Friday, June 24, 2011

(Sad Gews) Gene Colan has passed away

From Brutal as Hell

We just heard the sad news that the esteemed comic book artist Gene Colan died yesterday aged 84. According to Comic Book Resources he had been suffering from a broken hip and liver problems. Poignantly, his death comes almost exactly a year after that of his late wife Adrienne Colan, who died June 21st 2010. ..



Gene Colan was the artist for my favorite run of Batman/Detective Comics.

(Recommended Reads) A Lie For A Life by Brainhaze

Yesterday I was enjoying the last full day of our family vacation. Today, my wife is with the police identifying my possessions.

I remember seeing a fortune teller when I was in my last year of college, at a Country Fayre near my home-town. She read my palm and apparently my ‘life-lines’ were the most interesting she’d ever seen. She was a middle aged lady, but her forehead was so wrinkled it looked like a prune, with more creases and folds than I could count. She had wisps of dyed brown hair poking out of the head scarf she wore. Her prediction was I’d either live a fulfilled-short-life or, I would face a dramatic crossroads midway through my life forcing a fatal change. She wasn’t sure which of the two it would be. I found both possibilities confusing; utter cock ‘un bull; and at the time, just a downright rip off, of my hard earned five pounds. Turns out however, she was right, on both forecasts...

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(Recommended Reads) "Six Elements" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

Maath looked up from his work in surprise when the Architect burst into the room. A personal visit like this would normally be arranged days in advance. Maath rose from his chair and started to bow but straightened at the Architect’s impatient gesture.

“Craftsman Maath, I finally have the answer!”...

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Michael Bukowski presents the DARK YOUNG OF SHUB NIGGURATH! Don't you just love baby pictures?

The battle that had to happen! CATS VS BUBBLE WRAP!


A Penny Earned
Al Bruno III
(the Acrobatic Flea was created by Tim Knight)

Over the years the tower in the center of the city had come to be known as the Citadel Of Champions but no one could remember whose idea it had been to do so. It hadn’t been the citizens or the municipal authorities, it hadn’t even been the team of superheroes that made it their base of operations. The name just, for lack of a better explanation, happened, but then again when it came to the city of Muldwych, England things ‘just happened’ all the time.
Perhaps it was because the city had been built on the site of a rift between worlds, or perhaps it was because the municipal park had been built over a mad druid burial ground, it even might have been because of the strange events that had caused the walls of the observatory to drip with jam.
Whatever the cause there always seemed to be something happening to keep the heroes known as the Muldwych Knights busy.
Tonight was no different. The remaining members of the Knights had been in the conference room when the Citadel’s intruder alert went wild. The three men sprang into action, showing far more enthusiasm for unknown danger than they had for this month’s budget meeting. They spread out, Dr. Hercules covered the lower levels, Grant Mandelbrot headed for the upper floors and the Acrobatic Flea searched the ground floor.
The Acrobatic Flea wore a green costume and full face mask, his oversized red goggles gleamed. He bounced from one hallway to the next until he found the intruder.
“Why is it...” he began, “ nitwits always go right for the memorabilia room?”
The memorabilia room was where trophies from the team’s different adventures were kept under glass alongside marble statues that honored the past members of the organization. They were all represented- even Captain Hero.
The intruder casually pushed over one of the statues. It shattered. “Hey!” the Acrobatic Flea cried.
“You should be worrying about yourself,” the intruder said. She was a short woman with a mop of curly red hair. She was wearing an ankle length frilly blue dress with a white apron. She raised her left hand and the copper-colored nails of each finger extended six inches, “My name is Penny Dreadful and I’m here to kill you. I’m here to kill all of you.”
The Acrobatic Flea leapt at her, his wrist blasters firing. She spun and flipped out of the way. Penny Dreadful slashed three times at the hero, the second swipe of her nails catching him on the forearm.
“I don’t believe it!” he cried.
She grinned, her smile was crooked and ugly “Impressed?”
“No. I mean I’ve never seen a female assassin that wasn’t dressed like a stripper. I just can’t believe it.”
With that she charged him, a flurry of spin kicks, nail swipes and flashing polka-dot bloomers. The Acrobatic Flea leapfrogged over her and ricocheted off the wall.
Then that wall exploded outwards. Dr. Hercules PhD stormed into the room, causing the rest of the statues to topple domino style. His seven foot tall, broadly muscled physique was covered by a three-piece pinstripe suit and bowler derby. “I do not know who you are but surrender and do not be obstreperous. Obstreperousness will not be tolerated so be not obstreperous!”
“Just get her!” the Acrobatic Flea shouted, “Or I swear to God I’m gonna hide your word-a-day calendar!”
The Olympian with an honorary doctorate swung a massive arm at Penny Dreadful. She vaulted over it and raked her nails across his face drawing blood. He cried out in surprise for he had thought nothing short of an exploding shell could break his skin.
The two heroes tried to coordinate their attacks but their motions became sluggish. The Acrobatic Flea’s leaps became less and less amazing until he blundered and fell. Moments later Dr. Hercules crashed into a display case and slid down against the wall.
“What’s...” the Acrobatic Flea began.
“...happening?” Dr. Hercules finished.
“There’s a neurotoxic venom under her mithrl laced nails.” Grant Mandelbrot walked calmly into the room, “Am I right?”
Penny Dreadful turned to glare at him. Grant Mandelbrot was thin and bald, he wore jeans and a cream-colored turtleneck sweater. “The last of the team,” she smirked, “and the least.”
“Oh I wouldn’t say that,” Grant crossed his arms over his chest and smirked back.
“...oh look...” the Acrobatic Flea mumbled, “...he’s doing the smug thing...”
The assassin sprung at Grant. Before her nails could connect he burst into a cloud of shimmering powder and reformed behind her.
“How did you?” Penny Dreadful spun back to face him.
“...he became his essential saltes...” Dr. Hercules explained as he slipped in and out of consciousness.
“...and that’s saltes with an ‘e’...” the Acrobatic Flea added.
Penny Dreadful and Grant Mandelbrot drew closer. “It doesn’t matter,” she said, “I’ve brought down the best.”
“That you have,” Grant said, “you have quite the reputation.”
“Flattery?” she laughed, “Is that all you have left in your bag of tricks?”
Grant shifted into dust and floated around her in lazy circles, letting her swipe at him. He said, “One last trick.”
When he reformed again he looked different, he was stoop-shouldered, scarred and dressed in black. Penny Dreadful stopped dead in her tracks, “You? But you’re the one that hired me.”
“I had to see if your reputation was well-deserved.”
Penny Dreadful retracted her nails, “This is insane.”
“...seconded...” the Acrobatic Flea chimed in then began to snore.
“The Knights need a new fourth member,” Grant explained, “I want you on the team.”
“What?” the assassin began to leave, “You’ve wasted your time and money hero.”
“I know your heart,” Grant shifted back to his normal shape as he called after her, “I know what you’re running from.”
“Go to Hell,” she called back.
“We offer full medical coverage,” he added.
Penny Dreadful paused, one eyebrow raising, “And dental?”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If you're a gamer MIN/max will make your dicebag quiver!

Screengrabs! Humor! Recaps! All this and more can be found at MAD MAD MAD MAD MOVIES review of 1983's 'Sledgehammer'

The year is 1983.The VHS craze has taken the nation by storm, and a tape-happy public writhes and squeals in its insatiable hunger for MORE MOVIES. Though the Big Studios try their best, demand still far outstrips supply. An insufficiently entertained public takes to the streets. In Washington, three thousand people march on the capitol demanding greater funding for dubbing centers. In Alabama, a video store proprietor is lynched when he fails to stock enough copies of The Last Unicorn. Television stations lay under siege, a skeleton crew protecting their precious tape libraries. Beta Players are detonated in protest. Riots are threatened. Anarchy seems imminent...


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5 Second Fiction One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy One

Abner Deggent agreed the tribe's 'tests of endurance' before he realized a plane full of dildos had crashed on the island.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy

Joel arrived at work clean-shaven, bright-eyed and eager to perform his allotted tasks. Then his breakfast burrito kicked in.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty Nine

It wasn’t long before the division supervisor gave a new meaning to the term ‘Management Tool’.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight

And that was how Karl learned that the difference between a Strip-o-Gram and a Stripping-Gran.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty Seven

In his retirement speech notable superhero Amoeba-Man said, “I think it’s time for me to split.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FULLY VESTED (a serial novel) chapter four


Fully Vested

Chapter Four


Six months in

Not only was Trinity Advance generous with its pay and benefits it was also generous with food. Once every month the company would cater something, be it breakfast in the mornings or full fledged outdoor cookouts in the spring and summer. Two months later Mike was still astonished at the size of the spread they’d brought out for the folks working on Christmas Eve. Today was free pizza and soda and that was fine by Mike, especially since he’d forgotten his lunch.

Lucky me. It’s been my year so far. Debts almost paid off, a job that doesn’t suck and if I play my cards right maybe I can get a date for Valentine’s Day. Mike thought as he waited in line with his co-workers. The cafeteria was about half the size of the call center itself, with chairs arranged this way and that around a series of picnic tables in the shape of a T.

At one end of the room was a widescreen TV tuned to either ESPN or LIFETIME depending on who had control of the remote. A separate picnic table had been set up and there were pizza boxes piled eight high on it. There was plain, cheese and broccoli, cheese and pepperoni, cheese and sausage and Hawaiian style to chose from. Several dozen bottles of different beverages sat in a bucket of ice nearby.

“So you get a chance to watch Enterprise yet?” Jimmy was ahead of Mike in line, he grabbed a paper plate and helped himself to two slices of pizza.

Mike shook his head while he got his own slice, “No. Sorry. I’m not much into science fiction.”

Jimmy shook his head and got a soda, “Star Trek is not science fiction, its future history.”

“What?” Mike thought about getting a soda of his own but decided to just go with the bottled water. Even if he had to eat like a rabbit he was going to avoid going up another pants size this year, especially now that he had his eye on the receptionist Christine.

They both sat down at a table near the cafeteria doors. Jimmy explained, “Think about the original series of Star Trek…”

“You mean the one with Shatner right?”

Jimmy rolled his pizza up like a taco and took a bite, “Yes. But think of all the technology that was in that series, super fast desktop computers with color monitors that play video. Compact disks that hold whole libraries. Little communication devices that flip open that you can carry in your pocket. It’s all there man.”

“I suppose.” Mike scanned the room, searching for Christine; she was a redhead and his mother had always warned him that redheads were trouble. Well, Mike thought, a little trouble would be perfect. In fact Mike thought that if he didn’t get a little of the right kind of trouble soon he might go insane. “but we don’t have spaceships like that yet.”

“Within our lifetime man,” Jimmy said, “within our lifetime.”

A pair of men stormed into the room, one was fat with a harried expression and a clip on tie, the other was skinny and wearing a hockey jersey. They jostled their way to the front of the line, snickering and laughing like they were the only ones in on a practical joke. From the way they laughed it looked to Mike like it was a mean one. Once they got to the pizzas they helped themselves to four pieces each, stacking the food high on their paper places. Then they stuffed two soda cans into each pocket and walked back out the way they had come.

“Who were those guys?” Mike asked.

Jimmy nodded, “Executive Support, they work upstairs and make the big bucks.”

“Those guys?” Mike thought of the one Executive Support call he’d received, it almost made sense.

Jimmy laughed, “Yeah, its crazy isn’t it? Those guys are like idiot savants. The fat one? His name is Eugene. Back when he worked nights in our department he was surfing to places on the web that he wasn’t supposed to be and they had to disable his internet access because of it.”


“Cosmos swears it’s true.”

“What about the other one?”

“The skinny guy? That’s Raymond, he used to work in H.R. and then he moved to the technical support workgroup,” Jimmy finished his first piece of pizza and got to work folding up and eating the next one, “there used to be a problem with someone stealing the lunchmeat from people’s sandwiches in the break room fridge. Once he moved upstairs that stopped.”

“Stolen lunchmeat?” Mike looked at his pizza trying to salvage his appetite, he took a drink of water instead, “Why would anyone… And for that matter why would he stop just because he transferred upstairs?”

“Because,” Jimmy explained, “if you work in Executive Support you get free food every day. It’s to make up for the sixty hour work weeks. I hear they make like thirty bucks an hour but you have to be fully vested to even test for the position.”

“Then why did they just show up here and gorge themselves on our pizzas?”

“They’re assholes.”

Mike excused himself, he’d just seen Christine walk into the room.

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A quick note to all you folks out there...

...I have been having a great time working on my latest project but even when things are going badly it is you my readers that inspire me to push on. (Well that and the Prozac)


 I really hope you are all enjoying yourselves here as much as I am.