Thursday, July 31, 2008

Not much of a surprise, but....

We all knew that Manny Ramirez was not a happy camper in Beantown, but I was still surprised by the deal. I don't even have a clue who Jason Bay is?

On the other hand, I suppose it makes more sense then the proposed trade with the Marlins, which never made sense to me from Manny's position. The guy is used to playing in a major market, and LA certainly fits him better than the swamps down in Florida.
While we're on the topic of Boston vs. California, don't even bring up the Angels! I've been afraid to listen the the sports report for the past week. *sigh* Only the Sox being ahead of the Damned Yankees (if only by a single game) keeps me from jumping head first into the arroyo.
Maybe I can be distracted by the Olympics starting next week. Nothing like watching folks in speedoes to keep you from watching BASEBALL TONIGHT.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do I really need another blog?

As if I don't already love ranting on my own two blogs I just received an invitation from Alex Ness to take part in his new comics review page, POPLITIKO. Alex and the others taking part are far better at sounding smart than I could ever pretend, so you might want to skim my stuff and read folks who are doing this much better than I could ever hope.

The site has just started so please be patient while we try and get our act together.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some more about SDCC '08!

For those who care about this sort of thing I'm going to quickly list some of the stuff I saw and did in San Diego. This list is in no particular order.

1) Where the hell were all the Klingons? You'd think with a new STAR TREK film getting so much buzz that I'd have seen more than three and those downstairs at the local fan club tables. While we're on the subject, I saw a number of Federation officers & crew around, wearing outfits from just about every incarnation of the show, but not a single Vulcan. I'm sure there were some around.

2) The "Quick Draw" challenge this year was as much fun as usual. Regulars Sergio Aragones & Scott Shaw!, along with moderator/quiz master Mark Evanier were joined this year by political cartoonist & creator of MOTHER GOOSE & GRIMM, Mike Peters. It seemed that Peters was having more fun than just about anybody and was laughing at all the suggestions. Both Peters & Shaw! won individual rounds, but Sergio continues to be the fastest 'gag' cartoonist I have ever seen.
3) It seemed that many of the Jokers were trying to recycle their Jack Nicholson/standard comics appearance, but smearing the lipstick to get that Heath Ledger look. I think I've mentioned this before, but this weekend (when I have time) I'm going to download the photo of my favorite Joker.

4) It's been twelve years since my last SDCC and the number of anime/manga cosplay folks have multiplied beyond anything I could have anticipated. Some young ladies, were basically going for the Japanese school girl look, but many had cleverly designed & made outfits that truly resembled their characters.

5) Considering the large number of Jedi/Seth/Storm-troopers that were running around there were only a couple of Darth Vaders in the Hall. One guy was easily 6'5" and looked amazing on Saturday.

6) Zombies were all over the place, along with a few '30 Days of Night' style vampires. Some folks looked like they spent about five minutes with white greasepaint and some fake blood, while others appeared to have been made up by professionals or spent quite a bit for the scars, wounds and gaping sores.

7) Saw two Comedians & one Rorschach on Saturday, but didn't recognize any of the other WATCHMEN characters. Of course, I probably wouldn't know Silk Spectre if she walked by. Seeing the Owlship on the exhibit floor was way cool! It's still hard for me to decide, from the trailers, how good the movie will be or how popular.

8) I know some folks don't appreciate it, but I happen to enjoy Dick's Last Resort over on Fourth. It's loud, crowded and the wait staff go out of their way to insult you, but that is all part of the fun of the place. I had lunch there both on Friday & Saturday, with Dan joining me on my second venture there. The bartenders and other front staff were dressed in costumes or wearing comics related t-shirts, which added to the fun of the place.

9) The Capa-Alpha breakfast was a disappointment, unfortunately. There were only six of us present at the Marriott Gas Lamp Saturday morning. Bob Ingersoll, one of those who did show up and sort of organized it, said that he'd probably just have us meet at McDonald's next year if this was what we could expect. Besides Bob and there was Joe Colgan, his son Elric, Jeff Gelb and Mark Verheiden who joined us a bit later for coffee. I remember earlier K-a meets where we would take over several long tables with a close to a couple dozen pros, fans and family hanging out. Just to name drop a moment we saw Bruce Campbell, a friend of Mark's come in and he waved, plus just about half the writing staff of LOST wandered by. Also, pointed out by Mark, since none of the rest of us would have had a clue.

10) Does seeing Doug Benson (of VH1's BEST WEEK EVER & "Last Comic Standing") and Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog count as star-gazing?

11) I got to chat briefly with William Katt (best remembered for GREATEST AMERICAN HERO & as Della Street's son in the later incarnation of PERRY MASON) who signed copies of his new comic SPARKS (from Catastrophic Comics) and the GAH preview issue of that comic. Robert Culp was joining him at the CC booth, but he was constantly being photographed and signing stuff, so I didn't want to bother him. Both gentlemen looked good and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

12) Sadly, a twisted ankle and energy drain stopped me from going to the MST3-K reunion on Friday night. Fortunately, I was able to hobble over to the RiffTrax booth and get Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett & Kevin Murphy to sign a poster for me. I also have a photo of the three of them signing stuff & meeting with fans, plus one of Tom Servo & Crow that I'll have to post here.

There are other things I'd like to mention, along with some comments about some of the comics and goodies I picked up, but I'll save that for another time. This has gone on much longer than I intended.

Good night, Internet!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I survived San Diego Comic-Con '08 and don't have a lousy t-shirt!

Clovy said he had a great time at the convention and it was good feeding on his fans. (To be honest, this isn't my photo, but from the San Diego Union-Tribune site.)

Seriously, I'll have more to say on the convention and some of the things I did and didn't do later.

It was/is overwhelming and I don't know that it is still something I'd like to do every year at this point. Ask me again in six months when it's time to register for '09. :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On the road to San Diego!

Later tonight Dan and I will be driving down to San Diego for the Convention. We both are pre-registered for the entire con but we also had to work today. I think hitting the place for the three-day weekend will be more than enough excitement for both of us.

This is Dan’s first SD con, although he has been to others in New York. He’s more into gaming and action figures and has a list of stuff he wants. Great place to get some of the con exclusive and limited edition figures he collects. I’m just looking forward to hooking up with some folks I haven’t seen in over a decade, meeting some creators and getting as much free stuff as I can fit into my bags every day.

I’ll be sharing some of my adventures with you next week and probably some photos when I have a chance. I’m taking my digital camera down with me and plan to get some pics of folks in costumes, company displays and, if I can make it, the MST3-K anniversary reunion panel tomorrow night. I know that there are going to be dozens of ‘journalists’ and hundreds of bloggers roaming around and I doubt I’ll have anything to report that you will not have already heard or seen, but I’ll definitely have something to say about the rumors and news that will be coming out of the four days.

I have only a limited list of panels that I’d like to attend, although there are a few conflicts. There are always cancellations and changes, so I’m not going to be heart-broken if something happens. The panels and interviews moderated by Mark Evanier are generally the ones I go out of my way for, but there are also some previews and panels going on at the same time that sound interesting. Personally, the Capa-Alpha breakfast on Saturday morning is really the ONLY event that I have to attend, no matter what. I have seen or kept in e-mail contact with a few of my former apa-mates the past decade, but far too few to be honest.

Unless you catch me in the background of some YouTube video this weekend, I’ll be “seeing” you next Monday. Have a safe & fun one whether you’re at the convention or not!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show Ep. 1 - Lick Poop

I have discovered the true reason for YouTube. Kiko will be at San Diego next week. To be having so much fun then! :-)

Remote viewing: what we are watching!

Among the usual stuff on Animal Planet, ID & TruTV we have actually been catching two of the 'reality' entertainment shows on the networks. We got into AMERICA 'S GOT TALENT last year and LAST COMIC STANDING two seasons ago.

AGT is, I admit, a knock off of AMERICAN IDOL open to jugglers and tap dancers, but we get a kick out of it. It has The Hoff, so how far wrong can you go? :-) It was actually won, last season by a ventriloquist which was a nice surprise, so anything is possible. The show is just getting ready to start the semi-finals in Las Vegas (as is LCS), so you might want to tune in and see some of the better of the acts that were sent on. Trust me, that you might be grateful to have missed some of the's hard to call them 'performers', that were to bizarre or just bad to make the cut. If you think the auditions for Idol are horrendous, you haven't seen anything like this since the days of the old GONG SHOW.

Last night, as part of the segment to gain immunity from expulsion the comedians on LCS had to do some prop comedy. Most of them had never done it before, or used it very rarely. Naturally, on this show the only person they could get or afford to act as 'judge' was Carrot Top. Let's be honest here, I have never thought the guy was funny, even when he was this skinny, annoying kid who looked like one of your old roommates. Now the guy is just flat out scary!

Apparently, somewhere along the line as his career continued to go nowhere, but college gigs, the guy decided he would be funnier if he bulked up. He is now this steroid jacked old guy with flaming artificial orange, thinning hair with what appears to be tattooed (rather then real) eyebrows. I had to post the photo (okay, the guy from MASK being there is a joke) so you wouldn't think I was kidding. Do a Google image search, if you don't believe me!
Dude, it was way uncomfortable!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Countdown to San Diego!

Wow! Can it only a week until the San Diego convention begins? I'll be there starting next Friday and am really getting psyched about it. Already planning some of the panels I would like to attend, especially a few moderated by Mark Evanier.

Even back in the early days of the convention (speaking from my own experience in 1975 & '76) there always seemed to be several panels, films or signings going on at the same time. You had to skip the Kirby signing if you wanted to hear Steranko or watch an episode of ASTRO BOY.
I have a list of comics I'd like to pick up to fill-in gaps, but also want to have enough to buy a few items from the folks self-publishing or from small publishers. I remember from when I was hitting the con pretty regularly that there were a lot of freebies and I hope to get a bag full of goodies (or several) in my wanderings.
It's been a while since I've been to SD. Anybody recommend a decently priced place to grab lunch within walking distance of the con? I know there was a small ribs/bbq place that was popular, but it recently was involved in a fire and has closed. Are the wings at Hooters really that good? :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Four Color Fiend: some quick thoughts

I'll try to get in some reviews later this week, perhaps tomorrow. I'm in the middle of a few projects at work so don't have much free time. However, I wanted to mention a couple of things from books I read this past weekend.

SECRET INVASION continues to kick butt! I have yet to read a single issue, of the main series or tie-ins, that has disappointed me. I want to mention both CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI-13 and SI: FRONT LINE as two books that present different perspectives of the invasion. The first shows us how the Skrulls seek to capture the magic of Marvel-Earth, while the second series presents former Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich seeing the invasion from the ground, so to speak. As he did in his appearance in the MARVELS series, Urich is the common man caught in events shaped by forces beyond 'human', he gives us a street level perspective missing from the main super-hero books.

I even picked up the current issue of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE, which ties in with SI and found that I wasn't totally lost despite the presence of dozens of characters I had never encountered previously. As with the MS. MARVEL and two AVENGER titles, it remains to be seen if I'll continue to buy the books after SI, but there is a good chance I might at this point.

I'll try to have more stuff in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Constrictor (Robot Wars Battles)

Remember a few years ago when this and Battle Bots were so popular? I get such a kick out of this silly stuff.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Four Color Fiend: Bunch of stuff

Since I'm not going to be logging in from Friday - Monday I wanted to mention some comics I just read, before I forget.

SECRET INVASION continues to be fascinating. The two Avenger titles and the first issue Young Avengers/Runaway mini are all interesting and much easier to figure out than the DC FINAL CRISIS title. I really like how they are using the Avenger books to explain how various heroes were replaced and what the Skrull queen was doing before she replaced Spider-Woman.

The YA/Runaway book is filled with characters I've never seen before but enough is explained (via dialogue and captions) so a new reader didn't feel completely lost. Don't know that I would go back and pick up the regular series in which they appear, but we'll see how many survive the next few months.

I'm glad that I also picked up MS. MARVEL the past few months since that ties in completely with SI. I can understand why so many folks spoke highly of the book. Finally, INCREDIBLE HERCULES is a lot of fun and the interplay of the gods is really good. I'd definitely picking up earlier issues of this title.

As for non-Marvel books, I continue to enjoy the TANGENT: REIGN OF SUPERMAN mini-series. Not sure if I want to see the characters from that world continue to interact with the Earth-One heroes when this wraps up. Of course, it appears that not all of them will be around come the last issue anyway at this point.

My major problem is that I find it odd that Superman-Tangent can so easily overcome the power of the the GL rings, but has been stopped by the power of the Tangent-GL's lantern. Also, odd that a character so powerful would utilize any super-powered beings for his purposes. It doesn't appear that he trusts them to any degree, so why not simply do away with or imprison all of them. Then again, I guess the book would be boring and if you couldn't use all the Tangent versions of DCU characters at least for a few scenes. Also, I don't think all of the half dozen characters appearing in the back-up story about the Nightwing agency are going to survive until the end either. Never trust mysterious women who pick you up in a limo! Who hasn't discovered that for themselves?

If you are a HELLBOY fan you might want to pick up B.P.R.D.: The Ectoplasmic Man. This one-shot comic tells the origin of Johann Kraus, a character who will be featured in the second HELLBOY film out later this month. Johann is an interesting character and it's nice to finally discover how he became encased in his suit. Not sure how he'll be introduced in the new movie.

Oh, and it was a HELLBOY PVC that I got at ALA on Sunday, since somebody asked