Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Man, it's so cold again today. Don't let the cold weather give you excuses. Wrap yourself in a blanket and get back to work. Why do weather people even tell us how cold it is when they can just show us pics of outside temperature gauges posted on Facebook? Hmmm. Anyway...
Women in India's capital of New Delhi are now allowed to travel with "a small knife for self-protection" on the city's metro, according to the "Hindustan Times." Apparently, the city's police force are so tired of confiscating these types of weapons... knives up to four inches long... each day, they've decided to just allow them. "World over it is a practice that only items that can cause mass destruction are not allowed," said an official. "We carried a review and found that with these items, passengers' safety is not in danger." Although the city officials and the "Hindustan Times" make no connection between this development and a terrible incident in Bangalore, India on New Year's Eve, it's difficult not to draw a line between the allegations of sexual assault on a massive scale and the decision to let women take protection into their own hands when in public. The Delhi metro already offers a women-only car in a city that's notorious for failing to guarantee women's safety.
The Internet is all abuzz with talk of Meryl Streep's speech at last night's Golden Globes ceremony. Some people see her as a hero for bravely speaking out against President-elect Donald Trump, while others are upset with her words. While accepting the Cecil B. Demille Award, Meryl Streep referenced a hotly debated incident in 2015 in which it appears that Donald Trump made fun of a "New York Times" reporter for his congenital joint disease. She said, "There was one performance this year that stunned me... it sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good, there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was the moment where the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it and I still can’t get it out of head because it wasn’t a movie, it was real life." One person who was not impressed with Streep's speech is Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway. (Surprise!) In an appearance on "Fox & Friends" this morning, Conway said, "I’m concerned that somebody with a platform like Meryl Streep is also, I think, inciting people’s worst instincts. When she won’t get up there and say, 'I didn’t like it, but let’s try to support him and see where we can find some common ground with him.' Which he has actually done from moment one. The moment he won, he said I’m going to be president for [all people]." Conway saying that Meryl Streep used her platform to "incit[e] people's worst instincts" is more ironic than any Alanis Morissette song could ever depict, seeing as Donald Trump regularly incited people to hate and violence at his rallies. It also wasn't, last time I checked, a requirement for anyone to say nice things about Donald Trump while accepting a lifetime achievement award.
Having a kid with your sibling is a pretty weird, socially frowned-upon thing to do except in a few scenarios. Like this one... Samuel Leighton-Dore, 24, is a gay man who plans to use IVF treatment, and some help from his sister's eggs, to have a kid who is a genetic combo of him and his partner. "The only possible chance my partner and I have of waving our respective biological flags in our future kid's DNA is if my sister donates an egg for my partner's sperm," he writes in a post for parenting blog Mamamia. "No, she won't be carrying the baby... just offering up the bun for another yet-to-be-determined woman's oven." He says he and his partner are not looking to start a family in the near future, but they're planning ahead. He already asked his sister, "while we were both a little drunk at a family function," he writes. And says she "squealed in delight at the prospect." The headline of the blog post is: "I’m going to have a baby with my sister, and we couldn’t be more excited." This might explain why people have "gone cray" over this story which, as it turns out, is not a twisted soap opera but instead a sweet story about a guy with a very nice sister. Oh, well.
Apart from being, ya know, Luke frickin' Skywalker, actor Mark Hamill is a legendary voice actor, perhaps best known for his iconic depiction of the Joker in "Batman: The Animated Series." He's also quick to knock incoming president Donald J. Trump. So when he saw a few tweets from comedian Patton Oswalt and brother Matt he was only too eager to give the people what they wanted. And, with a little help from his family... he delivered.... audioboom.com/boos/5471405. There's every indication this bit is just the first of many, and you know there can be no shortage of psychotic Trump lines coming at us in the future, so fasten your bat-buckles and get ready to hear him start slamming Star Wars, too.
Yesterday, SeaWorld San Diego put on its final killer whale show. The once-popular routine made the marine life theme park a successful franchise before hobbling it in the wake of "Blackfish," a 2013 documentary harshly critical of the company's treatment of orcas, particularly Tilikum, a whale involved in the tragic deaths of three different people. On Friday, SeaWorld announced that Tilikum had died in captivity at their Orlando facility, at the approximate age of 36. (For comparison, Granny, a famous orca living in the wild but presumed dead this week, was thought to be over 100 years old.) But even amid outrage, a drop-off in audiences, and the news last month that the SeaWorld would be eliminating 320 jobs across their 12 parks, the company is changing its policies very slowly. The Orlando and San Antonio locations will continue their orca shows into 2019, and San Diego's planned Orca Encounter exhibit will feature the familiar sight of trainers cueing killer whales to leap out of the water and demonstrate other "behaviors." To say the infamous show is ending may be "a little overblown," according to former orca trainer and Seaworld vice president of zoological operations Al Garver. Although SeaWorld frequently notes that it no longer captures orcas in the wild... and California has banned the practice of breeding them... the company still holds 22 killer whales in its various parks.
Okay, so last night the Giants lost to the Packers... and I am so upset. Odell Beckham Jr. punched a large hole in the wall outside the visitors’ lockeroom. One reporter even said Beckham told him to, “Fuck off” after he witnessed it. Anyway, I have a pic of the hole here...
Aaron fucking Rodgers. I'll talk more about this in a bit when Jeff is here. So, one thing I like to do in my spare time is to go on Twitter and lookup certain words. One of those words I look up is "Foghat" and this is a tweet I recently saw...
I wonder what my sister Lucy thinks about that. Hey, I saw these pictures from The Phantom Menace the other day...
And I wondered where did I see pics like that recently... then it hit me.
Hahaha. Speaking of Star Wars... do you know what the original name for Rogue One was? Rouge One. I even have the original poster of it...
Haha. That would of been a whole different movie. So, when Trump is President do you know what we are gonna see on CNN in a few years?
So, there's a few Trump doppelgängers out there, like a Back to the Future villain...
Bob Gale, writer of Back To The Future Part II, has revealed Biff Tannen, the bully and bad guy from the franchise, is indeed based on Trump. Okay, so, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, some crazy stuff happens in Florida that happens nowhere else in the Universe. So, once again, here is...
Spoiler alert for all you optimists out there: 2017 is going to be worse than 2016. Exhibit A in this argument is the news that Tampa police are continuing to crack down on people who commit the ghastly crime of giving food to the homeless. Tampa is one of several cities in Florida that requires a permit for anyone feeding the needy in a public place, which causes a good deal of red tape and can be prohibitively expensive for activist groups that offer free meals frequently. Food Not Bombs is one such group, and, although warned that giving out food without said permit could result in arrests, went ahead and did so on Saturday. When cops arrived, they were given three minutes to stop what they were doing. But they went on serving their food, and a number were cuffed, with one telling the homeless congregated there to please help themselves as he was led away. Onlookers meanwhile shamed the police and chanted "people over profit." Food Not Bombs, according to a statement, "has no plans to stop sharing food with the homeless and hungry and will continue to defy unjust laws that criminalize compassion and mutual aid," and is planning an event in the same park for tomorrow morning. They claim to have given away food there dozens of times before without incident, leading some to speculate that the nearby College Football Playoff National Championship could have been a factor in these arrests... although others have been detained for the same violation in the past. FNB is a nationwide organization that likely has a local chapter near you, and it's easy to volunteer or donate through their site. Just a thought!
Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.
Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. How was your weekend?
Jeff: Jason! Good to be back on the Phile after a glorious Wild Card Weekend. I only got to see Sunday's games though because I was in NYC for the weekend.
Me: Cool! How was it?
Jeff: It was great but it snowed all Saturday. I felt like I was on Hoth for a bit.
Me: Alright, so, let's congratulate you on your Steelers win against Miami. The Giants as you know lost to the Packers. I'm so sad. Fucking Aaron Rodgers. Hahaha. I blame the Giants' wide receivers who flew to Miami to party before the game. I'm not a big fan of anything to do with Miami right now, and this is a small part of that. Do you think this was one of the reasons the Giants lost?
Jeff: First may I say... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Secondly, I'm sorry your team lost. Thirdly though, I don't think the trip to Miami had anything to do with their loss. It was more of a defensive issue. The Giants offense had been struggling recently. I believe they hadn't scored over 21 points in the last 5 weeks of the season. And when you face a team like the Packers in Green Bay with the roll Aaron Rodgers has been on it's easy to see why Green Bay rolled. Especially when you lost a top defensive back early in the game. You look at the early part of the game New York kept it close, but then the injury happened, That's when it all went downhill.
Me: This was an unusual story... I thought the Dolphins' Matt Moore had died for a moment. He was pronounced dead on Wikipedia...
Me: How did this happen?
Jeff: I was on the train back when Matt Moore got hurt. I was listening to the game though. It sounded bad. But he only missed one play which is amazing considering the hit. Either someone didn't do their job as part of the concussion protocol or Matt Moore raised up from the dead. Zombie quarterback!
Me: This just in, Jeff... PETA is going to investigate the Steelers brutal beating of the Dolphins. Hahaha. I thought you'd appreciate that.
Jeff: I could make an inappropriate joke right now... okay. I will! Maybe that's why linebacker coach Joey Porter was arrested after the game? No. That was because he beat up a doorman hours later. He's always been a bit of a hothead.
Me: Speaking of the Steelers... did you have to fill this out to be a fan?
Me: The Raiders fans will finally get to see their team play in the playoffs...
Jeff: Hahahaha. I wonder how many of those inmates punched a wall? More on that later!
Me: So, the Colts are the latest team to change their logo and their name...
Me: What do you think?
Jeff: The Cots? That joke just made me want to take a nap!
Me: Alright, another of this malarky... what is some real NFL news, Jeff?
Jeff: Malarky! Shenigans! Who has time for that! The biggest news is of course the playoffs continue. Teams are scrambling to find head coaches for those that have fired their coaches. No team has announced their new coaches yet, but a lot of interviews are happening. I have one lined up in San Fran. I mean they will have 3 head coaches in 3 seasons At this point, they might as well try.
Me: I mentioned this in the monologue... Beckham is in big trouble... he punched a hole in the wall in the locker room. How do you think he'll be next year? He needs to calm the fuck down.
Jeff: First he attacked a kicking net now he's putting holes in walls. He's a bit of a loose cannon. The Giants have tried talking to him and he behaves for a little while. I agree. Beckham needs to calm down before he hurts himself. He also apparently headbutted a wall, I suppose the good news is he didn't put a hole in the wall like he did with his fist.
Me: He's lucky he didn't get hurt. Okay, so, how did we do over the weekend with the Wild Card picks? You beat me again, didn't you?
Jeff: Well, let's take a look at our predictions from last week. I picked the Raiders over the Texans. I lost that since the Raiders were down to their 3rd string quarterback. I also picked the Packers to win big over the Giants and not to rub it in any more, but they whooped you! They whooped you! Your team wasn't looking all that Giant after all! Okay. I'm done. Let's look at your picks. You picked the Dolphins by 13 over the Steelers. How did that work out for you? Oh yeah, PETA investigation. And you picked Washington to win. Let me check the score on that game... Yeah, they didn't win. The good news is they didn't lose either. Because you picked a team that didn't even make the playoffs. And what makes it even funnier is the Giants beating them in Week 17 prevented them from making it, but apparently you didn't notice that. I should dock you points for that, but I won't. Because it won't matter. I will still win and I don't want excuses from you. I also got a Steeler win and a Giants loss for you. So my lead grows now. 58-51.
Me: Hahahahahahahaha. I am such as idiot!!!! Ugh! Okay, are you ready to pick next weekends games? I say Falcons by eight and Cowboys by 9. What do you pick?
Jeff: Before I do my picks, let me make sure that your picks are still in the playoffs... yup. We're good. I'm going New England by 10 and Atlanta by 3.
Me: So, I think the Patriots are gonna make it to the Super Bowl, do you? I hope they don't... but it's looking possible.
Jeff: If Pittsburgh plays like they did vs Miami, they are the only one in the AFC that can stop New England. But playing Miami is a whole lot different than playing New England, so we shall see!
Me: Alright, I'll see you back here next Monday, Jeff.
Jeff: See you then!
As I mentioned earlier, last night night, Meryl Streep took aim at President-elect Donald Trump during the acceptance speech of her lifetime achievement award at The Golden Globes. Without ever mentioning his name, Streep thoroughly roasted the future president by saying, "Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick us all out, you'll have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts." She also recalled the instance where Trump openly mocked disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski of the "The New York Times." Like clockwork, Donald Trump took to Twitter to whine about being targeted in the legendary actress' speech. Someone get this snowflake a safe space, because he has been triggered HARD. What scandal are these tweets meant to distract us from again?
Meryl Streep is overrated? Okay, now we all know that you've lost your mind. Has it been four years yet?
The Heisman Trophy is the largest honor that can be awarded to a future underperforming NFL player.
Me: Hello, Dan, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?
Dan: Doing great. Happy to be talking with you!
Me: I have to tell you I am a big fan if your work... I have to ask, do you use water colors? Your art looks like that.
Dan: Thanks! Yeah, if you look at the art over the course of the story you see a lot of changes just due to me trying different things and due to the long periods between updates. Early on I drew and inked on paper. (Please don't judge me by my early pages. I'm embarrassed by it now). Now I ink and color digitally. That water color look some pages had was just me playing around with the gradient tool during the coloring phase.
Me: I went on your website and purchased a t-shirt of your work. I just had to. How do you decide what you're gonna out on a shirt?
Dan: Thanks for your support! I try to pick something that can be understood right away. That quickly gets across the important message that cheerleaders are fighting dinosaurs.
Me: The one I got was the T-Rex dangling a cheerleader from it's mouth... I have to show the art work...
Me: Do you wear your own t-shirts?
Dan: Yep. That's one of my favorites. I wear that one to conventions. A sneaky way to advertise myself. I even had a few positive comments from some of my favorite artists I met, such a Chris Sanders and Mark Schultz!
Me: Where are you from, Dan?
Dan: I consider San Diego to be my home. It's where I've spent most of my life, and especially those formative high school years. But lived a lot of places, from Hawaii to Virginia.
Me: How long have you been a professional artist?
Dan: Define "professional." LOL. My first real published stuff was a comic called "Tinn Man" that I did at Atlantis Studios back in 2006. There are still some copies out there somewhere.
Me: I found a pic of the first issue...
Dan: Since then making comics and doing commissions has been more of a side job. My passion. But a side job. For now.
Me: Did drawing and doing art come naturally to you or did you go to school to learn?
Dan: All of the above. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I learned a few things from professionals and took art classes in college. And practice on my own and try new things as much as I can.
Me: I take it you do a lot of conventions... is there a favorite convention experience of yours?
Dan: I've been doing conventions for a while. I've been going to the San Diego Comic Con since I was a kid in the 80s before it became such a big thing. These days so much of it is just commercials for things that aren't even comic books, it's kinda lost something. My best experiences were the times I got to meet one on one with artists I admired and just talk. Like telling Amanda Conner how much I enjoyed her run on "Power Girl." Or meeting Eric Canete and Des Taylor and just telling them what a fan I am of their art. For those kind of interactions the smaller conventions are better now.
Me: Alright, we have to to talk about the comic "Dinosaurs Robots Cheerleaders." You are the artist, and you write it and created it, right?
Dan: Yep. It's all me. I'll take the credit. And the blame.
Me: I noticed you have a female president in the book. We almost had a female president for real! Anyway, where does the book take place?
Dan: Actually the president is loosely based on Sarah Palin. I thought that would add to the silliness of the whole thing. No specific location. We've seen a lot of monsters and robots smashing big cities. I wanted it to have more of a small town Main Street USA look.
Me: Tell the readers what the premise of the book is, Dan.
Dan: I wanted to make a story that had a ridiculous premise and yet treated itself a little seriously. In summary, dinosaurs from outer space attack the Earth and the only thing that stands in their way are giant robots and super powered cheerleaders.
Me: This needs me to be made into a cartoon. Don't you think?
Dan: Totally agree. I made a few short animations. Very fun but time consuming. Maybe I'll revisit that. Actually I always saw it as a Michael Bay flick, with slow motion explosions and a 1980s rock ballad soundtrack.
Me: So, what do you prefer to draw the most? Dinosaurs, robots or hot women? I'm guessing the women. Hahaha.
Dan: Definitely the girls. I'll never get tired of drawing them.
Me: What's harder to draw?
Dan: The robots. Maybe that's why they immediately started destroying each other in the story. I was never satisfied with design. I'll work in a rebuild/redesign soon.
Me: I have to show a pic of the robots...
Me: That has everything in it. How did you come up with the idea for this book, Dan?
Dan: Like I said, I wanted a ridiculous premise. I love the idea of dinosaurs flying space ships. Especially a T-rex using its little arms to work the controls. The cheerleaders were the last ingredient. Once I realized that's what it needed it all clicked in my head.
Me: Is this the only comic you work on?
Dan: No. That's why my updates are so far apart. I've made a blog where I'm posting short comic stories that keep popping up in my head and I have to put out there. My mind keeps jumping around to different things.
Me: I saw you have done a few drawings and pieces of well known characters... do you prefer drawing your own characters better though?
Dan: I prefer my own. But it's always fun to play around with the big leagues. There's a Power Girl/ Wolverine fan fic I made that's buried in my website that I'm pretty proud of. (My two favorite characters).
Me: Yeah. I have it here...
Me: So, how many issues of this comic has their been?
Dan: It doesn't really fit the traditional format or pacing for issues. I just keep throwing pages on the pile. Kind of like one big issue.
Me: Do you know how many there's gonna be?
Dan: I have an end in mind. But I'll take as long as I want to get there. Like I said, I'll never get tired of them. Maybe take occasional breaks though.
Me: I read it on-line but is it available as an actual comic?
Dan: No. it's online only. In fact on some pages I made the decision to break out of the format for printed pages. Just because.
Me: So, I take it you're a comic book fan yourself... so, I have to ask... DC or Marvel. I am mostly a Marvel fan.
Dan: I like both. I'd also throw some other publishers in there too. My favorites are mostly Image comics these days. But if I had to choose, (cause it's fun to) I'd go with Marvel too. They have the more relatable characters. Flawed people who become heroes instead of heroes who happen to have flaws.
Me: So, outta the cheerleaders in the book, which one is your favorite?
Dan: Molly. She's the head cheerleader/coach. The blonde with freckles. More experienced than the others. Really tough. And really cute.
Me: You collect action figures, right? Can you see action figures of your characters coming out?
Dan: Yes, I do. And I would love that. Or maybe a play set with a little city, dinosaurs, robots and little cheerleaders the size of those plastic army men.
Me: I saw you play "Pokémon Go." Me too! What level are you on? I'm level 21. And what team? I'm Team Instinct.
Dan: I'll be honest. I haven't played in a while. Not sure I even broke double digits. But it was a lot of fun when me and my kids played. Gave us an excuse to get out of the house. We were all Team Mystic.
Me: Do you think the novelty for the game is wearing off since the summer?
Dan: Yeah. It was huge this summer. Became a phenomenon that changed how we think about games and mobile devices. But it burned out. Nothing wrong with that. Even Pac-Man fever had to end eventually. But it was still historic. Everyone will remember that 2016 had the summer of Pokémon.
Me: Okay, so, tell the readers where they can read your comic, Dan. Mention all your websites.
Dan: Okay. The best place for everything, my art in progress, the side projects, even the comics I pick up every week is my Instagram: instagram.com/dinosaursrobotscheerleaders/. And the best place for my latest finished comics, including my mini comics is my Hogans Super Heroes Tumblr: hoganssuperheroes.tumblr.com/. I also have my catch all Tumblr: dinosaursrobotscheerleaders.tumblr.com/. My original website that's like the hub that everything branched out from and has the whole comic so far: dinosaursrobotscheerleaders.com/. And I'm on Facebook: facebook.com/dinosaursrobotscheerleaders. And on Twitter: @dinosaursrobots.
Me: All the best, take care, and keep up the creativity. You do good work. Come back again soon.
Dan: Thank you so much! Love your blog!
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Dan Hogan. The Phile will be back next Sunday with the guys from Minihorse. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker