Montag, 28. Februar 2011

Pimping My Stuff: Meanwhile on

I spent several soul-searching minutes at the subway stop today debating in my mind whether it would make me more of a jerk to, instead of providing a true original content post tonight I did a Pimping My Stuff job with my recent work on or less of one since at least I'd be giving y'all something. It's a conundrum that will likely plague ethics scholars for years to come, but because I'm too exhausted to tell you why I'm digging the new Adventure Comics or describe at length the hidden appeal of Fatal Attractions, I'm afraid the best I can do is share with you that which has sapped my will to babble about comics during non-billable hours for this night at least.

But seriously, it's been a slobberknocker of a last couple weeks at the day job, but mostly because a lot of stuff myself and my colleagues have been trying to set in motion for some time is all coming together, so it's a good kind of slobberknocker (more of a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin match than a Godwinns one). As always, I'm proud of what we're pulling off and think we're always raising the bar on what a "corporate comics site" can do, so indulge me a moment or two...

Fear Files
I wanted to do something regularly leading up to and through Fear Itself that differentiated itself from the usual stream of teaser interviews and art reveals (though both are great). Something a bit more cerebral. So I borrowed a page from my buddy Tim Stevens' Psych Ward column and approached a couple dozen creators with the same question: "What does [insert character you write] fear?" From there, we go back and forth over e-mail getting in the head of the hero or villain in question in ways we didn't necessarily predict or expect. I don't go in having done any preparation (my proven method for success!) and they don't know what's coming. The hope is we maybe touch on stuff that's important to Fear Itself in the end, but I find the journey and what we learn along the way in many instances more interesting. So far I've covered Speedball with Christos Gage, Loki with Kieron Gillen and Iron Man with Matt Fraction; on tap for tomorrow is Spider-Girl with Paul Tobin. It's a bit different, a bit cerebral and gives me an excuse to talk about the nuances and ticks of comics characters with some brilliant creators, so hopefully readers are getting as much out of the deal as I am.

Age of X Assessment
Ok, this one's a bit more traditional, but it gives me a chance to talk with Mike Carey on the regular about a storyline I'm very much digging thus far (and I've read ahead), so I'm digging it, and again, hopefully others are too. One of the neat things about Age of X is that like Age of Apocalypse back in the day, it dropped you smack in the middle of a re-imagined world without much of a road map, which is what we try to provide in part when we do these "post-game" interviews for each chapter. I get the sense Mike has given a lot of thought to tons of stuff that took place "off-panel," so I think he enjoys filling in the blanks nearly as much as fans probably enjoy getting them filled in. We've hit the prologue and first chapter to date with chapter two on its way tomorrow (and we try to debut art for upcoming chapters as we go).

What The--?! Episode 18
Here's a little What The behind the scenes tidbit for you: Our February episode was originally going to be a Captain America-centric idea we'll likely still use down the line, but then John Cerilli reminded us it was the month of the Oscars and that we did a pretty good spoof last year that got a lot of views, so maybe try that again; we were happy to oblige. Myself, Alex Kropinak and Jesse Falcon yapped on a conference call (Alex moved back to PA so we're fancy now) for about a half hour about potential "targets" before settling on True Grit, 127 Hours and Black Swan, but there were at various points an Inception bit where Deadpool sees us making the episode and something involving Black Bolt and The King's Speech on the table, among other ideas. This was a true group effort as far as writing, but kudos go to Jesse in particular, who locked down the first draft on a train ride to Providence. My major contributions beyond the initial brainstorming (where I'll totally lay claim to coming up with the Red Hulk take off of Black Swan) was renaming True Grit as Legitimate Moxie and throwing in the Iron Monger and Green Goblin jokes that nobody got. This was maybe the best voice cast we ever had, particularly Alejandro Arbona in a superb performance as The Leader, and Alex crushed it as always. This is honestly one of my favorite episodes we've done to date. But the law of averages, we're due for a stinker. Enjoy episode 19!

A Marvel Black History Lesson
For as long as I've been at Marvel, we've always done something to commemorate Black History Month, but this year I wanted to do something a bit more robust and thought out. I liked the idea of doing an oral history of sorts of black characters at Marvel, but came up with it too late in the game to track down as many sources as I'd need to make it really sing (maybe next year). I told Ryan Penagos my problem and he suggested a straight up history piece could be really good provided we had the right guy or girl writing it; then he recommended David Brothers and I slapped my forehead and wondered why I hadn't thought of that (hence another reason that Ryan is my boss). For my money, David is the guy when it comes to talking about race and comics, not to mention just a generally fine writer to both (and a nice fella I've also come to learn). He brought a lot of enthusiasm to the table and the idea to look for connections between what was going on at Marvel and what was going on with society. I did end up tracking down a good handful of quotes to supplement David's piece and the result was a two-part retrospective I'm marking down as a nice little accomplishment for us; hopefully we'll have David back soon doing more stuff for us.

Speaking of very special guest writers... It wasn't that long ago that Ryan turned to me (as he often does) and said "We need to do more Icon coverage." Good point (again: boss). There are some pretty big ticket dudes working on Icon titles and they've generally got some incredible insights to share about their process, particularly when it comes to their creator owned work; this was certainly a resource we were not appropriately tapping. However, not just any standard Q&A column was going to do here. We needed an approach that would give the interview subjects a chance to really share and open up and an interviewer who would ask questions beyond the norm; it was all about getting the right person for the job, but I never imagined we'd get Tom Spurgeon. When it comes to comics journalism, Spurge is a legit legend with a well-earned reputation and respect from just about everybody--I'd be totally intimidated to edit him if he weren't such a sweetheart (ok, I was still pretty intimidated--don't judge me, Tom!). Sean T. Collins provided the hookup and even though we're only part one of the first interview with Matt Fraction deep thus far, I'm feeling like we've got something real special on our hands.

Year of the X-Men Liveblogs
Last but not least, every day this week, we're hosting liveblogs on covering press calls with the teams on some of the X-Men titles as well as Senior Editor Nick Lowe. They're crazy hectic, but a lot of fun. So far we've announced my buddies Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning on New Mutants and talked to Rick Remender about taking X-Force to the Age of Apocalypse. Three more to go, so if you've got the time, come join us!

Sorry we've been so busy

Apologies to all our little CKTers as we know the offerings here have been a bit sparse of late. We're all entering or in the midst of extraordinarily busy/exciting/busy professional periods, so unfortunately we've had a bit less time for blogging the last little bit. Things are getting somewhat back to normal or will be in the coming weeks/months, so hopefully we'll be back in full force sooner rather than later, but until then, thanks for bearing with us and please enjoy this 2009 panel of Adam-X from Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson as we hope his return will coincide with our own (that reminds me to tweet Kieron Gillen...)

Patricio Oliver covers New Mutants 13

Original cover by Bret Blevins; Marvel 1984. Patricio Oliver's website is here.

Samstag, 26. Februar 2011

Francis King Rainforest and Fungus Photo Tour: Lush!

Welcome to Francis King Park, a lush tropic rainforest visited just before the snowfall. It is nearby, wheelchair accessible (kinda) with boardwalks and most of all: verdant views.

This is where I would stand and mumble, “My name is Beth, and I….am a camera whore.” Yes, it is an addition, more than a hobby, I want to see what can’t be seen. And relish in what can. This is a forest ALIVE in winter: rivers of green running up trees.
I like green. Along the wheeling path the planners even had a hut to rest out of the rain. It too had been taken back by the forest, as spores and moss can’t tell the difference between fallen logs and these nice cut up logs and that you nail together for them to cling to. It is scenic plus a reminder to not stay and stare TOO long. Here, a rolling wheelchair grows no moss, cause everything else does!

We have a friend who likes fungi, and personally, I would like to know more about the fungi we find (so please help identify if you know – moss I think I can spot!). So whenever Linda or I see Fungi in the rainforest, we get excited to take some photos (unlike the other 92 photos we took on this trip). I have the camera with macro and most important: a complete rotational swivel screen to help me shoot pictures in macro upside down while seeing and aiming the camera. It is the Canon’s wheelchair friendly digital camera (this ‘old’ $299 camera costs over $600 now if you can find it, it is that popular).

As we wheeled and walked and took pictures, the sun would come and go, adding and taking away colours. One stump looked like something out of a Lovecraft or William Hope Hodgson’s story: where a ship, or forest camp, lulled in doldrums, has shambling human outlines in the fog, tinted green with soft and spongy gaits, saying, “Too late for us, too late.”
The truth is, the very thing that we fear, is often the most beautiful (and I fear fungi, a little). But how can I fear this, which was on the stump I was taking pictures of earlier: they are sculptures, mixing fractals with marble works in miniature.
One tree had two different colored growths, which ran up and down it like steps, or lost colonies, alien ones, which we can barely visit or glimpse.
Down around the other side of the tree, Linda was able to carefully step off the trail to capture some of the overlooked fungi, a colony unattached to a tree.
Here it reminds me of glass, blown glass from Venice, or the kind you have in vases and plates, with the candy crackled edges.
Here is what that looks from above, a fungi most people would have walked by. It is smaller than a hand, and easy to miss when looking up, unaware that sometimes, it pays to look at things from a different viewpoint, and stop for a closer peek.
If we ever find wild mushrooms, you will be the first to know.

i want: shoe & accessory table

what an awesome way to store & display your fave jewelry/perfume/shoes!  i seriously want this cool table in my room.  then maybe my jewelry wouldn't be scattered all over anymore! --

cute & oh-so practical!

from lonny, discovered here

Freitag, 25. Februar 2011

Sayonara, Smallville: "Masquerade"

Incredible but true: This year, The CW's "Smallville" embarks on its tenth and final season, making it not just the longest-running Superman TV show ever but the longest-running comic book TV show ever produced. Bananas, right?

We've been off as it's been off, but to celebrate its final year, we're teaming up our collective powers of dumb DCU trivia, long experience watching and writing about the show and general obsession with serial TV to bring you "Sayonara, Smallville" – a semi-regular feature where we'll review the most notable episodes of the season whenever we can. Everyone is invited to play along.

Kiel: On to the most recent episode...Bryan! Q! Miller!

Ben: Yeah! And he didn't disappoint! Desaad! And...other stuff! I'm trying to recall what you missed in the first ten minutes. Where did you come in?

Kiel: I don't know for sure. Chloe and Ollie were already on the trail of Desaad, so I'm assuming I missed some murders for sure and I hear I missed something about Clark's photo getting taken?

Ben: Ok...Episode opened with Lois bitching at Clark over the phone because he's not there to help with wedding planning, then she sees that he's on the face of Big Ben because some camera caught him and now every network is video streaming him, but fortunately nobody gets his face.

Kiel: OK...that makes more sense than what played in my mind on that score.

Ben: She then cautions him about the fact that he's not only a journalist on the frontlines of the super hero stuff, but also doesn't really make much of an effort to hide the fact that he's a super stud and sooner or later somebody is going to put two and two together. Meanwhile, Chloe meets Ollie at a fancy dinner joint where he is undercover because he can't go out in public since everybody knows Oliver Queen is Green Arrow. And as a result, they can't get a table, but when a Mr. and Mrs. Jones no show, the swipe their reservation. Then they're eating and the waitress comes over with Mrs. Jones on the phone, assuming Ollie is out with a mistress (Chloe) and Mrs. Jones screams a bit over the phone before getting murdered by Desaad.

Side note: There's a bit in the open of the club scene where it's all first person camera view with people's jaws dropping and head swiveling, the implication being that somebody super hot has entered and gotten everybody's attention...and it's Chloe.

Kiel: HAHAHA! How did you respond to that turn, Ben?

Ben: Hey man, Alison Mack is cute...but c'mon. She's the attainable cute nerdy girl, not the room-silencing bombshell, which is perfectly fine. Anyways, Ollie and Chloe figure out something is wrong and try to investigate by stealing the Jones' limo, but then get kidnapped by guys who turn out to be the FBI, as the "couple" was really a pair of FBI agents investigating Desaad who went missing. Were you watching at this point where Ollie and Chloe discover this after kicking the FBI team's collective ass?

Kiel: YES! It was such a strange moment to come in on, but I will say first impression was that the whole set up of them getting "Date Nighted" seemed a little crazy, but I thought they pulled it off. If your number 1 complaint against the two of them is that the love for her thing is forced on Ollie's part and bland on her part, I think the two of them proved you a little wrong here. They were crackling in this one, and the dialogue was cute by any standard.

Ben: I think this was Alison Mack's best episode in years. And yes, I felt their chemistry particularly in the final scene bought back a lot of my annoyance over how the relationship has been handled over the past season or so. For one, whether he intended to or not--I choose to believe he did--Bryan Q. Miller actually addressed the whole "This Chloe is nothing like the Chloe we started out with" thing and that made me feel better about it to some degree. And I'll buy the idea that part of why I couldn't invest in them fully was because Chloe wasn't either, and her reasoning was sound and defined the character in a much more flattering light for me.

So yes, Bryan Q. Miller is a miracle worker: He made me tolerate Chloe (for a week).

Kiel: For a week. It should be noted. But yeah, that plot thread was really strong throughout. When Chloe gets captured and they cut to her hanging with her toes just off the ground, it hit me like whoa. Again, Desaad remains the New God whose been pulled off the best in this whole run.

Ben: Strangle he's not that much like the comics Desaad, but again, I think that's generally a formula for success on Smallville: Focus on keeping the character's most key traits and fitting them into Smallville rather than trying to get them to match the comics exactly even though it's a different ballgame. Desaad's defining traits are his sadism and loyalty to Darkseid, both of which were kept intact despite him being British and smooth as opposed to a creepy old crone. It's similar to how they didn't try to make Granny Goodness an Ed Asner-voiced joke because it just wouldn't have played right on live prime time TV.

Kiel: I love Asner Granny though, I should note. But I take your point totally.

Ben: I do too! But it wouldn't work here.

Kiel: The one slip up I felt in that thread was a really unfortunate case of Smallville's explaininess cutting in.

Ben: Oh I think I know where you're going here...And I was just about to go there myself.

Kiel: After the Clark disappeared, I got that it was the different sins coming temp her. And I was totally down for seeing them show up, but Chloe's total ability to call them in advance and know so much about herself rang false and got preachy. It reminded me of a Star Trek episode I watched recently in a bad way.

Ben: Yep. Bingo. I mean, aside from me not having watched that episode of Star Trek recently I'd presume...

Kiel: Unless you're in the middle of DS9 Season 3!

Ben: Smallville does have a tendency to talk down to their audience in that way and it can be annoying. It was the Icarus metaphor deal all over again. Just let the viewers piece it together. As I refuse to lay any blame at Bryan Q. Miller's feet, I choose to believe that was an edit from somebody else.

Kiel: It seems like that style of writing is a top down concern, for sure.

Ben: Let's circle back to the Desaad/Chloe/Ollie stuff, but also take a moment to tackle the running Clark/Lois "You need a fucking disguise" subplot. I loved it. Again, as with Super Chloe, it was Smallville/BQM addressing something *everybody* complains about head-on and handling ti nicely, I thought

Kiel: See, I want to watch that whole part again. I got the broad strokes, but I felt like I wasn't paying enough attention. I couldn't tell if Welling nailed the acting nerdy bit as much as I'd have liked him to. I really like him as a leading man in general, but his range needs a little more playfulness in it at times.

Ben: Moreso than Super Chloe, really, since people have been questioning how the fuck people aren't supposed to know that ultra handsome and confident Tom Welling Clark is Superman at day's end. He didn't pull off the acting nerdy part quite yet, but that's the beauty of it: He didn't need to and doesn't need to by the end of the series the way they set it up. Lois has to totally argue all episode that he needs the nerdy Clark secret ID and he's still not onboard until events conspire all around him to convince him otherwise. So the idea that he knows he needs to do it, but doesn't really want to and thus is easing his way in totally gives him carte blanche to suck at it at this early stage in the game.

Unlike the Clark/Superman we know, this guy has already made it to Metropolis, bagged Lois and aged to adulthood without ever really having to hide how awesome he is, so the idea that it's going to be a huge adjustment for him and not an easy transition worked for me at least Although the Planet guy no longer fearing Clark at the end because he is now wearing glasses despite the fact nothing else has changed was a nice wink.

Kiel: Yeah, it was comical in the right way. I almost kind of went, "Why in the fuck is this even here?" but like the ass hole coffee guy scene in Miller's last episode, it was just a kind of wink at the audience, and an appreciated one.

I think my one big problem with the whole VRA plot was that it took itself way too seriously.

Ben: That was certainly a big part of the problem. The bit at the crime scene with the guy basically playing the audience and screaming at Clark "We all know you're The Blur! It is fucking obvious!" and then getting saved with the cheesy CGI was also playful in the right way, I thought. I think at the end of the day you just need to kind of accept that Tom Welling's Clark Kent is not the guy we know from the comics. He's similar, but he's not as much of a paragon of virtue and can be a bit of an asshole with an ego. He's a character on a prime time soap first and a super hero second.

Kiel: Yeah, the one thing that kicks me out of this show every time though is that name. For some reason, The Blur just doesn't do it for me. Even though I know all the names that I do accept on the show are stupider, it never seems to fit the world right to me.

Ben: I think it was actually easier to swallow when everybody else didn't already have their proper super hero names and were all just going by their real names. But now that we actually have Green Arrow, Supergirl and Aquaman as opposed to Ollie, Kara and A.C., it stands out that we don't also have Superman.

Kiel: Yeah, I'm falling more and more into the "just get there" camp, but if they keep up the cuteness with the last bits falling into place, I think I can swing it.

Kiel: Though before we shift to cuteness there is the question of the episode's end.

Ben: Quite the game changer. And not one I was really expecting.

Kiel: I knew that it was coming from the second we cut to Ollie beating up motherfucker in the alley, but I thought this was just understated enough to work

Ben: Yes, as soon as he was beating up Desaad I had a feeling, but before this episode I would never have pegged Ollie as being the guy they'd need to watch out for going over to the (forgive me) dark side. It makes sense though. Dude killed Lex Luthor.

Kiel: Yeah, and just like last week's flip on Lionel showed, the show is really proving that they'll make you guess to see how the finale works out. The lines are going to be drawn in all sorts of crazy directions, and I hope that'll make it exciting.

Ben: Ollie being a wild card makes for some interesting potential to be sure. He's the one guy Clark has thought he could trust through it all, so that's going to sting, of course. And it also makes me believe even more Chloe probably ain't coming out of the finale alive. But I see Green Arrow as being more of a herald for Darkseid, not his vessel

Kiel: For sure.

Ben: I feel like we're going to see him and Lionel as the lackeys and Lex coming back to team with Clark against them.

Kiel: I just think that once big man is here, the battle lines will literally get drawn through the cast.

Ben: Yes. And it will be awesome...I hope.

Kiel: I watched Shawshank last week...hope is a powerful thing!

Ben: Haha!

Ben: Hey, random question: Since the VRA is dead, does that mean the Suicide Squad basically has no further reason to exist? Are they done? Or is Chloe more likely just holding them in reserve as cannon fodder until the final fight.

Kiel: That's a great question. I can't imagine they're just going to abandon them hat out of hand, but who knows? They definitely aren't showing up next week!

Ben: What's on tap for next week, Kiel?

Kiel: Oh man...did you not see the preview? I can't even spoil it for you, bro. You'll have to see to believe. But I will paste it at the bottom of this post this week to pump you up.Non-spoiler: Jami watched this week with me, and when the preview came on, she turned to me and straigh up said, "You have got to be fucking kidding me."

Ben: I think I did somehow miss it. Is it the one in Vegas?

Kiel: YES! It looks SOOOOOOOOOO ridic! I was wondering when the groaner comedy episode of the final season was going to show up, and now I know for sure in my heart.

Ben: I've read about that one. I am excited! Swinging from a quality BQM episode to a ridiculous campy one is Smallville gold!

Kiel: It's going to be something, I'll give it that.

Ben: Thought that just came to me: Adrianne Palicki should really show up before the season ends so they can bridge the gap of how she went from being fake Kara to the villain of "Mercy Reef" to Wonder Woman. IT ALL NEEDS TO FIT. AND THEY NEED TO TELL US WHAT STATE METROPOLIS IS IN. OK, I'm done.

Kiel: Here are two questions of seriousness on that fake joke bit though: 1 - Did they even call Kristen Kreuk about coming back for an ep? 2 - I can't believe they didn't once try to squeeze Bruce Wayne in here. I wonder if they still got shot down on that.

Ben: 1-I'm sure they did and I'm pretty sure she said no for reasons that will be forever beyond me. 2-I've got to believe they were denied legal clearance. It has to be a rights issue. I'm sure they wanted to. Millar and Gough have said as much.

Kiel: With the "Creation of DC Entertainment" you'd think this shit would be getting easier, but maybe not. This was our best closest chance to seeing a live action World's Finest. We won't get another for 20 year if ever. Bleh.

Ben: I think DCE probably came about too late in the game to untangle the ball of yarn that is DC merchandising rights in time for the end of this show. Maybe they'll appear together on Wonder Woman or on Raven--coming next fall to The CW. Hopefully featuring the Famous Jett Jackson in a recurring role.

Kiel: Oh God, I don't think I can handle any serious thought around David Kelly's Wonder Woman right now...I'm...I'm perplexed by that entire endeavor. No other word to describe it.

Ben: My mother is excited for it, which isn't necessarily a good sign.

New release: Moon River in pearl!

I made a new colour of Moon River jewellery: pearl!

[MAGIC NOOK] Moon River Set (Gold/Pearl)

You can get the set at [MAGIC NOOK] main store, but for the next two weeks I recommend going to The Dressing Room, where you will find this set for 70L$ only!

Here's taxi to The Dressing Room (click).
Or come to main store once the promo time is over (click).

Matthew Allison covers World's Finest Comics 217

Original cover by Nick Cardy; DC 1973. Matthew Allison's website is here.

pretty pictures: amanda seyfriend - interview mag

there's something about amanda seyfriend that i just love.  maybe it's because whenever i see her, even in a serious role, i hear: "there's a 30% chance that it's already raining."  or maybe it's because she will always be known to me as lily kane [instant friendship if you catch that reference - before googling it of course!].  whatever it is, i just love her.  and can NOT WAIT for red riding hood
anyways... she is in a gorgeous editorial in this month's issue of interview magazine, looking, well, gorgeous.  these are just my 3 fave shots:

a total natural beauty.

Mikael Jansson [via]
read more from the interview, conducted by JT, here

friday faves: 2.25.11

due to having 2 days off in a row for the first time in months, i've posted a lot this week.  so if you want all of my friday faves, just go over the past couple days' worth of posts, both here on my blog and also on my tumblr.  regardless, here is my compilation of faves today ::

~ braided/twisted hairdos ~
fun twists (catch the wordplay?!) on a simple ponytail/bun
[first image via; middle found here; bottom compilationby diane @ a spot of whimsy]

~ pink suede this + that ~
even though it's from a few weeks ago, i still can't stop obsessing over this pink suede this + that.  i desperately want both the bag & the couch!  lovely.

~ floral on black ~
lots of love for this outfit -- super fem, super flattering,  super me.  wish i knew how to acquire it! [via]

~ a funky rennovated caravan ~
 i want me one of these. that way i can load up my things and go on day trips and have picnics wherever i please. doesn't that sound ideal... [via]

~ a huge turquoise mirror ~
i'm not sure i would put it next to a bathtub (just not my thing), but regardless, i love love love this intricate turquoise mirror
from Casaviva magazine, photographed by Winfried Heinze [via]

~ swirly-whirly fonts ~
it's known as Gillian font & i want it embossed on everything i own!
major typography crush. 

~ a very useful chart ~
 (as if i needed some fancy chart to tell me to just wear long pants 24-7!!)  -via-

~ my madre ~

not just because she it the most beautiful, intelligent, and inspiring woman i know... but also because she bought me a "treat" (her cute words!) to reward me for all my hard work at my job.  what's this treat you ask?  oh, just certificates for 4 days worth of spa treatments!  i get: a haircut, manicure, massage, and facial.  i'm seriously shocked.  still!   

~ great giveaways ~
$50 credit to minted from simplified bee
if chosen, i would get these cards to send to my far-away friends -
but if you're getting married, i would suggest these awesome thank you cards! -

oh, and i almost forgot to mention...

~ AdvK tweeted about ME!! ~
holy man!! color me shocked! and totally, totally, honored.
if i did the tweeter thing, i'd def follow AdvK's page!

this is how i feel ~

i have a crazybusy couple days and can barely think straight with all the stress...
- but -
i'm going to keep thinking of these pretty pretty things : braids to try out, a talented fashion designer giving me a shout out, my mom treating me to loads of spa treatments....
and that will get me through it all.

* and one last link -- best week ever's hilarious & tongue-in-cheek awards for the runway looks at NY fashion week
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...