Defenders Handbook in December

Here’s something PDR did a little work on:

Defenders: Strange Heroes

Select Character Artwork by Gus Vazquez
Cover by Leinil Francis Yu
The OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE helps usher in the Defenders’ return to prominence with new profiles featuring Marvel’s premier non-team! Past members (Manslaughter, Andromeda, Interloper, Cloud), foes (the Asgardian Lorelei, Mad-Dog/Baxter, Jake Fury, Sea Urchin), the unusual (Tapping Tommy, Sunshine Gross, Foolkiller/Salinger), objects of great power (Star of Capistan, Rose of Purity, Evil Eye), and one of the strangest moments in Marvel history and the man responsible for it: Defenders for a Day and Dollar Bill! Plus: updates on the team itself and its current members (Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Namor, Red She-Hulk, Silver Surfer). Featuring new art for dozens of profiles by Gus Vazquez!
64 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99 In Stores: December 21, 2011

I don’t maple leaf it!

This one is interesting. We’ve got dapper John Matheson standing in a dark void, struggling over how to convince Canada to agree on a flag. That is pretty much the entirety of the thing. His speech in the void. We’re told, in the end, that Canada does eventually agree, but that is just an afterthought. And it is weird, if you think about it too much. Which is exactly what I do.

At first we could suppose that he’s just having a soliloquy in the Flag Committee Room, but it isn’t so. John is talking to someone in that void. It’s possible that he is talking to us, via a breaking of the fourth wall, but he says when the other politicians walk in “I was just talking about you” and I doubt he’d have said that if he was talking to himself. This indicates that either his special awareness of the medium is already common knowledge, or there actually is someone in the void with him. In either case, he then demonstrates another magic ability: Whichever flag he is thinking of forms from the ether just by saying “this” and making a simple gesture of his head for the benefit of the person he was speaking with. What I’m saying is John Matheson was probably a wizard. In real life.

Also, he’s doing an awful lot of walking around in the void. Just saying.

Anyway, to business. I have made a big deal about the ability to quote them being the biggest factor in my liking of a Heritage Moment, but this one kinda goes against the grain. A few lines are pretty good (“But blue is not an official Canadian color*” and “Prime minister AND Mr. Diefenbaker…”), but really they don’t stand alone as well as examples from, say, the Superman minute. Does this work against this one? I’m going to go with “no”. You know why? Because this whole monologue is so strong that if I had the mental capacity, I would commit this whole commercial to memory and quote it in its entirety whenever I felt like it. And that would be sweet.

Apart from quotability, I have to say that looking at all the Alternate Earth Canada Flags is kinda fun. I bet this was one of the cheapest and easiest Heritage Minutes to make, but it does not suffer for it. And looking back at this from my present times, I can add that the “I wonder, I wonder” also reminds me of the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, which is another plus for this Canada History Commercial. I am fully willing to give this one Five out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System cake. It’s simple, magical, and I like it.

*And yes, I’m still gonna spell “color” the way I prefer even though the speaker would have spelled it another way. This is how the Nation of PDR rolls.

Archie Cafeteria Madness

At some point in the past I noticed that the daily Archie comic strip seems to feature more scenes of the teachers in the school cafeteria than the students in the cafeteria. For no good reason, I decided to test my hypothesis by watching the strip in 2011 to see if it remained true. But then the artist on the strip changed about a few months into the year and there just hasn’t been that many strips in the cafeteria at all. Plus, when I realized I was paying close enough attention to the Archie comic strip to notice the change of artist, I figured I was getting too invested in it. And then, which I use to read comic strips online, underwent some remodeling and I missed a couple weeks and I honestly did not feel like going back through to see if I’d missed any important information (plus the links to the strips I’d gathered no longer worked). So I aborted my experiment.

But here is the information I did collect:

January 11th: Teachers in Cafeteria.
January 13th: Teachers in Cafeteria.
January 20th: Teachers in Cafeteria.
April 29th: Nobody in Cafeteria, but they talk about it.
May 12th: Teachers in Cafeteria.

I think that my hypothesis would have been proven correct. What I should have done is go through all the 2010 strips. But I ain’t gonna.


Sometimes people die.
This is because ghosts need us
to be their new friends.

I got rid of twenty of my books today. That’s something I usually don’t do. For the past year and a bit I have been trying to rid myself of all sorts of my belongings. Chairs and desks I have cast aside. Abut half of my clothes were given away. But books (and comics and DVDs) I am obsessed with and they are the only things that have continued coming in more than going out. I hang on to my books forever, generally. But by trimming twenty of the books I figured I probably wouldn’t ever read again, I have gained a little bit of shelf space. Twenty books doesn’t even make a dent in my collection, really, but it feels like a lot.

That said, I’ll probably have more than twenty new books well before this time next year.

September 26th Comics

Secret Government Robots:

I wanted to differentiate between the story pages and single pages, so I’m going to use these little three-panel ones like the first few strips. They’re limiting, but I have no better ideas

Phone Guys:

Space Junk Hates Humanity

So the newspaper that has just gone out includes this article about some satellite that is coming acrashin’ to Earth soon, and there is a chance it will hit Canada (they say probably an ocean, but maybe Canada). If that thing hits me I demand some sort of holiday in my honor. A holiday that involves people throwing soft plastic toy satellites at one another.

That’s all. I just like my wishes to be known ahead of time.

For the record, cleaning up space junk in orbit has been on my list of things to do if I ever get Superman powers for years. So keep that in mind whoever hands out Superman powers.