Don't Shoot Me...I'm Just Buying Gasoline!

Whew. Everyone out there better be sure to carry a baseball bat and make sure your auto insurance is paid up as you head to the pumps today. To say prices are volatile is an understatement. People are at the pumps acting like madpeople--punching and hitting each other just because one person thinks the other is "stealing" the gas that is "rightfully theirs." Regular grade gas is anywhere from $2.67 to $2.85 per gallon if you can get it in the Pittsburgh area. (I say 'if' because many stores around here are out of regular grade gas.) I've seen premium gas up to nearly $3.50. Gas is also $3.42/gallon in Atlanta. Rumor has it this is only the tip of the iceberg. Thank you Katrina, and f*** you OPEC.

I also believe cheapgas.com has requested a domain name change to nosuchthingascheapgas.com, or expensiveashellgas.com, or somesuch. Friends of George W. Bush and OPEC are phoning in comments of sincere thanks. I also think OPEC is holding hourly masses praising God, Allah, or the deity of their choice. People are also suddenly discussing the downfall of the entire infrastructure of the country, or just the downfall of the entire airline industry.

Inflation is right around the corner. Produce costs will soar, as will the price of anything carried by truck. Prices are on their way to...well, experts say $4/gallon, but I say $5. In this case I hope the experts are closer to the real figure than I am.

Let's hope it settles down soon, else it's just back issues and old books & magazines for me.

Just to state the obvious: anywhere near minimum wage ain't gonna cut it anymore.

Be careful out there. Like I said: baseball bats, auto insurance. And watch for water in the tank.

Why couldn't Reagan have kept up the research avenues for new fuel sources in '81 instead of vetoing all the legislature that President Carter put forth? Can't anyone see it's bad to rely on one type of fuel?

Is www.screw-you-opec.com taken?



More Fun (But No Comics)

I'll post in-depth later, but for now:
  • I don't personally know anyone in the path of Hurricane Katrina, that passed through parts of Missisippi and Louisiana since Sunday night; however, that said, any people who are in those affected areas or know people down there--heck, everyone in general: you have my condolences, and I hope everything gets better down there soon. Life goes on.
  • "You learn something new every day" dept.: I'm guessing the 80s band Mr. Mister was a Christian rock band. I haven't done any research, don't know a thing about 'em besides, but just yesterday I realized that their song "Kyrie" is not about a girl (silly, silly me), and is in fact a riff on the Greek mass' enunciation for "Lord have mercy" (Kyrie Eleison). I say thee "huh."
  • Similarly: Anyone ever seen a movie from the 60s called Oh! What a Lovely War? The guy down at the barbecue stand at the bottom of the hill recommended it highly. It's allegedly a satire on par with Dr. Strangelove (Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), which is absolutely brilliant. If you've seen it, speak up.
  • Remington Steele is the best TV show produced in the early 1980s. I'm halfway through season 1 on DVD right now, and it's fantastic. Buy it, rent it from Netflix, I don't care...just watch.
  • Work continues to grate. Remind me to tell you how the best advice I've offered so far was "Call the cops." Remember, it's a tech support line.
  • I think I'm finally getting ready to write my first original novel. I'll be picking up a copy of Writer's Market shortly. Meanwhile, I'll just say it's very Twilight Zone, with a decent mix of autobiographicality and metafiction. Still in the outline stage and doing heavy research. Don't worry, I won't neglect my dear fans like you--I'll still be posting semiregularly here. I may have to cut back on the interviews & reviews soon enough if the book really gets rolling. By all means, pray that it does go well, because then, those of you who don't know me in person will be able to meet me on a nationwide book tour as I go full steam ahead to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.
That is all...oh, and yes, the infamous "lost post" is forthcoming. Check back in the archives for the topic I keep saying I'll talk about but never have. It's on its way.



Ode to Marzbar...You Know Who You Are

And although it's probably way outside probability, I hope you're reading my blog. If you are, then maybe you'd be surprised to see this entry, and maybe not so much. Or maybe you just enjoy Googling your own nickname from college and seeing what comes up, in which case, voila.

I'm acting a bit silly, I guess. I keep seeing one of your old AIM screen names popping up on my Buddy List and then just as quickly going away. I don't know if it's really you, or if someone else just happened to pick out that same nickname once you'd deserted it. (For all I know, someone stole your cell phone and that dratted AIM box keeps popping up every time they use it...) So seeing the nick pop up made me think of you, and thinking of you made me think of the few good times that were, and the many more that might have been...had I been a better man.

(Just so we're clear, all: the name up above? It's not the lady in question's AIM nick. So, nyah.)

The few occasions when we did talk together are etched into my mind forever. I just wish I was ready to step forward, take you by the hand, ask you out on a honest-to-gosh date. We met in the SFO at college, do you remember? You and your friend Kristin sat near my friend Liz and I at the first meeting of the semester--a screening of "Being John Malkovich," which, admittedly, I didn't want to sit through because I'd already seen the movie. But, hey, I wanted to join the club, and, having been away from campus for a semester due to illness (following some life-changing events...bad breakup and subsequent diagnosis of a chronic illness), I needed to ground myself in college life, and that meant going out and making new friends. I guess you were appointed.

I think at the time I was still in "date no one" mode, and maybe I also had a feeling or two for Liz, whom I'd only just met weeks before. Who can say? But weeks passed, meetings were held at your and Kristin's dorm. And the next thing I knew, I wanted to get to know you better.

Do you remember the time I dropped by the diner where you worked in the middle of the night? Here's a secret: I wasn't coming from any party downtown. I just came from my dorm, a few blocks away, to see you. You, with your glistening blond hair, intriguing eyes, warm smile, kind heart. We talked--about our respective college careers, movies we liked, books we'd read--and I let myself go for the first time in far too long. And then I walked you home at--what was it, 4 a.m.? I think I was beaming the whole way home.

I didn't know you had someone else...Jason, was it? The next time I went to the diner, I met him. Next thing I knew, you were gone from the diner, and I only very rarely saw you again. Some meetings for SFO, a chat or two on the phone, and at that winter choir performance at the Music Building. I guess the window of opportunity had passed.

So consider this a love letter, a few years too late, from me to you. I don't know where you are, or what you're doing, or if you're already married with kids. But I hope you've thought of me, and I hope we meet again someday. Most of all, I hope you're happy with where life has taken you.

I miss you, Marzzy.



This Message Will Self-Destruct in 30 Seconds...

I'm geeked out to the hilt, fellas. And it's something I can't really tell you much about, which is what irks me. So bear with me and I'll follow this up in a later post.

Everyone knows by now that I have an interviewing gig at Comixfan, in addition to reviewing. My first two interviews are up--one with Stuart Moore, writer of DC's Firestorm, and the other with Tony Bedard, writer of Marvel's Exiles series. If you haven't done so, surf over to the site and check out my articles.

So yeah, I came across promotional stuff (covers) I can't share until it's posted with a future interview.

But it's frickin' cool.

Not only is it frickin' cool because the artist is superb, but also because, well, one of my favorite characters, who hasn't been seen in about 8 years in comics, is represented prominently on said promo piece. (If you know my AOL screen name, you know who I'm talking about.) So prominently, do I dare hope that he has a similarly sizable role in the story behind the artwork? Here's hoping.

Last word: Marvel 2099, dudes. (Okay, two words.)



"Mein Kampf" for Children

Whee, this is fun. I hate to go two political entries in a row, but this is necessary. I think my brain just went "China Syndrome." (Sorry, Rod!)

I guess humor has found its way into the kiddies' section at your local Barnes & Noble Bookseller. Katharine DeBrecht and Jim Hummel have written and illustrated a book titled Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! I saw this on the news today and couldn't help but sigh. Parents, you can combat liberal indoctrination perpetrated by 99% of today's media by purchasing this little book, reading it into your iPod, and setting the looped recording at your sleeping children's bedside 7 days a week, until like a miracle, your children will begin quoting long passages from the book without knowing how they knew all this stuff!

Seriously, I'd rather teach a child to think for himself, and try showing him/her both sides of the political spectrum, than practice any sort of preachy indoctrination. That way lies madness. But then again, by asking them to choose, aren't I (gasp) practicing liberalism? Oh no!

Just for shits and giggles: take out "liberal" from the title and insert any describer that happens to apply to you. Would you be offended? Chances are you aren't alone.

No, I haven't read the book, and apparently the people who "reviewed" it on amazon.com are all bald-faced liars, because on said news program, they said it doesn't come out until late September. Anything I say now, those unaffiliated with my liberal leanings will say, is rampant speculation and is ugly, ugly, hideous ranting based on conjecture rather than fact. (paging Mr. Hannity...) I say the mere fact that there is a book out there whose purpose is to convert young, impressionable minds to a specific school of thought, no matter whether conservative or even liberal, is wrong. That's called propaganda, folks, and it doesn't get any wronger than marketing it to kids. Kids who cannot possibly understand the complexities of what it means to be "left-wing" or "right-wing." You know, little future politicos (not present ones) who think wings are things associated with flying animals and angels?

And if--if--this is a satire, then it's in poor taste, because kids don't recognize satire. Not only that, the best satires, the best expressions of views, are done quietly, subtextually, slickly. From the information I've seen so far on this book, it's got all the subtlety of a door spring-loaded with spikes from a James Bond movie, or the laser Goldfinger had aimed at 007's crotch. This book just perpetuates the hideous stereotype of conservatives as illiterate lunkheads. (Which they are, but--aww, skip it. Hiya, choir! I preach to thee!)

Life experience is a better teacher. Indoctrination at an early age is a tactic used by people fearful what their children will grow up to become. It's a tool of the weak. (It was also a tool of the Soviets, and the Nazis used it on the Hitler Juden with anti-Semitic stories.) Why use obvious parodies of Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy as shining examples of "the enemy" if not to breed contempt in young minds for the real people? (Hint: one of them's on the Presidential short list for '08.) A better question to ask in this instance is: why are conservatives such as the authors of this book so afraid of letting their children grow up and think for themselves? Why do they want to instill this kind of hatred and cynicism in their kids?

Kids, if your parents try reading you this book, get the gun out of their top drawer (crawl up so you can reach), and shoot them. Parents, if you are thinking about getting this book to read to your kids, take some Zoloft, and if that doesn't work, refer to what I'd have your kid do.

Remember folks, smart people are not (necessarily) evil. Dumb people can be leagues more dangerous.



America's Love Affair With the Stupids Continues Interminably

Iraqis keep dying, as do our own soldiers. Pro-and anti-war peoples converge on the ranch down in Crawford, Texas, where our fair President is taking his record fiftieth vacation. (Not to worry, he's getting his daily briefings and making non-prepped, awful-sounding speeches to let us know he's apparently still working.) How'd we get to this point? How do people still believe that the war is just and that it's worth fighting and that we can possibly win?

I'm saddened at the U.S. of A. We've got a terrible anti-intellectual bias infiltrating its way across the country, and it's succeeded in restoring George W. Bush for another term filled with lies, schemes, anti-liberal jargon, and anti-science bullcrap. No, I'm not anti-Republican; I'm anti-Bush. The one man who knew what was going on in the most corrupt administration this side of Richard Milhous Nixon, General Colin Powell (Ret.), saw that to try and light the way with truth and reason was not going to work, and rather than be forced to tow the company line and carry on this truly sickening series of events in the Middle East (today, Iraq; tomorrow, some other country that has a "Q" in it that links them to Al-Qaeda), he stepped down. The only horrifying consequence of that action was that in came Condi and no voice of dissent/reason was there to stop Bush from doing what in his mind needed to be done: namely, wrecking our democracy and plunging the world into armageddon.

Fact is, President Bush wrecked every business he got his hands on. Oil business tanks? Daddy was only too glad to give him another. What makes the average person think he won't end up wrecking the U.S. just like he did the companies he headed? Worse yet, he seems to believe the American public act at his whim, and not the other way around. We hired you, buddy--try to not screw up.

Why was Bush elected? He had one hell of a spin doctor in Karl Rove who helped him hide the bodies. Also, again, America had an attack of the stupids. No Arabs are good Arabs, some major one-sided thinking on the part of WASPs who can't even tolerate African-Americans. Oh yeah, racial profiling is our friend, of course. SCIENCE IS BAD. Science creates monsters, y'know! Even embryos which will never, ever be used to make babies should never, ever be used for stem cell research that could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives because life is sacred and they might really, truly, someday be babies no matter what scientists say. After all, scientists are wrong about evolution, too--God obviously made us and the Earth in six days. (I'm being facetious, but I'll come back to this later.)

And we can't ever trust smart people. Did I mention that? Smart people know more than average people, and can use their intelligence against us, to hide things and do bad things while we think they're doing good things. So if we give the job to a guy who's just average-smart, he won't have the brainpower to do anything that we don't want him doing. He won't be able to hoodwink us! Jeezus, what genius. It's working really well so far. Newsflash: some smart people can act dumb. Another newsflash: it's patently obvious that Mr. Bush's brain has been pickled by years of alcohol and drug abuse, and...good grief, have you heard his unrehearsed speeches from the Crawford ranch? Do you need more evidence? Quite frankly, I'm amazed that anyone who actually listened to what the man said voted for him after the disastrous series of debates he had with John Kerry last year.

People, I get that Cindy Sheehan is being exploited by the news media, her story being stretched too far. But is she wrong to express her opinion? To many Conservatives, yes, she is, and she should shut the hell up. I say you should be able to express your opinions no matter how they differ from those in power, so long as you're not breaking any laws. And that goes especially during wartime. Make your voice heard, but be sure to do it after having reviewed enough facts to not seem like an idiot. Don't do anything "just 'cuz."

Still think the news media is wrong and that everything in Iraq is hunky-dory? Read the Baghdad Burning blog for something truly enlightening about daily Iraqi life.

Still think Bush is pro-technology and a middle-of-the-road Republican? Read "I Miss Republicans" and "The President and Intelligent Design" over at Kung Fu Monkey. You gotta love this stuff.

Bring our troops home. The longer the insanity continues, the worse we look to the rest of the world. It doesn't matter what we think we're doing--the fact is we started in the wrong place, haven't captured who we want to capture, and the next Vietnam is here--what matters is what everyone thinks we're doing. And it looks like we're plowing over Islam and proving we're the Great White Devil that Bin Laden thinks we are. Bin Laden's people attacked us, which gives us a license to kick his butt in Afghanistan, not a license to try and bring the whole of Arab nations together under the veil of democracy or to attack a completely different nation just because they share a "Q" with the name of the terrorist organization that was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.




In 6 Months, I'll SO Be Running the Joint...

I'll try to make a few long-awaited blog entries very soon. In the meantime, know ye that I got a job, starting tomorrow. Help desk, call center. The hours will probably be too short (or too long, in that case, benefits would be good), the pay's definitely too little, but a resume credit's a resume credit. You know what they say--the first post-college job is the hardest to get, but once it's gotten...



Movies I Hate to Love: Van Helsing

Ever seen one of those movies that seems absolutely horrid on first viewing, but then, just like a fungus, it begins, quite unbidden, to grow on you? And the more you watch it, the worse it gets. It's worse by far than a train wreck in slow-motion. Everything in your head screams at you that you shouldn't like this movie, but somehow, something in it appeals to your hidden baboon instincts, and whoop, there it is.

So it is with me and monster-movie-gone-seriously-awry, Van Helsing.

(Forewarned is forearmed dept: Those who don't want the film spoiled for them, um Gottes Namen, cease reading now!)

I didn't like the movie at all when first I saw it in the theatre. Hugh Jackman's a good, solid actor, and he's manly and heroic and all. Kate Beckinsale is, truthfully, pretty damned sexy in her latter-19th-century corset and leather, and I like the Balkan accent. But the monsters? Richard Roxburgh is no Bela Lugosi, Shuler Hensley is a poor man's Frankenstein Monster, and there are too many werewolves in the story to ever truly get a bead on them.

On top of that, Van Helsing has been transformed into an All-Purpose Monster Hunter (TM) rather than the psychologist-cum-vampire killer he was in Stoker's book. He also turns out to be some immortal on-par with Dracula himself--"The Left Hand of God," Dracula calls him. And to add insult to injury, writer/director Stephen Sommers makes him into a 19th-Century James Bond, complete with secret organization backing him (combined with a modern 'deny everything' bent that makes him look to society at large as an enemy a la Spider-Man of sorts) and his trusty sidekick, Friar Carl (who, thank God, is not named Quentin, or Quincy, or anything else that would remind the audience of his true inspiration--James Bond's trusty Q, be it division or just Desmond Llwellyn). Also, there's the trivial matter of the first name change--from Stoker's Abraham (possibly an early Mary Sue character, since Stoker's first name was Bram, short for Abraham) to Sommers' Gabriel Van Helsing.

Then, we start getting into deeper crap, the likes of which one needs a shovel to sift through. Dracula and his brides have litters of dead kids that are hung in webby sacs that hang from the rafters of the castle proper. It's said during the film that hundreds of these born-dead nasties come from a single birthing. Dracula's purpose in the film is to use the techniques Victor Frankenstein perfected in his creation of the infamous Frankenstein Monster to bring his own children to life. Y'know, the vampire reproductive process, I thought, was generally a bite and a suck and that was that, but it appears something changes the fundamental human biology. My brain crashed and had to reboot when first I tried considering just how the whole vampire impregnation and birth process takes place. It's something I still can't wrap my head around. Steve (Sommers), if you're reading this, can you offer some insight? Or is this just one big plothole? Do all these mini-eggs just fly out her cooch and stick to the ceilings, growing and then somehow "dying on the vine," or do the Missus Draculas grow to have 200-foot wide wombs and expel all these puppies at once, or what? Help a brotha out.

Lastly, we get to that nasty problem of "only werewolf bites can kill Dracula," which is sure to be invalidated the moment Van Helsing 2 goes into heavy production. We've seen it all over the years in vampire films. Roses, stakes, silver, garlic, fire, decapitation, dismemberment, yadda yadda yadda. Can anything really deal the Prince of Darkness his final demise? It seemed an arbitrary, nonsensical addition to the canon. Werewolves. Ha! It might help if we knew how/if a relation between werewolf and vampire came to be, and why it only pertains to Dracula.

But now, I've finished watching the film for maybe the third or fourth time since getting it on DVD last Christmas. And you know something? I've fallen under its spell. I love the sets, I love Van Helsing himself (in a manly way, dammit), those vampiresses (Josie Maran and the one with red tresses are hot--the brunette, ehhh), and I even like the pitiable creature the Frankenstein Monster has become. (Although I still don't buy Carl's "I'm not supposed to help you!"/"I want to live!"/"All right!" spiel at the end.) I even like Dracula in this one (even though Max Schreck and Christopher Lee are still my favorites). The film's not remotely scary, but it's very atmospheric and that counts for a lot.

It's weird fun and I hate myself for loving this flick. In a different way than hating Sommers' two-and-a-half Mummy flicks. I hate it so much that I bought the single-disc release at Best Buy, took the bonus disc out of there and hocked the movie itself to a friend, then got the 3-disc "Ultimate Collector's Edition" of same, put the old bonus disc in there, and even now keep watching this flick.

Anyone else have any flicks they feel the same about?

Maybe if I get a good response to this article, I'll post more film stuff. Pipe up!



I Love My Pens (And Some Steelers Talk, Too)

Looks like the lockout was the best thing for those Pittsburgh Penguins.

This just in for those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few weeks: the Penguins hit the jackpot when they were awarded the first overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, selecting 17-year-old hockey prodigy Sidney Crosby, who's been wowing the hockey world since he was just a li'l pup. He's been called the next Great One, the next Lemieux, the next whatever else. On the strength of his being drafted, former Pens and players around the league are said to be coming out of the woodwork wanting to be signed by the Pens, eager for the chance to play alongside the Next Big Thing(TM). I even hear rumors Pittsburgh persona non grata Jaromir Jagr wants to come back. Truly, hell is getting unusually frigid this time of year.

I'm getting my tickets for some games tomorrow *fingers crossed hoping*.

See Sidney on tonight's Leno show on NBC, yo.

Oh, also FWIW, I don't care about Hines Ward not showing up at Steelers camp this week. If he wants to sit out the whole season, nobody's stopping him. The Steelers already offered him a contract that is head and shoulders above what any other Steeler in history has been paid. If he doesn't want to take it, that's his problem. Yeah, he's a good guy, but there are also limits to people's tolerance and generosity.

Crohn's Disease is on the warpath today--finally getting settled down now. No more hot sausage subs at Peppi's in the Strip for a while. (No, I don't eat the Roethlisburger.)

Also getting the silent films out. May watch Lon Chaney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, or maybe F.W. Murnau's Faust. Anyone up for Lang's Die Nibelungen?

Seriously, I'm doing thinking on the Weird Science "perfect woman" post. Doing some location scouting. It'll be up this weekend sometime.

In other news: the Hulk may have a daughter!



Not quite feeling superficial yet...

...but in other news, I hope everyone's bought their Tru Calling Season Two DVD sets this week. If you haven't, well, save your money for next week, when Anchor Bay Entertainment releases the set I didn't think would ever be released...until a few months ago, when word of the release came my way.

Without further ado: Profit: The Complete Series.

I assure you, it's every bit as good as it looks, and then some.

Also on the books from Paramount: War of the Worlds, Season One. Maybe Friday the 13th isn't too far away...


There Might Be a God

According to tvshowsondvd.com today, plans have been confirmed that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be releasing "The Flash" on DVD, in late 2005 or early 2006. This news comes on the heels of a recent announcement that one episode of the cult TV show (my personal favorite amid all the superhero shows that ever made it to the airwaves) will be made available as part of Warner's 50th anniversary of their TV programming, as supplement to the 4th season Smallville DVD set.

Of course, also on today's plate: an interview at Newsarama with 30 Days of Night horror writer emeritus Steve Niles, who is also writing the one-shot Marvel Monsters: Monsters on the Prowl featuring art by Duncan Fegredo and starring a certain green-skinned behemoth whom I personally can't get enough of. The book is 48 pages, costs $3.99, and ships October 26th. The book already has a stunning Banner-to-Hulk transformation sequence (which you can see by visiting the above link). Could be the book of the year for me. I suggest anyone who wants to see an A-list writer on board The Incredible Hulk regular title pick this one up. In the interview, Mr. Niles expressed his burning desire to write the Hulk on a regular basis, and certainly shows the enthusiasm required for the project. He's begged and pleaded with Marvel's editorial, but has continually met with rejection. Marvel needs to know Steve Niles is someone we Hulk fans want on the book! So, you guys know the drill: buy Niles' one-shot, and write in!


You Really Don't Want To Know What I Think (Or: Shouldn't That Be "Hulk: Piece of S***"?)

Pray this one doesn't make it off the drawing board: recently, on amazon.com, it was "revealed" that the next Incredible Hulk trade paperback to reach bookstores following the "House of M" one will be called "Peace on Earth" and will be written by Daniel Way.

Now, I could have titled this post, "Retard Hired for Hulk Gig," but I've a little more couth than that, most days.

I've made no secret of the fact I don't like Mr. Way's work much, and I don't like the way he talks. He doesn't sound particularly "edjimacated." He's a cook (he says a "chef," calling CBR reporter Jonah Weiland a "dumbass" for making the mistake, but yes, chef, cook, same diff) that landed one fancy-schmancy award (the Xeric Grant) and who automatically feels that entitles him to a living tearing comic characters down one living legend at a time. He's written Marvel heavies like Spider-Man (well, guest-starring the villain Tombstone, draining all the flavor, and rearranging like a prison "drop-the-soap" dramedy), Venom (ripping the symbiote from the villain, attaching it to a dozen someone elses, involving men in black and exotic locales and--I'm sorry, are you falling asleep from the perceived similarities to John Carpenter's The Thing and Bruce Jones' run on The Incredible Hulk? Mea culpa!), Bullseye (proving you really can't screw up writing a character who never really had any depth of character for the previous 20 years, so why start now?), and Wolverine (old guy, knives in his hands, nothing remotely good has been done with him in at least 20 years...wow, sounds almost like that Bullseye guy!). I don't know who this guy has blackmail material on to get this many high-profile Marvel gigs, but I wish said Marvel associate wouldn't take the crap and would report the guy to the proper authorities already.

I haven't even gotten to my fun quotes portion of this entry. A year or so ago, Mr. Way was talking with Pennsylvania's very own Jen Contino about an upcoming project of his, an Ant Man series written for Marvel's MAX imprint, that was subsequently scrapped. I'll just post some snippets, for fun...make up your own mind whether he's just joking around or whether he cares that little for anyone besides himself:

"THE PULSE: What do you find the most challenging about having the variety?

The most challenging part is sitting down to write when all I really want to do is get f***ed-up and get laid."

"THE PULSE: Hank Pym in the Ultimates universe seems a little "Max" but the mainstream universe Hank Pym has never seemed that cutting edge or mature - at least before the Avengers 71 issue - so why was this Ant Man (as opposed to Scott Lange ) chosen for the Max series?

I don't know (just like I don't know about this "Avengers 71" thing). Marvel sent me this big book of old Ant-Man stories and said "go". I flipped through it--sometimes he got really small, sometimes he got really big...I didn't know what the f*** was going on. So I just read the first 6 or 8 pages of the first story, got it and went off."

"THE PULSE: What are some of the elements that will make this comic have to be for Mature readers?

The butt-f***ing, mostly."

"THE PULSE: Which would you rather be: Ant Man or Giant Man or Yellowjacket? Why?

Who the f*** are Giant Man and Yellowjacket? Doesn't matter: None of the above."

"THE PULSE: What other projects are you working on?

I'm working on this movie called "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack". It's gonna be f***in' RETARDED."

You can read the interview for yourself right here. Don't say I didn't warn you folks. Seriously, there are no f***in' edits anywhere to be found.

Needless to say, I don't want to see this f***er anywhere near my Hulk.

And you can quote me on that s***.

Now, anyone got any questions for me to ask him in case I gotta do an interview with 'im for Comixfan?


Wouldn't Know It By Listening to My Radio

My name is Gary, and I'm a liberal.

(Stop looking at me like that's a bad thing.)

So it may seem strange to you what I listen to on the radio in the afternoon: The Sean Hannity Show.

Maybe that should be the vice I'm admitting as step one of this little 12-stepper. I think it's my one guilty pleasure above all others: listening to a guy on the radio whom I personally just can't stand, because in my mind, he has such a wrongheaded P.O.V. If the man leaned any further to the right, he'd fall over, or maybe if he just stays vertically and accelerates to the right, he'd be stuck in the Source Wall or something. (People who aren't fans of Jack Kirby's New Gods, need not apply.) I mean sometimes, very infrequently I'll add, I may share an opinion with the guy. We both knew Jacko was guilty (and yet he got off). And I don't feel all that terrible about John Roberts coming up as Supreme Court nominee.

Truth to tell, so much of the Hannity show is a comedy. How can it not be? In the Wild Wild West of Hannity's America, left is right, right is wrong, black is white, up is down, and George W. Bush is the good guy. Those lefties are just doing everything they can to bring the guy in the white ten-gallon hat down! According to Hannity, we lefties are lunkheads whose sole purpose is to come up with as many nonsensical reasons to hate the right as possible. If we happen to be right, that's a complete accident and can be solved by some creative tinkering. Meanwhile, Hannity hangs out with bigots (Mark Fuhrman), traitors (Ollie North), yes-men, and all manner of pondscum renowned for their "honest, insightful" opinions. In fact, his friends and their transgressions make Bill Clinton, whom he so frequently rips to shreds, look like a God's-honest saint.

Okay, some libs deserve the laughter when they call in, because some are so uninformed I have to laugh. But Hannity even makes fun of the folks who have solid opinions that run counter to his neocon ideology! Bush is a god and should never be questioned because he, Condi, Crummy, and D*ckhead Cheney are just so darn cool? Last I heard, it was every American citizen's God-given right to challenge authority, to speak our minds, to let it be known when we think the country is headed in the wrong direction. We got it spat back in our faces saying to suggest anything of the sort is treason and insults our men and women in uniform. "Attention kids, we're at war, so please, save your insults for the bureaucracy until we're finished." Sometimes the most patriotic thing we can do is voice opposition to what we perceive as injustices. That means, dear conservatives, "Nyah-nyah."

Don't get me started on how far to the right the American government is leaning, so far right that--oh, wait, I already used that analogy. So far right that it makes people like me look all that much further left. Where's the centrism? Gone, and apparently replaced by a whole bunch of Evangelical Christians. Born-Again Hypocrites. Say one thing and smoke another. Start a war, find a reason later. Never apprehend the guilty parties because, well, they finance the good ol' U.S. of A. Put all your cronies in one cabinet and toss the dissenters (Colin Powell, whom I like) out on their keisters. Sorry, charlie--we don't like Condi because she's too close to you, not because she's black! Ditto with Gonzales: ill-qualified, not because he's Latino. Yet, the Republican hype machine continues, reducing all us dissenters into blithering idiots, coining such witticisms as "Kerry Catholics" and "Turban Durbin." Yet, when we play the name game back, we're called on it. You call that fair?

I'm going to stop before my fictitious boss fires my quite real butt. (On that note, kids: soon I will wax philosophic about Remington Steele on DVD!)

In the meantime: links!