Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spider-Peep: Turn Off the Dark

The 2011 Washington Post Peep Show only included one comic inspired entry - well, actually, an entry inspired by a play, inspired by a movie, inspired by a comic - Spider-Peep: Turn Off the Dark.

From Playpeep: "Star clusters opening night featured the silver-maned, former Presipeep, Bill Chickton, who signed autographs creating aisle congestion not seen since the mallow filled hallways of Dance With the Vamallows.

Other P-Listers included Marshmallow Walters and Jimmy Falpeep who kibitzed with with Fran Peepowitz about Peep-knows-what. The show's tunepeeps, Molo and The Edge were squished by applause." A pip of a night! Ooops. Peep of a night!

Monday, June 27, 2011

And the Bulwer-Lytton 2010 Winner is . . .

The Bulwer-Lytton worst first line contest is always good for a laugh . . . and should remind writers that sometimes (most times) more is not better.

The 2010 winner is:

"For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil."
Molly Ringle
Seattle, WA

Other laughable entries are:

"When Hru-Kar, the alpha-ranking male of the silver-backed gorilla tribe finished unleashing simian hell on Lt. Cavendish, the once handsome young soldier from Her Majesty’s 47th Regiment resembled nothing so much as a crumpled up piece of khaki-colored construction paper that had been dipped in La Victoria chunky salsa."
Greg Homer
Placerville, CA

"As Holmes, who had a nose for danger, quietly fingered the bloody knife and eyed the various body parts strewn along the dark, deserted highway, he placed his ear to the ground and, with his heart in his throat, silently mouthed to his companion, 'Arm yourself, Watson, there is an evil hand afoot ahead.'"
Dennis Pearce
Lexington, KY

"In Southwestern Germany just east of the Luxemburg border and north of France where history pitted various related Hapsburg Royals against each other and the Archbishops of Trier, the Abbots of St. Maximin, various members of the nobility, and mobs of axe-bearing villagers, there stands a ruin whose building stones mostly were carted off to build other buildings."
Mary Ann R Unger
Ewing, NJ

"The Zinfandel poured pinkly from the bottle, like a stream of urine seven hours after eating a bowl of borscht."
Alf Seegert
Salt Lake City, UT

AND in honor of the Bulwer-Lytton winners and all those Peeps out there:

"The trail slimed along like mallow dripping cloudily from the bottle, past the stream where history squished Peep against Chick on the Peepsburg Plain, leaving only the sticky remains of too many rejects from the diorama contest, and as Peepchick Holmes followed the sticky trail, his peepers opened wide as he exclaimed, 'Careful, Dr. Watpeep, there is something gummy underfoot waiting to trap us in soft spongy confection.'"

Click here for the full list of 2010's Bulwer-Lytton winners.

What is your worst opening line for your favorite TV show, book, news story or comic?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Three Cups of Deceit

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson is a bit of a staple in college classrooms, including my own.  It is a poignant story of one man's struggle to help educate the girls of Afghanistan.  A promise he made after being rescued by the villagers of Korphe following an unsuccessful bid to scale K-2, the world’s second highest mountain.  He struggled mightily in his cause; the Taliban kidnapped and held him hostage in Waziristan and blew up the schools as fast as he could build them.

His book gave me hope for Afghanistan as it struggled against the Taliban and a purpose for our presence there.  I agreed with columnist, Nicholas Kristoff, when he said, “So a lone Montanan staying at the cheapest guest houses has done more to advance U.S. interests in the region than the entire military and foreign policy apparatus of the Bush administration.”  But it appears Kristoff and everybody else has been hoodwinked.

Yes, duped, and in the worst sort of way.  Not only were Mortenson’s exploits embellished or outright lies, but he also pocketed the majority of the  funds he was raising for CAI, the nonprofit outlet he created to build schools in Afghanistan.  He took out full-page ads in the New York Times to promote his books and then bought them with CAI funds, while taking private jets to give lectures with paychecks of $30,000.

So, what has Mortenson accomplished?  Less than nothing.  It is con men like Mortenson that destroy whatever empathy people once had for Afghanistan’s plight, especially its young women, and those young women are the biggest losers in a country where the Taliban reigns.

For more on Mortenson's fall from grace, read the full story in Commentary Magazine.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Level Up Debuts with Epic Draw-Off

Level Up, the newest work from writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Thien Pham, is now out, and recently the two creators set out on a promotional tour.  Here's the scoop on the epic draw-off that ensued, and much more.  By Dore' Ripley.

Level Up debut at Graphic Novel Reporter.

What are you reading the summer?