Thursday, February 26, 2009

Decoding "Gethsemane" et al

I'm not sure what the catalyst was, but a little while ago I decided to start re-watching my X-Files sets from season one up with the intention of experiencing the entire mythology, now armed with 20/20 hindsight. As big a fan of the show as I was during its run, by the time things started changing in some of the later seasons (somewhere around 7-9, I'd guess) I could no longer keep track of the most basic threads of the mythology. Not only that, but I didn't quite feel the "Holy Christ!" impact I was supposed to during some of the series' major turning points, and I felt a little bit cheated by that.

I blamed myself, of course. Since I followed the behind the scenes stuff as closely as I followed the on-air show, I always heard or read interviews where the writers all seemed to see how all the little bits of connective tissue were working together. Being in the writer's room would give you that advantage, I suppose. Still, I had to ask myself, could I have paid closer attention? Have I forgotten some precious detail that would act as the Rosetta Stone to all of this hybrid/cloning/invasion/super-soldier gobbledeygook? It's possible, but I know I'm not the only fan who started getting lost when one lie would overlap another lie which would eventually lead to a truth that seemed innocuous but was really a major revelation that you didn't realize was one until much later in the show. The relationship between Mulder and Scully was always tracking fine for me but when we got something like the info dump that was Fight the Future or when the secret cabal was eventually destroyed by the other aliens with the melty faces, so much had led up to those moments by that point that my reaction was very much a surface one and the connective tissue that you knew the writers had in their heads appeared to be missing from a fan's perspective.

So far, 20/20 hindsight viewing has proven to me that knowing the ending, or just the broad strokes, really does help with the earlier bits that eventually lead you there. Watching the mythology track has been really fun and I've finally been able to just sit back and enjoy the episodes rather than trying to put the puzzle pieces together week after week. Knowing what's coming has also left me with a lot of questions about plot points that I'm waiting to see play out, but that's the whole point of the exercise, isn't it?

I have hit one speed bump so far in the form of the episodes "Gethsemane", "Redux" and "Redux II". The season 4 ender and the season 5 opener serves as a restatement of the mythology and attempts to send it off in a direction that will drive it headlong into the first feature film, Fight the Future, but I'm just totally derailed right now. It could be because I've watched it in interrupted bits and pieces, but this real alien/fake alien-Scully Cancer-Kritschgau snitching-Mulder dead-lying to the sub-committee plot is driving me a little bananas. It doesn't feel like it runs together too smoothly and that is actually surprising me a bit because, especially coming off the amazing season 4, I remember these episodes as being huge landmark events for the show and loving them the first time around. There are some beautiful character moments, and thematically there is some interesting things happening, but at this stage, I'm thinking the writers may have dropped the ball as early as this rather than much later on as I'd guessed.

I'll try them again when I have some time on my hands but do it in all one sitting this time. Maybe I'll have a better opinion of it then.



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Political Interlude

Jen forwarded an article from the Calgary Herald to me today which discussed the difficulties new Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff will face when combating Liberal distrust and its pariah status in Western Canada. To that end, he has recently visited Saskatchewan to extend some goodwill and claiming that they have, in the past, "fallen prey to the temptation to run against the run against Alberta, to run against the Saskatchewan energy sector. This is not the way to go."

At this point, it's all smiles words and the Liberals still have a lot of work to do before they make any headway 'round these parts. They will also have Alberta to contend with, a long-time Conservative stronghold and Harper's home turf, if they are looking to hold a majority government at some point in the future. No easy feat, I'll tell you. Just to show you how deeply entrenched they can be on their anti-Liberal position, check out my favourite quote from the article:

Responding to Ignatieff's visit to Saskatoon, one Albertan blogged: "What's good for the West is to dig a wide moat to keep Ignatieff and the rest of his Eastern thieves off our money. The only question is, Which side of Saskatchewan do we dig that moat?"

Heh. Jen and I got a good giggle out of that one.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zombies that Ate the World Animated Short

Last time over on The Comic Haul I mentioned The Zombies that Ate the World #1 released by Humanoids Publishing and Devil's Due Publishing. Well, I managed to stumble across an animated short featuring the characters with an English language track and French subtitles. It lacks the unrefined line of Guy Davis' work, but I gotta say, it does look good.

I've heard that the property is also in talks right now for a feature film, so I'm calling out fingers crossed on that one.



Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Comic Haul - 02/18/09

Man, keeping up with this review stuff has been really tough these last few weeks. I'm going to have to take another angle on things with this edition of The Comic Haul and will try and have things back on track for next week's stash.

The books I would have reviewed are covered below...

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The Amazing Spider-Man #587 was good but nothing to write home about. Seeing as this series is working for me one issue and bombing the next, I don't know what to say, really. Likely the next issue won't be very good, but I'm willing to be surprised.

Four Eyes #2 was a long wait but it was worth it. I love this mini-series and you should definitely check it out. This is the first in a three-way tie for pick of the litter this week.

Mysterius the Unfathomable #2 is the second book in the three way tie for pick of the litter this week. I'm just loving what Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler are doing with this mini-series. There really isn't another book quite like it on the stands and if you're not checking it out, it comes highly recommended.

The X-Files #3 came as something of a disappointment this month. I had been enjoying the series up to this point but Marv Wolfman just didn't follow-through satisfactorily on this case. The premise was intriguing, the characters wewre well portrayed, but we've seen the Chinese Tongs in the television series and I sort of felt like they were treading water on this one. Hopefully the next story arc will be more fun.

Last in the three-way tie this week is The Zombies that Ate the World which is great fun and I am always happy to welcome more Guy Davis artwork into my home. It's also nice to see Humanoids getting their stuff out there again after the debacle with DC. If you dig zombies, get your grubby little fingers on a copy of TZTATW at your earliest opportunity.

Runner up for Pick of the Litter would be Robin #183. Funny that the last issue would also be the best issue in months. If this stuff would continue at this level when the series (possibly?) returns, I'd be happy to pick up where they left off. Seeing as how the Bat books are in flux, though, there probably won't be a Robin book to come back to when the dust settles. When it was good it was good, when it was stuck in the middle of the event whirlwind, it was marginal. Went out on a high note, though.

And with that, I am outta here. I'm almost liking the new format (even though it was meant as an ad hoc replacement for the 'older' style. I'd be curious to hear what any of you think or prefer review-wise so feel free to comment. I'll also try to have this all back on track for next week.



Saturday, February 21, 2009

More Commentary Thoughts

A couple of days ago I posted the Limey commentary post and it kind of got me thinking about doing something like that on a semi-regular basis. For example, tonight I watched/listened to the Breakfast at Tiffany's commentary with producer Richard Shepherd and, since I was making critical judgments the whole time, I kept thinking I should be coming on the blog and writing it up in a commentary review. It might be interesting to do one every time I pop a DVD into the player and I'm always looking to generate content, so don't be surprised if you see something on it soon.



Friday, February 20, 2009

The Quest Continues

I'll come back and speak more on this later, but I just wanted to put it out there that Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures Season 1 Volume 1 was released on DVD this week and, while not the strongest Jonny Quest material out there, I still kind of like the show for what it is and it doesn't really diminish the old series one bit, so what's the harm?

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Audio Commentary Commentary

As anyone who has spent any time around me will attest, I love audio commentaries. Good or bad, I listen to them all. Not only do I listen to them, I judge a DVDs worth by them all the time. Sure, there may be 3 hours of documentary footage and EPK this and that, but if there isn't an audio commentary, I get a bit chafed. In fact, if a seven minute EPK style featurette is the only thing on a disc, and you just know there should be a commentary, I won't even buy the thing. There are several witnesses who will give a sworn statement to that effect.

I just don't think there is an excuse for not having one. I mean, sure there are cases as with Steven Spielberg who refuses to do them so as not to colour the viewers experience of the film, but come on, those Indiana Jones DVDs could have had George Lucas, Robert Watts, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and any number of cast members chiming in with thoughts on the movies, their experiences making them, and giving a more personal touch to the, admittedly, very good documentaries on the 'bonus disc' of the set. Something like what George did with the Star Wars movies. He is co-creator of the darn franchise, am I right?

I just can't help myself when there is an opportunity to hear a great director discuss the choices he made in his film or, in some cases, defending them. Those instances where the movie is 'bad' or indecipherable are almost the ones I enjoy the best, too. Really, I watch the 'bad' movies more than I watch the good because I can't help but try and figure out specifically what went wrong with them. Good ideas gone bad mean someone screwed up somewhere, right? Is it the filmmakers fault? Is it an accountants fault somewhere further up the studio chain? Alien 3 remains one of my favourite films of all time, so if that doesn't spell it out for you, I don't know what will.

Anyway, getting closer to the point of the whole thing, here, what a lot of people don't realize is that commentaries are an art unto themselves. Not everyone can do them, and most can't do them well. There are giants in the 'field' like Soderbergh, Fincher, Raimi, Campbell, Meyer and Cameron (to name a few) who all do entertaining, informational, anecdotal and educational (is that the same as informational) commentaries, and there is everybody else. On the one hand, you have a group of talented people home schooling you in the craft, and then there is the everybody else category which usually includes people who tell you what is going on in the movie as you watch, are a bunch of actors who can only remember if it was hot or cold that day, and people who get so wrapped up in the movie they're watching that they fail to commentate. Sometimes at all.

To be fair, some of the 'greats' even slip into that bottom category from time to time. William Friedkin can do a mean commentary but his Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen track is like listening to stage direction. John Carpenter is another guy who goes from brilliant commentator (with Kurt Russell on Escape From New York and The Thing) to casual bystander (like on In the Mouth of Madness and Ghosts of Mars). And educational isn't always a great thing either. Some of the Criterion 'historical' commentaries are B-O-R-I-N-G, and I'm a history major. I like to hear about this stuff.

So when I find a good, a great commentary, I like to let people know. Apparently, so does 'The New Cult Canon' from The Onion's A.V. Club. Last week they shone the spotlight on Steven Soderbergh's lean, mean, revenge picture, The Limey, and it's sparklingly brilliant audio commentary. Soderbergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs share the track and spend the movie's 90 minute running time sparring over choices made and scenes dropped. Anyone who looks at Soderbergh's films knows he's a director that tends to favour economy, and often trims his films down to a razors edge. I remember in the commentary for 2002's Solaris John Cameron recalled a conversation he had with Soderbergh where he told him to stop cutting and to start putting things back in the movie. He had made it lean to the point where it began to hurt the storytelling. Well, Dobbs takes him to task for every cut, every change, every missed characterization and it is entertaining as all hell to listen to. Not only does Soderbergh take the hits, but he gets in some playful, but well executed, shots of his own and which are just as valid because if you've ever seen The Limey, you know there is little to fault it with. To have two guys arguing over a movie you find to be perfect is worth the price of admission.

I will qualify that, although heated, the discussion never gets ugly and the feeling I have is that these are two guys who have different sensibilities but ultimately respect each others work. I could be wrong, but it never feels like they genuinely dislike each other. I mean, this is the second time they have worked together, the first being 1991's Kafka, so there was an obvious draw, there. Then again, they haven't worked since, so...

Anyway, I just wanted to send some props out to 'The New Cult Canon' for covering this cool little bit of cinema that some people may not know about and for giving me a chance to talk, yet again, about my love for the Audio Commentary. If you have time to browse around, there are some good articles up on that site with some good commentary of their own that is worth checking out. I'd also be curious if any of you have any commentary that you just loved hearing.



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hey Kids, Comics! For 02/18/09

Welcome to another installment of HK,C! and a decent sized pull-list.

  • Bold is what I will grab for sure.

  • Italics mean it's something I want, but won't necessarily pick it up right away.

  • Regular text indicates something that has caught my eye but is either too pricey to be reasonable, or I would only pick up as an impulse buy. More than likely I'll read it at some point but not own it.


    MYSTERIUS THE UNFATHOMABLE #2 (OF 6) (I'm thinking this might be my pick of the week again.)

    ROBIN #183 (The odyssey comes to an end but will it be worth it?)

    X-FILES #4 (OF 6) (Wolfman's story has been impressing me here.)

    FOUR EYES #2 (Finally!)

    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #587 (Hoping this is better than the last one.)

    GHOST RIDER #32 (Tan Eng Huat's last issue so I'm not sure if I'll continue beyond this.)

    GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #10 (Still trying to catch up with this one and only a couple of issues behind.)

    That's it for this week. Have a great Wednesday at your LCS. If for some reason you don't know where that is, try here.


  • Monday, February 16, 2009

    Farscape Makes Its Mark In Comics

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    According to ICV2, BOOM! Studios Farscape comic is selling very well for them. They've hit the multiple printings point with the first two issues and things are looking good for the immediate future. It's kind of nice to see another franchise other than Buffy or Angel able to do well in this post-television-series-conclusion-rebirth-as-a-comic-book market. I'd be curious to know how these new books compare sales-wise with the two issues put out by Wildstorm some years back. I thought the comics were solid reads with great production values at the time (written by Marv Wolfman, I believe, with art by Robert Taranishi?) but clearly did not sell well enough to continue with more minis beyond the first.

    Now if I can just finish up the frelling television series so I can actually read the damn things...


    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    The Comic Haul - 02/11/09

    My weekend is goofy with stuff to do so I'm going to be unusually brief this week.

    R.E.B.E.L.S. #1: I was a little concerned about DC going back to the well with this concept, especially one that was a bit goofy to begin with. L.E.G.I.O.N. served a purpose and was an actual acronym for the Licensed Extra Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network. When they relaunched the series as R.E.B.E.L.S. (Revolutionary Elite Brigade to Eradicate L.E.G.I.O.N. Supremacy) I continued to buy the book but rolled my eyes every time I saw the logo on the stands. I'm happy to say that despite all the things it had working against it, Tony Bedard and Andy Clark pulled off a really interesting issue. I felt like I just got out of the wayback machine and characters like Vril Dox and the Omega Men served some kind of purpose in the DCU. And the way Clark does his stuff, it reminded me of Gary Frank's work on the Action Legion storyline from a ways back. I'm definitely going to keep following this book.

    Patsy Walker: Hellcat #5: Another harmless and fun Marvel title. It goes without saying that this mini-series is a total throwaway disposable entertainment kind of package. It will not be considered a seminal work for the medium, there won't be any gritty moving picture crime epics to be made of this, and tomorrow I probably won't even linger too heavily on what transpired in these five issues, but I also can't say that there is anything inherently bad about it, either. The writing by Kathryn Immonen was kooky and fun (there's that word again), the artwork by David Lafuente was dynamic, colourful and easy on the eyes (kudos to colourists Dave and Natalie Lanphear for part of that) and at no point was I confused about the metatextual aspects of the story, nor was I thinking of just about everything else I could be doing instead of reading this comic book. So, lame review as this is, I give Hellcat a pass because it is the literary equivalent of eating a really yummy cookie.

    Amazing Spider-Man #586: The secret origin of Menace revealed, finally! Because you demanded it!

    Well, the Marvel solicitation lies about the artist on this book because when I got home and opened her up, it was Barry Kitson and not John Romita, Jr. on the art chores, which knocks this one down a few notches for me on the happiness scale. Barry's a competent artist but I generally find his stuff to be bland and I think they went all digital on this one because it just looks wrong. Guggenheim's script was equally uninspired trying to inject drama and shock and surprise when really it was just a lot of standing around and talking about stuff that isn't really that interesting to begin with. By definition this is the Interlude episode of "Character Assassination" so they're even telling us they've put the good stuff on hold for a sec to do this other little thing over there, don't mind us. Dry is the only word to describe this.

    Sorry to go out on such a bummer note but I really have to split. I'll try and have something beefier next week. Until then, take care and remember, comments are always welcome and encouraged. Until next week.



    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    Sorting Out the DVDs

    Okay, so I have to reorganize all of my DVDs because of some new shelving units that we're putting in. Previous to this, I had them all out of their respective cases and put into paper sleeves which were organized in four drawers at the bottom of a shelving unit we've had in the living room for a while. The system worked well for some time but things have been getting a bit tight in recent weeks, and with Jen freaking out over the way my collectible stuff has been spilling over into every room, I couldn't say no to the shift.

    What I didn't expect was 1)the sheer volume of DVD cases I had to pull out of boxes and stuff onto shelves, 2)the staggering prospect of having to go through all those paper sleeves and put the discs all back in their respective cases, and 3)all of this inspiring me to download a DVD database program and getting caught up in it for the last 3 or 4 hours.

    One of the features on this software that will come in useful for me is the 'lending' tag. I have such a large collection that I'm always lending movies and season sets to friends (you know who you are). Lately, I've lent so many out that I'm finding it hard to keep track of them all, and it would never occur to me to just write them down on paper before sending them out. With this program, I can search all the lent out movies and it will give me a list along with the names of those people whom I've lent them to. Pretty happy about my new toy, if you can't tell.

    Anyway, I should probably take one more spin at the logging and then hit the sack before I stay up all night.



    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Freak-a-Me, Freak-a-You

    Although it didn't last long on network TV, one of my favourite cartoons as a young lad was Freakazoid!, a zany super-hero anthology show from the same gang of yahoos what brung you Animaniacs and Tiny Toons. Along with the regular adventures of the titular hero, there were parody ads, other characters like The Huntsman, and one of my personal faves, a Jonny Quest spoof called Toby Danger.


    If you've seen the show, you get the gag.

    Lately I've been introducing my kids to the show through YouTube and the DVDs for season 1, and I'm pleasantly surprised by their reaction. Normally when I recommend a show they might watch an episode or two, never ask for it again because it's not their thing, and then I discover years later that they watch it all the time on TeleToon when they're at their grandparents' house. I can't tell you how many times this has happened. They should just listen to their old man, right? I know a quality animated show when I see it.

    Anyway, Freakazoid! is such a strange show I figured it would be a total hit or miss situation and this time it was right out of the park. I mean, it's only been a few days and a couple of episodes but they're already at the begging for more stage anytime we have some free viewing time. Jen is getting a kick out of seeing them repeating and acting out lines and bits from the show. The two clips below are really good examples:

    And this last clip is possibly the funniest of them all (but not embeddable, sorry) and went a long way, I think, to selling my oldest daughter on the show. I rarely use the word random anymore because of its popular use, but this gag is the very definition of the word.

    Freak Out!


    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    I've Decided I'm Watching the Watchmen

    I was very leery of the upcoming Watchmen film directed by Zack Snyder. I wasn't really planning on seeing it and I was pretty sure that if I did it would not be in a first run theatre. Lately, however, I've run across some video journals on iTunes regarding the making of the movie and, I have to say, I'm getting kind of excited. Now, I still do not think Rorshcach should have that gravel in his voice and I do have some surface issues with some of the casting (I'm sure I'll be proven wrong once I see their performances), but the more clips I see from the movie, and from what I've seen of the art direction in the docs, I think this thing has a chance to be a truly great movie. Not just a great comic book movie, I mean a movie that guys in tweed suits will one day refer to as a film. I don't think it will do the same kind of business as something like The Dark Knight, but I do think the viewing public and Warner Bros. will be very happy with Snyder and what he has cooked up here.

    For more info, hit iTunes for the production docs, or click through on the widget below to zip over to the official website where there are more goodies to peruse.



    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Hey Kids, Comics! For 02/11/09

    Welcome to yet another weekly installment of HK,C! and a moderately sized pull-list.

  • Bold is what I will grab for sure.

  • Italics mean it's something I want, but won't necessarily pick it up right away.

  • Regular text indicates something that has caught my eye but is either too pricey to be reasonable, or I would only pick up as an impulse buy. More than likely I'll read it at some point but not own it.


    STAR WARS CLONE WARS #4 (OF 6) (One of the better Star Wars books out there and just as enjoyable as the show.)

    BATMAN #686 (My curiosity will get the better of me on this one.)

    REBELS #1 (I'll try just about anything that has ties to the old Keith Giffen stuff.)

    SPIRIT #26 (One of the better DC titles going.)

    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #586 (I've been enjoying the story so far.)

    ANGEL #17 (I'm eager to find out this series wraps up.)

    That's it for this week. Have a great Wednesday at your LCS. If for some reason you don't know where that is, try here.


  • Number 9...Number 9....Number 9...

    This amazing short film by Shane Acker will soon be a major motion picture produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.

    This is the official trailer for the film:

    September 9th also happens to be my birthday. So I get 9 and Whiteout in the same week. Sweet!


    Sunday, February 08, 2009

    The Comic Haul - 02/04/09

    Back with another week of The Comic Haul. Let's get to it, shall we?

    Agents of Atlas #1: Here's my pick of the litter for this week. AoA #1 is a long time in coming and worth every minute of the wait. Parker does a great job of bringing you into the Agents' world and, as he did in Mysterius before this, gives us a lot of exposition without making a single moment of it boring. Case in point, in this issue we get introduced to Norman Osborn and his interest in the Atlas Foundation, the hidden headquarters of the Agents, a bait and switch plot that introduces you to the powers and motivations of our principle characters and a Dragon eats Man Mountain Marko. How much more could you possibly want? Could it be a back-up story featuring the Agents and Wolverine in 1950s Cuba contending with brain controlling bugs? Yeah, I thought it might. The only negative thing I can say about the book is that Leonard Kirk isn't drawing it but 1)I never want him to leave Captain Britain (unless it is to return to AoA), and 2)Carlo Pagulayan is doing a phenomenal job in his place and looks to be quickly making this book his own. I can only hope that Marvel keeps putting out books like Agents of Atlas. I'll be spending more of the hard-earned cash in the Marvel U if they do, that's for certain.

    Witchblade #124: I'll state my bias right off and say that I've never loved this concept or title much in the past. The gothic softcore stuff that Top Cow has been producing for 10+ years just doesn't catch my interest much. It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, when I say that I did not enjoy Witchblade #124 very much and have very few good things to say about it overall. Seeing Ron Marz' name on the cover had me hoping for at least a readable story. I mean, I bought a number of Wetworks issues when JM DeMatteis worked on it, so anything was possible, right? I have my doubts as to whether or not Marz even dialogued this one, to be perfectly honest. I've read his stuff before and it's never been quite this stiff and meandering. There was nothing to draw me in, here. The artwork by Stjepan Sejic had a couple of brief moments of coolness, but just don't think his stuff works well in sequential form. I suppose if you're a devotee of Greg Horn, you may find some appeal in Sejic's work, but I can't come back for another issue after this one. My Witchblade days are done.

    Invincible Iron Man #10: I'm not at all happy with the artwork of Salvador Larroca in this issue, which disappoints me a bit. Salva is one of the reasons I still maintain any interest in this book despite slowing down, somewhat, since its initial storyline. Part of the ennui could be a result of how interweaved into the Marvel U Tony's story has become and I've never been a big cross-over summer event kind of guy. I do, however, really like Fraction's portrayal of Pepper and I'll admit that the Tony on the run does have some charm to it. Watching him dismantle his empire in order to keep it out of the hands of Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. has its moments. And the 'surprise' direction for Pepper has me kind of enthused for where things may be going. Still worth keeping up with if the cover price doesn't kill me in the end.

    Dead Irons #1: It seems to be all the rage for popular artists to 'art direct' but not actually do anything more than the covers and that remains true of Dead Irons, the new horror/western out from Dynamite Entertainment. I really liked the artwork of Jason Shawn Alexander and, I'll admit, he is the primary reason for why I picked this book up. Still, the story by James Kuhoric feels very draggy and, for the most part, fails to even convey what it is you're reading. If you haven't read the solicitation text you may never know it's about a group of brothers and sisters-the Irons-who are all creatures of the night. Three have become bounty hunters and work both sides of the law, while one has dedicated himself to stopping his siblings. I think that's what it is about, anyway. Like I said, it was never entirely clear. The plot, such as it is, moves achingly slow and I almost put the book down twice before deciding to soldier on in order to finish it for this review. As always, I'll keep an eye on the series, maybe try another issue or two in the store and see if it develops its legs, otherwise this one is hitting the pass pile

    Amazing Spider-Man #584: This issue was an improvement over the last which surprises me since so much of it is taken up by a slugfest. Normally I criticize books when they forego good dialogue and characterization to have a 22 page smack down, but I'm willing to entertain the idea that I not-so-secretly enjoy seeing Spidey giving or taking a whuppin' because I really enjoyed reading this one. And the way Romita, Jr. draws the whole affair is just sublime. I should also give props to Marc Guggenheim who managed to keep my interest this time around. As evidenced in my last review something about last issue just didn't click with me. It felt like there was too much exposition, too much plot with too little of anything else for someone just tuning in to latch on to and, as a result, I almost passed this one up. I'm glad I stuck with it, though, because the second part of "Character Assassination" was much better balanced and could be shaping up to be a fun ride.

    Comments, as always, are welcome. Until next week.



    Friday, February 06, 2009

    Reimagining the Classics

    I stumbled across this while browsing around the internet. I'm not at all surprised that someone has decided to shave 25 pounds or so off of Botticelli's Venus, or any other classic piece of art, and I'm very much aware that Botticelli may have used men as his models as many artists did, but I find the overall idea of this to be repellent. If you are in the market for a reproduction of a classic piece of art, it should be an actual reproduction. Even if you're shifting mediums (yes, 2D painting is different from 3D sculpting) an effort should be made to give the consumer an item that vaguely resembles the original.

    I was surprised to see the original blogger later posting an addendum to her original bit qualifying and back-tracking saying that the artist/sculptor probably did not do it for any sexist reasons but was, instead, driven by purely commercial ones. She also pointed out that the head on Michaelangelo's David is oversized so as not to look awkward from 13 feet below where most humans would be viewing it from, therefore art 'tweaks' are performed all the time to make them look more interesting. Hell, they'll even brighten up the colours in Photoshop when they're making their prints so it looks better on your wall.

    I call bullshit.

    I mean, come on, it's one thing to cosmetically change proportions on David's cranium if you were scaling it down to a desktop sized model, but it would be another thing entirely to enlarge his private parts or discreetly forget to include his pubic hair because these days women shun men with any body hair.

    Personally, I'd like to see one of these on a museum shelf, maybe get a whole new demographic coming in.

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    Thursday, February 05, 2009

    Snakes...Why Did It Have To Be Snakes

    While this really has nothing to do with Indiana Jones, you can bet this article from Yahoo! News would possibly have left the intrepid doctor conflicted.

    This artist's rendition may have been much cooler:

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    Might have sold a few extra copies of Nature.


    Wednesday, February 04, 2009

    "Desolation Row"

    I haven't decided yet if I like this MCR cover of the Dylan song "Desolation Row" or not. I don't actively dislike it but I think I'll have to live with it for a while before coming to any real conclusions. It's interesting to hear them going back to a more old school punk style which, clearly, fits the era of the film really well and also with MCR's intentions to go with a more straightforward take on their post-Black Parade efforts. Zack Snyder, who directed the film, did the video as well.

    My Chemical Romance - Desolation Row



    Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    Hey Kids, Comics! For 02/04/09

    Welcome to yet another weekly installment of HK,C! and another fairly large pull-list which I won't be posting covers for, sorry.

  • Bold is what I will grab for sure.

  • Italics mean it's something I want, but won't necessarily pick it up right away.

  • Regular text indicates something that has caught my eye but is either too pricey to be reasonable, or I would only pick up as an impulse buy. More than likely I'll read it at some point but not own it.


    INDIANA JONES FURTHER ADV OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 (Anything Indy is worth a look and some of these old Marvel issues had some crazy talent on them.)

    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #22 (I haven't read an issue in a while but I pick 'em up every month.)

    ADVENTURE COMICS #0 (I'll buy just about anything for a buck.)

    FINAL CRISIS LEGION OF THREE WORLDS #3 (OF 5) (Just as the other Legion book ends, this one picks up again. Good timing.)

    SUPERGIRL COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE #3 (OF 6) (My kids tell me it's a blast.)

    MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS #13 (I'm about halfway through the series, now, but I will catch up with this book.)

    AGENTS OF ATLAS #1 (I can tell you right now this'll be on my best series of 2009 list.)

    EUREKA #1 (OF 4) (Based on the TV series of the same name, my curiosity is piqued.)

    30 DAYS OF NIGHT 30 DAYS TIL DEATH #3 (I liked the beginning, might as well read through to the end.)

    FARSCAPE #2 (Continuing the story from a show cancelled well before its time.)

    I AM LEGION #1 (OF 6) (I already own the Humanoids/DC version of this so I may pass on this until #2 hits shelves, but it's worth a mention here.)

    That's it for this week. Have a great Wednesday at your LCS. If for some reason you don't know where that is, try here.


  • Monday, February 02, 2009

    Things You Should See

    There's a new Andi Watson strip over at called "Great Uncle George’s Will". Check it out if you haven't already.

    Free Image Hosting at



    Sunday, February 01, 2009

    Steelers 27 Cardinals 23


    So, that was my first SuperBowl on the 42" monitor in HD, that I hosted, with my Dad and brother over for food and football. In all respects I think it worked out well. We had a hell of a lot of fun, the picture and sound were awesome, and the Steelers won the freakin' SuperBowl again!!!

    Sometimes things work out pretty darn okay.