Lazy Saturday Night YouTube Blogging - Who's On First?, the typography edition

Yeah, I know, two YouTube posts in a row. But this was too brilliant not to share:

Been Too Busy to Post YouTube Blogging: Doctor Who Animation

Here's a a special trailer for the 60s Doctor Who story "The Web of Fear," recreated in animation as only the audio track still remained, the video having long-since been tossed (along with most of the rest of Patrick Troughton's time as the Doctor, sadly) by the BBC. (via Tegan)

Remember not to let your mommies and daddies get too scared by the Yeti!

The Once and Future Legionnaire

I'll be sad to see the Jim Shooter / Francis Manapul version of the Legion of Super-Heroes come to an end. I've really been enjoying it, and think it's by far the best take of all on the "Threeboot" Legion. While I appreciated Mark Waid & Barry Kitson's "Legion as youth movement" idea (or as I've called it here before, the "Wild in the Streets Legion"), they were a little too heavyhanded with it. Tony Bedard, too. Shooter, shockingly, took a somewhat subtler approach. The hallmarks of Waid's take were all there - the Legion as a movement instead of just a team, the antagonistic relationship with the UP government, etc. - but they were folded into the framework of a more, I don't know, Legiony story, instead of being the story in and of itself. All in all, it's been a fun ride.

I totally get why it has to go away, though. Let's face it... the Legion needs Superman. Wait, check that. The Legion needs Superboy.

Superboy wasn't just a member of the Legion, he was their inspiration, the reason the group was founded in the first place. As was said on that Smallville episode last week, Kal-El's time as Superboy set an example that would be recalled over hundreds of years across a thousand worlds - the idea that a teenager from another planet could use his gifts to protect an entire civilization that wasn't even really his own. It's a pretty grand idea, really, and if you take it away, the Legion of Super-Heroes is just another run-of-the-mill super team. "Because the galaxy needs heroes" is no better a reason to team up than "because we can." Taking their cue from Superboy, though, and living by his example, that brings a sense of purpose to the party.

And clearly folks at DC realize this, since they've been trying different ways to insert some variation of the character, or at least his role, back into the Legion ever since Superboy got Byrned out of Superman's history in the mid-80s. You have the Pocket Universe Superboy and the retconning of Mon-El into the Superboy role as Valor as early efforts at filling the Inspiration role, and clearly, those just weren't the same, and ended up causing more problems than they solved. And then there's the attempts to at least stick some sort of Superboy into the ranks as a member, if not the driving force, in the forms of the 5 Year Gap's Kent Shakespeare and, Post-Zero Hour, the 90s clone Superboy (twice, kind of), but those never fit quite right, either. Again, they were only imitations of the original and couldn't really match up (not that they don't have their fans), and as such were only ever mere members, not guiding lights.

Much as I've liked some of the Legion stories told in the years since Superboy was removed from their history (I mean, come on, Legion Lost is fantastic!), I'm convinced that they're better off with him restored to his rightful place in their history and hierarchy. It's a damn shame that the current run has to be brushed under the carpet the way that is (presumably) happening, but there's an argument to made that it might be for the best in the long run.

But whatever comes next, I really hope they retain the services of Francis Manapul. I've loved how the book has looked this past year.

Support the economy - buy some of my stuff on eBay!

Well, you'd be supporting my economy, anyway.

Right now I have listed:

  • Promo poster for Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden's "Baltimore,: Or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire," signed by the men themselves.
  • DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories TPB
  • Witchblade: Witch Hunt TPB by Ron Marz and Mike Choi
  • And Volumes 1-3 of the Planetary trades by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday
Make with the clickety to check 'em out for yourselves, if you're so inclined, thanks!

Happy Inauguration Day.

As a general rule, I'm skeptical of the motives and abilities of anyone sitting in the big chair, but I am willing to give the new guy a shot. Enjoy the festivities today, sir. But please hit the ground running first thing tomorrow, okay?

And now, the biggest compliment I have ever paid to an episode of Smallville.

That episode the other day with the Legion of Super-Heroes? Not half-bad! Good job, Geoff Johns. Go have a cookie.

(Though don't think I didn't notice you couldn't even get through a more-or-less "family hour" TV script without someone getting an axe in the gut.)

The Dig List: 1/12/09

Quick reactions to things I've read lately, go!

Beanworld Holiday Special - Okay, so the holiday content of this issue doesn't extend any farther than the cover. But who cares, it's new Beanworld, people! Woot (and Hoka Hoka Hey)! And thankfully, it's a pretty entry level story, with just enough detail to get the newbies interested and the returning folks reminded, but it doesn't get bogged down with "For those who came in late..." stuff, either. A fantastic reintroduction to the series, and it definitely has be excited for the new collections (and brand new stories) coming down the line.

Spider-Man: Brand New Day Vol. 2 - I still can't decide if the BND Spidey is really that good, or just so much more readable than we were used to that it merely appears to be. Either way, more fun stories from the so-called Spidey Brain Trust, though a little uneven. The Bob Gale / Phil Jimenez story with ever-evolving drug addict monster Freak wore thin after a while - wow, did I get tired of that dude shouting about wanting "china white;" find a new heroin nickname, Bob! - but the Zeb Wells story with all the Mayans was pretty exciting, and gorgeously drawn by Chris Bachalo. But all-in-all, still a fun ride. Count me in for Volume 3.

Blue Beetle #34 - Sigh. Oh, Blue Beetle. You've been my favorite book for a while now, but as we count down to your final issue, I can't help but think maybe you overstayed your welcome a bit. Not that this storyline was bad, but it's clear that Matthew Sturges attempted to echo the voice of John Rogers on this book rather than try and find his own, and well, maybe I've made this metaphor before, but I'm grow weary of "tribute band" comic book writing pretty quickly these days. I'm in to the end (though the final issues promise some sort of massacre... greeeeeeaaaat), but it's more out of inertia and remembrance of better times, I think.

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #3 - Finding that an issue of this has come out is always a pleasant surprise. But given that I'm feeling this way at only the third issue makes me think they should have had Kunkel get several of these in the can before they solicited even the first one. But still, it's very fun comics, and I like the voice and humor he's giving to the Big Red Cheese and his associated hangers-on (Kunkel's smarty-pants Mary Marvel is particularly great). Exactly the sort of treatment these characters need. Heartily recommended... whenever there's actually one to buy, anyway.

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade #1 - I thought this was kinda fun, too. Recaps the standard Supergirl origin story with some modern (and audience appropriate) tweaks, but gets all that business out of the way pretty quickly so that we can get straight to the business of Kara trying (and usually failing) to fit in with the incredibly alien world of middle school (think about it... is 8th grade the place you'd really want to be if you didn't know the first thing about your new home's history, technology, or even currency?). Might be a little too cute for some, but it's heart is in the right place.

Someone in Cooperstown order some (Jim) Rice?

In "About Damn Time" News, legendary Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his final year of ballot eligibility.

You can bet there will be happy dancing in Boston (and the rest of New England, for that matter) tonight.

Pretty Sketchy - Wildfire Eats an Ice Cream Cone

Hey, look, DJ Coffman got to my place in his $2 Drawing Queue!

Heh. The gag played out just as I had hoped (though the earlier Wildfire getting a big ol' chunk of ice cream on his faceplate would've been equally funny). Two clams well-spent! Thanks, DJ!

Sleety Wednesday YouTube Blogging - I Wonder Why the Wonderfalls

A brilliant TV show (killed long before its time, sadly) and a song by XTC frontman Andy Partridge. Some things are too good for this world, and yet we have them anyway. It's a grand place sometimes, this world of ours:

More than I had originally intended to type about Twilight.

So there's a scene near the end of Twilight where good vampire Edward and his huge eyebrows are trying to save his lurrrve interest, the very Mary Sue-ish Bella, from the bad vampire whose name I forget, but he looks just like Jay from Clerks, and ZOMG! it's so tragic and everything... and I laughed. Out loud. Heartily. Uncontrollably. It's really a wonder I was run out of the theater by a horde of iPhone and pitchfork wielding 14 year old girls. But honestly, I was amazed they had enough scenery to pass around for everyone on screen to chew at that moment.

But all things considered - and I'm sure I'll lose some geek cred here, but whatever - I didn't hate the movie. I didn't particularly like it, either, but it wasn't nearly as painful as I was expecting. You see, my wife really wanted me to see it, as she read the books in the space of about a month a little while back and had already been to the movie with a friend - twice, I might add, since spiritually she's still about 15 most days - and wanted to finally get my reaction. Also, she has the hots for Robert Pattison (and his Peter Gallagher-lite brows), the dude who plays Edward. To be fair, I approached it with as open a mind as I could... I mean, a quick glance at my own book and DVD shelves shows that I really don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to making fun of folks' pop culture tastes, so I attempt to be understanding. And while it really wasn't my thing - if you were expecting a 2 hour CW drama, you made the call! - it was un-bad enough to make for a decent date night flick with the wife.

And if I'm being honest, there were a few things I liked, such as the baseball sequence. It was kind of a clever idea, well-shot, and made excellent use of that Muse song that's been getting all the radio play the past couple of months. Someone involved on some level, I'm assuming the director or cinematographer, seems to have enjoyed all the same "the X-Men play baseball" comics I did, and it comes across on the screen.

And I have to admit to crushing on Edward's psychic "sister" Alice, or at least the actress playing her (Ashley Greene), by movie's end.

Particularly in said baseball scene when she's pitching. She looks very determined, and I'm a sucker for a determined woman in a pixie cut.

The film also features Rachelle Lefevre,

who I've been enamored of since seeing her on Swingtown last summer, as the bad female vampire whose name I also forget, and though she has maybe 5 minutes of screentime, I thought she was pretty good. And hot. Especially in, again, the baseball scene, where she brags about her wicked curveball.

Hmm... apparently I have a thing for hot female vampires who play baseball. If Rule 34 applies here, please refrain from providing examples, thanks. And if it doesn't, I should really go register a domain name ASAP.

Anyway, Twilight... less than awful. And given my expectations, I think that's really sayin' something.

A little shilling, if I may.

I've got a few things up for sale on eBay at the moment, several of which are ending in the next day or two. There's:
  • DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories TPB
  • Captain America & The Falcon: Madbomb TPB
  • Superman: Up, Up and Away TPB
  • Witchblade Vol.1 : Witch Hunt TPB
  • JLA: One Million TPB
  • Marvel Legends Red Hulk Build-A-Figure torso piece (loose)
  • Marvel Legends Queen Brood Build-A-Figure left legs (loose)
Click on through if you're at all interested. Thanks!

And coming in at number 11, it's Matt Smith as the new Doctor Who.

Here's the official announcement.

And here's the man himself:

Man, I'm older than the new Doctor. That's a bit depressing. And hey, he dresses kinda like my friend Andy.

Lazy Friday YouTube Blogging: One Was Johnny (from Really Rosie)

"One Was Johnny," from the animated musical Really Rosie, sung by Carole King and based on the works of Maurice Sendak. Enjoy the Nostalgia Chow, 70s and 80s children!

(Incidentally, this is post #800. Wow.)