20 July 2018

Music By 88 Fingers Louie (Him, Not Them)

We're not talking comics or movies or culture this time - it's all personal rambling.
Fair warning that you may choose to step out now and look for a more entertaining way to pass the time elsewhere.
Well, all right...  just one picture appropriate to our post -


Moving right along...

Here's a Freebie answer on the 20 July Commemorative Crossword puzzle from the previous post.

25 Across:
Today in 2017, ______ went live with the first meandering ramble and a painting of the Composite Stan Lee. (four words)

Answer:
The Voice Of ODD! (Exclamation point not used in puzzle answer, but wth)

Yep - Happy Anniversary me!

Astoundingly, it's been a year of fairly consistent posting. I wouldn't have put money on it lasting 10 weeks at the outset. Two primary factors converged to create this ongoing result - Therapy and Kirby.

Kirby first. (ALWAYS, Kirby first.)
As you may well know, Jack Kirby's birthday is next month. Shortly after launching The Voice Of ODD!, the realization that the upcoming birthday would be his centennial slapped me upside the head. Jack was a formative influence in my life, and while contemplating how to celebrate the occasion, the King Kirby 100 was born. One hundred posts on The King over the month of August. That's about 3 1/3 posts each and every day. And, as much as possible, i wanted to avoid little posts highlighting only a single drawing or that sort of thing.

That means that, thanks to Jack Kirby, only ten days after launching the blog i had to develop an obsessive work rhythm and gathering/sorting/indexing habits to match if i had any hope of completing the project.
Had it been anything else, there is a very substantial chance that this blog wouldn't be here any longer. But it was Jack. Not finishing would feel like dishonoring him. I couldn't do that. By the end of the KK100, the work habits were fairly well ingrained and sorting directories began to fill with material for use and reference. Old contacts and curators were reconnected, and access restored to archives i hadn't visited in seeming ages.

And so the method and means were at hand to continue.
But means and method yet require will to drive them, so now we get to Therapy.

No, i'm not in therapy, despite what some of you may be hoping.
Rather, i'm self aware enough to create my own therapies to address some personal shortcomings. (Others i heartily embrace) Regulars know that i am, by nature, what i refer to as a Hermit, though technically/objectively speaking, it's a degree of sociopathy and alienation mixing in happy combination.

A year prior to launching this blog, i became aware of my self-imposed isolation reaching a point of diminishing returns, with incremental negative effects beginning to weigh heavily on the postive benefits. And so a re-connection began, reaching out to many whom i'd not seen or heard from in years. Sparks were good, and it was generally pleasing all around.

It was soft connections, of course. Since i live without a telephone and have no use for social media, i'm simply not directly a part of their world. But still, it was nice to have them there.
And when the isolation turned inwardly destructive, i needed a connection to the outside world. About that time, Snell's 10th Anniversary over at Slay, Monstrobot Of The Deep! was coming up. In the '90s and early in this century, i sometimes existed more in cyberspace than the physical realm. Now (then) both had deteriorated to near non-existence. While a large part is happy with the Being that comes with that Nothingness, i was raised, in part, as a mystic.

Oddly enough, in his comics Dr. Strange (probably Englehardt) once verbalized the first rule for mystics:
For the Physician, he said, it's Heal Thyself. For the Mystic, it's Know Thyself.
(Yeah, that's not the first rule of the physician - that's not what i said, don't get sidetracked)

To Know Thyself. That's not something easily done from within.
Sitting in your living room and looking out the window, all might look fine. But from there, one can't see the shingles pulling loose on the roof, the roots growing through the cement, or any of the myriad of problems which exist. So, one needs must get outside of the house to see and understand it, and one learns to do so. When stepping outside myself to take in the view, i found some very disturbing fractures in the foundation and supports. We often tend to focus on what we're doing and building now, without thought of what we're building upon. Things are going great - everything's looking good as we progress up here without realizing it's crumbling way down there. With the view came the understanding that i needed to establish some ongoing connection with the outside world.

That realization timed with a favorite comic blog's anniversary impelled one hand to create this blog while the other reached out to those with whom i'd connected, and informed them of the blog as well. One hand was largely successful, the other ... not so much. If no one is there when i need them, no need to bother them.

So focus shifted more to the blog. While the connection is more one-way, the mental/spiritual benefits are still quite real and, over time, evidently manifest. While i may often seem rather misanthropic from my comments, that's not really the case. I may disdain herd mentality, and be unable to twist and blinker myself to conform/comply with social expectations, but at the core i have a deep love for Humans. It's spackled over at times with hurt and anger that comes with watching an adolescent society acting as adolescents will. One is always left wondering if they'll survive to adulthood.

If one wanted to be cynical, we could even apply what's often called Sturgeon's Law - 98% of Everything is crap.
Oh, but that remaining 2% can be glorious.

Aa-a-and - I might be rambling...
Where was this going?

Hmm... Comments and feedback? That's good social contact, and i do quite enjoy that. (Hi, Everybody!) But the connection i'm referring to is more internal. A sense of connection to the outer world rather than ongoing interaction. With the blog, i find myself writing not just to today, but to the visitors from the future who may find the blog years from now. The biggest single source of traffic to the site is search engines; people out there looking for one odd thing who stumble in and find this place. That's good. That sense of connection is perceivable into the future - connecting now with those yet to come.

That internal sense of connection is global as well. About 2/3 of the site's visitors come from the USA. The other third is wide-spread. Looking at the top posts over at the right, one was pushed to the top by visitors from the Ukraine, one by visitors from Spain, and one by visitors from Facebook. (That's a more foreign land to me than the other two). Top sources of traffic to this site are Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. There have been others in the top, but the site data only records top ten for the day, week, month, and all time. Others were lost to fluctuations and time. I had thought about including a traffic map at the bottom showing locations of visitors, but i'm loathe to add another tracker to the site merely for personal curiosity.

Anyway, that internal sense of connection proved a good thing for my own mental/emotional/spiritual stability, and so we have Will to drive the Method and Means. Who knew there would be a third crucial reason to continue?

For a long time, i've dealt with mental deterioration - a couple of decades now. It picked up earlier in this decade after incidents with pulmonary embolisms left me running at savagely reduced oxygen levels in my system, complicating already present issues with breakdowns of already atypical neural structures. The  left/right interconnections that served so well over my life were burning up. While i still function at a high level, generally speaking, the deterioration is very evident to me. Even little things, like typing and how many corrections i must make now compared to only a few years back. Not to mention the long breaks as my mind wanders away from what i'm doing at the time.

The work on this blog has become a healthy exercise to maintain neural function. It forces me to focus and to keep things working up in the attic which might otherwise fall into disuse and decay. It would be so terribly easy to just slide into viewer zombie state and let those rooms go dark. So let's not do that.

That being the case, this time i suspect The Voice Of ODD! might actually hang around a while, rather than be abandoned within weeks, as seemed likely last year. I'll probably be going back to review my original goals, and perhaps tweaking a few things along the way. The original plan was for less comics, but after a month of Jack Kirby, comics became deeply ingrained in the site's DNA and they're likely to stay the major focus.

I'd planned regular soapbox columns when starting out. Basically just venting opportunities for the old geezer, y'know? Maybe we'll add a regular Hermit/Old Man  Rant  Cultural Observations feature this year. Maybe we'll get around to that piece on what went wrong to cause the dark Elseworld in which the DC movies exist. (The Kents - it was the Kents) I'd definitely like to get to talking about more movies, old and new (Accion Mutante, Zotz!, Black Lightning, The Power, Endhiran, House On Bare Mountain, Zeiram, Buba-Hotep, Kung Fury... and endless adaptations of Journey To The West (Including the most epic use of Buddha's Palm ever) are all sitting in the blog pile, along with dozens of others.)

Who knows? If i'm feeling particularly inspired and insane (it'll take both), we might even think about starting a running comic on the blog. (Perhaps returning to Mad Science! with Dr. Nick?) Or perhaps an ongoing artwork feature, just to force myself to do some. (You'll have to suffer, but it might be good for me)

Beyond every reason meandered through above, i simply like sharing the odd things i find in my digging through the past. Whatever happens in the times ahead, it's been good this year, and amazing that it's been a year. I hope you've enjoyed bits here and there, and thanks for visiting!

That sounded Human, did it not?

Dancing Anniversary Monkeys by -3- (2018)

Friday Fun & Games - 20 July Commemorative Crossword

It's Friday! That means, of course, it's once again time for Friday Fun & Games -


Today is a special Friday, with a special puzzle to commemorate the occasion. 33 clues all pertaining to things that happened on 20 July:


Across

  1. Today in 1822, this monk with a thing for plants was born. (two words)
  2. Today in 1930, the temperature peaked at 106°F in this capital. (Today's predicted high: 86°F) (three words)
  3. Today in 1977, the CIA was forced to release documents regarding the infamous ______ mind control program. (three words)
  4. Today in 1864, in Atlanta the battle of this famous creek was fought.
  5. Today in 2003, ______ doing commercial work in India by new law began wearing night reflectors to avoid auto accidents.
  6. Today in 1947, ______ was born down south and started looking for a guitar. (two words)
  7. Today in 1932, comics creator Richard Joseph ______ was born.
  8. Today in 1994, ______ publicly offered a half million dollars for an alibi. (three words)
  9. Today in 2005, ______ became the 4th country to legalize same-sex marriage.
  10. Today in 1973, ______ died and a thousand conspiracies and legends were born. (two words)
  11. Today in 1847, Comet Brorsen-Metcalf was discovered by the German astronomer, ______.
  12. Today in 1969, ______ Jr. was the second man to walk on the moon. (two words)
  13. Today in 2017, ______ went live with the first meandering ramble and a painting of the Composite Stan Lee. (four words)
  14. Today in 1983, the French government detonated an atomic bomb at ______ Atoll.
  15. Today in 1921, US Congresswoman ______ becomes the first female to preside over the floor of the House Of Representatives. (three words)
  16. Today in 1968, ______ became the first Heavy Metal band to have a song on the charts. (two words)
  17. Today in 1940, Billboard Magazine published their first Singles Record Chart, with this singer in the #1 position. ( two words)
  18. Today in 1942, the first detachment of the Women's Army Auxilary Corps entered basic training at ______. (three words)
  19. Today in 1968, Jane Asher broke up with him on live television. (two words)

Down

  1. Today in 1917, #258 was the first drawn for the ______. (two words)
  2. Today in 1940, California opened its first freeway, the ______. (three words)
  3. Today in 1938, this Dame most famous for her M. Appeal was born. (two words)
  4. Today in 1923, _____ was assassinated in Chihuahua. (two words)
  5. Today in 1911, Pioneering Filipino comic artist ______, affectionately known as 'Mang Pepe', was born.
  6. Today in 1985, treasure hunters struck a $400 million payday from the sunken Spanish galleon ______. (four words)
  7. Today at 10:10am, Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog reunion is scheduled at the San Diego Comic Con in this room. (two words)
  8. Today in 1712, Great Britain was read ______. (three words)
  9. Today in 1976, ______ landed on Mars (two words)
  10. Today in 1935, NBC premiered the G-Men radio program, later renamed ______.
  11. Today in 1977, i attended my first San Diego Comic Con at the ______. (three words)
  12. Today in 1973, Congress reaffirmed their Constitutionally exclusive power to declare war by re-limiting the President's ability to do so with the ______. (three words)
  13. Today in 1810, ______ declared independence from Spain.
  14. Today in 1878, the first ______ in Hawaii commenced operation.
 As usual, the puzzle answers will be provided in tomorrow's Saturday Solutions.
The reason for today's puzzle is hidden within the puzzle, and we'll elaborate later. See you then.

all art & puzzle by -3- (2013-2018)

19 July 2018

T To Frelling Z - It's Over!

At long last, we come to the conclusion of today's serialized 1940s comics Funny Animalphabet -

T:

Tabby

Taxicab Toby

Teddy Bear

The 3 Mouseketeers
(Yep - back in '47, long before the Disney mice & co claimed the name. Art by Ron Santi)

The Cub Reporter

The Dodo and The Frog
(This was a long running strip - what was the reasoning that led to this odd pairing?)

The HepCats

The Raccoon Kids

The Tortoise And The Hare

The Walrus And The Rooster
(Really - at some point, i think they just started using a dartboard or drawing animals from a hat to determine pairings.)

Tick, Tack, and Toe
(JCA = Jason Comics Art Studios)

Tabasco

Tommy an' Kitty

Tommy Turtle
(EC = Ellis Chambers)

Toughy Tomcat and Chester Chipmunk

Trixy, the Magic Monkey
(Not to be confused with Martin Nodell, the creator of Green Lantern.
Martin Naydel was the creator of the Jumble puzzle feature in newspapers (originally called Scramble))

Tubby Pig

Tuck Sedo, the Penguin Playboy

Tuffy Bear


U:

Uncle Pigly

Uncle Walrus and Willie
(VEP = Victor Pazmiño)

Uncle Wiggily


W:

Wacky Duck

Wacky Willie

Waddles

Waldo Wolf and Ferdy Fox

Walrus Whopper

Whacky Quack

Whitey

Whoo-Doodit

Wilbur

Willie the Worm and Sammy the Skunk

Willy Wolf

Winnie Weasel

Wuff the Prairie Dog


Z:

Zany Giraffe

Oh, thank the gods - that's over!
I can sleep now.

But, as regular readers might suspect, we'll be going back to take a closer look at some of these characters in the weeks ahead. If there were some you wanted to see more of, speak up!

art by varioius (1940s)

Really, We're Almost Done

Yes, we yet continue with today's alphabetized peek at the seemingly endless number of Funny Animal comic characters of the 1940s -


R:

Ragsdale

Rags Rabbit

Randy The Elephant

Rasputin
(Hart = Ernie Hart)

Reddy Dough

Robin Crusoe
(That's a job number, not a signature. Art by Rube Grossman)

Rollo Raccoon and Picklefoot Pig

Roly and Poly

Roscoe Bear

Rosebud

Rufus

Rusty Rabbit

Rusty Rhino


S:

Sammy

Sammy The Stork

Sappy "Happy" Hyena

Scamper

Senorita Juanita McMouse

Sharpy Fox and Pookey

Sheriff Corky

Sheriff Pop Gunn

Sheriff Shivers
(JCA = Jason Comic Art Studios)

Sherlock The Monk and Chuck

Silly Seal and Ziggy Pig

Sir Spot, the Lion-Hearted Leopard

Skooky

Slick Chick

Sloppy The Pig

Snappy

Snazzy Rabbit

Sniffy

Spike, the Cow-horn Buck

Spot and Dot

Spots
(Vep = Victor Pazmiño)

Spotty, the Missing Lynx

Spunky

Stanley

Stinky

Super Cat

Super Duck

Super Rabbit

Sweeney and Willie

In another 3 hours, we finally conclude this insane little endeavor, continuing on from T.

art by various (1940s)