Welcome...

Welcome...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

at the beginning of January, I went to New York City...Again.
I'd been there a few weeks earlier as well.
I got the opportunity to go back and I did.

I like soaking it up.  NYC.  Sometime I don't care about the whole Boston/New York bullshit and I like to go to Manhattan and simply Walk Around.  Eat the food.  Drink the Wine.  Behold the Fulcrum of American Culture.  Coming back to Boston, seeing the Jaywalkers in Davis Square, my stomping ground I became longing for the civility of the Manhattan crosswalks but iDigress...

While wandering around, aimlessly through the East Village, I looked up in a synchronous moment to behold a site to Rawk My Socks Off...
Welcome to 96-98 St. Mark's Place.
This is the Cover to the Led Zeppelin album "Physical Graffiti"
We were following our feet from Union Square and looking for a bar, which we found one right up the street on St Mark's.

So Play Along...
and Take a Spin.
From The Greatest Album Side Ever, Side Three of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Smoking PUCK Begins...

Hello!
And Welcome to...
THE SMOKING PUCK!

My very own Boston, MA USA "Dirty Water" Flavored Hockey Blog: age 'bout 10 Years Old or Such.
The shortened season has begun.
Yesterday, I watched 3 games.
3PM: Ottawa at Winnipeg.
7PM: NY Rangers at Bruins...Yay.
and 10PM: Anaheim at Vancouver

There is a Hockey Game on Every Night of the Week until the End of the Season.
Gawd Bless the IntrePoop for the ability to hustle them down.
I got back from the Pub for the Face-Off in Vancouver...I was a little wasted too.  I was with Del. We were simply hanging at the Pub for the 7PM Bruins game.  Yay.
Before that, I'd been home with the Senators v. Jets tilt.  Just to watch NHL Professional Hockey.
And the Legendary "Hockey Night in Canada" Broadcast.  Twice.
I was sooooo tired that I fell asleep through the 2nd & 3rd periods of the Ducks v. Canucks match.  I awoke at the "duck" tail end of the 7-3 Orange Co. Rout.

What an Opening Day.
A Day Off.
A Day to Come Back to Normal.
Ahhhhh...

Thanks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Comics Gnome POOTS...the Evolution of the Super-Sigil

Raise Your Hand If You're a Geek!
Sorry I can't see you...
;)
Here's something I grabbed off the IntrePoop.  
(Click to Make Big!....You Need To)
The Evolution of Superman's "S". 
Over 75 Years, the GFOSH (the God Father of Super Heroes) and his Chest's Icon.  
From the Simple to the Stylized into the Modern Paradigm of Branding.  
A SIGIL is a Symbol.  It has Mucho Meaning.  
Does this Symbol mean anything to you?  
The History of the first Superhero's Icon!  
The Image is a Tease and You really can't zoom in on all the glory...
But you can go HERE and see it.  The article is pretty cool too.  
Happy 75th Anniversary, Superman.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Comic Gnome POOTS about "Making Up Time"

"Love is a Power as Real as Time or Gravity and Equally Abstract"
-Deepak Chopra
The 10th Doctor Who Explains How Time Really Works...

Got That?  Good!
That's How Time Works.  Maybe...  ;)
In Science Fiction, Time Travel is a most interesting Plot Tool to use.
Time Travel is such a fascinating subject.  I don't even really think a Time Machine could be created in Real Life, which makes the Fictional Vehicle even more fantastic.
I'm a Huge Sci-Fi Fan yet in Reality I do not believe in Ghosts, UFO Aliens or Time Machines but iDigress...
So when using the plot device of Time Travel, we're all in essence "making up time".  All these stories are made up, are they not?

Now that I got that out of the way I got a page to share.
It's unlettered preview page of an upcoming release.
So as not to be a killjoy spoiler, know that this is from an X-MEN funnybook.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, the MARVEL Uber-scribe of the past decade gets his first crack at helming the X-MEN Direction as he did for AVENGERS several years past.
In one of Bendis' X-Titles...A Time Travel Tale.
But Get This:
This One's Got a Great Conceit.
The Original X-Men.  The 5 Teenagers from X-MEN #1 (1963)
are taken from their Past and Brought into the MarvelNOW!
ALL-NEW X-MEN!
The Original Beloved Stan Lee heroes find themselves transported to their future To witness what awaits them.  Golly, when they get back to the Past, Professor X will just mindwipe them & send 'em to bed without dessert, those reckless whippersnappers...Or Will They?
They get to meet themselves...if they're still alive (nobody's looking at you, Jean Grey)
This is one of these moments.  From the upcoming ALL-NEW X-MEN #6, February 2013.
And without the dialog, I proffer that the unlettered page speaks volumes for itself.
Quickly, know that the older version of the Angel had probably the roughest path.  Those downy feathers you see on the Younger get violently ripped from him and replaced with those lethal razorsharp techno-organic wings you see in the Senior.
The Older Angel recently had one of those comicbook death & rebirth things so in these preview panels, this adult is meeting a stranger.  Warren simply does not possess the memories of the Younger.
Same Guy.  Gotta be more than a decade; one being teenage & the other a grown man.
(Click to Enbiggen!)
Warren's got Nothing to Tell his Younger Self.  He has no recollection of that person.  
I saw this image and thought it was just great.
I'm currently in-between X-Titles.  I recently cut loose one popular X-Title for pretty petty reasons such as cover price versus feeling of corporate fealty again.
Yet I see something like this gem above and also the new flagship X-title just restarted, Brian Bendis' UNCANNY X-MEN with an upcoming arc featuring one of my favorite artists Frazer Irving
I might have to rethink an "X-It" Strategy.  ;)  Or rather which "X" Marks It.
I'll have to "make up time" for some old X-Friends.
Maybe these paper magazines with the scribblings of impossible people & situations are the real time machines...these made up times, indeed.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Compliments of Phil Plait, @badastronomer. He's one of my favorite Bloggers/Twitters.
to Quote Phil, "WOW!"
Airborn Telescope Sees Matter Falling Into a Black Hole 
Check it out...
and if you can, Follow Phil Plait on Twitter.  Phil's full of fun & facts!
People ask me all the time "why do I like Twitter so damn much?"
And I'll say cool people such as Phil Plait make Twitter the place I go to receive news, opinion, input, information & energy from sources I usually wouldn't be exposed to.
Astronomy is totally up my alley...is it yours?

A Smoking Puck Re-Tweet

The End of Our Exile...(The Smoking PUCK Valediction on the Great NHL Lockout of 2012)

January 10, 2013
Soul Survivor. 
That's Me.
And That's You Too, Hockey Fan.
Here's Some Unsolicited Advice...Let It Go.
Let It GO!  And Drop The Puck!!!  
It is Official as of Yesterday, the NHL Owners ratified a 10-Year CBA with the Player's Union, guaranteeing a 48-Game Season starting January 19th.

Look at it this way.  Half a season is better than none.  
I'm into really watching lots of hockey this year since I've been deprived.  I might have to get CableTV just to have NESN for Bruins games and NHLNetwork for the bounty of out-of-town games it brings.  Don't forget to order VERSUS--->NBC Sports Network or you'll miss out on hometeam playoff games.  You bastards think you have me by the ball don't you but iDigress...
Nonetheless GAME ON!!!
Hey, chin up!  Hockey Season is about to start!  
The Bruins play the Rangers, Saturday, January 19 along with Montreal at Toronto and Chicago at Los Angeles to open the Season of Healing!  
Maybe the Bruins' Nathan Horton can be the poster boy for this idea...He's back from concussion & probably the biggest X-Factor in the Bruins' post-season woes last year against Washington simply by not being on the Ice.  

The Exile on Causeway Street has come to its end.  The needle lifts & returns to the rest position.
Let's Flip the Album to a tune a bit more becoming to a New Season, hard fought, sought & won.  
Time To Go by the Dropkick Murphys.  
The Bruins Fight Song of the 21st Century.  
It's Time to Move Forward, to the Future.  
Sure "Black Betty"'s a fun song but LOOK AT 'EM!!!

See You at the Gahh-den!  

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Comics Gnome POOTS...

Nothing!
Now Hear This: I was at Midtown Comics in Times Square last Thursday Night.
This particular funnybook bodega is like the MUTHASHIP of Comic Book Stores.  There are three other locations just on the Isle of Manhattan.  Yet the Times Square location I report to every few years just to absorb the geekyness by osmosis.
I brought a list.  The glaring holes in a few stories such as the ever-elusive BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #4 (of 6) by Grant Morrison & Georges Jaunty.  I need this one.  It hurts not to have it.
Others were simple wishes, fond remembrances for my DC CRISIS (retired) Long Box such as 1975's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #s123 & 124, the first appearance of Superboy-Prime in 1985's DC PRESENTS #87 and LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE #1, "Crisis: The Untold Story" by Marv Wolfman & George Perez...made in 1999 yet one can file it after 1985's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #4.
What did I find?
Nothing!  Nada.  Zip.  Uh-uh.  Tumbleweeds.  
I did not find anything I wanted or needed!
As I said, there were three other Midtown Comics that I could have gone to.
And Times Square was having a 40% Off All Back Issues Sale.
Therefore I was about to leave empty-handed...
on my Ceremonial Trek to the Mothership!  I couldn't leave empty-handed & upset the Comics Gawds!!!
So while perusing the goods, I made what felt like the Best Purchase I made from a Comics Book Store in a while.
I bought a gift for somebody.  and not just anybody.
A 3 Year Old Girl!  
I bought Doctor Hooey's daughter a Superman Tee-Shirt.
And a Superman Paper Doll.  
OMG! This went over BIG!  I think I made a Next Generation Super-Fan!!!  
And a Paper Doll...the Pages Literally Came to Life!  Mom helped (like 98%) so a job well-done, although his head did flop in places.  
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  :)
So it wasn't all that disappointing hitting Midtown Comics in Times Square.  
But next time I'll check online to see what they got first!  

Superhero Cartoon NYE Marathon DIY!  
OK...I had the Flat to myself.  And every so often Netflix rotates its Instant Online offerings.  It was New Years Eve.  I was flatbroke from blowing all my dosh over the holidays & in NYC.  
So I fell down the Rabbit Hole and Couchsurfed the day away with DC Animated Originals.  Lately DC's been taking arcs from their most popular titles & adapting them into 77 minute-long animated features.  All with great voice casts, some familiar & some new.   All five movies were released since 2011.  
For the Record: In All Three that Apply, Superman's Got Red Trunks (as is his fashion in the source material to be fair...)
Justice League: Doom
Started my day & I was really pleased by this.  The voice cast were All-Stars.  Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern and the biggest curveball...Michael Rosenbaum as The Flash.  Now Get This! Rosenbaum played the Flash in the animated series JUSTICE LEAGUE/UNLIMITED...yet the Flash was different!  Confused?  The previous TV series was based on Wally West's Flash (and ID admitted!) while DOOM's Flash is Barry Allen.  What a different character.  Great job.  

Batman: Under the Red Hood
This is for any fan of Batman & Robin.  I am.  I love the Dynanic Duo.  Sliver Age, Golden Age, Dark Age, Bronze Age...the concept stuck.  Recently DC comics created the New 52 and reset the Universe to a Modern Look & Sensibility.  The thought of a young boy in green short pants & pixie boot is anathema to modern editors.  So all the new looks have boots & pants & made with realism in mind.  Yet this animated piece respects the recently passed Old Age...and we're given a great story of Batman & Robin.  Told in flashback from the "Now", we see the tragic story of the second Robin.  From daredevil kid sidekick in Golden/Silver Age shortpants & pixie boots...to angry teen respecting the "One Year Later (2006)" streamlining.  And the Joker in this is very well handled.  For any fan.  I'll watch this again and this adaptation is better the original conceit: Reality Punches???   Adapted by the arc's writer, Judd Winick.  

Batman Year One
Seriously Good Stuff.  Especially for anyone Fresh from the Movies.  Great cast too starring Bryan Cranston as Lt. Jim Gordon, just arrived in Gotham and Eliza Dushku as Selina Kyle, the Catwoman, African-American hooker with a Heart of Coal.  Based on Frank Miller's post-CRISIS reboot of Batman's history.  It was 1987 and Batman was given this origin story, a masterpiece drawn by Dave Mazzucchelli as Bruce Wayne begins his Mission and finds his totem.  The African-American Catwoman did not stick in the story.  Just didn't.  Swept under the Rug of Continuity.  But I'm glad it's respected here.  Also nails the look & feel of the mood of the comics BY1.  

Superman vs. The Elite
Adapted by the writer from the one-issue story ACTION COMICS #775 (2001) comes a great thought in the face of Modern, Violent Comics.  Superman versus a pastiche of THE AUTHORITY, WildStorm's ultraviolent Superheros who stomped & maimed their way into the hearts & minds of comicsfans (and the brainchild of Warren Ellis BTW...).  It's a clash of culture.  It's a real good movie too.  great design.  Great Lois Lane too.  

and finally
All-Star Superman...which I cried at.  I'm a sensitive guy and I do cry at moments of emotional payoff.  Sue me...or pass me a hankie, rather.  
I own the DVD.  It's out to lend right now but when I saw this on the Netflix Instant menu, I said 'why the heck not' and started it up.  I've seen it before.  I've read it a few times and really recently as well.  Yet the end got me a little teary eyed.  Maybe I am insane.  Or maybe, just maybe...the metaphor is dropped and the principal characters & the resolution to their love story take center stage.  It's all about Emotional Payoff.  Really close to the source material, omits a ton but what's kept is refined into great stories of the Strange Visitor From Another Planet...and the People in His Life.  

and just when I thought I was climbing out of the Rabbit Hole, I get caught in the undertow and beheld to some serious juxtaposition in the Real World (IRL in IntrePoop Speek).
4 people, 3 men 1 woman.  Actors of varying degree living in Hollywood & chasing the dream.  
What do they do?
Well...they dress up as popular superheroes and stand outside of Mann's Chinese Theater to stand with tourists for pictures...purely on tips.  on any given day there are about 50-60 of these people out there so the documentary focuses of only 4 but we're given a window into the lives of some truly interesting individuals.  The Superman who looks pitch perfect yet in candid when we see him smoking cigarettes in costume, off street.  The Batman who needs to be seen to believed.  The Wonder Woman, our Ingenue really trying to make it.  And the Hulk, who ironically enough is the nicest person in the flick.  I love documentaries and if you do too, this could be up your alley.  Makes me feel good about the level of fandom I suffer as well.  Sure I wear a Batman belt buckle...uhhh...  ;)  

A whole lot of nothing, indeed!  Hope you're reading your funnybooks or at least watching great movies based on them.  

Exile On Causeway Street (aka The Smoking Puck in Lockout)

Happy New Year!
"And I only get my rocks off while I'm Dreaming,
I only get my rocks off while I'm Sleeping" 
I got a quick story to share.
The Other Night I Had a Dream.
A Sleeping Dream.  The Real Kind that Keeps With You.
It was a quick one but I remember in my dream...
I entered the Dunkin' Donuts up the street from my house.  Which gotta be a dream 'cuz I'm more apt to make fun of Dunkins than eat or drink there but iDigress...
For some reason, there's an HDTV on the wall, showing Sports.
To my Surprise...it was a live Bruins vs Montreal game!
I asked someone what was going on.
They said, "the lockout broke last night.  This is the first game of the season"
and I was overwhelmed with love to see my game back where it was supposed to be...
Tears of Joy ran down my face.

This past week I was in New York City for a few nights thanks to Doctor Hooey & Family, post X-Mas yet Pre-NYE.
I had a thought.  I was going to bring my #30 Bruins 2010 Winter Classic jersey to the NHL Headquarters at 1185 6th Avenue...
Get as far as I can up the management ladder and simply say,
"You can have this back...I don't want it anymore".
And leave.
It is a Tim Thomas Jersey!  C'mon.  I could always burning it in effigy yet the City tends to frown on such acts.
Will the Tank ever play again in Beantown?
Here are 6 Reasons He'll Never Return to the Boston Bruins.  
My other thought for NYC being a choice away from NHL HQ was making a sign and doing a One-Man Strike protesting the lockout...
But what does the NHL care what its Fans think?

January 11, 2013 is apparently the Drop Dead Date.
The Point of No Return.
If a 48-game season cannot start by Jan. 19th...
Then it's over!  C'est la vie!
Well...we have a few days to watch the last-minute scramble.
Sometimes a little adversity is good...it can bring out the Best in Us.
And creative solutions are made by identifying problems & not accepting terms due to these problems.
9 Days to Find Out if We Rock Out and Drop the Puck...
Or get our Rocks Off while we're Sleeping since the Season will have vanished like last night's dream...

'namaste and Good Luck!