Tomorrow is November the first and as such, buzzComix will reset their top comics list. I want everyone to come back to the site and throw in their support for the site.
We’ve been hovering around the low 30’s for the last week or so, and I’m really happy with that. Especially when you consider that I joined the list half way through the month of October. But come November, I want to make a big push for the top 10 and let people know what we’re all about. We did it once before over at Top Web Comics. We can do it again!
To give you that little extra incentive, everyone can expect a new piece of post-Halloween Theater Hopper artwork as reward for voting on Saturday. But remember, you can’t see the artwork unless you vote and it HAS to be on Saturday. So take a break during Saturday morning cartoons and give us a little clicky-click.
In other news, fans of PVP might be aware that creator Scott Kurtz is making a pit stop in West Des Moines this Saturday at Mayhem Comics and Collectables. Guess who’s going to see him? That’s right. Me. I really have no excuse. Mayhem comics is, like, 15 minutes from my house
I know Scott gets flack for being controversial at times and a lot of people have grown to resent his popularity. But I’ll freely admit that it was his example that led me into starting my own web comic. I figured if he could do it, why couldn’t I? It’s only a matter of time before I get that big contract from Image Comics! Yeah, right…
Anyway, I wanted to thank Scott for inspiring me to start my own comic. I’m going to bring a couple of samples of the strip to him on Saturday and try and persuade him to visit the site. Who knows. He might like it! Stranger things have happened! If he’s not interested, then at least I can get my copy of PVP #1 signed. That’ll show those chumps paying $250 for original Kurtz artwork on eBay who’s boss!
Wish me luck and have a great holiday weekend!
Before I get too far away from the computer, I wanted to take a moment to point out our newest advertiser Awake the Witch. It’s a really cool online specialty store that sells all kind of authentic Pagan accessories.
I don’t want to trivialize things by suggesting that you could pick something up for Halloween, but it IS that time of year. If I’m wrong for pointing that out, just send me an e-mail. Don’t curse my first born, or anything. ;D
I’m getting some feedback that people can’t figure out who Cami is supposed to be. She’s supposed to be Ellen Ripley from the Alien movies. Click here for a quick visual comparison.
I knew I wanted to cast Cami in the image of a strong female and also as one carrying heavy firepower. I basically wrote this comic starting with the punchline and worked backwards. And, well… this is the result.
Incidentally, Jared is supposed to be Rocky Balboa from the Rocky movies. It’s more of a subtle commentary on the punishment he absorbs and dishes out in equal measure here in the comic…
For what it’s worth.
I’m not becoming a broken record with the Ben Affleck-bashing, am I? I mean, I know I just got finished taking pot shots at him only a week ago, but I have to admit this felt right. I can think of nothing scarier than a Gigli sequel.
In any case, be sure to check out the buzzComix incentive sketch by clicking here and voting for Theater Hopper. You’ll see that Tom has learned his lesson, albeit too late.
I really like doing Halloween strips, but feel bad because I don’t get into it like some people do. I wish I could have done a full week of strips, but this one sums things up nicely.
Tomorrow I’m going to stop taking pre-orders on the Spoiler shirt. Yeah, I know the advertisement next to the comic says October 15. Ignore that. It’s an oversight on my part. A pretty stupid one, actually. It probably kept people from placing orders. Well, I’m making up for it now. GET YOUR ORDERS IN TODAY!
After I get this batch sent into the printer I’ll probably stop taking pre-orders for a while. I want to wait until the preliminary orders come back from the printer and try to develop a system to mail them out to everyone smoothly. In other words, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, so I’ll be suspending shirt orders for a while.
Don’t worry, though. Shirts will come back before the end of the year. Did I say “shirtS”… PLURAL? Yes, there will probably be more than one shirt in the store when it reopens.
In the meantime, I plan on finally hooking up the posters section of the store as well as creating a new area where you can request commissioned artwork. Everything from portraits, to Theater Hopper characters in funny situations, even banner advertisements for your site! I’ll do it all! Look for that in the future.
Cami and I are going to try and go to Ray tonight. Cami has heard some mixed reviews. Some people are saying that the movie isn’t as strong as Jamie Foxx’s performance. I’ve heard nothing but positives all around. We’ll have to check it out and see.
I realized this morning that I said yesterday I would come back with another blog about today’s comic. Then I realized that I had very little to say about it. Maybe it’s because it kind of follows in the tradition of our previous Halloween comic or maybe it’s because Diesel Sweeites does the whole thing so much better and I was intimidated. In either case, at least you get another comic where I take a cheap shot at Tom Cruise. Has America’s Action Hero ™ become my latest foil? Is he the new Ben Affleck of Theater Hopper?
What can I say? The comic gets a little more popular and you start goin’ after the big guns. LOOK OUT, CRUISEY-BOY!
In other news, the t-shirts, hoodies and baby-doll tees have been completely removed from the store. Many thanks to those of you who placed orders. I will be working hard to fill out all the orders from this last run as well as those that have been on hold for a while. I plan on contacting the printer this evening and hopefully the turn around will be swift.
Here in Iowa, we didn’t pass out any candy for Halloween Monday night. Instead we dressed up and gave out treats on Sunday night. Or – as the civic leaders like to call it – Beggar’s Night. I never understood the logic behind ignoring the actually holiday and celebrating it the day before. Someone told me it was to keep children and families off the street while irresponsible adults were off having Halloween parties and getting loaded. I supposed that’s justified paranoia, but ultimately kind of confusing. Why not let these kids dress up and go door to door on the day they’re supposed to?
At any rate, we had a good time. If you’re interested in seeing our costumes, you can vote for Theater Hopper at Webcomics List and get a spooky treat. For posterity, I’ve preserved this photo along with a couple snap shots of the front of our house in the THorum so you can see our decorations. Marvel at our 8 foot tall inflatable Homer Simpson dressed up like Dracula! Click here for the link.
One last story. Cami and I decided to sit down last night to watch a movie in spirit (HA!) of the Halloween holiday. We don’t own a lot of horror movies, though. Cami isn’t a fan of the genre and you all know about my aversion to gore as explained in last Friday’s blog. But we do have one spooky film that fit the mood perfectly – Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.
I kind of remember at the time the movie took a few hit’s on the chin from people who didn’t feel it was his best work. In light of Planet of the Apes and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, it looks like Lawrence of Arabia. Tons of great actors, brilliant set and costume design, seemless effects andCasper Van Dien. This movie has it all.
Although I have to laugh every time martial artist -slash- the erstwhile Darth Maul Ray Park appears on screen as The Headless Horseman. What is he, like 5’2"? RUN! But I digress. It’s a great interpretation of an American classic. I wouldn’t be ashamed to admit I think watching Burton’s movie is a fine Halloween tradition. One I would hope we can continue for years to come.
Our good buddy Leatherface wants you to enjoy his holiday feast. No, it’s not what you think. He’s honestly turned over a new leaf! Isn’t he the happy host!
For our international readers, tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. A holiday born from the symbolic brotherhood between the indigenous people of the Americas and their future white oppressors from across the ocean. But no one talks about small pox blankets anymore.
Perhaps I’m being glib. Really Thanksgiving is a good excuse to get together with family and eat a big meal. I’ve been looking forward to this year’s festivities since about September.
Coming up with a comic that was both holiday-related and movie-related is no small order. I’ve managed to pull it off in years gone by. But it’s getting tougher and tougher to conceptualize something. Seems like every Hollywood offering that has to do with this time of year centers around an excentric family that someone just can’t manage to get along with! Darn!
Take the upcoming The Family Stone, for example. Sarah Jessica Parker (or SJP to her fans) plays an uptight urban dweller brought home to meet the quirky family of the favorite son. There are several awkward exchanges, terse glances, and wacky hijinks ensure. I’m sure there will be a food fight in there somewhere. And, in the end, grand reconsiliation. Because, hey! We’re FAMILY, right?!
:: fade to black ::
At any rate, when I do a Thanksgiving strip, it’s my goal to reach a few steps beyond the whole "families are crazy!" cliche. But then again, if Tom stomping around in a Leatherface costume isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is!
To our America readers, if I don’t catch up with you sooner, have a safe and happy holiday. More wacky hijinks in this spot on Friday!
I think today’s comic illustrates fairly effectively my gripe with the release of Rob Zombie’s “reimagining” of Halloween. One would like to think the studio releasing it has some kind of strategy. But to avoid releasing the film on the holiday it shares a name with seems like a glaring oversight to me.
Maybe they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that the American movie-going public has an attention span longer than one week and they’ll continue to get repeat business on this film until said holiday. Maybe they don’t think they can compete against Saw IV – the upstart horror franchise has pretty much laid claim to the Halloween weekend since the first film came out. Maybe the movie is a big steaming turd that they want to bury in late August while kids are going back to school. Or maybe they don’t care when they release it since most horror movies are critic-proof and fans will come out to see them regardless of their quality.
However you slice it, it seems the studio could be doing a lot better for themselves if they had decided to release Halloween on Halloween. I mean, the original movie is a classic – no doubt about it. So, right there, you’ve got John Carpenter fans coming out of the woodwork to show respect. Of course, there’s always the aforementioned die-hard horror fans that will show up no matter what and I’m sure there will be a few stranglers who were fans of White Zombies throwing in their support behind the director.
But what about the rest of us who maybe aren’t into horror movies all that much? Take… well, ME, for example. I can sit and watch a horror movie if I’m in the right mood for it. But I’m really not a fan of the bogeyman style of horror films where things jump out at you. That, and excessive gore I can do without. So I’m not going to be the first in line to see Halloween when it’s released on August 31.
But let’s fast forward two months, pretend the studio was a little wiser and released Halloween on October 31. Instead of going on a haunted hay rack ride, I might give the movie a shot. I’m down for a scare, but darn it if that hay isn’t itchy. Isn’t there another option.
BLAMMO! There’s another eight bucks in your pocket you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Multiply that by whatever number of similar-minded people there are in the country. Seems like Marketing 101 to me.
Of course, the timeliness of when the movie is released really says nothing about the quality of the film itself. Even though I don’t like horror, I do like the original Halloween because it’s so damn suspenseful. In my mind, it doesn’t really need to be re-imagined. But then again, multiple sequels have pretty much watered down the legacy of the original anyway, so re-imagine away.
All things being equal, I don’t think the movie could have landed in more capable hands than Rob Zombie’s. I know he only has a few films under his belt, but the guy has a very specific visual style. He has a gift for it, frankly. And not only that, he brings a lot of passion to the material. He appreciates horror movies as a fan, has seen almost all of them and probably has encyclopedic knowledge of what works in horror and what doesn’t. A good guy to have behind the lens. I wish him the best.
I guess all I’m saying is that, if I were him, I would be giving the head of his studio’s marketing department a swift kick in the ass for overlooking the most obvious leg-up in movie release history.
Incidentally, we’ll be talking about Halloween on next Monday’s Triple Feature talkcast at 9:00 PM CST over at TalkShoe. Horror movies will be the topic of discussion in honor of it’s release, so you’ll want to check that out.
We’ve had some success asking listeners to send in questions for us and I think we’d like to continue that tradition. So if you want to know what our panel thinks is the best movie monster ever or what makes a good horror film, send your questions to me in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer them on-air.
Something else really quick about The Triple Feature talkcast. It came to my attention this week that The Triple Feature was among the Top 100 talkcasts for live participation as well as downloads at TalkShoe for the week of August 25. We ranked 51st and 67th, respectively.
Saying you ranked 51st and 67th on the list of a Top 100 is kind of a suspect thing to claim. But when you think there are literally thousands of talkcasts over at TalkShoe, things come into focus.
So thanks to everyone who has made The Triple Feature one of the most popular shows on TalkShoe! We appreciate your support!
That about does it for me. Cami’s 30th birthday is tomorrow and we’re celebrating by seeing a movie, having a steak and going gambling. Don’t worry. We’re leaving Henry in the loving arms of Cami’s parents for the evening.
Although I’m pretty sure Cami doesn’t want me telling the world that she’s turning 30, my aim is to strip the gravitas from the occasion and just have fun with it. People assign this great importance to turning 30 because you’re leaving your 20’s behind and – let’s face it – being in your 20’s is pretty much being like a teenager.
I say bollocks. Enjoy your birthday! Celebrate it! Own it! Because every year you’re here on this Earth is another opportunity to prove ’em wrong – know what I’m sayin’?
Have a good one, folks! See you on Monday!
RockNRollaI wanted to say thank to the people who sent me e-mails last week in response to my call for feedback. I had asked people for their thoughts on either continuing the Tom-tries-to-get-Robert-Downey-Jr.-an-Oscar-nomination storyline or if I should move on to greener pastures and focus on the upcoming Halloween holiday or Kevin Smith’s new film, Zach and Miri Make A Porno.
The cross-section of feedback was interesting. It was pretty much split even between people who wanted to see what direction the RDJ storyline would go versus people that wanted Halloween hijinks. Most telling, however, was the number of people thanking me for not doing a Saw V strip. I guess I’m not the only person who thinks the franchise is suffering from overexposure. Then again, it looks like we’re in the minority. Saw V pulled in over $30 million this weekend.
What Saw V didn’t do was dominate the box office like I predicted last week. I had totally forgotten about High School Musical 3 coming out last week. But then, why would I remember it? I’m not a 15 year-old girl.
At any rate, you can see that I’m moving toward some Halloween goodness this week, so stay tuned for more. I think the expectation is that Tom is going to run around in his Iron Man gear for the third time this year. Don’t count on it. Some of the other feedback I received was "Enough with the Iron Man stuff, already!" I don’t exactly plan on avoiding it, but you’ll have to hang around to see what twist I put on it.
That’s it for today. Be sure to tune in to The Triple Feature podcast live tonight at 9:00 PM CST at TalkShoe.com. No doubt we’ll be talking about Saw V, perhaps Guy Ritchie’s film RockNRolla and more. Be there with your questions and if you have the capacity to call in, we might put you on the air with us!
Talk to you then!
I bet the anticipation is killing you, isn’t it? What could Tom possibly be working on? What is his costume that will SHOCK. THE. NATION? What is his Halloween surprise? You’ll have to come back Friday to see!
Okay… I’ll give you a hint. He won’t be wearing an Iron Man costume, but it will be Iron Man related. THAT’S ALL I’M GONNA SAY!
Truth be told (and I never thought I’d say this), I’m getting a little tired of doing all of the Iron Man jokes in the comic. But they’re kind of easy for me to do. Inexhaustible fanboy glee is something I know a little bit about. “Write what you know,” as they say.
Speaking of Iron Man, did you see yesterday that Marvel announced Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau have signed contracts for The Avengers. The movie is on track to hit theaters in 2011 after Iron Man 2 busts wide in 2010. It doesn’t look like Favreau will be directing, but he will be an Executive Producer. It also appears that The Hulk will not be the main villain, as originally rumored. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Kang The Conqueror!
Marvel also confirmed the announcement made last week that Don Cheadle will be Replacing Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes. I didn’t talk about this last week and that kind of surprised a few of you who e-mailed me. I don’t know. I guess I felt like it was being covered from almost every other angle and I didn’t have anything to contribute. I was also kind of taking a wait-and-see approach. Marvel claimed that Howard wanted more money and decided to cut him out. Marvel also originally dragged their feet signing Favreau to direct Iron Man 2 over money – despite how many fans felt he contributed directly to the film’s great success. Eventually Marvel came to their senses and put Favreau back in the director’s seat. Maybe they would come to their senses and give Howard his “next time” in the War Machine armor.
But even if they weren’t going to put Howard in the sequel, it’s not like I’m all that upset that Cheadle is taking his place. Personally, I think Cheadle is the better actor and I can see him really playing well into that “I’m just screwing with you” vibe that RDJ seems to like to put across in his performances. Kind of like in the Ocean’s 11 movies. I have complete confidence in his performance.
I guess it just would have been nice to have a little consistency.
Gah… I start out talking about how I’m getting tired of discussing Iron Man all the time and look where we end up. Oh, well. That does it for me today. Gearing up for Beggar’s Night tomorrow. We’re having the whole family over for chili and taking Henry out to a few houses on the block for free candy. This is his first time. His costume? Henry’s going as a cow. What can I say? The kid is 21 months old. He’s all about animals right now.
Next year? IRON MAN!!!
Have a great Wednesday!
I think if I made one mistake with this story arc, it’s that I didn’t push the idea that Tom wanted to defy expectations of him running around in an Iron Man costume far enough. The idea was really in response to my own catch-22 with my relationship to the movie and the character. On the one hand, I love talking about it. On the other hand, I know some of you are sick of Iron Man comics. Believe me, I understand. But in the meantime, many of you are very supportive of my love for the character. So what do you do when Halloween rolls around you need to put your character in some kind of costume? Bottom line, it would just look weird to suddenly have Tom running around as The Joker when he’s spent all year talking about Tony Stark. I thought the cheeseburger idea was kind of a happy compromise. A way to talk about Iron Man without putting Tom in the Iron Man costume. I think, for the most part, it was effective. It was a fun little guessing game for the week to see what Tom was finally going to emerge as.
Switching gears for a minute, I wanted to talk to the people who donated money to the hard drive restoration donation drive a few months ago. I want to let all of you know that I’m still working on your artwork, but it’s been slow-going. Between my 9 to 5 job, my night class, taking care of Henry and producing the comic, it’s hard to find time. I often try to squeeze in doing some of the art work over my lunch hour during the week. I pretty much feel like I’m working not stop but without a lot to show for it.
The other part of the problem is that I’ve been investing a lot of time and effort into this art to make sure everyone gets what they pay for. So even the less-expensive sketches are getting the four-star treatment. I was going to show you some of the sketches that I’ve been working on lately, but I packaged them up and mailed them off before I remembered to scan them. That was kind of stupid. However, I did remember to scan one before mailing. It’s a sketch of Charles Bronson a fan had asked for, so I drew him in his classic pose from the poster for Death Wish. Check it out…
The foreshortening on the arm is a little screwy. But, overall, I’m proud of this piece. I think I got the mood right and I was trying some different things with inking that turned out well.
At any rate, everyone has been very cool and very patient so far. I’m not getting angry e-mails or people kicking in my door with pitchforks and torches. But I wanted to let you know that I’m trying to keep up with things the best that I can and to take the opportunity to once again thank those who showed me great generosity.
That’s it for me today. Zach & Miri Make A Porno is at the top of my list for movies to see this weekend. It might be a little tough for me to go, though. My car has a flat tire and I’m trying to get it into the shop this weekend. We’ll see if the weather this weekend holds out or not. Maybe I’ll ride my bike to the theater for once!
Have a great weekend!