Saturday, July 11, 2009

io9 article on Superman

I really didn't want to click the link on this story at io9 (Sigmund had also sent me the link. Thanks, Sig! And happy belated b-day!).

But I'll tell you why I liked the article.

A) This person seems to have actually read the Superman comics and have a working knowledge of Superman's history, which many writers seem to find surprisingly irrelevant when discussing The Man of Steel.

B) The author recognizes that as a fictional character with a lengthy history, Superman is not completely doomed to actually be whatever the latest incarnation appeared to be in feature films, on TV, etc...

C) He actually calls out these stewards of the property, more or less, on a lack of vision. (I'd go so far as to suggest that to live the life of a movie studio chairman, you're probably also so far from knowing what an honest to goodness decent person looks like anymore, the idea of Superman would seem quaint, alien and freakish.)

D) He points out how Batman worked with the culture at key particular points that may or may not have had much to do with the character himself (I'd argue that we didn't really see anything resembling what/ who I consider to be Batman on film until "Batman Begins", and that Nolan sealed it up with "Dark Knight". Also, Batpods are awesome.).

E) The author understands that there's a difference between a bad idea and bad execution. Superman III and IV (and these days its hip to say Superman returns was awful, but I'll still go to the mat for that movie compared to 75% of Marvel's output) were terrible movies who slipped into camp when the largely straight reading of Superman I was what made it a classic.

I love the character of Batman, so I find it ridonkulous that folks feel like they have to take up sides, like they're picking a sports franchise to back. There's room for all the big guns.

I haven't addressed the legal issues between the Siegels and Warner Bros., because, frankly, I don't understand much of any of it, and I'm sort of cheering for both sides to win. I'd love to see the Siegel and Shuster estates receive their due, but find a way to negotiate with WB, who truly have done an amazing job of keeping a pulp character alive in a completely unequaled way for 70+ years. (How many kids do you see wearing Doc Savage, Buck Rogers or The Shadow t-shirts on college campuses?).

The Adventure Begins...

twenty seconds before the guitar twanging started up and Randy had a whole mess of trouble on his tail

I have no idea what is happening here, but when JimD sends you a pic of the General Lee and Randy with a glint of danger in his eye, well... adventure is afoot, Leaguers.

it all started innocently enough with this young lady who is NOT Mrs. RHPT.

Do not worry. The guiding spirit of Willie is there to lead them through.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Green Lantern Movie

It sounds like the Green Lantern movie is sort of moving ahead.

Randy and I had exchanged some e-mails today as rumors were abounding that Justin Timberlake had screen-tested for the Green Lantern movie. Massacremike discusses here.

WB has not gone with the Mother Lover.

Instead, they've decided to go with Mr. Johannson himself, Ryan Reynolds. Marrying Scarlett Johannson, getting a role in Wolverine that could spin out into a franchise (Deadpool. FYI.), and now getting the role of Hal Jordan? 2009 is working out well for this dude.

Here's the article at Variety, which sort of makes it official. (Thanks for the article, Randy!)

Is Ryan Reynold's my first choice? No. Is he much better than what could have happened? Absolutely.

I do think an early-career Hal Jordan should NOT be an everyman. After all, he's a test pilot, is selected by the Guardians because of his willpower, is one of the few Lanterns to challenge the Guardians, and is generally considered to be a bit pushy and a loose cannon, by GL standards. And I think Reynolds can do that.

Now, the question is: Who will they cast as Sinestro, Abin Sur and others? And how many characters will be entirely CG? How do you portray Tomar-Re? (Please do not let them make Kilowog some moron in a rubber suit, a la Chiklis as the The Thing).

The script is supposed to be by a couple of TV and comic writers. if you've watched Elias Stone or have been reading Spider-Man lately, you've probably read Guggenheim's work.

Anyhow, its a wait and see game now, as per whether or not this thing will be any good. I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rollerderby flick, Wednesday Comics, Vaycay, Facebook Fans, Dance Show, Wolfman

Rollerderby on the Silver Screen

So League-Pal, Shauna C., has a movie scheduled to arrive in October. Shauna wrote the original novel "Derby Girl", and the screenplay for 'Whip It!". The cast on the movie is sort of amazing, with folks like Ellen Page and Marcia Gay Harden signed on.

I should also point out that my current favorite of the SNL cast, Kristen Wiig, plays a major role as Maggie Mayhem. Maggie Mayhem was, not coincidentally, Shauna's nom-de-derby when she wore her quad-skates. Alas, I think Shauna was pregnant when the movie was being shot, so don't expect to see her on skates in a cameo.

Story in USA Today.

Here's an article/ images at slashfilm about the feature.

I sincerely hope The Alamo has the foresight to team up with TXRD to make an event out of the film's Austin debut.

It all makes me miss AZRD's Surly Girlies.

Wednesday Comics

I was looking forward to DC's newest venture, Wednesday Comics, for quite some time. Not only did the comic not disappoint, but it surpassed my elevated expectations.

Generally I shudder at the idea of the art winding up as the focus of a comics from American superhero comics, as this tends to lead to temporary fan-favorite artists relating tedious stories while pouring their all into work that simply doesn't deserve it (see Image comics circa 1994 - ignoring The Maxx, which was actually sort of interesting).

Wednesday Comics managed to avoid becoming an exercise in artistic overindulgence. I'll attribute the success to a limited scope and story, told one page per week over 12 weeks, which tends to make one use the economy of haiku. Some pages were written and drawn by the same person, most were not. By and large, the writers were wise in their limited use of narration and dialog, and got out of the way so that art, page layout, etc... could tell the tale.

The format, by the way, is a full newspaper-sized page, printed on newsprint, suggesting that the comic in an oddly temporary thing. In a writer-driven environment that the superhero market has become, its great to see the craft of the comic page take over and be celebrated for itself. While I deeply enjoy the gestalt of something like Rucka/ Williams III on Detective, and would love to see Williams III get a chance to play in such a massive environment (I have the Promethea posters, but Jamie has not allocated space for them), there's something unique about this project that people will be discussing for a while.

There's an oversized "Little Nemo" book I've always wanted that collects Winsor McCay's sprawling, page wide cartooning, which was quite the deal about 80 years ago. That sort of cartooning has become a lost artform. Here's a sample at Google books.

As much as I love my pamphlet comics, its always fun when something new/old comes along/returns to shake things up.

If You're Going to San Francisco

you may just run into Jamie and myself, July 15-19. We're going out to visit The Doug and K. and get into an exciting car chase. So expect The League to go dark for a few days next week.

Also, if you have suggestion for activities (not just places to eat), let me know.

They tell me I am not allowed to saddle a sea lion and ride it around the bay. I say they just lack imagination and the right hat.

To prepare, I sort of want to watch Bullit and Vertigo. What's another San Fran/ Berkeley-based movie I should catch? (I just watched Milk, so that's kind of out...)

Be a Fan (at least on Facebook)!

So, I've updated the left menu bar of the site proper to include a Facebook badge that will alert you to some of our "fans" and make it easy to become a "fan" of LoM on Facebook.

If you haven't joined Facebook, well, get with the program. But if you are on Facebook, and haven't become a Facebook Fan, now is the time.

I've set up the Fan Page so you can set up your own discussions, load your own content, etc... You will also receive LoM messages via Facebook, be it a status update or a special Facebook update. You'd also get posts sent straight to facebook, so if you're already in there...

The Hard Sell on this is coming from my desire to secure a unique Facebook user name, which I can't do until I have 100 "fans". So why not go ahead and become a Fan?

So. You Think You Can Dance.

I always wonder what these gameshows would be like if anyone displayed legitimate cynicism. Not Simon Cowell's manufactured jerkiness and disregard for humanity, but sort of suggested that maybe the whole enterprise were a waste of time.

However, the fans of these programs follow them with religious fervor. Even if they can admit that "judge" Mary Murphy is a ridiculous, mindless air raid siren of a human being, they can forgive it in order to see the dancing happen.

It seems so obvious. How did we not put dancing on TV before?

While I'd never watch the show on my own (despite host Cat Deeley, who is a pretty good idea), at least the contestants are on their way to professional status. It's less likely that the votes will have an oddball result based upon things that won't translate well in the actual industry (see: Taylor Kicks and American Idol).

Anyhow, I've been watching this show again, like it or not, and so if you want to talk "So You Think You Can Dance?", I'm your huckleberry.


When the hell is that Benicio Del Toro Wolfman movie coming out? Isn't dumping it into November sort of a bad sign?

I had hopes, but Joe Johnston as director always sounded very iffy.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Taking the Night Off

I'm going to read tonight. Have a lovely evening.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Superman on a Boat, Wednesday Comics, Elvira at the Alamo, etc...

Working on some e-mail interviews for upcoming projects by Loyal Leaguers. More to come on that. In the interim, here's some other stuff.

Superfans: On a Boat?

Apparently someone is putting together a cruise for Superman Fans. A Cruise. I don't even know what to make of this.

Should The League be on a cruise with with other superfans? What would that be like? I can scarcely begin to guess.

Here's the promotional website.

From the Superman Homepage.

Sadly, a cruise is probably out of the question, anyway. Jamie can't do a cruise, so it's unlikely I would abandon her for several days of fun and super-snorkeling, etc... without her to go hangout with complete strangers. Even if they could land Noel Neill for the cruise.

I also have some questions about whether or not a cruise is the right way to express our Super-fandom. I'd think maybe something a bit more selfless would be a good way to stand up for Truth, Justice and the American Way (although taking a cruise in the name of a fictional hero does seem terribly American).

It's all very strange. Then again, I've never been on a cruise.

Wednesday Comics

This week sees the debut of DC's project "Wednesday Comics". If its been a while since you stepped foot in a comic shop, this would be a great week to do so. For a mere $3.99, you can get a tabloid-sized comic featuring the best and brightest in the genre/ industry.

I think Busiek is on GL. Stuff like that.

This week also sees a new issue of Superman: New Krypton and the fist official issue of the Green Lantern Mega-Event, "Blackest Night".

My nerd radar is going crazy.

USA Today is running the Superman section of Wednesday Comics online. View it here. (Flash is required)

A little forewarning: I'm kind of suspecting that these strips are more about the art than the content in some cases.

Rumble (by Ross)

Art for the upcoming Absolute Edition of the Jim Krueger/ Alex Ross comic "Justice".

I've been waiting something like four years for this Absolute Edition.

click for big screen awesomeness

Post from the DCU blog
with info on the book.

Elvira in Austin

So.... DITMTLOD, Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, will be at the Alamo in July.

I need your help. You all know I adore The Mistress of the Dark, but I don't see myself getting to both Elvira screenings.

Should I go to see Elvira on Tuesday (the show with the better location and showing time)? Click here.

Or should I go to see Elvira on Wednesday at the Ritz for a late show, but with the movie I prefer of her two starring vehicles? Click here.

And... Who wants to join me on this adventure? Let me know which flick you want to catch!

I do not see any reason here why I would not wish to attend

Monday, July 06, 2009

OH MY GOD: Speidi plus Alex Jones = The greatest thing I've ever seen


Oh wow.

Cavender had this on Facebook.

"The Hills" stars, Heidi and Spencer, have apparently decided to join up with local Austin-area conspiracy/ ultra-libertarian guy, Alex Jones.

Alex was a local legend (still is, I guess) who was on Austin Access Cable about 10 hours a day while I was in college and until I moved on 2002. Right about then he got on the radio, and his show was being listened to outside of Austin on the internet. These days he has a TV show off of Access, I think. His reach is now international.

If you want to know who one of the major voices was behind the 9/11 conspiracy stuff, look no further. First time anyone saw inside The Bohemian Grove and put the footage on TV? Here you go.

Now, Alex DID figure out the US Military was conducting illegal training in East Austin in the mid-1990's, spraying an unknown white powder on the neighborhoods, etc... And all of it was confirmed. Which, you have to imagine, is sort of like finding out that the guy who tells you the UFO's are trying to control his mind is RIGHT. But there you had it.

Jones is an interesting guy, partially because he does, in fact, occasionally dig up real dirt. Just enough to give him some semblance of credibility. And I wouldn't trade his brand of anti-establishment for the world (even if I often think he should probably think about more logical conclusions rather than assuming the Illuminati are behind everything).

But now he's got SPEIDI. His power KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

It would help if he knew who Spencer and Heidi actually are, but whatever.


Monday Evening Round-Up: Ro-bama, Beer, Dune

The Robo/ Disney Conspiracy

It seems Disney has joined with the robots to work against us.

Beer Surplus Jettison Cooperation

Leaguers will know that my one regret about opening the doors to League HQ in celebration is that we often wind up with a great deal of undrunk beer and beer-like items (Mike's Hard Lemonade, etc...). Well, this is a problem no more.

We have a house full of recently graduated Lutherans living across the street who, upon my offer, seemed more than willing to take the surplus off our hands. Once again, our fridge is free for the storage of leftovers and numerous tupperware items of indeterminate storage points.

I salute you, Lutherans, for your readiness to consume that which we could not.


So, Leaguers, I have a confession. I've never read Frank Herbert's Sci-Fi classic, "Dune". Nor have I seen the movie in its entirety. I think i watched the entire original mini-series on Sci-Fi (or, SyFy, as they've rebranded themselves this week), but since I can't recall how it ended, I can't say for certain.

Its embarrassing to have a weak point in my nerd-armor, but there you are. I've no real excuse, but I've also always been a much bigger fan of sci-fi movies than I have been that of books. I read a lot of Asimov and Bradbury at one point, and some other stuff, but sort of lost interest in bothering to read the actual books.

But during our celebration of independence from the bastards in England, I got caught in a 30 minute conversation on the subject of "Dune" between Steven, Lauren, Eric and Patrick. And I figured... oh, hell. I might as well.

So posts may be short for a while, because I'm actually going to read a book.

Yeah, I know...

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Jason documents the 4th. That's a lot of pontificatin' hats.

Jamie posts on Team Swizzlebeef's latest.

There's a Facebook Page up for JimD's movie, Pleadings.

By the way, I failed to mention that last week was Jamie's one year anniversary at Troubles McSteans.

If you like comics, and you like superheroes, and ou aren't reading Mark Waid's Irredeemable, you are making a mistake.

One More Dead Celebrity, Coffee Talk, Torso Pillow


Man, if it hasn't been a couple of weeks to be a celebrity.

Now McNair? I'm not surprised the man wasn't exactly faithful to his wife (I know they're not reporting any romantic entanglements quite yet, but... As a mid-30's sports superstar and millionaire, I'm betting he wasn't just in the same book club with the 20-year-old "friend"). I'd guess the wives of pro-athletes aren't completely clueless and ask for discretion more than honestly expect much in the way of fidelity from their husbands.

And call me a cynic, but I'm assuming this is a murder/suicide.

After Jon Gosselin, Governor Sanford and now McNair, it is a bad time to be a philanderer.

But, hey, wow... Poor McNair. He was one of my favorite atheletes for a good while there.

Like Native Americans

Last night around 11:30, post fireworks, sparklers and cocktails, people started grumbling about being hungry. Sure, we'd had a cook-out, but we ate around 5:00, so I understood if they didn't want to go in for round 2 on the Tostitos and whatnot. I didn't want to volunteer to fire up the Weber again, so we headed to the IHOP at Slaughter and Manchaca.

In high school, I wasn't averse to the late-night trip to the Denny's (1960, east of Kuykendahl) for coffee and chatting. I learned the waitresses didn't care if you didn't order anything, as long as the tip was okay, and so my habit became dropping $5 to rent the seat and enjoy the coffee until I got the shakes.

The IHOP we visited last night wasn't littered with high school kids, but we were seated close enough to hear one table debating stem cell research. It was a surprisingly cogent and unheated debate, even if voices did rise loud enough for me to begin listening to them.

I tuned out for about 45 seconds to actually pay attention to the folks at my table, only to hear one of the high schoolers at the next table blurt out: "we'd all be a lot better off if we lived like The Native Americans".

Indeed, sir.

I'd say I miss that sort of just-enough-information-to-be-dangerous proselytizing one feels compelled to do at 1:00 AM at a chain diner, but I'm not sure it ever really goes away. There's just a certain way one goes about it at that age as you're beginning to be able to think for yourself, and a little Discovery Channel goes a long way. Declarations are made, and utopia often seems well within grasp. If only we (fill in terrific idea here).

His friends gave up too easily. There was no "how's that? How would things be better, and what Native Americans are you talking about, Mr. Cultural Anthropologist?" Perhaps the guy took challenges to his assertions poorly and they didn't want to provoke him. Maybe he was easier to deal with if they didn't prolong the conversation. Maybe they agreed. Sadly, they were wrapping up, so I never heard how we'd be better off with teepees, or if he meant modern Native Americans (who I worked with at former job. Here's a secret: they had no magical powers, unless you think accounting is a magical power.).

As they were walking out, the kid was insisting that "we'd all live to be 173 if we lived more like The Native Americans." I wanted so badly to see this 173-year-old Native American. But, man, it's nice to know that bored suburban kids are still sorting these things out in low-cost chain restaurants. It's a largely undiscussed artifact of suburban middle-class culture. You're not going to see kids wrestling with the moral issues of the day, debating the politics of their parents, what-have-you on "90210". And those shows sure as hell aren't going to be shot in a Denny's between 10:00 and 1:30 in the morning.

And, of course, we were having our own, barely-more-informed discussion on some other political topic at our own table. But, mostly these days, we rely on pontificatin' hats and a cocktail.

Give me 17 years and I will make no progress.

If it comes to this...

I will work something out for you with JimD.

Happy Post 4th of July

I'd say the Fourth was a success. Lots of folks came by. We started around 4:00 and wrapped up around 1:00. There was cooking out (over the hottest fire since Mt. St. Helens), there was standing around, there were cocktails, there was neil Diamond, and there was singing. And IHOP.

Thanks to all who came by. We had a blast.