Tuesday, May 31, 2005

eBay Pain in the Ass

I have 2 pains in the ass regarding my current eBay practises.

I now have 3 unpaid since Saturday items waiting for payment. These people decide to bid on things without even letting me know they exist. Personally I pay via Paypal the moment the auction ends or at earliest internet connection time.

Instead they have won auctions but haven't even contacted me to say "Hey, I'm going to send a bank draft" or something along those lines. Arrrgggghhhhh!!! It's just poor etiquette.

Which brings me to another level of pain-in-the-assed-ness: one of these bidders (from the States) now doesn't want to buy the item she clicked the buy it now for because I am in the UK...if you are searching for an item from those who post worldwide you are bound to get hits in countries other than your own. I refuse to let her bow out without reimbursing me for my listing cost (it's only £0.21). That's only fair as far as I'm concerned.

I have such anger in me. Anger leads to the Dark Side. I welcome the Dark Side but only if it allows me to do an intercontinental Force-choke.

My quote for the day: "My insides are black." Bob

Edit: Hehe...less than an hour later and two responses back telling me they will send cheques/bank orders. Awesome. The link to this blog is in my signature in my email so I wonder if they checked it out?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Executive Decisions and Bitchfights

I watched Executive Decision last night on TV simply because I wasn't in the right frame of mind for Donnie Darko.

I don't think I had ever seen it before. For a mindless "Go USA" action film it's actually pretty good. Halle Berry (who I normally can't stand as an actor) was even pretty good. Steven Segal being billed second only offered a big surprise when he...well...that would be telling.

Meg got home today! Hoorah!

And her flight was three hours late allowing me to sleep until 9am! Hoorah!

Finally, I'll leave you comic fans with something I found quite amusing:

Every comic writer has their own website. Some have blogs and others have forums. Brian K. Vaughn and Mark Millar both fall into the latter category of forum owners. Mark Millar registered on Brian's forum to discuss Ultimates 2 being his last work for a while and the hilarious carnage ensued...enjoy

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Holy 10 Minutes Batman! and Search Stuff

I think I stole this from Heidi. This is a brilliant 10 minute clip from Batman Begins. There's some spoilery stuff in it but if you've been following the cast or have an idea of the direction they're taking with it it shouldn't harm you.

Gary Oldman (who is probably criminally underused in this film) is going to deliver the definitive Commissioner Gordon and there is a brilliant line of dialogue from Liam Neeson. You'll know when he says it.

Michael Caine makes me wish I had an Alfred.

Someone found this blog seacrhing for "Wonder Woman abortion Rucka" which makes me wonder what the hell Greg Rucka is doing over there in WW-land. Another two for Mannikin piss which, taken out of context can be pretty funny.

The disturbing amount of search requests for Lucy Monostone (the unpictured techno-cult goddess from Takashi Miike's "MPD Psycho" television show) has now scared me into checking whether or not I have a barcode on my left eyeball...nope. I'm back, nothing on the right one either. And yet, I'm somewhat disappointed.

Meg, I'm still missing you.

Dav, where the hell is a new post? Last night's conversation on German shit porn and David Hasselhoff is not enough to keep me occupied until a new one.

Portia, thanks for the well-wishes. Glad to hear you're feeling better.

Rick Geerling, if you're reading this, I was serious about Switchblade Romance. Help me...

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Switchblade Romance

I just watched Alexandre Aja's 2003 film Switchblade Romance tonight. The original title was Haute Tension (in French) and it certainly is a film with "high tension."

Cecile De France plays a girl visiting a college friend's parent's farmhouse. They seem to be there to do some sort of work as well but not much of that is revealed before the carnage sets in. A visitor comes in the night and massacres the family, taking both girls hostage. Well, he only thinks he's taking her friend hostage but Cecile hitches a ride.

What makes this film great is that it's filled with likely situations. There aren't many stretches of logic. The maniac acts as one woul expect of a real maniac and the victims act like, well, victims. Although, Cecile's character seems very quick-witted.

This movie then takes such a turn that it feels like you've been slapped in the face. It is one of those films where you're not sure if it's over your head or just stupid. Like Donnie Darko. I still enjoyed it. I would like some opinions of those who have seen it. Please. Help me.

I also watched the documentary American Nightmare that comes as part of the extras on the Toolbox Murders DVD. Brilliant! Good stuff. The guys at Dark, But Shining should check this one out. Very in depth analysis of American social history combined with its effect on horror films. Interviews with Tobe Hooper, David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Tom Savini and George Romero throughout.

It's almost one and I think I should finish up the Powerpoint slide I'm working on for school and hit the sack.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Episode III and New Comics (Oh Glorious Day!)

Well, it was pretty damn good.

The Story: I obviously knew how it would turn out. The way it was achieved, on the other hand, was a bit of a surprise.

We get to see both Yoda and R2D2 kick some ass. Yoda was probably the best part of the film for me. Although there were bits of Yodaspeak that didn't fit with the way he usually talks. Yoda + complex sentences = confused speech.

The Effects: I believe Dav mentioned this but when General Grievous coughs: oh yeah! It was convincing in every way. Except for Christopher Plummer doing a quadruple forward spinning flip. I know he's playing a Sith Lord but the guy is like four hundred years old.

Great lightsaber stuff, great spaceship stuff and great - but limited - alien effects. The alien species weren't bashed over our heads in this one.

The Acting: In a word: crap. But Star Wars acting has never been very good. Alec Guinness was about the only one to pull it off and maybe a little bit of Harrison Ford as well.

The sheer star power in this film should have guaranteed some good performances: Natalie Portman, Christopher Plummer, Samuel Jackson, Ewan MacGregor, etc.. None of them seemed to be able to act their way out of a paper bag. A little upsetting but I think it all boils down to Lucas' shite dialogue.

Gripes: While I enjoyed it over all I still have gripes. What's that you say? A geek not being totally impressed with something they are looking forward to? It is my burden.

It ties things together well. However, unnecessary Wookie-ness marred my enjoyment.

I don't think we need Padme naming the twins as she gives birth. You mean they're Luke and Leia? If you didn't already know that then it doesn't even matter.

Obi Wan Kenobi was a bit of a whiny bitch from beginning to end. He should be valiant.

My major upset had to be the unveiling of Darth Vader...he walks off of the operating table only to moan about Padme? That's not Darth Vader to me. He seemed meaner as Anakin.

That's all I think I'm going to say on that matter as there are comics to get to...

Legion of Super-heroes #6-This is the most I've enjoyed this series since the first issue. Funny, intelligent and without mindless action. It is certainly a slow build and is probably read better as a six issue chunk. I may do this.

Captain America #6-And the Winter Soldier is....nah. I won't say. But it wasn't as much of a surprise as it was intended. Brubaker has more in store for us.

Epting's art was fantastic. Damn well should be! This is the first full issue of CA he has drawn. No Michael Lark flashback sequences. Hmm...I liked those.

Outsiders #24-Wow...second issue in two weeks with a Teen Titans fill-in in between. Excellent. This issue wasn't as good as the last, or the last TT issue for that matter, but it'll do. It is setting stuff up to be tied into...

The Return of Donna Troy #1-Not too sure about this one. Quite a lot is happening in this issue and not a lot is explained. Jimenez writes a good cosmic odyssey. I'll give him that. Garcia Lopez's art reminds me of early-Eighties DC stuff which is what I suppose they are going for with this series. It helps with Perez doing inks. Where is that Perez/Wolfman Teen Titans book? I'm back for another issue.

Day of Vengeance #2-Again I'm blown away. Easily my favourite thing to happen after Identity Crisis bar none. Blue Devil, Ragman and Detective freaking Chimp! How can you go wrong? Hopefully these characters will be given new focus during/after Infinite Crisis.


Bye bye.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Avenged frickin' Sevenfold

Ok...so Ticketweb pulled through and got my ticket sent to the venue (The Arches-a fantastic brick interior all done in arched ceilings). Well, not really my ticket. I think they called and told them that they fucked up and just to let me in. There was no ticket, only a nod to the doorman. Lovely.

Mendeed opened the show and were blisteringly heavy. They are from just down the road but have been gathering some heavy steam inthe Eurometal scene. Too heavy for me but they had a fantastic rhythm section.

Avenged Sevenfold took the stage and opened with my favourite song of theirs "Chapter Four." Fantastic...they peppered the set with older and newer stuff. Stuff I'm not so familiar with but it was still great. M. Shadows shows no sign of having had throat surgery. He appeared in better form than the last time I saw them.

There is a great new song (on the upcoming City of Evil album) about Hunter S. Thompson called "Bad Country" that kicks all kinds of ass.

The mosh pit was lively and I even found myself in it for about six seconds (by accident). I'm an old man. I go to concerts to listen to the music and watch the show, not push people around.

The difference between this time and the last time I saw them was that they seem very seasoned at this point in their careers. I felt like I was watching Guns N Roses or Motley Crue in the late eighties. Their blend of Iron Maiden and The Misfits came across as the most epic music I have ever heard.

I haven't slept since Monday night so I'm cutting this short.

Watched Roger Corman's Buckets of Blood today as well. It is incredibly cheesy. A thirty two year old Dick Miller playing a teenaged busboy who dabbles in art and turns into a psychopath. It is really a satire of contemporary art circa 1960 but really has little relevance besides a cliche now.

Comics tomorrow Yay!!!!

Episode III tomorrow Yay!!!!!

Talk to you then.

PS Miss you Meg.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm Going to Have an Ulcer!


My pregnant wife is leaving for 5 days, I have my school portfolio to hand in in 12 hours (mostly finished) and the countdown to the Avenged Sevenfold concert hits 21 hours!

What's so bad about that last part, you ask?

Well...let me tell you: I have yet to receive my ticket!!!!!!!!

I bought it on May 2nd and it has now been more than 3 weeks. The venue tells me I have to contact the vendor (Ticketweb.co.uk, the bastards) as it is their show not the venue's. Ticketweb cannot be contacted by phone! Only a helpdesk post. Goddammit!!!!!

Who knows when they see fit to answer my message?

Hmmpphhh...back to work. You'll know how things wind up as my post tomorrow will either be a review of the concert or a spewing forth of vitriolic rage.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Cat. Out. Bag.

Okay, it's been a while since a post and I'm not going to talk about last week's comics, although they were freaking excellent.

I'm going to add an addendum to the post where I talked about Megan, my lovely wife, being hit by a car.

Well...when we were in the hospital she was getting tests before X-Rays and it turns out she's pregnant! Whoa! (my best Joey from Blossom impression)

I wasn't going to mention it for a while as she isn't even 8 weeks yet but Meg herself has started up a blog: The Womb Expansion Project! She has posted three times since my last post! Dammit! Not only is my pregnant wife becoming more of a geek than I am, she is more punctual. Somehting must be done.

I am debating starting up a blog entitled the Puking Wife Experience. It probably won't fly with the missus.

Now, all I need are three or four more kids for that band I'm going to manage...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Riddler is Dead and eBay stuff...

I was distressed to discover this morning that Frank Gorshin, the man who played the first Riddler in the 1960s Batman TV show died at the age of 71.

Frank was, in my honest opinion, responsible for the best portrayal of a Batman villain EVER. The man put his Riddler counterparts to shame (Jim Carrey and Gomez Addams).

The Riddler: RIP

Man, first Cesar Romero, then Burgess Meredith and now Frank Gorshin. Who's next? Vincent Price? Oh...

Finally, as I had promised. My eBay UK listings for comics, books, a shameful CD owned by my wife (I swear), British Airways travel vouchers, The Terror DVD and more...right here!

Ask questions via eBay please. The comments here should be for inane chatter only.

Currently listening to:

Out of Exile by Audioslave courtesy of MySpace.


Monday, May 16, 2005


I'm fricking tired!

Went to see Clutch last night at the Cathouse. Shitty venue; excellent show.

Clutch are fast becoming my favourite band. What do they sound like? Well...they'd say that they aren't straight ahead rock but they're more straight ahead rock than 99% of the bands who say they're straight ahead rock.

I love 'em. Clever and sometimes funny lyrics with a blasting rock background. They use trumpets sometimes and have some acoustic songs on their latest album Blast Tyrant. Last year's best record. They've got a new one coming out in a month or two and they played two new songs last night.

They opened with the first half of A Shogun Named Marcus and then played stuff only from their latest 3 albums (Elephant Riders, Pure Rock Fury and Blast Tyrant). They did a wicked rendition of The Mob Goes Wild and a terribly loud Yeti. There's no better way.

It seemed rather short but only because concerts can't go past 11 here. Lame. The last time I saw Clutch they played an hour set and then jammed onstage for 30 minutes. Very little small talk from singer Neil Fallon which means that he was probably pretty aware of time constraints and had to get down to business.

The opening act - other than the first band who is the obligatory high school metal band - was Five Horse Johnson. The drummer from Clutch also pulled duty for these guys who my friend Pat described as "Blues Traveler on crack." I generally dislike the "on crack" comparisons as those who use them are likely never to have done crack and have no idea what "on crack" is like. That's another story though. This time, the comparison was spot on.

Fat guys: check! Bluesy rock riffs: check! Harmonica: check!
Only this time the bluesy riffs have a little Slayer in 'em. Oh yeah...

Love the Clutch. Love the Five Horse Johnson. Bigtime.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Crazy Week (plus: New Comics, Current Playlist, and Unused Band Names)


I just typed half of this post and then put a CD into the laptop resulting in the loss of said post! I will state it all again in a more truncated version:

Wednesday was the scariest day of my life.

Upon arriving at my placement school and putting down my bag and jacket I received a phone call telling me that Megan, my wife, was hit by a car.

After getting a lift to the emergency room by the very kind David and Linda I saw Megan who happened to be okay. Other than being bruised and battered there was nothing broken. Not always the case after being hit by a car going 20 miles an hour.

I spent Wednesday and Thursday taking care of Megan until I picked up Amber, Meg's best friend who just happened to be visiting us this weekend, who has tag-teamed the job with me so far. Thanks Amber.

Meg is doing okay, thankfully. Other than being sore and a little shaken up she is in good spirits.

I am pretty much guaranteed semi-regular substitute teaching jobs in Port Alberni so it looks as though Meg and I will be calling that place home come the fall.

I can fish! This is a funny sentence taken completely out of context. So is: "I'll have the strawberry flavoured razorblade please."

New Comics

This may be a little exhaustive but here we go:

Sanctum-This is the final purchase from Belgium that I have yet to review. The story is as follows: An American submarine receives a distress call off the coast of Syria. Upon investigation of massive underwater caverns they discover a 70 year old Soviet submarine whose crew all died under very strange circumstances.

While investigating the crew discovers an underground sanctum dedicated to Mot, the ancient Ugarit god of death. But was the sanctum built to worship him or imprison him? You probably know the answer.

This may be the most cinematic comic book I've ever read. Hints of Event Horizon, Abyss and Leviathan all creep in to this story penned by Xavier Dorison (in French). Christopher Bec's art is amazing. A bit of a mix of Bryan Hitch and Trevor Hairsine but grittier. It fits well.

It's available on the ill-fated DC/Humanoids imprint.

Rann-Thanagar War #1-The Green Lanterns made this issue for me. Dave Gibbons writing is good and Ivan Reis' art is quite impressive. I, however, am someone who despises both Adam Strange and all things Hawk- . Why did I buy it? I'm a sucker for post-Identity Crisis continuity. That's why.

This is the worst of the post-Countdown minis but considering how good the other three were this means I'll still give this book a chance.

Friday the 13th Special #1-And I bought it on Thursday the 12th! Oooohhhhh......

It's pretty damn good. I'm not expecting Watchmen from it though. Brian Pulido gets the character of Jason and Mike Wolfer's art is cartoony without looking silly during eviscerations. I'm a sucker for horror films and slasher films so I planned on giving this a shot as soon as I heard about it. Pulido is also writing Nightmare on Elm Street (with Jose Ryp) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (with Jacen Burrows, Yay!!!!) so I'm there on both those as well.

Avatar Press gives us wonderful mix of bloodbath and overt sexuality. A great Jason experience without wasting 2 hours on the movie.

JSA #73-Back to true form. I have collected JSA all the way up to, after and not including Black Reign. This, being a follow-up to that and a tie-in to Day of Vengeance, could have been confusing.

In this issue we see a plot reminiscent of the JLA conference (in Tower of Babel I believe) where the team are deiciding whether or not to allow Batman to stay. This time it's Atom-Smasher.

This ties in to Villains United as well with a great dialogue between Black Adam and Lex Luthor.

Appearances by Shazam, Captain Marvel, Spectre and Eclipso. I look forward to seeing Detective Chimp meet the JSA (a boy can dream) in future issues.

Outsiders #23-The traitor is revealed! I knew it all along but never really cared. This series has enough intrigue in the inter-team relationships that keep me coming back for more.

Essentially, this issue features Arsenal holding the team at gunpoint while he figures out who is betraying them. Very tense. I like Arsenal as a character, always have. This issue makes me like him more. He has had the shit kicked out of him and been heavily deceived the past few issues and this is his attack back.

Well done. Leads nicely into next weeks Titans crossover...

Desolation Jones #1-This is basically the story of an alcoholic former spy sent to LA and made to do side jobs for others in the biz.

Warren Ellis packs it with great dialogue and interestinly deviant ideas. The conversation Jones has with the butler is quality. Jones must now hunt down the unrightful owner of Hitler's homemade porn.

J.H. Williams III (a name I refuse to type ever again). Draws this depraved story in a suitably dark tone. Looks a bit like Sin City at time and a bit like Tank Girl at other times. Again, mostly it just looks really fucking good.

Ellis is always best when it is his mind that conceives every disturbing nugget of the story. I'm in!

Flight vol. 1-After hearing of several people complaining how they can't find a copy I found one at Forbidden Planet on sale for £1.99. Suckers!

It's quite a fun read and is populated mainly with cartoony comics and the occasional indie standard fare. Has some interesting fantasy/scifi stuff too. Deep Blue by Phil Craven may be the best comic short story I've ever read!

Current Playlist-

Right now I'm listening to Lullabies to Paralyze by Queens of the Stone Age sent with Amber by Edward. Thanks Ed! I'm liking it. It's even more mellow than their previous release but it's great chillout stoner rock.

Still listening to lots of Turbonegro and Muse and can't wait to dig into the two free CDs I got from Metal Hammer magazine.

More Unused Band Names-

As per usual this is a growing list, the new ones will be in italics and all are free-for-the-taking as long as I'm told and possibly get an mp3:
1) Bastard Sockhop
2) Sack of Ferrets
3) Openly Straight
4) The Mung Beatles
5) Detritus
6) Terrible Beauty
7) Schnauzer Snake
8) Sirius
9) Orion's Belt
10) Miss Take
11) The Stephen Hawking Project
12) Thunderpope
13) Horny Cheese Grater
14) Anarchist Breakfast
15) Dirty Bastard
16) Painstake
17) The Suffering Fools
18) Superfluous Mandingo
19) Steaming
20) The Lager Tops

I know what you're thinking: "That's the truncated version?"

Yeah well...shut up!

I'll be back either tomorrow night or Monday with a review of tomorrow's Clutch concert.

Friday, May 06, 2005

New Comics Day(s)

Well this will be a short one as I'm tired and there were few purchases today...

First: News on my end is that my story will be published in the next anthology released by the Vicious Circle Project! Woo-hoo! Pretty damn psyched and more news will follow when I get it.

Justice League Elite #11 (of 12)-Hmm....I have been a big fan of this series from the beginning and this issue is pretty good but I'm unimpressed with it as a penultimate issue. Here's why: spinoffs need to bring the big guns (source characters) in at an early stage to create interest from the people who are going to buy it simply because Batman is in it. Then, they need to show that these are characters who are capable of supporting their own series. But, the worst thing a spinoff (especially one as strong as this) can do is undermine its coolness by bringing in the source characters for the last 2 issues. Hmm....

Villains United #1-Okay...I'll bite. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be. the art was top notch and the writing was the ebst I have enjoyed from Gail Simone but the first 8 pages (and a few others later on) are nothing more than a thoughtless recruitment drive. I don't want to spoil the ending so I'll do this: [SPOILER] For a book with such a high profile to rip off the premise of a book influenced by latter books original influence it is quite sad.[END SPOILER] That sentence will have made sense to very few of you anyway.

As far as the books I bought in Belgium:

The Hunting Party-Bilal writes and draws a haunting tale of an international hunting expedition in the Russian wilderness during Stalin's rule. Either it is rooted in a true story or it is extremely well thought out. Probably both.

Enki Bilal is quickly becoming a favourite artist of mine and I must now see his film Immortel. I wanted to buy some other stuff by him but there is only the first 2 chapters of a trilogy available and with DC's dropping of the Humanoids imprint the third might never see the light of day.

It's a bit of a hard read (a slog through for such a short book) but it is really well-plotted and beautifully rendered ina haunting style.

Fragile: Love Never Dies-This is brilliant! Love it. Stefano Raffaele (sic? He of Blackburne Covenant fame) writes and draws a story of a world populated mostly by zombies a la 28 Days Later but has two of them fall in love. They go on a quest to discover the cure for zombism to continue their love affair.

Violent, scary, heart-wrenching, romantic and very satirical. One of the best OGNs I've read in ages. Available as a DC/Humanoids collaboration.

Sanctum-To be honest I'm only 4 or 5 pages in and had to go to sleep last night to silence the throbbing in my head. Looks good though. I'll get back to you.

Tim leant me The Happiness of the Katakuris on DVD the other day and I watched it last night. Bizarre. Takashi Miike outdoes himself in a mixture of influences ranging from Volcano, Ring, Night of the Living Dead and ........wait for it.........The Sound of Music. All in Japanese! The song and dance sequence when they discover the first body is cinematic magic!

Thanks Tim

This is from the Best. Christian. Website. Ever.

Yo Rumsfeld! Slayerrrrrrrrr!

I stole this portion of the posting from Tom Peyer. Go check his blog out...but come right back. I get lonely.

Damn! I said this would be a short one and again I've been sucked into writing on and on. Damn you internet and your wily ways!

I leave you with a paraphrasd quote from Billy Connolly:

"Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes.
After that, who gives a shit? You're a mile away.
And you've got his shoes!"

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Earlier Countdown to Infinite Crisis

After my final evaluation today feeling like a bit of an infinite crisis itself I thought that I would refrain from sulking and just show some pictures that only the geekiest of comic fans will enjoy:

Here we have Maxwell Lord (Black King of Checkmate apparently) smiling knowingly. The interesting part is that Oberon is pointing to Blue Beetle the way the guys from Boyz n tha Hood hold their guns. Is Oberon Checkmate's White King?
Also interesting is that neither Giffen nor Matteis worked on this issue...conspiracy? Well...probably not but it would be fun to think so.

Another interesting pre-Countdown Blue Beetle moment:

Or would he, Ted? Had this scene been filmed there may have been an ominous, foreshadowing musical "Du Du Daaaahhhh" after BB says that Max would never do that.

Ah well...I'm going to suck back a beer before I have to go to work. Who says I'm not responsible?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Back from Brussels

Just got back from Belgium for the weekend...Brussels to be exact. I've got to say that it's really not my scene. I really dig continental Europe but I found the people in Brussels really snotty and unkind.

Plus: there's only so many waffles a man can take!

I've discovered that there must be an ingredient in Stella Artois that doesn't agree with me (no, I don't mean the alcohol). Nasty hangover yesterday and still slightly feeling it today.

Here are a few pictures:

The Mannikin de Pis (real title) is perhaps one of Belgium's most famous images. It is an utter disappointment. It's about the height from my elbow to my knuckles! I expected something almost as big as me but the gift shop next door sells statues larger than the original. And they dress him in absurd clothes. Who's job is it? What do you do for a living? Oh...I put clothes on that statue of the pissing kid.

Meg and I went to some museum for Bandes Dessines (comic books to the English-speaking) and it was quite interesting. Lots of stuff on Tin Tin to keep Megan conscious but lots of Moebius, Serpieri, Buscema and Bilal. Including one of the most beautiful images I have ever seen: Silver Surfer attacking Galactus the original art by Moebius. Mmmmmm.....Moebius.

Here I am standing with Le Visage Rouge shooting the shit when we see evil afoot.

I bought some cool books in the gift shop but I am having the laptop confiscated...I bid you adieu!