Originally, I wanted to do a comic about Hellboy II: The Golden Army for today’s update. I had a chance to see the movie last Friday and loved it. But seeing as I had just completed TWO Hellboy comics STARRING Hellboy last week, I thought it might be overkill. Truthfully, it would have been more of an excuse for me to try and rope things back into Theater Hopper territory and not do a straight-up parody. Best to let sleeping dogs lie.

I was about to do a comic I had on the back burner for Meet Dave. The set up was going to be Tom and Cami sitting at a table and Tom mentioning to Cami that Eddie Murphy had a new movies in theater. Her reply would have been a courteous but clipped “Oh, that’s nice” and then the last two panels were going to be completely without dialogue to reflect the idea that NO ONE CARES ABOUT EDDIE MURPHY ANYMORE!

If you think that last statement is too harsh, then just check out the box office on Meet Dave in it’s first week. 7th place and $5.3 million dollars? You really screwed the pooch with Norbit, Murphy. You could have had a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Dreamgirls and pulled yourself out of this hole. Now you’ll be stuck doing tepid family films for ages.

Ah, who am I kidding. The guy has more money than God. He’s set for life.

Anyway, that was going to be my Meet Dave comic which I really like conceptually, but probably wouldn’t have worked in reality. Too low key, too subtle and I’m not sure people would have understood that neither Tom or Cami were particularly interested in the latest Eddie Murphy movie. It probably would have ended up looking like I forgot to add word bubbles to the last two panels.

Thank goodness for The Dark Knight. Probably one of the most anticipated films of the year and I feel like I have enough ground to cover with this one to do a WHOLE WEEK’S worth of strips. So, buckle up.

People have been going round and around talking about Heath Ledger’s performance of The Joker. And, of course, you can’t talk about Heath Ledger without mentioning that he died back in January from an accidental overdose. It’s kind of a catch-22. On the one hand, it feels slightly exploitative. But, on the other hand, it wouldn’t be responsible journalism if you didn’t mention it somewhere. It might almost be considered disrespectful to his memory – like you were trying to gloss over something that didn’t happen.

Any way you slice it, it’s a shame. I kind of feel bad for the other actors in the film that not have to field questions on two fronts. It’s no longer about promoting the movie. It’s also about Ledger and what his death means. I have a fantasy where Gary Oldman just goes off on some reporter for pushing the issue too far, but that’ll probably never happen.

Some critics are already saying Ledger should be nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Having not seen the movie, I can’t judge one way or the other. Although I’ve been impressed with the clips I’ve seen. Ledger is mesmerizing and it’s evident that he tapped into something primal in his depiction of The Joker.

That said, it’s all speculation and too soon to say if it’ll even happen. I try to think in the short term as well as the long term and if there was going to be any benefit at all from Ledger’s death, the best I could come up with is the absolute conclusion to lame Brokeback Mountain references.

It was only a couple of years ago, but you remember how it went. Seriously – if I had to listen to one more person do their riff on the line “I wish I knew how to quit you,” I would have screamed.

Hey, I was guilty of it, too! But some people hang onto that stuff a little too long. Admit it, you still know someone in your office making Borat references. “Very nice…”

At this point, a Brokeback reference would not only be irrelevant from a pop culture perspective, it would be downright insensitive. So, I think we can officially label this “The End of The Trend.”

A short programming note for those of you who are fans of The Triple Feature podcast – there will be no show tonight. Both Joe and Gordon are traveling, which would leave me by my little, old lonesome. So we decided to scrap this week’s show and get together NEXT week at 9:00 PM CST at TalkShoe.com to discuss Hellboy II and The Dark Knight. I don’t know who we’re trying to fool. You know we’ll only end up talking about The Dark Knight. Which is a shame. I had a great time watching Hellboy II and everyone I’ve talked to has enjoyed it as well. It would be a real treat to pour over it.

I guess you’ll just have to tune in next week to see!

Thanks for visiting the site today. I’ll see you here again on Wednesday! Have a great week!

↓ Transcript
The Dark Knight opens this week!
I know! Heath Ledger looks awesome as The Joker!

It's terrible what happened to him...

...but I was thinking, maybe there is something good that can still come from it.
A posthumous Oscar win?

No. I was thinking maybe people would stop making lame Brokeback Mountain references.
Amen to that!