Hopefully everyone had a fun Halloween. I had a pretty great weekend. After watching five horror movies on Friday and chopping up 16 small pumpkins for seeds, the missus and I hung out. She’s a big fan of ghost/haunting shows, so we watched a lot of those plus some Soup action which is always fun. That night, she carved her skeleton pumpkin. On Saturday, while the missus worked on a rad Rubick’s Cube cake for the 80s themed Halloween party we went to that night, I worked on my Lion-O pumpkin and watched TV. Above you can see our costumes. I was pretty lazy and went as Magnum P.I. (only needed to buy the mustache) and the missus, like many of the other ladies at the party, went as an 80s chick. She put way more effort into her costume than I did mine, I didn’t even trim the mustache like I should have. The party was also a surprise 30th birthday party for our friend Sharon. After the big surprise, we hung out, drank some drinks (well, I did, not the missus) and then played some beer pong. Amy–the hostess of the party along with her husband John who was dressed as Doc Brown from Back to the Future–and I teamed up for some pretty epic wins. Super extra mega bonus points for getting eyeball ping pong balls. Had lots of drinks and a great time. On Sunday, I woke up with a headache which is a good indicator of a fun night. We spent all day watching more ghost shows and then passed out candy all night. I also cooked a bunch of the pumpkin seeds. I accidentally bumped the temperature on the oven up a hundred degrees which lead to a bunch of burnt seeds, but we still got a good harvest. The missus and I traded off on handing out candy, it went pretty well for the most part. We only had a handful of douchey older kids who didn’t wear costumes. I gave them Chiclets. Finally, here’s my Lion-O pumpkin all lit up, you can see it in the daylight here. I used my dremmel on this bad boy and scraped the hell out of the inside in hopes that the light would shine through the hair. It all worked out pretty well. One kid even asked if it was God, which is way too awesome. We’ve got a good deal of extra candy and I’m looking forward to watching some non-horror movies, though I had a great time with that double feature project I did this month.
First things first, time to let you know about my friends and the cool creations they’ve been creating. Go check out Sean T. Collins‘ new monster comic “I remember when the monsters started coming for the cars” drawn by Isaac Moylan. After that, go read Justin Aclin‘s short story featuring his Dark Horse Presents-starring S.H.O.O.T. First team on Robot 666 called “The House That Ate Halloween.” That’s almost too much Halloween goodness and it’s all free!
To further blow my friends’ horns, Alex Kropinak, Ben Morse and the rest of the What The?! crew over at Marvel.com released a new Halloween themed video starring Dracula, Dracula’s son, Kitty Pryde, Blade and more. Fun stuff!
Speaking of Ben, he did a great post over on The Cool Kids Table about the Thor Corps. I also never read read the comic of the same name but inherently love the concept. Someone get on bringing this book back!
Back to Halloween for a few links, I loved Scott C’s Night of the Living Dead piece today on Great Showdowns. Are these being collected in a book or mini comic because they really should be? I haven’t watched NOTLD this season, but maybe tonight or tomorrow. I’d never heard of these Dell interpretations of Dracula, Frankenstein or Werewolf before reading Christ Sims’ post about creepy comic characters over on Comics Alliance. I now need to track down all these issues. Saw this piece of art over on StarWars.com. It’s by Katie Cook. I kind of want to hug it and also run away from it.
This review of the Apple Trackpad on Wired.com kind of makes me want to buy one, but I might also have to start working at a desk or table. As it is, I haven’t used a mouse in over a year.
The video of Arizona senate hopeful and Tea Party member Sharron Angle I saw over on Esquire is both disturbing and funny. She says she’ll let people know her opinion of foreign policy once she’s elected and yet people are supporting her. Crazy people in power can be a dangerous thing.
Why didn’t they just get Ed Asner to play Granny Goodness on Smallville like he did on JLU? Let’s finish today’s links with some eye candy. First up, you’ve got Chris Samnee’s What If? entry for ComicTwart. Nick Fury’s Howling Avengers? I would actually go to the store and buy that comic book. That’s saying quite a bit. I want to go to there and draw Ninja Turtles with all these pencils, 6-year-old style. I don’t know if it originally came from Suicide Blonde or not, but that’s where Ffffound got it. Mine would be organized better, but that’s cause I’m a little crazy when it comes to these kinds of things. Sunken boats scare the crap out of me, specifically swimming through them or running into them while swimming (yeah, I know it’s weird). Originally posted on the loveyourchaos Tumblr (via Ffffound)
I decided to kick Casting Internets back up today because I’ve read and seen some pretty interesting things around the nets today. I’m also trying to branch out and read a few more websites than I usually do, so hopefully this will be a little more varied.
Everything kicked off with this old school Frank Sinatra piece that Gay Talese wrote for Esquire back in 1966 called “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold.” It’s such a good piece of New Journalism that it not only made me want to try writing that way, but also made me want to buy Talese’s book. Thanks to Jen for the link on Facebook!
Checking out that link got me reading some posts on Esquire’s politics blogs like this two-parter by John H. Richardson called On The Road With The Birthers (part 1 and 2) in which he follows a group of people demanding to see President Obama’s birth certificate. Those two pieces combined with Mark Warren’s article called “The Questions We Have Refused to Ask of the Tea Party” definitely creeped me out. I understand feeling trapped and hopeless when it comes to the economy, but to focus that energy on ridiculous ideas like proving the President is American (don’t you assume that’s part of the whole process?), but this is just scary.
Okay, enough scary political nonsense, check out Abigail Chu’s audition tape for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World that Edgar Wright posted on his blog. Reminds me of the time I went to the first Bonnaroo and Jack Johnson was playing with a seven year old drum prodigy named Scarlett. I have no idea how I remember that. Anyway, cool video. I just started reading Tom Spurgeon’s The Comics Reporter. Good timing especially because he linked to Paul Tobin’s rad gallery of Jim Steranko covers. Steranko was the first old school comics artist I got into, so this gallery is right up my alley. I know the above, from Steranko’s non-consecutive three issue run on Captain America, isn’t a cover, but it’s one of my favorite pieces of art (not just comics) ever. Rad.
In semi-related comic book news, AMC had a bunch of zombies right outside of Penn Station to promote this week’s premiere of the Walking Dead TV show. When I worked in the city, I walked up those steps every day and I’m afraid that I’ve seen so many–read: too–that I would have either run back to my train and skipped work for the week until the zombie apocalypse died down or found the nearest blunt object and done my part for society. Either way, I would have gotten in trouble. (via Bleeding Cool)Speaking of TV, I’m bummed I haven’t caught up with Doctor Who yet. Why can’t those DVDs come out faster, or better yet, just make their way to Netflix Instant? Anyway, I really dig this piece of art by Ian Leino featuring most of the previous Doctors. I’ve only watched one older Doctor Who series, but I love the idea of all these guys being together in one place. (via Fashionably Geek)
I also love Dean’s renditions of the Cybermen over at Springfield Punx. They should get him to do a webisode or Saturday morning cartoon.
One last bit of TV news I saw today over on /Film that got me kind of got me excited is that Comedy Central has approached Waiting‘s Rob McKittrick to work on a series based on the movie for the network. I honestly haven’t watched Comedy Central on a regular basis in years and I didn’t like the crappy Waiting sequel, but I’m still hopeful for this, assuming it doesn’t butt up against a show I already watch.
/Film also informed me that there might be a plan to convert the Indiana Jones movies to 3D along with the Star Wars flicks. Sign me the hell up. Seeing those movies on the big screen again is worth it, I don’t care what it takes to make it happen. Let’s chill out on all the whining. NECA makes some of the raddest figures on the market, take this Army of Darkness Medieval Ash figure they revealed on the TwitPic account. I might not be as big of an Evil Dead fan as the rest of the horror community, but I still know a damn good figure when I see one. The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club revealed their 2o11 exclusive club figure today. Generally I wouldn’t care too much, but it answers a mystery from my childhood. I had the original Dial-Tone figure, but I found him somewhere or was given him loose, so I never knew his name or which side he was on. I figured he was a bad guy and also French thanks to the mustache, beret and the red symbol on his arm. Finally, something about this image blew me away. There’s no information about what this is either on Ffffound (where I first saw it) or the Could Even Be The Best One Yet picture set (where it came from originally), but I’m guessing that it’s a hand colored image of the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. I hope that’s what it is. Kind of took my breath away.
Okay, so New York’s Metropolitan Museum Of Art probably isn’t as cool as SDCC, but it had a few things going for it. One, no weirdos in costumes. Two, it didn’t have that familiar con smell to it. And three, I got to see some cool art, which included sketches by one of the most famous artists of all time, some pop culture relics and a giant hall filled with armor, so it wasn’t TOO far off. The above picture is of the American Wing of the museum, which was featured on Project Runway last season (I don’t remember it, but the missus does, which lead me to searching for this pic). We kicked things off with a tour through the incredibly boring American Wing which mostly had furniture. Holy shit, you guys, looking at old chairs is boring. Anyway, I eventually ducked into the musical instrument section where I saw some crazy old instruments, heard some incredibly pretentious teenagers discuss the intricacies of outdated instruments and got to see two pieces of musical history. I love jazz. When I started getting into it, I thought big band guys like Benny Goodman were squares, but as I delved in I found that he was a sick musician whose orchestra could swing like no other. His Live At Carnegie Hall two disc set is absolutely worth checking out for anyone interested in the man or swing or jazz. Anyway, I was pretty excited to see Goodman’s clarinet on display. According to the sign next to it, it’s the one he has in the picture which was taken just a few days before he died. The other piece of popular music history on display was Ringo Starr’s Golden Drum which was a gift given to him by the Ludwig drum company in 1964. It’s not super interesting, it’s not like the 70 year old Beatle actually played the thing, but hey, I still haven’t been to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame yet, so I’ll take what I can get. Here’s another pic. We didn’t actually go down and walk through the Hall Of Armor (I have no idea if that’s what it’s called, it just makes sense because, you know, it’s filled with armor) but I snapped this pic from above mostly because the armors look awesome and it reminded me of how Jim Lee drew the Batcave in All-Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder. I want to see a movie set just in this wing where these bad boys come to life and kick the hell out of each other. There was also a pretty big showcase of Picasso artwork that was kind of whatever. I guess I’m not really into the man’s art or at least I don’t want to look at it with tons of other slow and smelly (hey, I guess it is like a con) people in small rooms. There was an interesting display at the very end of the circuit with drawings Picasso did. The man sure loved to draw naked women. My favorite piece that I saw was this one, I can’t remember the exact name of it though, but it’s something like “A Former Patron and His Ingenue Visit An Old Artist.”I got a kick out of this one because my reading of it is that Picasso’s poking fun at himself, showing himself drawing these huge naked people while his stuffy old patron shows up and is most likely embarrassed and confused by what had come over the artist. Hey, I just found a link on the Met’s site, the piece is called “Patron and his Retinue Visiting the Studio of an Old Painter,” check out more info here. The last picture I snapped, I wasn’t supposed to. It’s a cartoon for The New Yorker by artist Barney Tobey (you can read his 1989 obit here to learn more about the man). I’m not sure if you can read the caption, but one well-dressed woman is saying “Keeping it dusted must drive them crazy!” to another well-dressed woman. It’s kind of meta, but it was fun.
We also checked out the American Woman fashion installment, which was kind of cool, though, again, not really my thing along with a collection of photographs by Leon Levinstein which I loved. He basically walked around New York in the 60s and 70s and snapped pictures. They’re amazing. Nowadays we have reality television to give us a look into peoples’ lives, but back then, all there was was guys like Levinstein snapping pictures on the streets. I loved it. It helps that I’m fascinated by New York’s long history, but he had a great eye for snapping pics that really capture people in their natural element. Absolutely worth checking out if you’re in the area.
I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July weekend. I’m always a fan of extra days off work even if I spent the day on the couch, writing and reading comics which isn’t too different than my usual Monday. Here’s some pictures of the weekend which was filled with fireworks (two different shows) and a trip down to the Meadowlands for the New Jersey State Fair to celebrate Rickey’s birthday. But first, fireworks.
This is the interaction I have with the missus every 4th: she gets REALLY excited about going to see fireworks and I couldn’t care less. Hey, it’s fireworks, how different will this be than the last local fireworks show? Then we go and once it starts, I realize I’m in love with things exploding in the sky! 20 minutes later, though, my love has faded and I’m waiting for the finale, usually surrounded by kids asking their dad if they’re watching the grand finale and for some reason the dad never responds “I can’t tell you until it’s over because it means ‘the end’ dummies.” Finally, once the finale hits it’s like ZOMG “Look how many things are exploding in the sky!!!!!” Finales are awesome.
These fireworks were in Newburgh on the 2nd. We went over to our friends Amy and John’s house. They live within walking distance to the park where they were shot off, so we cooked out and then went over to the fireworks which were pretty impressive. Equally impressive was the festival-like atmosphere in the baseball field directly behind where we were sitting. I went to get some sodas and found myself surrounded by teen and 20-something craziness. I saw a DJ shooting foam out into a crowd and a dude dressed up either like a raccoon or skunk getting hugged by a girl who looked exactly like Avril Lavine, but wearing a wife beater and white boxer shorts, by which I don’t mean underwear, but the kind of shorts boxers wear. Crazy, but not the craziest thing I’d see all weekend. For that, let’s head down to the New Jersey State Fair!“We put the ‘joy’ in Joisey.” That’s a helluva way to advertise your state fair, but it’s not the best way. This is:In case you can’t read it, the sign says “Animals: Live, Stuffed, Fried.” It’s not often that I can find this many good photos before even going INTO a place. But, hey, this is the New Jersey State Fair. But that couldn’t really prepare us for what we saw inside. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but this dunk tank had the foulest clown this side of Pennywise. There was actually a sign up and to the left (from the picture’s perspective) that warned people that the clown could be offensive, and boy could he. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he looked like the clown guy from Slipknot, he also harangued the crowd mercilessly. When we walked by later that night he was even playing songs like “Baby Got Back” to make fun of some of the portlier members of the crowd and there was plenty of that going around. Luckily we stayed far enough away to avoid his insults, but I did get a good laugh out of him. This guy needs his own reality show. The fair seemed to be unofficially sponsored by Batman and DC Comics. One of the big attractions was a Bat-Copter that seemed to be leaving for rides every five seconds and then hovering over the fairgrounds so you couldn’t hear and wreaking havoc on anyone with PTSD. There were also a slew of–I assume–unlicensed Batman toys, T-shirts and whatnot, but my favorite was this Human Bat with the Bat Signal in the background advertising one of two supposed freakshows. As if you needed to be told this, the freakshows are wierd. Yeah, let that steep for a second. Of the group of us, four people went in. Two said it was a complete waste of time, that nothing was alive and half of it looked like papier-mache. Two others loved the not-completely-full jars of oddities. One time in college the missus took me into our school’s animal lab which was full of these things. Not cool. Felt like the beginning of a horror movie, so I bailed. I didn’t like how the two-headed goat was looking at me. Gotta love these weird funhouse things the carnies put together. This one is called “MTV Studio’s.” I’m not sure why it’s possessive. We didn’t think you could go in there without a kid and frankly, I’m cheap and didn’t want to buy more tickets to go through something that looks far cooler on the outside than it could have on the inside. I wish the picture was better so you could see the terrible paintings of Lil Wayne and that guy that punched Rhiana and a slew of others that looked like no one in particular. The one ride I actually went on was the Ferris Wheel with the missus, Rickey and Sam. Sam and I got a little nervous, especially when we got stopped at the very top, but it was a pretty rad view, as you can see above. The evening ended with lots of food, though none of us were brave enough to try the Doughnutburger. The evening ended with more fireworks and then we made the long trek back home. If you want to see even more pics check out my buddy Agent_M’s Tumblr.
On the actual 4th we spent a nice day at the house of some family friends who invited us over for a pool party and then spent today trying not to die in the intense heat, so it was a great weekend all over! Thanks to everyone who made it awesome!
I was going through the pictures on my phone and realized I had a bunch from our trip to Delaware, Columbus, Toledo and Valparaiso. Yeah, this is the same trip where we encountered the creepy clown in the bar. I’ll think you’ll get a kick out of at least a few of these. Let’s jump in shall we?Our buddy Heather took us to Eddie George Grille 27 (the added “e” makes it fancy, just ignore the 70 TVs playing sports, some of which aren’t even in season right now) in Columbus after our reunion shenanigans. They ordered deep fried cheeseburgers (the missus snapped a picture of hers with my phone at my request) while I got a deep fried Italian sandwich. Mine was awesome and so were the burgers. While visiting my parents in Toledo, the four of us all went to a Toledo Mudhens game (that’s the minor league team that feeds into the Detroit Tigers). I got the tickets for my dad for his birthday and the seats turned out to be pretty awesome. Also, the beer was cheap. And, to answer your inevitable question, no, I don’t know what a mudhen is.
The great thing about the new(ish) Mudhens stadium is that it looks like it was just dropped in the middle of downtown Toledo. You can see how there’s buildings all around it. Some of those are hotels and apartment buildings, so you can just hang out and watch a game from there. Of course, that also means you can get hit by a ball if you’re just walking down the sidewalk. I was disappointed to find that Tony Packos hot dogs were not served in the stadium, though there is a restaurant across the street. This is how close we sat to the bullpen, by the way.The next day we left for Indiana for my buddy Geof’s marriage to the lovely Eileen with my folks driving (they were also invited, though they probably would have driven us and gone back home if we asked cause they’re awesome). Just outside of Valparaiso we stopped at a rest stopped that a carload of my friends from Toledo also happened to stop at. It was all very serendipitous. Anyway, there was a little gift shop that had a ton of statues like the dragon and fairy here. I contemplated buying one as a wedding present, but the missus reminded me we already had a gift and I’m not that generous. And finally, the day after the wedding we had a crazy-early flight out of Midway in Chicago that my parents were nice enough to drive us to. While walking through this strange new place, I was delighted to see them celebrating Chicago’s two finest sons Jake and Elwood Blues. There were actually two statues, but with the sun coming in through those huge windows, this was the best I could get. The other photo was completely washed out. There you have it. It was a great trip filled with friends, family and fun, plus we didn’t have to drive out, so you can’t really go wrong with that!
I’ll have a full report about MoCCA, including the things the missus and I picked up (not a lot, but good stuff for the most part), but here are two pictures. One of which had us asking “If you can travel through time, how do you get a parking warning?” The other being “Why didn’t the ComiCONN folks reprint their fliers even though they corrected things on their site?”Jesus, talk about poor taste. Just eat the cost and pay to reprint the fliers guys.
Our adorable cat Milo LOVES string cheese. He loves it so much that, when it’s 2:00 a.m. and I open a package of it in the living room, he will appear like a ghost out of nowhere (usually he’s sleeping with Em in the bedroom at this time) just to mooch a few strings off of me, which I gladly give up. I’m just amazed at his ability to either hear me open this highly specific package or smell the unveiling of cheese in the living room so intensely that he’ll rouse himself from slumberland for a few measly strings of cheese only to lie adorably next to me while I blog about such nonsense as him.A few moments after taking this picture I tried to take an even more adorable picture which led to a condescending look from the cat and then a round of bites on my wrist while I tried to tell the world how cure he is. Crazy, right? Must be some kind of LolCatz backlash as I’m positive my cat has fantastic grammatical SKILLZ.
So, I’m watching this movie called The Wackness (review coming soon) and some of the characters head to Fire Island. I’ve heard of this place a bunch, but mostly in a Fountains Of Wayne song, but didn’t know anything about it, which lead me to checking out the Wiki page (which you can read here). Anyway, I was delighted to see the following picture on the site with the caption “Tourists on the ocean-side beach of Fire Island Pines.” As long as I say that the photo was taken by, snicker, David Shankbone, I can post it here. Looks like a fun place!
I hope everyone had a good Christmas Eve and Christmas. I didn’t have the foresight or the energy to schedule a post for Christmas day and hope everyone had better things to do than check out my blog (though now there’s no excuse). I wanted to share some pictures of our trip into NYC for Christmas Eve with you guys. We–that would be the missus, her parents, my parents and myself–got up bright and early and headed down on the Connecticut/New York train into Grand Central. After a much-needed bathroom break we headed over to 30 Rock and went ice skating, which is something my mom wanted to do last year, but the line was way too long. We actually only waited in line about 20 minutes after the rink actually opened. The room where you rent the skates is way WAY too small and should probably have two doors for in and out, but the skating itself was a lot of fun. It’s been a while since I’ve been skating, but I felt pretty sure on my feet, even though they hurt like crazy thanks to the weird skates. Anyway, here’s some pictures of that big statue and the big tree from the ice I took with my phone.
From there we headed over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Saks and then got some lunch at a place called La Bonne Soupe. I took another pic of St. Patrick because it’s just an impressive-looking place. Lunch was pretty great, La Bonne Soupe is, as I’m sure you’ve deduced, is a French place. I had a mushroom and barley soup that was fantastic. The meals also came with soup, bread and I got a Spaten, so I was happy all around. After lunch we swung by a friend’s workplace and got a nice little tour. Thanks again for that! From there we walked straight down Broadway about 20 blocks south. We passed through Times Square and even the Charmin Bathroom, though we didn’t stop in cause we didn’t need to use it, though the line didn’t look too long from outside. We then made our way down to Madison Square Garden where we saw the Cirque du Soleil show Wintuk, which was pretty weird (more on that in an upcoming post).
After the show, I walked them to Grand Central the way I used to walk to work when I was working in the city. I can’t walk down 6th without the lyrics to “This Used To Be Our Playground” on a loop in my head, but it was nice. Then we walked by Bryant Park and I was shocked to see all kinds of temporary shops, an ice skating rink where I used to eat and a bar and restaurant. It was nuts. Then we came home and that was that.I don’t know if you can see it in this picture, but one of the temporary shops had these sculptures made out of metal parts. They had a c-3PO, R2-D2 and Yoda that looked awesome. Maybe I’ll get those for Christmas next year.
Christmas itself was great and much more relaxing. The presents flowed like wine and everyone got some pretty great stuff. I scored a bunch of geeky stuff I’m sure I’ll be posting about more specifically and also a mandolin, trumpet and drum machine. I don’t know how to play any of those things, but expect some rad music to be posted at some point. Breakfast and dinner were fantastic and then we played a few rounds of Apples To Apples which was a lot of fun. So, I was pretty exhausted after the last two days, but I think a good time was had by all. Hopefully it was the same for you!