Friday, October 31, 2008

LAMNB Halloween Special 2008

So many Halloween comics, so little space. Let's get crackin'...

Maybe he can say he's Joe the Plumber. That'll scare people to death.

Sure, when she thinks the king is a trick-or-treater he's cute while any other day she runs in terror from him.

I'd be more impressed with the covered portion of the broom.

To see what the differences are in today's Halloween themed strip just go to I Found All Six from your friendly neighborhood Gold-Digging Nanny.

Ted has no shame.

I would've given her some candy just because she came up with something original.  And I think most parents would've heard about the crazy Van Pelt boy.

Why is she staring at the door like Ghangis Khan is going to attack?  It's Halloween, she should be expecting the witches and ghouls.

Let's just say that Sluggo is no Joaquin Phoenix.

I bet Barack was a very cute child.  Maybe he was wearing a John McCain mask...

I can handle most animals in comic strips but for some reason flamingoes just don't do it for me.

Oh, if he only had a brain.

Bad Heathcliff joke+Economic crisis+Halloween= Today's Heathcliff.

What's wrong with Ditto's cheek in the first panel?  He needs to stop storing his candy in his cheeks like a squirrel.

Is it really Halloween?  I just don't believe it.

I can't believe I'm saying this but Heathcliff was funnier than this Garfield.

"Prescription drugs to oxygen."

Hey, that's my costume!!

Okay, Jeffy's Batman.  Billy is a miscolored Iron Man.  What the hell's Dolly?  A teacher stereotype?  Miss Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies?  Sarah Palin?

Well, in this economy, advice is cheaper.

Yes it is.  And who said that?

Pick up the candy you dropped Drabble.

I cracked up when I read this.  I actually owned the book Who Moved My Cheese? because I got it for free because I worked for a subsidiary of the publisher who published it.  Horrible book.  32 pages and you pay $16 for it.  What a load.

There's something about Curtis that just bothers me.  I'm gonna have to look into it sometime.  I think it's the sometimes weird facial expressions Curtis makes.

Ha!  That's our Crankshaft.

Or John Meyer and Jennifer Aniston.  Or Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon.  Or Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DiRossi

Pumpkin sex.  Ben.  It's called 'pumpkin sex.'

It's not Archie's fault.  Veronica shouldn't be so easily frightened.

Notice the weird art deco thing in the second panel.

Stocks for what?  His own company?  Ford? GM?  If he's giving them away maybe it's Lehman Brothers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yes, Let's Get Physical

Before we get to today's comics, let's play a game. Here we have the first panel of today's Archie.

Now, which direction do you think the AJGU-3000 will take? A "Jughead likes food" direction? How about "delivery person wants a tip" or even the rare but beloved "weird pizza toppings" or "Archie falls for the delivery girl". The possibilities are multiple and I think the answer will surprise you.

That's right. A thrown pizza joke.

I hear you cry.

So Crankshaft is so evil, he takes great pleasure in watching little kids shatter their bones on a huge rock while they are having fun.

Maybe if you chase him with torches and pitchforks.....

I would think it'd be quite warm to nap in.  Is she even going to wear shoes to nap?  Now that seems uncomfortable.

159: The Ghostly Rental

This is one of my favorite scary stories.  As you can tell it's about a haunted house which holds a special place in my heart.  Back in my "ghost hunting" days, I went to a couple "haunted" houses but essentially found nothing.  My main haunts were in the Topeka Triangle of Stull, the Devil House and Rochester Cemetery.

We've probably all heard about Stull and it's purported gateway to Hell.  Rochester Cemetery has the albino woman who's wandering the cemetery possibly in search of her dead child.  The Devil House no longer stands but was a huge three story stone house.  Rumor had it that back in the early 20th Century, the daughter of the family that lived there were practising Satanists and the girl rode the family's white horse to Topeka one night and raped and severely beaten.  The girl gave birth and the mother immediately drowned the baby in a pond on the property.  While exploring the land one evening, we actually found a pond which corroborated the story.  The house was dangerous to walk around and about three years after our exploration, the house was torn down and replaced with a modern house.  It was kind of like the end of that time in our lives and while we have tried to recapture it in some form or another, it just hasn't worked out.

Click on the title link to access the story The Ghostly Rental by Henry James.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Singing My Song

I know just how Brutus feels. I can work my ass, be great at my job and well-liked by everyone but I will never get promoted or be given any sort of authority. Brutus unfortunately has worked in the same place for 25 years. What I find kind of strange is that in some strips, Brutus is shown as a peon, someone near the bottom of the corporate ladder despite having seniority or just about everyone there. In other strips, he's shown as Veeblefester's right hand man who just doesn't get respect or a decent paycheck.

Whatever the scenario, thank God for rocking chairs.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Movies That Scare Me

Scary movies are not really all that scary to me. I love watching them though because it's a form of escape. I put myself in the story and think what would be different if I was being chased around by a homicidal maniac. I hate when people say "Scream" is listed as someone's favorite scary movie because it's not a scary movie, it's a parody. And "Scary Movie" is a parody of a parody. But I digress, my favorite scary movies, and the ones that actually do kind of scare me, are listed below in no particular order.

Jeepers Creepers (2001)
"Jeepers Creepers" brought me back to the horror genre after a hiatus for a few years. Written and directed by Victor Salva, the movie focuses on Trish and Darry (Gina Phillips and Justin Long) on a road trip home from college. On a deserted highway, they run into The Creeper (Jonathan Breck) and soon have to run for their lives as one of them has something The Creeper wants. What really got me was the highway Trish and Darry drive on is reminescent of highways here in Kansas. Surrounded by farmland and winding through the countryside is essentially what Highways 24 and 40 do from the Missouri border to the Colorado border. Add in the abandoned church and the creepy Creeper truck and you have the makings of a scary movie that could happen in reality. I understand that horror movies can be pretty real up to a point but there is always an undertone of unbelieveability that taints the movie. If I could actually see the story work in real life then the movie has done it's job for me.

Last House On the Left (1972)
I caught this movie on IFC one night and loved it. It centers on Mari and Phyllis who are out in the city to celebrate Mari's 17th birthday at a concert. Unfortunately, they are kidnapped by a gang of ruthless criminals and are basically tortured throughout the movie with forced urination, countless rapes and molestation. Finally, they plan their escape which doesn't exactly go as well as you might think. The police are no help in finding the girls so it's up to the parents to stop the gang of escaped prisoners. The movie is written and directed by Wes Craven before he became a mockery of the horror genre.

The Ring (2002)
We all know what The Ring is about but I didn't know until I rented it even though I did want to see it in theaters. I enjoyed this movie more for the back story than the actual horror story. The cursed videotape, the creepy Samara, the cabin and well all make for a good story that's really better than the story that's meant to scare you. I honestly didn't really get the ending though.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The amazing Blair Witch. Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that it revitalized the horror movie and made independent movies a powerful force in Hollywood. The story revolves around Heather, Joshua and Michael as they traipse around the woods surrounding Burkittsville, Maryland searching for the Blair Witch and filming a documentary. While nothing really happens in the movie except a lot of in-fighting and walking around, the filmmakers do hear some weird sounds in the woods while they sleep. They eventually run across this abandoned house while seaarching for their friend, Josh, who has vanished. There's a lot of camera shaking and screaming of the name Josh then the movie ends. While I would've liked the movie to be expanded upon I was happy with the result. It made me scared to go into the woods for a while which was hard because I lived near woods and I would look out the window of my bedroom and wonder if there was something out there. There was but more on that later.

I guess in short, I like horror movies that are grounded in reality. If I can picture it happening in the newspaper then it has accomplished a lot for me. Now I really want to watch these movies.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

158: Worst Jobs Ever

I haven't had very many jobs but I've had enough of them. I'm one that tends to keep a job for several years before attempting to look for another one. One job I had just didn't fit with me as it required me to lift 50 pound garage door slats over my head. The first worst job ever started out at Half Price Books where this guy just came up to me while I was browsing the sci-fi section and handed me a business card. I debated on whether to call or not but did and set up a meeting to see what the business proposition was. I originally thought it was something sexual but soon discovered it was along the lines of a pyramid scheme. It was for selling stuff for a company called Quixtar which is basically like Amway. I sat through a presentation that described to me how McDonald's does it and what Quixtar is. I won't go into it because you can just read the Wikipedia article.

I went to one more meeting where a bunch of people gathered at a hotel in Kansas City to talk about their success with Quixtar. I sat in the front row of the presentation and was so hoping that no one would talk to me. I decided that this cult-like atmosphere of business didn't really meld with me so I opted out and they probably forgot about me pretty quickly. The next job was one I took when I was really desperate for work. Essentially it was bothering hard-working small business owners about their insurance. The training lasted about three, four hours then we went to pseudo-work and I did horrible at it. I didn't like bothering these people because they are running their own business and don't have time to be bothered about something as piddly as insurance. If they want it, they'll get it themselves. They don't need us. These guys running this business did not like that answer and needless to say, I was gone after one day.

I still see their ad in the newspaper periodically and I am so shocked they are still in business. Unfortunately, businesses that pray on other people tend to stay in business longer than legitimate businesses.

Friday, October 24, 2008

157: Author's Lament

I'm currently reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. That book has no bearing on this entry but I just thought you should know. After I finish Pillars, I plan on reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. The first book of Moore's I read was A Dirty Job where an ordinary man may or may not be death. Moore writes like I wish I could. He could be both serious and funny and it mixed nicely. It was also a well-established story with characters you actually cared for. It was the cover that initially grabbed me and the opening chapters suck you in and make you want to read more. I thought that my first novel did a decent job of balancing the humor and drama while still grounding the story in real life but as I look back on it, I'm not so sure I accomplished that but, in all honesty, I don't think my book is all that good.

Maybe I'm just being hard on myself. I was rejected dozens of times and went with the first publisher that said "yes" but what keeps me from totally regretting my decision is that my book is available on websites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I take some solace in that but it still sucks that I don't get paid for being a published author. I'm hoping that'll change soon. I'm tired of actually working for a living. Of course I am extremely lazy.

I didn't like the ending of Job which is unusual because usually I like endings of books no matter what happens. I like to sometimes leave the ending up to the reader so they can interpret it however they like. The worst book I've ever read always sticks out in my mind. Reclamation by Sarah Zettel has to be the worst book I've ever read. When you read the back cover blurb and actually think about the premise (humans have colonized the galaxy but no history of Earth exists) it sounds pretty good. I got my copy fairly cheap at a library sale and what struck me as odd was that the copy seemed be an editor's copy or something like that because it specifically said on the cover "Not to be sold". I read it and hated it. I even did a book report on how much it sucked. I've been thinking of buying another copy of it and trying it again, just in case.

But right now I am really enjoying Pillars of the Earth and it's not that long until Christmas when I do my annual reading of Art Spiegleman's Maus.

I actually read a lot a few months ago but with moving and my job and wanting to spend time with family and such, time for reading and writing have been set on the back burner but I'm hoping I can start getting back into that now that everything has settled down. But right now, off to bed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Beginning of the End

Ah, the economic crisis. I'm tired of hearing about it. This week, Cathy and her husband are in the financial planner's office planning their finances and learning that they are bankrupt. Cathy and her husband are "ACK"ing their way through the meeting, possibly causing the planner to drink more at the end of the day.

Like usual, this strip does not end humorously. I took it upon myself to fix it up and at least show what I would've written.

To make a long story short, turn off the TV, read a book. We've been through rough times before we've just never been alive for them.

Uh-oh, Dagwood's dead.

Now Blondie can cash in on that sweet, sweet life insurance.

I think we all do Rat. We all do.

So much going on. Zoe being overcome with homework, Hammie understanding the concept of an "all-nighter", Darryl running the show but I just can't get past the fact that Zoe appears to be left-handed.

Better watch out, Dolly. Daddy Keane's been on a bender and you do not want to wind up on the bad end of a Jack Daniels bottle.

Oh. I hope Born Loser doesn't spiral into the financial crisis crap that's starting to permeate the comic strips now. I don't know how long I'd be able to stand it.

156: Mason City and End Road

Back in 2006, I created my own city and spent hours upon days upon weeks upon...well, you get the idea, adding to it and changing it. I called it Mason City and it went from one piece of paper to about 40 or so. The city was huge but over a year of use and erasing and an accident involving juice, took it's toll and I finally threw it away. I draw this map of Mason City so I wouldn't forget it and every so often I think of something I want to add to it but sadly, I can't. Since then, I've been thinking of some way to incorporate Mason City into my writing. I came up with a story based a piece of history I gave the fictitious Mason City.

In Mason City, there was a cemetery in the middle of the downtown area. It was named for the small dead-end road it was on. I had it where a large number of American Indians were killed in the 1840s and buried in a mass grave in the cemetery. I never came up with a reason until a couple weeks ago. The town founders, who were staying at nearby Fort Salinas wanted to start a town right where a small Indian village was located. While the Indians and settlers were wanting to work together to create a diverse community, the Indians wanted more rights and stake in the city than was normal. After holding out and waiting for the Indians to agree to the provisions, one of the settlers gathers a posse, captures all the men and has them all killed and buried before the bodies cool.

The settlers return to the village and burn it down, sending the remaining women and children out into the night. The other settlers and the army arrive to see what's going on and discovers the massacre. In honor of the village, the new city is moved closer to the fort and the site of where the village once stood, is left alone until around 1950.

I have it all planned out, I just need to write it which I'm hoping to do throughout this week and get it posted some time this weekend.