adamshouse

This first picture was done as a birthday present, a wolf-bat visiting upon the home of the birthday boy in question. The birthday party itself was pleasant and included a nice spread of grilled meat action and traditional sides. As far as I know, no bat penis was served, but there were hot dogs and while the presence of such exotic fare as chiropteral phallus muscle would surprise me, it is not beyond the realm of reasonable ingredients. I myself had a delicious burger, expertly seasoned and grilled. During the time I was at the party, the music played predominantly was Madonna.

slicepeeps

This second drawing features some of the staff from Slice of Brookhaven, a friendly pizzeria and bar located in Brookhaven, which neighbors Atlanta. The staff there is very pleasant and the pizza is top notch. I host pub trivia there every Tuesday at 8pm and encourage you to come by. I always ask a DC Comics question and I think I put together a pretty good trivia DJ set list. I struggled at first with the musical demands of the trivia host because I was hung up by some of preconceived notions on transforming a space with music- I was born to score alien weddings, robot pornography, and non-consensual ketamine dosings, so adjusting those artistic sensibilities to fit the trivia vibe took a few tries. Eventually I stopped worrying and learned to love classic rock, but I assure you I’ve retained some of the spirit of the fringe. Hopefully I’ll do a few more panda portraits at the restaurant. I like the look of the place and after all is said and done, if an artist truly wants to celebrate the beauty of life, surely their themes address the sophisticated psychic power imbued in pizza. The staff all wear red shirts, which makes them easy to identify but lowers their chances of survival should they be sent out on a mission by Captain James Tiberius Kirk. That’s the cost to be the boss, I suppose.

boywithcat

Here are a couple of recent panda pics.

kpk

The coloring of the bottom one is intended to less-than-subliminally provoke thoughts of the Bahamas and in turn, compel the audience to act more like James Bond.

Phantom Stranger 1,1 cover

I found out last week that I will be presenting at this year’s Comics and Popular Arts Conference at Dragon Con. Last year I presented on Cold War ideologies in the Silver Age Green Lantern. This year I will be discussing how different religions have been employed in the world-building of the New 52. In preparation, I’ve been reading some back issues on the Phantom Stranger- trying to figure out who he was before he became the Judas Iscariot doppelganger that is his present form.

The Phantom Stranger v1 issue 2

I’ve seen other blogs showcase cover galleries before. Much of my aimless internet searching arrives at such places and I enjoy the art I stumble upon. As a bit of a payback for the folks out there regularly posting galleries from old comics, I thought I could share the covers from The Phantom Stranger’s first series back in 1952 and a few from his second series which began in 1969. Despite these two series being published nearly 20 years apart, the Phantom Stranger has changed very little. In fact, many of the first stories in the second series are simply reprints from the first series.

phantom stranger 03 cover

Unlike his more metaphysical modern day counterpart, this Phantom Stranger is into science. He spends most of his time exposing frauds who employ scientific knowledge to deceive the innocent.

phantom stranger 04

phantomstrangerga5-001

You can see some of the changes in the overall look of comics, horror comics, DC Comics, etc. as we look at the covers from the 1969 series.

the phantom stranger (1969) 01 - 00 - fc

the phantom stranger (1969) 02 - 00 - fc

ps 03 p00

page_00

phst5_01

phst0601

the phantom stranger (1969) 07 - 00 - fc

the phantom stranger (1969) 08 - 00 - fc

the phantom stranger (1969) 09 - 00 - fc

the phantom stranger (1969) 10 - 00 - fc

myparentsbasement

I had the good fortune of attending the My Parents Basement Craft Beer and Comic Book Store Yard Sale this Saturday morning in Decatur. As local Atlanta upstart My Parents Basement gets its act together in preparation for opening a full-on brick and mortar comic shop pub, they’ve been hosting seasonal yard sales where they offer comics by the pound. They hope to open their store within a year. The scene was very welcoming, the entrepreneurs decked out in MPB t-shirts made certain to welcome each guest. The layout was pretty straight forward. The event featured raffles, live music, and of course, comic books and craft beer. When I was there, they were serving some watermelon beer I hadn’t encountered before. If they’re able to maintain the enthusiasm they exhibited today, I have a feeling that MPB will become a shimmering jewel in the crown of Decatur.

aidanadventure

Here are a few pictures I’ve done recently that are based on some of my extended relations. In the above picture, the boy riding the squirrel beast is my cousin’s son. In the picture below, his sister (my cousin’s daughter) can be seen dining out with a varmint. The final picture is a portrait of my in-laws, my wife’s mother’s sister (大姨 – I hope I got that second character right) and her husband. I hope you like them.

isabellameetsfrankenstein

dayi

ittakesguts

“It Takes Guts To Get In”

highestfive

“The Highest Five”

benchthinks

“The bench thinks what the bench believes”

batmancollagebybabynightsoil

One day our consciousnesses or rather those of our descendants will be able to perceive the multi-verse, defy space and time, and engage in a logic beyond the childish way you and I have been thinking. As our cells ready the coming mutations and our technologies reflect our peculiar ambitions, we grasp for examples that can anchor us in the blurred existential hurricane that is surely multi-versal living. One Virgil to our Dante in this exciting stage of development is the Batman. We are living in an age where people are living in multiple Batman universes. A noticeable portion of the world population coexists with multiple Batmans. While Batman is not unique in this and certainly not among other comic heroes, Batman is special. His multiple universes are more fully developed than any other superhero.

Look at some of the universes that continue to expand:

New 52 Batman (This universe is the same (sort of) as the Justice League War animated movie universe, but not necessarily the Son of Batman animated movie universe. Batman of the New 52 is complicated because he and Green Lantern have a lot more history than Superman and other heroes, making this particular universe great exercise for our evolving brains. All of which has been twisted even more strangely with the all whole Zero Year timing and whatever Jonah Hex and Dr. Arkham get into in the past. Of all the characters in the New 52, Batman holds the distinction of appearing in the most titles with no serious competition for the honor. At any given time, well over 10 creators at DC Comics are working on Batman stories.)

New 52 Batman Earth-2 (where he is notably the father of Huntress/Robin)

Lil Gotham (Here we find familiar characters celebrating familiar holidays)

Batman ’66 (A reflection of the old Batman TV Show universe, itself a reflection of the Silver Age Batman universe and the Warholian utopia/dystopia of the Swinging Sixties- it’s not inception, it’s not an Alanis Morrissette song, it’s more like Medeski Martin & Wood playing their own arrangement of an American jazz song about French people impersonating Chinese porcelain work)

Batman Earth One (Remember this gem from a few years ago? Will there be a Volume 2?)

Injustice (The storyline constitutes multiple universes itself and features multiple Batmans)

Batman Arkham (This universe has its fair share of continuity problems, especially when it dabbled in the prequel arts with Arkham Origins)

Zack Snyder Universe (where the Dark Knight is portrayed by the kid on Voyage of the Mimi)

LEGO Batman (and arguably LEGO Movie Batman is a separate universe; the missus and I recently assembled a LEGO batmobile tumbler, the ride from the Nolanverse, which would be a separate universe from the LEGO Batman universe as it exists in most of the sets, the video games, and the LEGO Batman movie (and, again, the LEGO Movie))

The upcoming Gotham TV series (This universe, much like other universes, rearranges chronology without causing major rifts to meaning. This phenomenon is one of the more popular Elseworlds literary devices- it relies on the familiar to give its new universe strength and recognizes time as a variable, not a constant.)

DCU Online/Infinite Crisis (The online playable universes of the DC multi-verse are (or have the potential to be) some of the highest functioning universes outside of the metanarrative (and what, dear readers, is the Batman metanarrative?))

JL8 (Yale Stewart’s charming running comic of Justice League members as kids is one of many amazing fan-created universes out there. Don’t we all have our own Batman universes that we’ve created? When kids play with Batman toys, they create narratives and become architects of our practice multiverse. Also there’s a bit of perverted Bat-fiction, even pornographic productions of the highest quality. I think Lexi Belle makes a more convincing batgirl than Sunny Lane, but it’s amazing that the modern Batman reader even has a choice in selecting their adult film Barbara Gordon.)

Meanwhile, many Batman universes that we accept as being closed continue to remain alive in our consciousnesses:

The Nolanverse (A self-contained universe spanning three films, the Dark Knight trilogy has solidified itself as my generation’s  onscreen Batman, forcing me to face all the issues surrounding my own mortality as a new Batman, Batfleck, appears in the near future. A glitch in this universe transforms Batman’s love interest into a more talented actress between films.)

Batman: The Animated Series (Hardly the only time the Dark Knight has been animated, but one that resonates so strongly and featured the work of true legends like Marv Wolfman and Denny O’Neil. The show also introduced Harley Quinn who quickly transuniversed across the multiverse into established Batman universes.)

The Dark Knight Returns universe (Frank Miller’s classic Elseworlds story had new life breathed into it with last year’s animated film. This story, closely tied to the zeitgeist (equal parts apathy and fascism) of the 1980s, continues to help readers, and now viewers, transport to a time when Batman was disappointed in both the hippies and the conservatives.)

Jeph Loeb has provided two separate Batman universes. With Tim Sale, he created the Long Halloween universe, which is not much of a departure from Frank Miller’s Year One universe. Later Loeb launches the Superman/Batman series, which brings Supergirl back to the DC universe in a form I believe far superior to the Supergirl that died back in Crisis on Infinite Earths- itself being a primer on balancing an overwhelming multi-verse with an accessible story (with varying degrees of success)

Year 100, DC One Million (Paul Pope and Grant Morrisson probably walk with each foot in a different universe at all times.)

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (This very short yet poignant set of mixed up eulogies for the Dark Knight delivered by his closest friends and enemies provides multiple alternate histories for the Dark Knight. One of the very few Batman stories that Neil Gaiman has written.)

This list could really go on and on as Batman has been featured in an overwhelming amount of material and a good chunk of that remains relevant to the modern Batman reader. When humanity is confronted with what will surely be the greatest existential crisis we will face collectively up to that point, I believe the modern Batman readers will have contributed to the evolutionary process that will enable our collective consciousness to navigate an open multiverse. Also net neutrality will prove to be even more important than even Tim Wu currently anticipates, but he deserves some credit too- not as much as Batman, but some.

 

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