2009 was a tense year for BIUL; I was still decompressing post-movie production, and dealing with myriad life-changing bullshit. At some point I drew a comic strip about Living Colour.
Often, I get a little too “inside” and I’m unsure if I’m getting the joke across clearly. The punch panel shows me in 1990 (hence the shirt indicating such). What might appear as two guns somehow floating around my teenage head is actually a pair of pistols welded to a metal arc by their sights, like so:
I admit it’s a tad obscure and dark for a punchline, but that was how I felt about the return of bell-bottom pants in 1990. Truthfully, it’s reduced from my original idea by half, but drawing four pistols would only have muddied things more so. I doff my gun-hat to The Simpsons, for their many great firearm-modification gags, all rendered simply and clearly in 2-D.
Fun times with cartoon gunplay aside, my vague point was, one gun was not enough. Better go with two, so that the head is obliterated, and it’s possible the bullets will fire into the opposite barrels, exploding them. Maybe the bullets will even collide! It can’t miss.
Alright, now that I’m analyzing it, that is extremely dark. I’m pretty certain there was a similar apparatus in one of the Saw movies. But what can I say? We’re talking bell-bottoms here.
The television variety show In Living Color ran from 1990 to 1994. In that short time, it launched the comedy careers of Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, and David Alan Grier. The sheer wattage of the main cast has thankfully eclipsed the loathsome junk-food that bogged the program down in its initial run…
The Fly Girls.
They looked great, if not iffy on the clothes, and they could dance, no question. At the time, Jennifer Lopez was not only bearable but cute. However, there was a not-so-secret reason for the inclusion of the Fly Girls in this comedy show: filler.
Did a sketch run short? Out come the Fly Girls. Not enough material for this week’s episode? Fly Girls to the rescue. Need lead-ins for the advertising breaks? Fly Girls time. It reached the point where your eyes would roll when the music kicked in. And because of the time period, everything sounded like Bell Biv Devoe, or Paula Abdul dancing on stairs with a cartoon cat.
Twenty years and more later, you can see who came out on top of the ILC crew; Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and Jamie Foxx. Jim Carrey embraced the wrong aspects of his popularity and persona, and he’s never caught up. The Wayans brothers are dependable, but seemingly held back by an earnest desire to employ their entire family. Alexandra Wentworth, the token “dumb white girl”, married George Stephanopolous and left show-biz altogether to raise kids. And as for Jennifer Lopez, former Queen of the Fly Girls… if she has successfully entertained you at any time during the 21st century, there are many people who would be greatly surprised.
It may seem crazy now, but once upon a time Jennifer Lopez was a can’t-miss proposition. Then her butt went to her head, and we all know how things went from there.
In the opening panel of the strip, my left hand is bunched in the same way it would become later, after breaking three fingers in early 2014. I find this eerie. In the past, I’ve mistakenly rendered myself drawing with the wrong hand, so I pay special attention to avoid this. It comes from using a mirror for reference; dang ol’ mirrors get everything backwards. There it is in plain sight, my left hand as it currently appears. Creepy shit.
In the second panel, I name 24-7 Spyz. They were a hardcore outfit from the Bronx, and in my opinion, they were the shit. Their lava-hot sophomore effort Gumbo Millennium is another album with band-in-the-bathroom photos, like Men At Work’s Cargo. The front cover is like a puff of powdered bleach to the tear ducts. Think fast!
Unfortunately, this album is out of print. Here’s one of its finest tracks:
[This is where I had embedded the YouTube link for “Dude U Knew”. I guess someone at YouTube HQ heard the words wrong, because there are no versions of it available whatsoever. So if you can find the song yourself, you’ll get what I’m joking about. Fucking YouTube flaggots are a goddamn plague.]
I’ll save you the trouble; the lyrics are “your days are numbered, you choose.” Okay? Not something else. Those are the words. Got it?
I also mentioned the Dead Milkmen’s Soul Rotation, which featured awkward band photos and art on the back cover:
A couple of those songs are really good, though; “If I Had A Gun”, “Silly Dreams”, and the highlight “Wonderfully Colored Plastic War Toys”.
All my life I’ve always wondered
What it would be like to fire off a bazooka
All my life I’ve always wondered
What it would be like to fire off
A ballistic missile
That’s on Hollywood Records, otherwise known as Disney’s label. Americans have been conditioned to accept shitty imitations from the Disney company. Detractors are pilloried and humiliated. Mothers act as though Disney is an entity that can be trusted with every aspect of childhood development. Have you noticed how anyone who dislikes Disney’s “Star Wars” is called racist? That’s what you do when your product has the staying power of sugar floss. I saw Star Wars in the 1970s, when it set the fucking world on fire. I don’t need a warmed-over remake, directed by the writer of Michael Bay’s Armageddon, featuring a Mary Sue with a stick and a black guy, who both know everything. The Star Wars prequels were great; wanna know why? They showed you other parts of the saga. They didn’t use human races as a “gotcha”. They didn’t waste your time faking scenes from Empire Strikes Back to make cosplayers happy. They trusted the audience to enjoy backstory, and the audience failed. That’s why you get rip-off “Star Wars” movies from Mickey Mouse’s anus now. You can only be trusted to pay for nostalgic retreads. You want movies that make you feel like you did watching Star Wars as a child, which is impossible and infantile. Marvel is exerting the same strategy with its properties, and what a surprise- Marvel is owned by Disney. This one corporation has now monopolized your entire childhood.
Because you made it a can’t-miss proposition.