Category Archives: Randomosity

Merry Christmas from the Batman!

Courtesy of Brian Hughes at "Again With the Comics", I present Patton Oswalt's take on a very special Batman Christmas story to get you in the holiday spirit. Merry Christmas!

Written by: Patton Oswalt
Drawn by: Bob Fingerman
Story scanned from Bizarro World collection, ©2005, DC Comics.

Best Present Ever.

Hey pal! What's that big glowing butterknife for ... ?

On Christmas Eve, I thought it would be a good time for us comic book nerds to all talk about our favorite nerdy Christmas presents ever. I'll go first, but I really look forward to hearing some of your fondest Christmas gift memories.

Most of my super-hero memories involved laboriously tracking through the Sears Catalog (this was before the Internet, see, we actually used paper and the telephone for ordering things!), marking every Star Wars action figure I wanted. I considered myself Santa's little helper, apparently, figuring surely he got some kind of volume discount. Plus I knew Santa didn't really know squat about which figures were best, so he might need a hand picking the choicer ones.

I did the same thing with the MEGO 8" tall fully articulated and clothed super-hero action figures. Those things were awesome. Unlike the Star Wars figures, which couldn't move at the wrists or elbows or knees or ankles, these guys had joints where you needed them. And their outfits were actual sewn cloth, not molded plastic.

The highlight of Christmas morning for me was seeing which, if any, of the figures whose pages numbers and prices I'd written in a neat list for Santa showed up under the tree. Generally I'd lose at least one piece before the day was over, but that was all right; toys were to be played with, darn it, not kept in a box forever!

I still remember the Green Arrow figure, whose hat, boots, bow, quiver, and arrows all disappeared in fairly rapid fashion. Without his gear, he's just a guy, so I decided I'd retcon him. I used Scotch tape for new, form-fitting boots over his stockings, which gave him a neat banded look. But the beard was so clearly Green Arrow, it had to go. So I heated up the electric stove, held a butter knife to it till it got really hot, and proceeded to do my best Barber of Seville imitation.

Unfortunately, eight-year-old Jeff was unaware of the finer points of shaving techniques, and used the serrated edge of the knife to remove the offending whiskers. As a result, The Green Scar Face too to the streets of my home town to fight crime. I thought the contrast between the horribly ravaged, black-edged melted face gouges and the shiny boots was particularly piquant.

What are some of your favorite geeky Christmas memories?

And I hope you spend the holiday either surrounded by beloved family and friends, or gloriously alone and untroubled by crappy family and friends! Either way, so long as YOU are happy, I am happy.

Thanks for following along on the blog this year and for sharing your thoughts and creativity with everyone. Happy Holidays and/or Merry Christmas!

Super songs

For some random reason, I woke up this morning thinking Doctor Octopus' theme song should be "Crazy Arms".

No, I do not understand how my brain works.

But it started me wondering what other songs would go well with established super-heroes. But pre-coffee, I can't think of any. Which is where you come in. Are there other songs that go perfectly with a comics character? Let 'em rip in the comments!

(Image ©2006 by Mark Engblom.)

Marvel Digital

I just signed up for Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited -- does anyone else use that? How has your experience with it been? I'm looking forward to catching up on some of the comics I've missed over the last ten years, as well as looking through some of the oldies but goodies for Random Panel fodder.

I clicked on an ad in my YahooSports Fantasy Football page, which had a promo offer of $4.99 a month, or $59.88 for the year with a pre-paid year-long subscription. Once on the order page, there was a place to put in a promo code, and with a Google search I found CYBER3010, which apparently is their "Cyber Monday" price, expiring at midnight. Putting that in gave me an additional 30% off a yearly subscription rate for a final bill of $41.92. Not too shabby for all the comics you can read!

Note that I am not getting a cut of this or anything, it's something I was doing on my own and thought was a neat deal that might be interesting to you. If you sign up, or have been a subscriber already, I'd be curious to hear about what you think of it.

Ben Grimm, Chamberlain

I haven't read it yet, but from "Again With the Comics" comes this great alternate-history Fantastic Four bit:

"Milady, 'tis the clobbering hour" may be my new favorite tag line.

Sunday Bonus – Enceladus

Confession time -- when I was at Dragon*Con, I attended a talk in the Science section about the latest findings from NASA's Saturn orbiter, Cassini, which was pretty amazing. And while technically science stuff is not really what I do here on, you can't have sci-fi (which DOES fit) without the sci.

Plus, this is a totally cool image, so nyah:

For a fuller explanation of what you're seeing (hint, the moon is not the Death Star trying to escape on full thrusters -- "That's no moon!"), check out the Bad Astronomer blog on In a nutshell, this is Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, ejecting a bunch of vapor out of volcanoes on one side. The ejecta ultimately forms the majority of Saturn's E ring.

The person giving the lecture at Dragon*Con was on the Cassini team responsible for these images and she actually talked a fair bit about Enceladus. The team running the magnetic field detection equipment got some interesting data on one pass indicating something funny going on with that side of the moon, so they decided to do a relatively low-altitude fly-through with the visual cameras to see what was going on. They were delighted at the images they got back, showing these huge volcanic ejections.

It was really neat to listen to actual scientists working on actual projects out there on the very edge of explored space, and completely humbling as well. The stuff we're able to do nowadays is just mind blowing.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute via The Bad Astronomer. Thanks Phil!

Final Dragon*Con 2010 update

The last few pictures from the Con.

Continue reading

Dragon*Con Ewok sketch

Collaborative marker sketch by Mr. Hartwell and myself.

Dragon*Con 2010 update

Dragon*Con has been fun so far. I passed Edward James Olmos in a walkway, said hi to George Perez. And have seen more unadulterated geek joy than you would think possible.

Half of the experience is, of course, the fan costumes. We've been taking a lot of photos (albeit with my crappy iPhone), and thought I'd share a few with you.

I am doing this via the WordPress app for iPhone, which I have never used before, so apologies if this blows.

Guest Post: B.S. Slinger

(Note: The following is a guest post from a writer code-named "B.S. Slinger". The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of management, but rather are purely those of the author. Who, I hope, has donned flame-proof underwear.)

My name is B.S. Slinger and Jeff has ask me if I would be able to
come up with something for a post today. Jeff and I go way back,
remember the first time I meet him, it was the first day of Day Care.
He has always had a thing about pants. Diaper off and there he was
naked as a Jay Bird watching cartoons. More about the good old
days later, now to the post.

"Welcome to my View on Comics"

Were the first Comic Books painted on cave walls? Did Comic
books really start off as paintings on a clay pot? Who was the first
person to start painting fantasy art? Were the ingredients they mixed
for paint the real reason fantasy came to be? All these questions and
more would be answered here today, but I have no clue what the
answers would be. But they are good questions. The thing I do
know is, I love Comic Books, and I have all my life.

I would like to talk about what Comic Books have done with
the female body. The female body has been transformed, redesigned,
and added to. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it is down right awesome
if you ask me. No complaints from me at all. Heck, 90% of the artists
out there draw the female figure with bigger than life breasts anyway,
so what man in his right mind would say something against that.
From Angels to Zombies, Comic Books have them all. The good, the bad,
and the beautiful. So, without further stalling, here are a few of my

First up is the queen of comic books herself, “Wonder Woman.” What
costume hasn’t she made look good. Even her secret identity is as sexy as
all get out, with that naughty school teacher look and those little black
glasses covering those bedroom eyes. Does anyone even know what color
eyes she has? I think the only time that we even notice that she has eyes
is when she is using her secret identity. All these years, people have
believed it was her magic lasso that made you tell the truth. What man
wouldn’t tell her anything she wanted to know looking into those eyes.
And her costume! I love how she looks in the stars and stripes. There
is nothing old about her Glory. Long live Wonder Woman! Long live the

Next up, the lady that puts the storm in “stormy relationship.” None
other than Storm herself, the white eyed beauty. To me, her best costumes
are the white ones. I like the way they compliment the dark tone of her skin.
When she rises into the air, with the dark clouds swirling, and the lightening
striking all around her, it’s just electrifying! The only drawback that I ever
saw in her was the mohawk. Never cared for it. It didn’t do her justice.
Give me the long flowing white hair that, to me, is her trademark.

Another angel in the sky, real wings and all, is Hawkgirl. With her ready
for flight body framed by those beautiful wings. What could be more angellic
than that? There’s nothing hotter than a woman with her own mace, that
actually knows how to use it. Hooters ain’t got nothing on this bird girl.

When you have the lean, and you have the mean, you’ve got to have
some green. She-Hulk definitely has the green. She is the first thing to come
to mind when I hear the phrase, “Go Green.” When she was with the Fantastic
Four, their name should have been changed to the Fantastic One. She made
her costume look hotter than the Human Torch.

Now for my “A” list of “Bad Girls.”

The thief that stole my heart was Cat Woman. She’s the sexiest kitty
out there. I think she should win the hottest comic book cover ever with
the one that has her in a wedding dress. WOW!! in EVERY way! Her skin
tight outfits? All I can say is, “tight is right.” She wouldn’t have to be a thief
to get me to chase her. No wonder she always leaves Batman swinging.

The next one is as natural as they come: Poison Ivy. Makes you want to
go out and buy stock in calamine lotion. The sexiest redheaded villain
out there. She just makes you want to turn over a new leaf! She can tie
me up with her vines anytime. There are few better at making thing grow
than Poison Ivy.

The last, but certainly not least girl, is no joke. The Joker is not the only
guy that Harley Quinn drives crazy. The cutest thing in pigtails you have ever
seen. She can hit me over the head with her mallet and smash my face
with her pie any day.

There are hundreds of women in the comic book world. Take your pick,
there has to be at least one of them that as caught your eye. If you’d care
to share, we’d all like to hear about your favorite comic book beauty. I
guess just to be fair, girls, you tell us about your hot hunky heroes
(husbands and boyfriends not included).
Get your comic on!!
B.S. Slinger

p.s. Jeff, a plastic cup from your hotel bathroom is not a souvenir.