Monday, June 28, 2010


City Weekly -- Cliff Secord got off to a rocky start.

In 1981, Steve Schanes—publisher of Pacific Comics—approached Dave Stevens about filling the back six pages of an upcoming book. He asked Stevens for two installments, giving him free reign to do whatever he wanted. Stevens sent a promo drawing of a retro, 1930s pulp hero called The Rocketeer. Schanes loved it and wrote back telling Stevens he couldn’t wait to see the story.

Unfortunately, Stevens didn’t actually have one.

When he was finally able to break the story—and The Rocketeer was published—it was an immediate hit. Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot in Los Angeles in 1938, discovered a mysterious jet pack that enabled him to fly. In an effort to impress his girlfriend and make a little bit of money, Cliff becomes something of a reluctant hero. Cliff’s laid-back personality, the difficulty of being a hero and Stewart’s character-driven story set The Rocketeer apart from most of the other popular comics of the time.

The problem though, was that the published stories kept jumping around from place to place, making them somewhat hard to follow. The first two installments appeared in a book called Starslayer; two more were published in Pacific Presents; and the conclusion, Rocket’s Red Glare, was released by Eclipse comics in 1984. A collected edition followed, but that was it for The Rocketeer until 1988, when Comico Comics released two issues of a story called Cliff’s New York Adventure in Rocketeer Adventure Magazine. Unfortunately, Comico ran into financial trouble, and the third and final installment wasn’t seen until Dark Horse released it in 1995.

The title was popular enough that it was made into a movie in 1991, but even though it was discussed, Stevens never returned for another series. He kept working as an illustrator and painter, but never made it back to serialized storytelling, and died in early 2008 after several years battling leukemia. Fortunately, with the assistance of some of the industry’s top talent, Stevens had been working on a massive project that would see each installment of The Rocketeer collected in one place for the first time.

IDW released two versions of The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures in December 2009. The first was a standard hardcover with both stories re-colored by Eagle, Harvey and Eisner award-winning colorist Laura Martin. The second version was an oversize hardcover that contained both stories as well as nearly 200 pages of bonus material.

The bonus material in the deluxe edition is worth the admission price alone. It contains sketches, layouts, script excerpts, story outlines and just about anything else that Dave Stevens may have had lying around his house. He had managed to hold on to nearly every page of original art and the majority of it went in. There’s even a running DVD-style commentary from Stevens and a few other artists who assisted him throughout the years. The best bits are when Stevens writes that the layouts and breakdowns are his favorite part of creating a comic, but “what is pure, deadly drudgery is the detail and precision of penciling and inking.” It’s no wonder he had no interest in going back to the series.

Stevens even admits that he “wrote and drew it a page at a time. I’d just sit down and start page one with no idea where I was going!” It’s those kinds of comments, littered throughout the book, that give you an insight into how Stevens approached the whole thing. He made comics because they were fun, plain and simple. And that embodies the attitude and the spirit of The Rocketeer.

While he may not have lived long enough to see the finished product, The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures is everything Stevens could have hoped it would be. And now the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the adventure.


You see that? That's an X-Ray of Marilyn Monroe's chest that was taken in 1954. It sold yesterday for $45,000.

I can think of way more things I could buy with 45 grand. On the other hand, if I had an extra 45k lying around and it was burning a hole in my pocket, you bet I'd buy it. It would look spectacular framed and hanging next to the FDR print.


At first I thought, "This could be a decent way to spend a Sunday night. It can't be that bad."

Then the movie started.

I think I can sum this thing up in one sentence: Holy Christ, I hate Cameron Diaz.

I can't remember the last movie I saw with her in it, but she started annoying the hell out of me about 15 minutes in (and to be honest, I'm surprised it took that long). I'm not too big on Tom Cruise either and the deadly combination of both of them didn't work out too well.

Lots of other problems with the movie too, but that's beside the point.

About halfway through, I'd had enough. I couldn't leave, so I did the next best thing. I took a nap. It was way better than the movie. I'm just kind of pissed that I paid eight bucks for it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Of course this is what I've been doing since 730 on my day off.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I've been alternating between these two for the past few days. Great stuff.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This might be a two-parter. I'm not sure how long your (or my own, for that matter) attention span is.

Just bear with me. I'm about to tell you a tale.

Last fall, a man called me at work. Well, not me personally, but I was in charge that day so I got to take the phone call. This guy proceeded to tell me that his wife had lost her wedding ring while they were sitting on the patio. It was a priceless family heirloom that had been passed down in his family from generation to generation. It was also a very rare diamond or something of that nature and worth a lot of money. So while it was priceless to him, it was also very, very expensive for anyone else. He desperately needed to find it.

The only problem is that his wife had lost it a month prior to this phone call. She had just told him the night before. On an airplane. After a two week tropical vacation. There was already snow on the patio here.

I told him I'd take a look around and check the safe to see if anything had been turned in, but the chances of it being found were slim to none. When the night manager got in, I told her about the phone call and this she said, "That woman called again? She was up here a month ago and spent an hour looking for it on the patio. And has called every four days since. I'm sorry, but that ring is gone. Or buried under six inches of snow. Either way, there's nothing we can do."

Then I remembered seeing this woman and a friend looking for something on the patio one day as I was leaving. She lost the ring, knew her husband would be (rightfully) furious, but didn't want to say anything because she didn't want to ruin their upcoming vacation. Instead, she hid it from him for a month and opted to tell him on a crowded airplane, where he couldn't make a scene on the way home from what I can only imagine was the greatest vacation this guy has ever been on.

Now I'm sure she felt horrible, but what's the next step after that? Do you replace the ring with a new one? Does this man ever forgive his wife? Does he say he forgives her but resents her a little bit for the rest of their lives?

About three weeks later, I was at Green Street on Halloween (Green Street, if you don't know is a place where only complete douchebags hang out. It was Halloween and we thought it might make for a funny/slightly more interesting evening than whatever else we could come up with). I had been thinking about those questions off and on ever since and as I leaned against the long table against the back wall, I looked over to my right and saw a man's wedding ring. It was sitting on a cocktail napkin all by itself. There were no drinks, wallets, phones, jackets or anything else on the table. Just a lone ring that someone had taken off because he probably wanted to cheat on his wife without looking like a complete asshole.

So I took it.

I picked it up, put it in my pocket and left.

The way I looked at it was, if this guy is going to be enough of a prick that he leaves his wedding ring unattended on a table at fucking Green Street while he tries to hook up with drunk college girls, he deserves to explain that to his wife. On the way to my car, I saw a homeless guy and gave it to him. He probably pawned it two days later for heroin or beer.

Both of these stories got me thinking a lot about marriage and how I have no real desire to take that plunge any time soon.

But more than anything else, the biggest reason I don't think marriage is in my near future?

Because I fucking hate reality television.

Sure, I've lost a few hours here and there to Road Rules/Real World challenge just like anyone else. But just about every other reality show on TV I cannot stand. And it's come to my attention that once you're married, that's what you do. Your life ends up revolving around which show is on what night.

I have a lot of married friends and I support them with all my heart. I'm glad they found what they were looking for and hope they stay together for a long time. And I hope none of them ever take their wedding ring off and hide it at a bar or lose it and wait a month to fess up to it.

I also hope they all stop telling me what happened on Dancing With The Stars last night. Or who they picked to win American Idol or The Bachelor. Or asking me if I caught last nights episode of The Biggest Loser. I didn't see it. And I don't care who wins.

Surrendering my life to reality TV is the biggest obstacle between me and a Happily Ever After. Well, that and a few other things. But one step at a time, right?

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Straight Edge night with the Salt Lake Bees.

Friday, June 4, 2010


You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate's collarbones with a Crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear--for the rest of your life--sound as if it's being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it's being played by Alice in Chains. If you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it's being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you).

Would you swallow the pill?

I don't think I could do it.


This hit me last night and I've been thinking about it ever since.

There's a girl that lives across from my parents that's always been cute. She's a few years older than I am, but not much. She was a professional snowboarder (or something like that) at some point in her life, but she settled down, got married, had a kid and made the slow transformation into an actual adult.

An actual adult—even though I'm pushing 30—is something even I can't fully grasp. Some people must want it and my guess is that even more people just do it because that's what they think they're supposed to do. That last part applies mostly to religious 20-year-olds that think if they're not married with a family by the time they're 25 they'll be cast out and shunned. And maybe that's actually how it works, I just don't know.

But I digress.

This girl was out in her front yard as I was getting in my car. We've never said more than 6 words to each other, so we nodded, smiled and went on with our day. As I was turning the car around, she turned away from me.

And that's when I saw the saddest, most depressing thing you can see on a pretty girl.

She was wearing "mom jeans."

You know the ones. Those light colored, high waisted, tapered jeans that you find at Mervyn's.

It was a real downer of a moment. I just shook my head and drove off.

Now this is the part where someone will chime in and say that high waisted, tapered jeans are making a comeback in the "fashion-blog" world, and this is where I will tell you that I don't give a shit. They still look ridiculous, unflattering and just plain awful. Jeans with no back pockets are a close second and belly shirts are third. You will never, ever convince me otherwise.

And that is as close to a fashion rant as I will ever come. I promise.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Still fantastic.


Bring these back! I bet they'd work wonders today. 


If you weren't aware, I'm a huge fan of Harrison Ford. The thing is, he almost didn't get the two roles he's most famous for.

The original choice for Indiana Jones was Tom Selleck. Unfortunately (for him, fortunately for probably everyone else) he had already landed the part of Magnum P.I. and Universal wouldn't let him do it.

And what about this audition? Of yeah, that's Jack Burton (pre-Jack Burton, of course) screen testing for Han Solo.

Oh, what might have been.


This is, hands down, one of the funniest movies of all time.


Invisible sharks - exactly what we don't need in this world but Mother Nature gives us anyway. I'm never going in the ocean again.

Discovery -- In open water, there is often no place to hide. Some sharks have overcome this problem by making themselves invisible to both prey and predators, according to a new study.

Light trickery permits the optical illusion, described in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. The findings represent the first experimental tests of shark luminescence.

Lead author Julien Claes explained to Discovery News that about 50 different shark species, or more than 10 percent of all known sharks, are luminous. This means they can produce and emit light from their bodies.

Claes and his colleagues chose to focus on one particular luminous shark, nicknamed "the phantom hunter of the fjords": the velvet belly lantern shark.

This shark's shimmer originates from light emitting organs called photophores from underneath its body, "effectively creating a glow from that region," said Claes, a researcher in the Laboratory of Marine Biology, Earth and Life Institute at the Catholic University of Louvain.

"Since many predators have upward-looking eyes, it is a common method of camouflage in the mesopelagic zone (from 656 to 3,281 feet below the surface), although it is the first time it is demonstrated in sharks," he added.

For the study, Claes and his team collected male and female velvet belly lantern sharks in Bergen, Norway. The sharks were then brought to Espeland Marine Station, where they were maintained in cold, dark water tanks, replicating conditions of their natural habitat.

The scientists next measured the luminescence intensity of each shark. Measurements were again taken after an overhead light simulation, some days later, in order to test the sharks' response to light.

Immediately after being caught, most of the sharks produced a spontaneous and long-lasting luminescence, occasionally lasting over an hour. The spectrum of this light closely matched that of the shark's usual deepwater fjord home.

The sharks were able to adjust slightly their emitted light in response to external light changes. This ability suggests that they use both their eyes and a small gland in the brain to monitor information on light shining down from above. Like most sharks, the mouth of this species is on its underside, so the camouflage system allows the shark to grab prey, such as krill and pearlfish, with invisible ease.

Similar to how lipstick makes a woman's lips stand out more, the shark's light may also turn on members of the opposite sex.

"Communication is also a function of the luminescence, since some parts of the animal appear brighter at close range, such as the pelvic part containing the sexual organs," Claes suggests.

Bernard Seret, a shark expert at the National Museum of Natural History in France, told Discovery News that he agrees with the new study. Seret hopes the research team will explore the many other possible functions of shark bioluminescence.

Rui Coelho, a shark research scientist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, also supports the new paper's conclusions.

"I believe that what most surprised and excited me about this paper was the finding that the emission of light on the ventral surface of the sharks closely resembles the environmental light," Coelho said, "allowing the sharks to efficiently camouflage themselves by counter-illumination, remaining invisible to both possible predators and potential prey."

Luckily humans are not on the prey list for the velvet belly lantern shark. Even if we were, this glowing predator would probably pose little threat.