Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Massachusetts Lesbians Form "Throuple" // Have Commitment Ceremony

This was in last week's New York Daily News. Three women in Massachusetts have formed a "throuple" and are expecting a baby. The three women are Bryan, Doll, and Kitten Young.

Brynn and Doll had been together romantically for nearly three years when they sought out a new partner through an online dating website for threesomes. That's how they met Kitten. They all hit it off, which eventually led to a commitment ceremony this past August 2013. Since then, Kitten became impregnated with sperm from an unknown donor.

This throuple claims to be the first of its kind -- but I know at least one four-person plural marriage that got together locally under circumstances back in the 90s. They also had a kid together. Within a year of that, the relationship fell apart. But the concept is the same.

This throuple is not legally married, through they had a lawyer draw up paperwork to equally merge all of their assets.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Commencement Speaker Chosen Instead of Dustin Lance Black Cancels on PCC!

This is awkward. You might remember the difficulties that Pasadena City College was going after its Board of Trustees apparently disinvited Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black as its spring commencement speaker. PCC implemented an overly confusing commencement speaker selection process that seemingly invited eight different speakers simultaneously. Black, an alumnus of PCC, accepted his invitation weeks ago and began the process of purchasing plane tickets and canceling paid gigs elsewhere so that he could attend the commencement ceremony before being disinvited two weeks ago yesterday. Black publicly complained about this process and about the fact that he was apparently disinvited over sexually explicit pictures between him and an ex-boyfriend that were sold to the tabloids without his knowledge or permission back in 2009. Black has been in touch with his legal team to seek reimbursement for financial losses related to this situation. (Read here and here for more information.)

Anyway, the PCC Board of Trustees ended up officially invited Eric Walsh, Pasadena's Director of Public Health, as the commencement speaker. Now, after weeks of controversy, Walsh has canceled his involvement with PCC's Spring 2014 graduation ceremony:
Commencement speaker Eric Walsh, Pasadena’s Director of Public Health, has cancelled his plans to speak at the Spring 2014 graduation, according to a statement released by the District this afternoon after questions were raised about whether or not he was ever publicly board-approved to be the speaker in the first place.

“Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, Dr. Eric Walsh will be unable to serve as Commencement speaker on May 9th,” the statement reads. “The Board of Trustees will approve a replacement speaker and authorize the college president to issue a formal invitation.”

The board will hold a special meeting tomorrow to discuss the commencement issue at 7 p.m. in the Creveling lounge.
At least two people in the linked article hope that PCC's Board of Trustees reached out again to Dustin Lance Black. Frankly, I think that ship has already sailed!

17-Year-Old Father Charged with Neglect Following Infant's Death // Infant's Adoption Plans Disrupted Last Month // Updated 04/29/14: Baby's Father Faces 1st-Degree Murder Charges

Baby Gabriel Before Returning to Birth Parents
(Originally written on 04/24/14): I noticed this story yesterday. A dead 4-month-old baby was found alone at his mother's Des Moines apartment. The child had been left in the care of his 17-year-old father while his mother ran some errands. The father was eventually located by the police and charged with neglect of a dependent person. He most likely faces additional charges pending the results of the autopsy.

Here's the rest of the story. The mother had originally placed the newborn baby in the care of Rachel and Heidi McFarland of Ankeny, IA, and the couple was in the process of adopting the child. The mother changed her mind last month and the child was removed from the lesbian couple's home after roughly three months of caring for him:
Rachel and Heidi McFarland of Ankeny had cared for Gabriel from birth until the middle of March, when his mother took him back.

On Wednesday, the couple were watching the news on TV when they learned Gabriel had died. "It's like he's been taken away from you again," Rachel McFarland said.

The McFarlands have been together for 18 years and married for five. They looked forward after Gabriel's adoption to having a thriving family. "We brought him home from the hospital," Rachel McFarland said. "I cut his umbilical cord."

After that, she said, she spent every waking moment with him until he returned to his birth mother.

"We had to go through our worst possible day with our attorney" when he was taken back, McFarland said. "And then we found out on the news today. … Nobody called or told me."
There are no certainties in life, but you cannot help wondering how different things might have turned out had Gabriel's adoption plans continued as planned.

Updated on 04/29/14: It was reported earlier today that 17-year-old Drew James Weehler-Smith is now facing additional charges connected to the death of 4-month-old Gabriel. He has been charged with first-degree murder, as well one charge of child endangerment resulting in death. Weehler-Smith is being chared as an adult and faces life in prison if convicted of the murder charge.

I originally wondered if the 17-year-old father had panicked following a medical emergency. However, autopsy reports indicate that Gabriel died of abusive head trauma.

I noticed something interesting in this article. The baby's full name was listed: Gabriel King McFarland. McFarland is the last name of the lesbian couple who was in the process of adopting the infant. Gabriel's birth mother disrupted the adoption plans last month.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Iowa City Restaurant Suffering Social Media Onslaught for Allegedly Kicking Out Laughing Baby

There is a restaurant in downtown Iowa City that I won't name in this post. I started noticing a lot of negative buzz about "The Restaurant" last night on Facebook. So, during a fit of mild insomnia, I began reading the businesses Facebook page. This is what I learned.

Early Saturday evening, a couple went to "The Restaurant" with their 10-month-old baby. The couple says that they were having drinks before their meal and that folks from a neighboring table were entertaining their baby and making her laugh. Apparently it was a loud laugh, given what comes next. They were approached by the owner of "The Restaurant" who then asked them (referencing the laughing baby) "What are you going to do about this?" The couple claims that they were then asked to leave and they were threatened by a call to the police if they didn't settle their bill first. According to them, the manager escorted them out of "The Restaurant" and agreed that the owner is an asshole.

The couple posted a negative review and description of the evening on Yelp. The story began spreading about the baby who was kicked out of "The Restaurant" for laughing too loudly and that's when it took off. People began filling the business' Facebook page with negative reviews and calls for a boycott.

Then last night, the owner of "The Restaurant" posted his side of the story. He claims that the father appeared buzzed to at least two of the restaurant employees when the family arrived Saturday evening. He said that the couple had already eaten elsewhere and were at "The Restaurant" for cocktails. He agreed that the baby was laughing, but was also screaming and disturbing other guests. So he, the owner, approached the couple's table and mentioned that other guests were complaining and asked for them to do something about their noisy baby.

The owner claims that the husband in this couple then jumped up from the table, began clapping and waving is arms, and screamed "This guy is kicking us out because we have a baby!" The owner says that he told the man to calm down or else the police would be called. The father then apparently began trying to rally other customers around him to leave en masse.

Of course, the father -- who has already publicly identified himself -- is now pissed that he's been accused of taking his baby on a drunken bender and is threatening legal action on the basis of libel.

Lots of people have rallied to one side or the other. A few people say that they were actually at the restaurant when this happened. As is usually the case, these people indicated that there is a little bit of truth in both sides of this story. The baby was laughing, but it's unclear if she was screaming. The owner privately approached the couple and the father began yelling about his baby being kicked out of the restaurant. The couple was then escorted out.

I guess I'm not sure what I want to communicate with this post. It seems like both parties could have handled this a little better. The father could be a little more honest for how he's framing this situation. His baby wasn't being kicked out of the restaurant. It really seems like he was told about customer complaints and then escalated the situation by yelling about his laughing baby. And the owner probably needs to work a bit harder on his people skills, given various older Yelp and Facebook reviews that I've read. And it didn't help that he basically accused the customer of drunk parenting.

Fortunately, it appears from a recent comment on "The Restaurant's" Facebook page that the two men have finally begun speaking to each and have scheduled a time to sit down privately to hash things out. Hopefully they will each practice more humility and offer up a bit of grace during their next meeting.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

1st Congressional District Republicans in Iowa Remove Marriage Inequality Language from Platform

(source)
Iowa has been a marriage equality state for five years now. Life has gone on. No pastors have been jailed. No churches have been shuttered for refusing gay weddings. Nothing has changed except that same-sex couples have been able to legally marry. Despite this, the Iowa GOP has continued to fight against Iowa's gay and lesbian families and really want to dismantle these marriages.

Well... Not quite anymore. Republicans within Iowa's 1st Congressional District have decided to stop fighting gay marriage:
Republicans in Iowa's 1st Congressional District no longer declare in their district platform that marriage is only between one man and one woman. The plank was replaced with a statement that the government should have no role in marriage...

Tony Krebsbach -- who at Saturday's 1st District convention was voted out of his position on the state GOP central committee -- said that platform committee members in the northeast Iowa district decided on the change about a month ago.

The platform committee realized Saturday that a district mailer did not include the updated statement. The committee presented a corrected platform, with the new marriage-related plank, at Saturday's convention, Krebsbach said. At the convention, Republicans who opposed the change made three attempts to amend the platform to include the traditional marriage plank, but each attempt failed.
I'm not sure how long this plank will survive, but it's certainly a good sign.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

UK Man Dresses in Bunny Costume // Stabs Ex's New Boyfriend

Pritchard
A 46-year-old gay man from Warminster in Wiltshire, UK, has been sentenced to nearly nine years in prison after admitting to a charge of wounding another man with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Mark Pritchard was apparently having a difficult time coping with a romantic break-up. So he showed up at his ex-boyfriend's home dressed in a bunny costume and stabbed his ex's new boyfriend several times with a knife:
Mark Pritchard arrived at the home of his former gay lover Lee Corbin in Totterdown, dressed in a theatrical animal outfit. He was holding roses and love letters. Pritchard managed to persuade his ex's new boyfriend, Martin Williams, that he was carrying a "special delivery" from Mr Corbin, who was away on holiday.  After reading out a number of love letters he had written himself, Pritchard persuaded Mr Williams to blindfold himself and wait in bed for "some treasure". But Pritchard snuck up on his rival and tried to knock him out with a handkerchief covered in chloroform before starting to stab him with a knife.
There is a message in this story. It doesn't matter how convincing the stranger in the bunny costume seems. Don't let him in your house and don't let the stranger in the bunny costume trick you into lying face-down on a bed wearing nothing but a blindfold.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Meet the Outrageous New Faces of Jem and the Holograms!

Remember last month when it was announced that there will be a "Jem and the Holograms" movie? Check out the official Holograms:


Jem is to be played by Aubrey Peeples. Kimber is to be played by Stephanie Scott. Aja is to be played by Hayley Kiyoko. And Shana is to be played by Aurora Perrineau.

KEVIN KELLER to be Canceled with Issue #15 // Updated 04/25/14: Dan Parent Responds on Fan Board to Discuss KEVIN KELLER Relaunch!

(Originally written on 04/24/14): It's been a couple weeks since we learned of the planned cancellation of LIFE WITH ARCHIE. I ended my work-day with the news that the KEVIN KELLER comic book is also being canceled, effective with issue #15. Dan Parent, Kevin Keller's creator, was interviewed about the cancellation:
To be clear, we’re not canceling the book: It’s ending so we can take a minute to plan a relaunch for the character. In the meantime, Kevin will continue to be a big part of the other Archie titles— including Afterlife with Archie.

It’s about direction for the character. I’ve had some ideas for Kevin that I have discussed with the powers that be at Archie, and these ideas would work better as a relaunch rather than as a continuation of the current book.
This is disappointing. There just aren't that many Archie Comics comic books coming out these days. So we will be left with ARCHIE, BETTY & VERONICA, AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, and eventually a new mini-series featuring the Fox -- and that's assuming we won't receive a new article in two weeks canceling one of the above titles!

There is already speculation about the future plans for Kevin Keller. One friend thinks that his book will be relaunched as a superhero title featuring the Equalizer. I've been wondering if we might see a Kevin Keller that's more geared towards his adult and teen gay fans vs. younger readers. Maybe we're looking forward to a teen television pilot. Or maybe they're just blowing smoke and the character will slowly fade into the background.

The main thing that gives me hope that this final option won't come true is that Dan Parent has been pretty active with announcing this "ending"/cancellation and from some Facebook comments that he has made.

Updated on 04/25/14: As indicated above, there has been a lot of discussion about the cancellation of KEVIN KELLER and what it means for the character, for the title, and for Archie Comics. Dan Parent joined in the conversation on the Archie Comics Fan Forums boards last night and offered the following assurances:
Hey folks, Dan here.  I just want you to know that even though Kevin's current book is ending, it's not the end of Kevin.  The company and I have been discussing the plots for a new storyline and it will be even better than this series.  I can't speak for why jughead wasn't relaunched, but I do know Kevin WILL be relaunched.  I  don't know what format or frequency the new series will fall under, but it will be very exciting and we will have much more freedom than we have in the current series.  And that's all I can say is we will have some sort of announcement by years end.  And of course Kevin will appear in other stories in the meantime, including an amazing turn in the next Afterlife book!
I am assuming that this will be a print comic series and not a digital series, though I could be wrong. But my initial hunch is that this KEVIN KELLER relaunch will be a T-rated comic book (similar to AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE) and/or be folded into the Red Circle line of comics, where Archie Comics will be able to continue stories featuring Kevin but also cater more to his older fanbase. That's where my thoughts are right now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

KKK Neighborhood Watch Fliers Blanket Township in Pennsylvania

The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has recently begun spreading fliers around Fairview Township, PA, which promote a "Neighborhood Watch." Apparently there have been a "recent rash of break-ins" in that community and the KKK doesn't believe that the local police are up to snuff.

This KKK group in Fairview Township used fliers that are extremely similar to KKK Neighborhood Watch fliers that were distributed in Cedar Rapids, IA, and several smaller communities in Southeast Iowa -- though none of the Iowa communities where this happened had been experiencing any crime increases. But fliers in each of these communities -- both Iowa and Pennsylvania -- received resources from the Traditional American Knights national headquarters in Park Hills, MO.

The fliers read:
-- Neighborhood Watch --

You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!

Are there troubles in your neighborhood? Contact the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan today!
The Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK has been attempting to massage its reputation over the past few years. Sure, the organization was known in past decades for domestic terrorism and lynchings. and sure, there was a recent mass shooting by a former KKK grand dragon over in Overland Park, KS, a week or so ago. But those were all rogues.

The Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK assure people that they routinely perform background checks on all potential members and do not permit membership by those with "serious crimes on their records."

Just remember this. If you ever wake up and find a Neighborhood Watch flier from the Traditionalist Knights of the KKK on your property, just remind yourself that they are not anti-black. They are merely pro-white race and "that does not mean that (they) are enemies of the colored and mongrel race." Just in case you were worried.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cedar Rapids Woman Seeking Extreme Weight-Loss Result through "My 600-lb Life" // Fund-Raising to See Specialized Doctor

Have you watched "My 600-lb Life" on TLC? It is a reality TV show about severely overweight individuals as they struggle to reduce their weight through diet, exercise, surgery, and emotional healing. This isn't a weight-loss/exercise competition show like "The Biggest Loser." This show follows people for months, documenting both their achievements as well as their setbacks.

I believe that I have watched a few episodes of this program -- though there are a couple other similar shows to "My 600-lb Life" and it's possible that I'm confusing the programs. This is what I remember from the program that I watch: This level of obesity is deadly. Most of the shows that I watched ended with the person dying as a result of their weight or following one of their surgical procedures.

Once again, I could be confusing the shows. My recollection is hazy and Google isn't my friend tonight. So if I'm mixing up programs, please correct and forgive me!!

Suffice it to say, these aren't easy fix programs.

Here is why I bring up the program. I learned today of a woman named Charity Pierce from nearby Cedar Rapids, IA. She has a medical condition called lymphedema, which has exacerbated an earlier weight problem and caused extreme swelling in her left leg and hip. She was in the news back in 2012 when she was struggling to lose enough weight to qualify for gastric bypass surgery, which could then assist with even more weight loss. Her weight range back in 2012 was 610-630 pounds. Her weight now is 765 pounds.

Charity is still struggling to lose weight and is in the running to be featured on a new episode of "My 600-lb Life." Unfortunately, there is a catch. She needs to travel to a special doctor in Houston, TX, in order to get onto the show. This doctor will assess her condition and, if approved, will perform gastric bypass surgery on her -- even if she's not down to that 500 pound marker. She can't get to Houston without being transported by ambulance and she cannot afford to pay the ambulance expense.

So Charity Pierce is soliciting online donations to help her raise $5,000 towards specialized transportation costs. In order to get chosen to appear on this program, she needs to raise this money by the end of April. As of this writing, Charity has raised $1,610 is pledged money through GoFundMe.com. If approved for the surgery, the surgery itself should be covered by Medicaid insurance.

You can read more about Charity Pierce, her weight loss struggle, and her fund-raising efforts at www.gofundme.com/2f07n4.

PCC Board of Trustees Issues Statement on Dustin Lance Black's Commencement Speech Disinvitation

The Pasadena City College Board of Trustees finally issued a statement regarding their confusing commencement speaker selection process that seemingly and simultaneously formally invited Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and seven other speakers. Black, an alumnus of PCC, accepted his invitation weeks ago and began the process of purchasing plane tickets and canceling paid gigs elsewhere so that he could attend the commencement ceremony before being disinvited a week ago yesterday. Black complained publicly about this process and about the fact that he was apparently disinvited over sexually explicit pictures between him and an ex-boyfriend that were sold to the tabloids without his knowledge or permission back in 2009. Black has been in touch with his legal team to seek reimbursement for financial losses related to this situation. (Read more here.)

The PCC Board of Trustees issued the following statement yesterday on the PCC website:
Dr. Anthony R. Fellow, President of the Board of Trustees of the Pasadena City College District, confirmed the invitation extended by the Board of Trustees to Dr. Eric Walsh, the City of Pasadena’s Director of Public Health, as its Spring 2014 commencement speaker. Dr. Fellow noted that a second invitation had unfortunately been extended to another distinguished candidate, movie producer Dustin Lance Black, an alumnus of the college.

Dr. Fellow also announced that a review of the events was ordered by the Board of Trustees because of the serious concerns expressed in public responses to press and Internet reports that an invitation had been made to Mr. Black and then rescinded.

The invitation of Dr. Walsh followed the College’s standing policy and procedure. Board of Trustees Policy 4900 (attached), requires that invitations for commencement speakers are to be approved only by the Board of Trustees and extended only by the college president.  It turned out, however, that a second invitation had been previously offered outside of the traditional channel, to movie producer Dustin Lance Black.  This earlier invitation to Mr. Black was an honest error, but was issued before the Board acted and without the Board’s knowledge.

The results of the review show that Student Trustee Simon Fraser issued an invitation to Mr. Black through Mr. Black’s administrative assistant with the knowledge and concurrence of Dr. Robert H. Bell, Assistant Superintendent and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.  Mr. Black could have reasonably concluded that he had been officially invited to speak.  But at no time did a recommendation to invite Mr. Black ever reach the college president or the Board, nor were the college president and the Board aware that this invitation had been sent to Mr. Black’s assistant. 

Dr. Robert Bell today offered public apologies to the college’s 2014 commencement speaker, Dr. Eric Walsh, to movie producer Dustin Lance Black, who mistakenly received an invitation to speak, and to the constituents of the Pasadena City College District. “Due to errors in following procedure for which I am responsible, we have embarrassed our commencement speaker, Dr. Walsh, by inadvertently involving him in a controversy; we have embarrassed our esteemed alumnus Dustin Lance Black because of an invitation that was mistakenly delivered to his representative, and we owe the public an apology for involving Pasadena City College in a confusing situation that has unfortunately spilled over into public comment on homophobia.”

Board President Dr. Fellow said, “Mr. Black does not deserve this controversy nor does Pasadena City College. Board members are unanimous and clear in their position that details of Mr. Black’s personal life have no place in public discussion, especially if Mr. Black has been the victim of recrimination and revenge.”  Dr. Fellow emphasizes that the Board’s decision was not related to a negative view of Mr. Black, his work or sexual orientation.

A representative of the PCC Board of Trustees was present last November to congratulate Mr. Black on receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Community College League of California.  As in the past Mr. Black has stated his admiration for his alma mater and the college, and the college has always expressed its admiration for Mr. Black, his distinguished professional work and his fight against homophobia in America.  Mr. Black was graduated with honors from Pasadena City College in May 1994 with an Associate of Arts degree.

The Board of Trustees has reached out directly to Mr. Black’s representative.
It's worth noting -- to me, if not anyone else -- that Board President Fellows was quite disappointed with Dustin Lance Black's past sexual behaviors:
Board President Anthony Fellow went on to say in the statement that Black did not deserve this controversy. He said that the Board members were unanimous and clear in their position that details of Black’s personal life had no place in public discussion, especially if Black had been the victim of recrimination and revenge.

However, in an email to Associated Students President Jordyn Orozco, Fellow gave other reasons that might have gone into the decision making.

Black some years ago participated in unsafe sexual practices that have now gone public,” Fellow said in an email to Associated Students President Jordyn Orozco in early April. “A public figure needs to set an example for our young people.”

The college’s prepared statement, which was posted to the college’s website Monday evening, contained an unusual “additional questions and answers” section in which the district provided answers to two questions it posed of itself. In it, the district said that statements in emails about Black were never intended to be publicized.
So if you are a public figure who has engaged in "unsafe sexual practices" (i.e., bareback sex), you are setting a bad example to young people. It doesn't matter the nature of the relationship or any process that you went through to make the decision to stop using condoms. You are apparently unfit to give a commencement speech.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Harvey Milk Stamps Now Available for PreOrder

Back in 1977, Harvey Milk made history when he got elected to the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors. This simple achievement -- accomplished through years of determination and bridge-building -- made him the first openly gay elected official in the USA. Unfortunately, he was gunned down by one of his colleagues in late 1978.

The United States Postal Service now allows you to preorder official "Harvey Milk Stamps." You can preorder them here. The stamps themselves will go on sale effective 05/22/14.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I feel like I should write more, but I'm having a heavy fatigue day. In the meantime...

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jonathan & I Discuss "Archie: Riverdale Rescue" on the Riverdale Podcast Episode #111!

Last week, I got a call from my buddy Jonathan to help out with another episode of the Riverdale Podcast. He wanted to talk about the Easter upgrade of "Archie: Riverdale Rescue," which I blogged about here. You can listen to our fanboy discussion on Riverdale Podcast Episode #111, which was posted earlier today.

You really should be listening to the Riverdale Podcast every week. Jonathan does comic book reviews every week, which is then followed by all of the latest, great Archie Comics-related news. Not only that, but he continues to score great interviews with several of Archie Comics' great writers, artists, and editors.

Check it out!

Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black Disinvited as Commencement Speaker by his Alma Mater

Have you heard the latest story about Oscar Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black? A few weeks ago, he received an invitation to be the commencement speaker at his alma mater, Pasadena City College. He quickly accepted the invitation and began making arrangements to attend the ceremony. Then earlier this week, the college disinvited Black after the Board of Trustees learned of online sex pics involving Black and a former boyfriend:
“With the porno professor and the sex scandals we’ve had on campus this last year, it just didn’t seem like the right time for Mr. Black to be the speaker,” Board President Anthony Fellow said. “We’ll be on the radio and on television. We just don’t want to give PCC a bad name.”
The college recently went through two scandals involving professor Hugo Schwyzer, the “porno professor” who admitted to sleeping with students, and journalism instructor Warren Swil, who admitted to showing nude photos of himself to a student.
The administration decided to go forward and invite a safer pick: Pasadena Director of Public Health Dr. Eric Walsh, who accepted and is confirmed to be the commencement speaker, according to Robert Bell, a commencement committee member and vice president of academic affairs and student services.
The PCC Board of Trustees continue to assert that Black was never formally invited, but instead was one of eight potential speakers who'd been tentatively approached for availability. Among other things, the letter that Black received read "... We would like to formally invite Mr. Black to conduct the commencement address to the students as we celebrate our theme of 'Proud Past, Global Future.'"

Once again, I'd like to point out that PCC simultaneously sent letters to eight different individuals with the among message in it. If you watch video footage of the PCC Board of Trustees meeting from 04/02/14 (starting at around the 02:08 mark), you will note that even PCC Board members were confused with a process that would simultaneously invite multiple people to serve as commencement speakers. It's also worth watching the footage to see open discussion that one of those invited (presumably Black) had accepted the invitation "weeks ago."

To his credit, Dustin Lance Black called out the PCC Board of Trustees in an open letter to the PCC campus:
This morning, I woke up to the headline that I have been disinvited to speak at my Alma Mater. The reasoning: that I was involved in a “scandal” in 2009 regarding extremely personal photographs that were put up on internet gossip sites of me and my ex-boyfriend.

For too long now I’ve sat silent on this issue. That ends here and now and with this sentence: I did nothing wrong and I refuse to be shamed for this any longer.

In 2009 a group of people surreptitiously lifted images from my ex’s computer and shopped them around to gossip sites in a money making scheme. These were old images from a far simpler time in my life, a time before digital camera phones and internet scandals. They were photos of me with a man I cared for, a man who shared my Mormon background and who was also struggling with who he was versus where he came from. And yes, we were doing what gay men do when they love and trust each other, we were having sex. I have never lied about my sexuality. If you invade my privacy, this is what you will find. I have sex. It brings me joy, fosters intimacy and helps love grow. I hope anyone reading this can say the same for themselves and for their parents.

In 2010 I took the perpetrators of this theft to Federal court and Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled unequivocally that the defendants had indeed broken the law. The details of this case are readily available for anyone to read — including http://archive.recapthelaw.org/cacd/449819/

In the eyes of anyone who has seen the devastating effects this trespass has had on me personally, creatively and professionally over these many years, in the eyes of my mother and friends who have held me as I’ve cried, and under the blind scrutiny of the law of this land, I am the victim of this “scandal,” not the perpetrator.

With this cruel act, PCC’s Administration is punishing the victim. And I ask you this: If I was a heterosexual man or woman with this same painful injury in my past, would PCC’s Administration still be rescinding such an honor?
Black has repeatedly indicated that he will be pursuing legal actions against the college. I initially privately rolled my eyes at that assertion. Then I realized that he had purchased international plane tickets in order to attend the commencement ceremony and he reports that he has turned down paid engagements in order to attend this commencement ceremony. So it makes sense.

After a week of defensive positioning, the Pasadena Area City College District issued a statement late yesterday saying that they need more time to issue of formal statement about disinviting Dustin Lance Black to their Spring Commencement ceremony:
Pasadena City College is busy today assembling facts on the chain of events connected with the choice by the College of a commencement speaker and will provide a statement on Monday, April 21, 2014 of what it has learned. It would be inappropriate to comment further on this subject until this review has been conducted.  Thank you.
This is the type of story that I absolutely love: Scandal prevention attempts that themselves become scandals!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Archie & Friends Experiment with Speed Dating in ARCHIE #654!

It seems like forever since I've gotten the chance to read a new Archie Comics comic book, but ARCHIE #654 was well worth the wait! Between musical world tours and zany alternate reality versions of our favorite teens, "Speed Date-O-Rama" is firmly set in modern day Riverdale USA.

Here is the concept. Reggie and the "Goodwill Girls" (whoever they are) organize a speed dating event at Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe. Archie is enamored with this unique opportunity to date most of the girls in Riverdale, so he and his wingman Jughead decide to check out the show.

I have been regularly reading Archie Comics comic books for a few years now. But it's been recent enough that I missed out on the "New Kids" storyline. That's when a bunch of new kids got uprooted and deposited into Riverdale High School. Most of them haven't been seen since then, but pretty much all of them showed up for the Riverdale Date-O-Rame 2014 speed dating event, which is great because I finally get to see all of these kids (plus a few familiar faces) in action!

My favorite of the new kids? He's some kid named Simon AKA Prankenstein! He doesn't seem terribly interested in finding dates, but he sure likes to prank the other kids. Most of his pranking efforts were targeted towards Reggie in this story. Can you imagine if those two pranksters put their minds together? I doubt Riverdale would ever be the same again!


My two favorite potential matches?...

1. Jughead and Toni Topaz: Toni Topaz has an interesting reputation among the fans. She has appeared in roughly four stories (plus one panel in the most recent LIFE WITH ARCHIE comic book), but has managed to become the number one cover girl for most of Archie Comics' digests during the past year -- behind Betty and Veronica, of course. I'm not terribly interested in an actual comic book romance between Jughead and Toni, but I'm all about Jughead being pursued by yet another female fan! Maybe this potential romance will carry on into the future -- thereby getting Toni off of the covers and into the comic books themselves!


2. Big Ethel and Chunk: Big Ethel saw the sparks between Juggy and Toni in this issue. In a remarkable example of self-respect, she decided to stop mooning over the guy who's avoided her for decades. Right now, she's looking into Chunk. He's not the nicest of guys, but maybe a little affection from Big Ethel could turn his hungry frown upside down. This potential match is another one that I'd really like to see more of in the future!


At the end of the speed dating event, everyone in the Riverdale Gang identified their favorite date on a piece of paper and those who matched got the opportunity to go on future dates with each other. There were lots of mismatched dates, but a handful of couples actually connected. You'll have to read the comic book to see if any of your favorites got chosen for future dates!

"Speed Date-O-Rama" is written by Steven Duvall Scott and penciled by Jeff Shultz.

By the way, my buddy Jimmy is featured in an advertisement for "Archie: Riverdale Rescue" in this issue. His game got selected for the latest "My Riverdale Rocks!" contest. He's been Archified and will appear in ARCHIE #656. I told Jimmy that he looks a lot like Reggie in the following picture -- and he agreed!


Congrats Jimmy on winning this honor! I told you before and I'll tell you again: I'm jealous!

Illinois Man Arrested in Iowa City // Accused of Stealing Great Dane from Owner's Yard

32-year-old Keyson McGowan of Decatur, IL, was arrested yesterday afternoon after an Iowa City resident accused him of stealing a harnessed great dane from his yard:
Police say a homeowner on 250th St. noticed a maroon minivan with Illinois plates pull into his driveway at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday and then drive away a short time later.

The resident then noticed his great dane, which had been tethered in his front yard, was missing, according to a Johnson County Sheriff's Office complaint.

Police located the van traveling southbound on Interstate 380 and pulled the vehicle over, according to police.
McGowan has been charged with 3rd degree theft, which is an aggravated misdemeanor.

This is a good reminder for folks to be mindful of their pets. Several years ago (back when we still had Moogie and before Nero was born), a guy came to our home selling something -- like scam magazine subscriptions or oranges out of his trunk something stupid like that. I wasn't home, but Husband Mark was.

Mark spoke briefly with the guy and gently declined his commercial offer. While they were visiting, the guy was overly fixated on Ms. Lion. He thought she was the most adorable dog in the world. Little did he know that Ms. Lion is called Ms. Lion, in part, because of her ferocious attitude -- but I'm digressing.

After the guy left, Mark went downstairs to check on the laundry. Moogie began barking and barking and barking. Mark assumed that Moogie was just barking at traffic through the window, but eventually came upstairs to tell Moogie to quiet down.

He caught our door-to-door salesman on our front porch and opening up our unlocked front door. He immediately apologized and muttered an explanation before booking out of our house and out of our neighborhood. I can only imagine that he was trying to coax Ms. Lion and/or Moogie to him.

Needless to say, he keep our door locked even when we're home and awake now.

But it's a good reminder that people steal pets. They steal them from homes. They steal them from yards. They steal them from farms. They steal them from stores. Sometimes they are looking for easy pets. Other times, they want them for more nefarious reasons -- like dog fights or puppy mills.

Either way, keep an eye out for your four-legged family members.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prop 8 Defense Attorney Evolving on Gay Marriage // Helping Lesbian Daughter Plan Her Wedding

Attorney Charles Cooper, who defended the anti-gay marriage measure Proposition 8 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, is now in favor of gay marriage. Apparently, he learned that his stepdaughter is gay while defending Prop 8. Now he's helping his daughter plan her same-sex wedding:
Attorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.

The revelation is an unexpected footnote in the years-long debate over Proposition 8, the California measure struck down by the Supreme Court last year. It is also offers a glimpse, through the eyes of one family, of the country's rapidly shifting opinions of gay marriage, with most public polls now showing majorities in favour of allowing the unions.

Cooper learned that his stepdaughter Ashley was gay as the Proposition 8 case wound its way through appellate court, according to a forthcoming book about the lengthy legal battle. And with the Supreme Court ruling now behind him, Cooper cast his personal opinion on gay marriage as an evolving process...

In June, Cooper's daughter plans to marry her partner in Massachusetts, one of 17 states plus the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal. In a statement to The Associated Press, Cooper said his family "is typical of families all across America."

"My daughter Ashley's path in life has led her to happiness with a lovely young woman named Casey, and our family and Casey's family are looking forward to celebrating their marriage in just a few weeks," he said.
It's amazing how quickly people change on the issue of LGBT acceptance and marriage equality when they actually realize that they know and love LGBT people.

X-Men Director Bryan Singer Accused of Molesting Teen Back in Late 90s

Bryan Singer, director of superhero flicks such as X-Men, X2, X-Men: First Class, and Superman Returns, is being sued by a man who claims that Singer drugged and raped him in the late 1990s back when he was 17-years-old. The accuser claims that he was trying to break into acting and modeling when he came to Singer's attention.

Among other things, the accuser claims that he had been unknowingly administered drugs within alcoholic drinks. He claims that he was fondled by Singer and others within the entertainment industry. He also claims that he was orally and anally raped by the director and others. You can read all of the details here.

Singer's attorney claims that the lawsuit is "completely without merit... We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit... It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan’s new movie is about to open in a few weeks."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nero and the Archies -- The Final Chapter!

Stuffed Animal informed me last week that he plans to pull away from his Archies artwork and move towards his own characters. He gave me permission to post his final cartoons featuring the Archies.

First off, Toni Topaz reunited with The Bettys. Not only that, but Nero decided to go on tour with them! Check out my favorite band:


Then we jump ahead to the year 2025. Jason Blossom has bought the rights to the Archies' music and released a compilation of their music on their Golden Sugar album. Nero's looking pretty good for a nearly 15-year-old poodle. I personally think that he's been taking botox!


While we're checking out Golden Sugar, check out the gatefold album:


Lastly, Stuffed Animal came up with "Six On A Soda," featuring this poster insert. Note that Nero did the Archies' clothing designs!


We shall see if these are indeed the final Archies cartoons by Stuffed Animal. I want to thank him for sharing the pictures that I've posted on this blog, as well as other cartoons that I haven't posted -- including some NSFW pics of Reggie, Kevin, and Clay!!!

Thanks again, Stuffed Animal!

Iowa May Pass Limited Medical Marijuana Bill

Medical marijuana has been one of the newer political developments over the past couples years, but not in Iowa. I mean, there have been attempts to legalize it here. But nothing serious. And neither the Iowa House nor Gov. Terry Branstad have shown any interest in budging on the issue.. until very recently.

A couple weeks ago, Gov. Branstad met with a group of parents who were lobbying the governor for help relieve their uncontrolled seizure conditions through the use of medical marijuana. Now it seems like Gov. Branstad was actually receptive to their pleas:
It appears the governor and legislators are serious about a narrowly crafted bill designed to help victims of seizure disorders. This proposal could be a constructive first step toward eventual broader legislation that, while not allowing recreational use, could help thousands of Iowans suffering debilitating pain or other severe medical problems where no other treatment has been effective.

Recent lobbying efforts by mothers of children with seizure disorders, frequently associated with epilepsy, got the attention of lawmakers as well as Gov. Terry Branstad, who met with several of them. The governor has opposed legalization medical marijuana, at least not until he sees more research on the issue. Last week, however, he indicated support for legislation that advanced in the Senate and would be limited to allowing the use of cannabis oil for seizure disorders. The oil, cannabidiol, is a compound in cannabis that has little THC, the substance that gives marijuana users a high, but greater amounts of the CBD that has medical effects, including some dramatic, documented reduction of seizure incidents. 

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and House Speaker Kraig Paulsen both indicated that the parents’ compelling testimony about their children and having to travel to other states to get cannabis oil grabbed the attention of the full legislative body, including Rep. Clel Baudler, a former state trooper who had been a strong skeptic.
Iowa's legislators don't have a lot of time to work on this proposal. Maybe a couple weeks. But this is good news for proponents of medical marijuana. If nothing else, it looks good for next year.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Debby Boone Shows Her Support for LGBT People at This Weekend's GLAAD Awards

Singer Debby Boone was interviewed this past weekend at the GLAAD awards where she publicly reaffirmed her support for marriage equality:
I'm really happy to be here in support of GLAAD, because I am one of the people that has made the transition from an old way of thinking to a new one. And I think that's really the crux of what GLAAD is all about...I have really good friends and family members that have changed my mind. And the couple that we're with tonight is a lesbian couple who attended the church where my husband was associate rector.
You can watch this clip for more information:



The National Enquirer published a piece last summer about Debby Boone and husband Gabriel Ferrer and how they both support equal marriage rights, rites, & responsibilities for same-sex couples. In fact, Ferrer has officiated at the weddings of gay and lesbian couples.

Bat-Llama!

This has been scene floating around the Internet and it's too good not to share! Enjoy!:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Washington, IA, Has It's Own MRAP Military Vehicle

(Washington IA's MRAP)
I've written before that I enjoy reading the rants & raves on Craigslist. I woke to the following Craigslist rant (follow the link for the full message):
Attention citizens of Iowa City....yes, you are a "city" of only 7,000, with several thou seasonal students, but your police force recently acquired a TANK from the feds to keep you in line. Funny, that a traditionally liberal enclave of intellectual loons would see or need such a thing, but you got it. CONGRATULATIONS!...
The entire message left me scratching my head, given that our population is roughly 70,000 with our students -- and not even remotely that low during the times when the UI students leave due to Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer.

But I was really curious about the tank. I wasn't aware that Iowa City now has its own tank.

Fortunately, another Craiglister posted this message and filled in a few more details:
Washington, Iowa, a town with a population of 7,000, has an MRAP. It was reported by the Daily Iowan, a UI student-run paper in Iowa City, and subsequently picked up by InfoWars, which is where I am guessing you got your information...
That cleared things up a bit more. Washington, IA, is a smaller community about 30 miles south of Iowa City. I worked there for about a year right out of college, but haven't been back since 1996 or so. It's hardly a "liberal enclave." Both Washington, IA, and Washington County are known for being Republican-dominated communities.

My curiosity continued to escalate, so I did some searches and found the Daily Iowan article in question, which ended up being an editorial piece. I decided to dig around a little more and found this article from early last month:
Washington Police will be getting an armored vehicle that's typically used by the U.S. military.

Tuesday night (Jon's note: March 4, 2014), in a four to one decision, the Washington City Council approved Police Chief Greg Goodman's request for a "demilitarized" MRAP or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected troop transport. The MRAP police will be getting is missing the weapons turret, other military hardware and electronics. Officials said it’s essentially a big armored truck.

MRAPs typically cost about $500,000. Washington Police are getting theirs for free under a U.S. Defense Department program that gives surplus military equipment to law enforcement. Washington Police said the only cost will be the transportation fee to bring vehicle up from Texas.

Chief Goodman calls the MRAP a big win for his officers’ safety. “Is it going to be used a lot? No. I don't anticipate that at all. But, it really only takes once to make it worth its while,” said Goodman.

Goodman said while some in Washington worry the MRAP will militarize his 11-officer department, that’s not the case. He said the vehicle will be used in special circumstances such as active shooters.
According to this Des Moines Register article, that Washington, IA, has received its MRAP.

In case you think that Washington is unique, it's not the only community in Iowa to have it's own MRAP. Mason City and Storm Lake both have MRAP. So do the sheriff departments in Buena Vista, Jasper, Scott, and Story Counties.

So there you go. I learned today that Iowa City does NOT have a tank, but Washington, IA, has an MRAP.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Archie: Riverdale Rescue": Easter!

I began writing about the "Archie: Riverdale Rescue" iOS gaming app back in October 2013. Since then, the game has expanded to PC users. It's an oddly addictive game where you are tasked with the improvement and beautification of Riverdale USA using a variety of recognizable characters, such as Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica. A big part of the game also involves building emotional bonds between the various characters, leading to romantic couples, BFFs, and overall friends. I thought it would be fun to discuss aspects of the game that I find exciting, disappointing, and/or note-worthy.

The "Riverdale Rescue" game was upgraded earlier this week. This latest upgrade is an Easter update. Unlike previous holiday/season-themed upgrades, this Easter upgrade didn't introduce any new Quests. But there were lots of other upgrade elements that really got me excited.

Here is the concept. Dilton has been experimenting on Bunnies in his lab. I'm not sure what happened (maybe PETA pulled a liberation effort), but the Bunnies escaped and are slowly swarming Riverdale! If left unchecked, they will eat up all the local vegetation!


Here is something important to realize as you begin playing after the Easter upgrade: It takes a while for the Bunnies to appear. Pretty much everyone I know who plays "Riverdale Rescue" did the Easter upgrade and then stared at their game expecting to see tons of Bunnies, but saw nothing.

I reached out to The Archie Game twitter account and asked for a tip. They told me that it takes about 12 minutes for Bunnies to appear within the game. If you are walking Runty (like I was early in the game -- more on him below!!), then that will also delay the Bunnies' appearances. Also, it seems like it's a slow build-up. Initially, you will find one or two white Bunnies. As your game progresses, it looks like the number of Bunnies increases and the types of Bunnies will diversify.

In order to protect Riverdale, game players are tasked with collecting the liberated Bunnies! If you see a Bunny, you just need to tap them and they will get trapped -- and presumably sent back to Dilton's lab for future experimentation!! There are three types of Bunnies and you earn points for each Bunny that you capture. Your points will vary depending on the type of Bunny that you capture:


This Easter upgrade marks the first time since the initial launch of "Riverdale Rescue" where a new character was introduced to the game: Runty! You'll be forgiven if you don't remember Runty. He was introduced in late 2012 in the digital exclusive comic book REGGIE & ME (here), but he's also appeared in print once in ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #244 (here).


Runty is not a free character. He costs about 150 soda pop points, if I remember correctly. You can definitely earn soda pop points for free by playing the game, but unless you've been playing a really long time and stockpiling it'll take a long time to get enough to "buy" Runty in for free. If you don't have enough soda pop points to pull Runty into the game, then you can purchase him through iTunes. (I'm not quite sure how PC players purchase buy-in characters like Runty or Hot Dog or Kevin Keller, etc...)

Runty in "Riverdale Rescue" is very much like Hot Dog. Unlike Hot Dog, Runty doesn't clean up the trash or tall grass, nor does he repair the torn up landscape. But he does enjoy going for walks with other characters.

More importantly, he collects Bunnies!! Not only that, he collects a lot of Bunnies! Runty can gather up more Bunnies in one walk than you can hope to gather up without him. Every time you walk him, you'll end up with 80-90 captured Bunnies and those Bunny points add up quickly!

Here is something important to realize as you begin playing after the Easter upgrade: It takes a while for the Bunnies to appear. Pretty much everyone I know who plays "Riverdale Rescue" did the Easter upgrade and then stared at their game expecting to see tons of Bunnies, but saw nothing.

I reached out to The Archie Game twitter account and asked for a tip. They told me that it takes about 12 minutes for Bunnies to appear within the game. If you are walking Runty (like I was early in the game -- more on him below!!), then that will also delay the Bunnies' appearances. Also, it seems like it's a slow build-up. Initially, you will find one or two white Bunnies. As your game progresses, it looks like the number of Bunnies increases and the types of Bunnies will diversify.

 So why should you collaborate with Dilton the Animal Experimenter? What's in it for you? As I noted above, you earn Bunny points for each captured Bunny. You win prizes as you hit Bunny point milestones, including a Bunny hutch, new outfits, and various monuments. Check these out:


Once you are rewarded for your hard work, you can then upgrade your own private Riverdale, which can be a lot of fun! Check out some of the work I've been up to this week:




As usual, there are lots of new outfits introduced with this upgrade. Some are rewards. Some are for sale. One is an automatic addition.

Dilton is the one character whose primary outfit changed once "Riverdale Rescue" got upgraded for Easter. I think I like it! I like it a lot! I think it would be cool if we could keep this skin during the next upgrade:

Easter Dilton
Then there are the outfits that you earn once you meet certain Bunny point milestones:

Easter Betty // Veronica // Jughead
Then there are the new outfits that you can purchase through the game. It took me a while to figure out Moose's and Midge's Easter outfits. They remind me of their winter outfits, but I think they're supposed to be jogging outfits. So maybe they're taking advantage of the warmer temperatures?:

Easter Reggie // Ethel // Moose // Midge
There is one other outfit that you can purchase for Easter. It's a cute Easter Bunny outfit for Archie. But I also managed to win a free safari outfit for Archie, which is pretty cool:

Easter Archie // Safari Archie
And, of course, here is a picture of Runty, who you can purchase through iTunes, along with his dog house. Notice Reggie's house, which has a mixture of Halloween and Valentine's Day decorations!:


I'm not sure how long the "Riverdale Rescue" Easter upgrades will last. I can say that I've had a lot of fun playing with Runty, re-decorating my own private Riverdale, and chasing after the Bunnies. I can't wait to see what the next upgrade will be about!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Utah AG to Gay Couples: "Sorry for Causing You Pain!"

Utah continues to appeal an earlier federal court decision overturning that state's same-sex marriage ban. The New York Times has a long article detailing the process and the court challenge. The three-judge panel seems divided. We shall see how this develops.

But what got my blood boiling were these paragraphs towards the end of the article:
As Mr. Kitchen and the other plaintiffs chatted and exchanged reassuring pats on the shoulder in the courtroom, they were approached by Utah’s attorney general, Sean Reyes, whose office has taken the lead role in defending the same-sex marriage ban. Shaking hands and greeting the plaintiffs, Mr. Reyes crouched down and told them: “I’m sorry that we’re causing you pain. Sometime after the case is over, I hope we can sit down.”

After the hearing, Mr. Reyes said he had told the plaintiffs that the legal confrontation was not personal, and that he knew that the plaintiffs’ families were as important to them as his own was to him. But he said it was unclear what would happen to the unions and benefits of Utah’s newly married same-sex couples if the state prevailed in its appeals. Utah has previously raised the possibility that those marriages could be dissolved.
What the hell???

Might I suggest one way that Mr. Reyes could alleviate the plaintiffs' pain: Stop leading the charge to maintain Utah's anti-gay family policies and stop trying to invalidate Utah's existing gay marriages.

Toni Topaz Reunites with the Bettys -- and Nero!

Stuffed Animal continues to forward his artwork to me featuring his vision of the Archies as they age and develop their musical talents. Somehow Nero gets involved with many of their acts and more recently my drag alternate Jonniemae Trouten has also found herself dipping her toe in their musical adventures.

Earlier today, I received new material featuring one of my favorite lesser known Archie Comics characters: Toni Topaz. Toni has appeared in a small handful of comic books over the past few years. But she's made a huge splash on the covers of most of their recent comic book digests. So how cool was it to find my favorite cover girl performing with my favorite standard poodle? Not only that, but we got ourselves a reunion of my favorite girl group, the Bettys!

Check this out:



Thanks again, Stuffed Animal! I can't get enough of your work!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nigerian Child Bride Kills Husband & Three Others With Rat Poison

A 14-year-old Nigerian child bride is facing charges of culpable homicide after killing her 35-year-old husband and three of his friends:
Police... quote 14-year-old Wasila Umaru as saying she used rat poison in the food because she was forced to marry a man she did not love. The couple was married last week. The 35-year-old groom had invited a dozen friends to celebrate at his village 100 kilometres from the north Nigerian city of Kano over the weekend.

Child marriage is common in Nigeria and especially in the mainly Muslim north.
Before anyone points to slippery slopes of gay weddings leading to weddings between adults and children, it is worth nothing that Nigerian does not recognize any LGBT rights or protections.

Nero at Daycare -- 04/10/14

Nero really enjoyed the warmer weather today. From the looks of these photos, most of the dogs were hiding in the shade. But not Nero! He was strutting his stuff and showing off for the cameras! Check this out:

 

Archie Andrews to be Killed // LIFE WITH ARCHIE to be Canceled with Issue #37

(Originally written on 04/08/14): The big comic book news today is that Archie Comics will be killing off Archie Andrews in July 2014. Additionally, LIFE WITH ARCHIE will be canceled effective #37.

For those who don't read comic books, Archie will still exist as a living teen in his ongoing comic book. And he will continue fighting zombies in AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE. But the adult versions of Archie featured in the split comic book title LIFE WITH ARCHIE will be killed off by some unknown menace.

I'm sure I will write more about this later, but I only have so much time during my lunch hour. Suffice it to say that I am deeply conflicted about this development. I absolutely love LIFE WITH ARCHIE. It is the title that got me back into reading Archie Comics comic books. But I also knew that it would be difficult to maintain this serialized comic book for too long.

Updated on 04/10/14: Sorry I haven't gotten back sooner. It's been a hectic week! I thought I would follow up with a few extra tidbits and then some speculation.

If you've read any of the news stories about this story, you know that Archie will be dying in LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36. He will sacrifice himself in order to save the life of a friend in both storylines. I learned from this interview with Jon Goldwater that LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 will be published in the regular magazine format of this series, but that issue #37 will be published in a more traditional comic book format.

Now for some speculation. One of the Archie Fan Forum regulars speculated that Archie will be killed saving Senator Kevin Keller from a gunman. Pretty much everyone is going with the assumption that this is the right theory. After all, there has been a shady guy stalking both Clay and Kevin in both storylines for the past several issues.

There are some really hate that idea. More than one person has complained that they don't like taking a political hot potato like gun control and using it as a tool to kill off Archie. But it makes sense to me, assuming that it's correct. They could have Archie get killed pushing someone out of the path of a bus and that would certainly be tragic. But they would still have two different storylines that still need to be wrapped up or completely dropped without resolution. Personally, I would prefer the resolution.

Lastly, there has been some humorous speculation about what comes next? How about LIFE WITHOUT ARCHIE? It could be a comic book filled with lots of dark humor and featuring our two new widows. Personally, I would love to see a new JELLYBEAN comic book featuring the grown-up version of Jellybean Jones from the "Archie Marries Betty" world!

And that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject for now. I'm sure more will come later. Archie's death will occur in LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 and Riverdale will react in issue #37.