Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Checking In

Been a while, again. Christmas and Boxing Day being huge retail days, I've been kept kind of busy by my respective employers. The upside is that I'm keeping busy and making some decent money, the bad news is that I have to wait until tomorrow to post my Seth Fisher interview.

On another topic, during my breaks at work I've been reading the Star Wars book 'Labyrinth of Evil' by James Luceno and I have to say that I am really enjoying it. Everything that I wished George deliver in the third movie, and everything that was good about the Clone Wars mini-series on Cartoon Network is in this book. The character voices are spot-on, the plot is interesting, the politics and subterfuge play a bigger role and Grievous is featured much more prominently. He's actually a credible villain in this book. There's also some nice background on the characters and universe during this period in the series and some explorations of the motives that got us to where we ended up in Episode III.

Anyway, I hope everybody had a great Christmas. When I have more time I'll comment on mine. Until then, take care and I'll post again as soon as I can.


Friday, December 23, 2005

One Down, Two to Go

Well, it's the wee hours of the morning but I managed to finish off the intro for my Dini interview so I think it'll be posted tomorrow afternoon sometime. I'm technically still waiting for some art from DHC but it's not like it's a super-long piece, so I think we'll do fine with the art we have if it doesn't show up in time.

I also did a little shuffling with the questions since they were sort of asked out of order. I came up with about 15 of them and it was sort of an off-the-cuff thing so they didn't really follow any kind of rhyme or reason other than being Jingle Belle themed. The reshuffling gave it some continuity, I think, and what I think is a basic throughline, so hopefully nobody will read it and go, "HUH!?!" I'd be curious to hear any feedback on it since it is the most recent interview I've done and I love hearing what people have to say.

Seth Fisher's interview is next up out of the batter's box. That should be a little easier because it's just plugging in images and uploading the info. Seth sent me some cool stuff which I'm going to include. There's some cover stuff and a sketch or pencil scan which I can't wait to post (although some of the stuff he told me about that he didn't send would have likely bent your mind, man).

Anyway, I have to work tomorrow (later today, really) so I'm going to take off and catch some snoozin' time. Y'all take care and we'll see you next time!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Still Behind

Man, I'm coming up on my first anniversary of Blogging here and I'm feeling slightly self-conscious because I'm still behind on some of the projects that I've discussed here. In many ways, come January, Jen and I are getting what we both refer to as a fresh start. So many of our obligations and commitments end with the new year and we've felt kind of refreshed and energized by this opportunity to start January off with a clean slate. Unfortunately, my being behind might give me a slightly smudged slate, but I'm hoping to change that tonight.

Work is going as well as it could. I'm still doing the everyday thing and not getting much, if any, time off. Still, it's nice to have the regular cheques coming in whether I'm working 66 hours a week or not. It's also nice that the pay periods for my two jobs are staggered so I get a cheque pretty much every week. It works out pretty nicely.

As for the aforementioned projects, the Seth Fisher interview is done and is just waiting on me getting some free time to post it. Paul Dini needs an introduction written and then I have to submit it to SBC, and Karl Moline needs an intro and some prep work done on it before it goes up.

Fingers crossed that I get this all done tonight.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Dini Answers In

I got home from work today and found an e-mail from DHC passing along Paul Dini's answers to the questions I cooked up for him. I was a little worried that, not having read a lot of Jingle Belle, I wouldn't manage to put together a decent interview. I did as much research as I could tracking JB down on the web and even tried to get a hold of a preview copy from DHC, but not much ultimately came of that. It was really short notice, so I'm not down about it, or anything. Anyway, even though it's probably not reflected too heavily in the interview, I think the little bit of research I did does show through - even if it is just to me.

And let it not be forgotten that the interview would have been nothing but a bunch of questions were it not for the cooperation of Mr. Dini. Paul gave me some great answers and I think it will be a quick, but fun, interview when it finally gets posted. I have to write the intro for it still and then fire it off to Silver Bullet Comicbooks who will publish it.

I'll post more on this when it hits the web all official like.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Six Whole Days

Woo! It's been six days since my last post. At least I can honestly say that I have been busy, busy, busy working at my jobs and not just hanging out and watching DVDs and choosing not to post because I'm a lazy ass (which has happened in the past).

The jobs are actually going pretty well, for anyone who's asking. The receiving job has increased hour-wise so I'm doing about 30 odd hours there and my Future Shop job has evened out at 32. I alternate between the two, so Monday I'm receiving at Superstore, Tuesday at FS, etc. etc. I split Saturday between the two and I live without a day off or a chance to wear street clothes. It's just a little something I noticed the other day. I spend all my outside time wearing my respective work uniforms and when I'm home, I'm in comfy sweat pants or pyjamas or what have you - never in my regular street clothes. It happens, on the odd occasion, but 99% of the time it's black shirt with khakis or Lime green with black pants.

The only other new stuff to talk about is my new S-Video cable. I'd heard of how it was supposed to improve picture quality for years and finally took the plunge. I got it for cost at $3 (CAN) and figured, if this shows any improvement, I'm going to go the whole nine yards before my time at FS is up and upgrade to Monster Cables.

I've also reconfigured my Home Theatre speakers and re-adjusted my colour and display settings on my television, so I've sort of maximized the the whole movie viewing experience in my household. Working amongst all the technological Home Theatre beauty at work makes a guy look at his set up at home and want to make it better than it was - the best it could be with the tools available.

I'm driving my wife crazy, to say the least.

"Honey, does that skin tone look too pink, or am I crazy?"

Oh, I'm also still waiting for Paul Dini's answers, my Seth Fisher interview is D-O-N-E and will be posted very, very soon and Karl Moline will be hitting Meanwhile... soon, as well, to pretty much finish off the Buffy Post Mortem.

Hmmm...I can't think of anything else to add that could make this more interesting than it is, so I'll sign off now and try and get back on soon.



Monday, December 12, 2005

I Didn't Start the Fire

Well, if you're a Buffy or Angel fan, you've probably read my interview with David Fury or seen the shitstorm it has created among Whedon Fandom assembled. In the last 48 hours, my site has received about 16,000 hits and I've managed to garner the attention of Tim Minear and Joss Whedon, who have both commented on Whedonesque regarding all the commotion. Today, David Fury himself came out of the blue to throw in his two cents and clarify some of the things that have caused people to talk about this interview so much.

As for me, I'm kind of emotionally spent over the whole thing. I know that sounds retarded, but I never expected so much attention to come from this interview that is 14 months old. It's a great interview, if I may say so, and I'm awfully proud of it, but I've done tons of Q&As with people before and I've never seen traffic like this. Makes me wish every interview I did was a Buffy, Angel or Firefly related interview (as readerships go, these folks are the best).

Having guys like Joss and Tim suddenly post and giving clarifications made me feel like some kind of rabble-rouser, or something. I always find that I'm torn between two interview methods: the first being the traditional 'get that story' kind of interview where you ask the questions you know you shouldn't just to see if you get an answer, and the method I generally use, which is 'give to your subject and they, in turn, will give to you'. It's kind of a mutual appreciation society. When people feel comfortable they say things they might not to someone they feel they have to be guarded with.

I'm interested in personalities, not breaking the big story. It's why I know I'll never be a great journalist. I do love talking to people, though, and giving my readers what I hope is a similar experience to sitting down with that person themselves and chatting with them. That's what I tried to do with the Fury interview, that's what I'm trying to do with my Seth Fisher interview(s) and many others.

That's why the attention is both exciting and alarming.

Anyway, I think I may have just had a taste of what a person's 15 minutes is supposed to be like.

I'm going to go and watch some more Kitchen Confidential and maybe go for a Super Big Gulp in a bit.


Turn Up the Suck

Well, now I'm annoyed. I've managed to acquire (never you mind how) the 'full run' of Kitchen Confidential since my post last night and I'm sorry to announce that it is my new favourite show - all four episodes of it, that is.

I'm not one to normally watch sitcoms. I find the format tired and the quality of your average half-hour comedy to be entirely lacking. Thi show is funny, though. Really funny. It's also fast-paced, clever, sexy and sharper than any other sitcom I've seen in a while. It's reminiscient of shows like Sex and the City (which I'm sure is the touch of Darren Starr) and Scrubs, but it offers an entirely new flavour that I found really appealing.

Bradley Cooper is great as the lead character, Jack Bourdain. He never feels like he's playing a character, he just inhabits it. He also looks pretty natural in the kitchen which may be the directors or may be Cooper doing research, I don't know. His supporting cast, I should mention, are just as great and own their characters as well. Even the ditzy hostess at Nolita sells it without becoming a caricature.

I realise that it's over but, believe it or not, I'm genuinely thankful for the four episodes they aired. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to be entertained for 84 minutes by this great cast and smart writers. Maybe we'll see the unaired episodes on DVD sometime in the future - this is FOX, after all.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

I was actually going to try and watch Kitchen Confidential but according to Zap2it news FOX has pulled the plug on the near stillborn comedy.

Man, how many years have people complained about this very practice and yet they still shitcan shows before they air even half-a-dozen episodes.



Friday, December 09, 2005

I Can't Think of a Clever Wordplay for Fury

I'm feeling a little lightheaded. After sitting on my David Fury interview for about a year I've finally gone in, done it up and posted it on my other website, Meanwhile... as part of my ongoing Buffy Post Mortem. It's a really great interview and I'm really proud of how it came out, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it gets received by the fans out there on the web.

The folks on Whedonesque are usually the first to find them and generally have some nice things to say about the interviews and the interviewees. In fact I find it mildly humourous that I have tried, for years, to elevate my profile on the 'net as an interviewer of comic book personalities and other celebrities to no avail, yet these Buffy interviews which appear on my little corner of the web, and get no advertising or hype anywhere by my own hand tend to net me a shitload of hits to the site. More than I've ever gotten with non-Buffy folk, and more than I've ever gotten while Features Editor over at Silver Bullet Comicbooks.

Go figure.

So, even though it has taken me two years (or more) to pump out these 6 interviews (with one or two more to come before it's done), interest in the Post Mortem rarely goes away for long and always spikes dramatically whenever there is an update. I should just keep doing Buffy themed interviews 'til people stop reading them.

Food for thought, anyway.



Thursday, December 08, 2005

Searching for Seth Fisher

Hmmm...It's a pretty good week for interviews, I guess.

That last Dini post gave me the kick in the ass I really needed to get that Seth Fisher interview I did a while ago done and sent off to Seth for approval. Man, I don't know what's wrong with me that I let it just sit there for so long. Seth, if you're reading this, I'm sorry!

There is a chance that it might get tweaked and made a bit more current, but regardless of what happens it's always interesting talking to Seth and he never gives a dull interview. Heck, the kanishibari story alone warrants publishing this baby. Who can turn down a genuine ghost story from one of the industry's premiere visual stylists? Not me.

Anyway, I'm off to get ready for job #2 now. Time to sell some CD players!


Dini on the Brain

It's funny, actually, that my last post was about the new Batman animated series because I am now in the middle of putting together an interview with Paul Dini. Dini, if you didn't know, was one of the writers on the show's predecessor (commonly known as Batman Animated or Batman Adventures) as well as several other DC themed cartoons with partners in crime, Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett.

Anyway, the Batman connection ends there because I've made the choice to steer clear from talking too much about the past and focusing on his latest effort, a new Jingle Belle one-shot coming out next week from DHC. Gonna keep it light, gonna keep it current and gonna keep it Christmasy.

I'm just waiting on DHC to send me a preview of the book so I can directly reference the stories in my questions. I'll keep you posted on the progress.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Batman Season 3 Succeeds

While I enjoyed the first 2 seasons of the new Batman show, I never quite latched onto it the way I did with the Bruce Timm/Eric Radomski incarnation from a decade back. There was something about that version that just struck a chord with me, I guess. Maybe it was all the noir elements, or the 30s Gothic design, but the new show never managed to capture that elegance or timelessness.

With the 3rd season of The Batman now, officially, halfway through it's run on Kids WB, I have to say that it's finally settling into it's own style of writing and design, choosing to skip the gimmicky 'look who we've redesigned now' motif in favour of attempting to add depth to the characeters and world of Gotham City. Heck, I've even gotten used to The Penguin (who happens to be in every second show and issue of the comic book series) and almost look forward to seeing he and The Joker vying for the Dark Knight's attention.

This season also saw the introduction of Batgirl to the cast of characters which is both a blessing and a curse. I'm not thrilled that they resorted to introducing a new Bat-themed characetr so early in Bruce's career, especially when it is in lieu of featuring older characetrs like Detective Yin, but they are handling Barbara/Batgirl with a great deal of class and are using the character as a foil for Bruce instead of just a 'let's breathe new life into this show' cast member. They also managed to tie her origin in with the creation of Poison Ivy which was well-handled and made for a nice two-part episode.

While I missed having the ol' Bats around, even if he was an occasional guest-star over on Justice League Unlimited, I'm happy to say that The Batman - after a couple of inconsistent years - has finally earned its place on the regular viewing rotation of animated shows. It'll never replace the Timm/Radomski Batman (or Batman Beyond, for that matter) but I'm happy to have it around.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Strangers a Good Purchase

Shortly after posting about the new Strangers DVD documenting Keane's 2004 US tour I popped into work on my day off and bought it. I'm the first to admit that my willpower is not something I want to be challenged in a life or death situation so I'm not really surprised by this turn of events. In fact, I not only succumbed to the lure of the DVD but I was also debating on whether or not I should drop some cash for the Dual Disc of their album, Hopes and Fears. To be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that all the videos are included on the Strangers DVD I probably would've caved on that point, too. It's an album I absolutely love and to hear it coming out in 5.1 surround is such a temptation for me.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the documentary which is actually very well produced. It doesn't have the atmosphere of, say, Coldplay's 2003 Tuor Diary documentary that appeared on their Coldplay Live 2003 DVD, but the interviews are surprisingly truthful and candid, the history of the band is nicely presented, the music is great and the navigation on the disc is both practical and innovative.

If you're a fan of the band or just love these kinds of music docs, I would highly recommend Strangers to y'all. It's definitely worth checking out and a DVD that will live in my Home Theatre for a while, I'm sure.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Keane and Some Comics

While at work the other day I noticed a new DVD from the Brit Award winning trio, Keane. It's called Strangers and is, essentially, a documentary following their rise from a 4 piece guitar band to the piano based trio they are today. From the UK pub scene to winning two Brits and selling 5 illion copies of their album Hopes and Fears.

I'm a big fan of their first album and it's rarely off my regular playlist but I don't know a great deal about the band itself. I'm stuck between buying the DVD and passing it over since I am more of a fan of the music than the guys. Everything I've read about the doc seems to say that it is pretty interesting and I'm a sucker for concert videos and music docs, but it's spending money that I don't really have at the moment. Maybe with Christmas coming up I can add it to my wish list.

As for the comics I was referring to in my title, I recently finished reading Tony Bedard and Karl Moline's run on the now cancelled Rogue, "Forget Me Not". I really enjoyed this 6-issue arc and was sorry to see the series get cancelled. I was looking forward to seeing Moline and Bedard continue some of their magic for a few issues more and Rogue has never looked or sounded better than in the hands of these two. The only thing I was remotely disappointed with was the two or three issues that Moline didn't draw himself and the fact that the covers were all done by Scot Eaton. Not that there's anything wrong with Scot Eaton, it's just I would have liked to see more Moline. The guy doesn't produce enough work.

Anyway, that's it for my pre-noon blogging. I have the day off from work today so I will try and come on again sometie later in the day and post some more.



Friday, December 02, 2005

It Aint Pretty

After listening to the new INXS album, Switch, I have to say that the band has done a good job of replacing Michael Hutchence as frontman for the group. Fellow Canuck, J.D. Fortune does a very good job of filling the vocal 'shoes' of his predecessor and there's no doubt in my mind that their live show won't suffer for the new singer, but Switch does manage to suffer despite all the efforts of Fortune and the others. The songs that comprise the new CD feel too uninspired and, more often than not, dull. The best tracks conjure up older so-so INXS offerings like X or Elegantly Wasted and the worst live in a class all their own. New fans may get something fresh and interesting out of Switch but, as a long-time fan of the group, I couldn't in good conscience recommend it to older fans.

Switch proves that INXS is not dead and gone as many believed, but it's an assisted living sort of situation. The desire to do something is definitely there but they're just not sure how to proceed without Michael. Unfortunately, the old Kick is gone.