Tom King Gave Away Comics to Furloughed Federal Workers!

Tom King Gave Away Comics to Furloughed Federal Workers!

I think it is stupid. I write comics about superheroes, and no superhero would be doing what the President is doing.

Tom King

The United States federal government is still in the midst of a partial shutdown. Over 800,000 federal employees, across multiple agencies and departments, are in some state of either on furlough or being required to work without pay. Today, Tom King, comic writer and former federal employee, tried to bring a little bit of happiness to some of the people affected.

At Third Eye Comics in Annapolis. MD, an in-store signing was quickly set up this week, and as emails and social media posts went out, the word spread that Tom King, current writer of Batman by DC Comics, would be signing comics today, Saturday, January 19th. In addition to signing whatever amount of comics that people brought, King announced that he would be giving away comics books from his own collection to anyone with a federal ID badge. At midday on Wednesday, January 16, the first Facebook post came out about this event. After all the tweets, retweets, facebook shares, and emails, the event was a rousing success with hundreds of people attending and at least three news organizations to cover it.

Steve from Third Eye Comics told us. “This was all Tom. He called us and said, ‘I want to come out and do something.’ We have a lot of customers and employees who are affected by this shutdown, and so we were all for it.”

Continue reading “Tom King Gave Away Comics to Furloughed Federal Workers!”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold

The headline states “Steve King’s Not The Problem.” He’s not. He is a problem, but not the problem.

Oh, sure, the Republican Party removed him from all his committees so, in effect, he can only wander the halls of Congress rattling chains like the Ghost of Racists Past. This is the Congressional equivalent of gelding, and in a democracy perhaps the punishment fits the crime. But off the top of my air-conditioned head, I can think of two bigger problems.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #020: Yeah. Just Another Brick, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #020: Yeah. Just Another Brick, by Mike Gold

Tuesday night His Petulance delivered an over-rehearsed message to America about the need to build his wall. This time it’s not only to halt the terrorists that haven’t been coming in on foot over the border, it’s also to halt the heroin traffic that the refugees haven’t been bringing into the United States.

For his effort, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he received a 28.1 household rating. This was according to the overnight numbers generated by ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN and Fox News – but not MSNBC. Conventional wisdom has it that MSNBC isn’t His Petulance’s best audience anyway.

His lies immediately were followed by a response from Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer. Broadcast-wise, neither would have done well in the Kennedy-Nixon Debate. Both looked very, very tired, as if to say “Crap, we’ve still got to be polite?”

Nonetheless, the Democratic Party rebuttal outperformed His Petulance, receiving a 29.3 overnight rating from these same venues. And conventional wisdom has it the uncounted MSNBC audience is more likely to be sympathetic to the Pelosi-Schumer less-than-Dynamic Duo.

Jeez. How many popular votes can the Donald lose before he realizes on his best day he’s an also-ran?  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #020: Yeah. Just Another Brick, by Mike Gold”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #019: My Bed Is Getting Crowded, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #019: My Bed Is Getting Crowded, by Mike Gold

As I often say, the last two weeks of the year is the most boring time of the 52 weeks Pope Gregory XIII granted us. Nothing happens, and outside of maybe some parties there’s nothing much to do. Even with 666 teevee channels – plus streamers  – there’s nothing to watch. I’m amazed the birthrate doesn’t take a preposterous leap every Labor Day, and not simply to actualize the pun.

This void particularly annoys the 24-hour, broadcast, print, and ether news operations. Simply put, outside of a bunch of redundant and now-boring tweets, there’s no news to be dished out in Greater Newsland. Seeing as how the phrase “nature abhors a vacuum” has become a commercial dictum, the media need to surround their public service advertising and football promos with something and, really, making stuff up is harder to do than covering a flower show.

So we in the media (and, yes, this is part of the media – and so are you) do the next best thing: we direct our attention to the babblings of pundits who will pull predictions out of their asses and then make negative comments about those very utterances. Hypocrisy is just another word for short attention span.

This year, the theme is “look at how many Democrats are running for president!!!” Let’s ignore the fact that, technically, there are no announced candidates for the 2020 presidential ballot. Let’s also ignore the fact that the only race right now is for campaign contributions and the millions a candidate can raise from the Legion of Fatcats not only inures to their benefit but also keeps said loot out of the hands of their potential opponents. It’s that simple. Most polls put most likely candidates in single-digits, but that is meaningless. The potential candidate only wants to make his or her name recognizable to said fatcats. If these wannabes can’t raise enough money, they won’t declare their candidacy. Well, not without Vlad Putin’s help.

The waning weeks of 2018 also showed us the media think (without a uni-mind, contrary to the babblings of the professionally paranoid) America is fed up with the current Petulance-in-Chief so they consider these alternatives as saviors. Of course, as saviors none of these people can possibly measure up, and thus the media has something else to bitch about. As Don Henley sang before Mojo Nixon had him killed, “We can do ‘The Innuendo’ / We can dance and sing / When it’s said and done / We haven’t told you a thing.” So we’re grasping at straws – and, then, at straw polls.

Maybe there are something like two-dozen members of the Democratic Party who are dancing the Election Shuffle. In fact, I think that number is but a fraction of those who are really thinking it over. What of it? Is this news? Is this a surprise? Is this… anything?

No. It is not. The first primaries are in a bit over a year – the Iowa Caucuses are set for February 3 2020, there will be at least three more that month that month, and Super-Tuesday is set for March 3rd. That will involve interested voters in Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #019: My Bed Is Getting Crowded, by Mike Gold”

Working Title #014: Welcome to 2019

Working Title #014: Welcome to 2019

So. New Year’s Day. Happy 2019. Traditionally, a time to look backwards and forwards, see where we’ve been, take a guess where we’re headed.

I wish I could say I was optimistic about the future but I’m not. I’m going to hit 70 this year; cranky old man time. Not, I think, unwarranted.

Let me state my prejudices upfront; I’m a Democrat, a liberal, and I despise Trump. I thought he was a joke the first time he ran for President and now I think he’s a disaster. He’s a narcissist and a liar; he must think we’re fools because we can fact check a lot of the lies. They’re on video. He doesn’t care. He lies, lies some more, and double downs on the lies. He is racist, homophobic, misogynistic and delusional. As the old gag goes, “And those are his good points.”

His presidency is going to do a lasting damage to this country. While I think there’s a fair chance the Democrats in the House will impeach him, I think there’s little chance the Republicans in the Senate will convict him. Unless he ups and quits or just drops dead, Trump will be in the White House, continuing his mischief, until at least 2020.

And I don’t think the damage can be undone.  Continue reading “Working Title #014: Welcome to 2019”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #018: Auld Lang Syne and The Draught of Good Will

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #018: Auld Lang Syne and The Draught of Good Will

I really didn’t want to do another Trump column. Honest. I mean, by now everybody knows what he is – please feel free to hum along to the theme to “The Emperor’s New Clothes” – and what you see is what you get. It’s up to you to decide the worthiness of his junk.

Assuming you can find it.

But this is Thursday, December 27th. The last Weird Scenes of the year. Seeing as how this is supposed to be a politically-themed column, we are reminded there was only one story in 2018. Oh, there was a lot of news, but no one has so completely dominated the national discourse more than our Petulance-In-Chief. Ever. Not even Hitler, despite Mel Brooks’ best efforts. Compared to the Donald, the Adolf was an also-ran.

This makes His Petulance seem all the more goofy. His constant support from and of the greater definition of the American Nazi party lessens him.

But we’re on the dawn of a new era. One week from today, the opposition party takes command of the House of Representatives and – if you’re into irony, this is a humdinger – Nancy Pelosi takes over from The Invisible Man as leader. Heh heh heh. She’ll drive His Petulance crazy. She’ll drive his supporters, the unaroused rabble, out of their minds. Being a Trump supporter requires you to murder your sense of irony: when the Idiot Right starts screaming about how it’s the Democratic Party that is holding up legislation, these fools just won’t get it.

That’s so adorable.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #018: Auld Lang Syne and The Draught of Good Will”

Working Title #007: Today’s the day!

Working Title #007: Today’s the day!

Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote

Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote

Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote

Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote!

You get the idea.

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!

Good news, potheads! You no longer have to drive down to Uruguay to hang out in a nation where your recreational smoking predilections won’t get you thrown in prison.

Yesterday’s Toronto Star gave us the news. Recreational cannabis is now legal north of the border. “As Canada stops treating cannabis as a ‘social evil,’ police look to ‘culture change’ in enforcement.” Their coverage of the event went on to discuss expedited pardons for pot possessors, a province-by-province breakdown of the price of weed, and photos of normal, average everyday Canadians standing in long lines at their newly opened weed shops as though they enjoyed waiting for that first iPhone a decade ago.

And, from the looks of the crowd, I’m sure many did.

Yesterday, cartoonist/storyteller Erik Larsen scored one of the biggest (probably unintentional) public relations victories in comics. The 239th issue of Savage Dragon (full disclosure: it’s one of my absolute favorite comics, for reasons I’ll probably explain in an upcoming Brainiac On Banjo column) went on sale the same day Canadian weed went legal. The lead character, his wife and children, and some members of the supporting cast relocated to the Great White North last year. Toronto, to be exact, which happens to be my favorite city in North America. I identify with, and am jealous of, any Chicagoan who moves to Toronto. Will the Savage Dragon mellow out and become the Magic Dragon?  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #015: “Oh, Little Girl, Cathartic Reaction”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #015: “Oh, Little Girl, Cathartic Reaction”

Hey! Guess what? We just finished the Second American Revolution! No kidding! The bad news is, we lost. The America we were taught in school, to the extent it was ever around, is now completely gone. Maybe forever, if you don’t do something about it.

Warning To The Public: The next person who tells me they’re not going to vote because “all politicians are the same” is going to get punched square in the jaw. And the next person who says people of conscience should not step up to the plate because they risk “energizing Trump’s base” is going to get punched square in the jaw as well.

Do you know how embarrassing it would be to get punched out by a geriatric cripple? Some asshole might find out. But, to be fair, I will respect my victim for having the courage to confront me directly, as opposed to the millions of spineless cowards who lack the courage of their National Socialist convictions by hiding behind the internet’s anonymity as they try to shove their monstrous gibberish down the throats of people with reason.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #015: “Oh, Little Girl, Cathartic Reaction””

Working Title #004: The Doctor and the Judge

Working Title #004: The Doctor and the Judge

Two big events occurred last weekend: Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court judge and the first woman to play Doctor Who (Jodie Whitaker) debuted. One event delighted me and the other appalled me. Can you guess which was which?

There is something that connects the two. Bear with me.

I’m a LONG time fan of the British SF show and this weekend the new season debuted on BBC America (and, indeed, around the globe). Lots of new things – new companions, new composer, new showrunner and chief writer (Chris Chibnall) and, most importantly, a new Doctor. Now, for those of you benighted souls who may not be aware, the show has had a very long run because of a very clever concept. The main character, the Doctor, is an alien, and every so often the Doctor’s body regenerates into a wholly new one with a completely different persona and this has kept the show fresh. This time, the Doctor also changed sex and became a woman, played delightfully by Jodie Whittaker.

Capsule review: I was very pleased. The show had mystery, suspense, humor, darkness, death and a sense of freshness. Mr. Chibnall’s script had a different feel than former showrunner Stephen Moffat that was very welcome and Ms. Whitaker makes a wonderful Doctor.

Not everyone will agree. How do I know? Because some fans were opposed from the moment she was announced, some going so far as to say they will never watch it. This is not altogether unusual; every time someone new steps into the TARDIS, a certain percentage of the fans voice their displeasure and/or anger and vow never to watch it again (their loss).

There was an undercurrent, however, to Ms. Whitaker’s selection and sometimes that current was not so under. It came down to her gender. A certain percentage of that certain percentage of fans said that the Doctor couldn’t be a GIRL. Eeeeuuuhhh!  Continue reading “Working Title #004: The Doctor and the Judge”