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Archive for June, 2012

Anger Mangement

So I was amoungst the millions of rubberneckers who caught the first two episodes of Charlie Sheen’s new show last night. We’re still trying to figure if the train wreck is over and if it’s okay to stop looking now.

It’s not bad. That’s not to say that it’s good..it’s not anything. It’s boring. I think the greatest failing of this show is that Sheen lacks a foil. They have tried to effectively merge his Charlie Harper character from”Two and a Half Men” with the Allen character and combine them into his Charlie Goodson character, and it just doesn’t quite work.

The next door neighbor (Michael Boatman) isn’t really quirky enough for Sheen’s wit to bounce off of. The Ex-Wife (Shawnee Smith, who I’ve adored since she was in Summer School with Mark Harmon) would actually work better for this and has better chemistry, but she’s underdeveloped and according to IMDB, not in the rest of the series!

There’s real potential for funny exchanges during the bar scenes with Brett Butler and the therapy sessions.  Unfortunately, they all fall flat.  That’s a pity, because if done right, they could become real water cooler talk moments – much like the defendants in Night Court. Those segments were peppered throughout the show and were some of the funniest moments in it. A little more time put into it and I think these therapy sessions and bar scenes could do the same.

Having a formula isn’t a bad thing. I used one to create Violent Blue, but they’ve strayed to far from what works and focused on the wrong things. It’s a shame because I like all the actors in this show, but if FX picks it up after the initial 9 episode order without some serious overhaul, they are fools.


Mystery Guest

Okay, this was a while back, but the thing is…I lost the artwork.

It’s ironic, because the scenario this Clix Comic comes from is one I never got to play. I built this team, and even test played it at another venue, but the week I was supposed to do the actual game, it got cancelled.

I don’t remember much except it was during the Superman launch and it was going to be a really close quarters  match, so I wanted close combat experts. I do recall though that this is where I really learned to love the Batgirl figure. I got her because I wanted a complete modern Batman family…who knew she would be such a good piece? She’s nearly impossible to hit from a distance and if you get into hand to hand she’s got close combat expert to drop tons of damage on you! Bronze Tiger’s not to shabby either though I need to mod his mask off so he look more like he did back in Suicide Squad.

I like to imagine that Batman was the leader of this group and the recruitment went a little like this (the “You??” at the end is because one of the rules was that we had to include one figure from a sealed booster) :


Thank you Danny Trejo!

I may not be able to get Fred Williamson, but I’m more than happy to get Danny Trejo instead! He turned this around reasonably quickly so I wasn’t freaking out for too long about sending this poster (already signed by Tom Savini and John Saxon) through the mail!  Thanks so much Mr. Trejo!

A special thanks for singing over Clooney’s mouth. If anyone could shout that blowhard up, it’s you Danny!


Monster Bash!

Been a couple of first time cons this year. Lake Effect Conic Con and Monster Bash! Of course I’ve been wanting to go to Monster bash fro a few years now, but it always seemed to be the one that fell through the crack. It was especially sad the first year, because I missed the Creature from the Black Lagoon…but never fear…this year he was back!

I pulled up to the hotel and immediately knew I was in the right place. Great displays in the lobby as well as the cool banners outside.

One of the thi8ngs I noticed about this con is how many people in costume are around. I love cosplayers and the classic monster types are really cool.

They seem to have as many Horror hosts as Cinema Wasteland, but those guys also seemed to be taking more pictures.

Finally got my Creature from the Black Lagoon autograph and met the ingenue!

Got to meet Arch Hall Jr. as well and get a second autograph on my EEGah! poster!

The movie selection unfortunately wasn’t my thing – I’ve never been real in to Cavemen, but it’s absolutely worth the trip for the guests. (my only complaint with that was the panels were only thrity minuets long! You really NEED an hour!) It’s got a similar family atmosphere that I usually feel at Cinema Wasteland. People are easy to approach and talk too. I had one guy come up and straight out ask “How old is that Shadow backpack?”

It was that atmosphere that helped me find a couple of familiar faces that I didn’t know. I tracked down all the members of the B-Movie-Cast (a podcast I listen too frequently) and it was really fun to put the faces to the voices. The other person I wanted to find was Richard Scravani. He’s listed on the site as a guest, but what they don’t tell you is that he doesn’t have a table. HE hosted a couple of segments and spent the rest of the con attending events like the rest of us. I’m a big fan of his book on my favorite Horror Host, Zacherley and I wanted him to sing my copy….but couldn’t seem to find him most of the day! Late in the afternoon I caught him in the lobby and was able to sit and talk with him about Zach for a while. We both had similar experiences sending him letters and discussed how strange it was that certain areas he’s really well known and in others like Cleveland, he’s virtually unknown. IT was really nice to meet him and speak with him about everything. He left a lovely inscription in my book and seemed embarrassed I even asked him to sign it. Before we headed off to the Black Lagoon panel he told me I made his afternoon.

Of course one of the reasons I go to these things is so I can buy stuff you just can’t find in the real world. My real score was a bootleg copy of Spider-Man : Turn of the Dark. Yeah, that’s right. I have the Broadway musical. It’s AWFUL.

The girls loved the rubber dinosaurs I brought home for them and Lydia wore one of the bat rings I brought her to Church. I also got Maddie a Grim Reaper comic book (Same artist as Tiny Titans) and she had it open as soon as she got it and was trying to sound out words in story.

All in all a good con. I expect I’ll be back, but I’ll be mindful of the programming next time and pick a year with better movies.


Hey Fred! Call your agent!

So I’m getting ready for the bash and pulling posters I want signed and sorting through autographs.

It occured to me that even though I didn’t have my Dusk till Dawn poster a few years back when Fred Williamson was at Cinema Wasteland, I might still be able to catch him through the mail and get an autograph on it along with the ones already on it.

I found his website and there were instructions on sending items to get autographed. there weas a fee – I’m fine with that. It means I have a MUCH greater liklihood of getting my auto back. I shot out an email to his agent (her contact info was on the site, not his. Again, I’m fine with that. It’s smart.) to confirm that the info was up to date and that this was the right place to send the picture.

Her reply was : don’t use that address.  I will get one for you.

That was four days ago.
 
Not digging it. At this point I’m not sure i’d trust an address even if she gets one back to me. Drag.
 
Oh well. Got to get some Violent Blue done before I head out to Monster Bash tomorrow morning. 5:00 AM  is ging to come WAY to early.

Monster Bash this weekend!

I’m heading to PA for my first Monster Bash this weekend. Really excited about meeting the Creature for the Black Lagoon!


Barda vs. Witchblade

You may remember some of  this dialogue from the Clix party post a few months back. But seriously, if Big Barda met Witchblade, isn’t this JUST how the two would hit it off?


Still on Vacation

We just got back from Chicago, and will be doing some local Cleveland stuff for the remainder of the vacation. Don’t worry though, Violent Blue will still update tomorrow!

 


Vacation

This week I’m taking my first vacation in about eight years. Don’t worry, Violent Blue will update as normal, but the blog is going to take the week off.

See you next week.


Daddy

This may be my favorite of Maddie’s pictures.  You see this one is supposed to be me.

Maddie got the idea to draw each person in her family one day. I don’t know what became of the other images, but I took mine and hung it up at work. It’s still on my office wall. If you look closely at the shirt I’m wearing, you’ll notice some figures on it. Maddie told me that those are superheros; “Because I know you love superheros daddy!”

It’s funny that she’s identified that with me. Five days a week she sees me in dress cloths with a tie. I do usually wear a superhero shirt to Church (I hope it makes me easier to relate to – it’s something Louie Weaver used to do too) but only sometimes during the rest of the weekend. It still makes the pic one of the most fun she’s drawn for me!



Again?

 

Like I mentioned Tuesday, one of the reasons I go to conventions is to find interesting things.  This is one of those things I just will never understand. I found this comic in the .25 bins. It’s signed by the writer and also by the artist. 

Someone actually put some effort into this. The writer signed it back in 2001. The previous owner held on to it and met the artist in 2006 and got him to sign the cover as well.

Why is this in the bargin bins? I mean, I realize these guys arn’t current superstars in the industry like Geoff Johns or Brian Michael Bendis, but someone liked it enough to get it signed not once, but twice!  Like I said, it was in the discound boxes, so you know they didn’t get much money for it when they sold it. What’s the motivation for getting rid of this comic? Did it get lost in a stack that was going to the pawn shop? Did someone piss off thier girlfriend? I just want to know….because I just don’t understand it.


beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, BEETLEJUICE!

 

I believe this is my first Via Venue success! Beetlejuice was one of my favorite cartoons and I watch it sometimes now with my two daughters. I decided to look up who did the voice of BJ and discovered he was doing a play in Chicago right now (through the 10th) so I though I would take a chance and send to him at the Goodman Theatre. Got it back in just over a week, and that was with the holiday weekend slowing things down!
he signed two pics. One 8×10, and one 5×4….and that one is signed not only to me but also to my daughter…..Lydia.


Avengers at Warzone

Finally! I think it’s been a month since I got that Avengers starter set and I finally got to break them out last night at Warzone

I’ve been looking forward to playing these. I really like seeing toy based on  the movie costumes instead of the comic ones, it’s a nice alternative. I’ll probably be all over the Dark Knight ones that are out now too.

The thing I really liked about these though was that you could just grab the starter set and pretty much be done. Other than Nick Fury, all the characters I really wanted to get are represented here. You’ve pretty much got the whole team. 

The game last night required me to have a scientist, a robot and a monster, so I added Hulk Robot and the Hulk figure from the last wave (Seriously? No monster keyword on the AVM Hulk?). I also threw in Spidey and MJ to hit the point total. I hate 1000 point games. While MJ met a spectacular demise (Doppelganger Spider-Man literaly ripped through her to get to the figure behind her!) Spidey himself actually was my last man standing. Those super-Senses really do wonders….and there’ll be a comic up about that showdown eventually.

I think Cap did the most damage, though that was less skill and more about being in the right place at the right time. I’d also really like to know why Thor doesn’t have indomitable or at least Willpower on the first couple of clicks. Seriously. He’s a god. Two actions in a row shouldn’t be pushing.

I like big free for all games. We had four players on one map and I’m a fan of that format. I kept my team mostly together and picked off who I could, but mostly hung back and let a lot of the action just go on around me. By the end it was obvious Aaron was going to get first place so I made sure he was the one who killed my last couple of figures instead of Sam – it got me second.

What was really cool was getting that Nick Fury in the prize draw. Like I said, he was pretty much the only other Avenger I really wanted and everyone was considerate enough not to grab him first. I also scored a SHIELD Agent. I know he’s not Colson, but you know what? As far as I’m concerned, he’s close enough.

Considering I walked in to that game intending to get flattened because I was using a bunch of figures I’d never played before it turned out to be a really nice night. Probably won’t make it back to Warzone untill next month, but I might hit Infinite Monkey in a week or two to try out my Avengers again.

You know what? I feel like watching the Avengers movie while I work on some Violent Blue. See you tomorrow.


Lake Effect Comic Con

First time out to Lake Effect Comic Con, and I really wasn’t expecting much. I’ve seen the pics from last year and while it didn’t look as lame as the Jeff Harper Cleveland Comic Con I went to a couple of months ago, it still looked very small and I wasn’t sure how much fun it would be. Still, they try harder, adding panels and guests and contests, and I DID advertise it last year in Violent Blue since my friend Jim was talking about it.  Finally I figured that if I was willing to drive three hours to PA for a horror con where I had to pay for a ticket to get in, that there was no reason I couldn’t drive the one hour to the east side of Cleveland for a free Comic Con.

I’m really glad I did. This was an incredibly fun convention. I’d still wish for better guests, but they did bring in Bob Ingersol and Frank Cho, so I really don’t have that much to complain about. Frank was nice enough to sign a piece of art he did for the He-Man box sets and I got to watch him draw for a while. That was very cool to see.

The movies were a surprise. I knew they were doing screenings all day – the con was IN a movie theatre and they had one of the screen all to themselves. I expected superhero movies. Instead they were doing “Despicable Me”, “Spirited Away” and “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” .I arrived too late for “Despicable Me”, but oh my GOD I got to see  “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” ON THE BIG SCREEN! Bela Lugosi, Glen Strange and Lon Chaney! I don’t care if this was one of the much maligned comedy monster gang movies…I’ve never gotten to see the real universal monsters on the big screen before. I’d have happily paid admission for that one!

I pulled out my Doc Ock costume for the costume contest. There were a lot of fun cosplayers there (not as many as I wanted to see, but the ones that were there were fun). I’m actually a little disappointed that I didn’t win. I mean, the Hugo Strange costume that did win was good, but really, it was almost the same as what I had on. White lab coat, shirt and tie, and dark sunglasses. Except my white lab coat also had FOUR METAL ARMS coming out of it!

As soon as Hugo was announced as the winner, he turned to me and said “Okay, I have GOT to get a picture with you!” Which was very cool. If I could have reached my phone I would have had them shoot a pic for me as well. Oh well, maybe it’ll turn up on facebook. His companion had the cutest Pinkie Pie (if she were Human) outfit on. Actually at first I was thinking it was Strawberry Shortcake. However when she announced it during the contest it made perfect sense. I actually thought my biggest competition was going to be the guy in the Mario costume with the turtle shells and box that made noise.

Of course the costume wasn’t without it’s problems. It was a windy day. I had just gotten the last arm on and suddenly I heard a *SNAP*! The wire that connects the arms together and allows the lower arms to move had broken off. This has happened before, but usually I had access to a glue gun or I could pop a hole through and tie it up. The wire has gotten a little to short for that this time, and the previous hole had been glued over.  It took some fiddling, but I eventually punched a new hole in the arm with my keys and clamped the line to a paperclip that I put inside the arm so it was too big to pull out. It held for the half hour or so I was in the suit, which was all I needed. I’m going to have to find a way to attach those more securely. Stupid wind. I blame Thor.

Throughout the day I did check in on the Heroclix tournament going on. I saw Sam who was surprised I wasn’t playing, but really, I’m not a competitive player and I honestly didn’t want to be stuck in t hat side room all day. I caught Sean on the way out who was in good spirits but mentioned he played terribly! I haven’t been out playing for about a month and it was nice to see everyone and to check out some of the new figures from Origins.

The dealers room worked surprisingly well in the small space. I’m pretty sure I saw a lot of these same vendors at the last con I went to, but I’m always on  the look out for interesting stuff and deals. I went a little nuts on the .25 bins….

I’m glad I made a couple of extra passes in that room though, because in one of the far corners, buried at the back of a table in a box where you couldn’t see what was in it, I found a bunch of the 2002 He-Man figures – $5 each. Right in the middle was a Teela.

Here’s the thing you have to understand. Mattel operates on the school of thought that girl figures don’t sell, so they get shorter production runs and are ALWAYS shortpacked. To make matters worse, the MOTU line was badly mishandled when it came to case ratios. instead of the promised “four commons, two girls and one rare”  packages , you might get “six commons and a girl” or “five commons and a rare”. (The numbers aren’t really accurate, but it’s a good example of what retailers went through on this line). This causes an artificial shortage. I never expected to own one of these (or an Evil Lynn for that matter) because the scalpers want $25 for them minimum. I think I see her at Jamies Flea Market for $30. I checked eBay last night and saw several for $60. I got mine for $5!

After finding more cosplayers to photograph, I finally wandered int to catch “Spirited Away” It was about 1/3 in, but the remainder was still amazing….and really messed up. It’s actually exactly what I remember loving about Anime. Probably not enough to get me back into it, but a really fascinating movie.

I plundered the freebie table for goodies to bring home to my girls.  It was funny, Lydia looked in the bag and said in a disdainful voice “You got me a button?” She and Maddie were both way more interested in the tattoos I brought home for them. Maddie wanted to put on the Supergirl and Wonder Woman ones  right away, but she still has four more days of school and it’s against the dress code. Soon. Very soon.

I pulled out the stack of comics and started to sort them – I want to get these entered in my database and shelved correctly so they don’t get lost. Maddie jumped up and asked “Can I help you sort them? I’m GOOD at sorting! I do it at school!” She was good at it. We had 60 new comics organized in no time, and they girls immediately took my new Teela figure to play with before I even got a chance to look at her!

All in all, this was a really nice show and I’m grateful to my friend Jim for letting me know about it. This will likely be a regular stop for me on the convention circuit from now on. I know last year wasn’t in the movie theatre, bu that was a great choice and I hope they do it like this in the future.