Casting Internets

After going to Wal-Mart to buy printer ink, which they didn’t have, I figured I’d send you some excellent links that I found around the net so far today. By the way, why the hell is the Wal-Mart parking lot ALWAYS full? It was 11:30AM on a Friday and I could barely find a parking space.

My buddy Kiel tackles the Jack Kirby’s-family-suing-Marvel case. I’m not quite sure I understand it, or how exactly I fall on this case (it’s called “work for hire” for a reason and I don’t want to see these characters ripped from there homes, but they should also be compensated fairly). Read and form your own opinions.

Check out Jim’s Enemy of Peanuts to see a video interview he did with the Panels On Pages guys. Kinda makes me wish I would have made a slightly bigger splash on the Wizard message boards. Which is a roundabout way to say I will do an interview with anyone about anything. Holla atcha boy. Or whatever.

/Film got an exclusive look at Disney’s poster for its first animated musical in years The Princess And The Frog. Good for them! I’m not a huge fan of the animated musicals, but Em is and I’m sure we’ll be seeing this bad boy in the theatres. Plus, that’s a rad poster.


Ben posted this picture of him, Rickey, Dave and I literally laughing in the face of danger. Em and I have a version of this picture where I don’t look like a complete weirdo hanging in our hallway. Check out The Cool Kids Table for more pics.


And finally, Rob over at Topless Robot posted this video of the dude from the zombie game Dead Rising facing off against guys from Gatchaman and Power Rangers in the upcoming Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom game. Not sure what all those words mean, but you can THROW ZOMBIES AS A FIGHTING MOVE. So, it’s gonna be pretty amazing.

Demolition Derby

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I had a very redneck weekend (literally in fact, as I got a little color on the back of my neck thanks to walking around the flea market), which included a demolition derby at the Orange County Fair Speedway. I had never been to something like this before, but, hearing that there would be a bus race, I was in (well, kinda, I probably wouldn’t have gone on my own, but Em and her parents and Amy were all going, so what the hell?).

And you know what? I was a little disappointed. The bus race had three short buses and then two longer ones, so it wasn’t a big surprise who would win that one. There was a funny moment where one of the dudes near me turned to his buddies and said “How do you think they get the buses here?” Probably zeppelin. Then there was a trailer race, but two of the cars were just pulling two wheel trailers with nothing on it. The rest were vans pulling campers. I proudly admit that I totally called the winner of that race (yeah green van!). There was also a stuntman of sorts who drove a semi truck into a bus that was standing straight up on the emergency exit sticking in the air. Oh, there was also this race where the cars had their hoods and trunks tied up so they couldn’t see shit. Craziness. Then, the demolition derby started and I gotta say, I was highly disappointed. See, it wasn’t a figure eight or anything like that, because they had people in the center with their trucks and whatever, so what they did was they cordoned off a section of one of the long parts of the track and just had these dudes smash into each other. There was hardly any carnage, very little fire and no one hit with a tire. Ah well, here’s the slide show, I figured this would be easier than showing each picture individually. Oh, also, the pictures clearly suck, but it’s hard to get a good shot of a slow moving bus apparently.

 

Flea Market Shenanigans

Boy, did I have a red neck weekend. Em’s parents were in town and they’re always down for some yard sailing and flea market attending so we attended two separate ones AND a demolition derby. Stay tuned for tons of demo derby pics tomorrow, but right now, I want to share some experiences and pictures with you from the flea market we went to on Saturday morning at the Stormville Airport. Technically it was a giant garage sell, which means it’s just regular people selling their junk and boy was there a lot of junk. Since I’ve recently found myself sans full time job, Em and I decided to spend little to know money and I think we only spent about $5, but it was a ton of fun and I even got some rad stuff.

As always we got there pretty early, but I think that was a benefit because you never know who might buy the Michael Jackson bust. Anyway, more on that later. Right now, check out these really weird celebrity paintings. You can see Alias’ Jennifer Garner in this particular photo and there were about a dozen others, some I actually recognized, others, now way, even though they had the actor’s name on some of them. Scarlett Johansson’s was pretty terrible.

It was a good show for paintings actually as you can see in these next two pics. Right after passing the table with the above weird celebrity paintings we got near this van with several larger painting leaning up against it. You can see a painting on the far left which I think is called Little Boy Blue or some such. As a side note, this is what a lot of the various lots look like, with a van, car, table or blanket holding all of the junk people want to get rid of. But what really caught my attention was that painting to the right, can you see it?

How about a better look? Yeah, there you go. It just looks like an old ass lady crawling towards a creepy sunset in a desert with a rock or two and one flower. I really like the sparseness of it. You can tell the artist was really reaching into his inner depths. Oh, wait, actually I love the bat shit craziness of this thing. If I had my way, it would be hanging in my place right now, but, well I don’t and it’s not, so hopefully someone else picked it up or I can grab it when I finally get my man cave.

I took this picture because I thought this guy who was wearing orange crocs and riding around on a Razor scooter looked lame. But, I also captured a pretty awesome moment in the background where the old woman who had just finished demonstrating how to play the accordion her and her husband were selling. It was a pretty rad performance, which is what stopped me at their table in the first place. Oh and that bass amp in the bottom right hand corner that I was too chicken to ask about. I couldn’t find the damn booth again to ask later, so I suck. I currently don’t have a bass amp in NY because the one I have back in Ohio is way too big.

Well, here’s my favorite thing from the whole day (and that includes the demolition derby). As you can see it’s a Michael Jackson bust with a bunch of chips taken out of it and a Pee Wee Herman doll next to it. I think they were charging $30 or 40 for MJ. That’s another thing I would have purchased, you know, if it was just $5, but whatever. I’m sure someone made off with it and I envy them. It kind of looks like MJ is whispering sweet nothings or kill lists into Pee Wee’s ears, doesn’t it?

As you know, I’m a big horror fan. As a kid, I remember going into different stores and seeing these really intricate and disgusting rubber Halloween masks that would scare the crap out of me (like, WAY scarier than the ones in AWESOME Halloween 3). As a result I still get pretty jazzed anytime I see masks. The ones at this space weren’t that cool, but they look pretty creepy all laid out on a blanket like this, don’t they?

This is just a shot of one of the aisles. There’s basically two really long aisles with rows on each side, a few food booths (carny food, mostly), porta potties and tons of people bumping into each other with their carts. The place used to be an old airfield, so there’s a lot of space. If you’re in the not-upstate New York area, you should definitely check it out. Also, of note, I tried to take most of these pics on the sly, but this one was clearly seen by the lady who looks like she’s trying to dodge my picture like it’s a bullet being fired at Neo in the Matrix.

Here you have a Daewoo VCR. I took this picture solely for Rickey, who drives a car made by Daewoo, a company that makes just about everything else in the world. As you can see they do VCRs, my inlaws’ microwave and a back hoe I used to see tearing scrap metal apart on my train ride into the city. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another Daewoo automobile, but I’m sure when it starts breaking down, my inlaws will be happy to scrap their microwave to help him out.

Here’s one of those pictures that I didn’t really get all that well because I didn’t want it to be super obvious that I was taking a picture of this guy’s creepy stuffed polar bear. I’m REALLY hoping it’s just a toy or something, but decide for yourself, that’s it on the far right of the image. I’m still not completely unconvinced this little dude wasn’t in the background of Cliffhanger.

Like I said in the beginning I did spend some money at the flea market, $3 to be exact. I spent $1 on these three original Masters of the Universe figures (that’s He-Man to you less nerdy folks). I was pretty jazzed to see them. Here you’ve got Grizzlor, Hordak and Jitsu. I was especially excited because these figures are complete except for their weapons, which is no big deal. And yeah, Grizz is actually furry, like a troll doll, but radder. He also looks like he’s ready to bust a move at any point and there’s nothing you can do about it.

And here’s my final purchase, Critters 1, 2, and 4 on tape. I was always fascinated by the boxes to 1 and 2 when I was a kid wandering through the video store. I love the art and will probably be drawing my version of the cover to 1 in the next couple days. I’m also hoping that I might find my elusive mini monster movie. Oh, and also, the fourth one is in SPACE! It worked for leprechaun, why not Critters?

Lastly, I want to let you fine readers know that a woman with a booth is the reason you won’t be hearing the hot beats that have been pounding in my skull lately. I went to buy a Yamaha drum machine that would have probably driven me crazy because it sounded old and tin-y, but whatever, I pulled out my $5 to hand to her and the woman said no and put the drum machine back behind the table. Bullshit, right? I think so. So, what I’m really asking is if anyone has a drum machine or keyboard I can have. Holla!

New England’s A Weird Place

As I alluded to in the past few days, I was gone on a mini trip last weekend with Em to visit her parents and grandma in a Massachusetts coastal town called Ipswitch. Em’s grandma used to live there and now she rents a cabin (or camp as she calls it) every year towards the end of the summer for a month and we try and make it out every year. This year’s trip was pretty interesting as it rained for most of the 4 hour drive there and was generally miserable as far as the weather goes for Friday and Saturday (luckily it got really nice on Sunday and we were able to enjoy the sun while Em’s aunt, uncle and cousins came to visit).

Have I mentioned that I love having a phone that takes pretty good pictures that I can easily put on my computer? If not I do. And thanks to it, I can share these pics with you. Make it through the house and beach ones and I promise you a picture of an epic T-Rex image unlike anything you’ve seen before!

Here’s a few pics of the camp itself, the surroundings and the incredible view of the ocean. It’s not the most pleasant place to be when it’s pouring rain and cold, but when it’s nice, it’s amazing. As a side note, I apparently can’t sleep in a wooden cabin with the wind and rain banging against a house. Good to know.





To keep ourselves busy on Saturday we went to a little town I don’t remember the name of, but they had this amazing store called Enchanted Forest.


EC had some amazingly weird stuff including Life Is Crap shirts, I like this one about whiskey.


Then, I turned to my right and saw this EPIC T-shirt featuring two T-Rexes fighting on a mountain with lightning in the background! Too bad they only had kid sizes.


Not wanting to solely focus on dinosaurs, EC also has plenty of things starring dragons, like this statue and snowglobe.


While walking through town I also saw a TON of these posters hanging around.


In case you can’t read it, here’s the various text boxes from top down and left to right. “I Fall For You.” “Modern couples/Used to be gay…going straight?” “Time Traveling Lesbian!/Her Amazon Adventure.” “Sexy parlor games/Turn tables on cheating hubby!” “Woman finds her gynecologist in a singles bar!” “Missing member turns up…in church!” “Mr. Happy’s shocking leap of death!” And finally, at the bottom “A few short plays about sex and romance.” Yes, that all does sound very romantical.

We also got a glimpse of these pop culture rubber duckies, gotta love that someone thought it’d be a good idea to turn one of the most revered comedians of his day who died far too young thanks to drugs and alcohol into a rubber ducky. Oh, plus a slasher.

And on the way home I saw these mints at TJ Maxx, and because I’m truly 14 at heart, took a picture and giggled like a school girl.

An Epic Journey

This weekend Em and I went to Columbus, Ohio for the wedding of a friend I’ve known since my freshman year of high school and his lovely new bride. In a weird twist, we have three weddings this year, and for all three the bride’s name is Megan. Crazy right? Anyway, that turned out to be one of the more normal aspects of this trip as it slowly descended into whatever can go wrong, will go wrong territory.

The plan was to fly out Friday afternoon from the airport right down the street from our house, connect in Detroit, have an hour layover and then fly to C-bus where my buddy Randy and his wife Lindsey would pick us up and we’d head downtown to hang out with almost all of my friends from high school. It was supposed to be fairly easy and end with some drunken revelry. That’s not quite how it went down.

At the airport, we actually ran into Justin who was off to Cali for work. They boarded his plane really quickly because this storm was rolling in and then they got stuck on the runway for 45 minutes to an hour. The storm pushed our flight back about 50 minutes, but things cleared up and we headed out with enough time to not miss our connector in the D.

The flight itself was fine. I dozed off after reading some House of Seven Gables (I’m trying to get some culture). Once we landed we ran down the terminal and made it with time to spare (it’s not easy to run in boat shoes with a big ass back pack on your back). We made it with time to spare and had a seat at the gate. It was then that I realized I had left my copy of House of Seven Gables on the previous plane. Since we didn’t have much time and it was just a Barnes & Noble version of the book, I wasn’t too worried about it. Soon after, they started boarding the plane, which was supposed to take off around 7:15PM. Em and I got on and got situated. Then, about five minutes later an airline guy came on the plane and told as that the airline had changed this plane and it was now going to Cincinnati. And we had to get off the plane.

Between the two of us Em and I have done a good bit of traveling, but neither of us had ever heard of something like this. So, after getting off the plane, the new departure time was 8:00PM. After that I grabbed a beer at an Irish pub right across from our gate, which was nice and calmed me down a bit. Then the departure time changed to 8:30. Then 9:00. Then 10:00. Around 9:30 or so, one of our fellow travelers got a call saying that, according to the internet, the flight was cancelled and it had disappeared from the board in the airport. The woman at the gate started making calls and it turned out it was cancelled due to weather. Here’s the crazy thing, even if there was bad weather, which I’m doubtful of, there was another flight for Columbus leaving at 9:30. I’m not sure how that adds up, or how bad the weather could get in a half hour, but there was definitely some shadiness going on (this was a Delta/Northwest flight for the record).

I actually felt really bad for the woman at the gate, because, it’s obviously not her fault, she’s just the one giving a bunch of pissed off people the bad news. And the news got worse as we stood there waiting. First, her computer stopped working so she couldn’t tell us what other flights there were and we were waiting for her supervisor to show up and tell us if they would be providing accommodations. We were sure what we were gonna do. The wedding wasn’t until 5:30 or so on Saturday, but it turned out that the first flight to C-bus on Saturday was 11:45AM and they wouldn’t pay for hotels because they blamed the cancellation on weather. I call total bullshit. Maybe if they hadn’t pulled us off of a plane and continuously bumped us back, it would have been different, but it’s not okay to keep yanking people around like that and I don’t think we’ll be flying Delta or NWA again.

So, we decided to rent a car and just drive the 3-4 hours to the hotel and just make it work. At the baggage desk they told us that our luggage had already gone through to C-bus on that 9:30 flight. Meanwhile this woman who wasn’t very nice at all walked behind the desk and told all the people helping us that they would not be getting bags because they didn’t have the manpower. Now, I don’t know if that was true or not, but she was a total asshole the way she said it loud enough for all of us to hear it.

Now, before we actually went to baggage an older gentleman offered to give us a ride. I told him I’d talk to my wife and let him know. After trying to talk about it while passing through the color-changing German techno tunnel:

we decided to just get our own car, but after finding out our bags we actually ran into the guy again right outside the car rental place and he offered again, so we took it. He seemed like a nice enough guy and then he went to find this other guy who he talked to.

The four of us waited for the bus to take us to the rental car place and made small talk, something we made a LOT of during the long drive down to C-bus. But, before we could get going there was one more snag: the car’s tail lights were out. A guy pulled up next to us and told us. Both of them. Have you ever heard of that happening? The brake lights were fine, it was just the running lights. So, we headed back to the rental place (we were only about 5 minutes away, so it wasn’t a huge deal), got another car and left around 11.

The drive was fine and both of the guys were really nice, but it was hard to stay awake. On paper, it might not have been the smartest thing to do in the world, but he seemed like a nice guy and he turned out to be an incredibly nice man, as he wouldn’t let us pay for any portion of the car or even for gas.

We ended up getting to C-bus (he actually dropped us off right at the hotel) after driving through the town we went to school in and our old stomping grounds, which was kind of surreal. I think it was around 2:30? My sense of timing is all off because I was so exhausted. But it was great seeing Randy, Lindsey, Chad Yates and meeting his new lady Kristen. Toth and Matt Hartmann showed up later (they were hanging out with the rest of our friends, including Matt Bond, the groom, near OSU). I was bummed to miss out on that, but I grabbed a whiskey and Coke and relaxed. Meanwhile, Chad had a Pomegranate Passion Fruit Cooler (this from the dude who I invented Sweet Tart whiskey with):

I had a beer before/in bed and then fell asleep but didn’t sweep too well. The next day we met up with Heather, who was in our wedding, and everyone else in our hotel (Erica showed up after we did actually, but we were asleep) and got Mexican food. We came back and it turned out that Chad and Randy were wearing the same shirt:

We then went to the wedding and it was amazing. I remember the first time I met Megan. Geoff and I went down to visit Bond and she refused to hang out with us on a Friday because she had to study for a test on Tuesday. I always thought that was pretty funny. Anyway, the ceremony was great and it’s always fun to see my friends in the same spot I was in a few years back. I’ve made it a point to watch the groom when the bride shows up. Sorry brides 🙂

The reception was equally awesome and it was great to see everyone who we missed hanging out with the night before. Charlie was in from Texas, the Suttons were there, Jen, Geoff, his fiance Eileen, Chad Mikrut in from Japan and of course Bond and Megan. Did I miss anyone? If so, I suck and am sorry. Everyone seemed to be in a really good mood which was awesome and I got to have some great conversations with everyone. We were a pretty tight group throughout high school and it’s nice to know that we can pick right up where we left off after all this time.

The best part of the whole reception, though, was when Matt got up and played “When I Think About You I Touch Myself” with the dueling pianos guy. It was amazing and luckily I took some video with my new phone. Excuse the weird angle, I’m still getting used to this thing.

Everything was great and we ended up heading back to our hotel where we hung out before going to sleep. Well, I was sleeping in theory. I was paranoid about not waking up on time (we were getting a cab to the airport at 6:15AM). Plus, there was quite the commotion going on out in the hallway as there were almost several fights and then some dude kept coming back to a room and banging on the door trying to get inside. It was not optimal sleeping conditions to say the least.

Luckily, the trip home went off without a hitch, somewhat renewing my faith in the airline industry, but not 100%. We even got to go out onto the tarmac and get right on the plane:

So, the journey was long and crazy and not optimal, but it was absolutely worth it to see the Bonds get married and to see all my friends again. I hope they enjoy their honeymoon in Mexico, hopefully we took away all the bad travel karma and theirs was a nice and easy flight. Congrats again you guys!

Wizard World Philly Weekend

Last night Em and I got back from Wizard World Philly and, as always, it was a trip.



After picking up Justin and Rickey , we got to the show Friday morning and got right to work after getting some lunch after checking in. The highlight of my day was sort of moderating a Q&A panel with Tom Savini, a man whose work I’ve been enjoying since I started watching horror movies. I say “sort of” because Tom handled the thing pretty much on his own while I struggled with a laptop. For anyone in attendance, I swear I’m slightly more adept at computers than I appeared at the panel. Tom was a great sport though and once we got everything up and running he showed off the next installment of Chill Factor, which was a story he wrote and directed and had the students that work with him to learn filmmaking do the rest. It was pretty rad, so keep an eye out for it. Em was even nice enough to video tape the whole thing, so maybe I’ll get it up on YouTube at some point. I didn’t, however, get a picture with him because I was running around so much.

Later that day there was a big toy industry panel that was super interesting, just like last years’. Look for more information on that in ToyFare. Friday night we grabbed lunch at a place called the Field House (you can actually spend the full weekend at WWP without going outside if you want to because so many things are connected around there). After that we headed down the hotel bar and had a good time. It’s always fun to sit there and see who you’ll run into. I ended up talking to guys like Shane Davis, Dennis Calero and Matt Serra, a fighter who was super nice. Plus, you always see random people walking through the lobby.

After a late night we got up and headed back over to the convention center. If you guys didn’t hear, Jesse Falcon showed off some potential future Marvel Legends for 2010 at his panel (X-Force Warpath, Lady Bullseye and Maddrox!). It was rad getting a peek at those and we’ll be getting more info at SDCC.

After that I headed over to Emma Caufield’s booth and escorted her to her panel room which was packed. For those of you who might not know, she’s Anya from Buffy. She did a great job and everyone really seemed to have a great time with it. As a Buffy fan, I was one of those people having a great time. I’m really hoping that the future projects she talked about come out quickly.

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Right after that we had a really great Customizing 101 panel with Matt “Iron Cow” Cauley, Bobby Torres (why can’t I find a link?!) and Pierre “Airmax” Kalenzaga. I learned a lot about toy customizing and I really want to give it a go. Now I need a studio. Or a man cave. I’m still hoping for man cave.

But, the big event of the night for us toy guys was the second annual ToyFare Hall of Fame awards. It was great seeing most of last year’s winners along with this years’ (Jesse Falcon, Tim Bruckner and Aaron Archer from Hasbro for Transformers, Randy Bowen couldn’t make it). Justin did a great job with the presentation and I muddled through with my Power Point presentation. I think it went well and everyone was really happy.

That night Wizard threw a party along with Kaiju Big Battle at a place called The Trocadero that was a 130 years old. As you may be able to see from the picture we were up in the balcony looking down on the fight. It was pretty crazy, though a little slow. Tired from standing all day, a few of us migrated into the adjoining room where karaoke ended up taking place. But it took a while. A bunch of the people we were with filled out the slips to sing and we were sitting there waiting and the room got PACKED. Then some guy said something about Skeletor. I had no idea what that was about until freaking Skeletor showed up. This guy was great, but what no one knew was that it was a gong show. So, you got up to sing and he’d gong you. Sam got gonged unceremoniously early which was BS, but Justin, Alex and Jim all got up there and rocked the mic. I missed a full on, all dude version of “I Am The Man Who Will Fight For Your Honor” because Em and I had to bolt, but it was worth it cause I think I would have passed out if I stayed in that room any longer. Check out the slideshow below for some incredibly blurry photos of the creepy stairs up to the bar, the Kaiju battle, the karaoke area, Justin, Sam and Alex singing. Plus some shots of Skeletor. Maybe I’ll tell people I did all this in Photoshop.

After that we met back up in the lobby where I got to meet some more cool people, but the funniest thing was seeing a bunch of people who just got back from a wedding reception at about 12:30AM looking at Lou Ferrigno walking away and being absolutely shocked. I’m guessing they didn’t know anything about the con and that was a pretty awesome experience for them.

Sunday was slower because it didn’t last as long, which was good because I think most of us were pretty exhausted. Justin, Alex and I had a Twisted ToyFare Theatre panel that was a lot of fun. We got a lot of good questions and it’s funny because I’m starting to recognize the people that show up to the toy panels. I also plugged the blog after some cajoling, so hopefully one or two of you guys made your way over here and are liking the site.

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The highlight of the day though was getting a sketch by Steve Dillon. I am a huge, HUGE Preacher fan and got him to do a Jesse Custer, which was well worth the donation to Hero Initiative. Heck, I would have probably paid my last paycheck (don’t tell Em). I don’t think Em had ever seen me geek out that much, I was super psyched. After that we got our things together, I had yet another cheesesteak (with whiz, this time, it’s way better that way) and we made the long trek back through New Jersey.

All in all, it was hard work, but a ton of fun as cons tend to be. The people I talked to all seemed to have a good time and I’m looking forward to the next one.


Home Is Where The Weird Is

It’s been a weird couple of weeks for my various hometowns.

Today, while we were working hard of course, my boss, who also lives in the illustrious Orange County (the one with motorcycles, not real housewives), saw a link about Jon from that awful awful show Jon & Kate Plus 8. He was apparently seen in a nearby town called Newburgh with two ladies. I just thought that was funny. If I can offer Jon one piece of advice, stick it out till they’re 18 and THEN bounce, otherwise that’s a hell of a lot of child support homey.

Also, last week I was listening to NPR on my way to the train station (cause I like to be cultured for no less than 5 minutes a day when I’m not listening to Fall Out Boy CDs) and heard about the super crazy mayor of Toledo Carty Finkbeiner. He apparently asked people to mow the area parks with their own mowers. Hey not so crazy right? Here’s the video.

Not only is it awesome that the much younger dude is walking next to the old man while he mows the lawn, but how does the mayor have time to go out and mow the grass every week? Fix the town! I mean it’s not like the economy has shit the bed, the automotive crisis is having any repercussions or Toledo was voted THE worst medium sized city to try and find a job in! Goddammit! I feel my inner Lewis Black coming out.

Now, if this is your only experience with Finkbeiner I can hear you wondering “Why’d you call him crazy? This isn’t so bad.” Well, my ignorant friend, listen up. In his first term as mayor of Toledo, a city of over 300,000 people, Carty made headlines with two ridiculous statements. First up, he went on record saying that deaf people should all move out near the airport because they can’t hear the planes anyway. Hey, maybe that’s not so bad. Think again. This statement immortalized Toledo in the boardgame Trivial Pursuit. I tried figuring out which card it is to scan for you fine readers, but I couldn’t nail it down. If any fellow Toledoians are reading this and now, please let me.

The other point of national infamy brought on my hometown thanks to Carty stems from an appearance he did on the Daily Show. This was back in the mid 90s when they would routinely search out politicians from podunk towns with crazy ideas. Well, it seems Carty wanted to convince the world that Toledo was the Hollywood of the midwest. Oh how I wish this clip was floating around the internet. Instead, more ridicule. On national television. Thanks Carty.

If these sound like isolated incidents, please click to the 20 or so controversies on his Wikipedia Page which include maybe roughing someone up!

New York Comic Con

2009-02-12
12:08:19 am

So, as I’m sure you’re aware, this past weekend was the enormous New York Comic Con. I’ve actually gone every year and the show gets better and better, though, that’s pretty easy considering how poorly laid out it was the first year.

I mostly walked around and talked to my various ToyFare contacts, but I also got a chance to flip through some boxes of cheap trades ($5, 50% off and best of all, buy 1 get 2 free!!!). So, keep an eye out for a bunch of trade reviews in the coming days and weeks (including a four trade Black Panther retrospective).

Aside from that, I was too much of a wuss to talk to any artists and get sketches in my Green Lantern themed sketchbook (as of now, it’s got one sketch, though it is a pretty cool Koi Pham Guy Gardner). So, if any artists are reading this and want to contribute, let me know 🙂

Last but not least Justin Aclin, the big man at ToyFare, lead a slew of us in a Twisted ToyFare Theatre panel that turned out to be a lot of fun. So, thanks to anyone who came out for that and anyone who wished me a happy birthday on Friday (my 26th).

And, seriously, if you’re an artist and want to draw some rad Green Lanterns, drop me a line!

What I’m Thankful For: The Wildstorm Universe

2008-11-11
10:13:41 pm

As far as comic book universes go, I think the Wildstorm one might be my non-DC and Marvel favorite. Gen 13 was my gateway into Wildstorm back in the day. #14 was my first issue (with Roxy going to school on the cover) and I was hooked immediately. I didn’t really branch out into other Wildstorm books for a long time, but I was really impressed with how historic this new comic book universe felt even back then. Gen 13 were the kids of guys in a group called Team 7, whose members were on all kinds of other teams or hanging out in their own solo books (Grifter, Backlash, Lynch, Deathblow, etc.). I didn’t really know what all was going on, but I was super intrigued. So intrigued that I bought a few other books like a Team 7 mini that came out and whatnot, but not a ton of books.

I completely dodged the initial Image onslaught of comics when the boom hit, which I’m still thankful for, but I did wind up with some random issues here and there thanks to various grab bags I picked up over the years. I also watched the Wildcats cartoon when it was on, because, at the time, I’d watch ANYTHING comic book related. So, with all that I had a basic idea of what was going on in their universe and it all seemed really cool. A big part of that has to do with the artists working on these books. Man, they looked slick and definitely appealed to me as a kid, but I was also into the “super powered kids on the run from adults” story that came along with Gen 13 as it was my first exposure to such a concept. Oh yeah, I also remember Sarah from the Real World Miami being a Wildstorm editor. On the very first episode they showed her getting kicked out of her place after a big party. If memory serves (which it probably doesn’t) her roommates were J. Scott Campbell and another notable who I can’t remember. Her desk in the RW house was also surrounded by comic book pictures, which totally geeked me out back when no one on TV ever talked about comic books.

Skip ahead a bunch of years, I’ve dropped Gen 13 from my list because of Claremont’s relaunch (yeesh) and not really interested in Wildstorm anymore, but I’m hearing a lot about this book called The Authority. I eventually score an internship at Wizard where Rickey recommends I read Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch which leads directly into The Authority. I did and dug it and then read Authority and got less and less impressed as it went on. So recently, I re-read all five Stormwatch trades and they’re really good. Ellis does a surprisingly good job playing in a super hero universe that doesn’t have as many rules as DC or Marvel. I’m looking forward to reading his Authority again soon in the next few weeks too. Ellis’ Planetary is also a lot of fun, but I want the last trade dag nabbit!

Once I started working for Wizard full time I jumped back into the Wildstorm pool and was surprised to see some names that I wouldn’t necessarily associate with the company like James Robinson and Alan Moore who both did stints on Wildcats. I can’t remember how far I got, but I started with Wildcats #1 and read through Moore’s stuff (which includes Robinson’s run). Both Robinson and Moore’s arcs are pretty fantastic (especially Moore’s, no big surprise there). Like with Ellis, it was great to see Moore coming in and picking up elements from previous Wildcats stories and running with them. Moore did a bunch of other stories here and there that have been collected in one big trade that’s definitely out there, but still a lot of fun.

I also read Ed Brubaker’s Point Blank which lead into his Sleeper series with Sean Phillips. Man, this story blew me away. It could have very easily been it’s own stand alone story of espionage and intrigue, but Brubaker set it squarely in the WU, with references to Alan Moore’s Wildcats and plenty of other goings on. It’s a great series and one I recommend to anyone who loves dark and dirty comics.

From there I jumped into more modern Wildstorm as they shook up their universe with the Wold Storm event. Even now I’m not really sure what the deal was. Things were predicated by the Will Pfeifer-written Captain Atom: Armageddon mini which placed Cap in the Wildstorm U. He blew up and so did the WU, but it reformed in similar and different ways after that. I got to talk to most of the creators for the big relaunch (this is when Grant Morrison was announced to be writing both Wildcats and Authority) which was a lot of fun, but as a fan of the existing Wildstorm U, I was left mostly confused. Unlike Crisis on Infinite Earths there wasn’t a “we’re completely starting over” vibe as some teams seemed to be unchanged (Stormwatch PHD which was a great book seemed to be exactly in line with previous Stormwatch stuff) while others were way different (my beloved Gen 13). There were a few stumbling blocks as Wildcats and Authority have only put out one and two issues respectively, but overall Stormwatch PHD, Deathblow and Midnighter were all pretty solid books and Gail Simone added a whole new element with her Welcome to Tranquility series.

But the changes weren’t over as Wildstorm geared up for another big shake up with their trilogy of stories: Wildstorm: Armageddon, Wildstorm: Revelations and Number of the Beast which I liked for the most part though I wish Number of the Beast would have picked up more elements from Revelations. Anyway, now you’ve got the Wildstorm U in a kind of post-apocalyptic Mad Max-like world where everything’s turned on it’s ear and all these familiar heroes are fighting just to keep humanity going.

It’s not an easy universe to break into with over a decade’s worth of stories, but I’ve had a great time exploring the good and the bad of the Wildstorm U, which is a lot more intricate and detailed than you might think at first. If you’re looking to get in, I’d recommend Sleeper, Moore’s Wildcats, the upcoming James Robinson Wildcats trade, Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch and Authority and Stormwatch PHD. I’m really curious to see where they go with this new path and I can’t wait to see what they do and what new creators and characters will pop up in the future.

Homecoming

2008-10-13
12:53:22 am

Hey faithful readers. I’m sure you were worried sick about not getting updates over the last few days, but Em and I went back to our alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University for homecoming. It was really strange being back in a place that used to be home and now belongs to a completely different group of people than I remember. We’ve been out for three years which means that the kids who were freshman when we were seniors graduated last year. Which is a trip for sure. I don’t think I’ve used the word “weird” so many times in my life to describe how I felt.

Anyway, a group of my fraternity brothers (Alpha Sigma Phi) came back for the annual Sig Bust alumni event which was a lot of fun. It was great seeing any of you who might be reading this and if you weren’t able to make it, you were missed.

Well, literally kicking it old school this weekend was a lot of fun, but the total of 18 hours driving between Friday and today have taken their toll. But keep an eye out for a few new reviews soon, including the first Powers TPB and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.