Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Welcome to my nightmare"

Happy Halloween People!
(and Happy Birthday to Vanilla Ice:)

Whatever your plans, be it to go trick or treating w/the kids,

or go off to Halloween parties, I hope you guys all have fun no matter what you do.

I really wasn't sure what to do for today's post; I didn't write any specific Halloween skits or any other holiday-oriented stuff since I'm so lazy. I thought about maybe recommending some horror movies to watch today, but if you have cable, most of the channels have been whoring out all the old horror classics for free. And Kevin Smith's been whoring himself out, hosting AMC's gorefest on that channel. So I figured I'd wing it today, and write about someone to whom Halloween doesn't just come once a year, but all 365 days a year.

Today I'm going to put a new spin on My Favorite Album section, and feature one of my favorite artists:

Alice Cooper.

Ahh yes, dear old Uncle Alice.
The father of modern shock rock, must be having a hell of a time this time of year, and who could blame him?

With his elaborate stage shows and horror-themed songs of death, murder, insanity, abuse, and drug-addiction, how could you not want to pop in any old Alice Cooper album in and play it tonight?

And there are many, many Alice Cooper albums too people; entire box sets too!

Personally, unless you're a true die-hard fan, then I highly recommend skipping all that(yes I know blasphemy and all that;) and just pick up any really decent greatest hits collection.

I own a good one myself, called The Best of Alice Cooper: Mascara & Monsters, and it's a pretty damn good compilation album.

With classic Alice Cooper songs like "Welcome to my nightmare", "I'm Eighteen", "Under my wheels", "Only women bleed", "School's out" and much, much more, there's plenty to love since the album features 22 classic hits!

Yeah I know, this is starting to turn into an late-night infomercial, so I'll ease up on the hard sell. But really, if you're already a fan of the man's music, I really don't have to try to hard to convince you.

I have to say, I really like just about all of the classics myself, and even some of his newer stuff like "Dragontown" and the rest.

Here's a few quick facts about the man, the myth, and the legend himself:

-He was born Vincent Damon Furnier on February 4, 1948.(See even his real middle name is evil:)

-He was to quote legendary singer Dusty Springfield "The son of a preacher man." And he was, oh yes he was!

-This is son of a preacher man, married a preacher's daughter,Sheryl Goddard. So a match made in heaven(and/or hell indeed:)

-Alice used to hang out with the Doors back in day, and even helped supply a line for their hit song, "Roadhouse Blues" with the line "Got up this morning and I got myself a beer." True story kids.

-Alice Cooper was once a band, as opposed to just one man. It's just that the band volunteered Alice to adopt the name since he was the lead singer and spokesmen for the group. Alice accepted, and the rest is history.

-Legendary actor and horror icon, Vincent Price supplied his voice to the opening monologue in the song "Devil's Food",on Alice's 1975 solo album, "Welcome to my nightmare." The album did so well, it spin-off it's own television special. Yes kids, back in the day, that stuff actually happened.

-Alice overcame his addiction to alcohol in the mid-80's, but jokes he replaced it with a new one: Golf.

-Finally, after years of being overlooked and ignored, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially inducted Alice Cooper in 2011.

Pretty cool huh?

Here's some  various clips of some if his famous songs, and the one of his appearance he did for the Muppet Show in 1978. Yes, the Muppet Show.

I might have already mentioned this, but the first time I ever say Alice Cooper, and heard some of his classic songs, was from watching that episode of the Muppet Show. The story was that he was trying to get a bunch of the muppets to sell their souls, all with various hilarious outcomes.

There's one scene I love, where Alice has wooed Miss Piggy, and in the process turned her into a monster. It's funny as shit!

Take a look:
Fucking classic:)

And here's a collection of all the skits involving Alice:

And now for some songs:

"Welcome to my nightmare"(from the Muppet Show)

"Only women bleed"

"Billion Dollar Babies"

"Under my wheels"

"School's out"
"Is it my body"

And on that note, I'll leave you guys with a word from Steve Purcell's funny-ass Pet Detectives, the loveable Sam and Max, and their take on Halloween:
Amen, brother, amen:)

Have a good one folks!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Soy Lanterno de Verde!"

It's almost Halloween guys, so who's dressing up?
I'm not since I'm a bit too old, but you shouldn't let that stop you, so go for it and get some free eats:)

Today's skit revolves around another tradition, one seems to go horribly wrong for all involved.

Check it out and enjoy:)


Good ol' typical Guy huh?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Still Creepin'

What's up people?

Aww, another week, another set of new skits.
So let's get right to it shall we?

Today's skit revolves around The Creeper, who's definitely in the Halloween mood. Too bad Hawk and Dove don't feel that way:

The End

And now for some extras. Once I started one, I couldn't stop, so enjoy:


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morrisonian Dream-Weaver

Once again, TGIT people!

So I was wondering what the hell to write today, since my lazy ass only really wrote and created two new skits, and then I came across an interesting idea.

Fans and longtime readers of Wizard Magazine might remember how every so often, the staff writers would come up with their own list of dream teams; creative teams they'd like to see take over certain comic books.

One time it was for Marvel, the other for DC.

And so I it got me thinking about my own list of writer/artist duos that I'd like to see on certain titles.

But instead of going through a whole huge list, I decided to just pick one person today and list about 10 titles if I could think of them, that a writer, artist, or writer/artist combo hasn't done yet.

Today I picked Grant Morrison.

He his work should be common knowledge to even the most casual of fans/readers, so I won't bother going into his long laundry list of works and achievements.

Instead I'll try and come up with at least 5 titles Morrison hasn't written yet, and why he'd be a good fit for them.

It's go time!

1). Fantastic Four
Now before you guys start to cry foul, yes I know that Morrison's already worked on the FF before. Along with artist Jae Lee, Morrison wrote awesomely brilliant Fantastic Four 4-issue mini-series, 1,2,3,4 for the then Marvel Knights imprint in 2000.

And he managed to condense all those ideas and plots into four issues. Imagine if he'd been allowed to do an even longer run, and on the main title no less.

Knowing Morrison's style and penchant for writing long epics, that 4-issue mini could've easily been expanded to about 20.

Really those 4 issues alone, easily proved to FF fans and Marvel in general, just how much Morrison loves those characters, as his love of all things from the Silver Age certainly showed here with all those crazy ideas he put into that mini. Unfortunately Marvel never let Morrison play in the main sandbox, so those adventures may, or may not be in continuity anymore. Which doesn't really diminish how cool that work is, just that it makes us only wonder "what if?"

I don't really if Marvel really ever let Morrison play with the FF toys again, and I guess that really depends on Morrison, his ideas, and the current ruling administration at Marvel at the time.

I'm thinking one of the reasons he wasn't allowed to write the FF proper, was probably when he was quoted as commenting that "Namor is a way for Johnny Storm to have sex with his sister(or live out that particular fantasy by living vicariously through him) rather than actually doing it in person."

I'm only paraphrasing just a little bit, but yes, that's the gist of what he said.
Hmm, and yet one wonders why Marvel wasn't hopping aboard the Morrison train on that one. And don't forget, before Mark Millar, Morrison also pitched an idea to write the Ultimate Fantastic Four series, that would eventually go to Millar.

All that aside, I'd still love to see Morrison do an extended run on the FF, with his love new scientific concepts and all things Silver Age as a guide for how he'd interpret them.

Just leave out the implied incest angle please.

As for the artist to work alongside Morrison, Uh I don't know maybe the usual suspects of Frank Quitely or Ethan Van Sciver. Or just have Van Sciver draw the covers, that works for me. Or, he could also work with current collaborator Darrick Robertson. That'd work fine for me.

Like I said, just imagine a year or two run, with Morrison using all of the familiar supporting casts and villains associated with the FF like, the Molecule Man, Mole Man, Impossible Man, the Skrulls, Diablo, hell he can even throw in the Puppet Master, Alicia Masters, Old Willie Lumpkin, and Adam Warlock(Him) in there if he wants. I just know if he was writing the book, it'd be damn good.

2). Silver Surfer

If you thought Morrison would be great for the FF, just imagine what he could do with the Silver Surfer.
I imagine Morrison would have no problem giving the character and concept of ol' Norrin Radd a good polishing(no pun intended) and leave him better and more prominent than he'd found him. And trust me, a once again relevant Surfer benefits everybody, especially Marvel.

If I could attempt to predict what approach Morrison would take with the Surfer, it might be exactly like/similar to the Stan Lee/Moebius's graphic novel The Parable, where the Silver Surfer was viewed as a messianic, christ-like figure come to save that planet's people. I think he might use this particular concept again, but expand on it like only Morrison can, infusing the character and story with his own unique views on religion, transcendence, and mythical beings.

Picking the right artist isn't easy for me, as a large number of artists could work well with this project.

Alan Davis, Essad Ribic(he worked on the Surfer before) Alex Ross, or even maybe the artist Ladronn, whose heavily Jack Kirby-influenced work would really make this project shine.

It's a thought.

3). Deadman.

Continuing on the concepts of religion and inner and universal consciousness, Deadman is another interesting character that Morrison would leave better than when he found it. Similar to how Morrison used Animal Man as way to champion and animal rights and speak out about the misuse and cruelty shown by humans to animals, so too would Deadman be used as a meta-commentary on life and the general behavior of humanity, and basically the way people tend to hurt other people.

Also, religion would also play a huge role in Morrison's run, since it was the Rama Krishna aspect of God that created Deadman in the first place and sent him on his mission to restore the cosmic balance.

There's really no telling just how far and how deep Morrison would go to expand upon and explain in detail the importance of this mission, both to humanity and all life in general, but also as salvationary, redemptive tool for Deadman's own soul.

Yeah, this could be really good!

As the possible artists, maybe on covers, Neal Adams, with maybe Ryan Sook, current JLDark artist Mikel Janin, or hell, how about Alex Maleev on interiors? Now that'd be some nice, moody-ass art huh?

It's a thought.

4). Captain America.

Yeah I know, what a random choice huh? And he is in all honesty. But just imagine what a writer like Grant Morrison would have to say with a character like Cap? No doubt he might use Cap and his allies and villains as allegorical commentary on terrorism or how the world views America, like former Cap writer John Ney Rieber tried, but better. Or maybe he'd tackle the old "Man out of time" angle like writer Rick Remender is doing again to an extent in the new Captain America series? Or talk about the very concept of war. Or maybe Morrison would be better than all that, and actually try an original approach to Cap. Wouldn't that be cool?

Possible artists, wow, that is a bit of a toughie. 

Frank Quitely's interpretation in Cap, and in particular his enemies like the Red Skull, Baron Zemo, and Arin Zola would be pretty damn interesting, not to mention all the new creations he could throw at Cap, so there's that. Or even use Ladronn again. Like I said, his style's like a modern, euro-version of Kirby's, so that might work.

Marvel's got a good roster of artists from Morrison to choose from, so really anyone of them would do.

5).Green Lantern.

Seriously think about that one for a minute. You have a character like Green Lantern, with his mastery over fear and an incredible weapon powered by the strength of his will, patrolling Earth and outer space as a cosmic cop? 

Now tell me Morrison wouldn't write the shit out of that series. 

Not only would we probably finally see Hal's Earth-based Silver Age villains again,who have long been forgotten and left behind in favor of Johns' desire to tell a giant, sprawling space epic, but just imagine GL's world filtered through Morrison's lense.

It might be like that one one-shot by J.M DeMatteis and Seth Fisher,Willworld, where the world inside GL's ring is explored, also similar to Jim Krueger/Alex Ross' Justice maxi-series. Or maybe not.

But I'm sure it'd be pretty damn cool and original, not to mention all of the different possible alien races Morrison would create. 

Any current DC artist in their stable would be acceptable, including current artist Doug Mahnke, or former GL artist Ivan Reis, or someone in that similar vein.

So that's at least 5 possible character choices off the top of my head that I can see Grant Morrison working magic with.

Feel free to write in more suggestions or your very own lists of possible writers/artists you'd love to see take your favorite characters.

No idea's that far out, since this is the world of comic books, so go nuts!

Not bad for a filler piece, or as my favorite Aussie-turned Kiwi transplant Dan loves to call them "Puff Articles."

Finally there's this little piece I just finished today:

Captain America as a fat-chick thriller? Sure it goes against type, but since most of America's obese anyways, it's not that big of a stretch is it? Ha, get it? Stretch?

Hey, what can I say, I like to leave you guys with smiles on your faces.

Have a good weekend people:)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My favorite albums: Wish You Were Here

Aww Pink Floyd.

They're one of my favorite classic rock groups of all-time, easily in my top 5.
I'm trying to remember what specific track of theirs I first heard, I think it was "Another Brick in the Wall."

I remember the video to it so vividly due to the wild and crazy imagery of those kids falling into that meat grinder. And this was on Casey Kasem's Top 10 or Top something back in the 80's.

Here, watch what I'm talking about:

After that, it'd be a few more years until I rediscovered "The Floyd", but I would, buying up their later iconic albums like "The Wall", "Dark Side of the Moon", "Animals", and "Wish you were here."

And it's that last one that I'd like to highlight today.

Wish You Were Here made its debut in 1975, where it would go on to sell over 13 million copies worldwide, and be certified Gold, Silver, and Platinum 6 times.

WYWH was pretty much the follow up to Pink Floyd's biggest selling album at the time "Dark Side of the Moon", as the band sang about topics such as isolation, the darker side of the music industry, missed opportunities, and of course, former bandmate Syd Barrett.

The album only has 5 tracks on it, but with Pink Floyd, you know when listening to their albums it's all about quality, not quantity, and that their songs are usually pretty long.

The WYWH starts off with my favorite track on the album, and one of my top favorite songs ever, "Shine on you crazy diamond" Part 1-4.

I'll try and convey just how I felt, goosebumps and all when I first heard that song. I had just bought this album, put it in my cd player, and cranked up the volume way up. At first I did this because I didn't hear anything, so I keep turning the volume up higher and higher, and then I hear David Gilmore play those first chords, and I was "Oh shit!"

The song keeps building up and building up, with Richard Wright in the keyboards, until BAM! Like an atomic bomb going off in my ears and head, I hear the crescendo, and from there I was hooked.

You gotta hear this!:

I hadn't done Acid or smoked Pot yet at that time, but I imagined that's what it must have felt like as I heard that song for the very first time.

The song, and all 9 parts of it(yes 9 whole parts people!) is all about former bandmate Syd Barrett and his descent into madness after taking way too much LSD. The song's lyrics are a loving and touching testimony to the man's creative genius, and also a eulogy to the friend they used to know before he lost his shit.
The song's parts are divided up throughout the album, so you got the first four parts in the beginning, and then the last five at the end.

Altogether they make up one hell of a tribute, and one of the best recorded in rock and roll history.

Next up is the song "Welcome to the machine."

Roger Waters wrote this primarily about the darker side of the music business, and the whole money-making schemes and policies that he felt were valued more than the artistic side.

Love that image up there guys!
And in fact there's also an actual music video to go with the song in an age where there weren't that many music videos made to accompany the songs. Crazy notion I know;)

The video was created by famed British Satirist Gerald Scarfe and his students in 1977. And what a dark video it is isn't it?

Waters and the band liked Scarfe's work so much, that they commissioned him to produce most, if not all of the art for their "The Wall" album.

So all that crazy, twisted artwork you see on the album cover, and in the movie, is all Scarfe's design.

After that, is "Have a cigar?" which continues on the theme of the music industry. This song was based off a stupid question made by a record exec who famously asked "Oh by the way, which one's Pink?", as in the guy wanted to know who in the band was named Pink Floyd. Yeah, stupid, clueless execs. They never learn do they?

Here's the track:

Interestingly enough, Roger Waters or any of the band didn't actually sing the exec's part; it was actually friend and fellow musician Roy Harper. Waters was later quoted as saying he wish he had done the actual vocals, as he felt that Harper's interpretation didn't really suit the song.

Regardless, it seems history and sales seem to like the song the way it was recorded, so there's that.

Also of note, I wondered if this Roy Harper, was the same one mentioned in the Led Zeppelin song "Hats off to (Roy)Harper." on their third album. Well after looking it up, he is. So, now we both know a little more rock trivia:)

Next up is the track that shares it's name with the album, "Wish you were here."

It's no surprise that this song, along with most the songs on the album, are played heavily in rotation on most rock stations.

Like Shine on you crazy diamond, this song too, is about former bandmate Syd Barrett.
Just listen to the lyrics, and you'll feel just how much Waters and the band miss Barrett and his contributions to the group.

Here's the lyrics and the song:
So, so you think you can tellHeaven from HellBlue skies from painCan you tell a green fieldFrom a cold steel rail?A smile from a veil?Do you think you can tell?
Did they get you to tradeYour heroes for ghosts?Hot ashes for trees?Hot air for a cool breeze?Cold comfort for change?And did you exchangeA walk on part in a warFor a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were hereWe're just two lost soulsSwimming in a fish bowlYear after yearRunning over the same old groundWhat have we found?The same old fearsWish you were here

After that, the album finishes up with it's tribute to Syd with the final 5 parts of Shine on you crazy diamond.
Keyboardist Richard Wright really went all out for this one. I was watching a television special on the making of this album, and one of the main studio engineers and mixers commented that had Wright had 20 more minutes, he would have created a concerto. Really? You mean his keyboard and piano parts aren't already considered one?
Seriously, this song as a whole is one absolute favorites, and one of the best songs to come out of Pink Floyd's catalogue of hits.

In fact, David Gilmour and Richard Wright both say WYWH is their favorite Pink Floyd album, and it's really hard to disagree with them on that one.
Oh and the cover. A quick story on that one, is that artist Storm Thorgerson came up with the idea of the album cover being all black, meaning that it didn't matter what the outside packaging looked like, but that rather it was the music inside the cover that really mattered. 
Here's the wiki-link that explains all of that and the story behind the man on fire shaking hands with that other guy:
Very cool to think that they went to all that trouble to have a stuntman set on fire just so that they could capture that image to go along with the famous saying about "Being burned."

After this album, PF would go on to make 1977's Animals, another solid 'Floyd album.And then the famous The Wall album after that.
I'll highlight these and other PF albums at a later date.
Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane as much as I did:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"You're one of us now....."

Hope you all enjoyed yesterday's skit as much as I had making it:)

Today's skit won't be as long, but should hopefully be just as entertaining.
It's a little ditty about Cyclops, and what could happen once he gets out of jail......

How about Mr. Sinister? Creepy much?

Anyhoo, I have a feeling that whole scenario is probably about 10 times funnier than what's likely going to happen.....

Yeahhhh, I don't think he's going to be very at all. I mean he is a Kree soldier after all, and I highly doubt...