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.
It’s Friday the 13th kids. Don’t walk under ladders or none of that crap. In the very least, do your best to avoid being hacked to pieces by any goalie mask wearing momma’s boy while camping at Camp Crystal Lake this weekend – I think we all know who I’m talking about.
Too bad I forgot today was Friday the 13th until after I finished inking, coloring and lettering today’s strip. I might have been able to get a good joke out of it. Oh, well.
I wish I could explain the conversational thread that birthed this joke and held its hand through the evolutionary process, but truthfully, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Let’s just presume that I’m brilliant and this isn’t some sort of grabbing-at-straws attempt at humor as I sit stranded, wallowing in post-summer cinematic crappola.
I’m just hoping there are Cinemark theaters near where you live. I had to pick a chain that I presumed was nationwide to make the joke work. It doesn’t hurt that the name “mark” is part of their moniker. “Mark” is a real name, isn’t it?
I feel like I should be making some sort of big play for the funny. Especially on a Friday post. I’d like to think Theater Hopper is the place you come to before kicking your weekend off right. Either us, or maybe E!’s Wild On…
Until I can think of something else, I bid you fare-thee-wells.
I just want to make it clear that nothing of this nature has actually ever happened to Cami. She’s not known for cracking skulls at the concession stand.
However, that’s not to say the theater staff wouldn’t try to make a pass at her. Cami is hot. I mean, like, totally hot. Part of your brain stem would have to be missing not to make a pass at her.
As I write this, she is sleeping. She cleaned the bathrooms tonight while I dinked around with today’s strip. For that, and so much more, she is awesome. She is beautiful. I love her.
Now, collectively… “AWWWWW…”
But it’s true.
By the way, did you know that you’ll actually get a chance to SEE what she looks like in the Theater Hopper Documentary? This is what we call “building suspense”. I know you’ll all be very pleased when you have a copy of the film in your hot, little hands. Soon, young Padawan Learner. Soon. Stay tuned here for more.
I was hoping to have my review of Punch-Drunk Love up and ready to look at today, but I was putting up shelves in the basement earlier this evening. I guess it’ll just have to wait.
I’ll see ya’ when I see ya’.
I’ve taken pot-shots at the theater industry’s somewhat misaligned concept of proportional servings in the past, but I thought I was due to revisit the comedic devise for today’s strip.
I tried coming up with a good joke for today’s release of The Cat in the Hat, but I kept coming back to punch lines involving raves, The Grateful Dead or related drug humor. Frankly, we’re just not that kind of comic.
Gothika is the other big release today and I couldn’t think of a damn thing to make fun of there other than how bad Halle Berry’s hair looks. But I guess it’s alright, ‘cuz she’s supposed to be cra-zay!
I think my movie options this weekend are kind of slim, but I don’t really care. My good friend Nick is coming to visit from Minneapolis this weekend and we’re gonna tear it up Iowa-style!
I guess I didn’t mention how my experience at the Henry Rollins spoken word show went on Wednesday. Well, it went okay!
We didn’t get there until about 10 minutes before he went on. So we were left scrambling for seats. We ended up in the balcony probably a good 200 feet away from him. This was a change in scenery for me because in my usual fan-boy way I would drag everyone to the show an hour in advance to get good seats. I’ve seen him 4 other times before this and we’ve always been just a few rows away from the stage.
Not that I minded, particularly. We could still hear him great. That is, whenever the two girls sitting next to me decided to discontinue one of their several lengthy conversations. And what was up with the girl in front of us taking pictures with some kind of high-powered flash? I think it may have bleached the skin of people sitting in the 3 rows in front of her.
Rollins was cool. He seemed more mellow than usual. He told a lot of good stories. Standouts included his tale of catching a burglar as he was in the process of breaking into his home and getting out of jury duty. He shared a few “Hollywood” stories, too – talking about his attendance at the premieres of The School of Rock and Kill Bill. He also talked about being dissed by Sheryl Crow.
After the show, Cami and I hung around outside to see if we could get a picture with Henry. But after a half hour, we decided to bolt. We had an hour long drive ahead of us at 10:30 at night and work the next day. On top of that, we had to pick up Truman at my parents place on the way home. We didn’t want him to be cooped up in his crate all day, so my folks babysat for us. How cool are they?
I bought Final Fantasy X-2 yesterday and I’m looking forward to finding some time to commit to it. What I’ve played so far is really a lot of fun. I enjoyed Final Fantasy X immensely. I’ve played all the way through it 3 times. It’s probably my favorite game of all time.
I don’t want to come off sounding like a FF fan boy, so I think I’ll cut it off there.
I hope everyone has a good weekend. Next weekend is Thanksgiving and I’m sure that’s going to throw a lot of us into upheaval. Hopefully you’ll still make time to visit the site. I plan to keep updating through the holiday.
If you haven’t joined the forums yet, look into it. We’re having a lot of fun in there.
If everyone can participate in the ritual of voting for Theater Hopper at BuzzComix, it would be a great bit of timing on your part. Y’see, the counters have reset at BuzzComix and we want to make a big impression for the first of the month. Remember, you get a new incentive sketch each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as a reward for voting!
I don’t have too much for you blog-wise. I got home late from a Super Bowl party and I’ve pretty much spent the rest of the weekend digging out from a snow storm that wont stop dumping its payload. I *really* looking forward to going to work tomorrow!
I’m not sure how many of you watched the Super Bowl last night, but I thought it was a pretty good game. The second half, at least. Nothing happened in those first two quarters.
Did you catch the half time show with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake? If you missed it, you should be kicking yourself right now. The news has pretty much already circumnavigated the globe, but on Sunday night Janet Jackson flashed about 80 million television viewers.
We weren’t sure if what we saw was what we thought happened. We couldn’t even be sure if it was staged or not! Luckily, the TV we were watching the game on was equipped with TiVo and we rewound and paused the infamous moment repeatedly to determine if our eyes had deceive us.
Is it sad this was the biggest event of my weekend?
Oh, well. Onto more important matters. Everyone needs to visit Maveric PC. If you’re in the market for a new personal computer, go to these guys first. They’ll build you a screaming system. If that wasn’t enough, each system comes with a DVD drive and – as an extra bonus – when you purchase any Maveric system, you get a DVD movie for FREE! Choices include The Matrix Reloaded, X2: X-Men United, Bad Boys II, Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Special Edition and Versus. It’s a great deal you can’t pass up.
Check out Maveric PC and tell them Theater Hopper sent you. It’s a great company that deserves your business!
Take care. Talk to everyone soon!
I don’t know what to tell you about today’s incentive sketch. Let’s just say that it plays up my Midwestern roots. Vote for Theater Hopper at buzzComix to reveal the big secret!
Cami and I had a really busy weekend, we barely had time to rest. Between driving two hours and back to Cedar Falls to watch my sister-in-law graduate from college on Saturday (by the way, thanks for dog-sitting Jared!) and doing the Mother’s Day thing on Sunday, it seems like we were coming and going every which way! Don’t even get me STARTED about the Survivor All-Stars finale!
But amidst all the chaos, we were able to sneak into Van Helsing. Well, not literally. We paid for our tickets and leant our dollar to Helsing’s $54 million take this weekend.
What did I think of the movie? Well, the comic addresses it for the most part. If you can suspend disbelief, you’ll have a grand old time. Of course, I don’t know how many people are going into movies that feature Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolf Man looking for high drama. Richard Roxburgh’s performance as Dracula early in the film sets the tone for what’s to follow. “Over-the-top” does not begin to describe it. Both Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones would have trouble keeping up with all the scene-chewing Roxburgh aspires to.
The film did little to change my opinion of Stephen Sommers or Kate Beckinsale. I still hate them both. But I walked out with greater esteem for Hugh Jackman. He’s really carving a niche in the action genre. The man just sells it.
I think fans of the classic Universal monsters won’t be grossly offended by the updates. The Wolf Man probably gets the most noticeable upgrade. Dracula loses a lot of his mysterious sex appeal as they try to graft some kind of occult-scientist persona onto him. Although he looks ridiculous (too many appliances attached to the body), Shuler Hensley as Frankenstein’s Monster probably comes off the best.
If you’d read reviews, pretty much all the criticisms are true. The movie is RELENTLESSLY loud. Sommers doesn’t give his audience a minute to catch their breath or process what they’ve seen. There is always something either flying at them, whizzing by or stomping about – the soundtrack the key offender among them.
Sommers is also highly derivative in his visual style. There are constant nods and outright thefts of other films. The Lion King, the James Bond franchise, Indiana Jones, Spider-Man – even Jackman’s performance as Wolverine in the X-Men films gets a nod.
The movie relies greatly on computer generated effects. I joked with Cami that probably 10% of the movie was actually filmed and the rest was a computer construct. CG is fine and dandy as an enhancement tool, but not when the majority of the action requires it. Giant battles with monsters that don’t exist carry no weight. You don’t care that someone is being thrown through a wall because, underneath it all, you know there is no real danger. You end up checking your watch and waiting to see who comes out on top.
But despite all its obvious flaws (and despite my better judgment), I think I had fun at this movie. Probably because my expectations were low. Sure my IQ may have dropped a couple of points, but that’s all part of a stupid Hollywood popcorn flick.
Will I see Van Helsing again? Probably not. I doubt if I will even rent it on video. But if you’re remotely curious, I suggest looking into it. Just suspend disbelief at the door!
Since my incentive sketch of Tom as a dog a week or so ago seemed to go over pretty well, I decided to flip the coin and do an incentive sketch featuring Cami as a cat! It doesn’t get any weirder than this! Vote for Theater Hopper at buzzComix to see the results!
Today’s comic builds off Monday’s strip where Tom loses his sense of disbelief. People in the forums seemed to enjoy the metaphor, so I’m running with it! I have a storyline mapped out that will carry us through next week! I’m really excited about it because I usually don’t work this far in advance. I think you’ll enjoy the direction we’re going with this, so keep checking the site for the next installment and hang on for the ride!
It should go without saying, by the way, that since I’m tackling a more plot-driven storyline, I probably won’t be making fun of any of the more current releases like Troy and Soul Plane. Not in the comic, at least. Probably in the blogs, though.
You may have noticed the new ad on the right hand side of the comic today. It’s a status bar that reflects all the money the site earns from advertising, merchandise sales and donations. Why is it there? Because I’m trying to get to Wizard World Chicago this August and I need your help. Read here for the whole story. It outlines what I’m doing and why.
The short story is, Wizard World Chicago is one of the largest comic book and independent publisher conventions in the country. I think it would be a great opportunity to introduce Theater Hopper to new readers as well as say “Thank you!” in person to those of you that can make it out to the event! If there is anything you can do to help me meet my goal, you know I would appreciate it. Remember, there are always incentives for donating and we have some great merchandise in stock!
Thank you so much for your support. Today is my 275th strip. I would have never imagined getting this far without you. Let’s see if we can’t push our luck and go a little farther!…
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!
(9 votes, average: 7.78 out of 10)
I think you’re going to want to check out the special incentive sketch I’ve whipped up for today. I was really happy with the way it turned out. It’s a nice action shot. Click here to vote for Theater Hopper at buzzComix and earn your reward!
Well, this is it. The ending of our little two week journey. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’m very pleased with the way this storyline turned out – especially the coloring of the last two strips. I put in a lot of effort to tell a different kind of story. I just hope that you liked it.
If you’d like to leave any comments about this storyline, you can do so in the forum.
I have no segue here, so what I’m about to say next, I’ll just come out and say.
I have some big news to share with you about the site. Don’t get into a panic just yet. Nothing has been finalized. It’s GOOD news in case you were worried. But what I have to share could change the direction of this comic for the better starting next Monday.
I know that’s a pretty big cliffhanger to toss out there, but I don’t want to jinx it. If you want to find out what the big news is, come back to the site Monday morning and I’ll be ready to share it.
For right now, I want to give a shout out to a slew of new advertisers.
Be sure to check out our newest sponsor, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. SMBC is a one-panel web comic similar in spirit to Gary Larsen’s The Far Side. These strip was around back when I started Theater Hopper almost two years ago before dropping out of the scene. Well, now they’re back, so give ’em your love.
Another advertiser we have is Digital Pimp Online. Don’t worry, kiddies. Nothing dirty going on here and it’s totally work-safe! The site is a collection of both print and web comics that you can check out. The art is really sharp and has a decidedly urban feel. One half of the creative team – Joe Dunn – posts to our forums. So if you like his work, you can always leave him a message and tell him so!
Lastly, Maveric PC is back with us and they’re selling some hot, new custom PC rigs that you have to see to believe. These guys do great work. Quality service and affordable price tags. If you’re in the market for a new gaming PC, give these guys a minute of your time.
In more pedestrian news, Cami and I went to see Shrek 2 last night. It was pretty good, but not as good as critics were making it out to be. I really didn’t think it was any better or any worse than the original. I laughed out loud a couple of times, but never started laughing so hard I would squirt milk from my nose.
The one thing the critics DID get right is how Antonio Banderas COMPLETELY steals this movie from the lead actors. His turn as Puss in Boots has “hilarious” stamped all over it in big, red letters. If they did a movie featuring the adventures of this lone character, I would see it.
I guess Dreamworks is already putting together Shrek 3, so let’s hope Puss gets a little more screen time.
That’s about it on my end. Thanks for keeping up with me these last few weeks through this storyline. It’s been a lot of fun.
See you here Monday for big news!
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!