Monday, September 30, 2013

Tony Camillo's Bazuka - "Dynomite"

There's something so perfectly Seventies about producer Tony Camillo assembling an anonymous studio group named Bazuka and recording a song based solely on the catchphrase of Jimmie Walker's J.J. Evans character on GOOD TIMES. And the fact that "Dynomite" made the BILLBOARD Top Ten and then was almost totally forgotten is the icing on the cake. It is almost the Perfect Storm of 1970s pop music.

...To be honest, I keep expecting more things like this to start happening in the current music environment.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Captain Satellite and Shelly Ericson Doodle

It's Captain Satellite and Shelly Ericson in a doodle I did a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, I would have embedded the copy from deviantArt, but didn't like how it looked in the blog's layout.

It was good to do some drawing again, even something as cursory as this. More to come, I hope.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dirk Dixon

(Artwork by Igadevil, who hopefully will not kill me for resurrecting this 8 year old piece from the archives.)

Dirk Dixon is a bit of a happy accident. He was originally conceived for the GMB/ROJ crossover story that evolved into the "New Return of Jetman" series. When I first had the idea for GMB/ROJ, I was looking to make up a few minor cannon fodder characters, and wanted to parody assorted hero genres not typically associated with either series. Dirk, of course, was a satire on the Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon style of space hero popular in the first half of the 20th century. Since those guys were cardboard in the first place, I had no plans for Dirk beyond a few lines and involvement in a single battle.

As GMB/ROJ evolved into NROJ (which makes me think of NRBQ every time I type it), I searched through the various bits and pieces of already created material, seeing what I could salvage. Dirk was one of the two cannon fodder characters that I decided could be turned into something a little more substantial. Why? Well, it occurred to me that his particular fictional niche is at once both completely divorced from the Japanese superhero genre (due to different cultures and eras of history) and completely in tune with it (the wild absurdity for the sake of an exciting adventure story).

The result turned out to be better than I could've hoped. While I'm proud of all of the work I did on this little project, Dirk turned out to be an inspired concept. By plopping a stereotypical 1930s space hero into a world of Japanese superheroes, I managed to parody the concept a lot more effectively than I could've anticipated. Because Dirk's attitudes, in addition to his trappings, are very much tied into the time period that birthed his type of character.

Dirk is a square-jawed goody goody, as beautifully conceptualized by Igadevil. He's also a racist/xenophobe (take your pick), as evidenced in his first appearance. In later tales, he was revealed to be a sexist, which should come as a surprise to no one. He's largely clueless to his surroundings, and is doggedly convinced that he is RIGHT.

And yet...there's something about him that still doesn't quite come across as sinister. He's a buffoon who plays his part completely straight, and there's something almost charming about that. I can't say Dirk is a character I'd want to hang out with if he were real, but he's a lot of fun to write. As the story took shape, his role expanded and became bigger than I'd first imagined. It also went in a direction I had never anticipated. Of the characters I've personally created for the ROJ stories, he's probably my favorite.

Monday, September 23, 2013

There's No Wrong Time For The Celestials

Jack Kirby is a creator worthy of massive respect. The Eternals is probably my favorite of his latter-day creations. As imperfect as it might be, something about the concept and characters really appeals to me. It certainly doesn't hurt that I was exactly the right age for it to blow my mind when it was originally published.

If you've been reading for awhile, you might recall that the Celestials in particular hold a special place in my heart. So here is another picture of Arishem the Judge. Why? Because I can.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our Marathon

I'm not sure how or when I ran across Our Marathon. This explains what it's about better than I could. It's a worthwhile project, to be sure, and I knew someone in particular that I thought would be very interested in it.

My friend Sydney has contributed this piece to Our Marathon. It may look familiar to you, and indeed, it is a slightly revamped version of her story as presented here. It is still just as powerful and moving, but now it will probably be seen by even more people. This makes me very happy for her, because hers is a story that should be heard.

Sydney was recognized recently for her contribution to the site. I'm glad I pointed her in its direction, but all the credit for her work is due to her. I sincerely hope she will continue writing, because I think she has an amazing talent for it to go along with her remarkable resilience.

Props to you, Sydney! Keep on fighting!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chaos Theory 2013 Art Show

Friends, it is time to prepare again for the Chaos Theory Art Show! Surely you recall this celebration of all things awesome from past years, no? Well, it's a bit later than past years, but there's a theme and...well, I'll let Eric and Thom explain it to you!

Check it out! Chaos Theory is in full swing as of today. If you have art that you would like to feature in the show now is the time to begin framing and mounting your art! (If you have never submitted art to us then please contact us for details on how to enter a piece.) Chaos Theory opens on October 31st, Halloween night at 6 p.m.! We will be showing Ghostbusters for free on the lawn outside the gallery so come out enjoy a movie outdoors with friends and family. Head over to our trunk-r-treat area and pick up some free candy as well! Art, movie, and candy...What more do you want?

If you're a local artist, this is a quality art show run by quality guys. And if you're local but not an artist, you can still enjoy the festivities. It's a grand time, and I am sure this year will be the best ever!

For more information, download the graphic above, or check out the Chaos Theory Art Show Facebook page!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


This entry on a delightful piece of gift art from Kabuki Katze is a little unusual. Why? Because I'm only showing you HALF of the image! To see the FULL version, you will need to either click here and go to my Tumblr account or click this link to see the image on Kabuki's dA page. But a word of warning - the REASON you're not seeing the full version here is because it is a little bit, ahem, saucy. That means it is very much NSFW for those of you wasting time at work. But that may make it even MORE enticing!

Thanks Kabu! You are a woman after my own heart!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Xenorama #16

Say, didn't we just do this? Well, sure, but why not have another?!? That's right, after an absence of many years, XENORAMA is coming out with its sixteenth issue hot on the heels of its fifteenth issue!

Head honcho David McRobie has all the details here on XENORAMA #16. Or if you just wanna straight up order it right now, you can do that, too. And in case you were wondering - yes, I am involved in this issue!

This is shaping up to be an incredible issue. Can't speak for you, but I am certainly looking forward to it!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rene Bond On Youtube

As you might recall when I have previously talked about Rene Bond and my crush on her, there are not a lot of videos on Youtue of the lady. Well, as it happens, there are a couple of others besides those I've previously linked. Let's look at them, shall we?

This is from BEACH BLANKET BANGO (no typo), a parody of beach party movies. That's why Rene is sporting an impressive Annette wig in this scene. I'm...not sure if that's her singing, though she certainly could sing. It's a very nicely produced little number, all things considered.

This next clip is behind a cut, because it's still borderline NSFW despite being censored. Just be aware of that before you watch!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

ListenLikeURBlind: A Follow-Up Report

So, some stuff happened after I posted this entry about ListenLikeURBlind. I decided I should take the time to chronicle the rest of the tale. A buddy of mine pointed out that by talking about this little episode, I am giving these people the attention they obviously want. This is true, and it's a bit of a downside. However, I'm convinced this is attention they'd prefer not to have. Therefore, we soldier on.

The most important thing to know is that on September 10, 2013, I was added to the ListenLikeURBlind Facebook fan page without permission yet again. That marks at least the fifth time this has happened, and it did not go unnoticed for long. Well, in truth, the timestamp for 1:24 PM local time was bogus anyway - it wasn't there at that time. However, after popping back up unbidden, I knew I could not let this go unchallenged.

I went to their page. I left the same comment, with a link to my previous blog post on this subject, on every one of their stories I could. The only thing that stopped me was that I went too quickly and was temporarily blocked by Facebook from leaving comments. Still, I left the comment and the link on 18 separate stories. And guess what? They stayed there until Friday!

On Friday, I suppose that the person (or one of the people) responsible for ListenLikeURBlind's fan page logged in and saw my handiwork. It appears they hid the comments rather than deleting them, but I can't say I care since the message was primarily aimed at them. One would assume they got it, since I am now blocked on their page. Now we wait and see if this action prevents me from being added to their page without my consent. Because really, that's all I want from them - to be left alone.

Since I was looking into things about ListenLikeURBlind, I decided to go back to the beginning for them. That's really not that far - seems it was begun in May 2012. Their results were somewhat modest at the outset, but they got quality feedback for a brand-new page - shares, likes, comments. What's fascinating is that these results have dropped off precipitously even though they are adding fans at a surprising rate. Consider this - even though their "Likes" now number in five figures, they only have approximately 38 "Shares" of their postings for the entire YEAR, and no story was shared more than twice. That doesn't seem particularly viral to me.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mr. Metal by Sean Moore

This is a fun one - a full color picture of the alter ego of Paul Mann's embittered business rival Louis Schmidt. Yes fans, it is the return of Mr. Metal! No other real back story involved in concocting this piece, except that I thought Sean Moore would do an incredible job on it. And so he did!

Here's Sean's dA page for this picture!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

State of the Owariverse

Taking a timeout here to talk about the world of Captain Satellite and friends. You may not have noticed, but things have been pretty sparse with Cap and company in these parts this year. 2010-2011 was the highlight for my cast of characters, but they more or less held their own in 2012. However, it's only been through the occasional commission or gift art that they've been appearing in 2013.

This is my fault. After shelving my book project for the nonce, it's been difficult to find the time and inspiration for my characters. This is particularly bad, since it has significantly cut down on both my own works and blog entries in general here. Everything suffers when Captain Satellite gets no love.

Well, I have some doodles that I am hoping to scan. That's a start. There's a discussion on the evolution of Captain Satellite that began a year(!) ago that I'd like to continue. And I'd like to write a story before the end of the year, too. But realistically, I'm not sure that's going to happen. I have a couple of lingering projects that demand being finished, and I need to focus on them. Plus, well...I have other things I need to handle, too. But this isn't the place to be getting into that.

This is just a reminder to my readers and to me that Captain Satellite is not dead. The Owariverse is merely dormant, not forgotten.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Career of (not quite as) Evil

Just because the "BOC Challenge" is finished, that doesn't mean there's no more Blue Oyster Cult in these parts. In fact, just the other day, I was listening to Secret Treaties, my favorite of their albums! Today, we're going to discuss an anomaly about the song "Career of Evil".

As you might remember, "Career of Evil" is one of the songs that made both my list and Kabuki's list in the Challenge. Here's a refresher as far as what it sounds like:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ListenLikeURBlind on Facebook - A True Story

I want to tell you about a mystery that has actually been going on for awhile. Thing was, I didn't realize for the longest time that it even was a thing. Maybe it has affected you, too. Maybe that's why you're here. It's about "ListenLikeURBlind" or "Listen Like UR Blind", which labels itself a "Community" on Facebook.

One day a few weeks/months (not even sure now) ago, I noticed an unfamiliar page in my Facebook "Likes". I didn't remember clicking on anything called "ListenLikeURBlind", but chalked it up to some sort of error on my part. Maybe I had accidentally clicked something and it had happened that way. I unliked the page (I wasn't interested in it) and went on about my life, not thinking much about it.

Until this past week, that is. Because "ListenLikeURBlind" was mysteriously back in my Facebook Likes. Once was a coincidence; twice meant something was up.

I've changed my password twice. I've logged out of all other devices. I've run a virus check. I'm not hacked, because nothing else has been altered on my account and I'm not sending strange messages. The only thing that's going on is that "ListenLikeURBlind" keeps getting added to my Likes. It has happened at least 4 times now.

My first instinct was to get mad at the page itself. I wavered in this conviction when my investigations turned up things like this, which indicated Facebook itself might be responsible. Now, I am back to my original thinking. And I'll tell you why.

In my looking for information on ListenLikeURBlind, I came across this page on Top-on-Social. Please take particular note of the "Fan Changes" section, and how the "Talking Changes" seems to correspond in reverse - the more fans they accumulate, the less people are talking about them. Kinda curious, if you ask me. As of this writing, ListenLikeURBlind has 31,098 fans (give or take on the current page).

What was really interesting was when I clicked on the Google cache of the Top-on-Social page. It is from June 25, 2013. Do you see? On that date, ListenLikeURBlind only had 6,769 Facebook fans. That means that this page (which remember, I knew nothing about until it was added to my Likes) has accumulated almost 25,000 new fans in two and a half months. Color me skeptical on those numbers.

To compound my suspicions, I checked ListenLikeURBlind's Twitter feed. Not only is it unremarkable, but it only has 77 followers. In contrast to 31,098 (and growing!) on Facebook? HMMMMMMM!

Frankly, I don't know enough about how these things work to develop any theories about what exactly is going on here. Suffice to say, I can VERIFY via my own experience that ListenLikeURBlind is being added to Facebook user "Likes" without consent. It happened to me, so surely it has happened to others. And that makes ListenLikeURBlind's "fan numbers" suspect and (possibly) worthless. Just an FYI to anyone that cares.

Oh, in case you were wondering, I wrote this blog entry (pre-empting fun stuff) for a couple of reasons. One, because this was genuinely bugging me and I wanted to talk about it. But more importantly, I want this story out there for anyone that puts "ListenLikeURBlind" or "Listen Like UR Blind" into search engines. I honestly think the Twitter followers for this little enterprise are more representative of the actual level of interest than the Facebook fans; therefore, I think there's a pretty good chance this blog entry will find its way into the top matches for ListenLikeURBlind.

I've posted a question on Facebook's Help Community about this topic - it can be found here, if you are so inclined. My interest in ListenLikeURBlind is non-existent if it will stop being added to my Likes, and interestingly, it has not been since I posted that question. That was after three straight days of it mysteriously reappearing in my Likes. So, we'll see.

I don't know what is going on here, ListenLikeURBlind, but I am watching you. And I am not amused.

ListenLikeURBlind Linkage (if you dare):

ListenLikeURBlind Facebook

ListenLikeURBlind Twitter

ListenLikeURBlind Blog

Monday, September 2, 2013

Unproduced Star Wars Toys

I have been aware of the The Star Wars Collectors Archive for some time, but since I'm not so much a collector or STAR WARS fiend these day, it's not a place I have lingered. Perhaps I should change this. Tonight, I have been utterly fascinated by their Unproduced Toys image collection. If you were one of those kids like me who wanted that rocket firing Boba Fett, well, this is the page for you. I know more about that guy than I possibly could have imagined.

Haha, I could probably spend a whole week blogging about subsections of this site. Maybe I will!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

1st Issue Special #5 (August 1975)

Can I just say for the record that 1st Issue Special is one of the worst titles for a comic book series ever? I'm going to refer to it as First Issue Special for the duration of this review, but even that is under protest. This was an awful title for a "try-out" series that was in reality often used as a dumping ground for completed first issues of books DC had decided not to publish.

First Issue Special #5 is one of those castoff books, and it almost doesn't seem fair. Jack Kirby did "modern" versions of all his Golden Age DC strips when he returned to the company in the early 1970s, and while both the Sandman and the Guardian (in Jimmy Olsen) are usually remembered, this revival of Manhunter is more obscure. Well, not true - it's the Kirby Connection that is obscure. Manhunter got co-opted by Steve Englehart a couple of years later in Justice League of America and remade into something lurking around the DC Universe to this day.

Thing is, I wonder how closely Steve read this comic? Or if he even did? It's been a little while since I read the JLA story, but the usage of the Manhunters in the intervening years doesn't really hew very closely with how things are spelled out here. Mark Shaw also got changed around a great deal to suit other people's purposes. I guess I shouldn't complain, since DC had already consigned this version to the proverbial wastebasket, but I found it interesting and wish we could have seen Kirby do something with it.

Oh, by the way, that cover? It's totally repeated on the splash page, and that sequence is just as insane as it looks like it would be. "The Chopper" is a pretty crazy villain for a one-off. And then, it's not even Mark Shaw who fights him, but an older Manhunter. I get the idea this unnamed hero is supposed to be Paul Kirk, and I'd imagine someone at DC not being happy about that. After all, the Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter strip (which wasn't even originally intended to be connected to the Golden Age one) was still relatively fresh in readers' memories.

As Kirby superhero comics go, this one is actually a bit reserved. Relatively speaking, of course - it's still pretty wild. There's also a plotline involving a murdered man that I don't think anyone has ever bothered to resolve. I doubt anyone cares at this late date about bringing Al Beefer ("The Hog") to justice for the death of Joe Burk and his numerous other criminal activities. Just the way it goes in comic book land.

I really enjoyed First Issue Special #5, but it did leave me with lingering wistfulness over what might have been. However, it did feature this ad, and that automatically makes any comic book 50% cooler.