Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I can't help being a time-travel fan.

So I got another story idea. As evidenced by the title, it has to do with time travel. Anyway, I guess it boils down to 'Time Traveling Detectives". It'd only be a short story, cause hey, I found a nifty Twilight Zone style ending for it. Anyway, in the future, a couple of detectives get an idea in their heads that, in their time, it's just too easy to solve cases (they are more than a bit arrogant). They steal an experimental time machine, because they figure, they can return it seconds after they steal it, and no one will be the wiser.

They then travel to various points in the past, attempting to solve mysteries that have confounded society throughout the ages. As they travel, they attempt to discover who Jack the Ripper really was, if there truly was a conspiracy to murder JFK, whether or not aliens truly landed in Roswell, NM in 1947, that sort of thing. They do all this stuff, and are pretty smug about it, so smug in fact, that instead of taking this information back to their own time, they publish the results of their work in each respective time period.

Unfortunately for them, this wreaks total havoc on the timestream, because they altered societal evolution in detrimental ways, and on their trip back home, they are encountered by 'The Voice' who tells them their hubris has pretty much doomed creation, and there is only one way it can be righted, so the story ends with someone from their future picking up a newspaper with the headline "Detectives Murdered At History Museum By Person Or Persons Unknown". That's the gist of it, and I can flesh it out easily, but pretty neat, eh?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Comics are full of variety!

I like comic books. For a long time, I wouldn't admit to that, because of the stigma that 'comics are for kids'. Honestly though, these days more adults read comic books than kids, due to the fact that they aren't as accessible outside of comic shops, and parents don't take their children to comic stores like they do the supermarket. This is a whole 'nother rant though.

Comic books are not all super heroes, I will admit they still dominate the market, but there are tons and tons of genres. One of my favorite books, originally published in Belgium is XIII. It's a very intriguing espionage action type of book, no powers to be had, but it's like reading a James Bond movie, but with much more depth.

I also very much enjoy Gun-Fu, the continuing adventures of Hong Kong cop Cheng Bo-Sen, set in the 30's. Bo-Sen always seems to get embroiled in plots involving Nazis, and he takes it in stride, chugging out one-liners and speaking in hip hop (though no one seems to notice).

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Japanese comics or manga, the variety of these book are endless. You want to read comics about cooking, or being a lawyer, or basketball? Manga has that and more. A lot of people don't count manga as real comics for some reason, but hey, it's sequential art that tells a story, so it's a comic!

So anyway, that's my mini-rant about comics, and I would have better illustrated why I like them, but as always, I am pressed for time.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Yet another review day.

Link is in the title.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Review Day today

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fish out of Water..

In the comics world, to a lot of people, Aquaman is a joke. He can swim really well and talk to fish, which isn't too useful against someone like Lex Luthor unless he's trying to take over an oil platform or something. Aquaman is always played straight in spite of this, except in parodies, of course.

My idea for a story takes the Aquaman/Sub-Mariner concept and sort of reverses it, Both of those characters live in the seas, but what if a mother gave birth to a son with gills instead of lungs, but was too attached to let him just live in the bathtub or the local Sea World? You could see how, let's call him Dobie Krebs, grew up, in high school, he was always picked on, because he perpetually had to wear a fishbowl on his head, despite the fact that he was the star of the school's swim team. You could have a montage of scenes like that, and then when he came of age, he'd set up shop in Phoenix, just for irony's sake, as the most useless superhero ever, the Fish out of Water.

Pretty silly, eh? Well it's supposed to be. If you take something like that seriously, you need to have your head examined.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Utopia or Dystopia?

When I was in school, a lot of reading assignments were books that dealt with the concept of a utopia, or more accurately, a dystopia. I got to thinking the other day, why are there books that feature dystopia as opposed to utopia? Well, the obvious answer is that utopias kind of make for boring reading if everything is picture perfect, but although I am generally an optimist, I have to believe it's really because the way society is now, it just isn't realistic to have a utopia.

There are a lot of people these days and in the past that have utopian ideas, and I think that's great, honestly. Unfortunately, there are those who are opposed to a society where people are truly free and in harmony, this is quite sad, and I don't understand it myself, but that's the way it is.

Maybe it's because as a species, we're still pretty unevolved and some of us would prefer a state of constant stagnation, rather than the uncertainty of positive change. That in itself could make for an interesting story idea, but I don't think I'm up to the Orwellian standards to do such a thing, and honestly, I am too naive to do it, or even want to do it. Anyway, those are my thoughts do with them what you will.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Today's a review day.

All Star Batman & Robin #3

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

All Star Superman #2 Review

Another simultanous post, after this if I do a review for my writing of the day I will just hyperlink it.

I am not one of those who will buy everything that has Grant Morrison's name on it, but I have to say that so far, All Star Superman has me hooked. If Morrison can do anything, it's tell silver-ageish stories with a modern flair. As the issue opens, Superman is taking Lois on a tour of his Fortress of Solitude, while she is unbelieving in the fact that Clark Kent is Superman, years of trying to prove that same thing kind of makes Superman the boy who cried wolf when he does reveal his ID, and it's a nice way of turning that tried and true silver age plot device on it's ear. Superman himself is an interesting character in this incarnation, something some naysayers has been lacking in the core Super-titles. While he seems aloof, he's really just trying to show Lois a good time, and simultaneously and very subtly trying to ease the impact of the bombshell he has to drop on her, culminating in a nifty last page surprise that I won't reveal here.

The big draw of this issue, for me at least, was the wonders contained within Superman's fortress. I've always liked issues like that, and I probably always will, I suppose I am just a sucker for fantastical displays.

What can I say about the art? Well, I am certainly not a Frank Quietly fan, and at first I thought his style was a bit too 'earthy' for Superman, but I'd by lying if I said that his take hasn't grown on me. There are a few pages, the last page in particular that captures Superman's boyishly charming and innocent side, that just made me smile. And although I am not a fan of digital inking, Jamie Grant does a serviceable job here, though I will probably always think digital inking doesn't really help to define a drawing. The colors are also not my cup of tea, I think they are a bit too muted/light, but that is just my personal preference.

All in all, if you like old-school Superman, or want to read a story with silver-age sensibilities without the somewhat archaic writing style, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Oversleeping isn't what it's cracked up to be.

In a world where at least 8 hours of sleep is required, can a man function properly after getting 5 one night and 11 the next? Will he act normally or will he fall on his face during the day, making people laugh their heads off? We'll find out as I attempt to go to work in 45 minutes, after I hastily write up a fake movie trailer regarding my messed up sleeping habits.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Woo, I'm a reviewer.

This is verbatim of a review I did at www.thecomicsreview.com Yes, I do reviews there now, so that counts as my writing for today, in the future, I will just link it.


Thank goodness for small favors. As a whole, "The Other" has left me rather underwhelmed. Thanks to Peter David, though we get a breath of fresh air this issue. Sure, it deals with new powers and the aftermath of last month's strange occurrences, but it also delivers a fun and entertaining ride.

The way the various big brains of the Marvel Universe want to poke and prod poor Peter nicely conflicts with Peter's own need to be with his family, and culminates in a nice exchange between the think tank and Aunt May. Another great moment is a classic web-swinging sequence intermingled with an introspective talk between husband and wife, that makes me feel like David can truly handle writing the relationship between MJ and Peter in a way that doesn't make one or the other out to be a jerk. Another strength Peter David brings that has been sorely lacking in the main spider-titles is supporting characters! I have to say it was a pleasant surprise to see Flash Thompson again, and his upcoming vocation promises to be interesting.

Mike Wieringo's art fits this book perfectly. It can be fun and dynamic when it needs to be, as well as creepy when applicable. The colors also nicely fit the various moods throughout the book, and by the time I hit the last page, I was definitely wanting more.

In closing, although I really haven't enjoyed the other, I really enjoy Peter David writing this books, and now that the rotating creative team hullabaloo is over, he's on F'n Spider-Man (a term of endearment, honestly) for the long haul, and so am I.

Overall Rating: (8/10)
Writing Rating: (8/10)
Artistic Rating: (7.5/10)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Gee, Gratuitous Gobs of G's

Don't ask.


Gus Gorman gipes greatly, giving great grief.
Green Grocer Gary gives good gravy-grams.
Guy grows greenish groves. Got grapes? Gimmie!
Glenda glams great groovy gams, Graham.
Gene gloms greasy gangly gangsters gumming gates.


And that's enough, that takes alot out of a guy.

Friday, January 20, 2006

What Dreams May Come...

I don't remember my dreams often, but when I do, it's almost always something pretty strange. The night before last I had a dream where I was working in an incredibly high-tech bank, and for some reason I was there after hours, and then there was a group of criminals who were able to break in and steal a lot of cash. I was dreaming a heist movie, apparently. I like heist movies, but the dream took a weird turn after the robbery because since I was in the bank at the time, I was framed for the crime. So instead of examining available evidence and trying to prove my innocence rationally (honestly it would have been simple, a high tech bank surely has surveillance cameras?), I ran for it. So now I guess my dream went from being a heist movie to an episode of The Fugitive.

I know there was more to it, but the nature of dreams you know, if you don't write it down, you're likely to forget it. Still, it was pretty odd. I wish there was a way to record dreams, that would be the single most incredible invention of the age. You could experience the weirdness of your subconscious again and again. At least the above dream wasn't as weird as the time I was Jackie Chan's chauffeur, that was just freakishly odd.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Primer on Earth-Prime Superboy!

This post possibly includes spoilers for Infinite Crisis, so if you're a comic reader who cares about that sort of thing, you may not want to read this... yet.


So, if you've been reading DC's epic Infinite Crisis, you know by now that the mastermind behind it all is Alexander Luthor, and his (for want of a better term) lackey, Superboy of Earth-Prime. In this little article I am going to talk about said Superboy and try to come to terms with the way the story is going. It's great, mind you, I am really enjoying it and everything, but I am having a hard time coming to terms with how they changed Superboy so much. (see figure 1A/1B)

Back in the mid 1980's, DC Comics had what were called 'multiple earths'. It was a nice story device that let them have different 'playgrounds' for different types of characters. On one of these Earths, Earth-Prime, Superheroes like Superman, Batman and the like were fictional characters that appeared in comic books just like our own earth! In the universe that contained Earth-Prime, there was also a Krypton-Prime, and it was just as doomed as any other version of Krypton. Jor-El, sent his only son to Earth, like in so many other realities, except for the fact that baby Kal-El was sent by way of a matter transporter and not a rocket. Kal-El was found in the woods, by (who else) the Kents. These Kents were not farmers though, they were Jerry Kent, who owns a computer business, and his (as far as I know) unnamed mother, who was in a successful law firm. Make a note of that, because I'll get back to it later. Clark Kent grows up, and he's no different from the other boys he grows up with, and in fact, is incredibly average. One day, he goes to a beach costume party dressed up as Superboy, to play off of his being named after a comic book character! In a set of circumstances that could only happen in a comic book, a comet passes by as the Superman revenge squad sends Earth-1 (the 'main' Earth) Superman to Earth-Prime, this somehow activates Earth-Prime Superboy's powers (he is Kryptonian, after all), the two Superman meet and have an adventure together.




Shortly thereafter, the still relatively inexperienced Superboy is thrust into the Crisis on Infinite Earths. I wont go into details regarding that, as time is short and others have done it much better than I could. In the aftermath of the Crisis, The 'good' Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 (everyone good is evil, everyone evil is good) takes himself, Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2 (the 'originals') and Earth-Prime Superboy to a pocket dimension where they are to have their reward for services rendered in the saving of the universe.

Cut to 20 years later and Infinite Crisis, the "sequel" to the original Crisis finds the now singular earth in dire staits, and Earth-2 Superman (who is watching from his 'paradise') thinks that if the merged earth were based off of Earth-2 and not Earth-1 like it was, things would have been better, so he sets off to make things right. Meanwhile, it's revealed that a lot of the things that have been going haywire lately are directly because of Alex Luthor and Earth-Prime Superboy.

This was a shock to me, maybe not Luthor so much, because hey, he's a Luthor. Superboy is another matter entirely. I was thinking to myself, where can he have gone wrong, and then, Infinite Crisis #4 hit the stands, and I was aghast at what happened, but I realized the why and how of Superboy's behavior. I am not a psychoanalyst or anything, but it seems plausible to me that Superboy went kind of nutty for a few reasons. First of all, he was not raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent, two kindly farmers who in every other reality taught Superman what was important in life and to never use his powers for personal gain. This Superboy on the other hand was raised by two parents who had the type of jobs that would keep them busy most of the time, not to mention the fact that they had no idea their son was from the planet Krypton, and therefore couldn't teach him how he should use them in the aid of humanity. Secondly, he has next to no experience in being a hero. He met Superman in his first adventure, and learned the ropes, but he was still incredibly green, and someone who has the power to move planets, but not the experience to use it properly is a powderkeg just waiting to explode. Lastly, and probably most importantly, he has been cooped up with Luthor for 20 years (probably not that long in comic book time), and has likely been led astray by him (Luthors are notoriously manipulative). Since he pretty much now amounts to Alex's soldier-boy, where he doesn't really do his own thinking, I can see how this has come to be. I don't necessarily like it, but I can see how it happened. I can only hope that before the series is over he can somehow redeem himself, but considering his armor plated, zombie-like visage in figure 1-B, I doubt it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday = Comics

So, this is just a quick post. I need to figure out a diffrent way/time to post on Wednesday, because I spend too much time socializing at the local comic shop. There isn't any inhernetly wrong with that, it's just hard to keep a 'write a little a day' promise when most of my free time on said day is spent out. Oh well. I promise something better for tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A quick idea

This is (as The Frantics would say) an "idea that comes to you in the middle of the night, so you get up and write it down, but can't make heads or tails of it in the morning".

What would happen if a young man with his head perpetually in the clouds, someone who can't really separate fantasy and reality, was suddenly given the ability to alter reality at will? Would he be a hero or a menace? Why was he given this ability, and who gave it to him in the first place? Can anyone so potentially dangerous be allowed to run free? What will the government do when they get wind of it? Can they do anything at all? Will the boy even realize what's happened to him? Will he care?

So, um, since it was a quick thought it wasn't really fleshed out, but there it is. Open to suggestion and all that.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Haiku part 2

I am being lazy today, enjoying the day off, here are haikus of what is occupying my time currently

It's Trauma Center!
pretend to be a surgeon
real blood makes me wretch
Feel the Magic rocks
win the girl by acting weird
Should just talk to her
Go, go Rocketeer
fight off those pesky Nazis
flying would be nice.
iPods are not cheap
I fix mine by hitting it
I am like The Fonz
Fly me to the Moon
Sinatra sings it quite well
Crooners shine so bright
Chicken McNuggets...
Not really chicken are they?
Oh well, I'm hungry.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Interesting...

OK, as a writing exercise today I thought I would try and transcribe a radio sketch into script format, it shouldn't be too difficult (except I don't really have any experience scriptwriting)



SETTING: Outside a modest house, we see a man walking up to the front door.

(knocking)

(more knocking.. interrupted by)

MR INTERESTING(excitedly): Hello There! I see you are knocking on that door there.

MAN: Yes, I am.

MR. INTERESTING: I see your... knuckles are coming into... contact with the door, and creating resonant waves which set up sympathetic compressions and rarifactions, which we hear as knocking.

MAN(somewhat bewildered):Yes, I- I suppose we do. (demonstrates by knocking)

MR. INTERESTING: Kind of innnnteresting, wouldn't you say?

MAN: Yes, yes it is... Well! looks like no one's home so...

MR. INTERESTING: Yes! It looks like no one's home, but the innnteresting thing is that there is, in fact, someone home and I am him! Isn't that interesting? Excuse me, pardon me for not introducing myself. My name is Mr. Interesting. You must be here about the room to let. May I assume that you are responding to my advertisement in the paper?

MAN: Well, no... It was the-

MR. INTERESTING: It was the ad in the laundromat?

MAN: No, it was the-

MR. INTERESTING: The note in the bus depot?

MAN: No, it was the one stuck under the table in the College of Surgeons cafeteria.

MR. INTERESTING: Ah! That was the... innnteresting one!

MAN: Well, I'm interested in a nice, clean room.

MR. INTERESTING: Then please, come in, come in!

MAN: Oh! Only the top half of your door opens.

MR. INTERESTING: Yes. (pauses) Interesting, isn't it? You see, the bottom half of the door is bricked shut, to prevent burglars from kicking it in with their feet!

MAN: What about the top half?

MR. I: They get right in! How's that for interesting? Now come along. Oh, watch your step, you see, the Vikings did not believe in floors, so we have a vine swing across this pit, which I have filled with old telephone booths!

MAN: Wow, that's uh...

MR I: Innteresting.

MAN: Yes.. yes it is.

MR I: Now, grab this vine and-

MAN: Wuh Wuh Whoa!

MR I: across to the other side.

MAN: Boy is that ever-

MR I: Interesting?

MAN: Do you have to say interesting after everything?

MR I(matter of factly): No.

MAN(relieved): Oh, good.

MR I:And yet I do! Isn't that interesting? Now, step with me into this airstream, and we'll be (wind noises) liiifted up to the second floor. Mind the life-size leatherette dinosaur. Ho-ho Interesting, wouldn't you say? I would, I'm Mr. Interesting.

MAN: But, now now, come on Mr. Interesting isn't your real name is it?

MR I: Oh, no no no no

Man(agreeable):No.

MR I: Of course not. My real name is, I mean, as long as you're interested, my real name is Mr. Incredible.

MAN: Well, that's hard to believe.

MR I: In fact, it's incredible... but not very interesting. Now, this is what we call.. your room.

(sounds of rodents squeaking)

MAN: Oh! Uh, it's full of rats!

MR. I: I know! We call it your room but it's really the rodent room! Isn't that interesting! In fact, your room is this broom closet.

MAN: Oh, now I don't want a--

(door opens, sounds of birds chirping)

MAN: Wow, it's paradise.

MR I: Yes. You see that waterfall is surrounded by bonsai trees, and rice paper walls! Wouldn't you call that interesting?

MAN: No! I'd call that beautiful!

MR I: Not interesting?

MAN: Oh it's, no no it's gorgeous.

MR I: Well, you see your bed, has elephant tusk bedposts.. attached to real elephants! Interesting, no?

MAN: Noooo, exotic.

MR I(determined): Well, how about this bathroom? (opens door) With a microwave toilet, and a horizontal shower! What else could anyone call that besides interesting?

MAN: Bizarre.

MR I: Not interesting?

MAN: Nuh-uh. Not interesting.

MR I(dejected): Oh.

MAN: See, I just don't see the point of saying interesting all the time. (loudly) Not everything is interesting!

(roaring)

MAN: Whoa!

MR I: Not even my real lion-skin bathmats?

MAN(exclaiming): No! That's dangerous!

MR I: You refuse to say... interesting?

MAN: I do.

MR I(excitedly):Isn't that interesting!

MAN: No, no, no It's just normal. It's normal. Now how much do you want for this room here?

MR I: What if I said you could stay here for free?

MAN: ...Interesting.

MR I: Interesting! Interesting.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Save Spider-Girl!


Ok, Spider-Girl, for the uninitiated is the ongoing story of May 'Mayday' Parker, the daughter of Spider-Man. In many people's opinions (mine included), it is one of the better comic books on the market today. Not only does it feature patented "Hoo-Hah" action, but it is also full of drama, pathos and fun. It even tackles social issues like battered women. Marvel Comics has decided to end the series with issue #100, but this isn't the first time the series has been in jeopardy, and the fans have saved it time and again, and it's time to do so again!

All of the pertinent information you need to save the book are located at the website linked on the banner below, please do all you can, I know I will.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Oh noes! Friday the 13th!

I am kind of surprised that superstitions are still as prominent in this day and age. I would have thought that the majority of people's common sense would have evolved as science tells us more about how our world works, but maybe people still let themselves believe in superstitions because it's fun to do so.

I don't really get any kind of thrill about being scared, but I can still let superstition entertain me. Ok, it's Friday the 13th, now I just need to find a black cat to cross my path while I spill salt walking under a ladder. If I am ok, then maybe people will not give superstition as much thought, and if I end up with a ton of bricks falling on my head or something else equally dire, then I guess after I get out of hospital, I'll eat some crow.

Yes, this was a complete waste of time, and not really writing per se but, I am again strapped for time, and it was the first thing that popped in my head.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Robert Kirkman thinks I suck.

SO last week, Robert Kirkman (who I mentioned was my favorite comic writer currently) wrote in his column Buy My Books that he doesn't like to be asked how to break into the comics business, because the sad truth is that 90% of all aspiring writers suck on ice. At first that really ticked me off, and my gut reaction was, "What a jackass." but now, I think a bit differently. If Kirkman is convinced that the majority of people suck, well, I bet he's probably right. I can't let it discourage me though, even though I may suck at writing now, I won't forever.

I am a bit rusty, not having written regularly since high school, but I know that I am good at it. I also am aware that it's incredibly hard work, but I am ready for it. I have been mulling over what to do with my life for a long time, and though some dreams have come and gone, I have always been imaginative and I have always enjoyed writing, and am willing to give it my all, because it's something I want more than anything.

Anyway, that mini-rant is over. Looking at various forums, other people had the same gut reaction as I did, but I hope that others realize that it was really meant as a kick in the pants, rather than a slight at his entire readership. After all, he wants you to Buy His Books.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Not enough hours in the day..

I have severly limited time today because I work soon, and it was Comic Day, o I am just going to muse on something...

Why is it that ever since Mr. Spock sported one, that all evil twins have to have a goatee? If I were an evil mastermind, I would be clean shaven just to throw people off my trail.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Sci-Fi Idea

A lot of times, when I try to go to sleep, ideas start bouncing around in my head, I should write them down right then, but I was too lazy to get out of bed, so here's what I recall.

One of my favorite sub-genres of science fiction is time travel. One thing I noticed about it though, is if the time travelers somehow change the past, they are the only ones aware of it, and the rest of the world goes on like nothing happened. So wouldn' it be interesting, if there was a cadre of unscrupulous people who continuously used a time machine to change things to their liking, and by chance, possibly to balance the cosmic scales, a lone mental patient starts to develop a form of Multiple Personality Disorder, but his MPD is actually time displaced versions of himself coming to the surface, they remember how the world was, and not how it is, and they know they're the only ones who can fix it?

It could easily be an ongoing series where the protagonist goes on a merry chase against the group of time travelers, using knowledge from various alternate versions of himself to be better prepared to combat these depraved souls who are threatening to destroy the fabric of reality just because they wanted to live in luxury.

Anyway, I don't know if there was more... I really need to get a notebook or something.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A quickie

I oveslept today, so I don't really have an idea in mind, so I am going to do limericks today (yeah, yeah)

There once was a guy name Beau,
Who didn't know which way to go.
He wandered the streets, to find him some eats
But he hit the curb and stubbed his toe!

In a world where there's violence and hate
One man can alter society's fate
with explosions so high, they bring a tear to your eye
Movies today really grate.

Yeah I should do more, but I really don't have time, so hasta la pasta!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Another weekly off the top of my head tale...

In a world full of amazing abilities, the man who relies on nothing but his own wit comes out on top....

On the far off planet of Gilpne, there lived a race of super-beings, they lived in a society much like our own, but rather more advanced thanks to the myriad of powers possessed by it's inhabitants. Instead of countries, each land mass was ruled by one of the 5 'houses' that had been in charge longer than anyone could remember. On the largest of these continents, Northor by name, the House of Zam ruled, and their subjects were happy, that is, all of the subjects were happy save young Locke. Locke was the Prince of Zam, and he was unhappy because he had reached puberty last summer, but did not gain any special ability. King and Queen Zam enlisted the help of all of Northor's top scientists, but unfortunately they could not find the reason for this occurrence. Their findings did conclude that Locke would never receive his 'gift' and therefore was branded 'ordinary'.

Although King Kev and Queen Mert loved their son very much, the ancient laws that helped each house govern their people explicitly stated that if anyone was deemed 'ordinary' they were to be killed on the spot to avoid 'the cataclysm'. The sage King could not bring himself to do such a grisly deed, especially to his own son, but knowing that faith in the monarchy would be of shaky ground if he did not, devised a plan. He would fake his son's death in public view, while the Queen would spirit away the young man to the farthest reaches of the kingdom, under the pretense that she couldn't bear to see her son killed. With this plan in action Prince Locke was cast off to journey alone, in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Locke was alone for the first time in his life, luckily for him, he was brought up to be independent and was taught by the best teachers Northor had to offer. Wrapped in flowing robes, Prince Locke ventured into the village of Non, where news from the capital seldom reached. Still, not wanting to arouse suspicions as to why the Prince was wandering the streets of a peasant village, Locke disguised himself by shaving his head at a nearby stream, and continued into the center of the town to hopefully find work as a means of sustenance. His search was cut short when he heard a cry for help at a fish merchant across the way. Behind the counter of the fish market was a burly mountain of a man, with a large curling mustache, an open crimson vest and puffy white pants, on his face was a scowl that made Locke shiver. The merchant's eyes started glowing a bright magenta, glaring at a young lady, no older than 14 with a look of abject terror on her face. Locke not knowing the situation, but being the nobleman that he is, decided to intervene

"Hold, sir. May I try to quash this conflict without violence?", asked Locke
"Mind your own business, you mangy whelp!" exclaimed the merchant.
"Forgive my rudeness sir. Pleaded the Prince, but whatever the trouble, I am sure that it doesn't warrant your frying this young woman."
"Hold your tongue before you make things worse!", whispered the woman.

The merchant was practically fuming now and jumped from behind the counter, eyes glowing and wielding a serrated sword. Acting quickly, Prince Locke grabbed a handful of dirt from the ground and threw in into the merchants eyes and grabbed the woman's hand

"Run for your life!" shouted Prince Locke
"Are you insane?", queried the girl, Now he'll be even madder at the both of us and won't stop until he see us both as a pile of ash!"
"Not to worry, once his eyesight recovers we'll be long gone, and when he sees what I left him, his rage should subside." the prince said, smugly
"What could you possibly *pant* have left to calm him down that much!?" commented the girl
"Just a little token to remember me by." Locke replied cryptically

Back at the merchant's counter The peddler of fish saw a small pouch of gold, all that the prince had with him on his journey, and a small piece of parchment with the crest of the house of Zam saying simply, "keep the change."

"Interesting, if what my cousin Jarko in the capital told me is true, the prince is dead, but if I just got left this, I think I just came up with the means to leave this impoverished town for good." the merchant laughed to himself.

And that's where I'll end things for now, If you want to read the continuing adventures of Prince Locke, let me know!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The book that made me a DC fan for life.



When I was a kid, I of course knew the 'big' superheroes.. You know, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk, thanks to their (at the time, anyway) permeation of popular culture, heck my mom used to buy me Superman peanut butter! Anyway, the heroes who weren't top of the heap weren't as familiar to me, apart from who I saw on Super Friends, tho they didn't really you much about who they were, but one day in the late 80's my mother purchased for me a book that'd change my reading habits and open my eyes to the world's greatest superheroes, and it was only 4.95!

It wasn't fancy by any means, just newsprint and a cover, but what was contained within the cover was nothing short of amazing! Inside I learned all about Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter (who I previously had never heard of) , the Justice League of America, insights on Superman and Batman, but most important to me was the exploits of Barry Allen, otherwise known as The Flash.

The flash is really police scientist Barry Allen, who one day working in his lab, was struck by lightning, dousing himself in various unnamed chemicals, a bit woozy, he leaves for home, and unable to hail a taxicab he gives chase finding he can outrun the automobile. The story goes on to show off Flash's Rogues Gallery, one of the better ones in comicdom, and at the end of the tale, it shows Barry not only giving his life to save the multiverse during the Crisis, but actually traveling through time, to become the very lightning bolt that gave him his powers. At the time, I didn't understand that Barry was gone (hey, I was ten), so I went on assuming that Barry was and always had been the Flash. Of course when the TV Show started the next year, I was ecstatic, I did sort of wonder why this Barry wasn't blond with a buzzcut, but I also didn't care that much, I was in heaven. Imagine my surprise when I received the Flash action figure with the fact file saying that the Flash was Wally West and could only run 745 m.p.h. I thought that surely someone was mistaken, and it wasn't until I was deep into collecting comics that I realized who Wally was.

Anyway, that one little book told me everything I ever wanted to know about my favorite super-heroes and it started out on my journey as a life-long DC fan. I've never really been into the Avengers or the X-Men, but man, the JLA rocks.

Something that intrigues me is that a similar situation brought many current comics pros into their lifelong love of comics as well, it even has the same title, but this is the original Secret Origins book, published in 1961. I picked up DC's replica edition in 1998, and while I must say origins have always been relatively the same, I just don't enjoy this book as much, I don't know if it's because it was written with a relatively different style, or if I was and am too enamored with my own entry into the comic world outside of mass media coverage, but the fact that it brought people like John Byrne into the fray is enough for me. Hopefully my continued diligence writing here will one day let me name be said in the same breath as the greats (I really, really doubt it), but even if it doesn't I feel like I have a shared experience with them nonetheless.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Frantic Times!

I really didn't prepare anything to write today, so I am just going to ramble on about one of my favorite comedy groups ever, The Frantics!

The Frantics are a Canadian foursome who've been doing comedy pretty much all of their professional lives. I wont get into their history here, because they themselves do a much better job of it on their website www.thefrantics.com and I really just want to talk about how I came to know of them.

Like many Americans, I first heard the Frantics on the Dr. Demento show with the comedy bit entitled Tai Kwan Leep/Boot to the Head. It the story of Ed Gruberman who gets booted in the head when he thinks he knows more than his martial arts teacher. I very much enjoyed it, and a few years later, I learned more about the foursome, thanks to the magic of the internet, and *ahem* bootleg copies of Frantic Times the radio show that aired on the CBC in the 80's.

On the radio show, I truly learned how talented Dan Redican, Rick Green, Peter Wildman, and Paul Chato truly were. Not only did they come up with fresh material every time, they also were talented in coming up with funny music. I was introduced to characters like Mr. Interesting, Bill from Bala, Mrs. Sarnicky, and of course, Canada's #1 aluminum headed crimefighter, Mr. Canoehead!

I had to have more, but unfortunately shortly after Frantic Times ended, the quartet parted ways, and I had to content myself with re-listening to what I had. It's funny how things work out sometimes, though. About a year ago, listening to the Dr. Demento show, I learned that the Frantics were back! They even had a new CD! I was so happy I rushed over to the Frantics' site, bought the Official Bootleg CD, along with their previously released albums, not re-released. They are even planning a box set of the Frantic Times episodes, so I can clear my conscience a bit, regarding bootlegs. If you are a comedy fan, and want to hear a group of people who are far ahead of the game, be sure to take a listen to the Frantics! (they have samples on the site, for the uninitiated)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

If I had contacts in Hollywood...

I am a big fan of Old Time Radio shows, and there are a few that I like more than any others, and If I knew how, I would certainly pitch them to the right people...

First off, I would make The Whistler a weekly series with a rotating cast, aside from the host, the whistler himself. He knows many things, for he walks by night, yes he knows the strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. In the radio show, every week you'd be told the story of someone who was somehow involved with the wrong side of the law. You see, that was the show's catch, "Even when you know who is guilty, you receive a startling surprise at the final curtain!" Often, the villain would meet a grisly and ironic fate, befitting his crime. It isn't a necessarily grisly show, but I would still probably pitch it to a cable channel first, because they have less restrictions.

The other radio show I would adapt for today's audiences is The Shadow. The only problem with this is that the rights to use the Shadow and related characters is owned by The Conde Nast Publications, who publish magazines like GQ and Vogue (by the by, I really wish they'd do something with the rights). Anyway, the only thing I would keep from the radio show is the Shadow's ability to make himself invisible, because if done subtly, that trick can be pulled off nowadays without looking cheesy. I would set up the show much like the format of Angel, where the Shadow is the leader, but he has a network of agents to help him out, like in the old pulp magazines. In those pulps, the Shadow is a much darker, eerie figure, somewhat aloof, but always on top of things, because as the saying goes: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"

Ok, that probably could have used a bit more panache, but time is a factor, till tomorrow, folks!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ryhme Time

This is pretty silly, but I thought i'd try to concoct a writing exercise where i try to rhyme as often as possible.

If the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, how does that affect Jane? What does she gain? Is she in pain if the rain makes a stain on her dress, does she fein or is it her bane? I bet she raises cane on the plain, she couldn't so that in Maine, she'd have to take a plane, so instead she stays mainly on the plain in Spain, to her disdain.

Yeah, pretty stupid eh? I needed to come up with a quicky tho, since Animal Crossing owns me right now.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Haiku!

I don't have much time to write anything today, so instead of an article here are a few haiku's right off the top of my bean.

Infinite Crisis
way too many tie-in books
DC wants my cash
The Other, In Spidey
makes me want to toss my lunch
I miss Steve Ditko
Animal Crossing
is a vacuum on free time
the days are too short
Thin Man movies rock
Nick and Nora like sleuthing
Asta likes it too
Twilight Zone sci-fi
So many awesome stories
Time Enough At Last
To be a pirate
Plundering the seven seas
I just got scurvy
Ok, that's all for now.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Are there any original ideas out there?

It's been said in the past that there aren't any new ideas in the world of entertainment, movies specifically, and that is why everything today seems derivative of something else. I'm not sure if I buy into that, because in my mind, ideas and stories come from a wellspring of the writer's experiences, and because western culture has become somewhat homogenized, the general populous' has a somewhat similar lifestyle (I know that's not really true, but I'm speaking in broad strokes here).

On the other hand, even if there are not any new ideas, there are plenty of spins on old ideas, and it's up to the writer to make them seem fresh. Take the comic book Invincible for example. It's sort of a mixture of the familiar mythos of Superman and Spider-Man. Omni-Man, Invincible's father was sent from another planet to live on earth, like Superman. Invincible, by contrast, is a teenager who gets super powers and has to deal with the problems of day to day life, as well as fighting bad guys, like Spider-Man. On the surface that may seem pretty derivative, and it somewhat is, but what Robert Kirkman, the writer, does is to twist that on it's side and reveal that Omni-Man is in reality an advance scout for an invasion force and really isn't there to protect the populace. Kirkman has taken an idea that could be thought of as pretty tired, and make it feel fresh and new, and most importantly, interesting enough to keep me coming back each month for another installment. Not to go off on a tangent, but if there are any comic writers in the field today that I would aspire to be like, it'd be Robert Kirkman.

So yeah, all the ideas may have been pulled from the well already, but I don't believe it, and I am going to come up with something no one's ever tried before, and as soon as I do, you'll hear about it.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Shadow of Justice

You'll have to forgive me with this post, I'm going to concoct a short story off the cuff, and as such it may not be as coherent as I would like, but if I am going to keep my resolution to write every day, I'm going to have to contribute something, eh? Ok let's get on with it.

No one can know what I know. Their eyes are averted by the desire to think everything in 'the system' is well and good, but I know better. I know that even with the best of intentions, the law isn't a fair and equitable system If it was, I wouldn't be writing this journal. Let me tell you a tale...

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a hero. As a child, I idolized characters like Joe Friday and Perry Mason, and I decided early on that I wanted to be a policeman, As I grew into young adulthood I forced myself to learn everything I could about processes of law, while simultaneously throwing myself into an exercise regimen that some would say rivaled that of Olympic hopefuls. Finally, I reached manhood and at the earliest opportunity, I enrolled at the police academy, and graduated with flying colors, but all was not sunshine and roses...

Shortly after I received my first beat, I was called to the office of the Police commissioner himself! At first, I was thrilled to be bestowed such an honor so soon after my graduation, but soon enough, I learned that things are not always what they seem. Commissioner Eastwood wanted to see me so he could formally ask me what was going through my head when I gunned down two of my fellow academy hopefuls during my training, and how I thought I was going to get away with it! I was dumbfounded to say the least, and protested my case, but the 'evidence' was not in my favor. Apparently my fingerprints were all over the crime scene and the murder weapon, and it was pretty evident that barring a miracle, there was no way for me to prove my innocence.

My entire world crashed on that day, all I wanted to be in life seemed to be a wasted effort. According to the law (and an amazingly fast trial) I was summarily kicked off the force, sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and to top it all off, I was disowned by my family. Utterly downtrodden by the entire affair, I didn't even try to fight it, disillusioned as I was. On my way to the federal prison, a strange thing happened. The transport vehicle was hit by lightning, causing it to careen off a cliff, shockingly cracking the framework enough for me to eke my way out, woozy as I was from the crash (cliched, I know, but truth is stranger than fiction). I saw this as a second chance at life, but how would I live my life? How could I? As if in answer, the first thing I saw after crawling from the wreckage was the scorched visage of Lady Justice, on the side of the transport vehicle. It was there and then that my life was given new purpose. The law is dictated by man, and is therefore fallible, but justice is absolute! If I couldn't be a part of the laws of men, I could dedicate myself as a force for justice. The world at large must never know about me though, as in the public's eye I would be thought of as best, dead, or at worst a convicted criminal at large. So from that day on, I'd stick to the shadows... I would be a shadow myself... The Shadow of Justice!


That's it for now, if anyone reads this and wants to see more, I would definitely write more, I know this blog is only seen by a few people regularly, but feedback is incredibly important to people who try to entertain, If I don't know what is liked and what is disliked, how can I improve myself?