Friday, September 17, 2004

here's something fun for people who love both Crayola Crayons and Spider-Man.

Spider-Man reviews a new box of Crayola's.
It's babies 'a poppin' here at The League these days.

First, Jill sprouted hard-rockin' baby, Arden. Then League pals, Ryan & Trisha, dropped Isaac upon an unsuspecting world. Now college pal, Anna (Mitchell) Clark and her husband, Luke, have brought us our latest installment. Theodore Robin is now proudly wreaking havoc in the greater Conroe, TX area.

Well done, Anna! And let's all give little TR a big "welcome to the world" thumbs up. The little dude has a lot of work ahead of him and needs some encouragement.

I also hear that another Loyal Leaguer may soon be a soccer-Dad, but that's a lot of heresay and innuendo.

The League has no children, and does not believe Melbotis would tolerate them, anyway. Mel tried to eat a kid a few years ago on Halloween, so we're going to keep cool on the kid front down at League HQ. Until Mel is ready, it's just not up for discussion.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Marvel Zombie (and, coincidentally, fan of zombie comics) Jim D. called me yesterday to alert me that he had, in fact, enjoyed Identity Crisis #4.

Identity Crisis is the DC Comic which is getting attention from CNN, AP and other locations. And, yeah, for some rather grim content, it's a pretty darn good read.

"Steeeeeeeans!" Jim D. declared, "You gotta read it!"
"I'm at work."
"You gotta read it now!"
"I'm about to enter into a phone conference with China."
"You gotta read it. Supes is totally getting into it!"

Now, Jim's a fan of Marvel, which is the rival to DC Comics. And comic fans are prone to select a house style they like (DC or Marvel) and that's their camp. I ride both sides of the fence, but when push comes to shove, I guess I fall into the DC camp. Couldn't tell you why, but I do.

But even Jim himself finds it significant that he's enjoying a DC book this much, when he'd rather be spending his hard-earned dough on Captain America or X-men, Spidey, I suppose (or a comic starring the living dead).

I often think of DC as an acquired taste, but I don't mean that in a snooty "it's what REAL comic readers read...". I just mean that either you dig DC, or you don't. And very few people actually begin reading comics anymore through DC. Most folks start with X-men or Spider-Man and then branch out.

DC, to me, wears a certain complexity to how their books interconnect which I find rewarding. Marvel is more complex on the character level, I am told, and books like Daredevil have really given credence to the stereotype. In fact, I don't know how many DC books I would even throw at a first-time comic book reader.

I did blaze through Identity Crisis #4 while I listened to the teleconference (which I didn't even need to be there for). And Jim is right. It was a great read, and Superman is, in fact, getting into the thick of things.

Identity Crisis is progressing well, and is going to be a significant event in DC comics for quite a while. Meanwhile, Greg Rucka is also writing soem terrifc Superman comics over in Adventures of Superman, Chuck Austen is spiralling out of control and quality in Action Comics, and the Azzarello/ Lee team still has me captivated by "For Tomorrow", a 12-part series running monthly in Superman comics.

Meanwhile, Loyal Leaguer Nathan Cone (and his lovely wife, Renata), have arrived. We had a nice dinner and then retired to League HQ to get some bedrest. Mrs. League immediately took them into the Fortress to show off what too much money and too little brains can accomplish when coupled with OCD.

Today Nathan and Renata are going to check out some Frank Lloyd Wright stuff about town, and then take in a D-Backs game.

Mel is also thoroughly excited to have them here (though they were previously unacquainted), and he has not been shy about displaying his affection.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hello Leaguers - Mrs. League here. I feel as though I should entertain you while the League is a busy bee at work. Unfortunately, nothing too thrilling has happened recently in beautiful Maricopa county. We're still in the middle of summer2 (our seasons here are spring, summer1, summer2, and fall) which after four months of 100+ heat makes you want to lie down and give up. Seriously, it will be in the 100s for at least another month.

We haven't even seen any movies recently, although the League is eagerly awaiting the release of Funkey Monkey. I personally thought he would rather see the flying robots, but I guess primates + Matthew Modine win every time.

I guess we haven't had a Melbotis or Jeff the Cat update recently. Melbotis had a bath on Sunday, and proceeded to make a beeline for his beloved dirt patch the second he was released to freedom in the backyard. For this, he got the hose, which is high on his list of Mel-fears. (This includes smoke detectors, flashlights, vacuums, and small children.) Jeff the Cat has been unnervingly normal recently, which leads me to believe he is plotting something...

And I leave you with the best job in the world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Here's Adam Strange and the Omega Men.

Monday, September 13, 2004

In defense of my mom, she no longer wears a fanny pack. It has been replaced by a fashionable leather purse.

--Mrs. League
Two quick news items:

Batman remains in greater England, this time appearing at Buckingham Palace.

Ever notice how you never see Batman and Prince Charles in the same place...?

And, just in case you saw the photos and you're wondering, I believe Batman has given up his utility belt for a fanny pack. My mother-in-law is in good company.

And this one comes from Mrs. League:

Apparently there's a new consumer grade truck. No, not a pick-up, a TRUCK, like they use to mix cement or carry mobile homes. Now you can have one of your very own...

Says Mrs. League:

"For personal use, it's for people who want to make a

Statement = I'm an a**hole.

I don't know if the folks where you live have the same excitement over Hummers that the good people of Scottsdale, AZ have for these symbols of over-compensation, but there are a surprising number of these things on the road out here. Apparently owning a hummer entitles you to ignore all previously established traffic laws and create your own on the fly. If others don't go along with your new rules? Penalty of death or crippling injury. Luckily, since most of them are painted a Sesame Street-approved canary yellow, you can always see them on the road.
Bring on The Batman

Saturday saw the debut of the new WB! cartoon for kids, The Batman.

If I were a kid, that cartoon would have had me hopping about madly, tossing anything resembling a batarang around the house for hours. Not being a kid, there was substantially less hopping, but it pretty much had the same effect.

Here's the weird part... that isn't so much really Batman as I've known him for 27-28 years. This is formative Batman, chronologically 3 years into being Batman, a few months from meeting Dick Grayson (Robin 1) Batman. But this Batman doesn't reside in stately Wayne Manor. Instead, this Batman lives in a sweet loft/ warehouse-thing in the middle of Gotham (and on top of a cave?).

Logistically, I guess this makes more sense. And at one point in the late 70's or early 80's, Batman lived in a penthouse overlooking Gotham. So I guess you can say they borrowed that idea, or else decided Batman doesn't need no stinking commute.

The supporting cast is the strangest part. Sure, Alfred is still there. But Bullock, Gordon, Montoya, Cris are all MIA. Instead, we have sort of analogs to those characters with different names. I have no idea why they bothered to do that, or why they cut out Gordon altogether.

The animation is nice, with quick, well-choreographed action. The voice casting is done well, even if I miss Kevin Conroy as Batman (he's been the voice of Batman since about 1992). The voice of The Joker is well-done as well, but it's so close to Mark Hamill's depiction, I kind of wondered why they hired a new guy.

Apparently the show will have embedded signals in it which will activate your Bat-Wave ready Batman toys, or, possibly, shut down Uncle Fester's pace maker. Either way, it should liven up the cartoon hour. (Something about the TV turning on devices in my home creeps the hell out of me).

All that said, I loved this week's JLU episode with 80's DC superstar Booster Gold.

The team putting together JLU has walked away from the two-part Grant Morrison-wannabe epics, added more characters than Gardner Fox would have wanted to deal with, and taken the tone up a few notches in levity. I think the results are impressive (except for Hawk and Dove, which was kind of lame). Sure, each episode is focusing on introducing us to a new DC hero, but prior episodes were just introducing us to new DCU villains, so I'll take this format any day.

JLU is not going to be for the folks who want every super hero to be a dark and brooding Batman or Wolverine clone. That isn't, and never has been, the DC way. DC agrees that it takes a certain kind of weirdo to dress up in tights and fight crime, just not necessarily a depressing weirdo. Sometimes these weirdoes are people from the future trying to make a quick buck in the past, such as Booster Gold.

I encourage you to catch the episode if you haven't already. It also has appearances by Elongated Man (Ralph Dibney), Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., The Shining Knight, Huntress, and a few others. It was a lot of fun.

Oh, and I also heartily recommend the new cartoon "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends". It's by the same guy who created the Power Puff girls.
Loyal Leaguer Nathan Cone and his lovely wife, Renata, will be ditching San Antonio for the Grand Canyon State later this week. Jamie and I have scrubbed and cleaned Melbotis in eager anticipation.

Watched UT win last night in spite of themselves. If last night's performance was any indication, I can't watch the Oklahoma game at all. Not without without wearing a bag over my head.

Watched the Cowboys and Cardinals lose today while I was doing other things. Did some homework, and aside from that, not much this weekend. Did some homework. Bleah.

Oh, and the Krypton Kruiser is in the shop. This should make tomorrow's commute a real joy. Hopefully it'll be healthy again early this week.