For Your Batmanny Weekend Enjoyment…

I failed to post this week’s “Free Fiction Friday” post yesterday because I was so swamped with everything I needed to do for the Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde Kickstarter launch. For the untold millions who only bought a computer so they could get their weekly fix, I’m sorry.

The Doc Wilde relaunch is off to a great start; just over twenty hours in, we’re at 26% of our funding target (which is the minimum we need for the Kickstarter to succeed, not a maximum amount for the relaunch). If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll visit the link above to see what’s up.

As a special treat to make up for my Free Fiction lapse (which I shall endeavor to remedy later today), I offer you this incredibly endearing and goofy piece of Batmania that someone put a helluva lot of time and money and work into…and which kinda makes me think Bat-Mite is around somewhere… Continue reading

Books and Wonderful (You MUST See This)

As a devoted fan of Buster Keaton, books, and the amazing William Joyce, I have to say The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore may just be the most wonderful short film I have ever seen. It’s currently up for an Academy Award.

You need to see this, probably over and over…

Well, Blow Me Down!!!

Here in the Byrdcave, we’re old fans of Popeye. Not only did I watch the old cartoons countless times growing up, my son and I have each given Popeye gifts to each other. He gave me Warner Brothers’ awesome remastered collections of the classic Fleischer cartoons of the 1930s (which are wonderful, and far better than the later productions which kinda sucked); I have been giving him Fantagraphics’ gorgeous hardbacks collecting the original E.C. Segar comic strips as they come out.

Wilco, in cooperation with King Features Syndicate, has brought us the first hand-drawn Popeye cartoon in over three decades:

I hope Popeye rebounds by hooking up with Betty Boop.

If you never saw them, or need a reminder, or it’s just been too long, here’s one of the Fleischer classics, from 1936, in amazing quality:

And for bonus giggles, here’s a commercial featuring Popeye and Bluto that drove right wingers crazy when it aired:

UPDATE: Of course, now that I think about it, if we watch the Fleischer first, then the Wilco, then the Minute Maid cartoon, maybe we’re actually getting the full story of Popeye’s romantic life…

Chuck Norris, Reviled & Revisited

Chuck Norris is a dingleberry on the ass of cinema and a toxic boil of  a man.

I’ve blogged about this before, in which I grumped about the Chuck Norris jokes that are so widespread, aggrandizing a man who in no way deserves it, and I offered up my own Chuck Norris jokes to replace them.

I just updated that post with new jokes. You can read ’em all here.

The Comedy of Terrors

For your Halloween consideration…

This classic horror comedy stars Vincent Price as a conniving undertaker who resorts to murder to drum up business. Peter Lorre is his bumbling, soft-hearted assistant, Boris Karloff his senile father-in-law, and Basil Rathbone his hardnosed landlord-turned-victim. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, with a brilliant script by horror great Richard Matheson, this is the sort of film Abbott and Costello might have made had they been into Shakespeare and worked for Hammer Films. Very smart, wonderfully entertaining, and family-friendly; we watch it every year.

You can watch it streaming on Netflix, or rent it on Amazon for $2.99.

Laughing My Ass Off: A Hilarious Review of a WTF Batman Story

Whoever you are, whether you’re a Batman fan or not, whether you’re a comic book fan or not, if you like to laugh, you should read the review of Batman: Odyssey at Comics Alliance.

Today, Editor-in-Chief Laura Hudson and contributor David Wolkin sit down and attempt the nigh-impossible task of figuring out exactly what happens in Odyssey, a book that has both challenged and redefined our notions of Batman, comics, and our tenuous grasp on sanity…

Neal Adams is one of the all-time great comic book artists, the man who truly defined the cool modern Batman. For many years as a kid, I had a huge poster of this Adams image on my wall:

Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case in comic publishing, someone at DC thought, “Hey, the man can draw, I bet that means he can write too!” Because after all, writing is easy, right? And they gave Neal no telling how much money to do a twelve issue epic series about Batman. The result seems to be one of the most completely batshit crazy comic book stories in history.

You need to read the review. Honestly. I laughed till I couldn’t breathe while I read it. I had to take breaks so I wouldn’t asphyxiate myself. It’s comedy gold, and I say that as someone who hasn’t even seen the comic book in question.

Deconstructing the Complete and Utter Insanity of Batman: Odyssey

Spiders Are Wonderful (An Even Better Wack Kids’ Book)

Everyone is all abuzz about Go The Fuck To Sleep, which is pretty funny, especially as read by Nick Fury of SHIELD.

But over on his blog, Dennis Detwiller offers up an even better “alternative children’s book,” Spiders Are Wonderful by Toby Vok. As Dennis rightly puts it, “If I had to describe it, I would perhaps call it a children’s book of existential horror. Toby Vok is a twisted, wonderful man.”

You can read it in its entirety by clicking the image below. Toward the bottom of the page, Vok also graciously offers it up for free in both PDF and epub formats.

Prayer In School As It Might Be…

Newt Gingrich wants to change the Constitution:

Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions.

Thanks to Cairelle Perilloux for this…

“First of May” (Song of the Week, Beltane 2011) [NSFW]

To my pagan friends, and anyone else of good will, I wish you all a happy Beltane.

I had hoped to celebrate properly this year, as in the Jonathan Coulton song below, but ’twas unfortunately not to be. I hope your day is more enjoyable.

Malaprop 4: Wrath of the Malapro

“Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance.”

The usual mandate of my Malaprop posts is to share bits of bad writing I gather from sources all over the place (usually the net), ranging from the rabid comments sections of the blogosphere to the esteemed pages of the New York Times. I tend also to focus mainly on instances where people misuse words or phrases, like writing “they were chomping at the bent” instead of “they were champing at the bit.” Awful spelling, grammar, and generally fucked-up writing are all too easy to find on the web, so I don’t bother calling attention to them.

I also don’t source the screw-ups, as I’m not really trying to target anybody specifically for their errors.

Today, however, we have a very special episode of Malaprop. I will be showing you the latest batch of culls, of course (including a clever use of the word “armature” I got a kick out of), but also I’d like to introduce you to our first malapro, writer Jacqueline Howett.

Ms. Howett is a human being, and obviously a very emotional one, so I’m going to try to be as kind as I can…though simply sharing any of her writing (like the tidbit atop this post) and discussing her behavior is, in itself, gonna be innately rough on her. But I think discussing her is valuable because she’s a stark object lesson for any writers out there (or, really, artists of any ilk) in how not to act. Continue reading

The Real Chuck Norris Is So Chuck Norris… (UPDATED)

…I’d never let him in my house.

Chuck Norris is a tool. He’s a bad actor and an over-the-hill karate instructor and a particularly idiotic political commentator.

The jokes about him are often funny, but they aggrandize a man who should be allowed to wither in obscurity without the eyes of the world upon him. Granted the aggrandizement is largely ironic, but Norris is such a nitwit I’m sure he takes it all in as evidence of his place of respect in the world.

Back in May 2009, I took it upon myself to spend the day tossing out Facebook statuses which were Chuck Norris jokes that more properly belittled him. Offered below, for posterity, are my creations. I invite you to add more in the comments.

It’s a worthy cause. Continue reading