haven’t been reading it all. However, the comic I planned to get was sold out and the Daniel Acuna  art caught my eye. It’s actually not bad. Acuna’s art is very lovely. BUT the way the bad guy gets defeated here is exactly the same way the bad guy got defeated in New Avengers Annual #1. Both bad guys have exactly the same powers. Both comics were written Brian Michael Bendis.  I’m  just saying…

Children’s Crusade #9:    Very  very nice art, but a very anti-climatic story. It felt like, “Sorry we have to stop now, but there’s a big event coming that has all these same characters in it, so we’re going to stop here with no real resolution.”

Dammit! The weather lady just said it’s going to get cold again next week. Dern it!

Non-Sequitur #48: It’s All Gonna Be A Stone Gas

Don Cornelius passed away.

More free food at work

Another co-worker had a birthday. My supervisor made fudge. I only ate two small pieces, so I did not get fat this week. Take that, gluttony!

Tom Brady and Eli Manning are giving me the finger

In the past, there’s been times when I was super excited about the Superbowl and there’s been times when I was happy about one team and apathetic towards the other. Then there was times where I didn’t care about either team, but was enthusiastic about the event. This is the first time I am super indifferent about the whole thing. That probably says more about me than it does about this past football season. I am a bad sports fan and hence, a bad Chicagoan. I suck.

I bought some comics and few of them I actually read…

Archie #629:  This one is a little better than last issue, mostly because the storytelling is clearer. Kiss returns Archie from a zombie back into his normal human form. The band explains what the zany monsters are up to and what will happen if they take over. Funniest moment that’s funny because it’s not funny: Kevin Keller shows up near the end of the issue and chases zombies away by playing loud music on an old boombox. A boombox! Do teenagers still walk around with boomboxes these days? Still, this issue was more fun than last.

Secret Avengers #21.1 : A so called “jumping on” point featuring Captain America and Hawkeye. The story is ok and the art is alright.  Decent for what it was, I just had a problem with Cap feeling that after all their time together, now all of a sudden he needed to “test”  Clint.

Defenders #3: Fun!  Story by Matt Fraction…in  this issue Null, The Breaker of Worlds is dealt with, but we are left with a neat cliff hanger for the next chapter. The Silver Surfer gets a cool moment. We get a hint of the true nature of Prester John ( I have old Defenders comics from the 70’s so I think I get it). The art by Terry and Rachel Dodson is fine throughout. I’m looking forward to the next issue.

That’s all I got for now. See ya, next time!

Non-Sequitur #34: Mrs America, How’s You Favorite Son?

Scarlet Witch by Adam Hughes. Awesome sauce!

I   have these notes for what I wanted to write about for this column and one of them says “Bar-B-Q Sauce” and for the life of me I can’t remember what I wanted to say about Bar-B-Q Sauce. It’s killing me that I can’t remember. Oh, well…on with the jibber jabber!

Random Screw Up: I was late for work the other day. I missed my train stop. I didn’t fall asleep or anything although I have done that in the past. I missed my stop because I was emersed in the Dan Savage column in The Reader    (a free alternative paper in Chicago). The focus of this week’s column was people sending in their vacation sex stories. I was thinking, “Damn, I don’t have one great vacation sex story. I mean nothing EPIC. Hell, most of my vacations in general are boring. ”  This is what was on my mind. Not the state of the economy, not how I can make better choices for my family, but, “Why come these folks were having amazing sex at 15 on exotic beaches around the world when I was still a virgin at 15? Life isn’t fair!” And thus I missed my stop and and to call my job and tell them I’d be late.  I felt like a schmuck. Yiddish pun intended.

Random Bus Thing: So coming home this lady got on the bus with her two daughters. Mom was maybe 30-ish. The girls were like 4-5 yrs old. After traveling maybe two blocks, one of the daughters asked if this was their stop. The mom said no. The little girl insisted a few  times.  “It is! It is! I KNOW this is my stop!” Mom was like, “If you want to get off and walk it’s going to take about an hour.”  The girl amused herself and her sister for a little while, but soon got restless. She asked if they were there yet. No. For some reason it made me laugh when the little girl said, “I KNOW we’re going the WRONG way.” As more people got off the bus, the two little girls began switching seats. The quieter of the two settled down quickly, but the more active one kept it up until the mom got her under control. When I got off at my stop, I heard behind me a stern, “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!” I kind of wonder if Mom was just waiting for me to leave so she could snap without a stranger judging her.  Hey… no judgement from me, Mom. Lay the hammer down.

Random Pop Culture reference:  Lollapolooza happened this weekend. It’s the 20th anniversary of the rock concert fest and if you remember when  Pearl Jam  was hip, when ICE-T  had a trash metal band, when NIN  actually dared to play somewhere in the sunlight, then you are old. No, no…no ironic detachment can save you now. You’re old. Stop fighting it. It’s ok. Things can be alright here on the other side.

I listened to the 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast episode 23. The ladies review a few recent releases and raise some interesting issues regarding diversity in comics and fan’s reactions to the new Ultimate Spiderman. http://1979semifinalist.podomatic.com/

Siouxsie Sioux and Ice-T from Lolla '91

  Black Panther #521:  The start of the American Pather story arc. The story is by David Liss and art by Francesco Francavilla. It’s completely the opposite of what I thought it was going to be. A new Hatemonger has come to Hell’s Kitchen and is stirring things up. Dealing with economic downturn and disenfranchised white males this issue deals with a  relevant topic handled in a so far plausible way. Well structured story so far and decent art, I’m picking up the next issue.
  Secret Avengrs #15:  I think this is the last Nick Spencer written issue. It deals with the fallout from the death of Bucky in Fear Itself. It also deals with the deaths and ressurections of supeerheroes in a pretty direct way and why civilians (and readers) have a hard time taking comic book death seriously. Solid writing by Nick and decent art by Scot Eaton make this is a fun buy.
  X-Men,First Class:  So I finally got around to seeing this movie. Not bad. Actually, it was really good. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Much praise has been heaped on  Michael Fassbender and deservedly so. He was excellent as pre-villian Eric Lensherr. He was  angry, driven yet very charismatic . James MacAvoy was also very good as a young Professor X.  Young Charles as confident and ready take on the world was a delight to see. The movie is about two hours long, but at no point did I feel it lagged. The pacing and the suspense  were just right. Some people were disappointed with January Jones’s performance, but I thought she was ok. She wasn’t portraying “our” Emma Frost, but Bryan Singer’s Emma Frost. I will say this about her costumes though…the one that looked like sexy lingerie was fine and the white suit was fine, but that thing that was somewhere in between was kinda ugh.
Wild In The Streets:  I watched this on You Tube of all places. A  youth exploitation movie from 1968 I believe. I think it was supposed to be a satire of the youth movement of the time, but by the last reel it seems like the filmmakers just said “screw it” and decided to make it as over the top as possible. Hal Holbrook stars as an idealistic politician named John Furgus trying to woo the youth vote. A rock star named Max Frost endorses the candidate after the voting age  is lowered to 15. Eventually, Max becomes thirsty for power and becomes a candidate himself. Too late Hal realizes how power mad Max has become. The movie ends on ridiculous note ( I mean I think it’s supposed to be ridiculous on purpose ) where all the people who are over 30 are taken to concentration camps and fed LSD to take them under control.  Stuff I liked about this film are Shelly Winters, the song Shape of Things to Come, and a bit part by Richard Pryor. Richard doesn’t do much, but it’s just cool to see him. The movie occupies this weird tone where on one hand it seems to be pandering to the youth movement but the message seems to be “These Goddam kids are getting out of control!”
Ok…so I’m going to go back to trying to eating decent food again. Yesterday for dinner I had pork steak, potatoes, brocholli and carrots for dinner. I washed it down with a beer that was 5.5% instead of the usual I have which is 8%. Yea, me.
More than decade after Max Frost. Goddam kids are still causing trouble

Non-Sequitur #31: Born And Raised On Promises

Get Down, America! Howard the Duck and Beverly by Frank Cho

I bought a wallet. It was black. Pretty cheap. $2.99

I was in the in the Oak Park Post Office recently, they were playing music over the PA. It’s usually middle of the road pop hits, but this time it was Ten Years Gone”  by Led Zeppelin. I’m not the biggest Zep fan, but that’s my favorite song by the band.

I saw the “Old Navy Guy”. The “Old Navy Guy”  is a self appointed preacher who’s been around  for years. He stands in front of The Old Navy  Store on State St in downtown Chicago telling people they are going to Hell. His favorite line is some thing like ” How you goin’ to go to Heaven smokin’ cigarettes?! How you goin’ to go to Heaven bein’ a homosexual?!” There’s been times in the past when people have shouted angry words at the man, but this day things where calm as I far as I could see.

On the way home, I ran into my ex-girlfriend. We lived together for a little over five years. I thought maybe I might have some intellectual  observation on lost love to share. Instead, I have this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RfdYHvonGE&feature=fvst

Random Ex-Girlfriend Story:   She and I lived together for a while. We had our wild days, but it couldn’t continue. I was the one who ended it. We stayed friends for awhile, but gradually we  drifted apart. I’d heard a couple stories about her, but I hadn’t seen her face to face in over two years.

Using the title of an old Tom Waits  song for my own purposes (Downtown Train)

I was getting off one subway train and she was waiting for another going in the opposite direction. I was heading toward the stairs when I heard someone call out my name. Before I could wonder if maybe someone was calling for another person named Edward, I turned and saw her looking at me. I gave her my number and told her to call me anytime on the weekend.

I have to admit that I had been thinking about her recently and kinda missing her a little. I remember that for all our problems together, she was a person that never judged me and completely accepted me with all of my faults (and I had many faults). That’s actually kinda rare in today’s world to find a person that’s forgiving and non-judgemental in general. And its especially rare to have that  in a person  you are involved  in a romantic relationship with. I’ve been a failure in the  romance department in the recent past, so this subject had been on my mind.

Now I remember why we broke up

I got a phone call around 4:00 am in the morning. It was from an unknown number, so at first I thought it may be a wrong number. I mean, this couldn’t be a call from her could it? You know where this is going…of course it was her. She’s like, “I didn’t know when was a good time to call you.” Wha…? When has 4:00 am been a good time to call ANYONE, like EVER??  I’m like, I’m sleep, call me in a few hours. Ok, so at a more reasonable hour, I talk to her again and she asks me to meet her downtown. At first I agree, then I phone immediately back and say that I actually have errands to run and to let’s meet later. She then informs me that she’s almost at the meeting place and why can’t I just meet her now? Because I have things I told you I have to do and I certainly didn’t tell you to leave the house yet. I told her that I’d call her back in a few hours. I went to run my errands and purposely left my phone at home.

Ed is a jerk

When I got back I saw a message on my phone. Something to the effect of, “If you want to meet me, fine. If you don’t that’s fine too.”  Hell, at this point I almost didn’t want to meet her.  Like I said, I missed her kindness, her forgiveness, and her compassionate  spirit. I DIDN’T miss her daytime drunkeness… her half truths, her talking over people, or constant repeating herself. From our last phone conversation I could tell that she might not have been drunk at that moment, but she had been at some point in the last twelve hours. I say this without judgement. Lord knows I still like to drink, but I like to think the worst I’ve done in recent years is post incoherent internet comments. I certainly haven’t appeared to someone face to face to pontificate about everything under the sun  and how everyone we know and everything have done is wrong.

We’ll always have Huron St.

Anyway I did meet her downtown and it wasn’t such a bad reunion. I admit that I kinda made an ass of myself because I kept stating at her trying to determine what state of mind she was in. Just like I can read her, she can read me and I’m sure she noticed this. That’s why she probably felt the the door was open to bring up why our relationship didn’t work in general and imply what was wrong with me in particular. I wasn’t  mad because most of what she said was stuff that I’d thought of myself.  While I know I did the right thing when I broke up with her, sometimes I wonder…I believe that if we’d stayed together and  if somehow we ended up in the gutter somewhere, I think she still wouldn’t have left me. I believe it’s not easy to find that level of devotion in other people. People talk about soul mates, what if your soul mate was another “damaged person” and the only way for either of  you to get your act half way straight was to  split up? I’m being a little overly dramatic. I don’t consider either of us “damaged goods”. After a while, it was time for us to part company. I know she wanted to hang out a little longer and subtlely implied going to her house, but I kinda wanted to go home. Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound macho or suave, but screw it… I was ready to retire.

I kissed her a few times on the cheak and lips. One kiss was particularly passionate.  It was bittersweet in the both the literal and metaphorical since. It was in the 90’s temperture  wise and she had been sweating all day. When I kissed her, I could taste both the salt in the sweat that dripped from her brow and  the sweetness that’s only present on the lips of someone you once loved. As I walked away I told her to call me next weekend. She said that Thursday was her next day off. Then she said, ” I’ll call you six years from next Thursday.”

When I was on the El, I thought that if this was a romantic movie, that would’ve been a cool line to end the film on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLRAbEyvyuU

I had another thing about an old guy on the El, but maybe I’ll save that for another column…

Avengers, Children’s Crusade #6: Great comic book.  Heinberg and Cheung have been doing good for a while now. Great dialogue, great characterizations, great art. Easily the best Avengers title out right now. But I think now we might be sliding into weird conituity area. Hank McCoy shows up and he seems to be on the Avengers team, but if this story takes place in the recent past  (after House of M  and right before Civil War) he should actually be on the X-men.

Butcher Baker the Righteous Maker #2: I wanna know Joe’s  influences for this comic. Some folks have brought up  the Comedian from Watchmen and Marshall Law. I bet there’s some  Wonder Warthog and Cheech and Chong in there as well. Joe is my guy. Cool art from Mike Huddleston.

George Clinton for president. Peace!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNoj-PZbcO8

Non-Sequitur #29: All Those Rich Kids in Oak Park Take Acid

A lovely illustration of Gwen Stacey by Steve Rude

I Deserve Everything Bad That’s Going to Happen To Me: I haven’t been to Burger King in almost three years. Not because of any deep reason…it’s just a little out of the way of where I live and if I want junk food there’s a McDonald’s literally down the block from my place. But one particular day I made an effort to go to Burger King just to  take a walk on a nice day and to break from my normal routine. I decided to try a Triple Whooper with Cheese. It’s been at Burger King  for a while, but I’d never had one. It’s  exactly what you think it is and it’s maybe a little obscene…1230 calories, 225 cholesteral, 550 sodium. This processed mess was served to me piping hot and cost $6.40 for just a sandwich. I choked the whole thing down and I swear I felt dizzy. I’m lucky I didn’t have a heart attack right then. It was one of the worst fast food eating experiences  I’ve had in recent  memory. Of course, I’m dying to try it again.

Oh Canada! More and more my local NPR station is adding shows produced in Canada. I don’t have a problem with this, I just think it’s interesting.

In this issue of Marvel Adventures Black Widow..Wait! That's Veronica from Archie comics! Marvel lawyers are you out there?

“All those rich kids in Oak Park take acid”: That’s what I over heard from a couple of skate board kids on the El not too long ago. It was a few hipster looking youths with a couple of girls they apparently just met. One of the kids took down  an overhead CTA map and stuffed it in his backpack. It seemed like they were all on some sort of elaborate prank maybe? At first I was thinking, “fuggin’ kids…”  Then I thought, “That’s probably more punk rock than anything Fallout Boy ever did.” I’m not hating on Fallout Boy, I’m just saying.

“Hey, Rocky…Watch me revamp the DC Universe!”

“Again? But that trick never works!”

“This time for sure!!”

Veronica #206: So, I’m out spending more money that I can’t afford to spend and out of the corner of my eye I see this issue of Veronica at the local comic book shop. At first i thought it was an all ages Black Widow comic from Marvel. I guess it’s supposed to be a parody and I’m not an expert on copyright law, but hmm…  The comic has something to do with Betty and Veronica leading double lives as sexy super spies. In the first half of the issue, the girls stop a break in at Lodge Industries. They tie up the crooks in a “cocoon” they fire from their wrist gizmos. Like I said, hmm… The second half of the issue concerns Betty and Veronica investigating why the children of Riverdale are all of a sudden acting too rowdy to babysit. Turns out there’s subliminal messages in the children’s television shows causing them to behave outrageously. The conclusion of this story will be published in Betty #192.  Overall, I guess it’s innocent enough. The ads in this issue are a little curious. There’s two ads for the Archie married stories and FOUR for the upcoming Kevin Keller mini-series. I understand wanting to push your new product, but is it necessary to have four different ads for the exact same comic?

Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates #4:  I’ve been really disappointed with the Ultimate comics recently (hey, they’re going to get a reboot too!) , but the cover to this kinda drew me in. This is a tie in with the Death of Spiderman and it’s not terrible. The two Ultimate teams fight. Nick Fury is being set up. There a plot twist. More hi-jinx next issue. Not amazing, just ok. I enjoyed the art in this issue by Lenil Yu and Stephen Segovia. Some people don’t like Lenil’s sketchy style, but here it’s a lot more tight than in other places I’ve seen it.

It’s too bad these guys aren’t more respected

Non-Sequitur #28: Revolution Is Not an AOL Keyword

One of my dumb fantasies is to see a comic book adaptation of this movie drawn by Frank Cho

To paraphrase the Clash, I been drinking brew for breakfast…

The Nice Ladies at My Job Are Nicer Than the Nice Ladies at Your Job: So, my birthday was last weekend. A couple weeks ago, a co-worker suggested doing something for it and even though I told her not to, she made it clear that she’d plan something anyway. She kept asking me what kind of cake I liked. I half jokingly told her I didn’t want any cake, I’d prefer pasta! Sure enuff, this Wednesday she brought sandwiches and pasta for everyone. This is the same woman who made me pork chops last year and who periodically brings spinach dip for the office. The running joke in the office is that if she ever dumps her husband, she’s going to marry me. Another woman brought me a black birthday balloon. All we needed was either a circus motif or a bit more existentialism and it could’ve been a Fellini film…

Dreaming Is Free: So, I know I’m feeling better about things because I’m starting to have weird dreams again. When I’m depressed, I either don’t dream or I don’t remember my dreams. When I’m in a good mood, I remember the goofiest details of my dreams. Hence, Jennifer Aniston invading my sub consciousness. In the dream it’s the middle of the night and I’m trying to catch the El in Chicago. The El looks like it’s from the 40’s and in dis-repair. It’s literally about to fall apart.  Some guys I kinda half know come along and we decide to go to their apartment and chill. Jennifer is there and we all watch TV and hang out. One by one the other guys gradually leave the room and me and Jennifer get “romantic”. When they come back I think, “Hmm…these are Jen’s guy friend, I wonder if she had them set this up?” Please understand that while I think Jennifer is an attractive woman, I’m not a super-fan or anything. I don’t go to see her movies and I haven’t watched Friends in years.  Yet here she is getting her buddies to set me up with her…

AGGHH! FUGGIN’ COMPUTERS!! IT SAVED HALF MY DRAFT AND THE REST WAS EATEN UP BY CYBER SPACE! Anyway…

This was a pretty interesting story regarding ageism in advertising  http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/episode/season-5/2011/05/28/season-five-ageism-in-advertising-1/

Secret Avengers #12.1: I know, I know…the ” Point 1″ initiative is Marvel’s marketing dept bending over the fans. But at least Nick Spencer’s a gentle lover and he brought some stimulating lube ( er, I know…disturbing metaphor, let’s move on).  I really like the cover by Mike Deodato. I kinda think it’s funny that Hank McCoy’s face is the only one that’s detailed, but I guess if it weren’t, he’d be a shadow under Steve Roger’s armpit. Readers might wonder who’s legs are behind Steve. Comics Alliance ( I think) did a snarky review calling it Capt America vs Wicki-Links, but that’s not far off. A person dressed in the old US Agent’s costume leaks government secrets in the name of justice, but the information will put the lives of many  govt double agents at risk, so Steve and the gang have to bring him down. The story does work as a stand alone issue and manages to touch on currents events in the news that I don’t think will be too dated a few years from now.

Secret Avengers #13: Wow, I’m going to miss Nick Spencer when he leaves this book. This is a very well crafted story that ties into Fear Itself . The Beast tries to save an old friend who’s holed up at the Senate while Washington DC is under attack. This story is able to combine current Marvel continuity, civil rights, superhero action, AND still work as an entertaining  stand alone story. Nice art from Scot Eaton too ( although he draws cat-Beast). Boy, do I wish more superhero comics were this good.

Batman Inc #6: I’m still having fun with this title. In this issue we get a further explanation of Bruce’s idea for the Batman Inc concept that almost makes sense. We also learn a little more about the threat that Bruce is assembling his Bat-Army to fight. Complex, yet breezy and fun,,,this title makes me wish I could be a comic book writer.

Astonishing X-Men #37: A straight forward tale about the X-men fighting a giant monster in Tokyo while Armor attends a family funeral. I mostly bought it for the Jason Pearson and Sara Pichelli art. Heavy, detailed, cartoony, and energetic all at the same time…I really enjoyed the visuals. I might hunt down the previous issues. The thing I didn’t like…this issue ends on a cliff hanger, yet the next issue starts a new story with other members of the cast and a different creative team! Wha?

A Political Song For Michael Jackson to Sing: I was listening to a radio interview with Mike Watt, bassist of the legendary punk band the Minute Men. The part that stuck in my mind was when the guys ask Mike about the jazz influence in the band’s sound. Mike says something like, “We never knew about jazz when we were kids, so when we heard it, at first we thought they were like punk guys who were old. We didn’t realize that Coltrane had died years ago and that this music was done in the 50’s.”  Check it out if yer so inclined here, I think…http://www.soundopinions.org/

Gil Scott Heron passed away. Sometimes I wonder if the revolution WAS televised, but we were all too busy to realize that it got co-opted.

Non-Sequitur #25:Brothers and Sisters, Why Are We Fighting?

Stop fighting,ladies...you're BOTH pretty!

So Spike Lee and Tyler Perry are beefing. Tyler saying Spike can go to hell because of something Spike said implicating Tyler regarding “coonery and bufoonery” in the media. http://concreteloop.com/2011/04/round-the-way-tyler-perry-tells-spike-lee-to-go-straight-to-hell-steve-harveys-intern-steals-10k-from-himI was going to get all deep and political then I thought about it…isn’t Tyler responding to something Spike said in 2009 when he was promoting Miracle at St Anna’s. And isn’t Tyler promoting his latest film now? At first you think this is a debate about race, media images, and politics, then you wonder how much this is about artists hawking their wares. Thing is, the issues they brought up ARE worth discussing. The images of race, gender, and religion that appear in the media do affect the way some people view others. It’s totally worth discussing how certain stereotypes are not only accepted, but are also commercial in today’s culture. On the other hand it’s dismaying to see two popular black directors sniping at each other about who’s good for black people. And it’s a little disheartening to see other black people thinking they need to take sides. Personally, I think Spike has made some good films ( and some not so great ones). I think Tyler is serving an audience that is not always catered to ( I need a few more slo-mo gun fights in my flicks tho). We don’t have to choose between one black voice or the other in Hollywood, there’s room for both…and many more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp_jEryyND8

Random El Sighting: Ok, so I’m on th el and saw a French family. It was two guys and three children. The kids were goofing off and one of them actually said, “Oo-la-la”. I am not joking. Anyway, I thought they were either tourists or visiting someone in town and I was like, “What a nice French family visiting our first class international city.” I sat down next to a young black man who I assumed was from the west side. THEN he started speaking into his I-Phone in what sounded like it could have been French as well. Welcome to Chicago, mon ami.

Also, I’m always amused when the green-line el passes over the Chicago River and children are like, “Oh, look at the water!” It just makes me laugh.

X-Men Anime: I saw the first couple of episodes on You Tube and so far it’s not a bad cartoon. However, I am disappointed by how physically weak Storm is depicted. Back in the day Storm was always portrayed as one of the most powerful X-men characters. Heck, I remember back when Storm had NO POWERS and still defeated Cyclops in a duel to determine who had the right to lead the team. The Storm on this show uses her powers and faints every five minutes. Goddess…

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: This is another show I’ve been catching on You Tube. I like it a lot more than I thought I would. I have to give credit to head writer Christopher Yost. The show displays are real knowledge and reverence for Marvel comics history as well as an appreciation of modern continuity. There’s a good mix of old and new stories and characters, a nice blend of interesting personality types and the tales are exciting and dramatic. This exactly what I want from a superhero team show. I hope the live action Avengers movie does a similarly good job.

The New York Five #3: Not earth shattering, but interesting. The title continues the trials and tribulations of young female college students. The comic almost comes across as a love letter to hip New York. If I had a complaint, I’d say that it comes across maybe a little too glamorized? Sure, all the characters have problems and serious issues they have to deal with, but everyone is pretty and hip and living a lifestyle that a lot of young people dream of living. No one’s overweight. Even though the characters aren’t wealthy, class issues aren’t a major part of the story. With a bit of tweaking I could almost imagine this as a series on the CW (that’s not an insult).

Fear Itself #1: I know, I know…I complain all day long about event comics and here I am buying an event comic. My only reason/justification is that I really like Stuart Immonen’s art. The art here is gorgeous, it’s lovely, and it was worth buying for it’s own sake. The story isn’t terrible. but let’s see how that goes.

Non-Sequitur #24: Feeling Brand New, I Jumped Up

The sun came out! The sun came out! Yea! It's sunny outside!

The sun finally came out this past weekend and I couldn’t be happier! Sunshine! Damn near three weeks straight of  day after day after day of gray cloudy skies. I was damn near ready to slit my wrists! Ok, not really and that’s probably not something to joke about, but I have been pretty down recently for a variety of personal reasons and the cold dreary climate didn’t help my out look. When I was younger I used to scoff at the idea of people’s moods being affected by constant gloomy weather, but now I know there’s definitely something to it. Heck… I know ultimately we all die alone in a cruel unfair universe, but right now  I’m groovin’ on the ladies in their skirts and open toe shoes! The sun came out! Yea!

The other day I turned the corner to walk into my building and I was hit by a pungent and familiar oder. I thought, “Where the F*CK  is this weed smell coming from?!” I looked half a block down and saw a young man walking with his girl friend who was carrying laundry. A puff a smoke  floated around his head. I remember thinking “I hope a cop hits him in the head.” Not cuz I’m anti-weed or anything, but because I couldn’t believe he’d be so stupid to be smoking a blunt walking down the middle of the street like that. If you want to do your thing, go home or find some secluded area, ok? Look, I get it…I know what it’s like to be young and arrogant, “See, I’m so bad-ass I smoke my sh*t right in the open! I don’t give f*ck! Acknowledge my coolness!”  I just feel like, dude…please get a clue.

This past Saturday I walked past the Daley Center in Chicago. I saw a gospel group having a  sound-check. It looked like it was for some sort of pro-union rally that was going to be happening later on.  Aside from the teenagers on the stage, there didn’t seem to be too many young people there. Most of the crowd seemed to be middle-aged. I’m not sure if this says anything about how people in their twenties feel about unions these days. Hell, I was there early, they could have showed up later. I just thought the demographic was interesting at the time.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7XiFMa0iDw

One of my favorite David Bowie songs is Life On Mars. About three days ago I found out that Barbara Streisand did a cover of it back in the 70’s. And I can’t even get snarky about it cuz you know what? It’s not terrible and in a strange way it makes perfect sense that Babs would sing this song seeing as Bowie wrote it as kind of a response to My Way which has been done by a multitude of old style crooners. Here it is.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rtL73TSHxM Stop being a hipster and just listen to it.

Avengers, The Children’s Crusade #5: First of all, this comic is really Young Avengers.  It’s probably called Avengers:Sub-Title for marketing reasons, but whatever. The plot is about Wiccan and Speed trying to find the Scarlet Witch and discover if she’s in fact their mother. The other Young Avengers join the adventure to support their teammates and the emotional weight of the story centers on the young heroes. The adult New Avengers just kinda guest star. This issue features the return of Iron Lad. Iron Lad takes the team back in time to the start of “Avengers Disassembled” and things get kinda hairy. Well written, great characterization, and lovely, lovely art. The story by Heinberg is driven by dialogue and almost none of it seems unnecessary. The art is by Jim Cheung. Did I happen to mention I think it’s lovely?

Batman Inc #4: Not an all time great issue, but very interesting. There’s a guest appearance by the new Batwoman and fun flashback of the pre-crisis Batwoman. Somehow this ties into Batman’s current adventure in South America with Gaucho. Grant Morrison’s greatest strength? Being able to include all the camp stuff in a way that doesn’t make Batman look like a clown and being able to portray modern Batman in a manner that doesn’t make him seem like a paranoid control freak. I’m intrigued enough to pick up the next issue.

Ultimate Captain America #4: Ultimate Captain America is an asshole. I’m sorry, but that’s they way his personality is written and I don’t think he’s a “cool” asshole or an “edgy” asshole or a “necessary evil” asshole or an “interesting character study” asshole. He’s just some kinda fuggin’ ASSHOLE. I want 616 Steve Rogers to go to the Ultimate Universe and back hand this guy and put him in check. On a positive  note, I really enjoy the Ron Garney art. Just enough of old school  bronze age storytelling to give a dramatic and cinematic feel to the tale. Really great visuals. Too bad the protagonist is a JERK.

This song makes me feel good

Non-Sequitur #20: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

I found this Revy cosplay image on a site called airsoftforum.com

We had an election this week. And in a city that’s plagued with corruption, crime, a shaky educational system, racial tensions, and failing public transportation; we  felt it was in our best interests to pick the guy curses the most. Welcome to fuckin’ Chicago, bitches! Now get the fuck outa my way.

Random Work Incident: A supervisor at my job will be leaving next week, so Friday we had a little mini-going away deal. We gave her a card and took pictures…the usual. One co-worker made sandwiches and her famous spinach dip. It’s delicious. It has spinach and uh, er…ingredients and uh, dip type stuff? I don’t know, ok? I just just know it’s yummy! If I could get away with it, I’d just sit there  with a big spoon and pig out. By the way, this same co-worker surprised me on my birthday with pork chops. Yes, she is a very cool lady and an excellent cook.

Random Pretentious Sounding Crap I Got at the Grocery Store: Greek Vegetable Salad Kit, Country Maid Capellini with Asiago Pasta Salad, and some kinda stuffed eggplant thing. The eggplant thing  went well with high gravity lager.

Random Bank Mishap: I had a meeting with a guy at my bank. I thought it was going to be painful or that he was going to try pressure me into all sorts of plans or investments that I didn’t want but that didn’t happen. We talked about possible financial planning for about 30-40 minutes then I left. So, no actual mishap.

Um, I guess comics…right?

Secret Avengers #10: Big battle issue. The team arrives to save Shang Chi. Kinda thin story wise, but still kinda enjoyable. Right about now, I’m ready for there to be a little more meat on my SA stories, though. Hopefully, that’ll be taken care of next issue with a story about John Steele. I hope we also learn more about the Shadow Council. Goofy comic book moment: Moon Knight is somehow able to wear his cape underneath the Shadow Council uniform he was wearing when he infiltrated their ranks.

Batgirl #18: On Valentine’s Day, Batgirl teams up with Klarion the Witch Boy to stop his cat who’s been turned into a monster because of magic or something. It’s one and done. Lighthearted and kinda sweat. Not bad.

Captain America #614: Bucky is on trial  for crimes he committed as the Winter Soldier, while Sin, the Red Skull’s daughter threatens to blow up the Statue of Liberty. Tight well paced story by Brubaker, and nice art by Butch Guice. Guice is obviously using modern tools to help him, but I really like the panels that are just him doing pen and ink. How often these days do you someone who’s influenced by Gene Colon? I hope these images don’t turn out to be swipes I’m not aware of. There’s a Nomad back up that I’m indifferent towards.

New Ultimates #5: Bought this for the Frank Cho art. Very Lovely. Frank’s figures are a joy to behold. The cover seems reminiscent of Secret Wars 1. I guessing that’s on purpose. Storywise…ugh. I can’t remember the last time I was so bored by a comic that had so much action in it. Sure, there’s fights and a giant battle but it just seems so blah. Stuff happens and it just like “so what?” There’s no tension, no drama, no suspense. The irony about this comic is that here Ultimate Cap is alot  more likeable personality wise than in his appearances in other Ultimate comics. Of course, this probably due to the fact that Jeff  Loeb can’t be bothered to pay attention to what other writers are doing and the Marvel editors don’t care enough to tell him no.

Tha’s all I got for now. Take it easy