Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 28th, 2010

OK, restaurant owners... I know Pepsi is cheaper, but if you're gonna be a Pepsi place, you can't have your Dr. Pepper tap on the fritz. Because Pepsi is terrible. (Btw, this post drew the most comments of anything I've posted on Facebook in a while. The Cola Wars are alive and well.)

Had a great time recording the '80s action movie LEOG podcast on Thursday.

I hate work crises that I have to deal with on my day off. I hate them more when they're basically of my own creation.

Here's my latest new project with Grant Davis & Greg Smith of the LEOG, a video series talking about TV. At least for now, we're calling it the TV Dudes.

Wow, someone actually found a use for the crappy Matrix sequels that is kinda awesome. I give you: Scott Pilgrim vs. The Matrix

The official trailer for The Walking Dead TV series is up, and it looks fantastic.

Caught up on Californication Season 3, and though I was ready to quit about halfway through, I stuck it out. Not sure I'm glad I did. I enjoy the stuff with Hank trying to be a dad and husband, but the "which of these beautiful women will he fuck tonight?" that passed for story in the first six eps was relentlessly stupid, and though there was come come-uppance near the end, I felt that he got off too light for his current sins and was punished too harshly for his older ones.

‎"You could have gotten yourself killed!" "Well, the safety was on the whole time!" Well played, Castle. I will watch more episodes.

Put in the preorder for Rock Band 3 on Monday. With keyboard, naturally.

Had two no-shows for D&D on Monday, so we played Fiasco instead. Set in Restoration era south, it featured grifters, a secretly gay lumber merchant, his son, the girl he thought he'd knocked up (who was actually in with the grifters), an Army captain, a lot of ether, a renegade bear, a gun-toting, bear-skinning doctor and a bag full of lovingly carved wooden sex toys. As always... fun and very odd game.

Other Links:
Can someone explain to me how The Daily Show is the best source of basic investigative journalism (and by that I mean using the Google) on TV? I mean, this is funny, but it's sad that the major news networks basically cover for each others' incompetence.

It's funny because it's true. It'd be funnier if Rick Perry lost the election to Bill White and stopped being quite so true.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 21st, 2010

I was in a bad mood for about half of this week. I'll spare anyone reading this the re-posting of a lot of my gripey Facebook posts for the week. Instead, I'll post the link to a funny Louis C.K. bit that captured my mood for the week pretty effectively.

Comics Alliance tipped me off to Threadless's $10 sale including the "Every Night I Have the Same Dream" collection, so I got all 4 of the shirts by Tony Moore, Jill Thompson, Art Baltazar and Cliff Chiang for $40! Nice!

It is only laziness preventing me from driving down to Gordough's to satisfy a late night sweets craving, pretty much every night. Which is fortunate, because the same laziness would prevent me from exercising away the damage done by one of their awesome donuts.

Related: Some day I'm going to live in South Austin. And on that day, I'm going to gain an *enormous* amount of weight, living close to Sugar Mama's, Gordough's, Texas Cuban, Franklin BBQ, etc., etc.

Comics I Read This Week:

Chew #13 - Goddamn, this book is good. Another new character introduced, along with forward movement on the various stories, and it's becoming clear that the story has been even more expansive from the start than I imagined... and I imagined quite a bit

GI Joe Cobra #7 - Delving into Serpentor and the Croc Master, and fitting them into the darker tone of GI Joe Cobra, is a strange, but ultimately very satisfying choice by the creative team

Sixth Gun #3 - A little more mythology, a lot more on the characters, some great spooky stuff and spectacular art - this supernatural western is one of my favorite new books

Comics News:
I'm not sure anything could be better than just reading the title... but the strip is pretty funny.

The new Avengers cartoon looks... just terrible. Seriously, especially with that music, it looks and sounds like one of Marvel's shitty '90s cartoons.

The Daily Show was really on this week. The Jon Stewart/John Oliver exchange over the "Ground Zero Mosque" was particularly great.

But I was watching Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX, naturally) on The Daily Show and I have two thoughts: A) Why, fellow Texans, did you vote this guy into office? and B) Looking at him, and Michelle Bachmann, what percentage of the House of Representatives is completely batshit insane? 25%? 30%? Is it higher?

It's higher, isn't it?

I hate Scooby Doo. Always have. But Katy's enjoying all the movies on streaming.

Rubicon is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows. Episode four was probably the best one so far.

I disagree with almost everything this guy has to say about why Scott Pilgrim flopped at the box office. But then, I liked the graphic novels and the movie, and so I think his "Hey, just because I hated both, I'm still a neutral observer" opener is kinda bullshit.

Other Links:
Neither of my kids are gamers, and may not be, but if they are, I think this is the 100% correct approach. I had the same "doing it wrong, but it was awesome" experience when I first started playing D&D.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 14th, 2010

I went from toying with the notion of going to New York Comicon on Saturday night to registering as a retailer on Thursday to booking a flight and hotel on late Thursday night. So I'm going to New York Comicon in October!

And just for the record? My NYCC trip, including hotel, flight *and* admission costs considerably less than half what San Diego would have cost me this year. Continuing to not regret the decision to skip Comicon.

Things I learned at Torchy's Tacos on Saturday: A) The Ace of Spades, their taco of the month, is epic and delicious. Jalapeno sausage, brisket, egg, diablo sauce... damn. B) An 8" tortilla is a lot bigger than you might think.

Things I learned on Sunday: Torchy's queso: Spicy, tasty and *probably* not the most nutritious lunch I could have. But the first two outweigh the third.

After my son woke me up at 8 AM on Sunday, I heard a loud crack. That crack? The sound of my tree falling on the neighbor's car. And as I was leaving, several of the electrical outlets weren't working because of some kind of faulty breaker. This pretty much wiped out the money my wife made working extra hours for the last two weeks.

Jury selection result = no jury for Randy. In related news, you know which two streets sound alike but are not the same, and are in fact on opposite sides of downtown? San Jacinto and San Antonio. Guess which one I *thought* the courtroom was on. Narrowly made it to selection on time.

Comics I Read This Week:

Dungeons & Dragons #0 - I've been waiting for this comic for something like 15 years. Nobody has done the license right since DC had it in the late '80s/early '90s, and IDW does exactly what I wanted someone to do. Good art, good writers who get D&D (John Rogers does quippy, fast-paced dungeon crawling, and Alex Irvine's tease of Dark Sun captures everything I would have wanted of that setting. Can't wait to see more.

Hack/Slash My First Maniac #3 - Really digging Seeley's Year One for Cassie Hack, and love that the book is coming out more regularly again

BPRD Hell on Earth New World #1 - Wow, that's a mouthful for a new regular title. New title or no, it's the same book, same writers, same artist, which means it's excellent as always

Thanos Imperative #3 - This is feeling a lot like the culmination of what Abnett and Lanning began back in Annihilation... if this is the end, it's going to be a good one, but I hope they're setting us up for Cosmic Avengers

Comics News:
I'm totally, 100% with Chris Sims on this. Except he's fairer than I would have been. Motion comics are a ridiculous waste of time, effort and money.

Hmm... Weeds and The Big C start on Monday on Showtime, but Boardwalk Empire starts in September on HBO. I can't really afford either one, but if I was going to go with one or the other, that's a tough call.

Thought Invention of Lying was funny and clever, and suspect that a lot of the negative buzz I heard was because of its hypothesis that without lying, there's no religion.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is every bit as awesome as you've heard. I think I actually liked it better than the books.

Zombieland is on Netflix Instant Watch! YES!

Other Links:
Louis C.K. is coming to Austin. Giving serious thought to going to the late show on November 19th

I think the science here might be a bit shaky... but the article is funny as hell.

Oh Internet, I love you so. Blackstar Warrior is a must-watch.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 7th, 2010

When a business (usually a restaurant) is showing FOX News, I'm not quite annoyed to go up and ask why (or ask them to change it) but it does usually make me less likely to return. Seriously, folks... even CNN is better, and CNN is shitty as hell.

On Sunday night, I successfully got my iTunes library to recognize almost all of the songs on my external hard drive so that my laptop can play iTunes properly. This doesn't sound like much now, but the amount of work it took made it feel like a triumph of Herculean proportions.

Here's a helpful Google tip: When you're looking for Sugar Mama's Bakeshop, the awesome cupcake place in Austin, be sure you're clicking the right link. Because only one link from a search for "Sugar Mamas" will take you to cupcakes.

Comics I Read This Week:

Captain America #608 - Lots to like here, particularly the art (love Guice's take on Black Widow and Luke Cage in particular) and the new female Beetle. On the other hand, I think Bucky Cap needs to be doing some less personal crime-fighting, because it's getting a little too melodrama that every battle he's ever had is directly related to his personal history. And honestly, while I'm glad to see the Fixer here synced up with the Fixer in T-Bolts, I liked the reformed Fixer, and I'm not wild about him being revealed to be a traitor for Zemo

GI Joe A Real American Hero #157 - I'm enjoying this even more than I thought I might. Hama's got the same touch here that he did on the '80s GI Joe, and the loss of some of the wackier latter-era toys has freed him up to do some of his best work since the first 50 issues of the series, and Padilla is a flashier artist than Trimpe, but with solid storytelling fundamentals to back that up

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #3 - McCann does the kind of writing that Parker, Slott and Gage do at their best, which means it's right up my alley, Lopez is as good here as he was on Fallen Angel... these are my two favorite characters being done extremely right, and it makes me very happy

Hellboy The Storm #2 - A fantastic read, as always. Liked seeing Hellboy catch a bit off what's going on in BPRD as well... it's been long enough, I'd love to see him do at least a guest stint in BPRD again

Thunderbolts #144-146 - Took the time to read the first three issues, and I'm really enjoying Parker's take on the team. It's a nice blend of what Ellis, Diggle, Busiek and Nicieza have all done with the team in the past - still getting used to Walker's take on some of the more familiar characters, but I like his art a lot in general

Young Allies #3 - It took a few issues, but I'm hooked. McKeever's teen (and young twenty-something, in Gravity and Firestar's case?) book is like a new spin on the '90s New Warriors, without being a nostalgia book or another tired revamp, and I'm really digging Baldeon's art, particularly his expressive faces and strong background work

Comics Retailing Thought of the Week:
It's more than a little annoying how many people online think they can do my job better than I can, and are not at all shy about offering up their observations in the snarkiest possible manner. Despite never having worked comics retail, or in many cases worked retail at all, in their lives.

It's a skill set, people. Really. Just because you read (or make) comics doesn't necessarily make you more qualified to sell them, or judge how we do our job based on what little you know of me from online. I'm not saying there are no bad retailers, but there are a lot more good ones that don't get credit for what they do.

Comics News:
Go here to read Erik Larsen acting like a tool

This seems like kind of a gray area. Isn't a fan-film by definition under the copyright of the original work? Dark Horse did the classy high-road thing here, but it seems to me like legally, and you could argue ethically, they're in the right to treat any expanded universe work on Serenity/Firefly as part of that universe, especially if it was put out there on the Internet for fans to enjoy.

Tom Beland is doing sketches again! These are fantastic... two or three friends of mine have gotten them, and I've finally tossed my name in the hat to commission one as well.

This is a really interesting piece, reminding me that right about the time it went out of business, I was really digging a lot of Crossgen's stuff. I'd particularly like to see El Cazador and Way of the Rat back, and a collection of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (or more stories).

So it looks like I'll be having a Rock Band 3 party in late October.

I was watching the 30 Rock Live on the season 2 DVDs and... holy shit! It's Donald Glover, playing a bunch of parts! Guess this was during his time as a 30 Rock writer, pre-Community.

Saw Monster House and liked it a lot, especially the first half or so, when it felt like a modern-day take on the '80s kids adventure/horror movie like Goonies.

In case anyone was wondering... Ferris Bueller is still great, 24 years later. Loved seeing it again on the big screen at the Paramount. That said, this, from the Paramount show notes "You have to wonder, if Bueller's smart enough to evade getting caught while playing hooky, why not turn his genius to studying and simply graduate early?" makes me sad, as it suggests that the writer doesn't really remember what it was like to be in high school. Which is key to enjoying Ferris Bueller.

Hot Tub Time Machine, on the other hand, was dumb as hell... but fun.

And this week I'm going to see Inception for the second time on Sunday, and Scott Pilgrim on Thursday.

Other Links:
So... apparently Target is on my "do not shop" list along with Wal-mart. That's a bummer, because I actually do shop at Target from time to time, but not if they're gonna support guys like this. The "we just like his business politics, not his anti-gay politics" defense doesn't do much for me, either.

Oddly, the pro-business Republican platform offends me as much as the anti-gay thing. Because "pro-business" in politics (Democrat *and* Republican) usually translates to "Let the corporations do whatever they want."

The CEO offered up a "sort of" apology this week. While it's nice to see him say he's sorry, but it's a real "non-apology" apology, and doesn't offer anything to make things right. I'm not sure if they can legally ask for the money back, but that's something they should do, publicly, if they want to avoid the heat they're getting.

Of course, on the other side of things, there's Prop 8 getting overturned. Which is awesome.

This is depressing, but Anthony Weiner is my hero.