Monday, February 20, 2006

My Hero: Josh Bernstein

This is now my favorite comic book. If you read nothing else this month, read "Digging for the Truth."

The minicomic Digging for the Truth is a History Channel giveaway for Free Comic Book Day, a fictionalization of their hit show starring *swoon!* Josh Bernstein.

Eleven reasons I adore this comic book and its star...

1. Josh is a unshaven, handsome, Jewish archeologist and survivalist. There is no way could do better than that, I swear it.

It's like Todd Rice stepped out of the pages of Manhunter , put on an outback hat, and asked me to go exploring with him. What's that, Todd? You want me to call you "Josh" now? Yes, Josh, I will call you Josh now. Oh, certainly; I would love to search for Shangri-La with you.

2. Why, a trip to Sodom and Gomorrah is all in day's work for Josh. That's my kind of guy. Tell ya what, Josh; let's just skip Gomorrah altogether, okay? Let's use the extra time to play "Queen of Sheba in the Bandit Zone."

3. Despite being the CEO of a Colorado Survival School, Josh is a hapless klutz who can barely make it through a public library without killing himself. How disarming! It's okay, Josh, I'm falling for you, too....
4. When a Manhattan cabbie tries to kill him, he's shocked. Isn't that adorably naive? Better scamper back to the viper-filled jungles, sweetie; you'll be safe from taxis there.
5. Josh can whip out those witty comebacks and irreverent repartee, just like a Golden Age hero! As I discussed in a recent spirited apologia for Vibe, there's just not enough light-hearted confident heroes nowadays. That's why Josh is my new hero; well, part of the reason, anyway. I mean, you've got to love a guy who can exchange badinage with inscrutable Buddhist monks; it's so very ... worldly. I'd love to sit and watch the koans zinging across the room.

Look at the monk's face; he's cracking up inside. Only years of practiced stoicism is stalling the BWA-HA-HA perched on his pursed lips.

"Air miles"-- Oh, Josh, you put the Wilde in wilderness!

6. In all seriousness, as a classicist, I'm delighted that the History Channel is helping to popularize archeology and related pursuits (even if what Josh does isn't quite a typical scholar's day!). As a "chistologist", I'm doubly delighted that they have the boldness to use comic books to do so.

7. Pure Starman-quality villainy. What?! Surely I must be exaggerating, you say!Surely I'm not. I love how this unnamed oriental villain with the dragonstick thingie flushes Number 2 before moving right along to Number 3. No wimpy westernized denominated henchmen for this guy! Forget about Josh; the comic is aces for this "Meanwhile" scene alone.

8. Josh is such a push-over, you can have him for the cost of an airport flower. And your friends can join you, because Josh comes "dirt cheap".

That's really hot.

9. Josh kicks filthy Commie @$$!!!
Which is, of course, really hot. "Thought you were gonna split the Berstein Family Jewels, didn't ya, comrade? Think again, Mousey Tongue! I'm Josh Bernstein and I right-cross the 'chin' right out of 'Chinese Communism' !"

10. Josh's sang-froid is such that he jokes with himself while painfully falling off a cliff. Not even Batman does that.

Dang, with his dry inner commentary, Josh really puts the 'arch' in archeology, don't he?

I love sang-froid; it makes me all hot-blooded! Which is rather ironic, when you think about it.

11. Josh can read ancient Chinese while hanging on one-handed for dear life from the edge of cliff.

I mean, c'mon, people; what more could you ask?

The end of the issue says "To Be Continued". I pray to Rama Kushna that's true, because I swear I would buy every issue of "Digging for Truth".

Including the variant covers.


Anonymous said...

After that last panel, one hopes Joel Cairo will warn him about that Miss O'Shaughnessy.

Phillip said...

Yeah, she's just trouble.

Phillip said...

BTW, is "chistology" really the best word for that? Wouldn't that more properly be the study of jokes?

Anonymous said...

WOW! What fun! I loved the scene with the monk in the fanfiction. Almost as good as Tooth the Fanfiction! Do you get the picture I'm going to plug it until every one of you reads it?

Anonymous said...

Monk in the fanfiction... HAH. Comic I meant.

Bully said...

This looks fun. Gotta pick it up on FCBD. Thanks for the head's up!

Anonymous said...

Hurry up with the next update Scipio! I expect an update every time I come home and wake up! You must supply!

Anonymous said...

The next black character must be the black rider or vixen.

Bill said...

I picked up a huge stack of these last week, and I gave this out to my students (I teach middle school girls, and I've shown one Digging for the Truth episode in class before), and we laughed. They hated the art. My manga girl decided it would be a useful resource for her comics, because she wants to work on not always having the same static point-of-view shot in each panel.