Monday, June 30, 2014

Enter the Batman

Uh oh! Looks who's been doing "art" on his lunchbreak again? 

Batman created by... 
well, you damn well know 
who created Batman!



As I did with the Spectre and Doctor Fate pieces, I did this in just under an hour while at lunch. What I want to convey with this information is that if this doesn't really look that good, I didn't take a lot of time. 

However, to be honest, I'm a very impatient artist and quite frankly, this stuff would not look much different if I had more time.  

See you next time. Until then, be good to one another.


Dave-El 
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

____________________________


Tuesday: 
A tribute to a wonderful couple of people who welcomed me into their family. And drove me to drink. (Sort of.) 

Wednesday: 
The 4th of July is coming so this week's Comics Blah Blah Comics takes a look at DC's Freedom Fighters series from the 1970's.

Thursday: 
I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. But it's the return of...  It Came Thru Bruce Wayne's Window.

Really sorry about that. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Forgiveness Model....And When It Doesn't Work

I've been thinking quite a bit in the last few months on the subject of forgiveness. Forgiving others. Accepting forgiveness.



On one hand, forgiveness can be a very simple exercise. Consider the following forgiveness model.

























I think for the most part, people have no problem with this sequence of events. After all, life is too full and too short to be burdened down with anger and hate, petty or large. Someone's sorry for doing the wrong thing, the person wronged believes the other person and offers forgiveness, forgiveness is accepted and we move on.  



But what happens when any part of that breaks down.


  • Person A does not actually do a bad thing but Person B thinks it is. How can Person B forgive Person A when Person A doesn't think there's anything to be forgiven for? If Person A accepts the forgiveness of Person B, isn't that accepting a burden of guilt that may not be deserved?



  • Person A does a bad thing and does not care how Person B feels about it. How can Person B forgive Person A who hasn't learned anything from the transgression committed



  • Person A does a bad thing and really does feel bad about it. But Person B doesn't believe Person A is truly sorry and will not offer forgiveness. How can Person A find forgiveness when the person wronged will not provide it?



  • What if the arrows go both ways? Person A and Person B are doing things to hurt the other at the same time.


And so forth and so on and so on. 

Suddenly your basic forgiveness model gets a bit messed up. 





















Part of my problem with forgiveness is I truly don't understand it. To paraphrase a line from Citizen Kane, I want forgiveness on my terms. I really need to know you're hurting from the bad thing you did before I offer my forgiveness. If you're not hurting, am I being a schmuck for forgiving you? Am I letting you off the hook? 

And it goes the other way too, perhaps more so for me. How can I ask for forgiveness if I am the one who did the bad thing? I can't; I don't want to be seen using forgiveness as a "get off the hook for the bad thing" card. I need you to know I feel bad for doing the bad thing so you'll offer forgiveness. Forgiveness on my terms then becomes you offering it; I can't ask.

And of course there's the idea of forgiving yourself. I did this bad thing, I'm sorry and I forgive me? No, I don't think so.  

Which is of course missing the point of forgiveness. It's not about getting out of something, it's not being let off the hook for doing the bad thing. But it is about getting a weight off the shoulders, a weight of guilt for doing the bad thing or the weight of anger at being the victim of the bad thing.  

Because that weight cannot be borne forever.  The weight becomes encrusted with more rage or guilt and grows heavier, the soul that carries it bends and cracks before completely breaking.  

Forgiveness is not easy but the alternative, living with the weight, is harder still. 

Forgiveness: one day, maybe I'll figure it out.

Dave-El 
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

____________________________


Tomorrow: 
Back to the usual stupidity as we present... 
"Enter the Batman" An artistic creation of questionable merit from yours truly.  

Tuesday: 
A tribute to a wonderful couple of people who welcomed me into their family. And drove me to drink. (Sort of.) 

Wednesday: 
The 4th of July is coming so this week's Comics Blah Blah Comics takes a look at DC's Freedom Fighters series from the 1970's.

Meanwhile, remember to be good to one another.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Doctor Who Weekend: Looking Around the TARDIS Attic

Hi there! I'm Dave-El and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that likes the color of its kidneys just fine, thank you very much!

It's time for our weekly stopover for all things Whovian, a little blog post thing I like to call Doctor Who Weekend.*

*It's real name is "Susan" and stop questioning its life choices, OK?

We're about 2 months out from the long awaited debut of NEW episodes of Doctor Who with our NEW Doctor, Peter Capaldi. So, what's been happening on the set with the newly ensconced 12th Doctor? Let's take a look! 


  1. Peter Capaldi's much taller than I expected.
  2. Someone left the TARDIS in the dryer too long.
  3. Damn BBC budget cuts! 
  4. Peter's trying out for a shot at Strictly Come Dancing
  5. Er, Peter, should we leave you and the, uh, "Police Box" alone for awhile?
  6. That's NOT how you fly this thing.




















Well, whatever is going on, I am intrigued. (Or "en-tre-gewed" as Bugs Bunny used to say.)  Can't wait to see Peter's 1st real adventure as the Doctor. Two months and counting! 

____________________

Anybody missing not only Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor but also Amy and Rory (and we know you're out there!), here's a little throw back to a few years ago. 




















I'm not sure time travelling attorneys are a good idea. I mean, their billable hours must be really high.  

"What? You billed me for 25 years of work? But you were only my case for one day!"

"Yes, but in that one day, I had to go back 25 years to find evidence in your favor." 

_______________________

A couple of comebacks in recent weeks. As I recounted last week in Doctor Who Weekend, my family saw the 10th Doctor adventure "Rise of the Cybermen" in the movie theater. It was so cool seeing David Tennant on the big screen being incredibly brilliant as the Doctor. 

Also, a few weeks ago saw the return of the creator of the much beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson. Bill did 3 panels over the course of a week's worth of Pearls Before Swine. But just those three panels served to remind everyone what an amazing artistic talent Bill has and I wish we had more opportunities to see that talent at work.  

So let's dovetail those two items into this little gem someone posted on Twitter. 



And so inspired by this art, I came up up with this mini-playlet I call...

The Doctor Meets Calvin and Hobbes. 

Calvin: So you're an alien?
The Doctor: Yep! 
Calvin: Where are your tentacles? 
The Doctor: I don't have tentacles. But I have a sonic screwdriver!
Calvin: Well, I have a ferocious, alien-eating tiger so you better not...
Rose: Oh, this tiger is SO cute! 
Calvin: Hobbes! 
Hobbes: What can I say? I have a weakness for smoochies! And tuna sandwiches. 














____________________________ 

So that's it for this edition of Doctor Who Weekend. We'll see you 'round here again next week as we get ONE WEEK CLOSER to the big event, the return of Doctor Who

Until then, be good to one another! 

____________________________

Sunday: 
The subject of forgiveness and can we have it on our own terms. (Seriously!) 

Monday: 
"Enter the Batman" An artistic creation of questionable merit from yours truly.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Broken News (On a Break) For Friday, June 27, 2014

Hi there! I’m Dave-El and this is I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that says a woman is to blame but knows it's its own damn fault.
 
Today is Friday and that means we’re up for a new edition of….
 


"On a break"? 
 
OK, not so new then.
 
But as the summer sun beats to blister your brain down to the size of a raisin, let’s take a look back to the cooler time of the first two months of 2014 when the bitter cold of the polar vortex was freeze drying your brain down to the size of a raisin.
 
It just goes to show, hot or cold, there’s always something out there trying to shrivel our brains. Which explains SO much, doesn't it? 
 
Let’s do them bROkEN nEWs classic headlines...

In 5…
4…
3…
2…

_______________________________
 
January 3, 2014
 
 #BrokenNews "Will John Kerry Run For President Again?" If for no other reason than to make Hillary Clinton look positively more "funky" in comparison.


 
#BrokenNews "Top Republican Can't Deal With Benghazi Reality" That sentence would still make sense even without the word "Benghazi".
 
#BrokenNews "France To Impose Unbelievably High Tax On The Rich" After French lawmakers were unable to figure out how to tax snootiness.
 
January 10, 2014
 
#BrokenNews "Liz Cheney drops out of Senate race in Wyoming" She was running out of family members to ostracize. 

#BrokenNews "Sex offender blocked from taking bar exam" Lawyers react with alarm: "Wait a minute! We have standards now?"
 

#BrokenNews 300 Lbs. Of Cocaine Discovered In Supermarket Banana Boxes” Somewhere a Wall Street stockbroker’s trying to snort a banana.
 
January 17, 2014
 
#BrokenNews "Accenture new lead contractor on Obamacare site" First thing they did was plug the computer in.
 

#BrokenNews"New Obamacare Numbers Released" Those numbers are 16 - 57 - 32 - 14 - 63 - 7. Congratulations! If these are YOUR numbers, you get health care! 
 

#BrokenNews "Ted Cruz Delivers Huge Slap In The Face To House GOP Leaders" Sadly, Ted doesn't understand the concept of a "metaphor" so he went over to the House and actually slapped them. 
 
 
January 24, 2014
 
#Broken News "Liz Cheney's Big Mistake" Failing to understand that some women just don't care for Dick. (Cheney, that is. What were YOU thinking?)
 

#BrokenNews "Man Might Choose Mars Trip Over Family" A lot of men in America look at that and say, "Wow! I did not know that was an option!"

#Broken News "Lindsay Lohan Announces Surprise Film" Surprise! It's NOT a porno!
 
February 7, 2014
 
#BrokenNews "State Department Official Said 'F*ck The EU' In Leaked Call" State Department later clarified the office said "f*ck the emu" which actually only leads to a whole series of disturbing questions.
 
#BrokenNews  "Senate Passes Farm Bill Slashing Food Stamps" It's OK to GROW food, not so much to EAT it. 
 
#BrokenNews Rep. Leaving Congress Amid Ethics Questions” Which is pretty much standard procedure for leaving Congress.
 
February 14, 2014
 
#BrokenNews "Rand Paul Warns Texas Could Turn Blue" If Texas keeps holding its breath like that, sure!
 
#BrokenNews Oldest Known Star In 

The Universe Discovered” It keeps yelling at 

the other stars to stay off its lawn.
 
#BrokenNews "Michelle Obama Offers Advice For Justin Bieber's Mom" The First Lady counsels love, understanding, a few solid whacks upside the little fucker's head and compassion. 
 
February 21, 2014
 
#BrokenNews "Longtime Christie Friend Involved In Traffic Scandal" Gov. Christie denies he has any longtime friends. 
 
#BrokenNews "Charlie Sheen Engaged To A Porn Star" If you've ever wondered how much a lower a porn star can go, now you know.
 

#BrokenNews "101-Year-Old Is Running For Congress" Well, not running very fast I imagine.

 
February 28, 2014
 
#BrokenNews "Founder Of World's Largest Megachurch Convicted Of Embezzlement" He seeks your forgiveness for being caught.
 
#BrokenNews Hagel: U.S. Military Must Shrink To Face 'More Volatile' World” Then the Defense Secretary unveiled his Super Duper Shrink Ray!
 
#BrokenNews "1 Gender Remarkably Absent From Conservative Conference Speakers" 1 gender missing? Who could it be? No, let me guess! Let me guess! Uh...I got this! I got this! Uh...no, I'm stumped.

______________________

And that's that for this week's bROkEN nEWs. If the jokes weren't funnier this time, well, you're probably just not trying hard enough. 

Next Friday is July 4th and bROkEN nEWs will present a special edition to celebrate the birthday of our great nation, Oosa!*

*What most people refer to as the U.S.A.

And then on July 11th, we're back with ALL NEW bROkEN nEWs, baby! So world, no funny business until we get back, OK?

Y'all be good to one another!














________________________

Saturday: 
Doctor Who Weekend

Sunday: 
The subject of forgiveness and can we have it on our own terms. (This from the mind of bROkEN nEWs? Yes, it's true!) 

Monday: 
"Enter the Batman" An artistic creation of questionable merit from yours truly.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Batman At the Bat-Diner

Hi there! Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that goes great with some hash brown and a couple of strips of bacon. 


Today is Thursday which is when I usually entertain torture my readers reader no one with my most recent exercise in silliness, It Came Through Bruce Wayne's Window. Today, I decided to take a brief respite from this wonderful feature pointless torture by posting an interesting Batman page by Kyle Baker.  If my memory serves, this first appeared in Batman#400 many moons ago. 





The interesting thing about this page is how it's so human and yet so... Batman at the same time. There's the Batman, cloaked by darkness as much as his cape, hunched over a diner counter grabbing a bite to eat. It's sublime, yes funny but not silly. 


Nowhere near as charming but still a bit amusing...ish is this bit I posted to the blog way back on April 3, 2013! I called it Batman Goes To A Restaurant. (Click on the title/link.) 

All this talk of Batman and eating is making me hungry. And wanting to read a Batman comic. So I'm off to do that. 

Back here tomorrow for Broken News, OK? Until then, be good to one another.

________________________

Friday:
bROkEN nEWs!

Saturday: 
Doctor Who Weekend

Sunday: 
The subject of forgiveness and can we have it on our own terms. (Ooh, heavy stuff!) 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Comics Blah Blah Comics: Bob Kane and the Walk of Shame?

Recently, comic book readers in general and Batman fans in particular were delighted to see an overdue credit given on a forthcoming Batman comic, a free book to be given away in July as part of the 75th Anniversary celebration of Batman's first appearance. This particular credit on the cover of the book belongs to Bill Finger. It may well be the first time Finger has been credited on the cover of a Batman comic. 





Many in the know about this sort of thing recognize Bill Finger as the true creative force behind the creation of Batman. Yet his name is notable by its absence as a creator. On every comic book, movie, TV show and more, there is but one name giving sole credit as the creator of Batman, Bob Kane.  

Perhaps this would be less of a pain in the backside if Bob Kane had actually contributed something we recognize as Batman, had done his share of the heavy lifting and was gracious with his praise of others who helped bring Batman to life. But Bob Kane was extremely protective of the Bob Kane brand. God forbid someone thinking anyone other than Bob Kane was creating all those stories. Artists like Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang and Sheldon Moldoff labored in obscurity under the Bob Kane brand. And most egregious of all was how Bill Finger got screwed in the deal. 

Here's what Bob Kane created that actually wound up in the Batman comic. The name "Batman". That's it. The design Kane created (and who knows where he swiped THAT from) was a red suited hero with bat-wings and a domino mask. Bob approached Bill Finger to help flesh out this character. Not only did Finger provide the details of Batman's story, he ultimately did the design work of an artist, suggesting the bat wings be swapped out for a black cape giving the illusion of a bat's outline, recommending the color scheme move from red to a mixture of blue and grey and getting rid of the domino mask in favor of the now famous cowl.  

Then Bob Kane took all these ideas, brought them back to the editor and said, "Hey, look at what I did!" And the legend of "Batman created by Bob Kane" began.  

There has been little animosity towards DC over this. Yeah, it sucks that every Batman comic has to say "created by Bob Kane" when we know almost all of the creator work was done by Bill Finger. But fans recognize there are legal complications that may prevent DC from raising a stink over this. But they do what they can to recognize Bill. The name on the cover of the free book, that's a nice touch. Not much but it's a start. 

And then this announcement is made: Bob Kane is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

WHAT THE WHAT?!?!?

Suddenly, the wound is laid bare again as various media outlets report that "Bob Kane, the creator of Batman" would be receiving this honor in 2015. By accounts, "the 
nomination for Bob Kane to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was initiated by Kane's widow, Elizabeth Kane, with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment helping in the process."

How did DC handle the announcement of this news? This is from DC's webpage:  

Fire up the Bat Signal – a celebration is in order! This morning, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Batman creator Bob Kane has been selected as a 2015 Walk of Fame honoree. Kane will be joined by fellow 2015 honorees that include director Peter Jackson, television producer James L. Brooks, and actors Will Ferrell, Daniel Radcliffe and Chris O’Donnell, who of course played Robin in two Batman films in the 1990s.

Since his first appearance in the May 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27 – conceived of and drawn by a 22-year-old Kane with his frequent collaborator, Bill Finger, scripting the story – Kane’s Batman has gone on to become the star of comic books, Saturday afternoon cartoons, newspaper comic strips, radio shows, a live-action TV series, animated films, video games and several of the largest-grossing theatrical releases of all time. In short, Kane’s Batman is the most popular single superhero ever created.

Allow me to parse this part of the above statement: "conceived of and drawn by a 22-year-old Kane with his frequent collaborator, Bill Finger, scripting the story". 

1)  Of course Bill Finger was no mere "collaborator" but this is still a fairly significant statement. A lot of the "Batman created by Bob Kane" legend that Kane himself sought to foster was that the concept of Batman was something burst fully formed from his creative genius. Or something. The very idea that someone else "helped" Kane at all undermines that image. 

2) The lock on "Batman created by Bob Kane" hinges on the deals Bob made with DC both at the beginning of Batman and later when their deal was renegotiated. The basis of the re-negotiation was Kane's assertion that he had been underaged when he signed the first deal and DC would be in a whole lot of trouble if that got out. Of course the idea that Kane was "underaged" when he first created Batman was laughable but one of those things that could not be proven or denied, not without a lot of trouble. Still, DC's statement is that Bob Kane was "22 years old" when Batman was "conceived of and drawn". Could the age thing be a loophole for DC to revisit their arrangement, that the new contract was made under a false assertion? 


3) And what about the wording "conceived of and drawn by" as opposed to "created by"Whatever the faults of Bob Kane, he did conceive of a super hero named "Batman" and however poorly he did it, he did "draw" that first story." This would still secure Bob Kane's place in the creation of Batman while perhaps allowing a more formal acknowledgement of Bill Finger's role. 


This is, to be honest, idle speculation. The first part of DC's statement does include the phrase "Batman creator Bob Kane".  Then again, that may well be DC just repeating the wording of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce press release.  


Marc Tyler Nobleman, writer of "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman," (Great book, by the way!) was not unexpectedly disappointed by this news, citing another example of "Kane receiving recognition he does not deserve."  


But maybe, just maybe, this is finally THE moment to make the case for Bill Finger to a large audience. With the attention given to Bob Kane getting this star in Hollywood, this could be the forum to bring Bill's case to a lot more people. And then, possibly, real change can be affected and Bill can get the credit he deserves. 

Likely? Sadly, no. But possible? Oh, all things are possible, especially if the comic book community dares to dream and ACT to make those dreams a reality and get Bill Finger the recognition, the justice that he has long deserved. 

Be good to one another. 

Dave-El

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

________________________

Thursday: 
Batman at the Bat-Diner! A classic page from Kyle Baker. And a link to another of Batman's dining experiences as written by moi! 

Friday:
bROkEN nEWs!

Saturday: 
Doctor Who Weekend

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Enter Doctor Fate

Back near the end of May, I posted a bit of...for lack of better word, let's call it "artwork"...that I had composed. In that case, it was The Spectre

Today I'm posting another... "artwork" of mine, this time of Doctor Fate.  


Doctor Fate created by Gardner Fox & Howard Sherman 




















As I covered in the previous post, a lot of my tricks are put to use. Most prominently, the old "energy cracking from the hands so I don't have draw actual fingers" trick.  Note the Doctor Fate has a full face helmet which helps me skip over any of that pesky "knowing how to draw a human face" business. 

Still, for all my limitations of skill and of time (this was done over less than a lunch hour), I kind of like it. I prefer the moodier art of the Spectre drawing but this character is different; instead of oozing out of the shadows, Doctor Fate is a blazing golden sun against the darkness of evil. 

Or something like that. 

Below is the original pencil sketch.  















I have a Batman I did at lunch last week but I'll save that for another time. (And yes, there will be shadows. Lots and lots of shadows.) 

Dave-El 
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

_________________________

Wednesday:
A new edition of Comics Blah Blah Comics. This week, the specter of "Batman created by Bob Kane" gets stirred up again. 

Thursday: 
More Batman with a classic page from Kyle Baker

Friday:
bROkEN nEWs!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lost In the Dark

Obama: Savior or Destroyer? Saint or Devil? 

Among the many, many frustrating aspects of politics over the last 6 years has been a tendency to cast the President in terms of absolutes, usually from the same side. Yep, the same right wingers who decry everything Barack Obama does will dig at his supporters as some kind of starry eyed cultists who believe in the sacred miracle that is the very existence of Barack Hussein Obama. "We're the ones talking truth to power," say various right wing ideologues, "while these Obama supporters don't dare see anything wrong with their precious President."  

Of course that's bullshit. Now maybe that might fly with a Republican President. At its best, the GOP machinery is particularly adept at keeping everyone on message. Democrats, by their very nature, are more fractious. There are a lot of people on the left who aren't happy with Obama; if the right thinks Obama is trying to get away with too much, the left thinks Obama has not done enough. 

The point is that truth, as it tends to be, is more in the middle. Obama's just this dude, OK? He's got the toughest job in the world and millions of people eager to make it tougher at every opportunity. I think he is a good man trying to do what he thinks is the right thing which, in the end, is all we can ask of any President.  

If there is anything that would disavow anyone of any illusions about Obama's "perfection", it's the President's glaring apparent lack of political instincts.  

The whole mess that spun out of the release of Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan could not have been more badly played by the Obama Administration. I'm sure some gung-ho politico saw a chance to make President Obama look with the military by bringing home a prisoner of war. Given the recent scandals surrounding poor service at VA hospitals, Obama needed all the good will he could get from America's service men and women.  

Yet Obama and his team appeared blindsided by so many elements of this story: 


  • The animosity of soldiers towards Bergdahl's behavior that led him to being taken by the Taliban in the first place. 
  • The outrage at the release of 5 Taliban fighters being held at Guantanamo Bay. 
  • The concerns over the White House's secretive plans for this exchange. 

Now this is not a defense or an indictment of how this whole Bergdahl thing was handled. My main concern here is this. All that blowback that came in response to this deal? The White House did not seem to anticipate it. 

The recent escalation of violence in Iraq instigated by the militant group ISIS is a cause for lots of concern. Yet as the violence ratcheted up against the Iraqi people, the White House seemed taken aback by the outrage that we were doing nothing to help. Granted, the GOP will tack to the opposite side of whatever position Obama is on. Still, did it not occur to anyone in the White House that maybe this country that we invaded BY CHOICE and invested a lot lives and money and did I mention lives, maybe we should do something to protect that investment of blood and treasure (if not to actually, you know, save the lives of innocent Iraqis).  

Over the last 6 years, I've watched the Obama Administration squander politically valuable opportunities that would have put the White House is a position of strength and instead wind up on the defensive. 

  • Budget battles where Obama, holding the upper hand, still capitulated to Republican party leaders. 

  • The Obamacare website fiasco that somebody should've seen coming. 

In the final analysis, I will say again that President Barack Obama is an OK dude, just trying to do the right thing is a world that has other plans and against political opponents who pounce on every real and perceived misstep. This President has put up with way more shit than any other President, it seems. 

But after 6 years, has Obama and his team learned anything about politics? The importance of recognizing and, yes, even controlling the political elements of a situation is just not good from a selfish standpoint. Americans need the President to be sure, confident, in charge. Being blindsided by political fallout does nothing to assure people. 

It's not a big national confidence booster when the President appears to be lost in the dark. 













Dave-El
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

_________________________

Tuesday:
"Enter Doctor Fate": Oh crap! Dave-El's doing "art" again!

Wednesday:
A new edition of Comics Blah Blah Comics. This week, the specter of "Batman created by Bob Kane" gets stirred up again. 

Thursday: 
More Batman with a classic page from Kyle Baker

When Dark Crosses Light

It is a disheartening thing when the darkness of tragedy crosses with the light of our entertainment ephemera. I was thinking about ...