crazy colored glasses

Friday, August 26, 2011

Quarterback Solution?

Before the pre-season started, there was all sorts of speculation about an impending deal between the Dolphins and the Broncos. Orton to Miami was what was being touted. Kyle Orton would be shipped down to the the Dolphins for a 2nd round pick and the Broncos would move forward with last season's first rounder Tim Tebow.

The talks then started to fall apart when the Dolphins would only offer a 3rd rounder and didn't want to renegotiate Orton's contract. With no deal in place, everything went back to the way it was before. Orton leading the first team in Denver and Chad Henne leading the squad in Miami (although training camp hecklers booed him voraciously while chanting for Orton).

Kyle Orton is a decent QB who has the support of the front-office as well as Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd and new (conservative) head coach John Fox. All of that has relegated the talented but raw Tebow to the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th string. Lloyd was the first player to come to Orton's defense over Tebow. Stating how much the organization would be. Orton is a very efficient QB. Last year was clearly the best season in his career. He put up great numbers, yet the team went 3-10 under him. He's really the best choice for the organization? I mean it's pretty simple, you know what you get from him. With Tim Tebow though, you really don't know what you'll get.

I was surprised Elway and the front-office left Tebow's side so quickly. I mean wasn't Elway a strong-armed, mobile QB who was frustrated with a cookie-cutter offense under Dan Reeves and Wade Phillips. Wasn't his life chanegd when Mike Shanahan arrived and loosened the reigns a bit and let Elway improvise more? I'm not saying Tebow could be another Elway, I just think he provides the offense more options than the stationary Orton. As for John Fox, I think he's okay. I do think he's a little overrated, and simply didn't want another season of a green QB after Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore last year with the Panthers. But is sticking with Orton really the answer?

I think I have a solution that will benefit all parties. Rekindle talks with the Dolphins. Instead of offering Orton, offer Tebow. It's obvious he'll never get his shot in Denver. Elway and Fox aren't willing to put their reputations on the line and take a chance with the kid. They should ship him off to Miami for whatever they can get (I mean isn't even getting a 3rd or 4th rounder worth it for a 3rd or 4th string QB). Miami could then utilize him and play even more Wildcat. Think of the varied looks he could give them on offense. I mean they do a bunch of Wildcat packages in already. Plus think about the possibilities of Tebow standing next to Reggie Bush in the backfield. It would be a matchup nightmare. Plus, Tebow is basically a god in Florida. The merchandise would fly off the shelves (I mean in his limited role for the Broncos, Tebow's jersey is a Top 5 seller in the league). The Dolphins could easily build for the future (they won't be contenders this year anyway, what do they have to lose?) while generating buzz and merchandise sales. It could be an easy win all around. The Broncos get to start Orton and try to win more than the 3 games he won for them last year, Tebow gets a chance to start in the NFL. Makes sense to me.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Thunder... Thunder.... Thundercats Hoooooooo!

My poor wife has had to listen to me rave about the new Thundercats cartoon (Friday nights at 8:30pm Eastern) every day since the new show premiered (about 4 weeks now). So I've decided to share my ravings with all of you.

Just about every major cartoon property of the late 80's has resurfaced over the past few years. Masters of the Universe beat everyone out of the box from 2002-2004. Since then G.I. Joe (both Sigma Six and Renegades), Transformers (New Generation and Prime) and Voltron (the new wretched Voltron Force) have all relaunched. While some have been hits, others have simply missed (see my parens above on Voltron). All of which made me be skeptical of the new Thundercats.

I was a huge fan of the original series. I loved the opening of the show (the best animated opening of any 80's property) and thought the characters were great. Upon adult viewing, the episodes are more than a little hokey, but I still loved them. The action figures were even better (I still have my original Lion-O, Panthro, Tygra and Mumm-Ra). My love for the originals definitely made me wary of the relaunch... until it premiered.

The new Thundercats is far better (even after 4 episodes) than the original. The stories have been great. The animation is head and shoulders above any of the previously mentioned relaunches. The voice acting is amazing (Andrea Romana did a great job casting this series with former DC Universe voice actors). Everything on the show is top-notch. All of it makes for small-screen magic. To say the Thundercats is the best animated series on TV right now would be an understatement. It's one of the best series period. If you haven't yet given this show a shot, try and tune in. Better yet find "The Song of the Petalers" episode online, trust me, you won't be disappointed.

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Two Steps Back

I'm not generally a continuity stickler in comics. As long as the stories (and art) are good, I'll keep coming back and reading. That's why DC's announcement of the DCNU have left me excited. Retconning the whole line and starting at issues #1 is a move I'm excited about and eagerly anticipating (save for a few things like Superman and Lois' marriage, but that's a story for another day).

I do have one complaint though, and it's aimed at both Marvel and DC. Before my complaint, let's rewind a little.

Over the past few years, Marvel and DC have featured deaths to marquee characters. At Marvel, Captain America, and at DC, Batman. As we now know, both characters were trapped in time and had to work their way back to the present. While assumed dead, former sidekicks Bucky Barnes and Dick Grayson stepped up to assume the mantles of Captain and Batman.

In fact, they more then filled in. They far exceeded the expectations I had. Bucky and Dick were a new breed of heroes. Heroes for my generation. Heroes who had huge boots to fill, and gigantic legacies to live up to. Heroes, who like us, struggle and make mistakes. They seemed more fallable than their predecessors. For me, that meant they were more accessible and far easier to relate to.

Two of the best books by both Marvel and DC over the past two years have been Captain America, Batman & Robin and Detective Comics (written by the brilliant Scott Snyder). All-star creative teams on the books didn't hurt (Brubaker/Epting, Morrison/Quietly and the aforementioned Snyder/Francavilla & Jock), but I think part of the success of each of the titles was because of how these modern heroes really resonated with fans. So, fast forward to today, and how do the big two repay these great characters (and us fans who stuck with them)? In Dick Grayson's case they relegate him back to Nightwing in the DCNU. For Bucky, he suffers an even worse fate. In Fear Itself #3 he was killed, so that Steve Rogers could reassume the role of Captin America (just in time for the release of the Captain America movie).

The slights to these heroes is a huge slap in the face to the characters and us fans alike. I liked Bucky and Dick in their leading roles more than I liked Steve and Bruce. But now it feels like both have been sent back down to the minors. These guys don't need more seasoning, they are stars who are being wrongly demoted (and killed) so that DC and Marvel can sell more of the same old stories. I for one will not support the new historical Cap and Bucky comic. I feel like I've read them already. I'll buy Nightwing, but only because of Scott Snyder, I will be skipping a bunch of new Bat titles though. I've read Bruce as Batman, and I like Dick better. I know I'm in the minority, but I was ready for the change.

In comics, the industry is always trying to get younger and encourage new readers to pick up books. By going back to tired originals, the big two lose traction they gained with younger, more relatable heroes. In essence, instead of going forward, they've taken two steps back.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Beavis & Butthead pitch

At work, we were coming up with a pitch for Beavis & Butthead. With the idea being Beavis trying out to be in our magazine. It was a fun idea, but it had no art. I decided I could take the work home and put it together, then finish it up in the office the next day. Here is the finished piece with pencils and ink.

After I bought it into the office and scanned it, I passed it along to my co-worker who perfectly added the colors and banner. As the deal is not closed yet, I removed the text. I'm pretty confident this will sell, and once it does, I'll put up the final piece.

All in all, from brainstorming meeting to sketching and executing to delivering the client... less than 24 hours.

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