Tuesday, July 26, 2005

MTV and the Renaissance?

There are a few words that you never expect to see side-by-side in the English language: funny and Jimmy Fallon, tasteful and Gene Simmons and the renaissance and MTV. In this new comic strip, I was trying to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same ... or something like that.

If you are completely clueless to what I'm talking about, boogie on over to www.room19comics.com. It's the site that a handful of people are talking about.

In any event, this is the comic strip that I wrote about it Friday's Blog. A quick aside, this is a Blog that I wrote at work and was not able to post (read: I was too tired and/or forgetful to post on Friday night) on the comic strip page. So, if you haven't seen it, it's new to you. (BTW, that was a terrible catch phrase that NBC used a few years ago to hype the summer reruns.)

This is the strip, after a few weeks of four panels, I dropped back down to three. Basically this was the first half of my last semester at Merrimack. I need a few more classes to get my minor in visual arts and one was Art II with Professor Longwood. She was a ball breaker. For an hour and a half every class you'd see nothing but slides. This would go on for six weeks. Each test was five slides and we had to tell the name of the painting, who painted it, when they painted it and an explanation of the painting.

Things weren't so bad until you hit the Renaissance. It seemed like everyone and their brother was painting the Madonna and child. There had to be about 30 paintings of this subject, all in similar positions. It was torture going through and differentiating which was which.

That is the situation that our hero Eddie finds himself in. I think that the first panel came out ok. He's sitting at his desk, there are a ton of books around, he's studying hard. Eagle-eye watchers of Room 19 will notice that this is also the first time that the other side of Eddie's face is shown. Normally it looks like it does in the third panel, but I wanted to show some depth.

The second panel sucks. It has a ton of wasted space. While there are just as much art in the second as the first, there is a ton of text which a. sets up the joke and b. shows the gravity of his studies. In the second panel, there is an interesting shot of Ed rubbing his eyes, but nothing else. I wasted about a third of a panel. Not good.

The third panel delivers with the punch line. Not very joke-y per se, but it's more of how no matter how you try to get away from something, it's probably going to find you somewhere. Believe it or not, that stupid TV stand took me a long-ass time to draw. I really wanted to get the perspective correct.

BTW, there were two loose ends I had to tie up from the last entry. One, Alex Cora ended up hitting into a 6-2-3 double play (about the only way that the Sox couldn't have scored a run) and I got to meet Sam Horn last Sunday. I think I told you about SoSH having a get-together that day, well I went and I won a t-shirt. Big Sam was there and I was asked if I wanted it autographed.

I really didn't, but I didn't want to hurt the dude's feelings. It's not that I thought he sucked or anything, far from it -- when I was a kid I thought he was going to be the next big thing, I just liked the shirt too much for it to be written on. I told him he could and now I have a big "SAM HORN" on my new white shirt. Ah well, such is life.

The funny thing about Sam is that he's a huge dude and he has a pretty big appetite. When I saw him he was sitting in front of a pile of buffalo wing bones. There had to be about 40 of them on the plate. Good for you, Horny.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Looking at some movies and a crappy week

Here's the deal with the Blog, I'm not updating it as much as I should. I know what you're thinking, "How can I live without my 19Thoughts? I shall surely die of ignorance." All I can say to you, is, "Can it Mr. Sarcasm." This truly has been a very trying week and I'm lucky that I can write this one.

How trying, let me tell you on Saturday we finished up the wedding hall crap with my parents and Aly's parents. After a two-hour meeting with the Longwood manager, I felt like I had gone 12 rounds with Tyson. I was tired, confused and in need of booze.

Sunday, I tried something new, I thought it would be a good idea to watch the Sox play the Yanks and draw at the same time. Needless to say I was pissed off squared. It took me a long ass time to do my strip, when it shouldn't have and the Sox lost with some dumb-assed managing in the ninth. Francona left Alex Cora in to bat against Mariano Rivera with no outs, bases loaded and the Sox down by two because, are you ready for this, he "wanted to see Cora hit."

What the fuck? Are you serious? Take him to Route 1 in Saugus and give him a couple of quarters for the batting cage. After that you can play mini golf and eat ice cream. John Olerud is on your bench for a reason. This is officially my first "WTF is Tito thinking of?" moment of the year.

Oh yeah, our limo guy calls out of no where and reverses his prices on us. Thanks dick at Boston Limo. You can suck it.

Monday, I came into work and the air conditioner over my head is leaking. It started on Saturday and hadn't stopped. Thus everything at my desk is completely wet. After lunch another leak opens up over my head. I try to work with an umbrella over my desk but no luck.

At night, I try to scan in my new strip (not the crappily drawn one) and I have a complete brain fart about how to size it. It takes me an hour and a half and it's all fucked up.

Tuesday I come into work and there are now three leaks and everything is wet. I offer to go home, but I am moved to a new cube. It also smells like someone took a gigantic piss in the middle of my cube. After work is school. I started a new class in Illustrator, which looks like it's going to be pretty fun.

Except I don't think my teacher realizes that we all have work and other shit to do as he assigns us, six hours (yes SIX) of making belizer (spelling?) curves, read and complete Chapter 4 and begin our project. Guess what I'm doing on Sunday.

When I get home I finally figure out how shrink down my strip (took me 15 minutes) and reload the page. While there is a technical glitch or two, I am in bed by midnight after seeing a mouse run by me in our living room. Fucking sweet.

Wednesday, it's still hot as balls out, did I tell you it's been 90 degrees every day with like 98% humidity? If all of these little things didn't conspire to stress me out, the heat certainly pushed me over the edge. Aly and I get into an argument, I got to bed at 12:30 and wake up at 4:30, because I can't put this kind of shit to bed. I obsess and toss and turn. This is one of the reasons why I hate fighting.

The other is because I'm so fucking stupid and competitive, I always go for the throat. I'm not a good fighter because a lot of the times, I'm just a dick. In any event, Aly and I make up Thursday morning and things are looking better. Aside from some minor work things, Friday hasn't been too bad.

This past weekend, I ended up seeing two movies. Saturday, Jamie and I went to see "The Fantastic Four". I've already admitted to you guys that I'm a comic geek at heart. I love the stuff, even though I tell most people that I don't. Spider-man, X-Men, Batman, it's all good. Some of the most fun I've had in a theatre in the last three years.

While FF doesn't exactly live up to those three, it's a pretty good movie. Some of the origins are changed (like Dr. Doom and the FF were colleagues who were both in the spaceship) but it did a decent job in keeping with the mythology. A lot of people crabbed about the special effects, but I thought they were good as well.

One reviewer from the Globe said that this movie should've been more "erotic" I have zero clue what the hell he meant. I guess it would've been funny to see Mr. Fantastic take a piss from a different room, but that's sort of gay isn't it? In any event, I bet they have a sequel since it opened up well ($56 million in the first weekend).

The second flick I saw was "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith". Awesome. Very, very good. Yes, it's a cliche to say that the first two were stupid and while I won't go that far, they were a bit of a disappointment. This movie did not disappoint.

A wookie army, a bunch of lightsabre fights, dead Jedis all over the place, definitely a fine film. There were a lot of things that I liked, such as when Ben delivered Luke to Uncle Owen and Aunt Baru and Owen is looking at the two suns. Shot for shot, that was like the introduction to Luke Skywalker in the Episode IV.

Also, it was cool to see that Yoda and Chewbacca were buddies from way back. I always thought that it was dumb luck that Chewy and Han got together to fight the Empire. Now I can reasonably say that Chewy was the brains of that duo. He probably made Han go to Tatoine and find Obi Wan and then forced him to go back to knock Vader's ass off of Luke's tail so he could blow up the Death Star.

I really want to get the six-DVD set when it comes out and just watch it straight through. The one thing I'll say is that when I was a kid, I always assumed that the Star Wars trilogy was always going to be about Luke and how he went from a pussy farm boy to a pussy Jedi. Now I know, it was really a story about Darth Vader.

If you think about it, that's quite a 180. It's like finding out the Superman story was about Lex Luthor or Spider-Man was about the Green Goblin.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Best ... So Far

This might be a quick entry because it's late and I'm hungry. This comic that you see before you is my favorite one I've done so far. I know I sound like I'm being arrogant, but I'm not, I just really was inspired to write and draw this one.

And for those of you who don't know, go to the July 4th entry in this Blog to find out the real story. This, and this is actually the first time I've ever got to say this, is based on a true event. Just goes to show that inspiration can strike anywhere, even on a T subway.

And for those of you on my Blog who don't know what the hell I'm talking about, go to www.Room19comics.com

There are a few things that I really like about this strip and a couple things I don't. Let's start with the things I dig. In the first panel, I like the woman bumping into each other and I like how Eddie has eyes closed and is just spacing out while listening to his tunes. You can sort of tell that something is about to happen.

BTW, all three of these dudes have on shirts that I actually own. The guy in the 24 shirt (a shout out to my favorite drama) was supposed to be black, but the shading didn't come out correctly ... thank God for Photoshop.

The second panel was an experiment. I wanted to see if I could do something a bit different, but I wanted to get my point across at how bitchy this lady was. I think I did a pretty good job in that. The one part of this panel that I'm a bit discouraged with is the eye balls ... she looks like the Ghost Rider or something.

BTW, this is what the Ghost Rider looks like:

Her eyes are just too damn dark. I guess that's one of the hazards of doing a strip in black and white. There aren't many shades of gray.

I really like the third panel because the expression of Eddie's face and the gigantic question mark popping out of the panel. This is the first strip I've done where he was the straight man and said nothing. Usually Kurt supplies that role, but I think that Eddie did a good job with it.

The one thing I don't like about this panel is the back of the woman's body. Her hair is sort of messed up and I think that I made her too fat.

The fourth panel is ok, stylistically it's sort of flat compared to the other three, but in a way, I think that it works. I really wanted her to stand out to the reader with her missive about people not being polite. To make it a bit more powerful, I decided not to have anything in the background. Does it work? I'm not 100% sure, I'll leave that to you to decide.

BTW, this is the first time that I've drawn a woman in my strip. To be honest, I have a lot of trouble drawing the female form, but this one was pretty easy, because she was so dang lumpy. Nothing like a woman who looks like walking mashed potatoes.

Speaking of potatoes, I'm getting something to eat.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Reviews from everywhere

I gots movie reviews, book reviews and the review of an up and down first half for the 2004 World Series Boston Red Sox.

Let's start with the Sox first, because I'm almost a week late with it. The Sox finished the first half with a 49-38 record, which was one game better than last year. The did this without Curt Schilling (he pitched three games, and did so poorly because of an injury), one of the worst bullpen in the majors and not a lot of production from their second baseman.

The fact that they are in first place by a game is a minor miracle, which leads to the question: are the Red Sox overachieving or is the rest of the division underachieving? The rest of the American League East all have questions, the Orioles have no starters (unless they play the Sox), the Yanks have a crappy outfield defense and no pitching, the Blue Jays are the Hartford Whalers of the AL (forever mediocre) and the Devil Rays are the Devil Rays.

Are the Sox merely the cream of the crap or do they have a legit shot at winning the Series again? Since it's only July 17, it's hard to tell, but they need one thing in order to make me feel better about their chances: a bullpen. With Foulke out until mid-August after getting surgery on his knee (which supposedly has bothered him since he was a White Sox), the rest of the pen has to step it up a bit. Just about everyone has spit the bit. Embree has been horrible, Halama pitches well once a week and Mantei was a disaster (and is out for the year). The only two guys that manager Terry Francona has any confidence in is the two Mikes: Myers and Timlin.

Myers is a situational lefty who can't go more than an inning and while the numbers suggest that Timlin is having a solid year, it may be a mirage as he is allowing a lot of inherited runners to score. From the evidence, it seems that he is a guy that can not come into innings any more, as his ERA is microscopic when he starts one.

If the bullpen is that bad, than the offense is the good. Actually strike that last sentence, the offense is great. Forget Foxx and Williams; Yaz and Harrelson; Rice and Lynn and Cooper and Plantier (the last one is much easier to forget), Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz could be the greatest one-two punch that the Red Sox have ever had.

Manny started off the year slow and the media mavens were saying that he didn't care anymore and that he was "obviously distracted". I wish I could be so distracted at my job. He posted .275/.365/.557 with 23 dingers and 83 runs batted in. Ortiz has slumped for about a week, if you could call it that, and has .308/.388/.584 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs. These are incredible numbers that most people would be pumped to have for the season. There is still about 75 games left to play, it's astounding to think of what they can do.

And as good as the 3-4 punch has been, Johnny Damon has been just as tremendous. He's in the midst of a 28-game hitting streak and an argument can be made that he is the MVP of the American League, especially when you factor his defense into the equation. Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon and Bill Mueller have proven that they're worth their contracts with numbers that are close (if not better) than their career averages.

Nixon, in particular, has started to show Francona that he has shaken the boondoggle of lefties, as he's hitting .270 against them. Not bad numbers for a guy who couldn't touch southpaws in his previous ten years.

All of these offensive fireworks have been more impressive considering that their big offseason signing, Edgar Renteria, has looked as if he has not been comfortable since day one. I know nothing about the guy, so I won't speculate on the reasons for his struggles both at the plate and, most surprisingly, in the field, but I have to think it takes a while to get used to coming from over from the National League. I expect him to heat up in the second half the more acclimated he becomes to his surroundings.

The less said about Kevin Millar the better.

Led by Matt Clement, the starters have been ok. David Wells has been inconsistent, Tim Wakefield has been Tim Wakefield, there are some days when Bronson Arroyo looks like a world beater and other days where it seems he'd rather be at the Paradise rock club strumming his guitar. As an owner of Wade Miller in a fantasy league, he's been driving me crazy, but as a fifth starter, he's been ok.

The main thing that the Sox have to do is get Curt Schilling back to his workhorse form and leading this rotation. Even over finding bullpen arms, this is the most important issue facing the team in the upcoming months. If they can do this and get Keith Foulke back into the groove, the Sox will be the team to beat in the American League.

If not, then it looks like a long summer.

I finished this book, or at least a major part of it, earlier this week:

This collection had most of his writings and the one that I chose was his seminal "Thus Spoke Zarathusra".

First a little background on why I chose this: I've already told you about the dude I used to work with who turned me on to the ideas of Nietszche, when I finally got into college I wanted to learn all that I could about the German philosopher, so I took an 19th Century German Philosophy class with my buddy Archie. I was way over my head in this class, I was the only person who wasn't a philosophy major and I wasn't used to the writing.

Needless to say Hegel, Kierkegaard and Schopenhaur read like they were written in Chinese. The one thing that kept me in the class is the syllabus said that we were going over Nietzsche, but we never did. Because of his countrymen, it spooked me from reading "TSZ" because I thought that I'd never understand it.

Turns out I had completely psyched myself out, for while it wasn't "Nails" by Lenny Dykstra, it wasn't as incomprehensible as I originally thought. Sure, there were some rough spots and some contexts that I probably glazed over, but for the most part the message came through loud and clear.

While I am glad that I read it, I don't think that you can give this book a grade per se, I am more glad that I conquered this mountain myself.

I'm going to the movies in about 20 minutes, so I am going to wait until later in the week to review "The Fantastic Four" (which I saw yesterday) and the new "Star Wars" (which I am going to finally see soon).

Don't forget Wednesday, a new strip ... and if I may be so bold, it's the best one (art wise) that I've done so far.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Montville, Movies and a Mohel

This is going to be a pretty long post, so you better strap yourself in, I have a lot to say.

First up, last Thursday I went to the Brookline Booksmith and got to meet a true giant in the sportswriting business, Leigh Montville. He's always been sort of a hero of mine from when he was writing for the Globe, but mostly when he was at Sports Illustrated.

He spoke before about 20 of us about his new book about the 2004 Sox and he took a bunch of questions. Some of the more interesting answers that he gave was that he hates sports radio, Curt Schilling isn't well liked in the Sox clubhouse (and probably lost some points for tonight) and that the Ted Williams biography (which I bought) was supposed to be a year's worth of work and 100,000. It turned into 2 years worth of work and 200,000 words.

I asked him about Sports Illustrated and the differences between working there and the Globe. Basically, he said that working at SI sucked. Too political and they would hack up all of his stories as it went through FOUR editors. He said by the time they finished up, it was nothing like what he turned in.

Of course he mentioned that he was there for 12 years, so it couldn't have been that bad.

I also asked him about the "new media", Blogs and web sites. He said that it's something that one should keep their eye on, but he doesn't know much about it. All in all, he was a real nice guy and he had a bunch of terrific stories.

Saturday morning, Aly and I woke up bright and early to go to New York and witness the briss of Tyler Jack Cole, Danna and Rick's newborn son. I had never seen a briss and while I was sort of squeemish about the experience, I sort of wanted to see what it was all about.

We made it to the party, but we missed the ceremony. There was a nightmare of a traffic jam on the Tappen Zee bridge, but according to Danna's brother Evan, it was probably a good thing that we missed it. "There was blood every where," he said. "I almost puked."

We hung out there for the better part of the day and then turned around and went home at about 4:00. I was really beat and wanted to sleep in my own bed that night and besides, I had a ton of homework to do. My last Photoshop class was on Tuesday and I had to finish my project.

I really enjoyed working with this program. It's odd because in the middle of class, things just started to come to me. It's almost as if a light went in my head and I really started to put together everything that my teacher was saying. While I'm not Photoshop expert, I do think I can more than hold my own when it comes to doing this stuff.

Next week we're going to begin Adobe Illustrator. I have no idea what that does, should be a lot of fun.

I meant to tell you that I got my first web site gig. Let me first say, I don't know crap about putting up web sites, that begins in the fall, but I contacted the Boston Braves Historical Society and they want me to do their site. I talked to a guy, Mike Fine, who was really cool. He said that he's been looking for someone to do this for them, but with their membership (a lot of older guys) no one really has the skills to do it.

So I am going to do it for them and have it as my final project. I can't wait, I have a great idea for what to do. I am really pumped about it.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Aly and I saw a couple of movies, one really good and the other one ... not so great.

The first one we saw was Batman Begins. That was awesome. It told the tale of Batman and how he came to be, especially his training. For a closet comic book geek like myself, this was manna from heaven. The scenes of Bruce Wayne in Tibet (really it was filmed in Iceland) at Ra's Al Goul's training facility were tremendous. Great fight scenes and just a cool overall feeling to flick.

Besides RAG, the Scarecrow was a tremendous villain. For a long time there were a bunch of rumors that Howard Stern was going to play him. Cillian Murphy blew him out of the water. He was really that good. Also, Christian Bale (who was really good in 'American Psycho') did a nice job as Batman. The one complaint was his voice when he was the Caped Crusader. A little hacky.

There were a few sort of rough patches: the casting of Katie Holmes as the "tough, no nonsense DA". Really a stretch as Aly said, "She's just playing Joey Potter as a 'Law & Order' character." Also the fighting scenes in the city were very hurky jerky, it was very tough to tell what the hell was happening.

I believe they are doing a sequel and it's going to be great, I bet.

The next night, it was lady's choice, so we went to see "Bewitched". To be honest, I went of my own free will because though I wasn't a big fan of the original TV series, I like Will Ferrel a lot and spending two hours looking at Nicole Kidman, well I can think of worse ways to spend my time. Plus there was a Daily Show feel to the flick as Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell and Mo Rocca all had parts in it.

Unfortunately, it was a dud. The first half was pretty good, but it went down hill very quickly. Kidman made an interesting choice in playing her character is a complete retard. I'm not sure why she did that.

And the ending came right out of leftfield. It just happened without any explanation. It wasn't a complete waste, as there were some funny Ferrel scenes, but between this and Ferrel's last movie (Kicking and Screaming), he's going to have to come up with something better ... or at least read the scripts.

Some time this weekend, I'm going to post my Red Sox midseason report card. It's a damn good thing I wasn't grading after this crapfest, they all would've flunked.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Finally, A New Strip

Ok, I've been a bit laxed in my Blog entries, but I've been really busy. You'll find out on Thursday when I post a mega-Blog.

But today is all about the comic strip. This is the first one that I scanned in and uploaded myself. If I had to grade this, I'd give it a B or a B-. There are a few things that I don't like, but for the most part, I think I did a pretty passable job. Especially considering I'm using a program that's at least five years out of date.

If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about go here: www.room19comics.com

Anyway, this strip features Kurt and Eddie chillin' at the bus stop. And Eddie starts talking about his older brother who seems to be into the whole music scene. Like any aging hipster, Eddie's brother is raging against newer music. Why? Who knows, why does anyone hate music that has a "2" in front of the copywrite date?

There's a lot of people like Eddie's brother in the world today, myself included, who think that music topped out when they were in their formative years. And while grunge dudes like myself are bad, no one loves themselves like a baby boomer.

Ask a BB when the earth was created and most will say around 1947. Ask them about "classic" eras in sport, music, television, movies, literature, anything and wouldn't you know that they were young throughout all of these eras. Never mind that the number one song of 1967 (the Summer of Love) was the Archie's "Sugar, Sugar" or that the number one TV show of that era was "The Beverly Hillbillies".

I'm not trying to crack on these folks, because you hear and see a lot of this stuff, not so much from people who went to high school and college in the 70s and 80s, but the other two decades most definitely. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that most of the kids in the 90s were sons and daughters of the children of the 60s.

But getting back to the comic, Eddie calls these people out, and while I wanted to use language a bit more salty, I abstained. After all, this is a family strip.

Ok, I'll talk to you on Thursday ... then I'll have a story about a former Globe columnist, a bris and two movies. If that doesn't whet your appetite, I'm afraid nothing will. And this weekend, I'll give you my Sox midseason report.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A comic culled from my past

Aren't you the lucky little monkeys? Two Blog entries in two days. The reason why yesterday's never made it to the comic page is because I was in Franklin and Aly's dad doesn't have Dreamweaver. So, if you want a cool story about me yelling at a fat lady and read Aquaman's latest, go a bit past this entry.

New cartoon is up today. It's a pretty good one if I do say so myself. And if you still aren't hip to the radical new web site taking America by storm, go to www.room19comics.com and become a true believer.

The title of this Blog says it all, this is actually a story from my sorted past. When I was in college I had a roommate named Bob. He's a good guy, pretty smart, super laid back, smoked more grass than anyone I knew, but never really let it affect him. Bob was from northern New Hampshire and besides being a bit of a hillbilly, all of his friends went to "Good Old State U", otherwise known as the University of New Hampshire.

One of Bob's best friends was a dude named Thomps. Thomps was the type of guy who'd tell you the exact opposite of what you'd expect to hear because he wanted you to either argue with him or admire his "brazen" attitude. Unfortunately for Thomps he was full of shit and wouldn't choose the right subjects to be a contrarian about. One of these things was his view on the weather.

Thomps proudly told anyone who walked by that he wears shorts until the first snow fall. It could be 21 degrees with a wind chill of 2 and he'd be strutting around in his cargo shorts wondering what everyone was looking at. He loved the attention, but since it's really not that big of a deal, most of the time people ignored him. This lead to him asking "Wanna know why I'm wearing shorts?"

As you can tell, very lame.

I didn't want Eddie to be lame, the way I picture him, he's a dreamer and from time to time finds himself trapped in the (recent) past. When he gets made to come into the real world, it often hits him like a bucket of cold water. So there's a lesson to be learned here, don't live in the past.

There are two things you should notice about this strip, one: it's a four-panel one. That makes the site a bit compact. Once I figure out how to resize it, it'll be ok. The other is, look at Kurt's jacket. I purposely made it grow larger with each panel to sort of drive home how cold it is and how foolish Eddie looks in a spring jacket.

On Thursday I'm coming back with another Blog entry, I'm going to review a couple movies I saw this weekend and we can talk about some other stuff too. Talk to you then.

Monday, July 04, 2005

A funny story and some Q and A's with Aquaman

This was going to simply be a question and answer Blog with the Prince of the Deep, Aquaman, but a funny thing happened to Aly and I yesterday on the T. We were heading into Government Center to sample the Chowderfest (long story short, we got there, the lines were waaaaay too long so we went to Pizzeria Regina instead) and instead of taking the car we jumped on the T. The Sox were playing at 2:00 and we got on around 1, so the train was packed.

At the very next stop, this fat lady in a tie-dyed shirt starts busting her way out of the train. She's screaming and yelling, but people can only move so fast because the train is absolutely packed. Finally she yells at Aly, "Get out of the way! Are you so lazy that you can't move two steps?"

First of all, Aly was moving, it's just that there was a half dozen people in front of her, so I look at the lady and say, "Hey Tubby, cram it." And then she said, "What did you say?" and I told her again. She then went on a rant about how it wasn't nice to say something like that, only she was screaming. Finally I told her to take a walk because it looked like she could use it.

Then she gave me the bird and continued to yell at me. At that point, I just smirked and waved goodbye, because the conductor shut the door and we left. Here's the thing, I don't really feel good about what I did (though it was funny that I called her Tubby), but at the same time, she was being an obnoxious bitch, who is she to yell at Aly? Sometimes, people can be real assholes.

And speaking of a real asshole, here's Aquaman with his first ever question and answer column:

Thanks, Byron. If you ever call me an asshole again there will be a school of piranah in your toilet next time you sit down to take a piss ... that's how the girls do it, right?

Anyway, I got a bunch of letters from my fans over the last year about super heroes and stuff, so since I'm an expert, I'm going to answer them for you. And if you don't like the answers, maybe you're asking the wrong questions.

First one:

Aquaman,

Who would win in a fight between the Thing and the Hulk?

Sincerely,
Steven Rogers


Dumb question Steve. For one thing, if they fought in the water, I'd kick both of their asses with one arm tied behind my back. How many times do I have to tell you that the Earth is made up of 75% water and I'm the toughest dude there? I mean, the Thing is made of orange rocks. The Hulk is a brainless idiot. One sinks, the other stinks. End of story.

Yo AM,

Who would win in a race between the Flash and Superman. Both are wicked fast.

Your bud,
Vinnie Favale


Vinnie, you're a turd and no bud of mine. First Steve asks about two mouthbreathers and now you. What the fuck? Like the previous question, if these two were having a race in the water, the obvious answer is that I'd win. And BTW, do you know how the Flash got his name? Ask his girlfriend. Wocka, wocka.

Hi Aquaman,

Long time, first time here. Your arch enemy is a guy named Black Manta. Black Vulcan is an African American, Black Panther is too, are you fighting him because you're a racist? Why don't you just let him be himself? Also, do you like porcelin dolls, because I do.

O'Shea Jackson


I'll take your last question first, of course I don't like porcelin dolls. Although that does remind me of a rumor I heard this weekend, do you know that Ice Cube was kicked out of NWA because he collected porcelin dolls? It's true. Apparently Eazy-E found out, started ragging on him and off he left. Drag that something like that ended one of the greatest rap acts of all time.

For the more serious question: no, I am not a racist. Though that does remind me of a joke, What's the difference between a Timex and a black guy? The watch is guaranteed to always work! Ha. That's awesome.

Aquaman,

Why aren't you on the new Justice League cartooon any more? All of the other heroes are, even Elastic Man. Are you a bigger pussy than Elastic Man?

Reed Richards


No. I could kick that guy's ass, if he came under the sea. The reason why I'm not on the new Justice League cartoon is because those guys at Cartoon Network are the biggest bunch of cheapskates on the planet. Listen, I'm an original SuperFriend, I don't work for scale.

If they want me, they better pay me Superman or Batman money. None of this Apache Chief cash. And confidentially, Apache Chief only takes beaver pelts and booze in exchange for work. Weird system he has going on there.

Hey big boy,

What would you say to a little Giganta action?

G. Ganta


I'd say get an air tank and get that big ass of yours down here ... you're not the only thing that grows when you get excited!

And that's about it for Q and A with the Big A. Next time, I'll have more answers for your questions.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Where were you 368 days ago?

It was a little over a year ago that I started this little blog and I'm still here. Whether that is a good or not, I'll leave that up to you, but I never thought that I'd do it. While not the most significant anniversary in the world, it really means a lot to me: 368 days, 112 posts, thousands of words (some actually are spelled correctly and combine with others to make a decent thought), not too bad.

Thank you for reading and indulging in my written insanity.

During the last year a lot of things have changed: I moved from Somerville to Brookline, I went from being single to engaged, I don't hate my job as much, I'm in school and I have a brand new website, (excuse me, a little net whoring: click here). Things are looking good.

Today is the Saturday of the Fourth of July weekend, we aren't doing jackshit. It's a gorgeous day out and I'm sitting in here writing and after that I'll probably work on my strip for a bit. I have to start pulling together a list of people that I want to see my strip (that dude that I met at Johana's wedding, and the cartoonist whom I spoke to in November, Sara's friend) and find some websites where I can link my site.

Truth be told, I haven't been getting a lot of hits on the comic and if I want things to grow a bit, I'm going to need more eyeballs. Ryan suggested that I work on putting up two strips a week, but I can't do that now, with work, school, the wedding, trying to go to the gym, there are just too many things. Plus, I want to start with a solid base and work on meeting my self-imposed deadlines. You'd be surprised how quick a week goes by when you need to post things.

I finished another book, one that I bought on Saturday. Buzzed through it in about three days, which isn't any big shakes as I'll explain in a moment. Anyway, here is the libro:

First off, I am a gigantic Kevin Smith fan, for those that don't know, he is the writer/director of "Clerks", "Mallrats", "Chasing Amy", "Dogma", "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and "Jersey Girl". I never saw the last movie, but the first five are tremendous. If you haven't seen them, get out and rent them, especially "Clerks".

I've seen countless interviews with the guy and he seems like a real solid dude, no pretentsion at all. He was a working stiff who made and financed "Clerks" with loans and credit cards and it turned out to be a huge hit. Another thing that I like about him is that he seems to have never forgotten a friend or where he came from. To me that's pretty important.

Having said all of that, there were a few problems I had with the book. One he used my old college trick of making a book or a report or essay look more impressive than it really is. He (or more rightly, his publisher) jacked up the type and squished the margins (all fucking four, that's pretty ballsy) in. The book was about 300 pages, but in reality, it was maybe 140. But in order to justify charging $14.00 for it, I guess they had to make it longer. Whatever, not a huge deal.

This fault is mostly mine, but I had read a good portion of his essays on line. He has an awesome web page that has a Blog and a message board where he chats with fans. Personally, I think that's the balls when someone whom many people respect take time out of their busy schedule to check in with little guys and gals. Here it is, if you're curious: View Askew.

So that sucks for me.

The third thing is that aside from a vicious cut job on Reese Witherspoon, Smith really doesn't deliver the goods as far as gossip. He's a cocktease about it, writing that he heard some cool shit, but he never delivers. I understand why he can't, but it still sucks. Also, he shouldn't be allowed to interview anyone. He sits down with Ben Affleck (whom I like) and Tom Cruise (whom I think is a total tool) and as I was reading it, I actually felt embarrassment. Sure, it's cool to fawn all over your idols, but this was a bit much.

But in the long run he's a writer, not a journalist (that's his wife), and when he writes, he's magnificent. Just some great observations on pop culture, some cool behind the scenes on his movies and how Hollywood really works. I thought that the best parts is when he detailed his regular life. Like I said, I like Smith a lot, he seems like a dude who I would really like to hang with and this book didn't do anything to change that.

I've been sort of putting doing these things off, especially since I started the strip, but I want you to look at this comic strip:



To say that I was surprised when I read this is an understatement, I think someone has kidnapped Johnny Hart and replaced him with Zach De La Rocha. Johnny has always peppered his strips with very strong Christian and pro-American rhetoric for as long as I can remember. And this is a direct shot at the U.S. government, or at least an unofficial part of the law making process.

And in calling lobbyists bribers, he's heavily insinuating that congressmen and senators are actually taking that bribe. And if we go a step further, if the lobbyists have our government in their pockets, that means our country is being controlled by big business.

Not exactly apple pie, mom and baseball, is it? And two days before our nation's birthday! You've got balls, Mr. Hart.

I have to admit, I like it. I really do, not that I think that the United States is run by Big Business, I think it is, but I'm glad that someone like Hart is thinking the same thing. Next thing you know, Bill Keane is going to be asking for "blood in the streets" and Jim Davis will stop railing against Mondays and starting screaming for the impeachment of George W.

Has the world gone Ted Rall on us?

BTW, I won't be in Brookline for the rest of the weekend, I'm going to try and post an Aquaman Blog sometime, but the computer that I'll be near still has a dial-up connection. We'll see how it goes. Have a Happy Fourth, everyone and congratulations to Danna and Rick on the birth of their first child. Mozltov.