Saturday, April 28, 2007

GIANT APES

They can fight Godzilla or a T-Rex. They live in hidden jungle cities filled with ancient treasure. They are worshipped as gods by native heathens. They shoot Kryptonite beams from their eyes.

Truly, art and literature would be lesser in every way but for the Giant Ape.

The best of the Giant Apes are frightening and destructive forces of nature, but also, they're a little sad on the inside. They tear shit apart with total abandon, bite people's heads off and trample native villages, but they maybe feel conflicted about it. On the one hand, it's delicious and invigorating to slay and destroy all that you survey. On the other hand, the horrified screams of the children sting a little. Giant apes usually are forced into lives of mindless rampage by the Hubris Of Man. The lesson is that we should not meddle with nature, or tamper with things beyond or reach. It takes a Giant Ape to remind us thus.

There is a primal something-or-other going on with regards to the appeal of the Giant Ape. Maybe our fascination stems from an ancient racial memory of hiding from them in the jungles. A memory that lives in the same part of the brain that makes us horny when we see just a little bit of girly ass-crack slipping out of a pair of jeans, and drives women to want kids so bad that's all they talk about all the time. Seriously, what's with that? Take a girl that's all independent and cool and doesn't care about having kids, crank the clock up to thirty, and suddenly it's all "baby" this and "baby" that and "I forgot to take my pill". The next thing you know, you're ebaying all your old comics to buy one of those enormous all-terrain strollers.

Anyway, anyone who says that the original KING KONG isn't the greatest movie ever made is a filthy liar.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

CAT BURGLARS

Once I met this French dude with a pencil mustache, who called himself Le Gold Fox. He was wearing a tuxedo and smoking a silk cut cigarillo, and had black gloves on with a white dinner jacket.

He told me he had just arrived in New York from the Riviera, and he snorted a quick laugh when he saw the newspaper headline "OPERA DIVA'S DIAMONDS STOLEN!"

Then he looked at me and said, "I must tell someone my story, so zee world may never forget Le Gold Fox! It is true that I have stolen zees diamonds.... and many more in my life! Born in Algiers, and orphaned to zee streets, my career in crime started early; picking pockets, confeedence games, learning to crack safes. In a few years I was zee greatest lock-peeker in zee world! All of France slept with ones eye open, never knowing when I would climb in zayr windows at night, and make away with zayr jewels and francs!

But I am not a common and petty thief. Zis money, I use it to support an orphanage in Calcutta, where zee poor urchins of zat filthy hell-hole will never have to resort to a life of sin and deespair. Zee idle rich and zayr family fortunes; it is they who I prey upon! With my grapples and silken ropes, I avoid zayr alarms, moving silently in the night, cutting glass with diamonds and vanishing like a weesper."

Then, I heard an explosion, and looked away. When I turned around again, he was gone.


He was pretty cool, but really, between Catwoman and David Niven in THE PINK PANTHER, Cat Burglars have been ranking on the upper end of the awesome chart since the sixties.

I want to marry a cat burglar. She can teach our children
useful things, like how to escape manacles, and how to hold their breath for eight minutes, and how to hang from a wire without making any noise.

She will vanish for weeks at a time, but then return with big piles of cash we will roll around on naked. We make sweet, sweet love on the big pile of cash, and I notice a scar on her side, but she presses a finger to my lips before I can say a word... I must never ask about her work.

The only problem is finding form-fitting black jump-suits for the kids.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

CHIPWICH


There are a lot of ice cream sandwiches out there. The world is full of them, so if you want soggy chocolate bread mushed up with bland soft-serve vanilla, you're in luck! There's probably a thousand brands to choose from, even if they all look like the same crappy thing, with those lame paper wrappers that never open right.

For a truly fulfilling ice cream and sandwich marriage, you need look no further than the Chipwich.

In concept, it is so simple. It seems like the most natural thing in the world! Two cookies with ice cream in the middle! But it took a team of Nobel Prize winning scientists to concoct the perfect formula. The Mayor of Snacktown awarded them a chest full of gold doubloons, and a parade was held in Santa's North Pole Village for them. And when they died, Allah gave them all one-hundred and fourteen virgins. That's how excellent the Chipwich is.

A few key elements make the Chipwich the perfect ice cream sandwich. First of all, take apart the Chipwich, and you have cookies and ice cream that would be just fine all by themselves. Most ice cream sandwiches cheat; the ice cream would suck without those flaky chocolate wafers, and vice versa. But not King Chipwich. He is made from only the finest ingredients, and knows it. Do I detect a bit of pride behind his frosty smile?

(Probably so... that smug bastard...)

The other key to Chipwich's domination lies in it's excess. Not only do you have two big chocolate chip cookies, and not only do you have rich, sugary ice cream, but the sides are rolled in even MORE chocolate chips! That's like having an orgasm while you poop on a water-slide!

My old roommate used to eat a Chipwich every single night. He was also seven feet tall and had the metabolism of a mutant cheetah. I can only have one Chipwich every three years, or else I will be struck with Adult Onset Diabetes and none of my pants will fit anymore. I'm already such a fat pig that I completely disgust myself. I have to curb my bad habits here and there or they will totally take over.

If I could, every meal I ate would include a white russian, spaghetti, country fried steak, chocolate cake, apple pie, and a Chipwich. I would also never leave the couch, and drink chocolate milk all day while I watched cartoons in my pajamas. But I can't allow that to happen, as spectacular as it would be. I'd go blind and lose circulation and totally hate myself.

Around age 25, I became a disgusting lard-ass, and haven't ever really recovered. I have to ride my bike almost every day, and never eat anything I want, just to keep from breaking the 35 waist barrier. I broke it once, and almost never came back. After that, it's a slippery slope to size 40, and then it's No Man's Land. Next stop is one of those scooters at Wal-MART for people who are so obese they need a go-cart to buy socks.

It's probably been five years or more since I enjoyed an ice-cold Chipwich, but I still salivate like a fucking Pavlovian dog when I see one. A true testament to Awesomeness.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

HATE!


And by "Hate" I don't mean the feeling you get when you see bunch of dudes all dressed the same in a bar doing shots. I mean the seminal alt comic by Peter Bagge, featuring everyone's favorite everyman, Buddy Bradley!

Some of you will recall that the 1990's were a shitty time to be into comics. Things were dire, man. After the creative high of the 1980's (wherein we got WATCHMEN, RAW, WEIRDO, Simonson on THOR, Miller on DAREDEVIL, all that rad Batman shit, etc etc), the nineties were just pooped out I guess. (You can't expect anything to be great forever- television has by and large sucked ass since the eighties as well, although THE OFFICE alone has made television watchable again, along with a few other choice programs. But I digress...)

The 1990's were really licking balls, as far as comics were concerned. Quick example? Batman in the eighties, by groundbreaking artist David Mazzuchelli....

... and Batman in the nineties, in a costume designed by someone tripping on bad jimsonweed.
(There are many, many more examples. It was rough. Just trust me on this one. It sucked.)
It was a "dry spell" for me, when it came to reading comics, which is a shame, because traditionally, comics were one of the few things that kept me from choking back a bottle of Drano. I was hardly reading any comics at all, save a few lonely gems here and there (Madman, Hellboy, Sin City, and some others).

Now I realize that the problem wasn't that there were no good comics, it's that I was living in Shitville, USA, and the local comic shop (where I has previously been exposed to CEREBUS, which is a good sign) had changed management (the new guys loved Valiant, which was a very, very bad sign). There were plenty of good books being published, I was just not getting exposed to them. Which pisses me off in retrospect, but whatever. You can't stay mad forever.

Hidden from my sight were comics like EIGHTBALL, ED THE HAPPY CLOWN, DIRTY PLOTTE, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember. I had to find them all later, stuffed in a wire rack in the back-end of one of New York's filthiest comic shops. A whole world of comics I had missed out on during the 90's drought, including HATE.

HATE was cartoonist Peter Bagge's continuing saga of the Bradley family (especially oldest son Buddy), first seen in NEAT STUFF. It featured some of the dirtiest, most unappealing art I had ever seen.
It was downright grody. It was printed on this gritty newsprint, and all the cross-hatching was smudged and inky in a way that made you feel dirty. The characters were ugly and fucked up, and not very pleasant at all.
The stories typically involved a lot of people yelling at each other, gruesome accidents, and animalistic sex with nauseating sound effects. But man oh man, it was MESMERIZING. I read every issue I could find, and tore through that cheap-ass newsprint laughing my ass off.

Verily, I say unto thee, HATE was awesome.

This guy Peter Bagge, he had restored my faith in comics as something worthwhile. (With a little help from Dan Clowes, Bob Fingerman, Gary Panter, and Los Bros Hernandez, but that's a whole other story.) These unattractive tales of horrible people really ponged my tetherball, and I was hooked on funnybooks again. Then, I became President of the United States of America.

Okay, not really. But close enough, you judgmental asshole.

The HATE comics that filled my heart with so much joy have been collected recently, into two books called BUDDY DOES SEATTLE and BUDDY DOES JERSEY. I highly recommend them to anyone, except my mom. I don't think she would appreciate them. Not enough paisley and potpourri and flower arrangements. Fuck, my mom has shitty taste.

So if you feel like reading about dirty losers living in Seattle and drinking a lot and getting in fights and bitching about everything, this is the book for you. (Wow... that totally sounds like one of those READING RAINBOW book reviews by some kid with a gap in their teeth talking about "Goodnight Moon"... "So if you feel like reading about bedtime, this is the book for you!")