Tuesday, January 31, 2006

After Doing A Wander Through The Oscar Nominations...

The "Teacher of the Career Reimaging Class of '06" Award Goes To: Michelle Williams, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (Best Supporting Actress)

The "We'll Make Up For Not Nominating You Last Year By Giving You The Win Now" Award Goes To: Paul Giamatti, CINDERELLA MAN (Best Supporting Actor)

The "Major Nominee Consolation Prize" Award Goes To: George Clooney and Grant Heslov, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK (Best Original Screenplay)

The "Song Title You Never Thought You'd Hear In Conjunction With The Oscars" Award Goes To: "Hard Out Here for a Pimp", HUSTLE AND FLOW (Best Original Song)

The "Michael Moore aka Can't Wait For The Acceptance Speech If They Win" Award Goes To: PARADISE NOW (Best Foreign Film - Palestine) or ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (Best Documentary)

The "Does He Really Need To Be Nominated Twice... In The Same Category?!" Award Goes To: John Williams, MUNICH and MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (Best Original Score)

The "Major Nominee Consolation Prize Pt. 2 aka 'It Depends On Who We Decide To Throw The Bone To" Award Goes To: Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco, CRASH (Best Original Screenplay)

The "Nominee For A Film That Many People Didn't Even Know Existed" Award Goes To: Amy Adams, JUNEBUG (Best Supporting Actress)

The "Slightly Creepy Nominee List For What Most Consider A Children's Genre" Award Goes To: WALLACE & GROMETT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, THE CORPSE BRIDE, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (Best Animated Feature)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's All A Soap Opera In Spandex

I've had people ask me many times about why I still read comic books. Many of them are under the impression that this is a hobby meant for the young and people just naturally grow out of it. They seem to see it like chewing your fingernails or having an imaginary friend. Once you reach whatever the golden age of adulthood that they have in their minds, then you stop being interested in those childish thing.

The trick is that I tend to see what they're saying as being totally wrong.

Back when I first started reading comics regularly which I believe was somewhere around my tenth year of existence, it was all about the cool superheroes and the adventures. The suburbs were my childhood battleground and it tended to be just as calm as it sounds. The stories in those comics showed me the big world that was out there. It didn't matter that none of the characters were actually in the flesh. All that mattered was that the were alive in my mind.

Fastforward to a grown-up me and my interest has kind of shifted. From just being interested in the color and the sparkle, I've now moved into a more story driven frame of mind. The series that I read are ones with more realistic plots and believable characters. These comics are like all of those shows crowding the television dial. Comics are my Lost, 24, Desperate Housewives, and any other show you can think of. I just have to wait around a month between the story installments.

I sold off a large portion of my collection a couple years ago. There were a couple reasons, including needing the money and space. Maybe it was a little moving on from the stories that I read in the past into a more adult future or whatever you can think of. Either way, I'm still heading over to the local shop every Wednesday to get the next installment of the four-color soap opera.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Damn Ninja... You Fast!

There are those characters that, as children, we think are the coolest thing. They just have the ability to make anyone under the age of 13 permanently have their jaw take up permanent residence on the ground. Nearly all of them tend to carry over into adulthood without losing that mystique except for one. It might just be me but there is one that just goes all to hell the moment you think as a grown-up. I am talking about the ninja.

One of the main problems with the whole ninja idea is that being one is a very prop heavy kind of act. You need to carry around all of these extremely sharp and deadly objects in an outfit that appears to have very little in the way of pockets. I have a hard enough time trying to tie an apron behind my back so I can't imagine what it would be like to have a sword back there. If you aren't careful, you could wind up taking out a shoulder blade just trying to put it away.

To go along with that is the worry that would come from trying to transport all of your ninja wear to wherever you need to go. The reports of airline baggage screeners missing some small weapons is one thing. I really don't see them not seeing those swords and katanas and shurikens and whatever else is in your carry-on. They could be a little more lenient when it comes to a checked bag but I still think you would be getting a red card for that flight no matter what.

Ninjas must have the most interesting bills too. Can you use the money paid to replace weapons not retrieved from your victims as a write-off on your taxes? Do you have to factor that in to the upfront money you get for your services? What kind of health insurance can a ninja get since they'd wind up being self employed? They must spend have of their days just trying to keep the paperwork in order.

It is kind of sad to see how impractical the life of a ninja would be. There is a whole lot of prep work for a job that might only take a quarter of the time. Maybe the ninjas find ways to make a little money on the side to balance out the rest of the cost. Since they are the fighting version of a prop comic, it would be good to have something to fall back on.