Something I wanted to mention yesterday but was too busy fighting off a migraine to recall is that Zach Miller – yes THAT Zach Miller, the one from the erstwhile No Pants Tuesday – has thrown his hat back into the web comic ring with a new strip called Joe and Monkey.
What’s Joe and Monkey about? Simple, really. It’s the tale of a delivery boy named Joe and a monkey named Monkey. Oh, and be on the lookout for Kleptobot!
Anyone familiar with Zach’s work knows that Joe and Monkey has been in development for a long time. There’s a good reason for that. Y’see, Zach sometimes has a little problem with updating on time. Not a strike against him! Just stating a fact!
Well, Zach knows it just as much as we do, so he decided to do something about it. That’s why he produced A TON of comics in advance so he would never miss an update. You think I’m joking, but the amount of comics he produced weighs literally 2,000 pounds.
At any rate, I’m really excited to see Zach producing comics again and also experienced a warming of the heart when he mentioned Theater Hopper in his opening blog and had lots of nice things to say. Thank you, Zach! You cut to the core of me!
Since it’s a Friday and we seem to be doing “shout out’s”, I’ve decided to link up a couple of dudes I think you should check out.
First, whydoncha head on over to Fuitad.com. Please do not confuse this site with my former hosting company. People in the web comic community are already familiar with Fuitad. He’s the guy who came up with Top Web Comics. Well, he owned a hosting company for a while – the one TH was having problems with – but sold it two months ago. Long before we were having any issues.
At any rate, Fuitad helped me get out from under that hosting situation and allowed for Theater Hopper to move to a new server. As a way to return the favor, I want you all to check out his site. He has a comic, by the way. It’s drawn pretty well!
Another site I want you to visit is a comic that you will be talking about for a long time to come. Don’t ask me how I know. I just know. It’s called The Useless Superheroes and the illustration on this comic is OUTSTANDING! It’s a loving parody of the superhero genre. If you read comic books like I do, you’ll appreciate all of the references. It’s extremely well done.
Also, because Zach Miller is the most handsome man in Minnesota, check out his new web comic, Joe & Monkey. Just so you know, he
I’m looking forward to the trip to Wizard World Chicago, but a little nervous, too. From Des Moines, it’s a 6 hour drive to Chicago. That’s the furthest I’ve ever driven somewhere by myself. Hopefully I won’t get desperately lost and end up dead in a crack house somewhere.
I’m also a little panicked that I didn’t bring enough stuff to sell. I only have maybe, 20 of my original posters left. Jared gave me his last 6 copies of the DVD to sell. I’m bringing, like 8 t-shirts – all mediums and larges that I’ve been waiting for someone to order and that I’ve been sitting on. I still have a lot of the Trainspotting parody poster. But the item I worked the hardest on – the 24 page sampler booklet with a new, never seen before comic – well, I only have about 150 of those. Still, if I sell out of merchandise, that’s not really a bad problem to have, is it?
I went totally D.I.Y. on this booklet. They’ve all been lovingly arranged by hand. I was going to take them to a professional printer, but they wanted $300. Sh’eah, right!
Once I get to Chicago, I expect things to be in full swing. I’m sharing a room with Zach Miller from Joe & Monkey. Let’s hope he doesn’t snore!
The two of us are sharing a booth with Nothing Nice to Say’s Mitch Clem. We were also supposed to be booth-buddies with Neil G from Robot Stories, but he had to drop out at the last minute because he’s buying a house and needed to get his stuff together. We’ll miss Neil, but I’m sure we’ll have a good time. It’s like a reunion of the Minneapolis FallCon!
…except without Carrington, who we will also miss.
Before I wrap things up, be sure to check out our latest advertiser Built For Comfort. These guys are just getting off the ground with their comic, but I think it looks pretty good. The site design is tight. BOOKMARK’D!
I prepared Friday’s comic in advance and it’s sitting in the display cue ready to go. Hopefully I didn’t screw things up with the code and you’ll have a nice comic about Aliens vs. Predator to kick off your weekend.
See you soon!
Well, I’m back in the comic saddle, as it were. There are certain perks that go along with that. Like an extra incentive sketch for you! Click here to vote for Theater Hopper on buzzComix and see what happens to Tom when he gets a little too close to one of those creepy Alien egg-things… We’ve kind of slipped down the charts a little bit at buzzComix, so hopefully this new sketch will help Theater Hopper jump up a couple places on the list.
One last shout-out to Dave Hinkle who gave me an excellent guest comic on Monday to help me get back into the groove after the Chicago convention. Check out his comic, Security’s Finest for me, will you? Dave’s guest comic has been removed from the archive and now found a home on the Bonus Materials page.
What do you think of the extra-special cameo in today’s comic?
Wow, I tell you guys that I have some advertising space open and you come a’running! Please, please, please check out our latest sponsor. I promise they won’t disapoint.
Wacky Movies is pretty much that. An interesting collection of short films, writing and an internet chat show. Lots of interesting stuff to see here. I got a kick out of The Playground Patrol.
Our next sponsor should need no introduction, but I’m breakin’ all the rules, baby! Joe and Monkey! Zach Miller (formerly of No Pants Tuesday) has been kicking ass and taking names with his new comic. He updates seven days a week, people! And he hasn’t missed a day yet! If that doesn’t earn your faith and devotion, I don’t know what will.
Lastly, don’t forget to check out O’Deer Comics. These guys are frequent advertisers on the site and we love their business. Show them how much we appreciate their support by visiting their web comic often. They update five times a week and have a really good storyline going on right now.
That’s about everything I can think of for the moment. Please visit our sponsors!
Before I launch into things, I wanted to ask for your vote at buzzComix really quickly. The top list has reset for October over there and I think it would be really great if we could position Theater Hopper in the Top 3. Heck, if we could get the number 1 spot, that would be a real treat.
To reward those of you that vote, there is an extra sketch related to the comic that you get to view. I think you’ll really enjoy today’s sketch. It depicts Tom’s first unfortunate selection in a clobberin’ rock. Anyway, about today’s comic.
I know it seems like the narrative has been jumping around a little bit these last few strips. Tom hopped into the car with Jimmy on Wednesday and it seemed his paranoia went out the window. Now today’s he’s driving, but the car is out of gas! What’s going on?
I’m just discovering that as I’m wrapping this up, there are some loose ends that need to be tied up and I have to cram a lot of detail and dialogue into fewer panels. In any case, I hope things aren’t TOO jarring and you’re still able to enjoy the story.
You may have noticed that I included some special guest stars in today’s strip. It’s Zach Miller’s Joe and Monkey! If you’re not reading JaM right now, then you’re really missing out on some quality work. Zach has fallen totally in love with his creations and it shows. Did I mention he updates 7 days a week now? It sure beats the updates we’d get every month or so back when Zach was drawing No Pants Tuesday!
I included Joe and Monkey for a couple of reasons. First, I felt that the arc had gone on long enough to warrant a little extra wattage from guest stars. Kind of like when Janet Jackson shows up on Will and Grace, or something. It’s a treat for the people who have stuck with the storyline this far.
The other reason was that Zach has been an exceptional confidant as I feel my way around this story. Zach has a little bit more experience telling a longer narrative than I do, so he’s been great whenever I needed to bounce and idea off of him. I wanted to thank him for it.
I don’t want to give away too much because I got in trouble for it in the THorum, but I think you’ll find the story will really tighten up when it concludes next week. As much fun as I’m having, I’m also kind of ready to put it to bed. I miss talking about movies!
Speaking of movies, there still hasn’t been much in theaters that has captured my attention. I guess Ladder 49 looks kind of interesting, but I probably won’t see it. Pardon the pun, but it looks like a reheated version of Backdraft to me. Do we really need a quasi-remake of a film that came out 13 years ago?
I’ll give props to the producers trying to sneak Joaquin Phoenix past us as a leading man in an action film. Good try, fellas! I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to live vicariously as a hero through the visage of a man with a harelip.
Shark Tale comes out today. Snore! It looks like Dreamworks tried to take the best of Shrek and the best of Finding Nemo and crammed them together to make an unwatchable pile of crap. I’ve read it’s like watching an underwater version of The Flinstones where instead of lame puns about rocks and boulders, they’re about trout and seaweed.
The only new movie that I have my eye on is I Heart Huckabees. The plot is too complicated to go into here, but you can regard it as an existential comedy. Think Magnolia, but with a sense of humor and less frogs.
I’m mostly attracted to its pedigree. David O. Russell wrote and directed the picture. He also did Spanking The Monkey, Flirting With Disaster and Three Kings. He was part of that late-90’s boon of auteur filmmakers that I really enjoy. Alexander Payne and Sam Mendes would also fall into this category.
Casting Jason Schwartzman as the lead in the picture is a good choice. I’ve been a fan of his since Rushmore. Not so much a fan of Slackers, but he was due for something like this. He’s very approachable, but slightly skewed and I like his delivery.
I’ve also heard good things about Jude Law’s performance. Between Huckabees and his lead role in Alfie later this fall, he sound like the one to beat at this years Oscars. They’re already predicting a split between Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor for these two roles. I’ve read that Russell was even able to get a strong performance out of Mary (you can call him Marky Mark) Wahlberg!
All that said, I’m probably staying home this weekend anyway. I’m prepping all the mailing labels on our new shirt so I can mail them out as soon as the order is delivered to my door.
Have you bought a shirt yet? If you haven’t, start collecting the deposit on aluminum can’s now. We’re only accepting pre-orders until October 15th. Once the order to the printer goes out, you’re going to have to wait a little while before you get another chance to get one for yourself! Click here to check out all the style and color options!
That’s about all I have for now. Have a great weekend!
…and so ends the crossover. Exit Joe and Monkey. Stage left, even!
In honor of their appearance, I have created a special JaM reward sketch that you can view by voting for Theater Hopper at buzzComix. It depicts Joe finally learning the important difference between e.p.t. and E.M.T.
A major shout-out needs to go out to Joe and Monkey creator Zach Miller. I already gave him some minor kudos on Friday, but this time I’m handing out the King-Sized kudos. Not only has Zach been a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of as I conclude the arc, but when I needed help finding the punch line to today’s strip, Zach was more than willing to lend a hand. I mean, who better to get the tone and the feeling of the characters right than the guy who created them? The e.p.t. joke is totally his and I appreciate his help. It was a real treat to take his characters for a little spin around the block. I had a blast working with them.
Can you believe the storyline that started way back on September 6 is almost over? A whole month dedicated to one arc. It’s crazy for me!
And I swear that it will end on Friday. No more phony extensions like I gave myself last week! This time it has been plotted out. It is set in stone! The closer comes on Friday and that’s it!
Anyway, I know I’ll be saying it a lot this week, so thank you to everyone who has supported this arc. It’s really helped to wake me up creatively and it’s been a blast.
I also want to say thank you to everyone who has bought our new t-shirt. Response to this design has been a lot stronger than the old Pimp Tom t-shirt. I have a feeling we may have hit on a design that I can continue to sell on the site for a long time.
It’s funny, y’know. The concept for the shirt originally began as an inside joke for the members of the THorum. I can’t get into the whole history of it, but I thought only a few people would buy the shirt since they were the ones who inspired it. Instead, when I’m checking my referral logs, I’m seeing links to all these other communities with other movie fans saying “Hey, check out this shirt!” and linking to the site. So if you’re new to Theater Hopper after coming to check out the shirt
You may have noticed that we have a new sponsor this week – the awesome Joe and Monkey.
Now, normally this would be cause to celebrate all on it’s own. But our good friend Zach Miller pulled a bait-and-switch on us. A very awesome bait-and-switch!
For the entire month of January, the erstwhile original punk rock gangsta of web comics Mitch Clem is running the show at Joe and Monkey!
All of this awesomeness is leading up to the ultimate in awesome. The return of Clem to his own full-time gig, The Coffee Achievers in February. Who says winter has to suck!
So if you want to see if Mitch still has the mojo, check out Joe and Monkey for his triumphant return to web comics!
By the by, besides the current column sponsorship, all of the advertising spots are available for purchase. If you’re interested in putting your site in front of a bunch of people for the New Year, now’s the time to come aboard. I’m making a concentrated effort to re-introduce Theater Hopper to the web comic community, so I’ll be stirring up a lot of press that will hopefully draw traffic here.
Wow! From the number 5 slot to number 3 at buzzComix in just one day! I should leave you guys hanging more often!
Just kidding. Sorry about the lack of blogage yesterday, but when I finished the comic Sunday night, I just wasn’t up to it. Come Monday, I barely had time to ∗look∗ at a computer. So it got shuffled off until this morning.
I didn’t see The Ring Two this weekend nor do I plan on ever seeing it. I loved the first movie. It was so much more than just a horror flick with cheap thrills. It was genuinely creepy. LOTS of unanswered questions and a gloomy atmosphere that clings to you like a cold, wet sheet.
And even though the Japanese director of the source material Ringu was behind the lens of the American sequel, from what I’ve read, he severely overestimates the effect of trickling water to spook American audiences.
Incidentally, Monday’s comic was less a commentary on the movie itself, but more a general stab at sequelitis – the horrible affliction of Hollywood studios to recycle the same concepts over and over. In order for Naomi Watts’ character to be sucked in again by this haunted video, the script – by default – is going to force her to make some really stupid decisions.
Yes, I know, I know. There are several sequels in Japan. Even a Ring 0 (natch). But that doesn’t always make things right.
Switching gears – I don’t know about you, but since The Incredibles came out last Tuesday, I’ve been in full-on Pixar mode all week. I instantly devoured the bonus materials on DVD and have watched the movie twice already. I don’t know what it is about Brad Bird that I find so magnetic, but I respect the hell out of that guy. He’s like this patriarch of creative nerds. Something you could aspire to be.
The film is more visually arresting every time you watch it. And like and great film, you keep catching little details in every viewing. Anything from a side glance one character throws to another, to the astonishing level of detail they put into the jungle environments. The movie is grade-A level filmmaking and there is a lot to be learned from it.
I’m so wrapped up in all things Pixar at the moment, I even went back and watched Toy Story 2! Now THERE’S an example of a sequel done right!
Something I didn’t get a chance to mention earlier, but am making up for now was the guest comic I did for Zach over at Joe and Monkey. It was posted on Sunday. If you want to check it out, click here.
Be sure to skip backwards through a few of the other guest comics that were posted last week. A lot of them are real winners.
Actually, you know what? You should be familiar with the Joe and Monkey archives just as a rule. It’s a brilliant comic.
Something else I’ve been negligent to do is to point out the good people who have chosen to advertise with Theater Hopper in the last few weeks.
I totally missed the boat when it came to highlighting Split Reason Clothing. Their ad is no longer running on the site, but I strongly encourage you check them out. These guys sell a whole bunch of cool t-shirts and other apparel. I’ve always really liked their designs. Secretly, I’m jealous I can’t come up with visuals just as good for ∗this∗ site.
I don’t know why there aren’t as many one-panel gag comics out there as their should be. Maybe it’s a lack of sussinct wit on behalf of most writers. I think it’s a pretty specific talent. In any case, Basketcase Comix does a great job with the format and you should check it out.
Our newest advertiser is Rumf Adventures. For some reason, it reminds me of Pogo by Richard Davidson or maybe Bone by Jeff Smith. It kind of has that old-world design that is very economical but very effective.
At the other end of the spectrum is Whisky Sours, which is also well-illustrated, but the fantasy elements are completely alcohol-induced. It really lives up to its name! Check out their site. Wonderfully designed.
Speaking of site design, I’m undergoing a little site redesign of my own for Theater Hopper. Progress has been slow-going, but once I get some of the templates in place, I think I will be able to start introducing in a little bit at a time to you guys. Some parts of the site will be inaccessible for a little while. Obviously the comic and the blogs will be revised first. I’ll probably follow up with the store, and then the rest of the pages should fall like dominoes.
Anyway, just letting you know what’s going on in my life. Thanks for reading all this gobbely-gook!
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I dropped the Frank Miller-inspired high contrast look of Sin City in a return to form for today’s comic. What can I say? You can only ride the wave for so long.
I’m a little bit O.C.D., so I had reservations about switching styles back to normal in the middle of the week. But honestly, there was nowhere else to go with it. All I really wanted to do was push the arc to the point where I could cast Jimmy as That Yellow Bastard. And now I’ve done it! It’s time to move on.
Besides, you can only go so long paying homage to another artist’s style before people say “Okay. That’s enough.”
The events in today’s comic are 50% true. Mitch ∗did∗ actually fall asleep near the end of Sin City and sheepishly admitted so. We didn’t strand him in the theater parking lot because…
* THE REST OF THIS BLOG POST WAS LOST WHEN THEATER HOPPER MOVED TO WORDPRESS IN JANUARY 2009 *