Previous Issue Issue 2 -- October 16, 2012

Amy Sherman-Palladino constantly peppered the dialogue in her most famous series (the one that wasn't "Bunheads") with extremely obscure references and objects, for no other reason than to get them mentioned on a network like the WB. I understood the motive. There is a certain mischievous ecstasy to getting away with this kind of thing that I am addicted to as well.

A reference to something geeky or niche, done right, should be disguised in such a way that people who haven't heard of the thing being shouted out will not recognize there's a joke there, and pass along assuming it's just an ordinary piece of dialogue. I'll admit there are quite a few more geek jokes in BANG #2 than there were in BANG #1 (and that issue had a "Blast Processing" house ad), and at some points "normal" people are going to wind up scratching their heads. One scene assumes you're familiar with the courting ritual in Harvest Moon 64 (that game specifically). If you are, a certain moment in the bar scene is a scream. If you're not, you'll have no idea why she reacted to the martini in that manner. Look, it was worth it to me.

Though content in the average BANG issue changes up until the last second, the main storylines are planned out months in advance...which, if you're aiming for an election season, can be tricky. Romney's Q&A in the debate scene had to be rewritten at least three times because he kept flip-flopping and changing the opinions I was making fun of. There was a comment he made on Leno last March about how it was "unfair to the company" for a couple to try to insure their baby if they just found out it had some horrible disease. Perfect stabbing material, until he changed his mind. And now I think he's flopping back, although I can't be sure.

In case you're trying to remember where you heard the name "Cherry Chevapravatdumrong" before, she was listed on the writing staff of Family Guy (and may have left, as her name hasn't turned up so far this season). Hers is, without a doubt, the best name I have ever heard. I have a theory that she was hired solely on the strength of her name, as none of her scripts were that great. She's going to go places, mark my words. Her mom was a genius.

BANG is not only entertaining, it's educational. This month, we teach you how to clean poop off a snake. These autobiographical slices of Meen Comics come from the wit of Portland native cartoonist Trixie Biltmore. That's not her real name, but you weren't supposed to know that, so keep it a secret.
This month Forever 16 introduces its central couple, Joel Maxwell and Michelle Hsien, in a three-week sequence "from 1991" printed in its entirety. Find out how they met, what they have in common, why they rule and why Aaron will probably die alone.

Vess MacMeal(tm) is your new friend. Look for this retro 1950's superwoman to periodically appear in BANG and narrate to you the truth about everything. This month, she teaches you how the self-damaging actions of stupid people can be used like an electrical current to generate state profits!

We are constantly rearranging and adding in material up until the final hour, and this was so last-minute that the art had to be completed in less than a day, so forgive me if it looks wonky in parts. BANG is not intended to be a political magazine or a rag that yells biased opinions at people; you'll notice I tried to make fun of Obama and Romney equally. What this page is really about is....I hate "Grange" ads and really wanted to take the piss out of them, and I can't be alone in that desire. They can gloss over it all they want, but I can see the obvious problems in placing a casino in a metropolitan area. "Grunge" ads are just as bad. It's just two rich guys fighting over things they both want, and forgive me if I don't trust either of them. I'm-a votin' no.

Oh, and the first mayoral candidate to say "I'm going to clean up 82nd Avenue" gets my vote. So far, no one has said that. The foot-long potholes are one thing, the drugs are another, but after the street gets on the national news for underage sex-slave trading, you would think someone would want to do something.

In the way of written entertainment, we have two entries this month. First, A. Nudibranch returns with "Sacred Cookies." Then towards the back, "This Is Why You Don't Have Friends" is the kind of written submission I wish would come in more often. It's a powerful and true statement about individuality and life, and it just had to go into the paper. I also couldn't bear to censor the essay's climactic moment and felt that would cheapen it, so.....guess what; you get a bad word this month! And what a bad word it is! (This will not become a trend, so don't worry. Your kids have already heard this word on the playground anyway.)

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2012 BANG The Entertainment Paper