Star Trek Into Darkness HISHE, Finally

One of my favourite time-wasters is How It Should Have Ended, a website that makes short cartoons  ridiculing blockbuster movies by pointing out holes in their dumb plots and other problems that should’ve been caught before they reached the multiplex. HISHE has brilliantly mocked dozens of movies including Jaws, Indiana Jones And the Crystal Skull, Superman, The Dark NightMan Of Steel, Star Wars, Jurassic Park and the terrible Prometheus, . Now they’ve gone after Star Trek Into Darkness. The cartoon shows what you get when your movie’s plot has no coherence beyond a surface sheen of cool ideas. You get… trouble.

Hnetflix: Tatiana Maslany Joins Captain Canuck Cartoon

HnetflixIt seems that the star of Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany has signed on voice a character in the upcoming animated web series adaptation of Captain Canuck. According to the Hollywood Reporter Maslany is voicing an unspecified role. The role of Captain Canuck will be voiced by Kris Holden-Reid, who plays a werewolf on the Showcase television series Lost Girl.

The article also mentions that Mind’s Eye Entertainment is also working on a live action movie based on Captain Canuck. It seems that Mind’s Eye announced this back in 2011 and hasn’t made much progress since. That could be a good thing. There is a nostalgic cult following for the good captain. There isn’t a lot of Canadian superheros out there but I was never that interested in a Captain America knock-off. The comics weren’t very good either but that isn’t say that good cartoon or movie couldn’t be made about Captain Canuck, I just kind of doubt it.

Diving Into Some Aquaman

I didn’t really get into the New 52 hoopla when D.C. was rebooting their universe. I’m more of a trade paperback over single issue kinda guy, so I’ll be waiting a good while to experience any of that. That said, my limited Detective Comics-related knowledge has been growing slightly, thanks to one Mr. Tom Katers.

In his podcast, Tom vs. Aquaman, Katers gives a complete rundown of one of the water-based heroes Silver Age issues. (Going in order, of course, so there won’t be any mix-ups between an Aqualad and an Aquababy, say.) Previously, Katers has tackled the Justice League and the Flash, just as ably as he now takes on Aquaman. Going through each story page by page, panel by panel, the genuinely-funny Katers expresses the playful fun and silliness these comics could indulge in, without any kind of smirk or wink.

If I understand correctly, some fans of his podcast didn’t dig the transition from the Flash — whose enemies the Rogues was a really colorful bunch — to the savior of boats and lost treasure. But the stories have been escalating, potentially reaching a peak here with “Death of Aquaman”. A tip-of-the-iceberg example: the panel above, where Aquaman catches then tosses Aquababy aside. Aquababy might be an Atlantean, but he’s still a baby, Aquaman.

Any comic book fans out there?

Does the name Frank Miller mean anything to you?

Just wondering …
(The Raw Story)

“The ‘Occupy’ movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment,” he wrote. “‘Occupy’ is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.”

Sure.

Dedicated To A Certain Commentator

One of my very favourite animated short films is Richard Condie’s The Apprentice. The 1991 short was Condie’s first film after his Academy Award-nominated The Big Snit*. I like this even better, but that will be a minority opinion.

This brilliant short is free (obviously, since this You Tube vid was uploaded by the National Film Board of Canada) but if someone wants to support stuff like this with cash, they can buy the DVD or pay for a download here.

I love the NFB!

*It lost to a cute short called Anna & Bella. Yeah, it was robbed.

Eric Powell’s Chimichanga

In an afterword to Chimichanga, writer and artist Eric Powell says that the idea started when a T.V. producer asked him to pitch a kids show.

Which seems more than a little crazy. Powell’s worked on a bunch of big name comic titles in the past, but he’s best known for The Goon, a decidedly-adult Dark Horse series he created. It borrows from zombie flicks and pre-Code gangster movies and detective noir and whatever else it can get its dirty hands on, all put to expert use by Powell, who’s got a fearless sense of humour and a wonderful and distinct art style.

The series is also distinctly adult, or at least not for kids if that distinction makes sense. For example, a catchphrase that comes up pretty often is “Knife to the eye!” I don’t need to tell you what the accompanying action is.

I also probably don’t need to tell you the producer’s reaction when Powell pitched Chimichanga. The story eventually came out as a mini series, collected now in hardcover along with some sketches and a couple of shorts. Lula is a young bearded girl who travels with her ringmaster grandfather. (Circus freaks being another preoccupation of Powell’s.) She trades a lock of her beard hair to a witch for a mysterious egg which hatches into a friendly monster she names Chimichanga.

T.V.’s loss was the comics world’s gain in this occasion. Interest from his sons spurred him to keep on with the project. “After realizing my sons are probably smarter and have better taste than a T.V. executive, I decided there was something to this Chimichanga idea, and I’d better turn it into a comic,” writes Powell.

Thank God. The book is laugh-out-loud funny, a quick and fun read that’s genuinely endearing without losing any of Powell’s typical tone. It’s also completely friendly to the youngins, as long as you think they’d be fine with an adorable little girl with a beard and pharmaceutical company execs getting what’s coming to them. Powell relies on some tried-and-true narrative elements — this isn’t the first “a kid and their monster” story that’s ever been told — but spins the tale in a lean and incredibly entertaining way.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 07: Death Comes At Midnight

Oh sure, by now everybody’s probably sick to death of reading about the 13th Avenue Safeway expansion. But what about hearing about it?

Because that’s where episode seven of the Ultrasonic Alarm Call kicks off. Do we like the new design? Do bears shit in toilets? Listen to find out the answer to at least one of those questions.

From there, we look at the province’s proud, new housing policy. Does it stink? Like bear shit in a toilet? And what about that public art that’s straddling the airport road? What is it exactly and why isn’t it bigger?

And speaking of airports, did you hear ours will soon have an endless carwash? It will but you can’t use it. Tune in to find out who can. And to find out what we think about Superman’s new costume — the one appearing in that Zack Snyder turd to follow Sucker Punch film.

All that plus the very first Ultrasonic Alarm Call giveaway!! Listen to the end to find out how you can win some keen rock’n’roll swag.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call Episode 07 – Death Comes At Midnight: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Shane Hnetka, Stephen Whitworth and me. Runtime: 9 min of semi-intelligent banter, 31 min of gin-stoked bitching. Music by the Lazy MKs.

UltrasonicAlarmCall-episode07 by Paul Dechene

Download the episode by clicking on the radio above or by clicking on that little down arrow in the player window.

How To React To A New Spider-Man

Old news by now, but here it is: Ultimate Spider-Man underwent a huge change.

In case you don’t know, Marvel has a separate line of comics under the Ultimate banner. Same heroes and everything, but a different world where they can do whatever they want and, since it’s not the official universe, they don’t have to worry about too much nerd rage.

Nerd rage largely wasn’t the problem, though, when it was announced that Ultimate-universe Peter Parker got killed off. His replacement? A bi-racial kid named Miles Morales.

This shouldn’t be a problem, but for some people, it is. The most notable detractor was notable asshole Glenn Beck, who blamed Michelle Obama.

I think there are two ways to react to this news, illustrated by some web comics:

THE WRONG WAY Get as close minded about this as possible. Be a complete dick about it, and senselessly lash out, like this guy documented by Our Valued Customers.

THE RIGHT WAY Well, Let’s Be Friends Again sums it up best here.

Nerds Say Red Skull Top U.S. Hater

Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Hopefully you’ve got some Canada Day fireworks resonating in your head, keeping you in a festive mood for our neighbors to the south.

(F.Y.I., I saw Montreal’s fireworks this year, and Regina’s at least got them tied.)

iFanboy put together a kick-ass list of 10 comic book enemies of the U.S. If they missed anyone, I can’t think of them.

Shouldn’t be hard to guess who took the top spot: Captain America foe and committed Nazi the Red Skull.

As long as I’m recommending stuff, checking out a recently published collection of Captain America/Red Skull stories is really advised. It stretches back to the thirties, though the story that really caught my eye was one from the seventies where the Red Skull pretends to be a black revolutionary to incite racial violence in New York. It’s as crazy and uncomfortable as it sounds. How do you feel about the sentence “You sent a black man and a bird to stop me?” Well, that’s the Red Skull’s response to the arrival of then-Captain America sidekick Falcon.

The A.V. Club posted another politically-charged pop culture list today: “Heckling Hitler: 15-plus attempts to make the Führer funny.” Mr. Show, the greatest sketch show that ever was, even gets a mention!

Is A Huck Finn Fan A Jerk?

Alison Bechdel, the cartoonist behind the brilliant memoir Fun Home and the seminal strip Dykes to Watch Out For, had a character lay out a set of three rules for determining whether any given work had a gender bias: 1) it had to have at least two female characters; 2) they had to talk to each other; and 3) they had to talk to each other about something other than one of the male characters.

This raises a question for blogger Frank Kovarik: might he be a raging jerk for loving works that fail these criteria?

He puts it more eloquently than that but you see the heart of the argument. As a responsible reader, how should one react to works that fail that test? As he puts it:

I was struck by the simplicity of this test and by its patent validity as a measure of gender bias. As I thought about it some more, it occurred to me how few of the classic works of literature that I teach to my high school freshmen would pass this test: The Odyssey? Nope. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass? Nope. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Nope. Romeo and Juliet. Nope.

What’s wrong with me?

Not to spoil anything too greatly, but Kovarik is able to reconcile the great works with Bechdel’s test. It’s a fantastic take on the problem, and an essential read in my books. Go at it.

Still Cranky About Superman So I’m Posting This

You know who gets Superman? Sesame Street. This cartoon shows what Superman in action should look like better than any movie has yet*  And it’s a flipping children’s cartoon from the late ’60s. As Carle would say, Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

*Well, the plane scene in Superman Returns was pretty good, except for the bogus Lois Lane bouncing-around-the-cabin fake jeopardy.

Dilbert Creator A Crazy Dolt

For over twenty years, newspaper comic strip Dilbert has told readers why office life is dull and pointless, often while embodying those attributes itself. Earlier this month, Scott Adams, the creator of the strip, posted a blog where he had some other things to tell readers.

What did he have to say? Let’s take a look at some highlights:

According to my readers, examples of unfair treatment of men include many elements of the legal system, the military draft in some cases, the lower life expectancies of men, the higher suicide rates for men, circumcision, and the growing number of government agencies that are primarily for women.

Yep. Lower life expectancy sure is an example of the “unfair treatment of men”.

Men will argue that if you ask a sample group of young men and young women if they would be willing to take the personal sacrifices needed to someday achieve such power, men are far more likely to say yes. In my personal non-scientific polling, men are about ten times more likely than women to trade family time for the highest level of career success.

Also, women drive like, but men drive like this.

How many times do we men suppress our natural instincts for sex and aggression just to get something better in the long run? It’s called a strategy. Sometimes you sacrifice a pawn to nail the queen.

Uhm…

Well, maybe the paragraph I’ve seen quoted the most will pull all this together:

The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.

Nope. Even worse.

Read the full thing here, reposted by someone else since Adams at least had the good sense to take this beast down from his own blog.

This reminds me of most every article any university paper has ever published with some jackass calling for a men’s centre. And I’ve never seen one who wasn’t a jackass. Every ill-conceived opinion piece I’ve seen never wants to men to feel comfortable with their masculinity and to better understand what that means; it’s always a way of undermining the importance of a women’s centre.

Laura Hudson at ComicsAlliance nails the big problems, including the fact that Adams is comparing things that have “have virtually no relationship to each other.” The more important point that she touches on is that Adams debases the men and women everywhere, because “dealing with men and women through the lens of tired, insulting stereotypes diminishes us all.” Read her full response.

Scott Adams – what a dolt.

Rastamouse Is A Cartoon About A Rastafarian Mouse

The Telegraph:

Based on the popular children’s books, first published seven years ago, by Genevieve Webster and Michael De Souza, this delightfully funny animation centres on the mystery-solving, reggae-playing, skateboarding Rastamouse, voiced by Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates. Rastamouse is aided by his posse, The Easy Crew, who are called upon by Mouseland’s President Wensley Dale whenever something goes awry on the island.

The authors of the original books told the Telegraph that they “wanted to create something contemporary, colourful and fun that would appeal not just to black children, but to other children as well.”

Discuss.

Thanks to Dog Blog tipper John Cameron for sharing this with me.

Super Saturday Morning Cartoon Hour

Today’s Saturday Morning Cartoon isn’t a cartoon at all. Back in 1979 Hanna–Barbera produced two hour long TV specials based on their popular Super Friends cartoon.

The Super Friends was Hanna-Barbera’s version of DC’s Justice League of America. It started in 1973 and run in various incarnations to 1986. The original line up consisted of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman with a couple of annoying kids tagging along with their dog. Later versions featured the Wonder Twins with a space monkey.
Continue reading “Super Saturday Morning Cartoon Hour”

Saturday Morning Cartoon

Welcome to the last of current incarnation of Saturday Morning Cartoon. In the new year it will become a once a month feature. But before that happens there still one last cartoon left for 2010.

One of the best cartoons was produced by Filmation in 1979. The show adapted Alex Raymond’s famous comic strip Flash Gordon and was one the most faithful adaptations of it. Original produced as a made for TV movie, NBC decided to turn it into a Saturday Morning Cartoon. They expanded the show and dropped several plot elements to make it work better as a episodic show. The show ran for two seasons and 32 episodes before it was canceled.

In 1982 the original movie was put back together and aired as Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All