Scenes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer...and Stuff!
"Here's all you have to know about men and women; women are crazy, men are stupid, and the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid." ~George Carlin
It's complicated...because of Tara...
I. Owe. You. PAIN!
The Angel Dance.
My Way by Spike!
Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Police Constable Sara Poe!
A Muslim living in Iraq.
Build Your Own Super-Hero!
Bush Approval Rating Falls to 28%,
Lowest Level So Far, in Harris Poll
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
April 26, 2007
President Bush's approval rating slipped to new lows in the most recent Harris Interactive survey, but he's not alone: For the first time since the series began, all of the political figures and institutions included in the survey have negative performance ratings.
Of the 1,001 American adults polled online April 20-23, only 28% had a positive view of Mr. Bush's job performance, down from 32% in February and from a high of 88% in the aftermath of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The current rating is his weakest showing since his inauguration.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice garnered the approval of 45% of those surveyed, down from 46% in February, and approval of Defense Secretary Robert Gates slid to 29% in the latest poll, from 32% in February.
Among other individuals included in the poll, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) saw her approval rating fall to 30% in April from 38% in February, shortly after her swearing-in as the first female House speaker. Approval for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) slipped to 22%, from 23% in February but up from 19% a year ago.
Those polled gave Congress an approval rating of 27%, with the Democrats as a group pulling in 35% approval, compared with 22% for Republicans.
When asked which two issues the government should address first, 30% of poll respondents said the war and 13% said Iraq. Domestic concerns rounded out the top spots, with 15% of those polled mentioning health care and 10% pointing to the economy.
Here are full results of the poll: http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB117752895118782401.html
Pic from Rob Zombie's upcoming REMAKE of Halloween!
Marvel Comics; Golden Age facts you might NOT know!
Martin Goodman, in the late 1930s, was a publisher of pulp magazines, including Complete Western Book, Star Detective, Uncanny Stories, Ka-Zar, and Mystery Tales. He was, like most publishers in the 1930s, looking for a new trend in the public's buying habits; Goodman was particularly desperate because his pulps were not successful. In August 1938 he started [b]Marvel Science Stories[/b], as a way to make money off of the boom, in the late 1930s, in science fiction pulp magazines, such as the now-legendary Astounding Science Fiction.
Timely was originally known as the "Red Circle" group because of the logo that Goodman had put on his pulp magazines.
The Sub-Mariner was NOT originally a Timely Comics character but had been developed for and appeared in First Funnies' "Motion Picture Funnies Weekly," a promotional magazine designed to be given away at movie theatres.
Marvel Comics number one, (became Marvel Mystery Comics with issue number two.) not only brought the Sub-Mairner to Timely, but also introduced the Human Torch, Ka-Zar the Great (a holdover from Goodman's pulps), the Jungle Terror, and the Masked Raider and his horse Lightning, cover dated October 1939.
The very first super-hero crossover was between Bill Everett's Sub-Mairner and Carl Burgos' Human Torch in Marvel Mystery Comics #8-10, with the first two issues ending in cliffhangers.
More about the Sub-Mairner...he hasn't changed much since his first appearance, in being the only actual Marvel character that can be switched from hero to villian without his personaliy suffering. Namor has always walked the line between good and bad.
Timely was a predominate Jewish company with Goodman, Simon, Kirby (Jacob Kurtzberg) and Stan Lee (Stanley Lieber) so when the Nazi party began being used as villians the name Hitler was changed to Hiller. Another reason was because Martin Goodman feared legal action for using the name.
Many think that Marvel Boy was a product of the fifties but was actually created by Simon and Kirby in Daring Mystery Comics #6. The Hellcat, Patsy Walker, is also a Golden Age character, and so is the Black Widow, USA Comics #5.
Captain America first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 cover-dated March, 1941, but was actually created over half a year earlier.
Captain America was not the first patriotic superhero in comics. That was Irv Novick's The Shield, who appeared in Pep Comics, starting in November or December 1939 (Pep Comics #1 had a January 1940 cover date. The Shield had been followed that February by Louis Cazeneuze's the Eagle, in Fox's Science Comics #1, a book which also featured a character called "Dr. Doom").
Timely was threatened with a lawsuit; a central part of their claim was that Captain America's triangular shield made him look like the Shield, who had a triangular shield on the front of his costume. Goodman agreed to change the look of Cap's shield, something that Kirby, for one, was happy about (he'd always preferred the round shield as being both more effective and a better design.)
Stan Lee's first published work was in Captain America Comics #3.
Marvel has ALWAYS had very strong ties to New York and it's people. The Young Allies were Bucky, Toro, and a group of kids from New York City: Knuckles, Whitewash, Tubby, and Jeff. Joe Simon got the idea for the book's name from Boy Allies, a favorite childhood book of his, and Kirby drew on his own experience, recreating in a comic book his neighborhood gang. Young Allies was the first of comic's "kid gang" books. (See Boy Commandos, Newsboy Legion and Lev Gleason's Little Wise Guys.)
"Whitewash" was the name of Timely's first recurring African-American character.
Some fans complain nowadays about comics with variant covers. But in fall of 1941 saw Human Torch Comics #5 - it's SECOND #5. Human Torch Comics #5 (the first one) had appeared in early summer of 1941, and, apparently, Goodman/Simon decided that a book with the #5 on the cover should have five issues published, so a second Human Torch Comics #5 appeared in the early fall. However, the second #5 was significant for more than just the repeated number; it featured a 64-page battle between the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner, who (with his Atlantean army) was trying to destroy the surface world. This issue sold very well, and eventually became known as the Torch-Namor battle.
Cool story about the Lee/Kirby team...
***Towards the end of 1941 Simon and Kirby had done ten issues of Captain America and made him Timely's most popular book; it was selling on a level only Superman and Batman could touch. Simon and Kirby were not, however, pleased with Timely. Both Simon and Kirby were acting as editors and art directors, and between those jobs and their work - not only for Timely, but for other companies (Kirby and Simon were continuing to work on Blue Bolt, for one) - their schedules were quite busy - Kirby was doing up to nine pages a day. Worse still, from their point of view, they were getting relatively little money, despite the popularity of Captain America Comics.
Then Morris Coyne, Timely's accountant, let Simon & Kirby know that, despite their contract with Goodman - Simon getting 15% of profits from Cap and kirby getting 10% - they still weren't getting their proper share, and that Goodman had been misleading them. (Coyne's reason for telling Simon and Kirby this was simple: he had holdings in the MLJ line of comics, and most likely thought that, if Simon & Kirby left Timely, they'd go to MLJ - whose publisher, John Goldwater, had once already tried to lure the pair away from Timely, during the meeting over the shape of Captain America's shield)
Naturally, Simon and Kirby were unhappy about this. They immediately got in touch with Jack Liebowitz, the publisher of National Comics. Liebowitz jumped at the chance to employ the pair, and he offered to double their salaries, to $500 a week. (To put this in prospective, the median salary, in 1941, was $2000 a year) Simon & Kirby agreed, continuing their work for Timely during the day while secretly doing pages for National at night.
Stan Lee grew suspicious and started investigating, quizzing Simon & Kirby and finally tailing them to the hotel where they worked on their pages for National. He grilled them on what they were doing, and after they swore him to secrecy they told him about their impending move to National.
Lee went to his uncle, Martin Goodman, and told him about Simon & Kirby's imminent departure. Goodman confronted the pair, and when they confessed, he fired them. We can only wonder how comics would have turned out had Goodman paid Simon and Kirby as they deserved; while we would never have seen their Guardian, the Sandman, the Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos, and the other characters they did for National and other companies, in all likelihood they would have produced work of equal or higher value for Timely.
With the departure of Simon and Kirby Timely was left without an Editor-in-Chief and an Art Director. Stan Lee took over both positions, completing his move from the bottom of the company, as gopher, to almost the top in less than a year's time.***
In Krazy Komics #12 the entire Timely staff drew themselves into one story, which was not the first time that artists at Timely had placed themselves in a comic; that had taken place in an early issue of Marvel Mystery, where Bill Everett and Carl Burgos had appeared and argued the merits of the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. And in June, 1942, in Marvel Mystery Comics #34 (cover dated August 1942), Everett, Burgos, Martin Goodman, and the Funnies, Incorporated office appeared in a story and battled Hitler. So the practice Marvel adopted during the 1960s, of sometimes placing their staff into the stories themselves, actually dates back much farther than that.
At the beginning of 1943, in Captain America Comics #33, Captain America and Bucky announced, on the Sentinels of Liberty club page, that the war's metal shortage was such that Timely would no longer be giving away any more of the Captain America badges which new members of the Sentinels of Liberty received. Bucky suggested that the club members use their dimes to buy war savings stamps, instead. Timely then announced that for every dime their readers sent to the War Department, Timely would also send a dime. Although there's no way of knowing how much Timely's offer of matched contributions actually raised for the war effort, it was still a patriotic, and unprecedented, move.
During the Golden Age, Timely did something today's publishers seem reluctant to do. They published books geered directly toward teen-age girls with Miss Fury (By Tarpe Mills, one of the rare female talents of the Golden Age.) the Blonde Phantom, Tessie the Typist, Namora, Sun Girl, Venus and Miss America Magazine with Patsy Walker, Millie the Model, and Nellie the Nurse. These comics were largely the creation of Stan Lee who, even then, sought to do exciting and different things in the field.
Captain America's popularity and success led to Marvel's first film; in 1944 Republic Pictures, purveyors of fine serials, released Captain America, which although bearing relatively little resemblance to the comic book character (no shield, a female assistant, and Steve Rogers being a District Attorney rather than a soldier) was still a box office success.
During World War II there was a shortage of paper for all publishers, due to the war-time paper rationing, but Goodman's attorney, Jerry Perles, somehow managed to persuade the War Office that Timely needed as much paper during the war as it had needed before the war.
Timely Comics did NOT become Marvel Comics. They changed their name to Atlas Comics, which eventually became Marvel as we know it today.
A guy at school asked me out t'other day. I told him had a boyfriend named Jim "The Dungeon Master" Clark.
"The Dungeon Master?" He asked, slightly wierded out.
"It's a sex thing." I said, rolling my eyes then walking away.
Today before World History he came up to me and asked, with a twisted smile on his face, "So, Sara, what kind of things do you and the Dungeon Master do?"
He just asked this right out of the blue. Like it was okay for him to ask a girl he hardly knows about her sex life. Now, I'm very forward and open online, but in the real world I am ANYTHING but! I'm quiet and very reserved and rarely talk to anyone I don't know.
In the community I go all out because everybody knows everybody and it's a BIG extended family. But at school, ESPECIALLY at school, I try my best not to associate to much with anyone except my girls. (This caused me problems throughout junior high and high school because I was not only considered the fReAk of Quincy, but the STUCK-UP fReAk of Quincy.)
So after he asked me this, I walked away without saying a word. No dirty looks or anything. Minutes later I saw Lora and told her about it. She didn't get upset or anything, just, "That's why we're lesbians, right."
But when I told Emily she had a canipsion fit.
"Let's go kick his ass!" She said.
To which I replied, "Sweety, we're Charlie Brown and his ass is the football. We couldn't kick it if we had a running start."
"Well, let's do something else. You know things. Let's do something mean and cruel so he learns his lesson."
Her determination to defend me was enough to bring a smile to my face and make the whole thing seem trivial.
You all know what happened to my moped and how I've been forced to ride a bicycle since, right? Well, Lora went into the storage shed over the weekend and dug out a couple more old bikes and fixed them up so we three could go riding.
Good idea, no?
See, my step-dad bought a new car recently and gave his little red penis shaped one to Lora. Lora, in turn, gave her car to Emily. They both can and DO drive now. I peddle. :(
So after Lora finished getting my bike all greased up I jumped on and told her I was taking it for a test spin. Emily offered to come but my TRUE intentions excluded her being with me.
After nearly an hour of peddling my ass off, I rode into Walmart's parking lot. I was tempted to drop my bike and leave it laying on the ground, but locked it up in the proper place instead. I then pulled out my step-dad's credit card, which I had pilfered whilst Lora played grease monkey, went inside and bought the $4,800 moped I've been wanting for MONTHS.
I had them take it out back and gas it up then I rode it home. No one was happy with me when I got there.
I totally thought I was justified in my actions. Lora and Emily both could get in their cars and GO whenever they wanted. I, however, was regulated to huffing and puffing and sweating my butt off on a damn bicycle.
After a long lecture by my step-dad things calmed down and I got to keep my moped. Punishing the cRaZy girl isn't usually something that's done here.
So now I can ride and ride and riiiiiiide! I did it for one day and it's rained every since.
Last thing; Emily didn't carry thru with her search for an Internet girlfriend, but I've decided that maybe it's time for me to get one again. :) More about that next post!
Here is something very special and COOL my friend and comics GREAT Michael Avon Oeming gave me. It's an UNEDITED scene from the book he and Brian Bendis put out called Powers! I LOVE this!
I was going to downsize it but it's SO beautiful this way! Thankx, Mike!
Witch School Opens in Midwestern Town
City Residents Petitioned and Prayed to Keep it Away
By DURRELL DAWSON, ABCNews.com
(June 30) - In the "Harry Potter" series, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry sits in a mystical Scotland location, shrouded by magic that hides it from unknowing humans.
Starting Saturday, in the unlikeliest of places, a real witch school opens its doors to the public in a place known as the Sweet Corn Capital of the World.
After almost five years of existence on the Internet, Witch School is expected to operate under normal business hours in the town of Hoopeston, Ill., about 100 miles south of Chicago.
The school is dedicated to educating the public in Wicca, a neo-Pagan religion that incorporates nature and magic into its theology. Until now the school has existed almost entirely on the Internet.
Ed Hubbard, the school's CEO and director, was lured to Hoopeston by what have been considered to be some of the lowest real estate prices in the country.
The town is known primarily for its annual Sweet Corn Festival; its high school mascot known as the Cornjerker; and the National Sweetheart Pageant, which has produced eight Miss America winners.
The town could soon be known as a Pagan colony, after Witch School starts letting visitors utilize its ritual space, view the studio where it produces videos for the Internet, and peruse its library of religious, metaphysical and historical texts.
It's a humble beginning, Hubbard says. The school is adorned with a "Witch School" sign and has maintained a quiet presence since moving to Hoopeston in 2003. He says that with an estimated 30 new students to 50 new students registering on the Web site every day, the "cyberministry" is rapidly growing.
The school has roughly 120,000 active students who enroll in Witch School's Internet courses, which range from Druid and Celtic history to crystal and gem magic, Hubbard says. Students then take at least one test a month to stay active and can eventually become an accredited member of the clergy.
"We're really getting to be a functional community," Hubbard said of the increasing presence of Witch School online. The school is also increasing its visibility in Hoopeston.
When Hubbard first announced plans to house Witch School in Hoopeston, population 6,000, it caused an uproar among some residents, who feared the school would bring notoriety to the central Illinois town.
In 2003 as he finalized plans to move from Chicago to Hoopeston, residents of the town and its surrounding areas mobilized, signing petitions in opposition to the school and lobbying the City Council to try to stop it.
"We did what we felt was our place to do at the time," said Pastor Steve Nelson of Hoopeston's First Baptist Church. He was one of several pastors who had held prayer meetings outside of Witch School's property.
Nelson says the people of Hoopeston are all too often reminded of the school's presence, because it occupies a former brick horse stable and it is in the middle of town near the Hoopeston Civic Center.
Still, he says he has come to accept the school as a permanent fixture and moved on, even though he doesn't approve of Wiccan beliefs.
"I just disagree with their anti-God approach and feel it's not good for our community," he said. "When given the opportunity, I would speak against it."
Witch School isn't the only Wicca-friendly business that has been lured to Hoopeston by low real estate prices.
There is a Wiccan-owned bookstore, and Catherine Novak moved her crafts and herbs shop from Virginia Beach, Va., to Hoopeston to cut back on expenses and expand Internet sales.
Novak describes her business, Beads and Botanicals, as a combination of New Age and hippie. She says that in the six months it has been open, her business in Hoopeston has suffered from a perceived connection to Witch School and Wicca.
"A lot of people in this area are nervous about new things," she said.
Novak says some of the locals balked when she offered a newsletter about herbs and jewelry-making, and others have been taken aback by the voodoo dolls she sells. She emphasizes that she also sells Christian postcards.
"I don't see any reason to promote any religion over anything else," she said. Novak says she isn't "pounding the pavement for Wicca" and considers herself pagan, a broader term that could encompass several religions, including Wicca.
A Growing Religion
According to the American Religious Identification Survey, there were approximately 134,000 Americans claiming Wicca as their religion in 2001 -- up from 8,000 people in 1990.
"It's still a very small group, but it is growing," said Ariela Keysar, co-author of the book "Religion in a Free Market."
Keysar, an associate research professor at Trinity College's Public Policy and Law Program, worked on the study, which is one of the broadest surveys on religion in the United States.
Part of this growth could be attributed to the prevalence of Wiccan Web sites and portrayals of witchcraft in Hollywood movies that have been "less than negative," Hubbard said.
As for his students, he says they come from everywhere: South Africa and Croatia to Australia and Uruguay via the Internet. Witch School is not alone online.
Like Witch School, the Cherry Hill Seminary in Vermont offers pagan-related classes on the Internet. However, Kirk White, the school's president, says there are a few differences in its education.
"It poses a number of unique challenges when you're talking about one experiential-based thing like religion," he said.
The Cherry Hill Seminary is a three-year program that requires an on-campus residency to include a more hands-on approach. Still, White says he respects what the Witch School does.
Hubbard, the Witch School's director, considers his decision to move the institution to Hoopeston as an experiment in religious tolerance. Most residents of Hoopeston are at least neutral toward Wicca and Witch School, he says.
When Witch School finally opens its doors to the public on July 1, Hubbard says he won't expect a flood of visitors, though he feels it will be a step toward acceptance as Wiccans in Hoopeston.
"Three years ago the question was did we have a right to be here," he said. "Now it's can we be successful."
"Sir, I'm just a little boy in drag tryin' to sell cookies." ~The Oblongs
So, my comp has been messed up lately and I've been unable to sign into blogger. I switched over to Firefox and now I can blog again.
I don't have much to say right now but I'm working on a new blog post so expect something tomorrow.
From the Dark and Twisted Mind of Warren Ellis!
Turn this in to your nearest comics shop.
Your Source For Gay Comics and Characters!
My favorite lesbian comic book creator!
Watch TV shows online!
For GIRLS who love comics!
**War on Terror looks like a fraud**
Contrary to the "patriots" who try to use the deaths of our soldiers in Afghanistan to stifle debate on Canada's involvement in the War on Terror, I would say that as new evidence presents itself, we would indeed be cowards to ignore it simply because we've lost troops in the field and are therefore blindly committed to the mission.
And new evidence is piling up around us, arguably strong enough to declare the whole War on Terror an undeniable fraud.
Virtually ignored by mainstream media, the Americans showed their hand this year with the new Iraqi oil law, now making its way through Iraq's parliament.
The law -- which tens of thousands of Iraqis marched peacefully against on Monday when they called for the immediate expulsion of U.S. forces -- would transfer control of one of the largest oil reserves on the planet from Baghdad to Big Oil, delivering "the prize" at last that Vice-President Dick Cheney famously talked about in 1999 when he was CEO of Halliburton.
"The key point of the law," wrote Mother Jones' Washington correspondent James Ridgeway on March 1, "is that Iraq's immense oil wealth (115 billion barrels of proven reserves, third in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iran) will be under the iron rule of a fuzzy 'Federal Oil and Gas Council' boasting 'a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq.' That is, nothing less than predominantly U.S. Big Oil executives.
"The law represents no less than institutionalized raping and pillaging of Iraq's oil wealth. It represents the death knell of nationalized Iraqi resources, now replaced by production sharing agreements, which translate into savage privatization and monster profit rates of up to 75% for (basically U.S.) Big Oil. Sixty-five of Iraq's roughly 80 oilfields already known will be offered for Big Oil to exploit."
While the U.S. argues that the oil deal will give Iraqis their shot at "freedom and stability," the International Committee of the Red Cross reported this week that millions of Iraqis are in a "disastrous" situation that continues to deteriorate, with "mothers appealing for someone to pick up the bodies littering the street so their children will be spared the horror of looking at them on their way to school."
Four years after the invasion, it's becoming pretty clear that Iraq has been "pacified" solely for the purpose of economic aggression. Humanitarian considerations are moot. The awful plight of Iraq's one million Christians, who have no place in the new Iraq, underscores this ugly truth.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, has given the U.S. a strategic military beachhead in Central Asia (which "American primacy" advocates called for in the '90s) and it was quietly reported in November that plans are being accelerated for a $3.3-billion natural gas pipeline "to help Afghanistan become an energy bridge in the region."
With many Americans (including academics and former top U.S. government officials) now questioning even the physical facts of 9/11 and seriously disputing the "militant Islam" spin, with the media more brain-dead than it's been in our lifetimes, now is not the time for jingoism and blind faith in the likes of Cheney, George W. Bush and Robert Gates.
Our young men are worth more than that -- aren't they, Mr. Harper?