Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Comics Oughta Be Romantic!

Hi hi hi Bully fans! It's Valentine's Day in less than a week. Did you buy your Valentine a present yet? May I suggest that instead of the usual Whitman's Sampler or fistful of dead weeds, you get your true love a comic book instead? Why, that's what I'm getting my girlfriend Audrey Tautou. She will shriek in delight as she opens the wrapping paper and peels open the protective mylar bag and sees the wonderful comic books I have bought her. "Ooh la la Booly," she will declare, sighing with joy and contentment, "Tu are quite ze best presaint-giver evair." And then she will kiss me on my little stuffed nose. Mmmmmmmmmm. Nose kisses.

But make sure you pick the right comic! You can't get that same result with an old coverless issue of Secret Wars II or Witchblade# 49. Come to think of it, any issue of Witchblade is a poor gift to give a loved one. Or, f'r that matter, to anyone. No, make sure you guarantee a nose-kissing result from your lovely lady or man by presenting them with one of these fine comics:

Franklin Richards: Everybody Loves FranklinFRANKLIN RICHARDS, SON OF A GENIUS: EVERYBODY LOVES FRANKLIN: This comic is romantic! The sequel to one of the most fun comics of 2005 (and one of my pers'nal fav'rites) brings back Calvin and his toy, Franklin Richards, son of Mister Fantastic, and his robot H.E.R.B.I.E. in four mischievous adventures in which we learn the most important lesson of all: don't touch Mister Fantastic's stuff! Ah, Franklin, when will you ever learn not to touch the time machine or the Fantasticar (flying bathtub model) or the inviso-ray or the Doctor Doom-bots! Most important, when will you learn you can't fool a mother who can turn invisible? This is all fairly breezy and goofy adventure in a style that Bill Watterson should sue over but which we all hope he's got a good sense of humor 'bout, cos it's all done in good fun. The formula's exactly the same in each story (as it was in the first issue): Franklin's tempted to use one of his dad's amazing scientific devices, H.E.R.B.I.E. tries to warn him not to, Franklin does anyway...and that's where the fun begins! Where's the romance come in? Enter Power Pack's Katie Power! Don't they make a lovely young couple? If your significant other is young at heart or often getting into mischief, they'll kiss you on the nose for Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius!

Web of Romance #1I HEART MARVEL: WEB OF ROMANCE #1: This comic is romantic. See, even Spider-Man needs help finding what to give his wife for Valentine's Day, but asking the big smelly Mandrill is not the way to go about it, Spidey! (But it does give us The Best Line of the Week: "How about the Spider-Man video game?" "She already has the game...including the cheat codes. I just have to get her to quit playing as Venom." I might be in the minority, but I have actually always liked the fact that Peter is happily married to Mary Jane. She gives his balance, she gives him a grounding in reality, and she gives him hope. You can argue that bad things should be happening all the time to Spidey, and I disagree. I don't think Stan and Steve's original idea was that Spidey should always be a loser; I think it was that Spidey needs to learn every day that everything must be fought for, that nothing can be taken for granted, that the people he love might be lost at any time, and that with great power comes great responsibility. (But you knew that last one already.) I also don't really mind Spider-Man being in the New Avengers, as it's a different and interesting dynamic that gives Peter someone to talk with and discuss his life, and it sets up the solution where Spider gives Mary Jane the very best Valentine's Day gift of their life together. If I had a quibble, it's a minor one: that the gift is signaled so early in the story that when Peter actually gives it, it's not as much a surprise to us as it should be. Doesn't matter, because from what I can tell from the last page, Mary Jane just loves her gift! I'm not at all certain what Mary Jane and Peter are doing in that last panel, because you can't see 'em, but I'll just bet you anything she is kissing him on the nose! Face it tiger, if you hit the jackpot when you met the love of your life, this is the comic to give to your Valentine, because WEB OF ROMANCE #1 the most romantic comic of the week!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Million Little Pieces...of Al Lewis

I was always more of a fan of The Addams Family than The Munsters, but I was still sad when I heard earlier this week that "Grandpa" Al Lewis had passed away. I never got a chance to meet him, but as a little stuffed bull who's out and about with his ear to the ground in Manhattan, you couldn't ignore the fact that "Grandpa" was a colorful and eccentric character in New York City long after his heyday on teevee. I'd rather run into him on the street than Kenny Kramer, f'rinstance. Or Donald Trump.

As Mark Evanier reports today in his always-excellent blog, seems Al Lewis may have, ah, embellished elements of his past to give himself a more interesting, adventurous, and colorful history. To which I say, "You go, Mister Lewis!" America needs more eccentric figures with colorful, if fictional, pasts. That's what makes America great! And therefore, here's a sight I would dearly love to have seen:

Oprah Winfrey: I'm disappointed and embarrassed. So very, very embarrassed. And so very, very, very disappointed.
Al Lewis: What, about Stedman?
Oprah: About your lies on your past, Al. You've claimed in your interviews that you...
Al: I'm freakin' Al Lewis, Oprah. Bite me.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ben Grimm totally rocks! Reason #9

Why does Ben Grimm totally rock?

9. He won't sit there at the sidelines and listen to a pseudo-scientific explanation. Instead, he's a man of action and words: and those words are usually "It's clobberin' time!"

He's the best of both worlds, and he's big, rocky, and orange. And nothing rhymes with orange. Come to think of it, nothing rhymes with silver, either. Isn't that weird? What is it about certain colors that they don't rhyme with other things...hey, purple! Purple doesn't rhyme with anything else, does it? Hmmm... burble... curple... durple... furble... Oh! Sorry. Now you know...another reason why Ben Grimm totally rocks.

(Reason #1-345678 )