I'm Just Sayin'…#36

Has the Spirit hit you yet?

My, that was bad. I know. Couldn’t help it. But really folks, Thanksgiving is still just a week away, and the Christmas spirit is already creeping up like a reddish green mist here at…

…because in the last week I’ve found two more gift ideas for that fanboy or girl in your life. Those of you who’ve been reading the column since I got started probably remember that I once mentioned a fun, twisted little webstrip called GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD – one of the myriad of webcomics I read on a regular basis:

Well…it’s no longer relegated to the Internet, folks – site/strip creator Dan Walsh and GARFIELD creator/GMG supporter Jim Davis have joined forces, and now this hot mess of funny is available as a book!

AMAZON.com PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Come savor the existential adventures of Jon Arbuckle in GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD. Based on the phenomenon ignited by Dan Walsh’s hilarious and wildly popular webcomic (beloved by The New York Times and The Washington Post, and hailed as “inspired” by Garfield creator Jim Davis), GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD takes everyone’s favorite fat cat out of the picture, leaving us with only the lonely ennui of Jon as he’s left to voice thoughts about his own existence into an empty void.

Now all we need is for Dan Walsh to unleash his warped, schizophrenic brand of funny on a few episodes of GARFIELD & FRIENDS, and put it on DVD!

And if you’re anything like me, and can’t figure out in a million years why THE MUPPET SHOW isn’t still on the air to this day…well, you’re probably wondering just what took anyone so long to come up with this idea:

Oh-ho-ho, that’s right people…you can make your own Muppet!

Pictures courtesy of StitchKingdom.com

All the details of the process can be found by clicking right here, with many thanks to STITCHKINGDOM.COM – this one is a great gift for yourself, or even that special someone in your life that you want to immortalize in Muppet form:

You already know who you'd Muppetize, doncha? Yeaaah you do...don't front...

Now, on to some comic talk! As you may recall from a few weeks back, the topic of discussion was ending the storyand to that end, I referred to Marvel’s THE END run of one-shots, which do that very thing: they take one of their main titles and hypothesize just how to end that story. Now, as much as I dig the idea, I can’t say I had been reading the preceding entries under this banner, up until this one.

But I wanna say, if there were any clearer example of precisely what I was talking about in my 25th column, I’d love for you to point it out.

To quote David Micheline (once again) from a few months back: [Tony Stark]‘s at a crossroads. For decades he’s defined himself as a strong, vital man, a protector of what is his -whether that be his business, his friends or his American way of life. Now, aging is inevitably taking its toll. His mind isn’t as sharp and quick as it used to be -he’s making errors in judgement that he wouldn’t have made 10, 15 years ago. And his body is showing the wear and tear of having had the crap beat out of it for so many years. He’s still a genius, and he’s still stubborn, but he’s having to face the fact that he’s simply not the person he used to be. And he has to make some tough decisions about his future – and Iron Man’s.”

Neither Micheline nor anybody else could have ended Tony Stark’s any better than this. What we have here, is a textbook example of examining where a character has been, and giving him a picture-perfect sendoff. Ever since he built the Iron Man armor, Tony Stark has been about control. He wrested control over his fate from Fate itself in that war camp, and has sought to keep that sense of control over all aspects of his life, and those things he saw as right. IRON MAN: THE END was about Tony finally realizing that, eventually, it’s alright to let go.

Plus, it was nice to see Bethany Cabe again. Seemed like she was the only one who could keep up with ol’ Tony.

Speaking of ending the story, there is the matter of BATMAN: R.I.P., which seems to be rocketing towards a conclusion that only writer Grant Morrison knows.

Actually I bring it up because my artist buddy Kent Clark – I still can’t get over that! SO cool! – was wondering if I’d discuss it in a column…and well, after sending me this as a token of esteem after we collaborated on a story together…

No...thank YOU, buddy. This rules the seven seas!

…I thought to myself it was the least I could do…to point to some other folks’ theories. 😉

I gave up on trying to figure out Grant Morrison a long time ago. His NEW X-MEN disappointed me, his ANIMAL MAN stretched my mind, his ALL-STAR SUPERMAN was a consistent joy for me to read, and his FINAL CRISIS beats Marvel’s SECRET INVASION fifteen ways to Friday…although at this point I’m so tired of this incessant dogpile of “major events” between the Big Two that I don’t know how much of a compliment that is.

BATMAN: Uhm...Grant? Still have no idea where I'm supposed to be landing here, and that ground's comin' pretty fast...Grant? Y'ello?

Anyhoo, as BATMAN: R.I.P. reaches endgame, there are those who have the requisite brain power to dare to figure out Grant Morrison as if it were a game show on Comedy Central. The best one I’ve found is by Graeme McMillan, entitled THE DARK KNIGHT UNDONE: BATMAN RIP – WHO DIES AND WHODUNNIT. Some very interesting theories about the identity of the Black Glove and the final fate of the Batman, to be sure – although I can’t help but be skeptical about the possibility of a Batman that isn’t Bruce Wayne…especially when Gotham has already gone without him after INFINITE CRISIS, and even BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL is still a fresh memory. It would be like attempting to kill Superman again. And no, that really wasn’t an excuse to bust out this picture yet again…

What do you think? Keep it going til Inauguration Day?

Just sayin’, is all…

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