Friday, October 31, 2008

The Gobble-uns 'll git you, Ef You Don't Watch Out!


Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun,
A-listenin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers, -
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout: -
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'for she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'bugs in dew is all squenched away, -
You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
An' cherish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

INSCRIBED WITH ALL FAITH AND AFFECTION
To all the little children: The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

-- James Whitcomb Riley, 1885

In case you're wondering, YES, this poem was the basis for the famous comic strip (and later Broadway musical) character, Little Orphan Annie. Poet James Whitcomb Riley was a Hoosier, and most people who grow up in Indiana have this poem read to them at least once in their lifetimes, usually on Halloween. (The poem also inspired the creation of the Raggedy Ann doll, by another Hoosier, Johnny Gruelle.)

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I KNEW I shoulda stayed in bed this morning ...

I awoke to find this ... THIS ... in my IN box:

It's not true, I tell ya! I'm completely innocent! It's all just a bad dream!

(I'm gonna get you for this, Georgette! LOL!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Green Knight!


No, no, no, I don't mean the Green Knight from Arthurian legend (go look up the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight if you're interested in that Green Knight). This is about Green Knight, the super-hero! I recently learned about this marvelously obscure old Golden Age hero thanks to Tony Z and his blog Golden Age Heroes (THANKS, Tony!).

Green Knight was wealthy American sportsman Denis Knight, who, inspired by tales of the knights of old, decided to use his archery skills to fight crime. He did bear more than a passing resemblance to Green Arrow, and also had a kid sidekick, named Lance. Green Knight debuted in Dynamic Comics #2, 1941, and lasted only two issues. And, yes, Green Arrow appeared in comics before Green Knight did.

Still, Green Knight had his moments. For one thing, he fought vampires! He also indulged in gloriously silly speech, such as ...

Who's this "old boy" he's talking to? Maybe we're better off not knowing.

Then there's the standard, innappropriate-when-out-of-context discussion with the kid sidekick:

Ah, but to give Lance the kid sidekick a little credit, he does something EXTREMELY rare for a kid sidekick of the time. Pay close attention to what he says to Green Knight here (while gazing adoringly at him with big, dewy eyes):

That's right! None of this "I'll make you my ward" malarky! We're talking ADOPTION, darnit!

Very rare for a kid sidekick from the 1940s. Very rare indeed.

At any rate, my old article on Green Comic Book Heroes has now been updated to include the Green Knight. THANKS AGAIN, Tony!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan?

Over at Green Lantern Butts Forever, Sally recently asked her fellow bloggers who they thought should be Hal Jordan in the upcoming (HOPEFULLY upcoming) Green Lantern movie. Most respondents mentioned Canadian actor Nathan Fillion, best known for playing Captain Mal Reynolds on the TV series Firefly. (Sally, if you like cowboys AND science fiction, you really need to rent or purchase the Firefly DVD set!)

Nathan Fillion, eh? Hadn't thought of him, which surprises me because I rather like Nathan Fillion. But does he (or, rather, the type of character he portrays) have what it takes to really be Hal Jordan? Let's see ...

Reasonably handsome without being baby-faced?


Check.

Muscles?

Check.

Charming, arrogant, and completely cock-sure of himself?

Check.

Killer with the ladies?

Check. (There, Soup! I managed to sneak in a photo with Morena Baccarin, just for you. You know, if the casting rumors work out, this photo COULD come to represent Hal Jordan and Wonder Woman!)

Often clueless?

Check.

Nice butt?

Ooooooooh, check, check, CHECK!

Dunno that he necessarily gets hit in the head a lot, but based on everything else, it appears to me that Nathan Fillion would be an ideal Hal Jordan.

Another reason why Batman dislikes Hal Jordan

I just picked up the trade version of The Brave and the Bold: The Lords of Luck, and was reminded of yet one more reason WHY Bruce (Batman) Wayne has good cause to dislike Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan -- and should NEVER go gambling with him in Vegas. (Have I said before that Hal is a reckless bastard?) From The Brave and The Bold #1 (2007):










Hee, hee hee -- that STILL cracks me up.

Oh, yeah ...! Barry (The Flash) Allen is back now! So Hal can go back to borrowing money from him: "Welcome home, Barry, ol' buddy! Hey, can I borrow twenty bucks? I can repay you Friday!"

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Ghost of Willard Library (and Ghost Cam!)


Here in Indiana, we have a haunted library. No joke. Willard Library, located in Evansville, Indiana, has been haunted for at least 70 years by a ghost known to locals as the Grey Lady (no, not like the Harry Potter "Grey Lady."). The existence of the Grey Lady is well known to many Hoosiers, and she's been featured in dozens of TV shows, including a Discovery Channel documentary and the Ghosthunters television show.

Apparently, the Grey Lady appears so often that libary employees merely regard her as part of the regular staff. She doesn't appear to be a malevolent spirit, though she does have the annoying habit of moving books around and shutting water faucets on and off.

The library has set up several "ghost cams" around the building for anyone who wants to keep an eye out for the ghost. Anyone interested can find links to the cams from this page: www.WillardGhost.com.

Have fun, and happy ghost hunting!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Your Harryhausen Moment of the Day


Oops, sorry -- wrong picture. That's Mighty Mite in her Halloween costume. Let's see here ...

AH, here we go:

Griffin vs. Cyclopian centaur, from the movie The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974). And this concludes my posting of Harryhausen stills, at least for the time being. Here are a few facts you may or may not know about the great stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen:

- Harryhausen did NOT work on the original King Kong movie (1933). However, the animation techniques perfected by Willis O'Brien for that film DID inspire Harryhausen to learn stop-motion animation.

- Prior to making his mark as a pioneer of science fiction and fantasy film effects, Harryhausen created a series of Mother Goose shorts, featuring puppet animations of stories like Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. He completed the long-unfinished Tortoise & The Hare in 2003.

- Harryhausen is still around, and still working on stop-motion projects. He celebrated his 88th birthday on June 29.

- Harryhausen's animated creations were not made of clay (not "claymation"). Rather, they were metal armatures covered with fabric, leather, feathers, or whatever material required for a realistic appearance.

For anyone interested in seeing actual film clips of Harryhausen's work, following is a 4-1/2-minute compilation of creatures and spaceships from his feature films, starting with Mighty Joe Young in 1949, and ending with Clash of the Titans in 1981. You'll notice very quickly that Harryhausen seems very fond of skeletons. Oh, and keep an eye out for Raquel Welch being fed to a bunch of baby pterosaurs, and for Jane Seymour playing chess with a baboon. Also, if your sound is on, brace yourself for some serious percussion music by the late, great Tito Puente. Enjoy!

Harryhausen feature filmography:
Mighty Joe Young (1949)
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1954)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
The Animal World (1956)
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)
Mysterious Island (1961)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
First Men in the Moon (1964)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
Clash of the Titans (1981)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jonah Hex vs. Devil Dinosaur

In keeping with this blog's current obsession with cowboys and dinosaurs (courtesy of the movie The Valley of Gwangi), here is a small comic-book-based presentation displaying exactly why combining cowboys and dinosaurs is NOT a good idea.

This is Jonah Hex, bounty hunter, boozer, womanizer, and all-around bad-ass -- and, in comics, the cowboyin'est cowboy whut ever cowboyed:

This is Devil Dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus Rex with a grumpy demeanor and a nasty case of rosacea brought on by a bad experience at a public barbecue:

Jonah has his rifle and his six-shooters. Devil has his ... well ... he's a Tyrannosaurus Rex, okay? So, let's see what happens when these two are brought together.

Now, now, Jonah -- be a good sport.

So, let's assume Jonah is out riding on his horse, when he senses there's something mighty peculiar up ahead.

SUDDENLY, from out of nowhere--!
Holy crap! What's that!?! Well, it's BIG. It's got HUGE TEETH. It looks MEAN. In the Old West, things like that tend to get SHOT.

However, the cowboy we have here is Jonah Hex, who DOES tend to be a bit more open-minded than the average cowboy. So, let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say he DOESN'T immediately start shooting at Devil ...

... at least not until Devil eats his horse.


Uh, oh ...

Jonah grabs his HAT, grabs his RIFLE ... AND ...

Good shot, Jonah, but ... um ... did the big critter even FEEL that?

Well, maybe just a little.

Seriously, Jonah -- I think maybe you should try to use dynamite or at least an elephant gun against Devil Dinosaur. Oh, well, try again. Maybe the six-shooters ...?


Yeah, I think now MAYBE Devil Dinosaur is getting the impression that something isn't quite right. Try again, Jonah -- maybe with some hollow-tipped bullets this time?

Whoa! THAT got the critter's attention!

Uh-oh, he looks mad.

The critter is charging--!

SHOOT, Jonah! SHOOT!

Oooh, I can't look!

Jonah Hex is down! And I think it's safe to say that his brains have been reduced to tequila.

You really don't want to know what happens next.

You REALLY, REALLY don't.

So, that's dinosaur = 1, cowboy = 0

Maybe a lone cowboy would do better against smaller and less ferocious dinosaurs, but NOT against big ol' grumpy meat-eaters. So, unless the cowboy happens to have a large posse accompanying him (or much nastier weapons), he's guaranteed to lose against a big dinosaur.

With sincere and heartfelt apologies to Dwayne at Matching Dragoons.

Your Harryhausen Moment of the Day


More cowboys and dinosaurs, courtesy of The Valley of Gwangi (1969).

Well, okay, pterodactyls technically AREN'T dinosaurs -- per scientific definition, dinosaurs are ancient land reptiles. The ancient flying and aquatic reptiles are actually considered to be in different scientific groups separate from dinosaurs ...

ANYWAY, the movie still shows a buncha cowboys on horseback getting buzzed by a big, scary prehistoric reptile. That's good enough for me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Your Harryhausen Moment of the Day


Cavemen vs. archelon (giant sea turtle), from the movie One Million Years B.C. (1966), famous for featuring Raquel Welch in a fur bikini. Yeah, yeah, I know ... cavemen and giant prehistoric reptiles weren't around at the same time. Hey, I didn't write the movie.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Your Harryhausen Moment of the Day


Underwater battle with a giant cephalopoid, from the movie Mysterious Island (1961).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recent job change?

So, we're watching football, and Mr. Sea decides he wants to order a pizza. Mr. Sea has the number for the local Pizza Hut programmed into his phone. He calls it, and a girl answers: "Donatos!"

"Did you just say 'Donatos'?" asks Mr. Sea.

There's a pause, and then the girl says, "Pizza Hut! I said 'Pizza Hut'!"

Mr. Sea goes ahead and orders pizza. We were half wondering if a Donatos pizza was going to show up at the door (nope, Pizza Hut).

We figured the girl answering the phone either just changed jobs, or was wishing she was working for someone else.

Batman can use anything as a bat

Dwayne over at Matching Dragoons found this WONDERFUL panel and issued a challenge to fill in Batman's speech balloon. I like Dwayne's versions, but I can't resist a challenge; so, here goes:

Hey, the baseball playoffs are on -- and there are bats, and then there are BATS.

Your Harryhausen Moment of the Day


Sinbad faces an ensorcelled statue of Kali, in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974). A bit of trivia: The actor standing in the background, playing the evil sorcerer Koura, is Tom Baker, a.k.a. Doctor Who #4.

So, why my current obsession with Ray Harryhausen critters? Well, it's October, and Halloween is coming up soon. I'm celebrating by posting images of my favorite movie monsters -- which just happen to be Harryhausen monsters. Just FYI!