Thursday, November 29, 2007

See First Pic of Dark Knight's Joker

Empire Online has this neat little page revealing Heath Ledger as The Joker in the new Chris Nolan film, Batman: The Dark Knight.

And, yes, I am aware that I have yet to post any of the previously promised things. They're still coming. Maybe this weekend.


Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Grey Cup & the Weather

I think I know why Saskatchewan finally won the Grey Cup. After walking outside into blistering cold weather yesterday, I realised that Hell had, indeed, frozen over.

Coincidence? I think not.


Friday, November 23, 2007

On the Computer After the Concert

I just got back from the Stars show here in town. They were touring their amazing new offering, In Our Bedroom After the War, and I hit the shoiw with brother, Ed who got back from Calgary just in time to see it.

Got to hear some great tunes new and old, got to talk to the band (sans Torq), and will post show review and thoughts when it's not 3 a.m. (not that it's going to be easy to sleep after this).

Take me to the riot, baby!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones

As many of you probably know I have been on a bit of an Indy kick lately. Ever since the announcement of the new film, I've been positively buzzing with excitement. It has become a common occurrence in the Jozic household to have members of family and friends passing through be subjected to an array of on-set videos, images and trivia regarding Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. They know my intentions are good so they mostly tolerate the fanboy behaviour.

As a result fo this so-called kick, I've been indulging in several Indy related things and eyeing several others to work it out of my system. For example, I'll probably dust off the first three films soon and give them a once over, and I'm thinking of going back and rereading some of my Indy novels that cover the period between 1920 and 1935, written by Rob McGregor, Martin Caidin and Max McCoy, respectively.

For the time being, however, I've been getting my kicks from a couple of different sources. The first is the Young Indiana Jones DVDs that I mentioned in a previous post. I've really been enjoying revisiting the old show, particularly since I haven't seen every episode (surprise of all surprises) so there's still that spark of newness to it despite being 10+ years old. I've also been delving into the Indy comics published by Marvel called, The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones. In the past I read a handful of these issues but pretty much dismissed them, mostly for not being official Lucasfilm canon. Looking back on the series, though, there's a lot of interesting talent on hand in this series and I think it's probably worth a second look.

The likes of Howard Chaykin, John Byrne, Denny O'Neil, Gene Day, Steve Ditko, Herb Trimpe, Michael Golden and others make it a worthwhile effort to go back and explore these stories, and since I'm a lot less fussy about what is and what isn't official Indy canon, it might be a lot of fun, too.

After making the decision to rearead the old series I also made the decision to read and review/profile each issue as I go along here on the blog. Worst case scenario, I cave and stop after doing a handful of issues. Best case scenario, I manage to fill the time between now and the May 2008 release date of the 4th film and generate some worthwhile content for the blog.

I'll try and get the first two issues by Byrne and O'Neil up by tomorrow, and then try and do one a week from there on in. We'll see how it goes.

To quote the man in the hat, "I'm just making this up as I go along."

Onwards and upwards!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Post


I accidentally put this placeholder here with every intention of getting to it the same night, but the best laid plans...

It's been pretty busy here at Jozic HQ so I'm just going to mention that I'm watching the Young Indy DVDs for now and that I'll be posting a review and some thoughts on revisiting the show so many years later.

Upwards and Onwards!


Friday, November 09, 2007

Listenin' to the Podcast

Throughout the first two seasons of Galactica I followed the Ronald D. Moore podcasts religiously. I sort of let it slide with season 3, for some reason, but with the upcoming film, Battlestar Galactica: Razor, hitting the Sci-Fi channel in a couple of weeks I figured I'd give myself a bit of a Galactica refresher.

I usually listen to commentaries and interviews on my iPod as I'm going to work, while I'm on my coffee and lunch breaks, and as I'm coming home, so I've been putting the Galactica podcasts on there and going through them starting with the first two-part episode. I'm remembering some of the things that are being said because of the first time I listened to them back when they were originally posted, but I'm also picking up new observations and accomplishing my overall task of getting my brain wrapped up in the Galactica universe again.

It's tough when a show goes off the air for months at a time. It's been a while since season 3 reached it's strange and baffling crescendo, and from all the information I've seen since, it will be some months before we officially return to the continuiing storyline in season 4. It sort of takes you out of the story to the point where you stop caring what's coming up. You can only sustain that cliffhanger interest for so long and when you live without it around for that long, with no satisfying conclusion of any kind, it just tends to fade away.

So, hopefully the podcasts keep the interest level high and Razor does its job of keeping the home fires burning while we ramp up to the season 4 premiere. I do miss the show, and this will be the last season, so I want to go into it with the right kind of headspace.

Onwards and upwards!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Comic Haul

Another day, another batch of books up for review. As per usual I'll be covering some older books along with the new and possibly a trade or two in-between.

Tank Girl: The Gifting #4: This book has the distinction of being one of two comics to make me laugh uproariously and repeatedly as I was reading it. Not an easy task, let me tell you.

I very much liked Alan Martin's mix of prose, comics, poetry and gags and even appreciated how, intentional or not, things seemed to ramp up with every issue. I don't know what was the overall cause for the trend, but the gags and the action all seemed to get more outrageous as each issue came out, culminating in me laughing my ass off while my wife and children stare on and wonder what's got into daddy.

And not only was the writing spot-on-perfect, but the amazing Ashley Wood somehow managed to make me forget that Jamie Hewlett is the only person alive who can truly draw Tank and the gang. I'll grant you that it took an issue or two to warm up to him, but Wood's style suited the book perfectly and gave it a very modern, stylish look while maintaining all the dynamism and zaniness that Hewlett originally brought to the character and her world.

I will be very sad indeed if this is the last we see of Tank, Booga, Jet, Barney and Boat Girl (snicker). If this is a just and rightous world, Martin, Wood and IDW will have another mini on the stands before we know it.

The Spirit #10: I'm going to open this one up with, "WOW! What a cover!" I think this is possibly the one image by Darwyn that I have seen so far which is the most evocative of Eisner's work. I love the rain, the shadows, the looser linework and the muted colours. I would be one of the first in line to buy it if they ever turned it into a nice sized poster. I've actually included a larger image if you click through to get a better idea of what it looks like.

Great cover aside, the story within gives us the return of Ginger Coffee (who we met in the first issue) in a tale that's laced with not-so-subtle commentaries on cable news networks and their controversial personalities. The Spirit, who doesn't do very much this issue, ends up joining forces with Ginger to investigate the mysterious murders of these over-the-top newscasters as they are picked off one-by-one by an unknown assailant.

"Death By Television" was a good story, but by no means was it a great one. Don't get me wrong, it's not like Darwyn phoned this one in, it just didn't register like I had hoped it would. To its credit, the art was solid, the storytelling was there, it's just that something vital at the heart of it was missing. Like the spark that you should get when one of the best talents currently working in the industry is crafting stories for one of the most beloved and important characters in its history. These are two ingredients that should be working better together but they're not.

I'm not sure if it's the modernity of the stories (the use of the thinly veiled YouTube clone, BoobTube, being a good example), the new characters, the format (remember, Spirit stories in the past were 7 or 8 pages long), or my expectations for the whole thing, but so far there have only been a couple of issues that really stood out for me so far in this run and #10 is not one of them, even if it does offer one of my favourite Spirit lines in the series to date.

Strangely enough, this issue felt very much like an old episode of Batman: The Animated Series in structure and execution. I'm sure Darwyn's art had something to do wiith that, as well.

Will I keep buying it? You betcha! Despite any of its proposed 'problems' or lack of va-va-voom each issue still has more class and craft than a lot of books currently on the stands. Does it measure up to my high very expectations? Not so much, but we'll see how Cooke wraps up his run with the next two issues. It could all turn around for me over the course of the next 40 pages or so, not to mention the fact that I'll probably be rereading the whole thing from ground zero and see if my opinion changes.

Usagi Yojimbo Book Seven: There isn't enough time in the day to say everything that I could say about Stan Sakai's brilliant anthrpomorphic samurai epic, so I'll just go on record as saying that these seven volumes have been some of the most enjoyable comic book reading experiences that I've ever had. The characters are engaging, the stories are full of drama, humour, depth and adventure. They have an enduring quality and never feel dated.

Sakai masterfully tells single-issue stories, often based on Japanese folk tales and legends, and will seamlessly slip into a five or six part adventure without losing a step. He is equally comfortable with the short or long-form story and at no point do you feel as if he is dragging things out to make a page count. In the current market, that's not something you see very often. There is an economy to Sakai's storytelling. He never overstays his welcome and he always leaves you wanting more.

It makes me wonder why I never jumped on the monthly bandwagon years ago.

Anyway, you pretty much can't go wrong with these books. Try one out.

Stewart the Rat: This was a strange but happy discovery for me. I was at the comic store a few months ago and out of the corner of my eye noticed the names Gerber, Colan and Palmer peeking out at me from one the racks. Now, these were the same guys what brought us Howard the Duck and right next to their names was a strange little picture of a rat with a pair of glasses on. Whatever this book was, I knew I had to have it.

I had never heard Stewart the Rat before but quickly found out (from the back cover) that it was originally a graphic novel published by the now defunct Eclipse back in 1980, post-Howard. Instead of taking place on the streets of Cleveland, they set this new story in Southern California. Instead of hanging out with a former art model like Beverly Switzler whose high school sweetheart has turned into the menacing Dr. Bong, Stewart's companion is a screenwriter being plotted against by her failed writer/ex-boyfriend who starts a self-help movment based on producing or acquiring units of noog.

There are so many similarities one has to assume that in the wake of their troubles with Marvel, the group probably decided to go and create something similar that they owned with all the same hallmarks as Howard. The biting wit, the sharp satirical voice and the same surreal, frustrated sense of humour that made the duck such a success are all present in Stewart, although the latter was not restricted by the Comics Code Authority and had a much more adult nature. It should also be noted that when Gerber returned to Marvel to write Howard once again under their MAX imprint in 2001, he turned Howard into a rat. I can't help but think there's a connection.

If anyone knows more of the history behind Stewart, I'd love to hear it.

Anyway, being a big fan of Howard the Duck from way back, I picked up Stewart hoping to achieve the same basic buzz I got off of the duck stories and, I have to admit, it was all there in spades. The writing is sharp, the artwork by Colan and Palmer is fantastic to look at and the story's scathing commentary on California life, the self-help craze and excesses of the 80s, and Hollywod in general all still ring true today. If you have a chance to pick this one up, or even just to read it, I highly reccomend it.

Howard the Duck #1: The second book this month to make me laugh loudly and heartily.

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this new incarnation of Howard but the name of Ty Templeton definitely caught my attention and there was something oddly compelling about the artwork of Juan Bobillo - just different enough to be interesting and not a tired rehash of what has come before. Sure, it wasn't a Gerber penned Howard but I picked it up anyway based on how much I enjoyed Templeton's short Howard tale in the Civil Wars: Choosing Sides one-shot. I figured, if it was half as entertaining as that, it would be worth the few dollars I spent on the thing.

A quick disclaimer, here. A lot of people are not happy that a writer other than Gerber is writing Howard, and I know where they are coming from. Every attempt to do the wise-talking anthropomorphic fowl since Gerber left the book has come up painfully short. Everything from Mantlo's handling of the character to Lobdell's (in the pages of Generation X, I believe), has been lacking one important ingredient: the intelligence of the satire. Howard is not a straight comedy character. He doesn't do this for the yuks, and Gerber never wrote him that way. He was cranky but not outright mean and trying his best to cope in a world he never made.

What impressed me about Templeton's take on the guy is that he seems to get it like no other writer since Gerber has. This is smart, funny, bitingly comic satire. And more than that, this is a fun comic book featuring characters going through their own personal non-cross-overable post-Civil War tie-in in four parts story. It's a little old school and that is appealing to me like nobody's business right now. The same goes for the art of Bobillo. The look of the book is not too cartoony but not entirely grounded in reality, either. Many of the characters have a stylized look and there is a playfullness in the work that comes through, yet Bobillo also does a nice job of having these characters running around in a very real looking world. There's a nice balance and I look forward to seeing what he has in store for the rest of the series.

I should make a few comments on 'the look' of Howard since Bobillo has redesigned the Duck. Like everone else, I'm sure, I'm assuming this is related to the Disney gripe that Howard is too similar to Donald. If I'm not mistaken, that was part of the reason Howard was turned into a rat in the last Gerber written mini-series. Still, I can't really fault the creative team for wanting to give the book a slightly different look, to make it their own, as it were. It's a bad analogy, but think of this version of Howard as you would the updated Battlestar Galactica. A lot of changes have been made, sure, but the heart of the original is very much still there and the creators handling the characters and world have a great respect for what has come before and the folks who created those characters and worlds.

I've read a few interviews with Ty regarding the mini-series and he seems to hold a certain reverence for the original series and Gerber's take on things, so, hopefully fans of Howard, and possibly Gerber himself, will forgive these guys for trying.

Oh, and I can't end this review without mentioning M.O.D.O.T.. If you thought Jeff Parker's use of M.O.D.O.C. in Marvel Adventures: The Avengers was hilarious, wait'll you get a load of this. In the immortal words of Giffen and DeMatteis, "Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!".

The Batman Strikes! #38: This issue, written by Russell Lissau and illustrated by Christopher Jones and Terry Beatty, was an encouraging read. As I've stated in other reviews of this title, the stories have often felt rushed and overly simplistic, something early episodes of the television series faced as well. There was the odd issue that really stood out, but nothing that came close to recapturing any of the greatness of previous animated Batman series'.

"Pretty Poison" starts off strong and Lissau's dialogue and pacing go a long way to making this one of the better issues I've read in a while and Jones' artwork remains strong, particularly through the quieter moments. Poison Ivy is, by no means, my favourite villain from this new version of Batman but I really enjoyed her here. There was nothing over the top, her motives were simple and led to a nice exchange between her and the Bat at the end.

Sometimes you just want to read a comic book, not get embroiled in a universe spanning epic saga or the shakedown of an entire company's stable of characters. It's why I pick up, and will continue to pick up, books like The Batman Strikes!.

That's it for now. I have stacks of stuff still sitting there waiting to be read so I'll probably add to this post later in the day.

Onwards and upwards!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Barbarian Diary

I can't remember how I originally found Andrew Helms, but I've been enjoying his work for some time. Today I swung by his LiveJournal site and found these great strips called Barbarian Diary. They're simple, straightforward, and funny in a quiet sort of way.

Here's a sample...

Anybody who is a part of the blogosphere or a member of any of the other journal sites out there should be able to relate to Barbarian. According to Andrew, these are "a result of reading some "journal" or "diary" comics online and not really knowing what to make of them".

With any luck we'll get regular doses of Barbarian Diary. If you dig the strip, make your voice heard.

Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Veronica Mars: The Season That Wasn't

Since Jen and I recently finished watching the third season of Veronica Mars I thought I would post a couple of clips from YouTube which feature the Pitch for Season 4 that Rob Thomas shot in the hopes that the network might bite on a Veronics Mars: FBI series. These are available on the season 3 DVDs, along with some other cool features, so I'm looking forward to picking this set up.

Onwards and upwards!


Monday, November 05, 2007

The Comic Haul

I have been getting pre-release preview notices from Zenescope Entertainment for some months regarding their titles Return to Wonderland, Se7en and Final Destination: Spring Break. A few times I clicked over to see what was up but I had kind of retreated from the whole comic book commentary scene so I never bothered to do a proper review of anything I saw. The last notice I received included the final issue of their prequel/adaptation of David Fincher's Se7en which features artwork by Brett Weldele, who also did the artwork for the Richard Kelly prequel comic, Southland Tales. I really liked what Brett did on the latter series, so I thought I would take the time to check out this latest effort.

Se7en #s 6-7: The first of the two issues, "Envy", is written by David Mack and drawn by Leif Jones, while the latter, "Wrath", is written by Mike Kalvoda and illustrated by Brett Weldele.

I've got to say right off the bat that this is both one of the most unexpected licensed books I've ever encountered and one of the more interesting comics I've read in a while. I am a huge admirer of the film and when I first heard that Zenescope was going to produce a comic book based on Se7en I chortled heartily and wished them luck on what I knew would be a failed venture. Seeing the books on the stands I never bothered to go beyond a casual glance at the covers and possibly a flip through the interiors before putting them back on the shelf and moving on. I mean, they looked different and were definitely riffing off of some of the imagery in the film, but the writers and artists were people I knew nothing about so I never gave it a second glance.

It was the Mack connection that finally managed to draw me in. I was curious to see what he would do with the book and, admittedly, it gave me an excuse to actually read an issue and find out what the whole mini-series was trying to accomplish.

Essentially, the series tells the story of John Doe and acts as a prequel, of sorts, to the movie. It shows formative moments in Doe's life, develops the character a little bit further (since we saw virtually none of him in the film) and attempts to apply some motive/background to the crimes that he has committed, the results of which we see in the movie. The story also weaves back and forth through the film's narrative showing the reader moments where the two parallell stories intersect and giving you a slightly diferent perspective on the activities of Somerset and Mills, mostly through the eyes of Doe himself.

The artwork by Leif Jones and Brett Weldele is both evocative and suited to the task of bringing this world to life on the printed page. I was very pleased with what I saw and appreciated the restraint they both displayed when portraying what Meatwad on Aqua Teen Hunger Force would call a 'mature situation'. Tracy's grisly demise, the film's finale, even John Doe's attempt to strip himself of any identifying attributes is handled tastefully and, like Fincher's movie, only shows you how much you really need to see.

I'm not sure what previous artists accomplished in earlier issues but Leif Jones' work looks like a cross between Paul Pope and Eric Powell, while Weldele's muted pages and uncomplicated compositions are reminiscient of Ben Templesmith's work. Both artists manage to maintain a continuity between issues despite working in different styles. I liked the work done on both stories very much and will probably keep an eye out for any of their future works.

Like the movie, Se7en, this is not a happy fun read. If you're looking for a pick-me-up, you'd be best served by moving on to something else. If you're looking for a dense, atmospheric, and darkly rich crime drama, however, you could do a lot worse than picking up this book. It's a nice companion piece to the film.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

12 Questions With Steve Niles

I missed out on the original flurry of activity and attention that followed the release of the insanely popular 30 Days of Night by creators Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. I think I, personally, caught the buzz as the third issue was coming out and by that time the previous two issues were so scarce that I figured I’d wait until the trade came out to read this story that everyone was talking so much about. Little was I to know that, initially, the trade would prove to be just about as hot as those original three issues and I’d have to wait, yet again, to snag myself a copy.

Shortly after the books release I decided to contact Niles and see if he would be interested in an interview. I was working at the time for Silver Bullet Comicbooks as the Features Editor and thought it would be nice to have the book and one of the creators represented on the site. Steve agreed and questions were quickly worked up and sent over to Niles HQ.

Ultimately, the interview was never completed, and what you see below has never seen the light of day until now. The whole experience came as something of a surprise to me. It was the first time I pulled the plug on a piece and chose not to run it. I mean, I had 800 words or so, and as you can see by the interview below, it’s not like I couldn’t have published it as is, but a combination of Steve being super busy and unavailable for follow-ups and this interview here sort of made the decision for me.

I had run across Daniel Robert Epstein’s Newsarama piece while I was researching Niles online and thought it was the best interview with the guy I had read up to that point. It was very thorough, covered material pre-30 Days and beyond (something most of the stuff I ran across couldn’t or wouldn’t do), and was just a really entertaining read from beginning to end. I took one look at it and decided the definitive Steve Niles interview for early 2003 has been done. There was nothing more I can add there.

Flash forward 4 years and the movie for 30 Days of Night has hit theatres, is doing very well for itself, and something which I, personally, have gone to see twice. I remembered after coming home the first time out that I still had this old unfinished Niles piece sitting on my computer and thought it might be fun to put it out there.

So, without further ado, I present…

12 Questions With Steve Niles

This interview was originally conducted in February, 2003.

MIKE JOZIC: Where did the idea for 30 Days of Night come from? When someone told me what the series was about, I just thought to myself, why hasn't anyone done this before?

STEVE NILES: Well, evidently a lot of people have! Ever since 30 Days came out I get approached by writers telling me they had the same idea, but never got around to writing it.

JOZIC: What, or who, would you cite as your influences while putting together the story for 30 Days? Is there a little John Carpenter in there?

NILES: There’s a little Carpenter and some George Romero and Richard Matheson too.

JOZIC: Obviously the book has done well for you guys, but do you feel the three act structure of 30 Days was a successful one, or even noticed by the public at large?

NILES: Well, it worked in that it got the story across, but I think it could have been longer. That’s one complaint I hear about 30 Days: there should have been more!

JOZIC: There are a lot of extra pages in the trade collection of 30 days. What was the process by which they were excised from the original comic book?

NILES: It really wasn’t a case of including what was cut from the original series. Everything for the trade was created for the trade to give the reader a little extra bang for their buck.

JOZIC: There seems to be a trend, and a solid one at that, of smaller publishers going for a more DVD Special Features approach to their trades. Was this a consideration when putting together the collection for 30 Days?

NILES: I think we - IDW and I - just wanted to make the trade special because of all the good fortune we’ve had with 30 Days. It’s not that hard to go the extra step and include extra pages, or a script or unseen art. That’s why I love working with IDW. They get a kick out of making a package the best it can possibly be.

JOZIC: Raimi, Tapert and Campbell have all said that they were going to reunite to work on something smaller and independent, which has everyone immediately thinking Evil Dead 4, but I wondered if maybe 30 Days was the project in question?

NILES: As far as I’ve heard, it isn’t, but I wouldn’t complain!

JOZIC: In a funny way, even though you're no longer adapting other people stuff, you've begun adapting your own. Is that a surreal experience for you in any way, or just part of the ongoing career trajectory?

NILES: As apposed to adapting Barker or other writers I feel a bit more free to cut something or run with an idea!

JOZIC: What sorts of changes have you made to the story in translating it to screenplay format?

NILES: I wouldn’t classify any of it as changing. More like expanding on ideas I didn’t have the chance to do in the original three books. There are characters and scenarios I only had the chance to hint at, that I’m now having the opportunity to fully realize.

JOZIC: With the film deal done and the project underway, do you see more of your projects being optioned, like Cal McDonald?

NILES: Man, that would be great.

JOZIC: Speaking of Cal McDonald, you have a brand-new mini coming out from Dark Horse called, Criminal Macabre: A Cal McDonald Mystery. Now, originally, his first appearance in comics was with DHC, but then there was a one-shot from IDW reprinting those stories, and now you're back again. Why the return to DHC and what can we expect from the mini-series?

NILES: Actually Cal first appeared in a story called “Big Head” that we have posted on the website for free if people want to take a look. The DHP story came a few years later.

There are two Cal novels Savage Membrane and Guns, Drugs and Monsters from IDW. Mike Richardson approached me about doing a Cal comic after reading the first novel and I thought it would be great so I came up with Criminal Macabre.

Ben Templesmith will be doing the art, Scott Allie is editing. It’s coming along great.

JOZIC: There seems to be a lot of new titles coming out of DHC reflecting a renewed interest in horror comics. Do you have any plans to continue developing projects with them?


JOZIC: In general, there seems to be more of an acceptance to the horror genre now (and I'm not talking Scream-style horror) than there was 10 years ago. Hell, even five years ago. Do you have any ideas on why that is?

NILES: That’s the way it is with horror. It comes and goes in cycles. There are some who believe that this is connected to the world and what’s going on. That fear creates a need to confront fear. I think some of that is true, but I prefer to believe people need a release and they need variation from the same old thing.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

All Hallow's Eve Post-Game

Halloween has always been a favourite time of year for me. When I was much younger, it was all about the costumes and the candy, but as I got older, it kind of became a time when I could indulge my interest in the horror genre and other ooky things without drawing too much undue attention.

Although there were times where we wanted to, we've never bothered going all out with the decorations or attended many Halloween costume parties in the past. Post high school and post parenthood, it just wasn't ever very practical. In many cases, we've been so busy with school or jobs or kids stuff that the 31st just sort of sneaks up on us and we don't really have time to put anything together specifically for us. Now that I think about it, we did manage to hit a party a couple of years ago that some people from University were putting on but that is usually an exception to the rule. I'm not sure if there are any pictures from that night. I do remember that I was Woody from Toy Story but I can't remember what Jen was done up as.

I also remember that was the night I got my The Office DVDs.

But I digress.

This year I wanted to make a bit more of a showing in the effort department and invited some friends to come over after the kids were done trick-or-treating and watch a horror movie. I invited a couple of people from my side and a couple from Jen's. My brother Ed and Jen's friends Kim and Jillian were the three who showed up (shame on you Bonnie, shame, shame).

My brother Ed and I got a bit of a kick start to the festivities by going to see 30 Days of Night on the Monday before Halloween (my second time, his first) so I wondered if he was going to subject himself to more goop and gore, but he seems to be growing accustomed to horror movies these days (a genre which he stayed well clear of for years) and even enjoyed himself on both occasions. I had already gotten my spook on with a bunch of related shows and movies, catching up on some of the Masters of Horror episodes I missed and watching the 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails short film on FearNet. I even pulled out one of my Books of Blood and started rereading 'Son of Celluloid'.

On the Wednesday we ended up watching George A. Romero's Land of the Dead 'til the wee hours of the night and, thankfully, it was a better movie than anyone expected. Jillian was the only one who showed up in costumebut I think she secretly finds any occasion to wear the Hogwart's uniform she put together.

Overall it was a fun night, I think everyone enjoyed themselves (with the exception of the Zombie clown that freaked Kim out so bad she got up and ran away from the TV for a while) and I have a slew of ideas for what we could do with the place and the night next year. There were a few decorating ideas I had to set on the back burner this time around, so hopefully I'll prepare better next time. Heck, doing a costume night may even be the way to go.

So, thanks again to those who came out and here's to next year!