Thursday, May 3, 2018

Memphis comic book creators launch Rise of the Golden Dragon

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 4:52 PM

I was biking around South Main a few Sundays back when I spied some nifty-looking Afrofuturist art at Art Village Gallery. So I popped in to discover that wasn't the only thing going on. Artists/comic creators John Cooley and Erwin Prasetya were also giving away copies of a new, locally produced comic book titled Rise of the Golden Dragon.
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Who says you can't judge a book by its cover? This issue is cool.

The spreads are generous, thoughtfully broken down and nicely drawn. 
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The action's great. 
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And the details are nice.
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The story, which has a light tone and never takes itself too seriously, is focused around a pair of warrior "dragons" who are rooting out ancient supernatural evil wherever they find it. Think Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, and tracksuit Iron Fist meets John Constantine in an Enter the Dragon remake.

The lightly worn pop-culture references don't stop there. Issue 1/12 was action-packed and full of gags, but still managed to lay the foundations of a sprawling story and establish a compelling set of personalities. And c'mon— Ninja exorcists? That's got all kinds of potential.

The self-published Rise of the Golden Dragon is slated to come out once a month. Find out more about that and other titles at Fanboycomics.com


Friday, April 27, 2018

Dammit Gannett: Fabulous Prizes Edition

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 9:27 AM

Picking on the Commercial Appeal used to be its own reward, back in the day when they were the big corporate Goliath and we were the little dude with a slingshot. As the paper has continued to decline, it's become a weekly, though not entirely joyless, chore. Still, it's good to feel appreciated. So thanks, Jim Palmer, for this cartoon inspired by Fly on the Wall's regular "Dammit Gannett" feature.
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Jim's a first generation Memphis Flyer vet who contributed illustrations for columns by Lydel Sims. He's the creator of Memphis' own Li'l E and your Pesky Fly's very favorite cartoon about the journalist's life. 
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wikipedia edit trolls the Tennessee House of Representatives

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 2:40 PM

Klandy Holt
  • Klandy Holt
It's not hard to troll ol' Klandy Holt and a Tennessee legislature that can't quite bring itself to denounce white supremacy, but can always rise to the occasion of punishing a majority African-American city for removing the public statue of a slave trader, Grand Wizard, and Confederate general. How can it be so richly satisfying?

Hats off to the author of this edit. Though Wikipedia has removed your fine work, let it always be remembered. 
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Will WREG dodge the Sinclair bullet? FCC commissioner criticizes policy decisions.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 11:19 AM

Race to the Bottom
  • Race to the Bottom
A recent tweet by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel argues against policy rulings custom built to enable the Sinclair Broadcast group's $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune media. The move she criticizes would transfer ownership of WREG Memphis and push the overtly Conservative company's local market reach well past what's previously been allowed.  Rosenworcel's comments were inspired, in part, by President Donald Trump's apparent endorsement of Sinclair over "fake news" media like "CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS."
What makes Trump's endorsement especially troublesome — even for him — is the fact that Sinclair's stations operate unbranded and so, by way of affiliation, these Sinclair stations the President endorses often are the same NBC, ABC, CBS stations he also criticizes. And sometimes Fox stations as well.

Welcome to the media ownership funhouse.

Sinclair has been collecting network affiliated stations in an environment where cable news gets all the attention even though local TV news has more reach than all four major cable news stations combined

Via Common Dreams:
"Critics, including Rosenworcel, are concerned that under Chairman Ajit Pai, who Trump appointed last year, the FCC is moving deliberately to allow the Sinclair-Tribune merger to go through. Known for pushing right-wing viewpoints within the stations it already owns, the broadcaster drew ire this week after a viral video showed how local anchors nationwide are forced to read the same pre-packaged scripts."

When the FCC cleared a path for Sinclair's acquisition in May it was widely assumed that the deal would go through quickly, but that hasn't been the case. Delays have resulted from ongoing wrangling with antitrust officials in the Justice Department and the FCC's internal investigation into decisions made by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and "whether there had been [FCC] coordination with [Sinclair]."






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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Great National Pancake Day Robbery + A Thirsty Burglar

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 11:55 AM

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Fly on the Wall's always looking to spot new trends in TV reporting and WMC's recent marriage of food and crime news looks promising.
From this list of headlines we discover two things: It's national pancake day (who knew?). Also, the International House of Pancakes in Midtown was robbed.

Good news/Bad news
  • Good news/Bad news

WMC has also alerted Mid-southerners to the activities of a very thirsty burglar who'll break into your house and steal all your Capri Sun. We bet this fiend would grab your SunnyD too, given half a chance. 
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ameripolitan Awards, 2018: Winners and Music Clips

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 5:41 PM

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Everybody who's a fan of honky tonk, western swing and rockabilly wins at Dale Watson's international Ameripolitan Music Awards. Sadly, only a few folks go home with trophies. The Tuesday night awards followed four days of showcases at venues like Loflin Yard, Blues City Cafe and the Guest House at Graceland and performances by dozens of artists like Whitney Rose, The Greenline Travelers, and Watson himself.

In addition to honoring the best new makers of old sounds the 2018 Awards paid tribute to Stray Cat Brian Setzer and, pedal steel wizard Lloyd Green who played on records by Johnny Paycheck, Charley Pride, and other Nashville hit makers. The night's top honoree was Sun studio founder Sam Phillips whose memory was honored with performances by contemporary artists backed by Sun drummers W.S. "Fluke" Holland and James Van Eaton. "She Thinks I Sill Care" songwriter Dickey Lee made an appearance as did the Blackwood Brothers.
And the winners were...

Honky Tonk Female: Brennen Leigh

Honky Tonk Male: Luke Bell
Honky Tonk Group: The Reeves Brothers

Western Swing Female: Sophia Johnson

Western Swing Male: Billy Mata

Western Swing Group: The Carolyn Sills Combo
Rockabilly Female: Bailey Dee

Rockabilly Male: Al Dual
Rockabilly Group: The Go Getters

Outlaw Female: Nikki Lane

Outlaw Male: Cody Jinks

Outlaw Group: Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
Ameripolitan DJ: W.B. Walkers

Ameripolitan Venue: Sportsmen’s Tavern
Ameripolitan Festival: The New England Shakeup-Up

Ameripolitan Musician: Chris Scruggs

Keeper of the Key: Reverend Horton Heat

Founder of the Sound: Lloyd Green

The Master Award: Brian Setzer

The Legend Award: Sam Phillips 

Friday, February 9, 2018

City Accidentally Erases Wrong Murals

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 2:26 PM

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The big, gray, sorta-kinda controversial zombie painting by Dustin Spagnola still haunts Lamar Ave. but some really nice murals created by 15 other artists have been accidentally removed from S. Willett.  The Commercial Appeal's Ryan Poe reports:

In a statement Friday, Public Works Director Robert Knecht said there was a "miscommunication" that led to crews painting over too many murals.

"This was not intentional," Knecht said.

A recent Flyer cover story about Satanic panic on the City Council and the midtown mural project chronicled the history leading up to what Paint Memphis founder Karen Golightly describes as a violation of the city's written agreement with her organization.

If you want a comprehensive look at what the project was like before the repainting here's a slideshow. 

"Elvis Used to Live Here" - Honest Tourism Commercials, Memphis Style

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 10:53 AM

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If you haven't seen this short parody of Memphis tourism courtesy of Ryan Hailey take a peek.

You can find out more about Ryan's Shorts by clicking here.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

RATS! Public Art that Doesn't Give a Rodent's Rump

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 3:41 PM

A new art installation called “Barrier Free” now stands in the Hall of Mayors at Memphis City Hall. 
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It’s beautiful. It’s big…real big. The main piece has larger-than-life photos of families from across the city.
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That part of the piece represents “our beautiful diverse tapestry,” reads the artist’s statement from Yancy Villa-Calvo, hired to create the installation by Latino Memphis.
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Graphic shirts at the end caught my eye. What did they say? 
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The delightful little girl’s shirt reads “Follow Your Heart” and I hope she follows hers.
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The man standing behind her followed his heart when it came to choose his wardrobe. His shirt reads “I don’t give a….” Below the words, a cartoon rat leads a cartoon donkey.
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Reading between those twisty lines of high comedy, you know this shirt implies: “I don’t give a rat’s ass.”
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Then, you look up at the man wearing the shirt and you realize he really doesn’t. At. All.
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Good for you Rat’s Ass Shirt in a Big Public Art Display Guy. Much respect for you playing by your own rules.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Local 24 Reports Violent Crime from the Distant Future

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 12:51 PM

If we're reading Local 24's tweet correctly, a shooting occurred 17,999 years in the future, on a thoroughfare that doesn't exist in this timeline: Avenue Ave.
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This tweet raises a number of questions but I'm mostly interested in the deterioration markers CSI officers use to develop a forensic profile of victims that won't be murdered for thousands of years. 

I guess we'll just have to read the whole story to find out.


"No Room for Dispair" : The CA Prints Big Typos in Big Type

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 9:07 AM

The Commercial Appeal got it wrong on a number of accounts. Fact is, there's plenty of room for despair, no matter how you spell it. Even if you're not a subscriber and didn't see it in person, you've probably already seen Tuesday's most egregious error making the rounds on social media. I was too depressed to post about it yesterday. I'm out of jokes and tired of typing sentences like, "Since becoming a Gannett property, shrinking staff, and shipping design and editing work to hubs outside Memphis there has been a noticeable decline in the quality of our daily newspaper."

So write your own punchlines. 
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Poop on Pees: A Commercial Appeal Headline Gone Wild

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 2:31 PM

Some names present special challenges for headline writers who have to pack a lot of information into only a very few words. Clarity can be especially difficult if the headline writer needs to identify a person whose name is also a verb. The sports section in today's Commercial Appeal provides us with a classic example of how  inconsiderate word placement can transform the meaning of a sentence.
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How hard would it have been to simply reverse the names? — "Titans Vrabel scores twice with Pees, LaFleur?"

Way too hard for Gannett. Dammit.

Marsha Blackburn's Hair Identified as Brain-Eating Parasite

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 8:49 AM

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Astrobiologist Tom Ichbaum opened his Twitter account Monday afternoon and typed out a dire warning about U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and women who seem to wear their hair like U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn. According to Ichbaum the Tennessee legislator's trademark mane isn't a mane at all, it's a brain-eating alien parasite "that's dangerous and probably self-replicating."

"Look, I don't want people to get the wrong idea," Ichbaum explained. "This isn't some kind of blonde joke. I'm not the kind of person who'd ever make fun of how other people look or dress, especially not women. That's a terrible double standard in this country and I would never be part of perpetuating that. But holy shit, have you listened to some of the stuff Marsha's says?"

Although Ichbaum's worried about Blackburn for some time, it wasn't her behavior that ultimately led him to begin his strange inquiry.

"I started noticing all these other women with the exact same hair," he says. "At first I told myself, 'This isn't weird.' It's not an unusual look. I'm just being paranoid. There's no way that hairdo's really a brain-eating visitor from another planet. That's crazy. But then I started listening to what all these people were saying. And everything they said sounded like the kind of crazy stuff Marsha says. It's like they didn't have minds of their own and were just repeating the most insane things they've heard on American Family Radio."

To illustrate his point Ichbaum played a clip from a CNN segment about conservtive evangelical women who believe Donald Trump's affair with porn star Stormy Daniels was okay because "God ordained" the President.

"I don't think I can watch this again," Ichbaum said, averting his eyes. At that exact moment one CNN panelist with Marsha Blackburn's hair defended her President saying, "We all have gotten a Mulligan because of Christ Jesus, and so that's the bottom line."


"Who talks like that?" Ichbaum screamed into his laptop. "Jesus didn't play golf! Golf was invented in 15th-Century Scotland for Christ's sake! What the hell is wrong with you people?!?!?!"

According to Ichbaum there is only one scientific explanation for all this homogeneity: Alien parasites.

"Technically they're symbiotes," he says describing an exotic, otherworldly life form that bonds with human beings in order to survive on Earth. "On one hand they take over your brain and feast on your mental energies," Ichbaum explains. "On the other hand, you do look fabulous."

Ichbaum believes there's currently no good defense against this kind of invasion. "But if somebody you know or love just shows up one day looking like Marsha Blackburn stay alert and try not to get too close," he says. "Chances are very good this person is no longer your friend. It's possible they never were."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Commercial Appeal Illustrates Local Earthquake Story with Non-Local Disaster Photographs

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 12:19 PM

Dear mom and dad,

I'm sorry I didn't check in safe on Facebook after the earthquake in Memphis and West Tennessee. But jeepers, I didn't even know there was an earthquake in Memphis and West Tennessee. Still, I can understand how you might be concerned after seeing pictures of collapsed buildings like this one published by the USA Today-owned version of The Commercial Appeal. It looks bad. 
Pretty bad, huh?
  • Pretty bad, huh?
But that picture's a video still somebody found on the web —  this video published in 2016 to be specific — and not a current picture from Memphis or West Tennessee.

Or maybe you saw this picture. It's super-scary, right? 
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It also wasn't taken in Memphis. Or Dyersburg. It's from...
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Anyway mom and dad, I don't want to be dismissive. It's possible that this quake (which I didn't feel) caused some damage somewhere. But near as I can tell no multi-story buildings from New Zealand collapsed in Memphis today.

Anyway, I love you and I'm sorry, and I promise to check in in the future. Stay warm!

Chris

PS: I think I'm creating a new tab for my Fly on the Wall blog called Dammit Gannett. I used to just file all this stuff under media but I think with this one the CA's parent company has earned its own special place in the cabinet.   

Monday, January 15, 2018

What Prophesy Does this Fulfill?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 1:58 PM

Fly on the Wall has a long, proud tradition of pointing out things that look like dingalings but aren't, in fact, dingalings. The latest faux phallus is made of snow and OMG it's coming right at us!!!
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