A Canadian Boat Went Fast This One Time

Today’s Canada Heritage Thing is about the Bluenose, a boat that was as fast as the speed at which this Heritage Minutes leaves my brain. I am sure that I’ve seen it a lot of times, but apart from the music, I would have believed you if you told me it was one of those new ones that I didn’t grow up with. And even the music I probably know from somewhere else. Maybe if the phrase “Angus should never have agreed to this last race, she’s too old” could be used more often in everyday life I’d have remembered it.

And maybe this is sacrilege for a Nova Scotian to say, but I don’t actually care that there was a fast boat? Is that just me?

Two out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.

Super Sunday: The Devil Queen from Outer Space and Flood

The Devil Queen from Outer Space

Descending to Earth in a UFO that looks like a ball of flame, the Devil Queen from Outer Space is Queen Malefactra, an archmonarch of evil with a desire to conquer the human race and set up a hell on Earth. With an army of sci-fi devilry (robots made of skeletons, laser pitchforks, etc.), she has the means to do it!

When she’s not actively trying to conquer the world, Malefactra is a temptress looking to make deals. At the cost of your immortal soul, she can use her nano-magic to make your dreams come true, though it always seems to find some way to make sure it also furthers her own cause.

This was just an attempt at designing a character with that sense of fun that I think superhero comics need to embrace. The theatrics of hell symbolism and the grandeur of outer space invaders seem like a perfect fit for superheroes.


Alphonse Gordon was one of the founding members of the Strange Squad. In the 1960s the group was assembled from a group of scientists who had been mutated from experiments. Flood had accidentally transferred his consciousness into a body of water, which he soon learned to control and animate. Though he did the heroism thing with the Strange Squad, it was only for the money, so when someone else offered more money, he happily accepted and left the team. Though, deep down, he admits he seems to have lost out considering that the team has gone on to be an internationally successful organization and he is just a criminal for hire, he takes it in stride and continues working for whoever is willing to pay.

Another very easily drawn character. I would assume that being a living puddle would suck.

Super Sunday: Sorcerox


A life-long coal miner, Karl Jandacek was caught in a mine collapse. Caught in a pocket, his foot pinned under a rock, Karl watched in horror as some sort of liquid seeped into the cave and began to fill what space he had. It looked like he would drown. But he did not.

Instead, as the strange fluid finally submerged the wounded man, it caused a burning sensation. Karl soon lost consciousness.

When he came to, Karl wasn’t Karl anymore. His body had changed. He looked down at his clawed hands and grey skin from new eyes and noticed that he could see things he could not see before, mystical energy fields that permeated everything around him. And he could affect this energy.

The people on the surace assumed Karl Jandacek had died, but instead he wandered further underground to test his powers. When he dug himself out a year later, he was Sorcerox, a sorcerous monster intending to conquer the world.

To serve him, Sorcerox has created two mystical monsters, Fire-And-Wind and Water-And-Rock. Each with the powers of the elementary materials of which they are made. Fire-And-Wind is a flying flame and Water-And-Rock is a flowing torrent with a stone core. While these are beings of rudimentary intelligence, they have developed a sort of personality. Fire-And-Wind is a reckless, impulsive, angry creature. Water-And-Rock is more patient, more calculating, more cunning. Together, these elemental enforcers make a powerful pair, a threat to the heroes that oppose Sorcerox. The primary line of defense against Sorcerox’s villainous invasion is the wizard dog Wizardog, who makes a point of digging up the villain’s schemes and routing them wherever they turn up.

Okay, behind the scenes stuff: Sorcerox was another one of those unnamed sketches that I found among my files and decided to give a name and a story to. He looks more like something I’d been trying to fit into a more generic (and probably terrible) fantasy story, but I figured he could work in the context of a superhero story just fine. To that end, I tried to give him a more standard supervillain origin (a blue collar worker who has an accident and gains powers is Electro, for example). I didn’t quite nail it, but I like how it turned out well enough.

The two elemental monster things I just drew because, once I’d had the idea, they seemed like they’d be easy to draw (and it is easier than drawing people, even if they aren’t too indicative of their nature). I thought that they’d be henchmen for some mad scientist character, but when I sat down today to write some villains up, it all looked like it fit together.

Canada Pumps Up The Jam! (or, more accurately, water)

We start at a Mennonite community where those wacky Mennonites are at it again! This time they’re building a water pump! What next?!?!? Anyway, from there we go to the year 1980 and some eggheads are trying to build a pump to help out in developing nations. The eggheads can’t figure out a way to make a pump that will function in the hellscape that is Africa, until they realize that using an old-school pump would do pretty well. Some lady, via a translator, says “You Canadians have such modern ideas,” and the Canadian is like “Tell her it’s actually a very old idea.” And then they all laugh, including the woman for whom the remark hasn’t yet been translated. Happy End. Of course, the line “Tell her it’s actually a very old idea” seems like it should be followed up with “but your country is still so backwards that you haven’t caught up yet.” Hilarious!

Quotability: “Light weight, rust proof, so simple you could fix it with a rubber band and a bent nail.” That;s a pretty decent rant that I love in the context of the commercial, but it doesn’t have a lot of use outside of it. “Maybe today’s technology is the problem!” is one that definitely stuck in my brain and, though I haven’t used it in daily life, I definitely could. I’m not sure I even noticed as a kid the repeated line “Water. Lifeblood of a farm.” said in non-English languages. That’s actually kind of a neat touch.

And helping get water to people is a thing I support, so I’m okay with the commercial from that standpoint as well. PDR is a pretty big fan of water. I’m going to go as high as Four and a Half Pieces out of Six of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake. It’s one of the ones that crams a lot in, and it does a good job cramming it.

Patrick’s Poetry Parade: Namor Edition.

People sometimes forget that I am one of the world’s five greatest living poets (and one of the seven greatest dead ones). So here I present to you a Poetry Parade of haiku written about Namor the Sub-Mariner that date from the Contains2 days. All but the first ten of these were on secret pages, so I can even pretend like I’m presenting them for the first time. Here you go:

Top Ten Haikus About Namor
Sunday 03 August 2003:

Wing-fins on his feet
Good swimming abilities
And a green speedo.

Namor cries a lot
How come? He has a sad life.
He likes comfort foods.

King of Atlantis
But never King of the World
Also, not a bride

Eating out one night
Namor ordered some sushi.
Thus he ate his arm.

He’s like Aqua-Shaft.
Or perhaps more like a kind
of Scuba-Rambo.

Namor knows the Hulk
Hulk likes to Call him ‘Fish-Man’
This makes Namor cry.

What do pointy ears
Have to do with living in
the deep blue ocean?

He is bulletproof
But not immune to slander
So watch your fool mouth

He may look like Spock
But Namor is no Vulcan
Vulcans don’t swim good.

The Sub-Mariner.
That’s what they call him up here.
Below sea, they don’t.

Ten More Haikus about Namor!
Sunday 28 September 2003:

Amnesiac Bum
He had a beard and no home
But he got better.

Namor should get SARS.
Then people would talk ’bout him.
Which they should do more.

Atlantis is wet.
The people there are wet too.
They can’t wear suede there.

Namor has villains.
Tiger Shark… Krang… Attuma…
They are all zeroes.

See that fish? The trout.
That trout thinks Namor is dumb.
That makes Namor cry.

Namor don’t like fire.
It makes him dry out. That hurts.
He should moisturize.

Namor’s email is

Aquaman just sucks.
When compared to ol’ Namor.
Or anyone else.

Namor’s hair is black.
His head is flat and stupid.
He should wear a hat.

Do not beat him up.
He lives a hard life as king.
You’d just make it worse.

Another Ten Haikus About Namor
Saturday 08 November 2003:

His name is Namor.
Backwards his name is Roman.
That’s kinda fishy

He can punch so hard
That it shatters walls of stone.
He thinks that is great.

Namor went to Mars.
He met an alien fish.
Didn’t even care.

One time, Namor said:
“I’m gonna conquer the world.”
But he hasn’t yet.

Namor watches golf.
Though he won’t admit to it.
It is his secret.

Atlantis had ghosts.
Namor probably fought them
Or paid them to leave.

He has no fish tail.
Unlike the mermaids of myth.
That makes Namor cry.

Daddy, who is that?
That’s Namor! He is the King.
He ain’t got no class!

During Would War Two
Namor helped fight the Axis.
He knows Nazis suck.

Turtles don’t like him.
They only like shelled heroes.
That makes Namor cry.

Yet Another Ten Haikus about Namor
Saturday 08 November 2003:

In days long ago,
When Namor was but a lad,
He would get beat up.

Say “Suffering Shad!”
A far better catch phrase than
“Imperious Rex!”

He won’t admit it,
But Namor still dries his bed.
How embarrasing.

I’m Biff. I’m real big.
I stole Namor’s lunch money.
Namor then cried hard.

Call her She-Namor!
She also has winged feet.
She’s Namorita!

Would you punch the Hulk?
The King of Atlantis would.
Is he brave or dumb?

“Eat fish for supper.”
Says Namor on the TV.
“Buy from Atlantis.”

Heh. Namor got punched.
Punched right in his stupid face.
That’ll show the jerk.

Who’s Namorita?
Why, a female clone, of course.
Of Namor, that is.

Namor’s bicycle?
He says it is a good one.
But he just plain lies.

More Namor Haikus. Ten of them.
Monday 08 December 2003:

Namor is the King!
His subjects think he is cool.
They are right, of course.

Namor’s feet have wings.
These wings are like fins. Then some.
He can swim and fly.

The Fantastic Four.
Namor has a crush on one.
And it ain’t Ben Grimm.

Sometimes he gets sad.
He misses being a bum.
Namor liked those days.

At a Stones concert.
Namor started a big fight.
He said they were old.

Namor was at home.
In the city, Atlantis.
Pretty boring night.

Dude! Did you hear this?
What? Is it about Namor?
Yeah! He’s got no car!

Rocket Robin-Hood.
He is not Namor at all.
He gets no haiku.

Hulk said “Hey, Fish-Man!”
Namor said “What, you moron?”
Hulk: “I miss my bike.”

Namor in the house
(The house is filled with water)
Now the party starts!

Namor Haikus! Will It Never End?
Tuesday 20 January 2004:

A Mech-Crab cometh!
It’s part of Namor’s army.
It can pinch and hurt.

Namor McKenzie.
Half-human and half fishman.
He don’t wear a shirt.

“Atlantis is home”
Says Namor to his allies.
“But New York has beer.”

Namor got yelled at.
Some guy called him a fascist.
This made Namor cry.

It’s different now.
He yells “Imperious Rex!”
Not “Sufferin’ Shad!”

“Sue Storm is so hot!”
Thought Namor when he saw her.
“Too bad I’m kelp-brained.”

Some fat kid was there.
Namor didn’t know why though.
The kid was just bored.

Namor cut his hand,
One day as he combed his hair.
Cut it on his ear.

Namor likes Haikus.
He writes them about himself.
And puts them online.

It’s an adventure!
Namor is fighting a bear!
Oh, what zany fun!

Did Someone Say Haikus About Namor?
Sunday 11 April 2004:

Flat head, foot wings, butt.
They’re Namor’s ingredients.
Now just add water.

Namor likes a song.
It’s the one called Rock Lobster.
He rocks out to it.

Namor, the Movie.
Starring someone as Namor.
And someone as fish.

I like comic books.
I wonder what Namor likes?
Fish fish fish fish fish.

A homemade “jeep” car.
Namor had one. Was yellow.
Drove it for a while.

Atlantean folk.
That’s the people Namor rules.
They’re subservient.

They’re the Defenders!
Hulk! Namor! Doc Strange! Others…
They’re mostly heroes.

Namor’s a monarch.
But he still can’t afford pants.
That makes Namor cry.

Hey, can you see that?
Looks like Namor McKenzie!
I hear he smells bad.

Namor shows up on the scene.
He does not wear much.

Two Times Five Haikus On The Topic Of Namor
Friday 03 December 2004

Hulk isn’t in town?
The Sub-Mariner will do.
Thus, Namor finds work.

It is Halloween.
Namor wears a Spidey mask.
Spidey goes topless.

“I love your green shorts.
They look hot on your body.
Your fan, Melissa.”

“Water is so great,”
Said young Namor to his mom.
“But it needs more chairs.”

“Invade the surface!
Crush and destroy their buildings!
But don’t punch babies!”

Namor owes Ben cash.
He lost it playing poker
Doesn’t plan to pay.

An amphibian!
Namor uses gills to breathe.
But he breathes air too.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Bulletproof. No suicide.
That makes Namor cry.

Go to Riverdale!
Meet Archie, Betty, Jughead!
But not King Namor!

Holy Mackerel!
Namor doesn’t worship fish.
They don’t worship him.