Ghost Rider comes out today and I'm excited for it. I would go so far to say that I'm looking forward to it.

I know that this is the unpopular opinion. People have been ragging on this movie for months now and who can blame them? Everything about it seems to have been bungled in some way. It was originally slated to be a big summer tent pole release in 2006. Then it was pushed back to the studio dumping ground during the latter part of February.

Bad sign.

There were rumors that star (and unrepentant comic book nerd) Nicholas Cage was doing bizarre improvisations on set, even adding sections to the script he wrote himself. People complained he was too old or too much of a fanatic for the material. Don't get me started about that IMDB item that reported that it took 3 hours every day to apply Cage's hair piece.

There was a botched marketing campaign that inexplicably centered around an overweight goth girl being interviewed about the Ghost Rider and a movie poster that showed a burning motorcycle tire tread and nothing else. What's this movie about again?

And, of course, there is fanboy punching bag director Mark Steven Johnson at the helm. The man who ruined Daredevil. The critics were licking their chops.

I recognize all of these incredible missteps, but here's the thing: I don't care. I am genuinely excited for this movie.

You know me. I'm a comic book nerd. So right there, this movie gets a pass. But added to that, Ghost Rider was one of my favorite comic book characters when I was coming up in the world. I didn't read Ghost Rider in the '70's when Marvel was trying to capitalize on Evel Kinevel's cool factor. I read it in the '90's when it was all angst and supernatural doing's. Trust me - when you're 12 or 13 and still carving out a niche for a personality, an authentic biker from hell leaves an impression. Skull on fire, bad-ass motorcycle, spiked leather jacket and gauntlets, sentient chains swirling around - Ghost Rider looked like a prison tattoo come to life. Visually, I always he looked as cool as Spider-Man, The Punisher or Iron Man. I was infatuated.

Fast forward about 15 years or so and I still don't have a motorcycle, or any tattoos or even a length of chain lying around my garage. But I still think Ghost Rider is awesome and I can't wait to see this movie.

The only thing that matters to me is that they got the look of the character right. And, from the stills I've been seeing, it appears pretty spot on. The look of his new "hellcycle" leaves a little bit to be desired. It looks like a left-over from Spawn's garage sale. But so long as they keep G.R. on screen, they'll be fine. I know Nic Cage is the star, but I don't care. This is a film where I don't mind looking at CG effects for the majority of the running time. If Nicholas Cage is on screen more than 40% of the time, THEN we can call the movie a failure!

I want to give a quick shout out this week to David Buist for his guest strip on Monday and Jerry Holkins for his guest essay on Wednesday. From the sound of it, you guys got a kick out of both of their efforts this week. It means a lot to me that they would both take the time to contribute, so thanks guys!

By the way, how is this working out for everyone so far? Two guest strips and then a new comic from me on Friday? I think it's been a good compromise. Let me know you're thoughts in the comments! BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! You guys remember those 5 samples of a new t-shirt design I was working on from earlier in the week, right? Well, I made a decision and there is a new shirt available in the store:

Junkie

The shirt is currently available for pre-order through February 28 and all current bundling discounts apply. So if you want to pick up this shirt with one of our other shirts or maybe one of our books, you can!

To place your pre-order for "Junkie" click here!

Oh, and for those of you who are on "Baby Watch '07," no news for you yet. Cami is extremely uncomfortable, but that's about all. We have our fingers crossed for a baby this weekend! I'll be sure to let you know if it happens!

Have a great weekend, everyone. SEE GHOST RIDER! Piss off one of your movie snob friends!

↓ Transcript
What's wrong, Tom?

I want to dress up to see Ghost Ride tonight, but my costume doesn't look right without a flaming skull!

I have a can of gasoline and some matches if you need help?

Thanks, but I have a photo shoot for JC Penny's on Saturday. I'm modeling sweaters.

I'll have to get more creative for this one!

EUREKA!

I can't believe you talked me into this...

KEEP DIGGING!