Non-Sequitur # 57: A Chance For Folks To Meet

The Simple Things You Say Are All Complicated!

Yeah, so like I had a lot of stuff on my mind, then I forgot a lot of it,  then I thought of some other things to write about, then I got lazy, so um…let’s just jump in here…

I walked  to the grocery store early this morning and when I turned down one particular street, I saw  workers towing tons of cars. It was very weird then I remembered that they changed the route of the Gay Pride Parade this year and the starting point was actually in my neighborhood. I looked around and noticed all sorts of little signs on the trees that had messages about parking restrictions. I thought yeah, lots of people are gonna come out of these apartments in a couple hours and be PISSED.

A couple hours later I went to a different grocery store to buy beer. Masses of people had started to gather for the pride parade and then I thought, “Hey, this is the corner where those young dudes sometimes try to sell weed. I bet they won’t be out here today.”  Sure enough, as I passed their favorite awning, I walked by a dude on his cell phone pleading with one of his buddies, “But…Dude! Yer missin’ out on all this money! An’ I’m mad at so-and-so cuz I cain’t even get him on the phone!” I kinda wondered if his buddies didn’t want to come out because they were homophobic or if they were just more than likely concerned about increased police presence.

Sort of related to the above, yesterday, I passed the liquor store and there were a few guys  having a heated discussion out front. It was two wino looking guys  and one slightly younger dude in a shirt and tie. The tie guy was saying, “God’s not gonna go to Phelps ( I can only assume they were talking about the Father Phelps who goes around protesting gays at the funerals of dead soldiers) and say, ‘Ok, what was he doing…and what was he  doing…and what was he doing’…God’s gonna come and say, ‘What were YOU doing?” One of the wino guys replied, “But would YOU have sex with another man? Would YOU suck a dick?” I kinda thought…homie, if yer gonna get into a religious argument, ya gotta do better than, “But would you suck a dick?”  Understand, I’m not  making a case one way of the other for homosexuality, BUT…I’m not going to grow my beard out right now, that doesn’t automatically mean I think that people who do are morally suspect.

Yesterday, I walked to the local comic book store. On one particular corner ( at a strip mall nowhere near the comic book store by the way)  I saw a dude dressed like a superhero just sort of standing there. His suit was white with gold accents and he had sort of a Thor looking head piece with wings on the side. Thing is, I’d seen him a few weeks ago at the corner near my house ( his name was Spear Guardian or something, I can’t remember exactly). At that time, I thought he must be going to some party or event or just cosplaying for fun or something. Now I wonder if he’s trying to become the Phoenix Jones of the north side or whatever. All I can say is do yer thing, bud…but be careful. There’s lots of wannabe drug dealers with drooping pants around here, but there’s also real criminals too, so watch yer back.

Um, what else? …Oh!

Last weekend I went downtown to an indie comics convention. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. It was right before the Puerto Rican Day Parade ( Yes, another parade. It’s Chicago. From here on in there’s not going to be one weekend without either a parade or neighborhood fest, just deal with it). The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo was at Columbia College downtownhttp://www.cakechicago.com/. I got down there a little early, so I killed time at a Harold’s Chicken on Wabash St. I gotta say, that Harold’s is way better than the one by my house. It was bigger and extremely well light. The small fries I ordered would have been a large at almost any other eating establishment.

I didn’t check out any of the comics for sale at the convention cuz I’d already spent my comics budget for the week and I was mainly interested in seeing one  panel about women and atuobio comics. I thought they’d have an unique perspective on the medium. The artists had pretty interesting things to say about visual style and how much of real life they choose to put into their strips. I was a little surprised when one of the women made a random Jack Kirby  reference, but what REALLY surprised me was all the 80’s punk rock music that was playing over the loudspeakers before the panel started. Here’s what stood out that I can remember…

7  Seconds – Clenched Fists Black Eyes

Black Flag –You Bet We’ve Got Something Personal Against You

Fear-I Love Living In The City

Misfits –40 Eyes

Fugazi- I don’t know which song, but I know it was Fugazi

Ramones- Blitzkrieg Bop

I totally remember that stuff from my teenage years. Hearing it in this venue made me feel both young again and very old at the same time. Fuggin’ mortality…

Also, last weekend there a street fest right here in my neighborhood. It was Chicago Pizza Fest or something. Even though it was within walking distance, I didn’t participate. The food they had there was exactly the same stuff I can get any day of the week only cheaper. They had live music of course. The headliners were 80’s new wave pop stars Berlin   and a local group called Too White Crew.  The bands might have gotten  me out there, then I remembered I only like one song by Berlin. An’ no…not Take Your Breath Away, but Masquerade.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azr2ooLlfzQ The other group was Too White Crew, they’re a local group that  does hip-hop/pop cover from the 90’s.  I didn’t make the effort to stay. Then it turned out I needn’t bothered anyway cuz Too White Crew  were so loud that I could hear them from my apartment with the window up. Luckily, I guess, I like TLC and have nostalgic feelings for Bev  Biv Devoe, otherwise I might have been pissed.

Um, ok…as I finished typing that last paragraph, my internet went out. I figured, “Alright, I’ll go out and get some beer and come back to it.” Outside right now the streets are swarming  with young people. I guess because of events related to Pride Day. On the way back to my house , I saw two girls and one guy who I’m going to assume was gay walking towards me. It seemed they had just exchanged words with a couple of thug looking guys behind them. The guy was saying, “I thought I heard him call me  a bitch! I was gonna blah, blah, blah!”  I walked by the thugs, the bigger of the two I sorta recognize from the neighborhood. His partner, however, I noticed had his pants sagging in the stereotypical “gangsta” way. They were literally just past his ass. I’m thinking like, “You wanna make fun of a guy for being gay. but you have your underwear showing. Do you even know where that ‘fashion’ started?” OH, THE FUCKING IRONY.

Comedian #1: When Before Watchmen was announced I said I wasn’t going to buy this one. I was at the comic store and bought it anyway.I was disappointed. Fuck me.

Enuff negativity! Let’s remember sweet, sweet music! Martha and the Vandellas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdvITn5cAVc

 

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Non-Sequitur #30: Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It

Dracula vs Dr. Strange by the great Gene Colan

So, finally I get a weekend where I’m not busy with important stuff or hung over or both. I think to myself, “Hey, maybe I should finally drag my lazy ass over to the theatre and check out that X-Men:First Class movie, it’s gotten some decent reviews!” I pick up the newspaper and look through the movie section and of course it’s no longer playing. Guess it my own fault for procrastinating.

I could have gone to Taste of Chicago which is an annual festival of food and music in town. A great variety of restaurants have booths and it’s possible to sample all kinds of tasty delights the city has to offer. Thing is, it’s always crowded and the food is expensive. I’ve gone in the past just to experience the music. In the recent years, I’ve seen folks from Stevie Wonder to Cheap Trick  to Macy Gray perform, but this year’s list seems kinda “meh”. Then I thought, “I should go anyway and take pictures for the blog!”  Then I remembered my camera is not working properly ( which is why I couldn’t share the C2E2 pictures I took). So, yeah…

I didn’t want to sit in the house, so…I went to Target and bought some pants.

On the way home, I saw a statuesque beauty trying to hail a cab. At least six feet tall and with her fancy hair do she might have been 6′ 4”. Tight jeans, black top, reddish brown hair…she could have been an Amazonian palace guard.

Then I walked past her and realized that “she” was a man. Oh, well…I guess she was still a pretty man.

I got about a block and a half away and looked back and saw that she was still trying to hail a cab. I found this usual because in that particular area, it’s not hard at all to get a cab in the middle of the day. I saw cabbies out. Were they all otherwise engaged or did they notice what I noticed? Did the cabs not want to pick up my new friend because she may have been “trans” or was I inventing things in my head be

The Legend Gene Colan

cause I remember what it was like to be followed around in department stores when I was younger because I was African American?

When I got back home I saw someone had put a rainbow flag in the window of the building management’s office. That’s when I realized it’s Pride Day or something. To tell you the truth, I was a little surprised by the flag in the office window. Yeah, I know there’s a couple of gay people in the building, but there’s also some pretty conservative folks as well. I was just surprised that management was willing to make such an obvious political statement.That’s all.

Anyway, the sun was still shining and it was still much too nice a day to stay inside. I could have gone to the beach and read one of the many books that folks have given me over the the last couple of years that I still  haven’t found time to read ( I got a couple of Dean Koontz, a Katherine Neville, an Ed McBain, and a bunch more). Then I thought about how I’m getting more and more out of shape and how I need to be more active. I decided to take a walk and stretch my legs and just take in the beautiful day.

I made it all the way to Clark and Addison and was a little hungry, so I decided to reward myself with some Taco Bell. Yes, yes…I know. One step forward and two steps back. I fully expect to go to hell for some of the health choices I’ve been making over  the last year or so. I haven’t been to this particular Taco Bell in a few months. I think the last time was when I saw the movie Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I actually recognized the woman  who took my order. She had a  tattoo and an odd gap between her teeth ( like myself). Maybe about 35-ish? But a hard 35. She was enthusiastic and friendly and seemed serious about her job even though it’s a fast food joint. I totally want to marry her.  In my mind though I imagine she’s already got a man. He’s twice my size and can kick my ass without breaking a sweat. Anyway…

After I left Taco Bell, I realized that I hadn’t bought new comics in a couple of weeks and I wasn’t that far from a store called Chicago Comics. So, I decided to walk a little further. I don’t get to go to Chicago Comics that often, but when I do it’s always fun to just look around. Of course, they’ve got the latest mainstream titles, but they’ve also got an interesting section of alternative and indie titles as well as DIY comics by local artists. Plus they’ve got an interesting selection books and magazines. For what it’s worth, I bought a copy of Fritz the Cat on VHS from this store back in the mid-90’s. I only bought a few comics though, because over the last couple of days I ordered a bunch of stuff online and really couldn’t afford to spend too much. Around this time, I felt my stomach turning over from the Taco Bell food I ate and knew maybe I should head home.

It's summer! I don't care what you say, pretty girls in flip flops are sexy!

Ok, by this time I’m by Clark and Belmont right where the Dunkin Donuts is. Back in my day this specific Dunkin Donuts was nick-named “Punkin Donuts”  because of all the punk rock and alternative type folks who used to hang out there. On this particular day, there was a DJ playing some dance music. The street was blocked off and completely packed. I don’t know if Belmont was the official starting place for the parade or whatever, but it definitely felt like it was. No cars and tons of men, women, young folks and families filling the streets. There was no way I was going to make it back to my place on foot, so I was trying to reach the El Train.

I made it to the platform. The train going my direction came and it was filled to capacity with young people getting off at Belmont. Most of them got off  so I was able to easily find a seat. Directly in front of me was a woman who had her head down with her fingers on the bridge of her nose, like she was stressed out. I almost said something to her, but I thought maybe I should mind my own business. She probably was just a little overwhelmed from being squished with all those other passengers. At least I hope that’s what it was.

So, I made it back to my neighborhood and went to a mom and pop store and bought some alcohol..er, no! I mean, uh… this day taught me about uh, the beauty of summer! I had had an epiphany about the brotherhood of man and the glory of civil rights! Um, youth and justice prevails over all and uh…the moral is ah…hell! What really happened was I took a nice long walk, enjoyed the sunshine, saw some nice people and came home.

Then I fought with my cassette player. It’ll play may Scotch mix tapes form ’88  fine, but I have to fight with it over my HR mix tapes from ’90. Whatever…

This is a very interesting analysis of Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Electra:Assassin. http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v3_1/tobe/  

Hey, here’s a fun comic book website I stumbled on. Mars Will Send No More! http://marswillsendnomore.wordpress.com/

Also, check out this young lady’s You Tube channel. It’s classical piano covers of rock songs and many of them are hard rock/metal songs. In my fantasies when I direct my horror/action movie, this version of Metallica’s song will be the theme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWW38l0RhFI

I guess I read a comic book when I came home…

Alpha Flight #1: Story by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and the art is by Dale Eaglesham and Andrew Hennessy. Um, you know what?  This isn’t terribly different than the way I’ll write this comic if Marvel called me up and offered it to me. The only thing is, I’d include more characters from the You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me arc from the early 2000’s. The original team reforms and fights Attuma. Canada declares martial law and there’s a twist/cliffhanger. I’m interested enough to want to get the next issue.

Secret Avengers #14: It’s a Fear Itself  tie-in, but so what. It’s very good issue by Nick Spencer and Scot Eaton. It basically concerns normal soldiers fighting Sin’s ( the Red Skull’s daughter) mechs as they attack New York and the parallels between Valkyrie and  the soldier’s battles and heartbreaks. Nice art and Nick is able to do what some writers seem to neglect, that is  tell a story that works as a one and done yet at the same time ties in to a larger arc or cross-over.

Also, Patti LaBelle. I don’t have anything deep to say here, just Patti LaBelle…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRDTBNVWKOw

 

 

 

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 #17: I Come From The Land of Ice and Snow

Chicago Blizzard, I think this pic is from 1967.

It’s snowing right now! Big mid-west blizzard watch, baby! It’s harsh so get the eff out the way!

So, I go to work today and the power is out. The snow hasn’t even begun and the power is out. Pretty obvious omen, or not. A  guy gave me..Whoa! What was that? That was thunder right as I type this blog! The gods are angry…a guy gave me a lantern so I could go to the restroom. And yes, I did resist the urge to do the Green Lantern oath while no one else was around. The supervisor told us to sit tight. Most of the other workers went to one of the conference rooms that had big windows, so they wouldn’t have to sit in the dark. I stayed at my desk and took a nap for a half an hour. The power came back on and we all had to change seats and restart everything. Of Course, my phone jack wouldn’t  work  so I had to stretch the cord to the  jack next to me. Then my computer had to re-install software which took what seemed like another 15 minutes. Then I couldn’t get to the program I needed to be at and the supervisor who seemed already stressed out had to give me a new URL. Supervisor told us some new rules regarding procedures which I immediately forgot as I was doing what she told us we had to change (I’m old, lemme alone). Despite all this, I think I got a substantial amount of work done. AND they bought us coffee and donuts! Eff, yeah!

Random Chicago Politics: Carol Moseley Braun snaps on someone…again. First she tries to grill Rahm Emmanuel on whether or not he told someone from the NRA to “take take the tampon out of your mouth” and “let’s talk tampons”, now she just told a minor rival, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, “You didn’t know where I was  for the last 20yrs is because you were strung out on  crack.” Carol, Carol, Carol…

Random Food Item: There’s a civil suit against Taco Bell stating that their Ha! Was that lightning? It ain’t nuthin’ nice outside…stating that their beef is only 35% meat. Taco Bell counters that their meat product is 88% meat and the rest is water and seasoning. I dunno…as someone who’s eaten their soft tacos, that 35% claim is believable to me.

Random Educational Item: Best Of Our Knowledge  on NPR recently did a show on graphic novels. I’m not sure they really gave any understanding on what graphic novels are or what are some books you should pick up, however…the show did feature some interesting segments. There’s an interview with Jules Fieffer, an overview of Will Eisner’s work, and and interview with R, Crumb and his daughter Sophie. http://www.wpr.org/book/110130a.cfm

Some comics I got, but didn’t read over the weekend…

Detective Comics #872: I really like the cover. It’s  a close up of Batman in a gas mask and there’s a reflection of a hand holding a raised crowbar. If you know the history of Batman, it’s really powerful. If you don’t it’s still cool and slick looking. As a visual, it’s moody, dark , and intriguing…it makes the viewer wonder what’s going on. I also like the story. It concerns this Batman (Dick Grayson) investigating a circle of rich ghouls who bid  on crime artifacts. It’s suspenseful and makes me want to pick up the next issue. Minor nic-pick…a not nice guy dies and Dick and Babs cover it up and commit cyber-identity fraud. I know the man was a bad guy, but they still broke the law. It’s still a good story, I’m just saying…

Secret Avengers #9: Steve Rogers! Shang Chi! John Steele! Fist fight on a rooftop! Action!! Suspense! I can’t wait to see the end of this story. The back pages promote Marvel’s Point One Initiative where they force fans to buy an EXTRA  issue, but pretend they’re giving you a break cuz the .01 issue is lower priced. Effers! I actually buy SA every month! Why are you effing with me?

The New York Five #1: The story of five college age young women who uh, live in New York. Interesting set up and I like that the art is in black and white. It reminds me of the indie/alternative comics I read back in the 90’s. It’s a weird thing to say, but I feel the story would have had more impact if Ryan Kelly’s art was just a little bit… “rawer’? It’s not bad, it just seems to me maybe almost too slick for the story. Minor nit-picks: Riley thinks her sister’s band is the best…I think it would be funny if either the narrative or another character would state that they really aren’t that good a’la  Hopey’s band from Love and Rocket’s. Also, Lona’s behavior is supposed to be odd and quirky? It’s criminal and stalker-ish. I’d call the cops! I hope this is dealt with in realistic manner. On the other hand, I’m in… I hope Vertgo doesn’t go under cuz this is the sort of thing that has the potential to reach a wider audience.

Now I..Hey, it stopped for moment.Should I go out and maybe get some beer? Maybe I’ll just go  to bedanyway, Metallica and stuff…


oh, I hear more thunder

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 http://ourvaluedcustomers.blogspot.com/

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

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! http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.com/2010/12/making-sense-of-mighty-avengers-from.html

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

Non-Sequitur #6: It Don’t Matter, We Just Do It For the Kicks

 

This illustrates the paradoxical shift of values in a post industrial society and,uh...screw it! I just thought the picture was sexy.

 

The Rev. Meeks said he might give up his church so that he can run for mayor of Chicago. Some people called a local radio angry because they felt like he has abandoned his calling. I felt like… calm down, please. He hasn’t been caught in a scandal yet. He hasn’t rejected God. If he’s truly a moral person and he brings that sensibility into the political arena, can’t that be seen as a positive thing? On the other hand, he hasn’t said a g*d damned word about how he going to fix the g*d damned CTA.

Just drank one beer and am fighting the temptation to drink the last two in the refrigerator. Gotta go the work tomorrow, but it’s 6% alcohol as opposed the 8% or more that I normally drink on a Friday. Let’s see how I feel by the end of this post.

Random Best Song to Sing While Drunk: Living On a Prayer by Bon Jovi. This is the only Bon Jovi song I know the words to. Jon must have thought he was Bruce Springsteen for a minute and with the right “encouragement” so will you.

Justice League of America #51: I gave up on this comic awhile back and thought I’d give it another try. It was not terrible. Basically, Washington DC is under an energy dome while the League fights the Crime Syndicate and villian named Omega Man. The issue is mostly a big fight and the JLA trying to take apart some evil machine. Mark Bagley’s art is enjoyable enough. It’s competent, professional, and just dynamic and kinetic enough to be fun. In an odd way he makes me think of old silver/bronze age guys like maybe Sal Buscema. On one hand they’re just doing a job and not crafting fancy works of fine art, but on the other hand, they get the job done. I’m guessing James Robinson’s story will read better in trade. There’s little attempt to catch the reader up. I was able to figure out what was happening, but I already had a passing familiarity with most of the characters. I imagine someone new to comics or the JLA would be lost. For example, Tangent Universe Green Lantern is in this comic for literally two panels and I was like, “What? Is she like Marvel’s Watcher now?” I had to re-read it to get how she fit into the plot. A paragraph or a “previously last issue” page would have helped.

New Avengers #6: Ok, this is the end of the first arc. It was basically New Avengers by way of Ghostbusters. On the whole it was alright. I really liked the first few issues, then it got bogged down with a bad case of “writing for the trade-itis”. I would have enjoyed this story a lot more if it where 4 issues instead of six. Someone dies a traditional comic book death meaning this person died under vague circumstances doing something heroic. I’m happy the person died this way instead of getting ambushed and chainsawed to death or a shotgun to the head which would have been more typical for some modern superhero comics. Stuart Immonen’s art is still undeniably great though.

Secret Avengers #6: Aw, yeah! Ed Brubaker is still scratching my superhero team itch. No deconstruction, no event tie-ins, no pizza eating…just intrigue, plot, and good guys-fighting-bad guys-chasing-good guys. This is the start of a new arc guest starring Shang Chi, master of kung fu. An interesting note, the red pajamas Shang wore in the 70’s as street clothes, here he wears… AS PAJAMAS!  Also it’s about time Marvel came up with a name for Shang’s father. Back in the day it was Fu Manchu, but legally Marvel can’t use that name anymore. This “my father-your father-his father” bit is going to get old soon. Another nit-pick…Steve Rogers goes on these “black ops” missions wearing his Super Soldier  costume. Doesn’t he know that one of these thugs he knocks out will wake up and realize that he works for the US government?

I’ve drunk one of the beers and I’ve cracked the last one open. I have no will power.

No one wants to admit it but this was the bomb back in the 80’s

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get some magic new wave shades and some leather pants!