Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Dumber Games!

Ex Governor of Alaska and failed candidate for Vice President Sarah Palin is no stranger to The Strangest Adventures. Her fractured commentary about Paul Revere’s ride were a strong factor in motivating this blog– if politicians are going to speak as though they are two-dimensional cartoons they should be depicted as cartoons! Mostly though, all things considered, Palin is largely ignored regarding political matters these days because she holds no office, even quitting the last office she was elected to, and at this late juncture, still hasn’t sided with any particular candidate though she had nice things to say about Newt. Is she still a politician because in the past she won as mayor and governor even though she is (we contend) very unlikely to ever subject herself to another election? Who can say for sure?

Which brings us to what must surely be the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard anyone utter on TV. She was on Fox News’ Hannity March 8, 2012 when, in response to a video showing a younger Barack Obama hugging “radical” professor Derrick Bell, she said, “Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that that gravity, that mistake that took place before the Civil War and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin.”

This is just an excerpt but can you spot what’s wrong here? She is suggesting that a black president wants to return this nation to an era when black people were slaves! This has to be the most moronic assertion by anyone in the public eye in this century! Dumb and dumber! She also opined that Obama had no valor, whatever that means, and that the four remaining GOP candidates were patriots. I looked into that; only Ron Paul served this nation in any capacity, Newt’s deferments when his nation needed him are the opposite of patriotism. As for Obama’s reaction, his supporters are using this as campaign fodder. Funny? You betcha!

I attempted to give Ms. Palin a bit of a popularity upgrade by putting her on the cover of the very popular book “The Hunger Games” (the movie of the first book opened to great acclaim this last weekend). But instead herein is a parody of that book. Here at The Strangest Adventures, this is as close as we get! 

The Justice Guild of America!

We’ve already featured individual issues of Black Siren, Catman, The Green Guardsman, The Streak and Tom Turbine of the Justice Guild of America, which was featured on the Justice League episode “Legends”.  If you ever get a chance to watch it, I highly recommend it.

I thought it would be fun to have a group shot of the entire team in action. The JGA paid homage to The Justice Society of America so I did likewise and was inspired by All-Star Comics #10 from 1942, where the JSA go "500 Years Into the Future"! The background is Silver Age Krypton. Also I based the All-Team logo on the All-Star logo, meanwhile I recreated the Justice Guild of America shield from “Legends” using Illustrator for both.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rick Santorum Is Running Away Again!

Rick Santorum is a stubborn man, but will that pay off? Certainly, he’s had a few recent victories, on the 13th he won in Mississippi and Alabama and Kansas on the 10th. You know, any Republican could, in theory, do well. There is no doubt that the economy could be better, and gasoline could be cheaper. All this could benefit Rick Santorum if only he could stay on target and only discuss the economy, but he’s congenitally unable to stop talking about social issues.

Here’s one of Rick’s talking points. It seems, President Obama is requiring most employers to cover birth control and insurers to offer it. But the fact of the matter is that most employers having to cover preventative care for women has been law for over a decade. This fact has been utterly lost on the Republicans and their presidential candidates as they claim that Obama has launched a war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church. Santorum frames it by claiming Obama is saying “you have a right to health care, but you will have the health care that we tell you you have to give your people, whether it is against the teachings of your church or not."

Even Congress, took up “the fight.” The Blunt Amendment, which was added to a highway funding bill, would have allowed not just religious groups but any employer with moral objections to opt out of any and all coverage requirements. Thankfully this failed miserably; imagine the chaos had it passed. Christian Scientists would not have to provide any insurance to their employees, for instance. This is just another example of how much time Congress has been wasting since 2010.  

However, it seems this really IS just about birth control because in October, 2011 Santorum said, "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.... Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."

This sounds like a man that thinks he can get by without the votes of the 90% of women that have at any time used birth control. As it stands the GOP already has a gender gap with the Democrats, this will only serve to widen that gap.

Oh and men, Rick Santorum wants to alienate you too. He has stated a clear intent to use the office of President to stop adults from making and watching porn. Read it here and weep. Call us crazy, but that sounds like the worst campaign promise in history!

Justice Guild of America- Black Siren!

Donna Vance was The Black Siren, the only female member of The Justice Guild of America, and only the second one we know the civilian identity of, the other one being The Green GuardsmanBeing a woman in the stereotypical 1950’s world of "Legends", she was the one that was always getting kidnapped and needing to be rescued by the male members of the team. The JGA more often relied on her cookie making skills than her fighting prowess. Bear in mind though, this is often how female characters were treated in The Golden Age; The Justice Society of America gave Wonder Woman the job of secretary, despite the fact that she was, arguably, their strongest member!

She is a doppelganger of Black Canary so I based her logo on Black Canary’s. Here, she’s using a portable camera to get evidence on the bad guys. I based this cover on a Phantom Lady comic so I based the comic book title on Phantom Lady’s logo. The original scan of the cover was so low resolution that I ended up redrawing everything, almost pixel by pixel in many cases!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bob Morris-Paranoiac!

Bob Morris, an Indiana House of Representatives lawmaker, recently refused to sign a resolution honoring the Girl Scouts of America on their centennial. After what he admits is "a small amount" of online research he believes that the Girl Scouts of America are the "tactical arm of Planned Parenthood” and is a "radicalized" group and they “promote a homosexual agenda” that promotes abortion and is seeking "the destruction of traditional American values.” Really, Bob Morris? The Girl Scouts of America is evil?

The GSA denied Morris' allegations, and Planned Parenthood of Indiana, in a separate statement, called Morris' charges "woefully inaccurate." Here at The Strangest Adventures, for such overwhelming paranoia and stupidity, Morris is in the running for this year’s Turd of the Year award

Bob Morris' Biggest Fear!

Justice Guild of America-Catman!

He is equal parts Wildcat and Batman, but specifically the campy Adam West Batman. Catman had no powers but often used gadgets such as a grappling hook, and he drove a custom motorcycle; riding in his sidecar was Ray, the team’s mascot.

He was Ray Thompson, the JGA's biggest fan, who had recreated the Justice Guild of America using his mutant mental powers that had developed after the nuclear war. Ray Thompson was a tribute to Roy Thomas, one of the first fanboys to work in the comic book industry and a fan of all things Golden Age. At Marvel, he created, among other things, The Invaders, a comic featuring Marvel’s WW II era heroes and when he was later hired by DC Comics he got work with their Golden Age heroes when he created All Star Squadron.

This cover was based on an early Batman cover, but the logo is all original; I purposely made it lively and a bit cartoony, to reflect the character. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rush Limbaugh- Misogynist!

Rush Limbaugh is a well-known right wing radio talk show host who is no stranger to controversy; it would go beyond the scope of this blog to list his many indiscretions.  By now, everyone has heard that Rush Limbaugh referred to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his radio show for testifying in congress about how the insurance companies need to provide contraception. The whole dirty diatribe can be heard here

Soon, there was a public outcry about his statements; even the president called Ms. Fluke to express his displeasure about the unjustified personal attacks against her. This all led to successful boycotts which then led to Rush actually losing sponsors which led to the most unbelievable part of this story, Limbaugh apologized! Of course, he can’t unsay what he has said. Sandra Fluke certainly says the apology fixes nothing. Perhaps this incident could serve to shorten the career of Rush Limbaugh, only time will tell. The Strangest Adventures has mixed feelings; Rush is an endless source of humorous outrage but on the other hand it would be nice to move beyond the era of the Angry Screaming White Guy. 

Justice Guild of America- Green Guardsman!

On Legends, Scott Mason, the Green Guardsman, is the JGA’s counterpart to Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern. Both had power rings that created constructs of green energy, but while the Green Lantern’s ring had no affect on wood, the Green Guardsman’s ring was worthless against aluminum! 

I really enjoyed making this one, which I based on the first appearance of The Green Lantern in
All-American Comics #16, July 1940. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Wacky Race

Wow, this sure is getting crazy! It turns out that Santorum actually WON in Iowa only just barely. Then he went on to win in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri but don’t count out Mitt Romney; he won in New Hampshire, Maine, Florida and Nevada. Sorry, Ron Paul fans, he didn’t win in any state; the closest he came was in Maine, where he took 34.9% of the vote versus Romney’s 39%.

Even Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina. Was that his Sarah Palin bump? It’s a valid question. Before the SC primary, she told Sean Hannity “If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going, I’d vote for Newt and I would want this to continue — more debates, more vetting of candidates, because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted to the degree that he should have been.” Wow, the Irony Meter just broke!

The current results of all this primary activity are Romney has 123 delegates, Santorum has 72, Gingrich has 32, and Ron Paul brings up the rear with 19 delegates. Next primaries are in Michigan and Arizona on February 28th; by the way the polling shows Santorum leading Romney 33.7% to 28.4%. Ok I’m getting tired of all these numbers which I got, by the way, from Real Clear Politics, which in my opinion, does a great job of tracking polls and political progress. I used RCP in 2008 when I wanted a great source of information about the simultaneous primaries carried on then.

Here is what’s funny about Michigan, Romney grew up there, his dad was a popular governor there and he’s STILL losing in the polls! Maybe because in 2009 he urged lawmakers to "let Detroit go bankrupt.” Also, can anyone tell me what Romney meant when he said of Michigan “Trees are the right height”? Congrats to Rick Santorum for getting this far but are people really voting for him, or, voting against Romney? As George Will put it on ABC’s This Week this last Sunday, “The strongest Republican candidate has the last name ‘Romney’ and the first name ‘not’.” 

Justice Guild of America-Tom Turbine!

 Tom Turbine is the resident scientist of the Justice Guild of America. Not only did he create a belt that gave him superpowers such as flying and super-strength, but he also was able to build an interdimensional portal! He was unable to find a suitable power source for it but nonetheless the portal DID work, when powered by the energy from Green Lantern’s ring, so the science behind it was valid. One has to wonder why he didn’t try the ring energy of his JGA colleague Green Guardsman, unless the portal was made of aluminum, which his ring has no effect on!

He is not an exact doppelganger of any given hero but in appearance he seems to combine elements of the Golden Age Atom and the Golden Age Superman. So, I did the same thing. I was quite excited to use the very Golden Age concept of the hero beating up robots!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Story So Far

OK, here’s where the Presidential Campaign of 2012 stands now. First off, last month, unelectable Pizza Magnate Herman Cain “suspended” his campaign, in a fog of sexual misconduct allegations. The final straw was when Ginger White accused him of having a 13-year affair. So ends that sideshow. Newt Gingrich jumped into Cain’s spot as flavor of the month, but he quickly became distasteful to voters.  

By the time of the Iowa Caucus on January 3rd, 2012 Newt had lost his luster, coming in fourth. Unsurprisingly, Mitt Romney won with 30,015 votes, however the big surprise of the day was
Rick Santorum with 30,007 votes, only 8 less than Romney! It turns out Rick, who had only a small amount of money compared to the other candidates, had replaced money with hard work. He visited all 99 counties in Iowa, speaking to potential voters and it paid off. It's impressive enough that I almost regret how I have depicted him on this blog. Almost. Of course, he can’t use that approach in every state; there just isn’t enough time for that.

In third place, Ron Paul with 26,219 votes, more than double what he got here in 2008. This was as good as a victory to his cultish fans and much better than anyone expected. Between the three of them, this equals 70 percent (if you could combine them into one Super-Candidate it could in theory beat Obama) but bear in mind that this is 70 percent of 5.4% of the total voters in Iowa. Yes, this was a “record turnout” and it only drew that small a percentage of the registered voters!

Michele Bachmann also set a record; she had the largest drop in popularity in Iowa history from winning the straw poll to losing the caucuses. She won the straw poll in August with 28.6 percent of the vote but on January 3rd, she only received 5 percent of the votes, which put her in 6th place! She has quit her campaign; here at The Strangest Adventures, we’ll miss her. Meanwhile 4th place Newt Gingrich, 5th place Rick Perry, and 6th place Jon Huntsman continue on. Next stop, New Hampshire!

Justice Guild of America-The Streak!

I’m a huge fan of DC Comics’ superhero groups, like, The Justice League of America and The Justice Society of America. The JSA were the heroes of the Golden Age and of Earth-2, as explained in Flash #123 “Flash of Two Worlds” (written by Gardner Fox). I’ve always been drawn towards tales of the early superheroes, and became quite excited in 2002 when the Justice League Animated Series was going to do a JSA episode but when the episode (Legends) aired it featured a homage to the JSA, The Justice Guild of America. The JGA were thinly disguised versions of some of my favorite heroes, such as The Streak was obviously based on the Golden Age Flash. At the end of the 2-part episode, on the screen flashed “Respectfully dedicated to the memory of Gardner F. Fox”.

Eventually I decided a tribute to the JGA was in order, so I created a series of covers; these are the ones that got me started making faux comic book covers in the first place!
First one up is my favorite, The Streak. He has super-speed as well as fighting skills and is the leader of the JGA. I spent weeks making these early covers, often drawing 1 or 2 pixels at a time, before I developed some time saving techniques, still, I’m pleased with the results and hope you’ll enjoy them.