Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Perfect Storm of Inside Joke Theatre

Well, it was a pretty big weekend for me, and there are new things to talk about in comics, TV, movies, videogames, family and politics. In other words, every single thing I write about on this blog will be contained in this post. Feel it's mighty (yet inconsequential) power!

So TV, first off. I watched the second episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and I'm pretty much convinced that if the strike wasn't on, and there were a lot of shows competing for my time, this one wouldn't make the cut. The cast is a little bland (even Summer Glau, who shines in her brief moments, is not getting enough chance to show off) and the stories seem a little low-key for a story about the end of the world. I love the idea of using time travel to place agents on key missions, but so far that idea has shown a lack of imagination in execution, and worse, I get the sense that they're not thinking all the implications through, which is death for a time travel story.

It's not a bad show, by any means. But it's up against my fondness for Terminator and T2, and even the things I liked about T3, and that's a pretty rough bit of competition. I'll probably give it a couple more episodes to hook me on the same level The 4400 did (decent, not great, good for filling time), but I'm not dying to watch the episodes or anything.

In politics, the big news is that Clinton won the Nevada primaries, another disappointment for us Obama supporters. Obama's camp is saying that they actually won the primary, with more delegates, so it's not over by any means, but we're starting to get into that "Well, to understand who won you need a doctorate in American political machinery" territory that's just frustrating to follow. Suffice to say, I'd been hoping that the Iowa victory was a signifier that he was going to have the nomination sewn up, and it still looks like a pretty serious fight. I think the Democrats may yet again take an election that should be a cakewalk (if they'd run Obama or Edwards) and turn it into another stunning snatch of defeat from out of the jaws of victory (I don't think Clinton can beat McCain, who is showing surprising strength in the Republican primaries).

I still believe in Obama, and he's still the only person I *want* to vote for. I'll hold my nose and vote for Edwards if he's there instead, or McCain if he's up against Clinton, and if none of those choices are available, I'll probably be voting independent and nursing an even more shattered faith in our electoral system.

In videogames, I've been downloading new songs for Rock Band, and wow is it dangerous how easy it is to get new content for the XBox 360. I bought a bunch of new songs, they're all a lot of fun (my favorites are the Police three-pack and "Gimme Three Steps" by Lynrd Skynrd, but Blink 182's "All the Small Things" is quite fun too) and I keep watching for new songs, which seem to appear about every two weeks. I'm already looking for the next opportunity to throw a Rock Band party. Best videogame ever.

This weekend was the 1st anniversary of my owning Rogues Gallery. Well, technically, I signed the check and ownership papers on February 19th, but we jumped the gun by a month for scheduling reasons. To celebrate, we had a party on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, which featured game demos, creator signings and lots more. It went very well, and I'm pretty proud of how the store has developed. Some highlights:

*On Friday night, I got to play Zombie Fluxx with several of my customers and friends, and we had a lot of fun. Fluxx, for those unfamiliar, is a card game by Looney Labs wherein the basic rules are "Draw 1, Play 1" but there are Rules cards that change that (and many other rules) throughout, and Goals that generally include having two or three "Keeper" cards on the table. The goals, rules and Keepers change throughout the game, and it's a fun bit of chaos. Zombie Fluxx adds zombies to the equation, and is even more fun than the original.

*Also on Friday, I had organized an expedition to see Cloverfield with guests Greg Pak and Scott Kolins (and his wife), several of my staff and a couple of my customers. I got about 30 minutes in (right about when the monster shows up) and had to leave the theater, because the jerky camcorder filming style was about to make me sick. This is the second time this has happened to me, the first was with the Bourne Ultimatum. So now it's not just first person shooters I can't see, it's some films. Stupid motion sickness. At any rate, everybody else seemed to enjoy the movie, and there were a few good trailers, which included the Star Trek teaser (pretty effective, and I'm not a huge Star Trek fan in general), the Iron Man trailer (again, I love this trailer) and the Jumper trailer (looking forward to this one as well). Kind of surprised there hasn't been a Hulk teaser or trailer at this point, though.

*On Saturday, we had a signing in the store with Greg Pak, Scott Kolins, Matt Sturges and Paul Benjamin. And for part of the time, we also had The Defuser, the winner of the second season of Who Wants To Be A Superhero? and an Austin local. It was a lot of fun, and Scott drew a sketch of The Flash for my daughter Katy, which she loved. Greg, despite being a writer, likes to draw Hulk pictures with his signature, and so he drew a backer board sketch of Hulk for my daughter as well, and she loved that too. She also got a picture with The Defuser, and she was just elated to meet a real live superhero.

*We had a good event, which also included our "Hulk Smash" sale (wherein everyone who bought something smashed one of four styrofoam cups, Hulk style, to win something written on the inside), our writing contest to start defining our roguish mascot, Maximillian Larch and our second miniatures painting contest.

With the anniversary event done, it's time to start looking forward to our next store event (probably Free Comic Book Day in May) and throw myself a bit more into my duties on STAPLE!, the independent media/small press comics show that is having its fourth year in Austin on March 1.

And now I leave you with three trailers that I caught last night, all of which I thought were pretty good.

This was my favorite. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? That's enough right there. Holy crap, Maura Tierney is in it too? And Romany Malco? And guest spots by John Hodgman and Sigourney Weaver? Promising.

This also looks like fun, and I'm really intrigued the notion of John Krasinski and George Clooney playing off each other. The fight scene at the end cracked me up.

I love Judd Apatow and his production company, and I'm a big fan of both Kristen Bell and Jason Segel, but this didn't crack me up like the trailers for 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up or Superbad.


Chad! said...

Man when Jil and I get down to TX in a few months I need to find sometime to visit your shop and grab a beer with you guys. Our tastes and views are freakishly similar. It'll be nice to be down there soon. Keep up the blog posts and I'm glad things have been going well!

Randy said...

That'd be awesome, Chad. Always glad to hear from you, hope the wedding preparations are going along smoothly!