April 28, 2001
AS I WRITE THIS, the little counter on the Home page tells me we're closing in on 10,000 distinct hits since this silly site
went up last December. Assuming I read the stats correctly — never a safe assumption — these standings have less to do with the
quality, if any, of the writing therein, than with the fact that if you enter certain terms into search engines like Google and Yahoo, you wind up at
one of my columns. Lately, you were also directed to this site if you entered these actual searches that brought web-surfers to www.evanier.com...
- HOW TO DRAW LIKE JACK KIRBY
- SHOW US YOUR LARK
- HARRAH'S FOOD IN THE ROOMS
- SAM KINISON DEATH SCENE PHOTOS (Note: There are no Sam Kinison Death Scene Photos on this site.)
- HOW DID SAMMY DAVIS JR DIE (We don't cover that, either.)
- CLOVERINE BRAND SALVE
- COMIC BOOK WRITERS ARE IDIOTS
- MAKE MILLIONS DOING CARTOON VOICES
- HOW CAN I HIT SOUPY SALES WITH A PIE
- HOW CAN I HIT GEORGE BUSH WITH A PIE
- HENNY YOUNGMAN NUDE
That's right. On the 'net, you can find pictures of Madonna nude, of Geena Davis nude, of all the Victoria's Secrets models
nude...and someone was actually searching for Henny Youngman nude. I've seen some pretty sick things in Cyberspace but...
SPEAKING OF ABERRATIONS: If you're interested in the question of what happened with the vote down in Florida, you'll probably
want to read an article by John Lantigua which is running this week in The
Nation. It details an amazing list of things that state officials allegedly did to prevent minority voters from exercising their rights
to cast ballots. Here's a link to that
April 27, 2001
YEAH, THAT'S A PICTURE of George Reeves at left, probably taken years before he first donned the tights of Superman. When
I watch those shows, I'm still amazed how good he is, playing an impossible role but maintaining a certain "twinkle" that kept him above the material
and rock-bottom budget. The making of that show — and many of Superman's other screen appearances — were recounted expertly in a
book entitled Superman: From Serial to Cereal by Gary Grossman. Others have followed in Gary's footsteps, often delving heavily (and not
always responsibly) into the mystery of Reeves' death, but this book is still the best. You can get a sampling — and even order your own
copy — over at Gary's website, www.supermanbook.com.
DC COMICS is bringing out a collected edition of the Fanboy series that I wrote last year, illustrated by Sergio
Aragonés and some amazing guest artists. The book goes on sale the week of July 4 but you can see a preview of its cover by clicking here.
CERTAIN URBAN LEGENDS live forever on the Internet. Ever since I got my first modem (300 baud), people have been sending
me the story of the $25o cookie recipe. For a while, it was the Mrs. Fields' chain that had supposedly ripped someone off for that amount for
their cookie recipe. Later on, it was Famous Amos and lately, it seems to be Neiman-Marcus. This week, three people sent me the same
story, which you can read about by clicking
here. And my question is not, "Where does this story come from?" That, we'll never know. My question is: "Has anyone ever made
BY THE WAY: I once met Famous Amos — a charming gent — and he told me that the cookies that made him famous were not
great because of the recipe. The recipe, he said, was pretty much what you get off the bag of Nestlé's (or maybe it was Hershey's) toll
house chocolate bits. The secret was in using quality ingredients and skill in baking. He said something like, "Thinking you can make
great cookies because you have a secret recipe is like thinking you can paint like Rembrandt because you have a list of the colors he used."
And he didn't say this but I gather that he's not particularly proud of the product now marketed under his handle by the company to which he sold his
operation...even though they may be using the same recipe.
April 25, 2001
YEARS AGO, one of comics' best artists, Alex Toth, did a batch of short, silly strips for hot-rodding magazines. Unseen
— then or since — by most fans, these treasures have now been collected in a splendid book published by Manuel Auad. It's Toth:
One For The Road and it's a brilliant lesson in conveying expression and movement in extremely simple drawings. If you know Toth's work,
you'll want a copy. You can order it from Bud Plant, to name but one place. If you
don't know Toth's work...try to start with a copy of Auad's previous book, Toth: Black and White (which Plant unfortunately has left only in
an expensive, limited edition hardcover) and then buy the car book after that.
FOR ME, the only good part of electing a president in this country is that, months later, we get at least one good book that
tells us, with some authority, what really happened in the election. Often, this comes from Roger Simon, whose Road Show (1988) and
Show Time (1996) showed incredible access and insight into the process. Both are out-o'-print but easy to find at low prices via all the
on-line search services...and you can also do what I'm doing, which is to wait for Simon's book on the Gore/Bush debacle, Divided We Stand,
which is due out in mid-May. In the meantime, I very much enjoyed Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency by Jake Tapper, which
details the machinations of both sides to avoid an honest count and to maneuver things to favor their boy. The Gore forces come off a little
less scummy than the Bush leaguers but, if Tapper is to be believed — and he sure sounds like he should be — not one player in the drama
acted in other than naked self-interest. To hear Tapper tell it, the Bush victory had nothing to do with an honest count and everything to do
with (a) cleverer legal wrangling and (b) the luck of the draw, in terms of key decisions going to judges and officials who were
predisposed to favor him. At no point does that outmoded concept — The Will of the People — appear to have had much to do with
it. Anyone surprised?
JUST POSTED a column I wrote a few years ago upon hearing of the death of Jimmy Stewart. You can jump to it by clicking on
the word here or just go over to the TV & Movies page.
April 23, 2001
A DARN GOOD TIME was had by everyone — well, by me at least — at the Wondercon last Fri/Sat/Sun in Oakland.
Loads of fun guests from the worlds of comics and film, the latter grouping including Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Julie Newmar and Gary
Burghoff. The former included Russ Heath, Murphy Anderson, Erik Larsen, Brent Anderson, Bruce Timm, Herb Trimpe and loads of others. Mr.
Trimpe (seen above) was especially mobbed because (a) it was his first West Coast convention, (b) many sympathize with what happened to him, which
was that — as he detailed in a New York Times article — Marvel dumped him after years of faithful service and (c) people
love the comics he drew during said faithful service.
That article can be accessed by clicking
here and it was a joy to see Herb surrounded by fans and to dine with him and his terrific wife, Linda Fite.
I have almost nothing else to report. You get outta-touch with the world while you're at a con. One of the great "misses"
of my life as a devoted Watergate-wallower was that I was away at a con the weekend Nixon fired Archibald Cox and so I didn't get to witness the
famed "Saturday Night Massacre" on teevee. That would have been a lot more interesting than the science-fiction convention I was attending,
even if it had less to do with reality. Anyway, I'll have some more news here in a couple of days.
April 19, 2001
JUST WATCHED the new DVD of one of the most cynical movies ever made...The Fortune Cookie, which was written by Billy
Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, and directed by Wilder. If one is in the right mood for it though, it's brilliantly funny and darn near impossible
to turn off. Walter Matthau was never better, and Jack Lemmon was never more Jack Lemmony. The scenes of Matthau, playing an
ambulance-chasing attorney, negotiating with a high-priced law firm are about as perfect an example of character comedy as anyone has ever put on
celluloid anywhere. The whole film is actually a superb festival of casting. Some of the small supporting roles and especially
WE'VE ADDED a new section to this site! I keep finding myself answering the same questions over and over in e-mail and
newsgroups. To save myself retyping the same answers for the umpteenth time, we inaugurate I.A.Q., which stands for Incessantly Asked
Questions. I only have five in there at the moment — all of them about either animation or comics. But eventually there could be a
lot more, covering a wider range of topics. Suggestions, of course, are quite welcome. You can access the I.A.Q. section by clicking
right smack-dab here.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE NEW YORK AREA, TV station WWOR is running a 2-hour backstage documentary about the new musical version of
The Producers. The show opens on April 19 and the TV special airs the following Sunday, April 22. I have no idea if other cities will
run it later, so I've arranged to have it recorded by someone in N.Y. who gets great TV reception and you might want to do the same. In the
meantime, the cast album of the show has been released...but I ain't gonna listen to it until after I see the thing on stage, which won't be until
some time in June. If the pundits are correct, it'll be playing the following June and the June after that and the June after that. (By
the way: I have a cash bet with a friend that before it closes there, Mel Brooks will do a turn in the cast, perhaps playing Franz Liebkind but, more
likely, Max Bialystock.)
IF YOU HAVE A LOW OPINION of Dick Cheney, it'll be even lower if you read Robert Scheer's latest column, which you can do by
clicking here. I'd love to hear prominent
Republicans explain why Whitewater had to be investigated down to the tiniest detail while Cheney's business dealings — which involve fifty
times as much cash and which may have impacted actual government policies — warrant nary a glance. (I'm also not too wild about Joe
Lieberman and his attempts to play Moral Watchdog — but at least he's not a heartbeat from the Oval Office.)
April 15, 2001
EVERYBODY'S setting up a website these days, even comedians and other interesting star-type folks. And I'm not talking
about fan sites...not even "official" fan sites. I'm talking about sites that the biggie actually arranged to have on-line, usually for
commercial reasons. In a few cases, they even generate original content for it or answer mail. For example, you might want to go take a
look at the new site, www.johnnycarson.com. That's right: Herrrre's Johnny's
website! On it, you can order tapes of old Tonight Shows — so far, alas, the same ones that have been commercially available for
some time. There are also some video clips and fun facts over there so it's worth a visit...though I think it would be funnier if they had a
guest website on Monday nights.
Here are a few more that I've come across...
- www.georgecarlin.com — This is a wonderful site, crammed full of Carlinesque
humor, much of it apparently written just for the web. Mr. Carlin has been doing comedy for a long time but he's still very, very funny.
(He's also one of the folks behind www.laugh.com, which is selling comedy CDs and such.)
- www.shelleyberman.com — And, speaking of doing it a long time and still being
very funny: This site will tell you where Shelley Berman is performing. If it's anywhere near you, go. He's still brilliant. (He
did a poorly-released, hard-to-find CD about five years ago called Live at the Improv that's as funny as any comedy album ever done. One of
those voices howling with laughter in the audience is mine.)
- www.colortini.com — This is the site of Tom Snyder, former host of The Tomorrow Show
and The Late Late Show. About once a week, he posts an essay in the style of the little "editorials" he used to do at the outset of those
programs. Always nice to hear what Ol' Tom has on his mind.
- www.sincity.com — Here's a site that will tell you where Penn and Teller are
performing, and allow you to read diary-type listings that they post often about what's been happening in their lives. Loads o' fun.
- www.bobhope.com — Bob Hope's site: "Hey, how about those websites where they sell
books and posters, and give you some bio stuff on the star? They're wild. No, but I wanna tell ya..."
- www.thehockeypuck.com — Don Rickles' site: "You big dummy. Why don't you tie
a bell to the back of your leg and play 'Wagon train, comin' through the pass?' Here, I'll make you feel at home: 'You've got mail!' You
dumb computer geek!"
- www.rodney.com — Rodney Dangerfield's site: "I'm all right now but last week, I tell
ya, I was in rough shape. I went to my doctor and he told me I was overweight. I said, 'If you don't mind, I'd like to get a second
opinion.' He said, 'Okay. Your website stinks!'"
- www.stevemartin.net — Very funny man, very funny website.
- www.lilytomlin.com —
Very funny woman, pretty funny website.
I'VE RECEIVED a few e-mails asking what I think of Johnny Hart's allegedly anti-Semitic Easter installment of his newspaper
strip, B.C.. My view is that, given Mr. Hart's tendency to tell interviewers that Jews are destined to all rot in Hell, I doubt it was
intended as innocently as claimed in his recent "I regret being misunderstood" press release. On the other hand, I also think that to make this
a big issue is to vastly overreact. I mean, on a list of rotten things that bigots have done to my people, a clumsy joke in a faltering
newspaper strip doesn't even make the Top 10,000.
If you want to protest something, try this: Many of the newspapers covering this ginned-up controversy have picked up his syndicate's
claim that Johnny Hart is — and I quote from the syndicate's website —
"...the most widely read writer on earth." I cannot fathom on what basis they make that claim but I'm guessing they're combining the total paid
circulations of all the newspapers that carry B.C. and Hart's other strip, Wizard of Id and presuming that everyone who buys one of
those papers reads him. Even if all that's true, it still wouldn't make Hart the most widely-read cartoonist, let alone the most widely-read
writer. (One might also note that it's now been something like 20 years since any American publisher put out a B.C. or Wizard of
Id collection in book form. You'd think the most widely-read writer in the world could sell a few measly paperbacks...)
April 13, 2001
AS MENTIONED a week or so ago, I just wrote the foreword for DC's forthcoming hardcover Archives collection of Blackhawk,
which will include the first 17 episodes of that strip from Military Comics, featuring the artwork of Chuck Cuidera. In doing this, I
received invaluable aid from the Unofficial Blackhawk Comics
website. This is a splendid assembly of history and data collected by a wise and knowing (i.e., he liked the issues I wrote)
Blackhawk buff named Dan Thompson. Well worth a visit. And the book will probably be a must-buy. That's wonderful...and rare
material. Keep your eye out for it in a few months. I'll be mentioning it here from time to time, despite the fact that I don't make any
more money off its sales.
ONE OF THE GREAT burlesque comedians (a straight man, actually) was a gent named Dexter Maitland. He appeared in the
original Minsky's revues and subsequent nostalgia-type revivals for more than 70 years — that is not a typo — but is probably best known
for his role in the movie, The Night They Raided Minsky's. (He's the handsome gent who sings, "Take Ten Terrific Girls, But Only Nine
Costumes...") I had the pleasure years ago of meeting and talking with Mr. Maitland and would love to do an article about him but I cannot find
a photo of him, either from that movie or his on-stage career, anywhere. If you know where I can procure one, short of shooting it off the TV,
please drop me a note. Thenk yew.
FRANK FERRANTE, who did such a good job playing Groucho on the PBS Special that aired recently, has teamed up with Groucho's
son, Arthur, to open www.grouchoworld.com. They're selling a CD of Ferrante singing
Groucho's songs and a book that Arthur has compiled of photographs of his father. I just ordered mine and will report when they arrive.
HERE'S YOUR CHANCE: Sergio Aragonés and I are appearing, together and apart, at the Wondercon, which takes place April
20-22 at the Oakland Convention Center in Oakland, California. We're both on a "Humor in Comics" panel on Saturday afternoon at 3:00, and I'm
on one that was inspired by a recent column I wrote about how sick I am of classic super-heroes being made ugly or psychotic. That one's on
Sunday afternoon at 1:00. And if neither of those interest you, there are other panels and guests aplenty, including Murphy Anderson, Russ
Heath, Jim Warren, Dave Stevens and the awesome and ageless Julie Newmar. Here's a link
to the convention website for more info...and if you're a frequenter of this site, please seek me out and say howdy.
BY THE WAY: I am currently pencilled-in to moderate ten (count 'em — 10!) panels at this year's Comic-Con International in
San Diego. If you're interested in Marvel Comics of the sixties, you'll want to attend around half of them. (A tip: If you don't book a
hotel room soon, you'll be staying in Nevada. You can get reservations through the convention's website at www.comic-con.org.)
April 11, 2001
NAT HIKEN was the creator-producer-head writer and sometimes director of You'll Never Get Rich, which was later retitled
The Phil Silvers Show and which everyone refers to as Sgt. Bilko. A few years later, he followed it with the short-lived (two
seasons) Car 54, Where Are You? and before either of those, he was one of radio's top writers. That's an amazing one-two punch of
terrific comedy programs. So it's about time someone wrote a biography of one of the all-time great comedy writers, and an author named David
Everitt has. It's called King of the Half Hour : Nat Hiken and the Golden Age of TV Comedy and I enjoyed it tremendously. It's
really amazing how much material Mr. Everitt was able to dig up on someone whose life has gone sadly unchronicled until now. Since it's
probably the only book anyone will ever write on Hiken, I'm glad it's so thorough.
You can score a copy of the Hiken book via all the usual on-line sources (Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc.) but you may have to hunt if you want a copy of another
new book — one that's only about the Bilko program. It's called Bilko: Behind The Lines With Phil Silvers and it's by Mickey
Freeman, who played Private Zimmerman on the series. It's a small hardback of anecdotes — not too penetrating or exhaustive but pleasant
— from a minor publisher. Between the two books, one gets a pretty unflattering portrait of Joe E. Ross, who played Rupert Ritzik on
Bilko and Gunther Toody on Car 54. Freeman's book talks about Ross's constant patronage of hookers. Everitt's discusses that,
plus his unprofessional behavior on Car 54 which almost got him fired. Maurice "Doberman" Gosfield doesn't come off too well,
IN THE NEWS, The Miami Herald did a partial recount of ballots
in Florida which many are spinning as (a) a full recount and (b) firm proof that their boy "won." It was actually neither and if
it proved anything, it was how sloppy the entire election and vote-counting were...a point made in a recent editorial in that paper. Here's a
link to that editorial — and, by the way, I
think the quote from the movie Key Largo is spurious, but the rest of the article seems to make great sense. I suggest that anyone who's
really interested in the issue of who won Florida ignore the spinmeisters, read all the articles in the Herald's special section on the topic
— taking careful note of all the caveats about arguable or missing ballots — and then regard it all as only one part of the story.
The biggest, closest-to-definitive press recount — by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others — is still a few weeks
from release. I doubt it'll convince one loyal Republican that Bush didn't win, nor one die-hard Democrat that Gore wasn't cheated. But
maybe whatever it shows will get someone angry enough to get some repair work done to a slipshod voting system that is insulting and detrimental to
JUST POSTED: A column I wrote in '98 about defining the time span of the so-called "Golden Age of Comics" and "Silver Age of
Comics," and the folly, thereof. Here comes the link. (Hey, maybe we can get the folks who counted the
votes in Florida to figure that one out...)
April 7, 2001
MARK HIGHLY RECOMMENDS (and — full disclosure — has an article in) the new, 31st issue of John and Pam Morrow's
splendid Jack Kirby Collector. The Morrows have gone to a larger, 10" by 14" page format which will be a bitch to store but which shows
off Jack's art to great advantage and which he would have loved. (If Jack had had his way, the average comic book would have been around the
size of the Jumbotron in Times Square. He was excited when the industry started experimenting with "tabloid" sized comics in the seventies but
disappointed that they used them primarily to reprint material drawn for the conventional page size.) Anyway, if you're at all interested in
Jack's work, it's a must-have. Here's a link to the TwoMorrows' site, which also
handles other fine publications of comic book history, such as Comic Book Artist and Alter Ego.
CONGRESS IS currently discussing abolishing — or, at least, reducing — the so-called "Death Tax." It's
actually an Estate Tax but its foes find it's easier to drum up opposition if they call it a "Death Tax." They also argue, apparently wrongly,
that it amounts to double-taxation. If you've been led to believe it does, you need to read this piece by Michael Kinsley...which I suspect will be largely ignored by folks who don't want to
deal with what it says and don't want to forego the "double-taxation" argument against the Death/Estate Tax.
While you're over at Slate, Jacob Weisberg — who shares with Mickey
Kaus the record for the most correct predictions about what the Florida recounts would yield — has a nice "what we know, as of now"
piece. Since all parties are determined to spin every bit of data to their purpose, it's vital for us to keep track of what we really know, as
opposed to what we want to know and — more importantly, what we don't. Here's a link to that article.
April 5, 2001
THE PICTURE ABOVE is of Bob Newhart. Because of his success in situation comedies, we forget that this man was once one
of the all-time great stand-up comedians. As a refresher, let's all purchase Something Like This..., a 2-CD collection from Rhino Records which includes darn near every great Newhart monologue that ever made it onto records
including my favorite — the one about Sir Walter Raleigh trying to explain to his employers what he has found in The New World. And while
you're at it, Rhino has just released a DVD of The Rutles: All You Need is Cash, complete with commentary by Eric Idle, alternate scenes,
photos, the works. Good stuff.
FOR SOME REASON, I've recently been receiving three or four e-mails a day from folks asking me where they can purchase all the
episodes of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon show on VHS or DVD. The answer is a little awkward but it goes like this: Only one
episode — In Search of the Dungeon Master, which I had nothing to do with — has ever been officially released for home video, and
only on VHS. It's out-of-print but is probably still findable if one searches far and wide. (When it was discontinued, the Sam Goody
chain apparently bought up the remaining stock.) Nothing else has been issued and, if the show's current owners are planning to put them out,
they haven't told me. In the meantime though, an awful lot of bootleggers are openly hawking videocassettes of dubious quality, sometimes even
pirating one another's copies. I don't like to encourage copyright infringement, especially on a show where, if it's released on tape, I'm
supposed to get money. But if you don't care about such matters and you do a little Internet searching or go to almost any comic convention,
you oughta be able to find someone selling unauthorized copies. Just don't ask me where they are since I'm among those getting ripped-off by
ONE OF THE THINGS that always fascinated me about Bill Clinton is that he's always been willing to voice respect for certain
critics and pundits who, at times, rake him over the briquets. If you don't think this is rare, show me where any other public political figure
of the last decade — Democrat or Republican — has had a kind word for anyone who wasn't 100% supportive of them. But Clinton has
and one of the columnists he has praised is Ronald Brownstein of the Los Angeles
Times. A look back at Brownstein's archived columns showed me that (a) he has been deeply critical of many, including Clinton,
but always with good reason, and (b) he may have the best track record of anyone in his field insofar as predictions are concerned.
These things set him apart from so many columnists who exist to tell some group what they want to hear, and how to spin the latest news
accordingly. He just published a news analysis about George W. Bush and partisanship which probably describes the "Big Picture" of American
politics for the next few years. Read it here if you
want a preview of Coming Attractions.
AND WHILE YOU'RE at it, you might also want to read Doris Kearns Goodwin's piece about how a bogus "news item" instantly spread
via the Internet — and Matt Drudge, especially — saying that she and Steven Spielberg were planning a movie that would depict Abraham
Lincoln as a racist. It wasn't true, and the original source has since retracted...but somehow, the retraction has not circled the globe quite
as extensively. (You have to hurry if you want to read this for free. The L.A. Times charges to read articles more than two weeks
old and this was one was published on April Fool's Day. Here's the link.)
ALSO, The Standard, which covers the biz end of the Internet,
has an article about my buddy Harlan Ellison and his legal battle against America On-Line and certain other nefarious parties. Here's the link to that.
April 4, 2001
One thing you can say for World War II: A lot of great comics came out of it. One was Blackhawk and, after I update my
website, I have to finish the foreword for DC Comics' upcoming Blackhawk Archives, which will reprint the first 17 episodes of that superb
strip from Military Comics. Another great strip — this one, appearing first in army papers but later in comic books — was
George Baker's Sad Sack, who managed to worm his way into the national consciousness and stay there, long after the war was over. If
you're not familiar with its heritage, my pal Alan Harvey, who now owns said Sack, has set up a website which includes samples of Baker's whimsical
work. It's at www.sadsack.net and it's well worth a visit.
ANYONE HERE see David Copperfield's special last Tuesday evening? The "sexy," much-advertised feat — and the only
part of the show done live — involved Mr. Copperfield standing in the center of a tornado of fire. It was, to me, the least-interesting
segment of what was otherwise a superb hour of magic. (In some other countries, the show ran two hours. I'm hoping that's the version
they'll put out on tape and DVD here.) Copperfield is a terrific showman. Some of his routines are, at heart, fairly elementary
magic...but he dresses them up with new contexts, state-of-the-art misdirection and a superb command of the stage, and makes them seem fresh and
exciting. At the same time, many of his tricks are essentially new inventions, the result of an ingenuity (and budget) that few other magicians
have. I'm a bit uncomfy with a few things he does...like, there's no trick photography, they tell us, but there are a number of moments where
it looks to me like judicious tape editing made a good trick even more spectacular than it was in person. And, while almost all purveyors of
"big" stage magic employ an audience plant or two, I think Copperfield's exceeded his lifetime quota. But these quibbles did not prevent me
from loving his show, and I hope you saw it. (You probably didn't. Apparently, the tornado of fire didn't entice the kind of audience a
show like this deserves.)
SPEAKING OF LOW RATINGS: Last Saturday's XFL broadcast got a 1.5, which was even lower than their previous all-time low.
My friend at NBC — the guy who, when they had a 2.9, said they couldn't get any lower — e-mails me that it's "common knowledge" around
the building that the network is getting out as soon as humanly possible. Anyone surprised? I didn't think so.
April 2, 2001
YESTERDAY marked one year since my longtime chum, Scott Shaw!, began his Oddball Comics page over at Comic Book Resources. For 52 weeks, Monday through Friday, he has favored us with examples of some of
the most bizarre comics ever published, accompanied by witty and informative annotation, which in turn has sparked interesting chatter on the allied
Message Board. In celebration of this grand achievement, he's invited a batch of friends, commencing with the proprietor of this here website,
to pen guest entries. If you'd like to read what I handed in — a discussion of the funnybook seen at left, which was drawn by the great
Curt Swan, perhaps under duress, and which is as oddball as any comic ever published — click on this link. And the latest edition of Oddball Comics (which,
today only, is the same page) can be accessed by clicking
here. Go there even when I don't have a guest column up.
OUR LATEST ADDITION to this site is a column I scribbled out in '99 about a courageous fellow named Rod Hull who...well, you
kinda have to read the column to understand what Rod did and why I thought he was so brave. You can do this by clicking here.
ON THE POLITICAL FRONT, I have come to enjoy my daily visit to
www.kausfiles.com, a site operated by Mickey Kaus. His longer pieces usually run over on
Slate but, almost every day, he updates his "Hit Parade" column with links to articles currently available on-line, along with his comments
on those articles. I don't agree with him on everything...maybe not even on most things. But even when I disagree, I respect his logic,
his ability to get to the core of an issue, and his willingness to criticize folks all across the political spectrum. In these days when
pundits insist that everyone on their side is without flaws and everyone on the other side is without brains or morals, it's nice to follow a guy who
can fire in all directions. Read him for a week or two and see if he doesn't cause you to reassess at least one thing you believe. (He's
changed my mind about the McCain-Feingold bill, though not necessarily to his precise position...)
Click here to read the previous NEWS FROM ME