DC Direct's Upcoming Alex Ross-designed Justice League figures - pictured here (from l to r) are Sinestro, Cheetah, Bizarro and the Flash. Now that is a Legion of Doom.
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Legion of Doomed

Picked up the DVD release of The Challenge of the Superfriends Season 1 tonight at the illustrious Targ'et. If you recall this classic Saturday morning 'toon from the late 70s/early 80s you know how cool it was. The best of the best for super-heroes and the baddest of the bad villains like Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy and the ultra-cool Black Manta! This really made these DC comic characters household names to legions of kids from my generation and the DVD set (at a smooth $24.99) makes for great nostalgia. If you have kids, let them see what cartoons used to be like, before everything was a toy line commercial and imported from Japan. I love the current Justice League cartoon on Cartoon Network, but it just doesn't have the trippy bizarre-ness of the old Super Friends show. These were really the best episodes (no Wendy and Marvin or Wonder Twins to sell the show out) and featured really intricate and sometimes gruesome stories for Saturday morning viewing.

So, whether you love comics or not, these are worth a look, purely for nostalgia and the wow factor.

"Deep beneath the murky waters of a swamp, the Legion of Doom plots . . . " voice over Master.


Sleepy Time

no time to write . . . must sleep. Oh, one thing. Last night's MTV VMA's Sucked Ass. Period.
nighty night.


The Weekly 5

Here it is, the first in an ongoing weekly series, coming to you directly from the blog-o-sphere, on Sundays in the post meridian. These might not be new, they might not be old; it’s possible they’re ancient or not even out yet. But anything here is wearing on my brain and ready for mass consumption. So here they are, a list of entertainment/information/etc presumptive suggestions. The first of The Weekly 5 :

Read It: Greg Rucka – any of his books fit for the week, but the most recent that I read is what I’m talking about. A Fistful of Rain (the title is a line from a Warren Zevon song) is all about repression, anger and vengeance. Set against the life of a rock and roller and the fame that comes with success, this is a dark and fast-paced thriller. As usual, the writer knows how to write great female leads and Mim (the lead in this one) is right at the top of the list. Rucka also writes a lot of comics, but he was a crime/thriller novelist first, and his books still pack more punch than his Eisner Award winning comics – that’s saying a lot.

Scan It: Marvel Comics’ and Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men – Mentioned on this very site earlier in the week in a sort-of review, I think it’s worthwhile to list again here. Yeah, it’s that good.

Listen To It: Beastie Boys - To the 5 Burroughs – wasn’t a huge fan of the album the first time I listened to it and it still lacks some of the verbal hash-slinging of Paul’s Boutique, or even Check Your Head, but the more I listen, the more it seeps into my bones. Worth it.

View It: (this is a double shot) IFC’s showing of the documentary Frazetta: Painting with Fire – while I am not a huge fantasy reader or fan of the art style, Frazetta’s obviously the master. That being said, this doc gives a casual fan or the most die-hard follower an amazing perspective on the man and his work. Coming out next week on DVD, check The Punisher. Not the best comic movie ever, not a great action movie, but Tom Jane’s performance is dead on (no pun intended) and he is Frank Castle. The movie’s true to the character as well, and that’s getting a lot for any adaptation of the written word to moving pictures. Plus, with the DVD release, you get a limited edition Punisher comic by writer supreme Garth Ennis (whose comic issues the film was based on.)

Bookmark It: www.comicbookresources.com has all the comicbook and comic movie news that’s fit to upload. A regular haunt that I visit daily and if you have any interest in comics, you should be there too. The weekly columns are nothing to scoff at either – insightful, informative and damn entertaining.

So, there it is. The first of the weekly spin. It turned into a mostly comic-themed first salvo, but I promise diversity and challenges in the weeks and months to come. This was a warm-up and came right off that first thin layer of cerebral tissue.

“Burn,” – Superman to Mongel, in the classic Alan Moore-penned Superman Annual #11


Fright Night

Friday night, weekend's here. Busy, as usual. The humidity is back, turning up like a bad penny. Going to the Roger Williams Zoo tomorrow, should be fun. Otherwise quiet. May start another piece of fiction on here on Sunday night. Or a weekly review type thing - not quite sure yet. Either way, check back with me for more tomorrow and/or Sunday.

fade to black . . .


Buffy Pryde

So, Joss Whedon (writer/director/creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) has recently begun writing a comic title for Marvel Comics, The Astonishing X-Men. One of a myriad number of titles featuring Marvel's merry mutants, this obviously is a headliner for the company and a great coup for comics. Whedon is extremely popular and fans of his TV shows rival Trekkies and comic-geeks alike as obsessive/compulsive fanatics.

A confirmed comic-geek myself, and also a big fan of Whedon's TV work, I was not as huge a fan of his comic work (his first effort was Fray from Dark Horse Comics, and while good, it never really caught me.) But, with his current run on this brand new X-title, I am a convert to the Word of Whedon.

Like anyone who has ever been a comics reader, the X-Men are a staple of the industry and something everyone reads at least for some period of their lives (usually their teens and maybe in their early 20s, but then move on to more "mature" titles.) There are of course, still Marvel Zombies out there who devour anything X-related and have never stopped collecting their myriad adventures.

Of late, however, the X-Men have gained new prominence in the entertainment world with two smash hit movies and a very successful series of comic adventures penned by luminaries like Grant Morrison (New X-Men), Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate X-Men), and now Whedon on Astonishing.

Whedon has said many times before that the team dynamic and chumminess of his characters in the Buffy-verse were based on the model that Chris Claremont and John Byrne laid out in their seminal run on Uncanny X-Men in the early 80s.

And reading his most recent comic work, it is obvious he has a love for these characters and their family-esque roots. These are outcasts that have no one but each other. All of the action and wise-ass quipping that goes on – the sexy panels and amazing artwork of John Cassaday – are all secondary to the emotional bonds that hold these characters together. That’s the X-Men that I remember and that I love.

It’s nice to see them back where they belong without being retro’d, reduxed or rebooted. This is fresh storytelling that just knows what’s at the heart of the characters and how to bring it to the surface.

So, if you haven’t checked out comics in years (or ever) and you like the things Whedon did on TV, run out to your local comic shop or Borders and pick up Astonishing X-Men. Conveniently enough, this week saw the release of a Marvel Must Have: Astonishing X-Men, which collects the first three issues of Whedon’s run. Issue #4 was also released and if you are an old time X-fan, avoid the variant cover, as a big secret is revealed – a pleasant one in my humble opinion.

So, until tomorrow night – snikt!


Tokyo Babylon

If you aren't already watching it on a regular basis, your ass should be parked in front of the cathode ray tube whenever Dave Atell's Insomniac graces its screen. Comedy Central's lineup of shows is getting better and better with every year it's on cable and this show is in my opinion one of its best.

The latest reason to get on board with this show is the Insomniac Tokyo Special: Sloshed in Translation. For those unfamiliar with comedian Atell's show, he goes to a city at random, hits the first bar he finds after performing stand-up and proceeds to careen around the city from bar to bar to late night hotspot to odd stores and stranger places until dawn. The ensuing line-up of freaks, drunkards and cantankerous humans that he meets is not only entertaining but downright hilarious.

So, with that in mind and with other foreign countries' cities under his belt, Atell heads to the strangest and most science fiction-like city in the world, Tokyo, Japan. There (in a special hour long episode) Atell eats poisonous blowfish, visits a 24-hour filth/porn network, attends a Wooden Penis Celebration, takes a Kendo (bamboo sword fighting) lesson and hangs out with one of the funniest group of men you have ever seen -- Japan's version of the Guardian Angels.

Truly, this is the crowning achievement of Atell's hilarious exploits and will surely convert any nay-sayer to the side of this brilliant show. Watch it and learn.

If you aren’t taken in by the late-night hijinks of this episode, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog! You're missing the point. . .

Having said all that, I bid you goodnight.


Sunday Night Blues

F******K! And I don't mean firetruck! I just wrote out two semi-depth-ful movie reviews of flicks I caught this week (nothing new -- Van Helsing and Nighthawks -- but they were fun to write) and I went to publish and crap-ass AT&T disconnected me and I lost the blog entry. Eh!

Anyway, that sucks, but I willl write tomorrow night, maybe something more insightful - I am wiped now . . .

Technology is your enemy


The New Avengers - Coming Soon
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Lost Time

So . . . I was stuck in Texas (don't ask) with no internet access and I just got back late on Wednesday night. I know I am slacking on entries and more importantly finishing off my story, but I promise the conclusion to Open Wounds tomorrow and more substantive entries over the next few weeks. I have some things in mind and I am going to start getting some reviews laid out as well. So, join me if you will tomorrow night, for the conclusion to Harlan's harrowing happenings.

Oh, and check out the pic below - it's a teaser shot for the new Avengers line-up. After the current story line "Disassembled" wraps up, lots of former Avengers will be formerly living, so the team takes on some new blood. Spider-man and Wolverine being two of them. And if my sources are correct - Luke Cage Powerman is another! Sweet Christmas!

As Gordon Gekko would say, "Talk at you tomorrow."


Promises Kept

So, I promised a little fiction tonight, to start week two in the blog-o-shpere, and I am about to deliver. Below, please find the first chapter in a week-long short story, titled Open Wounds.

Chapter 1

The poignant stench of blood was thick in the air. Harlan sat Indian style on the floor in the bedroom, his back against the wall under the lone window. His eyes were closed and the gun was nearly slipping from his wet palm. He wasn't sure how much time had passed since he'd moved.

Alex slouched in the armchair in the corner of the room. The hole on the left of her forehead stared at the boy as if it were a circus freak's third eye. A lone trickle of blood traced the contour of his aunt's cheekbone.

Wet tracks of tears traced their way through the gunpowder on Harlan's cheek. His ears still rang from the shots fired in the small room. He tried to listen for noises in the house, but he couldn't discern any if there were any to hear.

Nothing. Not a thing.

Henry lay on the floor directly across from Harlan, partially blocking the door. His uncle's wheelchair was tipped over on the other side of the door, in the dark hallway leading to the stairs. The stairs led to the door. But Harlan couldn't go there.

Not yet.

Two separate puddles of blood were slowly spreading beneath the body of his uncle. They were dark red - almost maroon - in the late afternoon sun that streamed into the room through the ragged hand-sewn curtains. Harlan could not stop looking at a fly that had landed in one of the puddles. A single wing fluttered madly on the fly's back; it was stuck and now struggling to escape the feast it had found.

For what seemed like the first time, Harlan felt the weight of the gun in his hand. He almost threw it away, repulsed, but stopped. It would have made a noise. Thudded on the floor. He couldn't have that. Not now.

No. Now he had to think. Think clearly.

Will was out there. He couldn't hear him, but he knew. He knew Will was out there.

Somewhere on the farm, the man who'd killed the only parents Harlan had ever known was waiting for him. Waiting to finish the job and kill Harlan Miller.

So, tune in tomorrow (hopefully) for Chapter 2!


Copyright Ryan Jackson, Six Star General Posted by Hello

Oh Yeah!

See my brother and friends perform live, next Saturday at the Safari Lounge in Providence, RI. Six Star General rockin' it out on stage . . .

Uncle Sam under the influence of the current Administration (by Alex Ross, copyright Ross, The Village Voice) Posted by Hello

Sunday Bloody Sunday

The First week in the Blog-o-Sphere is done and gone! I made it with out the Man censoring me! Just kidding . . . I am glad that I was able to start this up and I am already having a ton of fun with this. It has helped to force me to get on the computer and write something daily (however banal it may be!) and that is a great step forward for my lazy ass.

So, I know I promised fiction by the weekend, but since I have tomorrow off, I am not counting the weekend as over and will post something tomorrow on that front.

As I sign off for the first week, I just want to say thanks to those of you who have stopped by, read my nonsense and took the time to check out the site. Also, a special thanks to those who have left comments, you let me know I wasn't shouting into the empty darkness.

I leave you with this kick-ass Alex Ross image from the cover of the Village Voice from earlier in the year - it deserves a wider audience.

Tomorrow - fiction . . .


Black Sabbath

Tonight . . . bbq, beer, four squares and a small little Pac-Man tournament among friends - should get ugly.

Oh yeah, and Rick James died, Biiiiitch!

"I'm Rick James, Biitch!" -- Dave Chappelle


Slow News Day . . .

Still at work on a Friday afternoon, but looking forward to a long weekend, since Monday in RI is the completely politically incorrect holiday: Victory over Japan Day!

The only State in the Union to still celebrate the surrender of a people who we dropped nukler (as Bu$h would say) destruction on, RI proves itself to have the longest penchant for "rubbing it in," as well as the state with the longest name (officially, Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.)

Before I sign off for the day, and probably the night, one suggestion for TV viewing this weekend: ESPN's X Games X in Los Angeles started live last night with a few events, best of which was the Vert Skate competition. Not as exciting as previous years, but still a lot of competition, the most exciting moments of the three round competition was watching Sandro Dias try to pull a 900 during competition. Not in the Best Trick competition, but the Vert Competition! He didn't get it, but it was pretty damn exciting watching his 3rd run when he came damn close. The X Games hold a special interest for Providence residents since the first year of the games and the following 2 or 3 were held in the Renaissance City.

Anyway, my suggestion is watch the latest X Games competition -- the mega huge skate slalom jump (I can't remember the official name of the comp, but you get the idea) - this is a huge downhill snowboarding like wooden ramp that skaters come hurtling down, jump a 70 foot chasm and then land on another wooden ramp. The practices sessions they previewed last night were sick. This airs live on Sunday @ 4:00 PM on ESPN. It should prove explosive. My money's on Bob Burnquist to tear it apart.

"Cry havoc, and release the dogs of war!"


poster for Six Star General's f/k/a Space Heater Posted by Hello

Best Show Ever?

So, quick entry before I hit the z-zone. Two shows that need mentioning. The first I have been on board with for a while: VH-1's Best Week Ever - it is stellar. Lots of snide comments from unknowns who are sick of, sickened by and totally amused by the masses as I am. Where else can you get a rundown on the latest celebrity flaws immediately following a segment on the Democratic Convention? Check it out on the web at www.vh1.com

Second is a show I just started watching this week, but I was able to catch two episodes and am now hooked: Rescue Me starring Dennis Leary on FX. The Job was one of the top ten shows of the last ten years, so it is great to see Leary and his co-creators applying the same formula to his latest venture. A perfect blend of dak humor and gritty realism (no, I did not swipe that quote from David Ansen, it just sounds like I did.) As was the case with The Job, Leary has again surrounded himself with a superb ensemble cast of relatively unknown actors. Watch it, Dweezil.

Finally, go to www.sixstargeneral.com for some superb listening of rock. This is my brother Kyle's and my friend Slick's band. They are playing soon in a city near you. Or at least in Providence. I do their posters/flyers. Once I can figure out how to post one here, I'll do it.

End transmission.

Weekend = T-1

Looking forward to the weekend and some downtime. After a kickass wedding last weekend and a full recovery day on Sunday, this week I want to get some shite done. Some friends dropping by before they head to the Newport FolkFest to see Wilco will be the big event. Otherwise, the plan is to hang, get some writing done and maybe drop some science on eBay.

As promised, by the end of the weekend I am going to post the first part of a short story that I wrote a few years back. I am going to revisit and rewrite it, to make it fit a serialized format for the blog. Hopefully, some of you will enjoy it and I would appreciate any feedback. Look for it Saturday or Sunday.

Finally, my DVD pick for the week is Hellboy. Whether you are into the comic or not (hell, even if you never heard of it) this is a fun little movie with lots of character. Ron Perlman is king in the title role - one of the best performances of the year. The DVD is great with a ton of special features including TV/Flash-type versions of creator Mike Mignola's original comics. One of the comics included is my personal favorite Pancakes. Read and watch this mini-comic before you watch the film - in about three minutes you get the entire motivation of the creator and a real insight into what Hellboy is all about.

So, until later . . .

"Behind this door . . . ancient evil." -- Abraham Sapien, Hellboy


Working the System

Slowly working my way around the nooks and crannies of the blog world. I have made some minor adjustments to the page (check the new title/logo) and by the end of the week I should have some links up as well as some reviews.

As I said earlier in the day, I wanted to start a little interaction with the outside world, so taking a cue from a friend's blog and tweaking it a bit to my personality, here's your

"What If . . . " Scenario of the Week: Your stranded alone on a desert island, but miraculously you have been able to take a few things with you.

  • What single book do you take with you? Novel, non-fiction, reference guide, whatever - two covers and pages in the middle
  • What single DVD do you bring? You have one of those handheld DVD veiwers with you with a nigh unlimited battery
  • What single CD do you bring with you? No box sets, but double albums are allowed

So, there you have it, the first of the "What Ifs . . ." - an oldy, but a classic. Have fun with it. Expect some fiction by the end of the week.

Hugo! Matches!

Day Two in the Blog-o-Sphere!

I'm back for another day. The blog survived the night and countless hits (well, a couple of hits at least.) Anyway, I am at work and burning time, so more tonight as I may start the first of a series of "what if? " scenarios . . .


Welcome to Ryan Jackson's Tales of Terror

I have finally jumped on board the Blog machine. Hear me daily, hourly, maybe even monthly. I will regale you with exciting and mundane tales alike. It will be a smash hit across the cyberverse.

So, this is my spot in the void. I thought I would claim it and try and force my self to do a little more writing and some philosophizing. Come back in a day or two and I should have some actual entries to entertain and amuse. I am hoping to even throw in some short story work; maybe even a serialized novella or something.

Anyway, this is it, my new blog, come visit, stay awhile, look around, see what you might find buried under the bodies. Don't mind that smell, it's just coming up from the cellar. Thanks for stopping in!

Hugo! Air freshener!