Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Charlton Comics Missing Context #1: Nora's Quite Popular

This is something I started last week over on the Charlton Arrow Facebook group. There are so many great Charlton Comics from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and onward that are posted online. Some of my favorites are cheesy romance stories. Which makes it so easy to find something like this:

I'm thinking about sharing some of these panel gags here on the blog. I can't remember which specific title where I found this panel, but I'll make sure to share that information in future installments.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Little Archie Meets Alien" in WORLD OF ARCHIE COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #47

Perhaps in anticipation of Archie Comics' and Dark Horse Comics' upcoming ARCHIE MEETS PREDATOR joint comic book series, I noticed what could only be described as a prequel "Little Archie Meets Alien" short story in WORLD OF ARCHIE COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #47. I initially skimmed the story and was startled with how we almost lost Riverdale to an alien invasion back when Archie Andrews was a young boy!

The story started out with a trio of invading creatures flying to Earth looking for specimens. Looks at the top image to see how little they think of humanity. To them, we are nothing but "pests."

The flying saucer lands dangerously close to Little Archie's home. He and his dog Spotty are quickly accosted by one of the small alien invaders:

Little Archie and Spotty escape and seek refuge at Little Veronica's home, which is filled with dozens of young Riverdale refugees! Unfortunately, the alien follows them and breaks into Lodge Mansion. Check him out as he performs some crazy dance ritual. I'm assuming that his kind does this before striking out at their prey!

Just before the alien strikes, a new boy seeks refuge at Lodge Mansion. Apparently, this is one child too many and the alien decides to cut-and-run! He flees from the building and the Riverdale Kids are safe!

But for how long...?

But then I did more than skim and realized that this story was actually less dire than originally assumed.

"The New Kid" introduces Little Archie to a traveling alien child. The alien child needs to collect a flower from another planet and they chose an abandoned house in Riverdale to search for their plant in order to avoid contact with people. Of course, that was a major fail because the alien child ran into Little Archie, who assumed that the alien child was Sparky Smith wearing a costume. Both boys go to Little Veronica's costume party and enjoy each other's company until the real Sparky Smith shows up. The alien child then races away and returns to his parents' flying saucer.

"The New Kid" is a new Little Archie short story written and penciled by Bob Bolling, inked by Bob Smith, lettered by Jack Morelli, and colored by Digikore Studios.

Gay Marriage Halted in Alabama

Gay marriages have stopped in Alabama, following a decision by the Alabama Supreme Court:
Weeks after a United States District Court judge in Mobile ordered a probate judge there to issue same-sex marriage licenses, the Alabama Supreme Court has ordered a halt to same-sex marriages in the state

"As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for 'marriage' between only one man and one woman," the order said. "Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty."

While same-sex marriage advocates chanted "love wins" outside Alabama courthouses last month, the Alabama Supreme Court said love has little to do with legal marriage in the state. 

"This notion has broad public appeal and is, perhaps, the mantra most repeated in public discussions of this matter," the court wrote. "But although love may be an important factor in a lasting marriage, civil marriage has no public interest in whether the people seeking a marriage license love one another."
In other words, the Alabama Supreme Court says that marriage is all about maintaining the proper ratio of male and female genitals. Nothing else.

Meanwhile, many same-sex couples have already become legally married in Alabama. Those marriages exist whether or not the Alabama Supreme Court finds the proper ratio of male and female genitals.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tasting Parties & Petting Zoos in JUGHEAD & ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #10!

I'm really behind on reading my Archie Comics digests. Here is one from three weeks ago called JUGHEAD & ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #10, which features two brand-new lead stories. In order to help me catch up, I thought I would highlight plot summaries of these two tales plus interesting images from each tale.

The first story featured Jughead and Mr. Weatherbee in "The Feast and the Furious." This story was written by Alex Simmons, penciled by Fernando Ruiz, inked by Rich Koslowski, lettered by Jack Morelli, and colored by Digikore Studios. This was a pretty simple story. Jughead and the 'Bee go on a daylong "tasting party." Basically, they bond over food. Lots of it.

There was one cameo that grabbed my attention. Do you guys think this is a young Clay Walker or is this just wishful thinking on my part??

Then there is "The Snack Attack" by Fernando Ruiz, Bob Smith, Jack Morelli, and Digikore Studios. I liked this story more than the first story. It was definitely more complex. Mr. Weatherbee arranges for a field trip at Honey Bear's Petting Zoo -- off-season because it's cheaper. Of course, the food booth is closed because it's off-season. That doesn't stop Archie and Jughead from creating a sticky mess while trying to start up the Honey Fountain!! Looks like these petting zoo animals have been groomed to crave some. Run guys! Run!!

By the way, who keeps a bear at a petting zoo??

Nebraska's Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down by Federal Judge

These are crazy days. A federal judge struck down Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage earlier today:
A federal judge has struck down Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage. According to an injunction filed in federal court Monday, Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon said "all relevant state officials are ordered to treat same-sex couples the same as different sex couples in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage." The order is set to take effect March 9 at 8 a.m.
State officials have already appealed this decision.

It's crazy because Nebraska's gay marriage just got struck down and I've heard next to nothing on the news. Crazy indeed!

I cannot remember if I've mentioned this here before, but I was born in Nebraska. I spent my pre-teens years in that state, but would never go back (except to visit family). But it's nice to see my birth state finally catching up with the rest of America!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cosmo's Space Race!

Over the past 1.5 years, I've written several posts about the "Archie: Riverdale Rescue" iOS gaming app. Every so often, they do an update to the game and I'm treated to a few new scenarios. I learned of a new Archie Comics-related game on iTunes earlier this week. It's not anything that's terribly involved like "Riverdale Rescue," but it worth checking out if you enjoy simple gaming apps.

I'm talking about "Cosmo's Space Race." "Cosmo's Space Race" features Cosmo the Merry Martian, an alien character that Archie Comics published back in the 1950s. He had an eight-issue series and has made a handful of appearances over the past decade. Plus, he's one of Fernando Ruiz's favorite characters. So it's not uncommon for Cosmo Easter Eggs to appear in stories drawn by Ruiz.

As I noted before, "Cosmo's Space Race" is pretty simple, especially when compared to "Riverdale Rescue." You fly around in Cosmo's space ship and shoot lasers a robot drones and asteroids. You earn points for each item that you destroy. But it's difficult to move your ship quickly and your game will end with fiery results if any of those items collide with you.

Periodically, a star will fall from the sky with the rest of the debrie. You are encouraged to touch the stars. If you are successful and manage to touch one of the stars, your space ship's gun will switch briefly to rapid-fire mode, which will allow you to shoot more asteroids and drones and increase your points.

Otherwise, there's not much more to "Cosmo's Space Race." But it's a fun little game and it's free, so why not download the app and try it out for yourself?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

David Benham: I Can Cure Homosexuality With Baseball

Remember the Benham brothers? Their home improvement program got canceled before it ever began once HGTV discovered the scope of their anti-gay and anti-choice activism. Apparently, they have discovered the cure to homosexuality. It's baseball:
The Benhams shared during their National Religious Broadcasters convention speech a specific interaction that they recently had with an unidentified gay man who vocally opposed their stance on homosexuality.

“We had so many people from the gay community reaching out to us and one man in particular from the city of Chicago reached out — and he said things to me that made me lose my appetite,” David Benham told the crowd during a panel discussion about religious liberty. “But I simply responded in love.”

And that positive tone went well beyond merely listening and speaking with kindness. 

“After a little conversation back and forth, I found out he loved baseball … and I got him tickets to a Cubs game,” Benham continued. “He shot me a Facebook post and said, ‘I was not expecting that — and I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I’ve chosen to walk away from my lifestyle.’”

The story received a round of applause from the audience and the brothers proceeded to discuss their take on religious freedom, their belief that the nation has begun to “slowly turn our back on God” and the need for Americans to boldly stand up and defend their faith.

“Love filled our heart. We had absolutely no hatred,” David Benham said, later adding, “What God needs most is a simple voice for truth.”
Interestingly, softball continues to encourage lesbianism...

Seriously, the Twins also revealed that they reached out to representatives from GLAAD, Right Wing Watch, Human Rights Campaign, and a few other groups after their show got preemptively canceled and invited them for dinner:
While no one took them up on the dinner offer, he said that they exchanged emails and had good conversations with some of the individuals — a testament to the Benhams’ views about how people should treat their opponents.

“We tell folks, ‘Don’t open your mouth to speak until you first truly love the people you’re speaking to,’” Jason Benham added, pushing back against the “false narrative” that he and his brothers are “haters.”
This might be a good message for the guys to communicate to their father, who is known for some pretty toxic anti-gay activism, including disrupting a same-sex wedding in North Carolina (and upping the toxicity when the police asked him to tone it down) and disrupting a Unitarian Universalist church services (including terrorizing a classroom of children with images of bits of aborted fetuses). These are just a few prominent incidents since the twins' show can preemptively canceled by HGTV.

Ms. Lion at the Veterinary Clinic

Ms. Lion was due for a fecal exam and heartworm test, so we made the journey to her veterinary clinic. She wasn't happy:

She was not happy at all. In fact, she was so unhappy that she ended up taking a dump in the clinic's reception room.

But she's clean from parasites, so that's good.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Christian Florist Upset She Cannot Legally Discriminate Against Gay Couple in Washington

I've avoided writing about this case out of Washington. It's the case of 70-year-old Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who refused to allow her flower shop to provide flowers for a long-time gay customer's wedding "because of my relationship with Jesus." He and his new husband were upset that they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientations. With the help of the ACLU, they filed a successful lawsuit against Stutzman's business for violating the state's anti-discrimination law. She owes them money and now she's making the rounds on various political and religious programs to complain about how her religious liberties were violated by this couple and by the state of Washington.

I only started getting heated about this case because of this blog article. It was written by The Marin Foundation's current executive director, Michael Kimpan. Another person commented that Kimpan missed the boat and said that now anyone can claim discrimination for anything. Jewish delis will be forced to sell non-kosher food. Muslim restaurants will be forced to serve pork. Cutlery salesmen will be forced to sell knives to cannibals and they won't be able to do anything when those cannibals use those products to carve up human flesh. Oh, and florists will be discriminating against single people for selling wedding bouquets.

All of this is bull. Public accommodation laws don't force restaurants, for example, to sell anything and everything. I cannot claim discrimination for going to McDonald's and requesting pizza because McDonald's -- unless they put it on their menu someday -- doesn't actually sell that product. The same goes for those other businesses. And the cutlery salesman can actually call the police if he has a suspicion that someone is killing and/or eating other people. That's illegal.

On the other hand, Stutzman's business actually sells -- among other products -- wedding flowers. If her customer was marrying a woman, she would gladly sell him wedding flowers. Because that's what she does for a living. But because he married another man, she discriminated against him. On the basis of sexual orientation. She admits it. Everyone admits it. They just don't like that she can't get away with it.

Washington updated its anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation. Why should we be surprised when a public business gets in trouble for discriminating against someone on the basis of sexual orientation? The same way they would get in trouble for discriminating on the basis of race or disability or gender? Otherwise, what was the purpose of this law?

Washington allows exemptions under its anti-discrimination law for certain types of religiously-based nonprofit businesses and institutions. Why doesn't this woman reclassify her business to comply with the law so that she can continue to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers, as well as presumably any other customer who doesn't fit within her specific religious perspective?

 It's not like wedding bouquets and arrangements for gay weddings are dramatically different than flowers for heterosexual weddings -- if at all.

Would her faith seriously be injured by preparing flowers for this wedding? How? Does she honestly endorse every wedding that she's ever worked with commercially or is she ultimately just bringing home a paycheck and keeping her business open for business? I'm curious how much she communicates her faith to her customers before each wedding? Surely she's worked with non-Christian customers on their weddings before.

Or is her faith only offended by same-sex marriages? Because, frankly, those are the only types of weddings where I see businesspeople ever claiming to be running commercial extensions of their personal faith as opposed to for-profit businesses that are open to the public.

#TheDress or #TheDalek??