Friday, April 17, 2009

Adventures is Podcasting

If you've never listened to my podcast, WHY NOT? Seriously, it's a trip, so even if you're not an avid comic book reader, you should check it out, because half the time, we're talking about other crap anyway.

This week, however, we are unveiling a new feature, Odd-io Comics: dramatic readings of classic tales of comicdom.

When I was a kid, I loved those old book-and-records put out by Power Records (some of which can be downloaded here.) So, we figured, why not do our own version? And thus, Odd-io Comics were born. The first installment: Batman #66, a comic from the fifties entitled The Joker's Comedy of Errors. It's a book that's kind of infamous in the annals of comics, but I can't say why right now because it will spoil the joke. Suffice it to say that, while we were recording it, I laughed harder than I have in years. Please check it out here and let us know what you think by putting something in the Comment section. Otherwise, we'll just assume that we're awesome.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Tastes Great, Less Filler

Let me shatter a stereotype that people have of me right off the bat: I don't hate movies. I love them, in fact. In a general sense, I mean. I love the idea that you can be transported into another realm. I love the process of making a movie, in theory. A crapload of people, from the writer who first conceives of the idea to the kid who sells you the ticket, have something to do with the entire process, and every movie is a huge endeavor.

When I was a really young kid, my brother and my friends used to make movies in the yard with our family's super-8 camera. I was the star (at my mother's insistence. Apparently, they didn't buy that camera to film the neighborhood kids.) and my brother was the director, editor, writer, and special effects wizard (which entailed him scribbling on the film with a magic marker to simulate laser blasts.) Years later, some of those same friends made Dursin the Firetsrater, a feature-length movie, shot on video, that captivated members of our friendship circle with its complete ridiculousness.

These experiences drew me to film school, which taught me a lot of things that had very little to do with the physical construction of movies, and a lot to do with people be uncreative morons sometimes. The whole experience culminated in my internship as a reader at Sony, where I learned to pass on basically every script that came across the desk unless I thought it could be profitable. Consequently, out of hundreds of scripts I read, I recommended one. I then got grilled as to why I thought it was any good, when the reality was I didn't, I just thought it would make money. meanwhile, I passed on Three to Tango, which eventually got made by Columbia and starred Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell and Dylan McDermott, and according to iMDB, made $10 million, after a budget of $20 million. So, while my judgment may have been right, someone liked that turd.

The reason for the history lesson is that I loved movies as a child, and pretty much still do. Or at least, I would if someone made one correctly. There's the proverbial rub. Look at it this way, there are hundreds of movies made every year. Even accounting for different tastes, there's no way that they are all good. I think that's the problem; too many movies. It's become a job to everyone, from the writer to the ticket-taker. Nobody cares anymore. they just make that, collect the paycheck and move on to the next one. And if you, as an actor or writer or director, feel some sort of artistic pull and decide that it isn't for you, then they tell you to "bugger off" and they make it with someone else, artistry be damned. there's too much money on the line to worry about things like that.

As I've said many times before, I was blown away by The Dark Knight. The story may have been flimsy at times, but it was a beautifully-made film. Before that, I can't remember being blown away recently. Maybe Jurassic Park, or the opening battle scene in Saving Private Ryan. But those were a long time ago. Out of hundreds of movies every year, some of them must be good, right?

Good, sure. But very rare are the ones that blow people away (figuratively, that is). Most of them just blow. One of the problems is that there are so many movies, but a only a few people who really know how to make them right, and only so much time to make them. Think about it like this; the reason offense is way up in baseball isn't because hitters are so much better or the balls are lighter. it's because there are 30 major league teams, each with 12 pitchers. There's no way that there are 360 great pitchers in this country. Maybe 36, at the most. At the same time, there's no way that there's enough people working on these movies (from the writer to the ticket kid) that know what they're doing and can put together a well-made movie.

My recommendation? Fewer movies, and Hollywood takes the time to make them right. In the end, the gross would probably be the same, because they would be better, and we'd have fewer turds like "Three to Tango" poisoning our brains.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Open Up

I have these friends, a lesbian couple, who are off from work for the next several days attending a convention that they themselves organized. This is no ordinary convention, if there is a such a thing. Nor is it a comic convention, as I would sometimes go to. This is a Slash Con.

For those unfamiliar with the parlance, "Slash" is defined by Wikipedia as "a genre of fan fiction that focuses on the depiction of romantic or sexual relationships between characters of the same-sex... The characters are usually not engaged in such relationships in the canon universe." Basically, my friends write stories involving male characters from pop culture (They specialize in old, obscure and probably ridiculous Canadian sitcoms) fucking each other. Slash started out with Star Trek fans, who were so starved for anything involving the series that they decided to write stories about Spock and Kirk boning each other. With the internets, it has grown by leaps and bounds, and nowadays basically any two characters you can think of probably have a story written about them. As a side note, also stated by Wikipedia: "According to polls, most of slash fandom is made up of heterosexual women with a college degree, though it also includes males and lesbian women." this describes my friends.

Of course, what a person, especially my friends, does in their spare time is entirely up to them, and I am not one to judge. Glass houses and all that. However, in order to keep this seedy element of their lives a secret from their co-workers (my lesbian friends also work together), they told everyone that they have organized a "writer's conference," a feat for which they are universally praised for being so enterprising. However, those in the know realize the truth: that while the term "writer" is not an outright lie, what they are writing is actually porn, and this is not so much an actual writer's conference as it is a massive orgy. From what I understand, this convention is basically 50 or so housewives and a few lesbians getting roaring drunk and forgetting their troubles (and husbands). I've obviously never been, but I do know that a lot fo nefarious things go on at this convention. After all, how many writer's conferences end the night with a trip to Jacque's, a gay bar downtown that specializes in transvestite karaoke?

Now, we all do things in our private lives that we don't tell our co-workers. That's why we have private lives. But this is what rankles me about this whole affair; When I tell people that I am taking off for San Diego or New York for a comic convention, I open myself up to ridicule (good-natured and playful, but ridicule nonetheless), even by these two women who write and organize conventions around Slash. Again, glass houses. Because there are tons and tons of people who dress up as their favorite characters to attend these conventions, I am lumped in with them as a total dweeb who travels across state borders for something as frivolous as comic books. I mean, people who do not read comics themselves probably have seen footage on the news or whatever of these obese fanboys who dress up, and probably assume that I do it, too. But even if they don't, comics are considered pop art, anwyay, so it's really not a legitimate endeavor to go to convention after convention for something so silly.

So, the difference is that not only do my friends get to hide this huge part of their lives from the world like they were some sort of pedophiles, but they get praised for doing it, while I open myself to ridicule from the world because I read comics. I shouldn't even over-analyze this, but it just seems unfair in a way. But here's the real rub: one day, I referenced a line from one of the Star Trek movies in front of one of these women, and made sure to qualify that I don't usually broadcast the fact that I have lines from Star Trek memorized, because it's probably not a tremendous turn-on. This young woman, who is right now as I write this at a porn convention that she organized, said, "You should be more open about that stuff. you'd probably be a hppier person."

Riiiiiiight. I should be more open.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Nexus

I have now been alive for 33 years, technically. However, I don't really feel like I was alive until about 5 or 6 years ago. And honestly, I figured that the diabetes would have gotten me by now. But here I am, about 15 years living with that. Guess I'm in it for the long haul.

As a species, we tend to deride anything older than ourselves as out of touch or, hell, useless. I know because I do it, too. Or did. It gets harder to find people older than me, for one, but I think that older people have a lot of experience to fall back on. Conversely, people tend to look down on those younger than them as being too young and foolish to understand anything. I know this because I do that, too. So, where does that leave us? Does anyone really understand what's going on?

Perhaps that leaves us at 33. Truly, I great number. Look at it sitting there. Two identical squiggly lines, signifying a squiggly age. I see this as sort of the mid-point of Real Life, because I'm not confident about any prospects past 66. However, it is not necessarily downhill from here. In fact, I feel this puts me at the nexus between young and old, giving me Ultimate Perspective on life, the universe and everything. At no point will I be this enlightened again (I mean, 34? Come on! Might as well be dead!). I enjoyed 28 immensely, but I was still pretty young, dumb and full of cum. I had a blast at 30, but I was sort of holding onto a youth that wasn't really there in the first place. Now 33, the Nexus, I feel that I can comment intelligently on things, and anything I can't comment intelligently on, well, there's no need to worry about it because it obviously passed me by and that's for somebody else. At 33, I recognize what is important enough to waste my energy on, and I feel like I've reached a point where fewer and fewer things actually matter in the grand scheme. Sure there are things I want to accomplish, and I'll get to them, but really, I'm just glad to be here, ready to enjoy the life that I've chosen. It may not look like much from the outside, but it's all I got, and I'll stack ti up against anyone else's.

This is what Ultimate Perspective is all about. And I have a whole year of this ahead of me.