12.09.2008

The WRETCHED Hiatus

Hello Kittlings ~

I am in the midst of putting together an awesome new comic book anthology entitled SECRET PROJECT, scheduled to drop sometime next year.

This editing job is taking up all my free time, so until I can commit fully to NO REST FOR THE WRETCHED, I will be on extended hiatus.

Keep reading HiddenRobot.com and stay tuned as I plan to make a triumphant return in March of 2009!
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~Till Next Time Kittlings!

7.27.2008

Come for the Paradise Con - stay for the grub! Toronto is for restaurant-tourists!

This past weekend Toronto, Ontario hosted the PARADISE CON, Canada's gem of a comic book convention. I was invited by my friend and co-writer for Hidden Robot, Jeff "Boss Hogg" Brown, along with my bestest Jersey friend, M. Sean McManus of THE LAST SIN OF MARK GRIMM writing fame. As both of us are fans of the Ontario metropolis it seemed a comic-con was a great excuse to check out that city up north once again.

My last excursion to T.O. was several years ago for the CANADIAN NATIONAL EXPO, a con that was both huge and disappointing whereas Paradise con always aims to please and usually does. The convention was held in the Holiday Inn on King Street, a mere few blocks from the CN Tower and Lake Ontario as well as the hippest street in the land, Queen Street West.

While I wish I could say my column this week focuses on the convention goings-on, it really doesn't. I used this vacation to take an eating tour of Toronto, with stops to various restaurants around the city. While my FOO (Friends of Oeming) bretheren was out full force, I leave the real con details to my fellow columnist Boss Hogg to relay to the Hidden Robot readers while I whisk the rest of you hungry lot to the best food in Canada's most awesome city. Bon Appetit!

DAY ONE - We arrived in T.O. late afternoon and checked into our very hip hotel, THE REX which is an inn above a very popular jazz and blues bar. The room was small but rather modern with a glass shower and newly tiled bathroom and a flat screen TV mounted to the wall. The window looked directly onto Queen Street west, a strip known for it's many hip shops, restaurants and overall trendy vibe. The REX has musical acts from noon until midnight and is almost always packed. It's hard to pass by and not want to stop in for a drink and listen to the bands. The rooms upstairs can be rented daily, weekly, and monthly for as little as $500 Canadian a month!! If only I could come up with a good excuse to hi-tail it to Toronto for a month. Ah well...tis something to strive for.

After a nap and freshening up Sean and I hit the streets in search of dinner. We walked west down Queen street and happened upon THE BLACK BULL, a bar and outdoor patio that seemed pretty darn popular so we decided to stop and try it out. The Bull is right across from THE SILVER SNAIL, one of the most popular comic shops in the city. They had a huge HELLBOY display in their window; a street artist was putting "THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING" in chalk on the sidewalk; the weather was beautiful and we were about to partake in pub fare with a delightful twist.

I had The Black Bull's "classic" fish and chips which was done just right. A lightly fried cod with perfectly fried fries - Yum! Sean had the appetizer sampler that came with fries of its own along with mozzerella sticks, and pierogies. These were the gem of the Bull - made with feta cheese instead of the typical base. Amazing! The feta did not overpower but instead provided a great little twist to the rather simplicity of the potato.

After dinner we met up with some of our fellow FOO and headed to Gabby's on King Street. While Sean and I did not partake in food there, our cohorts enjoyed the menu with no complaints. Scott Wegener (Atomic Robo artist) particularly enjoyed Ricketts Red beer. I cursed myself for being on a wine kick and not really being in the mood for beer. After some catching up with our friends, we made a cameo at the Holiday Inn where the Paradise Con was being held, shared a celebratory shot (or 2) with BIONICLES artist STUART SAYGER.

We took a walk North of Queen St and found THE VILLAGE IDIOT PUB, a semi-swank little spot where we had a couple drinks. In truth I was sad I was so full because the specials looked absolutely boss. One drink later and we were ready to retire in anticipation of the next day's comic book events.

DAY 2 - We rose early for the convention and found a greasy spoon on the way to the convention thanks to a local that we passed by as we were loudly lamenting about our hunger. In truth, this was the 2nd time a local helped us after loudly lamenting about a problem we were having. I have never had this happen in the states let alone twice in a 24 hour period. Breakfast consisted of dippy eggs, toast and sausage for me while Sean tried piemeal (basically Canadian bacon) that Boss Hogg had recommended to us the day before. A great way to start the morning!

The convention was in full swing when we made it into the hotel and our first stop happened to be the EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL booth. McManus was fortunate enough to see the show on Broadway in NYC during its run and after conversing with the booth boy about "splatter zone" tickets that go on sale at 5pm the night of the show, we decided to check out the show that night. A 11pm showing sounded like fun especially when combined with splatter zone tickets!

We traipsed around the con, found some hip tank tops designed by artist ANDREW FOERSTER (rew.foe@gmail.com), and before I knew it lunchtime was upon me. A pretty little block of Baldwin Street was discovered filled to the brim with restaurants of the Italian and Japanese variety. KON-ICHI-WA SUSHI caught our eye, so we made our way into the little raw fish merchant.

Sean and I decided to share the "lunch special" consisting of the chef's discretion based on the fresh catch of the day along with miso soup and the house salad with ginger dressing. I noshed on the salad while Sean had the soup. Both were excellent. For the main course we had a small selection of the classic sashimi spread (salmon, tuna) and several sushi rolls (salmon, yellowtail tuna, shrimp). This was my first taste of yellowtail and MAN ALIVE! I was in love! Everything was tasty. It inspired me to order another 2 pieces of sweet shrimp but I was let down to find out that the sweet shrimp was not in stock. I was feeling sushi adventurous and decided the salmon caviar would be a decent substitute. I was wrong. =(

Beautiful huge eggs wrapped plainly in a seawood roll sans rice. I dived in, and within 2 bites could not stomach the texture of the large eggs as opposed to the smaller garnish roe I enjoyed on other sushi pieces. I did the unthinkable: I spit the food out into my napkin. I would be surprised if my face was not bright red in shame. I lurved the food - I really did! The experience was great. The space was charming as was the street. We had a nice little window seat/bench that looked right out onto Baldwin. I enjoyed the salad and the sushi prior. I HIGHLY recommend this place. My palate just couldn't take the texture. It's not you KON-ICHI-WA, its me!

In between lunch and dinner we had a light antipasto snack at the KIT KAT, an Italian restaurant that was only seating reservations. The wait was 40 mins at 4pm in the afternoon. Pretty impressive! We got in by taking up at the bar and some crudites, bread, cheese and meats was a nice light snack. The Kit Kat was situated on King Street amidst many a restaurant but none of them chains, which was a nice surprise. I wouldn't have felt touristy going into any one place.

Our excursion into Asian cuisine was not yet finished that day as we made our way to Chinatown for dinner that evening. Chinatown is located mostly on Spadina Avenue, Northwest of the CN Tower. LEE SZICHUAN was our dinner spot, a typical looking Chinese restaurant but with extraordinary food. Chicken with almonds was my choice while Sean opted for the General Tso's chicken. We also had pot stickers and steamed buns as well as fried rice and brown rice. So much food! Sean's Tso's Chicken was not too spicy like the dish I'm used to in the states, and the steamed buns were hot and tasty. While we waited quite a long time it was all worth it.

Before we knew it the time for EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL was upon us....
=====STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 of my TORONTO VISIT!!!====
~Till Next Time Kittlings!

7.21.2008

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE...

<=====ROB REILLY and BRYAN GLASS prepare for battle.
See Mary Move!
Hello all - it's been a crazy couple months but Ze Brickthrower is now in a new state (uhh...COUGH dirty jerz COUGH!), a new apartment, a few months into a new job...I just wanted to give a shout out to my awesome EIC - T Daniel for rocking the wbz like no one can. And a big thanks to the Oeming Message Board who helped a weakling like me raise a bloody couch up a one story via a metal coil, some rope and some spare 2X4s!!! You guys rock!!! And now, onto some POP CULTURE goodness!

WATCHING
-- NINJA WARRIOR on G4. This show is already a fave in many a mind of the urban fanboy. I recently was introduced to it by my dearest friend Loretta Gogetta (that's 1967 to you!) and I must say that while THE UNBEATABLE BANZUKE is a tad more insane in skill, NINJA WARRIOR is the perfect combination of reality and video game. 100 contestants are pitted against 3 manic courses atop the lovely MOUNT MIDORIYAMA in Japan. Each course grows progressively harder, it is rare for more than 10 to make it past the 1st round (WARPED WALL kittlings!) and to watch the pure strength, agility and sometimes pure dumb luck will take this competitors to the most absure and entertaining challenge available on TV today. G4 plays this in excess...and I just can't get enough!

LISTENING TO -- FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS - the BBC RADIO SESSIONS. 3 part series on CD that pre-dates the HBO show but is basically the same thing. I am in complete awe how these guys can be doing the same thing for literally YEARS now and I am still rapt on every folk novelty song. Be delighted as FotC has 2 fans, instead of 1 obsessive girl, a manager named BRIAN NESBIT but still Murray through and through. And oh - that little Bret...he is the cutest, especially when dressed up like Legolas...YUM~!

BUYING -- SPACED, the complete series - FINALLY available in the US dvd format!!! I have had bootlegs of this show for a couple years now and have shown anyone that stops long enough around me and a tv, or now my laptop. EDGAR WRIGHT and SIMON PEGG, prior to SHAUN OF THE DEAD fame teamed with JESSICA STEVENSON to create a comic book/pop culture based sitcom about 20-somethings with some witty banter. Spot NICK FROST as military-centric best pal "Mike" and a short cameo by Mr. Brit-Com 2000, RICKY GERVAIS. This is my favorite sitcom EVER. And I'm glad it was only 14 episodes. AND I'm staunchly AGAINST an Americanized version. Dammit!!!

(((Finally - here is the intro to my Thursday column, a little food tour of my favorite city to the North, Toronto, Ontario!)))
Come for the Paradise Con - stay for the grub! Toronto is for restaurant-tourists!
This past weekend Toronto, Ontario hosted the PARADISE CON, Canada's gem of a comic book convention. I was invited by my friend and co-writer for Hidden Robot, Jeff "Boss Hogg" Brown, along with my bestest Jersey friend, M. Sean McManus of THE LAST SIN OF MARK GRIMM writing fame. As both of us are fans of the Ontario metropolis it seemed a comic-con was a great excuse to check out that city up north once again.

My last excursion to T.O. was several years ago for the CANADIAN NATIONAL EXPO, a con that was both huge and disappointing whereas Paradise con always aims to please and usually does. The convention was held in the Holiday Inn on King Street, a mere few blocks from the CN Tower and Lake Ontario as well as the hippest street in the land, Queen Street West.

While I wish I could say my column this week focuses on the convention goings-on, it really doesn't. I used this vacation to take an eating tour of Toronto, with stops to various restaurants around the city. While my FOO (Friends of Oeming) bretheren was out full force, I leave the real con details to my fellow columnist Boss Hogg to relay to the Hidden Robot readers while I whisk the rest of you hungry lot to the best food in Canada's most awesome city. Bon Appetit!
STAY TUNED FOR THURSDAY'S FULL COLUMN!!!!!
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~Till Next Time Kittlings...

6.28.2008

RIP Michael Turner.

I met him a couple times, but he was one of the few creators that actually made me starstruck. I usually just walked past his table several times a con to get a glance at him.

He was on my list of CUTE COMIC CREATORS (4 if I'm not mistaken) but he was more than that...he was a fighter and gave a lot of writers and artists an opportunity/alternative to "the big 2" with ASPEN COMICS.

While you either loved or hated his art, the bottom line he was a stand-up bloke.

He will be missed.
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[[[EXCERPT FROM MY ORIGINALS "CUTE COMIC CREATORS" STORY THAT APPEARED A FEW YEARS AGO FOR THE REST CLICK HERE!~!!]]]
Michael Turner-Turner is almost too good and too cute to be true. He began his professional career as a background artist at Top Cow but made a name for himself with the co-creation of Witchblade in 1995. Turner has since developed and has sole creation rights to the immensely popular Fathom and most recently Soulfire. It is his recent DC covers (more accurately a particular Batman/Superman cover that featured Supergirl) that have sent fan-boy's hearts aflutter. Fan-girls, on the other hand, can get a thrill of their own by catching this gorgeous man's pearly whites and baby blue eyes at their nearest convention. Now at DC and cover artist for the critically acclaimed Identity Crisis, this is one creator that draws people that are "almost" as breath-taking as he is.

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~Till Next Time Kittlings...

5.11.2008

Stephen T. COLBERT DE MAYO / Cocktail Time with IRON MAN.


Cinco De Mayo proved to be quite festive for me ... but no margaritas were consumed. After more than a year of attempts, Goddard finally secured tickets for a live taping of THE COLBERT REPORT - which besides LOST and my recent obsession with FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, is probably my most watched TV show. I was going to be in the same room with Stephen T. Colbert, and I wasn't sure how I was going to react.

I don't get that starstruck usually. I've met my fair share of celeb and pseudo-celeb. I've interviewed some of the most important comic book creators in the biz today. But when it comes to Colbert, all rules go out the window. All bets are off. You might call it a crush - but honestly it's just an absolute admiration to Colbert and his craft. He has taken the idea of "gravitas" to amazing new heights, has lampooned some of the biggest names in the political "right," and has also voiced one of the funniest cartoon characters that Cartoon Network's Adult Swim ever offered (Harvey Birdman's Phil Ken Sebben).

May I make an admission? I used to despise Colbert's character on The Daily Show. Thinking him far too pompous and not at all funny, when the news came that he would have his own show I would have to say that I was slightly annoyed. And to pronounce the "Colbert Report" with a silent "T"? UGH! I can't recall what finally did get me watching the show; I think hearing about his speech at the 2006 White House Correspondent's Dinner was the first inkling I had that maybe this bloke really did have some brass balls. Watching the show was soon to follow with his voice work on Harvey Birdman being the icing on the cake. Bespectacled, appearing as a staunch Republican to the point of shocking ludicrousness, and the ego the size of his home state of North Carolina was enough to count me as a fan. The man is easy on the eyes as well (it had to be said!).

The day came and Goddard and I headed into New York City around 1pm. We found a bar near the studio and had a couple drinks before heading over to the line. It wasn't an INSANE line, but people had been waiting for awhile, sitting on the canopied concrete ground reading and waiting patiently for the time we were allowed in. The staff was personable, I inquired about the guest but was only given the statement that we were "in for a treat." We were ushered into the holding area for bag checks and metal detectors. The wait was longer than an hour which only built up the anticipation to a crazed fever pitch in my head. The audience coordinator came out to announce that Colbert was re-writing some things after rehearsal and that this was a common occurrence for him. We were allowed to ask questions of the audience coordinator (A.C.) and learned some interesting tidbits - most importantly to me was that Colbert's middle name is Tyrone.

Finally the doors opened and we were led into the room where the "magic happens." We were given cards with numbers on them and this is the order in which we entered the studio. While on TV the set seemed on the larger side, the truth is the studio was teeny tiny and the audience was only 107 strong. A nice surprise as the intimacy level proved pretty damn high.

If you watch both the Daily Show as well as Colbert, you know that sometimes there is a "toss" from the Daily Show to Colbert where basically Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert banter for a few seconds to segue from one show to the other. This is not done all the time (they're lucky if they do it twice a week we were told by the A.C.) but we were going to get to see one. This meant that before Colbert's Q&A with the audience, before the stand-up comic that would be "warming the crowd up," Colbert came out in all of his glory to record the toss since the Daily Show is filmed directly before they tape the ...Report. 2 bleachers on either side were divided by a "backstage" area that without warning, Colbert came bounding through. He ran around, slapping high fives to the people on the outside of the rows (we were on the inside...:sigh:) and this is where I STARTED CRYING. Yes, tears were shed as I sprang from my seat, screamed and clapped maniacally. I felt my throat constrict from all the yelling I was doing. I seriously felt that I was going to lose my voice.

The toss was interesting to watch b/c Stewart and Colbert talk live via satellite (they do not tape in the same building) for a few moments before recording...and Colbert is completely out of character. Only being in his presence for a few moments is all you need to sense that he is NOTHING like his TV persona but as soon as that camera went on and the stage manager relayed to Colbert that he was on, it was like a switch of truthiness was flicked and Colbert improved a tirade to Stewart in regards to them being "linked" publicly (referring to them as ColWart) and that it needed to stop. It was hilarious. It only lasted 5 minutes and he was gone again. We had a stand-up comedian that was pretty darn amusing "warm us up" but the damage was done and we were fired up with the taste we had just received.

Colbert came out for the 2nd time and answered a few questions. I was too embarrassed to utter or come up with anything so Goddard rose to ask him if Colbert was taking blame for how well the Philly sports teams were doing since he had visited our fair city. Colbert laughed (as not being in character meant that he was down to earth and not pompous at all) and said yes, he took full blame. He answered a few more questions and then we got down the business: the taping of the show.

Rock music such as The White Stripes blared between takes, Colbert mouthing the words and pointing to people in the crowd. He started shooting his trademark "wriststrong" rubber bracelets into the crowd and one headed straight out way. It bounced off Goddard's leg and I snatched it up before anyone had time to see it. This was as close as I got to the man - yes, he touched my "wristrong" bracelet and I resisted the urge to put it in a plastic bag and put it under my pillow. Instead it is proudly worn on my right hand with my other bands.

The show was hilarious. Colbert only flubbed once, in regards to the Korean pop star Rain that he has had an ongoing "feud" with that culminated in a pre-recorded sketch of him and Rain battling it out on a DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION video game console. The guest was author Carl Hiaasen, who took Colbert's jokes in stride. (I didn't necessarily feel that this was the "treat;" that rather the female intern was referring to the Rain appearance).

In half an hour it was all over but the feeling of elation lasted a good 24 hours afterwards. Colbert fed off the audience's intensity and I think that a good set of people were in for the show and rocked it hard for him. I highly recommend checking the web site once a week and attempting to get yourself to a taping. If you're in the NYC area you can do "stand-by" which we saw quite a few people make into the taping without tickets. Colbert may seem overrated to some but he is a funny and kind man that deserves all the hype. I may have to wait 6 months until I can go see him again...but I do plan on making it to another taping asap.

And now, you can check out the "Rain Dance-off" but what directly precedes that is a wave from Colbert to the audience, if you look below and to the right of Colbert's elbow - you can see me and Goddard, I have my hands raised high clapping - 2nd to last row. YAY!


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About 2 months ago I began whining every day or so. "I want to see IRON MAN. " It became a bit of a mantra for me as I have been enamored with Tony Stark since reading Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's THE ULTIMATES. Warren Ellis' and Adi Granov's THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN helped the love of the raven-haired, hard drinking,goateed millionaire even more. The trailers looked amazing and hearing the the movie was over 80 minutes was a good sign.

Ok, it's been 2 weeks and this movie has been touted as one of the best Super-hero films made. I'm going to have to agree. I'm not here to review something that you've probably already seen (and seen again). What I am here to tell you is this: I really really liked this movie. I think that it has the potential to be a better telling of the super-hero than BATMAN BEGINS. It may be a better film than THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS but it's too early to tell. What can be said is that in its 2nd week it has successfully beat out the SPEED RACER debut. This is not a fluke. Robert Downey JR. is always an impressive actor but puts aside the fast mumble to personify the Tony Stark character; he is whip-smart, a ladies man, but also a man without a heart. Until he gets a metallic one with pretty blue lights. Another note - STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS. You ULTIMATES lovers will get a special treat that gives the promise of a sequel...and yet another Millar creation that will appear on the big screen much like WANTED. Congrats my Scottish Rogue! =)
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Finally, if you haven't seen the trailer for MAY 30th's THE STRANGERS, check it out below. As a horror fanatic, I am wiggling with excitement and fear over this thriller that is supposedly "inspired by true events." I'll be in the theater opening night for this one. Make sure you save me a seat.


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~Till Next Time Kittlings.

4.18.2008

NEW YORK COMIC CON (NYCC) - news and notes.

You won't see the Brickthrower on the convention floor. Maybe it's social anxiety, or the smell emanating off of the literal THOUSANDS of fanboys, but the crowded house that was last year's NYCC scared me into inaction this year.


I will be living it up at after-hours and such...and I did try to get as much info on my creator friends and their plans for the weekend. See below blog for JOHN LIVESAY's exciting inks. Also to be noted is some news I got from JG JONES when I asked about what he's got cooking for the con and upcoming:

JG: "Hey Mary,It's all about Final Crisis. There is nothing else."

MEB: Really...no other news?

JG: Yeah, one comic...and not much else, I'm afraid. I have no time for a life. MARK MILLAR and I are supposed to do a bit of promotion for the WANTED film with JAMES MCAVOY at the NYCC. That should be fun.I wish I had more fun news.

MEB: MORE fun news? That's quite enough sir!


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MIKE OEMING gave some info about the con in his newsletter:

"I'm there sitting with DAVID MACK, TAKI SOMA and BRYAN GLASS. I'll be signing everything and anything, doing sketches and having fun. Bring me some Stella or Stoli and I'll hook you up with free head sketches. Think I'm kidding? Its a long con:) I'll also have FRAMED PRINTS for Mice Templar for the first time as well as early issues of MT #4."


(((plus check out the art he decided to show his fans on the fly - Roger from HELLBOY - sweet!)))


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From BRIAN EWING:
"Hey if you're going to be at the NY Comic Con this weekend please drop by Evil Ink Booth #1904. Claudio Sanchez (singer of Coheed and Cambria and creator of The Amory Wars) is making a major announcement at the Con about a new creation of his. It's something he has been working on for a LONG time and he is very excited to share it with you. You have to go to the Con to be among the first to experience it!!
I can't tell you what it is but they said it was cool to show you the poster they commissioned me to do for the event. The only place to pick up the ltd edition screen printed poster is at the show. These are going to go fast so if you can't make it tell one of your friends to pick you up a copy."


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Other notables - JOSH BLAYLOCK, TARA MACPHERSON, JIMMY PALMIOTTI and AMANDA CONNER....and even those stoned dudes from HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. So be there...or be square!!!! What better way to kick off the con season than with a weekend in THE CITY, NEW YORK that is!!!!

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~Till Next Time Kittlings.

4.06.2008

New York City Diaries - Part 1 - Comic Book Club

I recently received a tidy little promotion in my day job (read: office drone; business goth) and have been given a spiffy title of "in-house representative" and shipped off to New York. Working in NYC has always been on my list of things "to-do" as it provided me with more opportunities to get along with my comic book brethren known as the FOO (The Mike Oeming message board).

So last Tuesday marked my first visit to Comic Book Club @ the People's Improv Theater, a mere 2 blocks from Penn Station. A live show done in talk show format, this weekly comic book centered live show offers fanboys and girls alike the chance to see their favorite creators in an intimate setting talking about not only the most recent comic book scoop as well as pop culture topics alike.

I went especially to see my dear pal Mike Oeming, and a list of virtual comic book indie/Oeming board royalty came out to see Mike on the show - such artists as ZeeS and Taki Soma, Marvel Editor Jen Grunwald, musician Jef UK and writer of Silent Devil's The Last Sin of Mark Grimm M. Sean McManus. And that was just the audience! On the panel was not only Mr. Oeming but the most rockin' ANDREW WK, amazing performer as witnessed by yours truly at a past Ozz Fest.

The show was funny, offering both self-promotion for the panel as well as each guest's opinion on the newest comics of the week. If I can recommend a cheap outing in NYC that provides both fun and variety, it would be Comic Book Club. Check out their web site for upcoming guests!!!!

http://www.popcultureshock.com/cbclub/

(((PICTURED: Mary E Brickthrower, Andrew WK and Taki Soma)))

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~Till Next Time Kittlings.

3.27.2008

Brian Ewing Art Show in LA - check it out if yer local!

BRIAN EWING Art Show 4.7.

08 in Los Angeles, CA

April 7th 2008
Los Angeles, CA
at the ROXY on Sunset Blvd

A solo show of Brian Ewing's past and present rock posters.



Atticus and Jedidiah along with the awesome folks Punk Rock Social... are sponsoring an art show for me in LA. I'm usually way too busy trying to not miss a deadline and avoid the sun to have time to exhibit my work.



There are going to be some bands - like FINCH, THE SECRET HANDSHAKE, HALOS and some dude from HELMET will be playing the show.



The $10 goes to pay the bands. I'm offering $5 off, on any posters/ prints to help offset the admission fee.



art.show.poster.FINAL.jpg

©BRIANEWING. com

Livesay Promotes! And f*ck that Shite - Pabst Blue Ribbon! (PBR par-tay for Arrested Development fiends)

So when I decided to catch up with my pal and inker John Livesay - he laid some knowledge on me:
"I will be at the NEW YORK COMIC CON this year, went last year and plan to be back and signing copies of LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES"

And gave me some awesome scans from the upcoming issues to peruse:

To see the rest, CLICK RIGHT HERE!!!!
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So when my darling friend Loretta advised me that she would be moving to Florida I was both excited and sad. Excited b/c she is moving to finish her degree and live with her very awesome brother; sad b/c I’m losing my favorite person in the whole wide world besides from my dear Goddard Bunny.

Loretta and I were brainstorming for ways to raise some extra cash for her move and we decided to have a going-away / fundraiser party. The theme? Why our favorite American sit-com, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT of course. As soon as the theme was decided, we started piecing together the details.

In Arrested Development, the Bluth family holds a “TBA CHARITY GALA” – because they couldn’t decide what they should raise money for. Our TBA would be the “TAMPA BAY ACTION,” a semi-formal dress up affair to help raise some extra cash for Loretta. We ordered a keg of PBR and are charging a measly $5 to drink and eat all you can. The food will be “upscale chic”: stuffed mushroom caps, crudités with assorted dips, bruschetta, CORN BALLS (from the infamous episode of AD where they reveal that George Sr. attempted to market a deep fryer for aforementioned corn muffins, THE CORN BALLER). Dressing as your favorite AD character or semi-formal is encouraged.
Prizes will be awarded in the following:
- Pin the mustache on Private Eye Gene Parmasean
- The Hot Cops dance competition
- Best Chicken Dance
- Best costume

We ordered special prizes off of http://www.cafepress.com/ including buttons, shirts and magnets that have sayings from Arrested Development. I think I’m going to make miniature hotdogs. =) Start your Arrested Development party planning today! And if you’re in the Philly area then come to my party!!!
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I saw some fun movies the past few weeks. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN was by far the best. I cried at the end which is no major feat but is rare for a Coen Bros. film. I didn’t particularly like the foreign film SWEET MOVIE even if it did have full frontal nudity and scatological insanity. I think the message had something to do with Communism. But I could be wrong.
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Never underestimate your power to hurt yourself doing the most random things. I was playing RAMPAGE for PS2 – a remake of the arcade classic – and played so long and in a weird position as to spasm my back and the middle of my torso. It required a doctor’s visit and I felt rather old. To think: injuring myself on a video game that doesn’t even require physical exertion, just a lot of button mashing. But I learned something more as well – the drugs work. Flexaril is a buddhasend. Long live muscle relaxers.
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~Till Next Time Kittlings.

3.13.2008

Takashi Miike / NIN's new album GHOSTS / DDR /Comics?

So it's been a crazy month of March for your fair Brickthrower. I have succeeded in obtaining a bit of a promotion within my "day job" office environ and starting March 24th I will be working full time in NYC.

And no, Goddard and I do not plan to move to NYC just yet.

We did however, set a date - SEPTEMBER 22nd, 2009 - VEGAS - more details to come. YOU ARE INVITED. =)

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So I think it was perhaps Goddard's friend/co-worker/awesome chick Danielle that put the boy on a Takeshi Miike kick. I couldn't mind; I've been a worshipper of the altar of ASIAN CULT FILM since my first jaunt with JU-ON THE GRUDGE that fateful night at pal Jaime Irate's humble abode.

While we have a few more films to go I would like to propose some quick little tidbits about the films we have seen so far: QUICK MIIKE REVIEWS:
AUDITION - awesome. Brutally graphic. The way she says "deeper deeper deeper" in Japanese is TEH sex. A man gets set up on a blind date that he will never be able to forget. The use of wire in this film is enough to make any man cringe. And proclaimed by comic book/

HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS - a musical, and f'ing brilliant in that CANNIBAL THE MUSICAL sort of way. I lurved it. A family renovates a "guest house" (read: bed and breakfast) named "White Lovers Guest House" or something equally weird. They then find their pleasant inn attracts the most unpleasant kinds of circumstances. The songs break out at the most inappropriate times and that is the beauty of this film.

VISITOR Q - so fucking strange. But so very intriguing and interesting. Goddard relates to me that this film was made as a semi-promotional item for digital cameras. I can't imagine anyone in Japan showing this film at a Electronics Expo or something. Incest, umbrellas, and bullies are highlighted in this flick. I wasn't dull for one moment.

IZO - Eh - I didn't like this one very much. The plot was connected in a rather hapless sort of way.

ICHII THE KILLER - This is one of the first of the "Asian Cult" films I ever saw, courtesy of my horror mentor Thee Irate One, and I still hold it dear to this day. Ultraviolence, Yakuza, awesome. Masochists and suspension artists alike will surely dig on this movie.
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So Trent Reznor as NINE INCH NAILS went back into the studio and quietly released GHOSTS, a 2 CD set full of instrumentals. A rather telling title, this album is marked by its haunting feeling, as if you have heard these songs hacked up into bits and pieces and sampled on some other NIN project. My first impression was the similarity between this and APHEX TWIN’s 26 MIXES FOR CASH - an easy concept to put together and get out for the fans to purchase. NIN offered many options for buying this - from the free download of the first 9 songs, to the $5 download onto your computer, and upwards into limited edition sets and whatnot. I opted for the $5 download. I am happy to say that in some way, shape or form I have purchased the last 5 albums and multiple singles instead of resorting to my usual methods of music saturation.

I do not find this album very entertaining, just as I skip over the instrumentals on THE FRAGILE. I find the combination of Reznor’s industrial/piano/loud/soft electronic sound and his angst-ridden lyrics a perfect match. To lose the lyrics is to lose half of my attention. This is not a bad album. It is a great background CD as my ’married boyfriend’ Matt said; while you’re working or busy putting together IKEA furniture or something then this is a great album to pop in. Just don’t expect some deep revelation in this album, although maybe we can credit Reznor’s recent prolific output to his new-found sobriety. Props for that.
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DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION is helping me lose weight. It’s not just for little Asian kids and Salt n Pepa anymore!!!
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If we wish hard enough, Goddard may put together some "one sentence reviews" on his most recent comic book reads. You can wish...can’t you?

~Till Next Time Kittlings.

2.20.2008

An Outlaw kind of Antho / Western Anthology talk with Michael Woods

Michael Woods is the editor of the new Western Anthology, OUTLAW TERRITORY. I recently chatted with Mike in regards to his anthology and the business of comic book editing. Check it out!

Mary E Brickthrower: So what made you decide to edit a Western Anthology? Are you like most boys I know, with that soft spot in your heart for the idea of the "old west?"

Michael Woods: heh...no. Outside the cool hats and being able to wear a six shooter on your hip, it didn't seem like a great time to live. It was hard and I'm a soft kid from the suburbs. I do love the genre though. Something I'm sure most of us grew up with.

As for the decision to do a western anthology, I was putting together the Low Orbit anthology and looking for something to do that would be a polar opposite. A single genre with a darker, grittier tone. I had no idea what that would be until I talked to an artist about illustrating a short western story I had cooked up. He asked if it was for a western anthology. "It is now."

MB : Was this something that you CHOSE who you wanted to have in the collection or did you solicit for submissions?

MW : When I first decided what this book would be, I opened it up for submissions and set a deadline for scripts. Deadline rolled around and I received all of zero submissions. So, I took the book off the table and started looking at writers working in the industry who's work I enjoyed. I started contacting them directly. Some said yes. Others said no. A lot said no, actually. But I kept going and enough people said yes. A few people were recommended to me (especially when I started looking for artists), which was great.

Whether I asked or was recommended someone, there isn't a creator on either volume that I did not approve. So, if either book fails, it's all my fault.

MB: Have you been surprised by any of the submissions you've gotten? Like how some people interpreted the genre?

MW: The stories and artwork in the book is all pretty amazing. I could really rant and rave about them all day. But, I knew the quality of the contributor's work ahead of time. It's why I invited them onto the book.

A few stories did surprise me though. Joshua Hale Fialkov wrote something that was reminiscent of the old EC comics. Christopher Mitten did something with the color scheme he chose that really brought his pages to life. Probably the biggest surprise was from Joshua Dysart. His story floored me. I don't know what I was expecting from him, but not that. I loved it.

Truth be told though, I'm more interested in seeing how people react to some of the newer guys on the book. I know their work and am a fan of all of them, but artists and writers like Michael Jason Paz, Dean Kots, George Gousis, Charles Shay, Christie Tseng, Jose Holder, Jan Napiorkowski, Stephen Reedy and many others are these amazing little known or completely unknown guys that are really bringing something to the table. I want to see the reaction of the fans discovering these guys work.


MB: What do you find the biggest challenge in editing an anthology? Is this something you're used to at this point?

MW: I think I always underestimate the amount of time it takes. It's a lot of communication with a lot of different people who are all busy on other projects at the same time. And that's only after searching comics and the internet to find the right people. I think I got lucky that their are a lot of western fans working in comics who wanted to be a part of this. I wish their was some secret to how all these amazingly talented people decided to do this (because I'd use it all the time), but honestly...I just asked.


MB: TOMBSTONE or WYATT EARP?

MW: "I'm your huckleberry."


MB: Are you contributing at all to OUTLAW TERRITORY?

MW: Absolutely. Aside from putting a book out there that I think is missing from the shelves, being able to write stories for the book is what makes it worth doing.

MB: Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have a 'zone'- a place that is your perfect mise-en-scene for getting some writing done and good writing at that?

MW: I tend to write when and where I can. Usually on a legal pad and later onto my Mac Mini.

Usually the best writing comes when I am at home and without distraction. Their may be music or just silence. But that is about as close to a zone as I get. I am otherwise at the mercy of inspiration, which comes and goes at it pleases.


MB: How did the title come about?

MW: Honestly, I don't remember. I know I thought of it on the way to work, but can't say what it was that sparked the idea or what the train of thought was. I just know that I liked it and figured it would work at least as a placeholder until I thought of something better.

I think sticking with it was a good decision.

MB: What do
es the future hold for Outlaw Territory? Another volume? What about for you personally?

MW: There will be a second volume of Outlaw Territory and it is already in the works.

For me, there are some stories in future volumes of PopGun as well as a graphic novel I'm doing with Michelle Silva called 'Bruised Peach' (also being published by Image). There are a couple other things, like 'DragonWinds' and 'The Rampart Legacy' which I can't talk too much about just yet. But, those books will start to see the light of day soon enough.

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~Till Next Time Kittlings.

1.26.2008

Daniel Day Lewis talks about Heath Ledger on Oprah

I've thought DANIEL DAY LEWIS was the man since seeing GANGS OF NEW YORK. Yeah, I came into that awful late right? Lewis is a brilliant actor all around, and the work he does for his roles is phenomenal. When I heard about HEATH LEDGER locking himself in a hotel room for a month to get into the role of THE JOKER for the upcoming BATMAN film, I immediately thought of LEWIS' own methods for getting into character.

Anyway - LEWIS was on OPRAH via satellite to talk about his Oscar nom for THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and this is what he talked about instead. I cried watching this, and just wanted to share b/c it just makes me respect Lewis even more. (((and thanks to Joe aka Danny Tanner for hooking me up with this clip)))

1.22.2008

Cloverfield Review and How the Web was Won // Goodbye to Heath Ledger

MAJOR SPOILERS AND SPECULATION AHEAD!!!!!!!

1st of all - let me address those nay-sayers that keep comparing CLOVERFIELD to THE HOST. Stop it darn it! It just doesn't make any sense except that they both have a monster in them. The monsters hardly compare in size, and the stories are only similar in one plot point (the rescue of someone close to the main character). Producer JJ Abrams, the director Matt Reeves and writer Drew Goddard were trying to conceive of a "Monster Movie" told from the perspective of people rather than a gods-eye view so to speak. The film succeeded in doing this, and with great intensity... almost to the point of being a disturbing film. The thing that really makes this film stellar is the fact that you can check it out as just a Monster Movie, or you can dig further into the internet hype and find out more than you could ever want in a background story.

The premise of the film is simple enough - a group of friends gather for a going-away party for their close friend Rob whom just accepted a job in Japan. Rob is also in love with another party-goer, Lily. During the party we see some small character development then BOOM! The party, and the audience is thrown into the action of a giant monster attacking the city. Told entirely from the shaky amateur perspective of Hudson aka "Hud's" handheld camera that was meant to be taking party testimonials, the story does not stop of one heart-racing moment. Only 1 hour and 24 minutes long, with the set-up taking roughly 20 minutes before the monster makes his first appearance, it is not drawn out nor does it slow down enough to let you catch your breath. I found myself tense for about an hour afterwards as the adrenaline still rushed through my veins.

Stories of motion sickness are grossly overrated (http://www.horror-movies.ca/horror_10437.html). NYPD BLUE, the BOURNE films, etc were also touted as "too shaky" but in reality this just makes the film more "real" as I see it. The monster is interesting as are the "flea"-like creatures that drop from the beast and create havoc of their own. Not enough Monster for you? Was there not enough World War II in CASABLANCA for you? The Monster is simply a back-drop for a killer premise; at the heart of this is a love story of survival, not the monster. Lily and Rob share an intimate time about a month before the party that is also documented (using the same tape to show the "date" between Rob and Lily is both a smart way of showing "flashbacks" as well as further solidifying the relationship between the 2 characters. Rob's heart-to-heart conversation on camera with his brother and Hud (the camerman) also give you more insight into just how much Rob cares for Lily.

I have not wanted to see another movie in the theater again more than I am anticipating seeing this one. The darkness and uber-sound systems of the theater perfectly lend themselves to an in-depth movie experience. The other idea of "how long could a handheld camera battery last?" - well the movie is set in real-time, there are many breaks in the recording, so the camera would be turned off at those moments. A camera battery can last 1 hour and 24 minutes if turned on and off.
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But while I want to continue to sing CLOVERFIELD's praises, the real star was the internet saturation that led up to the opening of this film. In a word - brilliant. Let me break it down for ya, BRICKTHROWER style!
7.12.07 - my first column about CLOVERFIELD is published, go here for the early news:
http://norestforthewretched.blogspot.com/2007/07/overkill-of-cloverfield.html

After this column was posted, news quieted down for awhile.
Then there came the talk of SLUSHO, after intense investigation of the trailer showed a person wearing a Slusho t-shirt. The SLUSHO web site is still active(http://www.slusho.jp/), as is the number to help promote SLUSHO products, which I called just a couple days ago. More on that later.

Slusho was first mentioned in another JJ ABRAMS project, TV's ALIAS, and was expanded to be a division of the TAGRUATO Corporation(www.tagruato.jp), a company dedicated to some unspecified ocean research.

About a month ago, TV trailers started popping up, including a new look at the monster. CTHULU-like creature myths were dispelled, in favor of a mutant blue whale instead.

Then enter "T.I.D.O. Wave," (http://www.tidowave.com) a eco-activist (terrorist?) group whose soul target was the evil Tagruato Corporation . Tagruato's web site indicated that TIDOWave not only hacked their web site, but had done even more elaborate damage about a week before the film CLOVERFIELD was set to release.

A fake newscast circulated the internet (http://www.break.com/index/leaked-scene-from-cloverfield.html), showing a Tagruato Ocean Rig (the Chuai Station) being utterly demolished and sinking into the sea. Tagruato publicly blamed TIDOWave , although an unknown dark spot can be seen underneath the rig as it is sinking, as well as cell phone footage from inside the rig broadcasting a rather monstrous-sounding roar.

This rig was located off the coast of Connecticut. And come Friday, the release of the movie, trying to access both Tagruato's and TIDOWave's web sites proved fruitless. Tagruato had one simple page with Japanese (which I can't read) and a Danger "!" sign while TIDOWave's site shows only a unreadable unclickable ghost of the former page, with a "INTERNAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT" stamp in-layed on top of it. What does all this mean? Well if we look at this in real time - that damn monster hit the US shores on 1-18-08 and the day after the "goverment" shut down the parties involved.

Checking SLUSHO's web site again, it is still up and running, and reading the "ABOUT" section gives you even further info into the secret ingredient of the drink and the mention of a deep sea product that gives Slusho its special energy (addiction?). Calling the number on the site only led me to a recording, 1st in Japanese, then in English, reporting on the situation of the Chuai Rig disaster. Listen for yourself @ TEL# +01181354036318

Want to see the effect of SLUSHO - check out this site:
www.jamieandteddy.com

PASSWORD: jllovesth

Another blog of interest: http://tagruato.blogspot.com/

Now how's that for using the Web right to promote your movie? I say - TEH AWESOME! While several sites are still up and running and offer plenty of valuable information in regards to CLOVERFIELD and its background story on where the monster came from. My final thought - SLUSHO / Tagruato was mining the ocean floors for their "energy" product which unleashed the monster that attacked NYC. Check out the sites for yourself and make your call...but remember the post-credit message that is barely audible but just as haunting:

"It's still alive."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1k7Tg0jgJg
================
And finally, I just wanted to mention the tragic news that Australian Heath Ledger was found dead yesterday, at the (magic) age of 28. Whether it be an accidental overdose or god forbid, a suicide, my sadness remains the same. An actor who was definitely well-respected and on his way to the top, too soon to befell such a tragedy. He will be missed and it makes his turn as the Joker in the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT even more poignant. RIP HEATH LEDGER.
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ANOTHER SPECIAL THANKS to M. Sean McManus, whose research and edits really helped this piece come together.
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~Till Next Time Kittlings.

1.15.2008

Garney is Legend - An Interview with Comic Book Artist Ron Garney / ROCK OF LOVE S. 2 / Josh Blaylock Blog


Ron Garney has been a well-respected comic book artist for years, and I’ve had a bit of a crush on him for just about as long. If you’ve ever met him at a con, you know he’s personable and a bit crazy – especially when best friend Howard Porter is by his side. Garney has been working on Spider-man for some time, but coming soon he will be making the transition to Wolverine with new writer Jason Aaron. On top of that his illustrations earned him attention of Hollywood and the makers of I Am Legend as he was asked to design characters and costumes for the ghoulies that plague survivor (and super-star) Will Smith in the film. I decided to get some info on his movie work as well as his consistent and beautiful work in the comic book world.

Mary Brickthrower : I can’t deny it Ron, I’ve always thought of you as rugged and quite handsome. Is your facial hair still intact? Or are you trying to get rid of that “lumberjack of the comic book world” image?

Ron Garney : It is, it is....I didn't realize that was the image I had, but I wouldn't say I would get rid of it either, but I change up the shape once in a while...

MB : Oh if your image isn’t “lumberjack,” then allow me to be the first to push the trend!!! As for the facial hair, what’s your favorite “shape?”

RG : Lol --very slim goatee.

MB : You were at DC Comics for quite awhile. Was the split from them and the move to Marvel amicable? Would you ever consider working from them again?

RG : Sure it was amicable, those pricks. Just kidding. Yeah, I probably would [work with them again], if the right offer came along but right now, I'm happy where I am. Being back at Marvel has been a lot of fun, with guys like Axel [Alonso] and the creative teams I’ve been working with. Plus the characters are so damn cool....

MB : Every time I’ve been to Pitt-Con and hung out at the lobby bar, you and Howard Porter were always mixing it up, and seem to be the best of pals. Has his stay at DC and your move to Marvel made it hard for you guys to keep in touch?

RG : No Not at all—Howard’s the godfather of my son. We talk all the time, and still mix it up. We tend to feed off each others insanity...

MB : That’s good to hear. But back to comics…How has the transition from Spider-man to Wolverine? Are you happy with the change in characters?

RG : Yeah I am. Any chance I get to do Wolverine in his own book is fun. The transition has been great, as it’s a new writer with some new and different things to draw...Spider-man was so tied in to the whole Civil war thing.

MB : So your on I AM LEGEND work started as a couple costume designs and turned into some mad Garney-love from the movie’s producers. How did that come about?

RG : Well --just that they were looking for a guy with a certain look to the figures, and my name was mentioned. Then at some point and they contacted me. It started out as a small job but turned fairly large over the course of six months. Too late to make it into the credits though....

MB : No mention in the credits? Well, there is always the DVD release. What exactly did you end up doing for them? And is Will Smith just as nice as everyone says he is?

RG : Well I did about 45 illustrations of the creatures in their costumes. And yeah, Will seemed like a great guy. He came over on the set and shook my hand and welcomed me "to the team.” He was very friendly, and at the wrap party I got to talk with him and his wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) and introduced him to my wife, etc.

MB : Sweet! Rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite must be pretty cool. And now you must forgive me, but I am not familiar with any creator-owned work you have done, past or present. Is this an endeavor you’ve ever pursued or just find yourself too busy with your exclusive Marvel gig to work on anything yourself?

RG : Exactly, I’ve always been so busy and life keeps happening, that I never get the chance, although I have a lot of ideas down on paper. Someday, although I’m no spring chicken in this biz so I better get cracking!!

MB : No “Spring Chicken” maybe, but I must say you’re still thriving as an amazing artist. One last question on par with a possible creator-owned work: Who is a writer/creator you would love to work with that you haven’t got a chance to work with yet?

RG : Clint Eastwood. Lol. It’s a dream I have.

MB : I would love to be a Positive Percy for ya Ron, but that is quite a dream you got there. Good luck though sir – and aim high! Thanks so much for taking some time to chat with me!

RG : You’re welcome, fair Mary.

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Be sure to keep on eye on the newest PREVIEWS, where Ron Garney’s art on Wolverine will be shown for the 1st time.

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If you are on MYSPACE (who isn't anymore) and LURVE comic books - add creator and overall smart guy/Devil's Due head honcho Josh Blaylock as a friend and be sure to subscribe to his blog - he's posted his first "VIDEO BLAY-LOG" with the hopes of more to come. You can find his page by going here: http://www.myspace.com/joshblaylock

And for my fellow reality TV lovers, be sure to keep your Sunday night’s free so you don’t miss the skanky spectacle that is Rock of Love 2!!! More hoes, some old hoes, and I’m now totally convinced that Bret Michaels has either SEVERAL toupee’s that he wears with his signature bandanas, or he gets extensions put in. Just my personal opinion.

NEXT WEEK: The big pay-off – CLOVERFIELD review and more sites to seek out!

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~Till Next Time Kittlings!!!

1.06.2008

24 Hours.12 Bad Super-Hero Movies.Part 2

Movie #7 – BARB WIRE
10:28pm. This movie positively SCREAMS early 90’s. The opening scene is just plain ridiculous. It felt like a scene straight from Skinamax. What better way to introduce our “hero” than a striptease, water hose and a rock version of “Word up.” Getting to see Pamela Anderson’s nips in the first 3 minutes of the film is pretty awesome (<=this be sarcasm kittlings!). I can imagine all the Baywatch addicts creaming their jeans over this. It also provides an opportunity for Anderson to use her catchphrase (“Don’t call me babe”) right before she pierces a guy right between the eyes with a stripper heel. Hurrah!

Poor Barb lives in a the “free” sector of post-apocalyptic America – refuge for skeeves, criminals, low-lifes and crooked cops. Barb runs a club that doesn’t make enough cash so to keep it open she moonlights as a bounty hunter posing as a hooker. I imagine this is probably where Dog the Bounty Hunter got his fashion sense as leather and silver is the name of the game with our gal Pammy.

This blind dude (yeah! 4th blind person appearance) played by MTV’s Dead at 21 “it” boy Jack Noseworthy hangs out at the bar a lot, and the music slips between a girly goth house band and generic rock spun by a black DJ that is there just to announce when cops are in the building. I seem to have taken the most notes about this movie or more importantly to document the madness that Jacob and I start descending into. We paused the movie several times to act out scenes. While the dialogue was campy and horrible, I have to admit the story was not. It was just far to involved and convoluted for this type of film. This a Pam Anderson film after all – the last thing I was expecting was having to pay attention to a sub-plot.

Another noticeable trait of this film is how Anderson is filmed. In almost ever shot, Pam’s face is rather obscured by volumes of fake blond hair while her cleavage is always completely exposed. Here’s looking at you…boobs. Yes, this movie is a loose Casablanca homage which make it even funnier. Barb is a good girl despite her depraved surroundings and in the end she saves the day. It was more fun to wait for something ridic to happen rather than actually pay attention to the movie. By the end of thisl film Jacob and I were doing congratulatory shots for making it this far in our quest for lameosity.

Jacob noted that this is the only film we watched where the bad guy dies from a fall and not by the hero, (think the original 1987 BATMAN), while there are variations in the other films we watch, this film follows that formula to a T.

MOVIE #8 – BATMAN AND ROBIN
12:11AM – While Batman Forever was not really good (Batman Returns wasn’t too hot either) – they had redeeming elements, namely a memorable villain (Riddler by Jim Carrey and Catwoman by Michelle Pfeiffer respectively) – Batman and Robin offers nothing except bat nipples and this alarming piece of dialogue:

“Suit me up Uncle Alfred.” :shudders:

Oh Joel Schumacher, how you do love black lights! They are so prevalent in this movie that I think they should’ve been billed over Alicia Silverstone’s incredibly lazy performance. No worries though – Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze have more than enough chutzpah to propel this movie forward because heaven knows Clooney was leaning hard on his looks in this film.

Oh dear god, the bastardization of Bane is exquisitely awful! The man that broke Batman’s back and known for his self-taught intelligence in the comic books is boiled down to a retarded strongman (more on him later).

While Chris O’Donnell follows the franchise from the 3rd film, it is poor Alfred who died while this film was made that suffered the most. He is given Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon as a niece that arrives randomly and steals motorcycles from Bruce Wayne’s garage for illicit racing purposes. Motorcycle racing with Coolio afforded a virtual blacklight festival for Schumacher. I can see that German goober squealing with delight at the thought of blacklit midget punks with Mohawks! Oh joy!

Let’s get back to the villains. Poison Ivy begins as a homely botanist (homely = brown hair and glasses – damn I just love that stereotype) that is “killed” by her superior after witnessing his master plan to produce “super soldiers” with the use of some poison plant chemical called venom. Hence Bane’s creation, although the reason for his mental retardation is never really touched upon. Ivy ends up being reborn as evil red-headed vixen Poison Ivy who uses pheremones and sex appeal to mesmerize men and super cute little pissing contests/metrosexual fights between the “old married couple” of Batman and Robin. Luckily there is no crying between them; if tears had fallen then I’m sure some poor assistant to Clooney would’ve slipped in the puddle of guy-liner.

Mr. Freeze is Arnold Schwarzenegger doing every one-liner they could think of pertaining to cold, ice, or freeze. If Mr. Freeze is a doctor in this movie – why doesn’t he go by Doctor Freeze? Mr. Freeze can’t leave his ice cave at all (this cave of ice is an exercise in poor scene production – check out the stryofoam given some extra glitter to sell us on the fact that it’s “ice”) unless in his plastic---er, I mean HEAVY METAL ARMOR freeze suit. And since they couldn’t make the suit neon because is obviously needed to be HEAVY METAL ARMOR, Schumacher put a glowing neon plate in Arnie’s mouth just to make sure something on him was glowing.

I’ve seen this movie several times. Hell I’ll admit it: I saw this movie IN the theater. Jacob had never seen the entire film but this really should be required watching for anyone that needs to know why Batman Begins was hailed as such a redeeming film by fanboys and fans alike. Batman simply loses all sense of cool, mystique and darkness when everything he owns is lit up under blacklights in all its neon glory. But let me make this very very clear – STILL BETTER THAN DAREDEVIL. Not a doubt in my mind.

Movie #9 – CATWOMAN
2:21am –I used to tout this as the WORST super-hero movie I had ever seen. I had the pleasure of reviewing it back for one of my old writing gigs, and delighted in making fun of just about every aspect of this film. Then I saw Daredevil…so here’s to mocking the 2nd worst super-hero film I’ve ever seen!

Halle Berry won a Razzie for her turn as Patience Price aka not the real Catwoman so no worries about continuity, origin stories, or anything in the DC Universe that might hinder this interesting take on Catwoman. When I say interesting, I really mean dreadfully annoying. CGI cats bring Patience back to life after her mean bosses try to off her (silly designer saw more than she was supposed to in a lab late one night) and she starts climbing around the head of her couch and sleeping on shelves…because, well…she’s a cat! Duh! She meets some creepy cat lady that tells her all about her new powers and with a hot new outfit and only a little bit of stealing, CGI Halle Berry goes out to avenge the baddies that sought to kill her which turns out to be just one baddie: Sharon Stone with a face that can’t be damaged (yes – that’s her only power).

Benjamin Bratt is in the film as well as Berry’s love interest. That cute boy should’ve stayed on Law and Order where he belonged. While Berry gets props for acknowledging the lameness of this film and accepting her Razzie, she didn’t learn her lesson and has gone on to make several more awful films. None have topped the ridiculousness of this CATWOMAN however. Not yet, anyway.

I have stopped drinking Sparks at this point in our venture due to the heartburn that it started giving me. Honestly I think the only thing I was doing was plodding along with note-taking and constant thoughts of why this seemed like a good idea in the 1st place.

MOVIE #10 SPIDER-MAN 3
4:14am –This movie suffers under the weight of just TOO MANY. Too many plot lines. Too many villains. Too many love interests. I don’t have much to say about this movie except that Topher

Grace should’ve been in it more, Gwen Stacy seemed like an afterthought, and Stan Lee is in it, where he gets to say his signature “nuff said” to Peter Parker. Bruce Campbell makes his required cameo as a maitre de at the restaurant where Peter intends to propose to Mary Jane but sadly they break up before than can happen.

I can say that I was almost into this movie until the symbiote stuff that infects Peter’s mind also seems to act as a hair gel that pushes his hair forward. The “stride down the street” montage is laughable at best.

Convenient that Topher Grace aka Eddie Brock is in the same church that Peter Parker decides to rip off the symbiote goo from her visage and even more convenient that Eddie is right below him to get soaked with aforementioned symbiote goo.

Trilogies mean bigger, better…whatever. I’m sick of this idea that you need more than one villain when making a sequel. Where is this rule stated and where is the evidence that it works? IT DOESN’T. The straight-up story with Doc Ock from Spider-man 2 sustained the film from beginning to end and made for epic fight scenes unto itself. Throw out Sandman, keep Venom and sure, even keep Harry Osbourne in for the little time that he is a “villain,” – but no need to up the villain ante and hope that something will stick. Nothing sticks in the movie except for Spidey’s webs. J Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) will forever be the best personification of a comic book character EVER and the best part of this franchise. Nuff said bitches.


MOVIE #11 JUDGE DREDD
7:34am – Morning hath broken, and my will had too at this point. We downloaded a bootleg of this film from the web, and it turned out to be a bootleg with Russian subtitles so that was pretty fun. Sylvester Stallone plays Judge Dredd, the absolute best of the “judges” where crime is sentenced on the street level, no need for pesky due process and all that junk. This movies was made in 1995 which completely amazes me because is looks straight outta the 80’s. I often get this movie confused with Stallone’s other futuristic venture – Demolition Man – but Diane Lane is the naïve counterpart as opposed to Sandra Bullock.

Rob Schneider offers the comic relief but Stallone’s dialogue and dialect alone is comedy enough. The Costumes are straight out of the comic book, although I’m really not sure how much else is. My note-taking gets more erratic and illegible at this point in the game and my only thoughts throughout this movie involve wondering why they gave Stallone blue contacts and Max Von Sydow agreed to be a part of this drivel.

Some psychotic "clone" is released from prison and commits a crime under Judge Dredd's name, driving the plot where our hero must clear his name. Unlike the comic, the faces of judges are shown, and also unlike the comic, a love interest is developed between Stallone and Lane's characters.

Post-apocalyptic worlds is a recurring theme in a lot of these movies. And I’m thinking at this point if I had to pick one post-apocalyptic world to live in I would say “F You!” to all the aforementioned and go look for some nice housing in Blade Runner territory. The clothing is much better in that dystopia too.

And how could I forget - this movie has the immortal "I am the law" line delivered by Stallone in what seems like one syllable of pure awesome!!!!! Best part of the movie. Also, only real part of the dialogue I remember.

Movie #12 SUPERMAN IV
9:17am – The homestretch. To start this film was like seeing the end in sight. I could relax in a sense, knowing that after this, the 4th and final Superman installment with Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, I would be able to go to bed and say sayonara to every bad super-hero movie that had come before me in this 24 hour period. Jacob and I did our last congratulatory shots of Jack Daniels (Green label) and commenced with the film.

Superman gets all United Nations on our asses and decides to rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Lex Luthor (now with hair! played by almost bald but not quite Gene Hackman) and his nephew take a strand of Superman's hair, attach it to a nuclear missle and let Supes hurl the nuke (and all other nukes on earth) into the sun. Through this catalyst of the sun, the hair, and the nuke, NUCLEAR MAN is born, Superman's evil clone.
Let the battles begin!!!!

Nuclear Man is sustained by the light of the sun or equally powerful artificial light. Superman almost thwarts Nuclear Man by trapping him in an elevator on the moon (doesn't this concept make perfect sense to you?) except a little crack in the elevator provides Nuclear Man enough light to get out of this trap and the clone and Supes duke it out on the moon for awhile. Superman is driven into the ground by the brute force of Nuclear Man, who takes the opportunity for his final evil deed.

Nuclear Man falls for this chick Lacy and kidnaps her and takes her into space (where she can breathe even without air - cool!) - Superman saves her and traps Nuclear Man in the core of a nuclear power plant, puts Lex Luthor in jail, and returns Lacy to earth. All in a day's work for the man of steel.

This movie was just ridiculous. Christopher Reeve helped write it which makes me think that he was trying to push some message about nuclear energy and world peace, but in the end all I saw was a lot of fighting in space and a clone (that was NOT Bizarro) with inexplicable metal fingernails.

And then I went to bed.
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What did I learn from this crazy experiment? Well, movies about comic books and super-heroes have no reason to stay true to their roots, creators, original ideas, fans, etc. Hollywood really thinks they can take something that was either well known or well-loved and make it better by tweaking what seems like minor issues within them only to learn that fanboy rage is strong and nitpicking is prevalent in this high-traffic "interweb" world. Sleep deprivation can make a bad movie funnier, but it can't make it better. And in the end, no matter which way you look at it, DAREDEVIL SUCKED!!!!
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~Till Next Time Kittlings.