Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A Paul Henning World 

I swear I'll lay off the politics for a while, I'm as tired of it as you are. But it occured to me last night that you probably would catch major hell now if you tried to make a movie like DREAMSCAPE at this time, wherein the plot was to off the President in his dreams. Then I was thinking about what a good president Eddie Albert made (in real life he was a war hero!) and started imagining the whole cast of Green Acres as the Executive Cabinet. Mr. Haney could be the Secretary of Defense, always trying to sell us faulty war contraptions, Mr. Kimball the Attorney General--even though to be truer to the show he'd be Secretary of Agriculture. Play along!


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Fat Lip, Vampi Collection 

So I wake up this morning looking like a punchy palooka that someone slipped a convincer to. Thanks to loyal cat Burma, who despite being able to see in the dark stepped on my face last night while heading to the nightstand to drink my water, and scratched my lip and nose but good. Any theories on how to make my lip shrink back to human size?

Hey there's also still time to order VAMPIRELLA: THE BLACK AND WHITE COLLECTION, which has a story and cover by me. Most readers are miffed when they find out the owl isn't a big character in the story, so be warned. Also has a good Steve Lieber story inside. All in Black and White, like Vampi's 'posed to be.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Finally: A Recipe. This Site is Officially Lame. 

No one seems to be blogging much this week and neither am I-- I guess preparing for Thanksgiving has claimed us all. I need to get by the store later myself so I can make the easiest dish...

Sweet Potato Casserole

8 or 10 Yams-yep, the first thing to do is use yams instead of sweet potatoes, because despite the name, yams are sweeter. And they're not the same tuber though people think it's a North/South semantics thing. Bake them until a baby could easily poke a fork into them. Run cold water over 'em, scoop out the goo into a bowl. Nice.

Brown sugar, 2 Eggs(optional for you queasies who don't like putting raw egg in things), Some Milk-Throw a cup or so of the sugar in there, cinnamon maybe, possibly some lightly beaten eggs, and enough milk that gets it good and blended. None of this is as important as

Butter:Lots of it- At least a stick. This is what will have people remembering your dish years later, not some nifty spice or wacky pinch of something exotic. BUTTER.

Marshmallow or Whipping Cream-Knock yourself out on the topping part, I don't do it. Then it becomes a dessert, and you run the risk of someone else NOT making their pie because "oh, that casserole is practically a dessert already!" Why do that to yourself? But if you must, get a thing of whipping cream and spend nearly an hour stirring it, make some kind of meringue. You can pour honey on top too.

So you've got it all mixed, now put it into the biggest casserole dish you can borrow, heat it up on Low for 40 minutes or so. Voila, you've contributed to the meal instead of merely bringing a bag of ice. Now you can get all uppity if you show up and someone's got a can-shaped dish of cranberry sitting out like that's okay. Enjoy listening to your family scream and football blaring out of the tv, think of the Europeans wearing buckles on their hats and American Indians with their colorful corn as you give Thanks.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004


"What are you here for?"

"I'm going to a comic book show."

The Immigration officer stares at me as if at a stone covered in hieroglyphics, most of the characters still filled with sand.

"What is that, like a show with comedians on a stage..."

"No, they buy and sell comic books. I draw them. Like Tintin and Batman."

Looks down at paper again.

"You say a Leonard Wong is coming to pick you up."


"Why did he buy your ticket?"

"Because he's putting on the show, and I'm a guest of the show."

"The comic-book show."


"We'll have someone page him."

--Leonard is never paged.--

"Now, you said you don't know where you're staying."

"Some hotel somewhere. I don't know anything about Vancouver. Is something wrong with my passport?"

"No... what's your social security number?"

Similar exchanges went on for the better part of an hour as I waited for Canadian Customs to let me out of the airport. I asked what seemed so suspicious about me in particular, but never got an answer. I saw people from five other countries be allowed in at blinding speed. At last I was stamped and let into the baggage claim where Leonard stood with a question mark hovering over him. I try to explain as we drive through his home city, and he points out the school where he teaches. It's known widely as Smallville High to TV viewers, and the place is lousy with Hollywood people most of the year. It's so appropriate that one of the most integral figures in British Columbia's comics scene works at Superboy's high school that I can't think of how to state it.

Later Len took a group of us to an all-you-can-eat sushi place. This usually works out really well for him and his guests, but tonight the staff really wasn't in the mood to bring us food. This set into motion Greg "Pleasant Greg" Rucka, who dogged the waitresses at every turn, questioning where parts of the order vanished to and why did they keep crossing out our selections. The place wasn't that busy, and it's not like they have to cook the food... the women finally got so exasperated they started bringing us other people's orders and extra things they found in the kitchen. We all finally got enough to eat and walked down the street looking for a bar. The Canadians got an earful of Americans ranting about our recent e-lection, and politely offered us citizenship should things deteriorate further in our country.

At the nice bar decorated with deep red drapery, I got to talk at length to artist Michel Gagne and his wife Nancy. Michel is an animator who now puts out his own books, such as Insanely Twisted Rabbits. Once I found out he worked on The Iron Giant, I grilled him as if he were on trial. We talked about the man of the hour, Incredibles director Brad Bird, and then went back to Michel's early days working for Don Bluth in Dublin. I had a lot of questions about Bluth, who's work after Secret of NIMH has always perplexed me, and Michel explained a lot.

Then I catch up with the easily excitable Steve Rolston and his blue-headed mate Sabina. Hair-Trigger Steve laid out the comics factions of Vancouver for me so I'd know how the game is played here. Of course, all cartoonists have to answer to our pal Leonard, the kingpin of comics shows (whatever those are) for the area. We got a pleasant surprise visit from Calgary retailer Kelly Dowd, who came to town to briefly visit Len's show and then go to the football game. Somehow we got on the popular topic of clairvoyants talking to the dead, and though we weren't trying to be spooky, I noticed Sabina's knuckles going white as she death-clenched her minty drink.

Sunday, the show begins at a reasonable 11 am. As you can see by the image of guitarist and former Charlton artist Verne Andru, this event brings out every possible artistic leaning. The building the show is in is a charming old Postal Station that I'm determined to work into a comic book soon. And I'd already heard numerous references to the "weird urinal" in the basement bathroom (excuse me, Canadians say "washroom". Apparently they wash things in there, and we take baths in there). I kept drinking water, eager to see the arcane toilet. Around the support column from me is High-Octane Rolston, busily drawing and signing Queen and Country hardbacks next to Greg, who's caught up signing books and working in his laptop. He keeps the Formatting turned on on his monitor to keep at bay the Terrifying White of the page that all writers fear. Turn the brightness down on the monitor, I says. Through half-open eyes Steve "thanks" me and Kelly for the fact that Sabina kept all the lights on all last night.

Leonard introduces me to Kaare Andrews, a likeable gent who likes his Starbucks. I see from this picture that Len took that Steve Skroce was there momentarily as well, but I never saw him. Most of the time I did my Interman song and dance and sketched. I drew a few Escapists, and did a commission of Vampirella poised to wack a zombie with a shovel. I hope that guy sends me a jpeg of that. A comics enthusiast dad and daughter talked with me for a while, and eventually bought one of my cheaper pages. As it often did during the weekend, The Incredibles came up, and I asked the girl what she liked most about it. It made me really happy to hear the painfully shy 13-year old enthusiastically say "the daughter-Violet!" Of course she was going to like Violet, I can't believe I even asked the question.

Just like at the Calgary show, a pretty bright crowd over all, and easy to get along with. And tolerant of me never having Canadian dollar coins with which to make change. I finally march downstairs with resolve to the men's washroom and see a standing urinal unlike any I've ever encountered.

Made in Scotland quite some time back, this triumph of design allows fellows to relieve themselves and carry on conversation without having to turn their heads and possibly lose aim. That was worth coming to British Columbia for. Vancouver-- I'll be back.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Heyyy bidderbidder.... 

Got another ebay auction goin' down. Another ol' school Batgirl with the red hair. No, I will not say "Babs". Start that Christmas shopping early.

I'll try to get up my thinkin's on the Vancouver show tomorrow. Canada, yo.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Phase Two: "The Architect" 

He's unerring in knowing what the public will pay attention to, he's ruined people's lives, and Bush won't make a move without him, he's Karl Rove! Never mind trying to tar the war president, focus on this guy. Nothing in particular, just talk about him a lot, make sure people know who he is, even off the internets. The key here is shining enough daylight on someone who's public presence is miniscule in comparison to his actual power. Back in Texas, Bush often resented people talking directly to Rove, so maybe you can even drive a wedge between them-- just don't let any mention of Bush or presidential news go without questioning how Rove is involved. Ideally, a viral sticker campaign on the lines of the Andre the Giant Has a Posse phenomenon would be good-- something that captures simply and quickly the essence of the powerbroker mastermind and gets people talking. He's got his tendrils wound through all levels of government and the political machine, so if you can pull him out, the beast will fall.

For something more insightful and useful on a grass roots level, Matt Fraction has been talking about the organizational problems he found while volunteering during the election season. Really good points within, check it out.


Monday, November 08, 2004

A Plan Comes Together 

So we've got to take back the country from people what don't like books n' learnin'. There's a chance a huge Watergatesque scandal will erupt from evidence that Diebold changed votes to Bush/Cheney, hence the exit poll results that varied so wildly from results. But I won't hold my breath. My first step: take out the brainwasher that keeps feeding the world propaganda in the guise of news. All the main feed for FOX News is handled by the Telstar 6 Satellite at 93 degrees west longitude.

Now, I think I've got a way that a few us should be able to triangulate its position using just home satellite dishes, so I'll need a few of you who live on the peripheries of North America to coordinate with. Next, we'll need a volunteer to get hold of one of these:

That's an ASAT, antisatellite missile, which should knock the Telstar 6 out nicely. Another volunteer (preferably a jet pilot) will have to lay their hands on an F-16 to deliver the ASAT to the proper altitude and speed to launch into space. Look, I didn't say this was going to be easy, and I know some of you are afraid to lose other FOX signals. Don't worry: the feeds that carry your favorite reality shows like The Littlest Groom and shows such as The Simpsons are on another satellite and won't be affected by Operation Arcturus.

Strangely, many Bush people were angry in recent months about other countries poking their noses into our election, but don't mind this network run by an Australian (a former penal colony, you'll remember) telling us what's what in the U.S. T minus 99 and counting...


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Suspended in TIME 

"Together, Purvis and Ottaviani's portrait of Bohr reveals a deeply principled, humble man who could be as playful (using spinning tops and ping pong balls for inspiration) as he could be serious minded."
I can't believe I missed this, musta been something going on in the country recently: Time.com reviews Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis'sSuspended in Language.

Probably the strongest book yet from Ottaviani's GT Labs, and while Lee Purvis drew 99.88% of it, I still think it's success hangs on the three pages I did. Also featuring the staggering talents of Roger Langridge, Jay Hosler, blah blah, more people who aren't me, etc.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004


...And really look at the people you voted for. Think they're more moral because they thump bibles? You don't have a problem with being lied to about a reason to go to war with a country that didn't attack us? It's okay for our soldiers and guardsmen to go die for no reason, you're cool with that?

Don't mind all the out of work people here? Republicans have control of everything, so I don't know what's stopping their economic recovery plans.

Hey young voters, way to "rock the vote". You turned out in the same unimpressive numbers you did four years ago. It's you they'll take when the draft is brought back, so I guess it's fair.

Thanks to all of you that did vote for change, standing in line for hours and putting up people trying to intimidate or trick you into not voting. We've been hearing stories today of Republicans setting fire to the Kerry signs in people's yards, and some jerkoff with a Bush Cheney sign came into the coffee shop this morning and yelled "Eat it!" to everyone inside. Hell, you've struck a big blow against education, the environment and citizen's rights, do you have to be poor winners too? Let's hope after this administration fouls the nest thoroughly for the next four years our bitterly divided country can find some common ground and common sense.
From a blue state...


Tuesday, November 02, 2004


This is it, Americans! The day that people have died for, so we can at least risk a little heat at the office by going out and exercising our right as a democracy.to vote for KerryIt looks like record numbers will be turning out which is terrific, we're finally not taking our power for granted. No matter who you vote for,John Kerry!we're proud to be your fellow citizens.unless you pick Bush--yuck! Boo Republicans!Have a great day, vote early and wisely.for KERRY! KERRY! KERRY!!!


Monday, November 01, 2004

U.S. Territory Now 97% Indian Burial Ground 

That was a pretty cool Halloween. We took Allie to a party with some other toddlers, and then walked around the neighborhood with them so they could experience Trick or Treat for the first time. Allie didn't seem to get the point of the candy since we don't let her eat it yet, but she thought going and meeting people at their doors was pretty neat. Then we went to another friend's house and watched The Ring since I was the only person left on the planet who hadn't seen it. I thought it was well shot and creepy, though Jill kept attesting how scary it wasn't, a little too much to be convincing, I think. The first time she saw it was on a seven inch screen on an airplane, and I don't think even The Exorcist would be scary on a flight with attendants waiting on me. The story (Ringu) must have grown out of the savage practice of sending chain letters, something I still get in my email to this day, from people you would otherwise think of as logical and sane. As I always write to those friends, thanks for giving me the chance to receive happiness/windfall of money, etc., but don't you think the option where I meet an untimely death after not passing it on makes it something you shouldn't give me? Do you also live by fortune cookies, Tarot cards and pennies you find heads up? Now I'm listening to the annual ghost story show of Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell, but I'll probably turn it off soon. Some good calls are coming in, but most aren't and there are few things as unrewarding as a redneck recounting a ghost story and all the crap details they drop in thinking it makes the story more solid. Someone a few minutes ago even ended one with "and we found out the house was on an Indian burial ground." I hope it folded up and got sucked into space like the house in that deeply chitty movie Poltergeist. When I was a kid, Village of the Damned scared me more than anything. And comparing notes with Mark Schultz at the Minnesota show, we both associated the movie with those bug-eyed paintings of kids in the 60's that I can't find any trace of now. Let's face it, as all these movies mentioned prove (except for Poltergeist), kids are scary. Except for my daughter dressed up as a bee.


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