Thugs and Socky Choppin'

Look out below!  Its Sunday, January 8, 2012, the sky is falling, and this is The Side.  Well, the sky isn't really falling, but my boss was yesterday.  The walkboard he was on went out from under him and dumped him ten feet to the cement below.  He crushed a caulk gun under his foot, which probably broke his foot.  It was one of those orange caulk guns, and for those who haven't seen them, they don't crush very easily.  Scared the hell out of me, but surprisingly, he was up and about and couple minutes later back on the reset walkboard hanging up siding.

Falls happen fast.  I train my students on how to take a fall, and I think every martial arts school should.  I had a ladder go out from under me years ago and hairline fractured my heel.  Still is tender when I hit it just the right way.  I landed feet first on a ladder rung which is what caused it.  They say its not the fall the gets you, its the sudden stop.  Sometimes, the sudden stop is manageable, but that stuff you land on is a bitch.


Got something new and something old for you this week.

THE GOON #37 was on the stands this week.  This issue was very different than your typical GOON  comic. Sure there was a few laughs here and there, but the main subject was no laughing matter, and is actually an excellent gateway to look at a very interesting part of history.  The story itself is about a tragic fire in a factory whose owner is really a greedy bastard.  Its pretty much a sweatshop.  People died, and the survivors form a union to demand better conditions to work in.  The boss gets a bunch of corrupt cops and head busters on his side.  The union ladies get The Goon and Franky to back them.  Mayhem ensues.  There's a really brilliant horror twist at the end.  Now then, I am not a union supporter.  I've had some unpleasant run-ins with union folk in the past.  As they are now, its pretty much a racket, taking money from workers in exchange for protection and using the money for whatever the bosses want.  But let's look at the inspiration for the story, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911.  Heads up, clicking that link will take you to a very good article about the incident, but there are pictures, and they are really disturbing.  If you've got a kid looking over your shoulder, you'll probably want to send them away.  The events in the comic mirror the events of the 1911 fire quite a bit.  Back then there wasn't much regulation of business or real safety standards.  Workers needed unions for protection from exploitation.  And yes, there were thugs and head busters and connections to organized crime.  Back then you had unions really working to look out for workers as opposed to things like the Wisconsin bit where they demonized the Governor.  This comic didn't change my mind about unions at all, but it did make for a fascinating portal to look at a time most people today in America can barely think of. much less relate to.

That was the only book in my pull bag this week so I looked around the old comic bins to see if anything interesting popped up.  Sure enough I found RICHARD DRAGON KUNG-FU FIGHTER #1 from 1975. Richard Dragon has been a character of interest to me for quite a while.  He was one of, if not the, top martial artists in the DCU.  This may have changed with reboot.  I don't even know if he exists in the reboot.  Sure enough, there was his first appearance along with Bronze Tiger alias Ben Turner, who is referred to as Ben Stanley in the comic.  Not sure why the name was changed.  The book opened up with an ad featuring Batman and Robin stopping a mummy with Twinkies.  I'm pretty sure they could market Bat-Twinkies now and they would sell like hotcakes.  On to the comic itself.  We see how Richard Dragon seems Ben and the O-sensei.  His training is kind of glossed over and the story fast forwards to Richard and Ben leaving the sensei to go work for a clandestine operation that send them to take on slavers in the Sudan.  The art is classic stuff from Denny O'Neil, although he's working under the nom de plume Jim Dennis here.  There's a fun fictitious biography of "Jim Dennis" in the back of the book.  Now, you'll have to forgive me, because I'm horribly biased when it comes to martial arts.  I like accuracy.  The comic is called "Kung-Fu Fighter", but there's no Kung-Fu in the story.  There's no mention of Kung-Fu in the story.  They use a ton of Japanese Martial arts.  They have a sensei and not a sifu.  So, of course, I'm wailing and gnashing my teeth. The O-sesnsei is supposed to be an elite martial artist and teaches Richard and Ben everything he can in six years.  Yes, I did actually facepalm at that one.  Still, its a fun book, and you get to see two of the old DCU's top fighters back in the day.  As much as I griped about technical stuff in the book, it was still pretty cool to get my hands on it.


Tune from a 90s one hit wonder.  I dug it, and it still gets a bit of airplay around here.  No, I'm not saying my boss hit the ground like a cannonball either.

That'll do it for me this go around.  Going to go kick off this month G+ Grand Prix.  See y'all Wednesday.

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