The GIF That Keeps On Giving

I love a good animated GIF.  I’ve been stockpiling links to GIFs that I’ve seen across the web so that I can share them in a blog post such as this.  In fact I was struggling with how to title this blog, titles like “GIF Wrapping” and “The GIF Of Gab” came to mind.  Then I thought about “Don’t Look A GIF Horse In The Mouth” or “GIF Of The Magi” Where I would rank the GIFs on a scale of frankincense, myrrh, and gold.  Ultimately I thought that would take too much time, so I just posted them without flourish.  I wish I knew the procedures to make my own GIFs because I’ve had a few ideas recently, but alas I’m forced to simply admire other people’s handy work as they post them in comments and forum discussions.  I’ve come across quite a few that make me chuckle with their hypnotically repetitive animations of absurdity but we’ll start with the few gems seen below!  Enjoy, and put them to good use!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Funny Pages: Mommy, Why Is Santa Claus Drunk?

Ah, 1985 a veritable utopia for comic book readers.  Continuing my series of comic book advertisements I present you with this mid issue subscription form featuring the now wildly popular Iron Man, portraying good ol’ Saint Nick.  When looking at this ad several things come to mind.  Regardless of the laughable and slightly disturbing idea of Tony Stark sneaking into your house at night with “toys” strapped to his back, you should also take a moment to examine the other information on this form.  First of all there is the forty-two cent price point which seems amazing these days.  I hate to sound like an old man, but back when I was a kid you could buy some comics without first having to print off a spreadsheet of your budget proposals.  I do understand however, the quality of the printing and content has really increased since those days and the number of titles has significantly decreased since than as well.  Which brings me to my second point, look at that lineup of options at the bottom of the page; possibly the best selection of titles Marvel ever had to offer.  There are of course regulars like Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man but also now defunct books like Dr. Strange, ROM, Alpha Flight, and Kull.  Plus to top it all off there are some licensed gems like G.I. Joe, Dr. Who, Star Wars, Conan, and the Micronauts!  There is just little to no modern equivalent for such books among the big comic companies.  Instead they have allowed properties like Star Wars and G.I. Joe to fall into the hands of the indy publishers, who have without a doubt far outshone such books of the past.  This advertisement however is a remnant of a comic book empire at its prime!  Think of all those regular titles coming from a single source, and the creative influence they held over the entire industry, all the while still being able to playfully poke fun at themselves and their characters as this ad exemplifies.  Marvel as well as DC are obviously still a huge presence in the comic book industry but it’s not quite the same, comic books have transcended themselves and Marvel and DC have dug in and become somewhat self-involved.  It’s nice to occasionally look back and see what things were like.

That is all!

What Is It About The Color Blue?

Recently I’ve received hundreds, possibly even thousands, of emails from readers asking me to write a blog specifying my top 5 favorite blue (the color, not the state of mind) characters from television, film, and popular culture.  This got me thinking, and as I pondered the question I quickly came up with a dozen or so blue individuals off the top of my head from Huckleberry Hound to those blue aliens with the white hair and antennae from Star Trek.  What is it about the color blue that makes it such a prominent shade?  For the complete breakdown of Blue and its various properties refer to this Wikipedia page!

And now, because you demanded it, I give you my Top 5 Blue Characters!

#5 – The Tardis

 

Any Dr. Who fans out there?  The Tardis is an incredibly complex and difficult to understand device.  Capable of traveling across all of time and space, and even occasionally punch its way through to different universes, this home/transport of the mysterious Time Lord known only as The Doctor is under the guise of a big blue British police phone box.  The Tardis is often a welcome sight to the Doctor’s companions.   This strange machine regularly disappears and reappears just as they find themselves in a jam.  Though an inanimate object the Tardis is somewhat conscious and self aware and is just another of the strange characters that crop up in the show, especially in the recent seasons where the Tardis was briefly granted a human form.  I’m not a huge Dr. Who expert but I know enough about the lore to count the Tardis among my top 5 favorite blue beings.

#4 – The Smurfs

 

The Smurfs.  These guys pretty much wrote the book on being blue.  I’ve previously discussed my enjoyment of the Smurfs in other posts, such as my fairly recent Friday Funny Pages which featured the little blue creatures.  This is not to say that I endorse, at all, that recent Smurf abomination which they dared call a “movie.”  The only Smurfs I recognize as legit are those that appear in print or cartoon format.  I don’t really need to go into much more detail about the Smurfs do I?  Either you know who the Smurfs are, or you’re some kind of asshole whom I’d rather not associate with.

 

#3- Deep Blue

 

I love robots!  Especially real robots.  Although Deep Blue is technically not a real “robot”, and is actually a powerful computer, it still was designed to interact with humans to some capacity, so to me was a robot.  Alas I digress.  Deep Blue in both name and appearance, this chess playing son of a bitch could really mate some checks!  The Deep Blue computer was made famous for defeating human chess champion Garry Kasparov back in 1997, which some claimed was the heralding of the robot destruction of mankind.  As we now know that was not the case (though we should remain vigilant and prepare the way for our eventual robotic overlords.)  A shining achievement of computing design Deep Blue was a stepping stone for IBM and lead the way to such creations as Watson, the robot that recently appeared on Jeopardy and defeated Ken Jennings.  Sadly Deep Blue was disassembled shortly after its notable victory, thus depriving Kasparov of a sorely wanted rematch.

#2 – Nightcrawler

 

Kurt Wagner.  Nightcrawler!  This German born X-Man is one of my favorite students of Professor Charles Xavier, and indeed one of my favorite Marvel super heroes of all time.  With the ability to leap around and climb walls well enough to keep up with the likes of Spider-Man, Nightcrawler is also granted the power to teleport from one spot to another thanks to his natural mutant talents.  What’s not to like?  Nightcrawler is a badass who’s also a nice guy.  After awhile you get tired of stoic faced anti-heroes and hard nosed leaders of men.  Occasionally you just want a super hero who can get the job done, who looks cool, and who has a smile on his face.  That’s Nightcrawler.  This was no easy choice for me because there are a shit ton of blue comic book characters, especially X-Men.  There’s Beast, Mystique, Archangel, half the morloks, and several others.  But when it comes to blue super heroes, Nightcrawler has my vote.  As an added bonus ol’ Nighty had a near perfect portrayal in the second X-Men movie, it’s always a relief for us comic book geeks to see our heroes done right on film.

#1 – R2-D2

 

R2-D2, the real hero of the Star Wars saga.  The unassuming little astromech droid with the blue detailing that went on to get involved in one of the most epic interstellar adventures of all time.   You shouldn’t really be surprised that my number one favorite blue character heralds from the Star Wars universe, and I had to choose him for number one due to the major role he plays in the movies.  There are few of our heroes from Star Wars who don’t owe R2-D2 their life.  Being that R2 is a walking toolbox he’s also handy to have around when it comes to repairing equipment, detecting lifeforms, parsing data streams, and picking locks.  R2-D2 has seen quite a bit of action and with the continuing success of the Clone Wars cartoon we are finally getting a good look at just how much action!  With the approaching release of the Star Wars movies on blu-ray there will be renewed interest in the adventures of R2-D2 and the rest of the gang from the galaxy far, far away.  And right about now I’m guessing that R2-D2 is pretty glad he doesn’t speak English, so that he can’t become the nexus of an, added dialogue, George Lucas tinkering, fan base controversy.  As of now R2-D2 remains the same as ever, though some other elements of his surroundings might get tweaked around him.

So there you have it!  Behold the power of BLUE!

That is all!

 

Friday Funny Pages: Mighty Marvel Meatloaf Marching Band

 

I don’t know about you, but I love old ads from classic comics.  Me and several of my friends consider ourselves connoisseurs of fine advertisement cheesiness!  For my money the best ads can be found among the pages of comic books heralding from the 1970’s and early 1980’s.  A plethora of goodies can be found in those decades, from dynamic video game adverts to epic promotional toy campaigns!  All of them more outlandish than the last.  If you think about it comic book ads have to be crazy and eye-catching or how else do you expect to distract a reader away from super powered heroes doing battle with brightly colored villains long enough to even glimpse at your product.  Perhaps the most effective are the advertisements that incorporate the heroes of the comic company into the ads, momentarily tricking the readers into thinking the ad is just the continuation of the issue they are reading.

Like the legendary Hostess Fruit Pie ads in Marvel comics.  You’re flipping along reading your X-Men comic when suddenly Captain America bursts onto the scene, or Dr. Strange appears out of thin air.  Suddenly things just got interesting!  What are they doing in this X-Men comic?  And wait, is that Dr. Doom?  What’s behind him in that crate?  What’s going on??  Wait, what??  Fruit pies?  Captain America is rescuing a stolen shipment of Fruit Pies in my X-Men story?  Oh wait, Ha ha!  This is an ad!  Got me again Marvel!

Well here’s something else along those lines, except here you turn the page to find Meatloaf rocking out hard, while at the same time voicing his concerns about the funding and support of the 1987 Special Olympics.  A typical Wednesday for him.  But seriously, look at that first panel, ol’ Meatloaf is really giving it his all, and how the hell is he holding that guitar?

And here’s another question:  What era was Meatloaf popular in?  He’s one of those guys who always seemed eternally old to me.  It was like he was popular at some distant time, but had moved on.  I don’t really know anyone who is a hardcore Meatloaf fan, and trust me I know a lot of people with many varying musical interests and stemming from various musical eras.  I guess it’s because he’s been an actor for so long too, and to me it seems like any musician who turns to acting has passed their musical prime and gone on to other things.  I don’t know, Meatloaf is weird.

That is all!

Friday Funny Pages: Phantom Limb Syndrome

. . . . but his leg simply vaporizes in the attempt!

 

So apparently I’m still catching up from that time warp I was caught up in last week because somehow Friday sneaked right past me!  Today is Monday, who knew?  Oh well here’s another Friday Funny Pages, better late then never right?

Today’s image comes from a Spider-Man comic the specifics of which I have totally forgotten.  What I do remember is that this kid was tied up in a chair and good ol’ Spidey was on his way to rescue him.  The little rascal however worked his restraints loose and tipped his chair over freeing himself but took a bad spill in the process.  Now by the looks of this panel it appears that the kid ripped his whole damned leg off, earlier when he was sitting in the chair he clearly had two limbs attached to his hips but here it seems one has just mysteriously vanished.

This is obviously just an awkwardly drawn image, and later on in the issue Danny has both his legs again, I just thought it was amusing that he takes a bad tumble, hurts his leg, and in the panel it appears that his leg is completely missing.  Maybe it’s just me, but I found it pretty funny.

What’s that you say?  You think I’ve had funnier panels?  Well that might be, but you can shut the hell up!  If you were nonplussed by this Friday (Monday) Funny Pages, well have no fear I have some upcoming goodies in store that are manifest hilarity!  I’ve gathered together some classic comic book ads that are sure to amuse even my harshest of critics!  It all starts next Friday with a (now) aged rocker, the special Olympics, and some familiar faces from the Mighty Marvel Marching Band!  So until then . . . .

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!