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Action Comics logo by Ira Schnapp

Logo Creating
April 16, 2018

Over eighty years ago, the comic book format changed from reprints of newspaper strips to original content. Original content was More Fun and more like the adventures in the pulps. Pulps were like serialized, short paperback books on newspaper paper.

In 1938, a new comic book was being created by the people who published Detective Comics. They contacted a logo maker for pulps named Ira Schnapp to make the logo for Action Comics. The result is above. A way to understand how tough it was for Ira to create the Action Comics logo is to get out a pencil and paper and trying to mimic the logo with original content.

Superman started in Action Comics #1 that year. This week, Action Comics turns 1000.

Music Association: Elvis - Less Conversation, More Action

Lois Lane investigates Clark Kent in Action 446 by Bob Oksner

Superman in Action
Lois Lane Investigates Clark Kent
April 13, 2018

The time is 2:44pm as Flight 101 lands at Metro Airport. While collecting their luggage at baggage claim, Lois Lane and Clark Kent receive a page (like a publicly announced text message) telling them a helicopter is waiting to pick them up. The copter pilot says, “Say, Mr. Kent... The word is you got a special knack no one else seems to have. They say you're the only person who knows how to get in touch with Superman when an emergency comes up!” The pilot jumps from the helicopter.

Chet is no good

Our action hero in lime-green, Lois Lane, springs into the pilot seat, saying, “Don't go into your panic routine, Clark. I've got a pilot's license for these things.” Clark notices the rotor-blade has flown off its sprocket. Lois discovers the controls aren't responding. Clark kicks a hole in the floor and cushions their landing with a blast of air (um, physics?).

Lois Lane in lime-green

Lois Lane never sees the hole in the floor. She provides a convenient explanation about Clark contacting Superman. She states, “You are the only person who seems to be able to call Superman.” Hilarious. Lois Lane probably has more specialized yells for calling Superman than Minnesota has types of snow. Plus, Lois is ignoring Jimmy Olsen's signal watch, which if you've read comics, was never ever used to tell time. Sportingly, Lois tells Clark she will find out how he contacts Superman.

Russians digging for dirt

The subplot is about the Russians digging for information, trying to control Superman to make him their puppet. Superman is too smart for that. Only an idiot...

x-ray binoculars?
Lois borrows a pair of x-ray binoculars to spy on Clark. Lois has been reading and believing the ads in comic books. x-ray vision glasses! look like Clark! see like Superman!
The Russians 'borrowed' her binoculars to add a camera. Clark 'borrowed' her binoculars to add a projector.
I 'borrowed' her binoculars and added a Starbucks, and I don't even drink coffee!

Lois follows Clark, watches him yawn
Lois sees Clark in the alley and then sees Superman flying due to the projectors in the binoculars. Projectors. She looks up in the sky and sees Superman. She looks at the brick wall in front of her and sees Superman. She can't be a Pulitzer-winning reporter and an idiot. She sleeps through Superman removing the projectors. She sleeps through the Russians removing the camera. And she sleeps through me removing the Starbucks.

Curt Swan provided the interior art for Action 446 back in 1975. The binocular views are great. Bob Oksner did the cover (the first picture). Cary Bates told the story, which ended with Lois concluding that Clark contacts Superman by running “a hand through his hair -- a special chemical makes the hair give off a unique vibration that alerts Superman wherever he may be.” Right Lois. You figured this out because of a curl on Clark's forehead?!?

Music Association: Stereophonics - Superman  
“Superman on an aeroplane -- sitting next to Lois Lane.”

Ira Schnapp designed the Action Comics logo and refined the Superman logo.

Hopes and Dreams

By the Numbers
Real Supermen
April 4, 2018

Superman comics have been around for 80 years. That's a lot of stories. Comics are (mostly) monthly, so 80 times 12 is 960 times two (Action Comics and Superman Comics) equals 1920. And for a while, Action Comics was weekly. Plus Superman appeared in issues of World's Finest, DC Comics Presents, Superman Family, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olson, Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane, Superboy, Justice League, Legion of Super-Heroes... Superman has been in thousands of comics.

The problem with many Superman stories is writers (running out of ideas) who take away his powers, taking the super out of the man. Or they make him evil, taking the hero out of him. Either way is a writing cop-out. They aren't writing Superman.

There are no limits to Superman stories, but there should be two limits on Superman writers.
    1. Keep him super.
    2. Keep him a hero.

If I were writing Superman stories, he would be as inspirational a hero as my heroes. He might make mistakes. He might not always seem to be the greatest hero, but it would be clear he would be looking out for the greater good.

He would be giving and kind. He would work for a better tomorrow that wouldn't need his help. He would be willing to be shot at or put in jail for his convictions.

He wouldn't be seen much. He wouldn't want his name on things. He wouldn't look for gratitude or wait around for a thank you.

He would seem invincible and invulnerable, but everyday things and everyday people (and situations) can be made of Kryptonite, you know?

There would be no end to the stories because I would draw on the greatest inspirations, people like Jesus Christ and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Other inspirations would include Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi, tank man, and some people you probably don't know.

I have many unpublished stories, with writing notes for more.*

Superman logo

Fifty years ago today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He was 39.

Music Association: The Carpenters - Superstar
* unpublished because Superman is owned by DC Comics under licensing from the estates of Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster

Shoveling Superman
April 3, 2018

When winter seems to be a never-ending saga of snow with colder-than-Arctic temperatures, I put on my thermals and spring into Action.

I am the shoveling Superman.

Shoveling snow is a never-ending battle. Just last week I was saying, “Now that winter is done, it is right around the corner.

The zipper broke on my shoveling coat long ago; the wind billows it behind me.

Snow can be tough... a real villain. The trick is getting it away from the paths of mild-mannered citizens. Sometimes snow shoveling must be carried out carefully. Other times I quickly scoop the snow load and fling it over my shoulder and scoop up the next load before the last load has landed. That's fun in a Supermanish way.

Moving fast without moving too fast is a trick. Moving too fast is easy -- all you need is ice to become a red blue blur. Your feet are no longer touching the ground. You're flying.

Flying is also easy. Flying purposefully and landing upright? That takes finesse. And the few times you really get it right will be great. No one will see.

Music Association: Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away

Hopes and Dreams

President Spanky's Dark Ages
March 28, 2018

President Spanky has gone dark on the Stormy Daniels affair. His tweeting bird has lost its chirp.
Spanky's 2006 Forbes magazine will be in the Trump Presidential museum
With the departure of Washington attorney John Dowd from Spanky's Russia no-collusion legal team last week, and a rejection Monday from Dan Webb, a former U.S. attorney in Illinois, the legal team has promoted Jay Sekulow's assistant. Andrew Ekonomou, 69, the promoted assistant, has a doctorate in medieval history. Ekonomou's dark ages book, Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes (A.D. 590–752), lacks an introduction, has no conclusion, and “never quite articulates a thesis or situates itself in the scholarship,” according to reviewer Thomas Noble of the University of Notre Dame.

The dark ages return like a stutter.

Music Association: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
Humor Association: Not too long ago, research scientists decided to switch from conducting research on rats to conducting research on lawyers, giving 3 reasons -
          1. There are more lawyers than rats.
          2. Researchers sometimes became too emotionally attached to rats.
          3. There are just some things a rat wouldn't do.

Hopes and Dreams

Signs of March
March 25, 2018

March For Our Lives to end gun violence, Washington DC, March 24, 2018

March For Our Lives to end gun violence, Washington DC, March 24, 2018

March For Our Lives to end gun violence, Washington DC, March 24, 2018

Music Association: Coldplay - Warning Sign

March For Our Lives
March 23, 2018

March For Our Lives will have marches tomorrow across the country to end gun violence. The largest may be in Washington DC, but two marches will also join up at the Minnesota State Capitol tomorrow at 9am and 10am.

  *  March For Our Lives, Harriet Island to Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul (9am)

  *  March for Our Lives Black Truce, Sears to Minnesota State Capitol, 425 Rice St, St Paul (10am, wear red, black, or green)

Idea of Doing Nothing Until Next Shooting Gains Traction

smoking gun with US Capitol chamber by Harry Campbell

Music Association: Haley Bonar - Candy Machine Gun
Twin Cities Calendar for March 24, 2018

Cambridge Analytica ran the media and TV campaign for Donald Trump

The Puppeteers
Cambridge Analytica Invented 'Crooked Hillary'
March 20, 2018

Ever wonder how the Russian Troll Farms got the insight into the minds of Wisconsin and Ohio and Pennsylvania?

I did.

Britian's Channel 4 answered that by introducing Cambridge Analytica, the poison pen dipping into the inkwell of Facebook user data. Cambridge Analytica and its former Vice President Steve Bannon took search data and user profiles collected by Facebook and used that data to motivate people to vote, or in the case of Bernie Sanders supporters, not to vote. Cambridge Analytica ran Trump's digital and television campaign.

Cambridge Analytica ran Trump's digital & television campaign

Channel 4 masqueraded as political candidates from Sri Lanka to secretly interview Cambridge Analytica executives, who boasted they got Trump elected. They invented the Crooked Hillary slogan.

Cambridge Analytica created the Crooked Hillary slogan

Cambridge Analytica used 'activist' groups to spread their messages

Channel 4's investigation of Cambridge Analytica's proxy war for Trump is on their YouTube channel:

  *  Video 1 - Cambridge Analytica: Whistleblower reveals data grab of 50 million Facebook profilesepic fail

  *  Video 2 - Cambridge Analytica boss under fire from MPs

  *  Video 3 - Cambridge Analytica Uncovered: Secret filming

  *  Video 4 - Cambridge Analytica Undercover Secrets of Trump's Data Firm

  *  Video 5 - Adam Schiff interview on Cambridge Analytica

The psychological data mining and fake news creators at Cambridge Analytica have a spin-off.

Emerdata, a new company in London's Canary Wharf, has been set up with Alexander Nix, the former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, and Robert Mercer's daughters. Nix is listed as a director, as is Julian Wheatland, chairman of Cambridge Analytica parent firm SCL Group (at the same Canary Wharf address). Wheatland set up Emerdata along with Cambridge Analytica's chief data officer, Alexander Tayler. Robert Mercer funded Cambridge Analystica with $15 million and funded the conservative news site Breitbart with $10 million.

Music Associations: Abba - Knowing Me, Knowing You & Dire Straits - Industrial Disease
plus Cee Lo Green - F*** You

Hopes and Dreams

And Now This -
Bundo Book Tops Amazon

March 19, 2018

Marlon Bundo book

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presented a new book last night by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss and illustrations by EG Keller: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.

This better Marlon Bundo children's book is about Vice President Mike Pence's bow-tie wearing pet rabbit, a boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.

The combined e-book, hardcover, and all-star audio book became Amazon's best selling book today.

Last Week Tonight's proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

[Edit - By Tuesday, March 20th, the first printing of the hardcover had sold out. A second printing has been ordered.]

Music Association: Ray Anthony - The Bunny Hop

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

Don't Even Bother Counting
Putin Wins Election
March 18, 2018

Vladimir Putin executed another election win as Czar of Russia.

You could say he killed his opposition.

Music Association: Boy Meets Girl - Waiting For A Tsar To Fall

Impact Investing

Holiday Gifs of Cats and Kittens Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  

Climate Change Solutions

Southdale Hennepin Library

Wonder Woman

Food Fraud

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