22nd Jul2004

Comic Movies, Bank Breakup, and the MP3 Site Of Mine That I’ll Probably Forget About

by Will

I’m too lazy for a big post right now, but I figured it was time for an update.

Quick Thoughts:

– Bryan Singer’s directing “Superman”. Yah! …Which means no “X3”. Boo! There goes the X-Men movie franchise..

-Jessica Alba as Sue Storm in “Fantastic Four”? She’s cute and all, but I hate to admit I was more excited when I heard Jessica Simpson was up for the part…

-I started Driver’s Ed this week. Really forgot what it meant to be 15 yr’s old. No, I was NEVER like that, but it sure is weird. i don’t even get these kids. I made a “California Dreams” reference, and the room went silent. Crazy, young whippersnappers…

-Apparently, there’s a Green Lantern movie in the making, but Warner Bros is gonna make it a comedy, and they’re currently talking to Jack Black about starring in it. For every “Spider-Man”, there’s a “Howard The Duck”….

-I ended my sordid 5-year marriage to M&T Bank, due to “Irreconcileable Differences”. When the teller asked why I wanted to close the account, I simply told him, “You know…I just really don’t like you…I mean, the service is terrible, I’m tired of the charges, and you all had a monopoly where I went to college. But now….I just don’t want this anymore.” Best (and only) break-up speech I’ve ever given, thank you very much!

-For you comic kids out there, pick up The Pulse #4. One of the HEAVIEST and MOST POWERFUL talkers in recent years. Very little action, but really adds something to the whole Spider-Man franchise, especially if you’re a continuity buff like me! I LOVE Bendis!

-And for those of you who’re curious, my songs ARE up now, but the links aren’t working for some reason. I made the HTML tags myself, and I was quite proud, but they don’t seem to want to work. So, for now, just copy the URL’s and enjoy my bootlegged goodness. AND, if that doesn’t work, hope on over to http://www.freewebs.com/williambrucewestmusic/

Go easy on me, ’cause it IS a template, but it’s my first personal foray into site building. I made sure to make it the CHEESIEST, most CLICHE site around. It’s got a midi and a bubble effect. All I need now is a counter, guestbook, and a bunch of Hello Kitty shout-outs to all my girls in my ballet class.I’m not even sure it’ll stick around, but I really needed a place to store these mp3s. So, click and enjoy. Or hate. Either way, drop me a line and tell me what you think.

-Go see “Anchorman”!!! Funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. Funnier than Sealab, Family Guy, or Best Week Ever. Even if you hate those shows, GO SEE IT!!!

30th Jun2004

The Best Comic Book Movie Of All Time

by Will

So, saw Spider-Man 2 today. All I can say is WOW. I’ve always said that the first Spider-man was “The Best Comic Book Movie Of All Time”. I was wrong. Spidey 2 now holds that distinction!

I LOVED the opening sequence where the main plot points of the first movie are conveyed through Alex Ross’s artwork. I hate Alex Ross, ’cause I’ve heard nothing but accounts of him being an asshole, but the man does have a right to be. There’s no competition in his realm; he is THE painter in the world of comics. Photographs couldn’t have told the story better than his scenes, so I felt that was definitely an incredible aspect of the movie.

I can’t even get into what makes it great, but it’s the fact that we’ve all been or are Peter Parker. The everyman whose life just doesn’t go as he’d wish. We all make promises we intend to keep, but things just get in the way. The only difference is that we, as real people, don’t have as good an excuse for these faults as Peter does.

Anyway, great story. Really felt for Alfred Molina. He’s just a guy who had a passion for science, and in his pursuit of a dream, lost everything he held dear.

Still hate Kirsten Dunst. She’s the worst part of the franchise. And is it in her contract that she MUST be wet and bra-less @ least once a movie? Most guys wouldn’t complain, but I’m tired of this frumpy snaggle-tooth being forced in my face as a “sex object”. Hell, whoever plays Betty Brant is MUCH hotter that Kirsten Dunst.

Is it just me, or do we ALL know a “Harry Osborn”? Some privileged kid who wants nothing more than to fit in and be successful, but ends up pushing people away because of false bravado and theatrics? Cornell was full of them…

I also loved the cameos, like “Queer As Folk”/”I Love The ’80s” star Hal Sparks in the hilarious elevator scene. Or “Chappelle’s Show’s” Donell Rawlings (“Man, he stole that guy’s pizzas!”) Or Joy Bryant cheering Spidey along. And of course, the obligatory Stan Lee “I’m here ’cause I created this f-ing character” cameo. All of these were unnecessary, but as a pop culture guru, they added to my experience.

My only gripe is that Raimi seems to fixate on obnoxious themes each time around. The first movie had all the forced post-9/11 “Don’t F— with NYC” imagery. This movie has a “Godzilla -B Movie” feel to it whenever someone screamed. You had the “Look @ Camera.Freeze.Scream. Run Towards Camera Screaming” scenario. Especially in the hospital scene. The whole Terrified New Yorker role was HIGHLY exaggerated, but it didn’t take much away from the movie. Now, the countdown begins for Spidey 3 in May 2007.

I wonder why no one approached Raimi to breathe life into the Batman franchise. I swear, Spidey is really edging Bats off my hero list. If Chris Nolan disappoints me with “Batman Begins”, I’m scrapping my Bat Signal and using the parts to build web shooters (For you non-comic readers, Spidey actually has mechanical webshooters for his webs; unfortunately, Hollywood thought it’d be better if the webs came out of HIM for the movies, hence why you have no idea to what I’m referring.)

14th Jun2004

True Story: Swear To God – A Review

by Will

So, I’m slowly becoming what I fear most: a fanboy. I always wondered what would happen if I withdrew from society and found my sheer enjoyment in life in the pages of comics. I knew it would be a sad, hollow, existence, but I also knew that many people lived this life. Well, I think I’m joining that crowd.

No, it’s not that my life is THAT pathetic, but I do keep finding myself intrigued and inspired by things I’ve read in comic form lately. No, I’m not talking X-Men or Batman (Although I still love you, my Gotham Savior).

No, my comic of the moment is “True Story: Swear To God”, by Tom Beland. TS:STG is a cute, romantic tale of how Tom, a cartoonist from CA, met “The One” during a fluke trip to Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, Lily, the love of his life, was a journalist who lived in Puerto Rico, meaning their long-distance relationship would take place over 15,000 miles. Tom personally illustrated the entire story of their courtship, much of it on the plane ride home from their initial meeting, and it’s all presented here. You really get taken along for the rollercoaster ride, and you completely empathize with Tom.

It’s nerve-racking when you’re waiting for Lily to come to CA for Tom’s brother’s wedding. It’s endearing the way Tom reveals exactly what’s on his mind during their first magical night, fearing he may never see Lily again. It’s hilarious as Tom sticks out like a sore thumb in PR.

I realize it’s not a book for everyone, as I’m trying to get my mom into it, and she’s just not feeling it. I swear, though, this story made me cry. It’s not sad, nor happy, but it’s beautiful. It’s simply a beautiful tale.

I think it really affects me because I know it’s based on a true story. A true story with a happy ending. Yup, Tom and Lily are married & living in Puerto Rico now. Although I never saw the movie, I think I know how Jennine felt whenever she watched “Life Is Beautiful”; The whole thing about how love can persist even through the hardest circumstances. By no means does Tom go through anything as harrowing as the Holocaust, but that whole “love pervading despite obstacles” angle really seems to apply here. Anyway, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to anyone. You don’t even have to like comics, but it’s a cute & heartwarming tale. And I certainly don’t feel like such a curmudgeon anymore since reading it…

10th Jun2004

Brad Meltzer, Identity Crisis, Bad Ideas, and Jim Mahfood

by Will

Yesterday, I met novelist Brad Meltzer. Wonderful guy! You’ll never meet a nicer guy in comics. Did I say comics? Well, yeah. While Meltzer is currently on the New York Times Bestseller List for his work, such as “The Millionaires” and “The Zero Game”, he’s also been dabbling in comics for the past few years. His latest masterpiece is called “Identity Crisis”.

“Identity Crisis” follows a murder mystery in the DC Universe (Superman, Batman, but no Spidey or Wolverine). While the ID of the vicitm isn’t the focal point, the mystery IS. This storyline promises to shake up the world of comics for years to come. Now, they ALWAYS say this, and it’s RARELY true, but I really believe that it’ll be a great story, consequences or no.

So, I read the issue last night and was DYING to call James and tell him about it, but since he has a “No Spoiler” clause in our contract, I knew he’d jump through the phone and strangle me like I was a Cornell Republican or something. Anyway, I KNOW he’s gonna hate who the victim is. PLUS, LEX LUTHOR’S FRIGGIN BATTLESUIT WAS IN THE BOX!!! THE PURPLE AND GREEN ‘SUPER POWERS’ SUIT!! HE’S ALIVE….Sorry James, guess you can just call me “Joe Sabia”…

Speaking of comics, if anyone has a nice little neighborhood comic shop, I implore you to try to find a copy of Bad Ideas #1. It’s written by Jim Mahfood and a bunch of other guys, and basically they’re making fun of all the dumb ideas people submit to them when they’re at conventions. “Why don’t you guys write an anime story? Why don’t you write about a comic fan who meets a really hot girl and they both get powers?” These questions and others are answered here, in hilarious fashion. Also, the art’s by Mahfood, who has an awesome underground graffiti style going on. To see more of his work, check out http://www.40ozcomics.com

27th May2004

Answering Austin’s Trivia Questions

by Will

Hey Austin,

Zeta was voiced by Gary Cole on “Batman Beyond” and Diedrich Bader on “The Zeta Project”, which means the movie they starred in together was none other than “Office Space”, which may be the best movie of all time.

As for Christian Bale, I’m not sure how I feel. I HATE the suit (previewed in EW 3 weeks ago), but I haven’t seen enough of his stuff to have an opinion. Hell, I kinda liked Clooney, so that shows how credible I am when it comes to “Batman” portrayals.

Anyway, keep that trivia coming! Anyone can jump in. Just e-mail me, or put a msg in my guestbook! I simply can’t be stumped! 😛

13th Jan2004

Bruce Wayne As A Disguise For Batman

by Will

It’s been argued that, rather than “Batman” being a mask that Bruce Wayne wears, “Bruce Wayne” is actually a mask that Batman wears. “Bruce Wayne” died the moment he had to deal with his parents’ deaths. At that moment, a darker, brooding being was born: Batman. Haunted by the death of his parents, it drove him to aspire to perfection in every way possible. Sure, in public he adopts the Bruce Wayne persona, whom people see as friendly, funny, and, somewhat aloof. It’s all just a facade, though. No one can even conceive what really goes on in his head. He tries to keep the innocent happy and safe, but he can never really be happy himself. He’s sworn to protect the lives of families, knowing that it’s doubtful he will ever have one of his own. Basically, he’s a depressed, driven man, who suffers from a lot of hurt and loneliness. Yes, he’s just a man. And now, more than ever before, I think I’m beginning to understand why I’m drawn to him as a character.

22nd Aug2003

I’d Also Like My Own Alfred

by Will

I’d love more than anything to pull a “Bruce Wayne” right about now. Just drop everything, and travel the world. I’d learn from the best scientists, detectives, assassins, and fighters. Then again, Bruce Wayne was rich and I am not…

Still want to run away, though

🙁

14th Aug2003

The Animated Batman: An Unofficial Guide

by Will

My new Bible:

http://anbat.toonzone.net/

13th Aug2003

The One Where I Just Miss WizardWorld Chicago

by Will

OK, I feel so ashamed that I did not support my comic brethren better over the weekend. “What are you talking about, Will?” you ask. Well, over the weekend, I went to a family reunion in Birmingham, Alabama. Long story short, it could’ve been better, but it could’ve been worse. I’m of the opinion that those things are really just for old people anyway. Young people don’t care unless they see someone hot, and then start inquiring as to how they’re related to them. If it’s not immediate, it’s hook-up time. C’mon, you know you’ve thought about it.

Anyway, on the way back, I had a connecting flight in Chicago. I’m in the line for McDonalds, when I notice a couple carrying a bunch of poster rolls standing in line. I look closer, and notice a bunch of buttons and ID passes on the guys bag reading “Wizard World”. I stood there for awhile trying to process it. Finally, it hit me. “FUCK!” This was the weekend of the Wizard World Chicago, one of the biggest comic conventions in the country. I had been falling asleep off and on during the day, and I guess I had somehow forgotten, not only the date, but also my location. The important part was that this was also the last day of the convention. In fact, I figured that it had ended about an hour before my revelation. Thoughts are now racing through my head. “There are probably comic superstars here”, I thought. Conventions always have guests whom range from comic professionals to washed-up sci-fi stars. I knew SOMEONE pseudo-famous had to be there.

I broke out the line, and just started walking. I didn’t know where I was going, but I scanned from side to side as I narrowly missed running into people. This reminded me of the time in Wegman’s last week, when I was feeling out of my mind, and thought I saw Farrah Fawcett over by the produce. Not sure if it was her, but I ran into Miranda as she was getting a shopping cart. I’m sure it must’ve looked like a 3 Stooges bit to the rest of the customers. Anyway, that’s the last time I watch Charlie’s Angels at 5 in the morning.

So, I’m walking through the airport, thinking of Stan Lee, Jim Lee, Pat Lee (Boy, there sure are a lot of Lee’s in comics), and wondering if I’d see any of them. Then, it hit me: I don’t really know what most comic creators look like. Sure, there’s Peter David who looks like Santa Claus, and Alan Moore who looks like an old goth, but most of them are middle-aged, chubby, balding guys. At an airport, that’s like looking for a Jewish girl in Long Island.

About 5 minutes into my quest, who should I see “Hulking” down the concourse, but Mr. Lou Ferrigno himself. The Incredible Hulk! He looked irritated and maybe like he was on a mission, perhaps just to find his flight, but something told me not to fuck with the Hulk. I just kind of walked by him, wondering if anyone else noticed it. Then, I started wondering if it was such a crime for the Hulk to have been CGI in the movie. I kept picturing Lou all painted in green, and all I could do was laugh. Anyway, I saw the Hulk himself, so that’s one more B-level actor to add to my lifetime encounter list.

I figured, if the Hulk is here, then there must be others! I went to every concourse I could get to, without going through a security checkpoint. I started strategizing: Most important companies in the comic world are in NYC, so it would make more sense to check NY flights. I ran to every gate I could find, from LaGuardia to Rochester, but didn’t really recognize anyone. Might’ve seen a couple of British writers, but they all look the same: Tall, skinny, bald, with that anti-establishment look to them, like they’d be found on a soapbox preaching to the proletariat about the damn capitalists. So, I kept looking, but to no avail.

I saw a BUNCH of fanboys. You know, the guys who look unwashed, wearing their favorite variant Superman shirt (not the standard red “S”, but the rare black and white logo). They walk around with their backpacks, and portfolios of sketches of huge-breasted women who neither exist, nor would even speak to them if they did. I even saw a real-life Silent Bob. Well, he looked more like Silent Bob and Jay in one entity.

Finally, I gave up my search, and went back to my gate, but I’ll never forget my brush with “Hulkness”. OK, I probably will, but that’s why I have this log to remind me of things that were important at one time, but may not matter in the future. Wow, that sounded bitter.

04th Aug2003

Still Trying To Work In The Toy Industry

by Will

So, I just sent an application in to Mattel. I figure it’s time to get this toy thing started. Ithaca’s trying to send me a message, and I’m never gonna do anything unless I’m pushed. Seems like I’m being pushed, so hopefully this’ll turn out better than those apps to Marvel & DC that I haven’t heard back from.