Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bears, Balm 

While up late working and checking on facts, I see that Stan Berenstain has passed away. I feel a little bad because just the other day I was looking up info on the Berenstain couple in a fit of "just who were these people who slapped their own name on these bears anyway? Are the bears Jewish or what? As I have a two year old who likes being read to, several kidslit staples pop up in her collection whether we buy them or not. I always thought the bears books were pretty mediocre as they're often lessons about keeping your room clean and so forth. Even if I do want Allison to put her toys away, I'd still rather read her a more entertaining book where Curious George is splitting an atom or Madeline is convicted of heresy in that nun house she lives in. I kind of like the one where the bear kid gets skis for Christmas, but I always wince when I see that they drew a fireplace made of wood timbers. Still, the books are short and easy, I use them as in-betweeners for the stack of things that are read every night. And Dr. Seuss hired the Berenstains, so there must be something there. Rest in peace, Stan.

Another thing I bumbled across...Is this for real? Is someone really that adamant about lip balm? I mean, my corn fructose sweetener conspiracy is one thing, but hey...


Monday, November 28, 2005

Goodbye Delicious Turkey. 

Sigh. It's all gone, every last crunchy little part. That's the way it goes with deep-fried turkey- every bit is scoured for the fried goodness and you're out of leftovers much earlier than normal. Thanks to all of you well-meaning nags who kept barraging me with media scare stories of how people were burning down America with fry cookers because they were cooking with gasoline or setting up the unit inside the house or dropping chunks of ice into the hot oil or whatever. It never got old. Nonetheless, I safely had the turkey done in about an hour, even with rain falling down. And a good chunk of that time was simply letting the oil climb to 350 degrees. Damn that bird was good. Now I know why my relatives always make more than one. You might as well, while you have the hot oil, for one thing. But mainly, it's incredibly addictive, for cooked fowl. And as Karl Kesel keeps suggesting, maybe next time I'll also make sweet potato fries while I've got a vat going. So if you have a propane tank and a large pot, I highly recommend you quit quaking in fear and get frying.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Turkey, Hawk... 

I just enjoyed this Newsarama talk with Walt Simonson and Howard Chaykin. They talk about their upcoming Hawkgirl, and also about their early days starting out which I always find interesting. Going back and looking at your beginnings in a field of work often makes sense as a whole, but is hard to do at the time because you're not really sure you're actually on that career path yet. As they say, the first job isn't the hardest to get, it's the second. In comics-any branch of entertainment, really- you're pretty much ALWAYS breaking in. I only know a few people who can reasonably assume their phone will always ring with a publishing house's name on the caller I.D. One of the strange things I've noticed, which really isn't that strange, is how many creators I know who fear the end of the assignments- people who any outside observer would know have nothing to fear that way. And of course, that's why they keep getting work, they're always trying to keep fresh and not becoming complacent. Anyway, I'm rambling. I'll be checking out this Hawkgirl, though.

And if you live in the States, have a good Thanksgiving tomorrow. I'm going to finally take a stab at deep-frying a turkey like my relatives do. And yes, I'll be outside, over the grass, all that. I just wish they still showed Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathons on the holiday.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Castles and Secret Societies 

Looking through Real Tegan's links I saw the American Castles page. Some ugly html, but it's great that this person cobbled these all together. I had to go look at one of my favorites from my biking route in Chapel Hill, The Gimghoul Castle. I hadn't realized that the UNC Library had so much info on the castle and the Gimghoul Society, which I'll have to look up next time I'm in the city. I've been really into secret societies lately and want to spend more time reading about them. I assume most of them are founded on a core group killing someone and keeping it secret, but it's probably that people just love to be part of something exclusive with special handshakes and rings. Anyone out there a member of a secret society? That was a trick.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Reviews for Youse 

Couple of good reviews this week, first Broken Frontier comments on The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, and Silver Bullet Comics correctly assesses my thinking on Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four. If you're finding any more commentary on my stuff that I don't know about, and think it will make me happier than not, pass it on!


Monday, November 14, 2005


That's right, with the fat story written by ME. You'll so get in the Christmas spirit, reading about the Avengers. There's some preview material at THE PULSE right now, that you'll have to scroll down or search recent stories to find. Sorry, I'm too sleepy at the moment to remember how to find the direct link. Here are a couple of pages from the story (not in order) drawn by rising hotshot Reilly Brown. I'm hoping the panel you'll see next month of Wolverine slicing Santa while shouting "think again, fat man!" gets replicated all over the internets.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Go, Cusack 

About freakin' time John Cusack posted again on the Huffington gangblog. He's good, and makes good points clearly. Most of the bloggers on that site are annoying self-promoters, so it's nice to read the actor I generally consider to be the voice of my generation. Who doesn't need to promote himself...'cause he's John Cusack!


Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Yeah, I hear you in the peanut gallery, yappin' that I don't draw comics anymore. Well you're dead wrong! Go to your comics shop today and pick up the latest issue of Dark Horse's Michael Chabon Presents The Amazing Adventures of The Escapist #8. I collaborated with myself on a long story within, which I hope you'll enjoy. Here's the first page...


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Source! 

Thanks Comics Reporter for pointing the way to this SLATE piece on Bill Watterson. It serves an important function: it shows exactly where every redneck silkscreen shop got the famous Calvin Pissing shot. As I've said before on this very blog, I don't believe most people with the decal know that the boy is Calvin, he's just "that li'l pissin' boy". Besides that it takes a cartoon I loved to makes shots at GM autos or extol prayer, it does something I've always hated to see done to my drawings. Reversing an image that wasn't designed for white ink. Over the years I've contributed many drawings for tee shirts and logos, and inevitably I always have to see my linework reversed into a bizarre unreadable negative image. If someone would ever let me know they were going to do that, I would design the piece for white ink. But they never do. The article makes a nice point about how the sticker proves Watterson's point that an image of the characters out of context is meaningless.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Reading Shotgun 

TokyoPop has a preview of RIDING SHOTGUN from Nate Bowden and Tracy Yardley at their website, but I keep having trouble with their "manga player". In Safari and Firefox I've had it close the window on me while clicking Forward. Wait, just as I said that, it started working for me. Nevermind, I see what I was doing. I was being pulled by the allure of the red triangle button when I should have just been clicking the word. I can't help it, you make something red like that, it looks like the thing you're supposed to click. And move that "Close" button further over! Anyway, this is a nice preview and they do excellent car stunts, the thing I usually advise against people trying to pull off in comics. Click it up.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Germany or Florida 

Bad Times. Instead of "good times," that is, the phrase popularized by Adam Carolla. Sure, you think you did it, but Adam was saying it for years before it caught on. I listened to some of the last Loveline show he and Drew will do last night, hopefully today I can find an mp3 and hear the whole thing. I know you're wondering why I keep going on about it, especially as we've covered the fact that Adam is rarely funny on television, so I'll explain. Back in 1999 when I moved to Los Angeles, I was extremely homesick and unhappy at being cut off from so many of my family and friends back East. But, work wasn't happening for me back there, and it was in the West. Even though I was pooped from working at Sony Animation during the day, I tried to use the last hours of the night to make progress on The Interman graphic novel. Hard, because as I say I was tired and sad. Then one night I turned on KROK and heard Adam and Dr. Drew fielding a call from a teen making a bogus call. "Oh yeah- this is still a radio show, isn't it." That's when I realized how good Adam was when unscripted, and that Loveline was unlike anything I'd heard on radio before. It became a regular routine, and I'd tape the show for friends back east. Hearing Adam make fun of Los Angeles made it easier to live there somehow, and I began looking forward to 10pm. And getting a lot of work done on my book during that broadcast. My least favorite shows were those with a guest band, it was almost always better with Adam and Drew alone. Sometimes you'd get a lucky break, like when poser band The Darkness walked off the show. Other great stuff: Adam knowing his callers so well he could often guess their occupations, (batting cage!) which never, ever impressed the callers. The kind of people whose senses are so dull that it never occurs to them to put a new battery in their constantly chirping smoke alarms. Finding out other people were secretly funny when on the show, like David Alan Grier who I never cared for much on TV. Incidentally, Dr. Drew's new cohost is almost assuredly going to be DAG, I can't imagine who else could slide in as naturally as him. Maybe they mentioned that on the show tonight.

I'll give the former Stern show a chance now that he's the host in the West Coast markets- need something to listen to after Morning Edition on NPR anyway. I see that the East Coast will have to settle with David Lee Roth for some reason- poor bastards. And others will literally get "Jack"- which I think is just randomly played songlists. Probably songs I wouldn't care for, but it's got to be better than a shock jock like Stern- or worse, the zillion Morning Zoos across the country with Scooter and The Nudge making Dirty Sanchez jokes before you've even had your coffee. Hopefully Adam will stick to the things that interest him and not try to accomodate the morning listeners by having a roomful of yahoo sidekicks. He'll be able to get higher profile guests, but again, he's always better without them. His rants are much more entertaining than Stern's though, that will help. Good luck Carolla, and good luck Dr. Drew. Take the Germany or Florida game to drivetime with you, even though Floridians won't be able to appreciate it since they'll be listening to Roth.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Farewell Carolla 

Sigh. Casey Jones just sent me this mp3...

Where Adam Carolla announces what we were expecting, that his tenure (literally, 10 years!) on the syndicated radio show LOVELINE with Dr.Drew Pinsky is ending this week. He's going to fill Stern's slot, which will probably really confuse fans of shockjock style, bug-people-on-the-phone- prank call- radio, who will now hear Adam. And like me, you probably expect that's what Adam is going to be upon first exposure, but he's not- he's a real comedian and master of ad-lib. Much of Mercury Studio will be sad because like Casey we've worked while listening to tapes and mp3's of Loveline, which seems perfectly suited to making comic books. Good luck to Dr.Drew in finding a new cohost, hopefully not some lame-o from KROK. Maybe another deserving talent will find their big break, talking to messed-up teens with sex hangups. Maybe.

Mahalo, Carolla!


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Paul's Maquette Stymies Bob's Son 

Now the story is out about Paul Guinan's robot BOILERPLATE being used in Chris Elliot's new book. While I hope it sells plenty of books for Paul and Chris both, it would also be cool if Paul starts getting orders for building original Boilerplate figures as he advertises on his website.


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