In the interests of gathering a more complete sample, here’s a poll for the worse cartoon character of all time. Some are from that list, and some I came up with on my own. Add any additional nominees in the comments.
Vance, Jack. Dangerous Ways. Subterranean Press, 2011. Ultralimited PC traycased edition, one of an indeterminate number of signed, leatherbound copies beyond the 26 lettered copies.
I don’t often buy traycased editions (I have some for Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, and some Cheap Street authors, since they regularly did traycase editions for their “Publisher’s States” of books), but a book dealer offered up this Vance traycase as part of a number of Subterrranean Press PC editions for less than the original (long-sold-out) published price, and I snapped it up. It’s a rather imposing traycase (I’m not sure if you can see it in the picture, but the title lettering has a somewhat metallic sheen, like burnished copper), though there are two small oddities about it: 1.) The rounded spine edge of the case looks nice, but it prevents the case from laying flat while it’s open, and 2.) The left-side folds into, rather than outside, the right hand part of the traycase holding the book.
Still a very attractive production. Click to embiggen.
If you’ve read “Gabe’s Globster” or “Bob’s Yeti Problem,” you know that I have an ongoing interest in Cryptozoology. Oddly enough, I’m not really interested in the same boring cryptids that get all the media attention, i.e. Bigfoot and Nessie. I’m into more obscure fauna, like the Mongolian Death Worm or De Loys’ Ape. I guess that makes me a sort of cryptozoological hipster (“It’s a pretty obscure cryptid; you’ve probably never heard of it”), without the appalling fashion sense.
The first sighting of the Lizard Men was back in 1988, when a 17-year old said he was chased by what he described as a green, scaly, 7-foot figure with glowing red eyes and three-fingered hands. You and I might say “Dude, you are so high.” But the wise people in Lee County immediately thought “Local legend! Ka-ching!” And thus the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp was born.
And now there’s been a new sighting! Well, not a sighting in the sense of “somebody actually saw something.” There’s a been a sighting in the sense of “Dang, somethin’ dun fucked up my car!” Unfortunately, the actual news article is pretty poorly written, burying the lede four paragraphs down and neglecting to provide pictures of “tooth marks [that] went completely through the fender” or metal “just bent it up [like] it was a piece of tissue paper.” Or any reason this might be the work of a lizard man rather than bear or alligator. (There might be a video there, but since I’ve got Brightcove (a really crappy and annoying ad platform) blocked, I guess I’ll never watch it.)
This piece, from 2008, is much better written, and a lot more likely to make you go “hmmmm.” Here’s another piece on that 2008 incident, with much bigger pictures. That’s awful high up on the fender for a gator to go up and gnaw on a car, and those holes look too deep and far apart to have been made by a bear (which gets mentioned as a possibility in the article). Doesn’t rule out the owners faking them, but those holes do look…odd.
Of course, the “Lizard Man’s Car” license plate in this video does nothing to enhance the witness’ credibility:
The video also includes plenty of local Lizard Man Merch. “Moichindising, moichindising! Where the real money from a cryptid is made!”
Another video from CNN:
And the South Carolina Lottery produced a series of painful Lizard Man-themed promo spots:
As for the location, well, it is near some swamp, but it’s not so far out that you would think a lizard man could escape detection for years on end, especially in an era where everyone has camera phones.
And what ever happened to the original victim? The lizard men killed him! That is, assuming the lizard men have guns. “Investigators say Davis was targeted in a drug-related incident.” (See also: The third paragraph of this post.)
Cryptozoology is one of the more interesting disciplines on the fringes of science, mainly because new animal species are being discovered all the time, and every now and then a cryptid turns out to be real. Alas, the idea of lizard men roaming the swamps of South Carolina may be pretty freaking unlikely, though not (quite) physically impossible.
Of course, South Carolina swamp dwellers are pretty far from David Icke’s shape-shifting ruling class. (I gather from the headline that Obama is now counted among the reptoids, but no way am I wading through two hours of Icke to confirm this.) The chances of Icke’s theory being true range from “Dude, listening to Alex Jones is for entertainment purposes only” to “Nurse, more Thorazine.”
The charges said Jacob Cobb strangled his mother on the living room floor. Then he or his brother Andrew put a plastic bag over her head and tightened a belt around her neck. Clemens allegedly drove her body west to South Dakota, then east to Glenwood, Minn., before storing the corpse in a garbage can in a shed for months until the ground thawed enough for the two elder brothers to bury it.
Sounds like the makings of a good Coen Brothers movie. Or a bad Joe Pesci movie…