Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weekend Watching

A couple of fall premieres this weekend, and one special footnote.

Law and Order - I spent a little time with Law and Order Season Five, finally finishing up the last of it yesterday. I think I need to do a post all about Jack McCoy sometime.

Family Guy - Big season premiere. It was a Stewie/Brian episode, which is my favorite kind - 'Road to the Multiverse'. Basically glimpses of alternate universes including a Disney parody that had my sides splitting and a shot at Robot Chicken that was pretty entertaining, too. I love the friendly jabs those shows take at one another.

American Dad - It's basically the same show as Family Guy, of course, but I like'em both. I did not watch the new Cleveland show, because I think I've got enough Seth MacFarlane content to watch already.

Titan Maximum - The creators of Robot Chicken give us a genre-aware version of Voltron. It's definitely funny, but I'm hoping that subsequent episodes have a little more densely packed humor, now that the premise is fully established. The Sasha character - token 'Mean Girl' of the group - is pretty funny despite the age of that particular cliche.

From the ending :

(Titan Maximum has just defeated a rampaging robot - the robot's chest beam fires, blowing a hole through Titan Maximum and toppling it. The team gets out of the wreckage and assembles in stunned silence at their close-call, pyrrhic victory. Sasha breaks the silence, addressing the other girl on the team.)
Sasha : Look at what you did, Jodie.
I also like the monkey-janitor on the team, who reacts to everything anyone says with the same look of passive indifference.

I'm sure a lot of my watching this week will be 30 Rock, Season Three and Star Trek, Season Two (on Blu-Ray! Mmmm..) which arrived from Amazon yesterday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Comics Day

Here's this week's haul!

  • Invincible #66
  • Nova #29
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #18
  • Fantastic Four #570 and #571
  • Incredible Hercules #135
  • Madame Xanadu #15
  • Final Crisis Aftermath : Dance #5
  • The Web #1
  • Superman/Batman #64
  • Supergirl #45
  • Detective Comics #857
  • Superman : Secret Origin #1
  • Power Girl #5
  • Justice League of America #37
  • Blackest Night : Superman #2
  • Wednesday Comics #12
Maybe some thoughts on some of them tomorrow, but I leave you with this image :

Martha Kent, Badass.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Watching

A new 'feature', wherein I briefly discuss what television show or movie had my eyeballs glued to it over the weekend.

Warehouse 13 - Saved on my DVR from Tuesday. I'm not excited enough about the show to need to watch it the night it comes on, or even the day after, but I do really enjoy it. If I could change one thing about it, I would stop the writers' herculean effort to push the two leads together romantically. It's not that the actors in question don't have chemistry, it just feels so predictable in a show that's otherwise pretty innovative. Wikipedia has a list of artifacts from the show so far. Saves me from having to put one together!

Law and Order - I'm a big fan of 'classic' Law and Order, mainly because Jack McCoy is the greatest District Attorney who ever fictionally lived. So I finally picked up some of the season DVD sets, starting with Season 4 which is the one preceding Jack's debut. Watched several episodes while working on painting pewter miniatures.

Important Things With Demetri Martin - Offbeat, funny. The first episode I saw on Comedy Central hooked me - I really like Martin's low-key comedy style. Picked up the DVD.

Anchorman - A friend of mine hadn't seen Anchorman, which I consider to be Judd Apatow's second funniest film, after Walk Hard. Mainly because of Steve Carrell as Brick Tamland. I love lamp.

Legend of Drunken Master - Local video store went out of business, and sold off their movie stock. The pickings were pretty thin by the time I got around to checking it out, but with movies at $4 apiece, there were still a few things I was happy to pick up, this among them. There's never a bad time for a Jackie Chan movie.

Pride of the Yankees - And this is another one I snagged for $4. Quite a shift, tonally, from most of the rest of the stuff I watched this weekend. But there's also never a bad time for a Gary Cooper movie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Comics Day

Here's this week's haul!

  • Angel #25
  • Ex Machina #45
  • Fables #88
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #8
  • Final Crisis Aftermath : Escape #5
  • Outsiders #22
  • Batman : Streets of Gotham : #4
  • Batgirl #2
  • Green Arrow / Black Canary #24
  • Brave and the Bold #27
  • Batman and Robin #4
  • Action Comics #881
  • Blackest Night #3
  • Wednesday Comics #11

Also picked up (finally) the Batman : Black Casebook TPB.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DC Animated

DC has a proud tradition of solid animated adaptations of their work, dating back nearly twenty years, now. And in the last few years, they've been cranking out some good direct to video animated movies. With the announcement of the latest one, I wanted to touch on each of them briefly.

  • Batman : Gotham Knights - This is the only one I haven't seen, and don't own. Obviously, I can't say much.
  • Superman / Doomsday - It's a B-minus effort, really. Kind of a slow early showing.
  • Justice League : New Frontier - This is a very solid adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's acclaimed miniseries, and one of the best of the bunch so far.
  • Wonder Woman - And this is the other best of the bunch. It's hilarious, without being goofy.
  • Green Lantern : First Flight - It's taken some flack for a pedestrian storyline, but it's solidly acted and visually interesting. This is the first of the bunch I bought on Blu-Ray.
Superman/Batman : Public Enemies is the next one due out, and I plan to snap that up. But they've also just announced a future one - Justice League : Crisis on Two Earths. With a title like that, I was hoping for a JLA/JSA team-up, but it looks like they've giving us the next best thing - the Justice League vs. the Crime Syndicate. While the Syndicate has been homaged in DC animated projects before, it's never actually appeared, with the exception of Owlman on Batman : Brave and the Bold. So Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick should all be getting their first animated incarnations.

I still want a JSA animated movie though.

Table Talk 2

In the last session of my D&D game, before I put it on hiatus, the player characters assembled their might to take down a red dragon. They'd been dealing with a family of dragons who were forming a power base inside the largest city in the land - one of the family turned out to be willing to help the PCs, though, and arranged for them to have a shot at killing her younger cousin.

So they trekked into the hills where the dragon made his home. He lived near a barbarian tribe that worshipped him as a semi-divine entity - bringing tributes to his cave, that sort of thing.

And the party was loaded for bear. Lots of preparation for the dragon's fire immunity and fiery breath weapon. Ultimately they prevailed in the battle - thanks to a surprisingly effective showing by the NPC Cleric as a front-line melee combatant. And once the battle was over, the dismemberment began.

See, my pal Eric often likes to play warrior-types with a thing for taking trophies of their kills. Teeth, claws, skulls. This is a tendency the rest of us tolerate in good humor. Eric's current character is no exception - in fact, he may be worse than usual, because as a warrior-wizard he's also looking for exotic spell components. So he began to chop up the dragon. He summoned up a mule to try and haul out some of the pieces.

Though what he said was :

Eric : "I attach the dragon's wings to the mule."

Which led to a round of amused speculation about animal hybridization experiments and crude stitches, and the laughter only intensified as he specified 'with hemp rope', leading us to envision the horrifically painful stitches such rope would form for the poor winged mule.

But that wasn't the really funny part.

Various bits of the dragon had been attached to whatever beasts of burden could be manifested and other bits were put on sledges for the players to haul out under their own power, when Kurt came up with an amusing mental image.

Kurt : "We'll probably stumble into that barbarian tribe of his. (tremulously) 'What are you doing to our god?'"

And as it sometimes does, musical inspiration struck me.

Me : (singing) "Stop draggin' our.. /stop draggin' our.. /stop draggin' our god around.."

And that was when the table busted up. Kurt even followed on with another line or two. I'm one bored evening away from writing out the rest of the lyrics to that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Comics Day

Here's the haul for this week!

  • House of Mystery #17
  • Invincible Iron Man #17
  • Incredible Hercules #134
  • The Shield #1
  • Titans #17
  • Red Robin #4
  • Doom Patrol #2
  • Superman : World of New Krypton #7
  • Secret Six #13
  • Adventure Comics #2
  • Green Lantern Corps #40
  • Blackest Night : Batman #2
  • Booster Gold #24
  • Wednesday Comics #10
Thoughts later. Tired now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Local Fandom

You know, I could continue to preface every post title with 'CandidGamera Vs.', but I think the big banner at the top pretty much covers that. Still finding my groove as a nerd-blogger.

I wanted to take a minute to talk about Fandom in West Virginia.

Honestly, a minute's about all it would take. The nerdly pursuits are all more popular in urban areas, or, at least, they have enough participants concentrated in a small enough area to hit critical mass - the critical mass necessary to sustain a long-term interest. West Virginia is decidedly not-urban.

West Virginia has a few comics stores - primarily concentrated around our largest urban areas. It has very few gaming stores - to buy roleplaying accessories, I tend to have to special-order or scrounge through local Barnes and Nobles. I'm fortunate enough to live in the Morgantown-Fairmont area, which is home to our largest and third-largest universities - I can only imagine how much more difficult it is to find stores in the rural areas.

And that's just the stores - then there's the matter of actually finding gamers. That wasn't too challenging when I was attending West Virginia University, but these days, it can be difficult.

All hope is not lost, however. West Virginia actually has an annual gaming convention, CharCon, and an annual anime convention - Tsubasacon. Near as I can tell, both conventions are under a thousand attendees, but growing a little each year. That gives me hope. Maybe I'll even get to one of them this year or next.

New comics are delayed this week, due to the Labor Day holiday - expect a list up tomorrow. And I'll probably do another Table Talk segment this week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CandidGamera vs. New Comics Day

It's that time again!

  • Exiles #6
  • The Incredibles #0
  • Irredeemable #6
  • Buffy : Season Eight #28
  • Strange Adventures #7
  • Magog #1
  • Red Tornado #1
  • Justice League : Cry for Justice #3
  • Supergirl Annual #1
  • Solomon Grundy #7
  • Batman #690
  • Wednesday Comics #9
And now, cryptic and not-so cryptic comments!

  • Dammit, James Robinson. I liked Tasmanian Devil.
  • Kinda figured him for the bastard who killed Cyrus Gold.
  • Always nice to see the penny.
  • Mace vs. Tyrannosaurus!
  • Oh, snap - Xander is in so much trouble.
  • Exiles #6 is a nice sign-off for a series that Chris Claremont ruined.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CandidGamera vs. Follow-Ups

Funny that this news should come on the heels of my collectoritis post, but Heroclix is back. I don't actually play Heroclix, but I buy them. Because I bought one, and then needed more..

Maybe this time I'll pick up some more of the Marvel guys, too. In the past, I've mainly been a DC buyer, mimicking my comic interests.