Sean T. Collins has written about comics and popular culture professionally since 2001 and on this very blog since 2003. He has written for Maxim, The Comics Journal, Stuff, Wizard, A&F Quarterly, Comic Book Resources, Giant, ToyFare, The Onion, The Comics Reporter and more. His comics have been published by Top Shelf, Partyka, and Family Style. He blogs here and at Robot 6.
The peacock, a male several years old, wandered into a Staten Island Burger King parking lot and perched on a car hood Thursday morning. Charmed employees had been feeding him bread when the man appeared.
He seized the iridescent bird by the neck, hurled it to the ground and started kicking and stomping the creature, said worker Felicia Finnegan, 19.
“He was going crazy,” she said.
Asked what he was doing, she said, the attacker explained, “’I’m killing a vampire!”’
If you're into it, take note that Wizard's going wall-to-wall with Transformers coverage. Interviews with Shia LaBoeuf, Megan Fox, John Tuturro, Jon Voight, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and Michael Bay, toy image galleries, video game and comic previews, a review of the film--the whole shmear.
My current personal conundrum: On the one hand, giant monsters. (In this case robots = monsters, clearly.) On the other, Michael Bay.
Bryan Lee O'Malley, writer-artist between the eminently enjoyable action-romance graphic-novel series Scott Pilgrim, covering Underworld's "Born Slippy.NUXX," the highlight of the Trainspotting soundtrack and one of my all time favorite songs by anyone ever. (It even incorporates a few snippets of "Jumbo," another Underworld song that is another one of my all time favorite songs by anyone ever.)
For explanation and a link to more songs by O'Malley's musical alter ego Kupek, go to RadioMaru.com, O'Malley's website; it's currently the top entry.
The sweetest-looking decrepit zombie I ever did see. That's not me in this picture, by the way--I lifted this from the designers' website so you could get a clear view--but I am wearing the T-shirt as we speak. Observe:
I bought this badboy at the MoCCA art festival two or three years ago from Squidfire. It was part of a series of horror-themed shirts they designed for a horror con. Supposedly they bombed at that con but cleaned up at MoCCA, where I snagged two other shirts featuring a nice bloody meat cleaver and a subtle chainsaw (seriously!). They're there every year, and while their horror stuff is definitely most to my taste of their work, cutie-pie T-shirt fans will find much to enjoy at their site.
My biweekly interview column on the Wizard site returns, with The Salon's Nick Bertozzi. This is one of my favorite conversations about comics I've ever had (and as near as I can tell, beyond the fact that they're both listed on the First Second webpage, it's the first public confirmation that Nick and The Colbert Report writer Glenn Eichler are collaborating on a graphic novel). Hope you like it!
Okay. On the one hand, I love giant-monster horror and mockumentary horror, so this is right down my alley. And the trailer does look good if you can get to it before Paramount (stupidly, shortsightedly, audience-alienatingly) yanks it from wherever it's cropped up. On the other hand, I'm already irritated by the hype. The obvious comparison in terms of both the format of the film and the viral nature of its promotion is The Blair Witch Project, but in the case of that film, many if not most of the people hyping it had seen the film already. There's something offputting about a gigantic corporation astroturfing a grassroots buzz campaign for a movie that doesn't exist yet (while simultaneously shutting down individuals' attempts to help them do so, by the way).
Besides the haunting off-center framing, the thing that struck me about photographer Cedric Delsaux's series of real-world Star Wars photographs (enter here and click "series") is how sinister and ominous all the villainous characters look when placed in everyday surroundings. Seeing them in the context of an environment that feels familiar and down-to-earth really makes them seem like a genuine threat, an occupying army ready to kill...
Listen to me pontificate about the latest issues of Action Comics, All Star Superman, Thor, Detective Comics, The Exterminators, and Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America at this week's Thursday Morning Quarterback at Wizard.
News broke over the weekend that Meg, the gigantic-freaking-shark movie based on the novel of the same name by Steve Alten, is "dead in the water" (no one could resist the pun, nor should they have) at New Line. They lose the rights in October, and Alten says he's trying to make something happen elsewhere.
In googling around for this info, I discovered that Alten has written a Loch Ness Monster thriller called The Loch, which centers on the premise that the beastie is a gigantic (wait for it) eel. In a publicity stunt, Alten commissioned the creation of a six-foot replica skull of what such a critter would look like, which is awesome.
Reader Telemachos writes in that the New York Friggin' Times has an article on the mapinguary, a South American jungle cryptid alternately speculated to be a giant sloth or a relative of sasquatch. Unsurprisingly, Loren Coleman goes wall-to-wall on the topic.
I meant to post this days ago, but this very cool image and very lame tagline are for Wolf Creek director Greg McLean's upcoming monster movie Rogue. The creature-feature renaissance continues. (Via Jason Adams.)
Drumnadrochit, Scotland, July 2001. This was me on a travel assignment to Loch Ness. The T-shirt was a nine inch nails "now i'm nothing 1991" tour T-shirt a friend of mine from high school had stolen from his brother, whom it didn't fit anymore, than gave to me when it didn't fit HIM anymore either. I think I wore the poor thing to death, unfortunately.
If you are interested in what I thought about the latest issues of New Avengers, Green Lantern, Green Arrow: Year One, B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls, Civil War Chronicles, Martha Washington Dies, Stormwatch: P.H.D., and Weston Cage & Nicolas Cage's Voodoo Child, then this week's Thursday Morning Quarterback at Wizard is the place to be.
Scientists have discovered a potentially new subspecies of chimpanzee deep in the Congo, one that may hunt big cats like leopards and lions. They haven't seen the chimps in action of this sort, but they've seen them with a leopard corpse (which jibes with the locals' descriptions of their behavior) and have noted that they actually sleep in nests on the ground as well as in the trees, which would indicate that other big predators steer clear of them for some reason. (Via Andrew Sullivan.)
I guess this might be SPOILERY in the sense that while it doesn't actually give away anything, if you read it, it might affect how you view the movie, so if you haven't seen it, you probably shouldn't read it. But here's my take:
If someone expressed an interest in some niche product that I enjoy I would, I dunno, try to convey some of my enthusiasm about the subject. Try to share some wisdom. Try to build further enthusiasm. Make recommendations. Anything other than act bitter and petulant.
--Matthew Yglesias on the literary establishment's antagonistic reaction to the success of Harry Potter. It does indeed seem like a missed opportunity. Yglesias also calls out Harold Bloom for starting on a more productive path vis a vis HP, then immediately walking right back.
1999. This is one of the very, very few "generic old-looking T-shirt bought at a thrift shop bearing an image with which I have no actual emotional or humorous connection" T-shirts I've ever owned, but I sure did love it.
1) I can't say that I "called" the "Harry is a horcrux" thing, because I heard that idea from someone else right after #6 came out, but that was definitely my pet theory from the moment I heard it, so yeah, not too surprising.
2) I felt this way about the introduction of the horcrux concept in #6: Didn't the sudden, quest-defining emphasis on the Hallows in general, wandlore, and Dumbledore's family come in a little late in the game? It's a little like if the Ring didn't enter into the picture until The Return of the King. This goes double for all the business about taking control of the Elder Wand around which the climax revolved--I had to reread the final spell vs. spell section three times just to figure out what was going on.
3) It was interesting how the books' usual emphasis on adult characters not believing Harry was shifted to Harry's friends not believing Harry. It wasn't hit quite as hard as usual, but still.
4) The book really got bogged down in the section where Harry, Hermione, and Ron got bogged down.
5) Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Dobby, Scrimgeour, Mad-Eye, Hedwig? Kind of redshirt-y. Snape and Voldemort are big deals, of course, but also kind of expected (and in Voldemort's case, guaranteed).
6) There was a TON of interesting stuff that never got wrapped up. Did Dolores Umbridge and Rita Skeever ever get their comeuppance? Did the Wizarding community wake up to its frequently cruel treatment of other races and creatures, as the house-elf, dragon, and goblin subplots seemed to be leading to? What became of the giants, spiders, centaurs, goblins, house-elves, dementors and other creatures that got involved in the war? What happened to the Slytherin students whose retreat from Hogwart's Voldemort viewed as evidence that they were on his side? What was the emotional effect the battle had on our main characters?
7) Instead of any of that, we get this superfluous, series-finale-style "19 years later" epilogue, which reveals the fascinating facts that Harry & Ginny and Ron & Hermione got married and named their kids after characters they loved. Well blow me down.
EDITED TO ADD:
8) She's definitely not writing with the movies in mind, considering how frequently the lead characters go through major scenes while transfigured or disfigured.
9) Clearly she's also not a believer in "show, don't tell." For example, the ENTIRE Albus/Aberforth/Ariana/whatsisface-the-dark-wizard storyline was TOLD to Harry, rather than unfolding in a way that involved Harry as an active participant. Strange.
Meanwhile, the usual Thursday Morning Quarterback reviews are up, so if you're interested in what I thought of this week's Immortal Iron Fist, Batman, Mighty Avengers, All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder, Angry Youth Comix, Battlestar Galactica, Hellboy: Darkness Calls, Invincible, Love and Rockets, Speak of the Devil, and The Walking Dead, you know what to do.
It hasn't been a going concern in quite some time so it's not like this comes as a surprise, but contributor Sam Costello writes that the pioneering group horrorblog site Dark But Shining is shutting down for good. Bummer. DBS had some of the best genre writers around--Costello, Rick Geerling, Kevin Melrose--and its dark sci-fi and fantasy seasoning made it unique. Farewell, DBS.
In general I can't shake a sense that how we relate to music is an elephant in the critics' lounge. I don't think I'm alone in taking ideas I might use to validate my emotional reaction-- innovation, craftsmanship, artistic intent-- and turning them into a stand-in for the reaction itself...