For those of you who came back to the site this weekend, I have a special post-Halloween treat for you! If you vote for Theater Hopper on buzzComix, you’ll get to see a very special Halloween piece of art I whipped up just for you! Consider it a reward for supporting Theater Hopper.
It’s really important to me that Theater Hopper breaks into the Top 10 over at buzz before Monday. I believe strongly that if we can get to that level by then, we have a really good chance of STAYING there for the rest of the month. Be sure to remember that if you vote today, you can come back and vote again tomorrow… and the day after that… and EVERY day! Just one simple click does more to help this site than you may realize, so please vote!
I think you’ll be really pleased with the extra artwork that I put together. I tried coloring it a little differently than I do the regular strip, so you can see if that’s something you would enjoy down the road. Could it be an indication of an evolution in my artistic style? You’ll have to vote to find out! And if you like it, let me know what you think in the forums!
Thanks again to everyone for their help! I’m lucky to have one of the friendliest and most generous fan bases is web comics. Thanks again!
For those of you who didn’t make it to the site this weekend, I informed everyone that the buzzComix top web comics list has reset. If you’d like to lend a little support to Theater Hopper, please vote for us on buzzComix every day. As a little extra incentive, you’ll get to see a special Halloween image drawn by yours truly for you effort. Over the weekend, we climbed up to number 11 on the list – no small feat. But I know your support can push us over the top! Be sure to get your vote on now if you haven’t seen the Halloween message. It’ll be replaced by another piece of art on Wednesday – Matrix related.
Speaking about that… Boy, November kind of snuck up on us, didn’t it? Can you believe that The Matrix Revolutions will be in theaters this Wednesday?
I figured the marketing blitz would have been in full effect by now, but my television has been conspicuously silent. Nary an advertisement in sight.
I don’t want to be a killjoy, but the buzz around the final chapter in The Matrix trilogy isn’t particularly strong. People are saying it’s much more SATISFYING than Reloaded, but not as significant as the original. Basically, they’re turning up the volume and are gonna blow stuff up GOOD.
None of this will dissuade me from seeing the picture, of course. More than anything, I just need to know how it ends. I think the critics comments on this one are essentially useless.
I tried my hand at a different inking method for today’s strip. I don’t know what persuaded me to do it. I guess I just wanted to experiment a little. Try to establish more mood. Do you like it? Hate it? Let me know what you think in the forums. I don’t know if it’ll become a permanent addition to my style. Like I said, I’m just toying around. But I’m curious to hear what you think.
It’s always weird meeting people who’ve inspired you. It’s really difficult to tell them what their work has meant to you beyond saying it changed your outlook on things and you just wanted to say “Thanks.” At least, that was the position I found myself in.
I thought Scott was really gracious with his time. He signed my copy of PVP #1 and took care to flip through my book of samples. He read a lot of them and really looked them over. He told me to keep up the good work and that there was some really funny stuff I had done. I don’t think he was blowing smoke up my ass. He seemed very supportive – and that means a lot.
I wanted to ask him for a link to the site, but I thought that would be kind of pushy. I’ve been going back and forth on it thinking maybe I missed a good opportunity to market the site. But in the end, I’d rather have him link me because he likes what I do, not because I was looking for a handout. Would I be happy if it turns out he links me? Of course! Over the moon happy. But I’d rather earn it then beg for it.
Anyway, great experience all around. He was a really good guy. More later.
I just wanted everyone to take a little time out to investigate our latest sponsor Digital Entertainment News – an excellent resource for all things video game related. Reviews, interviews, news – these guys have it all. You won’t believe how much content these guys have crammed into their site. They’re constantly updating and it’s ALL. GREAT. STUFF. Please pay them a visit and let them know we think they’re awesome.
Speaking of awesome – YOU GUYS are awesome! Your votes have landed Theater Hopper in the Top 10 over at buzzComix and I couldn’t be happier! Keep up the great work! I really appreciate your support. Be on the lookout for new incentive artwork soon!
Well, gone are the days of hatching to bring depth and shading to my creations. When asked, most people applauded the experimentation in Monday’s strip, they didn’t feel it meshed well with my pop art style. I’m inclined to agree. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted. Enjoy Theater Hopper Classic!
I’m pretty happy with today’s strip. I told Cami it’s like there’s a joke in every frame! I’m also pretty pleased with how the art turned out especially considering how sick I felt while producing it.
I don’t know what was wrong with me, but my throat was sore, I could swallow and I was all achy. I was certain I was coming down with something. Today I feel fine, but yesterday I felt like walking Death. I don’t know what it is about exhaustion or sickness that results in a more satisfying artistic result. Maybe it’s my subconscious giving sleep deprivation the finger.
Everyone should take a moment to give me some vote-love over at buzzComix. I’ve uploaded a brand new piece of incentive artwork that relates specifically to today’s big release of The Matrix Revolutions. That’s the only hint you’ll get. If you want to know what it looks like, click the link!
I’m excited to see Revolutions, but I’m not jumping up and down in anticipation. I think after the quagmire of Reloaded, everyone is a little more on their guard. Frankly, that film split the fan base so severely, Revolutions is really going to have to pull a rabbit out of its hat to recover. Of the reviews I’ve been reading, most critics say that they’re laying off the eastern religious stuff and just blowing things up six ways past Sunday. CNN’s Paul Clinton gave it quite the drubbing. But he pretty much admitted to hating the franchise up front, so how seriously can you take him?
Truthfully, I’m more excited about seeing Elf this weekend. I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan and I think every movie he’s been in is the better for it. Yes, even The Ladies Man. Okay, maybe not A Night at the Roxbury. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in his first starring role versus being a cog in an ensemble.
I wanted to mention something else before wrapping up today and that is I’ve added some donation incentives to the Walk of Fame. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few people give to the site out of the goodness of their hearts. But I always felt a little shady asking for money without giving anything in return. I mean, sure, the site has been providing free entertainment for over a year now, but I do that because I want to. If I’m asking for donations, it’s really no skin off my back to offer a little more in exchange.
So here’s the deal: Anyone who donates $4.99 or less gets their name on the Walk of Fame and a link to their web site (if they have one) for as long as the site exists. If you donate $5.00 to $9.99, you’ll get your name and link AND a Theater Hopper wallpaper for your desktop. (I’ll be updating these from time to time, so be sure to check back.) Anyone who donates $10.00 or more gets all of that PLUS their portrait drawn in the Theater Hopper style. All you would need to do is submit a photo for reference and we’re in business! And lastly, for those of you who are members of the forum, I will reimburse you with 100 points to be used in the forum store for every dollar you donate.
So, yeah. Those are the new donating incentives. I’m really excited about them and I hope you are too. As always, thank you for supporting Theater Hopper. You guys keep me going in more ways than one and I appreciate all of it.
Today’s comic is about 90% true to real life. I did spend a fair amount of time trying to convince Cami to see The Matrix Revolutions, but she wasn’t impressed with the last one and the bad reviews were keeping her away from the new one.
I actually threatened not to see Love, Actually as punishment for her not wanted to see a movie *I* was really excited about. You see, that’s how our system works. She goes to movies I want to see be she doesn’t and in exchange, I got to movies she wants to go to but I don’t. We take turns torturing each other.
Of course, when I made the threat, Cami had to mentally pull up a list of movies BESIDES Revolutions she knew I was excited to see. When she tried to barter a matinee of Elf for one Love, Actually, I told her it wouldn’t wash. She’s been just as excited for this movie as I have.
I don’t know what it is about Will Ferrell that we find so appealing. For me I think it’s his level of commitment. Whether it a skit on Saturday Night Live or a bit part in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, he’s totally there for all of it. Every scene. Every line. And he’s not afraid to make himself look like the fool. It’s that kind of selflessness in comedy that I respect.
Every review I’ve read on Elf so far has been positive. It makes me wonder that if Revolutions had opened today instead of Wednesday if Elf wouldn’t nudge it out at the box office…
Interpret that how you like. I’m probably not going to give my opinion one way or the other on Revolutions. It seems like people on both sides of the fence have too much invested in it for me to go too far into detail regarding my reactions to it.
While the last two movies were not executed at the level of precision that I would have hoped for, I still think The Matrix universe is one of the most richly detailed in all cinema. It’s still a great concept and will most likely live within the lexicon of our culture for the next few generations. Regardless of where it goes from here, anyone with even a passing interest in science fiction owes it to themselves to be familiar with all 3 movies.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Before I wrap things up, I wanted to thank everyone who voted for Theater Hopper at buzzComix this week. You guys really showed ’em what’s what. We cracked the Top 10 and found a cozy little spot around number 8. This, of course, blows my mind. Thank you so much for your support and keep up the great work!
I’m using another snippet of real life and injecting it into today’s comic. Cami and I did try to see Elf this weekend, but our local google-plex was only showing it on one screen. (wha?!) So instead, we hunkered down and saw Love, Actually.
I wasn’t planning on liking this movie. In fact, when we stepped out of the theater, I was bashing it with some glee. But as the weekend progressed and I thought back on the film, it was in fact a very satisfying affair. That it was able to stay with me at all is quite the miracle.
It’s true there are a lot of characters to keep track of. A few of them intersect in interesting ways, but it feels more like an idea that they tacked on at the end of filming. They’d sneak a pair of actors you saw earlier in the movie into the background of another scene as if to say “Remember these guys?”
Love, Actually is actually very long. Too long. There were a couple of places where I thought “The movie HAS to end here,” but it just keep going. That’s part of the problem of having so many characters. There are lots of loose subplots to tie up
Another thing that surprised me is the amount of nudity in the film. I don’t think I’ve seen so many topless women in a Christmas film. Heck, even Laura Linney takes it off! In retrospect, that was a fairly cloying move to keep the male contingent placated. After all, this movie has “CHICK FLICK” stamped all over it in big, red letters. Better give the fellas some boobies to look at before they start burning down the theater.
There are several moments in the movie that border on saccharine overload, but somehow director/writer Richard Curtis pulls it back from the teetering edge by finding some disarming nugget of humor in the dialogue. There are a few scenes that are genuinely touching. Maybe even one that will go down as classic example of unrequited love. The performances are sharp and it portrays a very active, diverse and modern London. The film proclaims that Christmas is the time of year to make our romances known, that love conquers all and to wear your heart on your sleeve proudly – with your chest out, so to speak. 😉
Last night, I attended a screening of Born Into This, a documentary about writer Charles Bukowski. The fact that I was one of three hundred people crammed into the sold-out theater at 10:00 pm on a Sunday shows the scope of his grasp.
Reading Bukowski is like getting hit in the head with a beer bottle – sentence after sentence. Few writers say what they mean like he does. You won’t find flowery, prosaic sputtering or insignificant details, you’ll only read as many words as it takes to tell a story. The magic of Bukowski is that no matter how few words he used, his writing crackles with poetry.
The film is composed of interviews with Bukowski, family, and friends between 1972 and the early 1990’s. he most surprising thing is how gentle he seems. His calm, smooth voice and laid back manner are a direct contradiction to his wino-lifestyle, pockmarked face, and stories of barroom fights and barroom women.
Bukowski lived hard, but he also had a hard life. One of the most powerful scenes is where he visits the home of his childhood, a childhood he refers to as “A horror story with a capital H.” He stands in the bathroom, nervously drinking a Heinneken, and explains how that was where his father beat him with a leather strap five nights a week for six years.
Normally, you wouldn’t consider a movie where the protagonist dies at the end to be a feel-good film, but when Bukowksi died in 1994, he was happy. Born Into This serves as a fitting tribute to whom Bukowski’s publisher referred to as, “A Whitman of the street.”
So as the strip indicates, I finally got around to seeing Elf on Monday night. I really enjoyed it, too. A lot of the funniest bits were used up in the trailers and television commercials, but curiously, I didn’t care. Will Ferrell is such a joy to watch, it never even fazed me.
All those reviews that said Elf was going to be a new holiday classic sound a little ambitious, but they’re not far off the mark. When it comes out on DVD, I know I’m going to buy it. And after I own it, I know I could watch it over and over. Truthfully, I’ll probably go back a see it a second time when it still in theaters. The feeling it gives you is just that good.
Admittedly the conclusion starts to get a little sappy, but they wrap it up nicely with a recap of the characters a few years later. James Cann does the hurried, New York executive thing to a “T”, but I couldn’t help but think how a method actor such as himself probably didn’t have to stretch too far to get annoyed with Ferrell’s antics. Those two look like they would react as oil and water in real life just as easily as they do on film.
But of course, the reason to see Elf is for Ferrell. A lot of his lines would have fallen flat or sounded just plain dumb coming out of another actor’s mouth. But Ferrell brings a child-like innocence and glee to the role. You really start believing that he’s just a hyper-active, sugar-addled 8 year old trapped in the body of a middle aged goof. His enthusiasm is infectious. I particularly admired his character’s unique diet that allows him only to eat sugar products. I wish I was an elf…
Changing gears, I want to take a minute to call attention to our newest sponsor Phancy Pants. I’ve known co-creator Kiel kind of informally for a while. He’s a good guy and he’s got a great comic going for him. The site design is tight, too. Check it out!
I also gotta give props to those who have been donating to The Walk of Fame. Did you know if you donate five dollars or more you can get a cool Matrix-inspired Theater Hopper desktop wallpaper? It’s true. But you don’t have to donate that much if you don’t want to. ANY donation amount will still get your name enshrined on The Walk of Fame. Something to consider!
Friday will mark the 200th honest-to-goodness, drawn and written by me Theater Hopper strip. You might remember we crossed the milestone once before, but that was back when there were guest strips in the archive (you can find those now on the bonus materials page) but they were moved to represent a more honest count. I don’t have anything planned for the occasion, but I’ll probably have more to say about it on Friday. In the meantime, I just wanted to give a brief thanks to you guys for helping me get there. Thanks.
In case you’re not grabbing the reference in today’s comic, I’m spoofing Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
[There was more to this blog post because I believe this was my 200th comic, but data was lost when we moved the site into WordPress in Jan. 2009 – Tom]
Happy 200 strips Theater Hopper!
Happy Birthday Nick!
I am looking forward to a weekend of fun. My good friend and fellow blogger Nick is turning another year older on Saturday. I am helping him celebrate by honoring him with my presence. Birthday presence.
What? …presents? …yeah, right.
::runs to store::
Anyway, we are going to see Mike Doughty in MN and plan to generally have a kick ass time.
I can already taste the Grain Belt.