Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Austin Books, Terminator, Job, Werewolves, Superman and Batman

Special Thanks to Brad @ Austin Books

Service, Leaguers.

It's not something you expect in this day and age of dead-end call centers and box-store "it's against our policy" wage-slave assistant managers (screw you, Target).

Anyway, a while back I mentioned to Brad at Austin Books that I'd like a copy of the Middleman collection, as Jamie and I were both fans of the TV show. Brad knew it was sold out in the store, and double-checked to find that it was also out at the distributor. Alas. What's a comic geek to do?

I should mention, I looked elsewhere online afterward, and it was sold out. Everywhere.

Today I got an e-mail from Brad. I don't know how he did it, but he landed a copy for me and Jamie.

Once again, the hat is off to Austin Books.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

I'm still watching the Terminator TV show. It's still one of the better things on TV.

As per other shows like "Battlestar Galactica", mixing the episodic with the serial and an adult's perspective has led to a far more engaging, character driven show than, say, the original Knight Rider.

Shirley Manson (the singer from Garbage) is now on the show as a Terminator, and she's increasingly creepy. For someone without an extensive acting resume, she's impressing me.

In general, the whole show feels very well thought out. They haven't perfected the issues with time travel (which would drive JimD mad), and its occasionally a somewhat hopeless experience as, unlike T2, they're not trying to stop the future from happening, they've sort of accepted its an inevitability, so its much more about just surviving until they pass some certain point in the timeline when the Terminators won't be coming for John Connor.

The Job

A few people have asked what I'm doing for a living. I'm working for these guys as a program coordinator. It's not exactly too technical to explain, but I won't bore you with details.

It's a pretty cool project, and I feel lucky to have found something like this. Still getting my head around all the moving parts, and I have a LOT of people to meet and get to know across the great state of Texas, so the ramp-up is going to be interesting.

The Howling

Jason already mentioned we watched this movie over at his blog, but I also dug it. Sure, the FX are about what you'd expect for a 70's horror flick, but the story was surprisingly engaging and the movie well directed (story by John Sayles and directed by Joe Dante, so go figure).

It's always interesting to see a movie that you can point to as a start of a trend in genre, no matter how niche that genre might be, and even if modern creators aren't aware that's where the trend began. But... anyway...

Some Superman and Batman Stuff

Batsignal humor

A nice cartoon about why Superman is a bad fit for a Batman movie

Thanks to Randy for both.

With the Morrison/ Quitely All Star Superman wrapped, Grant Morrison does a multipart interview with Newsarama.

Here's part 1

I'm going to quote liberally here, so go to Newsarama and click on a bunch of ads so they don't sue me.

But, anyway, I see a lot of why my vision of Superman jives so well with Morrison's (and keep in mind, we both love Batman, too). There's also a bit of a spoiler, but... oh, well...

I immersed myself in Superman and I tried to find in all of these very diverse approaches the essential “Superman–ness” that powered the engine. I then extracted, purified and refined that essence and drained it into All Star’s tank, recreating characters as my own dream versions, without the baggage of strict continuity.

In the end, I saw Superman not as a superhero or even a science fiction character, but as a story of Everyman. We’re all Superman in our own adventures. We have our own Fortresses of Solitude we retreat to, with our own special collections of valued stuff, our own super–pets, our own “Bottle Cities” that we feel guilty for neglecting. We have our own peers and rivals and bizarre emotional or moral tangles to deal with.

I felt I’d really grasped the concept when I saw him as Everyman, or rather as the dreamself of Everyman. That “S” is the radiant emblem of divinity we reveal when we rip off our stuffy shirts, our social masks, our neuroses, our constructed selves, and become who we truly are.

Batman is obviously much cooler, but that’s because he’s a very energetic and adolescent fantasy character: a handsome billionaire playboy in black leather with a butler at this beck and call, better cars and gadgetry than James Bond, a horde of fetish femme fatales baying around his heels and no boss. That guy’s Superman day and night.

Superman grew up baling hay on a farm. He goes to work, for a boss, in an office. He pines after a hard–working gal. Only when he tears off his shirt does that heroic, ideal inner self come to life. That’s actually a much more adult fantasy than the one Batman’s peddling but it also makes Superman a little harder to sell. He’s much more of a working class superhero, which is why we ended the whole book with the image of a laboring Superman.

He’s Everyman operating on a sci–fi Paul Bunyan scale. His worries and emotional problems are the same as ours... except that when he falls out with his girlfriend, the world trembles.

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