This is the strip Cami has been bugging me to do ever since I started Theater Hopper. Whether or not she appreciates the punch line, I’ll have to wait until later to find out.
But seriously, ever since I put the strip together, she’s been bugging me to stick our 7 month old beagle Truman into a strip. She’s also been bugging me to make a Julia Roberts joke. This is odd because, to my knowledge, she’s a fan. How else can I explain to my friends that Runaway Bride is in our DVD collection? It wasn’t one of my picks!
Regardless, I was happy to sling tiny pebbles at that goofball smile of hers. The woman has a grin like the Joker with teeth the size of piano keys. I’ve seen less ivory on elephants.
I hate Julia Roberts.
Those of you who watch the news might be aware that today is the one year anniversary of a rather significant event in our history. I have nothing to say about it really. Why add to the chorus of talking heads?
However, I will say this. Life is short. Love your family. Trust in your friends. Go outside and be a citizen of the world. Time is against you. Giving anything less than your all is a waste of your time. Laugh, love, experience. Live.
To you and yours; Love, Luck, Hope and Faith.
Since today has become “Publicly Announce Your Love For Everything” Day, I thought it would be fun to post another picture of my beagle Truman.
Some of you might remember the strip I did a while ago and the blog that featured a picture of him as a pup. Well, here he is. All grown up. A robust 8 months old.
Truman has an ear infection right now, so he’s a little cranky. I’m a little cranky too after paying the vet bill. But I would never ask for a handout. That would be tacky.
Some might accuse me to pandering to their cute receptors by publishing an adorable picture of my dog, but I say he’s deserved the recognition. He’s been very good this week and has stopped chewing on the couch. Truman is a pretty smart dog. Just look how discreetly he covers up his “business” in the picture above.
So, anyway. I love my dog! He’s cool!
First things first. I want to take a second to wish everyone out there a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Being of Irish decent, I’m required by law to make mention of it. I don’t wanna disrespect my heritage, or anything. Of course, with that whole drinkin’ and fightin’ thing hard-wired into my genetic makeup, I don’t have to go too far out of my way to do that.
With that said, I am finally back from New York and it feels good to be in the saddle again. Like they say, it’s good to get away, but it’s good to come back. I was getting a little burnt out drawing my characters, so it was good to get a break. But when I got home, I was itching to start up again!
New York was fun, but nothing like I thought it would be. I think because we’re all so saturated with media and movies that originate in The Big Apple, we think we have a sense of how things are. And if you’re like me and watch movies like Taxi Driver or Annie Hall, New York can look like a pretty scary place.
Much to my relief, New York was NOT the crime-infested hell hole I once believed it to be. Neighborhoods are very close nit and there is always something to look at. I felt very safe and comfortable walking around on the streets. I guess that’s because YOU’RE NEVER ALONE!
When they say it’s “The City That Never Sleeps”, they aren’t kidding. There are people milling about CONSTANTLY. You’re always bumping into people and getting spun into a tizzy whenever you try to make way. New York is the kind of city where if you aren’t moving, you’ll get run over.
Of course we (my wife Cami and I) made it to all the tourist destinations. We saw The Statue of Liberty, which is not as large as you think it is. We weren’t allowed to go up inside it (pending war, and whatnot), so basically we spent $10 just to ride a ferry and get a closer look. Ellis Island was also on the itinerary, but it sucked – just an empty building.
We also went to The Empire State Building, which was pretty cool. I’m a big fan of that 1930’s, art-deco style so I was right at home in that place. The outdoor observation deck is a trip. I’ve never stood atop a structure that tall with open access to the elements. Again, Hollywood is the great deceiver because it’s not as wide open as Sleepless in Seattle would make you believe. There’s probably just enough room to stand three in a row behind you.
Other highlights included going to The Today Show and freezing to death like morons in Rockefeller Plaza waiting for a glimpse of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric. Katie is WAY more wrinkled in real life, by the way. I guess we were on TV for a nanosecond when they do those panning shots of the crowd. We told our parents when they would be there, so they taped the program. We still haven’t seen it yet. We were there on Monday the 11th, in case anyone was curious.
Other highlights were the NBC Studio tour where I got to see the infamous Studio 8H – the home of Saturday Night Live. Times Square was a rush and we also saw two Broadway productions – The Producers and Say Good Night, Gracie. The latter starring Frank Gorshin as George Burns performing a one man play about the late entertainer’s life. If you recall, Gorshin played The Riddler on the old Batman TV series.
I don’t know how, but by some quark of fate, we got seats front row center for Frank’s play. These theaters are pretty small, so that’s a little too close for my taste. It was especially too close when Frank as George Burns straddles a chair and talks to the audience. And here I sit, a perfect crotch-height, EXTREMELY uncomfortable with the whole affair.
Of course, I DID get a chance to see a movie while I was in town. I finally got off my duff and we went to see Chicago at the old Zeigfield Theater in Midtown. This was the place where they used to perform The Zeigfield Follies back in the 1920’s – everything from show tunes, to comedians in black face, to flappers, this place was host to it. What better venue to see a movie set shortly after that era like Chicago?
Watching the movie, I was vaguely impressed with the technicality of the whole thing. All the numbers hit their marks and the movie on the whole is very entertaining. But leaving the theater, all that was left in my head was the annoying, brassy music and the wah-wah vocal style of the songs.
Here’s my thing about Chicago: It doesn’t SAY anything. It’s just a big piece of American cheese, flash and glitter. It’s all production value and little else. And THIS is the front-runner for the Best Picture Oscar? Please.
If I were to give out the Oscar today, I’d give it to Gangs of New York. Epic in scale, acting in spaded (Leonardo DiCaprio excluded) – it had something to say about how things were versus what they’ve become. It was tactile. You could sense it, almost smell it. Far more rewarding to a cinematic eye than Chicago. Hell, give it to Lord of the Rings before you give it to Chicago!
It’s kind of a catch twenty-two, but any award you give to Chicago will ring false to me – like they’re compensating for overlooking Moulin Rouge last year. But at the same time, any award you give to Martin Scorsese will seem like a gold-watch for all his prior works. As good as Gangs is, it’s hard to top something like Goodfellas.
I guess we’ll have to wait until this Sunday to see how things turn out.
Am I aware that everyone and their brother will be making references to X-Men 2 this week? Yes. Do I care? Nope.
I’ve gotta say that I’m more jacked up for this round of mutant mayhem than I was for the first. I always had a mental block against the first picture because Brian Singer was at the helm. “Wrong choice”, I thought. It was confirmed when, in several issues, Singer confessed to have never been a read the comic books. “Oh, snap!”, I thought. “We’re doomed.” The fact that he kept pushing that Martin Luther King Jr. VS Malcom X ideology in regard to the relationship between Professor X and Magneto only exacerbated matters.
I always felt like the first movie was good, but flawed. It delivered in many regards – most notably bringing Hugh Jackman to the role of Wolverine, who slam dunked it. Kudos also for bringing aboard Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan as the aforementioned Professor X and Magneto.
But the remainder of the film felt cobbled together. Like they tried to make more of it, but just couldn’t.
James Marsden as Cyclops was a dud. Ditto for Anna Paquin as Rouge. Ray Park, Tyler Mane and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as villains Toad, Sabertooth and Mystique were gimmicky additions at best. Darth Maul, a pro-wrestler and a supermodel? Please.
Halle Berry, of course, was the worst casting possible for the role of Storm. It should have gone to Angela Basset, if you ask me. She was offered it, but I guess she turned it down. Can anyone name the last movie she was in? Supernova? The Score? Yeah… good work, Angie.
But I have high hopes for the sequel. I know this is probably the most naive statement I can make considering A). It’s a sequel and B). It’s a comic book movie. But for some reason, I have a feeling it’s going to turn out more polished. I know they definitely had more money to spend. My wish is that it will make me turn around and appreciate the first a little more. Kind of how The Two Towers did for The Fellowship of The Ring. I think that will be the case since they don’t have to waste time on exposition and can just jump right into the action.
Good news. Selling more posters. We’re inching ever closer to the half-way point of what’s left in the series. I don’t think you want to be left without one, do you?
I gotta give props to all the fine lads who have helped me pimp the wares as of late. Many thanks to Zach of No Pants Tuesday, Brian of Briworld, Carrington at Movie Punks, Aric from Fish Strips and Mark with Jayhoo and Jawhoo for spreading the good word.
Speaking of good ole Jay and Jaw, you need to check out this strip and look in the background of the second panel. See how cool these posters are?! Even THEY get cameos now!
I think this is going to be a pretty busy week for yours personally. I’m going to try and bring a forum to the site in the next week or two because I want those who have bought posters to have a place where they can discuss their experiences. Oh, and talk about movies.
I’ll also have an announcement regarding a new affiliation I’m considering. But the details will have to wait until later.
I’ll just get this out of the way because I’ve noticed the closer to the top I place my plea, the more people see it and consequentially lend aid to the matter.
With that out of the way, aren’t you glad today’s strip wasn’t about the X-Men? I know I kinda am. Frankly, I was running out of ways to make fun of mutants. Funny, because you’d think that would be an unlimited well of ideas. Oh, well.
Today’s strip cuts pretty close to home. Cami is quite interested in seeing Daddy Day Care. Personally, I can’t stand the new and improved “Family Friendly” Eddie Murphy movies. What happened to the whip smart, fast talkin’ (often cursin’) bad boy of comedy we came to know and love in 48 Hrs and Beverly Hills Cop?
I’ve always been a little luke-warm to Murphy’s latter career choices. The Golden Child was an interesting adventure. But movies like Metro and Holy Man landed like a ton of bricks. Then he started doing all of those Nutty Professor and Dr. Dolittle movies – which, to this day, I cannot distinguish the difference from. Daddy Day Care seems to stem from this ilk.
Maybe it’s a deep-seeded desire to make films that he can show his kids. Or maybe it’s part penance for that time he picked up that transvestite in Hollywood. Is it just me, or was it right around that time he started making the kiddie stuff? It was like he tried washing his hands a million times, but could get the dirt off. So he started making movies for 5 year-olds instead.
Remember that Mother’s Day is this weekend. Be sure to let your Mom know you care. She’s put up with your crap for an awful long time…
An order of business to take care of:
Please vote for Theater Hopper at Top Web Comics. It’s the start of a new month, so all vote counts restart at zero. I know I mentioned this yesterday, but this reminder is in case you didn’t see it.
Please remember to VOTE EVERY DAY! That’s the only way we can crack into the Top 10. We’ve been really close the last two months – even hitting #11 at one point. Let’s try and get over the hump!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog already in progress…
I know the little number at the top right hand corner of the comic says this is the 150th comic, but it’s not. Remember that I had 7 guest strips a little while back and they’re built into the living archive. Technically, this is the 143rd strip – at least by my hand. Kind of takes the edge off, doesn’t it?
Not that I would probably celebrate 150 strips, anyway. Too much looking backwards and not forwards can’t be healthy, you know? If I want punch and pie, I’ll go to the grocery store.
I think I’ve gone over the fact that Cami is seeing Legally Blonde 2 tonight with out me at least a dozen times, so I won’t reiterate it. Or have I already? Uh-oh!
I have a feeling Cami will love the film so dearly she’ll be more than game to see it a second time. That’s fine with me. This is a chick-flick I wouldn’t mind seeing. Reese Witherspoon is an actress I enjoy. Yup – all 3 feet 4 inches of her. She’s TINY!
…you could put her in your pocket!
I’m seeing the Deftones live in concert tonight. I believe in l33t, the proper response is “woot!”
Beyond that, nothing to report. I guess I’m kind of antsy because I’m taking Thursday off which gives me, you know it – FOUR DAY WEEKEND!
If I were Dennis Miller, I’d be scribbling on a pad of paper right about now mumbling “That’s the news and I… am… outta here!”
I was kind of disappointed with how Wednesday’s comic turned out, so this time around, I decided to give the characters an actual environment in which to reside. It’s much better than having them float around in space with crazy shapes around them. I mean, it looks like I spilled a box of Lucky Charms over that last one! Geeze!
If you like the extra effort I put into today’s strip, maybe you can give me a little vote love? We seem to have fallen off the TWC Top 10 radar.
I fear Cami and I may have to flip a coin for our movie-going excursion this weekend. She wants to see Freaky Friday and I want to see S.W.A.T. I fear I’m going to lose because my sister-in-law has chimed in expressing her interest in Freaky Friday as well. Hmmm…
Either way the coin lands, I think it will all turn out okay. Both films are getting surprisingly good reviews. I happen to like Lindsey Lohan. She made that Parent Trap remake from a few years ago actually tolerable!
I guess I worry that if I don’t stand my ground for S.W.A.T., I won’t see it until it comes out on video. I lost the battle for Terminator 3 and still haven’t seen it. Shameful, I know.
Under normal circumstances, Cami and I would agree to disagree and see each other’s films over the weekend. But our Sunday dance card is already full. We’re volunteering at the information booth of our alma mater at the Iowa State Fair.
I don’t know what State Fairs are like where you come from, but around here, it’s a big deal. Last year, the fair had over 1 million visitors over a two week period. That’s a hell of a lot of deep-fried Snickers!
Anyway, we’re volunteering. Basically, we’ll be handing out information while wearing bright purple Polo shirts and applying fake tattoos to the foreheads of small children. Afterwards, we’re getting loaded at the beer tent and plan on tipping all of the cows at the 4-H tent.
I can’t think of a better way to spend the Sabbath!
If you read Friday’s blog, you know that Cami was actually out of town all this weekend. You think it would have afforded me the time to watch all the crazy movies I would otherwise have to wait and see.
Unfortunately, I spent the weekend cleaning out my sock drawers.
FORTUNATELY, when Cami came back on Sunday, we were able to make it to an evening showing of Kill Bill. Thank goodness, because if there is any movie out there right now that serves as water cooler fodder, this has got to be it.
I don’t know how I depth I can go in my review because I think everyone needs to see it. Don’t let what you’ve heard about the gore stop you. Yeah, there’s a lot of blood – but it’s much less disturbing than you think. It’s more comic and over the top.
Uma Thurman was bad-ass. I’ve always admired her detached cool and it’s played to brilliant effect here. I think Uma Thurman is to Quentin Tarantino as Grace Kelly was to Alfred Hitchcock. Props to QT for giving Sonny Chiba a cameo!
The cinematography in this film is breathtaking and it makes Kill Bill easily one of the most stylish films of the year. I was particularly impressed with the work with miniatures (the jumbo jet and downtown Tokyo cityscapes). Why is no one talking about this? Detail, I suppose.
What surprised me the most is how much Cami enjoyed the film. We would look at each other during some of the more abrupt instances of violence (beheadings, and whatnot) and she would cringe most distastefully – an expression I’m sure I mirrored. But it led me to believe she didn
Today’s incentive sketch over at buzzComix hold special significance. If you’ve ever owned a pet, I think you an empathize with its sentiment. Once you read today’s blog, it’ll take on deeper significance.Click here to see it.
You’ll pardon me today if I don’t talk much about movies, celebrities or pop culture. I want to talk about something a little closer to home instead.
It’s not coincidence that Truman is featured so prominently in today’s strip. Monday night, Cami and I got quite a scare. We came home from work and Truman wasn’t quite himself. He wasn’t eating, he was very lethargic and was trembling while he tried to sleep on the couch. We were very concerned. This wasn’t normal behavior for our normally spry and inquisitive 2 year old beagle.
Around 10 P.M. Monday night, we took Truman to an emergency veterinary clinic. They noted his general lack of energy and took his temperature. He was running a fever of 105 degrees when 100 is about normal.
They ran a battery of tests, x-rays and blood work trying to figure out what was wrong with him. We worried that he might have had some obstruction in his small intestine as we noted he had gotten a hold of a leather purse strap the Friday before. Truman also did not have a bowel movement since Sunday night prior, despite great strain Monday evening to do so.
Standard x-rays didn’t turn up anything, so the doctor on duty recommended barium tests to more clearly identify any issues in Truman’s intestinal tract. Basically, they feed the animal barium and take x-rays every couple of hours as it works through his system. Barium shows up extremely well on x-ray, so if there was any issue, it would come through loud and clear.
The only problem is that to perform the test, we would have to leave them there overnight. Needless to say, Cami and I didn’t get much sleep Monday night as we worried about Truman’s condition in some far away animal hospital.
Tuesday morning we picked him up at 7:00 A.M. to transfer him to our regular vet for further treatment. So while trying to juggle a particularly heavy workload on no sleep Tuesday, I was fielding calls from our vet every 2 hours with status reports.
At first Truman seemed to get a little of his energy back. He was able to eat breakfast and seemed okay. But our vet pointed out that his abdomen seemed very tender. Truman winced whenever he tried to touch it.
As the continued to monitor him through the morning hours, his condition became worse and he lost energy. Although the x-rays continued to show no obstruction, our vet soon suggested that Truman may need exploratory surgery to identify the problem. By this he meant, cutting an incision into his belly and feeling around his intestines for any foreign objects.
Cami and I weren’t too thrilled about the idea of surgery. Not only for the expense, but for the risk involved. Ultimately we consented to the surgery because would have rather known FOR SURE the was no obstruction, rather than take him home unwise to any further problems and have his intestines get knotted up and turn toxic. Sepsis has the potential of developing very quickly, and even if caught, it’s difficult to reverse.
We faced the option of losing our dog entirely. So we opted for surgery.
The good news is the vet didn’t find any obstructions. The bad news was his intestines were inflamed and very red. Our vet felt this could have been brought on by his fever, which he was still experiencing Tuesday afternoon, although now at a more manageable 103 degrees.
Our vet came to the conclusion that Truman was suffering from some kind of extreme infection. It could be viral. It could be bacteria. We don’t know. We’re not even sure where he might have picked this up. All I know is right now I have an extremely exhausted puppy with a 6 inch cut in his stomach that’s been stapled together. We’re taking him back to the vet tomorrow morning for observation. After that, he’ll be home with us for bed rest as we just keep an eye out for any more unwelcome symptoms.
Needless to say, right now I’m a wreck. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could even do today’s comic. But this idea hit me while we were sitting around the house feeling sorry for ourselves so I decided to act on it. I’ll admit it was therapeutic to draw Truman in such a fun context.
Y’know, when Truman got sick, I thought it was lousy timing because his treatment completely devoured the $681 you guys had given me through donations, advertising and merchandise sales. This was the money I was going to use to go to Wizard World Chicago.
But then I realized how selfish that was and how much worse off we could have been. If I didn’t have this site and I didn’t have the kind of wonderful fans that I do, we wouldn’t had that $681 in the FIRST place – and we would have really been up the creek.
So to those of you I thanked on Monday, I want to thank with extra sincerity today. You helped ensure the health and well-being of my dog, my pet, my friend – Truman. You may have helped save his life. The least I could do in return is give you a comic.
As a side note, I don’t mean to burden you guys with our problems. But since the comic is based off our life to a degree and because I know there are some of you out there who are fans of Truman’s, I thought it in his best interest to share.
I may be difficult to get a hold of in the next few days. In addition to monitoring Truman, I have a huge meeting at work this Thursday that our department is hosting and then after that is Memorial Day weekend. I’m directing this message more toward the people in the forums than anywhere else. I’ve come to know them as a very caring and supporting group and I didn’t want to leave them in the lurch.
Once again, thanks to you for supporting this site. I thank you and I know Truman thanks you. I can put it more plainly than that. You are all wonderful people.
Today’s incentive sketch isn’t knocking it out of the part in the artistic department, but I think you’ll appreciate its romantic symbolizes. Click away to reveal!
What can I say about The Day After Tomorrow except it looks really, really stupid. Didn’t we all get sick of disaster flicks sometime around 1998? Apparently Roland Emmerich didn’t get the memo. This guy is like Michael Bay – he can only make one kind of movie. Loud, dumb and effects-heavy. I still haven’t forgiven him for sucking Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno into the quagmire that was Godzilla.
I feel sorry for Tomorrow’s Jake Gyllenhaal. Apparently he thinks this is the “big summer event movie” to hitch his wagon to. A big blockbuster that’ll make him a household name. Guess again, Jakey. You should have used your leverage with Kirsten Dunst to land that plum role in Spider-Man 2. Tobey fans would have hated you, but Joe Six-Pack probably never would have seen the difference.
Anyway, let’s brush that aside for a moment. It’s time for a Truman update.
As you know, on Wednesday I delivered some pretty serious news about the health of our 2 year old beagle Truman. For a quick recap, he had a fever of 105, we thought he had an obstruction in his intestines (he didn’t), he underwent emergency exploratory surgery and they discovered he was fighting a mean infection either viral or bacteria in nature.
First of all, I want to thank EVERYONE who sent their prayers and good wishes to Truman. He doesn’t read so well since he’s been on the painkillers, but we told him all about the people online pulling for him. He sends his love.
On a personal level, Cami and I sincerely appreciate everyone’s support. We receive such great feedback from fellow beagle owners and other pets. It really helped to hear some of your close calls. It was nice to know we weren’t alone and – ultimately – these little guys are hearty buggers who pull through stuff that would have us laid up for 2 weeks.
Incidentally, if you wanted a snap-shot of how awesome Theater Hopper fans are on the whole, then check out this bit of fan art I received from Jennifer Addley. Jennifer has it right – chicks DO dig scars! Thanks, Jennifer!
And again, thanks to the rest of you for your e-mails and posts in the forum. It means more to us that we can possibly measure!
Now, as for Truman himself. He’s doing MUCH better! After a short stay at the vet’s office on Wednesday for an evaluation, we were able to take him home and start spoiling him rotten!
He’s still a little groggy from the surgery, painkillers and antibiotics, but he’s sleeping well and eating lots which is a good sign. We let him sleep in our bed on Wednesday night which is something we NEVER do. He was on Cloud 9!
On Thursday evening, he started picking up steam. You can tell he’s starting to feel better because he’s starting to get into things and being naughty! He snagged a towel from me earlier and tried to get me to chase him around the house and play tug of war with him (a regular game between us two). I didn’t want to engage him, though. I was afraid he’d pop a stitch! And as far as the stitches go, they come out either next Tuesday or Wednesday.
Really, if you were going to send your dog into surgery, you’d be hard pressed to find a better time than right before a holiday weekend. This way, we can spend extra time with him and make sure he doesn’t get frustrated and try to pull out his stitches!
But anyway, Truman is on the mend, eating whatever he wants and generally soaking in all the love and attention we can afford him. He’s a sweet dog and I plan on posting pictures when he’s zipping around the backyard again at full speed.
I gotta tell ‘ya. This week has been rough. In addition to Truman’s problems, there has been stress at work and some relatives also not feeling well and in the hospital. I’m not telling you this to bring you down. Frankly, I’ve probably told too much. I mean, you come to Theater Hopper to get away from this real-world drama, right?
But honestly… I never knew how many friends I made online until I opened up a little more of my life to you. It’s like you’re family now. And I’m an only child, so that’s really weird for me!
But, yeah. I consider you guys family. And if you ever need *me* to lend your some words of encouragement, drop me a line and I’m there for you.
Thanks again for everything you’ve done for us and have a great holiday weekend!