Sunday, March 04, 2018

365 Days of Defiance, Day 365: A Better World

"Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon...everything's different." — Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

And there we are.

I've run late all year on this feature, and I've finished it up late — whatever the date at the top of this post says, t'ain't December 31, it's several days through March 2018. Y'all have been remarkable patient with me backdating several posts at a time instead of putting them up every day like clockwork, like a good blog should. But it's been a hard year. It's been a hard year for me, and I know it's been a hard year for you. There are sometimes when I put down my little fuzzy head and cry. You might too. And that's okay, because we both get up eventually and get back to life. We get back to speaking, to posting, to protesting, to donating, to helping, to voting, to defying each in our own ways.

Panels from Final Crisis #7 (March 2009), script by Grant Morrison, pencils by Doug Mahnke, inks by a whole lotta guys, colors by not so many guys, but still a lot of 'em, letters by Travis Lanham

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation." — Robert F. Kennedy

We'll never punch the Red Skull. We'll never sass off to Galactus. We'll never kick Darkseid in his little blue skirt and push him into a Boom Tube. But we can be inspired by the guys who did that. By Spider-Man, by Captain America, by Superman, by Green Lantern, by Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl and Black Panther and Shuri. Our heroes don't do the work for us, but they show the way. And remind us: the work is never done.

Panels from Fear Itself #7 (December 2011); script by Matt Fraction; pencils by Stuart Immonen; inks by Wade Von Grawbadger and Dexter Vines; colors by Laura Martin, Justin Ponsor, and Matt Milla; letters by Chris Eliopoulos
(Click picture to length of 2017-size)

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." — Robin Williams

We don't know what the future will hold (and that future hasn't been written yet, no how, no way), but we do know this: we know that the future will judge us harshly is we're on the wrong side of history. You know what the wrong and the right siide is here. Surely you want your kids and their kids, and those in centuries to come all the way up through the Legion of Super-Heroes and beyond, to look back and say of us "nevertheless, they persisted?"

Panels from The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015 series) #4 (March 2016), script by Ryan North, oencils and inks by Erica Henderson, color by Rico Renzi, letters by Clayton Cowle

"Be the change you want to see in the world." — Mohandas Gandhi

Let this all radicalize you rather than lead you to despair. Let's not, like the dog in the burning house, sit back and sip coffee. This is not fine. This needs action. Need a suggestion on what you need to know and how to get started? StayWoke is an excellent reference to bookmark and return to, and their Resistance Manual is a continuingly updated prime source for activism, resistance, and protest. As StayWoke says: There are more of us who support equity and justice than who oppose it.

There is hope. There is a chance. We need to remember the "final words" of the man who started this all for us in his four-color defiance, a man who came from another place but taught us to fight for all humanity.

Panel from Superman (1939 series) #156 (October 1962), script by Edmond Hamilton, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Joe Letterese

"We all have the potential to move the world, and the world is ready to be moved." — Harry Chapin

It's a message of encouragement and optimism championed by even very nearly the complete polar opposite of Superman, a cynical, hyper-violent, sex-addicted, kangaroo-shagging, tank-driving child of post-Apocalypse Earth. Even she knows the score.

Panel from Tank Girl: Two Girls One Tank #3 (August 2016); script by Alan Martin; pencils, inks, colors, and letters by Brett Parson, additional colors by Ned Ivory

"But it's up to us to make it okay. It's time to be positively rebellious and rebelliously positive. As long as we stand up for what we believe in, don't give into anger or violence, look out for the little guy, keep an eye on the big guys, refuse to keep our mouths shut, and just generally try not to be dicks, every little thing is going to be all right." — David Tennant

"Can't we give ourselves one more chance
Why can't we give love that one more chance
Why can't we give love give love give love give love
Give love give love give love give love give love
'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (people on streets) edge of the night
And loves (people on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure"
— Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, "Under Pressure"

Cover of Ms. Marvel (2016 series) #25 (February 2018), art by John Tyler Christopher

Isn't it love, after all...that makes the world go round?

Panels from Marvel Graphic Novel #5 [X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills] (1982), script by Chris Claremont, pencils and inks by Brent Anderson, colors by Steve Oliff, letters by Tom Orzechowski

"I used to be on an endless run
Believe in miracles 'cause I'm one
I have been blessed with the power to survive
After all these years I'm still alive

I'm out here kickin' with the band
I am no longer a solitary man
Every day my time runs out
Lived like a fool, that's what I was about, oh

I believe in miracles
I believe in a better world for me and you
Oh, I believe in miracles
I believe in a better world for me and you."
— The Ramones, "I Believe In Miracles"

Today in Comics History: First Recorded Incident of Cat Inference with Computer Work

Panel from Astro City (2013 Vertigo series) #44 (July 2017), script by Kurt Busiek, pencils by Rick Leonardi, inks by Ande Parks, colors by Peter Pantazis, letters by John Roshell and Jimmy Betancourt

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Today in Comics History: This could never happen

Panel from Biff to the Future #6 (July 2017), story and script by Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letter by Shawn Lee

Friday, February 02, 2018

Today in Comics Cartoon History: "One Meat Brawl"

"One Meat Brawl," a Merrie Melodies cartoon (1947), directed by Robert McKimson

Grover Groundhog Day 2018: And Now for Something Completely Different

Well, ol' Grover Groundhog didn't see his shadow this morning, because he didn't even appear, and that's because I've momentarily misplaced my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comics, which is a hard thing to do when they're treasury-sized. Anyway, Grover himself would like to apologize for the inconvenience, so instead he's sending his cross-company cousin from the MGM Cinematic Universe to make an appearance this year. Say hello to the nice people, Mr. Ground Hog!

Panels from the Barney Bear story "Polar Pest" in MGM's Tom & Jerry Winter Fun #5 (Dell, December 1956), creators unknown

Grover himself once again offers his sincere condolences and says look out for him in 2019, if he's not too busy partying with Angel Love again.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

The 1990 2018 Marvel Age Calendar: Two Cents Worth

"The 1990 Marvel Age Calendar: February" from Marvel Age #87 (April 1990); text by Chris Eliopolous and Barry Dutter, art by Ron Zalme, colors by Gergory Wright
(Click picture to Februize)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Today in Comics History: Mystery Science Lincoln 1941 is invented

Panels from The Adventures of Captain America #1 (September 1991); script by Fabian Nicieza; pencils by Kevin Maguire; inks by Joe Rubinstein; colors by Paul Mounts; letters by Richard Starkings

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Today in Comics History: Shelved for one more month: the debate on fixing the clock tower

(post for December 5)

Panel from Biff to the Future #3 (March 2017), story and script by Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs, pencils by Alan Robinson, inks by Alan Robinson and Jaime Castro, colors by Maria Santaolalla, letters by Shawn Lee

Monday, January 15, 2018

Today in Comics History: Evan Dorkin really loves the 1919 Boston Molasses flood

Panels from "Just the Facts, Maim..." in Milk & Cheese's Third Number One #1 (aka #3) (August 1992); script, pencils, inks, and letters by Evan Dorkin

Panel from Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book #2 (January 1992), script and pencils by Evan Dorkin, inks by Stephen DeStefano, colors by Robbie Busch, letters by Kurt Hathaway. I have slightly altered the panel to fix an error.

And now, for the first time on stage or screen...Alan Moore really loves the 1919 Boston Molasses Flood!:

Panels from Providence #7 (January 2016), script by Alan Moore, pencils and inks by Jacen Burrows, colors by Juan Rodriguez, letters by Kurt Hathaway

So be sure you remember this. There will be a test. Oh there will be a test.