Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This is...
A. Probably Puck's finest hour.
B. How Canada ruined dwarf tossing for everyone else.
C. Two toys not in scale, but it's a midget and a sasquatch, so I figure it's a grey area at best.
D. Why Alpha Flight got cancelled. Again.

Puck is from Toy Biz's earlier Marvel line, which I believe was a five inch scale. Sasquatch, the big orange one, is from the more recent Marvel Legends line. I haven't read Alpha Flight regularly since a few issues back in the original series, with a young Jim Lee and the return of Guardian. Marvel tries to float a new series of the premier Canadian super hero team every few years, with varying success, as the most recent was Scott Lobdell's ill-received comedy version.
More recently, Alpha Flight was wiped out off-panel in New Avengers. I haven't kept up on it, so I don't know if it was the "real," original Alpha Flight with Puck and Sasquatch; or the more recent one with Major Maple Leaf...

In comic books, just like in movies or sports or probably your office, there's definitely an A-list. In comics that would be the characters everyone recognizes like Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man. Calling Alpha Flight B-list would be overly generous, but they're a solid, if lower-tier group. I often think DC Comics has a stronger base of B-list, whereas Marvel has the A-list, then reams of mutants of varying levels, then D-list. Think Jack Flag and Free Spirit.

The moral of this? I don't know if I'd buy Alpha Flight's fourth or fifth first issue, but I would miss them if they're gone. Read more!

This is...
A. The worst slash fiction ever.

B. About $90 worth of plastic. Shh! Don't tell my wife!

C. The last crossover Lucas, Whedon, Mignola, and all sign off on sight unseen.

D. Alex Ross, if you read this, wouldn't this make a great Wizard cover or commemorative plate or something? I'll come model!

A lot of this blog is going to be about toys. Why?

Partly, simply because I enjoy toys. Collecting, displaying, playing with, torturously hunting for, reading about, and admiring sculpt and artistic merit: I like toys in a number of ways. Pretty snooty, eh?

Another reason, and one you can read into what you will, is that with toys, you're in control. With comics and movies and TV, enjoyable as they may be, they are all the result of other people telling you a story; and those writers, artists, and filmmakers are in charge. (To varying extents, of course. Actors quit, artists quit, writers are fired or overridden by producers or budget concerns. But that's another post, perhaps.)

With toys though, you're in charge; and you can be the writer or director or God. Want Nightcrawler to quit the X-Men for the B.P.R.D.? Why not? Need to see Robocop on the Enterprise? Go nuts! Want Darth Vader to be a kickass Sith Lord, not a whiny little nancy that will recant on his deathbed? Stop watching after Star Wars and Empire.

You may also notice that with toys, you can cross over properties that usually don't go, or can't go together. To be blunt: I would have an easier time orchestrating a lasting peace in the Middle East, starting now and leaving on foot; than I would getting licensing rights to put all of the above characters together in a movie, comic, or cocktail napkin. The days of a company like Mego owning a variety of licenses like Marvel, DC, and Happy Days, are long gone for the most part.

The last reason for right now, is that I'm trying to get back in the habit of writing on a regular basis. Toys and comics and assorted nonsense, are going to be easier to write about than politics and serious issues, at least right away. I completely reserve the right to throw a fit about any given topic at the drop of a hat; but mostly we'll stick to nonsense for right now. Enjoy, and be good.

Read more!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sweet Monkey Jeebus, how the hell do other bloggers post daily? I'm tired, the photos aren't ready, my notes are way over there...

In my defense, the baby was up for hours, from at least midnight to maybe three. That late at night, with only a couple hours of half-sleep and even less time until you're supposed to be at work, and you can totally believe your own kid is completely fucking with you. He's usually slept through the night from the time he was three months old, so it was unusual for him to scream his head off like that. I didn't want to give him a bottle, because we had been trying to get him off the nighttime bottle because he kept filling his diaper and waking up at 4:00 AM. So he'd yell, and the temptation would be to give in and give him the sippy-cup but that would be like giving him an engraved invitation to scream his head off whenever he wanted something, and I'd be the milk bitch.

Eventually, my wife realized he was cold. Put him in footie pajamas, and that was that. Last week was record heat for this area, cold the last couple days, hot again tonight; but that baby has pretty much kissed off sleeping in his little shorts for the next year or so. Sweat is good for you, son! And already I'm breaking my blog promise to my wife: "Don't blog anything admissible as evidence." Read more!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Confession time here: I really, really don't want to see United93. Just seems depressing. (Yeah, and I'm sure it's not upsetting for the family members, air traffic controllers, assorted New Yorkers...) But I've never seen Schlindler's List, never seen Amistad, never seen Grave of the Fireflies. I don't necessarily avoid serious, "message" movies, I don't think; I just don't seem to want to pay for them.

Maybe I don't like to imagine being in a situation where the best you could hope for is getting sliced with box cutter, or shot in the gut,then crashed into a building, blown up or shot down. That would be bad enough, but to imagine that with my wife or sons on the plane?


Have you ever jumped off a cliff before? (Please don't.) Once I went to a local lake with some friends for an afternoon of drinking and cliffjumping (Seriously, don't.) and I remember the feeling in my gut. One friend, Clark, had been there sometime before, and assured us it was quite deep. And I jumped first, before I could take the time to talk myself out of it. (Also, Clark had some lifeguard training, and was probably the best equipped to pull me out if I broke my leg or my goddamned neck. I mean it, no jumping.) The others were talking about the jump, and were concerned for a moment that I may have fell. And the water was superdeep, and it was a great afternoon.

But that sinking feeling...I would not care to have the time to contemplate my imminent death. Rather charge it out, before I had time to think about it, get it over with. But then, I can't imagine how horrible it would be if my family was there to see me stabbed or shot, while waiting to die themselves.

(After the movie.)Bobbie, my wife, said, "That was depressing," as we left the theater. I laughed and asked if she had thought it wasn't going to be. But I was really, really angry after the movie. Oh, the movie's great. It's very well done, and very moving. To keep you "in the moment," there's no big name actors in the movie; except amongst the passengers I recognized the guy from Sledge Hammer! and the old lady from Wings. That was weird.

But I still have something like that sinking feeling. Like getting ready to get cut. All I can think is, "Wrap your arm in a blanket or jacket, to try and block the knife. Go for the eyes." Which is so easy to think. Try doing it.

And it's coming up on five years later, and what's been accomplished? Have we brought anyone to justice, really? Or avenged anyone lost? Or won over any hearts and minds, hmm? Mission accomplished? My big idea to deal with Iraq and Afghanistan was, instead of dropping food or blankets or medicine for the people; airdrop in pornography and drugs. That's a rant answer, but why not give these potential future terrorists fried chicken and fatty foods too. Get them as hooked and fat and lazy as the average American, 'cause they aren't starting anything.

I'm ranting, I'm still angry. I promise fun stuff soon here, after I figure out photo posting and whatnot. Be good. Read more!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is only a test...

So. After reading a metric assload of blogs, and posting comments hither and yon, I decided to get off my ass and try my own blog. Why not? These first few posts are just going to be me testing things like font, type size, how to attach photos and links and things a third-grader can probably do now.

In the background, the season finale of Lost is on. I don't catch it regularly, partly because I got fed up with the overall plot never moving forward, and partly because local reception for ABC is terrible. Seriously, I used to live in Montana, and the same channel came in better than it does here, and I've never been able to figure out why. This is in font, as a test.

Testing Georgia: my problem with Lost was that I was more concerned with how to get off the island, what the monster was, and so forth; and less concerned with everyone's individual backstories. Yes, I'm sure that was a very interesting chapter in your life, and I can see how it shaped who you are today, but I'm a little more worried about the fucking polar bear, thanks.

Testing Webdings: The last season finale, specifically losing Walt, did get to me. (I have two weiner kids, so there you go.) More recently, 24 ended with Jack captured by the Chinese and put on the proverbial slow boat, where he will remain until new episodes in January. I'm not sure about this, but did X-Files start this tradition of leaving your protagonists up shit creek for the summer? Actually, on further thought, Star Trek: the Next Generation did it earlier, leaving Picard as a Borg. Oh, and spoiler warning.

Testing Arial: Ah, don't know about that one.

Testing Lucidia Grande: Anyway, it's a pretty standard trick from soap operas and comic books; and they weren't the first things with cliffhanger endings anyway. But, my wife is home, and wants to watch the last half of Lost downstairs where there's some reception, so more later. Probably not about anything that's been discussed yet, but that's no great loss. Read more!