Category Archives: Greatest Hits

A Poem For 9/11.

I love Muslims, I love Jews.

I love Buddhists, and Hindus.

I love Christians. And atheists too.

Whatever you are, I love you.

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Aquaman Resurrected For A Reason.

Back in the day, I had the mind boggling honor of introducing brand new Vs. System cards to the world. I got to see the playing pieces early so I could gush. Three years later, my oceans are still foaming. Since we went underwater yesterday with Aquaman, it is time to ride the tide.

I wrote this for the DC Legends set, originally published on December 10th, 2007. It is still as fresh as the day it was caught. Enjoy…

Aquaman has become a rather funky icon in modern pop culture. When he first hit the television screen forty years ago, he made his initial mass media splash with The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. That sixties series couldn’t hold its breath for very long. Then the Super Friends made their extended run on the small screen starting in the seventies, and Aquaman was back, with his underwater telepathy beams rippling into homes across the country. That time, he was strong enough to stop a tidal wave.

Unfortunately for him, his visibility and name recognition were not enough to maintain his super-strength through a long string of spin-offs. The titles were ridiculous enough to tarnish an image on their own: Challenge of the Super Friends; The World’s Greatest Super Friends; Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show; and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. Even though he was a key member of the “Super Powers Team,” Aquaman’s tricks were reduced to their briny essentials. Adding insult to injury, he was also forced to teach magic tricks to the kids in the audience. The power to hide a coin in the palm of your hand is not exactly the kind of threat that strikes fear in the hearts of the DC Comics super villain community.

He still had admirers, though. Despite his limited skills, Aquaman survived into the future as a cult favorite, overcoming the fashion obstacles of an orange-and-green outfit with pointy-finned boots and gloves. He didn’t have the same superstar popularity of Superman or Batman, but he had dedicated fans. Aquaman resurfaced in a big way near the turn of the millennium. For the past two decades, his scaly spandex and fishy talents have been celebrated, often through parody, in over twenty different programs.

From Seinfeld to The Simpsons to Smallville, Aquaman has gotten serious screen time. He is referenced in Family Guy and Robot Chicken. Button smashers worldwide have played video games featuring Aquaman since the days of Super Nintendo. There is a feature length film in the works for the fan-favorite orange shirt, and right now, Vs. System is allowing Aquaman to dig up some buried treasure.

That’s right—he’s three cards for the price of one. Any combo deck in the world can take to the seas and splash the Lord of Atlantis to make sure things are set up for the kill. His JLA team affiliation has a new good guy to act as a safety net when things go to turn 6. Cable is itching to spend an afternoon on the beach watching Aquaman try the Bodyslide to double the digging delights. Like the ocean he calls home, Aquaman, Lord of Atlantis represents the chance to fish out an uncountable bounty in our game.

That is not, in my personal opinion, the most exciting benthic announcement I am privileged to make today. As you probably know by now, I have been in love with tiny Army characters since the day Vs. System was released. DC Legends is rewarding my affections with the potential to create a spectacular seafood swarm.

One of the most touching mythological moments in comic book history occurred in Adventure Comics #476. Aquaman was facing a truly evil villain dressed as Poseidon. The bad guy seemed to be the real deal, and he could command the ocean’s residents with the same ease as our hero. When the pretender’s plot for world domination sent schools of fish to the surface to take over the world, Aquaman wrestled the mental control of a single dolphin away from the Poseidon impostor. The flippered friend was telepathically commanded to snatch the trident from the villain’s hand and save the day. It worked, but the tug-of-war inside the dolphin’s head caused it to have a heart attack. Aquaman got emotional and blamed himself. He settled silently to the bottom of the sea and worried about the great responsibility that comes with great power.

Then, something truly moving occurred. Tens of thousands of marine animals swam slowly, in formation, toward their sullen commander. They saluted him from the heart, telling him in their own special way that they follow him out of love, not because of force. It was the kind of story that can fill the reader with pure joy. It was almost as good as the Sea Creatures we will soon get to flip on our kitchen tables.

That, my friends, is fresh fish. We have been blessed with a rare Army character that becomes a salty, 1-cost beatstick when Aquaman is in play to continue his legend. Sea Creatures automatically align affiliations with their brave captain, and together they will be able to bring the pain to any defender who gets plopped into their watery domain. Team attack tricks will hit new heights when these little beaters cover the field. Aquaman, Arthur Curry can hit the board on turn 3 to call forth the tuna troops for the rest of the game. Sea Creatures are a natural source of protein for all the Ally recipes that the JLA has been cooking up since the Justice League of America set, and DC Legends promises to fill the cardboard pantry with even more legendary spices. It may never be safe to go back in the water.

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Something Fishy: Aquaman RULES.

     

And now for something completely fishy. We put our dollar into the machine. Our aim was true. We grabbed the spotlight at the Aquaman Shrine!

Just in case you have never been there, you must visit Rob Kelly’s Aquaman Shrine. Do it now.

While we wait for you to return, IF you ever return, here is the full glory of Craig Hamilton’s painting from the Vs. System Sea Creatures card, which is now swimming blissfully in Rob’s collection. I remember the day they showed it to me before anyone else had ever seen it.

That day has never ended.

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Another Blast From The Past.

That is still one of the most pleasing images I have ever created. We went through an intense phase of the artistic process and hand-crafted three full sets of plastic body armor. Modeled by the magnificent Gabby, photoshopped by yours truly.

Unforgettable.

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Ten Year Timewarp.

Dude.  Check that out.  I was googling myself today and I discovered that Spin Magazine published my letter in July 2000.  Ten year old kick in the head.

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Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet.

This year made the third time at three different schools that I was selected Teacher of the Year by my peers. This morning was the breakfast banquet. Good times.

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The blog, the blog, the blog is on fire…

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Gotta love those random days when everything falls into place just perfectly. Check out the pure coolness of the other three winners. Turn down the thermostat, things are getting hot in here.

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Robot 6 FTW.

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The heroes of Robot 6 provide the best source of comic book news in all the interwebs.

Yesterday in their July 1, 2009 issue, they included our humble abode alongside such luminaries as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Clive Barker. It was a birthday present I never could have imagined. Thanks gents, I will never forget you.

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Crazy Quilt Resurfaces.

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Oh, the obscure. Last night I was watching Brave and the Bold on Cartoon Network. I saw Crazy Quilt. Really, I did.

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This particular Art Villain is a quirky smirk on the collective mug of fanboy faces everywhere. We share a fascination until the fictional entity becomes a beacon that inquiring interwebs want to know. Crazy Quilt, from DC Comics. We have written about him here before on Full Body Transplant. Now he resurfaces on cable television. The Psi-Bank of mankind will be colored accordingly.

In honor of Crazy Quilt making the big-time, I present a special repeat perfomance of the plea for his card to be created.

Oh, the obscure.

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Life is a crazy quilt of connections. Letting go of everything allows one to stand of the verge of nothing and become a patchwork kaleidoscope of infinite possibility.

One possible villain who needs a Vs. System card? Crazy Quilt.

I wrote a bit about this mad artist on the mothership once upon a time.

Life went on for the Outsiders, but a single image in the final issue of my 30-book immersion distracted me from their mission. The last story contained a panel that flashed something even more vibrant than usual. Could my eyes be deceiving me, or did I just catch a glimpse of the Crazy Quilt?

Sixty years ago, Jack Kirby created one of the most colorful personalities in the entire comic book universe. Crazy Quilt was a successful artist and a master criminal. He left instructions for his henchmen by using coded imagery in his paintings. The strategy was just too cool, but it couldn’t last. During a botched robbery, a bullet to the eye blinded him, and then he got busted.

…………

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…………

While in prison, Crazy Quilt volunteered for an experiment to restore his eyesight. A special helmet was fused to his optic nerves. It went haywire and caused him to see colors so bright that they drove him mad. He fought Batman, Robin, and the Boy Commandos throughout the ages, and then disappeared from continuity. In Outsiders #50, he is back . . . as a woman.

Gail Simone is the mastermind behind the reemergence of Crazy Quilt, and she has not yet revealed the secrets of his modern transformation. Whatever’s going on, it is extremely intense to look at.

…………

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Now, a year after I wrote that, I stumbled upon a very special description of Crazy Quilt on an art site.

Crazy Quilt is an obscure D.C comics villain who ran around in a patchwork patterned tunic and tights which he accesorized with a jaunty scarf. Crazy Quilt referred to himself as the “King of Color Crimes”and he could shoot light rays out of a special hat. Sadly, he didn’t last long.

What would Crazy Quilt’s cards look like? The possibilities are endless. One more time, quoting myself…

…………

Life is a crazy quilt of connections. Letting go of everything allows one to stand of the verge of nothing and become a patchwork kaleidoscope of infinite possibility.

…………

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Thursday Thirteen: Ultimate Squirrel Girl Review.

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If you have ever been within 12 miles of this website, you know that I have a thing for Squirrel Girl. Upper Deck blessed me with an official Squirrel Girl card last year, but even that could not prepare me for this.

Rainer wrote the ultimate review of the original 1992 Squirrel Girl appearance in Marvel Superheroes. He also posted the entire story. Today’s Thursday Thirteen is the first half, with some of his best reactions. Meet me back here next Thursday for the rest.

In the words of Rainer, “The Coming of Squirrel Girl” is…

1. Too weird not to post.

2. One of the most eye-opening comics I have read in quite some time.

3. Veers into Tobe Hooper territory.

4. “Here’s the deal: No deal.”

5. The most cool – i.e. emotionally muted – I have ever seen Iron Man.

6. Measured and solid hand in drawing the characters and environment. Except on  Squirrel Girl’s face.

7. Ye Gods.

8. Something only achievable in comics, those weird facial expressions not possible by any human being and much more mind imprinting in the static pages of a comic book, as you could just stare at it conceivably forever, where as in animation it would pass shortly.

9. You can’t help but notice her.

10. The ultimate fangirl.

11. Well meaning yet strangely off putting.

12. A big cake of headscratching.

13. Massive icing.

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Weekly Wonder Word: One.

one_by_zoomrhy

“This is traditional art + photography + digital art. I have blurred the boundries of these factions. In essence there shouldnt be factions at all, all art is mixed media.”

(Temporary tag and quote by zoomrhy.)

When I was twenty one, I had an awakening of sorts. I realized that everything is a unified hole. I distilled the experience into an equation. An equation that I live by.

Infinity = One = Zero.

That is all.

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I got my Greatest Hits.

The best thing about memories? They don’t have an expiration date.

It’s a glorious Sunday morning and I just stumbled upon a trading card that will live forever in my thumping little heart. I can still feel the envelope in my hands the day I opened the Congratulations You Won letter.

Thanks Upper Deck, I still got my Greatest Hits.

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