Saturday, May 31, 2003

Heh heh he he he

Ron Perlman as Hellboy

Hellboy as originally drawn by Mignola

I don't read Hellboy, although I like Mignola's art, and The Amazing Screw-On Head was pretty cool. I will definitely go see anything where this guy is the hero. Look for this movie next year.

Friday, May 30, 2003

More fun with the Patriot Act
My car trouble continued into yesterday. It was not the drive shaft, it was a wheel bearing, which is good, as that's still covered under the warranty. I am now struggling to decide whether or not to extend my warranty. It is prohibitively expensive, but if something goes really, really wrong, the alternative is more expensive. I am supposed to get my car back today.

The downside to all of this is that I missed a chunk of the Spurs game last night. Jamie came and got me (God bless her) and by the time we ate dinner and got home, it was the 3rd quarter. Well, the Spurs weren't doing too well, so I turned off the game and wandered off in disgust. Stupid me. Kerr apparently came alive shortly after I turned off the game and the Spurs clinched it. Go Spurs.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

And just in case you ever had any doubt...

Okay, kids, I've been threatening to do this for some time. I finished Supreme: Story of the Year last weekend, and I was going to write a review, but changed my mind. Instead, in my ongoing pursuit of forcing others to read comics, I'm delving deep. If I can get Jamie to sit down and read Top Ten, I can get some other folks reading comics, too.

In the past few years several movies and television programs have come out based on comic properties.
X-Men and X2
Blade and Blade 2
Birds of Prey
Hulk comes out in a few weeks and Spider-man 2 is filming. Batman is being directed by Chris Nolan and Superman is in a state of production limbo. Punisher is filming. Hellblazer is being mashed down into a nightmare called Constantine. Hellboy is being done as a feature with Ron Perlman as Hellboy himself.

But not all comics are about superheroes or mutants or what have you. Did you know Road to Perdition was a comic? Or the Jack the Ripper drama From Hell? League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is based loosely on Alan Moore's comic of the same name, Ghost World was originally a Daniel Clowes comics.

Anyway, if you saw these movies or TV shows, if you ever liked any of them... the same basic tenent often holds true: The book is better than the movie. I encourage folks to swing by the comics section at their Barnes and Noble, Borders, or whatever. The comic publishers collect the monthly 22 page comics into nifty little collections which are alternately called Graphic Novels or Trade Paperbacks. I think if you spend a few minutes digging around you'll find something that has cool art, or an interesting looking character or two. I also think that if this your first voyage into comics territory, that you'll find not all Superheroes are alike. Start somehwere with something you've seen before as a movie, such as X-Men or Spider-Man. Find art you can like, and then go from there. Specific artists jump from comic to comic, so you can seek out artists or writers, just as you would any other book. Look for numbers on the spines of these big comic books. They'll often tell you what order these things can or should be read in. That's always helpful.

If it's been awhile since you read comics, try wandering on back to the sci-fi section at your bookstore. Things may have changed a little, but it's still a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

It reached 111 degrees here today. At least it's a dry heat, they tell me.
Just went to lunch. Holy shit is it hot out.
In other good news, my Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink and Challenge of the Superfriends DVD's finally showed up yesterday.

I still love Miller's Crossing, and for a lot of reasons that have to do with story, cinematography, acting, blah blah blah... But, as Verna, UT alumnus Marcia Gay Harden did something very, very wrong to me as a young high schooler. In the process she managed to completely distort my concept of what I thought a cool girl was going to be. It turned out that Harden had been roomies with my high school drama coach back when they attended the Univ. of Texas together. I was promised a chance to contact Harden, but Valenta decided my young, hormone-addled mind would not be given this chance to go into absolute meltdown. Just as well.

Still, it's one of my fave rave's, and I have to say the release of this particular DVD is a long time in coming.

And Barton Fink...? I'll show you the life of the mind...

In visiting my parents this weekend, I stumbled across a box of old photos. One thing struck me in particular. In all the pictures taken during high school, I look absolutely terrified. Seriously. Well, in truth, that's kind of how I remember ages 15-17, so it's probably pretty accurate. These pictures, especially photos of me smiling, make me look confused and frightened.
I've got to give a shout out to Discount Tire out in Gilbert, AZ. I put 4 new tires on the Forester on the 10th to get rid of road noise, but the sound was actually worse with the new tires. I went in yesterday and told them my dilemma. At absolutely no charge, they gave me 4 newer, better tires, no questions asked. "If this doesn't fix your problem, it's not the tires," I was told.

Holy cats. In this day and age, aside from the local Target, I am pretty much used to getting the shaft when I need any actual customer service. I will never buy tires anywhere else ever again.

Here's my problem. The sound persists. It's not road noise. It's got to be the drive shaft. I fear I am about to go into some serious debt. Stupid car.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Well, I skipped out of work around 1:15 and picked up Melbotis. He's in good shape, and he got a bath while still at the kennel. Mel was given a little report card to let me know how he'd done.

Eating: Ate all his food every day
Attitude: A big sweetheart :)
Special Comments: Enjoyed his TLC time. (I paid $10 a day for extra playtime, which felt weird since I have no way of verifying they actually play with the dogs)
Problems: none :)

All in all, it appears Mel did well. He is extraordinarily tired this evening, which probably means he lost some shut eye around the other dogs. He ate dinner, went outside and pretty much passed out behind the couch. Good for him. I'm glad he's home.
Those who follow The League are aware that Mel and I are buddies. What many of you may not know is that there is, in fact, a 4th member of our household.

Jeff is the cat Jamie and I adopted before we were married.

As a rule, I never really cared much for cats, and Jeff hasn't done much to sway me away from my opinion. He bites a lot, attacks Jamie and sheds everywhere. He even occasionally goes after poor old Mel. But Jeff is my kitty, and I feel as if I've got to give props to the big man as he managed to make it for three days on his own without any adult supervision.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Okay, I don't know who the person was who was looking for "all natrual boobs" who hit The League, but I assure you, "all natrual boobs" will not be making their presence known on this site.

I have returned from Houston and am depressed once again at the lack of greenery in Arizona. Not much to be done about it, I suppose. Houston is, for all it's smog and other pollutants, still a very green place. That said, I got a taste of the open ocean at the Aquarium resaurant in downtown Houston yesterday afternoon. The fish was pricey, but tasty, and they have an honest-to-God Aquarium as part of the complex. Very cool.

I am very tired. I hate to say that maybe I got too much sun yesterday and am still trying to get over a mild sunburn. I am also not wanting to return to work tomorrow as I have had an abbreviated weekend.

Mel has to stay at the Kennel thru tomorrow. As Memorial Day is a holiday, I can't pick him up. The house seems very, very empty.

Jim has asked that I blog about the American Family Association's recent artilce on the "evils of comics". At this point, it's pretty clear Jimbo is baiting me, but that's all right. Look, if these AFA mouth-breathers want to whine about every bit of media that isn't equivalent to Seventh Heaven, there's not much I can do to help them. I just suggest they try to leave the rest of us alone who are trying to have a nice life.

I do love terms like "the gay agenda" that pop up in these sorts of publications. Last time I checked, the gay agenda involved not getting beat to death for your sexual preference, but apparently there's an insidious bit of gay-plotting afoot. Oh, those whiley gays! They'll have Ashcroft huffing cock in a chemise if we don't stop this trend!

The best part of the whole article comes at the end where the author chooses to rail against the character of Nightcrawler, a character depicted since the late 70's as a firm Catholic who will not allow the prejudice of others to sway him from his devotion to Christ. Nightcrawler, as recently seen in X2: X-Men United, has a demonic appearance, but that is supposed to be the irony of the character. The character of Nightcrawler even went so far as to join the seminary in the past few years of X-Men, but he recently, as part of his arc, had a moment of crisis. The author of the articvle takes this opportunity to attack Nightcrawler: Of course, the one religion to be openly disrespected is always Christianity. In a January, 2003, issue of Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men, the blue-skinned Nightcrawler is shown in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, railing against Jesus Christ. Interesting that Christ and Moses are allowed to have moments of doubt, but not anyone else. This author also COULD have pointed to this character as a shining example of Christianity over 20+ years of comics. X-Men has long been about tolerance, and this author showed how intolerant he and his readership are willing to be.

The AFA was also running banner-ads on their own site to "Stop the Persecution of Christians" within the US. I wonder what the hell these guys are talking about. Isn't the US more than 70% Christian, even if not necessarily church-going? Or is the AFA the keepers of what it means to be Christian? I suppose whenever someone disagrees with them, it must mean they're being persecuted... anyway...

Comics went thru this same attack in the 50's with the publication of Seduction of the Innocent. This led to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority, the decimation of EC Comics and a lot of talented people being censored into oblivion by people without imagination enough to try to understand the stories within comics. Today, the average age of comic readership is around 24. That's a more mature population than that watching Friends or anything not on CBS. These people do not need anyone acting as the Thought-Police. Comics creators, however, earn a fraction of what is earned in other media and the industry would have a difficult time withstanding a full-on assault by motivated folks seeking a new target.

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