Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

Comic books, comic strips, and graphic novels

 


Qapla!

Klingon culture has invaded our media — news, print, and film:

On Comedy Central, Jon Stewart reported on Representative David Wu's likening of the White House administration to faux Klingons. A couple of guest commentators from the original series provided hilarious lampoons of Wu, themselves, and pop culture. Beyond the obvious humor, though, is Wu to be commended or criticized for speaking the people's language in the House of Representatives? Is he effectively hip to pop culture, or is he dumbing down American politics? More important: would Wu's comparison have been strengthened by substituting Cardassians for Klingons?

Meanwhile, if last week's TRON comic book didn't sate your geek appetite, perhaps this week's TNG comic book will.

Further, the silver screen seems to be sporting a new film about 300 bloodthirsty, aggressive, barbaric Klingons defending Qo'noS against the Hur'q. Doubtless we'll be subjected to bat'leths, mek'leths, and many other pointy sources of violence.

Finally, my favorite Klingon joke:

Why did Worf color his hair?

… Because it was a good day to dye!!

Yes, I know — that's a joke deserving of Hegh'bat


Mock Turtle Soup

New trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is up.

I grew up in the Eighties, which this decade of the Naughties is desperate to emulate, with its revivals of He-Man, G. I. Joe, and TMNT. While I think it's great that today's kids have access to the quality programming that taught so many of my peers to venerate Saturday morning, it's also challenging to see these elements of my youth being reinvented in less-than-faithful ways.

In this instance, the TMNT movie doesn't look half bad. I've never seen the new animated series, so I don't know how this CGI film compares to it — but the movie seems to retain the combination of action and comedy that made the original show so captivating. (The tendency among my peers is to see the entertainment from their childhood mature along with them — but if it's a dark TMNT you want, go back to the original comic books.)

I'm worried about the animation style, though. The models all seem too comical, almost Pixar-ish, which I don't feel behooves what they're trying to do. Though "ninja turtles" is far from a plausible concept, I think the absurdity of the situation would be better served by realistic representations. Let the animation be the straight man; otherwise, the over-the-top actions and situations are likely to be dismissed as cartoonish. Juxtaposition — know what I mean?


End of line.

TRON Comic Book Cover

A TRON comic book! It's an original story set six months after the events of the TRON 2.0 computer game. I almost missed this book, and chances are I'm not the only one. Be sure to visit your local comic book shop to pick up the third issue, hitting stands on January 17th.

The original TRON is a must-have in any geek's library, such that I included it in the curriculum of the film class I taught, to ensure its legacy is not lost upon the next generation of geeks. I shan't waste time preaching to the choir, waxing its clearly evident values — but I will share my two favorite tangential memories it inspired.

I once got to see this classic film presented on the silver screen, "enhanced" by a pre-scripted, MST3K-style commentary written and performed by the crew of The Truly Dangerous Company, makers of fine Star Wars spoofs. I've asked many times if the script is available for public presentation, but no dice thus far.

Better still was when I attended the (now-defunct) Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2003. I knew Bruce Boxleitner would be on hand to promote TRON 2.0, so I brought my 20th anniversary TRON DVD set for him, Cindy Morgan, and Steve Lisberger to autograph. (As I waited in line, even at this nerd Mecca would passersby would ask me what TRON was. Isn't that grounds for expulsion?) Though I never watch television, my hotel suitemate had the news on as we got ready for the show that morning, and the marquee at the bottom of the screen displayed among that day's top headlines: "Bruce Boxleitner's birthday!" Why the continued existence of a relatively obscure actor was deemed noteworthy, I'll never know. But after Mr. Boxleitner signed my DVD, I shook his hand and sincerely wished him, "Happy Birthday!"

Upon hearing this, Ms. Morgan, sitting next to him, stopped signing my disc, turned to her former castmate, and punched him in the arm: "It's your birthday?! You didn't tell me that!" To Mr. Lisberger: "Hey, it's Bruce's birthday!"

I embarrassed an icon. How cool is that?