Thursday, August 31, 2006


Yeah! Take that, readers! I bought several books yesterday. Here they are!

All Star Superman #5 - This book breaks the awesometer every damn time. It's just pure joy. And to add to the amusement, this book, drawn by notorious slow-poke Frank Quitely, just passed All Star Batman in terms of numbers of issues released. And since issue 5 of Batman isn't due until NOVEMBER, it's likely that Superman will have passed it by a few issues at that point. So I guess we have to assume that Jim Lee's had other stuff on his plate, since not only did Quitely just lap him, Batman's first issue was out LAST JULY, while Superman didn't appear until NOVEMBER. Yes, All Star Batman, a book that was supposed to have been out every six weeks, only managed to come out QUARTERLY, and it's schedule just got lapped by a notoriously late artist. That is just plain EMBARASSING. Add to that the fact that All Star Superman is the best superhero comic currently published, while All Star Batman is the reading equivalent of Frank Miller just farting in your face for 20 minutes straight, and it all gets even more ridiculous.

Anyway! Just thought I'd go off a bit about that.

X-Factor #10 - This book sagged a bit around issues 5 and 6, but has picked up considerably since then, and this issue was pretty great. Some funny bits in the middle (Watch out for Multiple Man when he's drunk, ladies) combined with a genuinely shocking twist at the end. The X-book that won't embarass you (and that actually comes out monthly, Mrrs. Whedon and Cassaday).

Batman #whatever - Morrison's Batman has thus far underwhelemed me. This was better than last issue, but still has yet to really rock my socks. It's solid enough, but when the same guy writes All Star Superman, the bar gets set a little higher, you know? Asa, what do you think? Are you feeling this one?

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 16: Deadpool - I skipped the last trade of this, "Silver Sable", because it seemed utterly missable. And since no mention of what occurred in that book comes up here, it seems I was right. This one's good, though. Spider-Man's dating Kitty Pryde and winds up teaming up with the X-Men to punch Ultimate Deadpool in the face. Reading this, I thought "Oh yeah, Bendis really used to rock my socks." There's just some great humor and dialogue in here. Peter's romance with Kitty was the best thing to happen to this book. So I'll just continue ignoring New Avengers (and pretty much every regular continuity Marvel title) and enjoy this, my superhero comfort food.

So that's that. Oh! Mark your calendars. October 25th is the day I'll go bankrupt. Here's what I want to purchase that comes out that week:

All Star Superman #6 (Grant Morrison!)
Batman #whatever (Grant Morrison!!!)
Seven Soldiers #1 (GRANT MORRISON!!!!! Also, FINALLY!)
Planetary #26 (2nd-to-last issue!)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier
The first collection of Ed Brubaker's Daredevil
Runaways Vol 6: Parental Guidance

Any of those would make a fine belated birthday gift. Specifically League, because it is expensive.


There's a new Kitty-Face Kitty strip over at The Lair. Thus begins our new scheduling policy of doing a new KFK the last week of each month instead of The Atrox. Enjoy.

What's been going on?

It occurs to me that you might not be totally up to date on all the mundane shit that's happening in my life!

Geez, what have I been up to lately that is post-worthy? Last weekend there was a fine BBQ (delicious!) and we saw Chinatown at the cemetery (excellent!), and we all hung out at Laurel's (socializing!*) and then people came over for that Deadwood finale (well-acted but somewhat unsatisfying!). Did I already talk about all this? I'm completely losing my shit.

Had dinner with Kim on Monday, which was nice. Tuesday night Frank, his friend Kristen, Brooke, Paul and I went to Spaceland to see Darren's band perform. It's not "Darren's band" like he's in charge of it or anything, but he plays keyboards. They did a good set, and Chandler was there, and afterwards I chatted with Darren and Amy. Hadn't seen those kids in forever. Last night Mike brought his N64 over with Goldeneye and Frank swung by and we played games for a bit and read comics and stuff. We are totally in our late-mid-twenties! These are the salad days! I'm not even kidding.

(*In this instance, "socializing" is an adjective I just made up. It is more confusing that it's worth.)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Endings and beginnings, again

So, that Deadwood finale. Since the deal for the supposed two movies has yet to be set, that may be the last we see of the swearing-est town in the West. Kind of a bummer. Emory was pretty incensed at the finale, and the season as a whole, and Alan seems to be pretty much on track with that. Me, I didn't mind it so much. The show as a whole is about the town itself, and its evolution from lawlessness to civilization. Al and Alma's actions in the final episode are all conducted in the name of saving the camp from destruction. Sure, Al could have had a gigantic war with Hearst, and Alma could have held out, but that would have been the end of the camp. Sure, a giant gunfight would have been cool, but it's really not that kind of show. After all, last season ended with a wedding and a contract-signing. And poor Cy spent another season on the sidelines, but the character acknowledged his own impotence, growing more beligerent towards the few characters that would remain with him, finally culminating in killing Leon since he can't find it in himself to kill Hearst. Cy's the one who gives up this season, not Al.

Which isn't to say the season was above reproach. Brian Cox's presence is always, always welcome, and his scenes with Al were wonderful, but all the other theater troupe scenes went nowhere, particularly that last-minute bit with the two women at Amateur Night. Guess we'll never know what was going on there. The subplot with Aunt Lou and her son was another non-starter, the only point to it apparently being that Hearst is the world's biggest asshole. But since literally EVERY OTHER SCENE with Hearst all season was to prove he was the world's biggest asshole, it seemed like a dead end. And really, those Hearst scenes were a might repetitive right? Remember early on Hearst had that awesome speech where he says the only company he should keep are black people and "whites who obey [him] like dogs" and that was so chilling and awesome? Almost that exact scene happens like three more times before the finale. Kudos to Gerald McRaney for selling the shit out of it every time, but there's only so much the man could do.

I'd be curious to see this season again, knowing how it ends. With the tension broken it might be easier to see what Milch was up to with some of those sub-plots, and some of the thematic material might be clearer. Or it might just be a total slog. I'm in the midst of re-watching the second season of The Wire, and it plays much better the second time, but there's no denying that most of the port workers sub-plots aren't important. And their scenes in the bar can't possibly fill the void of D'Angelo's great bits with his crew in season one. But there's still tons of strong material, and a few characters really stand out, like Frank Sobatka and Beadie Russell (Russell's transformation from coasting through life to Real Police is the season's most satisfying character arc, plus Amy Ryan is a-dor-a-ble). So maybe another look at Deadwood will work out. Then again, I've yet to bite the bullet and give Buffy season 7 another crack. Speaking of anti-climax...

It's appropriate that The Wire replaces Deadwood this time around, since Deadwood is about a civilization on the rise and The Wire charts a civilization on the decline. And there's your Deadwood/West Baltimore comparison for the day. And that's the last I'll mention The Wire until the premiere on the 10th.

Ha! You KNOW that's bullshit.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Oooh, the Emmys!

Hey, the best Drama and Comedy shows this year actually deserved their awards! Amazing!

Friday, August 25, 2006

On endings and beginnings

This Sunday marks the series finale of Deadwood, and that makes me sad. I will miss you, Deadwood. You and your swears and your delightfully overwrought dialogue.

But I can't let that get me down because now I've got Wire fever!

Emory and Leslie have been working their way back through the first season, and I've been watching when I can. That scene near the end between D'Angelo and Stringer ("Where Wallace at? Where's the boy, String?") get me EVERY TIME.

And here's series co-creator David Simon on what the series has covered so far and what they hope to do with the new season:

"The first season was about the inherent cost of being an individual in any modern institution," Simon says. "Whoever you were in Baltimore, you were getting fucked. The second season was to describe the death of work. The third season was to show what happens to reform and reformers and to examine the whole nature of why policy never changes."

"And this season is to take argument with those who feel that if you're born without privilege, but make the right set of choices, that you will be spared. To do away with that bit of national mythology."

Damn, Simon! Don’t hold back! Say what you feel, man!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The news, and why I hate it

All day Sunday AND Monday, the top story around the world was that the Jonbenet suspect took a plane ride. Inside Edition, always the ones with the scoop, got a list of what he had to eat and drink.

Hey! American news outlets!

Fuuuuuuuuuck you.

Up late with The Duncan Heads

We hit up All Star last night, it having been some time since any karaoke was performed by our hearty troupe. It was a fairly low-key evening, but nice. Corinne requested that I sing "And She Was", but I couldn't find it listed under Talking Heads. Then we checked under the "Listed by Song Title" book and found it, only the artist was The Duncan Heads. I'm totally naming a band that.

I was up absurdly late because I had to come home and post the new Atrox strip. Fortunately Leslie had mercy on me and colored the whole thing, so I just had to update the site. But I still needed to come down from the evening so I drifted off listening to Sufjan Stevens's Illinois because I've become addicted to the track "The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!" And the rest of it's great, too.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eyes bleary, head pounding

That was my status on Sunday. How did it happen? Come with me, back to three days ago... (oooh, it's like a Bendis script)

Friday night Kim, Paul and I met Carrie at the Formosa to send her off, back to New York. She'll return to us someday. Probably January.

Saturday we caught an afternoon showing of Snakes on a Plane. It was just fine, thanks, and gave me everything I wanted (by which I mean snakes that were on a plane). And it was really cool to learn that the mild threat Sam Jackson makes on your life in the message you can send folks to promote the film actually turned out to be key dialogue.

That night was Adam's big bachelor party, and a fine time was had. Lots of video games were played and many drinks were had. Unfortunately I got wrecked too early, and all my game-playing skills went in the toilet. Also, I yelled a lot and was probably very annoying. The last thing I remember was checking what time it was in the bathroom and actually yelling "4:45? Fuck you!" to my phone. Then Kevin and Asa woke me up at like 9 fucking 30 to go eat breakfast. Apparently I had crashed on the loveseat. So I felt like shit all day Sunday. And I mean ALL DAY. Anyway, I think Adam had a fine old time and that's what was truly important.

Now I just really want to play more Goldeneye. Hey Mike! Bring your N64 to Llama School one night! Or weekend!

Sunday I lay around, praying for death. And the usual folks swung by for Deadwood. That show rocks my socks.

Wicker is not very durable

There was no posting yesterday because I was at jury duty. I'd tell you all my thrilling tales, but there aren't any. I sat in a room for seven hours and then went home. I finished The Virgin Suicides, which is very good. THE END.

Last night Frank, Paul, and I watched the original 70's The Wicker Man. It's really stupid.

Spoilers for The Wicker Man, and also possibly its upcoming American remake, to follow.

So basically this cop wanders around this Scottish isle, is appalled by all the sexy paganism, then gets shut up in a wicker man and offered up as a sacrifice to the scary pagan gods.

Also, there are several musical numbers.

It's all completely weird in a mildly fascinating way, it just doesn't add up to much. I'd certainly rank it up there with Zardoz as far as pure 70's weirdness is concerned, although it's nowhere near as strange as ol' Zardoz. All the Adult Swim guys could be baked for six months and still not be able to come up with anything nearly half as weird as Zardoz.

But The Wicker Man gives it the old college try, certainly. The musical bits are a nice touch. But if the movie's coming down against the pagans, which it must be doing, maybe the filmmakers should have tried to make their main character more likeable, and not a total douchebag. In fact, in a recent Entertainment Weekly Neil LaBute, the writer/director of the upcoming remake, noted that he did a bit of tinkering with his version because he felt the main character in the original too unlikeable. That's right, NEIL LABUTE, the creator of In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, and The Shape of Things, found the main character TOO UNLIKEABLE. Wow. That is an unlikeable dude.

Anyway, I doubt the remake will be as odd, so I can't imagine what there will be to recommend it, but everyone should see the original at least once. It's bad, but it's fascinating.

Friday, August 18, 2006


They're knocking a building down next door. With the big wrecking ball and everything. It is TOTALLY AWESOME. It is also giving me a slight headache. Every time the wrecking ball hits you can feel it in your bones. And brain. It's sort of annoying, but the irritation is made up for by the fact that they're knocking a damn building down and that's cool to watch.

I briefly considered calling this post "Demolition Man," but figured that would cruelly get Laurel's hopes up.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What more can man require?

Nowadays all this blog is good for is telling you of upcoming movie news.

Looks like that long-rumored Depp/Burton Sweeney Todd is legit, or at least legit enough to be on MSN.

Could be a disaster, but it should at least be interesting. But who'll play Mrs. Lovett?

Godammit to hell

I wrote a nice long post, and Blogger ate it.

The long and the short of it is that between Atrox and other endeavors, as well as the general tepidity of most of the media I consume these days, I probably won't be posting as often as I used to. Be forewarned.


Our fiftieth strip extravaganza is currently up over at The Lair.

I know I haven't been posting. It's as if someone drilled a little hole in my head and all the cleverness leaked out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

As life gaily sails by...

...I've been watching stuff. Stuff like this.

Cars - Finally got around to seeing this. Even though this is the weakest Pixar movie so far, the quality of Pixar's animation still puts all other comers to shame. This is a GORGEOUS movie. It's too long and too slow, and there's a ridiculous song in the middle, and the story has an extremely irritating "everything was better way back when" moral to it, but it's still a decent enough movie. And while I and others have joked about it in the past, the movie's plot is seriously lifted straight from Doc Hollywood. Only without the nudity.

Talladega Nights - Yes, two NASCAR movies in one week. This movie's really funny, and is a lot less squirrely than Anchorman, though just like that film it feels cobbled together from all the best improv-ed bits, with a lot cut out. Surely Amy Adams had some scene where she actually did something, right? I mean before she shows up again. But a really funny movie. I'm glad there's something other than gross-out comedies anymore.

Life on Mars - I came home one day this weekend to find Paul, Emory and Leslie watching an episode of this BBC series. After a while I said "Hey, that one cop looks like the 70's." And then Paul explained that the high-concept of the show is that the main character was a cop from our time but woke up in the 70's only to find that he was still a cop only the police back then regularly beat confessions out of suspects and didn't know what forensics is. Oh, and the main character might be dreaming it all while he's in a coma. "Man," I said. "That is HIGH CONCEPT." Seemed like a decent enough show. I just wanted to tell y'all the premise, really.

Deadwood - Last night's episode was rad. That's really all I have to say about it. Also, last night I dreamed I was in the season finale of Deadwood. A lot of people got shot, including surprise guest star Richard Hatch. My dreams are stupid.

Don't fly off the handle just yet

Since this is pure speculation and all, but this Washington Post article says that Ian McShane is doing quite a bit of voiceover work in the future, including a voice for The Golden Compass. It doesn't say which character, but c'mon. Who would YOU cast him as?

I've been reading the books again, thus explaining my current His Dark Materials fever.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Jerk House

Our neighborhood has its very own Monster House. Let me tell you about it.

It's this white house with a nice white picket fence, and it's always had a "No Tresspassing" sign and a slightly foreboding nature. But last week on garbage day, due to circumstances I can't imagine, there was just a HUGE MOUNTAIN OF GARBAGE on the sidewalk and patch of lawn in front of the house's picket fence. As soon as you got near it, birds, squirrels, and insects would scatter. It smelled terrible and was totally heinous.

After trash day, the mountain still remained. Unsurprisingly, the garbage guys seemed unwilling to tackle a mound of loose garbage. The next day, there were little orange and white warning dividers around the mound, and the single "No Trespassing" sign on the house had become a DOZEN "No Tresspassing" signs, each one bearing its own, personal message, such as "You WILL be arrested by the owner of this house!" or "You will be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law!" and finally, and strangely, "Anthony does NOT live here!"

So, a mystery. Perhaps Anthony had something to do with the garbage mound, and the owner of the house resented being harassed about it? Anyway, the garbage has been removed now, but the many signs remain. It's kind of overkill, and really has the oppposite effect on me. Seeing that little house plastered in signs just make me want to tresspass all over it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunburn update

Did I mention I got a sunburn playing softball? I got red in a couple of places, but my forehead got BAKED. And it's now moved from the "kinda painful" stage to the "seriously itchy" phase. Leslie's got some aloe stuff at home (she got singed, as well), but it can only do so much. Every so often I take some water or something with a cool surface and apply it to my forehead. It is sort of ridiculous, or should I say DEAD SEXY.

Today's Lesson: When applying sunscreen to your face, don't forget your forehead.

Today's Mystery Time: Why did only one of the backs of my legs get burnt? I was quite judicious in not applying sunscreen to either of them.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting...

Step Up to Get Felt Up

I like how it looks like she's floating into him.

Have you heard the radio ads for this movie? They sound like the guy is reading ad copy from the 50's. "The greatest dance moves YOU WILL EVER SEE! A movie that will DEFINE A GENERATION!" They are some amazing ads.


If it's so low impact, why do my legs hurt so much today?

We had a delightful Begum softball game this weekend and I had a really great time, despite the fact that my team got thoroughly trounced (one could say that the teams were a mite uneven). We actually didn't do too badly at first, but as the game went on the score gap increasingly widened. I'm glad it wasn't a slaughter from minute one. I was sort of worried it would be.

I played center field for the whole game, and had to do a bit of running around, since there were some power hitters on the other side. I didn't have any spectacular catches or anything, but I don't think I embarassed myself, at least not anymore than anyone else on my team. I got a few hits. John was probably our MVP since he pitched the whole game and struck out a bunch of folks.

Anyway, everyone had a good time and we're definitely going to do it again. I think now that we know what everyone's capable of, the teams will be a bit more even. But whatever. I just like playing.

Movies I have seen recently

Monster House is one of the most purely enjoyable movies I've seen this summer. Some really clever dialogue in that movie. ("I love you, vacuum-cleaner dummy.") And you should definitely see it in 3-D, since that's clearly the way it was intended to be seen.

If someone could explain Cemetery Man to me, that would be great. Just, y'know, what it's all about.

I liked Little Miss Sunshine quite a bit.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lathargic Friday

I had some clever blog posts for y'all today, but then I didn't type them up.

So here's a fine edition of A Softer World so you don't get all mad at me.

Listening to "Into the Woods" again

"But how can you know what you want
'Til you get what you want
And you see if you like it?
All I know is,
What I want most of all
Is to know what I want."


Thursday, August 03, 2006

The "USA Up All Night" of superhero comics

That is what I once dubbed the totally-90's Image series Gen13 back in high school. Now you too can live the "adventure", since Chris Sims has kindly (and hilariously) broken down everything you need to know about your favortie Gen-active teens.

Part 1
Part 2

I'm sure I'm the only person I know who finds this funny, and that's probably because I actually bought Gen13 for a few years there in the 90's, when I would buy absolutely anything. Anyone who tells you superhero comics were good in the 90's simply can't be trusted.

(For those of you out of the loop, USA: Up All Night was a show from the early-to-mid 90's that was on very late on (what else?) the USA network, where they would just show edited softcore movies like Ski School or Private School and the like. It was often hosted by Gilbert Gottfried. It was a God-send to young boys who had cable but not any premium movie channels.)


I haven't used THAT title before, at least.

New Atrox comic up at The Lair.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A bit more Golden Compass

Because if I didn't tell you, who would?

Eva Green is Serafina Pekula. I confess I've only seen her in one movie (Kingdom of Heaven), but I had no problem with her there.

She's also the latest Bond girl in Casino Royale. Am I the only one excited for this movie? I mean, Goldeneye is one of the best Bond movies OF ALL TIME, and it's the same director.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

From the faceless corporate entity that brought you...

So all the ads for The Descent say "From the studio that brought you Saw and Hostel and all the Accepted ads say "From the studio that brought you American Pie."

What the hell? When did that become acceptable?

I thought the ad people were pushing it when they cited same producers, but at least those are actually PEOPLE, and not nebulous corporate concerns.

It's just going to get to the point where every movie is like "From the nation that brought you Titanic and Star Wars..."

UPDATE: The Onion AV Club beat me to this by a few days.

I want to go outside

While I certainly recognize that having a job is necessary, and that looking for a job is not something I want to do again anytime soon, I still feel a twinge of envy for my friends who've quit their jobs, or whose jobs have ended, and who get to run around and do whatever they want all day.*

*Like look for a new job, worry about finances, etc. I didn't say it was a rational envy.