Happy Holidays, Merry Mass of Christ and Improbable Heights

‘When you strip everything away from Batman, you are left with someone who doesn’t want to see anyone die.’ — KINGDOM COME by Alex Ross and Mark Waid

When I think of humanity in general, and the holiday season in particular it strikes me that that should be our goal. The pursuit of a world, where nobody dies in vain.

But the reality, particularly in America, this time of year is that with the eyes of the media diverted; government sponsored mass-murders actually ramp up, bombings ramp up (now of the drone and unmanned variety, machines murdering men.. what an unholy road we walk), the terrorism of the rich… ramps up.

I’ll not forget the media celebrating the death of Bin Laden. Death and Murder and Torture are never things to celebrate, no matter the justification.

While I am savage enough to know that killing may be a necessary evil, I am human and moral enough to know it is never a joy, never a victory, never a cause for celebration.

Be the murdered Bin Laden, or Hitler or insert bogieman here, bringing murder to murderers is never anything less than a soiling, and a failure, necessary though it may be, it is a failure of reason. And as such is a solemn time, not a glorious one.

Because to do otherwise, to take joy from death, and celebration from degradation and horror… is to devoid you of moral high-ground, is to make you (in ways stark and true) worse than those you would revile, worse than your Hitlers and Bin-Ladens. It makes you a lynchmob, a coward, and an opportunist of carnage.

We must strive to be better than that, otherwise your protestations of Christianity, and Holy Nights, and piety are just lies, are hypocrisy and mendacity most foul, that you use to conceal your roman desire to see people bleed and suffer and die.

You become that lowest form of life, a gibbering coward among cowards, you become nothing more than a grasping claw, a rolling eye, and a screeching mouth… in the creature we call lynchmob. And there is no lower, and ultimately, more inhuman form of life.

Our goal therefore must be to reject that, to reject the easy lies and the easy hates, and work toward this wildly improbable world where no one dies in vain.

But humanity’s very existence is an improbability, so we can bend that already fanciful existence to either improbable heights of good, or improbable depths of evil. We just have to pick a direction.

‘We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. ‘ — John Fitzgerald Kennedy when imploring men into space

Here, on this holiday season, more fiction than fact, ‘goodwill to all’; look into yourself and find what is hypocrisy, what is lies, and find it in yourself to make truths, and truly believe and act on this idea…. of a time of peace.

Here endeth the lesson.

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COMIC BOOK COVERS OF THE DAY! Ads on covers! Independents, Marvel and DC! And a Bat Crazy Rant!!

Okay, below I’m going to present this installment’s favorite comic book covers.

When it’s over I’m going to have a frigging melt down about ads on comic book covers, patronizing American companies using the ‘African problem’ to advance their own effing interests.

So to avoid all that just look at the pretty pictures then leave.

Unless you like seeing me have a meltdown, in which case… read on.

So without further ado, here are this installment’s favorite comic book covers!


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Now on to the ranting!

I hate ads in comic books.

I hate ads on comic book covers even more. You want me to not buy your book, just put an ad on the cover.

If you have to do ads, do it in the inside front or back covers, or in the pages after the story, in the back matter. But don’t put them between the story, in the story, or ON THE COVER!!!

It’s like buying a movie poster and having a shell or 7-11 or Walmart ad posted on it. It is a deal breaker.

Now I don’t give an eff what the cause, or what the reason is, altruism usually isn’t it. I’ll choose my own causes and organizations to support… thank you very much. I don’t need a bs spin campaign, the illusion that you give a damn.

I’m talking about DCs ‘help Africa’ ads on their covers.

I find it insulting.

For all the crocodile tears American companies have shed, the situation abroad never gets better.

In-fact it continues to get worse until the point the US decides to invade on her white horse, oust the bad-guy of the day, and setup their own bad-guy. Only general difference being, the US backed bad-guy rapes the people holding the cross in one hand, and the American approved constitution in the other (talented guy). Oh , and of course he makes sure the country under question gets privatized, so American approved companies get rights and control of all the regions natural resources, from water to oil.

And the people we supposedly were all that concerned with to begin with?

Are worse off after American intervention. That’s a song that’s been the same since World War II. What amazes me is how each generation… keeps dancing to it.

Odd that.

If companies as large as Marvel/Disney or DC/Time-warner really wanted to put money toward making a problem go away, it would go away.

So let’s get off that bs ad in particular, and discuss ads in general.

So typically an ad on a cover is bs self promotion or politicking, regardless of how Altruistic it looks. And I refuse to pay for it. If you’re giving it away for free, knock yourself out. But at $3 and $4 per book, I’m not paying for your ads.

So both DC and Marvel shot themselves in the foot by both having ads on the covers of their books (At least in Marvel’s case it was only some books, and the ad in question, while obtrusive and ugly was at least relevant to the book).

All this to say that’s why there were no DC covers, and very few marvel covers this time around.

And on another note: To the other websites that are picking out “best comic book covers”, like I do… word to the wise: If you are not posting pictures of the actual covers, but rather just cover art… that’s more than a bit misleading.

A cover is more than the artwork, it is the typography, the layout, the blurbs, the entire gestalt, so any grading of a cover can not be done without taking that into consideration.

Well let me put it this way, it can’t be done well.

I’ve looked all over the Internet and for the most part, the people who review “best covers” are content to… not put the time in, to do it right. Luckily, you kids have me. 🙂

Also luckily we still have Independent Comics, so that in a month when Marvel and DC jointly decided to screw up their line of comic book covers (only partially with Marvel. A good portion of their line have avoided the Avenger vs X-men logo/house ad), I had alternatives, in the form of the Independent comics you saw above, to save the day.

Well, see my ranting is all done. That was relatively painless. 🙂