The shit! I’m not even done picking the boogers out of my snot-covered face after finishing Diaz’ This is How You Lose Her when this bomb drops. The son of a bitch has been given a half-milli genius grant, and homeboy is pledging to use it to finally write his monster book.
[WEEKEND OPEN BAR: The one-stop ramble-about-anything weekend post at OL. Comment on the topic at hand. Tell us how drunk you are. Describe a comic you bought. This is your chance to bring the party.]
It was during the 8th century BCE that the Greek poet-Jedi known as Homer detailed the events of the Trojan War with the Iliad. An impassioned narrative of a conflict between kings, warriors, gods, and mortals, Homer’s epic poem has been celebrated since its inception. However, the readers who stop after reading the final line of the Iliad (“Thus, then, did they celebrate the funeral of Hector tamer of horses.“) has only treated themselves to half of the story.
The second half of the tale comes in the form of the Odyssey, an epic which follows Odysseus on his dangerous voyage home. Odysseus is a hero of the Trojan War (like the Trojan Horse? Yeah, that was his idea), but he’s slipped into a slick puddle of shit-luck. As such, his return to Ithaca has been delayed by incredible storms, man-eating monsters, an encounter with Polyphemos that ends with being cursed by Poseidon, the allure of Sirens’ songs, and more than a few battles. Oh, when Odysseus finally gets home, he has to figure out how to kill all of the assholes that’ve been depleting his estate and trying to court his wife.
But don’t worry – Odysseus pulls it off, and in style!
“’Dogs! You thought I would never come back from Troy, so you have been carving up my substance, forcing the women to lie with you, courting my wife before I was dead, not fearing the gods who rule the broad heavens, nor the execration of man which follows you for ever. And now the cords of death are made fast about you all!’”
Not only is the Odyssey a mythological tour de force that’s still read and studied and imitated today, it’s also the first documented sequel in the history of narrative. And it’s bad-ass. Hell, many believe it to be equal, if not superior, to the Iliad.
Sure, there’s an argument to be had that most sequels are cheap cash-grabs that capitalize on the popularity of great works. There’s no denyin’ that much of the direct-to-video market is built on this premise. But with the Odyssey having been established nearly three thousand years ago, there’s a time-tested precedent that sometimes sequels are worthwhile continuations.
So here’s our topic of discussion: What is your favorite sequel?
Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute!
This is the storage compartment of Spaceship OL dedicated to all the various bits of entertainment we’ll be using to get through the workweek. Think of it as an anti-boredom armory. After I show you the wares I’ll be using to fend off the ennui-goblins, hit up the comments section and do the same.
If you’re like me, you hate the heat. Well up here in New England we got ourselves a bit of a heat wave. I decided to beat this son-ova-bitch by crowding around my air conditioner. After playing 15 consecutive hours of Skyrim, I decided I needed to find a new activity to pass the hours. I grabbed my Nook (The official tablet of the SEGA Kid) and started plowing through books. So here we have my top 5 all-time favorite books.
After being dead for ten months, it feels amazing to walk the Earth again. To feel the carpet beneath my toes, to bear hug loved ones, to booze in the fellowship of my ka-tet. These are the moments that the universe is pushing us towards, the acknowledgment of those simple pleasures that can only be appreciated when our spirits and minds are where they’re supposed to be.
`Cause let me tell ya, there’s nothing worse than being a poltergeist. I’ve been there. Roaming about, looking for a place to say, nothing more than a broken spirit relegated to brief appearances and disruptive dispositions. I’ve been that figure that people’re surprised to see, and not always pleasantly so.
It might be a perfect way to be dead, but it’s no way to live.
Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute! I’m going to show you some of the various ways I’ll be entertainin’ myself during the week. After scoping out my wares, it’s your task to make your presence known in the rumble pit known as the comments section. What movies, comics, beverages, albums, and activities are you lookin’ forward to rockin’?
Let’s do this!
(I hate to start this piece in the most boring way possible, but) I grew up in Andover, New Jersey. Nestled in the farmlands and forests of Sussex County, Andover is an old mining town and the polar opposite of the general population’s image of “Dirty Jersey.” Expansive corn fields, forests criss-crossed with streams, and a local hot-spot called Lake Illiff make up most of the geography of my homeland. The neighborhood was a giant nipple feeding my imagination. I lived there until I was 19 when I thought it would be a good idea to go to college.
Like most young boys, I harbored a large imagination. With tools like action figures and my Mongoose BMX, Andover was one big playground. My dad introduced me to Star Wars when I was in the 2nd grade (because that’s what everyone should feel like happened to them during their first Star Wars experience, right? We’re “introduced” to it). I read a lot of escapist fiction like Dragonlance and Lord of the Rings – also courtesy of my dad. All of these sacred works blew my imagination up, made me want to jump in my X-Wing and take on the Empire up. I wanted out of Andover. This town wasn’t big enough for Patrick Cooper, who would surely grow up to save the planet from evil. Then along came Ray Bradbury.
[Ray Bradbury died today]
I was filching my seventh cup of caffeinated splendor from the coffee machine when a coworker came rushing towards me. He had mustard on his shirt and concern in his eyes. “Hey man, how’re you holding up? You all right?”
After taking a rip of coffee, I proceeded. “Rodrigo, what the hell’re you talkin’ about? Why wouldn’t I be all right?”
“Oh shit, I thought you heard…Dude, Ray Bradbury died.”
“Bwahahaha,” I sprayed coffee all over my dress-pants. “That’s hilarious!
Rodrigo was befuddled. “Hilarious? I thought you’d be upset. Isn’t Bradbury your favorite author?”
“Of course he is! Bradbury straddles the lines between science fiction and fantasy and parable like no other! He’s an avuncular horror-master, a winsome conveyor of the fantastic! Fahrenheit 451! The Illustrated Man! The Martian Chronicles! How could Bradbury not be my favorite?”
“So,” Rodrigo ventured forth cautiously, “you love Ray Bradbury but don’t care that he’s dead?”
I once again found myself struggling to spill the coffee past the bulwark of laughter and into my gullet. Finally successful, I wiped an errant tear streaming down my cheek and broke into a smile. I’d help my coworker understand.
“Ray Bradbury can’t die. When he was twelve years old, Mr. Electrico imbued him with the power to live forever! And now, regardless of what’s happened to his corporeal form, Ray’s going to be with us forever.”
[Ray Bradbury is going to live forever]
Let me tell you a story that my superiors at the Time Guild wouldn’t want you to know.
A couple of days ago, I decided that I wanted to travel to the year 195,000 BCE. Since it was the weekend, I had to use my personal time-machine, which I actually prefer to the stodgy contraption they allot me at the office. However, without the Guild’s temporal disinhibitor-ray, it was up to me to craft a suitable concoction. So after filling my gut with three liters of Pepsi Max, taking a shot of bourbon, and huffing paint thinner for the better part of an hour, I stumbled into my broom closet and passed out.
There you have it – my secret recipe for spacetime fabric softener.
Anyways, when I came to I was in the dense jungles of prehistory. Looking skyward, I saw a pterodactyl soaring majestically. Shielding my eyes from the sun, I looked to the ocean just in time to catch a glance of a megalodon snapping a leviathan in half before submerging once again. And on the path before me, two cavemen bros riding their steeds, a saber-toothed tiger and a mastodon, respectively.
The caveman on the saber-toothed tiger was the first to see me, and he quickly pointed me out to his buddy. “Daniel, check it out! It’s another one of those dudes from Beyond the Wheel.” He waved to me invitingly, “C’mon over, man!”
I was nervous, but I obliged.
The other caveman hopped off his mastodon and shook my hand. “Hey there! My name’s Daniel and this is my friend Hollis. Who might you be, Beyonder?”
“Pleasure to meet you, Daniel and Hollis. My name is Rendar Frankenstein and I’m from the year 2012. Well, actually, I’m originally from 1986 but I’ve caught up to 2012, and I guess that’s when I’m not shifting all over. I’ve been to a lot of points in the 20th century, and hell, I’ve even gone back Plato’s cave and the Garden of Eden and beyond that. You guys ever see 2001?”
I laughed. “My bad! Anyways, what’re ya’ll up to?”
With a pat on my back, Hollis clued me in. “We’re actually about to meet back up with the tribe and raid a T-Rex nest. With those things on your feet,” he pointed to my hi-tops, “you could really help us out. You want in?”
Long story short – dinosaurs were murdered, the caveman tribe was victorious, and I got to start off today by having a prehistoric omelet.
Just don’t tell my superiors at the Time Guild. I need this job, and they’re lookin’ for a reason to can me.
Welcome to the Monday Morning Commute! I’m going to list off the various ways I’ll be salvaging my (dwindling) sanity during the workweek. It’s then your duty to hit up the comments section and share your own recipe for mental-refuge. C’mon, ain’t this the whole point of an Internet community?
Let’s stab this dino in the heart with a fuckin’ bone-shard dagger!
I miss Warren Ellis. A lot. He is a hero of mine, one of the biggest. However as he has scaled back his work in comics to almost nothing, his visible footprint on my psyche has eroded. Bums me the fuck out. Where there was once a plethora, now there is mainly silence and the occasional balls-tingling rant on his website. Despite this Lack, Ellis does exist, and he has been doing Things. One of those Things is Gun Machine, his second novel. As proof of his wind-sucking continued-contributions to the arts of the world, Ellis has dropped the cover to this next textual offering. Done by Keith Hayes, it’s sexy.
Hit the jump to check it out.