Archive for June, 2006

Dynamic Forces giving away Superman statue

Friday, June 30th, 2006


Ends July 5th. Good luck everyone. Don’t forget to enter our Superman Returns contest below.

Note to commenters

Friday, June 30th, 2006

One more thing:

The Ollie Queen story has been an outright firestorm. So far, 30 comments (about six or so by me) in 24 hours! It’s been great to have such an intelligent discussion with input from so many individuals.

I just want you all to understand that, after about 5PM Friday, no more comments will appear on the site until July 4th unless you’re a Typekey user. (Typekey users will see their posts appear instantly, without needing approval by an administrator.) Please refrain from posting again and again just because your comment hasn’t appeared; it is merely awaiting verification. Ordinarily, I’d log in from my parents’ home to approve comments, but they won’t have Internet quite yet.

Glorious new comic collection!

Friday, June 30th, 2006

I’m heading out for the weekend. In case you’ve all noticed the long absences and grumpiness, it’s like this.

In the space of two short weeks, my mom has a birthday (today), my parents move into their new home (tomorrow), my dad retires from preaching (had a party last weekend, but it’s officially next week) and my mom retires from teaching (that’s already happened; school’s over), my parents celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary (July 9th) and my dad has his birthday. They’ve spent the last five years fixing up this rundown farmhouse into a renovated dreamhouse, and since it’s been so far from ready to move in I’ve spent almost every weekend up at their place three hours away helping out. I’ve missed some work, and now it’s July 4th and I have to take another two days off, unpaid. I’ve lost about a week’s pay in the last month.

All this talk about supply and demand? Here’s the deal: I need money, and you guys need comics.

Fortunately, Collectorz just released Comic Collectorz 3.0 which has a custom database of comic book listings. I haven’t had much time, but I’ve spent the last two nights hastily updating as many of the comics in my collection to include titles and covers. I’m nowhere near finished, but it’s time for me to head out on another 180 mile drive tonight so I’ll have to make do with what I’ve updated so far.

As soon as I get home from work, I’m going to spend an hour exporting the all-new listings to my Comic Relief site, then uploading them to the server. Then I have to drive for three hours (THIS weekend, traffic may be terrible, so maybe four) and take apart all my parents’ electronics before I can go to bed. So, on your lazy July 4th extended weekend, while you’re all lounging around wondering what to do and I’m helping move my mom’s piano and my dad’s fifty boxes of model cars, please swing on by, check out the listings and place some orders. I will fulfill them next Tuesday when I get back.

What? My whining’s not enough? Ahh, you hypocrites with your “I was raised to believe in Christian charity”, but when I need money, where are you?! Bah! OK, fine, I’ll sweeten the pot.

From now through Wednesday, as a special deal ONLY to the Monitor Duty readers, when you spend $20 or more at my Comic site and check out using the shopping cart, there’s an area for comments. Mention the “MDDeal” and then choose one of the following:

* A free copy of Mysterious Visions Anthology #1, which reprinted my 8 page Metro Med story and is a very nice printing. I’ll sign it if you like.

* A crappy sketch of a character of your choice. Be warned, I’m not an artist. No really, I mean it. You’re getting an absolutely goshawful drawing of no resale value whatsoever. I may do it on notebook paper. It might be stick figures.

* $1 off your order. (I’ll process it upon receipt.)

* The thanks I owe you.

Those are your choices: Free MVA #1, free crappy sketch, $1 off or thanks.

NOTE: This special offer for MD readers is IN ADDITION TO the specials already on the Comic Relief site! I just noticed that those offers from February were still up, so I’m letting them run.

If you don’t want to shop for comic books, but you still want to help out, here are a few other ways:

Should you buy Collectorz’s Comic book software with the database, I think there’s some kind of “who referred you” question when you register it. If you mention my fanzing-AT-fanzing-DOTCOM address, I think I get a quarter or something. I can’t recall what the deal was; it’s been ages since I installed mine. Maybe they aren’t even doing that anymore.

And if you’re shopping at Amazon, use my link to Amazon. In fact, if you’re feeling really generous, right click on that and add it to your bookmarks and just make that your Amazon bookmark instead of just going to If you shop today, it still counts as the second quarter and then I’ll get that cash in a couple weeks.

I’m not looking for flat-out donations or anything like that. Things aren’t desperate. Save that money for the next time Erik Burnham’s car breaks down. However, if any of these goods are things your looking for right now, keep this in mind.

Thank you, and have a happy Independence Day. (To you Brits, happy July 3rd Dependence Day!)

COMIC RELIEF (Relieve Me Of My Comics)

Funny guys in the NYC area

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Hey, one of our readers, Chris Booth of City Hall, appears to be part of a comedy team. Cool!

I bet these guys are really, seriously super-funny. I mean…


OK, Chris hasn’t said anything funny yet, and there isn’t anything actually funny on the web site, but I’m sure they’re a riot. So, go call them and book their group at your club. I want to support our buddies and I’m sure they’re funny. Really funny.

I mean, look at their pictures on the site. They’re making faces. That’s funny. Maybe they make faces for two hours. I could see that being hilarious.

And one of them wears a hood! Like Kenny! Hoods are funny. You’d better book the hood guy quick, ’cause hoods are just super-funny. Here in the midwest, where everyone wears them, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere because people are wearing hoods and we all fall down laughing.

Hoods. Heh heh heh. Man, that’s funny.

All right, in all seriousness, I have to admit that Luis’ mailbag (which for some reason is under the PSA link) gave me a good laugh. I needed one. It’s been a long day.

(If you can’t tease a comedy team, who can you tease? Besides, he said he’s never going to visit the site anymore, so he’ll never see this.)

Mail Order Ninja is OUT!

Friday, June 30th, 2006

A belated hearty congratulations to our friend Joshua Elder for this Wednesday’s debut of his new book, Mail Order Ninja. I even missed the chance to plug Josh’s announcement and seven page preview!

Mea culpa, Josh.

Rob Schneider derpty derp in hospital!

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Hilariously tragic news today. Notfunnyman Rob Schneider was Taken to Hospital After Collapsing on Movie Set.

Doctors say his movie career will never walk again.

Our Frappr Map

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

I need to add a link to our Frappr map on the site somewhere, but until I do here it is again.

Oliver Queen is an idiot

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

(Alternate subject heading: “I’ll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash you got.”)

In DC Comics’ new 52 #8 (or “52 Week 8” or however you want to refer to it), a shopkeeper in Star City emerges from his store yelling, “Stop! Thief!” The thief is running ahead of him with an armful of groceries and a dozen disposable diapers. Suddenly the grocer has a bolo arrow binding his feet. Explaining his actions to Ralph Dibny, Green Arrow says, “He said, ‘Stop, Thief.’ I aimed for the guy charging thirty bucks for disposable diapers in a disaster zone.” Star City, as you probably know, was devastated by bombings two months earlier and is a disaster area short on supplies… and concerned citizen Oliver “Green Arrow” Queen is going to become the city’s mayor at some point in the “next 10 months” of 52.

Now, Green Arrow is acting pretty much in character here, so even though I find this objectionable, it’s true to his being a hopeless bleeding heart leftover. One might even find it in keeping with the common ideal of Robin Hood “robbing the rich and giving to the poor”, though this just shows a lack of understanding of Robin Hood who was against oppressive taxation in a monarchy where the poor had no recourse.

Of course, if Green Arrow is so sure that ‘profiteers’ are thieves and it’s okay for the shoplifter to escape, why hasn’t he actively bound the grocer and invited everyone in the area to take all the man has? Green Arrow seems to think that it’s acceptable for the shopkeeper to have his possessions taken away. Again, it’s actually fine that Green Arrow has an incoherent philosophy that he doesn’t think through, or he wouldn’t be the Oliver Queen we know and love.

My big problem with this is: Does the writer (whomever he may be…Johns, Waid, Morrison or Rucka…for this page of the story) understand why this is wrong? Is this scene perpetuating a bias against “price gouging” which in turn actually damages the poor of our society? This misunderstanding of the profit motive has real-world consequences and it hurts real people.

Before you think I’m making too much of this, read on.


Intense week for yours truly

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

I was reading through Beau Smith’s new column extolling the virtues of the DC Showcase / Marvel Essentials and it hit me that I’m only seven days away from having in my hot little hands the book that I have dreamed of for ten years: Showcase Presents: Elongated Man. The fact that this book actually exists makes me wonder if someone in DC’s publishing wing read my “How To Save the Comic Book Industry” and thought my suggestion was a good idea. All right, enough ego…perhaps it’s just that “Identity Crisis” and “52” have raised Ralph Dibny’s profile. (I do think it would have been smart to have such a book out ahead of “Identity Crisis” so that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought the loss of Sue Dibny was a tragedy.)

I’ve noticed something odd. Amazon still doesn’t have cover art. Nor does DC! I’m sure it’s a problem because Ralph’s best stories are backup stories and they don’t have a dramatic cover that can be recycled. Hopefully they have someone working on it. They only have seven days.

Seven days! Glee! Huzzah! IT MUST BE MINE!!!

40 facts about Superman

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

You probably know a lot of these “Things You Don’t Know About Superman” because you’re much more informed than the readership this article is aimed at. But I was surprised to read about the two cameos in the movie.

“…I have sent them my only son.”

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

For a character created by two Jewish kids as a “Moses from outer space,” Superman certainly seems to inspire Christian allegories. I just spotted the brand new book “The Gospel According To The World’s Greatest Superhero” and it points out that the Kents were originally named Joseph and Mary, so at least some of this was intentional as well.

You can also find “The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion And Popular Culture.”

I believe this was started by 1965’s “The Gospel According To Peanuts.” My dad had that book, as well as the now out-of-print “The Gospel According To Superman.” Dad also had a cartoon on his church office door that showed a dramatic picture of Superman, with the text (I’m paraphrasing), “A man was sent to Earth by his father to be raised by mortals. Gifted with extraordinary abilities, he performed miracles, helping the weak, sick and helpless. His many enemies tried to kill him, but he was willing to sacrifice himself to save mankind.” At Superman’s feet, there is a final line of text: “THIS is not him.”

And all these Christ comparisons remind me of this:

Saint Peter is watching the gates of Heaven, but he really has to go the bathroom. He asks Jesus to watch the gates for a few minutes, and Jesus agrees.

As Jesus is standing there, he sees an old man leading a donkey up from Earth to Heaven. He notices the old man has carpenter’s tools with him. When the old man gets to the gates, Jesus asks him to describe his life and explain why he feels he should be admitted into heaven.

The man explains, “In English, my name would be Joseph, though I’m not from England. I lived a modest life near the Mediterranean Sea, making things out of wood. I’m not remembered very well by most people, but almost everyone has heard of my son. I call him my son, but I was more of a Dad to him, he didn’t really come into this world in the usual way.

I sent my son out to be among the people of the World. He was ridiculed by many, and was even known to associate himself with some pretty unsavory characters, although he himself tried to be honest and perfect. My single biggest reason for trying to get into Heaven is to be reunited with my son. I’ll recognize him by the nails in his hands and feet from when he was on a cross.”

Jesus is awe-struck by the man’s story. He looks into the old man’s eyes and asks, “Father?”

The old man’s face brightens; he looks at Jesus, and asks, “Pinocchio?”

You Will Believe A Man Can Fly

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

His new movie is causing a sensation. He’s flying in to save the world from an evil scientist. But no, it’s not about Superman this time.

“Krrish,” the flying superhero whose new movie is currently popular in India, has had to make a statement to ask people to not imitate his stunts. At least two people have hurt themselves, including a 24-year old man who lept from a theater balcony.

“The action scenes are meant to be enjoyed, not imitated. Please do not indulge in these stunts,” wrote Hrithik Roshan, who plays Krrish.

More can be found here, in an article from Reuters.

A more positive “Superman Returns” review

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Megan Basham likes “Superman Returns” and points out how fortunate we are to get a movie like this considering the decade-long fight to bring him back and what previous creators wanted to do with him.

“Spider-Man 3” Trailer Attached to “Superman Returns”!

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

It’s not very often that you hear me scream, but in the past week or so it’s happened twice. First, when I saw Batman actually knock Darkseid over by kicking him in the back in the series finale of “Justice League.” Second, was this. AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Ebert reviews Superman Returns

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Superman Returns gets two stars and a review which makes it sound like Ebert was charitable in the stars section.

UPDATE: Please note that there are puh-lenty of spoilers in this review.

True Agony: Superman IV review

Monday, June 26th, 2006

The Agony Booth reviews Superman IV. I’m sending you there and I’ve yet to read a word of it.

It’s going to hurt.

And it’s going to hurt for 12 pages!

It’s a 12 page long review! That’s stunning. Because even Agony Booth’s classic review of Mr. T’s “Be Somebody or Be Somebody’s Fool” is only nine pages. The “so-unwatchable-it-was-squelched” Fantastic Four movie only took seven pages. The Armageddon mega-review took 13 pages, but that’s because it was broken into 15 minute segments.

However, Batman and Robin took 13 pages. Maybe bad comic book movies need more time to explore because they’re bad in so many ways.

So, wow. 12 pages. It even has video segments!

Like…the “Rebuild-the-Great-Wall-Of-China” Vision scene!

Monitor Duty’s Superman Returns Contest

Monday, June 26th, 2006


To celebrate the debut of “Superman Returns”, Monitor Duty is holding a a contest to give away a Kryptonite Pen and a Superman Returns poster.

In reviewing all of the advance publicity about the new Superman movie, I found one intriguing question: why are Superman movies always about Lex Luthor? Lex is his arch-enemy, of course, but he’s the least showy of all possible enemies. Of course, given the cost of special effects, a villain whose power is that he sneers while being bald is much cheaper to put on screen. Granted. But, if this movie is profitable enough, there should certainly be a sequel. Who would you want as a villain (see a list of Superman’s Rogue’s Gallery), and why? More Lex Luthor? “More” Phantom Zone villains (given that the original Superman movies are still in continuity, they’d be returning)? Brainiac? Mr. Mxyzptlk? Parasite? Metallo? How about Terra-Man, the space cowboy who rides a flying horse?

That question inspired the new contest. Thank you to the folks at the WB for donating our prizes.

Win a pen! Win a poster!


1) Reply to this message. You must use a valid e-mail address. (Set up a Typekey account if you like.) This e-mail address will be used to contact you if you win. You will only be asked for a mailing address upon winning so that the prizes may be sent to you. Sorry, USA/Canada shipping only for these prizes.

2) Answer this question in your reply: For the sequel to Superman Returns, who would you like to see as the villain? The answer may be as short as you like; about 100 words or less. All entries must have some answer to the question. Your answer will not be graded; all answers will qualify.

3) ALL qualifying entries will be entered in a drawing upon conclusion of this contest at MIDNIGHT Central Time on JULY 4th 2006. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on July 5th.

4) The Grand Prize Winner will receive a Superman Returns Kryptonite Pen and a Superman Returns one-sheet poster.

5) The runner up will receive a Superman Returns one-sheet poster.

6) Michael Hutchison of Monitor Duty is not eligible. All other contributors are as eligible as anyone else.

Star Trek Rumour Time!

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Ain’t It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.

theINSIDER is reporting that J.J. Abrams & Co. are smitten with the notion of Matt Damon as James T. Kirk in their forthcoming theatrical relaunch of STAR TREK.
The article also says Abrams has already received Kirk progenitor William Shatner’s blessing on this.

Lake House Contest Winners

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

The Grand Prize Winner for the Lake House Contest is:

“Mary Wingo”

The second prize winner is:

“Ro Laren” (Ensign Ro?)

I will make arrangements for the delivery of their prizes shortly.

We will be having a very short Superman Returns contest which will begin on Saturday and run for a week. Watch for it!

REVIEW: “Cobb: Off The Leash”

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Cobb I promised my bud Beau Smith that I’d review his comic “Cobb: Off The Leash” when it came out, and I apologize that I haven’t had time to do so til now. And yes, I said buddy. In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you all that I like Beau Smith, he and I correspond by e-mail from time to time, and by the time we finally meet at some convention I’ll probably have enough “buy you a beer” offers from him to pass them around the entire bar. I even named a prison after him in “Metro Med” #0. So I may as well admit, I’m fully compromised here. Beau’s been warned that I’m going to be honest with what I like and dislike about the book, because my first commitment is to the Monitor Duty readership. I just wish I hated the book because a bad review is the only kind you all will believe is genuine.

Unfortunately for “my credibility”, and fortunately for Beau, “Cobb: Off The Leash #1” is intense, joyfully violent, quite humorous and full of promise that the two remaining issues will just be even more packed with excitement now that the setup is done. Cobb has been getting great reviews and there are only a few hundred copies of the first issue left.

Short review: Go buy it right now.
Long review: Read on!