Posts Tagged ‘fanboy’

God’s Gift to Oxygen

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Well, my Scary Go Round competition entry is up on their site today. The last time SGR ran a competition, I entered like a good little fanboy, but didn’t make it to the runners up (and the main site). I quite liked it, but I have to admit, the actual artwork was rather tossed off.

So, this time I decided to spend a bit of time on it (not to mention throw in a lot of references to old characters and storylines from Scary Go Round’s past). And pictures of hot goth girls can’t have hurt, either.

Share

Upside Down

Monday, July 28th, 2008

So what is it about upside down lightsabers? Throughout the Star Wars expanded universe artists are constantly depicting lesser known Jedi with their swords held the wrong way round. This year we have two big Star Warsular events on the horizon, The upcoming Clone Wars animated TV series/Pilot movie, and The Force Unleashed video game. The former prominently features a jailbait alien padawan babe brandishing her saber widdershins, whereas the latter (seemingly in development for the last 53 years, and undoubtedly the Shadows of the Empire of the noughties) focuses on Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, the intertextually named ‘Starkiller’, who also doesn’t know the pointy end from the blunt one. Innumerable fan films and comic books also include this bizarre phenomenon.

I once spent a very enjoyable day playing the much maligned Playstation game Jedi Power Battles, in which the token female Jedi Council member Adi Gallia was depicted using a lightsaber in the Australian fashion (and it was red too, what was meant to be going on there?)

Sure it looks cool, and for all I know it could be based on a real martial art technique, but I don’t recall anyone in the actual movies doing it. In order to point the blade out in front of you, you would have to have your elbow up in the air, which can’t be comfortable can it?

Share

Jedi Poodooh!

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

I’ve always said that going to the cinema just isn’t the same when it’s not a Star Wars film (look, I never claimed to be a complex individual, all right? Like Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Jango Fett, I’m just a simple kinda man). The first movie I saw at the cinema was Empire, and a year or so after that I finally got to see Star Wars (on the double bill with Empire), and luckily for me it was before it appeared on television or video. And since then I’ve seen every episode on the big screen, right up till a midnight showing of Revenge of the Sith, amid an audience full of people waving Master Replicas lightsabers in the air.

So how weird then, how odd to go to the cinema to see not a new Star Wars movie, but a cartoon spin off (actually the first few episodes of the new TV series)? The (so far) universally critically panned cinema release of The Clone Wars has the obvious problem of not standing up to its live action progenitors, and the fact that none of its major players can be allowed to be killed, or change, or do pretty much anything of importance that might encroach on the overall saga.

This major stumbling block, along with a much more light hearted, kid friendly tone, appropriate to what is essentially a Saturday morning cartoon, has seemingly outraged the online nerd community. On the plus side we don’t get any teeth grindingly bad angsty scenes like the ‘you are in my very soul’ bit from Episode 2, or Episode 3’s ‘you’re so beautiful’ ‘only because I’m so in love with you’  a scene seemingly included by George Lucas solely to test the patience of his audience. Sure we’ve all said this kind of embarrassing drivel in our private lives but I don’t need to see it in a movie. Actually, I’m sure there was a sarcastic allusion to Anakin’s infamous ‘sand’ chat up line in The Clone Wars.

Technically it’s an amazing looking feature when you consider it’s meant for television (albeit the High Def end of the market), but on a big screen, some of the TV origins are evident the series was apparently made on the cheap, such as synchronised walk cycles on the clonetroopers. They’re clones not robots! Having said that I’d rather watch these funky CGI marionettes than some big name, big budget, bland exercise in cynicism like Shrek (don’t get me started on Shrek!).

 

A Senuhtuh...? Heeyah...?

A Senuhtuh...? Heeyah...?

 

 

I’m genuinely surprised by the invective that The Clone Wars has provoked, but not as surprised as I am that every single review has not sarcastically stated that Hayden Christensen was out-acted by a bunch of pixels. Incidentally, I never thought he was a bad actor, just a really weird actor! Some of his more bizarre line deliveries in the prequels suggested that he was attempting to channel some of James Earl Jones’ more bizarre line deliveries (such as ‘When I left you, I was a learner. Now I! Am, the master’). I mean that had to be the reason, right? However, his CGI manque still resembles him, which put the thought in the back of my mind that he would not be the most suitable master for a teenage female padawan. I mean, the guy looks like he hangs round high schools after cheerleader practice, looking to pick up chicks in his boy racer speeder.

But as I have said before and I will no doubt say again, I am a massive Star Wars nerd. I can excuse a bit of flat, anachronistic dialogue (did Anakin really say to Obi Wan ‘I’ll call you back’? How did that one get through? And truth to tell, I slightly cringe every time I hear the phrase ‘Padawan learner’. Isn?t that like saying ‘trainee apprentice’ or ‘beginner newbie’?). Throughout Jedi and the prequel trilogy, unlike most, I found a lot more to love than hate. I’m sure in many people’s eyes that makes me an idiot, but I guess that’s central to being a fan.

So I find the prospect of a Star Wars TV series intriguing. Being able to explore that universe, even without the possibility of major revelations or character defining moments is good enough for me. It’s no different than the masses of comic books, novels, toys and games that have been out there for years. And for a series so rooted in action and movement, it’s no surprise that a spin off cartoon, like some of the more recent video games, fares a lot better than aping the essence of Star Wars than, say, a novel about the Bothans finding a new superweapon that’s a bit like the Death Star, or the cantina snot vampire.

Share

Moore Moore Moore

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Alan Moore’s a really good writer. That’s the considered opinion I’ve come to after rereading Watchmen. Not very incisive criticism, I know. It’s a bit like saying The Beatles are good. But you take it for granted after a while. I was struck by how sad the chapter about Doctor Manhattan is, how utterly disconnected the guy is from the rest of humanity and how he can do nothing about it. And that’s in the space of 26 pages! You should read it, you really should.

I was prompted to read it again, of course, by the release of the trailer to the upcoming film adaptation. I’ve always thought that such a thing could never work, but that trailer looks badass! Every shot in that thing is taken from the book (albeit a little pumped up – with action scenes added to the tenement fire and prison break sequences, apparently), so it’s looking to be a pretty faithful adaptation. As a fanboy it’s hard not to get overexcited.

 

Well, they did it with Sandman...

Well, they did it with Sandman...

 

 

But. Alan Moore isn’t. He wants nothing to do with it. To be fair, it’s not difficult to see why the writer of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a book mutilated by an execrable movie adaptation, might be a little disenchanted by the film industry. Seriously, how could you fail with that premise? Somehow they managed it!

So do you boycott the movie like Alan will be doing, or do you go along and geek out (and avoid thinking about the fact that it will probably be just another one of a slew of disappointing comics adaptations)

I recently came across this video from 1987 on youtube, and I think I remember seeing this programme at the time. Yeah I know, I’m old. Watching this again I’m struck by two things: For one there is the constant talk of impending nuclear apocalypse. Kids today are into bluetooth, High School Musical and knife crime, but back in the day all we had for entertainment was trying to get your head around the looming shadow of global destruction and/or the possibility of trying to live in a radioactive, post apocalyptic wasteland. Actually I think this documentary may have put me off reading Watchmen at the time, as it makes it look like it’s just a collection of images of people getting obliterated by a nuclear blast. Bleak!

The other thing is that Moore talks about his work being for children. I don’t have any figures to hand but I’m pretty sure kids don’t read comics these days. It’s a shame. If more kids took a look at his mindbending tales of ecological philosophy like Swamp Thing, or his later, convoluted take on the limitless power of the human imagination in Promethea, they might stop happy slapping eachother for five minutes.

Share

The Hazards of Love

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Revenge

It’s not very often I hear any new music that really excites me, partly because I don’t go out of my way to find it, and partly because there’s just too much of it. But I was recently introduced to The DecemberistsThe Hazards of Love album, and it completely knocked my socks off. I’ve long been a fan of creepy, creaky acid folk (since I heard the Lammas Night Laments CD series), and was certainly not expecting to hear anything new in that admittedly narrow genre. Well, not since The Eighteenth Day of May knocked it on the head, anyway.

The Hazards of Love has been compared to the music of hoary old long in the tooth prog folk rockers Jethro Tull, and I can hear that, but only in a couple of lurching moments of guitar and organ interplay. The thing is, a folk rock concept album (!) about a fair maiden, her shapeshifting lover (!!), infanticide(!!!) and a fairy queen (!!!!) is exactly the sort of thing people think the Tull got up to. However, they never did, and even in their explicit folk rock period of the late 70s, their songs were shot through with a sardonic air that never really took traditional music at face value.

Having said that, The Decemberists’ album is a fantastic piece of work, variously subtle, thrilling, and melancholic. Taking a look at their website I noticed that they have a “Fan Art” section, (which is a rather charming idea – I bet Buckcherry haven’t got one. Come to think of it, that’s probably a good thing). So I was sufficiently inspired to illustrate (this may be considered a spoiler) the spookiest bit of the record.  A fanboy I may be, but if there’s an opportunity to draw some dead children, I say go for it.

Share

Return of the Fanboys

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Here is a heads up to let you know that we have reposted the most viewed comic we have ever done. A dubious honour, seeing as it piggybacks on the interest in Fanboys, a movie which itself piggybacks on the popularity of Star Wars. Our pageviews went through the roof for a few days, thanks to TheForce.Net, Digg and StumbleUpon.  It was almost like being genuinely popular, although it’s a good job we didn’t let it go to our heads and rush out to buy that speedboat.

Share

The Ascent of Fan

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

So I finally saw Fanboys thanks to a competition that ran on The ForceCast. I think I read about this movie back in the 90s on Ain’t It Cool News, and it has taken this long to (barely) get a release, a wait of almost Chinese Democracyesque proportions. There’s still no sign of it getting an official release in the UK but those of us who remember the early days of DVD and hung onto our multi region players have at least got the option to get hold of the US DVD.

While it’s a relief to finally get to see the movie that people have been talking about for so long, it only appeared in a handful of American cinemas, and the DVD release has been pretty low key. Coupled with a rather negative critical response, it seems that relatively few people will see it , and that’s a shame as, while it’s far from perfect, it has a massive untapped potential audience that is bound to take it to their hearts.

3263827

The film is a story of a group of friends in 1998 who decide to travel across country to break into Skywalker Ranch, so that they can get to see the unreleased Star Wars Episode I before one of them pegs it. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in the fact that this idea occurred to me many times in the run up to the release of what was surely the most anticipated movie of all time.

At this point, of course, a million AICN Talkbackers will routinely pipe up that when those guys eventually see it they’ll wish they hadn’t bothered. But Fanboys is about the journey, and the characters’ relationships more than the eventual outcome. Along the way there are a few slightly undercooked comedic episodes, some evidence of the studio’s interference, and some fairly unnecessary stunt casting, but the thing that carries the movie along is the terrific chemistry between the central cast. Adding to this is the attention to detail, making it feel like these guys are real friends and real fans. Weirdly, it feels like it actually was made in the late 90s (a side effect of its low budget), and it’s interesting to compare it to 1998’s Free Enterprise, a story about Star Trek fans told with more sophistication, but less charm.

Definitely recommended viewing for fans of Star Wars. And Rush.

Share

It’s not there anymore, don’t look for it

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Back in “the day”, in times of yore there was a site called FlyingMonkeyComics.com. It was home to Flying Monkey (of course) and Hope For The Future, so we decided to make a trailer for it, with the help of our musical director and honorary Flying Monketeer, Oliver. The URL is long gone, but there’s enough HFTF stuff in it (as well as Chimpanzee Democracy, details over at the more parochial sounding FlyingMonkeyComics.co.uk) to show it here. Ah memories…

Share

A Wretched Hive of Vapid Celebrities and Overpriced Drinks

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

OK the new entry in the Star Wars saga is pretty interesting, but I’m not sure where it fits in the timeline. For one thing The Mos Eisley Cantina has turned into one of those ghastly sports bars. It looks worse than The Outlander Club from Episode II. Daft Punk fit right in, of course, as they look exactly like those police robots from THX 1138 and Indie Godheads Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher are now so grizzled that they don’t exactly look out of place next to Hammerhead and Snaggletooth. I don’t know about Snoop Dogg awkwardly handling a lightsaber though. The Drop It Like It’s Hot hitmaker is about as convincing a Jedi as Don-Wan Kihotay. Walrus Man is clearly disappointed with the state of hip hop today and just wants to make his feelings known.

Girly voiced male model and occasional “Soccer” player David Beckhams makes an appearance, being hassled by Greedo… or at least some other rodian – they not only all look alike but they even dress the same. Jabba wants him to play for his team – at this point I could hear a million voices suddenly cry out in terror – or at least a bunch of fanboys bleating about their childhoods being raped. Look, if Adidas is going to sell overpriced sports gear with stormtroopers on or something, that’s fine, but all they need to do to get me to shell out is flog those casual jackets that Luke and Han wear in Empire. That’s what was wrong with the prequels, no casual jackets!

Share