Cover to Cover: Jesus on Mars

Posted: July 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

I don’t even … look, there’s really nothing I can add to this. Just … just bask in it.

Jesus on Mars
Cover illustration: Paul Stinson
1979 edition (Pinnacle Books)

Aurora, Colorado

Posted: July 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’m not even sure where to begin.

Early this morning, about a half hour into a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, a man allegedly used a side exit to break into a crowded theater, where he then released a smoke bomb or tear gas and opened fire with what is so far an unidentified weapon or weapons. As I write this, 12 people are dead, and at least 50 are injured. It is truly, without doubt, a tragedy.

The cable news pundits are, of course, already out in force. As are the politicians jockeying for positions that allow them to express both sympathy and blame. And as are the groups with an ax to grind, opportunistic enough to point fingers at gays, or “loners” or people who aren’t Christian enough or gun control (both for and against). Some so-called analysts are questioning the “midnight movie mentality.” Some are, callously, wondering how this despicable act will affect the movie’s performance at the box office.

It’s all ridiculous.

Here’s what matters: A lot of innocent people — men, women and, in at least one case, a young child — have been murdered. What was supposed to be a fun night out, a gathering of fans who were sharing the communal event of going to the movies and celebrating a beloved superhero, ended in senseless death and injury. A 24-year-old man, James Holmes, has been arrested for the crime and, thankfully, seems to have acted alone.

It strikes me how true that is; whatever his reasons, whatever twisted excuse he has, Holmes’ actions are his, and his alone. Batman didn’t make him do it. Violent films didn’t make him do it. Whatever politically expedient or fringe cause anyone wants to promote didn’t make him do it. Just one person, in a spasm of violence, created this situation, which has rippled from Aurora, Colorado out to a horrified world.

Over the hours, days and weeks to come, the picture will come into focus. We’ll have answers to the questions that are now flying by in a blur. But we’ll probably never really understand. How could we?

All we can do now is all we can ever do that makes any kind of difference — be kind. Be supportive. Be human. And, in that small way, be a hero. We can use some.

And, yes, that’s Ron Perlman as the store clerk

Posted: July 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

There was a time when I really envied people who were able to make it to the San Diego Comic-Con.

I won’t go into a long rant here, but let’s just say I’m more interested in the writers and artists and actual comics, more than the TV, movie and games industries that grew up and over them. Besides, with the ever-increasing crowds and dwindling chance of getting a ticket to the show, it quite frankly sounds like more trouble than it’s worth.

And then there’s this, and I’m reminded of what a great community the comic book world can be when it remembers to just get over itself. I don’t want to give anything away for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet (I just saw it late Monday night — thanks, Jen!), but you can find all the details about the production of what has to be one of the most kick-ass “fan films” ever at this link. I’m also ready to get really effusive about the lead actor in this short (and its inspiration), so let me know what you think in the comments.

OK, that’s about all I can say without actually saying anything, so enjoy “Dirty Laundry”!

Adventures in Sound #34

Posted: July 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Panel from Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea
Writer/artist: Hugo Pratt

It’s Kalimánday! And now … death in the pharaoh’s tomb!

Posted: July 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »

Hey, you remember that the last time we saw Kalimán he was just starting to crack the mystery of “Los Profanadores de Tumbas,” right? And how — aided by his ward Solín, friend and archaeologist Professor Farrel, Farrel’s daughter Jane, and Farrel’s protege Zarur — he discovered bad-guy Eric Von Kraufen had kidnapped the princess Nila, who was also the beloved, promised bride-to-be of Zarur?! And then that Von Kraufen was hiding out in the pyramid tomb of Ramses, where he planned to uncover the pharaoh’s legendary treasure with the strong-arm help of man-monster Makón?!?

Well, good. Because in the interest of getting this ball rolling again we’re going to skip over the rest of the story and get right to the final issue in this storyline. Don’t worry, though — Kalimán: El Hombre Increible #10 is good ‘n’ crazy.

We pick up the story with a confrontation between Kalimán and Makón, and it’s not going well for our hero.

“They have killed him!


Having gotten the better of Kalimán, Makón smashes the mystic warrior against the catacomb wall in a blow so savage pretty much everyone assumes he’s kaput. Von Kraufen uses a somewhat suspect technique to check Kalimán’s pulse and, laughing, calls the time of death.

“Ha ha ha! Ladies and gentlemen, this time Kalimán is dead!


Have I mentioned Von Kraufen is kind of a dick? Satisfied his greatest obstacle has finally been eliminated, the monocle-jockey tells his mutant handyman to dump the body in the desert.

“May the vultures enjoy a succulent meal …”


See what I mean? Was that really necessary? What a douche.

And he’s just getting started! Knowing that what set the whole adventure off was Nila’s kidnapping, Von Kraufen offers to reward their efforts by taken them to her at gunpoint. Naturally, Zarur wants to jump the mohawked German right then and there, but Professor Farrel tells him to wait — when the time is right, they’ll make their move.

After negotiating the winding hallways of the pyramid’s lower levels, the group finally comes to a long and dark hallway. Eventually they see a light at the end of the passage, and there they find the imprisoned Nila.

“Here you have it …”


Er, I mean … Von Kraufen reveals Nila, whom he has kept prisoner so he can get the secret of Ramses treasure out of her. The visit is just a tease, and Von Kraufen quickly has Makón throw everybody into a dank cell. That is, except for Zarur, someone Von Kraufen realizes can be used as leverage against Nila’s stubborn refusal to break.

“Zarur … my love …”


Seriously, how awesome is Makón? And just as a quick aside, I think it’s fantastic that — of all the things one could say when caught in an arm-breaking hold by a monstrous Neanderthal — Zarur chooses to say, “Hoo!”

Von Kraufen’s plan is simple — chain Zarur to a wall and have the shit whipped out of him until Nila agrees to share the secret of the treasure. And have the shit whipped out of him he does.

Panel: Brutally, the whip shreds Zarur’s flesh … without him uttering any protest …”


Having seen that Zarur is sufficiently bad-ass, Nila continues to refuse Von Kraufen’s demands. Finally, though, she can’t take Zarur’s suffering any longer and relents — she’ll show the evil mastermind how to reach Ramses’ treasure.

“That’s better, princess … stop, Makón!”


Makón seems like a guy who enjoys his work, doesn’t he? He’s not the only one, and confidence is at an all-time high in the Von Kraufen organization. Delighted to be on the verge of some old-school Egyptian riches, Von Kraufen has Nila lead his to the legendary tomb while Makón returns the tortured Zarur back to the cell. But out of nowhere, poetic justice makes an appearance!

“Suddenly, an arm of steel squeezes the throat of the bloodthirsty slave …”


Never let it be said Kalimán isn’t above dishing out a little of the bad guy’s own medicine. Or injecting it with the wall of a pyramid. Needless to say, Makón is thrown off (heh) by this turn of events, and Kalimán’s friends are plenty surprised themselves. To give them credit, they do handle it better than Makón does.

“Makón fled, horrified, believing he had seen a ghost …”


Makón, I heart you so much.

But how did Kalimán survive Makón’s vicious attack? How will they find Nila and the nefarious Von Kraufen in the maze of tunnels? Will there be a completely awesome fight scene at the end?! Come back next week to find out in the tomb-wrecking conclusion of “Los Profanadores de Tumbas!”


From Kalimán: El Hombre Increíble #10
“Los Profanadores de Tumbas”

Peter Parker would totally have an anxiety closet

Posted: July 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 6 Comments »

Hey, I just realized who Andrew Garfield reminds me of:

Quick, get Hollywood on the line! And for God’s sake, someone find me a penguin!!