'Downton Abbey,' the graphic novel parody


Like Tebowing or planking, Te’oing has swept the Internet. Named after Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o, who is involved in a story about a nonexistent girlfriend, it involves people taking pictures of themselves with an arm around an empty space. A minor league baseball stadium in Kentucky is even offering a section for people to sit with imaginary friends, girlfriends and relatives at an upcoming game. They’re also giving away “Manti Te’o’s girlfriend bobbleheads,” which is just an empty box.

America’s obsession with “Downton Abbey” can be fed with a new graphic novel — that is, if fans are willing to laugh at the cherished TV series. The parody, “Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey,” features Jack Gates, valet to the clueless Lord Granville and undercover spy for Queen Victoria. His limp hides a titanium leg, which isn’t the only steampunk touch in the story. Readers will find romance, a possible dog heir to the estate, a foreign archduke’s visit, an assassination attempt and lots of other strange and silly stuff.

Anyone who grew up watching the colorful, musical cartoon show “Jackson 5ive” will be happy to learn that the complete series is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray. It includes 23 episodes and 46 original Jackson Five songs.

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