Invincible #68 just came out, and boy is it great. Robert Kirkman’s Invincible is, by far, the best comic series currently running.
For those of you unaware of Invincible, here is a quick recap: Mark Grayson is your typical, teenage boy dealing with all of the usual problems including school, girls, and growing up. That is where the normalcy ends. His father is Omni-Man, an alien who came to Earth and became its greatest hero. The series started just before Mark’s own powers began manifesting.
The series is notorious for being a pastiche of iconic comic book characters and playing with the usual conventions of the medium. Omni-Man is an obvious nod towards Superman, and his team of superheroes strikes a strong resemblance to the Justice League.
So, last night was the big night. As I stated in my last post, there are very few things in this world that I love more than Star Wars. When my uncle called a month ago and asked if I wanted to see Star Wars in Concert, I didn't even give him a chance to finish his sentence. I didn't even know what the hell it was! I hear Star Wars and I'm there. So, it was me, my uncle, and my two younger cousins. The older of the two is obsessed with Star Wars, so we have a lot in common. While I do have a great deal of knowledge of the prequels, I haven't seen them nearly as many times as he has. And, although I feel like less of a man when someone younger than me knows more about Star Wars than I do, I just have to remind myself that he was raised on the prequels.
The car ride there was pretty funny, because my uncle and I kept singing Bill Murray's lounge singer version of Star Wars from Saturday Night Live. My cousins were not as amused. For those unfamiliar, here's the video.
Well, I just got finished watching Disney Pixar's Up. First and foremost, I would like to say, John Lasseter and crew, you sneaky sons-a-bitches, you did it again. As the menu screen slowly burns into my TV, I sit here wiping my eyes (equally from tears of laughter and from other squishy emotions) and pondering what makes a Pixar film so great. I don't want to say that their works are formulaic, but they do have a rhythm and rhyme that is distinctly Pixar.
Most are aware that there is no great story without great conflict. Hamlet, The Divine Comedy, Porky's Two: The Next Day; they all shared this ethos. Pixar has taken spinning tragedy into a wonderful plot to an art form, though. Let's run down a quick list. Toy Story 1 and 2 (soon to be 3) all dealt with loss of some kind. With Monster's Inc., it was a loss of home for poor Boo. A Bug's Life, well, you have me there; maybe going through changes, metamorphosis, and what not. I don't really remember that one well. Touching, but not to say so tragic that one feels the immediacy of the loss. Childhood playthings, the home and friends you grew up with: these are the things that we look back on with nostalgia and ennui. Moving on.
Ahhh, where do I begin? I should start by saying that I was in no way all that excited to see this movie. My first beef was that Cameron had a bit of a dispute over changing the name of his movie, so that it wouldn't be confused with the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. Cameron, of course, got his way; his name stuck, and theirs needed to change. So, already this dude is rubbing me the wrong way. Not only that, but when I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with the Titanic. I had read so many books on the subject, it could make your head spin. But, did I see the movie? Nope. Looked lame to me. I did catch parts of it on TBS sometime this past year or so and wasn't impressed. Terminator 2 was the last flick of his that I enjoyed.
When my Twitter was blowing up about James Cameron's motion picture epic Avatar, I just kind of rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever." I can't be fooled by super amazing CGI. I need story! Why is it that we can't have a visually-brilliant movie with story to back it up? Because the general public doesn't care about story anymore. This is really sad. I get grief for liking the Star Wars prequels sometimes. Fine! I will be a Star Wars geek until the day I die. I hope my friends fulfill my dying wish to be cremated and my ashes scattered across the Tunisia Desert.
Created By Scotty Mullen and Michael Troy
Who is Rocketboy???
Created by Scotty Mullen and Michael Troy, the Rocketboy blog showcases the covers for Rocket - the comic book chronicling the adventures of this mighty muscleman who will load up, ride hard, and blast off into your heart!
A clueless party boy zapped up into a rocketship orbiting the earth, Rocketboy must save the planet from his evil mother, Queen Cherry, while still finding the time to shop, workout, and date.
Take a ride on the Rocketboy Blog here!!!
The Boy Who Loved Magnificent Woman
Story and Art by Michael Troy
Michael Troy offers a short web comic that deals with childhood bullying, inspired by his own youthful obsession with Wonder Woman.
As a little boy I was a huge Wonder Woman fan after falling in love with Lynda Carter. I was definitely made fun of for liking Wonder Woman. I think a lot of little gay boys relate to strong women. My brother introduced me to comic books and I loved the art. It inspired me to start drawing and eventually making comics of my own. I often wondered what kind of Wonder Woman story I would tell. I came up with The Boy Who Loved Magnificent Woman a few years back and wasn't sure what to do with it. After coming out with a few books (Homo-Hero's Big Book of Fun and Adventure and my current project The Blonde Squad), I decided to write and draw TBWLMW, because, creatively, I had to get it out of my system. After completion it sat there for a while and I wasn't sure how to get it to people. With bullying taking a spotlight in the media, I decided to put my story on my blog just to get it out to people. It is a moving, powerful story that I want as many people to see as possible. Eventually, I would either like to expand it into a longer graphic novel or turn it into a film or short cartoon. I think it has a message that many people, especially gay men, can relate to.
The Blonde Squad
Story and Art by Michael Troy
BLONDER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET!
Fledgling comic book publisher Lethally Blonde Productions is proud to announce the release of its flagship title, The Blonde Squad!
The Blonde Squad was created by writer/artist Michael Troy (Rocketboy, Homo-Hero's Big Book of Fun and Adventure, and The Exceptionals). Part comedy, part comic book soap opera drama, The Blonde Squad is a bi-monthly, 24-page, full color comic retailing for $2.99. The Blonde Squad is available for order online through Prism Comics and in comic shops and speciality stores later this year. (1-888-COMICBOOK)
What happens when shallow, blonde super heroes join a super team just to be famous? Nothing good. The Blonde Squad is a feast of pop culture satire that follows the exploits of four ditzy, blonde heroes that mean well. The team consists of resident muscle and eye candy from a different world - "BLONDER MAN," a famous for nothing socialite that can suck the energy out of anything - "DRAIN," "Drain's" closet-case cousin and team speedster - "SPEEDBUMP," and is rounded out by nordic beauty and team psychic - "PSIGHT." Under the wing of their founder and mentor, power publicist to the stars Kandi Kramer, will The Blonde Squad soar to new heights or face the public humiliation that fame an infamy can bring? And, just what secret is the faithful publicist hiding? Is there no such thing as bad publicity or will that be the ultimate downfall of The Blonde Squad?
Visit Michael Troy’s Blog To Get Even Blonder!!!
First, I should say that the act of condensing the (god, I feel stupid using this word) epic comic series into a three-hour movie must have been a daunting one. Nevertheless, Zack Snyder managed it admirably. The action scenes are masterfully done. The acting, with a few exceptions, was great. The attention to detail helped bring the world to life.
The movie hits all the key points of the comic. In fact, it treats the source material with extreme reverence. Now many, if not all, of the reviews that I have seen and heard have treated this as a negative thing. Let me be clear, they are not wrong. For the uninitiated, this rigidity must seem odd. For one thing, the comic was set in a fictional 1985. This is understandable, as it was published in an actual 1986. The movie might have attempted to create an alternate 2009, in order to make it more accessible. There is a real danger in making a movie set more than twenty years ago that is further influenced by events another decade earlier. For many people, especially younger viewers, the references and jokes might be lost. Furthermore, the film cut many of the scenes that help set the stage for much of the later action. This is understandable, as the prospect of an eighteen hour Watchmen might have been a bit intimidating.
Sorry for the slight ruse, Rocky Horror Fans (of which I am one), but this post will not be about a young Susan Sarandon getting it six ways from Sunday by everyone except the dude in the wheel chair. That post may be coming soon though.
No, this post is about that great American institution known far and wide as the Drive-In. These bastions of celluloid hearken back to days-gone-by, when teens would pile into a car, have an orgy during a B-rated horror film, and then go to a malt shoppe - all for under a nickel! Drive-Ins took a big hit in the '80s and '90s with the advent of VCRs and DVD players, but they are making a come back; partly because of the kitsch factor and cheap prices and partly because if you wanna see someone going at it, by themselves or with a partner live, chat roulette is a pale comparison to the Americana that is the drive-in theater.