Andrew Rowland has a new podcast and the extreme misfortune to have me as his first guest.
Archive of articles classified as' "Media"Back home
I’ll be at the Dallas / Fort Worth GI Joe and Action Figure Show 2014 in Grapevine, Texas on Oct. 4 & 5
tap-dancing like a Nicholas brother discussing*my involvement with G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thundarr The Barbarian, and a host of other questions about my career in animation / comics / videos games.**
* Now that the statute of limitations is up…
** Besides the obvious one of “Who would hire you in the first place?”
Well, we made it! And a good time was had by all. The first Alpha Omega Con is over, and a big 21 phaser cannon salute to Ralph Miley, Holly Knevelbaard, Eric Jansen, Clint Johnson, Kevin Young, Scot A. Shuford, and all the rest of the Christian Comic Arts Society and friends such as David Wood, Serena Travis, and Sheila Thompson who made it such a wonderful event!
Special thanks to our many, many guests and panelists, including: Mike S. Miller (Justice League of America, Batman: Arkham), Flint Dille (Transformers, Teen Titans, Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu), Chris Yambar (The Simpsons, Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol), Kevin Grevioux (Underworld, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.), Pastor Fred Price Jr. (Crenshaw Christian Center), Mike Kunkel (Herobear and the Kid), Dr. Thomas Parham (Asuza Pacific University), Eric Jansen (Christ of Prophecy, Paraman), Mike Shields (indie film maker), Dr. Fred Sanders (Biola University), Clyde Taber (Visual Story Network), Bill Morrison (Bongo Comics, The Simpsons), John David Ware (168 Film Project), B. Dave Walters (PeaceLoveMoney.Com), Jonathan Moch (the Emanation fantasy triology), Peter & Carmi Fellwock , and many more.
Mike Kunkle and Kevin Grevioux
Chris Yambar’s “Duck & Cover” seminar
Happy Birthday, June Foray!
You’re 97 years young today
Your cartoons run every day
With characters that you play
And for all of them we say
Hip-hip-Hooray for June Foray!
thanx to Mark Evanier for the tip off
Hollywood suffered a major disappointment at the box office this summer, and it looks like we’re seeing a major sea change in the way motion pictures and TV shows are viewed / consumed.
[We’re going full bore
theological after the jump,
but secular readers
are safe until then.]
In a nut shell, fewer and fewer people feel like shelling out $10-20 bucks to eat overpriced popcorn while watching a movie they know little if anything about.
Previously, they had been willing to spend that kinda money for something they knew they would enjoy, either a branded form of entertainment like Walt Pixar Presents Harry Marvel’s War Trek 007: Die With An Expendable Transforming Hard On, or Something Just Like It.
New movies, unfamiliar concepts, non-popcorn crunchers just didn’t warrant a $10+ entry fee.
Wait till it comes on Pay-Per-Vue or HBO or Netflix or (really scraping the bottom of the barrel here) YouTube.
Heaven knows this is how I watch most of my media:
If it ain’t on Netflix / HBO / YouTube or available on DVD, I’ll pass.
As a result movie theaters are slowly starting to spiral the drain. Their biggest hits are aimed at a teen male heterosexual audience that can’t find dates and whose parents monitor their computer so they can’t watch porn.
There’s next to nada for older and/or female audiences.
Movies used to be a shared common public experience:
You went to see something along with a bunch of other people, and then you discussed that experience with other people who hadn’t been there with you.
Now we share the experience online, comparing notes over TV shows and movies we watched in the privacy of our own homes.
We don’t really connect with the rest of an audience in a movie theater.
Now, there is an exception to that, and that’s when people come together to share a specific common interest.
Here in L.A. we have the El Capitan Theatre which shows Disney movies accompanied by elaborate stage shows. People who go there go specifically to see a Disney movie with an elaborate stage show wrapped around it.
Or people go to sing-a-long events where classic musicals like The Sound Of Music are played with follow-the-bouncing-ball accompaniment, turning it into karaoke for the masses.
Or, if they are real film buffs, they go to the rapidly dwindling number of art / revival houses to see a specific film selected for them by the theater in the company of fellow film buffs.
Back in the day these sorts of theaters, while not exactly plentiful, were easy to find. Every major urban area had at least two or three, sometimes many, many more. Often they would show a new double every night ( not counting special kiddee matinees on Saturdays or late night cult films on Fridays and Saturdays). The films would either be selected as complimentary to one another or as an interesting juxtaposition. Once or twice a month there would be an evening of short subjects / cartoons / music videos.
In other words, every night a three to four hour block of interesting, thought provoking movies representing a wide variety of genres and styles.
If I were king of the forest, I’d want a neighborhood revival house where the staff selected an interesting double feature / selection of shorts for each evening. Projection would be a state of the art digital system; it would be set up to scan 70mm / 35mm / 16mm / 9.5mm / Super 8 / 8mm films without having to run them through hellacious loud / hot / cranky projectors, as well as taking digital downloads / Blu-rays / DVDs / VHS / Beta / laserdisc / Fisher-Price PXL2000 sourced material.
There would be a selection of healthy / inexpensive drinks, good popcorn popped fresh daily, and quality snacks; and next door would be a Denny’s-style coffee shop so after the screening either the film makers or the theater manager could take people over to discuss what they had just seen and get to know one another better.
What we have instead, however, is a theatrical film going experience that relies more and more on variants of previous successes. It is the rare theatrical film that makes even a token gesture at a fresh interpretation of old tropes, or presents itself in a style other than that of last year’s block buster.
Today is Jack Kirby’s birthday.
Tom Spurgeon goes the extra lightyear will all sorts of kracklin’ Kirby goodness.
I’ve already posted my feelings regarding Jack, and since I don’t think I can do better at this time I’ll just link to it again.
Jack, we miss you and Roz. You were one of the greatest artists ever to weild a pencil in the comics medium, but more importantly than that you and Roz were great people, a joy to be around, a blessing to others, an honor to know.
1. The story has to dig deep into who you are.
…..2. Learn from the past and put a twist on it.
……….3. Remember, you’re better at being you than anyone else.
……………4. Work. A lot.
………………..5. Don’t worry about selling out.
Worry about buying in.
Truth be told, while I enjoyed zombie movies in the past, once George Romero encapsulated the modern version with 1978′s Dawn Of The Dead, he pretty much said everything there was to say in & about the genre (with the possible exception of Lucio Fulci’s 3-way topless scuba diver vs. zombie vs. shark fight in 1979′s Zombi 2 a.k.a. Zombie Flesh Eaters a.k.a. Island Of The Living Dead).
So it was no small surprise to me to stumble upon Cargo, a short Australian film from 2013 directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke from a script by Ramke. It’s got everything you want in a zombie movie without ever going to excess, and best of all at a speedy seven minutes it’s short & sweet. Check out the video here.