October 2002 Archives

Halloween Skelebunnies

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Line drawing of goth Satan jumping up and downHappy Halloween! In honor of this day--one of the better holidays, in my opinion--I thought it would be appropriate to post about Satan. There is much debate about what form Satan takes, but lately I have been favoring the depiction shown here, which I found in the comic book Skelebunnies by Tommy Kovac. In case you cannot read his word bubble, it says: "Shut up! I'm Satan and you must spank me 'cause I'm so fuckin' naughty! There is no other way to vanquish my heinous villainy!"

Getting intimate with Dr. Phil

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Alert! The episode of the Dr. Phil Show that I saw taped live is going to be on today! It was about teen sex and it was very good, though not as good as this Internet parody about having sex with Dr. Phil.

Googlism gives good results

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I was thinking of adding a bio to my blog but I think this description from Googlism says it all:
teresa is one of the most respected figures in the hong kong music industry
teresa is the adoptive parent of special needs children
teresa is a faux finish expert with twenty years of film
teresa is "unstoppable" rome
teresa is my hero because she represented all that is good and holy in a world filled with pain and suffering
teresa is a spiritual medium
teresa is a doll that should be purchased for regular playtime
teresa is a lovely barbie with very long dark brown hair

Ten plagues rendered in Lego

The other day I decided to check back at The Brick Shelf, the ongoing tranlsation of the Bible stories into Lego, to see what's new. I was excited to see that the series of chapters dealing with the ten plagues of Egypt had recently been finished!
Although my favorite plague story has always been the locusts, I was very taken with the Lego version of the second plague, the Frogs. The images really do reinforce the relentless build-up of the Frogs, with each successive image matching the driving rhythm of the prose.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in LegoThere is now Brick Shelf merchandise, too. Among the offerings is a unique depiction of the Holy Trinity in Lego--I think the Holy Ghost is particularly well done. In other Lego art news, I learned via Jockohomo that Lego is now selling grayscale mosaic Lego portraits, based on scanned photos you provide with your order.

Added a new cast page

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I've added a page to In Sequence called "Meet the Cast": a short introduction to some of the people I mention here on the site.

Odd Todd's lastest animation is up

The wonderful Odd Todd has a Halloween animation up. Comic fans should look out for Odd Todd's old school Aquaman costume (via Portage).

Fan influence on series TV

The New York Times has an interesting article in their Magazine about the influence that fans are having on series drama. In particular, the writer mentions the impact of Television Without Pity, which seems like a particularly masochistic place to hang out if you're a scriptwriter or series creator.
As a fan of Xena and Star Trek--both series with very vocal fan bases that broke ground in responding to Internet fans--I was intrigued to see how mainstream the practice of consulting the chat boards had become within Hollywood. It also confirmed my suspicions that Alias has been doing some major tweaking in response to Internet feedback regarding Will's character. (I now feel so sorry for Will I almost root for him to get Sydney.)
The most interesting statement regarding fan feedback came from a media critic who noted that the nearly instantaneous feedback creators are able to get from fans is enabling a form of interactive television: ''If this were happening at any other time in history, we'd celebrate it...When readers hold parties for Bloomsday and discuss James Joyce, we consider it an apex -- people taking culture seriously. But when viewers discuss the minutiae of a TV show, we call them crazy. One's got to admire it. Essentially what the message boards are is a panel of unpaid experts, with passion, analyzing culture."
Unpaid experts? Someone alert the Electronic Frontier Foundation! I think we're all owed royalty checks.

Batwomen

Some folks have asked me what I think of Birds of Prey, so I thought I'd venture an opinion. I enjoyed the show very much, but I think at least part of my enjoyment was explaining all of the relationships between characters to my girlfriend during the commercials. My friend Joe, who is a long-time comics reader, also needed to have some of the relationships sorted out in a post-viewing discussion of the show. So I have to wonder if the bar hasn't been set a bit high for viewers who may not know that much about the Batman universe.
I liked those aspects of the show that were comic book-like in their look and feel, as well as the overall girl-power theme. I particularly liked the relationship between Oracle--who has a nice sort of Jodie Foster seriousness about her--and the Huntress, who is all bad attitude. I also liked the playful moments in the show--it reminded me a lot of Xena in the way that it mixed action, drama, and a sort of self-conscious goofiness. The psychotic villainess who runs Arkham Asylum even reminds me a bit of Xena's old nemesis, Callisto. Is it just me, or does she also look a bit like Anne Heche?
I'm looking forward to seeing how they flesh out the back story. There's certainly a lot there to work with.

Thanks for the good wishes

Thank you to everyone who left a comment or signed my guestbook for my birthday. I loved reading your good wishes!
The day itself passed rather well, although I did get myself in trouble prior to my birthday when I revealed to my sister in a phone call that a Nintendo GameCube was high on my wish list. There was a stony silence at the other end, followed by my sister revealing her "hurt feelings" at my choice of game system. My sister is, has been, and always will be all about Sony Playstation, and she was a bit miffed to find my loyalties straying from The One True Path. I tried to argue for the overall cuteness of the GameCube, but I quickly detected this was a losing strategy and changed the subject.
I think the old saw about never discussing religion and politics in polite society should be changed to something like never discuss operating systems and game hardware in polite society. I know, I know...but then what would we talk about?

Today is my birthday

Today is my birthday. For my birthday wish, I hope that some of my visitors will leave me a comment or sign my guestbook.

Great Looking Kafka Comic

Fake neon brand names dominate a deep aqua background.I continue to be extremely impressed with the comic book Automatic Kafka. After three issues, I'm intrigued by its storyline and impressed with its strongly graphic look. I've reproduced here the first page of issue #3, which establishes a graphic theme for the "game show" sections of the book. Ash Wood and writer Joe Casey have integrated a funny spoof of men's magazines into issue #3, and have tossed in several other combination sight/text gags that help lighten the dystopic sci-fi mood of the story. I found more of artist Ashley Wood's work online in the gallery on his home page.

Xena Fan Meetup

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I went to my first Meetup last night and thoroughly enjoyed myself--so much so that I'll probably join another group.
The one I went to last night was the Xena meetup. About a dozen fans showed up, and although most of us didn't know each other, the conversation flowed very easily because of our common interest. I used to belong to writing groups and sci fi clubs when I was living in other cities, and this meetup was a fond reminder of those experiences.
One of the women I met shocked me by revealing that she was the winning bidder on eBay for the show prop of XENA'S URN! The despised urn from the last episode! It was a pretty funny moment, actually, and shows how the Internet was part of the Meetup, since we were all net heads as well as Xena fans.

Tuning in to new series

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With many new and returning TV series starting or else about to start, the new television season has been commanding my sequentially-tuned attention span. One series that I'm quite interested in is the Batman-inspired Birds of Prey, which starts this Wednesday, and which has been running an aggressive ad campaign in comic books. I'm hopeful about the show--certainly this ad is going in the right direction--the right direction being, to my mind, anything featuring a woman in tight black spandex and knee boots.
I'm also watching Enterprise even though its general suckage is indisputable at this point. However, the show does illustrate one of the strengths of the serial art form. I've invested so much in the Star Trek narrative that I'm willing to hang on to Enterprise awhile longer, hoping things will pick up. In the meantime, T'Pol is easy on the eyes.
I've returned for Season 2 of Alias, probably my favorite new show of last year. I especially liked this year's season opener, which I've renamed "The Bad, Bad, Mommy!" episode for the priceless scene where Agent Bristow finally meets her mother face-to-face and the first thing her evil spy mother does is shoot her at point-blank range. Firefly is shaping up to be my new favorite this season, although I missed the third episode because of baseball bumping the TV schedule. Would anyone like to send me a tape/file of it?
Since I don't have cable I don't get any of the quality HBO shows that everyone raves about, so for the most part I make due with network cheese: still on for Survivor, Will and Grace (supporting the queers), George Lopez (supporting la raza), and of course, Maximum Exposure (supporting idiots everywhere, I suppose). The brand new cheese selections for this year are Dinotopia and The Dr. Phil Show.
The show that has my series-loving heart all in a dither right now is Masterpiece Theater, which is now showing the 15(!!!) episode series of The Forsyte Saga in 7 installments. It's been a long time since I've seen a really good long-ass series on Masterpiece Theater. And may I say thank you to PBS for bringing us another BBC production, because I'm sick and tired of these WGBH Boston-sponsored "The American Experience" programs. If I sit down to watch Masterpiece Theater I expect scones and tea and powdered wigs and maybe even some Royals if I'm lucky--not dramatized F. Scott Fitzgerald, for fuck's sake.
Also, I just learned from the Need to Know mailing list that Sarah Water's saucy lesbian novel, Tipping the Velvet, has just been given the BBC treatment. I hope Masterpiece Theater--excuse me, ExxonMobile Masterpiece Theater brings an uncensored version our way sometime soon.

Doll Collection Gone Wild

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I found, via the groovy links over at No Sense of Place, an incredible collection of dolls that have been modified to look like movie stars. Naturally, my interest in sequentialism was profoundly stirred by the compulsion that drove this collector to so painstakingly recreate the images of movie stars in plastic.
Each doll is quite fabulous on its own, but I feel that each single doll gains in impact by being part of a larger collection. When you see the whole gallery, there is a sense not just of the specific craftsmanship that went into each doll, but of awe at a glamorous world remade in miniature. There is a sense of this miniaturization and orderliness in comics, where one can appreciate story in a glance as well as through the linear reading of panels, and where the meaning of each panel is augmented by its appearance within the whole.
Among the dolls, my favorites were Liza Minnelli tricked out in black garters and bowler for her role in Cabaret and Marlene Dietrich in a tux, complete with her signature razor-sharp cheekbones. Those razor-sharp cheekbones put in mind of Todd Haynes now-banned movie Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, which tells the story of the singer's stardom and anorexia using modified Barbie dolls. It was haunting the way the "Karen" doll's face and shoulders became more distorted as she grew thinner. I saw a bootleg version of the film many years ago--after a law suit by Richard Carpenter took the movie out of circulation--and have been unsuccessful in my efforts to track down another copy. (If you have any tips, e-mail me.)

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