I've recently learned that prior to like the 13th century, a lot of priests and bishops didn't really tend to their parishes or dioceses, and that there are stories of people, such as Archbishop Odo of Rouen, who traveled to "fix" lax practices in Christendom, once various reforms were made. Would you mind sharing some of your favourites of these stories (assuming you have some)?
While not 100% what you’re looking for, since it’s a story about relatively early Christianity in which a saint is converting pagans rather than rectifying church practices, my favorite traveling bishop story is the tale of Saint Martin of Tours and the pine tree, as related by Sulpicius Severus.
The short version is this:
Martin had traveled to a town and destroyed its pagan temple, but what was left was to destroy a pine tree that had been dedicated to the pagan god. The people of the town, who had stood by as the temple was destroyed got really incensed at the idea of the tree getting cut down. But Martin insisted, as the tree had been dedicated to what was, in his eyes, a demon.
So the people agreed, under one condition: they themselves would cut down the tree as long as Martin would stand under it. At this point, they would rather kill the guy who wanted to kill their tree than keep the tree itself. The tree was already leaning a little bit, so there was no doubt where it would fall. They tied Martin up and put him in this spot.
They began cutting down the tree, and Martin did not seem concerned at all. With a creak and a groan, the tree breaks and begins crashing towards the earth. Before it can reach Martin, however, the man of God makes the sign of the cross in the air, and the tree spins around like a top, falls backwards and nearly (but not quite) crushes the men who had cut it down.
Obviously everyone was super impressed by this and converted to Christianity immediately, hoping to gain their own tree-repelling superpowers.
hey! would you be willing to share a little more about yourself personally? age? schooling/degrees? married? kids? is writing comics your primary work? are you from KY? Your blog has always been really interesting to me for a number of reasons (classics! linguistics! comics!) and after a while I just find myself wondering about the person behind the words :) Apologies if it's too personal!
Hey, sure, okay.
1) I am in my early 30s
2) I have a BA in Classics and English, and an MA in Classics with a graduate certificate from the Institute for Latin Studies. I went to a small liberal arts school for undergrad and the University of Basketball for grad school.
3) I am not married, but I have a girlfriend named Sarah who I’ve been with for about seven years now. The intention (on my part, anyway) is to get married as soon as I can afford a wedding/ring/marriage license. So buy my books, I guess.
4) I do not have any children, but I do like kids, and I interact with kids and teens on a daily basis in my non-writing job, so I talk about them frequently. There is one 13 year old I tweet about frequently who is often mistaken as being my own child by people on Twitter who are vastly overestimating what I was getting up to in college.
5) Writing comics is not my only job. I work with children, as I just said, and I also pick up odd jobs here and there as they are presented to me. This leads me to doing all sorts of crazy things that no normal person in their 30s should have to be reasonably doing, like driving a truck with a dead baby horse in it across town to a veterinary research facility, or mailing a puppy to Canada.
Anyway, I wish comics was my main job, but it’s not quite there. #hireable
6) I live in Kentucky now, and have lived here for eleven years, making it the longest I have ever lived in one place, but I am not from here originally. I lived in lots of different places growing up, but decided once I was living on my own to make Kentucky my home. I don’t have any intention of leaving if I don’t have to.
I think that about covers it? Yeah? Thanks for asking!
Is Teddy Roosevelt really as awesome as his depictions in pop culture has lead us to believe?
He’s kind of more awesome, really.
While in pop culture it’s easy to reduce him to a caricature of robust masculinity (I have to include myself among such offenders, but Tales from the Bully Pulpit was always intended to be a clash of cultural iconography, not actual historical figures), the fact is, the dude was multi-multi-multi-faceted and just completely amazing.
He pursued his vigorous lifestyle as a way to keep himself alive: he had terrible asthma as a child, and so developed his strenuous regimen to build up his health.
But while many people focus on this aspect of his life—his vigor, his time as a soldier, etc—the fact is, he had a lot more going on. He fought like a motherfucker on ecological and conservation issues. His biggest policy was the Square Deal, which was based on three issues he called the three Cs: 1) conservation of natural resources, 2) control of corporations, and 3) consumer protection.
I don’t know about you, but I’d say we could use another person like that in charge.
Also, people tend to focus on the “big stick” part of his famously repeated axiom, but forget that the first part was “speak softly”: diplomacy first. TR won a Nobel Peace Prize for basically single-handedly orchestrating the end of a war between Russia and Japan. Sure, I’m not huge on the idea of military expansionism, but the idea is that it’s big so that you never have to use it, and I can at least understand where that’s coming from.
Was he perfect? No, of course not. Certainly some of his positions would not be considered enlightened or even acceptable today. For example, as a young man he had some fairly appalling views of Native Americans, and also harbored some ideas about the sterilization of criminals that seem ghastly today.
(Though: his views on immigration and race are more progressive than you might expect. He was strongly in favor of a welcoming immigration policy as long as the immigrants properly assimilated into American culture, and he said of African Americans, “ the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have.” He also appointed the first Jewish cabinet member. But…still. Some of his views would still be pretty abhorrent today. Are they worse than those held by some currently active members of Congress? Certainly not, but it’s not a contest, I suppose.)
Anyway, in short: was he awesome? Yes. Was he as awesome as pop culture makes him? More so, but for reasons pop culture rarely gets into.
“As Arnold points out, there is an otherwise inexplicable shift in direction in the Piccadilly line passing east out of South Kensington. “In fact,” she writes, “the tunnel curves between Knightsbridge and South Kensington stations because it was impossible to drill through the mass of skeletal remains buried in Hyde Park.” I will admit that I think she means “between Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner”—although there is apparently a “small plague pit dating from around 1664” beneath Knightsbridge Green—but I will defer to Arnold’s research.
But to put that another way, the ground was so solidly packed with the interlocked skeletons of 17th-century victims of the Great Plague that the Tube’s 19th-century excavation teams couldn’t even hack their way through them all. The Tube thus had to swerve to the side along a subterranean detour in order to avoid this huge congested knot of skulls, ribs, legs, and arms tangled in the soil—an artificial geology made of people, caught in the throat of greater London.”—
Just listened to the past WRA and appreciated the Multiversity discussion. After hearing Matt also pronounce Nix Uotan as Wo-tan I felt needed to make this joke to the one human I am certain will get it. Ahem "Uotan again?"
S02E01 and S02E02: “Twilight” Another two-part story all about New Genesis and Apokolips and subsequently featuring a huge cast of Kirby characters
Justice League Unlimited
The follow-up to Justice League also featured some appearances by Kirby creations. The running plot in season one focuses on the Cadmus Project, a loose adaptation of a Kirby concept introduced in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen.
S01E03: “Kids’ Stuff” The Justice League are changed into children in this episode that features Morgaine Le Fey, Mordred, and Etrigan
S01E15: “The Ties That Bind” This episode heavily features Mr Miracle and Big Barda, as well as a number of denizens of Apokolips. Notably, this episode was written by Jim Steranko, the IRL human on whom Mr Miracle was based
The best possible Avengers cartoon to watch on Netflix.
Every episode Every episode features at least one character or concept created by Jack Kirby.
As I said, this is only a partial list. There are some movies you might have heard of that are also available to watch via Netflix. You’ve probably already seen those, though.
Here’s the thing, though:
I have no idea how much, if anything, Kirby’s estate was compensated for the use of his creations in these episodes, so if you watch or have watched these shows and enjoyed them, please consider making a donation in Jack Kirby’s honor to The Hero Initiative, a non-profit organization that benefits struggling creators of the characters we all love so much.
Thanks for reading, and happy Kirby Day! The day that gets you ready for the WORLD THAT’S COMING!!!
So I remembered you were pretty positive towards the Speed Racer movie so I finally saw it and oh my god it is one of my new favorite films I don't have much to say just thank you for getting me interested in it
“Another time, Jack took a call. A voice on the other end said, ‘There are three of us down here in the lobby. We want to see the guy who does this disgusting comic book and show him what real Nazis would do to his Captain America’. To the horror of others in the office, Kirby rolled up his sleeves and headed downstairs. The callers, however, were gone by the time he arrived.”—Mark Evanier, Kirby: King of Comics (via nerdhapley)
It’s Jack Kirby’s birthday, so here’s that story of him being bad ass all of the time.
With your original work(AH, DtU), do you have lots of backstory mapped out that never hits the page? How do you feel about stories where, due to space constraints or similar, the creators have a lot going on that you as a reader never see? (maybe #askchris?)
Awesome Hospital was basically written a page at a time — just ask Matt, who sometimes got a script from us on Monday that was supposed to be drawn by Tuesday. It was super loose and really focused on gags, and while Chad and I would plot out individual story arcs, we never really got into backstory, to the point where the whole thing with Mike and Judith kind of came about by accident. We just thought it would be hilarious to have a robot shouting “I AM PREGNANT!” in classic soap opera style.
Dracula is a whole different animal. I know exactly where I want to go with that for the next 20 or 30 issues, and I know exactly what happened to turn Dracula from the undead conqueror to the pathetic villain of the Stoker novel to the redemption-seeking adventure hero that he is in my comic. Which, you know, is a shame because Steve and I haven’t been able to work on it in so long. It’s still my favorite project I’ve written, but, y’know, offering up 24 full-color pages for 99 cents (a format I still believe in) wasn’t really going to make us Scrooge McDuck millionaires.
Every project is different. There’s a new thing that I’m working on that I have a vague structure/outline for in terms of how it’s all going to work out, but since it’s largely a pastiche on something else, it’s easier to use that reliable framework.