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Fringe glyphs poster © 2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment.

I've had a review of Fringe nearly ready to post for too long. Here are some quick bits in the meantime.

On last week's episode we finally heard — but didn't see — the mysterious William Bell on an old videotape. Even if you weren't aware of the recent casting news, it was easy to recognize the voice of Leonard Nimoy, soon to be seen as Spock for perhaps the final time in Lost and Fringe co-creator J.J. Abrams' Star Trek film.

Finding It


Logo TM The Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies won last night, and it had nothing to do with this post. I wrote a blog entry titled "Losing It" after they dropped their first game of the season, you see. And while I'm not particularly superstitious, it's curious that right after that all of my entries to date disappeared. Never mind that the rest of the post was positive, despite the title.

So as I retyped some more lost entries (not to be confused with Lost entries), including that one, I decided to see if I could turn the tides. My only question was, Should the opposite of "Losing It" be "Finding It" or "Winning It"? The Phils were down 3-0 going into the 9th inning when I began writing what's below, so "Winning It" seemed inappropriate, and I definitely had some material on the subject of finding.


My friend Tony Isabella has a book coming out in November called 1,000 Comic Books You Must Read. I was recently one of many people helping him find some last-minute data needed before publication — the kind of help I'd give almost anyone who asked if I were able, but the least I could do for the first comic-book professional I ever formally interviewed and someone who's shown me many kindnesses over the years. Tony is fast approaching the 20th anniversary of Tony's Tips, his Comics Buyer's Guide column, and presides over a lively online forum hosted by World Famous Comics (where you'll also find Tony's Online Tips, a combination of new and reprint material posted each weekday). Update: I forgot to mention that you can also buy books featuring Tony's work through the WFC site. The man created Black Lightning for DC, has written Star Trek prose and comics, and enjoyed a long run on Marvel's Ghost Rider; he also contributed to such personal childhood favorites as Marvel's Champions and Super-Villain Team-Up.

Superman ® DC Comics. Artwork © 2006 How It Should Have Ended.

One of the many fun things in his forum this week was Sam Tomaino's link to Daniel Baxter's How It Should Have Ended series via YouTube. The actual linked cartoon, "How Star Wars Episode IV Should Have Ended", was all right, but I preferred "How Superman Should Have Ended" and "How Willy Wonka Should Have Ended" (bringing to animated life conversations many of us have had). You'll also find a 6-minute distillation/variation of the third Spider-Man movie.

After deciding on "Finding It" over "Winning It" and writing much of the above, I discovered that the Fightin' Phils had turned it around and won 7-3, the last four runs on a grand slam by Shane Victorino. I can literally hear Harry Kalas calling the shot in my head, a bittersweet conjuration that will likely last the season. They've just won tonight's game in the 10th inning, after tying it up in the 9th, another come-from-behind effort thanks to Victorino, Chase Utley, and closer Brad Lidge.

Like I said, though, this post had nothing to do with either Phillies win, lest the spirits of karma or fate decide to jinx me for hubris. I wouldn't mind finding out what caused those first fifty posts of mine to disappear, though. What nifty Internet diversions have you come across lately?

Forgive Me, Earth!


Cover to Concrete Celebrates Earth Day 1990 © 1990 Paul Chadwick.

How did I celebrate Earth Day?

I left my reusable bag at home, and at the supermarket my glass bottles got double-plastic-bagged. All while I was driving my grandparents' huge Grand Marquis.

But as usual I reused a paper bag at the comics shop. I do that with each one until it's in tatters and then put it in with the paper recycling; sometimes I even forego the bag and just stuff the stack in my backpack or satchel, but I usually like the illusion of whatever protection the bag affords.

Earth Day, like everything else, brings some comics to mind.

The only one that actually has anything to do with Earth Day is Concrete Celebrates Earth Day 1990. Paul Chadwick's Concrete was one of my favorite projects at the time, and this eclectic special also featured a silent story created by the legendary Jean "Moebius" Giraud and a series of Charles Vess illustrations with quotations from Thoreau. I was reviewing comics for my college newspaper at the time, and my mention of this issue got a really nice response.

Dark Horse issued a comprehensive series of Concrete collections with lovely unifying trade dress a few years ago. Some books have never-before-reprinted stories and artwork. You can preview them at the Dark Horse website and, even better, get some of them at 60% off the $12.95 list price at the Nick and Dent sale going on now at Things from Another World.

Covers to Concrete Vol. I: Depths and Vol. II: Heights © 2005 Paul Chadwick.
All scans from Dark Horse website.

Pirate Booty Call


I haven't submitted anything to The Late Show with David Letterman's online Top
Ten Contest worth posting lately, but just came up with a bunch of entries for this week's topic. They're sort-of raunchy, and I don't want to offend anyone visiting or have this blog get flagged for adult content on the basis of a few lame one-liners, so please just don't read on if you're easily shocked.

My Top Nine Punchlines to Dirty Pirate Jokes

9. "And he said, 'How do you think I became first mate?'"

8. "Oh. That dinghy!"

7. "It was so dark she never saw me coming!"

6. "No, honey, that one ain't hollow."

5. "So now my ex marks the spot!"

4. "A squid."

3. "That's not why they call it the poop deck."

2. "And the bad news is, that wasn't a mermaid."

And the Number One (and Most Obvious) Punchline to a Dirty Pirate Joke...

The Lore of Association



I still haven't done a proper essay on
Lost. Maybe with only a clip show airing this week I'll be able to collect and condense my thoughts. In the meantime, I thought I'd perform a little public service to fans frustrated by the lack of Norse mythology in last week's episode.

That episode was titled "Some Like It Hoth". And most people who bother to check the titles of upcoming episodes of
Lost are at least passingly familiar with Star Wars. (I don't actively look them up myself, but now find them out when reading Jeff Jensen's Totally 'Lost' column at the EW website or from commenters at Nik at Nite, the blog of Finding 'Lost' author Nikki Stafford.)

So it's no surprise that most informed viewers assumed the titular Hoth was a reference to the ice planet seen at the opening of
The Empire Strikes Back, which indeed it turned out to be. But some Lost followers either already knew or discovered through research that Hoth is one of the many variations on the name of the Norse god also known as Hod or Hodr, who was tricked by Loki into killing the otherwise invulnerable god Baldr. They were rewarded with bupkis last week.

We've seen hieroglyphics and other references to Egyptian culture and mythology on
Lost. The Dharma Initiative is named for a central tenet in various Indian religions. Many allusions to Judeo-Christian messianism have been made, including the presence of an actual, apparently resurrected character called Christian Shephard. And the Island's mysterious smoke creature has been referred to as Cerberus, which is the name of the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades in Greek and Roman mythology.

There must be a way to tie
Lost to Norse mythology. I will now attempt to do exactly that through free association. (Don't knock it. Stephen Colbert makes his Oscar predictions this way, and it's served him well.) While the following is obviously the product of my own cultural environs, anything particularly foreign to you should still be clear in context. No infringement upon trademarks and copyrights associated with these images is intended or implied.

Ready? If you don't already see the free association below,
click here.

Norse Code

if you don't know what this is.


Lost.


The Lost Boys.


"Death by stereo!"


Stereo TV.


TV on the Radio.


"Radio Ga-Ga".


Lady Gaga.


Lady Dynamite.
Not the one I had in mind, but whatever.


Big Audio Dynamite.



The Clash.


Clash of the Titans.



The Teen Titans.



Robin the Boy Wonder.



Wonder Woman.



Paradise Island.

The Island is Paradise Island?
No way! I haven't seen any Amazons.
Wait... The Amazons are Greek mythology;
we're looking for Norse mythology.



Okay, Paradise Island.



Fantasy Island.



Ricardo Montalban.



The Wrath of Khan.



"Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!"



Madeline Kahn.



Young Frankenstein.


Frankenstein's Monster.



Monster's Ball.



Baseball.



"Beisbol been bery, bery good... to me."



Chico Escuela.



Chico and the Man.



Freddie Prinze.



Freddie Prinze Jr.


Sarah Michelle Gellar.



Buffy the Vampire Slayer.



Slayer.



Metallica.



Heavy Metal.



Medal of honor.



On Her Majesty's Secret Service.



James Bond.



Sean Connery.



Chuck Woolery.

Chuck Woolery? Yikes! Let's try this again.



Sean Connery.



Sean Penn.




"The pen is mightier than the sword."




Fencing.



"Don't Fence Me In".



Bing Crosby.



Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.




Nash Bridges.


The Rainbow Bridge, called Bifröst,
which is guarded by Heimdall and leads from Midgard,
or Earth, to Asgard, home of the Norse gods,
rendered by artists as diverse as
Arthur Rackham and Jack Kirby!
Suck it, haters! Wooooo!