Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

He's 75

According to this strip, Uncle Ted turned 70 years ago and has been lying about his age. I really don't care even though I may seem like I do but what I do have a problem with is the solitary cupcake. Where's my full-sized cake, dammit?!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Homebody Dad #3











“This is very good,” David said to Lucy who handed him a comic strip she had drawn.

“I thought maybe you can put it on your website,” Lucy said.

“If you don’t mind then I will. It will go up in a couple weeks.”

“No. Today.”

“But I have other comics to post first. They’ve already been scheduled.”

“Daddy…” Lucy began pouting.

“All right. I’ll move the other posts down and post this one today.”

“Yay!” Lucy squealed and began dancing around. “Millions and billions of people are going to see my cartoon. Millions and billions of people are going to like my cartoon,” Lucy said in a singsong voice as she danced.

“Will they?” Alison asked.

“What?”

“Will millions and billions of people see and like her cartoon?”

“I barely get to 1,000 pageviews per day and have never passed 200 Likes on Facebook or Instagram. She’s getting nowhere near millions and billions.”

Everyone left for work and school while David stayed home. He scanned Lucy’s cartoon and posted it and rescheduled all the other posts. He spent the rest of the day watching TV, playing with Oliver, and cleaning. He got back online about three and saw over 1,400 Likes on Instagram, over 700 on Facebook with 15 shares, and nearly 100,000 pageviews on his website.

“Son of a bitch…” he said.




“I can’t believe we have a meeting with an investor like Siddhartha Osayande,” David said as he and Milo went to the ninth floor of the Santa Fe Building downtown. “He helped get that upscale shopping center built in that bad part of town.”

“And I go there once a month. He’s doing so much for this city that I’m shocked he agreed to see us,” said Milo. “If he agrees to invest in us then we’ve got it made.”

They arrived at the ninth floor and went up to the front desk. “Welcome to Osayande. How can I help you?”

“We have an appointment to see Mr. Osayande.”

“Name?”

“Milo Story and David Livingston for Chesney Hill Brewing Company.”

“Okay. Go right down this hallway,” she pointed “and it’s the third door on the right. I’ll let him know you are coming.”

David and Milo walked down the hallway and gently knocked on the door. “Come on in,” said a voice behind the door. Milo opened the door and the two of them walked in. “Mr. Story. Mr. Livingston. How are you two doing?”

“We’re good?” Milo said. “I want to thank you for seeing us. You’ve done so much for the city and we’re glad you’re thinking of investing in us.”

“This city has two breweries already and it’s quickly becoming the next big thing. I’m worried that I’ve missed the boat but there’s no harm in trying. And getting in on the ground floor would help immensely,” Siddhartha explained.

“Here is our portfolio of beer that we are currently making. We have enough room to start one more but any more kinds or a larger quantity would require more space,” Milo handed Siddhartha a folder and he promptly opened it.

“If I were to invest, I would want my own flavor. I hope that’s not a problem.”

Milo and David looked at each other. “I don’t think that would be an issue. What were you thinking?”

“Something unique. I’m a huge fan of the smell of lavender and I feel something with my name on it should have something fancy. Gold flakes,” Siddhartha mused. “Is that possible?”

“Well, I guess. What kind of taste do you want for the beer. Dark, light? Do you want it hoppy or…?” Milo asked.

“Which ones would make the lavender and gold stand out?”

“Probably light and not as hoppy.”

“Can you make me a sample?”

“It’ll take about a month but yeah.”

“Make me a small sample that we can serve here at the office and we’ll see what happens.”




“It’s not...terrible,” David said, taking a sip of the lavender beer they had been making the last couple of weeks for Siddhartha. The beer was a pale purple color highlighted by a light yellow color. Little gold flakes, barely noticeable except in the right light, floated around the drink.

“Lots of companies have a lavender beer so I researched, tested, called, tried to get as much info as I could on lavender beer,” Milo explained. “Maybe this just isn’t meant to be.”

“Maybe Siddhartha will like it,” David shrugged. “I don’t think he really plans on selling this stuff. It’s just to have.”

“Well, he can have it,” Milo said. “I don’t think this is something that we’re going to be known for.”

“Someone will like it.”

“I only care is Siddhartha likes it. How are your little pictures doing?”

“My comics?” David smiled. “They’re okay. Lucy drew one that I posted a month or so ago. It’s currently the most popular comic on my site.”

“So the most popular comic on your site wasn’t even done by you,” Milo clarified.

“Oh, no. Of course not. Why would that happen?” David jokingly asked. “She’s trying to come up with a sequel but she has writer’s block. Her words.”

“I think this is as good as it’s going to get,” Milo said. “I’ll call Siddhartha’s secretary and let her know we’re ready for him to do a taste test.”




About three days later, Milo and David were back in Siddhartha’s office with a couple growlers of the lavender beer he had requested.

“Interesting,” Siddhartha said after taking a sip. “This will be perfect for the Expo.”

“Expo?”

“It’s a large expo I’m starting that showcases the diverse businesses the city has. I want you to offer this beer and one or two of your other kinds at your own booth if you can. It will be great exposure.”

“That’d be amazing,” Milo said.

“Have my secretary give you the info. We look forward to seeing you at the Expo,” Siddhartha stood and shook Milo and David’s hands.

The two of them got the information and went back down to their cars. “Yes!” they exclaimed and high-fived. They then shook hands and hugged.

“This is it,” David said.

“We’re headed in the right direction now,” Milo stated.

“Alison is going to be so happy.”

“We need to figure out which two beers to bring.”\

“I say a light and a dark. That way people can try both along with the lavender.”

“Ugh. The lavender. But if Siddhartha want to special order it then I am fine with that.”

“We need more room if we’re going to start keeping a lavender for Siddhartha.”

They continued talking back and forth in the parking lot for the next half hour before getting in their car and heading home.

So Close...


Bongo Comics is coming to an end after 25 years publishing comics based on The Simpsons. Bongo Comics debuted in 1993 with three titles: Simpsons Comics, Itchy & Scratchy Comics, Bartman, and Radioactive Man. Itchy & Scratchy and Bartman were canceled quickly but Radioactive Man was a miniseries and was even brought back for 9 more issues in 2001.

The series chronicled different periods of the Radioactive Man series from the 1950s until its 1000th issue in 1995. Oddly, the only way Radioactive Man could've had 1000 issues is if it ran weekly for a long period of time. In actuality, Radioactive Man would only be at 506 issues based on the dates given for the series. The series would've had to start in 1912 for there to be 1000 issues in 1995. But enough about the math. The series focused on different eras of Radioactive Man pulling tropes from both Marvel and DC.

Radioactive Man #1
Issue 1 features the origin of Radioactive Man. Similar to The Hulk, Claude Kane is caught in a nuclear explosion which gives him superpowers and a lightning bolt-shaped piece of shrapnel in his skull. We are also introduced to RM's nemesis Dr. Crab who will be a thorn in his side for the next 999 issues. Even Lex Luthor doesn't have that kind of cache.

Issue 88 (#2) features the origin of Fallout Boy though it is not his first appearance. Fallout Boy's origin is similar to Spider-Man's and the artwork is reminiscent of Steve Ditko for the Fallout Boy portion and Jack Kirby's work on The Avengers for the Radioactive Man/Superior Squad portion. Issue 216 (#3) takes place in the early 1970s and touches on the counterculture aspect of comics at that time. The issue parodies stories that were found in Green Lantern/Green Arrow by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams but also the odd "hippie" series like Prez, Shade the Changing Man, and Brother Power the Geek. There is also some Jim Steranko thrown in as well.
Radioactive Man #88
Radioactive Man #216
Issue 412 (#4) parodies one of the most famous covers in history, Crisis On Infinite Earths #8. While not a parody of that company-wide, continuity-changing crossover, this issue does touch on companies killing off heroes just to bring them back in a darker form. Dr. Crab is finally able to rid himself of RM. Fallout Boy removes the lightning bolt shrapnel from RM's skull which triggers a change into him becoming Dark Radioactive Man. Despite defeating Dr. Crab, Dark Radioactive Man is now evil and only that piece of shrapnel can stop him.
Radioactive Man #412


Issue 679 (#5) parodies Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. The story tries to be more realistic as comics tried to be in the 1980s but there is also a parody of Crisis On Infinite Earths with different realities needing to be saved. There is also more Kirby mimicked. Finally in Issue 1000 (#6), we get to the grimy 90s. Using storytelling techniques popularized by the guys at Image Comics, Radioactive Man faces off against Dr. Crab again. During the battle we are introduced to Radioactive Man's previous form--Radio Man. Radio Man is able to stop both Dr. Crab and Radioactive Worm, a worm exposed to the same nuclear explosion as Radioactive Man, but as with all comic books, there are plenty of loose ends.
Radioactive Man #679
Radioactive Man was a fun experiment and Bongo should be known for that as well as Simpsons Comics but such is life. Bongo's final two comics--Simpsons Comics #245 and SpongeBob Comics #83--are due out in October.
Radioactive Man #1000
If you would like to support my writing or my research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

It's interesting that when Chip actually seems to spend a lot of time on a strip, the more janky it looks. Don't get me wrong, I like it. I like it much better than when it looks like the panels have been Control-C/Control-V'd.

On the plus side, it's a par 3. Maybe Brutus can still make it in two.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Seething Contempt

A couple bucks? I haven't bought ice cream from an ice cream truck in quite a while but isn't the minimum cost about $3? Maybe she already has a dollar or something.

"Money doesn't buy happiness"? That argument doesn't work on kids Hattie's age. And it doesn't work on adults either. Money can go a long way into helping make people happy. Wouldn't we all be happier if we all had the money to not worry about money?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Hairy Friday

I spent three minutes looking it up. The average person has hair that weighs about two pounds so losing your hair would be a negligible decrease in your actual weight especially since you lose your hair over time, not all at once. Also, it's been my experience that bald people get more hair on their back and shoulders so while you may lose the half pound of hair on your head, it gets replaced by back and shoulder hair.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Info-Tainment

I am definitely not a fan of the products that infomercials sell. Usually they don't work or are overpriced or just outright lies. But the infomercials are a thing of beauty. Here are these people acting their butts off trying to make something look good. They may or may not stand behind that product but they have a reputation and have to do their best to sell it.


I do not support or use any of these products. I just like their commercials.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Senior Moment

That's an odd question.

That's an odd answer. I thought we were all in agreement when being a senior citizen happens. Was there a memo that I didn't get?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

One Dollar for Every Year

Look, I don't need a fancy party celebrating my time with a company as long as my boss never puts their arm around me like that. It looks like Veeblefester is trying to climb inside Brutus but can't find a way in.

Monday, July 23, 2018

He Misplaced Wilberforce

I always figure that if you forget what you are looking for then it wasn't that important to begin with.

It's nice to just be able to draw one image and then use the select + flip horizontally command to get your work done one-third quicker.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Divine Life #4


Jeremy saw a minivan pull up to the corner in front of his house and the headlights turn off. Jeremy threw on a hoodie and went downstairs, out the door. Frank was sitting in the front seat and Emily was in the back where Jeremy would sit.

“Emily, right?” Jeremy asked, pointing at her.

“Yeah,” she answered.

“Emily’s joining us tonight. Hope that’s okay,” Nathan said from the driver’s seat.

“This is such a stupid idea,” Frank said quietly to Nathan.

“It’s fine,” Nathan growled. He started the van and drove off. He drove all the way down Lincoln Street and then across the river. He took the first right and headed west. He then took the first right again, heading back toward the river. The whole drive the four of them were quiet. The only noise came from the radio.

The house was a dilapidated frame house with no glass in the windows. It had been ravaged by the weather and, since it was in the middle of the field in the river bottoms, it clearly had been damaged by floods as well.

Nathan parked along a nearly washed out road next to a driveway that had been repeatedly plowed over. Everyone got out of the van. Jeremy looked out toward the house in the middle of the field.

“Know anything about it?” Jeremy asked.

“Built in the 1890s, abandoned around the time of the Great Depression. The land is owned by the same people who own that house,” Nathan pointed to a mid-century ranch house several yards away near the main road.

The four started walking down the plowed-over driveway. Nathan had handed out two flashlights to Emily and Jeremy and kept one for himself. He had his on but it was a starry night so there was plenty of light. They arrived at the house and Nathan turned and shined the flashlight in Jeremy’s face.

“We’re gonna split up,” he said. “Frank and I will go upstairs. You and Emily will remain downstairs.”

“And where will Shaggy and Scooby go?” Jeremy mocked.

“Har, har,” Nathan said. “Try not to die. We’ll be upstairs.”




Upstairs, Nathan and Frank wandered in and out of the bedrooms, taking care with each of their steps. “Why are you trying to set Emily and Jeremy up?” Frank asked.

“I think they’d be good together. And Emily needs to be around a good influence and have less...Graham time. Even if it’s only as friends, it’s better than what she’s getting now.”

“I swear, you two should just date,” said Frank.

“We’d make a terrible couple,” Nathan replied. “We’re too different.”

“Again. You two should just date.”

Downstairs, Jeremy opened the door to a closet and then closed it rather loudly. Emily jumped. “Can you not slam doors?”

“Sorry.”

“How are you liking Ransomville?” Emily asked.

“It’s fine. No complaints.”

“Aren’t you from Kansas City? Why’d you’re parents move here?”

“They both grew up in small towns and wanted my sister and me and I to experience small-town life. I think they mainly wanted a break from the city.”

“I don’t have to move to a big city. Just something bigger than 1,600 people. I hate it here.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

“Try living here for 15 years and you’ll feel differently. Everyone knows your business. That’s what I hate the most. You go down on Aaron Barnes and three days later everyone is talking about it,” she complained, using a real world example.

Jeremy looked at Emily, amazed she revealed something like that. “Well, I do think stuff like that gets around. It just takes longer in a bigger school. In a big school you may not even hear anything until it’s well after the fact.”

“I don’t know why I came along with Nathan on this,” Emily sighed with a small laugh in her throat.

“Yeah, this is kind of stupid,” Jeremy agreed. He heard Nathan and Frank coming down the stairs. “I have an idea. Head back outside,” Jeremy got quiet.

As they left, Jeremy slammed the door closed. “Jesus Christ!” Nathan shouted from inside the house. Jeremy and Emily began cracking up.

Nathan stormed out. “What the hell?” he huffed.

“Emily and I are ready to go,” Jeremy smiled.

Nathan stared at Jeremy then growled and began chasing after him.




Nathan pulled into the gas station parking lot and all of them got out. Jeremy and Frank immediately went to the restroom. “Sorry your plan didn’t work out,” Emily said to Nathan.

“What plan?” Nathan nervously questioned. “I didn’t come up with a plan to get you and Jeremy together.”

“Really? Because we both thought that’s what you were trying to do.”

“Maybe. A little.”

“I appreciate it and Jeremy is a nice guy but I should stay away from relationships right now. He’s going to make a great friend though.”

“Well, I’m glad you at least got along,” Nathan said. “Sorry I tried to set you up. I know people don’t usually like being set up.”

“I certainly don’t,” Jeremy came up behind Nathan. “I prefer to just accidentally stumble into a relationship that way no one really knows if we’re dating or not--even us.”

“I’m sorry tonight was kind of boring,” Nathan apologized. “I’ll try to do better at picking houses in the future.”

Jeremy returned home. As he began to go upstairs, a voice spoke. “Where have you been?”

“Jesus, Maggie, I thought you were Mom or Dad,” he caught his breath. “I thought they caught me.”

“Nope. Just me. Where were you?”

“Out with Nathan. We were...I guess you’d call it ghost hunting but we were pretty bad at it. I mean, we had absolutely no P.K.E. Meters.”

“What about proton packs and ghost traps?”

Jeremy shook his head.

“You were bad at it.”

“What are you doing up?”

“Getting a drink. Do you like being here?”

“What do you…?”

“Ransomville. Do you like being here in Ransomville?”

“It’s okay. I don’t have any problems with it right now.”

“Me neither. I actually kind of like it.”

“I do, too. I’ve met some people I really like--Nathan, Chloe.”

“Same here,” Maggie smiled.

“We can’t let Mom and Dad know,” they both said.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Jeremy yawned and continued up the stairs.

“Oh, and just so you know, Mom and Dad totally know you left,” Maggie said.

I Do Find It Hard To Believe He's Never Heard of Swag

Swag. Stuff we all get. I love the odd turn today's strip took. This could've taken any number of different turns but instead went right to the one where we learn Wilberforce eats old popcorn and candy that people dropped and threw on the floor when he goes to the movies. Out of all the dumb things that Wilberforce has said and done, I do believe this is my new favorite. Wilberforce eats garbage off the movie theater floor. Brilliant.

I don't have anything extra for you this week but I would like you to check out a post I did on the Tauy Creek Facebook Page and, as always, if you would like to support my writing and research you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Why Is That His Go-To?

Pwha? Gih!? Whuh?! How...?

How does Wilberforce not know what cheesecake is? Look, maybe this kind of garbage flies if you're one of the kids from The Family Circus but we don't tolerate this kind of ignorance here, kid. You're not cute anymore.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Rained Out

Where is Brutus going for vacation? Across town? Was he just going to spend his vacation golfing or something? Last month Brutus told Uncle Ted that they were going to Cape Cod. Cape Cod is nowhere near Ohio. Maybe Brutus is just going to take his family to Geneva-on-the-Lake and pretending it's Cape Cod.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Laundry Doom

I understand what Brutus is saying but I don't have this problem. My wash cycle takes about 30 and my dry cycle takes about an hour. I deal with it. I'll get to it when I get to it. "But guy," you say "what about the other people in the house who may need to use the washer and dryer?" They can wait. Their laundry and those machines will still be there. Calm down.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sad Brutus

I'm bothered by how Brutus is sitting in that chair. Like, really bothered. I'm also bothered by how adult-aged Brutus is reacting to Mother Gargle's ribbing. I get that a lot of times that the playground names and taunts never go away but you should be able to handle the attacks better than just crying in your chair.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Slightly Political

Mother Gargle is right to mock because she is the pinnacle of physical beauty. That nest of gray hair, hook nose, the lines under her eyes, the way her breasts apparently reach all the way down to her hips. Beautiful.

The thing is, Brutus does get fairly regular exercise. The same kind of exercise that our treasonous president gets.
And we all know that Benedict Trump is the pinnacle of health.

Monday, July 16, 2018

It Was Just a Bunch of Birds In a Trenchcoat

You would think there would be some kind of bonus in the contract for landing big clients--or any clients at all really. Maybe you have to include that kind of bonus when you write up the contract and that sounds like something Brutus would forget to include.

I looked up Fitzbew just to see if there is anyone with that name in the Cleveland, Ohio area and apparently 'fitz-bew' is the sound the Willow Flycatcher makes.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mom's Taxi #1

Lindsay Baird crammed the duffel bag into the back of the hatchback of her car. She then went back in the house and came back out carrying a yellow and red cooler of lemonade. She closed the hatchback and, again, went back into the house. Four girls sat at the kitchen table, all of them had a bowl of cereal, glass of orange juice, and a plate of toast.

“Girls, the game is in 20 minutes. Eat faster,” Lindsay said.

“Thanks for letting me sleep over last night, Ms. Baird,” one of the girls said.

“You’re welcome, Maddie, but ‘eat faster’ did not mean to stop eating and talk to me.”

“Sorry,” Maddie jammed a massive spoonful of cereal into her mouth, milk dripping down her chin.

“She got to spend the night?”

“Georgia…” Lindsay sighed.

“Why couldn’t I spend the night?”

“You night fart too much,” one of the twins said.

“I do not, Brooklyn,” Georgia whined.

“Girls. Come on, we have to go,” Lindsay said in a loud voice.

In the car, Brooklyn sat in the passenger seat while the other three girls sat in the back. Georgia was sitting behind Lindsay. A few blocks from the house, Georgia began kicking Lindsay’s seat. She giggled as she did it then started saying “Kick.”

After a minute or so, Lindsay looked in the rearview mirror. “Can you stop kicking my seat?”

“It’s not us, Mom,” Karmen said.

“I know, Karmen. I’m talking to Georgia.”

“It’s not me, Mrs. B,” Georgia said. “Kick,” she kicked the seat.

“Well, you’re sitting right behind me and saying ‘kick’,” Lindsay said.

“No, I’m not,” Georgia responded. “Kick.”

Lindsay sighed. As she approached 32nd Street, she saw the orange and white of construction blocking the road. She sighed again, angrily this time. “Eff,” she muttered.

“I know what you wanted to say,” Georgia piped up.

“We all know, Georgia,” Lindsay said as she made a right turn.

“Fu--”

“Georgia!” Lindsay snapped. Lindsay drove a couple blocks until she came to Alexandria Street. She turned left and kept driving. Over the course of the next mile, the scenery changed and the pavement ended.

“Mom, what’s going on?” Karmen asked, looking at the odd trees that suddenly lined the deteriorating road.

“I don’t know. The road was fine a few seconds ago. There’s no room to turn around,” Lindsay looked around and stopped the van. “What is going on?” she echoed her daughter.

She got out of the van and looked around. Something was different and it wasn’t just the odd-looking plants and trees. The air smelled different and felt different as she breathed. The sky was also different--a darker blue than she normally saw.

Georgia opened the door and got out of the van. “Are we lost, Mrs. Baird?”

“We’re not lost, Georgia. You girls stay in the…” the van door slammed closed and all four girls were now outside the van “...van…” Lindsay sighed.




“We can’t hold the game anymore,” one of the referees shouted at Christine Hetrick, Georgia’s mom, at the soccer field. “Either put in four of your benched players or forfeit.”

“But there’s a reason we keep them on the bench,” Christine said. She turned around and looked at the girls sitting down. “Get on in there. Go ahead and have fun because we definitely aren’t going to win this game.”

“That’s inspiring,” one of the girls sarcastically said.

The game began and while it wasn’t completely a slaughter, they were beaten 7 to 4. All through the game, Christine tried to call Lindsay but each call went directly to voicemail. Even the calls she made to Georgia . Toward the end of the game, she called another number.

“Christine?” a man answered.

“Hi, Andrew.”

“Hey. How you doing?”

“I’m good. I have an odd question. Have you seen Lindsay?”

“Not since our last custody trade-off with the girls last month. I’m not exactly Lindsay’s favorite person right now.”

“So you haven’t seen Brooklyn or Karmen either?”

“A week or so ago, but not today,” Andrew started to sound worried. “Is something wrong?”

“They were supposed to be here for a soccer game.She had Brooklyn, Karmen, Georgia, and Maddie with her. She hasn’t shown up and the game is almost over.”

“What field are you at? I’m on my way.”




Lindsay drove down the deteriorated path a bit until it virtually disappeared. It became little more than a footpath skirting the edge of a forest. On the other side of the road was a large plain of grass. Lindsay parked, turned off the van and got out which caused the four girls to get out as well.

“What do you say, girls? Do we keep driving? Do we turn around? There’s room to do that now.”

“Turn around,” Karmen said, her voice shaking.

“I say we drive up that hill,” Brooklyn pointed at a pointed hill in the plains. “See where we are.”

There was a sudden rustling in the forest next to them. Everyone turned and looked. It rustled again.

“I say we just get away from here,” Maddie said.

“Those birds are weird,” Georgia pointed to the sky.

“Those are bats,” Brooklyn corrected.

“They’re birds. They have beaks,” Georgia scoffed.

“Something’s not right,” Lindsay whispered to herself.

The trees rustled again and parted. A light blue creature appeared. It was a blue like a blue jay with small wispy feathers but very reptile-like.

“No…” Lindsay breathed. The creature was slightly taller than her and seemingly just as curious about her and the kids as she was about it. “It can’t be. This can’t be real.”

“What is it?” Brooklyn asked. Karmen had gotten back in the van.

“I know this sounds weird but,” Lindsay swallowed hard and stuttered. “I...I think it’s a dinosaur.”

Sidekicks

Wichita Eagle article, Dec. 28, 1887.
The Kelly family owned a ranch about ten miles from the town of Oak City in Seward County, Kansas. From all accounts, they were a respectable family--father William, mother Kate, and their children Bill, age 20, and Kit, age 18. Being along the main road, travelers through the No Man's Land area of Kansas would often stop at their ranch for some food and a place to stay. In December 1887, the Kellys suddenly disappeared, abandoning their ranch and left for parts unknown.

Shortly after leaving, a group of men searched the ranch and found in the cellar ten bodies in various states of decomposition. Modeling their mode of killing off of the Bloody Benders of Labette County, the either William or Kit, a fairly attractive daughter, would engage the traveler while Kate would fix dinner. At the appropriate time, a spring would be released to a trap door sending the man into the cellar where the family could rob and then kill him, if the fall hadn't done that already. It was believed that the Kellys were heading for Mexico with their riches and a posse was quickly formed.

Unlike the Benders, the Kellys were caught up to. A skirmish occurred about 50 miles south of Oak City. Kate, Bill, and Kit were killed there--either shot or hanged depending on the account--but William was able to get away. Three hours later, the posse caught up with William and, after a quick gun fight, was strung up in a tree. He confessed to his and his family's crimes of robbing and killing nine men and two women. The posse strung William Kelly up in the tree again and then waited until he was dead.

Like Abbott and Costello
Like Sonny and Cher
Like Martin and Lewis
They're the perfect pair

Like Laurel and Hardy
Like Fontaine and Lunt
They're perfectly mismatched
They're Veeblefester and Brutus

Why did Brutus immediately go to a crime-fighting superhero duo? It's bad enough he mentioned those other duos. Honestly, if I had to choose from this list, Brutus and Veeblefester are definitely Frodo and Sam and which is which depends on where in the movie you are.

If you would like to support my writing and research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Sword In the Ceiling

My wife got a Rocketbook Everlast notebook at work earlier this week. It's something that you can write in, scan the pages to upload somewhere and then erase the page with water and a towel. I decided to try it out so I wrote a quick one-page story and then scanned it to my Google Drive. It worked pretty well.
Not an actual scan.
I would like to use it more because I like being able to hand write my stories and then I can just dual-screen from Google Drive or Evernote in order to type it. We'll see what happens but so far, the Rocketbook does what it's supposed and wiped clean like it says. No complaints so far. And now, The Sword In the Ceiling. Except for spelling, this has not been edited.

The door was open when I got home, which was odd. I know I closed and locked it this morning when I went to work. I walked inside and saw everything as I left it with one exception.

A sword was sticking out of the ceiling. The handle, a gold bejeweled thing, glimmered in the sunlight coming through the window. It looked like a real sword--a valuable sword which made its presecence in my home even stranger.

I went through the house just making sure everything was as I left it and that the sword and the door were it.

I grabbed the handle of the sword and pulled it out of my ceiling. I looked at it and how new but yet antique it looked. During my search of the house, I never found a sheath so where was I going to put this thing? I guess I could hang it over a doorway or something.

Why would someone break into a house and jam a sword into the ceiling? That's a question I don't really want to know the answer to.

I took the sword and placed it in a chair. I sat down and turned on the TV. I flipped around the channels until I saw the sword on a local news channel. "...Anyone with information on the missing medieval sword should contact law enforcement."

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tank N Tummy #5

Ryan and Aaron were working when Harvey came into the store. Harvey was the manager of the Tank N Tummy but was otherwise absent in its day-to-day operations and opted to let his two assistant managers do all the work.

“Hey, Harvey, it’s been awhile,” Ryan welcomed.

“Hello, new guy,” Harvey said to Aaron. “Hello, idiot,” he said to Ryan. “Where is moron?”

“Dominic has off today,” Ryan answered.

Harvey grumbled something. “I’m cleaning out the back room. You never know when you will need a place to hide out or to sleep when one of your wives discovers one of your other families.”

“What?”

“Have this cleaned out by the end of the day,” Harvey instructed.

“I thought you were going to clean it out,” Ryan said.

“Why? I’m a big picture person. You are little picture--teeny-tiny picture. Cleaning out the back room is little picture work. Just throw everything out by the end of the day. I will be at the motel if you need anything. Don’t bother me.”

Ryan glanced in the room and his eyes went wide. “Uh, Harvey, can we keep whatever’s in here?”

“Sure, sure. Just don’t bother me.”

“Why would you want to keep anything in this junk room?” Aaron asked.

“Not just anything. That,” he pointed at an arcade machine collecting dust in the corner. “I loved playing that when I first started working here.”

“Polybius,” Aaron read the game marquee. “Never heard of it.”

“It’s a very rare game,” Ryan began. “Only a few were made. Last I knew, only three. This is worth a fortune. Harvey probably doesn’t know what he has here and even if he did his brain is probably riddled with syphillis. I wonder if it still works.” Ryan noticed it was still plugged in. He reached around back and flicked a switch and the game came to life.

In the middle of the screen was big yellow bubble letters that read POLYBIUS. In the top corners were the scores. Hi-Score: 535530 and Score: 000000. Underneath the logo was ‘Player 1 Start’ and then the high score again with REC next to it.

“Well, it still works.”

“I still have the high score,” Ryan gasped.

“What’s the E stand for?”

“Everett.”

Aaron held in a laugh.

“Shut up. Help me get this thing to my apartment.”

“That’ll take all day. We’re supposed to be cleaning this room out.”

“Pfft. Harvey probably won’t even remember that he asked us to do this when we see him again. Now help me.”

Aaron grabbed the side of the arcade case and began trying to shuffle it away from the wall. He gave up after a minute. “Ugh. It’s like dancing with my cousin. We need to unplug it,” he started bending down to pull out the power cord.

“Wait. Won’t unplugging it delete my high score?”

“I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out,” Aaron pulled the cord out of the wall.

“Wait!” Ryan screamed.




Dominic walked by a brick wall where two kids were standing with their heads in their hands. As he walked by, the bald kid in the baseball cap sighed loudly.

“What’s wrong, kid?” Dominic asked.

“We have a baseball game today but we need a grown-up coach or we can’t play.”

“That’s too bad. I’m not doing anything right now so I can help you. Where’s your team?”

“At the ball field. Come on,” the kid in the baseball cap led the way. The other with messy hair was dragging a blue blanket behind him. When they got to the field, the other players of the team were waiting. “Gather round everyone. We got ourselves a coach.”

The kids all clamored in agreement. Dominic looked at his team. The bald-headed kid, the kid with the blanket, three girls, a boy covered in dirt and dust, and a dog. There were also a couple other non-descript kids that Dominic felt were just as strange. “Uh, why don’t we introduce each other…?” Dominic began. “I’m Dominic Hall and I guess I’ll be your coach today.”

“Great to have you. I’m Charlie Brown. I’m the pitcher and manager. This is Linus, Lucy, Schroder, my dog Snoopy, Shermy, Pig-Pen, Frieda, and Violet,” Charlie Brown introduced, going down the line of players.

“You have a dog on your team. And apparently the inside of a used vacuum bag?”

“Snoopy is possibly the best player we have and Pig-Pen just is what he is,” Charlie Brown explained.

“Well, I guess it doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you can play. Let’s get into position and we’ll see what you can do.”

It was the weirdest sight Dominic had ever seen. Linus could catch the ball with his blanket, Pig-Pen usually lost his way in a cloud of dust, Lucy couldn’t hold onto the ball if her life depended on it, and Snoopy, definitely the best player on the team, caught the ball in his mouth.

“Charlie, this is the strangest thing. Half of you are really good but the other half is just god-awful. Do you have any secrets to motivate the more bad players? Charlie?”

Charlie Brown was silent.

“Charlie. Charlie?”

“Who are you talking to?” Charlie Brown asked.

“You.”

“Oh! You kept saying ‘Charlie’ and I was like ‘Who’s Charlie? I’m Charlie Brown.’”

Other kids and parents began arriving. “I guess we’ll just have to do the best we can,” Dominic said.

“Mr. Hall, can we forfeit?” Frieda, a red-headed, curly-haired girl who played right field came up to Dominic.

“Why?”

“I’m afraid that the sun will take the curl out of my naturally curly hair,” Frieda lightly touched her hair.

“Oh my God,” Dominic sighed, closing his eyes.




“See? The score is still there,” Aaron said after he plugged the machine back in. “It probably has a battery back-up to save some info.”

“That’s good. Let’s call Joey and have him bring over a truck and handcart,” Ryan said.

Joey arrived less than 15 minutes later. “That was fast,” Aaron said.

“I’m kind of surprised they let you leave work so early,” Ryan commented, leading Joey to the back room with the game.

“I just left. What’s the worst they can do? Fire me?”

“Yes,” Aaron answered.

“So what are you doing?”

“We’re trying to get this arcade game back to my apartment.”

“Should be pretty easy,” Joey shrugged. “Get it onto the handcart, load it into the truck and then we’re up.”

“It will not be that easy. Moving stuff like this is never just an up and out job. Mark my words. We’ll be here forever.”

About an hour later, Ryan plugged in Polybius in his apartment. The marquee lit up and Ryan’s high score flashed on the screen. Ryan started playing. It was a simple game where you are in space trying to catch indescribable things in a basket that was on a circular track.

“Well slap my face and call me Kate,” Aaron said. “I can’t believe we got that game on the handcart, in the truck, across town, and up three flights of stairs within an hour.”

“Anything is possible as long as you have friends,” Ryan said. “Now get the hell out of my apartment.”




Back at the ball field, Charlie Brown’s team was up to bat. “I can’t believe the score is 12 to 13 and our best batter is up,” Violet said.

“But Charlie Brown is on third and we have two outs,” Lucy fretted. “You don’t think Charlie Brown will try to steal home do you?”

“Not even Charlie Brown would be that stupid,” Violet said.

I wonder if I should try to steal home, Charlie Brown thought while standing on third base. I could be a hero. I could tie the game and be the hero. Here I go, Charlie Brown leaned off the base. Here I stay.

“What’s Charlie doing?” Dominic asked.

“Who?” Linus asked.

Dominic rolled his eyes. “Charlie Brown. It looks like he’s going to steal home.”

“That blockhead better not,” Frieda said.

“No, he’s seriously considering it,” Dominic stood up.

Here I go. Don’t be a coward. Just go. Zoom. Here I go, Charlie Brown thought then paused. “Here I stay…”

“Stay there,” Dominic shouted at Charlie Brown.

I just gotta go. I’m going to be the hero. Just dance around the base for a bit to confuse the pitcher and then… “Take off!”

Charlie Brown took off down the baseline, headed to home plate. “Charlie is trying to steal home,” the kids all stood and shouted. “Slide, Charlie Brown! Slide!”

Charlie Brown took a dive and a cloud of dust erupted around him. When the dust cleared, Charlie Brown was on his back. Lucy was looking down at him. “You blockhead,” she said.

“Was I out?” Charlie Brown asked.

“Out? You didn’t even get halfway home,” Lucy yelled at him.

“We lost the game because of Charlie Brown,” the other kids cried. They all walked away leaving Charlie Brown alone on the field.

“Seriously though,” Dominic looked down at Charlie Brown, “you should’ve stayed on third like I shouted to you. Blockhead.”




Night had fallen. Charlie Brown was still on his back at the baseball field. “Rats,” he said.

Rock of Love With Brutus Thornapple

I finally went by my local comic shop and picked up the new The Man of Steel miniseries. I've been caught up on everything Superman that's happened over the last couple of years. It's been really good and I'm glad that the Superman that dozens of people worked so hard on over the course of 20 years is back. I made the goal of starting back up reading Superman with Action Comics #1000. That led into Brian Michael Bendis' miniseries The Man of Steel.

Even casual readers of Superman may remember the title The Man of Steel as the name of the 1986 miniseries by John Byrne reinventing Superman for the modern age. While this The Man of Steel doesn't quite do that, it still sets up a lot of storylines that will continue in the regular series Action Comics and Superman. So what happens? Not a lot but yet, quite a bit. So let's go over it and see what happens. This review will have spoilers but I will try to be as vague as I can. Also, there are some things I have not gotten to in the collected editions so if I seem like I don't know what's happening, that's probably the reason.

We open on Rogol Zaar saying that Kryptonians need to be eradicated, that they are a virus. I'm not a huge fan of being retold Superman's origin and this doesn't necessarily go back over but adds the additional detail of Rogol Zaar being the reason Krypton exploded. I understand that you are writing Superman but it's getting a little tiring seeing these over-muscled creatures try their hand at defeating the Man of Steel. Since Lois and Jon aren't even around, it doesn't even create the drama of them being in Zaar's path. What happened to Lois and Jon? We'll get to that in minute.

Superman is also dealing with a string of arsons that have been happening around Metropolis. It's dealing with one of these fires that Superman meets the new deputy fire chief, Melody Moore. It's one letter more than LL so I'm guessing Bendis is trying to make this new character more important in Superman's now family-less life. Melody, who I like as a character, is helped by Superman and Batman in figuring out who is starting the fires. It's revealed at the end of miniseries, at least through a witness, a young boy, that Superman has been setting the fires. This may seem a bit strange but we've seen before that Superman can't handle extreme stress as well as one would think. Shortly after Superman executed the Kryptonian criminals, he suffered a mental breakdown where he took the name Gangbuster and fought crime and after that exiled himself from Earth. After the battle with Rogol Zaar, the death of all the Kandorians, the destruction of his Fortress of Solitude, the possible shut-down of the Daily Planet, and the loss of Lois and Jon could be taking its toll on old Clarky making him act differently. Maybe Deputy Fire Chief Melody Moore can help comfort him.

Rogol Zaar wants to rid the universe of anything Kryptonian. As I mentioned, Zaar has destroyed the Fortress of Solitude and murdered everyone in the bottle city of Kandor. His next target is Superman, Supergirl, and the Earth itself. The Supers are able to distract Zaar just enough to send him into the Phantom Zone but we don't actually get any answers as to why Zaar hates the Kryptonians so much or how he is responsible for Krypton's destruction. Supergirl is going to find out but for now, we'll have to wait until the regular series. But what happened to Lois and Jon?

Lois and Clark got married way back in 1996 and, despite all odds, remained married that whole time. Sure, the New 52 Superman wasn't married or even dating Lois Lane, but somewhere out there they were still married. They even had a son together, Jonathan Samuel, after Clark and Lois' fathers, who is now exhibiting powers of his own and fighting crime as Superboy. Going through the past issues, I really love how Jon is written. Both Dan Jurgens and Peter Tomasi did an excellent job with this character and I do think that Bendis also did a good job, what little we see of him. Mr. Oz, Jor-El, Superman's father, has returned and wants to take Jon in order to educate him on the universe. While Lois and Clark, rightfully, say no, Jon speaks up and says that he needs to learn about the universe, himself, and his powers because of a future he saw where he killed millions of people. Lois and Clark acquiesce and Lois even goes with Jor-El and Jon. The three of them leave and Clark is left all alone. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal but fans of the supermarriage are worried this is Bendis' way of getting rid of the marriage and Lois and Clark's child. Numerous writers are on the record saying that the marriage between Lois and Clark doesn't work. Maybe Bendis just doesn't want to deal with that aspect of Superman which is fine but surely Bendis understands that lots of people are invested in these three characters and want them back together. I'm sure it will pay off in the end and I'm excited to continue reading because The Man of Steel did leave me wanting more.

Brian Michael Bendis was originally a Marvel boy. He had runs on Daredevil and Alias (you may know it as Jessica Jones) and both of his runs on those series were amazing and both I consider my favorite runs on a series. I'm hoping that Action Comics and Superman continue the page-turning stories that I felt The Man of Steel did wonderfully and that we see Lois, Clark, and Jon reunited soon.
The six-part miniseries The Man of Steel, is by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Jay Fabok, Joe Prado, Doc Shaner, Steve Rude, Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, and Alex Sinclair and is on sale now. Superman #1, by Bendis, Reis, and Prado is on sale July 11th. Action Comics #1001, by Bendis and Patrick Gleason is on sale July 25th. Published by DC Comics. To locate a local comic book shop, call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK (1-888-266-4226).

I don't know what modern TVs are like. The TV I have I bought back in 2010 or 2011 and it still has buttons to manually change the channel. Is that something that TVs don't have anymore? If Brutus' TV has buttons then keep the remote and change it to something you want to watch because I get that Mother Gargle is a guest in your home but it is still your home.
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You may have noticed a bit more content this week. I was bringing attention to Ko-Fi and that there are no longer ads but also giving just a bit more than just the comics and stories. If you contributed to Ko-Fi then thank you very much. If you would like to contribute and support my writing and research then you can still and always buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi. Feel free to Like the Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I'm taking next week off to focus on some writing. So until next Sunday, I remain...
~Brian

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Running Man

Heathcliff
Heathcliff likes to inflict psychological torture on his victims before he eats them. "Yes, I will eat you. The bib says so. But you won't know where and you won't know when."

Crock
Speaking of psychological torture, Crock here is writing a letter to his beloved mother who is apparently imprisoned in a nursing home and is practically daring her to try to escape her prison.

I wonder how many kids saw today's Crock and couldn't read it because it's in cursive. Who am I kidding? Kids don't read Crock. Only middle-aged Internet writers do.

Arlo and Janis
Is this a poop joke? Yeah, it's a poop joke. Hey, Arlo and Janis, leave the poop jokes to Marvin.

Seriously? Over 25 years?

Hagar the Horrible
Why is Lucky Eddie carrying the dog?

Six Chix
Hmm. She came to life. Good for her.

It appears that the artwork is coming alive. This happens from time to time. I, for one, welcome our classical masterpiece overlords.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not
WHY WOULD ANYBODY WANT TO TRAIN A SPIDER TO JUMP??!!

The Born Loser
"Actually, it's taken me years. Oop! That reminds me, I have to do the next lap today."

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Friday, July 6, 2018

The Report

On April 26, 1856, an advertisement appeared in the Kansas Weekly Herald, a newspaper out of Leavenworth.

Wyoming, is the name of a new town recently laid out on the Great Military Road, leading from Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Fort Riley and other Government Ports at the crossing of Ogden creek, in the midst of a rich country abundantly supplied with water, timber of all kinds, and a superior article of Stone Coal.

It is 45 miles west of Leavenworth City, within ten miles of Ozawkee, ten of Indianola and six miles north of Kansas River.

The Lots, Streets and Alleys have been laid out on the most liberal scale, with a view to the conveniences and comfort of settlers.

Many valuable lot have been set apart for public buildings, churches, school-houses, &c. The enterprising Merchant, Mechanic and business man will find it to his interest to visit Wyoming before locating elsewhere, as to such men the most liberal offers will be extended.

The Stockholders are determined to spare neither trouble or expense in making this an important inland point, and with their energy and means they confidently hope that Wyoming will soon become a town worthy of their united efforts and the beautiful region that surrounds it.

A Public Sale of Lots will be made during the Spring, of which the public shall be duly advised, until then but few shares will be disposed of.

Persons desiring further information can obtain the same by applying to the undersigned, Trustees of the Wyoming Association, or to Eastin & Adams, of the Kansas Herald.

Wyoming appeared on early maps, pictured above on a map from 1857, but never made it to the kind of town the advertisement hoping it would become. It's listed in the ad as being in Jefferson County but the map above shows Wyoming in Calhoun County, which is now northern Shawnee County. It was probably named for the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania and was out of existence by 1861.

Today, Wyoming would be located along 70th Street between Kincaid and Sherman Roads along Muddy Creek on the Shawnee/Jefferson county line. If anything existed in Wyoming, nothing remains of it now.

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On the plus side, it's only a one page report so it can't be too important or terrible. But really, let's talk about Veeblefester's picture of himself on his desk. It's been awhile since we've seen it. I'm glad to see it back.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Because of Cupid

In August of 1857, an ad appeared in the Lecompton newspaper The Kansas National Democrat detailing a scheduled auction of 400 lots in the town of Wheatland. According to the ad, Wheatland was located along the Santa Fe Trail where the roads from Leavenworth through Lawrence to Fort Scott via Paola and Osawatomie met. The biggest clue for where the town of Wheatland was to be located is that it was where Henry Pate fought John Brown, Black Jack Battlefield.
1857 map of Douglas County showing Palmyra, Prairie City, and the Battle of Black Jack
Following Brown's Pottawatomie Massacre, two of his sons were taken captive. The Battle of Black Jack was an effort to get them back. Brown's men were able to overpower Pate and his men and Brown assured their release if his sons were also released.

The town of Black Jack was incorporated in 1857 which makes one wonder if Wheatland was an early name for Black Jack. The auction for the 400 lots was postponed twice in September and then there were no more mentions of Wheatland. Did it become Black Jack or did the town fail before it even began and Black Jack is a wholly separate town? A post office was in Wheatland from July 1856 until November. Black Jack would get its post office in March 1858.
First advertisement for the Wheatland lot auction from the
August 5, 1857 issue of the Kansas National Democrat.
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I have a problem with it, too. I'd rather see Brutus and Gladys get divorced and Brutus move into the basement and then slowly go crazy and then become close friends with a stuffed rabbit that Wilberforce gives him. Who here gets this reference?