I realize the premise of today’s comic is kind of gross. But to me, designing a robot to take the place of your dead son running around without a shirt and in short pants is a little more disturbing.

Also, once the phrase “shirtless charms” wormed its way into my head, there was no way I was NOT going to us it.

FUN FACT: “Shirtless charms” is a phrase one can also use for Matthew McConaughey.

I have been seeing trailers and promotional stills for Astro Boy for months, but it didn’t really start to catch my attention until this week. I think it looks like a servicable kids film and since I learned that the team behind the CGI T.M.N.T. movie from a few years back were the ones that had put Astro Boy together, that earned it a few points in my favor.

I dunno, though. Astro Boy is an animation classic. I always flinch when producers try to reintroduce these properties to modern audiences. I mean, if it’s done well, what’s the harm? A new generation is exposed to a great character. But if you mess it up, you risk alienating generations of fans who grew up with the character.

I will say this: From the stills and trailers I’ve seen, it appears that they’ve solved Astro Boy’s wardrobe problem in this film. I notice him running around in pants and a long-sleeve t-shirt. So maybe the producers of this film were a little creeped out by Astro Boy’s semi-nudity as well.

What about you guys? Any interest in seeing Astro Boy this weekend? Any hard core Astro Boy fans out there? Or, with Halloween creeping up on us, is everyone going to see Paranormal Activity instead?

I know that Saw VI comes out this weekend. But I’m more interested to see how it holds up against Paranormal Activity. Paranormal Activity has all the buzz around it right now. When it comes to Saw VI, all I read are people’s complaints about how Tobin Bell shows up as Jigsaw after DEFINITIVELY being killed in Saw III. I kind of hope Paranormal Activity puts an end to the Saw franchise’s stranglehold over Halloween – or at least puts a dent in it.

As for me, I’ve pretty much determined that I am too much of a weenie to see Paranormal Activity in theaters. I would go, but I can’t find anyone to watch it with me and there is NO WAY I’m going by myself.

I guess that’s why I wasn’t too upset with myself when I spoiled the entire film for myself after reading the plot synopsis on Wikipedia. On paper, the film doesn’t sound that scary. The things that the supernatural entity does to torment the protagonists seems kind of lightweight. So after I finished reading it, I was left asking myself “That’s it? This is what people are freaking out about?” Although, I’m sure if I was in the theater watching it, I would feel much differently. I’m no tough guy.

I guess I compare it to the horror films that I have seen that have shook me. Films like The Exorcist and The Shining. Films that were once books and are very lyircal, convincing and visceral about the true horror the heroes in them experience. If someone wrote a Paranormal Activity as a book first, I don’t think it would scare me.

I know a few of you have seen Paranormal Activity. Leave your thoughts about the film in the comments below.

Beyond that, I don’t have much more to share except Cami and I went to see our doctor yesterday and we have a birth date for Baby Brazelton. Cami will undergo a repeat c-section at 8:30 AM, Thursday, December 10. We’re thrilled to know that we have a delivery date. It’s been a hectic year and I’ve personally been distracted by a lot of things swirling around in my life. I’ve sometimes felt guilty for not anticipating the new baby’s arrival as much as I should. But with a date in mind, it really gives us something to look forward to.

I made Baby Brazelton’s birth date announcement on Twitter yesterday and joked that there would be no new comic on Friday, December 11. A lot of people came back with offers to submit guest strips and I was very encouraged by the show of support. I’ve decided that I’m going to open the flood gates and accept ALL guest strips in advance of Baby Brazelton’s arrival in December. In fact, I’m planning on taking the month of December off (I’ll still update the blog, though).

December is hectic enough with holidays and family gatherings. A new baby is going to splinter things even further. I’d rather put my focus where it is most needed – tending to the baby – and put the comic on the backburner for a while.

I think I’ve run less than 10 guest strips all year, so I feel like I deserve a little break. If you are interested in contributing to guest comic month, shoot me an e-mail at theaterhopper@hotmail.com and I will put you on the list. Since December is a long way away at the moment, I’m going to keep everyone’s contact information together so I can send reminders.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you here on Monday!

↓ Transcript
Why is it that Astro Boy never wears a shirt.

Well, Astro Boy is a lot more than a robotic Pinocchio.

Consider his offensive weaponry.

You have to assume he was created for a very deliberate reason.

His refusal to wear a shirt probably play in to that design decision.

Gentlemen, this new pedophile interceptor will eliminate threats with extreme prejudice!

Sexual deviants won't be able to resist his shirtless charms!

I guess that explains the short pants, too.