Monday, December 6, 2010

0071. Utena Tenjou

Tenjou Utena is the heroine of the Japanese comic and anime Revolutionary Girl Utena.  The original comic did not posses the same darkness that the anime would come to have, but both forms of the narrative established Utena, as well as many other members of the cast, as icons of adolescent alternative sexuality.  It is often included in the "yuri" genre- a loose canon tied together by the theme of female love.  

It's one giant, complex allegory, and Utena is a girl who wants to be a prince and save princesses.  In her story, she is given a princess to protect almost immediately.  We are led through the light and darkness of adolescence through symbol and reference, helped along by swordfights and so, so many roses.

For anime fans interested in possibly-lesbian-narratives growing up in the nineties, Utena was the 102 course to Yuri 101: Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.  Utena was not a unique character is theme– the heroine-who-dresses-up-as-a-prince trope is preceded by Lady Oscar and Princess Sapphire–  but she was accessible to that generation as the comic and anime were licensed and translated in the United States at that time.

The story of Revolutionary Girl Utena unfolds much like a play, three acts establishing allegories of virtues, sins, and the apocalypse. It was disguised at first as a shoujo (girls) story, but gradually revealed itself to be rather dark and twisted- it was artful, and led to the production of a movie so bizarre fans are not sure whether to mention that particular incarnation to anyone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Greetings, Idolizers!

This project is in a sort of interim period at the moment, to be resumed with regular updates starting in December!  In the time between, we've made a print run of all the idols, taken them to two shows, and begun working on a book chronicling the process of those first 70 little icons.  I've also been taking some time to study the history of idols and icons, starting with the excitement of the 700's iconclasm.

Until then, if you are at all interested in purchasing prints of idols for the holidays (individually packaged and backed true-size 4x6 inch prints) for $5 a piece, feel free to email me at  The order process is rudimentary (but secure) at the moment, but should become a little more sophisticated in the future.

When the blog returns, there will not only be regularly updating new idols, but also some essays and discussions as they come organically to the blog.  In preparation for some of that, if YOU have photos of your own idols, send them to me! I hope to have the opportunity to share them in an essay or even just a gallery on this blog in the future.

-and as always, send idol suggestions as well.  Though I have a running list of 100+ yet to complete, 100 is no where near 1000, so I will need suggestions from all over and outside of my individual perspective.  You can email or simply comment those suggestions to me at any time.

Who do you idolize?

Thanks for your patience and support!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

0070. Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae is an American musician and performer who founded the Wondaland Arts Society, a band of performers and thinkers who bear the creed "We believe music is the weapon of the future."

Monae recently released Archandroid,  a sweeping epic album that's taken the music world by storm not only because of its intelligence and beauty, but also because of Monae as a character- her energetic, gender bending performances have captivated viral media.

Monae recently turned some heads by doing a photoshoot with a moustache, and defended the look with integrity and sincerity when the "girlstache" was challenged.  This is what piqued my interest in her as a performer and a persona, though I was well converted to a fan the moment I heard her album weeks prior.

Find her and Archandroid at

Monday, September 20, 2010

0068. + 0069. Mulder and Scully

Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are the dynamic lead duo from the TV/Movie franchise, The X-Files.

The show, centered around the pair of FBI agents investigating paranormal activity, was a hit in 1990's because it examined growing public sentiments regarding the government, conspiracy theories, and extraterrestrial and spiritual phenomena.  The true staying power, however, was in the characters, whose theoretical dissonance and unresolved sexual tension made the show captivating and addicting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

0067. Bala Krishna

Krishna is one of the many forms of Vishnu, and  the worship of Bala Krishna (child Krishna) attests to the strength of his childhood mythology and legend, and the value of the concept of lila, or "Divine Play."

Bala Krishna stands out to me as a deity with a rich narrative civilian legend.  The eighth son of Vasudeva, he was conceived without sexual union, but rather through the minds of his parents, and was surrendered to foster parents to avoid being murdered by his uncle who was fated to be destroyed by Vasudeva's eighth child.  It is in his country life where his legend flourishes- from tales of transforming a basket of fruit to jewels for a kind lady, to sucking the life out of the teat of a woman sent to poison him!

As a child he is revered for his brightness and love of fun and affection, but as a god, he represents also a strong sense of morality, cleverness, and retribution.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Posting Delay

A quick note to mention that new idols will not be posted until next Friday (9/17/10) as I focus on completing an another project this week.  Thanks for following along!

Friday, September 3, 2010

0066. Shiva

Shiva is the "destroyer," and third in the Hindu trimurti.  This particular depiction of Shiva is the Nataraja Shiva, performing the universe-destroying dance that makes way for Brahma to begin creation again.  The dance represents the destruction of illusion, and is usually represented in a bronze sculpture.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

0065. Oscar François de Jarjayes

Oscar François de Jarjayes, also known as "Lady Oscar" is the heroine of the monumental Japanese comic hit The Rose of Versailles, a girls' comic from the 1970's about a young woman raised as a knight who serves Princess Marie Antoinette. The comic has been a lasting favorite of Japan, retold in animation and musicals and still marketed through merchandise to this day.

The Rose of Versailles was born at the peak of the golden age of shoujo manga (lit. girl's comics), starring a brave and determined woman knight that inspired countless other manga artists. Lady Oscar was a direct influence on another comic girl knight, Tenjou Utena from Revolutionary Girl Utenawho shaped a large part of my drawing style growing up, and who lingers in many of my illustration sensibilities today.

Monday, August 30, 2010

0064. Prince/Princess Sapphire

Sapphire is the main character of Osamu Tezuka's 1950's comic Ribon No Kishi, a tale of a youth born with both a boy's and girl's heart.  While her biological gender is female, she is raised as a boy by her father, the king, in order to prevent an evil man from inheriting the throne.  There's subplot about an angel that is trying to correct his mistake by retrieving her extra heart, but she refuses to let him take her boy's heart away.  She also dons a mask and fights crime at night!

In theory, Ribon no Kishi sounds incredibly progressive.  A dual-gendered girl-prince who moonlights as a masked crusader?  What about that isn't progressive?  Actually, the narrative. In practice, Sapphire is very much a girl dreaming of being a princess and a wife, and her boy heart seems incidental.

What makes Ribon no Kishi interesting to me is the place in holds, or doesn't hold, in the history of shoujo comics.  Shoujo manga (lit. girl's comics) is a genre with a history rooted deep in the Japanese gender roles cultivated at the turn of the century. The genre features sparkles and flowers, overflowing emotional narrative, flowing pages often without panels, and stars delicate, gentle girls with those signature giant starry eyes.  From a masculine retelling of shoujo manga history, Ribon no Kishi is a landmark tale that set a standard for the genre.  In reality, and an only recently accepted feminine perspective, Ribon no Kishi is an exception to the genre, rather than a contribution.

Past the jump, more on Ribon no Kishi's place in the history of girl's comics in Japan.  Historical perspectives and facts for this entry are heavily drawn from the fantastic essay Opening the Closed World of Shoujo Manga by Mizuki Takahashi, in the book Japanese Visual Culture, Ed. Mark MacWilliams, 2008.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

0063. Lakshmi

Lakshmi is the hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.  She is the consort of Vishnu and is closely connected to the icon of the lotus.

Monday, August 23, 2010

0062: Diana

Diana is the Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, and the protector of virgins.  Originally just a goddess of the hunt, she morphed into a goddess with more responsibilities, and one of them, vowing to never marry.  She's a powerful symbol with a hint of "I don't need a man" in her qualifiers.

Diana always seemed like an odd kind of goddess from the 21st century standpoint, where hunting is socionormatively a "man's job."  But here she is, goddess of the hunt, and also, no, you can't marry her, so none of that "this character is totally independent until she gets married."

The reason you don't see any Disney Princesses on this blog is because of their tendency to be dimensional until they throw away any prior motivations/talents/aspirations/interesting traits to lay down and be a wife and princess.  I'm not the first to complain about it, so I'll spare you the essay, but Diana seemed to transcend all of that.  She likes to hunt and hang out around the moon, and no, she's not giving it up for anything.  A pretty amazing "independent woman" role model. Too bad she doesn't have her own animated movie.

...don't get me wrong, though.  I like men too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

0061. BlackJack

The star of one of Osamu Tezuka's many lengthy comic epics,  BlackJack is the rogue, unlicensed surgeon, saving lives and collecting a high fee. It ran for ten years from the eighties into the nineties, and spawned a animated television show and two movies.

A serious, morbid comic, the audience evaluates the human condition through the eyes of this surgeon, who really has nothing to lose and very opaque motives.  The series is a serial at its best, self-contained issues that drop in clues of a larger storyline as time goes on- about his past, about why he became a surgeon, about the people he's loved and lost and gained, and what his mission is.  An antagonist appears later on, a euthanasist who Blackjack loathes for killing people he's sure he could have saved.  On the whole, Blackjack is a good man, working for good even when his patients and onlookers send him away with curses and scorn.  Dramatic irony at its best and most heartbreaking.

The Blackjack comic is a masterpiece, and is being released stateside in a fabulous presentation and translation. Tezuka is a master of an artform that developed a bit differently in Japan than it did in Western comics, and the devices he uses can be a pleasant surprise to those used to comics in the West.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

0060. Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard is an executive transvestite.  And is covered in bees.  And makes us wonder- cake or death?

If having a near unlimited catalog of hilarious sound bites (that send nearby listeners into instant fits of genuine giggles) is any indication of greatness as a comic, then Izzard is clearly at the top of his craft.  But not only is he a brilliant British comic, he is an executive transvestite.  And a cross dressing comedian who's joke isn't that he's a male in a dress.

Below, his most quotable comedic ramble, "Cake or Death:"

Monday, August 16, 2010

0059: Spock

Spock is the half-vulcan half-human first officer on the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek franchise.  Played by Leonard Nemoy in the original television series, he provides to the series an "impartial view of the human condition."  Named on the the 50 Greatest Television characters by TV Guide, he is a still-loved character, revisited with positive reviews in 2009 alternate-timeline Star Trek movie.

I can never claim to have been a Star Trek fan only because I was never a fan of science fiction in general.  My primary knowledge of Spock is that he is half of the pairing that gave birth to the phenomena of slash fiction in the United States- that is, the act of creating fictional "fan" works featuring a relationship between male characters that do not have a romantic relationship in cannon.

I can also never claim to not be a fan of slash fiction in general, so there's my big dark secret, huh?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

0057 & 0058: Maggie and Hopey

Margarita Luisa "Maggie" Chascarrillo and Esperanza Leticia "Hopey" Glass are the two focal characters in comic artist Jaime Hernandez's opus Locas.  As part of the Love and Rockets series (composed along with brothers Gilbert and Mario) these two Latina women have an open relationship around which the narrative is built.  They evolve over time and tribulation- moving up, moving on, and moving down and back again.  They are sometimes lovers and always friends across adventures that range from the nearly science-fictional to the most soap-opera-y drama.

When I became interested in LGBT comic book icons, I was told that Love & Rockets was a series I Had To Read.  I fell in love with the art, but much less the narrative (not for lack of quality but on account of my tastes) and am continually impressed by the work, now compiled in beautiful hardcovers in  Locas: The Maggie And Hopey Stories.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Temporary Posting Schedule Change

For the next couple of weeks, Idols will only be posting three times a week, while the artist sorts out some personal stuff.  Thanks for following.

Monday, August 9, 2010

0056. Jareth/David Bowie

Like in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, the character of Jareth is tied together with the personality portraying him.  This time, it's David Bowie.  Jareth was the Goblin King from the stunning 1986 Jim Henson movie Labyrinth.  He was a complex character with ambiguous motives that set girls hearts on fire with his desperate desire for the heroine- though his consistently tight pants may have helped, too.  David Bowie performed the musical numbers for the film and his personality brought a level of elegant strangeness to the character that he would have lacked at the hand of any other actor.

As a young girl, I recognized the genius of this backwards fairy tale, as well as the gorgeous aesthetics that made up the scenery and costume.  Being used to tales of delicate princesses rescued by dashing princes, seeing Sarah grow strong as resist the longing Jareth was a welcome shock.  Understanding that she was the one with power over him made the world of fiction all the more complex and beautiful to me.

And now, have some When the World Falls Down.

Friday, August 6, 2010

0055. Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami is a contemporary Japanese artist, exploring many themes including, but not limited to, marketing, Japanese aesthetics and culture, history, and war.  His projects involve painting, sculpture, printing, installation and animation. He is known for his visual theory "Superflat," an aesthetic perception fostered in Japan and supposedly reflective of it's post-war history.  He often collaborates with designer label Louis Vuitton, creating both designer items and fine art from the collaboration.

His Studio:

Murakami remains one of my favorite contemporary artists, from the moment I read Little Boy, and unearthed his previous title Superflat.  Being one of those middle schoolers obsessed with anime in the '90's, I'd always wondered what role anime could play in fine art, and how it could do so intelligently.  Murakami addressed not only anime, but Japan's entire visual culture, in a way that made sense to make art about.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

0053 + 0054. Thoth and Seshat

Thoth and Seshat are Egyptian Dieties, corresponding to speech and writing respectively.  Thoth represents the heart and the ability to mediate and distinguish between good and evil.  He is a powerful god, playing a key role in many important Egyptian legends.  Seshat is known as the scribe or the record keeper, and she may be the daughter or wife of Thoth depending on the myth.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

0052. Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor is an Irish musician who rose to fame in the late 1980's.  She became famous for her rendition of "Nothing Compares 2 U," and made headlines because of her outspokenness regarding abuse, women's rights, war, and, (unfortunately) for simply having a shaved head.  Her most well known protest was as a musical guest on the Saturday Night Live show in 1992, where she ripped a picture of Pope John Paul II in half on air in protest of the Catholic Church and the alleged sexual abuse scandals related to it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

0051. Velma

Velma Dinkley is the bespeckled "nerd" character in the television and movie cartoon franchise Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo is a pop culture phenomenon that began in 1969 and is still producing incarnations to this day. Velma provides the voice of reason, usually the solution to the mystery of the day, and copious amounts of "Scooby Snacks" to encourage her bumbling teammates Scooby and Shaggy to continue doing their job.

I had a big girl-crush on Velma as a kid.  I figured she would have way more fun with me than she would with those idiots on her team- though I didn't have a sick ride to impress her with. Dang Mystery Machine setting the bar too high...

Friday, July 30, 2010

0050. Divine

Divine was the drag persona of the late Harris Glenn Milstead. Starring in many of John Water's 1970's "trash films", including her most famous Pink Flamingos, and the more mainstream Hairspray (now a famous Broadway musical), Divine went on to a music career before an untimely death at the age of 42. Divine was wild, freaky, and inspirational, and even today is an epic icon of drag queens, performance artists, and gender others.

Divine was only ever a part of my life as an icon– having been terrified to come within a few feet of John Water's trash films and being too young to fully appreciate her golden age– I knew her only as a musician (of sorts) and a drag idol.  Though I understand that this is not the scope of her career, by far, this music video pretty much sums up what Divine is for me:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

0049. Xena: Warrior Princess

Xena was originally a minor character on the late 90's television show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but went on to have her own series Xena: Warrior Princess. Portrayed by Lucy Lawless, she was a fierce and independent female protagonist. She became a pop culture icon that is referenced both humorously and reverently.  She became a lesbian icon as well, because of her ambiguous relationship with her best friend and travel companion, Gabrielle.

I'll be honest, I wasn't a Xena watcher.  But I remember that day in middle school, when New York radio Station Z100 was having one of their trivia contests for tickets to some pop concert I wouldn't be caught dead at, and the question was something about a Television character that was revered as a lesbian icon.  After a few minutes of wrong answers from callers, he clarified that it was not necessarily a lesbian character.  When the answer, Xena, came up, I filed it away in the part of my brain that was expanding my understanding of how complex gender and sexuality was.

Oh, then I looked her up on the internet (at the time, we hadn't started calling it "googling" yet.  Imagine!) to see if there were any pictures of her kissing another woman.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

0048. Gerald Johannsen

Gerald was the best friend to the titular character of Craig Bartlett's cartoon Hey Arnold!, which ran on Nickelodeon in the late nineties. A "token black" character, if ever there was one, Gerald was inarguably cool, composed, fun, and was the keeper of school legends.

Hey Arnold! was one of those odd shows that I loved despite loathing the main character.  I thought Arnold himself was boring, too much of "the nice guy," and too dense- besides being wrapped up in a love triangle that obviously was never going to be resolved.  No, I was much more interested in Gerald.  He had two layers of character, the "cool guy" part of him that, as a middle school, he exuded for survival, and the personal layer that showed he was more complex than his performed persona.  Also, he had a vague ongoing crush with Phoebe, (the only Asian as far as the eye could see in this show) that seemed sweet, mutual and resolvable.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

0047. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air/ Will Smith

In West Philadelphia (born and raised) on a playground, where he spent most of his days, he was chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool, and shooting some b-ball outside of the school- when a couple of guys (they were up to no good) starting making trouble in his neighborhood. He got in one little fight, and his mom got scared, and said "You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air!"

He whistled for a cab, and when it came near, the license plate said "fresh" and there were dice in the mirror! If anything, he could say that this cab was rare- but he thought "Man, forget it- Yo, home to Bel-Air!"

He pulled up the house at about seven or eight, and he yelled to the cabbie, "Yo Homes! Smell ya later!" He looked at his kingdom. He was finally there! To sit on his throne, as the Prince of Bel Air.

Monday, July 26, 2010

0046. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy was the main character of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a television series that ran from 1997 to 2003 and has, even today, a cult following of devotees. Buffy was born of the idea of taking the scary-movie archetype of the frightened, helpless blonde and subverting it- establishing a protagonist who was prepared to, and repeatedly did, defend herself. This accounts for her feminist following a persevering fan devotion.

Guest blogger Jess LeClair writes about her personal experience with Buffy as an idol beyond the jump.

Friday, July 23, 2010

0045. Captain Planet

Captain Planet is the titular character of the early '90s cartoon show Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The show followed teenagers endowed with magic rings given to them by the spirit of the earth in order to stop environmental terrorism. Together, they could summon Captain Planet when they were in a pinch. The show was educational, and unique for it's environmentalist theme.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

0044. Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal is a professional American basketball player. After the height of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the late 90's/early 00's, Shaq went on to broaden his icon status by starring in movies (Kazaam is remembered fondly), releasing rap albums, and starring in reality TV shows. Recently, he's been rediscovered by a generation for his humorous twitter account, THE REAL SHAQ, for which the bio gives a pretty accurate description: 


Currently, Shaq plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I never actually watched basketball.  I came from Pennsylvania– and not the sophisticated  part, if you know what  I mean– so I watched Nascar.  In any case, I only know Shaq as a hilarious twitter account.  And Shaq-a-claus.

(Image Source: Sacramento

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

0043. Madonna

Madonna is a pop star known for her most popular music released in the 1980's. She was a figure of scandal because of her unapologetic sexuality. In the mid eighties, her presence was seen influencing mainstream fashion, and caused an upset with families with her hit "Like a Virgin." She is recognized at her most iconic by her "cone bra" that was a fixture of her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990.

Don't think for a second I don't have the music video for Like a Virgin burned into the "I'm-too-young-to-be-watching-this" part of my brain.  MTV was in a wonderful period when I was a kid, and I like to think it shaped a lot of who I grew up to be as an artist. Madonna was no small part of that.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

0042. The Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama is the spiritual (and physical) leader of Tibet. He is currently in exile from his country because of the influence of the Chinese Goverment. He is at the center of the Tibetan independence conflict with China, who has had control of Tibet since 1959, working towards gaining autonomy for his country.

Monday, July 19, 2010

0041. Daria Morgendorffer

Daria Morgendorffer is the misanthropic sweetheart of a generation disenchanted with the stupidity around it. Running from 1997 to 2002, the Daria cartoon captured the heart of a high-school niche that was begging for a sympathetic character to represent them. Daria's ability to tolerate her environment through employment of sardonic wit and pessimism was a strange but successful beacon for teenagers struggling to make sense of the world.

Friday, July 16, 2010

0040. Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Faith from 1978-2005, and the only Polish pope. He is generally regarded as one of the most influential popes– though his stance on some issues was highly conservative, he was positively credited for liberating Poland from communism and improving relations with other faiths.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

0039. Kate Bornstein

Kate Bornstein is a contemporary godmother of transsexuals, freaks, geeks, and others. She is a performance artist, author and gender theorist who supports the acceptance of alternative sexual lifestyles and offers psychological support for "others" and those who are considering suicide. She runs a blog and a twitter account in which she speaks to gender and sex ideas and encourages others to seek and share alternatives to suicide. She serves as a beacon of hope and encouragement for the those marginalized on the farthest fringes of society and sexuality.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

0038. Finn (Adventure Time)


Finn is the star of Adventure Time, a 2006 animated short that aired on Nickelodeon, and is fondly remembered by a cult following of twenty-somethings. In 2010, Adventure Time began a new life as 26 episode television series.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

0037. Brahma

Brahma is the Hindu god of Creation, in a trifecta that includes Vishnu (of Preservation) and Shiva (of destruction.) Brahma has four heads, and is reportedly not widely worshipped, somehow in the shadow of the other two gods of the trimurti.

Monday, July 12, 2010

0036. Conan O'Brien

Conan O' Brien is an American entertainer, famous for hosting Late Night with Conan O'Brien from 1993 until 2009. He took over the Tonight Show for a year before reappearing in the pop-culture spotlight because of a feud with NBC regarding plans for the show. The masses of the internet rallied around him, with the catch phrase "I'm with Coco" as their war cry. O'Brien left Tonight, and is now on tour and plans on hosting a show on TBS later in the year.

Friday, July 9, 2010

0035. Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was a 19th century Irish poet, playwright, and author. His most notable works are A Picture of Dorian Grey and The Importance of Being Earnest, both still in wide circulation and study. He was also known as a personality, lively, brightly dressed, a character and a conversationalist. He was an unapologetic homosexual, and his ungraceful downfall came after losing a trial against his lover's father, and he was later sentenced to two years for "indecency." He remains an icon for writers, gays, and free thinkers alike.

Happy Birthday, Rob!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

0034. Peppermint Patty

Peppermint Patty is one of the main characters of Charles Schultz's comic opus Peanuts. Rumored to have been inspired by the Womens Liberation Movement, Patty's characterization was of a tomboy– independent, shorts-wearing and sports-loving. She is one of a handful of progressive characters Shultz added to the roster without apology.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

0033. Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan is a professional wrestler, popular in the late 1980's and early nineties, billed as an all-American tough guy with the World Wrestling Federation. His wrestling career has spanned over thirty years, and he remains a staying pop culture and wrestling icon, remembered as a major part of the WWF's golden age of professional entertainment wrestling.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

0032. Bugs Bunny (As Brunhilde)

The 1954 cartoon short, What's Opera Doc? was voted the #1 Cartoon of all time forty years after its inception. This Merrie Melodies (Later known as "Loony Tunes") short was a parody of famous operas by Richard Wagner and took nearly six times as much manpower to create than the usual Merrie Melodies cartoon. The star of the show, of course, was Bugs Bunny as Brunhilde, and he's as confident in drag as ever.

Monday, July 5, 2010

0031. Mr. T

Mr.T is an American actor most famously known for his role on the A-Team television series. He is well known in popular culture for his distinct style and catchphrase "I pity the fool," which originated from his role in Rocky III. He is hardly ever seen without his signature pile of gold chains around his neck.

Friday, July 2, 2010

0030. Kermit the Frog

Kermit the Frog is the most famous of the muppets, a pantheon of entertainment-geared puppets created by Jim Henson, and the star of the long running puppet variety show, The Muppet Show. Kermit is adored by adults and children alike, and many remember him fondly from Muppet Show days or from his strong and touching vocal performances of "It's not Easy Being Green" or "The Rainbow Connection," the latter of which reached #25 on the Billboard 100 chart in 1979. Quite an accomplishment for a puppet.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

0029. Buddha

Buddha is the figurehead and revered original teacher of the Buddhist belief system. Some sects of Buddhism revere him as one man, the Supreme Buddha, who reached and shared teaching of enlightenment, while others place him as a reincarnating figure, or even as one of many important deities. He appears also as an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, as well as a minor prophet or notable spiritual figure in other religions and belief systems.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

0028. Artie, the Strongest Man in the World

Artie is the Strongest Man in the World, apparently, and without contest, in the Pete & Pete Universe. The Adventures of Pete & Pete was a golden age Nickelodeon afternoon drama that aired from 1993-1996. The show's loose premise and surreal elements made the show a favorite for many teenagers. A good exaple of just how downright bizarre the show was, was the presence of Artie- a grown man in undersized pajamas who hung out with the children of Wellsville. It was never made clear if he was real or imaginary or literal or symbolic, or even as creepy as he seemed, but his presence was never questioned in canon.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

0027. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, a titled bestowed on him for being one of the most popular and successful entertainers of all time. He pioneered the art of the music video, championed a whole new class of choreography, and above all, created a lasting library of music that remains inarguably genius. His definitive album, Thriller (1982), remains the best-selling album of all time. Regrettably, time and history warped the music-industry hero into a tabloid sensation, and between terrifying plastic surgery and accusations of child abuse, to a new generation he became little more than a freak. But to those who remember, he is a symbol of art and success in the music industry, and a standard and inspiration to musicians of all genres all over the world.

Monday, June 28, 2010

0026. Super Mario

Mario, one half of the Super Mario Brothers, is kind of like the patron saint of gamers. He first appeared in the game Donkey Kong in 1981, getting his own eponymous game in 1983, and has since appeared in over 200 games and other incarnations, including live action and cartoon entertainment.

Friday, June 25, 2010

0025. Mahatma Gandhi

To call Mahatma Gandhi any one kind of idol would be a disservice. While he is a celebrity, a national icon, and even a religious figure, he has persevered most as a symbol of peace and non-violent resistance.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

0024. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is a fictional comic book character from the DC Comics universe. Introduced in 1944 and continuously published since, she was created as a feminist role model, flexing independence and sick combat skills.