Archive for September, 2007

New blog, new location

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Or is that old blog, new location?

I’ve moved Monitor Duty over to to serve you better.

Jack Bauer in trouble… again… FOR REAL!

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Kiefer Sutherland arrested on DUI charges

Aside from testing the new system myself, I am getting ready setting up a webpage of my own for my Korean trip in November. I may post a link here in the next few days for testing. Any input would be helpful.

Looking forward to those chocolate rivers Mike!

(Oh yeah, and Kistler’s Thor article)

Rrrrrrr! Bread…good! Blogging…BAAAAADDDD!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I’ve ironed out some problems with the blogging software, but we’re having a major difficulty with our site host. Something’s wrong with the database.

The only way we can post is to do the post, get the 500 error, THEN I manually rebuild the main page index file. And we’re lucky when that works! I’ve got a letter off to support, of course.

Please bear with us! The new blogging system is going to have podcast support, and photo galleries, and gumdrop houses and rivers made of chocolate. As soon as it works, it’ll be awesome.

Alan Kistler is working on a huge Thor piece. And I’m working on a G.I. Joe article.

In the meantime, please enjoy our new Author archives. Alan, thanks to his login name, is now first. (Maybe I need to rename myself AAA111)

Michael Caine Speaks

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Recently, Michael Caine spoke about Heath Ledger’s performance in THE DARK KNIGHT. He mentioned a minor spoiler. I have removed that spoiler from the quote right here for those who don’t want too much given away. If you want to read the original quote, minor spoiler and all, click on this link that will take you to IGN.

On Heath Ledger, Michael Caine said this:

“He’s gone in a completely different direction to [Jack Nicholson]. Jack was like a clown figure, benign but wicked, maybe a killer old uncle. He could be funny and make you laugh. Heath is like a really scary psychopath … I didn’t see him for rehearsal and when he came out … he was so incredible I forgot my lines. He frightened the life out of me. … I’d never met him before. He’s a lovely guy and his Joker is going to be a hell of a revelation in this picture.”

Alan Kistler’s History of the Joker in comics and media.

Mime is now trapped in final box

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Mime Legend Marcel Marceau Dies at 84

Our site was disabled for several days, and I had this entry drafted but not posted. This morning I awoke to hear Bob and Tom mentioning this and then saying something to the effect about how every lame would-be comedian was making an “Invisble Box” joke and we should try harder.


I’m All Grown Up Now!

Friday, September 21st, 2007

I’ve never considered myself to be one of the more “prestigious” members of the Fanzing/Monitor Duty staff. I started contributing as an eager teenager (if Michael can freshen my memory of what year he took over Fanzing, I could give you an exact age — suffice it to say that I was the youngest contributor!), with a desire to write but an inadequacy that set me back in my articles. I never did any sort of fiction, though I had started a story called “The Running Joke,” which involved the Joker accidentally entering the Speed Force. The story never got past the inciting incident, however, as I took a hiatus to be a missionary for the LDS church. I came back from my two-year mission to Dallas, TX to discover that Fanzing had recently been terminated and replaced with Monitor Duty. Disappointed though I was, I decided to contribute what I could. In the 4+ years that I’ve been back, however, I’ve contributed a meager amount of posts, partly out of laziness and partly out of not knowing what to discuss.

So there’s me. The guy who likes this website and is one of the longest-running contributors to it, but who remains in the shadows due to his underwhelming contributions.

But enough of that – I am not writing to seek pity or give excuses – I just thought I’d explain a bit of who I am in order for the impact of what I’m about to announce to have a more profound effect: I graduated from college a month ago! I went to BYU and graduated from their competitive film program, with an emphasis in editing and post production. This past month I’ve kept myself busy with a trip to San Francisco, a family reunion in Southern Utah (no, I do not practice or condone polygamy), and, most of all, job searching! I’ve had little luck in the job search, however, and have therefore decided to pack up and move myself to Washington, D.C. where my brother and sister are living. I feel good about this and think it will help me be more proactive and positive about my job search, being in a new environment that will help me feel like I’ve got a fresh start.

Anyways, the main reason I’m even posting is because I just went through my comic book collection to pull out a few gems to take with me to D.C. (I’m leaving most of my collection, as well as a lot of other things I own, in storage or at my folks’ place here in Utah), and I thought it would be fun to announce to the world the few comics I’ve decided to take with me: the “Kingdom Come” TPB (one of the best comic stories ever written), the “Death of Superman” TPB (this is the story that got me interested in comic books), the “Crisis on Multiple Earths” TPB (I’ve actually never read this), and all 5 issues of the “Zero Hour” crossover, which bring back fond memories of my glory days in comic book reading. I look forward to my flight, which leaves in 8.5 hours, because I’ll have time to revisit my youth.

(As a sidenote, I never really got back into comics after my mission. I caught up with “JLA” to the point where the team was picking up new members like Major Damage and I was totally turned off to the series. I also have read “The Flash” up through issue 6 or 7 of Bart’s little series, and I have liked a lot of what happened over the last few years but not enough to get me to the comic book shop on a regular basis. I mostly get my comic book fix through films now. I still think “Hulk” was a good movie, except for the ending battle sequence.)

O-mazing Grace

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Never give a crackhead the chance to speak at a funeral. Never.

Michael Hutchison IS… The ROCKETEER!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

For over 15 years, I’ve wanted a jacket like The Rocketeer wore. It was just an awesome jacket. I remember checking out leather jacket stores and never saw anything even close. Disappointed, I gave up the search and got a generic leather jacket (which I, ahem, “outgrew” a decade ago).

Of course, that was before the Internet. It just occurred to me tonight to Google “Rocketeer leather jacket”.


This person sells Rocketeer Leather jackets, custom-made, for under $200! After you buy/win the auction, they take your measurements and make it for you. Awesome! And look how beautiful that jacket is. Oh sweeeeet! I am so there —



Ahem, again.

I can think of nothing more pathetic than a fat comic geek in his late 30s getting a form-fitting Rocketeer jacket. I don’t want to be that guy.

OK, this jacket just became my incentive reward for when I lose 80 pounds or more.

(I sure hope this guy’s still in business in 2027.)

He … Is … Iron Man

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

(Yes, I know the headline’s cliched and most everybody else has used a version of it in their report. But not knoing the character real well it’s the best I could come up with.)

The first trailer for next summer’s Iron Man movie has been released. I don’t know enough about Marvel continuity to know if they got Tony’s characterization right, but I really liked what I saw. Robert Downey Jr. looks great. And the special effects are spectacular (especially the flying). This is the first Marvel movie since the X-Men franchise I would go to the theater to see. And it could easily be the best of the Marvel movies. I guess time (and more in depth trailers) will tell.

Tom Russell Reviews Colon “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters”

Monday, September 17th, 2007

So, today I saw Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters (or, more correctly, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters For DVD). On a whole, I enjoyed it, just as I enjoy the television program. It’s a sense of humour that seems to click with me pretty readily. Absurd, dadaist, whatever you want to call it.

At the same time, I was a little disappointed, and I certainly would have been upset if my wife and I had spent $17.00 plus parking to see it in the theater.


Comments are now open!

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Good news for everyone who has wanted to comment but didn’t want to sign up with TypeKey! Typekey is now only one of six methods of signing in, including the new Movable Type system method.

Do you have an AOL account, or an AOL Instant Messenger ID? Sign in with that! If you have a LiveJournal, Vox or Open ID account, you can sign in that way.

I’ll be looking to add more methods (they’re plugins made for the new Movable Type 4.0). I hope this helps you to enjoy our blog and give us more feedback!

Chris Muir throws down

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Back when the cartoon wars swept Europe, the cartoonists who drew the Mohammad cartoons had to go into hiding, fearing for their very lives, all for the crime of doing some mostly-innocuous drawings of the Muslim prophet. It was now an established taboo that no one, no matter what their faith, could render Mohammad. And this was a new taboo; only a few years prior, South Park featured Mohammad as a member of the Super-Best Friends, fighting a magician alongside Jesus, Buddha and Joseph Smith; a few years later, Cartoon Network refused to show even the most basic image of Mohammad for fears that it would lead to violence against Viacom employees.

Now Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist, has a bounty on his head for a new cartoon. This has prompted Chris Muir of Day By Day to debut an outright challenge: drawing the head of Mohammad on the body of a pig as a character in his strip.

Take that, ya Comedy Central pansies!

Let’s hope this isn’t just an isolated incident. In the words of Mr. Stotch:

Stephen Stotch: Now wait, this is ridiculous. What we need to do is just the opposite. Freedom of speech is at stake here. Don´t you all see that if anything, we should all make cartoons of Muhammad. And show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want.

Look people, it´s been real easy for us to stand up for free speech lately. For the past few decades we have not had to risk anything to defend it. But those times are going to come. One of those times is right now. And if we aren´t willing to risk what we have, then we just believe in free speech, but we don´t defend it.

south park cartoon wars!

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I’ll be at FallCon the first weekend in October. Join me!

Monday, September 17th, 2007

I hope you can make it. FallCon is hands-down my favorite convention that I attend every year. This convention is held on the Minnesota State Fair fairgrounds, in what I believe is the biggest building there. It’s a two-day event. Every year they invite a few major pros, usually including at least one giant in the industry. They cap off the event with an auction of donated art and collectibles that raises thousands of dollars for charity. And I have to say it again: MCBA puts together one of the guest-friendliest conventions I’ve ever attended. Their henchmen circle the floor constantly, making sure all of their guests have refreshments, helping to carry your gear, willing to watch over a table while ya make a bathroom run…they’re the tops!

If you haven’t attended a FallCon before, why not try to make it this year?

Here’s all the info you need.

October 6 & 7, 2007
10AM to 5PM Both Days!
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Education Building
1372 Cosgrove Ave
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Admission: $10.00 ($1 off with a canned Food Shelf donation)
Children ages 9 & Under are free!
Tickets available at the door!!!

Free MCBA Grab Bags for
The first 500 paid admissions on Saturday October 6th
The first 250 paid admissions on Sunday October 7th.

1) Certified Guaranty Company CGC At FallCon!
The foremost authority in comic book grading (CGC) will be on hand at
FallCon 2007! CGC will be accepting submissions and offering
opportunities for the prestigious CGC Signature Series. The CGC staff
will be on hand to answer any of your questions. Look for special
items donated by CGC in the Charity Art Auction! For more info about the
CGC checkout:

2) Invasion of the 501st Vader’s Fist
FallCon welcomes the arrival of the 501st Star Wars Club! “…The Legion
is a volunteer club formed for the express purpose of bringing together
costume enthusiasts and giving them a collective identity within which
to operate. The Legion’s aims are to celebrate the Star Wars movies
through the wearing of costumes, to promote the quality and improvement
of costumes and props, and most importantly to contribute to the local
community through charity and volunteer work…” Bring your camera and
look for the great costumes! For info about the 501st checkout:

3) Super Gaming Computer Raffle!
In addition to all of the free door prizes and raffles, this year there
will be a $1.00 Per entry super special computer raffle! Awesome
fully-modded PC with windows on all sides of the case, lighted fans,
sound-activated neon tubes, and a handy carry handle for getting to the
gaming party! This machine sports solid gaming performance, a DVD
burner, memory card reader, and more! It comes fully loaded with all the
software you could ever want, including anti-virus, anti-spyware, word
processor, spreadsheet, etc. – and of course, GAMES! Dozens of
mind-blowing games are pre-installed and ready to go, including
favorites like Babylon 5, Cellfactor, FEAR, Far Cry, and tons of FREE
online MMORPG games too! The system comes equipped with a gorgeous 19″
widescreen LCD monitor, speakers, optical mouse, mouse pad, 13-button
gamepad, and a lighted keyboard that’s handy for your spooky gaming
sessions with the lights turned off! Nothing is missing from this killer
gaming system…just plug it in and GO! This stellar machine comes with a
1-year parts & labor warranty. A $1,000 value that could be yours for
the cost of one measly raffle ticket! All proceeds go to benefit the
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Lupus Foundation. Donated by

4) Super Hero Clix Tournaments!
Back by popular demand! There will be ongoing hero clix game tournaments
at FallCon! Watch the web site in the next few weeks for all of the

5) Volunteers Needed!
The MCBA is looking for volunteers to help set up and run FallCon!
Benefits of volunteering include a limited edition FallCon T-Shirt, free
early admission and food! If you’re interested, please e-mail us at: and write Volunteer in the header line!

6) Art Show!
A FallCon tradition! We’re looking for artists and/or collectors who
would like to share their collection with the general public! Over the
years we have had a wide variety of very cool and interesting items. We
have a limited number of spaces available and will award them on a first
come, first served basis. Join a FallCon tradition by e-mailing us for all of the details and special benefits!

7) Please Help!
The Midwest Comic Book Association is an volunteer group dedicated to
the world of Comic Books and any help you can give us by helping spread
the word about FallCon would really be appreciated! We want FallCon to
be the very best it can be and the more people that we can get
participate in our community will make it better for all of us!

8) Official Fallcon Hotel
For those of you traveling to FallCon here’s the info regarding the
Official FallCon hotel. Raddison Hotel Roseville, 2540 Cleveland Ave S.,
Roseville, MN. 55113, 651-636-4567
Discount Code: FallCon

9) More FallCon Info:

It’s a start!

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Not too shabby.

Okay, okay, it’s shabby. I’m using the default templates for the moment, and there’s still a lot of work to do before it’s up to my standards, but I thought I’d make the site live this way so that we can make use of the functionality. You’ll notice the new tag cloud (rendered oh-so-usable by Blue Spider’s use of the word “me” as a tag, but we’ll get the hang of it) and the ability to peruse any images loaded with the new image functions. (Sadly, all the older images aren’t perusable, but I’ll work on that.)

Feedback? I know that this new system allows users to log in via several feedback systems, and I’ve installed a plugin that should allow users to log in with their AIM ID, though I may not have the right prerequisites for that.

To be honest, Movable Type is a very difficult system to work with. The same goes for phpBB, our bulletin board system that I’ve also spent the last two months struggling to upgrade. It’s not just that I’m not a coder for their respective languages, but it’s as if they intentionally make it inaccessible for a newbie non-user to just plug-and-play. “User-friendly” it is not.

For example: both Movable Type and PHPBB employ message boards as their main interface for problems with upgrading and questions about using plug-ins. A wiki would be a much better reference, rather than having to scroll through pages of a message thread to find an answer.

Ah well, enough griping. Back to work!

DC and Marvel characters mulling their movie careers

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

What really destroyed Titanic

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

This is one of my favorite fan films. One of the first ones, really, considering it came out after Titanic and before the Prequel trilogy. The video quality is relatively poor because it was the late 90s and a 50 meg download was a killer size back then, but the production quality is still amazing.

Apple iPhone technical bleg fun!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

To quote Joe Pesci’s character Leo Getz from Die Hard

Okay! Okay! Okay!

That’s just to get your attention long enough to ask the question.. if you have an iPhone, do you have to activate the cellphone plan with ATT to be able to use the phone in its other function as an MP3 player… or as a Wifi connective internet browser?

Through what service does it normally browse YouTube, etc?

I’m not asking because I am about to buy an iPhone but becase I took a volunteer position that only pays in, you guessed it, iPhones.

Well, iPhone. singular. Who wants to help me earn one iPhone. You have to be attending a college or University to help me though.

The reason I couldn’t get the site up today

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Making progress!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

The new blog system has a flaw that, I suspect, is shutting out the other authors. It’s nothing I can solve; we have to wait for the bug fix. I may just give the other authors admin authority so they can get in until Movable Type fixes the bug.

However, some good news: I have resolved one technical problem and just need some time to do some template work. Maybe Tuesday night. (I spent the whole weekend canning spaghetti sauce. Barely had time to check my e-mail.)

We’re missing some choice comic news, particularly Chuck Dixon’s return to the pages of Robin in January. I’m so happy for Chuck, though I don’t envy his trying to salvage a character who has been pretty much wrecked since his leaving. There’s a thread on his message board right now to bring all the readers who deserted the book in the last five years up to speed. (Essentially: everybody’s dead.)

Dipping of the toe

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

This is the first post since installing MT 4.0.

It will either work great…or crash and burn.


FYI: The good news is, it seems to have retained the templates for our site.
The bad news is, it seems to have done so by sacrificing all the new fluidity the blog is now supposed to have.

I imagine ironing out all these new errors will take some time. In the meantime, all of Monitor Duty’s authors may begin posting. I’m sure they’ll love the new functions, particularly the automatic saving of posts.

For you guys out there, that means more pictures, better layouts and some new cool add-ons. OH, and comments are now open again (supposedly).

I’d better correct that. Again, it looks like some of these cool new functions won’t show up unless I restore all the default templates. That will have to wait for the weekend. Sorry guys!