Monday, November 2, 2009

The Beginning of the End for All Other Podcasts

An Alter Ego is a second self, a second personality or persona within a person. An Alter Negro is the new definition of what it is to be Black, the Negrona within the Negro. I am of my Race, Gender, and Species, and not of them at the same time. The Alter Negro Show is the Internet Radio Broadcast manifestation of me, John Minus, the Alter. It is everything in my head wrung out and put on display for the world to see. It is my way of changing the world.

There are a lot of people like me out there in the world, people who don’t quite fit in, who are underrepresented, marginalized, and labeled Deviant. To all of those people, I say; this is the Show for you. The Alter-Negro Show, hosted by John W. Minus. The Grand Premier is in 3 weeks, November 23rd, 2009 on the Non-Productive Network,

Go ahead, try and not listen. You’ll regret it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Most Colorful Game

A young man was killed in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual occurrence, as Hartford doesn’t seem to be a place bereft of crime. What is truly unfortunate is that sometimes no matter how much a young Black man tries to do the right thing, he can still become the victim of random-bullshit-petty-violence that takes his life. It may sound cliché at this point, but most concepts become cliché because they are so ubiquitous as to become a rhetorically accepted fact. The concept I am talking about is that of the poor Black kid in the ghetto who has some athletic ability and tries to use it to pull himself and his family out of the endless cycle of violence that traps so many in America’s inner cities. It may be cliché, but it is a stone-cold fact for many kids in the ‘hood that Football or Basketball are their only perceived ways of being somebody in the world… well, that or hip-hop. The worst part is that even when these kids make it, achieve their dream and get scholarships to a big-time College, their past still haunts them. They leave the ‘hood, but the ‘hood never leaves them. Jasper Howard wasn’t even from Connecticut, he was from Miami, FL, and still the violence that has claimed the lives of so many young Black men claimed his as well. And, like I said, as far as we know he was trying to do the right thing. So what do we learn from this? No matter how hard or how fast someone runs between the lines, they can never escape what they are, their Color.

This season the NFL has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the AFL, what is now the AFC. In honor of that there have been a multitude of “Throwback” games when two AFC foes face each other, resulting in some rather colorful uniform displays. Starting with the Bright Orange stripes of the referees, I believe that I have seen every color in the visible Electromagnetic Spectrum, and some that aren’t (I’m pretty sure the Seahawks have used some Ultraviolet Colors in their alternate Uni’s). I, personally, have enjoyed the hell out of this season’s throwbacks, my favorites being the Oilers and Broncos (yes the Brown and Gold). Unfortunately my absolute favorite throwback Uni, the Tangerine of the Tampa Bay Bucs, will not be on display as they are a NFC team *sigh*. I guess I’ll live. Even with all the flashes of color one thing unfortunately seems to remain the same; the inescapable fact that the most important color on the field isn’t the green of the grass, or the hue of the uniform, but the tone of the skin of the player.

This has always been true, and it still is true. In 1958 the University of Buffalo football team was invited to it’s one and only Bowl game in its school history (before or since). It was the Tangerine Bowl, to be played in Orlando, FL against the Florida State Gators. Buffalo had two Black players on their team, and the school was informed that one of the stipulations of playing in the Bowl Game was that Buffalo’s Black players had to stay home; the Orlando High School Athletic Association did not allow Black players to play with White players. This was not an isolated rule either; it was a pretty common practice in The South for a long time. Common, of course, until the segregated schools realized that they could not beat teams that had Black players. Then the urge to win overcame racism, as it often does. This is why Sports so often overcomes racism, because even the most strident racist bastard can overlook his hatred for 4 quarters.

This being the case, sports have brought down a lot of racial divides, while simultaneously putting them on display for the world to see. There has long been a belief that Black’s could never successfully play the QB position because we just aren’t smart enough. This perception is still around; there are very few Black QB’s who aren’t also known for their running ability. Warren Moon, the only Black QB in the Football Hall of Fame, had to go to Canada to play when he graduated from college because no team in the NFL would draft him as a QB, despite being named MVP of the 1978 Rose Bowl. After passing for over 3000 yards for 4 straight years in the Canadian Football League, Moon finally was taken seriously as a QB, and after a sizeable bidding war signed with the Houston Oilers. To date, only one Black QB has started and won a Super Bowl, further adding to this perception. And then there was the Limbaugh/McNabb debacle…

Rush Limbaugh, briefly, worked for ESPN doing color commentary on the NFL. He genuinely has a love for football, and in my opinion was an interesting addition to the show. His football analysis was actually very good, and he did not seem that out of place for someone who had no real connection to the sport other than as a fan. But alas, eventually the real Rush came out when he said that the Media wanted Donovan McNabb to succeed only because he was a Black QB. Now at the time, and even today, I did not think what he said was really that terrible. In fact I may have even agreed a little. Regardless of the fact that I hate the Eagles, I thought that Limbaugh’s statement, in and of itself, was an observation and nothing more. The problem is in the context of everything Rush has said before and since regarding race, he cannot say things like that and expect it to be glossed over. He has said some things that quite frankly make him the world’s biggest asshole, and he cannot possibly be naïve enough to think that what he does for a living would have no bearing on whether he was allowed to be part of an industry as image-conscious as the NFL is. Add to that the target of most of his vitriol happens to be African-Americans, who obviously had a problem with him becoming an owner as well, and yes, Rush was Rushed out of the group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams.

I am an ardent believer in our First Amendment right to Free Speech, but what most people fail to realize is that when you say whatever the Hell you want to, there are consequences to those actions. Rush Limbaugh just experienced some of those consequences. In his world, he is never held accountable for his actions, but in the real world, people hate him and are angry about what he says. Sports are the great equalizer, where it’s about Colors, yes, but what rules above all is CAN YOU HELP US WIN. Because of that, over the decades racial barriers have been broken down both on the field and off. Ultimately, Rush was not going to help the Rams improve as an organization, as many players voiced that they would not play for a team that he was a part of, meaning that his presence would hurt the team in the WIN/LOSS column. Period. That’s why he was dropped from the group. I love my Colorful NFL World for just that reason. Now, where can I buy one of those Gold and Brown Broncos Unis?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Unbearable Triteness of Beings

Let me start off by saying this.

I. Hate. Pink.

I always have. I don’t think there is anything good about her or what she does. Most of my distaste for her comes from the fact that she is just too damn ugly to be famous. I mean, I know plenty of attractive girls who deserve to be famous way more than Pink does. She’s just awful in the facial area. She looks as if a blind impressionist sculpted her visage. I disapprove of her and most of the things that come out of her mouth. Many of her “songs” seem to consist of yelling and pandering to tired fake-feminist themes that are guaranteed to sell because hey, who doesn’t like being angry and yelling about being spurned by stupid ex-boyfriends huh? Really, she’s the worst kind of garbage because she has absolutely no basis for having a justifiable opinion on anything, yet she feels the need to share her ill-informed and irrational opinions with everyone in the fucking world. Literally, she is a global cancer in this sense, harassing people in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Her most passionate cause is animal rights, but unlike most animal rights activists she actually does other charity work for humans, and for this I must give her at least a little credit. She hasn’t abandoned her (presumed) race for another species, even though she obviously shares more DNA with a canid or, say, an orangutan than another Human Being.

One of the reasons that this chick gets to me so much, is that she likes to lay into people that I like, namely Beyonce and Kanye West. She had a thing against Kanye previous to the events of last weekend because he wears fur. Well guess what you half-chick, Cam’ron wears fur too, why don’t you go after him huh? Call him a piece of shit? Oh I know why, because Cam’ron and Dip Set will actually have her ass kidnapped in a basement in Harlem, never to be seen again. The point of the matter being that Pink only goes after “soft targets” like Beyonce and Prince William. Kanye, for all of his ego, is not and never has been a thug type of guy. He’s just not the beef-type who responds to perceived slights through diss-records and carries out vendettas through the media, no matter what people say about him. As jackass-ish as what he did was, you cannot say that he has ever made a personal attack against Taylor Swift or anyone, save maybe for George Bush, who really deserved it. The evidence is clear; for all of the many and varied insults she has hurled at him, he has said nothing in return. For what it’s worth, neither has Beyonce. I suspect though that Beyonce could care less about Pink, seeing as how B far outclasses Pink in virtually any and every category of measurable success one could think of.

I admit freely that I am biased towards Kanye, in fact I have stated many times that I am his biggest fan, in much the same way that “Stan” was Eminem’s biggest fan From an objective point of view however, the reaction to this event is all wrong. For one thing, Kanye interrupted someone else’s speech, did not insult her, and just said that B should have one. Now, upon further examination, it is no secret that Kanye looks up to Jay-Z like his big brother, so by extension it would make sense that he sees Beyonce as a big sister or at the very least sister in law. Who among you wouldn’t stand up and make a fuss if you felt that your beloved sister had been cheated? Wouldn’t you do it, especially if you were drunk and already prone to speaking your mind… no matter if it is appropriate or not… in any and all situations?
Secondly, and I won’t talk about this too much, but the man’s mother died 2 years ago, and let’s just say that it is still effecting him. Kanye was not exactly the most emotionally stable guy beforehand, and to lose such a central figure in his life, in fact, the central figure in his life so suddenly and unexpectedly sent him into a tailspin that he never has adequately dealt with. He admitted what I already knew, that he didn’t take any time off from working to adequately grieve, and all of that pain is going to come out somewhere at sometime. Believe me; I know this much is true.

Lastly, NONE OF THIS is as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. It seems to have sparked a national debate about whether manners are dead and about how Kanye is the rudest man ever. This of, course, is racist. I know people will say that I‘m full of it, but do you honestly think this would have gotten the same coverage if Kanye had done it to Ciara at the BET awards? Would you even have heard of it? You and I both know that the answer to that is no. I’m not entirely sure who Taylor Swift is or what she does, but I know what she looks like, and based on the fact that she is 17, and Beyonce is, well, B, I’m pretty sure that she has no business winning an award over B. That being said, she did win, and it is not the first time, nor will it be the last time some blond-eyed blue-haired girl wins an award over someone darker and more deserving.

What really burns me bout all of this is the public outrage. Much like the Michael Vick situation, people are showing much more anger and venom here than they do when actual human lives are threatened. I will never forget what happened in New Orleans, to me, it is just as horrible as 9/11, and that is why I consider Bush and his administration to be just as bad as those terrorists. They are just as responsible for the loss of several thousand American lives as Al Quaeda is. But I digress… the outrage over Katrina seemed muted and, let’s say, relegated to specific portions of the populace. The outrage over one entertainer embarrassing another has been far more vitriolic and incendiary. Once again, our priorities as a nation seem to be horribly skewed, and that is what makes me so angry. It seems like the most ignorant and ill-informed members of society feel the need to share their opinions in public forums the most often, which of course is why I started my blog. Pink firmly falls in the category of ignorant, ill-informed, and ugly. Sorry, I just can’t get over how hideous she is for a pop-star. I mean really, who dropped the ball there?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The White Girl Dance, Sex Offenders, Disney, etc…

It’s been a long time, I know, but yer boy is back, and I have a lot on my mind. For one thing, Disney bought Marvel. This isn’t exactly a surprise if you really think about it, and it may turn out to be a good thing in some ways. Warner Bros. and DC have had an agreement for years now that has worked out really well for them. All DC characters have had movies made by Warner Bros., which has resulted in a pretty standard level of consistency across all of their films. At least in terms of production values, DC movies have all been decent. It is a trait that Marvel movies, let’s just say, lack. Marvel movies vary wildly in terms of quality, actors, and production values, and with this merger that may change. Also, the major advantage is that different characters can be used in different movies with ease. DC could easily do a Batman/Superman movie because WB has the rights to both characters, but prior to today there could be no Human Torch/Spiderman interaction because different studios did their movies. Well, they could do a Barman/Superman movie if they could un-fuck themselves and get on with it, but that’s another rant for another day. Let’s face it; Disney has a shit-ton of money that they can put behind any of their movies. They could even get better people to write/direct all of the Marvel movies, so there won’t be such a disparity between oh, say, Daredevil and Elektra and Spider-Man and Iron Man. Of course, the negative side is that Disney is Disney, and the darker titles like Deadpool and Punisher are going to be sanitized, much to the dismay of all. But you all do not need to be too worried about that, because if I see it happen I will burn Disney to the ground with all of its employees inside. I think that’s fair, right?

Which brings me to Sex Offenders… what, that isn’t a normal transition for you? Well, this post isn’t going to be smooth, it’s going to be more like a taxi ride in Manhattan, so get used to it. Now where was I… oh yeah, Child Molesters. So, it seems that people have their panties in a bunch about sex offenders in general, and pedophiles and child molesters in specific. They are scared to death that “those people” will move in next to them, and menace their children, abduct them in the night like some kiddy-touching vampires, and abscond with them under cover of darkness. Well, that just ain’t the case. What I am about to say isn’t meant to alarm you, but in fact is meant to get you to protect your family in the most effective manner possible.

First of all, most kids who are molested are assaulted by people they, or you, know. So if all of these strangers you see on maps of sex offenders scare you, you actually should be more worried about the people you know who show an unusual interest in your children because, let’s face it, no one really LIKES your kids. You LOVE your kids, but let’s be real here, you don’t really like your kids. So do you think other people can tolerate the sub-human ankle-biters? I mean, they may think they are cute, they may like to play with them, they may even enjoy your kids company somewhat, but at the end of the day most people cannot wait to getaway from your little buggers. The great thing about other people’s kids are that they are OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS, and that when they need changing, or start crying, or start throwing ketchup on your brand new Ferragamo shoes, you can send those little f’ers right back to their parents and leave. That’s how the world works.

Child molesters and pedophiles want to stick around your kids and baby-sit even when they are colicky, or saucy, or nasty, or sick, or irreverent, or just plain being little pricks. That’s when you should be cautious, that’s when your Spider-Sense should be tingling. There are people who genuinely like kids and want to help them, but it is my assertion that everyone gets tired of kids eventually, and, given the choice, they would rather be doing something involving lubrication and nudity with another adult (or two) than be around kids. So, people, don’t worry about the sex offenders that have been caught, they are probably under surveillance: wonder about the one’s who haven’t been caught, the one’s that are not on the website… the ones you are related to, the friends of the family… In fact, just be aware of who the fuck is in your life. Megan’s law isn’t going to save your children, you are.

In the past few years, maybe I’ll say… ten; there has been a radical evolution in the White Woman… two in fact. One mutation has been the evolution of the white girl’s ass. Where previously the white girl’s ass was as wide and flat as the great plains of Montana, now you can find them with big, full bubble butts. Now granted, when I say “them” I mostly mean Italian girls, but there are exceptions. Every now and then you’ll find a Greek or Polish girl with a phatty that you just can’t ignore, but by and large, it’s the Italian girls who bring all the Black and Brown guys to the yard.

The more amazing evolution, however, has been the slow but steady ability of some white girls to be able to dance. And I don’t mean just move to the beat, I mean actually shake it like a saltshaker. Really, some of these chicks have rhythm, can move their hips, drop it like it’s hawt, the whole nine. It is really something to see. Now, this is, by no means a universal phenomenon. There are still white girls who seem to learn how to dance by studying old tapes of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld. I just cannot dance with those girls, as much as I would like to. People have to be in sync to dance together, in my opinion, and dancing with a girl who can’t ride da riddim, so to speak, is like trying to break a bucking bronco. It may sound fun hypothetically, but in practice it is in no way erotic. But that is not who we are talking about here, we are talking about those rare white girls who seem to have grown up Black and work a dance floor like they work a pole on weekends. I salute these women and wish that they would share their gifts and abilities with their Caucasian sisters. Problem is, a lot of those girls actually do work a pole… either a dance pole or… in another sense of the word… Really, if a few girls who can dance like this is good, than more are better, right? As long as you girls are at it, I will, free of charge, offer my services to dance with you. Nobody wants to dance alone right? Even Whitney Houston wanted to dance with somebody. Come one, come all, and trip the light fantastic with me, my Ivory Skinned Nymphs… you won’t regret it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Living a Life of Raucous Desperation

Most of us;

Many of us;

Live lives of quiet desperation.

At some point in our lives we are deathly, quietly afraid. Terrified of life. Of something in it anyway. We are anxious and fearful. I know it and you know it, those of you reading this right now and thinking of that thing that you are quietly (or vocally) afraid of are going to follow this a little easier than those of you who are denying it. And I know there are those of you who are denying it. Nothing, never, evermore, you say, have I ever feared. Nothing, you say, to the point of terror, and never to anything you would call "quiet desperation".

To you I say, "you’re good". You are the best liar of all, because the best lies are the ones you tell to yourself. We are all afraid of something, unless you have faced that fear… and you would know if you had because you will have that little episode marked down on your little mental Facebook calendar as "The worst fucking time of my life". Those of us who have had to face down our worst fears are never the same after it. Sometimes we are better, sometimes we are worse, but we are never the same.

When this happened to me, I wasn’t the same. Actually it happened to me three times. I had to endure facing my three worst fears… and as my Grandfather would say, I lived. I am still here… but changed. I am no longer living a life of quiet desperation, I am living a life of cacophonous desperation. I am desperate to be myself. For many years of my life I have molded who I was to be somebody for someone else. I made myself into everyone’s Doll, hoping that they’d buy me and take me home.

But when my "Happening"... uh… happened, it let loose the real me. And it turns out the real me is a Force of Nature, something like a Phenomenon, with all the destructive force of a Hurricane. And since I have made this little discovery I have spent countless amounts of mental energy trying to contain myself, trying to NOT be who I am, because people apparently couldn’t take the intensity. Or that’s how I perceived the state of affairs to be. Maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong. But that is certainly what it felt like. These days I often feel like there’s a caged starved, half-crazed wolf in my head trying to break out and I have to keep it caged and starved and crazed because… because…

Because… why exactly? Why indeed?

No more. I’m letting it free. I’m letting the Hurricane free to wreak havoc. I in short, am going to start being myself.

God help us all.

And for all of you who are also living lives of Quiet (or vocal) desperation, please write me, I will show you how to let your beast lose. We need more people to be real, to be themselves… to be Forces of Nature.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Primordial Ooze of a Movement...

I have been thinking about this black sub-culture thing for a long time. I'm still trying to work the bugs out. The problem is that Black people are so fractured now, but there is definitely a need I think to form some sort of support group for the Black kids who grow up in the suburbs and aren't accepted by the mainstream society, Blacks or Whites. I grew up always feeling like an outsider, and I don't want anyone to have to go through that anymore, but I still see black kids who are, I see some of them on this site. So I don't know, I feel like maybe this is my thing in life, to try and make it easier for My people, not so much Blacks in general, but Blacks who never quite fit in anywhere else... it's all hypothetical now, but that's the gist...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Flip 'n Fold F'in Fantastic!

If there is one thing you should know about me, is that I fuckin love my flip-fold table. It's the only reason I fold any of my clothes. I don't know how I lived without it. No longer are flip fold tables solely purveyed to large stores that sell clothes; now the regular man and woman can own one of these magical devices. I have owned one for quite a while now, and have been on their mailing list for just as long. They sometimes send me comforting emails to let me know what is going on with their magical company. I have just received a new one to let me know about other products available from this company that should be put at the forefront of American Technologies. "The Ultimate Folding Tool" offers much more than just the Flip Fold table. You must go to their website to see all of the other products these people, from the goodness and genius of their hearts and minds, provide to us. What they do, yes they do get paid for, but that is not why these people work for the Ultimate Folding Tool. No, they do their work out of love, and out of a sense of duty to Humanity. Visit that site and tell me that I am wrong. See if it is possible. And no, they do not pay me to say this; what I say here I also say out of love; love for my flip-fold table.

My Perfect Child...

He/She would be a perfect 1/4th combination of Jon Stewart, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Janeane Garofalo. Except, you know, Black. It's not a racial thing, I'm Black, it's a Genetic thing... by definition my child would have to be at least half-Black. There may be some danger to having a child who is snarkier than I, but the ever present battle of wits would keep me on my toes and keep my brain sharp, preventing me from ever going more senile than I already am. I think this is a good plan. Now all I have to do is find an incredibly sharp, witty, and devestatingly beautiful woman... Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Minus on Demand, via Non-Productive!

Hello True Believers, I know you all have a big empty space in your life, a hole if you will that just needs to be filled with something. Well we, your friendly folks at Non-Productive (Sam, Frank, Lindsey and John) are here to fill your vast emptiness with our big meaty show. Now I know you people all have busy lives and can’t always listen to us live when we broadcast… at least that’s what you say, and hey; who are we to doubt that you are actually out having a life on Thursday nights…

Anyway we, your Radio Lovers on Non Productive, every Thursday night at 8PM on or understand that you can’t always be next to a computer on Thursday nights to hear our sexy voices, that’s why we have Non-Pro On Demand, AKA Podcasts available for download! You can get to them by two methods, either one works fine. 1. You can go to and Click on the Record Player on the top of the screen. That will take you to the podcasts page, or just go to Both methods work. Once there just scroll down until you find the shows you want, or, as I recommend, download them all! Come on, as if you have something better to do?


Monday, January 19, 2009

Go Team Venture!

Last year’s Comic Con had many high points for me, but the high point for most people was the "Venture Bros." panel. Occupying a full size ballroom, it was standing room only to see the people responsible for Adult Swim’s most popular series currently. The room was packed with fans, some in costume to see the series creator and voice of Hank Venture, Chris McCullough, James Urbaniak (Dr Venture), Michael Sinterniklaas (Dean Venture), and Doc Hammer (Dr Girlfriend (!)). I was there to cover the Con, but I was really there as a fan more than anything. I love Venture Bros. Because I used to watch Johnny Quest religiously as a kid and teenager. When I would think back on the show I would think about how odd it was that these two kids (Johnny Quest and Hadji) where constantly being thrown into life-threatening situations and saw more than their fare share of men die at the tender ages of 15 or however old they were. I am pretty sure they even killed some people themselves. It all made me wonder, what the hell were these kids going to be like when they grew up? Actually, Johnny Quest left me with a lot of questions, some of which I probably think of waaay too much…

But that’s neither here nor there. I believe that the people who appreciate Venture Bros. the most are the ones who grew up watching the cartoons and action TV shows that VB takes many of it’s references from. The plot is hysterical in and of itself, but it’s the pop culture references that put the entertainment value of the show over the top. That is not to say that you have to get the references to find the show entertaining, I just think that is how one gets the most out of the show. The strength of the show is in the writing; VB has some of the wittiest, smartest, most natural sounding writing on television. It’s the writing that attracts fans who are not familiar with the references and the source material for the show. I have personally enslaved many of my friends to the show by simply exposing them to one or two episodes that they never would have watched on their own. Once they were taken in by the unparalleled humor of the show, they were hooked.

The best part about the Venture Bros. experience was that the people responsible for making the show are just as funny as the show they produce. The ease with which they interact with each other translates well to the screen. Watching the Venture Bros. panel was very much like watching the show itself. The personalities of the writers and the actors clearly shine through in the finished product; it is a good thing that they have such amazing personalities to do the show. Fortunately for everyone in attendance, a great show makes for a great panel, and the crowd was in stitches for much of the way-too-short time we had with the principle players. They showed a preview of Season Two, which had everyone in attendance foaming at the mouth to see it. At this date Season Two has aired, and it was well worth the wait, living up to the hype built around it at last year’s Con. The best part of the panel was that outside of the panel you could find people like Doc Hammer and James Urbaniak wandering around the Convention floor just like anybody else. Just saying, the same could not be said of Seth Green. Anyway, this year Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick will be at the Con as Special Guests. If this article has sparked any interest in Venture Bros. For you, or if you already a fan, it is well worth it to seek out their company this year. I know I will.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why Bruce Timm is Important to You

Bruce Timm is one of the most important men in my life. I only found this out very recently though. You are probably asking yourself if Bruce Timm is one of the most important men in my life, one would think that I would at least have been aware of him before very recently right? Well, I say in response, you do not know me very well. I am very often ignorant of the people who are responsible for the things that I enjoy the most. And Bruce Timm definitely qualifies as a man who is responsible for a good deal of the most enjoyable, quite frankly highest quality television available since the early 1980’s. Let me guide you through some of the CLASSIC cartoons that Mr. Timm has been a part of.

Mr. Timm is most well known for his involvement with DC’s entire run of animated series, from “Batman: The Animated Series” on. These series all had a good deal of continuity, which is essential to quality, and ran from one to another in a fairly smooth fashion. Batman blended into “Superman: the Animated Series” (with “Batman Beyond” in between), and Superman went to “Justice League”. “Justice League” then went on to become “Justice League Unlimited”, and next the Wonder Woman animated movie that will premier this year. He also executive produced much of “Teen Titans” and was involved with many of the various Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond, and Justice League animated movies that were made during the DC animated series illustrious run. Now, I must say here that I have always been FAR more of a Marvel guy in terms of comic books, but when it comes to cartoons, DC wins in every category by far. The best compliment that I can give to “The Dark Knight” is that it almost was as good as an episode of the original Batman series.

Batman the animated series had a way of giving depth to characters that one wouldn’t think possible. I always said it had the best acting on television, which was especially bad since it was animation. Many of Batman’s villains in this incarnation where portrayed as tragic figures, especially Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and Two-Face. You never knew which way Catwoman was leaning (good or bad) and seemingly, neither did Selena. Harley and Poison Ivy very nearly deserved a show of their own. And then there was the Joker. People will argue this of course, but my favorite incarnation of the Joker is Mark Hamill’s. He was insane, dangerous, murderous, hilarious, and had the best laugh. You could always count on Joker episode to deliver, and it is hard for any series to be consistently good with any character. As for Batman himself, he started out as clearly having a Batman side and a Bruce Wayne side, but as the series progressed, and really, it helps if you think of all the series as one continuous story with different story arcs focusing on different characters, he becomes more Batman-all-the-time. It makes sense however as the dangers they face become more and more serious, and as Superman begins to lose control of his anger…

Ah, but there we encounter the greatest story in the animated series, the evolution of Superman into a real boy, as I like to call it. Superman as we all know is an alien. And all he really wants is to be human. Well, in the animated series Lex Luthor and Darkseid give him his wish, introducing him to two particular human emotions; pride and anger. Over the course of the series, Superman learns that he likes being THE Hero, that he does not like losing, and he does not really know how to handle frustration. One of the most psychologically thrilling storylines is the degradation of Superman’s control over his anger, and the effects it has on the Justice League, and the world in general. If the last Superman had some of that substance it would have been way more interesting. I mean, I enjoyed “Superman Returns” but it just does not stand up to the Superman storylines from the “Justice League Unlimited” series.

Bruce Tim has Produced, Directed, wrote, and Art directed all of these series. These are quality works, and just part of his professional body. I watched all of these shows religiously, and though I still Make Mine Marvel, when it comes to superhero cartoons, nothing surpasses DC’s masterpieces, and it is in large part due to Bruce Timm. It is, in fact, these shows that have pushed me to want to write even more. So, thank you Mr. Timm, for putting out some really good cartoons for all of these years, when a lot of other companies were really half-assing it. Timm’s work has shown me what is possible when people take a fantasy seriously and put hard work into it; a truly great story can be born, and in some cases completely reborn.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Ultimate Battle

Ok here's the deal. We have a Zombie outbreak that spreads Rapidly, and these zombies are strong and fast, and able to spread their Zombie-ness through bites. At the same time a large number of Velociraptors (nee Deinonychus) Escape from Jurassic park to the mainland, and start laying eggs. ALSO at the same time, a huge number of T-100 Terminators armed with laser blasters teleport back from the future with laser blasters to start the Robot Holocaust early. And finally, at the same time the First class of Space Marines is commissioned, complete with all of their hardcore weaponry (think Aliens) and they are deployed across Earth and Space to deal with all of these threats to humanity.

The Zombies are spreading, and the Raptors are breeding. Also, the Terminators picked up the Borg trick of creating Cyborgs, and can "assimilate" living humans. The Zombies can Zombify the Raptors and the humans. No one is sure if the Cyborgs can be zombified, or if Zombies can be assimilated. Apparently, Zombie Raptors can still heal. Space marines have all of the firepower in the universe at their disposal, and can pretty much destroy anything fairly quickly. Also, more classes of Space marines are graduating every month. So I ask you; who wins? Oh, and all sides start with even numbers.