Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sample chapter from The Obsession Express

24. Bist Du Bei Mir
After Frisbee and some more PG-rated necking (it was our first date, I have a little try-out period before my panties go flying through the air), we pack the car to head back to campus. 
I pop a cassette in the deck and Bach filled the interior with a choir.
“Sounds pretty,” Wing says, “What is it?”
“Bach, Bist Du Bei Mir.”
“I know some German,” he volunteers, then he supplies his own lyrics and sings along.
“First we invade Poland...then we march into Paris.”
I playfully backhand him while keeping my eyes on the road.
“Stop it. It’s a love song to his wife. He says he loves her so much, he wants her to be there when he dies.”
“That’s creepy.”
“No, it’s romantic.” I argue. “He doesn’t fear death as long as she’ll be there. He just wants to die in her arms.”
“That’s rude! When I’m in someone’s arms, I don’t even like to fart let alone die. What are you supposed to do with a dead body in your arms?”
“You’re going to die sometime, wouldn’t you rather go with loved ones nearby or do you want them to find your body like some homeless guy who freezes to death on a subway grate?”
“Is there a middle ground?” he asks.
I think for a second then say, “How about in a nursing home where your family doesn’t visit, but you are surrounded by Jamaican nurse assistants?”
“Can they be topless?”
I backhand him again. “No! Why would they be topless?”
We’re both laughing at the absurdity of the conversation. “I don’t know, when I die  I want the last thing I see to be boobs.”
I grab the hem of my shirt and pull it up as far as I can for two seconds.. I’m sure he didn’t get too much of a glance of my bra. “Here, if I run off the road you can die happy.”
“Thank you,” he says, “When you die, just don’t Bist Du Bei Mir me.”
We stop at a red light and I take his hand. “I promise I won’t Bist Du Bei Mir you.”
He squeezes my hand, “And I won’t Bist Du Bei Mir you.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Classics of Western Literature 3: Justice League of America 200

In the 1940s in All-Star Comics, the Justice Society would split up to catch a villain, and in each individual chapter, the hero would be drawn by the artist who drew the hero in their regular titles. By the time the Justice League came out in the '60s, page counts were half of what they used to be so one artist would do the whole league.

For the plus-sized JLA 200, instead of assigning each hero his current artist, each chapter was illustrated by the hero's silver-age artist, from some 20 years earlier. The Flash-Elongated Man chapter was drawn by Carmine Infantino, the Green Lantern- Atom chapter was drawn by Gil Kane and the Superman-Hawkman chapter was drawn by Joe Kubert. (Kubert of course had only drawn Superman on covers, but had been drawing Hawkman since the 40s!)

This was a thrill for fanboys who grew up in the '60s with these artists, or fanboys like me who read the reprints of these masters. I promptly took out my 100-page super spectaculars to compare how the artists did the characters in the '60s to what they looked like in the '80s. And the amazing thing is, they all got better.

The George Perez, Dick Giordano and Brian Bolland art was just icing on the cake.

I have no idea what this book is going for on eBay, but if you want everything you need to know about DC's silver age all in one book, this is the book.