Archive for ‘Film’

I Don’t Know about You, but THIS is the Superhero Movie I’VE been Waiting for

I’m even okay with the ’60s Batman-style sound effects! Thanks, everyone I’ve ever known for telling me about this as soon as I got home.

Oh, and hey, as long as it’s Random Friday, I’ve got a question: I’m dying to find a reeeeeally old music video from the ’80s—maybe even pre-MTV. It had a funky, electronic song (possibly no words) with black and white, photocopy-style animation. There was a recurring assembly line motif with hamburgers and hands and that creepy masonic eye/pyramid thing. Really cool and jerky, almost like it was made by a robot Terry Gilliam. Does anyone remember this video? I’d love to find it out there somewhere but I don’t know anything about the director or even the musician(s) involved.

UPDATE: It was the experimental film “Machine Song” by Chel White. Thanks to music video master Alex de Campi for the answer!

As some of you might have guessed, based on past blog entries, music is very important to our whole family. Sky is going to Coachella this year with a friend of ours and I’m envious, but after Italy, I’m going to be too eager to get back to work on the book, so I’ve got to miss it yet again.

I love that my daughter has been listening to bands like Passion Pit, Hot Chip, and Vampire Weekend* (all at Coachella) while simultaneously getting into Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, on LP no less—and that I had nothing to do with those last two. Well, any of them technically, (though I did discover Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros before her).

I used music constantly while working on the first draft of the layouts for the new book. I had several different playlists for different kinds of scenes and I’d go for long walks trying to imagine sequences, while letting the music sustain the mood I was going for.

Recently though, I mentioned this to my Mom over the phone and she said she hoped I took the headphones off once in a while to listen to the sounds around me too. (Which is both reasonable, and exactly the kind of thing you count on a Mom to say.)

Funny thing is, though, I’ve discovered that music actually distracts me during those walks now that I’ve entered the rewriting stage of the layouts. Keeping a sustained mood through music actually makes it harder to step back and consider the structure of a scene or set of scenes in my head, and how to change them for the better, or to implement the suggestions of my panel of “kibitzers.”

That trance I needed to put myself in while conceiving sequences would now prevent me from evaluating those scenes objectively. More proof, if any was needed, that we need to appeal to different aspects of our creative personality at different stages of the creative process.

Hm. This post is like a Simpsons episode. One thing leads to another and…


See you Monday!

*Pop Quiz: If I added Peter Gabriel’s name to those three band names and asked you which of the four was not like the others, which would you pick and why?

Random Friday Stuff

Item #1


Item #2

Uh-oh! Trevor Dodge is very kind, but this is the kind of thing that always gets me into trouble.

Item #3

Still haven’t gotten any word from Comic-Con regarding our hotel choices, so I assume there will be no choices. Hm. Guess we’re keeping our just-in-case reservations again this year at full price.

Item #4

Perhaps I should just link to a Kate Beaton comic every time I do a miscellaneous Friday post.

Item #5

Can anyone recommend a brand of ice tray that doesn’t suck?

David Lloyd Sums it Up

Yeah, I’m going to follow Kurt’s lead here:

David Lloyd sums up the last ten years beautifully with the above image at the Beat’s year end survey.

I never cared much if my comics were made into movies in the past. Someday it might happen and I’ll buy something big, and go straight back to the drawing board, but I never viewed movies as a “step up” like some.

Still, it’s been encouraging to see the increasing deference our medium has earned as nerds of all types have clawed higher and higher in popular culture. And it’s refreshing to see at least a few comics benefit directly from the increased attention (Watchmen, 300, etc); reversing a long trend of comics movies selling movie tickets, but very few comics.

Waiting for progress in comics is like waiting for the hour hand on a clock. At any given time, it can feel like we’re standing still, but we’ve actually moved a lot in a fairly short time.

Or does that metaphor mean we’re just going in circles? Hm.

Year End’s Odds and Ends

Belated Happy Birthday to Ivy! We went to Disneyland for her birthday on Tuesday after a very full day of work Monday, and yesterday was a lot printing and mailing, so I didn’t get much blogging, tweeting, or, um… facing… in this week.

Round One of the “rough draft” for the graphic novel is done! I’ll be working on revisions/rewrites for the next couple of months and then, starting in March, I’ll be doing finished art for two years. The book is currently at a whopping 461 pages, but I’m hoping it’ll get shorter in revisions. (Note that my “rough draft” is basically just a rough sketched-out version of what the finished book will look like, all captions and balloons in).

Fun fact: My roughs are done forty pages at a time in a single photoshop document so I can slide panels back and forth and think of the flow more organically and not let the page dictate pacing too much. They’re really big files!

The whole family is getting into the Avett Brothers this year.

Winter and I finally finished watching Deathnote on DVD. All the kids in anime club were yelling at her to finish it already so they could talk about it. That is one crazy show! (And oh, man, that opening theme and animation for Season 2…)

Still loving Mad Men.

The preview for Iron Man 2 makes me feel 14 years old again. In a good way.

Best comic of the year? For me, probably Asterios Polyp, but now that I have a bit of free time, I need to read a few more contenders.

Creatively, I thought 2009 was a great year for comics, music, and movies. Financially, though, it sucked donkey balls for a lot of people in our community. Let’s hope ’10 is better.

Happy New Year!

The Free Flow of Credit

Today’s Google logo featuring E.C. Segar’s Popeye made me happy, though for a personal and kind of obscure reason.

I have this vivid memory of seeing the movie Annie in ’82, probably with Kurt Busiek and other friends. It was the year we graduated college and were seriously pursuing our hopes of making comics professionally.

Annie was based, of course, on the popular Broadway musical, and the musical was based, of course, on the famous long-running comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray.

The movie was okay (we had low expectations in those days), but there was something missing. Something important that a lot of people in the audience were unlikely to notice, but which Kurt and I were especially attuned to.

The name “Harold Gray” was nowhere to be seen in the credits.

It still pisses me off that they thought to list the screenwriter, and the author of the book for the play, the composer, the costume designer, the frickin Best Boy, but they couldn’t take a moment to add in the name of the man who CREATED the characters.

So when I saw Popeye on the Google logo today, it was gratifying to see that instead of triggering a search for characters or companies or movies or toys, the logo simply took me here.

Power Strip

Multiple random plugs (get it? Hanh? HANH?):

One of my favorite This American Life segments: David Rakoff’s heartbreaking “Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace,” Act Three of Episode 389 – Frenemies. If you agree with me that TAL is one of the best shows ever on radio, consider a donation.

Had a surprisingly good time watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Probably helped to be sitting between two kids who were laughing at all the genuinely smart and/or bizarre gags. Way better movie than it needed to be to fill it’s demographic slot.

Whole family is enjoying Glee and rooting for it to get better already.

“Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” by Das Racist/Wallpaper. Find it. Listen to it. Hate me forever for making you do it.

Short Notes on Recent Movies

Taking Woodstock: Why are two of Ugly Betty’s boyfriends in this scene (with beards)?

Inglourious Basterds: OMG, the ending feels like Gondry’s video for Björk’s “Bachelorette.”

500 Days of Summer: Is Zooey Deschanel always thinking of something else? Pay attention, Zooey!

Paper Heart: Well, that’s real, that’s not, that’s… hmm.

Away We Go: Wheee, it’s us!—oh wait, that’s bad.

Julie & Julia: Streep + Tucci = Enough for any movie, stop there please, STOP.

(Seen again) Gigi: It’s the Song of the South of Gender Politics!

(Seen again) Gregory’s Girl: Such wonderful timeless inventions, such tragically dated music.

(Seen again) The Seventh Seal: Everyone in that movie had such great FACES.

Time Traveler’s Wife: I’m sure it all looked good on paper.

Ponyo: I… I… I’m crying and I don’t know why!

Happy Labor Day. I’m Laboring as usual.

If it was the Only Movie Out this Year…

…it would still be a pretty good year for movies.

What She Said

Ivy just posted a gargantuan LJ entry about our Toronto/TCAF experience, so if you’d like a spouse-eye’s view of our whirlwind weekend, be sure to check it out.

Ivy and I just saw Star Trek. Good cast and fun character moments, big sloppy self-indulgent fanfic plot, typical action film directing (ADHD camera work). Whatever. We had fun.

And since I missed my chance Sunday, belated Mother’s Day wishes to my own Mom and to Ivy. Wouldn’t exist and/or wouldn’t want to without you.

My Sad, Sad Generation

I don’t get to see it until I’m back in the States, but trust me: I lived through the dark years and no matter how bad it is, it could have been so, so much worse if it had come out when I was in knee pants.

No consolation for Hitler, but some perspective for the rest of us.

[Links via Heidi and Mark]