Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

What I am thinking about today, 4/14/2022

Every so often, I remember that the only person left from the original EC comics crew is Angelo Torres. The comics EC put out between 1950 and 1955 were the best drawn comics line in history. I love Kirby and Ditko, but the lineup they had was incredible:

Wally Wood

Jack David

Graham Ingles

Jack Kamen

Harvey Kurtzman

Bill Elder

Al Feldstein

Johnny Craig

Basil Wolverton

Al Williamson

Bernie Krigstein

Joe Orlando

And that’s just off the top of my head without looking. Angelo recently had a series of stories in the Dark Horse revival of Creepy and Eerie that were as good as his work on the Warren mags in the 60’s and 70’s.

There is a Russian professional cosplayer I follow on the internets. At first, it was because “Hey, she’s pretty when she’s dressed like Gwen Stacy”, and she also did a lot of shoots with anime and video game characters. She sells photos at conventions, have professional photo shoots and the like. Yes, I like looking at pretty women. About a year or so ago, she posted a bunch of videos and pics from a protest in Moscow she had attended. She does videos on Twitch and Instagram where she talked about what was going on in Russia, and I must admit I am a person who loves that sort of content so that I can see what people’s lives are like all over the world.

About two months ago she had to leave Russia quickly. No details, but lots of apologies that there wasn’t new content, and stuff about supporting Ukraine. Now that she is in Istanbul, she has gone pack to posting pictures of herself in costume and being at conventions in Europe, but she also posts about how most of her team is still in Russia, how to help people in Ukraine, and how sad she is that she can’t be home any more.

There are three things I think about this:

1) How gut wrenching it is that these sorts of things can happen so quickly.

2) Here is a young woman who makes a living being pretty and dressing up in costumes who is trying to help people by using her influence to push people to do something. THIS IS WHY CELEBRITIES TAKE UP CAUSES.

3) How, when used right, social media can bring us into other people’s lives and connect to help people we otherwise would know nothing about. To most people, the conflict in Ukraine is something in a country far away that we see on the news, but seeing the actual toll on the people affected makes it more tragic and compels us to take action more readily.

I have internet friends all over the world. Here on Facebook, many of the people I am “friends” with are comics fans or wrestling fans. But through that connection, I get the see into the lives of people all over the world so that I can understand their lives better. Through those connections, I can embrace our differences in culture, language, and thoughts. In doing so, I grow and learn. Thank you to ALL of my friends outside the US.

Be kind, be courageous and be cool.

Much love to friends old and new.


What I am thinking about today, 4/5/2022

My daughter-in-law posted that she gets to enjoy their vacation more because The Boy has planned everything for them. I am incredibly happy about this for a lot of reasons, but the big one is that my marriage fell apart because I was so worried about us not having enough money to get by that I worked so many hours between the two jobs, I didn’t have anything of myself left to give anyone. He has learned from my mistakes while taking my propensity for planning. I have a lot of reason to be proud of him, but this one is what I am thinking about today.

I cannot stop thinking that the Professor who oversaw the college newspaper when I wrote for them would be pleased that I FINALLY am doing journalism. And then when he found out it was writing about Professional Wrestling, he’d put his head in in hands. He kept pushing me to go into journalism, but everything I wrote was opinion based, so I knew there was no way to jump directly into that. And now, newspapers are pretty much dead.

The group home clients like watching the old shows on things like Antenna TV and MeTV, so I saw the old show “It’s A Living” being shown, and I didn’t think it lasted long enough to be syndicated. THE SHOW LASTED 6 SEASONS!!!

The Super Console X I purchased is a bit quirky, but I love that I can fire it up and play old arcade games, old NES games, and I am starting to branch out into games I never got to play “back in the day”. I tend to fire it up 2 – 3 times a week, and wallow in video game nostalgia.

Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today: 4/4/2022

I took a few days off from the office job to cover wrestling shows over Wrestlemania week, and thankfully, I didn’t draw any Death Match shows. The Indy shows I watched were fun, many of which had people who did their best to entertain a crowd they normally wouldn’t have (since they have the shows in the same city as Mania to get those people). The New Japan Pro Wrestling show I covered was head and shoulders about all of them since New Japan is a full time company with excellent management. I know a show is great when I quit writing what I see and just enjoy it, and isn’t that why I started watching Wrestling?

Go check out the coverage at They did an incredible job covering shows over Mania week, and I don’t just say that because I was a part of it.

Trump’s “Truth Social” alternative to Twitter and Facebook for conservatives is crashing and burning, and the funding is under investigation by the SEC since he did it through issuing stock. What they (and all of the other conservative social media attempts) is that Conservatives don’t’ want to talk to each other. They want to troll other people. Even in interviews about why people aren’t using it, they talk about how liberals aren’t signing up, so it’s not as much fun as “pwning the libs”, which is all Conservatism is since Living YouTube Comment Section Trump took over the party. Until they figure out how to put that into their social media, they will continue to crash as hard as Reaganbook did.

By the way, this is your reminder than I am little to the left of Bernie Sanders. The US version fo left and right have become utterly skewed. Clinton, Obama, and Biden are a bit right of center in how they govern, and anyone who calls them “Socialists” can be ignored as clueless.

I took a LOT of time over the last week to sort, box and put away comics/books/graphic novels/omnibuses and my living room is as cleared as it is going to get while I live by myself. I also took the time to get other things under control (fridge was completely cleaned, etc…). Kind of proud of myself on that front. Working two jobs, freelance writing, recording podcasts, and sleeping takes so much time that I often wave my hands at things and say “I’ll get to it later.” Having three days off was later.

Comics I have read lately that made me happy:

The Big Spider-Man “Beyond” storyline

Jason Aaron’s “Wolverine and the X-Men
Asterix Omnibus 6
Batman: Penguin (a trade paperback with a sampling of Penguin stories over the years)

Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 35
Avengers: The Initiative Volume 1

Inkblot Volume 2

Much love to friends old and new.

Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today 3/18/2022

-I am amused by my silly post about complaining about going back to the office got a few “care” icons. I was giggling to myself the whole time I wrote it, thinking how privileged it was. I have two jobs I am good at, they pay well enough I have a roof, a car, more comics, movies, books, and video games that I have time for. Working from home has been wonderful for me, but I do understand that in some jobs you need that collaboration. I just go through reports and take phone calls and can do that anywhere it’s quiet and has an internet connection. Hopefully, I get to keep working from home for my office job.

-Have felt out of sorts this week, upset stomach, headache, general unease, and the like. Probably didn’t help that I ate something that disagreed with me on Tuesday. Thankfully, this is the first Friday I have had off from the group home in a LONG time, so when I am done with work, I’ll hit the treadmill, cover the AEW Wrestling show, and try to finally get my living room under control.

-The Kray Z Comics and Stories podcast I do with Kray is being moved to Wednesdays, same day as new comics come in! This gives me some extra breathing room, since it’s been late the last few weeks due to work stuff. As I put together the episodes, I like how easy going the show is, and it’s what I always wanted it to be: Two old friends talking geeky stuff, helping people navigate a market filled to the brim with new material, stuff about the history of comics, but never becoming a “Everything new sucks!” show, and enough silliness to give a chuckle as you listen.

-I am not a big horror fan, but I will say that the online fandom for horror movies is 150% less filled with jerks than the big SF movie franchise fandoms.

-I watched a Marvel online event where they interviewed Spider-Man creators where they gave away an NFT. I mentioned that I had watched it on Twitter and have been inundated with Cypto-bros wanting to ask me about the blockchain. So, I did just that. Blocked them.

-I’d like if Marvel scanned and put their western comics up on Marvel Unlimited in full. After the hero books took over, they (and the romance comics) were used for new talent to try out and get their chops before going onto the superhero books. Plus, I haven’t read a lot of them, and they ones I have read are decent enough fun.

Much love to friends old and new. Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today 3/15/2022

-Wrestler Scott Hall passed away yesterday. He was part of the biggest wrestling story fo all time that created the biggest wrestling boom of all time while doing an imitation of Al Pacino’s “Scarface” accent. He had a rough life filled with psychological trauma and substance abuse because of it. Dallas Page helped him turn his life around, and to me, that is more important that the fame, the matches, and the career. I wish peace and love to his friends, family, and fans.

-Super vivid dreams lately about paths not taken. Weird in many ways. I did like the dream last night where I was in a small grocery story that was mostly stocked with “healthy” cereals and I explained to people that if I were a kid, I would have lost my mind. IT’S NOT JUST A GIMMICK, EVERYONE!!

-According to the forecast, we are about to get our spring warm up here in Minnesota. For once, I am kind of looking forward to it because I felt cooped up more than normal. Not just for me, but the people at the group homes I work at. Many of them have been in the house with only car rides to get out since it got chilly. I just hope we don’t go from cold to UNBEARABLY HUMID AND TERRIBLE like we did last year.

-I see we in the US are looking to make Daylight Saving Permanent, mostly because people are tired of changing their clocks. I wonder why we haven’t tried that before. Oh wait. We did. In 1974. And everyone hated it. A LOT.

-I am not at the group home at much, so I agreed to OT at the office job. Oddly, my supervisor sent me a message “Why do you have 2 hours of overtime today? What task do you need extra time for?” I sent back one of the 20 emails requesting people to work, many with a sense of desperation, with a note that said, “I don’t know why, but they have requested people for overtime every day for the last three months.” Left hand, please talk to the right hand.

Much love to friends old and new!


What I am thinking about today

Today is National Cereal day, but there are no special cereals this year. There are cereal based cookie kits, but it’s not the same, dammit.

Was utterly wiped when I got off work at the group home yesterday, and was asked to come back and work a sleeping overnight. I slept when I got home, went in and took a while to get back to sleep. Had dreams that would be best called annoying, including one where my son had changed up my computer. The keyboard had a new one with 4 times the keys, the operating system was a weird version of Microsoft BOB with wood paneling, to get to the internet, you had to simulate driving a car (and I accidentally turned onto a plane runway and ran into a landing jetliner so I couldn’t get on the internet), and I couldn’t figure out how to access anything on the hard drive. AND I JUST WANTED TO LISTEN TO A SONG. I kept telling everyone around me that this new system was terrible and I wanted the old one back. It wasn’t a nightmare, but the feeling of utter frustration carried over to my morning.

Heh. Microsoft BOB. I never ran it, but I am just fascinated by that massive failure. I still remember seeing a computer running it in a store and kept thinking, “This would just annoy me if it was on my computer.”

At the group home yesterday, all of the clients hung out in their own spaces, didn’t interact much, and did their own thing. I let them enjoy that for a Sunday because I know there would be times I don’t want to hang out with people either. However, at one point, there were three TVs playing “Match Game.”

The 10 day forecast says that 10 days from now, Chaska, MN will have a high of 61 degrees. I am not an outdoorsy kind of guy, but I will be happy to have time to read on the deck, hike and get the group home clients OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today: 2/24/2022

-Sorry, lots of political thoughts today. I try not to do it, but it’s preoccupying me.

-No, the invasion of Ukraine is not the start of WW III any more than the invasion of the Crimean Peninsula was. It is Putin knowing that the stakes are too great for NATO to start a war over a county that isn’t part of NATO, expanding Russia for economic reasons, and drumming up nationalism when his popularity in Russia is wavering. The scary part is that our Trumpian right wing is cheering him on. I swear at this point if Russia bombed a blue state, the red states would cheer.

-The Texas Governor’s new executive order that declares trans medical care child abuse & orders investigations of supportive parents is a terrible thing, one of the worst things I have seen in the US in a while, and is a pretense for the rules to go in front of the highly right wing Supreme Court. They tried to get this as a law before but the courts struck it down, so they are, predictably, going around the rules to enact it. As long as I live, I will never understand the hate for LGBTQ people and will do what I can to oppose it. I have been around LGBTQ people as long as I have lived, and they are people. As deserving of respect, love, and protection as any other human being. When someone singles out a group for persecution, they show themselves to be less than human, IMHO.

– On a nonpolitical note, the show Girl Meets Farm has been giving me a lot of comfort and joy. It’s a cooking show, filled with fun cooking ideas, and the host projects a feeling of warmth and fun that makes the show a nice half hour of comfort. It’s stress free watching, and I need that at times. Although, she could stop saying the word “cozy” 20 times an episode and I would be fine with that.

-Speaking of comfort, now that the Star Trek novels aren’t all interconnected and are back to mostly one offs, they are a comfort as well. Professionally written, engaging plots with familiar characters. I am not one for rewatching things, so it gives me the familiar vibes of rewatching a show with my annoyance that I know where each scene is going.

-The current Spider-Man storyline in the comics is well done, and for a story put together by a four person writing team, remarkably consistent. There is a place for “corporate” comics as well as more individual comics just like there’s a place for a TV series with a writing team as well as a singular vision.

-In a dream last night, I was arrested for murder. I didn’t know who had been killed, and thought, when I was questioned, I was just giving information on someone dangerous. What got me was the level of detail in the dream of the entire world Dream Me was living in. I knew things in this alternate life going back to childhood, the town I was living in, and the rest. When I woke up, I kept thinkign about it, and both in the dream and awake I was trying to think of how I could prove my innocence. It wasn’t until I got out of bed that I realized that the GSR test not only showed only GSR on my hand (not clothing or the rest, meaning I was given a gun to hold covered in GSR), but that I showed I had held the gun in my left hand, when I am right handed. So, Dream Me, I just figured out how to prove your innocence.

Much love to friends old and new. Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today, 2/21/2022

-The people banning books are complaining about cancel culture. I weep for an entire group of people who have never heard Allison Morrisette’s music.

-Joe and I recorded last week for today’s podcast, and something weird happened on his end, shutting down Skype and losing the recording after the shutdown. It’s why I like to have fill in episodes waiting, but two hours of chatting was lost in the ether. I used a lot of swear words when I discovered that.

-I mean a LOT of swear words. It was worse than a version of the Aristocrats.

-Superfly by Curtis Mayfield is the top soundtrack album that outshine the movie.

-I finished watching Star Trek Prodigy this weekend, and it’s a good kid’s show that introduces Star Trek to a new generation. It had science puzzles, stories about learning to work together as a crew, and the animation was beautiful. I also liked that the alien races seemed like actual aliens instead of people with makeup. It wasn’t made for me, but it’s a nice half hour SF show that plays in a familiar universe.

-I need to take a break from the self published mystery novels I keep getting on my Kindle (most are free to get you to buy the next book in the series) and go back to a time when midline books had some supervision. The last one I read felt like the author couldn’t figure out how the killed could be discovered, so she just had them show up and explain how it was done. I get that mysteries are bard, but the “I have you beaten, so now here is how I did it” is beyond cringey at this point.

Much love to friends old and new. Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today: 2/8/2022

What I am thinking about today:

-I was once told that “whatever foods you are craving is what your body needs to be healthy.” The person who told me that has obviously never craved Honeycomb cereal, Goldfish crackers by the handful, bourbon, or caramel syrup.

-I have three days off from the office job starting tomorrow. I will be using it to try to catch up on things in the house, reset my busy schedule, and run every errand I haven’t had time to run for the last three months. Saturday will be for rest, and Sunday is a group home shift where things will be quiet and calm. My Sundays with the clients are nice in that I don’t have to rush things. They are more laid back and I don’t have to worry about getting them fed, their meds and into bed before they get too tired to do anything.

-I will also see about getting out and doing something a few times while I am off. Working from home and then over to the group hoem means I am really only spending time either alone or with developmentally disabled folks. I love the people I work with, but it’s hard to have a conversation of some heft with them. And, even if I don’t talk to anyone, getting to a coffee house for some reading and people watching, or going to a place to shoot pool would be a welcome change.

-The Oscars were announced today. I haven’t seen most of them, but then I haven’t seen most movies due to the insane schedule I seem to be on. I did laugh at Bill Mahar last year when he had a long whine that the Oscar movies were sad. Dude, have you EVER PAID ATTENTION TO WHAT WINS? It’s well known that comedies never win, and Oscar voters prefer tragedies because they are more “serious” and therefor more important to the people who vote for them.

-At this point in my life, I only pay attention to award nominations to see them as suggestions for things to try. There is so much art/media being produced you can’t possibly keep up on it if you have any sort of life. I am behind on everything (Just finished Squid Game last weekend) that I have a list I am working through without trying to keep up.

Much love to friends old and new. Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today: 2/3/2022

What I am thinking about today:

-The reason why Maus being banned as a text on the Holocaust by a school district is a big deal for a few reasons. First, it is another in a wave of book bannings that shows how the right wing are going to try to win back the suburbs after losing them under Trump. The second is that it is one of the few books about the Holocaust that does not have a “kind white person” as a savior.

-”The Diary of Anne Frank” is about a family being hidden by Kind White People. MOST of the Holocaust narratives is about someone saving people (and in Anne Frank, her time in a camp is not in the book) Maus is about what it was like in the camps without a savior. It shows the evil of that happened with no saving graces. That is why it is important, and why removing it removes an aspect of the horror of what happened that is so hard for people removed from it be history to wrap their minds around.

-”Hey Cory!!, what do you think about the Whoopi Goldberg situation?” I don’t.

-I am at level of burnout at my office job, and thankfully, I have scheduled a few days off next week. It comes off as me not giving much of a damn about anything. I’ll be happy to actually give a damn in a couple of weeks.

-I am reading a mystery where the subplot is the lead character trying to figure out the password to a thumb drive. The author has said the owner of the thumb drive had a bunch of stuff written on the business card that doesn’t make any sense and had given it to the lead character with a note about the thumb drive existing. Let’s hope the writer is trying to make the point that the lead character is the dumbest human being alive.

-Moviemaker Roland Emmerich is complaining that super-hero movies are killing the movie business and aren’t real cinema. So, the guy who gave us the 1998 Godzilla movie, Independence Day: Resurgence, 10,000 BC, and the upcoming Moonfall (a movie about the Moon being an alien bent on destroying the Earth) thinks Avengers: Endgame isn’t up to his standards of quality. Roland, I can call you Roland, right? Go pound sand, Roland.

Much love to friends old and new. Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


Post Navigation