Friday, October 31, 2003

William Shatner's Face

Here's a reprint of The Guardian's report on the famous War of the Worlds hoax that Orson Welles pulled off sixty-five years ago today. Brilliant. And to prove that not much has changed, here's a more recent story along the same lines.
Yesterday, I jokingly called for a boycott of Google. If this goes ahead, I may indeed boycott the search engine.
On a happier note, those who can't get to a pumpkin and an obscenely sharp knife today may want to have a look at this virtual pumpkin carver. God bless Ben and Jerry. Or at least the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate that owns them. The company, that is, not the people, although nothing would surprise me in this crazy world.

Competition: Anyone who knows why this post has that particualr title should comment or email me with the answer by Monday. All correct answers may win a prize, but again, it's not likely.

Now I'm back off to bed, as last night's pizza did not agree with me. Oh the pain! The horror!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Vampire Babies And Female Footballers

Somehow, it seems appropriate that this tale of toddler bloodsuckers comes from eastern Europe, where all the best vampire stories come from. Utterly bizarre, this seems like a scene from a horror story, but it actually happened, and the two lines devoted to it in this week's Newsweek were the best thing about the mediocre magazine.

Courtney will be pleased by this story about the first female player to join a professional "men's" football team, and I'm looking forward to seeing Tom's thoughts on it, as he's a bit of a footie guru. I think it's a very good sign that there have been no problems so far concerning the rules of the game - it seems that it's perfectly legal to field mixed teams, just that no one's done it before.

Talking of sport, it seems that Electronic Arts have released a Quidditch simulator, in the style of their other successful sport games. Quite baffling.

Finally, I must request that all my readers boycott Google. Why? Well, just look at how they get their results. Shocking.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Astonishing Indeed

On the recommendation of Mr Regie Rigby, I paid my money and this morning received a copy of Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid. Yes, it looks and feels lot like Tintin, but if you really think about it, that's not a bad thing at all. It's a slow burner. Apparently unconnected plot elements come together by the end of this first chapter, cleverly setting up the adventure to follow, and giving a really effective sense of escalating excitement. Top stuff, and I'd recommend getting a copy. It's a little pricey if you live outside Britain, but well worth it.
The Icewind Dale Box Set we bought came with what seems like thousands of discs, including one soundtrack audio CD. Normally, I'm a little suspicious of these things, remembering all too well the hideous soundtrack that came bundled with the SNES' Killer Instinct (because the at-the-time-revolutionary graphics took up so much memory and processor power that there was no music in the game). Also, video game soundtracks are rarely good enough to warrant the ability to listen to them outside the game.
(That said, I have a sizable collection of Amiga game music files, but Amiga games always did have the best music.)
I'm pleasantly surprised to find that the Icewind Dale soundtrack (as composed by Jeremy Soule) is quite impressive indeed. There are some stirring themes on there, and the music as a whole is of excellent quality. There's a Jerry Goldsmith feel to it all, and it wouldn't be at all out of place in a film. Computer game music really has come a long way in such a short time.
So, what are your favourite computer game tunes? Anyone? Anyone?

Anyone Know What "Corset Training" Is?

My old school chum Helen has a website to show off her Goth modelling ways. Apparently, she's been "corset training for some time now" whatever that means.
In other news, I am extremely busy. There's nothing major or important needing to be done, but there's lots of little things that need attending to, and it's the number, not size, of the tasks that's overwhelming. Time to put the videogames away for a day or two, methinks.

The flat smells like beef, because there's a stew cooking in the crock-pot. It's all very off-putting.

Admitting Defeat

I finished Eyes Of The Dragon, only to read on the very last page that two of the book's characters met up with Flagg again after the events of this book, and "confronted him". I suspect I will be getting the other Dark Tower books after all then...
I realised a funny little thing about Stephen King's books as I finished this one. I wanted to know that Flagg wasn't going to return to this book's world to cause any more trouble. I wanted to know how Thomas and Dennis fared when they met Flagg again.
In the Dark Tower books, the hero seems to be on a quest to destroy that world's Flagg. What I realised was that by making Flagg a threat to the characters and setting of all these other books, King has made the reader care for these people and hope that Flagg is defeated. If he'd gone on describing people and places only loosely connected to the Dark Tower quest and how they were threatened within the Dark Tower books, he may have threatened the pace of the main quest. As it is he's created these people and places elsewhere, in other books, where they can't hold up the narrative of the main quest but where they still add to its importance. Whether he did this deliberately or not (and I'm sure he did), I'm impressed.

I'm not sure if any of that made any sense...

The problem is that, just as with Alias' good over-arcing plots but weak individual episodes, I'd much rather know how King's universe all ties together without reading each and every book. I enjoyed Eyes Of The Dragon because it was a fun read, and I know that not every King book is fun to read. I had a similar problem with CrossGen's comics. Unlike shared universes in other comics, CrossGen's universe had a plot all of its own. The Marvel Universe doesn't progress as such, but CrossGen's does. Unfortunately, only a handful of their titles are worth reading, and most of these have little to do with the universal plot. The universal plot is rather fascinating, but it wasn't worth trawling through all the faff CrossGen puts out. Oh well.
My nose just made a noise like South American pan pipes. Must be time for bed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Sometimes The World Is Neat

Old news, but still worth a mention. Bill Murray is to provide the voice for the CGI cat in the upcoming Garfield movie. Why is this neat? Well the voice of Garfield in the only-good-thing-on-CITV-apart-from-Knightmare-animated show was provided by Lorenzo Music, who also voiced Peter Venkman in The Real Ghostbusters. Peter Venkman was portrayed by Bill Murray (ta-daa!) in the 1984 Ghostbusters film.
Well, I was impressed.

Monday, October 27, 2003

It's been a long time...

So...Intolerable Cruelty then. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was the mildest, most accessible, and least offbeat film the Coens have done, and as such, there was a tiny feeling of blandness there, but not too much. The performances were superb, especially Clooney (who should play Reed Richards in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. Really.), the Welsh Bird (not bad at all, and of course looks spectacular throughout), and Billy Bob Thornton (who is almost always excellent and will most likely be the only good thing about The Alamo). Clooney really was superb, perfectly capturing the quirky aspect needed in the performance, and showing hitherto-unseen skill in cartoonesque, rubberfaced, reactions. He really was very impressive, and this performance alone makes up for ER and all those awful early films of his.
Geoffrey Rush, however, was pretty bad, and I can't tell if it was the character or him, which is the only reason he gets away with it.
The script was also excellent, as was to be expected, and the film made use of that Fargo trick of having an epic orchestral soundtrack playing over rather mundane (albeit offbeat) events. Like Fargo, but unlike Pacino's Carlito's Way, it worked very well. The living-dead senior lawyer was a wonderful creation, and again Clooney was excellent in the scenes opposite him.
But the real joy, and the reason that my friend Courtney should see this film, is that it features a cameo by the greatest living American movie star.

I'm currently reading Stephen King's Eyes Of The Dragon. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would, although I'm not entirely sure that it really works as a kids' book, which was apparently the intention, as one of King's kids pointed out that he'd never written a book they could read. I gave up on further Dark Tower volumes as I really wasn't grabbed enough by the first book. Maybe another time.

Icewind Dale entertains. It's very much a stripped down Baldur's Gate II, and drops a lot of the successful elements of that game, like the fact that the playable characters are all created by yourself, so there are no character-specific plots or dialogues to access. As such, there is a very generic feel, and it feels more like a game than Baldur's Gate II did. That said, it plays in a more streamlined and less clunky way than the other game. But it's good fun, and the fact that I got Icewind Dale, Heart Of Winter and Icewind Dale II all in one pack means that I shall be busy for a while...

In terms of artistic achievement, I've done lots more in the way of sketches and designs and roughs, but no final pieces as yet, unfortunately.

Ye gods, it's Goth Week at the BBC. Don't encourage them, they'll only multiply...
(But on the other hand, look who's presenting the Goth documentary)

The most recent issue of Marvel's Avengers was rubbish. This was the issue that Marvel hyped up with promises of superhero sex and rape, and that it was going to get a "Mature Readers" tag. It's as pathetic, naive and stupid as I expected, although they wisely toned down the more tasteless elements before publishing it. This issue was characterised by terrible art, inconsistent characterisation, a frankly laughable plot and setting, and a really foolish attempt at creating interest in a title that's being run into the ground by a writer with the writing abilities of a spastic baboon. Bugger off back to DC you tit.


As a result, the best Avengers comic last week was the JLA/Avengers crossover. Even if Superman beat Thor, and that just doesn't happen...
The most recent Amazing Spider-Man, the double-sized special #500, was absolutely superb, however. Gave me tingles it did, but I grew up on Spidey, so maybe it's just me.

Finally, a complaint that ties in with the title of this post. Enterprise is pretty naff, but endearing in its own naffness. One of the things that saves it from being completely disregarded is the disasterous dad-rock theme tune. The sheer audacity of producing such an awful theme tune has to be applauded, and the song is legendary round our way. And of course, the Enterprise people have decided that the reason that no one watchs the show is because the theme tune is embarrassing (personally, the theme tune is the main reason to watch the show), so they've changed it.
A little more joy has gone out of the world.

Sorry to end on a downer there. Hey, Brighton are doing well!

Right, that'll do. There should be enough there to keep Courtney entertained at work, biLly entertained at home, and Meg entertained when she gets home from work. Now I'm off to make some ravioli. Yum!

Friday, October 24, 2003

"Go for the eyes Boo, go for the eyes!"

Finally, Baldur's Gate II is finished.
Right, Icewind Dale is next!
(As you can see, normal non-geeky service has yet to be resumed)
This might please Liam, as it means he can borrow the discs, but it might not please his other half, Courtney...
Incidentally, you should probably go to Liam's blog just to see the kind of thing his mum does with erotic fridge-magnet-poetry...
Not much else to report. I've been filling my sketchbook with stuff, all in preparation for a number of projects, but nothing is finalised yet. One of the projects sort-of-involves this fine figure of a gentleman.
We're off down to see the in-laws this weekend, with no obligation to babysit anyone's child, which is a refreshing and unique experience for us. Broadband internet and digital cable, combined with an array of new cartoons starting Saturday morning, means that I'll be cheery, at least!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

" this end, they have relentlessly pursued them across the galaxy from planet Cybertron to planet Earth and back again..."

A bit of a geeky post this, as I've found a number of Transformers-related goodies. I'm sure normal, non-geeky, service will resume eventually.
You'll find a run down of the top fifty "pivotal" Transformers moments here and here, which is worth a look if you're into such things.
The best thing though is this. There's a live-action Transformers movie on its way, probably to be released in the ever-so-appropriate space year 2005. This isn't from that movie, but it's a wonderful example of how good it'll look if they do it properly.


Philip Pullman writes about Maus and comics in general here. Good publicity for the medium.

Fox and the WB Network are collaborating on a small-screen revival of Lost In Space, but they're not including Doctor Smith this time around! Foul! Foul, I say! He, and his bizarre fatherly/villainous interplay with young Will Robinson, was the best thing about the original series and the movie (which had excellent-to-this-day spaceship cgi, but the Doc Smith/Skeletor thing was awful), and it strikes me as a very risky move to write him out. It's like writing the serpent out of the Garden of Eden. Or something.
Incidentally, that's my bet for the next Indiana Jones movie: Indiana Jones and the Garden of Eden. Even if it's not the way things will turn out, I'm excited about it. My only fears about the film were that (1) Harrison Ford was too old, and (2) that George Lucas and/or Spielberg would ruin it by drenching it in bad cgi. Well, apparently the second fear has been laid to rest (but I still don't trust Lucas to not ruin it), and I saw Ford on the television promoting the new DVD set, dressed up in the Indy gear. The guy's 61, but whatever the make up people did to him, it worked. He looked like Indy again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Dancing Sheep And Blood Cults...And A Quiz!

Many thanks to Kev, who pointed out the wonders of Annabelle the Sheep. If you have RealOne Player, put a CD in or load up an MP3, go to View>Choose Visualisation>Annabelle the Sheep, then sit back and enjoy. Lots of stuff happens, and it gets really crazy as night falls (you'll see what I mean). Annabelle seems to particularly enjoy Orbital's Funny Break (One is Enough), which shows excellent taste on her part.
Speaking, as it were, of Orbital, their new album/film score Octane was released this week. It's a pretty good release, full of classic-but-new Orbital sounds. Also, unlike the duo's previous score, Event Horizon, this is recognisably Orbital, with no watering down of their sound. There are some tracks available for download at the official site. Initiation is the track that will sound most familiar to Orbital fans, sounding like something from the Green Album crossbred with sounds from later albums. And there is to be a single release of this track, which is excellent news.
As for the film itself, the premise is quirky and strange, sort of Grant Morrison doing a road trip movie with vampires in it, while reading David Lynch For Dummies. Apparently it all falls apart a bit towards the end, but I like the ideas (the Jacob's Ladder effect-great ideas, but the film was a little "blah"). Out on the 14th of November in Blighty, and the transAtlantic success of 28 Days Later... may see Octane pop up over here outside the film festival circuit.
I'm sure there was a vampire/road trip movie a year or so ago, filled with generic teen TV "stars", that disappeared quietly without a trace, but I can't remember the name. Answers on a postcard, email, or in the Comments box, please. Winning entries may receive a prize, but frankly it's a bit unlikely.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Twisted Nerve

Why did everyone apparently underorder the Kill Bill soundtrack? I mean, Tarantino movies usually have stonking soundtracks (and this is the best one yet, I think), so any buyer who knows anything would have ordered a substantial number for their shop. But no. Can't find a copy anywhere.

Long Time No See...

So, I had something which probably wasn't the flu, but certainly did knock me out for three days, so maybe it was a >little< flu. Then we went down to Rochester to babysit Meg's sister's teething infant over the weekend, which was a vaguely horrifying experience for me, as parenting does not come naturally to me.
On the plus side, we came back with a stack of good books to read, a brand new (and much improved) PC, and some new bedroom furniture.
I spent last night setting up our new PC, and today's fun activity is putting together the new furniture!
Isn't it wonderful to have me back?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

A Plague Upon Both Your Houses...Or Just Mine

I was a sickly child. I always seemed to have a cold, and I've pretty much always been a weed. That said, I shook off the fortnightly colds when I got into my teens, and I've never really had a proper illness. I think I've only had a fever three times. The first time was when I had tonsilitis on Sports Day at school, but the teachers thought I was faking it so made me sit outside the headmaster's office for hours, as my temperature skyrocketed. The second time was a year or so ago, and the third time was just yesterday, as I developed the flu' or something like it.
Which is why I've been absent from the electronic world in the past couple of days. In fact, just typing this has wore me out, but I thought I'd best make an appearance and explain myself.

Oh, and Dan, the Out Of The Pit companion book was called Titan. Lots of maps and stories about gods.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

This is a call...

I need your help, blog-fans! I'm after the book on the left, Out Of The Pit. It's a sort of companion piece to those choose-your-own-adventure books of the Eighties (and now rereleased), and eBay is being particularly unhelpful in tracking down an affordable copy.
So if any of you have an unwanted copy (hi Bill!), or know of one somewhere, please let me know. I'd also appreciate it if you can spread the word that I'm looking for it. Fell free to leave a comment, or to emal me. Thanks, weblings!

Sad news. The Incredible Hulk has shut down his diary. I suspect the involvement of Marvel lawyers with humour deficiencies. The world of blogging will mourn his absence.

I've been unusually productive in the past couple of days. No final pieces, but lots of sketchbook stuff. I'm toying with the idea of putting a "sketchbook" section on the website, but only proper artists do that, and I've noticed that their "sketchbooks" tend to be work they've not coloured in, rather than actual sketches. Still, it's a possibility. Anyway, lots of potential illustrations in there, I think.

On TV tonight: Alias is pretty much it. This season looks to have a very interesting story arc, but the individual episodes have been rather dull thus far. Which, now I think of it, has been true of the show all along.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Aiee! My Bleeding Ears! (or Eliminate William)

One growing trend in cinema that I'm not enjoying is this idea that films need to be really, really loud. It started with xXx, a film so painfully dull that it needed to give its audiences brain haemorrages through sonic torture in order to make them think they saw something special. It also occurred in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, apparently, but I avoided that one, with the excuse that I hadn't seen the first one, so didn't want to get the storyline muddled. I've always been a bit of a prude in this respect, as I've never full understood the eardrum-burstingly-loud=good, equation, even when it comes to music, but from the number of complaints we received at the cinema I worked at when xXx was shown, I'm not alone when it comes to films. It threatened to ruin Kill Bill.

But it didn't. I can't adequately explain why this film is good without describing every scene in detail, and I can't do that half as well as the film does. So go and see it. The worst that can happen is you don't like it.

Actually, you could go deaf.

A note about the violence. Over here at least, the outrage over this violent film has already begun, which considering it only came out today so half of these people complaining haven't even seen it yet, is quite surprising. If you've seen the Black Knight scene of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you've already seen the worst Kill Bill can offer. For Pete's sake people, it's a live-action cartoon, nothing more.

Friday, October 10, 2003

New Arrivals And Missed Opportunities

A while ago, Cap'n Black asked me what it's like out here in Minnesota. I've not forgotten, Dan, but I need to think about it some more. I was going to write a bit tonight about how ladybirds have widely different reputations on either side of the Atlantic, but I suspect that's not really what Dan was asking about. I'll get to it, promise.

I've updated my blogger links over there on the right. Everyone over there is a jolly nice person, and is bound to make your day more interesting and/or cheerful.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

The Case Of The Missing Plot: Smallville and Angel

Okay, so that wasn't it.

Smallville angered me today. I'm growing quite fond of the show, even though it concerns Superman, quite possibly my least favourite comic character (closely followed by Captain America-see a pattern?). I thought the first season was pretty awful, but the second season was pretty strong. Still no replacement for Buffy at its best, but still pretty good.
Tonight, they dealt with last week's silly ending quite quickly, which is good, as it was quite silly. Meg points out that the reason they did it was so they could smash up lots of stuff this week, which they did. I still think if they'd done it the way I suggested (see this time last week for more), it would have been more dramatic, albeit less action-packed. Anyway, this is all beside the point. I was angered by this week's epsiode because they left out a whole chunk of the episode's plot. There are spoilers below. Only click and drag the mouse pointer if you're prepared.

Nasty gangsters have kidnapped Clark, and have tied up the lovely Kents. Lana turns up, notices these weird fellows with guns hanging about (very astute), then, quite audaciously, beats them up. These must be the worst gangsters ever. During the fight, Lana knocks one gangster onto a pitchfork, where he unsurprisingly dies. Ma Kent looks horrified. Lana bgins to cry. Cut to advertisements. We come back from advertisements. No Lana or Ma Kent or shish-kebabbed gangsters. Okay, they're teasing us with it. They'll come back to it later. Next time we see the Kents, they're having Happy Time with Clark (who has rescued himself) and Lex (who they've sort of adopted). No mention of the dead gangster in the barn. Next time we see Lana, she rides onto the farm on her horse, having left her car at the farm already when she killed the gangster. She and Clark have Sad Time. End. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GANGSTER? Did they bury him on the farm somewhere? Did the police come along and let Lana and the Kents off because they're major characters, and it just wouldn't be the done thing to have them rot in jail? And what happened to the gangster's gangster mate, the one who wasn't killed by Lana? Now I realise that they may be saving this for a future episode, but if so, surely there should have been hints about it, rather than just dropping it altogether? Weird, and frustrating.

Meanwhile, Angel featured the reintroduction of a character thought to be dead. The spoilers are all out of the bag now, and you'd have to be really dedicated to avoiding them to not know who this character is, but I'll leave it unsaid just in case (and I know I mentioned their name here a week ago). Anyway, this character steals the show, as expected, and the episode is a lightweight one, obviously deisgned to get this character back into action with the minimum of fuss. Unlike Smallville, the plot for tonight's Angel was all there, but none of it made any sense. In an attempt to make it look as if Angel, the resurrected character and a third character were all conspiring against each other, we were treated to a plot where a lack of writing ability replaced any mystery, to the extent where Angel had to explain the plot of the episode to another character, and the audience, at the end. Shoddy. But it was good to see the once-dead character back in action, even if it cheapens their death somewhat. That said, there's a definite air of desperation in Angel. The show's not doing badly, otherwise it wouldn't have been renewed, so I can only assume that it's a case of the Angel creative team worrying too much about holding onto any audience that has jumped over since the end of Buffy. As a result of this, the cast of this show are starting to resemble the Buffy gang too closely (for instance, Fred's dialogue has gone from "scatterbrained" to "just like Willow's"), and almost every scene references Buffy in some way. It's not welcoming, rather it's, as I said above, clingy and desperate.

But first, the news...

Here's an excellent article comparing American politics to a soap opera. Compelling stuff, although I do think the writer is being a bit harsh on Governor Arnie.
Another excellent article here highlighting what really goes on at the Natural History Museum, including a warning never to buy a bag of crisps at the museum.
Finally, a very sad article about the Vatican's new aggressive policy on condoms. And people think that only Islam breeds fundamentalism. Regime change© at the Vatican, anyone?
Alas, there's not much else to report. I have a splitting headache and it's far too hot (it's October, it's Minnesota, and it's 28° outside!). Still, I have the adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser to keep me entertained, and I'm very excited about a little project that's just come up...

Oh, and there's this, which is good fun if you know a bit about Star Trek. Finally (really finally this time), Tom makes an excellent point (scroll down to Tuesday's entry) regarding the return of Doctor Who.

Okay, that's really it now. Off you go Bill/Meg!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

"Oh My GOD!"

I slept for a grand total of three hours last night. I'm a little spaced out this morning, but strangely, not too tired.
Excellent news for fans of quality televisual entertainment: Magnum PI is set to appear on the big screen! Happy news indeed. Start growing your replica Thomas Magnum mustaches now!
Troubled by the responsibility of the One Ring? Want to get rid of It? Don't know the way? Well, courtesy of our good friends at Billyworld, here are the directions to the Cracks of Doom. You'll not need to pack a lot, as you'll most likely be killed, but apparently it's quite warm down there this time of year.
My plan for today is to get my head down and do some drawing. I have a lot of requests, not to mention scripts, to catch up with.

Looking at that little lot, it seems I'm more spaced out than I thought. Perhaps an hour or two in bed before I pick up the pencils...

Saturday, October 04, 2003

What the heck is HE doing in my comics?

Geoff Johns may be a wonderful writer of all things JSA and Flash, but his Avengers run has been diabolical. Inconsistent characterisation and disjointed plotting have been the defining characteristics of his run, as well as a bungled attempt at real-world relevance. I don't begrudge him trying, as the idea of a world-saving superteam now has to deal with the reality of stuff like the World Trade Centre attacks, something that should only have happened in comic books. But does Johns have to be so damn bad at it? I had to laugh when Iron Man berates the EU for wanting to dissolve the Maastricht Treaty, apparently thinking that all of Europe's "personal" freedoms would be dissolved with it. Geoff mate, it's not that kind of treaty. Quite why the first thing the EU, upon finding out that Europe's capital cities have vanished, wants to dissolve an agreement on a single currency and the steel trade, I don't know. Apparently Johns does, but then Johns seems to get his ideas from Fox News.
That was funny. When he portrayed the Russians as evil world dominators in a later issue, then spent most of the current "Red Zone" storyline chucking about loaded words like "terrorist" and "traitor" with apparently no knowledge of their meaning, it got offensive.
Then he has George-Bloody-Bush turn up at the end to give everyone a slap on the back for being such good Americans.
If you're under eighteen, do NOT click and drag the mouse pointer over the follwing:


Okay. Done now.

On a slightly related note, here's a Guardian interview with Michael Moore. Moore is a shameless and manipulative propagandist, but at least he's a good guy. Every American should be made to read his Stupid White Men, and a fair few Brits could do with having a look too. Just ignore the chapter about Israel and Northern Ireland.

Friday, October 03, 2003

The Great Desktop Mascot War...Part II

I didn't get any points awarded to me, which is very sad. Was it because I didn't have a picture? Well, what a camera cannot provide, let an artist's hands produce!

Alas, there is no Eeyore...

Thursday, October 02, 2003

West Wing: The Next Generation

You know how Star Trek: The Next Generation would do those issue-based episodes, where they'd build up a really tricky and meaty moral question, and then something would happen in the last five minutes which would deflate the situation completely?

The West Wing did it last night. Last week's season opener was top, being an exciting political thriller in the Tom Clancy mould. This week, tensions were high, bombs and bullets were starting to fly, war was imminent. Someone was going to have to make a difficult (i.e. interesting) decision.
Then, in literally the last five minutes, the reason for all the ultimatums (ultimatia?) and threats just went away, and no difficult (i.e. interesting) decisions needed to be made, in one of the floppiest, laziest examples of scripting I have ever seen in a quality show. Shoddy.

Smallville did better, serving up an interesting and exciting season opener. I have only one reservation, and that's that the ending was wrong. [SPOILERS] I agree that Pa Kent should have gone up to Metropolis to bring Clark down, but he should have done it the Dark Knight Returns way. He should have gone up there with Kryptonite in hand, and smacked the boy around a bit. Instead, he goes to Clark's secret cave and Jor-El gives him superpowers so that he and Clark can have a superhero slugfest.[END SPOILERS] Disapppointing ending, but a good episode.

Haven't seen Angel yet. We got Meg's sister to tape it for us, because Meg wanted to watch The West Wing. What an excellent decision that was.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

The Great Desktop Mascot War

Over at biLly's blog, you can see the opening salvoes of this one-upmanship in the field of desktop mascots/toys. Unfortunately, we don't have a digital camera (yet), so you'll have to take my word on this, but crowded around our laptop-turned-desktop are:

That chap there is Cleveland Skaggs, the protagonist of a cyberpunk graphic novel I'm co-creating with Liam. Click on the picture, or here, to see a larger version.
I did some minor updates to my Avengers pages (mostly some cover scans for the early issues), and page fourteen of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon comic is now up at Spooky's Dungeon.
The new seasons of Angel and Smallville start tonight. Both should be entertaining, with an "evil" Clark in the latter and Spike joining the cast of Angel. They're heavily promoting the Spike angle, knowing full well how popular the character is, and how dull and B-lister the Angel cast are (the strength of the show is the plots). I wonder how David Boreanaz feels about being upstaged on his own show? I almost feel sorry for the bloke.