ExtraComicular Activities #3: The Clifton Comic Book Expo!

Comic purists usually shoot a cross with their fingers at me when I admit that I stopped buying actual comic books years ago. As soon as it was available, I switched abruptly to digital through Comixology. While I absolutely hate the fact that I can’t purchase the comics directly though their app anymore, I still love the immersive, guided reading experience that they offer because it’s the closest I can get to replicating the similar feeling I got when I was a kid reading the old See, Hear, and Read book and record sets, only sans audio.

Regardless of not collecting hard copies anymore, that doesn’t mean I don’t love a good comic expo. I’ve been to shows that had 5 tables of comics and to the ones where you can barely navigate through the sea of cosplayers. Fortunately, in the middle, are Pug’s Comic Expos of North Jersey. Pug Productions has faithfully put on comic book shows around North Jersey ever since I can remember. My Dad took me to these in the early ’90s when they were basically the premiere comic convention in Jersey without having to cross the river over to New York. Mind you, these shows are far from being on the level of a New York Comic Con, but they make up for their scale by laser focusing on comic books. Sure, there’s always a few tables with some action figures, trading cards and random plush toys, but for the most part, the Pug comic shows are meant for serious comic collectors without all the B.S and veiled advertising of the big shows.

Sunday welcomed the early signs of Spring and I happily absorbed every bit of it. The insane sub zero conditions and constant snowstorms made this winter excessively depressing in New Jersey this year, so this was a perfect chance to get out of the house and look through a hundred long boxes of dusty old comics with Matt from Dinosaur Dracula, who actually came up with the great idea to go. With the sun shining and temperatures warm enough to start melting mountains of snow that piled up throughout this abysmal winter, a quick drive up the Garden State Parkway was just what the doctor ordered.

Arrived: Community Recreation Center – Clifton, NJ

I noticed the old school NJ Devils mural above me as I walked into a big bright room that was starting to fill up with a bunch of mellow comic lovers. It was as if it was in some kind of artists loft.

Since I wasn’t looking for anything specific, I really left fate in the hands of the cover art. If it grabbed me then I grabbed it. With comic books, the covers are deceiving and are rarely a good indication of whether it’s going to be a worthwhile read or not. Chances are slim that I actually wind up reading any of these though. They’ll probably get more of a thumb-through job at most. Sounds pretty dirty, but accurate. The two limited collectors’ editions may get full-on reads, but I’ll get to them last.

It’s been unpopular to be a DC guy for most of my existence on Earth (Earth-One that is!), but I’ve been one for better or worse since 1982. Hence, as expected, my haul was DC heavy with a GI Joe and Vampirella thrown in for good measure. Most of the comics I bought ranged from 50¢ cents to $10 dollars. Let’s see what I came home with:

JLA #121, December 2005 
DC Comics

Arrow and Black Canary on the cover was the driving force of this pickup. Actually, who am I kidding? There was no way in hell I would pass up Black Canary’s lady parts all up in my face! C’mon, we know Canary is agile and even acrobatic, but in this issue, every chance she gets she’s putting her vajayjay on displayay. There’s no way the artist didn’t realize this. Before even opening the book, there was a possible 69 situation with one of my favorite female characters in all of the DCU, but after skipping through merely 3 pages…BANG there’s another one! As Black Canary narrowly escapes the path of Green Arrow’s exploding arrow, she’s spread eagle again, er, spread Canary more appropriately. For the record, here’s a “Hey now!” Worth the price of 50¢ cents, I’d say.

Canary Crotch Count: 3

GI JOE ACTION FORCE #13, May 1987 
Marvel Comics

I was pretty pumped to come across some back issues of Action Force for $2 bucks. Quickly, I remembered their larger format didn’t necessarily equal quality due to their super-thin paper that gives them a cheaper, newspaper supplement feel. It’s unimportant though when you check out the diabolically evil face on Destro playing Cobra like a marionette puppet. I love the concept and the colors really pop here too.

Inside, there’s a cool little scene where Scarlett takes the ferry to Manhattan from Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, our neighbors. You can see the Twin Towers in the background as they sail back from Manhattan. Later in the issue Destro stars in a Casablanca parody, you know, cause he loves his Bogey films.

VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA #18, September 1995
Harris Comics

Although I’ve owned some Vampirella comics for many years, I’ve never actually read any of them. I’ve always meant to though. Although I adore it’s cover, this issue is not going to be my first foray into the exploits of the half naked seductive vampire. Not too much of interest inside this one, although the back cover is a completely different story. Hello nurse! I was greeted with a full page of Vampirella cosplay advertising Vampirelly strikes #1. And this stupid autocorrect keeps changing Vampirella to Vampirelly. VampiREALLY? Get off my back.


THE NEW TITANS #71, November 1990
DC Comics

This double sized issue is the first in a nine part storyline and it’s probably the most intriguing and well written of the stash I brought home. Why do you seem so stressed out, Nightwing? What I gather from the cover is that The New Titans 10th anniversary party didn’t go well so now Dick has to seek counseling. Starfire wasn’t happy with the puff pastry hors d’oeuvres and the Crab Rangoon was cold, WTF? The balloons were overinflated and they started to pop midway through the party (f*cking seriously?) which caused a ruckus in Cyborg’s earpiece. Shucks, this party was a bust guys.

Seriously though, Nightwing reminiscences about his team on their anniversary and we get a tour through his mind and get a front row seat of his thoughts and memories of each member. We see a retelling of some origins and his perspective of what qualities each member brings to the team.

There was also an interesting piece about how the Titans now have to keep track of all their cases, likely because it was becoming the technology age. As he sat near a computer, Dick described how different the team operates now, in some ways it’s easier but more challenging in others. Unlike the old days, they now worry about their finances! Can you imagine an entire one-shot comic detailing the bumpy road that Cyborg had to navigate to successfully file his income tax return? See, things were even meta back then since Dick was talking about licensing each team member for their own action figures.

A bizarre coincidence happened when I read through a panel that took place at the opera. A quick cameo by one of my favorites, Jillian Jackson, a.k.a Beast Boy’s girlfriend, made a comment to him about how she had tickets to see New Kids. What are the chances there would be an NKOTB reference in this comic? This proved to be even more weird since I bought Miss Sexy Armpit a couple of packs of unopened New Kids on the Block trading cards at the comic expo as well.


Possibly my favorite part was this whacked out convo about why Starfire needs to wear a bathing suit at the beach and how bathing suits make her feel inhibited. Meanwhile Dick is disguised as a ’70s porn star. This was the best thing in the whole comic haul. As an added bonus, there’s a cliffhanger with Deathstroke getting enlisted to help the Titans against that bastard Wildebeest to continue the story into the next several issues.

SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION, 1976
DC Comics

This book was a dollar originally, and if it came out today, given it’s size and the overinflated prices we see nowadays, it would probably be $12 at least. The first thing that hit me when I opened it up is that it totally stinks inside. The inside smells so foul it’s like a castle dungeon from the dark ages filled with decomposing corpses. That may have been too graphic, but I know actual people who were born the same year this came out and they don’t smell half as bad.

The book is in excellent condition otherwise and it was well worth the price of $10 bucks, in fact I might actually read this one eventually if I can survive the paper of eternal stench. The two page spreads of the diagram of Legion Headquarters and the wedding photo pinup of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel are awesome and frame worthy.

The other grabber for me here was Saturn Girl. I may cut her out and hang her on the wall of my prison cell if I ever wind up in jail.

SHAZAM: THE ORIGINAL CAPTAIN MARVEL, LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION, 1974
DC Comics

My motivation for getting this one, in addition to mildly enjoying the character, was actually assembling the diorama that’s touted on the cover, but that would mean ruining the comic. I decided to look through all the pages to see what I’d be massacring. Turns out that it was filled with some pretty goofy, comic-strip type adventures. There’s no doubt that I enjoy these types of stories, but not enough to make me say say that I won’t cut the shit out of the back cover. Sorry Shazam. All things considered, I think having the diorama is going to be more fun in the long run than stashing away the comic in a pile of comics. Of course, when the Shazam movie comes out and this book’s price skyrockets to $150 on eBay, I will be kicking myself in the nuts with the strength of Hercules.


When buying stuff from discount long boxes under the tables, it’s easy to feel like you spent too much money since you’re probably going home with a bunch of books, but then you remember they were the least desirable books in the rec center that day, so you feel justified. You too can give books like these a new home for merely a stack of coins. Next show is March 29th! http://www.njcomicbookshows.com

G.I. JERSEY: Mutt’s PSA

G.I Jersey - The Sexy Armpit
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6jUag9QQEw?rel=0]
As we pointed out in this column last summer here at The Sexy Armpit, the only G.I. Joe character to hail from Iselin, New Jersey is Mutt the K-9 Dog Handler! Here’s a classic G.I. Joe public service announcement starring Mutt who warns us not to pet an animal you don’t know. There sure are a lot of stray dogs and cats around these parts so be sure to heed his warning because knowing is half the battle! 

G.I JERSEY: G.I JASON On T-Shirt Tuesday

G.I Jersey - The Sexy Armpit
In today’s post GI Jersey and T-Shirt Tuesday have joined forces to take on one of horror’s most notorious icons who happens to be from…NEW JERSEY!!!

Photobucket
Some of the coolest, most collectible G.I Joe figures were those who weren’t actually Joe’s at all. For instance there was William “The Refrigerator” Perry, pro wrestler Sgt. Slaughter, and even writer Stephen King’s son had a figure in his likeness code name Sneak Peek to name a few. In this article, The Metal Misfit even revealed that the Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa was slated for his own figure and character on the show as well, but plans fell through when the Rambo toy line was put on shelves. I can’t be sure that there was ever a true villain or monster created in the image of a non-Joe related character before, until now. The Horror T-Shirt masterminds over at Fright Rags decided to bring Jason Voorhees to life on his own T-Shirt in the style of the old GI Joe action figure card backs!
Photobucket 

The REAL AMERICAN SLASHER, Jason Voorhees has never looked cooler. In this era of mash-ups, this is the ultimate ’80s indulgence. When I first saw the tweet from Fright Rags eluding to this t-shirt I lost my mind. Combining GI Joe and one of the greatest horror movie franchises of all time is one of the coolest ideas for a t-shirt I’ve seen in a long time. Not only does the shirt respectfully pay tribute to both properties, but it does it in such a way that if GI Joe was to actually release a Jason figure, this is EXACTLY how the card back would look. Please take note of Jason’s birthplace! That’s right folks, nobody in Jersey cares about Jersey Shore except kids in middle school. Who needs the shore when we have Crystal Lake to boast about! Who cares about the New Jersey budget? Governor Christie should be talking about how proud he is that Jason Voorhees now has his own official G.I Joe file card. This is the important shit, for real.

Photobucket
If you are spazzing out like I did, don’t worry, the t-shirt is still for sale in limited quantities. Frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t sell out almost immediately, but now the site says there are only certain sizes left so get it while you still can! 

G.I JERSEY: Dreadnoks On The Jersey Shore!

G.I Jersey - The Sexy Armpit
PhotobucketMarvel’s G.I Joe comic book line (1982-1994) used New Jersey as a location quite often. In reality, to set a Joe story in Jersey isn’t all that far fetched. New Jersey is home to many Air Force, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard bases and training centers including McGuire, Dix, and Picatinny to name a few. Also in Jersey, the shore town of Sandy Hook is not only home to a famous nude beach, but at one time was used as the nation’s first proving ground. Coincidentally, the Sandy Hook Proving Ground was eventually moved to Aberdeen, Maryland which is where G.I Joe issue #81’s story begins.
I always knew Cobra was underhanded, but a lame real estate scheme? Please don’t tell me that Cobra Commander was having secret dealings with real estate infomercial guru Dean Graziosi, whom as I’ve mentioned many times in the past, has me convinced that he was formerly a woman and had a sex change operation. If the Commander did engage in a business relationship with that swindler then I’d lose all respect for him. 
Regardless, Cobra Commander did indeed strike up a deal which lead to the Dreadnoks getting sent to Jersey. In the issue, families of Cobra employees get hauled on a ship to an undisclosed area somewhere in the U.S. We find out that a small span of the Jersey Shore, the fictional Broca Beach, winds up being the secret location where the families are being moved to. The Dreadnoks are basically instructed to be make sure they are moved discreetly. Fat chance with those hell raisers as your point men. Imagine that, The Dreadnoks – what a welcome wagon!

Photobucket
The idea of the Dreadnoks in Jersey is pretty f’n rad. The ‘noks have a long history in Jersey as they’ve set up many hideouts there since the gang’s inception. In this issue, The Dreadnoks are actually pictured speeding down the infamous New Jersey Turnpike while wrecking up toll booths in the process. Now that’s pretty badass.

Photobucket
Notice the Haunted Castle at the end of the Broca Beach Boardwalk!
We shouldn’t worry our little heads about Cobra and his Dreadnoks plot at Broca Beach because Mutt and Battleforce 2000 are on the job. As we learned in the first installment of G.I JERSEY, Mutt is a native of the Garden State so why would he need maps of the highways? Jersey highways may seem a little convoluted if you’re a first time visitor, but navigating NJ is pretty damn cut and dry in comparison to other states in the country. It’s true that in Jersey all you need to know is “what exit?” Someone get Mutt a damn GPS!

Photobucket
You may be wondering, what the hell is Battleforce 2000? Well, BF200 was a specialized crew of Joes who had high tech armor, weapons, and vehicles. Debuting in 1987, it was one of of the gimmicks that used to turn me off about action figure lines and cartoons. With most action figure lines back then and their cartoon or comic counterpart, there always seemed to be some zany new look for the characters with a fancy new group moniker as an excuse to sell more figures.

G.I JERSEY: Mutt and Junkyard

G.I Jersey - The Sexy Armpit

GI Joe was right behind Masters of The Universe, Super Powers, Star Wars and WWF in my world when I was growing up. Although I wasn’t as obsessed with G.I Joe as some of my friends were, I watched the cartoon religiously and had a decent load of Joe figures. I remember being so envious of my neighbor who got the U.S.S Flagg aircraft carrier for Christmas the year it came out. I never had any of the playsets but I did have several vehicles. My favorite characters were Zartan and his Dreadnoks. I have yet to watch 2009’s G.I Joe The Rise of Cobra feature film but I think I’ll have to give it a shot since I’ve been on a Joe kick lately. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I did indeed make the G.I Jersey graphic, you dig it?

Recently I’ve been watching my DVDs of the original G.I Joe cartoon. Although the 2 early mini-series were a little slow and a bit disjointed story wise, the series as a whole is legendary. After I recently viewed a few episodes of the original Transformers cartoon, I determined that the original G.I Joe cartoon holds up way better.

Photobucket
Mutt and Junkyard 25th anniversary figure via GIJoeFigures.net

In every episode of G.I Joe there were so many cool characters both good and evil who could be brought into your action figure adventures by a mere trip to Toys R Us and some pathetic begging. All the figures had a file card on the back of their package so you were able to find out facts otherwise unknown about the character. I thought it would be interesting to scour YoJoe.com and randomly click on their comprehensive database of G.I Joe file cards to see if any of the characters were from New Jersey.

Could you believe that only 3 or 4 clicks into my research I just happened to pick the Joe K-9 Dog Handler, MUTT, who was born in Iselin, New Jersey! Mutt and his appropriately named dog Junkyard made a cool team. You can read more about him on his file cards:

Photobucket

Perhaps a modernized version of MUTT would be Indian American? Since the 2000 Census, Iselin, NJ has had the 2nd highest percentage of Indian Americans in the United States. In fact, just like New York City has Little Italy and Chinatown, Iselin, NJ has “Little India,” which is a stretch of town filled with authentic Indian shops and restaurants. यो जो – That’s Yo Joe in Hindi.

Photobucket
’89 MUTT file card courtesy of YoJoe.com

Why I Traded Transformers for Megan Fox

Jay Getting Optimus Prime
That’s me receiving Optimus Prime as a birthday gift

Through the years it was easy to get bogged down in the excessive amount of Transformers incarnations through the years. I have to give credit to the property though, it’s enjoyed a long evolution and hasn’t ever really gone away.

Transformers would not have enjoyed the same type of resurgence if the 2007 big screen adaptation was never released. I doubt there would be the same type of clamor for Transformers stuff if Michael Bay never got his filthy rich hands on them. But what has shocked me most about the franchise is how much of a difficult time I recently had getting into the original ’80s animated series. I noticed that Hub network has been airing reruns of the original Transfomers. Just for nostalgic purposes and for the fact that the 3rd Transformers film, Dark of the Moon, is being released, I set a couple of episodes on my DVR and tried watching them.

As much as I felt I would be in for some ’80s fun, sadly, the episodes were borderline boring and even a bit hard to understand. Although I’m a sucker for old cartoons, especially those I loved as a kid, going back and watching Transformers just didn’t hold my attention at all. Expecting a 25 year old cartoon to enthrall and entertain me seems totally unrealistic, but even the silliest episodes of He-Man and She-Ra still mesmerize me. It’s a shame too because I was a fan of Transformers as a kid, and so were most of my friends, since we were the Prime (pun intended) audience for it. I had my Transformers lunchbox and a bunch of the toys, but it was never a full on obsession for me.

Attempting to pretend like I was a transforming robot was awkward and not nearly as fun as holding aloft my magic sword and becoming the most powerful man in the universe. Now, I know that a lot of people will vehemently disagree with my sentiments, but I have my reasoning. Subconsciously perhaps, I made more of a connection with human or human-like characters. I always preferred GI Joe over Transformers and although I enjoyed Thundercats immensely too, He-Man and She-Ra always edged them out if I had to choose what show I liked better.

In my eyes, the best part of the original animated Transformers series is Megatron. he was the reason I watched the show. I always liked villains and I appreciated how he looked, sounded, and acted in the original series way better than how he is in these new films. That’s not to say I didn’t also love Optimus Prime. What boy in the ’80s didn’t think Optimus Prime was awesome? He’s the quintessential character of the franchise. Even in the new films he still kick ass. The hero has a modernized look but is thankfully still voiced by the iconic Peter Cullen. Anyone else would be 2nd rate.

Regardless of how the original series holds up, the film franchise and even the recent Transformers Prime are both well done and easy to get into especially if I was 7 years old right now. I have yet to watch Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, so hopefully I’ll get to it before Dark of the Moon disappears from theaters, which will probably be in about 3 weeks. Then it’s straight to DVD and Bluray by the end of August. Maybe if Megan Fox played her cards right she’d be in Dark of the Moon and I’d make it more of a priority. Damn her and her Hitler comments. Funny how when I was a kid, I wanted Optimus Prime, and now I need Megan Fox to hold my attention.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 52: Jersey Shore Variety Pack

No, these tees aren’t actually available in a variety pack, don’t be so literal! If they did come in a pack it would be pretty awesome, I’d be having flashbacks to the days of the Wise Chips variety pack in the long box which included Bravos, popcorn, Potato chips, and Cheez Doodles; there were so many possibilities! What would I discover in my lunchbox, or should I say treasure chest? Back then, I had my favorite, and I know you did too. Bravos were the best because even though they were flimsier than a Dorito, their flavor was more subtle. So, much like tearing into a lunchbox sized bag of the second string nacho chip, if you can’t actually be at the Jersey Shore this summer, at least you might as well pretend you’re there with these t-shirts.

jersey shore,mtv,t-shirt,guido

Even though MTV’s Jersey Shore brings a lot of attention to New Jersey, it’s not the best kind of attention. With guidos there is a lot of obnoxiousness, a melange of stenches made up of gallons of cologne mixed with body odor, terrible dancing, and tees with sweaty pits. All 12 of you who aren’t from Jersey originally and never lived in Jersey at one time or another, please understand that the experience of going “Down the Shore,” isn’t as much of a train wreck as you see on MTV’s stereotypical reality show. It’s nothing like walking around Malibu, California mind you, but we love it anyway for some f-cked up reason. Trust me though, except for certain bars and clubs, the actual Jersey Shore has nothing to do with the lobotomized guidos who have popularized it.

*Out of these tees, the Palm Tree shirt is my favorite because believe it or not, you’d be hard pressed to find a palm tree amongst all the refineries and toxic waste. At first glance The G.I Joe parody is pretty cool, but I would never step out of the house wearing it. Which one is your favorite?

The Sexy Armpit @ New York Comic Con ’09 Part 2

I only walked a few blocks from the parking garage to the Javitz Center, but I froze my baguettes off! Frozen innards and frostbitten digits were a small price to pay for the opportunity to schmooze with like minded individuals. There’s something about geek society; whether it’s talking comics, trading links to websites, or discussing the pros and cons of the new G.I Joe film, it makes you feel like you belong.
After the lingering Comic Con buzz, going back to work and hangin’ and bangin’ at the gym was a real bitch. I’ll be honest, I’m running on fumes. So far today I’ve downed an energy drink AND a medium iced coffee – black, but somehow, it’s just not enough. JUST NOW, I took the precaution of gulping down this Health energy potion that the people from Mana Potions booth gave me to test out. 

Photobucket

Let’s hope I’m not up for the next 5 hours since I’ll need at least a few hours of sleep so I can be relatively coherent for work tomorrow. The cool little bottle is definitely eye catching. When I stopped by their booth, the blue and red varieties nearly glowing through the clear bottles made me feel like I was in a video game and just found a “power up” potion. (Their motto happens to be Replenish or Perish!) The scantily clad Mana girls did a decent job enticing me as well. The Health potion has tons of vitamins, folic acid, and even biotin which has numerous health benefits. Even though it tastes only a step above children’s liquid cough medicine, I was in it for the “energy” portion of the potion. The formula which includes ginseng, caffeine, taurine, amino acids, elderberry juice, and other ingredients gives the formula it’s “get up and go.” I can ignore its medicinal taste and syrupy consistency as long as it works. It’s been a few minutes and I’m not feeling tired or jittery, but pretty good. I’ll let you know if I crash by the end of the article.

Photobucket

I met Christof Laputka at the Leviathan Chronicles booth. Headphones were set up in the booth to listen to installments of his science fiction audio saga. Christof’s quite the renaissance man. He’s gone from Wall Street to traveling the world, and he’s not ashamed to hide the fact that he’s a just a geek at heart. As a kid he grew up obsessing over Science-Fiction shows like Battlestar Galactica. Christoff described his aural creation to me as a throwback to old time radio shows, which thanks to my dad, I grew up listening to. I’m sure there’s a ton of people out there who have no idea what it was like to tune the old Philco radio and listen to Inner Sanctum, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, etc. Through cassette tapes he ordered from a mail order old time radio catalog, my Dad introduced a young impressionable Armpit into the “theater of the mind,” and I appreciate that he did. 

 
I popped The Leviathan Chronicles CD into my car stereo on my way to work and really got into it. I commend Christof for taking the chance to release this series; what better time than now? Everyone has an iPod or an mp3 player and FREE, high quality content is hard to come by. It seems like a no brainer and I hope the Leviathan chronicles gains a large following because that would open the door for Christof to produce other audio adventures. There’s plenty of websites doing original fictional programs for download but I’m going to wager that they don’t have the production quality of the Leviathan Chronicles. A description in their press release sums up the scale of the production: “The cast includes over 40 voice actors, cutting edge sound effects, and an original musical score.” The soundtrack really does rock! Each show is free and ranges from 30-40 minutes. You can find it FREE at their website or on iTunes!
NJ at NY Comic Con!
While Making my way around Comic Con it was great to see so much New Jersey representation! Like I mentioned about others in part 1, Rob Feldman of Earworm Media (based out of Jersey!) is another guy, who turned out to be a phenomenal dude! Rob didn’t know me from a vampire hiding behind his booth, but once I discovered that we had New Jersey in common we had a few laughs and then he introduced me to his creation, Dr. Shroud

Photobucket

Robert even posed for a couple of photos. Here’s a priceless moment where Rob struck what he coined “The Sexy Armpit Pose,” that goes to show you that Rob was brave, and hands down the coolest guy in the entire Javitz Center that day!

Photobucket

Shame on me for not knowing about Dr.Shroud already! It’s nearly impossible to keep up on EVERYTHING! When you have entire seasons of Dallas stored in YOUR brain, miss some things your radar will! Dr. Shroud is a radtastic animated series available on the Internet and mobile phones. Shroud is a plastic surgeon with a secret past as a reformed vampire. Shroud’s daughter gets kidnapped by vampires that lurk in the city of Necropolis. Shroud embraces his former vampiric ways to defeat the city’s evil creatures in his quest to track down his daughter. The animated series features stylish animation, a creepy atmosphere, and an awesome soundtrack! Rob gave me a cool set of Dr. Shroud fangs so I can act out scenes at home. Thanks Rob! You can watch full episodes at Joost:
Skullboy threw me for a loop when I saw how creepy he looked with his Misfits style face paint. I looked down and saw the all too familiar outline of NJ all over his table! There were t-shirts, stickers, and some killer skull art. All of a sudden, Skullboy reached his hand up and gave me one of his skullboy styled New Jersey stickers! That kicked ass!

Photobucket

Skullboy is truly adding to the great art culture in New Jersey and spreading the infectious Jerseyana. In fact, he’s not only a dedicated artist, but he’s also an event organizer. Skullboy has been putting on shows that mix art and rock music all over the state. Here’s some of Skullboy’s creations:

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
For show info go to myspace.com/theartofskullboy

To purchase his artwork, T-shirts, or stickers go to skullboy.net
Image comics: Jersey Gods!

Photobucket
I literally had to stand and wait for a middle aged female newspaper reporter from the Star Ledger to finish her “interview” with Glen Brunswick, writer of Jersey Gods. It was clear that she had to have been given this assignment to tackle, because either her interview skills sucked ass or she was completely unfamiliar with anything comic book related aside from reading the Jersey Gods comic. I bet the Jersey Gods and Ziggy are the only comics she ever read in her life.
I’m standing there like Biff Tannen with my arms folded all cocky thinking “Well lookie what we have here…” some self important newspaper reporter trying to horn in on Comic Con. When I saw Jersey Gods for the first time I thought to myself “a match made in heaven!” It was as good as Macho Man and Elizabeth…a comic book filled with superheroes published by Image comics and it’s based in NEW JERSEY? It seems like it was created specifically for me to write about on this site.
If I could only get a word in edgewise. Every time Glen was about to cut over to me, she kept going and going with more irrelevant questions. She’s a wonderful, insightful, writer and I enjoy her articles, but I can’t say that I use the same interview style as she does. The whole situation made me feel uncomfortable. It felt like my 7th grade math teacher was interviewing a guy who WRITES AN IMAGE COMIC BOOK! It’s not supposed to happen! My mother interviewing Nikki Sixx would easily be 10,000 times more entertaining.
I’ve been reading comic books for over 25 years now, and for some reason I just felt protective of my passion. This lady had to pause and write notes on a pad every time Glen gave her a response! C’mon lady! Step into reality, we’re approaching the year 2010! We have digital voice recorders that can detect the sound of a pin dropping at a Gwar concert. Finally she finished momentarily with Glen and he directed his attention to ME! I explained to him what I do here at the Armpit and he was very enthusiastic about it. I mentioned that I’d like to review a copy for the site, so you can expect a full review here coming soon! Saturday morning rolled around, and sure as shit, as I was walked out of the gym I looked over on the Star Ledger rack, and staring back at me was a pic of Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid at Comic Con with Amy Nutt’s interview. It made the front page! 
Aside from the invasion of all of these “official” print/TV people, the Comic Con was just a great time. The legit press folks should stay out of comic con though. If you are a virgin do you go to watch the Rocky Horror Picture show at your local theater? I would advise not to. The majority of important news events only invite certified media and “prominent” bloggers, so why should we let them into our world? Bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and all the other mavericky online criers are welcome at Comic Con. We gotta keep some shit to ourselves! I hate the mainstreaming of geek! 
BTW: I didn’t crash. I feel energized but not shaky. Perhaps that Health potion is the real deal?

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.1


Referred to in the film Mallrats as “The Dirt Mall,” the defunct US1 Flea Market was a notorious local landmark. Why is footage of a plain old indoor Flea Market such a great pop culture moment? Well, if you’re from the central part of New Jersey you’ve probably shopped there many times. Jersey boy Kevin Smith proudly or perhaps not so proudly displayed this
flea market. Now, not only New Jersey nostalgia buffs but all moviegoers can see it. Thankfully, I’ll never forget how this place looked because the US1 Flea Market in New Brunswick, New Jersey will forever be emblazoned on DVD! Thanks Silent Bob, Snootchie Bootchies! (berzerker attack)

When I was a kid in the ’80s (gosh such a long time ago! lol) it was a big treat to come shopping at the US1 Flea Market because I knew I would most likely get some sort of collectible, or “way out there” addition to my collection. It was possible to go in there with the $10 allowance money I had saved up and leave with a bag of random stuff. I remember one time I came home with a Samantha Fox poster, and a 3-D G.I Joe comic book among other cool schwag. Not too bad for a kid about 7 years old. Bless my parents for having such a libidinous, well read boy…well at least in 3-D.

Maybe Smith was making a statement about the shift in consumerism? In contrast to the beautiful sparkling malls that began to emerge in the late ’80s and early ’90s, this old flea market seems almost archaic. Better or worse, indoor malls changed shopping for all of us! No longer was I able to pick up comic books, rock music pins for my jean jacket, and KISS t-shirts all for $10 bucks or less in the same building. Since then, malls in my area have always failed to impress me. Throughout the years it’s been an uphill battle to keep a comic store in business in our local malls. It always seemed like they weren’t able to pay the high rent. Immediately, children’s clothing stores and nail salons would snatch up the empty space. What other way were we supposed to buy vintage collectibles, toys, and posters of Susanna Hoffs? What if my Real Ghostbusters pencil with the Slimer pencil topper broke and I needed a new one? Malls by us didn’t always carry obscure stuff, so without the flea market we had to look out for a garage sale or an ad in a newspaper. That was too much work! Boy am I glad the Internet decided to weasel its way into our lives!

The site of the old US1 Flea Market is now an AMC 18-plex Movie Theater that I’ve gone to frequently since it opened. I actually worked there a few times too since it owned the Menlo Park Mall theater which I worked at for several years. It’s a nice place if you could get past the corpse buried in the parking lot.

If Things Never Got Cold

The summer is approaching and the weather is heating up. Man, I can’t describe how much I take my central air for granted as I sit in an 83 degree condo. We already know what happens when it gets hot since we’ve heard it in a ton of songs. Gonna Make You Sweat, Hot in Herre, Hotter Than Hell, Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot. Even the poor misunderstood Paris said “That’s hot.” But what happens if things didn’t ever get cold? Those iconic songs and quotes will seem like a Nostradamus prophecy.

For Van Winkle’s sake we wouldn’t have Ice Ice Baby
And the nipples wouldn’t get hard on your lady
There would be no cubes to drop in her drink
After you slip those roofies to get to into her pink
How would hockey players skate in the rink?
Want to go see the rollerblade capades? It’s fun, I swear!
Kids wouldn’t get to savor snow days, it wouldn’t be fair!
Freeky Freezies would be well…um…just plain freaky
But I’d still have the hots for Emmanuelle Chriqui
Jack Torrance wouldn’t have been frozen in the maze
Too Cold, Too Cold…it’s the phrase that pays
and that badass will lose his ice cold gaze
Say hello to your new chief of staff Johnny Blaze
It’s a cream truck now since it lost it’s “Ice”
it’s the worst occurrence since Bo B… (oops! no “ice”)
You’ll never have to break the ice or pretend to be nice
You wouldn’t be “iced out” so there’d be no name for jewelry in hip hop
although shorts would still be acceptable on that hot cop
Think about it…Icee’s would turn into Meltees
and you’d have no use for cold eeze.
IMDB wouldn’t acknowledge Arnold’s turn as Mr. Freeze
Unfortunately not much would change with Ree-Yees
What would I do in suburbia without iced tea?
Could we still play We Ski for the Wii?
No icebergs, so the Titanic wouldn’t sink
it’s a scorcher out there, so have yourself a warm drink
Fughetabout Fla-vor-ice you freaks
And NO ICE in 9 1/2 weeks 🙁
Hey look what’s not freezing…the stream of piss as you’re taking a leak. Goodbye to that Hoth planet. Take more clothes off! Dammit Janet! Freeze tag reverts back to the plain old tag, and you’ll never need de-icer on the windshield of your brand new jag. David Blaine ain’t living in a block of ice in New York, and the Yeti has gone into hiding and feels like a total dork. Your pillow is never cold when you lay down your head and the toilet seat is never cold when you sit your ass on the head. To think i can’t even call Lacie Heart HOT anymore but at least we’ll still have our memories of the cold war. Cool ice sculptures would become no more than a spill on the floor.

In the middle of the 3rd period there was a big hit on center puddle and on the football field you won’t see the players breath in the huddle. If you’re desperately wishing for a blizzard, you’ll have to go see the wizard. He’ll also give you a melting klondike bar, figure out what you want to do with it. Maybe you’ll eat it with Iceman Tom Kazansky, you know he can chomp down on that shit. From Chily Willy to Frosty the Snowman and Cookie Puss to Fudgie the Whale it’s all over for them, hammer their coffin with a nail. Icy Hot is still in business no surprise. What the heck are Eskimo pies? Freezing over? What’s with all those lies?
Tourism to Hell is on the rise. Global Warming can suck my d–k, how about 2 nice big snow balls to lick?

We’d experience hot season never “cold season.” Your assets would never get frozen. You’re girl would never complain that it was too cold to take her clothes off. Not only during the holidays would our hearts be warm. Paula Abdul would be missing a hit “Cold Hearted Snake.” And kids wouldn’t fall through a half frozen lake. Never again would a Wendy’s frosty touch your lips, or a 7-11 Slurpee tingle your tongue.

The cliché a cold day in hell would become obsolete. The cryogenic chamber scene in Austin Powers would be edited out of the film. Erased from existence…much like Marty might have been. “What is it hot?“ no cold…damn cold. Not anymore. Leftovers such as Meatloaf would spoil, even if it’s in a deep freeze and riding a motorcycle. You’d now have more of a reason to cover up the fact that Snow Job was your favorite G.I Joe character. Al Snow..well…you can call him “Al”…you must. Skiing and snowboarding would be pretty asinine. The popular pastime of Snowballing…well that would still happen since temperature isn’t really involved. But I would imagine it’s fairly warm.

Tone Loc still can’t remember how her made his medina cold. Wanna kill someone? Damn sure it won’t be in cold blood. Everyone would want to perform in front of large crowds cause they’ll never get cold feet. The band Hot Hot Heat record an updated version of the national anthem. The people of Alaska and and the Arctic polar bears would have year long yub-yub type celebrations. This just in: Steve Austin brings back “Stunning” moniker. Bruce Springsteen will get hit with a 10th avenue melt out. Oh, and about that new horror film that came out this week…if it was a few years ago…critics would’ve hailed it as “Chilling.” You’d always be able to find shit that people have hidden on you. Guess where your birthday gift is? You’re warm…you’re geting hot…you’re burning up…you’re on frickin’ fire! Wow, this is easy! Maybe sitting in this 83 degree condo isn’t so bad after all.