Monday, August 31, 2009

My Last Marvel/Disney Post (for now)

The "Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends" theme music is now stuck in my head for some reason. I'm serious, it's on its 100th loop right now.

Disney To Acquire Marvel

...according to WSJ (you gotta pay to read the article, natch)

Here is the text of the Wall Street Journal email alert:

Disney plans to acquire Marvel Entertainment through a cash-and-stock transaction valued at around $4 billion, or $50 per Marvel share. Disney said that Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel, including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters.

An investor conference call is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. EDT.

...that's a pretty impressive total roster of characters.

Will Marvel be producing Disney comics?
What about the Boom Studios license?
And, the most burning question: will there be a "Muppet Marvel Universe?"

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Occasional Superheroine Art For Sale

On eBay.
Plus a bunch of dumb jewelry and stuff I was saving for my future children. Act now!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh, Almost Forgot: Happy B-Day, Jack Kirby!

Yes, YouTube: it provides you valuable content taken from other places.

10 Shameful Songs I Like

Just call me Valerie "AM Gold" D'Orazio

10. "I Woke Up In Love This Morning," The Partridge Family

9. "Little Willy," The Sweet

8. "Putting On The Ritz," Taco

7. "Ghostbusters," Ray Parker Jr

6. "Sugar, Sugar," The Archies

5. "Xanadu," Olivia Newton-John

4. "Say Say Say," Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

3. Anything by Nickelback

2. "Mama Said Knock You Out," LL Cool J (not complete without the lip sync)

1. "Mmmbop," Hanson

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A New Era At DC Comics?

Just a thought:

If Diane Nelson is indeed in charge of overseeing DC Comics now – and, as evident from what I've read concerning her, wants to help drag the publisher into the 21st Century in terms of digital media & movie production – then I'm done poo-pooing DC's efforts. Because, frankly, I want to see more female execs succeed and make an impact in the entertainment industry.

As women, we can blog and rabble-rouse online about this or that perceived or actual sexist thing, and I think that's necessary to a degree. But the only person who is going to actually make a tangible, immediate, long-lasting difference is the person Paul Levitz has to answer to, or a similar person of that rank and stature.

(and you can say "yay we got Stephanie Brown back" but the fact of the matter is the cover of the first issue of the new "Batgirl" cuts off her eyes and focuses on her breasts so the same cluelessness is in play in my opinion)

I remembered Jenette Kahn's last day at DC, and how it dovetailed into the start of Dan DiDio's tenure at DC. I remember being told the story about how Jenette first arrived at DC, how Warners wanted to drag DC Comics into the 20th Century and so they hired her. And how she went in there and essentially cleaned things up and made them presentable to interact with the rest of the modern media. The 1980s were a golden age for DC; I don't think anyone can argue with that. DC is still living off the comics and ideas brought forth in that golden time.

It is my belief that what happened with DC and Jenette Kahn in the late 1970s might be happening again now. And this brings with it a tremendous potential for change and advancement for this publisher.

This is not to say that by having a woman in charge, all things will immediately get awesome and there will never be any sexism anymore and etc. That is too simplistic a view. But having a female in some position of authority helps. It helps. Because I doubt a woman with the personality and character to negotiate movie rights with a JK Rowling is going to just nod and look away at some of the crap that has been happening at the DCU for the last 10 years.

I'm a damn hard cynic, but I'm going to allow myself a window of optimism.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kim Kardashian To Be Next Catwoman?

Sources indicate that pseudo-celebrity Kim Kardashian might be signed on for "Batman 3." Here is our artist's interpretation of how Kardiashian might look like as Catwoman:

Oh right, we're full of crap...but a Twitter Trending topic!

Megan Fox As Next Catwoman?

...and The Sun is there! Complete with crappy sub-fangeek Photoshop.

Unfortunately, these are the sorts of ill-conceived, banal things that have more likelihood of being true than things that are truly awesome.

Why Do Video Game Movies Have To Suck?

I had the pleasure of watching the movie "Hitman" yesterday night. It's based on the popular video game series from Eidos. "Hitman" had a really cool opening credit sequence in which you see how the child assassins are trained. Too bad this sequence was ripped off of "Dark Angel." Oh, I don't mean ripped off in concept. I mean, they literally cut the footage from "Dark Angel" and pasted it in their movie. Like stock footage, except it's footage from an actual TV show that has nothing to do with the movie.

"Hitman" boasted bad acting, bad delivery of lines, bad dubbing, bad plot, and bad dialogue. That said, it had a number of cool (though not "Matrix"-level) action sequences and great cinematography. So essentially: it was a live-action video game. Except the Agent 47 from the game I played bears no resemblance to the awkward, easily love-struck 47 from the movie. So essentially: it was worse than the video game. Why make a film of this caliber at all?

Why is it assumed that movies based on video games will suck, that the suckitude is inevitable? Video games are one of the most lucrative forms of entertainment we have. Why do the movie studios feel it is OK to crank out unspeakably bad movies based on them? Is it a budget issue? Are they rushing these films out the door to meet a certain timing concern (perhaps to have the movie coincide with the launch of the new game)?

Look, I can see how in them "olden days" adapting a video game to film can be sort of awkward: "Super Mario Bros." comes to mind. I mean, does Frogger really need to be turned into a film? But take a concept like Bioshock. That game should be like a blueprint for a really kick-ass motion picture. You do not automatically hire Uwe Boll to direct "Bioshock" the movie. You do not have Uwe on speed-dial just in case a video game movie script arrives on your desk.

Rant over. Having watched "Hitman," I feel primed for "Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Writing Stunt #1

Writing Stunt #1: write stuff you used to write with zest when you were a teenager before you were taught you shouldn't write that stuff.

I've done that for the last two days, and I'm having fun; but I don't think you can read any of it. :-D

Monday, August 24, 2009

Demographics Of The Hollywood Director

As of this year, more than 90 percent of Hollywood directors are male.

The New York Times points out the pros...

"In one respect, homogeneity among its film directors might actually help Hollywood in a business sense. Studio films, year in and year out, continue to pull in crowds worldwide at least in part because they look, sound and feel like what has gone before."

and the cons...

"Directors who are overwhelmingly of the same sex and ethnicity can hardly be expected to tap all of the cinematic potential in a rich and roiling humanity."

...of white male directors getting most of the gigs in Hollywood.

Oh, did we mention the pros again?

The First Disney Star Was Female!

The first Disney star was female! From Steve Greenberg's blog:

Not many people remember Virginia Davis. Her main career work began 86 years ago. But she was the first Disney star, and it was she — not Mickey Mouse — who launched the Walt Disney empire.

And so we picture the Good Ol' Boys network of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy plotting poor Virginia's demise, scheming to give her less pay, pigeon-holing her in Princess movies, and finally rewriting the history books to erase her contribution to cartoon history. Donald agrees to go along with the plot as long as Mickey guarantees him a solid second-banana slot, pulling him past Horace Horsecollar. And nobody cares what Goofy thinks. Nobody asks Goofy. "Shut up, Goofy; you're out of your element."

Damn Toons.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Death Chicken

This "Double Down" sandwich from KFC, where it's chicken instead of bread with cheese and bacon inside, reminds me of those cartoons where somebody would say: "yes, I would like a meat sandwich with a side-order of meat." And like they would pour liquid meat from the spigot.

Did I mention I live right next to a KFC and have to smell this stuff?

Plus side: Atkins Diet!

found on Need Coffee

"Social Media Bankruptcy"

I started cleaning out my Twitter account yesterday. If you honestly have 20,000 people whose updates you follow on a regular basis, God bless you. I have trouble just keeping up with the movies in my Netflix instant queue. More than two-thirds of the Twitterers I unfollowed fell in one of the following categories:
  • "Make quick money"
  • "Get out of debt quick"
  • Porn
  • "Make quick money"/"Get out of debt quick" disguised as porn
Then there are the tooth-whiteners. Some of these people I think are in a pay-for-Tweet program where all they need to do is post a spam Tweet on how to whiten your teeth. Then they get like $25 or something. Or less. Everybody has their own equivalent of seven pieces of silver. Jesus died for your anal-retentive tooth-bleaching fetish.

When cleaning out your social media accounts, one phrase that might pop up periodically is, "who the f*** are all these people?" And it takes so long to do, you might be better off deleting the account completely, announce "social media bankruptcy," and start all over again.

While clearer heads do prevail, there is still a trend in online PR circles that when it comes to Twitter accounts, bigger is better. This only is the case if you actually have something informative/entertaining/original to say. Or if you're @GuyKawasaki, a guy who shamelessly Tweets and Re-Tweets other people's stuff, but who somehow I can never bring myself to either hate or unfollow.

You can have an account with 10,000 or more followers, but are they quality followers? Is your message going out mostly to Twit-bots and the assorted megalomaniacal narcissistic rainmakers, gurus, and get-rich-quick schemers that congregate on Twitter thick like thieves?

Also, are you sending messages on Facebook to people asking them to be fans of yourself? This is how that particular notice looks like in my gmail: "Joe Schmedly invites you to be a fan of Joe Schmedly." For God's sake, hire an assistant to send these messages out from their account, or change up the name of your fan page, or do something.

At any rate, bigger is not better in social media circles unless your account is populated by real honest-to-goodness friends and targeted, quality followers who actually are interested in what you have to say. I learned this on the day when I went to find a particular recent Tweet a friend had posted and scrolled through my account for like 5 pages.

And every once in a while I meet someone who says they don't even read blogs. "Who are these interesting Luddites?" I immediately wonder. Do they entertain themselves and the family at home using shadow-puppets and a shoe-box stage? Or do they actually do things like f**king leave their apartment? And not Tweet about where they are going or what they ate? Is there a "Five Things" quiz they could fill out on Facebook so I could get to know them better?

Along the lines of this topic, I am phasing out my OhSuperheroine Twitter account and rolling everything into @ValerieDorazio. I'm also in the process of taking all my other bloggy concerns out back behind the barn and putting them out of their misery. I'm picking one (that's ONE) social bookmarking site to post actual bookmarks of actual links I want/need to remember (like the html "cheat sheat" I consult on a regular basis), and one image storing site.

Oh, and I'm going to f**king actually leave the apartment.

Here is an artist's interpretation of how me actually leaving my f**king apartment might look like:

I'll be sure to Tweet and blog about how that all goes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Word Or Two About "Twilight"

Look, I am in complete support of "Twilight" fans and their right to populate our nation's major comic book conventions.

But I've tried to sit through this movie and could only watch half before shutting it off. So now I've spent almost a week trying to finish this DVD so I can return it to Netflix. The DVD is now in my computer, and I'm going to force myself to finish watching it today.

I guess one of the issues I have with the movie "Twilight" is that it's really more like a TV show. I mean across the board: acting, directing, cinematography, plot, dialogue, special effects. TV show. And with the way they've already stacked up these sequels, I think that's no accident. These movie franchises are really just taking a page from the TV shows: Heroes, LOST, Battlestar Galactica, Gossip Girl.

So, it being just a long TV show, it might make sense that halfway through the movie I saw fit to shut it off. Because that's your 1 hour of TV drama.

What Robert Pattinson looks like when he isn't bullshitting us

Also, that glam look on Robert Pattinson is all wrong. It's like putting lipstick on Daniel Craig. The guy really has the look of a bruiser, like he was punched in the face; something that is only compounded by the way he mumbles his lines like Sylvester Stallone. I mean, take off the lipstick and the powder and wash that shit out of his hair. Now put him in a movie about steelworker union riots in the 1940s. See what I mean? He's no Leonardo DiCaprio. He's not even James Marsters. Marsters could rock the sexy vampire shtick well into his 40s. Pattinson is not going to be able to do this without looking like the equivalent of those over-the-hill movie actresses who just can't let the 1980s go.

Plus, the chick in this movie is indeed our generation's Karen Black:

(Plus, I had to endure a lot of naked Karen Black pics through Google Image Search to bring this post to you, most of them from way past her prime, thank you very much.)

Finally, what sort of teen narrative grants the new kid in school an entire Mystery Machine van full of BFFs within 5 minutes of touching down on the school's campus? I've never seen something like this before. Where's the conflict? Further, it's obvious that this chick is just using these new friends as something to tide her over because she really wants to hang out with the cool kids. It's made clear that she's too cool for her group, all coded as "nerds." They've opened up their hearts to her to make her feel a part of something, but she's obviously detached from them. She obviously will dump them the first chance she gets to hang out with the cool kids. And though both nerdy boys in the group hit on her, we know she is way too cool to waste one drop of saliva on their nerdy selves.

The Nerdy Kids Poor Bella Is Forced To Hang Out With
Until Something Better Comes Along

And we are supposed to be rooting for this chick, yes?

I mean, there is one scene in particular where Nerdy Guy B invites her to the prom. And she explains that she can't go with him, but that he really should invite Nerdy Friend A instead. And it's implied that Nerd should go out with Nerd. That she is way above that. Because she is so goddamned special.

The Cool Kids Bella Is Really *Meant* To Hang Out With

So really, the narrative of this movie could be seen as being composed by an unbelievably narcissistic teenage girl who thinks she is too cool for her friends and that the world revolves around her. That one day this cute guy who is normally a dick will fall in love with her, and she will happily run off with him and all his rich, preppy, dick friends. We've all met vapid backstabbing social-climbing shits like this in high-school, haven't we?

But in the end, you really can't argue with the success of a book/movie series that has so perfectly played into the cultural zeitgeist. "Twilight" plays into the zeitgeist of teen girls who feel less threatened by the sexuality of men when these men wear more makeup than them and have hotter hair. "Twilight" plays into the aforementioned sociopathic narcissism of the teen girl who secretly feels she's too good for her nerdy friends and would betray them in a second to hang out with the cheerleaders and the jocks. And "Twilight" plays perfectly to the zeitgeist of Middle America, in ways that I'm not even going to *start* going into in this forum.

To sum up, "Twilight" the movie seems to play to the particular zeitgeist of the following teenager:
That said, I might finish this DVD today and completely change my mind. Indeed, by the time the credits roll on this flick, I might want to have Edward Cullen's blue-blooded mumbling babies. I will let you know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Comics-Op Is Up

Hey all, another installment of Comics-Op, my column for ComiXology, is up.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

RIP John Hughes

John Hughes – director of such 80s classics as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Sixteen Candles," and "The Breakfast Club" – has died. Him and Chris Claremont pretty much defined my early teen years. Hughes was only 59. I forgot how much those movies influenced me. I mean, they were both totally the essence of high-school, and totally unrelated to the realities of my particular high-school experience. He had a knack for presenting me the version of adolescence I really wanted; he even sold me on the bad parts of it. Quentin Tarantino is to me now what John Hughes was to me then; not just a movie-maker, but the creator of a whole alternate universe of cool.

Sunday, August 02, 2009