Archive for September, 2008

Who’s Ron Redford?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

My niece was mentioning older actors and asked who “Ron Redford” was.

I said that Robert Redford was still alive and that he was basically the Brad Pitt of his generation.

She gave me a blank stare.

I then told her that Brad Pitt was the Shia LeBeouf of my generation.

She and her friends grinned and started talking about how much they love Shia LeBeouf.

Weird to think that to these girls Brad Pitt is just some 44-year-old guy.

9 Days from the biggest FallCon EVER!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I am getting very excited about FallCon, which is having its 20th Anniversary show at the Minnesota fairgrounds in just 9 days. Remember: FallCon is ALWAYS the first weekend in October. Put it on your calendar for next year if you can’t make it this year.

This one is going to be wicked awesome. For the 20th annual FallCon, they’ve moved to a facility that is THREE TIMES AS BIG as the usual grounds, and the guest list goes on forever. The dealer list is longer as well. There’s going to be a wedding between two of the MCBA volunteers…and the minister is Len Strazewski! The two-day con always culminates in a colossal auction for charity and I can only imagine how mind-blowing the prizes will be given that big-name professionals often donate geek-shaking art even if they can’t attend.

I will be appearing there, of course, with my “Metro Med Special Edition #1″… and if all goes right I will have something new to show people. Erik Burnham is on the guest list, too. He’ll probably be charging too little for his sketches, as always, so come on by and ask him to draw the entire Legion of Super-Heroes for a nickel. I know I say this every time, but FallCon is the best con I have ever attended. If it’s at all possible for you to attend this year, you should. If not, you’ll miss out on the 20th FallCon, but put it on your calendar now for next year.

(more…)

The Amazing Frank Caliendo

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

There have been a lot of people over the last four decades who have imitated William Shatner. However, Frank Calliendo’s impression could fool a voice recognition computer.

This is dangerous, because it means he has the potential to destroy the Enterprise.

No, seriously. Close your eyes and just listen. That IS Shatner!

Life officially sucks

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Jimmy Jams Comics here in Rochester is closing its doors next week.

I’ve just found out tonight, having missed the announcement earlier. (On top of everything else wrong with this, I’m very late to their storewide 50% off sale on trade paperbacks and I’ve missed a lot of goodies!)

This leaves me without a comic shop. Oh, their store in Winona an hour away will gladly ship my books free of charge once a month if I choose. I’m wondering whether I want to.

Frankly… at this point, I could probably be happy just buying the TPB collections of PS238 and having that be my total involvement with comic collecting. I don’t really enjoy the majority of books that DC puts out these days (the exceptions being Green Lantern Corps, Booster Gold and Birds of Prey). I’m not even buying the current Crisis book, which is kind of a stunning thing for me. A few months ago I realized that I have not truly enjoyed a single issue of the Justice League series since it was relaunched. I buy Justice League because I have an uninterrupted run going back to 1982. Aside from skipping the last year of Gerard Jones’ awful run, and then buying all of the issues from the cheap bin later on anyway, I have been a nonstop reader. But…it just isn’t a good book.

Hey, I’m 38, I’ve got a wife and a teenager to care for, and other things to occupy my time. It makes sense to move on from comics at some point, right? Except that…I still love comics if they’re done right, which is why I read PS238. I get a thrill from RE-reading the comics made in the 1980s and some of the 1990s. I could haul out the old Suicide Squad or L.E.G.I.O.N. or Giffen’s JLA and enjoy them just as I once did, and if those titles were being put out today I’d buy them. It’s probably why I’m loving Ambush Bug: Year None so much.

And I still would love to write comics, which means I can’t give up on READING comics, can I? I’m making one final go of Metro Med and hoping it goes somewhere.

I’ve got more to vent about the state of comics, but I just had to share what’s going on with me right now.

Lynda Carter stomps on my heart a little

Friday, September 12th, 2008

UPDATED — SEE BELOW

If you were ever in love with TV’s Wonder Woman, you may want to skip this item. (Also, it depends on your politics.)

Asked simply what she thinks of Sarah Palin, Lynda Carter goes off on a rant.

I can’t tell you how crushed I am to hear such paranoid, hateful nonsense from someone I’ve loved since I was 7. (Yeah, loved. Lifelong. For the last thirty years, you say “Lynda Carter”, my heart jumps a bit.)

The day Palin was announced, I immediately thought, "Oh my gosh… It’s DIANA PRINCE!" I went on a Google Image search trying to find a matching pic of Lynda Carter so I could put them side by side on the MD blog. (Tried and failed. Found a bunch, none of which had similar enough glasses or pose.)

And now this.

Hey look, Lynda can believe what she believes and say what she says politically. But she could have done the smart thing and not pissed off half of her audience. The problem with Hollywood is that it’s so insular that many stars convince themselves that all of their audience must be of the Left. Sure, there’s a huge bunch of hicks in the middle of the country but those people don’t go to movies or watch TV, they just read their bibles and handle snakes. So why hold one’s tongue when surely all of her admirers share her politics?!

How hard would it have been to say simply, “I don’t agree with her politics but I’m sure Wonder Woman would be proud of her Amazon sister” or something gracious of that sort? Instead, it’s a long complaint about how Palin is so un-Wonder Woman.

Sure, Lynda Carter got to portray Wonder Woman once because she had a stunning smile and a fantastic rack, but she’s not William Moulton Marston nor is she the legal owner of the character. DC Comics may be a bunch of left-wingers but how much leeway are they going to give an actress to go out using their licensed character to defame a political figure?

Lynda does not own Wonder Woman and she doesn’t really know the character that well.

The Amazons are hunters. Palin is too, Hillary isn’t.
Wonder Woman is known for her own actions, not for being the wife of someone famous.

Wonder Woman, by the way, is a worshiper of the Greek Gods who is absolutely certain of her religion. (Well, why not, she’s MET them.)

AND she was sent to Man’s World to constantly nag everybody about trying to live in peace and behave like her people. That is, in fact, Wonder Woman’s primary mission: lecturing everyone else on how to behave.

I’m not even saying that Palin IS the ferocious religious nut that Lynda believes she is… but even if it were true: so is Wonder Woman!

Hollywood has been sitting out this election, perhaps realizing that all their mouthing off in the past didn’t help their candidates… but Palin is driving them nuts and they’re coming out of the woodwork. Don’t believe me? Check out Dirty Harry’s Place and just keep scrolling.

Hat tip: Dirty Harry

P.S. What say you? Should I post all the Diana Prince pictures I did find?

UPDATES
First off, I removed the photos because my buddy Lance pointed out that the picture of Sarah Palin was erroneous; it was a spokesmodel who had been misidentified as Palin on some blog. (Side-by-side with the real thing, I still couldn’t be sure. If you’ve ever compared Cindy Crawford in normal lighting to one of her professional glamour photos you wouldn’t know it was the same person either. But I trust Lance’s word.)

And I’m not going to bother responding to all the Palin hate in the comments section, because this post was never about Palin. If it weren’t about a DC Comics character and the TV actress portraying her, and how vacuous her comments are, I wouldn’t put it on Monitor Duty. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve said boo about Barack Obama this year, and believe me I could say a lot but this isn’t the blog for it.

I will say…it’s tempting to do a lengthy, deep post about Wonder Woman, feminism and Sarah Palin, especially in light of the old women’s magazine cover with Wondy on it. But if I’m going to devote time to this blog, I’d rather keep it off politics and more about comics. So as far as the Palin-hating goes: you’re wrong, you’re nasty, you’re mean and in November you will lose.

Spidey 4 and 5 are on, with Raimi and Tobey

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire are onboard for Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?) 4 & 5.

Too bad they raced through about 3 movies’ worth of plot and villains for Spider-Man 3.

Here’s an idea:

How about, for just one movie, Spider-Man takes on an original villain? How about a psycho killer? Or maybe terrorists?

It’s not something we think about doing for superhero movies, of course, but in comic books there are often some of the best stories where the villain isn’t just the same old costumed guy back again. Of course, with Batman you’d have to make about 30 movies before you ran out of fascinating bad guys, but Spider-Man has burned through just about all the big ones.

I can say this because as a DC-only fan I approach all of the Marvel movies with just as much ignorance as the general public. I realize the Spidey fans reading this are all hyperventilating about how I’m overlooking the obvious _______ but I have to tell you that to the general public the only “Name” Spidey villains are Green Goblin, Doc Ock and Venom. I know there’s also some electric villain, and a guy with a big globe head (though one of my friends told me that’s really a Daredevil baddie), and the 8-year-old son of one of my friends instantly recognized that the one-armed professor in the movies is actually The Lizard, who I’d never heard of before. (I’m not even going to consult Wikipedia on this, but let me guess: he tries to use lizard genes to grow back his arm and it turns him into a lizard. Am I right?)

So any Spidey-villains from here on out are unknown to the general public. How about doing what “Dark Knight” did and just focus on an excellent story that makes sense? (While you’re scripting, I’d also leave out dance routines and 70s music.)

Yes…we only update for obituaries now

Friday, September 5th, 2008

I just heard (and sorry, this is four days late) that one of the greatest voice-over artists of our time, Don La Fontaine, has passed away at a rather young age. You know him as the “In a world…” trailer guy.

Allow me to post the videos making the rounds of all the geek blogs where you’ve no doubt already seen them.

Please note that Don is only one of the two famous “In a world…” guys. The other one is Hal Douglas:

Of course, Don’s voice has almost become a parody of itself. Right, Pablo Francisco?

R.I.P. Don.

Hat tip to Theater Hopper, who probably is right about Don’s current job.