Month: March 2005

Down…but not out

April is shaping up to be one of my busier months in quite some time. Let’s take a quick peek at it shall we?

HeadsDown work:
First up is The Shuster Awards website. I did up three designs the other night, and I hope to have the site coding done this week (pending approval of course).

I’m also going to be working on another website over the next couple of weeks.

Ryan and I are finishing up templates and such for HockeyUpdater. I’ll then start moving on to finally coding all of the Writer’s Quill templates.

This site is moving over to the HeadsDown tools this week (maybe even this weekend), so if you see some hinky-ness, that’s what’s going on. When I move the site over, I’m going to implement one of my new layouts, and maybe add the ability to incorporate different style sheets.

TSN.ca work:
We plan on relaunching the home page with an all new CSS based design before the middle of April.

The Toronto Film Challenge 24 hour film project is April 2nd from 9:30am-9:30am Sunday.

Of course Sunday night is WrestleMania.

The following Friday night, April 8th, Charlene and I head off to Niagra Falls for a little “us time” for a couple of days.

The weekend of April 16th, Ryan, John and I are going to Las Vegas from Thursday night, and getting back around 6:00am Monday morning.

The next weekend I’m free (so far), but the last weekend in April is the Toronto Comicon. I plan on going on the Saturday with Liam and the Large Father, and I’m going to help a friend on Sunday.

Toss in my 9-5, our first ultrasound, an appointment with the colour decorator, and that’s a full month!

Of course all of this will prepare me for May, which has the highlight of 24 hour comic day! On May 24th, I plan on spending 24 hours writing and drawing 24 pages of comic art, which I will then start posting once a week on Chronicology. Hopefully it will be the kickstart I need to start doing a weekly strip.

Wicked Awesome!

Last night Char and I saw Wicked the Musical downtown at the Canon Theatre. It was in a word “wicked”. We had pretty decent seats, off to the right of the theatre, sitting by ourselves in what was pretty much the world’s highest box seat.

The show was really good, production values amazing, and the music was quite good (though not quite the kind of music that sticks in your head after the show), and the story itself is pretty cool.

Now I really want to read the book (Wicked, The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West). The spin on the story is so cool. The story starts out at the end of the Wizard of Oz, and the it goes back in time to explore the origins of many of Oz’s mysteries. What was the deal with the ruby slippers? Who was the Wicked Witch’s sister. Why did the farm house fall on her? What’s the deal with the Tin Man, Scarecrow and cowardly lion?

It’s such a great take on an old story, and was a whole lotta fun.

Wicked Awesome!

Last night Char and I saw Wicked the Musical downtown at the Canon Theatre. It was in a word “wicked”. We had pretty decent seats, off to the right of the theatre, sitting by ourselves in what was pretty much the world's highest box seat.

The show was really good, production values amazing, and the music was quite good (though not quite the kind of music that sticks in your head after the show), and the story itself is pretty cool.

Now I really want to read the book (Wicked, The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West). The spin on the story is so cool. The story starts out at the end of the Wizard of Oz, and the it goes back in time to explore the origins of many of Oz's mysteries. What was the deal with the ruby slippers? Who was the Wicked Witch's sister. Why did the farm house fall on her? What's the deal with the Tin Man, Scarecrow and cowardly lion?

It's such a great take on an old story, and was a whole lotta fun.

Lost thoughts

Char and I are getting caught up on Lost while it’s on haitus. We’ve caught up to episode 15 right now and only have three more to go to get to episode 18 (which is where they are right now).

Here’s some thoughts and observations;

It seems like the things which each one of the characters are missing are being fulfilled. Charlie was told that he would never be able to take care of anyone, he’s taking care of Claire. Sawyer has never been trusted, both Jack and Kate are starting to trust him. Michael always wanted a relationship with his son. Locke wanted to be the great white hunter. Boone needed to let go. Said didn’t think he could feel love again. The Asian couple are again in love. Claire hasn’t had to actually give birth (they’ve been on the island for a month now).

Other interesting things. The Spanish comic book that Walt was reading featured a massive polar bear. There’s a massive polar bear that’s stalking them.

The hatch in the ground is a classic McGuffin. I don’t think it means anything.

Are they already dead? Is this the afterlife? Is there something about the island?

Lost is definately the best thing on TV, and this comes from a dude who loves 24 and can’t wait for the weekly cliff hanger.

So many TV shows right now are written by guys who are obviously long time comic geeks. The entire spirit of Lost is lifted pretty much out of the Chris Claremont X-Men, where every character has four or five sub-plots lying around, and everyone has secrets, no matter how well you think you know them.

History repeating itself

This week’s Comics 101 with Scott Tipton on Movie Poop Shoot is about the 1984 Justice League relaunch (A.K.A. “The Detroit League”, where a bunch of new characters, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter became the new Justice League).

To be fair, around 1984, the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA book definitely needed some sort of shot in the arm. Frequent guest writers had robbed the book of any sense of long-term storytelling, unremarkable villains like Paragon and Hellrazer weren’t bringing in new readers, and an ever-rotating stable of pencillers denied the series any sense of artistic continuity.

His intention was to show readers that the New Avengers stuff that’s going on now is very similar to what happend with DC’s flagship team title in the 80’s.

Unfortunately what he fails to recognize is the fact that DC’s own JLA title is suffering a repeat of history here. A few months back we had John Beatty and on a Justice League run, then we had the dreaded Chris Claremont/John Byrne Doom Patrol relaunch in JLA, currently there’s the Kurt Busiek/Ron Garney Crime Syndicate storyline, and up next will be a Geoff Johns/Allan Heinberg and Chris Batista/Mark Farmer Identity Crisis follow-up.

Meanwhile over in the spin-off title “JLA Classified”, the “Formerly Known as the Justice League” sequel is finishing off (which while good, is of a totally different tone than Morrison/McGuiness’ 3 issue arc that started the title off). Justice League Elite is wrapping up its own 12 issue mini. Sadly, the most consistent JLA book of the last 12 months was Elite…and it’s a satelite book at best, while all of the other titles are a mess.

Maybe it’s time to dust off the old Justice League Detroit concept again?

Lost Thoughts

Char and I are getting caught up on Lost while it's on haitus. We've caught up to episode 15 right now and only have three more to go to get to episode 18 (which is where they are right now).

Here's some thoughts and observations;

It seems like the things which each one of the characters are missing are being fulfilled. Charlie was told that he would never be able to take care of anyone, he's taking care of Claire. Sawyer has never been trusted, both Jack and Kate are starting to trust him. Michael always wanted a relationship with his son. Locke wanted to be the great white hunter. Boone needed to let go. Said didn't think he could feel love again. The Asian couple are again in love. Claire hasn't had to actually give birth (they've been on the island for a month now).

Other interesting things. The Spanish comic book that Walt was reading featured a massive polar bear. There's a massive polar bear that's stalking them.

The hatch in the ground is a classic McGuffin. I don't think it means anything.

Are they already dead? Is this the afterlife? Is there something about the island?

Lost is definately the best thing on TV, and this comes from a dude who loves 24 and can't wait for the weekly cliff hanger.

So many TV shows right now are written by guys who are obviously long time comic geeks. The entire spirit of Lost is lifted pretty much out of the Chris Claremont X-Men, where every character has four or five sub-plots lying around, and everyone has secrets, no matter how well you think you know them.

DVD’s in the news

So once again Fox is selling off the first seasons of a mess of shows for dirt cheap prices. Right now at Future Shop you can get, the first season of Buffy, 24, The Shield, Family Guy, and a few others for $29.99. The Shield is supposed to be a great show, and I bought that Family Guy set last time it was on sale (it’s freakin’ hilarious and so wrong on so many levels).

This week sees The Incredibles release on DVD, with a ton of extras. It’s definately on my “must watch DVD” list. Also Star Trek First Contact, which I consider one of the best sci-fi movies of the last ten or so years, gets the special treatment. Next week sees the pretty cool Star Wars “The Clone Wars” released on DVD. This release will have all of the micro-episodes cut into one long movie. There’s a few extras on the dics, and this will be the introduction of the new baddie, General Grevious.

Speaking of good sci-fi, I’ve been trying to catch up on Battlestar Galactica. I know that it’s a blasphemy of the original series (which itself was just a cheap knock-off of Star Wars), but I like it. The new Cylons are creepy, the human Cylons are cool, the ships are awesome, I love the fact that they shoot ballistics, and the dogfights are wicked with the ships moving around in a full 360 degree enviornment.

The Shuster Awards

HeadsDown Content Managment will be powering the official Shuster’s awards website. The Shusters are the Canadian Comic Book industry awards, 2005 is the first year the awards will be presented.

The official Shusters Awards website, which will be available at shusterawards.com will go live sometime this month, and will be the main place where you can learn all about the Shusters and the nominees.

We plan on having a some presence for HeadsDown on the Shusters website which will explain what we can do, and how we can do it better for you.

I’ll post my initial Shusters Designs up here on this site as I start creating them.

A terrorist hero?

Rich Johnston of Lying in the Gutters fame, writes an awesome rant on Why V for Vendetta Matters…Especially Now. The title character is a terrorist…and a hero.

Will American audiences respond favourably to such a character? Remember if you will that the freedom Americans covet so tightly was earned through the blood of revolutionaries who waged unconventional war against conventional warriors, an unconventional war that the conventional armies called…terrorism.

Sometimes an act of terrorism by a few men, or even just one, can create an overwhelming response from the enemy that can, in its own way, fulfil their objectives.

It’s a commonly used adage that terrorism doesn’t work. Sadly, it’s not true. The Good Friday Agreement in Ireland is likely never to have happened without the IRA’s mainland bombing campaign (one I have first hand experience with). And the movements collectively dubbed Al Qaeda have never been so healthy right now. All the second Gulf War did was blow on those embers till they lit.

So. V For Vendetta. A story about personal responsibility that makes Spider-Man look like the infant parable it really is. A book about power, fascism, anarchy, the impotence of democracy, the potential of humanity and the innate contradictions of the English.

What follows in the talkback is a back and forth between Democrats (who are branded with the hated term “Liberals”, or the McCarthy tainted “Leftists”) and Republicans (whom Democrats call “The Right”…but whom true Liberals refer to as “The Man”).

Supporters of the Right don’t seem to see the point. They wave the flag and say “Commie leftist propoganda”, but don’t get the point of the article.

The point is that we’re all French Connection United Kingdomed unless each one of us stands up and says “nope, stop being stupid all of you all”.