Archive for April 30, 2009

Lost thoughts

April 30, 2009

* I thought this episode was simultaneously one of the more predictable and well-acted eps this season. On the predictable front, I was pretty sure from the jump that Widmore was Daniel’s dad, and it wasn’t tough to guess that Eloise was grooming Daniel to his death all along in order to set other events in motion. And “predictable” isn’t the right word for this, but the heavy-handed “I’m putting personality-warping pressure on you, my child, because that’s what parents do on this show” scene between Eloise and piano-playing Tiny Daniel was straight outta similar earlier encounters between young Charlie and his parents, young Jack and his dad, young Miles and his mom, young Ben and his dad, young Sun and her dad, young Sayid and his dad, and on and on and on.

* But on the acting front, Jeremy Davies is yet another one of the show’s richly enjoyable performance discoveries, and he’s given more to do here than ever before. I was particularly impressed by the painful way he displayed his post-experiment mental disabilities in the flashbacks. He also made for a convincing long-haired science weirdo in the “guy in Val Kilmer’s closet in Real Genius” mode. His death was well played as well, with a great “I shoulda known” vibe overlaid upon his grief.

* I was also impressed by Elizabeth Mitchell’s work here. Her fatalism ever since the return of the Oceanic, uh, Four has been a lovely note for the show to play, and having all her fears confirmed in this dramatic fashion enabled her to do a lot with it. I love how she can flip an internal switch to make her beatific (okay, and botoxed) face segue from serene to devastated by intensifying the look in her eyes and twitching the edges of that ducklike mouth just so.

* This is down to the writing as well, but I was really grateful for the degree to which Sawyer went out of his way to apologize to her and comfort her. Mitchell and Josh Holloway have real, loving-couple chemistry in addition to the in-story connection between their characters, and I hope the show’s writers realize what a mistake it would be to re-involve them with Jack or Kate again.

* Regarding the central development of the episode as expressed in its title, “The Variable,” I’m of two minds regarding the newly advanced notion that maybe we can change the past. (Well, more or less “newly advanced”–Daniel’s implication in sending Desmond on his mission to find Eloise was that Desmond, at least, is able to operate freely in time, independent from the “whatever happened, happened” constraint.) On the one hand, I think Lost‘s great achievement in dealing with time travel is coming up with such a thematically elegant counter to the time travel paradox.

Back when I first watched The Terminator, it occurred to me that if Skynet sent a terminator back in time to kill Sarah Connor, there wouldn’t have been time for adult John Connor to send Kyle Reese back in time to stop the terminator: barring Kyle Reese’s involvement, the terminator would have had no problem killing Sarah, which would have wiped John Connor from the existence, which means he wouldn’t have been able to discover Skynet’s plot and send Kyle back in time hot on the terminator’s heels. Then I was like “Whoa, wait a minute–if that’s how it worked, Skynet would never have needed to send a terminator back in time in the first place, because John Connor would never be born and there’d never be a resistance to send a terminator back in time to prevent.” And this is all without even getting into the idea that John sent Kyle back in time to be his own dad, or that Skynet in essence did the same thing by sending the terminator back in time only to have his design and circuitry inspire the creation of Skynet in the first place. Basically, in order to even have a story to tell with time travel working as it does in the James Cameron Terminator movies, you sorta just have to arbitrarily declare a cut-off point after which you’re not going to worry about the ramifications–you’re just going to tell the story, even though its own events dictate that the story could never be told.

By contrast, Lost argues that whatever time travelers do in the past is fixed. Nothing can change as a result of what they do, because what they do is more accurately described as what they did–by the time they were sent back in time, their actions while time travelling were already 30 years in the past. There’s one timestream, and in it, whatever happened, happened. The elegance comes in how that euphonious bit of sci-fi exposition resonates as philosophy, as a theme for a show that has long concerned itself with questions of fate, destiny, and free will.

So in that light, I’m hesitant to believe that this diktat is going to go out the window, and (as the message board types are theorizing) season six will be some kind of “everything has changed!!!!” Heroes/”Days of Future Past” scenario–not just because the creators have said they wanted to establish firm ground rules for time travel to avoid confusion, but also because it’s such a narratively and thematically satisfying approach.

On the other hand, it’s easy to picture the show wanting to make some kind of point about how we’re free, how we can break out of the roles imposed upon us by cruel fate or sinister puppetmasters or the relentlessness of space-time and change the world for the better. Just because the show hasn’t come out and done that so far–just because it’s been pretty rigorous in refusing to give characters like Jack, Locke, and Desmond an out from their destinies, frequently to their detriment–doesn’t mean it won’t, particularly as the finale nears.

* Okay, enough of that. Now some short but sweet observations:

* Eloise seems a little old compared to Daniel to be his mom, no? I mean, she was at the very least in her late teens in 1954–how old is Daniel supposed to be? I’m sure that Gregg Nations has the dates written down, but it looks weird.

* If, as it seems, Li’l Miles and his mom and Li’l Charlotte and her mom flee in advance of the Incident, does this mean that all the children do so, and does that mean that we’ll finally see Li’l Ben’s doll-making girlfriend Annie again? And would that also mean that the Incident has something to do with the Island’s infertility problem and its inhabitants inability to successfully reproduce afterwards?

* Radzinksy’s a great annoying bad guy. It’s too bad we know he lives to hang out with Inman in the Hatch and then kill himself, because I would like to see someone ice him.

* It sure was nice to see the whole gang get back together even if they immediately broke apart. I’m not quite sure why Hurley wouldn’t have gone with Jack and Kate, though.

* I bought Miles needing to explain the fact that the characters are all currently living in their own present to Hurley, because Hurley’s the audience-indentification character and therefore the writers have to make him stupid. But Jack is a very smart guy, so having him not be able to grasp how their journeys through time work and needing Miles to explain it to him (i.e. to us) rang false.

* There’s probably something else that I’m forgetting. Ah well. Here’s Todd Van Der Werff’s review.

Carnival of souls

April 30, 2009

* Here’s a bunch of information on Grant Morrison’s upcoming seven-issue series Multiversity, ripped from the pages of Wizard in what strikes me as a little less than fair-use fashion. There will be a Fawcett issue doing Captain Marvel in an All Star Superman style, a Charlton issue using the original Charlton heroes in lieu of their Watchmen analogues, the whole thing will be one of those “stand-alone issues that introduce a whole new world but interlock to tell a non-linear story” Seven Soldiers deals that will be full of amazing ideas that no one at DC will ever use again, etc. (Via JK Parkin.)

* The film adaptation of Clive Barker’s Book of Blood will likely debut on the SciFi/Syfy Channel in the fall. That’s not good. (Via STYD.)

* Tom Devlin talks up Marc Bell’s upcoming 272-page art book Hot Potatoe. I’ll be honest, I’d be a lot more excited about this if there were more comics content and fewer pages 85% comprised of doodled curlicues, but I guess I understand where the money’s at for the guys who straddle the fine-art/comics border. I mean, shit, Shrimpy & Paul and Worn Tuff Elbow were tremendous.

* If I were in Richmond, I’d go to this: Ron Rege Jr. art show opening tomorrow.

* I’m not gonna spoil it by posting both images here, which you really need to do to get the impact, but check out Michaela Colette Zacchilli’s cover version of Jae Lee’s cover for Spider-Man 2099 #36 at Covered. It takes a pretty striking image to begin with and adds an oomph that you can practically feel–made me LOL, it did.

* Speaking of rides on the LOLlercoaster, thank you for this, Eric Reynolds:


Carnival of souls

April 29, 2009

* Dirk Deppey caught that Diamond will stop distributing the venerable Classics Illustrated line due to its failure to reach their new minimum order threshold. I think it’s this story more than any other so far that illustrates what Diamond’s policy means for the direct market: In an industry as completely dominated by one genre as is North American comics, imposing a barrier based on sales is effectively synonymous with imposing a barrier based on genre. It’s not just the artsy likes of Crickets that will suffer.

* Tucker Stone interviews Frank Santoro about Cold Heat, sort of. (Via Dirk.)

* I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Rainbow of Lantern Corps is 100% pure awesomesauce, as is this pictorial guide to them.

* Quote of the day:

“Or more precisely, why is the belief that the torture of captured combatants is wrong compatible with anything other than some form of pacifism? I mean this an actual question, not as a passive-aggressive assertion.” ~Jim Manzi

One of the things that has kept me from saying much over the last week or so is my sheer amazement that there are people who seriously pose such questions and expect to be answered with something other than expressions of bafflement and moral horror. Something else that has kept me from writing much on this recently is the profoundly dispiriting realization (really, it is just a reminder) that it is torture and aggressive war that today’s mainstream right will go to the wall to defend, while any and every other view can be negotiated, debated, compromised or abandoned. I have started doubting whether people who are openly pro-torture or engaged in the sophistry of Manzi’s post are part of the same moral universe as I am, and I have wondered whether there is even a point in contesting such torture apologia as if they were reasonable arguments deserving of real consideration. Such fundamental assumptions at the core of our civilization should not have to be re-stated or justified anew, and the fact that they have to be is evidence of how deeply corrupted our political life has become, but if such basic norms are not reinforced it seems clear that they will be leeched away over time.

Daniel Larison

* Oh reunited Goonies, how I loved you. How I daydreamed you would rescue me from bullies when I was in third grade. How I pined for Andy. (Via Jason Adams.)


* Marilyn Loves Kate: still killin’ it.



Gossip Girl thoughts

April 28, 2009

* Another illustration of the breakneck pace that makes Gossip Girl so satisfying a serialized-narrative experience despite having so much less going on than Lost, let alone your great HBO show of choice: Amount of screentime that passed between learning Gabriel was a double-agent last episode and having Chuck and Blair discover it in this episode? One segment. They didn’t even let a commercial break pass this ep before Blair snapped Gabriel and Poppy canoodling on her cellphone. When they keep things moving at that rate you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.

* Of course that also necessitates hitting certain beats over and over and over again, just because you need something to do. So by the end of the hour I was wondering if Nate and Blair would almost break up in every single episode.

* But back in the plus column, it means that predictable plotlines move along so quickly they don’t have time to get too annoying. It was easy to see that poor, well-meaning, ineffectual Rufus was gonna get rooked by Gabriel and further fuck up Dan’s chances at getting into Yale and his own ability to hang on to his art-gallery dreams, but I imagine all those cards will be on the table before the next episode is halfway over.

* I liked Georgina’s return, which surprised me! I thought they’d play it for too-easy laughs more than they did, but her conversion was treated semi-sincerely, and she actually articulated a rationale for her newfound faith that made sense given what her experiences were. Plus it makes her essentially a new character, and it should be funny to see where she ends up.

* The cast-wide team-up against an archnemesis teased in the promo for next week’s ep must mean we’re getting close to the end of the season, huh?

* What was in that six-pack Dan and Vanessa split that laid them both out like that, grain alcohol?

* Oh, there’s another case in point about the show’s speed: Vanessa coughed up the truth about her Chuckfucking right quick.

* Speaking of Chuck, Ed Westwick had some priceless reaction shots in this episode. I particularly liked when he orchestrated the big Gabriel-Serena-Poppy confrontation, then sat down on the bed to watch the show. But he hasn’t said “I’m Chuck Bass” in a long time, has he? I guess they don’t want to overdo it. He’s the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn’t very nice.

* “Serena getting changed” scenes could fit alongside “Blair wears lingerie” scenes quite nicely. I’m just sayin’. Now we just need to add “Nate and Chuck finally make out” scenes to the mix.

Carnival of souls

April 27, 2009

* Just a couple more thoughts about the passing of Bea Arthur: The Golden Girls‘ Dorothy Zbornak is one of the all-time great sitcom characters. Her staunch, iconoclastic personal and political progressivism undercut by her actual lived experience, she was easily embarrassed by her own mistakes and shortcomings but never less than passionately proud of the person she had become–and her potential to become something even more–despite them. Her ability to acknowledge her flaws but power past them made her the perfect foil for Rose’s naivete, Blanch’s narcissism, and Sofia’s provincialism, all of which she parried with her own trademark characteristic: bullshit-deflating sarcasm. As The Missus put it last night while we were discussing Dorothy, “They took the ‘straight-man’ character and made her funny.'” It was a brilliant maneuver brilliantly handled by Arthur, and I don’t think any sitcom has done it as deftly. There’s more value in a single Bea Arthur Golden Girls reaction shot than in entire episodes of How I Met Your Mother. She was the real deal.

* Mark Waid names names (Levitz, Ross, Jemas, Alessi, DiDio) in this uproariously candid interview with AICN. At this point Waid’s been off the reservation so long I’m not sure he remembers where it was, but even so, these kinds of comments still offer the frisson of on-the-record smacktalking in an sub-industry whose professional class rarely indulges in that sort of thing:

The biggest challenge [of working on 52] was actually, wisely, kept from us by Steve [Wacker, the series’ editor]. EIC Dan Didio, who first championed the concept, hated what we were doing. H-A-T-E-D 52. Would storm up and down the halls telling everyone how much he hated it. And Steve, God bless him, kept us out of the loop on that particular drama. [Subsequent editor Michael] Siglain, having less seniority, was less able to do so, and there’s one issue of 52 near the end that was written almost totally by Dan and Keith Giffen because none of the writers could plot it to Dan’s satisfaction. Which was and is his prerogative as EIC, but man, there’s little more demoralizing than taking the ball down to the one-yard line and then being benched by the guy who kept referring to COUNTDOWN as “52 done right.”

Place your bets on which issue that was. I’ve got a hunch myself.

* Related, in some ineffable way: Tom Spurgeon on how the direct market depends on the buying habits of a small group of big spenders whose spending might be getting less big.

* Also vaguely related, by way of contrast: Tom Spurgeon (again) on the 10 Best Long-Running Comics Series of All Time. A tough list to argue with, especially when you factor in his runners-up. Mostly, as always, it’s just a pleasure to read a long post in which Tom holds forth about a variety of different kinds of comics in short order.

* I feel like this is related too, somehow: Dan Nadel mulls over the life and career of Rocketeer creator and Bettie Page cultural archaeologist Dave Stevens. Dan’s read of Stevens’s aborted autobiography-cum-art book is that Stevens died disappointed that his output failed to live up to his ambitions; Dan then argues that those ambitions were inherently proscribed by Stevens’s own artistic and aesthetic self-limitations, primarily driven by nostalgia for an outmoded illustration tradition, and further, that those limitations were ignored and their ramifications actively celebrated by Stevens’s subcultural fellow travelers. It’s a depressing series of thoughts. But you know what? I still see it playing out today. Creators who act as though they know better continue to play squarely within the aesthetic and financial playing field of the direct market’s clients, despite any number of other options available at this point in the medium’s history. And new order cutoffs be damned, Previews will still be crammed full of work by writers and artists who you just wish would take their brains and think bigger thoughts with them.

* Also also related: Chris Butcher liveblogs the April Previews. Headscratching and hilarity ensues.

* The final vaguely related link: Curt Purcells reviews Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics from the perspective of someone who enjoys reading comics but finds himself so baffled by their current state that he can’t honestly refer to himself as a fan.

* Monster Brains previews Johnny Ryan’s upcoming non-stop-action comic Prison Pit.

* They’re remaking Videodrome. Oddly, I’m…kind of intrigued by the prospect of a thoroughly Hollywoodized versions of David Cronenberg’s orificetravaganza. The world could use a little more high-gloss perversion.

* Robert Rodriguez talks to AICN about the Predator sequel he’s allegedly producing, Predators. I’ll believe it when I see it, as I say. I hope it contains the words “get to the chopper” in some configuration if and when it gets made.

* Jason Adams celebrates the swine flu pandemic as only someone with an extensive knowledge of postapocalyptic movies and a great love of screencaps can.

* Finally, a very happy birthday to, an amazing 10 years old today. That’s an uncountably long time in Internet years. And gosh, I actually remember checking the site out back when Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies were first announced in 1999, from the computer lab on Old Campus where I had to go to use the Internet because our ramshackle off-campus house didn’t have it. TORn was a trailblazer for franchise-specific fansites, becoming a genuine industry powerhouse as far as all things Rings are concerned without ever devolving into attention-whoring or the meanspirited aspects of fandom in the process. I’m grateful for it and wish them 10 more years of success.

Comics Time: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

April 27, 2009


The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Phoebe Gloeckner, writer/artist

Frog, Ltd., 2002

312 pages


Buy it from Frog

Buy it from

For today’s Comics Time review, please visit The Savage Critic(s).

Color Destructor

April 27, 2009

color destructor

Art by Matt Wiegle, color by the illustrious Rickey Purdin. Original comic here. Thanks, Rickey!

Bea Arthur 1922-2009

April 25, 2009

Dorothy just wrecked shop over and over again. Man she was wonderful on this show. I’m really sad she’s gone.

Carnival of souls

April 24, 2009

* I expect to get my computer back from the shop this evening, so that’s good news.

* My pal Kiel Phegley has a bunch of stuff up right now that’s worth your time: a two-part Ed Brubaker interview on Captain America and a collection of the best quotes from his year-long Q&A series at

* Tom Spurgeon reviews Hellen Jo’s fun Jin & Jam #1.

* “Now in Stock: Luba by Gilbert Hernandez.” The seven most beautiful words in the English language?

* Robert Rodriguez is “officially” making a new Predator movie called Predators, and now I can’t find the link but supposedly he’s also “officially” making a feature-length version of his Machete trailer from Sin City 2. Given Rodriguez’s recent track record (Sin City 2, Barbarella, Red Sonja, the long-gestating Machete) I’ll believe all of this when I see it.

* Yucky Tuna is a tumblr that’s a fun NSFW way to spend some spare time.

Underworld – Juanita/Kiteless [Live]

April 24, 2009

My favorite song ever?

Regina Spektor – Ode to Divorce

April 24, 2009

Normally I don’t like to be disarmed by musicians but she’s pretty damn disarming in this song, which she uses to her advantage to say some weird things and sing them weirdly.

Elbow – Powder Blue

April 24, 2009

I’m really happy for Elbow’s success and don’t begrudge them for it one bit, especially since they’re really awfully good at the uplift for which they have rightly won renown, but I do wish they’d kept sinister in their repertoire. They were really awfully good at that too.

The Yardbirds – Stroll On

April 24, 2009

I’ve never understood why we were to believe the audience would stand stock-still for this song.

Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl

April 24, 2009

Something about the way the groove, the lyrics, and Zombie’s voice interact in this particular song has always hooked me. It’s confident, sexy, and a bit unpleasant at the same time. The way he says “living dead girl” is halfway between sneering condescension and mortal terror.

Carnival of souls

April 23, 2009

* I interviewed The Stand: American Nightmares artist Mike Perkins about the Stephen King adaptation’s upcoming all-Larry-in-the-Lincoln-Tunnel issue for This is maybe my favorite Stand thing I’ve done, as it presented me with the opportunity to talk to Perkins about various horror-comic issues I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I hope you enjoy it.

* It had been a while since I read Cameron Crowe’s 1976 Playboy interview with Thin White Duke-era David Bowie, and I’d kind of glossed over just how amazing and hilarious it is. Seriously, it may be the best interview ever given by anyone ever. From homosexuality to Hitler, Mick Jagger to Elton John, the whole thing is one giant pullquote. It makes Grant Morrison sound like Billy Bob Thornton. I beg you to read it. (Via Whitney Matheson.)

* Speaking of Bowie, Matthew Perpetua did a great little piece for New York on why it’s tough to love Lady Gaga. Unsurprisingly, I’ve given a lot of thought to Lady Gaga, and my take is basically the same as Matthew’s: She’s admirable, but the music’s not there. In many ways she’s comparable to Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, sans Bowie’s already extensive artistic past at that point (but complete with affinity for lightning-bolt face paint): a self-consciously arty weirdo trying to be subversive but also, equally importantly, determined to make giant hit records for the kids. Which is great! But the difference is, if you played “Hang On to Yourself” or “Moonage Daydream” to a theoretical me who didn’t know who recorded them and told me it was the Bay City Rollers, I’d still be interested, whereas if you took a Lady Gaga song and told me it was by Britney Spears, i’d get about halfway through and then be like “Okay, that’s enough.” I mean, they’re fine, but it’s her that makes them interesting, not the music itself.

* David Cronenberg on horror at MTV News. Covered: remaking his own movies, torture porn, Blair Witch, Scream. Via Jason Adams, who reposts some highlights.

* Here’s a semi-interesting interview with Lost masterminds Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, tackling 10 popular questions from the readers of Variety. Nothing you haven’t heard before, for the most part; what stuck out most for me is their continuing regret that they couldn’t do more with Mr. Eko due to the actor’s desire to leave the show after one season. (Via The House Next Door.)

* ADDTF blogfather Bill Sherman reviews The Monster Squad. They don’t make ’em like that anymore, man.

* So maybe Sin City 2 isn’t sticking with the Weinsteins? Who the fuck knows. I can’t imagine years of will they or won’t they regarding the making of the sequel augur well for its future regardless. (Via Heidi MacDonald.)

* Letterer Todd Klein’s posts on designing the Amalgam Comics logos strike me as pornography for a certain subset of my friends. There are more posts to come in the series, too! (Via Robot 6.)

* For a connection so obvious, this is underused, so I’m glad someone else made it, and even gladder they made it on a badass T-shirt. (Via Topless Robot.)


* Carnival of Horrifying Torture Revelations: Between the release of the CIA/OLC memos and the Senate Armed Service Committe’s report (conclusions here), we’ve learned that Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney and other all-the-way-to-the-top Bush Administration officials personally approved torture. We’ve learned that the United States implemented, as policy, torture techniques reverse-engineered from the program used by the military to train soldiers how to handle being tortured, techniques that were in turn derived from the torture techniques used by the Communist Chinese on American prisoners during the Korean War for the express purpose of eliciting false confessions. With that in mind, perhaps, we learned that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld encouraged torture specifically to produce “evidence” of links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. We learned that spiders were another phobia American torturers were encouraged to exploit Room 101-style. We learned that a galaxy of conservative stars openly applaud the use of torture and/or deny its existence, sometimes simultaneously and/or accidentally. I would like to apologize, once again, to everyone who read this blog from 2001-2004.

* Finally, let’s end on an up note: gorgeousness






Thought of the day

April 23, 2009

From I guess Music for the Masses onward, the message of Depeche Mode’s music is that sex is the only thing cool enough to temporarily disrupt depression. That’s kind of an adolescent approach to these subjects, but also a mightily entertaining one.

Gossip Girl thoughts

April 22, 2009

* In this single episode alone, Serena got together with a guy, broke up with him, pretended to go out with another guy, “broke up” with him, got back together with the first guy, and got betrayed by him. In one episode! Similarly, Blair agreed to try to dupe Nate, decided against it, got snitched on, got dumped, and got back together with him. I don’t think Lost‘s entire five-season Jack-Kate-Juliet love triangle was this eventful.

* Speaking of Lost, the whole unnecessary-secret-keeping thing was taken to ridiculous new heights during that seder scene. I definitely felt Wallace Shawn’s frustration. Dan lied to his dad about working as a seder cater waiter (LOL), Lily lied to Rufus about why she brought him along, Serena lied to her mom about getting married, Serena lied to whatsisname about Dan being her boyfriend, Serena lied to Blair’s mom about why she was there…did I miss anything? And other than Serena not wanting to tell her mom about getting married, did any of it make sense? Less of that kind of ridiculousness, please.

* Wow, I did not expect them to address Chuck’s sexual assault on Jenny ever again. I really did believe it was akin to Batman shooting criminals to death in his early adventures, something that happened before the writers really had a handle on the character, which they’d chalk up to experience and simply move past. (Following that little righting-the-scales gag in season one where Jenny stranded Chuck on the roof in his underwear. Well, that takes care of that!) Bringing it up again is a very tricky thing. Obviously they still have to gloss over the severity of what occurred, and just how upset one would expect Jenny and her friends and family to rightfully still be, or the show wouldn’t work anymore. But nor can they make it some horrifying Rihanna/Chris Brown situation. What they seem to be doing is using it to help establish just how emotionally isolated Chuck is under his billionaire playboy exterior, which actually is kind of an interesting thing to do with a post-Blair Chuck, certainly more interesting than the My First Eyes Wide Shut storyline was. Now, is it just me, or did I detect some groundwork being laid for a Chuck/Jenny romance, though? Is that possible? Is Gossip Girl on some Comedian/Silk Spectre shit?

* I still feel like the show is pretty clumsy at introducing new viable non-Wallace Shawn characters. This clown Serena banged in Spain doesn’t seem to have much to offer personality-wise, and no, making him some kind of double-agent for Poppy, who is also underdeveloped, doesn’t help. Meanwhile Nate’s cousin still seems destined to disappear. I guess maybe they’ll try to do something with Jenny’s Monopoly buddy and his sister? I don’t understand why they don’t just make Eric a full-fledged cast member and build some more stories around him for crying out loud. (Admittedly I want to see some all-male make-outs on this show.)

* And hey, I didn’t realize until I wrote that last paragraph that Vanessa wasn’t even in this episode. She wasn’t missed!

* This was actually an oddly heartwarming episode of Gossip Girl, when you think about it. Serena made up with her mom. Serena made up with Gideon(?) (even if he’s a fink and a phony). Blair rejected Nate’s grandfather’s scheme. Nate seemed to have made up with his grandfather, at least a little. Blair made up with Nate. Nate made up with Chuck. (If only Nate made out with Chuck.) Blair and Serena snuggled. (See previous note.) Chuck apologized to Jenny. Rufus ended up in a pretty good place. Dorota is apparently in love (and royalty). Not even a bible-thumping Michelle Trachtenberg can take this moment away from us, friends.

Thought of the day

April 22, 2009

I would like Adam Lambert to perform Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig in the Sky” during this year’s American Idol finals.

Instant repost

April 22, 2009

Press Release from Buenaventura Press:

The Comics Revival!

Despite the ‘industry trend’ of cancelling comic books to focus on graphic novels, Buenaventura Press boldly plans to release half a dozen actual comics over the coming year. We love the serial format that gave us masterpieces such as Eightball, Frank, Acme Novelty Library, Optic Nerve, Yummy Fur, Zap, Dirty Plotte, Palookaville, and Love & Rockets–and we want to keep alive the stapled marvel that is the comic book.


As part of this mission, Buenaventura Press is excited to announce the first in a new series: The BP Comics Revival Economic Stimulus 3-Pak! This Diamond exclusive is a throw-back to the ol’ drugstore shrink-wrapped 3-packs, but with all new comics. Offered in the June 2009 Previews at $11.95, the first Pak includes two new series–Aviatrix #1 by Eric Haven and I Want You #1 by Lisa Hanawalt–plus the return of Ted May’s Injury, with the brand new issue #3.

Working with Diamond’s Jenny Christopher, a staunch supporter of independent comics and new cartoonists, we are offering the Economic Stimulus 3-Pak at a discount price. Diamond’s distribution system allows us to maintain significant print runs that keep the price affordable. The comics will also be available individually at the BP webshop, Last Gasp, and select retailers. Issues will be priced at $4.95 each, making the 3-Pak a 3 dollar savings!

Stay tuned to for information on forthcoming comics, such as Matt Furie’s Boy’s Club #3, and more news from The Comics Revival!

Carnival of souls

April 21, 2009

* Topless Robot’s Rob Bricken, who I like to think is the Topless Robot, notes two momentous releases today. First up is the DVD premiere of Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica prequel pilot/movie. I’m obviously going to watch this and am looking forward to doing so, though I may hold off on purchasing it until they release a complete first season DVD set, given how they previously duped me into double-dipping on the original BSG miniseries and Razor and will likely attempt to do so again with The Plan.

* Next up is the RiffTrax for Twilight, the latest film to be mocked by the MST3K crew of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. The Missus is a major, though self-aware, Twilight fan–I believe the preferred term for such people is “Twatlighter,” to give you some idea of how they view themselves. And she’s also a big big fan of RiffTrax–we listened to the Road House RiffTrax for like the fourth time this weekend and did The Two Towers the weekend before that. So we’ve been looking forward to this from the moment the DVD was announced and we realized a RiffTrax was virtually guaranteed. It should be a hoot.

* Also from Topless Robot, The 12 Coolest Masters of the Universe Action Features. Holy smokes I remember these all so vividly. What’s great about the list is that it doesn’t just stop at “Hey, remember Ram-Man? He was awesome, right?”–it actually unpacks each feature it discusses in terms of how and why it clicked with kids.

* Frank Miller’s The Spirit: the movie so nice Jog reviewed it twice! Also, Mike Sterling liked it, and given Jog’s distaste for the likes of 300, Sin City, and Watchmen, all of which I enjoyed a great deal and to all of which he favorably compares The Spirit even if he can’t quite bring himself to say the latter is actually good, this is very much starting to sound like the sort of thing I’ll like a lot. And every time I catch myself kicking myself for buying the hype and not making a point of seeing this in the theater, I remind myself that I didn’t buy the hype and did make a point of seeing it in the theater, but the projection was so shitty that I left and demanded a refund, and by the time my next chance to see it rolled around the movie had disappeared.

* Tom Spurgeon on superhero-sexism cheesecake kerfuffles:

I can’t get too worked up about it, because these kinds of efforts from these kinds of companies don’t really mean as much as people who have burrowed into that world tend to think.

Brian K. Vaughan had a great line about doing Y: The Last Man because he thought there was a more productive way to address feminism in comics than debating the size of Catwoman’s tits.

* Also via Spurge, the sad life and lovely art of Anne Cleveland.

* Over at the Partyka site, Matt Wiegle is drawing Ghostbusters, while special guest star Joey Weiser is drawing kaiju, and lots of ’em. That’s Mothra (as Snoopy) below–click the link for Godzilla, Ghidorah, Gamera, King Kong and more.



* Jaime Hernandez promo art for Wendy & Lisa? Sure, I’ll eat it.


* Monster Brains highlights models and art from a deleted stop-motion animation sequence in Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. Much more at Revelations. Sigh. What that movie could have been! Still pretty great as-is, though.


* Finally, my friend Matthew Perpetua, The Man Who Murdered the Music Industry, is offering T-shirts for sale to fund Fluxblog and his various other enterprises, and as a veteran T-shirt buyer I can tell you they’re priced to sell. Won’t you please purchase one?