Wednesday, October 25, 2017

the Annotated Sons of God, Issue 5

Issue 5 May 2014 “Faraway Calls, part 1  (Welcome to the Tower)” 
Deadly Virtue II: Temperance (slogan: “temperance movement”)/ (converse vice is gluttony)
Animal: pig
Virtue colors pink/orange
number of souls in heaven: 143992
Faraway 1 issue #5    May 2014    sons of god, comic book (on facebook)
story and pictures by jp2      copyright 2014 bathtub comics
cover: Logo the next letter changed in the logo is the “F” now becoming a swastika, often a symbol of Hinduism, Buddhism, or Jainism. (The swastika was a much loved symbol used all across the world in ancient times… until the Nazi bastards stole it and appropriated it’s meaning for sick Aryan supremacy B.S. nationalistic crap…)
of note, this is our first hand-painted cover (supplemented with Photoshop)
90 west’s history is fascinating, and it was a marvel of architecture and the tallest building of its kind in that area. But it’s special building materials may have figured into the most amazing thing about it: it survived the nightmare terrorist attacks of the World Trade Centers on Sept 11 2001, only 300 feet away, while other more modern buildings were incinerated and fell in flaming debris all around it. From Wikipedia: “The building was severely damaged in the September 11 attacks when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed 300 feet away. Scaffolding which had been erected on the facade for renovation work did nothing to stop the fiery debris from raining down on the building and tearing a number of large gashes deep into its northern face.[5] Two office workers were killed when they were trapped in an elevator. The firestorm raged out of control for several days; the building, which had housed businesses including Hanover CapitalFrost & Sullivan, and IKON Office Solutions, was completely gutted. It is believed that 90 West's heavy building materials and extensive use of terra cotta inside and out helped serve as fireproofing and protected it from further damage and collapse, as opposed to the more modern skyscraper at 7 World Trade Center, which suffered similar damage and collapsed later that day.
It's a beautiful little building, grey and brown and fine, standing amid giants… ornate alcoves over each top floor window, then a whole new smaller building of copper and stone atop it: I believe this was the world’s highest restaurant at the time…then a copper roof and scary gargoyles. And inside, fabulously high arched ceilings, impossible refined hallways and sitting rooms on the floors… and more gargoyles… the building has becoming another character in the book.
We’ll learn about how and when the Sons of God came to occupy the top floor, in the “Most luxurious Apartment in the World!” next issue…
“Kingdom of Heaven, LLC” this is done in “cut-out” brass letters, like an anonymous ransom note. The Kingdom is a lilited liability corp, just like the “Sons of God” is a corporation: it’s all legally recognized businesses here on earth, we’ll see why that legal status matters soon…
The door mat says “Welcome Home”, more call-backs to a larger narrative: coming home to the kingdom of god, to our origins, etc… with resonance to the Chicago “Welcome Home” references (Dunning Insane Asylum, welcome home, sanitarium, etc.)
And the Deadly Virtue theme for this issue is “Temperance”, so of course we see little reminders of Society’s great indifference to any moderation, in the flyers around the entrance: (all you can eat, all you can drink, so much food and drink and gadgets and entertainment and wasted time in America…)
“Cheap Food: all you can eat” (la grand Bouffe was a controversial French movie when I lived there, people trying to kill themselves by overeating fine food, etc.) and “Diner des Cons” is another French movie, about a regular dinner event making fun of developmentally delayed or “foolish” people).
“Cheap Booze: all you can drink”
“Ladies Night Every Night: All you can F%@*”   You can just see the “F” hidden by the next paper, which starts the next word, on the circulars and flyers: “Find Jesus”
These are the refrain to John Prine’s awesome song “Spanish Pipedream” (John Prine is one of the only singers brave enough to sing about religion. My favorite is “Jesus, the Missing years…”
Blow up your TV, throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an' find Jesus on your own
Front Inner Sleeve: the caption here is big-time foreshadowing: it’s the central conceit that allows the Sons of God to exist and to make their secret plans. From Matthew: “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my father in heaven.” Ooooh, now there’s a loophole I could drive a pope-mobile through…!
Page 1 panel 1 I love all those parts of books and stories and movies, “preface, preamble, prelude…” etc. so why not have a “Pre-math, instead of an “Aftermath”?
My dad used to say the way a salesman could learn how to sell, was to go to the busiest apartment building, and start at the top floor and knock on every door: by the time he gets to the bottom… you can see someone “knick-knicking” on the top floor of this Marriott (which Marriott? The dates and clues are all there…) we tried to make all these places historically accurate (22 floors, for example, views from inside actual WTC Marriott rooms at that time)
Panel 2 young derek, with a mullet…
Panel 3 he’s wearing his same suit and pins, but also “JW JR” since he is a neophyte proselytizer
Panel 5 this is psalm 51:8. More commonplace biblical weirdness…
Panel 8 “Moo” this is my favorite knock knock joke: the interrupting cow…
Panel 10 “Hell    ooo”
Panel 11 this Satanist guy, doing something evil to a baby, has a sign on his door that says “Already Disturbed” (wearing his hooded demonic Marriot robe and bunny slippers). There is also a typo here: “wordling” for “Worldling”… oops! (although “wordling” is an interesting word…)
Page 2 panel 1, 2 “Am-Slay…: the 3 stooges line “Am-Scray!” Derek’s most-hated sound of all: a door slamming…
Panel 3,4 jojo was trying out “paintbrush” tricks: look at the smiley faces on the carpet react
Panel 5,6 s to the lam, b to the boogie… this was an old radio routine I heard once on a Christian radio show, a redneck guy was just about to severely cuss someone out, “when a big old angel reached in and grabbed hold o’ my tongue… and I said “B for Boogie!”
Panel 7 maybe I made this alliterative mission-statement up, but they should make it their slogan… you can hear Stan doing the “shave and a haircut” knock, and Stan’s words are usually in red (if there’s any confusion, or if he’s not in the panel) the “Knacker Man” is a man who comes and gets dead creatures over in England, dead cows, horses, dogs, etc…
Panel 8 OK, pretty blatant clue here: guess where we are yet? (and what day?) p.s. Sauron’s eye
Panel 10 “Why in the Charles Taze Russel…” I’ll bet the founder of the Watch Tower Society (what became the Jehovah’s Witnesses) never thought his name would become an exclamation…! He’ll be back in issue 8… derek repeats the line he hears over and over “No one home…”. This is the start of several ongoing Jehovah’s Witness jokes throughout the series
Panel 11 the bottom line reason people preach door to door: “if I knew it meant eternal damnation for you, how much would I have to HATE you NOT to tell you to change?” I heard Penn Gilette say this once, and you can’t really hate the Jehovah’s: most all of them they mean so well…
Panel 12 Derek is still laughing, thinking about the secret he knows, how the Jehovah’s KNOW for a fact the world will end on October 2, 2014… but Stan punches holes in this by pointing out all the dates of CERTAIN Apoacalypses that have come and gone. And make no mistake, the JW’s who were alive and active at those times, were SURE the end was coming on these dates… October 1914, 1925, 1975…
“God really likes you, Derek” (not “Loves” you… an old Dinosaurs TV show joke “Mom and Dad really like the baby…”
Page 3 panel 3 Many MANY people hold the King James Version of the Bible to be inviolate, God’s word, no higher authority to appeal to.
Panel 4 this is a true story: the Wicked Bible3  Back in Jolly olde Englande, when they found this “mistake”, the printers were sent to the Star Chamber and had their printing licenses revoked.
Panel 5 “Covet thy neighbor’s ass…” exodus 20:17… har har har!
Panel 6 the big secret of the 1611 bible…
Panel 7 more alchemical signs and secret runic symbols, including Danyael’s angelic script, and the ax hacx logo,…
And if we look closely, we see that that 1611 KJV Bible apparently had “ars, Jojo, letterae John”, and the date 2 Oct, 2014 (and Sauron’s Eye). While the other page informs us that “My only wish is to see far Arden again…” over and over, as if the author were going mad (like Jack Torrance)
Panel 8 again we tried for great authenticity in the period printing presses, the inkers, etc. (although perhaps it is a little bit of artistic license to think a demon would be inking the plates while a werewolf supervised him…) Again, like “all work and no-play” Jack Torrance, they are printing “My only wish is to see far Arden again…” over and over
But wait! Bet you didn’t expect… “The Spanish Inquisition!” Cardinal Ximenez, Cardinal Fang, and Cardinal Biggles are here to put an end to this Bible Edition… From Monty Python on, I’ve always pictured the Spanish Inquisition to be English.
My origin tale for the term “Apocryphal Tales” is in itself, apocryphal… (i.e. of dubious origin, or an urban legend)
Panel 8 Only 7 copies remain: as we’ll learn, one is in Japan, one in Golgotha (Calvary), one on Kauai, one in Sunnydale, CA, one in Derry, ME, One in Chicago, IL, and one in Cleveland, OH!
Religion and religiosity are alive and well in America (the first world) where it is used as a powerful and intransigent weapon for uniting the base and excluding the opposition. Religion, conversion, initiation, recruiting are especially vital and focused in the 4th world, where Christianity is duking it out with Islam to get the most new converts…
Page 4 panel 1 “This is the circus of Dr. Lao…” Stan is telling Derek fantastical mysteries, magical revelations (seven magical Bibles)… “The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao” is one of our favorite movies, surreal and bizarre. Derek’s world beliefs are suddenly being shaken, as Stan tells him about impossible miracles. (This is the ancient Dr. Lao at the gate)
Panel 2 Now we see Merlin the aged magician, and now the scene transitions to a TV movie. Stan often messes with peoples’ realities like this: he giveth, then he taketh away the rug… (It’s not a real fairy tale, it’s a false truth, a story in a movie on a TV…)
The blurbs on the back of Stan’s “Sinner’s Bible” say: “1611’s runaway best seller (although Stan’s edition was the later 1631 reprint); “Thou shalt Steal this Book”; “This Book Shalt Change Thy Life”; and “90 Bazillion People Can’t Be Wrong…”
Panel 3 Jehovah’s Witness end times beliefs/dates: from wikipedia:
A central teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is that the current world era, or "system of things", entered the "last days" in 1914 and faces imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably.[194]They consider all other present-day religions to be false, identifying them with "Babylon the Great", or the "harlot", of Revelation 17,[195] and believe that they will soon be destroyed by the United Nations, which they believe is represented in scripture by the scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation chapter 17. This development will mark the beginning of the "great tribulation".[196][197] 
Numbers and Dates are extremely important to Jehovah’s Witnesses: the prophesied dates are described by the JW leaders as “Fixed beyond doubt by God”, or “incontrovertible”, etc…  a sample of these important dates includes 1878 (3 ½ years after Jesus returned, and would begin the rapture and resurrection of those who slept in Christ and the sealing of the 144,000 in Heaven)4 ; then 19145 possibly the JW’s MOST important date!
Then 19256; then 19757…(6000 years from the creation of Adam)… a very interesting thing about 1975 is that many people alive today recall the expectations about Armageddon coming in 1975, and how we can hear their reports today on the internet, etc (living history); 

This brings us to October 2, 20148: “All the while, one thing that seems to remain intact is the October 2, 1914 date. Oddly, for the Watchtower Bible & Tract Publishing Cult, this particular date still marks the end of the 2,520-year period (that John Aquila Brown referred to in his bizarre 1823 book "The Even Tide")... Again, no mention of this in ANY Watchtower publication. But, for JWs, that date still remains the starting point for the period of time often referred to as the "Last Days" or even "the generation that shall not pass".
Because of this, the Governing Body has been forced to change the definition of "the generation that shall not pass" countless times since the early 1970's. But the expiration date of this latest definition is quickly approaching as well as the 100-year anniversary of the END of the Gentile Times (October 2, 2014).”
Panel 4 I think Derek is not alone in having a dark or perverse subconscious wish for Armageddon to come/ for a disaster to occur, a modern cataclysm; some people secretly wish for bad news…
Panel 5 Phlegethon is the Greek mythological river of flaming fire, also from Dante’s Inferno, from the 7th circle of hell, where men are punished for their sins against fellow men.
Derek answers like the old 3 stooges dialogue “Yes? Yes yes?”
Panel 6 the stadium is old Cleveland Lakefront Stadium (which, like a story out of Boccaccio, was broken into a million pieces and strewn into the water) The Cuyahoga River was so overflowing with pollution that it caught on fire, for real, more than once…! 9 Dead fish littered the shores, as they could find no oxygen in the industrial waste and raw sewage.
The date of this Time magazine is oct 2, 1975. The top byline says “Special Report: Armageddon? Or just Ohio?”
Panel 7 more merciless ribbing of Cleveland: “You’ll have plenty of time on your hands in Cleveland…*” the footnote here says “Editor’s Note: personal I.O.U to one William Boyd Watterson II dated 12/20/85: repaid in full”  this is, of course, repaying Bill Watterson for his Calvin and Hobbes comic of Dec 20, 198510: “I wonder where we go when we die?” “Pittsburgh?” “You mean if we’re good, or if we’re bad?” I have owed Mr. Watterson for quite a few years, now, and now we’re even (for those who didn’t know, Pittsburgh and Cleveland have a little “friendly” rivalry going…)
Derek needs to find the missing pages from the 1611 Bibles, to find the right incantatory rituals and spells and preparations to bring Leviathan back to full power (and as we’ll see, to make him potent again to let him spawn countless millions of baby Leviathans) bringing the Hellmouth to attend the end of all life on earth… He must go from NYC to Cleveland; from Cleveland Stadium, he must go to Sunnydale, CA (Rhonda the immortal waitress was Joss Whedon’s first incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, whose home sits on a Hellmouth…); from California to Derry (AKA Bangor) Maine to find the disillusioned visionary Stephen King; from Maine to Chicago (see issue 1);
“it was foretold that something evil was coming to knock on your door” that something evil may be the coming tragedy, or it may be Stan himself
Panel 8 another BIG clue about where and when we are: there is History’s greatest Anchor (except for Ron Burgundy) with his typical self-important sign-offs (yes, he really said “Courag-ay” on sept 3 1986…) but look more closely at this date…
Page 5 panel 1 this is based on real room interiors from the doomed Marriott World Trade Center.
In the courtyard you can see the fountain sculpture called “The Sphere” which somehow survived the collapses of the Towers with moderate structural damage. On TV we see Dan repeating another one of his trademarked phrases “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”
Panel 2 scary hand shadow reaching over the World Trade Center… Stan is out the door…
Panel 3 Stan getting out before the plane attacks (which will be seminal events interpreted by apocalyptic religions) Just behind 90 West we see St. Nicjolas’ Greek Orthodaox Church: it did NOT survive the fall of the Towers (but 90 West remained intact).
Panel 4 fast forward to Feb 14, 2014, when our story starts (in Issue 1). We see here construction is well underway on the new World Trade Center, 9/11 memorial, Liberty Park… but one little building remains right where it was…
Pages 6, 7 big 2 page spread here… the beginning (page 1) was the “Prelude: pre-math”, this part is now the “Aftermath”
Panel 1 NYC, but scary NYC with partly demonic or zombie-like New Yorkers: but that’s just how big city people are portrayed. Outside 90 West: the bum in the giants helmet has a cup that says “spare change”, and next to him is a baby #12 in a “Gerber Patriots” wrap (or Hoodie-Footie); The starbucks logo on the cup is part Satanic symbol; the rich wasteful society throws out expensive starbucks in a “Spare Trash” garbage can, while the poor homeless people are starving behind them; the radio is playing the background music to life in the city: “No Church in the Wild”, from Kanye and Jay-Z’s awesome 2011 album “Watch the Throne”
“Far from the madding crowd…” this is from Thomas Gray’s poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751). This is the thrumming wash of people on the ground, pushing here and there all day.
Panel 2 Behind all the crowd, we see your doorman at 90 west (with scary gargoyles above)
Panel 3 when we look up here, we see the usual daylight view of most of 90 West, up to about floor 22: the top is covered in clouds and fog. This little skyscraper was built with some pretty freaky materials: thick terra-cotta tiles, granite, copper, etc. strange how it alone survived while younger buildings all around it were destroyed on 9/11.
Panel 4 the lobby inside 90 west. This is what it actually looks like, with the original griffin still guarding the mailboxes (or planning to catch his dinner?)
All over 90 West, we added more masques to the backgrounds than just the traditional “Comedy/Tragedy” masks (Thalia was the Muse of comedy (the laughing face), while Melpomene was the Muse of tragedy (the weeping face).
On the elevator, the floors end at 22 (the top floor is portrayed by an empty white box).
Panel 5 Here on floor 1, Kim Jung Il is carrying out a roast piglet for someone’s room-service. This sequence reflects the madness and duality of human choices, all to the tune of “No Church in the Wild”:
“Human beings in a mob
What's a mob to a king?
What's a king to a god?
What's a god to a non-believer?
Who don't believe in anything?”
Panel 6 On floor 10, a nice artistic young man gets off with his pet piggy: this is our friend, the awesome artist Max Leon, with his pet piggy Barnabus Jayne. Max is, of course, wearing an “Escape from Jesus Island” sweat shirt and an artist’s beret.
Panel 7 on the 21’st floor, another man gets off walking a pit bull: all very nice, until you realize this is Derek Frost and his interest in the pit-bull may be something other than love… notice Derek’s 4 toes and his JW pin. There are only 2 people left in the elevator now, Mr. Legion, and Mr. Gerasenes. The top floor on any of the signs, on the elevator buttons, etc, is floor 22.
Panel 8 the elevator numbers show 22 as the highest floor you can go to. The sign behind the elevator bellman says “Top Floor”. The bellman was inspired by bugs bunny cartoons where the operators had to help you get to another floor: “Cigarettes, nylons, ladies’ lingerie…” he says “But that wouldn’t be you guys” because he knows they’re supposed to be working for super-holy bosses.
The elevator certificates give dire emergency alert warnings: “If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to consult a higher authority…” Below it on the wall it says: “Certificate of Inspection is on file in the men’s lavatory wing of the 13th floor (there is no 13th floor on the elevator’s buttons panel…), available only on alternate leap-days... call 606-4311 for a good appointment…: ask for Ken”
this is the book’s disclaimer for this month. The men’s lavatory joke is from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. The Ken is Ken Nordine, the super-original (and fun) vocal artist who recorded what he called “word jazz”: including the famous Deteriorata (national lampoon)  and the line “For a good time, call 606-4311, ask for Ken”
on the other elevator wall is the graffiti: “Temperance is Heavenly Virtue #2  Abstain from Graffiti”
the two men in white must turn special gold keys simultaneously in order to get to a higher, secret, unmarked floor… a button marked only “Ax Hacx”
Panel 9  but even higher than the richest of the rich, with their exotic pets and food delivered by demi-gods (Kim Jong Il is called the “son of a God”)…
Panel 10 now we see all 23 floors of 90 west, and the bldg. is glowing a menacing demonic pink with blackening windows.
Page 8 panel 1 what would you have in the world’s most exclusive apartment? It’s a magical place that seems like it can keep changing all the time. There’s a magical music box. And a private harp player with a disturbing harp (laughing and crying faces on the harp),; your very own indoor stable and horseback riding (with an old-style jockey-stable boy; a giant well stocked kitchen (where a cute little goat may be at imminent risk of sacrifice…); the sign says “Thy     a division of”
On the TV at the end of the hall, they are watching the news broadcast of the nuns jumping off the bridge in Chicago
“Thy Kingdom come”: the concept is that even surreality and magical reality and religious kingdoms and heavens and hells are all still a subset of “Existence”; they are not “Outside” of existence. So they are NOT the ultimate outsider beings; God is not above all things, outside all things: you can always “Draw a line around god and the universe”, no matter how many times someone pts him outside “the world/existence”. A little philosophical joke…
Panel 2 the one waiter, Mr. Legion, is putting on his gloves (very important safety equipment for him)
The bar has absinthe, chamblis, Cointreau, etc. and then more religious drinks too: cuvee du Vatican, chateau du pape; and some holy seltzer water on tap.
The Gods’ tv room is a giant green field with dandelions (that sometimes seems to have no borders), with surreal buildings seen out the window, and with weird childlike graffiti at times on the walls that reiterate or expand on what we see on TV.
The quote here is of course from The Great Gatsby, and it is about Jay (but also about the decadent decaying lifestyle of the sons of God)
Panel 3 what kind of ice cubes would the Sons of God have? Ice Tesseracts, of course… (impossible 4-dimensional “hyper-cubes”)
Panel 4 yes, Jesse does look a good bit like Shaun White, because we totally based him on the rude crazy Shaun White in “Friends With Benefits”.
Panel 5 This God usually has a seal with him, and the seal is usually sad or confused (why? ask jojo…) the joke “Oh, brother…” they are all sort of brothers (all Sons of God) but as we’ll see, really only Stan and Jesse are truly full-brothers (same mom and dad).
The backgrounds just change all the time from freaky to crazier…
Panel 6 stan loves the limelight
Dinglehopper is a made-up word from The Little Mermaid
Page 9 panel 1 more “God” jokes: “Us-damnit!” It just seemed funny to have Jesse be a really poor swearer: some people just don’t know how to curse… (meanwhile Stan just plain HAS the cool-factor…)
Panel 2 backgrounds usually going nuts in the Tower.
Panel 3 jesse wishes he could be cool like Stan, but continues the running gag of his very awkward swearing. And yes, this little God may remind some of Psy. We wanted all colors, sizes, and shapes as gods (wait till we get to the big reunion on Kauai…)
Panel 4 “ass-holy” yes, he sounds like the Mooninites from ATHF…
Panel 5 Stan’s trying to stay cool like Inspector Dreyfuss from the Pink Panther movies.
“Wa-Da-Tay” one of Pooty Tang’s favorite sayings.
Panel 6 “Me-on-roller-blades” Jesus Rollerblading Christ!
“Smucking” a truly bad attempt at invented swearing by Stephen King in “Lisey’s Story”. A character’s personal  minced oath. I really liked the book, even though the made-up language is sometimes pretty embarrassing… I’ll call old Uncle Stevie out on things when they’re uncool, like his sometimes lamentable dialogue…
 I really like having 6 panels on the big magazine-sized pages (8.25 x 10.75 document, 8 x 10.5 trim size)… it seems to fit just right
Page 10 panel 1 jesse, trying to be one of the guys, trying to be cool…
Panel 2 junior (Son of God, God Jr.) “Keep your cilice on…” a cilice is something worn by more extreme Christians of various sects/cults, for self-imposed repentance, or mortification of the flesh. Some sources believe a cilice is a hair-shirt (a prickly garment like a burlap bag, which is meant to be uncomfortable) then some understand a cilice to be a spiked chain worn tightly around the thigh, which leaves small prick-holes in the skin (e.g. opus dei members). (Just see “the DaVinci code” if you need the definitive word on accurate infallible Christian doctrine...)
“The Big Reboot”… the corporation is constantly doing user-research, keeping the product not just desireable but NEEDED by the citizens/church-members
“Percent-dollar-at-ampersand the public!” then you see these symbols in use: “%$@&ing catchphrases…”
Panel 3 “Frosting the Weasel”: memes, catchphrases, and trends that some people who are “Followers” love so so much…I have finally come around to really loving “Urban Dictionary”, it is not just a great source for current slang, but also super-funny: weasel frosting
noun 1 : maintenance of a web journal or weblog; blogging, especially trivialities and the results of name generators, meme generators, and internet quizzes 2 : a name generator, meme generator, or internet quiz 3 : an expression describing the elusiveness of content on the internet; an expression of doubt 4 : bikini wax e.g. “The Hobbit Name Generator is nothing but weasel frosting.”
(p.s. it may also have something to do with frosting cupcakes and cookies)
Rosaries: a super important part of a nun’s (and other catholics’) daily apparel. These are prayer-beads that stand for “10 hail mary’s, one our father and one glory be, usually 5 times each session.
Panel 5 “Bad-ass” was quickly becoming one of the most desireable adjectives you could call someone: put it this way, everyone would like to be called “bad-ass”.
I love the expression “vomit all over facebook”… e.g. when Kai the hitchhiker became universally beloved and adored because of viral dissemination on facebook and twitter. Today, this spreading of “news/info/memes” has become MUCH more problematic and more investigated and soon “regulated” with Russians using facebook to influence specific voter groups, etc. but back then super-popular trends were just monolithic “viral” phenomena, not piloted by interest groups. Hard to believe…
Panel 6 “Bringer of Badass”… a pretty good epithet to have…
Page 11  panel 1 Stan may not be the right image as a spokesman for Christianity… or maybe he would be PERFECT in this day and age, embraced, beloved…
Panel 2 we see almost all of the board of the” Sons of God”, of “the Kingdom”, in yet another crazy incarnation of their super-luxury apt on the top floor of “the Tower” (a brick all now surrounds the grass field): Stan ids the last member, but he is in hiding or in exile.
The board needs people to follow them like sheep: to be zombie-like obedient followers of whatever the Board puts up as the new desirable format.
And yes, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” media blitz was already underway back in Feb 2014,
Panel 3 more hints that Jesse is in fact Jesus (Jesus appears on old Russian icons). But instead of old Christian imagery, Jesus is seen here riding in with a more eclectic group: JOjo had little dictator soldier riding a chicken, a monster riding a pink unicorn, and a narwhal, all swimming up near the pet crying seal (in a cute pink cassock).
Panel 4 jesse drooling thinking about the cosmic “Flaming Sword” of Uriel.
 A flagrum is yet another obscure Catholic accessory for self-mortificatin: it’s a whip people can flog themselves on the back with.
All the other board members of Sons of God wisely try to keep Jesse from even thinking about the flaming sword… for good reason.
“Dirty Big Old Sword” a nod to “the Goon Show”
Panel 5 the sword was used to drive humans out of the Gareden of Eden by Uriel after they betrayed God.
GOTG 2 was originally announced WAY back in 2014, with an initial release date in july. “The Next One” was based on the marketing campaign for “Sharknado 2: the Second One!”, also from July 2014
The ball is of course the famous Pixar ball or “Luxo Ball”, hidden in every single Pixar thing EVER, so of course we had to hide one here: So theyah!
Panel 6 Even bigger hints that Stan is in fact another Son of God: there is much Catholic/Christian mythology where the Devil started off as an Archangel.
Stan wears red chuck taylor hi-tops, but the “Converse” sign is of course a satan symbol.
Page 12 panel 1 this is old Cook County no.1, the train that made the short run delivering crazy patients to Dunning Asylum. We changed the grillwork to bars to keep the inmates in.
Panel 2 where Dunning once stood there is now the “Reed-Dunning Memorial Park”, kind of an attempt to appease the souls that were forever disturbed there, dug up from the old “Potters Fields”. The circle and the stones really stand there, commemorating the lost lives (we’ll see the plaques later commemorating the different groups, now buried in new mass graves by category:  women and children, orphans, Chicago fire victim, the sick and the insane…) there are so many ghost stories about this new graveyard/memorial: “some people who enter the memorial feel uncomfortable, like they are being watched; others think they hear footsteps coming from behind them, or hear the distant laughter of children. Ghosts are also often seen at the memorial park. People see transparent white spectres through the park. The most often seen spectre in this place is an elderly woman in a white hospital gown…” this is why we hear children’s ghosts laughing in the graveyard as Stan trudges by…
Panel 3 … to the ghost of the former Dunning asylum, long since torn down.
Page 13 panel 1 jojo went crazy on 90 west in this panel: so beautiful a “baptism by fire” is our made-up drink; the board members drink of choice.
Panel 2 of course the ice “cubes” are actually ice tesseracts…
Panel 4 water into wine: this is the miracle Jesus performed (as a youth) at the wedding feast at Canaa. The allusion is to the old saying: “If you see a man drowning, first you throw him a lifew preserver: THEN you teach him to swim later…”
Panel 5 bums change wine into “water” aka urine. But we see Jesse performing a “miracle” of sorts on his glass of water: he changes it into a wine-colored drink… by adding black cherry Mio water enhancer to it. This seems like magic, but it’s really just pedestrian consumer progress (but see the little guy’s starry eyes staring at the miracle). Is he really supernatural, or is everything explainable to this shyster/hard-charger? “we pave the streets for them…” the ungrateful, unwashed…
p.s. “Three more hours of financial news…” I am embarrassed for my race, my gender, my country, my class… for having show after show devoted to “Financial news”, “the Nee-kay index did this… let’s run the numbers…” stocks, mergers… only rich people need to hear about that, and they don’t need it on public radio (4 hours a day: more on weekends!). it’s shameful and disgusting to me. i don’t know what any of it means, I don’t even know what the nee-kay is…
Panel 6 more mocking of the poor and middle class of human soul-holders: “It’s all a question of desire, of will…” go-getters get “ahead”, they get more, achieve more, movers…
And this is the basic question of organized religions: if WE set up the rules, the norms, the laws, what the hell good is that if we have obliged people to follow them all? If we’ve forced/proscribed peoples’ behavior? (rather than teaching and encouraging growth and exploration). We know what we want them to do and we make them do it…
“where’s the profit?”
Page 14-15 (2 page spread) where’s the “profit”? “HERE I AM!” they all think they’re the real prophet. Now they’re in a dark cave or grotto (hand-painted again!) we see ron burgundy, from Anchorman 2, at his global network news desk exhorting us “Don’t just have a great night, have an American Night!” but Jim Morrison’s poem “American Night” “tries to reclaim the lost fragrance of woods and childhood innocence The Forest  Sandals as he writes to rediscover the the Lost paradise , Shangri -La beneath the Jewelled moon,  the circular dance, the stretching hands to clasp, the bliss nurturing the Soul…” 11
and he speaks of the forest of Arden:
“There are continents and shores which beseech our understanding
Seldom have we been so slow
Seldom have we been so far
My only wish is to see Far Arden again”
This harkens back to Shakespeare’s stories of long-ago Arden, in the play “As you Like It”12, and it becomes Stan’s paen to a long-lost age, a forgotten life, the natural world in conflict with modern life and progress, and with the laws of God and Man imposed upon the natural world: Arden Forest is cut down, so that England could have more… green grassy empty fields…
Page 16 Stan’s mantra, which he keeps repeating to himself, as he tries to go home (to the insane asylum, where he felt safe) and as he wanders the Earth in a sort of exile… “My only wish is to see far Arden again…” over and over… 13
Back Inner Sleeve: the end is getting nearer… here is a glimpse into the next issue, a glimpse into the beauty and horror of John the Revelator’s description of the New Jerusalem (which many different forces on earth are trying to bring about, while only Stan seems to be against Armageddon…) there is little in all of modern literature to rival Revelation 21 for pure craziness. And the detail is frighteningly, stunninglt weird “the first foundation is jasper; the second sapphire…” wonderful insanity is coming up fast!
Back Cover so of course this is a tribute/lampoon of another one of our heroes, Todd MacFarlane. This is a very interesting phenomenon: we put several comic book giants on our back covers, at times when these creators were flat-out NOT creating anything… and they promptly put out new work. Nobody had heard a thing from Alan Moore, for years, just the bitter ramblings of an angry neighbor (“Get off my lawn!”) regarding how he was mistreated, never wanted to see Watchmen sequels or movies, etc… we mocked him mercilessly, and POOF! Out he comes with “God is Dead” (Acts of God), where gods from mythologies all around the world come to Earth to claim the World of Man… oooh, where have we heard that one before…? We did not sue them, because we are kind and encouraging of other creators… anyway, then we mocked Neil Gaiman, who had a very quiet period in 2011, 2012, but who returned to productivity.
Then we came to Todd MacFarlane. Todd had virtually stopped doing any art in his comics: oh sure, he did inks on covers, and wrote stories, but no Todd artwork at all inside. Szymon Kudranski did all the art work at this time (pencils, inks, colors) and he was great, but Todd had become a shadow. He wrote little blurbs, appeared in articles about Spawn, but never did any art, for years… until he made the back cover of “Sons of God”!
On this cover we see the Jehovah’s Witness souls counter is now up to 143,992. The color is blue for Watchmen cover number 3 (Watchmen #3 November, blue letters). The topic is coming ack from the dead, which some believe only Jesus could do, but it was almost a party trick in the old Bible, so many people come back to life. So the metaphor is for Todd: wishfully prodding him to get to work again, drawing and inking: an artistic death.
So we made it about “Comic Book Death”: that other super-unoriginal process, where major characters die for the sake of a storyline, but we all know they’ll be back before too long.
“G_d is dead”… the very strange practice of leaving out the o in God, practiced by many Jews but also many Christians on the internet. Jews are directed not to erase the written word “God”, (now, should it be in Hebrew? Is English exempted? Unclear…) and I have heard it said some people felt closing an internet window with the word “GOD” somehow diminished God; or that out of respect for Biblical scripture (Deuteronomy 12:3-4, Exodus 20:7) anyway… it’s a word, it’s letters or pixels or ink or soundwaves… to worship and venerate and act as if there were a magical curse, a proscribed ritual people should follow mechanically diminishes us all. So there’s that. I figured Derek Frost would be one to really enforce this silliness, and jump on a chance to be more tradition-laden.
“In comic book heaven…” Charles Xavier is alleged to have said this, but I find no real source for this reference, as it is NOT in X-Factor #70: “In mutant Heaven there are no Pearly Gates, but instead revolving doors.”
This part is from the funny Marvel nicknames I grew up loving, and also some newer ones: Jack King Kirby; Stan the Man Lee; Steve the Angry Man Ditko; Joltin’ Joe Sinnott; Big John Buscema; Jazzy Johnny Romita; Jet-propelled Johnny Romita Jr; Roy the Boy Thomas; Nefarious Neal Adams ; Titanic Tom Brevoort; lively len wein; santa Klaus Janson; Lanky Frank Miller… and of course, Todd the God MacFarlane. (using the John the Baptist mythology, preparing the way for the messiah yet to come)

We see Todd MacFarlane, floating in the clouds, literally “resting on his laurels”. He is keeping 10 balls in the air, a satire of his spending all his time with non-comics-art activities, like buying up rare baseballs, etc. we see here 10 actual baseballs Todd owns (before all the steroid revelations, of course, which surely lowered the price and values a few decimal places…) including Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds baseballs. (Fans know that Todd was actually a professional calibre baseball player for a while.) he did all sorts of work except art during this time: art director for Curt Schilling’s video game company; part owner of the Edmonton Oilers; putting out non-stop toys, such as the Walking Dead…

“By my editors” his fights with Marvel Editors, especially his last Spiderman, drove him to leave Marvel
“Whom I will sue…” Todd has a LONG history of going to court, suing people and being sued over creations (Neil Gaiman, Tony Twist, Al Simmons…)
Todd Nauck a very nice spiderman artist who did an awesome Obama issue (Amazing Spider Man #583).
“Watchmen Parody” Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn #225 “Romney Wins!” was a very funny watchmen parody cover.
“Jason Todd…” of course, Jason Todd is back and bigger than ever.
“The Biebs…” His fellow countryman Justin Bieber. More namedropping, celebrity palling around, anything but drawing…
Needless to say, right after this came out, Todd started inking again for Szymon Kudranski, then doing a little more artwork in Spawn interiors, and finally, slowly, got back to real drawing and inking (and putting out lots of videos of him on his Cintiq… you’re welcome!

1) Jehovah’s Witness the real hidden agenda/secret plans:
The 100 year reign started oct 2, 1914. In preparation for this, a building was prepared, the tallest on the waterfront of the Earth’s greatest city: it featured several unusual specifications and requirements: granite walls 6 feet thick formed the walls of the ground floors. Unique ceramic tiles separated each floor and stairwell. The roof featured a new copper design reminiscent of a scientist’s radio or sonar antenna, and the entire building was protected by a covent an abbey of gryphons and gargoyles. The structure was finished in 1907, and for the next 7 years, meticulous preparation of the interior soundscaping, infrastructure and security systems took place, stone by stone, tile by tile. In 1914, the real, never seen “top floor” was ready for the only occupants it has ever known…
On October 1, 1914, the lord of Darkness was banished from Heaven down to Earth, marking the beginning of “the End Times”. On October 2, 1914 Jesus Christ began his 100 yr reign as ruler of God’s kingdom. Global Armageddon will mark the end of the 100 year reign, and the beginning of Jesus’ 1000 year reign in Heaven. The 144000 of the “Little flock” will rule with Jesus as priests and kings, helping fulfill God’s original purpose for the Earth: turning it into a Paradise free from sickness, sorrow, or death. The multitudes sleeping in death on the earth will be raised after the Apocalypse, and will study and learn to be more perfect followers of Jehovah during the 1000 year period. Those who fail god’s testing will be cast into the fire with the Daemon; those who remain will be a tested, glorified human race. Then, with his work done, will Jesus hand full control of Heaven and Earth back to God.

2) Egon Spengler: The structure of this roof cap is exactly like the kind of telemetry tracker that NASA uses to identify dead pulsars in deep space.
Ray Stantz: Cold riveted girders...with cores of pure selenium.
Peter Venkman: [to jailbirds suddenly looking over the blueprints] Everybody getting this so far? So what? I guess they just don't make them like they used to, huh?
Ray Stantz: [slaps Venkman up the head] No! Nobody ever made them like this! I mean, the architect was either a certified genius or an authentic wacko!
Peter Venkman: Ray, pretend for a moment that I don't know anything about metallurgy, engineering, or physics, and just tell me what the Hell is going on.
Ray Stantz: You never studied. The whole building is a huge super-conductive antenna that was designed and built expressly for the purpose of pulling in and concentrating spiritual turbulence. Your girlfriend lives in the corner penthouse of Spook Central.
Peter Venkman: She's not my girlfriend. I find her interesting because she's a client and because she sleeps above her covers. Four feet above her covers. She barks, she drools, she claws--
Egon Spengler: It's not the girl, Peter, it's the building. Something terrible is about to enter our world, and this building is obviously the door. The architect's name was Ivo Shandor. I found it in Tobin's Spirit Guide. He was also a doctor; Performed a lot of unnecessary surgery. And then in 1920, he started a secret society.
Peter Venkman: Let me guess: Gozer worshippers.
Egon Spengler: Right.
Peter Venkman: [to Stantz, mockingly] "No studying."
Egon Spengler: After the First World War, Shandor decided that society was too sick to survive. [notices more jailbirds listening in] And he wasn't alone; he had close to a thousand followers when he died. They conducted rituals up on the roof, bizarre rituals intended to bring about the end of the world. And now, it looks like it may actually happen.
Peter Venkman: [singing] So be good, for goodness sake! Whoa! Somebody's coming! Somebody's coming!
Ray Stantz: We have to get out of here. We've gotta get a judge or something.
Winston Zeddemore: Hey, wait a minute! Hold it! Now, are we actually gonna go before a federal judge, and tell him that some moldy Babylonian god is gonna drop in on Central Park West and start tearing up the city?
Egon Spengler: Sumerian, not Babylonian.
Peter Venkman: Yeah. Big difference.
Winston Zeddemore: No offense, but I gotta get my own lawyer.
4)From Wikipedia: “Satan will subsequently attack Jehovah's Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ's "sheep", or true followers, will be destroyed. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden.[198] Most of those who had died before God's intervention will gradually be resurrected during "judgment day" lasting for one thousand years. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, Christ will hand all authority back to God. Then a final test will take place when Satan is released to mislead perfect mankind. Those who fail will be destroyed, along with Satan and his demons. The end result will be a fully tested, glorified human race.[199][200]
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven as king of God's kingdom in October 1914, and that Satan was subsequently ousted from heaven to the earth, resulting in "woe" to humanity. They believe that Jesus rules invisibly, from heaven, perceived only as a series of "signs". They base this belief on a rendering of the Greek word parousia—usually translated as "coming" when referring to Christ—as "presence". They believe Jesus' presence includes an unknown period beginning with his inauguration as king in heaven in 1914, and ending when he comes to bring a final judgment against humans on earth. They thus depart from the mainstream Christian belief that the "second coming" of Matthew 24 refers to a single moment of arrival on earth to judge humans.”

Today, Jehovah's Witnesses longingly believe the New System and resurrection is just about to happen. The idea that it will be "soon" has been preached from the very start of the Watchtower Society, for over a century.
"... the spring of 1878 as the time when he would assume his power as heavenly King. They also thought they would be given their heavenly reward at that time." Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom p. 632
1878 was the first prediction that Russell publicized for his followers to receive their resurrection.
In January 1876, Charles Russell read a copy of Barbour's publication Herald of the Morning. This explained that Jesus had returned invisibly in 1874, and the Rapture would occur in 1878. As the kingdom had not come to earth in 1874 as predicted by the Adventists, Barbour started to preach that it was only invisibly present in 1874, (exactly the same justification used years later by Rutherford to explain why the kingdom did not manifest itself in 1914). 1878 was to be the year to fulfil many events, being 3 ½ years after 1874, based on Jesus 3 ½ year ministry. Russell was deeply affected by this and started to fund Barbour's publication, believing it would only be for two years.
In 1878, the first of the dead 144,000 saints would go to heaven, along with the 'rapture' of Barbour, Russell and his followers to heaven. He believed he had been led to the truth just in time for the resurrection 2 years later.
"Expecting the Lord Jesus to come in 1878 to catch them up miraculously to be with him in heaven, some who had been Second Adventists (including Barbour) were disappointed when that miracle did not occur. Russell, though, "did not for a moment feel cast down," but "realized that what God had so plainly declared must some time have a fulfillment"; and he "wanted to have it just in God's time and way."
On one occasion while talking with Russell about the events of 1878, I told him that Pittsburgh papers had reported he was on the Sixth Street bridge dressed in a white robe on the night of the Memorial of Christ's death, expecting to be taken to heaven together with many others. I asked him, "Is that correct?"
Russell laughed heartily and said: "I was in bed that night between 10:30 and 11:00 P.M. However, some of the more radical ones might have been there, but I was not. Neither did I expect to be taken to heaven at that time, for I felt there was much work to be done preaching the Kingdom message to the peoples of the earth before the church would be taken away." FAITH ON THE MARCH pp.26-27
Shortly after this time, Russell split from Barbour and in 1879 started his own magazine, Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence.

Even after the failure of the Rapture to eventuate in 1878, this year continued to be considered a prophetic date by Russell and Rutherford. This was the year Jesus took rulership in heaven.
"... 1874 as the time of our Lord's second presence as Bridegroom and Reaper, and to April 1878 as the time when he began to exercise his office of King of kings and Lord of lords ..." Studies in the Scriptures - Thy Kingdom Come (1911 ed.) p.150
It was the start of the resurrection of the dead saints.
"Our Lord's resurrection occurred three and a half years after his advent as the Messiah, in A.D. 29; and the resurrection of his body, the Church, we have seen, was due in the year 1878, three and a half years after his second advent, in October 1874." Studies In the Scriptures Series III - Thy Kingdom Come p.305 

“The current understanding is significantly different to the original teachings. Prior to 1914, the Watchtower believed:
“The Last Days began 1799
Jesus Parousia started 1874
Jesus started ruling in heaven in 1878
The Gentile Times would end in 1914, resulting in the:
end of Armageddon
fall of false religion
end of all earthly governments
heavenly and earthly resurrections
paradise on earth
The ability of the Watchtower to accurately foretell the meaning of 1914 is a great source of faith for Jehovah's Witnesses, unaware of what the Watchtower said prior to 1914, as nothing that Russell said about 1914 came to pass. For Russell and early Watchtower followers, the second of October 1914 was expected to be the the conclusion of this system of things.”

12)  As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 or early 1600 and first published in the First Folio, 1623. The play's first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility. As You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court, accompanied by her cousin Celia to find safety and, eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden. In the forest, they encounter a variety of memorable characters, notably the melancholy traveler Jaques who speaks many of Shakespeare's most famous speeches (such as "All the world's a stage" and "A fool! A fool! I met a fool in the forest").
13)      you must see a video by “jim651” on youtube, with the poem American night
 (Jim Morrison) The Village Tapes - Poetry Session (Dec8, 1970) And Last Jam Session (June 1971)
and featuring music by Ludovico Einaudi (“Ombre”) listen to 3:19 especially for the wonderful repetition: so hypnotic…
14) Because death in comics is so often temporary, readers rarely take the death of a character seriously—when a character dies, the reader feels very little sense of loss, and simply left wondering how long it will be before they return to life. This, in turn, has led to a common piece of comic shop wisdom: "No one stays dead except BuckyJason Todd, and Uncle Ben",[3] referring to Captain America's sidekick (retconned dead in 1964), Batman's second Robin(dead in 1988), and Spider-Man's uncle (dead since 1962), respectively. This long-held tenet was broken in 2005, when Jason Todd returned to life and Bucky was reported to have survived the accident that seemingly killed him, remaining in the shadows for decades. Ironically, Barnes apparently died again in 2011 after a short tenure as Captain America,[7] only to be revived by Nick Fury's Infinity Formula.[8]
Comic book characters themselves have often made comments about the frequency of resurrections. Professor X has commented "in mutant heaven there are no pearly gates, but instead revolving doors."[9] When Siryn was made aware of her father's death, she refused to mourn him, giddily claiming that since her father has died as an X-Man, he was likely going to be soon resurrected, shocking her friends.[10] His father is later restored to life but is recruited by the Apocalypse Twins as part of their new Horsemen of Apocalypse.[11] The obituary writer of the in-universe newspaper the Daily Bugle once bemoaned to reporter Ben Urich about how many retractions he has had to write after each resurrection of a superhero or supervillain.[12]

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!

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