Wednesday, June 30, 2010
R2-D2 was imagined by George Lucas, Ralph McQuarrie and whoever built the Silent Running robots. He was portrayed by Kenny Baker and voiced by Ben Burtt (same voice as favorite character Wall-E. Coincidence? No). The adorable physicality is coupled with an adorable voice, and it's perfection in one package.
I can't remember a time when I didn't know Artoo. It's not even fair- he's in my DNA, like a conditioned response. I know he's brave, and smart, and loyal. I know he was built by Industrial Automaton. I know that his gadget arsenal includes a ronto prod, a lariat, and an inflatable raft.
I demand your attention with a blog like this, but, to be fair, you already love R2 or you're dead inside.
He's beloved by about a billion children and man-children worldwide.
He's the star of six movies, 4 cartoons, and an embarrassing Christmas special.
He's a shampoo.
He's a soy sauce.
From Arty Deco to BeepBoopBeep, from T-Bob to the MacBook, cuddly robot sidekicks everywhere owe it to the great uncle of cute robots, R2-D2.
There is no stopping him.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I have a beloved uncle called Cliff who lives a similar existence to the main character, Enoch Wallace: rarely leaving his isolated house. Coincidence?
My uncle enjoys his sci-fi, but is not the first contact point of an extra-terrestrial civilization debating the fate of self-destructive and primitive humanity. So far as I know.
I was quite fond of Way Station, giving it a respectable three stars out of four, though except for digging on the pacifist philosophy I don't recall a lot of details.
I remember that, thanks to alien tech, Enoch's house is impervious to the passage of time. I wish that was true of our house. As, to be frank, I wish my body was also immune. Specifically, I think I'd kill for unrottable teeth. Though, thankfully, I don't have the option, and I hope I never do.
Keep your magic teeth, universe, and let me keep my pacifism.
Enoch is given a choice in this story: to allow humanity the free will to nuke itself, or to let the aliens 'dumb us down' so we don't have the wherewithal to kack ourselves.
That's a tough one, and it presupposes that smart people = sad people.
Which might be true: I'm feeling generally happy and I can barely make a blog work properly- why are those pictures and hyperlinks just jibberish today instead of thumbnails?
Maybe this already happened. After all, I'm not nuked, but thanks to Joel McHale and the Soup I keep getting a glimpse of a very stupid world outside my little sphere.
Beg with all your psychic energy to Space Ulysees that Heidi and Spencer are not the human norm!
Beg, I say!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Yesterday, I bought a comic I've been looking forward to for months. Of course, all the while I was waiting it was ALREADY on sale and I just never saw the thing. So issues 1 and 2 sold out while I was waiting. Oh, why, oh why didn't I ask Happy Harbor to hold it for me? Still. It comes out in trade by October. Probably.
Get this, I love every word of this:
'Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor'.
Written and Illustrated by John Byrne.
Byrne is very probably my all-time favorite comic illustrator. His previous Star Trek stuff for IDW (Assignment Earth, Star Trek Romulans, Star Trek Crew) has been just great. I bought the latter two in trade format and am still seeking the first. This fails to mention a lifetime of achievement in sci-fi and superhero drawin'. He's got more talent than me in every hair of his triple-blessed beard.
Also, McCoy is my utter favorite original Trek character. Sarcastic, slightly pervy, a bleeding heart cynic who wants to help everyone everywhere. This story must be set in 2270 or so, as the doc is sporting his 'ST: The Motion Picture' petulant early retirement beard.
Now, stay with me, in this joke cover McCoy's treating a Puppeteer (!), a beloved two-headed alien from the unutterably groovy Known Space Universe novels of Larry Niven. (seen here)
Both Niven and the puppeteer are sporting beards!
Yes, yes it is.
Don't care. Can't give a proper review for this one, since I want to read it in sequence.
But, frankly, I cannot see any way on God's Grey Earth that I won't love this comic.
So, enjoy your weekends, stroke your beards, and be excellent to each other.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Gonzo The Great, formerly Cigar Box Frackle, (performed with nothing short of genius by Dave Goelz), star of The Muppet Show on stage and screens large and small, appearing in comics, cartoons, theme parks and lunchboxes, this anything muppet is not so much a favorite character as he is one of my very first personal heroes.
Without shame, I assure you, I love Gonzo.
While I have never pursued his interests (I don't even endure roller coasters well, so I won't be catching cannonballs any time soon) and I never dated outside my species (I'd never knock Camilla the Chicken, it seems to work for them), I certainly admire Gonzo's unquenchable enthusiasm.
I hope never to live in a bus station locker or cement mixer, but I'm glad someone can, does, and loves it.
I can't twist my nose completely upside down (oh, not for lack of trying, thanks for the memories, six-year old Mike), but I want to never be afraid to try new things.
Obscure of origin, snazzy of suits, and with the finest of friends, he's known as a weirdo or a whatever.
In one of my favorite exchanges in Boom! Studios The Muppet Show Comic Book by the splendid Roger Langridge, Scooter, pressing for information on Gonzo's species for the insurance forms, approaches him in hospital following a mad, daredevil stunt with a good question:
Weirdo. Artist. Whatever.
Monday, June 7, 2010
It was Universal Pictures' latest, a CGI comedy churned out by the hard-working animators of France and American vocal talent.
And I must respectfully disagree with Bookmonkey's post regarding the awesomeness of 'Despicable Me'.
While Jason Segel's character Vector is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, the true star of the picture and the source of the lion's share of the awesomeness to be had is in the personage of Gru (pictured below).
Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a stone-cold old-school super-villain. Greedy, grasping Gru with his underground lair and his deformed minions and his schemes for wealth & power cannot be ignored. Because it's the CLASSICS, the tried and true, that really stand for something.
Like the heavy, steel, jet-propelled car; great for parallel parking.
Or a creepy old mansion, ideal for cooking up cunning plans.
And nobody will argue for long with a traditional freeze ray.
So, with my hat off to Bookmonkey, he is completely in the wrong: 'Despicable Me' is a gorgeously rendered, cleverly written, devilishly funny film treat, but it all comes down to Mr. Gru.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Gaze into stop-motion monkey eyes and ask yourself that very question, gentle blog-o-phile.
My favourite character this week is from my favourite cartoon of the year: Titan Maximum. From the twisted geniuses what brung us Robot Chicken, nine short episodes to date is simply not enough. When it comes out on DVD this August, I strongly encourage it be purchased, watched, and passed on to others. Especially me. Especially because of... monkey.
His name is Leon, 'voiced' by Dan Milano, although he seems entirely non-verbal. In the selfish, bizarre future human culture on the moon of Titan, this monkey is hard at work on the jobs too dull or dangerous for humans.
One of the great, strong silent types, pilot of the left leg of the giant robot mecha Titan Maximum, grudging token monkey in the human crew Titan Force Five, Leon is adorable, stalwart, competant, and makes the foul-mouthed human douchebags he's surrounded by seem all the more ludicrous.
When you can't say something nice...