I hate to keep bugging you guys about this, but I’m trying out a new incentive that will get you to vote for Theater Hopper at BuzzComix.

The idea is simple. Each day I update with a new comic, I will also update with a special incentive sketch to be posted over at BuzzComix. The only way you can see it is if you vote. All of the sketches will feature Theater Hopper cast members dressed up as icons of the movies or popular culture. What movie or cultural icon have we dressed our characters up in today? You’ll have to VOTE to find out.

If you’d like to leave suggestions for what kind of sketches you’d like to see, I’ve started a thread about it in the forums. Feel free to leave your thoughts there.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about movies.

Big Fish. I’ve been waiting to see this movie for a long time. It seems like they’ve been advertising it forever. Well, that’s because it’s been in theaters in larger markets like New York, LA and Chicago since mid-December. It’s all part of trying to reach the end of the year cut off for the Oscars. Now finally the rest of us can see it.

Like a lot of people my age, I’m a big Tim Burton fan. Sure Planet of the Apes was a thunderous misstep, but I’m more apt to blame the wooden Mark Wahlberg for that. Still, it’s nice to see Burton return to fantasy. Is there any other director with as keen a visual sense as Burton? It must have come from all those years animating for Disney combined with listening to The Cure on endless repeat. Great stuff.

The casting for this film is spot on. Ewan McGreggor and Alison Lohman are dead ringers as the younger versions of Albert Finney and Jessica Lange respectively. It’s the mark of a smart film maker to take care with details like that. I can’t stand movies that put two actors together (who look nothing alike) and expect us to believe they’re brothers or some other kind of relation. It’s usually so forced.

I’ll have to be on the lookout for Danny DeVito and Helena Bonham Carter who both have bit parts. Usually I cringe when I hear DeVito has turned up in something. In many ways, his acting (and his directing) have become louder and more abrasive over the years. You only need to see the commercial he did for DirecTVfor proof of that.

Tossing Helena Bonham Carter in the mix is interesting. She’s always fun to watch, but in the back of my head I know I’ll be thinking “Tim Burton only tossed her in because they’re dating.” Whatever. Those two deserve each other. They can spend Saturday evening seeing who can tease their hair the highest.

Switching gears: Some thoughts about the question I posed to you all on Wednesday about Theater Hopper switching to a narrative storytelling perspective.

I received a lot of positive and interesting feedback from you all. Some of you said make the switch. Others of you said stick with the gags. But interestingly enough, many of you expressed that you didn’t feel strongly either way and would continue to read the strip regardless of the direction I steer it.

That’s quite a vote of confidence from you guys and I appreciate it. Hearing that makes me feel that in some small way, I’ve earned your trust. It’s pretty cool.

Some of you made an effort to point out that I’ve already dabbled in some storytelling. For example, the Daredevil arc or my recent round with the MPAA. For those that noticed, the length of these story lines at three to five days a piece is enough to keep your attention. Mixed in with the gag strips was a fair balance, you told me.

Having taken time to think it over, I don’t feel like I’ll be making any dramatic changes to the site anytime soon. Instead, I’m going to stay aware of the storylines I’ve created in the past and keep an eye on how they fit into the overall narrative of the strip. In other words, from time to time, I’ll make leaps with the personality traits of the characters and they will fold into standard continuity.

One comic that kept coming up over and over was PVP. Many of you felt that Scott Kurtz does good job of balancing the over-arching story and history in with stand alone gag strips. I tend to agree. But I also recognize that he’s had five years to develop that skill! So I’ve decided that there’s no need to pressure myself into a writing style I may not be adept at yet.

Thanks again for all your input. Having little discussions like these really helps me to understand how you interpret what I’m trying to achieve with the comic. It’s the miracle of the web. In no other medium could you absorb and potentially integrate feedback to your art with sure speed and efficiency. I appreciate all your comments.

Have a great weekend!

↓ Transcript
We should really go see Big Fish.

What’s it about?

Albert Finney plays a character known for telling tall tales.

You mean like about the lion with the thorn in its paw?

No. That’s a fable.

So he tells stories about alligators in the sewers?

That’s an urban legend.

Oh! You mean like Cuba Gooding Jr. ever having a successful Hollywood career again!

There you go! Now THAT’S a tall tale!