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Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's A Mad House! A MAD HOUSE!

OK, so it wasn't really a mad house. In fact, the theater was pretty sparsely populated, but that didn't matter. What mattered is that we went to the movies this past weekend and saw the original "Planet of the Apes" on the big screen. I can't explain why, even though I've seen this movie countless times, that this screening was special.

Maybe it was the fact that this was my first time seeing it on something other than a television. The cinematography on the movie is glorious and can really only be appreciated larger than life. Scenes that would normally be riffed on MST3K for being nothing more than walking are rivioting and give you a sense of desperation of these men, lost on an alien planet.

Maybe it was because, even though we weren't in the same theater, I knew that my buddy Scott Gardner was also watching that same showing down in sunny Florida. Scott and I had a long talk on the Apes movies when we first met, face to face, back in 2014. We agreed to disagree on the repair of the space ship for the beginning of "Escape from the Planet of the Apes", but we did agree on our mutual love of this film.

Maybe it was because Michelle and Kira were with me. Michelle has seen the movie before but she said that she liked it a lot better on the big screen. Kira, on the other hand, has seen bits of the cartoon (yes, I'm the guy that watches the cartoon version), but has never seen the movie. We made sure to not tell her the ending, but she wasn't too shocked by it. That's probably because she's had a good amount of science fiction viewing over her short life, and the twist at the end, while unexpected, made sense to her.

Whatever it was, all three of us had a great time.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016


Inspired by a recent episode of Trentus Magnus Punches Reality, I have dug out my old Nightwing comics and have started a reread. While I by no means have a complete run, I have a rather large chunk, especially of the Dixon/McDaniel/Story team. Doing this has reminded me just why Nightwing is my favorite member of the Bat-Family.

That's right. Not Batman. Not Robin. Not even Dick Grayson as Robin. No, my favorite member of the Bat-Family is Nightwing. Specifically the Nighwing as written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Scott McDaniel & Karl Story.

That I like the character under the pen of Dixon is a no-brainer. He's one of the writers that "gets" these characters and it's a joy to read any of his work. Having Dick go to another city, where he doesn't have the Gotham support systems, is wonderful. Not only that, we get some great supporting characters and Dick is able to finally find his own way.

What doesn't jive is that I like the art so much. Those that know me understand that I don't like impressionistic or "wonky" art. Not suprising when my first ever comic was drawn by Sal Buscema, a master. Even Walt Simonson's art, which is a bit more stylized, still is workable.

McDaniel's art, however, with it's odd sight lines and movable anatomy, doesn't fit into my normal box. However, it just WORKS for Nightwing. It kind of works for Robin, and I don't think it works for Batman or Superman at all, but it's just a perfect fit for Nightwing. The Flash/Spider-Man multiple images is terrific (see the image on this post) and allows you to see the grace at which Dick moves through his city. It's just some great stuff.

So the writing and art on this series is great, but why Nightwing? Well, that's pretty simple. Here you have one of the 2nd generation heroes who has grown into his own man. Unlike Wally West, who is my favorite Flash, Dick didn't take over for his mentor. He stopped being Robin and, after a bit of a search, found his own path. He's obviously inspired by Batman still, but also by all the other heroes who he's worked with. Nightwing isn't Batman 2.0, and he isn't Robin in long pants, he's his own hero who's grown into this role. That, and his ability to still smile & joke, is why I like Nightwing the best.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Batman Wears Blue and Gray

From Batman-Online
Whether you're talking about Neil Adams, Jim Aparo, Adam West, or Olan Soule, the Batman that I grew up with wore blue & gray. I'm not going to get into the whole "he was originally intended to be in all black" or "blue can look darker than black at night" arguments. Nope, I just wanted to state that when someone says "Batman" to me, this is the costume that I picture.

Is it realistic? Not in the slightest, but, then, neither is Batman as a concept. The idea that a grown man, dressed as a bat, would go out and fight crime while not being killed isn't realistic at all. However, I've written about that before, so I won't get into it again.

This is a Batman who is The Dark Knight Detective. He's not the world's greatest fighter, but he can hold his own. He doesn't have a plan for everything, and has been tricked and beaten before. However, he never gives up and will eventually triumph through his keen mind and relentless will. This is a Batman who is not afraid to smile or crack a joke, but can be deadly serious when the occasion warrants it.

Your favorite Batman may be different, and that's great, but this is mine.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016


Those of you that watch the social media accounts for the blog have already seen this, but I thought it deserved a full-fledged post of it's own. I've recently opened a CafePress store, where you can find t-shirts, drinking vessels, etc with the logo of the blog & the podcast on them.

I did this for a couple or reasons. First of all, the designs that Andy Seabert did for me are just too good not to put on merchandise. I mean, just look at that t-shirt!

Secondly, as with the Patreon Page, I'm looking for your help in keeping everything up and running. While the pledges from Patreon will help get more, & more varied, content both here and on the podcast, the CafePress store will help both you and I. I'll get some funds to help me out and you'll get some cool merchandise.

Lastly, I would really love to, eventually, get a t-shirt with my own logo on it. Oh, I know I could do that with an iron-on, but this stuff is really decent quality. Plus, I'd like to imagine that I'll be walking down the aisle at a convention and see someone coming at me wearing my shirt. Pie-in-the-sky stuff, I know, but it's a nice thought.

Like what I'm doing here on the blog and podcast? Why not check out my Patreon Page to see how you can help me do more?