Know what the world doesn't need? Another freakin' Captain America movie.
Just because Hollywood keeps making PUNISHER reboots, and they've now managed to reboot both Batman and Hulk franchises, TWICE -- not to mention a pending Superman reboot -- doesn't mean we need another Captain America.
I've decided that, from now on, only the first incarnation of a comic book film will be acknowledged.
For instance: I did indeed see The Punisher, and he was played by Dolph Lundgren -- and it was terrible. I also saw The Fantastic Four, which was produced by Roger Corman -- and really, REALLY, terrible. Batman's greatest weapon was shark-deterrent spray.
Several years ago someone discovered that if one removes all the speech bubbles from the comic strip Garfield, it becomes oddly surreal and much more interesting than originally intended. Garfield shows little emotion, behaving exactly as a real cat would. Without Garfield's verbal provocation to justify it, Jon's harried interactions with him become somewhat disturbing, oftentimes even depressing. This, to me at least, is a huge improvement over the original concept of the strip. You can see a bunch of examples of this treatment here.
More recently, someone has taken it a step further and removed Garfield from the strips altogether. This modification moves Jon from the role of the more traditional "cat owner," walking around talking to his pets as if they understand him, to that of a somewhat disturbed individual struggling with loneliness and desperation. In the prior modification, Jon's unprovoked pessimism seems out of place because Garfield is standing there smiling all the time; without Garfield being present at all, however, it ramps up to new levels of disturbnicity, bordering on schizophrenic. This is a significant step forward, making the strip into something I actually look forward to seeing, despite the blatant copyright violations involved in it being presented to me. You can view and subscribe to them here.
These two modifications got me thinking...
Since the removal of speech bubbles improved the strip so much, and the subsequent removal of Garfield even more so, I feel it's up to me to take the strip to the pinnacle of interestingness:
There you have it: confirmation that the removal of elements results in a better Garfield experience. The more elements you remove, the better it gets. I'm not sure of the logic behind this, but I suspect that it comes down to the fact that Garfield really sucks.
Tonight I picked up volumes 1-3 of Wildstorm Comic's's <i>Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash</i>. Wildstorm needs to hire a proof-reader worse than <i>Geek Monthly</i> does, because this appears on the very first page: "Take it from me, there's nothing you can do can take away the nightmares once you've lived through them." To quote a very wise man: "Doesn't anybody there <i>read</i> this sh*t?!" I've finished one of them so far, but can't say that I'm very impressed. Licensed comics suck, I guess.
Last night we watched the season premiere of CBS's fan-saved miracle child <i>Jericho</i>, which airs Tuesday February 12th. I really, really loved the first season of <i>Jericho</i> and was a little irked that they canceled it, but I wasn't about to mail any nuts or anything. I've been pretty excited for the new season to start, so I jumped at the chance to see the first few episodes before they air. Anyway, I don't have a lot to say about the season premiere because I was completely distracted by the fact that the show now has that cheap video look that <i>Dr. Who</i>, <i>Torchwood</i> and American soap operas tend to have. Everything is lit too strongly and looks like a set. I know CBS was strapped for cash, but was this really necessary? We'll be watching episodes 2 and 3 this evening, so hopefully I can get past the look. I'm really not sure why it bothers me so much, though.
This does, however, give me an excuse to make another comic, and to point out that I will be posting them here from now on rather than over at comics.nyquil.org. (I don't make them nearly often enough to warrant a dedicated site for them. Plus, nobody knows comics.nyquil.org exists. Here, at least, people might see them.)
Without further ado, here's how I imagine this merger of loves:
Zack has been working for some time on the long-languishing comic-to-film translation of the Citizen Kane of comic books, The Watchmen. Now I've been against these types of translations from the start. My feeling is that it's a perfectly good comic, people should just go read it. There's no need to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen it up.
Fortunately for me, out of the many people who tried, Terry Gilliam said it best, calling it "unfilmable," essentially guaranteeing that I won''t see it ruined. And let me tell you, when Terry Gilliam says something is unfilmable, I say you best listen. He knows a thing or two about difficult shoots. Anyway, every time I'd hear something new about Watchmen, I'd get uneasy, but would very quickly be comforted by the fact that yet another name has decided to agree with Terry and backed out.
The thing is, though, since Zack got involved, the backing out part hasn't happened. This had me very worried for a very long time. Then I saw 300, and remembered back to several years prior when I read Frank Miller's comic and deemed it unfilmable, and thanked my lucky stars no one would ever try to make it into a movie. Then I remembered back to when I scoffed at someone remaking Dawn of the Dead. "They're just throwing their money away," I said. "I won't go see that."
Well, in both those cases, Zack greatly surpassed my expectations. He didn't just make "passable" movies out of those two properties, he made really darn fine films. I've now dediced to "let go; let Zack" and trust that he knows what he's doing, and have actually begun to get a little excited about seeing The Watchmen on the big screen.
Zack is going to do it. There's a good chance it might be good.
There's been lots of buzz around the blogosphere regarding Randall Munroe's 'sudo' comic. I think that on the whole, Randall's comic is really wonderful -- it's one of my favorites, in fact -- but I think this particular "episode" is a really unfortunate example for people to be praising.
I've seen posts where people are talking about how this particular comic is great because you either "get it," or it is completely indecipherable, which for the most part is true. The problem that I have with it, however, is that nobody actually gets it -- they just think they do.
Here's the comic:
See, in the context of the comic, the "sudo" command seems to serve the function of forcing a user to do something that you don't want to do yourself. Stickman 1 says "make me a sandwich," to which Stickman 2 replies "no." Then Stickman one basically just waves his "sudo" wand to force Stickman 2 to do it anyway.
But see, that's not what the "sudo" command actually does. The user of "sudo" is still doing the actual work, they're just doing it with the permissions of another user. For example, lets say that I want to create a file in a directory owned by user Bob. I ask Bob to make the directory for me, but he says no. So then I decide to go over his head and use "sudo" to make the directory myself, and as far as the sytem is concerned, the directory was created by Bob. But I did the actual work.
So, in the comic, Stickman 1 just walked into the kitchen and made himself a sandwich, appearing to any onlookers as if he was Stickman 2. This is not funny.
What is funny, though, is tons and tons of people who think they get the joke, but actually don't. I suspect that Randall did this on purpose, an act which commands of me the following : "Bravo Randall!"