Laura Lannes’ “John, Dear” : The Most Subtle Traps Are The Most Insidious

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

“There is nothing in the dark that isn’t there when the lights are on.”

So Rod Serling told us, at any rate, but there’s simply no convincing the subconscious mind of that, is there? As a result, darkness, through no fault of its own, has become the go-to metaphor for negativity, depression, evil, you name it. Difficult or challenging times in life are “dark” times. The historical era dominated by superstition and anti-intellectualism is referred to as the “Dark Ages.” Encroaching despair is the “darkness closing in on us.”

It’s primal. It’s instinctive. Our rational minds know that it makes no sense, but nevertheless — darkness isn’t just symbolic of fear, it’s symbolic of all fear, of the fear. The fear of losing ourselves into all-encompassing, all-devouring nothingness.

Laura Lannes understands this more intuitively than any cartoonist working today, and I say that without a moment’s hesitation. Her strips in…

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A Love Letter to STAN & OLLIE (Sony Pictures Classics 2018)

cracked rear viewer

I told you Dear Readers I was going to see STAN & OLLIE when it came to my area, and last Saturday night I did just that. Taking the 22 mile trip down the highway to Swansea, MA to catch the 9:40 showing, I have good news and bad news. The good: STAN & OLLIE is one of the best Hollywood biopic I’ve ever seen, a loving tribute to the classic comedy duo. The bad: well, I’ll get to that a bit later.

The film follows Laurel and Hardy as they embark on a 1953 tour of the UK. The duo is older, in need of money, and Stan is working on obtaining funding for their screen comeback – an adaptation of the Robin Hood legend. Ollie is in poor physical condition due to his massive weight gain, but Stan has persuaded him to do the tour. They’re booked into…

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Music Video of the Day: Chlorine by twenty one pilots (2019, dir by Reel Bear Media)

I like this video.

When it starts you think it’s just going to be another suburban sprawl video, with the ennui-stricken kids and the empty swimming pools and the workaholic father and the pill-popping moms.  And I’ve got nothing against existential dread but, when the video started, I wasn’t expecting this to be anything that I hadn’t seen before.

And then Ned showed up.

Ned is the little alien thing who is watching Tyler and Josh while they’re cleaning the pool.  It’s really impossible not to love Ned.  I mean, Ned is adorable!  And the way that Ned comes out of hiding and then quickly ducks back into hiding reminds me of the way Doc acts whenever he’s playing with me or Erin.  Of course, Doc doesn’t like water so he probably wouldn’t be near a pool.  Doc’s thing is to get underneath the couch and then try to grab you whenever you walk by.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep on the floor, just to wake up with Doc trying to pull my hair out of my head.

Anyway, Ned is obviously pretty picky about what type of water it’ll dive into and that’s probably a good thing.  A friend of mine once swam in a pool that hadn’t been properly cleaned and her eyes were so bloodshot afterward that I basically had to stop being her friend until they cleared up.  They were like seriously freaking me out.

I love the closing shot of this video.  Ned and Tyler, hanging out in the swimming pool.