Friday, September 2, 2011

THE LOCAL HEROES PRESENT: Apocalypse Jones And The Race Against Time

Prologue: The End is The Beginning

Chapter One: The Planet Of The 70’s

Chapter Two: Beneath The Planet Of The 70’s

THE LOCAL HEROES: Apocalypse Jones And The Race Against Time - Chapter Two

Apocalypse Jones
And The Race Against Time
Al Bruno III

Chapter Two
Beneath The Planet Of The 70’s


“What’s wrong with that?”

They were in a bunker deep beneath Megalopolis’ It had been designed to withstand a nuclear attack so keeping out the jackal-things and polyester-clad zombies was no trouble at all.

“Peregrine?” Annabelle Jones snorted, “Really?”

“Yeah well...” Sidney Tibbs shrugged, “Better than Hawkguy or Man-Bird or something like that.”

There were only forty people living here, a few civilians, a handful of soldiers, one superhero, one villain, a super scientist and a living legend.

Sidney was the super scientist, he had developed a jet suit for NASA but pulled all his research when he was pulled from the test flight in favor of a ‘less controversial’ choice.

And by that the brass meant they wanted someone that wasn’t black.

“I really thought I could make a difference,” Sidney said wistfully. He had motorcycle parts spread out across his workspace, he was trying to reassemble a Kawasaki Kz1000 motorcycle but was missing more than half the necessary parts, “Like ShadoMask or Amoeba-Man.”

“You don’t need to be a superhero to make a difference,” Annabelle said. She had finished inspecting and inventorying the munitions yesterday and was now cleaning and repairing the best of the lot. Colonel Rictus said they would need them soon, “But go on.”

Sidney groaned and shook his head before continuing, “The jet suit I made then was a lot nicer than the one I have now. I waited until dark before I took flight and it took me a while to find a crime in progress.”

“What kind of crime was it?”

Before he could answer her the sound of arguing filled the main room of the bunker. Frogman and Lady Indigo were arguing again, about ‘Plan Omega’ no doubt. Lady Indigo was dressed in shades of blue and violet, even her skin was that color. She was a powerful, megalomaniacal sorceress, a supervillain of the highest order but and she had promised Colonel Rictus she would help him save the world.

Then later on she would try to rule it.

Frogman had been the defender of Stone City, his costume was green, rubbery and topped with an elaborate helmet that looked like a frog’s head. For all his good deeds his career had been plagued by scandal, there were rumors he was romantically involved with his teenage sidekick and on two separate occasions he had been arrested for driving the Frogmobile while inebriated. Those scandals hadn’t dulled his popularity however, the citizens of Stone City loved him warts and all.

Annabelle found it funny that in the close quarters of the bunker the only thing the clashed more than those two’s color schemes was their personalities.

“It was an armored car robbery,” Sidney explained. He paused to examine a pair of spark plugs, one he threw away the other he kept, “It was tipped over and the guards had been thrown every which way. I had caught the thief red handed.”

“Who was it?” Annabelle asked.


She looked up from the M16 she was cleaning, “You went after Crazy-Face?”

“He crushed my pelvis with his bare hands,” Sidney shook his head, “for a man with a lava lamp for a head he was surprisingly strong.”

“How did it happen?”

“He grabbed me out of the air and said ‘I don’t know who you are but I’m going to crush your pelvis.’”

Annabelle winced on his behalf, “And that was the end of your crime-fighting career?”

“I’m lucky that wasn’t the end of my life!” he laughed. “Just as well, Peregrine is a pretty bad name.”

“You should hear what the punks in the neighborhood used to call me-” Annabelle caught herself.

“Oh really?” He looked up from his work, “What did they call you?”

“It wasn't a superhero name,” Annabelle felt herself starting to blush, “it was just something they called me behind my back.”

“What was it?”

“You think I’m gonna tell you so you can call me it to my face?” she gave him a little wink and hoped that would be enough to shut him up about the whole subject.


“Attention!” The sound of a bullhorn echoed through the bunker, “I need everyone to the monitor room. Even you Professor Tibbs.”

Soldiers and civilians alike started streaming into the main hallway. Frogman and Lady Indigo brought up the rear, still oblivious to everything but their argument.

“I am never going to finish my work at this rate!” Sidney had been trying to attach a quantum fusion generator to a carburetor.

“Come on...” Annabelle grabbed him by the arm, “ might be important.”

The monitor room was just that, a room full of sensors and video monitors. In a time of war it would have been used to track enemy movements and plan strategy, now all but the largest of the screens were dark and those screens only showed readouts and video from Skylab. Annabelle and Sidney joined the gathering crowd.

At the other end of the room stood a living legend from World War II- Colonel Rictus.

That wasn’t his real name of course, his real name was classified. He had earned his nickname because his face was permanently stuck in a war-like snarl, a consequence of his being injected with the Commando Compound. The Allied forces had hoped to create a squad of soldiers that were invulnerable and immortal. The man that came to be known as Colonel Rictus was the only test subject that hadn’t been killed by explosive dysentery within twelve hours of receiving the injection.

“Settle down everyone,” he said. His voice was deep and wintery, “I have some important news. Plan Omega is being moved forward.”

“What?” Sidney shouted, “We’re not ready. We’re not even sure-”
“We don’t have time to be sure!” Rictus said, “The new readouts confirmed what we’ve already suspected. The Earth is in the process of turning itself inside out. We only have three weeks left before the end.”

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two more awesome bits of comic book artwork from DC FIFTY-TOO!

And now, for no good reason, a picture of Mary Elizabeth Winstead

hostgator promotion codes

And now two profoundly naughty DOCTOR WHO spoof videos.

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AWFUL LIBRARY BOOKS presents a book that a manly, sweaty guy like me will never need!

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" or George Lucas changes the original trilogy again.


So remember yesterday when I wrote about a rumor regarding the upcoming Star Wars Blu-ray Editions coming out in September? It was some shocking news about how in the Blu-ray for Return Of The Jedi a revision was made so that Darth Vader now shouts “Nooooo!!!” when he stops the Emperor from killing Luke. [Read Nooooo!!! Did George Lucas Make Darth Vader Even Wimpier In The ‘Star Wars’ Blu-ray Edition?] Well, guess what? It’s true, it’s all TRUE! A representative from LucasFilm confirmed the news today to the NY Times...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

THE MASK COLLECTOR (a serial novel) chapter three


The Mask Collector

Chapter Three

Tuesday June 3rd 2003

Car keys in one hand and his cell phone in the other Darren headed out for work, his mind was already on his plans for this evening. It was just a few drinks with some guys from the office but Darren thought it would be the perfect time to test the waters and see if he had his dating mojo back. He’d been quite the player in college and that wasn’t so long ago now was it?

He almost collided with the old woman standing on his doorstep. She was naked except for a tattered, mostly open bathrobe and swayed in place. Darren drew back from her, "The Hell?"

"In the walls," she said, her voice a ragged falsetto, "In the walls crawling around..."

“What are you talking about? Who are you?"

Shuffling, ponderous, footsteps started to echo up the stairwell, every few steps were punctuated by the sound of labored breathing. The old woman's face grew pale and she fled into the apartment on the opposite side of Darren and locked her door.

Chad Lunt made his way onto the landing, there was a thick parcel under one of his flabby arms. He was wearing a bright orange muscle shirt and dark baggy shorts. "Morning," he wheezed.

"Morning." Darren said, "You know I was meaning to talk to you-about-"

"I see you met your other neighbor." Chad drew closer, heat and odor radiated off his body, "Crazy Agnes. She's schizo or something. Too nuts to have a job but not nuts enough to be locked up."

Darren looked back towards her door, "She seemed a little out of it.”

"She probably isn't taking her meds. The meds I bet your tax dollars pay for."

"Is there anyone we should call?"

"You wanna get sued? Just leave well enough alone. She probably won't burn the place down and the damn landlord won't kick her out as long as he's got those government checks coming in."

"Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something..."

"Oh I can imagine." Chad hefted his parcel, "Bet you wonder if I'm getting drugs every day or porn or something."

"No! I just -”



"I got them off EBay, they're reproductions of Tibetan spirit masks."

"I don't know what to say to that."

"I have all kinds, Melanesian skull masks, old Halloween false-faces, ceremonial Eskimo masks- I have a little bit of everything. Reproductions mainly, who can afford the real thing these days?"

"Why are you-”

"My sociology dissertation was on the subject, it was called Vizards and Veils: The Transformative Evolution of Masks. It would have been groundbreaking, too bad some cunt with an associate’s degree had to go and decide she couldn't take a joke. Too late to cry about it now."

"Late? Oh man." Darren checked his watch, and realized that if he ran every yellow he might just be on time for work, "I've gotta get going."

Darren ran down the steps, Chad still trying to talk to him all the while, "Working for The Man eh? A smart kid like you should be self employed like I am..."

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Michael Bukowski gives us a glimpse of the liveliest awfulness!

The trailer for 'RESOLUTION' looks pretty darn odd... and I like it.

Trailer found via TWITCHFILM


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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Al And Tallulah’s Wild Ride part nine

Price Breaks And Heartaches

A journal of retail and failed romance

Chapter Seven

Al And Tallulah’s Wild Ride

part nine

The next concert in Al and Tallulah’s Wild Ride was Judas Priest and it was an awesome show. The concert was at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center or SPAC, it was an outdoor amphitheater created to bring culture to the city. The powers that be quickly learned that ballet, opera and classical music didn’t pay the bills so it soon became the site of numerous concerts- this week it was Judas Priest next week it was Jimmy Buffet. Metal or Marguritaville, now that’s what I call culture.

Seats within the actual amphitheater had sold out so we had gotten the less expensive but no less enjoyable lawn seats. Lawn seat meant you got there was early as you could and hoped you got a spot close enough to the actual stage that you could make sense of the teensy figures strutting around on the stage.

Tallulah and I got there early and we got a good spot. She was wearing cute white shorts, grass stains be damned.

(When I first asked the woman I would marry out on a date she would also be wearing white shorts. The must be a weakness of mine.)

We lay back on the lawn and watched the clouds pass overhead. We made small talk, the details don’t matter, but it was sweet and pleasant. Then I closed my eyes and let a feeling of bliss and peace wash over me.

Tallulah let me have those few moments of bliss before she stuck a blade of grass up my right nostril. I sneezed wildly for what seemed like forever.

Once I had caught my breath she asked me, “Are you all right?”

“I think I had an out of body experience.”

A few make out smooches later something soft and powder smacked me on the right temple and went rebounding into the growing crowd of lawn seaters.

“The Hell?” I said.

“Incoming!” Tallulah shouted as she pushed me down.

Another volley of marshmallows flew back and forth through the crowd and rained down on us from the lucky bastards up in the nosebleed section of the amphitheater.

And you read that right, there were marshmallows flying everywhere.

“What the Hell is going on here?”

She laughed, “Marshmallow war!”


I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I couldn’t believe people were wantonly wasting snacks. Even now I can’t, I could understand pitching candy corn or black licorice at strangers but not this.

“Everyone brings marshmallows and throws them.”

“Then why didn’t we bring some ammo?”

We kept our heads down as sugary shrapnel zipped this way and that. Occasionally one would land close enough for Tallulah to gabbed it and pitch back into the crowd. “I had some,” she explained, “but they went stale.”

“Oh,” I nodded understandingly, “you wouldn’t want to hit someone with a stale marsh mellow and leave them with open smores.”


Arrrrrgh! yourself. That was a good joke.


As I said before many of my old friends had fallen by the wayside since my love life had blossomed, in the summer that was even more the case. Now some of them were already lost causes- Adrian had a romance of his own going on and Gordon had seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth leaving nothing but angry creditors and outstanding warrants.

Kevin K. Hanson and his entourage however were still around and always asking me to do one thing or another with them. One hot summer in July I brought Tallulah to Kevin's annual pool party.

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Just caught the newest episode of DOCTOR WHO 'Let's Kill Hitler'

What did I think of it?


11th Thumbs up


'Let's Kill Hitler' was  a wild wild ride. Absolutely nothing that I expected, in fact every time I thought I knew what to expect it changed again.


And of course the episode was even more fun because I got to share it with my daughter.


What a great time to be a fan.