Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pome #2: "A Summer's End" (Reprinted from 5/30/2009, Edited Where Necessary)


I decided to resurrect another forty-year-old poem entitled "A Summer's End." Something decidedly different for me, even then... 

The story takes place on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and a summer thunderstorm begins and increases in intensity, mirroring my characters' conversation.


Thanks for your time.

* * * * *

A Summer's End


A summer's day, so fine and fair,
Brought summer's eve, so warm.
The moon was shining through her hair.
No hint of coming storm.

The day'd been spent eventfully.
New vistas had been sought.
I showed her what she meant to me
And spoke my inner thoughts.

She told me "I've found peace with you.
You mellow out my life."
I answered "Dear, I've thought things through.
I want you as my wife."

She smiled but firmly shook her head,
Which puzzled me a lot,
Until she softly, gently said,
"Let's not ruin what we've got."

The summer moon its dom'nance took
And siphoned off the day.
She climbed the rocky overlook
To view the ocean spray.

On this high cliff she took my hand.
The sea raged far below.
She begged "Please, darling, understand.
I care for you, you know!

"It's just that marriage is passé,
An out-of-date-ideal."
Light rain began, and all I said
Was "No, it's not. It's real."

"You wonderful romanticist,"
She cooed, to keep things light.
But I could not adjust to this.
I knew that I was right.

The summer rain beat harder now;
The ocean sprayed its foam.
I kept the argument alive,
Refused to take her home...

"It's not how I would live," she said.
I said "I'll ask again..."
"You're asking something I can't give!"
"Don't say you can't. You can."

She searched for words, then found the sea.
"Dear, watch the waves withdraw.
They love to touch the shore, like me,
But freedom is their law.

"They need not stay upon the sand
To smooth it free from scars."
I shrugged those words off. "Take my hand!
What's mine may yet be ours."

The summer storm, a tempest spread,
Almost drowned out her plea.
"You haven't heard a word I've said!
How stubborn can you be?"

The storm's force ruled my actions then,
Heart pounding like the waves.
With sorrow for what might have been,
I knew no hope was saved.

I turned and left her, boldly.
Shocked, she never said a word
As I strode away so coldly.
Rain and surf were all I heard.

But swift remorse came; back I looked,
To straighten out this mess...

But she had jumped.

Her life she took.

She did love me...

I guess.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pome #1: "Don't Let Me Love You on the Rebound" (Reprinted from 5/3/2009, Edited Where Necessary)


I'm trying something different for a few days, fellow babies!

Today's post, and the three that follow, will all be poems or songs which I wrote up to
forty years ago, but were published on this blog between 2009 and 2012.

So, no "Comical Wednesday" entries for a bit.

Here's the first in a rapid-fire series of old poems and/or songs, all but one written when the Silver Fox's hair was still light brown.

The following song is one of my personal favorites, primarily because of the wordplay. I really wish you could hear the tune I gave it! It's a bouncy, upbeat, banjoey C&W kinda thing, something I wish I could have sold to someone like Jerry Reed.

Oh, just one more thing. My Uncle Eddie used to purposely spell "poem" incorrectly, as "pome." I got most of my sense of humor from him, so I'm commemorating that with these four posts!

* * * * *

Don't Let Me Love You on the Rebound (originally written 10/19/1978)

When people start to treat me hard, I just grow harder,
And their cold shoulders just make me more cold.
I need companionship before my troubled life ends.
Oh, Lord, I guess I'm really gettin' old.
I'm also gettin' kinda sick o'losin' lovers.
So many women put me on the shelf,
And told me they were kinda sick o'lovin' losers.
So here I'm feelin' sorry for myself.

CHORUS
Don't let me love you on the rebound,
For it might up'n'fade away.
This lover's fog I'm in might vanish
Before the cleansin' light o'day.
Oh, yes, I'll love you on the rebound,
When it's too late for you, you'll finally see,
And you are much too sweet'n'sensitive a lady
To be sufferin' for love o'scum like me!

My life has been a downhill trip to darkest Hades,
An' lots o'people say it's just as well,
Cuz I ain't never gonna get to Heaven, darlin',
So here on Earth, I'll just prepare fer Hell.
My friends are special cuz they truly can accept me,
But you, m'dear, see somethin' thet I'm not.
You see good in one who's somewhat less than Satan,
But acts if he's somethin' more than God.

CHORUS
Don't let me love you on the rebound,
For it might up'n'fade away.
This lover's fog I'm in might vanish
Before the cleansin' light o'day.
Oh, yes, I'll love you on the rebound,
When it's too late for you, you'll finally see,
And you are much too sweet'n'sensitive a lady
To be sufferin' for love o'scum like me!

Yes, you are much too sweet'n'sensitive a lady
To be sufferin' for love o'scum like me!

* * * * *

Hey, it could be worse... I could be showing you some of the things I wrote when I was going through a heavy "Jim Morrison phase" in the early 1980s. Very derivative of Morrison's type of poetry... and the worst shit I ever wrote. But it left me with a very important lesson: Don't copy anyone's style unless it's for the sake of parody.

See you next time.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

We're Off to See the Whizzer! ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post

Uhhh... "Fastest Man Alive?" Don't tell The Flash that!

Don't be fooled, fellow babies! This is not Part Two of last week's "WHAT Were They THINKING?" post, because today's post is devoted to only one character.

One... ludicrous... embarrassing... character.

A few weeks ago, in another "Comical Wednesday" post, I told you about a 1960s comic -- Fantasy Masterpieces #10, if you care -- which reprinted a story from 1946 featuring the awkwardly-named "All-Winners Squad."

And speaking of "awkwardly-named," maybe you remember the superheroes (and one superheroine) from that fabled team? Captain America & Bucky, the (original) Human Torch & Toro, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, Miss America, and... errr... the Whizzer.

What?

I said THE WHIZZER!

The Whizzer (real name, Robert Frank) first appeared in U.S.A. Comics #1, cover-dated August, 1941. U.S.A. Comics was published by Timely Comics, the company that became Marvel Comics in the early 1960s. The Whizzer's first artist (and presumably co-creator) was Al Avison, a stalwart Timely penciler and inker who worked on Captain America and many other features during the Golden Age. The writer/co-creator is unknown, and if I were he, I'd want it that way!

The Whizzer not only had an... ummm... unfortunate name, he also had one of the most idiotic superheroic origins in the history of comics... and that's saying a lot!

As the story opens, young Bob Frank is in the African jungle with his dad, famed doctor Emil Frank. Poor Bob is bitten by a cobra! Then, out of nowhere, a mongoose appears. As you're probably already aware, a mongoose is an incredibly fast animal, and this one fights the deadly snake to the death. The cobra's death, I should point out, although the valiant mongoose soon dies as well from injuries received during the battle.


A little aside, here: On my way to Florida in 1973, I saw a stuffed cobra and mongoose combo very similar to the above illustration... but they wanted $75 for the sucker, so it was clearly out of the realm of an "impulse item" for sixteen-year-old, not-yet-Silver Fox! Almost thirty years later, when I discovered eBay, I found another one for sale, coincidentally priced at $75, which was a lot less in terms of 1973 dollars versus 2000 dollars! Naturally, it now resides in my private collection!

Anyway, as I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself, here's where it gets weird. Emil Frank, supposedly a respected doctor, decides to inject some of the blood of the mongoose into his dying son! But of course! Wouldn't you?

(Yeah, Bob, you're a whizzer, all right!)

Don'tcha love how the transfusion of mongoose blood both saved Bob's life and gave him super-speed? And his dad knew all of that beforehand?

(Actually, in the modern-age Marvel Comics, the Whizzer's origin was amended slightly. It seems that the injection of mongoose blood actually jump-started Bob Frank's latent mutant super-speed powers. Uh-huh. I guess Dr. Frank had anticipated that, too, right? I guess the good doctor really was a freakin' genius!)

Anyway... The Whizzer only lasted a few years during the 1940s, but during that time he appeared in several different Timely Comics titles. And during all this time, it seems that no one at Timely cared very much about giving him a consistent appearance. I'm going to show you only some of the costume variations I found! You can feel free to glance very quickly at the next seven illustrations!

Yellow helmet with wings and a freakin' bird head, no mask,
yellow long-sleeved shirt, blue pants, blue boots, no cape.

Yellow headpiece with a "fin," no mask, yellow short-sleeved shirt, no
gloves, oddly-cut blue shorts, yellow leggings, blue boots, blue cape.

Red helmet with wings and a freakin' bird head, no mask, yellow long-sleeved
shirt, no gloves(?), blue shorts, yellow leggings, red boots, no cape.

Yellow headpiece with a "fin," no mask, yellow short-sleeved shirt, no
gloves, oddly-cut blue shorts, yellow leggings, blue boots, blue cape.

Yellow helmet with a "fin," half-mask, yellow short-sleeved shirt,
blue gloves, blue shorts, yellow leggings, blue boots, blue cape.

Yellow helmet with wings and a freakin' bird head, no mask, yellow
long-sleeved shirt, no gloves, yellow pants, blue boots, no cape.

Yellow headpiece with a "fin," no mask, yellow short-sleeved shirt,
brown gloves, oddly-cut blue shorts, yellow leggings, boots(?), blue cape.

Had enough? I have!

To me, it's a rather comforting feeling that, even in the 1940s, the folks at Timely knew they were dealing with a dorky character:

That embarrassingly stereotypical African-American is the Whizzer's 1940s sidekick, "Slow-Motion" Jones. There were
many characters like him in comics, movies, and other "entertainment" of the era. The less said about him, the better.

And modern-day Marvel creators know it, too!


Really dignified, huh?

For reasons known only to Roy Thomas, the Whizzer was revived in the 1970s, both in new stories set in the 1940s, and in some Avengers-related stories which took place in then-modern times. It was retroactively established that the Whizzer had been a member of two other 1940s super-teams, the Invaders and the Liberty Legion, two teams that hadn't really existed in the comics of the Golden Age! 


At one point -- when the Liberty Legion team first appeared in 1976 -- they even re-told the Whizzer's origin, but Roy Thomas couldn't resist making a mild wisecrack at the end of it.


There was a long-running -- no pun intended -- sub-plot which had everyone thinking that the Whizzer and Miss America were the real parents of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (that's Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch to you). However, this supposition on the part of all characters involved ended in the 1980s, when it was revealed that Wanda and Pietro were really the children of Magneto and a woman named Magda! (Of course, comics being comics, later writers established that neither Bob Frank nor Magneto had fathered the twins. And why don't I just change the subject now, okay?)

Additionally, I should mention that there have been a few different characters since the 1960s -- both superheroes and super-villains* --who have taken the name "Whizzer." (Although I'm not sure why...)

But as for Bob Frank, the original?

After a series of heart attacks... he died in 1982.

And, even though these are comic books, I doubt there are any plans to bring him back.

Thanks for your time.

*Including a villain who later changed his name to Speed Demon, and can you blame him?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quandary


This is a PG-rated post about an X-rated subject. So trust me, it's completely "safe" to read even if you're easily offended.

Once again, I'm asking for your help!

Long before the advent of the internet, I was informally known among friends and acquaintances as "The Man Who Can Find Things."

Looking for an LP no record shop seems to carry? (No eBay back then!) Go see David!

Looking for the name of that uncredited actor in that movie you saw on TV last night? (No IMDb back then.) Go see David!

Looking for that out-of-print book that none of the second-hand bookstores carry? (Again, no eBay back then.) Go see David!

Looking for the name of the group that recorded "that" song? (No Wikipedia back then.) Go see David!

Well! One afternoon just a few days ago, a friend of mine sent an email to me. This email, with "For The Man who can Find things" [sic] in the subject line, contained a link -- and nothing else -- to a website with a brief but... umm...  attention-grabbing video.

Actually, it was a six-minute porn video.

Now, I'm not very judgmental, nor easily offended, so my only real issue with most porn is that anything other than basic sex scenes usually suffer from sloppy writing, poor acting (especially when they ad-lib!), etc.   But I couldn't understand why my friend had sent the link to a porn site to me.

The video was a six-minute sequence of a man and a young woman engaging in various sex acts. There was no dialogue, nor any sound effects, only some striking background music. I say "striking" because it was a wordless song I'd never heard before, a simple but pleasing, melodic tune which somehow colored my impression of the film I was watching. For lack of a better way to put it, the combination of the music and the visuals made me feel less like I was watching two people having sex, and more like I was viewing two people making love.

As the video ended, I again wondered why my friend had sent this link to me. So, using his email's title as a clue, I decided that my friend wanted to know who the actress was.

I'll spare you the details, but before very long, I had used a few different methods to ascertain that this very skinny young woman performs under the name of Kitana A. Demida (shown in G-rated poses both above and below), as well as a handful of other aliases (which is quite common with porn actresses and actors). She's Russian. And yes, she does look uncomfortably young, but as of this writing, she turned twenty-seven exactly a week ago.


I replied to his email that very evening, with all the information you just read, plus a bit more, plus some links to even more info. And my friend replied by saying "NO, dipshit, I want to know the name of the SONG in the video, and who does it!"

So, fellow babies, here's the "quandary" mentioned in today's title: Do any of you have any idea how I can learn the name of the song played in the video? With no lyrics, even my somewhat knowledgeable ear can't recognize a singer's voice. Furthermore, I can't search YouTube without knowing the song's title, and -- duh! -- if I knew the title, I wouldn't have to search YouTube. And obviously, I'm not going to include a link to the adult video site and ask you to go there, nor will I attempt to download the video itself and embed it on my blog.

And in case you're about to suggest that I search the viewers' comments that some of these adult sites include after their videos... I already tried that several days ago.

Any help -- including any suggestions as to how I could place the audio but not the video on my blog --would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time... and any help you can give me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

WHAT Were They THINKING?!? ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post


A little less than five years ago, I did a two-part "Comical Wednesday" post about what I called "Unfortunate Comics." Here are the links for Part One and Part Two! And even before that, I did a CW post called "Nobody's Perfect!" I had fun writing them, my readers had fun reading them, and frankly, I'd recommend them all.

These three posts, as well as today's, show some of the weirder aspects of comic history, "weird" meaning strange and... ill-advised?

1) First, let's focus on one of the earliest members of Iron Man's supporting cast, Pepper Potts. And no, I don't mean the one featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. I'm referring to the one in the actual comics. Both Pepper Potts and Tony Stark's chauffeur/bodyguard, Happy Hogan, were introduced in Tales of Suspense #45, cover-dated September 1963.

As mentioned here, my first issue of Tales of Suspense was issue #53. (I was eventually lucky enough to get my friend Kevin's copy of Tales of Suspense #45 soon after I learned about Iron Man.) By then, little Pepper looked like this:


The dramatic change in Pepper's appearance was explained at the bottom of that pin-up page. For those of you who don't want to squint, here's what it says:

When first introduced in "Tales of Suspense" Pepper had been a perky, pug-nosed, freckle-faced imp! But, after she realized how Tony Stark feels about glamorous females... Pepper went to her beauty parlor and "shot the works!" Today she's one of [the] most gorgeous females in comics... or anywhere else!

Yeah, well, I personally don't think Tony (Iron Man) Stark deserved li'l Pepper. Look at the crappy way he treated her in the following sequence, which occurred before her famous make-over!


Yeah, I'm sure Tony lost a lot of sleep over that stunt, ya think?

What an effin' jerk, huh?

2) Next, fellow babies, we're gonna leave the mid-1960s and head for 1951 (well, figuratively speaking, anyway). Specifically, Superman #73, cover-dated November-December, 1951.

We all know how, as a baby, the infant Kal-El was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent when his Kryptonian rocket crashed in a field. They wanted to keep him, but couldn't just start showing up everywhere with a baby, so they dropped him off at an orphanage, and "just happened" to find and adopt him shortly thereafter. Well, Superman #73 contains a story called "The Mighty Mite!" This story shows Superbaby being adopted by three different couples (IIRC) before the Kents, all of whom brought him back to the orphanage when various manifestations of his developing super-abilities occurred.

For my younger readers, I should probably point out that 'way back then, it was not only considered proper upbringing to slap the s**t out of your own children, but it was also perfectly acceptable to spank other people's kids if the little brats acted up!

However, such forms of discipline didn't always yield the expected results, not when it came to spanking a baby who would grow up to be called the "Man of Steel!"



3) Oh, by the way, there was a common "bit" in the older Superman titles where people would try to cut Superman's hair for one crazy reason or another. Here are only three examples:




The same thing happened every time. His invulnerable hair refused to be cut, and the scissors always broke!

Oh, really? You try cutting something, something like a strip or rod of metal, something you know can't be cut. But, do the scissors break? Of course not. The "cutter" in these instances would have to be just as super-powered as the "cuttee" in order to break the freakin' scissors!

4) Next, we'll go back to Marvel Comics for something totally different. In 1976, Weird Wonder Tales #19 introduced Dr. Druid... kinda. His origin story was somewhat similar to that of Dr. Strange. During the next few years, he started showing up in various comics published by Marvel.


I said "kinda" above because, as it turned out, Dr. Druid's stories in Weird Wonder Tales were actually reprints from the early '60s. How early? Earlier than Fantastic Four #1!

Dr. Druid was originally called Dr. Droom. He presumably underwent that 1976 name change to avoid confusion with Marvel's Doctor Doom. But they had to change a lot more about the good doctor, as you'll see.


Y'know, with all the necessary redrawing, re-lettering, and the like, I find it hard to believe that Marvel actually saved money by reprinting these stories instead of just commissioning brand-new stories featuring Dr. Druid, or even some other character. Just sayin'.

But why did they have to change so much, you may wonder. After all, ten years earlier, when Marvel had reprinted the old Simon & Kirby Captain America stories from the '40s, they didn't have to change much more than a few intense illustrations and a piece of dialog here and there, remember?

Well... Let me just present this brief sequence from the revamped origin of Dr. Droom Druid: 


Now, check out the original version of that above panel!


Wow! When the doctor acquired his mystic powers, he also turned Asian! Not too racist, huh? I'm really amazed that Stan Lee would have written such a thing as late as 1961. 1931, maybe...!

5) Almost done, I promise! This next little ITEM has nothing to do with comic books, so I probably shouldn't be talking about it here at all, but...

(Oh, wait. I actually got my copy of this LP at a comic book shop, so I guess I can get away with squeezing it in here!)


As I stated above, I actually own a copy, and its official name is "Country Surfin'," isn't that great? That's right, your favorite group and mine, Little Joe Shaver and Devil Dog, playing nothing but Beach Boys cover tunes, country style! Folks, I can't make this shit stuff up!

Believe me, you haven't lived until you've heard "I Get Around" played with banjos! 

"Let's go down to Nashville and catch a few waves, dude!"

6) Okay, last one, I promise! Here's a mid-1960s Supergirl tale -- sorry, no Streaky this time -- where Linda "Supergirl" Danvers plays the helpless female routine so her boyfriend, Dick Malverne, doesn't suspect she's Supergirl!

Yep, "just an ordinary member of the weaker sex." Shame on you, Supergirl!

And of course, her boyfriend eats it right up. "There, there! Don't be afraid, Linda! It's only a movie, you know!"

Well... Why do you think they called him "Dick?"

Thanks for your time.

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