Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

CAW Addendum: Shang-Chi

I know that Cheesecake/ Beefcake Appreciation Week is over, but I just had to scan this in as an addendum. I felt a little guilty over neglecting the "beefcake" aspect of the week, but because it's not a subject I generally think about, there just weren't any examples that came to mind while I was making the scans.

After the fact, though, I realized that one of the very issues I scanned for a previous post was also a good source for material to alleviate the gender imbalance. Without further ado, here is the splash panel to Master of Kung Fu #31, featuring not only the shirtless Shang-Chi, but also the more covered-up but still extremely manly Clive Reston and Black Jack Tarr.

To Kalinara and all other beefcake enthusiasts: My apologies for not thinking of this one sooner.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Quick Comments on This Week's Comics

52 #25: Kite-Man! NOOOO!

Nextwave #9: Forbush-Man! YESSSS!

Civil War: Choosing Sides: A Howard the Duck story, written by Ty Templeton and drawn by Roger Langridge? If this were the only story in the book and the rest of the pages were blank, I would have paid the $3.99...but the rest of the stories turned me off completely.

Warlord #9: Now this is Cheesecake/Beefcake Appreciation gone horribly wrong in so many ways...eww...

Monday, October 23, 2006

What's Better Than Gorillas? SINGING Gorillas!

(My first attempt at embedding video.) From some talented (and crazy) Atlanta performers...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

CAW Concluded: Dave Stevens

And to conclude, I couldn't let the week go by without taking note of a master of the form (so to speak): Dave Stevens, represented here with his "Return of Valkyrie" cover from Eclipse's Airboy #5.

And, because turnabout is fair play (and because I've neglected the "Beefcake" aspect of Cheesecake/ Beefcake Appreciation Week), I present a link to Laura Molina's Naked Dave paintings. Warning: Highly personal and emotional facts are contained therein. After reading it, I've completely lost all respect for Dave Stevens as a person, though I still admire his's that old Richard Wagner "the artist vs. the work" dilemma, which is another reason I've chosen the Valkyrie piece over any of his other covers or panels.

CAW Part 6: Pavane

As Cheesecake/ Beefcake Appreciation Week draws to a close, I'd like to make note of an obscure character who carbonated my hormones (to quote Berke Breathed) in my youth: Pavane, seen here in Master of Kung Fu #31 (by Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy & Dan Adkins).

She's got a panther and a whip, she can kick your ass, and she uses "I give you my love" as an oath. What more could you want?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

CAW Part 5: Blondie Got Back

No, not Blondie Bumstead... I'm talking about Blanche "Blondie" Sitzsnki, better known as Anaconda. While she may seem an unlikely subject for Cheesecake/ Beefcake Appreciation Week, I just had to include this panel from Cable & Deadpool #33, which shows why Sir Mix-a-Lot's anaconda wants Anaconda.

CAW Part 4: More Nura to Love

Although Nura "Dream Girl" Nal has already been saluted over at The Planetary Chance Machine, I won't let that stop me from including her as part of my Cheesecake/ Beefcake Appreciation Week celebration.

In particular, I'd like to recall an often-overlooked moment in Legion history: When Nura reappeared in the Giffen/Bierbaum "five years later" Legion, we learned that she had gained a bit of weight in the interim...but she still had the same attitude and self-confidence, which made her just as sexy as ever.

Not surprisingly, there was some fan backlash about the character being "ruined"...I vaguely recall one letter saying something to the effect that Giffen and the Bierbaums "changed her from Marilyn Monroe to Bette Midler!" In the first place, why would that necessarily be a bad thing? In the second place, a more apt comparison would be that Nura went from being Diana Dors to being Diana Dors.

Of course, when the Legion was rebooted, Nura was restored to her more conventional proportions.

But before that happened, I managed to get Adam Hughes to do a convention sketch of the plus-sized Nura, which I hereby share in the spirit of this week. Let's never forget that, in the hands of a talented artist, good cheesecake can come in all shapes and sizes.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Man Is a Giddy Thing, and This Is My Conclusion

I just got back from seeing "Much Ado About Nothing" at PushPush Theater, just in the nick of time (this is its closing weekend). Director Tim Habeger and the entire cast really made the play come alive, with several performers playing multiple roles and bringing every one of them to vivid life. Particular kudos to Justin Welborn as Claudio and Dogberry, Brenda Norbeck as Beatrice and Conrade, and Randy Havens as Benedick and Borachio. Great job all around!

Three reasons for making this post: (1) A genuine shout-out of appreciation to all involved. (2) An excuse to use that quote as the title of a post. (3) The juxtaposition of a Shakespeare-related post in the middle of Cheesecake/Beefcake Appreciation Week.

CAW Part 3: Jack Kamen

For my third Cheesecake/ Beefcake Appreciation Week post, I'd like to pay tribute to one of EC's most underrated artists: Jack Kamen.

After freelancing for several different publishers (including a few issues of Superior Publishing's Brenda Starr and Ellery Queen comic books ), Kamen's first EC work was in the Pre-Trend romance comic Modern Love. When EC switched to the "New Trend" of horror, science-fiction, and crime stories, Kamen continuted as one of their most reliable artists, despite the drastic shift in subject matter. EC even published a famous in-joke story "Kamen's Kalamity" (Tales from the Crypt #31), humorously depicting Kamen's difficulty in adjusting to the horror genre. However, I always felt that Kamen's clean "romance-comic" style was an asset rather than a disadvantage; the wholesomeness of his art made for an effective ironic contrast with the sordid subject matter.

And, of course, he drew gorgeous women.

Even in the crime stories that dealt with husbands getting rid of their "plain" wives in favor of a glamorous mistress, the supposedly "plain-jane" spouse was still very attractive. And when the character was supposed to be sexy, she was even more so.

It was difficult to choose a single piece of artwork to represent Kamen for Cheesecake Appreciation Week, and yet at the same time, the choice was obvious: The splash page from "Beauty and the Beach" from Shock SuspenStories #7. The story itself may very well be the most misogynistic in EC's not-exactly-woman-friendly oeuvre--the wives are "punished," not for infidelity or any of the other more conventional transgressions, but because they dared to have careers of their own--but Jack Kamen's art is as beautiful as ever.

CAW Part 2: Nova Kane

As I started my observance of Cheesecake/ Beefcake Appreciation Week late, I'll try to make a couple of posts per day until I catch up and make a complete set of seven. We'll consider this the belated Tuesday post.

This panel comes from my favorite comic of the week: E-Man Recharged #1, by the classic team of Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton. I highly recommend this many books can start in a strip club and still manage to be such good, clean, wholesome fun?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Speaking of Coming In Late...

Another bit of fun that's been going around for a few days: The Suicide Squad Briefing Meme originated in Random Panels. Now, here is the Squad's latest mission:

(Hope the image is readable...I had to shrink it down so that the screen would fit the largest Madam Fatal close-up I was able to find on the web.)

And the Crow Said "CAW!"

I admit, I've been remiss in checking out my favorite blogs these past few days, and as a result, I've come in late to Cheesecake/Beefcake Appreciation Week, as established by Kalinara and Ragnell. It may be Thursday, but better late than never...and what better way to start my observance of Cheesecake Appreciation Week than with a panel of cheesecake being appreciated?

(Panel from The All-New Atom #3, written by Gail Simone & drawn by John Byrne & Trevor Scott.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Trick? Or Treat?

I don't know how much actual trick-or-treating is done in these more safety-conscious times, but I just wanted to share an idea for a harmless way to mess with the kids' minds if they come to your door:

Give them candy they've never heard of.

The idea came to me while browsing through the Sweet Nostalgia website, where you can order hard-to-find candies...they're still being made, though their heyday has long since passed. Can you imagine a child's reaction upon being presented with a Goo-Goo Cluster, an Idaho Spud, or an Abba-Zabba Bar?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

This Week's Improv Quotes

A few really fun shows at Dad's Garage this week. The funny thing: Both the Thursday and Friday night shows (by two completely different sets of improvisors) had scenes dealing with pyromaniac characters. The big difference: While Jenny only mimed burning things on Thursday night, George was actually (and persistently) lighting paper on fire on-stage (much to Scott's dismay). Shine on, you crazy diamond...

Now, for the traditional improv-quotes-in-comic-characters'-balloons portion of our post:

Saturday, October 07, 2006

No Improv or Comics, but in the Meantime...

In a rare occurrence, I was unable to see any improv shows this week. A hectic schedule in my day job turned it into a day-and-night job, keeping me from seeing The Doug Dank Project, The Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy's breast-cancer research benefit show, or any of the Dad's Garage shows...and then tonight, I'd hoped to get my ad-lib fix at the Laughing Matters show, but they wound up having to cancel due to poor attendance. (Damn that football game!)

I also didn't have a chance to pick up my comics this week, so no comments on that front either...but just so I won't have a content-free weekend, here's one of my favorite old covers.

"Faster than a speeding bullet...more powerful than a to leap to improbable conclusions in a single bound of logic!"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Would So Eat That

Something that came to me in a dream last night. It started out with me and some friends sitting at the table, when one of them (Z) accidentally knocked a bowl of cereal on the floor. However, when he picked it up, the dream suddenly morphed from a domestic scene into a commercial, with Z doing the pitch for...


Sweet, crunchy oat Marge Gundersons with just a touch of honey, with three fun marshmallow shapes: police badges, bundles of money, and Steve Buscemi heads.

Of course, when I woke up, I couldn't have breakfast because no other cereal would satisfy me after that concept.