Archive for November, 2004

Interestingly enough there, Diane, the pygmy marmoset has a high rate of suicide…

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

‘Cheers’ Star ODs in Apparent Suicide Try

I popped this one open wondering who from the cast of Cheers could be so unknown that the headline would read only “Cheers star.” It’s Shelley Long, depressed over the state of her divorce and her failing movie career. And now she tries to overdose and the headline writers don’t even have the confidence in her name’s cache to put it in. That has to be the worst blow yet.

Jeez, even John Ratzenberger would do better than that. If nothing else, they’d say ‘Cliff Clavin’ before they’d say “Cheers Star”.

Roy: Your opinions, please

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

Andrew Luke Nichols asked me to check out his comic “Roy” and he wanted to know if I thought it had any merit. While most of the humor is bland, so is Ziggy. Then again, a few of his installments are somewhat clever.

Look, clearly this is a Graphamaximo-ish comic, and I’m not a small press alternative kind of guy. I don’t like Milk and Cheese, either. I mean, I like milk and cheese, obviously, I’m from Wisconsin. I mean that weird, hostile little Milk and Cheese comic that looked very uninviting…and then one Free Comic Book Day I actually read it and was horribly scarred emotionally.

What I’m saying is that my opinion of it won’t count for much. Check it out yourself and e-mail him to let him know if he should keep the strip going or not.

A perfect Biggest Shopping Day post

Friday, November 26th, 2004

This year I’m switching to All I Want For Christmas.com instead of just having an Amazon Wishlist. You can use it to direct your friends to the best place to buy your gifts, no matter what web site they’re on.

You’re welcome.

James Cameron to make movies again

Friday, November 26th, 2004

James Cameron, director of Terminator, Terminator 2, The Abyss and (sigh) Titanic, will begin working on another feature length film. It will be Battle Angel, based on the Japanese comic book.

Oh, and it’ll be 3-D.

Well, I think that’s geeky enough, on so many levels, to make up for my infrequent posting.

WHY WHY WHY New York City?

Thursday, November 25th, 2004

Christopher just sent me this Webmaster Job Opening for National Review Online.

If only it weren’t in New York City. This is the first web design job I’ve seen in a while that isn’t requiring numerous skills I don’t have. After spending much of 2004 job-hunting, I’d love to have a good webmaster job again. And to work for NRO would be a dream. After all, it’s their Corner that inspired me to do a communal geeknews blog.

But…it’s in NYC. I once did a cost-of-living comparison for NYC when I had an offer of a $100K a year job…and found that it’s comparable to having a $40K job in Minneapolis! Yeesh. More to the point, it’s just someplace I never want to live, and that was true even before we all realized that it’s the world’s biggest target.

One of the threads on Fuzzball forum is about the states threatening to secede after this last election. It’s crazytalk, obviously. But part of me wishes it would happen. Because if California and NYC went independent or merged with Canada, then some companies would relocate to middle America where I could work for them.

Frankly, in this digital age I don’t know why anyone has to live in New York City. I mean, I realize that’s where the work is in many industries, but more and more we’re reaching the point where the things they do can be done anywhere.

In the days after the World Trade Center fell, there were descriptions of the types of business that went on there and I couldn’t figure out why you need to be three miles off the ground, paying astronomical rent, to talk on the phone and work on a computer all day long. You could do that in Des Moines, or Oconomowoc, for a relative song and the terrorists couldn’t even find you.

Could someone at DC or Marvel explain why they need to be based in New York to make comic books?

New York. Bah!

20 minute applause at Hamas Film Festival

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

Oh yeah. Sure. Mel Gibson’s The Passion is the film to fret about stirring anti-Semitism. But a film where a scraggly-bearded old moneylender wants to carve a pound of flesh from an attractive Christian white guy if he can’t pay his debts? No problem! This is Shakespeare! That was just the Bible.

Look, I know that if you pay attention to the real message…all the “prick us, do we not bleed” stuff…that Merchant of Venice is not an anti-Jewish screed. Then again, neither was The Passion and that didn’t stop many detractors from saying it was, and the endorsement of Yassir Arafat and the distribution deals from Palestinian terrorist groups didn’t help it either. The people who want to see anti-semitic messages are going to trumpet their spin on the film.

And now you have a Merchant of Venice movie where Shylock wants revenge on one who insulted him. Maybe the play is not unkind to the guy, but Shylock came into the common parlance as a derogatory term for money-hoarding Jews, just as “scrooge” entered the English language as a term for miser even though the story that introduces Ebenezer Scrooge ends with him as a generous man. I fear that some may miss the point, especially since there are no plain English subtitles in this movie.

Pacino is actually Jewish on is mother’s side, making him officially Jewish, even though he’s strongly Sicilian after his father. I didn’t know that; had to do some research. Still, officially or not, it seems a waste of one of the great Jewish roles to cast a guy more appropriate to playing mobsters. They could have gotten Larry Miller!

Ye’ve bled with CrossGen…now bleed with me!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Hat tip to Scott Kurtz for notifying us of this:

MVCreations, an independent comic book company that handles licensing for He-Man, Don Bluth’s Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair, and Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International, started out with Image and then went to CrossGen. Unfortunately, the CrossGen bankruptcy struck about the time they joined CrossGen and they suffered a lot of financial hardships. Now they are in similar condition, with many of their employees moving on to other things and struggling to stay alive.

So all you 80’s nostalgia-philes…if you haven’t checked out their comics already, why not buy some from MV’s online store in time for Christmas?

Only 8 months to launch earth invasion

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

Steven Spielberg is doing a contemporary War of the Worlds movie and he has to have it filmed and finished in less than 8 months in order to release it next June 29th.

Black Canary and Green Arrow on JLU

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

An upcoming episode of Justice League Unlimited will focus on Green Arrow’s romance with Black Canary and their pairing as a superteam for the first time. Enjoy these screencaptures taken from the credits of episode #111 “Wake the Dead.” (Don’t panic, you haven’t missed it. It hasn’t aired on Cartoon Network yet.)

New Batman animated show

Saturday, November 20th, 2004

I hate to say it…I’m liking this new Batman animated show, “The Batman.” While most of the villain character designs are not only a bit “off” and rather similar (Penguin, Joker, Bane all have big evil grins and wild eyes), the designs for the young Bruce Wayne and Alfred are quite stylish. And yeah, I’m missing the familiar voices of “Batman: The Animated Series.”

If I had to pin down what I like about this show…I would just have to say it’s a different style. After 15 years of Tim Burton/Danny Elfman’s aura on every bat-product, and Dini/Timm’s look establishing the DC animated universe, this shakes things up a bit. The theme song by The Edge (of U2) is distinctive, appropriate, eerie…and in no way influenced by Elfman’s Bat-theme. I love the guitar licks that sound like squeaking bats making their echoing calls. I also get a chill from the end of the title sequence where the Gotham skyline swoops away with Batman in the foreground. I mean, I know it’s the easiest effect to do…you just move the various layers of skyline independently…but it WORKS.

But it seems so fickle. Because really the only thing that 1989’s Batman nailed absolutely perfectly WAS the music and art direction. And certainly the 1992 animated series did no wrong. The whole reason we’re all up in arms about there being a new Batman series is that it seems silly to even try to improve on perfection! Kevin Conroy, Efram Zimbalist Jr and Mark Hammill are Batman, Alfred and The Joker. Finito!

A whole new Batman cartoon? That’s like divorcing Halle Berry because you think you could find someone hotter.

And this series certainly isn’t an improvement; it’s just a different take, enjoyable for its variation. That’s why we buy 20 different Batman titles every month: the variety.

Gladiator slays snakebite

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Russell Crowe turns hero to help snake bite boy

The only disturbing part is when the boy was crying and Crowe tried to soothe him with, “If you find yourself alone, riding through green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium, and are already dead.”

New Pink Panther

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Steve Martin reveals on his web site that The Pink Panther (2005) has finished filming. He will be playing Inspector Clouseau (and is the fourth actor to do so, if you count Roger Moore).

This could almost be true

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

STUDIOS SUE PIXAR, DEMAND BAD MOVIE

“Stop making the rest of us look bad,” demand Hollywood executives.

Thanks to Kevin Voith for the tip!

Good Batman discussion

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

If you aren’t visiting our forum, then you’re missing a fun thread: How I’d write Batman (and how would you?)

We’d love to have you weigh in.

The Rob Zombies Have Eyes

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

The Devil’s Rejects appears to be a story about Charles Manson’s uglier brother recruiting the family from The Hills Have Eyes to go on a road trip. Only much more disturbing.

Just a guess on my part.

Bizarro answers the Blue States

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Okay, not really, but this United Stupids of America article is even funnier if you can hear Bizarro’s voice in your head.

Title of the World’s Thickest Book:

Monday, November 15th, 2004

What Was Wrong With Anna Nicole Smith?

Oh yeah…new Sealab 2021 tonight

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

I almost missed the new Sealab 2021 episode Isla de Chupacabras which starts in 30 minutes.

I realize that this isn’t much notice and I kinda dropped the ball. However, has anyone noticed that I never use “tonite” in a subject line even though it’s one letter shorter? Lots of people make that shortcut, but I never do. It’s just my attempt to stand athwart the battlements of grammar, staring into the beady eyes of corruption of the English language yelling, “STOP!” Tonight (I did it again!) I looked at that subject line and considered, for just one second, going with the “tonite” version. But no, I cannot do that to you. I owe you a well-written web site.

Lots of people on the inter-web don’t do that. I get e-mails that are so unintelligible that they read like the kind of message Batman would feed into the Batputer to see what it could make of it. But I refuse to do short cuts.

I also never say “alright.” It’s “all right,” but it’s not all right to say alright. That one’s so corrupted that it shows up all the time in books and comics…but it’s about time someone took them to task.

Oh, now I’m so riled up I’m not even going to enjoy that episode of Sealab.

Ask Dr. Venture

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

I am just loving this new show, “The Venture Brothers,” which is clearly a rip on Jonny Quest.

If you’ve been watching it enough to hear Dr. Venture’s voice in your head, you’ll enjoy 10 Questions with Dr. Venture.

Now, if only they’d interview The Monarch.

What’s that technique that ruins Teen Titans called?

Sunday, November 14th, 2004

From Cheats, Cliches, Cartoons, Anime…:

Chan-Style, or Super-Deformed Style: Admittedly, this is a purely Japanese technique that is mostly just a cliche, and not necessarily a cheat. But, the results are the same — less work per frame. Both techniques consist of drawing a normal character as if he were a 5 year-old, with a larger head, smaller body, and chubby limbs. Most of the details will be lost at the same time. These are done mainly for slapstick comedy effect.

Thanks to Everything Isn’t Under Control for pointing to that very interesting and useful site. (I think there are some techniques I can use for my Flash animations.)