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

03rd Jun2004

Was That You, Lady Deathstrike?

by Will

So, yesterday in the store, this stunning girl came in. Not supermodel stunning, but incredibly captivating. She had amazing skin, the “cliche lower back tattoo”, low rise jeans, the works. But here’s the stuff that really made an impact. She had a pierced navel, causing me to notice she also had all these little scars across her stomach.

Not C-Section scars or stretch marks or anything, but definitely scratches. In fact, she looked like she might’ve been one of Wolverine’s victims or something. They had healed, but there were still all these errant claw scratches on her. She had beautiful eyes, although she rarely made eye contact. She walked up to the counter, and handed me a belt she wanted to buy. A surprisingly feminine belt, considering she seemed kinda badass. On the counter, as she was about to pay, she put down her backpack and her ….motorcycle helmet!! This chick was awesome.

As she walked away, my manager walked by her, and looking at me, said, “That’s one hip chick! She looks kinda like…Lenny Kravitz”. She walked out of the store with her Aviator glasses on, helmet in one hand, and backpack in the other. When she was gone, I knew I should’ve said something to her. Not like, “Wow, I should’ve gotten her number!” Anyone who knows me knows that’s not how I think. I would’ve loved to have had a conversation with her because I KNOW she had a story to tell. With her style, her scars, and just the scenario, I think I may have met one of the most intriguing people to cross my path in some time. Plus, I REALLY wanna know where the scars came from.

04th May2004

The Return of Lippart!

by Will

Today’s Episode: “The Citadel of Herndon” (A 2-Part Adventure) Episode #: 05102201

Special Guest Stars: Tam, Darien

Returning Cast Member: Eric Lippart

So, it started out as any other Friday. I was kinda excited ’cause when I got to work, I noticed I was stationed in the fitting room, and that’s my favorite station. No, I’m not a pervert, but I always have funnier stories to tell about the fitting room. The next thing I know, there’s Tam. For all of the uninformed, Tam’s my pseudo-cousin. Very long story. Regardless, H&M, on Mean MILF Island, was the last place I expected to see her. Anyway, she was just shopping for stuff for her trip to Miami. Apparently, she’s been working hard lately, and decided she deserved a vacation. *&^%ing successful people with their *&^%^ing successful plans! We chatted and we’re supposed to hang out sometime this summer ’cause she’s on all kinds of guest lists for clubs and parties. It’s weird how we’ve gotten closer in recent years, when we used to be kind of warring. She had the pseudo-street cred, while I was a laughing stock Alphonso Ribeiro.

After she left, he walked in the door. I didn’t notice him at first. In fact, I wondered, “Who’s the sketchy guy leaning by the pillar?” I had to run out to do a price check, and that’s when I noticed. LIPPART. Yeah, we’d talked recently, but I hadn’t actually seen him since October. He was certainly a sight for sore eyes. The first chance I got, I finagled my 15-min break, even though we were 15 minutes from closing. We chatted and tried to make plans for when I was done with work.

When I got back in the store, Bridget, one of the girls who works there, asks, “Who’s your friend?” In a tone I didn’t really like. “What the hell kind of question is that?” I fire back. “He’s my boyfriend! Is THAT what you want me to say?” Yeah, I know it was a bit harsh, but I didn’t like her tome, and you’ve got to meet her to understand this girl. She’s young. She’s 18, but she’s still “young”. Kinda immature. I just wasn’t in the mood. Turns out, though, she thought Lip was cute. Wanted the 411 on him. (Do people still say “411”?). The more I told her (He’s got a good job, Master’s degree, etc), the more she was into him. I decided to have a little fun, so I just kept pouring it on. She doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell, but it at least made the time pass quicker.

Once done, I met Lip and his friend Darien at Silver Diner, where we discussed South Park and our mail-order bride of a waitress. Once that was done, we weren’t really sure what we were going to do next. We dropped off Darien, and then it was off to Eric’s.

This is when it got weird. Since I hadn’t seen him in awhile, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had a feeling that must be akin to how a girl must feel when she’s on the way to some guy’s house she just met in a bar. The whole, “Am I gonna sleep with him? Well, I’m headed to his house, so I must plan to sleep with him debate”. No, I wasn’t thinking of it along those lines, but I was curious, “Am I going home tonight, or am I sleeping in Lip’s guest room tonight?” I didn’t care either way, but I just wanted to be sure before I missed the last train back to MD.

So, we’re headed to his place, and I see what I can only describe as a citadel. I’m about to ask him what it is, when I notice we’re headed for it. In fact, we pull up right to it. Turns out, he lives in said citadel! I forgot the name of the development, but it is one of the sweetest places I have ever seen! And it only gets better inside. I am SO impressed with his decorating skills. I may have introduced him to H&M, but someone else introduced him to Pottery Barn and the Bombay Company! I couldn’t have decorated any better. in fact, it just motivated me to want my own place to try my hand.

Anyway, I’m getting off track. So, he’s giving me the grand tour, and I can’t believe my eyes. The flat screen TV, the faux fireplace, the courtyard view! Why is this man single, I ask? I told him he needed to post pics of the place online, and any woman’d want him. His place looks as if it has a woman’s touch, but he did it all himself. Definitely a place any woman would feel comfortable in.

Then, I find out there’s a super market, McDonalds, Subway, Gold’s Gym, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Irish Pub, and many other specialty shop SUPER MINI-MALL right across the street. Every convenience was thought of. Everything right at your fingertips. We go to the pub, Ned Devine’s, and have a few drinks. It was at that point, I realized I wasn’t seeing MD that night.

We went back and watched Kill Bill, which looked almost as amazing as it did in the theatre, thanks to Lip’s amazing entertainment center. I passed out and had the best sleep I’d had in days.

Saturday, we watched X2 and had Chinese, while Lip looked for job postings at his company. He’s trying to help me out by looking for anything in HR. We mainly spent the day watching Queer Eye and Batman, til that night, when we went back to Ned Devine’s. At around 2 AM, he drove me back to MD.

All in all, it was a great weekend, and I’m sure I left out some stuff, but that’s the main gist of it all. I’m just glad to have him back in the cast.

29th Apr2004

Thin Line Between Beauty and Ugly

by Will

I felt this post was appropriate, seeing as how People’s “50 Most Beautiful People” issue is about to drop.

You know how there’s a thin line between pain and pleasure? I’m beginning to think it’s the same with beauty and ugliness. For instance, we think gorgeous people are gorgeous because they differ so much from everyone else. At the same time, we think unattractive people are ugly….because they differ so much from everyone else. My point is that a lot of the people we find “attractive” should also be “unattractive”, but it’s simply a matter of perspective.

Nick Lachey, it’s been said, really isn’t a hot guy. If you look closely, he’s got a big pug nose, thick lips, and he’s almost kind of a meathead. But if you take the parts as a whole, something about them converge to make him this heartthrob. You could say it’s his personality, but look closely next time; you’ll see what I’m talking about.

At Cornell, there was a very attractive singer who, upon closer inspection, had certain physical aspects that should be “unattractive”. Regardless, somehow these aspects converged, causing us all to think this person was gorgeous. I still stand by this assessment, but some days, my mind wanders….

Jennifer Garner is another example. In my mind, she is the world’s most beautiful man. Yes, I said “man”. There is NOTHING feminine about her, yet she’s this sex symbol. Had she come out last decade, she’d have been some sort of freak. But now, she’s this “graceful beauty”. Have you seen her high school pictures?!! This girl had “ugly duckling” written all over her. And no, she did NOT have some kind of glamorous Hollywood makeover. Little has changed in her appearance, except she’s more buff. And we call this “sexy”? She was hot in Daredevil, but that’s ’cause she was a ninja, and General Law of Life #768 states that “All ninjas are cool, no questions asked”.

I guess my question is what is it about these people, or our own assessments, that cause them to be seen as “sexy” and “beautiful”.

Oh man, I’m starting to sound like James…

26th Apr2004

Shopping Spree & Newport Cameos

by Will

Today’s Episode: “Will That Be Credit or Debit?” Episode #04102226

Special Guest Stars: Kea Dupree, Alex Cowan

Cameo Appearance: Beth Don

So, today, I was a bad boy. Mommy’s in NC with Mr. Earle for a funeral, so I’m Kevin McCallister for the moment. I didn’t really want to be home, even though I have some MAJOR cleaning to do. I’ve been sleeping in the guest room since December ’cause my room is so junky!

Anyway, I didn’t want to stay in, so I decided to go out…in the rain…shopping. I know I probably shouldn’t have, but I really wanted to buy stuff. It’d make me feel better. Plus, I worked over 85 hrs during the past week and a half, so it’s not like I couldn’t afford it right now. I’ll just be regretting it later.

So, ever since being introduced to Death Cab for Cutie, I’ve really been hooked. Since they’re a fairly new group, the collector in me took over, and I’ve been trying to track down every album. Anyway, I’ve been a real music mood, so you can see where this is headed….

I’m just gonna list where I went and what I bought. That’ll give the best picture of my adventures.

CD/DVD Exchange:

Elton John – Live in Australia

Elton John – Two Rooms

Starship – Knee Deep In The Hoopla

Baywatch – Hawaiian Wedding DVD

Tower Records & Videos:

Elton John – Greatest Hits 1970-2002

Elton John – Remixed

Death Cab for Cutie – You Can Play These Songs With Chords

Death Cab for Cutie – We Have The Facts and We’re Voting Yes

Westlife – Turnaround

Rufus Wainwright – Want One

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 1 DVD

Gamestop:

Star Trek – Federation Gift Pak

Borders Books & Music:

Something Corporate – North

Blender, May 2004

EB:

The Punisher DVD

So yeah, spent a LOT of money. Kinda having the Buyer’s Remorse….

I completed the Death Cab collection, but I’m also on this Elton kick. He is AWESOME! I completely blame Courtney for this ’cause she had his greatest hits playing ALL DAY yesterday! After awhile, that stuff is just gonna seep in.

So, I think I saw Ethan’s mom when I was at Gamestop, but since I didn’t really confirm whether or not it was her, we’ll just give her a “cameo” credit.

While at White Flint, I ran into Ms. Kea, AKA The “Dolly” to my “Cornelius” (Newport kids’ll get that reference). She’s just as cute as ever. It was great seeing her, but I felt so inadequate seeing as how she’s practically working 4 jobs right now! She’s really on the ball. It’s actually kind of motivating. It was good to catch up with her and find out the whereabouts of some other Newportians.

On the way home, I’m minding my own business, reading my Blender, on the Metro. Suddenly, this tall White guy in a cowboy hat and leather jacket stumbles into the car. I look at him, wondering, “Who the hell is this guy?” I look closer and realize it’s Alex! I haven’t seen him in years, but he’s the same Alex I remember and love. He scanned the car, and he looked at me, but didn’t recognize me. I decided to wait and see if he’d notice me. He sat down a few rows up, and just waited for his stop. He took off his hat, and there was a chunk of hair missing on the side. Don’t folks! This wasn’t the result of an accident. This was a statement. He always did have a way with fashion. So, he gets up for his stop, and I call out his name. He kinda hears it, notices me, and is shocked. He stumbles over to me and we talk, but he has to get off. I told him we’d hang out soon since I’d been hanging with his sister recently.

I swear, everyday, there’s another person I never thought I’d run into. It’s almost like I’m being set up. But it was still awesome to see them both. And great spending ALL THAT MONEY 🙂

24th Apr2004

The Law Of Continuous X’s

by Will

“Comic Law #433: The “Law of Continuous X’s” – An X-Title can never truly be destroyed … it is only reshaped into a new X-title. Thus, it shall appear that when one X-title is canceled, it is immediately replaced by another”

So true…

22nd Apr2004

Where In The World Is Justin Timberlake?

by Will

I’m going to shoot myself for asking this, but Where’s Justin Timberlake? I mean, a few months ago, you couldn’t get even get in an elevator, without being accosted by some form of Rock Your Body or that infernal “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle. Now, it seems like he’s fallen off the earth. I hear he’s filming some movie as a reporter, but I miss my JT fix! There’s only so much Uncle Jesse/Mystique drama I can take, especially since I predicted the end of that marriage YEARS ago. “Have mercy”, indeed.

18th Apr2004

Great Weekend Involving VA, The Punisher, and Kill Bill Vol 2

by Will

OK, let’s see if I still remember how this goes. As much as I hate to admit it, you all know how I LOVE being the resident Eeyore, but this has actually been a great weekend. Got off work yesterday @ 5, which is simply unheard of. Then, I got my long-awaited reunion with VA. Amazing, we’ve known each other for years, but it was the first time we’ve ever gotten drunk together. Anyway, with Alabama Slammers and Chicken Fried Rice, that girl certainly knows how to have a good time. Plus, I now know the Metro goes right to her house, so it’s not gonna be one of those “only-reachable-by-car”. Didn’t get home til about 4 AM ’cause of friggin’ maintenance on the Red Line. I was actually scared I might get stranded in DC, and I mean the Bad DC.

Today was just as crazy and action-packed as yesterday. Finally got some bills paid, which is good ’cause it means I’m being responsible. It’s bad, though, ’cause I’m out $250. Anyway, I think Verizon and I know where each other stands from this day forward. 😛

Anyway, I had to “observe” Wednesday today, meaning I had to get my comics ’cause I was working when they came out on Wednesday. As a caveat, I got SO MUCH Punisher swag today! Free movie poster @ the shop, and free comic at the movie, but more on that later.

After the shop, I just kinda walked around. It was such a nice day, and I didn’t want to waste it. I ended up walking to Toys “R” Us, which turned out to be really weird. Normally, I can slip in unnoticed, and slip back out. Today, however, everyone I ever worked with seemed to be there, and they were all so friendly. They said they genuinely missed me, and it truly felt like it. To be honest, I miss them too. I don’t think I’d ever go back there, but I still love kids and toys. Neither of these loves are being fulfilled @ H&M.

Anyway, I eventually made my way to Silver Spring to comic shop #2, and found the sweetest poster. The guy didn’t know how much to sell it for, for fear of his manager firing him. So, I put it on hold and have to call back tomorrow. I’ll describe it tomorrow if the deal goes through.

Eventually, I met up with Brett and we went to dinner & The Punisher. So, what did I think of The Punisher? He simply didn’t punish enough. He was way too much of a wise-cracking smart-ass for a guy who watched his entire extended family massacred. That was part of the problem. The whole movie was overkill. It was like a bad WWF match. For example, in the comic, Frank Castle’s wife, son, and daughter are caught in mob crossfire, which drives him crazy and causes him to become The Punisher. In the movie, Castle’s entire family, including parents, aunts, cousins, etc, are massacred during a beachfront family reunion. There was no need for them to kill 50+ people! We get the point. It’s kinda like how Eminem wants us to know how he really, really loves his daughter. Enough already. In the end, I enjoyed the movie, but I thought he’d be more stoic than he actually was.

After the movie, I did something rare: I went out again! Don’t ask me why, ’cause it’s certainly not a normal thing, but I met up with Davis and we went to see Kill Bill Vol. II. I can’t even begin to attempt to give a review to that movie. I’ll just say awesome. And not in that “Matrix/Star Wars-justification of crappy sequel” kind of way. Simply awesome movie. Tarantino turned a cliche into something amusing and enjoyable. On the other hand, I can’t wait to hear all the gripes my “debate partner” is going to have regarding the movie’s political incorrectness; we haven’t even discussed “The Apprentice” finale, so I know he’ll be charged and ready to go. Anyway, I know the Japanese, and some Jewish, organizations are gonna be up in arms Monday morning, so Quentin, prepare for the backlash. Regardless, a job well-done.

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.