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Good Hair

It's surprising how a good hair day can really make a difference. Especially when you have a curly mop like mine.

Sorry to The Soup Gang (TSG). Very-late-in-arriving in-laws, two-year-olds, and other hyphenated phenomena prevented us from participating at all.
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Amusing Trifles

I always feel awkward going to McDonald's and ordering a large number two with a coke. But I still do it.

The other day as I was driving to work I drove past a school crossing and saw the crossing guard stretching. How bad must that intersection be if the guard stretches between lights?! I hope he gets haz-pay.

C and I watched Children of Men Saturday night. Holy damn! I was absolutely blown away at the quality of the film. I can't recommend it highly enough. Yeah, it's sci-fi in that it takes place in the future and some pretty wild stuff has taken place in the world, but it is more an alternative universe story. Very cool.

We've also seen The Prestige, The Illusionist and V for Vendetta over the past week. The Prestige and The Illusionist were pretty sweet until the last ten minutes where they just completely crumbled in front of our eyes (The Illusionist was the greatest offender of the two in that regard) and V was just okay. I didn't find much terribly exciting about it and the liberties it took with the original story (insofar as I recall the original story) made it just meh for me. C liked it, though, and I had to ask whether I was being fair to the film as it is a different media than paper. But I think that's what made Children so good. It didn't dumb itself down for the audience and I really appreciate that. Needless to say that due to our movie watching C and I are living on less sleep than usual, since we have to wait for Renée to fall asleep before we watch them, but it's been worth it.

So if you can take anything from this post it is this: Get yourself a couple of cheeseburgers, fries and a coke from your local golden arches, stretch a little and watch Children of Men.
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And the reason why I was posting to begin with

And what I was meaning to get to when I got online to write on LJ was to mention that I saw David Mamet last night for the first time on Real Time with Bill Maher. The guy blew me away. He was so articulate, funny, thoughtful and intelligent. If he were clean I suspect that Joe Biden would confuse him with Barack Obama. But back to the point, I totally want to read Mamet's new book, Bambi vs. Godzilla.

And now I look up from the laptop and I see that C has given Renée a huge chunk of chocolate and Renée is not giving it back and appears to be happier than she has ever been in her entire life. C was only meaning for her to have a taste and Renée has decided that a taste isn't enough.
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Interesting Times

Soup was great! I'm still bummed about not seeing a particular person from MA. And the MN visit was filled with boardgaming. Sorry for everyone I missed because I got called into work. And we still have a coat of one person in particular from CO. I think my wife emailed you. You should get back to her.

Renée is basically running at 100% capacity, and she definitely loved your stairs and seeing all the people, Walt.

Since my last entry I've read Alan Moore's Lost Girls (yes, it's the erotica graphic novel -- that does seem redundant, doesn't it?), which I liked but was slightly disappointed with; Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, which I loved loved loved; Neil Gaiman's Sandman Vol. 5 A Game of You, which was also quite good; and Not Buying It by Judith Levine, which I was meh about. Right now I'm reading the Library of America's (a rather nicely bound book) H.P. Lovecraft's Tales, I'm really enjoying it. I'm also reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down to the Bones, which I'm enjoying aside from her mocking comments about fat people, public schools and her non-stop zen references. That said, she offers some good insight and suggestions and I've confirmed how much I love short chapters.

Other than that, nothing much going on that I feel the need to write about. Work is work, I have a real need to play more games and I don't think I have enough time to read. Renée continues to be a complete and total joy in my life. It shocks me how substantially I look forward to being around her and how much I love coming home to her squealing and running toward me. Waking up to her kissing me on weekend mornings is also wicked bad ass.

Ah. Time for lunch.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Emboldens the Enemy

At the risk of sounding really insensitive to the people of Boston, but people in positions to make high level decisions need to get a fucking grip and get their heads out of their asses!

I'm sorry, but how the fuck does this image:

suggest a bomb threat? Does no one under the age of fucking sixty work for city hall or the police department?

Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino is quoted in the article linked above (a CNN article, I know, and its parent company is Turner the company that also owns Adult Swim) saying, "'I just think this is outrageous, what they've done ... It's all about corporate greed.'" And his little stunt isn't about his political greed?

Also quoted from the article, "Rep. Ed Markey, a Boston-area congressman, said, 'Whoever thought this up needs to find another job.'" I hope the illustrious Congressman Markey is talking about the fucking moron that thought that the Mooninite was a terrorist attack.

But I'm sure I don't know all the details and I'll be put in my place before too long. Either that or I'll be put in fucking Gitmo for suggesting that the government get just a goddamn taste of popular culture.

I say we bomb the fuck out of Iran over this. Christ we went after Iraq for about the same thing.
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Yeah I'm Still Talking About Comics

So a couple of things:

First is this scan of page 171 of Understanding Comics, which I promised a while ago. I'll put it behind the cut.
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So the reason I like this so much is that it is a perfect example of words and images working beautifully hand in hand. There is a lot of build up to the penultimate panel on this page (in the chapter) and when it finally comes you just aren't disappointed by the results at all.

hannibalvail lent me volume four of Ex Machina. It really is good. As I was going through the artwork again (as I am one of the few (apparently) who often misses the artwork in lieu of the story and not vice versa) I noticed something that struck me even more the second time than it did the first.

"Then how come I hear old elevators singing at night?" Collapse ) This is a good goddamn story.
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Comics and Sequential Art

So I just completed Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art. My initial impressions after completing the book are the same as when I started it. Wow. And anyone who believes that Scott McCloud's books make Eisner's obsolete has clearly not read it. As a collection these are really especially good.

I also know that I will need to go back and read this again (as well as McCloud's). Soon, actually. It's one of these works that require multiple readings to appreciate all the goodness that is found in it. The interesting thing about the book is that I feel it could be applied anywhere; not just in comics.

The one main complaint that I have is Eisner's clear bias that the best way to write a comic or a graphic novel is with the writer and the artist being the same person. I wish I could say that I'm convinced by that. This gets into some oddly philosophical complications in my mind. The first being that I have read far too many works that have been done by a team to suggest that this is the best way to make a comic. Alan Moore is a perfect example of this. Same with Neil Gaiman. None of these guys were the artists for their graphic novels and comics, but they have created spectacular stories. (As I was mentioning to hannibalvail, Alan Moore's The Watchmen, specifically his comic within the comic, has been popping up during my daydreams lately. And more specifically than that, the idea that Moore put that comic within the comic has been bothering me lately.) So what would have been a good idea? Would it have been a good idea if both Moore (who is one of the finest comic writer's ever) or Gaiman just decided that they wouldn't write for comics because they didn't have the skills as an artist? Of course not! So for Eisner to put such a heavy emphasis on this point in the latter part of the book definitely leaves me wanting for a greater explanation of it. Obviously if the writer/artist has talent on both the writing and the art side then that would be exceptional, but I just can't imagine that having a team is that great of a detriment to good work.

Even with (and possibly due to) this point of contention, this is a great read and something anyone with an interest in visual arts should pick up.
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And Now I Know I've Alienated Anyone Reading This

One thing I need to mention, though, is that page 171 of Understanding Comics, panels 3-9, gives one of the finest examples of why comics is an extraordinary storytelling method.

From a previous post.

And I realize after the fact that this is so much insider baseball that it is sad and would be meaningless to anyone who doesn't have the book sitting in front of them. So I brought the book with me to work where I hope to scan that page and give an explanation as to why I think it is so exceptional.

I really need to find a scanner for home.

And then there is this, also from the same post:

Over the last six to eight weeks I have been reading in the mornings before work and in the evenings before bed (instead of dicking around on the computer at both times) and I have been getting through a great deal more reading. It's awful nice.

Of course the moment that I start taking that reading time for granted the little girl decides she wants to party until midnight. And then she decides that she'll sleep so restlessly that none of us can get any ourselves. Doesn't she realize that some of us have to work?!? Sheesh. Talk about inconsiderate.

I'm so tired.

But all is good because I got this in my email this morning:


Disclosure: It is a comic with fairly safe for work content; however there are many other links to other comics that are less than work safe. Hilarious, though.