Monday, December 27, 2010

And the Aftermath...

Well, Christmas this year was far from the usual dysfunctional disaster it has been in previous times. Not that I didn't give it my All-American effort...

My all-around gift to everyone to the families was a print of my Eleventh Doctor portrait, fully framed, just right for the empty spot in the attic. It matches well with the official stuffed Sarah Palin's Alaska polar bear. You know, the one with the bloody bullet hole in its forehead?

I won't go into the circumstances of the booty getting, other than that, for the most part, everything I predicted bore out. But that's okay... I'm so much more into the giving part of things than I am in the getting. I'd just as soon not get anything for Christmas, as it just doesn't seem to be the point of the whole holiday. And besides, nobody likes shopping for me, especially the in-laws. They don't wanna have to explain to the youngsters why Uncle Mark is getting cooler toys than they are.

"Wahhhh! Uncle Mark got the Spider-Man action figure with the kung fu grip and web shooters and all I got was a Star Wars toy! Why? Whyyyyy????"

'Cuz I'm cooler than you kid. Now, sheddup!

Another reason is is that both sides of my family either fear, or have no understanding of how, to shop online. If they did, all their Christmas shopping for me would be done in no time and I could direct them to places where they could save a bundle. Now, the fear part I can understand. Both sides of my family have had encounters with identity theft, the worst case being my brother's wife. She's still dealing with the reprecussions of an encounter a few years ago that still rears its ugly head now and then. I myself had someone hack into our account a couple of years ago and nearly wipe us out (fortunately my bank saw the red flags and took all the necessary steps so we didn't lose anything). But I find there's just as much risk, and perhaps more, of doing in person transactions with a debit card as much as there is on the net. One way or another, there's always a chance the horse is gonna throw ya. The best thing to do is brush yourself off and get back in that saddle.

But I can't seem to convince them to just try it out. Save a little money. Find a bigger variety of items out there. At any rate, if you just go down to the graphic novel section the local Waldenbooks at the mall, I can give you a list and various 40% off coupons. Somehow, I still get the perennial sweaters, pants, socks, undies, and more aftershave, cologne, and deodorant than a man would need in three lifetimes. I'm not that offensive....

But I did have fun at the in-laws this Christmas, much in part to the three crazy dogs they have there. The moment I showed up, they all wanted various degrees of lovin', and I was more than happy to oblige them. While we were waiting for dinner to be served, I went downstairs to the rec room where my nephews were busying themselves disposing of zombies in Black Ops, and to join in on the fun, I hunkered myself down with Vols. 3 and 4 of The Walking Dead softbounds. Below everyone's feet, we had turned the basement into Zombieworld.

Of course, once we got back home, I couldn't wait to turn on the DVR and catch that Doctor Who Christmas Special... during which I fell asleep ten minutes into it. But I did catch it all Sunday... another brilliantly realized Steven Moffat script, with an ingenious twist where the Doctor actually does too good a job at reforming a heartless villain. And, of course, we got a scrumptious teaser trailer for the next season in April. The Ood will be back. The faux TARDIS will be back. The Doctor comes to America (for real, this time!). Musketeers! Stetsons! River Song in various stages of clothing! And the Fez may once again rear its tacky tassel...

I'll be back with more later in the week, along with new episodes of MARK AND DEE. See you then!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings from the MARK AND DEE gang!

Yeah, I know... I've been extremely neglectful of this blog for a while, and I'm hoping to turn that all around this week as I go into a lovely and much-needed three-day weekend that hopefully will give me a chance to catch up on the MARK AND DEE strip, the next in the Doctor Who watercolors I'm doing, and kick back with some fabulous Christmas movies, starting off with my annual Christmas Eve viewing of Bob Hope's The Lemon Drop Kid. Screamingly funny film, one of the last truly great Bob Hope comedies before television claimed him and his steady stream of film comedies began a downward spiral. I wish this was running on TV somewhere because, like so many other Christmas-based movies, it just seems special to just sit and watch it on netwrok and cable, knowing there are other folk out there discovering this lost gem and laughing at it too. Having it on DVD is great, but it just seems a tad empty as an experience. That's why I'm grateful that NBC still runs It's a Wonderful Life twice during the Christmas season, and particularly on Christmas Eve. It gives that great film a national audience.

Yes, Christmas is tomorrow, and I'm not really looking forward to it, as I have always felt that Christmas Eve, the anticipation of it all, is always better than when you get there and it kinda sucks. But I think I can handle it for one really good reason: even if I don't get a darn thing I really wanted for Christmas (and this year especially it's looking more or less that we're heading that way), I still get one thing that's really special: a brand-new Doctor Who episode on BBC America. This year's DW Christmas Special, entitles "A Christmas Carol", will actually air on the same day here in the States as it will in Britain, no stalling for two or three days (or even longer). So Christmas Day won't entirely suck tomorrow, because after all the running around from one family gathering to another, the bloating of my stomach, the yuletide dysfunction, and weariness of the whole bloody mess, I will still get to come home and spend an excellent hour with the Doctor, Amy and Rory.

Sometimes, in spite of it all, things do work out.

Have a lovely holiday season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Journey Parts 10-14

And a day and two months later...

Yeah, I've been extremely neglectful of this blog, so my apologies to all those who were wondering "WTF"! I do have a lot to comment on from the last couple of months, but in the meantime, let's start the make-up process by giving you a whole lot of MARK AND DEE. Merely click on the images for a bigger view.

As you might recall, Tandy Breckinridge, our antiquities dealer and favorite British person has more or less kidnapped her boyfriend Mickey Walton to help with a job for her father. They're currently winging their way aboard her family's private jet for parts unknown. With the exception of Mick's aversion to air sickness, things have gone smoothly until Tandy heads to the pilot's control room...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PREVIEW: Halloween cover for Gallifreyan Gazette #265

Sorry I've been gone for so long, but after a nasty bout of depression and finishing an actual commissioned work (yep, I'm actually getting paid for wat I love to do!), I'm back with some new stuff, starting with the cover of the next issue of the Gallifreyan Gazette, the official newsletter of the Indiana Doctor Who club Whoosier Network. Merely click on the image for the larger view. Hope you like:

And we'll be back with more MARK AND DEE in just a day or so!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Finally: the Brave and the Bold returns!

The last new episode aired in the middle of April, and it's been a long, dry summer of reruns... but the good news is that the Emmy-nominated Batman: The Brave and the Bold returns with all-new episodes this Friday at 7:00 PM on the Cartoon Network. They'll be wrapping up the season-wide subplot with the two-part "The Siege of Starro", as Batman battles the legendary space starfish who has taken control of practically every costumed hero on Earth.

For those of you who haven't been tuning into this terrific series, it's a valentine to long-time Batman fans like myself who feel that, after watching the Dark Knight get darker and darker in both the comics and two cartoon series, we needed a break from the doom and gloom, a return to the fun Batman of the mid-60's and early 70's before he became a sullen psychotic. Well, producer James Tucker, who has been mulling this kind of Batman as far back as the last season of The New Batman Adventures (when he supervised the storyboarding of the Dick Sprang-inspired segment of "Legends of the Dark Knight"), gave it to us and good.

This new series steeps itself into the Silver Age history of DC Comics with the kind of wild stories that do honor to Gardner Fox, Julius Schwartz, John Broome, Robert Kanigher, Jack Kirby, and especially Bill Finger (whom many credit as the real mastermind behind Batman). If you've come here looking for that psychotic bully he's evolved into, just keep marchin'. Batman is the Caped Crusader in this one, a Sprang-inspired creation, with the talented Dietrich Bader as a cross between the raspy Kevin Conroy and the straight-laced camp of Adam West (who actually appeared in an episode with Julie Newmar as Thomas and Martha Wayne!). And while the series itself never takes itself too seriously, there are the dark moments that fans of the Dark Knight clamor for, such as an episode where Batman tracks down the man responsible for his parents' murders (courtesy of Batman: the Animated Series' own Paul Dini).

And let's not forget the musical episode, "Mayhem of the Music Meister", a story with flavor straight out of the 1960's Brave and the Bold comics, featuring Neil Patrick Harris as the Conducter of Crime, with a fantastic score that could persuade Andrew Lloyd Webber to don a cape and tights.


This series has one last full season to go, and I'm hoping before it disappears we'll get that Music Meister action figure. I'll be the first in line for it.

Anyway, put it in your DVR... this Friday, Cartoon Network, 7:00 PM EST.

Monday, September 6, 2010

De Boss' Bookshelf: True Story Swear to God #13, Bone in Full Color

In between running the Whoosier Network, working on the latest MARK AND DEE episodes (more to come very soon!), and actually doing some paid artwork for a change, I've been trying to catch up on the few comics I buy, and we have a couple of real stand-outs from my own library.

After a long hiatus involving a fall down the stairs and a debilitation in his drawing hand, Tom Beland is back in action on a semi-regular basis with his autobiographical comic series True Story: Swear to God. To tune you in very quickly to this witty, delightful, and sometimes heartbreaking series, Tom is the former writer and parttime cartoonist of a small Napa Valley newspaper who, on a wild set of circumstances, got a free trip to Disney World and met the woman who would change his life forever, Puerto Rican radio star and author Lily Garcia. They conducted a long distance romance for months before Tom decided that his heart was calling him to Puerto Rico. After many trials and tribulations in adjusting to the culture shock, Tom eventually married Lily with all their families gathered in Puerto Rico, an event depicted in TS:STG #12.

In the latest issue #13, Tom is having dissfunction issues and seeks medical advice. Doctor after doctor run tests that come back negative, and Tom's frustration at not being able to please Lily is growing by leaps and bounds, as well as his own well-founded fears that his problem may be cancer-related (both his parents died within mere months of each other).

Eventually, one of Lily's medical experts on her talk radio show suggests to Tom that he try Viagara. Tom gleefully depicts his adjustment to the medication, while never trivialising the serious undercurrents his problem could have for his marraige. It's excellent adult reading, and rates a *****+ on De Boss' 5-star meter.

Jeff Smith's Bone (full-color edition) Vol. 1-9: Though I've read the original comic book run from practically the very beginning, now that I have the entire collected series in 9 volumes, and now in full color, I thought now would be a good time to revisit the epic tale that gestated in the five-year-old mind of Columbus, Ohio resident Jeff Smith and became the epic adventure that has sold millions of copies all over the world.

Inspired by Walt Kelly's Pogo, Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge adventure stories, and J.R.R. Tolkien's Ring trilogy, Bone is the tale of three curious cartoonish creatures, the Bone cousins, and the adventures they encounter after they are run out of Boneville following one of the scheming Phoney Bone's flim flams, utilizing the not-so-bright Smiley Bone as his henchmen. Of the three, Fone Bone is the most stable, a heroic dreamer whose chance encounter with the beautiful human Thorne leads him and his two cousins into a world of talking animals, dragons, good friends, and despicable enemies.

While I realize Smith is finally done with this epic tale he has spent a lifetime creating and that he is moving on to other projects, such as his current series Rasl, I'm hoping that one day he's going to have another itch to scratch, and that we'll eventually return to Barrelhaven (or maybe even Boneville itself!) and have yet another great adventure with the lovable Bone Cousins and all their friends. ****** out of 5.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Loss in the Family

To your left, you will see one of my favorite pictures of one of the nicest pets we've ever had in our home, Samson. We adopted him almost ten years ago while we were still living in my Mom's old house on Wehmeier Street in Columbus, Indiana and our long-lived cat Demon, by now age 16, was still with us. He was actually the house pet of our next door neighbor, but she was looking to give him a better home because her health problems physically kept her from giving "Sam", as she called him, the kind of attention that he deserved. From the moment he saw us pulling up into our driveway, he made beeline toward us, his cropped tail wiggling back and forth on his butt, and you could literallly hear that old 1970's disco tune "I'm Just a Love Machine" filling the air.

Deena, of course, said "No! We're a one-cat household! Demon would go crazy!" So I had decline the neighbor's offer.

A couple of nights later, a big storm broke, so Deena and I, of course, manned the buckets, as the roof at the old house leaked like a siv, and we kicked back to watch some TV on my night off. At the height of the storm, we heard a THUMP at the screendoor that scared the living crap out of us. I looked out, and sitting, waiting patiently, soaked through and through, was Samson, with a meow that sounded like a banshee's wail.

I told Dee who was outside, and she said, "Well, let me get Demon into the bedroom so we don't have a fight."

So I let the little fella in, and Deena came out with a dry towel and we dried him off as best we could. So we gave him some food and water, and after he'd finished that he came back out to the living room and hopped right up in my lap and got ingratiatingly comfortable.

The storm that night was just not letting up, and I suggested to Dee we let him spend the night. Dee rolled her eyes and said, "Okay, but Demon ain't gonna like it."

We let Demon out, he took one look at Samson, gave a squeeky hiss, and got very self-centered in his own dinner bowl.

We went to bed, leaving Samson out in the living room. Well, he wasn't about to have any of that, so as we got comfortable, he hopped right into our bed and squeezed himself into the crook of my arm and immediately fell asleep. I turned to Dee and said, "Can you really say he has no place in our home?"

Deena rolled her eyes and went to sleep.

The next day when Dee and I both got home from work, Samson was sitting right on our little cement porch, waiting to be let in. "Deena..."

The Walls of Jericho finally crumbled. "Ooooooh... alright, but if he doesn't get along with Demon, he's gone!"

I talked to the neighbor, and she immediately handed me a ton of canned cat food, a bag of cat litter, and a bunch of cat toys. He had already had his front claws removed and he was also fixed and had his shots. So he was a pretty much "made-to-order" housepet.

It took about a month for Demon to get used to the new addition. In fact, early in the morning of my birthday, the two of them decided to give Daddy the best gift of all... a pay-per-view event! They nearly tore the house to shreds fighting each other, but the odds were pretty even: Samson had no claws, Demon had no teeth. Finally, after beating the living pulp out of each other from one end of our very small house to another, they seemed to end it all in the kitchen by going to neutral corners.

I poured them both a couple of bowls of milk, and incredibly enough, they walked over to the bowls together and started drinking, side by side.

For some reason, I felt I was in a feline version of the final bar scene in "The Quiet Man".

With a few altercations that didn't last, Demon and Samson got along very well, right up to when Demon's kidneys started failing and he began having seizures. As Deena and I talked about calling the vet first thing in the morning, Samson reached over to Demon's frail little body and placed his paw on Demon's shoulder. Who wouldn't break down upon seeing that?

Not long after Demon passed away, we decided that Samson needed someone else with him while we were both at work. So we adopted a friend of mine's kitten Syryn. Again, difficult to get the two of them to get along, especially since Syryn is really picky and paranoid about any kind of physical contact that she doen't implement. But in time, they could often be found laying down next to each other, catching a nap, or sitting with both of us watching TV.

In 2006, we moved to a pleasant little house on 22nd Str., and with some difficulty managed to get the cats to move in with us. Samson was on his best behavior, sitting on Dee's lap, enjoying the short trip to the new house. Syryn, on the other hand, went absolutely bug nuts. When we got her to the new place, she immediately squeezed her enormous butt under the new dresser drawer and stayed there until all of Deena's family had finished the painting and furniture moving. Eventually, she crept out while we were alseep, started exploring the new house, and designated it as livable.

All while Sampers laid in between us, sound asleep.

Last night, after a long illness, Samson crawled beneath our bed after spending some time sleeping between us, purring softly, and passed away. While Deena and I mourn losing him, we're thankful that he's no longer in pain and misery and that he's now running with the strength of a kitten.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Friday the 13th Birthday Behind Me....

I just hate, hate, hate when my birthday falls on that accursed Friday the 13th, because it means something really, really annoying is going to happen that's going to disrupt what should have been an otherwise pleasant day of fun and frollic. So I decided to head it off by starting the day off with a birthday present to myself... I went to iTunes and downloaded Lewis Black's Stark Raving Black CD, which finds the explosive comic at the apex of his hilarious indignation of the human condition. In his examinations of the foibles of people both high and low, I believe he is now at a comedic level where dwell such performers as George Carlin, Robin Williams, and Bill Cosby at their peak. His incredulous pairing with Vince Gill and Amy Grant at a charity show made me pee my pants just a little.

Armed with a burned CD to play in the car as I headed to work, I thought, "This day is going to be great! I'm gonna get everything finished early at Subway, maybe Jeannie will even let me off a little early, then I'm heading home, grab Deena, and we're heading to the movies to see Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World! I'll show Friday the 13th! I'm going in with a better attitude!"

And, ya know... I should have realized from that moment that thinking all that stuff, I was just setting myself up for a fall. I should have just brained myself with a 2X4 in the garage and laid there unconscious until Deena found me. It would have been far more pleasant than the following six hours and forty minutes.

Now, to be fair, Jeannie got me a really funny birthday card, which further deluded me into thinking things were going to come out well. Almost immediately after that, things started sliding. The breakfast rush got so that I barely had time at the prep table to finish the food slicing before lunch began. We fell a bit behind on the bread baking. Then we had one obnoxious customer right after another... and then, in handling the hot soup pan coming out of the microwave, Jeannie spilled a nice puddle of it on the counter.

The day dragged, the dishes got higher, the prep list got bigger, but we did manage to get most of it all caught up to just before I was ready to clock out... and then, as if on cue, about two dozen customers, one right after another, showed up to order a jillion sandwiches. I was 40 minutes late getting out of there, forcing Dee and I to go to a later showing.

Later that night, a nice young man on Tony Isabella's bulletin board wrote me a birthday greeting and advised me to ignore the Friday the 13th superstition, that, as far as he had researched it, it was a "relatively recent invention of the 20th Century."

I wrote back, "Ah, so that was a relatively recent invention that's been kicking my @$$ all day today, spilling hot soup on the counter, making me and Deena late to the movie! You know, he was standing right outside Wal-Mart, actually paying people to go in and throw crap on my day. I met him as I was going out and I said, 'Hey, Relatively Recent Invention! Thanks for putting the screws to what was supposed to be a worry-free day!' He said, 'Not a problem! Hey, here's a rash! Don't say I wasn't thinkin' about you on your birthday!'"

So, we decided to go get some eats at Grindstone Charley's before I absolutely fell over from insulin shock and catch the later showing. It was worth the frustrations... if you fuse the best of John Hughes' teen angst movies with the crazy-ass energy of a Jet Li action flick and the classic video games of the 80's and 90's, the result is absolutely the world of Scott Pilgrim. Edgar Wright, the director of great British comedies like Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, has reached a whole new level of energy with this film.

The rest of the day, thankfully, went uneventful, and the Sweet One and I settled down to a couple of hours of good television before letting my 54th birthday slink off into the dusk.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


After far too long a time with nothing but the previous MARK AND DEE comics filling in for me, I'm back to my full powers of observation and making up goofy s#!t.

InConJunction July 2nd-4th was once again a huge success for the Whoosier Network, with a much bigger room this time and perfect audio and visual equipment thanks to or good friend James Robinson from Cincinnati. His contributions, and those of Stephen Kendall, gave everyone a chance to see this season's Doctor Who on a big screen and surround sound.

I, of course, precided and hosted over the room for the 49-hour marathon of the 31st Season, classic Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures, and other cool extras we scrounged up, making me Who Fandom's Jerry Lewis... especially at the end when I was looking and feeling pretty scraggily. But the final two episodes, "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang", played to packed houses, with the finale blowing the roof off the place.

Amazingly, everything went without a hitch thanks to plenty of prep time to get everything set up. In fact there was only glitch during the entire weekend... while I was napping during the wee hours of Saturday morning during the running of Torchwood, someone swiped my cellphone. Many of the Whovian and Who-Net community rallied to help me out, from offering me time on their cells so I could stay in contact with Deena at home to posting posters around the convention hall to see if it could be located. I was reminded how close and tightknit our club can really be.

Anyway, we had some great panels, headed up by myself, Pyramid Magazine editor and writer Steven Marsh, and our guest-of-honor author Keith R.A. DeCandido (who currently writes the ongoing Farscape comic book), and a terrific round of "Are You Smarter Than a Sci-Fi Geek?", with valuable collectibles going out as the grand prizes. We also had the premiere of my fan video set to the tune of "Doctor Who is Gonna Fix It", and some of Craig Ferguson's hilarious comments about Doctor Who.

I'll have some more commentary about the convention in our next session. Don't be late!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Journey, Part 1

With our having reached a nice moment for a break from Mark and Dee's trevails, let's check out what's happening with Mark's pal Mickey Walton, now the new owner of the Comic Cave, and the center of his romantic eye, Tandy Breckinridge, British antiquities dealer

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 26

And here it is, the stirring conclusion to "The Letter"!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 25

Sorry I haven't been exactly talkative in the last month or so, but I've been engulfed in a lot of projects and obligations, particularly the comic strip below. As soon as this storyline is finished just a few days from now, we'll get back on the true purpose of this blog... me thinking up goofy s@#t.

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 24

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 22 and 23

Here comes a double dose of MARK AND DEE, as we get closer to the end of "The Letter"

Monday, July 12, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 21

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 20

After far too long an absence, MARK AND DEE are back, continuing with Deena's heavenly confrontation with an unwelcome slummer...

Monday, May 31, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 18

I'm very proud of the dialogue for this and the next few episodes, as it's taken directly from our second mini-issue. And it's so cool to finally get to color it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Parts 16 and 17

Sorry it's been so long between posts, but we're dealing with lots of crazy things around here, particularly a car that is in its final days, but I finally found time to get things going on the final episodes of The Letter. Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

MARK AND DEE - The Letter, Part 14

Fun day today, despite all the rain and being broke (as usual). Finished a neat little Doctor Who video using the classic Aussie novelty song "Doctor Who is Gonna Fix It" for InConJunction and, after a long, long week, we have a new installment of the MARK AND DEE opus, "The Letter"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 13

Sorry we've been gone so long, but as my last few entries have indicated, this week has been a... ditch. Hopefully more episodes this Thursday and many more during the weekend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just Got Worse

Just got word that I'm probably going to be the one that has to take Mom to her foot doctor's for re-dressing her foot every day this week, making the chances of getting the car fixed this week next to impossible.

And, on top of that, classic fantasy artist Frank Frazetta just passed away after a very long illness, and after a very stressful ordeal concerning his family's management of his estate. Fortunately, the latter was resolved a few weeks ago.

Now I know why they're called Mondays.

It Got Better....

Brother Tim called a little while ago and offered to get Mom to her appointments while he was in town with his ward Devon, so I won't have to take the car anywhere until later in the afternoon over to Bob's to talk to him about the car. A postponement of bad news, but at this point, I'll take anything.

Just got the mail in, and I finally broke down and ordered DOCTOR WHO: THE END OF TIME Parts I & II. Besides a rip-roaring conclusion to David Tennant's award-winning performance as the immortal Time Lord, many special features abound, including David Tennant's Video Diary, chronicling his final days on the show. There's also the fantastic reception the DW team got at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con. Best quote of the day: from a San Diego newscaster who came in off duty just to meet David Tennent and Russell T. Davies before a live interview: 'Who knew the best show on American television was produced in Britain?"

Not Going to be a Happy Day

Sorry I've been away for a while, especially with any rambling comments I have, but we've hit a rough patch here financially this last couple of days, culminating in what looks like a very expensive car repair bill, of which I have no clue as to how we'll pay it. And the car being sick comes at a really bad time, as my brother Kenny is going in for some outpatient surgery in Indianapolis to fix the rotater cup of his shoulder. This means he won't be able to drive for about a month or more, and he is the one who takes Mom in for her dialysis Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with myself on Mondays and others the following days getting her back home. So they're dependent on me to pick up Mom early those three days.

I'm heading over to my regular mechanic later today to see if there's anything he can do, but even he has told me that it's time for a new car. If our finances weren't so entangled in paying off debt for at least the next three months, I wouldn't even hesitate. So we have to keep the old Lumina going as best we can until at least August. So there's where we are.

Meanwhile, I have to pray that the car holds up well today, as I have to pick up Mom, get her to the foot doctor, then double back to the other side of town to get her to her regular doctor, go pay a storage shed bill, then get her home, as well as myself. I have a feeling this might be too much for the old girl at one time, but we'll have to take it on faith that we'll get through.

The only good thing that I see coming out of today is that I'll have some new MARK AND DEE episodes posted later this afternoon, and I'm winding down the number of backed-up TV shows and movies I have on my DVR. Oh, yeah, plus Young and the Restless. From what I've heard, Patty's little switcheroo with Emily pretty much collapses this afternoon.

God, what I wouldn't do for a big ol' fish sandwich from Ye Old Fish Shop today. But due to all the road construction down by their way, the shop is closed until June.

Monday, April 26, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 12

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 11

I just discovered from my good friend Bev Keddy that I have a following in his native land. I'm the Jerry Lewis of Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 8

Took the week off to take care of some business, but we're now into the first layer of a very long-running storyline that I was going to do in the MARK AND DEE comic (and may still do eventually), but I've been jonesing to do this thing, and, by golly... here we go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter Part 7

Our special guest-star, Tony Isabella, not only granted permission to me to bring him into the storyline, he came up with the witty dialogue in the final panel! many thanks, Tony!

Monday, April 12, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 6

I thought this might be a good time to bring my cats Samson and Syryn into the frey. They're my feline Greek chorus....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Letter Part 2

Sorry we've been late getting to the next episode, but Dee and I have been wretchedly ill for the last three weeks. But my energy is up, I've spent the last few Sundays doing a backlog of strips, and they're ready to be colored and dialogued, so you can pretty much count on a new episode every other night, if not sooner.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Doctor, Great Batman: Brave and the Bold, Fabulous Easter Weekend!

Sorry for the week off, but things have been incredibly hectic and stressful at work, and between that and trying to fight off a horrible spring cold, I've had to keep a low profile.

However, despite all the coughing and snottin' around, this Easter weekend has started off brilliantly.

First off, last Friday's Batman: The Brave and the Bold was one I've been looking forward to all this season, and it did not disappoint. "The Power of Shazam!" may challenge "Mayhem of the Music Meister" as the best episode of the series, as it is a love letter to fans of one of the greatest (and most abused) classic super-heroes of all time. Captain Marvel, who once rivaled Superman as the number one comic book hero throughout the 1940's, has really suffered under DC Comics since he was revived under the title SHAZAM! After the original run of the comic failed, the good Captain has been relentlessly rebooted, revised, turned grim and gritty, meshed half-hazardly into the DC Universe, been the subject of a TV series that dropped nearly everything that made CM wonderful, and was recently revived as part of a children's comic where any resemblance to the original character and the abstract version that now passes for the World's Mightiest Mortal is purely coincidental.

I'd almost completely given up on ever seeing a decent version of Captain Marvel... until last Friday.

This is exactly how Captain Marvel should be portrayed... light-hearted, a great sense of fun for both kids and adults, and faithfulness to the original designs by C.C. Beck, Pete Costanza, and Otto Binder. Every moment that passed had an Easter egg that made me squeal like a school girl. The only thing that would have completely knocked me out would have been an appearance by a certain wicked worm...

Still, it was great to see the Sivana family in full evil mode, the deadly Black Adam, the ancient wizard Shazam, and a great wrap-up that gave us hope that eventually the entire Marvel Family could show up in the future.

Saturday night kicked my two-days off just right... through secret sources of my own, I got to see the opening salvo of the new Doctor Who series, "The Eleventh Hour". Hugo Award-winning writer Steven Moffat is now producing the series, and wrote this episode, and he's certainly putting his distinctive stamp on the show... dark, witty, macabre, with an awful lot of the "Creep Factor" thrown in. And he certainly does not disappoint.

The inspired choice of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor is a masterstroke. In fact, in many ways both in physicality and mannerisms, Smith reminds us of a much taller and leaner version of Patrick Troughton's second Doctor.

But even more so is the choice of Karen Gillan as the new companion Amy Pond, who may be as different a traveling pal as the Doctor has ever had. She's been a gal who has had to do certain unsavory things to make her way in the world in between waiting, waiting, waiting for the strange man and the even stranger blue box to take her away, and always running late... years late.

You can already see the subplots being developed concerning this new addition to the TARDIS crew, and by the end, we just wonder how much someone will give up to travel with the Doctor, and what the ultimate consequences may be.

Another great move is a new opening title sequence that mirrors the new dangers that this new Doctor will face. Now instead of a mere tumbling through the time vortex, the tunnel now seems to resemble the eye of a tornado, with the hapless police box being buffeted and tossed and struck by dangerous lightning bolts. Murray Gold's rescoring of the classic theme is perfectly in line with a new tone the series is taking on.

Anyway, April 17th, BBC America. Miss it at your own risk.