Saturday, March 26, 2011

(Recommended Reads) RIVERSIDE by JM Strother

We came here often as children, to spend lazy summer days under the filtered shade of the trees. Sometimes we’d bring a pole, though we rarely caught anything...

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Friday, March 25, 2011

GONE AND FORGOTTEN continues to eviscerate CONTINUITY COMICS

 

The rambling and broken exclamations continued onto the covers (and, well, frankly … into the scripts as well, but that’s a whole other picture). Not only were the covers themselves freaked-out psychotic episodes full of colorful logos in full-on grinding lesbian embrace and wraparound Where’s Waldo diorama in which “The point of focus” was the little fella in the stripey shirt and glasses, just about every comic had some character or another shouting – invariably in bold type – some puzzling inanity or babbling cacophany...

 

Click here to read the rest of the article at GONE & FORGOTTEN (one of my favorite websites folks, you should check it out)

 

IT'S A DOCTOR WHO TEASERAMA!

 

The first episode of the new series premieres on April 23rd!

 

Here is the first teaser...

Here is the second...

 

And to round it out... here is an awesome image for the story

 

THE LOCAL HEROES: Single Celled Vigilante

Single Celled Vigilante
by
Al Bruno III
the original version of this tale appeared at shortfastanddeadly.com



The spring of 1940 marked the beginning of the Golden Age of heroes. Masked marvels had begun to sprout up in everywhere, some had powers far beyond those of mortal men, others were just foolhardy adventurers but all of them were eager to change the world.

In the spring of 1940 River City was no different.

A figure dressed in shades of black and gray stalked along the rooftops near the River City Museum. It drew a dark cape up over a mask-like hood and watched a suspicious-looking truck pull up in front of the building. A gang of thugs piled out. Leading them was the infamous Vinnie the Claw leader of the Shellfish gang.

It was time to act, there was a new hero in town.

*

At the end of Vinnie the Claw’s right arm was a lobster-esque pincer that was three times the size of a normal man’s hand. He brought it down on the case full of Egyptian treasures shattering the glass. He then ordered his men to get the loot.

Vinnie’s pincer clicked in anticipation. The Museum’s alarms were ringing but there was no way the cops would get there in time. This would be the heist that put the Shellfish gang on the map, this is when he graduated from being a two bit mobster into a full-fledged crime lord. Vinnie grinned at the thought of what that meant- money, power and expensive personalized stationary.

Once he was sure his men had grabbed everything of value Vinnie said, “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”

A masked man appeared in the doorway of the Egyptian antiquities exhibit. He was tall and dressed in shades of gray, the hood-like mask he wore couldn’t disguise his mischievous grin, “Does someone miss their mummy?”

Vinnie didn’t know who the caped figure was, and he didn’t much care, self-appointed crime-fighters were a dime a dozen these days. Whoever the guy was, he’d just made a big mistake. With a gesture of his claw Vinnie ordered his men to stomp the guy unto the ground.

The thugs charged. Instead of running the masked man threw himself into their midst. A punch to the jaw sent one falling to the floor, an uppercut sent another stumbling backwards.

One of the Shellfish Gang grabbed a spear off of a display and jabbed at the man in gray, forcing him back.

“Better be careful,” the crime-fighter quipped, “someone’s going to get hurt.”

The thug snarled and jabbed forward again only to have the spear grabbed from his hands. Then the masked man used the blunt end to club the thug into unconsciousness.

“See?”

Two more thugs left. One came up behind the hero and got him in a headlock. The other began hitting the man in gray in the gut again and again.

“It tickles!” he joked before sending one thug flying with a kick to the face. Then he flipped the other thug over his head and tossed him into the wall.

The masked man looked around the room with a smug grin...

...until he realized that the ringleader of the Shellfish gang was gone.

*

The bags of loot were heavy but the car wasn’t all that far away. Vinnie waddled and heaved, he was sure his boys would be able to handle that guy but he wasn’t going to wait around to be sure.

“You’re trespassing.” the voice was a thick rumble.

Vinnie stopped dead in his tracks. There was a figure dressed all in black perched atop the getaway truck, the cape and hood-like mask he wore were a match for what the other guy had been wearing.

“You’re trespassing...” the hero in black leapt from atop the truck, “Because I own the night!”

The bags of loot dropped to the ground as all of Vinnie’s thoughts turned to self-preservation. He snapped blindly at the air in front of him with his pincer-hand.

Snap!

Snap!

Crunch!

Vinnie opened his eyes to see that he had caught a black-gloved hand in his pincer. He squeezed.

There was only rage in the hero’s voice as, “You think this hurts? You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘pain’.”

Suddenly grabbed someone Vinnie by the shoulder and swung him around. It was that other guy!

“Someone has a crush on you,” he joked.

Vinnie tried to block the gray-gloved fist that came rocketing towards his face but he was knocked to the ground, his eyes watering, his grip on the other hero lost. He reached for his gun only to have it kicked out of his hand.

*

“Who are you guys?” Vinnie demanded as they tied him to a nearby lamp post.

“I’m Amoeba-Man.” The crime-fighter in black hissed.

“And so am I.” The man in gray chuckled.

“You’re crazy!” Vinnie shouted, “You’re both crazy!”

“Oh yeah?” the man in black hissed.

“Watch this!” the gray suited vigilante said.

If Vinnie the Claw hadn’t seen it himself he would never have believed it. The two Amoeba-Men stepped together and merged. They became a single man, taller, more muscular and dressed in a costume that was both black and gray.

Vinnie slumped against the lamp post, “How did you do that?”

“I told you,” the masked man said, “I’m Amoeba-Man, and if there’s one thing I know how to do it’s divide and conquer.”

(Recommended Webcomic) THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERHERO GIRL knows who to beat up.

(Recommended Webcomic) THE SECRET KNOTS tells you the story of 'The Protagonist'

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

(Insane News) "Naked Man Baffles Cops"

story found via FARK.com

When police pulled up to the 900-block of Bay Street Monday, they found what they were expecting, yet not quite what they were hoping for.

Indeed, there was a naked man walking down the street.

A concerned woman tried to cover the man's parts with a towel, but the towel didn't stay.

Asked by officers why he was walking around nude, the man retorted, asking why they were wearing clothes...

 

click here to read the rest of the article

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The film "11 11 11" has a devil of a trailer!

CHAD'S ORACLES chapter seven


IN THIS TWILIGHT

Chad’s Oracles


Chapter Seven


By AL BRUNO III



Seven days after Samantha’s wake Thelma found herself in the hospital.


All that week she had been cautious, taking the bus instead of riding her bike and never allowing herself to be too exposed or alone. She stayed home and went to bed early, she even quit her job.


She hadn’t planned to quit, she’d just meant to call in, but Blanche Costello had been the acting manager for the night. The woman had gone up one side of Thelma and down the other, calling her lazy and accusing her of blowing off work to get stoned or get laid. After that Thelma had told Blanche she could go and piss up a rope.


That had left her pretty much free from then on so Thelma decided to use the time wisely. She begged her Dad to drive her to the public library and while he had relaxed in the periodicals section she had done some research.


The word Squonk was listed in an encyclopedia of folklore. Apparently it was a monster so ashamed of its ugliness that it constantly wept as it tried to hide itself from the world. The legend said that a Squonk could be found by following the trail of tears it left wherever it went. Once found the creature would die of humiliation and shame, sobbing and melting away until all that was left was a puddle. Thelma had to laugh at that, the story was funny, almost cute really. She could imagine it being a Disney cartoon, with flashy visuals and a musical number or two.


The term Eagoryl however wasn’t to be found anywhere, she tried English, Latin and Greek dictionaries just to be sure. She wasn’t really surprised, Eagoryl sounded like nothing more than a made up word anyway. Oracles she already knew about but she did a little nosing around the books on comparative mythology just in case. There wasn’t much new to be learned, Oracles were advisors with the power of prophesy and every ancient culture had a few on hand. It seemed to Thelma no different than the things people did now with psychics and horoscopes. The card catalog had suggested an intriguing book called Post-Modern Oracles by a Professor Olaf Carella but when Thelma had gone looking a librarian had told her that volume had been pulled from the shelves for ‘academic review’. Whatever that meant.


Then she turned her attention to Chad himself, she looked up old news articles on the microfiche machine, finding out all she could about the house on Kissimmee Avenue. The woman that had lived there, Delores Cotton had a long and colorful history with the local police; complaints for noise, complaints for sanitation, an arrest for shoplifting and another for assault. What there wasn’t however was a single story about Chad and his marvelous lawsuit.


Thelma had left the library feeling a little more confident, hoping that no matter what Chad or fate had planned for her she would be ready for it.


Then on Saturday morning, her father had a massive heart attack. Thelma had just been rubbing the sleep from her eyes when she heard him crash to the floor and then her mother’s scream. The rest of the day had been a blur of ambulance rides, waiting rooms and gnawing panic.


“And then a week after that you’re going to be in the hospital.”


Thelma stared down at herself, it was almost three o’clock and she was still wearing the sweatpants and t-shirt she used for pajamas, her wild, unwashed hair was hidden by a baseball cap. Under ordinary circumstances she would have been mortified to be seen out in public like this but right now she could care less. The entire yearbook club, her birth mother and the TV news could all show up if they wanted to.


Her mother was sitting across from her, staring at nothing. The doctors had told her that emergency bypass surgery was the only hope but that had been three hours ago. Every time Thelma tried to speak to her, to try and tell her it was going to be all right or to ask her if there was anything she needed, the words dried up in her mouth. What could she possibly say?


Four days ago, after she had wrapped up her research in the library, her father had taken her out for ice cream. They had spent a pleasant hour in a local restaurant making small talk. Thelma had almost told him everything but then decided against it.


Would saying something have helped somehow? It didn’t make sense to think so but if Chad and his Oracles were real then didn’t that mean all bets were off as far as reality was concerned?


Thelma walked over to the receptionist for the third time in an hour. The secretary’s face was a mask of cool concern, “How are you holding up honey?”


“Have you heard anything? About my Dad?”


The woman didn’t even bother to look, “No I’m sorry. As soon as the doctor is out of surgery someone will be over to see you.”


“Is it taking too long?” Thelma wanted to scream in the woman’s face but kept control. Somewhere behind her an old man was being bundled down the hallway in a stretcher, an entourage of nurses ran along beside of him.


“I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.”


“You must have an idea. You see things like this all the time.”


“But every patient is different. Just don’t give up hope OK honey?”


“I just don’t like the waiting,” Thelma said.


Even though the woman’s attention had all but turned away she still nodded, “That’s always the worst part.”


Thelma went back to her seat and buried her face in her hands.



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Monday, March 21, 2011

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Nine

They tried to create a stage play about colonoscopies but there were problems with blocking.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Eight

She was the rare kind of woman that could only be turned on by books of an academic nature. It was a kind of texual arousal.

Foreplay On The Edge Of Forever part two

Price Breaks and Heartaches

A journal of retail and failed romance

Chapter Six

Foreplay On The Edge Of Forever

part two



The poodle was old and rickety, his yellow coat frosted with bits of white, his name was Puff and it seemed to have taken a liking to me. It sat beside my chair with its head resting on my lap. I usually don't mind attention from members of the animal kingdom but Puff had a nose that never seemed to stop running and the wet patch that had begun to spread across the front of my jeans was becoming as embarrassing as it was clammy.


Tallulah's father was a dentist with a slowly dwindling practice, her mother stayed at home and kept house; Tallulah's sister had just turned the insufferable side of twelve. The dog seemed the happiest person there, everyone else seemed prickly and my jokes were going over like lead flapjacks.


Not a good sign, not a good sign at all.


“...and the dog says 'Do you think I should have said DiMaggio?'” I grinned to let them know I had reached the punch line.


“I don't get it,” her father frowned. We had all gathered into the parlor of the house Tallulah had grown up in. It was full of family photographs were each person's expression seemed to grow more somber as time worn. There were similar photographs in my own family albums full of fading smiles and withering images.


“What did you say you were going to college for Albert?” her mother asked.


I cleared my throat before speaking, the dog whined affectionately at the sound, “Well all I'm really doing right now is widening the depth of my knowledge so that I can be a better writer. I'm considering trying out for a teaching or literature degree.”


“Those aren't really marketable skills are they?” her father asked.


“I would think they're very marketable, after all were would we society be without its dreamers and visionaries?”


Her father rubbed his chin thoughtfully, “Is that another one of your jokes?”


Tallulah interrupted, “He's trying to find himself.”


“No offense,” her father said. “It's just that I had a bit more direction when I was your age.”


I smiled, “None taken and I always appreciate feedback. I like to think I've learned more from the hundreds of rejection slips I've gotten then I would have from a single sale. Not that I would have minded just one sale... I mean have you read some of the dreck they're putting out there?”


“I can't say that I ever would have.”


“Sure the editors tell you they want something new and different but try sending them a story about demoniacally possessed asphalt and see what happens...”


Tallulah's family were starting to shrink back in their chairs, her mother tried to change the subject, “So how do you like working at Paper Shredder?”


“...It's all sexy vampires and serial killers these days. What happened to eldrich horrors and mind bending terrors from beyond reality? What happened to trained killer orangutans and formless intellects from the stars?”


“ALBERT!” Tallulah's voice was a shout.


Her sister groaned, “Can I please be excused?”


“Don’t be rude now Connie,” Tallulah’s mother scolded gently. “It’s not often we get to meet one of your sister’s boyfriends.”


“Big whoop,” Connie left the room.


I offered Tallulah a smile, “Must be something with sisters this week.”



*


Cheap streamers decorated Kevin and Marv’s apartment, sodas, bottled water, snacks, macrobiotic tofu and beers were available to all. There were only seven of us but the quarters were close enough for it to all feel a little too crowded. The gathering had been arranged by Joanna in honor of her boyfriend Marv’s birthday; the original plan had been for a surprise party but Kevin K Hanson literally ruined the surprise before she had gotten done inviting everyone.


As you can see I had been invited as well and told I could bring along a date. I wasn’t always comfortable doing so. Back in high school, once Adrian had realized that Lilly and I were an off again on again item he had gotten into the habit of finding an excuse to strip to the waist whenever she was around. It got him kicked out of the Library Club in record time.


The cake and presents were an hour away it was supposed to be mingling time but it seemed like all the couples had paired off; Marv and Joanna were talking over by the cooler, Kevin and Alice were hanging all over each other. Tallulah and I were just there to be polite and we spent most of the evening watching the clock. Corey was there and back to being his old self, and what more was, he and Sarah seemed to be hitting it off quite nicely. The only odd man out was Ida, he was sitting off to the side looking bored.


“Hey Ida!” I left Tallulah by the beverage table for a moment, “You don't look like you're having a good time.”


He shrugged, “I should have followed my instincts and brought a book.”


“Yeah I noticed things are a little subdued around here.”


It's those damn hippy chicks Kevin hangs out with,” Ida explained. “Usually we bring a movie or two for one of these things but those two have all these ridiculous touchy feely prerequisites.”


I rolled my eyes, “Oh don't remind me. I've had to sit through My Dinner with Andre twice! That's twice more than any human being should have to, I don't care how many thumbs up it got.”


“Roger Ebert be-damned,” Ida said. “I don't trust the opinion of any man that can't appreciate the movie Caligula.”


Caligula! Best use of a giant gladatorial lawnmower in a film ever!”


“I thought so,” Ida shifted in his seat, “How long have you and Tallulah been seeing each other?”


“Almost a month now, you know I've never been in a relationship that lasted until the Holidays...”


“From what I've heard some of your relationships have been brief by mayfly standards.”


“Well, that's all in the past now.” I turned to look for my girl and found her trapped in conversation with Kevin, “Gotta go. Talk to you later Ida.”


“Yeah”


I got there just as Kevin was wrapping up one of the lamest jokes I had ever heard.


“...and then dog looks at him and says 'Do you think I should have said DiMaggio?'” Kevin laughed slapping himself on the knee.


“Ok then.” I said, “You two having fun?”


Tallulah suggested, “Maybe we should get going now?”


Kevin said, “Nah you've got to stay to sing happy birthday. Wait till you see the cake Joanna got, it looks just like a motorcycle!”


“Really?” Marv said with childlike glee.


“Oh nice going,” Joanna said. “Anything else you want to spoil the surrpise for?”


“Sheesh calm down,” Kevin said, “It's not like I brought up the leather jacket or anything.”


*


Once we had pried Joanna's fingers from around Kevin's throat the party got underway; cake, presents and a hasty goodbye. I dropped Tallulah off back home and after about 15 minutes of smooching in my car we parted company. As you can see while the weather was growing colder, my romance grew hotter; we made our way around each other's perspective bases only to find ourselves to unable to steal home. This was more a matter of logistics than desire, we didn't have anyplace where we could get some privacy and it was too damn cold to try parking in a secluded space; if I was going to shudder while clutching Tallulah close to me it would be from pleasure not from a light frost forming on my genitals.



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