Saturday, November 30, 2013
I love this Itty Bitty Hellboy series. Comics that are kid friendly and of also of high quality and of interest to kids are very few and far in-between in the current state of comic book publishing. I think the ratio of grown-up comics to kids comics is probably around 1 kid book for every 100 non-kid book. It's even hard to find a good super-hero book that won't scar a kid for life now-a-days. These tales of an itty bitty Hellboy and his itty bitty friends are colourful and full of adventure and fun and look really great. The kind of stuff that I can imagine kids reading over and over and drawing pictures of and wishing there were action figures to play with. I hope they come back for more after the initial five issue mini-series concludes.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
I often think how sad it is that kids today can never truly experience the joy and wonder that I experienced on Saturday mornings of my youth. There was some kind of magic in the anticipation and the partaking of watching cartoons between the hours of 6am and noon on those animation filled mornings.
Sure, the trade-off is that now kids have stuff like YTV and Teletoon and Blu Ray’s and Netflix for their home entertainment viewings. It just isn’t the same though.
Hence, I’m very glad that we are finally presenting a whopping three hours offering of classic Saturday morning cartoon goodness from th 1970's and 1980's. Wear your most comfy pajama’s, bring your favourite stuffed animal, and get ready to eat some of your favourite sugary cereal.
The Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Cartoon Party! Saturday December 28th at 10am at the Mayfair.
Tickets – Members $7, Non-Members $11, Seniors $8, Children $6
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Made another visit to the multiplex. I hate the reclining chairs, I hate the 3D glasses, I hate the popcorn, I hate the general sub-par levels of the quality of the movie going experience at such theatres. What I do love though is Doctor Who. And that love persuaded me to check out the 50th anniversary special, titled 'Day of the Doctor'.
I was as excited to see this almost a movie as I was any Star Wars episode or Joss Whedon sci-fi, horror, or super-hero epic. It did not disappoint. It was lovely seeing David Tennant back in his Doctor suit and Converse, and John Hurt stepped into the universe with ease. I laughed, I got choked up, I gasped in geeky awe at the surprise twists and turns leading up to the epic climax.
The real joy though was seeing the special with a great crowd of appreciative nerds. Many probably saw it already, and everyone had the option to just watch it at home. None-the-less, fans came out in droves, so much so that extra showtimes were added. There were plenty of Dalek dresses and sonic screwdrivers and fez and long colourful scarves. Events like this always reinstate my faith that home entertainment will not kill the tradition of getting together with strangers in a darkened room and being entertained. You can pretty much watch anything you want on your teevee or computer in this day and age, but nothing matched the experience of seeing a movie outside of the house, in a theatre, with a crowd.
Now if we could just get BBC to let us screen Doctor Who episodes at the Mayfair.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
My only disappointment in learning of the new Harley Quinn series is that Amanda Conner isn't drawing the whole thing. Having her co-write and provid covers for the New 52 roller derby girl style incarnation of the popular character, introduced in the Batman animated series in the 1990's, ain't half bad though. Plus, her writing partner is her husband Jimmy Palmiotti, who just happens to have co-written Jonah Hex / All Star Western (one of my favourite books) for years.
The series kicks off with a zero issue, a prelude to the ongoing series. In it, Harley breaks the fourth wall in true Ferris Bueller / Deadpool fashion. She talks to Amanda and Jimmy as she delves through an all-star list of different artists, trying to find the best person to draw her book. The story goes that the writers walked around the San Diego Comic Con and recruited a bunch of friends and peers to participate with a page for the book. It's quite an impressive gang that they collcted to assist, including Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans), Darwyn Cooke (The Spirit), Sam Kieth (Maxx), living legend Walt Simonson (Thor), a very rare piece of non-cover work from Adam Hughes, and more!
I really loved this zero issue. It was original and fun, it was something new and took some risks. All compliments that are far too rare when talking about books from one of the two biggest comic companies on the planet.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Nothing kicks off the holiday season like Ottawa's annual Santa Claus Parade. And nothing says Christmas like an Imperial Guard in goofy antlers and a scarf (thanks to the cosplay talents of the local 501st). That's totally canon nerds! Look closely at their brief festive appearance in Return of the Jedi.
Friday, November 22, 2013
As part of the ongoing Support Local events in Ottawa, tomorrow I'll be helping represent Mirror Comics for a mini-book fair at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library at 120 Metcalfe Street from 11am til 4pm. The library has a really great selection of comics available, from all sorts of diverse creators of all different kinds of genres. So, come out and grab some free comics to borrow, then buy a copy of Zomkeys and some other Mirror offerings while your there too.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I don't know if a single person can take full credit for what's going over at Image Comics, or it's a batch of behind the scenes crew, editors and creators all just hitting their stride at the same time. I think that Image puts out more diverse and high quality books then any publisher in comics. I almost wish that they weren't so on the ball, because I am spending a lot of money on them.
Their latest success story is the supernatural western tale of Death's daughter, Pretty Deadly, from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios. It's got beautiful art, an original story, and a central character that is sure to have Hollywood salivating to sin up the motion picture rights post haste. Check out issue #1 in anticipation for the soon to be released second issue. Thank you Image Comics. Yet another series to read. Now let's hold back on releasing any more amazing comics for a little while. I'm not made of money.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Are you watching Louis CK's self-titled, fictionalized bio show Louie? It just keeps getting better and better. I thought this show was going to be another Curb Your Enthusiasm, not a bad thing, but it has become so much more. I just finished up season two, and am looking forward to jump into season three. CK is stretching his legs as a writer and filmmaker with great success. He's being left alone by the teevee powers that be, and producing some of the funniest comedy, bravest drama, and truthful character moments on television. A valuable lesson on how successful programming can and should be produced.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Everyone's seen this incredible mini episode of Doctor Who by now right? The Night of the Doctor took me by complete spoiler free surprise. My girlfriend, who is much more entrenched in Doctor Who lore then I, was lucky to fend off a heart attack or brain explosion. If you aren't a Doctor Who fan, it will mean nothing. If you are a Doctor Who fan, it's pretty big time stuff. Incredible that they could pack in such a big story into an episode that clocks in at less then 7 minutes. Well done BBC.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
When I was younger, I loved Adam Sandler and hated Woody Allen. That personal cinematic opinion has flipped-flopped over the years. I'm pretty sure Adam Sandler has given up on caring about his output years ago (see Grown Ups 2). On the other hand, I can't get enough of Woody now-a-days. I love all of his movies, watch documentaries about him, and dream of going to see him play with his jazz band in NYC.
His latest work is Blu Jasmine,it stars Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Louis CK and Andrew Dice Clay (yes! THAT Andrew Dice Clay). It tells the tale of a spoiled rich trophy wife, and how her world crumbles after her husband leaves her for another woman and she is left with no money or distraction or purpose in life. It is more Woody Allen gold. I expect more Oscar nominations in the future for Woody and for his lead.
Blue Jasmine screens at the Mayfair tonight at 6:00pm, Mon Nov 18 and Tues Nov 19 at 7:00pm.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
The second issue of Marvel Knights Spider-man is out. My friend Marco drew it, and I don't wanna embarrass him, but I think that it's truly a star making effort on his part. Even if I didn't know him I would be spreading the word of how incredible I think this art is. It's on the shelves of your favourite comic book store or Marvel Comics download-y place right now. It's a completely self contained story arc, you don't have to worry about crossovers or a deep continuity to confuse you. Go buy it.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Thor: The Dark World has already garnered a few hundred million dollars at the box office, so it doesn't need any help from me. It's also at the multiplex, which I usually ignore in favour of watching movies if the much higher quality venue of the Mayfair (of course!).
I do love this run of Marvel movies though. And, I used Visa points to go see it, so my conscious is clear and none of my money went to support the man (and yes...I pay my credit card bills on time, so my money isn't going to that The Man either).
Marvel is just getting everything right. They are producing big, fun, action packed motion pictures that almost everyone seems to enjoy, that most critics seem pretty kind too, and that are making boat-loads of profit. Along the way and against all odds, they've built up a crossing-over universe akin to their comic book roots. Non of this should have worked to this degree, but success keeps coming their way. The simple key to their good turn is that everyone involved actually cares. I listened to a podcast with head honcho Kevin Feige, and it was clearly evident that he's not just in this for the money. He wants these to be the highest quality nerd entertainment...and it's working.
DC has had some financial success with their movies too, but they have all left me unimpressed as of the last few years. Green Lantern was a giant let-down, but I wasn't even all impressed with Chris Nolan's Bat stuff. It was all just so dreary and heavy and filled with death. On top of that there were gaping plot holes and nonsensical character twists and turns. And don't get me started on Man of Steel. I can't imagine a single lil kid watching that movie and then running home to play with Superman action figures or read a stack of Superman comics.
On the other hand, now-a-days I see nothing but kids with Marvel backpacks and lunch boxes being toted around by kids. Halloween had way more Avengers walking around then Bat or Super-kids. Marvel has me wanting more at every post credit sequence tease. DC movies make me wish that they had different creators behind the scenes getting their product up onto the silver screen.
Marvel got it right again with Thor: The Dark World...and I am looking very much forward to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The next Superman / Batman movie...meh. And a world where I was neutral to the thought of a Superman / Batman movie is a world I never thought could possibly exist.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
The new Damian mini-series is being described as "a possible future that may never be" by DC Comics. The first issue didn't blow me away. Grant Morrison's literary shoes are pretty big ones to fill, even though the writing gig on this series goes to its artist and Damian co-creator Andy Kubert. I will continue to support this mini-series none-the-less. I very much want this character brought back to life and put back into main DC continuity. Hence, I will gladly give my tiny bit of financial support towards anything that makes Damian look like a popular character to DC Comics.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Tonight is your last chance to catch Escape From Tomorrow at the Mayfair. It may be your last chance to see it on a big screen ever, considering that at any moment the Disney lawyers might wake up their team of high priced lawyers and unleash the vengeance. This movie simply should not exist. Or, since exit does exist, it shouldn't be available to be seen. Considering that Disney has been known to sue daycare centres that have their characters painted on their walls, but they have not put a stop to this movie, is very peculiar.
The film is a dissent into madness / midlife crisis indie dark comedy that just happens to be set in Disney World. Meaning that, for this guerrilla style black & white indie style endeavor, they actually snuck into the fabled theme park to shoot their story. There are countless Disney images caught on film. The Disney name, Disney princesses, and characters like Buzz Lightyear are integral to the plot. If the undertaking of shooting this production under the Orwellian eyes of the Disney theme park over-lord's wasn't enough, the fascinating part at this point in the game is that there have been no lawsuits from the Disney camp.
Some have speculated that Disney is looking the other way in order to not bring the movie attention. From what I understand though, that can't be the case. If they don't step in, it could set a precedent for all those other punk artists and filmmakers to point at when they make their own un-approved Disney themed media. "Escape From Tomorrow did it and you didn't care! So we can do stuff too!"
Gimmick aside, I actually liked the film too. Very weird, very creepy, and doesn't pull any punches when events start to get really bizarre and go horribly wrong. Having said all that though, byt the time the credits rolled, I still really wanted to go to Disney World.
Take part in the phenomenon that is Escape From Tomorrow, at join us at the Mayfair tonight at 9:30pm.
Monday, November 11, 2013
I have read very few comics with Nova in them over the years. I know that he has a cool helmet, that there have been a number of different people under that helmet, and that the Nova Corps is a rip-off of the Green Lantern Corps. Nova # 13 (which also has a # 1 on it, 'cause Marvel loves to keep things confusing) has Beta Ray Bill in it. Beta Ray Bill is one of my favourite characters of all time, which means that I will buy this. Whatever I can do to make Beta Ray Bill a successful and viable character to the Marvel Universe will get my investment. Then maybe my dreams will come true and he'll show up on the big screen in the next Thor movie.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
A pair of friends got married at the Mayfair this-afternoon. I was the male maid-of-honour. Everything went off without a hitch, a choked up, Ramones soundtrack walk down the aisle, good time was had by one and all. If you are planning on getting married, I highly recommend that you do so with us at the Mayfair. Churches don't provide popcorn and don't have an Alien over-looking the ceremony.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Look at the awesome Raphael piece that my friend Kelly drew while at Hal-Con! I wish I was in Halifax right now so I could find out who now owns this awesome pic of TMNT art so that I could steal it from them. Hal-Con is up and running through-out the weekend. If I were out in the far off land of East Coast Canada, I would definitely be in attendance.
Friday, November 08, 2013
I got the blu-ray 4k edition of Ghostbusters in the mail. I hardly ever watch movies at home anymore. I watch a ton of movies at the Mayfair, so home entertainment intake is reserved almost completely to catch up on never ending teevee shows that I wanna watch. I love Ghostbusters though, and it was super cheap, so I could not resist.
Years ago, I remember joking that the VHS pan & scan version of the film was racist because Ernie Hudson was pushed out of frame through much of the movie. When a rectangle got cropped into a square, the fourth Ghostbusters gets left just outside of frame on more then one group shot.
The unforgivable treatment of Ernie Hudson / Winston Zeddmore sadly continues into the blu-ray era of at home movie watching. On the blu-ray Ghostbusters case, there isn't one mention, credit, or photo of either the actor or the very important to the film, every-man, voice-of-the-audience character. How can the character who spoke the line "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!" be ignored in such a manner? I hate to throw a word like racist around...but I think this blu-ray box is a racist.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
If you missed out on the recent Killer63 short horror film festival at the Mayfair, here's one of the great short films you missed seeing up on the big screen. This dark winters night tale is titled The Offering, was directed by Ryan Path and written by Michael Koehler.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Stopped in at The Comic Book Shoppe to pick up a birthday gift of the second volume of Saga. Also picked up a blind box Doctor Who toy. Best of all though, is kind of forgetting that they carry Zomkeys, and then walking past it on display right there below the likes of Sandman, Powerpuff Girls, Thor, and beside a few different X-Men offerings. It still hasn't sunk in 100% that I wrote a comic book that can be bought in a store. A tip to other comic book writers - only write books that start with a Z. Makes for the best placement on the new release section.
Monday, November 04, 2013
Looking for a kid friendly comic book and don't mind the younglings reading about demons and monsters and using the word hell? Then, Itty Bitty Hellboy is the perfect book for you! The five issue mini-series (currently three issues are available via paper or digital format) came to fruition when Hellboy creator realized that he really didn't have anything kid friendly to offer up while at comic cons. The comic comes from the brilliant creative team of Art Baltazar and Franco, the masterminds behind Tiny Titans. Comic books of interest to kids continue to be the unfortunate minority in comic book stores, so a fun book like this one is always a welcome addition. Hellboy has never been so adorable.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
It took weeks, but I finally got my hands on a copy of Marvel Knights Spider-man #1. A self contained five issue mini-series that sees Spidey put up against pretty much every villain he's ever battled. It's especially horrible that it took me so long to buy one, 'cause it's drawn by my talented pal Marco Rudy. And I'm not just saying this because I know and like him, but holy cow, is he ever knocking this assignment out of the park. I think this is the gig that gets him secured as a big-shot fan-favourite comic artist extraordinaire. Great stuff. Go buy it.
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Friday, November 01, 2013
When I first heard about this new Sleepy Hollow teevee series on Fox, I didn't give it much thought. I am already back-logged with a ton of television programs to watch, and thought that it might be the caliber of something the like of Charmed. I wasn't paying attention, and did not realize that th show comes from the director of Underworld, and the writer / producer team who have worked on Xena, Jack of All Trades, Fringe, and the last two Star Trek movies. I like all of those things. And I'm totally hooked on this show now.
The latest incarnation seems silly on paper, Ichabod Crane wakes up in 2013 and helps a cop fight off monsters in an X-Files like manner. Actually, scratch that, that sounds awesome. I don't know what I wasn't on board with this from day one.