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Thursday, January 27, 2005


So there's this genius kid in England who read the Encyclopedia Britannica, found five mistakes, and sent them a letter correcting them. That's awesome. I'm kinda like that, except instead of things that actually matter, I find fault with comics and then whine about them incessantly on my interweb diary, and my genius manifests itself in other ways.

So this morning while Melanie was busy baking delicious pies, I was doing new comics in the back of the shop. Now this may come as a surprise to you, but I'm a big fan of war comics, specifically the DC ones. There's a sense of grandeur and mythology there that rivals anything in the superhero books. I mean, look at Sgt. Rock. He starts off pretty rough in a story where he talks about working in a steel mill roughly 34 times, but by the time you've got Joe Kubert doing some of the best covers in comics, there are some pretty amazing stories in there to go with 'em. There's the return of the Iron Major and how Rock is the only man to ever escape from Stalag 19, and the one where Jackie Johnson has to fight the Nazi heavyweight champion who keeps screaming "YOUR BLOOD IS BLACK LIKE YOUR SKIN! SHOW ME! SHOW ME THE COLOR OF YOUR BLOOD!" and ends up saving his life with a transfusion after he beats the hell out of him! That's frigg'n awesome!

The Losers, Enemy Ace, Gravedigger, Haunted Tank, they're all great. Love 'em all. Heck, I thought Jeb Stuart was a fictional character until last year.

That's why I flipped out in the back today when I saw this. It's got to be one of the craziest, most nonsensical things I've ever seen, and I loved it immediately. I popped it open and read through the story--"ONE WAY STREET!"--later, and boy, is it nuts.

So there's this dude named Joe Boomer, called Dynamite Joe because he's apparently really into blowing shit up. Someone finally realizes that this guy's probably completely lost his marbles and so they tell him "Okay, pal, you're a messenger now," and give him a note. So he hops in his jeep and heads towards enemy lines mumbling about how they can't take HIS dynamite away and by God he'll put a crateful in this jeep if he wants to.

Yes, he's heading towards enemy fire with a crate of dynamite on the seat beside him.

So when he gets there, he finds out that everybody's dead except for four guys who are pretty much the Village People of war comics: Smart Guy, Big Guy, Kid, and Indian, whose dialogue is wretched: "Me am Scout. Me fight like Indian anscestors... but win!"


So Easy Co. Lite gets ambushed while they're driving around. They run into a landmine which flips the jeep over and almost completely destroys it. That box of TNT Joe has sitting on the passenger seat? Just fine. So Joe figures he'll have to do something drastic to get out of this situation, and the overwhelming tide of racial slurs he throws out just isn't cutting it. Then, seeing Scout's bow and arrow (which he carries in the middle of World War II because, you know, he's an Indian), he gets the bright idea to tie bundles of dynamite to arrows and shoot them at the trees the Japanese soldiers are hiding behind. Against all odds, and logic, and aerodynamics, it works.

It's exactly the kind of thing Tom Brokaw had in mind when he called them The Greatest Generation.


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