Friday, January 22, 2010

Review - Doppelgangster

Author: Laura Resnick 
Paperback, 400 pages
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: January 5th, 2010

As much as I love to read novels, I have a tendency to not read that many of them simply due to how many there are and not knowing which ones to read. I was recently browsing a book store for reference material, however, and the cover of this book caught my eye. The title alone, "Dopplegangster", was enough to get my attention. Being a fan of The Dresden Files, another modern fantasy series, I gave into impulse and picked it up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Thoughts On Avatar

I have been directed to many blogs, editorials and news articles regarding James Cameron's Avatar and the controversy thereof. I have decided that it is absolutely, positively, and incontrovertibly necessary for me to give my in-depth impression of the film.

Ooh, ooh, lookit the 3D! Wow, an alien world! It's so shiny and immersive! Those animals are kewl and realistic looking! Man, it would be neato to have an avatar... dude, Jake is learning all this stuff and getting better and better and oops he fell that is HILARIOUS! OMG FLYING O_O This is fun and awesome and ACTION! Wow, what a fight! Fun and shiny and... story? There's a story? I didn't notice; I was too busy having fun visiting Pandora.

Those are my highly intellectual thoughts on the subject. I hope you have found it enlightening.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Saw Sherlock Holmes!

But enough about that. Does anybody else find themselves hyper-aware of their own movement after sitting through a movie? Seriously, it's like after I get out of my seat I'm aware of movements I would normally take for granted. It doesn't happen with every movie, but it did with this one, and with almost every CGI film I've ever seen. If ever I were to participate in an ill-conceived ballet competition, it appears my pre-prance preparation would consist primarily of watching Shrek 2.

Oh, and for those who care, the movie was entertaining. So long as you enter the theater aware that you are about to witness a re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes as a deductive action hero and not as the traditional Holmes, you should be in for a fun ride.

Wait, I Remember Now... This Was Supposed To Be A CASUAL Blog...

I made a mistake last week. In a post I have since deleted, I proudly declared how, basically, I was going to be treating this blog as a part of my overall business model and force myself to post new and interesting stuff in it every day! So, of course, I immediately became very busy with my comic work and was too tired to have much of anything funny to say and wound up not posting all week. Go me.

Thing is, prior to that, this blog was making me feel really good, posting whatever the heck I feel like whenever I felt like it. It's a genuinely good outlet for ranting and saying things I don't have room to say elsewhere, and I think it only works that well if I keep it casual. If I reach a point where I'm naturally posting every day, great! If I try to force it, though, it takes the fun out of this and could also hurt my other projects which demand much more of my time than this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Howard The Duck - Should He Live Again?

Howard the Duck was a 1986 movie made by Lucasfilms. It starred a duck named Howard (of course) who lived in a universe where duck lives as man (insert dramatic thunderclap), but is brought to our universe by some sort of science fiction macguffin. It was based on the character of the same name from Marvel Comics who actually dates back to 1973. While the comic character still turns up from time to time, the movie was considered a horrendous, career poisoning flop.

One major issue with the movie (beyond the story, script, and all that jazz), is simply the duck suit effects. Not only is Howard not convincing or particularly emotive, he's unpleasant to look at. He is also incapable of letting loose with his quack-fu, a manner of martial arts that should easily take down the likes of even Chuck Norris. In this movie, there's no way he can unleash a proper fury.

But what about today?

Ignoring for a moment the obvious option of traditional animation (as pointed out by several critics at the time), we now have fairly convincing CGI and motion capture technology. If you'll recall Yoda in the Star Wars prequels, the technology does exist to make someone like Howard into a convincing fighting bad-ass. It also would allow him to be more expressive and natural in general.

Now, I'm not suggesting you could take the same script, toss in CGI Howard and call it a day. Hell no. I'm suggesting that the lack of limitations imposed on Howard by virtue of him not being some guy in a suit would give greater flexibility to what's done with him, and give the writer's more to work with. There could be cool action sequences, the comedic timing would be better... actually, they could use a similar script and it would be better. It wouldn't be good, but the basic addition of range to Howard would improve on the original.

It could still suck even with a new script and CGI, but this is ultimately my point: I believe there are movies out there that were crippled by the technological limitations of their time. The limitations affected both where they could go with the script and how scenes could be executed. Are there flops out there that, given modern technology, should possibly be given another chance? If so, is Howard among them?

Friday, January 8, 2010

How To Solve All Celebrity Scandals Forever

I've been hearing a lot about celebrities behaving badly lately. Every time I turn on celebrity gossip shows, they're talking about celebrity gossip, and frankly, I'm sick of it. I watch these shows day in and day out waiting for them to give me the damn football score, but they never do!

In light of this frustration, I have decided there is only one solution: end celebrity scandal forever.

Over the past couple of minutes, I have considered the best ways to accomplish this. My first solution was to make everyone celebrities, because when everybody is a celebrity, no one will be. I would have accomplished this by giving everyone on Earth their own reality TV show, but that fell through when I realized there would be nobody left to film it all. Tripod technology must advance to brave new heights before this gem of an idea can shine.

My second, insanely brilliant solution was to buy out all the news networks and replace them with increasing numeric incarnations of ESPN, thereby guaranteeing that someone, somewhere would give me the damn score. Unfortunately, all that appears to be in my piggy bank at the moment is a button for a jacket I no longer own and one extremely territorial spider, so I don't have the necessary funds to pull this off. I'm considering getting a paper route to rectify this.

My third solution, one ordained by the heavens themselves and delivered unto my brain by a heavenly choir, was to encourage all celebrities to move to Las Vegas. I have been informed that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so should the celebrities misbehave, we won't have to hear about. Whatever misbehavior they indulge in will be engulfed by the black hole that is the glittery Vega strip, sparing the rest of us the misery and torment of learning that many of the celebrities we love and idolize are over-glorified jackasses.

Of course, while these are all good ideas, it has just now this very instant occurred to me that I can probably find football scores online, which would probably be a lot easier. Let's see if I can find the one I was looking for...

Ah, here we go! 12.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

IM Chat - BatFigure's Productivity Advice

DanTheShive: Ah, instant messaging. Is there any activity more worthwhile?

BatFigure: I'm Batman.

DanTheShive: GAH! What the hell? You have an instant messenger?

BatFigure: Of course I do. I'm Batman.

DanTheShive: No, you're not. You're a Justice League Batman figure I bought from a comic book store and are in no way a threat to DC and its various trademarks and copyrights.

What do you want, anyway?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Upcoming Songs of EGS

The next four storylines of my webcomic El Goonish Shive are being planned out. While this is all subject to change, here are some songs that come to mind when I think of certain parts of these upcoming stories. Please note that I have no sort of official connection to these songs; they simply come to mind when thinking about these stories.

"Eye Of The Tiger" by Survivor
"East Bound And Down" by Jerry Reed
"Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down
"When You're Evil" by Voltaire

"Hallelujah" also fits in there, but there are so many covers of it that I don't know which artist to list. In any case, I'm not going to say why I find these songs fitting for certain parts, only that I do. I will, however, likely clarify it all later during the commentaries of these upcoming stories.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Nostalgic Tale

I'd normally (or I suspect I would normally; this is, like, my fifth post here) post a sketched fan art such as this only at Deviant Art, but I actually have a bit of a story to tell connected with this that's worth posting here.

Click for larger Version

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blargh... Sunday...

Hm... I should post at least one interesting thing a day here. Haven't done much yet today, though. I'm still getting back on a good sleeping schedule since New Years.

Let's see, interesting... interesting... Oh! I have a Batman action figure on my desk. Yeah, I was making jokes on Twitter about how Batman was telling me to do all these things like sit up straight and work harder, and I decided to buy a small action figure of him to help remind me to do these things.

I know it's a little silly, but... what's that, Batman? Why did I sleep so late today? I'm still recovering from staying up late on New Years Eve. ...Yes, I know the early robin gets the worm, but... I was... I just... DUDE, IT'S SUNDAY! BACK OFF, BATMAN!

Yeesh. If he keeps this up, he's gonna get replaced by my Chris Griffin figure. He won't judge me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Rant - Star Trek Special Edition Case Insert

Ok, I know I just wrote in length about a DVD and I don't want to give the wrong impression about what manner of blog this is, but this rant is gonna happen.

I was generously given the new Star Trek (Two-Disc Digital Copy Edition) for Christmas. It is worth noting on the side that this came with quite an enjoyable movie that I absolutely love, a digital copy of it and a ton of extras, but frankly, that is all entirely ruined by the horrible, horrible packaging. And no, I refer not simply to the image I have included. It gets far, far worse.