Arkham Asylum: Madness Has Something Weird About It

Not the story, of course. It’s pretty much the standard ‘Arkham is a preposterously poorly-run madhouse’ storyline that DC has been publishing over and over again since the late 80s. No, there’s something weird in the writing/art that writer/artist Sam Kieth is responsible for.

And not in a normal ‘Sam Kieth’s art looks weird’ sort of way, either.

The panels in question come right at the end of the story, which concerns a psychiatric nurse who’s forced by dire economic conditions to take literally the worst job an RN trained in how to deal with mental patients could possibly have.

At the end of the story (SPOILER ALERT) the nurse is trying to decide whether or not to quit working at Arkham Asylum. She’s typed up a letter of resignation, but hasn’t turned it in yet:

(click to bigify)


The Nineteenth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

I'd like to introduce you to my favorite gag-strip character:

So why is he named that? I have no idea. But if you're curious, here's the rest of the strip. Which you have to click on to make readable.

Yeah, I guess he's called 'Lucifer' because it looks like he's got horns on his head, but then it turns out it's just his hat. Huh.


Criminal Minds 301: Doubt

This season opens, in a bizarre departure for the series, with Mandy narrating a letter that he’s writing to the member of the team that he expects will swing by his cabin (from last season’s cliffhanger, remember?) to look for him. In a nutshell, he’s quitting profiling, and I’m not sure why the writers are being so oblique about who expects will read the letter – dramatically speaking it can only be his protégé Reid.

But anyhow, let’s move on to the actual episode, which is a flashback to the case that pushed Mandy over the edge: There’s been a series of murders on a campus! According to Mandy, the fact that someone is tasing and butchering women at a university reminds him of the lady friend of his that Frank murdered in the season ender – which seems like kind of a thin reason for quitting, if you ask me.

The first onscreen murder occurs when the team is inbound from the airport – a woman gets left behind by the campus escort shuttle from the library, and is freaked out by the prospect of walking back to the dorms. A mysterious figure sneaks up behind her, causing to spin, terrified, but then calm down a moment later, her face registering relief:

Why are the producers so bound and determined to kill the mystery right off? There’s only one possible person that this woman would be relieved to see in this situation: a campus security officer. (Or maybe, just maybe, a cop) So once a campus security officer who looks at all creepy has a line, that’s our killer. But we can’t be sure until after the opening credits!


How to Ruin Your Own Movie: Paranormal Entity!

Okay, it’s pretty obvious that a rip-off of Paranormal Activity was going to follow the same basic structure as that film, and ruin it for the audience just as its inspiration did. Despite this truism, I can’t abide just how horribly the film botches any attempt to generate drama.

That’s the 911 call that opens the film. His family’s not dead. His sister is dead. I’m not sure why he describes it this way, and can’t offer any explanation, since, at the end of the movie, we don’t see him make this call.

Here’s the second bit of the call. I can’t stress this enough – his mother is not dead at the time this call was made. In all likelihood the voiceover was recorded at the beginning of the film, back when the mother was supposed to die on camera.


Criminal Minds Season 2 Recap!

Well, that puts the cap on the second season of Criminal Minds! We had some fun this year, with Elle going mad and killing that rapist, and the team having to deal with the arrival of Emily, and figure out a way to merge her into the team. They also went to some odd places dramatically, battling terrorists, giving us some backstory on Derek, and offering one of the worst stories about the Russian Mafia that I’ve ever seen.

But that’s all subjective – let’s look at the hard science of numbers! Numbers on a scale that I created and then used subjectively to score the episodes.


The Eighteenth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

My favorite thing about this panel?

(Click to Bigify!)

That bow ties have survived well past the 24th century.

Also that it took humans hundreds of years to 'conquer space'.

And they did that before curing bad eyesight.

Wait, what does 'Conquer Space' mean that a whole lot of people can do it, and Junius was just the first?

Man, this panel raises more questions than it answers. Which it would kind of have to. Since it answered no questions.


NeoWolf vs Your Grandmother’s Werewolf: A comparative analysis.

Although I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now, just so it’s absolutely clear what we’re going to be covering, please take a look at this brief clip from the film ‘NeoWolf’.

As you can see, the main villain, ‘John Neowolf’, claims some distinction between himself and ‘your grandmother’s werewolf’, pictured here:

So let’s put his claim to the test, shall we?


Criminal Minds 223: No Way Out Part 2: The Evilution of Frank

Well it’s about damn time we got back to this. Even if I have to put up with a terrible pun title, I just want this story to be resolved. Please just let it wrap up here and not present us with another cliffhanger, because I don’t know if I can deal with writing ‘Part 3’.

After a quick recap detailing the previous Frank episode we cut to Mandy on his night off, planning to buy flowers for a date that night with an ‘old college friend’ – he’s so nervous about it that I’m guessing he can’t be going to see his sometime girlfriend from the last season ender, who was presumably scared off by the whole ‘severed head in a box’ thing. And really, who could blame her?

The prospective date is interrupted when he gets a call from Greg, who lets Mandy know that the FBI is internally investigating the team, possibly because they want to disassemble it! Now there’s a cliffhanger. The date is even more interrupted when Mandy thinks he sees Crazy Lady across the street, but he assumes it’s just someone who looks like her. The date is then fully ruined by Frank who dials Mandy from his date’s phone – he’s looking for Crazy Lady, who he believes has come to Washington looking for Mandy. Man, this is going to be troublesome. After the credits.


Criminal Minds 222: Legacy

It’s back into torture porn territory, as we open with a beaten, elderly man being wheeled down a hallway while his captor, who wears a contamination-protection suit, whistles a jaunty tune.

Where’s the old man headed? To be tortured, of course! And then thrown into a furnace! Yuck.

Things are a little happier over at HQ, where Mandy is watching a Charlie Chaplin movie because it’s public domain. Derek swings by the office to make a stereotypical quote about Chaplin being the ‘original player’, which is technically true, although kind of creepy to bring up. I mean, seriously, when a guy’s sexual depravities became the basis for the novel ‘Lolita’, maybe you should stop joking about it. In eighy years will there be hilarious gags about Michael Jackson’s bedroom escapades?

Meanwhile JJ gets a visitor in her office – a Kansas City detective whose beat involves him watching the homeless, prostitutes and drug users who hang out on skid row. Recently crime has dropped precipitously, and the city has awarded him for it, but the detective thinks something sinister is going on – crime has only dropped because over sixty petty criminals have mysteriously disappeared over the past few months! And now the killer has sent the detective a letter, annoyed that the detective is getting credit for his work!

Back at the creepy torture-house the old man’s corpse is being cleaned up after:

Yeah, I know that’s icky, but just be happy I didn’t use the image from a few seconds earlier featuring viscera lying everywhere. Then we’re on to the credits!


The Seventeenth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

I want to make this absolutely clear: The following image is not historically accurate.

Students, do not cite this in your essays.