"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Sunday, August 7, 2016

For Fosgitt Fans, Dead Duck Rises Again

Let’s talk booby jokes.

No, you know what? Let’s talk historical context for artist Jay P. Fosgitt’s recently released comic book, “Dead Duck and Zombie Chick: Rising from the Grave!!” This Dead Duck offering is the “Mad Max: Fury Road” of Fosgitt comics. No, it’s the “Creed” of the “Rocky Balboa” of the Rocky sequels of Fosgitt comics. No, even better. “Dead Duck and Zombie Chick” is the Verdi’s “Otello” of Fosgitt comics. (I swear this last one works.) What I’m trying to say is this stand-alone issue constitutes new work by a seasoned artist—older and wiser—revisiting his early genius, conjuring the old magic, etc., proving he can still land a good booby joke, etc. Got it?

What is “Dead Duck and Zombie Chick”? From the author in an interview included in the new release, “’Dead Duck’ is a minion of Death. He delivers the dead with his sidekick, Zombie Chick.” This is the premise to every Dead Duck story, and it works. Rolled out episodically, this comic delivers hilarity, pop culture lampooning, and unexpected twists in the form of ghastly creatures proving downright lovable. Who woulda thunk a story dripping with macabre imagery could be so charming?

For many fans, Dead Duck appeared in 2009 as a graphic novel. For me at the time, Fosgitt was a friend of a friend. So I dutifully tried his comic book out and wound up having a great time. Seven years and a couple of commissions later, I am also a fan of his Little Green Men adventures and the thoroughly loveable Bodie Troll. Those offerings are geared for all ages. Dead Duck, however, delivers a more risqué set of tales, which is partly why I began my love-fest review with a sobering disclaimer about booby jokes.

Seriously though, count me as a reader who gleefully devoured this new one-off comic. Fosgitt’s rapid-fire wit, ornate illustrations, and remarkable knack for making dark things charming, make “Dead Duck and Zombie Chick” high quality entertainment. These days, grownups are apparently cuckoo for coloring books. No reason why they shouldn’t also be crazy for comic books. Yes, I’m a biased fan. Nevertheless, my critical assessment of Fosgitt's latest comic is dead on. (See what I did there? Jay does it better.)


It seems standard for new comics to entice with extras. So here come the treats. “Dead Duck and Zombie Chick” sports fun new pin ups by Jim Anderson, Robb Mommaerts, Jules Faulkner, and the aforementioned artist interview by author Kasey Pierce. You’ll also receive an irresistibly urban pin up by Fosgitt with artist Danny K. Dunbar posing as Zombie Chick. All of the above extras are available in a single issue from Source Point Press. Check it out!

Wondering where I've gone?

Childe Jake spends most of his blogging time at Lit for Space these days. Stop on by and sample the world of cosmic letters:

Lit for Space: Interpreting the Literature of Space Exploration

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chicago Selfies and Almost Love

That Moment When You Almost Fall in Love

When I finally saw the above painting in person, I assumed I would love George Seurat's masterpiece: A Sunday On La Grande Jatte. After all, I love the Sondheim musical it inspired: Sunday in the Park with George. I adore the way it figures into the teen film classic Ferris Beuller's Day Off. As the titular character and his girlfriend make out in front of Chagall's America Windows, third-wheel Cameron goes off alone. Ferris's awkward buddy gets in touch with his inner daddy's girl by staring deep into Seurat's pointillistic classic. I did not reenact Cameron's bittersweet moment. Still, I suspect I matched his mood.

From 20 feet away, I almost loved the painting. Then I stepped closer. From 10 feet away, the piece's intentionally noisy texture grated on my irises. Dot dot dot dot! Alas, my HD conditioned eyes do not relish pointillism. I'd planned a goofy selfie where I pretend to have trouble finding the large painting. A dozen or so takes later I gave up, opting instead for the above honest selfie. It's hard to admit you are not in love, especially when you dearly want to be.

Lincoln on my Mind

I did buddy up with a painting during my stay in Chicago. When it came to lodgings, I splurged on a room at the boutique Hotel Lincoln in Old Town Chicago. I even scored a special rate as a patron of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. So before heading to the show, I needlessly readjusted my tie in front of Honest Abe.

Profile of a Space Exploration Geek

The lion's share of Wednesday was spent at the Adler Planetarium, which I loved. Plenty of great exhibits for a NASA nerd. Also several shows available for a lone tourist who tires of dodging flocks of kids, families angling for group photos, and couples angling for each other.

Pay No Attention to the Suitcase Handle

My Chicago trip was all about doing touristy stuff. After ascending to Willis Tower's Sky Deck, I marched all the way to Millennium Park with luggage in tow. There I joined scores of visitors mulling over how best to take selfies in front of the polished steel sculpture Cloud Gate. I tried to hide my suitcase behind me and took the above ordinary photo. Maybe I should have put the suitcase in front. An appropriate prop to highlight the lone traveler.

Normally I take foot selfies. This I did at Willis Tower. In addition to two foot selfies, I also took an "Interstellar Selfie" at Cloud Gate. To see these and 17 other images from my Windy City wanderings, head to the Chicago photo album. Thanks for reading!