Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jerry Lewis, Comic Book Character

This weekend, Jerry Lewis passed away at the age of 91. In his latter years, Jerry became known more for being cantankerous and ill tempered, perhaps an inevitable step for a man who has long outlived the achievements that fueled his ego. 

Granted he had a lot to have an ego about. As an American actor, comedian, singer, film producer, film director and screenwriter, Lewis enjoyed considerable success financially and creatively, earning millions of dollars and a long list of awards and accolades. Eventually, hower Jerry's time came and went but Jerry stuck around, moving from "well regarded" to "human punchline". 

Which got me to wondering about Jerry Lewis, Comic Book Character.  

art credited to Owen Fitzgerald
cover to issue#50
art by Bob Oskner
cover to issue#100

Yes, at DC Comics, Jerry Lewis shared space on the spinner racks with  Batman, Superman, the Flash and Wonder Woman. 

What th...? 

There were a number of comic books that featured real life celebrities in adventures brought to life in comics. No, not characters they played in movies or TV but the actors themselves. Most of those played out in the 1950s. What made Jerry Lewis stand out to me was his longevity. Hus comic book ran 124 issues before coming to an end in 1971. At DC, Green Lantern and Green Arrow were dealing with the impact of drug abuse, Batman was returning to the dark, gritty roots of his origin and a Jerry Lewis comic book was being published. 

Jerry's run as a comic book character began in 1952 with the Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. After the Martin/Lewis comedy act broke up, the title was continued as The Adventures of Jerry Lewis.  

As the 1960s drew to a close and the 70s began in an era of counter cultural revolution and an awakening awareness of relevancy in comics, why was DC still putting out a Jerry Lewis comic book? 

My theory is DC forgot to cancel it. Which, yes, it's a silly idea.  So I asked Mike Sterling for a better idea. He had posted this on Monday in tribute to the passing of Jerry Lewis.  

Replying to
Curious about Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope comics They lasted to the early 70s IIRC. Were they still selling? Or DC just 4got to cancel them?

    why was DC still putting out a Jerry Lewis comic book" betrays a certain fan-boy snobbishness  as if DC publishing a comic book about Jerry Lewis was inappropriate for beloved medium. AoJL is indicative of a state of comic book publishing lines going back to the beginning of the medium. Super heroes were only part of the equation, sharing the spinner rack with westerns, romance comics, war stories, humor comics and more. 

    The key element in the question "why was DC still putting out a Jerry Lewis comic book" is Jerry Lewis himself. I will bet that the average kid who bought an issue of The Adventures of Jerry Lewis back in the day had no idea that Jerry Lewis was a real life person. But their parents who ponied up the spare change for their kids' comic knew who Jerry Lewis was. 

    Real life person or not, Jerry Lewis gave DC a chance to tap into the Archie Andrews market with an inept but lovable schmuck. From the pages I've seen,  Adventures of Jerry Lewis evoked a looser and wilder style than the comparatively sedate Archie. AoJL seems more akin to MAD Magazine in humor and style.  

    For whatever reason "why was DC still putting out a Jerry Lewis comic book?", the answer became "not any more" when the final issue, #124, dropped in 1971. Maybe the book wasn't selling well enough to pay Jerry to draw a likeness of his young face? Maybe Jerry himself, beginning to see himself more a "filmmaker" than a "comic actor" thought it was time to pull the plug on licensing his mug to DC?

    Adventures of Jerry Lewis#124 marked more than just the end of a single comic book series. It evoked the end of an era when comic publishers would throw any idea out there. "Let's see if we can make money off a comic book about this crazy idea?"

     A decade later, Marvel and DC had more or less coalesced their publishing super heroes in a shared universe.  

    Instead of asking "why was DC still putting out a Jerry Lewis comic book?", we should say "Isn't it a wonderful thing DC put out a Jerry Lewis comic book?" And the answer to that question would be, "yes, it was a wonderful thing".   

    Special thanks to 

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    The Eclipse of 2017

    So did you guys see the 2017 Eclipse?

    NO! Don't look right at it! For God's sake, put a filter on it!

    Put a filter on it! P
    ut a filter on it! Put a filter on it!

    PUT A FILTER ON IT!!!!!!!

    Whew! That was close!

    OK, I think I see the problem here.  That's a 2017 Mitsubishi Eclipse. And the 2017 eclipse everyone was excited about is that big once in a lifetime solar eclipse that crossed North America yesterday. 

    This one.  

    Yep, missed it.  The Fortress of Ineptitude is north of the Path of Totality (where the real night time in the day time stuff goes down.)  

    And it was raining. 

    Of course it was. 

    It was already dark from the rain but the light took on more of a hue of dusk.  

    Which was probably for the best. I didn't have protective goggles or glasses and I didn't have a virgin sacrifice ready to go. 

    I did witness a solar eclipse back in the 1970s. It didn't get night dark as I recall, just darker in a way most peculiar for a cloudless sky. I stole a quick direct glance. My dad told me not to because I could go blind. I did it anyway because he was stupid and it didn't make sense how looking at an eclipse would you make you go blind. There's LESS sunlight to blind you, right? 

    To this day, I still think that split second glace contributed to (if not actually caused) my poor eye sight.  

    My daughter Randie was disappointed she did not get to witness a more dramatic eclipse effect that others got to witness.  

    But she has beautiful eyes that see the world in an amazing perspective, of different colors, shapes and possibilities. 

    At least the Eclipse of 2017 did not have the opportunity to endanger those unique and wonderful eyes. 

    It did have a chance to endanger another pair of eyes.  

    Shortly after this photo of Donald and Melania Trump was taken, the Moron in Chief* removed his protective eyeware.  

    Why? Maybe he was thinking, "Because of FAILING Obamacare, the sun is going out. SAD! Maybe I can restart the sun with my heat vision."   

    *Will I not let up, even for Solar Eclipse day? No, I will not.

    In Carbondale, Illinois, thousands gather to offer up a plaintive entreaty. 

    Oh dark devourer of the sun,
    We beseech thee:
    Take us with you!
    Take us with you!

    The sky during the solar eclipse as seen from Depoe Bay, Oregon. 

    And that is singer Bonnier Tyler who was famous for the song...well, you can see for self.  

    And that is that for today.  

    Coming up on the blog, I'll bring you up to speed on my surgery, a misadventure with my car and more stuff. 

    Also for this weekend's Doctor Who post, Riff-Traxx and The Five Doctors. 

    Until next time, remember to be good to one another.    

    Monday, August 21, 2017

    Trump: So Much Shit, So Little Time

    WARNING: there's a total eclipse today. 

    DON'T LOOK AT IT!!!!!!!

    Hi, there

    Still in post surgery mode so not so much with the typing. Stealing a page from my good buddy* Mark Evanier and his Trump Dump feature, today's Donald Trump post is links to other people doing the heavy lifting of writing and stuff.   

    Trump’s Approval Rating Stands Below 40 Percent in Three Key Midwest States 

    NBC News - Mark Murray

    I personally find it incredulous that anyone as obviously incompetent and morally bankrupt would have any approval above zero percent. The three states in question are Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, three normally Democratic leaning states that did not go for Hillary Clinton. Looking at the dumpster fire that is the Trump "Administration", I have to ask you guys: how important are those fucking Clinton emails now?   

    Whew! That was a close one, wasn't it?

    Talk of ‘Preventive War’ Rises in White House Over North Korea 

    The New York Times - David E. Sanger

    Man-baby Trump wants to blow up something so bad, his belly button is puckering and unpuckering with excitement. I bet he got an erection up to maybe two, three inches at the prospect of lobbing a nuke at somebody.  

    Even if we assume there is a robust discussion on options to be used against North Korea, we know where Li'l Donnie's desires lie. He wants a mushroom cloud he can point at and squeal with delight, "Hey, look what I did! I'm a big boy now! Weeeeeee!!"

    Politico - Josh Dawsey and Matthew Nussbaum  

    While surgeons were cutting out a bone mass from my left arm, Steve Bannon was cut out from the Trump White House. I awoke from anesthesia to sunny blue skies and world where Bannon wasn't sitting in the White House anymore. 

    Does this make any difference?  

    I'm thinking "no". Yes, Trump was echoing a lot of alt-right shit that Bannon wallowed in but Trump was picking that crap up from Alex Jones and the friendly smiling faces at Fox News.  

    But there's no denying Bannon's role as Iago, having Trump's ear.  As noted by Dawsey  & Nussbaum, Steve Bannon 
    fought for hardline positions and embracing culture wars, . reminding Man-Baby that moderates and Democrats would never support him but that's OK: his base is still strong and still loves him.  

    Which is right at core of Li'l Donnie's sweet spot: hated by enemies but loved by his loyal supporters.  Without Steve Bannon actually present in the White House, Trump will have to rely on Steve Doocy to relay such sweet nothings to his ear via Fox & Friends.  

    Huff Post - Carla Herreria

    Is Donald Trump crazy? 

    Well, fuck, yeah!  

    But we don't KNOW that. As in, has a professional brain person had a look-see at the inner workings of Li'l Donnie's noggin? 


    Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) thinks someone should do that so she introduced a bill on Friday calling for Trump getting his head examined.  

    Lofgren points out that Trump has not yet released a “serious” medical evaluation to the public. She doesn't expect the bill to pass; a Republican controlled Congress will see to that.Lots of chest thumping and "Harumphs!" and how dare we insult the integrity of the blah, blah, blah.    

    But no matter what we can do now about the Moron in Chief smelling up the White House and Air Force One with KFC buckets, we should look to the future and make it a requirement that candidates or at least party nominees MUST release tax returns and provide an objective, unbiased medical report on their physical and mental health.  

    And that is enough for today.  Until next time, remember to be good to one another.   

    *The staff of Dave-El Inc and  I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You Entertainment must fully disclose that Mark Evanier is not our "good buddy" in any real or legally binding sense. 

     WARNING: there's a total eclipse today. 

    DON'T LOOK AT IT!!!!!!!

    Sunday, August 20, 2017

    ENCORE POST: A Miracle Every Day

    So I'm back from the 

    hospital  Or as they say in the UK, I'm back from hospital, And why do they do that anyway.  

    My left arm they operated on is in a sling and I'm zonked out on some resally nice pain killers. 

    So no full on blogging from me. 

    Today's post is from encore post from Saturday, March 9, 2013, taken from a     Toastmasters speech I had given called :

    "A Miracle Every Day"

    If you were to ask Lois Lane, intrepid investigative reporter for the Metropolis Daily Planet, what the most annoying part of her day is, she would tell you, "Being thrown from the top of the Daily Planet building by super villains."

    Here's what happens: some bad guy with a super power or a super weapon or a super gimmick thinks he's going to take over Metropolis...

    Or the United States...

    Or the Earth....

    Or the UNIVERSE!

    But first he has to take out the Man of Steel, SUPERMAN! And to do that, he has to lure Superman to his doom. And the best way to do that is to threaten one of his friends. 

    So here comes Capt. Doom Man or whatever in the offices of the Daily Planet. Now he has any number of people he can threaten: Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Clark Ke-

    Where the heck is Clark Kent? Always, whenever something is going down, Clark can never be found.

    Sigh! It doesn't matter. All these villains play from the same play book: it's got to be the damsel in distress. And there is no better "damsel" to pick than "Superman's girlfriend", Lois Lane.

    First of all, that whole "Superman's girlfriend" is a misnomer, something that got started by Cat Grant in her gossip column. But that whole "relationship" (and that's using that term loosely) ain't all it's cracked up to be, OK?

    But Mr. Capt. Doom Pants could not care less about that. "A-ha! Superman's precious Lois Lane in peril will bring the Man of Steel his DOOM! Ha! Ha! Ha!" 

    Oh, like he's the first person to ever come up with that little gem. 

    So he grabs Lois, takes her to the top of the Daily Planet building and hurls her off of it.

    The first time this happen, it scared the living daylights out of Lois. 

    Flailing and screaming in the open sky with the very hard concrete foundations of Metropolis over a hundred stories down, Lois knew, KNEW she was going to die. She closed her eyes in desperation but guess what? Gravity still works even if you're not looking at it.

    But as she arced thru the sky to her inevitable doom...Look! Up in the sky! Ta da! It's SUPERMAN! A streak of red and blue, he hurtles thru the air, gracefully plucks Lois from her deadly decent, gently lowers her to the ground and then shoots back up in the sky where he wallops the tar out of Doctor Death Shorts. Lois could only stand there in shock, in awe of the wonderful miracle that had just occurred. 

    The second time this happened, Lois knew, KNEW that there was no way she could be THAT lucky two times in a row and this time she was going to die for sure. But wait! Look! Up in the sky! Ta da! It's SUPERMAN! And the miracle happened again.

    By the 37th time, Lois was starting to sense a pattern. Look....up in the sky...Superman...and Lois is saved. Hooray. 

    By the 584th time, it is just one more annoyance on Lois' schedule. 

    "Let's see, wake up, exercise, grab some breakfast, e-mail that write up to Perry to pick apart for 2 dozen punctuation errors, schedule an interview with Mayor Berkowitz, research the funding of Lex Luthor's new power plant, get thrown off the building by a super villain, pick up dry cleaning, drive Lucy to the airport......" 

    The fact that an impossible man from another world in a red cape can fly thru the air and save her life is no longer a miracle....because it happens every day. 

    But Lois is not alone in this regard.

    Consider ourselves and the world in which we live. Hurtling thru cold and lifeless space, we live on a ball teeming with life. Our world turns on its axis and brings the sun up every day. Whether you believe we are here by cosmic chance or divine providence, this is nothing less than a miracle. But because it happens every day, we do not recognize this as a miracle.

    Indeed, the sun comes up and for too many of us, its just another damn day. 

    And who can blame you if you feel this way? Somewhere someone is suffering....

    Somewhere someone is dying...

    Somewhere someone wonders if there is such a thing as love....

    Somewhere someone is wondering how to put food on the table. 

    But for all the dark shadows, there is still light, joy, life, love, hope. Somewhere someone has found happiness....

    Somewhere someone has just been born....

    Somewhere someone looks into another's eyes and discovers to their amazement that yes, there is love.....

    Somewhere someone has just been reminded they have friends who will will help them when they are down. 

    Sometimes its easy to see; other times you have to look really hard to find it. But it is there...every day.

    Open your eyes. Look, up in the sky! The sun rises yet again, a miracle!

    Every day.  

    Saturday, August 19, 2017

    Doctor Who: The Sonic Screwdriver

    Hi there! As you read this, I expect to be nursing a bandaged up arm after Friday's surgery, a procedure that as I actually write this is a few days away.

    Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. 


    This is my weekend Doctor Who post. Today, we look at the Doctor's signature tool of choice, the sonic screwdriver. 

    This topic was brought to mind by the recent passing of Victor Pemberton at the age of 85. Pemberton was an actor and a writer who contributed in both roles to Doctor Who during the time of the 2nd Doctor portrayed by Patrick Troughton. In Pemberton's story from 1968 , "Fury from the Deep", we are first introduced to the sonic screwdriver.

    The principal function of the sonic screwdriver was that of a screwdriver, a tool used to drive screws but with sound waves. The functions of the sonic screw driver would expand somewhat. 

    The 3rd Doctor used the sonic to set off land mines in The Sea Devils while the 5th Doctor used it to disrupt monitor cameras in Four To Doomsday

    While not typical functions of a screwdriver, the use of sonic waves made these expanded functions somewhat plausible.

    There were concerns that the sonic screwdriver was too easy a way out for writers so the sonic was destroyed in 1982 in the 5th Doctor episode, The Visitation, and was not replaced.  The 6th Doctor did employ a "sonic lance" in one episode.

    The sonic screwdriver was reintroduced in the 1996 TV movie and was a regular feature when the TV show was revived in 2005. During the course of the new series, the functions of the sonic screwdriver have expanded greatly beyond "sonic" or "screwdriver". 

    From Wikipedia, here is a list of some of the things the sonic screwdriver can do. 

    • Unlocking or locking a door
    • Burning or cutting any kind of substance
    • Remotely detonate certain machines or explosives
    • Amplify sound-waves and the power of an X-ray machine beyond its normal capacity
    • Disarm weapons and electronics
    • Flashlight
    • Intercept and conduct teleportation
    • Hack an ATM
    • Regenerating razor wire on a fence
    • Darken eyeglass lenses to transform them into sunglasses
    • Microphone (when connected to an audio amplifier)
    • Detect and interpret signals
    • Conducting medical scans
    • Locking the coordinates of the TARDIS
    • Tracking alien life
    • Using red setting or dampers
    • Control atoms and molecules on a small scale
    • Operate computers, whether their origin is alien or human
    • Provide Geo-location
    • Get cash from an Automated teller machine
    • Light candles
    • Modification of a mobile phone
    • Disclosure and deactivating camouflage
    • Disarm Robotics
    • Scan and classify matter
    • Shatter glass
    • Shocking neural centers of a living creature

    And amazingly enough, the sonic screwdriver can also:

    • Tighten and loosen screws

    Recent Doctors have taken to brandishing the sonic screwdriver as a defensive weapon although that has been greeted with derision by none other than the Doctor himself. 

    War Doctor to the 10th & 11th Doctors:
    "They're scientific instruments, not water pistols." 
    "Are you going to assemble a cabinet at them?"  

    If it seems like the modern sonic screwdriver basically does what ever the Doctor thinks it should, you may well be right. 

    In "Let's Kill Hitler", it is explained that instead of having settings, this version operates through a psychic interface, basically doing whatever the user thinks of while pointing and holding down the button.

    In "Death In Heaven", Clarta confirms with the 12th Doctor the functioning of the the sonic screwdriver involves "point and think".

    The BBC owns the sonic screwdriver, a point of some contention for it's creator.  Victor Pemberton told an interviewer for Doctor Who Magazine, "I'm very cross that the sonic screwdriver—which I invented—has been marketed with no credit to myself. … It's one thing not to receive any payment, but another not to receive any credit."

    Which is a shame. There should be some recognition of Pemberton's role in creating a part of the Doctor Who mythos that is as much apart of the Doctor's legend as the police box exterior of his TARDIS.   


    OK, that's that for now. I have another post or two in the chute while I recover from my arm surgery.  

    Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

    Friday, August 18, 2017

    Operation Day

    Well, today is the day.

    The day of my operation. 

    After today, I will finally be the woman I was always meant to be. 

    Uh oh. 

    No! I'm getting my left arm worked on.AS I recounted earlier this year, I had a stroke which precipitated a nasty fall that shattered my elbow.

    The cause of the stroke remains a mystery despites various efforts by my neurologist to look for clues. A scan of my brain revealed it was normal which quite frankly, I still find that insulting.

    As for the arm, an operation and months of physical therapy restored most of my strength and function but not all. There is a bone mass that developed that serves as a bit of a door stop on my arm, limiting motion.

    So this operation is going to fix that. Open it up, cut it out, close it up and drop kick me to the curb. I may in fact not have to get out of the car. 

    The simplicity of the intended procedure worries me. The last surgery was to fix a shattered elbow. Any improvement would have been welcome. But this....

    I've almost become used to having a limited arm. I've grown accustomed to not putting pills or shampoo in my left hand. So why am I doing this? What if it doesn't work? 

    Anyway, I've got a couple of posts in the chute ready to go including (of course) a Doctor Who one for tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be up to speed to in a few days to post about my latest medical adventure for 2017. 

    Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    Disney Minnie Vans

    It's been 8 months since the family was last at the Disney World Resorts. But when I heard about this development, I felt compelled to comment upon it. 

    In the photo above are Minnie Vans. Like mini-vans but done up to look like Minnie Mouse. Get it? 

    Anyway, Disney’s new Minnie Van Service is operated through Lyft and was introduced in July for guests at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club and Boardwalk Resorts> It's now expanding to for use by guests in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Cooper Creek Villas and Cabins, and Boulder Ridge Cabins at the Wilderness Lodge.

    It is a paid service but the buzz on this service is very positive.  

    Minnie Vans driven by Disney cast members will then whisk you away to wherever you want to be at Walt Disney World Resort. Each van accommodates up to six guests and provides two car seats.

    I have to say if Minnie Vans had been available to me in my previous stays at Disney, I think I would've ponied up the extra bucks for the privilege.

    Because... buses, man.

    Disney's buses are clean and efficient. But leaving a park and getting back to a resort, a Disney bus can be a ride in Dante's Inferno.  When its time to clear out the parks and get guests back to the resorts, those bus drivers will make sure every inch of that bus is packed.

    DRIVER: Move on back! Move further back!
    PASSENGERS: Mrphmblmprh!
    DRIVER: We can get another couple of people in there! Move on back!
    PASSENGERS: Mrphmblmprh!

    You wind up getting close to people. 

    ME: That's a nice tattoo.
    PASSENGER: How can you see my tattoo from that angle?
    ME: I can feel it!

    I mean getting very, very, very close to people.  

    ME: Er, sorry about getting you pregnant.
    PASSENGER: If it's a boy, I'll name him after you.
    ME: Thanks!

    Yes, a Disney bus a park closing time can get really tight. 

    So a Minnie Van sounds like a good idea. Except instead of 300 people shoved into a 50 person bus, the exit roads are chocked with a thousand Minnie Vans. 

    Yesrterday's blog post was also Disney themed, about the debut of the revived Duck tales ("Woo-oo!"). I noted a line from the theme song and asked what competing cartoons was this line referring to:

    Not pony tails or cotton tails

    The answer: My Little Pony and Tiny Toon Adventures featuring Babs & Buster Bunny.

    Thanks for playing along.

    Until next time, remember to be good to one another.  


    Jerry Lewis, Comic Book Character

    This weekend, Jerry Lewis passed away at the age of 91. In his latter years, Jerry became known more for being cantankerous and ill tempered...