23.7.14

The Hundred Ninety-Seventh Greatest Panel in the History of Comics


Not exactly a true mindbender, but for a non-spirit comic in 1943, this is pretty great.

16.7.14

The Hundred Ninety-Sixth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

(click to bigify!)
I'm a little confused here - was 'gremlin' not a well-known turn in 1943? Isn't this basically the perfect depiction of what a gremlin is/does?

Or did they throw 'saboteur' in there for the war connection?

11.7.14

Adventures in Fake Journalism: Seven Psychopaths

Late in wonderful film Seven Psychopaths, there's a fake newspaper - so let's take a look at it!

Actor Sought in Fifth 'Jack of Diamonds' Slaying
By James Ulberg
Staff Writer

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, CA - Authorities are searching for Billy Bickle, 39, as the primary suspect in the "Jack of Diamonds" killings that have plagued the Los Angeles Area in the past ten days.

9.7.14

The Hundred Ninety-Fifth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics


He was wearing a rubber mask on top of his glasses.

That's incredible.

8.7.14

Also, the JSA!

Remember when I was going on and on about what a Hypocrite Batman was for killing all those Man-Bats? Well it turns out that the Justice League wanted to get in on that action, massacring all of the bio-borgs they could in the movie JLA: War!

In order, that's Superman slicing people to death with eyebeams, Green Lantern shooting them with imaginary bullets, and, of course, Batman about to detonate the skull of a bio-borg.

And before you jump in and say 'but bio-borgs aren't human, it doesn't matter if someone kills them', remember that the JLA is made up of an alien, a god, a magic man, two powered humans, one rich human, and a human working for an intergalactic police organization. Are they really only about preserving Earthbound human life?

Let's not forget that one of the JLA members is a cyborg, his body used as raw building material to create a super-soldier of unimaginable power - which (spoiler alert) is the same origin as Darkseid's bio-borgs.

Does this mean it's peachy-keen to kill Cyborg, and no one should feel bad about doing so?

What is your morality, JLA, and why didn't helping out the Bio-Borgs even occur to you for one second? Do you think they like working for Darkseid? No one does. He's a terrible boss.

None of this would bother me in the least if five seconds later all of you didn't get so wishy-washy about killing Doctors Light and Psycho.

1.7.14

Animated Batman... Hypocrite?

While watching Son of Batman, I noted something strange. While the story followed the only broadest outline of Grant Morrison's intro to Damien (Batman Jr.) Wayne, the storytellers were careful to include Bruce's famous harping about how it's important not to kill anyone, ever. This would be less significant if Batman and his friends didn't kill a whole lot of people over the course of the story.

Let's take a look at Batman's reaction to being cornered by a group of Man-Bats who - and this is important to note - are just regular people (in this case assassins from the League of Shadows) given an entirely reversible serum that has temporarily transformed them into monsters. Here's Batman's play-



That's right - he blew them up with a terrifying powerful explosive, then crushed them under tons of steel and other debris.

27.6.14

I'm going to spoil the ending of Wolf Creek 2

I don't know if I can be blamed for that though, given that Greg McLean already sort of pre-spoiled the ending. How? Simple - Wolf Creek 2 has the exact same ending as Wolf Creek. Not in the broader 'one survivor, Rapist Crocodile Dundee is still out there' sense, but in the specific details of what happens.

A horribly brutalized guy is found at the side of the road.

Explanatory text lays out that at first the guy was suspected of being involved in the crimes, but then the cops let him go, baffled as to who might be committing all of these outback murders near Wolf Creek.

Shot of Mick walking away from the camera.

But I'm not here to just talk about shameless self-plagiarism. There's some plot nonsense to address as well. The violent acts that Mick commits in Wolf Creek 2 could not go largely unnoticed the way they did in Wolf Creek, and it would be nearly impossible for the police to fail to catch him.

25.6.14

The Hundred-Ninety-Fourth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Every zookeeper's worst nightmare, captured in a single image. So insightful, the 1940s.

20.6.14

And then, The Simpsons Gave Up

Remember cross-section jokes on The Simpsons? Fun little bonus gags whenever the show wanted to do an interesting camera move? Whether it was Shiva running the core of the planet-


Aliens buried next to a wishing well-

Or between the floors of the house-

18.6.14

The Hundred-Ninety-Third Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

This is one of the reasons I love presenting panels without context. Attached to the preceding panels, this is just an ordinary punchline to a fairly lame gag strip. On it own, however, it's a perfectly preserved exhibition of madness.

Bravo, creator of Lala Palooza!

A character who, as usual, doesn't not appear at any point in this strip.

15.6.14

The Simpsons - Next-Level Nitpickery

Please try to enjoy this frame from a recent episode of the Simpsons:

That's right - it's a blue moon on the 17th of a month. Which is, of course, impossible, since a Blue Moon is the second full moon in a single calendar month.

Why am I so annoyed by this error? Because it's so obvious a mistake and so easy a fix. There's no reason for the wrong number to be there beyond a complete lack of attention and interest in doing a good job.

The worst part? This isn't even an attempt at a joke, like a 'Smarch' calendar, or having the observance for a weird fictional event show up on the calendar. It's just yet another example of the main characteristic of late-model Simpsons: the habit of everyone working there to simply say 'you know what? Good enough, I'm going home.'

11.6.14

The Turing Test Made Me Sad This Week

So this past week there was a bunch of news about a liar claiming that his program was the first to ever beat the 'Turing Test'. Of course, anyone with access to Google knows that this is nonsense - chat programs have been as or more successful than this particular contender for years, and none of them can reliably convince people that they're talking to an actual person.

Still, all this talk about AI conversations got me nostalgic for Watson, the computer that cheats at Jeopardy, and while reading about him/her/it I was referred to a page about Cleverbot, one of those chat programs that people discuss fondly when talking about attempts to beat the Turing Test. So I decided to boot it up and see what happened. This was the result.

Two questions. The thing lasted two questions before breaking. I know there's no reason to expect that cutting-edge AI would be found for free on the web, but wow, that's just sad.

The Hundred-Ninety-Second Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

I hate to go all Alan Moore on this thing, but I really don't see the need for an explanatory paragraph establishing this story. If there's anyone on earth who looks at this image - Nazis attempting to kill Dollman as he rides a pigeon (or perhaps trying to kill a pigeon that Dollman is coincidentally riding), using a bow that they had for some reason - and isn't completely on-board with the rest of the story, what could you possibly write that would turn that opinion around?

Seriously, people of 70 years ago, just cut the text and make the bird even bigger. People of the future will thank you for it.

5.6.14

Adventures in Fake Journalism: Community 503

So Community's gone, it seems. I'm sad to see it go, since that fifth season was just incredible from beginning to end. A true return to form, which suffered only from a truncated length that robbed the creative staff of the time necessary to build touching character arcs. Still, it had some amazing sequences, including Vince Gilligan's VCR game host, Chang's ghost story, and of course, the bear dance. It also had the subject of today's post, a series-high episode about a certain "Ass-Crack Bandit", who went from one-time joke back in season 2 to the subject of an extended David Fincher riff.

Which, naturally, brings me to the fake journalism about that character, which - spoiler alert - is some of the best fake journalism I've ever encountered.

So let's get started!

4.6.14

The Hundred-Ninety-First Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Tiny man, full-sized gun. You win, Doll Man.