September 13th, 2013


Them bits and those pieces

000. I was reading selections from the Digital Comics Museum and, because I was bored, decided to screencap and post fun panels to a Tumblr, which as we all know is locked in mortal combat with Twitter over the coveted title of The Internet's Bumper Sticker. My tumblr thing is called Hey Fellers! and it updates 10 times a day more or less depending on how many panels I've thrown into the queue. I've found that Tumblr is only good for two things: When you want to view random shit, or you want to quickly post random shit and don't care bout opening no dialogues. You can also view a metric boatload of panels all at once thanks to Tumblr's magical archive feature and Web2.0 tomfoolery.

Right now I'm reading through a ton of WWII-era Canadian comic books; I highly recommend the Johnny Canuck series of panels I put up on Wednesday. Further on back is Nyoka the Jungle Girl, a startlingly progressive comic because its female protagonist got her own damn self out of peril, and frequently. (Okay, it's not so progressive when it comes to colonial racial attitudes, but one step at a time here.)

Then there's Dizzy Don, a highly-stylized wacky radio comedian character (s'riously?) who trades cornball jokes with his pals Canary and Shirley, and also just happens to keep solving mysteries because he's an Ace Detective to boot. The writing is charmingly stilted but the character design is weird. I'm willing to bet Dizzy Don started life as a gag-a-day type and then got his own amazing detective series. He just keeps grinning, even in the face of some pretty grimdark pre-Comics Code situations, which is off-putting.

The one thing I have learned from all these comic books was that there sure were a whole lot of Fifth Columnists in Canada during World War II, and they all liked to monologue a lot.

001. Tamarind Bay, a really great Indian restaurant in Harvard Square, has closed for good. What's worse, it closed for good in August, way back before Sonya and I had the thought to eat there again. (I believe we last went in June; it was a good place to visit after recovering from an illness.) What's worse worse, they closed because the building they were in changed hands and the new owner doubled the rent, ostensibly because they can't legally just kick a tenant out, yet want something new in that basement space. They forced out a nine-year tenant much-loved by the locals and for what? So far, bupkis.

What's worse worse worse, Tamarind Bay had another location in Brookline that closed in May because its head chef lost his visa. It's a very nasty stroke of luck to happen to a terrific restaurant; both locations closing within a few months' time due to completely unrelated and arbitrary reasons. What's worse worse worse worst is that Tamarind Bay was the only Indian restaurant around that cooked from the region they did and don't ask me which region because I'm totally blanking. They featured such really good dishes as a really amazing yogurt-marinated tandoor chicken which came with no sauce yet tasted incredible, a lemon rice dish I have not found anywhere else, a ground lamb dish named Rara Gosht which put curry together with lamb and did wonderful things to the taste of both, and an eggplant dish which Sonya really enjoyed and that's saying something because eggplant is a vegetable which can be quite difficult to enjoy. Chicken Tikka Masala, the stalwart staple of many an Indian restaurant in America because it's a relatively safe dish for the timid, was nowhere to be found on Tamarind Bay's menu. God damn they were good. I hope the owners re-open in a new location, but losing both restaurants in three months is a harsh blow. I'd be surprised if anyone could just spring right back from that. (I can wait.)

010. What's that? You say you've always wondered if television's Robey, star of TV's Friday the 13th: The Series, ever put out an unironic pop cover of "One Night in Bangkok", then appeared in a video that doesn't so much scream "80s" at you as it uses several Marshall stacks? Gee, are you ever lucky you read this post today. Even with its lack of dwarves and cheesy Chroma-Key effects, this video wins MTV Bingo in a decisive fashion not seen since "Total Eclipse of the Heart". It's clear they had funds enough in the budget for either irony or hairspray and, well, they sure as hell chose, all right.

PROTIP: You may want to save the video for some time when you think the world's making entirely too much sense.

011. And speaking of irony-free stuff from the 1980s, I saw the trailer for the Robocop remake. Golly but do I have a lot to say about it and I will pretty soon.

pre-emptive tl;dr It stinks!