Thursday, October 19, 2017

the Annotated Sons of God, Issue 4

Issue 4 April 2014 “Faerie Tales”  
or “Abandon Hope: read The Good Book” or “Bedtime Tales of Wonder and Astonishment. And heart-crushing loss, soul-rending hopelessness, piteous vulnerability, life-sapping submission...”

Disclaimer: “Nothing is anything, but it’s not…” and “Even a good book can do very bad things…”
(too many great by-lines for this issue: couldn’t leave them out…)
Front Cover: Jojo imagining the concept of crazy Bible stories… without ever having read one. Awesome free-form imagination.
Logo: For the Title Logo, the next letter to be changed is the “o” turned into a star and crescent (which in the 20th century sometimes came to represent Islam, Islamic communities, or countries)
Page 1 Panel 1   this is a preface, to get readers somewhat prepared for the crazy stories of Elijah (and his “man-servant” Elisha…) But this back-story (1 Kings chapters 18 and 19) is just as bizarre:
Panel 4 Jezebel: whose name is so reviled throughout history, threatened to kill Elijah
Panel 5 Elijah is afraid and runs away; he is tired and weary and asks God to die
Panel 6 An angel gives him a nice cake, cooked over coals, and a jug of water. Then he sends him to Mt. Horeb… because, why not?! The idea here is that the superhero of this story is Elijah: powerful, righteous, exciting, a prototypical comic book hero (but not without his own flaws and failings). We naturally root for Elijah, but shortly we will meet some less than admirable associates in theBCU (the Bible comics Universe…) Now we’re all on the same page, and ready for some Bible!
Page 2 we see Dany getting very sleepy-eyed, reading the 1611 King James Bible by the light of the candle Stan gave him (Lucifer, the bearer of light)
 1 Kings 21:19 more lovely Bible wisdom and lessons. “Him that pisseth against a wall”: while this probably means “males and dogs…” you might not believe the number of scholarly article that study this ignoble Biblical expression…1
the only titles page written by hand into the background: “Faerie Tales” has so many meanings here… “Bedtime tales of wonder and astonishment! (And heart-crushing loss, soul-rending hopelessness, and piteous vulnerability…) Accept meaninglessness! Submit to life-altering shame!”
“Continentur in hoc libro…” table of contents, contained in this book
“ATU folktale types 401a, 410a, 706, 769” this is the Aarne–Thompson–Uther classification system2
a way of categorizing folk tales, fairy tales, etc. these numbers are to a variety of sick, twisted, perverse “fairy tales”, that are astonishing to read: they are ancient, but are more messed up than any purportedly “shocking” story today’s writers come up with. Really disturbing stuff… shudder… skim through a few here if you are brave… 3
“Nothing is anything, but it’s not” pushing the nihilism of “It’s all made up, all invented” even further…
“Even a good book can do very bad things” maybe TH main theme of showing all the madness n the bible and in religions in general…
“OK Alias” you’ll have to ask Jojo why he wrote this here… I can’t remember…
Page 3 panel 1 we tried to hew very closely to the actual bible stories of Elijah from 2 Kings chapter 1 here (we got a little more impressionistic later in this issue…)
The tattoo probably says “mom” or “dad” in fake Aramaic, but I can’t really remember… so many gags…
The healer is holding a staff of Asclepius, (one snake)
The headgear were based on ancient images of hats and clothes from the Levant, and Greece etc. like the pileus, etc.
Panel 2 Ba’al (Baʿal Zebub “occurs in the first chapter of the Second Book of Kings as the supposed name of the Philistine god of Ekron.” This is our own interpretation of the god, sometimes described as two-horned, and we decided to give him a staff like a caduceus (or like the serpent and cross )
Panel 3 Elijah, “herald of the end-times” Elijah is prophesied to appear before the apocalypse  "Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes,” immediately before the second coming of Jesus. 4 Now yes, some people may say that Elijah looks quite similar to former WWWF wrestling Champion, Bruno Sammartino. Well, you may be right… Bruno is still a legend in Pittsburgh, but growing up there, he was quite actually, a superhero to kids in the 60’s. Who else could ever portray the most powerful prophet in the old testament?
The temple and altars are also based on ancient temples and images of sacrifices, uniforms, etc.
And of course, the strongest, most powerful prophet has visible power emanating from his hands: Kirby dots! Yessah!!!
Page 4 panel 1 we even tried to get Ahazia’s home to be conceptually correct: he was theoretically injured falling off a second floor lattice. I like the joke of adding unnecessary articles before the letter “H” (“an + nouns starting with silent "h": an hour; a + nouns starting with a pronounced "h": a horse. In some cases where "h" is pronounced, such as "historical," you can use an. However, a is more commonly used and preferred.)
Panel 2 another Hebrew letter joke: Elijah/Bruno’s belt says WWWF in Hebrew… the bible says he was wearing a leather belt about his loins

Panel 3  uh oh… watch out… Kirby dots building up power…
Panel 4 the fire is so devastating, it instantly vaporizes the skin and soft-tissue and clothes on the parts of the people it crosses on the edges of the blast-zone
Panel 5  how’d you like to be captain number 2? Their swords are shaking this time, and the pile of bones keeps getting bigger: this sets up a sudden transition back to modern times and the real-world drama of Dany
Page 5 panel 1 The prophet of the lord spoke death (foreshadowing). Also yes, there is ghost-cow blood on the snow, also foreshadowing the tragedy to come. Also note the different, and decidedly sneaky sound-effects we hear now: Derek’s footsteps go “Crinch crinch crinch”, and when he knocks, we hear “Knick Knick”…
Panel 2 you can see Dany’s window lit up by the candle, with the angelic script for “Danyael” under his window. The signs say “Condemned”, but  they mean more than just the building is condemned…
Panel 3 this is an actual condemned building notice, but why from Montgomery County, why not Cook County… I do not know, go ask your dad…
Panel 4 inside Dany’s uncle, drinking Devel beer and smoking Fortunas, while a rat and a big spider fight it out for the last bean.
Page 6 panel 1 “Knick Knick Knick” even Derek’s knocks are creepy.
Panel 2 Derek needs you to invite him in… we see Derek has Jehovah’s Witness buttons and badges, and he is carrying a very similar bible, but his is from 1631 (we’ll learn something VERY interesting about the 1631 Bible next month…).  ICDFS the “uncle” only keeps dany around for the foster money and to buy him smokes and run his numbers. We find out as we go that he also lets the church abuse Dany for their own purposes, as long as they bring the uncle food, money, etc (the nuns have been feeding him LSD to give him psychedelic nightmares, the priest Bobson has probably been sexually abusing him…)
Panel 3 dhs Illinois dept human services (who provide food stamps for poor kids like Dany).
Derek is trading on the Uncle’s dependence on the Government… his character is based on Derek Frost, from the excellent movie Source Code (where delusional madman Derek Frost blows up a commuter train on its way into Chicago; he believes the Earth is Hell and he wants to end all life so the earth can start over again… and he is preparing to use nuclear bombs… more on this later)
We see the spider defeated the rat, and is making off with his prize, the last baked bean.
Panel 4 Illinois Link Card does the same function as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits or food stamps. P.s. there is also another important Chicago group called SNAP, “Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests”.
Panel 5 the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe saluting the flag, saying the pledge of allegiance, or singing the national anthem is a form of idolatry.5 Derek is laying out his philosophy, about Babylon, the Earth’s governments, etc. His motivation will become more evident in the next few issues.
Readers who are reading will have noticed that Derek is barefoot in the snow. Creepy, but look more closely at his feet… something even creepier will become clear soon…
Page 7 Panel 1 Derek is cracking himself up telling the uncle everything will be straightened out by October 2014 (which just may turn out to be a certain Apocalypse time round these parts…) “I’ll tell you about it in a bit…” is always a funny gag to me, when certain characters believe they know something the other doesn’t, and which will have dire consequences for the other person (and this always makes the one who knows the secret guffaw)
Panel 2 here we put in the sayings you can get from a Magic 8 Ball tm:  It is certain; It is decidedly so; Without a doubt; Yes definitely; You may rely on it; As I see it, yes; Most likely; Outlook good; Yes; Signs point to yes; Reply hazy try again; Ask again later; Better not tell you now; Cannot predict now; Concentrate and ask again; Don't count on it; My reply is no; My sources say no; Outlook not so good; Very doubtful…
“Story and pencils by me…” (ummmm, yeah, these Derek Frost pages were written and penciled by me…) And yes, he can’t even give it away for free… (I told you, everyone was fair game for lampooning here: including me!) We see that Derek’s home-made copy of “the Watchtower” is in fact the one on the back cover of this issue of Sons of God. To which Derek’s scuzz-ball Uncle replies “Why would anyone want some crappy parody rip-off comic? that book’s got no value at all.”  Yes, yes, scuzzballs and genocidal maniacs, all decrying the worthlessness of a parody comic-book about religiosity… ha…ha…
Panel 3 Derek’s old old Bible (from 1631: aka “the Naughty Bible) is “verrrrry nice…” (from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the French castle guard) but it is not special enough for some devious purpose: it’s missing a few very important chapters…
Panel 4 good gag here: it’s not an 8-ball… if you turn it sideways, it’s “an Infinity Ball”! the secret message it is telling Derek (1 Corinthians 6:10) is “nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Panel 6 Rich Corinthian leather was Ricardo Montalban’s most famous quote, from the Chrysler new Yorker commercials in the 70’s. Derek is still trying to get invited in: like a vampire crossed with a JW…
Panel 8 the secret message for Dany’s uncle this time says “And the Lord God rained down fire on them…”
Page 8 Panel 1 Back to Elijah and the King’s soldiers.
Panel 2 this is a take off on star wars’ Darth Vader with each new unlucky promotee “Don’t fail me again… admiral!” The narrator’s voice is being purposefully mischevious here. The captain actually does say “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life! Please have respect for the lives of these 50 men! 14 Fire has come down from heaven. It has burned up the first two captains and all their men. But please have respect for my life!”
But here he also says “Zachor”6  as a way of getting Elijah to spare his life after the rain of fire from above (“Aren’t we all Israelis here…?”) All of a sudden he’s pretending to be a Jew, so Elijah will spare him. Zachor means “remember”, and it’s a critically important phrase for Jews, to remember the Holocaust and pass on the stories and legacies of the survivors so the world never forgets.
Panel 3 Elijah happily delivering the bad news to Ahazia. We added the touch of him bringing the head of the statue of the “false God” Baal Zebub” from Ekkron (it’s disturbing to see Baal’s head crying…)
Page 9 Elijah’s journey (around 903 BCE): At the beginning of 2 Kings 2, Elijah travels from Gilgal to Bethel to Jericho to the Jordan before being taken up in the whirlwind. we put a LOT of work into this map, on several fronts, to try to make sense of this odd chronicle: we looked through tons of old maps to try to get the right names of the kingdoms at the time of Elijah, and their borders. 7
There has also been a lot of sleuthing surrounding what years biblical events probably happened!
We put in a scale in both stadia and cubits (for the ancient romans and the greeks who may be reading…) and remember there are MANY different types and purposes of stadia and cubits…
There are many excellent websites analyzing Elijah’s travels and other historical biblical locations8 and they involve historical sleuthing and scholarly research: sometimes it is difficult to even figure where old Biblical cities were, and several places could have the same name (eg. Gilgal could refer to 4 different places in the Bible) It’s all kind of fun, really!
As with all stories, I think it is important to have a point of view: it just seemed to me that Elijah was a classical hero, but that his weaselly little sidekick, Elisha, was more of a weak wannabe. With that, we tried to construct a visual map of Elijah’s strange journey: with this, we try to put real-world context on the miraculous stories, and also to have a reality check about the horror and violence in these venerated sanctified tales: eg  here is the nice spot, by a stream, where Elijah, our hero, killed 450 followers of the old God Ba’al…
We wanted to really showcase the locations of several historic biblical landmarks, eg the River Jordan: it gives better context to see how it runs between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, right through the Kingdom of Israel. And I always like a good map gag, with giant arrows, and Elisha padding along after his hero, enraptured (with little hearts in his eyes). Sometimes here we put the turning page gag also, at points where a new story was to begin, or where urgency was signaled (you can see the next page underneath the lower right corner, as if to say “Let’s get started!”)
Page 10 Panel 1the river Jordan can be small and slow moving, or sometimes ripping with class II or III rapids and some big drops. It is only wide at the Seas and tributary inlets. We made this section of the river (near Jericho) much wider for dramatic purposes.
Panel 2 Yes, Elijah (Bruno Sammartino)’s belt says WWWF in Hebrew letters. Here is another instance of one of my favorite old jokes: George Kirby’s classic story of the little guy stopped by a cop for swimming on a private beach: “Sorry, but the sign clearly says “Private Property, no swimming allowed”. The man responds: “That’s not how I read it. It says “Private Property? No! Schvimming allowed!”” we’ll see this little gag again in several more iterations: it just seemed like a surreal running gag (like doing an Ernie Kovacs skit…)
Panel 3 all the stuff you would see if the river Jordan suddenly parted: leech monsters, nun’s glasses and the crucifix Stan tossed in the water from episode 2, and a brief (confused) cameo appearance by what appears to be the celestial salmon.
Some readers who are reading, may have noticed a certain similarity between Elisha and Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Silly twisted people…
Page 11 panel 2 again, we tried to be very accurate about maps and locations: Bethel is 12 roman miles, or 96 greek stadia from this spot: Maine has an inordinate amount of cities named after famous countries, cities and states. The town of Bethel is a favorite spot of ours: Sunday River is our favorite skiing place!
Panel 3 more Jojo wackiness: his conception of Elijah being taken away in a chariot of fire: driven by a spider (of course…)
Page 12 panel 1 Elisha, in our story, is a fawning sycophant, so he covets Elijah’s “mantle”: not his belt of power, rather just his swim trunks (essentially, he wants Elijah’s jock strap)
A rare spelling mistake here: souirce. I’ll fix that some day…
Panel 2 Elisha wearing Elijah’s underwear, which of course says “BVD”… this is like Danny Bonaduce wearing susan dey’s bra like a mask in the old Mad Magazine send up: “The Putrid Family”:
Note Elisha still only gets pathetic, fizzling Kirby dots.
Panel 3 also, when he tries to part the waters like Elijah did, they only part a little…
Panel 4 Here is the George Kirby joke again: “Poison? No, drinking allowed!” Another weird Bible story, about healing poisoned water this time (like the other stories with poisoned stew, or snakes, etc.)
Page 13 panel 1 this sign is a Bethel, Maine joke: “Welcome to Bethel, Maine’s most beautiful mountain village” is a sign you used to see driving into Bethel, ME. The “Divided Kingdom” is of course, the Bible’s story of how the Israelite country split into two: the Kingdom of Israel in the north and the Kingdom of Judah (containing Jerusalem) in the south.
Panel 3 “Sabbath River” is Sunday River Ski Resort (the mountain in the background is their official logo) Elisha called down bears to kill and eat the children.
Panel 4 bears killing and dismembering little children… great noble and useful life-lessons: thanks, Bible!
Once again, you can see the “turning page” gag in the lower right hand corner, to emphasize the story-telling nature of the Bible tales here.
Page 14 panel 1 around 550 BCE… the way most historians can date events like these is by the rules of kings, cross-referenced with other sources from these times (from the Masoretic texts here: of the Tanakh). Here are the crazy dreams of Daniel interpreted by me and Jojo: (you’re welcome, History!)
Panel 2 we decided to have the bear eating his own 3 ribs
Panel 3 this leopard is based on a wild dancing leopard photographed with his mate9
Panel 4 it’s an octopug, of course (squashing tiny people). Why? Ho ho ho, silly human… btw yak yak yak, blab la bla is kind of a mantra for me, from George Martin’s cartoons in the old New Yorker (back when the cartoons were sublime, back in the 60’s and 70’s)
Page 15 we tried to illustrate some of the psychedelic stories from the bible (“his throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze…”), but jojo also came up with his own imagery, every bit as wacky as the bible’s authors…
After this actual bible passage at the top, we invented the dialogue about the burning sword 10 and had the little horn pipe up with his own demands…  foreshadowing what comes in the later issues: the flaming sword of Uriel! (and why one character covets it so badly…)
I love “the court was seated and the books were opened”. It’s just about reckoning time… the books were opened to
Page 16 panel 1 Moses! In Exodus, 500 years earlier… JOjo just heard these stories for the first time, so… theyah! Of course this is what Moses looked like! Now and forever hence!
Panel 4 Yes, in this image, Moses supposes his toeses are roses (erroneously, as it turns out…) the dialogue here is not from the Bible: the burning bush warns of the danger, that the flaming sword is missing (from the garden of Eden) and that flames surround the sons of man (eternal damnation, banishment to hell…) Jojo’s colors, pencils and inks are off the charts here: my favorite page in the whole book (I only did the roses)
Page 17 panel 1 the book seems to be lulling Dany to sleep “There is a way…” the Bible here says “Moses and the Hebrewites… So let it be written, so let it be done!” This is, of course, Billy Crystal’s famous impression of Yul Brenner playing the Pharaoh Rameses in “The Ten Commandments”. The other page says “There is a way out. there is only one way. There is a way…” Dany has been having a “waking dream”, incorporating the surreal Bible parables into hisexhausted, traumatized consciousness. It’s called hypnagogia11 .
Panel 2 Poor Danyael was never baptized, so he can never go to Heaven. (nice religion, huh?)
Panel 3, 4, and 5 this is a mash-up of several components: of course, the famous scene from “The Shining” where Jack Nicholson ischopping away at the bathroom door where his wife is hiding. But it’s also the old folk story “The Golden Arm”: it’s a “campfire tale” you tell very quietly, scarily… “And where are your red lips?” “All gone” “And where is your Golden hair?” “All rotted away…” “And Where is your golden arm?” and suddenly you scream: “THOU HAST IT!!!” (For those scoring at home, this folktale is classified as Arne-Thompson type 366…)12   But there is a secret here. Don’t read it if you don’t want to know…
Ok, here it is… it’s actually Jesse (Jesus) calling Dany into the flames: “Where’s my blade of fire?!” to the child’s doom. but Stan arrives at the last minute again (Deus ex machina…?) and saves him… or does he? Does he bear Dany away to a safe house in Idaho or Alaska, etc, or is he tricking him to follow him into Hell, or…
Panel 6 Stan does a parody of Jack Nicholson’s classic “Heeeer’es Johnny!” but in 2014, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show is now hosted by a new host, introduced by his announcer as “Heeeeere’s Jimmmy Falllon!” Stan reprises his catch-phrase “You were expecting maybe somebody else?”
Panel 7, 8 Leviathan was considered to be the Hellmouth: the portal through which damned souls must pass on their way to hell. Leviathan was also considered to be a “Chaos Monster”: in perpetual conflict with the forces of “creation”. Stan is proposing that the only way out of this inferno, is directly through the Hellmouth (and back towards the ordered world of reality). But Dany being a pawn of so many powerful, unscrupulous forces, it’s hard to believe this is a safe passage for him… as the Devil, it’s Stan’s  thing to trick people, for his own purposes… there seems to be a GIANT school of thought that the path back through the Leviathan’s mouth leads to universal chaos, and UN-creation…
is Stan trying to help him? or trick him, for some unknown purpose? I know what I think… you’ll have to decide on your own…  does Dany go “straight through the flames and into…”
page 18 “…Unspeakable Tragedy”? This is the newspaper page that was partially hidden back in issue #3 page 12. now we can see the rest of the page: we see Dany’s house engulfed in flames: we see Stan and Dany in the upstairs window; we see Derek Frost’s bare footprints going through the snow, up to Dany’s door (but the snow has melted all around the house from the intense heat…) The fire is playing tricks on our eyes, and the word “Condemned” looks like it says “Damned”;
Fire trucks often have interesting but obscure words on the sides, and sometimes nicknames. The far truck is nicknamed “Old Scratch” with a drawing of a devil. the Chicago Fire Dept, like many big city fire depts., has a certain number of Tower trucks (this one just coincidentally happens to be Tower 666, and also ladder 666…) The near truck has the logo “Death” truck, indicating fatalities in this fantasy comic-book world. Chicago Fire Station 98 looks just like a castle13 but I don’t remember why I wrote that… I’ve lost the handwritten notes... these are supposed to be ghost-firetrucks, part of an inescapable response to the events (so possibly not very helpful to the victims…)

On the opinions page, we see opinions from such random passersby as Frank Miller, Anton leVay, and Alan Moore. I lampoon everybody, including myself, for taking my opinion way too seriously sometimes… “Somebody innocent is going to get burned…” creepy…
The story titled “Bomb Scare” is taken, as exactly as I could, from the excellent movie “Source Code”. Derek here is giving a rapture-like apocalyptic message/appeal, but from Jehovah’s Witness perspective: “God loves you and wants to do something special with your life. Make sure of where you stand with him because he’s coming back again. Because, the world is hell. But we have a chance to start over in the rubble. But first there has to be a rubble…” if you know the movie, the idea is that in this iteration/parallel timeline, Derek is still on the loose, and on a mission to turn the world to rubble, to start the endtimes, because he has read the signs in the religion he trained in: we’ll see why the JW’s believe the world will end in October soon.
The story under the photo: here is a cameo from the Angel Gabriel (so please imagine his lines read by Christopher Walken).  The last paragraph is a takeoff on Colter Stevens returning to try to stop the tragedy over and over, every 8 minutes in the movie, and his mantra “Everything is gonna be OK”… the right column is a bunch of references to Dante’s inferno, then references to Isaiah 30-33 (the burning place); then there’s a description of Derek leaving the scene, with his bare 4-toed feet. This reporting will become more important later, as reporter Hally Scion follows the strange clues and occurences here, and elsewhere across America
Page 19 panel 1 this is a takeoff on “Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking…” walt whitman’s poem, which kept coming back in D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance”. The fire truck is number “Infinity”, a mystical spiritual firetruck, like the other demonic or ghost trucks on the last page.
Also, here is the George Kirby joke again: sorry, it just keeps making me laugh… “Warning: Leaving Chicago? Repent, He’s coming back soon!” can you guess who it is whose coming? This is a tableau, parralelling the two levels of storylines: Chicago, and…
Panel 2 The River Jordan, the Holy Land, the land of Elijah
Panel 3 here is a view that includes both “Chicagoland” (as residents are coerced to call it) and “Israel-land” (as no one calls it…)
Here is the first news report on the celestial body: it’s orbital period is 2014 years (from the year 0 A.D. aka 0 A.C.E.) “plus or minus 30 years…” because it is commonly believed that Jesus died when he was 30 years old. This would make the body a “Long period” orbit because it is more than 200 years (some could take 1 million years to orbit the Sun!) “Most of the comets seen close to the Sun seem to have reached their current positions through gravitational perturbation of the Oort cloud by the tidal force exerted by the Milky Way.” This is called the Galactic Tide, and it seems appropriate for the Celestial Salmon to swim the tidal waters back to its spawning ground here on Earth, as an earthly salmon navigates back from the vast ocean back to its own singular little spawning stream.
Panel 4 yes, the cosmic salmon will be making his big return in 6 months, i.e. on October 2nd… there seems to be a convergence coming on that date…
We LOVE drawing galaxies and stars and such
page 20 jojo pictured leviathan as wishing to be a big prophet like Elijah or Jesus… but he does not have their sophistication…
Back Inner Sleeve this, of course, is the “Who’s that Pokemon?” game, from the original Pokemon TV series (I pictured the ones from Indigo League): VERY popular in this house…
the silhouette being teased is from the next episode, Issue 5. The idea is that there are many other “Gods” in the world, of different shapes and colors and powers, etc. the way kids keep trading cards of the wonderful variety of Pokemon
Back Cover Watchtower cover for March 2014. So remember, “Sons of God” also follows the parallel path of the maniacal, psychotic, barefoot JW Mr. Frost, pursuing his own bizarre obsessive quest. We see the updates in his quest, real time, on the back pages of “The Watchtower”: we see HIS version of the story, as told in his own self-published private monthly edition of “The WatchTower” (which themselves are parodies of the Watchmen” covers). This is kind of like “Stella Luna”, the excellent children’s book about a little bat who became lost and separated from her mother when a hawk attacked them, and how she tries to survive. Well, if you look closely, at the margins of the pages of stella luna, you can see a separate, parallel story told in simple black and white dot images: it tells the story of what happened to the mother, and follows the mother’s path in real-time, as she tries to find her baby. I found this amazing when we first realized it was there in Stella Luna: it was a whole secret world, right under our eyes, kind of a parallel universe. Well, you can see Derek’s thoughts and plans and agenda, unfolding if you read the back covers closely…
On this issue, you can see that the number of souls from the small flock who have made it up to rule with Jesus in Heaven is now up to 143,991.
The top quote was always one of my favorite things to hear back in Catholic School, Catholic Church, etc. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart the things which God hath prepared for them which love him.” this passage always woke up great imaginings in me, of what heaven would look like to us mortals (although there is a very short list of humans who have actually seen a glimpse of what was in store in Heaven…)
Along this line, St. Paul writes to the Corinthians about the “Third Heaven” where “He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." (2 Corinthians 12:2–4) The Greek says "caught away", not "caught up" possibly reflecting Jewish beliefs that Paradise was somewhere other than the uppermost heaven.14
This Watchtower is all about the wonder, the magick, the surreal imaginings that await in Heaven… and there is no wilder, more unbridled madness than Revelation. This is reality to Derek Frost, and he has based his life and immortal soul on it: Derek, poor as a churchmouse, Mr. Self-Denial and self-mortification/mortification of the flesh (look that stuff up if you want some real disturbing stories…) and he is getting up to heaven, hoo boy, yessah.
In our house, the kids kind of love, kind of live in fear of “Coraline”: this image is, of course, Neil Gaiman, who misheard/misinterpreted St. Matthew’s famous quote about a camel passing through the eye of a needle… oh, but wait, this might be “Other-Neil Gaiman” anyway… wait, so does that mean all this is backwards…? P.s. Neil’s tshirt says “Welcome Home”: this is foreshadowing the importance of Chicago’s Insane Asylum “Dunning”… welcome home to the Sanitarium (cue Metallica), especially for one character in particular, but as regards all the characters: “Are they all crazy? All imaginary characters in some madman’s paranoid delusions/hallucinations?” But thosewho have heard the wonderful music from “Coraline the Musical” will get the reference to “Welcome Home” as well…
And how about the old Watchtower slogan: Watchman: what of the night?” “The morning cometh… and also the night…” maybe that was supposed to give someone courage, but it just kind of saddens and freaks me out…
This is all a look forward to/ in preparation for our next episode: “A peek inside “The Kingdom””

10) from Wikipedia "Watchers", "those who are awake"; "guard", "watcher"[3]) is a term used in connection with biblical angels. Watcher occurs in both plural and singular forms in the Book of Daniel (4th–2nd century BC), where reference is made to their holiness. The apocryphal Books of Enoch (2nd–1st centuries BC) refer to both good and bad Watchers, with a primary focus on the rebellious ones.
11) Hypnagogia is the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep. Mental phenomena that occur during this "threshold consciousness" phase include lucid thought, lucid dreaming, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. From Wikipedia
12) The Golden Arm can be documented at least 200 years back, but it has been told orally for longer. This tale is part of the Aarne–Thompson Type 366 which means that a corpse comes back from the dead to claim what was stolen from them, usually a body part, article of clothing or object. This stems from the belief that “a dead man or animal can find no rest until its physical remains are intact.” [1]   from wikipedia

Disclaimer: I am fully aware of just how Zimsky this is: writing down all these sources and inspirations and references for… well, for posterity. Theyah!

the Annotated Sons of God, Issue 3

Issue 3 March 2014     “Unspeakable Tragedy”

(Same “deadly virtue” theme as Issue 1 and Issue 2 (part 3 of a 3-story arc based on the deadly virtue Chastity/vice Lust))

Disclaimer, credits:    sons of god issue 3 march 2014   story and art patre et filio        all images, characters, and the entire English language are copyright Bathtub Comics (on facebook: sons of god comic book)    any resemblance between characters or deities living or dead is completely in the eye of the beholder… don’t you think?

Front Cover: The Cosmic Salmon! One of my favorite characters is back! (And he’s heading our way…)
The symbols are mostly from Alchemy, marking the creator-fishy’s return to our galaxy, his old spawning ground (Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, male, female, water, etc) and just for fun, I hid Jojo and John in alchemical-type letters. The latin sayings are “imaginatio vincit vera,”: imagination conquers reality (instead of “Vera vincit imaginatio,”); and “Ex somnium ut animadverto”  or “from dreaming to reality”.
Logo: The new letter on the title logo is alpha (from “s”). so it’s alpha next to omega now.
Page 1 Back to our  good old favorite stand-by turn of the century Newspaper, the Chicago Daily Tribune: there’s just something unsettling about it: like every story they write has eldritch roots… here the newspaper calls out more attention-grabbing headlines, at the expense of the innocent (and so do we!) with the issue’s title “Unspeakable Tragedy!”.
We see Dany is crossing back across his old tracks past the alley (which now has a police-line). Authentic Chicago PD car in background, (number 666 of course…). Dany is carrying the exceedingly rare 1611 King James Bible Stan gave him in Issue 2, but now we see the back cover. Not surprisingly, we see that the old Bible printers also put “blurbs” on the backs of their books: “1611’s runaway best seller” (because Bibles were the biggest sellers in the early days of printing). And “Thou shalt… steal this book!” Using Abby Hoffman’s famous exhortation (Steal this book) to make light of the 8th (or some say 7th) commandment “Thou shalt not steal”.
Also in Issue 2 Stan gave Dany a candle and told him to read the bible at night, if he wanted more crazy nightmares.
Story and art patre et fīliō. Still playing around with latin declensions, trying to find the best case (“of the father and son? By the father and son?”) that still sound like the good old latin mass (with fond memories of those hour and a half sweltering rituals in catholic churches growing up…)
Also I mock copyright statements: so if I claim something, it belongs to me? Mine?! Well then…
“All images, characters, and the entire English language are copyright Bathtub Comics”
Back to monthly disclaimers: “any resemblance between characters or deities living or dead is completely in the eye of the beholder… don’t you think?” so, if I recite that stupid little phrase before or after a movie or book, I’m off the hook for any thing I say or do or write… wooHOO!!!
Page 2  this is the first of several times we will see these people’s 3 different vantage points: watching the news from inside a bar, from inside an insane asylum (cuckoo’s nest) or from the Gods’ luxury apt in the sky.
Panel 1  “Joe’s Bar”: of course. So the bottled beer menu is made of real (but toney) beers available in Chicago bars (Emmet’s victory pale, where lizards dare, 5 rabbit 5 lizard, Gandy Dancer Honey (mead), Goose Island Fleur, Daisy Cutter Pale, Half Acre Over Ale, Flying Pig Imperial IPA, Lucky Monk’s Fallen Angel beer…) but in the background, the beer taps are fanciful (Miller After Life, Bud Whalen after an old friend of mine who does not deserve any further mention, “666 beer”, etc. Not sure why JOjo said “Moole Beer”…) and on the wall we used real liqueur bottles and wine bottles, but couldn’t resist putting in all hell-related puns and word games (give em hell, bat hell, hell on wheels, holy water, hell-o, hell’s bells, living hell, hell 2 pay, hell on earth, from hell, hell wid dat (?), what the hell, raise hell, go to hell, aw hell, see you, in hell, all hell, broke loose, come hell, high water, and “Woman Scorned”. The bartender’s rag, of course, is raggedy andy. The TV shows ongoing coverage of deep, scarring, personal tragedy: just the ticket for big ratings!
Page 2 Panel 2 yes! Duvel Beer commercial rocks!  my favorite beer commercial EVER (where the Devil himself is trying to get him some beer). So we switched it to Devel of course. This room is of course the famous communal TV lounge in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. We’ll see it again as a recurring commentary on the insanity and inequity of society.
Page 2 Panel 3 4 mysterious silhouetted strangers, drinking some kind of scotch and water from a very fancy apartment… hmm… of course, the networks are finding ways to use violence to sell ads (for Cialis: sex and violence are the right and left hand of the devil…) also, the top tv is our old (but still working 30 yrs later) Motorola, the second is my memory of our old black and whites, and the bottom is our old Samsung, here changed to Samael.
Page 3 went to some trouble to keep the Chicago TV stations more or less accurate. We used the Three TV’s to show 3 ongoing viewpoints. As we’ve seen earlier in issue 1 and 2, Carl Bobson is actually the reverend Bob Carlson, from Bangor (see references from Bangor Daily News Stories). We get a little more of the story of how he was mostly eaten by the leech-monster nuns, after his heart was cut out for a weird ritual to bring the Leviathan’s millions of babies to life (to overrun the world and bring pre-creation level chaos). In panel3 we see Reverend Bob’s crucifix, clearly the same one Dany was wearing, (laced with LSD by Bobson’s evil church, for crazy nightmares every night).
In panel 4 we hear more about the infamous “S.C.U.M.” : the Sisters for Cutting Up Molesters, a secretive fringe religious vigilante group formed by Sister Mary Todesengel, D.C., K.S.J.   D.C. Knights of St. John (Daughters of Chastity and the Knights of St. John) daughters of Job and the knights of saint john. From our notes: “They are dedicated to tracking and hunting down child sex abusers who have hidden from the registered sex offenders data banks; they are rumored to be under investigation over several missing sex offenders in the greater Chicagoland area. S.C.U.M. members are known to use LSD and other hallucinogens in their bizarre sacred rituals which last all night, and are rumored to involve buckets of blood, drum and bass, and horrifying dance sequences.”
“todesengel, blutsauger, meerunge heuer: Death angel, blood sucker, sea monster”
Panel 5 is the actual Registered Sex Offender map for this area of Chicago (not hard for the Nuns to use to find Bobson).
Panel 6, if this doesn’t sum up our book for you…: just some nuns partying with buckets of blood at a laser lightshow. That is all.
Panel 7: ever wonder where all the bird’s eye views come from in comic books? Who the heck is there filming these intimate and unpredictable moments? Look on the screen, and you’ll see the google glass video icon and the time stamp “1:01”: these scenes were filmed by, who else, Stan himself with his cool Google Glasses (nice how he risks the boy’s life to take the time to document his cool rescue… for his own gain and his own obscure purposes…) notice how the time signature going from 1:01, to 1:30, up to 3:11. I believe these numbers were all biblical references, but I can’t recall which (eg. The first 1:01 is from Genesis In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth., the last 3:11 is from Matthew 3:11New International Version (NIV)
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”)
Again, Chicagolanders call it “Michigan Ave Bridge”, not the “DuSable Bridge”
Panel 8 again with the S.C.U.M.: Sisters for cutting up molesters. This is a take-off on Valerie Solanas’ SCUM (understood to mean Society for Cutting Up Men).
Panel 9  this section is all based on the sad story of “Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker” a young man named Caleb Lawrence McGillvary. Sure as you’re born, as soon as this hatchet thing happened back in feb 2013, everybody on Facebook loved it, like tit was the coolest thing they ever saw: Smash, Smash SSSSmaasssshhh!” and sure as you’re born, I said right off the bat “There’s something dreadfully wrong with this media blitz, with this whole story, and obviously with this young guy.” Just look at his eyes. This was where I officially hung-up on “the media”, when it first became clear they were all just out to get eyes, clicks, ads, etc. and not just the big TV and newspaper and magazines: all media was pushing their own agenda (maybe NPR PBS, etc a little less so…).
Page 4 Panel 1 Homeless Hero: Kai called himself “Home-free”
p.s. john 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. 
Panel 2 live-tape-delay shot from the cloudgate (mandatory Chicago location, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris) This is a reprise of the “If you repeat something over and over again…” which is a running theme of the book… I had this little argument I had running in my head for a while: a self-fulfilling argument about the new bullying tactics of baldly repeating something, loudly, authoritatively, in public, over and over, till it sounds real to people (and it’s corollary for the rest of us…) stan likes paradoxes and is of course, tricky by nature…
Panel 3 this dialogue is based directly on Caleb’s famously exploited viral video, of his interview after the hatchet-wielding incident2, 3 . in Caleb/Kai’s video from the scene, you can see he is wearing a read sweatshirt with “Fox racing Inc. sports technology” so stan’s red sweatshirt is based on this, but changed to a Wolf logo (“Wolf Ram and Me” a take-off on Wolf, Ram and Ewe” from Joss Whedon’s “Angel”). Caleb’s sad little Canadian accent still comes through with his surfer lingo.
Panel 4 Continuing dialogue based on Caleb’s original viral videos. But here Stan’s “straight outta H-town”: ie Hell. He’s so poor, he can’t afford all the letters in his name: and he’d like to buy the other vowel someday, Pat. Obviously the missing letter is another “A”, another early clue for readers.
Panel 5 More bad messages for kids listening at home “See kids? It pays to pick up a hitchhiker…” more pure Stan logic “Of course not: the Chicago River runs backwards!” It actually DOES run backwards, a marvel of modern engineering accomplished (see issue 6 for more info) but this is still a non-sequitor…)
Panel 6 yes, most people assume nuns are all Sisters of Mercy or Sisters of Charity. But here, of course, they are Sisters of Chastity. This introduces the running theme of one of the 7 Deadly Virtues for each issue (approximately). This also speaks to what seems to some as an unhealthy denial of basic human feelings/emotions/needs/pleasures. It used to be said a girl was “saving herself for marriage” ie not having sex till on her honeymoon, and this makes the “Saving themselves for Jesus” metaphor all the more icky. (just like all the lamb/bride bible imagery: eeewwww…)
Panel 7 Around this time, it was very popular to say God and Religion were somehow embedded in our DNA. That religion has a pleasure-sensor reaction in our brains, etc. meanwhile it always seemed to me that if there’s some omnipotent Creator, after bringing forth vast immense ecosystems and galaxies, God would not give a shit about what we did or didn’t do. He’d be long gone, moving on elsewhere, doing his creatorly thing all over the place, all day every day. He’d be a cold, all-powerful force of all forces, not some medieval white-bearded emotional head-of-the-household.4
Panel 8 so stan is messing with this guy’s whole value system, belief hierarchy, etc (and all the viewers as well, sewing doubt and uncertainty): “So God is a fish?” to which stan replies “God is NOT a fish?” this is the punchline to the old joke about the pilgrim arduously crawling up MT Everest, to find the Tibetan master at the top. And he asks the master “what is the meaning of life?” “Life is a tree…” “Master, Life is a tree?” and the monk, mystified,  replies “Life is NOT a tree?”
I wanted to keep going on the many bizarre gyrations people go through to tell everyone else how God acts, how God is, what He wants, what he believes, etc by interpreting the tea-leaves of vague religious hearsay, oral tradition, religiosity, etc… and much of it based on a strange ancient novel called the Bible. They take a few vague generalities or truisms (“Well of course, everyone should behave in a Christian manner, even to the poor, or the third world people…”) and try to retrofit or extrapolate  (actually to “backfit”) current society norms by peering through a solar-eclipse cardboard viewer at the concept of God from old oral and written tradition: like us trying to interpret a 4 D tesseract passing through our 3 dimensional world. We can maybe see a vague reflection (or projection) of the 4D entity as it passes through us, but it’s all just tomographs; none of us can interpret the dots and dashes that flood past. Basically, Stan is still just messin’ with us, trying to get everyone to listen to the big Hero’s message (who doesn’t want to be the Hero?)
Panel 9 SO here’s Stan’s message, over the next pages: the image is how silly we all are, fighting for our little piece of dirt: square vs triangle vs circle; primal color vs primal color; ; ancient people (cavemen) with clubs, vs meso American people (kokopelli with his flute) vs modern people with their atom bombs… but their all on the same twister board.
Page 5 Panel 1 Global Warming is apparently generally agreed to be called Climate Change now. Here the thermometer (a deaths head) represents the third and second world today, with more heating yet to come5 .  That’s the famous news photo of a child crouched, eating crumbs off the ground
Panel 2 The ongoing war in the middle east. (And yes, I know the black and white tv is now showing color: it’s a miracle!)
Panel 3 Stan’s manifesto continues: how we hold all the cards and INSIST on much smaller weaker countries following all our rules (all stacked to give us every tactical advantage, with our superior force, military, resources, but now also our superior “outrage” and “righteous anger” when we are sold/persuaded that our country/soldiers/nation has been slighted/attacked/challenged by some foreign foe (all trumped up by the media). And yet… if we turn an objective eye on some of the terrible things America has done/ is doing, (like Abu Ghraib here, or drone bombings, etc.)what mental/moral gymnastics do we have to perform to believe these things are alright or justified?
Panel 4 This is from my notes for the TV sequence: “War in Afghanistan, and now Syria is at the flashpoint, Incomprehensible escalating use of drones to destroy people and sites in the Middle East, many of them innocent men, women and children… US continues record shattering prosecution of spies, leakers; prosecuting reporters for refusing to reveal sources…”
Panel 5 This is Chelsea Manning (back when she was Bradley Manning) deploying drones as if playing video games. (I really like ctr/alt/delete as the command to annihilate Syria and Afghanistan…) we’ll have to ask jojo about the tiny words on Manning’s uniform: “pcowh? andnoja?”. That’s our old dell keyboard

Panel 6 Heartbreaking photo of a mother and her dead baby. Just nightmares…
Panel 7 And in contrast to the carnival of madness, Stan bows out chirping “Well, Goodnight, everybody!”
This is a joke from “A Mighty Wind” where the boys are trying to stretch and fill when a performer is missing, with a bloody story of civil war… till the other performer suddenly appears and they scamper off-stage: “We have a song we'd Like to do called "The Skeletons of Quinto." We don't often do encores, and this is why. It has to do with a time that I often think about...when this time of year rolls around. A time of conflict and bloodshed. The Spanish Civil War. But our group historian, Mr. Mark Shubb, knows more about that than I do.
“Thank you very much, Alan. In the Late 1930s of the Last century, Spain was wracked by civil war.
In the Late summer, early fall of the story goes behind this particular the green hills just outside the city of Barc---Good night, everybody! -Good night. Thank you very much.”
Panel 8 but then Stan always has a little more to say… so as an afterthought he condenses his real message down to a few words (sound bites)
Panel 9 we decided to try to make sound effects just the way we wanted. Stan puts on his sunglasses and makes his getaway. My brother used the old Jim Morrison getaway line once or twice when he was in a jam. More “subtle” clues here about Stan’s real identity: Of course, these are all names and pseudonyms for Lucifer : “the morning star, the shining one, the bringer of light”
Page 6 Panel 1 Stan disappears in a blinding supernova of light…
Panel 2 but we see this is really just from the blinding strobe light/ search lights from the armada of news helicopters sining on the polished steel surface of the CloudGate.
Panel 3 “Our top story…” Stan
Panel 4 “In other news, war, death, ongoing pre-deluvian/pre-Noah’s Arc behavior of a doomed world. Good night, Everyone!”
Panel 5 This is another madhouse version of a sad story: The Death of dental hygienist Miriam Carey. She was a young mother with postpartum depression and probably more psychiatric illnesses, who for some reason wound up driving herself and her baby into restricted areas around the whitehouse, then being chased and driving recklessly to escape, until she was shot 5 times from behind and killed by officers (the baby was somehow miraculously missed).  While this awful story got very little (and mostly one-sided) coverage in the news, ridiculous, trivial stories continued to get enormous, coast to coast coverage… if a celebrity was involved (like Charlie Sheen), if it would sell papers or get viewers or clicks…  this is Miley Cyrus, crawling out of Miriam Carey’s actual car/license plate.
Page 7  Famous artists Test: now this page came at a spot where I thought it would be funny (or unsettling) to break the atmosphere, with a creepy advertisement, like the famous ticking-clock break in “10 Little Indians”. It came at a page turn (odd numbered page) where you get a surprise or a scene change when you turn the page: essentially a whole separate story here. So I originally asked Kablam to put a KaBlam Ad exactly on page 7 (also, it gives you a break in the cost per issue if you use their ad). But when the book came back from the printers, they had put their ad someplace else, and completely undid the separation between the two parts of the story (Stan’s meeting with the press, and Dany’s story getting the 1611 Bible back to his home). It ruined the effect, so I stopped trying to put ads in, and instead made up my own ad a few months later (during a break in making issue 5). I doubt that more than a handful of the original copies with the Kablam ad exist anymore (rare! Big bucks! Collectors!)... So I went for one of the old ads I used to always see in comics and kids magazines: the artists test. And yes, I automatically went to even more broad social satire here: I guess I was just in that place still, with Stan’s manifesto… This is of course, the “Famous Artist’s Test” from the Famous Artists School in Connecticut (founded by Norman Rockwell and Albert Dorne), and I always wanted to take this test (or the matchbook cover tests like “Draw Winky the Deer!” or draw the pirate, etc. but I never even started one or tried to take one… the format here is a pretty exact parody of the test, except I couldn’t really make out the words from old magazines and comics very well… “do the same thing in the box provided with the slim htr. objects…” sorry, I was in that place… I made myself laugh out loud with these bad transliterations) Now in retrospect, I can probably guess the words I couldn’t read, but I like the garbled instructions better. Of course I had to make this page a test of biblical torture and suffering, based on the plagues of Egypt6 from Exodus (and their varying modern and ancient interpretations): they are all trials faced by poor, innocent African populations back in 2014.
From left, US bombers such as in the Vietnam war with the bombers and the napalm and the flamethrowers: this is the 7th plague: the storm of fire (with Munch’s the scream); below this, that is of course the then-current African plague of Ebola (the words are from REM’s “E-bow the Letter” : “aluminum, tastes like fear…”) with more madhouse hallucinations: Koolaid Man crashing the scene again, (I imagined a young artist trying to copy the ebola drawing but adding their own cartoon touches). Moving to the right, the first plague (#1) is “Water into Blood”. Ebola causes hemorrhagic (bleeding) fevers. “Tiny blood vessels burst everywhere and you begin slowly to bleed to death. The whites of your eyes turn red, your vomit and diarrhoea are now charged with blood and large blood blisters develop under your skin. You are now at the peak of infectiousness as Ebola virus particles, ready to find their next victim, pour out of your body along with your blood.”7 The second biblical plague is “Plague of Frogs”; Here the artist must choose between Kermit and Keroppi (the irresistibly cute frog from Sanrio, the house that brought us the irresistibly cute Hello Kittay and countless other irresistibly cute farking animals…). The next plague is the third plague, lice, gnats, and fleas. The fourth plague is the plague of flies (with the upside down fries logo). Next is the fifth plague : diseased livestock. Fruit bats are the natural hosts of ebola virus, and African nations banned the eating of bat meat  to try to stop the outbreak.   The sixth plague is the plague of boils; children and adults get painful, bloody blisters under their skin (nice going, all-loving Jehovah!) Plague number 8 was the Plague of locusts (and more scream-guy). Ninth Plague is the Plague of Darkness: all of “The Dark Continent” suffers from this plague, forced upon them by the wealthy white continents, right up to this very day, this very second… “Oh, it’s an ungovernable, uncivilized, unorganized black hole…” (Nothing to do with black skin color, though…) and the tenth plague? The plague of firstborns…
(insert picture here of artists test Chicago and issue 3)
The bottom half of the page is of course, the omnipresent advertising for “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Oh my God, from February 2014 (first trailers shown on tv, over and over) straight through july 21st, it was all guardians all the time. It was a nice movie, but why did we need constant gotg transfusions for month after month? The byline is teasing the apocalyptic showdown that’s yet to come in October 2014 (we’ll learn more about the Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted End of Days on October 2, 2014 in upcoming issues: stay tuned!) but this was just a hidden subliminal message: we tried to hide these Armageddon references in graffiti, on walls, in messages (The end is waaaay near; only 6 months to go; only 5 months to go; etc) So theyah. Yessah. (p.s. we asked people to send in drawings, but we never got one…)
Page 8 panel 1 now the turning page and the ad make more sense: we’ve shifted back to the beginning of the story: back to the first scene we see in issue 1: the old slaughter house stockyards in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. We keep coming back to this spot, and if you look closely, you can notice some important clues in the footprints. In issue 1, there was only one set of adult footprints, going from Dany’s house along the tracks into town. Now we see a set of child’s footprints had followed the adult footsteps into town, and now came back home from town (and down to an abandoned building below the tracks). Hmmmm… this will all become more clear at the end of issue 6… I promise…) And how could there still be cows here, if the stockyards closed back in the 70’s?
In panel 2, we see Dany  trudging back through the snow with the rare and priceless (and extremely lethal) Bible Stan gave him. The green sign is “S of G”. (in Sand H Greenstamps fashion). (I like the “crunch crunch crunch” sound effects swirling forwards and backwards mirrorlike through the air). The symbol on the walls marks the presence of Danyael in this place:
(Insert image Danyael c of g pictures)
This is of course from one of my favorite movies of all time: Prophecy 3, the Ascent! (If you look closely, you can see that there is a condemnation notice on the building, we’ll see it closer in the next issue.)
Panels 2,3,4 Dany’s Uncle. What a shpos8. Poor Dany.
Page 9 Panel 1 The Uncle’s drinking Mad Dog, eating Heinz Boston Beans, and smoking Fortuna’s, the poor people’s ciggy (cheap cigarettes and smoke shops disproportionately hurt the poor and disenfranchised… it’s a crime…)
Panel 2 Jesus with the loaves and fishes: when Jesus fed the hungry crowd with just a few loaves and fishes
Panel 3 The classic old Chicago parent’s warning : “You behave or you’re going to Dunning!” Also you can see we kept trying new ways to make nice-looking fire.
Panel 4 Jojo’s favorite comic at the time was Spawn (the old MacFarlane/Capullo ones). All the comics here represent the theme of Hell: of course, Marvel’s “Son of Satan” (Daimon Hellstrom); DC’s “Lucifer” (Samael Morningstar); Image’s “Spawn” (Al Simmons); and Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s “From Hell” (Sir William Gull).
Panel 5 We put a lot of Jojo’s things in Dany’s home: spawn comics, Caleb the baby doll, blankets with smooth borders, (“feely things”), the green walls, the door with no doorknob… it was a way for us to get inside the serious issues of poverty, child abuse, etc that were in these issues, maybe making them more real and less scary for him.
Panel 6 That’s the candle Stan gave Danyael back at the end of issue 2, and those are Stan’s words.
Panel 7 a lot of the bible pages in these issues are straight from the original 1611 King James Bibles (scanned by rare book collections in universities and museums). The one page here was altered from “Booke of Psalmes” to “Booke of Rape and Death” (a much more apt title for another disgusting, sickening Bible story)
Page 10 panel 1 When you realize Dany was being abused by religious people, it hardly seems very nice for Stan to give him this cursed old King James Bible to distract himself at night…
Panel 2 The front page blurb “From God’s mouth to your ears!”. The back cover blurbs are now “90 bazillion people can’t be wrong… (can they?)”, and “Thos shalt Steal this Book!” Yes, I’m aware these are a little different from the back cover on page 1… it’s kind of like they’re alive, like an ongoing bulletin board, being constantly rewritten by the Bible’s PR department… still trying to sell this wonderful, insightful, meaningful booke for all the world to base their lives and laws and morals on: hooray!
Panel 4 The Bible, after this indefensible piece of garbage parable, tells us readers,“Consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds”… ironic, as it seems they are warning Bible readers NOT to read nor tke to heart this kind of crap…
Page 11 back to the good olde vintage Chicago Daily Tribune again. Back with the heavy sarcasm mocking the media’s exploitation of victims, and even more alliteration. “Blood on the Bridge: Valentine’s Massacre 2”, “homefree hitchhiker hatchet hero helps half-pint”; “How could so much killing and maiming happen in such a nice city as Chicago? On Valentine’s Day?” (eg on feb 14th 1929…)
Of course, we’re also making fun of ourselves for swooning so hard for viral internet sensations, memes, heroes-du-jour, etc. sickening things like “The Knockout Game” or “The Syrian War Cannibal”.
“Said internet fame expert Caleb McGillivary…” aka Kai the hitchhiker himself
“Real wrath of God type stuff: Human sacrifice; dogs and cats living together; mass hysteria” This line is, of course, from ghostbusters.
And of course we also mock how politicians jump on brief hero-fame/worship/adulation for their own ill-considered benefit (like Chicago’s own Barak Obama and Rahm Emmanuel)
See more ghostbuster quotes at the bottom: “40 years of darkness the traveler has come choose and perish…”
On the side, the partially hidden “teaser” text says :
sex, blood
child rap
Rev. Carl
blood smea
cult Sisters
young child
heart remove
alley on
grisly rem
Bridge a
throw the
child into
the icy water
waters belowS
Sister Mary
“Stan” as
risked his own
life to save
the young boy
boy fromcertai
certain death
death at
hands of
LSD, and
blood at
their bizarre
And just below this, the words of the beautiful little song “Jesus blood never faied me yet”10!  
Page 12 an interior page with graphics based on our paper “The Bangor Daily News” (putting their pretend straw votes in the paper is just panem et circus to make people read the page: “Not a scientific survey”, and you can see it adds up to 101%... then we see the teaser once again “Unspeakable Tragedy”, but this image is covered by the front page: we’ll see the whole image and it will explain the real meaning of “Unspeakable Tragedy” in the next issue… let’s just say this real-life story is buried on page 5, because nobody famous or sexy was involved…
“Chicago Street Tribunal” there is no such section of man-on-the-street interviews and opinions, but there should be… the passers-by interviewd for the paper are all caught up in the sensational story: (As always, I love these people, but I make merciless fun of them nonrtheless. Everyone is fair game for scrutiny.
1) Oprah; 2) Mr. A (Steve Ditko’s vigilante hero, where Ditko went right to the heart of the whole hero-worship/political correctness debate, and in so doing also jumped straight off the deep end, paving the way for… 3) Frank Miller, back with his epic rant about the Occupy Wallstreet people living in their parents’ basements11… 4) Anton LaVey (also paradoxically attacking himself “Don’t follow any real messaiahs: this guys is an anti-messiah; ergo I will follow him”) 5)Alan Moore: somehow, we had to cut off most of Alan’s self-implicating rant as well here: Alan Moore (the other hand of DC’s 1980’s double-header of Watchmen and Dark Knight, got all over Frank Miller after Frank’s bizarre rant. But I like to point out how all sides are equally pathetic and preachy and self-serving (myself certainly included). Here is Alan Moore’s interview 12:
TRIBUNAL:  Polls show the viral vigilante is more
                 popular than Jesus. For or against?
I’m a little skeptical about how overboard everyone is going on this guy. A comic book vigilante running around axing bad guys? Of course Frank M. and his lot are in favour of it! Am I the only one who’s concerned about the mental stability of a vigilante with a weapon, meting out justice on the streets? Maybe I’m alone on this, but what’s say we let police carry the weapons… This guy’s obviously got some serious medical issues, and TV, the News, the Press, you’re all exploiting his mental illness to get more ratings, more views, more hits.
It’s never all “black and white”. We have to see the nuance in every moral position. Behind our beliefs are ideas, and ideas are bullet-proof. I would rather die than choose the death of my principles: we can’t have it both ways.        Alan M.
TRIBUNAL: So, he should have left the child
                  to be sacrificed by the nuns?
Wait, maybe I do want it both ways…     Alan M.
TRIBUNAL: People everywhere have taken Stan’s
                     “message for America” to heart...
I’m afraid if they listen to this guy, somebody innocent is going to get burned…   Alan M.  (foreshadowing…)
Back inner sleeve here is the WIP sketch by Jojo for the upcoming cover to issue 4
Back Cover: More subtle parody. We really do love the creators we skewer on the back covers, but also like to shoot down their unassailable status, take them to task. Never take anyone’s work or words as gospel… especially the gospels… Alan Moore in full curmudgeon mode back in the early 2000-teens, shooting down other peoples’ work… these Watchtower back covers are of course parodies of the Watchmen covers, even trying to keep with the original color schemes when possible, if it matched with our color-scheme theme (the colors of the virtues and vices).  It is based on the classic watchtower formats, and this issue goes on a typical JW rant against the whore of Babylon, and not mixing religions, (or stories or genres or cultures here, etc.)  Alan Moore loudly protested the use of Watchmen in movies, prequels, etc. back at the time: any other format that wanted to use his stories or “his” characters. Meanwhile, Alice Liddell (Alice in wonderland) and Dorothy Gale (the wizard of Oz’s Dorothy) were of course famously used and abused by Alan, as well as by many others (to say nothing of “the Extraordinary Gentlemen”…)
You can see the running count of souls who have made it up to heaven so far to rule with Jesus is at 143,990. This ticks down each month until the “little flock” reaches 144,000 (in October 2014…!)
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Similarly, recreating the JW’s tone and Alan Moore’s tone, to deflate their self-importance, we also mock ourselves stuck here in the other flock: what the flock?
(This is also a little nod to the movie “2010”: “Something is going to happen… something wonderful”)

KAI: I’m one of the heroes.

JR: Can we talk to you? Do you mind?

KAI: What do you want to talk about?

JR: What happened today.

KAI: Wuu, went straight out of dogtown. Skateboarding, surfin’ it up. Before I say anything else, I want to say no matter what you done, you deserve respect. Even if you make mistakes, you loveable, and it doesn’t matter your looks, skills, your age, your size, or anything, you’re worthwhile. No one can ever take that away from you.

Now, this stuff right here, I was driving and I uh bfff – I was in the passenger side of this fucker’s car, and he comes over on there. He was over by the recycling center. He says, “Oh, when I was in the Virgin Islands, thirty years old on a business trip, I I uh I fucked this fourteen year old.”

I was like, “You what?”

He’s like, “I raped this fourteen year old.” He starts crying, gives me a big hug.

He’s like this fuckin’ three hundred pound guy. I’m like, “Holy Shit! He must be fuckered, man. Like, what’s he talking about?” I didn’t take him seriously at first.

He comes driving down this way, he’s like, “You know what? I’ve come to realize, I’m Jesus Christ, and I can do anything I fucking want to, and watch thi . . .” Bam! And he smashed into this fuckin’ guy right there, pinned him in between that fuckin’ truck, and so I fuckin’, I hop out, I look over, the guy’s pinned there.

I mean, like, freight train riders know this, like, if you get pinned between something, do not fuckin’ move that shit, otherwise you bleed out. Like, motherfuckin’ I ran in, I grabbed the keys. He’s fuckin’ sitting there like nothing even happened, and, like, fuckin’, like that.

If he had started driving that car around again, man, there would have been a hell of a lot of bodies around here.

Fuckin’ I hop on out, and so, I grab the bag. I threw it over by that pole right there, and then fuckin’ buddy gets out and there’s these two women are trying to help him. He runs up and he grabs one of them, man. Like a guy that big can snap a woman’s neck like a pencil stick.

So I fuckin’ ran up behind him with a hatchet. Smash. Smash. SU-MASH! Ye . . .

JR: The lady said you saved her life.

KAI: She was the one who got grabbed by that fucker. And you know what? Fuck is cool. That guy ain’t. Shii . . .

JR: How’d you, how’d you get in his car? How are, how did you . . .

KAI: I was hitchhiking. I was, well, good thing I was hitchhiking. Yeah, people say “Don’t hitchhike. Well, this is what happens.” Well, yeah, well, at least I was here.

JR: So he did this on purpose.

KAI: Dude! That guy was fuckin’ kooked out, man. Like, he’s beyond howlin, like, I don’t even see any breath in him. You know what I’m saying?

JR: Can, can I get your name? And where you’re from, if you don’t mind.

KAI: I’m Kai. Straight outta dog town.

JR: Can I get the spelling . . .


JR: Do you have a last name?

KAI: No, bro. I don’t have anything.

JR: Where are you from originally? Are you from Fresno area?

KAI: Sophia, West Virginia.

JR: No kidding. How old are you?

KAI: I can’t call it.

5) May 23, 2016 Issue Jonathan Franzen in the New Yorker “The End of the End of the World”
“But his darkest point was that climate scientists, being scientists, must confine themselves to making claims that have a high degree of statistical probability. When they model future climate scenarios and predict the rise in global temperature, they have to pick a lowball temperature, one reached in ninety-plus per cent of all cases, rather than the temperature that’s reached in the average scenario. Thus, the scientist who confidently predicts a five-degree (Celsius) warming by the end of the century might tell you in private, over beers, that she really expects it to be nine degrees.
“Thinking in Fahrenheit—sixteen degrees—I felt very sad for the penguins. But then, as so often happens in climate-change discussions when the talk turns from diagnosis to remedies, the darkness became the blackness of black comedy. Sitting in the lounge of a ship burning three and a half gallons of fuel per minute, we listened to Adam extoll the benefits of shopping at farmers’ markets and changing our incandescent bulbs to L.E.D. bulbs. He also suggested that universal education for women would lower the global birth rate, and that ridding the world of war would free up enough money to convert the global economy to renewable energy.”
7) What happens to your body if you get Ebola? June 17, 2014 6.04am EDT
8) SHPOS something we used to say up in New York: subhuman piece of shit
9) the levite’s wife aka the levite’s concubine

Disclaimer: I am fully aware of just how Zimsky this is: writing down all these sources and inspirations and references for… well, for posterity. Theyah!