YOU BETTER BEHAVE YOURSELF OR ROBBIE “ROADHOUSE” RAMSES IS GONNA TAKE YOU OUTSIDE!
A quick-ish update about where you can get my stuff!
1. GALAXY OF THE DAMNED
I recently went about collecting the first (and so far only) volume of my webcomic GALAXY OF THE DAMNED, and it is now available on Kindle for $2.99.
Some notes: It may not have zoom capabilities depending on your Kindle device. However, it does seem to zoom fine on the Kindle app (and if anybody is having technical issues, PLEASE let me know here or at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can seek a fix).
Currently, Kindle is the only format it is in, but I will (eventually) look into ComiXology, although I’m not super impressed with their android/kindle app (my experience with the iOS app is limited, but people have told me it works much better, which is no surprise to me). But hey, why cut myself off from another avenue.
Mostly, I’m just trying this stuff out to see how it all works and know what my options are when I have future comics I want to put out there for handheld devices. I figured GotD is all done and ready-to-use, so what the hey. The comic will remain available in its original webcomic form at galaxyofthedamned.com for the moment, but I might take it down sooner rather than later. I don’t really know right now.
2. ATOMIC ELBOW ISSUE 7
I wrote an essay about Wrestling Superstar Virgil! You can read it in good guy Robert Newsome’s wrestling fanzine THE ATOMIC ELBOW ISSUE 7.
It’s print-only, with limited copies remaining. It’s a great zine that I’ve wanted to contribute to from the very moment I read the first issue. So I’m feeling pretty damn good about getting in there. Like wrestling? Like good, funny, thoughtful writing? Like cool comics and illustrations? Like Dusty Rhodes? Then what the hell are you waiting for, brother?
My pulp crime novella is currently still available on Kindle, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble as an e-book. Pick it up while you can, because I’m not sure how much longer it will be available.
4. This blog
I do believe that’s all the things to date. Meanwhile, I’ve cooled off on the Van Dammage Papers at the moment, but I’ll be back with some new one soon. For one thing, I sat down and watched The Quest, which is a really stupid movie about James Bond selling JCVD into kickboxing slavery, and it features James Remar, who I love because I can’t tell if he’s one of the best actors I’ve ever seen or one of the worst.
I’m also occasionally updating with new sketches and such. I came to the realization some weeks back that while my undisclosed day job is exhausting and I feel like I have less and less time to work on all of this stuff, it’s really important that I make the time to do it all, because this is the stuff that matters. As silly as it might sound, I feel it’s important that I explore really shitty Van Damme movies, that I draw fan art of Robocop teaming up with Sting, that I try to get back to making more comics and simply writing more of the shit that I am best at.
So thanks for reading my blog, buying my stuff, sharing my art, and being all around cool people, whoever you are.
Yours in Macho Madness,
“What’s in the bag????”
Like Brad Pitt in the climax of Seven, I howled those words while sitting in the passenger seat of the Lady’s Honda. It is with the same anticipation that I sit down to write this.
Let’s go back. We’ll go back to where it starts, as I stand in line at the local Dollar Tree with a stack of comic book “value packs” in hand (we’ll be visiting those in later posts). I gaze out at the store at the various racks near the registers. The one nearest is loaded with various trading cards and stickers, most of them outdated (which sometimes makes them awesome, like when I picked up some 1989 Donruss baseball cards, packs filled with Will Clarks and Ricky Hendersons), which at this point have little of interest aside from Dinosaur King cards (dude, a card game devoted to making dinosaurs fight? If I were still 9 and had friends that were into that thing I’d be all over that; hell, I will occasionally buy them just to have cool spinosaurus bookmarks). But I look further down the row and that’s when my eyes meet with the mystery. There they sit, in neat little rows: brown paper bags emblazoned with “GRAB BAG” and announcing on their fronts, “A Surprise for a BOY.”
I’m cheap. This is something you will learn about me, despite how much of a snob I may seem to be. I love a good deal, even if that good deal isn’t so good in the end. I could make an off-color remark about how it’s from my Hebrew blood, but in reality it’s because I’ve spent most of my adult life dirt poor. But I like treating myself, perhaps a little too much.
But they grab me, these “grab bags.” At just a dollar apiece, I can’t help but wonder what may lie within their brown paper wombs. What surprise might I, a BOY, find inside? Could it be baseball cards? A Batman hand towel? Plastic ninja stars? Cheaply made luchadores? For only a dollar, I could learn the secrets of the ominous GRAB BAG!
At this point the bag is krackling with mysterious Kirby energy for me. I step out of line and pick up the first one on the rack, front and center, and toss it on the conveyer belt with my sure-to-be-disappointing polybags of 90s Superman and 80s Justice Machine comics.
When I get back home, the Lady begs me to open the mysterious bag. She knows I plan to write about it, so she apologizes for her impatience, but I can’t blame her. The BAG has me in its MYSTERO-GRIP! I must discover its contents! For the sake of all mankind!
Funnily enough, the bag is only “sealed” with three measly strips of scotch tape. A poor seal for a man such as I (and I can only imagine the animalistic little boys that I’m sure run around the store on any other day easily busting this open and throwing their unearned prizes all over the shop).
But I open it. I peer in. What do I find? It’s hard to tell at first. I see an open blister card…
I reach in and find these items:
First, a whoopee cushion. Not too bad, right? I’m a jokester like any good manchild, so this could be of use, especially in the office. But then, upon closer inspection, I discover…
A HOLE IN THE WHOOPEE CUSHION.
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Okay, okay, okay… perhaps this first prize is about as bad as we all imagined getting coal in our stockings would be when we were kids. I’m sure Prize #2 will be better.
Second item: a plastic periscope. Ripped from its package, but still in one piece and functional. I’m sure I’d at least have gotten a good afternoon of fun out of this when I was kid, before dropping it on the cement in our back yard and shattering it, cheap plastic strewn about the patio.
And it works, to some extent. It’s not particularly great (as you can see from the view through the scope, it’s a little distorted and limited in its scale, barely giving a full view of the official Mustachiosaurus Mascot, Prof. Redford von Puggins). But hey, it’s at least not broken.
And what else? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Honestly, I did end up with two $1 dollar items for the price of one, but both items were unpackaged, and furthermore, one of those two items was of no use since IT HAD A HOLE IN IT.
Now I wonder if all the “mysterious” grab bags at Dollar Tree are like this. I know, I know, what should I expect from a dollar store? Well, you know, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect toys that aren’t ruined already. Call me crazy!
Imagine if you’re a kid. Imagine you’re at the Dollar Tree with your mom, and this is your special treat for being a good boy or girl. And then you get a useless whoopee cushion. This is a crime against not just childhood, but THE ART OF COMEDY.
Alright. That’s all I got. I am going to fight the urge to go back to the store and buy ALL of the grab bags to see if they all suck. And you know, I’ll be okay, because ONE, I’ve got plenty of comic book “value packs” to sort through (for entertainment purposes, and I don’t mean enjoying some good comics), and TWO, because, well, it’s a fucking dollar store. What should I expect?
Keep on mustachin’
Life, the Universe, and L.A. Streetfighting
Now, the Lady and I have been discussing making a big move out of state. We’re both growing tired of humdrum Arizona. Surprisingly, we’ve been thinking a lot about Los Angeles. I know, right? Me in L.A.? But I promise you, this ain’t a hoax or an imaginary tale right here. This is what we’re looking to do (unless we decide we’d rather live boring, normal lives somewhere more vanilla, like Phoenix). Being the big smart guy that I am, I decided that maybe I could do some research on the city of L.A. through one of its chief exports, film. Instead of sitting down with, say, L.A. Story (which a friend of ours swears is a great representation of life in Los Angeleez), I found myself sitting down with a relatively obscure flick called L.A. Streetfighters, from ACTION BROTHERS PRODUCTIONS. Frankly, you could just put ACTION BROTHERS on the cover for any movie and I’ll probably buy it. I like the mental image of a pair of kung-fuing Italian plumbers.
There’s plenty of kung-fuing going on in L.A. Streetfighters, and while the two main dudes aren’t brothers, at least one of them has a mustache. That’s gotta count for something.
If there’s one thing I can take away from this movie, it’s that I might not want to raise my children in the public schools of Los Angeles. Our heroes, Young and Tony, attend a high school where you’d be hard pressed to find a student under the age of 30. You know when kids make their own movies, and you have that funny, cute thing where a 12-year-old is dressed up in an ill-fitting suit, pretending to be some middle-aged detective? L.A. Streetfighters is like the opposite of that.
I’m going to have to start training my kids in kung-fu straight out of the womb if I have any hope of them surviving high school. I suppose I should also expect them to be stuck in high school and living with me well into their adult years. Says a lot about public education in California, I guess.
There are plenty of things I’d love to tell you about the action (both with the chicks and in the titular street fighting), but I spent 90% of the time not sure what was going on. I think there might have been a part where Tony makes out with his girl, but frankly you’d have an easier time following the action in a scrambled porno on cable than you would figuring out what’s what in this movie. Why is that? Because the vast majority of the action takes place in pitch darkness. It’s as though the people responsible for the film didn’t want to run the risk of the audience realizing the movie sucks.
There’s a scene when our heroes (and their friends) are leaving a party (where they’ve been working security) and encounter a gang of thugs (led by a pot-bellied, blonde version of Gallagher in a half-shirt). The thugs bust out their baseball bats and start doing… well, something. I think they were hitting Young’s car with their bats, but for all I know they could’ve been putting on an impromptu breakdancing performance or giving an elephant a prostate exam. Fucked if I know.
At least I can tell you that you’ll know when a fight is starting, because nearly all of the fights start like the beginning of the video for Beat It, and there’s a pretty kickin’ tune that starts up each time.
But this movie isn’t just about 30-year-old teenagers fighting with wooden sticks in the streets of Los Angeles. It’s also about the human condition. See, life isn’t easy for the kids in Young and Tony’s group. Early in the movie we witness a birthday party (in what appears to be an abandoned building) for one of their friends, who breaks down in front of his macho brothers and admits that he’s never had a birthday cake before. Meanwhile, Young has his own problems living with his divorced mother. In a page straight out of the Hasselhoff family handbook, Tony meets Young’s mom when she arrives home intoxicated and accompanied by some random oily bohunk. As Young says to Tony later in his most Wiseau-esque delivery, “Mom’s always drunk. I don’t know what to do with her.”
In the urban jungle of L.A., it’s either kung-fu or be kung-fued. When you’re not getting whacked repeatedly in the face with a wooden sword, your car is getting pissed on by fat, shirtless latino gangbangers. Or you’re being called racial slurs by women that might or might not be actual prostitutes. Or you’re getting pushed around at school by grown men whose shirts are tailored by the same guy Lando Calrissian goes to. Just because you’re still living with your parents and have a mullet or a mustache.
Young wants to be free, man. He wants to live his life, and it’s been tough since he came to America. Tony wants to live the American dream. But it’s hard out there when greasy, stereotypical Italian drug dealers are after you because you stole their briefcase filled with money while they were too busy sexing up small-breasted chicks in bathtubs to notice. And then they hire Karate Champion Bill “Superfoot” Wallace to kick your ass (along with some ninja dude who has a mustache identical to yours and a penchant for only wearing one sleeve).
Clearly, the Action Brothers have brought us the Great American Novel as kung-fu cinema.
In this movie, you will see:
- 2 Asian dudes with mustaches
- A gang of thugs featuring a guy with a giant flute
- A toga party
- Hookers (and some women that might or might not also be hookers)
- Poor fashion decisions
- Drug use
- Simulated underage drinking
- 1 set of naked breasts
- Lots of bad dancing
- 1 billboard for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, the only film I can think of right now that’s less coherent than L.A. Streetfighters
As for how this has informed me on the city of Los Angeles, I have to say it has only made me more intent on moving there. I’m already placing a bulk order on woodenfightingstickshop.com.
Final word: See it, but only if your brain has been pumped full of a decent mix of legal and illegal substances.