25,000 page views, 2,500 words, 250 posts, 25 raisinettes, 2:50 pm, 25 cents

Comics A-Go-Go! BlogAnother milestone. Somewhere this week we crossed the 25,000 page views mark. Thank you for being a part of that experience. In celebration, we are going to write 2,500 words in this post (which incidentally is our 250th). We will eat 25 raisinettes at 2:50pm. They cost us 25 cents because we bought them off the little girl that lives next door. She wanted more but caved when we told her about our special occasion. She asked for credit in this post so we’ll call her Delilah. She won’t know any differently because she doesn’t read our blog. Apparently she does read Dr. Seuss books since she had a half dozen of them in her trike’s basket. No Fox in Socks, though. Pity, that.

OK, we’re up to word 120, so only 2,380 to go. We could write for hours but we recognize that most of you have the attention span of a gnat and our post doesn’t have anything scintillating or salacious (yet).

So, if we’re going to fill up this post, let’s do it as interactively as possible. Time for a poll! And don’t worry about making us happy or sad with your answers. We forgive you. Besides, we are preoccupied with filling up this post with 2500 words (we’re up over 200!).

Speaking of the number 25,000, here’s a Los Angeles Times article about a travel experience that’s inspiring us.  German national Michael Wigge has done something amazing. He traveled the globe without taking any money with him to start off. He set out of Berlin and travelled 25,000 miles through 11 countries until he ended up in Antartica. We would have stopped short and walked around Hawaii to get the sufficient mileage for the 25,000 mark. ‘Cuz pineapples are more appealing to us than ice crust.

Travelling

If you’re getting bored, check out Michael’s website. See? our request for someone in San Diego to put us up during the Comic-Con doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it? And we’re even willing to pay for it. So long as it’s reasonable. Anyone?


OK, what next? Oh, since we’re talking about travelling, why not throw in a spot for a song we like. Mike Oldfield, child musical prodigy turned tubular bell ringer extraordinaire wrote and performed it. Mike specializes in avant garde, new age music. So, it’s funny that one of his pop songs is one of our favorites. Hey, pop culture a-go-go!

Mike released Discovery in 1984. It was a little more accessible than other albums and he employed the vocal talents of a singer named Maggie Reilly. Maggie is not to be confused with Mary Reilly of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde classic (and most certainly not the Mary Reilly played by a bizarrely miscast Julia Roberts in an uninspired interpretation of the story (by the way, if we’re up to it, we’ll eventually review (or rather lambast) Pretty Woman some evening when we’re feeling particularly spiteful)). Maggie is a Scottish singer that often collaborated with Mike Oldfield. Our favorite song on the album is “To France” — an ode of sorts to Mary Queen of Scots. Mary, like so many of her contemporaries in the middle ages, was part of the Scottish-English-French trifecta of debauchery that was the royal mess of the day. She was embroiled in various marriages and scandals, and was eventually executed by megalomaniac Elizabeth I. History buffs … would this be a fair, although irresponsibly short, assessment? Whatever. Here you go …  the video for Mike Oldfield’s To France.

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And, here are the lyrics:

Taking on water,
Sailing a restless sea
From a memory,
A fantasy.
The wind carries
Into white water,
Far from the islands.
Don’t you know you’re
Never going to get to France.
Mary, Queen of Chance, will they find you?
Never going to get to France.
Could a new romance ever bind you?
Walking on foreign ground,
Like a shadow,
Roaming in far off
Territory.
Over your shoulder,
Stories unfold, you’re
Searching for sanctuary.
You know you’re
Walking on foreign ground,
Like a shadow,
Roaming in far off
Territory.
Over your shoulder,
Stories unfold, you’re
Searching for sanctuary.
You know you’re
I see a picture
By the lamp’s flicker.
Isn’t it strange how
Dreams fade and shimmer?
Walking on foreign ground,
Like a shadow,
Roaming in far off
Territory.
Over your shoulder,
Stories unfold, you’re
Searching for sanctuary.
Y know you’re
I see a picture
By the lamp’s flicker.
Isn’t it strange how
Dreams fade and shimmer?
Walking on foreign ground,
Like a shadow,
Roaming in far off
Territory.
Over your shoulder,
Stories unfold, you’re
Searching for sanctuary.
You know you’re

Never going to get to France.
Never going to….
Never going to get to France.
Never going to….
Never going to get to France.
Never going to….

—————

Hey, we’re up to over 800 words! Yee-hah!

Remember how we said we often like remixes of original songs more? “To France” has had several — some good, some boring. Here’s one we like. Blind Guardian is a gothic pop metal  band from Germany that uses Tolkienesque and other fantasy imagery. The eery sound of “To France” is a perfect base for this rendition. We like the vocals and the guitars (especially when they kick in big around 3:40). Nicely done, lads.

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Alrighty. Speaking of travel, here’s a section about remote islands.

St. Helena island

Island of the day? St. Helena.

Location? South Atlantic. 2200 km from Luanda, capital of Angola. 3300 km to Recife, Brazil (where we lived as children).

Population? A whopping 4,200-ish, and declining.

Capital? Jamestown, population 700-ish.

Demographics and other stuff? St. Helena is part of the British Overseas Territory officially named Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. St. Helena is the most populated of the three island groups. The racial makeup is primarily of African, British, Malagasy, Chinese, and Indian ancestry. Unfortunately, St. Helena has a strong history of African slavery and was one of the last places in the British empire to enact emancipation. The people worship primarily according to the Anglican communion although 1 in 35 of the residents stake a claim as a Jehovah’s Witness, the highest ratio in the world (“There must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to the thief;” “All along the Watchtower, princes kept the view”).  Most people receive government assistance from the UK and a lot of the economy is based on tourism, fishing, and agriculture.

Peter Baldwin
© Peter Baldwin. Visit Peter’s Panoramia pages for beautiful shots of the island.

Claims to fame and facts of life? Napoleon was imprisoned and died here. The oldest public library in the southern hemisphere is in operation here. The island produces the world’s most expensive coffee. The only way to the island is by boat or flying saucer. The weather is wonderfully temperate and fluctuates very little (from about 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year). Sheer bliss. St. Helena’s is one of the few places on earth without a recorded HIV case. That is because the government passed a law in 1968 to abolish coitus without a permit and health tests, and in the early 1990s, Jehovah’s Witnesses strong-armed the island’s council to push through a measure to outlaw transfusions. Because of the former ordinance, the population is aging rapidly, although there are periodic “miraculous” impregnations* throughout the island (which is why Archbishop Robbie Runcie spoke of St. Helena as a particularly holy land during a visit in 1989, and it also why the residents are referred to as “Saints”). The latter law has little impact on islanders because only the knuckleheaded tourists cardboard-surf down Jacob’s Ladder.

Tall stairs

Bugs Bunny cartoonWe’ve visited St. Helena dozens of times and have become kind of a local legend what with our rousing covers of songs by Diamond Rio and Vince Gill. For some reason, the islanders love country music. Check us out at Donny’s in September. As for other things to do, it’s obligatory to go to Napoleon’s tomb in Longwood. We say tomb because Napoleon’s remains are actually still buried at Longwood House in the Valley of the Willows. In 1840, King Louie I asked and received permission from the British to move Napoleon’s leftovers from St. Helena to Paris. The British agreed but we subscribe to the conspiracy theory that what they sent back was a box with the bones of a formerly drunk and presently very dead sailor who fell off a boat and drowned. The Frogs don’t care for this theory as we found out in a fierce argument with a French tourist at Longwood. We said this, she screamed that, and the next thing you know, pop!, fisticuffs ensued. We put up a valiant fight and by rights should have won (we were three to one after all), but apparently not all Frenchies are card tables. A tip of a hat to you, Mlle La Troche.

We were going to write something about Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, the two other legs in the tripod territory, but we’re done with this topic for now. Sorry Ascensions and Tristans. Another time. Another place.

* We learned something today. We had always thought the Immaculate Conception referred to the virgin conception of Jesus but it doesn’t. It refers to the belief that at the moment of conception and forward, Mary has had a life untarnished by original sin. The virginal birth of Christ actually excludes a conception altogether. Mary’s mother became pregnant from regular intercourse but Mary was protected from the unholy effects of the carnal act through divine dispensation. Mary, on the other hand, became pregnant with Christ without any type of intercourse. Anglicans subscribe to the belief of the virginal birth of Christ but the immaculate conception is not a formal tenet of doctrine. So, when we originally wrote that the births on St. Helena are due to miraculous conceptions, we changed the word “conceptions” to “impregnations” to keep more in line with what would be believable amongst a population of Anglicans. Well, maybe, anyway. Golly, religion is complicated.


Holy Bejeebers. We still have 800+ words left to hit our mark! Bah! OK, keep going, champs.

So, what to do? What to do? Why, let’s write something about Anastacia. Readers in Europe and the Middle East are doing that “alright!” thing and the Americans are doing the “who now?” thing. Yeah, despite being an American, Anastacia has been a much more popular pop artist outside our borders.

Pop Music artist

Why do we like Anastacia? Lots of reasons:

She’s like a female Bono, but less annoying. She wears funky glasses. She’s philanthropic.

She has a distinct voice. It’s a gorgeously raspy vibe.

She’s hot, dammit!

Pop MusicShe’s a survivor. Crohn’s Disease. Cancer. Heart Disease. Early on, she had a major operation that removed a large portion of her intestine. The procedure required cutting through her stomach muscles, which meant she couldn’t support herself until they healed. She had to learn how to walk again. She’s a medical train wreck but she doesn’t compromise her ambition. She wanted to become a dancer and after being told she was too big (i.e., thick) to be a dancer, she dieted, and that triggered a Crohn’s relapse in which her hair fell out and her metabolism blew up. So, the entertainment industry’s horrific impact on the healthy weight of women reared its ugly head again. Jeez. Good health is a tough nut to crack. Don’t be too skinny. Don’t be too fat. What’s a girl to do? Anyway, Anastacia kept going and is now a major pop star … again, outside of the United States. Our loss.

She had breast reduction for practical purposes. Her large breasts put a lot of strain on her back. Fortunately for her, the routine led to the discovery of cancer. So she thumbed her nose at society and saved herself all in one go.

Anyway, here’s one of her biggest songs.

… and here’s another:

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This is footage from a Swiss concert in 2011. The videographer is certainly dedicated and so you will be too if you sit through all 78 minutes of it. At about 12:55, she starts trying to shoot pictures and video of the concert goers so she can tweet them. Funny stuff. She’s so silly.


Up next… hey, ho! This is a comics-focused blog, right? So? Well, we haven’t written anything comicky yet. What gives?

OK, we repent. We’ll get on the stick and bring you some comics delight. But first a poll.

This one has been sitting in our pile for a while. We were hesitant to post it for two reasons: a) it has already been done over and over, and b) at some point making fun of Rob Liefeld just seems too easy and mean. But, oh well, what the hell. You’ve probably all seen it before, but let’s take another look at this.

Bad comic book art

Rob’s image of Captain America is the reason some comic book aficionados still hide their hobby from others. Heaven forbid the cool kids or cool co-workers should find this on our desks. But we here at Comics A-Go-Go! make no apologies. Behold the abomination and know its evil. By the way, if you click on the image, it will take you to another image that shows a breakdown of what Captain America would look like nude. It’s hilarious but it’s not the kind of thing you want up on your screen when your big sister/mother/girlfriend/boyfriend/boss/gossipy roommate/Southern Baptist “friend”/manservant/impressionable youngster/stranger at the coffee shop walk by. It’s like watching a snake eat a mouse.

Comics are full of anatomical absurdities. Here’s a doozy.

Anatomy in comic books

Our dog does Black Widow‘s pose when we come home from work: her body curls sharply so her butt and face are both towards us. It’s supposedly an act of submission and means “please, oh please take me outside and play ball with me!” She can do the pose because she’s a dog and her spine is more flexible than a human’s. Some women might be able to do this but the ones that can are called contortionists and they are very rare. Contortionists are peace-loving sprites that would never point a gun at a man’s crotch (well, except that one that did and shot off Captain America’s pee-pee (see above), but that was the only time).

If you’ve read our blog for a while, you’ll know how much we like making fun of the Bat bomb Batman and Robin (1997). Well, now it’s giving us a chance to mess around with the most common superhero art convention: body distortion. The picture on the left is the original with Alicia Silverstone (Batgirl), Chris O’Donnell (Robin) and George Clooney (Batman). The one on the right shows what they would look like if they were comic book characters. Alicia would be 6’4″ and she’d still be shortest. Go team Batman! With their legs longer than their bodies could support, our heroes wouldn’t be able to walk around much without pain and awkwardness. Looks good, but it’s not the way God or Darwin meant for us to be.

Comic Book characters

And there you go! 2,500 words.

Author: comicsagogo.com

We like comics. And we like music. And we like movies. Pop culture is our game! But we also have a serious side. Current events, history, and politics are a part of the Comics A-Go-Go experience and we hope you find interesting things to read and look at while you traverse our website pages.

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