Saturday, January 31, 2009

Echo Glen Looks Dangerous. Shouldn't It Have a Guardrail?

Born Loser 01-31-09
These are the strips I remember from when I was a kid. The echo never worked right. Ah, nostalgia.

P.S. I'm going to do a week of other strips next week along with TBL (like I did way back when) so I hope you enjoy. It all starts tomorrow.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stu McDuff, Vice President of International Affairs

Born Loser 01-30-09
No matter how nice she dresses or how many pearls you put on her, Gladys still looks hideous.

I am more focused on Brutus' untied tie and boxer shorts which actually put a smile on my face today. I'm not saying we need to see more of Brutus in various stages of undress but every other month or so should be enough to prove that Chip is trying.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mmm...Beef

Born Loser 01-29-09
I love the living room chair doubling as a restaurant chair. Brutus brought his chair from home to the restaurant and didn't bring anyone to eat with. I won't complain much because this restaurant doesn't look as fancy as the previous ones. Note the salt and pepper shakers on the table instead of a candle.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Diversity...Born Loser Style

Born Loser 01-28-09
I guess that's a black guy...

For the first time in five years, I didn't make any New Year's resolutions. Probably because I barely made it to February each time I made resolutions. One time I made it to March and when I finally broke my resolution those fingernails of mine tasted so good!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

#181: The Point of Ending

Well, it's the last POB. I have decided to bring it to an end and I'm not bringing it back. I originally planned on bringing it back but decided to just end it and anything I would normally post under the POB banner would just be posted normally under a non-BL tag. Those posts will normally be any short stories I would get published so they won't happen very often.

But there are some more changes coming including two more Story Series (and two more are coming in April) and of course there are the other two blogs I am currently doing which I'm hoping will become more viewed in the next month or so. We here at Tauy Creek are also working to diversify our readers and hope to have a couple more writers under our Tauy Creek banner but I'll keep you posted on that. As you all know, we recently celebrated one year and I see no sign of stopping and predict only good things for this blog even as the country collapses around us.

I started POB back in August of 2006 as my blog on MySpace. After 88 postings on MySpace I moved POB to LiveJournal so I could post more personal stories and I could keep someone from reading those personal posts because I really don't like privatizing things I write. The LiveJournal lasted awhile but only a few people read it because apparently no one like LiveJournal anymore. So I moved it over here with #156 and a majority of the posts focused on my writing or the short stories I've had published but I wasn't exactly happy with the way POB was bounced around and used for other stuff other than personal and/or writing entries. I chose #181 as a finishing point for the series because it's a nice and noticeable number. I hope someday to bring The Point of Beginning back but I want it to be a mix of different things so maybe that's where the new writers will be placed if I ever get that figured out.

Also, just so you know. Starting February 3rd, I will be on vacation because it's me and my fiancee's anniversary so I will be gone until Sunday the 8th.

Please tell your friends about this blog and please post links everywhere you can.
last Calvin and Hobbes strip Pictures, Images and Photos

John Updike 1932-2009

John Updike, Pulitzer Prize winning writer passed away today at the age of 76.

Read article here.

Why Isn't Veeblefester Worried?!

Born Loser 01-27-09
No, R.W., being poor is a bad thing. He didn't choose to be poor, it just happened. As much as I don't really care that people who make $3 million a year are going broke, for the few people who actually are honest and share the wealth, it's disastrous. We're all sinking into a quagmire of debt and poverty from which only the strongest will survive.

On a side note, see how long ago this comic was made? Now it's not a real estate downturn as much as it's a economic crisis.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kind of a Femme Hat Wilberforce Has

Born Loser 01-26-09
It's even worse when there's all that snow on the ground but the city was able to clear it off the streets and sidewalks. It's like the gods are laughing at you.

Lousy gods.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Secret Identity #1.5

The suburb of Tecumseh lies between Topeka, the state capitol and Lawrence. Barney always liked the drive from Centropolis to Topeka on Highway 40. The road winded out of Lawrence through rural countryside that was still untouched by the progression of Centropolis. Barney pulled into the driveway of a stucco house on the outskirts of Tecumseh. A couple police cars were also there and the house's property were cordoned off by police tape. Barney got out of the car and walked up to the door. A policeman met him on the porch.

"Barney Renauld?" he asked.

"Yeah. What do we got here?" Barney asked.

"Well, come inside and take a look. You can probably figure it out yourself," they walked into the house and Barney saw the woman's dead body lying on the floor. She was gutted like a fish and blood had pooled on the floor and was splattered on the walls and furniture. "We have here Rosalyn Carmen, single divorced mother of one. Just moved to town a couple months ago. Neighbors said she was quiet and heard nothing. She never showed up for work at Shawnee Heights Junior High. Principal was worried and called the cops."

"So why was I called?" Barney asked.

"We put the time of death at yesterday at six in the evening. We're a small town police squad and we're going to need some help because we honestly have no leads. You are rumored to be the best detective in the metro area and we need that now," the officer said.

"I'll do my best. You said she was a single divorced mom? Where's the child and husband?"



"Who Killed Rosalyn Carmen? Part 1"
Andy sat at his cubicle with the headset on his head. He had just finished a call and was finishing up closing the call out when another call came in. "Thank you for calling Allied American, my name is Andy. How can I help you?" he answered.

"I want to know why Allied does pay for everything," the person on the other end asked.

Andy sighed lightly. "Can I get your name please?" Andy asked the caller. He glanced at his phone toward the phone number on the screen. It looked familiar to him.

"Debbie Raina. I've called before," Debbie said. Andy typed her name into the computer and a huge list of calls associated with Debbie's name.

"And you want to know why Allied doesn't cover everything?" Andy reiterated. "Well, first of all Allied covers all medically necessary procedure and just about everything requested by a doctor."

"What about mental health services?" Debbie asked.

"For mental health services, Allied pays fifty percent but doesn't pay for any prescriptions related to mental health."

"Why not?"

"It's just not covered."

"Why not?"

Andy had been looking through her call list and saw that she complains about the same thing every day at least five times a day. Andy lightly sighed again and spoke, "It's just too expensive. Allied tries to offer the most coverage at a low price to it's subscribers. And while it's unfortunate, some people do get lost in the shuffle."

"I think it's very unprofessional that you don't cover something that could actually make me better," Debbie said. "Because I have to pay for all of my prescriptions, I am in so much debt. What are you going to do about that?"

Andy pursed his lip together then cracked a smile. "Ms. Raina we're an insurance company and don't really care what you do with your debt, pardon my words," Andy said.

"Why don't you care? I've been a loyal customer for fifteen years," Debbie said.

"Ms. Raina, I'm looking through your call record and you call several times everyday and you complain about the same thing. You even call in using different names and voices. Why waste your time and ours doing that?" Andy asked.

"Because then maybe Allied will change it's policy."

"One person doing that isn't going to change policy. It wastes mainly your time and, I know it sounds cold and mean, but we just don't care about your debt or anyone else's," Andy harshly explained.

"Do you have any suggestions on what I can do about my debt?" Debbie asked.

"Not really. Call the creditors and just talk to them. You may also try one of those debt consolidation companies," Andy suggested.

"Would you seriously consider one of those companies?"

"If my back was against the wall and I had no other option, I would at least look into it," Andy said.

"Jerk," Debbie said and then hung up. Andy quickly made sure he wouldn't get another call and then logged out and laid his headset on his cubicle.

He stood up and stretched. He left his cubicle, surrounded by other cubicles and people doing the exact same thing as him, and went into the break room. He got himself something to drink out of the vending machine and sat down at one of the tables.

"Doing okay?" a girl asked, coming up to Andy.

Andy looked at the girl then turned to look around him to make sure she was talking to him. "Yeah. Just had a rough call, I guess."

"Been there. You on break?" she asked.

"Kind of. I just needed to get away from my cubicle."

"I'm Mariah Routh. I'm new here. I just got out of training," Mariah introduced herself and sat down next to Andy.

"Andy. Andrew Warren, actually. Nice to meet you," he said.

"Nice to meet you, too, Andy," Mariah said. "How long have you worked here?"

"Three years," he smiled.

"Wow. You're a veteran."

"It's okay work. I also work part-time for a private detective so that gets a little more excitement," Andy said, being truthful but also trying to impress the freckled-face caramel-haired girl.

"Wow. Is there anything else that you're hiding?" Mariah asked.

"Oh, you would be so surprised."




Mike Nolan knocked on the apartment door to Andy, Kyle and Jess' apartment. Jess answered and smiled when she saw him. "Mike! How are you doing?" she asked.

"Not so good. I need a place to stay. I moved out of my father's house. I couldn't stand being there anymore," Mike revealed.

"What happened?" Jess asked.

"I found out that my father told all the newspapers not to hire me. He sabotaged all my interviews and scared the editors," Mike said. "I know he's sometimes unscrupulous but to do that to his own son is just all kinds of wrong."

"Hey, Mike," Kyle said, coming out of his studio, wiping his hands off on a towel. "What brings you here?"

"He needs a place to stay for awhile," Jess said.

"Just until I can get my own place which shouldn't be too hard," Mike said.

"I don't care. You may have to check with Andy but he probably won't mind either. Welcome aboard," Kyle said.

"Thanks. Hey, Jess, are you still in touch with that photographer who nearly got you killed?"

"Alexis? Yeah, I have her phone number. Why?"

"I need to talk to her about working with her at her newspaper," Mike sighed.

"But she works for tabloid rag," Kyle said.

"But it's work and it may be my only chance. Besides, journalism is journalism," Mike shrugged.

Mike, Jess and Alexis met each other a couple hours later at a coffee shop. "So how would we do this?" Alexis asked. "Everyone knows you as the mayor's son."

"I would use a fake name and, of course, I would try to keep my face out of the papers. Since I'm staying away from my dad until further notice, hopefully the paparazzi won't be hanging around."

"I'll talk to my editor and see what he says but I say you have a pretty good shot. I'll see you at work, Mike," Alexis shook Mike's hand and she finished her iced coffee and got up to leave the coffee shop. "She you around Jess."

"See you," Jess answered. "Well, good luck Mike. Have you decided what fake name to use for your bylines?"

"Not yet but I'll come up with something."




Barney went through Rosalyn's house--the body had been moved two hours ago--looking for any clue that could help him solve Rosalyn's murder. The police were informing the family as he walked around the house. Rosalyn's little girl was featured prominently in dozens of photos throughout the house. Barney stood in the kitchen and looked around him. He saw on the kitchen counter and spinning utensil holder. It had several knifes, spoons and spatulas and other kitchen knick-knacks hanging on it.

Barney noticed one of the knives were missing. Barney began looking around the kitchen for the missing knife, going through the drawers, cabinets and the dishwasher but not finding it. Barney's cell phone rang and he quickly answered it. "Hello?"

"Barney? This is Officer Huntsiger, we met at the house. We informed Carmen's family. Her husband--well, ex-husband--is on the other line, he wants to talk to you."

"What? Really? Why?"

"I don't know. He asked to speak to the person in charge so I was going to throw him to you."

"Uh, I guess I can talk to him. Send him through," Barney said and waited for the call to come through.

"Hello?" asked a man on the other end.

"Yes, this is Detective Barney Renauld."

"Are you in charge of my wife's murder?" the man asked.

"Uh, yes I am heading the investigation into your ex-wife's death," Barney said. "We haven't ruled out suicide or accident, Mister..."

"Murray. Professor Everett Murray. I'm a professor of linguistics at North Central Kansas A&M. Do you have any suspects yet?" Murray asked.

"No, not yet. We still have to search the house and note the cause of death so it may be a couple days before we start ruling people out. Why did you want to talk to me, Mr. Murray," Barney asked feeling uncomfortable talking to this man.

"Just wanted to tell you that I am at your disposal. If you need anything, please feel free to pick my brain," Murray said. "And it's Professor Murray."

"Sorry. I'll definitely keep you in mind and we will probably be in touch later, Mr. Murray. Bye," Barney quickly hung up the phone and put it back in his pocket. "Well, he wasn't suspicious," Barney sighed.

Barney pulled his phone back out and called Officer Huntsiger back. "Huntsiger," he answered.

"This is Barney. Can you give me the address for Carmen's parent's house? I need to talk to them about her ex-husband. He gave me a weird vibe so I want to know more about him."

"Do you think he did it?" Huntsiger asked.

"He seems to have some sort of superiority complex but I don't think he could accomplish murder," Barney said. "I have a pen and paper, give me the address."

Barney drove to the small town of Lecompton to see Rosalyn's parents who were watching her daughter, Emili. Emili was a gorgeous girl of about six with long blond hair who was always smiling.

"Mr. and Mrs. Carmen? I'm Detective Barney Renauld and I'm sorry that we have to meet under these circumstances but I want to ask you a few questions about your daughter's ex-husband."

"Did he do it? Did he murder Rosalyn?" her father asked.

"I can't comment. We honestly haven't even stated the cause of death yet," Barney said. "Are you still on good terms with Everett--Mr. Murray?"

"Yeah. We kind of have to be with Emili in the picture but he's a really guy and very smart. He's never raised his voice or fist to anyone. Rosalyn just gushed about him from the time they met until a couple years ago," her father said.

"Who filed for divorce?"

"She did. Rosalyn found evidence of Everett having an affair with a student. He admitted it, had the student switch professors and tried to make it up to her but she still filed for divorce," Rosalyn's father shrugged. "I guess she just couldn't overlook it."

"Rosalyn has a history of her boyfriends and such cheating on her. I don't think she's ever had a faithful one," Rosalyn's mother finally spoke.

"Is Mr. Murray good with Emili?"

"Yeah. He doesn't get in the floor with her but he does enough to keep her entertained on his weekends."

"Were you aware of any problems between Rosalyn and Everett in reference to Emili or anything?" Barney asked.

"Not that we were aware of," Rosalyn's parents looked at each other.

"That should do for now, Mr. and Mrs. Carmen. I'll keep in touch and when we get the autopsy done, we will call you and tell you what we found out," Barney shook both their hands and left the house. When he got to his car he pulled out his phone again. "Huntsiger? What's a good but cheap hotel in Topeka? And can I get the address for Professor Everett Murray?"

Next Week
Barney talks to Professor Murray and begins to piece together the murder; Andy reveals his powers to Mariah; Jess suffers a devestating loss.

Can't They Make Sandwiches?

Born Loser 01-25-09
I like the glasses of what I assume is chocolate milk. The fruitcake even looks like it's drawn to be edible.

Here's an idea, Hattie if you don't want to eat our fruitcake: GO HOME!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

#180: Lazy Saturday Afternoon

No, no Born Loser post today because I was gone almost all day either getting groceries or driving 40 miles out of town to get lunch. That's right. 40 miles out of town. Me and my fiancee drove to Williamsburg, Kansas to go to Guy & Mae's Tavern which has the best ribs in the state (the country if you believe some people). And the ribs were worth the drive. The just melted in your mouth and the barbecue sauce was amazing. I would definitely recommend them to anyone wanted great barbecue in a different place while in the vicinity of Ottawa.

(Guy & Mae's Tavern is located on William Street in Williamsburg between Dane and East Streets.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Swearing

Born Loser 01-23-09

We've already established that Gladys hates swearing but that was when it was on TV. You should expect swearing in movies and there is those random letters that the MPAA put on all the movies that tell you what age you have to be to see it. They've even recently started placing the reason the movie has that rating on the movie so there should be something that reads "Rated R for severe adult language" or something like that.

Also, that bleeped-out silent movie would be the most annoying movie ever (after Bride Wars of course).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Strip Complications

It was brought to my attention that the strips are being cut off. Oddly, everything looks OK on my end so I'm going to play around and see what's going on--if it's Blogger, the computer or the template--but if you can, let me know what's going on on your end. Just send a comment or email to: east_of_eden1983@yahoo.com. I'll keep you all updated.

Update: (1/23/09 2:22 P.M.) After playing around, I think it's a screen resolution problem. I changed my screen resolution and after reaching a certain number (1024x768), the strips started to cut off just a little. I'll still keep tabs on it but if it becomes a problem, I'll go back to posting the strips the old-fashioned way.

Therapy Jones

Born Loser 01-22-09
I don't think would really spend the money on a therapist and I'm getting sick of seeing Brutus at a psychiatrist. Chip must think that's his new running gag or something but going to a psychiatrist is completely different nowadays because of all the drugs they could give you.

Anyone up for Brutus getting prescribed medical marijuana?

#179


The Tangent


People Getting Punched Right Before Eating


Doogie Howser, M.D. Theme

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sounds Like a Challenge To Me

Born Loser 01-21-09
Is Brutus just getting the pizza for himself? The speech makes it seem that way. Apparently Brutus' hunger is greater than his love for his wife and son.

I remember when I could eat a whole pizza by myself. I had a stomach of steel. I don't know what happened. Lousy adulthood.

Become a fan of this blog on Facebook. Or click on the link in the sidebar, just under the Blogger logo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

#178: Future Shock

I'm looking toward the future. There are things I want to do and get done. I've been languishing lately and I'm starting to get tired of it (of course, if I had a job I wouldn't be bored all the time). I have a second book that I am not even halfway done with despite me working on it since 2006. I have two last short stories I want to get done and start on my third novel but for some reason I just can't sit down and write. I've tried and I've written a little but I just can't seem to get anything substantial down. I thought, back in November, posting some of my novel would get the juices flowing but it really didn't but I did get a couple short stories written.

Starting March 1st, I plan on doing some changes and getting my book done. I have also decided to end doing the Point of Beginning entries (the numbered entries) because I think I am going to restart it on it's own blog. The last entry will be #181 and I will let you know when POB returns. Also, if Secret Identity or Joe & Querty (an upcoming Story Series) become popular I will also move them to their own site. I have started another blog that mainly talks about the place I live and the history. I try to get some current events on there and I'm hoping to have a sort of staff at some point. Currently there are only two posts on it but I plan to only update it weekly.

As for changes to this site, Tauycreek.com will remain basically the same. Getting all technical, I was actually able to add a favicon to the site (it's a picture of Brutus talking to Veeblefester) so it's not the same old Blogger logo. I also have started posting the strips in a bigger format so you don't have to click on the strip to read it plus I think it makes the site look a little better.

Tauycreek.com celebrated it's first year yesterday and I hope to keep this thing going even longer because it's a good outlet for my writing, thoughts and my hatred of Born Loser. There may be some changes happening over the next couple of months including more things unrelated to The Born Loser but it will always be here because it was here first plus I know that's why people come to this site.

I'm also thinking of new stuff to the site to keep things interesting. I'll keep you posted and until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Alone Again, Naturally

*Sigh* Our last classic Born Loser strip for awhile. I'm hoping to find and post some more so hopefully there will be more as soon as possible.
Brutus Quits
I don't think we've seen Brutus actually threaten Veeblefester. Well, here you go. It didn't work but I still like to see that. If the current comics were like these older ones, this site wouldn't be necessary.

Born Loser 01-20-09
Brutus is once again at a fancy restaurant by himself and using outmoded terms like a rube.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Know Where She Can Stick That Candle

Born Loser 2006
I love the border of the two throwaway panels. Shows that Chip really cares about his work. Brutus backed down way too easily but we only have a few short panels to discuss where this mysterious lamp came from so someone had to give and God forbid that it be the woman for once.

Brutus & Wilberforce Math Problems
I'm sensing that Chip started hating his job sometime in late 2007. Prior to that, the strips were actually good and were detailed enough to make the strip look less boring. It didn't look like a huge cut-and-paste job it does now. Also, the subtle humor really makes the strip work.

Born Loser 01-19-09
Wilberforce then tackles Hattie and starts beating her. "Make fun of me, will you?" Wilberforce will scream. It will take both Brutus and Gladys to pull Wilberforce off of Hattie. Hattie's nose will never be the same and her neck will only be able to move slightly in each direction.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Year of "Losers Are Made, Not Born"

It's been a year since I started this site and I have had so much fun doing it and I hope that you have too. I would like to thank Comics.com for updating their site so the past strips could be used for this installment. It was my very first post where we learn that Brutus has not aged well unlike his Uncle Ted who we never see again. Also, we learn that Gladys is so numb to her marriage that she can't remember when her husband's pants caught on fire. I'm glad that she's able to let go of horrible memories but you'd think she'd remember that. I know I would.

Also, I am introduced to the phrase "subprime" which would wreck havoc on our economy within a short nine months or so. And, yes, such a serious word is resorted to a bad joke about television. We also learn that Wilberforce has a college-aged friend (must be where he gets his weed) named Rick Goetchius, who we never hear about again. And we discover Brutus doesn't know what "24/7" means. So that takes us through the first month or so of Born Loser strips and looking at these old strips makes me nostalgic for those good ol' days of early 2008. I was a small fish in a big pond but now I am a medium fish in a big pond. Of course the original idea came from Josh Fruhlinger's site The Comics Curmudgeon where I think everyone else who does a comic blog has stolen--borrowed--the idea. I originally made fun of The Born Loser in my "Watch This Space" prototype I had on Blogger (now deleted). It wasn't anything great just more of a personalized blog that ended after about 40 posts. It was within this first month that we got Creepy Panel #1 with Brutus' doe-eyes. We also learn that Brutus' birthday is on March 3rd so we'll see if that holds true in 2009. (Unlike Veeblefester who has two birthdays within a year). It was also my first attempt at making my own version of the strip, something I don't do very often. I also attempted to create a murder-mystery story within the realm of The Born Loser that didn't last past the first chapter. Also, it's determined that I lost my mind with the March 10, 2008 edition of The Born Loser and I haven't been the same since.

Starting on March 14th, I discovered how to post the comics on the site itself instead of linking to Comics.com. I had originally planned to post the strips back on the earlier posts but decided against it because I felt it ruined the simplistic value of the site. March 24th's strip shows just how bad (and confusing) a driver Gladys really is and on March 31st, we learn Veeblefester's wife is named Lividea who we won't see until June 12th. In April, I tried to honor the Kansas Jayhawks NCAA Championship by posting a Girls & Sports comic that is completely irrelevant. But we also get one of the creepiest panels in this strip's history. I became a huge fan of sacks of money and I make a reference to bus stop patron Crazy Amy who is a real person. My friend Randy saw her first when returning to Lawrence and taking the bus from the Greyhound station to his place of residence. She kept talking to him about random stuff and kept saying she married a Nazi. Turns out she lived next door to me and while she wasn't really married to a Nazi, she was married to a Professor of German Studies which is where that came from I guess. She was pretty much insane and where I lived kept trying to get her evicted but she owned her condo and was current on all dues so there was no legal way to get her out. I don't know if she's still there but every time I pass by the street corner I can still picture her doing her interpretive dancing while waiting for the bus.

In May, I made a list of actors I would like to see portray our characters in a Born Loser movie and I am still waiting for it to come true because Hollywood is still putting out crap (Marley and Me, anyone?). I finally reached the 100th post and we get possibly the only sweet moment in The Born Loser.

Starting in June, Brutus starts asking Veeblefester about his redeeming qualities which soon becomes a running gag and makes me wonder why Brutus does that. Also, I purchased the domain name Tauycreek.com and officially changed the name of the site from "Losers Are Made, Not Born" to "Watch This Space" and began doing more comics aside from The Born Loser. Commentor Aesop pointed out that people talk like idiots in the BL universe and we celebrate National Cheesecake Day.

Starting in August I tried something new with Superman comic books and we get our first BL strip without any of the main characters. Alley Oop celebrated his 75th anniversary and two of the lamest comic characters are married off plus I reach my 200th post and I immediately go on vacation as For Better or For Worse comes to an end.

I was unable to come back as I had planned because of Internet issues but when I did get back, color had been added to the strip but not much else had changed. I began my Peanuts tribute that only lasted about two months or so before I got sick of it. I did a entry on my favorite horror movies before doing a massive entry for Halloween.

In November, we learn that Chip Flagston has a cellphone flask, that Wilberforce's teacher is pure evil and that Brutus does not eat a healthy breakfast. December opens with post number 300 and an interesting take on a murder story. Also, because of a change of schedule, I stopped posting other comic strips, focusing mainly on The Born Loser which brings this site back to it's roots. I also began the Story Series Secret Identity which I hope you all are enjoying.

And this ends the 2008 reign of The Born Loser. I hope you all have enjoyed reading as much as I have writing. Any and all comments are welcome but before we close, I must comment on the weirdest comment I've ever received (so far) on this site.
Did you ever find the indian burying grounds near Tauy Creek? Archeologists are sickminded and disrespectful or they would not dig up old graves, would they? "Let my bones be!", he would have screamed, had he been alive, but he was not alive, so he said nothing. Was it okay for John Brown to kill the people at Potowatomie in your opinion? I found a catfish hole in Tauy Creek once a long time ago and boy was it deep for such a little creek. There's ghosts running nuts all over the old military trail from Leavenwoth to Fort Scott. I saw one once on the old bridge over the Marais des Cygnes 6 miles east of Ottawa. Bye.
I'm not sure what Indian burial grounds he is talking about but there is a cemetery near the Tauy Creek, which is where John Tecumseh "Tauy" Jones is buried. As for John Brown and the Pottowatomie Massacre: was it right for Sheriff Sam Jones to lead a posse into Lawrence and burn it down? But before that, Jones was shot while trying to make an arrest in Lawrence. Was it okay for John Brown to kill those people? That's not for me to say because it was all done in retaliation. As for the ghosts, now you're just getting weird but if ghosts do exist I'm sure there are plenty between the Black Jack site and Mine Creek (both near the Leavenworth/Ft. Scott Road).

For those who want to know, the name Tauy Creek comes from a creek that flows from the Marais des Cygnes River in Franklin County, Kansas into Douglas County, through Baldwin City. I thought it was a cool name and decided to use it. The creek was named for the aforementioned "Tauy" Jones who was a major influence on the Ottawa Indians in the 1850s. A hall on Ottawa University campus is named for him and a wood-carved statue adorns the campus, too. He's buried in the Indian Cemetery located outside of Ottawa on Osborne Terrace between Nebraska and Nevada Roads.

I want to thank all the readers and passers-by who helped make this site was it is. It is you that give me reason to update the site on a (nearly)daily basis and here's to another year of The Born Loser. And I do apologize for all the links.

Why Isn't Gladys Eating Too?

Brutus Dog Food
Why do people assume that if you are just buying pet food, you are poor and that's all you can afford? You can typically buy two, maybe three cans of Campbell's soup for the price of one can of dog food. And after eating dog food, you know why dogs lick their testicles.

Born Loser 01-18-09
Isn't asking for more a compliment? Also, it's just meatloaf so it didn't really take much time or
effort. Maybe Brutus would've paid you a compliment after the meal was over Mrs. Chef Hat but now you just lost your chance.

Where's Wilberforce during this dinner?

Secret Identity #1.4

You never know who will cross your path, Barney wrote down in a journal. Most people are just background characters who are seemingly unimportant. People come and go and you may not even notice if one of them were to disappear.

Barney stood at the checkout in his neighborhood grocery store just after midnight. He was talking to Myrna who was a short and stocky redhead. She was wearing the standard green apron the manager of the store had all his employees wear.

"...So the tornado was expected to go right through the town but hit this giant hill and turned south then died down and the storm ended. That's the closest I ever want to come to a tornado," Myrna laughed as she handed Barney back his change.

"I've lived in Centropolis my whole life so I was never all that close to tornadoes," Barney chuckled.

"How come tornadoes never seem to go through big cities?"

"Ha! Don't tell Topeka that," Barney laughed.

Two nights later, Barney was back in the store talking with Myrna again. He was having her bag up his gallon cartons of chocolate and white milk he had just bought. "...And that's why I hate text messaging! He sent that message to me when he meant to send it to her. You'd think he'd double check that especially since he put her name into the text message!" she was noticeably upset but laughed as she wrapped the plastic bag around the milks and shoved them into another plastic bag.

"Guys can be jerk. I can't believe the way guys treat women sometimes," Barney said.

"I can tell you would never do that," Myrna smiled.

"No, I'd double check before sending the text."

"See? I knew you were a good guy," Myrna handed him the bag of milk and smiled at him.

It was several nights later before Barney came back and Myrna seemed to be in a dream-like state. "I want to move back home," she said. "Centropolis just hasn't been kind to me and I'm ready for a change. I should've known that I was born to just be a country girl."

Barney just listened to her, enjoying the sound of her voice.

A couple nights later, Barney returned and Myrna was gone. A stubbly-faced guy was in her place. Impolite and surly, Barney felt even more depressed as he left the store. Barney came back a couple nights later and saw the same guy working the register. Barney just left the store and returned to his apartment. The next day Barney went to see the store manager. "I don't know. She was a good employee. She just didn't show up for work a couple nights ago. Not like her to just not show up."

"Thank you," Barney said and began to turn around. "Oh, do you have her address? I just want to make sure she's all right."



"So I have free run to do what it takes to get the job done?"

Cal Nolan sat calmly at his desk in his office as he spoke to the person standing across the room. "Within the conditions we have already prearranged, Cross. You violate the terms of that contract and I will have you hunted down and killed like a rabid dog."

"Deal, Nolan. Just don't call me Cross," the man held out his hand and a compact gun appeared. It was very sleek but obviously very powerful. "It's Bloodspill."




"Missing"
Barney stood outside the high rise building that housed Myrna's apartment. It was an older building in an area that was the first expansion of Centropolis after the Civil War. It was a decent neighborhood despite the number of run-down buildings. Barney began walking up the stairs in the building--there was no elevator. Myrna lived on the ninth floor so it took Barney a while to walk up all the steps. Barney passed a couple of fellow tenants and nodded courteously to each of them.

When Barney got to Myrna's door. He softly knocked and waited about to minute and listened for sound or someone coming to the door. He then knocked louder and waited and listened. He then pulled out his tool he used to unlock doors and quietly and quickly got the door open and slipped in.

The apartment was a mess but no more than what Barney had thought it would look like. Barney decided to start in her bedroom. He pushed open the door and saw piles of clothes just laying on the floor. Myrna's mattress was just on the floor, pillow and blanket lying askew. She had two posters hanging up, one of the music star Pink and the other was an aerial view of Centropolis. Barney started in her dresser drawers and was stunned to see that she also had clothes in there. All he found was clothes and envelopes of pictures and moved to the bedstand next to the mattress on the floor.

A lamp sat on the bedstand along with an alarm clock. Barney opened the drawer and saw a hairbrush, hair scrunchies and some lip balm and a digital camera. Digging deeper in the drawer he found an iPod, flashlight and some condoms. He glanced over into the trashcan nearby and saw amongst the tissues, wads of paper and fast food wrappers a used condom. Barney sighed loudly and slid the drawer shut.

Barney started over to the closet but suddenly another girl entered the room, holding a baseball bat. Barney could see she was pregnant and looked like she just came home from work.

"Who are you? What do you want?" she shrieked.

"I'm Barney Renauld, a private detective. I'm looking for Myrna."

"Why? No one else cares she's missing," the girl put down the bat and crossed her arms across her chest.

"I go to the store she works at when she's there. We talked and got chummy..."

"The only guys she got chummy with she slept with. I'd suggest you check with them to find her but I couldn't give you names and only vague descriptions," the girl said.

"So she slept around a lot?" Barney asked.

"Not because she really wanted to but because she wanted some good to come out of this city. She had a dead-end job, no friends, bad apartment and her younger sister was knocked up. The city hasn't exactly been kind to her."

"She said the exact same thing," Barney said quietly. "You're her sister? What's your name?"

"Melanie. And I'm seven and a half months pregnant, just so you know," she said.

"Okay," Barney stammered, embarrassed that she knew what he was wondering. "Do you have any idea where Myrna might be?"

"No. And if I did, I would try to find her myself. Without her, I can't support myself. She was working to get me back home to Greensburg to be with our parents."

"Don't worry, Melanie. I'll get you back home to Greensburg," Barney said.

"Hmm," Melanie tossed Barney's comment away. "I'm gonna go lie down. Look around if you want, just be quiet. Lock the door on your way out."

"Okay."

Barney went back to looking around Myrna's bedroom. He fumbled through the closet, her dresser drawers again, through the clothes on the floor and through the trashcan but found nothing. He stood at the bedroom and eyed the room slowly, looking for anything that could tell him where Myrna was. He saw something on the ceiling in the corner and walked over to it. It was a decent sized crack in the ceiling. Barney pulled a chair over and stood on it. He reached his hand in and felt something. He pulled it out and saw it was a videotape. Breaking the Glass Ceiling III the box read. Barney automatically noticed it was an adult video.

"Well, this could possibly help," he sighed.



Mike waited in the reception room of his father's office while Cal was on the phone. After about ten minutes, Cal exited the office and walked to his son, who stood up. "Mike, my boy! Good to see you. Please come in. What brings you here?"

The entered the office and Cal shut the door behind his son. "Well, Dad, I have tried several papers in Centropolis and even a couple in the surrouding suburbs and no one will hire me. But yet they say that they love my stuff and that it fits the paper perfectly. I don't know what's going on."

"Well, job interviews can be very difficult. Maybe you can call the places that rejected you and ask what you did wrong," Cal suggested, turning away from his son.

"I was wondering...I have one last interview with the Leavenworth Daily Constitution and I was wanting you to make a phone call for me," Mike said.

"I'm surprised at you, son," Cal began, turning to Mike. "You've never asked me to use my influence to get you anything before. Why now?"

"Because I really want to work for a newspaper. I want to be a journalist and apparently I can't do this by myself. If I can get in, I could but no one's biting."

Cal exhaled sharply. "Son...Mike, I can't help you out with this."

"Why not? I know you hate journalists and the free press but this is important to me. The one time I ask you for help, you..."

"It's not because I don't want to. I can't. I told the editors not to hire you. I had my people make a few threats to the editors if they hired you. I don't want my son working for a newspaper. It's an insult to the Nolan name," Cal revealed.

"I can't believe you did that, Dad! Actually I can believe it but can't believe you went through with it when you know how important this is to me," Mike stood up and approached his father. "You done some pretty monsterous things and I have stood with you, albeit relunctantly, but this is the last straw. I'm moving out and away from you. Your son will no longer stand next to you when the media starts disecting your life. You are on your own, Dad. Good-bye!" Mike turned and left the office, slamming the door hard, rattling the windows.

Cal just stood next to his desk, staring.



Barney sat in the run-down and grimy office of Neil Rostock. Neil produced the video Barney found in Myrna's bedroom.

"I need to know when you filmed this video," Barney handed Neil the video and he eyed it suspiciously.

"Oh, this was probably six to eight weeks ago. You can make a lot of movies in this business. Sorry I can't narrow it down for you but I'd have to look it up in our directory," Neil handed the video back.

"Do you recognize the girl on the cover...the redhead?"

"I do. She was very popular around here when filming. Myra or something like that," Neil said.

"Was this the only movie she was in?" Barney asked.

"Yes. Which is unfortunate. I called her to be in a second after this one turned out to be so popular but she refused. Shame. We offered her triple what she got for that one."

"Why are you sweating?" Barney asked suddenly.

"It's hot in here. I need to turn down the heat," Neil said.

Barney glanced at the thermostat that read 62 degrees. "Mm. Did you see Myrna at anytime after filming this?"

"We did meet for me to offer to role in another movie. We had lunch, she refused, I paid and we parted ways," Neil said.

"I mean no offense, Mr. Rostock but I think you are lying," Barney said.

Neil leaned back and two guys came out of a room behind him. They were holding guns directly at Barney who was unflinching. "Strong words, Mr. Renauld. What proof do you have?"

"None. But from your demeanor I know you're lying. Myrna is missing, Mr. Rostock and there is no way she would just run away or something. She was caring for her pregnant sister," Barney said. Neil slid a pair of sunglasses over his eyes and wiped his brow with his sleeve.

"I haven't seen her since our lunch about a week ago. I hope she's all right," Neil said. "Please feel free to talk to anyone else in the video or with the production but I doubt anyone here knows anything."

"Mm. I'll leave now. Thank you for talking with me, Mr. Rostock." Barney got out of the chair and left the office, closing the door behind him and turning his back on the guns pointed at him. "Liar," he whispered softly.



Three bodies lay shot to death in the alleyway as Bloodspill exited the alley onto the street. It was his eighth kill since leaving Cal Nolan's office yesterday. He was proud of what he accomplished. Collateral damage. They didn't have to die but he preferred it this way. He was hoping Visor would show himself soon.

Bloodspill came upon a group of people leaving a movie theatre. He killed all of them, bringing his total to 25.

"That should bring him," he said.

Visor swooped down only a couple later as police car entered the area. Bloodspill manipulated a larger gun in his hand and used it to destroy the police cars. Visor flew head first into Bloodspill, plowing him into the theatre wall. Bloodspill used his big gun to blast Visor off of him. The shot propelled Visor into the middle of the street.

"I can't believe it took you so long to finally come. And you call yourself a hero," Bloodspill scoffed.

Visor staggered to his feet, unprepared for Bloodspill's move. "Well, I am new to this. Why are you doing this?"

"For fun. And because I was hired to," Bloodspill said and had another decent sized gun appear in his hand. He began shooting randomly at Visor who attempted to dodge the blasts but was hit a couple of times.

Visor flew at Bloodspill and punched him across the jaw, sending him sprawling. The guns hit the pavement and vaporized. Bloodspill quickly had another gun appear and shot at Visor. Visor was hit and sent back into a charred police car. Bloodspill run over to Visor and changed the look of the gun into an even bigger one. He pressed the barrel of the gun to Visor's temple and pulled the trigger. Blood spilled out of Visor's mouth and ear and his hair got singed and his visor cracked.

"This was a lot easier than I originally believed. Sad excuse for a hero," Bloodspill teleported the gun away and brought in a couple of even bigger guns.

"Like I said, I'm new," Visor coughed and reached for Bloodspill's hands. He knocked the guns out of Bloodspill's hands and grabbed ahold of them. Visor squeezed as hard as he could until he heard snapping. Bloodspill began panicking and screaming as his hands were being crushed. More police cars were able to arrive and see Visor bring Bloodspill to his knees.

As Bloodspill was taken into custody, he kept cursing, screaming and crying. Visor was talking to one of the officers about the fight. "So what exactly did you do to him?" the officer asked.

"I noticed that he could teleport weaponry into his hands so I took a chance on just shattering his hands. I know it hurt him but he's killed a lot of people just because someone hired him to kill me," Visor explained.

"Whoa. Someone hired him?"

"That's what he said. Hopefully you can get that information from him," Visor saluted the officer and flew off into the sky.

Cal watched the proceedings on the huge TV in his office. "Get Bloodspill the best doctor you can find to help him with his hands. While he did fail, he does good work," Cal told his lackey.

"And what about Visor, sir?"

"I know someone who can at least get him out of our hair for awhile but he is of no consequence right now. You are dismissed Oakley," Cal waved and turned away from the TV. Oakley left the office.



Kismet followed Neil around for an entire day. Not secretly or quietly but very noticablely. Every deal he made was witnessed by her and the deal went south. People Neil normally associated with ran the other way. As the sun began to set, Neil finally broke down. "What?! What do you want?"

"Even the pregnant sister angle didn't get you to budge, Mr. Rostock," Barney said, coming out of the shadows. "How does it feel to be missing from your life? Having a superhero follow you around isn't the best thing for a man in your profession."

"Why? Why are you doing this? Is this about that girl?" Neil started crying as he fell to his knees.

"'That girl'. Yes, it's about 'that girl'. You know where she is. You know where Myrna is!" Barney yelled.

"My boss demanded that she be in another film. I asked her and she turned me down. I just let it go but my boss he threatened me to bring her in. I went back to her and she turned me down again..." Neil sobbed uncontrollably but continued, "So I killed her. I told my boss she was hit by a car and he let it drop. It was her or me. I didn't want to do it but I had to...It was her or me."

Barney and Kismet watched Neil curl into the fetal position and sob on the broken sidewalk.



About a week later, Barney wrote, a funeral for Myrna was held in Greensburg. Her body was fished out of the Missouri River after my confrontation with Rostock. I paid for Melanie to travel back to Greensburg and was able to collect enough donations to help pay for a good funeral. Myrna's family asked me why I did this. I wasn't hired, I got nothing from it but their gratitude and I barely know Myrna. I just shrugged. 'Every background character is still a person' I said. And they all deserve justice.

Next Week
Barney is hired to solve a murder in the suburb of Tecumseh. Mike moves in with Andy, Kyle and Jess and goes to see if Alexis can get him hired at her paper. Andy returns to work and meets Mariah Routh after having a bad day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Really? A Vegetarian?

Born Loser Collection
1)I was confused by what that man was doing in the second panel until I noticed he pulled out the umbrella. How did that umbrella fit into that drawer anyway?

Wouldn't it be weird of the uncle that died here was Uncle Ted?

2)Gladys apparently didn't have good taste in friends back then. Agnes looks like Flo from Andy Capp only with a tattoo. It's the tattoo that frightens me.

3)That suit actually doesn't look too bad on Brutus even though I don't approve of the salesman's tactics.

Born Loser 01-17-09
Just a towel. Why in the hell do we have all those towels? I don't know about you but I use a washrag or one of those puffy scrubby things to wash parts of my body, not a towel. That seems like a waste of a towel.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Born Loser Books

"Hey, Brutus, How Do You Want Your Goose Cooked?" has a really creepy cover. Not only is the only light coming from behind Gladys but you just know she killed that goose with her bare hands.






"Untitled Born Loser Book" shows Brutus holding up some paper cut-out dolls. As you can see, Brutus messed up that one near Hurricane Hattie so everyone is mad at him. Brutus is also just a couple inches taller than Wilberforce and Hattie while Gladys and Veeblefester tower over him like Big Bird towers over Ernie.

On a side note, I am glad that Wilberforce and Hattie have gotten modern makeovers as I could not handle them looking like that on a day to day basis.




"Yet Another Untitled Born Loser Book" has Brutus sitting on a freshly-painted bench. A freshly painted bench in the winter. Because what's the point of being a born loser if you don't sit on wet paint?











"Heads I Win, Tails You Lose!" has a nice close-up of Brutus' face. Does Brutus not care about his money because he does not seem interested in even attempting to catch the coin he flipped into the air and seems oblivious to the fact that the coin is about to drop into the sewer grate. Granted, based on this strip's history of perspective, the coin is a penny anyway.








"The Born Loser Bares All" has Brutus' doctor laughing at him. That's never a good sign when your doctor laughs at you but I think it would be funnier if the doctor was checking Brutus for testicular cancer and laughing.

Homemade Pizza Does Sound Good

More classic Born Loser for you all.
Born Loser Work Meeting
This kind of thing still happens today where we are all left victim to the boss' medication. The only difference is it's all done by email now.

Born Loser 01-16-09
Hey, everyone in my house has been sick, too. Throwing up, dizziness, high fever. Good times. We didn't order out every night though. We still cooked.

I'm confused about why "Pizza" is underlined in the last panel. Is it to put emphasis in Wilberforce's voice? Is it to draw your eye to make sure you read it right? Whatever the reason, I don't think it needs to be there.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Certainly Not Great American Novels

I was looking around on the Internets and found the covers of some old Born Loser books and in honor of the year anniversary of this site, I figured I'd post them and show you what TBL looked like in the late 1970s. The art was pretty reminiscent of the times but from what I saw, the humor was a bit more angry than it currently is. The first book is "Tarnation, Man, Assert Yourself!" which features Brutus walking Kewpie while Veeblefester watches, shouting the book's title. Kewpie is nearly as big as Brutus and nothing is drawn correctly. Brutus also has a massive gut which will kill him in just three short years. The next book we have is "The Adventures of the Born Loser" and Brutus breaking his own logo (I hate when that happens). The green cover is just awful and looks like someone vomited up pea soup or something. I am actually fonder of this art than I am of Chip's current take because the art is styled during the period it was created in and the "modern" take now doesn't fit the strip's profile. But I'm under the opinion that the strip should've ended when Art Sansom passed away. The next cover shows the whole Thornapple family and Hurricane Hattie. Yes the kid with the weird curly-cue things for hair is Wilberforce. Frightening, huh? I can't really tell what Brutus is doing but it looks like he has a mixing spoon in his mouth and Gladys looks confused, which I completely understand. Our last book has a great picture of Gladys (which more femininity than she has currently) making fun Brutus for not being able to properly work a rocking chair which is just really, really depressing. I'm hoping I can find more book covers and even older strips to show you all as we get into a year of "Losers Are Made, Not Born". I have already found some older strips that I will post throughout the week leading up to the big 1/18 entry marking the year exactly. Questions, concerns? Let me know.

Brutus Had Some Fire Back Then

Got a special treat for you today in honor of the upcoming anniversary of this site. And old Born Loser strip from either 1967 or 1969, I can't tell which.
Born Loser 02-18-1967
I like the art. What the hell kind of calendar is that? I've never heard or seen of a calendar like that? It seems like a really thoughtless gift but what do you really expect from Veeblefester?

Born Loser 01-15-09
So I guess Brutus has traded abusing inanimate objects for the therapist's couch. A step in the wrong direction if you ask me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

#177: Dream Weaving

Future Dystopia
I had a terrible nightmare about President Bush a couple months ago, it opened up with a disheveled Tom Brokaw on the news, hair a mess and a decent five o'clock shadow on his face. The headline below the distinguished anchor read 'America Celebrates Bush's 10th Year As President'. No one was happy it was his tenth year but, like The Twilight Zone's "It's a Good Life", you couldn't say anything bad no matter what so you had to celebrate whether you wanted to or not and suffice it to say, no one really wanted to. As you looked out on the cities, it reminded me of scenes from Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Dark, enormous skyscrapers tore through the grainy and oily sky. Outside the cities, oil derricks could be seen and huge plumes of smoke erupted from the cooling towers of coal-burning plants. The sky was a permanent red color and we were effectively cut off from the rest of world, prisoners of a world we didn't create.

Jerk
Back in April, I had a two-part dream which is really weird because I rarely ever continue a dream after waking up. It started out with my cheapskate of a landlord selling my house to someone new. I really wasn't all that thrilled about having a new landlord but my attitude changed when I found out who it was. Kansas University's basketball coach Bill Self. Yeah, I don't get it either.

I'm not a sports fan so I don't know why I'm dreaming about Coach Bill Self. Turns out Coach Self, in my dream, is a douchebag. He raised our rent $200 and wouldn't come fix anything. Then one day, this Korean man and wife came to our door wanting to buy a car from Coach Self and wanted to know where he lived. I drove them to a small neighborhood near 31st and Kasold despite the fact I know Coach Self lives near The Yankee Tank on the west side of town. With me standing there, Coach Self gave the kind Korean man a very good deal on a 2006 Mercedes. Everything seemed all nicely wrapped up in a neat little package.

Until part two...

On a stormy night, I was busy throwing pots and pans under leaks Coach Self refused to have fixed, or reimburse us for fixing when the nice Korean man came back and was complaining that Self raised the price of the car $1,000 over Blue Book value. I had finally had enough of the Coach Bill Self and his National Championship douchebaggery and drove back to his place and complained. For some reason, Coach Self was getting ready for Christmas and was dressed like Santa Claus which made it hard to yell and be mad at him. He gave me a candy cane. It was really fun watching the Korean man tear into Bill Self dressed as Santa Claus. I awoke to the phone ringing so didn't find out if the Korean man got the car but I honestly don't know if I'd really want to find out.

I'm pretty sure Bill Self is one of the nicest guys in collegiate sports because on TV he seems a lot more approachable than a lot of the others so I have nothing against him. I'm just saying Bill Self may be a bad landlord.

Sheriff of Mayberry?
One of the weirdest, but by far my most favorite dream is where I was the sheriff of a small town because I was wearing the uniform. I was in this empty, dusty old house with this girl. I never saw the girl's face but she had long brown hair and I don't know if she was just a friend or if I was trying to woo her but I got a call that a rabid horse was running around destroying the town. The horse ended up running toward the house so I spent the rest of the dream trying to protect the girl from the horse. I woke up before the dream could finish but I've been looking for that girl since or even the house or town. I feel like these dreams are trying to tell me something but I don't know what because I'm not very good at interpreting dreams.

Chip Has Something Against Advertisements

I've come to the conclusion that I am a lazy SOB. I had so much planned for yesterday but was only able to get Secret Identity posted. Here's hoping I can get the rest posted either today or tomorrow but for right now, here's your Born Loser fix.

Born Loser 01-13-09
Gladys, don't you have a son to get ready for school and make breakfast for? Maybe instead of rolling over and hitting the snooze button, Brutus should roll over and hit his wife. "Sorry, honey, I was having some kind of dream."

Born Loser 01-14-09
Does this really happen? I watch a lot of television and I can honestly say that I've never seen a commercial have a commercial break unless watching an infomercial or QVC.

And what kind of commercial starts out with "Your attention, please" besides used car and local furniture store commercials?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Secret Identity #1.3

A knock erupted from the office door of Barney Renauld's detective agency. Barney had fallen asleep with his head on the desk and it took him awhile to realize where he was and to lift his head and straighten his back. The person knocked again and Barney coughed.

"I'm coming. Just a second," Barney went as fast as he could to the door and unlocked it then turned the knob to open it. "Yes?"

"Barney Renauld?" the man asked. The man was tall with a shaved head and dark sunglasses. He was wearing a suit that fit him perfectly and looked like it cost a lot. His hands were clasped in front of him with a manila envelope in one hand.

"Yes?"

"A package for you. From Mayor Nolan," the man handed the envelope to Barney and immediately turned around and walked away.

"Mayor...?" Barney tore open the envelope and pulled out a stack of pictures. He looked at the pictures of the dead woman lying on the floor. "Mrs. Crispin..." he stammered.



Jess and Alexis slowly backed away from Ripper as Alexis took multiple pictures of the monster. They stumbled on the bodies lying on the tunnel floor and were running out of room to back away to.

"If you'd stop taking pictures, we'd probably have a better chance of escaping this death hole," Jess said.

"What good is all this danger if I can't get amazing pictures?"

"What good are amazing pictures if you're dead?"

"Point taken," Alexis said, putting the camera down and actually looking at the monster. "What do we do now?"

"Cower in fear?"

Suddenly, everything was bathed in a blue light. "Don't worry. You're safe now," said Kismet as she flashed in the tunnel and held Ripper back.

Alexis raised her camera and began taking pictures of Kismet pulling Ripper out of the tunnel. "I am so going to get a bonus."

"Heroes"
"How is everything coming with the subject?" Cal Nolan asked as he entered the Metahuman laboratory. The lab was a subsidiary of NolanMark Industries but was disguised as a lab to study diseases and cures.

"Everything is ready except for there a problem with his eyes," said one of the technicians.

"What problem?" Nolan asked.

"His eyes are sensitive to solar light. We could keep him incubated to see if the problem wears off or replace his eyes but that could take several months for the new eyes to become adjusted."

"Any other options? We need to get him out into the streets," Nolan said.

"We've been working," spoke one of the other technicians off to the side, "on a pair of glasses he could wear that could protect his eyes. If you want, Mayor Nolan, we could try them out."

"Yes, do it! If this works we can eliminate the police presence in this city. Who needs police officers when you have an army of superheroes to protect the city?" Nolan smiled.

One of the technicians grabbed the visor out of a sterile safe while another began draining the tube the genetically-created man was in. When the liquid was drained, the tube was opened and a couple technicians grabbed a hold of the man and helped him down. The other technician quickly put the visor on the man's face and the technicians steadied him. He was dressed in a skin-tight blue and black uniform with a small yellow triangle on the left side of his chest, the triangle was the proposed replacement logo for the Centropolis Police. After a couple minutes, the man was standing tall and looking around the room.

"Where...?" he began but stopped.

Nolan approached him with a big smile and open arms. "You are in a laboratory. Can you see all right? I heard you were having problems with lights," Nolan clapped the man on the shoulder.

"Yes. I can see just fine. What's going on?"

"You are the first in an experiment to create an army of superheroes. If all goes well with you, more will be created and you will be the premiere crime fighting force in this city," Nolan said, leading the man to the other side of the lab.

"Why? That can be dangerous. You would put an entire city--an entire world--at risk with superpowered beings?" the man asked, looking out over the city and seeing something in the distance.

Nolan was taken aback by the man's comment. He thought of something to say but couldn't think of anything. "I...I would have complete control over them."

"You don't have complete control over me," the man said.

Nolan turned toward the technicians. "Back in the tube. He's not ready yet!"

"No!" the man grabbed Nolan by the throat and threw him across the lab. "I am my own person. I can be a hero without your help. You or any of your cronies come near me and I will kill you all!"

The man shattered the window and flew out into the city and toward what he was looking at. As he arrived he noticed and electric blue woman and a hideous brown monster fighting near a hole in the street. Sirens could be heard in the distance but the woman needed help now. The man flew down and clocked Ripper across the chin, knocking him to his back.

"Thank you," said Kismet, panting. "Where did you come from?"

"Does it matter? I'm just here to help you," the man said.

"Who are you?" Kismet asked, using her powers to keep Ripper pushed down to the ground.

The man gave a confused look then touched his glasses. "Visor," he said, hoping he didn't sound like an idiot.

"Visor," Kismet repeated. "Cool name."

"What is this creature?" Visor asked as he noticed Alexis and Jess standing nearby, Alexis holding her camera up and taking multiple pictures.

"We don't know. He's been responsible for several kidnapping and murders though. He's been dubbed The Ripper," Alexis explained, taking close-up pictures of Visor who seemed confused by the act.

"He's getting back up!" Kismet screamed. "You ready, Visor?"

"This'll be easy," Visor smirked. Ripper stood back up but Visor punched him, sending him back to the ground.

"The cops are coming so they can take over after we get this thing knocked out!" Kismet flashed over to Ripper and punched him.

Visor and Kismet pummeled Ripper until they were sure he wasn't moving anymore. Then backed away from the body, lying beaten in the alley. The police finally arrived and began questioning everyone from Kismet to Visor to Alexis and Jess. Meanwhile, great lengths were taken to make sure Ripper wouldn't escape. After everything had calmed down, Alexis and Jess began walking back to where Alexis had parked her car.

"So did you get good pictures?" Jess asked.

"Absolutely. I'm gonna have a job for a long time. Plus getting pictures of Kismet and that Visor guy just sweetened the pot. Thank you for coming with me. We'll have to hang out more," Alexis said.

"We should, just without the murderous monsters," Jess smiled.



"Just what the hell do you think you are doing?" Barney shouted as he threw open the door to Cal Nolan's office.

"Whatever do you mean?" Cal asked, sitting calmly in his chair.

"Those photos you sent over to my office. Of Alexandria Crispin. You murdered her instead of owning up to having an affair, you wretched piece of slime!"

"Those are some pretty daring accusations, Mr. Renauld," Cal said calmly. "What proof do you have of any of that?"

"I have pictures of you and Alexandria together."

"Really?" Cal acted surprised. "Then her husband must have found out and...killed her himself."

Barney was taken aback. "I see what you're doing. It's not going to work. I am going to bring you down no matter what the cost."

"I look forward to it," Cal smiled and waved for his now-present security guards to follow Barney out of the building.



"Visor looked so amazing!" Jess said to Andy as she read the morning paper with Alexis' story and pictures. "You could so easily do that, Andy."

"I don't want to be a hero. People won't respond to me. Everyone will want to hurt me. I'm the only one of my kind in the world and I have no idea where these powers came from."

"That's not true. More people would accept you than you think. You just got to give them a chance. Please, Andy. You were made for much more than sitting on your ass talking to old people over the phone."

"Jess, you been hounding me over becoming a hero since I told you I had these powers and I'm getting sick of it. Please, quit bringing it up and leave me alone!" Andy yelled and stormed off to his room, slamming the door.

Jess sat on the couch, holding the paper and sighed.

Next Week
A grocer goes missing and Barney wants to find out what happened; Nolan hires a super powered gun man to hunt down and kill Visor; Mike confronts his father and learns why he wasn't hired.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Please Go Away Random Neighbor

Born Loser 01-12-09
I, for one, think that Brutus needs to interact with more people. This curly-haired neighbor is a good start. The colorist, however, seems to be having a love affair with the color blue though.

On a side note, what I supposed to get posted today isn't going to happen but I will get it posted tomorrow with a BL update on Wednesday to cover tomorrow's strip.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

That Lamp Keeps Changing Positions

Also, money is the root of all evil. So why do churches ask for it?

Chip actually accomplishes a worthwhile strip. No two panels look alike and while I can see this as a weekday panel, it works better as a Sunday.

I do love Brutus' mathematician visor.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Football Musical Chair

Wilberforce is onto something. Every couple games or so, certain players should be randomly trading to the other team for that game. In some cases it would hurt (Tennessee Titans) but for other teams (Kansas City Chiefs) it could really help.

We probably won't be able to get a NCAA Football playoff anytime soon but maybe we can start this trend of random player trading.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Like Brutus Much More Now

And you know Hattie also has a gun in that bag just in case Brutus says 'No.' I guess we're supposed to assume that there's quite a bit of snow on the ground since Brutus is shoveling. Anyone else notice Brutus' ear in the second panel? What's wrong with it?

Speaking of libraries, I actually happen to live near the oldest library in Kansas (and possibly the oldest library west of the Mississippi). The Coal Creek Library was founded in 1859 in Vinland, Kansas (about 10 miles south of Lawrence) and is still in operation. In fact, it still has the same librarian it's had since 1926. Martha Smith turned 103 on September 15, 2008 and has read and counted all 3,709 books in the one-room library.