Nice Day for a Sprite Wedding


Here's another homage/parody cover of mine for CAPA-Alpha, done around the same time as the one I shared the other day.



This one's much less of a straight copy, adding characters and foregoing the logo. It uses as its springboard Marvel Comics' The Uncanny X-Men #179 — dated Mar. 1984, penciled by John Romita Jr., and inked by Dan Green. I drew it for Rich Rubenstein's 'zine after we had a discussion about superheroes who were explicitly identified as Jewish.

Imperceptible Sally


Early this year I wrote about some of the most popular search terms that lead people to Blam's Blog and shortly thereafter shared some of the weirder ones. It's time to share some more.

As I said then, I started checking my Stats page randomly throughout the day after getting consistent chuckles from the kind of off-the-wall phrases that you only see in the Stats page's Traffic Sources section fleetingly, usually in the "Now" view, by dint of their very strangeness; things get more normal in the "Daily" view as a search term will have to be entered multiple times to rank as one of the ten strings logged there at any given moment, and by the time we're up to "Weekly" it's just boring stuff like Superman covers or Fat Albert or the surprisingly popular Geoff Peterson.

I find that the really funny searches tend to fall into at least one of three categories: very specific; almost impossibly broad; and totally bizarre in juxtaposition. Some fall into more than one of those categories, like the two-word phrase used for this post's title — What in the world could that be? It does not hit on the name of a blog, a book or TV or movie title, or even a band name (although it would be an awesome band name). It brings up a complete smorgasbord of images. It does not appear to be a Peanuts reference and in fact the graphic that it picks up from this blog, below, only displays because the word "imperceptible" appears the in paragraph before it (in the post "Foyer, Guns, and Honeys", about the graphic novel It Rhymes with Lust) and "Sally" is elsewhere on the page in my list of labels (as part of "When Harry Met Sally"). Of course now that string appears on the Web, atop this post — for apparently the first time, as a search on it with quotes around the words yields nothing — without being of any help, but them's the breaks.

Dream a Little Dream of Meep; or,
The Subconscious and the Frog


Although my dreams continue to be vivid and enjoyable, I haven't written about any here on the blog since first doing such a thing many moons ago.

The other day, however, I put together such an interesting little vision in the twilight state between dreaming and waking up that I can't help but share. I tried my best to stay in it, but I was also aware that I was beginning to come out of it, and I probably have my emerging consciousness to thank for its being so brief as well as for its having an ending — a pretty rare thing for dreams, which in my experience tend to slide into one another or just slip away. It was also rare in that I wasn't actually anywhere in the dream; not as myself, not even as a POV character.


Screencap from the Muppets' 2011 AMC policy trailer, © 2011 AMC or Muppets Studio or both,
which has nothing to do with this post except a certain thematic synchronicity.


Just so that I don't bury the lead too far, I'll mention now that the dream starred the Muppets.

Grimm Tidings


If it feels like the blog has been focusing a bit more on my picture-making recently, well, it has. That's due in part to me simply having so much fun putting together those Pictogags. But this entry is due to me going through files to get old articles entered on my current computer and eventually archived up on the Interwebs, files amongst which I'm also finding old sketches and cartoons.



The 1995 drawing above right, a mock cover to the nonexistent Mr. K-a's Pal, Benjy Grimm done for CAPA-Alpha, was a riff on the cover of DC Comics' Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #102, above left — dated June 1967, penciled by Curt Swan, inked by George Klein, and lettered by Ira Schnapp.

Thrones for a Loop


So it turns out that putting together these "pictogags" for HBO's Game of Thrones is rather addictive. I'm working on still more, but here are a few that I've done since I posted my first batch.



The last one, I should warn you, is mildly off-color, although if you watch the series it ain't gonna bother you.

Week Links


There's no denying that this photo of President Barack Obama and Nichelle Nichols — Star Trek's original and definitive Lt. Uhura — making the Vulcan salute in the Oval Office is just plain cool, whatever your politics may be.



While it was apparently taken on Leap Day, Feb. 29th, Nichols only shared it via TwitPic on Apr. 4th.

23 Skidoo


I saw a headline earlier today that mistakenly omitted a space between words in the title of the new ABC comedy Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.

My immediate reaction was that I would totally be curious about a show called Don't Trust the Bitchin' Apartment 23.

Why not? Is it haunted? Could it have some sort of weird Lost mystery going on? Does it trap you in the 1980s? Maybe it's actually a sentient traveling location like Danny the Street from Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol (which had the added curiosity of being a transvestite sentient traveling location). Does it come with a secret freezer-closet of cold beer like in those commercials — or, being Apartment 23, perhaps cans of Dr. Pepper — but they're all laced with GHB, and the furniture has its way with you after you pass out?

How simultaneously rad and dangerous is Apartment 23 that it's bitchin' yet we still should not trust it? I need to know.

This post has been brought to you by the number 23 and the letter B.

Week Links


And now just under 2 minutes of increasing weirdness titled "A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square"...



I came across it the other day on Mark Evanier's News from ME, a frequent recommendation of mine. The fact that it turns out to be [spoiler warning, kinda-sorta, maybe] a promotional video for TNT in Belgium is somewhat disappointing, but even though it's a commercial it's still a fun little thing.

Cabin Fever


I made it to a 12:01 a.m. showing of The Cabin in the Woods late Thursday night – well, technically, very early on the morning of Friday the 13th.


Poster detail © 2012 Lions Gate Entertainment.

I loved it. But I can't really talk about it.

Honestly, I can't. You may have read that audiences have been urged by the filmmakers at advance screenings not to divulge any of Cabin's twists, and that's with good reason. If you have read that, you're probably enough of a movie (or media) buff to know whether or not you want to see the film; I'm guessing, furthermore, that you do.

Blonde on Blonde


If you're familiar with HBO's Game of Thrones — or with the George R.R. Martin series of novels on which it's based, A Song of Ice and Fire — then you love to hate (maybe even hate to love) King Joffrey.



Joffrey, I should explain for those not in the know, is nominally the son of Cersei Lannister and the recently deceased King Robert Baratheon — but he and his siblings are actually the offspring of Cersei and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister. No, I'm not kidding. Joffrey is ruling the land of Westeros as Robert's supposed heir, with his mother serving as Queen Regent, but all sorts of machinations are underway from various quarters to depose him and/or to simply claim independence from the so-called Iron Throne in King's Landing.

eXtras


What follows was taken out of a post from last month due to technical problems.

Wolverine in shadow, chest smoldering

The above panel of Wolverine struck me when I came across it in the weekly reading for my blogging buddy Teebore's methodical X-Men examinations over at Gentlemen of Leisure. It's from The Uncanny X-Men #147, whose battle between Doctor Doom and Marvel's merry mutants (or so Smilin' Stan Lee often called them; they're actually infamously angst-ridden) was underwhelming to many readers, as reflected in Teebore's writeup of that issue and the follow-up comments.

Aside from the nice panel composition and set dressing, I'm really keen on the way ol' Wolvie's face and smoldering chest are hidden in shadow, but I don't know how much to credit recently returned penciler Dave Cockrum. Josef Rubinstein could have a heavy hand as an inker, although even when pencilers are only roughing out art for an inker to embellish they tend to mark areas of solid black. More curious to me is how little the figure work resembles Cockrum's, because Wolverine is usually depicted in print as about a foot shorter than his silver-screen portrayer Hugh Jackman — whereas in this panel and the preceding one, unlike the rest of the issue, he's clearly musclebound but lankier and longer-limbed than his usual stocky, compact self, akin to how Brent Anderson drew him. Chris Claremont wrote the dialogue, Tom Orzechowski lettered it, and Glynis Wein colored the panel.

Low and Inside



Clip art © 2012 Rob Wood at topendsports.com.

I came up with a (personal) record number of entries for this week's edition of the Top Ten contest held at The Late Show with David Letterman's website.

My frustration with the Phillies' rough start to the 2012 baseball season could have fueled the creative burst, although a more likely if somewhat ironic culprit is my frustration over not getting certain posts published here over the past month or so. Whatever the impetus, I hereby offer up my overly obvious, voluminous, and hopefully humorous...

Top Seventeen Punch Lines to Dirty Baseball Jokes

17. "That's the pitcher's mound."

16. "Actually, I play for the other team."

15. "Try the split-finger grip."

14. "I said 'fungo'!"

13. "Would you mind choking up a little?"

12. "So who's the designated hitter?"

11. "It turns out he corked his bat."

Pay Lode


Odds are pretty bad that you, dear reader, won the recent Mega Millions jackpot — at least from my perspective. They're definitively either zero or, mightily improbably, perfect from yours. And that reminds me of an amusing linguistic anecdote which I'll save for another time.

Right now I thought I'd bring you my entries for last week's online Late Show with David Letterman Top Ten contest.

Whether you're regretting the size of your Easter dinner last night or pining for leavened bread, lamenting the lack of your team's offense this Opening Week or looking for that missing lotto stub in McDonald's, I hope that your spirits will be lifted by my...

Top Nine Dumb-Guy Ways to Spend a $640 Million Lottery Jackpot

9. 640 million new lottery tickets

8. Naming rights to Three Rivers Stadium

7. John Carter: The Adventure Continues

6. Donation to the George W. Bush 2012 Presidential campaign

5. Bacon, bacon, bacon

Dark of the Covenant


Here's a neat video retelling — in 4½ minutes — the story of the Jews' Exodus from Egypt, performed by the Attraction Black-Light Theatre troupe, forwarded to me by my mom.



I kinda feel like the klezmer rendition of "Oseh Shalom Bimromav" that accompanies the mimed, silhouetted, trompe l'oeil narrative is a little too Dixieland peppy for the gravity of most of what's depicted. And you probably have to be familiar with the story to follow what's going on. But there's no denying how artistically impressive (or just flat-out cool) this is.


My favorite moment is the burning bush.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time


"What could be the harm in burning the beard off of this really strong homeless guy?"

That's what Johnny Storm thought, more or less, between the tiers of panels reproduced below.




Panels from "The Coming of The Sub-Mariner!" in Fantastic Four #4 © 1962 Marvel Comics.
Script: Stan Lee. Pencils: Jack Kirby. Inks: Sol Brodsky. Colors: Stan Goldberg. Letters: Artie Simek.

It's one of several contributions that I offered up in a comment on Saturday's post at Tony Isabella's Bloggy Thing — the, well, "bloggy thing" of Tony Isabella, writer of and about comic books (mostly).

Foolish and Mean


The state of the blog is once again a clog, and I have only myself to blame.

While Blogger is highly complicit in making even slightly tricky posts much trickier than they should be, I'm supposed to remember that. Yet here I am with things backed up in part because I wanted to present some image-intensive offerings before taking the kind of planned extended break that I so often try to schedule and never really get to follow through on — because an unintentional hiatus manifests first, leaving me with a drive to just get those "last" few efforts published for peace of mind.

So I'm riding out the waves of a perfect storm comprising the usual technical snafus and health issues combined with the aftermath of a sad occasion that I've been trying and failing to write about, ever more exhausted, producing sentences that run on like Bart Allen after too much Halloween candy and too little patience to suss out a good simile. 
Which naturally means that it's time to serve up another slice of the vocabularium imaginarium that is my log of word-verification definitions, whose backstory can be found on their dedicated page, with hopes but no promises that posts will resume flowing here soon.

adangst — [ad angst] n. What keeps us tuning in to watch Don Draper.


barifti — [bar eef tee] pl. n. Ftarbuckf employeef.

calvic — [kal vik] adj. Having a stuffed tiger that comes to life when nobody else is around.

chirk — [churk] n. An obnoxiously noisy little bird.

explo — [eks ploh] n. A dynamite convention.