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 sophisticated narratives.

The Onliest Number

P = 101 using Phillies P and baseball for 0

Last night The Phillies didn’t just reverse the frustrating if statistically inconsequential losing streak they’d finally snapped the night before. They won their 101st game of the season, tying a franchise record. And in doing so they handed Charlie Manuel his 645th win as Phillies manager, tying the mark of Gene Mauch. Both records can be broken tonight during the final game of the regular season as the Phillies look to sweep the Atlanta Braves, up their MLB-leading win percentage of .627 a skitch, and play a potentially deciding role in whether the Braves themselves make the National League playoffs. The Phillies begin their postseason battles on Saturday, Oct. 1st, either way.

Related: Play Right Ball Night Long Short Fall

Come Together

I find this post’s title most apt given the options, but Fringe’s Season Four premiere didn’t actually bring us back to the point at which the rewritten timeline we’re viewing diverged from the familiar one decades ago.

Fringe 4.01 Neither Here Nor There / photo of Olivia with yellow background

... picked up shortly after the Season Three finale, with Peter erased from reality due
to actions he undertook to save his native and adopted universes. Over Here and Over There both still exist; in fact, they coexist in the room that houses the First People’s machine — where members of each side’s Fringe Division meet to compare notes, as we see Olivia and her counterpart Fauxlivia do grudgingly.

Yeah, I’ve decided to write up some musings on the episode, despite the near certainty that I won’t be doing so weekly. Partly it’s an imperfect salve for the fact that I didn’t get to finish out the brief run that I began at the end of last season — not that there aren’t plenty of other unpublished or just plain unwritten posts in Blam’s Blog history whose absence irritates me — and partly it’s because if I do get to resume Fringe reviews I’ll likely appreciate having this as a foundation. In case you’re new to these posts, I should explain that having named my Lost analyses for Beatles tunes I decided to name my ‘Fringe’ Thinking installments for John Lennon songs (Beatles or solo); unfortunately, a few titles perfect for this post were already used for ‘Lost’ in Thought.

Here’s what got me cogitating:

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 [2:41]. Like many of my links it comes courtesy of Mark Evanier, who places it in some context.


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” [5:45].

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.

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?


I figured some levity was in order after the mishegas regarding my computer, and so too the blog, lately.

Clark Kent looking at his Facebook News Feed where Martha Kent has tagged him in a post of baby pictures where he's using super-powers, liked over five million times, with a comment from Batman reading 'Ha ha! Busted!'

The above is from the Joy of Tech strip that runs on the Geek Culture website. (I’ve
long since learned that being a tech-head is no guarantee of a clean, well-organized, easily navigable website that won’t assault you with ads or a host of clashing typefaces ’n’ stuff, but I’m still amazed when tech-head artists’ websites turn up that way.)

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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