grinninfoole: (strangelove)

I worked late today, and after work I stopped by M's place to divvy up the farm share. Wound up having some dinner, and then joining her for a trip to Popcorn Noir for Zack Snyder's 300. I cannot recall having ever seen a worse movie.

The visual effects were OK in places (well composed, so stylized that they weren't interesting), some of the photography and cinematography were aesthetically striking, but otherwise it was just bad. I didn't hate the film, because that would have required it to evoke an emotional response beyond mild boredom and disdain, but it's an embarrassment that should never have been filmed (or, failing that, released).

Not to mention that it was obviously racist, sexist, and homophobic, filled with ridiculous decisions, a pretentious and unnecessary narrator, logical inconsistencies, question begging, and fundamental historical inaccuracies that completely subvert the crapulously earnest speeches all the Greeks make.

Mind you, the many slashy scenes were so incredibly over the top that it's the closest I've ever seen gay subtext come to being text without quite making it. It should have just been a gay porno.

Oh, and I couldn't but compare it Tarantino's Kill Bill, which I disliked intensely because it seemed to have little point beyond reveling in violence and bloodshed. Say whatever else you wish about Quentin Tarantino: he made a film I didn't like because it was basically an excuse to watch Uma Thurman flight and mutilate folks. 300 should have been the same, but mostly I just didn't care about anyone on screen. So, meh.

Oh, and tomorrow evening the store is celebrating it's tenth anniversary. I hope you'll all stop by and join us.

grinninfoole: (Default)
Well, I have perpetrated another crime against pop culture commentary.  This week I talked about science fiction comics, and really just barely scratched the surface. 

In other news: happy birthday [ profile] millari!  I hope you and [ profile] trovia have a great time celebrating it.  You're still my favorite person, and I hope your 43rd year is prime in every sense of the term.
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Here's the latest Mythspoken podcast, with more 'me making too much noise while I think'.  Still, I sound good.  Mike and Ellie discuss things they've thought about carefully, and I spit ball about the blurred lines between the sub-culture of nerdy fandom, and broader mass-culture.
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Here's a special episode of my store's podcast, reviewing Dark Knight Rises, in which I fill the third slot.  We stay spoiler free for the first ten minutes or so, and apart from me saying 'you know' too much while I collect my thoughts, I think I did a great job.

Oh, and Mike and Ellie were OK, too. :)

Actually, i probably should have plugged the store's podcast here months ago, since I think the regular trio of Jim, Mike and Ellie are actually interesting if you have any interest in nerdy pop culture.  You can find all the episodes on iTunes and on our website.  Here's a link to the first episode.
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The local news did a puff piece on the opening of Dark Knight Rises, and came to my store and talked to me.  They used a few seconds of me saying obvious stuff about Batman.  My impressions are: 1) is that really my voice?  and 2) ugh, the camera really does add 10 pounds. :(

Plus, Mike Lacrosse got the name of my store wrong. 

Anyway, here it is.
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Last month, Dark Horse published the first graphic novel continuation of the Avatar The Last Airbender series, the Promise. It's the first part of the story, but it's picking up on the loose threads of Zuko's dad in jail, his missing mother, and the great task of constructing the peace now that the war is finally over. I quite like it: the art keeps the look and feel of the cartoon, but works as comics, and not just screen caps. The writing seems true to the show in themes, characters and dialogue. If you like the show, you should rush over to my shop and get this book.

(Oh, and in my post the other day, I forgot to mention that M and I have watched the first season of Warehouse 13, and actually quite liked it. Saul Rubinek is a lot of fun, and the rapport between the two Secret Service agents working for him is enjoyably functional and comic. I like that the guy (can't recall his name) is so easy-going and friendly that he can play ping pong with his reflection in the Mirror Universe (courtesy of the Lewis Carroll's Looking Glass) while other people dread it because it will unleash their subconscious dark side. I think we'll watch more when we get the chance.)
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This weekend, my store is celebrating its ninth anniversary, starting with a party on at 6 pm Friday 9/9. There will be pizza, cupcakes, beverages, and prizes. It will be fun.

On the 10th, we're having a Magic mini-tournament, and hosting a D&D Lair Assault, and having our usual miniatures painting and board game nights.

On Sunday the 11th, from 1-3 PM, R. A. Salvatore will be in the store signing books. Come join us, and shut out talking heads who have learned nothing from the past decade.


Aug. 3rd, 2009 10:35 am
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This past weekend was connecticon. Several thousand fans of anime, manga, and other geekery got together for a socially awkward good time. There were hundreds of cosplayers (lots of pretty girls in very skimpy clothing of course, but also lots of guys too, and people in full furry gear and Jedi and lots more. Highlights were Hunter S Thompson, Jurassic Park rangers, and Sokka & Katara disguised as fire nation parents.).

The show is very demanding, but this year it went more smoothly than ever and I think we did well. It was still exhausting, though. I basically did nothing except work for the past two weeks. The one exception was I made time last Wednesday to run my Midnight game. Even though I have jobs to hunt and a birthday to plan, I couldn't help myself. I had to get in some gaming. :)

I am sad now though because my sweetie is away all this week. I must use the time wisely, and not mope.

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Tonight, I went to Amherst College, where Alison Bechdel was giving a talk.  She impressed me with her low-key friendliness and lack of pretension.  Mostly she talked about Fun Home and how she went about creating it, and then she took some questions.  The she went out into the foyer of Converse Hall and signed books, right next to where I was set up selling them. (and we sold about twenty.  Score!)  Then, entirely of her own volition, she signed every single unsold one.

It's strange to me that I found myself most interested in HOW she works and other cartoonists who influenced her.  For any loved work or author, those questions naturally arise sooner or later, but I'm not a comics creator myself, so for me, it tends to be later.  But Fun Home, in particular, is a tour de force of subtle technique.  There are no virtuoso/show-offy splash pages, no sudden shifts in tone, no bravura bits of dialogue, but everything is just right, just as it needs to be sort of the way Jeeves is just where he needs to be.  There's no other comic quite like it, and I was intrigued, but not surprised, that she is, apparently, not steeped in comics lore.  She has influences, Howard Cruse in particular, but she didn't grow up reading Lee & Kirby (which shows in her art) or Crumb, and so her comics work has a sui generis quality, like Conrad's prose, perhaps, and like Conrad, her personal idiosyncrasy is part of what makes the work (and the person) so interesting. 

I have to confess though, that I'm jealous: the odds are very low that I shall ever win an Eisner Award which will be handed to me by Neil Gaiman.


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