Unrequited Death – 1870

To celebrate the occasion of the day I present the following short horro story.

Last year this was turned into an audio reading by Jessica Burkhart and my podcasting partner David Tavolier for our podcast TRIO SIMPATICO but I realized I never posted the actual text anywhere.  So here you are, I present to you in full Unrequited Death – 1870 by me, Joshua Scott Witsaman.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast featuring the reading simply go HERE!

Happy Halloween!

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Friday Funny Pages: A Woman, A Swamp Monster, And A Wizard Walk Into A Bar . . . .

When taken out of context some comic book panels can really raise the question, “what the fuck?”  I believe this one does just that.

This panel also illustrates what I think is missing from a lot of comic books today which is, pure zaniness.  Not to be confused with silliness.  Silliness is useless.  Zaniness on the other hand, at least how I define it, is a desire to do something new and creative in the most outrageous way possible.  I mean with comic books there are no limitations so why not occasionally build a genuinely good storyline with a zany crescendo?  Often times these days, as with almost every other medium, comic books are rehashing or returning to older concepts.  So on occasion we’ll see some zany in the funny pages, but it’s a return to another creators zany.  Not original, fresh zany.  That’s harder to come by.  Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of great comic books out there now, really quality stuff from all the publishers.  As far as I’m concerned however, comics are taking themselves far too serious.  Sure they’ve matured with the audience, and comics aren’t for kids anymore, etc. etc.  Zaniness doesn’t necessarily have to be for kids either.  Perhaps it’s just me though, perhaps I’m just part of a rapidly shrinking audience who enjoys a zany approach and outlandish characters in my comic books.

If you feel the same way then check out the rest of the book from which this panel comes from Man-Thing #14 written by Steve Gerber, with art by Val Mayerik.  If you want unpredictable adventure and something different around ever swamp soaked corner you’ll want to take a peek at Steve Gerber’s entire run of Man-Thing especially the blockbuster Giant Size Man-Thing #3 where the Man-Thing meets a new special pal.  Go check it out, all of it, right now.

That is all!

People I Know: Carl Randles

It was a dark and stormy night.  I’d just finished off a homemade meal with a few unexpected dinner guests.  After the plates were cleaned up and the chit chat dispensed the guests headed out and my wife headed to bed, that’s when I sent the message to Carl Randles.  His long travel to my house from his distant domicile was hindered by the inky blackness of night combined with the torrential downpour that drenched the landscape and had become a chronic ailment of the changing season.  Braving these elements however Carl arrived on my doorstep at around 10 o’clock.  I showed him in and we sat down at my dining room table over matching cups of hot tea.  The rain beating down on the glass of the adjacent window was a constant reminder of the cold unruly harshness of nature which has become man’s self appointed sisyphean task to struggle against.  There was an intensity in our speech that night, and a depth to our meaning.

Just kidding.  It wasn’t nearly that serious.  Ha!  Although I was pleasantly surprised at how candid our conversation was and how serious my friend took the questions I put before him.  It was a very long and pleasant conversation and after it was all said and done I felt like I had just been through some type of therapy session, although I’m not sure whether my role was as the analyst or the patient.

How can I describe Carl Randles?  He’s a unique fellow with a hugely diverse area of interests who never fails to conjure strange bits of information at the most opportune moments.  I’m sure everyone knows someone amongst their group of friends similar to Carl.  The type of friend who meshes well with the rest of the group, and who has a confident unintentional charm about him.  Someone who is generally well liked by everyone, and who no one can seem to pinpoint any fault with.  Basically the type of person who winds up being a serial killer.  “Oh he always seemed so nice.  He was so polite and quiet, we never suspected he had a closet full of hobo feet.

Again only joking!  I’m 98% sure Carl has never killed anyone!

Before I even got into my prepared questions Carl and I got into a hearty conversation that included what my goal was with this interview, life getting in the way of art and having to work less-than-fulfilling jobs in order to pay the bills.  We talked about whether morning or evening was the best time for creative expression, and how to find time in general to foster said creativity.  We touched on the upcoming Mid-Ohio Comic Con and the outrageous commercialization and monopolization of comic book conventions in general.  Over all Carl and I talked for about an hour and a half and unfortunately there had to be a considerable amount of editing in order to shave it all down to an acceptable length.  So without further ado let’s get into it already!

Carl Randles laborer, student, artist, good friend, man, woman, child, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, Carl Randles.

Carl as he peruses the dollar bins at Baltimore Comic Con.


Joshua: So Carl, first of all thanks for coming here on such short notice!

Carl: No problem.  I’m not gonna lie I thought you wanted me to help you with your Stormtrooper outfit.

Joshua: Ha!  Oh well if you want to help too, we can do that after we’re done here.  Maybe I’ll let you wear it.

Carl:  Naw, you should be the first one to wear it fully done.

Joshua: Yeah I suppose, but I might still need your help.  I’ll let you know.  But anyway, when you and I first met a lot of our conversations centered around Star Wars and comic books.  Those were some unifying subjects for us.  What geek, or pop culture subjects these days do you feel don’t get enough attention, or that you’d like to see get more of the spotlight?

Carl: Myself, I would love to know more European comic book artists, because there are things that are huge over there and I’ve only read a few things.  I’m reading Tin Tin and I’ve read Blacksad which the art in is terrific.

Joshua Blacksad?  I don’t know what that is.

Carl: It’s about an anthropomorphic detective, and the crime noir style caught my eye, and the art is just phenomenal.  I have one edition of it.  That would be cool obviously to check that out.  I don’t know too much though, my interests in Hell Boy and B.P.R.D have gotten big and Mignola is huge now which blew my mind.  I think I started reading those in high school which I think was a few years after he got started and it surprised me, I wouldn’t say I jump on the bandwagon a lot, but when its popularity falls off that’s when I get into stuff.

This is Blacksad, the anthropomorphic cat detective

Joshua: Yeah, being there at the beginning of something like that is rare.

Carl:  You’ve got to feel stuff out I guess.  I tried that once, being the frontrunner.  I don’t feel right being that guy that’s like “Oh yeah I heard about that before . . . .”  I had that happen once, with a band, and it was stupid.

Joshua:  What band was it?

Carl: (Laughing)  Limp Bizkit!

Joshua:  (Laughing) Ha! Fantastic!

Carl: I remember I was in high school when they came out, and I think I was in Quonset Hut and I was like “Three dollar bill y’all.”  I don’t think I even picked the album up, but I’d heard them on the radio.  My music changed I really liked Korn at the time, and now I haven’t even listened to them in years.

Joshua:  Why do you think some of those European books and things are overlooked?

Carl:  I guess because they’re not established, they’re not Marvel or DC.  I don’t know it’s really adult, I would love to go back and read 2000 AD and the early Heavy Metal books which are phenomenal, but I don’t really know why some of that stuff doesn’t make it.

Joshua:  Comic book fans always seem to know of them, but they don’t always seem to know the details.  Comic book fans talk a big game, I think a lot of the time, but then when it actually comes to reading things . . . .

Carl: Oh yeah, I’ve gotten to that point.  In my mind there’s all these books, like stupid Wizard puts out those lists “Top 100 Trades” that I think, ok I’ll check that out.  But then again that’s their opinion, I would probably love to read that stuff but don’t know why.

Joshua: So are you reading any comics currently?

Carl: I have back orders of some of the Punisher, and Hell Boy/B.P.R.D stuff, but other than that I’m just hearing of individual one or two trades that I want to look into.  Tin Tin is one I’m trying to read.

Joshua:  I want to see the movie.

Carl: Yeah that’s why at this point I have this trade, the one story in it is what the movie is based on.  It’s pretty cool and clean illustrations, the line qualities are really nice.  I would definetly suggest it.  Other than that, I was reading Loveless and Jonah Hex.  The current stuff is all one-shots like 99% of the time, just boom, boom, boom.

Joshua: Ah, that’s like old school comic books there, going back to individual issues.

Carl:  Yeah, yeah.  It’s pretty cool.  There’s also Criminal and Incognito, I might be about one story arc behind on those, but I like that kind of stuff.  Oh! AND the Goon, whenever the hell that stuff comes out.

Joshua:  Ha! Yeah, whatever year and a half time frame it takes to put out a new Goon book.  While we’re still on the subject of comics, here’s the most typical comic book question ever asked:  What is your favorite comic book company?

Carl:  Company?  God damn . . . .

Joshua:  That’s not really an easy question to answer anymore.

Carl:  DC I loved for awhile, but then the story arcs they were focusing on were . . . .  I kind of lost interest in.  But I do kind of like that they started over with their reboot, it’s ballsy!  Which is cool, you have to go back, and all these young people can get into it which is smart, business-wise.  It also pisses off a lot of people, and I can sometimes understand that but most of the time I’m just like, let it go.

Joshua:  (Laughing)  Yeah, but most of the DC Mega Fans are on death’s doorstep anyway.

Carl:  Marvel is cool.  But my favorite?  I want to say Dark Horse or Image because they’re underground, and with Image it’s creator owned.  I haven’t read a whole lot of stuff, maybe because it’s not out there and what I know, but I can’t really take the chances and spend the money on the books.  But it’s the same with Dark Horse, they’re both along the same lines.

Joshua:  Dark Horse too has really taken up the abandoned business of the licensed books that Marvel and DC don’t really do any more.

Carl:  Yeah, they’ve put out reprints, and have the rights for all the old Conan and stuff like that.

Joshua:  So Carl, speaking of comics and art and all that, would you consider yourself to be an artist?

Carl:  If you’re including my output, hell no.

Joshua:  Well I mean, I suppose it really comes down to who is an artist?

Carl: I would love to be able to realize and understand all of the high art concepts.  But I can’t fathom it all, I wouldn’t be able to create it myself I think, which sucks.

Joshua:  You mean like you’d want to come up with your own artistic concept, like being a founder of surrealism or something?

Carl: Yeah, like all the modern stuff where it’s just an image, like a Mark Rothko where it’s just a canvas and there’s two shitty blocks.  And there’s something behind that, which when I look at something I may not see it.  I usually see textural and have a very two dimensional approach to it, there might be some nice aesthetics and textures.  So you have to look behind what the artist meant to do, which is not convoluted, but it is advancing the art form but like you said, what is art?  It’s man’s creation, painting or writing, anything can be art.  But then you have people who are high up who talk down comic books and say it’s childish, but then again that’s because we were forced to think that.  But you look at the stuff of Alan Moore or Grant Morrison, that European stuff that we haven’t really read, they love that, that’s high art to them!

Joshua:  Yeah, yeah absolutely.  Well and they put big concepts into their work.

Carl:  Yes, very satirical.  Usually whenever I do something my train of thought isn’t very logical for most people, so it’s like phrase after phrase, it’s more emotional rather than logical.

Joshua:  Well that’s pretty much art right there!

Carl:  I guess I’m saying I’m just not that precise, so if I’m looking at a piece of art I may not even be able to explain, or dissect it to a point.

Joshua:  That’s where the arrogance of art comes in, people trying to tell you, what an artist is thinking.  Who would you say are some of your artistic inspirations?

Carl:  Comic book-wise would be like Mike Mignola.  Writers I’d say Ed Brubaker, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison.  More artists, David Mack and even someone like Stan Sakai, there is something in that fucking line, he can really nail that stuff out.  A lot of comic book artists are really talented, there are some of course who are just not my taste obviously, but I’ve found myself getting less interested in the superhero genre.  That type of realism just doesn’t do it for me any more.  With Hell Boy it is realistic but it’s two dimensional, and there’s really graphic elements to it.  Same with Usagi, even though Stan Sakai is not realistic, it’s two dimensional, but Fucking-A . . . .

Joshua:  Ok Carl let’s really get into the important questions now.  Answer me this, what is your favorite ethnic food?

Carl: I guess maybe Asian food?  I mean unfortunately I haven’t really had all that much, well, I guess there’s pasta which is Italian, there’s Mexican.  I’d really like to try more of the others, like Russian and everything else that’s out there.

Joshua:  You should go with me and Lauren to the Russian Festival out in Mogadore sometime!

Carl: Is that yearly?

Joshua:  Yeah it’s at St. Nicholas church, the big Russian Orthodox church out there.  It’s pretty cool.  The church is interesting, you go into the sanctuary there and it’s like stepping back into the Renaissance.  All the stylized iconography and all that, I guess it’s the Byzantine style or whatever.

Carl:  Yeah that very two dimensional, geometric, style where it was all story based to get the illiterates to understand the church.

Joshua:  But they have some good food out there.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Mogadore Ohio

Carl: I’ve always been intrigued by the Russians, with their borscht.

Joshua: That’s just fun to say.  But overall you’d say that, of the foods you know of, Asian cuisine is your favorite?

Carl:  I think so, there’s a little more variety.  Then you’ve got sushi and everything in there.

Joshua:  Now, moving on, as everyone may or may not know you have partaken in several multimedia productions along with myself and directed by the incomparable David Tavolier where you play a character named Dennis, talk about Dennis.

Carl: As a character I kind of know him.  That he is this stumbling, lower level, naive character but I also know that that’s quite a bit of me because I don’t know how to act and it’s just like I’m awkward behind it and so it’s just a lot of me coming through in that part.

Joshua:  Well that’s my next question, which is what’s your motivation for Dennis?

Carl: Well I know that I don’t have so much self respect that I wouldn’t lick out of a puddle, there’s a point that you’ll do anything for the laugh.  There’s humility at some point I think though.

Joshua: Right, sure.  Like you’re not going to whip your dick out for a laugh.

Carl: (Laughing) Well, I don’t know . . . .

Joshua: (Laughing) If it’s really funny, it’s worth it!?

Carl:  There’s a point where you think of your self respect.  Like, am I degrading myself?  I would suppose that after time if that’s all that I’m known for, that would be the borderline if that happens.

Joshua:  So you’ve gone too far when you’ve become a porn star?  That’s crossing a line?

Carl:  Yeah cause then it’s like, oh no, not this racket again.  But no, in conjunction with Reginald Sterling that is a good pairing because you have that comedic duo.

Joshua:  Both idiots though.

Reginald Sterling and Dennis off on another whirlwind adventure!

Carl:  But yeah, Dennis is just me trying to act.

Joshua:  So would you say that it’s just a caricature of yourself?

Carl:  I think so.  Because you know, you’re reacting, so you can just emphasize what you may be thinking already, what you would do normally.  I feel awkward because I’ll be thinking about the acting aspect of it, I don’t want to screw anything up, I’m always worried about whatever lines I have, which will be very minimal.  But all that is the character, and we always have fun.

Joshua:  Yeah, we do.  Ok Carl, very last question.  Encapsulate Carl Randles for the readers in just five words.

Carl:  Five words?!

Joshua:  I gave Lauren seven last week, but I’m only going to give you five because you have quite a talent for what I like to call “minimalist vocalizations.”

Carl:  Ugh, God.  Honestly I usually stray from those kinds of questions.

Joshua:  I know, yeah.  Well I’m gonna force you to do it Carl.  Five words.

Carl:  Well if I try to say humble I feel like I’m an asshole.

Joshua: (Laughing) Ha!  That’s pretty much the definition of humble Carl!

Carl:  It just feels wrong to say it, I aspire to be modest and stuff like that, but . . . Do you want a sentence or . . . . like “Carl Randles is . . . ?”

Joshua:  Carl Randles is an asshole!  There you go!  No, it doesn’t have to be a sentence it can be abstract, free verse, structureless.  Just five words.

Carl:  Um, start with Blathering, I guess.  This is just weird

Joshua:  Think of it this way, think of it as a five word time capsule of you right now, up to this point in your life.

CarlBlathering.  Uh Lazy?  Maybe also Uninformed?

Joshua:  But you knew about Limp Bizkit!

My guess is he was drawn in by the cover art.

Carl:  Also Reactive.

Joshua:  These don’t have to be terrible things about you Carl!

Carl:  It’s hard to think positive things, I think maybe I don’t really like looking back on myself.

Joshua:  (Laughing) Christ!  What do you mean?  I guess it can be whatever you want, are you determined to end this on a downer Carl?

Carl:  (Laughing)  Well it’s honestly how I feel about myself sometimes, but it’s not like devastating to me, or a depression.  I don’t feel highly about myself sometimes, or whatever.

Joshua:  Yeah I know what you mean, and maybe it’s because we’re older now, we’re both thirty.  I recently have looked back on my own life and thought what have I done?  Could I have done more with this?  But like you said it’s not depressing necessarily you just get retrospective.

Carl:  But I also have the viewpoint on life that if you have a family and a good solid base, that’s what’s important.  If you enjoy your life and the people in it you don’t have to be something huge.  But there’s also that dilemma of “Did I do anything?  What’s this life for?”  You do look back on it.

Joshua:  Well if you start thinking about your family, and your great great grandparents and distant relatives, who were any of those people?  Do you really have any real recollection of those relatives, what they did, and who they were, those people who got you to this time and place.  It just gets you thinking about your own legacy and all that.

Carl:  George Carlin brought up interesting aspects of that though, like who the fuck cares where your last name is?  You, as an individual, are what’s intriguing.  There’s also other people who have that thought that the world shouldn’t have flags, it should be one world nation.  It’s interesting.  I can’t always get behind one way or another, and that would actually be another of those words.

Joshua:  What would?

Carl: Uh, meandering?  You know like, in between childlike.

Joshua:  Ok . . . .

Carl:  Because again we’re in our 30’s and we’re not serious businesspeople and stressed out, which I think I enjoy more then being that.  I mean yeah, you can still have a steady job and be important and enjoy that, but we fucking screw around and make noises that are childish.  Just looking to enjoy ourselves and have fun with the friends around us is important as well.

Joshua:  Yeah I can totally get behind that.  There’s something about having too much responsibility and dealing with huge amounts of stress and hassle with your job, doing those things that you don’t enjoy in order to just make it, which just seems wrong.

Carl:  So what do I have so far?  Blathering, lazy, reactive, uninformed, and meandering.

Joshua:  That’s five, and that’s all I have for you Carl.  Do you have any final words before we end this interview?

Carl:  Nah.  Thanks for the tea!  It was good, what was it again?

Joshua:  This was Yorkshire Gold.  It’s a pretty strong tea, I didn’t brew this particular pot that long so it wasn’t too bad.

Carl:  The only one I’ve had that was strong, or weird, was that African root tea . . .

Joshua:  The rooibos.

Carl:  Yeah!  That’s it.

Joshua:  Alright.

And there you have it, an epic interview featuring the one and only Carl Randles.  Hopefully this has given you some new nuggets of information or perhaps even a glimpse into the very nature of humankind itself . . . .

That is all!

Finally! A Darth Plagueis Novel.

Yesterday I discovered that Lucas Books has finally decided to put out their long awaited Darth Plagueis novel! Check out the news and a brief outline of the novel at The Force.net.

The cover art for Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno

This novel was originally announced shortly after the debut of Revenge of the Sith where we heard the first tantalizing mentions of this Sith lord who trained the Emperor and his brief biography. At the time I was incredibly excited by this news, I’m a sucker for the bad guys, they’re always so much more interesting then the good guys. Especially when it comes to the Jedi and the Sith. Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of the Jedi, Yoda, Mace Windu, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan, and all things Lightside are great! But we’ve seen it all before, you know? We all know how a Jedi should act. Selflessness, virtue, peace, knowledge, defense, one with nature, etc. etc. We get it. There are plenty of Jedi in the Star Wars universe and over the course of the 6 movies we get a good look at their structure, teachings, and individuals.

When it comes to the Sith however, they remain something of a mystery to us, at least in the movie universe. In the books there is quite an expanded knowledgebase about the Sith and their history, but even with that there are extensive gaps leading up to the time of the movies. The Sith are figures in Star Wars that leave something to the imagination, they are the element we don’t know enough about. When you think about it, most of the knowledge we do have about the Sith in the films is given to us by the Jedi, sworn enemies of the Sith who have spent a good portion of their history trying to erase the memory of them from the galaxy. We can assume their interpretation of the Sith is slightly skewed.

Darth Plagueis the Wise

To make a few comparisons, the Sith are the Apocrypha to the Jedi’s Bible. The heretics and Cathars to the Jedi catholic church. A feud that started as an ideological difference erupts into a full out war which results in the victor being known as “right” and the loser being known as “wrong.” From there the Jedi go on to establish themselves as philosophers and peacekeepers working with the Galactic Republic to maintain an order of light. While on the other hand the Sith, who are believed to be vanquished, must alter their strategy, work in secret and pass their teachings on in a more clandestine manner with a new motivation of total revenge against those who had tried to destroy them.

Of course I could go back and forth about this history of the Jedi and Sith but what I’m getting at is the allure of the Sith.

What draws more curiosity, an object sitting openly under a lamp, or an object hidden in shadow just out of sight? Clearly you can tell what there is with the object under the lamp, you can observe it and know something about it just by looking at it whether it interests you or not. But that hidden object has so much more appeal because you just can’t know exactly what it is until you investigate. It’s the whole idea of wrapping a present as opposed to just handing someone a gift. That element of the unknown, the mystery, it’s what gets our attention.

Long analogy, short I like the Sith because there’s just comparatively so little information about them in Star Wars lure.

The Darth Bane trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn was a good Sithy read, detailing the middle history of the Sith and how the order was reduced from an army similar to the Jedi, to the master and apprentice system we see in the movies. As interesting as that was I was still more excited about the talk of a Darth Plagueis book.  Unfortunately after Revenge of the Sith the Plagueis book was delayed in favor of several other books including a Darth Vader novel and a story about the construction of the first Death Star. Topics that had already seen several novelizations over the years. I read those books however and enjoyed them, but still anticipated the Plagueis read. Unfortunately it was eventually cancelled with no further word.

Finally yesterday, years later, I find out that it is back on! There is even a cover and a brief summary indicating that this time they mean it.

Why am I so excited for this book? Well as I said before I’m a fan of the bad guys in general and the Sith in particular. Perhaps my favorite Sith is Darth Sidious, Emperor Palpatine. And why shouldn’t he be? If you like the Sith than you’d have to love the Master who orchestrated the final destruction of the Jedi order, subverted the government that pandered to those same Jedi, and who put the Sith in sole control of the largest imperial rule the galaxy had ever seen. Sidious is the Sith Lord who brought about the endgame of a thousand years of Sith patience and planning. This is the man who worked openly among the Jedi undetected, who trained Darth Maul, and who bested Yoda in one of the most epic lightsaber duels of all time.

But who trained Darth Sidious?

Darth Plagueis the wise. If Sidious turned out to be such an evil badass, the guy who instructed him must have been fairly impressive himself. Finally we will get the chance to learn more about this mysterious penultimate Sith Master in James Luceno’s next book simply titled Darth Plagueis.

Darth Plagueis and a young Sidious

Actually James Luceno himself is another reason I’m really looking forward to this book. I love his Star Wars novels especially Cloak of Deception, Labyrinth of Evil, and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. Luceno is a skilled and subtle author who writes the Sith and the Darkside well, not simply portraying them as evil villains who do bad purely for the sake of being evil, but actually portrays them with some depth as to why they do what they do, how they are different from the Jedi, and why they use the Force in the manner they do.  Aside from that, in my opinion Luceno is one of the few Star Wars authors who really captures the feel and scope of the Star Wars universe that we are used to in the films. He has a deep understanding of the characters, history, and setting of the Star Wars universe that really takes his books to the next level. He blends well the elements of action, politics, and philosophy that are found in Star Wars making his works more than simply “typical” sci-fi books in the guise of Star Wars novels.

James Luceno

I haven’t been keeping up with most of the new Star Wars novels, I believe the last one I read was 2009’s Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber, but with this book finally being released I again have a Star Wars novel that I’m really looking forward to.

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: The Party Was Over

Today’s Friday Funny Pages comes to us from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Volume 1: Guilty Pleasures written by Laurell K. Hamilton and Stacie Ritchie with art by Brett Booth.

Yeah I own volume 1 of Anita Blake, so what?  I picked it up cheap at Baltimore Comic Con a few years back and I’d always heard good things about it.  Who cares if it’s a “girly” comic?  I got a wife, she can be my cover for owning this.  Regardless, I still haven’t gotten around to reading it, as is the case with several of the trade paperbacks in my collection.  But speaking of Baltimore Comic Con, it’s that time of year again!  That’s right, the 12th annual Baltimore Comic Con starts tomorrow.  The con that’s been called the antidote to San Diego, and the convention that puts comics back in comic con.  I’ve enjoyed a few trips to Baltimore in my day and have watched as this convention has grown in scope and organization, it has been quite an impressive sight to see.  Sadly I’m not able to go this year which is quite a bummer considering several of my friends are prepping for the con as I’m writing this!

But enough of that, let’s talk about this Anita Blake panel.  I can’t really pinpoint what’s funny about this panel, there’s just something about it, it has that certain je ne sais quoi that makes me smirk.  As I was flipping through my comics and trades looking for images for this little segment of my blog I remember coming across this and just thinking what the hell is this thing about?  Here we have the main heroine, Anita Blake, chatting up a bunch of giant rat-men in an abandoned catacomb when suddenly the shit hits the fan and a group of vampires show up.  That moment is shown above.  They are coming.  The party was over.

Any time a hybrid man-rat gives you that warning, remember to cease all partying.

That is all!

Anal Hook: The Road To Mindless Philosophy

So let’s do a little meta-blogging shall we?  I have enjoyed playing around with the statistical instruments that Word Press provides for all their blogs and I’ve especially been interested in what sources lead people to my writing.  As far as websites that lead people here, there are of course the usual suspects of Google, Twitter, and Facebook.  What’s even more interesting is that I can see the exact search terms typed which have lead people to my site!  This has turned up quite a mixed bag of phrases, some that were surprising, many which were to be expected, and a few that were just plain disturbing.  Also there were a great many that were misspelled, which can be amusing.  I’ll spare you from the entire list of search terms, which is fairly extensive, and just share with you those terms that I thought were the most amusing.  So here we are, take a look at some of the actual words that have guided people through the winding roads of the internet right to my blog!

Anal Hook  (I have no idea. . . . )

Kid Chameleon

Star Wars Booster Seat

Puggle Strength (I assume this is similar to retard strength)

Mindless Behavior Photos

Natalie Portman Sleeping  (Creepy)

Smurf XXX comics  (Why?)

Why Does Pressing On Upper Nostrils Feel Good

Dead Baby Jokes

Smurf Yourself  (52 people have found my site with this)

Babylon 5 CCG Rulings  (51 people have found it with this)

 

So there you go.  Some of these I understand, some I don’t, and some just make me wonder what kind of people are reading this.  Clearly stalkers and perverts are enjoying Mindless Philosophy, guess I’ve found my niche!  Hurray!

Anyway as a special little treat for all you loyal readers out there I’ve made a little Mindless Philosophy Search Terms Word Search for all of you to copy and print out at home!  Take a look below, the key follows!  Enjoy!

Click to enlarge! Then copy the image and print it out at home!

Find the following terms!

Anal Hook

Babylon

Behavior Photos

Blogs

Books

Booster Seat

Comic

Dead Baby Jokes

Five

Friday Funny Pages

Joshua

Kid Chameleon

Mindless

Natalie Portman

Nostrils

Philosophy

Puggle Strength

Sleeping

Smurf Porn

Star Wars

Witsaman

Word Press

 

This post will probably just make the search terms even more erratic now that I’ve actually written these things, but it should keep things interesting if nothing else!

That is all!

Omnia In Numeris Sita Sunt (Everything Lies Veiled In Numbers)

     Today I leave my twenties behind and venture now into the new uncharted realm of the thirties!  Yes that’s right, today is my birthday and something of a milestone as I’m lead to understand.  I will miss the previous decade of my life, but this last year was probably the worst year of my life thus far.  I guess I can’t say twenty-nine was the worst year, there were still quite a few awesome things that took place during the last fifty-two weeks of my existence but it certainly hasn’t been light on what I like to call, “shitty circumstances.”

     But enough about that, I’m not here to just blather on about myself and fish for feigned birthday wishes, I’m here to write a blog!  Besides, the birth you should be celebrating today is the birth of the great Bob Saget, he at least has done a few things in his life worthy of adoration!  He’s one of the few celebrities with whom I share my birthday, you can also rejoice about the nativity of Bill Paxton, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Trent Reznor.  As a side note it is National Famine Memorial Day in Ireland, yay.

Bob Saget and I together through the magic of Photoshop! Thanks Jason Lemmon!

     Anywho I thought I would take this occasion to share a little bit about one of my occult interests, Numerology.  As you may or may not know, Numerology is the “study” of numbers, their equivalencies, their meanings, and their supposed effects on individuals and their surroundings.  There are several lengthy operations that can be deciphered and worked out using a person’s name and the corresponding numbers for the letters.  Recently I worked through the entire scope of my personal numbers and even worked out a chart using an equation known as “the divine triangle” which supposedly determines which numbers will have the most influence over you during specific years of your life all the way up eighty! 

     Those of you who know me might think this is an odd pastime for me, considering I hate math with an undying passion.  In fact I’m fairly convinced I suffer from Dyscalculia.  All that aside however, the operations of Numerology consist of simple addition and reduction steps, though the major operations consist of many such steps.  Also I have a calculator that does all the work for me.  Regardless, I’m not going to go into the full depth of Numerology and the various philosophies behind it, instead I just want to share one of the basic and most simple operations, finding and deciphering your personal Birth Number.

     My study of Numerology mainly comes from the works of Richard Cavendish, the obscure if not tireless occult researcher and historian, and Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker self proclaimed experts in Numerology specifically.  According to these sources the Birth Number or Life Lesson Number as it is sometimes referred to, is an indication of the stamp which the mysterious forces of the universe impressed upon your character and destiny at the moment when you were born.  The Birth Number is related to lessons you must learn in this lifetime and is significant in your choice of careers.  The Life Lesson Number is not the most important bit of information in the grand scheme of Numerology but it is the easiest to determine without any other knowledge of the study.

     Numerology is mainly concerned with the single digits, the numbers 1 – 9.  Other numbers have significance, such as 11 and 22, but to keep it simple we’ll just worry about the single digits for now.  The steps to discovering your birth number are simple, break down the numbers of your birth date into single digits, add them all together, and then break down that result into single digits reducing the answer until you reach the final single digit, which is your birth number.  Let’s use my birthday as an example:

5-17-1981

5+1+7+1+9+8+1=32

3+2=5

5=My Birth Number/Life Lesson Number!

    There you have it, easy as pie.  Now enters the various interpretations and ideas about what the individual numbers mean and how they affect us and the universe in various ways.  For this brief encounter with Numerology I will refer to the numerical definitions as interpreted by Javane and Bunker in their book Numerology and the Divine Triangle, because I like their style and I think they do a good job of reconciling many of the varying claims that are out there.  Under their interpretation a 5 as a Life Lesson Number means the following:

     5 – “Your keyword is Freedom.  If you have “free rein” you can accomplish wonders, but if you feel bound or limited, you lose your enthusiasm and accomplish little.  You would be a good explorer or Peace Corps volunteer, as you learn well by travel and experience.  You are a diligent student if interested in the subject, but you may fail in subjects for which you see no useful ends.  You should be eager for new experience, and shun monotony.  In your quest for knowledge, you will become interested in discovering answers in books and magazines.  An avid reader, a fluent talker, and a versatile doer, you are the witty conversationalist, and brighten any group by your mere presence.  You are here to learn and to experience the value of freedom, and should not tie yourself down too severely.  Your talents, once learned, prepare you for a literary career or a position in sales, and dealing with the public”. 

     As I said before the Life Lesson Number is just a small part of Numerology and some of the more in-depth processes are involved with individual names, separating vowels and consonants, and working various results of those equations together to find other numbers, all of which hold separate meanings and interpretations.  Whether or not you buy into the notion that numbers have some sort of mystical sway over us and the structure of the universe, it is an interesting subject to think about.  After all as much as it pains me to say it, math seems to be the stuff that has slowly unraveled the mysteries of reality through physics, with its quantum mechanics and string theories.  Physicists are always portrayed working out complex equations scrawled across blackboards, but the one thing that keeps these scientists ideas about the universe unproven, is a lack of specific values for the equations.  A series of single digits to replace the Xs and Ns in the equations of their theories, are what seem to be hidden from scientists.  They have been devoting quite a bit of time and effort to try and flush out those numerical equivalents.  Just something to ponder on.

     Below I have the definitions for the other Birth Numbers if any of you feel like doing some quick arithmetic to figure out your own numbers.  The results may surprise you, or you might think it’s completely off.  You can take this to heart and do a little more research on your own, or simply save this little tidbit as a handy party trick and conversation starter.  Do with this information as you will, either way I don’t really care, I just thought I’d share!

That is all!

Excerpt from the book Numerology and the Divine Trialngle by Javane and Bunker

                            

Javane/Bunker. Continued below.

 

Check out the rest of the book Numerology and the Divine Triangle by Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker