Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our House Progress

These were taken today!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Travis Barker is UH-mazing

So we went to the Blink-182 show last night and it was amazing and I'll post more on it later, but you must see this video. This was the finale/encore and it showed just how awesome Travis Barker is. Anyways, watch this: (I think it cut off the edge on some browsers, so if so, here's the link to youtube: Travis Barker clip)

(I didn't get the whole thing cause I had limited memory, but this almost seems like a complete clip, and it's taped by me as best I could, enjoy)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Some New Pics of the House

Here's a picture of Amanda and Me in our happenstance matching outfits this past Sunday. Followed by various pictures of the progress of our house. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

God Loves, Man Kills (An X-Men Story)

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills Premiere

This is one of those books that I think everyone should read. X-Men has been a series that has often addressed the question of prejudice and hate towards minorities (in the case of the X-Men, the minority is the mutant). This was a graphic novel published solely as such; it was never a serial X-Men story and was published as one complete story without trying to be placed into the X-Men continuity. At the same time that it's a stand alone story it also ties what came before it together into one idea while having a big influence on where the X-Men storylines would go to in the future. That being said, you don't have to know the stories that came before this and you don't need to read anything after reading this to get more of the story; it is its own story that someone unfamiliar with the X-Men could pickup and read. It was originally published in 1982 and the issues it addresses and questions it raises are still relevant today.

The story follows the beginning of a genocide of mutants, lead by a fanatical religious leader William Stryker. Stryker is leading a fanatic group of people who kill, without sympathy, anyone who is a mutant because they are not human. After we see a brutal killing in the opening panels, Magneto, leader of a mutant resistance group in the regular comic series, decides it is best to join forces with his nemesis, Charles Xavier and the X-Men, in order to stop the burgeoning holocaust. After Stryker kidnaps two of the X-Men and Xavier for nefarious reasons, the rest of the team follows Magento to stop his bandwagon's momentum in its tracks by any means necessary.

The graphic novel by itself is powerful without the amazing story by Chris Claremont and superb art of Brent Anderson that seems to be the forerunner to an art style of comic-artist Alex Ross. The one series of images that could easily shake anyone is the picture of Xavier being crucified on the roof of one of the World Trade Center towers by his own students, or the murder and lynching of two young children for being mutants.

If anything you will recognize some of the elements of the story as it was the source material used by Bryan Singer for his movie X2.

This graphic novel is not only a read, but a 100% buy and treasure it often type book. It will surely be read again by me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ryan Reynolds

Ok, so Ryan Reynolds has got some great movie deals going right now...

in 2011

Ryan Reynolds will have the lead role in both of the following:

-The Green Lantern as Hal Jordan, aka The Green Lantern (by DC Comics)

AND in the same year he will be...

-Deadpool (by Marvel Comics)

Both movies are slated for release in 2011, GL is already in Pre-production and Deadpool has been announced. It's just funny to me that he will be playing two major characters in each of the big comic-book universes so I had to share.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Comic-Con, the aftermath (or, how to pay for next years tickets or collectibles)

Well as anyone who read my Comic-Con posts knows or has talked to me, Amanda and I got a lot of free stuff at Comic-Con and had a blast. But as time passed and I read the various free comic-books that I got I decided to see how much some o
f this stuff was worth and found that I had a couple pretty valuable items. So of course I did what any sensible person would: I listed them on ebay right away.

So upon doing so I had a grand ol' time for seven days as I watched people bid up my free comics. Here are the results:

Invincible Iron Man #1 Movie Cast Variant signed by author Matt Fraction
ratio 1:100 (this means that for every 100 normal covers printed there was only one of these printed)

Winning bid: $49.99

Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #1 Sketch Variant (exclusive to Comic-Con)

Winning bid: $45.50

Uncanny X-Men #510 Campbell Sketch Variant (exclusive to Comic-Con)

Winning Bid: $76.25

Amanda and I got these all throughout our time at Comic-Con this year and we had a blast!! This was just a nice little added bonus at the end. We got other variant covers as well but these were the only ones worth anything significant and therefore the only ones that I sold.

Other thing I forgot:

The very first night of Comic-Con I searched out and found Todd Lockwood, the artist that has done all the new cover art for all the new Drizzt novels. He is an awesome fantasy artist and I stumbled upon his booth last year after I had spent all my money. So this year I made it a point to go to him first thing and get the artwork that I wanted and get it signed. So that was really cool.

Here is one of the paintings I got. It's from a Drizzt book called The Orc King.

Here's another sample (below) of one of the covers he did for a recent Drizzt book called The Pirate King (the second one in the series). And the other painting I got is one called The Ghost King and is the third in this series of books (it's a trilogy).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

House Update

So our house is progressing nicely. They bumped up the completion date more than a month to December 8th (it used to be Jan. 15th) so we should expect to move in around the 14th of December, just in time for Christmas! Anyways here are some pics of the progress, I grouped like angles together so you can see the progress. Enjoy!!

The first set is the view of the lot coming from the garage...

The Backyard...

Here's the front door

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Comic Books

Here's my shelf now that Comic-Con is over

Friday, August 14, 2009

Comic-Con, Day 4 (The Last Day)

Sunday, July 26

This day was a sad day, cause it was the last. But we lived it up and got a couple last minute deals and some more free stuff. It was another great day and lots of fun. We only went to one panel and half of the one before it to get good seats...

11-11:30am The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
I still have no idea what this was, but I won all six seasons of it on CD from a raffle that they had. So I'll have to check it out...

11:30-12:30pm Spotlight on David Petersen
This was a pretty cool panel . For those who don't know who this is or don't even read comics, this is the comic for you!! David Petersen writes a comic called Mouse Guard. Not only does he write it, but he does the pencils (draws it) and does the colors. He also started on his own without a publisher and is a self-made success. Something that doesn't happen often in comics. Apart from that, his story is one that can be enjoyed by all. An awesome story with some great art! It is one that I'll read to my kids (when I have them). Great panel and we got a cool print of the new story line that he'll be starting next year. I got a poster signed by him and so did Amanda, we both got our print for the new story line signed, and I got his new book signed (last year I got his first book signed). Plus I got some little statuettes of the characters from the first book! Here are the links to book 1 and book 2.

Some other cool things happened that day, like we went by the DC booth to see what was going on and we ran into this guy:

For those who don't know who this is, this is Geoff Johns, I mentioned him in my post the other day about Blackest Night, he's the writer of it and has been writing Green Lantern for four years now. He has done a lot of good stuff and is an amazing writer. Anyways, like I said, we were just walking through the DC booth and there he was, not at a table or anything, just standing around with a fan or two. So I got this picture with him and had him sign one of the Superman comics he wrote that I happened to be carrying 'cause I bought it that day. How cool?!

Sidenote: For anyone who enjoys a good read, some of the best writers today are in comics...

Later on that day we went to the DC booth and Amanda and I both got free Black Lantern rings! Anyways, that's all I can remember about Sunday. And i'm pretty sure that that covers most of it. Amanda and I had such a good time. She bought her first graphic novel and wants to do the whole thing again next year. I do too of course so we look forward to that. Love'd it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Comic-Con, Day 3

Saturday, July 25

Happy Birthday to me! This was a good day, heck it was my b-day...and boy was it a good one.

This was a pretty good day, with some fun panels, some more free stuff, and many cool people to boot (like the guys from Mythbusters in the picture)

So first things first, we got there in the morning and just enjoyed the exhibition hall. We wandered around to see what we hadn't yet, we played Lego Rockband (yes there is a Lego Rockband coming out this Holiday season!! and yes we got to play it) and got free Lego Rockband lanyards and T-Shirts for playing, and we just had a good time. I had already spent all my money so I didn't have to worry about that little portion of CC, so the free stuff was calling my name.

12-1pm Comic Strip Syndication
This was a fun little panel where we got to see Stephan Pastis, Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac), and Keith Knight (The K Chronicles). They talked about issues in newspapers right now, comic strip syndication, and answered questions from the audience. This one wasn't as packed as Pastis' spotlight, but it was still interesting for me (although I don't think Amanda enjoyed this one).

2:15-3:15pm DC: Green Lantern: Blackest Night
This was a really cool panel. Featuring Geoff Johns (current writer of Green Lantern), Pat Gleason (who's currently working on Green Lantern Corps), and others. For those who don't know, Blackest Night is here is a brief synopsis: "Throughout the decades, death has plagued the DC Universe and taken the lives of heroes and villains alike. But to what end? As the War of Light rages on, the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends upon us, with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps at the center of it all...The dead rise across the DC Universe, bringing terror and darkness with them. What are the Black Lanterns? What do they want? Will Earth's greatest heroes survive long enough to find out – or will they join the Black Lantern Corps?"
So basically, any dead character in the DC Universe right now can come back as a Black Lantern and the story should be really interesting. Anywho, I'm following the story issue by issue; and
that's the first time I have ever done that (I usually just read the final story after it comes out in HC or TPB form) but this one is worth it.

Oh, one more thing...Whilst in the panel, Geoff Johns had the crowd stand up (mind you this room seats 2,000 and while not 100% full, it was more than 75% full) and he swore us to the Green Lantern Oath!! How awesome! Plus, a room full of some 1,500 people who all knew the oath was pretty cool too, oh my what a nerd I am.

3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury, need I say more? The only disappointing thing about this panel was that his assistant guy kept talking and talking, geez, we were there to see Bradbury not that schmuck. His biographer was also there, and he knew that so he kept the focus on Bradbury. Anywho, now that I've vented, the panel was great. It was just fun to hear him speak and hear his passion for life and hear where some of his ideas came from. Oh yeah, earlier in the day when we were wandering around sight-seeing, we saw Bradbury being wheeled through one part of the convention center right next to us!! That's what one of the pictures below is (thanks Amanda for spotting him go right past us).

That was the last panel we went to on Saturday, and we just enjoyed the venue a bit more. While there, we also got a signed picture of George Lazenby (actor who played James Bond for one film) and that was awesome though I didn't think to take a picture of him.

After we left Comic-Con, we went out to eat for my b-day dinner. We chose Outback Steak House (always awesome!) and here are the pics from that, one is of a side that I got which was amazing (it was crab stuffed shrimp and I liked it more than my steak!):

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Raging Planet - Lightning (Discovery Chanel)

I just watched this really cool series on Discovery and I really enjoyed it. Here are two clips about how lightning is formed...

There weren't any embed functions so here are the links. It's worth watching so click away!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fall Out Boy

What A Catch, Donnie

Comic-Con, Day 2

Friday, July 24

Friday was a really good day for Comic-Con, heck they were all really good days! But anyways,
Friday was the day when I blew most of the funds appropriated by Amanda for Comic-Con. She had been saving for me for many months so that I would have a fun birthday. So thanks Amanda, you are a wonderful wife and I loved my birthday!

Free stuff!!
First thing we did on Friday morning was go straight to the Random House booth and wait around for 40 minutes to get a free copy of the Eragon/Eldest Omnibus and instead of getting two copies Amanda got an advance copy of The Maze Runner by James Dashner (It doesn't get released in stores until October 6, 2009). It wasn't too bad of a wait either because we were first in "line," although the guy at the booth didn't want a line 'cause that would be unfair to those who showed up at 10:00am when the giveaway was scheduled for. Anyways, he was actually a cool guy from Random House Publishing and it was fun to talk to him about books (and he personally knows R.A. Salvatore, cool). While we were waiting they had some other cool books so Amanda bought a book called The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. So we got those and on we go to...

10:30-11:30am Coraline DVD
This was a really cool panel. Amanda and I both enjoyed the movie Coraline and just before leaving for CC we had ordered the DVD and the book from Amazon. So this was a must-go-to panel for us. Plus the legendary Neil Gaiman (author of Coraline) was in attendance as well as Teri Hatcher (who did the voices of all three of Coraline's mothers), Keith David (voice of the cat) and the director Henry Selick (also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach) who were joined by some of the animators and people involved in production. This was a fun panel and it was interesting to hear from both of the creative genius' of Gaiman and Selick and hear from Hatcher about doing three different versions of one character. Great panel. Oh, and side note: if you have seen or when you see Coraline, doesn't Coraline's Other Father remind you of dad (Mark)?

Buy, Buy, Buy
So after that panel we had some time to really hit the exhibition hall and get all the stuff that costs money! Overall I bought 18 Graphic Novels, but on Friday I only got 16-17 of them. That plus the three other books we got at Random House meant on heavy backpack for me, but it was worth it.

1:15-1:45 Spartacus
This panel actually started at 12:45 but we just dropped in early to give my back a break and wait for the next one. Spartacus is a 13 episode miniseries/show coming out on Starz that will push the TV limits both for gore and nudity. So not much interest. But we ended up getting a voucher for a ton of free stuff!

2-3 Marvel: Cup 'o Joe
This panel was with Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and was a lot of Q&A and some new announcements for Marvel. The biggest announcement here was that Marvel had recently purchased the rights to Marvel Man from his creators estate and that a Marvel Man series should be starting up next year. It was a nice panel and gave us a break. In between this panel and the next we ran to the opposite end of the convention center and back to get our free Spartacus goodie bag.

3:30-4 Spotlight on Kevin J. Anderson
This was another halfsy drop-in to get good seats. Anderson is actually a pretty good author so it was a fun little panel with a small group to listen in on. And at the end everyone got free paperback copies of The Last Days of Krypton, sweet! Oh, and during the panel I snuck up to the front to get prime seating for the next panel and ended up sitting next to Anderson's typist.

4-5 Spotlight on Stephan Pastis
This was one of the best panels of the entire week!! Stephan Pastis is the creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine. Pastis was hilarious and this was such an entertaining person to listen to. The other funny thing is that the room was less than half full for Anderson, but by the time Pastis had set up his presentation and got comfortable, the room had run out of seats and people were standing in the back!

Anyways, Pastis gave a presentation chronicalling his road to Syndication and the growth of the strip. He then read some of his favorite crocs strips, then read some controversial strips and letters people wrote to their newspapers to complaing about some of the most ridiculous things. Also, apparently an entire country (I believe it was Turkey) hates Pastis for a name he used for a Llama in one of the strips.

The other funny thing was that Pearls often makes fun of other strips (for those who don't read it) and he talked a bit about those and read some of the strips. When he talked about his relationship with The Family Circus he read various strips from his clashes with Circus and then mentioned that he was friends both creators of the strip: Bill Keane (father) and Jeff Keane (son), and that they
were really good sports about Pastis' treatment of their strip. At this point he mentioned that Jeff was probably even there and asked if Jeff would stand up. Pastis recounts what happened like this:

"And to prove my point, I scanned the audience for Jeff.
"'Jeff?' I asked, hoping he had come. 'Are you here somewhere? Jeff? Jeff?'
"And slowly someone I couldn't see rose from the back of the audience.
"'SCREW YOU!!!' the person yelled.
"The person being Jeff Keane.
"My good friend."

You can read the entire account from Pastis here in his blog post entitled "And Now a Few Words From the Creator of One of the World's Most Beloved Family Comics" Hilarious panel, and I must say that he did the crocs voice exactly how I imagine them to be and how I read them.

Right after the panel we went down to the exhibition hall where Pastis was signing and got him to autograph one of our books. He drew a croc head in my book, how cool. Also, I got his Comic-Con name tag so I had him autograph that too!

I don't remember what happened after that...I think we just wandered around to see what else was going on a maybe bought a thing or two more. What a great day!