I realize that the comics are a little out of order. I should have posted this one about Stranger Than Fiction on Wednesday. It would have been the better follow up to my first Stranger Than Fiction strip over a week ago before I had guest strips fill in the blanks while I was away at Wizard World Texas. Concordantly, it would have been a better strip to lead in with in order for me to do my Wizard World Texas recap. After all, Stranger Than Fiction was the movie I went to see with Mitch Clem and Zach Miller last Saturday. As per convention tradition, we see a movie together while we’re all in one place and then I do a comic about it.
It also does not escape me that Casino Royale comes out today and Wednesday’s comic would have been a better fit to kick off the weekend.
Well, I can tell you that I was pretty wiped out after last weekend and the strip I had up on the site Wednesday was actually compelted a week prior so I could meet my deadline for the local youth publication Juice (remember when I was talking about that a few weeks ago?) Incidentally, you can check out my blogs on the Juice web site here. Bookmark ’em. Goodness knows I could use the traffic!
Today’s comic marks the second occassion that I have photographed myself and placed my ugly mug in the comic. The first occassion was back in the summer of 2004. I figure after 630 comics, appearing two times isn’t really all that bad. Besides, the quasi-meta fourth wall breaking fits in very well with the central plot device of Stranger Than Fiction. That an author is writing the imminent demise of the character in her book, but is stopped cold in her tracks when the physical, real-world manifestation of her character contacts her asking her to stop. Her telepathic narration having driven him into action.
Similarly, as with today’s comic, what happens when a semi-autobiographical character calls you from out of the ether? You think I would have recognized his voice over the phone, but you know how that is. If you’ve ever listened to a recording of yourself, isn’t your first reaction always "Is that what I sound like?"
In regards to Stranger Than Fiction, I think it’s probably been one of my favorite movies of the fall. Will Ferrell gives a brilliant, restrained performance that feels much more natural in it’s earnestness versus… say Jim Carrey’s first foray into "serious actor" territory with The Truman Show.
I already mentioned this in my LiveJournal account (bookmark that one too, while you’re at it) that Stranger Than Fiction totally inspired me to try to learn the guitar again.
I have a bass guitar and am self-taught. I can play a few songs by ear and I have fun when I pick it up every now and again. The problem with playing the bass is that no one is impressed by someone who can play the bass. So I’ve been dancing around the idea of learning a more melodious instrument for years now.
I actually have an acoustic guitar. It’s one on loan from my Mother In Law. At one point I bought software to teach me how to play, but I lost interest. It took a Will Ferrell movie to stoke the embers again.
Ferrell’s character undergoes a transformation when he learns that his narrator is plotting his demise. So he sets out to do all the things he always wanted to do. One of them was learning to play the guitar. He goes to a store to find the exact perfect guitar that will make the statement he wants it to make. He practices and eventually woos the object of his affection with a spontaneous performance of Wreckless Eric’s Whole Wide World.
A few days ago I broke out my Mother In Law’s acoustic, went online and found an application to help me tune it up, found another site that showed me chord configurations and then went to yet another site and found the tabulature for Whole Wide World." It’s essentially the A and E chords back and forth. Nothing complicated. But within five minutes I was playing the song, singing along and feeling a great sense of accomplishment.
It’s funny where you find your inspiration. I say take the ball and run with it. Similarly, that’s the message behind Stranger Than Fiction. It’s a simple lesson. One you probably already know. But the movie does an exemplary job of teaching you that lesson in a fresh and interesting way. If you’ve been dragging your feet at all on this one, I strongly suggest you check it out. It’s quirky, it’s light and it’s entertaining. It has a killer soundtrack to boot.
Tonight I think Cami and I will be seeing Casino Royale. I’ve been surprised by the number of positive reviews for it so far. I have high hopes. I think that they’ve stripped the James Bond character down to the essentials has been a long time coming and I’m actually very intrigued to see what Daniel Craig does with the role. A lot of people complained when he was picked to be the new Bond. Personally, I think anything that shakes up the franchise after 20 installments is a good thing. Have you guys heard the statistic that something like 23% of the world has seen a James Bond movie at some point in their life? Scary.
Another movie we have our antennae up for is The Queen. Cami has been itching to see this for a while. It hasn’t been a priority for me, but I’m still excited to see it. Anything Helen Mirren is in is bound to be good. I think we’re seeing that one with friends on Saturday. I’ll have to tell you what I think of it later.
Until then, I hope everyone has a great weekend. Rest up, kids. Next weekend there’s a ton of new releases to kick off the holiday season. Busy days ahead!
Take care. Oh! And before I forget, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who sent wonderful words of support regarding the break in that happened to me in Wizard World Texas. I feel good knowing you guys are looking out for me.
Incidentally, I plan on bankrolling the stolen inventory with a sequel to my most popular t-shirt design – "Spoiler." I already have a list of new movies I’m ready to ruin. Expect an announcement about when a pre sale will become available in the comic weeks!