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Archive for October, 2013

Happy Halloween!

halloween blog

No special post today. Go check out Violent Blue then have yourself a happy Halloween!

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essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Ender’s game

Movie banner

urlI actually wasn’t planning on going to see Ender’s Game. Not that I was avoiding it, It just wasn’t real high on my list of priorities.

I changed my mind when I got the invitation to the sneak preview at Reagal Cinemas and I’m glad I went. The screening was in IMAX and this movie was absolutely designed for that format.  There are lots of antigrav sequences (imagine weightless Laser Tag) and tons of space scenes – not only shots of stations or ships passing by, but a great many POV shots. It takes fullest advantage of the IMAX format and I imagine it’s a trip in 3d as well.

The score was a pleasant surprise as well. Full and unobtrusive when necessary, but rousing during the action sequences and very memorable. Thematically it was very reminiscent to 2001 to me.

Harrison Ford is…well, he’s Harrison Ford. The same character he plays in every movie. The good thing is we like that character.  Ben Kingsly gives this film far more gravitas than even it’s very well thoguh out subject matter could have achieved on it’s own. Asa Butterfield is extremely good as the title character, and pulls off a very difficult role. We see years worth of maturity develop in a relatively short span of time. We see him become a very different person, far older mentally and emotionally than he ever reaches chronologically.

It’s actually the problem of time that is the films single flaw. It feels like it’s happening over a week or two (though I realize it’s longer). The pacing is a little fast, though I can understand why, any slower and this could have easily been a three hour movie – and while the subject matter  could definitely have justified it, I’m not sure it would have survived public perception (cool sci-fi action flick)

Definitely catch this in the theater. Catch it in IMAX or 3d because there’s no way this will ever look this good on a TV no matter how big a screen it is.

Halloween Comicfest


As I mentioned yesterday, we did the Halloween Comicfest over at Carol and John’s Comic shop.


hcf_logoLike on Free Comic book Day, publishers release special editions with the Halloween Comic Fest logo on them and these are distributed for free at participating retailers. It’s a way to especially get kids into comic shops these days. I’m still plowing my way through the stack of free comics I got, along with a couple I bought while I was there (I hate just showing up, grabbing the free stuff and leaving. Same as on Free comic book day, we make it a point to buy SOMETHING – even if just a couple issues from the quarter bin or dollar boxes), but here are some of my favorites so far….New_STK621002

Batman : Lil’Gotham.

I really haven’t been into this series. I suppose it’s fair to say it’s not aimed at me. Even worse, Damien is still alive in it and I hat him with such passion it’s unreasonable. There’s also something just ….wrong about cute gothamites. Batman villains just aren’t supposed to be…chibi.

This has some great moments in it though. Damien being completely unfamiliar with trick or treating so he goes and attacks kids in costumes….

it works as a fun kids book and was naturally one of the centerpieces of this years selections.

New_STK622248There was a My Little Pony book this year. I actually made a point to get to the comic shop kind of early In the day just to make sure I could snag this for my girls. Bronys are unpredictable and I could have easily seen this one getting sold out before we could manage to get in the shop. Thankfully, not only did both of my girls get a copy, I even got one myself.  It’s a reprint of one of the stories form earlier this year, but it’s a good bit of the story and nicely scary – appropriate for Halloween.

Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the only pony book out there this year.

New_STK621297Another book called “Vamplets” was out with a kind of “Ghostly Pony” look to it. I almost missed the thing entirely until Maddie pointed it out to me. This and the My Little Pony books are bothe mini comics – about half the size of a normal one. Ashcans we used to call them.  A lot of the kids stuff was set up this way.  Still, fun books and perfect for Halloween.

Next up is Art Baltazar’s new book. I know, I keep gravitating towards the kids New_STK621021stuff, but Ity bitty Hellboy is just not to be missed. I really loved Tiny Titians, and this is just more of the same only with different characters. In fact, I’m not always into Hellboy that much, but this book was too much fun for words.

I did get through the Thor issue they had available and would actually really like to hear someone else comment on it. I’m not a big fan of Thor in the first place – he appeal has always mystified me, and lately a lot of his titles really seem to emphasize the elements of him that I really don’t like in the first place- most notably the big dumb football player personality with the big chin and no neck….and this issue is no exception. It sets up a new story arc about someone or something who is going around the cosmos killing small “g” gods. It’s an interesting enough concept, but with no investment in the character and STK622037_TNa general dislike for beings who refer to themselves as gods or pantheon mythology in general this one really didn’t do a whole lot for me. Sorry guys. Like I said, I’d love to hear someone who’s a Thor fan chime in on this one. If I find something elsewhere, I may reblog it.

My last pick from the pack was Ultimate Spider-Man. This isn’t the actually Ultimate Spidey as in the Ultimate universe, or the Bendis run, this is more based on the cartoon that Disney and Marvel are currently running. I’ve watched it with my kids, it’s okay, and a good attempt to bring Spidey in to the Avenger’s universe. The book is divided into New_STK622038two features, beginning with an origin story, told as Spidey fights off the Shocker. Meh. The second feature where Spidey is shadowing an LMD of Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury is much more fun. Inside are also a couple of one page gags where they’ve taken a page from the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics and redone the text pull things completely out of context. A really fun book.

Carl and John’s went the extra mile as well, also handing out candy and bookmarks and buttons (with Itty Bitty Hellboy on them). I’m really enjoying Halloweenfest, and I love that it makes Free Comic Book Day come twice a year now!





Halloween 2013

Oddly, Halloween of us is less about the actually Halloween night but none about the weekend before – all of our traditional activities seem to fall on the preceding Saturday, in this case last Sat.

Earlier in the month, I started off the season getting the front decorated. I’m appalled that the kids in the neighborhood recognize Michael Myers but not Jason Vorhees.

Every year I put up figures in front of the house on Halloween. Back when I was a child, I’d love this season because on the bus ride to school my friend Ethan Lydon and I would watch for the dummies an halloween decorations on the houses we passed and duck below the windows so the monsters wouldn’t see us. Now it’s my turn to put the monsters out…and watch the kids have fun being scared of them.

New_1390556_646817062029387_1050958758_nAnd next is my Halloween costume. I did have a party that needed a kid friendly costume – no horror, so I fell back on the trusty old Iron Man. I finally have a helmet for it as well.


I even found another Iron Man there!

But my main costume this year was going to be Freddy Kruger…and I wanted to do it from scratch. In the past I’ve bought the commercially available Freddy makeup, but just like I wanted to do an upgrade on my past Pinhead attempts last year, I also wanted to try and to Freddy “right”.

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Of course while I was working on my makeup, Lydia was trying to decide what to be for Halloween……

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Maddie was considering Wednesday Addams….she had the doll all set….


I got up early on Saturday morning, slipped into my makeup and Got Maddie ready to go!


Lydia was at ballet so she missed our first two stops. We started off at the Nursing home where my Aunt lives. We always trick or Treat there and since Lyds couldn’t make it, we carried her bucket and Maddie got treats for her and Lydia.

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One of the residents had a dog there in a costume….maybe the best costume I saw this year!


We then headed out to Carol and John’s comic shop for Halloweenfest. This is similar to Free Comic Book day. The rule is that you have to wear a costume to get free books! You can choose up to 12. Maddie decided she was only going to pick six for herself and then use her remaining six selections to get Lydia books too.


They had a great little play are set up in the back with Night mare Before Christmas playing.

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Maddie found a She-ra doll!


We swung back to the house and picked up Lydia and were joined by my parents to go trick or treating at the local Flea Market. Don’t underestimate this stop. The girls haul SO much candy and fun things away from here it’s amazing.


New_1383576_656290221082071_740110277_n New_1375038_656289237748836_978112831_n 923016_656289347748825_1426024828_n 533948_656289071082186_1159553169_n 543845_656288391082254_2117584980_n 2556_656290254415401_1242954384_n

We actually made a quick trip out to Crocker Park as well, but the Trick or Treating had begun an hour earlier and almost everyone was out already! What a drag! We still found a few stores giving out candy and games to play, but over all, not worth it. We have to remember to get there earlier next year.


Finally back home to carve pumpkins. We had planned on hitting the Halloween walk at the Carlisle reservation (one of our favorite traditions) but it was just too cold and wet and we were all  tiered. Still, we managed to finish out pumpkins and get the jack-o-lanterns out on the porch!

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Finished the night with e Corpse Bride. A first time for the girls who love The Nightmare before Christmas.  We still have trick or treating proper on Halloween night, but this weekend was really our main Halloween festivities. How about you? What traditions do you all have out there?



essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Poor Batman

DC Clix

IMG_20130118_212449While we were playing one night, Eric found that his daughter had slipped a few tiny kitty toys in with his heroclix. he thought it was cute and put one in between the claws of the Predator X he was playing.

Then he immediately attacked my Batman with it.

So Predator X is beating my Batman to death with a squeaky toy and all I can think about is how mad Batman is at the indignity of it all.

batman x copy


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Maddie Misses Daddy

Maddie Banner

Most nights, the girls ask what we are doing in the morning. Usually they will ask me if I have work in the morning. They also ask on Saturday mornings when I wake up and come down stairs.  Any day I tell them I have work they pout and are sad.

I’ve explained to them that Daddy works so we can pay for out home, our food, our cars and everything we need to get by, but they still tell me they wish I didn’t have to go away and work every day.

Maddie stayed with her grandparents a while ago and when she came home she brought me this.

maddie card 1

Inside it reads “A monster you can find in the Library is called Matthew”

maddie card 2

“From Maddie to Daddy, remember I love you so much”maddie card 3


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday