Monday, March 31, 2014

I sadly learned that Larfleeze, the comic focused on the insanely greedy sole Orange Lantern, will be cancelled at issue 12 (the latest issue 9 is pictured above). I'm sure that he will return to pester the Green Lanterns in the various other Lantern themed books around the DCU. Without Larfleeze, I would have never learned what the word avarice meant. I learn almost everything from reading comic books.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I don't want to seem crude or chauvinistic, but as the end credits began on American Hustle, I leaned over to my girlfriend and whispered "Amy Adams side-boobs deserved an Oscar nomination for that performance". They were on display through-out, and I couldn't help but continue to help how her wardrobe worked. I have been informed that lots of tape and glue were probably involved. Well, besides for that, the movie itself was a lot of fun. It's an all-star packed heist story with a very Scorsese kinda' vibe to it, and it's jam packed with a ton of great music. Any movie featuring Jennifer Lawrence belting out a rendition of Live and Let Die has to be pretty good right? It didn't win an Oscar for any ten of its nominations, but I think it's yet another of the highly praised movies of 2013 that is deserving of its accolades. American Hustle screens at the Mayfair tonight, and until Thursday April 3rd.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Issue 29 of 'Batman and...' has brought The Hunt For Robin to a Batman and Aquaman team-up as they clash against the forces of Ra's al Ghul. Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason continue to tell great Bat tales, and have expertly rolled with the punches of actions in a shared universe taking your book in an unplanned and unexpected direction. Grant Morrison killed off Robin in his Batman Inc comic...which of course means that Robin has to be dead everywhere else in the DC Universe too. They've taken the Robin-less 'Batman and Robin' series and have molded it into a fun team-up book. At the same time, the creative team is driving their story along in the stubborn direction of seemingly trying to get Damian Wayne back from the dead and return the title to its traditional duo. Part of me thinks that they can't be going for the obvious route of bringing back Damian via a lazarus pit of immortality. Especially since that's how Jason Todd / Robin returned from the grave. The other part of me doesn't care how lame the story point is...I just want Damian back.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Not so shockingly, 12 Years a Slave is not a fun or easy movie to watch. It is an excellent piece of filmmaking on all sides, an important story, and I think quite deserved of all the praise and awards being thrown its way. 12 Years a Slave screens with us at the Mayfair starting tonight, through Thursday April 3rd.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

You can find amazing things on the eBay. I snatched up this original piece of Simpsons animation art of an obscure character from an episode called "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling" from way back in season 5. It's a gift for a Simpsons super-fan friend of mine. I think something like this is way cooler than a Simpsons toy or comic book, and cost about the same amount of money. It's amazing that this stuff is out there, and that it is pretty reasonably priced. Reasonably priced if you think getting a non-mainstay character is cool...I'm sure a drawing of Krusty or Mr Burns or the five central Simpsons sitting on the couch would have had a more hefty price tag. The only bad thing about knowing about these animation treasures that are available for purchase online, is that now I want to buy a whole bunch more of them. I think something from The Real Ghostbusters or Th Masters of the Universe would look great up on my apartment walls.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I don't want to say that my girlfriend is better than your girlfriend, but she got me a complete set of 'Dinosaurs Attack!' cards for my birthday. You can draw your own comparison and conclusion.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

As always with a movie featuring dinosaurs...I don't care about the actors, director, script, or anything about the over-all quality of the motion picture. The only thing that I care about in a dinosaur movie is if there are dinosaurs in the movie. Hence, with the long over-due Jurassic World, I think I will be quite pleased.

Monday, March 24, 2014

If there's only one thing that is a certainty on this world of ours, it is that Hollywood employs the most untalented and terrible poster designers in the history of the universe. Ugh. Way to go, yet another cringe-worthy and shameful poster for a movie that I'm especially excited to see. How about this? If you don't have the time, skill, or care to make good posters, just stop making posters. No one wants to see your posters. The fan made posters that pop up online are always better than the real ones 100% of the time and we're all going to see X-Men anyhow. Unless the awful poster that you've just released turns us off of the experience of going to see Days of Future Past.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Clone Wars animated series had the rare combined story-telling challenge of being an in between chapter to a prequel shared universe of sci-fi tales. It's a rare undertaking to produce a teevee series in which one of your central hero's will soon-after go crazy and help kill all of his friends and comrades and help to spread evil through-out the universe. The series has built itself to being not only worthy of it's legendary Star Wars roots, but I think it's quite often better then the motion picture adventures. I've been enthralled and on the edge of my couch watching this fifth season evolve and head towards its conclusion. I'm glad I finally got all caught up, and am looking very forward to watching the final season on Netflix.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I've lived in a world where I had nothing but negativity and harsh feelings towards The Tonight Show for the past couple of decades, except for the brief Conan run on the show. It was popular, but it was never more then a lame show filled with sub-par comedy and cookie cutter interviews from a terrible host.

Hence, I quite enjoy this new Jimmy Fallon. The show has sprinted out of the gate, and desperately wants to entertain at every possible moment, and so far it has been a success on all counts. Last night's Kevin Bacon introduction is another in a long line of great talk show moments that The Tonight Show has been skillfully stacking up over the past couple of weeks. Watch for yourself and experience pure joy.

Friday, March 21, 2014

When I was a young lad worshipfully watching The Transformers on Saturday mornings, never in my wildest space robot dreams did I think I would ever be able to own a part of the show. Now thanks to the power of the interwebs, I have my very own piece of animation history to put on the wall. And, it cost way less then what an actual Soundwave action figure would cost. Thank you eBay! And that I found this thread on eBay it takes every fiber of my being to hold back and resist from emptying my bank account in trade for all of the animation art from al lmy favourite shows. I don't need to buy food and pay bills...but I totally need a drawing from Masters of th Univers of The Real Ghostbusters!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Finished up watching the first season of (Green) Arrow. I still cringe at the horrible levels of violence and murder that the vigilante undertakes on the show. Though, I continually get won over at how in each and every episode there's some geeky comic book reference or in joke, whether that be a hotel room number being 52, a pair of characters being insultingly called the Wonder Twins, or Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) having his name dropped. I just wish that the producers and writers would have leaned towards Ollie shooting people with boxing glove or tazer or net arrows, instead of having him rack up such an astronomical body count episode in and episode out. Every time he kills someone, I just think "Batman could've done that without killing anybody."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My pal Kelly Tindall celebrates the whopping 100th edition of The Adventurers comic by setting up a spiffy new website to showcase it. If you haven't been reading, zap back to the first page and start reading!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I already have accumulated a good handful of "when I was a kid" statements or complaints in regards to our futuristic modern times.

When I was a kid there was no internet, if you wanted to find something out you had to go to a library. My friends and I used to go to the library to research character traits and plot points for role playing games. When I was a kid if you wanted to find out movie listings, or sports scores or the weather report, you would have to read a newspaper. Often, to find out the current events, you'd have to wait a not so current 24 hours or more.

When I was a kid you couldn't just click on Netflix to watch a movie or teevee show whenever you wanted to. You had to leave the house, go to a store, get a movie, bring it back home, watch it, then bring it back to the store! To watch a teevee show you'd have to wait until a pre-scheduled time and sit through commercials. If you missed an episode,you'd have to wait until it was re-run to fill in the blanks.

When I was a kid, cartoons could for the most part only be watched on Saturday mornings. During those Saturday morning marathons you ate sugary cereal from boxes which always had a prize inside of it. Saturday Morning Cartoons have seemingly become a thing of the past, and with budgetary restraints and monetary corners to cuts, so have prizes in cereal boxes.

So, DC Comics announcing that there will be 4 comics to collect via cereal boxes fills me with a lil bit of nostalgic geeky joy. Maybe this endavour will garner heightened cereal sales and we'll turn a corner and be returned to a wonderful world where kids can look forward to prizes accompanying their breakfast cereal fun.

Monday, March 17, 2014

It seems a little late (or really early), but March's issue of Marvel's best comic book takes a swift turn into the bizarre with a Holiday Special. Cartoon-y guest artist Chris Eliopolous steps in to help tell the faux Holiday teevee cartoon tale of the Winter Friends. Except for book-end pages, the bulk of the issue is devoted to the super-hero team adventure of Yaldog, Rama-in-Pajamas, Santalope, Samantha Hain The Pagan Princess, Kwanzaagator, and Menorable.

This wonderful multi-cultural, multi-belief, multi-nationality, multi-celebration, multi-holiday, multi-animal super-hero team extraordinaire is my new favourite go to example that we can all get along at the Holidays and that Fox News has no need to worry about the non-existent war on Christmas. I hope Marvel publishes more adventures featuring these guys come Holiday season. I want toys!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My best friend, a fairly good judge of my likes and dislikes, was sure that I would love the new Spike Jonze movie Her. She was right. The critics and the awards folks heaping the movie with praise and throwing tiny statues at it are also right. Anyone who complains that there are no good movies being made anymore is wrong. They should stop going to see Grown Ups 2 and Transformers 4 and see stuff like Her instead.

We have screenings of her at the Mayfair Theatre through Thursday March 20th.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

We hosted a lot of fun Saturday Morning Cartoons at the Mayfair Theatre this-morning for the second of our ongoing celebrations of the lost joy that was getting up bright and early to watch cartoons. As great as some of the kitschy barely animated at times favourites from teeve's past, I think that the commercials are the real fan favourite part of the programming.

My personal favourite was this Doctor Who commercial for the Sky Ray Space Raider popsicle with a Dr Who adventure card inside! They used 'Dr', even though we all know of course that it's a full 'Doctor' when speaking of The Doctor.

If I had my own phone booth time machine I would go back to 1967 so I could collect them all!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The celebration in honour of the greatness that is Saturday Morning Cartoons hits the Mayfair Theatre for a second round tomorrow, Saturday March 15th at 10:00am. We'll be screening no less than three hours of retro cartoons, even including some not to be missed teevee commercials of the era. If that weren't enough of a draw, we'll also be offering up an all you can eat cereal bar, featuring all manner of unhealthy sugary breakfast fare. On top of that we will also have door-prizes on hand from our friends at Lost Marbles, and delicacies from Auntie Loo's Treats. Our inaugural Saturday Morning All You Can Eat Cereal Cartoon Party last year featured cartoons the like of Jackson 5, The Beatles, and Count Duckula, and a cereal commercial starring Norman Bates...who knows what wonders tomorrows event will showcase!? If you live here in Ottawa, there's nothing more awesome that could be occupying your time. If you live elsewhere, be jealous that you don't live here!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's not every day that one of your old pals is the subject of an article in the newspaper (or the "newspaper"...since I read it online) under the headline: Man fights off would-be carjackers. Stories like this are only cool when the outcome isn't horrible. In this case, my friend beat up three criminals in self-defense and left them running away without his car or any ill-gained profit. He's a regular old school Charles Bronson. Glad to have him on my side.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I love my friend Kelly's online comic based on day-to-day true stories, The Adventurers. Make your day better and go read a bunch of 'em.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The world is a better place with Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting a Cosmos reboot on teevee. Here in Canada you can watch it on Global, and in the States on Fox. Drop whatever you're doing and go make yourself a smarter human being by watching it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

News leaked today that Kevin Smith is co-writing a Batman 66 / Green Hornet mini-series, which will be illustrated by Ty Templeton, one of my all time favourite comic artists. There was a time in the days of Frank Miller's Dark Knight and the Micheal Keaton / Tim Burton big screen incarnation of the character that I did not appreciate the Adam West era of the Batman. Now I think that it's pure television perfection and comic book brilliance. I have great anticipation that the classic series is finally being released onto dvd/blu-ray sometime in 2014, I look forward to having that on my shelf.

I also like when there is any kind of big push and media attention put towards a comic that is actually appropriate for a kid to read. Kid friendly comics are a sadly minuscule happening in this day and age.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

I have no problem with someone getting a gig via nepotism, as long as they then prove themselves with some talent to back it up. At first glance, Zack Whedon being put into the writers chair on the new Serenity mini-series from Dark Horse Comics might seem a bit suspect. Zack is of course the brother of Serenity creator Joss Whedon, so not difficult to guess who recommended him for the job. Zack has a resume built up to prove that he can stand on his own in the scribe department though, having contributed to shows like Deadwood and Fringe, and written comics based off of The Terminator franchise. He of course also collaborated with his brothers Joss and Jed on the Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog phenomena.

I hope that this post-movie Serenity story-arc becomes an ongoing series. Everyone involved is doing a great job and doing the beloved cult teevee series and movie proud. I have missed these characters dearly. Never say never, especially in this day and age of geek media supremacy, but I don't think we'll ever see these characters in live-action movie or teevee form again. Getting more great comic book stories is just as fine by me though.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The 2nd issue in the Image publisher comic Deadly Class was just as excellent as the premiere issue was. The story follows a young suit clad punk in the 1980's as he makes his way through a villainous version of a Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.

Writer Rick Remender brought up the books letters page pointed out that the joy that writers and artists get from creator owned work is that they can do whatever they want. A reader doesn't have a decades long affection for these new characters and tales, and there's no continuity rule-book that a creator has to work under. When Remender turned The Punisher into a Frankenstein style monster (which was awesome!), that garnered him a lot of geeky hate mail I'm sure. While working on books like Captain America or Venom can be a lot of fun and very rewarding I'm sure, I bet there's also a lot of editorial mandate from the Marvel / Disney powers that be.

Creators are doing some great stuff for Marvel and DC, but more and more I think their hearts belong to doing original comics outside of the Big Two publishers. Grant Morrison has left behind Batman to do his own work. Matt Fraction is doing an amazing job on Hawkeye. I bet if he could only pick one book to write though, that he would pick his creator owned work (and also amazing) Sex Criminals. Jonathan Hickman has recently come off arguably the best run on Fantastic Four since the original incarnation from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Yet, what he's doing with East of West might just end up being even a greater accomplishment.

As long as these indie books continue to get support, we'll see more of the high quality same filling the comic store shelves and websites. So, if the mainstream norm leaves you wanting more, be sure to get out there and support the lil' guy. I for one want a whole bunch of more issues of Deadly Class.

Friday, March 07, 2014

A friend forwarded this picture to me this-morning. I cannot tell a lie, I would still much rather you bought a copy of Zomkeys of course, but I never-the-less find it pretty amazing that something I wrote is on the shelves of the Ottawa Public Library.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

If you are a geek and in Toronto this weekend (March 7th, 8th and 9th), drop by the Toronto Comicon and visit Zomkeys artist Barb Felix and editor Kris Waddell at the Mirror Comics table.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Another great guest drops by the Mayfair Theatre tonight thanks to Ottawa University's Science Students' Association. Science & Zombies will feature an opening lecture from Dr. Robert Smith? (yes...there's a ? in his name) from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and author of Braaaiiinnnsss!: From Academics to Zombies. The good doctor has developed mathematical models of zombie infections and its horrific outcome in a real world scenario.

Who better for the title-card on a zombie themed night other than the author of World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks. Advance tickets can be purchased for $10 at the Science Students Association website, if there are tickets left-over they will be on sale at the Mayfair Theatre box office.

I will be getting my copy of The Zombie Survival Guide autographed and be doing my best not to yell, "Your parents are Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft!"

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I kinda hated Smallville. Every once and a while I would try to give it another chance when they had an extra special episode. I'd tune in when Christopher Reeve was on it, or characters I love like Cyborg or Martian Manhunter. Nothing about this non-Superboy show could win me over.

I didn't want to give the more recent DC Comics teevee series Arrow a chance. I thought it was lame that they took the Green out of the equation, and figured that all we were going to have was another Smallville on our hands here. Alas, the adventures of the hunky Greenless Arrow left me shocked at his goon killing ways, and unimpressed.

None-the-less, this picture of The Flash from the upcoming teevee series looks really cool. Third time's a charm?

Monday, March 03, 2014

I'm very excited for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie from Marvel. The cornerstone of my excitement is getting to see one of my favourite comic book characters of all time, Rocket Raccoon, up on the big screen and brought to life in all his computer graphic animated glory. It also means I can likely look forward to spending lots of monies on Rocket Raccoon merch. I want a lunch-box, I want t-shirts, I want the action figure. I am also looking greatly forward to the Scottie Young created comic book series. Tis truly a golden geek age of Raccoon. Take my money Marvel!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

I totally understand when people either look negatively towards or don't take seriously the impact that the Academy Awards hold on the cinematic arts. I'm on board with the thought that movies really shouldn't be put into best of lists or judged the best of a calendar year. I think movies are rather subjective. I was really not a fan of the movie Crash, yet it won best picture a few years back. This year I really loved Gravity and Nebraska, but I know a number of folks who don't think they are nomination worthy.

Aside from being uninterested in movie awards, I none-the-less really love Oscars night thanks to the Mayfair Theatre. Every year we do a live telecast of the event up on the big screen and pack the place with well dressed patrons. We also have a liquor license for the evening and we'll have treats from Auntie Loo's and pizza. There will be prizes to be won and all kinds of fun to be had.

In the same way that the original traditions of Christmas mean little to me, but I still love Christmas...I don't care what wins what, it won't effect my opinion of a movie, but watching the Oscars on the big screen with 300 loyal cinema fans is super fun. And there's a chance that a Jackass movie can win an Oscar tonight!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Finished reading this collection of Power & Glory comics that Dynamite published. The bright yet dark super-hero and James Bond spies tale is a bit hard to follow and the script doesn't fully mesh together as well as it might have. There are no complaints about the art though. The story is unfortunately not the greatest, but the Howard Chaykin artwork is just beautiful. If you want to check out a much higher quality written comic with Mr. Chaykin's accompanying art-work, pick up the current Image Comics series Satellite Sam.