Spooktoberfest Special: Comes the Fearful Cry…

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…




Yes, when this year’s trick or treaters arrive at Casa Del Sims for a handful of peanut butter cups and the Peanuts Halloween Ashcan, they’re going to be greeted by the Jack-o-Viper!

Long-time readers might recall that I’ve been trying to do something a little different with my pumpkin each year (usually with the aid of Homestar Runner stencils, which gave us last year’s Bear Shark O’Lantern), and for those of you who are way too interested in how I celebrate my holidays, this year marks the first time I’ve carved one without a stencil since I stopped doing the traditional face. Instead, I found a good image of the Cobra logo, copied it onto a legal pad, and then drew it freehand on the pumpkin before carving it out.

A pumpkin, incidentally, is not quite as easy to draw on as a legal pad, which probably explains a lot.

Still, I don’t think it turned out half bad, and if it helps in some small way to finally get that Charleston Chew Dominator up and running, it’ll all be worth it.

Music To Take Over the World To

Like a lot of culturally savvy guys in their mid–sigh, okay, late–twenties without much musical talent, I spend a lot of my time thinking up Good Band Names. I mean, there’s always a chance, no matter how small, that I could go out on the night of the full moon, meet the Devil at a crossroads, get him to teach me guitar at the cost of my immortal soul, and land a recording contract, and in this increasingly hypothetical situation, I’d need a solid handle for my band to really have a shot at cracking the charts.

For the record, I’m currently going with Deadliest Of Foes.

What I don’t think about, however, is the kind of music I’d actually be playing, probably because I just assume that when you bargain with the Devil, you end up with either Mississippi Delta Blues or Hardcore Death Metal. But really, the underlying concept of the band is even more important than having a snappy name, whether it’s something as simple as “four-piece guitar rock” or “retro-60s wall-of-sound Girl Group,” or as complex as “a nine-man hip-hop juggernaut based around classic kung-fu movies” or “galloping, epic barbaric Norwegian thrash metal.” Don’t get me wrong, having the actual talent helps too, but knowing where you’re starting from tends to make things easier.

Unfortunately, while I was coming up with names like “Hooray for Gooba” and “The Batwitches,” somebody else came up with the single greatest concept for a band that the world has ever seen: The GI Joe Killaz.



Renamed after a C&D from Hasbro as just “The Killaz,” are a three-piece group where a guy in a metal mask and a really hot brunette rap in character as Desto and the Baroness.



And yes. Cobra Commander is their DJ.



Pure. One hundred percent. Genius.

I’ve known about them for a couple of years, ever since Kevin hipped me to the fact that there was a band made almost explicitly for my tastes, but aside from the three tracks you can grab on their website, it wasn’t until Faithful Reader David Bédard found a copy of their CD up in Canada and sent it to me for my birthday that I was able to hear the whole thing and believe me. It’s awesome.

Aside from the general songs about life on the streets and/or in Cobra Command, the best bits on the album are the ones where they take an episode of the cartoon like “Money To Burn” and build an entire track around them. To repeat: This is a CD where Stacy and Des bust rhymes for three minutes about Cobra Commander’s plot to use radiation to burn all of the paper currency in the world and replace it with his own money.

Looks like we have a new Best Album Ever. Suck it, Revolver.

Which isn’t to say that the other songs on the album aren’t great: “The Seduction,” wherein plans are laid out for defeating Roadblock (“I got my sight set on your machine lever / I think I’m burnin’ up with a case of Jungle Fever”) and Jinx (“Runnin’ towards me swingin’ two ninja swords / Drop the blades, drop your clothes and drop to the floor”) is fantastic, and in “Python Patrol,” they go through Cobra’s hierarchy and even manage to include the fact that Crimson Guardsmen are all college educated with lyrics that are not only funny, but are a pretty solid cut above other so-called “nerdcore” novelty acts.

Or at least I thought they were, but since it’s got a section where the Baroness is rapping about the Televipers, I could be a little biased.

Probably best if you judge for yourself. Believe it or not, the album is actually still available on Amazon, and as a public service, have a listen to my favorite track, based on one of my favorite episodes of the show (which is also available for download on their site, if you want to kill somebody else’s bandwidth):

G.I. Joe Killaz – Eau De Cobra (6.75 MB, 192 kbps mp3).

Because the only thing better than the Baroness making a mind-control perfume to steal money from a billionaire on a cruise ship is Destro rapping about it.

What Do You Believe In?

Cobra Commander believes in Hard Work.



Cobra Commander believes in Brotherhood.



Cobra Commander believes in America.



And I believe… in Cobra Commander.



A full list of things Cobra Commander believes in, including Weather Domination, Brain-Wave Scanning, the value of a well-placed kick when training a dog and the MARS Corporation’s affordable laser rifles is available upon request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Cliff Chiang’s Atomic Bombshells

Cliff Chiang is an awesome artist, and that’s a stone-cold fact.

At this point, though, nobody really needs me to tell them that, as his work on books like Dr. Thirteen–wherein he draws a vampire Nazi gorilla who hangs out with a pirate ghost and a French caveman–pretty much speaks for itself. He’s got the kind of clean, beautiful linework, expressive faces and sense of fluid motion that always makes me wonder why DC hasn’t just backed up a truck full of money to his house and asked him to draw Justice League or Morrison’s Batman run.

What you might not know, however, is that Chiang’s also a genius. For proof, you just have to run over to the guy’s website and check out stuff like his old pitch designs for an anime-inspired Justice League that includes “Science Ninja Hero Batman” and Superman as a giant robot controlled by a kid’s signal watch. It’s fantastic stuff, but his newest project is even better: A series of World War II-style pin-ups starring characters from classic cartoons.

He had the first couple with him at HeroesCon, but at San Diego, he’ll have the full set of six on display. In the meantime, he’s debuting them on his blog, and the reason I’ve brought all this up is the one he put up today. Admittedly, the one of Teela might just be the best so far, but I’d be remiss as a fan of things that are awesome if I didn’t show you this:



I’m still holding out hope for a matching Baroness, but in the meantime, swing over to CliffChiang.com to check the rest of ’em out, and if you make it out to SDCC this year, head over to his booth to check out the originals. They’re absolutely worth it.

And make sure to tell him I sent you. If he stares blankly when you say “Chris Sims,” just tell him it’s the guy who sent him all those ROM: Spaceknight spec scripts.