Thursday, February 2, 2012

An Open Letter

Dear DC Comics,

It's a long, strange trip we've been on, you and I.  How long has it been since One More Day drove me into your waiting arms--five years?  Already?  Damn.  Maybe by your standards it's not that long, but I've read enough of your back catalog to know just how many ups and downs you've had.  And holy hell have there been a lot of downs.  Sometimes I think it's a miracle you've lasted 78 years.

But still, I've stuck by you.  Even if it seems like the screwups have been increasing of late.  I'm not even talking about the relaunch--that's not an out-and-out fuckup, just unnecessary.  You don't seem to have done anything that required such a massive shake-up.  If you wanted to bring in new creative teams to rejuvenate the line, why didn't you just, you know, do that?  It's like buying a new car because you're tired of the current one's bumper stickers--you're paying thousands of dollars to solve a problem a bit of peeling would fix.  Your "fresh new start" has proven neither fresh, nor new, nor even a start.  (Meaning, in fact, the relaunch IS a fuckup.  Oh well, at least we got Jeff Lemire writing Animal Man out of it.)

Indeed, the goofs have been coming thicker and faster than before, but I am a patient and forgiving god, willing to overlook and forgive...up to a point.

Look.  Let me put it this way.  In the past six months, I've watched you turn a character best known from a children's cartoon into a sex drone.  I've seen you turn Harley Quinn into a juggalo AND take a great big runny shit on one of your most fondly-remembered series in one whack.  I've seen you cancel one Rob Liefeld series, only to give him three more (which is at least four too many).  I've seen you change your logo to something resembling a kangaroo getting an abortion (which, strangely, is growing on me--I guess my commitment to reproductive rights just runs that deep).  I've seen you not fire Judd Winick.

Spreading the net a little, I have in my studies found evidence of greater chicanery.  I speak of such incidents as turning a lighthearted fantasy comic aimed at young girls into a horror series, rife with gory deaths and butt-babies.  I've seen you try to turn the JLA into 24.  I've seen you call Countdown "52 done right" with a straight face.  I've seen you take the concept of an elderly Superman fighting twin clones of Hitler in a post-apocalyptic future and make it suck.  And in the face of all this...

THIS is the worst idea you've ever had.

Fuck, I'll go one further.  Not only is this the worst idea you've ever had, it's arguably the worst idea anyone has ever had.  Yes, worse than Comic Sans.  I am so willing to go there.  Yeah yeah, I know, just another case of nerd rage, right?  By tomorrow I'll have forgotten all about it and moved on to the next "worst thing ever".  That's how jaded I am--I don't expect worse, I know worse is coming.  But you know what?  When you get down to it, right now is all you have.  And holy hell am I pissed about this right now.

And don't think a positively dynamite creative team is going to help matters.  Credit where it's due, you've gotten some of the finest talent in the industry (and J. Michael Straczynski, durr-hurr-hurr) in on this mortifying prolapse.  If you got these people together on any, and I do mean any other project, I'd be sprinting to Floating World Comics right now, jizzing all the way, to carve my preorder into Jason's forehead backwards.  As it stands, however, these folks' involvement is just twisting the knife more.  Not even Darwyn Cooke can polish a turd.  It's like if  Pope Julius II got fucked in the ass (little known fact: Julius II--total bottom), then Jules got horrible gas and expelled santorum all over the walls of the papal apartments, then called Michelangelo, Botticelli and Ghirlandaio in and said "there's this old chapel I've been meaning to spruce up and I think this pattern would look really nice on the walls and ceiling".  Those three eminent men of Renaissance art notwithstanding, the end result would still be the Sistine Chapel's interior looking like a frothy shart-splosion.

So no, I won't be buying your stupid Watchmen prequel.  Anyone who does is part of the problem.  Are we really that jaded?  Will we happily slurp down whatever obvious cash-in that gets held in front of our collective face while a reassurance voice warns us of an incoming airplane?

I'm beginning to understand just why Alan Moore is such a cranky old bastard.  With tributes like this, who needs denunciations?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Yelping

Take a stroll around Old Town sometime, see the sights.  See the loud, angry homeless people, the polite, well-behaved homeless people (courtesy of Right 2 Dream Too), the Chinese Garden, the puddles of clubgoer vomit punctuating the sidewalk, the godawful semi-testicular One Pacific Square building...but, most of all, the Hung Far Low sign.  Yes indeedy, that beloved old restaurant shingle bearing a no doubt innocent Chinese phrase I can't be arsed to look up, which--quite by accident--connotes gravid genitalia in our mongrel gwailo tongue.

The restaurant itself fucked off to 82nd years ago--didn't love us anymore, I guess.  Doesn't matter, though, as a new restaurant now huddles in its erstwhile space: Ping.  Which is, apparently, one of GQ's top 10 best new restaurants of 2010.  Not that I give a fuck what GQ thinks.  I mention this only as an excuse to point out that Ping hasn't let this no-doubt-high honor go to its head--or prices.

Yes, a mere $18 will get you a full dinner of a steamed pork bun, spicy mama ramen, and a bottle of Chang.  The bun was not only made to order, but heated all the way through--more than I can say for the pork buns of some Old Town restaurants *COUGH*houseoflouie*COUGH I could name.  The ramen is the standard "everything including some hard chunks we're pretty sure are bits of the kitchen sink, so watch your teeth" noodle bowl local Asian restaurants love so well.  It's odd in that I like everything in it EXCEPT the noodles, which I'd swear came out of those quarter-a-pop packs you can find in supermarkets and convenience stores the world over (and believe me, having subsisted on the things the middle third of my life I know my cheap ramen).  I can't comment on whether it tastes like your mama (who, if I may say so, is damn tasty if it does), but they're not kidding about the "spicy" part--be certain of your bravery before taking the wait staff up on their offer to toss some more capsaicin in there.  The Chang, eh, confirmed my suspicion that I don't really care for Asian beer.  Not that that's the restaurant's fault.

The place is a bit of a closet, albeit a cozy one--all chunky wood paneling and mood lighting.  The waitstaff are helpful, if not what I'd call friendly--but then if I wanted my ass kissed I'd go to Red Robin.  As is my wont, I sat in the most out-of-the-way corner I could find just to see if they'd forget about me.  They didn't, and I wasn't kept waiting for hours on end, so what more do you want?


Saturday, January 7, 2012


So I was watching Batman: The Animated Series just now.  The episode was fine, just as awesome as I remembered, that wasn't the problem.  The problem (if it can be called such) lay in the end credits, whose copyright dated the episode to...1992.  Dear lord.  Yes, that's right, the (for me) iconic Batman series, Timm and Dini's masterpiece, is twenty years old.

That latter word is what I'd like to discuss today, because the revelation left me feeling very much so.  I don't know if that's a good thing or not--I may lean one way or another, depending on my mood.  Right now the trend is towards "bad", if only because it was the first time I'd truly felt that way, and as we all know, old farts hate new things.

I'm supposing this happens to everyone--the sudden, searing revelation that one is regarded as "uncool" due simply to one's age.  This is of course monstrously unfair, as in the great uncoolness spectrum it is, perhaps, the only factor over which one has no control.  (Most of the others have to do with "not being a douchebag" and "staying open-minded, for fucksake", truisms that hold regardless of vintage.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

How do I really feel?

(Please to note: I may have a teensy bit of difficulty remembering what, precisely, I ordered at Chin's Kitchen.  It's been several months since I ate there--time I've mostly spent trying to block the memory--and fucked if I'm going to repeat the experience for the Internet's sake.  Now, onward!)

Imagine, if you will, a locker room.  The specifics are unimportant, just your stereotypical, garden-variety locker room.  The sort in which all the traditional locker-room activities took place--the communal showers, the storage of damp clothing, the wet-towel-snapping ass-torment, the semi-public-nudity-emboldened braggadocio, all of it.  Imagine that this locker room functioned for many, many years, literal decades of black mold and simmering homoeroticism, before finally closing, at which point it sat empty for several more years, just to make extra-sure the fungi had taken root.  Finally, imagine that someone or someones came along and decided, without so much as setting mop to tile, that this locker room would make a fantastic Chinese restaurant.

You can stop imagining now, because now you have Chin's Kitchen.

Chin's Kitchen is the sort of place where, upon setting foot inside the doors, your first thought is this is gonna suck.  Most sensible people, upon finding themselves in this situation, do the sensible thing--turn on their heel and go eat at Shandong instead.

Very rarely have I been accused of being sensible.

Yes, I walked into Chin's Kitchen, saw the state of the place, knew on the spot what I was in for--and sat down and ordered something anyway.  Call me stupid if you like--I prefer to think of myself as an optimist.  First impressions have led me astray in the past, after all.  Hell, for the first several months of its existence I was convinced Sizzle Pie was a strip club.  I must have been in a forgiving mood that day, because I ordered a combo platter, was presented with a pile of hot garbage and I STILL ate it.

And garbage it was--canned/bagged storebought garbage, from the looks of it.  Canned water-chestnut slices are never a welcome sight in my eyes, and yet here were the little frozen-jizz slices infesting my chow mein without so much as a by-your-leave.  The chow mein's "noodles" were those awful rock-hard brown things (like fossilized goldfish shit) only crappy Chinese restaurants buy, despite their near-ubiquity in the "ethnic foods" section of your local supermarket.  Gluing it all together into one gelid mass was a gravy best likened to thick, gluey phlegm fresh from the lung.

So, bad fucking food is what I'm getting at.  Almost as bad as the decor.  There's no reason for this place to exist, not when GOOD chinese food is less than a mile away.  Surely you can walk that far--nobody's THAT American.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Christmas Tale

Spokane, 6:30 p.m.  So much snow on the ground you’d swear asphalt was white, and more on the way.  I’m going on my 37th sleepless hour, unless you count the few minutes of intermittent slumber I pocketed on the bus (and I sure as fuck don‘t), face plastered against the canine-adorned upholstery.  I’ve been ferried in the wrong direction; north, along one of the main commercial streets, an unwilling tourist of one of the most unpleasant districts of one of the most unpleasant cities in the northwestern United States.  My destination?  A goddamn Golden Corral.

So, to say this is the very last place on this miserable planet I wanted to be right at the moment would be perhaps an understatement.

The hell of it is, the party responsible for this outrage considers this a kindness.  Apparently this slophouse is her favorite “restaurant” chain and she’s taking us there as a family Christmas gift.  My mother and brother are holding their tongues, and my frazzled conscience whispers I should do so as well from whatever dark recesses of my brain to whence it has retreated.  “It’s the thought that counts” is perhaps the most shopworn of holiday clichés, but I’ll admit it’s by and large accurate.  After all, my own efforts this year at showing appreciation to my friends and loved ones have been somewhat lacking, both in generosity and effort.  So it follows I should shut up and make a show of enjoying my fried stodge, right?

No.  Fuck that.  I might be technically awake, but the diplomatic and gracious part of me, a weak and sickly thing at the best of times, passed out somewhere around Pasco.  For a moment it rouses, just long enough to counsel me I’m obliged to direct my vitriol at the locale itself, rather than towards this friend of the family.  This I accept; all else, however, is venom, brewed in cultural revulsion and distilled by sleep deprivation.  Hold it in much longer and I’ll be poisoned.  Where better to direct it but at the very enshrinement of entitled American gluttony?

Where better, indeed.  Fuck me, if you could see this place!  As I said, Spokane’s roads are nothing short of nightmarish--a night wholly unfit for traveling any further than the bathroom (and here I am expecting to be chauffeured 70 more miles, but my unrelenting selfish hypocrisy isn’t the subject here.  This time.)  And yet, this place is packed!  To the proverbial gills!  You can’t swing your foot forward to take a step without getting it stuck in some ham beast’s folds.  In fact, I’m not certain this place is all that crowded--it may be just ten or twenty really fat people.  Golden Corral is well festooned with the obese, straining the chairs to the razor’s edge of their load-limits, knees near to buckling as they waddle from one heating table to another.

Jesus, what kind of cultural decline is this?  The United States’ idea of decadence seems to be “drink clarified butter from a gravy boat until your heart explodes”.  Somehow the math doesn’t add up.  Having a bunch of meaningless sex, smoking dope and/or being openly gay makes you a slut, criminal, and/or pervert respectively.  But cramming tens of thousands of calories down your gullet every day and turning into a flesh zeppelin while 36 million people die of malnutrition every year--that‘s fine!  Hell, it’s damn near mandatory.  At least the Romans had orgies.  All we get is the privilege of eating our way into an early grave, buried in a nigh-cubical casket.

And that not even with good food!  Golden Corral specializes in the finest comfort food (sounds better than “I-wanna-die-of-something-painful food”) straight from the American heartland!  They use only the choicest cuts from stray dogs, rats and late-term abortions, deep-fried in engine oil and battered with week-old phlegm!  Yes, at Golden Corral their motto is “All Must Be Fried”.  And all will be fried.  Even the vegetables.  Especially the vegetables.  When the shitting, shitting, shitting shit are people going to learn that you must never fry a vegetable?  Because it is an act of perfect nihilism.  Frying a vegetable does not simply ruin the vegetable--it makes said vegetable disappear.  In its place remains a grotesque, slimy changeling, somewhat resembling the original foodstuff but showing its true nature with its bitter flavor and viscous texture.  The Brussels sprouts I had tasted like slippery, moldering testicles, harvested from a corpse left to rot in the fetid waters of a BP-despoiled Louisiana bayou for several months.

And yet, somehow I managed to choke some of this shit down--not as much as my flabby fellow patrons, perhaps, but some.  Somehow I lacked their enthusiasm for blunting my profile.  Sheer sloth no doubt--I’ve never been what you’d call dedicated.  That, and I needed to get something down my neck.  Each hour on Greyhound somehow becomes the equivalent of one unprovisioned day in the desert, after which you’ll gladly lap from a muddy puddle or eat black licorice.

Thus do I manage to choke down a plate, forcing myself to unsee the eatery’s cleanliness--or rather, the lack thereof.  Indeed, “Dust-Bunny Corral” would be far more apt.  But you can’t fault the staff for this!  The economy is bad, after all, and cleaning supplies are expensive!  This is triage, not sloth!  The employees know they must conserve their stocks for a “Code Splortch”--that is, when one of the corpulent patrons trips and falls over, whereupon impact with the floor causes them to explode like a water balloon, splashing the dining area with blood and lard.  This is the only reasonable explanation for those stains on the walls.  And floor.  And ceiling.  Probably happens at least once a month, judging from the tackiness.

Run-down though the décor may be, it is the Catherine Palace compared to our “waitress”.  You may ask, what purpose could a waitress serve in a buffet?  As it turns out, she wanders by once every couple of hours or so to refill your drinks and clear away your dirty plates.  Even pigs appreciate a clean trough once in a while, after all.  I judged our waitress (whose name I never learned, because fuck that) to be in her mid-twenties; however, she appeared to be attempting with more than a little success to appear two decades older.  I guessed her position at this fine establishment was not her only job.  Her eyes and gait bore the weight of countless long workdays, interrupted all too seldom by nights which should have been spent in slumber but doubtless were primarily occupied by night classes and the squalling fruits of teen motherhood.  Were I still capable of pity, she would have mine.

Or she would, were it not drowned in rising tides of derision.  This waitress, you see, is wearing a pin.  After a moment’s examination, I discern that this pin reads JESUS FIRST.  Why did it take me a moment to puzzle out these two meager words, so meaningless when placed side by side?  Because, well, she’s wearing the pin upside-down.  Yes.

I can’t figure this out.  Was it a mistake?  A conscious effort not to offend?  Is the typical clientele of Golden Corral such unrelenting shit-wits that they are unable to read upside-down words?  If so, would any of them even object to the message?  Would they not object instead to the message’s inversion?

Unless…no.  That can’t be it.  Can it?

It occurs to me that wearing a pin in such a manner would make it easy for the wearer to read.  All she would need to do is look down.

Fucketh me!  Christianity can’t even get proselytizing right anymore!  You’re not supposed to do that to yourself, you silly cow!  It defeats the entire purpose!  That‘s you people‘s primary objection to masturbation, is it not?  I suppose I should be happy you’re keeping it to yourself for once, but damn.  I just can’t stand to see anything done wrong, I guess.

But it all turns out well in the end.  When at long, long last we make ready to depart, the skank comes bearing gifts.  She brings us, of all things, a comment card!  Yes!  Do you realize what you’ve just done, you stupid bint?  You’ve just stuck your arm down the garbage disposal and flipped the switch!  God damn you!  Why the fuck does this world, this whole self-immolating species have to make this so easy?  I even ask to borrow your pen and you give it to me!  I’d laugh if I weren’t choking in fatigue poison and hate!

So, I flip the card over and there’s a row of 1-5 ratings.  Even from the depths of my ocean of bile I find it within me to be absolutely fair, though this still leads me to score “1” in the categories I feel qualified to comment on--I have no idea who or where the “drink station attendant” was, so I leave that blank.  I save my “1”s for the true sticking points--”cleanliness” and “food quality”.  Beneath this is printed the word “Comments”, trailed by several rows of ruled lines.  A preemptive Thank You! provides rear-guard to the proceedings.  Oh, don’t thank me yet.

My ranking completed, I set to the work of proffering my honest, no doubt highly-valued opinion.  As a token of diplomacy, I decide to throw in a personal touch--a bit of friendly advice to brighten the waitress’ day.  I write:

Your “restaurant” is cultural AIDS.  Also, your pin is upside down.

The missive complete, I return the card to the table, face down.  She sweeps it up along with the check, shoving it in her apron pocket without reading it.  I am not disappointed; indeed I had expected and hoped for this.  The time is not yet right--I don’t want her making a scene.  I’m no stranger to embarrassment, but getting kicked out of Golden Corral would be too much ignominy for even me to bear.  I know she’ll read it eventually, maybe even now as I flee into the cold, dark parking lot, insofar as a shuffling, balance-maintaining gait can be called “fleeing”.

Or maybe not.  Still, the point is, sooner or later I know that card will be read.  Truth is patient.  Truth waits.  Truth has all the time in the world.

And that is enough for me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Hiya, Mike Grell here.  You may know me as the creator of Jon Sable Freelance, The Warlord, Starslayer and other masterpieces of sequential art.  Of course, I’m assuming you a) are awesome and b) know good comics when you see them.  What can I say, I have faith in my readers.

What you might not know, however, is that I am also, as the good folks at Wikipedia put it, “an avid big-game hunter”.  Although I have to say, dudes, while I appreciate the shout-out, the adjective is totes in vain.  ‘Cuz if it floats, flies, lopes, scuttles or crawls, the Grellmonster will put a bullet between its eyes and slap it on his dinner table.  Give me an elephant gun and a desert island full of nothing but rabbits, I’m not gonna turn up my nose--those bunnies are going down.  Buckteeth and big, floppy ears all over the fuckin’ place.  ’Cuz it ain’t the size of the package that counts, right ladies?

Now don’t get me wrong, I loves me some big-game hunting.  There’s nothing quite like sitting crouched in the tall grass, sighting down (iron sights only, ’cuz I kick it old-school like that) on something huge and endangered, the rifle butt slamming against your shoulder as you pull the trigger and pop its heart like a water balloon…gives me a fuckin’ hard-on just thinking about it.  And as for actually doing it?  Well brah, let’s just say there’s a reason I wear a jimmy-hat at all times when I’m out in the bush.  And yes, that is a double entendre.  And before any of you tree-huggers ask, no, that’s not the only way I can bust a nut--just ask my wife.  Or my mistress.  Or both--they know each other, they’re totes cool with it, go on shopping sprees together and shit.  Never let it be said the Grellster can’t keep his women satisfied.

But lemme tell ya, hunting isn’t all blowing away dumb animals, using their blood as warpaint and eating their hearts raw (to absorb their power, natch).  There’s the not-so-fun stuff too--hauling gear, camping in the rain, digging holes in the ground to poop in (what are those called again?  I can never remember), spraying yourself with deer urine, squatting in one place for hours at a time, being miles away from the nearest woman (sure, there’s a few lady hunters, but most of ‘em ain’t buying what Grandmaster Grelle Grell’s selling, if you know what I mean), shit like that.

Hours or days of hassle for two seconds’ payoff might not sound like a good tradeoff, but believe me man, it totes is.  Try it for yourself if you don’t believe me.  Though I have to warn you, shit can get crazy out in the field sometimes.  I mean like really, really crazy--like Christine O’Donnell crazy.  I could tell you some stories.  In fact, you know what?  I’ll tell one right now.

Huh?  Whuzzat?  Why am I writing this instead of drawing a comic?  Good question, brah, with an even better answer--’cuz I ain’t getting paid, that’s why?  Mofos think they’re my kids or something, wanting a bedtime story or some shit!  You know what these d-bags are offering?  Half a six-pack of Simpler Times pilsner, that’s what!  Man, I hate pils--tastes like it was strained through a fuckin’ sock!  

Ah, what the hell--I just got kicked out of ANOTHER AA group, might as well get my buzz on.  Any port in a storm, right?  So all right, I’ll write something up--but that’s all.  You want purty pitchers to go along with--that you pay for.  Even comic-book artists have their pride.

So anyway, this happened back in ‘98.  I was hunting elk in the forest, beats me if I remember which one--Yellowstone or Redwood or some shit.  Trust me, brah, when you’ve hunted in as many forests as I have they all start running together in your head.  I do remember being the trees still being green in the middle of November, so a pine forest I guess.  That doesn’t really narrow it down, though.  Oh well, like anybody cares.

Anyhoo, like I said it was the middle of November, in the forest, which is gonna be cold and wet as hell no matter where you are.  And it was that day, I don’t mind telling you.  Big fat cold drops rolling down my face, getting warpaint in my eyes.  Yeah, I said warpaint.  When it comes to hunting, your acronym of the day is ABP--Always Be Painted.  Never hurts to look like a badass, even if your opponent don’t give a shit.  Especially then.  ‘Cuz if you’re staring some big-ass bear or lion or whatever dead in the eye, you got BRING IT BITCH written all over your face (I literally do that sometimes--can you say “badass”?), and the thing’s too fuckin’ dumb to realize it?  You will feel like a god.  A.  GOD.  Well, you’ll probably already feel that way what with the gun and all, but more so.  You’re gonna feel like Super-God; you know, the God God is afraid of.

Like I was saying, my paint was getting all messed up--looked more like it read BLIRG II LUCII or some shit.  Wasn’t just the face paint getting washed away either--I could barely smell the doe-piss anymore.  Here I’d spent all morning damn near MARINATING in the shit.  That stuff is expensive too, especially the Chinese black-market stuff I use.  Totally illegal--they say it makes hunting too easy, if you can believe that.  Yeah, you try hauling 50 pounds of gear in and out of the forest sometime, then we’ll talk about easy.  That, and if it’s about “difficult” why do you let us use GUNS?  That makes splattering animal-brains pretty fuckin’ easy, lemme tell ya!  If you’re really worried about “easy”, why don’t you make us go out there with ball-peen hammers?  Though, actually, I did that a couple times, and I gotta say…but that’s another story.

So anyway, the pee-smell’s starting to wear off and I’m limper than a…a…really limp thing.  I’m about to call it a day, pull this rubber off and head back to town when all of a sudden this buck comes trotting out of the brush.  And what a buck it was!  An absolute beaut (no homo) from head to toe.  And the antlers!  Most centerfolds don’t have racks this nice--I’m serious, this thing must’ve been, like, a fifty-pointer.  I have never wanted to hang something on my studio wall so badly.  I swear to you, Bambi’s dad (was Bambi a deer or an elk?  I always get those mixed up) decided to end it all, stepped off the silver screen and into G-Rell’s sights.  ‘Cuz if you’re gonna go out, might as well get your sendoff from the best, right?  So the old lowercase jumps right back to attention, I raise my gun and…

Okay, something you need to know in order to understand this next part.  At the time, I had recently come into possession of several hundred rounds of gas-tipped rounds--that is, exploding bullets.  They pretty much turn any gun into a tiny rocket launcher.  Get hit with one of these and KERBLOOEY--get turned into a meat smoothie from the inside out.  Yeah, pretty gnarly--even more gnarly if you hit the colon.  Blood and shit EVERYWHERE, like my bathroom on Enchilada Night.  Now I know what you’re thinking--”Sweet Jesus Mikey, that is a horrible way to die”, and you’re afraid to say it ‘cuz you don’t wanna sound like a pussy.  Well, don’t worry about it, ‘cuz you’re right, brah.  I wouldn’t wish that shit on my worst enemy.  Fuck, I wouldn’t wish that shit on Joe Quesada, it’s so nasty.  Knowing these things are out there and anyone can buy them makes me wanna burn my NRA card sometimes.  Then I go clean my guns and the feeling goes away.  Mourn ya till I join ya, C.H.

So no doubt you’re wondering--what in the almighty living fuck was I even doing with these ungodly abominations, much less bringing them hunting?  Well brah, to that I can only say, your guess is as good as mine.  Last time I hit the gun store drunk, lemme tell ya.  I didn’t even realize I had them by the time I was out there--I was a little buzzed when I loaded the truck (noticing a pattern?), so I must’ve just grabbed a few ammo boxes at random and tossed them in.  It’s a miracle I managed to bring the right caliber this time (unlike that time I  went on a trip with some buddies.  Closest I’ve ever been to dying.  But that, again, is another story.)  And somehow, I swear to you, I still didn’t notice when I busted open a box and crammed the things in my rifle.  I have no idea what was wrong with me that day; I don’t normally get that far into the zone.  Or that drunk.  Maybe it was a combination of both?  Maybe I was in the drunk-zone?  I have no idea.

So here I was, sighting down on the Tom Cruise of elk, unaware I’d loaded my trusty Winchester (or “Winkie” as I like to call it) with distilled nightmare.  As far as I knew, the round I was fixing to put between this elk’s eyes was the garden-variety copper-jacketed.  I pulled the trigger and…

Before I tell the rest of this, I need to make something crystal: this shit actually happened.  I’m not just telling some story, not just trying to make you laugh/cry/puke/shit yourself/whatever.  One hundred percent pure unvarnished truth, homes.  There’ll be a couple spots where you’ll be like “there’s no way it works like that!”  And if I hadn’t seen it for myself, I’d totes agree with you.  But I did, and apparently it does.  Or at least, it did that one time--I’ve gone through a lot of hassle (and animals) trying to make it happen again and it never has.  One in a billion thing, I guess.

I took the shot, it went high and clipped the very top of the elk’s skull.  There’s this huge BANG and, I shits you not, everything above the poor bastard’s eyes disappears.  I mean just literally VANISHES.  Well, okay, not quite vanishes, more like races as far away from the buck’s brain as possible.  Both antlers pop off, shoot in opposite directions into the brush--I searched for two hours afterward and only managed to find one.  And the skull?  You’d think some rednecks’d tried to make a hand grenade outta the fuckin’ thing.  Bone shrapnel flew EVERYWHERE--tearing down leaves, embedding themselves in tree trunks, leaving a kickass scar on my cheekbone, shit like that.

Remember what I said earlier?  All that “ohh explodey-bullets are awful and I wouldn’t do that to one of God’s precious creatures BAAAWWWW” crap?  Yeah, fuck that.  This shit right here was stone freakin’ AWESOME.  Blew so much man-chowder my balls felt like raisins afterward.  So much the condom burst like an overfilled balloon and left me with a pantload of Grell-goo.  Every time I moved I made “squelch, squelch” noises until I could get back to the hotel and change.

But I haven’t even gotten to the really awesome part!  You’re probably thinking this poor bastard’s gray-matter made like my man-juice and got splattered all over the place, right?  WRONG.  What happened instead was, the two hemispheres peeled apart, like, I dunno, buttcheeks (I’m totes not gay--that’s just the best metaphor I can think of), and drooped over the elk’s somehow-still-intact eyes.  It was like the grossest game of peek-a-boo ever up in this bitch.  Blew my goddamned mind.  The elk’s too, come to think of it.

So what did old Farmer-In-The-Grell do?  Well, first I sat there in absolute shock for a couple minutes, just stewing in my own baby-snot.  Then, I thought “there is just NO WAY anyone is gonna believe this,” so I pulled out my Polaroid and took a few pictures of the head, the skull chunks, everything I could find.  Then I cleaned the kill, hauled it to the truck, and headed back to the hotel.  Then I took a shower and changed into clean pants (I just threw the Spunky Brewsters away).  Then I faxed the pictures to my old buddy Garth Ennis, who was working on Preacher at the time, then called him.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey, what’s up?” he said.

“You are not gonna believe what happened today,” I said.

“Why?  What happened?”

“Check these pics I’m faxing you, brah.”

“Okay…can I call you back?  The fax is in the other room and I don’t have a cordless.”

“No prob,” I said, and he hung up.  A few minutes later he called back.

“Dude…is this shit for real?” he asked.

“Sure as shit is,” I said.

“No fucking way!”

“No, it totes is!” I said, and told him what happened.

He was quiet for a couple minutes, then said the only thing that made sense.

“Ho.  Ly.  Shit.”


“That’s pretty fucking nasty, dude.”  And as anyone who’s read Garth’s stuff knows, if he’s calling something “pretty fucking nasty” it’s gotta be REAL bad.

“You should put that shit in Preacher, brah,” I said.

“I wouldn’t take this shit from you!  Put it in your stuff!”

“I can’t, man!  I haven’t worked in two years!  Besides, it’d look weird coming from me--people expect shit like this from you!”

Garth sighed.  “Can’t argue with that, I guess.  Fax this over to Steve, willya?”

“Will do,” I said, and hung up.

A couple days later Garth called me at home.

“Mike, dude, I have some bad news.”


“You know those pictures you sent me?”

“Yeah, what about ‘em?”

“Turns out that shit’s not gonna be in Preacher.”

“What?!  Why?”

“Steve won’t draw it.  Apparently when he saw the faxes he puked for, like, twenty minutes straight.  He says it’s too out-there even by our standards and we’d be begging to get cancelled.”

“Aww, that weak-ass limey motherfucker!”

“I know.  These Brits, dude--not a decent pair of bollocks between them.”

Now it was my turn to sigh.  “Aw, hell.  Guess I’ll have to do it myself after all.  Thanks anyway, man--I owe you a Guinness.”

“Oh, ha-bloody-ha!” he said, and hung up.  I wasn’t even trying to make fun of him that time.  Why are paddies so fuckin’ thin-skinned?

So, a couple years later I got back in the comics biz.  I tried like a mofo to stick the elk pics in somewhere, but somehow the opportunity just never presented itself.  And quite frankly, I’m tired of waiting.

So you know what?  Fuck all y’all.  I couldn’t think of a way to end this anyway--let’s put some lovely parting gifts up in this bitch!  Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time anywhere, I present to you…(drum roll please)…the pictures in question!

(Image Censored)

(Image Censored)

(Image Censored)

(Image Censored)

(Editor’s note: Assuming these supposed photographs exist, Mr. Grell apparently decided against providing them, submitting instead several close-up photographs of male genitalia, presumably his own.  We take exception to Mr. Grell’s attempts to “dick-roll” our readership and accordingly decline to upload the images.)


The preceding was a work of fiction.  It was not written by Mike Grell, nor is it meant to imply such.  No attempt been made to depict Mr. Grell’s beliefs and mannerisms in an accurate manner.  I have not met Mr. Grell myself, and have no reason to think he writes/talks like a retarded frat boy (if you will excuse the redundancy) who uses the terms “totes” and “brah” to excess (I.e. more than zero times).  Nor is there any reason to believe Mr. Grell derives sexual excitement from the death of animals, is unfaithful to his wife, assumes women who share his interests to be lesbians, refers to himself by annoying nicknames, is an alcoholic, a sexual exhibitionist, or derives unfair advantages through illegal means.  It is certainly possible Mr. Grell does indeed possess one or more of these attributes to a certain extent, but I consider it unlikely.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I went to the school science fair and I showed everyone my baking soda volcano.  Everybody liked it and I set it off a whole bunch of times so lots of people could see it and I ran out of baking soda.  I asked where can I get more and teacher said the janitor closet so I went to the janitor closet.  I found some baking soda WAY up on a shelf so I had to climb up and get it.

When I jumped down there was this little man standing there!  He had BIG ears so he looked like Mickey and he looked really funny.  I asked if he was Mickey and he laughed and said no.  He said he was hungry and asked if I had anything to eat so I gave him an Oreo in my pocket.  He said thank you and made all these funny CHOMPCHOMP noises while he ate it so I laughed.  So he swallowed and burped and I laughed again.  He asked if I was thirsty and I said yes, how did he know that?  So he gave me a can of Coke and I opened it and drank it cause I like Coke.  When I finished it the little man asked if I wanted to hear something funny and I said yes and he said that wasn’t really Coke, it was magic flying potion.

And then I started flying straight up very very fast and I crashed through the ceiling and it went BOOM but it didn’t hurt.  And I looked down and I could see the town and everything and it was getting very very small and it was SO SCARY.  And then I couldn’t see anything cause I was in a cloud and then I was out of the cloud and then I stopped and I was standing on the cloud and it felt like standing on my bed.  And there was a man on the cloud and I said “hello” and he said “hello, my name is Jesus”.  But he didn’t look like the pictures of Jesus at church.  He looked like that scary Ben Loadin man from the news a little bit.  I asked if he was Jesus why didn’t he look like the church pictures and he said they draw him that way cause grownups are silly.  And then I knew he really was Jesus cause Jesus never lies.

Jesus asked me “what’s your name?” and I said “Kyron”.  And then he said “well, Kyron, do you want to help me with something” and I said “yes”.  And Jesus said the Mexico people had been sneaking into America and he was tired of it cause America is the only country Jesus likes.  He took me over to the edge of the cloud and there were a bunch of blocks that were like toy blocks and there were red ones and green ones and blue ones and yellow ones and some other colors too.  Jesus pointed down and I could see all of America and it looked really tiny.  He pointed to the line between America and Mexico and I started picking up blocks and dropping them and picking them up and dropping them and picking them up and dropping them and I did that a whole bunch of times until the whole line was covered with blocks.  And I missed with a block one time and it fell somewhere else and I asked Jesus what it fell on and he said Idaho and he said not to worry cause nobody would miss it.

And once I filled in the whole line and Jesus said congratulations and that I was a hero cause now the Mexico people wouldn’t be able to steal America’s candy anymore.  He asked if I wanted to help him celebrate and I said yes.  He said we were gonna have a Coke party and that made me happy cause I like Coke.  So he took my hand and we flew over to another cloud where a lot of ladies were dancing in their underwear.  GROSS.  I was afraid of getting cooties and Jesus said there are no cooties in heaven so I guess it was okay.

And there were also a bunch of tables on that cloud and some of the tables had poles coming out of them that the ladies were dancing around and some of the tables had BIG piles of white stuff on them and you could see your reflection in the top of the table.  I asked Jesus where the Coke was and he pointed at the white stuff and said right there.  I said that was funny-looking Coke and Jesus said it was grownup Coke but I could have some cause it was my birthday.  I said it wasn’t my birthday and Jesus said in heaven every day is your birthday.  And then we went over to one of the Coke tables and Jesus picked a little straw out of the Coke and he made a little bit of the Coke into a little line like I do when I eat peas and then Jesus put the straw in his nose (SUPERGROSS) and he breathed in and the little line all went up the straw and then he took the straw out of his nose and tilted his head back and sniffed a whole lot and then he said “Oh yeah, that’s good word-Daddy-says-I-can’t-say”.  And then he pulled out another straw and made another little line and gave me the straw and said here, try this.  So I put the straw in my nose and it tickled a whole bunch and I put the other end of the straw down by the line and I breathed in and the Coke went in my nose and it tickled even more than the straw and I felt like I was going to sneeze but then it went away.

And then WOW, I felt like I ate a whole bunch of candy and drank a whole bunch of normal Coke but even more than that!  I felt like Speedy Gonzales so I started running all over the place and yelling “Arriba, arriba, andale!”  And Jesus started laughing and said the Mexico people were starting to sneak into heaven and we needed another other-word-Daddy-says-I-can’t-say wall.  And I started running along the edge of the cloud really fast and Jesus said be careful I don’t fall but he distracted me when he said that and I tripped and fell off!  And then I was falling down, down, down, down, down and America started getting bigger and bigger and I could see my blocks only now they were REALLY REALLY big.  I kept falling and it was SO SCARY so I closed my eyes.

And then I wasn’t falling anymore and I was someplace really dark and it was hard to breathe and it was SO SCARY so I started crying.  And then I heard this noise like unzipping a backpack and then I could see and a policeman was standing over me.  I asked where I was and he said I was in a duffel bag in Mama Terri’s closet.  So he took me home and I got to ride in a police car and it was fun.  Mama Terri got to ride in one too except she was in the back seat and she kept her hands behind her back for some reason.  And then I got home and Daddy started crying for some reason.  I guess it was cause he’s a grownup and he’s silly like Jesus said.

So that’s what I did for my summer vacation.  I was surprised cause it didn’t feel like all summer but I guess it was.  I had fun except for the scary parts and those didn’t take very long so it was okay.  I see on the news that the President keeps trying to move the blocks so I hope he doesn’t make Jesus mad because I think he’s cool even if that loud man on the radio doesn’t like him.