Friday, May 25, 2007


hey, Leaguers!

I was just checking the summer movie schedule at The Paramount (and, seriously, it's like someone asked me exactly what movies I might want to see on the big screen...)

July 14th and 15th "Superman: The Movie" will be showing at the Paramount!

I'm thinking I'll take in the July 14th, 3:00 PM showing. Anyone who wants to come, we should form some sort of expedition! (This means you, JimD).

For the totally great summer line up, click here.

Oh, and next Sunday I will try to see "The Big Sleep". Because (a) it's a great movie, and (b) because it's Lauren Bacall at her foxiest.

Then, on the 12th and 13th I'm heading down to see the two Thin Man movies, schedules permitting.

Ghost Chimp MD

I can only point you to this... and you're either going to like it or not.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


There's been some buzz about Star Wars' 30th anniversary lately. So now's as good a time to talk about it as any.

Like probably millions of other American kids, my childhood is intrinsically mixed up with the Star Wars franchise. There's no beginning of my memory of childhood that is really separated from my first memories of Star Wars. My earliest memories include falling down some carpeted stairs at an apartment complex where we briefly lived and a matinee showing if Star Wars that The Admiral took me to when I was two (during which the @#$%ing Tusken Raiders scared the living @#$% out of me). I have a fragment of a memory of staring wide-eyed as the Death Star exploded into a million, billion sparks (back before that odd pressure wave was added to the effect). Others have suggested that, no, I did not see the movie in the theater until some re-release. I confirm that I saw the movie during it's initial release.

By the time i was three, the bedroom I shared with Jason had one wall covered in wallpaper featuring photos of the Star Wars characters, as did bedspreads and books scattered around. Every Christmas and birthday meant the arrival of a landspeeder, or X-Wing or one of those little 12"x18" playsets for the Star Wars gang to hang out.

@#$% YEAH!!!

The kids will be amazed to hear this, but we couldn't go and rent a movie six months after its release, and so you didn't sit down and watch the movie whenever you liked. We had the kid's Star Wars storybook that we'd page through and look at the pictures and figure out the words, and wonder why this scene featuring this guy "Biggs" telling Luke to leave Tatooine was in the book, but nobody remembered seeing it in the movie. So Star Wars was there while I was learning to read.

When we played outside, we had Han's blaster, and a Stormtrooper blaster (they weren't "guns" when you were playing Star Wars. They had to be "blasters".) And one Halloween I was Han Solo, Jason a Jawa, the kid down the street was Luke, and his little sister... an adorable panda bear.

It was unlikely you hadn't seen Star Wars, but if you hadn't, then you were either not born in the US or were, literally, a girl. Usually it meant you were a girl whose mom didn't think girls needed to see movies about space cowboys and samurai in order to be a proper young lady. And whose dad had probably gone to go see the damn movie, himself, anyway.

But Star Wars also gave us ideas about girls, or at least Princess Leia made us believe that girls were supposed to carry blasters, and that their whiplash insults were really just a prelude to smooches we'd get in the engineering bay of the star cruiser we'd eventually win in a hand of cards.

And, poor Carrie Fischer, will always be seen in the mind's eye of a generation of Americans as the girl who launched a thousand hormones when Lucas put her in a metal bikini and made her sit next to Salacious Crumb. (Of course we just as quickly learned that sexiness doesn't equate to helplessness when Leia took Jabba out with the very tools of her imprisonment. So there.)

Most certainly a dame in the media the league once dug

And was there anyone better to teach us that dads can make mistakes, too, than Darth Vader? or Palpatine to teach you that putting a bottomless pit in your living room in an architectural bit of hubris you might not want to consider?

And Yoda taught is it is not the size of the person who matters... not when you really want to move that X-Wing. For years The Admiral would quote to me from Yoda, either fancying himself to be a wizened Jedi Master or knowing that I was far, far more likely to buy the words of Yoda than whatever other advice he might give me. "There is no try..." was oft quoted in the halls of Steans Manor.

It's sad to dwell on the eventual limping fate of the series, but especially with the first two movies... We were kids who still grew up with fantasy lands full of dragons and giants. But we were also kids who had robots and slug gangsters and giant, mechanical quadrupedal death machines to fill our fantasy worlds. Mystic knights of virtue (as well as their brethren who'd gone wrong and needed redemption) populated our consciousness, and, hell... my 4th grade teacher used both Episode IV and Episodes IV-VI to illustrate the Aristotelian three-act structure as well as the various literary themes of Man vs. X.

I have no idea what kids today have latched on to. Power Rangers or Yu-Gi-Oh or something, I guess. But it was a smaller world, and pondering this other universe was something we all had in common.

That's it. I'm not editing this thing.

You guys chat about Star Wars amongst yourselves.

Batman is crazy

I confess...

I am still not sure I got Frank Miller's "All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder". At least not until issue 5, which came out last week. And I'm still not sure I get it.

But Miller's decision between "Batman: Year One" and "Dark Knight Strikes Again" to portray the Justice League as a bunch of maniacs is sort of interesting, even when you feel like the comic is mostly out of control. And, no, I don't think Jim Lee is the right choice to draw the book. Except when he is. But I still sort of wish Miller had drawn this page himself.

Click on the pic to see the page full sized.

Anyway, for some reason I went from "?" to "...really?" on this book last week.

Because somehow the Justice League all being a bunch of nutjobs is a good idea, even if it doesn't work in Earth-1 continuity. It's sort of like getting in a car with a bunch of guys you don't really know very well and driving around at 100 mph on dirt roads. It's probably a terrible idea, and you start out kind of freaked out, but after a while, you either start laughing with everyone else or just make yourself miserable.

Like it or not, comics needs Frank Miller's Batman.


It's been an odd couple of days.

Today Doug and Kristen will be here to visit Jamie and me. I think we're also soft-selling them on Austin, but I'm not sure that's still the plan.

For the past two days Matt Mangum has been staying with us. He's waiting for his new condo to be finished, and is trying not to wear out his welcome with his girlfriend's roommate/ landlord. It's nice to have Matty around, but it also puts a huge, glaring spotlight on the odd behavior Jamie and I have come to expect as normal. Example: Last night I had to complete bagging, board, sorting and inventorying five months worth of comics, plus back issues.

This was in order to get the house "tidied" for Doug and Kristen who probably don't care, but I wanted to do it, anyway. Anyhow, that sort of procedure is usually something that I do on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, or when nobody is looking. So it was an odd feeling to let my creepy, obsessive side out in the open.

I have no idea what Matt is going to do with himself while Doug and Kristen are here. We do have an inflatable mattress, so it might involve that.

Also, my Uncle had some health issues over the weekend, so I've been worrying about him a lot. Especially as the folks are out of the country (they're touring Italy). So for about 24 hours I thought that maybe I'd be flying into Dulles to go see him in the hospital. The good news is that he's out of the hospital, doing okay and has a plan for treatment. He just managed to give us and Aunt Linda a nasty scare.

We're pullin' for you, Bobbo. Stay healthy.

Anyhow, that's about it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Harvey Dent and Answering Questions

Hey, Leaguers.

Would you vote for Harvey Dent for DA? If this means anything to you, I'd click on the link and then let the image roll over.

The weekend was very busy as weekends tend to be when one is employed. Friday was dinner and margaritas with Matt and Nicole. Saturday was Spider-Man 3 with the Shaws. And Saturday night I began Wii Quest '07. There are no Wii's for sale in South Austin.

Sunday we did some serious yard work, I hung my flag for Memorial Day, and then crashed for a bit. We wound up at Nicole's house for dinner with the Garcia's. It seems Letty is now sporting dual French/US citzenship. So Letty is now one of us Amerikaners. God help her.

And that was it. Busy weekend. I ot four months worth of comics bagged and boarded, but not sorted and entered into the database (that has top happen sooner or later this week). Matt might be staying at our house in the evenings as he sorts out his condo/living situation.

And that's about it.

I am amazed at all of the traffic from my short post asking for questions.

1) Que tegusta hacer cuando jugar con unicornes?

I like to take them in the tub.

2) What's wrong with your stats? An average of 244 visitors/day not enough for you?

The high number is deceptive. It's literally a 95+% looking for pictures. Mostly of naked Supergirl. (Hello Google pre-verts!)

3) Why do you worry so much about how many people are reading your site?

I don't worry about how many people are reading. I worry about people returning. And participating. Or just saying "hi".

4) It all comes down to: do you enjoy it?

Sometimes. Most of the time. But sometimes not.

5) I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new CBS show, Kid Nation.

I think it's a concept that should have been explored with Survivor, but instead they turned Survivor into Double Dare.

6) The bit about the girl who I couldn't date because she was really into mountain biking....

I know it was confusing, but Jamie + mountain biking = unlikely.

No, that was a my analogy for my former, short lived job. We had very different ideas regarding what I would be doing for a living.

7) I think the RSS stuff has worked itself out.

8) If the only people that read are your Loyal Leaguers and a few randoms that stumble across it, does that make it less fun?

I guess I would compare hosting this blog to, oh, say... dinner theater. It's kind of hacky and dumb, but people show up, if just for the spaghetti. But I'm sort of flying solo up here on the creaky stage, trying to put on a performance every evening. I don't know how many of you have been in a play, but when you're in a show, you can't see the audience. All you can see are the lights. And that's sort of what it's like running this joint. I have no idea who is out there, if I know the people, what sort of people they are. Sure, a few friends said they'd show up, but I can't see them and I don't know where they are.

And every once in a while there's a stretch where the audience doesn't give you so much as a polite cough to let you know they're out there. You think you can kind of see the outline of a few heads, but you finish a big show-stopper, and all you can hear is yourself breathing a bit too hard. Or else you can hear someone in the audience arguing with the wait staff.

That's not to say I'm seeking applause, but as I often say, it's the Leaguers who make it all worthwhile. And sometimes when you've gone for a stretch and you have no idea if anyone is even showing up (or else the place is being flooded with senior citizens for the Tuesday Night $2.00 special, who aren't going to watch the show, anyway), you sort of want to say, "Okay, let's not run the show tonight."

And, anyway... Blogging takes time. And it's work, even when it's fun.

So, yeah, sometimes you want to take a look out form behind the curtain to see how many are in the house before you bother to get into costume.

9) Maybe you should have guest host, like they do occasionally on the Late Show or Tonight Show. So you start to feel burned out...turn it over to Stephen Harms for a week. Or Randy or Jim D.

I dunno. It's sort of a personal journal. That's a bit like letting your borther fill in your diary because you're out of town for a few days.

So, anyway, I hope this answers some questions.

Hope everyone is doing well.

From All Star Superman, which you should be reading...

Sorry for no Monday post. It's late and I had Comic Fodder work to do.

Hope your weekend was good.