Archive for January, 2007

Ignignokt and Err wreaking ever more havoc

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Here’s a follow-up about Cartoon Network’s inept campaign to publicize Aqua Teen Hunger Force. See the video on the right of the page. Some more pictures would really help us to understand the nature of the “devices” scattered around Boston, but from what I can tell, they appear to be a computer keyboard and a Lite Brite showing Err (one of the Mooninites).

I think Cartoon Network may be learning the danger of trying something like this with a character that is not known to the general public. Let’s face it, if the police found a Lite Brite with Daffy Duck on it, they wouldn’t think it was a terrorist plot.

If you also don’t know what the Mooninites are, here are examples.

Actually, Inept isn’t the right word for the campaign, because an hour ago I had no idea there was going to be an Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie in theaters and now I know about it. This post is late because I’ve been going back and forth over posting it for just that reason. I feel like I’m assisting scalawags.

One of the most frustrating parts of working in advertising (as I did from 1994-1996) was the mentality that an advertisement wasn’t bad if you remembered what they were advertising. As we had our radio station on in the sales offices, I’d hear bad ads and get them stuck in my head, and when I kvetched to the sales staff about how I could not get that irritating Kay Jewelers spot from running over and over in my head the salesman would beam about how it was a successful ad because I remembered the client’s store name. It didn’t matter to him that it was the most schmaltzy stupid ad and I hated the client and would never shop there just because I couldn’t escape the stupid jingle.

In the late 1990s Old Navy was running the most irritatingly awful ads with the Jeffersons, Morgan Fairchild, Magic the dog, Fran Drescher, a monkey, L’il Kim, Josh Holloway (yes, Sawyer on “Lost”), and some old woman in glasses who is the spitting image of Stan Freberg. The point was to catch your eye with cameos…well, they can’t really be called cameos…and then infect your brain with inescapable jingles. I vowed then and there to never ever buy an Old Navy product. I don’t care that they’ve gone on to different ad campaigns; they must suffer because I had to suffer through “Old Navy! Old Navy! Old Navy Performance FLEECE!!” I can’t see their logo without that jingle starting to scream in my brain again, so I couldn’t possibly go into their store.

And I bet if any Old Navy ad person reads my post he’ll say, “It worked!” It doesn’t matter if I want to run screaming from the room jamming knives into my hand to distract me from the pain of the advertisement being on TV; he’ll consider it a successful spot because I recognized the Old Navy brand.

My point is, Cartoon Network is apologizing…but unless there’s a massive financial penalty paid for this stunt, there’s no way you’ll convince their marketing executives that this wasn’t a great idea.

This is just freaky…

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

According to the following news report, police in Boston investigated suspicious packages around the metro Boston area, which were believed to have been bombs.

Well, according to this article, they were a promotional gimmick by Adult Swim for Aqua Teen Hunger Force!

At least it had nothing to do with the Venture Brothers…

Jerry “The King” Lawler Pens Superman

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Legendary wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler to draw Superman. Jerry has been the color commentator on WWE Raw for several years and is perhaps best known outside of wrestling as the man who slapped Andy Kaufman silly on David Letterman.

Yes I know the term ‘pen’ is usually assoiciated with writing rather than drawing but I couldn’t pass up the pun. 🙂

Click the link below for more details such as they are. More info is promised on next week.

Kids still love superheroes!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Shhh! Don’t tell kids that they’re not allowed to read comic books because they’re all PG-13 content (except for the hard R-brutality). So far as kids know, superheroes are still for them!

The proof is all around me. This summer, my neighbor kids went nuts when they saw all the comic book stuff I was selling. Despite only knowing Green Lantern from the Cartoon Network cartoons, they knew most of my PVC figures. They begged their mom for money to buy some TPBs, and I hastily searched my memory of each one for content that was inappropriate. I finally settled on “JLA: WWIII” as something they might like.

Now one of my best friends has posted his video of his kids singing the Batman and Spider-Man themes. The odd thing is that they love the characters but haven’t actually seen either of the TV shows the themes are from!

I’m trying to get Christian to start them on Underdog and someday the barbershop 1988 version of Mighty Mouse.

Silver Surfer Gives Interview

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Gotta say, it’s nice to hear that the actor took the time to read the comics and seems to have a good idea on the persona of the character. Hopefully the director agrees with him and this will be indicative of what we see in the movie.

Lileks on Batman

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Can’t help it. I’m on a Lileks kick, as I’m listening to his old podcasts.

In this Bleatcast, he claims that “every era gets the Batman it deserves”, and he examines the music of every Batman. (Okay, okay, every major Batman. I know there are others like the serials and the animated shows, etc.) You can listen to it embedded in the page, or you can download the MP3. (I dug up the code by examining the source of that page. YOU’RE WELCOME.)

Celery damages underwear elastic?

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

James Lileks analyzes “The Peculiar Art of Mr. Frahm”, a pin-up artist given to drawings of women placed in compromising positions by an armful of groceries and undergarments that don’t follow the laws of science. Lileks poses the question of whether it’s the celery in every picture which causes the accident.

Oddly enough, he later discovers the true cause when a mysterious murder leads him on a merry chase about The Truth hidden in Art Frahm’s artwork; it happens in his June 2nd podcast of The Diner.

52 Week 38 — Spoiler filled discussion

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Don’t read this until you’ve read “52 Week 38”.

That’s the one with the three Horsemen figures on the cover.

Yeah, that’s three characters standing in front of each other so that you have to squint at the monstrosity to make sense of it, especially since you’ve never seen these characters before. What was that we were discussing on this blog last week about poor composition?


the two things that Sam Raimi omitted from Spider-Man

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

There are two items of negligence by director Sam Raimi from the first Spider-Man movie.

1) Spider-Man is one of those repressed freaks that no matter what he is like without the mask, he is not given to just let fly with whatever it is he is thinking, unless under some circumstances. More importantly whatever Peter Parker is, Spider-Man exploits all the freedom of anonymity and makes wisecracks and jokes and such a for a variety of reasons, but he does it constantly. How many jokes and cracks did Spidey make in the first movie? I recall that one when he webbed JJJ’s mouth shut. Very little aside from that. There was some levity in the dialogue when Spidey rescued Mary Jane the first time but aside from the flirting with his love interest Spidey just wasn’t personally funny.

2) When Spider-Man is drawn by Steve Ditko (and the first two Spider-Man movies are loosely based on the Ditko creations), all of his combat is based on acrobatics. He is always moving, always hyperkinetic, and always the kind of opponent for a dude on a flying sled. The Green Goblin maneuvers and tosses grenades. The Vulture flies and Spidey swings up and at ’em. The point is: Spidey’s fights involve aerobatics of sorts. He leaps, jumps, kinetics, dodging. Remember the train fight from Spider-Man 2? That was Spider-Man! For the most part the first Spider-Man movie’s fight scenes consisted of Spidey standing on the Goblin’s sled and going toe-to-toe punch-for-punch sorts of combat. “Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots”-sort of stuff. There was even the last fight where Spidey got whupped for nothing.

One could make many rationalizations for it, but these things are omissions.

These are what Spidey is. These are major aspects. This was the first Spider-Man live action production in over twenty years. Most importantly, there wasn’t going to be a second shot for years and these things were about seven dollars a show. For all of that, I want what Spider-Man is, and I want it the first time!

Like Underoos, but it’s a hotel room

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Spend a Night in the Bat Cave. This is a hotel room made up of Bat-memorabilia. You can pretend you’re Batman, except that Batman sleeps in a regular bedroom in Wayne Manor.

Sounds awesome! Oh wait…it’s a kids’ room.

Wellllllll…that’s OK, I guess. I mean, lots of kids would love to stay in a Batman room.



Map to Atlantis

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #48 contains a map of Atlantis which Kurt Busiek created after asking for information from everyone’s buddy John Wells. John tells me he included every underwater society he could find, including the race that kidnapped Elongated Man on his honeymoon.

Stan Lee on the Simpsons

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I need to blow off some steam after that last post.

Tom Russell’s Thoughts on Lady in the Water

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

I strongly disagree with Hutch’s analysis of Lady in the Water, and I was going to post my analysis of Lady as a comment on Hutch’s post. But it would be a very lengthy comment, not concise at all, and I’m basically reposting a review I wrote for my own website,, a few months ago. So I figure I’d make it its own entry.

I do agree with Hutch that this film is more of a new mythology– but I think that might be to its detriment. Confused? Read on!


Not even worth mentioning, but I will

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

If anyone cares, the Oscar list is also up. The Academy Awards continues its decline.

This list puts me to sleep. Going all the way down into the bottom of the list, I’ve only seen three movies: Cars, Superman Returns and United 93.

Cars, mind you, is such a good film that it should be up for Best Picture, if only the Oscars hadn’t created that stupid Animated category as a way of saying that animated films will never be recognized as real films. Some years it’s a struggle to come up with three truly Oscar-worthy animated films to fill that category.

How is it possible that the Oscars can continue to have any pull with the popular culture when, again and again, they go for movies that the public doesn’t even care about? Let me just stop you here and fend off a few obvious responses: I’m all for highlighting excellent films that the public may overlook, and I’m not saying that putrid overblown over-budgeted trash like “Armageddon” should be getting Best Picture just because it makes a lot of money.

Here’s what I am saying:


Razzies announced

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

The Razzies 2006 Nominees are now up. I’m glad to see that they call out “Little Man” as an out and out theft of a Looney Tunes Cartoon.

However, I have to disagree with their lambasting of “Lady in the Water,” which I just watched two nights ago. I think the unhappiness with that one is a relative thing: people don’t like it because they want and expect a truly great film from M. Night Shyamalan. Back around the time of “Signs”, a magazine heralded him as the “new Spielberg.” I fear he’s far more akin to Orson Welles, who made such a world-shaking debut that all successive films are paling in comparison. “Unbreakable” was a fine film, but it wasn’t “The Sixth Sense”. “The Village” was well-made and acted, but the script was many rewrites away from ready and the end result was a real stinker.

Watching “Lady in the Water” is hardly a bad way to spend an evening. It’s a charming bit of new mythology, telling the tale of a building superintendent who discovers a sea nymph living in the apartment building’s pool. His quest to help her on her journey leads him to do what he can to research her mythology (nobody ever seems to have access to the Internet in Shyamalan movies, so he has to get it translated from an old Asian woman in his building).
Bob Balaban steals the film; his scenes make it worth it. The movie is hardly worth razzing in comparison to the lesser schlock Hollywood turns out.

For example, Superman Returns deserves more razzing than just a worst supporting actress nom.

Civil War Prediction

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007


So, we all know that the noisy Marvel summer-ish crossover of 2006, Civil War is reaching its end. And when there are noisy summer crossovers, there are deaths: meaningless deaths, “important” deaths that will be retconned away in a couple years– because we all know that the story doesn’t “count” unless there’s some bodies.

Which I think is ridiculous, but that’s not the point of this discussion.

What is inevitable is that someone big is going to die in Civil War # 7. My guess? It’s going to be Tony Stark.


New TMNT trailer

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Trailer 2

I know I’m supposed to supply links and commentary, but I honestly don’t know what to say about this. They were making TMNT movies up to the mid-1990s, so this isn’t exactly like rediscovering some forgotten, beloved property. People still joke about TMNT lunchboxes and underoos. I think they’re just tired. I was a little interested in the first trailer because it seemed so edgy that I figured maybe they were ditching the kid’s stuff with all the pizza and “dude” slang and instead taking it back to the original concept of the comic books. But here’s trailer 2 and look: Pizza and Dude. Oh, and burping. Gotta have burping in any trailer if you want to appeal to kids.

Huh, I guess I was able to whistle up some commentary, even if it does depress me to bits.

Kistler on The Transformers: Movie vs. Cartoons/Comics

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

This is a companion piece to an Interview with Optimus Prime, in which Peter Cullen talks about the upcoming movie.

A while ago a bunch of toys came out called the Transformers. To help advertise, a cartoon show and a Marvel comic book series came out featuring the characters in parallel but distinctly different continuities. Later on, a few different comic book series followed, each with their own take on continuity. The cartoon TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS showed us the descendants of the beings from the original cartoon series and even later than that, other cartoon series (ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, ARMADA, ENERGON and CYBERTRON) were created that re-envisioned the Transformers universe from scratch. And we’re not even talking about the U.K. and Japanese versions or the alternate universe G.I. JOE/TRANSFORMERS series that’s going on to this day.


Tom Jumps on the Unemployment Bandwagon

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

C’mon– all the cool kids are doing it.

R.I.P Bam Bam Bigelow.

Friday, January 19th, 2007

My second favorite Bam Bam from wrestling. Surely one of the most colorful and talented super heavyweights in Wrestling entertainment history. He even did a couple of movies. Scott Bigelow by all accounts was a very honorable and kind hearted person as well.

Rest well big guy.