Here’s The ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ Video Game That Would Have Made Your Childhood Better

Calvin & Hobbes was an integral part of any healthy American childhood. If you didn’t have the comics in your local newspaper or any of Bill Watterson’s book, you should retroactively report your parents to Child Protective Services.  

Via Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing (who sourced it here), here’s an utterly-useless-but-nevertheless-nostalgically-entertaining 16-bit video game version of our beloved Calvin and his stuffed tiger:

Spoiler alert: not much happens. 

But it’s still a quirky, fun little thing to make you want to find Something Under The Bed Is Drooling in your mom’s rec room next time you’re back home.

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Cartoonist Matt Bors On His Facebook Friendship With Ryan Lanza, Who Isn’t The Newtown Murderer

On Friday afternoon, the name "Ryan Lanza" is the name that began whipping around the Internet as a possible identity of the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown, Connecticut. In time the mainstream media would learn and report that Adam Lanza, Ryan’s younger brother, was the shooter and had been carrying his big brother’s ID. But one of the first people to realize and report the mistaken identity was cartoonist Matt Bors, who is Facebook friends with the elder Lanza.

In a piece published this weekend on his web site, Bors explains that he is Facebook friends with someone named Ryan Lanza, who he does not know, just like he is friends with many fans of his work through his page. 

As the MSM and social media began reporting "Ryan Lanza" as the name of the alleged killer — who was dead inside the school building — Bors noticed his friend Lanza was updating Facebook simultaneoulsy with comments like "Fuck you CNN it wasn’t me."

Bors’ piece is worth an entire read. He touches upon the influence of social media on journalism and how the race to be "first" has trumped the race to be "right." Some food for thought.

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‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Star Adrianne Palicki Reveals Her Passion for Comics and Pogs

My first exposure to comic books came when I was eight years old. My older brother, Eric, took me to the local comic book shop in Toledo, Ohio. He was really into playing Magic: The Gathering. He tried to teach me how to play once, but I was uninterested. I was drawn to the comic book aisle.

Most of the comic books featured male heroes (and they still do), but I gravitated towards female-driven ones. I was deep into Supergirl, Wonder Woman and, later, Jem and the Holograms. Since Supergirl was Superman’s cousin, she shared many nemeses with him, though she didn’t have one centralized one as he did with Lex Luther. And, since she’s also from Krypton (her name is Kara Zor-El), she shares his vulnerability to Kryptonite. But I always felt she got the shit-end of the stick when it came to storylines. Even the movie, when it came out in 1984, was disappointing. It had perhaps the greatest cast of all time—Peter O’Toole, Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow—and yet it’s quite possibly the worst movie ever made. But I have to admit I just bought the DVD for four bucks and I’ve been watching the shit out it.

I also love Wonder Woman, who I got to play in the NBC pilot. She’s an Amazonian from the land of badass warrior women. She has a variety of armaments, such as the Lasso of Truth, but at the end of the day she’s a warrior. She uses her strength. Interestingly, the character was invented by William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and feminist theorist. Marston, who lived in a ménage a trois with his wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston—who was the inspiration for Wonder Woman—and Olive Byrne, his former student. The Marstons went on to invent the systolic blood-pressure test, a key element in the polygraph test and the basis for her Lasso of Truth.

Though the majority of the comic books I grew up loving are DC, I’m not the kind of person who says, “I’m only going to read DC, or Marvel, or Vertigo.” I’m not a comic book snob. Lately I’ve been really into a book called The Last Days of American Crime.
 It’s written by Rick
 Remender, who worked
on Marvel’s Uncanny
 X-Force, Punisher, 
and Venom titles and 
illustrated by Greg 
Tocchini, the Brazilian
 comic book artist. It is
 a vigilante comic book that mixes in elements of Orwellian social critique. My boyfriend, who is also an incredible comic book geek, gave it to me to read.

I read both graphic novels and comic books. I keep my comic books in bags and boards. I place my graphic novels on the bookshelf, where they belong. There is an underlying tension between the graphic novel folks and the pure comic book folks, but I like them both. I love nothing more than to sit down and read, from start-to-finish, a graphic novel. You don’t have to wait for the next issue to come out. That has always been, for me, the downside of comic book serials. I bring my collection with me wherever I go, including when I left home shortly after graduation to pursue acting. That adventure lasted about a month. I stayed in Greenwich Village in the NYU dormitories. I realized very quickly that people have been there their entire lives and they’re still chorus girls. That’s not what I wanted. They did have amazing comic book shops though, like Midtown Comics and, of course, Forbidden Planet.

Before I finish, I’d like to address another fixation of that era: Pogs. I recently went home and my mother made me get rid of my collection. I had hundreds of Pogs. This is a shame since Pogs are, obviously, still collectibles. The complete set of 36 Tales from the Cryptkeeper Pogs goes for $250 on eBay. You can also pick up six Michael Jordan metal slammers for $200. They are super rare.

Pogs were undeniably ridiculous but also very fun. If you have a moment, search for Pogs on YouTube. There’s still a small community of diehards but, for the rest of us, our days of Spawn slammers are over. It’s bittersweet. Though my passion for Pogs hasn’t waned, life has taken me far from them. Life, however, has brought me deeper into the world of comics. My brother, the same one I used to follow into the comic book store, is a comic book author now. We’re collaborating on a web comic called No Angel. It’s about a girl who finds out she’s half-angel and half-human. And no, she doesn’t play Pogs.

Joker Creator Jerry Robinson Dies

Jerry Robinson, creator of Batman’s long-time arch-nemesis Joker and the reason Heath Ledger has an Oscar, died last night in his sleep at the age of 89. Robinson was barely college-age when he came up with the Joker character in a 1940 Batman comic. It didn’t take long for the pasty-faced villain to become popular, but as was usually the case with comic creators of his era, Robinson was stiffed just a bit in terms of intellectual property. Throughout his life, he championed for creator’s rights, founding the Cartoonists and Writers Syndicate. Even in recent years, he remained a visible figure in the general comics scene.

When the Joker first appeared, he was a wide-smiling, goofy character, more prone to whimsical pranks than terrorist acts. Today, we associate the Joker with Heath Ledger’s version in The Dark Knight: grim, maniacal, facially scarred, and covered in make-up. He is widely considered the preeminent comic book rogue. But being able to adapt across generations is the mark of a great character, and there’s a reason why Robinson’s creation has endured for over 70 years. There’s a great 2009 Los Angeles Times article on Robinson’s career, and the AV Club‘s obituary is remarkably comprehensive.

For reference, here’s a video comparing the laughs of the three most famous Jokers: Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Mark Hamill. (Apologies to Cesar Romero.)