And you had better watch as well.  You know what?  Go read it too.  You’re missing out if you haven’t.

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Like everyone else I thought it would never happen. But now every fan is telling the same story about that ten year gap; about their disappointment and eventual acceptance that the greatest underground, indy comic would never be complete and how excited that they are now holding issue #21 in their grubby little paws.

Of course I stand with them. This was some great stuff when I was in high school. It had a great influence on my craft as a writer and changed the way I though about comics. While not quiet as good (or perhaps “raw”) as issues #1-15, Rob Schrab has made great strides back in the right direction over the mostly sloppy #16-20. With #21 we are pretty much right back on track.

I’m glad I decided not to go back and reread the previous books. Rob Schrab has decided to start the comic by adding the ten year hiatus to the storyline.  Scud has been sent back to Earth where he was stuck in a standby mode. A quick recap is done just before a familiar face wakes him up. Jumping back into it as fresh as Scud was was a great feeling.

With #21 out there are now three more issues to go before Rob Schrab concludes the comic proper.  Should be excellent.


Hancock

13Feb08

Alright, what the hell is this?  Go watch.  It’s You Tube.

If you’ve known me for any length of time you know that my general distaste for film becomes apparent rather quickly.  I feed on the failure of most all celluloid endeavors.  The joy of watching a film fall directly on its face is far greater to me than any well-produced, well-thought out film ever could hope to bring me.  Therefore my relations with film is limited mostly to previews, reviews, and the occasional top ten list.  I do this to get a taste of the general opinions surrounding whatever I happen to be interested in.  Oh yes, I have my fingers on the pulse of popular culture.

Ahem.  Blame MST3K.

But what is this?  This Hancock.  What is this feeling welling up inside?  Was that a smile spreading across my face?  Did I genuinely laugh while viewing this trailer?  Is this blood rushing in to my ashen heart?

There isn’t a lot to go on here but the premise makes me giggle like an excited toddler.  I really hope there’s a decent story to back it up.


Ignore me!

28Jan08

Pay no attention to me!


Look! I wrote. My organs swell along with my head. Was that uncalled for? I called for it. I called it forth, my hands blaze with serpentine fire. I ninja the intent while I strike.

Then I begin to ponder. Had I struck with too much force? My hands curl, twisted; there is no movement. The silence brings noise. I try to follow everything.

Only one direction will not exhaust, but I’m too exhausted to follow the rich… What was my intent? I will need the fire to cauterize. It’s certainly something like that.


As a young lad The Transformers toy line was exactly the type of toy I wanted to play with until I discovered Playboy. The cartoon series was my favorite for a time and Optimus Prime was my hero, in as much as a cartoon character could be. When the original animated movie came to theaters I can recall being shaken as if out of a dream. Optimus Prime was killed off and a new generation of Transformers took over. I had recovered from the death of my hero before the film was complete but nothing after seemed quite the same. The toy line petered out a while later and most of the fans grew up.

A few years ago The Transformers had a resurgence with several new toy lines and cartoon series. I was excited at first having almost completely forgotten about the once beloved robots. The cartoons weren’t that good and with the exception of the Robots in Disguise series the new action figures were pretty uninspired and lacking in detail/moving parts. So once again my interest waned. Then the new live action movie was announced.

I found my self unable to care. The boy in me cried, punched, scratched and begged me to let loose in to slobbering fanboy-ism. This time I refused. I wanted to see the movie but could not let my self slip into a state where the only possible outcome could be me forsaken and on my knees in front of the theater crying “They ruined it! They ruined it!” However I no longer have any emotional or fanboy stock left for the series. This movie had an easy path to perfection for me. Is Optimus Prime a truck? Do the Autobots and Decepticons have personalities that reflect from Generation 1? Is there giant robot fighting? If the answers are yes, yes, and yes then the film passes the test.

On the fourth of July Transformers came out to mixed reviews. It’s standing on RottenTomatoes.com is 57% as of this typing with the compiled reviews. I could not care less. I refuse to read them. I have a feeling most are misguided. Too much emphasis on special effects you say? Not enough plot for you? The acting was bad? You have missed the point completely. It’s a movie about giant robots from space who beat the hell out of each other. Thats your source material. This is not high art (if that can even be properly defined). The only thing you need to do with your Transformers movie is to have machines transform into giant robots and then fight. Unfortunately Michael Bay did not understand this.

When you hire film director Michael Bay a time paradox occurs. Somehow you drive a final nail in the the coffin of your movie before the coffin has even been built. I’m not simply talking about Transformers. He ruins all film. This is the only $7.50 he will ever receive from me.

The McGuffen-style plot is the only thing he got right. The Autobots and the Decpticons are both after “The Cube,” an object with a vague purpose. That sets up everything you need for giant robot fighting. The only problem is that Michael Bay decided to instead focus on the boring and stupid human cast, which is filled with “has-been” actors and some “no-name” actors that are so bottom rung that they might not even technically exist. What part of giant robot fighting did you not understand, Bay?

When the giant robot fighting finally does occur Bay does all he can to obscure the action with flashing lights, pointless and vomit inducing camera movement, and editing the film down to nothing but 2 second long cuts. You spent how much money on these amazing, truly amazing special effects and then you don’t even let us see them!? There could have been a money shot in every scene but Bay completely blew it.

Despite these horrible mistakes there is some life in the movie. Optimus Prime looks cool in robot and truck form and Peter Cullen once again does the voice acting. I’m not one to bicker about his new look or the look of any of the other robots. Disappointing is that Frank Welker is not voicing Megatron this time around. However Hugo Weaving(!) does a decent job as a replacement. The Autobots personalities were pulled from the old cartoon and the humor works for the most part but they’re pretty much thrown in the trash after the scene at Sam’s parent’s house. The Decepticons were pretty much personality free. Starscream, the F-22 Raptor jet, did disappoint at first when he was shown to be just as gung-ho as the other Decepticons. He had only one line and it was NOT rebellious in nature.

Speaking of dialog the whole film has one really high moment and one really low moment. Early in the film when Sam is hocking is grandfathers items to his history class he has a flashback to his grandfathers arctic expedition where the line “The ice is freezing faster than it’s melting!” is spoken by one of the sailors. I hope they didn’t pay money for writing. The script later redeems its self with a choice exchange between Prime and Megatron. Just after saving Sam from the roof top all three characters plummet to the ground. Prime faces Megs and says “It’s just you and me, Megatron” to which Megs replies, “No, Prime, its always just been just me.” Even if it sounds uninspired or cliche this exchange alone perfectly captures both characters. Their lines are exactly what I would expect out of either of them if I was watching the cartoon.

For me, the film passes despite the awful direction and the insistence on featuring the human cast. For me, though, all I needed to see was Optimus Prime use that giant sword during highway chase. I needed nothing else.


This is where failure grows most rapidly. One can either curse at the gnarled, twisted thing or rip it out at the root. Today I choose the latter by beginning to write and maintain this blog. We shall see what grows from here.

Perhaps I’m putting too much pressure on this site. I must refrain from that in the future.