Wednesday, March 31, 2010
In the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie, the late, great Paul Lynde sang about kids. In one number from the show, Paul asked the musical question, "Kids, what the devil's wrong with these kids today?" Well, I have finally figured out the answer to this question. It's quite obvious, really.
The problem with kids today is their parents are morons!
Let me drift into my cranky ol' fart mode and explain (actually, I don't really have to drift, I am pretty much always in this mode). Last weekend, Perfect Wife, the Boy and I went to a local screening of How to Train Your Dragon at our local Googleplex. I was expecting to hate it, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is really a charming movie. At least I think it is. You see, I missed about three quarters' worth of the dialogue because of the incessant, full-volume yap, yap yapping of the children seated around us. Children who, I my opinion, were far too young to be mixed into the general movie-going populace. Throughout the film, the little darlings kept up a running commentary about everything: The movie, their seats, their refreshments, whether or not their siblings were on "their side", etc. To be fair, they were quite young, and had obviously not been briefed on such points of movie-going etiquette as, "Shut yer yaps during the film so other people can enjoy it." Why, one may ask, didn't their parents "hush", them? Why, in fact, did their parents bring them to the movies at all? Excellent questions. Questions I don't have the answer for.
When I was quite small, say, 3 or 4 years old, I really wanted to go to the movies. My parents wisely held off on taking me until they felt I was capable of behaving myself during the movie, and (and this is something that every parent at HTTYD ignored) a film came along that they knew I could understand and enjoy without questioning each and every action in the film. Last weekend's film was too "grown-up" for the crowd I watched it with, which the parents bringing their tots should have known by it's PG rating. I know, it wasn't Debbie Does Dallas, but still... My first film was Hey There, It's Yogi Bear. A wonderful flick. I was totally entertained by the whole experience, as was everyone around me (Spoiler Alert: Yogi does not get shipped to the St. Louis Zoo), unlike the crowd who had to listen to the din at HTTYD. Today's parents can't even take the time to do a bit of research on the films they take their brats to. They can't be bothered to read a review or look up comments online. They just see an ad on TV, say, "Duh, it's a cartoon. Tiffany/Zachary/Ashley/Whoever will like that", and off the the theatre they go.
Also, parents today, it seems to grumpy old me, have absolutely no idea how to control their kids. Whether it's because they're lazy, stupid or are just afraid they'll harm their wee ones' delicate psyche with discipline, I don't know. I wish more of them were like my parents were. My parents taught us manners and how to behave, and sure, they sometimes hurt my feelings with a cross word, but I turned out okay.
Well, that's debatable, but at least I know how to behave at the movies.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Rest of My Life
Nothing much to post this week. I am really tired.
I have had a lot of trouble getting a good night's sleep lately.
I can't figure out why...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Top of the Mornin' to Ye...
And the Rest of the Day as Well!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day to one and all! On this special day, everyone is Irish, so get out there and celebrate! Celebrating on Saint Patrick's Day for most people naturally involves the time honored rituals of dressing like a (green) horse's ass, going out to a traditional Irish pub (TGI Friday's or Chili's) and drinking until you are unsure of exactly what you are celebrating. I am not certain of how these traditions got started, but they are traditions, so who am I to argue?
Actually, I am not really one to go all out "celebrating" the day. Having Irish blood coursing through my veins means I don't have to prove anything to anybody. Usually, my humble St. Patrick's day revels are limited to wearing something green (this year, my underwear, >blush<), eating some traditional Irish cuisine (Lucky Charms™, they are, after all, magically delicious.) and singing "The Unicorn Song" until friends and family beg me to stop. Or a least learn more than one of two lines of the song.
However you choose to observe the day, please keep it safe, and keep it legal.
Unless you are absolutely sure you can get away with it.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Vault O' Shame: Baby Screwy
So very busy, busy! I really haven't had the time to post a proper entry lately. I do know, however, that there are one or two of you out there who check this site on a semi-regular basis for a heapin' helpin' of my nonsense, so I felt I should post something. So here is... something.
The illustration you see here comes from the deep dark pits of my archive. "Archive" is a fancy word I use to describe the enormous piles of crap that are spread about my home. I was rooting through the archives recently, when I came across this curious piece. It is curious, because while I can tell I drew it, I have absolutely no recollection of doing so.
The drawing is, of course, a rendition of every body's favorite stupid duck-infant, Baby Huey. Huey starred in a bunch of Famous Studio cartoons in the glory days of animation, and for years was a staple of the Harvey Comics line. I love this character! One of the highlights of my otherwise laughable "career" was drawing Huey for a line of European comics in the 1990's.
This drawing is not from that era.
I really have no clue when, why or where I drew this, but it must be pretty old. For one thing, this drawing isn't too good, to put it mildly. The composition? Check out the complete lack of negative space between the little duck and Huey! They are practically on top of each other. The inking is pretty dreadful, too. From the looks of it, I used a brush marker that had worn out well before I started inking this piece. A napkin dipped in chocolate might have produced a smoother line. They say, "A poor artist blames his tools". They are right. The characters are "off model", too, but frankly, I have always considered that my Editor's problem.
Of course if I did this drawing today, a few clicks of the mouse in Photoshop™ would fix most of the problems. Actually, it wouldn't, as I am not really "up to speed" on the whole Photoshop™ shizzle.
On a positive note, the gag here is in the same vein as the gags they used to use on the covers of the old comics. Most of the jokes in the Baby Huey comics were of the "Wow, that baby duck is big/strong/a glutton!", variety. Here, I cleverly combined all three themes in one drawing.
Some of you may puzzle, "Why did Bill post a drawing he isn't proud of?" There's a good answer for that: I dunno. Maybe I hope to inspire young cartoonists out there who are frustrated that they will never see any improvement in their work. Perhaps this will demonstrate to them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, if they keep practicing and drawing a lot.
That sounds nice. The truth is of course, I really had nothing to post.
Better luck next time.
By the way, all the characters in this post are copyright by whoever owns these characters now. So be respectful!
Monday, March 1, 2010
They're Coming to Get You Barbara... And You, Too!
The other night, Perfect Wife and I had the pleasure of watching the film, "Zombieland". The movie is a lighthearted look at how a quartet of people survive the aftermath of a worldwide uprising of the living dead. We really enjoyed the film, and both recommend it. If you are squeamish about scary movies and blood and gore, relax. The film is a comedy, and the bloodshed is kept to a minimum.
In keeping with the zombie invasion theme, I also recently re-read author Max Brooks' (son of Mel!) novel "World War Z". An excellent read. This book is a fictitious "first person" account of, you guess it, a planet-wide zombie lollapalooza.
All this zombie stuff got me to musing about how I would fare if zombies actually did rise from the dead with the intention of noshing on the general populace. Would I have what it takes to fight off an attack of hideous creatures that wanted to chow down on my brain, in a world where civilization has collapsed? That depends.
If the zombies were the shuffling, slow-moving slugs we used to see in the old movies like, "Night of the Living Dead", I might be okay. That type of ghoul seems pretty easy to outrun. The people in films who fall victim to them are idiots who seem to go out of their way to put themselves in danger. As a boy, I could easily outrun my Aunt Gin when she would come lumbering toward me for a kiss. Auntie was just a bit more agile than this type of zombie, so I don't think I'd have that much to worry about.
In more recent zombie movies, however, the creatures are a lot more formidable. Current movies depict zombies as fast as lighting, unstoppable beings. Even getting them to hold still for a moment so you can shoot 'em in the head (as we all know, the only agreed-upon way to "kill" a zombie) is problematic. I don't think I'd fare to well with this type of zombie.
For one thing, physical fitness is not my strong suit. I would get winded after being chased just a block or two. I also don't know the first thing about firearms, and anyway, based on my limited experience with spit balls, I can tell you that even if I knew how to discharge a firearm, I would miss my intended target by a mile. My usual method of defending myself, which is screaming like a little girl until my attacker backs off in disgust, would be of no help to me, either. I don't think zombies feel emotions like disgust. If they did, they might be a bit more critical of their overall hygiene and appearance.
My biggest problem of course, is that the zombies would want me bad. Zombies crave brains, and if they got a look at my giant melon, they would think I was some super-size brain banquet. Of course, once they cracked open my skull, they would be disappointed to find the puny brain McNugget I actually possess. If they could feel disappointment that is.
Of course, I probably have nothing to worry about. The likelihood of zombie troubles are slim. Still, stranger things have happened. Who would have thought David Spade would have a successful career in show biz? Since I can't save myself, if society completely breaks down and you find your town swarming with hungry dead folks, here are some survival tips that might help:
• Watch the news- If zombies do invade your community, the local newscasters might be aware of it, and give you a heads up. This will give you time to go to the mall and get supplies.
• Get sensible supplies- Yes, you'll need weapons, flashlights, food and the like, but think of the big picture. You may be holed up somewhere for a while. Get things to help you pass the time, like a good board game, a beanbag chair and a hot chick with loose morals.
• Get Popsicles- The power is sure to go off sooner or later, and then there will be no way to ever make Popsicles again. Get a bunch, and savor them while they last.
• If you have to hole up in an abandoned movie theatre, make sure they have a good movie- In the film, "Omega Man", Charlton Heston wasn't fighting zombies, he was laying low while some vampire types ran amok, but it was basically the same situation. He hid out in a movie theatre, and watched "Woodstock" (a difficult film to watch once) over and over. Imagine yourself locked away someplace, watching "Avatar" everyday. Throwing yourself to the zombies might become an appealing prospect.
• Lock yourself someplace, and STAY THERE- In the movies, people become zombie chow because they leave the safety of wherever they are. Don't do this! No matter what you need, stay put and do without. Unless it's something really important, like toilet paper, or more liquor.
• Don't go looking for missing members of your party- How many movies have you seen where some nit-wit says, "Where did BLANK go?! I've got to go find him/her/it!"? Then they go out searching for their missing member, and, Boom! Zombie stew. If someone is gone, consider them gone. Cry a bit, and scream, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!", or whatever, but don't go looking for them. Unless it's the hot chick with loose morals.
There are a lot more tips I could give you, but you get the gist. One other thing though. Just because zombies have taken over the planet, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself a bit. There are some upsides to this situation: If someone you dislike becomes a zombie, you can have the pleasure of blowing them away with no fear of legal repercussions. Also, if you are a complete loser, you can make up a really impressive fictional past to impress other survivors you encounter. How are they going to prove you weren't a circuit court judge? If you play your cards right in a world gone mad, the world can be your oyster.
Also, don't forget about the hot chicks with loose morals!