Category Archives: Tacos and Comics Day

Light reading

There’s an interview with Terry Moore over at

It’s an interesting read. I, myself, don’t follow his comic Strangers in Paradise (not enough explosions), but I’ve read a bit of it and it’s really a solid story.

Here, though, is the part of the article that— well, I want y’all to read (because I know when I link these things that not everyone follows the links, Big Brother is watching you!)

AE: Tell me about the experience with your church, if you don’t mind.
TM: Well, I was raised mostly in the South, and my parents were Church of Christ, which is very conservative. When I started this comic book series, I started the gay theme as a loving tribute to my first cousin Ben who was gay and died very early on when AIDS came along. That’s what I was thinking of and dedicating my work to. … I had very, very strong convictions about this. I wasn’t doing something for the titillation factor.

People in my church, my acquaintances, would say, “What are you doing?” I’d say I was doing a comic book, and so they’d go read it and come back to me, shocked, and say, “What are you doing? There are gay people in here!” Well, yes. [Laughs.] “Well, why are you doing this? Where are you going with this?” And I’d say, “I’m going to write a story about what it’s like to be that way and all the prejudice, and these people have hearts and feelings, and look at the damage that’s being done here.”

They’d respond, with “but, but, but” and all those reasons and excuses. Well, I wouldn’t back down, and eventually I was asked to step aside: “This is not appropriate; you’re not welcome here.”

AE: That was more than a decade ago, just as the book was starting.
TM: Yeah, and it affected me permanently. I have never been able to look at church the same way since. At least on that level, I understand the struggle between gay people of faith and finding a place to worship.

ETA: Dear God: Please quit being an asshole to me and my family. No Love, Mee.
EATA: Please pray for my aunt M, who’s just been diagnosed with colorectal cancer

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Tacos and Comics Day: Runaways

So, what DO you do when you discover your parents are the supervillans known as The Pride who control pretty much the entire West Coast?

See comic title.

Let’s go over my checklist of Things I Enjoy In My Entertainment:
Good, solid, writing? Check.
Character-driven, with realistic characters? Check.
Things blowing up? Check and mate.

They’re teenagers, so they tend to do teenager things, like buy burritos and sugar cereal for breakfast. But they’re also gifted with a wide variety of super-powers, from magic to unpowered flight to a telepathic velociraptor from the 82nd century to a poor upbringing. They try to use their powers for good, but most of the time they simply are trying to use them to survive.

While the group is diverse in an after-school special kind of way, Brian K. Vaughn does an excellent job of keeping them from being stereotypical. I think you grow to love these kids not because of their excellent use of pop culture references (when the cops show up in an early issue, they yell, “West Wing!”– which of course means ‘walk fast, talk fast’) and not just because we’ve all felt like we were let down and lied to by our parents, but because they are real, fragile human beings trying to make it in the world.

And they don’t always make it.

So far, two of the main Runaways team members have died. Both were, at the time, my favorite character. And, considering the current story arc is called “Dead Means Dead”, I don’t think we’re going to have unstable molecules bringing them back again.

Now, the main reason why I’m dusting off the Tacos and Comics Day format after a looooong hiatus is because the original creators, the aforementioned Mr. Brian K. “I Kill Everyone You Love, Dance, Monkeys, DANCE!” Vaughn and Adrian Alphona are leaving the series after issue #24. When this was announced last week, it was the first thing my Comics Guy said when I walked in the door of the shop. “Did you hear!” “I heard!”

Well, earlier this week, it was announced who was going to take over for Messres Vaughn and Alphona. Art will be handled by Michael Ryan. Writing will be handled by some guy named Joss Whedon.

Who, if you may remember, I’ve mentioned before.

My first reaction (well, after the jumping up and down and squealing like a fangirl) was, “Oh, crap! EVERYONE’S gonna die!”

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Tacos and Comics Day – Spider Jerusalem

Before we jump feet-first into Tacos and Comics Day, I wanted to relate this little thing that happened when I was spending some time meditating on revising my Rule of Life.

So, there I was, with my Bible open, dutifully reading along in a quiet corner of my room and praying for the Holy Spirit, and there was a song stuck in my head. And I was cheesed off. Even though I love the band that sings the song, confound it, I was trying to be holy! Then I bothered to listen to the words running over and over through my head:

Excess ain’t rebellion,
You’re drinkin’ what they’re selling.
Your self-destruction doesn’t hurt them.
Your chaos won’t convert them.

So, of course, I put that section of lyric as the header of one of the sections of my Rule. The song, by the way, is Cake’s Rock and Roll Lifestyle.

So, on to the series Transmetropolitan, and its main character, Spider Jerusalem. Transmet is, alas, no longer a floppy, but you can get the collected issues in trade paperback form at most major bookstores (I can check them out at my public library, because I’m cool like that). Transmet is not for the faint at heart. How can I put this delicately? Oh, yeah, Spider’s superpower is pottymouth and his main weapon is a bowel disruptor, which, when you’re hit with its beam, makes you immediately poop your pants.

He’s a jerk. He’s not the kind of guy you want to bring home (unless you really, really hate your family). He does the bare minimum amount of work that he can get away with, beats up friends and enemies alike, and then gleefully trumpets his (and others’) violence across all the news channels.

So, why do I like Spider Jerusalem? Because for all that he’s a big ol’ jerk, he is trying to make the world a better place. He actually cares about people, in a world where when you get sick of being a person, you can easily change your species. He challenges the ruling powers, and they fight back. He goes from riches to poverty to riches as regularly as a clock, and he still keeps writing the truth, as he sees it. You might even say he’s a prophet for his age.

Sometimes, sometimes his words have great and profound effect, like stopping riots. And other times, he just makes a little girl smile.

I like Spider Jerusalem because, when I think that this world can’t get worse, and that I can’t do anything to help, I can look into his world and see that, even when it does get worse, there’s still ways to help.

And sometimes, it’s just fun to watch him use the Chair Leg of Truth (it does not lie!)

If you want to read one of the Transmet issues, and I want to warn you, it’s got all the usual goodies of nudity, cannibalisim, bad words, and dirty streets, go here. Dialup beware.

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