Part of me wishes I could have done this strip Monday to commemorate the DVD release of Spider-Man, but I was on such a role inserting Cami into the strips, why kill a good thing?
Besides, this leaves room for me to do a whole week of Spider-Man strips. I’ve got some ideas, so stay tuned for those.
My love for all things Spider-Man knows no bounds. I’ve been reading the comics since I was about 8. I’ve since had to let it slide for financial reasons and, admittedly, the clone storyline of the late 90’s did a lot to sour my expectations of my favorite friendly, neighborhood wall-crawler. But the initial appeal and awe of Spider-Man will never wane. He’s the best super hero hands down in my book.
What a relief after almost a decade of legal wrangling that Sam Raimi didn’t screw it up when he brought ol’ web-head to the silver screen. Sure, there were moments of camp and, in certain parts of the web-slinging screamed “YOU ARE WATCHING A SPECIAL EFFECT”, there is a lot of love and admiration of the character in the film. Because of it, I respect it.
Shameful as it is to admit, I didn’t wait in line overnight to pick up my copy of the movie when it came out on Friday. This time of year is often nebulous and frustrating because since I have both my birthday and Christmas in December, I can’t go out and buy some of the movies or CD’s I want.
I talk so much about the new releases that I can’t be sure someone hasn’t already gone out and purchased something for me as a gift. So from the beginning of November until the end of the year, I’m caught in a self-imposed media lockout. I realize that if I end up getting a second copy of a movie, I can just take it back, but it’s never worth the hassle. Have you ever tried returning something to Target without the receipt? Plus, if someone is going out of their way to get me anything at all, it’s too heartbreaking to tell them “Sorry, I already have this” Everyone wants to feel like they put some thought into their gift giving. I can’t bear to bring that disappointment in their lives because I can’t display a little self-restraint.
But don’t think it doesn’t tear me up to see those Spider-Man displays everywhere I turn…
Here’s hoping everyone got a chance to go out and vote yesterday. At least now I can get back to having commercials where used car salesmen yell at me instead of politicians.
And if anyone can help me decipher the difference between those two camps, I’d like to know.
Not much else to say here today. I’m enjoying the current arc if only because I get to draw myself wearing a Spider-Man mask. I used to draw Spider-Man a lot when I was younger. I think there’s a whole box of pictures somewhere in my parents basement full of my Spidey drawings.
Zach over at No Pants Tuesday says I’m missing out on some good stories in the Spider-verse right now. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t read comics in over half a decade. I don’t think I can start again now. That stuff is like crack and I can’t afford it. At least not while I’m nursing this heroin habit.
Speaking of No Pants Tuesday, it might be fun for you to check out their new web cam page. Yours truly was invited to slap his ugly mug up there to scare the children.
Right now the page seems to be a web-comic creator only affair. In addition to Zach’s pic, you’ll find Carrington from Movie Punks, Aric from Fish Strips and Amber from Go Eat A Spamwich. I’m sure there will be more to come.
Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered what I looked like, now’s your chance to get a good laugh. I used to be really phobic about letting people online know what I looked like. Anymore, I’ve come to realize just how awesome and supportive the online comics community is. I see no reason to hide like some stuck-up techno artist when I already use my real name in my dealings with the public. My true form should be no different.
I guess you can say I’ve grown to trust you. Awww…
Well, this wraps up the week of Spider-Man references. Too bad. I was having fun drawing the mask.
For some reason, I’m always at a loss on Friday’s when it comes to writing up the blog. Ideas float in and out, but nothing seems to stick. I should be writing this stuff down and refer to the notes.
I guess I might be seeing 8 Mile this weekend as it appears to be the only viable new release out there. Nevermind I haven’t gotten around to seeing Red Dragon or The Ring – two flicks I was really geared up for, but slacked off on seeing.
When I first heard about 8 Mile, I thought it was just going to be a hip-hop version of Glitter – another movie vehicle for a pop star. When I heard Curtis Hanson of LA Confidential and Wonder Boys was directing, I gave it pause for consideration.
My willingness to go has waned, but the generally positive reviews I’m hearing have piqued my interest again. Words like “intense”, “charismatic”, “powerful” and “inspirational” are being lobbed about. Your don’t use those words for things you hate.
The most interesting notices I’ve read have pegged Eminem for an Oscar nomination next year. I don’t know if it’s in the cards, but nobody thought Frank Sinatra would ever win an Oscar, either. The people at G.L.A.D.D. must be chewing the corners off the walls by now.
I was going to go into a thing about Eminem as an artist, but it’s been done to death. Let’s just say I own all three of his albums and think he is a talented voice. He’s got balls to make the leap to film so shortly after his introduction to mainstream America. Good luck to him.
I’m slowly creeping up on 50 strips and I’m beginning to panic. Part of me would like to celebrate. It’s really a milestone and I think I’ve shown my willingness to celebrate considering I was the guy who did a week of strips for getting 5,000 unique hits.
Obviously things have changed since then. Lots more people are coming to the site and I’m finding it brought up in conversation is some of the weirdest places. Someone is linking to me from the Barenaked Ladies message board? Site logs can be interesting sometimes.
In terms of the big five-oh, I’ve had some plans swirling around as to how to celebrate. I’ve been threatening to add a bonus section for a while now, but I don’t know. I guess I’ll just take this time to announce that if the milestone passes without a lot of hoopla, it’s not a disservice to the readers, I just don’t want to build up the possibility of some big change or addition to the site and then come up lame.
We’ve been around the block on the TWC issue a few times. I think my stance is pretty clear. I think it’s a good promotional tool that has been bastardized along the way.
But now, watching these strips that came up around the same time I did finding success makes me second-guess myself.
I still think there’s a lot of negativity surrounding the methods sites use to generate hits. (Movie Comics – I’m looking in your direction) So in that respect, I’m glad I’m not involved. But sometimes I dream what I would be like to have my work exposed to more people.
I talked to Zach about it on AIM a couple of days ago. He told me I really painted myself into a corner with what I said about the TWC. He was right. But ultimately, good work is its own reward. If more and more people find the site through the links of other sites, the word of mouth will spread and more people will come. It’s up to me to keep the quality consistent. I trust the rest will take care of itself. Thanks to you guys, it looks like it will.
Don’t think for a second I’m going to cave and align myself with TWC. I’ve gone to far on my word to turn back now. It’s just good to think out loud sometimes.
At any rate, I’m glad I don’t have to slap those ugly TWC banners everywhere. They’d really clash with the design. There’s an upside to everything, it seems.
Have a great weekend. We’ve all earned it.
I just watched Spider-Man for the first time. I don’t know why I waited. I guess i didn’t think it would appeal to me, but it did. ::THWIPP!:: Thumbs up!
I also watched Birthday Girl starring Nicole Kidman and Ben Chaplin. It was a very good film. It’s British and I really hadn’t heard much about it, but it was a good find. Russian mail order brides? Bank robberies? Plot twists galore? Count me in!
I have to admit I was a bit nervous trying to come up with an idea to follow Monday’s strip. I had received so much positive feedback for what I felt was a relatively simple notion, I felt pressure to one-up my previous effort. If today’s strip is a case of over-kill, I wouldn’t know it. I’ve been stressing too much to see past it.
All things the same, I think it turned out pretty well. Can you figure out all the geek-related material I’m spoofing? They’re all pretty easy to identify. I was going to label them in the blog, but then I realized my audience isn’t a gaggle of dum-dums. Thank God for that!
Like everyone else, when seeing The Matrix Reloaded, the question isn’t “If” but “When”? I’m trying to figure it out. Part of me would like to be in line Thursday night – to experience that anticipation like the event it is. Then I step back and realize that I’m supposed to be responsible and go to work on Friday. That, coupled with the fact I would draw Friday’s strip Thursday night all but nix the option to see it opening day.
Fortunately, one of the side-effects of being responsible is being patient. I can wait – barely.
I’d like to point out that posters are still for sale and that if you would like to support the site, PLEASE BUY ONE! We’re nearly reached the half way point, now let’s finish strong!
I’ve received several orders through the mail – checks, money orders and cash. So if you’re not comfortable mailing a payment through PayPal, e-mail me and we can make other arrangements!
Last thing I’ll mention: I know I’ve talked about it a million times before. But I am very close to bringing back the forum.
Early fans of the site might remember I had one for a month or two, then put the kibosh on it when I decided the readership wasn’t large enough to support it. I’ve always maintained that I would bring it back if I felt it could stand on it’s own two legs. It looks like that time is rapidly approaching. So get ready for that.
Oh, I almost forgot. If you’re not too busy, could you be sure to Montana Hills and would love to settle in to the number 13 spot on the list sometime soon. Lucky 13!
…and SPEAKING of Spider-Man!
You might have noticed that there is a new ad to the right of the comic today letting you know that you can now BID for original Theater Hopper artwork on eBay!
To celebrate the release of Spider Man 2 in theaters, I have decided to draw the Theater Hopper cast as characters from the movie! Tom as Spider Man, Cami as Mary Jane Watson and Jared as “Mister Busyhands” himself, Dr. Octopus!
Bidding starts at .01 cent – one thin copper penny! The auction will last until next Friday, July 1st!
I’m selling the art partly to raise some more money for Wizard World Chicago. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I’ve reserved a hotel room and a booth. I’m sharing the booth with Mitch Clem from Nothing Nice to Say and Barrett’s Lament, Zach Miller from No Pants Tuesday and the omnipresent Neil G from Dayfree Press, Robot Stories, The End Chronicles and Limited Space. The convention runs from August 13th to the 15th – Come out and meet us!
Anyway, I’m raising money for that, but I’m also trying to improve our seller rating over at eBay. We’re trying to auction off some other stuff lying around the house and people aren’t buying yet because we don’t have a high seller rating.
If you’re interested in Betty Boop stuff, Cami is selling off a lot of her collection, so check that out. I’ll probably put up some of my junk there in the next couple of days.
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!
As part of this holiday weekend, today’s incentive sketch is an image of Jared wishing you and yours a very happy AND SAFE Fourth of July. Click here to view it!
In case you’re wondering what product I’m referencing in today’s comic, you can find information about it here. This isn’t the first time that the Theater Hopper crew has suffered injury caused by carefully marketed comic book movie licensed merchandise. And if you forgot, here’s a refresher.
Does everyone remember back in the day when Silly String used to be flammable? I know you’ve all seen that footage from America’s Funniest Home Videos where some dude is about to blow out the candles on his birthday cake just before someone unleashes a wad of Silly String in his face when his lips are inches from the flames. The dude lights up like a stack of dry twigs.
I guess these days the makers of Silly String learned it’s a good idea not to physically scar people for life and went ahead and made their product non-flammable. I was at least hoping to find a video of that footage somewhere so I could link to it. Oh, well.
Wanna talk about Spider Man for a minute? I know I do!
So Cami and I saw the sequel opening night and I couldn’t have been more excited. I’ll spare you the full-length review because I think everyone should go out and see this movie with fresh eyes, if possible – but I enjoyed it immensely!
You can tell that Raimi and company really settled into a groove on this one. The action sequences are very fluid and astounding. And for fans, there are tons of small references to the comics littered all over the place.
“Hey? Is that Dr. Conners, AKA ‘The Lizard?’ And isn’t that shot a recreation from the classic cover to Amazing Spider-Man #50?”
Oh, yeah. You comic book fans are going to love this one!
Just as the first movie was able to do, Spider-Man 2 is peppered with several great scenes. After losing his powers and landing on a rooftop, Spidey has to ride the elevator down to street level and has an uncomfortable conversation with the individual he’s riding down with! And when Doc Ock’s tentacles first spring to life, it’s truly a terrifying moment! (Be sure to keep an eye out for the Evil Dead reference).
I like how the story allowed for the secondary characters to breath a little more. Aunt May, Harry Osborne and J. Jonah Jameson all have a chance to really expand their range.
Of course it’s Tobey Maguire who sells it as Peter Parker and his alter ego. He perfectly captures the conflict and guilt he suffers trying to balance his two lives. The scene where he admits responsibility for his Uncle Ben’s death to Aunt May is heartbreaking and the core of the movie.
I don’t often see the same movies twice while they’re in theaters. At least not anymore. Even though I love the first movie, I only saw it once before buying it on DVD.
The sequel is everything I could have hoped for and more. MUCH better than the original, it improves upon it’s formula in nearly every category. Don’t be surprised if you see me standing in line to watch it again this weekend!
That’s it for now. For all my American readers, have a safe and happy Fourth of July! See you here on Monday!
BuzzComix seems to be having some difficulty connecting to its database this morning, but in the off-handed case it returns to us soon, do me a solid and vote for Theater Hopper, would you? The top list recently reset and we have a little leg-work to do before we reach the upper echelons again. Did you know we placed number three last month? That’s a record for us!
Anyway, I’ve slapped this little reminder on the front page for the time being, mostly because I’m trying to find a way to stretch out some content!
I know the third panel in today’s comic is particularly repulsive because it’s been battle-tested and market researched by my closest accomplice, Cami. I showed it to her while she was eating her Rice Krispies, and let’s just say she had some trouble finishing for a minute or two.
The idea for today’s strip pretty much came to me after I realized that I had kept Tom in the Spider-Man mask all of last week. In the movies, it looks like the Spider-Man costume is made out of some kind of Body Glove wet suit material. I don’t imagine that “breathes” very well. Anyhow, figuring “Comic Tom” wouldn’t have the sense to take off the mask combined with “Real World Tom’s” propensity for sugary snacks led me to the ultimate conclusion.
Switching gears now, I should probably notify you that I am sitting on some bomb-shell information relating to the comic. Don’t worry. It’s nothing bad. But I’m keeping it under my hat today since the comic was already late. Come back to this space on Wednesday and prepare to have your world blown apart!
Am I building things up enough for you? 😉
Hey, you have the day off, don’t you? Why don’t you sign up for the THorum and say “Hi” to all the cool people that inhabit our little sanctuary?
I felt kind of bad not having much for you in the blog department, so I decided to share an image of myself that I Photoshopped onto Tobey Maguire’s body in Spider-Man 2.
Actually, it’s my current webcam image. Did you know the THorum has a webcam portal? We do. And incidentally, if you want to see an archive of all my old webcam pictures, you can find them on the Bonus Materials page. There’s about 150 of them and there are a few fun pics in the bunch.
Oh, and it would appear buzzComix is up and running again. Today’s incentive sketch? A holdover from the fourth of July – Captain America.