Sunday, November 6, 2011

Candidates of 2012-Herman Cain

I’ve been struggling with creating a valid/an interesting image of Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain for months now-who really wants to see him try serving his stale $9.99 pizzas, um, tax ideas. What a darned shame that he’s not the CEO of Domino’s Pizza! “I am the Koch brothers’ brother from another mother … and proud of it!”  he said onstage in November of this year. Not that he is a bad guy as such, but I’m for the idea that President of the United States should not be the first office you get elected to. But then, with the recent attention Mr. Cain has received about events from a bygone era I was taken with the notion of depicting Herman Cain as a faded relic of the 1990s, M. C. Hammer!

M.C. Hammer was a pop star/early rapper that made his hits from using other people’s talent, such as music taken from a Rick James song.  Herman Cain is building his 9-9-9 “flat tax” idea on the foundations set by failed presidential candidate Steve Forbes but in this case Forbes is flattered by the tribute. M.C. Hammer became popular very quickly and almost as quickly became less so. Cain seems to be following that pattern, at least with his recent meteoric rise in the polls, though it seems everyone in the race (except Santorum) has led in the polls by having the singular quality of not being Mitt Romney!
Recently, Herman Cain’s campaign got very interesting; allegations of sexual harassment dating from the 1990s surfaced. While president of the National Restaurant Association, Mr. Cain was accused on several occasions of sexual harassment. The Association paid off several women for their silence. I hope these are groundless allegation but women were paid off, and a third party is willing to confirm harassment occurred so none of this looks good for Cain. Or does it? In the week or so since the “scandal” broke, Cain has received over a million dollars in campaign money. He still seems to test well with conservatives that believe the liberal media is persecuting Cain. In fact, if Romney gets the nomination I predict Herman Cain would be the most likely candidate for a third party run but since Herman has never been elected to any office I suggest that he concentrate on the world of music, where his sounds delight us instead of appall us. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

DC Comics Silver Age Reboot-The Super Squad!

This is the Super Squad, mentioned in this blog before. All-Star Comics was about the adventures of the Justice Society of America at least until March 1951. But in 1959, DC called upon Gardner Fox to create new group for a new age, to be published in All-Star Comics, composed of these recent “old but new” heroes, but Fox reasoned it would be good to advertise they had super powers in their group name thus The Super Squad was born! However, in 1959 America was still reeling from the Eisenhower recession of 1958 and as it turns out, it was an awkward year in the comic book industry; too early perhaps for a team book to be a true success. 
The Super Squad limped on for years, never becoming as popular as other groups such as The Doom Patrol or the Blackhawks. Eventually the Super Squad traveled to Earth-2 and trying to displace their originals there! Later they added The Ant, a wisecracking acrobat with arthropod-based powers. Times change and by 1966 DC had grown weary of his juvenile antics and used a depowered version of The Ant as a Teen Titans villain! The Super Squad faded out on its own, a victim of its own unpopularity. It was not destroyed by a wave of antimatter but rather a wave of indifference. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

By Special Request-Planet Wingnuttia

Longtime readers of this blog know Ed Brayton and his Dispatches from the Culture Wars. I don’t think I would have started this blog without his encouragement. Recently he requested that I create a new feature, Planet Wingnuttia, to highlight hypocrisy on the political scene, that we could share on both blogs.  So, for the first issue, we’ve gone with the concept of conservatives that tout traditional marriage while trading in wives as often as some people replace cell phones. It is also pretty unbelievable to me that Newt Gingrich is, at this late date, “running for president”. This “curio from another time” resigned in disgrace from congress and hasn’t held office since the 1990’s; in my opinion he’s only there to promote himself and his books. The most amazing story here, perhaps, is that four different women were actually willing to marry Rush Limbaugh!

Marvel’s Had Some Reboots Too

There’s been a lot of hoopla lately about DC Comic’s recent reboot of its entire universe, erasing over 70 years of continuity. And this isn’t the first time this company has done this, but certainly it’s the highest profile change they’ve mustered over the years.  What less people know about though, is how Marvel Comics also rebooted characters, and Stan Lee took the credit for creating new, original characters. Let me explain.
In May 1942, unknowns Walt Peters and Jake Simms approached Timely, the forerunner of Marvel, with a stable of characters that they called The Amazing Marvels. Timely liked what they saw but were unwilling to fully commit to the concept, so they printed a limited run. They sold every issue they printed but were still cautious so continued only printing limited runs, reasoning that if the characters caught on they could just reprint them. Just to hedge their bets they had the duo include The Angel, an already established character as a member of The Amazing Marvels. They did indeed develop a moderate level of popularity but one thing Timely hadn’t counted on was Peters demanding triple pay for him and his artist, Simms. Timely, of course, would do no such thing, and the result was a lawsuit. The result was, the two took had creative control of their characters, but now had no publisher. They shopped their heroes around, but no company would hire them; no one wanted to risk a lawsuit. Destiny was not kind in this case, a tragic fire in Jake Simms Brooklyn home in 1943 resulted in his death and the destruction of all the original artwork. Walt Peters had no drawing ability, and could find no artist that would work with him, so that signaled the “death” of The Amazing Marvels. It was all a moot point anyway, as Peters died of pneumonia in 1945. None of this escaped the notice of a young Stan Lee, who was working at Timely as a gofer in those days. Eventually Stan, knowing that in essence no one alive owned these characters created his own versions of them, for the modern age, and so far, he’s gotten away with it. And now the story can be told. These two comics are the only surviving issues of The Amazing Marvels privately collected. Marvel, for its part, does their best to pretend these characters never existed, except for The Angel. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Noncandidate of 2012-Chris Christie

To some Republicans, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey can do no wrong. Elected to replace yet another corrupt administration, Christie has had the herculean task of taming the out of control New Jersey state budget. How he did this was extreme budget cuts most notably in social services and in the state Department of Education. One reason he has become such a hero to the current GOP is, he made these cuts in education in order to create tax cuts for those making over one million dollars a year! Those cuts were estimated to have cost the state treasury, by their own estimates, $900 million, which would have covered the $820 million that was cut from the education budget. Christie contends that the millionaire surtax would drive millionaires away from New Jersey, but there is no evidence to support this, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
As we now know, the GOP begged him to run but, to his credit, he decided to stay on as governor, the job he was, after all, elected to do. That makes me wish that every governor had felt that way; they were elected to do a job and they should see that through. Not that I’m referring to anyone we would know, mind you.
I felt this Christiemania needed to be commemorated in comic book form. This is how I saw the situation in my mind’s eye; the GOP, horribly disappointed in their current crop of candidates, reaching out for an alternative. I’ll salute Christie for knowing when to stay out of a dogfight; I just hope he never delves into national politics. 

DC Comics Reboot-Silver Age Sandman

Raymond “Whitey” Sands was a dreamer who had always dreamt of incredible battles, fantastic weapons, and strange vistas. He always felt the dream world seemed more real than reality itself. He dreamed of fighting secret menaces in the Dream Dimension so one day he awoke and crafted a costume and began his career as Sandman, seeking out nightmares come alive. He created his Sand-Blaster, which not only shoots sand, but also sleeping gas. He uses other gimmicks as well, such as grit bombs and instant quicksand. Later it was revealed that he was seeing a distorted version of the original Sandman, Wesley Dodds, and his sidekick Sandy, through the Dream Dimension Mirror. Later he journeyed to Earth-2 where he met and worked with his inspiration. He was a member of the Super-Squad from the beginning, he was the first one Starman recruited. As for his own title, it didn’t last 15 issues. For some reason, this version of Sandman never caught on. Later Sandman was killed by a shadow demon in Crisis on Infinite Earths; most consider it a mercy killing for this unpopular character. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Obama-Palin Debate of 2012!

Can this ever happen? Will Sarah Palin ever declare her candidacy for the office of President of the United States? Well, she gave an impassioned speech this last weekend in Iowa; she was the keynote speaker at the Tea Party of America’s “Restoring America” rally.
I caught the beginning, she oozed energy and confidence, Obviously she had practiced and though I disagreed with much of what she said, she did well in delivery, her content broke no new ground and made me realize; given the current slate of candidates, perhaps Sarah Palin is no longer the craziest person in the room!
Aside from recent bus trip shenanigans, Governor Palin has, since 2008, been in the business of promoting Sarah Palin by promoting her books, her reality show, and her stint as Fox News political pundit. In 2010, she became “involved” with the race for the GOP to take the House of Representatives by supporting certain candidates, which she felt held to high tea party standards. By the numbers, Palin did well in supporting candidates that won with several notable exceptions, included her hand picked Alaskan protégé Joe Miller-defeated by write in votes! -And Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnel!
On to the matter at hand, I suspect this scenario of an Obama Versus Palin debate, will remain the realm of fantasy; it seems to me Sarah Palin relishes her role as media attention grabber, self promoter, king maker. I don’t think she is ready, nor may ever be, for the rough and tumble world of presidential politics, or the pay cut!  I hope she is smart enough to realize how badly the general public will receive her! 

DC Comics Reboot-Silver Age Doctor Mid-Nite

In the 1960's, ince DC was radically reworking heroes for a new age, The Silver Age, it was decided to create a new Doctor Mid-Nite that was both a woman and a Non-American. Brilliant surgeon Dr. Karla Mitternacht led a busy life as an emergency surgeon in a rural Bavarian hospital, until she removed black glowing shards from a dying patient; exposure to the eerie energies gave her amazing powers, night vision, flight, darkness casting, moon-beams, enhanced strength and endurance. Her powers wax and wane with the day, she is weakest at noon and strongest at midnight, even becoming visibly stronger looking. She is nearly strong enough at midnight to take on Superman! By Issue #16 the writers, Otto Binder on this issue, referred to "The Golden Age" in the villains dialogue! She later went to America, to join The Super-Squad, where she was a member for 37 issues, 12 issues more than her own title lasted, until being replaced by Starman Junior. Ouch!
Later a younger version of Karla was time-lost, ending up in the 30th Century and teaming up with Night-Girl, Shadow Lass, and Phantom Girl in “The Darkest Mission!” She was later erased from existence when it was revealed she came from the Time Trapper’s Pocket Universe.
Status–never referred to again except in Super Squad Reprints.
P.S. I have been exposed to the new DC Universe, rebooted this month! Oh wow, they don’t wear their underwear on the outside anymore! They have lines on their clothes, is that amour? Same characters, including some mired in history such as Rocket Red or Guy Gardener.  I was prepared to be outraged, only; so far, it looks just like the slow paced type of Action Hero Story you must endure in this modern era. Um, The Copper Age? The Tin Age? Or, The Last Gasp of the Paper Age? 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Strangest Adventures T-Shirts!

If you are still reading at this point, perhaps you enjoy this type of humor enough to want a The Strangest Adventures T-Shirt. I’ve tried to include the main candidates in the 2012 Presidential election in this homage to the Justice League/Justice Society/All-Star Squadron team-up of the 1980’s, Crisis on Earth Prime. This is my first “official” foray into T-Shirt design, aside from home printed and applied iron-ons for myself and others, an early noble design experiment. I would appreciate any feedback, positive or negative, that anyone could provide. And note, I have provided inexpensively priced shirts for the tight of budget as well as premium style shirts. Wear this shirt to tell others you think the candidates are as much of a freak show as I see them to be, well at least in my fevered imagination! Your support would be appreciated; this would supplement my meager earnings from freelance work.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Candidates of 2012-Rick Perry

Rick Perry replaced George W. Bush as governor of Texas, after Bush became president. Most of us not being Texans are unfamiliar with this guy, so, who is he? He started off as a Democrat in the Texas State Legislature and supported Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 1988; in 1989 he became a Republican. Coincidence? Eventually he became Lieutenant Governor, then Governor, where he has remained to this day. In the last election, the Bush family ran Kay Bailey Hutchison against him but she lost. Rick seems to be attracted to the Tea Parties, or at least he is pandering to them. On April 15th, 2009, fired up by a Tea Party gathering he said, “Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that... My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that.” That sure sounds like he was threatening to have Texas secede from the US. Some would call that treason. How ironic then, that within the first 48 hours of declaring he said of Federal Reserve head Ben Bernanke, "If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y'all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous – or treasonous in my opinion." Way to go Rick, threatening a federal official. Governor Perry zoomed to the top of the list on at least one poll and seems to be the charismatic candidate many were waiting for. He has charisma but I find the way he touches people to be a bit off-putting, certainly when he patted the cheeks of a CNN camera man that seems to be one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen a politician do. Perry touts job creation in Texas; during the past two years Texas has accounted for at least one-third of the new jobs created in the United States but as it turns out, those were all government jobs! D’oh! This guy seems a bit dense and self deluded, but here at The Strangest Adventures, we like that. I’ve presented him as a western gunslinger, going after the president; they were both campaigning in Iowa on the same day, recently. Makes sense to me, Perry is known for being armed most of the time, even while jogging!

DC Comics Reboot-Silver Age Hour-Man

The next Golden Age DC Comics hero to inspire a new version for the Silver Age was Hour-Man. Carleton Chronos was born into the Chronos Family legacy; the oldest male would receive The Time Cloak! The wearer, and a few companions, can travel through time, to any era, for one hour. He can also emit time waves, which can, as needed stop or speed up people or objects. His earliest adventures seem to be misadventures, as he has trouble controlling his powers at first. Later, his powers mastered, he worked for a time as a temporal agent and has worked with the Legion of Super-Heroes. Later, he was the founder and leader of The Super-Squad. His power was sufficient to transport the members of the Squad when needed, but his greatest asset was his inborn leadership. His own title had a spotty history, selling well in the 1960’s but getting progressively less popular as time went on. In the 1980s, after a series of lackluster time traveling adventures with third rate guest stars (think Brother Power the Geek) his title was finally, mercifully canceled, and Hourman was unceremoniously killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bachmann Begins

Ah Representative Michele Bachmann, the gift that keeps on giving. She is currently running 9% to 12% behind Romney is various polls, but that still puts her in second place. Not bad, and, unexpected. She IS the darling of the tea parties, and their champion in congress, so certainly that may account for her numbers. She always claims to be against government spending (apparently not the cases for her husband–more on that in a moment). Pretty ironic by the way that she’s an anti-tax advocate who once worked as an attorney collecting taxes for the IRS. Representative Bachmann claims to have the solution to all our woes. She wants to revoke the federal minimum wage. She believes that eliminating this and other regulations would “virtually wipe out unemployment.” Could this work? I don’t know, I doubt the answer is that easy. Though I wonder how Ms. Bachmann would fare on minimum wage. And then there’s the curious case of her husband Dr. Marcus Bachmann. He has collected Medicaid monies for his clinic, Bachmann & Associates. One thing is clear enough, Marcus Bachmann collected state aid, and he got these state funds and used them for, among other things, counseling gays to change their sexual orientation. He said last year on Point of View Radio Talk Show that "barbarians need to be educated" when asked how parents should deal with their homosexual children. “They need to be disciplined, just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road.” What he’s referring to is “reparative therapy”, the crackpot idea that gays can be cured through therapy. I believe people are who they are, and can’t be “fixed” nor should they be. Most mental professionals agree with me, attempts to change orientation can be dangerous and lead to suicide. So far Bachmann has remained silent about this, perhaps hoping the furor will die down. We’ll see. Maybe we can return to merely pointing out Michele’s foibles such as when she confused John Wayne with John Wayne Gacy! When asked why she launched her candidacy from Waterloo, Iowa, she said, "Well what I want them to know is just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too." Yikes!

DC Comics Reboot-Silver Age Starman

There has been much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth over DC Comic’s decision to reboot their entire line of comics, restarting with number one on all titles. Yes, Superman, Batman and all the rest of them are starting over, from day one, now. No back-story, no history. However, I’m sure Superman will be from Krypton, Batman will live in Gotham City etc. Of course this isn’t the first time the DC Universe has been restarted; In the late 1980’s, after Crisis on Infinite Earths erased 50 years of continuity, Superman and Wonder Woman started from scratch, other characters were revamped, often drastically. However, the most important reboot occurred in the 1950s, when new versions of Golden Age heroes appeared in the pages of DC Comics. After concentrating mostly on Westerns, Romance, Detective, Military, and Pirate comics, editor Julius Schwartz felt 1957 was the right time to bring back superheroes, but DC played it safe, creating new characters for a new age that had names that hearkened back to the Golden Age. The first of these new heroes was Starman.
The new Starman was astronomer Ray Nelson, who had crafted a device, the Cosmic Converter, capable of harnessing the power of the stars, only, he taps into something else, too; it’s something alien he must learn to control. It’s all told in Showcase # 11, written by Gardner Fox. The cover is by the incomparable Wally Wood.  The editor took no chances that buyers would be confused; this was, according to the cover, the best comic book you could buy! The marketing ploy worked, this was a top selling comic!  After all, see how Starman easily decks Batman with a Star-Burst and shoves Superman away using Red Sun energy! The editors were putting the slow selling Batman and Superman on notice; sell more copies or get canceled! The arrival of Starman signaled the beginning of The Silver Age. After this million-dollar debut he had a long and storied history eventually gaining a sidekick, Starman Jr. Perhaps someday I’ll cover their careers, but next time, I’ll discuss Silver Age Hour-Man. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt Ceiling Blues

Back to the Big Bad Debt Ceiling Debate. Ah the debt limit, in place since 1917, has been raised multiple times, 7 times under President Bush, 3, so far, under President Obama, and 18 times under President Reagan! Doesn’t sound like the Tea Parties would approve!
Most economists agree that we must raise the debt limit or risk getting a lower credit rating. Times are so bad that the USA is having trouble with creditors! Obama sure wants to raise it but didn’t want to raise it in 2006 when he was in Congress. He calls that “a political vote”.  You can get a great overview of the whole debate here. Now of course the House and the Senate have dueling bills. Three days left. Let’s see who caves in.  Or, will it be 50/50? Or will Obama step in? Stay tuned, true believers!

Genesis of my Style–Part 2 Blast From The Past!

In Part 1 I discussed the 13 Deadly Sins of Desktop Publishing. Here, I highlight the sin of using hyphens in place of bullets, featuring a gleeful, gun toting Vice President Dick Cheney, right after the infamous errant gunshot incident! The parody may be a bit broad and sophomoric, but that’s “not out of my wheelhouse”. Some would consider my current work I also created promotional buttons as well. Ah, I should have began this blog in 2006, so many foibles to cover in those days! But then, current events give me sufficient fodder, and, so it goes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tales From the White House-End of the World!

President Obama has been haunted by some scary specters lately-House Republicans! They and Obama have been tussling lately on the details of raising the debt ceiling and the consequences of not doing so. Regarding the results of the debt ceiling not being raised, Salon has a better explanation that I could ever give; I only provide original graphics and meager commentary; I try to speak to a broad audience despite this being a niche concept (so far)!  Obama and the Democrats are willing to cut some spending but insist on revenue increases IE: Tax increases OR as proposed cutting tax loopholes for "millionaires and billionaires". In several polls, 70% of Americans polled want a combination of spending cuts AND revenue increases, however many Republicans are intractable on this matter, no new taxes period.  Many of them were voted into office on a wave of antigovernment, antispending, and anti-taxing fervor in the election of 2010. Oddly enough, sometimes you get the impression that Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner , an old school Establishment Republican is being held  hostage by newer, more extreme members of the house.  This will be a real nail biter. If they don’t raise the debt ceiling in time, the US could get a poor credit rating-expect the possibility of a second recession, or worse!

Genesis of My Style-Part 1

Dateline 2006-This was a multi piece project from my early portfolio, done at George Mason University. I was to lay out and illustrate a brochure warning against the 13 Deadly Sins of Desktop Publishing. The challenge was to create an eye catching Black and White design. I thought to take the literal course of action, and depicted Pat Robertson as Moses with stone tablets. Inside were politicians of the day making “humorous” commentary.  Now, the jokes seem dated and juvenile, and, you know I never sink to that level, still, this was the raw beginning of my current oeuvre.  By the way, the second part of the project was to highlight one of the 13 sins in a poster. In part 2, you will see which sin and politician makes it to poster form!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mutants and Conspiracy Theories

Certainly, I feel as though I’m living in the Age of Mutants; never in my life have I ever heard so many conspiracy theories about any president ever. Perhaps the most persistent and unbelievable one was Obama was born in Kenya thus cannot be president. Even before Obama took the oath of office, people were already pushing this theory, as though Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party would let an ineligible person beat them and become president. Donald Trump jumped on that bandwagon years after it became a popular myth. The problem with basing a campaign on an unfounded rumor is, he looked quite foolish when Obama released his birth certificate. It didn’t help Trump’s dignity one bit that that same week, he was the butt of everyone’s jokes at the Annual White House Correspondents Dinner. Even after Obama released his birth certificate, some insisted it was a fake; I’m not sure why anyone was pushing this idea, that Obama was some sort of alien, an outsider. Certainly I’ve never seen this tactic used against any other president; what is it that’s so different about Obama that inspires this unique treatment?
I based this cover on a group of folks I saw dressed as Magneto, Marvel Girl, and Juggernaut of Marvel Comics fame at The Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30, 2010 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. What a wonderful event that was! Their sign states, “Obama is a Skrull”, the Skrull being a race of shape-shifting aliens known to have replaced known public figures. At least that makes more sense than saying Obama is a foreigner. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Candidates of 2012-Michele Bachman

Republican Minnesota Representative Michele Bachman has made a lot of crazy claims over the years.  In 2007 she said "Iran is the troublemaker trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And you know why? It's because they've already decided, that they're going to territory, they're- they're going to partition Iraq and half of Iraq, the western northern portion of Iraq is going to be called, the United, uh, the, the uh, -oh, I'm sorry, I can't remember the actual name of it now, but it's going to be called, um, uh, the, the, uh, uh the Iraq State of Islam, something like that.”  In 2008 she said “I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America." Her gaffes continued unabated but she garnered closer scrutiny as the campaign neared and in 2011 she declared, "What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty. You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord." Only, that was incorrect; one wonders if Ms. Bachman is reading from the same erroneous history books as Sarah Palin! You can play this game of citing bizarre Michele Bachman quotations all day long as she has a history of making unfounded remarks.
Michele is the darling of the Tea Parties. Ms. Bachman is an outspoken opponent of government subsidies; however, she has been the recipient of the same. She has helped 23 foster children over the years–a noble pursuit indeed. However her husband runs a Christian Counseling Center. One naturally wonders if the two things are related. She has a strong following among the Christian Right, only, unlike other candidates, Michele has not been voted out of office or resigned.  She has shot to number two on many polls but I doubt she will get the nomination; she lacks mainstream appeal…so far.  Potential Vice Presidential material! 

Avengers Versus JLA Part 2

In part 1 I mentioned the Supreme Court Case involving the Avengers and the Justice League of America. In the Supreme Court’s decision on “Avengers V. JLA” the Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority that the Avengers and the Justice League of America were “national treasures…to be cherished and shared by all.” This led to this issue of JLA but the writers and artists were not mollified. In it, the JLA travel to a universe where the “heroes” often do as much harm as good! You’ll notice they call Earth 616, the home world of the mainstream Marvel universe, “The Most Dangerous Earth of All” and show Wonder Woman kneeing Captain America in the groin! That’s gotta hurt!

Monday, July 4, 2011

World War II War Bond Crossover Issue!

Happy Fourth of July!
I always look forward to The Fourth of July; I feel as though I have an intimate relationship to the holiday and it’s meaning. I was born in the Nation’s Capitol on July 3rd, one day before the 4th. When I was younger I watched the fireworks in DC, or, nearby. Everyone should visit Washington D.C. on the 4th of July at least once in their lives. Presidents come and go, same for congress, everyone, but, the buildings stay. Our nation is not perfect but I feel pride, even though the flaws with the government sometimes seem glaringly apparent these days. I hope congress and the president can work out this budget situation, who knows what 2011 will hold for us?
In addition to being a national icon, Uncle Sam is a comic book superhero, beginning in the 1940’s with Quality Comics, which was later purchased by DC Comics. After Pearl Harbor, there was a great national fervor for patriotism; even the comic book industry wanted to make a contribution. So on Fourth of July, 1942, Uncle Sam Quarterly published a special War Bond Issue, “E pluribus Unum”, which featured the most patriotic heroes of the various companies together in one giant crossover event. The notorious Red Skull leads an army of Nazi Monsters like The Living Ghost, Baron VonBolt, Steel Commander, and of course, Nazi Frankenstein. At first he tried to hold them off with an army of trained polar bears, but that failed so Uncle Sam called forth to the symbols of America from every universe! Can you name the various heroes? They banded together and became known as Freedom Fighters. The companies donated the use of their characters and split the cost of the production of this issue, all to raise money for US War Bonds. They donated the bulk of the special issues directly to the War Department, in turn; they were distributed to recruiting centers and the USO. The rest were sold at newsstands and canteens. These are valuable today; a fair condition issue will bring over $600 or more at auctions. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Candidates of 2012-Newt Gingrich

Many consider Newt the biggest brain in the GOP. Certainly, there is no surfeit of Republican intellectualism since the death of William F. Buckley, but Newt? He is a prolific author, having written 26 books to date but some believe he is only in the race to keep the Gingrich brand in the public eye, just an attempt to increase his book sales. He is a frequent reviewer at as well, his specialty being military history. Politically, he has painted Democrats, particularly President Obama, as “left-wing radicals” who lead a “secular socialist machine”. He wrote that “The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” Yikes!
Former Speaker of the House, his last act as an elected official was to resign over the shame of his party losing 6 seats in the 1998 election, the worst performance in 64 years for a party that didn't hold the presidency. Ah, simpler times. Newt has had a somewhat variable personal life; he has switched from Baptist to Catholic and from wife to wife. Currently there’s the issue of his high dollar account at Tiffany’s; this is hardly consistent with the frugal image Gingrich is trying to project.
A few weeks ago his campaign staff resigned en masse, following Newt’s inexplicably timed luxury Mediterranean Cruise. I took this opportunity to depict one possible view of Newt’s reaction. OK, so it’s an unlikely scenario, I’ve never let that stop me before. There were questions about the future of his presidential campaign less than a month after it was launched. I strongly suspect Gingrich won’t be the candidate for the GOP for 2012 or ever.