Adios Mikey!

The death of Michael Jackson has rocked Duck and Cover Studios. We haven't had a site update for a while. Chris is having a hard time drawing while wearing the white glove. I've been trying to be like Mike, and injecting hard-core pain killers isn't too good for my creative process. Still it's a shame such a tragic accident happened to such a well-known person.

Or was it an accident....

That's right, boys and girls, it's time:

5: He figured out he was worth more dead than alive. Faking his own death is actually the least controversial thing he's done in the past ten years.

4: He's to be cremated and all the melted plastic plastic from his surgeries will be used to make toys so little boys can play with him for a change.

3: The autopsy revealed that he and Latoya were really the same person.

2: President/Pop Star Obama had Jackson assassinated so that he could be the new "King of Pop".

1: The surviving Beatles had had enough. Michael could Say Say Say all he wanted, but it was much too late. Paul McCartney is not one to be trifled with.

Back from the mountain

The trip was light on training. Although I did take the time to break a few bricks. Yes, with my hand.

Watched television. I'm horribly disappointed that Asuka was let go from So You Think You Can Dance. I've also determined that Bully Beatdown is the most fun I've ever had watching MTV.

Saw about a dozen rabbits, a few groundhogs and a bunch of deer. All of these were in my dad's yard. The peace and quiet was disrupted briefly by dad's neighbor lowering the boom on a snake with a pistol. Sure hope the snake wasn't endangered.

Bring it on, hippies!

First off, while I'm not a fan of our Pop-Star-in-Chief I have to say I'm firmly behind his stance on fly swatting and think that little buzzing bastard had it comin'. PETA does not agree. That's right, in yet another move to utterly destroy their own creditability, the Pea-brains Embarrassing Tidewater Area have expressed their outrage over the President swatting a fly. This further cements the public perception that they are all a bunch of morons. So nice when the public gets it right. Keep in mind I say this while living about a fifteen minute drive from their national headquarters and still deny any and all claims that I had anything to do with pelting their building with raw hamburger.

So, why am I bringing this up? It's because of a chat I had with my neighbor today. He had spotted a snake near my year and wanted to give me a heads up. He had a similar problem with a rattlesnake which had decided to park itself on his porch. Said snake met a grizzly demise via a large spade. No problem, except his son in law works for animal control and told him he could get in trouble for this.

That rattlesnake was an endangered species.

ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME? You want to see a rattlesnake endangered? Have him slither his scaly ass into my yard! It's a rattlesnake. How on earth can them being endangered be seen as being a bad thing? Have you ever met anyone who has said "You know, the world really needs more rattlesnakes"? No, you haven't.

It used to be so simple. I grew up in snake country. We had rattlers, copperheads, moccasins, cottonmouths and every so often a coral snake or two. And the rules of engagement were simple: see the snake, kill the snake. We achieved this in a variety of manners: garden hoes, shovels, yawn darts, firearms, weed-whackers and once with an acid loaded shrapnel bomb. Our biggest kill was a six foot long moccasin. The biggest kill in my old stompin' ground was a cottonmouth my buddy took out workin' pest control, twelve feet long. That's a lot of snake. And the other wildlife benefited from our efforts. Had a copperhead try to get Jason, but he sliced it in half with the weed-whacker. The frog it had recently consumed made it's escape, and is officially the luckiest amphibian I've even encountered.

The snakes were the reason we had outdoor cats. The cats would kill the moles and field mice near the house. Those are what the snakes ate, and since there was no food near the house, they had little reason to come around. Sure our moms would freak out when the cats would leave the dead vermin on our doorsteps as tribute and proof of them pulling they're weight in the household. We understood and applauded they're efforts. It was a bit much when Winston the Cat decapitated a rabbit and left it on the doorstep, but we overlooked this since he was handy in the killing department and in scaring the crap out of The Scorer by suddenly appearing in the window when we were drunk and watching X-Files.

Snakes have been an unpleasant part of my existence since childhood. So, screw 'em. I'm with Doctor Jones on this one.

Lost to Chaos: the F.A.Q.

What is this?

This is a NIGHT LIFE story that will be told on Twitter. It will mainly prose driven with supplemental artwork by Kat Hogan. It will begin July 18, 2009 and conclude August 9th, the weekend of the Chicago Comic-Com. The story will take place in pseudo-real time. It will be a mystery story with some horror elements.

What is "pseudo-real time"?

The story will follow NIGHT LIFE cast member Phil Escobar and the Twitter is set up to be his account. Readers will be getting updates as to what Phil is doing as he investigates the mystery. When Phil finds clues, he will post them. I will not be making updates between midnight and seven AM EST. I know some people have Twitter set up so that new 'tweets' appear as text messages on their phones. No one likes a text message at three in the morning.

I don't have Twitter. How do I read this?

Twitter is completely free and pretty painless to set up. You can create an account and set it up to follow the story at "". Once it's over it's a simple matter of deactivating the account. You don't even have to post anything on the account. Once you log in any updates made will appear.

How would this story be rated?

I'd say PG-13. I'm not planning on using a lot of profanity, but it is a police mystery and some of the imagery won't be for children. Basically, if you're OK watching shows like CSI, you're fine.

Why should I follow this?

This is summer reading for people who don't really like summer reading. The updates will be short and to the point, making it easy for readers to keep up with the story.

Do I have to read the webcomic or any of the short stories?

Absolutely not, but it would be nice if you did. Phil Escobar is currently appearing in the webcomic so you can see him a bit before the event. This story is completely self contained, but it's also in the NIGHT LIFE continuity.

The story is wrapping up the weekend of the Chicago Comic-con. Coincidence?

I think not! Chris Johnson and I will be in the Artist's Alley at the convention. If you find us and have the correct solution to the mystery I'll have some prizes while they last.

Why on Earth are you doing this?

Because it just might turn out really freakin' cool. That's plenty of reason.

Under siege!

Got a little slip of paper slipped into the handle of my screen door this week. It was yellow, so I knew to be warned. It let me know that crime is on the rise in my neighborhood. There is only one course of action:


That's right, it's time for the NWA (Neighborhood Watch Association) to kick some ass and take some names. We are planning on patrolling our beloved streets to help take a bite out of crime. As you read this we are getting a golf cart to help facilitate this. This way we don't have to walk. Walking sucks. Also it will be pretty cool to have a golf cart with a gun turret.

John's breaking out the AR-15 and his night vision goggles. Darren's gonna let us use his German Shepherd. The little bastards already think twice about coming onto our court. Last time any of them tried a break in he ended up zip tied in John's garage with a case of the soggy trousers.

This isn't an excuse to beat up teenagers. Honest.

My dance pick

So You Think You Can Dance is down to their top 20 and we're in the stage where the viewers vote. All the performances last night were incredible. This competition is completely up for grabs. No one stands out because every competitor is absolutely amazing.

Phil will do well because he already has a following.

My pick is Evan, the Broadway dancer.

Last year I was able to pick the winner, Joshua, during the tryout phase. Let's see how I do this time.

Under a bridge, craving goats.

"Trolling" is the practice of being obnoxious on internet forums for the sole purpose of drawing attention to one's self. Often this is a negative thing. Someone posts something outlandish just to get a reaction from the other people using the forum. Well I've given it a go.

So, why am I doing something which is often looked upon as being bad behavior? Well, sometimes behaving badly is just fun. And this bad behavior is fine as long as I don't get vindictive. Everyone on the thread I linked above gets the joke, except for one guy. It's kind of sad that anyone could possibly not recognize the dripping sarcasm.

I enjoy trolling but, unlike the usual troll, I do it to create an entertaining spectacle. Life has a tendency to suck and I enjoy entertaining folks. I do it by telling jokes, telling stories and sometimes just acting like a nut if only to get someone who is having a crappy day or is horribly bored to crack a smile.

Sometimes playing the foll is worthwhile, and quite a bit of fun.

Batman is back to being interesting

BATMAN AND ROBIN #1 came out this week marking the return of cool stuff going on in the Bat-corner of the DCU. Kudos to Tony Daniels for BATTLE FOR THE COWL. I wasn't really into it, but I'll give the guy props for trying. I think Daniels could develop into a good writer if he keeps at it. BftC was a decent start.

I'm excited to be a batman fan again. Grant Morrison is hit the ground running with Frank Quietly and turned out a great comic. I find myself wanting more.

I'll be getting more next month, but in the meantime I get to enjoy Greg Rucka over on DETECTIVE COMICS. Judd Winick will be writing BATMAN and while my enjoyment of his work has waxed and wailed over the years, I'm hopeful. I want to see Winick up his game to keep up with Morrison and Rucka. I think he can do it. Time will tell. We also have Paul Dini doing a couple of new titles based in Gotham.

While I'm horribly disappointed with much of what's been going on with DC Comics, I have to give them props on how they're handling their "Big 3". The Superman books have been absolutely Stellar with Rucka and Robinson knocking it right out of the park at every turn. Gail Simone is doing wonderful stuff on WONDER WOMAN. Now, the Gotham Idol bit is over and we've got good Bat books coming our way again.

For a while I was not really enjoying my comics. Now, I have reason to be excited to go to Comic Kings on Wednesday.

You're way too into the Joker: TOP TEN!

I've recently been into discussions about people who love the Joker. I'm talking about the fan-fiction writin', squishy dream havin', "I can give him what Harley Quinn doesn't" love the Joker. Frankly, these people are off their nuts, and here's the top ten ways to spot them.

10: Has seen THE DARK KNIGHT more times since it came out than their family.

9: Has a poster of Heath Ledger as the Joker... on the ceiling over their bed.

8: Finds the response "Why so serious?" to be a perfectly acceptable reply and not a reason to be smacked upside the head.

7: Has used the above response repeatedly despite being smacked upside the head repeatedly.

6: Thinks women in abusive relationships really need help, unless they wear grease paint and red and black spandex. Then they're the luckiest girl at the ball.

5: Thinks the emo boys are doing they're make-up way wrong.

4: Waxes poetic about the deep philosophical meaning behind the actions of a fictitious character who kills people with whoopie cushions.

3: Thinks purple is the new black.

2: Has a Joker shirt for every day of the week, yet can't find a thing to wear for that job interview.

and our number one way to spot that someone is WAY too into the the Joker.....

1: Has called their significant other the wrong name in the sack. That wrong name being: "Mistah J".

I don't have time, and I'm not in the mood.

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd look back at the birthday I spent in a chemically induced coma as one of the good one. I've had it. I'm done. No more birthdays. I truly loath this time of year.

Maybe I feel self conscious having 'happy birthday' sung to me. Maybe being told it's "my day" sounds conceded even to my massive ego. Maybe it's because the most famous person I share my birthday with is the Marque De Sade. Or maybe it just seems like I get targeted by whirlwind of misery about this time of year.

Now, I've already had a very dear friend wish me a happy birthday. I know my mom bought me a cake. I'm told it's very good too since she and my brother's family had some after I had to leave what was to be my pseudo-surprise party early. My dad and step-mom sent me a card I'm told, and it's probably in my mailbox right now. Guess I'm going to have to check my mail. I'm sure I'll get around to it. Eventually. Anyways, to all the people who wish me well on my accomplishment of surviving another year: thank you. Now please carry on about your business.

My sister-in-law once theorized that it's my not wanting to get older is the reason I don't like my birthday. Absolutely not true. In fact, I revel in the fact that every day I'm just a little closer to being a horrible old man. Sometimes I even go out and practice yelling at small children to get off my yawn. I even have a cane picked out. It doubles at a blowgun so that any little weasel who don't get off my lawn will find themselves punctured. In the eventuality that I lack the lung power, I plan to invest in a paintball gun so as to mark the little bastards. Children run fast and I do not. Those welts stick around for a while so I'll find them eventually.

I'm not aging gracefully. Grey hairs, wrinkles, scars. I look like ten miles of bad road. My knees pop all the time. I can still put my foot upside someone's head, but now I've got to stretch first. I can barely have one beer without feeling sick. Years of self abuse are starting to catch up with me.

However, the trade is wisdom. They tell me this. Then they tell me everything I'm doing wrong. They know who they are. Screw they. I'm just as much of an idiot as I was in high school. The difference is now I have much better stories. Much of them rooted in idiocy.

So another birthday is upon me. I'm having a week that is about as enjoyable as electro-shock therapy, so no, I won't be doing anything to celebrate this so called 'event'. There's things to do. Plots to plot. Events to plan.

The future is not going to lay down at feet, and I'm not getting any younger.