10:11AM. So, the idea is:
In the third book of Yaktopan, the weathered pilgrim is dragging his battered bare feet through familiar sands once again, though stripped now in ways he has never been before. Naked have we seen him, but not so like this, where his first-personage is gone and he is being punished for a sin he had no choice but to commit (thus it has been, thus it will be, thus it is feeling forever it shall be...) and in the sky above him (in the ground below him, in the air he struggles through, granulated Hell whipping his once simon-pure flesh) there is a god laughing, god with a lower-case "g" but capital "L", "M". Lord Monger is laughing... and the boy can just about hear it.
This would convey a cruel notion in itself-- he can only catch the giggles in the wind because the giggler wants him to. For the sake of theatrics (and, oh dear, isn't that always the sake?) the Giggler is kept in this classroom (my homeroom, 10:11AM) and it is a full one. The Giggler (though I know typing this, giggles not) is contained here and will later drift out into the puberty-humid school halls, less than an hour from now... then the scene will see those walls and follow them. The Giggler will be thinking of Yaktopan, of superheroes too, the ideas shuffling over one another in an endless ripple of the mind... and this will be real. Of course it will be. The Monger lives in reality, this is true. Images, faint ideas of a Matryoshka doll. See the ginormous one, containing its measly clone. See within that one another...
A steady overhead zoom reveals a blank space, a blurry world, gaps glossed over. The expansion of the frame shows the edge of a desert... the crater of a moon.
Funny, very funny.
The third book of Yaktopan ends with his win.
4:18PM. Offload the bus... wade through the hardly foreign fog of these wet winter afternoons. Stride inside and give a passing hello to Father who says something about the empty toilet paper roll in the bathroom, I should have changed it, I hurriedly make some unimportant reply... strip that big clunky bag and set it on a barstool in the kitchen. Tumble upstairs now and lift the lid of the laptop (it's new, bare, naked like a newborn spare two Superman stickers). I never do this... it's usually that I spend the first hour home from school talking to my parents, then chores, then some superhero stuff... but not today. The self-made Monger has just had a curious thought... and it is an unusual time to share it with her world.
Four PM, after school. Primate usually only sees me during those "working" hours. But here I am, and I have a sort of funny idea to push out.
I was explaining to someone at school today how I write stories, all around this place (this idea, this somewhat living thing) Jaketopia, mentioning how it's mostly all just a private joke. Jokes that even I don't laugh out loud about... a funny sort of thing that doesn't elicit anything more than a breath from the nose. My greatest fear is probably poltergeists... but I've another. I've another many, really. One of them is that one day, after a long life of all good fun, there's going to be this punchline descending upon me like a whack-a-mole hammer (except I really get whacked) held by some jerky youth... and that punchline will be cancer. I've always had a certain and miraculous luck in life. An arrogant luck, really, that almost seems to mock those without it. I've been fortunate in just about every quarter of life and things seem to continuously either get better or pursue on a path of perpetual perfection. I always figured that it would be some kind of cruel laugh if I all the sudden got cancer one day, and then I died from it. After nothing bad ever happens to me... something terrible out of nowhere comes and takes me. But that would be paranoia, of course. I guess the part that makes me think it could be more than that has to do with Jaketopia. And it makes the joke a hell of a lot funnier...
Silly, misbegotten me has yet to introduce you to the Primate Reader (for which you are the namesake), but its epicentric character is this young/old/eternal fellow named Yaktopan (whose name lends to Yaktopa, which eventually morphs into the all-too-well known Jaketopia). The Primate Reader is divided into a main three books (give or take) and documents an everylasting tango between myself, the Word Monger, Yaktopan's god with a devil-may-care attitude, frolicking free with his lifeline as a jumprope, and Yaktopan himself, the powerless pawn to my whims. The comedy of my own life, outside of Yaktopan's realm, is enhanced by what happens in my world-child. I... in all honesty, it's been a half hour since I wrote that last sentence and I lost my train of thought. Not entirely. I hope I find it again soon. I'll update you then. It was interesting. I have school work to do now.
12:23PM. Oh, Jakey boy, the Primates are calling.
(Oh, Jakey boy, Oh Jakey boy, I love you so!)
Hello, Primate. And top of the morning to you (well, actually, past the morning to you). I'm... Okay, I'm cutting myself off here. I'm sitting in study hall right now and I've got this disgusting vomit of words staring at me from the computer screen (yes, this one. Different tab):
Noble’s Trek— marking the first completed journey over the Sands of Barrar— has been for this world indubitably essential, though never did it seem so to storytellers. No, they have always handled themselves just fine. So goes Jaketopia, so it will forever be.
For even preceding Christopher’s pilgrimage, squawking posts still existed at each caravanserai along any nomad’s journey. Of course, this was a time of many wandering knights, and so there were many to lend an open ear. Wild gesticulations were not uncommon during these vaguely mad and prosaic preachings of absurd devil nature. Wailing in the air above the heads of raconteurs, hands would soar and shake viciously as to mimic the fabled Barrar north, south, wherever it was in relation to the speaker of the moment. Their audience, ensorceled, might be tentative to even balk at the tales when first heard, but so long as their journey took them steadily to the westernmost edges of the King clan’s territory, they too would be swiftly familiar with the all-real root of the fantastic sagas they’d just been bombarded with. Yes, because on the most ferocious of March days, when the wind thrashed its strongest, a single ear was all a girl of the Women’s Country needed to stand abhorred at her yurt’s entrance. From there, she could easily hear the screams of land no man dared cross. From there, she could already hear the howling of sands motivated by nothing… save the blood of any soldier and steed who wished to scale its dunes alive.
This is the kind of smelly bile that burns my throat when I'm bored. It catches in my trachea and I've got to swallow it down because not even I (the only Jaketopian around) want to hear its encyclopedia in that style. It's awkward, gaudy, uncomfortable, disjointed, the oppposite of fluid. You don't get to live with me in my day-to-day life, Primate, so you're not really familiar with one of my most oft catchphrases: WHO CARES? I yell it all the time (usually when I'm the one who cares), and I'd be yelling it right now if I wasn't in a full class talking about something nobody else is focusing on. In complete honesty, there's few things I do care about more than Christopher Noble, but "Wild Horses" (The Rolling Stones version) is playing in my headphones, and I'm having a hard time focusing on anything other than the fat mass of MEMORY that's just walloped me in the face. I love when this happens-- there's not one other person on this earth I'd rather pore over their life than my own. (It's because I'm a debilitatingly interesting person.) And, in lieu of my 2023 recap (which was... frustratingly compromised), you shall have these bits and pieces as they come to me, scattered across your body (of text) like benign moles a lover would delight to find. If my computer shuts down while I'm writing this, I swear to Noble, I'll honestly KILL myself. Or, at least, hurt myself REALLY, really bad.
A couple key memories rise to mind at "Wild Horses"... both are titilllating to all (truly, really) but mostly to myself. Both center around comic books because I'm a nerd. The first comes from late June (2023, of course-- are you stunted mentally?), when I had begun to really abuse the song... I'm remembering being back-to-the-grass outside on the UGA campus (I was at summer camp, room and board was there), dinner was soon... The sun would go down many hours from then, but the sweet heat of the evening was coming on... My head was somewhat uncomfortably resting on my backpack and the grass (so, so green then) was up under my knees as I held my library omnibus of Grant Morrison's Animal Man above my head in an attempt to block out the sun trying to blind me. Oh, and I was also reading it. That tome which has at this point in my life become nothing short of indispensable. Oh, what a time. I wasn't listening to "Wild Horses" right at that moment, but I'd listen to it that night when I showered (because I showered at night instead of morning at camp). In this pocket of time, I'm listening to the other campers chat and giggle with one another, the sound of summer fun. Oh, oh, I can't take it. It's simply too lovely of a memory.
There's another time coming to mind at the sound of this song: being in Norway, a month later. Sitting in my uncle's back yard, early morning, reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Wiiiild horses. I really had a great summer, be it action-packed. I'd say more on this memory but the song's long ended and my mind's left the subject. Be back later.
2:10PM. ALERT! This post includes IMPORTANT and EXCITING Primate news that I will make you DIG for. Read details of my personal life first!
Email received four days ago, on the topic Primate:
Hey, I was reading through your blog and just wanted to inform you that I found a picture that contained EXIF data. It shows the time you took it, the camera settings you used, and the location. I recommend removing such data before uploading images to the Internet. Tools like EXIF Purge can help you.
Also, your blog seems duplicated, like the whole text repeats at the end. That was strange.
I hope this message doesn’t come across as weird. I felt the need to let you know.
Have a great day!
I think the immediate appropriate response would be: "Thank you, kind stranger." Fun fact... in the three years I have been running Primate (with my email listed the whole time), this is the first I have had any sort of correspondence with a "reader". So, yippee. I think.
The second thing for me to say now should be that I am very stupid. Like I said, I've been running this site for three years. And this isn't the first. Yet you can still find the exact longitude and latitude of the place best to target if you wish to bomb me just by checking my (captivating, wonderful) blog. But what else should one expect from the gal who hits herself when she watches superhero movies? I guess the bulk of my charm actually comes from my shocking good looks and silver-witted tongue, not my five-star intelligence (as I'd always believed it did). Interesting.
Well, I've fixed the problems, and I'm sure to remember that email going into the future. Say, guess what else was four days ago?
You really don't know? My BIRTHDAY, for Noble's sake! Thank goodness my friends and family weren't in the same dumbfounded boat as you, otherwise there's no chance I'd have received all the perfect gifts and lovely messages I did. Many a spoil were abound. Lots of comics... and I mean lots. Everything I could ever ask for, really. Green Lantern collected editions... single-issues I've been desperately wanting... a TPB of Animal Man #27-#37 (more on that later-- writers: Milligan, then Veitch)... THAT PARALLAX MCFARLANE I'VE BEEN CRAVING... a tiny little Hal Jordan... a Justice League International t-shirt as well as a Superman one that's, ehem, a bit too tiny. That's from my family. I'm so grateful that I could power the world with it. Then, of course, there's the treats I got for myself, mostly found in Asheville (as I was, per Jaketopian tradition, in the Carolinas over my birthday weekend, my family staying with my grandparents): [imagine there's a long list of various JLI-related comics here + some Booster Gold v2s missing from my collection + my first Jonah Hex issues + some extraneous Green Lantern stuffs I've been meaning to find]. Off the top of my head, one of the most significant things I found (at Comic Envy, a store in Asheville, NC) was Justice League Europe #22, an issue MOST beloved to me for a variety of reasons (do hoots, hollers, and good times ring a bell to you?)... but most notably the cover, an homage to an incredibly iconic issue of National Lampoon. Fun fact! Did you know that Gerard Jones (scripter of that JLE issue, as well as a decent portion of the 90s GL series) used to work for National Lampoon? Not-so-fun fact! Did you know that he also when to PRISON for possession of child pornography (and that he stalked a teenage girl on the internet)? Well, that kind of destroys the fun fact, doesn't it? Anyhoo...
I was a tad overjoyed to finally find it. Now I just need to get my hands on the magazine issue it's calling back to.
By the by, I also got my pretty little fingers on the new Animal Man McFarlane. So, yes, I'd say I'm #blessed. (Another fun fact: did you know that Buddy Baker is one of my top 5 favorite fictional characters? Well, now you know.)
What else to say, what else to say...
Oh, yes. The important Primate news. I've been hinting at adding stories here for a while now (cough), but it's finally going to happen. I really do promise. I've just finished writing something I'm semi-proud of (though I'll have to wait for a competition to end before I add it here, given that I wrote it for one) and I've got about a billion other tricks up myself. Okay, three tricks. Okay, zero. But, set my watch and warrant on it, New Primate's coming soon. (I'm saying this as if there's even one person out there who cares.)
We're entering a new golden age, folks: in Jaketopia, in my own life, and, of course, here. I feel really, genuinely happy right now. I've felt happy a lot, but I genuinely feel satisfied with what I am now, what I know I could grow to be. And, no, I'm not just being this optimistic because Friend Abigail baked me ten delicious cookies and gave them all to me today (thank you, Abigail, though you know my biscuit habit is... dangerous), or because Friend Erin snuck to my math class yesterday and handed me a "BOOSTER GOLD FOR PRESIDENT" pin she gifted me from Etsy, or because I've recently been enlightened by a new passion in Captain America (in fact, this actually makes me miserable; when I love, I love HARD. When I get into superheroes, that becomes devastatingly obvious)... but just a combination of everything, so much everything. It of course helps even more that spring is only a few weekends more away from, well, springing, and that my favorite time of the year is soon abound...
I'm getting back into shape (I feel wildly inspired by Steve Rogers) and my zest for life is at its most DELECTABLE. I'm spending so much time laughing, between friends at school, my sister at home, friends outside, and late night video calls with Friend Vic on the internet. I'm spending so much time regaling in the beautiful sights this world has to offer. And, Lord help me, I really like this girl I'm getting close to. The only downside to life lately has been last week, when I was horrifically sick (seized by the unforgiving beast known as Booster Gold AIDS), but even that had its bright spots. Hell, the worst part of being ill then was probably all the free time I suddenly had, which left me no choice but to watch Man of Steel (literal monkeyshit), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice -- The Ultimate Edition (Literal Monkeyshit 2, except even worse because it didn't even have the decency to include Booster Gold, the man WHO NAMED DOOMSDAY), and the "Snyder Cut" of Justice League (it was... tolerable). Just wait till July 11, 2025, folks. Trunks are back.
Anyhoo, that's my piece. I hope this post finds you all well.
PS: Jade's annual February Farm Funtime happens next month, folks. Be there (Iowa), or be square (Cumming, Georgia).
1:55PM. Yellow, Primate (as that is your favorite color, of course). How do you do? I guess that depends on how I say you do-- and I say you're just alright. I'm currently sitting in my Honors Lit classroom, rolling over ideas of Jaketopia in my mind. You honestly don't know all that much about the mother country, do you? I really ought to do something about that. I've got a lot of Jaketopia work to do, actually. But when do I not?
2:49PM. It's a new dawn, it's a new day... It's a new life for PRIMATE.
NEWSFLASH! Blogging is IN for 2024 and Primate is ready to have her renaissance. As am I ready to give it to her. Updates will be at LEAST bi-weekly, and failure to adhere to that rule is punishable by DEATH! That oughta scare me good.
From the Don't Cry 'Cause It's Over department:
1:32PM. And a Primate new yeeeeeear.
Hi, P. Let's talk like we're friends.
Because aren't we? I made you almost three years ago, just so I could talk to you like this. You're my Frankenstein's Monster, except all you really are is Monger's Buddy. I like that. I like you, and I miss you. So let's talk like we're friends. Happy new year, first of all.
I wanted to come on here some time last week and bang out some kind of "year's-end reflection" post, but I didn't get around to it. I wanted to come on here some time the week before that and just say "hi", at least, but I didn't get around to that, either. I wanted to come on here the week before THAT, but you see how the story's gone so far. I'm just not on my computer a whole lot lately, and that's a shame for but only one reason: you. You're a New Year's resolution for me, and one I intend to keep this time around.
Every time I show up here after a long and unplanned absence, there's always a pressure I put on my own shoulders to recap everything I've done in the time I've been gone, which is, of course: completely and utterly impopsicle. And why would it matter, anyhow? (Or, should I say, anyhoo?) I'm the only person who reads this damn thing, and even I hardly care. So all I'll say now is this: it's been a good time, and I mean that both in the real world and also on Ertu.
I would still, however, like to end the year with a bittersweet look back at some of the most memorable moments as they come to me now. My glory days really begin around April or so, when I started digging DEEP into DC comics (after being an ever-slightly-more-than-casual fan for about two years), and began my #1 favorite pastime of the year: stretching out on a long pool chair with a stack of Booster Gold at my side and the sweetest near-summer wind blowing through my hair. Spring at that time was, ehem, springing, and it felt beyond good to get outside and bake in the sun that was coming out more and more. I thought it had occurred to me this year that whatever season I'm in when asked is the season that I will respond with as my favorite, but looking back, I also know that no matter what, those months making up the hottest of the year will always have a slight high ground. This year really explained why that is. As school was squeezing towards its close and finals approached, I appreciated the fruit of good grades in that I didn't have to take any of the tests everybody else did; this was nice during the study season, too. As everyone else was book-tortured and being torn asunder by review, I was able to kick back and read comic scans on the big board at the face of the classroom, explore the barn, and fantasize about the coming break. After-school afternoons saw me bwah-ha-ha'ing at Giffen and DeMatteis while The Doors' Jim Morrison crooned over the pool speaker, my feet in the water and my shoulders sore from the gym. God, it felt good. I was falling deeply in love with Booster Gold that April, which set the tone for the rest of the year quite well. I type this at my desk with his face meeting mine at every which angle, and I couldn't be more glad about it. See below.
Well, ahem... I DID type that at my desk, the shining face of Mr. Carter spattered before me... and yes, it WAS 1:32 PM... on a TUESDAY! And guess what it is now? Thursday, the fourth. I'll have you know that all preceding this came from the second, and I'm a bit sour about that. Here's why (and, by the way, it's 12:30PM now-- two days later):
I sit down the day before the day before I go back to school. I am at my desk (as pictured above). It is good. I open my computer and type in the Primate editor; I am clearly a bumbling, mouth-breathing FOOL. My dunce of a computer decided in an instant about an hour later to close all my chrome tabs without warning. Of course I didn't save anything I'd written. So, you might be wondering, how did I recover all that I have just transcribed above?
The answer is... oh, to hell with it. It's now 2:45PM on a Tuesday (a week after the first debacle) and I still haven't updated Primate. We'll save the 2023 recap for another day. Let me just get on with my life. All I've to say about the past year now is: don't cry 'cause it's over. Smile because it happened.
2:36PM. As I'm sure you've noticed (because it must pain you, and how!) I've been more or less absent from Primate in the past month. This is called me being reponsible, actually. The reason for my disappearance is thus: I made a VOW to myself to never post here again, unless I first finish all my missing schoolwork!
Well, more or less. You might have noticed (because you love me, and how!) that I have started a new project here, one that I believe is a promising Primate prospect, pending permanent position as a published Primate project. It's called "The Primate Reader", and I believe it'll be lots of fun (when I really get around to it). More on that later. I just wanted to check in and say hi (because you are my baby, and how!) (and also because all work and no Primate makes Jake a very dull boy) and let you know I SHALL SOON MAKE MY GLORIOUS RETURN!
And, before I leave, I'd like to share with you a bud from a very old Primate post, dating a year and two days ago in Erun time (billions of eons in Jaketopian time, it seems):
Alas, here I am, writing another blog post, the worst thing you can post to your website when you're not famous.
Now, I'd frankly have to disagree.
9:51AM. Thanksgiviiiing breaaaak. How sweeeet the souund. 🎵
It's truly upon us, folks... and I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER. Well, I say that now, but if you were to give me 10 thousand dollars and 10 billion comic books, I probably wouldn't spit in your face about it. But aside from that impossible situation (unless...?)... I couldn't be happier.
Life is populated with simple joys. We've discussed this. Fresh water. School cafeteria slop. It being foggy and beautiful in Ellijay. Chickens running on the train tracks in downtown Blue Ridge. These are all very nice. But a great, splendiferous, incomparable joy is known when you're 15 and a week-long break comes up. CAN I GET A BUTT YEAH?! (In lieu of a more inappropriate exclamation).
What this week will bring is yet to be known. But the tiny details that are ensured already don't sound too bad: turkey, turkey, and more turkey. SLOPSGIVING 2023! (That's a Jaketopian holiday.) ELLIJAY! A sunset hike at Sawnee Mountain (hopefully?)! Family. Friends. Joy.
Yes. This is sounding very nice indeed.
1:45PM. DAMN YOU, PRIMATE!!!!
Well, not actually. I wouldn't be that rude. Also, I'm in a good mood today (which isn't unusual, but I'm in a PARTICULARLY good one TODAY). In fact, I've already forgotten why I even damned you.
It's a little bit embarrassing that it's been so long since I updated this (or, well, not. I don't think that blog maintenance is what elevates my status in this world). I miss the good old days whence I'd come on here thrice daily to wax Jaketopian and whatnot. Though, as you should know (maybe), I'm just a general "I miss the good old days" kind of person. In fact, I can already see visions of the distant future where I'm reflecting back on this very moment and thinking, "Wow, I miss that good old day."
I think my glory year has really been this one. There's a few embarrassing things I might subtract here and there, but on the whole, it's been pretty ultimately rice... and that says a lot, given that life is usually pretty "rice" as a general rule. Since it's now around a month forward from my last run-down blog post, I'm not going to bother exhausting myself by listing all the things I've done (thusly, nor will I bore you with ten thousand words of semi-coherent rambling on Ellijay, superheroes, and mundane personal adventure), but you can sort of fill in the blanks yourself, if you so wish (just toss in the Appalachians a few times, then add some tuna sandwiches, then add some references to Booster Gold). I spend just about every weekend at Vanishing Point, which means every weekend has its own healthy dose of hikes, Georgia forestry, antiquing, and... well, a probably more-than-healthy dose of comic books. I've been making many a friend and preparing for Thanksgiving break (next week-- YIPPEE!), as well as doing plenty of writing and the sort. New developments come in the following forms:
Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say "hi". Happy tidings to all-- you do know it's the most wonderful time of the year, don't you?!
PS: My Christmas tree has already been up for 2 weeks.
PPS: HAVE YOU SEEN THAT NEW ANIMAL MAN ACTION FIGURE?!!?!
PPPS: I got this cheeky new t-shirt this weekend... I found it at an antique store (no surprise), and it's this long grey one that has a picture of Hal on it, with his fist out as he flies, his ring shining. And then there's this halo of text that reads: "Chicks Love The Bling!". It's definitely my kind of shirt. Also this weekend, I came into ownership of the following: another t-shirt, this one is wordless (the pecs of Batman, Superman, the Flash, and Green Lantern all with their respective symbols smack on their suited chests, and it's all these cross-sections stacked on top of each other) (also found antiquing-- all of the things I mention here are, unless otherwise specified), "Superman: The Wedding Album" (and yes, it's in AWESOME condition!!!!) (my favorite part: the "kiss" spread at the end of the super-sized giant, and also Lois being awesome), Green Lantern (2005) #50 (I'm a sucker for Parallax... sorry!), that Secret Origins trade paperback printed in 1989, with that unbelievably amazing cover from Brian Bolland (I'm a sucker for Bolland covers... NOT SORRY!), the entire "Yesterday's Sins" storyline from Guy Gardner (1992) (which is, of course, one of my favorites... and one of the last normal ones to come from that 90s GG ongoing series), and JLA #47, because is there anything better than some "GLORY BOUND"?! Beyond this past weekend, I've got a lot more goodies to share (more comic books, my awesome new backpack, etc). Wow. Was that all one "PS"?
PPPPS: The "good old days" I've been reflecting on so majorly lately would be the perfect days I spent this summer reading 52 at the pool, Green Lantern at the lake, swimming at both, and piddling around at the school barn for the first times, back in late April and early May. What a summer. And, yet, my optimism still has me knowing that this year's upcoming break is gonna usurp it like usurping has never been done before. Maybe I'm too easily excitable...
PPPPPS: I'M SO EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS. (Hey, this has nothing to do with being too easily excitable! Christmas is awesome.)
PPPPPPS: I'm the king of post-scripts.
10:25AM. WHAT [dramatic pause] THE [dramatic pause] HELL?!
Ignoring how I've abandoned you for the ten billionth time (leaving you alone again, naturally), and the other very important topics of discussion I should be expected to raise at this moment (Halloween, general haps of my life lately... because that's really all anybody cares about, right?)... I'm reading Guy Gardner: Warrior, and let me tell you... THIS AIN'T RIGHT!
It's not like I came into this blind... I know the 90s, okay? I'm aware of the gimmicks... I'm aware of how WEIRD it all kind of was. And I'm also aware of the fact that despite the promises made early on, even Guy Gardner's solo series(es?) at the time would succumb to that madness (how could Guy ever NOT succumb to ANY madness?). I KNOW that things got weird for Gardner (and that's saying a lot, because he's already Guy Gardner), and I know that his books are all universally regarded as sort of incomprehensible hogwash on par with Neal Adam's Batman: Odyssey. Yes, I know. But it starts out sort of okay, so maybe I figured that my standards were so low that I, being a mouth-foaming, eye-twitching nitwit/knucklehead, could enjoy it the whole way through, despite its notorious shortcomings. Well, the truth is... I just hadn't REACHED those shortcomings yet. Let me probe (get it?) your mind with a query here: if JLA #48, published in 1991, is billed "The Last Giant Nazi Robot Story!"... what does that say about Guy Gardner: Warrior #23, which is to its credit not a giant Nazi ROBOT story... but instead a giant Nazi DINOSAUR story?!
If you ask me, that's even MORE outrageous! Usually, I wouldn't complain about a golden/silver age throwback, except for that this really doesn't make any sense. None of this makes any sense. Guy Gardner (1992) is like a weird dream that you keep as an afterthought for the rest of the day-- not because it was emotionally significant, but because it takes twenty-four hours to make sense of... or more. What a time.
And what a stupid hole editorial dug themselves into-- they make this huge deal about how Guy's gonna be different, no weird gimmicks or costume changes or name changes or... well, I don't know what else to list, but you can fill in the blanks of what they said they WOULDN'T do... by just listing what they actually did end up doing. Does "Vuldarian" ring a bell?
It's but only a bit tiring. An issue that starts with "FOR THE THIRD REICH AND FOR SCIENCE!" can only go downhill... and I don't say that because the first line's so good.
11:28AM. Hi poobear-- um, I mean, Primate. I would have come here earlier, but I've been busy since I got back from Vanishing Point (you know, my completely unsurprising name for the house in Ellijay. Get used to hearing it). Oh, Primate. Life is... the spice of rice.
I haven't felt this good in a long time. Well, that's a lie. I generally feel pretty amazing. I just had a somewhat mellow couple of weeks a month back that pushed me under a little bit. But all's well that ends well (and it always ends well). When I'm down, I just try to do things that I'll benefit from in both my "blackest night" (HA HA HA HA) and also in my "brightest day" (okay, I need to calm down). So, when under the weather, I started waking up at five in the morning to lift, go outside, and get ready (which would then leave me with at least half an hour to watch superhero cartoons before school). I cleaned up my diet and firmed up on fitness. I also started indulging in more of my first loves once again (myths, fantasies, archaeology, and others). Today I started reading Vril: the Power of the Coming Race). On one particular day, I deep cleaned some drawers in my room I've been meaning to for a while, and hiked Blood Mountain with my dad. It's the little things. And, of course, superheroes have been by my side this whole time. And those always make me happy. Put lightly.
Vanishing Point is, as wise men say, AWESOME. My room (be it completely unfurnished at the moment) ROCKS. EVERYTHING about Vanishing Point rocks. I love the Georgia wilderness. Any intelligent specimen would. We're heading back there this weekend.
Last Friday, we drove from VP to downtown Blue Ridge, which was EXTREMELY exciting for me as that Blue Ridge is home to my FAVORITE comic book shop, Mountain Man Comics. I'm going to see about getting an extremely part-time job there. Anyhoo, they've got this AWESOME upper-level just decked out with back-issues. My last visit (the one I speak of), I got the following:
It was a big 90s weekend.
Oh, and here are some kickers: while in Blue Ridge, I followed some train tracks to find a COMPLETELY RANDOM antique place. I figure that any vintage store has at least a few vintage comics inside. I was disappointed to see only a half-assed barrel of donated Kamandis. Kamandi is cool, but I was hoping for some Charlton, maybe. Well, I'm a sucker for antiquing either way, so I kept poking around the place. To my surprise (and I mean, SERIOUS surprise), there happened to be two other comic books inside. Simple DC trades. One New 52 Justice League, boo. Who cares. But then... to its left... BLUE BEETLE SHOWCASE?!
Am I a Blue Beetle fan? Well, here's another thing. Later that day, I sat at the park with my Ted Kord action figure, eating some tiramisu (which is something in of itself-- tiramisu may yet be my favorite dessert. Besides cookies, of course). Um, and this part is embarrassing... I tried to pose my Blue and Gold Mattel figures to have Gluttonous Ted attempting to steal my sweet treat, meanwhile Disappointed Booster judged behind him. But, you see... ah... a wind blew and knocked Ted INTO my tiramisu. And, ha, instead of just pouring water on him... I attempted to suck the cake-adjacent delight off of his hand. With my mouth. The figure that I bring everywhere and no doubt has six hundred billion thousand lethal germs covering his body. Only after VACUUMING most of it off with MY OWN MOUTH did I think to rinse him off with my water bottle. This may be a new viral trend. Viral in the sense that it gives me hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Er... anybeetle... I was REALLY excited to see this book. I called both my parents to yelp about it. I also waxed passionate to the lady at the cashier, tilting my body sideways to show her the Booster Gold and Blue Beetle figures resting in the side pocket of my backpack. Jubilance follows me in life. It was eleven dollars.
I was home by Saturday (we were at Vanishing Point Thursday and Friday) and spent that day as the following: went to sports bar with Dad to meet paternal grandpa and grandma (Dad's stepmom) and came upon some things very, very special... One: a cheesesteak. Two: MORE COMICS. My grandparents had just returned from a trip to PA (where the rest of my dad's family lives, if not Georgia), and apparently, had visited an antique place there that has, as it seems, NO idea how to price their comics. All of 'em, fro 99 cents. NINETY-NINE. My grandpa apologized for the haul being a crapshoot, claiming he just picked up a group of randoms. Well, turns out that Grandpa Bob actually hit the goldmine. Yes, out of the five, there were some misses. But then. And when I tell you I screamed...
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #83. BOOM.
Great cover featuring Guy Gardner (who, upsettingly, happens to be my third most collected character out of my ~140 issue collection) and great pages surrounding all my favorite characters. Hell. Yes. In fact, this issue had been on my wishlist for a while. IN FACT, I had almost purchased this EXACT issue for FIVE DOLLARS at Mountain Man the DAY PRIOR, but didn't, for the sake of conserving funds. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!
I then ate my philly and, around 12:30pm, left for church with Grandma to volunteer at the pumpkin patch. We were there until around ~4:20. Then, I made monkey bread at home with mama. Life really couldn't be better.
And the final significant event I shall mention: I did my county GHP interview/assessment yesterday. I think I'll move on to state. I hope so. I'm proud of myself to have made it thus far. Oh, and afterward, my dad rewarded me with Jersey Mike's (I got a cheese steak). I updoot life to Jaketopia heaven.
Ah, Primate. I feel like I'm totally back.
PS: You'll never believe what I saw cross the road in Blue Ridge. A herd of roosters were running around downtown. I could hear them from the upstairs window at Mountain Man, too. Very interesting.
PPS: For those who don't know, the BB Showcase book reprints (in B&W) every single issue of Ted's solo series by Len Wein (1986). I already own 10/24 of the series in single-issue, original print format (just a casual brag). Also, while we're on the topic: here's my rankings of the Blue Beetles. 1. Ted Kord. 2. Dan Garrett. 3. That Other Guy. (Just kidding-- I watched Jaime's movie five times in theaters. But I only really watched it for the references to the other two. Sorry, Jaime.)
PPPS: Oh God. Post-script heaven. But anyway: I'm also currently reading My Ántonia, a gift from my ELA teacher, and The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. I keep forgetting to pick up My Ántonia when I have free time (it often gets usurped by my superhero comics), so it's taking me a while to get through. But I do really enjoy it. TWD is obviously a highly decorated series, and I understand why-- however, I think Kirkman has a really difficult time writing women. My favorite characters are Rick Grimes and Michonne. By the by, I own all 3 paperback omnibi of Invincible, a series I'm now itching to reread.
UP NEXT: Chronicles of my Halloween costume... hopefully on a positive note. Will I be Hal Jordan or Guy Gardner? Only fate may decide...
2:03PM. Primate has grown wayward recently and forgotten its true place in this world: a dumpings-grounds for whatever the butt I want, a home for any vagabond half-baked thoughts needing a place to stay. Here is a prime example of the sort of trivial inanity you can expect from this site on the near-daily:
We're only now beginning to settle into the new house in Ellijay, and the process has been reminding me of one of the principle meditations I've developed during my time on this earth thus far: life is made up of very many simple pleasures, and there's hardly more to it than that. At least for me. Luck be a lady? Nah. Luck be whatever the hell is pulling the strings on my life. Knock on wood. While there have been quite a few things to bring my attention to this sentiment, there is one in particular that I would like to wax on for a minute. Water.
I love water. Said every living thing on this earth. And Earth-2, for that matter. But I especially love water.
I love lakes. I love sandy beaches. I love fishing on a river. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night just to wash my hands. That in itself is a simple pleasure.
And I love drinking good, clean water. So, so much. Now knowing this, picture the following:
Scene: I'm thirsty and I'm in the mountains. I find that the sink is FILTERED. Tell me that isn't the fanciest thing you've ever heard-- good, genuine filtered water from the kitchen sink. And further: it's from a well. Pardon my French-- Holy #&$!*% $#!#.
Yes, I think I still agree with David Lee Roth. These are damn good times.
PS: And another thing. Something about myself that I've learned this past year is that my favorite season is just whichever one we happen to be in at the moment. So, given the circumstances, I'd have to say I'm really loving fall right now.
11:27AM. Here's what life these days looks like:
Last night, I slept in the guest room on the bottom floor. It was awful cozy and I was awful tired, because the day I'd had was much like the recent others that preceded it: fun, colder than I'd expected, and a staple of the season. Ellijay yesterday. If you aren't familiar with Ellijay, Georgia, I weep for you. It's a perfect mountain town in North Georgia that has every single thing I enjoy: great hiking trails, plenty of accesible places to fish, beautiful wilderness, vague stories of cryptids in the chilly night, good soup, and plenty of antique stores. And you know what that last one means... comic books. Which I tend to at least tolerate. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?
They call Ellijay the "Apple Capital of Georgia", and you'll never guess why. Here's a hint: it has a little something to do with apples. And what does an "apple capital" look like in the fall? Gee, you'd never guess. But I can tell you it's gorgeous. And it smells damn good (you know, like David Lee Roth's song?).
Anyhoo, we've got a house there pocketed in the forest, and I spent many an hour there yesterday reading comic books by the fire outside, taking in the icy shudders of the autumnal winds. It's really very nice. Me and Dad also took a walk, and Mom and I spent some time exploring the walkable downtown before we got some (oh, I love this part) soup and (oh, this is even better) a slice of cake. My sister doesn't like to come up to Ellijay as much as the rest of us, and instead of boring her to death, my parents let her hang back with my uncle's family so that she could go to the fair that's making its annual visit to my homebase city. This Thursday, I take the PSAT (for the third time. I'd say third time's the charm, but it's not like the previous two times have been bad. This year, I get to take it for free, being a sophomore, so it's just... why not?) and then get to go home early. From there, we'll head up to Ellijay again and (hopefully) spend the night at Vanishing Point (the name I've given the house up there) (for no reason, of course). Hopefully, by Monday, I'll be able to come on here and type two of my favorite words: "Gone" and "Fishin'".
Continuing on... School is VERY busy these days, 'least, for little old me. I tried to commit harder this year, but I'm starting to leave some slack again. A quick to-do list so I don't forget (because Primate's always been good at keeping me accountable): finish AP Psych sleep map, press release for Ag, add backlogs for SAE journal... And I've got to do some stuff for GHP. If you don't live in Georgia, you may not be familiar with such an acronym. It doesn't matter if you've been reading this blog for a while, either, because even I wasn't familiar with it before a few months ago, either. "The Georgia Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) is a residential summer program for skilled, knowledgeable, and talented high school sophomores and juniors." I love that description because it makes me sound very, very good. Essentially, you get nominated for this program, and after many months of competitions, you could find out you've won a 4-week-long educational (nerd) summer camp at Georgia Southern... for free. Boom. I love the sound of that, once again. Apparently, the author of this site was nominated (meaning the educational board clearly hasn't read Primate, being that it plays me off as wholly illiterate) and is scheduled to compete at county by the end of the month. But in order for that to come to fruition, there's a few things I have to get done beforehand. Which I haven't quite been on top of. So, Primate. By writing this, I've hopefully compelled myself to get on it. Nothing would be more embarrassing than having to slink back here and surrender that I lost before even trying to win. On the other hand, nothing would feel better than discovering I've woken up on a utopian planet of my own design. But for some reason, I find that unlikely.
Oh, whatever. I've got other things to bore you with than academics. Namely, other scenes from my present life. After a month of alien dullness, I finally am starting to feel like myself again. This is contrary to how I've been feeling, which was more like a clone of myself grown from a lab dish. I'm still not sure that I am Jake-zero, but I'm done dwelling on it. The mad scientist that bred me would probably start to get angry if I didn't get on with my (synthetic) life.
I've got a few more things I'd like to share, but they're escaping me right now. All I'll end on are these two points: I've got a lot planned for Primate right now (don't I always?), including a heartfelt memorial for recently passed legend, Keith Giffen, a personal hero.
PS: Another great thing about Ellijay is how "weird" they are (self-proclaimed). There's a tight knit community of creatives there, and they dedicate a lot of time to passion projects revolving around silver-age cartoons and golden-age action heroes. Vintage pulp fiction culture is still going pretty strong around that area. It's the only place I can reasonably expect to see Dan Garrett here and there. Which is very special.
11:15AM. The 48th season of Saturday Night Live made its debut this weekend, and I have to say... You know, it's not THAT bad.
While my foremost love in life these days seems to be comic books (though, of course, I am also rather fond of my family), you would be crazy to assume I'd ever shake my star-crossed affair with comedy. My romance with these two domains are for the same reasons and often intersecting, and I doubt there will ever be a day where I don't slap my knee and jump for joy at the notion of Superman in a parody sketch. Such things are just integral spices of rice for me.
Highlights of some of the most formative years of my life can easily be remembered through a series of lame jokes and on-brand humor. SNL has always been a love of mine, but in recent years has been a difficult love to support. If you know me, you'll know that I'm a firm believer that something troubling happened between 2012 and 2013 that really shot everything downhill: adult animation, sketch comedy, network television, I could go on. The hurt was especially felt with CollegeHumor and SNL, which can all be seen through our accessible retrospectives now. I'm not to say that NOTHING good has come since, but I really feel there's a certain glory that's been lost. The past few years for SNL have been, um, rough. I tune in less and less as the time goes on, and find myself disappointed more and more when I do. But last night, my dad and I decided: to Hell with it, we're gonna watch Saturday's episode. Now, whoever managed the hosts for this one... Good on you. Pete Davidson with musical guest Ice Spice sounds like "buzz words 101" right now. Not to mention cameos from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. Very, very clever.
For the episode, the rating I'd have to give would be three Jake-faces out of five (if we're talking in Primate terms). If a few sketches would have been cut, just a couple iffy jokes... I'd give it four. It really wasn't bad. Maybe having abysmal expectations contributed to the enjoyment I had, but if they did... I'm not complaining.
The truth is, I'm easy to please. A couple poop jokes, some shocking, non-sensical twists, and go light on the politics... we're good. I'm also not a huge fan of songs (it just hasn't been the same since TLI left, sorry). Unfortunately, politics are heavy, but not like they were a couple years ago. And there was a REALLY good poop-centric sketch (I mean, really good. It even had superhero ties, so. Boom). I currently feel as if I'm (do I dare say it?) HOPEFUL about the future of SNL. And if that makes me naive, bah! We'll just have to see.
11:28AM. Q: Why did the robot fish soft-reboot the Primate blog?
A: For the (cyborg) halibut.
12:05 PM. I have but only one thing to say to you, Primate.