Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Commodore 64

Well, it's the last day of May. It's looks as if Brutus is growing tired of Veeblefester's constant cracks at him. Not tired as in he'll actually do something about it but tired as in just weary of the escalating bad jokes.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Purple Grillin' Hat

I've been saying for the last couple of summers that my wife and I need to buy barbecue grill. But we still haven't. And I know people who barbecue in the dead of winter so Brutus obviously isn't a true grill man if he actually waits until summer to fire up the barbecue.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


There is a post up at the DCR. Today we take a look at 2011 Reuben Award Winner Dustin. There is also some more Momma, The Knight Life, Lio and much more. You should go check it out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gladys SMASH!!

I love how Brutus just gives in. He doesn't even "agree to disagree" with the situation. Maybe that just makes Gladys angrier. And if she's going to get that upset when she wins an argument, then she will probably start throwing punches if you agree to stick with your own opinions and move on with your life.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Forget--You're Here Forever

Why is she going to be tested?

Oh, that's right. Because Wilberforce and Hattie are perpetually stuck in third grade year after year. Never growing older, never moving on. But even comic strips where the characters age don't seem all that great. *cough*Funky Winkerbean*cough*

Jeff Conaway 1950-2011

Jeff Conaway, who appeared in the movie Grease and television series Taxi from 1978 until 1982 has passed away after being in an induced coma for several days due to pneumonia with sepsis. His family decided to take him off of life support. He was 60.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Could At Least Show the Rain

Luckily I'm one of those adults that still doesn't mind getting wet because of the rain. I don't like letting my dogs out in the rain because instead of shaking and drying themselves off while on the covered porch they dry themselves off inside getting the surrounding two feet wet and possibly muddy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Lies Our Parents Told Us

I wanted to post this yesterday but Blogger was acting a bit wonky so I held off. Wilberforce is right to be skeptical. When was the last time you saw someone whose face had froze in a certain look? And as someone who actually tried (I wanted to be on the cover of the National Enquirer) I can say firsthand that it doesn't work.

In Brutus' defense he probably did go to Burger King instead of McDonald's which is slightly pricier and seems to have a higher quality of kid's meal toys.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Calling the Schmaltz Police

I hate to be harsh but let's look at the facts. Gladys is no prize pig herself. She has a huge nose, she's six foot five, is a bit overweight and frankly, has no breasts. She's lucky a loser like Brutus even wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bill Watterson Returns...Kind Of

There's a post up at the DCR you all should go read. There's an article on Bill Watterson plus the comic stylings of Momma, Pluggers and more.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Survived the 2010-2011 Season

What in the hell was with this season? It seemed as if every series I watched had some sort of plotline that I found just unbearable. Due to these terrible plots, there were a couple shows that I almost decided that this would be the last season I watch them but I persevered because I knew it was all leading up to something good. So let's get on with this. We'll start where the week starts--on Sunday.

CSI: Miami
I started watching CSI: Miami a couple years ago because of my wife. I enjoy it. I love how it seems as if everyone is aware just how terrible the show is which makes it better. The plot I didn't like is the West Miami Prison break. A bunch of criminals--all apparently captured by Horatio (David Caruso) and his ragtag team of policemen. About halfway through the series, Horatio had to track down and capture the guy who killed his wife. I thought after the first episode featuring Memmo, he would become more of a threat to Horatio and his team but he's absent for a few more episodes then comes back having apparently taken control of the city. You would think they would've saved the Horatio-Memmo stand off for the season finale or at least closer to the end of the season because after Memmo was captured, second-rate criminals have been featured that don't offer as much suspense. The prison break plot was also annoying because it showed that there was no other police precinct capable of handling the escapees. All you have to do is have one person say "The 3-Oh got Jesus Delvecchio who escaped from West Miami Penitentiary" and call it good. Horatio's team doesn't have to do everything.

The season finale also had them running around trying to find a prison escapee who had managed to escape from Horatio and Frank (Rex Linn) at the beginning of the episode and he's still free so we will be revisiting this plot at least in the first episode of the tenth season.

How I Met Your Mother
I had high hopes for this season. HIMYM was planned to end with the 2011-12 season so I was expecting a lot of reveals and surprises. Instead, I got a placeholder plot featuring Jennifer Morrison as Zoey. Back in the fourth season we were introduced to Stella (Sarah Chalke) as a potential candidate for the titular mother. It was then shown in an alternate flashforward that had Ted (Josh Radnor) married Stella, his children would be blond thus ending speculation about all blonde female candidates. That's how I knew the Ted-Zoey relationship was going to go nowhere. Unfortunately, the writers and producers decided to drag this out throughout the entire season. We knew the relationship wouldn't last. I even think Future Ted (voice of Bob Saget) said it didn't work out so why are we dragging this out? You couldn't think of another plot to fill the second half of the season?

Any episode that relied heavily on Zoey, I didn't exactly pay attention to. I found her character annoying and the way Ted acted around her irritating. I enjoyed how Ted's friends initially didn't like Zoey either but then gave in. I would've kept the friends not liking her to add another layer to the plot and maybe try to have Ted convince the audience why Zoey should be liked.

I'm getting high hopes about the seventh season because of how the sixth season finale ended. I remember reading a couple years ago that Carter Bays, one of the creators, said "if you've paid attention, we've met the mother" and that the last scene of the series was filmed during the second season. I now don't think that's true or they have scrapped what they had and they still have to introduce the mother. Either way, deep inside of me, I really hope that despite being renewed through the eighth season, it ends with number seven.

It wasn't exactly a plotline I found annoying but just the way one of the characters was portrayed. I'll be honest, most of the characters on Glee are pretty annoying and I want to slap more than one of them but this season's gay bullying subplot reinforced my opinion of why Kurt (Chris Colfer) is the most annoying character on Glee. I don't care that Kurt is gay, I thought the bullying plot would be good because bullying in all its forms is wrong. What I got tired of was Kurt's "you-better-like-me-because-I'm-gay-or-I'm-going-to-act-like-a-martyr" syndrome.

Early in the season, anytime Kurt would get slammed up against a locker he would begin a speech about how everyone is a homophobe and that when they are out of school and Kurt is somebody and the jocks are flipping burgers the score will be even. Shut up!! I know in the show Karofsky is a closeted homosexual so kudos to Glee of continuing the stereotype that all homophobes are gay. But the other jocks are just jerks. That's what jocks do. They find someone different from them--less popular and they torment them. And that Kurt acted like and was written like the only gay teenager who's going through this just made me more upset. And the attempts to create an hour-long public service message just made me cramp up and seemed tacked on.

We should all do what we can to eliminate bullying in all of its forms.

Shortly before Halloween, Green Dale Community College was ravaged by a zombie apocalypse where nothing was ever quite the same again. Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Senor Change (Ken Jeong) had hooked up, witnessed by Troy (Donald Glover), and the result was Shirley wound up pregnant. The rest of the season showed Senor Chang claiming the baby was his while Shirley was positive it was her boyfriend's Adrian (Malcolm Jamaal-Warner). When the baby was born the the third to last episode, it was revealed that the baby was, indeed, Adrian's. Why all the mystery? Was this really a plot that needed to be stretched through the entire season? Why not just mention it in the episode Shirley reveals she's pregnant and touch on it again when she gives birth? But no, Chang had to constantly mention it.

I really like Community. I hope it becomes the hit it deserves to be but let's never have another plotline like this ever again.

Smallvile is one of the few series I have watched from beginning to end during its entire original run that didn't end after 2 or 3 seasons. The others? Boy Meets World, The Simpsons and How I Met Your Mother--and two of these series are still on the air. I have enjoyed nearly every aspect of Smallville even when it looked like they were straying from the source material but this season, the final season, featured a background plot that went against everything. The engagement of Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

Clark and Lois got engaged in the comics in Superman (Vol. 2) #50 in 1990. They would remain engaged until Action Comics #720 (1996) but would get back together and marry in Superman: The Wedding Album #1 (also 1996). Now in comics time, only about a year, year and a half went by between 1990 and 1996 and another year went by between Superman's debut in 1986 and their engagement in 1990. Smallville has never been really clear on the ages of the characters after they graduated from high school (at the end of the fourth season in 2005). Clark was shown going to college for about one season and then that was dropped. How Clark got a job at a major metropolitan newspaper without some sort of degree is better than any of his other powers.

I had worried about the engagement and wedding for just about the entire season but the writers pulled it off. While some may feel it was a cop out to place the beginning and ending scene seven years in the future, I feel it just right.

Unlike the other shows, Smallville redeemed itself in my eyes.

What About All the Food Coloring?

Brutus didn't read the first few ingredients to Wilberforce which indicate that the cereal is made of food--or at least kinds of food. Sugar, corn flour, wheat flour, oat flour, salt. And if I learned only one thing in my high school home ec class is that the ingredient listed first is what it is mostly made of.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Water for Blind Elephants

You know, I complain a lot about the Veeblefester Corporation but I have to give them credit on one thing. The watercoolers. I'm sure there are still companies that have watercoolers and may even offer free coffee but all that is slowly going away due to cost. Kudos Veeblefester Corporation. Kudos! Now can you give me back my son?

A Review of the Best Apocalypse Ever*

*The book, not the actual apocalypse.

The Underfold, which sounds like some sort of skin flap located around the perineum, had it's humble beginnings as drawings on index cards at a church in 2008 and since then it is becoming a web comic known around the world. Best Apocalypse Ever is a collection of Underfold strips showcasing early strips and the Zombie Apocalypse of 2010. One of the more interesting things about collections like this is the evolution of the strip. Admit it, it is interesting to see how Calvin and Hobbes evolved from more cartoon-y drawings into a beautifully watercolored work of art of its later years or how Charlie Brown transformed from a wide eyed kid with a big head to a slightly chubby boy and into the version we know now.

It's not quite Calvin and Hobbes but you can hardly tell the difference.
The Underfold features Brian, a fictionalized version of creator Brian Russell; JB, Brian's friend whose face is never shown and is covered with a paper bag--a bio-electric facebag to be exact. The early strips feature mainly back and forths between Brian and JB usually about random things including the reason for the comics, geek-dom topics such as Lost, Heroes and comic books. Within time, more people are introduced including Julius Reynolds (a crazy old man with a Facebook), JB's son Fred and Eye, which is Brian's eye after it was cut out by Fred. (It won't sound any less confusing in the book.)
I'm hoping this is a homage to Knightfall.

The relationship between Brian and JB remind me of the relationship between me and my best friend. We get along good but it's kind of a hassle to be each others friend and there is a slight possibility that we hate each other and talk bad about each other behind each others backs. A prime example is when JB is talking with Fred and Fred asks how JB can stand Brian because "he just keeps talking and talking [...] It's horrible!" which is a phrase I'm sure I've used explaining my friend to my wife. And we all know the best thing about books, movies and TV shows is when we see a little bit of ourselves in the characters.

The introduction of Fred.
A little more than halfway through the book, Brian and JB begin bouncing through various times and dimensions including a world drawn in crayon, CBS's The Amazing Race and a dimension where birds are the dominant species and humans fly. And then the comic starts to get weird. Brian's goatee comes to life and JB gets irritated with the storyline so he resets the strip. *Cough* After the reset, life returns to normal for Brian, JB, Fred and Eye. At least normal for the Underfold.
Eye breaks the fourth wall.

The four-panel strips are my favorite. I am a sucker for standard comic strip joke-a-day formats. It harkens back to a bygone era where four-panel newspaper comic strips were actually funny and not the watered down dreck currently permeating people's retinas. The Zombie Apocalypse comes and goes, we got an homage to the Terminator series of movies and then a murderous robot assassin attempts to kill Baby Jesus which is something I wrote about several years ago. So it's clear that at some point in 1993, Brian Russell rifled through my trash and stole my idea. My attorney, Lionel Hutz, is looking into it.

The art is simplistic but it is better than anything that I could do. Each character is drawn uniquely and are more than expressive enough. Even JB and he has a bag over his head. The character to really grab my attention was, of course, Eye. Eye, who is an eye with arms and legs, always speaks in the third person, replacing word like "I'm" and "I'll" with "Eye'm" and "Eye'll". It makes perfect sense if you don't think about it too long which is the way to really understand The Underfold. Brian says in the book that he is bad at endings and wrapping things up but if you don't think about it then everything makes perfect sense.

Sadistic Bag Puppet sounds like another web comic.
They are.
The book ends on Christmas 2010. There is something for everyone in this book. At least everyone if you are under the age 35. Let's face it, older people don't understand things like this. Only the really cool or really perverted ones do. But after you have ordered your copy of The Underfold, you need to head over to theunderfold.com and get caught up and find comics that were not included in the book. It's the only right thing to do. And when the real Zombie Apocalypse happens, you don't want Brian to hand you over to the zombies because he found out you don't read his comic do you?

Eye thought not.

I wonder this myself.

"Macho Man" Randy Savage, 1952-2011

Professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage has passed away. It is reported he suffered a heart attack while driving with his wife.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stull #15

Frank, John and Katie traipsed through the chest deep grass, holding up their arms and grunting with every step. They were about a mile from their car that they had parked on the side of a gravel road in Harrison Township. They were about three miles northwest of what was once known as Veteran City.

Veteran City was a short-lived town supposedly founded in the mid-1860s by Civil War veterans. It only lasted a few years and now the location is marked by an old church and a house. The rest of the town was turned back into farmland. The Veteran City Cemetery was established shortly after the town’s founding and acquired eighteen burials before people realized that the cemetery was difficult to get to and had another cemetery established, called Bethlehem, established two miles south of the Veteran City intersection.

It was an hour until midnight on March 19th. Frank was hoping they would be able to see the spook lights in the cemetery that supposedly occurs every Spring Equinox. Katie was starting to fall behind and shouted to Frank. “Are you sure this is the way to the cemetery? I can’t even see any roads anymore!”

“We’re almost there. I can see the top of the hill in the moonlight,” Frank said. “That giant pine tree is where the cemetery is.”

The cemetery was unmarked on most maps, neglected by people who knew where it was and forgotten by everybody else. The only sign indicating the cemetery existed was a sign down on the road erected in the 1950s by the landowner. The homemade redwood sign has been knocked over, set on fire, chopped at with an axe and used for target practice but still stood, weather-beaten and nearly illegible. Since the sign was placed at the side of the road, most people who saw it thought the cemetery was right there behind the fence next to the road and believed the stones were lost or moved. The cemetery was really almost two miles from the main road and five miles north of a rarely used minimum maintenance road that ran east to west. It was situated on a hill in the middle of a square mile section of land with no path leading to it which was the reason it was abandoned.

They were a few feet from the top of the hill and Frank and John could see the gravestones poking out of the grass. Only the pine tree and a much damaged elm tree watched over the graves. Frank, John and Katie headed to the pine tree to set up camp.

“Why,” Katie said, panting “are you doing this now?”

“Because with the exception of Palmyra Township, Harrison is the most isolated township in Stanton County,” Frank explained. “There are no towns, very few houses and no major roads—not even county roads.”

“So you never came out here because you were scared?” John smiled.

“That is neither here nor there,” Frank said.

“The Equinox”

Jen and Matt were still at the Society. They were pouring over maps of the county. They were looking for End Road, the apparent namesake for the End Road Massacre that they discovered a couple months ago.

“Here’s a Dead End Road in southwest Calhoun Township in 1939,” Jen said. “Should I go ahead an include that?”

Matt grabbed a piece of paper on the corner of the desk. It only had two roads listed on it: ‘Stull Cemetery Road’ and ‘3rd Street in Ferguson’. “And the road’s name is ‘Dead End Road’?” Matt asked.

“According to this map,” Jen said.

Matt wrote it down. “I could see End Road being any of these. Stull Cemetery Road ends at the railroad track even though the road continues on, 3rd Street dead ends at a cemetery and I’m assuming Dead End Road is just that—a dead end road,” Matt said. “It could also be none of them.”

“Well, we still have another hundred or so years of maps to look at so let’s just continue,” Jen said. She pulled out a map dated 1912 and began looking at the roads and their names. “So has Detective Bilko found out who that man was?” she asked.

“No, we found a couple more clues though. A set of car keys to an 1980s Ford and an old photograph dated 1952,” Matt said. “We got the keys analyzed and we know what kind of car it goes to but haven’t found the car yet.”

“What about the photograph?”

“We’ve searched but we don’t know who the people are in the picture. The handwriting on the back is feminine but without knowing who the people are or who the man is we don’t know whose it is,” Matt explained. “We’ve published the man’s picture and the photograph in most of the newspapers in Ohio and we’ve gotten leads but they all turn out to be dead ends.”

“What about fingerprints, dental records, DNA?”

“Tried it. The man doesn’t exist in the system,” Matt shrugged. “It’s kind of sad that this man died alone and will probably be forgotten.”

“Have you figured out what killed him?”

“That’s the interesting thing. No. We’re ninety-nine percent sure he was poisoned but we can’t find any trace of the poison and the Danish that was in his stomach showed no traces of poison. Another interesting thing was he had a packet of cigarettes. They were a expensive brand of cigarettes in a cheap package,” Matt said.

“What?” Jen switched maps from the one from 1912 to one made in 1893.

“Normally people put cheap cigarettes in an expensive package to mask that they buy cheap cigarettes. This was the opposite,” Matt explained.

Jen still didn’t seem to get and went back to her map searching. “’End Road’,” she read. “This 1893 map of the county shows an ‘End Road’ in Rock Creek Township.”

“Really?” Matt got up and went over to Jen. He looked where Jen’s finger was pointing and saw a small road leading off of another road. It lead from Skyline Road to Comchau Creek. Matt could also see that Comchau Creek and Rock Creek surrounded a place labeled on the map as ‘The Island’. “That’s got to be it. We found it. We found the location of the End Road Massacre.”

Frank, John and Katie set up camp under the pine tree and looked out toward the cemetery. It was only a few minutes until midnight and they were hoping to see something out there.

“So the lights supposedly happen every Spring Equinox at midnight?” Katie asked.

“Every Spring Equinox but the midnight part has always been a little loose,” Frank said. “It normally happens between midnight and three in the morning, depending on the story you read.”

“So we could be out here for three hours?” John asked. “I should’ve brought a long sleeved shirt.”

They sat in silence for awhile staring up at the moon and stars then back down at the cemetery with its few overgrown tombstones. The wind began to pick up around one and clouds began moving in. As the grass waved, little sparks of light appear near the tips. Katie gasped when she saw them and pointed them out to Frank and John.

“Oh my God, that is so cool,” she whispered.

“It’s the moonlight reflecting after the dew on the grass,” Frank said and stood up. He walked toward the tombstones and smiled. “This is so amazing.”

“It is pretty nice,” John said and stood up also. Katie joined Frank in the cemetery. “So this is what we came here to see? A natural occurance.”

“At least it’s this and not exploding cow farts or something,” Frank said.

“We heading back to the car?” John asked.

“I think we can stay here a little longer,” Frank said.

The three of them stood in the cemetery watching the reflected dew and the clouds move across the sky. John then shivered and crossed his arms, trying to warm himself up.

“Give me the keys. I’m going back to the car.”

Matt had stacked up the maps and made a note of End Road so Frank and him could investigate. Jen remained at her desk goofing around on the computer. “I’m gonna head home. Are you gonna be all right?” Matt asked.

“I’ll be fine. I have to stay here until Frank and them get back anyway,” Jen said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“All right, Jen. Bye,” Matt left the Society and a few minutes later his car drove away.

Jen continued to play around on the computer until nearly two. There came a squealing of tires around the corner of 7th Street. A car screeched to a halt in front of the Society. A brick came through the window of the front door, shattered glass and spreading it all over the floor. The car sped away as Jen dashed to the door. She looked at the brick. It had a note rubber banded to it. She pulled the note off and read it: ‘Forget about the Massacre!’. Jen went back to her desk and picked up the phone and dialed.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” answered the operator.

“Someone just threw a brick through a window at the Rock Creek Township Historical Society,” Jen replied.

“All right, just a moment,” the operator said. “Address?”

“645 Ohio Street in Stull,” Jen said.

The operator typed down the information. “All right, we’ll get someone out there.”

Jen hung up and then dialed another number. “Frank? You need to get back here as quickly as possible. Someone just threw a brick through a window.”

Also, Why Is Brutus Home?

This brings up an interesting topic. What is Wilberforce doing home? School shouldn't be out yet and it clearly states in the first panel that they are watching a weekday afternoon game. In fact, a quick Google search shows most schools in and around the Cleveland area have school well into June.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Brutus Just Turns the Other Cheek

It's probably because you called her old yesterday. Also, what's with the old-timey expressions? And why is Mother Gargle over at the Thornapples house so much?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One Day Closer to Death

The last time this blog covered Mother Gargle's birthday was way back in September 2009 where Brutus compliments Mama Gargle on not looking a day over 39. I think Brutus should ease up on Mother Gargle on her birthday. He should save that stuff for Christmas and other family holidays but birthdays should be special.

Monday, May 16, 2011

No. 23: Visor

Previously in Secret Identity #12...
Visor hurriedly began removing pieces of the charred, collapsed building to retrieve the bodies that were still trapped in the burning wreckage.

“Visor! What’s going on?” a fireman shouted.

“I don’t know. This is the second building today to spontaneously combust. If you guys have any ideas, let me know,” Visor shouted back, pulling a charred body from the rubble.

“It is the end of your planet and it is the salvation of your planet,” a booming voice said from above. “Soon, this planet will be the perfect utopia…” a man suddenly appeared in the sky. “And you can either join me or perish.”

“Who? Who are you?” Visor shouted at the man who was dressed in black from head to toe except for a flame red design that started at the collarbone and went down the chest to his waist.

“I am your new leader. I am your salvation. I am your new God!”

Chapter One
“Salvation?” Visor blurted out. “You just killed nearly all the people in this club! Who the devil are you?”

“I am Solaris. I was once the sun to a highly civilized culture. I watched as they and their technology advanced and I watched as that same technology made everyone lazy and lethargic and I watched them all die and their civilization crumble to dust. I vowed that would never happen to another world. I broke free of my gravitational prison, condensed my energy into a humanoid figure and began searching. It was only by chance I stumbled across Earth. I’ve watched it and determined that it needs to be saved from itself.”

“So you’re responsible for these fires and explosions?” Visor asked.

“Not just here. All over Earth. I have also began molding parts of Earth to fit a more...unified civilization.”

Visor flew up to meet Solaris face to face. “Unified? Earth is just fine the way it is. It doesn’t need saving,” Visor angrily said. Visor raised his fist to prepare to strike. “I can’t let you…What? My hand went right through you!”

“I am pure solar energy. You cannot hurt me and you cannot destroy me,” Solaris reached over and grabbed Visor’s face with his fingertips. Visor’s skin burned and sizzled with the touch.

“Aaarrgh!: Visor fell to the ground.

“Now, I must continue on my work,” Solaris began to fly off.

Visor wobbly stood up and leapt after Solaris. “You’re not going anywhere!”

“You have the power and abilities to be a great second-in-command. Too bad your emotions cloud your judgment,” and without looking back, Solaris combusted the air around Visor, setting him on fire. Visor screamed in pain and crashed hard into the rubble of the club. “Farewell. We shall meet again on New Earth.”

Chapter Two
Over the course of two weeks, Solaris had been seen in every corner of the globe upgrading and changing the planet. Every house and hovel he saw he changed into a shining beacon of prosperity. Some countries welcomed him while others opposed him. Those who did oppose him were wiped out.

Visor flew as fast as he could to wherever Solaris was at any particular time but couldn’t catch up. He was always two steps behind.

Solaris appeared in the middle of a war-torn Middle Eastern country and changed the ruins of their makeshift marketplace into a shining chrome complex with an expansive park extended in the middle. The war didn’t stop—only intensified. Within moments the chrome was laid to rubble and the park was aflame. Then Visor arrived.

He stared angrily at both factions. “I don’t agree with what Solaris is doing but he offered you paradise and within thirty minutes, you laid waste to it.” Visor quickly flew and took all of their weapons and placed them in a pile. His electricity crackled from his hand and soon the artillery was dust, blowing in the wind.

A small rock hit Visor in the head.

Visor turned and saw that a small boy had thrown it. He looked surprised at the young boy but then glowered at the people, who were beginning to pick up rocks themselves. “You all are beyond help,” Visor said and flew away.

Back in Centropolis, Solaris was modifying the poverty-stricken suburb of Freeman when Visor arrived. Most of Freeman had already been changed into beautiful gold or chrome structures. The people living in Freeman were cheering ecstatically until Visor flew in and slammed into Solaris.

“Hey, man! What are you doing?” shouted one man.

“Change it back, Solaris! Change it all back!” Visor shouted.

“Why? These people were living in squalor. I replaced their dilapidated hovels with a structure far superior,” Solaris said.

“It’s not your actions, it’s your motive. You are not this planet’s god,” Visor said. “You don’t have the right to manipulate the lives of billions!”

“Why does this planet’s people force one another to live in horrid conditions? Why do people who do nothing but act like another person in front of a camera make millions of dollars while a little girl 2,000 miles away starves to death?” Solaris questioned. And Visor paused. “Idiots who can swing at a ball with a club or write a popular series of novels or drive a car make millions while other people barely survive. Why is that, Visor?”

Visor was silent. “I…I don’t know. Unfortunately we live in a world where if you are successful you are rewarded. I don’t always agree with it either but we’ve accepted it. We may not think it’s fair but…”

“Fair,” Solaris waved. “Under my rule, things would be fair. Those that don’t obey will be eradicated. I guarantee it.”

“No.” Visor flew slowly over to Solaris. “We don’t need someone to rule over with an iron fist. We need several someones to rule fairly and honestly. In theory, Solaris, I agree with you but in reality, you’re just another nut.”

“Then you leave me no choice,” Solaris sighed.

Suddenly a huge ball of energy encompassed Visor, sizzling with heat and crackling with energy. The ball began getting smaller and smaller until it exploded in fury.

And Visor was no more.

Chapter Three
Visor awoke on the ground. A group of people were standing over him. A man with gray hair and a beard stood closer to him than the others.

“I’m glad you’re okay,” the man said and extended his hand to help Visor up.

“What happened? Where am I?” Visor asked, standing up.

“More than likely you opposed Solaris,” the man said. “That’s how we all wound up here.”

“Solaris!” Visor growled. “Where is here?

“It’s another universe. A kind of pocket universe created by Solaris. We are just a fraction of our original size but other than that we are all perfectly healthy,” the man said. “I am Professor Tolos Bertron.”

“I need to stop Solaris. How do I get out of here?” Visor asked.

“You can’t. We’ve tried,” Bertron said.

“What is Solaris? He gave me a story about being a sun and watching a nearby planet destroy it but I’m starting to think he was lying,” Visor said.

“A half-lie. Solaris was a sun--a living sun that watched over the planet Emitron. One day he got bored and decided to leave. He wiped out all life on Emitron and left. He then went to another planet, remade it in his image, made it perfect and became that planet’s sun, watching over it until he got bored again, wiped out the planet and left. Solaris went to the next planet and did the same thing,” Bertron said. “Solaris has been doing this for over a million years.”

“He has to be stopped,” Visor said.

“We have developed a way to stop him but not a way to get out of the universe--safely anyway,” Bertron said. “Follow me. I’ll take you to our lab.”

The lab was slightly bare. Bertron picked up a small black diamond and held it up between his fingers. “This is an obsidian diamond. Press this against Solaris’ chest and his energy will be absorbed into it and he will be trapped.”

“You said you came up with a way to get out of the pocket universe?” asked Visor.

“Yes but it’s very unsafe. A volunteer was torn in half and we haven’t been able to fix it to make the journey safe.”

“Let me go.”

Within minutes, Visor was ready to go and Professor Bertron turned on the machine. “I hope this works,” he said. “This might hurt. Really hurt. Godspeed, Visor.”

Energy crackled around Visor and the machine. Visor began fading in and out but somewhere else Visor was thrashing around in a limbo, screaming in pain. Visor felt like his insides were in boiling water and his skin felt like it was being poked by billions of needles.

Then everything went dark.

And then light again.

Visor stood up. He was back in Centropolis, whose transformation was almost complete. Visor opened his hand and saw that he still held the obsidian diamond. He looked up and saw Solaris off in the distance. Visor leapt up and flew off after him.

Chapter Four
Visor flew fast, raised his fist and hit Solaris as hard as he could. “Murderer!” he screamed.

“How did you escape?” Solaris yelled.

“There were some good people in that pocket universe. They helped me get out and they gave me something to stop you.”

“Really? Remind me after you fail to destroy that universe,” Solaris said.

“No. No more destroying,” Visor slammed the diamond onto Solaris’ chest.

Solaris became paralyzed and all his energy and his form began absorbing into the diamond. Solaris screamed in pain but couldn’t do anything and soon he was nothing but a memory.

Visor stood in the sky staring at the diamond which didn’t look different. Without Solaris, everything began reverting back to it’s original form. Visor looked out over Centropolis and smiled. He felt like he had earned becoming a hero and felt comfortable in the city for the first time in his life. He then took off across the sky. People following him with their eyes quickly lost him in the sun.

On the Down-Low

So I think Brutus and Arnie are in a relationship. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I just don't like to see Brutus string Gladys along. Let her move on with her life, Brutus. Let her move on.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Par for the Course

Alright. And I am back with more Born Loser commentary. I lost my Photobucket account but am using Imgur (at least for the time being) and you can find my album in the sidebar under Photo Album. I took the week off mainly to reupload strips that I had lost so all strips from September 2010 until today should be back up. And the rest of 2010 should be up by the end of next week. This also gives me the chance to redo the older strips that used links and fix those.

Also there is a Sunday post featuring Saturday comics at the DCR. Go check it out.

So what a minute. Brutus is just going to walk to each hole and not play golf at all?

Sounds reasonable to me. And a lot more fun.

That golf ball in the last panel looks huge!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

At Least Obama Doesn't Have a Banner

Hmm. I haven't heard of President Obama taking credit for killing Osama Bin Laden. I have heard that he took credit for ordering the Navy SEALS to do it which is really all the credit he should get. And for those of you who think the President shouldn't get credit for Bin Laden, you know President Bush and his administration would've milked this for all it was worth. Obama has moved onto other things.

Monday, May 09, 2011

But Toys Aren't Lazy

Some things still come with batteries. Cheap, practically useless batteries that give other batteries a bad name. That sounds more like Brutus. He's more like the crappy batteries than the actual toy.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Free Comic Book Day and a Riddle

Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day. I remember a few years ago when Free Comic Book day rolled around there were plenty of offerings. Comics about people you've never heard of (Owly), comics featuring popular characters (Spider-Man, Daredevil) and comics that began long-running storylines (Superman: The 10 Cent Adventure). You had your pickings and there were plenty to go around. For the last couple years it seems as if there are not enough to go around.

Do your local comic book stores limit the number of comics you can have? Mine do. The store I went to had a limit on 2 per person. And they didn't even have half of what comics are listed on the Free Comic Book Day website. If you are going to put a limit on the comics then it should be a limit of 2 per person if not buying anything and then 1 comic per purchased comic because at least those people are actually buying something. I don't know. I also feel there shouldn't be a limit and I'm wondering if it's the comic book stores doing it or if it's the publishers not sending out enough books.

I get that the stores can hold Free Comic Book Day as they wish and they don't even have to participate but do the shops have to pay for the free comics or do the publishers send them out on their own dime? I tried finding this answer but couldn't. If the shops don't have to pay then why not order a shit-ton and just hand them out throughout the week. A few years ago, the other comic store in town had leftovers of Daredevil and Superman for the rest of the year. If they do have to pay then I agree that they need to maximize the ones that they have ordered but considering that I bought three other comics and walked out with the same number of free comics as someone who just went in for the free comics I find that a little unsettling.

I like Free Comic Book Day. I get some comics for my son, I buy myself some comics I've been meaning to read and I like seeing my local comic book stores crowded (even if that guy was dressed as Cyclops) but, I don't know. There is just something about it that I am starting to not like. The two comics I got were a Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck comic (apparently they have their own series again from BOOM! Studios) and a Mickey Mouse comic from Fantagraphics.

Oh, well. Onto today's comic:

That's how the riddle starts out? No lead up just "It's not my brother..."? That seems odd. Oh, well. Anything that shows off Wilberforce's stupidity is okay in my book.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Mind, She Boggles

Zuh? That is one confusing last panel. And my answer would have to be "Who the hell cares?" Baseball is boring, it's been tainted by steroids but yet no one cares, the players are a bunch of overpaid douche bags and it seems like the same six teams get into the playoffs every year.

And don't get me started on professional basketball.

Stull #14

The Outlook at Stanton State Lake was swarming with police officers. Detective Edmund Bilko along with Frank, Matt, John and Katie stood at the bench as the man was loaded onto a stretcher and zipped into a bag. Detective Bilko rubbed his chin with his thumb and forefinger. “No sign of foul play. No trauma to the head or neck, no blood. More than likely he was poisoned,” Detective Bilko said.

“Did he have any identification on him?” Frank asked.

“Not that we could tell. We’ll check more thoroughly when we get back to Tontzville,” Detective Bilko said. “They’ve put me in charge of this case and I’ve asked if you could help me.”

“Why us?” Matt asked. “We’re not crime scene investigators.”

“But you know the area and it’ll be good to have extra sets of eyes on this,” Detective Bilko explained.

“That’s true. We rarely…” John looked down and put his glasses back on, “overlook things.”

Frank, Matt, Katie and Detective Bilko looked at him, confused. “What the hell was that?” Matt asked.

“I was trying to make a joke.”

“Well, don’t. A man died, John,” Katie chastised.

They started walking down the hill along the path away from the Overlook bench. John lagged behind.

“The Body”

Katie walked into the Society and sat down in a chair that was placed by the door. “What are you doing back? Where are the others?” Jen asked from behind her desk in the lobby.

“Detective Bilko wanted us to work on the case. The boys stayed behind but I had had enough of dead bodie,” Katie sighed.

“I bet. I’ve never seen a dead body before. At least not one that wasn’t in a casket,” Jen said. “How are we qualified enough to find a murderer? We’re barely qualified to open a can of beans.”

“That’s what Matt said. Detective Bilko likes the way we never overlook things. Frank is really the only one that doesn’t overlook stuff but I think Matt and John stayed just to not look scared,” Katie smiled.

Jen chuckled. “Frank’s not very young is he?” she asked.

“He’s 27, same as us—well, me and Matt,” Katie said. “Why?”

“I don’t know. This just seems like a weird occupation to have. How did he get into this?”

“Well, technically he got into it by having a crazy, murderous sister and believing in the Stull Curse but he got interested in history by doing some late-night ghosthunting while in high school,” Katie explained.

“So he was a dork even back then,” Jen laughed.

“Of course. He lived with grandparents and he would sneak out with Matt and a couple of other friends. They would drive around the county all night and go to abandoned houses to see if there were anything worth taking. Frank didn’t have his moral compass completely set back then,” Katie explained then continued. “It wasn’t until they went to the Old Stull Church that Frank got into the history of his community.”

“That’s that old church along 5th Street, right?”

“Yep. Been standing since 1834. When Frank opened the Society he immediately tried to save the church but most everyone just laughed at him. He was able to get enough money to have a sign erected noting the importance of the church to the community,” Katie said.

“Well, that’s good at least.”

“The sign was stolen eight months later. He refuses to put up another one.”

The man who does the autopsies in Tontzville is hired out from Dayton and therefore took nearly two hours for him to arrive despite only taking about an hour to get to Tontzville from Dayton.

“He looks Jewish,” John commented as the sheet was removed from the man’s body. His clothes had been removed and locked away for right now.

The medical examiner pulled the sheet down further. “Well, he’s not circumsized…” he said, slightly under his breath. “I’m going to start making an incision if any of you want to leave the room.”

“Well, go out and investigate his clothes. There may be some identification somewhere on him,” Detective Bilko said and led the guys out of the exam room and opened a locker where the man’s clothes had been placed in a plastic bag. He laid out the suit and the four of them looked at it.

“It’s spotless. Even his shoes and he had to walk up that dirt trail to get to the Overlook,” Frank pointed out. “Does he have a wallet?”

“No,” Detective Bilko said. “We checked at the Overlook.”

“Is there anything in his pockets?” John wondered.

Detective Bilko stuck his hand into the four pants pockets and the two jacket pockets. “Nothing,” Detective Bilko said. “I figured there wouldn’t be anything. It’s obvious he didn’t die of natural causes. He was murdered.”

Jen and Katie had locked up the Society and drove to Tontzville to get dinner. They were at a Chinese restaurant and Jen had just finished her meal. “So how did you and Matt get wrapped up in all of this?”

“Frank and Matt have known each other since Kindergarten. I moved to Stull in the sixth grade and, I admit, had kind of a crush on Frank. When…” Katie paused and looked down at her plate. “When my mom hung herself, Frank consoled me and told me about the curse. I didn’t really believe him but it made me feel better knowing that there was a better reason for why my mom did that.”

“Your mom hung herself? I’m so sorry,” Jen said. Katie shrugged. “How did Frank get the money to open to open the Society?”

“His parents had money—when he turned 18, he got their money which helped start it. When his aunt died, she left him her house, completely paid for. The Society made very little money but enough for Frank, Matt and I to get along,” Katie explained.

“Cool. Do you still have a crush on Frank?” Jen asked.

“Not really. I know more about him and I just don’t think it would work out. Especially after what happened with Lana,” Katie said.

“I didn’t think so. I’ve seen the way you look at Matt,” Jen smiled.

“What? I don’t ‘look’ at Matt,” Katie defended.

“Sure you do. I notice it. I don’t know if Frank does but John notices. However I would think you’d be taking his leaving harder.”

“His leaving? What do you mean?”

“I heard Frank and Matt talking. Matt’s going to become the Society’s out-of-state paranormal researcher,” Jen revealed.

Katie just stared at Jen.

“His fingerprints are not in any database, his dental records don’t match up with any on file,” Detective Bilko said. “He is definitely a John Doe.”

“That is so strange that there is nothing to identify this man,” Frank said.

The medical examiner came into the room. “I completed the autopsy. I found nothing in his body or in his bloodstream. I can tell he did not die from natural causes. His last meal was a Danish and from what I could tell, there was nothing in the Danish either.”

“There was a pack of cigarettes in a pocket. Can you analyze those and see if they are suspicious?” Detective Bilko handed the pack of cigarettes to the examiner.

“Certainly,” the examiner went back into the exam room.

“What if there’s nothing on the cigarettes?” John asked.

“Then we’re back to square one. Dead guy with no signs of death.”

“Then we get his face out there,” Matt said. “Plaster it on the front of every newspaper in the state and maybe even some papers in Indian and Kentucky. Someone’s got to know him.”

Friday, May 06, 2011

My Room Was Terrible As a Child

Well, my son has a lot in common with a nine-year-old fictional comic strip character. That makes me feel a little better.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Was the Ground Supposed to Be Colored Tan?

I do not have a green thumb (a moment of silence for our lilac bush) so I have a crappy yard filled with mud puddles and mossy-lichen patches. And yes, the mud puddles stick around even when it hasn't rained in a month. What was I talking about? Oh, yes. Brutus should just admit defeat to his yard like I have to mine.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

ReAction Comics #1

I have been a fan of Superman since 1992's "Death of Superman". Yes, I was one of those people that jumped on the bandwagon but before that I had absolutely no interest in comic books and it got me interested in a true American art form. I don't care that Superman has renounced his United State citizenship. First of all, I didn't know he had one--I figured Clark Kent did. It's a story intended to drum up readers, he still stands for Truth and Justice and Conservatives do know that Superman and all his values were created by two Jewish Canadians, right? I feel Superman's citizenship will be back by Action Comics #925.

I've backed off commenting on Osama bin Laden's demise mainly because there are other people out there who can talk about it a lot better and not put with a cartoon about comic books. I'm glad he is gone. Despite bin Laden not being much of a threat since 2001, he was the main reason we are in Afghanistan so I'm hoping that maybe this can be the start of us getting out of Afghanistan. That's a least what I want.

And Original Thinking Must Be Punished

Ah, so that is why Veeblefester keeps Brutus around. It's a tactic to make sure no can usurp Veeblefester's position of power. Why anyone would I have no idea but I guess there's at least one person out there who would like to oversee a tea cozy empire.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Yvette Vickers 1928-2010 or 2011

File this under creepy but very interesting. Yvette Vickers who was a Playboy Centerfold and appeared in the movie Attack of the 50-Foot Woman has passed away. Ms Vickers' body was found in her Hollywood home, mummified.
For more information, here is the LA Times article.

The Garage Door Repair People, Touring This Summer

I thought about many scenarios I could've put up. Stroke, death, brain aneurysm, genitals being sucked back up into his body. Instead, I'm going to point out Gladys' hat. Snappy beret. I'm sure the feminist group that meets at the Bourgeois Pig will love it.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Why So Serious?

He's just being playful Gladys. Geez, don't take everything so seriously.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Osama Bin Laden 1957-2011

And we are all glad to be rid of him.

Old Comic Randomness

There are a bunch of old comics posted over at the DCR. Enjoy some Krazy Kat, Katzenjammer Kids, Buster Brown and many more. Also, enjoy today's Born Loser strip.

I call B.S. on this. Kids should still know what CDs are because you still see them at stores and parents should still have CDs even if they don't listen to them. Yes, maybe in few years when everyone is required by law to own some sort of music listening device then maybe we will see the end of CDs but until then, they are here to stay.

Also, the peach crate is a wonderful addition to the strip.