Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out Like a Loser...

Where's Veeblefester going? Hawaii? Guam? Or will Veeblefester just stay home in the dark and fall asleep in a chair at around 9:30?

On a side note, I sincerely hope that Dick Clark is not seen on New Year's Rockin' Eve tonight. I like Dick Clark, I'm glad he's still around but I don't need to see or hear that poor stroke-addled man.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mind...Snapping...Must...Kill...

As a writer I am very angry at today's strip. It's a great social commentary on the nation today as we place sports figures and Hollywood on pedestals while great literary geniuses are automatically forgotten. I bet more people know who won Super Bowl XXXIX than who won the Pulitzer for Fiction this year.

Answers: The New England Patriots and Junot Diaz for The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

Monday, December 29, 2008

#173: Stull and the Devil House

I finally got Stull written and posted and as I finished the story I realized that it wasn't exactly my best story and could've stood a good rewriting. In writing the story, I took the legends from two places in my area where ghosts were said to roam. Stull and the Devil House.

Stull
Some of you may have heard of Stull, Kansas as it has the distinction of being one of the seven gateways to Hell. I first heard about Stull from a math teacher I had who lived in the Stull area. I didn't know about the devil legends or it being haunted until the Spring of 2001 when I met my best friend Randy. We went, along with Joey, several times and walked around the cemetery and in and around the old church. We would park about a quarter mile from the Stull intersection and walk to the cemetery, crawl under the gate (or hop over the fence) and look around. There were many legends surrounding Stull and unfortunately I ruined all the fun of ghost hunting with looking into the history and learning what's true and what's really a myth. I had learned that the townspeople originally considered preserving the old church but what it would cost to fix it up just wasn't worth it so they allowed it to stand unused since the 1920s looking out over the cemetery.

I learned what I could about Stull, completely debunking any legend about witches and devils there were and honored the research and history with an entry on Wikipedia which I have been proud of but which has been vandalized numerous times. I got into an argument with a guy about another cemetery just south of Stull which he claimed to be older than Stull Cemetery. It's all there on Wikipedia and on the talk page.

Since the old church was torn down in 2002, there has really been no reason to visit the cemetery except to just drive by. One of the first times Randy and I went during the day, we took his mom's minivan and was followed out of town (five miles to the highway) by someone in a red Geo Tracker who flashed their lights at us the whole way. It was really creepy and they rode our butt the whole way. I was able to obtain a brick from the old church which I proudly keep on my back porch and have a strange respect for it.

Randy and I have tried to go back but we can't bring ourselves to crawl under or hop over the fence. I guess that part of our lives are over as we reached adulthood. I just wish we would've done it all when I enjoyed taking pictures.

The Devil House
The Devil House once stood at the corner of 93rd & Paulen Roads south of Topeka. It was a massive stone house that was completely surrounded by woods on all sides. I can't remember how we heard about the house but we made the trek to the old house and parked in front. Randy and I got out to explore but we didn't go in the house, just around the land where we found an old foundation which we figured was for a once-massive barn that no longer stood. The story behind the Devil House was simple. One night, an overprotective parent's daughter snuck out and rode to Topeka where she was beaten and raped and eventually gave birth to a child, her mother took the baby and drowned it in a nearby pond or creek and the girl went mad, killing her mother and father. She then rode off on a white mare and was never seen or heard again.

While exploring the grounds, Randy and I came upon a pond near the house which, along with the barn foundation, went along with the legend. When we were at the house at night we heard horses neighing, which probably came from a nearby horse farm but still it was a lot creepier and scarier than any other place we had went to. We got into the house by going through the dirt cellar and climbing through a hole in the floor. While the house was riddled with holes and Satanic messages, we saw no immediate sign of supposed devil worshippers anyplace. When Randy moved and I didn't have a car, the house was torn down and new one built in it's place. We never got any closure from the Devil House like we did with Stull.

I supposed that the house was a product of the former town of Richland which was demolished to make way for Clinton Lake but I know now that Richland was several miles away so that destroys that thoery. Maybe someday we can finish exploring the legend but right now, only the trees now what really happened. And for some reason, they ain't talking...

Tea Cozies?

I don't see how Veeblefester can make money off tea cozies. That just ruins my vision of Veeblefester as the CEO of some communications company or owner of some multi-national bank. Tea cozies just don't scream "I will rule the world!" as loudly. Or at all.

Also I think the colorist accidentally erased some of Brutus' fingers.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

#172: What's Secret Identity?

I finally got the first episode posted of my new weekly Story Series. I've been working on it for about a month trying to organize the various stories the cast members will go through. I finally got it posted and I'm proud of it. I'm hoping to make it more adventurous as the story continues and this series will create many different superheroes, not just the one that you meet at the very beginning. I've been wanting to get a couple Story Series out for a few months now but never had the time to get them written. I'm hoping to start another Series sometime in 2009 but I'm not sure.

Secret Identity is, at it's core, a story about friends entering the real world after college but the main character, Andy, has super powers so a back story is how this regular guy becomes a superhero. Other heroes will be introduced which will push Andy into becoming the hero he needs to be. One aspect of the Series is that the first season ends in May and resumes in September (like a TV show) so hopefully that will keep the suspense.

I'm also going to try harder to get a webcomic or two started in 2009 along with more short stories and more varied comic book entries. Also, I plan to use the great resources of YouTube and Photobucket more in the coming year (for whatever reason, I don't know). Also, since I got a really cool digital camera for XMas, I may just have to start posting my own pictures here. Hopefully you all can stand it. But don't worry, The Born Loser will still be here in all it's Loser-ish glory just like always.

Secret Identity #1.1

Kanza Park in the center of Mason City, Kansas was bustling with activity as the city's 7th annual Get-Out-And-Play entered it's second hour.  Andrew Warren, Jessica Murrow and Kyle Ratner were playing pirates on the top of the jungle gym.
"Ahoy, mateys, land ho!" Andy said as he raised his sword into the air. "The new world lay ahead."
Jess and Kyle arrived at the top as Andy stood on the top of the jungle gym, still holding his fake sword high in the air.  Andy's knees buckled and he fell backwards.  Time slowed as he fell to the ground below.  He seemed to hover in mid-air as Jess and Kyle, along with several parents who happened to hear Jess scream.
It happened so fast, no one could save him and Andy landed hard, right on the top of his head and slumped to the ground.  A bunch of people gathered around him, his parents pushed to the front of the group as Jess and Kyle looked on in horror from the top of the jungle gym.
Andy slowly picked himself up off the ground and looked at the crowd, surrounded him.  He looked confusedly at everyone and smiled.  "What?"

Andy parents, Harry and Sarah, rushed him to the hospital, being led by a policeman who was patrolling the festivities.  Dr. Taylor looked Andy over thoroughly for nearly two hours and concluded that nothing was wrong with him.
"So he's okay?  How can that be?" Harry asked, amazed that his son was fine.  "He landed on the top of his head.  Even though it was on sand, something should still be wrong!"
"I agree, Mr. Warren.  A fall like that, his top vertabrae should be shattered.  He is unharmed, perfectly fine.  You can take him home but if anything should happen, bring him back but for the time being, he is probably the healthiest person in this hospital," Dr. Taylor said.
"Okay," Harry sighed.  "Let's go home."
The Warrens went home and life resumed normalcy for the next nine years but Andy kept a secret from everybody.  Andy soon learned that he was able to run faster than anyone and anything, he was also immune to any type of harm and, something that he tried never to use for any reason, could fly.
He kept that under wraps until just before his high school graduation when he took Jess for a flight above the state of Kansas.  She marveled at the miles and miles of farmland, property lines defined by trees and different colors of fields.  Creeks, streams and rivers winding their way through the state emptying into lakes both man-made and natural.  He told her everything and, for the first time, they kissed high above Gove County before flying back to Mason City on the eastern half of the state.
After graduation the three friends moved in together in Centropolis, Kansas--the largest city in the world--and attended Centropolis University.  Andy kept his powers quiet dispite Jess' pushing for him to use them to help the citizens of Centropolis.  Andy and Jess just remained friends but she got closer to Mike Nolan, only son of long-time Centropolis mayor, Cal Nolan.  College was about to end for the four friends with everyone ready to move into adulthood with brand new charges--except Andy.

"The Hero of Centropolis"
Centropolis, 1856.  Founded at the convergence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, the city was never supposed to be a major city.  Cal Nolan II changed Centropolis from a tiny hodge-podge of lean-to houses to a bustling metropolis of over 10 million people.  Centropolis, named by Perry Fuller as a combination of "central" and "metropolis".  Cal Nolan changed the face of Kansas forever, turning it into the Wall Street of the West and initiated huge post-Civil War infrastructure projects such as widening the Missouri River from St. Louis to Sioux City and widening the Kansas River from Centropolis to Topeka, the state capital.
The widening of the rivers made Centropolis a major port from the east and the hope was to somehow connect the rivers to the west but the plans never came to fruition but over the years, Centropolis became a major rail line center and soon a major airline hub.  The Nolan family became the preeminent family in Centropolis and have had their hand in every part of the city's history whether it was wanted or not.
Cal Nolan IV is the current mayor of Centropolis and many say that he has more power than the President of the United States because not only does he control the largest city in the country, he also controls the largest corporation in the world, NolanMark, a manufacturer of various technology from automobiles to computers to airline jets.
Nolan considered himself the most powerful man in the world and, to a point, he was right.

Andy sat back in his chair and stared up at the ceiling.  "No, ma'am.  I don't know anyone who drives one of those motorized scooters," he said.  "You fell out and it ran over you, you say?  Well, that's not good at all.  Well, unfortunately, ma'am, I can't help you with that but I suggest you contact the manufacturer and, if you seem hurt in any way, your doctor.  Yes, the insurance will cover your doctor's visit.  No, I'm not sure how much the visit will cost.  Is there anything else I can help you with?  All right, ma'am.  Thank you for calling and have a nice day."
Andy quickly hit a couple buttons on his phone and threw off his headset.  He closed out and turned off his computer, put on his jacket and walked out of the building.  Jess was waiting in the parking lot with her car.  Andy waved to her and got into her car.  They sped off, heading back to the apartment they shared with Mike.
"How was work?" she asked.
"It was fine.  Same old thing, talking to old people who are complaining about how we're screwing them," Andy said.  "It'd be sad if it wasn't so true."
"You should quit that job, Andy.  You were made for much better things than talking insurance to old people on the phone.  You have those amazing powers..."
"That are worthless in the working world.  People don't get paid to be heroes, Jess."
"Policemen, firemen.  They're heroes, they get paid."
"And if we didn't pay them, they wouldn't be policemen and firemen.  It's better to just keep my powers on the down low and use them secretly like I've been doing.  Plus, it keeps the pressure off of me."
Jess sighed and shook her head.  "You were destined for more, Andy.  I hope you realize it someday."

Across town in Spyre Tower, a massive glass structure that housed every aspect of the city's government and was the tallest building in the world.  Mike Nolan walked into his father's office.  "Dad?  Thank you for seeing me on such short notice," Mike said as he sat down in a chair in front of Cal's desk.
"You're my son, Mike.  I always have time for you.  What can I do for you?" Cal Nolan IV was a massive man.  Over 6'5" and built like a house, his golden brown hair pulled back into a ponytail and wearing the most expensive suit he could find for sale.
"I wanted to talk to you about a series of job interviews I have coming up in the next couple of days.  I want to be a journalist, I feel that it's important for the world to have insightful and important news.  I know you're not a fan of..."
"Journalists..." Cal sneered, "are the bastion of this society.  The press has ruined many good lives and they make no apologies.  They've ran the Nolan name through the mud for decades and I have no sympathy in my life for those people.  I think you should choose another career path, my son.  Something more in line with the Nolan lineage."
"I don't want to follow in the footsteps of my last name.  Politics and corporate jargon do not interest me and while I am proud of my past, I wish to completely revamp the Nolan future," Mike explained, Cal still looking unpleased.
"I can't stop you from doing what you want, son," Cal said and exhaled slowly.  "I wish you would reconsider but I will support you in whatever endeavor to undertake."
Mike rose from his chair as did Cal.  "Thanks, Dad.  I'll see you later."
"No problem, son," Cal smiled and watched his son leave his office.  After a few seconds had passed after Mike left, Cal pressed a button on his phone and his secretary came in.
"Yes, sir?" she asked.
"Ms. Caplan, my son has several job interviews with the newspapers and I'm not sure which ones," Cal began.  "Call every newspaper in the region and warn them against hiring my son.  Tell them that if they hire him--or even consider hiring him--I will destroy them, their family and the paper."
"Yes, sir," Ms. Caplan acknowledged and immediately left the office.

Andy and Kyle sat in their apartment playing a video game about an army at war on Mars.  Jess was out working her last night at the diner.  Andy was aggrevated about Jess' complaining about his choices in life.  "I mean, I know what she's saying but what am I supposed to do?  I don't know what I want to do with my life.  I have a degree in American History.  What the hell am I supposed to use that for?  I should've went for something more useful like English or something."
"Thank God I'm an artist.  By the way, I got that artist's job for that comic strip," Kyle said.
"Really?  Congratulations!  Do me a favor and don't tell Jess for about five years until I figure out what I want to do with my life."
"I'll try to keep it from her but I'm sure she'll figure it out," Kyle laughed.
"I know," Andy smiled.  He paused the game and stood up.  "Take me out of the game.  I'm gonna go for a walk.  I'll be back in an hour or so," Andy left the apartment and Kyle resumed the game.
A few blocks away, Barney Renauld walked down 112th Street heading toward an aging brick building now masquerading as an apartment building.  Barney was a private investigator who, while being extremely good at his job, was unable to sustain a reasonable living due to him not finishing the job.  Barney walked up the stairs and rang a bell for one of the apartments.  Barney was buzzed in without even a second thought.  Barney went upstairs to the third floor and found apartment 3F and knocked on the door.
"Who's there?" a man behind the door asked.
"Just open up Sciata.  It's Barney Renauld.  You have a date with an interrogation room," Barney shouted and prepared to draw his gun.  Instead, he just heard Sciata running away from the door and trying hard to push open a window.  "Damn!  I hate when they run," Barney tried the door but found it locked.  Barney moved across the hall and shouldered the door, breaking it off it's hinges just in time to see Sciata disappear down the fire escape.
Barney ran to the window in time to see Sciata jump from the fire escape and Andy swoop in and catch him by the ankle and fly into the sky above the apartment building.  Barney and Andy stared at each other while Sciata dangled by his ankle upside down.
Barney and Andy left the police station together and walked down the street, heading back the mile or so to where Barney had parked his car to go to Sciata's apartment.
"Thanks for catching that guy.  I never could've caught him if he jumped and started running.  And he needed to be off the street," Barney said.
"No problem.  And thank you for keeping what you saw me do between us.  I'm very careful with my secret so I'm a little embarrassed that you saw me," Andy smiled.
"Well, seeing what you could do made me think, Andy.  There's this case I've been working on for months and the client is getting ready to pull out if I don't find out something new.  Would you like to help me on it?" Barney offered.
"Sure.  Do I get paid?"
"Of course.  Let's go back to my office and I'll get you caught up."

Alexis Barrett sat in the diner at the counter every night.  She was one of Jess' regulars and throughout the last year or so, both had become rather friendly toward each other.  Alexis was a photographer for The Centropolis Record, a less-than-reputable newspaper who usually had one article of truth surrounded by tales and urban legends that occured around the city.  Jess came up to Alexis and refilled her cup with coffee.
"What's wrong, Alexis?" she asked.  Alexis had been nervously sipping her coffee and fumbling with her camera since she came in.
"I have a problem," Alexis began.  "You know that monster that's supposedly roaming the sewers and steam tunnels?"
"Yeah," Jess scoffed, "that's such a load."
"I have to get pictures of it or I'm fired."
"What?  How can you take pictures of something that doesn't exist?" Jess asked.
"But it does exist.  You've seen the pictures of the people who have been unfortunate enough to cross it's path."  Alexis pulled out several photos from her backpack of people with their torsos ripped apart and mangled against the sides of buildings.
"How are you going to get the photos?" asked Jess.  "You'd have to be in the right place at the right time or go into the steam tunnels."
"Do you want to go with me?" Alexis asked.
"What?  Go into the sewer and try to find a monster that may or may not exist just so you can get a couple pictures?"
"So you in?"

Barney Renauld's office was a spacious one-room office with hardwood floors and very minimal furniture.  A couple chairs sat against the wall next to the door and a couple were placed in front of Barney's desk.  Four tall file cabinets stood behind the desk.  "The main case I really need help with is this man, Frank Crispin, has paid me to get proof that his wife is having an affair.  Now, those are normally the easy cases.  People are sloppy and they are easy to tail and watch but this case is different because of the person his wife is having the affair with," Barney said.
"Why?  Who is it?"
"Cal Nolan, the mayor.  He takes every precaution to insure that he is not caught or seen doing anything like that."
"How romantic.  I'm friends with Nolan's son Mike.  I doubt Mike knows anything but I can ask.  If not, we can meet up tomorrow and tail Nolan.  It should be easier for me to keep tabs on him since I can fly," Andy said.
"So you're in?" Barney asked.
"It's better work than listening to old people complain about their insurance," Andy smiled.


Next Week
Andy begins tailing Mayor Nolan; Alexis and Jess enter the sewer; Mike is rejected from every newspaper in the city; The true nature of Mayor Nolan is revealed; and Kyle discovers something on his way to work.

Just Say 'No' To Bad Hats

From the looks of that camera, the salesman could also charge Brutus for the memory card, the USB cord for the computer and the little string you hook onto the camera to carry it.  But at least Brutus is getting a good deal on a $299.99 camera.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

After Christmas Blues

Because that's not the way business works, Gladys.  I got out on Friday and didn't really see any discounts or deals.  Maybe I just didn't notice or go to the right places because I was still Christmas shopping for my son and fiancee.  I think I did, however, get the last copy of Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer in all of Lawrence.

Want to see something different?  Do you know Italian?  Go to http://internapoli-city.blogspot.com/ and look around.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post-Christmas Catch-Up

I hope everyone had a great holdiay break.  I know I did.  The main gift was a digital camera which I plan to use for everything.  I just need a memory card but that should be coming soon.  I also got How I Met Your Mother season three, Smallville seasons 5 & 6, Boston Legal season 3 and some shirts and jeans.  I also got a book about the Civil War in Kansas and a zip-up hoodie.  Really good Christmas.  It needs to happen more often.  But onto the comics.

Common fire safety knowledge dictates that you turn off the fireplace before you go to bed lest you possibly burn your house down.

I also don't believe Wilberforce is nice enough to constitute wearing a sweatshirt.  Also, his face is off-center in the last panel.

We have discovered that Brutus just randomingly breaks out into song.  It's kind of annoying.  At least today we can chalk it up to too much eggnog.

A Christmas tradition in my family is that we cook a huge pot of spaghetti and meatballs to eat.  And that's on Christmas Eve.  We don't have a huge dinner with turkey or some form of meat.  The ground beef in the meatballs is all the meat we need to satisfy our meat-hunger.

And I predict that Gladys will drop spaghetti down her suit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Superman #64

written by Dan Jurgens
art by Jackson Guice
It's Christmas in Metropolis and Superman is not happy.  This issue's title is called "Metropolis Mailbag" and I assume it was going to be an annual event where every Christmas Superman reads his mail and does nice things for people, ad nauseum.  This is the first one (Christmas 1991, with a February 1992 cover date) and the second one would be in Superman #76 and he would be dead.  Thus ending the "Metropolis Mailbag" event.

Anyway, Superman has decided to answer some of his mail with the help of Lois.  All the letters
are from people wanting Superman's help whether it's to help feed someone's family or dig an oil well in Alaska.  A lot of the letters dig into Supes and the art seems to darken throughout the book which adds an additional layer of drama to it.

The first person Superman helps is an old lady in Chicago who survived the Holocaust and is the only survivor of her family.  She then finds out she has sister who survived who is still living in Germany.  She has no money or means to visit and would like to see her sister again so they both know that they are not alone in this world.  Superman sets everything up with the American Embassy and flies her to Germany.

The next one, isn't so happy.  Terry Baldwin, Jr. writes and askes Superman to save his father's life.  His father has an inoperable brain tumor.  Superman takes off for Salt Lake City to essentially tell the boy that he can't save his father's life.  When Superman gets to Salt Lake, Mr. Baldwin has already died and Junior gets mad and runs off.  Superman explains to the boy that even if he made it to SLC in time, he couldn't do anything.  He's Superman.  However, it ends on a upbeat note when Superman convinces the Baldwins to let the heart go to someone who really 
needs it and Superman delivers it personally then flies back to Metropolis.

The last scene is Superman helping out with the disadvantaged kids the Daily Planet helps every year but unfortunately, they had no money in the budget for presents.  Superman decides to get Professor Hamilton to dress like Santa Claus, Superman helps fly in "reindeer" and a quick call to Bruce Wayne gets the kids more presents than they could ever imagine.

The issue doesn't end on a happy for Clark though.  Lana Lang and Pete Ross have sent him a wedding invitation (which takes place in Action Comics #700) and Clark doesn't look too thrilled.

As the Superman issues stacked up I started thinking that Lois was the wrong choice for Clark and Clark should be with Lana.  I still think that and wonder if Lois and Clark will ever get a divorce.  Probably not.

Oh well.

Have a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

I'm not going to dignify this ignorant statement with a comment but just go on to comment about the upcoming holiday season.  Hanukkah began at sundown on the 21st, Christmas Eve is tomorrow (with Day to follow on the 25th), Kwanzaa is the 26th as is Boxing Day.  And let us not forget fake holidays such as Festivus and Chrismukkah which just make a mockery of the holidays.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful whatever-you-celebrate and may the rest of your year be slow so you don't have to return to school and/or work as quickly.  See you Friday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And the Rich Get Richer...

I'm more worried about the state of the world economy than I am about the environment right now.

So Veeblefester is going to ask Bill Gates, Ted Turner and Warren Buffett for cash this year?  Well, at least they can afford it.

Doesn't Brutus have work to do?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ooh, A Real Tree

Wilberforce seems really tiny compared to his mom where as yesterday he looked big and chunky.  But anyway, I am all for advent calendars.  I think they are kind of cool depending on the pictures accompanying it.

Is Wilberforce just staring at the tree?  That can't be good for the eyes (wait, that's the sun).  I am also disturbed by the use of "Snap" by Wilberforce.  It seems unnatural coming from a strip that still is set in the 1960s.

Another point for trying Chip but you still have a long way to go.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You're Going Down, Old Man

Wilberforce apparently puts on some winter weight this time of year as he looks a bit chunky in the first panel.  I'm thinking that Wilberforce is one of those people who scream out "Yahtzee", "Monopoly", "Sorry" and "Black Jack" before anything is even done.

Now, Brutus has unleashed the anger of Wilberforce and soon those black and white checkers are going to be lodged in his Brutaeus Maximus.

Ha, see what I did there?

#171: Three Things

Three Things (part one and part two) is an unfinished story I, along with my best friend Randy, started a couple years or so ago.  We decided to write a story about our time in high school when we actually started to get a life.  Our "life" consisted of sneaking out and driving to reportedly haunted places around our area.  Stull, the Devil House and a couple of cemeteries were our haunts and while we never actually saw any ghosts, we did have a lot of fun in getting there.

I loved the actual ghost hunting part of it but what I really got into was the history.  I learned way too much about the places we went and had a tendency to suck the fun right out of it because I had the facts that nothing happened in those places or there is no Indian burial ground or something like that.  I still do that today although I'm getting much better.

But what happens in Three Things is actually a pretty close description of what really happened.  Randy and I did some rewriting and adding on to things that we couldn't completely remember.  I think it came out really good and wish we could've been able to write a complete story which we may do if this story becomes popular enough.  So get viewing.  And read the other stuff of mine.

I'll do entries on Stull and the Devil House later as I get stories posted about them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hi, What's-His-Name

Brutus needs to quit going to therapy because I don't really think it's working.  Brutus still has problems and they seem to just be getting worse.  I think a good form of therapy is starting a blog.  Brutus could start his own blog.  Sadly, "Losers Are Made, Not Born" is already taken.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

#170: Ah-DUH-see

Back in high school, I was under the assumption--although I never divulged this information--that girls with quite a few pimples around their mouth meant that they performed a lot of oral sex.  I know now that that's not true and I don't know where I got that idea.  It makes for a fascinating story anyway.

There were quite a few things out there that I just messed up.  I don't know if I was just misinformed or stupid but I swear that my mispronunciation of the word 'odyssey' is entirely not my fault.  When I was 7 or 8, there was this Lego commercial advertising a new playset and I swear it was called Undersea Odyssey or something like that and the announcer guy pronounced 'odyssey' ah-DEE-ah-say.  So for several years afterward I pronounced it ah-DEE-ah-say.  Luckily, the word 'odyssey' rarely comes up in conversation or I would've really looked and sounded like an idiot.

Those are the two main learning problems I've had that I can recall at the moment.  I'm sure there are others but those are the two big ones.  While an odyssey faux pas has never happened, I did accuse a girlfriend of cheating when she had an acne outbreak around her mouth.  I thought that was odd because she certainly wasn't performing that on me.  I can't explain how embarrassed I was as I told her my reason for accusing her (which when you say it out loud, sounds really ignorant).  She then went on to tell everybody else.

Brutus Should Be 7'6"

I want you all to take a long, long look at today's strip.  Thank God that newspapers have decency standards and are not allowed to show Brutus' hindquarters.  Since it is the holiday season, we should all take time to write to our local papers and thank them for following standards set in the 1910s and not lowering themselves like television and radio has.

No Thornapple ass for us this year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

#169: New Stories For All

Starting tonight I am going to try to post some new stories  and get some new stuff published because I have been really slacking and have been wanting to get more up so I can quit my job and retire.  First up, I'm gonna get an unfinished story published that I had originally started writing with my friend but soon became kind of boring and complicated and we didn't live in the same state and I didn't have Internet access at the time so writing it together was kind of difficult.  I'll give you more detail about it when it get published.

Second, Landsman.  A tale where Philadelphia District Attorney Matthew Landsman discovers that the Earth being round is part of a massive conspiracy and now Landsman is trying to protect his family, his own life all while trying to expose this conspiracy that he didn't want to know in the first place.  Also, I'm going to post a story that I wrote that is based on the town of Stull, Kansas (titled Stull) that I was originally not going to post but after rereading it, decided it was a pretty decent story.  Stull will actually probably come before Landsman since it's actually finished and ready for publication.

Then it's trying to restart my novel.  Since last summer I have been stuck on Part 2, Chapter 11 of Wilbur and Kolak and didn't make a dent during Nanowrimo.  I was able to get Part 1 rewritten but Part 2, not so much.  Hopefully I can a couple posted to show you how it's looking but hopefully it'll be written and in the bookstores by the end of 2010 (yeah, that'll happen).

So I guess I better get started.  Please check out our sponsors scattered throughout the sidebar, if you have any questions or concerns please let me know.  Feeling the holiday spirit?  Make a donation and tell your friends about this blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Promises, Promises

Gah.  I've been so busy lately that my posts have been erratic at best.  I promise to start posting more and doing more writing.  Really I do.  I promise.

Love Is...Stealing Your Spouse's Food

So I'm guessing Brutus didn't eat his cake from dinner but Gladys did and there is no more.  That's what I gather from reading the first speech bubble.

Gladys has no shame.  She will do what it takes to get the last of cake or die trying.  We should be lucky that the last panel doesn't show Brutus slumped over in his chair with a fork sticking out of his skull.

Although that would be kind of cool.

Superman: The Man of Steel #53

Written by Louise Simonson
Pencilled by Jon Bogdanove
Inked by Dennis Janke

What's with Superman's bottom lip?  I don't know what a "slobberknocker" is and I don't care to find out.  I've always liked Bibbo because he added a human, regular Joe (Joe Six-Pack, as it were) to the Superman mythos and when Superman died, he did everything he could to fill Superman's shoes but there was a simple rule to Bibbo.

Never put him on the cover (see also Superman:  TMOS #20 for another example).

Lex Luthor is on a date with once-cool addition Contessa and is sporting some admittedly cool shades (at night, no less).  What's also cool is that you can watch TV with them despite having no cameras around to tape the scene.  I know Luthor is supposed to have all of the world's resources at his fingertips but even a constant camera crew to video tape stuff seems a bit over the top.

Superman immediately leaps into battle with 
Brawl, a muscular hulk of a monster with green armor and bright orange hair.  Also, to accentuate his name, he continuously yells it.  After Superman arrives on the scene to fight Brawl, we move to a very homely man and his slutty whore of a daughter.  Their car breaks down in front of Bibbo's Ace O' Clubs and as it turns out, the homely man was once Bibbo's boxing manager and a joyous reunion commences.

Superman continues to fight Brawl.  Meanwhile, the homely man learns first-hand how "tuff" Bibbo still is after Bibbo wastes his entire patronage in one fell swoop.  Superman continues to fight Brawl.  Luthor makes a mockery of Monte Carlo's house rules and makes a pretty penny.

Finally, Superman ends his fight with Brawl by punching him (!) then goes to the Ace O' Clubs to help Bibbo but ends up getting punched driving him into a wall.  Superman explains that he rode with Bibbo's punch but I think it's just Superman making excuses because no one can stand up against Bibbo's Kryptonite Gun Punch!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Pros Get Paid Millions

Panel One
Wilberforce rings a doorbell with his hockey stick and he looks pretty pleased about it.  I'm glad Chip chose this image instead of the original of Wilberforce ringing the bell with his "hockey stick".

Panel Two
Wilberforce calls Hurricane Hattie 'Hurricane' which is kind of weird but I'm not a nickname kind of guy.  I've just been calling her Hattie.  Hattie acknowledges Wilberforce's greeting with a "Yo" which shows just how bad and tough she is.

Panel Three
Let's take a moment to ponder what the hell Hattie is wearing on her neck.  Is it one of those Lord Fauntleroy tie things?  Only in pink?  Considering Hattie is supposed to be a tough little girl, the fact that she is wearing a pink tie, light blue shirt and what I consider jeans just hurts her case.

Panel Four
Hattie's nose also protrudes from between her eyes as evidenced in the obligatory close-up panel.

Panel Five
In this panel, I have come to the conclusion that Chip does use a cut-and-paste feature and just redraws the faces.  How do I know this?  Every image of Wilberforce looks exactly the same.  
Even the little things that should not look the same panel after panel do look the same.

Also, Hattie's freckles change position from Panel Three to Four.

Panel Six
Hattie couldn't care less about actually playing hockey.  She just wants to wail on the other players and they won't let her play football.

Panel Seven
Point for Wilberforce but...

Panel Eight
...the game goes to Hattie.

But, women usually win in these situations.  Wilberforce, however, will bludgeon Hattie with his hockey stick.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Brutus Loses a Torso

Kids Wilberforce's age don't care about the economy.  And normally parents try to hide their financial worries from their kids.  Not me however, I bring it to attention in the hopes that my son will get his own job to help out.  So far, it hasn't happened but I'm sure it will someday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Who's Brutus Talking To, Yet Again.

I'm assuming Phlegle is pronounced FLAY-gull.

Also, Phlegle must play for the Kansas City Chiefs who are on target to be the worst football team this season.  Normally I don't care but they's the local team around here and we're all pretty disappointed.

Note the small Christmas tree on the TV.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chip Sansom's In Cold Blood

The lonely house stood atop the hill.  It had been abandoned since the 1970s when the owners, an elderly farm couple, just disappeared.  Their house still looked, aside from the normal wear and tear and some incidents of vandalism, like the farmers will be home any minute.  The house was miles from the nearest town and was the only house within a square mile.  You could scream bloody murder and no one would hear--or find you.

Brutus and Gladys Thornapple had been driving since eight this morning and they were about to pass out as Brutus glided the car around a curve on the old country highway.  It was almost midnight and they weren't sure when the next town was--and if it'd have a hotel.  Finally, Brutus just pulled over and into a long winding driveway surrounded on both sides by trees.

"Where're you going?" Gladys, his wife, asked looking out all of the windows, seeing only glimpses of the scenery.

"I saw that there was a house up on this hill.  Maybe we can stay here if someone's up.  I can't drive anymore and I have no idea when we will reach the next town," Brutus yawned as he pulled around the old house.

"This house looks abandoned, Brutus," Gladys said as Brutus put the car in park an shut off the engine.  "I don't like this.  Let's go.  I can drive for awhile."

"No, Gladys.  It's probably just a couple of kindly farmer's house.  Born on this land, will die on this land.  Let's go," Brutus smiled and took Gladys' hand and led her up the stairs.  As they approached the front door, they noticed it was slightly ajar.  "Oh, it's open.  I guess no one really does live here."

"I told you.  Come on, let's go.  I can drive for awhile."

"Wait.  Let's take a look.  It doesn't look that bad, maybe it has a bed we can stay in at least until morning," Brutus said, pushing the front door further open.

"I am not sleeping in an abandoned house," Gladys shreiked.

"Oh, Gladys, it'll be fine.  I'll protect you from the big, bad ghosts," Brutus mocked.

Coming down the same highway were Albert Finch and Rupert Huff.  They were driving a lot faster than Brutus was but they were more familiar with the road.  Huff was antsy.  He wanted to get to where they were going.

"How much longer?" Huff asked.

"Shouldn't be too long now," Finch replied.

"Do we know where the money is hidden?" Huff asked.  According to a local rumor, there was $15,000 stashed away in the walls of the old house.  Most people just wrote off the rumor as just that but Finch knew it was true.  It had to be.  "It's a pretty big house from what I heard."

"We'll just keep smashing until we find it.  It can't be too hard."

"What if someone catches us?" asked Huff.

Finch turned his head to Huff and sneered.  "That's why we brought the gun.  And those sledgehammers would kind of hurt, too," he chuckled evilly.  He quickly braked and turned onto the house's driveway and slowly proceeded to the house.  They drove around the other side of the house, not even seeing the Thornapple's car.

Inside the house, Brutus and Gladys slept soundly, not hearing the car engine or the door slamming shut...

The creepy house in the first panel led to this.  I have nothing to say about the eating of celery in bed except that Gladys should be happy her husband is eating healthier food which is more than I can say about her.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Working Vacation

Yes, I'm doing a quick post because I miss doing this.  I've been setting up posts to post (?) in the future but I hate not seeing the fruits of my work.

First off, never order liver and onions at a sleazy diner.  I mean, look at that guy's arm!  We've seen this guy before but he had a soulpatch.  He has since shaved it off.  I think it's time for Brutus to shave off his mustache.  Listen up, Chip.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Superman: The Man of Steel #29 (Jan. 1994)





written by Louise Simonson
pencilled by Jon Bogdanove
inked by Dennis Janke
The greatest villian of all time was introduced in these here pages.  Bloodthirst's debut was mentioned and discussed several times in previous issues and it all led up to this.  A black leather tank top clad, green gas emitting Dr. Frank-N-Furter-esque alien thing.  Now, I'm sure everyone at Superman Central thought that Bloodthirst would be an amazing villain as he was apparently the cause of every war and assassination in history but his first--and only
--appearance was a complete failure.

The story is also riddled with a stupid battle with Hi-Tech who 
was fighting Superman in the issue of Action Comics preceding this issue.  As you can see, the art still isn't the best as this is an issue of The Man of Steel and the result of the issue is pretty slapped together because you get Jimmy Olsen and Ron Troupe being attacked by Hi-Tech, Superman swooping in, punching Hi-Tech, getting attacked by Bloodthirst and...well, that's pretty much it.

I think Bloodthirst had the potential but I learned that you never introduce a character or storyline in an issue of The Man of Steel.  What ironic is that two of the best Superman storylines (The Death of Superman and The Trial of Superman) started in The Man of Steel (Numbers 18 and 50, respectively).

And yes, you probably will see plenty of Man of Steel issues in here but next
 time I hope to do a Marvel issue so we'll just see.

Post No. 300

Well, made it to the 300th post. It seems like yesterday that I started this blog when in reality it's been almost a year. A year of Born Loser and other comics and writings and stories and whole lotta love. I'm taking the next two weeks off and focusing on my writing and getting a second blog started up plus introducing a couple other things for this blog. I'll still be around checking in from time to time but I'll be back on December 14th and I have a posting coming later this evening.

What a note to end on.

Can everybody see the seven dots of five o'clock shadow on Brutus' cheek? I was originally going to mock that Brutus is drawn as clean-shaven until I noticed those seven dots I originally thought was monitor burn.