Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Flux Capacitor,.....Fluxing

This past summer, the guys from the Opie and Anthony show produced "The Secret Show to the Future". It was like a live version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with the best movie ever. We set up a tv outside, drank beers, and laughed our asses off. Sounds good, right?

Good news! There will be an encore presentation on Saturday December 27th at 9pm EST. All you need is a copy of Back to the Future, a satellite radio, and all of your friends that can quote every line.

Opie and Anthony can be heard on XM 202 and Sirius 197(if you have the "best of XM" package). If you love Back to the Future, this makes for a really fun night. If you don't love it, what's your problem?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Flashback Episode 3

Here are a couple more of my Saturday Morning Favorites.




Dungeons and Dragons is one of those shows that I could not miss. Like Kidd Video, I needed to know if the gang was finally going to get home. I loved the fact that they all had specific weapons that corresponded to their personality. The guy with the shield always wonders why he didn't get a sword or something cooler but you find out later how important his particular weapon is. There was an Ewoks live-action movie and the kids in it had to pick weapons. The boy ended up with a small rock and he was all pissed, but of course the rock ended up being the most important item. Did I just write about an Ewoks live-action movie? Anyway, it is the idea that the weapon picks the person and not the other way around. Kind of like Locke and his compass. We'll see what happens with that. I am really rambling this week. Dungeons and Dragons kicks ass. This is another show that I picked up on E-bay and it holds up really well. I really enjoyed watching it again. The Dungeon Master still seemed like just as much of a dick as he always did. Just help the poor kids get home you jerk.




Teen Wolf is a great movie! Yes, it is. Don't argue with me.
The Teen Wolf cartoon... not bad. I was a big fan of this when it was on. I was 8. Apparently, after Scott won the big game for the Beavers, more of his werewolf family moved in with him. This includes his little sister who must have been away at camp for a year or something. Oh yeah, everyone must have been so excited about the b-ball championship over the Dragons that they forgot about Scott being a werewolf......except for Boof and Stiles. Ok, we all on the same page now? This was a fun little show. It only had 21 episodes so it wasn't a huge hit but it brings back some good memories for me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crunch Time

It's that time of year when all the procrastinators start to panic because they haven't finished all of their holiday shopping. Have no fear, I've got some home-run suggestions for last minute gifts.

The Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback





Before "The Infinity Gauntlet", I was a casual reader of comics. That all changed when I got my hands on this story. This is the perfect example of taking a second tier character and raising them to greatness. Thanos goes from C-list villain to the bane of the entire Marvel universe. You don't need to be a big super-hero fan to enjoy this story, but if you are, this is a must-read. It all boils down to a boy trying to impress a girl. The boy is trying to rule the universe and the girl is Lady Death, but hey, love can get weird.


Northern Exposure on DVD



I cannot say enough good things about this show. Before Lost came along, Northern Exposure was hands down my favorite TV show ever. Lost may have my undivided attention now, but I still consider NX to one of the best. This show was way ahead of its time. The basic story centered on a Jewish doctor who gets roped into moving from New York to a small town in Alaska to become the town's doctor. Dr. Joel Fleischman is forced to deal with all of the extremely quirky characters of Cicely, Alaska. As he learns to deal with these people, he also learns things about himself. Northern Exposure has an amazing cast and very smart, funny writing. If you have never seen this show, you are in for a treat. If you have seen it, what are you waiting for? You know that you want to see it again.


World of Warcraft


This could be the most addictive game ever made. This game was originally released in 2004 and I still find myself going back to it when I get tired of newer games. World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. You create a character and level him or her up through the ranks as either a member of the Horde or the Alliance. You can choose from 10 races and many different classes like Hunter, Mage, Warrior, or Druid. You can complete many quests alone but you can also team up with other people on-line to make things easier. You can also battle people who are members of the opposing faction. Warcraft is easy to learn and you can jump in and have a lot of fun but it also offers a lot of depth and replay value for veterans of the game. Two expansions are available to extend the gaming experience, but they are not necessary to get started.

OK, now you have some ideas, plus you can always browse through my earlier posts for other great ideas. Such as.......

Freaks and Geeks, The Zombie Survival Guide, The Young Ones, etc., etc.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Flashback Episode 2

It's been harder and harder to find time to post with work, school, and all of the holidays but I have been looking forward to this all week.

The hardest part about this is deciding which two clips to post. There are so many good ones.




I pity the fool that don't like gymnastic crime fighters. Yes, apparently Mr. T loves gymnastics. Who knew? This made me laugh out loud when I saw it again. I totally remembered the weird gymnast thing but forgot about his little white Mr. T sidekick and the mohawk-clad dog. That poor alligator had no idea who he was messing with. Hilarious.




Gummi bears is one of my absolute favorite cartoons of all time. This is a smart and well developed show (Well, you know, for a kids cartoon.) It is one of those rare cartoons that has its characters and story evolve over time. I love Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry but they were strictly episodic. This show left you with questions. What happened to this great Gummi civilization? Will the princess ever discover that the Gummis are real? Will they ever find other Gummis somewhere out there? Did I just see a Dharma logo on that tree?
Anyway, I recently picked some DVDs on Ebay of the entire series and it definitely holds up over time. Oh yeah, that song will be stuck in your head all day...but in a good way.

Tune in next week for another dose of nostalgia, and who knows, I may actually manage to get a post or two in before that.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Flashback Episode 1

I have always been a major cartoon junkie. Whether it was Saturday morning or after school, I have logged countless hours in front of the TV watching cartoons. Some were great, others not so much, but nostalgia can make even the stinkers seem cool in hindsight.

I'll start with a couple of my favorites, but I know that I'm not the only one who watched these shows so let me know if I've stirred up any memories for you.




Kidd Video is about as 80's as anything can get. I Loved this show. Anyone who remembers this show knows that it gets even weirder than the opening suggests. Every episode was followed up by a live action video by the Kidd Video band. Believe it or not, they actually went on tour with the band. By the way, how sweet is cousin Oliver's El Camino?




Wow. Ok, I do not remember Hulk Hogan's Rock n' Wrestling being that corny, but the proof is right there. What the hell is going on? Why are they driving around in cars? Shouldn't they be wrestling, or rock n' ? I'm not ashamed to say that I liked this show but I can't remember why.

Enjoy! I'll have more next week.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Zombies Attack!!

Zombies are having a big month in video games. Two really good games came out recently for Xbox 360. One of them is devoted to battling zombies while the other has a cool unlockable zombie mode.

Left 4 Dead is is a zombie killing spree. It's made by Valve, the same guys who brought us Half-Life, Counter Strike, and Portal. You are part of a team of four survivors of a zombie infection outbreak. You can play with friends or with other strangers online but you MUST work together. If you try to run off on your own, you will not last long playing this game. When I first heard that you would have to use teamwork I was a little bummed because I generally hate everyone, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game was set up in a way that makes it very easy to work as a team. Plus, if someone really pisses you off, you can smash him in the face with a molotov cocktail and unload a few shotgun shells into his burning corpse as the zombies feast on his guts........or you could vote him out of the group, but honestly, what sounds more satisfying? All of the enemy spawns and item locations are random so you have a different experience every time you play. There are four different "movies" that you can play. Each movie is broken up into five parts and culminates in a rescue scene in which you and the other survivors must fight off waves of zombies as you wait for your rescue vehicle. I have played through each of the scenarios a few times and have not gotten bored yet so the replay value is pretty high. It's the most fun when you have all friends in your party, but playing with strangers has been much better than I originally expected.

The other zombie attack is actually embedded in one of the best games of the season. Call of Duty: World at War, is the follow-up to the mega hit Call of Duty 4 ; Modern Warfare. I was one of the people who said "Why are they going back to WWII again? Uggg. This is going to stink. Nothing will ever be as good a CoD4. What a bunch of jerks." Then I played the game for five minutes. It is just as good CoD4 and there are enough changes to make it feel like a whole new experience rather than just some new maps. Worst new feature: tanks. Best new feature: instead of helicopter support, you get to call out the hounds. This game is great even without zombies, but it has zombies too! Upon finishing the solo campaign you are treated to a video introducing you to the Nazi Zombies. This new mode puts you in a building that you must defend from approaching waves of zombies. Of course, the zombies always win, but it's cool to see how long your futile efforts can prolong your life. This can be played alone but is much more fun when you get some friends to help you. The zombie mode is not a reason to buy the game, but it is a great bonus on a game that is already really cool.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life On Crazy


SPOILER ALERT!! I will be talking about more specific things in this post than I normally do. If you have not watched Life on Mars yet, PLEASE get your ass in gear and watch this show. It started off good and has only gotten better.

Ok, things are getting weird, and by weird I mean totally awesome. What is going on?!? It seemed that Sam was most likely in some hospital bed in 2008 having a coma hallucination. They kept us guessing but that seemed like the most plausible explanation for Sam's time displacement. Recent events have made this early assumption less and less likely. Characters are popping up who seem to have information about Sam's predicament.

First there was the young black girl whose things were in the hidden shoebox that Sam expected to find his own things in. This same young girl was the one who led Sam to his mother by singing a song from his childhood. She was also the girl who fell to her death and almost started a race war. The last time that we see her, she is with a second odd character. The old man/bum, who talks to Sam as if he knows what is happening, is only in one episode but he gets the new theory ball rolling. Sam could still just be imagining all of this, but it is starting to seem like there are other forces at work. This brings us to last night's episode.

The episode was really good. It explained what happened to Sam's Dad and helped to explain why Sam is the way that he is. The first 95% was great, but it was the last few minutes that were completely amazing. Sam starts to figure out that all of the cases that he worked on are leading him to something. He discovers an address and when he gets there he finds a place that is a cross between the Evil Dead house and the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks. The phone rings and a mysterious voice tells him that he needs to go to the basement. The end.


Holy Cliffhanger!!!! I can't wait until next...w.e..e..k.... WHAT? New episodes return January 28th. AAAHHHHH. I know, a bit over-dramatic, but the end of January cannot get here fast enough. This is very good news because it means that ABC has picked up the show and we will get to see what is in the basement. Good news part 2: January 28th is a Wednesday. That means a Lost, Life on Mars combo for that night. Very cool.

Questions:
What's in the basement?!?!
Who is the voice on the other end of the line?
Why does the chess game on the table of the "Evil Lodge"(as good a name as any) have all black pieces?
What the hell is really going on with Sam?
Let me know if you have any theories. We have two months to think it over.

Fly Ajira Air

The new Lost promo contained a quick shot of what appears to be the next Lost ARG(Alternate Reality Game). The "Dharma Wants You" game just ended and last year's "Find 815" was pretty interesting. These games are just a form of viral marketing but they can be pretty fun, and in the case of Lost they can give you some occasional insights into the secrets of the show. If you want to give it a try, you can go to www.ajiraairways.com. Right now they are just taking e-mail addresses so that they can update you when it's ready to go. It should be soon since the new season starts on January 21st.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Real Ghostbusters


Anyone who is interested in the paranormal should check out Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel. I have always been a fan of shows that take a more serious approach to documenting and researching paranormal activity. Don't get me wrong, I also love horror movies and shows like Fringe or the X-files but I have a special place in my heart for true paranormal investigation.


Ghost Hunters is a documentary type reality show that follows the investigations of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society). Lead by Jay Hawes and Grant Wilson, TAPS takes a unique approach to investigating the paranormal. Rather than going into a location and trying to prove the accounts of ghost activity, they go in trying to disprove the accounts first. This makes the show much more interesting and believable because when they do come across something that they feel is solid evidence, it is usually quite impressive. The investigations are documented using high tech equipment that has been shown to be useful in the collection of evidence of the paranormal including EMF(electro-magnetic field) detectors, infrared night vision cameras, and thermal imaging cameras, to name a few. Ghost Hunters doesn't rely on the silly gimmicks that some of its predecessors have. One of the worst was MTV's Fear, in which people had cameras stuck to their heads and were forced to run around in the dark until they were freaked out and screaming. Mildly entertaining but stupid. TAPS members always work in groups to cut down on the fear and anxiety that can build up in some of the very scary locations that they investigate.


TAPS will investigate anywhere from a single home to very large locations such as prisons, hotels, or even aircraft carriers. Some of the more impressive locations include Eastern State Penitentiary, Waverly Hills Sanatorium, and The Stanley Hotel (the hotel from The Shining). Recently TAPS traveled to Europe to do some investigations. This trip spawned the spin-off Ghost Hunters International. The two shows share the same time slot on SciFi so when the season of the original Ghost Hunters ends, they pick right back up with Ghost Hunters International.


Note: There is one TAPS member who is a Super-Douche; Brian Harnois. The good news is that he is currently not a member of the original team or the international team but he has been in both so if you are watching reruns, I warned you. He's not bad enough to ruin the show but he is pretty unlikeable.


The new episodes are on Wednesdays at 9 on the SciFi channel but they show tons of reruns and they always have marathons so give it a shot.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Battle Royale

Battle Royale is something that I stumbled upon by accident and it ended up being an obsession of mine for a few months last year. I was at Borders to buy some other book and they were having a buy 3 get the 4th free sale on manga and graphic novels. I grabbed the stuff I wanted and needed to grab something else. There was a set of shrink-wrapped books that looked interesting and I figured that I couldn't go wrong with it being free. (I would find out quickly that the shrink-wrap is there for a good reason.) Obviously that book was the first volume of Battle Royale and it had me hooked quick.Needless to say, I took further advantage of the sale at Borders and cruised through the rest of the available 12 books. This is where the months of obsession comes into play. I had to wait for the final 3 books to be doled out over a very long 9 months. It was worth the wait.

The story takes place in an alternate reality Japan. The government is in a police state and has developed something called "The Program" to intimidate its citizens to stay in line. Each year a group of middle school students is taken to a remote island location and forced to participate in "The Program". The students are informed that they must kill each other if they want to leave the island. They are all given survival kits which contain some standard items like water, a compass, and a map. The interesting part is that the survival kits each contain a different weapon that can range from an Uzi sub-machine gun to a boomerang. There can only be one winner and that child will be allowed to leave the island and return to their family. The children are also fitted with explosive collars that detonate as time goes on or boundaries are crossed. Alliances are formed and friendships are destroyed as the children adapt to their new situation. Some participants part with their sanity very quickly as they realize that their former friends and classmates will kill them if they don't kill them first. Others seem to thrive and enjoy themselves in "The Program".

Battle Royale is VERY graphic in both violence and sexual situations. (Hence the shrink-wrap at Borders.) The art in the Manga version is very well done and adds considerably to the story. The Battle Royale story does come in a few forms. I highly recommend the Tokyopop Manga version first but the movie is also very good. The second movie is ok but not as good as the original. Finally, it can also be found in novel form, but I haven't read it yet so I don't want to judge it.

Give Battle Royale a try, you won't be disappointed.


Countdown to Season 5.



Lost returns January 2009, that feels very far away at the moment. The new promo has a few glimpses of what we can expect. I think that we are going to see some serious time warp madness this year. Rumor has it that a flying delorean crashes on the island bringing two new castaways..........we wish. Anyway, let me know if you have any Lost theories.

Friday, October 31, 2008

You want the Blade cut or the Demolition Man?



Opie and Anthony with Patrice O'Neil making fun of Wesley Snipes after he was convicted of tax evasion. Hilarious.

Opie and Anthony can be heard on XM 202.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Best New Show....Life on Mars


Only one network show has really caught my eye in this new Fall season. It started with a unique ABC ad campaign that used their 1970's logos and sweepers. This was before my time but it did grab my attention immediately. At first I thought that it was just a cop show set in the 70's but when I saw that it was actually about a cop who becomes displaced in time from 2008 to 1973, I became very interested. I have seen the first three episodes and I am pleasantly surprised. Life on Mars has quickly become one of my favorite new shows.


Life on Mars is another in a long line of British remakes(They really are TV geniuses). This one centers on the strange time displacement of detective Sam Tyler. During an investigation, Sam is struck by a car and instantly finds himself transported from 2008 to 1973. Let me take a moment to say that you will have to take a leap of faith as you watch the pilot. Not because you will have to accept that Sam is a time travelling detective, rather because he is not thrown into the insane asylum within his first hour in 1973 New York. He is not very discreet about the fact that he thinks that he is from the future but his new police co-workers aren't too alarmed and just go on with business as usual. His new boss, played by Harvey Keitel, does hand him a few beatings but nothing that stops them from working together. I'll stop nit-picking now.


This show really is very enjoyable. The sets and costumes are amazing. The show was cast very well. I am not a huge Harvey Keitel fan but the character of Lieutenant Gene Hunt suits him quite well. Sam's closest confidants in his new situation are Officer Annie "No Nuts" Norris (you will learn very quickly in the pilot that they want you to understand that women were not equal back then.......we get it) and his new neighbor Windy. Annie is the force that is trying to keep Sam grounded and convince him that his thoughts of 2008 are delusions and he belongs in 1973. Windy, on the other hand, has a more open mind to his situation and in some ways has become his spiritual guide. It is still early in the show to draw too many conclusions but we are always reminded that Sam is being pulled between both times through visions and mysterious communications that seem to manifest from electrical devices.


The show has me hooked and I highly recommend that you check it out too. If nothing else, watch it just to see Michael Imperioli as the stereotypical 70's detective Ray Carling. He's pretty hilarious. Life on Mars is on Thursday Nights at 10:00 on ABC. You can still get caught up on the first few episodes at abc.com.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freaks and Geeks got it right.

Freaks and Geeks makes me happy and sad all at once. It is one of the best shows that I have ever seen. The unknown young cast of Freaks and Geeks have almost all gone on to huge success(James Franco, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Jason Segal, etc.). Freaks and Geeks had the perfect balance of comedy and drama without being too corny or overly sappy.

It only makes me sad because it wasn't given the chance that it deserved. This amazing show was under promoted and buried in bad time slots. This resulted in the show being cancelled after only one season. In retrospect, this may not have been a terrible thing for true fans of the show. The creators must have seen the writing on the wall because the series has the feel of a contained story that comes to a satisfying end. You will always want more, but they don't leave you hanging, which is nice.

The series was created by Judd Apatow who has become a Hollywood powerhouse as of late. He is responsible for The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman, Talledega Nights, Knocked-up, and Super-Bad...just to name a few. I personally think that Freaks and Geeks is still the best of all of his work. It has a "real" feel to it and you can put yourself in the shoes of any of the characters.

The idea is basic; a brother and sister try to fit in at their high school. I know......that sounds SO original, but after one episode you'll see that it delivers some of the most entertaining and original TV in a long time. The main cast is great but the supporting cast is also well stocked with names like Joe Flaherty and Ben Foster. Back to the Future fans will be happy to see Coach Fredricks who is well played by Tom Wilson (Biff in BTTF).

The complete series is available on DVD and it contains 2 episodes that were never seen in the original run. This is a show that I go back to time and time again and I have never had anything but a positive reaction when I recommend it to someone. This is true must see TV.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Forever Young

Some things will always be funny. The Young Ones is one of them.

The Young Ones premiered on British television 25 years ago. Like many other British shows, it had a short run; 12 episodes. They understand the concept of not running an idea into the ground. Those 12 episodes contain some of the funniest moments I've ever seen.

The series revolves around 4 college room mates(although they never seem to go to college or study). The Young Ones are Rick (a self-absorbed anarchist poet), Neil (a hippie), Mike (the self proclaimed cool person) and Vyvyan Bastard (the punk rock medical student). They live in a filthy apartment that serves as the main stage for the show, and seems to be a magnet for strange situations. Many of the situations involve the characters fighting in violent and hilarious ways, in part due to their boredom with everyday life.

The Young Ones mixes a sitcom with a variety show. This was actually done so that they could get a larger budget by being classified as a variety show. The result is a surreal comedy that includes stand-up comics, puppets, and musical acts. Motorhead, Dexy's Midnight Runners and Madness all made appearances on the show.

I have seen all the episodes many times but I always go back for more. I highly recommend this if you have never seen it before. If you have seen it, watch it again. You can get the entire series in a DVD collection called The Young Ones: Every Stoopid Episode.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This is Really Cool




This guy does stop motion animation on wall art. I can't begin to imagine how long this takes to do, especially when he gets to the really big pictures. This is pretty amazing stuff.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fringe

Fringe is one of the only new shows that I have any interest in this season. I was really excited about it since it was created by J.J. Abrams who also created Lost and Cloverfield. If you have not checked it out or need to get caught up, the first four episodes are still available to watch at the Fringe site.

Don't rush to judgement on Fringe. The pilot is good but it isn't great. That tends to happen with this kind of show due to all the set-up and character development that is crammed down your throat in the first hour or so. The series, so far, revolves around the experiments of a mad scientist named Walter Bishop who has been locked in a mental institution for years. Someone is using the experiments on people in society, this phenomenon has become known as "The Pattern". FBI agent Olivia Dunham releases Walter with the help of his son Peter and they work together to figure out what is going on. Joshua Jackson is an annoying douche in the pilot but he starts to settle into the character and becomes much more likeable as Peter Bishop. "Fringe" refers to fringe science or theoretical science. The gimmick of the show is that all of the events have a valid scientific theory behind them which does serve to give it a creepy feel.

The show overall has an X-files kind of vibe to it. It is also set up similar to the X-files in that the episodes are self contained stories that complement the bigger story of "The Pattern". While Fringe doesn't resemble Lost (even though they do both start with a plane crash....hmmm) it is beginning to reveal Easter eggs, codes, and patterns in the episodes and the advertising images. Fans of Lost will be happy to know that they can now spend hours trying to figure out the secrets of Fringe on the internet. I really like this show but I'm not going to drive myself crazy over it.....yet. Check it out, get caught up, and we can discuss the weird stuff that is starting to go down.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Go Team Venture!

I am a very big fan of Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. If nothing else, they show Family Guy almost every night. They also have a lot of great original programs. Check out Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, the Tim and Eric Show, Lucy: Daughter of the Devil, and Sealab 2021.

The show that stands out from the crowd is The Venture Bros. This show has become must watch TV for me. At first glance it looks like an updated version of Johnny Quest, but it doesn't take long to realize that the similarities are only superficial. The Venture Bros takes full advantage of the Adult in Adult Swim. It's got all the things that you might expect, like robots, villains, and super-science but it also gives you sex, violence, dysfunctional families and a sprinkling of dick jokes.

The Venture family is the focus of the show but the cast of characters that surrounds them is what really makes the show great. Their friends and enemies steal then show every week. Their arch enemy The Monarch has become just as important to the story line of the show as the Ventures. This show is addictive, and you get hooked fast, so check it out. Plus, if I make a Dr. Girlfriend reference you can be in on the joke.

The first 2 seasons are out on DVD but you can still watch episodes every Sunday on Adult Swim. You can also see some episodes at adultswim.com. Do yourself a favor and become a part of team Venture.

Power Thirst!!!!!

This is pretty funny. My brother-in-law Max sent me the links so I can't take credit for finding it. Screw that, I found this.......unless you don't think it's funny. Then Max found it.

Power Thirst: The Original
Power Thirst 2...might be even better than the original.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Public Service Announcement



I would like to take this opportunity to alert everyone to a very important piece of reading material. Taking the time to read this book could mean the difference between life and death.

We have all come to accept the fact that a zombie attack is inevitable. If you have not come to this realization, Wake Up! While most people have not been personally involved in a zombie attack, it is only a matter of time until it is your turn. This book could make all the difference when that time comes.

Mr. Brooks gives us all the tips and tactics that we need when the zombie invaders arrive. You will learn which weapons are the most appropriate for your personal situation and there are guides for zombie proofing your house. Most importantly, there are tips for keeping yourself out of the situations that would mean certain death for the uninformed.

The information contained in this survival manual is indispensable. The manual is an extremely interesting read, but you will find yourself referencing it again and again. I keep my copy right next to my machete and my .22 rifle, you know, for when the shit hits the fan.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Everyone needs to read Preacher.


I have read a lot of comics. I mean A LOT of comics. I don't discriminate by genre or company, I have tried them all and have enjoyed the majority or them. I used to always consider myself a super-hero guy. They were my favorites. I liked Spider-man and Bat-man......but who didn't? I loved villain driven stories (anything with the Joker) and I loved when a writer would take a great small character and develop an incredible story around them (check back for an Infinity Gauntlet post, it rocks). I loved all these things and I still do, but then along came Preacher to show me exactly what a comic could be.

Preacher was a monthly book released under DC's Vertigo line. It spans 66 regular issues and a handful of mini series and one-shots. Written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Steve Dillon, and with amazing covers by Glen Fabry, Preacher looks and feels like something out of the ordinary. And believe me, it is way out of the ordinary. This book is in no way, shape, or form, a kids book.

I don't want to get into too many details, my goal is to get you to read it without ruining any of the experience for you. I use the word experience because Preacher isn't something that you read and walk away from thinking "that was nice". Most of it, is in fact, not very nice. Much of it is brutal and twisted but that is why you love it and it stays with you. Many people die, there are battles between heaven and hell, there's sex, there's vampires, there's sex between heaven and hell, and I'm only scratching the surface. At its core, it's an intense look at society and ideas and beliefs that people cling to. I don't want to get too deep about a comic but it is extremely well written and does make you stop and think about religion, politics, and life in general. Mostly, it's just a hell of a good time to read. So read it, and let me know what you think.

Here's some good news, you don't need to try and track down all 70+ issues. The people at DC/Vertigo have released Preacher in 9 very nice trade paperbacks. The next time you want to try something new, go pick up the first one. I promise that it won't be long before you are buying all the rest.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

LOST....best show ever!

Let me start off by saying that I was not an early supporter of Lost. I am at times, unfortunately, a TV snob. That being said, I almost missed out on perhaps the greatest thing to happen to TV.

When Lost premiered on ABC in the fall of 2004 I was indifferent. As its popularity grew over the first season, I became more and more sure that this show could not possibly appeal to me. How could a show with legions of fans and critical acclaim not be a piece of fluff that panders to the lowest common denominator? Did I mention that I can be a bit of a snob?

I finally picked up the DVD of season one just after season 3 started. I now humbly admit that I was an ASS. In the battle of my stubbornness vs. the Lost pilot, I was beaten to a bloody pulp. I have never been so instantly captivated by a show. When the white LOST logo popped up at the end of that episode, I knew that I had just become part of something very special. This show had it all it wasn't going to hold anything back. You go into the pilot thinking that you are going to see a dramatic interpretation of Gilligan's Island and you leave wondering what the hell just happened....in a good way. I had an instant moment of pity for the people who started watching it during the original airing, they had to wait. I proceeded to watch the next 22 episodes in 2 days. The writing and acting are some of the best that I have ever seen in a TV show. No disappointments. This was followed by season 2 the next weekend. Again no disappointments. Then my waiting began and it was brutal but worth it. I finally got season 3 and cruised through that. I watched season 4 on TV with everyone else and to my surprise, I kind of liked the waiting week to week. It gave me the opportunity to stop and think about the episodes, and with this show that can greatly enhance the experience. Lost is a very smart show full of Easter eggs and hidden connections that can be researched and analysed for hours on end, but you can also enjoy it as a casual viewer. Lost is truly a one of a kind show.

Watching Lost is a no brainer and I was almost the guy with no brain. I will say that this is not something that you want to jump into late. It's just not set up to be enjoyed that way. Fortunately, there are options available to get caught up. The most obvious is the DVDs. I will own all the DVDs and they will be watched multiple times. Another great way to get caught up is at the ABC site, they have every episode available in streaming video at great quality. If you are already a Lost junkie like me, I highly recommend Nikki Stafford's blog "Nik at Nite". She does an amazing job of recapping every episode and pointing out things that you may have missed.

The morel of this story, Just Watch It.