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...



Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dinner With Friends

Jen and I just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last weekend, so it was somewhat fitting that we also recently watched the Norman Jewison movie, Dinner With Friends. Based on the play of the same name, the story revolves around two couples who have been best friends forever but are pushed to the point of 'breaking up' when one of them ends up splitting. Loyalties are divided, friendships are strained and the whole thing is kind of an interesting meditation on marriage and living life with (or possibly without) a long-term partner.

It was actually a movie that I had suggested on several previous occasions but Jen never really paid it any mind until she picked it up and read the summary on the back of the case during a recent library stop. The couple that split in the movie had been together for 12 years so she felt a certain degree of synchronicity or something, I guess. Now that I think about it, we may have watched The Seven Year Itch around our 7th, so maybe it's a numbers thing with her. Or just checking in to see whether or not we're doing better than the movie couples.

I guess it doesn't really matter what Hollywood thinks since we've outlasted most of our friends and extended families' marriages.

Either way, it was a nice, quiet and entertaining show. I'd recommend it for anyone looking for a talky couples movie without the Woddy Allenisms.



Friday, September 01, 2006

Placeholder Post

My blogging of late hasn't been what one would call...timely. I've had so many posts just pop into my head these past few weeks but I've never quite managed to get them on to the blog for one reason or another. Work, family, all the usual reasons for not getting things done, mixed in with a little procrastination, is ultimately to blame, but I do feel bad that I haven't been keeping up with things here.

I'm managing to get this post up because it is essentially being done while I'm sitting in front of a computer anyway to order pizza, and since the ol' blog is my Firefox homepage I got a nasty reminder of when it was last updated in any sort of...'real' or noticable way.

Not that this post will change that fact, but at least I can say I made the effort.

In the meantime, you can watch this Robot Chicken parody of Star Wars. Reminds me of the Kevin Rubio stories like Troops or Tag and Bink Are Dead.