Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Comics Gnome Poots Quality Not Quantity...
96 pages, hardcover, priced at $22.99 yet with taxes at checkout cost just under $25
This centuries-spanning original graphic novel from legendary writer/artist WALTER SIMONSON shows how one of the silver coins Judas was paid to betray Jesus has had an impact on the DC Universe, with chapters starring THE GOLDEN GLADIATOR (73 A.D.), THE VIKING PRINCE (1000 A.D.), CAPTAIN FEAR (1720) and BAT LASH (1881). In the centerpiece of the book BATMAN faces TWO-FACE in an epic, present-day battle before the story blasts into the future for a final chapter set in the year 2087 starring MANHUNTER 2070!

I spied this on the shelf at the bookstore, the one with my bus stop just outside.
NOT my comicbook store.  Not the Funnybook Bodega!
For me the best way to kill the 15 minutes waiting for the bus is to spend it thumbing through the comics section at the Kendall Sq. MIT COOP Bookstore.
And over the past two weeks I've bought two of the most intriguing (the other will come up when read ;P )
This particular tale I noticed a few weeks back and picked it up a few times.
I originally thought it was a collection of obscure Walt Simonson DC work in a mini from the 80s or 90s.
I was very wrong.
This was released September 2012.  Fresh off the press & imagination factory.
New Stories!
What a great story, with changes in art and also fresh, bold new direction from a Master in the Art.  Walter Simonson.  He wrote, penciled & inked this.
I can get lost in this amazing book.  I pour over the artwork, the layout, the style, the choices in coloring effects.  The stories are all accessible and great classic comics, spanning eras, Ages and stroytelling techniques.  The Batman story in itself is interpolated with newspaper clippings behind the black & white newspaper-style panel layouts.  Visually as evocative & appealing as Moore & Gibbons' WATCHMEN then beyond.  I love the manga flavor of MANHUNTER 2070 and the sepia tones of BAT LASH.  The GOLDEN GLADIATOR, VIKING PRINCE and CAPTAIN FEAR were a 1-2-3 combo of the history of adventure comics then to the Western Gunslinger...
leading to a really solid Batman vs Two-Face story, well presented.
And I've yet to mention the Judas Coin itself.  The literary device of Following a Shared Object through History.  One shekel from the 30 pieces of Silver given to Judas Iscariot.  It passes hands many times over 2,000 Years and ownership means calamity & doom!
This one is getting lent out to the Usual Suspects and re-read a few times.
Not your average comicbook but also not your average format.  An handsome hardcover with just slightly bigger than comics-size pages, therefore the panels are bigger.  And a great complete story.  It's for all kinds of fans, new & old and it was done by one of the Bests in the Business.

Pizza Rolls: The Only Thing Left to Say About the Star Wars...

Have you heard the news?
Lucas Sells to Disney.
Disney Promised Episode 7 for 2015.


It's Amazing.

I have thought that taking George Lucas out of Star Wars might be the best thing for it.
And I just got my wish.

My Secret Hope is for this.
Disney re-makes the Original Trilogy as a PIXAR movie, keeping the original dialog & Ben Burtt sound effects.
Even the Prequels...re-make them the right way, especially Episode 3 and as PIXAR movies!
And make Episodes 7, 8 and 9 as PIXAR movies too.

This way we can separate the characters from their actors & give them an immortality only Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman & Spider-Man know.
A unity in style and commemoration in their action figures & toys.

Will I be excited for the next movies?
Frak, No!
But Disney will be free to pave a Future of a Long Time Ago.  Of stories.
And another generation of kids to grow up like this one and still to this day make the "click...WHOOOSH" sound of an igniting lightsabre from the waist...but iDigress...

I got no jokes.  No ill things to say about George with the exceptions of What a Wise Business Deal and Thank You.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Joss Whedon Kicks Arse!!!

Election 2012!  

Get In My Belly

Hmmm...Bacon IN Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, also with Chocolate Chips.  
How about a moment...when I thought what else can I do with this?
I had some leftover chocolate ganache.  
You have to keep them in the fridge but they won't last long once I bust them out.
Chocolate-Dipped Bacon-Infused Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (w/ choc chips). 

Get In My Belly

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Exile on Causeway Street (aka The Smoking PUCK)

Say "Goodbye, November".
Usually my favorite month of the Calendar Year.
My Birthday, Thanksgiving, Autumn...
and Boston Bruins Hockey.
Well we don't have to worry about the Beantown Bees in November.
Since the Player's Union and the Owners have not come to a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NHL has announced the cancellation of the schedule until November 30, 2012.
So no chance of the Thanksgiving Friday matinee this year.  This is the Game in which I've seen Local Hardcore Black & Gold fans get escorted out for swearing & taunting.  Lots of kids at the yearly matinee.  That's when I knew we lived in a New World Order but shhhhhhh!...
No chance of My Ma & Me getting last-minute cheap seats and smuggling in a Bottle, giggling & spiking our Cokes as we did on my 20th.
No chance of Meathead, Mario & Me going to Porters on Portland Street, before & after the game solely because "This Is What We Do" but iDigress...
Maybe Tim Thomas Knew Something We Didn't?  Think he's rubbing his hands together, chuckling 'cuz of his TV monitors from his Underground Montana Bunker at We The Boston Sports Fan for throwing our Hate & Ire at anything that displeases???

Over a Quarter of the Season is Now an Unrealized Potential.  Something we'll never get back & experience.  Gone.
As a Union Employee though, I have deep empathy for the Players wanting not to get screwed over in their next contract.  And I've always respected my bosses to understand they're simply trying to run the ship in the Black at the Brassiest of Tacks Level.
It is What it Is.  Isn't It?

So I feel a Friday Night Trip to Providence, RI to see the AHL Bruins play is in order!
Or Worcester.
Or Manchester, NH
Or Portland, ME.
Or Springfield, MA (gawd, why the frak would I ever want to go to Springfield ever again...well I could catch a Pro Hockey Game is why)
Other New England teams in the AHL (American Hockey League) include Bridgeport, CT and Hartford, CT.
That's Seven AHL Teams in New England alone.  Try getting those games on "Local New England Sports Cable Television".
I think I recall the usual One Providence Game.  In the 2004-05 Lockout-Lost Season, the New England Sports Network (NESN) dropped the ball instead of a puck.  I never want to buy W.B. Mason or Dunkin Donuts but watching AHL Hockey would have been better than more Charlie Moore...
In the Myriad of Television broadcasting rights, doesn't NESN just need to purchase re-broadcasting rights from the providers...and pay for that with adverts?  Is there something I'm not understanding?
Sheeet...maybe there's an App for my Roku Box or iPod and I can cut out this 20th Century Middleman.  Hmmmmm...
NESN, please Wake the Frak Up and show some New England Pro Hockey?

And for the Lovelorn of our great Sport, please check out this 1977 video with sports writer, the great George Plimton and his tryout of Pro Hockey.
Don't miss this one!

Source: NHL Dot Com (full article here)

By his own admission, writer George Plimpton wasn't much of a skater when he attended Boston Bruins training camp in 1977. But that may have been the least of his worries.
The amateur goaltender and father of "participatory journalism" also was almost 50 years old when he attended Bruins camp on assignment for Sports Illustrated. By then, the legendary writer had made a career of being out of his athletic element. Thanks to "Open Net," his classic book documenting the experience, his mark on the sport endures 35 years later.
Plimpton's first foray into pro sports was chronicled in "Out of My League," which details his attempt in 1958 to pitch against a team of National League all-stars that included Willie Mays. But Plimpton is best known for "Paper Lion," in which he documents his experience playing quarterback for the 1963 Detroit Lions
By the time Plimpton attended Bruins training camp in Fitchburg, Mass., he had written about his experiences boxing against Archie Moore, suiting up for the Boston Celtics, and travelling with the PGA Tour. But blending into a Bruins team that had recently dealt star players Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito would require a new set of skills. Fortunately for him, Plimpton had no trouble getting along.
"He was just an unbelievable person. He and I became very close friends," Hall of Fame goaltender Gerry Cheevers said. "Maybe a year later, my wife and I went to New York to be present while he played in the New York Philharmonic. He played the triangle. It was about an hour [long] and I think he hit the triangle twice."

Friday, October 26, 2012

View From the Birdhouse, Retweet

Saturday Morning Cartoon Watching for Grown-Up Man-Children...

Seriously.  It is good to have friends.  And it good to share your home with someone you love, respect & care about whether it be a spouse or in my case a Flatmate.
The Kind You Just Click With.
Michael and I have somewhat opposite schedules which benefits us both.  I work mornings and Mike works overnight at his Hospital, with usually the Friday PM overnight getting home about 8AM Saturday Morning.
Lately we've been wickid bad.
Lately...we've begun watching cartoons on Saturday AMs over McDonalds.
He brings it home, we alternate who pays week to week.  He's an Egg & Cheese Biscuit fan and I'm a devotee to the Sausage Egg & Cheese McRiddle Sammich (what is it???).  Extra Homefries.
And we watch a few cartoons.
I'm starting my One Day Off a Week.
He's on his way to bed until 2PM or later.  But somewhere in the middle is a great spot for getting some TV watching in with a buddy.

My response to a "What Should We Watch?" was answered with something I checked out on my iPod Touch at lunchtime via NetFlix Instant.
I thought it really cool and worth a second viewing of the pilot for me...little did I know I'd be hooked line & sinker for the rest like a kid, anxiously awaiting Saturday Morning for his Serials over Cereal but iDigress...
a 2010/11 show that only got 26 episodes & not picked up for a 2nd season.  
I grew up in the 80s & was a kid knee-deep in the action figures, toys, comicbook and cartoon of G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO.  
Yet this update takes a few of the Joes, and mixes it up in terms of being a 21st Century American story, taking the characters & property into the Future.  
A small team of Scarlett, Duke, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat & Snake Eyes trying to prove to the world that the overtly benign COBRA, international providers of technology, security and retail & food chain stores is a nefarious & covert dastardly evil empire bent on world domination!!!
Oh all awhile being publicly set up by COBRA as Domestic Terrorists on the Run from their own U.S. ARMY!!!   
Sound familiar?  
G.I. JOE RENEGADES is not only a great updating of the team but a mash-up in concept with the A-TEAM!  
5 Joes, 1 Van, One Mission: To Clear Their Names by Proving to the World that COBRA is out to enslave us all...
Great show for the fans.  Sorry to hear it won't be continued.  
We got 5 episodes left.  
and we figure 2 more Saturday Mornings over McDonald's Break'est with these 21st Century Joes & Cobras.  All the updates are spot on.  
Worth the time for a fan of the original.  
Easter Eggs I picked up on were a lot of voice actors including guest stars Michael Emerson & Daniel Dae Kim of TV's LOST and also the voices of the original Duke & Scarlett playing the voices of Duke's parents.  
Also the angle of how to make COBRA work Today.  
Available on NetFlix Instant and 22 minutes each.  
Feel like a kid again!   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Exile On Causeway Street: aka the Smoking Puck in Lockout

Another Week bites the Dust.
The NHL Cancels another week of the schedule.
I'm very perplexed by this lack of hockey in my life.
I thought this was figured out.  Why would this happen twice in a lifetime let alone twice in 8 Years?
Oh well...
as a fan of a sport, a game...it's interesting being Mad at it.
It's like being Mad at the Weather.
It's like being Mad at Grandpa for dying.
It's like being Mad at Christmas!
IT IS NOT OUR FAULT! (unless you have the Cassadine weather machine, murdered my grandfather or knocked up the Virgin Mary but iDigress...)

I have an idea!  Why don't the Providence Bruins play a few upcoming home games on Causeway Street?  I am Eternally Hopefully.  I will be until the hangman puts the hood & noose over my head again...

Hey, I'll make a deal with them all.  If they give up on this Year, I Promise I Won't.
'Namaste...and Good Luck!


The Universal Label
Note: if you read the comic on its own webpage, every strip has a box of copy if you hover the mouse over the image.  This does not apply when the image is linked...say to OCHO.
Cheers!  :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

View from the Birdhouse

Fall Foliage 
October 18, 2012. Somerville, MA USA, Highland & Lowell.
October 18, 2012. Cambridge, MA USA, MIT Campus, Main & Vassar.
Originally I gave the Avengers movie by Joss Whedon a "Meh".

I'd like to adjust this notion since I've seen the movie 3X since...

I'm watching it now as I'm writing this.  I still have the same overall intrinsic problems with it.
Yet I embrace it's Whendon-esque Whedoness.
The dialog between the characters is "where it's at" in this piece.
Since I've seen it the first time, I did see it again in the movie theater.  It was a nice time.  I got to enjoy all the jokes that time around.  And we stuck it out to the Ending, a couple was leaving & I told them, "There's one more scene, the best scene in the movie"
They stayed.
We were all delighted but iDigress...

So my flatmate Mike rented "The Avengers" on Amazon Prime.  We got 48 hours to watch it as many times as we want in glorious HD.  We watched it last night.
And I'm watching it again right now.  Alone.  Quoting.
Almost 12 minutes in and we're shown the Title Card.

I guess it is a compliment that what I thought to be a burdensome running time in my initial viewing gets "shorter & shorter" every time I watch it...

I've seen a 420 reference.  and a 42 reference too.  A Terminator reference.  the Star Wars "passing capital ship" reference.  The "Warning-Contents Under Pressure" Stencil in Spray Paint on the floor as Banner Transforms into the "Other Guy".  Captain America not being afraid to kill at 1hr 21m throwing an invader overboard.  The Stan "The Man" Lee Cameo!  Both Credits Stinger Scenes (you must stay until the end of the film!!)

One "insider" part is Hawkeye's "badguy-ness".  When the Avengers began as a funnybook, Clint Barton is a reluctant villain.  In this movie, he's the brainwashed-by-evil superspy.  Great transition keeping the flavor of the character intact.

Still a CGI Frak Fest! but well done all the same. :)  Frakkin' Modern Movies.

With Joss Whedon writing & directing AVENGERS 2 all I can wonder is one thing...
Who Dies???
then Shwarma after...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

View from the Birdhouse

Central Street, Spring Hill, Somerville, MA USA 
October 4, 2012. Fall Daisies.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Smoking Puck

October 13, 2012
The NHL Season should have started this week.

Sigh.  Yes, Sigh...the Anti-Om. 
There is no end in sight to the Lockout.  In conversation the other night over dinner, I was asked reasons "why" the Lockout.  I drew a blank yet I remembered one of the player's points Not To Blink.  The Escrow Payments.  I knew the players had become to detest & resent the gouging they receive for the Escrow...alas I cannot tell you why.  I thought it might had something to do with the Retirement Pensions but I was wrong on that one.  So to cure Lack of Information, we can counter with RTFM.
Source for a list of Five Salient Issues Enabling the 2012 NHL Stoppage:
The Escrow Payment What is it? To ensure the correct revenue split between teams and players, a percentage of player salaries is placed in escrow during the season. (In 2010-11, the withheld share was 12.5 per cent.) When exact NHL revenues are determined at the end of the season, the escrow account is divided among players and owners to ensure that the targeted split has been met.
That opens the larger issue of franchise stability and profitability, which the NHL and team owners consider to be their business, not the players. 
What's the problem? Players are concerned that a small number of troubled franchises - most notably the Phoenix Coyotes, operated by the league as it searches for a new owner - drag down overall revenues and suck up much of the escrow money. Effectively, their pockets are being picked to prop up lame-duck teams.
When will the NHL Season start?  I'll be one of the first to know thanks to the IntrePoop & Its Minions that fill my pockets & attention span but iDigress...
It Was 20 Years Ago...The Eric Lindros Trade.  One of the most notorious dramas in the NHL's History.  Screw this Lockout crap...this is like Facebook drama compared to what went on two decades ago.  Touted as the "Next One", power forward Eric Lindros was the 1st Round, 1st overall draft pick selected by the Quebec Nordiques.  He refused to put the jersey on.  The World stopped revolving for a Picosecond.  It really did.  People in Pretoria gasped!  The Hockey World waited with bated breath on the fate of where Lindros would Land: the Isle of Manhattan or the City of Brotherly Love.  Lindros was unprofessionally promised to Both Cities!!!  He ended up wearing his nigh-famous #88 in Philly, bringing them to the Stanley Cup Finals one unsuccessful year against the Detroit Red Wings.  Post-Concussion symptoms cut his career short as well.  Eric Lindros was supposed to have been one of the most important players in My Window of Space/Time watching the great sport of Hockey.  I'd say ask a Flyers Fan for that one.  Over the years, my need to bash Lindros has abated probably as a result of my spirituality and meditations.  So what to say about all the hullaballoo now, 20 Years Later after "L'Enfant Terrible"...and the result.  Well...the Quebec Nordiques were wickid good for a few seasons with Hextall!   

Hockey should be back soon enough.  I'm thinking November but who wants a shortened season?
Well...someone who doesn't want a Cancelled Season, that's who.

Monday, October 01, 2012