Thursday, September 28, 2006

WASTED POTHENTIAL in ALIVE! Week 3: "Hunter and Elvis"

Once again, you'll have to rush out and pick up this week's Columbus Alive! and read this week's Wasted Potential strip before reading this insightful and thought provoking commentary. Unfortuntately, I am unable to post the strips here at this time...However, the original version of this week's strip (I've since redrawn it) appeared in the mini comic collection Wasted Potential: Blue, so if you're one of the half dozen or so people who got a copy of that one, you'll know what I'm talking about.
I drew the original version of this strip in January of 2003. It was a Monday. No, I don't remember the exact date.
The inspiration for the strip was a woman I had met the day before. I won't disclose her name, since just as Norm's infatuation with this unnamed woman he "met" is destined to go nowhere, I totally failed to ask this woman out or in any even indicate to her that I was even thinking of asking her out or that I had any type of romantic inclinations toward her at all and eventually she drifted out of my life and I haven't seen her for about two years and I kick myself every time I think about her.
Anyway...If I ever were to have a male child ( a prospect that seems increasingly unlikely since most of my experiences with women mirror the above example), I would, in fact, want to name him Hunter. It's a cool name as well as being the name of one of my favorite writers and the author of the quote over there on your right underneath my picture.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dummies to the Left of me; Complete Idiots to my Right

I've been reading a book called Monty Python and Philosophy, a book which applies philosophical principles to the work of Monty Python and Pythonesque principles to the work of philosophers, and one of the essays therein inspired me to do some further reading on Buddhism. No, I'm not looking to become a Buddhist, but I get the feeling that there are certain aspects of Buddhist philosophy that I might do well to incorporate in my own personal "philosophy," such as it is.
So, anyway, I was thinking that I should look for a simple introductory text, something like a "Buddhism For Dummies," so I did some poking around the library's catalog computer and guess what....
Yep, Buddhism For Dummies is a real book. I immediately reserved it, as well as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism.
While in a bookstore with Mild Mike Lucas, master cartoonist and creator of the unparalleled genius of The Idioms, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the book Screenwriting For Dummies. I'll bet you're thinking the same thing that I thought and said to Mike, "We really don't need this book. Too many screenplays are written by dummies as it is." The same could be said for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel, perhaps even more so.
I wonder if there's one called Writing A "For Dummies" Book For Dummies.
And by now you've probably guessed that I learned everything I know about writing this blog from.....
Where else?
Blogging For Dummies

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Odd News: Son of a Beehive

While I cannot for the life of me, no matter how hard I try, come up with a comment on this story, it was just too strange not to pass along to what few readers I may have left after my recent extended absences from posting:
Police discover cocaine stashed in beehive hairdo
And for the youngsters who may not know what a "beehive" is:
Wikipedia entry for "Beehive (hairstyle)"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Legion of Super Heroes Debuts On "Kids WB!"

Well, so far, the new Legion of Super Heroes cartoon, which debuted Saturday as part of what is, interestingly enough, still known as the Kids WB! line-up despite the fact that the WB! network no longer exists, looks pretty good.
I had heard that the show would feature "Superboy" teaming up with his 31st century counterparts, but what we have is a very young Superman at a time in his life before Clark Kent moved to Metropolis and took that nom de guerre. The Wikipedia article about the show mentions speculation that legal hassles concerning the ownership of "Superboy" caused the change, but I think it might have had more to do with the fact that DC wrote out the "young Clark Kent" version of Superboy two decades ago and didn't want to bring him back in any form (though that doesn't explain the late 80's live action Superboy series--however at the time there was no Superboy of any kind in the comics...but I'm getting off topic, so.....).
One question I have: Why is young Clark shown wearing glasses? We all know that Clark only wears the glasses to disguise the fact that he's Superman, so if he hadn't become Superman yet when we first meet him, WHY is he wearing glasses? It's a small quibble, and didn't affect my enjoyment of the show, however. In fact, I only thought of it after the show was over.
In look and style, the series is more like the earlier Superman and Justice League series than the Teen Titans (also about teen heroes), which is good because I found some of TT's "manga-isms" (a word that I think I just made up) annoying.
When doing any show based on a super hero team that's been around a while (50 years) and had literally dozens of members, every one of whom will be some die hard fanboy's favorite, in that time, the producers have quite a challenge coming up a line-up for the show.
Braniac 5 was a no-brainer. I wouldn't attempt to do a Legion show without him. (Though what's up with him being some kind of robot or something? Is this to make him more like the Brainiac of the Superman series?) The same goes for Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl (and I hope we'll see the third founding member, Cosmic Boy, who was mentioned but not shown in the pilot). Triplicate Girl and Shadow Lass are also good choices and I especially liked the inclusion of Bouncing Boy. (How can you not like a guy calling himself Bouncing Boy?) Timber Wolf is slated to join the team in the next episode, and we should get to see the other mentioned but not seen Legionnaires, Colossal Lad and Shrinking Violet.
I would guess that Chameleon Boy (or simply Chameleon, as I believe he is known in the comics these days) was excluded due to the similarity of his powers to those of Teen Titans' Beast Boy, but the one Legionnaire whose presence I miss is Wildfire, as he's always been my favorite member of the team. Maybe we'll get to see him as a guest star in a future episode.
There are also hints in the Wikipedia article that we'll get to see the Legion of Substitute Heroes and maybe even Matter Eater Lad this season. (Matter Eater Lad was, at one point, leading the Subs, so they may be in the same episode.)
Anyway, looking forward to seeing more of The Legion of Super Heroes!!
Bring On Matter Eater Lad!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Premiere Week

Tonight is the official kick off of the broadcast networks' "Premiere Week," with many new series debuting and many more starting new seasons.
As far as I'm concerned the whole week is downhill from tonight, when the one show I've been looking forward to the entire summer premieres. (No, it's not Deal or No Deal. ) I'm referring to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Why am I so excited about this show? Two words: Aaron Sorkin--creator of two of the finest TV series of the last decade, Sports Night and The West Wing. Sorkin has kicked whatever habits kept him out of TV for the past few seasons and returns to NBC with a drama that takes viewers behind the scenes of a TV sketch comedy show. To sweeten the deal even more, Sorkin is bringing with him Wing star Bradley Whitford and Friends star (and occassional Wing guest star) Matthew Perry.
Hopefully, the presence on NBC's schedule of a similar, but probably not as good, sitcom called 30 Rock, won't confuse people or draw viewers away from Studio 60.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


If you haven't already read the strip, rush out and pick up a copy of Columbus Alive! now and do so and read Wasted Potential....then come back and read the following comments on this week's strip.
I chose this particular strip to begin the Alive! run because, while it's not actually an "introductory" strip (those ran in The Atomic Tomorrow last year), it does serve to introduce many of the main characters and tropes of the series. Most importantly, it features the three main characters, Norm, Amy and Bill, and establishes the relationship between Norm and Amy. (For those who don't know, Bill is Norm's room-mate. Norm's sister Amy does not officially live with him, even though she's there all the time, which Bill is none too happy about.) It also establishes that Norm is a cartoonist with a tendency to run up against deadlines and a penchant for being distracted by such important things as Gilligan's Island marathons. This is a recurring theme in the strip, and a later strip in this run will visit the topic again. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz is also mentioned, and Norm's great admiration for this great cartoonist is another recurring theme.
One thing I want to mention: The episode of Gilligan's Island "...where Mary Ann hits her head and thinks she's Ginger" is an actual Gilligan episode. All such citations in Wasted Potential refer to actual TV episodes or movies. I hate it when TV or movie writers cite a totally made up episode of a real TV show because it shows a lack of knowledge of what the hell they're writing about.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wasted Potential,
the greatest thing to happen to comic strips since the invention of the word balloon, begins its six week run in Columbus Alive!
Get your copies early, as they're sure to disappear quickly once word gets out that WP is in the paper!!!

BB All Stars Wrap Up

About the only thing surprising in last night's Big Brother All-Stars finale was the color of Nakomis' hair. It was BROWN! Now, usually there's nothing all that shocking about brown hair. Lots of people have brown hair. I have brown hair. But this isn't me we're talking about here, it's Nakomis. During her two sojourns in the Big Brother house, her hair has been pink, purple, orange and green; but this is the first time we've seen it a color actually found in nature.
There was nothing shocking, however, about Mike "Boogie" walking out of the house with the half million dollar prize. I saw it coming weeks ago, and his victory was pretty much assured from the moment of Will's eviction. Plus of the final four, I felt he was the one who most deserved to win.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wasted Potential is Almost Here!!!

I've been taking a break from blogging (Again! I know, I am such a lazy bastard!), but I'm taking a break from my break to let you all know that Wasted Potential begins its groundbreaking, monumental six-week run in Columbus Alive! with next week's issue!!
Alive! hits the mean streets of Columbus, Ohio every Thursday, so be sure and scoop up a copy while you can as they're sure to go fast and become instant collector's items!