As much as it would have been fun to draw a protracted fight scene (not), it was time to stick a fork in this little story arc and move on.

My thanks to Brian Carroll for the inspiration to do these strips. Hopefully neither of us have damaged each other’s reputations too much. 😉

I recognize the punchline to today’s comic is kind of dark. But you’d be surprised by the thought process that led me to it. I spent serious time contemplating what was funnier – “coma ward,” “burn ward” or “graveyard.”

I certainly don’t mean to make light of anyone who is in a coma, been horribly burned or is dead. But looking for something shocking and weighing my options, I decided to go with “coma ward” because, well, people come out of comas all the time, right?!

It might also fertile ground to harvest another story from later. Admit it – Who’s a little curious to meet the guy that Jared put in a coma? Exactly. Y’see, you guys are just as twisted as me.

As you probably know, Oscar nominations were announced yesterday. The big news is that there are now 10 films in contention for the night’s big prize – Best Picture.

I can’t say I was particularly surprised by any of the nominations except for possibly District 9. Even though I thought it was a smart film with some original ideas, it kind of played like a sci-fi shoot em up by the end. I think of it more like a summer blockbuster than a Best Picture contender.

Naturally, I was pleased to see Up nominated. In my heart of hearts, I’d like to see it win. But I know it won’t. Up is a good movie, but not Pixar’s best. If they’re going to take the award, I really want them to earn it. Wishing they would win is more of a reaction to Up being the first animated movie to be nominated in this category since Beauty and The Beast in 1992. But the nomination in itself is a reward and I hope the AMPAS continues to look at the field of animation when making their Best Picture nominations in the future.

What do I think will win? Avatar. It’s not the best movie among the nominees. Not by a long shot. But I think Academy voters won’t be able to resister rewarding director James Cameron for his technical achievement or his box office success. As of this writing, the movie has been number one at the American box office for nearly 2 months. It’s made over $2 billion dollars in world-wide box office. These are numbers too big to ignore. As much as some people idealistically think the Oscar’s should be about artistic merit, it’s also about business. James Cameron is now the man with the two largest grossing films of all time. The story of his success alone will secure a win for Avatar.

Interestingly enough, I heard yesterday that Avatar is only one of three films in Oscar history that has been nominated for Best Picture without being nominated in any of the writing or acting categories. Some food for thought.

As for the other nominations? Well, I’ll save some of my predictions for later.

In the meantime, if you’d like to download an Oscar ballot you can use to make your OWN predictions – and then compare them to the actual winners on March 7 – you can download it here.

What do you guys think about widening the field of Best Picture nominees to 10? Do you think all of the Best Picture nominees are deserving or are some just filler? What nominations surprised you the most? Do you think there is an opportunity for an upset in any of the categories? Share your thoughts and reactions below!

↓ Transcript
...and that's how I ended up with this eye patch and three cracked ribs!

Wow. That's nuts!

Well, I always knew Brian was psychotic. But I never thought he'd turn violent!

Your story reminds me of an argument I had with someone about John Cassavetes.

Oh, yeah?! How did that one turn out?