Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's almost 2014 and I still don't have my jet-pack or robot butler. Sure, we have tablets and mp3 players and smartphones, but when I was a kid I figured that the year 2014 would be much more science-fiction-y then this. Get on it scientists!

Monday, December 30, 2013

I don't want to make the watching of an episode of British sci-fi teevee sound too over-important, but I went into watching The Time of the Doctor feeling a bit like approaching a wake. I knew from previous Doctor Who experience that I would likely love the episode, and it would most definitely end in tears.

The modern Doctor Who is maybe my favourite teevee series of all time. The last two actors who have left the role behind broke my geeky little heart in doing so. I don't know why British actors can't just be happy with the gig at hand and stick with a series for a decade or so. I do understand the concept that an actor wants to try new things once their carer gets to a slightly safer spot and they have a few dollars in the bank. It also must be nice to leave 'em wanting more instead of driving a character into the ground and becoming supremely type-cast. And, of course there's the point that if the brilliant David Tennant hadn't left we wouldn't have gotten the follow-up brilliance of Matt Smith, and if Matt Smith hadn't left we wouldn't have the impending brilliance of Peter Capaldi.

Well played Mr. Smith, your time as the Doctor will not be forgotten,and you will be missed. Looking forward to seeing you back for the 60th anniversary of the series in 10 years.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Even in this day and age, I find that many a person still think comic books are all Spider-man, Batman and Archie. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I like Spider-man, Batman and Archie. Comic books are more then their spandex, vigilante and teen hi-jinks roots though. Comic books are as diverse as anything you'd find in any form of media intake. On television, you can find programs ranging from Sesame Street to Breaking Bad, and theatres like the Mayfair you might be able to catch a family friendly cartoon, an Oscar hopeful, and a grindhouse classic all on the same day. Sometimes I listen to Gershwin, sometimes I listen to Weezer, sometimes I listen to the Wu-Tang Clan.

Comics are equally diverse in their offerings for your reading pleasure. My latest indie comic recommendation is the 2010 french book from Julie Maroh, Blue Is The Warmest Color. It's a beautifully illustrated tale of true love in black and white and blue that should at the the same time inspire you and leave you heartbroken. It's gotten a lot of press due to the rated NC-17 extra sexy movie adaptation winning the Palme D'or at Cannes this year (and we have it at the Mayfair soon).

Blue Is The Warmest Color knocked me out, I look forward to reading more from the creator. It will be added to my go to list of examples for excellence in comic books.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

250 loyal Mayfair patrons watching three hours of cartoons sure do go through a lot of cereal. All expectations were blown out of the water, way more people showed up then anticipated, and we went through a whopping 46 boxes of cereal (had initially purchased 20). Luckily, there was a nearby store where we could make runs for more supplies as boxes emptied out.

Everyone had a great time and there were many a request for a follow-up cartoon event. I'm thinking March Break might be a logical time to try this out again. We will buy more cereal this time.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The only thing better then the glory days of Saturday morning cartoon watching of the 1960's - 1990's is the thought of watching said cartoons up on the big screen amongst a crowd of cartoon loving geeks. Now, encourage patrons to wear pajama's, supply endless amounts of cereal, toss in some old commercials, and have the program be at least three hours long. Mash that all together and you get the Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Cartoon Party, which will invade the Mayfair starting tomorrow morning at 10:00am! You can't possibly have plans that are going to be any more fun then this event.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I'm spending my Boxing Day afternoon working the Mayfair box-office, where I hope a whole bunch of people show up to take in the glory that is Space Jam. I think that for folks younger then I who are fans, Space Jam is their Monster Squad or The Goonies. The glow of excitement and anticipation that I've seen in movie geeks eyes at the mention that we're screening the Bugs Bunny / Michael Jordan sci-fi mash-up has been quite the overwhelming joy to witness. There has been major excitement on the social media, now let's keep fingers crossed that that translates into real world dollars. This weird 1990's imaginative merchandising machine holds a special place in my heart, if only because it sounds like a movie plot much too bizarre to be true. And, of course, Bill Murray is in it.

Space Jam screens today at today and tomorrow at 3:15pm, and Saturday January 28th at 3:45pm

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

After a breakfast of Oreo pancakes (original AND gingerbread style in the mix), I got a lot of great gifts from Santa and others this year. I received geek treasure the likes of a TARDIS ice bucket, a sonic screwdriver toothbrush, and a whole bunch of blu-ray's and comics. Maybe the most awesome, and strangely specific, is the R2D2 soy sauce bottle. Don't put vinegar or salad dressing in that thing! It is ONLY for soy sauce! If you put anything but soy sauce in that lil' plastic droid, you will ruin Christmas no matter what time of year you are using it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

After all it's only one more sleep 'til Christmas time!

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's the 25th anniversary of the greatest action movie ever made, the greatest Christmas movie ever made, the greatest Bruce Willis movie ever made: Die Hard! We celebrate Bruce Willis and his every-man festive battling of bad guys tonight at the Mayfair with our Die Hard Double Bill extravaganza.

With no hipster irony or kitsch factor praise, Die Hard is genuinely my favourite Christmas movie. I can watch that annually the way a more traditional cinema aficionado might take in It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. It's the action movie that all other action movies that came after wish that they could be, and Bruce Willis brings to life the most iconic and copies action hero of the modern film era.

Die Hard 2 ain't half bad either. I would say that it's the best action sequel ever made. It's also set at Christmas-time again too, which makes it the best holiday season double-bill of all time. (Geek Trivia - The movie is not in fact called Die Hard 2: Die Harder. The Die Harder tag was used on posters and in print ad's, but doesn't appear on screen in the actual movie as a subtitle).

Die Hard at 7:00pm and Die Hard 2 at 9:30pm on Monday December 23rd at the Mayfair! Yippee-ki-yay Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hey, I love comic books and I'm going to be in Halifax that weekend...I should go check that out!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Mandalorian made the drop off. We have our new prisoner on display at the Mayfair Theatre.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The fourth printing of the excellent Sex Criminals #1 from Image is maybe the greatest cover in the history of the medium.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Considering that stuff like this exists, especially when that stuff is songs from the Muppets, I can never wrap my mind around how people can not enjoy the Holidays.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm very excited to be booked to drop by Strange Adventures on behalf of Mirror Comics to try and get some Zomkeys comics into the hands of Halifax readers. Strange Adventures is a legendarily awesome comic store, which many of my comic book making friends can't praise enough. I'll be there Sunday January 19th from noon-4pm, do come out and say hi if you are in the East Coast hood.

PS - this awesome Strange Adventures tribute drawing comes from caanantheartboy on Deviant Art.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hellboy in Hell #5 was well worth the extended wait. Mike Mignola writing and drawing his creation is pretty much comic book perfection. The only bad news is that the 6th issue doesn't come out until sometime in the middle of 2014.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A bit of comic book spoiler kinda stuff follows!

Justice League #25 continues to tell the tale of the latest crisis to befall the super-hero's and residents of DC Comics New 52 Universe. A team of evil alternate universe versions of the Justice League have invaded the planet quite successfully and are on the verge of world domination.

In this issue writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke tell the very different mirror secret origins of what happened around the deaths and the aftermath of Bruce Wayne's parents. The beginnings of Owl Man (evil Batman) are revealed, and we then leap into his present day exploits.

One simple three panel page in the midst of the story made my geeky heart skip a beat. My comic geek radar was clearly at 110% Jedi like levels as I knew exactly what was about to happen, even though the panel was a the mere close-up of a hand of a guy in a pin-striped suit fidgeting with an elastic. In the second panel the mystery man plays with the elastic, and in the third it snaps and someone off panel calls him "Eel". I may have actually gasped or cheered at that point. If not out loud, I definitely did in my mind.

As we all know of course, Eel O'Brian is the small time hood who had a bad mishap with some hazardous goo and he went on to become the heroic jester Plastic Man. Plastic Man is finally in being put into the New 52! Now, this causes a giant continuity error conundrum, since way back in Justice League International we saw that Plas was passed over for membership. So, that means that the character was just created now, even though he was around a few years back. I don't care. I'll give you a pass on this one DC. I'll gladly pretend that that first appearance never happened as long as I get some new Plastic Man stories.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The annual beloved Yuletide tradition of a cozy fireplace big screen image greeting Mayfair patrons as thy enter the theatre has returned just in time for the Holidays. This year, with the help of some festive colourful lights, even the Alien has gotten into the Christmas celebration game (that's him up in the balcony on the right).

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hollywood seems to be in an age of simplicity in regards to movie titles. Maybe they did a focus group and came to the conclusion that people in the 18 - 35 year old demographic don't like syllables or something. The seventh big-screen Muppets film was simply called The Muppets, and the second Wolverine solo theatrical effort went with The Wolverine. The Fast and The Furious franchise went with Fast and Furious, Fast Five and Furious Six for the last three installments in the now seemingly immortal series. Animated fare seems to be sticking with unimaginative sequel branding of just slapping a number after the original title: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Despicable Me 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2.

The Beetlejuice 2 production rumors have seemingly almost become a fact. The script is being worked on, Michael Keaton has confirmed involvement, and supposedly Tim Burton is in negotiations with Warner Bros to return to direct. Michael Keaton is one of my favourite actors, and I would be very happy to see him return to portray the host with the most for another turn.

Here's my idea for what the movie should be called, inspired by the aforementioned simple titling trend. Although the original film was called Beetlejuice, the spelling of the characters name was actually Betelgeuse. Instead of just slapping a 2 on the end or inserting a 'The' at the beginning, go with calling it Betelgeuse. It keeps the name brand, it's weird enough to garner some attention, and it keeps things down to three syllables. We all know that to summon the bio-exorcist you only have to say his name three times. So, if part two goes well and the powers that be want to do a third, that one can be called Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.

You are welcome Warner Bros big shots.

Friday, December 13, 2013

This weekend at the Mayfair we continue our festive holiday programming with a pair of matinee screenings celebrating the 10th anniversary of the modern Christmas classic Elf.

If watching Elf does not fill you with pure happiness, you really should re-examine your life and maybe go talk to a psychiatrist about why you hate goodness and joy. If you do not like Elf, I will assume that you also have green fur and haven't learned your Christmas lesson yet.

Braving the Hoth like temperatures will be worth it as we present Elf on Saturday December 14th and Sunday the 15th at 1:00pm on both days. Remember not to eat any pre-chewed gum that you might find on the way to the theatre. And look out for taxi-cabs, they don't stop.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My friend Bao and I were just like intergalactic bounty hunters yesterday. Except we made use of a mini-van instead of Slave 1...and neither of us have a jet-pack. I'm very excited that this carbonite imprisoned rogue will soon be on display at the Mayfair.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I don't acquire as many sketches as I once did in my hey-day of comic art collecting. Mainly because I have met a ton of artists over the years, they've been kind enough to draw stuff for me, and so I don't wanna bother them again. I don't really need back-up sketches to show off to prove that I've met someone. Having one sketch from an artist is awesome and plenty.

I do manage to add a handful of new pieces to my collection every so often, usually getting a couple new ones every time I hit a convention. At last weekend's Pop Expo here in Ottawa, I talked one of my Mirror Comics bosses into doing a sketch for me. I left it up to Dominic (Bercier) to draw whatever he wanted. He chose to do a Ninja Turtle. I love the Ninja Turtles, so that is fine by me. He seems surly...I think it's Raph.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Got snuck into the preview screening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. My girlfriend and other friends in attendance, all Lord of the Rings aficionado's, seemed to quite enjoy Peter Jackson's latest Tolkien adaptation. There was much excitement over the Hobbit souvenir cups for sale at the candy bar, and quite a few in various form of cosplay garb.

Clearly I'm in the great minority, because these movies continue to make all the money and have won a dump-truck full of awards, but they just aren't my cup of geek. To me, they feel like they are about six hours long, and have way too much walking around. Every time there's an extended scene of elves speaking their elvish language, I just get bored and distracted. The movie showcases some great action sequences...but they feel drawn out and just slapped in to try an instigate the need for another trilogy. There are a whole bunch of talented people who I really admire involved in this franchise, none-the-less I just can't raise an interest to care about them. I don't even know enough about Lord of the Rings to complain about how this trilogy is being based on one singular book, or that a bunch of characters are being inserted into it from other Lord of the Rings-y places.

I would rather Peter Jackson was spending his time doing the kind of movies he did pre-swords and sorcery success...The Frighteners, Heavenly Creatures and Dead Alive are more to my liking. Hopefully he'll be able to keep away from another Tolkien inspired trilogy another ten years from now.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Our Christmas Tree is made out of an old comic book spinner rack and topped with Wavy the Crocodile (from Th Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson) wearing a Black Lantern ring and a Weeping Angel Hat. The not-tree is adorned with various Star Wars, Marvel Comics, Nightmare Before Christmas, Loony Tunes, Spongebob, and Muppet decorations. Each and every space on the rack is filled with a Holiday themed comic book ranging from Archie to Tick to Lobo. I dare say that it is the geekiest Christmas Tree type thing in all the land.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Today I met a real live Ghostbuster! Or...well, an actor who portrayed a Ghostbuster in the movie...but you know what I mean. Mirror Comics writer / artist / president Dominic Bercier bumped into Ernie Hudson outside of the washroom. They had a brief conversation, and Mr. Hudson invited Dom to drop by his table later to say hello. When Dom told this to me, I replied "I'm going too!". I am not shy at the prospect of taking part in potential once in a life-time opportunities. I love Ernie Hudson in Ghostbusters...just recently I ranted about he and his character being ignored on the cover and back of the Ghostbusters blu-ray.

We gave Mr. Hudson a couple of our comics and he actually took them with interest. It was clear that he wasn't going to throw them in the trash as soon as we turned our back. He was kind enough to take multiple pictures with us. He was quite impressed with my Ghostbusters tattoo and he took a picture of it in turn. It's so nice to meet someone you admire and they end up being a great and lovely person that appreciates their fan-base.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

On of The Doctor's companions visited us at the Mirror Comics table at Pop Expo today. I'm so glad that talented nerds have the free time on their hands to construct such things. I want one.

Friday, December 06, 2013

I will be at the inaugural Ottawa Pop Expo (which really is kind of Ottawa Comiccon 2.5) with the Mirror Comics gang. My first convention as a writer of a comic book! Do drop by and say hi if you are attending the event.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Nick Bradshaw, pride of Moncton, will soon jump over from drawing Wolverine & the X-Men over to Guardians of the Galaxy. Wolverine & the X-Men is on of th few books being published by Marvel currently that I really love. Looking very much forward to checking out Nick's take on the Guardians of the Galaxy. Extra exciting considering that this title just happens to be Marvel's next big potential movie franchise too.

Rocket Raccoon has been one of my favourite characters in comics since reading his Mike Mignola drawn mini-series when I was a kid. Nick posted this sketch of Rocket that he did in his prep for his upcoming gig. I am looking forward to both seeing Rocket on the big screen and reading his further adventures in comics in 2014.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The third issue of the latest incarnation of Marvel Knights Spider-man (Marvel's numbering policy is so confusing) is in the comic stores and available for download right now! It is drawn by my friend Marco Rudy, which isn't the only reason I think you should check it out. The series is filled with beautiful art that shows off Spidey in a whole new style. I can't remember ever seeing Spidey in a book like this. Amazing stuff. Go buy it!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Han Solo in carbonite is even better when that carbonite is in the form of chocolate in an advent calendar. I will refrain from posting all of my advent-y surprises for the rest of the month. Don't want to make everyone jealous and sad that they don't have an advent calendar as awesome as mine. I just got a working full-blown smart-phone for the first time in months, so it's much easier for me to share images of such things now. In conclusion...chocolate Han in carbonite: good. Bell: bad.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Nothing says the Holiday Season is upon us more then Day 2 of an advent calendar with a Batman logo shaped chocolate in it.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

My girlfriend is better then your girlfriend. Ok...sorry...I take it back, I'm sure that your girlfriend is nice too. My girlfriend makes me homemade Christmas countdown advent calendars filled with vegan friendly chocolate in various geeky shapes though. Did your girlfriend do that for you? No? Then I win! Day 1 - Superman chocolate!