Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tagged! Gotta get tough with Santa to get what you want!

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Tagged! Merry Christmas to everyone!

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Tagged! Amy likes this outfit...

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tagged! Follow the masters! Order our patented formula now!

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Tagged! You're all I've got, Amy, and I'm glad!

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Tagged! Gonna get HOT in the HOT TUB!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tagged! The Loving Ghost says, "If loving you is wrong, I don't wanna be right!"

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Tagged! Hubba hubba, Amy! But I never say NO!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tagged! Amy, I know you hate Planet of the Apes apes but I couldn't resist...

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tagged! I may not be a snappy dresser though...

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Tagged! Yes I am...

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tagged! Amy, you are everything I ever wished for!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tagged! I would do anything!! AHHHH!!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tagged! My Amy is a great gal!

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Friday, November 02, 2012

Tagged! Amy--I'll save you!

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tagged! Zombie attack on Amy!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tagged! Amy is my secretary in my fight against evil!

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Tagged! Amy, we'll always be like two nuts in a cracker!

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Tagged! Amazing-Matt says, "Drink it in, Amy!"

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Tagged! Rocket Matt with Amy

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tagged! The latest monster attack on Amy

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Herman Melville Books: Moby Dick Google Doodle - YouTube

Herman Melville Books: Moby Dick Google Doodle - YouTube:

'via Blog this'

Full Google Doodle animation at YouTube.

Google Doodle Moby-Dick

Herman Melville Gets The Google Doodle Treatment | WebProNews:

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Today is the 161st anniversary of the publication of Moby-Dick October 18. And of all the stuff that Google creates its famous little Doodles for on its main page, Moby-Dick wins one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tagged! Another monster attack on my wife...

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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Some thoughts on The Prisoner episode "The Chimes of Big Ben"

“The Chimes of Big Ben”

“The Chimes of Big Ben” will always be the second episode to me. It was played second during the 1990 run on Chicago’s PBS station WTTW (when it replaced Doctor Who for a stretch). This episode was the buy-in for me. The Bad Guys win--quite ingeniously too. And it is only the supreme will and focus of the Good Guy that allows him to at least not completely fail. The “twist” sold me on the series overall, especially blending into my third episode of “A., B., and C.” If I had watched “Free For All” second, I don’t know if I would have bought in.

And if you ask me, Leo McKern’s #2 simply must come early in the series, as early as possible after a couple of #2s. This facilitates his coming back in the penultimate and final episodes and for some of the things said in this episode.

“I want him with a whole heart, body, and soul.”

“One tiny piece at a time? I don’t want a man of fragments!”

“You’ll be cured.” The best line to allude to Orwell’s 1984, where 2 + 2 = 5.

And #2 talks about #6’s resignation to a subordinate--there’s our exposition that should have been in “Arrival.” He doesn’t have to say it directly to #6.

As #6 plays chess with the General, a lot is packed into that scene. The General tells him to “settle down,” that there’s “no point in being uncooperative.” #6 is looking at himself in the decades ahead if he doesn’t do something. The General didn’t take a position of authority but didn’t crack, and he’s stuck here. I like to think the General is #6 that gave up, settled down, but still tells them nothing, sort of like the deal that #6 makes with #2 over letting Nadia go. #6 builds a boat; the General really does settle down.

When #6 first meets Nadia, he talks as if he is already part of the Village just like everyone else. I love it. You’d think he would be pleasant instead of cryptic, mean instead of condescending to her--just like everyone else was to him on the first day.

“Who is #2?” Nadia asks and #6 replies, “Who is #1?” This is huge to the overall story. It’s made a question instead of in “Free For All” where #6 comes out and says that “Number One’s the boss.”

The best scene of the entire series is the chat between #2 and #6 on the beach, watching Nadia begin to swim out to sea.

#6: Did it ever occur to you that you’re just as much a prisoner as I am?

#2: My dear chap, of course--I know too much. We’re both lifers. I am definitely an optimist. That’s why it doesn’t matter who #1 is. It doesn’t matter which side runs the Village.

#6: It’s run by one side or the other.

#2: Oh, certainly. But both sides are becoming identical. What, in fact, has been created? An international community. A perfect blueprint for world order. When the sides facing each other suddenly realize they’re looking into a mirror, they will see that this is the pattern for the future.

#6: The whole earth, as the Village is.

#2: That is my hope. What’s yours?

#6: I’d like to be the first man on the moon.

This dialogue means everything to the series. Compare to 1984. This is what these guys see the world as--in order to save it from itself, it needs to take over and crush down free thinking. If the people can’t think, we would have no trouble! That is the difference between #6 and these guys. And Leo McKern’s character buys it now, like all these people in charge of us. They think they know better than regular Joe Shmoes, and the sad part is that most of the time they are right. I’m a teacher and have fallen into this trap of the mind when I know what is best for these students. I see it as being important, I have had all the training and education to be able to decide what is most important for them. So when I have gotten debate, it takes a moment to go back to their new perspectives on life. It is sort of like when as parents we say, and mean it perfectly logically, “Because I said so, that’s why.” I also see this, for anybody that knows comic books, as how Sinestro took care of his world in the pages of Green Lantern. He was a dictator that took away free thought to keep them safe. Sure, he had order, but not happiness. But he was being assessed on the order he kept, not the happiness of the people he was supposed to be helping. As a teacher, if I don’t send anybody to the office, I don’t get in trouble--it really doesn’t matter if they are happy in my classroom or not. As long as students don’t fail my class, I never get talked to about them reaching any kind of standards--but if I have dozens of F’s and standards that are too high for slackers, then I am the one that is called onto the carpet; it doesn’t matter if the good students really pushed the envelope and succeeded beyond all expectations, what they all look at is the low range of grades. (FYI--I do not believe in these scenarios as a teacher, but I see them as possibilities.)

I love the exhibition being all likenesses of #2. Notice when #6 puts his head in the hole of his sculpture you can also see #2’s visage on a drawing on the back wall.

Rover being bulletproof is important--I have had students question why it can’t just be popped.

I always wondered about Fotheringay and the Colonel in the office that #6 knows “very well in London.” Does this prove that it’s run by the British side? But later, we see complete dopplegangers, even of #6 himself. So this proves nothing. He gets yelled at by the Colonel in a perfect argument--exactly what the guy should say had this escape been real.

After all the episodes, I think #6 comes the closest to failing right here.

“It was a matter of conscience!” This is the best answer we ever get.

“I resigned because for a very long time…”

Leo McKern comes the closest of all #2s but even he realizes that should never have worked. “I told you.” It’s almost like he was a player betting on the other team.

Some thoughts on The Prisoner episode "A., B., and C."

“A., B., and C.”

My third episode is “A., B., and C.” because it helped to solidify the potential with twists and turns.

Colin Gordon’s #2 fails. “I know I’m not indispensable ” When he fails, I like to think that he was reassigned. He’s a good company man, overall. That’s why he comes back later as #2, several episodes later, in “The General,” one that’s really not even about #6. His reassignment experiment needed a realistic population of people and the Village is a good place for experiments.

This episode focuses on if #6 resigned to sell out, to whom would he sell out and what would he sell?
#14: “We all make mistakes. Sometimes we have to.” Clearly, especially with all the threats that #2 makes to her, she is just another one of those people doing her job. Where is the line drawn about doing one’s job compared to ethics?

While this episode may not be very deep, it is a great extension of the spy show. It’s a bridge, in a way, from Secret Agent Man to the deeper themes of The Prisoner.

Some thoughts on The Prisoner episode "Dance of the Dead"

“Dance of the Dead”

#2: He’s not like the others.
Doctor: …Every man has his breaking point.
#2: I don’t want him broken. He must be won over. It may seem a long process to your practical mind but this man has a future with us.

Again, the highlight of the crowd scenes show that they all look happy and full of ebullience from afar, but up close they have no emotion on their faces.

#2: You’ll come?
#6: I have a choice?
#2: You do as you want.
#6: As long as it’s what you want.
#2: As long as it is what the majority wants. We’re democratic…in some ways.

Ain’t it the truth? Oh, my, I love this exchange. Democracy works sometimes! But in close items, there’s always 49% of people who are going to be upset! On issues that divide our nation 50/50, stuff like gun control, euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion, TAXES, you are never going to appease the vast majority because there isn’t a vast majority. It’s easy to say that democracy brought these issues to a vote and the majority won, but when the losing side still have completely valid points--and all those issues mentioned heretofore easily can be seen in a variety of ways, I don’t care which side you’re on--you’ll never truly win. For instance, no matter what side you are on when it comes to abortion and Roe v. Wade, there are still plenty of people out there who think it can be overturned if you get the “right” people on the Supreme Court. What does this say about the issue then? Switch the people and you switch the verdict?

Town Crier: There will be…happiness…by order.” The guy behind him looks like a riot cop with a face shield!

The observer does it because it’s her job--she even paraphrases Lincoln. She’s part of that society and sees #6 as the insane one. This is another great comparison to 1984. Winston Smith was the crazy one, remember.

Dutton is forgotten during a lot of Prisoner discussions. But he’s another showcase of what could happen to #6.

Dutton says he’s already told them everything but they don’t believe him. He’s broken and not in a good way to being on their side. He is apparently not as important as #6. But if #6 gives in, maybe he’ll get a nice lobotomy, especially if he gives in but doesn't buy in to the Village.

#2: This is your world. I am your world. If you insist on living a dream you may be taken for mad.
#6: I like my dream.
#2: Then you are mad.

Later at the trial, #6 says how it is just like in the French Revolution and #2 says, “They got through the dead wood, didn't they?” It’s as if she is envious of their accomplishments--she applauds them.

I love how the judges are Queen Elizabeth I, Caesar, and Napoleon.

#6: Has anyone ever seen these ‘rules’?
That is brilliant, a striking allusion to Orwell’s Animal Farm. The animals can’t read so they don’t know when the rules have been changed. If you have never seen the rulebook, how do you know the rules aren't being made up to suit someone’s purpose?

The ending chase is like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” They chase him because they are sufficiently conditioned and told to chase him.

The tickertape machine (?) or newswire(?) starts up again, even after having its guts ripped out. How cryptically fascinating.

Some thoughts on The Prisoner episode "Free For All"

“Free For All”

This is a heinous plan because they even disguise who #2 really is, starting with the opening sequence being read by a generic actor and not the male #2.

“Everybody votes for a dictator.”

I usually preface this episode when I teach it with the Zimbabwe elections of the past dozen or so years.
The close-ups on the faces of the crowd show no real enthusiasm towards #2; in fact, they only start their adulation when he waves his hand. The idea of cue cards is just amazing. That’s what it feels like when I watch some speeches during election campaigns.

When the crowd laughs after #6 says, “I am not a number; I am a person,” I think the crowd finally shows real emotion. Usually they are just zombies going through the motions. But here they start to shut up and stare when he reveals the truth that they once felt. You can see basic shame on some of their faces. I think this was masterfully done.

The immediate poster of #6 is amazing.

I love the newspaperman and photographer combination of #113 and #113B. The news is printed before he says anything!

What is the secret cabal in the town hall? Amazing. “They were here when I arrived,” #2 says. #6 is allowed to question them but they don’t say a single word--but he was able to question them.

“Why don’t you put us all in solitary confinement until you get what you’re after?”

“Brainwashed imbeciles!”

Down at the test, the contradictions blend until he understands both--like Orwell with his paradoxes of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery. When we actually understand those things, we buy into them, falling for them. I mean, we all understand how these paradoxes work, but when you actually believe them, you’re bought and sold. I understand how War brings about Peace from coming together as one side, like during World War II and after 9/11. But to seek War simply to bring about Peace at home is sick, to me anyway but not to some people who want to be in power. What better way to divert attention with problems at home than to start problems with others far away--and you’re unpatriotic if you don’t stand with us.

Then #6 starts spouting political Hallmark cards--gibberish and gobbledygook that is exactly what the people want to hear. They are empty phrases of political jargon. This always hits me every four years.

When #6 wins, the crowd is now silent. He is one of them now, the opposition. It’s like being excited for your political candidate and then just a few months later hating his policies.

Are those men worshiping the Rover? Not that the guards manage to hold him twice in a Jesus Christ pose. Here is everyman, taking it all on him for us.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Arrival" of The Prisoner--a couple of questions

After probably the 50th time I have watched this pilot episode  called "Arrival," these are my current thoughts:

Why did they tell him at first? Why didn't they pull a "Chimes of Big Ben" first or drug him into an "A., B., and C." coma until he couldn't do anything but give in?

That's always been one of my biggest questions after multiple viewings of the series. I know they did it in the show as exposition--to tell the viewer just what the heck was going on. I also now understand, only after watching episode 17 repeatedly, that they are trying to get him onto their side, with a "whole heart" as Leo McKern said.

But there's also the hopelessness of it all. Like the villain that has the hero all tied up and at his mercy, he must reveal the diabolical plan. "Go ahead and scream; we're miles from where anyone can hear you!" It reminds me of Poe's "Cask of Amontillado" where Montresor re-echoes and yells back at the screaming Fortunato. One would be resigned to one's fate of the situation. What would normally break a smart, strong-willed man upon the realization of one's own fate being completely out of one's own hands, as they probably predicted #6 would react, the situation actually strengthens our hero's resolve.

Another strong factor against this outright explanation of #6 being in the Village is because it always hinted very strongly, to me anyway, that #6's side, the British side, is the main culprit.

I love how he walks around the Pennyfarthing bicycle as #2 relates the story, himself awash with modern technologies like the egg chair or the chairs rising from the floor. The juxtaposition of the old order versus the new strikes me. There is one moment where I don't think the production came off correctly, like they filmed it anyway even though the technology wasn't working at the moment: the lava lamp beside #6 when he says, "I don't know who you are, or who you work for, and I don't care. I'm leaving." It isn't pulsating right, like they just switched it on. This would again highlight the old versus the new. #6 here is trying to denounce this new technology, or at least warn against it.

One of the highlights of the our provided by #2 is the Retirement Home. "You're looked after here, for as long as you live." Clearly, this indicates another forced reminder that this is the end of the line anyway so accept the fate now.

In the Labour Exchange are some of the best images. The sign that reads "Questions are a burden to others; Answers a prison for oneself" highlights the entire show. I really wish there would have been more screen time for that shot--maybe #6 standing next to it asking something.

The aptitude test is amazing in its vagueness and metaphor. Who is the round peg? Why does the square hole fit around it? Note that #6 holds it as if he knows it will eventually fit. Is this McGoohan speaking against typecast spy shows? Does he go to the audience or does the audience come to him?

And the Labour Exchange guy with the Tinker Toys is another remarkable piece. Playing with these people's lives as if they were toys. And it doesn't matter what he  writes on the questionnaire--he will just be spun round and round anyway.

The focus of the Admiral saying, "We're all pawns, m'dear!" has always meant a lot to me and to the focus of the show as a whole. In a way, I would like to know more about the girl's character. Clearly, she is working for the Village, yet is still somewhat rebellious. And the fact that she has played right into their hands, her credibility sacrificed like a pawn, is fantastic.

"Arrival" has to be a perfect hour of television. Vague yet it tells a complete story. The more answers it gives, the more questions we ask. After at least 50 viewings, I still find myself immersed in the rest of the show.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tagged! Monster attack!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Fantastic Journey 1970s sci fi show

A couple of weeks ago, I finished Space:1999 and I commented on how I did not really know any of the characters. They were interchangeable--switch them with any sci fi show. I just finished, through the magic of YouTube, all ten episodes of the shortlived sci fi show from the 1970s Fantastic Journey.

After only ten episodes, I know more about Fred, Varian, Scott, and Willoway better than any of the characters on Space: 1999. This show distinguished itself from the run-of-the-mill what's-in-this-sci-fi-space (like Star Trek with new planets, even Battlestar Galactica for the most part).

It was a 70s show, but I believe that the concept holds up well. In fact, it is eerily reminscent, for the most part, with Sliders. Also, the basic concept of Quantum Leap, going from world to world basically, is mimicked from a show like this. Instead of a starship, they wander through zones of time on foot, like multiple Bermuda Triangles. With characters like this, the whole thing would hold up in a modern setting.

It suffered a bit from strange plotting. The pilot episode had extra characters that somehow "went on ahead" while the core travelers wandered. A family was separated--the dad and mom left the 13-year-old boy behind. They picked up new travelers along the way, including Roddy McDowall, who was basically a villain in his premiere episode. Something tells me that once he started acting in it, he said something about being in a show like this all the time so they probably wrote him in, being the acting name that he was. The last two episodes didn't even have the lovely Katie Saylor, who according to Wikipedia, was very ill during the filming so they wrote her out. Actually, she didn't live very long thereafter, dying in 1991 (or "thought to have died," according to Wikipedia); she must have really been ill.

The episodes were interesting. The action was faster, it seemed, than Space: 1999, and it did not drag. This was probably because of the characterization thrown in.

My hat goes off to Fantastic Journey. I was well entertained for the short run. Seeing as how I was only four years old when it first came out, I got around to the show only 35 years later!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Huckleberry Hound Cookie Jar

Huckleberry Hound Cookie Jar Description: Everyone's favorite Southern canine appears on this ceramic Huckleberry Hound Cookie Jar! Standing a sizeable 11 1/4-inches tall, this detailed jar makes for a perfect storage space for all those warm cookies you've got planned for weekend baking. (Read More...)

Powys Media

I like the tv show The Prisoner. So, often, when I stroll the web, I find new stuff relating to my favorite show. I recently came across a new series of novels on my favorite show! It's sort of like the feeling a geek gets when his series becomes a movie, or gets a reboot.

But I can't get the books!

Powys Media stinks.

This is some kind of fan shop but they apparently don't want to sell any books.

My home IP address has been blocked from their website, by the way, apparently for asking these types of questions.

Powys also sells novels and books about the old show Space:1999. This summer, I just finished watching all 48 episodes of that show and I must say, while I liked them a tad, I am not a superfan or anything. I thought there was no characterization, that the situations could just as easily been presented through any number of science fiction television shows. I don't think it would be a stretch, at all, to carbon copy those episodes just exchanging Star Trek characters. The moon could be the Enterprise. It really wouldn't make a difference.  So Powys has several books (supposedly) in the Space: 1999 universe.

However, I just checked and many of those books sell for well over $100.

Used, of course. There must be such a limited print run that they disappear. The one called Forsaken is selling for $144.89 right now!

And The Prisoner  is like this too. There were other books on Amazon. For the life of me, I can't find them there now. I have The Prisoner's Dilemma which is the one that sells for $15. There used to be one called Miss Freedom but I know I saw that going for $50.

So my question to throw out there--especially to Powys, who must not care about the fans--why can't a fan buy the books??

And then, when a fan, a customer! tries to ask a simple question, he gets banned from the website. Now that's the irony of the whole situation--Big Brother-like Village, website in this case, suppresses dissenting opinions.

Powys media books. I just don't understand. And rather than discuss it, even if I am a bit irrational about the whole thing, Powys just chooses to ignore me.

Giant Deluxe Monopoly Board

Giant Deluxe Monopoly Board Giant Monopoly Deluxe Board Game

Adventure Time 10-Inch Finn with Changing Faces

Adventure Time 10-Inch Finn with Changing Faces Adventure Time 10-Inch Finn with Changing Faces

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gene Simmons and Arcana team-up and the world says, "SO??"

Comics world is NOT stunned! These are destined for the quarter bins!! Do you realize this??



"Simmons Comics Anthology” to debut on Friday, June 13th with book signing at 2:00 pm in Arcana Comics Booth 2415.

VANCOUVER (July 9, 2012) - Arcana Comics is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Gene Simmons to relaunch Simmons Comics Group, as revealed today in USA Today.

Gene Simmons, the legendary rock god and multimedia mogul is set to debut an all new Simmons Comics Anthology at SDCC This year. The Anthology brings together comics originally created by Simmons Comics, and includes the first issues of ZipperDominatrix and House of HorrorsPLUS the first chapter of the all-new crossover event, “The Slave Trade”, where Zipper and Dominatrix will face off against each other. "The Slave Trade" features art from rising star Yannis Roumboulias (DEADLY HARVEST) and is written by Arcana writer, Erik Hendrix (SIDESHOWSTHE EVIL TREECHAMPIONS OF THE WILD WEIRD WESTDEADLY HARVESTTHE BOOK, INTRINSIC, HEAD SMASH), who will be on hand during the convention to celebrate the relaunch of Simmons Comics Group.
“We intend on using the finest artists and writers in the comic book medium,” says Simmons. “ZipperTM,DominatrixTM, and Gene Simmons House of HorrorsTM will be published throughout the year. For Comic-Con we thought we would do something special and give the fans a jam-packed ‘Simmons Comics Anthology’ featuring all of our comic book titles. This is just the beginning.”

Creator Gene Simmons himself will be doing a book signing on Friday the 13th at 2 pm at Arcana ComicsBooth #2415.  Only 200 copies will be made available at Comic-Con of the Anthology. Fans will get the chance to meet Gene and get their photo taken with real life versions of Dominatrix and Zipper – two of the star characters from Gene’s comic.

As told to USA Today:

"There's Zipper, starring a leather-clad reluctant hero and 'misplaced bit-of-Jell-O-like-consistency alien' who finds himself on Earth after running from an enemy. 'He's got a strange fascination with humanity,' Simmons says."

"Another major title is Dominatrix, with a heroine who 'works hard for the money and deals pleasure and pain,' according to Simmons, in an action-packed story involving secret government organizations and super-soldiers. 'She just happens to be hot and bothered.' (She also meets — and throws down with — Zipper in a tale in the anthology.)"

"The third is Gene Simmons House of Horrors, an anthology series itself that uses different artists and writers for Twilight Zone-esque stories. 'Behind it all, of course, is the eternal, powerful and attractive visage of Gene Simmons looking on,' he says."

“Sean O’Reily has been completely supportive and a great partner in our re-launch of Simmons Comics Group. As a lifelong fan boy, I’ve been madly in love with the medium ever since in my early teens and have continued to ravenously devour comics through the decades,” adds Simmons. “Along the way, I created our three comics – ZipperDominatrix and Gene Simmons House of HorrorsZipper is an alien among us,Dominatrix deals pleasure and pain, CIA meet T & A. Gene Simmons House of Horrors consists of stories by some of the best talents in comics today.”

Arcana Comics is thrilled to be working with Gene Simmons and looks forward to delving into the worlds ofZipperDominatrix, and Gene Simmons House of Horrors further in the coming months!

Fans will get the chance to see the debut of exclusive art from the Anthology and be the first to get their hands on a copy.

To stay up to date on all news regarding Gene at San Diego Comic-Con and Arcana comics, as well as get a sneak peek at what’s in store, fans should make sure to like Arcana’s Facebook page: and follow on Twitter: @arcanastudios

Fan of The Prisoner denied access!

I have been attempting to reach real people at the Powys media website. They blocked my IP address from home!

They "publish" books about The Prisoner and Space:1999 TV shows. I say that loosely because they have such a limited print run that it is impossible to get the books. You can't order from their website, and if you could I simply couldn't find it, and when I checked on Amazon, one of the new ones was going already for $50.

So I left some notes on their forum boards. I want to be heard. So instead of actually answering my questions, as a fan, they blocked my IP address and denied access.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slogans for homefront in World War II era comic books

During World War II, the nation took it upon itself to take care of the war effort, even if they were sitting at home. Slogans popped up all over to help people, and kids in particular, to help out with the war effort. That's why some of these old comic books are worth their wait in gold: recycling paper, including precious comic books, was helping out our boys. 
For instance, All-Star Comics #21 had rhyming slogans at the bottom of most every page.

All-Star Comics #21 featuring the Justice Society of America

Bottom Lines on Following Pages Tell What to Do While Battle Rages

Tin Cans in the Garbage Pile Are Just a Way of Saying "Heil!"

Waste Fats in Good Condition Help to Make Fine Ammunition

Boys and Girls, Every Day, Can Give War Aid in Many a Way--

Every Time You Buy a Stamp, You Feed the Flame in Freedom's Lamp!

If You Have an Extra Quarter, Buy a Stamp to Make War Shorter

However far soldiers roam, they want to have some mail from home [no caps]

Collect Old Paper, Turn It In--Help Your Uncle Sam to Win

You Can Walk to School and Store! Saving Gas Helps Win the War!

Boys Are Smart, Girls Are Wise, Black Markets Not to Patronize


Turn Out Lights Not in Use--War Production Needs the "Juice"

They repeat then throughout the book
All the capital letters and lowercase letters have been preserved from the original text.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tasha Yar's death in "Skin of Evil"--episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation

I love Netflix. I can access episodes faster than if I had the DVD boxset.

So I am re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation from beginning to end. In the first season, I get to "Skin of Evil" again. Watched it years ago, maybe twice, remembering that it is not a very good episode overall. I wanted to see it again after all this time, especially to consider again when watching those ones later where Tasha's Romulan daughter attacks.

This is the episode with the death of Tasha Yar. This is a main character, credit during the opening and everything, something very prestigious in Star Trek overall. What, did she last 23 episodes? And, she gets her name still on the credits for at least the next episode after her death, where she is not seen or mentioned. Anyway, just pretty cool to kill a main character instead of a redshirt, albeit in a silly, stupid way.

Good episode. Fighting just a purely evil entity. Good stuff. But it is the end that bothers me.

After they all get back to the Enterprise, they go to the holodeck for a funeral. And then, they come up with some kind of hologram recording of Tasha saying goodbye to all her friends and coworkers.

Was this a reverse-eulogy??

Does everybody record these? Is Riker's waiting in his quarters on the chance he doesn't make it back from an away mission?

Do they get updated regularly? New people, new relationships, how relationships have grown and changed? Is there a standard from Starfleet for this? "Once every 12 months, Starfleet personnel must record their goodbyes to friends and loved ones in case of accidental death in the line of duty." My goodness, how morbid that would be to do! Here, let's remember our mortality once every year.

Does it only play the ones for those present? For instance, what if Wesley Crusher was still away trying to get into Starfleet--would it just be waiting for when he came back, or would it still have played if he were not present? Does she have one or more still on the record for people that she knew from before the Enterprise?

This is my only problem with the episode. Yeah, I get that they were trying to milk some character development, and that it does. I get that they were trying to shine the spotlight on Tasha's sacrifice, and that it does.

But I can't help but think that this Starfleet regulation came about after Spock's death in Wrath of Khan. See, if Spock had just recorded his goodbyes, logically, he would have added one little footnote: "Oh, and just in case, I may not be really dead. I may have been able to transfer my consciousness into another being before my death, you know, to hold on to. Check the cameras and see who I came in contact with last." Then all that trouble on the Genesis planet could have been avoided. So now they make everyone record last messages.

(Ha ha--that last bit is just flippin brilliant, if you ask me.)

Space:1999 final analysis

After several months, I finally finished all the episodes of Space:1999. I remember seeing commercials for it when the SciFi Channel originally started, with Martin Landau saying, "We do not commit mindless violence." I wanted to like this series. I really did. I love old 60s-70s Doctor Who. I love Star Trek. I love bad science fiction in general. This show wasn't very good.

I just now finished the last of 48 episodes. I was renting the discs every once in a while through Netflix. It's a 17-disc set. I just couldn't bring myself to keep watching them night after night--I needed breaks in between discs. That's why it took several months.

Space: 1999 had no character development. The stories were okay, overall, but as I write this, I can't help but remember how many times that episodes just seemed to drag on in the middle, as if they were stretching their idea to fit into the 50-minute window. I felt that a lot. And those are the areas where they could have added character development.

Who were they as individuals? I simply don't know. I know the Martin Landau character Commander John Koenig as a moral yet oftentimes hotheaded character. I know nothing of Barbara Bain's Dr. Helena Russell character. Poor Alan--who seems to get pushed aside by other new characters midway through--all we know about him is that he's a pilot from Australia.

They barely, barely by gossamer wisps, touched on the growing love between Koenig and Russell and between Maya and Tony. But it just comes across as couples that are together for sheer sake of there only being 300 people left as it is.

The best glimpse into some character development is Tony's beer. He liked to try to make that homemade brew that everyone, including Tony, found disgusting. We needed more of that.

I don't know Koenig. After 48 episodes, I really couldn't describe him to you. He could be replaced easily. In fact, in some of the episodes that Landau was not in, for whatever reasons, you don't miss him. Imagine watching original Star Trek without a Spock. You'd miss him. You simply don't even notice when Koenig is not there.

They took away, after the first season, the doctor character played by Barry Morse. He made a good sounding board for Koenig. I could look up the answer as to why they got rid of him--off-screen between seasons, mind you, with little fanfare--but if they don't tell me in 48 episodes they were simply stupid. See, this could have been a bit of character development there, as they coped with the loss. Something. It was barely mentioned.

I liked the dozen or so last episodes--they were much better. Maybe this is when I resigned myself to the fact that there would be no development. I watched knowing that the characters simply didn't matter. They were all interchangeable. They could have a new pilot, a new doctor, a new commander, at any moment--and did most times--and it did not change the storyline.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

More of The Prisoner IN Danger Man

I am always on the lookout for references to Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner. While watching old Danger Man episodes on DVD, I came across an interesting bit in an episode entitled "Say It With Flowers."

Drake: "Maybe he's decided to retire?"

Contact: "Retire?"

That one word posed as a question simply must have begun seeping into McGoohan's mind. What does an old secret agent do? Is retirement realistic? When? If given a pension, how much is enough? That sort of thing. In the first epsiode of The Prisoner, the second #2 said, "Loyalties change--exactly." This overall concept is also referred to by Production Manager Bernie Williams in an interview on one of my Prisoner discs, referring to the secret agent's pension.

There's also another episode of Danger Man called "To Our Best Friend" that speaks of an "English village in Russia."

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Send away for jiu-jitsu by mail!

I wonder how many kids got their butts kicked after ordering something like this? Mail order jiu-jitsu.

This is from an old comic book ad. It probably goes hand in hand with those classic Charles Atlas ads of kicking sand into the weakling's face.

Can you even learn this from a book?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Buzz: Why Read Moby-Dick?

Book Buzz: Tension City, Why Read Moby-Dick?:

I love it--it's now a book. Why Read Moby-Dick?

Nathaniel Philbrick is a great writer in his own right. I really enjoyed his book about the whaleship Essex--it completely captivated me, and I usually don't like non-fiction at all.

The author of this article calls the book "a passionate and convincing text." There is no personal opinion on Moby Dick itself.

But check out this "argument." If I had a student write this, I would have the student express why the quote proves the point:

"but when he quotes Melville, the text soars and Melville’s prose becomes Philbrick’s best argument for reading the book: 'While gliding through these latter waters that one serene and moonlight night, when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver; and, by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed a silvery silence, not a solitude. ... '"

Yes, I agree, that sentence is awesome. Should we consider Moby Dick just a long, great sounding poem then? The term novel just doesn't fit then anymore, especially if you consider structure.

I love how this piece ends:

If anyone is still awaiting the arrival of The Great American Novel(s), give it up. They have already been written. The first is “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and the second is “Moby-Dick, or, The Whale.”

I just taught Huck Finn and didn't have a great experience either. But Huck Finn has a narrative structure.

Monday, January 16, 2012

DC already cancelling 6 books from new relaunch

I knew it:

Sorry, DC, but I knew it. You put too much product out on the market and killed good books.

It is reported here that books Static Shock, Mister Terrific, O.M.A.C., Men of War, Blackhawks, and Hawk and Dove are cancelled. I could've told you that, and unfortunately, this does not mean anything against the creators.

So now we get yet another Batman book, Batman Incorporated, by Grant Morrison so that one should be okay. It's Batman.

Also--and check me if I'm the complete idiot here--G.I. Combat gets a go. Uh, didn't they just cancel two war books?? See, the blending that I predicted has started.

World's Finest is just another team-up book. Supposed to not concentrate on Superman or Batman but I bet they'll both be in it by issue #10--it's a bet. I have just never understood why they don't just save these team-ups for the regular individual mags.

Dial H is a concept that we laughed at back in the 80s. I give this six issues--see, this could be a team-up in another mag, see if that sells like hotcakes, then give it a solo title.

Earth 2 written by James Robinson sounds really really cool if you are into DC. This should have been in the original relaunch.

The Ravagers will fail monstrously quickly, no offense. This should just be a subplot in another book, like Superboy or the Teen Titans.

See, what DC doesn't get is that the market is completely glutted. And since comics now take more and more issues to tell a single story, we don't have the freaking money to try new comics.

For instance, and I have to rant here. I recently read the issues of the newest The Brave and the Bold that featured Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and The Stranger. Good little story. But it took four issues. Four times $2.99 is way too much for this story, I'm sorry, and I really liked it. I remember when a story like this was told, with all sorts of text, in two issues or less. Now they are just drawing out the story.

Now we have 52 monthly titles at $2.99 or more? And that's just DC. Heaven forbid you try any independent comics for a change.

My prediction is already coming true, DC.