Wednesday, September 30, 2009

World's Funniest Cartoonists Summit (WFCS). Dateline: West Los Angeles, September 21, 2009

While Washington, D.C., and the International Atomic Energy Agency were hashing it out with Tehran, and while the President was in Pittsburgh (!!) for the G20 summit, the Big Boys here in L.A. had more important business at hand. JOSE "CABBY" CABRERA, the L.A. cartoonist behind CRYING MACHO MAN, was back in town (briefly), on official business before heading back to Mexico, where he is stationed until year's end. As a result, animator extraordinaire "BIG" JIM LUJAN, a.k.a. THE LUGE!, "BIG" JAV HERNANDEZ (of EL MUERTO, AZTEC ZOMBIE fame) and me, "BIG" MIKE AUSHENKER, got together for a trip to Sushi Mac, in the Japanese Sawtelle district on L.A.'s Westside, which we followed up with an impromptu (*yet incognito) follow-up classified meeting at a neighboring Cold Stone Creamery.

The following photos have been declassified, for public consumption....

Part one of the mission was to reconnoiter with Jose, who arrived from the airport and, traverling underground, met us at our rendezvous destination: an area espionage facility disguised as a frivolous-looking Japanese toy store, while keeping a low profile. He disguised his face to resemble the back of his head. Effective!

After declassifying Jose's face, our entourage continued down Sawtelle Blvd. toward Olympic, with our team of snipers occupying the neighborhood rooftops and looking for suspicious characters who might intend to thwart the summit.

At one point, we had no choice but to go "partially-underground" through this hastily constructed viaduct....(Thanks, Big Jim, for building this shelter in a minute's time...)

Following a "dynamite" dinner, replete with fantastic Dynamite Rolls (not in honor of Jimmy Walker), we repaired to the Cold Stone for dessert. There, after some long, long thought and consideration, Cabrera relented and finally endorsed Javy's latest project, the upcoming MAN-SWAMP (XOMEX COMEX).

Here, The Luge and Big Jav play interference with potential interlopers.

Cabby presented me with a copy of the Tintin adventure THE BLUE LOTUS, which he painstakingly translated into Swedish himself, in order to disguise some electronic codes being transmitted via a 60 year-old Belgian comic book. The Luge, on the other hand, did not pick up on the transmission, and instead enjoyed the pretty pictures....this was "Big Jim"'s magical introduction to Tintin comics! (and just in time for the Spielberg movie, too! Hats off to that!)

After looking over some extenstive data, I signed off on some paperwork and also endorsed Big Jav's MAN-SWAMP....


Here's the scoop on what went down next...

With MAN-SWAMP endorsed by the group, we got down to business with a Stone Cold Cold Stone doodle jam session.

Then, on short notice, we recreated our favorite scene from TV's GOOD TIMES. Cabby assumed the role of Wilona, telling off "Buffalo Butt" Bookman, while I (in honor of Jimmy Walker) imitated J.J. Evans upon tasting Thelma's cooking.

With that official business out of the way, we parted in four different directions back to the rocks we crawled out from under, until the next meeting, tentatively scheduled for January 2010.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The DEAN LeCRONE Shout-Out!

This blog post is dedicated to my buddy in San Diego: fellow Southern California Cartoonist Society (SSCS) member Dean LeCrone. It's not many people who tout themselves as "Actor, Filmmaker, Cartoonist" (I think it's out of order, by the way, Dean...).

Dean's been away from the drawing board for way too long. The years have flown since his last TACKLEBEAR & STICK BOY comic. Or a DOC SMITH gag strip. Well, with good reason...we lost a very talented cartoonist to the film industry when he starred, wrote and directed DEAN LECRONE VS. THE MUTANTS OF COMIC-CON, which is available on DVD via and is not to be missed. Believe me, there have been many a poke at Comic-Con (and I've even been roped into making cameos in some of them), but none of them are as hilarious or dead-on precise as DL VS. TMOCC. Let me put it this way....if San Diegans had to band together and create a 21st century time capsule for future generations, and they could only put one artifact to represent Comic-Con, I would toss in a copy of Dean's flick. It just sums that shit up!

But now it's been a while since we've had a new LeCrone comic or a follow-up movie and so, in a devilish move, I am posting this to kick LeCrone's ass a little and get him to pick up a pen or a movie camera again. Just call me a "LeCrone Crony!"

Other friends and fans of Dean, I need your help: please contact him at his Web site and tell him to get on it! That means you, too, Dean-O!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BACK ISSUE! shout-out! MONSTERS! unleashed.....

BACK ISSUE! MAGAZINE # 36 has hit the shops. It's the MONSTERS issue. This is not the cover of the issue, but it is a cover by the same artist, the great Earl Norem, who painted so many memorable Marvel magazine covers such as this one:

I contributed three articles to this action-packed issue: STRANGE TALES FEATURING THE GOLEM, DR. THIRTEEN from the PHANTOM STRANGER series (my favorite DC book), and a very special photo essay dubbed DINNER WITH THE DeZUNIGAS, chronicling the night of April 21, 2008, when me and my good buddy and favorite humor cartoonist, JOSE CABRERA, hit Tony and Tina DeZuniga's house on the east side of town for a home-cooked meal. If you don't know who Tony DeZuniga is, I have no time to explain the amazing resume of this great '70s DC/Marvel artist, but let's just say that you'll be hearing a lot about the guy (and seeing a lot of his work) as we near the release of a movie based on his co-creation, JONAH HEX, which will star no less than Josh Brolin and Megan Fox.

Outside of my contributions, my buddy JERRY BOYD has contributed his article on the creation of VAMPIRELLA.

The 1970s was a golden age for horror comics and this issue captures all of that flavor and more. As the editor of the mag likes to say: "Don't ask, just BI it!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

THE ORB is ready for his spotlight, folks!

"And right now, they like it HOLLYWOOD!!!!"

This Variety article below on David Goyer writing a sequel to GHOST RIDER is filled with revelations. (By the way, I read that original Goyer GR script. It was R-rated. I hope they keep that kind of edge on a sequel).

My reactions to various revelations:

--A Ghost Rider sequel? Have fun improving on the original...Don't forget to throw in the Orb :)

--Dr. Strange and Nick Fury I can see as coveted movie properties....but Power Pack? Why go straight to the bottom of the barrel when you've got Moon Knight, A Man Called Nova and Spider-Woman?

--Rebooting a Daredevil movie? Good idea, actually.

--A "Ghost in the Shell" live action flick? Hmm. Guess that cartoon has a following although I thought it was slow.

--A CG animated feature based on Popeye? Another CG Popeye cartoon? Why? Why? WHY?????

---------------------------------------- Here's the article ------------------------------------------

The Marvel universe is going to be a very busy place for the next few years.
Columbia Pictures is the latest studio to rev up a Marvel project on the heels of Disney's pact to acquire Marvel Entertainment in a $4 billion deal.

Col is working on a second installment of "Ghost Rider," with David Goyer in early talks to create the story and supervise writers for a film expected to once again star Nicolas Cage. Former Marvel topper Avi Arad, Michael De Luca and Steven Paul are producing, with Gary Foster as exec producer.

The "Ghost Rider" push comes amid a flurry of activity with Marvel characters at Sony, Fox, Universal and Paramount. The movement is necessary for those studios to retain rights to their respective Marvel superheroes. If the properties languish, the rights can be reclaimed by Marvel Entertainment, which is what happened with such properties as Dr. Strange, Black Panther and Iron Man. Iron Man was gathering dust at New Line for some time before Marvel turned the property into a self-financed blockbuster last year.

Fox is rebooting "Fantastic Four" with "Green Lantern" scribe Michael Green and producer Akiva Goldsman; mobilizing a "Wolverine" sequel and several "X-Men" spinoffs; quietly developing a new version of "Daredevil"; and working on a Silver Surfer film.

Sony recently set James Vanderbilt to write the fifth and sixth installments in the "Spider-Man" series, and Universal continues work on "Sub-Mariner." Par continues as distributor for "Iron Man 2," and other Marvel superhero pics at the studio are expected to include "Thor" and "Captain America."
Through a spokesman, Goyer said he hadn't signed on to a second "Ghost Rider" yet. But plans are already under way to base the sequel on a "Ghost Rider" script written years ago by Goyer, whose superhero work includes hit screen transfers of DC's "Batman Begins" and Marvel's "Blade" franchise. The original "Ghost Rider" was scripted by director Mark Steven Johnson.

Arad told Daily Variety that Hollywood's unquenchable interest in Marvel properties and the pricetag that the company is fetching from Disney is a validation of the strategy that he and Ike Perlmutter executed at Marvel starting in the early 1990s. Arad ran Marvel from 1993 through 2007, when he left to start a film company with son Ari just after Marvel locked in a $525 million credit facility.More than one option
(Co) Daily Variety
Filmography, Year, Role
(Co) Daily Variety

Arad said he left because he was exhausted and because he was convinced that his No. 2, Kevin Feige, was ready to take over. Arad's confidence in Feige is reinforced by the fact that the exec has emerged as a possible replacement for Disney film topper Dick Cook after making a strong impression on Disney topper Bob Iger during the acquisition negotiations that concluded in late August (Daily Variety, Sept. 1).

Arad said the current demand for Marvel properties stands in sharp contrast to the company's fortunes in the late 1990s, when it was in bankruptcy and Arad and Perlmutter persuaded creditors to spurn an offer of $350 million in cash from Carl Icahn. Arad was convinced at the time that "Spider-Man" alone could be turned into a billion-dollar movie enterprise. Since that time, "X-Men" and "Blade" have also joined the billion-dollar B.O. club, and "Iron Man" is well on its way.

Arad mentioned Dr. Strange, Nick Fury, Power Pack, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers as prime movie properties.

"I had this poster of the Marvel universe, with these beautifully drawn characters, and we used to say you could throw a dart, hit a character and make a hit movie under the Marvel brand," Arad said. "There is a long list yet to be unleashed. I think this will look like a smart deal over time because Disney is a company that knows how to exploit a brand."

Arad is separately developing a slate that includes the Catherine Hardwicke-directed adaptation of the James Patterson book series "Maximum Ride" at Columbia and "Ghost in the Shell" for DreamWorks. Arad has also secured rights to make a CG-animated feature based on the venerable strongman Popeye.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ET Sucks....Now Do the Muttley!

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT is the world's worst entertainment news program. There is little entertainment, nor is there news. It's more like HYPE TONIGHT. And unfortunately it's the only such program on during dinner time. (Unless you count EXTRA, which is just a half hour of shouting).

What is the point of this show? Big, dumb sound effects. Horrible blaring brassy theme music. Cross-eyed correspondents.

They've exploited so many celebrity deaths, I'm beginning to think they're killing celebrities to get their stories. I've never seen one show spend five years of continuous updates on Anna Nicole.

They just showed two cast members from FAME (the remake) being interviewed by a giant animated red M&M candy. What is this, European television? Is this show for kids? (If this show were for adults, wouldn't the FAME chicks be interviewed by a green M&M?)

Is Mary Hart some kind of a robot? I wouldn't give a rat's ass to find out how to dress like Lara Spence for less (and they might as well use fur from a rat's ass to cut some wardrobe costs). Lara Spence has the wit of a parking meter.

That said, I don't miss the alcoholic with the orange broomhandle mustache who used to shout at the top of his lungs and appear in bad rap videos.

Commentary over.

Now do the Muttley!

Do the Muttley! Do the Muttley! Do the Muttley!

Do the Muttley! Do the Muttley! Do the Muttley!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Alan Moore's Vendetta: How Moore is at once right AND wrong.....

In an interview he just gave, Alan Moore basically said that Marvel/DC haven't come up with an original idea in 25 years, and he also apologized for putting into effect the cold, dark grim 'n' gritty trend that has since got a grip on superhero comics and has yet to pass from mainstream comics.

Moore is totally correct about the former (IMO). I've been saying the same thing for years: DC and Marvel (like Disney -- perfect bedfellows) has succeeded in recent decades in complacently rehashing their tried-and-true characters: House of Recycled Ideas, as I've come to call Marvel.

Moore is wrong about the latter. I think Moore should not blame himself for the grim and gritty treatment of every character including Spider-Ham and Ambush Bug (and I also think he gives himself too much credit there, as Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL/DARK KNIGHT RETURNS probably had more to do with that trend than Moore did). It's like people who blame Spielberg and Lucas for dumbing down Hollywood and leading to popcorn pics dominating the movie theaters. It's not really their fault...and if anything, they are the masters of that sort of film. It's the idiots who followed them and who took the wrong message from those well-made films by copying what they did in a cold, calculated way. It's not about stealing the formula, it's about breaking formula and coming up with new concepts. Jack Kirby himself used to say as much to his followers: in effect saying, don't try to copy me literally, but go out there and create a universe of wild characters like I did.

Executives in comics and in films: They never learn.

Bad Advice From Agents to Stars

How some of the worst shit out there got made....overheard at the agency....

AGENT TO FERRELL: "Will, Will, you're not listening! BEWITCHED failed because it was a movie based on a dumb TV show from the '60s. LAND OF THE LOST is a movie based on a dumb TV show from the '70s! Great script! Here, catch!"

AGENT TO SANDLER: "Forget that shtick your core fans love you for. Tone it down and make a movie that kids can see you in. Here! Shoot this one, it's called BEDTIME STORIES. We'll throw in Russell Brand, too. He's hot, but we'll take out all the edgy stuff he's known for and castrate him as well. Huh? What's the script underneath it? That's FUNNY PEOPLE, it's a drama, but shoot this one, too. Here, catch!"

AGENT TO VAUGHN: "You're not following me, Vince! No one wants to see a smart aleck crashing weddings anymore. It's all about family. You know, Christmas! Here, catch! I want you to go and shoot FRED CLAUS. It's lame as shit but DVD buyers will eat it up around the holidays. And when you're done with that, read this one, it's called FOUR CHRISTMASES! Fuh-ling! OH! Sorry about the forehead, Vince."

AGENT TO DIESEL: "Vin, baby, I threw some darts and here's what I hit: THE PACIFIER, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, BABYLON AD and FIND ME GUILTY. Heads up! Wow, good catch! You've been working out! HEY, HEY, HEY! No lip out of you, if you don't want to shoot THE PACIFIER, I've got the Rock humping my leg to make that one, OK? So stop acting like such a diva!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fight Club, Kirby-style!

Looks like bad timing for Disney to acquire Marvel. The Kirby Estate is about to wage war against Marvel for the rights to Kirby's creations and co-creations. This was posted online:

The heirs of Jack Kirby have announced their intentions to reclaim Kirby’s share of the copyrights to the Marvel Comics characters that he co-created, including such multimedia juggernauts as the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor and the X-Men:

The legal notices expressed an intent to regain copyrights to some creations as early as 2014, according to a statement from Toberoff & Associates, a Los Angeles firm that helped win a court ruling last year returning a share of the copyright in Superman to heirs of the character’s co-creator, Jerome Siegel.

Lo and behold, it appears from the Kirby illustration below that the Kirby heirs will have an army of friends on their side.

Go, Kirby, go!

EMMY AWARDS reactions, rambled Larry King-style....

....Was that Glenn Close or Sarah Jessica Parker? And can anyone tell them apart anymore?....Rainn Wilson lost, while Chandra Wilson (no relation) was nominated for two Emmys for two different projects (hog!)....I liked the Best Miniseries winners this year better than last year because Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange wore funnier Colonial wigs than Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney....Good for NPH, I've enjoyed NPH ever since his bit roles in UNDERCOVER BROTHER and the HAROLD & KUMAR movies....Why is the whole world in lockstep gushing over THE DAILY SHOW (it's 9th Emmy!!) and FAMILY GUY, two shows I need to be tied down to the chair, werewolf-style, in order to sit through more than 5 minutes of them?....Giving 30 ROCK the awards was lazy, great show, bad season, shoulda all gone to THE OFFICE instead, season 5 was probably its best one yet...As soon as the characters from FAMILY GUY open their mouths with their lousy, unsubtle voices, it reminds me of high school, where you'd punch the nerds when they quoted HOLY GRAIL....How many CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION shows are there now? Haven't they run out of major cities?....I just read online that THE WIRE never won an Emmy when it was on the air (et tu, SOPRANOS?), now THAT'S a crime CSI: BALTIMORE should look into...All of the winning TV writers seemed gay until they opened their mouths and thanked their wives and children...What's with the split screens and overheard command center conversation going in and out of commercials? Is this supposed to make me feel like an insider? It only makes me feel like I'm working on the broadcast and my boss is yelling at me?....When they showed all of the celebrities who died in the past year, they forgot to include CAPTAIN AMERICA. Oops, that's comics, sorry...Here's your moment of zen, Jon Stewart fans: THE DAILY SHOW just won its 9th Emmy and THE MUNSTERS never won one. Now who is more memorable, Jon Stewart or Herman Munster?....Remind me again why FAMILY GUY is funny?....When is Rainn Wilson gonna get his Emmy, scratch that, let him host the Emmys next year. OK, two sniffles, a buttermilk pancake, and I'm out. Quack, quack!

Barrymore at last night's Emmy Awards: "A spot of tea while I clean off your musket, General Washington?"

Friday, September 18, 2009


Click on image to enlarge....

A Dumb Interview With a Short, Bald Executive

Here is a great glimpse into why our movies have become so big and dumb.

This guy thinks he's a visionary, but if the studios invested this kind of energy into developing movies with great scripts instead of into a gimmick from 1953, maybe there'd be five movies worthy of Best Picture Oscar consideration every year (good luck finding 10 to fill that category this year, I say!)

And speaking of baldies, here comes.....GREENBLATT THE GREAT!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BLACKGUARD #2 comics anthology comes out in 2 weeks! Includes GREENBLATT THE GREAT!

One of the most prestigious comic book anthologies in Australia is called BLACKGUARD.

Issue #2 is the "Father" issue and I happen to have a few father-themed GREENBLATT THE GREAT! strips in it.

Issue #1 was a hoot, a mix of styles, and even the long lost Mike Diana had a few wild strips in it. Remember that guy, he was single-handedly shutting down comic book shops with his crazy content!

Look, I'm not gonna bullshit you, friends, these are tough times to be a battlin' independent cartoonist. The comic book industry has a monopoly going on when it comes to distribution, and with this new Disney/Marvel marriage from Bald Mountain (or wherever that demon in FANTASIA came from), there's a good chance that the one and only distributor will go under.

So if you want to get some quality comics, you gotta root out these books and cough up the dough. Point blank! Thanks to the Internet (yeah, thanks a lot, Internet!), people expect to get everything these days for free. But if you want some quality, you gotta part with some dough and support some artists once in a while.

Do you honestly think your favorite artists and musicians and moviemakers are gonna get paid if you don't patronize their art or just download it for free? Well, the Internet is sure as hell is not gonna pay anyone. In fact, it's obliterating entire industries as we speak!

"Hey, guess what everybody? They created the Internet and forgot to monetize it! OOPS!"

OK, I gotta put on my helmet and make like Super Dave Osbourne as I go out there and fight the good war in bringing you the funny! But I hope you get the gist of my sales pitch here. I don't have enough freebies to go around, and Stuart Stratu needs your help. So be a supporter of the Australian arts and pick up Stratu's BLACKGUARD comics. All the ordering info is at


Michael "Soap Boxer" Aushenker

THE PUSH-BACK: BACK ISSUE! # 36 delayed until 9/23

Word comes down that the new issue of BACK ISSUE! ----the MONSTERS issue ---- comes out next week instead of this, and it's an issue you won't want to miss!

DIG IT! I've got 3 articles going on in this edition, and I'm proud of all three:



DIG IT! A behind-the-scenes pictorial DINNER WITH THE DeZUNIGAS -- as in TONY DEZUNIGA, co-creator of JONAH HEX, featuring yours truly and Mr. CRYING MACHO MAN himself, cartoonist JOSE CABRERA! We came, we joked, we ate...a LOT! That was one wild din-din with a master artist who will, in fact, be painting an upcoming BI cover.

DIG IT! EARL NOREM vintage cover pitting WEREWOLF BY NIGHT vs. MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE...(just like in that WBN ANNUAL where they fought at the La Brea Tar Pits).

DIG IT! It's out in less than a week!

Grease for peace,


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Comedy 101: Pinocchio is funny!

There's something flat-out hilarious about anything to do with Pinocchio. Is it because he's a little wooden boy in short pants? Is it that nose that grows when he lies? Or the fact that he is such a staple in Italian literature? Who knows for sure, but Pinocchio is comedy gold!

Remember McLovin in SUPERBAD? The funniest line in the movie was a Pinocchio joke about his vest.

When in Burbank, it's fun to eat at Pinocchio's Restaurant, which is adorned with strange wooden boy murals on the outside and strange Gothic oil paintings of Gepetto creating Pinocchio out of a block of wood on the inside.

Wasn't BICENTENNIAL MAN kind of a Pinocchio story? (although that film was definitely NOT funny! Cheez, Louise!)

Now how about a Pinocchio nightcap of strange straight from the archival vaults? (thanks to Sam H. for these images):

End of lesson.

Next week's Comedy 101 lesson: Rumplestiltksin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I love how Ditko went from THIS!

There's no limit to the feline characters in Ditko's world. Think he cares what you think about that? Guess again!

Ditko straight up does what he pleases!

Why Ditko is the tits....!

Because he could design a character like this and get away with it!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BETE NOIRE ALERT! Somebody Stop This Woman!!!!!

I don't usually go here but this weather woman has become a big pet peeve with her Ed Grimley "I must say!" froggy voice and delivery and her tipsy facial expressions and non-one-liners as she dominates the local news broadcast with her weather!

Even her surname is annoying. It's plural. WHY PLURAL? The suggestion is that there's an army of Petersons just waiting to take her place if she falters. What is she, Noman from T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents?

My buddy Rich has said it again and again: do we really need weather people? They could save lots of money by just running the temperatures and having the anchors read them, like they do when the weather person's on vacation.

Sorry, I know most of you sleep late on Sundays and can not even fathom who or what she does or is. Unfortunately, I'm an early riser and, as such, must contend with her, as KABC is the only sign of life on TV while I'm eating breakfast (unless I want to go to tele-church).


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Wisdom of THE WIRE........

Watching Season 5 of THE WIRE, my first impression was kind of smug. Boy! If this isn't a Chamber of Commerce in Reverse for the city of Baltimore. That's one hole I don't want to visit based on the way it's depicted on this show.

But when you stop and think about it, THE WIRE is not at all about Baltimore. No, sir. It just takes place there. It's actually a scathing indictment of every large city in America....INCLUDING LOS ANGELES!

If there's one thing I got out of this show, it's how, on every level, the personal agendas of rotten people, from the gangs on the streets to the gangs in City Hall, affects millions of lives. The machine is broken, and as ambitious gang members, cops, politicians, city officials and journalists jockey for power and promotion, the rest of us pay the price for it.

Well, shucks! That's the message I got out of it, anyway. Isn't that enough to wipe a smile off of a smug face?

The Art of Carpetbagging TV Shows

I would love to watch all four seasons of BSG, all five seasons of THE WIRE, not to mention season 1 and 2 of HEROES, every episode of THE RIFLEMAN, THE TUDORS, the complete BEING HUMAN series, the JOHN ADAMS miniseries, MAD MEN, the British OFFICE and THE OFFICE season 3. But I can't. That would amount to 10,904 hours of viewing. So what's my secret to being on top of all this fine, Emmy-winning programming? I carpetbag!

See, movies are always my first priority. So in-between, I'll watch episodes of a good program...but I can't commit to every season of said shows. So in the case of BATTLESTAR, I only watched the complete first season (many say it's the best) with a chance that eventually, I'll skip and watch all of season 4. And THE WIRE? I totally ass-backwards my way into this show after my pal Geoff introduced me to this great drama by playing the last episode of season 5 for me. That's right, THE SERIES FINALE! So now that I know how the whole show ends, I'm working my way towards the finale by seeing the episodes that led up to it. Maybe one day, I'll watch the first four seasons, but who has that kind of time on their hands? Also, I believe the Baltimore Sun plotline is specific to season 5 so this may be a cut above the other seasons for me, as I enjoy the journalism subplot. But that's OK, I don't need the other seasons for now....season 5 alone is like an epic movie unto itself!

There's only one series, really, that I'd like to catch every single episode of (and which I have) and that's my three-disk collection of the Fleischer Bros.' POPEYE cartoons!

That's my holy grail! Well, blow me down! Aggaggaggagg!

Friday, September 11, 2009


(Click on image to enlarge)

Whoyougonnacall? GHOULA's "Spirits With Spirits" at Patrick's Roadhouse on PCH this Sunday

GHOULA (Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles), a group founded by Richard Carradine and Lisa Strouss that meets every month on the 13th at an L.A. location that's supposedly haunted, will gather on Sunday at Patrick's Roadhouse in Santa Monica Canyon (off PCH).

Patrick's, normally not in business for dinner, will throw its doors wide open from 6 to 9 p.m. to welcome the group. No actual ghosts necessary - this group uses the lore as an excuse to check out L.A. landmarks (and non-landmarks) over drinks.

What's going to be different about this month's meeting is that it's going to be captured for an article in the Palisadian-Post, the weekly paper of record of Pacific Palisades, California. So a writer (me) and a soul-stealing photographer will be on hand to chronicle the proceedings.

No admission will be charged and Patrick's will be offering its usual menu. Be there and be scared!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I want to thank my lovely girlfriend, Laura, a woman of class and taste (and, ironically, a vegetarian), for getting this book for me. It's the fourth in a series of manga comics set in the culinary world. It's all about the preparation and execution. Every edition tackles another food group. The just-released fifth edition is about cooking vegetables.

In this fourth book, the lead characters are journalists for a newspaper that is compiling an "Ultimate Menu" and along the way, the young reporter male lead goes head to head with his father in a battle royale over who can come up with the best tasting fish dish. Along the way, you learn about fish and the preparation of them, with realistically drawn fish intermingled with the cartoony principles.

My favorite chapter so far (still reading it) is Round 4, in which the young reporter must save an orphanage by going up against the head of the Yoto Group, which owns the orphanage building and threatens to shut it down, and winning the round by producing the superior dish.

Highly recommended (but don't eat it on an empty stomach).

It's a simple premise, well-executed, and one of the best manga I've read. It's up there with OLD BOY and Tezuka's BLACK JACK.

I'm looking forward to catching up with the other volumes, even though I rather read about sushi then vegetables. However, my girlfriend is a vegetarian, so I'll bet she'll dig the latter volume.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Wild Weekend in Whittier....

I don't want to get all uppity on you but I was in Uptown Whittier on Saturday night (September 5th, my sister Melody's birthday!) helping RAFAEL NAVARRO celebrate the release of his latest comic, SONAMBULO LIVES!, at GEEKS comic book shop. What a blast!

Most of the usual suspects were there: Rafael and his lovely wife, Irma, GHOULA (Ghost Hunters of Urban L.A.) leaders Rich Carradine and Lisa Strouss, Mike Wellman of The Comic Bug, Ruben, Lee, Tony frakkin' Saxxon! Navarro's original art, fetching thousands, plastered GEEKS walls like a bunch of congressmen after a martini lunch. Beautiful SONAMBULO art wreaking of cigarette smoke, tequila breath, gun powder and the scent of Femme Fatale (Christian Dior? Or is that Calvin Klein?)

Thanks for my buddy, JAVIER HERNANDEZ (pictured here in the middle), who had just conducted his DIY Comics panel earlier that day, I met this happenin' couple, Arvie and Adonna of AGIMAT COMICS. They are in the midst of pioneering comics for the iPhone (and iPhone-ish) applications. You'll be hearing a lot about these two movers-and-shakers soon, but in the meantime, go back to strumming your fake guitar to Beatles Rock Band or....much better yet....check out Arvie's daily web comic strip, SHADOW CANDY.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

ROM: SPACEKNIGHT to join The Rolling Stones....

Call it a freaky coincidence: ROM: SPACEKNIGHT, who I just blogged about, will be taking over Charlie Watts' seat at the drum kit for the Rolling Stones, which I wrote about yesterday.

I can only imagine the new versions of those old songs now that ROM is aboard. In fact, here's a sneak peek of the set list: I CAN'T GET NO (GALADORIAN), GET OFF OF MY COSMIC CLOUD, NINETEENTH NERVOUS BREAKER, SYMPATHY FOR THE STARSHINE, ME AND PLOR THE PULSAR HANGING OUT BY THE SCHOOLYARD.

ROM: SPACEKNIGHT continues to delight....

My buddy JAVIER HERNANDEZ just received this free sketch of ROM: SPACEKNIGHT by a guy in Minneapolis, artist JIM MOHAN. This is tremendous!

Mohan really captured ROM in typical ROM pose. Notice he is not aggressive but on the defensive. Unlike Han Solo, ROM NEVER SHOOTS FIRST!

If you don't like it, you can shove it! But you don't like it, you love it! So while you're all in a rage, I'll pick up ROM:SPACEKNIGHT ANNUAL # 1 and turn the page....

Top 10 Movies DisMar Should Make.......

Well, with Disney buying out Marvel and boasting about acquiring its catalogue of 5,000 characters (of which the top half dozen have already been tied up at other studios?), it will be a trick trying to figure out which of the other 4,994 can carry a big Hollywood tentpole. Hmm, let me put my thinking cap on.....

1. a HOWARD THE DUCK movie that would make Steve Gerber proud. With CG where it is today, and the groundwork for live action/CG paved by cinematic triumph ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, they wouldn't need Lucas or a cheap duck suit either. Disney can easily nail this one, after all they have all of the smarts and talent...over at Pixar.

2. MOON KNIGHT. Aaaah, Moon Knight. The coolest, most badass Batman knockoff ever! (sorry, Daredevil...). Moon Knight is like the Boba Fett of '70s Marvel, that was the secret series that everyone collected every issue of. Yes, I would like a Moon Knight movie, please. And not a campy one, dead serious like THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Even Frenchie sounds too jokey, rename him "The Frenchman."

3. THE INCREDIBLE HULK 2. I really, really dug THE INCREDIBLE HULK, in some ways it was more consistent in quality than the IRON MAN movie. Ed Norton was intense. And I want to see that dude become The Leader in the sequel! Don't blue...I mean, GREENball us, Hulk-makers! Push this sequel through!

4. SPIDER-WOMAN. Done right, this movie can realistically capture the macabre grit of her battles with that prattling jokester, Brother Grimm!

5.The THOR reboot. Yes, I know the first THOR movie has not even been completed yet but I have a feeling that the filmmakers are already screwing this one up. They should already simultaneously start filming the reboot. Call it THE MIGHTY THOR.

6. I'm sure half of the 5,000 characters are those CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS creations. You know, great, memorable characters who have really stuck around. Like South America's Defensor, Israel's Sabra, and France's The Peregrine. That's three badass movies right there!

7. Man, would I LOVE to see a PHANTOM STRANGER movie! Whuh? HUH? That's DC Comics? Oh. Sorry.

8.Um, running out of characters, lessee, a DAZZLER movie? OH! OH! I know! THE HUMAN FLY! ROM: SPACEKNIGHT! MICRONAUTS! (Aw, snap! Those were all licensed characters.....guess not....)

9. Waaugh! Devolving into Marvel zombie fanboy....Me want DEFENDERS movie! Me want DEFENDERS movie!

10. WEREWOLF BY NIGHT! BROTHER VOODOO! Drool, drool! Gaggle, gaggle! SON OF SATAN! THE INVADERS! No, wait, A MAN CALLED NOVA! Ook, ook, ook!

If all else fails, how about ANOTHER Punisher movie? And quick! The holidays are almost upon us!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wanted: A Hip....I Mean, Younger Replacement for ROLLING STONES' Drummer

I just read online that the THE ROLLING STONES' drummer Charlie Watts has quit the group after 47 years and now the band is looking for a younger replacement.

Hmmm, I've got a suggestion: how about Father Time?