What I bought - 12 May 2010

You go all your life thinking of your parents as these crushing protective monsters with infinite power over you, and then there's a day when you turn round, catching them unexpectedly, and they're just weak, nervous people trying to get by with each other. (Hanif Kureishi, from The Buddha of Suburbia)

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 (of 6) ("Shadow on Stone") by Grant "You'd read a thesis on Bulgarian cabbage recipes if I wrote it, wouldn't you, fanboys?" Morrison (writer), Chris Sprouse (penciller), Karl Story (inker), Guy Major (colorist), and Jared K. Fletcher (letterer). $3.99, 38 pgs, FC, DC.

Is this the first time we've seen that the other heroes know that Bruce is alive? As I don't read enough DC comics, I don't know if this has been brought up before. It's refreshing, because there's no suspense about whether the other heroes will be SHOCKED when Bruce inevitably shows up. I assume they know because Dick Grayson told them about the body of Bruce not being exactly Bruce, but did we see it in any comic? Anyway, it's neat.

Morrison fascinates me. This issue has a generic plot, but it's kind of fun. In the hands of a lesser writer, this would suck, but it doesn't. I'm sure Sprouse's art has quite a bit to do with it, because Sprouse is, you know, excellent, but the story zips along nicely. The thing about Morrison is that he doesn't waste any words. He doesn't over-explicate, which is nice. Some people might get grumpy about it, but it simply streamlines the comic and makes it more "realistic" even as he gets stranger and stranger. Things feel disjointed because they are, but that's the way a lot of life is. We don't get the big picture because it's, well, big. Some of Morrison's comics might seem to speed by (like, say, Joe the Barbarian #1) because he's counting on us to relax and take our time puzzling everything out. This is, perhaps, why he's so polarizing. It IS frustrating reading a Morrison comic where "nothing happens," because he does know, after all, that he's writing in small increments for an impatient audience, so why can't he give us something? Someone who is new to Morrison might not come back, because they might feel like it's a waste of time. I get that. If you just look at this issue as even part of a six-issue mini-series bringing back Bruce Wayne, you might be a bit lost and wonder what the hell is going on. But Morrison writes on a much bigger tapestry, so this is a sequel to Final Crisis and also a companion piece to Batman and Robin. I get annoyed when Marvel gives us twenty different Avengers books and tries to tie them all together, so why don't I get annoyed by this? Well, partly because I trust Morrison. But also because it's Morrison's corner of the DCU, so it's easy to follow. Morrison tends to ignore what's going on in the bigger DCU (he pays some lip service to it, but that's it), so there's no need to get anything else. And the grand tapestry, when it's completed (and he will complete it some day, right? Right? Is this thing on?), will be a sight to behold. At least I think it will be, based on what he's done before. I have that confidence in him, much more than I have in pretty much every writer out there.

"Chief Savage has angered the sun." Tee-hee.

One panel of awesome:

Black Widow #2 ("The Name of the Rose Part Two") by Marjorie Liu (writer), Daniel Acuña (artist), and Nate Piekos (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

If Natasha was jumping down off of a building, her hair wouldn't do that, would it? I mean, unless there was a pretty stiff crosswind. Just sayin'.

So in this issue, we find out what Natasha had inside her that was ripped out of her in issue #1, and it's not a bad idea. And the government wants Natasha because they think she's gone rogue. I'm actually quite glad that the superheroes - Hawkeye (is it Clint again?), Tony Stark, and James Barnes - tell the government man to jump in a lake. I mean, sure, Natasha has been a bad guy in the past, but who hasn't? Certainly not those three fine gentlemen! Natasha busts on out of the hospital and goes hunting, running into Elektra at the end of the issue. It's a fairly tense issue even though not a ton of stuff happens - the most action we get is when the government tries to apprehend our heroine - but Liu has done a good job in these two issues of establishing a mood and giving us enough information to keep things interesting. Unlike last issue, where I thought Natasha was taken down just a bit too easily, in this issue she kicks a bunch of butt after she's been sliced open and then stitched back together. So that's hard core.

I should point out that in this issue, we get an example of obscuring a female nipple (because, you know, we might go blind if we see one in a comic) that makes sense. Natasha strips off the bandages around her abdomen and puts new bandages on, and in two different panels, Acuña does a good job making sure we don't see areolae in a natural way. Well done! If you're going to pretend that 10-year-olds still read your comics, at least don't make it too obnoxious when you hide things.

This is a second solid issue in a row, and I continue to hope that the series does well. And if you haven't picked it up yet, next issue promises a cat fight! How can you resist?

One panel of awesome:

Booster Gold #32 ("Tense Future") by Keith Giffen (plotter), J. M. DeMatteis (scripter), Chris Batista (penciller), Rich Perrotta (inker), Hi-Fi (colorist), and Sal Cipriano (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC.

You may recall that I read a few issues of Booster Gold when Dan Jurgens was working on it. I didn't love it. It wasn't bad, but like much of Jurgens' work, it was completely bland. Jurgens is like the Barry Manilow of comics - his stuff is pleasant enough as background music, but do you really want to pay top dollar for the front row at a concert? So I just wasn't interested in getting Booster Gold, but now that Giffen and DeMatteis have taken over, I suppose I should give this a try, right?

Well, I'm not sure if I'm going to continue buying it, but it's certainly an improvement. I mean, Giffen and DeMatteis have honed their craft for years, so they're good at it, and they know when to throw in some serious stuff too. Booster arrives just in time to see the start of the Great Darkness War, as Darkseid is busy destroying Daxam and Booster has to get something off-planet (and out of that time period) before the big rock dude can get his fat mitts on it. Booster gets the artifact easily enough, but he tries to save a bunch of non-Daxamites who happened to be on the planet when Darkseid arrived. As no one knows who he is, this leads to jokes about, well, who he is, and how nobody trusts Booster very much. Then the Emerald Empress shows up, and there's a fight, and things get a bit darker. One thing that people often overlook about Giffen and DeMatteis is that they can do "dark" better than a lot of writers (this is surprising, as they both started out in the biz writing very serious stuff, but they've been riffing on the Justice League for so long that some people tend to forget that), and when this gets dark, it gets way dark (but not graphic - Giffen and DeMatteis, unlike far too many writers these days, don't get those two adjectives confused). So we get a new addition to the cast (I assume the new addition will be around for a while) and this issue leads directly into the new Justice League mini-series (see below). It's not bad.

But I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to keep buying it. If Giffen and DeMatteis write stories like this, they'll be entertaining, but this still feels like a series that only exists to wallow in DC continuity. I don't have a problem with that, but I'm not sure if it's my cup of tea (and I don't even like tea!). The reason why I might keep buying it is because of the way Booster handles the crisis on Daxam. He tries to be goofy, then tries to be a hero, but realizes he can't be a hero to everyone. It's a good story that doesn't force the reader to rely on knowledge of other titles to make an emotional connection with the characters. If Giffen and DeMatteis keep doing that, I might have to keep buying this. We'll see. A good start, though.

One panel of awesome:

Daytripper #6 (of 10) ("33") by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (writers/artists), Dave Stewart (colorist), and Sean Konot (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

As I've written before, knowing the ending of this story helps immensely, because it makes certain things during the course of the issue more meaningful. In this issue, Brás is sent to the airport to cover a plane crash and then write obituaries for everyone who died. It becomes a testament to his writing ability and a way to connect more deeply with those he cares about. When his best friend goes missing, he believes that he was on the plane, but it turns out he was just freaking out, as he was on the next plane out of Rio de Janiero. So he's having his own crisis of faith, but Moon and Bá show us how Brás is able to become even closer to him and his wife thanks to writing these obituaries. As usual with this series, the twins are bringing death into life to make the latter more important, and they're doing a fine job of it. It's impressive how they manage to shine lights on so many different facets of life and death and keep it fresh. And, of course, the art is magnificent.

I'm really loving this series. I can't say it's getting better because it started out so well, but the twins' writing is becoming tighter, which is nice. I'm looking forward to the next four issues as much as I've looked forward to the first six!

One panel of awesome:

Fables #95 ("Rose Red Chapter Two: Snow White and Rose Red") by Bill Willingham (writer), Mark Buckingham (penciller), Steve Leialoha (inker), Lee Loughridge (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Willingham does something interesting in this issue: He tells a straight-forward fairy tale. He basically retells the fairy tale of Snow White and Rose Red, with the enchanted prince/bear and the grumpy dwarf whose beard Snow White cuts off in increments. It's kind of bizarre, because Willingham has simply assumed we know the fairy tales behind these characters, and some are far more obscure than this one. The one thing he does is add an undercurrent of danger with the bear and his nursery rhyme "Snowy-white, Rosy-red, Will you beat your lover dead?", which is far creepier in Willingham's hands than in the original. He also shows that this story is being told because Rose Red, in the present, is talking to her mother, who tells her there's more to the story. That will, of course, be revealed next issue. As this story is cribbed almost totally from the original, Willingham's writing doesn't really come into it too much, but Buckingham, as usual, is tremendous. He has to be good at animals on this title, and his bear is large and threatening yet still a bit cuddly. It's hard to imagine him going all feral on the dwarf, but Buckingham sells it well (and, in terms of animals, his eagle is amazing). Meanwhile, the dwarf is much the same way - he looks totally non-threatening when we first see him, except for the fact that his eyes are blank white holes, and as we move through the story, he becomes more and more horrid. Buckingham is excellent, and it's a pleasure to watch him bring Willingham's scripts to life. Here, he just needs to bring an old fairy tale to life, and he excels at that, too.

We'll see what the mom has to say about Snow White next issue. I'm sure it will be gripping!

One panel of awesome:

Frenemy of the State #1 ("Codename: Noob Part One") by Rashida Jones (writer), Christina Weir (writer), Nunzio DeFilippis (writer), Jeff Wamester (artist), Rob Ruffalo (colorist), and Douglas E. Sherwood (letterer). $3.99, 32 pgs, FC, Oni Press.

All right, I have no idea who Rashida Jones is. I had to Google her, and, well, dang. But as I don't watch The Office (yeah, I know) or Parks and Recreation and haven't seen I Love You, Man, I don't have any idea if she's a good actress or not. More than that, I have no idea if she's a good writer or not. More than that, I have no idea how much she actually contributed to this series. She's listed as a writer, but how much did she write? Beats me. I picked this series up because Weir and DeFilippis are wildly underrated writers, especially when they're not writing mid-level Marvel comics (which this isn't) or when they are writing cool mystery/espionage stuff (which this is). So if Jones did nothing more than name the character or write the brief tweets on the first two pages or whether she wrote the whole thing and is just letting Weir and DeFilippis take the credit, I don't care. Because this is a fine first issue, one with a lot of potential.

The story is simple: Ariana von Holmberg, a young socialite, attends the birthday party of her "frenemy," Haven Douglas. While she's there, she breaks into Haven's father's safe. Why? Well, in a flashback, we see that she tracked down her cheating boyfriend and hacked several security systems to do so. As her boyfriend's father is a senator, this brought her to the attention of the gub'mint, who decided to use her skillz instead of chucking her in prison. So now she's a spy. Well, of course she is!

Ari finds out what the MiB want her to steal from the safe, but it's not what she thinks. More than that, she's discovered. Oh dear. The issue ends with her falling toward the street. That's a good place for a cliffhanger!

This is a fun first issue. We begin with faux-Twitter updates letting us know who's who, which isn't a bad device. Then we get, briefly, the nasty rivalry between Ari and Haven, which is nicely done in only a short conversation. The biggest set piece of the issue is Ariana tracking her boyfriend, which lets us know how good she is at doing this sort of thing. We get plenty of intriguing background about our heroine, but not enough so that there's not still some mystery about her. And the writers do a good job satirizing the lifestyle of the rich and beautiful, as Ariana is unfazed by the fact that the gub'mint knows all about her - "E! had a special report about me losing my virginity," she tells the spooky CIA dude, so how can they scare her by telling her they know all her secrets? It's a nifty set-up, and leaves a lot of story opportunities moving forward.

Wamester has a nice style that reminds of someone, but I can't quite put my finger on whose. I hate Ariana's hair style, but otherwise, he does a good job with the action of the book and gives the characters a lot of personality, especially the star and Haven, her rival. He doesn't do anything spectacular, but then again, he's not asked to. He tells the story well, and that's perfectly fine. I'm curious to see what he does with a more challenging script. We'll see.

Give Frenemy of the State a look! Do you really need to spend four dollars on Siege? Here's a hint: The good guys win! There! Now you don't have to read it!

One panel of awesome:

Justice League: Generation Lost #1 ("Part One: Gone But Not Forgotten") by Keith Giffen (plotter), Judd Winick (plotter/scripter), Aaron Lopresti (penciller), Matt Ryan (inker), Hi-Fi (colorist), and Sal Cipriano (letterer). $2.99, 32 pgs, FC, DC.

I've written before about how my overwhelming love for some characters makes me buy comics I otherwise wouldn't, but how I can also resist that urge, unlike, unfortunately, far too many of the comics-buying public. I mean, I love Looker but can't stand Vampire Looker, so I'm not going to read comics with her in them, am I? And the good thing about this is that the characters I love often don't show up too often - I mean, I know Rogue basically has her own book these days, but it hasn't interested me. Dazzler hardly ever shows up (and no, even her presence couldn't get me to buy that recent undead thing), and Psylocke was dead for a while. I still give Moon Knight a long rope, but I actually like most of his most recent series (I count the current one and the previous one as one long series, because there didn't seem to be any reason for a reboot). And then there's Beatriz DaCosta. I bought the most recent incarnation of Checkmate because Greg Rucka writes those kind of comics really, really well, and the fact that Bea was in it was just icing on the cake (if you'll forgive, for a moment, the image that brings up in my mind). And here she is again, showing up in Justice League: Generation Lost, which I must admit, I bought almost solely because she was in it. How can I be objective when Beatriz is in a comic? HOW?!?!?!?

This isn't a bad issue, for what it is, but the entire idea behind it bothers me. I still can't deal with Maxwell Lord as a villain, especially as his motivation for being a villain - saving the world from superheroes - is so stupid and poorly developed. I'm not sure who decided that Maxwell Lord had to be a villain, but couldn't they have figured it out a little better? Whenever I read a story with Max as a villain, it feels really off, because it feels so arbitrary. It's almost as if DC Editorial had every single character except for the Big Three on the wall and someone threw a dart at the wall, hitting Max. "Hey," said someone, "I guess we're making Maxwell Lord a bad guy!" And, of course, I wonder why he can't be rehabilitated. How many deaths is he personally responsible for? I mean, Hal Jordan destroyed the universe and got to blame it on a giant insect and everyone loves him again. Poor Maxwell Lord. Geoff Johns didn't have a nerd boner for him in the 1980s, so he gets to stay a villain. And you know how we know he's a villain? On the final page, he's smoking a cigarette. THE HORROR! He must be hunted down and killed like the dog he is!!!!!!!

And as a villain, the response of the heroes to him seems wildly out of proportion. I mean, based on what he actually does in this issue, I suppose it's good that they take him seriously, but at the beginning of this issue, they have a worldwide manhunt for him, enlisting every single hero who's ever put on a cape and cowl? How frickin' powerful is this dude, anyway? Back in the day, he could only control one person at a time, and then he got those nose bleeds. The way his big scheme unfolds in this book, it appears he loses more blood than any human should be able to lose and remain, you know, alive. Yet Batman seems to be shaking in his boots when talking about him. Yes, the Batman who single-handedly defeated Darkseid. It just seems like an extreme response to Maxwell Lord. Did coming back to life beef up his power somehow? Help me, DC Nerdlings!

Oh, the issue? Well, it's not a bad start. Winick's dialogue isn't quite as painful as I remember it can be, and he and Giffen keep things zipping along. Bea, Tora, and Captain Atom find a bomb in a cave, the energy of which Atom must absorb and which seems oddly irrelevant, but I'm sure it won't be. Meanwhile, Booster figures out where Max is and almost gets beaten to death when he flies in alone. And then Max unleashes his secret weapon. It's kind of clever, actually. If it weren't for all the things that were bugging me about Max and his ways, I'd probably enjoy it more. And it's been a while since I've seen Lopresti's art, but it's quite good. It's solid superhero fare, and he doesn't overdo Power Girl's attributes, and Tora looks great in her early moments of indecision, and Max in the midst of executing his master plan is a bit scary. Lopresti's not doing the entire series (it's a bi-weekly series), but I kind of wish he was, as Joe Bennett isn't as good (and I don't recognize Fernando Dagnino, the other artist). But I'm surprised by how good he is. I guess it's been a while since I've seen his stuff.

One more thing that bugs me (yes, there's a lot that bugs me). In the DC Nation column at the end of the book, Michael Siglain, the editor of this comic, writes: "For those of you who don't remember the classic JLI ... they were the laughingstock of the super hero community. The underdogs. The NY Mets to the NY Yankees." I usually don't read the DC Nation columns, and I wish I hadn't read this. This really annoys me. I have no idea how old Siglain is or how long he's worked for DC, but has he actually read the old JLI series? It's fashionable to consider them the "laughingstock" of the DCU, but there's very little out-and-out slapstick in the series - the characters make jokes, but there's a difference between being funny and being a laughingstock. Some superheroes are specifically created to be laughingstocks. The fact that a DC editor can't tell the difference between people joking with each other (who saved the world on at least four different occasions that I can think of) and an ineffective group makes it much clearer why DC has treated the people in the JLI so shabbily. And any group that had Batman, J'onn J'onzz, Ice, Fire, Guy Gardner, and all the others who were on the team can't really be called "underdogs." I guess they are like the Mets, in that the Mets have a huge payroll and can't really be called an underdog. The Minnesota Twins are underdogs. The Tampa Rays are underdogs. Whiny Mets fans who claim their team is an underdog just because they pay tons of money for shitty players and they choke all the time doesn't actually make them an underdog, you know. You know the team currently in second place in the NL East, the one that is playing better than the whiny Mets? The Natinals? They're underdogs. Shut up, Michael Siglain. When the Phillies kick your team's ass again this year and win another pennant, then you can whine.

Man, I'm angry, aren't I? It's fun! Anyway, if you live with Joe Bennett's art next issue, this isn't a bad series to check out. Needs more Beatriz!

One panel of awesome:

The Light #2 (of 5) ("101") by Nathan Edmondson (writer) and Brett Weldele (artist/letterer). $2.99, 24 pgs, FC, Image.

It's kind of hard to write about this series. The hook - that somehow light is killing people when they look at it - works very well, and we're following Coyle and his daughter, Avery, as they try to get away from any source of light. So they come across a plane crash, pick up a survivor, and move on. Weldele continues with his very atmospheric art, and Edmondson does a good job doling out bits and pieces of information as they move along. But it's a hurried issue, which isn't surprising, because they're running away and don't want to stop anywhere, fearing a sudden burst of light. It's just a really nice issue that takes us a bit further than issue #1 but not too far. There's plenty of stuff still hidden, and it's fun to read along and find out what's happening as Coyle does. What the heck is going on? We don't know, but it's fun to be in the dark. So to speak.

One panel of awesome:

Prince of Power #1 (of 4) ("Blasphemy Can Be Fun") by Greg Pak (writer), Fred van Lente (writer), Reilly Brown (penciler), Terry Pallot (inker), Jason Paz (inker), Val Staples (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $3.99, 24 pgs, FC, Marvel.

It's somewhat odd that Marvel is rebranding this with Amadeus Cho as the star, not because it's not logical in terms of the long-running story that Pak and van Lente have come up with, but because it's not really that friendly a jumping-on point. I mean, it's a first issue of a comic, the title of which has never been used, so people who might not have read Incredible Hercules might pick this up. Maybe not, of course, but while I enjoyed this issue a lot, it's very much a continuation of the previous series. Van Lente and Pak do a very good job bringing us up to speed, but it's still strange. Or maybe I'm the only one who thinks so.

Anyway, Amadeus Cho is Athena's new champion, and he's also tracking down Hercules. Pak and van Lente dig into Bruce Banner's past and bring back Agamemnon from the Pantheon (who is now called Vali Halfling). Amadeus is going to use the information Vali gives to find Hercules, but of course it doesn't go as planned. Hence the appearance of Thor at the end of the issue, who's a bit peeved with Amadeus. Oh, and Amadeus still has the hots for Delphyne. I mean, who wouldn't?

It's your typical good issue from these writers, and I'm not sure what's going to happen when it's over. A relaunch of Incredible Hercules? Beats me. Brown's art, meanwhile, is solid, although everyone looks a bit emaciated - against my will, I kept envisioning Ben Stiller in Zoolander when I was looking at some of the faces. You know:

All the characters should eat some Twinkies. I swear.

One panel of awesome:

Starstruck #9 (of 13) by Elaine Lee (writer), Michael Wm. Kaluta (artist), Charles Vess (inker), Lee Moyer (painter), and Todd Klein (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

I hate to write this, but I'm just out of things to say about this. Lee is slowly bringing the Galactic Girl Guides into the main story, as Brucilla has been in the main story for a few issues and now the GGG show up, heading toward a rendezvous with destiny! Lee also shows us some of the principals and how they react to Brucilla's antics, which is good to see. And Kaluta remains amazing. The detail of this book is astounding, and the imaginative characters and places Kaluta (and Lee, I suppose) come up with are wonderful to behold. I'm sorry I can't say more about this series. It's magnificent. I can't wait to see the entire tableau.

One panel of awesome:

The Unwritten #13 ("Dead Man's Knock: Monsters") by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (writer, artist), Chris Chuckry (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

You know what? Carey's Harry Potter pastiches within the pages of The Unwritten make me want to read the Tommy Taylor books. He's so much better than J. K. Rowling that it's just not funny. I mean, have you ever read the Harry Potter books? I mean, really read them? I've been reading them aloud to my daughter, and when you read them aloud, they are really terrible. I mean, the plots are okay, but the actual writing is awful. Carey's few snippets of the Tommy Taylor books are almost painful to read in comparison, because those few scenes are so much better than the Harry Potter books that it makes me sad that Ms. Rowling, who I'm sure is a delightful woman, is richer than the Queen of England. That makes me so mad! But I'll get over it.

As the first issue of a new storyline (one that follows directly from the last one, of course), this is a good beginning. The new book is coming out, and of course that's a big deal, but of course the bad guys are still trying to kill Tom, which is never a good thing. And we learn some stuff about Lizzie and Savoy, and there's a SHOCKING! ending. Positively SHOCKING! I'm serious - I totally didn't see that coming. I'm still not sure what I think of that guy, but what the hell. Oh, and there's a tremendous double-page spread in the middle of the book that scares the shit out of Tom, as it should. Oh, and Frankenstein's monster shows up. Isn't that always the way?

I've kind of gone back and forth on this book, but it's always interesting. As Carey gets further into this strange world, I find myself enjoying it more and more. It's still not perfect, but I'm getting more confident about it. Having Gross on art certainly doesn't hurt, neither.

One panel of awesome:

The Question volume 6: Peacemaker by Dennis O'Neil (writer), Denys Cowan (penciller), Malcolm Jones III (inker), Carlos Garzon (inker), Tatjana Wood (colorist), and Willie Schubert (letterer). $19.99, 160 pgs, FC, DC.

You know, I've never been seriously impressed with this series. It's fine, I suppose, but I'm not totally impressed by it. Yet I've bought every single collection, this being the final one. It's very weird. Am I ill?

Solomon's Thieves by Jordan Mechner (writer), LeUyen Pham (artist), and Alex Puvilland (artist). $12.99, 139 pgs, FC, First Second Books.

Templars. Over-exposed, perhaps, but still freakin' awesome. And this book has a bibliography. It's all high-brow and shit!

I should point out that today, 13 May, is the 25th anniversary of the MOVE bombing. Read about it here and here (that link is really long). If you've never heard of the MOVE bombing, it's the day in 1985 when the mayor of Philadelphia, Wilson Goode, dropped a bomb on a house in his own city, leading to the destruction by fire of 61 homes and the death of 11 people. Let's consider that: The mayor of Philadelphia dropped a bomb on his own city. This is one of the more bizarre events in recent American history, and I remember watching a great deal of it on television. It really traumatized the entire area.

You know, as I wander around the Internet, I often find mind-boggling web sites. One of the weirdest is LazerTits, which is ... well, exactly what it sounds like:

It's somewhat NSFW, although most of the nudity is covered up by, well, lasers. It's simply difficult to conceive of what kind of mind came up with this site. But go check it out - it's good for a laugh. Maybe not quite as humorous as Hot Chicks With Douchebags, but still pretty fun.

I was also watching Sullivan's Travels for the first time this past week, and I was struck by how absolutely gorgeous Veronica Lake is:

I had actually never seen Veronica Lake in my life, which I guess is odd. She had a terrible life after the 1940s, too. So sad when Hollywood spits out starlets. Sullivan's Travels, by the way, is really funny.

Moving on, let's check out The Ten Most Recent Songs Played On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle But Which Often Gets Reset, A Vexing Dilemma):

1. "What If" - Coldplay (2005) "Every step that you take could be your biggest mistake"2. "A Rush of Blood to the Head" - Coldplay (2002) "So I'm gonna buy a gun and start a war if you can tell me something worth fighting for"13. "Rock and Roll" - Jerry Lee Lewis w/Jimmy Page (2006) "I can't count the tears of a life with no love"24. "Streams of Whiskey" - Pogues (1984) "Life has often tried to stretch me but the rope always went slack"5. "Cuckoo Cocoon" - Genesis (1974) "Don't tell me this is dying 'cause I ain't changed that much"6. "Add Me" - Chumbawamba (2008) "I'd really like to mail you the picture that I drew, it's Kylie's body but the head is you"7. "Whyyawannabringmedown" - Kelly Clarkson (2009) "I'm not your love monkey"38. "Stairway to Heaven" - Led Zeppelin (1971) "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow don't be alarmed now"49. "Semaphore" - James (2008) "It's too late now for sorry, it's too late now for grace"10. "Pass the Mic" - Beastie Boys (1992) "I explode on sight, and like Jimmy Walker, I'm Dy-No-Mite!"

1 Yes, two Coldplay songs in a row. I'm the whitest person you know!2 Last Man Standing is awesome, man!3 Own your love of Kelly Clarkson, people! Join me on the Dark Side!4 My lovely wife refuses to listen to this song more than once annually. That's how much it was overplayed on the radio during her formative years!

You know what time it is! It's time for totally random lyrics!

"Fire in the ice Naked to the t-bone Is a lover's disguise Banging on the head drumShaking like a mad bull"

Chew on that, fanboys! Have a swell day!

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