Friday, March 27, 2009


Heels pointed it out.

Elex made one.

So, I had to make one, too:

Visit Xtranormal and make your own.

The Great War

As part of my birthday gift from my brother and the fiancée, my brother drew on the box.

Since I have delcared myself his biggest fan, I share with you four of five sides he drew on. Be sure to click to see better detail, and pardon the changes in shadows and color, I'm not much of a photographer.

Also, it reads from left to right, top to bottom all the way around the box.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've been trying to figure out what to write.

It's not that I have nothing to say. Work has been not great and I have concerns about coming times. Songs from The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein have been swirling through my head even though I haven't listened to any of the songs since Saturday. And there are other things that could be considered interesting, but I doubt I'd share here anyway. Or there always my opinions on Joss Wheadon's new show, Dollhouse.

Mostly, it's that I don't want to put anything down, I think. Part of my hatred of March.

An odd thing happened yesterday, both my brother (well, one of them) and my mom wrote me e-mails at almost exactly the same time telling me to watch out for early birthday gifts in the mail. Strange. I think I know what the one my mom (parents) sent me is.

What else... I don't know.

I suppose that's it.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Got the "save the date" for my brother's and his fiancée's wedding. Now I just need to know if my family's going to share a house up there or if I should book a room. Maybe I should just book a room and then cancel it if my family ever makes up its mind.

Also, I really hate March.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Suffering Stupidity and Pain

I go shopping kind of early so I don't have to deal with crowds, about 8:30AM on Saturdays. So, I don't expect there to be many check lines open, but like I wrote before, there aren't crowds that early on a Saturday, but there's at least one for people like me who are lazy and like to think that if we go to a check line run by a person we can discourage those shitty self-check lanes.

Well, I went shopping at a local story, Lucky, this Saturday. They had some good sales and I wandered up and down the aisles picking up extra stuff that I wanted but didn't necessarily need, like molasses. When I arrived at the front of the store, finished with my shopping, I was surprised to find that none of the check stands had a person there to check me out. I was forced to use the self-check lanes.

Now I've used the self-check before, but it's always been for a few things, never more than four, during crowded evening. It's easy when you have so few things, you scan, listen to the damned voice, put your stuff into a bag, and repeat until your out of stuff.

It's not quite as easy when you have a cart with many things. First, the computer lady doesn't like you skipping putting stuff in a bag. (But why would I want a bag for a five-pound bag of potatoes?) The computer doesn't like it any more when you just fill the first, of three, bag and immediately pull it and put it in your cart without filling the other two. Oh, and trying to find the right veggies in their list by picture, a real pain in the ass. Paying is easy though.

I decided that the next time I stop at that store I'll scout out for a checker and if there isn't one I'll ask the self-check guard and if I'm told there isn't going to be one during my trip, I'm leaving.

In other news, I finally know what it's like to have food poisoning. It's why I wasn't at work yesterday. Mostly, I worked the sickness out during the night, but I didn't sleep much and thought staying on the floor in my apartment watching TV and napping would be best.

When I worked in a sandwich shop, when ever my boss had a stomach ache, he'd call it food poisoning. For years I figured that if food poisoning was just a stomach ache then it's no big deal. I know better now.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Calvin & Susie & Hobbes & Fans

It's 1:35 PM and I'm sitting at the back computer scanning and I've been here since 11:30ish this morning.

I've finished more than half the stack I started with. Only forty more documents left to scan. 'Course each document is between ten and a hundred pages, so it's longer than I want it to be. The real bitch of it is waiting for the damn documents to compile and separate. The more you have the longer it takes, but it's not a linear progression, but an exponential one; so, I'm limiting each scan group to ten documents.

I've been thinking about the nature of fandom a lot today. Mostly, what's okay for fans to create based on the things they like.

It started with me finding a post at Robot 6 where they linked to this picture (calling it too sweet) and this picture (which they think is creepy).

After reading that, I cross posted the pictures to What's Distracting Us? to see if those who look there thought the second one was creepy. Up to now (1:55), Otis and Heels have responded and both think it's creepy.

I don't. Maybe I've just read (or actually skimmed) too much really harsh slash fan fiction, but to me the strip was kind of sweet and an interesting comment on growing up. I understand why people think it's creepy; it just didn't effect me in the same way.

When I read Heels's response I then asked if this picture is creepy. She said:
I wouldn't say creepy, necessarily, but I still don't understand the point. Why do we need to see them all grown up? Why do we need to make presumptions about the futures of fictional characters? I'd rather not.
Which I hadn't thought about at all. Should we, the people who enjoy stories told in different media, not think about what happens to the characters after the end of the book (or book series), after the TV show gets pulled off the air, when the movie ends, or when the creator of a comic strip (or the creator's assistant) stops making new strips?

What happens to Will Parry after he returns home in The Amber Spyglass? How well did Lindsey's trip to see The Greatful Dead, at the end of Freaks and Geeks, go? Will the city, from Dark City, survive for long without The Strangers? And does Marcie make a move on Peppermint Patty in high school or simply pine away?

I've thought about answers to all of these questions, and many more, since I was little. (Sometimes, I still wonder if Sam and Gus are friends or what happened to the dog that kept asking if other dogs liked her hat.)

Heck, the fan fiction boom started with people wondering about the crew of the Enterprise did after the series ended. (Sure, it soon turned into stories about the love between Spock and Kirk, which gradually became more explicit, but that's not the point.) Some people wanted to explore the lives of intriguing characters, like the Romulan commander who tried to seduce Spock.

(Finally back at my desk. It's 3:54.)

I'm not saying that the endings out there aren't satisfying because, for the most part, they are. What I'm trying to say is that the best endings, for me, are the ones that make me want to know the future of characters. Whether it's the near future or the further future depends on the character. Maybe it's just me.

A commenter at Robot 6 wrote:
Ultimately for me, if Watterson didn’t draw it, it should be considered sacrilege. If you’ve got something you want to say about growing up as an artist, create it yourself. Don’t co-opt the characters you used to love... .
While it's hard to argue that people shouldn't create their own art from the ground up, I think that poster missed the point. None of these images would have been half as strong as they are if they hadn't used characters from Calvin & Hobbes. In pop-culture, Calvin & Hobbes is shorthand for the highs and lows and pure weirdness of being a kid. Without that shorthand, the first image and the comic strip wouldn't have the growing up impact that they have.

Other people out there just have a problem seeing beloved childhood characters doing grown-up things. At least they're drawn as teens, though, right? I mean I would think it was creepy if Susie and Calvin were kids in the strip. I never would have posted the picture and have tried to wipe the image from my mind forever. This one, with them at that age, I think is sweet.

At least, that's what I think.

In going through all of this stuff, I guess I can really appreciate that fans are as diverse as people are.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Watchmen Thoughts

***There are probably

So, Watchmen...

I've spent a large portion of the day, at least larger than I should have, poking around and reading the thoughts other comic fans have about the movie. The opinions range from those who thought it was a (near) perfect movie to those who thought it was one of the most awful movies ever made.

I talked to one of my co-workers about the movie, too. He'd never read the book, but went and saw the movie this weekend and he isn't sure what to think about it. He liked it in the beginning, but about halfway though he thinks the movie went crazy. And he hated the end. (He also hated Dr. Manhattan's penis all over the place.) He told me he wants to like it, but he just can't.

Me? Well... it lived up to my expectations, but didn't exceed them.

That is to say, the movie looked really good. Zack Snyder makes films that are fun to look at. To me, his movies are spectacles more than they're anything else. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's bad. For Watchmen, it's sort of a mixed blessing.

Things look like they do in the comic, for the most part. The colors are bright and slick. The world is grimy. Watching (some of the) scene come to life directly out of the comic was fun. Rorschach's mask was amazing. (Although I found it distracting that the rate at which the "ink" flowed got faster when things were tense.)

The story, though, seemed shallow.

Let me put it this way, if I had seen this movie after the first time I read the book, I would have loved it. The movie nailed everything I liked about the book back then. It was dark and dirty. The heroes weren't perfect. Rorschach was a bad-ass. It was violent. When I first read the book, that's what I thought reading an adult comic meant.

I don't think quite that way anymore.

(I'm having a very hard time articulating. Sorry.)

The book was very much about the dark times it was written in, 1986-87. There's a sense of losing innocence to the book. A loss of wonder. A question of lies being (or becoming) truth. Being hurt by truth. Finding humanity that's been lost and losing humanity because of humanity.

That's just a few I can think of here at work. The book is dense. And the movie isn't. (Or at least it isn't as dense.) The movie softly touches a lot of the themes of the book, but it doesn't delve (because of time constraints or other reasons) into the themes like the comic does.

Comics can let readers linger over panels and pages. Comics allow time to reread the thoughts and spoken words of characters. Comics give readers the ability to control time. Watchmen comic thrives on readers being able to do what only comics allow. Watchmen movie just barrels through from one scene to the next forcing views to linger on the absurd slow motion moments in fight scenes (or when Silk Spectre's hair is flowing around her); forcing people to see the moments of Watchmen in set amount of time hurts the plot.

There's so much more to say, but I just don't have the ability to write it.

One thing, though, I really wish they'd had Captain Metropolis found the Crimebusters in the movie and not Ozymandias. Losing Captain Metropolis made the team lose its link to the past. There was no direct juxtaposition of the old and new, which only makes the failure of the team to come together even sadder and gives Ozymandias a huge step toward his ultimate end.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Another Disjointed Post

Tomorrow is a furlough day. Furlough days are mixed blessings. I don't come into work, which is good, but I also lose a chunk of my paycheck. Sure, we don't live in the 1800s, but $100 is still a lot of money to lose each month.

Yesterday, in her blog, Heels let the world know that the last ultrasound showed that Roo is a girl. A she or a her. That's cool. Ever since I was little I've always thought of a family as being balanced when there are two kids, a boy and a girl. I know, and knew, that those families are just as insane as any other family out there, but it always seemed balanced to me, two of each sex and all.

(Funny, I noticed that she doesn't call this baby by a nickname as much as she did her first. Maybe it's part of that more relaxed attitude toward this birth she's taking.)

What I think makes most of the older science fiction dated is the way they tried to mention the technology of the future. Especially when the books mention tapes for storing information. I know that at the time the books were written tapes were a huge advance for storing binary information, but it takes me out of the story. Better to just say the information was stored on a device than say "tape," in my opinion. Still, I do get sucked back into the story and enjoy the older science fiction quite a bit.

Thinking of science fiction, how often, in the Pern books, are the science fiction story elements that created the dragons mentioned? I haven't read much Pern, so I don't know, but I do remember reading a story about McCaffrey being unhappy with her Pern stories being thought of as "fantasy" because the origins of the people and dragons were rooted in science fiction.

The relationship between science fiction and fantasy is strange one, isn't it? One is often considered more childish than the other, but often the childish one is also thought to be more creative. Strange.

Are there any horror books I should keep my eye out for? Not Steven King or Clive Barker or Dean Koontz or Anne Rice, please. I've had enough of them in my life. Is H.P. Lovecraft really any good? And if so, where's a good place to start?

I'm pretty sure that a cold is within striking distance of me. My throat is scratchy and I've had a cough for that past few days.

During WonderCon, I saw the new Wonder Woman animated DVD movie. It was spectacular. Sort of a mix between a war movie, where it really earns its PG-13 rating (the first cut got an R) and a romantic comedy. Even though it was said to be unintentional, it has a better version of the Amazons Attack crossover that came out a year or so ago. After seeing this movie I really don't understand why it's been so hard for Warner Bros to get a live-action movie off the ground. Maybe then need to take a meeting with Gail Simone, she seems to have a good handle on the character.

Been having lots of dreams about working at 'Bucks recently. In most of them I end up working in a store where my brother also works. There are some crazy things about the 'Bucks in these dreams, but, for the most part, I go, I make drinks, I take money, and I clean, which is pretty much what a workday is like for a 'Bucks peon. If the dreams weren't so dull they might be classified as nightmares, but the never shake me awake like nightmares do.

October is a very long time away. According to the calendar, every day brings it closer, but in my brain and my body each day October seems further away.

The creator of Something Positive pointed out the new Garfield spin-off on Monday. Now he's mocking it quite brilliantly.

And now I'm done.

Be well.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I've been in a pissy mood lately. And I can't tell if it's getting better.

On the plus side, I cooked a salmon last night (stuffed it with lemon and dill and parsley and green onion) and it turned out really good.