...now she thinks maybe I should submit something here.
....I dunno....I dunno if I fit in with that bunch...
....but I'd have that problem with everyone, and everything, ever.
I gotta hem and haw about it for a few months....
There they all are.
Pretty much in the order that I liked them.
Wow, this was really a summer to fucking remember!
I think this is the most movies I've seen in a year...certainly in my adult life.
Certainly since I've gotten picky, and gone into "I only see a couple a year, because most movies are shit", mode.
Here, we had everything I like to see coming out in one huge grab-bag.
It's a rare celestial alignment.
And there were even more, stuff like Elysium, I almost saw that, probably should have seen it instead of Pacific Rim, but...ah well...I'll see it on DVD.
I dug it a lot, but it didn't lose the nitpicky stuff of the first one, and isn't likely to in the third one.
I'm really hoping part three isn't just "Star Trek: Another One", but with Lindelof back on board....eh...
I'm still stunned by how fucking good this one was compared to my expectations.
I've watched it...I think 4 more times since I got it on DVD.
I'd like to put this higher, but it's so hard to compare horror with sci-fi/action, which one would I bump?
Gawd, I'm still struggling with this one. I didn't DISlike it, but I'm still so bummed that I didn't LOVE it.
Well, perusing IMDB, a lot of people felt the way I do, so I'm not a mutant.
With "World's End", out there, the hype for this as "the big summer movie", even more dumbfounds me.
You'd think the Brits would've piped up, and said "nuh-UH!".
Ah, well, I guess I'm glad I saw it. I would have been paranoid forever that I missed some big life event if I didn't.
...but if I had a time machine, I'd see "Elysium", instead.
So, there, that was the summer of 2013.
One for the history books.
I really think so.
I think you have to go back to 1993, exactly 20 years ago, for that many milestone hits all together.
Before that, 1989.
Hmm, yeah, 88/89, that's when I was seeing a shitload of movies, and that was when I was a kid.
In adulthood, hasn't been one like this.
There have been decent movies, but only ever one or two a year that were theater worthy.
Some years, none.
Yeah, this was a big one.
Got ME out of the house, anyway.
That's a feat.
So, I've gone over life, tech stuff, the lessons the books teach, the things Harry predicted, what else is there to talk about?
Ah, of course, the elephant in the room, the art!
Let's dig in!
Well, it's unconventional, but I stand by it.
I could wish for better hands, fancier pens, more RAM in my mental graphics card, and smooth the lines out, tighten up the little details, balance some of the proportions, but that's still exactly the style I'd do it in.
Never wished to be someone like Jim Lee.
S'not who I am.
Nor am I this delusional knucklehead who thinks he's turning out Jim Lee type work, and is patting himself on the back for that.
I'm sure there are people out there who don't like me, or at least don't like my stuff, who think that me even self publishing my strips at all is that level of Quixotically delusional, and that the above is the delusion.
It is what it is, it tells a story, and I have an iron certainty they're funny stories.
I've never wavered on that the past 20 years.
Nothing has made me blink or flinch.
Every time some new thing came along that made me doubt a little, and think "I should just throw it in and quit", I'd just read the fucking books again, and the doubt went away.
I'm dead certain, if Harry were adapted for TV right now, he could pick up right after Futurama, and go even further.
He could outright slaughter American Dad. Easily.
On my worst day, I could kill American Dad.
That's not hubris, I'm dead cold certain of that.
Quote me on it, I don't care.
Would Marvel, or DC, or Dark Horse take my stuff?
Does that bother me?
Not for a minute.
Way I look at it, is this.
The founding fathers of comic books would not get work in the business if they applied today.
Let me repeat that in case it threw you amiss with incredulity.
The founding fathers of comic books would not get work in the business if they applied today.
Do I need to underline and highlight it?
Okay, maybe visual aids will help.
Here's typical Batman art today.
This is what they're looking for.
If you can't do this, go fuck yourself.
Don't even try.
This is Bob Kane's Batman.
This would get laughed out of the offices, and thrown in the garbage, and peed on today.
Okay, in our world, with our back-history, they might just think "oh, he's doing a nostalgia thing on the Bob Kane style, that's cute...".
THEN they'd reject it.
Of course, they'd let Jim Lee do a rip on that style for a nostalgia issue, or a time travel thing.
Anyway, pretend there was no Bob Kane, no Batman.
Or pretend someone walks in off the street with "Aardvark Man", and it's drawn in that style.
You'll be kissing sidewalk, and nursing a boot print on your ass.
So would poor Bob.
Shit, it gets worse for poor Superman....
Can you imagine the reception that would get now?
It would make Simon Cowell blush.
So, you've got to wonder, how many Bob Kanes are out there not being discovered, or are throwing in the towel entirely? Or, not even trying? Just nipped in the bud, y'know?
Am I saying I'm one of them?
Well, fuck no, cuz I'm right on here doing it.
But, what I am saying, is a business that would crush its own golden geese isn't one I fret too much with impressing.
I'm true to myself, and I don't sweat the rest.
The comic industry standard is a corporate standard, not an objective one.
Just like weight, and faces, and teeth, and skin, and hair, and clothing, and speech, and everything else corporations have tried to standardize with their little confining boxes.
No thanks to joining in on that.
You know by now how I feel about all of that...stuff.
Also, there are other artists who eschew the corporate standard, and even find relative success.
Here's some old Matt Groening...
Tch, fuck yeah, I can equal and top that six ways 'til Sunday.
But, he didn't break into Marvel/DC/Dark Horse, he got in through comic strips.
I never had a paper that carried it though, it must have been hipster big city papers or something.
We were always stuck with Cathy, and Marvin, and Hagar out in the sticks.
But, fuck that whole structure anyway, because we've got the internet now.
Let's look at some internet successes....
Here's Homestar Runner....
I love the show, Strongbad E-Mails is the real star of the site, but look at that.
On. My. Worst. DAY.
Here's Jesus & Mo, the one every atheist I know swears by...
Funny strip, dogshit art.
Doesn't mean it doesn't give me a chuckle though.
And this guy sells paper books.
I can only assume people buy them.
Here's a random panel from The Oatmeal
Well....that's tricky, that guy can draw well, but apes primitive.
But, people love it.
Me, I dig it too.
So, why do I languish in obscurity?
Well, like I said here..
I dunno, maybe I'm supposed to be more shameless, and plaster the internet with banners, and shit. Sorry, I'm not an extroverted kinda guy...*shrug*
If it's an advertising thing, you have to spend money to make money, and I am flat stinking moths in the wallet broke.
If it's the work itself...it's not the art, it's not the humor...maybe it's the tone.
The Oatmeal is jolly, Homestar is jolly, Groening is a little jaded, but still loves life, Jesus & Mo has a tone of above-it-all wit...
Mine is a message of complete hopelessness.
It's one I deliberately cultivate.
It may have been a side-effect of depression ages ago, but today, it's a message I choose, a message I want to get across to people, especially children, and one I'm heroically proud to champion.
....but a lot of folks don't dig it for some reason.
It's a STRANGE thing to me that that would be the case, but...go figure.
No...I think even tone and content wise, this could find an enthusiastic audience.
I think it really does come down to advertising.
And my abject hatred of it.
So, yeah, back full circle, and all of the above is why I stand by my every goddamned pen-stroke on these damned books.
Also, I always thought my technical basics were always in place.
I can foreshorten like no one's business, my perspective and symmetry were always about right, I never fucked that stuff up too badly. Nothing jumps out and bites me.
I sure studied enough Commander Mark, and practiced my ass off back in the day...
That's right, Commander Mark (see clip).
Jesus, I look like that dude now....
It's so hard to get into it without spoiling anything...
Simon Pegg is awesome in it, everyone's great in it, but he's the best I've ever seen in this.
The ads don't do it justice, but like my review, they don't wanna spoil anything.
My only gripe?
The Brits got it back in July.
What, did American studio execs see how good it was, and beg them not to ship it over until now because their movies would get slaughtered?
Could very well be....
Well, it's in my brain now, and summer is done.
And what a great fucking one to go out on.
Wish I had the dough to see it a couple more times.
The Funster peeled back his makeup encrusted lips, and cackled like a banshee, between braying obnoxious nonsense into a bullhorn out the nearest window.
He had on a tacky sequined green zuit-suit type number, a purple wig, and cracked white clown makeup all over his face.
A mound of extruded human goo lay on the floor near a tree shredder.
Tied up hostages, faces soaked in tears, awaited their turn on the conveyor belt.
A skylight shattered, a rope dropped, and Chokecherry zipped down on a pulley.
She surveyed the scene, scowled, ran at The funster, pulled the tomahawk she'd recently commandeered out of her bag, and split Funster's head down the middle with one angry swing.
Funster's incoherent bullshit instantly faded to a gurgle, and his carcass plopped to the floor like a burlap bag full of inert butcher meat.
Chokecherry recognized his face, mangled as it was.
It was Franky Donaldberg.
Inventor of the Transposer.
She ignored this, and calmly set about freeing the hostages.
Jade Shade finally kicked in the front door, and saw what had happened.
He started a bit, then silently helped untie hostages, and making sure they were all right.
Once the hostage were freed, and long gone, Jadie and Chokie finally had a little chat.
After pacing for a bit, JS gestured towards Franky/Funster, and said "so, what's this all about then?".
"What does it look like?", Chokecherry said with an almost bored look on her face.
"It looks like you've broken the superhero oath", JS spat back.
"I don't remember taking any fucking oath", Chokecherry shot right back, annoyance creeping into her voice.
"Superheroes don't fucking kill!", JS barked, fists clenched, and shaking.
"Bullshit", Chokecherry said trying to keep a laugh out of the back of her throat.
Before JS could speak, she cut him off "what about The Prodigious Mass? You iced him without a shred of remorse".
"That was different, that was...", JS stammered.
"Putting down a mad dog?", Chokecherry asked.
"Isn't that what this fucking was?".
"It's not for us to judge...", JS attempted.
"Oh give me a fucking break! That's why we put these fucking costumes on! If we didn't already think we knew better than the shitty cops, we'd be staying in eating fucking premium ice cream out of little buckets like good little American boys and girls", Chokie snapped, a sneer of annoyance definitely showing in her speech by now.
JS shook his head mumbling "I dunno...this is just...this is just...I dunno...".
Chokie continued, on a roll now "and let me tell you something else, Mister Clean Conscience, Prodigious Mass was far from your first! Did you really think all those muggers and pimps you beat to a pulp all lived? Do you think street criminals can afford decent health care? In what world is that? When you beat a guy bad enough to make him eat through a straw, sometimes, he actually fucking dies! Do you have medical training? Do you know perfectly how to break a body without destroying it? Every single time? In the heat of battle? Do you even think such a man can exist outside of a fucking comic? You're NUTS if you think your encounters were always non-lethal! Let me dispel the denial, you've got 16 corpses on your tally. That's right, I looked into it. I knew this moment was coming! And you know what? GOOD! The world is actually a better place without those assholes! Making the world a better place is part of what this is about, isn't it? Well the world is better without that trash, and it's better without that pile of shit over there, and I'll NEVER be sorry!".
"You really aren't bothered at all?", JS said taken aback.
"That little piece of shit meat-ground people just to get our attention! Because he didn't get his little baby way, because we broke his precious toy! All of this just because he didn't get rich off the Military Industrial Complex! Fuck him, and everyone like him! No, I'm not bothered a bit! I'm only ashamed we didn't get here in time to stop the whole thing, and I'm equally ashamed that YOU'RE bothered".
"It's really that easy for you?", JS said, condemnation in his voice.
"To save good people? Fuck yes, I'd kill a hundred like him, sweatless", Chokecherry said, calming down.
She walked up to him, lifted up his mask, and put her hands on his face.
"What does your deepest heart tell you? Fuck what society and rules say. Do you FEEL like a criminal? Do you FEEL like I did wrong? With your heart".
Dusty thought for two seconds, and said "my heart feels the way it did when Blackie Aaron got shivved in prison".
She kissed him, and said "all right then".
"So what do we do with him?", JS said, indicating Franky/Funster as he put his mask back in place.
"Well, we've got the shredder right here...", Chokecherry said with a shrug.
So, they put Funster's carcass on the conveyor belt, and fired up the machine.
Then, when the cycle had run, they burned the place down with gasoline.
They made love by the firelight.
When they were done, Dusty/JS said "you're her, aren't you? You were there with me at the school massacre, you're Ki...".
Irma/Chokecherry clamped her hand over his mouth.
"Don't say that name. Don't ever say that name. As far as you're concerned, she died that day".
They both stared up at the stars, and had the same exact flashbacks.
Finally, JS said "you're right, the past is dead, the future is what matters".
Another 10 minutes later, Irma/Kimber said "comic books are shit, we've got to be the ones to write the real rulebook. That'll be our future".