Let me begin by saying that Yes, I did see Sin City this weekend and its imagery has been swimming around in my head ever since. I’ve been replaying different scenes from the movie over and over in my mind. I’ve been comparing them against the comics for accuracy.
My conclusion is this: Sin City is the most faithful, most accurate, most astonishing comic book movie ever committed to celluloid.
If you’re a fan of comic book movies. See it. If you’re a fan of films that wield technical advancement with marksman precision – See it.
The only caveat I would insert is that (although black and white) the movie is VERY GORY. Lots of bullet-riddled bodies. People being decapitated. People losing hands and other extremities. People being blown up. Sin City ∗earns∗ its “R” rating. If it were in color, it would be NC-17.
That said, I hope you’re enjoying my continued re-interpretation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel classics. Today’s comic is parodying the last page of That Yellow Bastard, part 5 of 6. In my opinion it’s the best of the Sin City books. It also happens to bookend the movie, which I think is no coincidence. The more I think about it, the more I love it.
Some of you might be curious how things turned out at the Kansas City Planet Comicon comic book convention. First of all, I have to give props to the show organizers who were very attentive and made sure we were having a good time. I haven’t been to a lot of these things, but when we needed chairs for the booth, they were on it. And during the show, they came around to ask us if everything was okay and if we were having fun. A small gesture, but it meant a lot. Especially considering we were sitting on Artist’s Alley. We’re the guys who pay the least to exhibit our wares, so it’s not like we’re getting rock star treatment.
Sorry, Mitch old bean. But when you take a goofy picture, odds are it’s gonna end up on the internet.
But in all seriousness, we had a blast. Time flew by while we were down there and we had a bunch of great conversations about our comics, our motivations and our future in “The Game” as it were.
That dramaticizes things a bit, but what I’m trying to communicate is that it was time well spent and it really re-energized me.
Between work and life, there is very little room for the comic. The time I spend on it can sometimes wear you down. I’m not trying to lay a big “woe is me” story on you. Just stating the facts. Every once in a while, you run the risk of suffering burnout. This weekend strengthened my defenses against it.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth and said they liked what we do. And for those of you kind enough and curious enough to give us a chance after meeting us for the first time this weekend, thanks for looking us up in the digital realm. Hopefully we can keep you as readers.
Now only if I can figure out a way to bail Jared out of the Imperial drunk tank. He’s a handful, that one!
Apologies for the delayed blog post. But things have settled down and everyone is okay.
If you missed the earlier message, the blog was delayed because I was sitting in a walk-in clinic with Cami who was suffering from a 103° fever that she’s been battling on and off for the last three days.
Why didn’t I prepare the blog last night? Good question. Basically, it was the culmination of a handful of frustrations over the last few days.
As I mentioned, Cami has been sick since Monday. Fever, chills, exhaustion — the whole ball of wax. She went to the doctor on Monday, but they couldn’t diagnose her. It wasn’t strep, it wasn’t mono. It was something that was just passing through her system.
Cami being sick puts me on Henry Duty full time. I don’t mind it, but managing a 2 year-old is much easier when you have someone you can tag-team with. Monday night wasn’t bad, actually. I made him dinner, we played with toys, I gave him a bath and read him bedtime stories. Once he was settled down, I recorded our weekly broadcast of The Triple Feature. All routine.
Tuesday was… worse. The novelty of hanging out with Daddy wore off. Henry wanted his Mommy and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t be around him. Reminder: The is no reasoning with a 2 year-old. They want what they want and if they can’t have it, they wail.
That really makes you feel like a hero — When your chasing your child around the house trying to keep his shoes on his feet while he’s crying for his Mommy. At that point, you basically have to become a hard ass and say “Well, you’re already crying for no good reason, so we might as well continue doing things you hate and you can deal with it once I’ve buckled you into the car seat.”
I had a doctor’s appointment myself on Tuesday to have someone take a look at a head-to-toe rash I’ve been suffering from. Which, as it turns out, was an alergic reaction to an antibiotic I was taking to clear up a different skin condition!
That’s probably too much sharing. I’m sure your not interested in my rash. I’m just building a case for why Tuesday sucked.
So, I come back from the doctor’s appointment I took during my lunch break putting me behind on today’s comic which I had hoped to draw and ink over that hour. I put in my remaining four hours for the day and head out to the parking lot.
I try to start my car — nothing. The battery has died. Meanwhile, Cami is still at home sick and can’t drive to pick Henry up from day care. I call my inlaws who were planning on coming over to our house yesterday evening anyway to help Cami with Henry while I was at my night class and they swing by to pick him up on their way over (thank goodness they have a car seat in their car already!)
Meanwhile, I sit in the freezing cold waiting for a tow truck service that I’ve called to find me in the parking lot for a half hour. He gives the car a jump and charges me $50 for the trouble. Talk about highway robbery! But what can you do?
At this point I only have a half hour to make it to my night class before it starts. So my dinner comes from a vending machine. The class itself was fine and luckily my car started up again afterwords. By the time I got home, took a hot shower and had a proper dinner, it was 10:30 and I hadn’t started on the comic yet.
Some penciling, inking, scanning, coloring, shading, and lettering later and it was 3:00 in the morning. Blogging was out of the picture.
I went to bed anticipating about 3 hours of sleep before having to get up and go back to work. Of course Truman decides he wants to go out at 4:00 in the morning, so that kind of shot that idea down.
Went back to bed, got up again at 6:00 and Cami said she needed to go to the doctor again after waking up in a cold sweat. We put Henry in the car and took him to daycare before Cami and I turned around and went to the walk-in clinic.
Again, the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her. They did a battery of tests, even took a blood sample. Basically the only thing they learned is that her white blood cell count was a little low and that typicall means your body is fighting a virus of some kind. There are no antibiotics to fight it. You’re body just has to work it out.
And that brings us to the present!
I’m glad Cami doesn’t have anything serious like mono or… goodness knows what. And I’m sure things will get back to normal soon. But the last 24 hours have been a challenge and that’s pretty much all that’s on my mind at the moment. Truthfully, I’m still kind of cheesed about the $50 charge for a battery jump! But today is a new day.
Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to pass out.
I gotta lot of stuff I wanna get through in this post, so get comfy.
First off, the strip. Basically it’s an answer to Wednesday strip over at Zach Miller’s No Pants Tuesday. Zach was cool enough to stick me into his “Auditions” storyline in a little cameo. You can view it here. I’m the guy in the orange shirt. Anyway, I was so flabbergasted (and I think that’s the right word), it was only fair to return the favor.
Wait. Lemme take the back. Fair? The Gods DEMANDED it! So there you go.
Thanks to Zach for the plug and thanks for letting me portray his character as a bitch-slapping loud mouth. If you’re not visiting his comic at least once every day, then you offend me personally. I wish I could draw his strip every day. For some reason, I found drawing his character easier than drawing my own! Some stiffs have all the luck…
Thursday was such a good day for me personally, I can’t help but gloat a little bit.
I got home after a particularly long day at work to find a certain package from Sony waiting for me. To my delight, it was my own personal Network Adapter for the Playstation 2. Cost to me? Jack squat!
How did I land such a sweet deal? I was one of the lucky bastards this summer to beta test the adapter. My reward was a free unit hot off the assembly line. Joy! Needless to say, I’m waving it all inches from your face taunting “Nah na-na boo boo!”
Now if I could only get an internet connection fast enough to let me use it…
Second order of business. I nuzzled into my La-Z-Boy this evening to watch the MTV Video Music Awards. I had popped a bag of corn and settled in expecting to be disappointed like I am every year. But I watch anyway because I’m an optimist at heart.
The proceedings were got off on the right foot when James Brown came out to wrap the opening number, but things were on their way to Hell in a hand basket right-quick with that extremely forced and odd birthday ode to Michael Jackson shortly after. Things weren’t a total wash, though. The back-to-back performances of The Hives and The Vines restored my faith. Plus seeing The White Stripes walk away with a few awards was justified. Have you even SEEN “Fell In Love With A Girl”? I mean, C’MON! Moooooving… Legooooo’s…
But to top it all off, GUNS AND ROSES CLOSED OUT THE SHOW!!! Did anyone else see this? I practically shat my colon when they came on stage. Axl is looking a little beefy and the voice was a bit creaky, but WOW! It was so good to see them in the flesh and blood again, words can’t describe. Of course, only Axl and Izzy are left from the original lineup, but like Jimmy Fallon said after their set, “Buckethead did his job”.
In my opinion, their performance will be what people look back on and say “This was it. THIS is what ended Britney Spears, N’Sync and all their crappy imitators. G ‘n’ R came back and showed them how it was done. Rock has returned.”
I am giddy. Giddy, giddy, giddy.
More later, but for now, visit No Pants Tuesday and also Nothing Nice to Say. Mitch was cool enough to add me to his links so I want to be sure everyone is visiting his site. Go now! (but come back later!)
Many apologies for posting the strip late today. So late in fact, many of you are probably laying eyes on it for the first time Tuesday.
I was under the assumption that Monday being Labor Day and all, not many people would be visiting the site. How wrong I was when I checked my counter logs and recoiled when over 90 people had stopped by. That’s like throwing a kegger and forgetting the keg. Oopsie! Forty lashes with a wet noodle for me.
I probably would have been quicker with today’s strip if there wasn’t such a complete void where my multiplex used to be. FearDotCom was the only new release this weekend and I wasn’t exactly hyped to see it. I could have taken the extended weekend to catch up on flicks I missed, but looking back on the last 4 weeks, there hasn’t been much worth catching up on.
You’d think the delay would result in an especially witty toon today, but I’m sorry it didn’t work that way. I know writing about the lack of good movies seems like a cop out, but I’m not the only one taking this route.
At least this time out, you get a new character! Yes, meet Jimmy – the hapless movie theater employee. He’s very much the “Leave it to Beaver” type. I figured I was overdue introducing a new element to the strip and figuring that for the amount of time these characters are supposed to be spending in theaters, a new foil was appropriate.
It will become more evident as Jimmy makes more appearances, but the concept behind his character is that he’s a theater worker who actually enjoys his job – quite a departure from most of the popcorn jockeys I’ve encountered. Stick around to read more of his exploits.
I’ll have more later, but I’m off to enjoy the dwindling hours of the holiday and conversely, the summer.
Wednesday’s strip will be on time. I promise.
For the record, the characters in today’s strip didn’t shrink, but are resting in a giant soda. Just spelling it out for the extremely literal among you.
It’s weird what emerges when you’re staring into the infinite abyss of a blank piece of paper. Today’s toon is the result of just such a journey.
I’m enjoying this current “summer fun” arc – if you can call it that. Of course, I’m not enjoying it quite as much as the idea that I would ever wear a hot pink tank top and neon green shorts.
If I can sneak our newest character Jimmy into every strip this week, I think I’m going to do it. If for the sake of continuity.
I’m adding some new interactive elements to the site. Everyone should check out our new free for all links section. There are a few tweaks left to be made, but I think it’s a great opportunity to allow the readers of the site to indirectly express themselves.
The concept is simple. Visit the free for all links, add a link to a site within one of the categories, then tent you fingers and fiendishly grin as you unleash the most awesome web site onto an unsuspecting public. I’m implementing the feature in hopes of being clued in on some of the best corners of the net I’ve yet to unearth.
I’ll be monitoring this area closely and have set up some roadblocks to prevent you from log-jamming the area with crap links or pop-ups. Don’t even think about adding links to dirty picture sites. I’ve got all your mothers phone numbers and I’m not afraid to tattle on you. How did I get all of you mothers phone numbers? That’s for me to know and for you to find out.
Anyway, check it out. It should be fun. It’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of diversified content I have planned for the site. Stay tuned.
Today’s strip features the introduction of a new character. Everyone, say hello to Nick! Now play nice.
Let’s not confuse Nick with our other theater employee Jimmy. Nick happens to be based on a real person. He’s a college buddy of mine – one of my best friends. So don’t start lumping him in with the fictitious characters because he wears a bow tie and vest.
Besides, I plan on featuring Nick in strips outside of a theater setting.
Nick lives in Minneapolis just like some people I know and he actually works in a theater. He’s a projectionist at the movie theater at the Mall of America. I draw Nick with a bored expression because he’s about 20 times too smart for this job. He’s a recent college grad just getting his start, so if anyone has use for an awesome writer in the Minneapolis area, let me know and I’ll pass along the message to him.
The more astute readers out there might have picked up on the hint of Comic Book Guy I injected into the character in panel three. This is wholely intention as I feared I hadn’t made a Simpsons reference on the site in a while. Plus, it seemed to make narrative sense.
I was going to make mention of the season premier of the Las Vegas Real World that debuted last night, but it’s a waste of effort and I’d rather leave room for Jared’s blog.
In the meantime, everyone should be listening to Tomahawk if they aren’t already. Mike Patton is illest!
My apologies to the hard-core Theater Hopper fans (all five of you) for getting a late start with today’s toon. My satellite internet connection bombed after some freak thunderstorm we had last night. This concerns me because supposedly, one of the advantages of satellite internet is that it’s not supposed to be interrupted by atmospheric conditions. I can only assume their main office exploded in a fantastic display of fire and debris.
It just figures. Yesterday I talk all this garbage about keeping a promise by giving you a new comic every day this week and Mother Nature throws a monkey wrench into it. Regardless, I hope you enjoy today’s installment of our Theater Hopper Fan Appreciation Week promotion.
Anyone with a television knows that I’ve carjacked a few jokes from other sources this week. Yesterday it was the exchange between Horatio Sans has with Jimmy Fallon in the “Jeffery’s” sketch from Saturday Night Live. Hilarious the first time I saw it. Subsequent rehashings of the sketch were only watchable for Will Ferrel’s outlandish exits (the Parada jet-pack was a fave)
Today I lifted a scene straight out of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. You’ll remember the scene where Ferris (re: Abe Froman – “The sausage king of Chicago”) reaches an impasse with a tightly wound Maitre D’.
When I gave a quick run down of the plot to my wife Cami, she replied “So you’re launching this week-long strip using recycled jokes?” or something to that effect.
My argument is this: So what.
Seriously, how can you NOT lift a line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? That movie is chock-full of great ones! Example:
“I asked for a car, I got a computer. How’s that for being born under a bad sign?”
“I don’t trust this kid any farther than I can throw him.”
“With your bad knee Ed, you shouldn’t throw anybody.”
“I’m dying, Ferris.”
“You’re not dying, you just can’t think of anything good to do.”
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
Words to live by.
Rest assured, however, that subsequent jokes will be all originals for the remainder of the week. I’m looking forward to starting Thursday and Friday’s strip to cap things off in a flourish.
In none movie-quote-related news, I’m thinking of going with another program for the forums.
As good as Ikonboard is, I’m finding myself less and less pleased with the way it is operating. This is probably because I’ve had to reinstall it a few times. This, compounded with the difficulty I’ve had in making cosmetic changes to the forum to look like the rest of the site has led me to switch over to phpBB.
Looking at Carrington and Eric’s forums and noticing how smoothly they run made me extremely jealous. I figured if I was going to make any kind of change, now would be the time to do it when we only have about 30 registered forum-users.
Anyway, it’s happening. So buckle your safety belts. Stay tuned to this space for updates. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when the new forum is launched.
Last thing I’ll mention: I wanted to give a public shout-out to Aric over at Fish Strips for sending me an awesome piece of fan art. I’d show it to you now, but I’m working on the Bonus Materials section and don’t want to spoil the surprise when I get it up and running.
Oh, well. Okay. There’s a taste. If you want more, you’ll have to check back often to see when I’ve posted the new Bonus Materials section.
Regardless, I wanted to clue everyone in on Aric’s work. It’s funny as hell and should should definitely check it out.
If any of you are interested in sending in fan art, I’m always ready to receive it. Send something to me here, and you could see your work posted on the site!
Hope everyone is enjoying their “hump-day”! Later.
I’m not expecting a hell of a lot of traffic today, what with it being Memorial Day and all. So this next message is for our fans outside of the U.S.
Gee, you’re cool!
That being the case, do you think you could extend a little vote love my way so Monday isn’t a total bust? Thanks.
Gotta give props to my friend Nick who pointed out the plot hole in question from Bruce Almighty. Nick had a much more fervently negative reaction to the film than I did. I enjoyed the film, so I guess I got snowed.
Well, actually. That’s not entirely true. I really only liked the second act. The rest of the movie was crap.
Basically, the first act is all set up explaining why Jim Carrey hates God. He’s getting passed over at work. He gets stuck in traffic. He gets beaten up by a gang of Latino toughs. Typical “God is picking on me” kind of stuff. But Carrey complains so often and so LOUDLY, it’s becomes very annoying to listen to him whine for a half hour.
The second act is much more satisfying because we actually get to see Carrey use God’s powers in some imaginative ways. When he forces a co-worker who stole his position as anchor at the TV station he works for to speak in tongues, it’s hilarious. When he causes a meteor to slam into the planet only yards away from where he is covering a chili cook-off dressed as Mark Twain, it’s genius. Really, it’s all just an excuse to get Carrey to ad lib for an hour or so.
But the third act is totally lame. Realizing that he can’t handle the awesome burden of being God, Carrey learns A VALUABLE LESSON(tm) to “be the miracle” instead of bugging God to solve all of his problems. Yech!
This MESSAGE wouldn’t have been so unbearable if the filmmakers hadn’t chosen to beat us over the head with it repeatedly during the course of the movie’s last 30 minutes.
Of course, there are a million inconsistencies between being all-powerful and just plain uncreative. Within the structure of the story, Carrey isn’t allowed to screw with free will, but pretty much everything else is fair game.
When Carrey mistakenly causes a riot by granting everyone’s prayers, he could easily clean the whole thing up with a snap of his fingers. But does he do that? No! Instead he runs looking for Morgan Freeman not unlike Jimmy Stewart looking for Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s no coincidence that they reference it blatantly in a couple of scenes.
Of course, the movie wouldn’t have been very interesting if Carrey had a totally free ride. But you can’t expect the powers that allow the moon to be pulled out of orbit to be ignored by the audience when Carrey runs out of the way of a falling billboard as if he were mortal.
I kind of feel sorry for Jim Carrey at this point. He’s caught between being the funnyman everyone wants him to be and the “serious actor” he sees himself as. He’s pushing 40, folks. He can’t keep up his brand of physical comedy forever. My fear is that he’ll get stuck between genres and end up with nothing.
And that would be a shame.
Today’s incentive sketch is a simple homage to that lovable green ogre, Shrek – whose movie sequel lands in theaters today with the concussive force of Godzilla stomping on Tokyo. Click here to vote for Theater Hopper at buzzComixs and view our simple doodle.
So, what about today’s comic, eh?! Betcha’ didn’t see that one coming! Will Jimmy the Theater Monkey survive, or did his curiosity finally get the better of him? And what does this turn of events mean for that giant stockpile of disbelief seen last week? Only time will tell!
Actually, time will tell rather swiftly as I plan on wrapping up this storyline on Friday.
I gotta say it’s been a blast (“Blast!” HA!) working on this storyline. I’m having a lot of fun working out the next twist. I’m REALLY happy with the way the coloring turned out for today’s strip. I hope you all like it.
I wish I had something more to say, but since I kinda already covered my opinions about Shrek on Monday, I’m kind of standing here with nothing to gripe about. How about we just call it a day and I’ll come back later with insights of a different nature?
…about belly-button lint, perhaps?
In the meantime, if you want to kill a little time in the forums, I certainly wouldn’t hold it against you!
Since today’s comic feature Jimmy the theater employee so prominently, I thought it was only fair to dedicate a buzzComix incentive sketch to him. If you’ve been saving your vote for a new sketch, well, now’s the time to cash in! Click here to vote!
Sorry for the delay in todays strip. There were a lot of obstacles standing in the way of a timely delivery. Most notably the Labor Day holiday and doing things with family.
But I also needed to take a step back creatively when I was in the middle of today’s strip and didn’t like the direction it was going. Like I mentioned on Friday, the end of summer is a real sucky time for movies. It makes my job that much more difficult.
So instead of trying to make fun of some B-grade tripe like Paparazzi, I would try to do another storyline. Buckle your seat belts, kids – Because I think this one will be a doozy. I have it plotted out in my head and I can either end it next week or two weeks from Friday. I have a lot of story to tell!
I know taking time out to tell a longer story might distract from some of the more timely aspects of the comic, but truthfully, I haven’t been pleased with the comics since the ones I made making fun of Aliens VS. Predator. It was time to try something else.
I hate to think that the quality of the comics are so closely tied to the quality of films that make it into theaters, but when a movie like The Cookout comes to theaters, it seems redundant to crack wise on it. The movies are so poor to begin with, it’s like placing a turd on a pile of garbage – You’re really not making that much difference.
So anyway… I have a storyline in the bin for the next couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy it.
Onto site news, everyone please visit our two new sponsors, Security’s Finest and ZeStuff. Security’s Finest is a web comic written by David Hinkle. Dave’s done a guest strip for Theater Hopper in the past and he’s a prominent member of the THorum community, going by the name RX King. Most importantly, he’s a good guy, so support his work.
Our second sponsor, ZeStuff was formerly Hyperion Press and home to some great web comic and gamer related merchandise. These guys handle the shirts for 8-Bit Theater and VG Cats, so you know they’re doing something right! They have a few designs of their own that a really good, too. Well worth a visit!
Last thing I’ll mention is that I have a t-shirt design in competition over at Threadless.com. If you’re not familiar with how Threadless works, it’s pretty simple. Artists like me create t-shirt designs and the community votes on which designs they would like put into production so later they can buy one for themselves.
If you’re not a member of the Threadless community, sign up here. Then you can locate my shirt by clicking here. If you’d like to help me out, please vote a “5” for the shirt and also check the “I’d Buy This” box. Clicking that box doesn’t commit you to anything. It just helps the people who run the site get a better idea of what people want to buy. Leaving positive feedback in the comments area doesn’t hurt either!
Just so you know what you’re voting for, I’ve attached an image of the design here. I’m really proud of it and I want it to do well.
What’s in it for me? Well, aside from people walking around wearing a design I created, I would win $400 cash and $100 in Threadless credit. I’m pretty much telling you that in the interest of full-disclosure. Let’s just say that cash would come in pretty handy right now since we recently had to put Cami’s car in the shop. Darn unplanned expenses!
Of course, if you’d rather circumvent the whole Threadless routine, you can always donate directly to the site. Click here to read about the extra benefits and incentives donators receive. You could always buy a poster or a t-shirt, too!
That’s about it for now. Thanks again for your patience and supporting Theater Hopper! I sincerely appreciate it!