Sic Semper Socktopi

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Can You Guess Why Jimmy Has To Live In A Slum?

Feeling refreshed after reading about Lois Lane: Black for a Day via Boing Boing.

Reminds me of this Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen cover I scanned last month and have been intending to post:

Actually, the explanation is pretty much the same reason Lois became black... Jimmy is writing an expose on housing conditions, and is "sluming it" as they say, by living undercover at the slum.

There really is a lot to read into this comic, but I don't want to be a "wise guy," so I'll stop now before I get myself in trouble.

The Brothers! continued:


Spire Redux
I've got to wash the taste of Jack Chick out of my mouth. Chick's loony ramblings sully the fine art of naive but competent Christian comics perfected by Spire and Al Hartley.

In The Brothers Smashing the Smugglers' Ring! from 1982, Al Hartley takes charge and introduces an original concept instead of adapting somebody else's born-again story or worrying about Jughead rotting in purgatory.

Well, not too original of a concept... It's just like the Hardy Boys, but this time the smugglers need a serious dose of Jesus. Written and illustrated with the same gung-ho sincerity that makes all the Hartley Spire stories such a treat, The Brothers is an enjoyable read.

And just what are those smugglers smuggling? It's not coke or bootleg videos. It's highly addictive marijuana! And if you ask me, drugs always make for the best pull-quotes:


Excerpted for Purposes of Review Funnies

The Crusaders is a Jack T. Chick comic book published in 1974 about a white missionary and a black missionary, who really seem like gay lovers, but aren't because then they would go to hell just like the Catholics and the Mormons are going to. The panels below are from the second issue titled The Broken Cross, which refers to the Peace Symbol looking like an upisde down broken crucifix... You see, peace protestors are actually satanists and by opposing peace, you will be on the side of Jesus. Or something. Yes, it is all very confusing.

Actually this issue is filled with weird panels and bizzare reactionary beliefs. But I'm not going to scan the whole thing. Plus there are 19 more issues where this came from!

But seriously, these guys are gay right? Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Spire Comics Week Concludes With A Bang

What discussion of Spire would be complete without at least mentioning the benchmark of these comics? It's surreal, it's bizzare, it's wonderful, it's Hansi, The Girl Who Loved The Swastika.

Sweet, sweet, inards:


I want a giant poster of "Is This America???" - It's too bad Lichtenstien already removed comic panels from their context and called them art. Put this panel in a gallery as a mural and it's brilliant. I should be totally famous.


Spire Again and Again

In addition to publishing adaptations of Christian memoirs such as "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash," "The Cross and the Switchblade," and Chuck Colson's "Born Again," Spire also published original retellings of biblical stories set in modern times. For example, they published a book called "Adam and Eve" about two young lovers who look over a farm upstate and are provided with everything they need as long as they don't eat the apples on the forbidden tree. After Eve eats one, they are cast out and must travel downstate to New York City where they see the destruction and sin that their mistake has wrought.
I haven't found this series of Spire books as enjoyable as some of the non-fiction adaptations published below. Although both the non-fiction and the modern retellings are drawn by the same man, Archie artist Al Hartley, the retellings generally lack the sincere yet bizarre style that is a necessity of condensing a life story into 22 pages.
But a few of the adaptations do feature a humorous lack of subtlety that makes them sporadically worthwhile. Consider “My Brother’s Keeper,” a modern retelling of, you'd never guess, Joseph and his technicolor dreamcoat:


Thing I don't link to often enough division:
Home of The Magistrates and The Magic Panel, now with a small store selling original art, comics, and cds. I bought a copy of EP BEEP ($5) and was very pleased.


Spire Comics Week Continued: Nixon, Man of Peace

In "Born Again," convicted Watergate fellon Chuck Colson writes about his conversion. He also rewrites the history of the Vietnam war and the criminal Nixon presidency.

Seriously, show me the part of the Nixon tapes where he says anything like this:

The idea here is that Nixon really wanted peace very badly, and we were so close, if only those protestors weren't mucking things up! Later they even dscuss Dan Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers, implying that he, the one man most responsible for stoping a futile escalation of the war, was treasonously undermining our sincere peace efforts.

Of course, the Papers themselves "revealed, among other things, that the government had planned to go to Vietnam even when president Lyndon Johnson was promising not to, and that there was no plan to end the war." Not to mention that "they revealed the knowledge, early on, that the war would not likely be won and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was admitted publicly. Further, the papers showed a deep cynicism towards the public and a disregard for the loss of life and injury suffered by soldiers and civilians."

Being such a man of peace, it makes sense that Nixon had "G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt br(a)ke into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in September 1971, hoping to find information they could use to discredit him. The revelation of the break-in became part of the Watergate scandal. On May 3, 1972, the White House secretly flew a dozen Cuban CIA "assets" to Washington DC with orders to assault or assassinate Ellsberg."

Sigh. It's people like Nixon that make me hope we aren't all born again. Even if he came back as pond scum or some sort of deadly spore it would be too much.


Hello, I'm Johnny Cash was a Spire Christian Comics adaptation of the spirtual autobiography of the same name. Note how a I am not making this up:

Anyway, here is the money shot of Johnny's downfall: