WHAT IF…?

Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset… And it rises again as per usual, but there is something auspicious about this particular sunrise. I am Uatu, known by some as The Watcher.

This rise marks the beginning of a new circuit around Earth’s local star, Sol, for Jesse. Of course I speak of the Jesse known throughout the multiverse as a friend to man and animals alike. The lover of women…so, so, so many women. The titan of disc golf is celebrating the anniversary of his birth today in a style befitting his granduer.

But what might the world look like if deprived of such a man, such a force of nature? To the timid, I advise turning back and going no further. To the curious and brave of heart, follow with me as we explore the question

WHAT IF JESSE HAD NOT BEEN BORN?

In a world without Jesse, co-blogger Matt would never have discovered the joy of collecting comics. As a result, his money goes to developing a method of talking to ants. He becomes the Hank Pym of his universe.

It’s a brand-new orange day in America.

Without Jesse’s influence, American president Ronald Reagan does not declare Dorritos to be a vegetable in the Farm Act of 1983. The chips cease production as corn subsidies are cut. An unhappy America must find another delivery system for bright orange cheese powder. It is thought that the water system might provide the best delivery system. It worked for fluoride, why not bright orange cheese powder? Enacting this plan leads to the orange-ification of America. Everyone looks like they come from the Jersey Shore.

Without Jesse’s guiding influence over the media, ABC’s Cavemen is allowed to stay on the air season after season. This is seen by historians as the beginning of the end for quality sit-coms.

If Jesse had not been born, the Zombie Stalin Clone War would not have a had a happy ending in 2021. Zombie Stalin clones would have taken over most of the planet. Without the brave example and heroic speeches of Jesse the world quickly descends into Zombie Communism.

The list of horrors which proceed unhindered by Jesse’s birth are gruesome and too numerous to recount in their entirety. Suffice it to say that the universe is grateful for Jesse’s existence.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSE!

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BirthdayPoint!

Two years ago, I took the opportunity to share the origin story of my co-head writer and partner in crime Matt. I related the story of his birth in 1936,  his Benjamin Button Disease, and lifetime of service to the Golden Girls.  Last year, recognizing subtle changes to his continuity after Superboy punched something, the record was updated to reflect the more recent changes.

This year?  Well, this year there have been some changes.  Not a hard reboot, mind you, more of a soft relaunch.

Matt was born five years ago, and has racked up a constant stream of accomplishments in that short period of time.  I first had the pleasure of meeting him 28 years ago, which works out just fine unless you spend more than 15 seconds thinking about it.

Despite being of a kindergarten age, Matt graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in Superhero studies and his Master’s thesis on Mad Science earned him a MacArthur genius grant.  In a wink to previous continuity, he channeled that funding and research into a discovery about the very same hard water that originally gave him his powers. With no Golden Age heroes to inspire him, he no longer became the fastest man alive but instead focused on his research into harnessing energy from the stars into a device he has tentatively named a cosmic rod.

Despite a full-time job as a scientist and man of action, Matt is an avid hobbyist time traveler and has gone back in time to shove many notable people, including Hitler, Walt Disney, and FDR (before the wheelchair).  He is also the basis for Marty McFly of the Back to the Future film franchise.  Fortunately for his CV, in new continuity he is the 4th smartest man in the world (after Michael Holt) and has achieved the EGOT that had otherwise eluded him.  His lawsuit against Mr. Holt for infringement on his likeness is still ongoing.

His first graphic novel, “Silver Age Gorillas vs Silver Age Dinosaurs on the Moon,” will be released next year by Bluewater Press, their first attempt at making a readable comic book.  When asked what motivates him, Matt usually just replies “I swear I didn’t fall down those stairs, I was PUSHED.  Something about this timeline doesn’t feel right.”

Now that he has been initiated into the 33rd level, all of the secrets behind the secrets will be revealed to him. 

The Truth Beneath The Waves

With a starring role in Brightest Day, Aquaman is coming back to the DCU in a big, big way.  Often overlooked as a gimmicky or D-list hero (at best!), we here at the L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog would like to take the opportunity to correct those misconceptions.  This week we are proud to present: Aquaman Facts.

THIS IS NOT JUST A GRATUITOUS PICTURE OF AQUAMAN'S HOT WIFE!

  • Section 1, Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.  Or Aquaman.”

  • Aquaman invented the giant seahorse by punching a seal and a horse into one new animal.

  • Aquaman holds the world speed record for text messaging underwater.

  • When Batman is at a loss, he asks himself, “What would Aquaman do?”

  • Aquaman raced Superman and the Flash and won.

  • In honor of his international reputation for sexual prowess, the Italian term for orgasm is il dulche Aquamano.

  • Aquaman once bowled a 310.

  • There is a hidden Aquaman drawn into each of Jack Kirby’s Marvel books

  • Aquaman has all of the feet Rob Liefeld never drew.

  • Aquaman doesn’t get dirty. Dirt gets Aquamany.

  • It’s not that Aquaman can’t exist more than an hour without water, it’s that water can’t exist more than an hour without Aquaman.

  • Wolverine is the Aquaman of the Marvel Universe.

  • Aquaman failed once. Just to prove that he could do anything.

  • The first man on the moon was Aquaman.  And he swam there.

If it’s good enough for Grandad does this really mean it’s good enough for me?

The convention ended about an hour and a half previous to the writing of this post. On the whole, I enjoyed myself thoroughly; I’d go so far as to say that this statement is true for the majority of the people in attendance this weekend. Vendors, pro’s, fans, everyone seemed to be content, if not tired, at the end of the day.

So after a good meal and a chance to decompress, here are a couple of final thoughts on the weekend.

0. The nice thing about not having to fill holes in my collection is that I’m free to find things. I can flip through a box and discover a ridiculous amount books I’ve read about or heard good things about. I can also feel more free to take a chance on things just because… It was surprisingly fun to look aimlessly with no goal in mind.

1. To quote Mark Waid, “There are a lot of genuinely good people in the comic industry, but there are also a lot of lazy people in the industry.” Mr. Waid said this during the Family Friendly Comics panel. It was in reference to the current over reliance on explicit violence and gore in mainstream comics. As always though, it’s what happens to be selling. Aggravating.

2. DC does not, and for the foreseeable future will not stand for Digital Comics. Odds are they’ll stand for Dad’s Comics. They’re going to be playing catch-up and it’s going to hurt. Digicomics came up again and again in panels  across the board. But, according to Ian Sattler of DC, the company is only merely looking into the possibility. Marvel has already dabbled in this and is getting much more serious about the form. The Iron-Man annual will be released on the same day in both pamphlet and digital format. Further, Mark Waid, Editor-in-Chief of BOOM!, has many of their titles online and speaks positively of it as augmenting, if not changing, the face of comics.

Success in this experiment should mean a couple of things…some obvious, some not so much:

a. The worry of the price-point might be a thing of the past…hopefully,

b. A wider audience can be reached. As Jeff Parker pointed out today in a panel, web-content of all sorts will be able to link to downloadable content. Mentioning that interviews and news stories that catch a reader’s interest could offer instant contact with content,

c. With lower overhead, companies might be more willing to experiment with content. They might also offer content that wouldn’t sell as well in paper form… a return of US1? Maybe…hmmm?

In regards to digital comics the next six months to a year will be telling.

3. Readership needs to grow or prices will continue to rise and content will continue to stay at this level of quality(?).

It could be a brave new world that we stand before, or it could be business as usual with dwindling readership.

Dispatches from Heroes Con, 2010

The LIST will not be seen tonight, please tune in next week when it will return at it’s regularly scheduled day.

San Diego. Comic-Con. It’s the pilgrimage a devoted comic book fanatic should make at least once in his or her life. Going to San Diego is a bit rough and tumble as one might expect from paying a visit to the wild and lawless frontier west of the Rocky Mountains. The convention is crowded in that same way that Mumbai and Kolkata are crowded: you can’t move an inch without being jostled or jostling someone. People are constantly screaming at you or near you. On the up side, you see some things you will never forget and possibly somethings that will change your life. THE biggest names in the comic book and tangentially related industries flock to Comic Con each July to show off what’s new. For all of that, San Diego’s Comic-Con is on one end of the convention experience spectrum.

Charlotte, North Carolina’s Heroes Convention, at the far other end of the spectrum is much more subdued. Many big names are there in attendance. The difference: you can actually have a conversation with them. You can talk about how much you like their work. You can ask for sketches without getting harangued by the fifty people in line after you or the talent wrangler trying to move said line along. Here in Charlotte, you can still find quarter boxes that can be perused at a semblance of leisure. The aisles are easy to navigate and meander through for no other reason than to meander. In short: This is more of a vacation than an event. In fact, I’ve read interviews from pro’s that have stated as much.

The convention is running today, tomorrow and Sunday. Three days that will be feature panels, shopping, and talking to many of the guests. To give you an idea of what all I accomplished between 11:00 and 2:00 today, I’ve compiled a short list:

1. Bought action figures alongside  Mark Waid. He bought an Onslaught build-a-figure saying, “I created the guy; I should have this figure.” I bought a build-a-figure Giant-Man…don’t judge me!

2. Let Mark Waid talk me into buying the first two trades of Irredeemable.

3. Discussed what a gem of a book Sandman Mystery Theatre was with Guy Davis (who was totally cool about drawing a Dr. Doom sketch for me).

4. Talked to Golden Age legend Irwin Hasen about his awesome suit, the JSA, and Hourman…of whom he had never heard…so I felt like a dork.

5. Met Chris Sims of The Invincible Super-Blog fame . He’s a pretty nifty fellow in person.

6. Bought the bulk of the Walt Simonson The Mighty Thor run for less than forty dollars. I’ll spend the rest of the con searching for those four missing books.

7. Threatened to beat up Love and Capes creator Thomas Zahler if I was not fully satisfied with his book.

8. Learned that Roger Langridge has no idea who Marvin Suggs is, but Mebberson does…though she can’t remember what he should look like.

Mebberson is sketching covers for the exclusive Heroes Con blank version of Muppet Show #6

9. Had a chance to talk Muppets with Amy Mebberson, turns out she’s only doing art for this arc on the regular series and will be doing a Muppet – Sherlock Holmes arc in the not to distant future.

It was at this point that I took a lunch break. I can’t tell you how nice it is to walk into an eating establishment and ask for a Dr. Pepper…and then get it!

But I digress. Heroes Con is a fantastic young convention. It attracts well known creators and offers fans a chance to interact with them in pleasant and surprising ways. Charlotte’s is a convention with a welcoming atmosphere for people from 2 to 92.

Say what you will about the South and it’s current/past faults, and many of you have in derisive down your nose fashions, but the laid-back and courteous/ hospitable attitude fits the idea of a convention in a way that other media extravaganzas cannot.

Happy Birthday, Matt

When we started the blog up a couple months ago, my first inclinations were to put up a) a test post, and b) a manifesto about who we are and what we’re trying to “accomplish”.  I resisted both of these because…Well, it seems like those would be EVERYONE’S first inclinations.  At this point WordPress knows what they’re doing I will kick your ass...In Muppet trivia!and whatever we thought we were trying to do at the beginning would almost certainly turn out to be wrong.  In the end we just dove right into it, so I’d like to take this auspicious occasion to introduce Matt: the funny one, the dude writing in green, the guy looking at the Game Tape and giving us our weekly haiku.

Matt was born a senior citizen on this day in 1936, two years before the creation of the Super-Man that would eventually change his life.  Science has been unable to identify if Matthew had Benjamin Button Disease or was born as an egg from the planet Ork, but his apparent age allowed him to be drafted into the US Army during World War 2 at 6 years old.  Unfortunately, even though 98% of his vestigial tail was removed he was declared 4F due to the military’s concerns that he may not be able to effectively relieve himself in the field.

To study Matt’s life is to study Americana.  In 1952 he sold Elizabeth Marcella Henson the green coat her son Jim would later use to create Kermit the Frog.  In 1967, Matt’s mutant abilities were amplified to the point where he stopped getting younger and Thank you for being a friendbecame 31 years old permanently.  His 1980 season as a Saturday Night Live cast member is often overlooked because it was also the first season for a young Eddie Murphy.  In addition, he served as the “Senior Citizen Romance Consultant” for the first two years of the Golden Girls TV show until the executive producers decided that accuracy was no longer necessary.

Ever since learning to read 15 years ago, Matt has enjoyed comic books and has made it his mission to collect every Golden Age appearance of a gorilla fighting a dinosaur.  His own comic book, Golden Age Gorillas vs Silver Age Dinosaurs on the Moon, will soon be collected as a hardcover.

A hell of a guy, the 3 most important things to know about Matt are:

  1. He is not a lawyer.
  2. He won’t try to have sex with you.
  3. He knows when to leave.

He is also kind to his friends, and tolerant of their stupidity to a fault.

In honor of Matt’s 73rd birthday, please send positive thoughts, best wishes, and pints of Guinness his way.

Bad Ass!

* Apologies to everyone I shamelessly ripped off