Sunday, October 12, 2008

TITAN VISITING: THANOS AT MADRIPOOR

THANOS came to Jeremiah today. Said he needed a drink. Time was, THANOS was awesome. Some wise bartender put on this clip for the Madripoor faithful. Unlike when that Gray Hulking Dude came to town, no one thought of running for their lives. This is Madripoor movie night THANOS special:

Even a god need a job in an economic downturn. Last time Marvel went bust, Thanos was project manager for a house clearing re-development. Give that titan a broom and he sweeps almost everyone out. Time later, when marvel/dc got tired, Thanos was the interior re-designer...of a cosmick kind. He re-arranged all the furniture and anyone sitting on them sofas were re-decorated. House of M? You got to be kidding, Thanos bawled. "Been there, done all that and I got several sequels too!" And the merry titan reminded all who would listen that he got to kick the asses of Thor, Herc, Thing and that Hulk. Bad-ass. Madripoor can only look in wonder. Someone with a bahasa slang dared to ask, "Scarlet Witch? Apa binatang tu?" Everyone wanted to buy Thanos a drink.

Time now, in one of those bad sequels of an economic downturn, Thanos is forced to reprise his brawl with Thor for bread. If you think Mike Tyson was dealt a bad hand in life, the following makes the grown men in Madripoor weep:

Time was, Thanos was slamming the shit out of all challengers in Ipoh. I remembered he had this move where his hands became like this big whammo and anyone/anything below get splatt. Old boxers should never seek a return to the ring. No matter how bad the times. No matter how big the purse. Rocky Balboa you've been warned. (enough of the lousy sequels!!!) Now, leave the titan alone. Let that divine, who hail from a time where comics were the bridge to the infinite cosmic imagination, rest. Let the titan contemplate his death. By the end of the day, that's all a god have. His death.



THANOS: Last heard exiting the pub and heading to the arcades. (no man, no gods should be treated this way! screamed a madripoor REBEL to all who would bother to listen...) (to hell with camus...)


IN MEMORIAM: The one who posted as Screwtape. (Typical exit, not unexpected.) (One last time: Hang tak bersetuju!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

GUARDIAN: ARCHANGEL


Ever wondered why Warren with wings of steel never made it big? Big as in a Wolvie-BIG kinda way? Big in the commercial returns of multipe titles, minis, one shots and the never ending origins? BIG as in even 6 year old kids today can tell you Wolvie first appearance is in Origins (!?) You get my point.
'Ol Angel with wings of death was once upon a time selling X-Factor by the covers when comics was still found in mamak stores. Time was, one have no choice but to buy a comic because of the cover. That was/is still the thrill of comic buying. You'll never know what to expect inside. You have to be analytical, intepretative, highly imaginative and a bit religious to know a comic by the cover. I mean, all you have is a kneeling potrait of Archangel, shielding his eyes with wings shortened. What gives? What was the fear? What did he saw? Who was the nightmare? What was the fear? Was he hurt? Again? There must be more than one assailant, right? Must be another bad mutant, right? That explains the kept wings? Was he hurt? What was the fear? Where were the rest? Time was, one needs a little faith to buy a comic.
Archangel hovering over New York City. I'm sure Puny and Murdock were down there somewhere kicking the shit out of bad muthas doing bad things. Chuck Dixon and Frank Miller were probably down there walking the alleys, soaking in the disease, taking samples of grime, getting a lungful of life in the shadows. Time was, New York City were gloriously inked. Klaus Janson inked. But tonight, Archangel above Al Milgrom's inks, you know somebody is gonna lose their faith. This is superior comic craft, only for the choosen. And those who don't mind getting re-educated in used-bookstore...
I pulled up X-Factor #47 from this box of forgotten things in a used-bookstore. That was a few days ago. Today I open the pages from a time where Archangel was a death sentence from the skies, to the bad guys and divine rescue, to those cornered. The pages cracked. There was a noticeable water mark on the upper pages. Coffee? The center staples were rusty and almost not there. So the pages cracked. In the cracked pages I saw a familiar sight of a man of religion, holding the attention of a group of children who don't know better. Most of the kids have no where else to go. There were offered salvation in the name of a place to stay, a group to belong and a voice that will lead. Time was kids have faith. Faith in their innocence for a life that can be useful to others. Time was, one can be a god if they can harness such a lie. Faith is the hook that many lives have succumb to. In the name of a lie, many a religion got made.
"Look upon her children...and learn! This is the fate of all who betray our union! We all must forfeit our selves for the higher perpose of the group! Betray one and you betray all!"
-Father Philip
No. Not tonight. Tonight in ink city some kids are gonna escape from their faith. And Archangel is gonna unleashed his wings...
Ever wondered why Archangel never got his own series? Kids will lose their faith.
BETWEEN THE DARK AND THE DAYLIGHT, WHEN THE NIGHT IS BEGINNING TO LOWER, COMES A PAUSE IN THE DAY'S OCCUPATION, THAT IS KNOWN AS THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.
-HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Thursday, October 9, 2008

EPIPHANY: SIGHTINGS OF SAINT CLAREMONT

PROLOGUE: I was with Saint Claremont last week. Yes, THE Saint Claremont. I bumped into him while hunting for the Punisher. (!)

EPISODE 1: I heard Puny was getting ass-wiped by this medicated undead dude. It’s not often you see Puny ass-wiped. Blame the MAX series for the glorified macho bull shit. Time was, Frank Castle got ass-wiped. Time now, I still get wiped. It was a bruising week. Imagine a rugby game where you are up against Juggernaut, Deathlok, Savage Hulk and other such bruisers. My kinda week. So I recovered to a comic shop where I was told superheroes gathered. No spandex guys seen when I entered but this sour she-receptionist who looked like a science experiment gone wrong. My futile attempt to convince undead comics shop staffs that there exist trade paperbacks of ass-wiped Puny by Jim Starlin was rewarded with – “There is no such title.”

Exit comics store.

a refuge from morons

EPISODE 2: Claremont & Puny. In a used-bookstore. Now, why is that a damn fine idea? Every kid born today should be infected, when still in primal state, to have an addiction for used-bookstore. Used bookstore. Heaven for those who have lost hope. Junk shop for those who have no idea. I was in several such bookstores last week. That there is where superior comic craft and other such stuff are found. Many hopeless grunts have become educated because they once stood inside one such store. And got educated. Education. They don’t come like they used to. Now yews is expected to pass dem exams for the sake of passing dem exams. Time was, yews fall in love with the adventure of finding out education for yourself. That there is true education. That there is also Claremont and the sainthood of comicdom. Saint Claremont had a simple goal in mind when he writes comics: "To enjoy the book and the characters." TO ENJOY. Now why is that so rare these days? Why do comics readers of the Kino type mutate so badly that even an Ellis X-title pale like Kitty Pryde’s shadow compared to their exercised-moronic-quotient. (EMQ – the new assessment tool for today’s moron. Also usable to test yesterday’s moron’s. Can be kept for testing tomorrow’s morons also. Discard after a moronic encounter.) (EMQ - Be suspicious of anyone with a B. Sc [honk!] who can’t help but remind everyone he likes, dislikes or slept with that he is has a B. Sc [honk!]) (EMQ – “There is no such title”) (EMQ = MORONS!!!) But enough. TO ENJOY. Comics, as Saint Claremont espoused are superior-crafted stories that readers will ENJOY much. Especially rare finds inside a used-bookstore. Beyond the intellectual musings of storylines and stylized art, Saint Claremont preached the simplicity "To enjoy the book and the characters."

INTERLUDE:
To savour the discovery of a comic just because its hidden inside the boxes. (Batman, a Joker story with poster inside.)**

To relish the yellowed pages of a single issue Punisher (War Zone #1!!!) that is no longer in print. Did I say Embossed cover? Embossed cover!!!**
To pull out a long lost X-Men Archangel singles and be teleported to apocalyptic heavens because the story links to the latest Angel mini. (!!!)

To laugh silly at Wolvie #7 & #8 because Buscema thought Madripoor was Chow Kit and Fixit was from Ipoh. (Comic of the year!)

They don't draw covers like they used to!

EPILOGUE: "Every issue is a delight, in no small measure because it looks to me like the penciler himself is having a helluva lot of fun. Better yet, impossible as it sounds, each issue is better than the one before." – Saint Claremont

* Parents, send your kids to used-bookstore if you don't want them to grow up morons.

**Hey Fats, your copies on the way.

Friday, October 3, 2008

IN THE SHADOW OF MARY 3: A MEDITATION

Meditatio Divina



Sanctorio Communio

IN THE SHADOW OF MARY 2



One day, in the year of the fox
Came a time remembered well,
When the strong young man of the rising sun
Heard the tolling of the great black bell.
One day in the year of the fox,
When the bell began to ring,
It meant the time had come for one to go
To the temple of the king.

There in the middle of the circle he stands,
Searching, seeking.
With just one touch of his trembling hand,
The answer will be found.
Daylight waits while the old man sings,
Heaven help me!
And then like the rush of a thousand wings,
It shines upon the one.
And the day has just begun.

One day in the year of the fox
Came a time remembered well,
When the strong young man of the rising sun
Heard the tolling of the great black bell.
One day in the year of the fox,
When the bell began to sing
It meant the time had come for the one to go
To the temple of the king.

There in the middle of the people he stands,
Seeing, feeling.
With just a wave of the strong right hand, he's gone
To the temple of the king.

Far from the circle, at the edge of the world,
Hes hoping, wondering.
Thinking back on the stories he's heard of
What he's going to see.
There, in the middle of a circle it lies.
Heaven help me!
Then all could see by the shine in his eyes
The answer had been found.

Back with the people in the circle he stands,
Giving, feeling.
With just one touch of a strong right hand, they know
Of the temple and the king.


*No hillsongs in this temple. Thank gawd!

**Only goosebumps inducing live magick. Blackmore. Nuff said.


IN THE SHADOW OF MARY

Saturday. Could be any other day. It doesn't matter.
It's noon. Cloudy day. I am expecting rainbows.
In the garden. With the lady.
In the shadows, with a hymn.
For those who live.




I have often told you stories
About the way
I lived the life of a drifter
Waiting for the day
When I'd take your hand
And sing you songs
Then maybe you would say
Come lay with me love me
And I would surely stay

But I feel I'm growing older
And the songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance
Like the sound
Of a windmill goin' 'round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune

Many times I've been a traveller
I looked for something new
In days of old
When nights were cold
I wandered without you
But those days I thought my eyes
Had seen you standing near
Though blindness is confusing
It shows that you're not here

Now I feel I'm growing older
And the songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance
Like the sound
Of a windmill goin' 'round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune
I can hear the sound
Of a windmill goin' 'round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune

Monday, September 29, 2008

ICARUS: A REMINISCENCE

Time was, you buy a comic because of the cover. At the MAMAK STORE. If you are lucky, you get to strip off the plastic cover and grab an express read before the friendly neighbourhood MAMAK put a choker on skinny necks and bawl, "Yew wan to BUY? Yes, BUY?" These MAMAKS, very persuasive types. Time now, it's hard to even find a MAMAK.

In youth we dream dreams. That I was told. Youth dreams of flight. To soar. To rise. Above. To rise. Explore. To rise. To Live. To be alive. In one such fervour of dreaming I walked into Sultanah Bookstore in Jaybee and read that X-Factor with the Archangel cover. That was my existential entry into the world of X. That Lady in Kino had it easy: Shelves jammed with TPBs, complete collections, omnibus, numbered volumes. Heck, she could even engage blokes who look like geeks who sounded like they know what they are talking about for a roadmap to start X-titles collecting. In Sultanah Bookstore, you are on your own. That Fall of Mutant title will be read, left back on the rack, re-read, put back, read again and again and again... till the next X-title shipped in, if at all. For weeks/months I read about the Archangel. The one with the metallic wings and the neuron disruptors. The Walt Simonson image branded into my conciousness. I swore I dreamt of Icarus unleashing those wings on the murderous pack of wolves that tore apart innocents. Tore apart the weak. Tore apart the silent. I saw the wolves shredded and decapitated. I saw the night was bright and the Archangel soaring high.


No rocket science why I grew up hating comics. They never get completed. This also explain why I collect comics the way I do. The exisitential xperience of transitionary comics reading and absurdity of not ever knowing the conclusion struck me a virus I have yet to recover. I became a COMPLETIST. I abhor single issues. There is always an issue that is unavailable. I abhor sequential storyline. There is never any hope of seeing the finale. Heck, one almost always have to start from the middle issues and make his way backward and stumble along forward hoping for the next shipment. That's how I read Fall of Mutants. Bonhoeffer calls it the plight of not having a beginning and not knowing the end.

Man no longer lives in the beginning - he has lost the beginning. Now he finds he is in the middle , knowing neither the end nor beginning, and yet knowing that he is in the middle, coming from the beginning and going towrads the end.

I revolt from this neither here nor there enjoyment of comics. I seek completion as other men seek completion to fulfill a life that is unbearably lived from the middle. No more single title incomplete nonsense. Bear in mind, this was a era before Amazon.com or Torrent or Rapidshare. (apa binatang tu?) Haunted by the images of Fall of Mutants, I seek out X-titles, complete. That was the beginning of the X-over saga and I think I bought them all from X-tinction Agenda till Phalanx Covenant. That was when x-things started to be done to death. Too much of a good thing and the hacks in marvel just wilked the cash cow dry. In a perverse way, Bonhoeffer saw the extent of the Fall of Man that mirror this overt-creatorship of the powers that be in marvel.

Now man stands in the middle, now he is without limit. Now he lives out of himself, now he creates his own life, he is his own creator. He no longer needs the Creator, he has become a creator himself, to the extent that he creates his own life. The Fall really makes a creator out of the creature. There is no possibility of recognizing him in his creatureliness...from this point on no one can make any statement about man without bearing in mind the fact that he is like...God.

I stopped buying comics in 98-99 (?) I remembered selling off Generation-X TPB at a loss to a IT guy who was obviously brain-hacked by marvel. I mean he was buying off every X-titles off the shelves. I was selling off most of the X-titles I had then. Most of them. Except for those 'superior comic craft' that remained in my box. Unfortunately some titles (Elektra) (Meltdown) got into filthy hands of lard. To be exhanged for bread. That is a crime. Filthy.

Then in 2005, the big wave. The massive clear out. Many x-titles got passed on, dumped, traded or I don't know what. Including the one shot Archangel: Phantom Wings by Peter Miligan. And because of wiki, any bloke can mouth off that this title was a Brit-invasion on an X-character by that 2000AD writer which dealt an Archangel story in Peter Milligan's usual surreal way. A Vertigo like story starring Archangel.

Not surprisingly no one ever heard of this one-shot. Heck, who bothers. One, it's an offbeat character form the X-universe. Two, it's a one-shot. Who collects one-shot? Three, it sucks. That according to those who buy their comics by the mainstream flavor. Time today, I called up all the comics shop in town and none of them carry this title anymore. Suppose I should be kicking myself. Sucks. Reason for all the reminiscenes? I picked up a new title on Warren. Another origin title but actually the first one about ANGEL. And I still got the virus. Bought it complete. All 5 issues. Damn.


Them blokes at marvel had/have really lost it. First you kill off every mutant superhero in town, then you start a whole new series. The you you do it all over again. The DC folks thought it was good idea. And started a whole slew of origins title too. I mean how many time can Supes/Capt/Wolvie/X-anybody die and be born again? For the powers that be at marvel, I think this God-Creator thing has been done to death too often, too many times.

*In youth we dream dreams. To take flight. To rise. To soar the skies. Archangel/Angel/Warren namecheck Icarus in the story. Enough reason to buy.

Holy Synchronicity, Batman!

According to the "authorities" (if you believe them), Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which are causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. On Saturday, I picked up "Ultimate Spider-Man: Volume 9" hardcover by Bendis. It's a monster-sized 400-page book collecting the final arc drawn by Mark Bagley. At the same time, some holy hindus decided to honour their new deity - Spider-Ganesha! Go figure...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Balitong With Gays And Geneticists

Saturday. SS2 Mamak with Stephen Jay and Richard. I ordered a double-whammer "burger daging" and a plate of "oh-jian" (oyster-omelette). Stephen Jay was vegetarian so I ordered him some carrot juice. Richard was an omnivore so he got a plate of "chee cheung fun". I kept eating while the two blokes argued with each other about the real purposes and impetus for "natural selection". Interestingly, both of them were really having individual monologues rather than talking to each other but by the end of the evening they were both under the illusion that they had an illuminating debate and managed to convince (nay, won the respect of) each other. I sat there and sniggered. Stephen talked a lot about horses' toes and Richard tried to convince me that there's really no "me" - there's only a bag of genes and I'm the bag. The genes are the real Masters of the Universe (not He-Man or Skeletor) because they've got a thousand million million million years to work their ways on the universe. I smiled. No crisis of identity there. I'm merely a bag just as Richard and Stephen Jay. The real masters are not genes but gas. We're all bags of gas, packets of hot-air - flatulence is our mother-tongue. Allan joined us and I ordered another plate of "chee cheung fun" for him. Allan's gay so nobody talked to him much. But he's a fine fellow to hang out with and I enjoyed his tales about hot anorexic babes in California. It was a belated birthday celebration with some friends. Only that I didn't tell them it was my birthday week. "Oh-jian" uncle also joined us. Told me that he's the most well-known cook in the whole of PJ because he prepares the best balitong, la-la and "oh-jian". He explained that he's now a grandfather (13 grandchildren even) but it's a pleasure to him to continue selling food. Richard tried to extract the formula for "oh-jian" from the uncle. To my surprise, uncle generously provided the recipe but he smugly added - "I can tell you how to prepare it but you'll still not be able to do it like me! You see, I've got magic hands!" Richard started to explain how active genes provided him with those "magic hands" but uncle just sat there with a shit-eating grin. After Richard finished his little lecture, uncle asked, "So, another plate of balitong with extra chili?" Stephen Jay asked what "balitong" was. I told him it was a sort of sea-creature with shells and you've got to be a "sucker" to enjoy it. Stephen Jay wanted to know if it was "kosher" for vegans. I told him to ask uncle. Uncle smiled. He didn't understand what "kosher" meant. He just said, "I make balitong. Extra chili. You sure like." Like? Stephen Jay loved it. Allan too. He's an especially good sucker. All good gay-boys are. It's an ability endowed by gay-genes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

OOPS! WRONG FIGHT!

i was at Uncle Bob's a while back. Entering his bat-cave was akin to a walk in comics archives wonderland. And it doesn't hurt (that much) that Uncle Bob still think he's hot in that small bat-tee. The previous post has shown the dangers if one is not careful in Uncle Bob's danger room. La Tey is still passed out after the zoo encounter. I think he needs a good laundry too. So, back to comic archives. Hulk.
The hacks at Marvel just can't leave a cash cow alone. Every single bar brawl will be repeated to death till every single moron dollars is in the pocket. Case in point: the sweetie Hulk vs the grunt Logan. I was told by a raving fan who was once also known as the IPOH HULK, of this bash-up by Peter David/Todd McFarlane. While the David/McFarlane Hulk was a classic, the Ipoh version's infamy was tearing down cupboard doors. But I digress. So, at Uncle Bob I seized upon this Hulk/Logan brawl in the Canadian maple forest. The one with the grunt's head hidden inside the fist of Hulk:
The six-parter with maniacal cover art by the bastich of maniacal graphics, Simon Bisley. (!) I am going to have another epiphany...

I really think you should floss bub...

WRONG. The rumble in the jungle turns out to be a lemon in the world wide web of comics reviews. Among the continual-stylized faction of Madripoor, this is seen as a one shot out of the timeline, a sidebar tale. In other words,a commercial piece of shite by those who swear on everything green. Another title from Marvel moolah-spawning team-up. Take a winning formula and milked it till kingdom come. Last heard, Hulk is being done a Wolverine. Yet another origin tale...

Here below, THIS is the David/McFarlane Hulk/Logan KA-WHACK-KA-DOOM no holds barred and i-think-your-mother-is-fat, muscle rippin, ligaments snappin smasharoonie!!!!

A good story. That's what the tution teacher preached. It always start with a good story. Otherwise even ephiphanic art will crumble. Words of wisdom. Send your kids to THAT tuition teacher if you don't want them to grow up morons! Hulk says so. (Hang setuju!!!)

Till that Joe-Fixit story get posted by a true green/gray hulkomania fan, this is how a good story panel should sound and it doesn't hurt (not a bit) that the art smashes:

Kids, respect your tuition teacher!


MEETING WITH GODOT

I WAITED FOR GODOT La TEY.
Twice. Each time he had to unload.
La Tey in action

Contrary to popular opinion, Godot La Tey is alive. He looks a bit pale but that is to be expected. I mean how can one not look pale after nipping and tucking? Perhaps that explain the long wait. Anyway, La Tey. Alive and well. Madripoor celebrates.

Time was, it was existentially cool to joke that Godot would actually turn up compared to waiting for La Tey. Today, in a freakshow of abnormal alchemy, La Tey came. Before Godot. (And fully dressed, without any pink gorilla entourage/appendage.) Today La Tey even met Godot at Parklane. Finally they met. These blokes could have been twins separated from birth and none would be the wiser. La Tey said Godot's dialogue were very readable. (!) Godot reminded La Tey he has yet to arrive. Now La Tey will attempt to wait for Godot. We at Madripoor can only hope the waiting won't be that long for La Tey to pen a piece while he waits for Godot.

***

Meanwhile in another part of Madripoor. Things cannot be normal when the planets are so aligned. And that's a good thing. We met OINK. He was buried under Bats. Both the adventures and the legend. A Pltypian sage told La Tey after piecing the bat evidence together that the bits and parts came from Bats: Year One. But enough of Guano! There's OINK!

While La Tey went into fits of laughter, the Sienkiewicz-like art cover was quickly liberated. John Mueller. He of Judge Dredd painted covers fame. With industrial art inside not unlike Simon Bisley. With a storyline not unlike SIN. About a race of genetically engineered porcine-slaves. About the execution of a outspoken comrade. About this homicidal pig hellbent on vengeance against heaven. About rebelling againsts masters and a quest for truth behind the injustice of society. A definite plty-art collection. La Tey insisted it was a pig comic and went into convulsions, frothing at the mouth. That was a little premature. We turned a corner and went to Uncle Bob's. There La Tey met Mice Templar. About these rodents on a crusade. (!) To make the day complete, La Tey was stampeded by the Elephantmen. While La Tey was covered in dust and elephant dung, I remembered Richard Starkings and those elegant lettering from time past in the adventures of that x-couple. I could have told La Tey it was bad karma to laugh at a pig but decided not to. I mean pigs are vegetarian right? Moral of the story: Never laugh at a buddhist. Even if it is porcine. (and no, La Tey will not get to read OINK.) (never)

***

At Jeremiah with a pounded but not stirred La Tey. Smelling of Elephants, Mice and Porcine. He had a caramel machiatto to sober up. I drank my usual brew. Black. Then the ol' canuck decided to make an apperance. Logan! Time was, Logan owns the bar. Heck, Madripoor too. Now he's hardly here. Time now, in the X-world, one Brit is remaking the X-titles look retro with steampunk art and zeppelins. And let me remind the boys and girls out there who have never studied history: Wolverine is Canadian and never Aussie!!! Good grief, today's generations will be the death of me. Next they are going to claim Bats shared the same basement as Ironman....(!) (Believe me, there is already a following) Anyway, Logan back at Jeremiah. Speaking french and growling about a spoilt vacation in Brazil. He proceeded to drink dry the pub. La Tey and myself respectfully observed from a distance. Larry Hama came back from the dead to translate. Time was, every one-shot of Logan goes down like rocket fuel. Short, sharp lines with depth-charge warrior's honor drama. Then some marvel hacks decide to sell on the berserker rage and did that to death. Then some more marvel hacks decided to sell wolvie like wrestlemania and sold-out the sabretooth vs wolvie to death. Then later marvel hacks decide to re-origin the re-origin of the ret-conned origin of wolverine and last heard wolvie is still in origin phase. Time now, the marvelous hacks in marvel has run out of ideas. So, a fresh untainted wolverine story after years of freefall. First the ART. Continental and clean-type-lines not unlike FREAKangels, which means unadulterated from marvel stereotyping. Which means, it's not a bad thing. Logan looks like a bloke. He even got a new soundbite: WOCK! The infamous but done to death snikt only appeared as an afterthought. Good. For once, the fight scenes were mortally human. Dude's arm got slashed by Logan and three bloody slash lines were seen in the next panel on that arm. Damn right. The humour's back too. Logan having a good time. Kicking ass. Getting kicked in the ass. Peppered in bullets and dragged through the streets. Washing up on the shore. naked. Making a call at a publik phone booth. Also naked. The wordless panels are back too. The cameos name check of Elf & Cykes(!) got me smiling. One, a fun-beer guzzling, compadre. The other, a so serious, no-love-lost team leader. This archival trivia! Throw in a storyline of human desperation. Throw in a bit of fantasy. Throw in a an ending where the words are sparse but where the pictures speaks Logan's mind. And you get Wolverine: SAUDADE.


EPILOGUE: I was telling La Tey about a new way to fill in the UGAMA section in employment forms. Now why no one ever thought of it earlier? I mean it is so right to write: "The Death of God" under religion for that is where all basis for beliefs begins. God's Death. La Tey nodded. He said it is novel. A new way to be different. Must be the coffee. Or the elephants. Or both.

Pltypus at Jeremiah. Having a good time. La Tey last seen at the bus stop. Waiting for Godot.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Perfect Superhero Movie

I picked up the "Spider-Man 2.1" Blu-Ray edition yesterday. It was perfection. Actually the original movie was perfect. I kept wondering how they were going to improve on perfection. Well, they made the picture crisper (it's Blu-Ray, for goodness sakes!) and they added some extended scenes, more dialogues, additional commentaries and J. Jonah Jameson monkeying around in the Spidey-suit. Like I said, it was perfection.

POTRAIT OF A BASTICH: A LOBO SPECIAL

MADRIPOOR MOVIE NIGHT: After 3 days 2 nights of gray rampage, Madripoor was back in business. So's Jeremiah. A celebration seems appropriate. And nothin is better than a Main Man big screen special. X-rated. You have been warned.



Ho ho ho...bosh!zap!rip!krikk!yank!wunch! (we learn our english from comics.)



No holidays at Madripoor. Every stinkin day is a celebration. Get it?

HULK AT MADRIPOOR



this article was written in ransom. Hulk promised to smash if he doesn't get a page.
For all I can remember, rushing back from Montfort School BeePee on Tuesday was all about zooming in to Channel 5. Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. The Incredible Hulk. My tv then was b&w but kids of time past could imagine all the colors. That is called superior artistic development. No gamma rays needed. For the life that I remember, I could see colors in most superheroes that existed in that time. Supes was always red. No need x-ray vision to guess. In art class any doodle of a flying man with red underwear was supes. It was that simple. And that colorful. Art was that simple. Time was, even a colorblind bat can tell a guava from a papaya. One such poor sop flew into the garden one night and got socked out of its wits with a mighty slugger. Courtesy of THAT bespectacled high school teacher. The guava was wasted. But the bat was curry. (!) Life WAS that simple then. No elseworld, no alternate realities, no multiverse, no confusion. Flash was Barry. Lantern spandex guy was Hal. Wonder Woman IS Linda Carter. Supes was still the one with the exposed red underwear. We did not bother to know Clark Kent till much later. Didn't I say it was a colorful world? So, HULK. (Gray?) A former Mr. Olympia contestant more recognized for his mental meltdown at the hand of the Terminator in PUMPING IRON, was suddenly the green guy every kid in town want to quote. His lines will be remembered for eternity. Well, at least by every kid in Montfort class 3A to be specific. The lines immortalized till all secret wars are uncovered and all new gods become passe. The lines that will outlive deaths and returns. The lines that will civilized all civil war. The lines that will count beyond 12 or 52. The lines that will be messianic even before it get complex. The lines that will out-Stan and out-Kirby. The lines that will out-Morrison and out-Bendis. The lines that will out-Rucka and out-Loeb. The lines that only the late great Bill Bixby can say. The lines that made Mr. McGee famous for all the wrong journalistic reasons. "Mr. McGee don't make me angry. You won't like me if I am angry!" (Mr. McGee? Apa binatang tu?)
The names check above? Well, If a Gray thing with THUMP on one hand and BAM on the other insist, one must not disagree.
So, back to the present reality. Madripoor thrashed. Evacuated. Haunted. Hopefully Mr. Gray bought only the 3 days 2 nights Madripoor Getaway. Said he wanted the town to remember his 32nd gamma years as the HULK. Man, some people insist on full spread centrefolds. OK, all right. You want it? You got it. Here in Jeremiah, the exclusive HULK GRAY photoshoot. (Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan sila perhatian, ada unsur-unsur THOOM, THUMP, BAM, KRAK, WAM, SMASH(!), THA-KA-DOOM dalam gambar-gambar berikut.) (Tidak sesuai untuk anak-anak bahlol di London yang hanya baca tin-tin kosong dan dongeng agak-tak-cuti)
Note to tuition teacher: HULK teaches an alphabet in each title. Betcha didn't know Hulk gave tuition.
HULK in Armani 3 Quarter Summer Casuals

Hulk smiles and lends a hand for Charity.

Hulk advice to ladies: Go for yearly Mammogram

Hulk says short-short hair-do is so cool!


Hulk says use Colgate for Dental Health

Hulk wears Disposable Contacts so should you!

A love remembered. A love lost. A life saved. A life broken. A protective father. A faitthful daughter. A regret. Throw in a psychoanalyst. A rabbit. (dead) An ironman. (half-dead) A cave in the outback on a rain soaked night. I think this is what the continual-stylized faction in Madripoor will term "Soap Opera". The best part in all of this? The one and only time a small font, unbold 'boink' was heard from Hulk's massive hands. That landed on the damsel in distress. A panicky Hulk went into doctor mode and applied first aid. (!) Did I mentioned a whole 7-Eleven store was torn up so that the Hulk can lay hand on a First-Aid box? A laugh-out-loud-centrefold. The coup de grace? An immortal line not found anywhere else, "HULK SORRY". (!!!)

the author squeezed like a pimple, is not responsible nor at fault for the blatant commercialism of this piece.
HULK GRAY: last seen leaving Madripoor, happy.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MADRIPOOR EVACUATED: HULK'S BIRTHDAY

HULK SO QUER FICAR BU PAZ.
*HULKSPEAK: GET YOUR CANDY ASS OFF MY BIRTHDAY PAGE!


i WILL SMASH THE NEXT PIMPLE THAT CALL ME FAT!

and NOBODY CALLS ME OLD!
HULK: ONLY 32 GAMMA YEARS
(now run for your lives!)


Anal-Retentive Geek-Speak

A recent comment from a casual reader showed that "Classic" literature and comicbooks are mutually-exclusive. You see, I posted some links in my previous entries on Dostoevsky to the Spider-Man Podcast interviews with J.M. DeMatteis. Said commentator (?!?) thought that the links must've been faulty since they link to some Spider-Man fansite! After all, he was expecting maybe some links to the University of Toronto's famous Dostoevsky Studies section or something. Not some cheapo, "kitsch-y" Spidey fansite. Speaking of the Toronto Dostoevsky Studies site, I did download a dozen of so essays from them yesterday. The usual academia shit that makes a big deal "analysing" the novels of the Russian bloke. Lots of pretty pretentious garbage with one or two gems, as is usual among academia. Here at Jeremiah's, we learn our Lit. from comics and our comics from Lit. Sometimes we confuse the two. But that's ok, right?

It's interesting that Pltypus actually joined a comics club [see previous entry]. One of my fondest memory is of him and I standing around in Kino, Singapore. Then this lady came along who wanted to buy some X-Men TPBs for her brother. She must've thought that we looked like geeks or something because she actually asked for our opinions on what to get! Pltypus and I proceeded to give her an on-the-spot crash-course on X-continuity from "Giant Sized X-Men #1" to Grant Morrison's "New X-Men". Thankfully, we did not crash her hard-disk although she looked like someone who was trapped in the Negative Zone after that experience. She picked up a couple of the TPBs we recommended and thanked us for our efforts! Glad to be of help.

Ironically, both Pltypus and I can never really *fit-in* among the masses of general fandom (although Brian Michael Bendis did add me as a "friend" on Facebook!) I think it's got to do with the fact that we generally cannot stand the standard "geek-speak". I was in Kino KLCC some weeks back and there was this bloke who was trying to get his girlfriend into the DCU. He kept explaining how Hal Jordan's history *really* began with the *classic* Sinestro Corps War by Geoff Johns (in 2007). I smiled. Then he went on and on about the glorious Sinestro Corps War. My mind was resisting the urge to grab one of the DC Green Lantern Archives and slap him with it. No. No. NO! It began with Martin Nodell's "Alan Scott" and it went on to the Schwartz-Broome-Fox reboot with the "Hal Jordan" version. I wanted to show him the differences between the elegant art of Gil Kane and the flashiness of today's hack-artists. But I thought to myself: "Ah, why bother?" Most of the time, I had to struggle to stay on as a comic-reader by ignoring the endless chatter (sound-bites?) of the masses. Put in another way, I'm continuing as a comic-reader in spite of its most vocal followers rather than because of them! Kinda like church when you think about it. Haha!

Anyway, it's my birthday today. I'm 32 years young. I'm broke: so no presents. Another long 14-hours workday. Thankfully, Moon Knight is here with me in the office. Besides, I've got another 100+ issues of "Thunderbolts" that I downloaded. Only finished the first 12 issues from 1997-98. Lots more to go.

I JOINED A CULT


I wonder why it is that took me so long to finally get my membership card. Now I have 'superhero' cred and also a membership card to boot. Membership came with great appendage and hair pulling:
Offered a secret underpant (later withdrawn.)
I insisted on wearing it under covers.
ask any stiffs down south who wear their 'comics' upfront as a cred and they will probably tell you X-Men history begans with Messiah Complex.
Offered the club-speak-lingo with all the condiments (failed the oral test.)
I insisted on keeping my P.Ramlee slang...
listen to any stiffs hovering at kino comic shelves and you hear half assed proclaimation of gretaness, "Oh you mean you have not read Sandman? What a shame! What is Sandman you say? Why, Sandman is the guy who put sand in your head when you dream..." (Hang tak bersetuju! - Hang Tuah) (Hang bermimpi? - Mat Petaling) (Hang bermimpi basah? - Mat Translation) (Pakailah kondom cap gajah, tidur enak tanpa was-was! - Mat Chow Kit)
Offered networking with 'authoritative' comics collectors (later disqualified.)
I insisted on reading the reviews at madripoor...
observed any stiffs with their fellow stiffs in a comic shop and you see bats tee, iron man tee, spidey tee. One stiffs rave on spidey, the other stiffs go spidery. One stiffs rave on iron man, the other stiffs get ironed, one stiffs rave on bats, and the rest of the stifs drop guano. It's a flavor of the month network. And it stinks. Both the stiffs and the guano. Always in that order.
Offered links to "our blogs" to paste reviews (later blocked, did not follow the 4 blogging laws.)
I insisted on the cut and paste madripoor school of comic reviews...
read any of the stiffs 'our blogs' and you instantly become a true blue superhero. Spandex optional. No effort necessary. Just use the key phrases "This is the best from so-so-and-so since..." "An outstanding collaboration between so-and-so..." "Never a letdown, signature so-and-so..." "This IS so-and-so!"
Anyway the website don't work, this is the blog. Be a cult member today.
Pltypus, last seen heading for Jeremiah with Lobo & Bats. And a membership card.

Monday, September 22, 2008

DOSTOEVSKY: A TRUE JAP STORY (UNEDITED)


I met Dosty in Kino. Time was, I was still hanging out with Murakami then. I mean these transplanted Japs are nuts. One thinks he is the new-cool. The other assumes he’s the voice of literature. Let me attempt an explanation.

So Dosty at Kino. He’s this typical Jap, balding and crumpled-shirt type with a Siberia backpack. He has the gulag unshaven look down to a pat. He look constipated and as expected unhappy. He was hanging out with Blake and I knew Blake. As I noticed that he has set up camp on the perimeter of all that is Blakean, I decided to get some cheap laughs with that other Jap, the self proclaimed new-cool. But before that, I noticed that Jap Dosty was a engaging a she-student-type-typically-bespectacled. As in all Dosty talk, buffoonery unintentional:
“This IS literature.”
Jap Dosty appealed passionately to she-specs and all that would listen.
“This IS literature.”
Jap Dosty, wild eyed unshaven shaman from the land of the setting sun.
“This IS literature.”
Jap Dosty, I think he’s going to burst a valve if he doesn’t come to a point. Jap Dosty must’ve heard me and implored the she-specs,
“You must EXPERIENCE literature.”
Jap Dosty, what’s your point?
‘This IS literature.”
Hey, sashimi Dosty, Enough already!
Of course by now, Jap Dosty has the full attention of the she-engineered-bespectacled B. Arts(honk!)
“Have YOU read the Notes From Underground?”
Man I tell you this Jap Dosty, this man has all the hooks! Of course she-specs have not read the Everest of literature.
Now the clincher we all been waiting for:
“THE UNDERGROUND MAN. THAT’S ME! I AM LIKE THAT!”

(a…what?) (…gack! * * *) (huh?)

For all the trouble. All Jap Dosty want was a cheap lay. And he had to invoke the Everest of literature to spike his cheap shot. Moral of story? Japanese should not read Dosty. Dosty don’t eat sashimi. Therefore Japs who read Dosty should eat shit and die.

The problem with guys today? They have forgotten how to woo women. So they end up with unnecessary books and way too much introspection against the injustice of society. So they take on the sufferings of the world and wallow in their spite. So they get inflicted with penile erectile dysfunction. Then their he-stock get crystallized. So they start thinking they are the messiah that she-folks of the world has been waiting for. Dream on.

The other Jap. Murakami. The new cool. All he wants is a blow job and a whiskey. Can be in any order. He said so. Many times. In most of all his books. Now you know why Japs will cross the sea of Nippon and traverse the land of Genghis Khan just to transplant themselves in that shit backyard of sub-prime mortgage disaster. All for a blowjob. Now THAT is literature!



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Drunks, Derelicts and Dostoevsky

Coming from a family of sensualists and having a dad who is a walking example of buffoonery is perhaps helpful for a deeper appreciation of literature. Case in point: Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov". I read the first 200 pages or so of the novel over the weekend and found it a very refreshing experience. Expertly-crafted characters with comically profound (or profoundly comical) dialogue that reads more like expositions. Pages after pages of laugh-out-loud dialogue and irreverent buffoonery. Russian novelists are especially adept at writing about buffoons. Well-known characters like Marmeladov ("Crime and Punishment") and Fyodor Pavlovich here are examples of the art of "buffoonery". I found Fyodor Pavlovich an especially colourful character. Furthermore, he gets the best lines. He can be profound one minute and blasphemous the next. But the reader gets the impression that it is Dostoevsky himself who is having all the fun writing all sorts of nonsensical declarations from the mouths of this fool, this buffoon.

Interestingly, outside of Irish literature, the drunken Russian buffoon is possibly one of the most familiar caricatures of an entire nation. Even Garth Ennis included this in "Mother Russia" with that drunken sob in the pub declaring the demise of Glorious Mother Russia (because of the lousy vodka that he was served). The drunken Russian buffoon doesn't just walk around puking on everyone's shoes. He makes a scene by delivering a long-winded speech on nationalism, church-state separation, the afterlife, forgiveness, the existence of God, the foulness of his own sins, etc. That is what makes the drunken Russian buffoon such an interesting character. It is the dregs of society as philosopher and priest. Drunken mutterings and exclamations as sermons and vodka as the Communion Wine. Dostoevsky, as the prophet of society's refuse, writes best when he gives us polemical speeches by these drunken sods.

Some "authorities" used to entertain the opinion that Dostoevsky wrote his dialogues haphazardly, according to his whims and fancy. Thankfully, this "authoritative" theory was disproved by the discovery of Dostoevsky's diaries; in which was found pages-after-pages of experimental dialogues that he never used. Dostoevsky is such a great novelist because he was a great observer of life. He hung around drinking holes listening to drunks, gamblers and derelicts. Everything that he observed went into that diary of his. That was the seriousness in which he took his craft. Nothing was haphazard or happenstance. He worked long and hard to perfect his abilities writing "buffoonery" dialogues. This was Dostoevsky's art and with it, he bequeaths us a most precious gift - a picture of Russia (or humanity, for that matter) as seen through the eyes of its lowlifes and derelicts.

This is possibly the reason why Dostoevsky's novels endear themselves so much to me. He does not write for the nobles who belong to the higher echelons of society. Nor does he write for scholars and priests. Dostoevsky wrote for the common-man who followed his novels as they were published part-by-part in the local papers. Like Dickens, he wrote as a commoner to other commoners. He did not consider himself so "pure" that he will not "eat and drink with sinners and publicans". More than any other novelist, Dostoevsky's works are meditations on our Lord's declaration that He did not come to save the healthy but the sick who needed the Divine Physician. Reading Dostoevsky, one gets a glimpse of the truth behind the parables that many derelicts and lowlifes will come from the East and the West on that Day and sit in the seats that have been prepared for them but the so-called "sons" of Abraham, the self-declared "righteous" (because of his affiliations to a race, a sect, a university, a church-group, a denomination, etc.) will be cast out.

"Do not be afraid of anything, never be afraid, and do not grieve. Just let repentance not slacken in you, and God will forgive everything. There is not and cannot be in the whole world such a sin that the Lord will not forgive one who truly repents of it. A man even cannot commit so great a sin as would exhaust God's boundless love. How could there be a sin that exceeds God's love? Only take care that you repent without ceasing, and chase away fear altogether. Believe that God loves you so as you cannot conceive of it; even with your sin and in your sin he loves you. And there is more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ten righteous men - that was said long ago. Go, then, and do not be afraid. Do not be upset with people, do not take offense at their wrongs. Forgive the dead man in your heart for all the harm he did you; be reconciled with him truly. If you are repentant, it means that you love. And if you love, you already belong to God... With love everything is bought, everything is saved. If even I, a sinful man, just like you, was moved to tenderness and pity for you, how much more will God be. Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people's sins. Go, and do not be afraid." - the Elder Zosima assures a repentant widow who murdered her old husband because he constantly beat her. (BK 1.2.4)

Dostoevsky's Lord is the One who, with his last breath on the cross, forgave the penitent thief. Dostoevsky's God has inexhaustible mercy even for the most damning sinner who truly repents. The Elder Zosima's words encapsulates the beliefs of Dostoevsky and we can see this same element reappearing throughout all his works. Dostoevsky's God loves the unlovable, the prodigal, the publican, the drunkard, the prostitute, the adulteress, the blasphemer, the unlovely.

Lofty religionists have, throughout the ages, made it a display of their felicity by proclaiming their love for mankind. These same lofty religionists also do not spare their anathemas when the smallest member of that same "mankind" they claimed to love irritate them in the smallest measure. Their attitude is best explained in the following excerpt:

"I love mankind, ... but I am amazed at myself: the more I love mankind in general, the less I love people in particular, that is, individually, as separate persons. In my dreams, ... I often went so far as to think passionately of serving mankind, and, it may be, would really have gone to the cross for people if it were somehow suddenly necessary, and yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone even for two days, this I know from experience. As soon as someone is there, close to me, his personality oppresses my self-esteem and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I can begin to hate even the best of men: one because he takes too long eating his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps blowing his nose. I become the enemy of people the moment they touch me... On the other hand, it has always happened that the more I hate people individually, the more ardent becomes my love for humanity as a whole."– BK 1.2.4.

It is such a joy reading Dostoevsky because of his piercing honesty in his examination of man's deepest motives. Perhaps it is only one who has searched the hearts of man so much who understands man's need for redemption. Perhaps that is why it is so comforting that such a one, who has observed the ugly pretensions of man so acutely, also speaks so much about the availability of grace, of divine forgiveness and tearful penitence. It is no wonder that Russian students confess to being able to retain their Christian faith through the years of Communist rule because of the availability of these novels. Reading Dostoevsky is a deeply spiritual experience.

I'll be 32 years old this Wednesday. Among the things that one picks up as one ages is this loathsome cynicism that is displayed in one's words and attitudes. I look at the underlining, the margin notes, the highlights in this old copy of "The Brothers Karamazov" and I find it hard to identify with the simplistic and naïve "ME" when I first read it when I was 20. Do I really know better 12 years later? Have I really grown any wiser 12 years later? More cynical - definitely. A loathsome cynicism, like I mentioned. Maybe rereading this old novel will help to wipe away some of that loathsomeness - I certainly hope so.

Sitting quietly before Mother Mary does "something" for Pltypus. I have no doubt about that. Pltypus wrote some beautiful entries (when he's not making silly jokes about "fat people" that is - it was only funny for the first 2,384th times he did it!) some weeks back after reading Jurgen Moltmann. He wrote about the crucifixion as the central theme, event, "crisis" (crux) of Christian thought. I think that I'm beginning to see some glimpses of that.

Next stop - Cameron Highlands. Hopefully Gerard is still alive. And Glyn. And Stephen from whichever alternate timelines.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Memory and Forgetfulness

Memories are funny things. Truth is, we never forget anything - just that we don't bother to recall some things is all. Case in point: I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Listened to J. M. DeMatteis talking about "The Brothers Karamazov" in a recent podcast interview (part one and part two). Then I took down my old copy of the novel from the shelves (got this from this convict, Glyn, that I met - Pltypus was there too - in the Father's Guest House, Cameron Highlands). I remembered devouring the novel back in 1996. I was still working at a computer-learning center in Ampang. Just turned twenty (like Alyosha in the book) and naively stupid in so many ways. The book was heavily annotated, underlined and highlighted - I'm rereading it and smile everytime I remember the thoughts of that 20-year old version of me when I look at the portions I underlined/highlighted. In many ways, I don't really identify with that version of me anymore (although I don't think I'm really wiser now!). Anyway, I'm glad that I picked up the novel again. It's a deeply spiritual experience and joy to read Dostoevsky. I hope I never grow too old to forget this.

Some months back, I visited an old man in the Cancer Ward, SJMC. He's in his 70s/80s and was undergoing chemotherapy in the Cancer Ward. We talked about books. He's got a huge library at home with thousands of books. He started reading "the classics" only after his retirement but he never stopped. He doesn't read English so it took him some time to hunt down all those books in Chinese translation. His favourites include Cervantes' "Don Quixote", Gogol's "Dead Souls" and anything by Tolstoy. My wife and I helped him to get the Chinese translation of Tolstoy's Journals and he gave me his treasured copy of Gogol's "Dead Souls". It is a joy to meet someone who's so obviously enraptured by the simple act of reading.

Finally, a toast to Glyn. [Is the bloke still alive?] I remember giving him my copies of "The Idiot" and Tennyson's poems. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stylized Art vs. Sequential Storytelling

Pltypus and I are wired differently. Can't help it. We're just different in nearly everyway (as can be gleaned from our individual postings here). When it comes to comics, he's more likely to pick up something simply because it looks like the below:

As for me, I'm more likely to buy a book because I like the character(s) or story. Hence, my preferred choice would be something like this:

The artists that Pltypus adore are great artists - Sam Keith, Ted McKeever, Jon J Muth, Kent Williams, Bill Sienkiewicz, etc. but my personal preference are for those artists who are comic-book storytellers first and foremost. People like Mike Zeck, for example. Or Neal Adams and the Buscema brothers. Or Paul Gulacy, Barry Kitson, Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, George Perez, John Byrne and Kevin Maguire. Or the Kuberts and the Romitas. I generally don't go for stylized art when I can help it. Truth be told, I usually pick up a book to read without even noticing the art very much until several rereadings later.

Comics are not coffeetable artbooks to showcase an artist's works. Comics are comics first and foremost. The story is all and the best comic artists are those who can tell the story best. I was flipping through the J.M. DeMatteis book, "Kraven's Last Hunt" (aka "Fearful Symmetry") this morning. The artist was Mike Zeck. The work was as beautiful as it was emotional and clear. DeMatteis wrote a deeply psychological story from the perpectives of the characters' inner psyche (Kraven's mad search for honour, Spidey's love for MJ, Vermin's hunger, etc.) Mike Zeck illustrated the external of it while working in perfect harmony to gel in with DeMatteis' monologous caption boxes. In my mind, it was a perfect collaboration and the work danced. In times like these, who needs a movie. The experience of reading a book like that where the writer comes up with a solid story and the artist doesn't step all over it by showcasing his "stylized art" - where the story and the characters take centerstage, well, nothing compares to that. That, my friends, is comic-book magic!

Sam Keith on Batman or the Dennis O'Neil / Neal Adams stuff? I think you know the answer to that one. Stylized artwork does not equal to "superior COMIC-craft". It's simply stylized artwork.

SAM KIETH AT JEREMIAH

It's Friday. Could be any other day. It doesn't matter one bit. At Jeremiah with Sam Kieth. Not a bad thing. But with the KIETH man around, there are bound to be genocide, infanticide, hamidicide, najibdicide, dollahcide, and many such other moronicide. I think it's going to be messy at Jeremiah.

Uncle Bob: The same guy with the mean bat logo tee mentioned in the last post. He saw me lugging Kieth bats around and said he don't like the art. Said bats looks too cartooniistick. Whatever that means. Said uncle said he liked bats neat. Like Neal Adams neat. Told me to buy Dark Victory instead. "The one with the red cover". How can you not like this man? He took a neat look at me and summarized that I liked my comics funny. Lobo funy. How did he tell?! Man, I tell you this guy is a genius! From a time past, from a world neat, where Batman was Bob Kane, please to meet you Uncle Bob. (Now, do us all a favor and change that goddam fraggin undersized mean bat tee!)


Jeremiah fraggin screw all, serves all. I mean Madripoor supposed to be a common denominator for all the scumbags that even crawled right? I mean if Dukes in his leotard can parade in the pub with the latest summer tonga, what else is not allowed?! Good times can only last so long. Just as the soundbites at Madripoor were echoing off, I swore I saw THE pendatang trying to enter Jeremiah...

PENDATANG spotting at Jeremiah.

Not sure if you heard that wolverines are very territorial animals. I mean anywhere where they have pooped or scented, is declareed terra exclusiva only for them who think they are best in what they do. So if for interstellar unknown reasons, this acid-veined, chinese eyed dude with shiny black suit happen to walk into wolverine territory - it's clobberin time! First the accusation: wolverines have been here since claremont so have an undeniable right to claim status. Next the judgedreddment: Aliens with chinese eyes and foul breath dripping with acid are from far and away and will not even be famous 'cept for the space stripping scene of Ms Weaver, therefore aliens are pendatang. Next after next, comes the denial: No, wolverines will not apologize for pooping all over and claiming territory. This is wolverine's unhygienick birthright! There's no arguing against such OXFORD logic.


another PENDATANG spotted

All exposed at Jeremiah. Even Bats. Just because you look mean and have red fur and have a cult following of a different kind in comics-dom, you are labelled. Pendatang. I mean holy leotards, furball here ain't gonna have a Dark series or a Dark movie or a Dark return. Heck, best furball can hope for a is a mini series with 8-pages that ends up forgotten. But you can only hope so much. Furball + sharp teeth + foul breath = Pendatang

ANOTHER PENDATANG SHORTS: Meanwhile down south in SIN-sin land. Another pendatang story. The serangoon gardens 'middle class' snobs sent a petition to the gahmen protesting the conversion of a school to housing for foreign workers. said this will endanger the wimen folks and daughters in the neighbourhood. (say what?!) Them 'middle class' folks swore the influx of pendatang-pendatang into the neighbourhood will devalue the property potential. (again what?!!) Them 'MIDDLE CLASS' folks at serangoon gardens are the powdered momma boys and the pentaksub with their B. Sc (honk!) with their driven cars and their engineered lives.

I stay in a gahmen subsidised flat. Matchbox houses not unlike old puchong. There are no pendatangs in this area. Only your friendly neighbourhood hard workin sunshine type with very tanned skins. Smile...


A danger to women & kids? Moi? Heck, I keep a pet hamster for Pete's sake!

SAM KIETH at Jeremiah. A damn fine bat artist. And don't let Uncle Bob tell you otherwise. Logan, Bats, Scratch, Alien (Part 2?), Venom - having a good time.

***

I am fraggin blasted but (thank-gawd-awfully) at peace with everything. ('cept Hamid & the tuition teacher)



LOBO/COMICS/BATMAN

a great day to be alive
I started work. Again. This is my 2nd week. Enough reasons to explain why Lobo is back in Jeremiah. And as you can see he's havin a greeeat time. I sat in my corner and can't help but admire the main man in action, doing what he do best. Beating the crap out of known, unknown, found & forgotten fraggin pukin pissed face bastiches_____. (Just fill in the blanks who you want minced, diced, maimed. Not necessary in that order. Morons are optional but they make good meatloaf.)

WHY LOBO? Lobo is therapy. Lobo is like snapping the neck off the fraggin bastiches who puking pisses your butts off. That can be your boss if you like. That can be the bloke that work with you. That can be the moron in the comic shop who had never heard of Ted McKeever. That can be the new moron hamid. That can be pendatang ismail. Heck, you can put anybody in the face with the snapped neck. Yes, therapy.

HOW TO BE A COMIC GURU: So I am back in the comics asylum. Time was I bought all my Logan/Wolverine/Patch at this shop in Paradiz Center. Then came came the big wave. Then comics stopped. Time later I caught the X-flu, I bought all my X titles there too. Then time forgets. The Paradiz was a re-de-reformatted. Comics shop a-fragilli-shifted. Then came Borders & Kino. The people got a-fraggin-lazy. Then you can actually be a-Ellis-fragified in a matter of weeks courtesy of Kino well stocked shelves. So much for comics asylum.

HOLY SMOKE! I SAW BATMAN: Time now, I found the shop again. Just one block away from the original location. I knew I like the place soon as I entered. Uncle Bob/Blob at the counter was wearing a batman tee with a mean bat logo. (BLOB + Bat Logo + Michelin Man = Damn fine comics shop owner!) It's always warm to meet real life Mike Mignola's puffy gaslight Batman. Heck, even the tuition teacher is decked in Punisher tee!

Bats Alive! Uncle Blob with the mean bat logo.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Dreary morning class teaching Geography, BM and History. Students were in their usual disruptive mode. Nothing I've never faced a thousand times before actually. The problem was really with my own mental disposition. It's got to do with the fact that I did not sleep a wink last night. Weather is so bloody hot that I feel like packing up and moving to Cameron Highlands for good. After the classes, I got into the usual wranglings with my bosses. By usual wranglings, I mean we tell each other why we're pissed off with each other and renegotiate the terms of my employment/resignation/redesignation, etc. Overall I'm happy with the deal and I've got to admit that I'm really not the easiest person to work with! In the afternoon, I gave a two-hour lecture on The History of the Advent of Islam! Students who usually hated history actually got what I was talking about and positively enjoyed the two-hour lecture. I'm smiling even as I type this.

Speaking of resignations/redesignations, it's become a Malaysian tradition to do this sort of thing. Yesterday, the PM and DPM decided to change jobs. PKR is still fighting to get the blokes running the show to get off the stage. The blokes responded by simply changing their costumes but still staying on the stage! Hahahaha! In other news, SAPP leaves BN and Zaid is now siding with DAP. Me? I talked about resignations and should all things move neatly into place, I will still proceed with my plans. But the current economic climate is calling for a redefinition of my roles and responsibilities instead. Pltypus actually sent me a job-posting today (and I appreciate it greatly). But let me clarify. My problems now are not with a shortage of jobs or job-offerings. It's with an abundance of it. I have too many job-offers. I don't feel like I'm at a crossroads trying to make up my mind on 2-3 options. I feel like I'm in a hypermarket of jobs but the one thing I'm really, really wishing for is really to laze about a bit for a while. However, seeing that I'm still permanently broke, it's really not to pragmatic to suggest that to anyone. The most likely scenario (should the Lord tarry - hah! I just had to say that sometime!) is that I'll continue in some modified capacity (don't ask) with the current employment.

I'm very tired but (thankfully) at peace with everything. :)