Monday, October 03, 2005

Greetings, Leaguers.

Well, I received several e-mails today from Loyal Leaguers wishing to share the good news regarding Nicholas Cage's new kid, Kal-El Coppola Cage. For more info, read here.

This, of course, gave The League a moment of pause. For The League has long harbored a secret desire to name his own kid either Kal-El or Kara. Now, it's more or less public knowledge that Jamie's insides are a rocky place where my seed can find no purchase. Thusly, there shall be no little Leagues to carry my DNA on beyond my passing (and for that, the human genome is safe once again!).

I received an e-mail from Jamie today poking fun at ol' Nic Cage, and I was a little sad. You see, I thought maybe, if a child were ever handed over to The League that Jamie would be so distracted, I'd slide Kal-El into the name slot on the adoption form before she knew what had happened. Now, Jamie has had time to think about what a completely crazy idea it is to name your kid "Kal-El". It shall never happen.

Just a bit of trivia. Nic Cage is a big comic fan. His real last name is Coppola, but in order to hide the fact that he bore any relation to Francis Ford Coppola, his took on the name of Luke Cage, Marvel's own Power Man. Nic Cage was to star in a 1995-ish Superman film, but things didn't pan out, and the film was never made. Not to be deterred, Cage is now associated with a different comic book property, Ghost Rider. I am a bit skeptical, as I'm not a huge GR fan, but at least I think Cage will take the comic seriously.

In other Superman news, Bryan Singer's latest video diary is posted, and shows the old Jimmy Olsen from "Adventures of Superman" meeting the Jimmy Olsen from the new movie. Check it out.

One of the great things about being a Superman fan isn't just constantly being told Superman sucks by pretty much anyone who can slip it into conversation... It's also the near 70 years of legacy the Superman comics, movies and radio. It's not just trivia, it's also the chance to see new generations working with the old and enjoying the legacy. Noel Neill will now have appeared in the original Superman films, the TV series, Superman: The Movie (as Lois's mother with Kirk Alyn as Lois's father), and now in the new film. To The League, that's pretty cool. So, of course, we're very excited to see Jack Larson welcomed back into the Superman family.

And... What else?

Ah, football.

Oh, did anyone else watch the butt-show in Mexico? The Cardinals won their game by kicking 6 succesful field goals. I NEVER watch the Cardinals, but the game was so funny, I was glued to the TV.

Oh, and UT continues to dominate. To the point where ABC decided the game was boring and cut over to another game out here in AZ. Next week is the big test, but I think Adrian Petersen is injured, isn't he? Ah, well. UT hasn't choked yet, so this could be our week!

Oh, and here's little Arden with little Jill. Arden is now residing in Kalamazoo, MI. Jill is teaching at Western Michigan University. I think she teaches, uh... look, I'll be honest. I don't understand Jill's expertise. I think she's an expert in, oh, say... herpetology.

Friday, September 30, 2005


Greetings, Leaguers.

As you may have heard, writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely have teamed up to create an all-new Superman tale under a new banner for DC COmics "All-Star Superman". The All-Star refers to the creative team more than the actual cast of characters.

Originally the All-Star line was thought to compete directly with Marvel's Ultimate line, but this isn't really the case. Instead, DC is allowing top creators to write and draw the best possible DC stories without worrying about what's going on in the monthly titles.

All-Star Superman is coming soon, and Newsarama has a preview (which appeared already in Wizard this month, but what the heck...) which should give you a feel for what Quitely and Morrison will do with the Man of Steel.

Honestly, in issue 2 I'm sort of feeling as if All-Star Batman is going off the rails, but I think the five pages here more or less re-assure me that Morrison is going to make me happy with his crack at the Big Blue Boyscout.

Included in the Newsarama article is an interview from a while back on how Morrison became inspired in his take on The Man of Steel. Good stuff.

Read the article and check out the previews here.
Apparently, I'm some sort of communist.

Take the test and find out what kind of commie YOU are.

You are a

Social Liberal
(71% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(21% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

To Take the test yourself, click here.

I apologize for the previously posted broken links. You should all just know, it was Randy who broke them. Not me. I was totally innocent.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

So The League sort of took the day off from work.

I had thought Jamie had an appointment today, but it wasn't today, so, you know... no harm, no foul.

We woke late, finally getting up around 9:30, and went to IHOP to try to see what it's like to eat breakfast out without a thousand screaming kids surrounding you as they do on Saturdays and Sundays.

For some bizarre reason I had it in my head that "Roll Bounce" looked like a fun movie, so we went to a mid-day show.

Look, Roll Bounce just wasn't a very good movie, and if I wanted to get all film school 101 on you, I had some serious questions regarding the portrayal of women in the film. The movie also suffered from the age old problem of trying to cast either really good roller-skaters or people who could act. They decided to fall in the middle and cast people who could sort of skate and sort of act, giving you the worst of both worlds.

Steanso has suggested that he might guest blog on the film sub-genre of roller skating movies. Let's all cross our fingers and hope he steps up.

Now, here was the interesting bit. The theater was totally empty. I haven't been in an empty theater since 1985 or so when we went one sunny day to see Adventures in Babysitting. At some point during today's movie I wanted to get up and start running up and down the stairs flapping my arms or doing the robot. It was a Thursday at lunchtime and school is in session. Freaking nobody was around. Just Jamie and me and a whole heck of a lot of empty theater.

It was nice. We got to boo the bad previews and talk badly about the products advertised before the movie. So very liberating. It must be how most other people in Chandler/ Gilbert feel even when the theater is completely sold out.

I'll tell you this much, I now want to build a movie theater in my front room just so I can do the robot during the trailers.

I also got to catch up on my comic reading (JLA, JLA: Classified, Batman, Adventures of Superman all good reads. Not to mention the sort of ending to OMAC.). And the season debut of Smallville bowed. Kryptonians, the Phantom Zone, Fortress of Solitude and Brainiac all made appearances. Not all bad.

Anyway, that's my post for tonight.

And I AM NOT picking on Randy. I just think he's a really good dancer.
I'm not at work today, so I thought I'd pop in with a mid-day report.

I ran some variables through the mainframe here at League HQ, and here are the results:

What if Randy took on the mantle of The Dark Knight Detective?

click here for the answer

(use speakers for full effect)
The upcoming Superman film (due in July or so) is going to mean a lot of Superman product hitting the shelf. In addition to an onslaught of t-shirts, toys and Dr. Pepper cans, Warner Bros. may be releasing a "Director's Cut" of Superman II.

Quick background: Superman I and II were shot simultaneously by Richard Donner. However, do to a lot of disagreements, the producers of the films (the Salkinds) fired Donner before production was entirely complete on Superman II. They brought in television director Richard Lester who reshot scenes and re-worked certain parts of the film.

What I don't know, and I'm not sure anybody but Richard Donner knows, is what the original film was supposed to look like. While most folks like Superman II due to the action elements, in The League's opinion, Superman I is just a much better realized film. One wonders what a cohesive Superman I and II would have looked like.

According to an interview I read a few years ago with Jack O'Halloran (Non from Superman I and II), Lester was brought in to do everything quickly, cheaply, and not to care too much if the actors were going nuts. Reportedly using TV set-ups (such as multi-camera set-ups) and other short-cuts, Lester did little to endear himself to the returning cast.


According to the e-mail from Nathan Cone today:


Also today, there are online reports from various Superman-themed websites(including Superman Cinema ) that Warner Bros. and producer Ilya Salkind have finally negotiated a deal for the release of director Richard Donner's original unused footage from Superman II. This would allow for the creation of a long-awaited Superman II: Director's Cut that would be closer to the film Donner was crafting before the film was taken away from him by the studio back in 1979 and given to replacement director Richard Lester. Donner, as many of you know, also directed the original Superman: The Movie (the two films were shot, for the most part, simultaneously). The idea behind all of this, of course, is that Warner wants to release new DVD special editions of Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace in conjunction with the theatrical or DVD debut of Bryan Singer's currently in production Superman Returns. The new film is expected to hit theaters in June 2006.

Honestly, I always sort of assumed the Richard Donner cut was an urban myth. Like the guy who wakes up in the tub with his kidney missing, or Delaware.

You know The League will be watching closely as news develops.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I am now all iPod'd up and rolling. I still have twenty or so albums to put on iTunes, but the vast majority of what I wanted on the ol' iPod is now there. I also sold my crappy radio tuner and bought the far superior radio tuner from Monster. Not only does it work much better (no horrible 100K squealing), but it also has a nifty red light on it so my car looks much more future when I turn my car on.

Jim and Randy had each and separately suggested Arcade Fire's album "Funeral" to The League. The League is now in a mode where he has to have a minimum of three recommendations before he'll buy an album, and I think Randy's comments were number four, so I downloaded the album from iTunes. And, yeah, I know I'm totally late on this, but it's a darn skippy little record. Good recommendation, Leaguers. We're always open to suggestions on music. I may not actually buy what you recommend, but I will put the suggestion in the ol' Rolodex.

In the wake of Hurricane Rita, it sounds like Jim's place in Beaumont is okay. My folks are pretty much back to normal (for them) and Josh and Shannon's summer chateau, La Casa de Mil Monos Furiosos, survived largely intact. Sure, the hurricane may have been deflected by the oppressive heat wave currently resting on the Texas Coast, but people are still rejoicing that Galveston is not under four feet of water.

My comic reading is getting a little overwhelming in the swamp of excellent DC titles currently hitting the shelf. I am very far behind, and I have a Wonder Woman and Superman collection to dig into. Also, I sort of quit doing everything I normally do thanks to City of Heroes.

I more or less abandoned old StarSentry as he wasn't very much fun to play. I'm now playing a character by the name of "Commander Argos".

Commander Argos. Seriously.

I apologize. I just couldn't think up a good name to save my life.

Anyway, CA keeps getting killed, but it's all in good fun, I suppose. I "spoke" with a guy last night who had been playing for quite some time and kept trying to demonstrate to me how cool his character was. Apparently you CAN get a cape in this game, but you can't get it until you're on level 25. At level 30, you can be shiny. Which makes this game a cross between Dungeons & Dragons and Scientology. Upon review, the game is pretty Airwolf, and I'll probably play it for a while longer.

I think the League is officially no longer watching "Bones". We tried to watch last night, the first time I haven't watched the show in Closed Captions or while playing CoH, and, you know... I could probably spend a few paragraphs taking the show apart, but what's the point? I'm a big fan of the Deschanel sisters, but even I can take only so much poorly thought out characterization and forced tension. I understand that they're trying to mix both CSI-style procedural with soap in order to get people invested, but you need characters who are sort of interesting in order to pull that off. Two-dimensional walking cliches with poorly scripted banter don't really make me want to stick around.

After having wandered off in the middle of "Lost" last season, I have promised Jamie I will try to watch with her this year. As long as the show doesn't devolve into "the many problems of the tank-top model", I will try to stick around. Brother.

Tomorrow night Smallville Season 5 premiers, and while The League swore off the show at the end of last season, The League has heard that there is an entirely new writing team on-board. Well, let's see what happens. I think we have some Kryptonians or Daxamites in the season opener, Aquaman is making an appearance, and the Fortress of Solitude will play some role.

There's added pressure to make the show better with Superman Returns right around the corner, so we'll see. Also, I've heard that there's going to be lots of hot, teen sex this season, which, believe it or not, The League can do without. Perhaps one day The League shall write a lengthy post on why TV sex isn't a big draw for us, but today is not that day.

Anyway, this is a long enough post, right?

The End

Monday, September 26, 2005


Hey. You guys have probably long forgotten the idea of entering the word "Airwolf" into the lexicon as a synonym for "cool". As in "My new bike is totally Airwolf!"

Well, Dave over at Dave's Long Box is still fighting the good fight. Check out his detailed post on usage of "Airwolf".

read here

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A list of many topics. Not all of them are comic related.

1. You know what's turning out to not be very good? The new Supergirl series from DC. I didn't have extraordinarily high expectations, but the series is now two issues in, and it's been pretty much nothing but screaming and punching for literally no reason. I have no idea where Jeph Loeb (whom I normally really like) is going with this, but so far, I'm not impressed.

2. Likewise with Allstar Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder by Frank Miller and Jim Lee. The art is good, and you can see some nice moments, but... Batman is oddly out of character and, again, in two issues, not a lot has happened. It's a leap of faith to ask people to keep reading a comic series. You can continue to read, hoping that there will be a nice payoff at the end of six or seven issues. I'm willing to give Miller a longer issue count than other people, but, c'mon...

3. The various Countdown to Infinite Crisis series are starting to wrap up, as well as the first few series of Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory. Due to the nature of all of these series there's no conclusion or closure, and that's an odd feeling. The Countdown series are pouring into Infinite Crisis. Seven Soldiers is going to wrap up in a final, central issue, at which point I am sure I will have to reread everything so I will remember all the detail to figure out what the hell is going on.

That said, I've enjoyed all of the series thus far to varying degrees, but confess to a warm spot in my heart for OMAC, the Manhattan Guardian and possibly the new take on Mr. Miracle. I have an original printing of the 1970's-era Mr. Miracle #1, and it's a prized posession, so I sincerely hope the 2005 version is just as worthy in the end.

4. Well, my folks are okay. Here's a dispatch from my mom just a short while after the hurricane was scheduled to strike:

Well it is 7:40 and I pretended to be on Esther's Follies and danced for Dad outside the window while he is watching Sci Fi inside.

Huh. Well, it makes sense if you grew up there.

I talked to my folks just last night and they have power, water, cable TV and no damage. Where God has it in for me, He loves my folks.

I've suggested my dad try out some looting since all the neighbors are out, but he's concerned that the cops will catch him if he can't find the jewelry quickly enough after the silent alarm is triggered.

5. Loyal Leaguer Nathan Cone relied on the amazing web-surfing techniques of The League. Apparently he was stranded in St. Louis and scheduled to travel through Houston to get back to San Antonio. The League tried to help Nathan find an alternative flight, but no go. Don't worry, Leaguers, Nathan made it home. He left a message while I was out today and was on the tarmac back in the Alamo City.

6. Note to "creative" people writing scripts, books, etc... (and I say this after watching the trailer for Pride & Prejudice, so take this with a grain of salt as Jane Austen sells a lot of books and makes a lot of movies)

Opposites don't really attract.

People who hate each other at first rarely actually fall in love. Also, that's a really dumb thing to try to overcome. What frightens me is that I KNOW people who actually believe this message. They make life decisions based on cliches used in the titles of Paula Abdul/ MC Skat Cat songs.

The League's recommendation: you'll do a lot better trying to find someone you get along with from the beginning. This doesn't guarantee you won't get divorced, but, you know... Trying to make it with someone you initially loathed based upon what TV told you? It seems like it's probably a good sign things might get rocky again after you sober up.

7. There's a new movie by Rob Reiner starring Jennifer Aniston. Apparently, unable to get the Graduate 2 movie off the ground, Reiner decided that he was going to make a movie leeching off the goodwill The Graduate garners, but not including any of the original cast. The trailer seems to lend itself to that idiot cutesiness that so many romantic comedies have of which The Graduate was utterly devoid.

Something about the stunningly crass exploitation of The Graduate in the trailer made me want to start punching people. Sadly, Rob Reiner was not present.

Also, the entire trailer is people talking about multi-generational sex and sex in airplane bathrooms. They chose to show this before Corpse Bride, which was filled with about 65% children. I don't want to play thought-police, but, I mean, c'mon... Who wants to have to do the birds and the bees talk because Kevin Costner did Jennifer Aniston, her mom and her grandma?

Of course, I'd rather try to explain that than the logical inconsistencies in Waterworld.

8. Flightplan was pretty good. It's a nice, taut story without a lot of distraction. In short, if you liked Panic Room, you'll dig this one, too. The only downside to these movies, for The League, is that a second viewing rarely holds up. Once we know the ins-and-outs of the plot, well, it just doesn't have the same thrill. But, I did like this movie on first blush.

In related news, my crush on Jodie Foster enters year 15. And with those words, the Secret Service now has a file on me.

9. Corpse Bride is really cool to look at. I'm not sure if I liked it as much as A Nightmare Before Christmas, but it's pretty neat from a technical point of view.

10. Jim D is still stranded outside of Beaumont. Poor bastard. He's waiting it out in a hotel room until he's allowed to go home. Let's all send our best wishes to Jimbo.

11. An actor whom once played Jimmy Olsen in the Superman movies from the 1940's has died. RIP Tommy Bond.

read more here

12. Jim said he would "die" if I did not blog on this topic, so here it is. I didn't want to explain to Jim D. the third and Mrs. Dedman that I was responsible for their son's untimely demise.

I guess superheroes pretty much reflect the nature of their native culture. After all, Superman wasn't Truth, Justice and the Ugandan Way. It's always interesting to see what's being made in other lands, even if it doesn't make a lick of sense to you as an ugly American (and The League recognizes, that he probably is an ugly American). I've read up on some Brazilian superheroes, and you can't throw a rock without hitting Japanese comics.

As these superheroes are from the Arab world, the perspective of the heroes isn't what we'd all take for granted to see here in the US, without necessarily being propaganda. (And if you don't think Superman and Batman were used for propaganda...)

Anyway, check out the article.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The lack of blogging this week hasn't been due to any personal issues. It's been because I recently joined up with the MMORPG City of Heroes.

CoH is an online game in which you can create a superhero based upon a wide array of options provided by the game designers. There are probably a million combinations of clothing, hair, gender, masks, color, armor, etc... in an easy to toy with user interface.

The game, itself, has a nice learning curve. While parts of it can be frustratingly slow if you decide to repeat the steps in order to create a new character, each new phase does take time to learn, and the designers were smart enough to create a "learn by doing" environment.

The character creation process is a darn good bit of fun on its own. Levelling up is mildly thrilling as well as each time you can earn a new power and enhance the powers you have. All of this is intended to prep you for some adventures I haven't got to yet.

What have I learned? If you make a mostly naked hero girl as a joke, guys will try to talk to your mostly naked pixel mass. Nobody wants to talk to StarSentry, but Mistress Tanya was very popular on her first outing.

I'm doubly excited as CoH is not owned by Marvel or DC. BUT, in 2007, DC is going to release a DC comics based game along the same lines. This could mean environments would include Gotham, Metropolis, Themyscira, Atlantis and a dozen or so other DCU based locations I can think of.

Anyhoo, I'm off to go fight some crime. If you're playing, look for StarSentry. (I had about a dozen other names lined up, but they were all taken. Give me a break. StarSentry was the best I could do).

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'M OSCAR!!!! (dot com)

A new season of Arrested Development is upon us. If you aren't watching this show but have never seen it, get the DVD series. If you have seen the show but didn't like it, you officially are on The League's "enemies" list. If you missed the first episode this season, well, you're probably going to be hopelessly lost.

BUT, the show picked up this season where it left off last season and is still fresh as a daisy in spring in torrential rain.

And I still think Jessica Walters may be the funniest actor on television. She had me at the wink in the first episode.

To catch up on Monday's episode, go here where Oscar Bluth asks the classic all blogger's must eventually face:

What does it take to get people to read my f’ing blog?! What’s more interesting, an innocent man in prison blogging for his life or “Snuppy” the first cloned dog?
Dispatch from the Texas Coast

Run, Jim D! Run as fast as your legs will carry you!

In all seriousness, Jim has split Beaumont and my folks have split from Spring, TX. It's very scary stuff, indeed.

Rita is headed right at the expansive Texas coast, and the computer projections for Galveston don't look all that different than New Orleans if worst comes to worst. If you've never read about the hurricane of 1900 in Galveston, I highly recommend visiting this site.

I never voted for the guy, but Rick Perry was on CNN last night, and the man watched and learned during the Katrina debacle. That much is clear. Folks are getting bussed out of gulf cities and towns to hubs set up a few hours inland. Perry has 5000 National Guard troops on standby and some Texas Guard guys ready to mobilize. (I say guys, but I am sure it is comprised of dudes AND dames).

Honestly, I don't really know where my folks are at the moment. I can't get through, and that's sort of spooky. I assume they're perfectly safe, but that automated message from Verizon isn't terribly comforting.

Of course at the center of all this are the New Orleans refugees. It's tough to try to even imagine what they're going through.

Monday, September 19, 2005


In case ye furgot, maties! 'Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day, says I!

go here, me hearties.

special thanks to the scurvy dog, Nathan Cone, fer the reminder.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dispatch from Beaumont

So, a few weeks ago, Jim D. sent me another box of comics. After I had pleaded with him not to do so.

There's some good stuff in that box. Astonishing X-Men, some Avengers, some other comics which are worth picking up. We, here at League HQ, are not sure WHY Jim sends the comics, but he occasionally does send off a box. So, thanks, Jim, I guess... He's always looking out for me, even when I beg him not to.

The other day Jim called me at work.

Apparently Jim's local comic shop is an excellent shop, and Jim had called to impart the variety of knowledge which only a fellow comic geek finds ASTOUNDING.

"There's a copy of Avenger's #4 and X-Men #1 at my comic shop..."
"Oh my God."
"I got to hold them in my hand."
"You actually touched them?"
We are such geeks. Such terrible geeks.

I've never even SEEN these comics. These are huge collectors' items, no matter what condition these comics are in. And while the comics weren't alas, in perfect condition, they were there. And, as I said, I ain't never even seen those comics.

Both are Stan Lee written. Both have art by Kirby. Both are part of the Marevl explosion of the early 1960's.

Avengers #4 isn't worth as much as Avengers #1, but it's worth more than #2 as it's the issue where the Avengers locate Captain America frozen in a block of ice in the Arctic Ocean. Shut up. That's prime comic mythology where I come from.

And X-Men #1? Well, it's X-Men #1. I think I'm cool as I have a torn copy of #32.

Look, we all have our own Maltese Falcon. If you want to take the metaphor up a notch, the Holy Grail of the comic world is Action Comics #1, but people like you or me can't afford Action Comics #1, even with a torn cover. It's a $100,000 comic book in good condition.

So you sort of have to take the trickle down effect and say "okay, what comic is my Maltese Falcon? I strongly suspect the Holy Grail will turn me to dust and I'll be told by that old knight guy that I have chosen poorly. So, the worst that can happen with this Falcon is a lot of people could get shot and dames are gonna turn on you... Is that a risk I'm willing to take?"

Before Jim had even gotten to the shop, someone had called in and wanted the X-Men #1. It went for $300 or so, which is about right for this comic in "good" condition (I will not get into the comic grading scale here, but, believe me, it exists). Not a bad turn around for a $0.12 investment. In Near Mint? The comic fetches a few thousand bucks, I think. So bag those comics, Loyal Leaguers.

However, the Avengers #4 had a partially torn cover and was selling for around $100. Not a bad price, and it will probably just continue to increase in value, even in poor condition. If I were a wealthier man, I might even have had Jim pick it up for me.

Jim did consider buying the comic, but was faced with that cold dread that most comic collectors feel creep into their skulls during any expensive purchase. "What the hell am I going to do with a $100 comic book?"

I have Mr. Miracle #1 in a frame at home. But that's how I roll. The frame cost more than the comic. The League isn't alone in his admiration for Mr. Miracle, but the fan base isn't shelling out huge bucks for a briefly lived series from the early 70's. But that's not the comic I'm looking for.

The League's Maltese Falcon?

Action Comics #252: First appearance of Supergirl and Metallo

I could, possibly, afford a beat up copy of this comic one day. I've just never seen it in person, and eBay sort of makes me itch, so I don't even know how close to getting the comic I'll ever be. Not a big deal. It gives me something to look for.
So, long time no blog.

It's truth day here at The League.

As mentioned to Steanso, I've been considering shutting down The League. It's a massive time sink, and it's not like I've been making any money doing this. My time in the evenings is fairly limited, and this is taking up an hour or so almost each night.

I also sort of feel I've come to the end of the rainbow regarding topics I feel juiced up enough to spend time writing about. I would never turn this into an all-comics blog as I think others do that very well, and I would just as soon turn folks onto the likes of Return to Comics and Dave's Long Box than try to keep up with what those guys are doing.

I had even spent some time last week trying to figure out how to go out with a bang, but nothing is coming to me. I don't want for The League to be something that gradually dies off. If I'm done, I want people to say "Wow, now THAT'S how you end a blog!" Sadly, nothing really came to me along those lines. I had seriously considered taking a picture of my ass and posting it with "The End" written on my butt, but that seemed sort of hostile upon further review.

The fact is, not much goes on in my day-to-day life, and that leaves me without a lot of content ideas. And for reasons I don't really want to get into, it's been a pretty tough summer, and all of that hasn't left me in much of a mood to blog when I do have time. I'm trying to make time, but, as I said before, I'm not always sure what I should be covering, so when I do get some time, sometimes the gods of blogger don't really make it clear what's supposed to be filling the space.

Every time I go through this, I just need to remind myself I don't actually have to blog. It's not a requirement. And that helps.

I have no idea how long I'll keep this up, but I have scrapped any plans to shut the joint down. I will probably be blogging less for a while until I get into a cycle where I feel like blogging more often. Could be tomorrow. Could be in a month or three.

As always, I appreciate the readership, and I really appreciate you guys stepping up to the plate and announcing your presence and tossing out some ideas. We'll see what we can get to. Anyway, Loyal Leaguers, I'm always happy to have each of you lounging about the blog.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I'm opening the lines for ideas.

Is anyone still reading this stupid thing?
Picking over the body: Bones

The Fall TV Season is upon us. Sort of.

Yesterday I watched the premier of Fox's new show "Bones", Fox's entry into the world of crime-scene investigation television drama.

Nanostalgia touches upon the plot of the show here, which we at The League found a bit gutsy for a pilot episode of an untested show. Notice we are not applauding the gutsiness of the plot choice, but we are taking note of the boldness of their call with so little else going for the program.

I don't watch the fictional crime scene investigation programs like CSI. There's something odd to me about police procedurals based around people standing around at 2:30 AM looking fresh as a daisy and making darkly wicked comments to one another over a dead hooker. I do confess to watching the occasional autopsy show on HBO, A&E or other cable channels as they use the magic of cable TV to solve and/ or reconstruct a crime. These scientists defy all expectations as being surprisingly unsexy, middle-aged dudes with thinnging hair and glasses. Usually they're not tortured souls looking for redemption.

The oddest bit about all of this, to The League, is how many people I meet who are so into the CSI sort of programming that becoming a forensics expert is their idea of the new James Bond.

My message: Dead people are disturbing to look at. If you're in a state that they need to call in a scientist before 8:00am to figure out what happened to make you that dead... buddy, you are not someone The League wants to be taking a peek at. Odds are, Barney Fife is not calling in a forensics expert to figure out the case of Mrs. Hunkel's missing wheel barrow. There's going to be somebody's mother, or brother, or child lying there on the ground with their blood all dried and sticky and some gaping holes in them where the life drained out.

Not every body is a stripper whose murder is going to implicate some big-wheel drug dealer and somehow help you clear some dirty little part of your tortured conscience. A lot of these are family arguments, or flashes of anger between people who've known each other for years that suddenly got out of control. But that's not compelling TV, I guess.

Fox's entry into the CSI-style programming has obviously been tweaked and notated to death by the network suits to fit their idea of what makes a good show. Any hint of originality was lost long ago, leaving only some goofy and unwelcome sci-fi elements behind. Our two heroes, Buffy's vampire boyfriend and Zooey Deschanel's fetching sister, each has a checkered and completely cliche-riddled past seemigly lifted from a 1950's era cop movie.

There's some awkward discussion of sex, seemingly jammed in to titillate, a team of scientist stereotypes pulled from 90's era big budget films like "Contact", and an X-Files Skinner clone, doomed to be demanding badges and then admitting our heroes were right and that he never should have given the case to that weasel, Johnson.

Knowing they're to spend a huge amount of time in Zooey Deschanel's fetching sister's lab, the lab is, apparently part of a shopping mall, hangar, or some other unexplained open air environment completely inappropriate for keeping corpses contaminant free. The team of crack scientists (none of which appear to be over the age of 28) have also created an amazing hologram projector (our sci-fi element) which can create a hologram based upon the bones our friend, Bones, has pieced together with Elmer's glue. What everyone else can do by looking at an image on a screen from a projector, these good folks have created in 3D, which, according to the show, everyone can see the face while they're standing behind the head of the hologram. And alter things like "flesh mass around the cheeks by 10%" at the touch of a button. That is some kick-ass processor on their hologram projector.

Even more amazing, the hologram projector can choreograph the movements EXACTLY as they occured during the murder. It's all sort of something you have to see to believe.

As for the just plain bad: We're repeatedly told Bones can't connect with people, just corpses, yet Bones goes on to spend 10 minutes telling anyone who will listen how she's cold and emotionless and can't connect. Note to writers and producers: Show, don't tell. By the end of the show, I couldn't wait for Ms. Chatterbox to quit connecting. Also, getting along with people doesn't mean telling them something you're not sure you should tell. Getting along with people at my work place means nodding and pretending like you care about what their kid said last night at the dinner table.

Look, this is Fox's idea of what CSI should be. Bones stars young, good looking people. There's some badly forced sexual tension between our two leads, and mostly nowhere to go with the show except to force it into the police procedural they promised in the ads. And while I've never watched CSI, from what I hear, this is pretty much William Petersen's character from CSI, only with big goo-goo eyes and boobies.

Fortunately for Fox, big goo-goo eyes and boobies are probably enough of a selling point for The League. We watchedThe X-Files on a similar principle for 7 years.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


pages from issue #1 of Infinite Crisis

From left to right:

Dr. Light, Dr. Polaris, Deathstroke, Black Adam, Psycho Pirate (yeah... Psycho Pirate!), Sinestro, Cheetah, Bizarro, Zoom

And all of these guys are being coordinated by: Luthor

Viva la Crisis!

Here's my mom with my grandparents hanging out in the summer.

Here's my Ma with Steanso and The League hanging out in the summer.
Pre-Halloween Halloween Contest

I THINK I know what The League is doing for this year's Halloween Contest, but you guys should have a say.

Any ideas for a Halloween contest?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

For the last week Super Blog "Dave's Long Box" has been running the sort of series The League only dreams of running. The League is afeared to run this sort of series as he strongly suspects it would send the wrong message and rive away what tiny readership we already have.

For the past week, Dave has been running a series entitled "Boob War", exploring the innate silliness of the giddy objectification of women in spandex in comics. It's not quite as weird as you think.

Today Dave ran the final (and, dare I say, ultimate...?) "Boob War" post.

To read up on DC's own Power Girl, click here.

And, yes, it is sort of PG-13. Sensitive readers will not wish to click over.

Monday, September 12, 2005


So, superfreak director David Cronenberg is out touting his new film A History of Violence. And you just know The League wouldn't mention it unless... Yes, A History of Violence was originally a comic book.

Occasionally I get behind in my comic reading, usually of my monthly periodicals, as I will pick up a few trade paperbacks or graphic novels and let them sit for too long, and then I get an itch to just read something from beginning to end, and that's when the trades and graphic novels get shifted into my reading list. I'm now about a week and a half behind in my usual comic reading, but I needed a break from Countdown to Infinite Crisis. Too many OMACs, Leaguers.

Paradox Press was one of those experiments which made complete sense in the crisp, golden light of the 1990's. DC Comics was having success with their newly minted Vertigo line of books (Sandman, Shade, Hellblazer) and saw an audience of comic readers aging and seeking more substantial material. A few imprints spun out, almost all of which are now forgotten, but Paradox Press was intended to be DC's entry into a new format of book-style publishing for comics. What I recall was a two-pronged approach by Paradox. "The Big Book Of..." line, which was usually a collection of non-fiction stories or vinettes around a theme. For example: The Big Book of Freaks (about circus folk, etc...), or The Big Book of Conspiracies (which detailed as many conspriacies as possible). All of this was in comic format.

The second approach, and the one I didn't read at the time, was a novel or digest sized format of comic. These were self-contained original stories, printed in black and white. I'm not sure, but I think most of them were crime dramas of some sort.

Formatting was slightly contrained as panel size could only be reduced so far and retain integrity from a normal sized comic. Thusly, most pages contain four panels at most, and dialogue is generally fairly tight in order to fit into the panels.

In the end, the comic fans returned to superheroics and the Paradox experiment mostly fizzled, being absorbed into DC's Vertigo line-up for reprints, etc...

But from that briefly lived line, two feature films have been produced. 2002's Road to Perdition and 2005's A History of Violence.

I finally read the graphic novel of A History of Violence this weekend. It's a quick read, but fairly well-plotted, if a tad predictable. I had the same feeling at the end of A History of Violence that I had at the end of Road to Perdition. It's a decent comic, but not perfect. It feels a bit like a draft that could have used some polishing and workshopping, and it certainly doesn't seem to have the meat to sustain a two-hour movie.

That said, it seems a lot of details have been changed in the movie version, including location (from Michigan to Ohio? What's that about?), and the central protagonist's name (just weird to do that in my book). But it also seems Cronenberg is taking the title to heart, a lot more so than the original author. Cronenberg and Co. are pitching the movie as a "meditation on violence".

While the comic does touch on the meaning of violence in the central character's life, it doesn't really "meditate" on the topic. Nor does the comic ever really pay-off after the thrilling opening scenes, which lead you to believe something far darker is moving beneath those still waters. But this is going to be a Cronenberg movie, so let's wait and see what the man has planned.

I'll definitely reread the comic after watching the movie to see if I missed anything, but I'm not counting on it. The film of Road to Perdition was, hands down, a better telling of the same story, even if it was an imperfect movie. Max Alan Collins is a gifted comic writer, but the film didn't seem as hindered by page count or as limited in scope on the big screen, and some of the key character moments simply worked better as film.

Nonetheless, it is always interesting to see a "comic book" movie being released that is gaining such early praise. With so many critics deriding the comic medium in reviews of Super-Hero movies, it's nice to see these other comics slip through under the radar and wind up garnering praise you suspect would be withheld if the critics knew the basis of the movie.
Let me assure you...

Any thoughts that you had about rocking harder than The League? A mere illusion.

From left to right: Kare-Bare, Steanso, The League, Pooh
Bottom left: Puffy the Wonder Dog. She hated The League.

I'm not going to dwell too much on the fact that it is September 11th, but I do want to mark the 4th anniversary of the day. I've posted on or around September 11th in previous years, and I don't have anything to add regarding my recollections of the day.

I'll let the pundits and the talking heads debate the lessons learned and the rightness of the steps taken since.

I am amazed that already movies are in the works, that TV shows or mini-series on the events of 9-11-01 are now being planned. The day is still raw in the memory, and it seems odd to be trying to re-dramatize something which has not yet faded from memory. Nobody over the age of 16 should have to be told what was going on that day.

We'll have to wait and see.
Hola Amigos. It's been a while since I rapped atchya.

Well, first and foremost, congratulations to the University of Texas Longhorn Football team. In theiur first meeting with the midwestern powerhouse Ohio State, the Longhorns emerged triumphant. Sure, a lot of the sportscasters said UT would win, but those same sportscasters haven't watched UT go down in flames in important games year after year when faced with a major challenge.

So, anyway, it was a good day yesterday. LSU defeated the evil ASU Sun Devils. And Oklahoma finally remembered they were a good team. Sure, it took them three halves of football to remember they're a good team. Let's hope they forget in time for the Texas game.

Secondly, here's the other time sink from this weekend: The League got an iPod.

Yes, we've finally joined the 00's, and got a device not tied directly to 1970's era technology. So I spent all day yesterday and today watching football and other bad programming and uploading my CDs to iTunes. Unfortunately, tonight around 9:00, I filled the hard drive on my computer. Seriously. Jamie and I share a laptop, and between the two of us (and her separate iPod), it looks like we filled our PC's 18G hard drive well before I was anywhere close to filling this PC.

So, that's a headache for another day, I guess. I do have 1300 songs or so on the iPod now. I just need to do some thinking about what I'm going to do as I can't really afford a new computer at the moment. I'm considering moving the whole operation to the shiny new PC I got from work, but I don't know how to do that yet. If anyone wants to talk me through moving my files from my iPod to a new PC, feel free to boss me around.

or, alternately: Anyone want to buy The League a new PC? We're taking donations.

In other news, I'm still waiting for Jim D and Reedo to send along the interviews I sent them a week ago. C'mon, guys. It's five questions and it'll keep me from having to dream up new content for The League for a few days if you send along the responses.

Oh, and Steven Harms suggested I set up an RSS feed of this site. Is this a good idea. It looked like work to do it when I looked at the "instructions" for one of teh services handling RSS feeds from blogger.

I'm also not yet sure I see the appeal of an RSS feed. I've made it 30 years without using one myself.

Wow. I am tired.

The end.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

single greatest game


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Greetings, Leaguers - Mrs. League here. Long time no blog.

So...I get migraines. Recently I've been forced to make numerous trips to our local ER just to get some relief. I bring this up not to seek sympathy but to lay the foundation for my collection of tidbits. Folks, the emergency room is a strange place and the people who occupy it stranger still. Here are some bits and pieces from my recent travels...


1) Approximately one half of patients in Chandler, AZ are seeking medical assistance for...kidney stones. No kidding. One in every two visits we are treated to medical personnel informing the person behind the next curtain that "it will pass". *shudder*

2) According to the PA (physician's assistant) in the room next to us last night, "you'd be surprised how many folks come in with bugs in their ears". No, this was not some figure of speech. The woman he was treating had, in fact, arrived with a beetle scratching at her eardrum.

3) If you are an 8 year old with a Lite-Brite bulb stuck up your nose, you will be rushed down the 'Fast Track' hallway.

**with the two above examples, I am seriously considering stuffing a walnut up my nose next time we go in just to see if I can get a room faster.

4) It is perfectly acceptable to treat your 2 year old (who is there to for medical attention I might add) to Diet Pepsi and handfuls of Skittles at 4 a.m.

5) No matter what the programming or what time of day, the volume on the waiting room television is set to 180 decibels. This is especially peaceful in the wee hours of televangelists and infomercials.

6) If you already feel as if you’re going to throw up, Everybody Loves Raymond playing at previously noted decibel level *will* push you that extra mile.

7) Last night we witnessed a parade of around 10 family members of one patient (mostly children of around 10) marching back to their loved one’s treatment area with dinner in hand.

8) It is literally impossible to shock anyone working in the ER. These people have seen everything. You could walk in with a barracuda attached to your forearm and the triage nurse would blandly ask “and how long have you been having this problem?”

9) Bags of McDonald’s can be seen accompanying one out of four waiting room parties. Apparently, the emergency room is a great place for “lovin’” a chocolate shake and fries.

10) It is often impossible to tell which member of the Mickey-D’s group is actually sick. The hospital arm band is the only giveaway for the injured individual. This is especially true with children, and why it is difficult to have patience when these happy tykes get whisked away to treatment before you even see the folks in billing.

I hope I have passed on some useful information should you ever need to visit this magical land.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor in Superman Returns

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New image released for Summer 2006 film Superman Returns.

As I still don't know what the plot of the movie might be beyond the first act, I have no idea what this scene depicts. But that looks like a burnt up Fortress of Solitude, doesn't it?
For more interviewing madness, Jim D. has resurrected his personal site.

Go visit his blog to read the Jim D./ League interview.

Read here.

For posterity, I will most likely repost the interview here later this week.

1) It is the year 2025. What is the state of The League?

Wow. Age 50. More importantly, it’s 2025. I guess if Her Dread Majesty Jenna Bush is allowing Betas to use the internet, I might still be posting. Sadly, my hands are now arthritic hooks from having to answer so many interviews from 2005-2008, making The League an all-interview site, welcoming politicians, celebrities and popular religious figures. Sadly, the interview with a deranged Jonathan Lipniki in 2021 led to an assassination attempt on Foreign Minister Tara Reid, and The League was forced to go underground.

What is the state of the world? What is the state of the US?

In 2016 the last election was held to vote whether the US was a red or blue country, voter turn out was 7%. Now all decisions are made by a group of five soccer moms in Kansas. Gravity is considered a theory, and most tax dollars are now going to the Julia Roberts monument where the reflecting pool on the Capitol Mall once stood.

Also, Japan is now run by an Asimo robot run amuck.

Where is Steanso?

Still in Austin. But dead. Once the SciFi Channel went off the air, he had too little to live for. At least that’s the story The Supreme Executors of Homeland Security had said after Steanso went online to complain about Patriot Act Version 27.0’s “we can peep in your shower” directive.

Where are the rest of the League's cohorts?

Randy: Jail
Nathan: Running the Bexar Co. Free Information Weather Underground
Maxwell: A mild-mannered theater manager. Of course, nobody has ever seen Maxwell and the Scarlet Cowgirl in the same place at the same time… hmmm…
Jim D.: Now living in a sod hut where Beaumont once stood before the Beaumont/ New New Orleans territory dispute of 2013. Can occasionaly be seen shooting at trespassers, wearing a hat made of a dead nutria and muttering about "hipsters"
Steven G. Harms: Somehow transcended flesh, space and time and is now a being composed entirely of energy and existing simultaneously in all places and all times
Reed: Has declared a small part of Austin, Texas, "Minnesota Southern Annex", and has opened a small shrine to the Minnesota Vikings
Jamie: Doing pretty much what she's doing now
Mysterious M: Living with her former pool-boy, Arturo, after having framed Randy for the murder of his boss

Has Jim replaced Roberts as Chief Justice?

There are no human judges in 2025. All questions are resolved with a 2 of 3 match of popular board game “Sorry”. No appeals.

Do we finally get to drive around in flying cars?

No. The first stallout of the first flying car meant a Macaroni Grill was vaporized when the fusion engine’s failsafe didn’t failsafe.

Will the blog still be around?

See above.

Is there a Mel II (cloned from Mel I, perhaps) running around?

Yes. But the experiment went totally awry. The new clone in a mile high and 1.5 miles long.

2) Your arch-nemesis has infiltrated League HQ and set it on fire.
Jamie and the animals are safe. You run back into the burning house. What do you rescue?

Wait… why did I just run back into the house if we’re all safe?

Do you even bother running back?

No! I fear fire!

Who would dare destroy League HQ?

Fire would, apparently. Or spiteful lawn service men whom I keep forgetting to pay.

3) Hollywood comes knocking. "League," it says. "Create for us - nay,
the world - the next great comic-based, big-budget, summer blockbuster,
action movie. You have complete control. Name the director (or direct
it yourself). Determine the plot and the stars. It's all about you!"
What do you do? What do you do?

Huh. Well, they’re doing Superman Returns, so that’s out. I liked the latest Batman film. I think I’d probably take the development money, hide for about three years, hire some graphics design majors and screen wiriting MFA candidates to crank something out after handing them a stack of comics, and then just ride off the development money unti they sued me.

If I actually had to execute, which doesn’t seem likely, given how Hollywood works, I’d have two options.

It’s tempting to say a mix of CGI and live-action We3.

Green Lantern. Origin story. Ben Bowder from FarScape as Hal Jordan. Sinestro would be the villain (no idea who the actor would be). Kilowog and Ganthet would be key, (Kilowog would have to be CG), and John Stewart and Guy Gardner could appear in the end.

I’d want Alfono Cuaron to direct.

4) With the success of the aforementioned movie, you purchase and
combine Marvel and D.C. What then?

I would never do that. It’s a terrible idea. They’re two separate companies with two distinct flavors. Wolverine, the Punisher and several others would all be in Arkham Asylum in DC Comics, and Superman would be routinely punished just for existing in Marvel comics.

That, and I doubt any amount of money would pry DC out of the hands of Time-Warner Communications.

5) In the year 2076, the League's biography is being written. What does
it say?

It says “Come for the freak, stay for the appendix!”

What do you want it to say?

“For tips on washing your dog in the tub, turn to page 225”

How many volumes will it take to depict the many adventures and misadventures of The League?

The fact that you think I have any adventures makes me wonder what blog you’re reading.

Monday, September 05, 2005

When "War of the Worlds" came out this summer, Spielberg was talking about why he made the film, and one of the things that popped out at me was that he wanted to capture "the American refugee experience", something we'd never had before.

I wonder if this comment will be excised from the DVD bonus materials.

A week later, and the reporters are charging in. "I'm in two feet of water" one of them was reporting today, but then the camera panned over, and he's standing in a deep pool of water on a street which is otherwise, completely dry. This is the sort of staged danger CNN's reporters are putting themselves in.

Already the snchors in the studios are asking the leading questions to their interviewees, the softball questions that, when they get their spun response, are going to let them go to bed tonight without that black pit in their stomach and that awful shade of guilt at the back of their minds. "So clean-up efforts are well underway?" "Oh, most certainly." "And you reacted as quickly as you could?" "Oh, most certainly." "And there's nothing different that could have been done?" "Oh, not at all."

Meanwhile the hundreds of thousands continue to flood out of New Orleans, Biloxi, and all points around and in between. Planeloads touched down twice today here in Phoenix, and folks will open their doors and arms.

I'm trying to make a space here, so that one day, when I go back and look in the months to come, because by then the talking heads and the pundits will have pointed their fingers, and anything resembling the truth will be but a faint memory. When we decide to rise up as a people and quit helping the people of New Orleans, and we start blaming them for living beside a levee, or for being too obstinate to abandon their city while the getting was good, I want to remember it how it was.

Little dogs left on rooftops, and people airlifted a week later. I want to recall that it was five days before the folks in the Convention Center could get out to use a toilet, and that bodies were propped up under blankets next to the living. That the criminals of the city went mad and were running their asylum.

I want to remember Fire Marshalls telling refugees that they can seat 80,000 people for a ball game, but they can't host more than 15,000 people for triage and food and water.

Mr. Spielberg, here is your American Refugee experience. It's not ending a week later in triumph with the tri-pods tumbling in defeat, nor with our hero walking to the steps of the brownstone to see his son. It's ending poorly.

As the real needs arise in the months to come, and we aren't still all reeling from the horror and the photos, and the finger pointing begins, let's try to remember that we wanted to help, didn't we? That we knew then that this was going to take work? And maybe even sacrifice?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

My new favorite football player?

Henry Melton, Univ. of Texas #37

Go Horns!
It's been a long time since I read a review that was so unabashedly ANGRY about having to sit through a movie that I wanted to plunk down my $8.00 to see exactly what all the fuss was about.

Read CNN's furious review of "A Sound of Thunder"

The film is based upon a short story of the same name of the film by Sci-Fi Statesman, Ray Bradbury. It's considered a sci-fi classic and has spun a thousand bad time travel rip-offs in comics, TV, film, etc... But the original short story pretty much boils the concept of why time travel is a bad idea right down to its essence.

Anyway, Jamie will never let me see this film.

Friday, September 02, 2005

This quiz is funny, and I have no idea how I got this result. The League is as scary as a slow moving tortoise. I apologize about the language in advance.

You're Avante Garde Indie. You listen to abstract
music like free-jazz and Krautrock. You drink
too much coffee and you scare the fuck out of
the rest of us. We're afraid to call you
pretentious because we know that we all just
don't get it. There are few of you out there,
and most of you will probably die soon.

You Know Yer Indie. Let's Sub-Categorize.
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The story is growing all the more bewildering as each hour passes.

Sniper attacks on hospitals? People firing on rescue vehicles?

The Chertoff had to be told by the reporter on NPR that the New Orleans Convention Center had been abandoned by the police, National Guard and the City of New Orleans. Thousands were inside with no food, water or information.

We're a country with stores stocked to the gills with bottles of water and food that won't go bad for decades lining the shelves.

It's almost inconceivable how the food and water couldn't be air-lifted, air-dropped or somehow delivered to the peopel who can't get out.

And you just keep wondering, where will the millions go in the months to come?

I can't imagine. And I can't imagine what the next several months will bring for any of them.

Sorry. I just don't have much left today.

American Red Cross
May I suggest the blog of Tami Q. Nelson?

She's a dame I met in high school who wound up in Austin where she fell in with my little circle of pals.

A few years back she made the move to New Orleans.

She's currently hiding out in Houston.

Read here.

Dude, you know, when The League started out we had this little circle of blogs with Jim D's blog, Randy's blog and a blog by intrepid American in Japan, Molly.

Molly disappeared first, never coming back to Osakatomebaby after she'd had a move. To this day, I have no idea what became of Molly. Not only did the blog end, but e-mail communiques also disappeared.

Jim sort of started sputtering out, and this summer more or less ended his long-running blog of political and pop-culture commentary. Sure, he's risen like a Phoenix elsewhere (dig around, he's out there), but Jim's original blog is dead, andI am struggling with the notion of removing Jim's blog from the blog roll.

Randy, who had routinely threatened blogicide, has gone so far as to just re-route his readers to The League just a few weeks ago.

Cowgirl Funk is still around, and she's been here for years now, so you have to give Maxwell some mad props.

Sure, Adventures of Steanso, Steven G. Harms and others have joined in the fun, but it is a sobering thought that The League is the last of the original mohicans.

Jim D. had suggested I start a blog due to the length of the e-mails I was sending him, and, eventually, I took up the challenge. I've now wasted thousands of hours on this blog and travelled to Beaumont in celebration of our mutual blogging.

Oh, if only Randy, Jim and Molly would return.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mrs. League interviews: The League

I'm shy on content this week, and you guys seem to stay awake a lot more when I don't drift off into discussions upon how totally bad-ass Detective Chimp is, I thought I'd force Jamie into helping me keep you guys entertained.

Jamie's written 5 questions for The League. Next week we'll interview Mrs. League. Also, hopefully, we'll get an interview completed with Reed T. Shaw.

Don't forget, if you want to be interviewed, just let me know.


1) Some Leaguers may be unaware that in your younger years you enjoyed creating your own comic characters. Describe your first superhero creation.

Ah. I believe my first superheroic creation which I am willing to discuss publicly was probably “Hi-Fi” (which should date him nicely). Hi-Fi was supposed to be a rough and tumble teenager who wore a motorcycle helmet (because I thought motorcycle helmets were cool) with weird fox-ears on top. I think the fox ears were supposed to give him super-hearing or something.

Hi-Fi’s origin, as retold on college-ruled notebook paper in 5th grade, was that he’d fallen into a vat of radioactive chemicals. This had somehow given him the ability to generate concussive “sound blasts”. It’s not much of an origin. The entire supporting cast consisted of a bald police chief with a mustache who whole-heartedly supported Hi-Fi’s vigilantism.

Anyway, I don’t think Hi-Fi ever really got into any serious adventures as he only made it to page six or seven (including a splash page on page 3).

All of this was trumped by Peabo’s highly unorthodox take on the adventures of Batman and Robin, in which the caped crusaders used the Batmobile to drive around and pick up trampy girls.

2) You spent many a childhood summer touring the country in your conversion van. What were your favorite and least favorite road trips?

Well, in truth, we only took one extended road trip which took us from Austin to NYC to Canada, to Michigan to Missouri. We stopped at every single road-side attraction, saw every relative in the extended family, and listened to only one tape, Huey Lewis and the News’ “Sports” for six weeks straight.

I think I would have enjoyed the trip more if I hadn’t gotten very sick in the middle of it and had to share a bed with Steanso for six weeks. Plus, at age 10 I was too old to be cute (especially the Bros. Steans who both were about a foot to tall for their age at any given point)and too young for anyone to really want to talk to, so I spent most of the trip sitting in a corner reading comics. Mostly Spider-Man and ElfQuest. Yeah, ElfQuest. Shut up.

At least I saw family, saw Washington DC, made my one trip to Canada, and read a heck of a lot of comics. For some reason what sticks out most was the stop at Robert E. Lee’s tomb (and museum! This is certainly something I want to achieve post-mortem. If you can’t get a t-shirt or League-themed chess set at my tomb, I will know I have failed). It was also the first time I realized my dad had relatives outside of my grandparents and uncle.

Probably my least favorite trips were the forced marches when Steanso was playing club soccer and we would all pile in the van and go somewhere all weekend to stand in a field all day in the glaring sun to watch soccer games. Even when my parents had mercy and left me at the hotel to read and watch hotel cable, it was still all day in a hotel room.

It wasn’t bad, just horribly boring. Eventually my folks let me stay with Peabo when Steanso had a tournament, but that was pretty late in the game.

3) Austin has some kick-ass restaurants. What is your absolute favorite Austin eatery? What is your favorite menu item (need not be from same locale)?

My favorite place to eat was probably Rudy’s Bar-B-Q. You have to order meat by the quarter pound, they give you a half-loaf of white bread, and they have the best Bar-B-Q sauce in the 3rd Dimension.

That said, my favorite menu item in Austin may have been the taco dinner at Serrano’s, especially at the Red River location (probably my second favorite place to eat in Austin).

I dunno. I also loved Casa Garcia’s on S. Lamar, which Steanso, Jamie and I may have had no small hand in keeping afloat in those early days.

4) What has been your least favorite job?

Oh, God. Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza.

It just wasn’t a good job. There’s nothing like kids given money, filled with sugar and pizza, surrounded by singing robots and video games to create high-octane nightmare fuel for your $4.25 an hour.

Look, people are generally really awful parents. I learned this on my very first job. One of the other interesting bits is that, at the time, they served beer at Chuck E. Cheese’s, which meant the parents would come in, drink, give their kids money to run away, and then toss their infant in the ball crawl. This wasn’t a portion of the parents. This was most of the parents after 7:00pm.

You’ve probably forgotten, but at some point when you were a kid you thought that adults were sort of boring because they had figured out how to do all the boring crap that makes you an adult. Get a job with a tie, pay taxes, raise kids, etc… The summer when I was 16, I learned that was a horribly misguided notion and that most adults were no smarter than the morons I knew in high-school.

In my time at Mr. Cheese’s, I was almost electrocuted about a dozen times attempting to “fix” the wiring on the pin-ball machines, had to kick bums out of the restaurant (as they were trying to take crusts off the tables), had to lemon-oil every inch of rubber along the walls, and spend countless hours cleaning and re-cleaning the glass doors to the place.

I was frequently on ball-crawl duty, which could last for hours, and required you to be IN the ball-crawl (parents, the ball crawl is the least sanitary place on earth. Seriously. Never let your kids in a ball-crawl.)

5) If we ever leave Arizona, what will you miss most about the Valley of the Sun?

I am going to miss… Nothing is coming to me. I dunno. I'd say The Suns, but hopefully I'd have Spurs and Rockets games in Texas, or another team to follow where ever we might land.

I do have some good co-workers, a nice parking spot, and lots of good places to eat lunch.

Click on picture for full screen puppies

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I met Nathan in 1993 sometime toward the end of his senior year of high school. I had seen him play at the 1993 Klein Oak High School battle of the bands, affectionately known as "OakStock".

Nathan played in a band with my fellow actor, Frank, and at some point we were introduced.

That fall, Nathan attended Trinity University in the Alamo City, where Steanso was going (after having refused to move with the rest of the Family Steans when we picked up stakes and moved to Houston). Nathan, Frank and Steanso played in uber-band "The Stray Toasters". After Frank and Steanso disappeared, Nathan transmorgified "Stray Toasters" into an all-purpose jazz-rock-funk-everything but the kitchen sink sort of band.

Jamie also ended up being pals with Nathan at Trinity, and so all of us continued to hang out a great deal.

It came to pass that Nathan's days in the booth at the Trinity radio station qualified him for a career in broadcast. He became a popular DJ on Texas Public radio in San Antonio. He's still the voice of TPR, but he's also involved in programming for the station and the film festivals sponsored by the station.

Nathan once appeared eyeball-to-eyeball with Regis on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" during the height of the program's popularity. Nathan missed a very, very difficult question regarding the geography of Myanmar or something.

I went to Nathan and Renata's wedding several years ago, which was an amazing affair. You sort of had to have been there, but it was really lovely.

Not so long ago Renata and Nathan had a lovely daughter, Samantha. She's already a proud Spurs fan.

Since 1993 the enigmatic Nathan Cone has always been around. Somewhere. Usually listening to Miles.


1) You're known to occasionally enjoy some music.
What was the first album you spent money on? When was the last time you listened to it? Really? Why has it been so long?

ANSWER: The first album I remember spending my very own money on was the J. Geils Band's "Freeze Frame." I haven't listened to it in ages since I lost the cassette long ago and never replaced it. Other than the singles from the album (Freeze Frame and Centerfold), I really don't remember at all what the rest of the album sounded like. The next oldest cassette/album in my collection is probably Buckner & Garcia's "Pac-Man Fever." The first CD I ever bought was Def Leppard's "Pyromania," in 1987. I sold it a few years later. The oldest two compact discs that are still in my collection are Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Iron Maiden's "Somewhere In Time."

2) You're suddenly 17, a senior at KOHS, and guitar player for OakStock favorite, The Barnyard Commandos.

a) Who is your hero?
b) What is your goal when you reach Trinity U?
c) Can you explain Frank to a stranger on the street?

a) As a Barnyard Commandos guitarist, my musical heroes at the time would probably be the Ramones and the Beatles. I'm not sure I had a hero outside the music world at the time.
b) My goal when I reach Trinity is to get on the radio station ASAP, and to start up a new band with Frank and Steanso.
c) gffrtenfk3. fndklL~~!! CDNFC(#cdnjkcsn0cew.

3) You're a new father of a darling young girl. It's now 2018 and young Samantha has just arrived home from eSchool on the Hover Bus.

She is a huge fan of the latest boy band craze, "The Sugar Laddies".

What do you do?

ANSWER: Why does she need to leave the house if she's going to eSchool?

Ah, but to answer your question. She will be eight years old. Hmm. (editor's note: She will be 13. But I also called Samantha "Meredith" in my first attempt at this question)

Either wait for her to grow out of the Sugar Laddies phase, or show her "A Hard Day's Night" and watch the magic happen.

4) Amazingly, you've been transported through time to 62 A.D. Sadly, you were captured wandering around outside of Rome, and are being forced to battle in a
gladiatorial arena in a fight to the death.

Luckily, those Romans aren't totally stone-hearted. They've given you a choice of what sort of animal you shall fight to the death.

furious badger

Do you think you'd win?
How long do you think the fight would last?

ANSWER: Gosh, as much as I hate the idea of slaughter, I must ask, do I get a sword? (editor's note: I'd prefer a trident and net, but, sure... you get a sword and dagger)

If so, I think I would choose the ostrich, and go for the legs as it charges me. Of course, I'm not as speedy as I used to be, and I could get trampled. I'd give the fight five minutes, either way. Then if I survive, I'd congratulate Caesar for providing a convenient way to let folks know whether a movie is bad or good.

5) I first met Renata on December 31st, 1999. She's a nifty chick. But that's not when you met her.

Renata: How and why?

ANSWER: Like many others around the nation, I met my future spouse at work.
We talked, and I learned that she is a smart, strong-willed, lovely woman.
I have learned much from her. Oh, and she's super-purty. And as I suspected, she's a great mother.

Sitting here in Arizona, with 22% humidity and 112 degrees, it's a little tough to fathom the devastation occuring hust a few hours' plane ride away.

With the stories coming in, it's not hard to believe that relief and rescue workers are going to need assistance once the storm has passed and emergency workers will be able to go into the many communities affected by Hurricane Katrina.

If you have some extra to spend this month, I ask that you consider making a donation to the American Red Cross.

Here is the link for the Red Cross.
This probably isn't going to be too exciting for a lot of you, but the Jack Kirby Museum is now open. The museum is currently only online, but it's being invested in by a lot of folks who will be sure to make it go.

The guys from ToMorrow Publishing, who print the "Jack Kirby Collector" magazine, Jack's daughter and Mark Evanier are all involved. It's going to be a neat project, bringing Kirby's work to a central db for viewing by the public. I hope that DC and Marvel play ball and let the museum use as much Marvel and DC content as possible.

Kirby is responsible for most of the Marvel Universe and a good chunk of the characters in the DCU. His dynamic style broke the mold for comics, teaching artists not to rely on static shots, but infusing each panel with ACTION.

His work looks a little odd and dated to folks just taking a quick peak, but I like to think Kirby's work holds up under study as some of the finest draftsmanship and dynamic craft in the industry.

Anyhoo, check out the new Jack "King" Kirby Museum. Heck, join up. They could use the funding. The League must check in with Mrs. League before throwing money at such a useful cause.


Monday, August 29, 2005

I've been watching some of the shows on E! or VH1 or one of the entertainment networks, and the latest trend seems to be a return to the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", without the charm and wonder of 80's gadfly Robin Leach.

Instead, the format of the new shows sort of uses the "I Heart the (Decade's)" with Q-level entertainers sort of waxing unfunny about the bizarre goings-on of celebrities. The basic trend I'm now noting, no doubt late tot he party, is that basic cable spends an inordinate amount of programming celebrating the mundane luxuries of the unfortunately privileged. And the only two things which keep the have-nots from freaking out and having France 1789 happen in the here and now are 1) the fact that we've got TV to keep us warm and happy, and 2) we have a deep seeded belief that, with the right lotto ticket or if someone saw our real potential, that would be us with the fleet of Hummers. And WE don't want to be executed for installing an HDTV in our bathtub.

The shows highlight the bizarrely extravagant parties thrown for rich people's kids (at, like, age 2, when they'd be just as happy playing in a tub full of mud), how they spoil their pets, their opulent beach homes, etc...

The show which really makes me really start reconsidering Marxism is "Filthy Rich Cattle Drive". A program in which 19 year old kids are complaining about the thread-count of the linens they get at a cattle ranch and threaten to involve attorneys when asked to do the dishes.

Look, I'm a privileged suburban kid, too. But there's definitely a point at which you sort of aren't just saying, "Boy, I wish I had their money." Instead, you start saying, "My GOD, this person is a moron. How did they amass this wealth to begin with without blowing it all on gum and pinwheels?," or, alternately, "Can't this freak's parents see what a moron their kid is?"

My new resolution for the upcoming Fall is, when the show I am watching on E! (usually The Soup) ends, I will locate the remote and turn off the TV instead of writing off the show as background noise while I do whatever. Obviously I'm watching these shows enough that they're bugging me.

Anyhoo, we had a good weekend. It was hot as a bastard here in the Valley of the Sun, which was fine. I had to actually do some work over the weekend, and we're watching our pennies these days. Today we went to the first birthday party of Isaac N., Ryan "Good Ryan" and Trisha's kid. It was really my first kid's birthday party, and it was actually a lot of fun. Take cake, add baby, plus sheet of plastic, hilarity ensues. Anyway, we got Isaac a Richard Scary book, a book which investigated the various sounds farm animals make (from their mouths, people), and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I sort of want my own copy of the Richard Scary book, but I can't find a good way to justify buying it. It's actually a pretty neat book, and I like Richard Scary's very busy illustrations.

I just realized I never wrote Nathan's 5 questions. Gotta run.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hey, what could trump the great Pepsi Holiday Spice Challenge, or the CHicken Fries Extreme Taste Test?

Oh, boy... 'Twas Randy who located the proper taste test to end all taste tests.

Folks, check out "Steve, Don't Eat It!" from weblog, "The Sneeze".

To try to recount Steve's trials and tribulations here would only be a disservice.

Go here to see what Steve is willing to eat.

Melbotis Perkins (AKA: Melly, AKA: Mel, AKA: Smelly Melly, AKA: Buster Brown)
shall henceforth be known as Diddy.

He's just tired of people not knowing what to call him.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Work is work. Not much to report from back at League HQ where I've been getting up early for work and arriving home late this week as it's the first week of the semester and that makes The League a busy bee.

Last night I sat down on the bed to prevent Jamie from reading her book, and fell asleep at 9:20. I woke up again a fe wminutes later, but I was asleep by 10:00, and that is not assisting me in my contribution to the world of blogging.

Randy over at has not only given up on, he's re-directed his blog to this page. Which makes me wonder... If I redirect to Well, I'm pretty sure it would mean the end of the universe.

I am supposed to interview Nathan Cone in short order. Nathan, expect your questions this weekend.

There's been a lot of e-mail discussion about Six Feet Under concluding, and I'm proud of the producers for not trying to go on for ten years and just make a buck. It sounds like the show maintained its integrity right up to the end. Aside from "Small Wonder", I can't think of too many shows which went out on their own terms in quite the same way.

I did watch Six Feet Under for the first season and one-third of the second season. I missed an episode somewhere along the line, and when I came back to the show, I had no idea what was going on. Seriously, like one episode. Anyway, I moved shortly after that, didn't have HBO for a while, and never got back into it.

I also don't watch Sopranos, Deadwood, Lost, or any of the other programs which some people are hooked on like $5 crack. I'm just not much of one for episodic, hour-long TV. I even gave up on X-Files for the last season or two. Something about dedicating an hour a week to a show doesn't bug me. Dedicating 22 hours of my life to a network show or two... that sort of bugs me. That's the equivalent of half of an entire credit-bearing course at a semester-based university.

Watch two or three shows like that, and suddenly you should be getting some sort of associates degree.

Don't get me wrong, I am a bitch to the TV. Sadly, my favorite show right now is probably "Mythbusters" on Discovery. I also watch a lot of "Soul Train" on Saturdays on WGN. On Sunday mornings I try to tune into "Breakfast with the Arts" on Bravo rather than watching Russert, which I should probably be doing if I were more responsible.

I also will sit and watch an entire program simply because I can't believe it's on TV at all. "So You Think You Can Dance?" has almost drawn me into it's gyrating spell on numerous occasions.

Last night VH1 was running some programming from it's sister channel, VH1 classics. The show was called "Alternative" and featured videos pretty much from my middle and high-school era. Echo and the Bunnymen. Pixies. Love & Rockets. Basically, somebody raided the locker they kept the videos in from MTV's Sunday night show, 120 Minutes.

120 Minutes ran at a time when MTV figured its audience was probablya sleep, anyway, and they figured there wasn't much to lose by airing these videos that the "college rock" fans of the time could enjoy.

Younger Leaguers will be shocked and dismayed to learn that until 1992ish, there was no such term as "alternative rock". There was just rock. And some of it sold, and some it didn't. And some of it did well with college audiences, and it had it's own chart and everything. And then one day people quit sniffing glue long enough to realize that Vanilla Ice was just a horrible idea, and for some reason everyone decided to buy Pearl Jam's debut record and the album by the band with that "Teen Spirit" song, and voila! A new genre was coined by some coked-up record exec.

The funny thing about the show on VH1 was that it was referring to the videos they were showing (all of which were incredibly cheap looking by today's big budget standards) were incredibly unpopular at the time. Go back and check your Yearbook. Your school didn't vote for "Jesus Built My Hotrod" for class song. You guys all got together and voted for "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men. Shut up. Yes you did.

VH1 Classics is talking up some video by Peter Murphy, like this was what we were all listening to, but meanwhile "End of the Road" is popping up on one of VH1's endless "100 Worst Break Up Songs" specials, and everyone is having a good laugh, like that album wasn't flying off the shelf at every Sam Goody in the country in 1991.

But The League has a long memory. And we remember that you couldn't flip channels in the latter days of the Bush-41 administration without Garth Brooks or Color Me Badd lurking around every corner.

This was pop culture at the time. Only dusty old copies of Billboard Magazine survive to back up what I remember with crystalline clarity.

So is it great to see these videos? Sure! Is it somehow dirty and disingenuous of MTV Corp. to suggest they always backed these bands? I dunno. Somehow I really miss Dave Kendall sitting in his dark little studio trying to get you to stick with him for a full two hours.

And, hey, I found some bands I liked at the time through 120 Minutes. Lush. Charlatans UK. A few other things which never made the transfer from cassette to CD.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hope all is well with all Leaguers, great and small.

I made a huge mistake at work sometime several months ago which I was completely unaware of. Until today. It was not fun. No sir, it was not.

Hope everyone popping by will just go down the blogroll. I really don't have time for much today.

It seems like I had a crackerjack idea for tonight, but I can't remember what it was in the slightest.

I am tired.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dear Pat,

I don't want to tell you how to run your Bible show, but... quick review:

"Thou shalt not kill"

Exodus 20: 13


The League

Monday, August 22, 2005

Hey, I am very, very busy with work, which means long days + tired = no serious blogging.

So, this is a mini-hiatus of sorts as I allow myself to not entertain you thankless jerks for a few days should I lack the time to properly blog.

Interview-Arama continues over on Cowgirl Funk as Maxwell answers the questions which are plaguing me.

Read here.

I shall soon interview Nathan "Attack of the" Cone. Keep yer eyes peeled.

The interview with Randy went so poorly that the fall-out has been to see Randy shut down his own site and disappear. I sort of am reminded of the Seinfeld episode with the dude who, when upset, would go into the woods, dig a hole, and sit in it.

So, anyway, thus far the result of the interviews has been a mixed bag. So, you know, who else wants to get interviewed?

Also, for those of you who are going to miss Six Feet Under (a show I used to watch, missed an episode, had no idea what was going on, and never came back), may I suggest: CATWOMAN?

Yup, the mom from Six Feet Under is in Catwoman. And since it's the best movie EVER, I highly suggest you check it out.

The League and Mrs. League went to the 1:10pm show of "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" on Saturday.

The movie is not the stupid sex-comedy I sort of supposed it would be. Well, yeah, it sort of is, but it isn't Porky's or whatever.

Once again, I sat in the dark of the theater believing "there, but for the Grace of God, go I." Just check it out. You'll see.

The movie is not set in the same bizarro parallel universe as something like "Anchorman", but actually sort of grounds itself in some semblance of reality, even if it is a silly, silly movie. The acting is pretty good, but doesn't appear to be much of a stretch for anybody. Some scenes have the pacing of improvisation, and I am sure that was the case. And during the "waxing" scene from the trailer, Carrell comes dangerously close to breaking character. But, hey, it's pretty funny, anyway, and you get the distinct feeling the girl doing the waxing was not acting at all.

The lovely Catherine Keener is actually genuinely funny in a role which could easily have been typical romantic-interest dull (think any straight-woman in a Jim Carrey comedy), and Jane Lynch has a few really priceless scenes as well.

The movie may have dragged a bit for a few minutes as they decided to tie up the loose ends of the plot, but the ending... yes, the ending redeems anything which may have gone wrong. The League had tears streaming down his face.

Look, the language in the movie is pretty coarse, but I honestly believe it's funny because it's true. Sorry, ladies, it's true. While ultimately funnier than any conversation I think I ever had on the topics covered, there's some painful reality in all of this.

Steve Carrell and Judd Apatow have made a pretty darn good comedy, and I guess it might even be a romantic comedy, in it's own way. The League gives it, oh, 62 out of 75 Mels.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


The League loves him some professional basketball. And tonight, The League and Mrs. League headed into town to see the Phoenix Mercury, our local WNBA team, take on the Minnesota Lynx.

The tickets, in comparison to an NBA game, were pretty inexpensive. Plus, I bought them on a special where I could also get a free hotdog and soda with each ticket with the "dinner and game" package. We were supposed to sit in the 11th row of section 104, but couldn't quite figure out the whole seating arrangement with the corner we were sitting in, and some nice folks, apparently regulars told us to just sit down. Apparently it doesn't really matter at the free-wheeling Mercury games what the seat assignment is on your ticket, what matters is that you just sit down.

The Mercury's record isn't very good. I think they're .500 for the season, but they've been playing much better since the European League (no relation) broke up for the summer and they got Kamila Vodichkova back.

Long story short, the Mercury wiped the floor with the Lynx this evening. Which was fun, but at the same time, it was such a blowout, it wasn't really a nail biter.

The audience is fairly small. They don't sell tickets for the upper tier of the arena as the audience isn't terribly large for live WNBA games, but it's a tight-knit group of fans. Who is the audience for the WNBA? Well, there are a lot of families at the games, a lot more than at Suns games, and especially a lot of families with girls. Also, ladies out for a night on the town. And the only two random dudes (a large portion of the Suns' audience) sitting next to us were cheering for The Lynx. Cheering very quietly as they were, literally, the only Lynx fans in the stadium.

There was also some crazy woman who, apparently, knew ahead of time about the Disneyland Vacation Giveaway, as she was standing center court at half-time dressed in mouse ears, black nose, red pants and big, white Mickey gloves. In a way, it was kind of creepy. Luckily, she won the trip or I would have felt really, really bad for her.

Anyway, we don't get out a whole lot, but for once we did. And on a Sunday, no less.

Play-offs start soon, and I THINK the Mercury are in the play-offs. We'll see.

I KNOW I've mentioned these things before, but Steven G. Harms e-mailed me the other day to point out the latest installment of Bryan Singer's video diary on the upcoming movie, Superman Returns.

It's a peach.

Click here for a wide selection of choices for viewing format.

People keeping asking, and, yes... the new movie is a sequel of sorts to the 1970's-era Superman films, Superman: The Movie and Superman II.

My sources tell me that neither Richard Pryor nor John Cryer will be making an appearance.