What I bought - 22 August 2012

We have done as much with the matter of birth and parenting, dividing ourselves into different teams - pro-Thisers or pro-Thaters - with no middle ground, as there seldom is in matters of life and death. The debate is controlled by the extremes, each side shouting answers and accusations over the heads of the people in between, who are kept from formulating questions by the din of the argument all around them. Each paints the other with a broader brush. Each has an arsenal of names and adjectives to deploy against the other side. No one listens. Everyone screams. (Thomas Lynch, from The Undertaking)

Amazing Spider-Man #692. "Point of Origin Part 1: Alpha" by Dan Slott (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler), Victor Olazaba (inker), Edgar Delgado (colorist), and Chris Eliopoulos (letterer); "Spider-Man For a Night" by Dean Haspiel (writer/artist), Giulia Brusco (colorist), and Chris Eliopoulos (letterer); "Just Right" by Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer), Nuno Plati (artist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). $5.99, 55 pgs, FC, Marvel.

This is the "fifty year celebration" of Spider-Man issue, and I figured it would be a good one to check out, both because it features a few different stories and also to get a sense of Slott's work on the title. I've heard some good things about Slott's writing of Spidey, but I had no interest in the rotating creative teams after Spidey made a deal with Satan and even after that ended, I'm just not a fan of Ramos, so I didn't want to get the book then. It's been a decade since I bought Spider-Man comics with any regularity, so I thought this might be a nice place to check in. Plus, this is the highest-numbered comic left, right, since Marvel decided it needed to pass Fantastic Four, and for some reason, buying issue #692 makes me feel good. I know Our Dread Lord and Master has written before about not caring about renumbering, but I'm actually of the opinion that it does matter a bit, even though both DC and Marvel have made it irrelevant with their constant reboots and renumberings and shipping books more than once a month. I know DC cheated to get Detective Comics #600 out 50 years after the first issue (as the book was bi-monthly for a time), but it was still impressive that it synced up so well. Oh well - I'm an old fogey; sue me.

Moving back to the issue, this is a thoroughly mediocre comic book, and if this is typical of Slott's work on the title, I haven't missed much at all. Slott's story will continue in future adventures of ASM, which is fine, but this introduction to a new hero is basically "What If Ben Parker Hadn't Been Around To Give Crinkly-Eyed, Avuncular Advice To A Young Peter Parker?", as Slott gives us Andy Maguire, a high school student who's even more of a loser than Peter was and who gets even more fantastic powers than Peter got (basically, every clichéd "superhero" power you can name - he can fire bolts of energy, he's strong, he's fast, he has a force field, and he can fly ... but he can only use one power at a time!). Not surprisingly, he turns into kind of a douchebag. He got the powers because an experiment Peter was working on blew up (I'll get to that), so Peter feels responsible for him and tries to teach him not to be a douchebag. Yeah, good luck with that.

There's a LOT wrong with this story. Andy's parents are the stereotypical "We don't care about our kid until something happens to him, and then we'll think about how to make a buck off of him," which means they're terrible. Andy thinks that the girl on whom he has a crush is cute in a "nerdy/Asian/Tina Fey kind of way," which struck me again as an adult man trying to write like a teenager and failing. As always, I'm not saying that teenagers don't know who Tina Fey is or that she's cute, but it feels off to me. Slott was born in 1967. Fey was born in 1970 (she's a year and a day older than I am!). Maybe, just maybe, Andy is expressing Slott's feelings, and not his own. In the 1980s, when I was Andy's age (let's just assume that Andy is 15, but he might be slightly older), I didn't think many 42-year-olds were cute. I was too busy lusting after Heather Thomas or Phoebe Cates or Mia Sara or Amanda Peterson or Stephanie Seymour. But whatever. Let's move on! (Yes, I know I'm being a bit gratuitous. I have to keep Travis happy, though!)

So Peter is showing off his experiment. I love how ONE guy, who appears to hate Peter (a douchebag co-worker), turns ONE knob and disengages the "safeties" on the experiment. Really? You're showing off this thing that appears to be really, REALLY powerful and ONE guy can sabotage it so casually (he's simply standing by the knob while he's talking to Peter's boss, and gives it a spin)? Then, because every writer in the world is incapable of writing Reed Richards so he's not a tremendous knob, we find out that Reed actually discovered "Parker Particles" "years ago" but did nothing because he "knew that there are some genies you don't let out of the bottle." Well, you know, if anyone would know about performing experiments that endanger others, it would be giant dickhead Reed, but presumably Reed keeps up with scientific work, especially when it's done by someone close to him, so you'd think he would have, you know, told Peter about that beforehand. The problem with superhero comics is that they're cotton candy constructs, so if you introduce any little bit of "realism" - Reed realizes the destructive capacity of "Parker Particles" and decides not to pursue them - you need to examine everything through the lens of realism, and the entire thing falls apart. Reed has never let a little thing like "ethics" stop him before. Why now? Probably because he's a douchebag.

Finally (no, I'm not done!), there's this guy Jay, who I guess is May's husband (his name is John, but I guess because he has three names that begin with "J" - he's Jameson's dad - everyone calls him "Jay"). Jay has the temerity - the audacity, even - to tell Peter that just because May has moved to Boston, "it's like you've forgotten we exist." The fact that Peter doesn't punch him in the brain right there is impressive. Here's my speech that Slott should have put in the book at that moment:

Seriously, douchebag? You've known her, what, two months, and just because you make her ancient toes curl every so often you think you can lecture me? Listen, fucko, I made a deal with Satan so that bitch could stay alive and get freaky with you. A motherfucking deal with motherfucking Satan!!!! I can't tell you how many friendships I've ignored and how many relationships with actual young hotties I've fucked up because that old-timer was always whining that I didn't spend enough time with her. Jesus, she could learn how to play mahjong or do water aerobics, but noooooo - she's too busy writing letters to the editors bitching about Spider-Man, who's saved her life a dozen times over and, oh by the way, IS ME! And then YOU move away to Boston and I'M supposed to keep in touch with her? Jesus, most people cut the apron strings a lot sooner in life and talk on the phone once a week or so with the people who raised them, but apparently I have to take the bus to Boston three times a week to give my aunt a foot massage! Fuck right off, Jay. I destroyed my marriage so I could save that bitch's life, and she's like 95 years old! Look at Mary Jane - she's standing right over there. I gave up tapping that ass so I could save May's life, so until you've done something even remotely that unselfish, you can crawl up your own bunghole and eat shit, pal.

I mean, we all know that Steve Wacker is too busy picking on reviewers who don't like the comics he "edits," so it's not like he'd even see that if it showed up, right?

So, yeah. This is a dumb story. Oh, and Peter acts like an idiot too, as he actually tells the immature teenager that he's the most powerful person on the planet, so I'm not letting him off the hook.

The next two stories aren't all that great, either. I mean, they're not as stupid as the first one, but they're variations on stories we've seen many, many times before. "Spider-Man For a Night" is an amalgam of "The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man" and the Sandman's origin from the third movie, as some old dude finds Spider-Man's costume in the trash (after he put it there in issue #50), puts it on, tries to rob a store, and then goes home, where we find out is very sick granddaughter is a huge Spider-Man fan and the dude (still dressed as Spidey) comforts her. It's a nice little story, but that's about it. Fialkov's story is slightly better, but still slight, as we get one of those "days when nothing goes right for Spidey" tales that show up every so often. Both of the back-up stories basically show what it means to be a hero even when life sucks for you, and they're charming, I guess, but forgettable.

At least they don't piss me off, like the lead story. Man, if that's the kind of stuff Slott has been writing, I think I can safely skip it. Oh well.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Dark Horse Presents #15. "Wild Rover Chapter 2" by Michael Avon Oeming (writer/artist) and *Aaron Walker (letterer); "Ghost: Resurrection Mary" by Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer), Phil Noto (artist), and Richard Starkings (letterer); "Finder: Third World Chapter 13" by Carla Speed McNeil (writer/artist/letterer), Jenn Manley Lee (colorist), and Bill Mudron (colorist); "The Girl With the Keyhole Eyes Chapter 1" by David Chelsea (writer/artist); "Concrete Park Chapter 5" by Tony Puryear (writer/artist/letterer) and Erika Alexander (writer); "Aliens: Inhuman Condition Chapter 4" by John Layman (writer/letterer), Sam Kieth (artist/colorist), and John Kalisz (colorist); "Riven Chapter 2" by Bo Hampton (writer/artist/letterer) and Robert Tinnell (writer); "Rex Mundi: A Lurker in the Temple" by Arvid Nelson (writer/letterer) and Juan Ferreyra (artist); "Buddy Cops Chapter 2" by Nate Cosby (writer), Evan Shaner (artist), Rus Wooton (letterer); "Nexus: The Insect Under the Stone" by Mike Baron (writer), The Dude (artist/letterer), and Glenn Whitmore (colorist); "Love Hurts" by Kim W. Andersson (writer/artist); "Ride of the Sabretooth Vampire" by Mike Russell (writer/artist/letterer) and Bill Mudron (colorist). $7.99, 88 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

As usual with DHP, even the lesser stories have things to recommend them, which makes this a good comic even when the stories might not measure up. So it's nice to see Oeming's artwork even if I'm not clear why his protagonist needs to drink a lot of alcohol to defeat some kind of evil thing. It's nice to see Noto's artwork even though Dark Horse is cutting the "Ghost" story short so that they can launch it as an ongoing. Puryear's artwork is fascinating even though I still have no idea what's going on in "Concrete Park." The "Rex Mundi" story takes place before the actual series begins and it's a bit unnecessary, but Ferreyra's art is absolutely beautiful (man, I wish Ferreyra would work on higher-profile stuff!).

Meanwhile, McNeil's "Finder" story is tremendous, as Jaeger willingly becomes a scapegoat and McNeil gives us a brutal visual of what happens next; Chelsea's weird story moves through various layers of reality and does it well; Layman reveals some interesting stuff in the "Aliens" story; weird shit continues to occur in "Riven," although I'm not sure how it connects to the previous chapter; and the Nexus story is batshit insane but absolutely gorgeous. My favorite story is the "Buddy Cops" one, because it's so clichéd but Cosby cranks everything up to 11, so it overpowers you with wackiness. So, yeah, on the whole, this is a pretty typical issue of the anthology, which means it's a pretty good issue of the anthology. Yay, good anthologies!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Fables #120 ("Cubs in Toyland Chapter 7: Beach Toys"/"A Revolution in Oz Chapter Seven: A Single Loose Rock") by Bill Willingham (writer), Mark Buckingham (penciller, "Cubs"), Steve Leialoha (inker, "Cubs"), Shawn McManus (artist, "Oz"), Lee Loughridge (colorist, "Cubs"), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

After the sixth chapter of this arc, in which things finally started to, you know, happen, we get the seventh chapter, in which more things happen! It's a Festivus miracle! Darien is hanging out in Toyland trying to figure out how to save his sister, when he's confronted by a horrible choice: sacrifice himself to save her. Oh dear. Meanwhile, Therese is still in the dark about the toys' purpose for her, which is unfortunate. Most of the issue, however, is taken by Darien trying to figure out what to do. He obviously doesn't want to sacrifice himself, but can he find another way? Willingham does a wonderful job showing how he arrives at his answer, and presumably next issue - the final issue of the arc - will deal with the fallout. I haven't loved this arc because it's moved very slowly, but when Willingham wants to write some very good comic book prose, he can. I'm still thinking of switching to trades after this arc, because I imagine the pacing won't bother me as much if it's all in one package, but at least this isn't as dreadfully dull as it was for the first few issues. That's always nice!

Oh, and things get bloody in Oz. As we knew they might. So sad!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Mars Attacks #3 by John Layman (writer/letterer), John McCrea (artist), and Andrew Elder (colorist). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

Here's something odd. This is a very bloody comic, as Layman shows the Martians killing a lot of people with their giant insects and a man who owns a flea circus tries to escape the carnage. However, even though it's very bloody and we know at least some women die, no women die graphically in this issue. The closest example is on Page 2, where we see a headless corpse, but as the person is sitting down in a row and the seats in front block the body and the head is nowhere to be seen, we can't really tell it's a woman (we only know because McCrea showed her in the exact same spot wearing the exact same shirt on Page 1). It's very interesting. I don't know what it says about this comic, but it's very interesting.

Anyway, as usual, this is just an excuse to show the Martians running wild and killing a lot of humans. Our "hero," Sidney Rose, packs up his flea circus and tries to flee, but the people in a shelter he finds throw him out. If you think they're all killed in the next minute, well, no gold stars for you! Then Sidney comes across a dying soldier who tells him that his unit managed to destroy the factory where the Martians were making the insects grow, and they managed to get a sample of it. Hmmm ... Sidney has some insects ... I think you can figure out the rest.

Layman cares not about anything but insanity on this comic, and McCrea and Elder are knocking it out of the park. Every once in a while, it's just fun to read a comic like this, where it's just balls-to-the-wall mayhem, brought to you by people who know what they're doing. Mars Attacks certainly isn't a classic for the ages, but damn, it's a fun read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Mind MGMT #4 by Matt Kindt (writer/artist). $3.99, 26 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

Mind MGMT is getting better every issue even though the first issue was pretty good to begin with, and it's partly because we're getting to know the characters slightly more, but also because Kindt is showing us a bit of what's behind the curtain, which makes the stuff we still don't know about more intriguing. In this issue, Henry Lyme tells Meru a good chunk of his history, so we learn a bit about this weird agency as well, but it also continues a lot of the mysteries we've already encountered. It's a sad issue, too, because Henry comes to realize that he can't trust anything, and this depresses him. Kindt gets us to that point pretty well, although we do have to ignore the fact that a woman apparently never ages, but that's just the way it is. As usual, it's a fairly complex issue even though it doesn't look it, as we get the brief two-page story on the inside front and back covers, plus a back-up story that ties into the main one more explicitly than the others seem to. In addition to that, the writing on the borders of the pages takes a strange turn, which is nice to see - I assumed Kindt was going to do more with that stuff, but I wasn't sure what. It's neat to see him trying to blend so many elements into a nifty package. There's also some gorgeous panels of Henry trying to impress his lover, and it makes the theme of the issue even more heartbreaking.

I did like the first issue of this series, but I knew it had the potential to be better. It looks like Kindt is beginning to dig a bit deeper into this odd agency and its agenda, and I'm perfectly fine with that! Maybe the zero issue after next issue will entice more people to pick this up!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1 by Mark Waid (writer), Chris Samnee (artist), Jordie Bellaire (colorist), and Shawn Lee (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

Here's another comic I'm going to nitpick to death. Before that, though, I will say that it's a fun comic - Waid could write this kind of comic in his sleep, the bad guys are sufficiently villainous, the "cargo of doom" is freaky, and Chris Samnee draws the shit out of everything. I will read the entire mini-series, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it. However ...

So Cliff's mechanic has a niece named Sally, and we begin with her flying a plane for some skeevy federal inspector, who of course makes a pass at her while she's flying the plane. Really, Skeevy Federal Inspector Guy? Do you really think that's the best idea? Anyway, Sally has a crush on Cliff, but I'm not sure how old she's supposed to be. Cliff says he was dating Betty since Sally was a kid in pigtails, and Samnee draws her so that she looks very young, as in 15 or so. I can't imagine she is, because she seems way to aggressive for that, but it's a bit weird. And then Betty is jealous? I mean, she's always going on about all these men who show an interest in her whenever Cliff doesn't show up for a date (she does it again in this issue!), yet she gets pissed when Cliff is a little bit nice to what looks like a teenager? Betty knows that Sally has a crush on Cliff, but Cliff doesn't really do anything to make her jealous. It just seems ... weird. The entire Sally subplot feels weird, in fact.

Then there's Skeevy Federal Inspector Guy. Sure, he's unctuous, but when he tells Cliff that he's a lousy pilot and grounds him, Cliff hauls off and punches him. Again, we see the ridiculous anger issues that Cliff has and which no one calls him on. I mean, this is BEFORE he finds out that SFIG tried to molest Sally, and he still punches him. Just because SFIG was doing his job? As obnoxious as SFIG was when he told Cliff he was grounded, is punching him really the best way to respond? If IDW was still doing the Rocketeer anthology, I would submit a story in which Cliff simply walks around town punching people because they look at him funny. "I'm sorry, Mr. Secord, you counted wrong - you need an extra dime to purchase this magazine." "Why, you --" POW! "Excuse me, Mr. Secord, you threw your cigarette out the window of your car and it set my poodle on fire." "Oh, yeah --?" WHAM! "Um, Mr. Secord, grease just doesn't come out of jodhpurs, I'm sor --" BIFF! Man, that would be awesome. I do hope Waid has some plans for Cliff's anger problems, because, I mean, Jeebus. It's a bit ridiculous.

Overall, though, it's an entertaining issue. We'll see where it goes!

(Speaking of which, here's a story about Disney remaking the movie. In the post, someone asks "Why?", which seems like a dumb question. It's a property that's been sitting around for a while, it's been over 20 years since the movie, the movie isn't considered a classic by any means - it's a perfectly fine movie, don't get me wrong, but it's not like remaking Gone With the Wind or Casablanca - and the technology could make it a pretty nifty-looking movie. No, it won't have Jennifer Connelly, but that's the price we'll have to pay! I just think remaking Rocketeer is kind of a no-brainer.)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Scalped #60 ("Trail's End: Conclusion") by Jason Aaron (writer), R. M. Guéra (artist), Giulia Brusco (colorist), and Sal Cipriano (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Is there really anything I can say about the final issue of Scalped? It's not the greatest ending of a series, but it's a satisfying one, as Aaron does a good job wrapping things up but also leaving things open. I think parts of it were a bit too "Greek tragedy" in that the characters seemed to play roles ordained by God (or the gods, depending on your view) and I never like that kind of storytelling unless the book is completely allegorical, and I don't think Aaron was necessarily going for that. That's why Red Crow is one of the best characters of the decade, because he seems to be a fully realized character who makes choices not because it's what fate is telling him to do but because that's what he wants to do. The saddest panel in this book and maybe the series is the penultimate time we see Dino, because more than Dash, he's completely ruled by fate. He has no say whatsoever over what happens to him, and he hasn't in a long time (ever since that first issue showcasing him, in fact). Even Dash makes a choice - it's a shitty choice, but it's a choice. The end of Maggie's story doesn't work as well as Aaron wants it to, because she came into Dash's life a bit too late for it to really have a good impact, but it's another aspect of the book that is ruled by fate. So while I like the ending, I don't know if it reflected the way Aaron had built up the characters throughout the series.

I will say that while Guéra's art is wonderful as usual, Brusco's superb colors make the book even more beautiful. Recently, someone in the Vertigo offices must have figured out that "mud-brown" didn't need to be the foundation of every comic, and Brusco's work on this title has improved greatly. The opening scene of violence and death are beautifully red and orange with crucial swaths of black, and the sky at the end is almost painfully blue, it's so gorgeous. This is really a phenomenal-looking comic, with Guéra's rough pencils at the beginning giving us a visceral sense of the violence and his lighter lines with heavy inks at the end implying both the tragedy and hope of the ending. It's a really wonderful book, visually.

I'm getting close to "S" in my journey through my long boxes, so I'll be re-reading Scalped sooner rather than later. I may have more to say about it then!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Wolverine Annual #1 ("The Greater Evil") by Alan Davis (writer/penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Javier Rodriguez (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). $4.99, 38 pgs, FC, Marvel.

The final of Davis' three "ClanDestine" annuals of this summer wraps everything up somewhat tidily - we find out what Vincent is up to, which is the whole point, and while it's a fairly standard "evil genius wants to change the world" plot, it's drawn by Alan Motherfucking Davis, so it's totally worth it. Actually, if you're a long-time ClanDestine reader (and, I mean, who isn't?), Davis does delve into the family dynamics a bit more in this annual than he did in the previous two, mostly because Pandora and Rory, the two youngest Destine kids, are in this one, and they're always interested in playing superhero while Walter, their brother/guardian, doesn't want to. This is the main theme of the series, and Davis does a nice job bringing it into play here. Plus, it's drawn by Alan Motherfucking Davis. Did I already say that? You're going to complain about over 100 pages of Alan Motherfucking Davis art for 15 bucks? Yeah, I don't think so.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus volume 3 by Jack Kirby (writer/penciller), Mike Royer (inker/letterer), Drew R. Moore (color reconstruction), and Dave Tanguay (color reconstruction). $29.99, 383 pgs, FC, DC.

This is the third of the four omnibi that DC published of Kirby's Fourth World stuff. I can't wait until the fourth one comes out so I can read them all at once! It's pretty keen-looking!

Gantz volume 24 by Hiroya Oku (writer/artist). $12.99, 209 pgs, BW, Dark Horse.

Man, there's an alien in this composed of naked women, and it looks like it's 20 feet tall. This is a fucked up series.

Prophet volume 1: Remission by Brandon Graham (writer/artist/colorist), Simon Roy (artist), Farel Dalrymple (artist), Giannis Milonogiannis (artist), Richard Ballerman (colorist), Joseph Bergin III (colorist), Emma Rios (back-up story writer/artist), and Ed Brisson (letterer). $9.99, 132 pgs, FC, Image.

Gosh, this looks cool. I'm looking forward to reading it. Plus, it's TEN DOLLARS!

Swamp Thing volume 1: Raise Them Bones by Scott Snyder (writer), Yanick Paquette (artist), Marco Rudy (artist), Victor Ibañez (artist), Sean Parsons (inker), Michel Lacombe (inker), Nathan Fairbairn (colorist), David Baron (colorist), Val Staples (colorist), Lee Loughridge (colorist), John J. Hill (letterer), and Travis Lanham (letterer). $14.99, 142 pgs, FC, DC.

I know this got some love around yonder blogaxy, so I hope it's good. I'm still not sure that Snyder is a good writer, but we'll see. Paquette's layouts are superb, though. It's a very cool book to look at.


I think I mentioned this last year, but if I didn't, I'm doing it this year! Every October my lovely wife participates in a walking event to raise money for Polycystic Kidney Disease research, and she's doing it again this year. She has PKD, which is a fairly nasty affliction, and as it's inherited, my daughters will probably have it too. Good times! Anyway, if you're at all interested in sponsoring her, follow this link and click "Donate to a participant." As she has pointed out, even if you don't have the money, she's trying to educate people about PKD, because it ain't fun and not a lot of people know about it. If we can go the entire month of October dealing with pink variant covers and pink sneakers on football players, we can learn about other, less publicized diseases, right? This year Norah will be walking with her mom (my mom is flying into town to walk, too, which is ... bizarre, to say the least), and Krys would like to thank anyone who can spare a little bit to help her out. Thanks, everyone!

Moving on to less life-and-death things, here's a story about a toddler fight club. Yes, you read that correctly. It's a fairly horrible story (nobody has died, but it's still a freakin' toddler fight club!), but the comments are awesome.

Will Tim Burton's Batman sell more tickets than The Dark Knight Rises? That's an intriguing question. It's pretty far ahead right now, based on some calculations, even though DKR has made more money. I wish that were how movies are judged - by the number of tickets sold rather than the box office, because of course modern movies will make more money - movies don't cost a dime anymore! That would be rather strange if DKR doesn't sell as many tickets as Batman.

I am still unsure if I've ever heard a Katy Perry song all the way through, but you can't deny she's worn some strange things, and here are things she's worn on her breasts. It's all very safe for work, fret not!

Speaking of my wife (and I was, if you'll recall), this Sunday, the 26th of August, is the 20th anniversary of the day I met her. It was in a poetry class at Penn State, and I liked her instantly. I didn't fall madly in love with her until later, but she was very cool from Day One. I just mention it because while I love my wife and have no interest in ever living without her, I find it very weird to think it's been over 20 years (about 20 years and three months, to be exact) since I last had sex with anyone other than my wife. I mean, what if it's changed a lot and we're totally doing it wrong? How would we know? So our wedding anniversary is the 30th of July, but I always remember this anniversary too, because it's fairly important!

All right, after a week off, let's check out The Ten Most Recent Songs On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. "The Show Must Go On" - Queen (1991) "My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die"12. "Bad" - U2 (1984) "If I could, I would let it go: Surrender, dislocate"23. "Shine Like It Does" - INXS (1985) "This is the power since time began; every single hour that we have known"4. "The Standing Still" - Chumbawamba (2000) "Who said the story had to end this way?"35. "Drunken Boat" - Pogues (1993) "An aria with the Russians at the piano in the bar, with icefloes through the window we raised glasses to the Czar"46. "Prelude/Angry Young Man" - Billy Joel (1976) "And he's never been able to learn from mistakes so he can't understand why his heart always breaks"7. "Breaking The Girl" - Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991) "I don't know what when or why; the twilight of love had arrived"8. "Tits On The Radio" - Scissor Sisters (2004) "Black haired tranny counts sheep with her bed turned down"9. "How Much Fun" - Robert Palmer (1974) "You got me scorched where I'd forgotten there was fire; you got me foxed and you know I ain't a liar"10. "Rio" - Duran Duran (1982) "You know you're something special and you look like you're the best"

1 Damn, I love this song. I know I've said that before, but it's worth repeating!2 Back when I didn't like U2 (which was before Achtung Baby, although I've since reconsidered The Joshua Tree), this was the only song by them I really liked. It's still one of my favorite U2 songs.3 By the way, Chumbawamba broke up. I know, it's hard for you to take. Get yourself together and rejoin us when you're ready!4 It's really strange that with all the great Pogues song when MacGowan was the lead singer, this song, after he left, might be my favorite Pogues song. It's a close race between this and "Thousands Are Sailing" - it kind of depends on my mood. I love the lyrics of this one, culminating in "With the wainscot our horizon and the ceiling as the sky, you'd not expect that anyone would go and fucking die." Gives me the chills, I tells ya!

I think these Totally Random Lyrics are easy, but I thought of them when I heard the song this week, because when you try to find out the most conservative rock songs (and you can easily find people who make those sorts of lists), this song is nowhere to be found. I mean, some of the choices of conservatives are a bit weak, but this is clearly a "conservative" song. Maybe it's not rocking enough? Anyway, if I type anything else I'll give it away. Glory in these wonderful lyrics!

"I started my life in an old, cold run down tenement slumMy father left, he never even married momI shared the guilt my mama knewSo afraid that others knew I had no name

This love we're contemplatingIs worth the pain of waitingWe'll only end up hatingThe child we may be creating"

Yeah, I know. Anyway, have a wonderful day, everyone. Be excellent to each other!

The Fantastic Four Just Died In the Most Heartbreaking Way Possible

More in Comics