Once again I have to apologize for updating the site a little later in the morning. It appears that the situation with my satellite internet has transformed from a “Mother Nature screwed me over” thing into a “Tom can’t solve his own technical problem” thing.
For the life of me, I can figure out what’s wrong. I bring up Explorer, it tells me it can’t make a connection. I check my Network Adaptor information, it tells me that the networking cable isn’t hooked up. I look at my networking cable and it is clearly plugged into the wall and computer. I think my computer is trying to trick me.
Regardless, now I have to put in a call to customer service where I’m sure their answer will be something obvious like “Did you check to make sure your cable is connected?” or something equally lame. If any of you have suggestions, please contact me.
Obviously this snafu with my internet connection is throwing a monkey wrench into my plans for replacing the forums and adding a Bonus Materials section. Since I’ll be out of town this weekend, it looks like these two items will have to wait until next week.
Stay tuned for updates!
Part of me wishes I could have done this strip Monday to commemorate the DVD release of Spider-Man, but I was on such a role inserting Cami into the strips, why kill a good thing?
Besides, this leaves room for me to do a whole week of Spider-Man strips. I’ve got some ideas, so stay tuned for those.
My love for all things Spider-Man knows no bounds. I’ve been reading the comics since I was about 8. I’ve since had to let it slide for financial reasons and, admittedly, the clone storyline of the late 90’s did a lot to sour my expectations of my favorite friendly, neighborhood wall-crawler. But the initial appeal and awe of Spider-Man will never wane. He’s the best super hero hands down in my book.
What a relief after almost a decade of legal wrangling that Sam Raimi didn’t screw it up when he brought ol’ web-head to the silver screen. Sure, there were moments of camp and, in certain parts of the web-slinging screamed “YOU ARE WATCHING A SPECIAL EFFECT”, there is a lot of love and admiration of the character in the film. Because of it, I respect it.
Shameful as it is to admit, I didn’t wait in line overnight to pick up my copy of the movie when it came out on Friday. This time of year is often nebulous and frustrating because since I have both my birthday and Christmas in December, I can’t go out and buy some of the movies or CD’s I want.
I talk so much about the new releases that I can’t be sure someone hasn’t already gone out and purchased something for me as a gift. So from the beginning of November until the end of the year, I’m caught in a self-imposed media lockout. I realize that if I end up getting a second copy of a movie, I can just take it back, but it’s never worth the hassle. Have you ever tried returning something to Target without the receipt? Plus, if someone is going out of their way to get me anything at all, it’s too heartbreaking to tell them “Sorry, I already have this” Everyone wants to feel like they put some thought into their gift giving. I can’t bear to bring that disappointment in their lives because I can’t display a little self-restraint.
But don’t think it doesn’t tear me up to see those Spider-Man displays everywhere I turn…
Here’s hoping everyone got a chance to go out and vote yesterday. At least now I can get back to having commercials where used car salesmen yell at me instead of politicians.
And if anyone can help me decipher the difference between those two camps, I’d like to know.
Not much else to say here today. I’m enjoying the current arc if only because I get to draw myself wearing a Spider-Man mask. I used to draw Spider-Man a lot when I was younger. I think there’s a whole box of pictures somewhere in my parents basement full of my Spidey drawings.
Zach over at No Pants Tuesday says I’m missing out on some good stories in the Spider-verse right now. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t read comics in over half a decade. I don’t think I can start again now. That stuff is like crack and I can’t afford it. At least not while I’m nursing this heroin habit.
Speaking of No Pants Tuesday, it might be fun for you to check out their new web cam page. Yours truly was invited to slap his ugly mug up there to scare the children.
Right now the page seems to be a web-comic creator only affair. In addition to Zach’s pic, you’ll find Carrington from Movie Punks, Aric from Fish Strips and Amber from Go Eat A Spamwich. I’m sure there will be more to come.
Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered what I looked like, now’s your chance to get a good laugh. I used to be really phobic about letting people online know what I looked like. Anymore, I’ve come to realize just how awesome and supportive the online comics community is. I see no reason to hide like some stuck-up techno artist when I already use my real name in my dealings with the public. My true form should be no different.
I guess you can say I’ve grown to trust you. Awww…
Well, this wraps up the week of Spider-Man references. Too bad. I was having fun drawing the mask.
For some reason, I’m always at a loss on Friday’s when it comes to writing up the blog. Ideas float in and out, but nothing seems to stick. I should be writing this stuff down and refer to the notes.
I guess I might be seeing 8 Mile this weekend as it appears to be the only viable new release out there. Nevermind I haven’t gotten around to seeing Red Dragon or The Ring – two flicks I was really geared up for, but slacked off on seeing.
When I first heard about 8 Mile, I thought it was just going to be a hip-hop version of Glitter – another movie vehicle for a pop star. When I heard Curtis Hanson of LA Confidential and Wonder Boys was directing, I gave it pause for consideration.
My willingness to go has waned, but the generally positive reviews I’m hearing have piqued my interest again. Words like “intense”, “charismatic”, “powerful” and “inspirational” are being lobbed about. Your don’t use those words for things you hate.
The most interesting notices I’ve read have pegged Eminem for an Oscar nomination next year. I don’t know if it’s in the cards, but nobody thought Frank Sinatra would ever win an Oscar, either. The people at G.L.A.D.D. must be chewing the corners off the walls by now.
I was going to go into a thing about Eminem as an artist, but it’s been done to death. Let’s just say I own all three of his albums and think he is a talented voice. He’s got balls to make the leap to film so shortly after his introduction to mainstream America. Good luck to him.
I’m slowly creeping up on 50 strips and I’m beginning to panic. Part of me would like to celebrate. It’s really a milestone and I think I’ve shown my willingness to celebrate considering I was the guy who did a week of strips for getting 5,000 unique hits.
Obviously things have changed since then. Lots more people are coming to the site and I’m finding it brought up in conversation is some of the weirdest places. Someone is linking to me from the Barenaked Ladies message board? Site logs can be interesting sometimes.
In terms of the big five-oh, I’ve had some plans swirling around as to how to celebrate. I’ve been threatening to add a bonus section for a while now, but I don’t know. I guess I’ll just take this time to announce that if the milestone passes without a lot of hoopla, it’s not a disservice to the readers, I just don’t want to build up the possibility of some big change or addition to the site and then come up lame.
We’ve been around the block on the TWC issue a few times. I think my stance is pretty clear. I think it’s a good promotional tool that has been bastardized along the way.
But now, watching these strips that came up around the same time I did finding success makes me second-guess myself.
I still think there’s a lot of negativity surrounding the methods sites use to generate hits. (Movie Comics – I’m looking in your direction) So in that respect, I’m glad I’m not involved. But sometimes I dream what I would be like to have my work exposed to more people.
I talked to Zach about it on AIM a couple of days ago. He told me I really painted myself into a corner with what I said about the TWC. He was right. But ultimately, good work is its own reward. If more and more people find the site through the links of other sites, the word of mouth will spread and more people will come. It’s up to me to keep the quality consistent. I trust the rest will take care of itself. Thanks to you guys, it looks like it will.
Don’t think for a second I’m going to cave and align myself with TWC. I’ve gone to far on my word to turn back now. It’s just good to think out loud sometimes.
At any rate, I’m glad I don’t have to slap those ugly TWC banners everywhere. They’d really clash with the design. There’s an upside to everything, it seems.
Have a great weekend. We’ve all earned it.
Acceptable alternate punchlines would also include:
“I think that ain’t tobacco in that pipe you’re smoking.”
“I think I’m gonna have nightmares trying to figure our where you stashed that hat this entire time.”
Thank you very much!
So here’s to another week of exploiting my nerdy obsessions. I even snuck in a little Lord of the Rings. Isn’t that nice?
So what’s next? Ah, yes. Harry Potter. I, along with the rest of the mindless drones plan on seeing The Chamber of Secrets tonight. Is it wrong to admit I like this franchise? I enjoyed about 80% of the last one. The remaining 20% sat there loathing director Christopher Columbus for unleashing the holy terror of the Home Alone movies and Bicentennial Man onto the world. What did we ever do to you, Chris?!
I never read any of the Harry Potter books before seeing the movie. But I thought the movie was good enough to make me want to start reading them. I think that’s a pretty good indication of quality.
Anyway, Harry Potter jokes here Monday. Do come back.
I ran into a spot of bad luck last night. On a tip from the crew over at Troy’s Bucket, I swung by my local Toys ‘R Us to purchase a copy of Episode II on DVD. Word on the street is that they were letting it go for a mere $9.99.
Yes, I know I’ve spoken about the sanctions on cool purchases, but this price probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer. But when you make your love ones purchase nerd artifacts as presents, they’ll be a lot less happy knowing they could have saved ten bucks two weeks earlier. I decided to save them the frustration.
Anyway, I bring the movie home tonight, unwrap it – then notice it’s the FULL SCREEN version. NOT wide screen like any cineophile with discerning taste would demand. No. It was crappy, pan-and-scan. I felt like a total chump. I’m usually more observant of these kinds of things. I guess I must have been blinded by the price tag. It just goes to show, kids. ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL!
So of course I’m going to take it back and demand my widescreen version. Let’s hope the big, goofy giraffe is understanding.
The funny thing about this story is that my friend Nick e-mailed me earlier this week and shared a story where the exact same thing happened to him when he bought Spider-Man at Target. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re both college-educated individuals. You’d think we’d do better at simple reading. Nick was an English major, for crying-out-loud.
It is my opinion that retailers need to stick the full screen and wide screen versions of movies AS FAR AWAY FROM EACH OTHER AS POSSIBLE. Treat them like they were just divorced. Use the VHS copies like they were kids used for leverage and stick them in the middle so we know where the dividing line is. Turn left for quality. Turn right for a version that’s just as good as anything you’ll see on TBS.
For the love of God, I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would choose the full screen version. It’s like buying beer without alcohol in it. Don’t tell me you drink it for the taste!
QUICK PLUG: I almost forgot, but everyone needs to swing by Unmentionables. Protege108th was cool enough to sneak our characters into the background of his latest strip and I promised I would give him a shout-out.
It’s a good comic. If you’re in the loop at all, you know that already.
I don’t really have a lot to say about this strip. It plays a lot like an inside joke to me because I’m taking a device I’ve been using a lot lately (i.e. dressing up the characters like those in popular films) and kind of turning it on it’s head. It doesn’t mean much if you haven’t been paying attention to the site recently.
I will say Cami laughed really hard for probably 10 minutes after looking at the strip tonight. I didn’t add any dialogue, but I think she was really caught off guard by the miniature version of myself sitting next to my regular self on the couch. Something about that she found hilarious.
I don’t have my review for My Big Fat Greek Wedding prepared yet, but I thought I would take a moment to post an e-mail I received in response to it. It comes from Jamie Kendall from over at The Magic Armadillo. I didn’t ask for permission to post these statements, so maybe if you visit the site a bunch of times, all will be forgiven.
Jamie is a fellow Iowan (albeit exiled at the moment) so there are some references to some specific locations here in the Des Moines area. That’s not the point. Absorb the brilliant sentiment of our shared hatred for this awful excuse of a chick flick. I felt Jamie did a good job of putting it into words.
i worked over the summer at the fleur cinema and cafe. it was a quality, fun, respectable independent theater, and i enjoyed my job immensely. about 2 weeks into my working there, we received a movie… a movie so hideously omnipresent as to cause myself and my friend and coworker sam to loathe its very presence. my big fat greek wedding lasted the ENTIRE TIME i was there, and every single goddamned week it outsold EVERY other movie, no matter how good every other movie was. now it’s time for winter break. i’m going to go back to iowa and work at the same theater. and greek wedding is STILL THERE. i hate that irreverent hour and a half of presence with a burning passion rivaling that of the sun. everywhere i go, i meet with nothing but good reviews. my manager, my parents, everybody but me, sam, my projectionist josh, and some guy i know who never saw it, loved it. and it is the bane of my existence. i curse its name when i go to work. every person who got a ticket to see it made me more and more lose all faith in humanity. it is my nemesis. i applaud you for speaking out against it, for love there is not between two such rivals as we and my mediocre skills warrant not an audience for which i can speak out properly my opinions.
I felt that pretty much summed it up. More later when I can get to it.
No doubt most of you are going to see The Two Towers tonight (that is, if you already aren’t recovering from a midnight showing). I’m really looking forward to seeing it. After watching the first one over the weekend, I am sufficiently amped up.
I’m having fun this week with the Lord of the Rings, in case you couldn’t tell. It’s easy strip material and I know of at least one LOTR fan site that’s noticed my efforts. But I lost the link to it, so… damn.
Cutting the rants short today so I can detail a few plans I have for the site. Stay tuned for some new improvements including a new poll that will be over on the right hand side and also some additions to the Bonus Materials page. Jared put together something right dandy for it.
Speaking of our resident mystery man, he’s back in the house. So I’m going to let him do a little gum-flappin’.
Sometimes when I’m coming up with content for the strip, things are pretty lean. Early winter is a notoriously slow time for movies because studios have already dropped their “quality pictures” (re: Oscar bait) back in December. Subsequently, it makes it difficult to come up with things to make fun of.
This week is different. It’s like a damn buffet of options. First, there is the pending release of Daredevil this Friday – Valentine’s Day. And I can think of NO other movie to take your sweetheart to.
Secondly, Oscar nominations are going to be announced on Tuesday. This fits in perfectly to the strip schedule, because I’m always working on stuff about 24 hours in advance.
Third, My Big Fat Greek Wedding comes out on DVD Tuesday. I think my stance on this steaming pile has been well documented, so I won’t go into it here. But that being said, I think we can all identify the comedic potential.
But when it was all said and done, I decided to make this week all about Daredevil. Be sure to check back on Wednesday and Friday. I’ve got continuity on deck and everything!
Daredevil is a movie that has swung left to right in terms of my level of excitement. When it was first announced, I kind of rolled my eyes because it was obvious that they were trying to capitalize on the success of Spider Man. Add to that, not many people know much about the character or his gothic style. Would it even translate to film?
Then, of course, learning that Mr. Chin — Ben Affleck — would be playing the title role sent me into a tizzy. I felt certain that I wasn’t going to believe him as the character. He’s a bloated jock to me. Too busy coming up with lines to get into a girl’s pants than being tortured and fighting crime. If you’ve seen him as the angsty yuppie in Changing Lanes, that’s about what I think he’s like all the time.
Some of the other casting choices were interesting as well. Jennifer Garner as Elektra? Not Greek, nor a proven actress. Michael Clark Duncan as The Kingpin? Uh, wasn’t the Kingpin white? All they got here is the bald head and a penchant for fancy suits. Colin Farrell as Bullseye? Interesting actor. Definite “bad boy” chops. But what’s up with that scar on his forehead and the iridescent, blue snake-skin trench coat? What were they thinking?
But as time goes by, I’m warming up to the cast and am genuinely excited about seeing the movie.
Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of Alais on ABC. Seeing Jennifer Garner in action has convinced me there really is no other woman “action hero” who could handle what’s required of Elektra’s ninja/assassin history.
Michael Clarke Duncan is making more sense, too. If anything, remember that this guy was nominated for Best Supporting Actor once. Damn shame he was involved in The Scorpion King, but I’ve also read that the studio went with him after several white wrestlers gave poor screen tests. When it comes down to it, I’d rather have a guy who can act.
I’m beginning to step around the poor costume design on Bullseye because I’ve heard Colin Farrell practically steals the film with his performance. There’s really a sick glee in his interpretation of the character, which I think will be fun to watch.
And finally, ole Benny-boy. Well, I take that back, I still can’t see this chuckle head as DD.
One last thing I’ll mention. If you’d like to test the awesomeness of your girlfriend of wife, draw a picture of them in a leather catsuit and see how they react. If they tell you “My character needs more cleavage.” like Cami did when I showed her today’s strip, then you’ll know exactly how awesome she is.
First things first. Yes, today’s strip is a Valentine to my lovely wife Cami. I was going to go into a big, detailed explanation about how I decided to do this for her, but I think it stands on it’s own two legs.
If that doesn’t cut the mustard for you, let’s just say that I really like making a public spectacle out of myself. Sometimes it can come out in very bad ways that may embarrass Cami (she knows what I’m talking about). But in other ways, it is a powerful tool I can use to let the whole world know how much I love and appreciate her.
I have a web site. I have an audience. I followed my heart to the ultimate conclusion. I love you, Cami. Happy Valentine’s Day.
That being said, my Valentine’s Day got off to an excellent start Thursday night while I was preparing today’s strip. Checking the site statistics on a whim, I decided to look at my referral logs. Lo should my eyes damn near pop out of my head to discover that I had been linked from the main page of NEWS ASKEW!!!
For those of you not in the loop, News Askew is the web site for all things relating to Kevin Smith. Yes, that Kevin Smith. The writer/director of such favorites as Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy.
It’s a great place to go to get the inside scoop on all the projects he’s working on as well as have a little fun with the View Askew cannon of films. It’s a great community and I’ve been trolling around the site for years. That, and his new site Movie Poop Shoot are two stops on my daily web rounds. I’m totally bugging out just being recognized because I’m a big fan of Kevin’s. Just getting the link is like a brush with greatness!
So to all of the new readers coming in from News Askew, WELCOME! Please feel free to take a look around. You may need to start here to get a handle on the current story line and figure out why Ben Affleck is even hanging around in the first place.
If you like, you can start from the beginning and work yourself up to the present day. Ours is a fairly green operation. We’ve only 87 strips under our belt since opening in August of 2002. But hopefully Theater Hopper will be a place you check in on from time to time. If you can manage to swing by every Monday, Wednesday and Friday when we post new strips, that would be even better!
For any Ben Affleck fans out there, I hope you know that the last two strips where he is featured have all been in good fun. Of course, having him make a pass at one of my main characters probably doesn’t do much to dilute the “Ben’s gay!” perception among those who like to slag our resident Daredevil. But what are you going to do with a guy who played a character named Chesty Smith in School Ties? If that isn’t a gay porn name straight out of 1976, then I don’t know what is!
To all of my regular readers, I hope you have enjoyed the week of strips I’ve put together for you. I had a lot of fun doing them.
This whole week has been a real trip. Even before getting this link from News Askew, I was getting lots of positive feedback which is something I don’t get that often. Hell, I hardly get any feedback! So when I get an e-mail from one of you out there is a great validation. To know that you took time out of your day to pass along a compliment is very humbling to me. I want you to know I print off every one of those suckers. So then I can show them to my kids one day and say, “See?! Daddy WAS a success back in his day!”
Of course, they’ll be, like really young and won’t know the difference. But still…
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Here’s hoping you have someone warm to share it with.
And because I’m in such a lovey-dovey mood, I’ve posted a new review written by my friend Nick. It covered How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. A very fitting romantic film for the occasion.
Am I aware that everyone and their brother will be making references to X-Men 2 this week? Yes. Do I care? Nope.
I’ve gotta say that I’m more jacked up for this round of mutant mayhem than I was for the first. I always had a mental block against the first picture because Brian Singer was at the helm. “Wrong choice”, I thought. It was confirmed when, in several issues, Singer confessed to have never been a read the comic books. “Oh, snap!”, I thought. “We’re doomed.” The fact that he kept pushing that Martin Luther King Jr. VS Malcom X ideology in regard to the relationship between Professor X and Magneto only exacerbated matters.
I always felt like the first movie was good, but flawed. It delivered in many regards – most notably bringing Hugh Jackman to the role of Wolverine, who slam dunked it. Kudos also for bringing aboard Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan as the aforementioned Professor X and Magneto.
But the remainder of the film felt cobbled together. Like they tried to make more of it, but just couldn’t.
James Marsden as Cyclops was a dud. Ditto for Anna Paquin as Rouge. Ray Park, Tyler Mane and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as villains Toad, Sabertooth and Mystique were gimmicky additions at best. Darth Maul, a pro-wrestler and a supermodel? Please.
Halle Berry, of course, was the worst casting possible for the role of Storm. It should have gone to Angela Basset, if you ask me. She was offered it, but I guess she turned it down. Can anyone name the last movie she was in? Supernova? The Score? Yeah… good work, Angie.
But I have high hopes for the sequel. I know this is probably the most naive statement I can make considering A). It’s a sequel and B). It’s a comic book movie. But for some reason, I have a feeling it’s going to turn out more polished. I know they definitely had more money to spend. My wish is that it will make me turn around and appreciate the first a little more. Kind of how The Two Towers did for The Fellowship of The Ring. I think that will be the case since they don’t have to waste time on exposition and can just jump right into the action.
Good news. Selling more posters. We’re inching ever closer to the half-way point of what’s left in the series. I don’t think you want to be left without one, do you?
I gotta give props to all the fine lads who have helped me pimp the wares as of late. Many thanks to Zach of No Pants Tuesday, Brian of Briworld, Carrington at Movie Punks, Aric from Fish Strips and Mark with Jayhoo and Jawhoo for spreading the good word.
Speaking of good ole Jay and Jaw, you need to check out this strip and look in the background of the second panel. See how cool these posters are?! Even THEY get cameos now!
I think this is going to be a pretty busy week for yours personally. I’m going to try and bring a forum to the site in the next week or two because I want those who have bought posters to have a place where they can discuss their experiences. Oh, and talk about movies.
I’ll also have an announcement regarding a new affiliation I’m considering. But the details will have to wait until later.