In the salad days, I was somewhat notorious for putting my characters in costumes on a fairly regular basis. I don’t do it as often as I used to (which I kind of miss). But with today being All Hallow’s Eve, I figured it would only be appropriate for one of my crew to don a mask for the sake of entertainment. Besides, it really seems to be the tradition within the community.
You have no idea how long I’ve been sitting on the concept for this comic. Pretty much since they announced that Jon Favreau’s film adaptation of Iron Man was going in front of camera’s this year. I’ll be up front and admit that it was basically one big excuse for me to draw The Golden Avenger. It was just a matter of framing it within context. A Halloween comic was going to be my earliest opportunity. I’m a HUGE Iron Man fan. So as his movie draws closer and closer, you can expect to see Tom in his homemade Iron Man armor more and more.
I didn’t really make much noise when the announced that Robert Downey, Jr. was going to be the man in the suit a few months ago. Again, context. But I think it’s a smart choice. Especially considering Tom Cruise was interested in the project for years. Personally, I’m just glad Favreau is going with someone who can actually act instead of some pretty-boy flash in the pan. They could have just as easily gone with someone like Josh Hartnett.
Everyone cites Downey’s personal experience with drugs, alcohol and addiction for being an excellent primer for him to play the Tony Stark as he was once famously depectied as a crumbling alcoholic. I think that’s an unfair measure of his ability to play the character. True, he may be a little bit old to carry the playboy industrialist that Stark is supposed to be. But, at the same time, I think his age will be an asset to ground the character who has always being torn between what he thinks is right and what is popular.
The smartest move Favreau has made so far is making himself accessible through the Iron Man fan page on MySpace. He was smart enough to listen to the fans who suggested artist Adi Granov to do design work on the film. He was the last artist to have redesigned the Iron Man armor. He had a six-issue run on a title relaunch with Warren Ellis called "Extremis" that you can now get in hardcover. If you’re interested in the character, his perspective as a futurist and a timely update to his origin, I strongly suggest you check it out. The writing is very sharp, but it’s Granov’s techno-organic digital pencils that bring it all together. It’s amazing work.
At any rate, I’ll quit geeking out on you and leave you to enjoy the holiday of tricks and treats.
I was telling Cami last night that I wished I had my own version of the Iron Man armor. I’ve actually discussed making a costume in real-life. I figure it can’t be any more time consuming than it is for those guys who make their own Stormtrooper armor with homemade vacuum tables and body casts.
I should look into it…
Since we’re on a super-hero movie kick (sorry, high-minded movie fans) I was wondering if you guys caught the first image of the armor from the forthcoming 2008 Iron Man movie over at EW.com?
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HARD CORE Iron Man fan. As I type this, no less than 13 different Iron Man figures are staring at me from atop a nearby shelf. I would even go so far to say that I’m a bigger fan of Iron Man than Spider-Man. I mean, Spider-Man will always be my first love. But I have a thing for the second-tier characters. Of course, that’s less and less the case with Iron Man these days.
There is something I’ve always found very visually appealing about Iron Man and I think it’s because the technology he utilizes allows artists to create variations on a theme for his signature look. That’s a lot of fun. Even the crap armor designs I love because they’re trying something new and it fits within the motivations of the character.
I mean, you can slap Spider-Man into a dark suit to make him more “moody” and it looks cool. But we all know that’s not who Peter Parker is. Iron Man, on the other hand, is constantly upgrading and improving his armor and the look progresses because of it. The only thing non-progressive about the character is his origin story. In the comics, he was wounded by a piece of shrapnel selling arms and munitions during the Vietnam War. He was held captive and forced to design a chest plate to keep his heart beating. He built the armor around it and escaped. Timely when the character was introduced, sure. But a little stale 40-plus years later.
In recent years they’ve tried to update the conflict placing him in Afghanistan. But in another 40 years, it’ll be the same problem.
At any rate, the topic I really wanted to address was the armor design for the movie. Stan Winston is doing visual effects. He’s the guy who created the Alien, Robocop, the Predator, the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and the Terminator. So you know you’re in good hands. I just want to breathe a huge sigh of relief that they’re staying faithful to the armor design from the comics. The smartest thing director Jon Favreau did was hire artist Adi Granov as a technical adviser. Granov was the last artist to update Iron Man’s look and it’s probably one of my favorite interpretations yet. To me it says they’re taking it seriously.
Anyway, I could geek out for hours. But I didn’t want to let this slip by without saying something about it.
Is anyone else excited for Iron Man in 2008?
Wednesday is my last day here in Chicago while I am undergoing training in ActionScript for my 9 to 5 job. As such, I had to call in the big guns to provide some support. Today’s guest strip is courtesy of my good friend Mighty Joe Dunn!
If you don’t know Joe’s work, you’re living under a rock. To shine a little light under that rock, I strongly advise you to visit Joe Loves Crappy Movies.
I love this strip. Joe was a little self-conscious about it when he sent it to me because it wasn’t in color and not up to the standard that he usually holds himself accountable toward. But I told him not to sweat it. I thought the joke was great and I love the multi-panel approach.
You have to keep this in context, folks. I dropped my guest comic request on Joe at the 11th hour just as he had one foot out the door to attend the Small Press Expo that was going on in Bethesda, Maryland last weekend. He got this strip done while he was on the convention floor. Giving up his valuable time when he could have been making mad money. So, more than a tip of the hat to Joe. The man is awesome. Period.
If you’re a fan of The Triple Feature – the weekly talkcast that Joe, myself and our friend Gordon McAlpin run every Monday night – you might have noticed we were out of commission yesterday. Notorious TalkShoe “technical difficulties” got in the way and we had to scrap the show.
The deck was kind of stacked against us to begin with. Joe was going to log in as me since I was without an internet connection and then Gordon and I were going to call in from my hotel room. Y’see, Gordon lives in the Chicagoland area and swung by after work to hang out.
Due to no fault of our own, the show failed to materialize, so we had to abandon it. We’ll be back next week to talk more movies with you!
Speaking of movie talk, did you guys get a chance to check out my DVD review for Planet Terror? I posted it yesterday. You should read it. I’m going to post another review tomorrow. One for Transformers. So be sure to check that out as well.
By the way, I still have this awesome piece of movie memorabilia to give away:
It’ll probably be another mailing list giveaway like I did with Evan Almighty last week. Mailing list message go out every Friday, so if you want a chance to win this action figure, sign up now!
Something else happening Friday – I have some important site-related news I want to share with all of you, but I have to hold off until Friday until things settle down a bit. There is a subtle change behind-the-scenes that I think will improve what I’m doing on the site that I want to talk about. It’s kind of a long-winded deal and I want to wait until I’m back home and in my routine again before I talk about it.
Have a great day and be sure to visit the site again tomorrow!
For some people, watching the Super Bowl is all about the football. For others, the commercials. I fall into the later category and last night I was interested in one commercial in particular.
Go watch it. Right now. Done? Good.
Look, I know I’m probably setting myself up for a serious fall. I’ve got my hopes so high for this movie, they can’t possibly be matched. I know I’m also opening myself up against would-be detractors who are ready and willing to crap on something I hold dear. It doesn’t surprise me. I spend most of the year taking the piss out of all the big movies out there. For example, I didn’t make a lot of fans when I said Spider-Man 3 was a huge let down. So if Iron Man sucks, I have to be prepared for others to rub it in my face.
But for now, I’m in a blissed-out state. I can’t wait for this movie and every little snippet they release makes it look better and better and better to me. So right now I’m just riding a wave of good feelings until May 5. Don’t harsh my mellow, dude.
Speaking of harshed mellows (marshmallows?), what about that Super Bowl game last night. Pretty boring during the second and third quarter, but an excellent finish! I think what was great about this particular match up is that there was a good story in it for everyone regardless of which direction the wind blew. If the Patriots won, we’d all get to see history repeat for the first time since 1972 when the Miami Dolphins played a perfect season. If the Giants won, we’d get to see the underdog triumph.
Well, the underdog won and I couldn’t have believed if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Two spectacular last minute plays by both teams. Your heart has to go out to Tom Brady and the Patriots. Can you imagine being 30 seconds away from perfection only to have it torn from your grasp? I wonder if the NFL provides grief counselors to the losing team? Sad stuff.
I know people like to beat up on the Patriots because they have a lot of money and they’ve been winning a lot of Super Bowls in the last few years. It’s like hating the Yankees. I get it. It’s easy to root for the favorite. You’re never in the minority.
While I typically align myself with the underdog out of a similar disdain for “sure things,” it would have been really cool to have witnessed the end cap to a perfect season. That just doesn’t happen that often anymore.
Anyway, enough sports talk. Can you guys believe that the Hannah Montana concert movie made almost $30 million? A new record for a film released over the Super Bowl weekend. I guess they said it pre-sold over $18 million tickets before Friday. That’s crazy.
Personally, I can’t wait for the whole Miley Cyrus gravy train to come to a screeching halt. I guess she’s already making the move away from the Hannah Montana character and striking out as her own performer. But by the time she’s ready to declare herself a “serious” songwriter, you know here teeny-bopper fan base will have grown up and moved on to something else. It’s going to be spectacular.
But enough music talk! Now is the part of the blog where I would tell you to be sure and check out The Triple Feature podcast over at TalkShoe. But here’s the skinny – there won’t be a show tonight. Gordon, Joe and I discussed it last week and decided we needed a little break. Not a whole lot to talk about in movies anyway, so it was a good time for us to cool our jets a little and recharge the batteries. This will give all of you who are new to the show a good chance to go through the archive and download some of our old broadcasts. Lots of good stuff in there. I’m especially proud of our Cloverfield episode from a few weeks ago.
Did you know that you can subscribe to our podcast through iTunes now? Really handy! All the latest shows are sent directly to you! Check it out!
It’s probably a good thing we decided not to broadcast tonight because I’m pretty sure I would monopolize the entire conversation talking about the Iron Man trailer. And no one wants to listen to that for an hour!
In the meantime, for more Iron Man-inspired lunacy, check out this post from my LiveJournal account (friend me, while you’re at it). I took pictures of my Iron Man action figure collection. That’s right. I’m 30 years-old and collect action figures. Wanna make something of it?
Have a good day and I’ll see you here again on Wednesday!
In real life, Cami like to temper my fanaticism about Iron Man by suggesting the character might possibly be gay. Something about the mustache, she says. Wives always overlook the first rule of a man-crush. Ignore the haters.
That said, I’m probably only giving her more ammunition by producing a comic like this, but so what. It’s all in good fun.
I took a look at this weekend’s upcoming releases to find something timely to make fun of and was uninspired. Drillbit Taylor looks like nothing more than Owen Wilson’s “getting back on his feet” movie after his suicide attempt a few months ago. Audiences will give him a pass on this one if it’s awful and assume he’s still working out the kinks.
Meet the Browns is like the what?… sixteenth Tyler Perry movie this year?
Shutter looks like more reheated J-Horror that I liked better when it was The Ring, The Grudge or The Eye or whatever.
So, just like in the comic, I do what I always do when faced with a problem. I visit my happy place! Admittedly, Iron Man’s May 2 release date is always near the top of my list when I think about stops I need to make while visiting my happy place. Just buckle yourselves in now, folks. Because these random comics about Iron Man are only going to get more and more frequent the closer we get to May 2.
Beyond that, not a lot of news to report. I’m still enjoying my time off and making great progress on the site redesign. I’ve got the template all figured out and now I’m actually in the content writing stage. One of the big problems with my last redesign was creating navigation for stuff I never ended up writing content for. Not this time. I’m not releasing ANYTHING until all pages are written and accounted for.
I think you guys are really going to like the new design. I’m flattening things a great deal. The home page will be the comic, the blogs, and access to the archive. That’s it. There’s a lot of distractions on the home page right now. I’m trying to get rid of a lot of that and shuffle off some of this content to support pages. Y’know – so you have a reason to hang around the site for more than 20 seconds!
Anyway, that’s all for me. I hope you’re having a good Wednesday! See you here Friday!
For those either old enough to remember or for those with access to Nick At Nite, The Cone of Silence is actually a reference to the 1965 television show Get Smart.
(and that’s an old version of The Cone – the more commonly recognized version was kind of two domes that hovered over a desk, but this was the only picture I could find)
I suppose, to that end, it would have made more sense to use Tom’s literal interpretation of The Cone in reference to June’s big screen remake of Get Smart starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway – not Iron Man.
Yeah, I’ll have to take a mulligan on that one. I guess I just got it in my head that it would be funny for Tom to yell into a megaphone labeled “SILENCE” and call it The Cone of Silence. I didn’t completely think it through.
Still, the genesis for today’s strip came from an authentic place. I am in lockdown over Iron Man.
Joe and I have talked about this a lot. He’s actually the one that stated he was entering lockdown first. After the release of the second trailer, he didn’t want more information poluting his enjoyment of the film when it comes out May 2. I understood where he was coming from, but didn’t share the same opinion until a recent clip of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark showed up online featuring him testing out the Iron Man suit with a unique inside-the-helmet perspective.
I didn’t watch the clip! I resisted! I only know what it’s about from the stills I saw and the description I read. Yeah… that’s not much of a lockdown. BUT I DIDN’T WATCH THE CLIP! That has to count for something, right?
Watching trailers are one thing, but I worry a little bit when it comes to watching these clips out of context. At this point, my expectations for Iron Man are sky-high. I don’t want anything casting a shadow of a doubt before I go and see the movie in theaters.
This is not how I typically operate. Normally I devour every piece of information about a movie that I can get my hands on. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that I go to see the movie and am let down because I know about 20% of the plot. There are no surprises. I sabotage myself like this all the time. Consider it hazards of the job.
But the stakes are too high for Iron Man. So no more Iron Man content before the movie comes out! (please note that doesn’t mean there won’t be more Iron Man comics!)
Thanks for swinging by the site today, folks! See you again on Friday!
Originally, I was going to try and pinch off a comic about Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, but I couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm for it. It wasn’t until a friend e-mailed me the other day asking if I was excited for Iron Man a week from today that I decided to throw caution to the wind and kick off my Iron Man arc a little early.
Incidentally, I didn’t notice that my cardboard Iron Man looked anything like a MiniMate until I finished coloring it.
At any rate, the plan was to do a week of Iron Man comics starting next Monday. I’m so ridiculously excited for this movie, it’s offensive. It’s literally suffocating all of my relationships. People are BEGGING me to stop talking about it. So why not extend that into the digital realm as well.
Fans might remember that Tom owned a much more convincing Iron Man costume around Halloween 2006 and could possibly be wondering what happened to it. Don’t worry. An explaination is forthcoming. You’ll just have to check out the site next week!
Being a fan of all things Iron Man, people have been sending me links left and right about Iron Man related news items. It’s very cool, actually. For example, this parody news video created by The Onion that reports on the outrage and skepticism fans expressed when it was announced Hollywood would adapt the popular 90 second Iron Man trailer into a full-blown movie. It hits close to home, but damn if it isn’t funny
Another reader sent me something a little more obscure when he delivered this link to an AWESOME poster designed designed by Jesse Phillips for a special advanced screening of Iron Man April 28 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Lamar in Austin, Texas.
The poster is 24 x 36 and printed with glow-in-the-dark ink! They’re only selling 100 and what I wouldn’t do to get my hands on one of them! I don’t know that Cami would be particularly understanding about the purchase, though. She puts up with a lot regarding my Iron Man obsession. I think this would be crossing the line.
That is unless one of YOU would like to buy me a copy! Then it might be okay! ;D
Actually, that’s not a bad idea. If you’re feeling generous. Let me know. I’d be more than happy to return the favor with a little original artwork of my own, if that motivates you…
Something a little closer to my price range are the new Iron Man toys being sold with Burger King kids meals. The same friend that wrote me asking if I was excited to see the movie was the one who gave me the head’s up on this. Yeah… guess where I went for lunch today? Sadly, it looks like I’ll be eating at Burger King almost exclusively until I collect the rest of the figures or the promotion is over.
Even though I have access to the Burger King promotion, I’m not completely happy. Have you guys heard about the Iron Man promotion they have going on over at 7-11?
YOU CAN DRINK A SLURPEE OUT OF IRON MAN’S EMPTY HEAD!
Some of you are probably saying “So what’s the big deal, Tom? Just go to 7-11 and buy one!” Well, here’s the rub. I CAN’T! Iowa doesn’t have any 7-11’s! Unbelievable, I know – but it’s the truth. In 1998, all of the 7-11 stores in Iowa were sold off and converted into Kum & Go stores. And if you’re asking what kind of idiot marketer names their store “Kum & Go,” it’s obviously one that has no sense for double entendres. Around here, we call it the “Spooge & Split”
At any rate, I’m dispirited because I can’t get those cool collectors cups. I was similarly cheesed when they had that awesome promotion for The Simpsons Movie last year and they converted a bunch of 7-11’s into Kwik-E-Marts. I was lucky enough to meet a fan at a convention who traveled to one and brought me back a couple cans of Buzz Cola. That was really cool.
Is there anyone out there with access to a 7-11 willing to send me some of these collector cups? Man, that would be wild! E-mail me and we can iron (HA!) out the details. PUN INTENDED!
Do you guys understand how important Iron Man is to me? Do you? If not, I will soon have photographic evidence for you to pour over next week that will actually align quite nicely with the crux of the storyline I’ve prepared. So stay tuned for that!
It’s completely possible that I’m setting myself up for the most monumental disappointment ever. I’m pinning a lot of my hopes and dreams of the quality of this movie and, frankly, if it turns out as badly as Spider-Man 3 did, I’m not sure I’ll ever recover.
But this movie is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid. More so than Spider-Man or the Hulk or any of my other heroes. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this movie my whole life.
Stay tuned next week for more Iron Man inspired insanity! Have a great weekend, everyone!
Since slapping Tom into a crudely made homemade Iron Man costume, I felt obligated to return to a one-off comic I did two years ago when the Iron Man movie was first announced. It lined up well with the Halloween holiday and I thought, eventually, I might return to it. Then I thought it would be funnier to have Tom in a cardboard outfit than a fully functional piece of high-tech armor.
Plus, have you seen how much those Iron Man movie action figures cost? Stuff gets expensive!
Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from snapping up nearly every figure from the first wave of the series…
So you see, it’s a sickness. And that’s really not the worst of it…
I was going to take a picture of all of the Iron Man comic books I own, but I wasn’t feeling very well yesterday and it slipped my mind. Let’s just say that they number in the 200 – 300 range.
While we’re on the subject of collectibles, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of the people that immediately contacted me last week offering to purchase that awesome Jesse Phillips poster for the advanced screening of Iron Man at the Austin Drafthouse Cinema Lamar. Also a big THANK YOU to those who have offered to send me all the cool Iron Man promotional items from 7-11.
I have to admit, I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the response and I haven’t gotten back to any of you yet. I feel terrible about that. So I’m going to collect all of the e-mails and sort through them this evening and try to get back to all of you tonight or tomorrow. I honestly didn’t think anyone even read this blog stuff anymore! So it was really cool to see that not only do you guys read my entries, but you’re so willing to enable my addiction to all things Iron Man!
I found out last week that my local theater is selling advanced tickets to Iron Man starting at 8:00 PM Thursday night. I was flirting with the idea of doing the midnight showing on Friday (and even going so far to call in sick to work the next day so I could watch the movie over and over!), but then I decided not to push my luck.
An 8:00 PM showing of Iron Man would be handy, but I also have Friday’s strip to finish. So I’m trying to decide if I’ll attempt to work in advance and have the strip done before Thursday so I can see through the storyline OR if I’ll take advantage of the early showing, come home and do a REACTION strip for Friday?
Or, there’s a possibility that I won’t go to Iron Man at all on Thursday. *GASP!* I KNOW!!! The reason for that is because I really want Cami to see the movie and it kind of ruins the experience a little bit if I’ve already seen it and then start jabbing her with my elbow every five minutes saying "Check it out, check it out, check it out!"
At any rate, that’s about all I have to share this morning. But don’t forget to carve out some time this evening to listen to The Triple Feature talkcast at 9:00 PM CST over at TalkShoe.com. Tonight we’ll be talking about Baby Mama and Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. Meanwhile, both Joe and Gordon will attempt to steer me away from all topics related to Iron Man – since I have a one-track mind.
I don’t have a lot to say about this strip except that I was really psyched to deliver the punchline and extremely psyched out about how I would illustrate it.
It seems like every time I do one of these little story lines, I end up plotting something out that I’ve either A.) Never drawn before or B.) Have drawn, but suck at drawing correctly. In this case, it’s option B. and the offending item is the car. I SUCK at drawing cars.
Do you remember being in middle school, sitting in home room next to the guy that was drawing, like, A PERFECT Ferrari Testarossa? Yeah, I was never that guy. I don’t have an engineer’s mind. Nine times out of ten, if you ask me to draw a car, I’ll draw a bubble with wheels and happy people inside, laughing.
Also, the sun will have visible rays and a smiley face.
That said, I’m pretty happy with how the car turned out in today’s comic. Didn’t use a picture for reference or nuthin’! I suppose I should do arcs like these more often. It forces me to develop in different ways.
I’m starting to get REALLY pumped up about Iron Man. Reviews are starting to come in and I’m doing my best to resist them. But the headlines I’ve been reading at least have been VERY positive.
I bought tickets the other night to the 8:00 PM screening Thursday night and here’s the evidence…
…and before you say it, I agree that $8.75 for a movie is frakking ree-donk-u-lous. And, yes, I do think my glasses make me look like a sexy nerd.
Probably the thing that has me most excited about seeing the film tomorrow is that I got Cami to go along with me. I mean, it was pretty much inevitable that she would see the movie with me at some point, but I thought she would take a pass on an early screening because… I don’t know… because she would have work the next day? Because it’s hard to find a babysitter for Henry on a Thursday night? There was literally any number of acceptable excuses she could have used.
But she didn’t! My sister-in-law is coming by the house Thursday night to hang out and watch Henry while Cami and I wade in up to our elbows in nerd juice. It’ll be great!
With any luck, I’ll get to see the movie a few times before the end of the week is up. Cami is leaving for DC on a business trip Sunday, so I won’t have any free time next week to see it on my own. Either way, I’ll be back here on Friday with my reactions. I promise to try not and spoil it for anyone.
Wish me luck!
Apologies for the gross lateness of today’s comic. I had a problem with my internet connection Thursday night and couldn’t upload it. Then, on Friday night, my parents came over to the house for dinner and conversation after being on vacation for a week and I was further delayed.
I wish I had a large, profound blog post for you right now. But I don’t – which is a shame, because I would love nothing more than to talk to you about Iron Man right now. Cami and I saw it on Thursday night and LOVED it.
I have a review written for the movie and I will most likely post it Sunday. So you’ll get the full scoop then.
I could literally talk about it for hours and probably will during The Triple Feature podcast on Monday night. So you have that to look forward to as well. No reason burning everyone out on Iron Man discussion just yet.
Here’s to you and yours and hopefully you all have a great weekend.
See you here on Monday. Take care.