Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hey, guess who remembered he had a blog! Yep, this guy. :::pointing to myself::: All I can say is that over the previous summer, I kinda decided to keep my opinions and thoughts to myself. It is not like anyone really cares what I have to say, right?

Well, A lot of nerdy things have happened to me since the last time I posted anything. I bought a PS3 (my first Sony system ever and my first Blu-ray player), the wife and I now own iPhones, discovered one of the best TV shows ever (I will devote a full post to it later), and we left the United States for the first time. Those aren't the reasons I decided to get back on this here blog though. I want to talk about something important....Star Wars.

Just a few minutes ago, I finished watching Episode II. I haven't seen that movie in full since I saw in the theater eight years ago. I've seen some small bits and pieces on TV, but never start to finish since I saw it on the big screen. The only reason I watched it now is because I found it for $3.00 on clearance at the local Half Price Books. Of course, I know that every single one of my fellow nerds has their opinion of the prequel trilogy and the internet is where all those opinions are aired. I bring it up now to many years after it would be relevant because I think my opinion has actually mellowed a bit since seeing the movie originally. Basically, I now believe that Star Wars Episodes I - III suffer from just three small misjudgments that, if corrected, would have saved them all from the ire of many a man-child. Here they are.

1. Midichlorians
If you are reading this blog than odds are you know exactly what I am talking about. A small throwaway conversation between Qui-Gon and Anakin in The Phantom Menance ruined the mythology of all six films. The audience has already expected the Force as an idea. We get it. We didn't need any explanation for it and the explanation forced upon us (no pun intended) was horrible. It was three minutes that easily could have hit the cutting room floor and then would not have changed what we already excepted.

2. Hayden Christensen
Again, I know this has been talked about at length but it still astonishes me that throughout the casting process and filming, no one piped up and said "he's a little robotic." Anakin Skywalker is literally consumed by his emotions but we don't see any of them on the screen? We ALL know what is coming! Come on people! The whole point of these movies is to see why he turns to the Dark Side, and from Christensen's performance, we just don't see it.

3. The Jedi Council is pretty dumb.
It is prophesied that Anakin Skywalker would "bring balance to the Force." O...K...I would think that every member of the Jedi Council could count, at least on their hands and toes even though that would only be a total of twelve for Yoda. There are a whole slew of Jedi and only two Sith that they know about. Hmmmmm. That does sound out of balance to me but the Council never realizes that balancing it out means a ton of Jedi have to die? These are supposed to be the wisest beings in the galaxy! All they needed to do to fix this obvious continuity error is say that the prophesy was that Anakin's appearance would "foretell a balancing of the Force." That way the story of Anakin falling to the Dark Side can still occur and the Jedi Council don't look like a bunch of morons.

And with three small tweaks, we would get three fine movies. Now you may be asking why the hell I even care enough to bring this all up now. It is because I watch Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars. None of the problems I listed are even mentioned on the show and that is why I enjoy the program as much as I do. I almost think that The Clone Wars is somewhat of a "mea culpa" for what was wrong in the films. I don't know but that's my opinion, take it or leave it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale....

(NOTE: SPOILERS ABOUND SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!) Apparently I don't need to say this since everyone on Earth has told everybody else by now, but ABC's Lost has come to an end. Yep, it's over, and less than a second after Jack closed his eyes, the web was breaking in two under the sheer weight of opinions being thrown around. My wife and I, like millions of other viewers, sat by the television watching and waiting patiently to see if all the time we had invested in this show was worth it. Once it was over, I made the big mistake of tweeting my opinion and I definitely regret it now. It was a mistake because as soon as I said anything, I was told by multiple people that I was wrong. Well, I have let some time pass and ruminated on it and now it's my turn! BWA HAHAHA. This is my blog and here I am king! My opinion cannot be besmirched here!

After reading and hearing so many opinions, I think I know what I want to say about the finale. It is an unpopular opinion, but it is mine and I stick by it. Here goes. See if you can follow me. The finale itself was fine and served its purpose as a bookend for the show. I totally understand why people were moved by it even if I thought it was a little preachy. I totally understand where all of the positive reactions are coming from. The whole episode was a gigantic affirmation of life and even of death. You would have to be a statue for that not to affect you in some way. This is my problem with it though. These affirmations act as a smokescreen for weak writing not only in the finale but in the series as a whole. Giving happy endings to everyone is how the writers fool us into forgetting everything we have thought about the series.

I think a friend of mine, Matt Marquissee, put it better than I ever could: "It's a puzzle without a picture, just pieces. Then, when you're about finished, someone throws it out." If you think about it, he is totally right and you could even take it further and say that not only was there no picture but there were a lot of pieces left over too. Before you even say it, I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY! "The writers told us we would not get all the answers!" "We knew everything was not going to be answered." "The show isn't about knowing everything." Those are all cop outs for the writers, plain and simple. I'm sorry but I don't buy it. There was too much left over or cast aside. All those happy endings just stop you from thinking about the series and all the plot lines, character development, and continuity that now means nothing. For instance, let's go all the way back to the first season and the episode "Raised By Another." Anyone remember why Claire was on Flight 815? Anyone? Bueller?......Bueller? She was on the plane because a psychic had a vision that if Aaron was born, he would be some type of evil incarnate. So the psychic bought Claire a ticket knowing full well the plane would go down and kill her and her evil son. Don't remember that? That's because everyone is so happy moving on with their loved ones to the afterlife. Or hey! What about Faraday? The poor guy gets shot by his own mother in the past and he doesn't get to go on to the afterlife because she doesn't want him to? Doesn't seem fair to me at all. I could go on and on about everything that didn't make sense or all the instances of sloppy writing, but I won't. No one wants to read that. All I have to say now that it is all over and we can see it all in focus, Lost was a very interesting ride that ended up having a lot of potholes, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Now you can hear my voice!

I just wanted to leave a note and tell everyone to go listen to the newest episode (#119) of the Marvel Noise podcast. Why, you ask? Because yours truly is the newest contributor! My new segment, "From The Quarter Box," looks at some of Marvel's contributions to the cheap bins, and the first spotlight is on Solarman #1, a true gem of Stan Lee's career. Go give it a listen. Since this is the first time I have ever really recorded anything, I welcome any thoughts or criticisms anyone may have.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Either I am totally right or I'm developing Aspergers. YOU DECIDE!

As much as I don't want this blog to become my own little emo bully pulpit where I only talk about the things that anger me, it seems like those kinds of things are what get me motivated enough to sit down and start typing. To make matters even more depressing, the things that anger me usually have to do with the internet since that is where most of my social interaction comes from these days. Maybe I should explain my situation and get it off my chest so you can understand what I am talking about.

A couple days ago, I was very sick all day. I had absolutely horrible pains in my gut and I would have left work if I thought that the walk to the train station was possible in my condition. Basically, I just sat at my desk and waited until it was time to go. When I finally got home, I went right to my bed and slept for 3 1/2 hours straight. Eventually my wife woke me up since she was worried about me, and luckily for me, I felt better. We went to get some dinner so I could get some fresh air and food in my system. We got home late and my wife went to bed but due to sleeping earlier, there was no way I could fall asleep. Time ticked away as I surfed the internet all night. I looked at the clock and it was already 1:30 in the morning. Now this gets to the part where the problems (aside from not feeling well and not being able to sleep) begin. I will preface it with the fact that I know it may seem asinine but it was important to me at the time and what came next is what really irked me. I decide to read my Twitter feed and right there at the top was a major spoiler of the X-Men member that had died in X-Force #26 which had come out two days prior. Due to the fact that my comic store was sold out, I couldn't read it and I was doing everything not to be spoiled. I didn't read message boards, I didn't go to CBR or Newsarama, I did everything I could. I don't think it is too much that I was disappointed. Who likes things ruined for them? Do you want go to a movie and then someone tell you the end as soon as you buy your ticket? I decide to reply and say "DUDE, WTF. SPOILERS." I was pissed and that was all I could think to say at first. I then said that I had been trying not to be spoiled. I did eventually get to sleep at around 2:45 in the morning. Then I awoke to find this greeting me when I turn on my computer:

"for anyone out there who thinks i "ruined" second coming for them lasr [sic] night...grow up, this is the internet age. it isnt even half way over"

This is what turned me into a mushroom cloud. A simple "sorry" would have been enough (and those five letters would have been easier to type too), but no. I get told to grow up in the most condescending way possible. So you're saying I can't be disappointed that the pivotal plot point of the book that I wanted to read but could not purchase was told to me? Is that what you are saying? Ya know, the whole spoiler phenomenon is not that big a deal to me normally but since I couldn't buy the book, I just wanted to read it myself. Is that too much to ask? Now I have been thinking about this since it happened. It drives me nuts. I know that it may seem petty to a lot of people and I own that fact, but I was still disappointed. Being "spoiled" isn't even why I am angry! The ire comes from the "holier than thou" and "I'm better than you" response that I got in return. Am I right or crazy or both? I don't know anymore and I need to stop thinking about it. Writing it out helps. Thanks for listening to my rant anyway. It is always good to get stuff off your chest I guess.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Free Comic Book Day 2010

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy Free Comic Book Day today. Make sure to head out to your local comic store for some awesome free stuff (and make sure to buy something too since the comics are free for you but not free for the store.) Here is a link to the website so you can find a participating store near you:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

C2E2 Con Report

It has been a weird week and I have been so tired every day after work, but I decided that I should probably get my thoughts about C2E2 down before everyone has forgotten about it and moved on to other things. I was very excited for this con (like kid trying to sleep on Xmas eve) and it totally lived up to my expectations. I guess the best way to break the con down is to go day by day.

So, I took the day off of work Friday so that I could attend the con. I slept in a little and left around 10 since I expected it would take about 2 hours total to get to McCormick Place using the CTA Blue Line and the #3 bus. That means I would get there with an hour to find where everything was and to get a good place in line. Boy, was I wrong. I ended up getting into line to enter the con after only 50 minutes. I was about the twentieth person in line and I had to wait a little over two hours to get in. Luckily I brought a book to read but I didn't even need it since they had a huge screen playing The Dark Knight which mesmerized me like a small child. Once I actually got into the con, the set-up was pretty spectacular. The place was so clean and bright with ACTUAL NATURAL LIGHT! The aisles were huge and no one was stuck together walking into each other. I applaud ReedPOP for their excellent use of the venue.

I made a b-line to artist alley since I knew there were sketch lists that I wanted to get on and books I wanted to pick up. Like the good little nerd I am, I printed out a to-do list full of everything I wanted to get done at the con. The first thing I did was get on Mike Norton's sketch list. (I'll post my art haul at the end so you can see it all.) Stop #2 was to pick up The Uniques #8 & 9 and a new gorgeous X-Men print from two of my favorite creators, Adam Withers and Comfort Love. They really do astonishing work and I have loved every issue of the Uniques more than the last. I also hit up Steve Bryant for the Athena Voltaire Collected Webcomics since I had just finished reading the Flight of the Falcon series and loved it. Go check out his Kickstarter campaign for the new Athena Voltaire series. I am really pulling for him. With those first purchases out of the way, we get to the most important aspect of the con for me, meeting up with everybody. So many people were coming into town for this con and I wanted to make sure I saw them. So Friday was spent with Matt and Sarah Kramer and Vince B, David (Don't call them floppies) Price, and Jason Wood from 11 O'Clock Comics. Walking around a con is great, but seeing everything with friends is better. It is always a highlight of a con to see people and hang out. As they should, the comics take a back seat to friendships. In the interest of keeping this short, the rest of the Friday was spent getting the lay of the land and talking with everybody.

Saturday during the con itself was amazing. I got to hang out and walk the con floor with my beautiful wife, and my boys, Rick "Smash Tales" Hansen, Jose Capetillo, and Dave "ElDave" Mathis. We checked out the Cup O' Joe panel which was pretty much a snooze until they had the inevitable hilarious question. A girl wearing flannel and cat ears came up to the mic and asked very bluntly "Why do you hate your female readers?" and continued to berate the panel and interrupt their attempts at an answer as she explains how Marvel's depiction of women is a horrible injustice. Just wow. After the panel, I went and talked with Tom Fowler and got on his sketch list and got a FREE sketch from Hilary Barta. I insisted on paying him but he wouldn't have it. Hilary is just plain awesome. My wife and I also went to the Cleveland Show panel which was very cool since they showed the upcoming episode with Kanye West.

By this time, the con was closed for the day and we headed to the shuttle bus to the "afterparty" at Reggie's. Note to self: NEVER GO TO ANOTHER AFTERPARTY. My wife and I missed the shuttle that our friends had gotten on so we waited 20 minutes for the next one. Once we got there, our friends had already ordered food and had heard nothing since they ordered, so we all stood there, waiting at the bar forever. Finally a table opens, we jump on it like lions on a fresh kill, and we continue to sit and wait. The music is blaring, we can't hear each other, and we are hungry. We waited more than an hour for food. Let's just say no one was very happy. Then my food comes. I came 20 minutes after the other guys and my food came first. It was such a clusterf---. There is no other way to put it. And to add insult to injury, our food came right as the 11 O'Clock Comics guys decide to bolt. Hanging out with all of them was the big reason we all decided to even go but we couldn't leave with this food here. Luckily, my friends got their money back, but it all pretty much sucked.

Sunday was the winding-down day, saying good bye to everybody and doing some last minute bargain bin diving. I found some books I needed to complete some runs so that's always good. I also went to the X-Men panel which pretty much became "The Peter David Show starring Peter David." He was the biggest name on the panel so he took over which is fine with me since he's a writing god. All in all, the day was a nice way to end the con. Sadly, there were a lot of people that I didn't see or run into like Adam Bensenyodi, Ryan "Gobo," George and Jon from anti-hero, and Scott Cederlund, but there is only so much you can do. Well, there will always be other cons. Maybe I will see them at the Summit City Convention, if I can find a ride to Fort Wayne. Wink, wink.

All in all, I think King DAP put it best. "Everything in the convention center was amazing. Outside the building, not so much." With that said, I had an amazing time and I will be back next year. Oh and here is my haul for those that want to bask in some awesome art:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

That was pretty "groovy."

It's only 9:18 in the morning and I have already had a pretty weird day. I was planning to go into work for some overtime, but traffic is so bad due to construction that my normally 15 to 20 minute drive would have taken an hour and a half at best. So, I decided to stay home, grabbed a piece of last night's pizza for breakfast, and read some comics. One of those comics was so good that I had to jump on the laptop and talk about it: Brave and the Bold #29.

I am quite the fan of the "team-up" books like Marvel Team-Up, Superman/Batman, etc. I just never got into the newest incarnation of DC's Brave and the Bold because when it started, the comic store where I shopped kept running out of copies and I eventually forgot about it. Now, I have been finding issues on the cheap and catching up and I must say that J. Michael Straczynski's current run on the book is pretty amazing. One off team-up stories with gorgeous Jesus Saiz art? Sign me up. Having just finished reading issue #29, I think I can say that I have found the best issue of the bunch as well. Now due to the fact that I was exclusively a Marvel reader as a kid, there is a lot of DC history that I don't know. The character of Brother Power, the Geek, is one such lapse in my DC knowledge. I had never heard of him before reading this issue. Apparently, he/it was a tailor's dummy that was exposed to chemicals and lighting and came to life during the 60's. is a comic book so you have to suspend your disbelief. The issue is really about the differences he sees from the 60's to now. Thanks to Saiz's art, it was pretty powerful. If you have a chance, pick up Brave and the Bold #29. You won't regret it.