Friday, June 18, 2004

Leaguers, I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't plug Free Comic Book Day.

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is an annual event held by many comic shops across the country, and supported by comic book publishers, both large and small. Essentially, it is what it sounds like... kind of.

The publishers select a few titles from among their imprint. Usually these items will be one from each of their various demographics. For example, DC might print up a free Justice League Adventures comic based upon the cartoon series for younger kids. Teenagers might get Superman or Batman. 17 and up might get a Vertigo book, like Y: The Last Man.

I think DC is actually doing a Teen Titans, Go! free comic. I hear the Go! comic is actually pretty good.

Anyway, the point is, as long as you take one of each, the comics are FREE. Now, with all the different publishers participating, it turns into an event where you can walk out the door with about 10-15 free comics. Not bad. That's about $25 - 45 dollars worth of stuff.

The idea, of course, is for retailers to also vacuum their store for once already, and put up some cool displays of items folks might want to buy. And in the two years they've done FCBD, many shops have done okay with it. There were so many people, the event sort of had a carnival like atmosphere where I went. Of course, both times I happened to be at Austin Books on Lamar in Austin, which is an amazing comic shop.

So keep FCBD in mind as something to do on Saturday in two weeks. Heck, it's on July 4th weekend (FCBD = July 3rd), so it's just something fun to do after you've seen Spider-Man 2 and aren't quite ready to go out and Bar BQ.

And, Maxwell... NYC has some of the best shops in the country, and may have signings from big-name talent as the big-name talent gravitates mostly toward NYC. Or used. If you see Pual Levitz, give him my name. I command you to go to Midtown Comics and see what's going down.

Thanks to Randy for reminding me to say something about this day, which I assume will soon become a National Holiday... like Christmas or Arbor Day.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The League does not speak Spanish.

Two years of public education Spanish and one day of college Spanish (I dropped out the first day as the teacher ONLY would speak in Spanish... and I had nooooo idea what was going on), and to this day, at best, I can read signs and occasionally make out some very basic Spanish if I read it.

I briefly began to learn Spanish in 1994 when I did not have cable and the only station I could tune in was Univision. My roommates and I became swept up in some Telenovella, and after a few days, you do begin to pick up on a few things. Not much, but some stuff. Somehow the female stars of Univision were keeping us from wanting to (a) turn off the TV, or (b) get English channels.

Alas, someone went and bought a coaxial cable, English-language TV returned to our life, and the dream of becoming bilingual came to an end.

I also took a semester and a half of Italian. I was flunking Italian part 2 and had to drop. So, my last refuge was Danish, which is pretty much just drunken English. I got through it with a C and a B.

I can now proposition someone in the filthiest manner, order someone to shove something up their ass, and order a cup of coffee. Aside from that, my Danish is now a distant memory.

But last night I was flipping channels, and on Galavision (apparently a subsidiary of Univision, but for our purposes, a Spanish language TV channel), I saw the coolest thing ever.

I have no idea which program I was watching, but the show was a multitude of actors, all in weird make-up, with strings tied to their heads, re-enacting Thunderbirds.

For those of you not in the know, Thunderbirds was a television program starring a cast of marrionettes who were kind of a crack action-adventure team. There was usually a nefarious plot by a mad scientist, and the Thunderbirds would have to get in their very cool vehicles and race to the rescue. The puppetry in the show was about as good as you're going to expect out of marrionettes, I guess. Their mouths moved, their eyes rolled, but the whole feel of the show was kind of slow and weird. And they also had no problem intersplicing in close-up shots of real hands if they needed to show any sort of manual activity, such as opening a can, or playing with a Rubik's cube or whatever.

The coolest thing about the Galavision version was that the characters were humans, but the actors and director had committed to the Thunderbirds style. All of the actors had learned the walk (a sort of slow, bouncing motion as you go from point A to point B), knew that you never turn your head (you turn your whole body), and to speak, you only move your lower lip in a quick flapping motion. Also key, but slightly more subtle, you MUST walk everywhere with your arms either straight at your side, or bent 90 degrees at the elbow.

I have no idea why I find this so fascinating, but the fact that they were willing to re-make Thunderbirds as a live-action TV show, including all details right up to the strings coming out of the actor's heads, is just not the sort of thing you get on English speaking TV too often.

Curiously, Thunderbirds is being turned into a live action film in english, and directed by Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes. I have no idea why this is being funded, or how it can benefit from becoming a live-action movie, versus puppets.

Producer: So then I thought we'd have Tom Cruise play John Tracy!
Screen Writer: Yeah, he's got a good voice.
Producer: Voice?
Screen Writer: Yeah. THis is Thunderbirds.
Producer: Right! And it's going to have Tom Cruise in it!
Screen Writer: As the voice of John Tracy? Sounds good.
Producer: What the hell are you talking about?
Screen Writer: Thunderbirds is a licensed property. It's a puppet show. This script is for a puppet show.
Producer: Nobody is going to pay to watch puppets for 90 f**king minutes. SHit! Who else knows about this Thunderbirds show?
Screen Writer: Well, it's been in syndication on and off since the 60's...
Producer: Shit! I just spent $200,000 optioning this f**king puppet show! I can't spend $80 million on a f**king 90 minute puppet show! I wanted f**king Tom Cruise!
Randy steps up to the plate with another Super Rumor.

Can the WB actually put out a movie which respects it's franchise characters? Can they actually learn a thing from the multi-billion dollar success of Spider-Man?

If Catwoman is any evidence... Probably not.

I hope the rumor is true. The sooner they just make the darn movie, the sooner the pain will end. Right now it's like waiting to get hospital tape taken off.
SUPER thanks go out to JimD who provided this link.

The much hoped for arrival of Lois Lane on Smallville is now a reality. WHOO-HOOOOO!!!

Let's hope they cast her well. She's not only a fave-rave of The League, but she's possibly one of the four or five most important comic book characters of all time.
In lieu of creating any actual content, I've been editing and adding stuff like hyperlinks.

Go ahead and browse my blogroll down left, see if I don't have anybody listed that I probably should, and note the increase in fun and affordable links to other sites.
Special thanks to , and for plugging The 2004 Mellies.

Also, thanks to Jamie and Jill for actually submitting nominations.

No thanks to Randy, who has now gone into a huff and refuses to send in any nominations.

He will be taunted relentlessly in these pages until I get a nomination.

Nonetheless, he did send this bit today. The world gets odder and odder.

Will W be famous for saying America has fallen into a mayonnaise?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I don't even know what to say.

This should be a terrifically funny story, but it's not. It's scary.

Read here about The Swarm.
Some links to help you waste a few precious minutes of your miserable existence:

Titanic (re-enacted by bunnies in 30 seconds). Thanks to Randy for the link.

Best (free) online video game, ever. Thanks to Jamie for the link. (this is sort of the video game equivalent of the average student film...)

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Introducing the "So Far, So What?" Awards


Leaguers, every year in late December or early January, better bloggers and publications than The League publish an end of the year re-cap of the year's entertainment, news, deaths, etc... It's usually done up in a "top five" or "top ten" list of the year. Or else just a "single best of the year" award for multiple categories.

Others publish stories on how stupid these lists are. Others publish relatiatory articles saying "nuh uh! It ain't stupid!" Too which, the first guy says "Oh, yeah it is!"

And it all ends in tears.

The truth is, everyone does much better lists than I'd ever compile, and since we're slightly more than half-way done with 2004, let's see where we're at.

The League is looking for submissions for "The 2004 Mellies."

Here's the rules for nominations:

1) All entries must contain a few words as to why your selection tops the category
2) No more than two selections per category per person.
3) Out of all entries, four will be selected for voting.
4) The nominated selections are selected by a complicated algorithm based upon number of repeat nominations and how funny the reasons are
5) Nominating ends June 30th.
6) Then we vote
7) We must submit a minimum of one nomination per category, or you may not nominate at all. Special Randy Rule: You may not complain that you don't know. Make something up if you have to.
8) Try to stick to things which were released or occurred since January 1, 2004. Try not to project into the future for things you have not yet seen or experienced.
9) Any reasons for any nominations you give may see print. Be sure you want your first name associated with your opinion before you start dropping the f-bomb all over the place.


1) Most loathsome celebrity (non-political)
2) Most loathsome television program
3) Most loathsome movie (theatrical release)
4) Most loathsome band/album/ song
5) Worst idea of the past 6 months
6) Best television commercial
7) Clearest, bluest day
8) Best candy
9) Least tragic event.
10) Worst blog topic at "League of Melbotis."
11) Best name for Jill's forthcoming child (sex is unknown. Submit one for each!)
12) Best item at Taco Bell
13) Most loathsome Democratic presidential nominee
14) Best book you read
15) Other blogs of wonder
16) Which former POTUS (President of the United States) do you know least about, but want to know more?

Sure, it's an unweildy list of categories, but I know you guys are up to it. Submit your nominations to me via e-mail. In early July, I'll post the voting and we can get cracking.

Sadly, there are no prizes for anybody this go round. Prizes are a huge hassle.

Monday, June 14, 2004


New Leaguers may not be familiar with what was once a staple of The League, and that's Toys That Should Not Be. TTSNB relies strongly on the adult collector market for toys, and is usually much more prevalent during Comic Convention Season as the toys are unveiled.

Now the problem I've had with TTSNB is that pretty much anything MacFarlane TOys puts out these days falls into this category. MacFarlane went from creating action toys of the popular Image Comics characters such as Spawn and... uh... I'm sure they've had other popular characters. But then they started this licensing jazz where they did very nice sculpts of movie properties, such as Hellraiser. And then they got bored as too few licenses were available or something, and they've moved into either public domain territory (ie: their horrific Wizard of Oz figures), and now into actual horror stories. Oh, and sports stars. They have a cool Yao figure I saw, but you have to assemble him as he's literally too tall for the packaging.

Which brings us to the curious case of the Elizabeth Bathory action figure. For those of you not in the know, Elizabeth Bathory was an Eastern European aristocrat who decided the best way to preserve her beauty was by bathing in a bathtub of the blood of young women (I'm not sure if they had to be virgins or not). At any rate, it is, in fact, a true story. And I kind of want to barf just thinking about it.

But MacFarlane toys not only thinks this is a neat story, they think you need this on the shelf next to your Chewbacca.

TTSNB proudly presents (oh, this is rated R, so scram out of here, you hooligans) the Elizabeth Bathory Action Figure and play set.

You can also see more real life horrors turned to action figures here. Note the "accessory pack". And the "Billy the Kid" action figure, while looking NOTHING like photos of the real deal, is one hell of a cool looking figure.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

bored to my toes, I blogged quite a bit over the weekend. Please inundate yourself with my boring reflections.

My abs hurt. Seriously. The gym is slowly killing me. I don't think my abs have hurt in years.

I am Ryan's abs.
Jim D., quite rightly, accuses me of relishing in schadenfreude in his un-review of Garfield: The Movie.

It's not that I like to see bad things happen to good people. It's that I enjoy seeing unfortunate things happen to people I like, especially when all that's at stake is cost of a ticket and the loss of two hours. It reminds me that it isn't just me.

Anyway, regarding Garfield...

I welcome Loyal Leaguers to read past my inane ramblings on pop-phraseology and get to the meat as Randy Reviews Garfield: The Movie. From what I hear, despite some bleeding from her tear ducts during the viewing of Garfield: The Movie, Emily is in stable condition and able to take visitors.
I humble myself before Maxwell who has more than fulfilled her end of the bargain and finally filled us all in as to what the big mystery was, but also because of mud pies and art.

God bless us, everyone.

I heard a bastardization somewhere today of the bling-bling. It was referred to as "the ching-ching." The vultures are already making off with the rancid parts, and I never saw the hyenas.