Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The reason you'll never catch me saying Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television is episodes like this one last Sunday, which actually beat out the Tigh "comedy" episode in suckitude. (As Asa noted, the Tigh episode was the show trying something new and not being very good at it, while this episode was doing what Galactica should supposedly be good at, and doing it even worse than the comedy.) I mean, the retroactively-inserted girlfriend (who we kept seeing the same damn footage of, over and over until I felt like I was watching The Constant Gardener again), the black market being located on a single ship, the sheer contrivance of every line and action taken... ugh. Oh, and Mark Verheiden? Between this ep and the sub-par Lucy Lawless episode, you are clearly the weak link in the writer's room here.

Man, the Pegasus/Resurrection Ship three-parter was unrelenting in its awesomeness. When Galactica falls, it falls far.


There's a new strip up at The Atrox.

Well deserved

First thing this morning, congratulations to Amy.

She deserves it. And the win, really, although Michelle Williams will probably get it.

Monday, January 30, 2006


What else did I do this weekend?

Hit Kat's birthday party on Saturday, which was delightful. Ran into a few Oxy people that I don't see that often (although have seen recently) like Nelson and Angela. I had a few beers, which hit me pretty hard since I hadn't had dinner, and then Asa, Doug, Trumbo and I headed back to Hollywood to catch The Room. The Room is not an experience I can really put into words. There's lot of yelling at the screen and throwing of plastic spoons and each month you let slip by where you have not seen The Room is a month full of untapped potential. Of course Asa, Liz and I split a bottle of whiskey before and during the movie so I fell asleep before the end. I caught most of it, though. But I'll probably have to return.

Earlier that day Emory, Matt, Paul and I watched Red Dawn. Wow, that movie's something else. Remember kids, if Russians and Cubans suddenly parachute into your neighborhood, hide up in the hills and fight them with guerilla tactics, just like Swayze and Sheen! You just might get to like killing! And I mean REALLY like it! Take this fun exchange, as Swayze prepares to execute a Russian prisoner his ragtag team has taken:

Prisoner: "This violates the Geneva Convention!"
Swayze: "I never heard of it!"

Also, how funny would it have been if in Soul Man C. Thomas Howell just played his character from Red Dawn?

"All that hate of affirmative action's gonna burn you up, kid."
"It keeps me warm."


Sunday Adam had his birthday party, and many videogames were played, including a not-insignificant amount of Goldeneye, one of the finest games ever created by human beings. Sadly, Goldeneye is really just a barometer for what bad people Matt and I are, underneath.

I hadn't played Goldeneye in years, so I was worried I would have lost the knack. But after just a few rounds I was back in the saddle, and so was Matt, who roundly shot me up a lot. Just like high school, damn his black soul. I did a lot better once he left. You know what I'm not good at, though? THROWING KNIVES.

In related news, I am still terrible at Smash Brothers and Conker's Bad Fur Day. So very, very bad.

Over at the 'Trox...

...we've got a new column starting up today, coming to us all the way from the future. You'd do well to read it, for who knows what terrifying tidings might await you!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Here, let someone else entertain you

Leslie dreams of meeting Jim Henson:

"Since everyone else was telling him how much they loved the Muppets, I wanted to say something different. So I said I really liked his Farscape puppets. But then he reminded me that he didn't do those because he's dead. I said "oh yeah.." and then he laughed and gave me some candy."

Isn't that cute?

You know what? Don't follow that link up there, since all of Leslie's other dreams are just cornucopias of bloody horror.

G Spot rocks the G spot

I don't have much to tell you today. All I did last night was come home and paint about half of Leslie and Emory's room. Not the whole thing, just the top foot or so up to the ceiling, where Leslie can't reach/is bad at doing. The apartment's coming together veeeeeeeerrrrrry slooooowly. I blame Emory's lazy ass. When I get paid again I'm hitting the frame store to get a few posters framed and then my room will be complete. Still no idea where "Magneto Was Right" has gone, not that it has anywhere to go. Also, I should buy a computer desk. Also, I should get my computer fixed so that I have more motivation for buying a computer desk. Note to self: once purchased, keep Frank away from the computer desk, or don't buy one with a slide-y keyboard shelf that can be snapped right off.

I also caught up on TV watching last night. Here are some thoughts!

Lost - Charlie-centric = guaranteed suckage! I also like how everyone else behaves stupidly when Charlie's the focus. I mean, EVERYONE'S seen weird stuff on the island, so why is Charlie the one who gets harassed and punched and all? Or right, because he's written like an idiot. Get back to awesomet things, Lost. You were doing pretty well there.

Veronica Mars - Pretty hectic epsidoe, and Thomas relied a bit too much on sweeping close-ups, but still roundly satisfying and a pretty major status quo shift for the series. But hey, wasn't there a bus crash earlier this season?

The Office - The funniest show on TV. Seriously.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Where did everyone go?

Seriously, the internet is deserted today. Lord knows no one is reading this. What, did you all get jobs or social lives or something?

Aw, come back. I didn't mean to snap at you. Let's hug.

Hug me, damn it!


Okay, it sounds like Ed Brubaker and Mike Carey will be taking over the two main X-titles come summer. Could be interesting. Could also be a disaster. We'll see. Apparently Sabretooth is a member of Carey's team, and he sounded all psyched about it in the interview, like that wasn't a major plotline in the 90's. (Okay, so Sabretooth wasn't an X-Man, but he did live at the mansion until the X-Men came to the conclusion that he could never be rehabilitated (They came to this conclusion when he escaped and eviscerated Psylocke. I know it's a parenthetical inside a parenthetical. Shut up.)) Anyway, here's some stuff I picked up recently.

Nextwave #1 - Warren Ellis does comedy/acton in the Marvel Universe. As ridiculous as I'd hoped. It's the sort of book with narrative captions like "Tabitha Smith has the mutant ability to blow things up and steal all your stuff." It's Ellis' normal writing taken to the comedic extreme and it works very well, thank you. It's hard to dislike a comic that can't help but make fun of Fin Fang Foom's little underpants.

Peng - Why didn't I talk about this before? I've had it for ages. Anyway, this is a one-shot by Corey Lewis, he of Sharknife fame, and it has the same emphasis on insane action at the expense of most everything else. The story relates the final matches of the World Kickball Tournament (when you kick a kickball, it goes "peng!" get it?), where players tend to use insane, kung fu, videogame time moves as they play their chosen sport. This is much funnier than Sharknife, and the art is clearer and more polished. Pure, substanceless joy.

Infinite Crisis #4 - I skipped issue three but I had glanced at it, so I already knew Alexander Luthor was the heavy (ooh, spoiler alert!). Anyway, a whole lot of shit goes down, including Earth Prime Superboy killing a bunch of ex-Titans so obscure I didn't recognize a single one of them, all while screaming "You're ruining everything! You're ruining ME!" in that "Who needs subtext?" way that Infinite Crisis has. And what the hell happened to Wally? At this point my interest in the story is purely academic, since I'm just not deep enough into DC to be really invested.

Next week is the new issue of Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer, which promises more connections to the Newsboy Army, which is always good news.


A new Atrox comic is up. Leslie finds it much easier to draw Thumper when he is off-panel.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Well, I'll be

Hey! I know those guys!


So I guess they cancelled Emily's Reasons Why Not after ONE EPISODE! Wow! Can you imagine what it must be like to be the network guy who greenlit that show? And he has to drive around town and everywhere he turns there's a poster or billboard proclaiming his utter failure? Man! Imagine if that happened to YOU!

Advice for you, the reader

There's a new advice column from the notorious Albert Wellington Whiteye up at The Atrox. No reason not to check it out. You just might learn something.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Little Children

Over the break I read and greatly enjoyed Little Children, the latest novel by Tom Perrotta, who's rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.

So I'm pleased to say that I just noticed that the film version is in post-production, and it stars Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connely, and that closeted Mormon guy from Angels in America. Plus it's directed by Todd Field, whose last movie was In the Bedroom, and the screenplay is by Field and Perrotta himself.

Uh yeah, okay! Sold!

Watched last night by me

Into the Blue - A kind of bad and inconsequential movie that's boosted at the end by surprisingly awesome violence. I can't believe it was PG-13. In other news, Jessica Alba has a hot ass.

24 - Still keeping up the awesome. Female characters are not yet embarassing. And no torture so far!

Lost - (last 2 episodes) Okay episodes. This season's still better than last. And the prospect of Lostaway/Others war has my psyched, which of course means it won't happen until the end of the season.

New strip

Hey all, there's a new Atrox strip that's just been born. And it's drawn by our very own Leslie, who finally got her head out of her ass and returned to doing what she does best. I'm glad the storm clouds of conflict can be blown away by the mighty winds of friendship and monetary compensation.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I mean, honestly

What is so complicated about flushing a urinal that makes so few of the guys in my office building do it?

Happenings and goings-on

A brief recap of the weekend:

Friday night Adam, Liz, Mike, Paul, and Aimee came over for yet more hot "Apples to Apples" action. I couldn't catch any decent cards and lost by, like, a million. Plus Adam and Mike helped me put our DVDs in order. Yet another task down! After games, we watched Emory's newly acquired copy of Kickboxing Academy, a movie that's incredibly bad for many reasons, the most icky being that the romantic leads in the movie are brother and sister in real life. Oh my God that's gross. But the movie is bad in oh-so-many delightful ways. Then we made Mike and Aimee watch The Code because you haven't really lived until you've watched The Code.

Saturday during the day Team Atrox got together and shot a new video short, uh, I mean, "patched together Atrox webcam footage." Ah, hell. Now your suspension of disbelief is totally shattered. It went really well, considering how little we had actually thought the bit out. Plus it is cool when Leslie agrees to be on camera.

That night I went to Doug's birthday party at the Blu Monkey, a Hollywood bar I'd never been to. It was cool, except the music was waaaay too loud, especially considering there wasn't really anywhere to dance. But I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in awhile, so that was nice. And I was doing fine in the drinking department too, until Meredith suggested shots of Grey Goose. As has been documented, I have a problem turning down girls who want to drink heavily with me. I am a SUCKER. I admit it. And Goose is so damn good. So anyway, I got trashed and passed out in Cafe 101 after the party. Frank drove me and several others home but then he got pulled over by the biggest jerk cop on the planet. I think the cop just wanted to see if Frank was drunk, but he was an enormous prick about it. Actual quote: "You think I won't pull you over because you're from Kansas? Are you related to Dorothy?" What a douche.

Sunday was more Atrox stuff, all damn day, but it was okay because the short is funny and I wasn't hung over even a little bit.

A short assortment of facts

Please head on over to The Atrox, where you will find some footage culled from our webcams that should give you some idea of why Leslie decided to quit the strip in a childish huff. I guess some people just can't handle collaboration.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Y'know, there are a few instances where A Softer World is the funniest thing on the planet.

New Atrox

Well, it's been stressful this week for ol' Team Atrox. Words were exchanged. Books were thrown. And at the end of the day I wound up having to draw the strip. I think it turned out AWESOME.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Run away!

But man, it was a great week!

All-Star Superman #2 - This issue has already been met with both apathy (scroll down) and hyperbole out in the comics blogosphere. It's a largely action-free issue, as Superman shows Lois his Fortress of Solitude and worries about breaking the news to her that she's dying.

I mean, of course I loved it. How can you not?

I'm intrigued with the concept of the ageless Superman and how the "normal" people around him react to that. Last issue, Luthor cited growing older as the impetus for his latest scheme, and in this one Lois grows concerned about she and Superman's relationship and how it will play out over the years as she grows older and he stays the same. It's a METAPHOR FOR US ALL.

Anyway, if you want to read some fine critical praise for this title, look no farther than Jog's Blog. His analysis of Seven Soldiers is also top-notch.

Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #3 - Two Grant Morrison books in one week = Happy Jeff! Then again, this book is UPSETTING. Seriously. The last few pages are brutal. This is a big step-up from the first two issues, which were pleasant enough, but took too long to put forth a pretty simple idea (the New Gods are now a bunch of homeless people), and lacked the interconnections that I so dearly crave at this point in the project. Then again, the second issues of Bulleteer and Frankenstein are neck-deep in interconnections with the other series, so who am I to complain? We finally do get a bit of interconnection, but it's really just Shilo stumbling through scenes from Klarion and Guardian.

So it looks like Mister Miracle's ultimate escape will be from the Omega Effect, or at least this series' "urban reimagining" or it. Definitely need to be up on your Kirby to fully appreciate this one, I think.

Planetary #24 - Oh sweet God yes. The last issue was out in what, June? And we get another issue NEXT MONTH. I love this series. This issue is almost all exposition, as Elija finally lets Jakita and Drums in on the conclusions he's come to. This issue is very similar to #13, as it's basically just Elijah talking through his detective work, but just like that issue, it's pretty fascinating. Plus, there's an orbital death ray, and those are always cool.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


A new strip, and a shiny new LiveJournal Community. Nothing can stop the 'Trox.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Killin' hands!

Please let's not forget that there are new Sam and Max strips out there.


Oh, Bleep Bloop, remember when you were a good show? For like that first half-season or so? When everything was so tense and crazy and it felt like anything could happen, and it often did? When the terrorists made Jack shoot Nina, how awesome was that? But then you got that full-season order and it became completely apparent that you hadn't planned anything out beyond the first half, and the whole damn series went off the rails for at least another couple of seasons, but I gave up halfway through season 2, when Kim was attacked by that mountain lion? That was bad.

Perhaps I should make it clear that I'm talking about 24, here.

Anyway, Emory Netflixed the fourth season, and was pleasantly surprised, and what I saw impressed me too. Sure, the show was still offensive (I'm hard-pressed to think of another TV show that's more hostile towards the female gender), but the structure was much-improved, and the last several episodes were really exciting. Now season five has started, and I'm actually watching again, mostly due to the regime change that's added David Fury (former Joss Whedon second-in-command and Emmy-nominated for that awesome Locke episode of Lost) as co-executive producer. The other new co-executive producer is a guy named Manny Coto, who I'm sure Emory will be delighted to know wrote and directed the movie Star Kid, and no, I'm not kidding about Emory being delighted. Anyway, Fury's enough to get me watching again.

I'm pleased to report that the first four episodes were really strong. An explosive beginning (please pardon the pun), that picked off some key supporting characters from past seasons (Haysbert! Noooooooo!) and then plunged ol' Jack Bauer smack dab in a hostage crisis at the Ontario airport was solid from start to finish. And it was actually an ARC! The four episodes are clearly one complete story, laying the groundwork for more plots to come out over the course of the day. Gone is the sense that they're just making this up as they go, and while that does distract from the nail-biting "anything can happen" vibe, it's also... oh, what are the words I'm looking for... oh, right, NOT BULLSHIT. If you don't watch it, you should start. I think it's going to be okay from now on.

Oh, Emory's also decided to keep track of all the dudes Jack Bauer kills over the course of a season, since one of our running gags is what a homicidal maniac Jack is. I believe the count after the first four episodes is up to 6, which seems low for Jack, but keep in mind that he wasn't allowed to kill all those FBI and Secret Service guys he had to scrap with when they thought he had assassinated Palmer. I'm sure that number will kick right up now that Jack's back at CTU.

Monday, January 16, 2006


This was one of those weekends where the Friday is so good you're like "Well, I guess that's it for this weekend," and then Saturday and Sunday are like "Think again, motherfucker!" and then you kind of never stop having a good time.

Friday night was Nell's big surprise party. That girl was SURPRISED. There was much drinking, dancing, and singing. Frank drank a LOT, and at one point slunk out to the porch to die. Eventually Nell put him to bed. Like all great parties, there came a point where there were just a few brave souls left to really carry the torch. Nell, Will, Lindsay, Brooke and I went to Izzy's at 3 in the morning and Brooke was too embarassed to order both a hot dog AND a tuna melt, even though she wanted both, so she ordered the hot dog and then I ordered the tuna melt so she could go ahead and feast on them both because damn, girl, it's a party. I crashed on Nell/Brooke/Whitney's couch (since my ride was passed out in the next room), and only got like three hours of fitful sleep before Whitney woke me up on her way to stupid work. So I spent all of Saturday bleary-eyed and groggy, but it was okay because Brooke and Frank got up and we met Nell, Will, and Lindsay for some sweet-ass brunch. I had chicken fried steak and it was the greatest.

When I finally got home Frank came up and watched Alien Nation with Emory while I dicked around with my digital camera. In the evening Lindsay made the trek out to Hollywood like the classy dame she is and gave me a lift to Culver City to ice skate. I hadn't been ice skating in 2 billion years, but just like in my youth, I developed blisters in like three seconds. I guess I never really learned how to ice skate right. Eventually I just had to sit down and then Nell and Lindsay joined me and we just watched people skating. The best people were a hippy-looking guy who did break-dance skating (for reals) and the little red-headed girl who just skate-walked. She was just trucking along. Lindsay gave me a ride back to Hollywood and she was going to come up and hang out (Paul had just come over) but we couldn't find parking so she just dropped me off. It was too bad, because little did I know that my place would soon be hosting a secret party. Of course at the time all I wanted to do was go to bed.

When I got up to the place, Paul was there, and Leslie and Erika, and Aimee was on her way over, so we watched the latest episode of the American Office. That show has not only come into its own, but it kind of strides the earth as a comedy colossus. That episode was SO FUNNY. "Please? I have Country Crock." Good God it was great. After that we called Mike to see what he was up to, and he had just finished bowling with some other kids, so he, Corinne, Laurel, and Asa came over and we played a few spirited rounds of "Apples to Apples," which is a damn great game. Most of those guys hadn't seen the apartment yet, so we got to show it off since's it's looking less like a disaster area and more like a place where people live. As Asa noted, "You seem to be putting more effort into this place than you ever put into the old place." It's true. So everyone had a fine time. And then I passed out for 10 hours.

Sunday (I'm sorry this is so long. Stop reading. Go away.) evening Paul, Frank, and I trekked out to Michael's in Burbank to buy some supplies for an upcoming Atrox short. And even though we got a tad lost on the way and Paul was nearly out of gas and we were worried we'd be stranded and assaulted by Burbankian hillbillies (Shut up! They exist!), we made it there fine and everything was cool. Plus they had half-off on a bunch of picture frames, so I bought several. It was great. Later, Frank drove us over to Boardwalk 11 for Alexandra's birthday party. A fine karaoke time was had by all. I performed "Take It Easy" by The Eagles, which I had never done before but went very well, and I also backed up Liz, performing the Wicked G bit at the end of "Shoop," which was a big hit. Two strange girls came up to me afterwards and demanded high-fives. No one can resist the power of Wicked G.

I only got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep AGAIN last night, and yet I'm feeling okay. I know I'm beating this into the ground, but 2006, man. Yeah.

Friday, January 13, 2006


I finished painting the living room yesterday. They finally fixed the water damage we got during the downpours, so I could finish up the last few bits. Hooray! And I just got an email today that said my Fargo poster was shipped today. Once I get it, I'll hit the frame store and finish decorating my room.

Good times.

Another new comic

Yet more Atroxian hi-jinks await you at the website. Partake.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

No news is, uh, no news

I've nothing to tell you today. Go out and kiss somebody.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Continuing the theme

Yesterday I received a check from Charter. Apparently they overcharged me on my last cable bill. More money!

2006 is financially rewarding to some, romantically rewarding to others, but it is awesome for everyone.

I hear you, T-Rex

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Big comeback

Yes, there's a new Atrox comic. Enjoy that shit!



So I noticed that Amy tied with Michelle Williams for Best Supporting Actress at the Broadcast Film Critics' Association's year-end awards. Well deserved.

Roll, Rollergirls, Roll!

Y'know, I never knew the rules of roller derby, but Rollergirls has helped me out. I think the show would be better if there was less talking and more roller derby-ing, since those are invariably the best bits.


We had a gaggle of guests at our place on Sunday, the first serious social event at our new place. Since Leslie's return, the kitchen has been put in order, and its coat of paint has been completed. The living room is still a bit cluttered (our new DVD shelf won't arrive until late this month), but we still managed to fit nine people around our coffee table to play board games. Then we watched Roadhouse, except Liz fell asleep. Boo.

Leslie hung most of the art in the living room this weekend. The television is framed with robots (including the watercolor Darren did for me at the end of Chrome Embrace), with a dash of Batman and David Mack. It's swell. (Hey, are we going to find a place for "Magneto Was Right"?)

I also managed to get Frank's (or should I say Jess'?) chest of drawers over, thanks to McKenna's spacious Element, so my wayward clothes have a home, as well as much of my random bric-a-brac (that's what I wrote on the box). In fact, all of the boxes in my room are now empty, and if I hadn't passed out last night (I awoke at 6 AM, fully-clothed, lights still on, alarm blaring) I would have broken down the boxes and finally rid my room of them.

Yes, it's all coming together.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Man, does Battlestar Galactica have the best cliffhangers on television or what?

Friday, January 06, 2006


There are non-comics posts below, I promise.

Remember how Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1 was pretty good and all, but felt a bit rushed and slight, especially since the "reading people's thought balloons" bit is just a tweaking of something Morrison already used in The Filth? I mean, it's hard not to like a comic that opens with the line, "Die, Frankenstein, die!", but it felt like there was more that could be done.

Well, let me tell you that Frankenstein #2 fulfills all the promise of #1, and more. Not only is Frakenstein on Mars riding a carnivorous Martian steed, but the book also starts to dovetail nicely with Klarion. And we really do learn the origin of Mr. Melmouth, and what exactly he's up to. And the true origin of Frankenstein, to boot. It's a damn fine time.

The Darkness

Others have raved about The Darkness' newest CD, One Way Ticket to Hell and Back, and while I meant to get it over the holidays in KC, I actually didn't buy it until yesterday.

It does indeed rock. Rocks quite well. "Hazel Eyes" is my favorite track. But I don't know much about the band's raison d'etre, so help me out. Are these guys taking the piss or what? The music sounds sincere, but the lyrics are goofy as hell. I mean, you could more or less take "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" at face value, right? But when one song has a chorus consisting of the phrase "I like what you've done with your hair," and another song talks about how cocaine gives you the runs, I get suspicious. Also, there's a song about going bald. And what the hell are "dinner lady arms"?

Don't get me wrong, I like the album a lot. It's a good time. And the title track makes a fine soundtrack for wandering around Hollywood late at night on foot (see also: most tracks from Gorillaz' Demon Days).

Lucky break

2006 continues to rule, as I won half the pot at poker last night. I was up by quite a wide margin, and then Joel and I went head-to-head, and I played really crappy to give him money so he would let me leave. It was about 1 in the morning.

I think I played okay. I was doing pretty poorly at first, but then I came back in a big way. I plain ol' lucked out on a few hands, but I took Kevin and Arik to the cleaners on a 10-high straight. Mostly I just got a lot of good cards.

Unfortunately my winning streak meant I was the last one there, save for Joel and Jenni, so I couldn't bum a ride off of anyone, so I wound up walking home. Still, a profitable evening. I'll go back to losing my shirt next week.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Another reason that everything's awesome in 2006? I'm rich.

I mentioned the security deposit coming back, but it's 'round this time of year that we do our yearly employee review here at my company, and the completion of that cycle means two things: a bonus and a raise. Gone will be the dark days of my destitution, which took place just, say, six weeks ago. It's a bit of a turnaround for me. Time to spluge on shit! I'm going to frame a few of my posters, for a start, including my old Art Adams X-Men poster circa 1987 - the one with pre-Asian Psylocke, punk Storm, Longshot, Dazzler, X-Factor in the background... SHUT UP IT'S AWESOME! I'm also going to get a new copy of the original Fargo theatrical poster. I used to have one but it vanished at home somewhere.

I'm still putting my room together and I'm really enjoying it. I just never got my shit together in Glendale, what with being poor, general laziness, and an overall feeling of malaise. Now I'm taking delight in hanging up all of my clothes. Like, "I finally have enough quarters to do all of my laundry! And enough hangers to hang everything up! This is AWESOME!" In short, this move has really afforded me the opportunity to not have a room that resembles a 10 year-old's. Celebramos!

Last night Paul and Mike came over to watch MST3K and Unleashed. Unleashed was a damn fine time, with an alarmingly charming Jet Li in the lead. I know! Who'd have thought I'd ever find Jet Li charming? Anyway, folks come over all the time now since we live close to them and everything's awesome.

Okay, I'll shut up now.

Music makes it better

I've talked about how psyched I am for Nextwave, Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen's new beat-em-up comic for Marvel. Now I can say that it is the only new comic this month with its own theme song. I mean, how cool is that?

Rich Johnson, God bless him, has the complete lyrics (scroll down).

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year's Weekend in living

What did I do Friday night? I can't remember. What the hell. Oh, wait! Emily's going-away party. Geez, my memory sucks.

Emily's going away party was a good time. It was the first time I had been to Big Wang's, and I'm certain I'll return since it's only a 10-minute walk from me. I got to say goodbye to Emily, and Paul and Frank showed up late, having both returned from out-of-town earlier that day. Afterwards a few of us went to Hollywood House and there was tomfoolery, as expected. It's a shame Emily's heading to New York. She's cool people.

Saturday during the day I made a much-needed sojourn to Target. Now my room has a trashcan, my bathroom has a bath mat, and my file folders have drawers in which to live. Paul came with me, and hung out at our place. He, Emory, and I watched the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is okay. The ending blows. But parts of it are really enjoyable. The Wonka-centric flashbacks didn't bug me as much as I thought they would, but they are indicative of the movie's main problem, which is that Charlie is a non-entity. In the book and the previous movie, Charlie wins by being actively good. In this version, he wins by being not as horrible as the odious other children. He's a blank. The movie did result in a totally hilarious but not-at-all appropriate joke. I won't go into it here, but keep in mind that chocolate looks like poop.

Frank came by after a theater commitment and the three of us headed over to Frank's co-worker Anne's party. Several other people we knew were there, so it was a much better time than I had anticipated. I got to see Megan again, who I honestly think I hadn't seen in 6 months, and I met the Hollywood House's newest edition, Erika, who is certainly friendly. It was a surprisingly good time, and a fine way to live up to the "Everything's Awesome in 2006!" tagline that I made up the next day, because dammit, it's true.

The next day Lindsay came out from Santa Monica to have brunch with Frank, and that simple pairing ballooned to include me, Paul, Liz, Alan, and Asa. Such is the way of living in Hollywood with everyone you like! (Please know that if you don't live in Hollywood, I still like you. Unless I don't.) We spent the whole day hanging out, shedding various group members as we went. We tried to see The Matador but it was sold out, so we went back to Frank and McKenna's and watched Midnight Run instead. It's a great movie. One of the underappreciated gems of the 80's, and yet another reason why Martin Brest's decent into crap in the subsequent decades (Meet Joe Black, Gigli) is so damn heart-breaking. By the end of the night it was just me, Frank, and Lindsay, drinking vodka tonics and shooting the breeze. It was a good way to start 2006.

Yesterday I sat around with Emory and watched Mystery Science Theater episodes, including Parts: The Clonus Horror, which is indeed a very bad movie, but was clearly ripped off by The Island. I'm amazed that lawsuit didn't start sooner.

2006! Woo! Hope everyone else's new year is going well.

New Year's Weekend in comics

Any weekend that starts with getting off work two hours early is A-OK by me. Remember, "Everything's Awesome in 2006!"

I took advantage of my short workday to visit Meltdown, my new neighborhood comic store. Meltdown, of course, rules. Now I can go there ALL THE TIME. Did I mention that I am also flush with cash? I am flush with cash. I used some of it on superfluous comic spending. Merry Christmas to me.

I got Black Hole, the "Warriors" arc of Ultimate Spider-Man, the first volume of Ultimates 2 for Emory as a belated Christmas gift, and the second issue of X-Factor.

Black Hole, the story of a bizarre, disfiguring STD that spreads among a small town's teenaged populace, is as good as its considerable hype. The artwork is gorgeous, to boot.

For those who have soured on Ultimate Spider-Man (and I was one of you, having skipped out on buying the last two lackluster trades), I will say that "Warriors" puts the title back in the ballgame. Big action setpieces, gratuitous guest-stars (Moon Knight! Irons Fist! Shang-Chi! Elektra! The Black Cat!), and genuinely funny dialogue from Spider-Man himself. The conclusion to Spidey and the Black Cat's flirtation is comedy gold. Between this arc and the delightful Ultimate Spider-Man annual earlier this year, clearly breaking Peter and MJ up was the best thing to happen to this book in quite some time. This arc is good old-fashioned superhero-adventure-soap-opeara, and that's why we read Ultimate Spider-Man in the first place, right? Right.

Ultimates 2 is not a letdown from Ultimates 1. In this arc, the Ultimates have to beat up on Thor, who is apparently insane. OR IS HE???? Awesome, as always. Best straight-up action comic on the stands.

X-Factor, two issues in, is already my favorite X-title. It has a pretty strong hook: Madrox expands his detetive agency with one long-term goal in mind - finding out why 90 percent of the mutant population suddenly lost their powers one day. It teams the cast of the Madrox miniseries along with some other B-list X-folk who are beloved to me (Siryn, M, and a depowered Rictor), sets up a rival firm (the sinister Singularity Investigations), and has an intriguing twist (Jamie Madrox may literally be his own worst enemy). It's a great book.

(Y'know, I was going to use this comic bit as a start to a post about my weekend as a whole, but I rapidly realized no one would want to wade through my comic book ramblings just to get to a few paragrpahs about my mad, roller-coaster existence, so now it's two separate posts. YOU'RE WELCOME.)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Everything's Awesome in 2006!

2006: Everything's Awesome!

2006: If you lived in it, you'd be awesome! But you do, so you are!


(This has been a message from the Everything's Awesome in 2006 Committee)