I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Head of State was number one at the box office this weekend. Considering the world climate, it makes sense that audiences would go see comedies. I guess I just hate to see Chris Rock find success with such pandering material. He’s starting to become the Jennifer Lopez of urban comedies – i.e. A performer I once respected who gets caught up in producing, directing, writing, whatever and ends up churning out the same predictable formula-driven dreck.

I know everyone thought he was great a few years ago when he had his HBO special Bring The Pain, but that was way back in ’96. Bigger and Blacker was in ’99, but not as impressive.

People often compare Rock to Eddie Murphy. I think he should take a page out of his book and do a concert movie like Raw featuring his stand up material. I know we all have a bad taste in our mouth after Martin Lawerence in Run Tel Dat, but if anyone can make it work, Rock can. He’s too good a talent to dry up in cozy demographic land.

I’d continue with my rant, but the other half was already covered by the strip. So we’ll let that one stand on it’s own two feet.

Spent this weekend watching both of MICHAEL Moore’s previous documentaries. I had seen both Roger and Me as well as The Big One before, but Cami became interested after Moore won his Oscar for Bowling for Columbine.

I never got a chance to see Bowling for Columbine in theaters, so I have to wait until it comes out on video. I regret that. I know I would have really enjoyed it. I remember getting several e-mails at the time it was in release from people urging me to see it. “YOU would love it,” they said. Why didn’t I get up off my lazy ass. The world will never know.

I’d still like to take a swing at seeing Spirited Away. The film serves as a GREAT example of what Oscar gold can do for a picture. Before it won it’s trophy for Best Animated Picture, the movie was only being shown in 7 theaters nationwide. After the win, Disney (the distributor, not the animators) re-released it into 800 theaters. Luckily, our best independent theater – The Fluer Cinema (check out their web site design; it’s killer)- got a hold of it. Gotta check it out before it moves on.

For those of you who are curious as to how things went in Kansas City this weekend at Planet Comicon, things couldn’t have been better! I had a blast!

Jared and I took off around 7AM Saturday morning (no problem for me since my beagle Truman decided to get up at 4AM) and got into K.C. right around 10 when the convention started. We wondered around the floor for a while, just getting our bearings and checking out the deals.

Around 11AM I finally worked up the nerve to go say high to Mike and Jerry from Penny Arcade. They had a lot of fans standing around their booth. I was surprised how many of them brought cardboard tubes for them to sign – a sign of reverence toward the “Chronicle of The Cardboard Tube Samurai” they recently ran. One guy even brought a panel to his computer case and asked Mike to draw his character Div on the side of it.

Man… I wish I had thought of that.

It was good talking to Mike and Jerry. I told them about Theater Hopper, but neither had heard of it. I gave them my URL in hopes they would check out the site. I told them in person that their success had a lot to do with inspiring me to start my operation – and it’s true. I don’t expect to ever match their success, but here are two guys, roughly my age, who carved out a niche for themselves that tens of thousands of fans respond to vigorously. Who among you can say the same? I can’t.

I could never imagine Theater Hopper growing to a level of success where appearances at comic book conventions would be either welcomed or warranted. I don’t even know what I would do if placed in that situation. Behind that desk, greeting people that come to see you. You shake hands and say thank you to these people for making you popular. How weird. I would be terrified that I would be letting them down in some way.

That’s the trouble with the Internet. It’s really easy to mask the behind-the-scenes stuff if you want to. People can build up your image to suit their imaginations. What if I don’t meet their expectations?

But Mike and Jerry seemed to handle it really well. I didn’t get a picture with them, but I got a picture OF them. Unfortunately, there are about 20 more pictures left on the roll, so it will probably be a while before I can get my shots on the site.

I didn’t get pictures with any of the other celebrities in attendance. Mostly because none of them warranted shucking out $25 bucks for the “honor”. I’m sure Lou Ferrigno is a nice guy and everything, but what do you say to him? “What was it like being painted green 30 years ago?”

The Playmates in attendance weren’t that thrilling, either. In fact, they were down-right depressing. I know one of the two was Playmate of the Year at some point. I guess within that “industry”, that’s probably the pinnacle of achievements. But to find yourself signing autographs at a comic book convention 20 years later all used up and wrinkled? Sad. I suppose that’s what you get when you base your entire earning potential on your genetics – or silicone, or whatever…

Anyway, that’s my report for the forefront of geekdom. I promise I’ll get back to the movie stuff from here on out.

I will, however, say this: I snagged a killer deal on some old Iron Man comic books. I found a dealer who was selling them for 50 cents a piece – good condition, too. Keep in mind, these books were selling for 75 cents back in the late 80’s when they were originally published. That’s quite a savings!

I don’t know if that’s a comment on my superior bargain-hunting skills, or a sad commentary on the state of the collectors market, but whatever. Iron Man is the coolest. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

↓ Transcript
Here's what I don't understand about Chris Rock:

His stand-up material is some of the best political comedy since Richard Pryor or George Carlin.

But his cinematic efforts are insipid! He remade Heaven Can Wait as Down to Earth and Head of State has a vague Mr. Smith Goes to Washington vibe about it.

Why does he feel the need to water things down to reach a mainstream audience?

And what's with using crusty, old white people as the punchline to every joke?!

We're lame! We get it, already!

Look, are you going to buy a ticket or what?

Yeah. One, please.