Saturday, January 24, 2009

Creep a day #6 "Dark Mouth"

Dark Mouth
Likes: Eating, dripping, brain altering
Dislikes: Sherrifs, Talking dogs, Meddling kids

Friday, January 23, 2009

Everything I Own

The Blues Brothers (1980)

For those of you that have not been paying attention, I am a bit of a media junkie. I love collecting television on DVD, movies, and music. I have a decent sized movie collection limited only by the fact that I have no money to nourish it properly and by that a few years ago I was stupid enough to believe that love was more important that having every season of Futurama on DVD. So, in a fit of emotion and hormone fuelled stupidity, I sold about 200 movies and shows online and to friends that took advantage of my situation.
What did I learn from all of that? Never give up your loot for a dame. At the end of the day you’ll just be alone with no woman and no copy of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls or Wild Things.
I’m sure there are lots of guys that would agree, including my idol Nicholas Cage who, in a brief moment of weakness, sold a great chink of his very rare and expensive comic collection because Elvis’ daughter told him to.
I don’t know what Lisa Marie was like in the sack, I couldn’t even guess. Unless she had a womb made of cotton candy and one-hundred dollar bills, there is no way that she was equal to or even slightly comparable to owning a near mint copy of The Amazing Spider-Man issue number one. I know my half-witted ex-girlfriend wasn’t, and she wasn’t even remotely related to Elvis or any celebrity, sports star, or person that had ever done anything worth note.
My point is I have yet to meet the girl worth giving up my current stuff for. Trust me, I’d love to be proven wrong on this point, and soon. But, Chances are I’ll never give up my stuff again. In the immortal words of everything in the Lillian Vernon catalog, love me love my mess.
And that’s why I’m writing this article- my beloved stuff.
Periodically I plan to give you folks a heart felt look at some things that I own and cherish as a way to give you a glimpse inside the mind of the coolest black guy you’re probably ever going to know, seeing as Lando is still only fictional.
Or, if you like, you may think of this as a sort of retro-active critiquing; you will learn about things you may have not known exist, and you’ll learn exactly how I feel about them.

The Blues Brothers
It only makes sense that we start off this experiment in controlled semi-narcissism with my most favoritest of inspirational flicks.
The Blues Brothers fits snuggly into the trilogy of reasons I want to make movies- Goodfellas inspired me, Dawn of the Dead showed me that anything can have deeper meaning, and Blues Brothers taught me that you can never have too many elements if you know the pattern.
The film is based on the characters created by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi during the so-called glory days of Saturday Night Live. They were popular enough to have an album, A Briefcase Full of Blues, a full three years before the release of the film.
The film is flawless. I don’t mean that there aren’t a few noticeable gaffes here or there. The film existed long before the days where everything could be CGI’d into a dead sheen of perfection. I mean that in my mind, as I’ve watched the film hundreds of times in my lifetime, I can find no fault within its tight 133 minute running time.
This is a beautiful thing, especially due to the fact that by during time the film was being shot, Belushi had become the coke fueled comedy and party machine he’d be when he died. But you could never see this onscreen- probably because the duo wears sunglasses for all but 30 seconds of the film.
Here is the formula for what made the Blues brothers such a great film: Credits, song, mission, car chase, song, build a team, song, car chase, song, car chase, song, car chase, song, song, car chase, complete mission, song, credits.
Change any of these elements, and you have a failure on your hands. As an experiment, Chris Columbus tried this formula but replaced all the car chases with AIDS. The result was Rent, and it was an epic failure.
“One Hundred Thirty Five Minutes/how do you measure/measure a waste of time?”
Philadelphia? Success. Why? No singing and gallivanting around. You see my point- some elements just don’t mix.
John Landis discovered the perfect formula and format to tell the tale of two criminal orphans on a redemptive mission from God, and wrapped it up with the classic Landis styled “No holds barred/bat-shit fiasco” climax he’d started to perfect with Animal House, and later toned down a bit with American Werewolf in London.
I love the Blues Brothers. When I was younger I had the poster in my room bearing one of the most famous quotes from the film, you know, the one about cigarettes, sunglasses, and the distance to Chicago. If you don’t know you’re more than likely some sort of pinko and I have no use for you. I truly do not.
The Blues Brothers are the reason I only wear white socks when I wear a black suit. The Blues Brothers are the reason I know the address to Wriggly Field (1060 West Addison). The Blues Brothers are the reason I want to make movies.
I only own a copy of the film on VHS. While there have been many special releases of the film on DVD, I choose not to own it. Why? Because even though I have a lot of movies that are in normal rotation, the Blues Brothers always comes as a happy surprise whenever I’m flipping through the channels and notice that it’s playing. It’s like finding a five dollar bill in a pair of pants you haven’t worn in a while. Being surprised by a Blues Brothers showing is better, to me at least, than being able to see it whenever I want. And it doesn’t matter how far into the film the showing is, I almost always have to stop and watch it to its touching and controversial end.
As I said, I do have a copy on VHS; a ratty semi dead copy that looks just as grimy and film-like as the day it was released almost thirty years ago. This is the way it should be seen. It’s the equivalent of loving the pops on a vinyl record and listening to Led Zepplin through one speaker- this was the way it was originally presented- this was the way I learned it.
I once made the mistake of buying a re-mastered copy of Night of the Living Dead on DVD. The case boasted that you could now see all 175 shades of grey! I didn’t want to see all this clarity in my 40 year old zombie parable. I grew up with the version sporting one shade of white and one shade of black. This was the version I loved, and believe me when I tell you that it is scarier this way.
There have been a few people in my life that have not shared my love of two orphans from Chicago on a mission from God. In High-School my English teacher snarled that the only thing ruining the Blues Brothers as a film were the Blues Brothers themselves.
Recently, while having a conversation about favorite movies, my confession of love for Jake and Elwood was met with a frown from the person I was talking to. Of course, I just had to ask what this person considered to be her favorite film. Her answer was a confident and embarrassment-free “Willow”. You remember, Willow: the midget fueled Ron Howard directed film written by George Lucas following his failure to procure the rights to make a movie based on the Hobbit. I won’t take any time here to bash Willow, for time, box office receipts, and the occasional intelligence of the of the American movie public has done a better job than I could ever try to.
As far as the person in question, see any other articles I’ve written about my taste in women (READ: comparable to RENT- sickeningly terrible).
Anyway, I think you’re picking up what I’m laying down- I love the Blues Brothers and it is an inspiration to me. See it if you haven’t. If you have seen it, see it again. If you don’t like it, I’m sure Netflix has plenty of copies of Howard the Duck for you to enjoy.

Creep a day #5 "Calvin Breedlove"

Calvin Breedlove, Evil Butler.

That is all.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Creep a day #4 "Fish-Kite Mud-Slug"

"Hey! Look at those awesome Fish-Kites over there!"
"-Just coming out of the Mud. Hmmm. I wonder who'd leave their Fish-Kites around like that?"
"Think I'll walk on over and take a closer look..."

The end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dexter Pepper and Bookie

Chapter Three: Red

The woman couldn’t have been any older than 40. She looked good, Dexter thought to himself as he cased her home.
Maybe, one day when all this bullshit was over, he thought, he could find himself a woman. If he was lucky, it’d be one like her; one that cared about her appearance. The dame did her sweating to the oldies in what looked like bike pants. Dexter pleaded with his loins to keep their mind on the job at hand. The house seemed good enough. He was too tired, too drowsy to look for an empty house. He had to act quickly if he was gonna find Bookie. He took one last look at her through the window, and ever so casually made his way to the front door.
The front lock was easy.
Suburbanites were a little too secure in consumer grade security systems. The world would shit a collective brick if it knew who really designed these things. People just like Dexter.
Sixty- eight seconds.
Not a world record, but pretty damn good considering his present condition. The lock never stood a chance. He quietly clicked the door closed behind him, and stood perfectly still. He could still hear her exercising in the rear of the house, which was good.
If she’d heard anything, she would have stopped. He released the deep breath, and started for the stairs. The picture on the telephone table, just before the stairs, offered up a brief family history. She had a husband. One that Dexter hoped, for the husband’s sake, was not at home. He tipped his way to the top of the stairs and waited again.
There was no sound.
The door across from the stairway was the bathroom; Dexter assumed the door at the end of the hall was the master bedroom. He began to make his way towards it.
The Businessman waited across the street from the house for at least ten minutes before he decided to see what Dexter was up to.
He had hid there in the bushes, waiting for Dexter to emerge from the house. Then for whatever reason his mind had convinced him of, he would squeeze the life from Dexter’s neck until he was dead. He charged across the street to the front door.
The Businessman noticed Dexter’s blood on the doorknob as he reached for it and this made him withdraw his hand.
He felt around in his inside pocket for a handkerchief.
The thought of getting someone else’s blood on his hands, when it wasn’t on purpose, was simply disgusting.
He walked into the kitchen and searched the drawers for a suitable weapon. He had guns on him, but guns were passé. Every wannabe tough guy in the world was using guns, and he wanted to rise above it. Then, there were the knives. Knives with serrated edges, knives for meat, knives for vegetables… but knives had all been done. The Businessman reached for the serving fork atop the counter and smiled as he wiped it on his pants. As he tipped from the kitchen, he heard the movement from the den. The Businessman slinked along the wall in the direction of the den, and peeked in through the crack in the door to see the exercising woman. She continued her routine, ignorant of the monster that was bearing its teeth not three feet away from her.
There wasn’t a particular dress she wanted to get into. She wanted to get into them all. This had gone on long enough, this weight problem of hers. She ate when she was upset; she ate when she was bored. She just loved to eat. And while others would contest the fact that she even needed to be on any sort of diet, she had to do this. She had stopped smoking three months ago and started her aerobics as a way to feel better about herself, about who she was.
This was all moot as soon as the Businessman burst through the door and buried the serving fork into the base of the woman’s skull. She then began the spastic dance he enjoyed so much as she tried to reach the fork that was implanted in the back of her neck.
Then there was the delightful look of shock as she turned and saw her killer. He loved it, the fact that her eyes, all their eyes always seem to say so much… what has just happened? Why has this happened? Who are you? Why did you do this to me? Am I going to die?
Uh-oh, this one was a fighter!
It happened; sometimes they tried to get revenge on you for killing them. They tried to fight back, in their final few minutes. She screamed, she gagged, she scratched at him, and she pulled at his hair.
He laughed.
As much as he wanted to play with her, he just had to get this over with.
He reached around and pulled the fork from her neck and pushed her away by her forehead.
When she finally let her fight die, she fell against the door and slammed it closed. Her syrupy red ran slowly underneath the door as she lay limp. The Businessman stood there and cocked slightly, examining his most recent work of art.
Again, a smile eased its way onto his face.
Dexter found a shirt in the closet that fit. Actually, it is the exact same shirt he was wearing.
Was this another one of fate cruel set ups? The delivery was more than likely a whole bunch of pain for Dexter before the night was through.
He had decided, though, that he’d give it as good as he got it, tonight especially.
He had to find Bookie.
The man pulled into the driveway of his home, set for a night of casual conversation, and if he was lucky enough, a little sexual attention from his wife. He had to admit, she was beginning to look a lot more like the woman he had married since she began her new health kick. He had been thinking about her all day, that smile of hers. The way she cooed whenever she’d walk past him.
He wanted her tonight more than he’d wanted her in a long time. As he stepped from his car, he noticed that the front door was slightly ajar.
Instantly, panic overcame him.
He approached the door carefully, quickly looking around him to make sure nothing was out of place in the yard. As he entered the door, he could hear the infernal sounds of badly synthesized music and nearly incoherent rambling of Richard Simmons that had been a staple in the home since the big health kick.
Once inside, the sight of blood flowing underneath the den doorway did not immediately catch his attention. Nothing seemed to be amiss. In fact, everything looked exactly as it had when he’d left for his flight three day’s earlier.
He called out to her in a loud whisper.
There was no answer.
He started for the doorway, one million scenarios filling his head, all of them the stuff of his worst nightmares; his wife was dead.
This was when he saw the blood.


If I'm gonna do this Creep-A-Day thing right, I better buy some better pens-

Rapidogragh, I'm coming home!

Creep a day #3 "Ricky Skeeball"

When the animatronic models at Ricky Skeeball's Happy Birthday Showplace went rogue, one question was asked more than any other...
"Why did they design the mouse robots with axes!?"
Ricky Skeeball was suggested by Christopher Garrison! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Choose your own “adventure”!

You are J’Mel #47 “American Pirate”

Do not read this post straight through!
This is a special post that allows you, the reader, to influence the outcome while living a life as close to the crippling ennui that is “J’Mel” as possible!
So, just read the first section then go where the adventure takes you!
Being J’Mel has never been so easy- and emotionally painless!
Now, don’t cheat and skip ahead and ruin one of the over 100 endings for yourself! The fun is in seeing if you can reach each one-honestly!
So, off- to Adventure!

Morning! What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you couldn't be happier.
Well, you could be. But it won’t happen.
Hey!? What’s that smell? Uh oh! You need to do laundry! You could just wait until tomorrow, though. If you wait, you have more time for adventure! Hmm…

Yup, better do laundry! You collect enough drawers and black t-shirts to make it until next weekend, and make your way to the dark and spooky laundry room. As you unlock the door, you close your eyes and say a little prayer that you won’t have to move any else’s clothes. The last time you had to do that, you saw more skid marks than you normally prefer in a ladies’ underthings.
You start to load the washer, and notice something in the bottom of the washer. It’s a pirate’s map! Boy, with this you could finally find some booty…both kinds! Hell, with enough treasure, you’d never need to wear clean underwear again. On the other hand, the map could be a fake- Like the moon landing. It’s a tough choice.

“Screw the laundry!” you yell, and start out on your voyage for adventure.
You go back to your apartment and pack up all your essentials: duct tape, butterfly knife, fake passport, nylon rope, and water based lubricant! But there is one thing you forgot- breakfast! You can’t go on a pirate adventure without the most important meal of the day!
You check the cabinets and soon discover that you haven’t been shopping in weeks! You could eat a can of corn or order a pizza in a few hours when they start delivering, but that would take away precious treasure hunting time.
Damn it, it’s always something.

You suddenly realize that your apartment is full of pirate ghosts- although, upon further inspection you realize that it’s a bunch of drag queens covered in flour.
“A map in the laundry room led us here!” says the drag queen dressed like Barbara Bush, “And as long as we’re here, we’re having a dance party! Join us!”
You might as well. Oddly enough, dancing around with a bunch of drag queens is only the 3rd gayest thing you’ll do today. Figuratively, of course.
Someone pops in a Madonna cassette, and you drink until the urge to cry has left you.

Pirates schmirates. You hate them more than you hate unicorns, and you %$#@ing despise unicorns.
After waiting two hours for those cheap dryers to dry your underwear, you finally have clean clothes.
Too bad you have nowhere to go.
You smoke a pack of Newports, and wish that you’d gone to technical school.
But you didn’t. So let it go. You’re still young… generally speaking.
Time for a drink.

Who needs breakfast when you have money! You strike out and follow the map for hours- Past the plastic house, and the animal fountain, and the big clock. As you make your way through five points south, you notice an Amazonian woman all tattooed up, and wearing a very short skirt. She is tall, even without the six inch heels; you’d only have an inch difference in your heights. She’s curvy, beautiful and blonde and seems like the sort that would hang out around guys completely opposite of you. Why can’t you have a cool, alt-living tattooed girl? As you ditch your quest and begin to follow her down the street you wonder if she’s wearing any- HELLO! No underwear!
Now, that’s the best treasure of all!

Yeah, it’s probably best it you eat. Who knows what crazy situations you could get yourself into on the search for cursed pirates’ treasure?
You decide that you’ll have a double pepperoni with Parmesan Alfredo sauce and some cinnamon sticks.
When the food finally arrives, you gulp it all down and chase it with two liters of Diet Coke.
Now that you’re nice and full of a nutritious breakfast, you’re ready to set out for adventure!
But wait, should you leave your laundry in the laundry room? Besides being a very stupid idea, it’s just plain rude to anyone else that may need the machine. You’ve waited this long for adventure; you can wait 10 more minutes and get your laundry-
But the idea of that treasure is calling you!
Decide, fat boy!

Who needs old underwear when you have a treasure map!?
You don’t! You start to follow the map, and after a long and pretty boring trek, you find yourself standing in front of the local library!
You rush inside and find Mr. Caul, the librarian, dressed as a pirate!
“Hey, J’Mel!” he happily yells, “Welcome to the library!”
“Where is the treasure?” you ask, looking around.
“The treasure you seek…is in a book!” Mr.Caul says, “Figuratively, of course!”
go to 9

You decide to move your underwear, and as you reach your apartment to put them away you notice that the door is ajar.
go to 10

Morning! What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you couldn’t be happier.
You can’t remember what you did yesterday, but it doesn’t matter!
You know what you’re doing today!
go to 6

No laundry for you today! It’s adventure time! The first part of your adventure? Watching Rachel Ray on the Food Channel! Her grating voice, those sexy, wide hips… it’s more than a red blooded American male can take!
After Rachel, there is Nigella Lawson then Sandra Lee! Then the secretary chick from Ace of Cakes!
Time for a nap!
You’ve adventured yourself out. Just like last week, and probably next week, and the week after that.
You’re a sad, sad man.

“When you awaken from your blind rage, you find Kindly ol’ librarian Mr.Caul beaten to death.
You quickly stick your bruised knuckles into your pockets, and run home.
Now, on top of everything else, someone has stolen your underwear. You don’t immediately think it was the Mexican guy, but you don’t immediately rule it out either…

Creep a day #2 "Necros"

Necros is a floating dead guy. he floats in your back yard or at the less populated parts of the beach at night.
He glides across the ground, quietly, waiting for you to let your guard down.
Don't let him touch you...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Creep a day #1 "Underabbit!"

Underabbit lives beneath the beds of children that are good. That's what makes it such a creep- bad children have nothing to fear!

Creep a day!

So, here's the deal. when i was a youngun, i used to draw all the time. Constantly, all over any notebook or piece of Xerox paper I could find.
I'd fold my own comics and create my own teams of super powered beings that still exist in some for to this day.
I even went to art school, as some of you may know, when I was at the height of my drawing ability.
Eventually I started to get older and i started to focus more on the writing and eventually weeks would pass when I wouldn't even pick up a pencil... this saddens me now


In the spirit of last years "write a short story-a-day" experiment, I'm
now forcing myself to draw a creep everyday for a year! My little world has more than enough good guys, so i had to give them something to hit!
everyday, starting today, I'll pop a creep here on the J'Mel Stuff blog! some will be beautifully rendered, others just sketches.
on notebook paper, on napkins, on whatever- as long as I draw it! for an added bonus, it you like, you can send me the name of something like "the boiling boy" or "the creeping thrumpton" and I'll draw the shit out of it!
so, here we go!... CREEP-A-DAY!

Where the Magic happens...