Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dino Dolls (and other plushy awesomeness)

Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs turned me on to Megan Baehr's awesome, handmade plush dolls. She does a lot more than just dinosaurs though. Check out her Flickr stream to see her Yeti, Water Sprite, Quetzalcoatl, and tons of animals.

Quotes of the Week: The Dark Dark Phoenix Saga

You mean to tell me that nobody would go see an action movie about a black chick with an afro, a robot arm, a sneer and a half-Japanese sword-wielding BFF in 2010? That they’d rather see The Dark Dark Phoenix Saga instead? Get outta here.
--David Brothers, on why a superhero movie about characters who are already People of Color would be one-billion per cent better than one in which white characters were simply recast as ones.

This isn’t the game-changer you’re waiting for, but it shines a somewhat clearer spotlight on the real thing to come. A game-changing tablet computer will combine the design philosophy and ease-of-use attributed to the iPad with the OS, hardware and functionality of a netbook, and it’ll cost $200-300 less than the lowest-priced iPad model.
--Dirk Deppey, expressing my attitude about the iPad as well. When I can get my iTouch and replace my laptop with the same device, Apple, then we'll talk.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Night Art Show: Are You Looking for Shells Too?

Citadel of Calvi

By MC Escher. Yes, that MC Escher. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]


By Eric Kincaid. [Never Sea Land]

By Dorian Cleavenger. [Never Sea Land]


By Francesco Francavilla.

Alpha Flight

By Davinder.

Sherlock Homes

By Brandon Graham.

Bond and Honey

By Mike Maihack.

Nick Fury

By Evan "Doc" Shaner.

The Hulk

By Marc Basile. [Kirby-Vision]

Destruction Halted

By Jeremy Vanhoozer.

Happy Birthday, David!

Today's my son's eighth birthday, so in honor of him I'm going to kick off this week's art show with two items that he'll especially enjoy.

David's Favorite Superhero Comics Character

By Craig Rousseau.

Tarzan fighting a triceratops ... under water!

By George Wilson. [Gold Key Comics!]

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

For the rest of you guys, I'll get the rest of the art show up in a bit.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Looks Good for Comics in March

This week's Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs looks at the awesome, new comics coming out in March.

See ... Tiny Gargoyles!
Fear ... Vicious Assassins!
Explore ... Hollow Worlds!
Thrill ... to Viking Warrior-Women!
Marvel ... at the Crack Team of Russian, Gas-Mask Wearing Supernatural Investigators!
Chuckle ... at the Comment: "What's wrong with the cover of Sif #1? You can't see her tits or ass!" (Thanks for that Kirok. Totally made my day.)

New Space Comics from Samuel L Jackson and Otis Frampton

Cold Space

Boom! Studios is going to publish a space-adventure comic written by Samuel L Jackson called Cold Space. I'm usually skeptical when actors decide they want to write comics, but not this time. Jackson's a smart, talented guy whose love for comics is well-documented. I'm looking forward to seeing the story he's going to tell.

Escape from Planet Nowhere

I remember being struck by this image when Otis Frampton first posted it almost a year ago. Now he's turning it into a webcomic debuting in March at Planet Mark your books!

Cownt Tales Review: Every Day is Like Wednesday

I keep forgetting to link to it, but Caleb Mozzocco was nice enough to talk about Cownt Tales at his blog. He also includes some scans of pages that are new to the web, so if all you've seen so far is what I've posted here, hop on over and check it out.

Reading between the lines I think he liked it, though he's humorously non-committal, calling it "the best comic anthology about a gender-confused vampire cow I’ve ever read." I'm starting to realize that the Cownt is going to be more of a cult thing than a popular one, but I'm okay with that. Thanks for the review, Caleb!

Comics: The God of the Green Death!

Never Call a Ghost

Especially a pirate ghost. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Vampire of the Deep

[The Horrors of It All]

Creature from the Amazon

Not so much an adaptation of Creature from the Black Lagoon as a rip-off of it. Still lots of fun though. [Part One and Part Two at The Horrors of It All]

Judy of the Jungle and the Treasure of Lobengula

[The Comic Book Catacombs]

The Screaming Skull

[It's the second story down at Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Airboy vs Valkyrie

Maybe it's her name; maybe it's her hairdo; maybe it's something else. Whatever it is, Valkyrie's one of my favorite villains. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Cleopatra in Space

Mike Maihack's webcomic is now updating regularly.

Futura vs the Market of Forbidden Treasures

Go for the art, but stay to check out Sleestak's insightful analysis of Futura and her actions. [Lady, That's My Skull]

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Doctor Who and the End of Time

As usual, I'm way farther behind on TV than the rest of the world. I just finished the two-part "End of Time" movie that closes down David Tennant's time as the Doctor.

It was as dramatic and funny and scary and touching as I've come to expect from this version of the Doctor, but I admit that I became impatient with it towards the end. The regenerations I've seen the Doctor go through before have all happened quickly and by surprise. This time, the Doctor knows it's coming and has time to make some visits to old companions and tie up some loose - if only emotionally - ends.

My problem with it is related to a comment that writer Russell T Davies made during one of the many Doctor Who specials that BBC America ran around the time of the movie. He said that the Doctor's regenerating isn't like going to the dentist and that it should be a momentous occasion. A serious, scary occasion. Well, I guess I disagree.

I would've agreed after the first time I had to deal with it, watching Tom Baker morph into Peter Davison. Man, I mourned the loss of Tom Baker. And resented Davison so much. But eventually, I came to like Davison. He's one of my favorites now, celery-stick boutonniere and all.

More recently, I distinctly remember being sad that Christopher Eccleston was leaving the show after only one season. I really dug him as much as I had any other doctor - even Tom Baker - and, not at all sure of who we were getting next, I anticipated having a similar reaction to David Tennant that I did to Peter Davison. But I didn't. Turns out, I loved David Tennant right away and so did everyone else.

Now he's leaving and as much as I'm going to miss him, I'm ready for the next guy. Bring on Matt Smith. I've learned my lesson and accept that the show's creators know what they're doing. I think I'd moved on faster than Davies wanted me to though. Clearly - from the lengthy part of the finale where the Doctor runs around saying his heartfelt goodbyes - I was supposed to be holding on much tighter than I was. I kind of resented Davies' sitting next to me, nudging me and proclaiming loudly, "This is SO SAD! He's really leaving, you guys!"

"Yes," I kept telling him. "It is sad. But we've been here before and it kind of is like going to the dentist. Let's see what this Matt Smith guy's like."

I've eased up on Davies though after reading Dorian's take on the episode. Especially this part:
...regeneration is an end to a facet of the Doctor’s personality. Everything that is Ten will be gone when Eleven arrives. And Ten loves his life. Ten loves his friends. Ten is the most emotionally connected we’ve seen the Doctor in, well, ever, frankly.
That's completely true. As ready as I was to move on, I get that Ten wasn't. It's not fair for me to read Davies' meta-textual statement over the story when the story as it plays out is perfectly in keeping with who this Doctor is. Was.

But, on the other hand, as nice as it was to see a Doctor so emotionally connected with his companions (or most of them anyway, poor Martha), where it left him was extremely screwed up and depressed. He'd become a Doctor resolved to have no companions, not even one as fun and charming as Lady Christina de Souza. He'd become a Doctor who was going insane from grief and loneliness. I may be the only one who feels this way, but his regeneration was a mercy killing. I really, really liked Ten for a long time, but at the end I was ready for him to go. And - though I get Dorian's point - I'm not completely sure why Ten wasn't.

Welcome, Eleven.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Black Pan-ther! Black Pan-ther!

Canada has one. So does Australia. What does a guy have to do to get a Black Panther cartoon with Alfre Woodard and Djimon Freakin Hounsou shown in the United States?

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Book of Eli

I can't talk about The Book of Eli without revealing spoilers. I won't give everything away, but so much of the movie's story is wrapped up in that book he's carrying around that I need to be able to say what it is and what happens to it. I'll leave plenty of other surprises intact, but if you haven't seen it yet and don't want to know about the book, you should stop reading now.

I'm good and torn about this film. I went to it because I wanted to see Denzel Washington kick a lot of butt in a post-apocalyptic Western. The movie completely delivers on that. Mila Kunis' presence isn't exactly a drawback either and I'm usually up for Gary Oldman playing a villain. No disappointments there.

What I had to do some thinking about was the way the story treats the Bible. I'm a pretty liberal Christian and I'm ready to admit that organized Christiandom rightly deserves a lot of the antagonism it gets, but I'm also eager to see its positive aspects discussed. In The Book of Eli, Christianity has been held fully responsible for a global war and the enormous hole it ripped into the ozone layer. As a result, every copy of the Bible has been burned. All but one, of course.

Most characters in the film are too young to even remember the book, but a few older folks like Eli and Carnegie (Oldman) know about it. Carnegie has been searching relentlessly for it, planning to use it in exactly the way it's been used too often throughout history: to control people. Eli wants to share it with those he feels need to hear its message, but is violently protective of it against people like Carnegie and his men.

Eli's journey is mostly about how his relationship to the book changes. He begins the movie as a sort of Knight Templar, dedicated to protecting the holy artifact he holds. Everything else is secondary to that goal, regardless of who Eli might encounter, what their troubles are, or how much Eli is capable of helping them. By the end of the story, Eli questions that approach. He realizes that he's been so focused on the physical book that he's forgotten the message inside it. It's a lesson that a lot of Christians could use reminding about.

What the movie doesn’t do so well though is talk about who does or doesn’t “deserve” to hear the Bible’s message. Carnegie obviously doesn’t because he wants to control it. Eli somehow does. At the end of the film, the book is stored away, presumably until people are ready to hear it again, but who makes that call? Why do they get to? With whom will they share it? The film doesn’t try to answer those questions though they’re important ones and it has no problem asking them.

Another significant question the movie ignores the answer to is what exactly is the message of the Bible that makes it so important to preserve? Eli seems to get it by the end, but no one else does. So when the book finishes the movie on the shelf next to Shakespeare, the Torah, and the Koran (none of which we have any reason to believe were also intentionally destroyed after the war), it looks like more of a museum curiosity than a vital message that our hero’s had any good reason to spend the last two hours defending. Putting theology aside, that’s just poor drama.

Three out of five giant knives

Movie News: Low guttural German

The Angry Sea

Robert Hood's got all the details about this low-budget, but impressive-looking movie about 18th century sea monsters. 

Mel Gibson's Viking movie

Not much info other than he's making one and he wants at least part of it to be spoken in Old Norse. Sub-titles don't bother me, so that's okay with me. And I like his rationale for doing it that way. He wants the Vikings to be scary.
I don’t want a Viking to say, “I’m going to die with a sword in my hand.”  I don’t want to hear that ...  I want to see somebody who I have never seen before speaking low guttural German who scares the living shit out of me coming up to my house.
Jurassic Park 4

Martin Scorsese's planning to adapt The Invention of Hugo Cabret the steampunk novel about an orphaned thief, a bookish girl, a toyseller, and a mechanical man.

Bruce vs Frankenstein

The sequel to My Name is Bruce will have Bruce Campbell visiting Europe. I only wish I could figure out what he'll be doing once he gets there.

Meet Conan

The new Conan movie has a star. I'm still skeptical about the plot, but I'll buy Jason Momoa as the Cimmerian. 

Meet John Carter's nephew

The new John Carter movie will feature Juni from the Spy Kids movies as Carter's teenaged nephew, a young man named Edgar Rice Burroughs. That's kind of cool actually.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Standing with Haiti

I haven't mentioned Haiti yet, mostly because it's not what this blog is about, though of course it's been on my mind a lot lately. I'm at the point now though where I can't not talk about it. We went to a get-together on Friday for people in our neighborhood who are concerned about Haiti and it got me thinking about how I can do more. I figured it was worth at least one post here.

I've got a lot of connections to the country beyond my visit there a couple of years ago. My youngest brother was born there, my parents make a few trips there each year, and right now they're sponsoring a Haitian toddler who came to the Mayo clinic for some life-saving surgery. I know first-hand that the Haitians are a beautiful, hardy people and I'm glad that the rest of the world - especially the US - is finally paying attention to them. I only hope that that attention doesn't go away soon. Haiti's going to need a lot of it - and a lot of care - for quite a while.

Here are a few links to charities, information, and other relief efforts in case you'd like to help or know more and don't know where to go. No hard sell from me; I just hope you'll consider it.

Partners in Health – Stand with Haiti
Cancel Haitian debt
Lutheran World Relief
Haiti Outreach Ministries
St. Joseph’s Home for Boys
United States Foundation for the Children of Haiti
Feed My Starving Children
Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World by Tracy Kidder
New Yorker article about Dr. Paul Farmer (the inspiration for Mountains Beyond Mountains and co-founder of Partners in Health)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Awesome List: How is that different?

Resurrecting this old Adventureblog feature as a catch-all category for great stuff that I don't know where else to put.

Swimming with sharks

Recent images from Australia show a massive school of unidentified sharks cruising just metres from swimmers. If you go to the Australian Coastal Watch site, you can zoom in to see them better. [Jessica Hickman]


Actually a hopeful piece of art about the future obsolescence of war-machines, but also just very, very cool. [Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs]



Fantasyland Redesign

Progress is being made on our Disney World plans (I'll update that another time), but I can tell we're going to have to go back again once they get Fantasyland renovated. Their plans for it look amazing.



Robot Wall Stickers

[Wall Sticker Shop]


[Found on TwitPic]

Friday, January 22, 2010

Art Show: This looks like a job for -- blub blub blub...

Nautilus vs Squid

By Myke Amend [Admiral Calvin]

Diver Down!

By Schiani Ledo.

Where Aquaman Goes to Change into His Superhero Outfit

No idea who made this, but I want one. [Epic Win FTW]

Jesse James vs Machine Gun Kelly

By Greg Jolly. From a comic I helped write.

Black Canary

By Marcus To [Temple Library Reviews]


By Kevin Nowlan [Frankensteinia]


By Craig Rousseau.


By Michael W Kaluta [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]


By Marc Basile. [Kirby-Vision]


By Jonboy Meyers.


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