Clocking In


Since I'm not finished converting my list of comics milestones to actual on-sale dates, the 25th anniversary of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' Watchmen is being observed late. The first issue came out in June 1986, three months before its cover dating. You can read about this practice at the above link, and expect more commemorative posts once I finally get The Comicologist online.

Cover to 'Watchmen' #1

The mid '80s were a renaissance era for the American comic-book industry, as the direct market of specialty shops led to a rise in alternative / independent publishers, creator-owned projects, and more sophisticated narratives.

Muppet Monday


This past Saturday would have been Jim Henson's 75th birthday.

Muppet with glasses, suit, and tie in front of black-&-white photo of Jim Henson on TV production set

Since I may well be stepping back from the blog come October, with the exception of publishing or re-publishing some backlogged material as time allows, I thought I'd set up a series of short weekly posts counting down to the much-anticipated opening of the new Muppet movie as a way of ensuring at least a bit of fresh content. It's just a coincidence that so many of my stockpiled links are perfect for such an endeavor.

Our first installment is a clip from a pitch that Henson & Co. made trying to sell a little something called The Muppet Show to CBS. Like many of my links it comes courtesy of Mark Evanier, who places it in some context.

Brittality


I have my sister to thank for this most excellent video link featuring my favorite character on Glee, whose new season premieres at 8 p.m. ET tonight on Fox.

Heather Morris as Brittany, a young woman in red and white high-school cheerleader uniform with blond hair pulled up into ponytail gesturing at photos of herself in that same outfit on a wall
Video screenshot crop © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Heather Morris does the voodoo that she does so well — and which I've praised before — in "A Day in the Life of Brittany S. Pierce".

Rock Doc


You’re cordially invited to experience "The Green Rock of Terror".

I've been a fan of Michael T. Gilbert’s for a quarter century now. My own personal
Silver Age of comics was aborning as the era of the independents caught steam in the mid 1980s, and features that pushed the boundaries of the kinds of superheroes that had mainly interested me until then — Gilbert's Mr. Monster, Paul Chadwick's Concrete, Scott McCloud's Zot! — in turn pushed me to explore new publishers, genres, creators, and styles. MTG's humor, versatility, and clear love of comics led me to seek out his stuff wherever it popped up; not only that, his obvious jones for collaboration introduced me to other creators when it wasn't just reinforcing my great taste in reading comics done by someone with such obvious great taste himself.

Likewise, I've admired Ken Quattro's Comics Detective blog since it debuted early last year, as I did his Comicartville site before it. Among my unpublished posts are more than one linking over to where Ken has unearthed plenty of absolutely fascinating material.

Michael has generously passed on the color roughs to this story — and its backstory — to Ken for presentation as a historical document. While a mere trifle compared to much of Mr. Monster and his nifty contribution to Legends of the Dark Knight, the 7-page "Green Rock" is sure to make you wish that the anthology for which it was commissioned had come to pass.

A Walk in the Park


Boy seen from behind in a red Phillies jersey watching baseball on TV

My family is full of special kids — funny, smart, good-looking. I'd expect nothing less from the Saner gene pool, really, but a small part of me figured that statistically there'd have to be one dud in the bunch, if only by comparison to the rest. So far, though, from the youngest up through the eldest, born my senior year in college and now a sophomore herself, the next generation is pretty universally awesome.

Ravi, however, is special in a particularly special way. That's in part due to his being on the autism spectrum, yes, but also because — to take the aphorism from Job out of context and turn it on its head — while the Lord taketh away, the Lord also giveth.

A year ago at a family dinner, I had a chat with Ravi to figure out a good book to get him for his impending 6th birthday, asking if he preferred history or fantasy (or liked both).

Ravi: "I prefer history and non-fiction to fiction."

Me: "Do you have a favorite period of history?"

Ravi: "About 4.6 billion years ago is the limit of my interest in history."

Me: "..."

Ravi: "That's approximately when Earth and the solar system were created."

There Are No Words


Of course I remember September 11th, 2001. Not a soul who was of age to
remember it will ever forget. And no matter what that day was going to be for them, when it started, it ended up different.

I was supposed to move that morning, only the truck broke down. We got a call quite early — at my mother's house, where I'd been staying between apartments — that the hauling of stuff would have to wait a day. Sure, I could have gone over to the new place and spent the night there anyway; the events that soon unfolded, though, called for family. I sat and watched Peter Jennings cover the unfathomable news just as I had 25 years earlier, home from school with the flu on the day the Challenger was lost.

That's all you'll hear me say directly about the grim scenes whose 10th anniversary we mark today because, really, there are no words.

What to do, then? How to do… something?

JL Bait


Group shot of Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, and Cyborg flying or running forward under trade dress including series logo and 'The New 52!' banner
Standard cover to Justice League #1 © 2011 and characters TM/® DC
Comics. Pencils: Jim Lee. Inks: Scott Williams. Colors: Alex Sinclair.


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