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 Eharmony.com 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.