The Case of the Chemicals Indicated


I’d say that a funny thing happened on my way back from a long-overdue visit to family in California, but it involves the Transportation Security Administration and wasn’t funny — except insofar as it was Batman’s fault.

NJCroce Batman figure in packaging

During a stop at Bay Area fixture Cost Plus World Market, I got the bendable figure above* as an early holiday gift to myself.

Up Your Nose with
a Rubber Flux Capacitor


This one's been percolating for a while.

Mock-up of faded, beat-up old Golden All-Stars Book cover of 'Welcome Back to the Future Kotter' with photos of 'Gabe Kaplan as Professor Kotter' and 'Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly', plus inset of red-eyed John Travolta titled 'With the Sweatbots featuring Vin-E Barbarino'

And there's no time like the present. Not only have we reached the once-far-off date to which Marty and the Professor traveled in the second Back to the Future film, but this year saw the 30th anniversary of the first movie in that trilogy as well as the (somewhat less heralded) 40th anniversary of Welcome Back, Kotter's premiere. Thus, in the grand tradition of my poster for Captain America and the Maltese Falcon and DVD case for Tarzan of the Planet of the Apes, here's a Golden Books tie-in to that hit TV show from another dimension, Welcome Back to the Future, Kotter.

One Flash, Two Flash,
Red and Blue Flash


Close-up of Jay Garrick in Earth-2 Flash's costume including winged helmet
Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick from Flash Ep. 2.01 "Flash of Two Worlds" © 2015 CW Network.
Photo: Cate Cameron. Character
TMDC Comics.


I didn't see Tuesday's Flash episode until after midnight — so it was a birthday present. And it was a gift to all the fans who've loved DC's multiverse for decades. I’m honestly not able to put my reaction into words, because it basically involved giving the astral projection of my 6-year-old self a high-five.

Allred in Black & White


My contributor copy of Michael Allred: Conversations, edited by Christopher Irving for University Press of Mississippi, arrived yesterday. The longest of its 13 interviews — some Q&A, some article-style — is the wide-ranging talk that Stefan Blitz and I had with Mike for Comicology in 2000. It's a smart little hardcover that is sure to be a fascinating read.

High-contrast photo of Mike Allred in black outline and fuzzy coat with his face and background in red

Allred made some noise with Grafik Musik before really turning heads on his creator-owned pop sci-fi existential superhero adventure Madman.

... for My Thoughts


I didn't have the exact 21¢ in change in my pocket earlier tonight that I'll usually make sure is on me when I go to Chipotle, where I know my sofritas bowl is $7.21 with tax, but I did at least have the penny. The cashier apparently thought the penny was too insignificant to ring up, however, because I still got $12.79 in change for my twenty-dollar bill (and single penny). So not only wasn't I rewarded with the "How did you do that? You-- You're a warlock!" look of wide-eyed wonder I'm used to in today's world when the register displays round change, I'm now out a fricking penny.

Color Wars


Fight between light-skinned blonde woman in white dress with gold trim and brown-skinned brunette woman in blue dress with black trim

You either know about the dress or spend no time on social media and probably don't even watch the news. Kevin Kobasic, Minister of Illustration at Kevie Metal, posted this gem on Facebook last night. I sincerely apologize for linking to Buzzfeed.

Smartypants Folderol


I'm sure the Internet is full of goofs on Benedict Cumberbatch's name. The other day, however, I awoke from a dream right as I was putting together a list of just such a thing. I felt compelled to write down as many as I could before it all faded, and a few more that I brainstormed in the process, which brings us to my utterly unnecessary but hopefully amusing enough...

Top Twenty-One Things That Are Not Exactly Benedict Cumberbatch

21. Barleycorn Cabbage-Patch

20. Gryffindor Hufflepuff

19. Orthodox Crucifix

18. Ambient Temperature

17. Budapest Architect

16. Marzipan Coffee Cake

15. Broken-Tooth Crackerjack

14. Basketball Pick-Up Game

13. Batmobile Catapult

12. Baggy-Pants Hammer Time

11. Booster-Seat Kiddie Chair

ACE Is the Place


Cover of first issue of 'ACE' magazine with photos from current DC television series and other contents hype

Jon B. Cooke, a familiar name to those who enjoy reading about the stories behind the comics, is editing a new magazine called ACE — All Comics Evaluated that launches in March. The moniker is meant to indicate both that each issue will include a price guide and that stuff from across the incredibly wide spectrum of today's comics scene will be covered. I have a retrospective in the first issue on Robin the Boy Wonder, whose 75th anniversary is nigh.