Saturday, October 10, 2009

Separated at Birth: M.I.A.

Torn hole

Oh no! Someone has stolen tonight's "Separated at Birth!" 'Fess up guys, which one of you took it? Was it you, Colonel Mustard? Maybe it was you, Professor Plum?? Or could it have been you, Mrs. White? Oh wait, sorry, that one doesn't work very well against a white background. Sorry!

Anyway, tune in tomorrow to find out "Whatever Happened to 'Separated at Birth'?"...and be prepared for the biggest widest 'Ten of a Kind' of them all!

365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 283: What If? Week, Day 7

What If? Week

What If? v.2 #10
Gag panel from What If? v.2 #10 (December 1977), script by Steve Ringgenberg, pencils by Rodney Ramos, inks by Henry Candelario, colors by Renee Witterstatter, letters by Brad K. Joyce

And then there was Earth-Just-Plain-Silly.

Which is not to be confused with Earth-Where-Thanos-Turned-Galactus-Into-Elvis:

What If v.2 #34
Panel from What If? v.2 #34 (February 1992), script by Scott Gimple, pencils and inks by Tom Morgan, colors by Renee Witterstaetter, letters by Janice Chiang

Saturday Morning Cartoon: "What If...?"

One of the "What If...?" animal cartoons from Sesame Street (1970s?)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Where's Sugar and Spike?

Where's Sugar and Spike?

HEY, DOLL-BOY! It's time once again to play America's favorite game, "Where's Sugar and Spike?" Polish up your spectacles and get your thinking caps on for another exciting adventure trying to find Sugar and Spike in time and space! And now, while you're getting ready, here's the theme song from "Where's Sugar and Spike?":
One sunny day in the neighborhood
Bernie the Brain did something good
He invented a machine to travel thru time
A piece of technology sublime!

But when bad Little Arthur came inside
The babies, they ran for a place to hide
They ducked inside the time machine
Now all through the years they careen!

Those babies are zippin' thru time and space
They might be flying with Enemy Ace
Or catchin' a cab into outer space
Where's Sugar and Spike?

Are they fightin' crime with Jean-Paul Valley
Or stopping a robbery in Crime Alley?
Hangin' out with Death at the Big Finale?
Where's Sugar and Spike?

You'll never know where those babies will stop
Are they with Liza Warner, Lady Cop?
Or maybe in the pages of Plop!
Where's Sugar and Spike?

Maybe they're riding a big T-rex
Alongside Bat Lash and Jonah Hex
Or maybe even Luthor (Lex!)
Where's Sugar and Spike?

Where's Sugar and Spike?
Where's Sugar and Spike?
Where's Sugar and Spike?
(In color!)
(Tonight's episode of "Where's Sugar and Spike?" is blogged before live studio audience.)

Oh my goodness, where have those babies gotten to now in Bernie the Brain's Time Machine? Why, they're on Earth-247 in the far future: the time of The Legion of Super-Heroes, to be precise! Now, in a superfuturistic world where everything is based on things that came from the twentieth and twenty-first century, can you find that mischievous pair? In other words

Where's Sugar and Spike?

Legionnaires #43

Where are Sugar and Spike? They're somewhere there in among the Legionnaires, the Legion wanna-be's, various Science Police Guys, and caraciatures of K. C. Carlson and other members of the LSH creative staff that I can't identify. (Help me, Michael, you're my only hope!)

Anyway, start timing yourself...the latest game of "Where's Sugar and Spike?"!

Did you find 'em? Good for you, Doll-Boy!

Now, rate yourself on this scale:
  • Under 10 seconds: You'd give Bernie the Brain a run for his grey matter!
  • Up to 10 minutes: You are easily distracted by shiny objects, futuristic uniforms, and the snake version of Jeckie.
  • Up to 1 hour: Yeah, I spent all that time looking for Double Header too, but you've got to stay on target!
  • 1,000 years in the future or over: Contact Dawnstar for help and keep practicing.

Well, that's all the time we have tonight for "Where's Sugar and Spike?" Join us next time when Sugar and Spike wind up in the middle of the "DC One Million" crossover, and special guest-writer Grant Morrison brings us "The Sweetness That Sliced through Fractals Polygonically" and "Doll-Humanoid in the 853rd Century" in a story he could only call "The Svkjwxp that Shouted Blrgsxlp at the Heart of the Dwdhnxg!"

365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 282: What If? Week, Day 6

What If? Week

What If? v.1 #34
Panel from What If? v.1 #6 (December 1977), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Rick Hoberg, inks by Sam Grainger, colors by Phil Rachelson, letters by Joe Rosen

Every day is T.G.I "Flyday" (tee hee!) on Earth-7712 where, wouldja believe it, the Fantastic Four all get different powers! Ben gains wings and the power of flight, Reed the ability to coil himself into a bendy spring, Sue the power to take on the form of water, and Johnny can form hundreds of duplicates of himself! Together with their giant robot pal, they are...the IMPOSSIBLE FOUR! Oh, wait, no, I'm thinkin' of these guys:

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Waiter, please take away these ten thousand spoons when all I need ten thousand forks

La Petite AbeilleAll that talk and YouTube videos yesterday about one of my favorite topics — waffles — made me a mite peckish for those delicious hot 'n' crispy breakfast treats, so it was off today into Manhattan to Petite Abeille, my favorite Belgian restaurant in the Big Apple. How Belgian is it? So Belgian that Hercule Poirot eats here.

In fact, I was so hungry that I vowed to eat

10,000 WAFFLES!

So, come along with me, won't you, to eat 10,000 Waffles! Or, as they say in Belgium, "Volg me en eet tienduizendtalwafels." Make sure you keep count along with me, okay?

One of the best things about Petite Abeille is their exclusive Belgian waitstaff. Here, a young waiter takes my order, then disappears for six months into Tibet with his fluffy white dog.

Me an' my pal Tintin the boy reporter
Ah, the menu! Or, as we say in Belgium, the "menu". And hey, look, Bumblebee from the Teen Titans is on it. I wonder how much she makes for that endorsement deal.

I'll have one of each, please
Ah ha! Voila! 'Ere is, as you say, le waffle section. I zhall 'ave ten thouzhand of zese, s'il vous plait! Eight thousand with whipped cream, fifteen hundred with nutella, and five hundred with speculoos.

Ah, waffles! This looks like the section for me
All good restaurants have some form of entertainment to keep you amused while the specialty chefs in the kitchen are preparing your beautifully handcrafted meal. And if you're ordering ten thousand of them, you're gonna have a little bit of a wait. That's why I'm lucky that Petite Abeille offers a lending library of Tintin paperbacks, in both English and French! I think I'll choose this Hergé classic to while away my waffle-anticipatory wait.

This one's a good one.
There's always high adventure, action, thrills and laffs at Marlinspike Hall! And this special edition of Tintin is actually scratch 'n' sniff! Let's see what this page smells like...mmmmmm, Captain Haddock's whisky!

Look out, Captain Haddock! Look out!
Don't fill up on bread! That's how they get you.

Don't fill up on bread! That's how they get ya.
Hey, who ordered mac 'n' cheese for an appetizer? Oh well, it looks delicious! Nom nom nom nom nom!

First, some mac 'n' cheese for an appetizer
It's always a good idea to choose a beverage that compliments your meal. I intensely consultated with Petite Abeille's sommelier, who informed me with not even a tiny bit of snootiness that white wine goes with fish, and red wine goes with meat, but waffles are best complimented with a fine local Belgian brew. What the heck, bring me a bucket of the stuff!

I'm not a think as you drunk I am.
I think I drank it too fast. (hic)

Ow my achin' head
Hoorah! Waffle #1 has arrived! Mark that down...waffle number one. Let's get started on it right now!

Yum! Let me get started on Waffle #1
Mmmmmm...that was good. But I'm kinda full now. How many more do I have to eat?

I'm gettin' a little full
I think I better take the rest of them "to go."

I think I'll have to take the rest "to go"
Luckily, when I was heading home, I saw the Rickshaw Nice Dumplings van! Yummmm...I'm so hungry, I'm going to eat ten thousand dumplings!

The Rickshaw Nice Dumplings van is in Park Slope, hoorah!

365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 281: What If? Week, Day 5

What If #42
Page from What If? v.1 #42 (December 1983), script by Peter B. Gillis, pencils by Ron Frenz, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Janice Chiang

Click image to extra-large-handkerchief-size

(sniffle) It''s okay, there just must be something in my eye. (sniff) Must be something here in the atmosphere of Earth-8312, a world where the Watcher could finally answer the sad, sad, question..."What If the Invisible Girl Died?" (sniffle). That's Earth-8312, for all your Sue-Storm-snuffin' needs. Not to be confused with Earth-91111, where she also dies, or Earth-2K/607, where she also dies, or Earth-811, where she also dies, or Earth-929, where she also dies, or Earth-9511/P, where she also dies, or Earth-8907 (squiggly knee version), where she also dies, or Earth-616, where she al...hey! That's the real Earth! That's...


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends

I have myself the bestest pals. Mind you, I like bein' pals with everybody. (Except those senators on the take on Capital Hill with whom I have made myself powerful enemies). But if you really think you wanna be a really good pal with a little stuffed bull, well, I'm not bribeable, but I am impressed by free gifts of hot waffles, twinberry syrup, creamery butter, and original art.

That's only one of my favorite friends Boston's favorite son of fun, Kevin Church, Mister BeaucoupKevin, Lord of The Rack*, Ground Control for The Loneliest Astronauts**, guy who writes She Died in Terrebonne***. (There! Did I get in all my up-to-date plugs in, Mister C.?) It's not even my birthday, and Kevin sent me a dandy present: a commissioned color sketch of Ben Grimm as Blackbeard drawn by my favoritest artist, Colleen Coover! It's an overload of delightful-osity!

Blackbeard Thing (from Fantastic Four #5), by Colleen Coover
Arrrr, click me to blow me up, ye scurvy dog!

Man oh man, that some kind of wonderful. Thank you Kevin, thank you Colleen! You guys, much like Ben Grimm, totally rock.

Looks like I've got quite a good start on my "Wall o' Colleen Coover" with this and some of my other Colleen art, like the wonderful portrait of yours little stuffed truly she sent me for my birthday:

Bully, by Colleen Coover
Click image to bubble-size

And there's the Colleen Coover Zatanna sketch I won on eBay from Comix4Sight, auctioning of lovely collectible things to raise funds to help John Ostrander in his fight against glaucoma.

Zatanna, by Colleen Coover

It's a wonderful piece of art and a fantastic cause, and you can help too: Comix4Sight has more great items up for bidding on eBay that'll contribute to the fundraising.

So, I have the bestest pals, and the niftiest original art. I've got just about everything I need in the world!

Almost everything. (Hint, hint:)

*Co-created with Benjamin Birdie.
**Co-created with Ming Doyle.
***Co-created with T. J. Kirsch.
****And don't forget (even tho' I momentarily did!) Lydia, co-created with Max Riffner.

365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 280: What If? Week, Day 4

What If? Week

What If? v.1 #34
Gag panel from What If? v.1 #34 (August 1982), script and art by Joe Albelo

Oh dear. Earth-82834. Less said the better, huh?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Those who forget history are doomed to star in a cheesy Top Cow comic book

Angelian JolieHey, look who it is! Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. Archaeologist-adventurer. Countess of Abbingdon. Clever as a whip. Daring as an eagle. Pretty as a picture. Dumber than a bag of hammers.

Yup. I went there. Deal with it, fanboys! Those of you who've spent umpteen hours wriggling Ms. Croft around caves and tombs, past alligators and mummies, picking off tigers and rabid monkeys with unlimited ammo have probably never considered how rock-stupid Lara is. Need more proof? Think about it: how long did it take you to train her to climb up a wall? Hours 'n' hours 'n' hours, I bet. And she probably died every time.

Want more non-video-game proof, bucky? How about the box office take for her two movies? (Haw!) Oh, wait, here's a better example of what I mean. For a woman who is supposedly as knowledgeable about historical events—she was designed to be a pneumatic Indiana Jones—Ms. Croft displays a shocking and possibly dangerously deadly ignorance of twentieth-century cultural history when she goes out on a motorcycle ride. As they say in the Latin primers, Viz.:

Tomb Raider #25
Two-page spread from Tomb Raider #25 (November 2002), script by John Ney Rieber, pencils by Michael Turner assisted by Joel Gomez, inks by Jonathan Sibal and Billy Tan, colors by Jonathan D. Smith, Tyson Wengler, and Brian Buccellato, letters by Robin Spehar and Dennis Heisler*

Click image to double-D-size

I call shenanigans on that image. No way can Lara get that kind of height without whirling mighty Mjolnir around.

Anyway, so you're asking me, what's so dumb about that image? Go ahead: Google "how did Isadora Duncan die". I'll wait here for ya.

Find it? Yep. You are basically looking at how Lara Croft will accidentally kill herself. (Frankly, though, I wouldn't get all choked up over it.)

Then again, this is the issue where Lara gets turned into an Ice Vulcan:

Tomb Raider #25

So. Suspension of disbelief? Why, you'd need underwires to keep that much disbelief suspended, lifted, and separated that high.

*I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that exceeds the U.S. Recommended Daily Requirement of Creators on a Top Cow Comic Book.

365 Days with Ben Grimm, Day 279: What If? Week, Day 3

What If? Week

What If? v.1 #36
Panels from What If? v.1 #36 (December 1982), script and art by John Byrne, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Joe Rosen

Cast your peepers on Earth-8212, a world where Reed Richards apparently thought it wasn't such a good idea to steal a rocketship and carry his girlfriend and her kid brother into a cosmic ray storm. Minimum safety requirement equals no superpower equals no Fantastic Four...but it does give birth to The Richards Rocket Group, a quartet of adventurers (including Ben Grimm) who battle evil despite having no superpowers. Also, they got cool hats 'n' guns. Wonder how well those will help against Galactus, huh?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Love Stinks

Obi-Wan KenobiAs Obi-Wan Kenobi once told us in that movie, "Love is a many splendored thing, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love!" When he said that, what he told you was true...from a certain point of view. And me? Well, I've read Marvel's Silver Age romance comics. Those, and the first music video I ever saw on MTV, told me a different story. I mean, I'd trust a Jedi if I needed to chop somebody's arm off...but, when it comes to love, everybody knows that only Stan Lee and Peter Wolf know the true score. Take it away, boys!

You love her
But she loves him
And he loves somebody else
You just can't win

Teen-Age Romance #86

And so it goes
Till the day you die
This thing they call love
It's gonna make you cry

Teen-Age Romance #86

I've had the blues
The reds and the pinks
One thing for sure

Teen-Age Romance #86

Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah
Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah

Teen-Age Romance #86

Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah
Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah

Teen-Age Romance #86

Two by two and side by side
Love's gonna find you, yes it is
You just can't hide

Teen-Age Romance #86

You'll hear it call
Your heart will fall
Then love will fly
It's gonna soar

Teen-Age Romance #86

I don't care for any Casanova thing
All I can say is
Love stinks

Teen-Age Romance #86

Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah
Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah

Teen-Age Romance #86

Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah
Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah

Teen-Age Romance #86

I've been through diamonds
I've been through minks
I've been through it all
Love stinks

Teen-Age Romance #86
All panels from Teen-Age Romance #86 (March 1962), featuring work by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Tom Scheuer, Gene Colan, and Vince Colletta as The Beaver.

Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah
Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah
Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah
Love stinks
Love stinks, yeah yeah

Special bonus: let's look at the actual ads in Teen-Age Romance #86, featuring all the things a proper young lady will need to land her special man!:

Beautiful hands! And strong nails to claw your rival's eyes out!

Teen-Age Romances #86 ad

A slim and slender figure! Plus, breathing problems throughout your entire high school years!

Teen-Age Romances #86 ad

Plenty of bling! Fool your friends! Make your boyfriends jealous! Enrage Leonardo DiCaprio, star of Blood Diamond!

Teen-Age Romances #86 ad

Booze, sweet booze.

Teen-Age Romances #86 ad

Even more special bonus: The special "Love Stinks" remix of the text story from Teen-Age Romance #86!:

Teen-Age Romance text story

So remember, sti...

Keira and Bully was I saying?