Thursday, November 05, 2020
Tuesday, September 08, 2020
Okay, hear me out. I know this is a pointless exercise which will almost certainly never catch on, almost the dictionary definition of tilting at windmills, spitting in the wind or whatever metaphor you want. But this came to me in a restless dream and unlike almost all other ideas born that way actually still makes some kind of sense in the light of day.
I've always been a little annoyed that, with 26 letters of the English alphabet and only 7 days of the week, somehow they still managed to use the same letters twice two different times. That means if you want to abbreviate them, you have to either use two letters or some clunky method (in one school I went to, they somehow settled on using "K" for Thursday classes. Yeah, I felt the same way). And the sources of the names are just a hodge-podge of random astronomy and mythology references that just look a mess, as anyone who had to learn to spell "Wednesday" knows.
The months of the year are somehow even worse. Twelve of them, and somehow they manage to use "A" and "M" twice each, and "J" three times. And even simple two-letter abbreviations aren't enough, since "March/May" and "June/July" would get get confused. And those are even worse on the sources, with a mix of Roman gods, then a pair of Emperors, and then finishing with four numbered months which are numbered wrong according to the current calendar. Seriously, "Octo-" for the tenth month, that doesn't bug you every time?
But what can you do about it? You can't just change the names of the days and months, can you?
Well, yeah, you kind of can, since they're already different in other languages. It looks like most languages that use the Latin alphabet have some of the same repeating letters problems, since they use similar sources, while other systems sometimes don't but that doesn't really help our problem unless you you think using Kanji or Cyrillic characters will somehow make something simpler. But the point is, you can have other names for these things, and it wouldn't be that hard for people to learn 19 new words.
Especially if you solve the other problem, and put them in alphabetical order. Seriously, we have an order everyone learns in a song from an early age, and uses every day to look up names and places, that computers are already well programmed to sort by. Why not use that order for something as elementary as the system we use to know when we are and when we have to be someplace?
So let's start with the standard 26
Sunday, September 06, 2020
Random Comics Theatre
Dark Horse Twenty Years 
This is a one shot pin-up book priced at just 25 cents which, as the title makes clear, celebrates two decades of Dark Horse publishing, going back to DARK HORSE PRESENTS #1 back in 1986. Mike Mignola handles the cover, with a cluttered desktop with action figures and imagery from some two dozen or so Dark Horse published features.
For most of the book the pattern is that each pin-up features a character associated with the artist of the previous page. So after Mignola's cover, the character is Hellboy, drawn by Adam Hughes, then the Hughes-designed Ghost with art by Arthur Adams, and continuing from there. This pattern breaks down a bit in the last few pages, after Rick Geary draws Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey, with the last two pairs being straight switches (Joss Whedon drawing Emily The Strange while an artist for that, Buzz Parker, draw's Whedon's Fray, then Stan Sakai does a Sin City piece to pair with a reprint of a Frank Miller drawing of Usagi Yojimbo from a few years before).
Worth picking up if you can find it cheap. It'll almost certainly never be put out digitally, with several of the licensed and creator-owned features having left Dark Horse in the intervening years.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Random Comics TheatreGumby #2 
Gumby was a claymation cartoon created by Art Clokey in the 1950s, with cartoons created into the 1960s and some later revivals. I have no memory of ever seeing it as a child, although I did see (and usually actively avoided) Clokey's other famous claymation series Davey and Goliath. Like most of my generation, I think I first encountered the character in the rather absurd version of the character Eddie Murphy did on Saturday Night Live.
For some reason the character appeared in comics in the late 1980s, most famously in two one-shots drawn by Arthur Adams, one written by Bob Burden and the other by Steve Purcell. Then in 2006 Burden returned to the character for this series with artist Rick Geary (the two had worked together one two issues of JUNIOR CARROT PATROL in 1989/90). Looks like it was planned to continue at last one more issue but only lasted three. Burden even did one of the covers for this issue, which very much feels like a FLAMING CARROT cover.