Thursday, April 29, 2010

Super Goof in "All's Well That Ends Awful"

There are times when lovable ol' Goofy dons red underwear, a blue cape (which may or may not be a towel) and fights crime as the one and only Super Goof.  Super Goof first appeared in The Phantom Blot #2 in 1965 where Goofy accidentally drank a beaker of super fuel invented by Gyro Gearloose.  Goofy does what anyone would do and becomes a superhero but unfortunately just gets in the way of Mickey Mouse's more serious attempts at catching the Blot.

Seeing potential in this character, Super Goof reappeared in Donald Duck #102 (May 1965) with a new origin story.  This time, Goofy's powers were acquired by donning a special cape invented by Gyro.  When Super Goof graduated to his own one-shot (which soon became a long-running series), Super Goof's origin was changed again.  In Super Goof #1 (July 1965), Goofy attained his powers by swallowing a peanut--or Super Goober--he was growing in his backyard.  Peanuts were chosen mainly due to the general safety of imitative youngsters who could swallow handfuls of peanuts without harm.  The Super Goof comic book series would last 74 issues from 1965 until 1984.

The following story appeared in Donald Duck #102 (May 1965) and was written by Del Connell and drawn by Paul Murry.  All characters, stories and incidents are trademarked and copyright The Walt Disney Company.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

#212: Twilight

I finally got around to reading Stephenie Meyer's idiotic vampire/romance/teenage story Twilight and I mean this with all sincerity when I say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. And I went into it hating it with a passion. I still hate it. It stands for everything that's stupid in the world of literature but I'm sure if something I wrote that was stupid suddenly made enormous amounts of money and made a certain population of the world squeal with delight I'd be okay with it and wouldn't care what anyone thought of me or my writing. Anyway, first some preliminaries: Twilight was published in 2005 and, like the "Harry Potter" series, didn't really hit it big until a couple years after it started.  It was, of course, written by Stephenie (yes, with an 'e') Meyer and published by the Little, Brown and Company imprint Megan Tingley Books.

The book starts out with a Preface:  Bella yammering on about how she never really thought about how she would die while someone "saunter[s] toward [her] to kill [her]."  We then arrive in Phoenix where Bella is going to get on a plane to Seattle in order to get to Forks, Washington (which is a real town overrun by real vampires, I assume).  Forks is a small town where her father, Charlie, the best character in the book, is the chief of police or sheriff or something like that.  Anyway, Bella arrives in Forks and immediately receives a truck.  Granted the truck is approximately fifty years old but still, it's a truck and she's ready to go to school right after a night of crying.

Yes, crying.  Bella, who I assume is supposed to be based on Ms. Meyer, even loosely, isn't graceful, isn't beautiful and apparently had no friends in Phoenix.  Bella never mentions any of her old friends.  I'm guessing it's because her life before Forks and Edward is now meaningless.  Oh, yes.  We meet Edward in the first chapter so I'm glad we get this story going but, what's this?  Edward may not be that fond of Bella?  Of course not.  To Edward, she is beautiful and amazing and she smells really good.  She smells good?  I guess that's a reason to like somebody--not their personality or intellect.  I don't care if you are a vampire there's got to be something more than smell to keep the relationship going.

Luckily, Bella and Edward have all the life-threatening danger but I'm getting ahead of myself.  For about the first six chapters, every one goes through the normal motions.  Bella makes friends in Jessica, Mike and some other girl I am too lazy to look up but Bella also starts getting to know Edward more after he saves her life from being smashed by an out of control van.  Bella is very accident prone and that's another I don't like about her--and she's only accident prone when Edward is around so I'm not saying he's somehow mentally causing all this stuff to happen but it's a bit weird.  Again, the first six chapters or so are pretty decent.  Very teenage centric so everyone can really get on board but then something happens that shifts the focus of the book into a realm neither main character should really be in so soon and that is love.

Bella along with her girl friends go to Port Angeles to pick out dresses for some meaningless dance that's coming up.  Bella gets separated from her friends and is...what the hell?...possibly stalked by a group of guys?  Port Angeles has a population of about 18,000 people so I don't really think that's a place that's going to have much stalker/kidnapping/rapist crime.  In the book's defense, Port Angeles is a tourist city but I still think crime is pretty low there (and backs me up).  Anyway, Bella is saved from either being brutally raped or being told she has a Maxi Pad stuck to the seat of her pants by Edward and it is here the book begins it's downward spiral.

For the next two chapters Bella and Edward talk.  Just talk.  Something that could take a couple decent sized paragraphs is dragged out for two freaking chapters.  Those chapters also use the word "dazzle" too much.  This entire book uses it too much that I came to the conclusion that dazzle is one of the stupidest words in the English language.

Bella and Edward enter into a relationship and they are just so in love despite not really knowing each other, not spending time with each other and barely showing any sign of affection at all.  Which I guess, in all honesty is how high school relationships work.  Bella meets Edward's family including Carlisle, a vampire doctor who turned Edward into a vampire when he was 17.  Then, during an pretty pointless game of vampiric baseball, other vampires arrive and immediately want to kill and eat Bella.  Of course.

So the Cullens ship Bella off to Phoenix where Bella is tricked into going to one of the evil vampires.  Of course.  Anyway, Bella is beaten, a couple ribs are broken but everything turns out okay except Bella has to receive a blood transfusion which leads to the best quote in the book:
"You have a broken leg, four broken ribs, some cracks in your skull, bruises covering every ince of your skin, and you've lost a lot of blood.  They gave you a few transfusions.  I didn't like it--it made you smell all wrong for a while."
Yes, Edward said that while Bella is lying in the hospital after getting out of a morphine-induced coma.  "Gee, Edward, sorry my broken bones, bruises and loss of blood irritated your sensitive nose."  Bella and Edward's relationship seemingly borders on abusive because Edward constantly puts Bella in danger and even though he tells her to leave and that it won't work out, Bella remains because she's in love.  I have a two near-death rule:  if I love you I can nearly die twice because of you, after that I'm gone.  Also, you can tell just from the quote above that Edward wants everything to remain as is with Bella.  I haven't read the other three books but I looked them up on Wikipedia and school doesn't come up as much so I can only assume Bella either graduated from high school and immediately (SPOILER!!) gets married or dropped out all together.

I don't care that things that take up a majority of Bella's life like family and school are easily omitted from the story because it doesn't move the story along.  Hell, the Harry Potter books barely show the kids in class even though the series takes place in a damn school but that is the place where Bella and Edward get to know each other, not playing a stupid baseball game or at a restaurant in Port Angeles because they are 17 (except for Edward who is 104 or something).

Twilight started off decent but this book proves that the teenage girls I went to school with who wouldn't know a decent guy if he bit her on the neck (yeah, I'm looking at you every girl I ever asked out in junior high and high school!!) are still inhabiting the bodies of the teenage girls reading this dribble.  I can see the appeal, don't get me wrong but the character development is practically nil and the two main characters personalities are only based on how they act with each other and not with other characters, what few other characters there are.  The book had me right up until chapter seven.  Also, Kristen Stewart?  That's not who I pictured or even thought of while I was reading this book but that's a completely different rant.

Until next time, I remain...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Smell of Joey

I'm sure you all know that smell very good.  My old friend Joey actually did have a unique smell of strawberry car freshener, musty creek and pot.  Whenever I smell that it brings back fond memories.

Moving to Alvamar?

Born Loser 04-27-10
What is the cartoonist obsession with golf?

I used to live abutting a golf course and I actually considered getting clubs and taking up golf because I felt it was a waste to neglect how close that golf course was.  But then I moved and thus marked the end of me wanting to play golf.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Harter Union: Part Three, Chapter 6

A couple months passed and no one ever knew I took Wendy to the dance except for Melissa. The Union was also going through some changes as Maggie was hired by her sister’s company and moved to Lawrence. Plus, Facilities was painting the walls in the dining room to try and brighten the place up.

I went into my office and saw a cupcake sitting on my desk with a lit candle in it. “What the hell is this?” I hollered into the kitchen.

Wendy came in, drying her hands. “It’s your one year anniversary here so I made you a cupcake with a candle.”

“Well, that’s a fire hazard you know? Someone could come in here, knock it over and set all my papers on fire.”

“Leave it to you to have someone do something nice for you and you fart all over it,” Wendy complained.

“Now, just for your…ew!” I picked up the cupcake and began to blow out the candle.

“Wait, you have to make a wish.”

“Okay, it’s an anniversary cupcake, not a birthday one,” I said.

“Just make a wish anyway!” Wendy yelled.

I rolled my eyes, thought for a couple of seconds and then blew out the candle. “There! Happy?”

“Much. What’d you wish for?” asked Wendy.

“Now if I tell you, it won’t come true…” I sat down in my chair and smiled at Wendy.

“So do you have plans for tonight?” Wendy asked, sitting down in the other chair.

“Well, Maggie and I have been together for six months so we’re going to where we went on our first date and there’s a small concert in the park in Lawrence and then we’re coming back to my place for some much overdue sex,” I explained.

Heather and Jay came into my office. “Jefferson, you have to fire Emily!” Heather said.

I sighed and stood up. “What’s she doing now?” I asked.

“She’s giving herself a manicure behind the Line while we have people waiting…”

Jay interrupted, “She’s also touching me inappropriately and trying to get me to sleep with her so my girlfriend will dump me.”

“Ugh! I’ll talk to her,” I stormed out of the office and headed to the Line. Lately, I’ve been having a huge problem with Emily not working, talking back, stabbing people in the back and trying to break up couples. First it was Nathan and Alyson: Emily threw a party at her place and invited Nathan but not Alyson. She got him incredibly drunk and by the end of the night they were in her room making out. Topless.

Next was me and Maggie: I hadn’t had sex with Maggie for about a month, I needed to relieve the tension and went to use the downstairs bathroom. I was nearly finished when Emily came in, removed her apron and shirt to reveal a black, lacy bra and began rubbing my inner thigh, her knuckles brushing up against my testicles. “I could do that for you…” she said and moved my hand away, I backed away and pulled up my pants.

“Okay, Emily, we need to talk!” I said, arriving at the Line.

“Okay, Jeff, but first I want you to try one of these strawberry crèmes that I helped make. They are so delicious.”

“No, thank you, I don’t like strawberries.”

“How can you not like strawberries?” Emily gasped.

“Well, it doesn’t matter anyway because I’m allergic to them.”

“Pfft! Allergic. What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Emily shoved a crème under my nose.

“Instant death!” I pushed Emily’s arm away and cleared my throat. “Look, seriously, we need to talk. Come into my office.” We went back to my office and Heather took her post on the Line. Emily sat down in the extra chair and I shut the door.

“What do you want?” asked Emily, chewing on her pinky nail.

“We need to discuss your work performance and general attitude. Your work ethic has been pretty lackluster and your attitude toward everyone has been…how do I put this nicely…bitchy!”

“Why, whatever do you mean?”

“You don’t do anything but flirt with the students and you cook when you aren’t allowed to cook.”

“Then train me to cook,” Emily smiled her perfect white-toothed smile as I sat down in my chair.

“Now why would I reward someone who needs to be punished? I have something much worse in store for you,” I smiled. I cleared my throat and leaned in closer to Emily. “You are going to stay late and help me organize the vegetable freezer.”

“What’s so bad about that?”

“Aw, poor, delusional girl. Get out of here, go serve some food.”

Emily looked at me puzzled, got up from the chair and left the office. Wendy appeared in the doorway like magic. “So how did Emily’s talking to go?”

“Well, not that it’s anybody’s business but she is being forced to help me clean out the freezer tonight.”

“What about your date with Maggie?” asked Wendy.

“We’re meeting at ten and we should be done with the freezer by nine. It’ll be fine.”

“Stuck in a twelve-by-seven freezer with Emily. God help you, man,” Wendy said.

The door to the freezer whooshed open and Emily peered in. “It’s cold in there…” she said.

I rolled my eyes and sighed. I walked into the freezer and Emily followed, shutting the door. “Did you just shut the door?” I asked.

“Yeah, I didn’t want the cold air getting out.”

“Yeah…that door doesn’t open from the inside.”

“What? You’re kidding, right? One of Jeff’s silly little jokes?”

“I don’t do silly little jokes, I make humorous observations. No, I’m not kidding. We’re stuck in here until someone opens the door from the outside.”

“That really sucks.”

“How do you think I feel? I have a date with Maggie tonight!”

“There we go! When you don’t show up for your date, Maggie will call trying to find you and that’ll bring someone here!”

“That’ll be three hours from now so what are we supposed to do in the meantime?” I asked.

“We could make love…”

“I knew you were going to say that. Emily, I am not going to cheat on Maggie so you might as well quit trying.” It was starting to get a little cold so I crossed my arms and shivered a little. “Why do you keep trying to break everybody up?”

“You make me sound like Yoko Ono. I do these things because I can and sooner or later one of you guys is gonna crack and you’ll be waking up next to me in bed, just like the others,” Emily said, sinisterly.

“Not every guy cheats, Emily. I never would. Does it make you feel good breaking up two people in love?” I asked, sitting down on a stack of boxes.

“Are you my therapist now?”

“No but I could be your friend if you stop being a bitch and talk to me!”

“I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t know you and you don’t know me so don’t you dare try to psychoanalyze me when you know nothing about me!” Emily turned around and stopped at the still-closed door.

“And you storm out, slamming the door behind you. Fine, we’re stuck together for God-knows-how-long so let’s learn about each other. You can ask first.”

Emily was obviously annoyed by the current prospect but slowly turned around and looked at me. “Who are you?”

“I,” I began, “am the single offspring of two seemingly worthless people who actually wanted a girl. I was named after one of the fathers of our country, but I hate my name. I was never liked in school by anyone and never had more than three friends at any given time. I flooded myself in reading and writing and by the time I entered college I could quote both Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe—verbatim,” I paused to take a breath.

“Really?” asked Emily.

“Yeah, and you’d be surprised that being able to do that does not get you chicks,” I chuckled.

“I wouldn’t think so,” Emily, too, chuckled. “I had this friend who went to Hawaii with her family for a vacation and lost her virginity to a guy who was 33. She was eleven.”

“Eleven?” I was amazed. Emily nodded. “What does a girl have at eleven? All the girls I knew at that age were flat as box tops and pubic hair? Forget it!”

“I lost mine at nineteen.”

I pointed to myself. “Seventeen. What drives someone to have sex at eleven, with an older man, in a different state, while on vacation?”

“Why Maggie?” asked Emily.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you have a thing for Wendy, you work with your ex-fiancé and live with the adorable Heather. Out of all those girls, you picked Maggie. Why?”

“Because,” I paused and ran my hand through my hair, which was beginning to freeze, “Maggie did something that no other has done for me in a long time.”

“What was that?”

“She cared. At a time when everything was going downhill for me, Maggie was there and lifted my spirits and she didn’t walk away afterward,” I explained. “I had been there for Maggie and she was there for me.”

“You sound like you really love her,” Emily said smiling.

“I do. A lot.”

Emily walked over to me. “We could be in here for very long time. What if the only way to survive is our own body heat and we have to have sex?”

“Well, good luck because my ass is frozen to this box.”

I sat in the booth at the bar and grill where Maggie and I went on our first date. Wendy had arrived at 9:30 to let me and Emily out of the freezer after calling Heather. Maggie was already half an hour late and I glanced from the two TVs to the entrance. Maggie’s sister came in along with her boyfriend and behind them was Maggie holding hands with another guy. They all sat at the bar and the guy put his arm around Maggie’s waist and slid his hand into her back pocket.

I threw $15 onto the table to cover my drinks and a tip and walked up to them. I tapped Maggie on the shoulder and leaned in close to her. “Hello,” I said.

Maggie heard my voice and slowly turned her head to me. “Jeff, what are you doing here?” she asked nervously.

“We had a date tonight but you obviously forgot about that,” I crossed my arms and cleared my throat. “So, falling back into your old routine?” I asked, referring to her days of going out and sleeping around.

“No, it’s nothing like that! This is my sister’s boyfriend’s brother, Matt. They were going out but Matt didn’t want to be home alone so they asked me…”

“To forget a date you had with your boyfriend because some guy didn’t want to be home alone?”

“I’m sorry. I did forget we had plans but I’m off all week so maybe we can…”

“He put his hand down your pants!” I shouted. Everyone involved was silent and avoided eye contact as the anger built up inside me. “I don’t know why I thought I could be happy. I’ve been telling everyone how much I loved you and…I hope you have a nice life because I’m sick of looking at you,” I turned around and started to leave.

“I’m sorry, Jeff…” Maggie said, getting off the bar stool but not following me.

“I’m sorry, too,” I said, leaving the bar.

I arrived home and found Heather sitting on the couch in her bathrobe, reading. I walked over and sat down next to her. “Whatcha reading?” I asked.

Lolita. I got it from your collection,” she said, turning a page. “What are you doing home so early?”

“The night didn’t exactly go as planned. Especially when Maggie showed up with another guy.”

“Oh my God, that sucks.”

“Wait, didn’t you have a date tonight?” I asked.

“Um, yeah, he came over, we made out, I gave him a blow job, I went to brush my teeth and he took that opportunity to sneak out.”

“Are you okay?” I asked, putting my hand on her leg.

“I guess,” she shrugged.

I scooted closer to Heather and put my other arm around her. “If you ever need to talk, I’m here for you.” I moved my hand up her leg, into her robe and lightly felt her pubic hair.

She turned toward me and looked at me curiously. “What are you doing?”

“Something I should’ve done a long time ago,” I leaned in and kissed her. She dropped the book and put one hand on my cheek and the other on the back of my head. I reached around her front and grabbed her buttocks and pulled her onto the couch underneath me. I undid her robe and opened it to reveal her naked body. I stared down at her into her beautiful blue eyes. “I would never sneak out on you…”

Jeff joins Nathan, Alyson and a group of their friends on a trek to an abandoned house.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Uh-Oh, Looks Like Brutus Is In Trouble

It's almost 11 o'clock at night and I just realized that I wanted to post today's strip here.  Then I am going to try to get at least half of Liberty #11 written because I really want to get this thing posted.
Born Loser 04-25-10
Was Brutus faking the answering machine message or did he re-record a message to include "I left five minutes ago" just in case Veeblefester called.  And don't go blaming Brutus, R.W., because when Gladys is in the mood you better get in the mood as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Force. Wilberforce

Born Loser 04-24-10
Yeah, someone who confuses the word "soul" with "sole" will go far in life.  But probably not.

POtW: South & Summit

My friend Randy and I tried to steal this sign. We worked hard on it but ultimately failed. I like these old signs in Baldwin because they are unique unlike the regular white on green that are replacing them.

There are very few of the white JCC signs left in Baldwin and I'm hoping I can get pictures of all of them before they are removed. By my count there are seven or eight of them left. I also wish that someone would be able to tell me who the "JCC" is that printed on the shield after the street name.

Update (3/27/2024): A few years ago, after some searching and sleuthing, I discovered what the JCC stands for. It stands for the United States Junior Chamber, or Jaycees. They are an organization for young people to become civically involved in their community. Their logo even has the shield seen on the sign.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who Is She Talking To?

No Thursday Comics today because I am too overwhelmed with other stuff to get posted here.  Thursday Comics will return next week as we talk about Tintin, everybody's favorite French reporter.  Also, I want to know why or how people are arriving on my site from adult websites.  It's very weird because while my site may not be suitable for work or grandmas, it's not that bad!  Strange.

Born Loser 04-22-10
If vacuuming, dusting, washing and cooking give Gladys heartburn then she should probably get that checked out.  Gladys needs to lose weight, plain and simple.  I mean, look at her.  She has no neck, her rotund body just bulges out from where her neck should be and don't get me started on where her breasts are in all this.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Futility of It All

My first day at "Evil-Place-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named" had this happen where we had already called a guy four times that day.  I put him on our 'Do-Not-Call' list and complained to the boss who basically said that calling them multiple times a day could help generate a meeting because we're wearing them down.

Also, I cannot draw people from the side.  What the hell is going on in the next to last panel?  Some sort of funky prayer?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Laziness Gets You Nowhere

I was actually going to get some stuff posted today like a POB and the fourth installment of Customer Service but instead I went back to bed so you are just stuck with just a comic strip for the next 24 hours.

Born Loser 04-20-10
Random employee seems to like Brutus' company while Veeblefester could take it or leave it.  I like to think that Veeblefester doesn't like having lunch with Brutus because Brutus drinks too much and his repressed homosexuality begins to show--along with maybe an appendage or two.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Harter Union: Part Three, Chapter 5

I arrived at work and noticed the entire staff was sitting in front of the newly-installed televisions. I stood next to Chrissy and looked up at the TVs. “I see they finally got those flippin’ TVs installed.”

“Ssh,” hushed Jason pointing at the idiot box. “TV.”

“Oh, God, I knew this was a bad idea.”

“Where’s Maggie?” asked Alyson.

“She’s helping her sister with her new job so she can only work on Sunday.”

“Is she getting paid for it?” asked Nathan.

“Yeah, her sister is reimbursing her for all the work missed here,” I sat down next to Chrissy. “Where’s Wendy?”

“She’s at home talking with Steve,” Alyson replied. “She’s going to ask him to come down for the Old Castle Dance.”

“Steve? That guy she met on the Internet a few weeks ago?”

“Yeah, they’ve really been hitting it off. She’ll sit in front of that computer for hours just talking to him. It’s kind of sickening,” Alyson explained.

“And has anyone explained to her that this Steve guy may not be who he says he is?” I asked.

“He sent her a picture…” Nathan said.

“Really? And Lord knows that can’t be fraudulent.”

“I say let her do it,” began Alyson. “It’s a harmless activity that brings her some joy. Let her have this. Wendy’s a big girl and I’ve been her friend a lot longer than you so I think I know how to handle this.”

“Well, I didn’t want Wendy to get hurt but apparently you have everything under control!” I got up and stormed off into the kitchen where I ran into Wendy in front of the ice machine.

“Hey, Jeff, I have great news. I got a date for the Old Castle Dance!” Wendy was so excited.

“Well, congratulations, I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful night for you,” I faked a smile and patted her head. I went into my office and sat down. “The world’s gone crazy.”

The Old Castle was a three story sandstone building on Fifth Street between Elm and Fremont. When Baker University started in 1858, Old Castle was the first university building. It is now a museum housing several artifacts from the Santa Fe Trail era and of surrounding communities that no longer exist. I went to Old Castle a couple times to look around and found it interesting and educational. The Old Castle Dance was an extremely formal ball open to Baker employees, alumni, and people willing to spend ungodly amounts of money for a plate. What was special about this year was it would probably be the last Old Castle Dance because people just weren’t donating money like they used to. Kathryn and Melissa were catering the event and they went all out for it. Maggie had to help her sister so I had just planned on having a quiet evening at home but kept thinking about Wendy’s date with Steve. I got out and drove past Wendy’s apartment which was still lit up despite the fact that Wendy should be at the dance and Alyson went out with Nathan, Jason, and Chrissy.

I went home and called Wendy. “Hello?” she answered.

“Just checking to see if you’ve left yet.”

“No…no. Steve called and he’s running late but he’s on his way,” she said. Her voice was quivery and it sounded like she was or had been crying.

“Well, I just called to tell you to have fun and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

“All right, Jeff,” she half-heartedly chuckled, “thank you.”

We hung up and I dashed to my room. I pulled my tuxedo out of the closet and began undressing. Heather came into my room and saw the tuxedo on my bed and me in my boxers. “What are you doing?” she asked.

I’m going to be someone’s knight in shining armor,” I said.

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m taking Wendy to the Old Castle Dance.”

“I thought that Steve guy was taking her.”

“Yeah, well, like I told everyone, that Steve guy is scum. Wendy is sitting at home waiting for a guy who is not going to show up. I’m going to save her from the embarrassment and humiliation.”

“Very noble of you,” Heather said.

“Oh, what? I’m doing something nice for someone I care about. Why do people always think this is a bad idea?” I complained.

“I didn’t say anything! I’m just making an observation!” Heather defended.

“Okay…I’ll be home late and I’m sorry I snapped at you…” I apologized.

“It’s okay,” Heather left my room and went back into hers.

I threw on my tux and headed downstairs. When I arrived at Wendy’s, I knocked on her door and she quickly answered it. She was in a dark blue sleeveless dress and looked twice as beautiful as normal. Her eyes widened when she saw me standing in my tuxedo.

“What are you doing here?” her voice still quivering.

“I’m going to take you to the dance. You ready?” I held out my arm like a gentleman and expected her to take it.

“That’s nice of you but Steve is taking me…” Wendy said softly.

I sighed. “Look, I know he’s not coming. I never thought he would but you can either sit in this apartment wearing that beautiful dress no one will see or you can come with me to the dance, attempt to have a good time and show off how beautiful you are.”

“You think I look beautiful?” she asked quietly.

“Always,” I extended my arm again which Wendy promptly took. “Watch your step, milady.”

“I’m not just a charity case am I?”

“I’m just a friend helping a friend. Come on, we have a dance to get to.” I opened the car door for Wendy and helped her in. I got in the driver’s seat, started up the car and headed toward campus for the dance.

Alyson, Nathan, Jason, and Chrissy were all headed back to Baldwin from Olathe. Nathan drove while Chrissy gave Jason a blow job quietly in the backseat. As they drove home, Jason began playing twenty questions with Nathan and Alyson.

“How long have you two been dating?” he asked.

“About five months, why?” Nathan answered.

“And you two haven’t had sex yet have you?”

“Uh, no…why do you ask?”

“Well, considering you and Trina were pretty hot and heavy back in the day and I assume that Alyson has a hole between her legs so I figured you two would be humping like rabbits.”

“Well, we haven’t,” Nathan revealed.

“Why not?”

“We just haven’t!”

“That’s not a good excuse. You are the horniest guy I have ever known. If I had a dollar for every time I heard you masturbating…” Chrissy’s lips tightened around Jason’s penis as he came in her mouth. “Chrissy, how long did we wait until we had sex?”

Chrissy swallowed and cleared her throat. “About two days.”

“I know Alyson is a virgin and all but you can’t keep it forever so you might as well give it up to Nathan,” Jason argued.

“This has nothing to do with Alyson’s virginity! Can we please drop the subject? This is so stupid!” Nathan ordered. “Idiot.”

The slow song ended but Wendy didn’t seem to notice as she continued to dance with me, her head resting on my chest. “Hey…” I whispered, “the song is over.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m just so caught up in the moment. It’s been perfect. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect night. How did you get to be so sweet?” Wendy asked, hugging my arm.

“After the accident, they had to remove 30% of my brain. But I’m feeling much better now.” I walked Wendy over to the punch bowl where Melissa was standing. I poured Wendy a glass of punch and handed it to her. “How are you doing, Melissa?” I asked sweetly.

“I’m doing fine. Um, Jeff, I was wondering if I could talk to you about something,” Melissa looked at Wendy and then back at me.

“Yeah, of course. If you’ll excuse me, Wendy.” Melissa led me to a small alcove area. “What do you want?”

“Why are you doing this?” Melissa asked sternly.

“The guy she was supposed to go with didn’t show up so I’m her Prince Charming, if you will,” I explained.

“What makes you think you need to rush to the aid of every girl in Kansas when their lives go bad? You give way too easily and you get hurt. You are not Superman…”

“I never said I was! I’m doing this because I want to. I didn’t want her to sit around her apartment all night in that lovely dress waiting for some jackass who’s not going to show,” I explained. “What is this really about?”

“I don’t want to see you get hurt,” Melissa said.

“I’m not going to get hurt! This is just a nice evening with a friend and nothing more. I love Maggie and I don’t want to ruin that. Why are you giving me this lecture?”

“Because I love you and I care for you!”

“And you said I live in the past. All right, fine, I’ll tell you the truth. There is a part of me that still loves you but I am with Maggie now and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that and the way I still feel about you, doing anything—even holding hands—would change everything,” I explained.

“What about Wendy?” Melissa asked.

“Wendy’s too good for me. Even if I had a chance, I wouldn’t deserve her,” I said solemnly. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve left Wendy alone too long. It’s impolite,” I walked away from Melissa and rejoined with Wendy.

Nathan dropped Jason and Chrissy off at his house and proceeded taking Alyson home. They stood outside her apartment trying to avoid the subject at hand.

“Look, we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to,” Nathan said taking Alyson’s hand.

“No…we really should because I have been thinking about it,” Alyson giggled. “A lot.”

“Well, do…do you want to?”

“Yes,” Alyson looked up into Nathan’s eyes.

“But it’ll be your first time…”

“I know…” Alyson unlocked the door and opened it. She took Nathan’s hands and led him into the apartment. “Come on in.”

“What about Wendy?” Nathan asked.

“She’s at the dance…” Alyson kissed Nathan softly on the lips, “…she won’t be home for hours.” Alyson wrapped her arms around Nathan’s neck and they kissed again as Alyson kicked the door shut.

After the dance I took Wendy to Signal Oak just north of Baldwin. Signal Oak was a huge oak tree at the top of a hill that was used as a communication tool to warn Lawrence settlers when border ruffians were approaching. A lantern was hung in the branches and telegraphed codes across the valley to Blue Mound then another light shone from Blue Mound to Mount Oread in Lawrence. The tree was torn down in 1914 but the view from the hill was magnificent.

“Thank you,” Wendy said.

“For what?” I asked.

“For what? For everything you’ve done during the last few hours. This is what Maggie keeps talking about, huh?”

“What does Maggie keep talking about?”

“About how underneath your quiet and secretive workaholic self, you’re a really nice, romantic and charming guy.”

“She said that?”

“Every word. Why do you hide that side of you?” asked Wendy.

“To keep from getting hurt again. It seems like every time I’m nice to any girl, it backfires on me and I end up having my heart stabbed,” I turned and looked at Wendy, took her hand and smiled. “Yet, for some reason, I keep taking that chance.”

We sat and looked out at the view for a couple more minutes and then I started the car and followed the gravel road down to the main road.

Jeff and Emily end up getting trapped in a freezer on the night Jeff has a big date with Maggie.

Brutus Is Oblivious

Born Loser 04-19-10
You would think learning the new operating system would be something that is mandatory like what most other companies would do.  Of course I do applaud Veeblefester, Inc. for not caving in to pointless corporate certifications like ISO 9000.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What Was I Talking About Again?

Born Loser 04-18-10
Really Chip?  You couldn't squeeze Mother Gargle, Veeblefester and Hurricane Hattie into today's strip?  I am very disappointed in you, sir.

But in all honesty, Kewpie is running away because he thought Wilberforce spelled "BET", Black Entertainment Television and that's a channel that everyone hates.  Even the people it's marketed to.  I think TV One is a better channel mainly because it shows uncut episodes of "Good Times" and ain't we lucky we got 'em?  Good times.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

POtW: Dead End

I had to spend a couple days in Garnett, Kansas for work a year ago and I thought Garnett looked like a very poor town. To back me up on this theory, at least every fourth house I had to visit was abandoned and they couldn't even afford modern "Dead End" signs.

I Can't Hear You, the TV Is Too Loud

Born Loser 04-17-10
Brutus looked so happy in the first panel.  Brutus was all content to watch his deafening loud movie (a pirated copy of new release "Kick-Ass".  Veeblefester knows the director) when Gladys swoops in and lays an insult on her husband.

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Table for One Today

Born Loser 04-16-10
Well, that's a terrible restaurant.  Normal people would complain and whine until the were seated or squeezed in at a later time.  But not Brutus.  He just walks off with his head down and tail between his legs.

I'm getting tired of Brutus going to fancy restaurants and eating alone.  That is so depressing.  Who does that?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The 1980s: When Your Grandmother Could Publish a Comic

Ah, the 1980s. Where a good majority of young people today under the age of 35 were born and all bankers and CEOs were hopped up on cocaine (the cool drug, at the time). Something else also happened in the '80s. Comic books became sort of popular which meant everyone had to publish their own comic book, quality be damned! Now, while the '80s did give us good comics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and, um...I'm sure there was another, it also produced crap. Crap like New Beginning. New Beginning, possibly auto-biographical but not at all true (I don't recall the Soviet Union starting World War III but I didn't watch much news back then). The story is about Terry, a guy who works his way from being a fat ass to the heir of $11 million. Terry never has a job except for his brief stint in the Army but no one questions it. I'm pretty sure I obtained this comic from a grab bag at my local comic store where you got ten comics for a buck but you didn't know what comics were in there because they were in a brown paper bag, just like the booze the people who created this comic were drinking. New Beginning was published by Unicorn Comics in September 1988 and apparently lasted for four issues. I have been unable to find anything on the next three issues but I have looked because I'm pretty sure if I had the entire series I could sell them and be able to buy an Extra Value Meal from McDonald's.

"New Beginning" #1 (September 1988)
Published by Unicorn Comics
Written by Terry Kalkanian
Drawn by Bruce White
Lettered by Debbie Kalkanian
Entire contents copyright (C)1988 Terry Kalkanian. All rights reserved.

The main point of showcasing the first page isn't because it's striking or is guaranteed to blow your mind but is because it is signed by the authors Terry Kalkanian and Bruce White and is numbered 1,128 of 10,000!! (Insert girlish squeal here!) More than likely they only printed 10,000 copies and signed all of them but I guess there is a chance they could be forgeries mainly because it looks as if Terry spelled his name wrong. Also, why is that newscaster calling it the "E & W German Border"? Shouldn't it be "East and West German Border"?
The second page isn't that much of a doozy either, but it shows why and how Terry grew up to become The Kingpin. What? Wrong fat guy? Boy is my face red. As is Terry's. Terry never reveals his last name in the book (although after looking through the credits I have reason to believe that it is Kalkanian) which is kind of weird.
I also think that joining the army is considered an overreaction to being pushed into a pool. I wish we could've seen all the horrible stuff Curtis and Other Guy did all at Terry's expense.
On this page we get a little something for the ladies out there. A completely ripped man whose glutes you could bounce a quarter on. I'm glad Terry found his niche in life: guns and killing. And later, comic books.
WOW! Terry got that ripped just in basic training. That is amazing! As is learning karate and jumping out of airplanes. Sadly, the fun that is the army (I knew it was just like Beetle Bailey) ends when a war suddenly pops up. And not just any war, Grenada.
That is the worst spit take I have ever seen. You know it's never going to end well when someone starts out saying "Let's have some fun with these losers". That's a good sign that someone is going is going to take a bullet to the head.
Oh, sweet Jesus! I didn't mean it!! Of course Terry had no control of what happened next, he was too busy trying to figure out how the damn zoom worked. "Scrapbook"? What kind of demented scrapbook does Al have? I know there's nothing I like better than to show my children and grandchildren the time I participated in the brutal massacre of four pseudo-innocent government coup-ists.
Terry and Al pull their guns on each other with Terry winning the dual. Fortunately Terry's killing of a fellow soldier is covered up by the government and Terry goes on to inherit $11 million from his dead grandfather thus creatinghis $8 million dream house. Yes, the first thing I would do with $11 million is waste $8 million of it on a gigantic house.
Jesus Christ. I know Debbie is your real-life wife and all but get over her. It was ten freaking years ago. I'm sure Debbie has moved on and married someone else. Oh wait, as we learn on the next page while the "party was in full swing" that Debbie married Curtis--the guy who shoved Terry into the pool those many years ago.
"She hadn't aged a day"? Compare Debbie on this page to Debbie on the second page. Debbie has aged a day. People age in 10 years no matter what people say. As we learn over the next couple of pages, Curtis has become an alcoholic as most people did during the 1980s. Curtis, fascinating character that he is proceeds to tell his wife to "shaddup" and calls her a "broad" then shuffles off to the bar.

Also, Terry has gotten Led Zepplin to perform for the high school reunion which is pretty awesome if you think about it. But the party is ruining and Led Zepplin is told to "shut-up" when a Ted Koppel look-alike comes on TV and announces that Russia has invaded West Germany (or "W. Germany" here) and launched nukes at the United States.
So Terry leads a gaggle of people we don't really give a damn about to a fallout shelter because if he didn't then Terry Kalkanian would not be able to publish issue two.
Ha! It's behind a bookshelf. That's so original. Terry should've installed a fire pole so everyone could just slide down into the shelter. Terry, who has taken it upon himself to protect everyone (and loosen his tie), quickly abandons everyone leaving Curtis and Tony to help the others. Curtis excuses himself. I've skipped several pages that show Curtis stealing Terry's booze and revealing the location of the shelter and bashing Tony in the head with wine bottle, killing him. Terry is now pissed so he grabs a gun (one of his many because the Second Amendment might as well be the first) and...
...Begins blasting away at his former friends and classmates. The look on Terry's face on a page I didn't include indicates that Terry is having a flashback to Grenada and Al (or something). Thankfully, Terry punches Curtis telling him that he now has two strikes against him. One, because he left the door open and two, he caused Tony to die (Terry's part of Camp Tony). One more strike and "I'll kill you myself!"
Terry, who has installed a monitoring system of six televisions looks to see what is happening outside of his high school reunion. What's odd is that either Terry has cameras pointed all over this great land of ours or the news channels are showing people frying in the nuclear blasts. Either way, I'm a little disturbed.
In this badly formatted page, five months pass. Terry has ordered all the guns locked up and the food rationed because there's only enough for 10 people for six months and there are 11 down there. I'm wondering what booze-hound Curtis is handling his lack of booze. After five months of going cold turkey, he shouldn't be dependent on it anymore.
Curtis stages a coup much like the people in Grenada only the Grenadians did a better job by immediately killing Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop while Curtis is just yammering on about how he is sick of being trapped here so he plans on taking Debbie and most of the food and walking out into the irradiated world. Debbie refuses to go resulting in her being hit so Debbie does the one thing someone--anyone should've done pages ago. She shoots Curtis. So now he's dead and three weeks later everyone ventures out into the irradiated unknown.
...Where there are now packs of radioactive dogs meandering around eating the people Terry killed six months earlier. What will happen? I don't know but if the illustration for next issue is any indication, it's not pretty.
What is very possible is that, like the cover to this issue, this drawing may have nothing to do what's actually going on in the book anyway. Join us next week for a look at TinTin.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#211: 27

I'm going to start writing on my book again.  I've taken several months off from writing it because I wanted to collect ideas and get part three of Wilbur and Kolak figured out before I began writing mainly because I already have to do extensive re-writes on parts one and two that I want to do less rewriting on part three.  I'm sure that won't happen but you gotta do what you gotta do.  And on that note, some of you may have noticed that there hasn't been a Story Series as of late.  I've decided to voluntarily end them mainly because I just wasn't feeling it anymore.  I was getting bored with having to write these serials that people may or may not have read.  I plan on writing what was supposed to be "Stull" #3 and including it in Liberty #11 later this month and "Seven" may make a reappearance in the next couple of months but the others I figure I can rework into a short story or even a decent novel if I really wanted to.  We'll see.

The main reason for my lack of caring with some of the details over here is that I am just not feeling it.  I don't know if it's because I know that I should just be writing on my book or starting my replacement first novel or even doing research for 87 but I'm screwing around online or if I am just getting bored with doing this every day and trying to come up with something to put here.  I know part of it is because I have a full time job now so that's eating away at precious time I could be using to write, draw, mock or review but I now have to do everything in a more compressed time frame and I don't work good in that type of situation.

I also feel, since I am now a year older than I was, that, while I love my life (which is something I never truly thought I'd say), I feel like I'm stuck.  I need a big change in my life and I'm hoping over the next year that can be accomplished.

Until next time, I remain...

Too Good for Clouds of Dust

Born Loser 04-13-10
I wish when I walked away I left behind a website, copyright information and a signature. Who do I go to to get all that set up?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Harter Union: Part Three, Chapter 4

Today was Chris’ last day. Chris had signed up to go into the Army and his Basic Training was starting after the weekend. We had a small farewell party for him but after everybody left, Chris and I sat in my office and talked. “I was never one for the military but if I had to choose I would’ve gone with the Air Force,” I said.

“One of my friends went into that. He’s going to be a mechanic. Military is kind of in my blood since my dad was in the Marines and my grandpa in the Navy,” Chris explained.

“I seriously thought about enlisting during my senior year of high school. An enlistment officer for the Air Force came to the school and I was really impressed and started filling out the paperwork.”

“So what happened?”

“My family. I try very hard not to have them influence my life at all but they actually held an intervention and were able to guilt their way into making me stay. After that, my family has absolutely no influence on my personal life whatsoever which is why I have two of the most useless degrees ever created.”

“Which ones?” Chris asked.

“I have a major in English and a minor in Communications,” I chuckled. “Another few years and I could’ve been a teacher.”

“So what are you doing here?”

“Besides wallowing in my own crapulence? I was on my way to New York to edit books for Manhattan-Rooks Publishing but ended up stranded here.”

“That’s kind of depressing,” Chris smiled.

“Tell me about it. Look, you need to go and so do I. Get out of here and…be careful,” I said, concerned.

“Okay, Jeff, I will. See you around,” Chris got up out of the chair and left. I leaned back and sighed.

I never had any true friends. Whenever I actually got close to a friend, someone either moved away or was hit by a car. When I was twelve, I had three best friends, Alex, Aaron, and Brandon, and we even had a club called the Cat Rangers. Why? Well, first of all, we were twelve; and secondly, we all liked cats. It was kind of a superhero team and we mainly hung out at a small creek in Lawrence near the Jesus Tree.

The Jesus Tree was a normal tree that was wide at the bottom and narrowed as it went up. It had no branches and was noticeably dead. Aaron described the tree best as Jesus Christ holding up his arm up in the air and giving you the finger. We also hung out at a small quarry nearby.

Everything is gone now. The Tree’s been cut down and a housing subdivision now surrounds the creek and a state highway runs about a half-mile south of it all. I can still picture everything perfectly but what made the land ours is all gone.

When I arrived home, I saw Melissa sitting on the stairs leading to my apartment. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “It’s almost midnight.”

“I can tell time. I’ve been sitting here for the last couple of hours or so. Pretty boring out there,” Melissa pointed out the window that looked out toward Washington Street and the horse farm.

I glanced out and saw a white horse just standing there in the darkness. “Yeah, Sofie doesn’t do much but I love her anyways.”

“And you call her Sofie despite the fact that she is obviously male?” Melissa noted.

“It was about two weeks later before I found out she was a he. But you aren’t here to debate the gender of a horse with me so why are you here?”

“I just wanted to talk to you. We’ve worked together for eight months now and we have yet to have a conversation that doesn’t end in you giving me an evil scowl,” Melissa explained.

“Hmm, I wonder why...?” I questioned, stroking my chin.

“Look, I know I hurt you and I’m sorry but I had my reasons for breaking up with you.”

“Fine, then give me a reason. I’ll accept any you can dish out,” I said.

“Why live in the past? You’re with Maggie now and from what I can tell, you are also happy. Haven’t you wondered why I’m here? Why I’m in this small town working at Baker with you?”

“I figured I was a bad person in a previous life…”

“I wanted to find you so I could tell you that I still love you but when I saw you, I had to be around you. I still love you, Jeff.”

I looked away from her and said nothing. “Listen, I don’t feel like yelling at you and waking up my neighbors so maybe you should leave now.”

Melissa sighed and got off the step. She headed down the hallway toward the door to the parking lot and left the building. I headed upstairs to my apartment, shut the door and saw Heather on the couch, reading. “I hate my life!” I shouted.

“Don’t blame you. What’d Melissa want?” she asked.

“You knew she was here?”

“She knocked on the door. I told her to wait downstairs. That was about three hours ago. I can’t believe she actually waited,” Heather chucked and stood up. “So do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Love her, you idiot!”

“I’m not sure. A part of me hates her guts and doesn’t ever want to see her face again but the other part wants to run after her and embrace her in my arms and have our lips meet once again.”

“Hmm,” Heather said as she walked past me and patted my shoulder. “You’re a real complicated person, Jeff.”

“I know,” I moaned. “I never used to be this way!”

Something bad happens to Wendy and Jeff comes to her rescue while Nathan, Alyson, Jason and Chrissy bond.

30-Odd Minutes

Born Loser 04-12-10
Dammit, Thornapple!! Tea cozies wait for no man. I need that report on my desk yesterday! Cozies aren't going to ship themselves.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

POtW: Oakwood Cemetery Signs

I went to Oakwood Cemetery back over the summer and noticed something different about it. They had installed these street signs to mark the roads within the cemetery. I thought it was really weird because I wondered why they did it and then how they came up with the street names. Oakwood and Main are the two big roads leading across the cemetery, 4th Street is located roughly where 4th Street would be if the city had extended it further, and Counts, Hey, among others are the names of people buried near those sign's proximity. I can't remember the other names printed on the signs but I will probably go back at some point and get more pictures. I also like the design of the signs.