I have to apologize for two things.
First, apologies for the comic being posted later this evening on Monday.
Second, my apologies for the random violence in today’s strip. I’m of the firm belief that violence for the sake of violence is usually an indicator of poor writing. This might be the case with this strip. It certainly turned out a lot darker in tone than I originally envisioned.
Fortunately, there’s an excuse for both of these issues!
Last week, a link to Lackadaisy’s tutorial for drawing expressions made the rounds in webcomic circles. It. Is. Phenomenal. If you’re an illustrator of any capacity, you need to check it out. It’s very thorough and very informative.
Anyway, I spent the week digesting the information and really wanted to put what I learned into practice. So I grabbed a small hand mirror and started making goofy faces to use as reference in today’s comic. That’s why the strip is late.
As for the violence… I dunno. I was trying for extreme emotion and I guess I’m just an angry dude?
As for Natalie Portman, I do think it’s funny that she follows the most wildly heralded performance of her career in Black Swan with an Aston Kutcher romantic comedy. It kind of reminds me when Eddie Murphy followed his Oscar-nominated performance in Dreamgirls with Norbit.
I don’t think the bloom is off the rose for Portman, though. No Strings Attached opened in first place with tepid, but not toxic reviews. Even if the movie tanked, she’d be the last one to take the blame. They’d lay it at the feet of Ashton Kutcher or director Ivan Reitman before they ever thought about pointing fingers at Portman.
Besides, Portman’s long been championed as a lock for a Best Actress Oscar and we all know the Academy loves giving those awards to Americans. The field could be choked with Tilda Swinton, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett playing some kind of Elizabith I Super Beast. They’d still give the award to Sandra Bullock for playing a no-nonsense Mom with three kids.
I guess we’ll know what the field looks like tomorrow when nominations for the 83 Annual Academy Awards are announced tomorrow.
I plan on posting the nominees on the new Bonus Materials blog here on the site, for what it’s worth. I mean, it’s not like you can get that information anywhere else, right? But maybe you want to check in tomorrow and we can talk shop. Share with others your opinions of the nominations and who you think will win.
Should we put together some kind of Oscar betting pool?
Have you guys had a chance to check out the Bonus Materials blog yet? I only ask because I’ve been linking to some of the articles I’ve writing through the Theater Hopper Facebook account and one person asked me if I could add the articles to the site somewhere. They were having trouble finding them.
That’s why I slapped that “NEW BLOG!” graphic up there with the arrow pointing to the new navigation link. I don’t want you guys to miss out.
I’ve been trying to post at least one article daily, depending on what’s going on in the world of movies. Sometimes I post trailers or photos from upcoming films. Sometimes I talk about what’s going on right now.
For example, earlier today I posted an article about all the flack Kevin Smith has been catching from the blogger community after his new film Red State premiered at Sundance last night. It’s provoking some interesting responses.
My hope is that you guys check the blog often. But more importantly, I hope you contribute. I know more comics is always better. But until I can figure out a way to bump up production without killing myself, these blog posts are a way to create content and it isn’t much skin off my back.
So, anyway. Check it out and enjoy.
Oh, and if you didn’t notice, I added some social media links under the navigation to Theater Hopper’s Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds. If you want to check those out, that would be a real ego boost for me.
In the meantime, if you want to chat up Natalie Portman’s new sexy-time phase of her career, you can do that here, in the comments below.
HAVE AT IT, QUEEN AMIDALA FANBOYS!
I follow a lot of movie bloggers on Twitter. Several of them are at Sundance. Nearly all of them were taking the piss out of Smith after the screening of Red State.
It wasn’t necessarily the film alone that ruffled their feathers. But, rather, Smith’s “auctioning” of the film’s distribution rights that snapped up for $20 which was promptly announced as “SOLD!” by the movie’s producer, Jonathan Gordon. Smith intends to forgo traditional major studio distribution and will market the film himself on a multi-city tour.
Was it a publicity stunt? Sure. But I’m not sure I understand why movie bloggers are up in arms about this.
I remember the days when Smith was the hottest thing since sliced bread. Journalists were more than eager to prop him up when he was the guy who maxed out his credit cards to make a movie no one had heard about.
Not that I expect journalists to be in his corner at all times. Certainly the quality of his movies has declined a little bit and he’s taken a very vocal anti-media stance. No wonder he’s unpopular in blogging circles. After being burned one too many times, he doesn’t give media the same access as before.
But watching a series of tweets from movie bloggers roll in last night, you could see how the frustration with Smith has turned into outright animosity for (what I think are) largely arbitrary reasons.
Smith has taken the distribution of Red State into his own hands. He brought it to Sundance not to sell it to a studio, but to kick off his own marketing campaign. Folks, this is as indie as indie gets. Yet, there is no praise for this decision?
I’m reminded of music acts like Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails – musicians who have walked away from major record labels and who are producing albums for fans that they release online. These guys are celebrated as marketing mavericks. Meanwhile, Smith is still a pariah.
I can’t help but think this is somewhat deliberate on the part of the movie blogging community. They’re looking for a way to punish Smith for making the decision to communicate only with his fans. Either that, or they’re participating in that time-honored media tradition of championing the unknown artist, validating his work to the masses and then tearing him down in order to look ahead of the curve.
What’s your take on the Kevin Smith hate? Is it warranted? Did Smith bring this on himself? What about his decision to distribute Red State on his own? A bold move or career suicide? Leave your comments below.
In the meantime, if you’d like to watch Smiths’ Q&A from Red State at Sundance, I’ve included that below. I’m eager to read your feedback!