Tom was totally prepared to spring of the line. He did stretches and everything. Drank a Gatorade, too!
I’m not entirely sure what headbands and tank tops have to do with watching movies, but the fact that Cami and I have only seen one of the four nominated films this year if a distinct reflection of our slack attitude this year.
Much has been made about Hollywood’s lackluster output in 2005 and I think by this point you would know that my stance is one of total agreement. You would assume in a year so rife with mediocrity, it would prompt one to search harder for the good stuff – the creamy nougat, as it were. Instead, like kryptonite, 2005’s abysmal line up drained my will to live.
But yesterday the Oscar nominations were announce and I feel reenvigorated! As has become our tradition, Cami and I make it a point to see all 5 films nominated in the Best Picture category. If nothing else than to be totally pompous after the fact when one of them walks away with the little gold man – "Oh, I knew they would win all along. That olther film wuz robbed!"
I was a bit surprised to see Good Night and Good Luck up there, but it’s a welcome change of pace. I haven’t seen Munich – and I know some people swear by it. But my question is, how could Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix be nominated in their respective acting categories and Walk the Line not be represented with a nomination? It seems as though it would be more deserving than Munich. But then again, I haven’t seen Munich. So maybe I’m totally talking out my ass. A situation I intend to remedey in the coming weeks!
This was a while back, but I read an interesting thought over at Hollywood Elsewhere in advance of the awards season. Another reader had written to the column pointing out that the field of (then) potental nominees appeared to be thinning out to what we essentially ended up with. Pointing out that the Oscars were originally created to celebrate the films of the major studios, has Hollywood painted itself into a corner with bottom-line thinking? In other words, has their reliance on blockbusters and sequels totally written them out of the awards ceremony they helped to create. Has quality been turned over to the independent filmmaker? In what way are the Oscars now different than, say… The Independent Film Awards?
It was an interesting thought – and I was kind of paraphrasing it – but is this a representation of either a more definative rift between art and commerce. Or does it represent the overall integration of "independent" movies into the American mainstream? Is the word "independent" being revised to mean something else? Used to be "independent" meant you sold off all your comic books and maxed out your credit cards to get your film made. Now it means that the "independent arm" of Warner Bros. or Sony has picked up your film, but the content is too obtuse for general audiences looking for popcorn entertainment. Still, they’ll finance your film essentially for the accolades.
Food for thought.
Wanted to point out to you the little mailing list sign up form directly above this blog and directly below the comic. I encourage you to sign up for it. I’m going to be making some announcements soon and I like to keep the people on the mailing list informed early. It’s just a means for me to communicate more directly with you guys.
What’s some of the stuff I’m working on? Well, the Theater Hopper: Year One book, for starters. Plus, I might have some new t-shirt designs in the works. If so, you’d be tipped off to their sale early if you were a mailing list subscriber! Tease, tease, tease!
Another little something I want you to check out…
Remember last year when I designed a shirt for Threadless.com? Well, I have another design for sale over there that you should check out. Here’s a preview:
At any rate, I don’t get anything if the shirt sells except for the feeling of pride if it sells out an they later reprint it.
However, I *DO* get referral bonus points if I send you to the site and you buy something – anything! – in inventory. So, if you’re combing through the site and find another design you like, please follow this link before you make your purchse:
That way, the referral points come back to me.
Not much else to write about. Well, we’re having a little trouble in the THorum right now. We’re not sure what’s causing it. But I’ve gotten a few e-mails from people who are trying to create accounts and are getting errors. For now, the best advice I can give is to keep trying. If it doesn’t register you the first time, try again or even a third time. Eventually, it will go through. We’re working on resolving the problem soon. Thanks for your patience.
Here’s to everyone having a great Wednesday!
Who knows what it is about Jared that Tom has such a hard time lying to him. He just cracks under the pressure!
Incidentally, the counters for the Web Comics List reset this week, so if you’d like to lend your support by voting for Theater Hopper, that would be great. Right now we’re getting spanked by my good buddy "Mighty" Mitch Clem who recently launched a new comic called San Antonio Rock City. It’s hard to begrudge him. The comic is flat-out hilarious. Autobiographical and honest. Two great tastes that go great together.
Now let’s rip that number one spot out of his hands like the proverbial baby from which candy is stolen.
Originally I was going to do a comic about how lame the remake for When A Stranger Calls looked, but I’d be telling you guys something you already know. When I started to pick up vibrations that "media analysts" were predicting the forthcoming Oscar’s telecast to be one of the lowest rated ever… Well, it just tied in too perfectly with Wednesday strip, so I decided to follow the narrative thread.
Sidebar: Can I call myself a "media analyst" since I draw this comic and write this blog? I’d like to think I can. I’m going to start putting "media analyst" on all my business cards. It’s not like you have to be accredited for such things…
Back on track. It doesn’t surprise me that analysts are handicapping the broadcast. Really, I don’t think it matters. So what if there were no huge blockbusters this year that the Academy could get behind. Truthfully, I’d rather see a smaller picture like Brokeback Mountain go home with the Oscar for Best Picture than some bloated epic like Titanic. Anything that might jolt the Hollywood system from it’s slumber I think is good. Maybe they’ll realize that they’ve been beaten out of their own game by the independents and go back to making, y’know, FILMS THAT MATTER!
Quick question: Have you guys noticed a shift in tone in regards to Brokeback Mountain since it emerged as the Oscar frontrunner – the film with the most nominations?
This used to be The Little Movie That Could. Lots of big obstacles for a gay-themed romance to make it big in the flyover states. Lots of chatter about how "brave" Heath Ledger and Jake Googlely-hall were for risking their careers with these roles.
Now that it’s been established that almost everyone loves it. (Well, everyone except Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller) it seems as though people have turned their back on the notion that Ledger is the front-runner for the Best Actor award. People are starting to resent his mumbling performance as an "actory" tic. More and more people seem to be siding with Phillip Seymour Hoffman for his performance in Capote. To me, he’s looking less and less like a dark horse as time goes by. Maybe people aren’t willing to let Ledger slide after making films like The Four Feathers and The Order.
Admittedly, Ledger looked like he was just about finished career-wise. Brokeback reinvigorated him in the minds of audiences. That’s huge collateral right there. Maybe it’s best not to get too greedy and walk off with that statue. Especially in the light that Hoffman has quietly being doing his thing and rocking each and every performance he’s ever given. Often times, he’s the best thing about any movie he’s in. He was certainly the best thing in Along Came Polly – the only movie on his recent resume that I would consider a career misstep.
At any rate, there’s something to be said for workman-like effciency. He does a good job. He should be recognized for it. I say this without even having seen Capote yet. Damn, I need to amend that.
Anyway, just random thoughts floating around in my head.
Hey, Americans! Do you have plans for the Superbowl this weekend? We’re going to a friends house. I’m going with the Steelers even though I know nothing about either team. I guess I saw the playoffs and it seems to me the Steelers want it more. Beyond that, I’ll have my eye out for new commercials.
Last thing I’ll mention THE BIG SALE that’s been going on in the store since last week will wrap up on Monday, February 6th. That means this weekend is your last opportunity to take advantage of super-low prices on all garments. T-shirts are $9.99. Baby-doll tees are $14.99 and our lone, remaining hoodie is $24.99. Inventory is limited, but all quantities posted are up to date. Take advantage of this sale! I’m taking them down after next Monday, so this weekend is your last chance!
Thanks to everyone who has made purchase so far. People who placed orders last week should have seen their orders arrive this week. Accordingly, orders placed this week means you’ll be getting your goodies next week! I appreciate the support!
Be sure to sign up for our mailing list so you’re first in the loop when we announce our new merchandise in the near future!
Thanks again and have a great weekend!
I couldn’t really think of a concept for incentive artwork that matched today’s comic. Plus, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday and I kind of had to slap this comic together late in the evening. Can you tell?
At any rate, I thought I would share with you some artwork that is maybe… 80% complete. It’s a new t-shirt design that I’m putting together that features Truman. It’s a parody of the MGM Studios title card. You know the one with the lion inside a circle of film? Anyway, I hope to have that for sale along with another design very soon.
Speaking of shirts, everyone needs to know that today is the LAST DAY to take advantage of our sale going on in the store. All t-shirts are $9.99 and all baby-doll tees are $14.99. We sold our last hoodie, thank goodness. So those are off the market now.
The sale will conclude at 11:59 PM tonight, so this is your last chance to take advantage of prices you’ll likely not see again anytime soon!
In regards to the comic, I don’t knoy if any of you guys saw When A Stranger Calls this weekend. I guess it did pretty well at the box office – $22 million. I have no need to see it. I’m not a big fan of horror in the first place. But if you catch me and my mood is right, I’ll watch it. That said, I don’t know if the producers did themselves any favors by dumbing things down to get a PG-13 rating. I could be wrong. If you saw it, let us know about it in the THorum.
I don’t mean to be cruel regarding Camilla Belle’s eyebrows. Truthfully, she’s very attractive. There’s nothing wrong with them. I’m not trying to shoehorn her into some standardized conceptualization of beauty.
However, at the same time, it’s a distinctive look. It’s certainly the first thing I noticed about the trailers for the movie and the commercials that ran on TV. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Take a look!
I think that eybrow is thicker than my pinky finger!
Okay, okay. I’m being cruel again. Sorry, Camilla!
Let’s just rack it up as another example of Theater Hopper’s committment to eyebrow-related entertainment.
Leave it to me to take something from your childhood and make a poop joke out of it.
Curious George comes out on Friday and – although I probably won’t see it – I admire the previews I’ve seen from it. The film has a very unique, watercolor look that I think is going to go over big with the teething set.
It’s a movie for kids, that’s for sure. But I can’t help but sit back and wonder if the Will Ferrell playa-hatas will still find a way to rip into the erstwhile SNL funnyman. He voices The Man in the Yellow Hat for the big screen adaptation. Seems like since Bewitched, there has been more vocal activity from their sort. Don’t trust these people around children! They are humorless misers! They will drain them of their dreams and their tendancies to be sillyhearts! The will insist on your children taking their student career seriously!
And in the immortal words of Uncle Buck… "I don’t think I want to know a six-year-old who isn’t a dreamer, or a sillyheart. And I sure don’t want to know one who takes their student career seriously. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they’re ALL good kids, until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they’re no good. You so much as scowl at my niece, or any other kid…, and I hear about it, and I’m coming looking for you!"
Now here’s a quarter. Why don’t you go downtown… and have a RAT… gnaw that thing off your face!
Good day to you all.
Have you ever heard the expression "If not for bad publicity, we’d have no publicity at all?" I have to imagine that the producers of Curious George are thinking they could do without this kind of publicity…
Allan Shalleck ,a collaborator on the children’s book series Curious George has been found dead on the driveway of his mobile home in Florida. Police say Allen Shalleck’s body was covered in black garbage bags. Neighbors had passed by for a least a day, thinking it was just trash. He was 76 years-old.
The world is pretty screwed up, isn’t it?
For today’s Web Comics List incentive sketch, I drew a picture of the man himself – Burt Reynolds.
My rendition looks a little lop-sided and goofy. But I think that’s okay, because the real Burt Reynolds is lop-sided and goofy. I keed! I keed!
I know today’s comic kind of feels like a non sequitur and you may think that it’s coming out of nowhere. But there is actually a good reason for all this talk about Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck and moustaches. Today is actually the unoffical celebration of national Burt Reynolds Day. To mark the occassion, several participating web comics have done strips centered around Mr. Reynolds. As I figure the majority of Burt’s work is in the movies, it seemed to fall well within our thematic scope. And thus, a commemorative comic was made. I hope you enjoyed it!
The holiday was the brain child of Boxcar Comics partner DJ Coffman. If you want the whole scoop behind the christening of the holiday, I strongly encourage you to check out his comic Yirmumah. Answers lie within.
Not much else to report. Looks like Cami and I will be going to either The Pink Panther or Firewall. It’s a toss up. We know we’ll be dissapointed either way we turn. Do we risk Steve Martin trampling on Peter Seller’s legacy? Or do we bear witness to Harrison Ford’s physical decline as an action star – rolling our eyes as he beats up Paul Bettany.
Then again, I could probably take that pasty Brit to the cleaners, so maybe it’s not entirely implausible.
Have a great weekend, everybody!
Can I just say something really quick about Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles?
I was watching it last night – Actually listening to it would be more apt. I put on the commentary track with director Brad Bird and Producer so-and-so while I was drawing today’s comic.
Anyway, I was listening to the commentary, and the darn thing is about as funny as the actual movie. What a great commentary track. I live for stuff like this. Most commentary tracks are very flat and boring. They talk about how hot is was that day or how difficult scene "x," "y" or "z" was to shoot. The Pixar guys really go into detail telling you stuff about the production that you actually want to know.
I could watch The Incredible’s over and over. It speaks directly to my comic book sensibility and every time I watch it, I catch some kind of new detail. These was a film made with great love and care. The expressiveness of the animation totally sells. If I ever am at a lose for an expression to give the Theater Hopper characters, I will toss in The Incredibles and pick up a new one every time.
Watching their films makes me want to pack up my bags and move to Emeryville, California so I can camp out at their studios. I’d love to get a job there. But I just remembered I’m not an animator.
Ask you may recall, Tom and Cami had a monkey friend that was hanging around for a while. His name was Dewey and he didn’t get along with Truman so well. Turns out he didn’t die! Good work if you can get it… Don’t worry, though. He’s not coming back full-time. Just a nice "how do you do" from the Left Coast.
Every once and while I get the itch to do a comic without and dialouge. Actually, that and facial expressions have become very interesting to me lately. I don’t know why I feel the need to share that with you. I guess there’s never been much shame in admitting that I’m still learning new things all the time and I enjoy discussing the means by which I push story and art in different directions.
Not much to say about the comic beyond that.
I should probably let you guys know that I’ve finished the first draft of the Theater Hopper: Year One book. In case you don’t recall me mentioning it earlier, I’ve been coming into my office on the weekends collecting the comic from the first year of the site – all 156 of them – and writing commentary for each. On Saturday I finished all of the layout and commentary work. Now I’m onto the proofing stage. I’m going to print out the whole book and hand it over to Cami for spelling and grammar screw-ups – of which I am certain there will be many. Cami has a much better eye for these kinds of things. She’s worked in public relations for years, but she’s been good at that kind of thing since high school. Me? I just draw pretty pictures. I never double-check my work.
Anyway, while Cami is working on the content proof, I’ll be writing the introduction, dropping in the cross-over comics I did with Movie Punks, adding the guest strips from that era and writing a tutorial on how I put together the comic. I’m looking forward to that last one. We’re going to stage a bunch of photos and show you my work space. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.
I was going to write about seeing The Pink Panther and Capote this weekend, but I forgot what I was going to say. I’ll leave another post if it comes back to me.
I know that it’s not Valentine’s Day anymore, but you have to commemorate the season. I decided to commemorate it by drawing a better Valentine’s Day strip than I did 3 years ago. Man, how time flies.
Cami and I enjoyed the holiday together. We had a nice dinner, exchanged cards, and – although we agreed not to – I got her some gifts. Nothing complicated. A stuffed animal, a DVD and some CHOXIE! Sorry, I just like shouting the word CHOXIE!
Anyway, the DVD I got her was Just Like Heaven and I went through something Just Like Hell to get it for her. Does it make sense to anyone else that Target would be sold out of this particular DVD a few days after it’s been released? I mean, aren’t these guys sitting on crates of new releases, or did everyone have the same idea I did?
I wanted to get Cami Just Like Heaven because the film is set in San Francisco. One of our first vacations together as a married couple was to San Francisco. Of course the city is romantic as all get-out in its own right, but the time we spent there makes movies set in San Francisco extra special to us. We’ll sit and watch and then pull each other’s shirt sleeves – "We were there! We were there!" Does anyone else do this?
Of course, I should shamefully admit that I did something dunderheaded while making my purchase of this movie. In response to Target’s low inventory policy, I was sent scrambling to Best Buy to pick up the movie. In my haste, I grabbed the FULL SCREEN version instead of the wide screen version.
This… I never do.
I’ve lectured family members for hours on why wide screen is better than full screen and I come home with this? It’s like walking in the door with Mr. Pibb when you meant to grab Dr. Pepper.