O.k. Admission time: I find nothing appealing about Megan Fox. Maybe if she ever manages to act past her "just look at how hot I think I am" performance style and pulls off a memorable character at some point, I might change my mind but I honestly don't see it happening. I somehow sat through the entire first Transformers flick and have a vague memory of seeing some flashing colors and loud noises that came out of a box marked Transformers 2 one time - but there is nothing that I can imagine that could get me to watch the new Jonah Hex movie that released this past week. Awesome comic book character or not, I'm sorry Ms. Fox: You're a cinematic deal breaker.
So far it's looking like I'm not alone as the movie which hit theaters this past weekend stirred up about as high a gross from the U.S. box office as a foreign documentary and that's really too bad. The story potential about a scarred up antihero seeking revenge in the old west is one of those great iconic ideas that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Sure, it's something that's been done a million times but that's only a testament to what a strong formula it is. In any case, it's too bad about that bit of casting. I might actually have shelled out 10 bucks to catch it at some point.
Here's this week's release list for what you can find in the comic shops this week. It's kind of light for me personally not counting that awesome 3rd volume hardcover of Saga Of The Swamp Thing.
It has been interesting while being on the road with our Inspired by California film project visiting other art communities. We have seen several First Friday Art Walks, some of which consisted of only six venues, but were very well attended. One of the art communities that we visited that stands out in my mind is Laguna Beach.
International Surfing Day ushers in a weekend of events and awareness
Etched on the walls of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a quote by natural science writer Loren Eiseley that reads, “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
Whether cascading fluidly on longboards or turning jaggedly on shortboards through incoming sets at any of the surf spots around the county, Santa Cruz’s brigade of surfers is infamous for its nearly holy communion with water. Really, where else in the world can you find so many (so many!) groms and grandmas waxing philosophical while waxing up their boards? So, it makes sense that in a our nearly mythological coastal town whose residents understand well Eiseley’s words of wisdom, you wouldn’t expect anything less than a full weekend of hoopla surrounding the 6th Annual International Surfing Day (ISD).
Mark Halfmoon and I have been on the road for 15 days now, having just left Los Angeles last night. We spent four days interviewing people and documenting the Los Angeles experience. In some ways this is where it all began for me, many years ago when I first moved to California and lived just north of Los Angeles. I instantly knew that California was where I wanted to be. It took me 20 years and many visits to finally move here and little did I know that I would end up in Santa Cruz, now my home for the last seven years. There were less people then and there were more prune and citrus fields, now replaced by housing complexes, but the spirit of California is very much alive.
Man, what with the current Batman and Robin comic series, the awesome Christopher Nolan flicks and that whole "Return of Bruce Wayne" thing, it really is a great time to be into all things Batman. Actually now that I think about it, aside from those dark days during the Schumacher era its never been a bad time to be a fan of the caped crusader.
This week Bats hits yet another major milestone as his self titled monthly reaches the ripe old age of 700 issues and DC is pulling out all the stops. With artwork supplied by Andy Kubert, Tony Daniel and Frank Quitely (yes!), good old Grant Morrison tackles the comic with a story that's been kept tight under wraps - the synopsis is pretty simple revealing only that all 3 men to have donned the cape and cowl are featured to some extent. Bruce Wayne (past), Dick Grayson (present), and Damian Wayne (future). Whatever it turns out to be, I've already started to prepare my mind for the inevitable blowing of. Just to sweeten the deal (and lighten up the wallet), there are two covers for the book - one featuring art by David Finch (shown here) and another provided by Mike Mignola (the Hellboy dude).
Of course, there are a bunch of other comics coming out this week too but sorry fellas, you're taking the backseat to this one.
First words from the road
InspiredCA is a new blog for the Good Times, one we were asked to write by Greg Archer. Over the next two months, filmmaker Mark Halfmoon and I are traveling to every corner of the state of California asking people what inspires them about this state. It is our belief that in a time when the language about our state has been particularly negative (this was reinforced to Mark and I watching recent Gubernatorial campaign commercials in hotels that we have stayed in since leaving), for some real and some perceived reasons, individuals who live in California or visit California by the millions each year, do so for a reason. We believe that reason is that there is a vast pool of human and natural resources that is unique to this place and people want to share and participate in those resources.
Tips on how to book a show at Henflings Roadhouse Tavern
The term “roadhouse” is said to date back to the mid-1800s. One history of the term originates from the gold rush. As travelers made their way West and North, they relied on the roadhouse to provide hot meals and warm beds. Guests were often greeted by innkeepers, welcoming them back “home” each time they visited. During the days of prohibition in the 1920s, roadhouses outside city limits became ideal venues for bootleggers to share their special sauce. In the late 1940s and ’50s Americans embraced a car culture that encouraged hitting the open road. The roadhouse once again served as the ultimate rest stop.
A friend of mine gave me a heads up to some serious geekery that took place on an episode of "Fringe" a few nights ago (a television series that I'd never seen or heard of). Apparently the plot centered around some sort of alternate universe where even the most iconic comic book events of the last thirty years are slightly altered from what we've all grown up on. DC even chipped in and took it to the next level by commissioning mock up artwork depicting pretty cool takes on classic events like the death of Superman back in Supes #75, only now sporting a bloody bat-symbol on the cover instead of the classic S-shield. Incredibly cool stuff.
All of the covers can be viewed by clicking here (along with a serious tease by our old pal Geoff Johns) and to see what comics you can find in OUR universe this week, check out that full release list right here (Return of Bruce Wayne #2, woohoo!).
This is a big week for the house of ideas with Marvel kicking out the first issue in their biggest event so far this year: "Age of Heroes." A series that sets out to wipe the darkened slate from the last several years of violent, harder edged crossovers and shed a little light back in their universe. Bringing together the creative writing team of Kurt Busiek (awesome), Rick Remender (dunno), Paul Cornell (ditto), and Dan Slott (LOVE him) as well as several top notch artists, I'd be lying if I said I had no interest in the book. I know that Marvel has been hit and miss for a while now, but I still have fond memories of those incredibly fun giant-sized issues (no Man-Thing jokes, please) rolled up in my back pocket as a kid and this whole new take appears to be a return to comics that aren't taking themselves so seriously. Always welcome in my opinion.
So is this Marvel's answer to DC's lightening up of its titles with "Brightest Day" after their remarkably bleak, Blackest Night series? Personally, I feel like the softening up might have something to do with the company's recent acquisition by Disney - In any case it's nice to see a return made by both companies to the type of stories that made comics so great to read back before the industry went all grim 'n gritty in the mid-eighties. In the words of Dan Slot: "Fun is not a dirty word anymore." Sounds great to me. Check out the other releases here.