Things That Suck, by John Ostrander

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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6 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    "Merge" is too much like "co-operate". You stand a better chance of getting that working TARDIS.I follow a simple driving rule I learned from a "Gilbert Shelton's Driving Tips" strip back in the 70's – the first driver to acknoledge the existence of the other driver loses the right of way. That's why all great drivers wear dark sunglasses. While driving a Candian co-worker in from the airport, we were waiting (to choose a polite term) for 18,000 cars to enter the two lanes of the Lincoln Tunnel. My passenger calmly remarks, "This it silly – everybody should just take turns." I looked him as one would look at the poor deluded Thermians in Galaxy Quest. "Yes, James," I said, "Everyone should take turns. And we should also feed the poor and find jobs for the homeless, but I don't see that happening any time soon."

    • Mike Gold says:

      We were driving from Chicago back to Connecticut couple years ago, east on I-80 around the Ohio / Pennsylvania border. There was a sign on the two lane road: Right Lane Closed – 3 miles – Merge Left. Everybody — EVERYBODY — merged into the left lane flawlessly. We maintained a constant speed, somewhere around 60 miles an hour. Not a single driver shot down the remaining length of the right lane to force his way into traffic at the merge-point. Not one.My daughter, who grew up in New York / Connecticut / New Jersey, had never seen such a thing before. She was agape and agog, as if the martians had just landed to direct traffic.Adriane was learning how to drive several years previous to this, and I was doing the paternal "overexplain everything you do" thing while driving. We had just left I-95 to merge onto US 1 in central Connecticut and I was in the left lane, third back from the red light. I told Adriane that just two days ago, at that very spot, the idiot behind me pulled out and passed all three of us to make an illegal left turn from the wrong lane against the red light onto a very, very busy four lane road.As I was telling her this story, at that VERY moment, at that very spot, the idiot behind me pulled out and passed all three of us to make an illegal left turn from the wrong lane against the red light onto a very, very busy four lane road. Twice in three days. John's right about Connecticut drivers. At least in eastern New Jersey the whole area was entirely built up long before they built the highways. They had to retro-fit everything, which led to a lot of dangerous merges and intersections. They did the best they could. At that same time, Connecticut was mostly cows and Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel. The idea of building an interstate highway that runs from Washington to Philadelphia to Newark to New York City to Stamford to New Haven to Providence to Boston that usually runs a mere three lanes in each direction — sometimes only two — was sheer stupidity on a level matched only by the Vietnam War and Iraq War II. And I'm not certain which has the higher body count.

  2. Russ Rogers says:

    John, you don't have to be dating yourself. I think that is what having a sweetie like Mary is for!

  3. Alan Coil says:

    The key to getting your own way in most traffic situations is to drive a rusty, beat-up old pickup truck. At a time when I had little cash, the only thing I could afford was a 12-year-old pickup in that condition. I was amazed at how often people would change lanes to get away from me.

  4. Stephen Bergstrom says:

    Under-appreciated, eh? I'll see what I can do about that.

  5. Jim Kingman says:

    What issue of Wasteland accompanies this article?