Tag Archives: New Jersey

Bully For You

Here is a foolproof, ironclad, never-fail method to keep your kids from being bullied. Ready? This is worth a million dollars. Here it comes.

DON’T HAVE KIDS. 

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Filed under Bad Influences, Don't Know Don't Care, Idiot's Delight, Worst Of All

Cheap Trick

Whatever happened to all this season’s
Losers of the year
Every time I got to thinking
Where’d they disappear

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Idiot's Delight, Movies You Missed, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee, Thousand Listen Club, Unfairly Maligned, Worst Of All

The Orphanage at Dreary Knolls

Ralph Reese is a brilliant illustrator whose art I first discovered in Choose Your Own Adventure books; he was my personal favorite. His work leapt off the page more than the others, owing to his apprenticeship under the great Wally Wood. In my teens, I found reprints of Ralph’s collaboration with Byron Preiss for National Lampoon, “One Year Affair”. I dreamed of being able to draw like Ralph Reese.

When Ralph did a feature in CRAZY magazine, it was a cause for celebration. Because Ralph wasn’t just a master illustrator.

Ralph was also a master of making you crap your pants.

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Filed under Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Magazine Rack, Nostalgic Obsessions, O'Shloktoberfest

The King Of The World (As Far As I Know)

I came to love and appreciate Steely Dan over the course of my twenties. I did not enjoy them while I was growing up in New Jersey. I lacked the wisdom and experience required to truly absorb their music. I was like Jonathan Richman when asked to cover a Steely Dan song for the awful Me Myself & Irene soundtrack; I never could figure out what them fellas was singin’ about.

As I grew older, Steely Dan lyrics became clearer. The words were honest poetry, sometimes inscrutable, each syllable chosen for its sound and rhythm as well as its meaning. The music was simply too complex for me to grok as a teenage punk. I had to experience the proper amount of loss, beauty and hardship before I really “got” it.

I didn’t know what a “squonk” was, but I knew that somehow, the most incredible song ever written and performed used to play on the radio. You could hear this masterpiece for free.

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Filed under Faint Signals, Thousand Listen Club

How To Be Garbage

[Author’s Note: This article is about how to be actual garbage, as in waste and refuse, not how to be the band “Garbage”.]

Here’s a hypothetical and hard-to-believe scenario. You’re talking to someone about how much you like my comics. Just go with it, alright? The person you’re talking to suddenly pipes up with, “Oh yeah, know that guy. Have for years. He’s a real piece of shit. Let me tell you all about that pussy.”

Congratulations! You’ve had an encounter with garbage.

This could be you!

It’s not difficult. Garbage is everywhere. It stinks, and we all have to deal with it sooner or later.

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Filed under Bad Influences, Don't Know Don't Care, Idiot's Delight, Site Stuff, Worst Of All

Mad Doctors of the Late 20th Century

Mad medicine was everywhere in the 80s and 90s. There were toys and playsets endorsed by mad doctors, for use by kids. Every time you watched cartoons, you saw a skinny dude with crazy hair in a white lab coat, maniacally mixing chemicals and potions for some nefarious purpose. Under the influence of this, I created my own mad medicine man; Dr. Kill-Everybody.

Dr. K (no hair), with Fronkin Steen and Psuto Moto.

Either the trope became shopworn around 2001, or something happened that discouraged children from playing with chemicals. You don’t see mad doctors and scientists like you used to. Maybe this is a good thing; maybe the concept was subconsciously driving impressionable kids away from lucrative STEM-field careers. I don’t know.

What I do know is this. Mad doctors once flourished in our society, even though they were annoying, and generally sucked.

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Nostalgic Obsessions, Robot Toy Fetish, Saturday Movie Matinee, Worst Of All

Barnstorming

In the early 1980s, video games were simple in concept, much like the “game apps” on phones nowadays. At heart, they were demonstrations of your skills with a joystick, paddle, or “track-ball” controller, performing one or more challenges. Eating all the dots, or climbing a scaffold to defeat a giant ape, to cite a couple of well-known examples. Navigating a maze while being pursued by killer robots. Killing a centipede, segment by segment. Swinging on vines over bottomless pits.

Or, flying planes into buildings. For fun!

Signed by programmer Steve Cartwright!

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Filed under Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Nostalgic Obsessions

Dire Straits

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Filed under Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Girls of BIUL, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee, Thousand Listen Club

Name Your Rock Band

A long, long time ago, on a website far away, there was a thing that pulled in page-views like a drunken champion. It was about 50% my creation. The rest was appropriately and totally ripped off.

It was called “Name Your Rock Band”.

For the first handful of years of the 21st century, it was the most popular page on my site, Mike The Pod. In truth, it goes back even farther than that.

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Filed under Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Site Stuff

The Pac-simile

Yea, I say unto you, I was in the right place at the right time for two major moments in American history. You must believe that what I’m about to tell you is the truth; it will seem like so much legend and myth.

The first: I was gifted a copy of E.T. (the game) for the Atari 2600, on Christmas, but that is a tale for another article.

I HAD TO PRETEND I ENJOYED THIS.

The second, and more significant: I talked my father into buying me Pac-Man for the Atari 2600, one of the most notoriously disappointing games of all time. Second only to E.T.,of course.

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Filed under Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Nostalgic Obsessions