I’m going to keep today’s blog short because I just spent the last 6 hours drawing and inking today’s and Friday’s strip. I’ll be away from home tonight, so I won’t have time to do Friday’s strip in the evening. I had to put it together Wednesday night. I think you’ll like it, though. I’ve made it extra-mushy for Valentine’s Day.
Hopefully, you are all enjoying this full week of strips. It’s been a lot of fun putting them together, but I’m glad my regular shift is only three days out of the week. I think I would be really stuck for ideas if I had to come up with something every day. In this instance, I just got lucky with a story line I could stretch out. You gotta strike while the iron is hot!
I’ve been getting some good feedback lately, which is nice. I want to let everyone know that I really appreciate your kind words and support and feel free to e-mail me any time you like. I try to respond to each e-mail I get. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) Theater Hopper’s popularity is at a sustained level right now and I can still do that.
A lot of you have been writing in with your reactions to the Oscar nominations, which I think is great. I’m always down for listening to a differenet set of opinions or being clued in on a movie I’ve yet to see. It’s times like these that I wish we had a forum to discuss things more in depth. There’s only so much ground I can cover in a blog.
That being said, I’m going to wrap it up. Jared is back on the scene, so I’m gonna let him do his thing. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the excellent Valentine’s Day conclusion of the Daredevil storyline. And, just because I love you, expect to see a new review from Nick posted soon!
Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!
First off, let me apologize for being late with the strip. Due a freak electrical storm that fried my ethernet card on Wednesday night, I’ve been without access to the internet.
I thought things would be hunky-dorky since I bought a replacement card last night and installed it, but I still can’t connect. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve done something wrong, or if it is my woefully inconsistent local service provider. My card appears in my Network Connections window of my control panel and it says it’s enabled, but it just can’t make that leap to connecting to the internet. If anyone has any ideas, please contact me.
With that out of the way, how many of you are seeing X-Men 2 tonight? I should see EVERYONE raising their hands. That’s right. Even you in the back. I can see you.
The early reviews look to be pretty positive, so I’m excited for a good result. It’s been reported that Brian Singer was given a budget upwards of $157 million – and it shows.
Usually I’m of the persuasion that throwing more money at a picture makes things worse, not better. But, if anything, the first X-Men was sorely lacking in the amount of effects it could have exhibited. A healthy dose of greenbacks could be the only solution.
Personally, I’m pumped to see Nightcrawler on the big screen and I think the casting of Alan Cumming was brilliant. His addition to the cast, I feel, will be much better received than if they had introduced Gambit or Beast. (Extra points for them sneaking Colossus into the mix!)
I’ve always been an old-school Nightcrawler fan. I don’t like the direction his character has taken in the comics – that of a priest (I prefer his swash-buckling days) – but I always appreciated the dynamic of a man who outwardly looks like a demon, but inwardly is devoutly religious. The irony is palpable.
And, of course, the ability to teleport just kicks ass.
Just in case you guys don’t know what those big green fists are that I’m referencing in today’s strip, here’s a link to the acutal product they’re selling to your kids. Just to send the message home, here’s a picture, too.
Man, that kid is scary. Too much sugar in his diet.
Let’s stop for a minute and think about this product. While undoubtably cool, is this the kind of item you want to willing hand over to a TV-addled 10 year-old? It’s not as though they aren’t ALREADY going around punching everything and everyone. Now we need to give them a bigger surface area to hit with and ELECTRONIC SOUNDS?
I envision many sad, sad parents after this weekend.
The Hulk marketing machine seems to be churing at full-tilt. His ugly mug is on everything from my can of Mountain Dew to my stylish birthday party paper plates?
It raises the question “Why the HELL did director Ang Lee allow Universal to market his picture with such wanton abandon?”
Part of the answer may stem in the price tag for the movie. Apparently Universal has sank over $150 million dollars into it plus another $20 million at the last minute to make the Hulk “extra real”. No wonder they’re trying to recoup on their investment.
I don’t think there’s a doubt in anyone’s brain that The Hulk is going to pull in serious green (HA, HA!) this weekend. Whether it can remain for the long haul remains to be seen. Terminator 3 is on the horizion and pitching straight up the middle of Hulk’s audience – geeks who wished they were powerful. If anything, I think it’s a safe bet that it’ll be better than Daredevil There’s no Ben Affleck factor to drag it down!
Still, even though I know the Hulk Hands will be fodder for childhood nostalgia site X-Entertainment in a few years, I really want a pair just so I can sock anyone in the mouth who says the CG Hulk looks fake.
Jared. I know where you live.
Sometimes it’s fun to reference past works…
I have nothing against Affleck’s new movie Paycheck (although I do believe that John Woo is slipping since he started making movies for American studios), I just needed an easy target to make fun of on a Monday.
Still screwy from the holidays. It’s been difficult getting back into a routine. But I’m going back to work on Monday, so maybe I get in the swing of things again.
Actually, that’s pretty optimistic. I know it’s not the case. Come this Wednesday, I’ll be taking another short holiday to New York City for New Year’s Eve. Oh, yeah. Cami and I are gonna do the whole Times Square thing, too. It’ll be fun.
That being the case, anyone who is interested in submitting guest strips for this Wednesday and Friday is more than welcome to do so. I’d like to give you guys a reason to keep checking the site while I’m away. If you’d like to do a guest strip, send it to me at email@example.com.
As excited as I am to be in New York on New Year’s Eve, I have to admit the recent terrorism warnings have me a little worried. All it takes it one ticked off fundamentalist with an agenda to ruin everyone elses’ good time. But I’m not going to cancel a trip I’ve been planning since August on the off chance that something horrible and disfiguring could happen.
Frankly, I think a terrorist would have to be pretty stupid to try anything in a post 9/11 America. We’re all looking for our chance to ram one up the collective kiesters of these terrorists and break it off. Try anything on a plane these days and they’ll ship you home in a ZipLoc.
Well, anyway. I’ll change the subject. This kind of dour discussion isn’t what you come to the site for. How about a little good news?
I guess people in the forums are saying they can detect a new style in my artwork? I’m not really noticing it, but Cami swears she’s seen a leap in the past few strips. By the way, did you know we have exactly 99 members in the forum as of this writing? Wouldn’t it be cool if you registered and were the 100 member? Think about it…
One other item of interest; My parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary today. So, in the off chance they’re reading, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM AND DAD!
I’d give you their e-mail addresses so you could wish them well, but frankly, I don’t want to freak them out!
To keep in spirit with the release of Spider Man 2 today, check out our incentive sketch of Jared as Dr. Octopus when you vote for Theater Hopper at buzzComix!
By the by, time is running out for you to leave your bid on the Spider Man themed original Theater Hopper artwork I’m auctioning off on eBay. The sale ends in less than 2 days! Place your bid!
Are you seeing the biggest movie of the summer today? If not, you’re a loser. Sorry, but that’s the verdict from The Court of Public opinion. I don’t make this stuff up!
Spider Man 2 has been getting a lot of rave reviews and I think the entire geek community exhaled a collective sigh of relief! With the first Spider Man movie being such a great success, there was a lot of pressure for Sam Raimi and his crew to try and top it. From the sound of it, they’ve succeeded. Better action sequences, more emotional depth and a stronger sense of who Peter Parker is and what his motivations are!
I Fandango’d myself a couple of tickets yesterday afternoon. Cami and I are seeing the 9:45 showing tonight. I’ll have to give you my thoughts later.
Not sure what’s up with today’s comic. I know it’s a little disjointed. But just the thought of Tom wandering around town in his Spider Man mask, hallucinating, seeing villain everywhere and slugging innocent civilians just made me laugh. If it doesn’t trip you trigger, don’t worry. I have two more Spidey-themed comics on the back burner that are a little more slap-sticky and I think you’ll get a kick out of them.
You don’t get a clear view, but you might notice that Cami has taken a slight shift in her character design. I’ve switched her blouse to a v-neck and shortened her skirt. I assure you this isn’t a clever ploy to “sex things up” around her. Last I checked, web comics weren’t susceptible to “Sweeps Week”.
No, Cami and I had a frank discussion about the look of her character. She complained that she would never wear the square-neck blouse I had her in before. Neither would she wear such a lengthy skirt. These changes were made by her bequest.
Still not changing the hairstyle though. 😉
In site news, you may have noticed there WAS no site yesterday morning. That’s because we exceeded our 65GB bandwidth allotment and got shut down. I upgraded to the next size hosting package over at Fuitadnet.com, but I’m thinking it might be time to pull up stakes and find a more comfortable living space.
Not that there is anything wrong with Fuitadnet, it’s just that the difference between their Gold package and their Platinum package is pretty substantial and, honestly, I just need something in-between for the moment. I’m exploring some options. I’ll let you know what I uncover.
Incidentally, the lose of bandwidth made me realize that Theater Hopper is reaching an important cross roads between what I can afford and what I can continue to provide for free. Don’t read me wrong. I think it’s great that more people are finding the site. And by adding new content every other day, the strain on bandwidth was something I saw coming. It’s just made me realize that I need to find a better way to deliver that content to you guys. More organized and better suited for cross-browser compatibility. One of the ancillary benefits of a redesign of this nature is more economical expenditure of bandwidth.
We’re actually discussing this issue in the THorum. Sign up and leave your two cents if you are so inclined. If not, drop me an e-mail. I’d love to hear your thoughts and solutions!
That’s about it from my camp for the moment. I haven’t said it in a while, so I wanted to thank everyone for stopping by every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In about a month, Theater Hopper will have it’s two year anniversary – so be forewarned. As that date approaches, I am more likely to get sappy and reminisce!
You would have to be living under a pretty formidable rock to be unaware that actor Christopher Reeve passed away this weekend from hear failure. Some of you may have wondered why I’ve been relatively quiet on the subject until now.
Mostly it was because the news of his death didn’t enter the news cycle until Monday morning after that day’s comic had already been posted. I also didn’t want to mention it into the blog like it was some kind of historical footnote. I knew a comic strip dedicated to his memory was the only way to go. Being a site about movies, it should be expected. I know I certainly expected it of myself.
The reason behind the kind of confrontational attitude in the comic had a lot to do with the opinions I’ve been collecting since Monday. Trolling the internet as I do, you’ll see a pretty wide variety of reactions to Mr. Reeve’s passing. By in large, I would say the response has been shock and sadness. But every so often, you encounter a bitter soul that can’t seem to find anything positive to say about a man that left behind a legacy of inspiration and lobbied tirelessly for the advancement of research for the paraplegic.
I was particularly emboldened to go ahead with today’s strip after reading comments left by Absath over at Ctrl+Alt+Del. An unfortunately uneducated reader sent him an e-mail calling Reeve selfish for trying to find a cure for his paralysis only after suffering the affliction himself…
# THE REST OF THIS BLOG POST WAS LOST WHEN THEATER HOPPER MOVED TO WORDPRESS IN JANUARY 2009 #
(15 votes, average: 8.33 out of 10)
Let’s just get this out of the way right now. I’m not going to talk about the Presidential election today. I’ve been watching news coverage all night long and as I write this, they STILL haven’t declared a winner. My mind is baked, so I’m just going to assume you all went out and did your civic duty and go about my business promoting Theater Hopper.
To that end, I wanna ask you to vote in another kind of election, the goal of which is to get Theater Hopper to the number one spot at buzzComix. It’s been a really close three-way tie and I’m looking to break away from the pack. Remember, every time you vote, you’re treated to a special reward sketch that’s related to the comic on the main page.
For example. How does Tom propose this embarrassing situation be prevented in the future? BOWFLEX!
So now you click on the link and you figure out what I’m talking about! See how easy that works?
By the way, in case you missed it, there was an extra comic yesterday. It was a really humdinger, too. In an effort to boost our position at buzzComix, I’m doing a WHOLE WEEK of strips. So that means there will be an extra comic Thursday, too. Don’t forget to come back then and check it out.
Now onto The Incredibles!
A member of the THorum recently posted a very interesting link to the Disney Japan web site promoting the release of the movie across the Pacific. It included a very different teaser trailer than what we’ve been exposed to here in the states. Besides the interesting narration (“MEEESTAH INVINC-AH-BULE!”), the trailer shows several scenes we haven’t been treated to yet.
It’s very interesting to watch because it really puts the focus on the characters internal struggles as opposed to the WHAM! BAM! action of the American trailer. For example, Mr. Incredible misses his glory days as a super hero. His son is wrestling with the advice to “do his best” when he’s not allowed to do his best by hiding his powers. His daughter meanwhile just wants to be normal and his wife is trying to keep them all together. As per usual with Pixar movies, it reveals a very meaty emotional core to the movie and it only makes me want to see it THAT. MUCH. MORE.
Friday can’t get here soon enough.
If it seems like it’s coming out of left field for Ben Affleck to suddenly want to become a professional poker player, remember that he won $356,400 in a poker tournament last June. That achievement also earned him a spot at the World Poker Tour Championship in Las Vegas this April.
That’s a lot of scratch. Who knows? It could seriously be a profitable alternative to being a movie star. Certainly seems that way with the line of turkeys he’s pinched off into theaters.
Oh, and so you know I’m not making it up, Affleck ∗did∗ win an Oscar for Best Screenwriting in 1998 for Good Will Hunting. I know most movie fans are already hip to this. I just thought it seemed so long ago and he hasn’t done anything as worth-while since, it’s kind of hard to believe…
I was really pleased with how the last splash panel turned out. In fact, I was pleased with it before I drew it. I had a vision in my head and it was GLORIOUS!
That’s why I planned ahead and drew the last panel large-scale. 11″ x 17″, to be exact. On a sheet of heavy-duty Bristol board.
Here’s the deal: I’m about to reserve a table in Artist’s Alley at the Planet Comicon comic book convention being held in Kansas City April 2-3. Tables cost $125 and I need a little bit of cash to cover the bases. I figured an art auction was a quick means to that end.
Kansas City is going to be my first stop on my slightly more ambitious convention tour this year. I’ll be visiting K.C. in April, Chicago in August and Minneapolis in October. Sorry I can’t make it anywhere on the East or West coast this year. The only conventions I can afford to go to are within driving distance. But since last year I only did Chicago, it’s important to me that this larger ground assult get off on the right foot.
Think about it. This is a totally unique opportunity for you to own a piece of Theater Hopper history. Our newsest character Charlie beating the snot out of Ben Affleck with his own Best Screenwriting Oscar. It doesn’t get much more specific than that.
If you love Theater Hopper (or maybe just hate Ben Affleck) this is an original piece of art well worth owning.
It will be signed by me and mailed First Class in a heavy cardboard tube to prevent bending or creasing. And because I’m such a good guy, I’m won’t even charge for shipping! Hell, I’ll even throw in some stickers and a set of 1″ buttons to the lucky winner. THAT’S HOW NICE I AM!
The auction ends one week from today. So, what are you waiting for? GET BIDDING
Most kids grow up totally enamored by the concept of robots. Not Tom. He’s convinced they’re out to destroy us. His mind has been poisoned by one too many bad sci-fi movies.
I was trying to think of some other kids movies with cuddly robots, but the first that came to mind were Short Circuit and The Iron Giant. Both do a very good job of depicting the lead… appliances – as relatable, gentle characters. Then it’s ultimately revealed that both of their existences were to be an unstoppable killing machine and that whole notion of “A robot you can trust!” gets thrown out the window.
I’m sure I’m forgetting literally DOZENS of other movies where the robots are helpful, but it seems to me the scales tip in favor of my “CRUSH PUNY HU-MANS!” theory. I’m sure Red Robot would probably agree.
I was kind of bummed to see that Theater Hopper dropped a couple of spots over at buzzComix. We were at number two for a while, now we’re down to number 5. I can’t begrudge getting beat out by Alien Loves Predator, but it would be cool if we could place a little higher on the list.
If you vote for Theater Hopper, remember that you get to see an exclusive incentive sketch! I really liked the way today’s turned out. It’s kind of violent, but it’s all in good fun. Check it out!
Regarding the movie Robots, I have to admit – I’m not that excited to see it. I think it’s Robin Williams that’s keeping me away. The way the trailers are cut, you’re lead to believe it’ll be 90 minutes of Robin Williams screaming the whole time.
Hey, I saw Aladdin back in 1992 and when he played The Genie, it was really clever. Why do the same thing twice? You’re not going to top it. The fact that his character is named “Fender” only serves to remind me of Futurama’s “Bender”. And when I start thinking about Bender, I start thinking about how much MORE I would rather be watching that.
Seriously, if my arm got sliced off during an episode of Futurama, I would wait to go to the hospital until the show was over first. I don’t care if I’ve seen it a dozen times.
When I learned Ewan McGregor was the lead voice actor in the movie, I was forced to take pause and re-assess my opinion of him. I mean, I’m sure he did it for his kids, but an actor of his talents couldn’t have held out a little longer for Pixar?
Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. After all, this is the same man who acted out FULL SCENES against a nonexistent, digital Stephen Fetchit.
The only reason I would go to see Robots is because a good friend of the site (and creator of current advertised site Silent Kimbly) Ryan Sias had a hand in creating it. Apparently he wrote a few jokes for the movie, which he has detailed on his site. So, if for some reason the dogs are unable to keep you away from Robots this weekend, visit Ryan’s site first and become familiar with the scenes he describes. When the flash across the screen, you can show “I KNOW THE GUY WHO WROTE THAT JOKE!” I know it would make Ryan happy.
Something that’s made ME really happy is reserving my hotel room for the Kansas City Planet Comicon comic book convention on April 2 and 3. I made it official today. No backing out now!
Of course, why would I want to back out when I’m sharing a booth with my good buddies Zach and Mitch? We’ll all be crammed together at one table promoting Theater Hopper, Joe and Monkey and Nothing Nice to Say, respectively. I’m really looking forward to it.
Something fun that you guys might not know, but real-life Jared is also coming with me on this trip. He’ll be taking footage of our journey in hopes that we can compile it along with footage we plan to take at other conventions throughout the year for A DOCUMENTARY we’re making! Pretty exciting, huh? We’re taking footage from Planet Comicon as well as Wizard World Chicago in August and the Minneapolis FallCon in October. We hope to have the documentary edited and on DVD by Christmas. If you stop by our booth in Kansas City or our other two stops, there’s a good chance you’ll be in the movie! Something to look forward to!
By the way, did you know that Jerry over at Secret of Mana Theater was trying to organize a blockade of web comics in Artist Alley for Wizard World Chicago? Yeah, he’s thinking that we can all request to sit by each other when we submit our forms so that way we can present a unified front! I think it’s a great idea – a real show of solidarity. Plus, I think it will send the message home that we’re ONLINE comics, not print comics. Which, admittedly, people aren’t expecting when they go to one of these things. I remember last year telling people the comic was online and they were like, “Really? Wow, man! That’s wild!” It’s humbling to be confronted with the fact that our medium is still relatively young.
Anyway, that about does it for now. I hope all of you have a great weekend! Support Ryan Sias – Go see Robots!
Today’s comic was extremely cathartic to draw.
I dunno. For the last few days I’ve been hustling really hard to bring awareness to the book – and I would say so far things are going well. But sometimes you need a break from it, am I right? Today I just wanted to get away from that for a little while and pour myself into the comic. It felt good to get a little bit of that stress and worry of my back by parlaying it into cartoon violence.
I know the perspective is a little wonky on this one. I was trying to do this kind of top-down angle on Jared to give his uppercut more dynamic force. It didn’t really work out, but I think you get the gist of what’s going on. I mean, he’s pucnched the head of a Benbot clean off it’s shoulders! Isn’t that worth something?
I’ve never done a full splash like this before. I’ve played with panel number and size in the past, but never taken a full-step back and utlized the whole canvas. What a freeing feeling! I most certainly have to add this to my arsenal of tricks for the next storyline.
I wanted to show a lot more robot carnage in today’s comic, but there just wasn’t enough room to show Jared dismantaling all of these dopplegangers in a tiny self-storage unit. I decided one powerful image would have to do the trick.
I’m planning on wrapping things up tomorrow. May is on the horizon and a lot of tentpole pictures are coming up that I want to talk about. Specifically, all this Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes baby crap. Did you hear their daughter was born last night? Hey, what else is going on in Cruise’s life right now? Isn’t Mission Impossible: III supposed to open on May 5? What an AMAZING coincidence!
You know in some underground bunker somewhere Cruise is mega-pissed that Katie couldn’t hold the baby in an extra week or two so they could get maximum press coverage.
Maybe when this whole Ben Affleck thing is over, I might turn my sights onto Cruise. Considering the extent of his excentricities, I could have a lot of fun with that.
More news later. Some thanks I want to send out. But for now… rest.