Thursday, August 21, 2008

Flowers for Algernon!

This statistic amuses me greatly due to my primarily dating vegetarians (which is weird because I'm a carnivore through and through).

I really need to catch up on my episodes of The Middleman.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Villains Enlightened

Chris Sims and Mightygodking have put up intriguing, in-depth studies of two of the most well-known supervillains in the world - The Joker and Lex Luthor, respectively. While I might not agree 100% on every particular point, their analyses are brilliantly done and quite worth a read. Additionally, MGK's piece links to a quintessential Lex Luthor story done up in the animated series style by none other than Mark "Wanted" Millar (believe it or not).

And then there's a series of extremely interesting studies of Batman's Rogue Gallery over at a blog ironically named Mindless Ones (who still remind me of Nextwave, btw. Ahhhh, Nextwave. How I miss you). His unique take on Poison Ivy is worth the price of admission alone (thanks for the heads-up, WFA!).

On a happier note . . .

Okay, rant over. I thought I'd put up a few links here for your enjoyment:

- A sweet little love story from people obsessed with fashion and bugs.

- Some free webcomics from Slave Labor Graphics to read are here.

- One of the folks behind the massively hyped Scott Pilgrim series (theoretically to become a motion picture starring the guy from Arrested Development, Superbad and Juno) has put up a comic here (and I'll read it as soon as I can get all the pictures to load properly). Also, note to self: read Scott Pilgrim Vs. series, see what all the fuss is about.

- Nerd Prom 2009 registration is go! I hope to actually attend this or NYCC next year, assuming the tickets don't sell out in the next two seconds.

And now I'm going to collapse on my couch and try to get some much needed sleep.

Late to the party but still worth talking about

I'm probably the last person posting this but there's some serious thoughts on a big problem within ComicCon here. Well worth a read. I seriously hope it spawns an online petition to add something to the ComicCon bylaws to respond to sexual harassment.

The actions described upset me on a variety of levels. I'm furious for the women who were harassed and I'm also incensed by the way these "men" seemed to think that their behavior is somehow acceptable. Is it naive of me to say that I'd hoped - nay, prayed - that we were beyond this? That men at a comic book convention were cool enough and God, grown-up enough to not act like disgusting, entitled cavemen? Any woman who enjoys comics and participates in the comic book industry shouldn't have to deal with a swarm of jackasses living up to the "Immature, Misogynstic Mouthbreather" cliche. A part of me wants to go off on a multitude of angry tangents but I'll rein myself in as much as I can.

The worst part is that I make a genuine effort to think the best of comic book fans (which is, admittedly, not always an easy thing to do sometimes). I try to focus exclusively on the positive parts of this industry that make me happy and show all the good we're capable of achieving. I want to believe that the assholes described in this post are the exception and not the rule. I want to believe that, as a whole, comic book fans of any gender are fun, pleasant and generally awesome people. Call me naive, but I like to think that comics - especially the superhero comics SDCC tends to focus on - are mostly about inspiring people to have a sense of wonder, to implore people to hope and, most of all, to treat those who are different from you a little nicer. If these male comic book fans can't understand the most basic precept of treating another human being with the exact same dignity they'd expect from a total stranger after reading tale after tale where people fight for justice and equality, I have to wonder - what questions should we be asking? Has the superhero comic book industry failed to instill a sense of real, potent equality between the sexes in it's fans? Or does the only real failure fall at the feet of these "men" who just aren't paying attention to the basic laws of human decency?

I'm sorry if this is rant-y and possibly over the top but I tend to take this sort of thing personally. Every asshat who behaves like this at a comic book convention tars the reputation of every other genuinely decent guy at the Con. If I'm going to be attending SDCC next year, I don't think it's asking too much for a standard of behavior, ethics and respect in my fellow attendees. Jesus Christ, this depresses me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Eat Your Vegetables and Brains


Over at BeaucoupKevin, the good Mr. Church has pointed out a bevy of free, easy-to-read Zombie comics by a variety of great creators, starting with a particularly amusing tale of a multiple choice quiz.

And yes, the above is real - DC created a healthy cookbook for kids and you can now read a few precious pages of it here. There's so much I want to say but I'll just go with this - that Jimmy Olsen looking at the 3-D salad? Kinda freaks my head out.

In honor of Chris Sims' Birthday

If you're not reading Chris Sims' Invincible Super-Blog, you're missing out on the web's premiere factory outlet for superhero facekicking, Silver Age Crack, Buffy comic photomanips and other fine products made of sheer awesome.

In honor of Mr. Sims' 26th Birthday, I present the following. It's no Silver Age Lois Lane kung-fu fighting Robot Cheerleaders but I do hope that the following videos honor him in spirit -

Silver Age Superman Birthday!

And the closest scientists have come to creating a decent Lois Lane facekicking someone to punk rock music!*

Happy 26th, Sims!

*NOTE: I'm not actually all that impressed by Smallville or Erica Durance but facekicking Lois Lane does win them a few points. Plus, catchy song!

The Dark Huntress?

I know that as of late, I seem to be a little Bat-obsessed, but I had a crazy idea while watching The Dark Knight for the second time.


People everywhere are already talking about which villains they'll use in the sequel to The Dark Knight. My thought is this - what if they don't use villains? Not in the strictest sense of the word, that is. What if the next film is mostly about Batman butting heads with Catwoman and The Huntress?

I know, I know - neither of them are as vicious as Heath Ledger's Joker and it sidesteps the whole "Batman Vs. The Terrorists" dynamic they've established in both films (Ra's Al Ghul and his cult of fanatics versus Joker and his cult of personality). But, my God - wouldn't that be the point? They can't return to the themes of this movie without rehashing a certain amount of ground. So why not go to a fresh place?

The most interesting part of the film for me are the BatWannabes, the various guys at the start in homemade costumes who are trying to be like their hero. Despite a working BatSignal and admiration for Batman in the comics, no such movement has existed in the comic books themselves, to my knowledge. It's a testimony to the world that Christopher Nolan has created that the existence of such men feel organic; a natural response by fed-up people to the basic idea of one man making a difference. While I think it's implied that the Batman imitators are flash in the pan and scared off by The Joker, I can only wonder if a similar "Year One"-esque motivation will be used in the third film for not just Catwoman, but perhaps Huntress as well.

As it's implied by the ending of DK, everyone now assumes Batman will and does kill. I feel like the placement of Catwoman in the next film feels almost inevitable, given what happens between Bruce and Rachel in this film, but what if we replace that dynamic with Huntress? Or Selina Kyle also assumes the hype about Batman the murderous vigilante? How does Batman deal with taking down the mob while dealing with one or even two women who are as motivated - albeit not quite as well-armed - as he is? More dangerous than him, even, given their moral flexibility? How tempting would it be for him to fudge his moral code so he can be with a partner who understands him? The crushing loneliness of his existence was hammered home in every frame of Dark Knight, to the point where I do feel like a lack of a love interest in the next film would be unforgivable (and please not, Talia Al Ghul - while she would give the trilogy symmetry, she just doesn't interest me nearly as much as a character).

Now, before anyone freaks out, I'm not saying that a total lack of a more straightforward Batvillain is going to happen or that a lack of a straightforward mustache-twirling bad guy would even be a good thing. But The Penguin? The Riddler? No and no. Too silly in Penguin's case and I honestly can't imagine a Riddler who could stand up to Ledger's Joker.

But Black Mask? Absolutely. Hugo Strange? God, yes. In a mob city as violently destabilized by Batman and the Joker's antics, the idea of a mobster like Black Mask adopting their tactics just makes sense. And Hugo Strange? Seriously, what 'real world' psychiatrist wouldn't be trying to figure out Batman and The Joker at this point? Yes, I know a Harley Quinn appearance would be the most logical thing in the world from that set-up but, in the wake of Mr. Ledger's tragic death, any callbacks to his Joker would have to be tremendously earned. Maybe it's me, but Hugo Strange just feels like he'd fit in beautifully in Nolan's world. The idea of Strange trying to twist the minds of Batman, Catwoman and/or the Huntress as they dance around Gotham's rooftops intrigues the hell out of me. Such a film would be a delight. I feel that these characters and themes would just lend themselves beautifully to Nolan's spot-on character studies and exploration of morality in a confusing world.

Plus, I just plain like Catwoman and Huntress, dang it. :D

Huh. Sorry, the idea of a more Hugo Strange-esque Harley Quinn (funny, sure, but more sadistic and effective) with Catwoman and/or Huntress just simultaneously gave me goosebumps and a twitchy memory of that unfortunate Birds of Prey TV show (so much wasted potential!).

But in any case, after all that rambling, I suppose I should give out my obligatory casting ideas. Hmmmm. The Angelina Jolie as Catwoman rumor doesn't entirely displease me, even if she feels a little on the nose at this point. Huntress? A lot harder to cast. Monica Bellucci would be perfect but for Helena's relative youth and inexperience. Hell, she might still pull it off, given how much fun she seemed to be having in Shoot 'Em Up. Black Mask needs to have an imposing physical presence and the ability to act through a mask - which could really describe a wealth of large, talented male actors these days. Gerard Butler, just as a for instance, might have a lot of fun portraying a psychopathic mobster. And Hugo Strange? I'd love to see what Steve Buscemi could do with a shaved head and thick glasses. And, should they surprise the hell out of me by going that route, Sarah Michelle Gellar might make for a fine Harley Quinn. Just my two cents, in any case.

What do y'all think? Am I crazy? Or do these ideas sound reasonable to anybody else?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Superheroes for Bunnies


Ambush Bug

(Also, Sims approves of bunny usage by proxy. I swear I started this post before reading his blog today. Bunny synchronicity in Teh Blogosphere!)

Disapproves Strongly:

(Wonders why I'm stealing her old schtick)

In the spirit of my last post

Several pages of The Dark Knight coloring book for kids can be found here.

A sample, which I swear I have not photoshopped in any way -

Heath Ledger's Joker was so darn cuddly!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Did I ever tell you how I got my scars?

Most people agree that, while it is brilliant, engaging and beautifully done film, The Dark Knight is not meant to be a feature film for children. Some people, on the other hand, are still willfully insistent/naive enough to think "Batman" = "children's film" and thus force their screaming, crying children to take in a two and a half hour film where *SPOILER!* people are brutally murdered in the throes of nail-biting psychological tension. A lot. I didn't have to deal with any crying kids at my IMAX screening but I've heard horror stories.

I only wish that I were joking. Beyond the anecdotal evidence, I actually came across a comments section on CNN where people argued that it was "stupid" to think Batman wasn't a kid's movie. Swear to God ("SWEAR TO ME!!!"). I couldn't find that link (if I could, I'd forward it to Get Off The Internet post haste), but I did find the following -

While this video was awfully freakin' adorable (Battyke on Tricycle FTW!), I don't know how I feel about kids seeing a flick as, well, dark as The Dark Knight. Of course, kids will watch want they want to watch and there's way, way worse films for them to see (I've seen people with toddlers in R-rated horror films. No kid under 8 should be taken to Grindhouse, fer crissakes). Of course, the guy who read Kraven's Last Hunt when he was, like, 11, probably should just shut the hell up and stop throwing stones.

But hey, at least this way, kids will learn at least one of two important lessons about life.

1. The world is more often than not a messy, ugly place full of moral ambiguity - a place that can only be overcome via obsessive dedication to one's ideals, an unflinching moral code and constant attempts at self-improvement.

2. Or, y'know, that Batman is totally freakin' awesome.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Lookin' Wonderful

So, if you're interested, you can see the trailer for the new animated Wonder Woman DVD here. I liked it but that last line caused a bit of a disconnect. WTF? I mean, on Paradise Island, I thought that "hitting a lady" - i.e. Amazonian combat training and friendly scrapping - would be #2 on the number things done daily.
With #1 being the daily worship of the Goddesses of the Greek Pantheon, of course. What were you thinking was #1? Perverts.

In any case, I'm sure it's just one line taken out of context and therefore no reason to freak out and slam the film. Unlike some fans out there, I am actually capable of not overreacting hysterically to something like one line of dialogue in a minute long preview. Plus, I hear that Gail Simone herself wrote the script and in Gail we trust. Anybody else giddy about the new Secret Six series coming out? I'm gonna miss Knockout and Scandal's relationship - I just got used to and liked the "Klingon-y" version of Knockout, instead of the double-entendre spewing version from early Superboy issues, when they went and killed her off for a crap crossover - but I'm very hopeful that the "A-list BatVillain" in the upcoming series will be Catwoman. A Simone-Catwoman with Catman would be pretty damn interesting, no?

But hey! Back to the subject at hand. Check out this awesome as all hell featurette featuring Keri Russel, Nathan Fillion and Rosario Dawson (aw, Waitress reunion!):

If that doesn't pacify any worries, I don't know what will. I think this looks excessively kick-ass and I LOVE that explanation of the star-spangled bustier.

Your thoughts, gang?

Friday, August 1, 2008


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Remember, if you loved me, you'd buy me this t-shirt. Or this one. Or maybe this one or this one. Clearly, I'm not picky.