Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Cavalcade of Awesome!

Posted in Christmas, holiday, Santa Claus with tags , , on December 25, 2009 by Paxton

Santa vs Easter BunnyPainting via Todd Schorr

Hope everyone has a great Christmas holiday. I’m back in Alabama celebrating with my wife’s family.  I may return next week, I may not.  We’ll see how things go.

Until I return, I wish you and yours the best and I’ll leave you with the most mind-bendingly awesome Indian Christmas carol I’ve ever seen.

Happy Holidays,

Paxton Holley
Cavalcade of Awesome

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Christmas Reading List 2009 book reviews

Posted in books, Christmas, holiday, reviews with tags , , , , on December 23, 2009 by Paxton

Badass Book Report

Each year, around November, I create a reading list of Christmas books that I want to read for the coming Christmas season.  I like having holiday themed books to read during the actual holiday.  Last year I read five or six books for Christmas. A good amount of books in a month for me, but I planned a little bit more ahead that year, plus several of the stories were very short.  This year, I had so much other stuff to read, I couldn’t match last year’s output.  It’s also getting tougher to find good holiday themed books because the majority of Christmas themed mysteries are geared more towards middle aged women.  They have a woman sleuth (which I don’t mind) and many times offer recipes for cookies and cakes with the story (which I do mind).  I even found one Christmas mystery murder book that had an all female construction crew as the focus of the story.  AN ALL FEMALE CONSTRUCTION CREW.  Needless to say, this is not something I personally want to read.  So I continue to Google endless variations of  “Best Christmas mysteries” to come up with my holiday reading list.

So, after much searching, I was able to track down three holiday books this year that I found interesting and I offer you my reviews.

Adv of Blue Carbuncle

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (A Sherlock Holmes Mystery) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – One of Doyle’s short stories featuring the titular detective.  This particular mystery takes place right around Christmas day.  One of Holmes’ acquaintances discovers a priceless blue gem in the crop of a Christmas goose.  Holmes must first discover what the mysterious blue gem is and then detect how it came to be in the neck of the goose.  This story is short, but it’s one of Doyle’s best Holmes stories.  I had forgotten that I read it back in high school.  The opening scene between Homes and Watson has always stuck with me;  Holmes studies a discarded hat, and from this hat, he rattles off a laundry list of deductions about the hat owner.  It’s pretty cool and when I think Sherlock Holmes, I think of this scene.  Holmes follows his deductions backwards and with a bit of luck, discovers the mystery of the gem.  Much like Agatha Christie’s A Christmas Tragedy (which I read last year), this story has a very tenuous connection to Christmas, but this story works so much better than Christie’s short story.   I’ve loved Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories since high school and I’m very happy to see they are still solid reads, unlike the aforementioned Agatha Christie (whose work is less interesting now that I’m older).  I highly recommend not only this story, but much of Doyle’s Holmes stories (however, beware of Sherlock Holmes stories written by other authors as the quality is highly uneven).

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Death and Bacon: Cavalcade of Awesome’s 2009 Xmas List

Posted in bacon, Christmas, holiday, humor, random with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by Paxton

I’ve had several people ask me what’s on my Christmas list this year. What do I think is awesome enough to own for Christmas 2009.  So, in answer, I decided to show you guys what I’m asking for this year.

You guys know me by now.  If it’s not awesome, I don’t want it.  Here are a bunch of awesome (and possibly deadly) things I want for Christmas this year.

nunchucks
A set of sweet nunchucks.  I ruined my other pair of nunchucks earlier this year fighting off a pack of lions that were attacking an orphanage.  So I need new ones in case more orphanages are attacked by jungle cats.  It happens more often than you’d think.

ninja stars
Deadly shuriken, or Ninja Stars.  Ninja Stars come in handy in many different situations.  You can stick notes to the wall (see picture) or fatally puncture a victim in the head or heart.  Truly versatile instruments of death.

BTTF delorean
I really want a time machine.  It doesn’t have to be a Delorean like in Back to the Future (although that would be AWESOME).  It can be a Ferrari or Lamborghini or Audi.  I’m not picky.  But it must travel through time (backwards and forwards).  If it can only travel one way, then it’s pretty much useless, am I right?  Where would I go?  Lots of places, I’d check out Star Wars on opening day in 1977 (and buy up a bunch of vintage figs off the shelf).  I’d go back and kick my own ass for wearing parachute pants (to school, nonetheless).  I’d also go back and tell my dad to invest in Microsoft and Google and convince teenage Kanye West to be an accountant instead of a rapper.  Nothing big.  I’m really crossing my fingers for this one.

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Yuletide Brawl 2: Comic books featuring Santa kicking ass

Posted in Christmas, comic books, holiday, pop culture, Santa Claus with tags , , , , on December 17, 2009 by Paxton

If you missed the first part of this article, in which I show you Santa getting his ass kicked, then check it out here.  I also wrote another article featuring ’50s and ’60s super heroes helping Santa deliver toys on their covers.  See those comics here.

This week, we are changing it up and featuring a Santa Claus that has had enough and taking things into his own hands. Time to bloody up the snow with comic book covers featuring Santa kicking all kinds of asses.

Jingle Belle vs Frankenstein
From the 2008 Jingle Belle Holiday Special. Santa vs Frankenstein. You saw this a few months ago during my AWESOME-tober-fest 2009 countdown. I still maintain that it is awesome beyond words.  SANTA VERSUS FRANKENSTEIN.  Why has no one else thought of this?  And where’s the movie script?

Hulk 378
Hulk #378 – Santa fights The Incredible Hulk.  With a crowbar.  While falling out of a building.  The only thing left would be to have them (or the building) on fire, but I’m not sure my mind could handle that much BAD ASS.

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Yuletide Brawl: Comic books featuring Santa getting his ass kicked

Posted in Christmas, comic books, holiday, pop culture, Santa Claus with tags , , , , on December 15, 2009 by Paxton

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful.
But beating Santa’s ass, is sooooooo delightful.”

Okay, I was paraphrasing those song lyrics. But they tie into today’s topic, you’ll see.

Santa Claus has a long history of showing up in comics books as an actual character, especially around the holidays. In the ’50s and ’60s, it was a more innocent time. Santa showed up as the typical jolly, old elf. He would distribute cheer and famous super heroes would help him deliver his toys to all the boys and girls.  Last week, I looked at a few of these jolly comic covers featuring Santa Claus.

In the ’70s and ’80s, things were a bit different for Mr Claus. For one thing, comic heroes had no problem beating the fat boy down. Seriously. Santa showed up as an adversary throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Then in the ’90s and ’00s, Santa turned the tables, armed himself to the teeth, and took on all comers like some bad ass pit fighter in a Van Damme movie.

Today, I’m going to take a look at the comic book covers that feature Santa getting his jolly, old ass handed to him by some of our most beloved superheroes. Don’t worry, though, next week, we’ll see Santa get his revenge. For now, let’s watch all kinds of mayhem be delivered unto “The Claus” as Santa gets his butt kicked by some of the most violent heroes of the ’90s.

Lobo Xmas Special
Lobo Paramilitary Xmas Special (1991) – I mentioned this comic last year when talking about my holiday reading.  Lobo gets into literally a 10 page vicious, bloody brawl against an armed-to-the-teeth Santa.  As you can see by the cover, it doesn’t end well for Father Christmas.  To be fair, though, Santa is portrayed as a slave driving, drunken dictator over all of his elves.

Hitman 22
Hitman #22 (1998) – I’m not sure what leads to this moment in the story, but Santa seems to be in a situation that is causing him to rethink the decisions he’s made.  And by that I mean he just crapped his pants.  Feliz Navidad, bitch!

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8 “Christmas” movies that have nothing to do with Christmas

Posted in Christmas, holiday, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , on December 11, 2009 by Paxton

anti Christmas

I was thinking about un-Christmas movies the other day. What’s an un-Christmas movie? It’s a movie that doesn’t really have anything to do with the holiday season, but just happens to take place during the holiday season. Hollywood loves to associate movies to something that’s popular, like Christmas, but only do it in a tangential way.

So here are 8 movies that take place during the Christmas holiday but the movie plots themselves have really nothing to do with the holiday season. For all we know, the movie could have taken place on Arbor Day.

Reindeer Games
Reindeer Games
– Yes, that one Ben Affleck movie with Charlize Theron.  Based on the title you’d think the movie would center on some elaborate Christmas heist.  In actuality, the plot centers on Ben Affleck’s character stealing his dead friend’s identity, sleeping with said friend’s girlfriend and a casino heist by that guy on CSI: New York. Oh, and CSI guy may or may not be the brother/lover of Charlize Theron’s character. The fact that this movie happens during Christmas time is almost irrelevant.

Long Kiss Goodnight
Long Kiss Goodnight
– This was actually a pretty good movie starring Gina Davis as a housewife who finds out she used to be an elite assassin but lost her memory during a botched job (a la Jason Bourne). Did you remember that the movie takes place during Christmas? That’s why it’s an Un-Christmas movie.

First Blood
First Blood
– This movie is a heartwarming story about a renegade special forces soldier slaughtering police officers in the woods while the town of Hope quietly celebrates the holiday season.  What?  You didn’t remember that this movie takes place during the holiday season?  I guess Rambo violently murdering hillbilly cops kinda distracted you.  The sheriff’s office has a tree and some lights as does the town itself.  Merry Christmas, Sheriff…IN HELL!!!

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Comic book covers featuring Santa Claus

Posted in Christmas, comic books, holiday, pop culture, Santa Claus, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 9, 2009 by Paxton

Santa Claus Funnies

I love comic books. I collected them for many years and I love to look at old comic covers.  You can find comic book covers that conform to almost any theme.  I posted several Frankenstein monster comic book covers during AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  For this holiday article, I thought it would be fun to look at some comic book covers that feature the lovable image of St Nick.  He’s been showing up in some form or another on comic books since the ’30s and ’40s.

Santa has made many appearances in comics, this week I’ll look at some images of jolly old Saint Nick getting some help from superheroes to complete his rounds.  Next week I’ll have a different Santa comic book theme.  Now, let’s see Santa get some help from some of our favorite heroes.

Action Comics 105
Action Comics #105 – Here’s Superman using his super strength to help Santa get his plump midsection down a chimney.  You can imagine a thought bubble above Superman saying, “Maybe you should hit the treadmill, Santa.  I have murderers and rapists to catch.”

Batman 27
Batman #27 – Up above in the first comic cover we see Superman stop his normal duties to help Santa deliver toys.  Here we see Batman laugh and what looks like smack Santa on the back while he and Robin try to carry a gi-normous bag of childrens’ toys.  Batman is a douche, dude.

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