Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Comic Book Liveblogging

A lot of people out in the “blogosphere” engage in an activity known as “liveblogging,” posting their thoughts about some event – the Super Bowl, the Oscars, their nephew’s Bris, etc. – on their blogs in real-time as the event takes place.
I generally don’t watch any of those things, or read liveblogs as they actually happen, but I do have a habit of going to a blog after the fact and reading the liveblog, as I find it oddly entertaining to read something so context-specific when it’s been shorn of context.
Sure it can be kind of confusing, but it’s easier than having to sit through some interminable awards show or something just for the sake of understanding what the hell the liveblogger is actually talking about.
In any case, I’ve decided that I should join the fraternity and sorority and frasorternity (or whatever a grouping of transgendered and/or hermaphroditic people is called) of livebloggers and do some liveblogging of my own.
Of course, I don’t watch any of the major “events,” and there aren’t any going on right now anyway, so I’ve decided to liveblog my reading of a story in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #42 (as reprinted in Showcase Presents Superman Family, Volume 3).
So, without further ado, and completely free of context (because I’m too lazy to scan any pages in), I present “Perry White, Cub Reporter! The Liveblog Edition.”

(Image courtesy of the Grand Comic-Book Database, which is totally awesome, by the way.)

Page 1, Panel 1
What the - ? Cub Reporter Jimmy Olsen bossing around veteran newspaperman Perry White? And Perry is allowing it to happen? Is this a hoax? A dream? An imaginary story? I just can’t imagine what this can mean. Guess I’ll have to read the story and find out! Oh, you comic book creators were sly dogs back in 1960, with your tantalizing glimpses of the story we’re about to read!

Love the autographed picture of Superman on the wall of Perry’s office. I think I’m going to use “with admiration” as my sign off on e-mails I send at work.

Page 1, Panel 3
How about making your birthday wish be for a new wife who’s not such a bitch, Perry? Seriously, she’s not so skinny herself.

Page 2, Panel 3
Wow, Perry, it’s so cool the way you’ve managed to seamlessly fit in that bit of exposition about how you’ve agreed to trade jobs with your “lowliest” employee Jimmy Olsen for a day as part of the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce’s “Boss-For-A-Day” promotion. I’m sure none of the people at your birthday party found it to be an odd thing for you to say, even though they all probably knew about it already.

Page 2, Panel 4
No birthday cake for you, fatty! Damn, Alice White is almost as much of a bitch as Lucy Lane. Let the man have some of his own freakin’ birthday cake, swamp witch!

“She’s been bossing me around since our wedding day, bless her heart!” Bless her heart = die in a fire, you castrating bitch.

Page 2, Panel 5
Perry’s been applying for more life insurance? Surely that’s just an offhand comment, and not a major plot point.

Page 3, Panel 1
Wait, what? Superman is Clark Kent? But that four-eyed milksop is a weakling and a craven coward! Why, he’s practically the exact opposite of Superman in every – ohhhhhhhhh! Well played, Man of Steel!

Page 3, Panel 2
Now now, Jimmy! You mustn’t let this temporary taste of power go to your head. What would your pal Superman think if he saw you embarrassing Perry like that in front of the whole office?

Page 3, Panel 3
Hey, Lois got a cushy assignment covering a fashion show! Why, what smart, ambitious girl reporter in 1960 wouldn’t want to work on some fluffy puff piece rather than hitting the crime beat and earning herself a Pulitzer?

Page 3, Panel 6
Ha ha...I guess Alice was right: Perry is a fatass. Look at him huffing and puffing his way up those stairs on that crummy assignment Jimmy gave him! No birthday cake or piece of cake assignment for fat fatty fat fat!

Page 4, Panel 3
You tell him, Jimmy! Fatboy needs to get his fat ass back out on assignment! And no easy assignments like fashion shows, or football games, or bikini contests like you gave to everyone else.

Ah, if I had a dollar for every time my boss came and yelled at me to stop soaking my feet and to tell me that I’m far from finished...well, I wouldn’t actually have even a dollar. Still...get to work, fatass!

Page 4, Panel 5
Ah yes, because everyone is dying to read interviews with millionaire hermits. That’s front page material.

Page 5, Panel 1
Wait, you just had Jimmy interview this guy six months ago? The demand for interviews with millionaire hermits was really that high in 1960? You’ve got Khrushchev pounding his shoe on a table and shouting that the Reds will bury us, and getting ready to ship missiles to Cuba, and this is what people are interested in reading about? No wonder newspapers are going out of business.

Page 5, Panel 2
That’s right, row your way across that swamp to interview that millionaire hermit. You know, I shouldn’t be so judgmental, I guess. I mean, Paris Hilton and her ilk make the front page these days, so a rich person who isn’t a fame-seeking attention whore probably would be more interesting to read about.

Still, even though I know you don’t want to give Jimmy cause to fire you, I don’t know that you’ll be “outsmarting” Jimmy by doing “everything he wants” even if it kills you, Perry. Because, seriously, that kid’s got a lot of good reasons to want you dead:

“Blast it, Olsen, for the last time, don’t call me ‘Chief!’”
“Fine, how about I call you dead?” Blam! “Now, to publish that Perry White obituary I wrote up and have been keeping in my hope chest for the last six months...ever since he made me interview that creepy, half-naked and grabby millionaire hermit!”

Page 5, Panel 4
That’s right, Perry! Fight the power! Stick it to the man!

I need to start calling people “insolent young pup.”

Page 5, Panel 5
Way to cave in, Perry. And what’s with the way you’re leaning in so close and seductively and telling Jimmy you’ll do “w-whatever you say, Mr. Olsen,” anyway?

Page 6, Panel 1
I hope Perry was wearing an adult diaper before he got into that centrifuge to experience what pilots flying to the Moon will have to endure.

Page 6, Panel 3
Oh great, Perry’s drunk and getting hauled back to the office by the military...again.
Oh, wait, I guess he’s just exhausted. Of course, “exhaustion” is what all the Hollywood starlets get hospitalized for when they crash after their coke and meth-fueled partying rampages.

Page 6, Panel 5
Way to be a hard ass, Jimmy! And so clever, sending him to the desert, which is in a different time zone, so he still has five hours to go before his day is over.

Page 6, Panel 6
Yes, because utilizing Superman to fly a reporter across the country to cover a missile launch isn’t a frivolous waste of the world’s greatest hero’s time at all. How many people died while he was lugging Perry’s fat ass to the desert, Jimmy? How many plane crashes, natural disasters, and alien invasions could have been averted? Do you even care? Are you so caught up in the petty pleasures that having authority over this poor man can provide you? For shame, Jimmy, for shame.

Page 7, Panel 1
Well, at least Superman has his priorities straight, leaving an elderly man to die in the desert while flying off to attend to an emergency. Too bad the “emergency” was Wonder Woman needing some help zipping up her bustier.

Page 7, Panel 3
Aw, poor little exhausted Perry! He looks so adorable all cuddled up in Superman’s arms.

Oh, no, Jimmy; Perry won’t have any hard feelings tomorrow. Why, he’ll be so happy and cheerful that he’ll find a nice couple to adopt you so you won’t be an orphan anymore...and then, just as you’ve settled in to your happy new life, he’ll have them killed so that you can be orphaned all over again. Because Perry White is hardcore.
Alternate: Because Perry knows that revenge is a dish best served...with white wine.
(Ugh, terrible.)
(Shut up, me, you insolent young pup!)

Page 7, Panel 5
What the - ? Why, Perry isn’t angry at all! Oh, Alice, you horrible, braying harridan clever minx, you! You arranged for Jimmy to give Perry those arduous assignments so that he would lose enough weight to pass the life insurance physical exam! I would have never figured that out in a million years! Oh, wait, I figured that out back on page 3. Well, that’s not a million years.
Still, I had no idea that offhand comment about life insurance would be significant. Nope. None at all.

Page 7, Panel 6
Holy shit, twenty pounds? Perry, you shouldn’t be thanking Jimmy, you should be rushing to the hospital! There’s no way it’s healthy to lose that much weight in one day, especially at your age. You’ll probably drop dead in the middle of that life insurance physical.

“And you’re the best Cub Reporter...er...pound for pound!” Seriously, Perry, you should fire Jimmy just for that horrible pun.

And that wraps up my first ever comic book liveblog. If you enjoyed it, great, and if you hated it, well, I’m probably too damn lazy to ever do it again, so you’re in luck.


Merlin T Wizard said...

That was pretty damn funny, Jon. Those old Olsen stories are so bat#!@$ insane. They're perfect for liveblogging.

Although, you almost lost me when you announced you were joining a hermaphrodite/transgender club. Is there something you haven't told me? And if so, will you please continue not telling me?

Word verification: gumli
Gimli's younger, retarded brother.

Heimdall said...

Mrs. Garrett: You have both?
Jo: Well, yeah. Doesn't everybody?
Mrs. Garrett: Noooooooooooooooo!

Nah, I'm not trying to tell you anything. I just wanted to comment on the universality of liveblogging and to make my language as inclusive as possible.