crazy colored glasses

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Comic Book Roundup

I haven't posted about comics in a long time... I've slowly been catching up and now can proudly say that for the first time in what seems like a year... it has finally happened... I have caught up.

It's been a rough couple months for the big two (Marvel and DC), with very uneven stories, rotating creative teams, and overall lateness. In fact the only great books from the big two have been Daredevil, Catwoman, Checkmate, Robin and Captain America.

The purpose of this blog is to list the independent, smaller run books that people havent been paying attention to, but have been far more enjoyable over the past few months than anything put out by Marvel or DC. In no particular order the books that I have enjoyed the most over the last months are: Buffy: Season 8, Star Wars Legacy, Umbrella Academy (all Dark Horse), G.I. Joe Americas Elite (Devils Due), Ex Machina (Wildstorm) and Madman Adventures (Image).

All of those books have the same thing in common. Great and consistent storytelling. In fact most if not all of these books also have great art teams as well. In the case of G.I. Joe the art gives the new more realistic story the perfect feel. I finally feel like I have an adult Joe book for an adult fan. The Buffy book really, truly does feel like Season 8 of the TV series. Joss, Georges and BKV have all done great jobs. Star Wars Legacy started out slowly but has definitely picked up. In fact the last issue turned out to be a nice reveal for any fan of the regular Star Wars comic series. A'sha'raad Hett, Obi Wan Kenobi... very nice. Umbrella Academy plays out like The Incredibles on crack. The first issue was good enough to merit this list. Can't wait to see how the rest of this story pans out. Ex Machina continues to be one of the best things DC publishes through Wildstorm. BKV is a comic superstar. And then of course there is the brilliant Mike Allred on Madman... words can't express how good this story is. He truly is a genius in the comic field.

I've been working on a piece of Madman and the Atomics, hopefully I will have it up this weekend. Its my personal little tribute to the genius of Mike.

Until the big 2 get their acts together I will continue to heavily enjoy the books the independent publishers are putting out. Marvel and DC, please start telling better stories that come out on time... otherwise you'll have more and more fans turning to the independent publishers and turning their backs on characters that they have lots of history with.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday NFL Roundup (on Wednesday)... Week 3

This past weekend we really didn't have a game with a rooting interest during the day, because we were both eagerly anticipating the Cowboys/Bears matchup that evening. So here is my rather pedestrian tour of this past weeks games:

This was the game we spent the most time on. Peyton is my wife's fantasy football QB so whenever we arent watching the Bears or Cowboys its generally the Colts. Plus I think we both enjoy watching the way Peyton has complete command of his offense. It's sick to watch. This ended up being a much more amusing and competitive game than I expected. It would have been interesting to see what the Texans would have done if they were at full strength. The Colts defense didn't look as great as it did the first two weeks. Matt Schaub was pretty plucky and he nearly pulled it out in the second half. Much better game than I anticipated.

Favre is one the best QB's ever... hands down. Plus that defense is a lot better than most people think. In my eyes they are the second best team in the NFC (right now). If they get any semblance of a running game they will be scary. The Chargers on the other hand are in disarray. How they must miss Marty now. I hate Norv Turner as a head coach. He has never won... anywhere. Them and the Saints have to be the two most disappointing teams so far this season. A team with this much talent cannot stay this bad for too long.

Minny vs. KC
This was a snoozefest. Adrian Peterson looks great. He's definitely the real deal. Plus we were finally treated to a good game from Tony G. I still think he is the best tight end in the game. He should catch 9 balls every game. KC wins in a close one... did anyone outside of Minny and KC care... probably not.

NE vs. Buffalo
Another snoozefest. The Pats looked like they were on cruise control and still blew out the Bills. Marshawn running for a touchdown was the only offensive highlight of the game for Buffalo ( and for the Outlaws... run, Marshawn run). Another week, another touchdown for Moss. They are the best in the league right now. On both sides.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Leon Washington provides the only highligh of the game. T. Jones finally arrived for the Jets. I think they will continue to pound the other teams with him running the ball. The next few weeks should be very telling for the Jets.

Detroit vs. Philly
This was a wild one, especially the first half. I hate the Eagles but my fantasy team was very happy for Brian Westbrook. Philly won this one going away, but Roy Williams had a huge day receiving. Until the Philly secondary is healthy they will continue to give up huge days to big receivers.

San Fran/Pittsburgh
Complete Steelers domination. Willie Parker is a machine.

St. Louis/TB
Boring... the new TB defense looks good. Jeff Garcia doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Sounds like a recipe for competitive football. St Louis is a mess right now. No Pace, no Stephen Jackson, no win.

Arizona vs. Baltimore
This game featured the return of Kurt Warner who the missus said "I thought he was bagging groceries again"... I love her. Stover wins the game on a last second field goal. Big receiving day for the Cardinal receivers. Should be interesting to see how Whisenhunt proceeds this season. Does he stick with Warner to win now but hamper the development of Leinart... only time will tell.

Jacksonville surprisingly dominated and looked good. Garrard looked very comfortable. Jaguar defense was nasty as usual. Broncos are way overrated. Easy win for the Jags.

Cleveland at Oakland
I saw most of this game because one of my office mates is a Browns fan (yes... they actually exist) and I like to give him crap. The Browns played a scrappy game and where in it right till they missed a field goal at the end. It was pretty enjoyable. I still gave Lombardo crap because the poopy Browns lost.

Seattle vs. Cincy
Hasselback pulled it out with a late score. Didn't see much of this game. Whenever I turned to it, it was on a commercial which meant... click

Joey Harrington actually played well. Wait, did I just say that... Wait, so did David Carr... this must've been some anamoly. Carolina won a close one.

Couldn't both teams have lost. I hate them both. Somehow the Giants pulled themselves off the ground and won the game. I dont know how... I don't care.

Cowboys vs. Bears
The Main Event. Cowboys really took it to the Bears in the second half. The score was tied at 3 going into the third quarter. Thats when Romo, Owens and Witten took over. Owens and Witten were running unimpeded through the middle of the field. Romo was great. Barber broke loose for a late, long score. All in all a great game for any fan of the Cowboys. This game also starred Good Rex/Bad Rex. Good Rex scrambled for a nice 10 yard run for a first down, then proceeded to drive the Bears down the field for a touchdown. Bad Rex throws 3 Ints. 1 of which is returned for a touchdown. The Cowboys made a statement to the rest of the NFC. They are the best team in the conference.

I had a comfortable 10 point lead in my fantasy league heading into Monday night. I had Drew Brees starting. Thought it would be a cakewalk for the Saints. Boy, was I wrong. The Saints are a mess. A huge disappointment. Titans looked much better than I thought they were. Brees threw 4 Ints and had a fumble. Luckily he didnt give me enough negative points for me to lose. Although he tried.

Here are my fantasy picks for the week. Just as an aside here are how my picks from last week fared. Joseph Addai had 20 fantasy points for running for 2 TD's and nearly 80 yards. Roy Williams (thank you) had 26 points on a TD and 206 receiving yards. Eric Johnson was a big disappointment with only 2 points on a few catches for 23 yards. He suffered from everything the Saints suffered through. These are gonna be layups, but Tom Brady versus the Bengals, Plaxico versus the Eagles, Thomas Jones versus the Bills, Jason Witten against the soft middle of the Rams.

See you next week...


Monday, September 24, 2007

Return of the Kitties

Finally, after weeks of waiting for our babies to be back, last Wednesday the 18th of September our kittens came back home. Yeah they were doing some wacky things, and of course "no kitty" or "down kitty" became part of the general conversation at home... but you know what, all the craziness aside, I was ridiculously happy to have these guys home.

Coming home and opening the door to their room (previously known as the art room) and having them happily scurry out is one of the highlights of my day. They are so loveable and cute. They love to cuddle and purr which makes leaving them in the morning hard, but coming home so much fun.

Welcome home Streaky and Cupid, we missed you.


Bill Simmons pusses out

For years now, one of my favorite things to do was to go to and find Bill Simmons blog. I often found myself either quoting things from it, or telling my friends about some great thing I read there. Which was different for me, because he was a hugely vocal Boston fan. I never had a problem reading how much he supported his teams, because he would always give them crap when they took a mis-step... that has all changed now.

Anyone who has read his coverage of "Cameragate" knows how uneven it has been. I'm all for supporting ones team, but completely letting your team off the hook, while then pointing out every other teams transgressions is more than a little ridiculous. One of the very first things I wanted to read when I first heard about "Cameragate" was what Simmons had to say. Needless to say I was more than a little disappointed. Instead, I got a cream-puffy account of the actual details and then had to read about how all the teams in the league cheat and how the San Diego Chargers have been much more in the wrong. It all sounded like a lot of whining. If it had been discovered that Tony Dungy was filming defensive signals during the AFC Championship game last year I'm sure Bill's opinions would have been very different. He would have wanted the victory overturned, a public apology from Dungy and possibly even Dungy to step down. Giving Belichik and the Patriots organization a free pass was not what I expected by the normally fair Simmons.

On the subject of Simmons pussing out, it leads me to wonder where his baseball columns have been all summer... they've been non-existent. We've been treated to multiple blogs about the new look Celtics (which if Isiah Thomas or any other GM had traded away all their youth for 2 past their prime All-Stars and no bench, he would have lambasted them), giving the Patriots a free-pass, how wonderful Friday Night Lights is... but nothing on his Sox (who have been in first place since April 18). He did blog in early June about how he was worried about jinxing the Sox... are you kidding me. That's complete BS. If the roles had been reversed and it was the Sox trimming a 14.5 game lead to only 1.5 in the last week of the season, we would read about how resilient and plucky they were and how the Yanks have choked and haven't played to their potential the last month and a half. Yet, there has been nothing. He's more than a little worried (as he should be).

Where have you gone Bill Simmons... you used to be a very enjoyable read...


Friday, September 21, 2007

No Thank You, from a proud Geek

I recently turned down a chancce to be featured on the Tyra Banks show. A friend of mine here at the magazine has a friend in casting at Tyra's show. The topic... How Geeks are Cool. How a geek can still love toys, comics, sci-fi, etc. and still be more than functional... and in fact be cool, have a hot wife and so on. When my buddy here got the gist of what the show was about he immediately thought of me. I was honored that he did think of me, because I am a self-defined geek. I love comics. I love action figures. I love video games. I love science-fiction. In fact I love just about anything that can be defined as geeky. More than that, I love my life. I have a great high-profile job. I have an amazing wife. I have a great daughter. I have little to no complaints about the way I live my life.

And thats why I didn't do the show.

I didn't want any snide comments about my life. I didn't want the comparisons to Steve Carrell in 40 Year Old Virgin. I didn't want people telling me to grow up. I didn't want any of that. I'm happy with my life. In fact, happier than I've ever been. Enough so that a attention-hog like myself can say "No thanks" to a naionally televised show.

I am a geek. I fully admit to that, but you know what, I love who I am.

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Not sure...

what I've enjoyed more over the last few weeks. The Yankees slow and steady climb to first, or the New York Mets meltdown.

The teams are exact opposites of each other right now. The once unreliable bullpen of the Yanks has been stabilized by the presence of Joba Chamberlain. He seems to have given the whole pen a shot in the arm. I mean I still do get a stomach ache when Kyle Farnsworth comes into the game, but besides that, this pen reminds me of the '96 pen with a young fireballer (then Mariano, now Joba) leading the way to a dominant closer (then Wetteland, now Mariano). Plus once the playoffs start, whichever starter gets cast out of the rotation will get bumped to the pen. I'm guessing it'll be Phil Hughes, which I think will be great. Another big, strong arm out of the pen. Plus what do they do with Ian Kennedy. A Yankee team going into the playoffs with too many quality pitchers, who would have thought that would have been a problem this season. This team looks better right now then they have all season.

The Mets on the other hand have pitched well all season up until now. Starting pitching has been inconsistent, and the bullpen has been god-awful. I cautioned giddy Mets fans all season. Did they listen when I said "There's not enough quality pitching"... no they didn't. They would all praise El Duque, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, and Oliver Perez, all who I claimed couldnt be counted on down the stretch. This current mess is what they get. Starters who aren't lasting deep into games which causes the bullpen to be over-taxed, all at a time when the Phillies are playing their best ball of the season. Hmmm, it kinda remind me of what was happening in mid-May with the Yanks and the Sox.

I told anyone who would listen that the Mets would collapse in the second-half. It's taken longer than I expected, but its happening... and I'm loving every minute of it.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The P.I.T.F.C.

Iv'e often referred to men who I don't like or who I find to be complete asswipes to be members of The Punch In The Face Club. With the club growing almost daily (depending on what kind of day I'm having or what kind of mood I'm in) I decided to list the first 3 members of the club:

Dane Cook
Is there a more unfunny comedian on the planet. Luckily for the world every movie he's been in has bombed. Now I'm subjected to endless comercials for Good Luck Chuck which stars the lovely but talentless Jessica Alba. This would have been a cable movie for me to watch, but with Dane in it, I think I'll pass. On top of being a complete tool, he shows up in this weeks Sports Illustrated talking about his love for the Red Sox... as if I needed any more reason to hate him, that was it. As an aside what is up with men from Massachusetts as a whole (such Massholes)? Just a question.

Ben Affleck
Again, another talentless male from Mass. What is wrong with that state. He continues to star in flop after flop yet continues to get more work. I don't understand it. In fact I don't remember the last time he was in a movie that was successful. You probably have to think back to Armageddon, which was a commercial success but was a piece of crap film. On top of all that he ruined Jennifer Garner for me. Not only did he knock her up (therefore ruining the last season of Alias), but she constantly gets photographed in a god-awful Red Sox cap. I've told my wife that that would be the way to break up with me. Just show up in Red Sox fan... I would know it was over.

Apolo Anton Ohno
I don't know why, but I was always heavily annoyed by this Olympic Short Track Speed Skater. I think it was right around the time of the last winter Olympics where his face was plastered on every magazine possible. He was moderately successful at the Olympics, but I remember his constant whining whenever he didn't win a gold. Then he started a rivalry with another U.S. skater (Shani Davis) who beat him in a few races. Way to pull for your fellow countryman Apolo. Of course he is also the most current champion of Dancing With the Stars. Yet another reason to dislike him.


Tuesday NFL Roundup... Week 2

I'm hoping I can sign on every Tuesday and give my opinions and observations of the past weekends NFL games.

Seeing as it was our first weekend of the football season that we got to bask in the wonderfulness that is DirecTV's Sunday Ticket, we saw bits and pieces of every game this weekend. Some of my thoughts...

Best game of the weekend hands down was the Ohio-shootout, Cleveland against Cincinnati. 6 TD's for Carson Palmer, 5 TD's for Derek Anderson, 216 yards and a TD for Jamal Lewis (who incredibly sat on my fantasy football bench... what was I thinking)... was there any defense being played in this game. Regardless of the lack od defense is was nice to see a good old-fashioned shootout. Definitely the highest scoring game I've ever seen.

Colts versus Titans. We spent much of the early games watching this game. Peyton is my wife's starting fantasy QB so we need to watch whats going on with him. Besides that, watching Vince Young is always fun. Those Titans are scrappy and the defense is quick enough to keep them in a lot of games this year. Some surprisingly bad clock management by the Colts at the end of the game made this game a lot closer than it needed to be.

Giants versus GB. I really couldn't bear to watch. I'm usually against watching Giant games as I was forced to watch every Giant game over the last 25 years due to the local contracts. Thank God for the Sunday Ticket. The Packers will be a lot better than people think this year. Good defense, serviceable offense. If Favre can get any kind of a running game they could be a really good team.

SF vs. St. Louis... again, I really didn't watch except for a few minutes here or there. Saw Gore run for a touchdown which was nice for him with the rough week he had with his mom passing away.

Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo... Was excited to see Marshawn run... unfortunately that Steelers defense looks sick and the Bills fell into such a big hole early they had to pass a lot in the second half. I'm going to continue to start him though. i think this kid willl be huge.

N.O. vs. T.B... the most frustrating of the early games for me. I started Drew Brees over Tony Romo and started Chris Chambers over Joey Galloway. Bad move on both fronts. Bucs destroyed them. I'm starting to think that the the Saints are not for real. No defense and the offense has looked pretty inept. They need to start to get Deuce into the game more often. He means a lot more to that offense than people really think. Reggie Bush sells more jerseys, but if the Saints want to win, they will set the tempo with Deuce.

Houston/Carolina. Didn't really care for this game (Texans won). It had no fantasy ramifications for me. So I only saw a few minutes of this game before moving on. I am excited for this weekends Colts/Texans game. I thin kPeyton will light them up.

Atlanta/Jacksonville. I think Atlanta is the worst team in the league. Jacksonville has been very disappointing running the ball. MJD where are you. I can't keep telling everyone to start him because of his homerun potential without actually having him hit a homeruun soon. Why won't the Falcons hurry up and sign Leftwich. He is an upgrade over Harrington. They should pull the trigger on that quickly.

Detroit/Minny. Too many turnovers. Very sloppy game. Boring game to watch. Detroit 2-0... crazy.

Dallas versus Miami. Obviously the game I most anticipated for the afternoon. Romo wasn't very accurate, but kept from turning over the ball. He really doesn't make a lot (or any) mistakes. He manages the game very well. I'm very happy with him leading the team. Barber III continues to impress me with his hard inside running. He attacks the defense and the offense just looks better with him in there (sorry Julius). The defense looked better. The corners still looked weak, I can't wait for Newman to start again. Hopefully he'll be in this week against the Bears. Pressure up the midle will be key this week as Rex gets easily flustered with pressure up the middle. James and Ayodele blitzing against the Bears will be key. All in all it was a nice win against the Dolphins.

Seattle/Arizona... didn't pay a lot of attention to this game. Came down to a game winning field goal so it must have been exciting. Happy to see Arizona beat Seattle.

Chicago versus KC. Our other big viewing game of the afternoon. The Bears ran out to a big lead and then held on as Rex tried to throw away the game. I know the o-line wasn't great, but Rex has got to be better with the ball. The screen pass he threw for an interception was just ridiculous. Mistakes like that against the Chiefs are one thing, against the Cowboys a mistake like that could cost them the game. My favorite play of the game was THE MANBEAST (Urlacher) going airborne to sack Damon Huard. Huard smartly ended the game on the bench... he had gotten enough of a beating.

Denver versus Oakland. Hated the ending of the game. Think Shanahan is evil for calling that timeout to ice Janikowski. There should be some rule against that. He crushed that kick and nailed the field goal only to be told it didn't count because the Broncos had called a timeout. I hope Denver has a miserable season.

Jets/Ravens. The Jets actually made this game a lot closer than i thought it would be. I thought the Ravens would dominate, but the Jets were right in there at the end. Mangini is a good coach. Not ready to call him the Mangenius, but I thin khe calls a good game and keeps these games close. Think the Jets record will be worst than last year, but they will be a strong team that is in every game.

N.E. vs. S.D. Big statement game for the the Patriots, and the delivered. They pushed the Chargers around in the first hand and then withstood everything they had to offer in the second half. They are the top team in the league and dont look like anything short of a Belichik resignation could slow them down. Brady is the calmest QB in the league, and with the weapons he has now he is unstoppable. The defense also looks strong as well. Its scray to think about how strong they will be when Seymour and Harrison return... scary.

Redskins/Eagles. This game put me to sleep. Borinnnnggggg, Luckily Westbrook scored enough fantasy points to give me a victory. Campbell looked decent in beating the Eagles, who I think are in serious trouble. The Eagles might be a 7 win team at the most.

It was a good Week 2. Looking forward to the Cowboys/Bear and Colts/Texans this weekend. Joeseph Addai against the Texans defense, Roy Williams versus the Eagles defense and Eric Johnson(TE) against the Titans are my fantasy picks of the weeks.


Monday, September 17, 2007

G.I. Joextravaganza... WETSUIT: Top Joe of All-Time

So last week while basking in the euphoria of the new 25th Anniversary Joe's and still posting my faves of the 80's and 90's Joes I spilled the beans over who my top Joe of all-time was. This won't come as a surprise to anyone who has spoken to me about G.I. Joes. My favorite Joe of all-time is Wet Suit.

From the cartoon to the comic to the figures, he was always my favorite. In the comics and cartoon he was a little pompous and cocky on the show, but I feel like I've always related to characters like that. When I originally received this figure, it didn't take very long for him to become my favorite. He had great accessories as well as an amazing sculpt and color scheme. I loved the back pack with the breathing apparatus that connected to the facemask. As well as the orange sled and backpack and the black flippers which attached to the figure with pegs in the feet. Everything about this figure was well thought out and executed. Easily my favorite Joe of the original series.

I also always loved his filecard where it talked about how highly trained and nasty navy seals were, and how Wet Suit was the best of the bunch. "He's wild and and unruly, but simply the best at what he does".

The largest Wet Suit pictured above is the original release. My main man JP, who shortly after meeting me heard I was so sad because going through my Joes the previous weekend I learned that my Wet Suit was broken, brought me a new one. I came in the day after meeting him, and Wet Suit was sitting on top of my computer. The rest, as they say, is history. He and I are best of friends. So much so that he was my best man in my wedding. The Wet Suit on bended knee is from the 1998 Toys R Us exclusive release of the Navy Assault Team. The one without the helmet (the worst of the bunch) is the 1993 release. The bulky one right to the left of that is the 2002 release. This was the infamous non-o-ring Joe series. I thought this figure was really well made. Nice sculpt and similar accessories to the original, all in an updated color scheme. Wet Suit has been and always will be my favorite Joe of all-time.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Are you ready for some football...

OK, I know this post is like a week late, but I figured better late than never. We were on the road last weekend so I couldnt get in front of a computer and make my ridiculous (not so much) football predictions.

In April I wrote on my calendar that the New England Patriots would win the Super Bowl. After watching a bit of their first game, I still feel the same way. On paper they are as strong as they have ever been. Once the defense gets all it's key players back (Seymour and Harrison) there might not be any hope for the rest of the league. Coming into the season I also felt like the most dominant teams were in the AFC. Week 1 confirmed that.

Two teams from the AFC dismantled the NFC's final two from last season. The Colts routed the Saints 41-10 and the Chargers outlasted the Bears 14-3.In my opinion top 3 teams in the league, Patriots, Colts and Chargers are all from the AFC. I think Pittsburgh, Cincy and Denver will round out the playoffs in that conference, with the Patriots squeeking by the Chargers in a hotly contested championship game.

The NFC is whole different story. I think there will be lots of flipping around and jostling for position all year. All except with one team, The Chicago Bears. I still think they are the best team in the NFC. They still have a ridiculously dominant defense and a highly underrated offense (as long as Corky, excuse me, Rex stops throwing the ball to the other team). No team made themselves good enough to overtake them. I think the Cowboys will be a 10+ win team and win the East. Their defense will play much better when Terrence Newman and Greg Ellis return from injury. In my eyes, that is the one team in the NFC that can give the Bears a run for their money. Which would make Casa Vega a house divided, seeing as how my love is from right outside Chicago and loves her Bears (she rocks on Sweetness jersey for gamedays... she's hardcore). I still think thoe Cowboys and Bears will meet in the NFC title game, with the Bears taking a close one. Seattle, New Orleans, Carolina and Green Bay will be the other NFC playoff representatives. I also think the Lions and 49ers will be greatly improved. Not sure if they'll make the playoffs, but they'll be in the fight till the end.

Here are some of the other ridiculous and not so ridiculous preictions I've made over the summer regarding this football season (in no particular order): Marshawn Lynch will be offensive rookie of the year while racking up 1,300 yards and 10+ touchdowns, Tony Romo will throw for 4,000 yards and have over 30 TD's, Tom Brady will be the MVP, Wes Welker will have 90 catches, the breakout wide receiver will be Santonio Holmes (not Vincent Jackson like everyone is predicting), Vernon Davis will have 70+ receptions, LaMont Jordan will have a nice 1,000 yard bounce back season... i'm sure I made more crazy predictions, but I can't think of them right now.

Being on the road last weekend also meant missing two of the things which are synonymous with football for me my loves delicious wings, and tiny (i'll post his picture later... it's on the home compter). Luckily this weekend I will be able to plop myself on the couch and get my games on. God bless DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package.


Is it me...

...or did Heather from Rock of Love get lost on the way to the other VH1 reality show Hogan Knows Best. She looks like the Hulkster without a goatee. Check out the evidence below.

Call me crazy, but I think they were separated at birth... if not the same person with bad fake boobs and no facial hair!


Reason 10,000,329 I Love My Baby

Who else in the world (besides myself) would be super-excited to watch our new favorite Bravo show (at least until PR4 arrives) Tim Gunn's Guide To Style and then be able to switch gears and be genuinely excited to watch HBO's Inside the NFL... I mean not only does she watch it and loves the NFL Films highlights (she comments about the great camera angles) as well as jokes about how pained Chris Collinsworth seems whenever he has to do a round-table discussion with the braindead duo of Dan Marino and Chris Carter ("Look at him, he looks like he wants to stab himself in the ears").

Trust me, I know how rare and special she is. I love her dearly.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

25th Anniversary G.I. Joes part 2... another Snake Eyes

Another day, another 25th Anniversary Joe post. This was the only figure I picked up that wasn't part of the box sets. I saw this and I had to have it.

This is a Snake Eyes figure based on the cartoon version of the character, which was based on the second Snake Eyes release. This figure also came with Timber but he wasn't photographed here. Just like the version I posted yesterday, no corners were cut here. This figure is unreal. Sculpting and articulation are the best ever for a Snake Eyes. Sword, uzi and grenade belt (which is removeable) are nice touches. The paint apps on this piece are great as well, the little small details (buckles, pocket flaps, etc.) really take this figure over the top. This figure is great. It could just be that when I think of Snake Eyes this is the version I think. This is the way he looked in the cartoon, so for me, this really is Snake Eyes. A truly great G.I. Joe.


Who would have thought...

that I would miss saying down kitty, no kitties, cords are not for kitties, brothers dont fight... or anything else.

I miss the cats. I hope they can come home soon. Here's a picture of Streaky in his supercat cape.

I truly have never been a cat person and didn't think I would ever say that I miss the cats, but I do. I miss being able to come home and open the art room door and have those little fellas excitedly run out. Get well soon, I want you guys home.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

25th Anniversary G.I. Joes (aka the new Top 10)

As I mentioned before, I had been working on a All-Time Top 10 G.I. Joe list. I had poured out all my old classic Joe's and had started to have my wife shoot these all. I had graphics ready and a whole list that I was working on, I had images all shot, and then these 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe's were released, and the whole list changed. These new figures were so much better than the originals (I know I'm going to be thrown out of Joe purists clubs, but whatever these figures are that good).

I think everything about these figures is superior to the originals. The articulation, coloring, accessories, sculpt... everything. These figures have an amazing amount of articulation for figures this small. Everything on these figures seems to have been thought out. Especially in the case of Snake Eyes. Holsters for the guns and knives. A cocked finger to put through the trigger on the gun. Sculpting around the collar on the neck of the figure. As an aside, anyone who is currently reading the Joe comics knows that this figure is almost picture perfect with the Snake Eyes that is currently depicted in those pages.

The box-set was beautifully produced as well. The packaging is great. The colors are bright and vibrant. The file cards are well written. It also includes a Joe logo that sings the theme song of the show (how awesome is that). And of course incredibly crafted figures. At the end of the day that is the allure for me. Perfectly made G.I. Joe figures. All in all a perfect set.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Coooooobbbbrrrrrrraaaaaaaaa!!!... Serpentor

No Top Joes/Cobra list would be complete for me without Serpentor. My only wish was that I still had the complete figure with cape and skiff. This was one of the best designed and sculped Cobra figures ever. My allure in first wanting this figure was the great origin they gave him on the cartoon. I remember running home to catch the latest installment of the 5 part series to see just what Cobra was up to. I mean it was great, splicing the DNA of the great despots in history. Of course rewatching those cartoons as an adult I realize how cheesy they actually were, but whatever, I loved it as a child.

In the comics Serpentor was always handled a little uneasily. Was he a partner to Cobra, a leader of a subdivision or something else entirely. Who knows... who cares. What he was, was an amazing action figure.

I always remember playing Joes with my older brother and younger sister. We would sit there and draft teams of Joes, Serpentor was always one of those go-to-joes for me. Right after my numbers 1 and 2 figures (Wetsuit and Blizzard) I always struggled for my 3 which was a toss up between Snake Eyes and Serpentor. That is how highly I thought of this figure.

Design/Sculpt and color scheme easily make this figure one of the finest of all the Joes.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Be Consistent

This weekend we were on a long road trip up to New Hampshire, while listening to ESPN radio, I came across the very uneven coverage on Rick Ankiel. Here's a little history on Ankiel...

Ankiel was a pitchin gphenom for the St. Louis Cardinals in the late 90's. He burst onto the scene in 1999 at the age of 20. In his first full season (2000) he was 11-7 with nearly 200 strikeouts for a St. Louis team that made the playoffs. He was sure to be a cornerstone in the rotation for years. Then came the playoffs, where the Cardinals faced the Atlanta Braves. Tony LaRussa foolishly pitched Ankiel in game one of the playoffs... way too much pressure for a 21 year old kid. Needless to say the pressure was too much and the kid broke down on the mound. He walked 4 and threw 5 wild pitches in the third inning. He was never the same pitcher again. He had problems with his control for the rest of his pitching career. Over the next 4 seasons Ankiel shuttled back up and down from the minors, but never could recapture what he once had.

During the winter of 05 after playing in the Puerto Rico Winter League Ankiel decided he was giving up pitching and making a switch to the outfield. Ankiel always was a very good hitter for a pitcher. With nothing to lose the Cardinals (which still held onto his rights) gave him a shot in spring training. By showing some power and very nice fielding skills in the outfield, the Cardinals held onto him and gave him a shot. Unfortunately before the season even started he injured his knee and was out for the season. I'm sure it seemed like to most that his career might have been over.

Spring training 07 saw Ankiel return from knee surgery to again impress with is power and fielding. Without a spot in the regulr outfield rotation LaRussa sent him down to Triple A, where he could play regularly. Facing a higher level of pitching Ankiel really flourished. Through early August Ankiel had 32 homers and 90 RBI's. With injuries and drug problems freeing up roster spots the struggling Cardinals needed a shot in the arm and turned to Ankiel. Since his return the Cardinals have run back into the thick of the playoff mix and he has completely flourised. Through a little more than 150 at bats Ankiel had shown great power by hitting 11 homerunns with 38 RBI's.

It seemed like it was a great storybook ending (or beginning seeing how he's still only 28) for a player who flamed out on a national stage and worked his ass off to get back to the show. I'm sure Disney was writing the script and contacting Mark Wahlberg to play Ankiel already. Then last week, it was revealed that Rick received HGH over the course of 15 months from the Florida doctor who was illegally supplying banned substances to pro athletes and wrestlers.

HGH is banned in the major leagues, but its not tested for. Apparently, there is no test for HGH. The thing I was most upset about over the coverage about this was the free-pass most sportcasters and columnists were giving Ankiel. In my eyes this is just like what Barry Bonds did. If what Barry did was wrong why should Ankiel not be held to the same standard. If its wrong for one person to used banned substances it should be wrong for all. Is part of the problem that Bonds is a surly african-american while Ankiel is a happy-go-lucky white underdog. Almost like we were supposed to forgive Ankiel because he was a pitcher who had flamed out and fought his way back to the majors. I'm sorry, that doesn't sit well with me. If it was wrong for Bonds or Canseco or Palmiero, it was wrong for Ankiel. C'mon, lets be consistent in our opinions

I dont think we should look at race or status within the game when passing judgement over players who have used banned or illegal substances. They should all be looked at the same way... either it's always wrong or you're willing to shrug your shoulders and think like I do, that we are in the Steroid Era, its a sad way to look at this game I love, but there is no way to know who was on or not. That's the simple reality.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

G.I. Joextravaganza... Part 5: Dialtone

I started months ago to list my Top 10 Joes of all time. This really started out by my love testing out her new camera equipment and needing some subjects. So I broke out the Joe's. I hit a screeching halt lately while posting about everything else... but here I am with next installment of my Joe Top 10.

Above is Dialtone (Jack Morelli), released in 1990 as part of the Sonic Fighters. I received this as a Christmas gift from my Aunt Becy (not really my aunt, but my mom's good friend) and I loved it. The original version of Dialtone released in 1986 had a gross color scheme that I never cared for. When I saw the preview for this figure I quickly added it to my holiday wishlist. The color scheme was dark and worked well with a special ops character. Besides the back pack (not pictured... I can't find any of the accessories) which made battle sounds, Dialtone came with an impressive grenade launcher which was one of my favorite Joe weapons. Dialtone was always the geeky Joe communications expert, but with this color scheme I thought he could be taken more seriously.

As an aside, I will be storming through the rest of my Top 10 list. The reason being I just picked up the two 25th Anniversary 5 packs and I must say these are the best G.I. Joe figures of all time. So whatever list I was creating has to start from scratch... these figures are that good. Sadly it doesn't look like a 25th Anniversary Wetsuit will be in the works. These figures are much more heavily articulated, and the weapons and accessory packs are quite impressive. Truly great figures. I look forward to having these photographed soon.


If Han Solo was a Quarterback he'd be Joe Montana

While I was watching Sportscenter with the wife this weekend they played a story on Joe Montana's sons who are both playing QB for their high school team. One varsity and one junior varsity. It was a cool story about how they look up to their dad and how they listen to the advice he gives. What I found most interesting was that when they played pop warner football they played with their mother's maiden name on their jerseys as to stop the questions and scrutiny they would face.

While watching that segment it got me thinking as to just how good Joe Montana was. In my opinion he is the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. He did it all, he was accurate, he was mobile, he was smart, and he won... he was also supremely confident, some might even say cocky. Which led me to tell my wife "If Han Solo were a quarterback he'd be Joe Montana". That was one of the highest compliments I could pay him.

Han was great and he knew it. Always cool and confident under pressure. There was never a more collected big game qb. He never seemed flustered. We've all heard the famous story when the Niners were down in the Super Bowl to the Bengals with less than 2 minutes to play. The team is incredibly nervous, Joe steps into the huddle and says "Hey, Is that John Candy in the first row"... not what a nervous team was expecting, but that was Joe. He knew how to cut the tension. He then easily guided the Niners down the field for the winning touchdown pass to John Taylor.

Its easy to forget how great he was. To me, he will always be Joe Cool. The greatest quarterback who ever played the game... I do reserve the right to change my mind should Peyton win a few more Super Bowls.

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Fantastic Four

I drew this piece a few weeks ago (2 i think) but it took me forever to get ink it and now post it. I got distracted with trying to get a Flash redesign reviewed (sadly that didn't happen). The last week I drew Harley Quinn and got her up quickly.

The pencils on this piece took quite a while. I split them over two days (it was probably 3 total hours of pencilling). The Thing is a pain to draw, and I had no idea what to do with Johnny. How do you make him look like he's on fire without any coloring... a bit of a challenge. Sue and Reed I thought looked great. The inking also took quite a bit of time. I would say that took an additional 3-4 hours. All in all I would say this was one of the longer pieces I've done.

I haven't added in any grays which I still need to do. Sue's butt is looking a little flat, and Johnny and Ben could use a little more depth. Here is the image without the grays.

Now I blogged last week about how I thought John Bryne was the best ever FF creator. Here are a few other artists which I think have done great jobs on the FF over the years (some of these will seem familiar): Jim Lee, Salvador Larrocca, Carlos Pacheco, Steve McNiven, Michael Turner and of course Jack Kirby.

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