I was remiss for not posting this along with my original blog entry. One of my Facebook followers shared it with me two weeks ago.
Of course, since then, Tumblr got its mitts into it and ran it into the ground. But maybe you haven’t heard it yet! You should really give it a listen. It’s appropriately related to this week’s comic.
Some people were genuinely bummed out when the learned that Jared had moved on from his Shia-hate in Monday’s comic. That’s understandable. Hating ridiculous things can be fun sometimes.
I was fully prepared to leave it alone, though. Chalking it up to a slight push forward in Jared’s progression as a character.
And then, well… someone suggested Taylor Lautner as a replacement and I couldn’t resist.
Don’t get your hopes up too high. I’m not certain anything will actually come of it. But maybe the takeaway is that a tiger doesn’t change its stripes and perhaps Jared is permanently destined to arbitrarily hate a specific actor for the rest of his life?
That sounds kind of bleak. Let’s just say Taylor Lautner sucks and leave it at that.
Oh, and if you were at all confused by the title of today’s comic, please enjoy the following meme…
There he is! Welcome back, Cardboard Iron Man!
Incidentally, I sat down to watch Iron Man 2 while producing this comic and realized that I had plotted something that was in the trailer, but not the final movie.
In the trailer for the film, Tony and Pepper have an exchange where Tony says he’s going on a dangerous mission and might not make it back. Pepper kisses the Iron Man helmet and tosses it out of the back of a cargo plane. Tony dives after and and says “You complete me!” before dropping out of view, scooping up the helmet and rocketing onto the stage of the Stark Expo. Watch it.
That scene’s not in the movie. Instead, Stark, in the full suit simply jumps out of the back of the plane.
That’s fine. It was just kind of a forehead-slapping moment for me.
Anyway, sorry the comic is a little bit late. As things are winding down, I’m finding myself more and more enticed by doing larger and larger comics. Six panels here, eight panels there. It kind of adds up in unexpected ways.
I’m planning on living inside this arc for a little while. Tom’s attendance at The Avengers will likely live on the site for the next two months or so. Looks like that won’t be a problem considering the movie did over $207 million in box office over the weekend.
Much like everyone else, Cami and I went to see The Avengers last Friday night. I hadn’t been to a big, popular movie on opening night in a while and immediately wanted to kill all of the teenagers in attendance.
Okay, that’s a generalization. But I definitely wanted to kill the kids sitting behind me. They took up the whole role, shifted around in their seats constantly and Would. Not. Shut. Up.
Waiting for the movie to start, I can hear one of them sitting directly behind me whine “Why did we have to sit behind tall people?!”
Expecting there would probably be a problem later on, I turned around and said, “Hey, I can hear you.”
Sure enough, there was a problem later on.
Look, I don’t have a problem if your loud and rowdy waiting for the movie to start. It’s annoying, but you’re excited. I get it. I don’t even really have a problem if you’re talking through the trailers. Nine times out of ten I’ve already seen them online anyway. But once the opening credits start and you’re still squawking? Then I have a problem.
I think I’ve addressed this on the site before, but I have a three-phase approach to dealing with obnoxious movie goers.
STEP 1: Calmly look over my shoulder, try to catch the offender’s eye to let them know that there are other people present that they are disturbing.
If that doesn’t work, I move on to…
STEP 2: Turn around completely in my seat and stare at the offender until we lock eyes and they know that I am certifiably crazy.
And if that doesn’t get the point across, I jump right to…
STEP 3: Turn around in my seat and tell them at normal conversational volume “SHUT. UP.”
With these goons, I had to employ my three phase technique in the first 15 minutes of the movie. It worked. The girl that wouldn’t stop talking pretty much immediately shot straight up in her seat.
What’s always funny about this is that the people who are talking almost NEVER notice that I’m staring at them until it’s too late. It’s always their friends that notice me first. In this case, this girl’s friends were trying to interrupt her and make her aware that there was a man with blood-red eyes staring holes into the back of their head. But as it goes, these people are typically too self-involved to listen to anything but their own yapping maw.
Incidentally, Cami hates when I do this. She hates confrontation. She saw that I was getting annoyed with these teens before the movie even started and suggested we move elsewhere. I might have entertained the idea if the teens were there first and we sat in front of them. But it was exactly the opposite. We were there first and – as juvenile as it sounds – they invaded our space. I’m not one to retreat in those situations.
Civility in theaters blows and it’s getting worse. I’m not the first one to comment on this. But it sure as hell doesn’t get any better if you quietly slink away from these loudmouths. I pretty much view that as an endorsement of their behavior. Nuh-uh.
Incidentally, there was a family sitting next to us that brought what looked to be a 3 year-old with them. I don’t really have a problem with parents bringing young kids to PG-13 movies. It’s not what I would do, but I’m not in a position to say that’s not what other parents should do.
But what was interesting was that it was the Dad who was kind of out of control. Very loud commentary throughout. Wasn’t annoying, exactly. Just kind of… interesting.
I’ll give you a for instance. There’s a scene in the movie where Captain America (played by Chris Evans) chases after Thor, who has just abducted Loki. The Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) tells Captain America not to go after them – they’re basically gods. Cap responds with the line “Ma’am, there’s only ONE God and he doesn’t dress like that!”
It’s a funny line, ruined somewhat for me when the guy sitting next to me responded “THAT’S RIGHT!”
Nevermind you’re talking at the screen for a minute. Why are you treating it like someone in the movie suggested there WASN’T one God? It made me wonder if – the whole time – he was mad at the idea that Thor and Loki were in the movie. I immediately pegged him as a Glenn Beck fan, or something – looking for an excuse to be offended.
I dunno. People are funny.
You might have noticed that I have spent very little time actually reviewing The Avengers in this space. That’s intentional. I don’t really want to review it. All I can say is, if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to get on it quick.
I actually have to applaud the internet for not dumping a bunch of spoilers leading up to the film. Considering that Europe got The Avengers a full week ahead of the United States, you’d think web sites would be littered with information. But that wasn’t the case. People kept a lid on things – which I think reflects and endorsement toward the quality of the film.
People don’t really have a problem spoiling a movie that sucks. Who cares, right? But if the quality is there, people generally want you to have the same experience they had so you can form a little bond around it. That’s exactly what’s happening with The Avengers.
I can say that The Avengers was everything I wanted it to be. They did a hell of a job juggling the story lines of each of the main characters and it felt very balanced to me. While Robert Downey Jr. tends to get the best lines, The Avengers is not Iron Man 2.5 – it could have very easily been that. It would have made sense to put the other characters in orbit around him. But they didn’t play it that way and the movie is better for it.
Something else I’ll say about the movie is that I loved the fights. I won’t spoil anything except to say that the film does a great job of mixing different characters together in a myriad of different combinations. Some fights you expect to see, others you don’t. But all of them are satisfying.
Last thing I’ll say, there’s a scene in the film where the characters are kind being torn apart at the seams – a lot of interpersonal conflict. There are so many barbs and insults flying back and forth across the room. Everyone gets dealt on by one character or another. Watching made me think that I never want to get into an argument with Joss Whedon, ever. He’s kind of a master at a withering put-down.
So that’s it. Go see The Avengers and expect more adventures with Cardboard Iron Man in the coming weeks!
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See you soon!
Theater Hopper fans are awesome. Similarly, they do awesome things.
Case in point, this real-life Cardboard Iron Man costume submitted by reader David Welsh:
David said he built his costume for Halloween last year. It makes me think I should try building my own Cardboard Iron Man costume to embarrass my kids with this year…
I’m always amazed at the positive reaction Cardboard Iron Man generates, but I shy away from taken any credit for it. To me, making an Iron Man costume out of cardboard boxes seems as natural as laying a slice of bread with jelly on it atop a slice of bread with peanut butter on it.
But you guys like it and I like drawing it, so we’re gonna ride this one into the ground together!
To see more photos of David’s costume, check out the gallery I set up over at the Theater Hopper Facebook page.
Thanks again, David!
Not much going on in this comic other than Cardboard Iron Man leaping into action!
I’ll admit it, this is total fan-service. But I had a lot of fun drawing it!
It always surprises me, the reaction that Cardboard Iron Man receives. I’m starting to think there’s a little bit of wish-fulfillment to it. As adults, how much fun would it be to make your own costume out of cardboard and run around town for a while. Pretty fun! Y’know, if it weren’t for EXPECTATIONS and RESPONSIBILITIES.
Anyway, I wish I could take credit for the dramatic pose I drew Cardboard Iron Man in, but it actually comes from a variant cover of Iron Man #14 by Marc Silvestri.
I thought it was important to note that and include the original artwork because it is awesome.
More Cardboard Iron Man and Avengers action coming your way soon. Please share today’s comic with your friends to help spread the word! Use the little buttons below. It makes it easier!
I’m posting this week’s Theater Hopper extraordinarily late on a Tuesday evening. I actually finished the comic late Monday night, but didn’t have a blog ready. I presumed it would have gone live this morning, but I woke up with what could only be described as “crippling nausea.” I don’t know what it was, but it was enough to put me down for the count on Tuesday. I spent most of the day slipping in an out of consciousness.
I’m much better now, thank you – although still a little foggy. A 24-hour bug, I presume. I’m looking forward to getting up on Wednesday morning and kicking ass again.
I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, it’s debilitating to me. I think because I don’t get sick very often, I assume I can’t get sick. That’s kind of a ridiculous way to operate.
Certainly since having kids, I’ve been sick more frequently. Nothing serious. The odd cold here, a sniffle there. Pearl has been wrestling with an ear infection, which is where I’m sure I picked up my bug. Fun times!
Anyway, let’s talk about the comic! Sexy, no? The first time Cami appeared as the Black Widow in this comic from 2010, I proved very popular. So, like the hustler I am, I decided to up the ante a little bit. Yeah, maybe it’s a little salacious. But I’m putting a ribbon on this in August. What do I care, right?
Actually, considering how well the splash page of Cardboard Iron Man turned out last week, I thought it was only fair to give Cami as Black Widow something with a similar impact. I’m really happy with how the artwork turned out! It might be fun to make mini-posters of these, or something. We’ll see!
I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that I will be attending the Midwest Comic Book Association’s Springcon Comic Book Convention this weekend at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This will be my last convention appearance promoting Theater Hopper. It is strangely appropriate because Springcon was the first comic book convention I ever went to back in 2003. I split a table with Mitch Clem from Nothing Nice to Say, Zach Miller from Joe and Monkey and Carrington Vanston from the erstwhile Movie Punks. At that first show, I established friendships that still stand to this day. Who would have guessed (for at least three of us) that webcomics would still be a thing we do to kill time.
I have it on good authority that Zach Miller will be in attendance this year and that newly-minted Minnesotan Gordon McAlpin from Multiplex will be there as well. I’m thrilled that I get to see them again on my last lap around the convention circuit (even IF I just saw Gordon a few months ago in Seattle).
I was actually very much surprised to learn that Mitch Clem will be there as well! For those of you who follow him, you know he’s living in Texas these days. But as it worked out, he’ll be in Minneapolis this weekend and splitting a table with Zach!
I don’t much by in to kismet, but you have to admit there’s something kind of cool about that. I probably haven’t seen Mitch in 5 years. It’s oddly fitting that I get to see him one last time at the convention I kicked things off at.
Anyway, that’s what my weekend looks like. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by and say “Hi.” I’m selling books and drawing sketches. Mostly I’m just going to soak in what a crazy trip the last 10 years has been…
I will say this… if you’re thinking about buying any Theater Hopper merchandise before it’s all said and done, I’d get on it sooner than later. I’ve already sold out of Large, X-Large and 2X-Large sizes of the popular Spoiler I t-shirt. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of it goes as well!
Remember, buy ANY TWO shirts OR books and get the third one free. It’s a pretty sweet deal, folks. I’d hate for you to miss out on it.
Oh, one last thing, I added a bunch of photos of the sketches I did at Emerald City Comicon a few months ago to this gallery on the Theater Hopper Facebook page. Check them out. I’ll be adding more sketches from C2E2 soon!
That’s all for now! If you could use the little links below to help share the comic (y’know, on account of the lateness) I would appreciate it. Just tell your friends that boobs are involved. I’m sure they’ll want to check it out.
Do you guys remember that comic I owed you last week, but that totally didn’t happen? Well, here it is.
I don’t have a very good excuse for you. I think this is the second time since I announced the comic was ending in January that I’ve missed a week – which is especially stupid when you consider that I only have 10 more weeks to wrap this up.
But, as I did previously, I made up for the missing comic with a few weeks of double comics. I think the same will have to be true here. 10 comics won’t be enough to get me where I want to go before the end of the strip.
I suppose a little planning could have prevented that. But, truthfully, I kind of wanted to run over a little bit. I wanted an excuse to make more comics.
I still plan on ending on August 6. What I’m saying is that you’ll probably get more than 10 comics between now and then.
As you might remember, two weeks ago I went to the Minneapolis SpringCon which was – ostensibly – the last convention appearance I plan on making.
It was a really good show. I managed to turn a profit, which is not always easy for me at a mid-sized show. So I close out my convention career with two in the win column – C2E2 and SpringCon.
I can’t remember the last time I saw Mitch. It’s probably been at least 4 or 5 years. Maybe the same amount of time for Zach. But as we got to hang around each other for a little bit, we immediately feel into a groove, laughing and having a blast. I got a chance to hang out with them, Gordon and his lovely girlfriend Karyn on Saturday night and it was wonderful.
I’m usually not very good about taking pictures while I’m away at shows. I take more pictures of things than I do of people. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I get really self-conscious taking pictures of others. Like I’m spying on them, or something, and I don’t want them to know about it. I really hate asking others to take pictures of me with someone else. The pictures rarely turn out the way I want them to anyway.
That said, thank Steve Jobs for the reversible camera on the iPhone. It gave me the ability to take this picture – and the more I think about it, the more it’s probably one of my favorites from my “career” in webcomics.
When push comes to shove, these are some of the best friends I’ve been fortunate enough to make in webcomics. I would have never met them without Theater Hopper. It’s hard for me to look at a photo like that and not get a little melancholy.
I’m certain that I’ll keep in touch with all of them. Just because I’m ending the comic doesn’t mean the friendships have to end. But going to SpringCon a couple of weeks ago and understanding what that means for me personally kind of compartmentalizes the relationships a little bit. I’m leaving a part of myself behind – and that’s always kind of sad.
At any rate, that kind of brings us all up to speed. If you could help share this week’s comic to let your friends know that we’ve updated, I’d appreciate it.
Cami and I are having a huge garage on Thursday (which is also part of the reason this comic has been so late – we’ve been busy preparing.) So I don’t know if I’ll be able to get to another comic this week. But with any luck, I’ll be able to knock out a few more in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for those.
Thanks for your patience! We’re entering the home stretch!
Due to an e-mail snafu that kept me from being notified about an interview I did at Emerald City Comic Con, I’m sharing this with you kind of late. But I wanted to let you know about the video interview I did with 20 Sides of Nerd. I think it turned out well. You can watch it here.
Incidentally, if you want to check out ANY of the press I’ve done in the last 10 years, I have a hand archive of that on the site under the “ABOUT” tab.
Click this link for easy access.