Friday, October 31, 2008

Crusoe 2 - Electric Boogaloo

The problem I always had with the title of the show Prison Break was that I wondered what they would do or call the show once they had actually broken out of prison... well break out of more prisons - metaphorical and literal it would seem. For that reason I didn't watch the show and seeing how crazy it has become I am glad I didn't invest the time. LOST suffered from this same hubris. I don't mind mystery but I need the clues to actually make sense and be released to me in a timely fashion. And from tonight's episode of Crusoe I fear that my concerns for that show have come true. Tonight mutineers landed on the island..many, many mutineers. So many in fact that they created their own little tropical resort complete with beach side bar and stick prison. Tables and bar chairs also..sigh. If Crusoe doesn't get off the island THIS time then I am officially going to say that this show has jumped the shark. But he's got a good plan. Defeat the mutineers, hop on a ship and before you can say 'bob's your uncle' he is back in dirty, corrupt, plague ridden England. But first dress up in scrubbery and create skeletal scarcrows and add some cheap gunpowder theatrics and the hard boiled pirates will wet their pantaloons and leave Crusoe alone or take him home. Hilarious. Its a Gilbert and Sullivan comedy every week. Why bother going home when you can just open a resort and charge admission to Scooby Do's Spook Island. It already has more boats on it than a cruise ship port anyways. Two weeks ago half the pirates landing on his island conveniently die and half left in their boat without him (of course) by keeping Crusoe at bay by gunpoint - one of those crappy one shot hardly break your skin pirate pistols. He's got enough wood to build a boat but Mr Robinson McGyver doesn't have the time or knowledge to do that. He should just scoop out an old log and include a coconut radio to keep himself amused on the long journey home. I know this show's massive plot holes are meant to be ignored so keep me amused and you have my time. After all I do love a good cheezy swashbuckling adventure and who am I to get all uppidy after watching years of the A-Team. But I do like the relationship between Friday and Crusoe. Its very progressive with Friday being a realist who understands the value(or lack of value) a person of colour has in 17th century English society. For Friday the island is paradise, why would he want to leave? Crusoe is very naieve about such things and that is probably why he got himself standed away from his family in the first place. Never trust your scheming brother in law. There are many moments when I am watching this show that I think of my Father. As stupid as it can be sometimes it was just the kind of show we liked to watch together.

Rage of the Red Lantern Ruffles

Possibly the greatest comic creation of the year if not the decade - RUFFLES the Red Lantern - a kitty of pure rage and hatred. Created by Geoff Johns in one of my favorite comic book titles - GREEEN LANTERN - he is just so cute. Love that he wears his power ring on his tail. That is just GOOD writing! No stupider than a Green Lantern that is a planet or a floating eyeball but infinately cooler. Mummies have known for a long time that "FLUFFY DON'T PLAY". I am waiting for the Ruffles the Red Lantern VS Streaky the Super Cat one shot. (titled "IN HEAT") Its one of those geek/fanboy moments that makes me feel sorry for those of you who don't read comics because you are missing out on sooooo much.

This Just Gives Me Hope

I Liks Mi LOL Cats

I am constantly amazed that there is a community for any interest on the internet and LOL Cats is the poster child for that statement. I am unabashidly a cat person cause we all know that cats are noble, mysterious creatures that choose the "hoomans" they associate with very carefully. (As opposed to dogs who are sellouts, suckups and sniches) Cats are also the best mummy repellant that we have ever found. The site "Can I Haz Cheeseburger" contains this genre of photocaptions that mainly involve cats and their terrible spelling. Recently an art show was held in California and hundreds of people attended just to see LOL Cat art based on the images from the website. I am almost embarrased to say that if I lived in that city I would totally have gone to that show to meet women. Its all about having a sense of humor (and hooker boots) as you know. I could go into the philosophical and academic reasons why LOL Cats are valuable but that would only cause all our heads to explode. Suffice it to say that FUNNY is FUNNY and there is something about anthropomorphised felines that speak to the humanity in all of us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


When it comes to a design aesthetic I am most fond of STEAMPUNK. Its a genre of literature and design that postulates an alternate world still primarily powered by steam and imagines a time of fantasy where the computers (and other modern advances) are invented a hundred years before they actually were (thus regressing the age of science fiction decades before it came into prominance). It often combines the Modern Age with the Victorian Age. Its a world were you would imagine Jules Verne as its guiding genius and architect. Speaking of genius, the designers at Wetaworks have created steampunk weapons that make you wish that such a time actually the space age in the time of Queen Victoria. How can anyone not find these cool? I love all the brass and varnished woodgrains, the rivets and the exposed components. The movie DUNE had many of these design elements and when I imagine the world that the novels create it always has a steampunk flare. This is the best description of STEAMPUNK that I have ever seen -

"Steampunk is Goth, Punk, Geek, and Maker Culture whipped into a delicious melange with a healthy seasoning of political and environmental activism. It's the intersection of science and romance, it's sustainable rebellion."

-Steampunk Workshop

Superman's Baby Carriage

K...if I ever wanted to have a baby it would be to put him/her in this ultra cool baby carriage...this is sooooooo future...almost like young Kal-el's spaceship from Krypton.

Get Fuzzy

"Gullible pooch Satchel and Red Sox-obsessed Rob Wilco endure the daily torments of their housemate, Bucky Katt, in the wildly popular comic strip, Get Fuzzy. Each day, they face new money-making schemes and battles with the ferret down the hall. Now Bucky Katt returns, dreaming up new schemes to torture and mock his housemates and to conquer his arch nemesis, Fungo."

Although it is often overwritten I dig this newspaper strip because the villian of the piece, the one fanged selfish Bucky Katt is just out of control. How his human Rob or his dumb dog roomie Sachel put up with him is beyond me. He seems to embody everything people hate about cats. I just like that fact that his hatred of the world is not faked. Like most of the strip the punchline is a long time in coming but this one is brilliant(with apologies to Walt Kelly and 'Pogo').

Agents of Atlas - Gorillas and Robots and Hotties...OH MY!

"The Secret Agent, The Robot, The Mythic Beauty, The Spaceman, and The Gorilla. Five players in a great game. But who are they, where have they been, and who’s the chessmaster moving the pieces?"

I just purchased the collected series AGENTS OF ATLAS which was the best comic series of the past couple of years. If the cover of issue #2 doesn't make you want to read the entire series then you have no imagination. Or maybe its just my love of Gorillas dressed in human clothing (stripped pants are very slimming) while armed with guns. That is just GOOD writing. I love it when someone finds a way to reintroduce old forgotten this case ones from the ATLAS comics days (the precurser to Marvel Comics)...and come up with a crackling good spy story to boot. This is what NEWSARAMA had to say in its review...

"This is one of those comics you probably either decided to buy or not buy the minute you heard about; the words “Gorilla Man” and “Human Robot” either elicit an ejaculation of “Awesome!” or any eye-rolling “lame.” So saying this is a great, fun read probably isn’t going to sway you one way or another.

But if you’re in that former category and haven’t picked it up yet, I would certainly encourage you to do so, as Agents of Atlas is every bit as awesome as it sounds. It can be pretty goofy and cheesy at times, but that’s a virtue here. Kirk’s pencils aren’t the least bit cartoony, either, giving the whole book a sort of deadpan feel, like a late ‘50s sci-fi B-movie with a modern blockbuster budget.

Plus, there’s a scene where the Human Robot lifts Gorilla Man over his head and runs down a hallway, with Gorilla Man holding a machine gun in each hand and each foot. That, my friends, is what I like to call comic book gold."

Marvel's newest 'event' Dark Reign gives us a world where all the bad guys are basically in charge led by the villianous Norman Osborne (Green Goblin) who is straight up cookoo for cocopuffs. At first they played it like the Agents of Atlas had turned evile but eventually revealed that they are faking that they are the bad guys to draw all the real bad guys out into the open - playing the espionage game at the highest level for the highest stakes imaginable. Just the way I like it.

Tattoo Me

If I ever got a tattoo...this would be the design I would choose just cause its so freakin me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Top Ten Movies #10 - JUMANJI

When I was a kid we loved to play board games. Every Christmas my parents would make sure that we got at least one or two and I particularly loved the ones like Moustrap and 13 Ghosts or Operation where you got alot of peices that you had to put together to play the game. For this reason a movie about a board game (albiet a sinister one) was right up my alley. Based on a children's book by Chris Van Allsburg (who also wrote ZATHURA)its the story of two children who start a game in 1969 but who are forced to finish is 26 years later when fate and the game come back into play. Like Back to the Future there was a kind of 'full circle' effect to Jumanji that I love. Everything that went wrong is put right at the end and despite all the peril the characters are put through you have that satifaction at the end that the world was really a safe and happy place. Combining Robin Williams (in what I think is his best toned down everyman role) with Bonnie Hunt creates the perfect chemistry. They are both damaged and not quite adults but are both brave and resourceful and real 'parents' to the two child actors. (One being Kirsten Duntz who has NEVER looked cuter) You somehow know that they will save the day. Sure the special effects of the animals looks dated by today's CGI standards but the filmakers never let up for an instant and you can't take your eyes away from the screen. The Hunter is a real figure of menace and its a nice touch to have him played by the same actor(Jonathan Hyde) that also plays Alan's (Robin Williams) father. And how can you not laugh every moment that David Allen Greer is on the screen. His adventures with the most unfortunate police car in movie history are comedy gold. I have seen this movie alot but for some reason like the other movies on my top ten list I always seem to make time for it when its on TV and it always makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Harold and the Purple Crayon

When I was a kid there was one book that I carried around with me and felt a real spiritual connection with - Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson first published in 1955. Its the story of Harold a brave resourceful little guy in his jammies who recreates his world and fantasies with is omnicient purple crayon. One of the websites summed it up this way and I am in total agreement...

This is what best represents my concept of creativity, innovation, and the continual fascination with finding new things out about a very odd world and the people who live in it.

Like Harold I never really could seem to sleep where I was left when I was little. In fact my mother would often find my crib empty and me curled up on the floormat in the bathroom. As I got older I would build a nightly tent out of my blankets. With my flashlight and litte transistor radio I would entertain myself until I eventually fell asleep. As an adult I still need to read something and listen to talk radio before I can fall asleep. And how can you NOT love a little bald guy in jammies who likes NINE different kind of of which you KNOW is HUCKLEBERRY.

The Return of GOOGAM...SON OF GOOM!!!!

The artist who does these short stories is a genius. He has taken and totally updated the great age of the Marvel Monsters like FIN FANG FOOM and my all time favorite GOOM and now his son GOOGAM whose life is filled with more ennui than any ten monsters should have to deal with. But his scam to get himself adopted by a Hollywood celebrity is pure alien genius. The looks on his face just crack me up and I wish they produced a comic like this every month. IF you subscribe online to Marvel comics you get this comic as one of the bonuses. Reason enough to subscribe. This is from their press release...

There was a time when giants walked the Earth! Monstrous creatures! Products of science gone MAD!!! But what happens when some of these terrible titans try to play nice? Find out as Googam, Elektro, Gorgilla and the purple-pantsed Fin Fang Foom himself do the unthinkable and become functioning members of society. Well, not TOO functional...creators Scott Gray and Roger Langridge welcome back Marvel’s favorite enfants terribles in five gut-busting stories sure to unleash the Marvel Monster within!

Time Travel Basics

This is one of the best representations of time travel physics that I have seen summerized in one easy to understand explanation. So can go back in time and meet your grandfather...kill him even and it won't affect you one bit unlike Back to the Future. But you also can't change history by killing Hitler cause you will only create an alternate timeline where he doesn't exist. Your own time line is set and immutable. Don't get me started on my Donnie Darko theories and how belief or lack of belief in God affects time travel...that discussion makes my head explode.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who Watches the Watchmen? I WILL BE!

"I suppose I was just thinking, 'That'd be a good way to start a comic book: have a famous super-hero found dead.' As the mystery unraveled, we would be lead deeper and deeper into the real heart of this super-hero's world, and show a reality that was very different to the general public image of the super-hero."
—Alan Moore on the basis for Watchmen

OMG...I just saw the latest trailer from the SCREAM awards on SPIKE for WATCHMEN and it is awesome. For those of you not blessed to have read this comic book it IS the premier graphic novel of our time; a deconstruction of the super hero myth by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Based on the old Charton characters Moore creates a world as relevant today as in the eighties when the 12 part limited series was released. For those of us who have seen it all in comic books, Watchman was a graphic novel for adults and one instantly worthy of scholarly criticism and study. Exquisitely layered storytelling that only improves with each reading it is the model we wannabe graphic novelists look to for inspiration. The story graphically reminds us that placing our faith in heroes or superheroes to save the world for us is an abdication of our own responsibility. That in the end everything is about how we save the world and ourselves not through black and white absolutes but through sacrifice and compromise. What we have with WATCHMEN is the transition of the superhero from fantasy to literature. There are some stories that can you can only imagine as a comic book because that is the medium that best showcases their complexities. The movie will be great I think but it will in no way be superior to the graphic novel which many felt was "unfilmable" due to its richness and overlapping themes. What the filmaker has put on screen, however, looks to be remarkable. This is the comment I made on the site where I first say the new recut of the trailer. I have no patience for anyone who nitpicks plot points and is critical of what will prove to be the dream movie we fans of the graphic novel have been wating for for 20 years. After the sucess of 300 Zack Synder has earned the benefit of the doubt. Remember complainers...this movie could have be made by Joel Schumacher! (my bum still hurts from BATMAN AND ROBIN)

"Anyone who doesn’t praise God and Zack for getting this movie “right” should be barred from ever seeing it. If I have to miss seeing the “squid” to see even a minute of Rorschach being his bad ass self then its worth it to me. Quit yer bitchin and just prepare for the sweetest peice of geekdom since the Dark Knight or Iron Man. Its a good time to be a fanboy so can we all just get along? Who watches the watchmen? I WILL BE!"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crusoe -Robinson not David

I don't know what is is about this years television season but I am overwelmed with great shows and tonight I saw another gem - Crusoe. Based on the famous tale by Daniel Dafoe he is the shipwrecked englishman who with his 'man' Friday tried to survive in an island paradise. (His bitching about being trapped in this beautiful tropical 'prison' will get old real fast)And for a so-called deserted island there seems to be alot of people showing up in the first episode. We have pirates, cannibals and the Spanish navy and of course a cute she-pirate who falls for his well shaven model looks.(One critique I have...if you and your man Friday are the only ones on the island...wouldn't you let your beard go just a bit?? I mean who is he shaving for? Is this Brokeback Island?) I suspect that will be the main problem for the writers to figure out how to have him interact with others while still keeping him on the island for years to come. I love the way he has created all these gadgets for protection and comfort. The tree house itself is a work of genius but his home made traps seem to come right out of the A-team. There was even an A-team level explosion in the premier episode. If he invents a jeep I have no doubt that it will flip over on its first run. But honestly the sets are genius. COME ON...a five orange juicer!!!! That is right out of Gilligans Island...but the first time he creates a radio out of coconuts then I will know that they have jumped the shark. The relationship between him and Friday is a particular high point. Friday, despite being called a savage by everyone but Crusoe is smart, resourceful, intelligent and sarcastic. He is Crusoe's equal if not his better. He gets upset when Crusuo (whom Friday has pledged his life to) offers to free him from that obligation because as he says he is "not a slave" to be removed from the bondage of his master. Its an insult to him to even hear those words. There is also a nice bit of race education when Friday reminds Crusoe that he was foolish to assume that just because white men (the pirates) came on shore that they automatically were his friends because of their skin color. Evil comes in all shades.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Media Sense Sucks!

"What the hell!...I was just watching the first 4 minutes of ELEVENTH HOUR when your short spot came on. I appreciate your desire to bring some academic discourse to the drama but did you have to RUIN the episode for me by giving away the big reveal (that the 11 year olds that were dropping dead from heart attacks were CLONES) before the first commecial? The premise of the show is SCIENTIC MYSTERIES that are solved by the main character and I would have like to have ENJOYED the journey of discovery instead of having you mess up my viewing experience. I am a student of television and pop culture in general and I like the connection you make between entertainment/storytelling philosophy. So help me. Poor, poor form Media Sense. Couldn't you have waiting till the end of the show to ELIGHTEN me. Now I have to flip off your spot whenever I see it so that you don't ruin another show for me. You suck! Please give some thought to what you do for the next time."

That was the email I sent to Media Sense tonight after they ruined the episode of the ELEVENTH HOUR that I was watching by giving away the cause of the deaths that the main character (Rufus Sewell) was investigating. I hate hate hate spoilers that are forced on me like that. Of course I could have changed the channel but I had no idea that the academic who was pratling on about greek mythology (and how female archetypes that kill their children are always insane) had any relation to the show. It just makes me crazy..much like Little Rabbitt Foo Foo - "scooping up those field mice and bopping them on the head."

HEY they actually wrote me its all good. I kinda feel bad now about that 'you suck' comment. My bad.

"We do apologize for impairing your viewing experience of The Eleventh Hour. Since it is a new show our professors often point out general themes they see in the shows without being able to foretell how those themes will be resolved in the plots of specific episodes. We'll try to ensure that more generic introductions that do not reveal critical material are used from henceforth.

Thanks for contacting us and pointing this out.

Eric Rice"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Coming of Galactus

There are some characters in comics and in pulp culture that just resonate with me and none more so than Galactus the devourer of worlds. Created by the great Jack Kirby, Galactus just radiates "alien menace". More a force of nature than a true villian he was born at the moment of the big bang and exists as a kind of cosmic equalizer to life - his one purpose is to feed his hunger by searching out energy rich planets teaming with living creatures. Once found he consumes their energies leaving only a dead husk behind. How does a planet bound hero fight something like that especially when his ship blots out the sky and he himself stands 200 stories tall and is armed with the "power cosmic"? Well, by trickery or bargaining seemingly. When he approached Zen-la, a peaceful jewel of a planet it took the supreme sacrifice of one Norin Radd to save his world. He made a deal with Galactus to serve him and it was Galactus who turned him into the iconic Silver Surfer. The Surfer was the first of the heralds of Galactus whose main purpose it was to seek out energy rich worlds for his master to feed on. However, this also made the Surfer a character of great lonliness and melancholy especially when he was faced with the guilt that he helped in the destruction of so many living creatures. One of the great "sagas" in all comicdom occured when Galactus came to Earth and into conflict with the Fantastic Four. Seeing the nobility of humans fighting a hopeless cause turned the Silver Surfer against his master; a move that while saving Earth deprived the Surfer of the freedom of the stars. For a character used to soaring through the cosmos it was the cruelest of punishments. As we all know its suffering that makes for interesting literary characters. Marvel comics excelled at this in the 1960s with such characters as the Thing, the Hulk, and Spiderman. In my toy collection I have several version of Galactus so when I saw this Marvel Mighty Muggs figure I just had to have it and write about him. That helmet is pure Jack Kirby. How can you not love that design????

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Ass Snakes and the 'Hoff

I am sooooo lonely and bored tonight that I am looking for anything interesting to read or to look at. I could totally drink a whole bottle of Niquil tonight but that would keep me from working on my Halloween costume which is also a total waste of time since I have no venue to display it in. I could go door to door but without children that would be both pathetic and funny. I was never one to steal the candy from other kids but I am soarly tempted this year; I will just tell anyone that confronts me that I needed new pillow cases.

I am actually watching Anaconda 3 starring David Hasselhoff online right now. We all know how much I love my craptacular moster movies and they don't get any worse than ones with giant snakes and the 'Hoff. Oh you scientists pushing the edges of nature...tampering with evolution...don't you know that the only way this can end is with your creatures turning you into McNuggets? (sans dipping sauce). Cooooool.

My Observations:

1. When your snake girl tells you to reinforce the snake tank you REINFORCE THE SNAKE TANK!!!!! And these are scientists who we assume graduated from high school?

2. Security NOT enter the open vent when the big snake is loose.

3. We can always count on the snake lady to be a hot blond wearing a tank top which will get wet just when all the shit goes down. Thats it...just stand around in your wet top waiting for your body heat to attract the snake.

4. In any giant snake movie staring the 'Hoff, the 'Hoff will be a bigger badass than the badass snake.

5. Be careful NOT to fill your jeeps with rocket fuel cause you know that when a snake hunter gets his head ripped off by the giant anaconda his first (or last) reflex will be to shoot in the direction of the jeeps causing a massive explosion and eliminating your only means of quick escape.

6. Snakes will not be attracted by the words "Here Kitty Kitty."

7. NO WAY are they paying the snake hunters enough to hunt a snake that big. How do I know? Cause there is not enough money on planet Earth to get me to do the job. (especially with their toys-r-us weapons collection)

8. The B.A.S. will follow roads and trails through the forest so that it can be followed by expedible actors in their jeeps and much like the A-Team the jeep will flip at the least opportune moment. It will also catch on fire just when the snake shows up outside the flipped jeeps window forcing the hot blond in the tank top to run until she falls in the mud hole thus rendering her invisible to the big snake.

9. Hot girl has unlimited supply of clean white tank tops.

10. Big ass snake will kill hot girl and black guy last. (if at all)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wonder Woman

This doesn't need words. I always hated the cartoony way that the Wonder Woman costume looked on the live action 70s tv show. Linda Carter was a babe but she looked like she was wearing granny panties/depends with stars on them. THIS is Wonder Woman to me and worthy of having Batman sing to save her like he did on a fabulous episode of Justice League Unlimited - "This Little Piggy". Diana (Wonder Woman) is turned into a piggy (complete with bullet defecting bracelets!!!) by Circe, her worst enemy. And her price for releasing Diana from the spell? I could never describe it well enough so take my word for it and check it out here....


Its been a long time since I have been so blown away by a comic book series. I had downloaded several issues of Elephantmen by Richard Starkings and several of the industries top artists and the whole read has been a revelation. Starkings has created a future world were science has perverted nature and created hulking animal soldiers by splicing human beings with african animals like hippos, rhinos, zebras and elephants. Collectively called the Elephantmen they were soldiers born and bred for combat and killing. Unfortunately the scientist didn't figure on their creations having a soul. What does a manufactured killing machine do when there is no more wars for him to fight? (Especially when his monsterous appearance further isolates him from regular human society) Round out the picture by creating creatures who pine for love and contact but who are both emasculated and left without mates manufactured for them and you have a great sense of ennui hovering over the whole series. I love that tone. I love the nobility of their damaged souls and its ironic that society has chosen to place them in civil service jobs (investigators, police officers ect)where they see the worst of humanity on a daily basis and must supress their inbred instincts to destroy. I can see why the girls love Hip Flask too. He is ALL Hippo. Who DOESN'T love animals in fedoras? Well me for one but for some reason the 40s style just works on him. I agree with many reviews I have read about this series that the art is LUXURIOUS. Its a book that you don't just read; you re-read like adding more hot water to an already warm bath. I only download my comics these days but I think for the first time I want to have the trades in my collection and I think I need to become a completist for this one title - that is how impressed I am. And you know for a fanboy/comic geek that has seen it ALL come down the pipe this is heaven.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Russian Bride

You gotta love how my fake russian brides write to me and expect me to believe it....Boris Badanov from Bullwinkle show speaks better russian while chasing "moose and squirrel" What I love about this next entry is the way she can spell "unfortunately" and "classification"-common Russian terms easily translated. least she is pretty.

"Good afternoon!!!! It Valentina!!! Please excuse me, that I to not write you this long time. I to leave on increase of classification, I to study in Moscow. I to not take with myself your data and unfortunately I could not write to you. As at you an affair!!!??? I to hope, that at you all is good. Today I just to come from Moscow and at once to write to you this letter. I to not have supper yet. I very much to miss your letter. Now I shall prepare for a supper and to go to bed. Excuse, but I cannot write to you the big letter, I very strongly to get tired and at me to close eyes after road from Moscow. I shall read your letter tomorrow. I wait your new photos.Valya."