Archive for September, 2006


Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Hulk is on Sci-Fi Channel right now (at least from where I am sitting in Pacific Daylight savings Time). When I first saw the schedule I assumed that it was one of the older television movies starring Bill Bixby. As it is Sci-Fi spent their promotional time budget on advertisements for the Travolta/Cage Face-Off. I don’t recall seeing one TV commercial for a broadcast of the Hulk.

I can understand why.

Hulk is a movie that starts out boring and ends pretentious.

When I first got back to my motel room and switched on the TV I was surprised and pleased to see the movie right at the start of the chase sequence and it was fun again watching the big-screen Hulk literally tear up some tanks.

Still, the movie is mostly crap with a few broad strokes that run contrary to the source material. That mostly means that the theme is different, the characterization is somewhat altered, and the scale was marginally different. None of the changes were neccessary. A lot of the similarities were coincidental.

I wouldn’t bother paying to see it.

Beware the claws of….

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

This is just a prelude to my mild extrapolation of the Human Fly. I gathered all I could find for now but I’m not writing it yet. There’s not too much data available but there’s a point. The obvious theme is that the hero is that is cool not only because of seemingly unrealistic assets, aspects, and feats, but that the man is in fact real.

That brings us to Jay J. Armes.

I never heard of him before now; that’s odd but my pride will recover.

I’m no longer qualified to be a music critic

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

So I cannot definitely say that the music in the most recent advertisements for the Battlestar Galactica season premiere is pop rock and not rock. I believe it is, however, a piece of pop music despite the guitar riffs at the end of the ads.

Watch the ad:

All of this is just a prelude to ask why instead of a seriously moving piece of orchestral stuff or perhaps a seriously moving piece of instrumental rock n’ roll we get pop puff.

Then again, I’m not a serious music critic, so what do I know?

If you were running the Battlestar Galactica ads and the plot of the upcoming premiere involved a quasi-patriotic call for the human race to rise and survive against the evil machine oppressors… with what sort of music, tone, and musical tone would you use to promote the upcoming new season and its first episode?

That’s a question, by the way. If you need help, go watch some Battlestar Galactica webisodes. The series is entitled “The Resistance” and it’s an immediate prelude to the new season. Then again if you care enough to take part in my informal poll you probably knew that.


Friday, September 29th, 2006

Robert Downey Jr. will play Iron Man.

Not being a Marvel fan and having never read any more Iron Man than a Hostess advertisement, I don’t really have any feelings one way or the other on this. What do you all think?

The Spock’s Brain of Voyager

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

UPDATE: Sorry, the link was mis-formatted and did not appear earlier.

The Agony Booth has been making its way through the various Star Trek TV shows in chronological order, doing two horrible episodes from each show. Now they’re up to the worst of the worst, the pitiful Star Trek Voyager episode, Threshold.

That’s the one where Paris takes a shuttlecraft…a SHUTTLE, mind you…to Warp 10, and doing so turns him into a lizard.

There are so many things wrong with that episode that I shudder when thinking of it.


Unrealistic realism

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

So long as I’m posting about comic book writing, I’ll transition to this piece I’ve wanted to link to for a while. (Of course, if you read from the top of the blog, is there any way to transition topic to topic?)

Andrew Klavan of Libertas wrote an essay about the “realistic” dialogue in United 93 and it intrigued me because I see a lot of my own writing in it. Maybe I should excerpt it at length and then get back to my thoughts on it.


Alex Toth’s letter to Steve Rude

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

jasonlatour – Be careful what you ask for…

Jason Latour (or LaTour…hard to tell when it’s all written together in lowercase) has posted a 14-page letter that artist Alex Toth wrote to Steve Rude in 1986. Steve apparently asked Toth to give him feedback about his pencils for an issue of Comico’s Jonny Quest. I don’t know whether Steve asked Toth to be brutal, but Alex is. Very.

I am sure some of you will find it very funny, as Alex Toth is devastating in almost every panel. “FAKE!” is the most frequent comment. (I wish Alex would elucidate as to why something is fake or what Rude could have done better.)

For me, this was just plain informative. I learned a lot from the critiques, like the importance of not having your title character as a tiny figure facing away in the first panel.

iTunes sucks now

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

I don’t know that this falls under any category of our usual talk here, but I just feel obliged to warn you all:

IF you are still using iTunes 6.x and iTunes is bugging you to upgrade to iTunes 7.0, don’t. At least not until they fix all the bugs. I love love love love love iTunes but they did something to it for version 7.0 that has turned it to utter crap.

I don’t know enough about software to say what exactly they did, but here is what happens:

It used to be that I could fire up music or a podcast and let it play while I turn on my “Red Ace Squadron” game (and keep the music off within the game) so that I could relax with a little World War I dogfighting action. Now, the podcast speeds up like a record skipping from groove to groove. It happens if I open too many windows in my browser, or have too many applications open, or if I open a webpage in Firefox that has embedded music or video, too. My suspicion is that it’s somehow related to Quicktime being more integated into iTunes than before.

So they took an awesome piece of software and made it suck. Good going, guys. (Remind me to mention this next time my uncle starts harping on us all to get rid of our PCs and join him in the glorious Apple cult.)

Big whopping major announcement!

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, what’s been taking up all my time, why I haven’t been posting much, or what I’m doing to try to make money while I’m looking for a job…


It’s the all-new, all-different “Comics Relief”, my site where I’m selling off my comic book collection. Thanks to Collectorz’s new comic book database, I’ve now gotten covers for almost all the comics in the collection. I’ve also changed the display from tiny little boxes to images large enough that you can see the covers without enlarging them. I also added “Plot” and “Notes” displayed in the list, moved the issue # and the price to a better position, and added navigation to both top and bottom of the page. I put a Shopping Cart button at the top of the site where you can always access it.

What’s even better is that the site now includes dozens of trade paperbacks that I’m selling, along with other books. I’ve also added DVDs for sale.

The advantage of that is that you can more easily pad your order to reach the $30 level, where I’m throwing in a free signed copy of Metro Med (supplies are getting low!), or the $75 level where I throw in signed copies of all my comics.

You may notice that the price levels dropped for the free giveaways. That’s true. The reason I did that is because it’s harder to reach that levels when I’ve cut the prices on thousands of comics.

My hope is that the better display, expanded inventory and lower prices will get the site hopping. Upcoming trips and holidays are going to require some cash and this is one of my few remaining sources of income. I hope you’ll check the site out and pass the link on to your friends.

Now that this is done, I’m going to work on my next Monitor Duty project.

Cinnamon: El Ciclo

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

I’m going over a few of the better books I bought from Scott Beatty during his last clearance sale. “Cinnamon: El Ciclo” is fantastic! I wish I’d bought this and supported it at the time. It’s a taught thriller with compelling characters, plenty of violence and grit (though without anywhere near the swearing and gore you will read in the average DCU comic these days!)… and I just wish I’d known it was a five-parter and Scott was only selling me the first four installments! Now I’m going out of my mind to try to find part 5. Wish I lived closer to “The Source”; guess I’ll be picking it up in October.

The Plot in brief: a young woman named after the DCU’s old western character (what a simple way to explain the new character!) goes on a crusade against the band robbers who shot her father…and ends up being hunted by a daughter of one of the men she killed. Cinnamon goes to make her last stand, not knowing that her quarry is currently involved in a high-profile runaway case.

If you find this in a dollar box or something, grab it. This thing ought to be adapted into a low-budget movie! It’s just the right length and certainly reads like one.

Comic Book Historian Gets Hit By Car

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Legendary continuity cop and charter member of the Comic Book Historical Society Alan Kistler was hit by a car on Friday, one that was parking, backing up, driven by a guy who parks cars for a living!

As a result Mr. Kistler will be laid up for this week, thus we expect lots of comic book articles from him.


she’s not that hot

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Today’s Day by Day:

Whom Zed is talking about:

The Kryptonian Alphabet

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Kryptonese Alphabet

I think my brain melted just from trying to comprehend it. Yet I have a friend who is turning that into a font!

Why is it we have people who are making fonts for comic book alien alphabets and translating the works of Shakespeare into Klingonaas, but there are still tens of thousands of Iraqi documents awaiting translation and examination? If only we could tell nerds that they’re captured documents taken from a Zobloingian flying saucer. People would gather at special rooms in comic conventions just to see who could translate the most pages in a day!

I don’t know that I can watch this one!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

“The Ring” is just one of the scariest movies I ever saw. Hard to explain why…I think it’s more the atmosphere and the editing than anything else. I mean, even the DVD MENU is frightening! I once put the DVD in, pressed play, went to get a drink…and when I headed back downstairs there’s just this awful sound and the eerie blue light. CREEPY! And I’d already SEEN the movie once, so I know what happens in it.

And now the Bunnies have done a 30 second version of The Ring and THAT is frightening!

What the heck is it about this MOVIE?

First episode of “Heroes” now available online

Monday, September 18th, 2006

The first episode of the much-hyped NBC program, “Heroes,” is now available online at Kistler did a great job reviewing the episode, so I won’t waste space here repeating anything. I will say that I’m looking forward to watching more of the series. It debuts on NBC on Monday, September 25… but why wait for that?

Graphic Adaptation of the 9/11 Report

Monday, September 18th, 2006

The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, certainly seems to fit the description of a comic about the events of September 11. The presentation is on‘s website, a politically liberal site.

I discovered this a week too late to post it on the anniversary, and honestly, I have not had a chance to go read it all myself. It’s over a hundred “pages” long. At this point, I can at least say that it appears to be a compelling presentation of the material, if nothing else.

Boldly Go…Again

Monday, September 18th, 2006

A new 3-minute video promo for the digital hi-def Star Trek is now online.

Man. I’m actually rather excited to see it.

Why I’m reading “52”

Saturday, September 16th, 2006


Spoiler space.

Don’t click on the extended text unless you’re reading 52 or really don’t care at all about DC and never, ever plan to read it even a year from now in a trade.

But I have to talk about this because I’m fit to bust.


if we don’t start posting new junk soon, I’m going to start talking politcs

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

As it is…. am I the only one who thinks that old guys Morgan Freeman and Harrison Ford wearing earrings actually makes the two look less dignified?

Moreover: Does it make them look stupid?

A larger question of course is why would old dudes embrace the “fashions” and trends of the young? Is it emulation? Is it an internal psyche issue or an external projection that they wish people would percieve in a specific manner?

I believe it makes these otherwise wizened folk seem less respectable, in a manner even greater than the effect that excessive piercings have on young males.

and I haven’t even started talking politics yet.

Robot Chicken Star Wars parodies on youtube reposted

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Embedded YouTube videos, Robot Chicken episodes, have been posted here. Then removed from the host by the Users or the host.

So I repost copies. You’re welcome.

Seth McFarlane plays the Emperor as we realize how he took the news after that whole Yavin 4 deal.

Now we see how Luke reacts to revelations of how the hexology turned out. That is indeed Mark Hamill returning to the role.