I've Moved! Check out the all-new, all-different Invincible Super-Blog at www.The-ISB.com!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I wasn't going to write anything for the ol' ISB tonight, but hell. It's not every day that you see an explosion.

Unfortunately, I'm not referring to my face-to-face meeting with my recently acquired nemesis, Bookstore Holly, who showed up at the store for what I can only assume was to be a titanic throwdown. No, this one happened much later and involved giant fireballs shooting out of a duct tape factory for unknown reasons.

As near as Scott and I can figure, the explosion at the duct tape factory--which is probably my new favorite phrase--was caused by a metal band that shot a video there back in 1986. They rocked so damn hard that it tore through the Space-Time Continuum to blow up the factory 19 years later, retroactively wiping out any evidence of their existance and even moving further back in the timestream to create rock and roll itself.

What can I say? It's been an interesting 24 hours.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mysterious Ways

You know, it's oddly fitting that Melanie breaks up with me on the same day that I finish the Box o' Punishment.

And since I just equated three years of a relationship with 287 Marvel comics, you can probably see why she chucked me.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Keep Yer Left Up!

I swear, Porto's blog is like the frigg'n Double Deuce. I can't go in there without starting a fight.

And yes. Those are the two greatest links you will ever click on.

So anyway, is it me? I mean, I am a big enough jerk to make fun of a heavy-handed country song about a retarded kid, and just today I said I hoped one of my coworkers was raped to death by animals, but...

Huh. You know, when I put it that way, I can see how I might accidentally start a fight or two. What can I say? I'm a livewire. Deal with it.

Anyway, that's all the update I've got in store for you tonight. I'm working with an old associate of mine on an all-new project that we hope to unveil shortly, including a huge ISB tie-in.

I'm not at liberty to go into too much detail right now, but suffice to say: There will be fire, leather, and a special appearance by the Nuge. Be ready.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

It All Comes Full Circle

So Mom woke me up this morning like she does every easter, playing Jesus Christ Superstar so loud that it's shaking the house. Anyway, after I finally dragged myself out of bed to look for pictures of WASP and the flaming codpiece, she starts flipping through channels for like an hour giving me a running commentary on what's on--which isn't a whole lot.

Anyway, she finally settles on the WGN broadcast of RoboCop and leaves it on there to go grab lunch, right at the part where they kill Alex Murphy. So she comes back from the kitchen and goes: "Where'd they shoot him?"

"They blew his hand off," I said, "but they won't show it in the TV edit."

"Oh, that's gross."

"Wait, you've never seen RoboCop?"

I have become my own worst enemy.

Return of the Queer

So we're standing in the Art Bar waiting for the band to come on and all the TVs suddenly cut to static. "Hey," I said to Tug, "the TVs all went out."

"Yeah. It's because Jesus just came back. And here we are."

"You might me right," I said. "It's not like we'd even notice in here. We're in a room full of people waiting to see a band called Confederate Fagg."

That's right, kids, it was the one-night-only special reunion of the South's number one all-gay metal band. And man, did they rock. It was insane in there. I got hit in the face with a cardboard cutout of Wee Man, various stuffed animals (and their stuffing), bubbles, beer, and a drunk guy's elbow. But what hit me hardest was a shot of warm, salty, milky-white glob of rock and roll right in the eye.

Metaphors, ladies and gentlemen. It's why I get the big bucks.

Anyway, the show was incredible. Let's go down the Art Bar checklist to see just how awesome it was:

  • Was Confederate Fagg there? Teabag Balzac, Spanky Swatnasty, Lady Miss Mango Chutney, and Packer all present and accounted for.
  • Did they play not one, but TWO Judas Priest songs? Check.
  • Was there a cute girl so drunk that she fell down four times and was chucked out? You better believe it, tiger. As MG3 said, "You've got to be pretty far gone to be kicked out of the Art Bar for being drunk." Well, sweetheart, wherever you are (and I'm sure you wish wherever that is was darker and quieter) I salute you for going above and beyond the pale of public inebriation.
  • Okay, how about a girl with hair so bushy she looked like a cross between Hermione and Kit Fisto? Stood in front of me for the first two songs. And of course, it wouldn't have been the Art Bar without the mildly attractive goth girl with cat ears on. And the transvestite.
  • Rock moves? Only the best. Not only did the bass player shoot 'em down, he set up the anti-aircraft guns. It was hot.

  • Man. Perfect score so far. But what really put the show over the top was that they actually played Freebird. We were shocked. Tug put it the best after the show: "They actually played it. Like it was a real song!" I'll be honest, it's the first time I've ever actually enjoyed that one.

    So yeah, all in all a pretty awesome rock show. And it gave me the opportunity to use the phrase "a cross between Hermione and Kit Fisto," and how often does THAT fall in your lap?

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    Chris Don't Write Too Good

    So it pretty much starts with Scott listening to the new radio station in town. The CD player at work's been out for about three months now, which pretty much limits our musical options to the college station, the Fox, and sweet, merciful silence. Now since we can't always get WUSC (and when we can, there's a chance they'll be playing shitty death metal), and the Fox plays host to the most wretched sounds that Hell itself can spew forth, sweet lady silence has gotten more and more attractive over the past few weeks.

    Enter Scott and his newfound fascination with Country Legends 94.3. He talked about it almost every time I called him there for a while, and it finally occurred to us to give it a shot after lunch on Wednesday. And lo and behold, it's not bad, even with Reba McEntire every hour on the hour. So, being a novel new sound, we played it for three days straight.

    Now, while we're in the midst of tumblin' outta bed and stumblin' to the kitchen, pourin' ourselves a cup of ambition, Tracy walks over and says to me "I never figured you for a country fan."

    Oddly enough, this was the second conversation I'd had about my opinions on country and western in the span of a week, which is a personal record. The first was to last Friday's lesbians, and involved me jabbing a finger at one of 'em and going: "Fuck Nashville!"

    So I told Tracy and the Lesbians the same thing: I like older country, but can't stand the stuff that's coming out now. What I mean by that is that I like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and the guys that have that kind of sound. But Tracy took issue with my stance on the matter, and a friendly miniature argument ensued.

    I think the problem was my broad generalization against new country as a whole. But considering that everybody speaks in generalizations all the time, I think he should've cut me a little slack. I mean, I may say that I like John Ostrander, but you don't see me running out and buying Bishop miniseries left and right. I did, however, buy a run of Ka-Zar for reasons even I don't quite understand. Anyway, back to the point.

    Today, I saw something that pretty much vindicated my feelings on the current state of country music, just in case Toby Keith, Shania Twain, and Faith Hill weren't doing a good enough job of that on their own. The song's called God's Will, by Martina McBride, and brother, it's rough.

    Before I go on, I'm just going to clarify something: I'm an asshole. I mean, I consider myself a pretty nice guy in general, but some of the things that come out of my mouth--and Phil and Shaka know exactly the stuff I'm talking about--have pretty much guaranteed me a spot in hell. That said, I don't think I lash out without cause. Some things just push me over the edge, and instead of turning green and smashing cars, I end up miming Tom Cruise eating a baby.

    So the song. I managed to catch the video twice almost back-to-back flipping through the channels this afternoon, and man. It might be the most pandering thing I've ever seen. It's a song about this kid, Will, who has the good fortune to have a name that's easily turned into a pun. That pretty much puts this song on par with the Brian Bosworth/Lance Henriksen epic Stone Cold right from the title, and that's no place to be.

    Will's mentally and physically disabled, hobbling through the video occasionally dressed as a bag of leaves, and now you see why I don't even bother making shit up anymore. Also, halfway through the song, we find out he's terminally ill for some reason, and he gives our protagonist/singer a crayon drawing in the most artificially heart-wrenching musical moment since that fucking Christmas Shoes song. And believe me, that's another one I could go on for hours about.

    Now before you get all pissed off at me making fun of the retarded kid, allow me to stress one thing: The chorus of the song--the chorus, the part that's repeated several times--starts off "Will don't walk too good / Will don't talk too good." Now once you've written that down on a piece of paper and then sung it into a microphone, you've pretty much given up all rights to not be made fun of on the internet, because that pushes this gem over the line from godawful right into hilarious.

    It's the worst kind of pandering, and it even goes so far as to involve poor grammar, so I can't help but hate it. And it tries to make you feel guilty if you see through their paper-thin wall of bullshit. Well, mister, you picked the wrong person to lay a guilt trip on. I've said things about Judd Winnick that'll peel the paint off a Chrysler at 20 yards.

    So here we are eight hundred words later, and the one point I've managed to hammer out is this. That song? Didn't care for it.

    Thoughts at 3:30 AM

    Hey, you know who's awesome?


    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    After Action Report: The Signing

    The New Adventures of Jack Kirby #1 hit the streets today!

    Well, it hit a street. And it hit it orange.

    Yeah, the whole thing was unexpectedly printed on orange paper, instead of an orange cover with white interior pages, but it was no big deal, and it adds a bit o' color to the inside. And that color is very, very orange. Point being, it came out today and I spent a few hours sitting next to Phil and signing comics, as depicted in the following photograph:

    I picked this picture because it's the only one where I don't look like a swamp monster. Posted by Hello

    That's Phil there on the left, preparing to do some aweseome sketch of a robot. Or possibly a creature. He ended up doing more than thirty sketches today, one for each person who bought the book. He's got his favorites up over on his blog, and they're pretty dead on. He did everything from OMAC punching Anne Heche (that's a grand total of two inside jokes for those of you keeping score) to a robot shark (make that three!). And apparently my sales pitch is good for something besides getting rid of Eurohit.

    Thirty copies was more than I expected to sell, so I'm going to consider today a success. And you can't have a success without thanking some people, so here's the thanks.

    First and foremost, Jack Kirby. You could say this about most comics that exist, but it's a direct and literal line to ours: It wouldn't exist without him. We got a few eyebrow raises about the legality of having a comic about him, but in all honesty, Phil and I are just big fans. We like him, and wanted to see him fight robots and dog-men and all that great stuff he gave to us in his life. This one was truly for the King.

    Second, to Porto, Mike, Rob, Darien, Travis, Leah, Felecia and everyone else who actually bought a copy, you guys rock. And another thanks to those folks out there who aren't friends with Phil and me and who just picked it up because the Bruce Goose cover looked good and we were selling it cheap.

    Last and definitely not least, I want to give a special shout out to Chad Bowers, not just for the work he put into the project, but for being a real inspiration for me. He's a guy who loves comics more than just about anyone, and it's amazing to watch while he makes Dr. Impossible a reality. Seriously, when it comes out, you owe it to yourself to pick it up, not just to support Chad, but because it's gonna be great.

    Anyway, that's all the thanking I have to do. And if you haven't gotten your copy yet, well, you're completely uncool and no one will ever love you. But they're still available, so maybe--just maybe--you've got a chance.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Innocent Ink Has Been Spilled!

    So tomorrow's the big day for The New Adventures of Jack Kirby, and I've been doing so much plugging lately that I really don't have too much more to say. Still, come on out and get a copy.

    We've been getting rave reviews lately, from "Well, it printed pretty good" right up to "Yeah, I guess you guys can have a signing." But I kid. It's a fun little book, and I hope everyone's going to like it. It also makes the perfect gift this season, and buying one for your girlfriend means never having to say "I'm sorry." It even appeals to demons exiled from Hell itself and bonded to the souls of stunt-cycling carnies!

    Right, Zarathos?

    "I've got my copy! Get yours or face my wrath!"Posted by Hello

    So yeah, in case you're wondering, those are the depths I'll sink to.

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Turn to 36

    So I'm talking to Melanie tonight for the first time in a few days, and I tell her about a book I ordered that's coming into the store this week.

    "It's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer choose your own adventure."

    There was a long pause while she struggled to comprehend this before finally responding.

    "There is no God."

    Apparently, not everyone shares my affection for the genre. For Choose Your Own Adventure, I mean, not Buffy. There's tons of fans for that stuff, including my own fanfic-writing sister, who--Sweet Christmas!--is going to be here in less than two weeks! But more on that later.

    As a kid, I had the standard issue Ninja Turtles t-shirt, GI Joes, and CYOA novels. I'm pretty sure they just mailed that stuff to your house if you had a child in the early eighties to save everyone the trouble. Anyway, mostly it was your standard "let's go see your uncle who's invented a time machine!" stuff, and I remember one with a kind of kid-spy thing to it where at one point you noticed your socks had been folded wrong by someone tossing your luggage. It's one of my weird inconsequential childhood memories that stayed with me for some reason.

    The reason I look back on CYOAs with as much fondness as I do, though, can be traced back to one guy: Joe Dever. When I was about ten, my dad bought me a couple of the books he wrote from the Lone Wolf series, and they were awesome. Each one stands alone, but there's a storyline that runs through them that starts--like all great sagas of the 20th century--with your monestary being burnt down and your masters killed. From then on out, it's great fantasy, complete with character sheets, combat, and character advancement as you go through the books. Seriously, there's one choice you can make in the first book that can help you out like nine books later.

    It's also probably the reason I've spent so much money on D&D over the past few years, although ironically, I haven't bought the d20 Lone Wolf book. Anyway, the best thing about these books is that these guys who were WAY more into them than I was have taken the time to put them all online in a great navigation system with a bunch of resources to manage your stats. It's called Project Aon, and you should check 'em out.

    Or, if you choose to read more comics, turn to 43.

    Known Issues

    Just wrote a post a few minutes ago, but it has mysteriously disappeared.

    The gist of it was this:

  • Moved to the new address. Set up an auto-redirect on the previous page, which involved an hour-long phone conversation with Scott. Phrases such as "coding," "JavaScript" and "Absolute Watchmen" were used liberally.

  • I'm very, very lame. Case in point: Today I finally got around to busting open some toys I had laying around, including the Buffy Palz Angel figure. The first thing I did after I swapped out his outfit was make him fight the Blade minimate. If only they were to scale with each other, Jenny Calendar's death could've been prevented.

  • The New Adventures of Jack Kirby #1 is getting printed up tomorrow! If you want an 8-page mini-comic that casts the King of Comics as a two-fisted World War II hero and you're not in the area, get in touch with Phil and we'll get you one for only two bucks, postage paid! And if you ARE in the area, come on down to the shop on Wednesday and buy one yourself. If you're lucky, we might even sign it.
  • Saturday, March 19, 2005

    Suffering Sappho!

    NOTICE: On Monday (or maybe sooner, but I've got something in mind), I'm going to be switching the web address of the ISB over to, hopefully, http://isb.blogspot.com assuming it's still available. So be advised.

    Today I went up to Rock Hill to see my pal Brandon with Billy and the Brothers Nacovitch. It was a lot of fun, and I decided to celebrate the occasion by getting, for the second time in my life, drunk. Fortunately, that doesn't take much, and after two shots of whiskey, a Long Island Iced Tea, and the best damn White Russian I've ever had, I was pretty well gone for the rest of the night.

    So we ended up back at Brandon's dorm room and for some reason or another (probably me saying I wanted something else to drink) he wandered across the hall to a room where five lesbians were playing cards. Needless to say, I followed, stumbling after.

    Those poor, poor girls. I'm thinking my presence pretty much confirmed that they were on the right track with the whole "no dudes" thing. I'm boisterous and loud while I'm sober, and when I get drunk I just get nonsensical. I can only imagine that two weeks from now, they'll be sitting around again having a conversation like this:

    "Hey, you guys remember that night Brandon's friends came up here and he brought that fat white guy in here? He was ridiculous!"

    "Yeah, what was up with that guy? First he makes us explain that insanely complicated card game we like--as if having eight different decks is something weird--and then he starts talking about how Maroon 5 sucks and goes off on this rant about Straight Outta Compton."

    "Oh my God, I forgot that part!" (here, she affects a slurred barely post-Cro-magnon voice) "Durr, it's da best rap album ever! It's got Gangsta Gangsta on it!"


    "And I'm not even getting into the part where he started yelling about the Wu-Tang Clan. What was that thing he said about flowing like Christ when he speaks the gospel?"

    "Seriously, I think he had some kind of fixation on black culture. Remember that little history lesson he gave on Shaka Zulu? And that other guy... I can't remember, he was into the vodka by that point."

    "Yeah, I distinctly remember him somehow working Aquaman into a conversation about African kings."

    "Yeah, well you guys weren't even in the room when he started talking about Public Radio! It was CRAZY! He went on and on about this one show, and then started talking about this crazy Christian show he listens to that doesn't make any sense! He said something about an ice cream shop, the CIA, and the holodeck before I got out of there."

    Yeah, it was a good time. Me being drunk... it's the stuff of legends.

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    Kirby Redux

    Due to a little SNAFU yesterday, I forgot that I'd ripped the cover logo off an issue of the Jack Kirby Collector when I did the original cover mock-up a few weeks ago. So, in the interest of having John Morrow not kick my ass all over HeroesCon, I went back and changed the logo. So once again for your viewing enjoyment, the nearly final cover for TNAOJK #1, still featuring art by the inimitable Goose:

    Click to King-Size it! Posted by Hello

    Look for it Wednesday! And in response to Steven Hager, who posted yesterday about mail ordering a copy, trust me: If you want to buy one, I'm going to do my best to get one to you. Give me a few days to check with my peoples, and we'll work something out.

    Now, on to the rest of it.

    I know that as of late, all this blog's been good for has been crazy customer stories and the Punisher, and I don't like it any more than you do. But as HOV says, "try to ignore 'em, talk to the Lord, pray for 'em, but some fools just love to perform." And today was a double-shot.

    We finally got a new DVD player for display, so to test it out, we popped in the ridiculously awesome Clone Wars cartoon. So this guy wanders over and looks at it and goes: "Man, I forgot how corny them cartoons are."

    How corny the cartoons are? Mister, you're a grown man wearing an Orange County Choppers baseball cap and a chain wallet. You're buying Shi and Lady-fucking-Death. And you think the cartoons are corny? Some people's children, I swear.

    But that guy was a mere prelude to the lurking horror that is... Cockeye McGee. This guy, man, is almost universally loathed by the Saturday crowd, employees and customers alike. He's the kind of guy that'll be playing a game for the first time with people who are already familiar with it, and start giving them tips on how to win... people that are doing far, far better than him. And then he'll just talk and talk and talk and talk until you pray for the sweet release of oblivion. Or maybe that's just me. Regardless, he's rough.

    One of my major pet peeves is when I'll be watching something and somebody'll make an insanely obvious comment. And I'm not just talking about stuff like "Holy Crap, he just punched that guy in the face!" I'm talking about occasions like when I saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the two loudest old ladies on the face of the planet were sitting three rows behind me and kept saying things like "This movie's in Chinese!" and "Here comes trouble!" whenever the villain approached. Lady, he's the villain. We know he's trouble.

    So dude comes in and starts making an ungodly amount of noise, grunting and panting and whatnot, and as soon as I turn to see what fresh horror was this, he catches my eye with his good one and goes: "Well they 'FIXED' my computer today!"

    Yep. Air quotes. This guy has got to go.

    He said it like it was some private joke between us, like we'd been on the phone with each other for an hour last night discussing his undoubtedly wacky computer problems. I gave him an "Ah." and turned back around.

    "You might've noticed I put quotes around 'fixed.'"

    Holy. Crap. He actually said that. So he goes on about it for a few minutes and then finally notices the Clone Wars playing, at which time he parks himself in front of the TV for the duration, dropping pearls of wisdom like "Well ya can't hit a Jedi with energy weapons, right?!" and "Uh oh, he's got his lightsaber back! Big mistake, fellas!" But it was when Anakin fights Asajj Ventress and starts flipping out that he truly broke through the barrier into enlightenment: "You can't get mad like that! When you're a regular fighter, sure, but not when you're a Jedi! Ya just can't get mad. That's REAL bad news."

    He said it solemnly, shaking his head.

    "Yeah," I said, "I'm pretty sure that guy turns out to be Darth Vader."

    Bobby Two-Trees: Private Eye!

    The biggest tonight as far as I'm concerned is that the lettering and layout for KIRBY #1 is done. So I present for you the cover, featuring art by my main man Bruce Goose:

    (Click to King-Size it!) Posted by Hello

    Phil's got a little work to do with it over the next couple of days, but it'll be in stores (well, store) next Wednesday for your purchasing enjoyment. I'm happy to announce that the Goose has signed on to be the regular cover artist, and I'm already plotting out #2, including a special surprise in the way of backup stories! Look for it... sometime... in the future.

    Meanwhile, from the Customer Quotes file, this cat walks in today and starts asking me about this movie, Manitou. Now I don't know if he thought Tony Curits was a hot comics property or what, but he wants to know if "they ever did anything with that." I also don't know why he rolled into the local comic shop to ask about a forgotten horror flick that came out four years before I was born, but yesterday I was asked for harmonicas, and by comparison he seems stone cold logical.

    Apparently not, sir, because before today, I've never heard of it. So he goes on and tells me that it's about Tony Curtis, who plays (and I quote), "an Indian shamus."

    Now at first I thought he might've meant shaman, but the more I thought about it, the more I think an Indian shamus would be cooler. Billy Jack meets Philiip Marlowe. Wyatt Wingfoot meets Slam Bradley. It'd be print gold.

    I'm goin' to frigg'n bed.

    (PS: I'm considering changing the addresss of the Invincible Super-Blog. Anybody think that'll be a problem? I've got, what, ten readers, and I talk to most of you daily, so it shouldn't make much difference, but let me know what you think.)

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    The Omen

    The New Adventures of Jack Kirby #1 has been lettered! All that's left now as far as I'm concerned is cover layout, and I've already got a mockup of how that's going to go. Look for it as early as next week!

    Tonight after work, I went over to the mall and bothered the affable and melodious Rob Lindsey. He knew most of what I talked about already, since he reads the ISB. Therein lies the trouble: I have rendered my conversations with friends almost completely obsolete.

    One of the things we did talk about that I haven't mentioned here for the past couple of days was the now-infamous Box o' Punishment. For those of you just joining the party, I gathered up a copy of every single issue we had of the Punisher and--starting with the Essential--decided to read them all. I've been keeping it on the down-low lately to avoid burning my readers out on Big Frank's various exploits (and occasional blaxploits), but rest assured, I've been trucking on through at an astonishing pace.

    Today I finally made it through every issue leading up to Suicide Run, a multi-part crossover that ties in almost everything from Eurohit to War Zone. That's the good news. The bad news is, it's terrible. But it's one of the signs that I'm almost finished.

    So, given that I've spent two weeks neck deep in the Punisher, I was pretty shocked when somebody sold us a collection today that included this little guy.

    That's right. Amazing Spider-Man #129. The first appearance of the Punisher.

    And here's the thing: I'm seriously considering buying it. Now in all honesty, I've probably been driven crazy by the combined powers of Mike Baron and Chuck D, but I mean, it's a weird bit of synchronicity, right? I'd almost say it was a sign of some kind...

    Please, someone talk me out of it.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Mesmerized By Zoetropes

    No real update tonight. I've spent the last three hours lettering the Kirby Project, and let me tell you: lettering ain't no fun. Still, I'm getting better at it, and I went back and redid the first page so it looks halfway decent now.

    I made a pretty big jump with the work I've done tonight, all the way to Page Six. That means that my part is 75% done, and I should be able to finish with the lettering by tomorrow night, and get the finished pages back to Phil by Wednesday. That'll only leave the cover art and layout, back cover design, and inside front and back to knock out before it's press time.

    Chad brought the nearly completed cover art to the shop today. I'd have a scan to post, but I think Phil forgot to grab 'em on his way home. If you're local and want to see it (and here I'm referring only to Mike Autry), I hung a big copy of it up at work. Check it out!

    Anyway, since there's no funny to be found here, why don't you go check out the new project over at the Digital Animation and Visual Effects School? It's a short film created by the students using computer models based off of the DC Minimates! It's called Batman: New Times and features Adam West as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker, Courtney Thorne-Smith as Catwoman, and Dick Van Dyke as Comissioner Gordon!

    Seriously, it's awesome. And by awesome, I mean totally sweet.

    Sunday, March 13, 2005

    Last Night I Dreamt of Dr. Cobra

    I had that dream again last night. The one where my teeth are falling out.

    I've read that it's pretty common, so you probably know what I'm talking about. Still, it never fails to creep me out. This time, I was in my sister's house, and I ran to the stainless steel sink which was conveniently located next to her bed. The problem with that was, I couldn't figure out how to turn the water off, which was incredibly frustrating. So there I am with a handful of molars (and one incisor) yelling for my sister to get in there and help me turn off her frigg'n bedside industrial sink.

    Needless to say, I woke up annoyed.

    I'm pretty sure the dream was a reflection on my anxiety about my sister's upcoming visit, but that's a subject I intend to get into at a much later date. We... don't get along.

    Anyway, to stop myself from probing at my teeth all day to make sure they weren't wiggling, I went out and bought some DVDs. I got:

    Leon: The Professional Deluxe Edition, which I bought because it's awesome

    Once Upon a Time in the West, which I bought because it's a two-disc special edition of a Sergio Leone movie and it was less than eight bucks.

    Napoleon Dynamite, which I bought because before today, I didn't have any DVDs that started with N.

    Other than that, I mostly spent the evening working on the Kirby Project. The writing and lettering process is roughly 23% done, and I'm getting a little better on it as I work. Here's the preliminary version of Page 1. Check out Phil's blog for some other info, and also if you want to compare the lettered version to Phil's original art. Hopefully I'll be done by the end of the week.

    But as for right now, I'm going to hit the sack. Right after I brush my teeth six times.

    What I Learned

    I didn't plan on going out to a bar tonight, but given that my home was, at the time, occupied by small children, the choice became immediately clear. So it was out to Bar None with the crew.

    You know, lots of people spend money on therapists to learn things about themselves. Me? I head out to a bar and in one single night, three deep personal truths are revealed unto me much like your mom was last night! (Sorry, Chan. I won't steal any more bits.)

    Anyway, here are three interesting personal truths I learned tonight.

    1. I suck at shuffleboard. This fact was made blindingly clear to me after a stunning 27-1 loss, but it's not entirely unexpected. I mean, there's got to be something to balance the scales against my nigh-Godlike bowling prowess besides a humbling weakness to Waffle House food.

    2. I cannot voice a dissenting opinion about, say, RoboCop without being immediately chastised by a few of my drunken pals, who will insist that not only do I not understand it, but I am "a pussy," or alternately, "a faggot." Well let me make this abundantly clear: I had absolutely no trouble understanding the multifaceted layers and intricacies of the fine Peter Weller opus that was RoboCop. Know why? Because it's fucking RoboCop.

    Yes, the eighties were marked by massive amounts of corporate and personal greed that led to the dehumanization of the work force in favor of cold, ruthless efficiency; and the reduction of actual information into sound bytes that personified a desensitized view of a violent, abysmal world. I get it. I understand what it means when Miguel Ferrar snorts cocaine off a hooker's ass. It's not fucking rocket science. And here's another newsflash for you, bucko: it's absolutely fine if I didn't think it was "awesome." Ergo, fuck RoboCop.

    The corrollary to this revelation about myself was that I will also, when annoyed, threaten to punch the next person who says the word "RoboCop" right in the Goddamn face.

    Moving on.

    3. This isn't necessarily about me, per se, but it's a profound truth nonetheless, and it is this: The absolute best way to pick up women is to rent an orphan, then take him to church. Sure, you may get in a hassle with child services or the local clergy, but the ladies? They cannot resist.

    Saturday, March 12, 2005

    Name of the Game

    Mom and I went to see the local production of Topdog/Underdog tonight, starring Christopher Harvey and one of the shop's customers, Darion McCloud. It was great, and if you're in the area, I encourage you to go see it either tomorrow or next weekend.

    When I got to the theater, I was wandering around looking for the bathroom, and got directions from the director. "The men's room is pretty deceptive. It's all the way down the hall, under the stairs." My response, before I could even think not to say it, was: "Hey, thanks! Deceptive Men's Room would be a great name for a band!"

    Sometimes I wonder how I interact with people at all.

    I spent the whole afternoon and evening with Mom just cruising from place to place in Columbia. Our first stop was at Target, where I was looking at these oversized reprints with cardstock covers they have of Marvel comics. They're crazy. Same content as trades, but they're built just like giant comics with cardstock covers and they cost five bucks. Anyway, I was flipping through Ultimate X-Men v. 2 when I catch myself humming along to whatever they're playing in the store.

    That's when I look up and see the Dresden Dolls. Now don't get me wrong, I like the Dresden Dolls a lot. But when you're standing in the middle of Target, the last thing you expect to see is a "Brechtian Punk Cabaret" made up of a gothy pianist and drummer. And yet, there they were, playing Coin Operated Boy.

    Moving on.

    Most of the time in the car was spent talking to Mom, since she didn't want to listen to the Wu Tang Clan for some reason. Apparently 54 year-old white English teachers don't protect their neck. Yes, Mom's a teacher, and she has a trait that's common among most teachers I've met in my lifetime: They hate children. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. So whenever she starts in with a story on some horrible thing a student did, I tend to listen with a pretty skeptical ear. So we're on the drive, and she tells me this story:

    There's this kid in another classroom--a real troublemaker. Always calls his mom to get out of punishment. Anyway, one day he's stiting in class and he asks the teacher, "Mrs. So-and-so, what did you name your vagina?"

    Now, the kid being an asshole aside, that is fucking hilarious.

    Mom thought I was crazy for laughing as hard as I did about it. Me, I think she's crazy for getting so offended. If it was me in that situation, I would've just rolled with it and said "It's known by men as the Cavern of Sorrows."

    And really, what more is there to say?

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Details Are Still Hazy

    I didn't post a new article last night, despite my claims that the ISB features new content daily. I'll admit, I take the evening off every now and then, but this one was beyond my control.

    The last thing I remember is the Punisher fighting a bear, and then it gets sort of blurry. I must've blacked out, because I woke up in Tijuana with a skull painted on my chest in axle grease, a missing kidney, and a killer headache.

    Suffice to say, I'm still in a bit of a daze from the whole experience, and I think the humor-producing area of my brain might have been damaged, so I'm just going to go for another recharge. Hopefully I'll have something worth writing about tomorrow.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Showdown at Club Rolex

    You might not be able to tell from the madman's scribblings I leave on the ISB, but in person, I'm fairy charismatic, outgoing, and a good liar, three qualities that make me a pretty decent salesman. This has never been more evident than at the last Dollar Book Sale we had at the shop. I worked the room like a Vegas hustler, convincing about five people to walk out with entire long boxes stuffed with comics they neither wanted nor needed. Just ask Phil!

    But my crowning achievement as a four-color pusherman was ridding the store of a few sets of Eurohit with a sales pitch consisting mostly of: "Come on, man, it's EuroHit! The Punisher goes to EUROPE and HITS a guy! How can you NOT buy it?"

    Man, am I paying for it now.

    Eurohit, for those of you not "in the know" (read: non-masochists), is the last of three biweekly multi-part Punisher stories I've read in the past few days as I slog through the Box o' Punishment. The other two were "Jigsaw Puzzle" (featuring Jigsaw and Satan) and "Final Days" (featuring Jigsaw, the Kingpin, and a plastic surgeon turned smack-addict hooker), but changes it up by taking the Punisher on a whirlwind murder-tour of England, France, Germany, and Spain in an effort to stop the Kingpin from uniting the European underworld.

    Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, it pretty much just shows why those cats should stick to stories about teenagers... FROM THE FUTURE!

    Anyway, once I'd recovered from the Punisher turning black for five issues, I was able to give Tug a ride back to the SMT. His folks live on the opposite side of town from me, so I went a different way than I normally go, along a strip that features nothing but car dealerships, moble home dealerships, trailer parks, gun stores, and shitty nightclubs, one of which will always have a special place in my heart.

    When I first moved here, it was called Roxy's, but due to a series of police busts and illegal liquor sales to minors, the deed to the place has been passed around a lot, leading to no less than five name changes that I can remember in about ten years.

    The first name change was the best: Tricky Woo. Clearly, that name is awesome. I mean, it's so evocative. Think about it: Who... or what... is Tricky Woo? It means something different to everyone. It is everything, and nothing. The only limit is yourself. The impossible is attainable... with Tricky Woo.

    Then, taking advantage of its prime location across from the Air Force Base, it became Afterburners for a while to cater to the crew-cut crowd. That didn't last too long though, and the place was reinvented as a hip-hop spot under the name "Club Rolex."

    Now I'm not sure whether someone realized Rolex was a brand name owned by a rich corporation or if there was another police raid, but when it changed again, they didn't even have the money to pull down the entire sign, Which left us with: "Club o x."

    Tonight, though, it had changed to "Club Mi-Ami," with the inexplicable hyphen added for x-tra street cred.

    And the fact that I just typed all that should should give you an idea of how badly Black Punisher has fried my brain.

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    Reasons I Might Be Gay

    So this lady walks into the store today. "Hello," she says. "My son needs some Lord of the Rings cards for a tournament on the 18th."
    "Okay, what do you need?"
    "He needs one of the decks from the latest expansion, with one of the characters on it. I think it's somebody who got wounded in battle or something? Legless?"


    I explained to her that the poor guy's named Legolas, and that he never suffered a mishap resulting in amputation, but she just wouldn't get off the point, and kept asking how he lost his legs. Some people.

    That's when I decided that spending a good portion of my day discussing Orlando Bloom might be indicative of something other than how I'm wasting my life. I think I might be gay. Now don't get me wrong: Chris Sims loves the ladies. But there's a mountain of evidence that can't be ignored.

    Take for example my supposed man-crush on John Cassaday. Look, it's not my fault that he's so damn handsome and one of the best pencillers around working on well-written books. The guy's got it all. I'm just a truth-teller, man. Still, it keeps adding up:

    • I have, on various occasions, expressed a desire to engage in intimate relations with the following men: William Shatner, the Rock, Bruce Campbell, and Batman. Now these were hypothetical "If I had to bang a dude" conversations, but still. Pretty gay.
    • I once said Ben smells like apples, which is absolutely true. But yeah, that comes off as kinda homo.
    • I took Drama in high school. Also, I hang around Brandon a lot. He claims to be straight, and even goes so far as to have sex with as many women as he can, but he's also a drama major. And he's totally gay for Scott Lobdell. I don't know if you can catch it from someone, but that might be where I got it.
    • I cry every time I read Marvels.
    • I have been in the same bed as Scott an extended period of time, shortly after we both consumed truly heroic amounts of alcohol. That crosses over the line into really gay, but it was a matter of practicality: He was still having trouble standing up. For the record, it was a harrowing experience.
    • I like Hello Kitty a lot. Also, I own Powerpuff Girls bed sheets and use them regularly. I really have no defense for this one.

    So, um, yeah. Sorry, ladies. As the Magic Hate Ball would say, "Signs Point to Queer." It's even gotten so bad that last week, I actually said at work: "I'm going to admit something to you guys. I think I'm gay for the Punisher."

    Why ELSE would I have gotten even further into the Box O' Punishment today? I made it up to Punisher #50, and brother, it was an uphill battle. The issues I read involved the Punisher infiltrating a biker gang and cooking up a batch of crank, being strapped to a massive cannon in the Middle East, and a special appearance by the Devil.

    Yes, that Devil.

    It's not as good as it sounds.

    Sunday, March 06, 2005

    I'm Throwin' Rocks Tonight!

    Dragon Bowling Night was an unqualified success. So much so, in fact, that I ended the night puking in the Waffle House parking lot.

    Let me start from the beginning.

    The day began at work with me descending further into madness on the fastest route known to man: reading a short box full of Punisher comics. I finally finished the Essential, and I'll tell you: Ain't nothin' wrong with that Steven Grant/Mike Zeck mini-series. Before that, the Punisher was just a guy who couldn't remember whether Spider-Man was a bad guy, and changed his mind about it every few weeks.

    And while we're on the subject, Spidey doesn't really seem bothered by the fact that Frank's running around killing everybody. They have like five team-ups, and the closest Spider-Man gets to bringing it up is going: "Well, I don't really agree with his methods, but..."

    Anyway, that mini-series is no joke. Then I got into the ongoing. So far I'm up to #23, but had to stop when the sheer insanity of that issue overwhelmed me.

    No guarantees are offered for the three-week Ninja training camp.(Click to Punish-size it!)

    "Capture the Flag"
    Punisher #23
    September, 1989
    Writer: Mike Baron
    Pencils and Cover: Erik Larsen

    I'm not going to do a whole Dollar Comic Review, but this one was so crazy I had to take notes.

    It's Part 2 of a story where Frank, on the trail of a poison expert who rigged a boxing match a few issues previous with murderous results, attends a two-week course at Scully's Ninja Training Camp.

    Go back and read the last half of that sentence. I'll wait. The Ninja Training Camp is located in Sloman, Kansas, and if the fact that it's a ninja training camp in Kansas wasn't enough of a tipoff, it's run by three white guys named Scully, Wayne, and Daryl. It's not exactly a legit operation. Scully--who is not in this issue portrayed by Gillian Anderson--has been claiming he's got the stamp of approval from some Ninja Master, but he really doesn't, and so some ninja girl also shows up to exact brutal ninja vengeance.

    Anyway, by the time #23 rolls around, Frank's out in the woods being stalked by Scully, our skinhead Ninja master; Daryl, the weapons expert; and Wayne, the martial arts instructor. He fights Wayne in the woods first, and ends up cutting his hamstring with the man's own katana and leaving him to crawl to the hospital.

    Later, he's chasing Scully to a grain elevator that's on the camp's property, and who should come busting out of the woods in a pickup intent on running Our Man Frank down than Wayne himself. Apparently he was so mad that he dragged his bleeding ass to the truck with his mind on revenge. That's hardcore. Even the Punisher's pretty shocked by it. Until Wayne gets blown up, anyway.

    So Punisher finally gets to Scully and has to fight his dog. To give you an idea of how big a douchebag Scully is, he named his dog "Tanto," and actually says "Tanto's a ninja, just like me." Wow. He gets killed by the ninja girl, and Frank snaps the dog's neck, but feels guilty about it.

    The letters page had a few bonus surprises. Letter #1 is from Zeb Wells, who would later win a contest and write some pretty rough books for Marvel. He apparently enjoyed the story where the Punisher, Micro, and a high school teacher took on the Kingpin, and wanted to know when the movie was coming out.

    Letter #4 was even weirder, since it was from Chris Sims. Apparently I went back in time, moved to Kentucky, and asked the Mighty Marvel Editorial Staff to not kill off Microchip because of my heretofore undiscovered affection for him. Or maybe there was another guy with the same name.

    Anyway, after I'd had my fill of the Punisher for the night, it was time to hit the lanes.

    Xtreme Bowling was about as annoying as expected. Luckily we got out of there right when Sir Mix-a-Lot started up, so the evening didn't turn tragic. It was a lot of fun nonetheless, and I probably bowled the best two games of my life. I won both rounds, coming in just over Chad with 105 and 116. Josh, though... I felt for the guy. I'm not going to go into any details, but he referred to his performance as "Josh Disassembled, never to be read again."

    After bowling, Scott, Josh and I all went to the Waffle House, because where else are you going to go at 11:30? There's always this kind of Denny's vs. Waffle House vs. IHOP battle going on amongst the crew, with MG3 the most hardcore supporter of the Waffle House. He's got a point, I guess, it's inexpensive and what other place has thirty songs about itself on the jukebox? I like 'em all, but I think I'm switching sides after last night.

    As we left, I just started hurling into the bushes, and was afforded the rare opportunity to see my hash browns again. Scott and Josh were nice enough to wait around until I was done, and Scott bought me some water and gum. That's pretty much the signal to end the night, so I drove on home and went to bed.

    As to the whys of how I got sick, I'm not really sure. Could've been the grease. Could've been the 13 issues of the Punisher I read. But just between you, me, and the wall, I'm pretty sure it was the sheer exertion of complete bowling dominance.

    Saturday, March 05, 2005

    Punisher War Blog: Day 58

    I talked to Scott on the phone tonight for like three hours. It started as another attempt at Dragon Bowling Night, this time scheduled for tomorrow. Now it's perfectly feasable that it'll one-up the last two attempts and end in utter fiasco, but I'm cautiously optimistic. We've got a reservation at the alley this time, but there will be...

    Xtreme Bowling.

    Xtreme Bowling (or Cosmic Bowling as it's known at Brunswick lanes) is a "multisensory bowling experience," and that makes me glad I work in a comic book store because I'd never be able to say that with a straight face. What happens is they turn off the lights, have glow-in-the-dark pins, and drop some loud techno and rap/pop on you to enhance the experience of throwing something heavy at things that fall down.

    Anyway, while we were talking, I was finally beating the Punisher game. It's weird to think of Jigsaw as the boss of the game, but when you drop Jigsaw in some Iron Man armor, it's a little more understandable. Not a lot Frank can do against repulsor rays.

    Anyway, this led us to talk about the Punisher for a long time and eventually led to his War Journal, and how he should just give up on that and start a War Blog.

    Upon reflection, that's not nearly as funny as it was at the time, but I think it's got some merit to it. It'd be the best thing since Hulk's Diary That Is On The Internet. Just think about it. Scott's theory is that every time he killed a mobster, he'd run over to Kinko's or the nearest public library and update the War Blog as a sinister kind of psychological warfare against his enemies.

    Me, I just want to see things like:
    "Current Mood: Vengeful >:("

    I'm thinking about doing it as an ISB feature as I read through my Box O' Punishment.

    Other non-Punisher-related events of the day are as follows: I finally got around to watching the first episode of Firefly today. I've had the Penndulum's copy for like a year, but you know how I am. I'll say this, though: If you wanted me to watch it sooner, all you had to do was say the word "Western."

    I think we can all agree: I like westerns.

    Speaking of, we got into a debate about sound effects at the shop the other day. In my script, there's a bit of gunplay (surprise!) and the SFX for it are "BLAM BA-BLAMBLAM BLAM!" But nobody else seems to think that guns in a Western make a "BLAM" sound. Chad says in a Western, the guns go "Bang!" and Shaka claims that that a ricochet would go "P-kew!" I'll admit, Blam does seem more at home in a detective story, but I'm not sure what to go with.

    Now if I was Walt Simonson, I'd just give Amos a gun that went "BRAKASHATHOOM!" and be done with it, but I'm not. So I'm putting the word on the streets: What do Western guns sound like? I'll check the Jonah Hex issues, but I'm open to suggestion.

    That Simonson gun would be awesome, though.

    Friday, March 04, 2005

    What Was I Thinking?

    It's 1 in the morning. Here's what's on my mind:

    -Spider-Man helped me find religion. Oddly enough, this isn't the only team-up between Spidey and the Church that I've seen this week. When Tug mentioned it to me last night, I went to find it myself, and instead ran across a PDF file of a sermon outline you could give to kids that compares Spider-Man to Jesus. It was, of course, nuts.

    It includes suggestions for discussions on how Spidey saves people as opposed to how Jesus saves people, why they were both unpopular and underappreciated in their time (which makes me REALLY want to see J. Jonah Jameson harrangue the Lord), and, of course, a discussion of power and responsibility.

    I'm going to stress it again, this is comparing Spider-Man to Jesus Christ.

    Anyway, my favorite part is at the end, where it says: "No doubt there are some similarities between Spider-Man and the Lord Jesus Christ, but ultimately our Lord is unique."


    -Tonight was Comics Club, or as we call it around the shop, the two hours before we go to Denny's. It was one of the most fun meetings we've had in a long time.

    Phil and I pass his sketchbook back and forth during the meetings as a sort of game between us. He'll draw a picture and I'll go in and add a cover blurb. It's how the Kirby project originally got started, which means I really ought to have those scanned as ISB content. Tonight we only did one, but I think it was worth it. Phil drew an old-style comic book cover with one big image (in this case a scruffy-looking tough-guy with a gun) and three small circles running down the side with other characters in them.

    The characters were: A cyclops, a mean looking man in profile, and a little kid with spiky hair that was shiny for some reason.

    That's what he passed over to me to write copy for. What I came up with was the title across the top: "ONE-GUN THRILLER!" and in the boxes under the circles, names for the characters (Johnny Cyclops: Monster Detective, The Colonel, and Kid Genius), and a blurb for the bottom:

    "One of these men killed Bobby Bullett's partner! He'll kill 'em all just in case!"

    It's a fun time.

    -Even better than the club is dinner after, which is the one time of the month I get to hang out with guys like Mike Autry. Comics Club basically started out as all the employees getting sick of sitting around bullshitting about comics with each other, so we decided to recruit new people to sit around and bullshit with. Except we charge them.

    We always get dinner after every meeting, and our group (made up mostly of current and former employees) has slowly grown to include some other cool cats, making a crazy sort of Comics Club Inner Circle with Phil and Mike (and previously Trey), who are always great to hang out with. Those guys are awesome, and it's a shame we don't hang out more.

    -I completely lost my mind and filled a short box with a copy of every Punisher comic we had in the store. My plan is to read them all in a little experiment that Bill Hicks would call "squeegeeing my third eye." I'll get back to you and let you know how that works out.

    And that's what I did today. Now's sleep time.

    Thursday, March 03, 2005

    Ong Bak Ain't No Joke

    I saw Ong Bak tonight, and let me tell you: The RZA knows what he's talking about. That shit is awesome. I'll tell you right now--and I know I'm hardly the first to say it--Tony Jaa's going to be big. Seriously, I don't think they're far off at all when they compare him to Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. He's pulling off stuff in that movie that I've only seen in video games, and that's pretty impressive.

    I'll admit, it's a little rough around the edges, but the fights and stunts are second to none. There is a plot, but it's mostly a hindrance to the ass-beating. It's as follows: There's this guy who cuts the heads off Buddha statues, for some reason that I never quite understood. His guy cuts off the head of Tony Jaa's local statue, apparently unaware that Tony Jaa is a fucking badass. There's also a cute girl who shouts a lot and a guy named "Dirty Balls." Eventually, Tony Jaa kicks enough people in the head that everything works out okay. Sorta.

    I'll admit, it doesn't sound like much, but it's a joy to watch. It's got the same kind of hectic energy to it as Fearless Hyena. The action's incredible--it's the kind of movie you just can't help but say "Oh my god!" while watching--and the jokes and sight gags are pretty funny. And it's the kind of movie that you just know was produced by a bunch of guys who stood around saying things like:

    "Hey, you think you could jump over a moving car?"
    "Shit yeah, let's set that up."


    "Go ahead and make that loop of barbed wire a little smaller. I'll want to see if I can get through it head AND feet first."


    "Say, how long do you think you could fight after we set you on fire?"
    "I dunno, maybe a minute? Why?"
    "No reason. Aaaaaaaaaand... Action!"

    Also, Tony fights a guy who looks like an Australian Glenn Danzig. How can you afford not to see it?

    In other news, I finally got some concept art for "Wages of Sin," and I think Hunter did a pretty bang-up job of it. Check it out:

    That's Amos Flint, sheriff of Tumbleweed, TX, and the protagonist of the story. Yep, he's the good guy. I'm really excited about it. Phil's definitely going to be at HeroesCon with Chad, and if all goes according to the Master Plan™, he'll have copes of Gone To Texas AND The New Adventures of Jack Kirby #1, and Chad'll have at least the Dr. Impossible ashcan. I'll be there too, most likely, but I'll be working the booth or wandering around getting sketches. So, if by some odd chance you're not one of the ten people who read this thing to whom I speak on a regular basis, come on down and buy 'em.

    Anyway, between Tony Jaa and ol' Amos there, I think the badass quotient has been met for tonight's ISB. Also, it's way too late for me to be awake without reading my comics.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    Strange Tales

    And the hits just keep on coming.

    I swear to God, Commissioner Gordon saying "I'm worried about the boner he's readying for YOU!" is probably the funniest thing ever printed.

    Between that and my recent Punisher rennaissance, I've been reading a lot of weird comics lately. For instance, I read one Mike Baron/Whilce Portacio issue where the Punisher fights "Charlie Samson," a Charles Manson analog who even has a swastika carved into his forehead and who forces his helicoptor pilot to "Say you love Satan!" (Interestingly enough, the very words J.J. Thunder uses to accidentally summon the Thunderbolt for the first time in Grant Morrison's Crisis Times Five). Unfortunately, Frank doesn't sport that awesome headband with his logo on it in that story.

    War Journal #50, however... Well, that's a story for another time.

    Regardless, comics are weird. One of the major benefits of working in a store with half a million frigg'n back issues is that you get to see tons of crazy-ass comics. I'm talking about stuff like "The Adventures of the Karate Pig, Ninja Flounder, and the 4-D Monkey." So it's sort of a game that whenever we find a crazy issue, we pass it around for everyone to check out. It's one of our patented time killers. And brother, does it kill time. Scott and I once spent an hour talking about this:

    Now look, we all know that Silver Age Superman wasn't the nicest guy, but really, that's just cruel. I mean, if my best pal dragged me out to the desert and made me crawl through it with Aquaman (who, let's admit, is probably worse off than Jimmy there) while taunting me as I inched towards the bleached bones of his previous best friends, I'd probably order a motorcycle gang to run him over too.

    Silver Age Jimmy had a hard life, man. He couldn't go a month without being locked in prison for a year, having Superman burn his gifts with heat vision, being prevented from reconciling with his long-lost father, or even running into Don Rickles. Also, there was a lot of cross-dressing. No wonder they called him "Mr. Action."

    Anyway, I guess comics are just weird by nature. It's part of the fun. But really... is there any excuse for this?