From my shelf to yours (hopefully) - more eBay goodness.

I just put 6 more trades up for sale on eBay:

JSA Vol. 1: Justice Be Done

JSA Vol. 2: Darkness Falls

JSA Vol. 3: The Return of Hawkman

JSA Vol. 4: Fair Play

She-Hulk Vol. 1: Single Green Female

She-Hulk Vol. 2: Superhuman Law

All good reads, but stuff I realize I'll probably never read again, so I'd like to pass 'em on to good homes. For money.

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I like Family Guy alright, but I'm often bugged by the fact that every other joke is essentially "This is worse than that time that (insert situation here, then quick cut to pop culture referencing non-sequitur scene)."

But every now and then, one of those cut aways is absolutely brilliant. Like this one, for instance:

(And I'm sure I'll lighten up on the YouTube blogging soon. But not today.)

A bit of everything to help get the content train back on track.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving (unless you lived outside of the U.S., in which case, I hope last Thursday was decent for you), and that you enjoyed the temporary TPS title banner celebrating my favorite Turkey Day side dish, Green Bean Casserole (mine was particularly well-made this year, if I do say so myself). The current banner, of course, celebrates the best gag from the only funny two-and-a-half minutes of the episode of The Simpsons a couple of weeks back, and at the top it will stay until I get bored or Fox threatens to sue.

Hey, speaking of Turkey Day, Deep Ape, the Mystery Science Theater 3000-themed blog, says that has a bunch of bumpers from the old MST3K Turkey Day marathons posted in its video section. I know most people don't think you can really call it Thanksgiving without a Macy's parade and a Detroit Lions loss televised for all the world to see, but the Turkey Day marathon (30 straight hours of MST!) was always my favorite bit of Thanksgiving TV, and I miss it a lot.

And I'm not alone... Bully missed it so much that he staged his own!

If you're the sort of person who likes to keep track of such things, Newsarama has a list of all the currently known Earths out of the 52 that make up DC's current multiverse (and because it's Newsarama, the comments are full of corrections and general asshattery). And if you want still more parallel Earth goodness, here's a Wikipedia article listing pretty much every alternate Earth ever even hinted at in DC's history.

One of Us: Cute Scottish Folk Rocker Edition

On the Today show this morning, cute Scottish folk rocker K.T. Tunstall told Al Roker that she named her new album "Drastic Fantastic" because she really likes comic books, and that the title sounded appropriately comic booky. Al Roker got all excited about this, but Tunstall was quick to point out (cutely, and Scottishly) that she's not so much into superheroes, but stuff along the lines of Sin City.

Roker, who obviously paid no attention, then proceeded to ask her what superpower she'd like to have. Tunstall played along, though - passing on her God-given right as a Scotswoman to utterly destroy Roker with a devastating headbutt, which showed remarkable restraint, I thought - and gave a rather endearing answer about wanting to have good luck powers, so that people in her vicinity would magically have the proper bus fare and stuff. She then played some song that I paid no attention to, because her singing voice isn't as accented as her speaking voice, and I'm a sucker for a good accent. Liam seemed to dig the song alright, though. The boy does love himself some music.

If you're at all a fan of both old and new Doctor Who, you should really be reading "The Ten Doctors" over at Rich's ComixBlog, now at 67 pages and counting. Fanfiction to be sure, but well-constructed fanfic that shows a real appreciation and depth of knowledge of the subject matter, and a fun, zippy art style to boot.

Lastly, Dafna over at The Bispectacult defines joy, and I'm hard-pressed to disagree. (Also, a new episode of the Bispectacult podcast at last!)

Shrinky Links

Hey, the "movie without a name so everyone just called it Cloverfield for some reason" appears to actually have a name now. And it's Cloverfield. Huh. Given the secretive nature of the ad campaign, I have to wonder if that's even the final title. Anyway, there's a new trailer up, and it looks pretty cool. You even get a brief glimpse of the monster. Or at least its... what is that, a thigh? Something.

In any event, it's nice to see they've switched from viral marketing to actual marketing. Because, sometimes, I kind of like knowing the product or service I'm being asked to pay for.

DC's February solicitations are out, and while most of 'em are pretty much more of the same, I am so their bitch on this one:

Written by Bill Parker, Dennis O’Neil, Elliot S! Maggin and others
Art by C.C. Beck, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Barry Kitson and others
Cover by Alex Ross
An earth-shattering volume collecting stories from Whiz Comics #2,Captain Marvel Adventures #1,137,148, Marvel Family #21, 85, Shazam! #1, 14, DC Comics Presents Annual #3, Superman #276, L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #31, Power of SHAZAM! #33 and Adventures in the DC Universe #5.
Advance-solicited; on sale March 26 • 224 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Thank you, DC, may I have another? Anyway, I have a few of the stories in other books and/or single issues, but anything that gets DC to reprint some of the old Fawcett material is worth supporting. Plus, that DC Comics Presents story is a blast, and I've always wanted to read that Superman vs. "Captain Thunder" story, so I'm psyched for this.

Funny that Otto Binder doesn't get any credit in the "written by" credit, though. I'd hate to think he got shuffled into the "and others" column, or worse yet, that he was left out completely.

Episode 327 of the Comic Geek Speak podcast features an interview with Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance talking about his new comic with Gabriel Ba, The Umbrella Academy. Not only notable because he's kind of a big name guest for a podcast, but because he comes off as a thoughtful, intelligent, down-to-earth guy who sounds like he's in this book for the long haul. Which would be refreshing to hear from either a rock star or a celebrity comic book writer, so to to hear it from a dude who's both is pretty cool. Also, the man knows his comics, and has some particularly fun stuff to say about Silver Age Marvel. A fun listen.

Why I don't pay attention to online rumors: baseball edition.

So one of my invisible MySpace friends is this dude who reports on all manner of Red Sox news, and he posted several bulletins today about Boston's attempts to re-sign free agent 3rd baseman Mike Lowell. The first is a link to a story about how talks between both sides were "going nowhere." A few hours later, there's another link to a story about how things were actually looking up. A few hours later still, there's news that they reached an agreement, and Lowell will return. This looks to actually be the case, thankfully, but still, that's a pretty short time for a complete 180, don't you think?

Take very little that you read on the internet seriously, folks. Hell, I don't even trust most of the stuff I type myself.

Come on... you know you want an early glimpse at this year's Black Friday ads.

Quick show of hands...

How many of you out there tuned into The Simpsons last night just to see Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, and Dan Clowes (okay, and maybe Jack Black, too)?

Now how many of you fast forwarded through all the boring stuff about Marge's gym that literally muscled its way into being the "A" plot?

Yeah. Me, too.

In case you missed it...

Here's the BBC Children in Need special Doctor Who bit with David Tennant and Peter Davison. Enjoy it before YouTube takes it down!

Lazy YouTube Bloggin'

Not the most high concept gag in the world, but this is one of my favorite SNL sketches ever. Enjoy it until YouTube takes it down!

And one more while we're at it... the crowning achievement in the lounge singing career of Nick Winters:

Pretty Sketchy - Hardware by Denys Cowan

Hardware, title character from a series published by the late, lamented Milestone Media (through DC Comics), drawn by Denys Cowan at a con in Bangor, Maine, in, IIRC, 1994. Before this, I had no idea you could nail so much detail with a Sharpie.

5 up, 5 down: Animated Charlie Brown

The idea of this is simple: list 5 pros and cons of a particular topic. Figured I'd start with something I've seen a lot of, lately - Charlie Brown TV specials (Liam is obsessed at the moment).

The Pros:

1. Let's get the big one out of the way first: A Charlie Brown Christmas is the single greatest piece of holiday-related television programming ever. This is not opinion, but a flat-out fact.

2. Most of the best of the specials adapt well-loved storylines from the strip, and adapt them very faithfully at that, right down to dialog and recreations of individual panels.

3. They used actual children for the voices, and even left in some of the minor line flubs. It makes everything sound that much more authentic, and proves that there's little in life funnier than listening to little kids say big words.

4. The This is America, Charlie Brown series and Veterans Day-themed What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? are a clever way to make kids learn a little history as they're entertained. Bonus points to WHWL,CB? for taking place directly after Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!) continuity-wise, since Chuck, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcy, and Snoopy are depicted on their way back from their French exchange student experience. I thought that was a fun nod to one of my favorite non-holiday outings of the Peanuts gang.

5. The sadly-short-lived Saturday morning show, The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, featured several segments with Rerun on the back of the Van Pelt family bicycle, and I always enjoyed the strips those were based on. Rerun was always a lot more awesome than he ever got credit for, especially as he got older and wanted to be an underground cartoonist.

I could go on (and on and on and on), but I have to move onto...

The Cons:

1. Eventually, they ran out of good holidays. It's pretty hard to work up excitement for an Arbor Day special (even if the show itself is surprisingly not-that-bad).

2. They tended to run out of good ideas in the 80s. Like that one where Snoopy turns Charlie Brown invisible. And Flashbeagle. Nobody needed to see Snoopy in legwarmers. Nobody.

3. They actually showed the Little Red Haired Girl. And, IIRC, they gave her a name, too (I think it was Heather). This just seems so wrong, and there was no way any depiction of her could do justice to the 30-40 years she'd been built up in everyone's heads at that point. And not to be mean, but what we got for the LRHG really wasn't the sort of girl whose looks would set Charlie Brown's heart permanently aflutter and drive Peppermint Patty to tears, I'm sorry. Those huge red circles for cheeks always creeped me out.

A Special TV Presentation: You Can Pull Better, Charlie Brown!

4. I don't remember which one it was off the top of my head, but one of the later entries actually used a real human voice for the teacher, Miss Othmar, and not a muted trumpet. Like seeing the adults' legs in the infamous golf tournament sequence in the strip, it was just very jarring and contrary to the world we had long since been presented.

5. In It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown (which marked the LRHG's onscreen debut), everyone blames placekicker Charlie Brown for losing the big football game, even though it's clearly Lucy's fault since she is apparently incapable of not snatching the football away from Charlie Brown. Even as a little kid, that pissed me off... like Charlie Brown didn't have enough problems in his life without everyone treating him like shit for stuff he didn't even do.

And now the next items up for bid...

Selling some comics trade paperbacks on eBay:

Jack Staff Vol. 1: Everything Used to be Black & White

Jack Staff Vol. 2: Soldiers

Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 1

Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 2

Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 3

Bid early, often, and honestly!

2600 Redux

A while back, I made a bunch of fake Atari games using the Atari Label Generator. I used a very 70s picture of Stan Lee in one of them, calling the game "Stan Lee: Swinger." The joke was poor, and I apologize for it wholeheartedly.

This is obviously a much funnier title:

I'm ashamed that I didn't think of this sooner.

A proud day for our great nation.

Blazing Saddles is showing on American Movie Classics right now, and I'm happy to report we've finally reached the point as a society where this movie can be aired on basic cable without the various bodily noises from the baked bean scene getting cut.


Remember, remember the 9th of November...

because that's my wedding anniversary. Erin and I have been married 4 years today!

(Our wedding reception really did look like this. Wolverine can do the Electric Slide like nobody you've ever seen. He truly is the best there is at what he does.)

In case you were wondering, the traditional 4th anniversary gift is fruit or flowers. The modern gift is an appliance.

Yeah, we're skipping those. We prefer to give each other gifts we actually want. Silly, ain't it?

Anyway, happy anniversary to my one true!

Ahem. Woohoo.

Schilling will be back for one more year and gets to retire as a member of the Red Sox!

Kevin Youkilis wins the AL Gold Glove for first base!

The Sox are negotiating to keep 3rd baseman (and World Series MVP) Mike Lowell on the team!

Jeez. All kinds of great news outta Boston today.

The Dig List: 11/6/07 - Mostly older stuff.

You know the drill: I read/watch/experience something and if I like it, I give it a hopefully brief write-up here.

Weird Secret Origins - One of those squarebound, faux 80 Page Giants DC published a few years back which, as the title suggests, reprints the origin stories of some oddball and/or supernatural characters: Dr. Fate, the Spectre, Congorilla, Animal Man, Enchantress, Bizarro World, and Metamorpho. Varies in quality, as most gold & silver age DC tends to do, but fun when it succeeds. The Enchantress story was the highlight for me. I only ever knew her as a villain from her Suicide Squad days, so her beginnings as a hero with the god-awful nickname - "the Switcheroo Witcheroo;" doesn't that just make you wanna hurt someone? - were fun to see. I want to read more of those.

GLX-mas Special 1 - Probably not quite as funny as it wants to think it is, but it has its highlights, most of which involve Squirrel Girl and her establishment as probably the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Universe (not that she cares). Some good artwork from Paul Grist in one story, too, even though he probably should have been working on Jack Staff or Kane at the time.

Black Panther (the Priest run) 1-6 - Only just now discovering this, which means I have a long way to go yet, but most of it can be found pretty cheaply these days, so I've got that going for me, which is nice. I really enjoy the groundwork being laid here... the worldbuilding of Black Panther's homeland, Wakanda, and its (and his) place in the world; the look into the legacy of the Black Panther mantle; the secondhand recounting of BP's adventures through the audience identification character, his very Michael J. Fox-like state department handler. I've heard this called "Marvel's Starman," and I'm starting to see what people mean by that.

Yotsuba&! Vol. 2 - I dismissed the first volume as light entertainment - fun, but ultimately pretty frothy. But I kept thinking back to it, and I looked at it more fondly each time I did so, so I figured I'd give the second book a shot, and I'm glad I did. It definitely grows on you with time, and by the end of this, I finally saw what it was that makes this series so enjoyable to so many. Anyway, in this volume, Yotsuba imitates a gangster movie, goes swimming, eats some cake, hunts for a frog, and tries to let her dad sleep peacefully, among other adventures. Charming antics ensue. If nothing in here makes you laugh or even just grin broadly, then you're a probably a bad person who doesn't like puppy dogs or Christmas, either. Jerk!

To the striking WGA members...

Good for you, folks. I sincerely hope you get the piece of the pie you so richly deserve. If I miss a few shows as a result of your actions, oh well. I'll get over it, I'll find something else to do in the meantime, and I'm sure I'll be back if/when you are.

And to the showrunners and actors out there showing their solidarity with the writers, I salute you as well. Nice to see people in charge acknowledging what really powers their shows.

Get out there and go all Norma Rae on their asses, WGA!

Video to Go!

Lazy night = music video linkblogging.

Let's get the inevitable Juliana Hatfield video out of the way first. Here's Universal Heartbeat:

Next, we have the Aquabats with Super Rad! (the picture quality is a little off):

XTC with The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead:

And we'll end with the full version of my first ever favorite song, Fish Heads by Barnes & Barnes (it takes a couple minutes to get to the song itself, and yes, that is Bill Paxton you see):

Thoughts on Spider-Man 3 - Disjointed and Bullet Pointed (Also? Pretty Spoilery.)

Yup, it's "let's criticize a movie on the internet" time! Not everything is completely negative, though, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.

  • So, was the main goal of the movie to make me kind of hate Mary Jane Watson? Because if so, mission accomplished. Whiny, needy, vain, jealous, fragile, and willing to throw herself into the arms of the first dude who comes along the second things get slightly difficult. Honestly, she was practically the unbilled fourth villain; it's like this was a campaign film for the pro-Gwen segment of Spider-fandom.

  • And Gwen was awesome in this movie, though the modeling thing came out of left field. It's not enough that's she's smart, nice, and looks good in a headband? Weird how she had some sort of independent connection to just about everyone else in the movie, though; Erin suggested playing "Six Degrees of Gwen Stacy." I'm hoping they bring her back whenever they get around to Spidey , though, as she didn't have nearly enough to do here.

  • Neither did her father. If you're going to go to the trouble of hiring an actor the caliber of James Cromwell, maybe give him more than a half-dozen lines?

  • Okay, almost nobody had enough to do, because they tried to cram in entirely too much stuff and didn't give any plotline the time it deserved to really grow. Except the MJ/Peter strife, which they pounded into the ground. Even at 2 hours and change, you can't cram in 3 villains (or 4), two different love triangles, the MJ/Peter stuff, the Harry/Peter stuff, the city's mercurial relationship with Spidey, the Daily Bugle stuff, the rise and fall of Eddie Brock, the arrival and seduction of the black costume, Sandman's family, the truth of Uncle Ben's murder, the origin of Venom, and the long-awaited return of the Cake Girl* into one movie and hope to do justice to any of it. I thought they tried to shoehorn too many characters and storylines into the first X-Men movie, but Spidey 3 takes the cake.

  • How does Spider-Man even have a secret identity at this point in the movies? He's never in the damn mask! We're not paying to see Tobey Maguire fail to emote, we're paying to see Spider-Man. If he's in costume, he's in the mask, plain and simple. He gets enough face time as Peter Parker that he doesn't need it when he's supposed to be Spidey, too.

  • I was happily surprised that Topher Grace was actually pretty good as Venom. Not that he had enough to do either, though. And did they ever get around to calling him Venom?

  • Hey, for once, they didn't kill every villain by the movie's ending. Sandman just kinda gets to float away ("So, I sort of accidentally killed your uncle that time, but we're cool now, right? Because I've got this thing and... yeah, I'm just gonna go."), and while it's implied that Eddie and the symbiote vaporize, we never do see a body.

  • Has the movie version of Doctor Connors always just had the one arm? I didn't notice in the previous movies. Nice nod to the comics, there. I hope we do eventually get the Lizard in one of these movies as a result.

  • Bruce Campbell is still awesome, and once again, one of the true highlights of the movie. Is it too much to hope they bring him in a bigger role somewhere down the line? He'd be the best Mysterio ever.

  • I know it was almost universally panned, but the whole "Spidey Night Fever" sequence was probably my favorite part of the whole movie. It made suffering through all the Emo Pete bits worthwhile.

  • Entirely too little of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, but the bit with Betty reminding him about his blood pressure meds was pretty damn funny.

In the end, while I wouldn't call it a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, it did a few things well, so at least it ended up being more fun than not. Not by a lot, admittedly, but still. In terms of superhero movie comparison, I'd say I liked it less than the first Fantastic Four movie, but more than the second. Damning with faint praise, to be sure, but there ya go.

* But I kid Cake Girl; she didn't actually seem quite so ponderously extraneous this time. Way to go, Cake Girl!

Bizy Backson (sorta)

Not much blogging energy this week, and I don't see that changing for the next few days.

I trust the three of you can keep yourselves occupied until I come back?