Archive - April 2004

April 21st, 2004

It was never my intention to disappoint Jim Salicrup.

Jim's been emailing me, y'see, bemoaning the reduced frequency of these trifling little reports. While I certainly take that as a splendid compliment from my erstwhile editor--either that, or shocking evidence that Jim has WAY too much time on his hands--all I can say in response is, if only there were more hours in the day, Jim, if only...

But there ARE other sites on the web, y'know, and I offer up these recommendations for Jim--and anyone else with an alarming amount of free time--to investigate at their leisure...

First off, take a look over at Noah Smith's webpage. True, comics merit only occasional mention, but Noah--a writer/actor type--so engagingly (and comedically) records various anecdotes about his life, as well as serving up keen (and comedic) observations about our culture, I'll just bet you won't even notice that's he's not particularly prone to reviewing that latest line-wide DC crossover event!

You might want to take a gander at his April 14th blog entry, wherein motivation to compile his personal list of the Greatest Stand-Up Comics Of All Time was spurred on by Comedy Central's recent series of specials along those very lines. (Mark Evanier's comments about same are worth a look, too, naturally...) I mean hey, how can you NOT love a guy--still in his late twenties, no less--who's willing to put none other than Bob "I lived to be a hundred" Hope at the tip-topiest point of his list? AND manages to include Jack Benny in his Top Ten as well? It's a well-thought out piece, even if a quirk in his supplemental grouping of potential number eleven's motivated me to contact Noah regarding the absence of my current favorite stand up, Jim Gaffigan.

Noah wrote back, heartily agreeing with me about Gaffigan. Merely an oversight, as it happened.

Bright fella--AND one with exemplary taste! Yup, his Baggy Pants and Bravado webpage is well worth checking out.

But maybe you just want some comics to read, hmm? Well, in that case, I ALSO have a swell link for you, and it comes via Steven Wintle's Flat Earth page. Sure, you can always find a great deal of fascinating prose to read in his blog, but each Thursday, Steve offers up Free Comic Book Day, pointing websurfers happily towards sites containing scans of notable funny book material. Last week, he gave us access to 112 delightful "Male Call" strips by the immortal Milton Caniff. Now, this in itself is all grand and good--after all, who doesn't dig the cheesecake antics of Caniff's Miss Lace, created exclusively for America's Military during WW2?--but a little nosing around at the home site turned up an even more obscure gem...

Divided up into decades and well worth a thorough examination, The Authentic History Center offers items of interest to the comics fan from the thirties era on up, but my eye was drawn to the selection from the sixties: "This Godless Communism", a ten part serial, averaging 5 or 6 pages per chapter, originally running in the pages of TREASURE CHEST comics way back in 1961, and magnificently--and only occasionally jingoistically--drawn by one of my all-time favorite four-color illustrators, Reed Crandall! You can read it for the beautiful art, you can read it for historical purposes, you can read it to wallow in the propaganda aspect of it, but mainly, you can read it in order to get a head start on things, because folks, if John Ashcroft stays in place much longer, this tract is bound to turn up as required reading sooner or later!?!...

Well, Jim? So maybe this WASN'T a true blog entry, and maybe I WAS stalling with Stalin, but it was the best I could manage today! We'll ALL try again soon, so come on back, okay?...

April 18th, 2004

We lost, three to nothing.

As our games go this season, well, it wasn't particularly embarrassing, but there was a certain amount of drama involved that I really could've lived without, to be honest. While the good news from earlier in the week was that our two softball playing sisters--the ones we thought would miss most of our soccer games due to conflicting diamond duties--will instead come up to bat under the lights this spring, meaning that the team's single eager--and actually quite good--goal-tender WILL be available to us each week (after we were all led to believe elsewise), the BAD news is that we still need to find someone else to play that pivotal position for the other half of each game (it's just not fair to keep one girl patrolling the area all game, every game, y'see...). So I dutifully informed the kids at practice that I'd be rotating the rest of them into that slot in the coming weeks, an announcement that was met with zero enthusiasm. As no one stepped forward to volunteer for the job during the first game, I soon realized I'd have to make the choice for them. But who?...

Of course. Julie.
It seemed only appropriate. After all, if the girls see me put my own daughter there, they'll come to understand, in the weeks ahead as their turn inexorably arrives, that, hey, I'M not playing any favorites here, dig? And anyway, although she hadn't been a goalie for at least two seasons (as I had more players amenable to the task during that period), I figured, gee whiz, she's done it before, and she did a decent--if not quite dazzling--job of it. And to further insure a reasonable quotient of success, I'd make darn sure she's protected by some of our best players on the defensive side, and then, by golly, everything should be fine! Initially resistant to the idea, I managed to eventually convince her of the merits of at least getting her turn in the goal over and done with, and when I went to bed Friday night, I pretty much thought that was that.

Big mistake.

Julie had herself a radical change of heart the next morning, y'see. Without going into gruesomely graphic detail, it wasn't a pretty situation. At all. Oh, I got her into the goal just as the game started--barely--but after two quick scores by the other team, she'd convinced her buddy Courtney to swap positions with her, and given the circumstances, I was pretty much forced to go along with this switcheroo. Again, without getting too specific, emotions were bubbling over top the cauldron and spilling out right there on the green grass of the field. Sticky wicket, indeed. For a few loonnng minutes there, the game became decidedly secondary. Honestly, folks, I thought Julie could handle it--she had in the past, and had clearly shown no fear--but this particular day, she was apparently bent on proving me wrong.

Y'know, being me usually ain't such a bad thing, but on Saturday morning? Argh...

And then, wouldn't you know it? We wound up bringing Courtney--who really quite gallantly saved the day for the team and for me--back home with us, with Lisa subsequently coming by around 3, and the monthly Girl Scout meeting commencing at 7, so--poof!--all the drama that preceded (and crept into) the AM kickfest? Vanished. Disappeared. Gone. Gone as if it had never even happened. Never even happened at all...

But it DID happen. And it was a stark reminder that being a coach--AND a parent--ain't all blueberries and cream, boys and girls. Sometimes you gotta down your share of beebleberries and curdled milk as well, it would seem...

Here's hoping whatever's on NEXT week's menu is far easier to digest, y'know?...

April 15th, 2004

You all see the Prez on the tube the other night, ostensibly answering questions? Yeah, me too--it was pretty hard to avoid him...

Fact is, as someone who pooh-poohs the whole notion of what's known as (again, ostensibly) "reality television", I was all set to gleefully climb up atop my high horse and cast a morally superior "tsk tsk' towards all the misguided folks who'd gotten bent out of shape because a matter of national interest had gotten the way of a matter of TRUE national interest--namely, the "American Idol" finals--until I suddenly realized that, hey, Bush's little sparring session with the fourth estate was gonna pre-empt MY favorite program, too--the latest episode of "24"!?!

How DARE he?

Well, Fox was quick to inform viewers that the latest hour on Jack Bauer's ever-ticking countdown clock was gonna be rescheduled for this Sunday night at 9, with the NEXT 60 minutes set to air as originally scheduled the following Tuesday. So, that went quite a ways in placating my shallow concerns. In the meantime, I'm happy to report, I even managed to find a way to have some unexpected fun with George W's oratory antics. Let me explain...

After dutifully watching for about a half an hour, hoping to hear something I may've liked (I'm still waiting...), Julie finished up doing that night's homework, and expressed some mild interest in listening in as well. Only she chose to monitor the situation on the small TV set in her room, and not on the one in our bedroom even though they're adjacent to one another. She flipped on CNN, while I had our television tuned into Fox 5 (just in case, y'know?...), and we soon noticed an interesting discrepancy: Fox was broadcasting the President's remarks utilizing a several second delay, while CNN apparently was not!!

Just WHAT the fairly unbalanced folks over at Fox were afraid our Chief Executive might do if given unfettered reign of the airwaves--that's one wardrobe malfunction I DIDN'T want to witness lemme tell ya!!--I'm not sure, but beyond cheap gags along the lines of the one I just perpetrated, there was an even more amusing result of the skewed broadcasting signals, and Julie was the one who noticed it first.

She started giggling incessantly--nothing new around here, really--and soon implored me to join her in her room. After I did, she instructed me to be quiet, and just listen as Mr. Bush spoke on her TV. I did as she asked, and soon after our leader finished a sentence and paused--undoubtedly trying to think of another one--that short but regular gap of silence in Julie's room was filled by the previous statement echoing in from the next room over, giving even the most serious of GWB's declaration's an unavoidably comedic effect!

To get a better grasp of this scenario, just think back to that immortal recording of "Yellow Submarine", friends, specifically the concluding verses, the one's wherein Ringo croons "As we live a life of ease", and a funny voice repeats, "A life of ease!".

"Everyone one of us has all we need" ("All we need!"), "Sky of blue and sea of green" ("Sea of green!") "In our Yellow Submarine" ("Submarine--Yeehah!!")--THAT'S what the press conference turned into for me and my giggling girlie, sans the exaggerated British accent and the sorely missed "Yeehah!!" Still, it made up somewhat for the disappointing pre-emption of "24", and, additionally, it got me to thinking--if they ever get around to doing a night of Beatles classics on an upcoming "American Idol" episode, ol' George W may've just found the perfect ditty to bring out his best qualities...

Because, otherwise, his performance Tuesday night wasn't quite up to snuff...

("Up to snuff!")

April 13, 2004

Time for a quick update on recent doings here at the Hembeck household. (C'mon--you haven't had to endure one of these in quite some time, y'know? Just bear with this gnarly narcissism for a bit, and we'll get back to the standard pop culture stuff soon enough, promise...)

Yesterday was the last day of Julie's week-long plus Spring Break. While she stayed home, wading through several chapters of "Lord of the Flies", I spent the morning perusing magazines in the waiting area of Lynn's eye doctor as my dear wife went under the knife--but not otherwise under--for a cataract operation on her right peeper. Happily, all indications are that the 30 minute procedure was a complete success, and a problem that's been continually mounting for the last two years looks to be finally alleviated. That's the good news, folks. The bad? Hey, now my sweetie can get herself all too clear of a peek again at yours truly, and who's THAT really gonna help, I ask you!?!...

As for Julie, well, she was her usual social whirlwind these past ten days. We started out a week ago last Saturday spending most of a very long day at the county Science Fair. No, she didn't win anything, but just qualifying for the final level after entering the local school district's Science Fair several week's earlier, well, that in itself is an honor, blah, blah, and most emphatically, blah.

THEN the fun began--hosting two consecutive sleepovers on Saturday and Sunday nights-- and I use the term "sleep" tenuously. And MORE friends arrived during the daylight hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. When Good Friday finally rolled around, and all of our daughter's pals had wandered off to be with their respective family's for the next three days, I found myself enlisted to accompany my 13 year old for a gala afternoon of clothes shopping at the nearby Galleria.

For five hours.

It's something we rarely ever have a chance to do together these days, so on that level, it was fun. But did I mention--five hours?? Geez, was I ever throughly pooped out by the time we got home. But trust me, we got some DARLIN' outfits!...

Saturday was fairly uneventful, as Julie vainly tried to scare up some further company, otherwise devoting most of her energy to stalling any attempts to do her heretofore mostly neglected homework, of which there was a back-pack full of. THAT'S what she did on Easter Sunday--lots and lots of homework. All the while, Lynn--pre-op--spent most of the day slaving over our taxes. And me? Well, I was drawing some purty pictures and watching the Mets! EVERYBODY was nibbling on jelly beans and chocolate rabbits throughout, our sole nod to the holiday. (Yup, I'm afraid we're mostly a disgrace to the Christian/Judeo tradition hereabouts--but we're staunch supporters of the Easter Bunny, for what THAT'S worth!!...)

The week ahead calls for Julie's induction into the National Junior Honor Society Wednesday night, a unique accomplishment, I shamefacedly admit, for someone bearing the name "Hembeck"! Yup, we're real darn proud of our kiddo, though we'd be even more so if we weren't aware of some of the rather dubious methods the school employs to pad out the students grades ( bring in a $1.19 box of Kleenex tissues to Honors Science class, for instance, and get 5 additional points added on to your quarterly grade! Really!).

Well, for any number of additional reasons--the subject of some future rant, no doubt--we became somewhat disenchanted with the Junior High early last year, and investigated some more challenging alternatives. After initially being turned down for admission last year, Julie made the cut this spring, and we recently received word that she's finally been accepted into a local progressive private institution for next fall. She's actually a pretty smart kid, so we know she'll be up to it, with the only real concern having to do with the vastly increased amount of reading she'll be responsible for. Y'see, despite the rest of her family's love of the printed word--with or without funny little pictures to accompany them--somehow or another, she never developed into any sort of serious reader. Once she realizes that she won't be able to pad her grades with paper products anymore, she'll no doubt get with the program!! More on this new adventure as it develops come the fall...

April 15th is not only tax day, but Uncle Bob's birthday as well. However, since Lynn's lone brother--like the rest of this admittedly small clan--doesn't actually READ this web-site, I'll have to wish him his annual felicitations when we drive over to Granma's to celebrate on Sunday. See you there, Bob! (Oh, that's right--you're not reading this...)

Thursday afternoon I start the Spring half of my fourth year as Julie's intramural soccer coach with our first 2004 practice, and although nobody knows it yet (save for the family, natch), it's gonna be my last. The kid's not even sure if she's gonna re-up for another go-round, but after the way things went during the fall, I know sure as shootin' I ain't!! After our first game, I don't believe I ever devoted another entry here to the situation, but trust me, the season was dreadful.

We lost all 7 games we played (the 2 rainouts and one cancellation due to the field being otherwise unavailable were, in retrospect, the autumn highlights), and we were mercilessly blown out of 4 of them. Ugly scores like 7-0 and 8-1, just real deflating stuff. The girls themselves were no problem, as they were all sweet kids, and in fact several clearly seemed like they'd make pretty good players. But I think my flaws as a coach, which I was able to somehow disguise in earlier years--let me remind all you late comers that my first year in charge saw but one loss out of 20, though we did have our share of tied contests--became blatantly obvious. Sure, the makeup of the squad changes each September, but we still managed near .500 records my second and third times out, and we suffered fewer blowouts in all my initial three campaigns than we did merely in the latter half of 2003 alone, and suddenly, I suspect, parents appeared to be thinking, "Does this guy have any IDEA what he's doing, any idea at ALL??" Well, no, not any more so than I ever did, but now, all too apparently, my ignorance was finally catching up with me.

(Maybe the best thing to happen this year is that at the preliminary coach's meeting a few weeks back they handed out a neat little booklet, explaining the rules of soccer in brightly colored, easy to understand cartoon drawings, nicely scribbled up by a very talented artist by the name of Colby Jones. NOW they give this to me!?! Well, better late than never, I suppose, and I promise to leaven any future soccer ramblings with some more of these nifty illos...)

Saturday's our first game. As fate would have it, our one really good goalie, the one who actually ENJOYS playing this decidedly pivotal position--and her sister--are both committed to softball simultaneously, so when--and IF--the two activities don't conflict, they'll be joining us. Otherwise, it's two less bodies available on an already depleted roster, and much to the chagrin of the rest of the team, time for goalkeeper roulette! Wish us luck--we're gonna need it...

And that's pretty much it. More details as warranted. Come back again soon and I promise I'll rhapsodize about some otherwise long forgotten comic that I read as a wee lad, share with you my thoughts regarding the latest thrilling improbabilities on "24", show you a funny drawing or two, dredge up a piece of Beatles related minutia, or just plain spew out something equally life affirming.

And if we win--WOWEEZOWIE!!--maybe even the score of Saturday's game!!

But I'd put my money on yet another Weisinger recap if I were you...

April 11th, 2004

Enjoy your day, folks--and a big thanks to the funny papers' own Uncle Miltly for the Holiday assist!

April 8th, 2004

Thirty years ago today, records--AND hearts--were broken.

It's a piece better suited to reside over in my Life Story section, but I wanted to give you inveterate blog-watchers a tip--and a link--so that you don't miss it on the actual day of this dual (and dubious) anniversary. And don't be scared off by the baseball aspect of the story--that's mostly peripheral, if still important, to the main thrust of this tawdry tale of collegiate Fred.

Thirty years. Boy, do I feel old...

April 6th, 2004

One day, back in the early summer of 1964, my dad and I boarded a train nearby where we lived, and traveled about 45 miles to Flushing, New York, making our initial visit to the brand-spankin' new home of Major League Baseball's not quite brand spankin' new NL expansion team, the New York Mets--then in their third miserably mirthful year--Shea Stadium!

While I had never visited this newly erected edifice before, I'd already been across the street several times, both with my parents and on school trips, enjoying the wide variety of fabulous festivities offered at the fabled New York World's Fair of 1964 and 65!

I came home with several notable purchases that afternoon, of which this would be one...

Yup, a vintage N.Y. Mets 1964 Yearbook, but to be completely honest with you, I was far more jazzed to be able to bring THESE two items back on the train with me to Yaphank, Long Island...

Oh, yeah--AVENGERS #6! Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil! X-MEN #6! Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner! In RED swim trunks! And most importantly--Stan Lee! Jack Kirby! And as the icing on the cake, the ever-wonderful ink stylings of Chic Stone!!

I vividly recall the thrill of being in the darkened, bustling, and cavernous environs of Grand Central Station, spying these Marvel Classics-in-the-making from across the way as we disembarked our train. They resided at the sort of newsstand that I'd only ever seen in b&w thirties Warner Brothers flicks, the kind that could've easily been modeled after prototypes found in a typical four-color forties Simon and Kirby escapade! I only had a quarter in my pocket, so I had to forgo any other new titles that may've been tempting me, but no matter--I knew I could find 'em at my local venue soon after we got back home. But these two I just HAD to have!...

I'm sure my dad wasn't particularly thrilled to drag me all the way to the outer boroughs of New York City for my very first baseball game, only to find me giddily preoccupied with two more of those silly comic books that he didn't much approve of. But hey, what can I say--at the time, I had just about zero interest in the sport. I was just going along for the ride, y'know--and if, by happy coincidence, I managed to get my hands on a pair of Marvel Masterpieces to help stave off the inevitable boredom, really, how bad could THAT be?

Yeah, I watched the game. Kinda. I THINK it was with the St. Louis Cardinals. And while I can't say for sure, odds are that the Mets lost. They used to do that with alarming regularity. Fact is, they still do--and it's STILL alarming!...

Now, by this time , I knew how to treat my comics properly, and would never ever even consider, for example, the notion of folding over the cover and the ensuing pages as I was reading one. That just wasn't done. However, due to the necessity of moving about the crowded arena and having no other particularly good place to keep them--you DON'T want to put something under your seat unless you have a protective bag available, or something of that nature--I wound up FOLDING these two prize acquisitions of mine in half and sticking them in my back-pocket for extended intervals on that long-ago day!! And the funny thing is, though they've both been flattened out for decades now, there's still a slight tell-tale crease to be seen down the center of each one, a permanent souvenir of my first trip to Shea Stadium!

OTHER people wind up with a foul ball--I LOSE "Near Mint" status on two choice Silver-Age landmarks! Sheesh...

Two years later, though, thanks to a friend by the name of Chucky, I suddenly became enthused with baseball for real. Yes, oddly enough, this was the very same kid who got me deeply interested in comic books several years earlier! Apparently, you're thinking, he had quite the influence on li'l me. (Sometime, I'll clue you in on how our relationship ended, and folks, it AIN'T a pretty story...) He had this Stat-O-Matic game, y'see, and what it was, was a board game which utilized the statistics of actual MLB players as the basis for a set of cards used by kids to simulate a Major League contest of their very own. It was quite devious in its way--not only did it engender interest in players that may not have previously been there (as with me), but it made it necessary for the owner of the game to invest in a set of new, updated cards following each season, as nothing ever remains the same in baseball (except for, of course, the plight of the Boston Red Sox...).

So I became a Mets fan for real, and have pretty much remained one to this very day. While I missed the 1965 edition, I managed to get my hands on just about every Yearbook since, and I thought I'd share these ones with you as they feature the artwork of the man known as "The Dean of Sports Cartoonists", Willard Mullin, figuring maybe the pretty pictures may hold SOME interest to those of you with an even lower fascination with baseball than I myself held four decades back. Starting with 1969--an otherwise VERY good year for the team--the Mets jettisoned Mullin from the covers of their annual scrapbooks--with varying degrees of success--but he certainly went out on a high note with his magnificent portrait of incoming manager, Gil Hodges, a year earlier. If your curiosity is at all peaked, check out the official Willard Mullin web-site--but then come back here, of course!....

Baseball is the ONLY sport I follow, but I follow it almost compulsively. I really thought this season might be different because, as I mentioned sometime last July, two-thirds of the Mets telecasts were rudely yanked out from underneath us, hastily transformed into a special pay-package, which, due to an involved set of circumstances that weren't merely limited to the matter of the extra cash, I wasn't having any part of. And that's the way spring training began, but then a decision was rendered in a case against the Yankees' YES Network (to which I generally say "no"), and just as suddenly, all these sports channels were back on our (admittedly expanded) cable service! And now--heaven help me--I CAN watch all 162 games this season, as opposed to the 62 I was expecting to catch over the regular broadcast networks!?!

Which leads me to this evening. It's opening day--or, more truthfully, opening NIGHT--for the Mets and the Atlanta Braves, and after the wildly uneven spring season my boys have had, I'm not overly optimistic. We'll just have to see how things go, and if events take a particularly awful turn early the telecast, well, I can always pull out my copies of the sixth issues of AVENGERS and X-MEN, and find some comfort in them, right?

I just WON'T be keeping 'em in my back pocket this time, is all!...

April 4th, 2004

Today, we're launching a brand new page here at, "Freddy Drewit".

Essentially, it's meant to be the visual equivalent of this blog, only filled with my pictures, not my prose. And in most cases, the drawings will be brand new and done especially for your viewing pleasure (today, however, we're posting a very recent commission that I drew, since not only did I kinda like it, but I also thought it sorta caught the feel of what we're going for, dig?).

Yeah, there'll be a lot of familiar characters turning up, but there'll be some new folks, too. The truth is, as with everything else here at the web-site, things will evolve as we go along, and I'll probably be just as surprised as you are to see how they finally end up.

A few words about the name I chose. My all-time favorite kids show that I DIDN'T watch as a kid (cartoons excluded) was something that ran on both PBS and the Learning Channel not long back known as "Pappyland". This program revolved around a fellow in his mid-forties who affected both a spry Gabby Hayes look and persona. Generally, following 15 minutes of fun and adventures with his puppet pals, the last half of each episode was devoted to the star of the show talking directly to the little boys and girls at home and leading them in an art demonstration of some sort. He did this with charm, patience, warmth, but most importantly, a voice that sounded distinctly like that of comedian Norm McDonald's!!

When I tuned in each morning, bleary-eyed, helping to get Julie off to school, listening to him talk, I always half expected the faux grizzled prospector to encourage his young charges to sketch themselves a crack whore!?! It never happened, but hey, I kept hoping...

The full name of this character--the centerpiece of a catchy theme song I STILL can't get out of my head, despite not having seen an episode in years--was "Pappy Drew-It", and thus, "Freddy Drewit" is my humble salute to, aside from the immortal Jon Gnagy, perhaps the greatest art instructor to ever be beamed out over the airwaves! Sadly, like his video doppelganger, Norm McDonald, Pappy's show is currently on enforced hiatus, but if you go over to his sprightly web-site, you can sign a petition and hopefully get him back on the air where he belongs.

I urge you all to help out.

Especially you crack whores!...

April 1st, 2004

Remember THIS delightful li'l cherub?

Yup, it's our daughter Julie in her guise of Super-Toddler!! (Try as I might, however, I could never quite teach her to speak Weisinger-style baby talk! Baw! Me be bad linguistic instructor!...) You might recall that a few days ago, I ran what I considered--rightly so, I believe--to be an adorable photo of our faux Kryptonian offspring standing next to George Reeves on the tube. Well, I foolishly pointed this this out to our now 13 year old child, under some delusion that she might somehow be pleased by receiving this unsolicited publicity.


Turns out she was less than happy, and impetuously grabbed up one of the handful of photos I'd intended to send Jon Cooke for an upcoming issue of his soon-to-launch COMIC BOOK ARTIST BULLPEN project--which, in point of fact, was what precipitated my trolling through a pile of old Kodak envelopes in the first place--and threatened to scan it in and post it over at HER rarely used corner of this ever-expanding site.

Fine, I said, calling her bluff, figuring that between her busy social life, school, and her unabashed devotion to the Neopets Internet page, she'd probably never get around to making good on her vow.

I was right.

Still, though, in the spirit of fair play--and since these pictures will eventually run in an honest-to-gosh magazine--I figured, hey, why not? This whole mystery angle is getting mighty tired, so why not just post a picture of yours truly here at So friends, in what could only marginally be considered a special treat, here I am, seated at the drawing board...


This is the part where I scream "APRIL FOOLS!!", right? Except, I've never been all that big a fan of practical jokes, so after having my little fun here with you, I'd like to inform you that I've put up several uncropped, bona fide photos of the family over at the Life Story section, and if you have any interest whatsoever in checking them out, you can do so by massaging your mouse here.


And speaking of April Fool's gags, probably the most famous story in comics history to be associated with this tenuous holiday would have to be 1961's "The Night Of March 31st", otherwise known as "The Great Boo-Boo Contest". Oddly enough, just yesterday--also March 31st!--I posted one of my longish essays/reminiscences regarding this celebrated Superman story, and if you're curious to take a look at it, just go here! (And mucho thanks to the always wonderful Lou Mougin in helping me locate a reprinted version of this kooky caper in the Great Comic Book Repository downstairs! I KNEW I had it, I just didn't know WHERE! Gracias, guy!)

One other thing--today marks our 66th consecutive day of posting something new at, which is far and away a personal best record hereabouts. Go take a look at New On Site if you harbor any doubts--there's something up everyday from January 27th on. True, a few days we snuck up some mostly ready made material, but by and large, its been newly minted goodies. During this time period, I took over most of the technical responsibilities from my poor, beleaguered wife, and thus, have been less reticent in posting spiffy visuals to accompany my iffy verbiage, which I'd like to think is an improvement of sorts. Plus, we successfully launched our Beatles page, which I for one am enjoying to the utmost--YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!!--and hope that in any event it'll help us expand our audience.

But despite this rosy picture I'm painting for you, my point is this: I'm taking a break. I've gotta. As much fun as this has been, I started to get kind of, well, obsessed with the notion of having something up EVERY SINGLE DAY. So, before I let it morph into a brain-draining obligation, I'm putting an end to it--and that folks, is no joke. Now, that doesn't mean I'm gonna be gone long. In fact, I might very well be back the day after tomorrow (and then again, I might not)--I just won't be posting seven days a week, every week. But I WILL be adding new stuff to the site on a fairly regular basis, and have some interesting new directions where I hope to take things, which I'll explain more fully as the time nears. I also need to update you on some of the fascinating developments that have taken place in the family recently--yes, I'm talking about Julie again--so hold your breath for THAT explosive report, why don'tcha?

See ya!

(...but Saturday at the earliest, okay?...)

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