Thursday, November 27, 2008

From hell's heart Hulk stab at thee

I saw this while reading Flog! (the Fantagraphics blog) and it tugged at my heartstrings: it's 2 pages from a circa 1979 issue of "The Incredible Hulk" in which the jade giant learns a valuable lesson about...helping beached whales, I guess. I'm sure you'll agree that the panel in which he sees his own rage-fueled visage in the reflection of the helpless whale's eye is graphic storytelling at it's most gripping and powerful.

As always, click to embiggen.


It's Thanksgiving. I'm sure it is. The calendar says so, I didn't have to go to work, my wife served up a turkey, and there was a big parade on TV this morning.

And yet - I can find no James Bond marathon on TV. I've repeatedly scoured the DirecTV listings, to no avail. Is nothing sacred?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Today is Ricardo Montalban's 88th birthday. You may remember him as Mr. Rourke in "Fantasy Island," but he'll always be Khan Noonien Singh to me.

And, because it never gets old, I strongly urge you to click here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This make me very happy

Thanks to the magic of you tube and a Milwaukeean that still owns a VCR, I am able to relive and share with you a fine commercial from my adolescence. My friends and I used to howl at this spot when it aired constantly on weekday afternoons way back in 1981. Enjoy.

Why was I looking for this? What - you've never gone to you tube and entered "sulu transit commercial?" Liar.

Actually, if you'll cast your weary gaze up this blog's masthead, you'll notice it contains a quote from the commercial. I like to change up the subheads frequently ("Keep 'em guessin!" I always say), and the other day this popped into my head and I wrote in in there. Then tonight I thought "I can't be the only one who remembers this commercial, can I?" Turns out I was not the only one.

Thank you, interwebs. Thank you very much.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cosell redux

I was listening to the Packers / Bears game on the radio today, when I heard former Packer and "color" guy Larry McCarren refer to the Packers offensive line after a successful running play as "a human phalanx."

Nice. The wife and I looked at each other and laughed fairly hard. Now I don't want to speak for Larry, but I'm assuming he was referring to the rectangular mass military formation that originated from ancient Greek warfare, and not the bone structure of the human hands and feet, or The Lebanese Kataeb Party (Kataeb is Arabic for Phalanx), nor the North American Phalanx, a utopian community organized on proto-communist Fourierist principles.

Then again, Maybe Larry was channeling dear, departed Howard? A fella can dream, can't he?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting in touch with your inner chimp

So you've probably been asking yourself: how can I transform myself into a chimpanzee version of Abe Lincoln for Halloween? It's simple - provided you possess skill, diligence and the willingness to sit there for a couple of hours basically gluing hunks of foam latex onto your face.

First, I started with a lightweight foam latex chimpanzee facial appliance I found on the internet for $45. This was a pretty lightweight, detailed, nicely-made appliance.

A facial appliance is not a full-head mask, as you can plainly see above. Instead, it is made of flexible, lightweight foam latex, which allows for detail, movement and actor expression. The edges are fairly thin to allow blending to the skin. In Hollywood make-up has been done like this for decades, and in fact, this appliance is very similar to what John Chambers used on "Planet of the Apes."

Then, I found a pair of monkey ears at another website for $7. These were sorta rubbery and cheap.

The appliance came as one whole piece, but the night before I cut it into 3 pieces: the brow, the muzzle and the chin. I did this to allow for greater facial movement and to allow for less stress on the spirit gum adhesive, knowing that I was going to be wearing it for the night (I wore the applied piece for about 8 hours). Also, in my "Making Of Planet of the Apes" book, pictures show the on-set appliances cut up in this fashion, so I reasoned it was a good idea. Before cutting it into section though, I pre-painted the piece in order to get greater detail in the wrinkles and also so that I was putting less stress on the pieces once they were affixed. Getting the ears to match color-wise was a pain, as they were already painted dark and made of a different material than the facial appliance, so the make-up looked different on them. But I managed to make it work.

The next day I applied the 3 sections using spirit gum. I did the brow first, then the nose / muzzle / cheek portion, and then the chin. I then used layers of liquid latex to hide any seams and blend the outer edges to my face.

Then I applied make-up to my skin, blending it to match the pre-painted appliance. Then I stuck on my beard and donned the Abe Lincoln tunic and hat (the beard, hat and topcoat-shirt-tunic thing came together as an "Abe Lincoln in a bag" costume for $35), and presto - Ape Lincoln was born.

There you have it. I really enjoyed doing it, as "Planet of the Apes" has been an obsession of mine since I was a wee lad. And the pieces moved really well together - I was able to drink many beers easily (using a straw), and even managed to eat nachos and two corn dogs. And undergoing this whole process, which allowed me to accurately duplicate something that landed with a thud in my young brain and never left, cemented a certain thought in my head. And that thought is this:

The world has never been in a shittier state, but it has never been greater, either.

What I mean by that is: War, famine and strife seem to be our constant companions. Our economy is in the crapper. Weather systems grow increasingly more extreme, harsh and destructive. Greed runs rampant and colors our every move, and our government rushes to bail-out bankers who made stupid decisions of their own accord while the ranks of the homeless, unemployed and uninsured swell. And yet - I can click a button on my computer, and for a mere $45 someone will mail me a foam facial appliance of a chimpanzee that utilizes the same technology that somebody used to win an Academy Award with back in 1969. Amazing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ape Lincoln

Torn from today's election season headlines and just in time for Halloween, a stately Ape Lincoln showed up in the Blogfoot offices last week. He pressed the flesh and delivered a uplifting stump speech, gently assuring us that life for humans under his rule on Planet of the Abes wouldn't be so bad (click on pics to embiggen).

Some politicians kiss babies, Ape Lincoln hugs puppies.

Later I will post more pics, revealing just how I skillfully brought this creation to staggering life for a mere $100 or so.

Monday, November 03, 2008

This is not a can of paint

You could be forgiven for thinking that it was paint. It certainly looks like a gallon of high-quality, weather-resistant enamel. But no - this is a large can of cheese. Liquid cheese in a giant coffee can, as poured over nachos at a Halloween party I attended the other night. Yum.