Sunday, September 1, 2013


This week, I put out another "1987 And All That" column on The Chemical Box about Ninja High School and wrote a piece for PopMatters on Dial H. Normally I would say a little more about each of these, but I just got back a few hours ago from a brief but exhausting trip to Austin for a comedy festival, and I am too wiped out to elaborate much. That being said...

Something I Failed to Mention
In the Ninja High School post, I focused on Ben Dunn's main narrative, since it's what the comicbook is really about. However, the first issue of the series also has an excellent back-up feature written and inked by James Hanrahan with Dunn on pencils. Titled "Arnie: Gives a Speech," the story open with relatively minor character Arnie delivering a lecture to his classmates about the finer details of the M-16 assault rifle. This leads Professor Steamhead, for no apparent reason, to start arguing with Arnie, claiming the AK-47 is a superior weapon. The two of them begin shooting at each other while at the same time continuing to debate the pros and cons of various guns. Eventually, the police are brought in to stop the violence, but they, too, mostly just discuss what firearms they're using before throwing a grenade into the situation. It's an absured but highly amusing little tale, basically just an excuse for Hanrahan to show off some of his weapons knowledge through the mouths of fictional characters. But the approach of having this conversation take place in the middle of a firefight is very funny and well-done, and because the whole back-up is only six pages (including the inside back cover) the concept is delivered and heightened effectively and efficiently. It may be my favorite thing about Ninja High School, so I figured I had to give it recognition somewhere.

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