When is a parody not a parody?

When it’s the real thing.

So I just accidentally came across the kind of ultra-conservative, homophobic, xenophobic, right wing diatribe that you typically only see as a parody. I mean, I know actual people write hateful and ignorant stuff like this, but I’ve mostly shied away from the source material, preferring the Daily Show satirical version. So anyway, I was doing a Google News search on YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) and this dude’s “editorial” and was the second hit (today, at least).

It’s on a “news” site claiming to be non-agenda, non-partisan, even though they also say “We believe in God and our Lord Jesus Christ the Savior of mankind.” I’m not going to link to it, but he was ranting against a multiple award winning YA novel called “Boy Meets Boy.” I’m sure you can guess why. Here’s a choice quote from him:

“It seems there are a lot of adults who think it a desirable thing for your 14-year-old son to be engaged in homosexuality.

And Jerry Sandusky is sitting in jail because…?”

No, I’ll wait. I know your brain is hemorrhaging, trying to figure out how to process that statement. Compared to that, this next one is just plain pedestrian:

“Christians, I say, have a duty to pull their children out of the homosexual-proselytizing public schools…”

Then there’s a jab at illegal immigrants for no good reason. The end.

Faith in humanity: -1

PS. this self-identified “former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist” also wrote the phrase “…just another agent of Big Sodomy.”

PPS. Someone should do a documentary expose on the illicit and perverted relationship between Big Sodomy, Big Hollywood, Big Data, and Big Pharma.

PPPS. If I ever started a death metal band, I’d call it Big Sodomy.

Brainbot Jr. in DHP #26

Coming this July, is Dark Horse Presents #26, you can catch a short Brainbot, Jr. humor strip by yours truly and artist )and fellow PANEL Collective member) Tom Williams!


here’s the official solicitation for the issue, featuring a ton of great talent (and the return of one of my favorite DHP characters from way back in the early 80s, Trekker):

Ron Randall (W/A/Cover), Steve Niles (W), Andrew Vachss (W), Mike Richardson (W), David Lapham (W/A), Mike Baron (W), Patrick Alexander (W/A), Phil Stanford (W), Jane Espenson (W), Caitlín R. Kiernan (W), Frank Barbiere (W), Dan Jolley (W), Dara Naraghi (W), menton3 (A), Steve Rude (A), Patric Reynolds (A), Karl Moline (A), Steve Lieber (A), Micah Kaneshiro (A), Leonard Kirk (A), Dom Reardon (A), and Tom Williams (A)
On sale July 24
FC, 80 pages
Meet the Juice Squeezers: a group of elementary-school kids tasked with secretly keeping their small town safe from a horrible, underground epidemic—written and drawn by David Lapham! Learn about a vampire couple during the time of the Black Plague in Steve Niles and menton3’s The Nosferatu Wars! Join bounty hunter Mercy St. Clair on a vacation gone horribly wrong in Ron Randall’s Trekker!
• Plus, new installments of Buffy, Blackout, Nexus, Crime Does Not Pay, Underground, Alabaster: Boxcar Tales, and Bloodhound!
• David Lapham srites and draws a gory all-ages story.


Make sure to ask your local comic shop to save you a copy.

Comic book quote of the day: Mark Waid, professional eraser

“If you’re wondering what an Associate Editor does–or did in 1987–I’ll list my job duties those first two days. Ready? Here we go:

I erased Green Arrow pages.

Eight hours a day for two days.

Back then–less so now that so many artists work digitally–but back then always, once an inker finished embellishing a pencilled page, the underlying pencils had to be erased so as to leave the cleanest possible ink lines. Normally, that’s part of the inker’s job, or the inker’s assistant. In this particular case, the inker was Dick Giordano–the book was Green Arrow #1, by Mike Grell, Ed Hannigan and Dick–and since Dick was also the Editor In Chief, rank has its privileges and sometimes, whenever Dick inked something, whoever on staff could be spared was the poor schlub who had to endure the thankless task of erasing. As the New Kid–especially since both Mike Gold and Andy Helfer had separately been told that I worked for them and thus it took two days for them to argue out who “owned” me (Helfer), I could definitely be spared.”

Mark Waid, on celebrating 25 years in the comics biz, and his decidedly unglamorous first professional job in the industry.

Alice in Fractured Fables

Yesterday, I got an unexpected royalty check in the mail from Jim Valentino of Image Comics. It was for my 4-page contribution to the children’s anthology, Fractured Fables. I say unexpected because the book was published back in July, 2010, and I had already received a couple of royalty checks. As with most books, especially anthologies, I had assumed the sales had waned over time. But apparently FF is the little book that could. A new paperback version of it just came out last month.

Cover by Mike Allred

The book came out through Valentino’s Shadowline imprint under Image Comics, and was aimed at young readers. My involvement was rather circuitous, as Jim had asked artist Grant Bond to contribute a story. Grant, in turn, invited me to write the story for him. We had previously worked together, rather successfully, on the Igor movie prequel (IDW) and Grant’s own book through Image, The Absurd Adventures of Archibald Aardvark.

He wanted to do an Alice in Wonderland story, and I had a blast coming up with a little vignette that relied heavily on Grant’s superb illustration skills to get across the humor of the piece.

The book came out great, and I’m proud to be a small part of it. If you have younger readers in your household, or just want to own a collection of some gorgeous looking stories, you should definitely check out FF. The list of creators is like a who’s who of top talent: Jill Thompson, Bryan Talbot, Peter David, Ben Templesmith, Scott Morse, Doug TenNapel, Ted McKeever, Terry Moore, Larry Marder, and a ton more. And yes, there are kid’s stories by folks like Ben Templesmith and Ted McKeever, who you would never associate with the genre.

You can find the book on Amazon in hardcover or paperback.

A real archenemy for Wonder Woman: a modest proposal

When it comes to fiction, great heroes are defined by their villains. Especially in superhero comic books, where the stories are serial in nature and the best heroes have had ongoing adventures and conflicts for decades, some for over three quarters of a century. These superheroes need villains just as powerful, crafty, and enduring as them to give them a run for their money each time.

And most of the well-known heroes have a singular archenemy, the one villain who above all others is associated with them.

Batman has The Joker.

Superman has Lex Luthor.

The Fantastic Four have Doctor Doom.

But poor Wonder Woman. She has…who exactly? The Cheetah? The various pain-in-the-ass gods from the Greek pantheon? Egg Fu, for crying out loud?

Seriously, WTF?

Yep, it’s pretty well accepted in comic book circles that Wonder Woman does not have a strong “rogue’s gallery” on par with the major villains that constantly plague Batman, Superman, The Flash, and other heroes of her caliber. And despite the best efforts of some very talented writers that have worked on her book, the new villains introduced to her continuity have never really caught on.

So here’s what I’m going to do for you, DC Comics, free of charge: give you the perfect supervillain to vex Wonder Woman. An archenemy worthy of her time. One with the polar opposite of her values and belief system, and with the resources to really carry out his dastardly deeds.

And I say “he” because I think for Wonder Woman, an independent, empowered woman tasked with bringing a message of peace and tolerance to “man’s world,” the perfect archenemy would be a chauvinistic, misogynist male. A smarmy guy who embodies everything Wonder Woman stands against, and impedes her work at every turn. One with the media resources to spread his sexist message around the globe, while simultaneously convincing a large swath of the population that he’s a man we should look up to, aspire to be like.

So who is this venomous villain? This eviscerating evil genius? This monstrous man-whore?
(wait for it)
.(wait for it)
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the perfect arch nemesis for Wonder Woman:

"Wonder Woman is an ugly bully. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Wonder Woman." -- The Donald

OK, so let’s review the comic book supervillain checklist:

  • Supervillain name – “The Donald” – check
  • Unbelievable ego – check
  • Unflinching belief in the validity of their worldview – check
  • Unique/flamboyant physical feature – have you seen that radioactive hair helmet? check
  • Evil catch phrase – “Wonder Woman, you’re fired!” – check
  • Wealth/power to perpetuate dastardly deeds – check
  • Secret lairs around the world – check
  • Access to expensive modes of transportation – check
  • Army of lackeys and henchmen – check
  • History of misogyny and chauvinism – check

You’re welcome, DC Comics.

Max Allan Collins on other writers

This is from a short essay posted on boingboing.net titled “Who do you read?, by prolific crime novelist (and Road to Perdition graphic novel writer) Max Allan Collins. In explaining why he doesn’t read any contemporary peers, he says this bit (with tongue planted firmly in cheek), although I’m sure there’s more than a bit of truth to it:

Here’s the real reason: all other writers fall into the following categories: worse than me, so why should I put myself through it; as good as me, so why should I bother; and better than me, and, well, screw those guys.