mizzmarvel: (namor's brave in water - coqalane)
I keep forgetting to repost the greatest comic strip ever published:

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There is nothing I don't adore about it.

Speaking of Namor, I hope they never try to make a Sub-Mariner movie, because the only man I could possibly accept in the role is long dead.

a couple big pics, so beware )
mizzmarvel: (kristy WHAT THE FUDGE - thesilverstrand)

Actually, this is hilarious and I would read that fic so hard and probably gleefully email [livejournal.com profile] poisonivory about its wonders. As happens. There are some terrible fics out there, and somehow the fact that they're BSC makes them all the more amazingly awful.
mizzmarvel: (mauling is a lucrative career-entwashian)
Today, the Annie comic strip ended its nearly 86 year run.

Apparently, it had been running in fewer than 20 newspapers, which doesn't really surprise me. When I was a kid, it never ran in the Los Angeles Times at all, and in the Register, our other major local paper, it was never featured in the proper comics page. Instead, they stuck it in a mini section in the Classifieds, along with Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, and other Depression-era relics. It was always too much of a bother for me to flip to this section.

Still, it's bizarre to think of a comics page without Annie. She was an icon, and even though she's rightfully better known for the infinitely more appealing musical, this also means that there's one fewer awesome female character in the funnies. I'd be more optimistic if I thought this meant more new comics would get to take its place, but with the crappy newspaper industry right now, I'm not sure if many fresh cartoonists are getting breaks.
mizzmarvel: (calvin & hobbes)
I'm reading a book of E.C. Segar's Popeye strips--Segar was the creator of Popeye, who wrote the character until passing away in the '30s, after which various cartoonists took over--and holy heck, eighty years after the fact, these comics are still hilarious.

It takes a while to get used to the cadence and dialogue of the strip because, hey, comics have changed a lot in eighty years, as has humor. Like, a lot of times the punchline is in the middle of the strip rather than at the end, leaving the final panel as a cliffhanger. Which, looking at it as a modern reader used to "the last panel is funny...FUNNY" sort of mentality in humor strips, is really cool.

The tone of the strips is really sort of dark -- there's tons of violence, casual attempted murder, suicide attempts. The book actually opens with a strip in which Ham Gravy (Olive Oyl's first boyfriend, who was incredibly boring) is a manager of a shoe store plagued by rampant theft by its salesmen. His solution? Hire a salesman with no feet! And we see this guy walking around on really crude wooden stumps, and Ham is like, "MY GOD I AM BRILLIANT."

Methinks this wouldn't fly in newspapers today.

But my favorite part so far is Popeye himself. He's a tough, ugly, hard-fighting, gambling-addicted sweetheart. At one point, Castor Oyl (Olive's brother...needless to say, Segar liked puns) says, "Yes, he has the biggest heart--and incidentally the hardest FIST." And it's true! Popeye breaks down over hard luck stories, falls in love with any woman who kisses him, and is fiercely loyal to friends who are frankly rather mean to him. Also, he's a redhead, which I always forget and always find hilarious.

Also, the really, really slow-burning romance between him and Olive is well done. After a lot of initial animosity, she mentions thinking she ought to kiss him if he weren't so ugly, and when she does accidentally kiss him in the next storyline, he's totally smitten. And it's adorable! So I guess I ship them?

...ha ha...Popeye...ship...ha.


Jun. 18th, 2009 11:32 pm
mizzmarvel: (charlie brown - beat again!)
I'm in the midst of reading The Complete Peanuts Volume 1, and there's a lot of points that I find rather interesting. Not that the art is different -- this is not the shaky line Peanuts that's now the hallmark of the strip; early on, Schulz utilized very careful, precise lines -- but just the tone in general. It's still much deeper than most kiddie strips of its time (I think it's hard to grasp how much different it was in the context of today, when most kid-focussed strips are directly influenced by Peanuts), but it's not as dark and melancholy.

Which I like. This might be heresy, but I prefer the first ten years of the strip to the ones I read as a kid, the ones that were new at the time, or even almost anything post-Woodstock, I think. I don't know, maybe the strip went over my head when I was little. Maybe I like seeing Charlie Brown getting the best of someone occasionally, and definitely do prefer the original art -- this icon is from a 1952 strip, I think. Maybe I just don't find Snoopy as interesting when he's walking on two legs (originally, he was a spirited, but more generic dog).

But the things I love about every era of Peanuts are visible from the beginning. I love the strong female characters. I love Charlie Brown's determination. I love seeing the honest, casual cruelty of children and their fickle natures. I love how adorable Schroeder is. (For some reason, he's my favorite. I'm not even sure why -- it should be Linus, logically. It might be the awesome purple striped shirt.)

I love it because it's Peanuts, and it's so simple and complex all at once that I'm not at all surprised that it's the comic strip, the one more than any other that really made the world sit up and pay attention.
mizzmarvel: (pbs - these bloggers are an angry bunch)
Probably only [livejournal.com profile] poisonivory will have even the vaguest appreciation for this (appreciation = knowing what I'm talking about, not actual, you know, interest), but I recently had a dream that it turned out that the writer of Sally Forth was my long-lost half-brother.

The sad thing is that I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
mizzmarvel: (pbs - these bloggers are an angry bunch)
This morning (read: around 1 PM) I found Lulu Eightball and immediately went, "Oh, so that's how I'm spending my day. More or less an accurate statement. This is immediately one of my favorite comic strips. Examples:

Oh, Amtrak! You're like the Little Engine That Could. Oddly enough, when I took my very first Amtrak ride as a kid, Houseguest was the movie they showed.

This is pretty much my life now.

I had an LJ entry about this once.

I just wish the bulk of the strips were larger; reading them has made my eyes hurt.

Also, another slug in the dishwasher tonight, WHY WHY WHY. This time I touched it before I saw it. D:


Jun. 28th, 2008 11:55 pm
mizzmarvel: (eomers_elf - bucky)
On the bright side: I haven't gotten a migraine since I lost my job!

On the down side: the non-migraine headache I have right now is still really annoying. Admittedly, eating candy at midnight is probably not helping.

The first panel of this Calvin and Hobbes comic pretty much encapsulates my mood tonight.

I was going to illustrate my mood by uploading a song, but iTunes is being weird, which only annoyed me more. So I went to YouTube to see if I could find a decent video, but in one a girl made a stupid "I'm introducing my video on YouTube, isn't it awkward? Hee hee!" face, and I was basically, "THAT'S IT, I'M DONE FOR TONIGHT."

And there we are.
mizzmarvel: (calvin & hobbes)
Fact: I found today's Family Circus funny enough that I actually laughed out loud. I don't think I have ever verbally expressed amusement for this comic before. But just - the disdain shown for Jeffy, and the expression of benign surprise on his face. It's HILARIOUS. Wtf, universe? Next thing you know, I'll be chuckling non-ironically at Full House.
mizzmarvel: (charlie brown - beat again!)
So my dentist appointment was at 8:45 this morning, so I already felt bad because [livejournal.com profile] khirsah was going to have to take me, but then on top of having to wake up early on a Saturday, she was sick. I felt awful about it, but my tooth was worse again, and I knew I had to get it taken care of.

And then we get there five minutes before my appointment, and I fill out the paperwork and whatnot, and I ended up waiting for an hour. Apparently I was going to need X-rays, and an entire family had signed in right before me and they needed films done too. Khir was listless and clearly not feeling well at first, but she got a little better right before my name was called.

X-rays were fast, but once I was in the chair, I basically stared at the wall for at least another half hour. When the dentist - who looked a little like Christopher Lee, which was awesome, because I mean, I would probably let Christopher Lee do unlicensed dental work on me if he wanted, he's so awesome - finally saw me, I got a prescription for antibiotics and a referral to an oral surgeon. My bottom wisdom teeth need out, but the tops are fine, apparently.

But yeah. Antibiotics are being taken. I'm not noticing much effect yet, but I'm kind of wishing I'd taken the dentist's offer for a prescription for pain reliever. Ow.

And while we were waiting for the prescription to get filled at the pharmacy, we wandered into Pier 1 Imports and I bought a really pretty hand-painted Christmas ornament that was on sale and four small bars of handmade soap (scents were dark chocolate, oriental tea, mango rice, and one that's some sort of neat combo of lavender, vanilla, orange, and lemongrass). I'd feel guilty about it, since this is going to be an expensive month (holiday presents, postage, cards, paying for medical deductibles, student loan, along with paying for the regular stuff like rent and utilities), but I won $50 at work yesterday, and the purchases totaled less than $15. The rest of that windfall is paying for the antibiotics and one of the deductibles. Fun.

I was very sad to hear that Al Scaduto, cartoonist for the comic panel They'll Do It Every Time, passed away. This is a comic that I've only been reading for less than a year, but it always makes me smile, and all I've heard is that he was an incredibly kind man. Lately I'd noticed a lot of panels devoted to the annoyances of hospital stays that were not reader submissions, so I'd been somewhat worried; I'm crushed that perhaps my suspicions were correct. Whether the syndicate decides to replace him or discontinue the strip, I'll be pretty sad.
mizzmarvel: (harry's manwink - entwashian)
Tuesday - Mostly we lay around all day and watch [livejournal.com profile] khirsah play FF. Eventually, we do manage to go out to Canal Street to find a Vuitton knock-off for her mom, but none of us are willing to go up to a scary apartment with skeevy dudes to look at the merchandise, so we depart empty handed.

Later, though, we see Les Miserables and it is made of awesome. I had gone through my entire life without seeing this musical, and I'm really confused as to how. Afterward, we wander into Virgin and I buy some $10 CDs, and get a Peach Pleasure smoothie from Jamba Juice across the street. This is probably my favorite purchase.

Wednesday - I not only manage to not pass out after one and a half Xanax, I put in half a day at work once we land. I don't know what the heck is wrong with me.

No, seriously, I'm the most boring person ever. Also, when did TJ/Brad become my comics page OTP?

'mudgin it

Jul. 29th, 2007 10:00 pm
mizzmarvel: (calvin & hobbes)
I got COTW runner-up for the third time over at the Comics Curmudgeon. It seems like the less I comment in a week, the more likely I am to get recognized. Also, this is the second time a Dennis the Menace comment was noted, so apparently I have a rapport with the wee rascal. (Me = Mack, btw.)

Otherwise, I am not at all interesting. Um. I bought new shoes today. Yay?
mizzmarvel: (pbs - these bloggers are an angry bunch)
I wish I had more interesting things to say these days. I mean, things are happening, but I always doubt the extent that anyone is interesting in reading about my day to day life. Um. Stuff! Work! Apartment-looking! And we're done.

In other news, today's For Better or For Worse. That sound you hear is my father rolling over in his grave.

I get my avid interest in comic strips directly from Dad reading the Sunday funnies to me as a small child (complete with cartoonish voices), and it's something we discussed quite a bit throughout the rest of his life. And no one, I mean no one hated FBorFW as much as Dad. His blistering hatred for all things Patterson put the proper curmudgeons to shame. If somehow he'd have been granted the ability to murder the ink-and-newsprint characters, only Edgar would have survived the massacre, and in fact, he had it planned out who would go first (that'd be Elly, naturally).

I can practically hear him, calling me up and asking my opinion about that whore, Lizardbreath. Well, here's what I think of the inevitable Granthony union - no sir, I don't like it.

(It did occur to me that, man, my dad didn't even outlive the Grandpa, and he had a friggin' stroke some months ago. But then again, the fact that Michael has survived this long without being bludgeoned to death or at least divorced by his long-suffering wife proves that there's nothing remotely realistic about this strip, real-time aging or no.)
mizzmarvel: (calvin & hobbes)
I got a runner-up spot for Comment of the Week over at the Comics Curmudgeon.

My God, I am in awe of myself.

(I am Mack, btw. Not Mac. I should have been more creative.)

Does everyone read this blog? If not, you should. Even if you don't follow any comic strips, this is a blog of joy. The comments keep me entertained all day at work, and while I never thought I'd be following comic strips like Mark Trail or crying out with glee over ultra-depressing Funky Winkerbean, I am grateful to do so.
mizzmarvel: (calvin & hobbes)
My love for comic strips predates my entry into comic book fandom by over five years at least. In those early years of my life, when my parents were unhappily married, both doing drugs and drinking, I can't say I was particularly happy most of the time. I loved to be read to, though, and my mother and grandmothers were quite good at dutifully reading aloud whatever I got my hands on. They get total props for indulging me, and without them I don't think I would be much of a reader or a writer today.

My father, a big man with a habit of yelling a lot, actually scared me at times, and sometimes I actively avoided him. He was also a lot more discerning about what he would read to me. Generally, I had just a few choices - A Cat Named Room 8, which was an old picture book about a real cat who'd been adopted by an L.A. elementary school, a volume from the Rotten Ralph series, about a cat named Ralph who had little social conscience, and the newspaper comic strips.

On Sunday mornings, I would sit on my daddy's lap and he'd read me the big, colored comic strips. He was good at it, doing the funny voices and explaining the joke if I was too little to get it. There were the old standbys, Peanuts and Garfield; the former I'd only come to appreciate as an adult, while I am as lukewarm about the latter as I ever was. Then there were the ones that really captured my heart forever - Foxtrot, which embraced the geekiness that I didn't even possess yet, and Bloom County and Outland, which was so bright and energetic and fun that I enjoyed it without even understanding most of the jokes.

When I was nine, after my parents had split up for good, my brothers and I lived with my dad for a spell; it was a bit scary, since I'd never been separated from my mom before and Dad was simply a person I didn't know as well. At his new apartment, he'd started getting a new newspaper too, one with comics I didn't know, which made the transition even more difficult. Soon I came to appreciate the simple fun of Drabble, the opaque humor of The Far Side, and best of all, Calvin and Hobbes. I remember sitting on the floor, reading it in Sunday-form for the first time and thinking, This is something.

I also came to appreciate my dad, who even if he drank, even if he did drugs, got up every morning, went to work, fed us, made sure our clothes were clean and we got to school, things my mother could not accomplish all the time. Even though I couldn't handle being away from her that young and chose to move with her to Arizona for a few months, and even though he was hurt by the decision, for my tenth birthday he mailed me some old X-Men comics with Rogue on the cover and the first anthology of Foxtrot strips. My dad knew me, he understood me. He loved me. I still have the book, so worn and old the cover's fallen off, tucked on the shelf with all my other comic strip anthologies, alphabetized neatly from Addams to Watterson.

As a young adult, as is my tendency, I made my hobby an intellectual pursuit and devoured books on the history of the funnies. The first comic book was just a reprint of old comic strips. The funnies gave us comic books. My dad gave me both.

And when it comes down to it, my older brother read Transformers and GI Joe before I was born, my little brother has favorite X-Men, and my mom even used to read Betty and Veronica. But when my dad references Alley Oop, when I complain about 9 Chickweed Lane or pass a book of Get Fuzzy strips so he can read a particular gem, this is something that only we share, one thing we'll always be able to relate to each other with, even when the time comes that I have to read Opus to him.
mizzmarvel: (calvin & hobbes)
I think this might be the first romantic same sex kiss to be seen in the funny pages.

At least, as far as I know. I've read a lot of comic strips in my day, but it's not like I read them daily any more, or like the two papers I read have every comic strip known to mankind. I have no idea what sordid goings on might be transpiring in the world of Snuffy Smith if it's not being published locally.

Actually, come to think of it, this couple in 9 Chickweed Lane here may've kissed before, though I can't remember for sure. In any case, I'd be a bit more impressed if the artist hadn't apparently gone to lengths to obscure the fact that the second panel consisted of two men. One of these guys, Seth, is also described in an official profile as "an unabashed wearer of the Green Carnation." Wow, that is indeed shameless, referring to his sexuality by means of an obscure nineteenth century euphemism! So unabashed.

I also find it funny that every page on that comics website congratulates the strip on winning the 2006 National Cartoonist Society's Award for Best Newspaper Comic Strip when I have no clue what the fuck is going on here. We only subscribe to the paper Friday through Sunday, so I figured I missed an important storyline. Online, I discovered that in the past week, we went from a plot involving nuns to - an asteroid headed toward Earth? As of yesterday, apparently. All right then.
mizzmarvel: (calvin & hobbes)
I read somewhere that the creator of Calvin and Hobbes said he didn't really want to get into the nature of Hobbes' existence, whether he was a toy that magically came to life when only Calvin was there or he was just a product of Calvin's imagination. But really, I think the fact that Calvin wears a striped shirt answers that question all on its own.

I think too much about this kind of stuff. Clearly, I don't have much going on these days.


mizzmarvel: (Default)
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

January 2012



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