Thursday, June 30, 2011

Madame Claire Voyant

I had several dreams last night which harkened me back to the good ol' days of my late teens where I had good friends and a really good job. It's really sad that a job I had ten years ago is still considered the best job I've ever had. Second best if "stay-at-home dad/freelance blogger" counts as a job despite not getting paid.

I had a friend who went to a psychic when she was 17 or something like that and the psychic said that she would a young mother. She would have her first child at age 20 so I don't know what to consider that. I guess anything under 21 would be "young" but I don't know. Hopefully this fortune teller won't tell Brutus he will be a young mother.

The Shari Lewis Wonder Book


There are a lot of people who are taken from us too soon. Shari Lewis, quite possibly the best ventriloquist to grace the television, was one of those people. Shari Lewis won first place for her puppetry on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1952 and in 1953 she made her TV debut  on a local program called Fun N Facts. After bouncing around from kids' show to kids' show, Lewis began her first network television series The Shari Lewis Show in 1960, the show would last until 1963 and help make Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy household names. Lewis would go on to create Lamb Chop's Play-Along for PBS in 1992 and Charlie Horse Music Pizza in 1998. Lamp Chop's Play-Along would last until 1997 and Music Pizza would end shortly after its debut when Lewis would pass away due to complications from uterine cancer on August 2, 1998.

I don't have any comic books featuring Lamb Chop or Shari Lewis and I don't know if any exist but I do have an old book from 1961 published by Wonder Books. I don't why it's advertised but the cover is washable. You can learn more about Lamb Chop and Shari Lewis' daughter Mallory at lambchop.tv.

The Shari Lewis Wonder Book
Story by Crosby Newell
Pictures by Ruth Wood
Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse created by Shari Lewis.
Published by Wonder Books
Copyright (C) 1961 Shari Lewis. All rights reserved.











Wednesday, June 29, 2011

But Food Tastes So Good

 

 My best friend had to go to the doctor the other day because of chest pains. He's my age but apparently he has that disease Robin Williams had in "Jack". Anyway, the doctor hooked him up to an EKG and found nothing wrong with his heart but hinted that he should cut back on crappy foods and pop. I'm sure after my friend ate his egg and cheese Kobe burger and drank two big glasses of Pepsi, he took that advice to heart.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stull #18

“So Stull has the middle school and the high school but the elementary school is still in Rock Creek?” John asked as the walked up to the Rock Creek Township Middle School at the end of 8th Street.

“Yeah,” Matt replied.

“So the elementary school, where the little kids go, is still located in a town where the entire population disappeared?” John asked.

“Yeah,” Katie replied.

John shrugged. “Makes sense to me.”

Matt chuckled. “They plan on moving the elementary school to the Stull Consolidated School on 6th Street next year but they need to fix it up.”

“People are saying that the Consolidated School isn’t worth fixing up and a new school just needs to be built. We’ll see,” Katie said and opened the middle school door for the guys.

They checked into the office and were directed to a seventh grade classroom. They stood at the door and got the teacher’s attention. The teacher walked over to them. “Oh, good. You’re here. Come on in. I’m gonna finish up some math and we’ll get right to you. Class, these are people from the Rock Creek Historical Society and they are going to tell us a little about Stull’s founding and answer some of your questions,” the teacher introduced.

One of the students raised their hand. “Ms. Williams? Can they tell us where the people of Rock Creek disappeared to?”

Ms. Williams, Matt, Katie and John stared at the girl. John leaned into Matt and whispered, “Kids are a lot more outspoken these days.”




Frank had been rewriting the book, which was handwritten, into a computer file. His plan was to get it published through either a vanity press or the Ohio University Press. He had done nothing the last week except read the book, decipher the scrawling print and type it into a word document which is why the other three went to the middle school. He was about three fourths of the way through the book and figured he could get it done by the end of the week.

Out front, someone came in. “I need to see Frank York,” it was clearly an old man and he sounded angry.

“He’s busy right now,” Jen said. “But I can take a message and give it to him.”

“I know he’s in his office and I want to see him!” the man yelled.

Frank saved his work and got up and went to the door. He saw Jarvis Houk standing in front of Jen’s desk. “Mr. Houk. Pleasure to see you. Jen, it’s okay. Mr. Houk come on back.”

They went into his office and Frank shut the door. “I’m not gonna beat around the bush. I know you want to republish that book. I’m here to tell you to not publish it.”

“Why not? It puts Colonel Stull and Captain Houk in a good light. The only people who look really bad is that Rockhold guy. Sure the men at Fort Bradshaw look bad at first but look at all the good that has come out of it.”

“Nothing good really came out of it,” Jarvis scoffed. “The whole township is cursed. The women of the Comchau made sure of that. And even though Colonel Stull tried to help by building that tenement building for them, the Comchau women ended up disappearing. That’s something that book didn’t tell you.”

“They disappeared?” Frank was confused.

“Don’t publish the book Frank,” Jarvis said. “If you do, I won’t be responsible for my actions.”

“Are you threatening me, Mr. Houk?” Frank asked and opened his door to let Jarvis out.

“No, young man. Just warning you.”




“Guest Speakers”

Jarvis Houk left the Society. Frank stood next to Jen’s desk. “What was that about?” she asked.

“He was telling me to not publish the book. Well, not so much telling as threatening.”

“Are you going to publish that book?”

“I don’t know. I want to but I get what Jarvis is saying. It’s a rather embarrassing tale for everybody but Colonel Stull tried to make it right,” Frank said.

“But he did just go along with the crowd and in the process killed dozens of innocent people. Instead of being convinced by Rockhold he should’ve went to the Comchau himself,” Jen said.

Frank stared at Jen. “You know, you really aren’t making this decision any easier.”




“Stull was founded by Colonel Jabez Stull of nearby Fort Bradshaw,” Katie began. “Fort Bradshaw was a small fort in Grant Township. All of Rock Creek Township was once the Comchau Indian Reservation and in 1830…” Katie paused and looked at Matt.

“In 1830, the men at Fort Bradshaw and the Comchau came to an agreement to let white man settle in the township and soon the town of Stull was founded,” Matt finished. “Any questions?”

“What is the End Road Massacre? I remember reading about it when your boss published that letter in the paper,” a student quickly asked.

“Uh, the End Road Massacre…is…we’re…we’re not quite sure at this moment but we are looking into it. We know it decimated the Comchau population so it may have been some sort of epidemic,” Matt hesitantly explained. “Yes, you,” he pointed at a girl who had her hand raised.

“Why do you do this? Isn’t the history of this place kind of boring?” she asked.

“Well, the Rock Creek Township Historical Society does more than just record the history of the township, we also do the history of the rest of the county and we also do private investigating and paranormal investigating,” Matt explained. “Yes?” he pointed to another student.

“Paranormal? As in, ghosts?”

“Yes,” John interjected. “We’ve found things that could be thought of as spectral apparitions but we’ve been able to explain all of them.”

“Not necessarily,” Katie said. “We never officially figured out if there was something at the Vawter Bridge.”

“And there still is Stull Curse,” Matt reminded. “You,” he pointed.

“How did you get started in something like this? Could I join you?”

The class laughed.

“You could,” Matt chuckled. “It’s honestly not that hard. Frank has degrees in history and anthropology and studied private investigating and law enforcement so he’s the more educated of us. He got into it after doing a project on the Old Stull Church. I got into it mainly because of Frank but I like the ghost hunting part of it but also because we were looking into the Curse.”

“I also got into it because of the Curse but I’m starting to like the history of it and finding new things that may have been lost at one point,” Katie said.

“I’m in it for the ghost hunting also,” John said. “I’m more of a skeptic so the ghost hunting to me is about finding the truth.”

“Any other questions?” Matt asked.

Another girl raised her hand. “What did happen to the people of Rock Creek?”

Matt, Katie and John looked at each other. “We don’t really know. We’re looking into it but there is no evidence of what happened. We’re trying our hardest but since no one who was in or near Rock Creek is around anymore then it’s difficult to find out the cause.”

“Well, I hope you find out. I miss my Grandpa,” the girl sniffed.

Matt looked at Katie and lowered his head.




After school, they left the building and got in the car. Matt sat in the driver’s seat with Katie in the passenger’s. John sat in the back seat. “I’m leaving,” Matt suddenly said.

“I know,” Katie sighed. “I found out from Jen. I wondered when you were going to tell me.”

“I wanted to a long time ago but I didn’t want to hurt you. And I didn’t know what was going on with our relationship so I didn’t want to mess that up.”

“How can you mess up something that isn’t there?” Katie asked.

“I thought…”

“I do really like you. I would love to be in a relationship with you but I think you need to leave and see what else is out there,” Katie said. “I’ll still be here is those feelings are still there when you get back.”

“What about you?”

“I’m still going to be here. We’re still going to be working together, just not in the same office. And you’ll still be back to visit. You still have family here and I just can’t see you not coming back. I mean, your name is the town,” Katie chuckled.

“So you don’t want to try a long distance relationship?” Matt asked.

“No,” Katie shook her head. “You’ll be in a different town every week and I want you to meet new people. Maybe find a girlfriend.”

“You’d be okay with that?”

“Of course. We’re not dating.”

“I will be back,” Matt said.

“I know you will,” Katie replied. “But take your time. See the country. Meet people.”

Matt smiled at Katie then leaned over quickly, took her in his arms and kissed her. She kissed him back and held him close. “I’m gonna miss you, Katie,” he said.

“I’m gonna miss you, too.”

John leaned forward. “So do you guys want me to walk back to the Society or…?”




Matt, Katie and John arrived back at the Society. Frank was sitting next to Jen and they were talking. “What going on?” Matt asked.

“I was just talking to Jen. Very interesting young lady,” Frank said and stood up. “How was school?”

“It was fine. We need to figure out the Rock Creek mystery. The teens around here are up in arms about it,” Matt said.

“I know. Well, we can start focusing on that because I have decided to let the true history of Stull lay to rest,” Frank revealed.

“What? But we’ve worked so hard on it,” Katie exclaimed.

“I know and I still plan on finishing writing it but I’m not going to publish it. It will remain here where people can ask for it and research it though,” Frank explained.

“What made you decide that?” John asked.

“Jarvis Houk came by earlier and talking with Jen helped a lot,” Frank smiled at Jen. “So I think I figured out what the next investigation we’re going to do is.”

“Well, it’s good to see Frank back to normal,” John said.

You Mean San Fransisco Giants Starting Pitcher Tim Lincecum?!

A month or so ago I finished a story based on Quantrill's Raid then I moved onto a story about ghosts in a cemetery and realized that it has been a while since I wrote an upbeat story. My stories lately have been pretty depressing. I don't mean for them to be depressing, they just happen to come out that way. Maybe I just think they're depressing. You can be the judge when Brooklyn posts in August and Hickory Point posts in September.

So did Brutus know Tim Lincecum? I would assume not and that Lincecum is just a really good pitcher or something. I am more impressed that Gladys knows Lincecum's age unlike most wives.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Today In the Hall of Justice

In case you haven't heard, DC Comics is undergoing a relaunch in September. DC is releasing little bits of information at a time but one thing is sure--they are ruining the records set by Detective Comics and Action Comics by starting over with #1s. But a true mystery surrounds the first issue of Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.
All other characters have been identified except for the woman on the right side in the middle. People have speculated that it's Black Canary or Power Girl or even Zealot, a character from Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S. but I have a different theory and it's a good one I think. Dan Didio, publisher of DC Comics stated during a convention that most people are now familiar with the Green Arrow from Smallville and that they want to incorporate some of that history into this Green Arrow. So my thought is that this mystery woman is Watchtower extraordinaire and future wife of Oliver Queen: Chloe Sullivan. Sure Geoff Johns tweeted that the woman is not a blonde but since Chloe was specifically created for the TV series, who says they can't re-envision her for the DC Relaunch?

Veeblefester has millions of dollars, a successful tea cozy company, a house on a hill overlooking a private lake and three beautiful young gold-diggers. Who would want to improve that? Although if was bald like Veeblefester I would wish for hair.

#235: What About Brian, Year Six

I came to the realization a few weeks ago that I will never be an author. At least not an author who doesn't need a real job. For one thing, I can't finish a damn thing within a reasonable amount of time. It took over five months for me to write Carrying Valerie and that was a story I had already planned out in my head. I've been working on my currently untitled story about ghosts since early May. I've been working on my book Wilbur and Kolak since 2004. And a few weeks ago, as I was working on the outline for another book, 87, I realized I will never finish it. I have it all planned out. It was going to be my magnum opus. A blend of coming-of-age, historical fiction and the paranormal. I'm going to switch my focus to my short stories, Story Series and this blog. I do plan on finishing Wilbur and Kolak and submitting it but when I will actually get done with it remains to be seen. If you want to read what 87 would kind of be about then you can read my short story Tank N Tummy.

I've been wondering if I should talk more about my family. I see on Twitter and other blogs people specifically talking about their family and while I have mentioned them occasionally I don't go into deep detail about them but I see other people easily writing about them. Maybe it's because I don't want my parenting being judged or my marriage but I've also been more private about my life since I was a teenager so it's not something I'm just keeping from the Internet. My middle name, birthday, both I tend not to tell people. I've also considered myself more of the black sheep of the family. I do things the way I want to and not how I think other people do, I also think I am more daydream-y and flighty than the rest of my family. For better or for worse, I think it's that aspect that has made me a better person.

Another reason I probably don't talk about my family much is because I am kind of a jerk. What I don't like may make people look at me differently. I don't think how you were raised or how you are raising your family makes any difference in how I perceive you but there are some people where that is all they wonder about. Don't get me wrong, my mom raised me well but I think it was watching her do things wrong that ended up making me the responsible adult I am. That's why I don't like and don't give a damn about the families of politicians. So you gave birth to five children, so have other women. So you are a happily married husband with five grown boys, so are other men. I don't care. And neither should anybody else--they need to look at the policies of the individual and learn how to do a simple Google search.

So I will attempt to write more about my family--at least myself, my wife and my son because people seem to like stuff like that. I do a decent job of talking about myself through POB and my comic strip commentary but my family not so much. Sure, there are some things I will not mention. Names, where my wife works, my son's school and I am still keep my middle name and birthday closely guarded.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Balloons Can't Scream 'No'

There is a new post up over at the DCR that you need to read. The fate of the world rests on it. It also mentions my vacation that I am going on in a couple of weeks. I will be updating my blog with Chicago-related musings and such along with the standard LAMNB comics. There are also a few posts that have been ready to post for the last month. So while I will be out of the state, I will still be posting here. And then I will probably take another week off when I get back and not post anything.

That paragraph is really rambling....

Why does Gladys' forgiveness mean so much to Brutus? My thoughts are either his "big heart" comment is literal and Gladys is only one heartbeat away from heart failure or Gladys hits Brutus. You don't have to take that Brutus. There are places you can go that will protect you from her.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Legal

New York has become the sixth state, after Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont to legalize same-sex marriage so I only have possibly a couple more years with my wife until those homos somehow find a way to destroy our marriage. But I kid. Anyone who actually thinks same-sex marriage is detrimental to their own marriage clearly has more problems than the gays. I remember back in 2004 when Kansas was up to change the state constitution to legalize same-sex marriage. The wording on the ballot was confusing, the Republicans scared the old people into thinking married gay people were going to break their doors down and nobody on the Democratic side of the aisle stood up for it. In the end only 1 county, out of 105, voted for same-sex marriage. Douglas County. Or, possibly more appropriately, Lawrence because Eudora, Lecompton and Baldwin City are certainly not liberal.

I am proud of the Senators and Representatives of New York for getting this passed. I am proud of Governor Cuomo for signing the bill into law and not waiting for today or Monday but doing it last night after the Senate approved it. I feel this is a big step for getting same-sex marriages legalized in other states. When people finally realize that nothing bad happens when gay people are married, more states will follow--especially more liberal states. I do think the gay marriage vote will show up on another Kansas ballot but not until at least 2015 (unless legalizing same-sex marriage becomes the "good" political thing to do).

Besides, how does making same-sex marriage illegal not interfere with some people's chance at "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"

Someday I feel like I am going to have to add 'jelly donut' to the list of labels because there have been quite a few jelly donuts shown in the comic. All in relation to Gladys starting, and ending, a diet.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peter Falk 1927-2011

I'm doing a lot job searching and applying and what is really starting to piss me off is that it seems as if you have to register to even begin the application. Why the hell do I have to remember a user name and password that I am probably just going to use once? It doesn't make any sense! Why do companies need our user names and passwords? Am I missing something?

In other news, Peter Falk, the trenchcoat wearing Detective Columbo, has passed away. He was 83.

ARRGGH!! Brutus is like Veeblefester's right-hand-man. How much more can Brutus possibly be promoted?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

America...F#@% Yeah!

The Shield made his debut in January 1940 in Pep Comics #1 from MLJ Publishing. You might remember Pep as being the title where Archie Andrews would make his first appearance. But before superheroes and detectives had to leave to make room for the down-to-earth humor of Archie and the gang, it featured The Comet, The Hangman and the Black Hood. The Shield, in fact, was the first patriotic superhero.

The Shield pre-dates Marvel's, then Timely, Captain America by fourteen months. The Shield was Joe Higgins who created a formula for men to become superpowered. Why MLJ didn't sue the pants off Timely is beyond me because the origin seems oddly similar to Captain America's. Had The Shield been owned by National Periodicals, Captain America would now be owned by DC because National sued everybody.

Archie would soon take center stage in Pep Comics in 1945 but the Shield would continue to appear in Pep until #65 (1948) and the superheroes originally by Archie Comics' founders would be used sparingly. Once in the mid-1960s by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, in the 1980s under Red Circle Comics and in the early 1990s under the DC Comics' imprint !mpact Comics. In 2009, The Shield was revived again for ten issues being published by DC.

Shield-Wizard Comics #1 (Summer 1940)
Written by Harry Shorten
Drawn by Irv Novick
Published by MLJ Magazines, Inc.
All characters are trademarks and copyright (C)1940 Archie Comics, Inc. All rights reserved.













Aw, That's Mean

More changes are coming to WTS over the next few weeks as I have decided to end "The Point of Beginning". The journal-esque feature debuted on my MySpace blog in July of 2006 and has continued through LiveJournal and his blog for over 200 posts. POB will come to an end with #239 and any ramblings I have will be posted along with LAMNB.

Ah, but devoted readers of this blog and the Daily Comics Review know that Brutus does have a twin, as does everybody in the world according to movies and television.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shocked He Didn't Take Taxes and Interest Too

I joined a book club created by a local bookstore and our first book was The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton. It was a really good book although I enjoyed the chapters focusing on the past than the main story dealing with the FBI. The cat and snake scene near the beginning of the book make the book worth reading through although it doesn't hold up to that scene as well.

I was so excited that this week would showcase Brutus on a plane heading to God knows where to save the Acme account but apparently a two-part lead up is all we get as today, Brutus is back at work--or at least his definition of work.

Even to a powerful businessman like Rancid W. Veeblefester, the American dollar is worthless. Veeblefester will be voting for either Santorum or Romney (whoever gets the nomination) because Obama has not fulfilled his promise of fixing this economy. Also because of his skin color...

Here are a list of reasons Brutus can't use the dollar in the vending machine: Machine is out of change, bill reader is broken, dollar is too crumpled and faded to be read, the machine is one of those ultra-rare machines that only takes coins, Brutus doesn't know the machine can give change. If I've missed any let me know.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#234: About Fast Food

I eat fast food once in a while. I like fast food. Hell, people who say they don't like fast food actually like fast food once in a while. No, it's not healthy but fast food never claims it is. The last year or so I am really starting to notice people say that they hate fast food but yet I still see them go to Sonic, Taco Bell, etc. They seem to make a conscious effort to avoid McDonald's though. So I am starting to think that when people say that they "hate fast food" what they actually mean is "I don't like how unhealthy fast food is".

Fast food has never really claimed to be healthy. Oh, sure. They try like with salads and fruit cups but if I am going to go to Wendy's I am not going to get a salad, I am going to get a damn Baconator. The reason for my rant is that I see parents basically teach their children to stay away from fast food places and that the food there is not good for them. And it's not. If you eat it every day. I think you can splurge once a month and be fine. And if you are like me and 75-85% of your meals are home-cooked then you shouldn't have to worry.

Also, if you do not eat fast food don't chastise the people who do. Don't give them dirty looks or start spouting off about how unhealthy it is. More than likely, unless the person has been living under a rock since the 1970s, they know it is unhealthy. When I'm at work and I have to go get fast food for lunch or something it is because the dinner I had last night didn't provide enough leftovers, I forgot it or I just haven't had fast food in a really long time. I know it is not good for me but why should I eat healthy so I can possibly live longer when I could die in a car crash tomorrow? It makes no sense.

Nine times out of ten, I would choose a home-cooked meal. I can keep my son away from fast food. He's nine. It's not like he can go out and get it himself and the same goes for every other parent. Instead of just telling them fast food is bad and you should never eat it, show them what to actually get on the menu because chances are there is going to be some point in their life where they will have to eat fast food--even if it is upscale fast food. Instead of blaming the fast food businesses people need to start taking control of their lives. The fast food companies are not forcing you to eat at their establishments, if the fast food companies are advertising to children then you need to 1)turn off the TV or 2)tell them 'no' when they ask to go to McDonald's because they are children and typically still need mom and dad to drive them around. As for teenagers who can get around on their own, parents can still nag. And your kids can only hate you for so long because the horrible economy forces them to move back in with you.

So in conclusion, I like fast food as does practically everybody else in this country. Do I have to eat it everyday? No. I know it is unhealthy for me to eat it everyday. I have the power to say to myself and my son if we get a craving for fast food that we do not need and can eat at home. I can also help my son choose wiser when ordering fast food to get something more on the healthy side and I don't have to act like a douche to do it.

Except for this post. But I'm done now.