December 31, 2009

Questionable Cover Art -- #2 In A Series -- Full Metal Jellystone

Apparently Yogi Bear is suffering some moral misgivings from General Westmoreland's decision to attack the Viet Cong with Africanized killer bees.  By the foofy arch of the wrist, one can only assume that Yogi will avoid potential apiarian war crimes by fully exploiting the dishonorable discharge option, commonly enforced these days through "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  Definitely broadcasting his sexual preference better than the average bear.

I was a bit surprised, though, by Boo-Boo's two-page drug-induced meltdown where he yells:  "I say we waste the whole f---ing village!"

Happy New Year's from Flimsy Rationales!  See you in 2010.

Man Rant -- This Week's Exercise -- Vanity Plates

1 in 6.18.

Those are the odds that a registered vehicle in Virginia has vanity plates. The Old Dominion is the leader in U.S. states by far for vanity plates per capita.  Overall, there are an estimated 9.3 million registered vehicles in the United States with vanity plates.  Considering that the average cost of a vanity plate is probably about $30 or so, that's at least $270 million dollars spent on a combination of six or seven letters or numbers screwed to the bottom of a car or truck.

December 30, 2009

Terrorist Lottery: You Can't Win if You Don't Play!

Nate Silver, over at the consistently interesting and informative FiveThirtyEight blog (a daily stop for me during the 2008 presidential election) lays out the realistic by-the-numbers odds of a terrorist attack on a domestic United States flight:

Best Movies and Television of 2009

Not a bad year for movies overall.  Another Pixar film, some excellent scifi, a couple of really great kid's movies.  No "There Will Be Blood," but enough entertaining fare across multiple genres to keep me satisfied.  

  1. Inglorious Basterds
  2. District 9
  3. The Hurt Locker
  4. Coraline
  5. Star Trek
  6. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
  7. Anvil:  The Story of Anvil
  8. Zombieland
  9. Up
  10. Ponyo
Haven't seen yet, but want to:  Fantastic Mr. Fox, A Serious Man, Big Fan, In the Loop, Hump Day, The Informant!, Drag Me to Hell, Food, Inc.

Overrated:  Funny People

Underrated:  Watchmen

Worst Movie of the Year:  (Tie) Transformers 2, Wolverine


A fantastic year for TV comedy.  After the writer's strike of last year, it's clear that writing staffs came back to work motivated, ambitious and creatively energized, because the dialogue and story concepts were fresh and smart. 

  1. Parks & Recreation
  2. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  3. Curb Your Enthusiasm
  4. Modern Family
  5. Community
  6. Friday Night Lights
  7. Venture Brothers
  8. Flight of the Conchords
  9. Hung
  10. The Office
Most Consistent Effort:  The Daily Show

Most Underrated:  American Dad

Most Overrated:  30 Rock

Guilty Pleasures:  Kitchen Nightmares, The Soup, NFL Red Zone, Yo Gabba Gabba

December 29, 2009

Star Wars: Pop Culture Herpes?

Spike, the basic cable network that specializes in car chases and crashes, mixed martial arts, ninja and armchair jock reality shows, wrestling, and all-ages tits and ass (i.e., what if Maxim magazine was videotaped and broadcast 20 hours a day), ran Star Wars movies all around the Christmas holiday, including all the sequels, prequels, and special editions. With heavy commercial interruption, of course. Having first seen Star Wars (screw the Episode IV nomenclature nonsense) at the impressionable age of ten or so, and probably dozens of times since, there are certain scenes, lines and images that fire up the memory circuits like an old-school Bally pinball machine. There was probably a point in the early eighties when I could have broken down parts of Star Wars like Kevin Costner's character in JFK reviewing the Zapruder film. "See how the lightsaber pops out of frame here, and then comes back in to catch Obi-Wan across the shoulder? Back and to the left. Back and to the left."

December 28, 2009

Hype Without Hypocrisy - Hey, Ladies! by Bret Taylor

It's always satisfying to see someone make strides creatively, both in short bursts and over the long haul, and to share in the process in a public way no matter what the potential criticism or negative feedback.   It's why I've struggled with creative impulses for years and years.   Like others, I crave warm and fuzzy validation, but I also want to be taken seriously, and that requires ripping apart old work, acknowledging writing tendencies and consciously navigating a way around them, and, perhaps most importantly, finding a unique "voice," one that reflects who I am, rather than just mimicking others.  Most of us don't want to walk that tightrope, and one fall without a net is usually enough to deter efforts for awhile, if not indefinitely.  Then there's the conundrum of balancing catharsis and commerce.   I've made enough on ad click-throughs here in my first month to buy a sandwich.  Not a fancy Grey Poupon-dressed Dagwood either, more like a dollar menu item with fries.   I tell myself I don't care if I never make a dime writing creatively, but that's a flat-out lie.  I write big-bucks spec movie scripts in my mind in the shower, and plot pulp stories and indie comic scripts in cerebral Notepad while walking to the cafeteria.  So, again, it's both satisfying and inspiring to see a friend and contemporary travel on that journey, take risks, and reach for something more.   Bret Taylor's Hey, Ladies, is a statement in that regard.  Both a new start and the culmination of years of experimentation without major fanfare or exposure.

Golden Age Artist Spotlight -- Mac Raboy

When perusing Golden Age comics listings on Ebay, Mac Raboy covers tend to stand out like the proverbial sore thumb for several reasons.   Firstly, they tend to resemble recruiting posters, as they contain some of the most iconic and colorful World War II propaganda ever to grace comic book covers.  Secondly, they are artistically superior to the vast majority of other comics also available at the time.   Raboy draws his heroes in classic action poses, but particularly in the case of Captain Marvel Jr., de-emphasises bulky musculature and cartoony action in favor of lithe, agile figures and photorealism.  While his covers deliver striking detail, careful shading and intricate pencilwork, they also remain paradoxically simple and effective, both in tone and use of background lighting.

December 21, 2009

There's No Business Like Snow Business

Enough snow here in the D.C. area to maybe have a semi-white, sorta greyish Christmas. We're not used to a foot and a half of snow. It's enough to make a D.C cop pull his gun and celebrate.  And of course, the local supermarket shelves were completely cleaned out of bread, water, toilet paper and bottled water, in preparations that probably anticipate bunkering down like it's the siege of Stalingrad. 

December 18, 2009

Corporatism: The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Glenn Greenwald over at Salon has an excellent blog post about something that has seemed to creep up in conversations I've had with both conservatives and progressives -- the pernicious and pervasive system of corporatism.  "Corporatism" is the perception that the traditionally hostile institutions of business and government are now subjugated in favor of cooperative, entrenched, mutually-beneficial circle-jerks, where our supposed elected representatives pass laws that are written by, and primarily benefit, our largest and richest corporations.   Government serves the corporations, and the corporations fund, hire, and coopt government employees.   And the health care reform bills circulating Congress are particularly egregious.  As Greenwald writes:
The health care bill is one of the most flagrant advancements of this corporatism yet, as it bizarrely forces millions of people to buy extremely inadequate products from the private health insurance industry -- regardless of whether they want it or, worse, whether they can afford it (even with some subsidies). In other words, it uses the power of government, the force of law, to give the greatest gift imaginable to this industry -- tens of millions of coerced customers, many of whom will be truly burdened by having to turn their money over to these corporations -- and is thus a truly extreme advancement of this corporatist model.

December 17, 2009

Golden Age Artist Spotlight - Carl Barks

With Carl Barks, it's not too much of a stretch to say that he was the first comic book artist to make me distinguish and self-select comics based on who drew them, even though I had not a clue who did it.  For the vast majority of Carl Barks' professional life, he was essentially anonymous.  He was only known as "the good Duck artist."  Until dogged fans finally dragged the information out of Dell/Western in the seventies, Carl Barks had drawn various ducks and other characters since the early forties without so much as a story credit.  By his retirement he had written and drawn over 500 stories. Thankfully, in the last decades of his long life (he lived until the ripe old age of 99 and passed away in the year 2000), he was recognized for his brilliance, and his oil paintings reimagining old duck covers and concepts provided a good post-retirement income stream (one painting selling for over $140,000 among two collectors).   He created most of the Duckburg universe, including Uncle Scrooge, Magica De Spell, the Beagle Boys, Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose, the money bin, the Junior Woodchucks, and the number one dime. 

Iron Man 2 Trailer Out: Geek Hyperventilation Increases by 38%

Yup, this looks cool. Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johannsen, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, and Garry Shandling in a cameo as a Senator? And written by Justin Theroux, who also co-wrote Tropic Thunder, one of the best and darkest comedies in years. Good (if excessively quick) cutting on the trailer, and smart to stick with AC/DC and Black Sabbath if only to refresh the associations.

Questionable Cover Art -- #1 In A Series -- Unfurgettable

Disregard for the moment that Wilma has some weird mutated ferret/panther/anaconda hybrid wrapped dangerously around her neck, and that said animal appears agitated and/or rabid.  I'm a bit more concerned that Fred Flintstone has to deal with the medical uncertainties and possible social ramifications of being born without an asscrack.  He has apparently been aware of this condition for some time, as evidenced by the Exorcist-like neck rotation.  I'm left to ponder whether Fred evacuates his bowels via some sentient animal colostomy bag, perhaps a wise-cracking pelican.  Perhaps, the evolution of the rectum to its current fissured placement and structure is a little farther down the line for human bodily development, and massive racks of ribs, enough to topple a car, were digested in toto, i.e., without resultant waste products.

December 16, 2009

Man Rant -- This Week's Exercise -- Blockbuster Video

I really wanted to do one on banks this week, since it's timely, I'm various degrees of pissed-off at various banks, and I don't even use Blockbuster anymore.  But just doing the research on the rant involving banking consumes beaucoup amounts of time, and it's not a subject I want to just haphazardly skim over.  I doubt that the banking industry will be acting any more responsibly in the next few weeks, so it's a healthy scratch, but on-deck for the near-future.  Oh, and if anyone actually reads this, suggestions on "man rants" are always welcome, and need not be gender-specific.   Anyway, on to the incompetence parade showcased this week.

December 15, 2009

1 in 7 U.S. Teens Apparently Get Better Use Out of Their Phones Than I Do

The Washington Post continues its rapid and strange descent into a paper equivalent of the six o'clock news (now with more conservative columnists per square inch!).  It's almost comical to see an outmoded form of technology ring the clarion alarm bells about another newer form of technology.  The cloistered monks from The Name of the Rose were dead-on about how much trouble that scurrilous Johannes Gutenberg was going to be.  Mass-produced writing?  Why even the little boil-ridden plague children will be able to read, and then who wants to blindingly listen to the church for all matters great and small?  Not knowing that the fat lady has sung, WaPo continues to try to pump its daily and Sunday subscriptions by sending multiple mailers to me offering Saturdays and Sundays free.  Here's a thought.  How about I read for seven days a week free, and occasionally click on an ad, so I indirectly pay for content?  Since you layer in so many pop-up ads like a struggling porn site, it's almost unavoidable without an adblocker anyway.  Any business plan where you horribly cannibalize your own distribution model probably deserves to fail.  I know people in the newspaper biz, smart and hard-working folks without a doubt, none of whom deserve to get canned, but the obvious problem lies in the ad-generated Internet newspaper monetization model.  As this blog and a million other ones like it attest, content is cheap and ubiquitous, if not (in my case in particular) remotely as professionally rendered.  There are lots of interesting funding ideas for on-line newspapers, some of which I'll cover at a later date.  In the meantime, scaring parents and clucking about the scary "digital unknown" seems desperate and weak.

The Flimsy Rationales Christmas Buying Guide

Hey, now!  It's that time of year again.   Tired of wracking your brain trying to pick out the perfect gift for that special someone?  Are you lazy, depressed and slovenly?  Do you see each day as another slog through the mud in the interminable march towards death?  Well, worry no more.  We're here to help!

December 11, 2009

Random Acts of Innuendo

Okay, this made me giggle like a little school girl. 

Golden Age Artist Spotlight - Frank Frazetta

Frazetta came to mind today for all the wrong reasons.  His son actually used a backhoe to bust into the museum holding Frank's artwork and made off with $20 million dollars worth of original paintings.  More information about the break-in here.  It's always sad to see family squabbling about inheritances make it into the public forum, even worse when it involves felonies.  As covered in the excellent documentary, Frank Frazetta: Painting With Fire, trailer provided below, Frazetta had a very close relationship with his wife (and business manager), and with her passing due to cancer in July of this year, the glue that held the family together might have dissipated beyond easy repair.

December 10, 2009

The Buhdoosh Files: New Jersey Edition

Ah, the wonderful pageantry of the human condition played out in the fine dining establishments of the Jersey Shore.  I certainly do not condone the striking of a female, but there is something strangely compelling and hypnotic about this .gif.   Thank you, MTV, for continuing to focus on the most vapid, narcissistic, and functionally retarded among us, so that we may learn from their drunken, demeaning, displays of crass stupidity and gene pool-poisoning.  And a big shout-out to the Jersey Shore.  It's not just high hair, orange spray-on-tans, and Axe Body spray.  There's a whole vast subterranean level of cringeworthy behavior that defies superficial jokes and humorous website/Facebook pictures.  Eat, drink and be merry, fellow travelers.

December 9, 2009

Man Rant -- This Week's Exercise -- Dieting

Fuck it.  I've just about had it with dieting.  There once was a day, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, when I could eat the caloric equivalent of an overturned ice cream truck in one sitting, go outside and play kickball for twenty minutes, come back in and polish off half a barnyard.  And there was always room for jello. Always.  Now, I'm in my early forties, deep into self-loathing on a bite-by-bite basis.  Pasta and I had such wild times in the eighties.  Now we can't even look at each other.

Charles Montgomery Burns Wins Write-In Vote in New York City

"Charles Montgomery Burns, better known as Mr. Burns in the hit animated TV series "The Simpsons", got the most votes of any write-in candidate during last month's mayoral election in New York City. According to records released by the New York City Board of Elections, the cartoon billionaire received 27 write-in votes out of the 299 that were cast.

Burns wasn't the only fictional character to get votes in the race. Mad Magazine icon Alfred E. Newman, Fantastic Four arch-villain Victor Von Doom, Mickey Mouse, and Sleeping Beauty also received write-in votes."

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Ray's Romper Room - "Helicopter Parenting" versus "Slow Parenting"

Every parent wonders if they're doing the right thing in raising their children.  There tends to be alternating mood swings behind "my way or the highway" and "I'm preparing them for future lifelong therapy" for most folks.   In the end, though, I think kids find their own way.   It might be right out of the gate, it might be later in life, but one hopes that a bell goes off when they need to take care of their own lives, start their own families, and otherwise attempt to get their cumulative shit together.  When they leave the nest, you'll have hopefully given them tools, varying levels of instruction, and an always-available emergency contact number.

December 8, 2009

Golden Age Artist Spotlight - Basil Wolverton

Basil Wolverton was, if nothing else, one of comicdom's originals.   His art was in turns, organic, cartoony, grotesque, surreal, absurd, and workmanlike, and always idiosyncratic.  Wolverton's art influenced a whole generation of Underground artists, including Robert Crumb.  His images, in places like The Bible Story continue to amaze and entertain new generations.  He was one of the very first artists to create new material for submission to the newly formed comic book market, and unlike the vast majority of creators, he eschewed the studios and workshops of New York City, instead operating entirely by mail out of Vancouver, Washington.  Perhaps due to this arrangement, his work is scattered across various companies and mediums.   Wolverton handled comic projects for Timely/Marvel, Centaur, Novelty, E.C., Fawcett, Gleason, and D.C.  (My personal favorites being the alliterative, zany, pun-filled Powerhouse Pepper and scifi serialesque Spacehawk).  He created posters and trading cards for Topps, greeting cards, caricatures, advertising, drawings for various magazines and periodicals, and starting in 1958, illustrated what many consider his magnum opus, The Bible Story.   In six volumes from Genesis to Samuel, Wolverton adapted the text of the Bible and provided hundreds of b&w illustrations for the work. These six volumes were published from 1961-68 by Ambassador College. In the early 80s they were reprinted and rest of the Old Testament was added with newer illustrations by Wolverton.   Wolverton was also a minister in Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God, so his assignment was also an expression of faith.   The church itself was of the evangelical, prophetic, end-times-are-coming variety, which is vividly (and at times disturbingly) rendered by Wolverton in his interpretation of the Old Testament, in particular the chapter covering the Book of Revelations.  You want to put the fear of God in kids, show them Basil Wolverton's Book of Revelations.  He's probably the closest thing to Hieronymus Bosch since the Middle Ages.  But there are beautiful, powerful, illustrations as well as the jarring.  Using pointillism and woodcut techniques, Wolverton moved beyond the tools of ink and posterboard, and created art that reflected his entire career by standing breathtakingly unique.  Wolverton was elected to the Will Eisner Hall of Fame at the San Diego Comic-Con International Convention in July of 2000, in recognition of his lifelong contributions to to the industry. He was also inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1991. He's one of my personal favorites, as I was intrigued from the first "Plop!" cover I saw with his art.  Collecting his work has been a challenge, but a fruitful and satisfying one.

Here's a complete comic index provided by Basil Wolverton's son, Monte (an excellent artist as well):


Three to One Odds He Doesn't Last in Gamblers Anonymous

Wall Street Journal Article - Guy Loses $127 Million

December 7, 2009

Compulsory Performance Review - Cinema Division - Anvil, The Story of Anvil

I never really got into metal. In the late seventies/early eighties, growing up, it was the music form with the most cachet in our small New England factory town. Iron Maiden, AC/DC, The Scorpions, Judas Priest, etc., were all very popular (although hip hop/rap moved in and took over by the mid-eighties). I understood and appreciated the anti-establishment, anti-religious, rebel without a cause mentality of metal, but got tripped up when it came to the trappings, be it black concert shirts, satanic poster imagery, and the sometimes almost cliquish knowledge and devotion of the local fan base. In addition, the screeching vocals, long thrashing guitar solos, and often silly faux-evil lyrics combined with the violent head bobbing just left me perplexed, if not apathetic most of the time. This Is Spinal Tap!, released in 1984, ushered in the mockumentary format with a fantastic parody of the heavy metal lifestyle, but the excesses and mythology of the genre were well-documented enough that the satire worked best by just playing it straight for the most part. David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, and Derek Smalls could have really existed (and probably did as pastiches of real-life metal artists), so the suspension of disbelief about the characters was minimized down to willful acceptance, which made the comedy that much more biting and connecting to the audience.

December 4, 2009

World of Warcraft "Beaten": Doomsday Clock Starts to Blink

Got the Power-Up!

Some ladies' man in Taiwan did the seemingly impossible. He beat World of Warcraft. Not a player of the MMORPG myself, although I have been known to occasionally dabble in a game or two involving pixelated images (I swear I meant to stay up three nights in a row to finish "Nobunaga's Ambition" on the SNES!). In any case, let's look at the body count:

"Little Gray" on the Wrathbringer server managed to kill 390,895 creatures and completed 5,906 quests in total, according to the WoW Armory website. As you would expect, however, there is one slight problem that should be noted.

The player has yet to earn the holiday achievement 'BB King' but due to a bug with an old PvP achievement, he managed to earn two points, giving him 986/986.

Prenups and Tiger Woods -- Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo

Exclusive footage of new playable characters in Tiger Woods PGA '11 has come out. I hear that downloadable content will include different 2:30 AM costumes, a dozen cars to crash besides the Escalade, and a minigame where you have to text a certain number of booty calls before Elin finds your Blackberry. Fun for the whole family.

I'm thinking I'm not the only one suffering from extreme Tiger fatigue. It's tiresome, and I don't plan to blog about it anymore. But the long and short of it is that Tiger is an arrogant moron. As we were preparing for a conference yesterday, I talked to a couple of co-workers about Tiger. These were middle-aged African-American women, smart and opinionated, but based in a certain level of reality that sheltered golf icons seldom experience. "Tiger doesn't know how to cheat." "You let someone else set up your hook-up, you don't send 300 sex texts, cuz you're going to get caught sooner or later." True enough. Tiger's probably got an entourage with enough people to fill an amphitheatre. You'd think one guy could be "Trim Coordinator." Give him one of those Secret Service earpieces, a clipboard, and a strong pimp hand to keep the bitches in line, and send him on his way.

December 3, 2009

Golden Age Artist Spotlight - Matt Baker

Matt Baker (Clarence Matt Baker) is famously known as one the Golden Age's most provocative artists, primarily for his "headlights" covers on Phantom Girl.  "Good girl" art, as it's commonly known, is one area of comic book collecting where you can get more or less what you ask for dollar-wise on eBay and at conventions (well-drawn chicks appeal to nerdy dudes -- who'da thunk it?).  What's less known about Baker is that he is commonly considered as the first major African-American artist in comics.  He also died far before his time, passing away from a  heart attack at age 37, in 1959.  Who knows how much stellar art (and personal fame) he could have achieved had he been able to draw any of the major superheroines of the time (say Wonder Woman, Supergirl, or Mary Marvel, for example), because there are few artists with a better command of the female form.  And as related in several books about that period in comics, Baker knew women, because he KNEW women.  A snappy dresser, he was reported to have said:  “Why make one woman miserable when I can make many women happy?”  Don't hate the playa, hate the game.   A collection of great covers after the jump.


Comcast and NBC Announce $30 Billion Merger; Ask Boards of Directors to Be Available Between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Friday

Merger Announced -- Washington Post

Not sure that I'm cool with this.  Under the proposed plan, Comcast will end up owning one out of every five television viewing hours.  In addition to the NBC network and the Universal Pictures movie studio and theme parks, NBC Universal currently owns 34 TV stations, including WRC (Channel 4) in D.C.  Its other holdings include the Spanish-language network Telemundo, and 13 cable networks, the biggest of which are USA, CNBC, MSNBC, Syfy, Bravo and Oxygen. Comcast will contribute its cable-network group to the marriage, including such channels as E! Entertainment Television, Style, Versus, the Golf Channel, the Major League Baseball channel and 10 regional sports networks.

Giant Robots -- I for One Welcome our Mechanical Overlords

Here's a short film by aspiring Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez that ended up netting him a $30 million development deal with Sam Raimi's "Ghost House" production company. Apparently, Kanye West, of all people, linked to his film on his blog, and that got Alvarez the Hollywood attention he needed.

Called "Ataque de Panico," or "Panic Attack," reports are that Alvarez made the film for $500. Considering that I already think it's better than either "Transformers" film, that's almost beyond comprehension. I'm ready for a new guard in scifi action cinema myself. Less Michael Bay and James Cameron, more Neill Blomkamp ("District 9") and Fede Alvarez, please.

Fantasy Football - Week 13 - QB, RB, WR, TE, K, D/ST Rankings

Quarterback Rankings -- QB

  1. Matt Schaub, HOU (at JAC)
  2. Peyton Manning, IND (vs. TENN)
  3. Tom Brady, NE (at MIA)
  4. Brett Favre, MIN (at ARI)
  5. Phillip Rivers, SD (at CLE)
  6. Aaron Rodgers, GB (vs. BAL)
  7. Donovan McNabb, PHI (at ATL)
  8. Drew Brees, NO (at WAS)
  9. Carson Palmer, CIN (vs. DET)
  10. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. OAK)
  11. Tony Romo, DAL (at NYG)
  12. Alex Smith, SF (at SEA)
  13. Matt Hasselbeck, SEA (vs. SF)
  14. Jay Cutler, CHI (vs. STL)
  15. Kyle Orton, DEN (at KC)
  16. Joe Flacco, BAL (at GB)
  17. David Garrard, JAC (vs. HOU)
  18. Josh Freeman, TB (at CAR)
  19. Chris Redman, ATL (vs. PHI)
  20. Vince Young, TENN (at IND)

December 2, 2009

Man Rant -- This Week's Exercise -- Razors

When exactly did the worldwide tiny flat piece of metal commodities market heat up into critical mass?  It's probably been a couple of years, maybe as much as a decade, but the rising price of disposable razors is horrifying.  As we skip-de-my-lou our way towards the apocalypse, it seems that there are certain items which when the Road Warriors start to raid, we will hide and hoard behind heavily armored compounds based on their current commodity selling price:  oil, gold, Twilight-related items, and razors.

December 1, 2009

Frankenstein's Spam!

They bloated me with science.

Pork.  Grown in a petri dish.  Lab meat.  PETA and the Vegetarian Society have already signed off on the ethics of it, which I assume as long as it doesn't involve Elsie the Cow meeting Anton Chigurh, generally passes muster.  And I was already looking forward to a future with tasty, tasty Soylent Green.   

Golden Age Artist Spotlight - L.B. Cole

Creator of some of the most vivid and recognizable covers of the late 40s and 50s, L.B. Cole illustrated over 1500 covers, and drew just about everything, from funny animals to superheros to horror books.  According to the sparse biographical information available at Wikipedia and other sources, Cole started out in the lithography business, then switched to comics in the early forties. 

Like some of his other contemporaries, Alex Schomburg, Mac Raboy, Matt Baker, Lou Fine, etc., Cole made his mark with lurid, action-packed covers that virtually jumped off the newstands.  Representative samples provided after the jump.


"Solitude: A Sweet Absence of Looks" - Milan Kundera

Loneliness is transmittable.

"Ray, we need to talk."

"Sure, what's up?"

Tiger Woods Can Drive A Ball 300 Yards, But Can't Drive a Car 100 Yards - Ha Ha

The vultures of the media are circling. Tiger Woods has just cancelled out on his own event, claiming that he needs to rehab his injuries caused by his accident. By all accounts, he took the brunt of the damage to his grill, with cuts to his lips. But he's claiming soreness, pain that won't allow him to hit little white balls and walk a golf course for four or five days. Maybe he is really dinged up, but only his close personal entourage can say for sure. And that appears to be a major problem.

There are two main issues here. Firstly, the haters are coming out of the woodwork regarding Tiger's decision to circle the wagons and not talk to local Orlando area law enforcement. Second, the wall of secrecy is in full East Berlin mode.