Pretty Sketchy: Because Science Doesn't Need a Reason

This rather calm, cool, and collected robotic gentleman was drawn by Titanium Rain and Utopiates co-creator Josh Finney, and was received as part of a package of goodies offered by Discount Comic Book Service for ordering Titanium Rain #1. Both Josh and his wife/co-creator Kat Rocha are incredibly talented artists and very friendly people, and their next project involves giant monsters, which is always awesome, so say hi and buy their artwork if you ever see them at a con. I got a gorgeous Harley Quinn print and two postcard-sized Hello Kitty-style Cybermen prints last time I saw them. I hope to get more some time.

And cue the wakka-cha-wakka music.

So this gentleman here, is he a police officer or a police officer? The poofy hair, the mustache, the Germanic origin... it makes one wonder. I mean, every Playmobil figure looks like it was spawned from the sorts of videos kept in the back of the video store.* But even by those standards, Officer Friendly here takes the cake, and then does horrible things with it at bachelorette parties .

*The video store I used to work in actually kept it's adult section behind a green door. Unintentional on the owner's part, but awesomely appropriate all the same.

Want to help my friend buy a bookstore?

My friend Lacy is the manager of Rock City Books, a cool indie book store in Rockland, Maine. Recently, the owner announced her intention to retire, and has offered to sell the store to Lacy. She has a ton of ideas, a solid business plan, and her loan application in order. However, the bank does prefer you go to them with a little more cash in hand than she has at the moment, so she's trying to go the PBS route by looking for pledges. But she's not looking for a handout... if she can make a go of this, and is still in business and reasonably solvent in two years' time, she'll make a donation of the same amount you pledge to the charity of your choice.

Now, she can explain the whole situation - including why now actually isn't such a terrible time to be opening a book store - better than I can, so I suggest you visit the blog of the hopefully-soon-to-be hello hello books and read what she has to say for yourselves. If you can't lend monetary support right now, you might at least be able to offer moral support.

Help out if you can, my nerdy internet superfriends. How often can you say you actually helped someone's dream come true?

Lazy Thursday Link Blogging

The idea sounds dynamite, but the DC Powers That Be, seemingly hellbent on forever missing out on that tween girl demographic, disagreed.

In 1969, Jim Henson teamed up with Johnny Hart to try and get a TV version of Hart's comic strip The Wizard of Id off the ground. It never did, but the test footage featuring the King, the Wizard, and Spook is fun to see:

io9 presents 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Doctor Who, some of which I actually did, but it was still interesting reading all the same.

On a related note, here's a pretty thorough rundown of the plot of Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, a Who movie Tom Baker and Ian Marter tried to get made in the 70s. SPOILER: they didn't. Too bad, too, because it sounds like it would've been fun. Damn odd, but fun.

The comedy podcast Playing in Peoria went to C2E2 last weekend, and all they got was one of the best con videos ever. (via Comics Alliance)

C2E2 Dance Party 2011 from Playing in Peoria on Vimeo.

I'm as event fatigued as the next comics fan, but I'm not made of stone, and Marvel knows this.

So this was hanging out amongst the Marvel Comics solicitations for June 2011:

Do you fear... your protectors turning on you? Man-Thing has gone mad as fear consumes the world, and Manhattan will burn. The only heroes that seek to stop him have given into fear themselves, and no one is safe! Ryan Bodenheim illustrates the dark side of the Marvel universe as a team of monstrously talented artists spotlight Fear Itself, each through the eyes of a fallen hero. Eisner Hall of Famer Michael Kaluta leads the charge, transforming Nighthawk into the most frightening vigilante you’ve ever seen!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99
Now, I don't know a damn thing about what this Fear Itself story of Marvel's is supposed to be, and that doesn't bother me in the slightest. However, a story in which She-Hulk, Nighthawk, Frankenstein*, and Howard the Duck fight Man-Thing, and it's drawn by Michael Kaluta? Yes. Please. I need that. I'll take two.

Who says this isn't the Marvel Age of "Can I just give you the money for this right now so as to make it easier on both of us?"

Oh, and also they're going to be collecting the Mark Waid / Mike Wieringo Fantastic Four run in larger trade paperbacks, and those are such awesome comics that it'll be totally worth the money to get them in nice, big, thick volumes, but seriously you guys, this thing.

*Yeah, I know. But seriously, shut it.

So this one time Carl Sagan sent a Lovecraftian Elder God back to another dimension with a giant ray gun.

(from Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time #4)

Lately I've been watching Cosmos on Netflix Instant Watch. Even at over 30 years old, it's still awesome television. And as laid back as Uncle Carl was, it's fun to imagine him completely cutting loose on one of the horrors of the "coz-moss" like this. Because I totally believe he could have.

Also, Atomic Robo is awesome, you guys.

Happy Pi Day and Einstein's Birthday

Today is doubly important in the Nerd Calendar, as March 14th (3/14) is both Pi Day:

and Albert Einstein's birthday.

I wonder if he got combo gifts? Man, that must've been the worst.

Anyway, that's pretty much two Geek High Holy Days in one, so whatever you do to celebrate the day - math, baking, sticking your head out of the window of a moving car to get the mussed hair just right - enjoy it.

Literal Monkee Business

Ever wonder how the Monkees could afford that awesome beach pad despite the fact they never seemed to have much money? Well, when they weren't sponging off Mike's Liquid Paper money, they did what any enterprising young rock band pre-fabricated for a zany TV sitcom would do: advertise! Here's a compilation of spots where they shlep cereal and aftershave:

(Anyone else think that Kellogg's jingle ends way too abruptly? It's off-putting.)

And here are some spots from what I assume are the early days of the show's rerun period - after Peter left but before Mike did - where they promote Kool-Aid, Nerf balls, and gag shop items. Oh, and sometimes Bugs Bunny shows up.

Yeah, I know... the hell?

Stand With Teachers

The apple is a symbol that represents teachers. I posted this image in my blog to show my support for hardworking and dedicated educators everywhere. When we stand with teachers we stand up for strong schools and a strong future for our nation's children. Show your support for teachers and students by posting an apple on your blog, web page or social networking site.


School has me superbusy,but I'm still finding the time squeeze in fun reading when I can. Here are some super brief reactions to things recently read. Maybe some spoilers, so be forewarned.

Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber - As much as I love Star Wars, I've always found the novels incredibly boring (people seem to take the gig oh so seriously, bleeding out the fun; also, to paraphrase Harrison Ford, just because you can write this shit doesn't mean you can read it). And I've never been a big zombie fan. But the inevitable mash-up was good ol' pulpy fun, a genuine page turner that provides a decent amount of scares and chilling moment, coupled with just the right amount of gore. And we get to see a couple familiar faces along the way, so even if your only point of entry to Star Wars is the movies, you'll have characters you can latch on to. I was skeptical going in, but I enjoyed the hell out of this.

The Real Great Adventures of Terr'ble Thompson, Hero of Hist'ry - This collection of animator Gene Deitch's obscure newspaper strip from the mid-50s was fun, but also felt a little skimpy. That was inevitable, I guess, seeing as the strip lasted about a year (Deitch was working for UPA in the days and doing the strip at night, but then stopped once he took over the Terrytoons studio), so just as it was trying to find its feet, it was over. But still, it had a fun kid adventure vibe that reminded me a lot of Crockett Johnson's Barnaby, which is always a good thing, and Deitch's artwork brought an animated feel to the comics page that was unlike anything else at the time (or now, really). It's an historical curiosity, to be sure, especially if you're familiar with Deitch's Tom Terrific cartoons that ran on Captain Kangaroo way back in the day (TV's TT borrowed a lot from the strip's TT), but one worth checking out if you get the chance.

The Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Thorcules - Finally getting caught back up on Incredible Herc again, and it continues to be one of my favorite Marvel books ever. Two stories run in parallel in this volume: in one, Amadeus Cho tries to discover the truth behind the Master Mind Excello contest that named him 7th smartest person on Earth and led to the death of his family, while in the other Hercules is duped into passing himself off as Thor to prevent a war and achieve the dreams of D&D fans everywhere by getting some sweet, sweet Dark Elf lovin'. And with Herc pretending to be Thor, you just know you'll eventually end up with Thor pretending to be Hercules, and that's when everything goes silly. Comics should always be this fun.

Power Girl - This nondescriptly named collection compiles the Geoff Johns/Amanda Conner PG serial from JSA Classified #s 1-4 that unfortunately led into Infinite Crisis, as well as the Power Girl origin stories from her run in the original Showcase and an issue of Secret Origins. It was nice to have all that material in one place, with the earlier stories providing some much needed context for Johns'. Man, fans talk about Hawkman, Aquaman, and the Legion of Super-Heroes having some messed up continuities, but Power Girl gives them all a real run for their money. Anyway, if you like the character and her current series, give this a go. Johns' take isn't as fun as the Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray stories, but his usual continuity wank is easier to take with context already provided, and, of course, Amanda Conner's artwork is worth the price of admission alone.

Pretty Sketchy: "It's-a me, Mario!"

It's that stereotype-living, world saving, turtle stomping, barrel jumping, princess rescuing, go-cart racing, funny mushroom eating plumber and sometime Captain Lou Albano lookalike Mario, as depicted by Rhode Island's own Dan Capitumini. This was picked up from Dan at the Comic Geek Speak Super Show in Reading, PA, in 2010 (though we live maybe 20 minutes from each other, as it turns out), currently resides in a place of honor in my Super Mario loving son Liam's room. Thanks, Dan!

And now, because I can't resist, I command you all to Do the Mario!