Monday, December 31, 2007

From the Dust Bin: Zorro

Zorro (Spanish for Fox, and a by-word for cunning or devious) is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega (originally just Don Diego Vega), a fictional nobleman and master swordsman living in Spanish and Mexican-era California. He defends the people of the land against tyrannical governors and other villains; not only is he much too cunning and fox like for the bumbling authorities to catch, but he delights in publicly humiliating those same foes while riding on his horse Tornado.

Zorro (often called "El Zorro" in early stories) was created in 1919 by pulp writer Johnston McCulley, and first made his appearance in "The Curse of Capistrano", serialized in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly. The character's visual motif is, typically, a black costume with a flowing Spanish cape, a flat-brimmed Andalusian-style hat, more appropriate to a California caballero than the wide sombrero the character wore in the original, and a black cowl mask that covers the top of the head from eye level upwards. (The mask covered his whole face in the original stories). In addition, his favored weapon is a rapier which he often uses to leave his distinctive mark, a large 'Z' made with three quick cuts. He also used a bullwhip, like the later Indiana Jones. In the original story, Zorro used a pistol, but this has rarely been seen since.

Many television, motion picture & comic book versions of the character have appeared since the first silent film The Mark of Zorro (starring Douglas Fairbanks) got the ball rolling in 1920.

Jonny Quest to film (soon/?) ... hopefully

Way back in August 7, 2007, it was announced that Warner Bros. was developing a live-action Jonny Quest feature film based on the classic animated series and characters. Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter will produce and the script will be written by Dan Mazeau. While a release date hasn't been announced, I must admit to holding out hope that a cool movie will really do justice to Jonny, Dr. Quest, Race Bannon, Hadji & Bandit.

Friday, December 28, 2007

"Watchmen" set photo (spoiler ahead) .....

Here is a photo that was recently taken when British comics artist Dave Gibbons, who drew the 1980's classic DC Comics mini-series, Watchmen, visited the set of the currently underway (and long-planned) movie version which is being directed by Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300).

The picture shows Gibbons seated in the meeting room of the Watchmen. Immediately to his left, is the costume of Dollar Bill, a minor character in the series who was mostly seen in flashback sequences.

From the Dust Bin: The Phantom Detective

The Phantom Detective was the second pulp adventure hero character published after The Shadow. The first issue was dated February 1933, a month before Doc Savage - March 1933. The title continued till 1953, 170 issues.

The Phantom (as he was called in the pulp stories) was wealthy Richard Curtis Van Loan. In the first few issues of publisher Ned Pines Thrilling Magazine, The Phantom was introduced as a recognized world-wide detective, whose identity only one man knew, Frank Havens - the publisher of the Clarion newspaper. Richard Curtis Van Loan had become an orphan at an early age, but inherited wealth. Before the Great War, he had been an idle playboy. During the war he was a pilot who downed many German planes.
After the war Richard had a difficult time returning to his idle playboy life. At the suggestion of his father's friend, Havens, Richard set out to solve a crime the police couldn't. After solving it, Richard decided he'd found his calling, where he could have a life of adventure and danger.
He trained himself in all facets of detection and forensics, became a master of disguise and escape, and then he made a name for himself as the Phantom, whom all police agencies around the world knew of and respected.

The Phantom Detective also appeared in Ned Pines golden age Thrilling Comics for sixteen issues (#53-63 & #65-70); with a single additional four-color appearance in America's Best Comics #26.

A couple of "cuties" ...

Model Randi Ingerman (left) in a sultry pose that really grabs ones attention in the best possible way.

and .....

Kristen Bell (above;right), who shot off of defunct CW series Veronica Mars, and immediately joined super-popular NBC series, Heroes, in a pose to phone home about. Definitely worth sharing!

Karloff is cool ...

I am gonna clean out some lingering files for the remainder of the weeks posts, so bear with me as we slide towards the new year.

Here is a groovy photo that has been re-touched with natural color to show what Boris Karloff would have looked like as the 1931 original Frankensteins Monster with weird, slightly yellow tinting attempts by makeup artist Jack P. Pierce.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gone, but not forgotten ..... (In Memorium)

As always, dozens of notable persons passed away in 2007. Here on my blog comic creators, Mike Wieringo, Richard H. Goldwater & Paul Norris were all profiled after they left us, as was "Miss Moneypenny" Lois Maxwell.

There will be many year end obituaries among various media sources, but here are a few of note that I'd like to say a fond farewell to:

1970's-era musicians Dan Fogelberg and Brad Delp (lead singer of the band Boston) helped make that decades air waves a little bit sweeter.

Tenor Luciano Pavarotti, actresses Yvonne De Carlo and Deborah Kerr.

Daredevil stuntman, Evel Knievel who also livened up the 70's.

Authors Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Clark (whose "A Christmas Story" has become a popular television holiday classic).

Thanks for the memories!

Monday, December 24, 2007

1970's Flashback (?): Captain Marvel

Marvel Comics “Captain Marvel” first appeared in the late 1960’s, but he really hit his stride with a series of “stellar” adventures in the early 1970’s under the guidance of a hot new creator that took the alien character back to his roots in the stars.

Following his debut as the lead feature of Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (Dec. 1967), Captain Marvel, acquired his own title although the series met with lukewarm sales. The character was soon revamped by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in issue #17, by merging the hero with new sidekick, Rick Jones via the Kree nega-bands. This change was meant to mold the character into a more science-fiction oriented version of Fawcett Comics' original Captain Marvel (whose trademark was acquired when the copyright on the original character was up for renewal). Both comics were about a young man who became a super-hero after being guided to a hidden installation, and who could then in a flash of energy become (or change places with) an adult super-hero in a predominantly red costume.

The revamp didn’t save the series and it was ultimately cancelled with issue #21. Thomas tied up several loose ends from the series in the pages of the Avengers comic book. When Mar-Vell was later revived in the early 1970s, plotter and artist Jim Starlin conceptually revamped the character, although Captain Marvel's appearance remained mostly unchanged. Mar-Vell became the "Protector of the Universe", appointed by the cosmic entity Eon.

However, his career was again cut short when he died from cancer in Marvel's first large-format graphic novel, The Death of Captain Marvel.

Previews: Death of the New Gods #4 & Legion of Super-Heroes #37

Courtesy of Newsarama, here are glimpses at a couple of issues from DC Comics that have gotten me a bit excited lately.

Death of the New Gods #4 (far left) by Jim Starlin features what is purported to be the "end" of the Jack Kirby Fourth World saga - begun way back during the close of the silver age of comics. Many beloved characters have taken their final bow in the pages of this mini-series, but the mystery of who (or what) done it, is sure worth checking out.

Legion of Super-Heroes #37, illustrated by Francis Manapul & John Livesay, and written by returning (and controversial) former Legion scribe Jim Shooter looks to be a return to form for the 31st century team of heroes after the departure of Mark Waid & Barry Kitson. As a huge fan of the 1960's & 1970's Legion stories, I definitely will be lining up for Shooter's rebound to this title.

For more preview art go to and see for yourself.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

1970's Flashback: Machine Man

Machine Man was created by Jack Kirby. The android character originally appeared as “Mister Machine” in 2001: A Space Odyssey #8 (July 1977), a comic featuring concepts based on the eponymous Stanley Kubrick film and Arthur C. Clarke novel. Shortly thereafter, Machine Man spun off into his own Kirby-created series where Machine Man, whose real name is X-51, was the last of a series of sentient robots created by robotics expert Dr. Abel Stack for the US Army. However, all previous 50 experimental robots went mad as they achieved self-awareness and were driven psychotic, due to a lack of identity. X-51 was treated as a son by Stack given a human face mask as well as being exposed to one of the monoliths from 2001; and thus survived. After Stack died trying to protect him, X-51 assumed the human name Aaron Stack and escaped his confinement, only to be relentlessly pursued by the army. While on the run, the newly-christened Machine Man initiated contact with humanity in order to better understand it. (Top) illustration by Anthony Castrillo.

Doubling up the Cho

Here is a double dose of Frank Cho art. To the left is the unencumbered cover image from Marvels The Mighty Avengers #1 and to the right is what appears to be a Liberty Meadows inspired image from a convention program book the talented Mr. Cho did.

I will miss him on the Avengers book and I haven't seen a Liberty Meadows in awhile (and I kinda miss that too).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

1970's Flashback: Super Friends

The Super Friends was an animated cartoon version of DC Comics Justice League of America, which was produced by Hanna-Barbera and originally ran on the ABC TV-network from 1973 to 1986.

The show also broadcast over the years under several different titles like Challenge of the Super Friends and The Legendary Super Powers Show, among others, but it was still the same core team of Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman and later on many more DC universe stars.

DC Comics also published 47 issues of a Super Friends tie-in comic starting in November 1976. The simple children's cartoon again made waves years later by inspiring artist Alex Ross to incorporate many elements from the old show into his award-winning Kingdom Come and Justice limited series.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On the 7th day of Christmas .....

This is one of my favorite modern pop/rock holiday tunes!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Envy the Snake, fellas!

Rachel Weisz was cast in the role of Evie Carnahan in Stephen Sommers 1999 film version of The Mummy, adding an understated sexuality to her role as basically a female nerd who inadvertently unleashed the immortal Imhotep. Weisz reprised the role in 2001's The Mummy Returns and added another layer of "hotness" by showing a little skin and tackling some even more demanding physical stunts.

Sadly the next sequel, The Scorpion King, focused on altogether different characters and a wholly different setting.

Now a new Mummy film is underway, with Jet Li as an Asian mummy, but the lovely Rachel - now an Academy Award winner - isn't part of the picture, although film hero Brendan Frasier does return as her characters husband. Evie Carnahan will be wearing a new face as the part has been recast with a different actress.

So, like I said fellas, envy the snake. I sure would like to crawl all over the fetching Brit.

On the 5th day of Christmas .....

This is a cropped cover image from Star Publications (1949-1954) Holiday Comics #1. Merry Christmas from ole' St. Nick. This issue was probably released in 1949, but I'm not sure.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

1970's Flashback: Moon Knight

Created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin, Moon Knight first appeared in Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975) as an enemy of the title character, but he proved popular enough with readers to earn an appearance in Marvel Spotlight #28-29 (1976) and a back-up strip in the Hulk black & white magazine.

While participating in the looting of an archaeological dig, Mark Spector was beaten nearly to death and left to die in the sub-zero temperatures of the desert night, after challenging lead mercenary Raoul Bushman over the murder of the sites chief scientist, Dr. Alraune. Roaming Egyptians who worship the sites ancient Egyptian god, Khonshu, find Spector and carry him to their temple. Helpless before the statue of Khonshu, Spector's heart stops. Khonshu appears to him in a vision, offering Spector a second chance at life - if he becomes the god's avatar on earth. Spector awakens, wraps himself with the silver shroud that covers Khonshu's statue, and again confronts Bushman. He defeats Bushman and returns to America with Marlene Alraune (the murdered man's daughter), his fellow mercenary Frenchie, and the statue of Khonshu. Deciding to become a crime-fighter, Spector creates a silver cloaked costume, based on the silver shroud, and becomes the Moon Knight.

Spector eventually returns to the United States, invests money that he had accumulated as an international mercenary and develops a small fortune. To distance himself from his mercenary past he creates the identity of millionaire Steven Grant, using this identity to purchase a spacious estate and to remain in contact with the common man he also creates the identity of taxicab driver Jake Lockley.

On the 4th day of Christmas .....

Ya' just gotta love the Grinch. And he is the first of two famous seasonal curmudgeons that will be highlighted during the holiday posts. Betcha can guess who the other one will be.

On the 3rd day of Christmas .....

[There will be two holiday posts today, because I was unfortunately out of touch yesterday.]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Whiteout stills released ...

Here is one of two newly released preview images in advance of next summers movie version of the Greg Rucka/Steve Leiber graphic novel "Whiteout."

Starring Kate Beckinsale as the lone law enforcement officer on Antarctica, who is desperately in pursuit of a vicious killer before the sun sets for six months, Whiteout will hit theaters in summer 2008.

On the 2nd day of Christmas .....

Ye old yuletide feast is soon to be upon us as we gather with family and friends to enjoy the holidays. Some folks serve up yet another turkey, or perhaps instead a holiday ham, and then there are those who prefer a roast goose or duck. Either way as you gather to worship, carol, exchange gifts or simply bask in the glow of the hearth - surrounded by your loved ones - the food on the table certainly adds a joyous element to the days festivities.

Monday, December 10, 2007

(Freakin' AWEsome!) Drew Struzan Crystal Skull poster

Premiered everywhere today, but redundancy aside, check out the awesomeness of Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford and painter Drew Struzan (back for his fourth Indy film poster).

Too ... COOL ... for words.

The Omega of Alpha ...

..... ALPHA FLIGHT, that is!

(pictured) Aurora, Guardian, Marrina, Northstar, Puck, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird (not pictured) Box & Heather Hudson. What a team!

Created as a cast-off, even one-shot concept, and originally intended to simply survive a battle with the mega-popular mutants in the now classic X-Men #120 & 121 [from April & May 1979], the Great White Norths heroic representatives of Canada's Department H took on a life of their own and still retain a high degree of affection all these years later.

And that is despite numerous shoddy efforts from various Marvel creative teams to tread a path wholly different from the one laid out by originator John Byrne after he was asked to spin the characters off into their own series. A Canadian himself, Byrne eventually grew tired of what he viewed as a limited property and moved on to other successful series following his 28th and final issue in November 1985.

Still after almost twenty-three years, Alpha Flight's legacy remains a vital part of the eXtended family of the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe and whether dead or just temporarily in hibernation, its inevitable that the first Alphans return at some point to set right the mess that has cropped up in recent efforts to milk the concept.

1970's Flashback: Sub-Mariner (?)

Yep! Namor the Sub-Mariner first appeared in the venerable golden-age Timely Comics title Marvel Comics #1 way back in November 1939. And then, after the old company eventually took the operating name of Marvel Comics, the Atlantean Prince Namor famously reappeared in Fantastic Four #4 in May 1962.

So, why is Sub-Mariner the subject of a 70's Flashback?

It's that spiffy 2nd costume of his that's why; which was introduced in The Savage Sub-Mariner #67 (November 1973). 'Twas quite a change from the decades old swimming trunks that Subbie had worn for the previous 34 years, to suddenly have him wearing an almost full set of clothes. He was a seafaring hero after all.

But therein lies the rub, you see although certain elements of Namor's persona [which have a direct connection to this costume] were not completely explained until John Byrne's early 1990's series Namor the Sub-Mariner, Byrne nicely tied into the original reason offered for the costume change - and here my memory is a bit fuzzy - suffice it to say that Byrne posited that as a hybrid Atlantean/human Namor's biochemistry causes him to "freak out" after being away from the ocean for too long (and vice versa the normal surface world, when he has been ocean-bound for too long). I think that the original explanation was that the 2nd suit allowed Namor to maintain a close contact water source (within the costume) to minimize the loss of his enormous strength - - - which typically faded the longer he was away from contact with the sea.

Either way, I always thought the costume was cool and it still pops up on his mutant frame from time-to-time.

On the 1st day of Christmas .....

For each of the next 12 weekdays (ending on Christmas day itself), I'm gonna add a different holiday-themed post with seasonal subject matter. Since I couldn't resist adding one tongue-in-cheek "cheesecake" shot, I'm gonna get that one out of the way first. Here is a holiday "belle" who's hawking a spiffy seasonal lingerie item to spice up your special lady at yuletide.

I can't wait to unwrap the little woman of the house after the kiddies fall asleep, and she dons this treasure.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Eva Mendes has got it going "ON".

Yeah! She's hot.

Hot like Raquel Welch [gotta do a "classic cutie" on her soon] was a couple of decades (or so) ago. She has a great theatrical resume also. Eva has livened up Training Day, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Hitch, 2 Fast 2 Furious, We Own the Night and the recent comic book-to-film adaption of Marvel Comics' Ghost Rider.

I love this picture of her, and couldn't wait to post it. Now all of you get to enjoy drooling over the many possibilities that this lovely image suggests.

She is definitely one of my current favorites. Oh, Eva!

1970's "Western Week Part V" Flashback: Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex made his debut in All-Star Western # 10 (Feb/Mar. 1971) published by DC Comics. He was created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga. The right side of his face is horribly & distinctly scarred. Hex was an officer for the Confederacy during the Civil War, fought at Gettysburg and is normally shown wearing a tattered Confederate States Army jacket. He is depicted as being surly and cynical

Many standard western genre conventions have been heavily subverted during his publication history. Jonah Hex has battled alcoholism, and as an adult faced his mother's turn to prostitution. Though he has traveled extensively throughout the American West, he also ended up in South America and China. Hex eventually quit bounty hunting, married and had a son, and took up farming, though it wouldn't last.

Hex's facial injuries can be traced back to being sold into slavery by his own father to the Apache for safe passage. Jonah eventually saves the chief from being killed by a mountain lion and is made an honorary member of the tribe. He is soon betrayed by the chiefs envious son while on a raid. Hex returned years later to challenge him in a sacred tomahawk battle. But the chief's son sabotaged Jonah's tomahawk and Jonah then used his knife in self defense when the tomahawk broke.The tribe saw this as breaking the rules of the sacred battle and sentenced Jonah to wear the mark of the demon by pressing a searing hot tomahawk to his face. They said his honorary relationship to the chief is the only thing that saved him from death.

In 1904, Jonah was shot in cold blood during a card game (but not before he was transported into the future for the 1985 post-Crisis on Infinite Earths-apocalyptic Hex series). His corpse was then stolen, stuffed, mounted, and dressed in a ridiculous singing cowboy costume, and put on display in a traveling circus. The circus owner was eventually murdered and Jonah's body was stolen yet again. It is currently on display in a “Planet Krypton”-themed restaurant owned by Justice League member, Booster Gold.

December 7, 1941 - Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbor

66 years ago today, "a date which will live in infamy!"

A heinous action which directly led the United States of America into World War II. The photo shows the rescue of survivors from the burning hulk of the U.S.S. West Virginia.

In honor of all our heroic WWII vets, here is a Sal Buscema drawn illustration of the golden age-inspired Liberty Legion leaping into battle [from Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1; 1976].

Thursday, December 6, 2007

(Western Week Part IV) gets stuck on the wall ...

I'm cheating a bit with todays "western week" featurette, by combining a little cheesecake that homages the glamorous side of western gals via three very fun pin-ups. But then again, the whole point is to note the impact of the western genre on pop culture - - - so who's to complain?

Gilette Elvgren (1914-1980) was one of the most important pin-up and glamour artists of the twentieth century. In addition, he was a classical American illustrator. He was a true master of portraying the feminine, but Gil wasn't limited to the calendar pin-up industry. He was strongly influenced by the early "pretty girl" illustrators, such as Charles Dana Gibson, Andrew Loomis, and Howard Chandler Christy. Another influence included the Brandywine School founded by Howard Pyle.

Elvgren enjoyed huge commercial success, with clients ranging from Brown and Bigelow and Coca-Cola to General Electric and the Sealy Mattress Company. Additionally, during the 1940s and 1950s he illustrated stories for a host of magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping.

Although Elvgren is best known for his fabulous pin-ups, his work for Coca-Cola and others depicted typical Americans — ordinary people doing everyday things.

December Art Ephemera

Femme fatales are featured this month [all copyrighted by the respective owners or artists]. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

(Western Week Part III) goes Warner Brothers

With the rootinest, tootinest, shootinest character, "north, south, east, aaaaand west of the Pecos", Bugs Bunny's frequent nemesis - - - YOSEMITE SAM!

Introduced by animator Friz Freleng in the 1945 cartoon Hare Trigger, the fiery haired, height-impaired western rapscallion was somewhat of an animated alter-ego for Freleng, but the character is best remembered for the "large" voice of Mel Blanc.

Always extremely violent and belligerent, the hot-tempered cowboy doesn't prove much brighter than Elmer Fudd in his encounters with Bugs. For all his bluff and bluster, Sam stands in direct contrast to Freleng's calmly cocksure rabbit. Sam is significantly tougher and more aggressive than mild-mannered Elmer Fudd when challenging Bugs. He is also quicker to learn from his mistakes, and never falls for the same ploy twice. However it is Sam's own cockiness that always gets the best of him; Bugs learns to deal with Sam upon learning that he is incapable of turning down a challenge. Every time Bugs dares Sam to "step across that line," Sam simply can't help but do so, even if he steps off into empty space or down a mine shaft.

Another chief foil of Sam's humor is the ludicrous lengths he'll go to just to "get even" -- often with disastrous results to himself and his surroundings.

Here is a list of some of Yosemite Sam's classic Looney Tunes appearances: Bugs Bunny Rides Again, 14 Carrot Rabbit, Sahara Hare, Big House Bunny, Buccaneer Bunny, Mutiny on the Bunny, Bunker Hill Bunny and variations on the character also popped up in other Warners shorts.

Of course, the Looney Tunes gang, including Yosemite Sam, have also appeared in comic book form continuously for decades.

(AP) Taylor's death a grim reminder for us all

As a football fan, I'm running this article in it's entirety with much respect for Mr. Whitlock, and his choice to state an opinion that could earn him a backlash within the larger black community:

Jason Whitlock (

There's a reason I call them the Black KKK. The pain, the fear and the destruction are all the same.

Someone who loved Sean Taylor is crying right now. The life they knew has been destroyed, an 18-month-old baby lost her father, and, if you're a black man living in America, you've been reminded once again that your life is in constant jeopardy of violent death.

The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time.

No, we don't know for certain the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death. I could very well be proven wrong for engaging in this sort of aggressive speculation. But it's no different than if you saw a fat man fall to the ground clutching his chest. You'd assume a heart attack, and you'd know, no matter the cause, the man needed to lose weight.

Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.

When the traditional, white KKK lynched, terrorized and intimidated black folks at a slower rate than its modern-day dark-skinned replacement, at least we had the good sense to be outraged and in no mood to contemplate rationalizations or be fooled by distractions.

Our new millennium strategy is to pray the Black KKK goes away or ignores us. How's that working?

About as well as the attempt to shift attention away from this uniquely African-American crisis by focusing on an "injustice" the white media allegedly perpetrated against Sean Taylor.
Within hours of his death, there was a story circulating that members of the black press were complaining that news outlets were disrespecting Taylor's victimhood by reporting on his troubled past

No disrespect to Taylor, but he controlled the way he would be remembered by the way he lived. His immature, undisciplined behavior with his employer, his run-ins with law enforcement, which included allegedly threatening a man with a loaded gun, and the fact a vehicle he owned was once sprayed with bullets are all pertinent details when you've been murdered.

Marcellus Wiley, a former NFL player, made the radio circuit Wednesday, singing the tune that athletes are targets. That was his explanation for the murders of Taylor and Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams and the armed robberies of NBA players Antoine Walker and Eddy Curry.


Let's cut through the bull(manure) and deal with reality. Black men are targets of black men. Period. Go check the coroner's office and talk with a police detective. These bullets aren't checking W-2s.

Rather than whine about white folks' insensitivity or reserve a special place of sorrow for rich athletes, we'd be better served mustering the kind of outrage and courage it took in the 1950s and 1960s to stop the white KKK from hanging black men from trees.

But we don't want to deal with ourselves. We take great joy in prescribing medicine to cure the hate in other people's hearts. Meanwhile, our self-hatred, on full display for the world to see, remains untreated, undiagnosed and unrepentant.

Our self-hatred has been set to music and reinforced by a pervasive culture that promotes a crab-in-barrel mentality.

You're damn straight I blame hip hop for playing a role in the genocide of American black men. When your leading causes of death and dysfunction are murder, ignorance and incarceration, there's no reason to give a free pass to a culture that celebrates murder, ignorance and incarceration.

Of course there are other catalysts, but until we recapture the minds of black youth, convince them that it's not OK to "super man dat ho" and end any and every dispute by "cocking on your bitch," nothing will change.

Does a Soulja Boy want an education?

HBO did a fascinating documentary on Little Rock Central High School, the Arkansas school that required the National Guard so that nine black kids could attend in the 1950s. Fifty years later, the school is one of the nation's best in terms of funding and educational opportunities. It's 60 percent black and located in a poor black community.

Watch the documentary and ask yourself why nine poor kids in the '50s risked their lives to get a good education and a thousand poor black kids today ignore the opportunity that is served to them on a platter.

Blame drugs, blame Ronald Reagan, blame George Bush, blame it on the rain or whatever. There's only one group of people who can change the rotten, anti-education, pro-violence culture our kids have adopted. We have to do it.

According to reports, Sean Taylor had difficulty breaking free from the unsavory characters he associated with during his youth.

The "keepin' it real" mantra of hip hop is in direct defiance to evolution. There's always someone ready to tell you you're selling out if you move away from the immature and dangerous activities you used to do, you're selling out if you speak proper English, embrace education, dress like a grown man, do anything mainstream.

The Black KKK is enforcing the same crippling standards as its parent organization. It wants to keep black men in their place — uneducated, outside the mainstream and six feet deep.

In all likelihood, the Black Klan and its mentality buried Sean Taylor, and any black man or boy reading this could be next.

Megan Gale is a damn fine casting choice for .....

..... in the upcoming Justice League of America film. This is old news by now, but I had a few other irons in the fire to post before adding these photos of the absolutely delicious selection for the role of Princess Diana of Themyscira to the blog.

I'm not familiar with Gale's modeling career or previous acting experience, but for me ya' gotta start with the right look for the part - - - and she definitely has the appearance of, again, a DAMN fine Amazon Princess.

Trust me, many cold showers will be necessary when Megan first slides into those skimpy red, blue & gold tights.