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Archive for October, 2012

Happy Halloween!

If you’re not sure exactly what is going on, check out this week’s Violent Blue.

The Spider-Man costume is real. What happend is we were given a box of custumes for the girls, and someone threw in an adult Spider-Man costume for me. No mask or gloves, but not a big deal.

Except I was broke.

So I was looking at this Spider-Man costume and trying to figure out what to do with it. I had a costume party coming up and wanted to wear it, but the mask and gloves were a problem. I considered doing the mask in facepaint, but my hair would still be showing. I don’t currently have a bald cap and it just looks band anyhow. I could do a Marvel Zombie, but to be comic accurate, I need a torn up mask. I don’t have an intact Spidey mask, much less a torn one.

Zombies still seemed like a good idea. I was thinking about the “Blackest Night” event DC had done in the Green Lantern comics a year ago. Those zombies weren’t just dead people, the black lantern rings kind of took them and turned them into gruesomely distorted versions of themselves. I came up with the idea of etching the spider web on my face and creating dark circles around my eyes in the shape of his goggles from the mask, then adding my black lantern ring to explain the lack of gloves.

I like it. The makeup was crazy long – over two hours. I could probably chalk that up to me trying out some new techniques. The cuts are cotten, colored with fake blood and the edges cleaned up with flesh tone greaspaint. A little black in there too to dirty it up and make it look infected. I could probably do it quicker now. I also added a little pink to the skin where the cuts join to add some trauma. Over all, I think it works well, and I like the idea of a costume that is in of itself a crossover. I like the idea though, that Taylor is wearing to to cause trouble. I used to wear Doctor Who costumes to Star Trek conventions for that EXACT SAME REASON!

Head on over to see this week’s Halloween hijinks at Violent Blue!


1313 Mockingbird Lane

I missed it! I didn’t even realized that NBC was broadcasting it on Friday. Fortunately I was chatting with Kevin over at the Monster Channel Sunday night and he told me I could find it on NBC.com. So I headed over there,  loaded up the page and watched.

In case you weren’t aware, 1313 Mockingbird Lane is a contemporary re-imagining of The Munsters, and is produced by Bryan Singer of “X-Men”  and “House M.D.” fame.  The look is contemporary. It’s slick and the effects are great. It’s got sharp pacing and some interesting practical effects along with interesting characterizations of the characters.

What it isn’t…..is funny.

It was developed as a kind of dramatic comedy. There’s a lot of sentimentality and talk of “Loving too much”, and these kind of lines are delivered with such straight faced sincerity it’s obvious they are trying to play this straight.

I think that’s really where this fails. You see, the source material is so absurd, you really have to play this for laughs. I was thinking about this a bit, and wondered if you could have played The Addam’s Family this straight. I don’t think it would work there either. In fact I think they tried a little too hard to be serious in the movies and it’s one of the places those fall short. The tone is important with these kind of stories. This isn’t the place for an hour drama/comedy like Ally McBeal or Franklin and Bash. This is strictly half hour sitcom / slapstick material like Night Court or Big Bang Theory.

The tone also applies to the look of the characters. I’m not a hater as far as them looking repetitively normal. I get what they were trying to do, but it seems like they may have gone a bit too far in many cases. Herman really needs a different build. Someone big and clumsy like Brad Garrett. When Herman would fall or stumble, it just didn’t work right. Jerry O’Connell is just to…pretty for that to work. It feels wrong. There was a clever moment when he was silhouetted in front of a lantern giving the square head and bolts look for a moment. I will grant that they didn’t need to go that far into the Frankenstein makeup, but perhaps a messier hairstyle that gave the impression of a bigger, more square head would have worked.

Lily, played by Portia de Rossi, is fairly well realized, but I missed the streaks in her hair. I  think it would have been perfectly reasonable to have two toned hair, perhaps in a more modern style rather than the skunk look. A few more Bat  touches as well – a necklace or bracelet. Perhaps a choker would have completely satisfied me.

Eddie is totally good. I’m fine with him. Mason Cook did a perfectly adequate job for someone his age.

Charity Wakefield’s Marylin kind of baffles me. Considering that they seemed to put great effort in making sure none of the characters looked like their counterparts in the original series, they sure made Marylin look like she stepped  right out of a 1960’s peroxide ad. She’s supposed to be the normal looking one. That Marylin Monroe look of her’s is completely out of place in 2012. There’s a serious missed opportunity here. She could have been a perky cheerleader type or a hopeful Glee clone. Making her look exactly like Marylin from teh original Munsters actually makes her look more out of place than the rest of the family.

Then there’s Grandpa, played by Eddie Izzard. Grandpa was one of the best things about this show. The look works just fine for me – except when he vamps out. And that brings me to my final criticism of the pilot. The horror.

Grandpa’s vampire is terrifying. It’s grotesque and right out of the Coppola Dracula movie. Seriously well realized but seriously intimidating. I wouldn’t let my kids watch that monster, it’s too scary and that was the whole point of the Munsters. It was a gateway show for monster kids, monsters that weren’t that scary but still monsters. It’s not jsut  that Grandpa is terrifying, things get a little scary violent -especially towards the end. Eddie’s scoutmaster is invited over for dinner because Grandpa wants to kill him, drink his blood and put his heart in Herman. It almost happens. He vamps out and the scoutmaster accidentally falls down a flight of stairs and is killed accidentally before Grandpa can murder him. One of the last scenes is Herman on the operating table with a new heart and Grandpa drinking the last of the scoutmasters blood through a straw. That’s a little gruesome for The Munsters. I’d be fine with it in a horror show, but it’s out of place in a comedy. The gore (particularly when Herman is being operated on) is pushing it but can work if done properly (The Mark Harmon film “Summer School” immediately comes to mind) but murder and death are just wrong for this context.

The show wasn’t picked up, and I admit, I’m glad. This is the wrong format for it. But I’m also glad the pilot got made and got broadcast, because it gives us a different image of The Munsters and speaks to some very good ideas. I think this show could be updated and look a lot like what this pilot showed us. But I think the theme and tone need to be different so that it turns The Munsters back into a show were we get the opportunity to laugh at what scares us.


The future of Comic Book movies

So blockbuster season is firmly in  the past. I saw what I was going to see, and successfully avoided Dark Knight (not a nolan fan, I’ll get around to it on DVD). and I’m wondering how much longer this can last.

Don’t get me wrong. Comic Book films aren’t going away. They never have. There have been comic book films pretty much as long as there has been cinema. I have old Captain America serials and Superman movies from the 40 and 50s. I think there were a grand total of five Shadow movies. But as you look over history, you can see certian…eras. Especially in the last few decades. Usually it’s started off by a Superhero film that redefines the genre. Superman did it, and that was really the model for a good chunk of the 80s, until Batman in 1989. That redefined things as gritty, dark and rubber suits if you were going to go with a costume like in Captain America – but you weren’t allowed to show the suits too much. No costume? You just went dark and grindhousey like in the Punisher. Oh and the supporting cast didn’t really have to resemble their comic book counterparts. You can toss Judge Dredd, The Crow, Spawn and Blade in there, probably even X-Men though around that time things began to change. Specifically, Spider-Man changed all of that. Now we were looking more at making the costume as closely resemble the source material as possible, like Cap and the Avengers and Thor and Green Lantern and Hellboy ect….and it also defined the Superhero movie as THE blockbuster event of the summer.

And that’s where we’ve been for a while. In fact, we’ve kind of gone from a comic book movie being an event because it’s so rare, to any other kind of blockbuster being an event because it’s so rare. Remember Independence Day? Mission Impossible (two was my favorite)? Godzilla? How about the original Total Recal or Terminator 2? Demolition Man? We don’t see these movies so much now because the Superhero movie has taken their place. Indeed, one of the reasons The Expendables has been such a big deal is because the 80’s action movie has become nearly extinct.

Which brings me to my point. How long can this last? We’ve been on the superhero blockbuster ride for a decade now and what really has me thinking about this is The Avengers. It seems to me that with the Avengers, the comic book blockbuster has reached critical mass. It’s a brilliant achievement in of itself, and really the epitome of everything Avi Avrad was trying to do when he set Marvel down  the path to making movies (his belief was that film was where Marvel would make it’s money and was the future of the company) in the 90’s.

But where do we go from here? Already the landscape is changing again. The Dark Knight seems to be the new template, judging by the look of The Amazing Spider-Man and Man of Steel. If Superhero film is moving in that direction, then the Avengers is already falling behind. And as DC moves forward to try and duplicate the success from the Avengers, the glut of Superhero movies on the market is only going to get worse, making market fatigue inevitable…and quickining it’s progress.

That’s really my fear. That it becomes so common place it breeds contempt. Without some new innovation, a REAL game changer (not just an tonal change like we got from the Dark Knight) that Hollywood will ride this train into the ground, until Superhero movies become box office poison. 

And here’s the really scary thought to me both as a comic fan and as a comic artist on Violent Blue

Because comics these days are so heavily tied to the movie properties to support them, when the Comic Book movie goes back underground or vanishes completely for a while (like it did in the seventies)…what happens to comic books?


Dracula at the Capitol Theatre in Cleveland this Sunday! 10:00 and $5.00! There’s nothing more I can really say about it….I’m just super pumped to see this on the big screen…especially after watching the Frakenstien movies on Wednesday! I’m so excited, I may just blow off workign on any Violent Blue this weekend….hope to see you there!


Turn off the Dark

This should be awful.

Seriously. This is a terrible idea and the people who gave  the go ahead should really consider another line of work.

So why can’t I stop watching it?

I got the DVD at Monster Bash. It’s not great, certainly no pro-shot, but it’s watchable….given that may alternative is sitting and listening to the OST with my eyes closed.

We all heard the stories about the nightmare production – actors in  the hospital, budget overruns, script problems. The subject matter itself really isn’t suitable for stage. Mind you, it’s not the WORST idea for a musical…you need only go back to our post months ago on Carrie : the Musical to see that. ( https://argocitycomics.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/carrie-the-musical/ ) And it feels the need to rehash that origin story AGAIN. This is the reason I skip the first fifty minuets of Raimi’s first movie every time I watch it. Still, they manage to do something interesting with it. The idea of the hero persona being inspired by the myth of Arachne is an interesting take. We actually get to the MJ romance quicker and I honestly LIKE MJ in this. It’s a better actress and somehow she just feels more sympathetic.

Interestingly, we never get resolution from Uncle Ben’s death.

There’s a heavy film influence here. The costume is obviously based on the movies -and it’s certainly better than that crap Andrew Garfield is wearing. They add the romance angle from Doc Ock and his wife and transfer it into the Norman Osborn character. It’s MJ he drops off the bridge again instead of Gwen -I’m more willing to forgive that with a smaller scale like this though.

You know what? I think “Rise above” may be even more inspiring than “With great power comes great responsibility”.

It’s not U2. If you remember that, you’ll be fine with the music. It’s not u2. It’s showtunes that aren’t bogged down with the baggage of showtune tradition. It’s better than other novelty musicals like Evil Dead or Spamalot.

In the end though, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a novelty. It’s really more circus than theatre. It’s cool to finally see Carnage in a live action appearance (unless you count the Sega Genesis commercials back in the 90’s) and the cutscenes on the big screens of the villains and the backstory really works. It’s fun. The music is catchy enough for me to listen too at work. This production should be terrible….

But it’s not. I want to hate on it, but I just can’t. I’m not sure it’s worth the price of a broadway musical, but it’s definitely worth seeing.  Hit up Youtube for clips and grab a bootleg if you can find one. (While you at it, check out this week’s Violent Blue!)

 


Frakenstien double feature!

Just in time for Halloween, NCM Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Universal will present a Halloween Double Feature in movie theaters nationwide on Wednesday, October 24th in celebration of Universal’s 100th Anniversary. Don’t miss seeing Boris Karloff on the big screen as the original “Frankenstein” (1931) followed by Karloff and Elsa Lanchester in “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935).

The event will begin with TCM Host Robert Osborne as he treats audiences to exclusive interviews conducted at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival.  Joining him will be Karloff’s daughter, Sara Karloff along with Bela Lugosi, Jr. the son of the classic Dracula star and  Academy Award® winning make-up artist, Rick Baker. All three will talk about classic horror movies, how legendary icons like Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi helped define the genre and how today’s horror films measure up to the classics.

The nearest theatre to me is Crocker Park in Westlake, tickets are 12.50. You KNOW I’m going. You can find a list of participating theatres here : http://www.fathomevents.com/upcoming/alllocations.aspx?eventid=1105

Seriously. Don’t miss this. It’s one thing for me to come up here and talk about the coolness of 12 hours of Terror and seeing Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the big screen, but Frankenstein? and Bride of Frankenstein? Are you kidding me? These aren’t just horror classics, they’re classic masterpieces. I’m going to finish up a Violent Blue strip and then I’m out the door!


So I decided to revisit the Fright Night remake. It’s bee na year or so since I caught the sneak preview. I remember not hating it. I think I actually like it a bit better even this time around.

Much like the Carpenter Vampires movies and From Dusk Till Dawn were a breath of fresh air in a time where vampire lore was dominated by Anne Rice, Fright Night is a refreshing  break from the Twilight era of vampires, and a return to from where vampires are brutal killers, not romantic loners.
The effects are good enough and even a bit creative. Anton Yelchin’s Charlie is actually an incredibly good vampire hunter, particularly in the movie’s finale.

So what’s the problem? Well, it’s mostly in the name. You see, this is a good vampire movie. A couple of tweaks and it could absolutely stand on it’s own, but instead, the producers opted for a remake. Fright Night was on of the innovators in the 80. It was different take on the idea, much like the Lost Boys. Unfortunately, if you’re going to call yourself Fright Night then you have to live up to that legacy, and really instead of helping it along, the name recognition just drags this movie down, creating unrealistic expectations.

That’s really the curse of the remake in general isn’t it? You get the name recognition, but  then you also have to live up to the previous installments…and that’s not easy. Most remakes don’t really even try, it’s just a quick cash grab. I think this could have worked better as an unrelated sequel – don’t use the characters names (or maybe make Tennant, Peter Vincent’s son, something like that) and set it in the same universe, but make a fresh movie for a new generation. But insted,  they went the cheap route and made a straight up remake. It’s a pity. This si a good movie, but it will never be considered as good as it could be because it’s forever saddled with the term “remake”

You can watch it here untill someone wises up and takes it down (in which case you’ll just have to head over and read some Violent Blue. Okay?).


 

Happy Monday! Today I’m rebloging a post from the PC Repair on Wheels site where I’m talking about one of my favorite books; Microserfs.

The novel is presented in the form of diary entries maintained on a PowerBook by the narrator, Daniel. Because of this, as well as its formatting and usage of emoticons, wich is really interesting considering the similiarties  to what emerged a decade later in the form of blogs (like this one!).

What I’ve always said about Microserfs and why I enjoy it so much is that it gives you a very good feeling for what it’s like to live in teh tech industry. The market and tech world has changed significantly since the 90s – the financial predictions that Microserfs makes were absolutely dead on – but the Tech culture remains largely the same. I look at this book and recognize my world as someone in IT, yet it’s tempered with enough human intrest to make it accessable to someone outside that arena. That makes it a good book to hand to someone outside of my world so they can better understand the industry I exist in.

Coupland revisited many of the ideas in Microserfs in his 2006 novel JPod, which has been labeled “Microserfs for the Google generation”.

I’m not sure why, but I just don’t find JPod as compelling. That dosne’t make sense as they are both so similar. Both Microserfs and Jpod are written in the form of a log by the main character. Both characters are in their mid-twenties, mainly live to work in the digital industry, which also means they are doubting their purpose in life, their friends are their -also slightly dysfunctional- colleagues, they fall in love with a female colleague and their parents have problems.
Perhaps it’s because by this point Coupland had made more of a name for himself and is a more recognizable author. He self referancs himself several times in JPod which I find supremely annoying.

Pick them both up at the Libaray. There’s audio versions as well, and having read the pap[er books and listened to the audio ones I can tell you, there’s not much of any importance left out. Microserfs is read by Matthew Perry (of “Friends” fame) and is the perfect voice for it. Spend some time in these books and see the world through IT eyes. But while you’re reading, don’t forget to put it down here and here to check out the new Violent Blue strips!


Hauntville!

We’re starting a new column this week, hopefully this will be a bi-weekly thing. Before I started on Violent Blue, I made films. This column is a fun little place where I’m going to show off videos that I’ve either done or appeared in.

I spent half the Halloween season working at the Elyria Haunted House “Hauntville”.  They recently got profiled on the news and much to my surprise, not only am I in the video…I’m the thumbnail! check it out!

http://youtu.be/15uXSmmGwoA


12 Hours of Terror

And what a movie night we have ahead of us! The Capitol Theatre presents its 3rd Annual 12 Hours of Terror all-night horror movie marathon. Titles include: The original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) FRIGHT NIGHT (1985), SLITHER (2006), SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004), TERROR TRAIN (1980), JAWS 3-D (1983) plus a surprise secret screening! No one under 18 admitted. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 day of show.

Look guys, movies like these were made to be seen on a big screen. 12 hours is always a good time and not a bad deal, even at thirty dollars. I guarantee you won’t be disappointing.

And if you are, read some Violent Blue. That always cheers me right up.


No Ghostbusters?

Okay, the scheduling conflicts here are really starting to irritate me.  I get that Cinema Wasteland isn’t associated with Cleveland Cinemas so running Beetlejuice the same weekend as the con isn’t really their fault, though they could have looked around to see what other genre stuff was going on. I bet Rocky Horror takes a dip in attendance that weekend.

But this is really unforgivable. Plaza Cinemas is showing Ghostbusters the same weekend the Capitol is doing 12 Hours of Terror. These are both Cleveland Cinemas and both part of the Late Shift movie schedule.  If I have to choose, I’m obviously going to 12 hours  like I’ve done every year, but this is really a drag.  I think I’ll go do a Violent Blue about it or something.


Monster for Daddy

Maddie grabbed her crayons and a piece of paper and told me she was going to draw some thing for me. She said she was going to draw a scary monster.

This is what she came up with. A creepy creature with six heads and eight arms and six

legs.  Isn’t he cute?

Violent Blue needs more monsters.


Cinema Wasteland recap

Feeling a little down this year. It’s not so much that CW was lacking, but perhaps that I got to be a part of so little of it. Working evenings this year, I missed Friday completely and had to leave arly on Saturday. I missed Ghastlees show completely, though I hope to find video of it somewhere on youtube.

Of course one of the big reasons I do Wasteland is to see movies I wouldn’t see normally…movies I wouldnt even think to watch….even if Blockbuster or Netflix bothered to carry them (which they usualy wouldn’t). This year, I got introduced to “Food of the gods” from Bert I Gordon. Far more interesting that I imagined with the giant rats surprisingly well realized It’s still campy and silly, but still fun.

Caught the panel with Mr. B.I.G. afterwards. Better than watching the special features on a DVD.
Speaking of panels, I also caught the “Character Actor” panel. I actually came away with a great deal more respect for Reb Brown, but James Hampton…I’m not sure what happened there. He was slow, unsure. He couldn’t remember what the Eiffel Tower was…it was like watching someone have a stroke right there on stage. Rather disturbing really.

I also got to see “The Invisible Ghost” on the big screen in the main room. I’m planning on catching Dracula at the Capitol later this month, but it’s always a pleasure to watch Bela Lugois up there on the big screen in all his glory.

Met Linnea Quigley. One of my favorite things to do is find a poster the actor has never seen before to sign. This time was no exception. She loved it and was talking about how she’d never seen this image before when suddenly she stopped, looked closer at it and asked”You got JOHN LANDIS to sign this???” I admited I had sent him a letter. We then got into a ten minuit discussion about the virtues of buttons on a cell phone over touch screens. She’s a tecnophobe. I also talked a little with her abotu he haunted house I was working at….halfway through teh conversation I found myself wondering “Why am I promoting this haunted house to someone who doesn’t live even remotely in the area???” She was a real sweetie.

You may remember me trying to get Reb Brown’s autograph  earlier this year. I finally got it….and in person at that (In person is ALWAYS better). He was freindly, interested and a nice guy, but I do get the feeling he was there just for the paycheck. He hit one of my per peeves as well, he charges a little extra for a photo. Now I get that sometimes this is a good thing. Some celebrities draw crowds and really long lines and if you put a fee on things, it drives away some of the punters, keeps the line moving.

Reb Brown is not one of those kind of celebrities.

Seriously, he’s fun and nice and I actually dug his panel, but even when he WAS somebody, he didn’t have THAT much juice. His resurgence in popularity is really a reflection of the Excellent Captain America movie and his part in the franchise so many years ago. Whatever. An extra fee isn’t going to break the bank, and besides, this isn’t comicon. I did get to talk with him a bit. Lana Wood (his co-star in the Cap movies) asked me to deliver a message (when she visited Wasteland six months ago) “I can see you from here”. He burst into laughter when I told him that  and explained that she was always looking through these big binoculars in the movie.

It was a good con, but a short one for me. Hauntville was taking up a great deal of my time and I really didn’t get to see as much wasteland as I would have liked.

But that’s okay, I’ll be back to CW in six months…and I’m just a little over a month away from Days of the Dead in Chicago!


Recovering from the weekend. Three calls this morning before I even got into the office. Wasteland post can wait until tomorrow.


Cinema Wasteland

Looking forward to heading out to Cinema Wasteland this weekend. Of all the cons I attend it just is the best.

It’s a little weird, I’ve noticed myself doing more prep this time around. I’ve always looked over the guest list and compared it to other conventions so I know what posters to pull or to buy. The idea is to find people in the same movie that will be around different places and get all the autographs on the same poster. This has worked really well for me with the Romero films and CW is generally a really good reunion show. This time around though I’m trying to coordinate my postal autograph requests as well. I sent out to Arte Johnson to get a signature on an Evil Toons poster since the director and one of the stars will be at the show (He unfortunately never wrote back. Oh well, that’s the breaks). I was really thinking I’d try Leanna Quigley on an Innocent Blood poster (since I’m also bound to run in to Tom Savini again one of these days) and sent that one out to John Landis to get signed about five months ago.

I’m really excited about getting to meet Reb Brown. Lana Wood signed that Captain America poster last time at CW and I’m going to get Cap himself on this one. I think I’ll also be asking him about why he signs pictures of Matt Salinger….

So I’ll be taking the weekend off from Violent Blue though it’s not going to be quite the mini-vacation it usually is as I’m also working a haunted house this weekend. Certian now that I absolutely can not squeeze  that showing of Beetlejuice at the Cedar Lee in there too…..


Last Weeks Pulls

So let’s start off with Youngblood, shall we? Actually I think this title has begun to hit it’s stride. It was nice to see the team seriously being heroic for a change, and the subplot with Jeff Terrel and the dead vogues has begun to shape up nicely. I’m actually looking forward to each next issue of this series. A little surprising considering…well it IS Youngblood.

Grabbed the Shadow Annual as well. This is a lot closer to what I want to see in the character. Gangsters and New York. Not sure how I feel about the supernatural element though. I supposes it could be explained away as TK and delusion if I want to approach it from a Skeptic point of view. That’s the thing about the Shadow though, he’s not really about ghosts and demons, he’ more about human monsters. I’d have no problem with him fighting Leatherface or Michael Myers, but I don’t want to see him against  Freddy or Pinhead.

Speaking of Pinhead…..

I don’t know why I keep reading Boom Comic’s Hellraiser series. No, that’s not true. I know exactly  why. I have a deep emotional connection to the series. I absolutely adore the first two movies, and I still like the later ones. I have workprints of two of  them and I own all of the Epic Comic series. Those are hit and miss, but when they hit…they are amazing.

I liked that Boom made it about Pinhead and familiar Cenobites. The Hellraiser movies of the last decade show us precious little of that and the Epic comics really used the established Cenobites as supporting characters to their newly created comic characters. The problem is Boom almost immediately strays. Hell is referenced as the Christian Hell rather than a transdimensional realm of order and torment. Clive Barker himself has stated in the past that the Hell of Hellraiser is not the Christian hell…it’s just a place. We call it Hell because that’s the closest description we can find.

Speaking of Clive, I know that the series professes to be written by him, but lets be honest. “Writing” those comics probably involves handing over an outline initially and coming into the office or teleconferencing once every few months to approve the plot. Whatever. Attaching Clive to the project doesn’t impress me anyhow. He did the first movie. He wrote the novella. Since then, he’s had virtually no involvement with teh series. Peter Atkins, Gary Tunicliffe and even Rick Bota have had far more influence on Hellraiser and would be more accurately described as it’s creators. When they talk about the series, I listen. When Clive talks about it, I honestly don’t think he understands what Hellraiser is. The mythology has grown far beyond that short story or that one off movie.

But I digress.

The idea of Pinhead and Kirsty trading places probably seemed like and interesting proposal, but it’s been drawn out far too long and meanders without direction. We’ve spent three issues of Kirsty uncovering Pinheads past when one could do. Back on earth, a newly human Elliot Spencer seeks other avenues of power to take over the world. None of this feels like Hellraiser. Even if it weren’t ridiculous, they missed what makes Hellraiser scary. It’s a small quiet story, destroying the lives of just a couple of people. When you try for a grand scale, it just doesn’t work – look a the third nad fourth movies. A million deaths is a statistic. A single death is a tragedy.

I can’t drop this book as much as I want to….but I just don’t know what to do….

Still loving the Anime-Con Girls digital books. I really want to read these with my daughters. I think they’d have fun with them. It’s still just anime action with slightly familiar faces and no real story, but it’s fun fluff.

I also grabbed the next Masters of the Universe digital edition. I’m glad to see Orko is still a loveable little scamp in this series. It was an interesting idea, a different art style for every page, but somehow it just didn’t work for me. It came off as annoying rather than cool. Still, this series has earned enough goodwill from me to get a pass on this one.

I jumped back on a couple of bandwagons this month just to test the waters a bit. First was Steed and Peel – the Avengers.  The art’s gotten better in this book, I’ll admit that. Steed and Mrs. Peel look a lot more like they should. unfortunately, the rest of the book  has a very 21st century look to it.  I almost hate to say it, but these days, The Avengers NEEDS to be a period piece. You just can’t update these characters, they fit so perfectly in the 60’s. Indeed, I’d rather watch an episode of The Avengers to any James Bond movie of the same period. So when you do a period piece, it has to look like a period piece. Steed and Peel aren’t the only ones that need to look like they are coming out of the 60’s, so does everyone else….and they don’t. The hair is wrong, the lines of the clothing is all wrong, the monsters look very 2012. It pulls me right out of the book. I suspect this is a hard book to create and there may be bumps in the road still to come.

I also picked up the Green Hornet. I like this series, I really do, but somehow, it seems to fall right off my radar pretty frequently and I really shouldn’t let that happen.  (Same thing keeps happening with the Walking Dead) On the other hand it is nice to grab the trades and just read an entire arc at once….

This one looks to have potential, a little light hearted but a cool superhero look and I really feel a nice familiarity with the characters that makes this title fun to return to.
I also decided to try out a couple of titles I’ve never read before. The first was Phantom Lady. I was thinking to myself as I grabbed it that this was a mistake. I don’t mind the character. I fond memories of first seeing her in old issues of All Star Squadron, but she never seemed like the kind of character that could successfully make the transition to the modern age. I may have been wrong about that . I like the costume, the action was fun and the repurposed black light is actually a little scary…the idea that it chills you, makes you feel empty. I like that. I also love the time limit on her phantom form and the banter between her and Dollman is actually quite entertaining. In fact they had me untill the last page where this villain appeared.

Worst.

Name.

Ever.

Just saying. This will likely be one of those titles I occasionally borrow a friends copy of to keep up on, but probably will never buy.

Also got Idolized. I think I’m the wrong audience for this. It’s basically “American Idol” for superheroes. The main character’s family was murdered by a super villain, she has powers and goes on this show to become a real superhero and avenge them. It’s just so full of Teenage High School-like drama and that’s just wasted on me. I would kind of like to know where this goes, and might take another look in a few months. I don’t know.

Higher Earth on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. The cover made it look a bit like a postapocalyptic story, but the inside felt more like Lost. We have a refugee society on an island, with one character making raids for food and supplies on parallel earths through a portal in a cave….it’s really more compelling that that sounded, I promise. I really didn’t even see the cliffhanger twist at the end coming.

That’s it for last week. I’ve got a stack of comics that just came out yesterday waiting for me and no time to read them (which is why you probably shouldn’t expect this to be a weekly feature on the site!)….busy weekend, cons, work, and a haunted house, not to mention I got to get some Violent Blue done too.

Sleep? What’s that?


Webcomic mirror

Just wondering, we talk a lot about Violent Blue over here. When that series ends, we’ll be spinning off into a whole new webcomic with some new characters and some existing ones. Currently Violent Blue posts on it’s own site, easily accessible from here.  But that still is one extra button click. would anyone be interested in seeing the comic post here on the blog as well? Perhaps on the off days that I don’t post, or in addition to my normal updates?

Another possibility would be to run it from the start over here – five days  a week instead of the three days a week on Comic Fury. This would become the re-run channel untill it catches up.

Just a thought.


Movie Conflict

Ugh. The Cleveland Cinema’s Late Shift did it again. They scheduled a movie I want ot go see on the big screen at the same time as Cinema Wasteland. Not sure what to do here. I really don’t want to leave the Wasteland party to run across town, but this is Beetlejuice. I really like Beetlejuice. It’s from back when Time Burton still made great films. My wife is even talking about wanting to go to this. I’ll have to look over the con schedule again and see if I can’t figure out how to swing both of these.

Maybe I’ll just go draw some more Violent Blue and the answer will come to me.


Last week’s pulls

You know what? Green Lantern just pisses me right off. I did catch up on the series, and it started off alright. It actually has had some great moments and I was kind of excited for the return of Black Hand, but then we fall right back into this mulit-colored lantern corps dreck. I don’t care about any color lantern but green and that’s really what I’m waiting for.  On the plus side though, Hal is slowly beginning to feel more and more familiar to me again. I guess after seven or eight years, he ought to be.

I’m glad I’m still with the Shadow. Issue five has a lot more of what I really like about the character, though I’d still prefer to see him back in New York. A lot of action and atmosphere in this one. I think however, the most exciting part of this issue was the advertisement for “Masks” – Dynamites crossover event using all these Golden age pulp heroes like the Green Hornet, the Shadow and the Spider. I’m going to be all over this series. The Shadow / Doc Savage crossover from DC in the 90’s was a bit disappointing, and I’ve never gotten my hands on the Shadow / Ghost one from Dark Horse. It seems like a tough sell, crossing over the Shadow….well actually, it’s an easy SELL, but rather a tough thing to execute correctly. Still, with an Alex Ross fully painted first issue… you just can’t go wrong here.

My first impressions of the New Star Trek : The Next Generation series is overwhelmingly positive. I love that it’s the Borg, and I love that it’s TNG movie period – in fact it’s post-movie period. Riker is captain of the Titan and Data is still dead. I’ve always believed that this is the best period to focus on because there’s so little material for it. I always believed the same of the original series. It was one of the reasons I enjoyed DC’s comic series and one of the reasons I think the current IDW series focusing on the tangent universe is an extremely good idea.

The only problem I see with the Star Trek : Hive series is the feeling I’ve seen it all before. The first issue is half “Scorpion” from Voyager and “The Worst of Both Worlds” from the DC TNG run. I’m hoping I get more out of the rest of the series. Still, it’s nice to be back in the TNG movie period and I’m definitely following this run.

Finally, I dipped my toe once again into DC’s zero issues. Why do I keep doing this to myself? Seriously. Why? I picked up Phantom Stranger, and get this : It’s an origin story.

Ugh.

See, the thing about the Phantom stranger, especially in the modern age is his mystery. We’re not sure where he came from or why he is what he is. That is a huge component of the characters mythos and appeal. Not only do we get a clear-cut, well defined origin for him, we also get one for the Spectre. DC! Pay attention! Not every question requires an answer! To Quote Neil Gaimen from one of his Sandman stories “I keep TELLING you: It’s the MYSTERY that endures, NOT the explanation.  A good mystery can last for EVER. The mysterious corpse has a magic all its own. Nobody really CARES who-done-it. They’ll peck you to pieces if you tell them” And that DC, is why I keep kevetching. That’s what you’ve messed up, and if you keep messing this kind of elementary stuff up, the fans and I will absolutely peck you to pieces. Someone, please wake up and revert us out of this new 52 nightmare.

I’m going to go read some Violent Blue.