Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My First Post: A Hurtful Message to Sam Raimi

First of all, thanks to Terry, Thad and Joey for letting me add additional creative to their blog's content. I've known these three men for quite a while, and they're good men all. In return for their generosity, I'm going to contribute to this blog on occasion (at least until they angrily kick me off) about comics related items.

Who am I? Who is "F. Fredrick Skitty"? Some of you who are on the "I'm Dropping this Stinking Book" newsgroup know me as the angry guy who's John's brother and who doesn't like very many comics. Others of you who've never heard of me before can expect to be routinely shocked and appalled by my combative declamations against various artists and writers who have upset me by their piss-poor attempts at comics.

(Originally Joey, Terry and Thad wanted me to have the user handle "The I Hate Comics Guy", but I felt that "F. Fredrick Skitty" had more dignity.)

But don't go thinking you can pigeonhole me as the guy who doesn't like any comics at all. Oh no no, that's not me. I do like comics, very much. I've written several myself and if I'm bored I may post a couple of pictures from them to prove it.

Infrequently, however, my senses are assaulted by certain terrible comics and comics related material (television and movies) and it makes me so angry that I have to punch a wall. Then I angrily punch the computer keyboard, imagining that it's the head of the terrible writer or artist who has offended me, and this is the result.

My first post will be something I wrote back on May 10th, right after I'd seen Spiderman 3 for the first time. I suppose it's kind of moot, now, since the movie's been seen by everyone in existence, but don't let you stop that from reading this delightful review.

And now, here is my review:

I saw Spiderman 3 on Monday and I'll tell you to save your money. Save your money and your time because you'll never get it back and you'll regret it.

Most of all, that movie was a thuggish betrayal. It's hard to think a movie could be worse than the first Batman, but Raimi and his five or six brothers who worked on the production crew (and fluffer duties) managed to pull it off. What my brain still refuses to accept is that the movie was green-lighted, written, directed and produced by full grown men.

Pay no attention to the much flaunted advertising phrase "140 million dollars opening weekend." Columbia Pictures is throwing that phrase around to make you think you're missing out on something. All that phrase means is that they've duped 1.4 million people into seeing a worthless piece of crap.

The movie's main intent was to entertain seven year olds. Dumb seven year olds, actually; the ones who even at that lively age still don't seem to "get it". These are the seven year olds who remain shocked into amazed silence at video tapes featuring earthmoving equipment and heavy machinery. Sam Raimi was once one of those doughy seven year olds, and he has somehow retained his dull childlike sense of "awesome" well into his sixties. Much good may it do him.

The secondary intent of the movie was to demonstrate Raimi's withering contempt for his audience, and in this he succeeded. Raimi resents, no doubt, his continued inability to understand even the simplest concepts conveyed in the original Ditko comics. Jealous at the ability and talent of others, his spite for all of their accomplishments is evident in each frame.

Walking home after seeing that tripe, I thought to myself "That movie is Scrappy Doo." But that thought didn't convey the unpleasant averageness and the sick-making mediocrity of that film. I tried again with "That movie is Uni the Unicorn from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon." Closer, but not quite there.

Finally, I hit on this phrase: "That movie is Rodney King, high on crack and driving his car 90 miles an hour through a school zone."

I hope you have enjoyed my movie review. Don't see that film.

Skating in the Name of Evil: Number 2

Jack Kirby's Female Furies are legends in the field of goofy villainy. The starting 4--Lashina, Stompa, Mad Harriet, and Bernadeth--are well known to New Gods fans.

But it's the benchwarmers (most of whom were not created by Kirby) are largely forgotten. They were Gilotina, Artemiz, Malice Vundabar, Bloody Mary, and today's hall of famer:

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SPEED QUEEN. Equipped with tank-tread skates, and clearly trying to out-do Stompa in the butchness department. You can just picture her in the break room at Granny Goodness's orphanage rolling up to Stompa and saying "So...HOW MUCH YA BENCH?!!"

Monday, May 21, 2007

How I can Solve the Iraq Crisis with my D and D Group

You know what’s been bothering me about the Iraq War? I think its being badly mismanaged on all fronts. A nation that can put a man on the moon before the advent of 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons, ought to be able to win a war in the desert no matter who started it or how trumped up the reason was.
It no longer matters who attacked who and who won “Initiative”. All that matters now is that there are Experience Points to be gained for our boys and they must be supported.

This shouldn’t be that hard…

Why can't the army just send in a team of adventures with a few 12th level Clerics and a 10th level Mage or two. The Clerics can cast flame strike AND cure the 8th level Rangers they are sending in + they can wear armor that's good for deflecting small arms fire. The Mages can cast “Cloudkill” which will take care of any conscripted Axis of Evil mooks that neo-Sadaam can send out there and at 10th level, that's like a maxed out fireball waiting to happen.
The Rangers we send could have Favored Enemy: “the Poor”, and just wade in there and beat ass. They'd get like at least 3 attacks every 6 seconds. In melee, that's pretty good especially if they have some enchanted weapons or at least the shit they give to Navy Seals.

This war would be over in no time.

The party goes in using identities created for them by the Rogues on the team who have levels in the Spy Master Prestige class and then they hit a bar and wait for it to get all Fullujah or something. Take a desert Barbarian or two with you.

I suggest Half American, Half Turk. The Turks are still pissed about a whole lot of shit and then when they rage, they will be getting critical hits on Insurgents left and right. I also suggest at least one 7th level Desert Druid. Someone cool like that dude from the mummy. It's a sure bet that the insurgents will have some of those Palestinian cats who can't wait to blow some shit up with IEDs and you may need someone who can summon a “Dire Camel” with horns and a trample attack just to kill that noise. I'd suggest 4 armed monkeys with Machetes but I don't think druids can summon them. The wizards could but they'd be too busy casting “Evard’s Black Tentacles” in the town square.

This whole war is some bull shit. Let me DM it and it's fucking over and Wired Magazine can get back to showing me the flying car of the fucking future. It runs on garbage like lawn cuttings and orange peels and shit. Right now they have stories about the “Weapons of the Future” and what not. We need “Weapons of the Past” like “Vorpal Swords of Sharpness” and that bad ass “Sun Blade” from the “Ravenloft” adventure back in 2nd Edition D and D. I bet if Colin Powell had a “+3 Sword of Wounding”, he’d be knee deep in sand right now beating ass and building an infrastructure my children could take advantage of someday.

I also promise that when the “Brave Companions” or the “51st Airborne Arcane Knights” or whatever, get to...wherever it is that the treasure that “W” is looking for is, there would be some cool shit there. Sure, they'd have to fight like a “Marilith” or two along the way and probably a Rakshasa (or maybe Djinn since we strive to be ethnically sensitive) but there'd still be decent swag to haul out. None of this oil type shit or bolts of cloth and artistic treasures. We already have a system for getting that out with just standard conquered city looting tactics.
I'm talking about Artifacts like the “Hand of Vecna” or the “Machine of Lum the Mad” or a “Staff of Ancient Penumbra.”

If “W” isn't running the war like that (and it looks like he isn’t) then really, folks should just hire a Dungeon Master who will and be done with it. American cannot afford to take critical hit after critical hit and fail saving throw after saving throw. It’s time the game were run by folks who could get us results and have our boys back home and in therapy by GenCon, like my Saturday D and D group.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Skating in the Name of Evil: Number 3

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The majority of roller skating comic book characters debuted in the 70s, and today's subject is no exception. Meet Blue Streak, a recruit for the short-lived team called the Super-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fellow members included Quasar and Texas Twister. Turns out Blue was a double agent selling out our country for a paycheck from the sinister Corporation. Me, I think he just didn't want to be on the same team as Texas Twister.

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In the 80s he got a rad new costume that was faster than Captain America's motorbike. Then he was bumped off by a supervillain whose gimmick was killing lame-ass supervillains. Blue Streak is third on this list because the other two didn't get killed by that dude.

Skater Heroes Hall of Fame: Number 1

In Mick Foley's first book (bear with me here), he relates an anecdote about Diamond Dallas Page. After years as a pro wrestling manager, and at the age of 36, Page had started to make a go of it as an actual in-ring wrestler in WCW. Foley was having a conversation about Page with wrestling legend Abdullah the Butcher. While Foley had his doubts about Page's career, Abdullah was certain Page would go far in the business, because "he lives his gimmick, brah. He lives his gimmick."

Skateman only appeared one time.

Just a few months into his career, Night Thrasher started using his skateboard less and less.

But Dazzler?

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Dazzler was commited to those goddam mirrored disco-ball skates.

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She skated against Dr. Doom.

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She skated against the Hulk.

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She even skated against Galactus. Galactus was unimpressed, since he once coated a dude in silver and made him fly through the void on a boogie board. Galactus knows from fabulous.

Next time: Those who skate for EVIL.

Skater Heroes Hall of Fame: Number 2

Night Thrasher! In the 90's he led the New Warriors, which were Marvel's answer to the Teen Titans. He was like the team's Batman & Robin rolled into one, except he was blacker, angrier, and rode on a skateboard.

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Most skateboarders were content to gleam the cube on the smooth pavement of skate parks. Not Night Tharasher. He skated through rubble and explosions. Have you ever skated through a pile of rubble? You can't. Night Thasher can. And why? I figure he spent his billions making one of those flying skateboards just like in Back to the Future 2. It ran on banana peels and beer, and the wheels were just for show. Because that's how he (doesn't) roll.

True fact: A few years ago, Night Thrasher was optioned as a prime-time tv series. According to the pitch, he would have been a young hip-hop entrepeneur who fought crime, probably with the help of some nerdy asian dude in a van who made all his gadgets and stuff. And his arch enemy would probably have been Richie Whiteman. But one thing's for sure, he would not have had a skateboard. Because nobody in Hollywood has ever seen a brother skate.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Skater Heroes Hall of Fame: Number 3

Skating superheroes are a rare breed. Fighting crime in tights demands a certain amount of courage to begin with, but to add roller skates to the ensemble? That's going the extra mile. The third greatest skater hero only appeared once, otherwise he would have scored much higher.

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Skateman ("Ayee! Dios mio! Es Skateman!!!") has already been the subject of much analysis on teh intarweb, and quite honestly nothing I write could complete with this, from another blog (with the same template as us!). However, I cannot overstress the beauty of "Hands off, jerk hole! We're forming a union! MY FOOT AND YOUR FACE!"

I read that in my impressionable teenage years, and it's something I say in traffic at least once a week. Try it at home!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Crime Fighting Vehicles Rock: Turbo Teen

Turbo Teen was a Saturday morning cartoon in the 80s. The only way to describe it is that it was Ranma 1/2 BUT WITH A CAR.

This clip contains 15 essential kinds of AWESOME.

Today's Musical Interlude

Be like Babycakes

Monday, May 7, 2007

Crime Fighting Vehicles Rock: Heat Vision & Jack

A now-legendary tv pilot circulating the usual outlets of piracy: Heat Vision & Jack. Written by Rob Schrab (creator of the comic Scud the Disposable Assassin and writer of the movie Monster House), directed by Ben Stiller. Starring Jack Black as an astronaut with a solar-powered brain, Owen Wilson as a talking motorcycle, and Ron Silver as himself. Parodying, well, damn near every prime-time sci-fi show of the late 70s/early 80s (both with and without vehicles).

Oh sure, it would have run out of steam after like 3 episodes (like Birds of Prey or the live-action Tick). But they would have been the greatest 3 episodes of anything ever.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Crime Fighting Vehicles Rock - Pole Position.

How you can tell it was the 80s:

Based on an arcade game, CHECK
Ripping off Knight Rider: CHECK
Theme music mentions "the danger zone": DOUBLE F'N CHECK

I'll say this, those are some happy dashboard computers. Not like that stuck-up K.I.T.T.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Crime Fighting Vehicles Rock - Air Wolf

Ok, the origin of Airwolf is simple. Once upon a time, there was some bullshit on TV. Then out of a dormant volcano, there arose, a vision of sheet armor and hellfire missles in the form of the only TV show about a Crime Fighting helicopter to ever star Jan Michael Vincent.

Now some folks may be partial to Blue Thunder but not me. I cannot be saved by Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith. I mean if someone were robbing a Wendy's then hells yeah but otherwise...

All I'm saying is look at this thing:

That's just bad ass ain't it!!

And here that Texaco is about to just GET IT!!!

I mean Not only did the helicopter have a cool name but it was flown by a guy named, get this, Stringfellow Hawke. How cool is that? I mean like I said. It could have been a guy named Bubba.

And Hawke (and his buddy Dominic Santini (see, still a cool name) took their orders froma guy named Archangel. Not only did he have a cool name but he had a cool ass look too.

I don't know who Archangel is calling but they'd better have their shit in order man.

This is gonna be my next big insane DVD purchase. I just joined some online community of Airwolf wackos just so I could get these pics. Airwolf could fight crime and terrorism and live in a volcano and do it with style.

Oh and before I forget. Others also know how cool Airwolf was because they couldn't spread their message of...whatever it is they're spreading, without it:


You tell em Mr. Cline...

Crime Fighting Vehicles Rock - Street Hawk

You knew at some point once a car was fighting crime then it wouldn't be long before a boat was fighting crime but before that happened, someone got a motorcycle to get off it's 2 wheeled ass and keep the city safe!

I give you:

Street Hawk had almost everything. It had machine guns, missles and even a particle beam. I thinkit used the particle beam to over heat engines or something...because that's what you do when you have a particle beam. Overheat engines...

I always wanted him to burn his way through walls and ride through offices or to chop down trees with it to ride across.

He did have a decent cast though. It was a show about a crime fighting cycle. They were not gonna win oscars win Oscars or anything. I mean look at the love interest here. Acxting would be dressing like you WANT to ride the...you know...

And then one day it was over and we haven't really had crime stopped on a motorcycle since. Well not until someone makes a show about the Ruff Ryders protecting the hood while doin wheelies and smokin blunts. Where's UPN? I need to get them a memo.

OH YEAH, Oil just reminded me that the music was done by Tangerine Dream. Which is pretty much why I can't listen to Tangerine Dream to this day. I want it all to be Street Hawk.

Crime Fighting Vehicles Rock - Team Knight Rider

I could actually stop with the title of this post because the truth of that statement is such a widely held universal belief that one would have to be raised by Panda bears to not know it.

In celebration of this fact I shall wax nostalgic about it so as to improve your day and in case you were indeed, raised by Pandas.

This is Team Knight Rider. Yeah I know it's not the First Knight Rider but that's because I'm not starting there. I'm starting with the legacy left by Kitt and Michael Knight.

Michael Knight liked it. So did Gary Coleman!

Look at those vehicles will you! Don't you want to just go out and stop a jewel heist of find a guy who stole some isotope, and you'll do it in your talking Honda Civic.

I know I do. Look what I found on wikipedia!

Dante - Dante is a modified Ford Expedition sport-utility vehicle driven by Kyle, but the truck has enough room to transport the entire TKR team and functions like a mobile command center. Dante's AI expresses himself in a haughty British manner and has no misgivings about making his driver and passengers feel uncomfortable. He is the ad hoc leader of the vehicles (if they'd ever listen to him) and he usually speaks on their behalf. (Dante is voiced by Tom Kane).

Domino - Domino is a modified Ford Mustang convertible driven by Jenny. The AI's manner of course is sleek, sexy and flirtatious. She is also talkative and likes to gossip to the annoyance of the other TKR vehicles. (Domino is voiced by Nia Vardalos).

Attack Beast - Attack Beast, or just "Beast", is a modified Ford F-150 full-sized pick up with off-road capability and is driven by Duke. Beast's AI has a stubborn and argumentative attitude that talks tough and is not afraid to stand up to a fight. His favorite tactic is to crash through walls and surprise the enemy. Beast also does not like to take orders from Duke or anyone else, but he is fiercely loyal and gets the job done. TKR member Jenny is the only one Beast will listen to, and his aggressive nature softens when she is around. (Beast is voiced by Kerrigan Mahan).

Kat - Kat is a high-tech motorcycle that merges with her twin, Plato, to form the advanced High Pursuit Vehicle. Kat is driven by Erica and her AI has a polar opposite personality to that of her devious operator. Kat is always concerned with rules and regulations and is in constant conflict with Erica's amoral traits. She acts more like Erica's mother than her partner, but she will do whatever is necessary to get Erica out of a jam. (Kat is voiced by Andrea Beutner).

Plato - Plato is a high-tech motorcycle that merges with his twin Kat, to form the advanced High Pursuit Vehicle. Plato is driven by Trek, and the two couldn't match each other better. Like his operator, Plato is a nerdy brainiac completely consumed by facts, figures and data. Plato likes to quote television commercials and famous movie lines and talks in sort of a code that only Trek can understand. The two have developed a strange symbiotic relationship that the other TKR members can never figure out. (Plato is voiced by comedian John Kassir).

And then there was other stuff too!

High Pursuit Vehicle - The motorcycles Kat and Plato can merge together to form an unusual looking 4-wheeled vehicle capable of high speeds and incredible maneuverability

Sky One - Sky One is a massive C5 military cargo airplane with special VTOL capability. Sky One acted as TKR's mobile base and vehicle transport. (Sky One is voiced by Linda M. McCollough).

K.R.O. - KRO (pronounced "Crow") is an acronym for Knight Reformulation One. He would have ultimately replaced KITT (however the TKR series gives no mention of the Knight Rider 2000 series where the Knight 4000 was KITT's original replacement). KRO is a modified black Ferrari GTS with a highly unstable AI. After events that led to his murdering of five people, KRO was deactivated. KRO's operator, Martin Jantzen, was equally unstable. KRO later escapes to kill his creator and FLAG is forced to destroy him. (KRO was voiced by John B. Wells).

K.A. - short for "Knight Alpha", a prototype vehicle introduced in "Legion of Doom" for a possible European Knight Rider team being prepared for delivery to Berlin. KA is a European-made Ford Ka compact hatchback. KA only speaks German. (He is capable of many languages, but chooses to speak German in protest of the egocentric Americans.)

Man, I'd pay good money for this stuff on DVD. It's gotta be "Tremors" and "Gymkata" level good.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sometimes the Heroes are as Bad as the Villains

So yeah, you remember back in the day when you got dumped by that girl you liked back in high school, or last month, and you said to your self, "Man I am such an idiot, I'll never get near a girl as stacked as her again, unless...unless I can pull off the perfect plan to get her back!"

Don't act like you were never there. We have all been there. I still have the scars to prove it.

Sometimes this happens to superheroes. They, are often lonely, idiot,horny morons, in a sense, like we were and when their popularity is on the wane OR when they just have a bit of a chemical imbalance in the logic centers of the brain, they can really do some dumb shit.

Take Tony Stark for example.

Here's a synopsis of Civil War, in case you didn't read it.

So some heroes blew up a suburb and the government said this hero shit was outta control. Thay asked all the heroes to unmask and register with the feds or retire/go into forced retirement.

Then Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Hank Pym and some other soon tobe flattened folks shot the Hulk into outer space.

Tony Stark as Iron Man, all jets ablaze, said, "Cool, I'm down with whatever the man wants to do. After all, I supply "The Man" with weapons and have made a lot of money doing that. We should just come clean. I reveal my secret identity at least once a year and it's never hurt me."

Spiderman, being written like a boob, says,"For the last 2 years I've been hanging with the Avengers and now I have cool kids as friends soooo, sure I can unmask."

Captain America says, "This is some bullshit, son!" and punches Iron Man in the mouth.

What basically ensues is everyone who wants to go and work for a jerk, goes over to Iron Man's side.

Everyone who would also like to punch Tony Stark in the mouth joins Captain America.

Now basically from the outset, Tony Stark knows he has screwed up. Most of the cool heroes went with Cap. He could do the right thing and just fight his little war with the guys he does have like Wonderman and the Wasp but noooooo, he doesn't really want to do that.

HE decides he can really impress the ladies when he reveals his biggest, jerkiest plan EVER!!!


And then, juuuust like in high school, it allll went to hell.
well technically it would get worse because Tony Stark is now a bigger dick than Hamk Pym and Brainiac 5 combined...

This is Hamk Pym as Yellow Jacket, his jerkiest persona of them all. He may have beaten his wife while wearing this thing.

Hank Pym made a killer robot named Ultron that always tries to kill the Avengers.

Brainiac 5 made a robot named Computo that killed 1/3rd of Triplicate Girl.
It wasn't so bad. Eventually they named a new teammate after Computo AND Triplicate Girl still had 2/3rds of herself left.

See, people, now Bill Foster is all dead and thang. They buried him in a giant grave in a giant tarp. That is no way for a "C"list Black Hero with highly dirivitive powers and a dirivative name to go. You name a guy Black Goliath and there is no way you expect him to get killed fighting an an ass stomping clone of the God of Thunder himself.

Fools was all surprised and what not but really, what the hell did they expect to happen. They were being led by Tony f'n Stark. The man piloted the Iron Man suit drunk. Would you trust your life to a billionaire who essentially flies a stealth fighter for fun, while drunk? Bill Foster didn't either. he knew something was up and then the Clone thing happened...

I did some stupid stuff to be popular back in the day but I never got a 50 foot black man killed by a clone.