Sunday, August 19, 2007

He Might Actually Have Written The Phone Book.

So, being a comic nerd in general and huge Warren Ellis fan in the specific, I subscribe to Ellis' Bad Signal email list. The Bad Signal can be a few words or a paragraph or even a lengthy essay on Whatever's On His Mind Today. Here's an excerpt from a recent mailing:

bad signal

I have an confession to make.

I have ordered a man-bag.


...I started
thinking about what else I really
need to carry... Bah. Man-bag.


Man-bag. God, I am so sad.

Like every other Signal I've received, I at least paid attention to the whole thing, probably nodded in silent approval, and was entertained for the short time it took to read it. I was still thinking about it later that day, and I finally thought, Why did I enjoy that?

Was it a witty turn of phrase? No, except for the word "man-bag".

Was it the subject matter itself? I can't think of a time I actively sought out a column about picking out a "man-bag", so that wasn't it either.

What makes this Signal work, what makes pretty much all of the Bad Signals work, is my impression that Ellis doesn't stop to worry about audience approval (like I would and like other budding writers would); he already knows for certain that we do approve. His dismissal of any alternative allows him to move ahead on his chosen topic and just write.

And we all just read.

Inspiring. Liberating, even.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If My Head Explodes, Do I Still Have To Go To Work Today?

Weeks ago, during a "basking in the afterglow of being overserved but still making it home" moment, I went prowling around the PornoNet to find an image of Captain America playing a snare drum (not a Maker's Mark soaked fantasy either, I know one exists), only to find this...

Marvel Comics' Pizzazz Magazine, February 1978

Recollecting the chain of events now, I'm still a little overwhelmed by this picture.

I've read about sixty billion comics [1].

If NASA had put as many hours in research as I did watching the first three Star Wars films, then we'd probably be refining oil on Mars by now and not blowing up a spacecraft every 20 years.

I vividly recall the slight trembling in my pre-teen babymaker-cannon upon noticing a Linda Ronstadt poster on my 20-something cousin's bedroom wall.

So... how on fucking EARTH did this particular magazine slip by me? I bought several issues of Pizzazz, because Marvel Architect Stan Lee was my master at this point--I still assumed he wrote every Marvel Comic, just under 12 pen names.

I'd be willing to get my ass sued off at this point. Which of my Photoshop-literate friends are willing to turn this masterpiece into a Fumble CD cover? (Here's the catch--you have to keep the "Scintillatin' Dr. J Poster Calendar" part.)

[1]And I purchased about half that--if you're reading this, Dave Sincere or Random Seven-Eleven Manager... HA!