Saturday, December 30, 2006

More Good News

A favourite animated series of mine and ours, Kim Possible, is returning. I missed the original news bite (which dates back to November 2005) but, thankfully, managed to catch this one. Yet another show saved by the fans.

Thanks to ToonZone for the good news.




Indy news we can take to the bank.



Thursday, December 28, 2006

Eltingville Pilot

I've enjoyed the work of Evan Dorkin for some time now and I'd always heard about this pilot for an animated series that he'd done based on his Eltingville strips. I've searched around for a copy in the past but a chance perusing of the comments section of his blog led me to YouTube and the videos you see below.

It probably won't be for everyone (seeing as it's mostly geek humour - the episode is called "Bring Me the Head of Boba Fett" after all) but there are a select few of you out there that I know check the blog on a semi-regular basis who may get a kick out of it.

Mostly, I just want an easy access link to the darn thing.

Anyway, here they are in order:




Wednesday, December 27, 2006

HDTV Brings on Headaches

While sitting here at the reception desk at work and surfing the internet, I came across this article, the point of which being that TV stars are not happy with the clarity provided by HD and their fears surrounding the extreme close-up.

Actors are funny.


Belated Christmas Wishes

I hope everybody had a really good Christmas, I know I was surprised by how good mine was. For most of the weeks and days leading up to the 24th and 25th I was in a bit of a funk. I'm not sure if it was even Christmas related but it was certainly there and it was affecting how I was looking at the whole seasonal ordeal. I think I may have mentioned in a previous post how things sort of changed at the last minute, though. It was pretty much an 11th hour recovery, too. All of a sudden, Christmas got kind of fun, I started looking forward to the whole family and friends thing, and I took a little bit of joy, I think, in knowing how my kids would go crazy for their Christmas presents. And really, when you have kids, bottom line is that it's really all about them, isn't it?

As for the days themselves, they were pretty decent. Christmas Eve was spent having dinner with my in-laws and watching my kids open bunches of presents, Christmas Day was spent first at my place watching kids open our presents and the Santa presents (and watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) and then off to Grandma Jozic's for another supper and even more gifts. The kids got a PS2 so I set that up for them then we went home and watched the last 2 episodes of Freaks & Geeks. For the record, one of the best shows ever made for television. I was actually choked up to see the final credits roll.

Another nice aspect of Christmas this year was seeing my buddy Brad who came in from Edmonton to be with family (if you're reading this, Brad, I apologise for not calling Christmas Day and the kids loved the presents) as well as my friend carly, who I haven't seen in some time. Both showed up to say hi and drop off gifts for the kids so we got a little catch up visit in before they had to go their respective ways. Jen's friend Meg and my other buddy Chris who's been roughing it out in the boonies of British Columbia will be here for New Years so that'll be nice to see them as well.

At the end of it all I even found myself to be getting excited for Boxing Day. I don't normally go out on Boxing Day for two reasons: I'm either working or I'm broke. This year I was neither so I gleefully made my way out to Wal-Mart to check out their Boxing Day DVD clearout. I managed to snag a few goodies that will keep me happy for the next little while. They are as follows:

King Kong for $5
The Doors for $5
Breakfast at Tiffany's: Anniversary Edition for $10
Futurama Season 2 for $18
Ghost in the Shell for $10
The Batman Season 1 for $15
Magnum P.I. Season 1 & 2 combined for $30 and for my brother's birthday

I think that's the list. There may be a disc or two missing but I'm pretty sure that's the whole thing.

Oh, and we also watched Conversations with Other Women when we got home last night and it was a really impressive little movie. It's all done in split screen and features Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter as two people who bump into each other at a wedding and begin a conversation. I don't want to say much more so as not to give any of the fun stuff away, but it's well worth your time to check it out.

So, all in all it was a pretty good holiday weekend. I had the three days off, the kids and family had fun, Jen and I had fun, my brother got a kick out of his early birthday present and much food was consumed.

I give the whole thing a 7.5 out of 10.

Now the countdown to New Years.



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Over the Hump

I'm just having an awesome day.

I came to work this afternoon and pretty much from the moment I settled in I had a burst of inspiration that took me through, like, 8+ pages of my Smitten story. I've been trying to get some work done on it for months but I couldn't see the forest for the trees for the longest time. However, something managed to shift for me in the last 24 hours or so because the one thing that was giving me the most problems (I refer to it as the second act hump) just unfolded before me like nothing - solving the one major problem and having the added benefit of creating new links and story ideas to boot. There's stuff that I had ideas for that weren't even embedded into the narrative yet but now have a place and work seamlessly. I just feel a great sense of relief. Like a weight has been lifted.

I'm really excited now that I may be finishing the first run through before the year is up. I'm even seriously considering trying to find a collaborator to do some preliminary artwork and maybe help flesh out some of the storytelling.

Christmas was looking pretty droll but this is good news.

More later!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This is Where I Work

I've recently come into the possession of a mobile phone and since it comes equipped with a camera, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to do two things: test the functions of the phone and add that 'more personal touch' I touched on a few posts ago.

I grabbed a couple of snapshots of my workplace and work area and figured I'd post those. Nothing really impressive (borderline lame, actually) but it gets another post out and it's a peek for those who care what my daily grind looks like.

The first pick is my desk. This is where the magic happens. On this pale flat surface, the dreams of many a car owner have been fulfilled (I can't even type that with a straight face).

It's a nice quiet space and it's off in the corner where I can pretty much do my own thing. I've finished many a book sitting back there, I'll tell you. It's also nice to take customers back there. There are few interruptions and I think it's a bit quieter back there, too. Makes for better customer/salesman relations.

The second pic should pretty much speak for itself. Not only is this the desolation in which I toil daily, I also live in this crap.

After snapping the pic I couldn't help thinking to myself, if I saw this in a book I would be sure that no sane person would live in a climate like this - willingly, anyways. And the real bum rap is that we have to shovel those cars out if a customer wants to drive them because our owner is not a big believer in snow removal. They plow occasionally, but nothing too sophisticated.

Anyway, that's it for me today. I hope everyone's having a good holiday season so far!



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Everything Zen

Oh, man. I just ran across this while doing a search on Jon J Muth and now I want one.

Christmas is almost here, folks. Don't be shy.



Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Post

I couldn't think of a snappy title, so I went the overly didactic route.

Anyway, not much to report on this end. I had a root canal scheduled for tomorrow which I had to reschedule. It's not that I'm freaked out by it or anything, I just don't know whether or not to go through with the procedure to save the tooth when I have everybody and their dog telling me to have it extracted instead. I can see the logic to it, and the dentist gave me the option of doing either, but I'm at odds regarding the advantages of one over the other.

With the root canal, I get to keep the tooth. With the extraction, I don't. With the root canal, I'm paying a bit more. With the extraction, I'm paying less. I want to save the tooth, but everyone tells me that root canals are a long term headache.


So I rescheduled it. Looks like it'll be in the new year, now - January 10th, to be precise. I still have some fillings in a week so it's not like I've escaped the dreaded dental chair, but it'll be nice when I can finally stop worrying about my frickin' teeth.

And that's all I have to say about that.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Where's Waldo

Or rather, where's Mike-O. Back in October I went to see Sloan at The Odeon Event Centre here in town with my bro, his date and Jen. It was a great show, I'm thrilled that I made it and I don't think I actually blogged about it at the time. After running across this photo taken at the show over on Yoko Casiono's website, however, I thought it might be fun to post it here seeing as how I believe the jackass in the red circle is likely me. I'm not sure who took the original photo - probably one of the Yokos - but that's Sloan onstage, rockin' out as they do. Looks like some of us were clapping along, too. Coulda been any song, really.

Anyway, I was thinking it might be a good idea to use more photos with me in them on the ol' blog (to capture that whole slice-of-life flavour), and I figured this was a decent start. A bit late, I'll grant you, but what are you gonna do.



Sunday, December 03, 2006

My New Favourite Show

The title says it all. I ignored this one when it originally aired but managed to catch it this week on DVD. Possibly the best and most accurate depiction of high school I have ever seen in my whole life.

The great opening credits...

A clip from the Pilot...

Clip from the second episode...

Man, I just love that Linda Cardellini. She's such a cutie. Also a little surprised to see James Franco on the show. Both of these guys I've known only from their films. Nice to see them slumming it early on in television.



Thursday, November 30, 2006

Teen Titans, Go! Here

Ran into this site while surfing around tonight. As a fan of the show and the comic, it gave me a few moments of reading pleasure.



Friday, November 24, 2006

Thinking About Blankets

Yeah, so I just finished reading Craig Thompson's critically acclaimed graphic novel, Blankets. I had heard so many good things about it I thought I would give it a try when I saw it during one of my library trips early in the week. Also, I knew it was autobiographical, somewhat sentimental and dealt with Thompson's first love so I was pretty sure I was going to like it. There are a few things that, when combined, make a story that will capture my undivided attention and those are three good ones right there.

Anyway, after setting the book down I think I can say the story was just as good as I'd heard. It was more than I expected, really. I was happy with how Thompson managed to keep things very subdued and very real, yet maintain a lyrical quality to the storytelling. The imagery and his art style probably had a lot to do with that, but considering it is a graphic novel written and drawn by the same guy, it's all the same thing.

Often in autobiographies I find that characters who are meant to be drawn from real life tend to be a bit too functional. Rather than seeming like a real person drifting through the narrative, these people appear and serve their purpose to drive the plot forward. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but when you know that these people are supposed to be real, it can grow tiresome to see. In Blankets Thompson's cast of characters had a warmth and reality to them. I never really felt like they served in that overly functional capacity. They came into the story and drifted out of the story as they were required and their actions all had an impact on Craig's life in varying degrees. This is what life is really like. That Thompson can weave them all in and out like that without exposing his narrative intent is a tribute to his skill as a storyteller.

I also didn't feel like he went out of his way to romanticize his past like many others writers do. His recollections of events/feelings never seemed to cross any lines that challenged my suspension of disbelief. They came across as honest and genuine. I don't know how much of it is fiction and how much is totally real, but I believed the story and in what the characters were going through.

All in all, I think I'm going to go out and buy this one sometime. I definitely would like to have this one in my personal library to look at whenever I choose and I'm pretty sure that, like Brooklyn Dreams, Blankets will be a perennial favourite that I return to with some regularity.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Baby for Scully and This One's Not Mulder's

Pulled this off of SciFi Wire:

Former The X-Files star Gillian Anderson gave birth to a baby boy, Oscar Griffiths, on Nov. 1 in London, her second child and her first with boyfriend businessman Mark Griffiths, People magazine reported.

Congrats to Gillian, Mark and little Piper.



Friday, November 17, 2006

The Great Pumpkins Return

Both the CD players in the home and in the vehicle have been playing a pretty steady stream of the Smashing Pumkins' seminal album, 'Siamese Dream'. I think it is pretty much my favourite album from the band, and likely one of my top 10 of, at the very least, the last 25 or 30 years. Something about the richness and texture of the music just grabs hold of me and doesn't let go. Maybe that's what 40 layers of guitar tracks in one song do to a receptive ear and mind, I don't know.

In fact, when I got my new demo this weekend, it didn't feel exactly right until my brother and I got in it and blasted some 'Siamese Dream' - a little "Mayonaise", a little "Rocket" and a little "Hummer" did the trick just fine.

Anyway, all this Pumpkins listening and christening got me to do an internet search (I think I was looking for a remastered version of 'Siamese Dream' or something) and I stumbled across this. I never would have imagined that the four original members would be getting back together anytime soon, but it looks like there is a new album forthcoming. They're working on it probably as I'm writing this post.

There's not much up on the webpage right now other than an e-mail newsletter sign up field, but you can get more info and blog entries by band guitarist, James Iha, at their myspace account.

Now I have to go and let my brother in on it.



Thursday, November 16, 2006

"This town needs an enema!"

A little while ago I managed to snag a copy of Batman Returns for less than $5. It was the new 2-Disc edition with the commentary and features and what-not so naturally I was excited. I'd been waiting many years for a commentary on this film or its predecessor, Batman, so I got it home, tore it out of its case and plugged her into the ol' DVD player post haste.

A couple of days ago I found the first Batman film for the same price and went through pretty much the same process. The only real complaint I have with either release is that Burton's commentary is kind of so-so and not terribly informative. He repeats a lot of things about three or four times over the course of the film and doesn't really talk about the movie in a very retrospective way. Lots of reminding the viewer/listener about the psychological profiles they made for the characters but not too much else.

I was hoping for something a little more interesting based on how decent his commentaries on Big Fish, Planet of the Apes and others were. I guess it's nice to have anything, but it would have been cool to hear something from Keaton (who was great in the documentaries) or Sam Hamm on the first one or Keaton and Daniel Waters on the second. Even some producer commentary would have shaken it up a bit.

Ah, well.

I'm going back to watch the Legend of the Dark Knight documentary.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bouncing Around

I can't seem to keep my interest in any one thing for very long these days. A week and a bit ago I was totally immersed in the David Simon book, Homicide, which was followed shortly afterwards by a desire to watch some original Trek. That preceded the urge to read some classic Batman strips and a Gerard Jones interview I heard a little bit ago planted a seed to hear some Shadow radio episodes or to possibly pick up some issues of The Shadow Strikes!. Anytime I try and actually focus on something there's always something else that sneaks up and undermines the one for the other.

It's not really a big deal or anything, but it is occasionally disorienting when I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself in the evenings before bed. What to watch, what to read, what to listen to...yeah, my problems are overwhelming.

On another note entirely, I watched a double feature of Nacho Libre and Napoleon Dynamite with my brother last night and it was a pretty entertaining evening filled with a few belly laughs and guffawing. It should be no surprise that the two movies work pretty well together, although I will say that my preference will always lean more towards Nacho over Napoleon. I just find it more funny. It's fan-TAST-ic.

Nothing else is coming to me at the moment so I'll take my leave for now and go back to being the faux receptionist here at Saturn.

I'll leave you with this clip from a new show which other bloggers have been talking about but I cannot watch because it is not available in Canada yet...



Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back Online!

Well, back online for a while, anyway. I got my internet problems sorted out and I am once again jacked in to the information superhighway. That means some more non-work blogging which, in turn, means more frequent updates. It also means that a little project I was working on may still get off the ground since it was internet dependent.

I don't have a lot of time right now to post but I'll definitely be back later tonight or tomorrow for sure.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

'I'm a Blogger! I'm a Blogger!'

Having never been formally trained as a journalist/interviewer, yet spending almost a decade dabbling in such activities and occasionally identifying myself as an entertainment journalist, I found this article kind of interesting.

Now, I'm sure there is a line somewhere in the argument over when blogging becomes journalism, but I'd say it's a very grey one. We've all seen blogs that deliver better news than the established outlets but there are just as many, if not more, that are just rubbish. And it's also pretty clear that those that cover more serious news/issues face considerably more scrutiny than those that cover gossip, film, music or comics.

I know I'm not introducing anything new to anyone who visits and reads the blog here, I just thought it was an interesting piece to mull over and I'm curious to see where the courts rule on this topic.

Back to work, now.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Clip-O-Rama The Final Chapter

Happy Halloween, folks. Hope you're having a good one.

This last clip is from William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist III: Legion. It's one of the scenes that left an impression on me when I first watched it. It's long, slow and uneventful - until the very end, anyway. It still freaks out people when I show it to them.

I was going to pick a clip from the first Exorcist film but couldn't find a good one kicking around online. Not that using one from the third is a step down in any way, I just would have picked something from the final 30 minutes of the first film if I had a choice.

And that, my kiddies, brings a close to the clip-o-rama. I should mention that I may be absent for a bit after this since I'm without internet access for a while, but I'll try and come on whenever I can and post a few words.



Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Clip-O-Rama Day 5

I struggled a bit with what to include this time around. I had two other choices that I decided not to go with - possibly to feature one or the other on tomorrow's posting - choosing instead to feature some zombie brain-eating fun. Much like yesterday's claim, what would a clip-fest be without some zombie love, especially in this exceptionally zombie-friendly period of the genre?

There are tons to choose from but I decided to go with a Romero's Dawn of the Dead, partly because I've seen it recently, and partly because I can feature both the old... well as the new:

Not only that, but I can also sneak in a third 'cheat' clip, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's zombie tribute film, Shaun of the Dead:

I'm not going to do the usual trip down memory lane since I'm not posting this at home and I really do need to run, but three clips should keep y'all busy enough not to care too much. Odds are, you weren't paying them much mind anyway.

One day to go. See you tomorrow!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween Clip-O-Rama Day 4

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

It's also Day 4 for the Halloween Clip-O-Rama, a series of posts where I stick up a clip of one of my favourite horror/spooky movies and save myself the trouble of coming up with anything too terribly interesting to say.

This next clip probably needs no introduction:

I think my introduction to the Evil Dead series was through a friend named Robin Bougie. I had watched Army of Darkness shortly after I met him and he knew someone who had edited the three films together into one 4 1/2 hour movie. The video quality was terrible, but it was pretty cool to experience it that way and it sort of started the whole snowball effect that was to follow. Now Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi are synonymous with must see, even if it's a no-budget D2DVD or D2Video project that I would have passed over without a second thought in the past.

Anyway, no list or series of clips would have been complete without including something from the series.



Saturday, October 28, 2006

Halloween Clip-O-Rama Days 2 & 3

My internet connection has gone to crap so I'm going to have to post my updates from work here 2 at a time until I get it sorted out. Two today, two on Monday,I'm sure.

Anyway, this time around we have a clip from two really fun movies, Dog Soldiers and John Carpenter's The Thing. We'll start with the former:

This was one of those 'Have you seen this movie' kinds of experiences where most of my friends and close acquaintances had seen it before me and tried to spread the word about it. It was a bit before my listen to what people tell you to watch/hear/read stage of my life so I was skeptical about this low-budget gore-fest with werewolves and SAS soldiers. It just didn't sound too promising at face value. Once I finally sat down and watched it, though, I was totally thrilled with what these guys put together - its humour, its horror, its timing, acting and story were all very cool and a real breath of fresh air for werewolf movies.

As for the latter:

I've been fascinated with this movie since I was 10 years old. It was a whole different experience for me back then, but the sheer love of the movie and its nail-biting suspense soldiers on. I love MacReady's hat, the many incarnations of the monster courtesy of Rob Bottin, Wilford Brimley was a hoot and this clip of one of my favourite cinema moments of all time. I remember watching it late one night with some buddies and when this thing popped, my stone cold friend launched 4 feet off the couch.


Not to mention it started a long-lasting love affair with Carpenter which continues to this day. In fact, you'll probably be seeing another Carpenter movie on the list before the 31st.

Well, they're bugging me to get off the computer so I better bail. Until next time!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Week To Halloween - Clip-O-Rama

I figured since it's one week until Halloween (one of my favourite times of year) I would celebrate with a series of clips from fave movies or shows that have a spooky or Halloween themed element to them.

First up is a fave scene from one of my top 5 movies of all time, Ghostbusters:

I can't even put in words how much I love this movie. It's left an indellible mark on me since I first saw it waaaay back in '84. I even still have pieces of the Ghostbuster Halloween costume I made in grade 8 although, sadly, the proton pack and positron glider are no more. Still, the Spengler bage is still proudly adorned on the ol' overalls so something got preserved.

I should see if my buddy Brad (I think he was Venkman) still has remnants of his suit or a photo or something. It's possible he may still have the trap we made.

Anyway, good clip, great line, fantastic movie.

Until tomorrow!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Slow Work Day

Very slow day at work so I had the opportunity to finish reading the screenplay for Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. I had ordered the book from Amazon a while back and I was pretty happy to have it arrive a couple of days ago. I wasn't exactly looking forward to it in that baited breath sort of way, but I've missed the old show and character and was happy to have something new to peruse to get that ol' charge again.

Originally getting this book was a big draw for people who were unable to see the director's cut of the film because it includes all the deleted scenes, but since Warner Bros. released the unedited version (by popular demand) on DVD that novelty has sort of worn off. I was pleased to discover, however, that a few scenes/lines that were in the screenplay never made the final cut. Nothing major, just a few words here and there that are cool for the trivia obsessed collector like me. Like when Woof comes out of the Jolly Jack building, sees all the cops and says, "Aw, man!"

Good stuff.

Looks like I'm going to have to go and watch the movie again because finishing the book has me all jazzed up. Unlikely that it'll be a movie night with the wife or kids, so I'll have to find 90 minutes somewhere when nobody is around to bother me.

Now that I think about it, I'm almost done the Superman series, maybe it's time I move on to Beyond as my next watch-it-again animated series.

Something to think about.

Anyway, back to work.



Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Giving the Yokos Their Due

If you are the type of person who bothers to check out the Amazon links every now and then, you may have noticed that as of today they've all changed over. Beyond that, in the 'What I'm Hearing' column you may also have noticed that the album cover for the Yoko Casionos album is missing - not my fault but's. I saw these guys live opening for Sloan this past weekend and I thought they were really great. Good energy onstage and they managed to really warm the crowd up netting them a receptive audience - something show openers don't always have the luxury of seeing.

I wouldn't have put them on the sidebar if I didn't want to draw attention to them, so to compensate for Amazon's shortcomings I'm going to post their album cover here:

And here's a YouTube clip of them performing live:

Not the greatest performance of this song (it was better at our show) but somethign to look at anyway.



Interview Subject Drought Hereby Endeth

My search for an interesting interview subject has continued all week. Since my last post on the subject, I've e-mailed John Rogers but that hasn't turned into anything good. A little disappointed since he is working with Giffen on Blue Beetle and he's done some nice work on one of my new favourite shows, Eureka. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

I also went and did some research on a Mr. Andy Diggle to see if he might be a nice addition to what I'm referring to as the Inaugural Four. After reading a bunch of interviews with the guy I decided that I would likely have a thing or two to ask him so I went ahead and e-mailed him as well. That was today, so I'm still awaiting a response. We'll see how that goes.

There is some good news, though. Another e-mail I sent today has borne fruit and I'm actually pretty excited at the prospect of getting a chance to talk with this guy, even if only by e-mail.

I just got word from Telltale Games' PR person that Steve Purcell is kind of available and will answer a handful of questions if I can send them some to forward on to him. He's apparently a really busy guy so I only get, like, 5-8 questions total, but it's more than 0 so I am happy. I've wanted to interview Purcell since the beginning, really, and having him as a part of the IF is going to be very cool indeed.

Now I just have to think of 5-8 really good questions.



Monday, October 23, 2006

Made It To 500!

Hey, hey...

I wish I was posting something of more substance for the big 5-0-0 but I have a minute at work here and thought I would come on and make the ol' presence felt again before going back to the wonderful world of auto sales.

Probably the thing of most significance for me this wekend was seeing Sloan again at the Odeon Event Centre here in town. It's, I think, my fourth time seeing the band and they just keep getting better and better. Last year I indoctrinated my brother with their 'A-Sides Win' tour, promoting their greatest hits album. It used to be a lonely but fulfilling enterprise but now I get to share in the Sloan fandom so it's all good.

I also watched the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car this weekend. Working at Saturn, my interest was piqued after I saw the trailer for this movie when I went to see A Scanner Darkly. The Saturn connection is, of course, the EV-1, GM's first Electric Car which they brought into the world and then did everything they could to bury it. The doc is an interesting one and done sans Michael Moore mudslinging. It's well thought out, well presented and makes its arguments well.

Here's an interview with the film's director, Chris Paine:

If you get a chance to see this one, take the opportunity. You'll probably be glad you did.

So, other than moving a tub, working a women's trade show and listening to my brother talk about his new date, that was pretty much my whole weekend. Not too shabby, but nothing too dramatic.

Just like this post, I'd wager.

Anyway, 500 and counting. Later!


Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Spirited Life

Continuing the link to interviews series...

Bob Andelman, writer of the Will Eisner biography A Spirited Life, has been doing an interview blog for a little while now. There are some really good ones that are worth checking out. I particularly liked the one with Darwyn Cooke and am looking forward to digging around the site some more. Other subjects include Dave Sim, Howard Chaykin, Bo Hampton, Will Eisner and Alex Saviuk and Gary Chaloner, to name a few.

If you like Eisner, interviews or The Spirit, these are worth checking out.



Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Frustrated Interviewer Seeks Subject


I've just checked my gMail account which, lately, has been a continuing exercise in frustration. I've sent out three interview requests so far, all of whom I had in mind for launching the new interview blog that I talked about in an earlier post, and no one seems to be interested in participating or, in some cases, responding.

The first of which, Brian K. Vaughan, was chronicalled right here on the blog a few weeks ago. I have become a huge fan of Vaughan's Escapists comic book and have been enjoying his Doctor Strange mini-series, and with his impending departure from Runaways and the release of Pride of Baghdad, I figured Brian for a shoe-in. Over-commitment ended up being my downfall there, I think. I was told that he was unable to fulfill many of the requests he had already agreed to so he wasn't going to take on any more.


So, I rolled up my shirtsleeves and decided to go with my follow-up plan. I searched for some contact information and quickly fired off an e-mail to X-Men: First Class artist, Roger Cruz. The first issue of his and Jeff Parker's mini-series has done very well for itself, and Roger has also introduced a new style which I thought might be interesting to talk about. A response, however, has not been forthcoming.

Granted, I may have sent it to an e-mail that he doesn't check very often or is even valid, now that I think about it. For that matter, there may even be a language barrier to consider here since Roger is a native of Brazil and may not be comfortable communicating in English. I know that in the past I conducted an interview with Humberto Ramos and I discovered that he was a little gun-shy about his responses since English was actually his second language. I don't think that is the case (I've seen interviews with Roger and he seems quite eloquent) but I have to entertain all possibilities.

Whatever the reasons, I decided to move on to Plan C, as it were, and sent a request to another creator I'm itching to talk to, Ted Naifeh. I thought that the great thing about doing an interview with Ted right now would be the Halloween connection. Since Ted's known for books like Death, Jr., Courtney Crumrin and Polly and the Pirates, tying it into a seasonal holiday sounded like an idea that I couldn't turn down.

Unfortunately, I'm still awaiting a response from Mr. Naifeh, as well.

I know that a big problem here is probably my 'press credentials'. I've been out of the loop for some years now and I have no official ties to anything or anyone other than my own blog and website. If I was doing something Buffy related I'm sure I could muster some attention, but even my contacts at Dark Horse COmics have moved on. And as far as the rest of comicdom is concerned, I'm starting from scratch. Leaning on folks I already know and throwing everything else at the wall to see what sticks.

And for the record, just in case I'm coming off like an unsufferably whiny bitch, I'm not trying to complain or pulling an 'o, woe is me' thing, here. I'm not cruising for a sympathy trip I'm just laying down some thoughts and using the blog for what it was always intended for. I'm just a little surprised and disheartened that I'm 0 for 3 so far.

I'm not 100% sure who is going to be next on the hit-list but I have a few names in mind right now. I'll probably post the results in a future post so don't be surprised if this isn't the end of it.



Monday, October 16, 2006

Abadazad Interview on NPR

Next up in my brief but burgeoning series of interview links is an NPR audio piece featuring J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog talking about the latest incarnation of the Abadazad series.

It's not a very long piece but if you know me I'm a sucker for J.M. DeMatteis and, really, how often do you get to hear Mike Ploog?

You can listen in RealAudio or with Windows Media Player.



Saturday, October 14, 2006

BKV and Joss Whedon Wax Poetic For Wizard

I enjoyed reading this interview over @ Wizard's website and thought I would give anybody else who wants to see Joss Whedon and Brian K Vaughan gabbing about their impending one-way swap-a-roo a heads up.

Mission accomplished.


Oh Bring Back My Vette To Me

Remember that bike of yours that was stolen when you were twelve? Don't stop believing, man. Stranger things have happened.

Now that I'm working in the automotive industry I see a lot of car related news. Usually it's the kind of stuff you would expect from MSN Auto News and the like - discussing ft-lbs. of torque, or how fast this vehicle can go compared to another. The other day, though, I stumbled across this neat little human interest story on a site called It's about a guy and his 'vette which was stolen almost 40 years ago, only to find its way back to him this year. He lost it mere months after buying the thing and now, almost 38 years later, the damn thing gets flagged in cutoms on its way to a buyer in Sweden, for crying out loud.

My only guess is that it was a show car and was never licensed for most of the time it was missing, otherwise the VIN should have popped a red flag many, many years ago.

Either way, this guy's a happy camper.

Next post, back to the comic blogging (hears collective groaning).



Friday, October 13, 2006

Comic Blog Part 2

It's been a fruitful week comic-wise at Meanwhile... HQ so I figured I wuld follow-up on my last post with an update on the Doctor Strange mini and some new stuff.

First up, the Sorcerer Supreme. I hummed and I hawed for, like, two days debating with myself whether to pick this book up or not. The artwork by Marcos Martin looked positively sublime and that first page between Araña and Iron Fist in the waiting room (pictured at right) was priceless. Still, when you look through a book and all you see are talking heads, short of reading the book on the spot in the store (instantly making it pointless to buy in the bargain) there's no way of telling if the writer (Brian K. Vaughan, in this case) has done anything truly worthwhile.

I knew I was going to be at the comic store again today to pick up a copy of Battlestar Galactica #2 and figured I would take one last gander at The Oath as well as another new book, Blade. Marc Guggenheim and Howard Chaykin have a new Blade comic book on the stands and seeing as how I recently acquired the first film on DVD (thus having pored over all of its bonus features) and begun watching the ill-fated television series, I thought it might be a good idea to check this one out as well. I mean, Howard Chaykin. Come on.

In a funny way, it was probably a good thing that I did decide to check out the new Blade because it looked pretty disappointing, to be brutally honest. I'd read some lukewarm reviews before leaving the house so I wasn't expecting a lot, but the final decision to axe the idea came down shortly after skimming through a few pages of the first issue. There was something about it that just didn't feel right. It was probably the main storyline with Blade going around killing a lot of vampires with very little point because the B story featuring previously unrevealed moments from Blade's past looked rather engaging.

Anyway, the overall crappiness of Blade (or at least the perceived crappiness) made Doctor Strange: The Oath #1 look all the better, and the previously cited character moment between Araña and Iron Fist had just the right amount of 'we're going to be a little bit the same, here, but also just a little bit different, too' to it. The rhythm of it just felt right so I took the plunge.

And a good choice, too, because I really enjoyed it.

Vaughan grounded the story well enough that it didn't just seem...well, beyond everything, you know? The role of Dr. STrange in the Marvel U over the last bunch of years was either as a Deus Ex Machina or as some form of comic relief. In The Oath, Vaughan portrayed Strange as a powerful mystic, sure, but still a man and still a medical doctor. It was a nice balance of what Lee and Ditko did with the character 40 years ago crossed with what an intelligent and discrimination comic audience might be looking for today. One of my favourite Dr. Strange runs of all time was the DeMatteis/Buckingham run just before the series was cancelled in the late '90s and it was for much of the same reasons. When you can connect with the character on some level, you can go that extra step beyond. The Straczynski reboot from a year or so back seemed to be trying way too hard and missing the mark, in my opinion.

To try and shorten an otherwise wordy review, I'll definitely be picking up the next issue - if not the next four - in the series and look forward to seeing what Vaughan has planned for the character and the dilemma he was left with on the final page of book one.

More comic talk later!


PS - In the credit where credit is due dept. all images were shamelessly cribbed from CBR. It was that or try and figure out my wife's scanner set-up.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Comic Blog

Wow! I'm only 8 posts away from hitting the landmark 500. I'll have to keep an eye on the numbers for the next few posts I make.

Anyway, the point of this post in particular is to chat about comic books. Every now and then, I find the funds, or the gumption, and just go out and splurge on a few comic books which then leaves me in the unenviable position of wanting to talk about them but having nobody in my immediate vicinity to do so with. It's always been my curse to enjoy certain areas of pop culture on my own with nary an intelligent discussion to be found.

I would turn to that tried and true institution of the Local Comic Shop, but in my area there are only two to choose from. Shopping at one of them is like being at The Gap (with the vacuous smiley faces and the retail zombie mantra, 'Can I help you find anything') and any discussion I get into at the other tends to revolve around cars and electronics (go figure!).

Anyway, if you've bothered to read this far, now's your chance to either bail out or brace yourself for some idle chatter.

To start off with, I'm really curious about the new Dr. Strange: The Oath mini-series by BKV and Martin. From what I've seen the darn thing looks really good. I'm not a huge Strange fan, but I've had some very good reading experiences with the character in the past. If handled right he can be a really interesting guy to explore and it's a corner of the Marvel U that is highly underutilized. Still, even though Vaughan (who has more-or-less proven himself in my eyes as a sure thing) is writing the thing, I still can't cough up the $3.75 (CAN) and just bring the damn comic book home to read, you know? My discretionary funds are pretty much depleted for the pay period and I'm feeling pretty gun-shy when I'm standing there at the shop.

If anybody out there has anything really good to say about this book, please post some comments. It's one of those situations where I need that extra little push to take the plunge. Any words in either direction (good or bad) would be appreciated.

Next up is X-Men: First Class. I wasn't looking forward to this book, then I was really looking forward to this book, now I'm feeling a little lukewarm after finally getting my hands on it. Jeff Parker is a name that generally draws me to any title it's associated with, and 9 times out of 10 it's a sure bet that what he's cooked up for you is something you're going to want to read. It took me a while to track this one down but I finally managed to find a copy of it today and read it in the Vue while waiting for my daughter to get out of Irish Dance.

With this first issue I found myself not quite getting into the whole groove of it (sorry, Jeff!). I was a bit surprised initially, especially since I can't really put my finger on what it was exactly, but after a single reading I just found that there was something that didn't fundamentally click the way it had on some of his other Marvel projects - his Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four run being a great example of that. I know it's not the simpler single-issue storytelling, nor is it the choice of characters. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe the lack of a recognizable villain kept me from engaging with the story (although I'd hate to chalk it up to something as lame as that). Maybe having Bobby Drake introducing the characters was a bit redundant for someone who has been reading these character's stories off and on for 20 years.

Bottom line is I'm going to try it again and see where I'm at after another swing at it. It's what I usually do in this kind of situation.

I should mention, however, that I am thrilled for the creative team that this thing is selling out all over. It's nice to see Jeff getting some major props and attention for books like this and his Agents of Atlas. They're being received very well by the comic book community at large, and attention like that can only mean more work and more stories from Jeff. I don't see a problem with that.

In the spirit of Halloween, and in an effort to keep my retailer from dumping my file, I picked up the copy of Where Monsters Dwell that's been collecting dust in my file for some months now. I originally set it aside because of the Giffen connection, and then subsequently ignored it because of its $5.75 price tag, but after picking up and reading this crazy gem of a comic book I have to say I'm an idiot for having waited this long.

The Bombu story that opens the book is an absolute hoot. Written and drawn by Keith Giffen and inked by Mike Allred, this story reminded me of Giffen's glory years in the '80s and '90s when you saw him doing tons of humourous little back-ups and vignettes appearing in various and sundry titles. This was followed by a decent little Hollywood rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-revenge tale as told by Peter David and Arnold Pander (never thought I would see those two names together, never minfd on a Marvel comic), and the book is capped off with a wonderfully campy tongue-in-cheek sci-fi story by Jeff Parker and Russell Braun - Monstrollo and Manoo being the 'monster' stars (monstars?) of the former and the latter.

After watching The Man With the Screaming Brain the other night, I decided to dig out my copies of the mini-series to see how the two compared. I know Bruce Campbell had commented a number of times in interviews that the comic book adaptation was a 'truer' version of the screenplay because of its limitless budget and scale. Moody and atmospheric night scenes remained night scenes whereas in the film they were forced to shoot the whole thing in daylight to save time and money. Some of the sci-fi and horror elements could be better realized and certain shots could be done the way they were originally intended. Nothing was changed due to on set difficulties.

That being said, I think the two worked better together than as seperate entities. Dialogue which flowed better in the film came off as stilted and unnatural in the comic adaptation. The performances by Stacey Keach and Ted Raimi, which steal the show everytime the appear on screen, could not be done the proper justice by the characters featured in the comic. It's a bit of push and pull where one version does certain elements better than the other, while the other version does certain things better than the first. Overall, I think Remender and Barta did a great job of bringing the film to another medium but, ultimately, I think it serves as more of a companion to the movie than as a book all its own.

There are more that I could list and talk about but I think I'm going to stop the monologue there for the night. I still have Agents of Atlas #'s 1-3 to read, Buckaroo Banzai #'s 1-2, somewhere I have some Battlestar Galactica comics I can comment on and I can't not talk about Death, Jr. at some point very, very soon.

As I stated earlier, feel free to leave comments. Discussion is always welcome.



Heroes In a Half Shell

As a child of the 80s, my experience with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began with the Mirage comic book and culminated in this:

Cruising the web I stumbled across this:

Pretty cool.



Friday, October 06, 2006

When All Else Fails, Go To LinkBlog

I posted twice already today, and when I was about to go back to the well to talk about the Eureka renewal and the cool webisodes on YouTube, I figured I might as well do a linkblog and try and cover anything and everything I may want to post today. One fell swoop, I believe, would be the watchword here.

So, as to the aforementioned Eureka, SciFi Wire has just announced that it will renew the show for another 13 episodes. For anyone who has managed to catch this very cool new show this is great, great news. Eureka has quickly become one of my new favourite shows as a result of some very sharp writing, great casting and overall atmosphere. If you haven't had a chance to catch the show, or if it's not available in your area, check out the 'Hide & Seek' webisodes which are still available on the official Eureka site and on YouTube. Here's the prologue (which isn't much of a teaser, really) to start you off:

It also appears that the animated rock band, Gorillaz, will be calling it quite this year and will be detailing everything in their tell-all biography. I'm not sure how I feel about there not being another Gorillaz album, but I'm less sure what I think of this little promo/cash-grab. I love Damon Albarn and will follow him to the strangest reaches of pop music and beyond, but I'm going to reserve judgment 'til I can see this book for real and see how much effort they've put into it. The optimist in me says this may be a nice goodbye for those of us who loved the band.

Make Your Own Sam & Max Comic Book.

Need I say more?

I recently surfed by the blog of artist Nuno Alves. I think I clicked through on one of the other blogs run by Teen Titans alumns and couldn't help but have my attention grabbed by this striking re-imagining of Rogue. The image was created, I believe, for Project Rooftop - a blog where artists come on and do this sort of thing for fun, redesigning characters and the like.

Either way, I like just about everything in this image so I'm bringing attention to it.

Hmmm...I thought I had more stuff to dump on here.

Ah well.

I think I recall hearing somewhere that if you were going to go out, that it was best to go out on a song. So, to cap it all off, here's some live Keane for those of us who will not be seeing them live anytime soon as a result of Tom's rehab situation.




Holy crap.

I got goosebumps watching this trailer.


First Look - Johns & Donner's 'Last Son'

Entertainment Weekly has a 7 page preview of the highly anticipated storyline here.

The book is released on October 25th and is written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner. Johns was previously an assistant for Donner back in the day, so there is a pre-existing relationship there. I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out. It's also illustrated by Marvel ex-pat, Adam Kubert.



Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Looking For My Next Idea

So I'm thinking the other day that it might be as good a time as any to go through with an idea I had a little while ago. Despite having a site and a domain name already dedicated to posting and spotlighting any interviews or articles I have, or may in the future write, I started an interview blog last year just to see what the format would be like to use and whether or not it was a viable idea. I'd seen some other writers doing it. Alan David Doane was relatively successful with it and there were others whose names escape me at the moment, but they all seemed to be short form interviews. 20 questions or 10 questions or however many questions it takes to fill out a release sized Q&A. My favourite interviews (even though I don't get to conduct them like this every time) are the long form ones. Comics Journal style conversational portraits, if you will, of whoever the subject may be. Clearly this is not possible every tme you fire off a handful of questions by e-mail, or even on the phone for that matter (a recent interview with Bruce Campbell taught me that), but it's a good goal, I think.

I never made the blog public and only ever posted a couple of interviews on it just to see what it would look like. Shortly afterwards, deciding it was not a great idea, I chose to ignore it. Never deleting it, just leaving it there to sit idle.

Now, though, I find I'm kind of warming up to the idea again. I could keep the old Meanwhile... site for older or 'lost' interviews (which is pretty much what I'm publishing there now) and put the hot new stuff up on the blog. I could do something on a weekly schedule, give myself some decent lead time and it practically maintains itself. It gets the name out there, keeps the muscles from atrophying and just gives me something entartaining to do. Something to experiment with.

It could be fun.

I have another idea which I've been toying with but I'll leave that one for a later post. I still want to look into a few things before I start bandying that one about.



Saturday, September 30, 2006

Vaughan Research All For Naught?

I sent off the request today but BKV is apparently swamped with other (I'm assuming, paying) work. Kind of sucks that I've immersed myself in Vaughan's world for the last week and won't be able to chat with him about it, but I did come out of it with one or two new monthlies I'm going to try and follow. The Escapists no longer holds the title of 'sole BKV book' read at Jozic HQ.

Not sure who I want to tackle next. I was considering Roger Cruz but there are a few more names on my 'try to get' list. I'll start the process again when I decide on a new interviewee.



Veronica Mars Season 3 Premiere...Online!

Check it out. Support the show. Give it a try if you haven't already. Numbers are down and they could use some more warm bodies. God knows Gilmore Girls is doing them any favours.

Go here to check it out.



Cat Fight or You Are Getting Sleeeeeepy...BAM!

Okay. I know it's retarded to keep posting cat videos, but I genuinely loved this one when I saw it on Later with Craig Ferguson and I'm sure it will be one that the wife approves of. Nothing freaky here, just one feline outsmarting another.

I'm sure I'll be back with more 'real' posting very, very soon.

I mean, I'm re-reading The Dark Knight Strikes Again, how could I not have something to post about?



Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good-Bye F-14

My brother brought this to my attention earlier today. According to the U.S. Navy, it looks like the ol' Tomcat is finally being retired to be replaced by the much newer F-18. A sad day for those of us who grew up on Top Gun.

And yes, I swiped the pic from the article.



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Y, Because We Like You

As I posted last time, I'm in full BKV mode and have now moved on to reading The Hood, my Runaways FCBD book and the critically lauded, Y: The Last Man. So far, I'm finding them all to be quite enjoyable (well, the Runaways story was a throwaway but I'm not holding that against him), partly because of their differences and partly because of the fact that Vaughan doesn't appear to have a schtick. I don't read 4 or 5 pages of one of his stories and go, 'OH, that's a Brian K. Vaughan story'. A lot of the big name guys have that recognizable quality and it sometimes ends up overshadowing everytrhing to the point of undermining an otherwise interesting yarn. You end up not enjoying it outright but watching for the little Morrison-isms, or the Miller-isms or the Waid-isms...whomever it happens to be that you're following at any given time. I've found that I quite like reading The Hood and having a completely different experience from the one I'm having as I read through the first year of Y.

I should probably add that the art also does a lot to contribute to this. The styles and tones of Pia Guerra's or Kyle Hotz' work does just as much to make these stories different from each other as Vaughan's writing - and if I may say so myself, both books look positively stunning, to boot.

I still haven't completely decided on it yet, but I'm definitely inches away from doing up the e-mail and making the request at this point.

I'm also on the verge of an idea that I may or may not go through with but will talk about in another post.

Until then, here's a little YouTube interview with the man in question...



Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Searching For Brian K. Vaughan

Man, I feel like crap today. I was actually going to call in sick but realised that instead of three people being on the floor today it was just myself and one other salesperson, Jen. So, instead of being at home, wallowing in self-pity and medicating myself, I'm here trying to sell cars that just don't seem to want to be sold.

Anyway, the title of this post is referring to my recent decision to possibly do an interview with comic scribe, Brian K. Vaughan. To be honest, I don't read a lot of his work. Runaways never grabbed me initially despite the hype, and Y The Last Man just never made it onto my radar. I remember seeing his Swamp Thing and passing and wanted to pick up his Marvel Max mini-series The Hood but, for whatever reason (probably cash flow), never did.

What I have read of Vaughan's is the previously posted about The Escapists which has become my new favourite read. It's also a book nobody seems to be talking about. every interview I've read covers his more popular books or the new graphic novel that just hit bookshelves, Pride of Baghdad (which looks fabulous, in case anyone is wondering).

So, I've been researching the guy. Reading whatever interviews I can to first see if there's a point to interviewing him (i rarely do vanity interviews just for the sake of being able to say 'I interviewed creator-x') and to determine what sorts of questions I would probably be asking him if I were to take the plunge. Another aspect of finding out whether or not I should interview him is the amount of reading I'll have to cram in as I get acquainted with his non-Escapists books. Not a challenge I'm intimidated by, but one that I'd generally avoid if I wasn't getting itno a Q&A with the guy. Sure, I'll probably sample them now that I've read all about them because I'm a sucker for getting caught up in other people's enthusiasm over their projects, but that I can do in my own time.

So far, the prognosis is that I'm not sure if I really have anything to add to the BKV interview millieu, but I continue to work on it. I have a half-a-dozen questions so far. If I can make it to 20, I'll drop him an e-mail and a request for some of his time. If it'sa phoner, I'm sure it'll be a good read but if I'm relegated to e-mail it's a bit more challenging.

I'm going to get back to work. I'll probably update throughout the day since I'm predicting it'll be a slow one.



Sunday, September 24, 2006

I Get No Respect

I just saw this news item over on Sci-Fi Wire. While I usually don't get my panties in a bunch over scooping or being scooped, I have to admit I was a little tweaked by this. I mean, I broke the whole Buffy comics continuing thing a loong time ago in my interviews with Scott Allie and Jane Espenson as part of my Buffy Post Mortem.

Ah well, toiling in obscurity is something I've become used to over the years.



"Unthinkable" and Other Things

I just finished and set down the second Mark Waid/Mike Weiringo Fantastic Four collection, 'Unthinkable'. I'd heard so much about this storyline and it landed right around the point where I had to seriously cut back on my comic purchases and I quit buying the book on a monthly basis, so when I found it sitting at the library I couldn't resist picking it up.

Now, let it be said that I really enjoyed the first story arc that Waid and Weiringo told, 'Sentient', as well as the few issues that came afterwards. The family dynamics were always just as important as the cosmic adventures, so seeing Johnny taking a job with the FF's company was just as enjoyable as watching Reed trying to outsmart a new lifeform. As far as 'Unthinkable' goes, though, I have to say that I was awfully disappointed with what I saw.

It seemed out of character for the team, the series and the creative forces behind the book. Trying to make an FF story disturbing or scary is not an easy task and I don't think Waid was entirely up to the task. Weiringo's artwork was fantastic to look at and his storytelling ability is without peer but, again, the tone of his art is so diametrically opposed to telling this sort of story that the overall fit was awkward. Franklin trapped in Hell? The FF tortured by a sorcerous Doom? Doom wearing a new suit of armour fashined from the DEAD SKIN OF HIS EX-LOVER? Some cool ideas there, sure, but it just didn't come off for me.

When it comes to my FF or Spider-Man stories I get pretty particular and 'Unthinkable' just missed the mark.

Something I am enjoying quite a bit, however, is The Escapists by Brian K. Vaughan and various artists. Based on the Michael Chabon character this 6-issue series tells the tale of a group of kids who revitalize The Escapist comic book for a new audience and have some adventures (super and otherwise) along the way. I don't know if it's just a really well put together book or if it's because I first saw issue 1 after reading Men of Tomorrow, but this has quickly become one of my absolute favourite titles to pick up and read. I'm sorry to hear that it's only going to run the six issues because I'm enjoying it so much.

I think I may even track down Vaughan and do the ol' interview thing with him. I'd like to get some behind the scenes insight on this one.

Sloan has just released another studio album which has me very excited. 'Never Hear The End of It', their 8th studio album, is 30 songs of unadulterated pleasure for the Sloan fanatic. I'm not going to get into a big discussion of the disc right now because I haven't honestly had time to digest the whole thing yet, but I will say that it is good, and I am anxiously awaiting their arrival in town next month. It's been too long since I've seen them playing live. It'll be good for the soul.

I've also read the first 3 issues of the new Flash series by Bilson, DeMeo and Lashley. I have some things to say about that but, again, I'm going to wait for another post. I wanted to mention it here, though, so I don't forget about it.

James Robinson's seminal 'un-super-hero' series, Starman, has also made a comeback in the Jozic household. I'd only read up to the end of the 'Stars My Destination' storyline so I figured I'd try and finish the series off. I also wanted something a little bit different than what I was used to reading of late and it really fit the bill.

As a Giffen fan I had to try the first issue of 52 and I can't say that I'm all that impressed, especially since I had to read Infinite Crisis #7 before jumping ahead and doing it. IC had me so amped some months ago only to lose me shortly thereafter. I had gone through and read, like, every cross-over series and tie-in and totally immersed myself in the whole bloated event but then DC put the final issue out something like 2 months late and all the air just went out of it for me - pfffffffffft! Reading #7 now was a bit of a chore and everything they had built to - that had me excited in the first place - now felt empty and hackneyed. I'm starting to understand why the One Year Later books are not really appealing to me in any way shape or form (oops, I think you just got a little unintended commentary on The Flash there).

I'll keep reading it for a few issues but I'm not holding out too much hope for it.

On the list for things to get to are Agents of Atlas #2 (Sorry, Jeff, I still haven't gotten to it), some more Books of Magic, catching up on my B.P.R.D., 28 Days Later, A Very Long Engagement and some more Eureka. And that's the short list!

I'll try and post again soon.



Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Galactica and Sci-Fi Do it Again


A couple of seasons ago I was posting about how awesome the producers of Battlestar Galactica and the Sci-Fi Network were for posting internet extras that directly relate to their show. Executive Producer Ron Moore would do podcast commentaries on a regular basis giving fans an inside look into the production of the show which had me, as a huge commentary nut, absolutely beside myself. They also included deleted scenes and blogs which just went 110% over the next guys' efforts which usually consisted of wallpapers and icons and screensavers.

Well, with Season 3 on the horizon (October 6th, everyone - stay frosty) they've done it yet again with a series of webisodes bridging the Season 2 finale and the Season 3 opener. The story is called 'The Resistance' and is comprised of 10 webisodes which 'air' weekly on Sci-Fi's website. They don't feature the main characters like Apollo, Starbuck or Adama, but Tyrol, Kaylee, Tigh and some others from the series do appear, hilighting the growing resistance against the cylons on New Caprica.

And as Ron Moore states on his blog, these are no throwaway promotional spots. They are written, directed and produced by the crew of the Galactica series in-between shooting the 3rd season's episodes.

This show, and the folks behind it, always seems to go the extra mile. Whether it's in the actual production of the series, or in the support and marketing end of things, they always seem to be outdoing their contemporaries. The love for it shows, too. Maybe that's why they won the Peabody.

If you live in Canada, you may not be able to view the webisodes on Sci-Fi's site, so I'm dropping the first one here on the blog courtesy of YouTube. The others are there if you want to go find them, or I could keep posting them here - I'm not fussy.

Enjoy and feel free to comment.

And, on another Galactica related note, here's yet another Robot Chicken sketch which my brother and buddy Chris love, so I'm posting it here as well.



Monday, September 18, 2006


If you've been reading any of the posts in the last week you've probably seen my wishy-washy feelings about the last chunk of money I spent - that being the $24 I dropped on the Limited Edition Star Wars DVD. I've never shaken the uncertainty over the purchase, even when I ripped the bugger open to check out my favourite unchanged scenes. In fact, I think I even mentioned how not comforting that whole process actually was.

Anyway, I found out another small tidbit of information that has driven the stake even deeper into the proverbial heart. It would appear that on the very same day as Star Wars' release, Teen Titans: The Complete Second Season was also hitting store shelves. I don't know how I missed it (heck, I still haven't seen a copy and I'm all over the DVD shelves whenever I hit a big box store) but there you have it. Something I've been waiting a long time for and would have been thrilled to have and share with my kids and I had to go and buy another copy of Star Wars.


I guess I'll just have to hang tough and pick it up with my paycheque at the end of the month. Man, and Sloan is putting out a new album tomorrow, too. September is not turning out to be a good month for me entertainment-wise. Well, it is but it isn't. You know what I mean.

Here's a Season 2 episode courtesy of YouTube...



Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Never get Sick of This



Weekend Update

What to post, what to post.

It's been a pretty slow week at work and at home so there's not a lot of life changing stuff to report. On the keeping myself entertained side, however, I've gotten my fingers into a handful of things that have kept me from lying down, crying out 'purple hairy spiders' and ending it.

For starters, there's the new books that I'm checking out. After finishing Big Fish and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant I had every intention of picking up Harper Lee's seminal work, To Kill a Mockingbird. Somehow, I managed to get a bit sidetracked and started reading a combination of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Slayer, Walter Tevis' The Man Who Fell to Earth and Cromartie High School Vol. 4.

Cromartie has been a kind of 'today thing' and has been doing a good job of keeping me well humoured in the face of retail sales adversity. With nary a customer in sight I tried to grab stuff that would occupy me during the excruciatingly slow bits of the day. Vol. 4 has been sitting on my shelf for a while - pretty much since I grabbed it from the library - and is proving to be a life saver. Some of the strips are ones they used for the second DVD so they're familiar to me already, but the manga always does a better job of delivering the jokes, in my opinion.

There's also The Man Who Fell to Earth which came out of left field. I took the movie version out of the library the other day and since it was part of the Criterion Collection it came with the original book in the package. I read the little essays included in the liner notes and realized that the author was the same guy who wrote The Hustler, a movie I absolutely love and a book I've always wanted to read. I figured, if it's the same guy, how bad could the book be? I started reading it and now I'm hooked on the thing. I'm not thrilled to add yet another book to the list, but you can't complain when it's something you enjoy.

As for what's coming up, I picked up Agents of Atlas #2 and The Escapists #3 yesterday so I'm looking forward to getting into those, as well as some DVDs I picked up from the library that I've been waiting to dive into.

I could go on and on but I'm sure no one wants that. Since I'm working I'll leave the blogging at that for the day and pick this up at another time.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Star Wars Stuff

So, I cracked last night and opened my Limited Edition of Episode IV, 'A New Hope'. I was pretty eager to see what the video would be like after everything I'd heard about the transfer's quality (or lack thereof). After the initial announcement that these would be coming out this month, many fans criticized LFL for not doing a complete restoration in anamorphic widescreen with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, but I wasn't too bent out of shape about it. I was just happy that I would finally have a copy of the movie that was easily accessible and featured the Han shooting first scene as well as the Death Star explosion I prefer. As a bit of an unexpected added bonus for Star Wars or cinema geeks, this version also does not feature the 'Episode IV A New Hope' tag above the scroll, preserving the way it was originally exhibited in 1977 before all the changes and fuddling started.

Technically, I think there's still an argument going on about whether the audio mix on the DVD is '77 accurate since it features a looped dialogue bit with Aunt Beru as opposed to the rare, but very real, un-dubbed scene. For the sake of your sanity and mine, I'm not even going to get into that.

On the downside, after about 10 minutes (the amount of time it took to watch the 2 or 3 scenes that I bought the thing for) I was bored and done with it. Not the best way to spend money, but I guess I'll probably be starting to watch the last three episodes with my daughter soon so I'll be able to give her the option of original release or special edition (I know she'll choose the special edition but I'll probably get her started early on the geek train and show her the scenes I bought the damn thing for).

Ah well, at least the Lego Star Wars demo will be fun. I've read some really good reviews of the game already and my kids thought the trailer was a blast.

And, keeping with all my other YouTube posts of late, a Lego Star Wars video...



Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Luc Besson to Retire

Not too long ago I was lamenting the lack of Luc Besson directed product. He's done a lot of producing and a good deal of writing since making The Messenger, but most of it has been in Europe and films like The Transporter and Unleashed don't move me in any capacity. The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional and my first Besson film, The Big Blue, have left their indelible mark on me (as well as the incomparable music of Eric Serra) and I was not at all happy to learn yesterday that the man is retiring after the release of his latest movie, Arthur and the Invisibles (previously known - at least here - as Arthur and the Minimoys).

Apparently, he plans to devote himself to civic projects in his native France and will still produce through his production company, EuropaCorp - Ruby Tuesday being an example of just that.

I'm looking forward to this movie now more than ever, but it's going to be a bittersweet experience for me when it finally hits cineplexes.

Here's the french trailer for the film...

...and here's a clip from the aforementioned Fifth Element which also shows off Eric Serra's wonderful music just for fun.



Star Wars Redux and a Return from Regina

Sorry, but I really couldn't think of a nifty title for this post.

I'm back at work today and back from Regina where I did a one day orientation seminar for Saturn. It was pretty decent and I learned a few things about the company that I didn't know before so I guess you could say it was a raving success. I wouldn't have minded taking the Consultative Sales seminar as well since I think that's probably where I need the most help, but my manager decided that we didn't have enough people to cover the sales floor with me gone for a few days so I got bumped until November.

Possibly a strong sign that I'll still be here at the end of the year, or perhaps an omen that my time here is limited? You decide.

After driving back into town I swung by the local Wal-Mart and grabbed myself a copy of the newfangled 'same-but-different' Limited Edition of Star Wars on DVD. Out of the three original Star Wars movies, I feel that the most unwarranted changes were made to 'A New Hope' so I've been waiting for this puppy to come out for a while, now. Still, I should note that I haven't opened it yet because I haven't convinced myself that I'm going to hang on to it just yet. I remember saying during one of those Lucas Sucks arguments with a friend that George should just release them to have them out there for the purists, and if he did, I would certainly buy one to show a little support for the idea. You vote with your dollar, right?

The only problem is that I already own three or four versions of this movie in one form or another, and while I want to put my money where my mouth is, the only really enticing thing about this new disc at the moment is the Lego Star Wars XBOX demo that is included on disc 2. I know my kids will love it and I don't want to buy the official XBOX magazine for $13 to get it.

I guess there's also the pure joy I will feel when I see Han toasting Greedo without a second thought in the cantina, but is that really worth $24 to me right now? These new DVDs will be available until Christmas, so there isn't a huge rush to get one of these into the house. I also decided when they announced them in May that I was going to wait for the other two until I have some money to burn so would it kill me to wait on this one as well?

Looks like it'll be a slow day at work today so I'll have time to contemplate the issue a little before returning home. Feel free to post any yay or nay votes in the comments. You might just save me $24.


Note on Image: It was the only one I could find on short notice. I am aware that it is the second movie and not the one I'm actually posting about.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"You Say It's Your Birthday!"

You kind of have to imagine that title as if Paul McCartney was barking it in your ear or the effect is totally lost on you.

Anyway, I'm sitting here at work (as usual), manning the phones (not as usual), nursing a cold and letting the fact that I'm now officially 33 sort of sink in.

Actually, I'm not that weirded out or phased by my age. I know that, typically, I'm supposed to be a little freaked out that I'm climbing that 30+ ladder but I'm not. I remember all the 'rite of passage' ages - 18, 20, 25 and 30 - and I think the only time I ever stopped to think about any of it was when I hit 22 or 23 and wondered if I'd accomplished enough in my lifetime up to that point.

The answer to that question, of course, was 'not by a long shot', so perhaps that's why the benchmark years pass by largely unnoticed.

Ah well, to dwell on it would be to talk about overly depressing things and this is supposed to be my 'happy' day.

Instead I should mention how my brother, Ed, took me to see A Scanner Darkly which finally reared it's celluloid head at a local arthouse theatre. A slow-moving but overall entertaining film with some decent performances by Reeves, Harrelson, Downey, Jr. and Ryder, of all people. For a lot of the movie I wondered where things were going but it ended up being one of those movies that has the big reveal at the end, making the movie more fun to watch the second time 'round.

Another early birthday present was from Jen. Yesterday she bought me Millennium Season 3, completing my Chris Carter/1013 DVD colelction. She felt that it was only appropriate since I finished off her Sex and the City collection a couple of weeks ago. Naturally it's spun me off into a Millennium viewing spree, but that's fodder for another post.

I should probably get back to the work of selling cars, but before I go, here's another wacky Robot Chicken video to chew on. This one's rated 14A so if you're afraid of a bit of sassy language, don't click below...



Thursday, September 07, 2006

Who You Gonna Call?

I was surfin' the web the other night when I found myself at the website for 88MPH Studios. I check in from time to time to see the status of the Ghostbusters: Legion hardcover I advance ordered from them, like, a year or so ago. The publisher, Sebastien Clavet, has stated on several occasions that there have been problems with money and that he was dedicated to getting this hardcover out there to all the fans who supported it and ordered it.

Having corresponded with Sebastien on a few occasions and finding him a straightforward and fairly nice guy to chat with, I had no reason to suspect anything different than what he claimed in numerous posts on the GB message board Weaver Hall and in various direct e-mails to HC customers.

Still, from everything that I've been reading of late, the prognosis does not look good. Not only that we won't be seeing the HC coming out anytime soon, but that the money we all sent to 88MPH will likely never be returned. Clavet, it appears, has gotten himself involved in a lawsuit with toy manufacturing giant Hasbro over another book, Transformers: Genesis.

The delay has always been a nuisance, but this news is just a bit disheartening, especially after seeing all the angry mob posts demanding their money back from 88MPH and the threats of legal action against Clavet for perpetrating fraud. There had always been a hope in the back of my mind that one day this nifty little bit of GB lit would grace my bookshelf someday. The introduction by Dan Aykroyd is reason enough for any GB fan.

Knock on wood, I guess.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Long Weekend

Labour Day weekend has come and gone. What, pray tell, do I have to show for it?

Well, I got a couple of days to just hang around and veg in front of some Farscape and original Trek, which was nice. I had a pre-birthday party at my in-laws. Purchased myself a copy of Young Guns (which I still haven't seen) and Birth. I finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my kids and watched the movie with them - finally! It was pretty good and I look forward to the extra special edition they're going to put out. I think I also watched Firewall with Jen, which was fine but doesn't really warrant any more commentary than that. I also started re-reading The Books of Magic. Not the mini-series but the monthly. I'll post more on that later.

My goal for this week is to finally post some of the things that have been rattling away in my head. Like my thoughts on Agents of Atlas, for example. Or the strange connections I'm making between classical music being played at bus terminals and how it might be creating a new Clockwork Orange breed of malcontent. I'm also going to mention how much I would like to get my ass in gear and write those BOOM! reviews for the Giffen Newslist since I haven't really embraced that task yet. Maybe if it's in writing I'll feel more inclined to do so.

Actually, that probably addresses an overall creative insouciance that I'm experiencing, but that's more for another time.

Anyway, since that last cat post continues to freak me out, and is beginning to freak other people out as well, I'm going to add this video of a feline with a completely opposite disposition...