Batman Begins… thankfully

I truly enjoyed Batman Begins. I loved Christian Bale as Bruce/Batman, he was great (sometimes I flashed back to his character in American Psycho… he’s scary). The villians were well crafted as well… and a young Jim Gordon was spectacular.

I would like to say this is the best superhero movie to date…

X Smokers Soapbox

I didn’t want it to come to this, I didn’t want to become this person… but I have. I’ve become the preaching x-smoker that is going to preach at current smokers. See, I managed to finally quit in January, it was one more attempt and for whatever reason this time it took. Who knew.

Now what bothers me most as a non smoker is the smell of current smokers. I had no idea it was that bad, I would have quit years ago had I realized how bad I smelled. I don’t normally notice, maybe I don’t hang out with too many smokers now that I’ve stopped… but on a recent plane ride I sat next to an obvious smoker…. O MY GOD… well, she had some fashion issues too, but the smell was almost unbearable. I found the smell to be an excellent deterrent when I get a craving… just walk by a smoker and you’ll see what I’m saying.

I think if a smokers sense of smell were more aware they would not be smoking at all… but alas that is one of the things to dwindle when you smoke.

Fish Pride a.k.a. Ohio Trip

I went off to Cleveland (or so I thought) for the weekend. To spend time with my friend Julie and her family: Chris (Mr. Olsen), Hannah, Sam (Sam Opossum), and Ollie (the dog).

My trip started with a rather uneventful flight, but the characters tended to be well worth forgetting. There was a “lady” a couple of seats from me that talked the entire flight… and when I say entire I mean from the moment they let us leave the gate until we got to baggage claim. Not only did she talk too much but she was wearing these revolver shaped dangling earrings and was probably a “W” supporter.

Julie was at the airport right on time to pick me up, it was a pleasure to see her again. We went off to pick up Hannah at her horse riding lessons, when Hannah saw me she gave me a big smile. Mr. Olsen cooked us hambërgers (how Sam pronounces it), I got sick that night… lets assume Mr. Olsen wasn’t attempting to poison me (the kids didn’t get sick). Sam started to express his obsession with refrigerators, we don’t know why he’s obsessed with them, he just is.

Friday morning Hannah went off to Pony Camp (Hannah is obsessed with horses) and Julie, Sam and I went off to the local shops to do some window shopping. We appeased Sam by stopping at a few places to oggle at the refrigerators… hey, he’s 4. We did manage to get Sam a balloon at the Trader Joe’s which we lost at the Target (yes, then there were tears). Mr. Olsen brinned chicken and we had a good cook out.

Saturday, when Hannah returned from Pony Camp, we could have gone to Cleveland’s Gay Pride, but we instead opted to travel to West Virginia…. no wait, Vermillion, OH for Fish Pride… I mean, the Fish Festival. The kids had a wonderful time, and us adults had a few laughs too. We lost two more baloons and had a few more screams and tears. Don’t ask what happend with Sam in the backseat on the way home… I was traumatized.

Sunday was pretty relaxing and it was sad to say goodbye. I had a wonderful time in Cleveland (or wherever I was) visiting my friends. The plane ride home had three 4 year olds… God help me… and everyone wanted to ride the shuttle back that didn’t have any. One of the baggage bins on the plane was holding their balloon animals… that’s it, just their balloon animals.

To see the pictures click the link below.

FISH PRIDE

…and it sold comics

It was 1985 – 1986; DC Comics was in the middle of Crisis on Infinite Earths, one of the first 12 issue maxi series in comic history. It was a plan to simplify the DC Universe, which quite literally had infinite earths. They promised heroes would die, history would be changed… the DC Universe would never be the same.

I remember the cover clearly in my head (yes, I own the comic, but it’s wrapped in plastic safe and sound); Superman, outfit torn all to hell, holding the limp body of Supergirl, surrounded by all the other heroes in the DC Universe. Inside this issue Supergirl sacrificed her own life to save that of her cousin: Superman. I was 14. I cried when I read that issue.

It was a defining moment in comic book history. It was a defining moment in my history… and it sold comics.

Other heroes in comic book history have also given their lives for others: Jean Grey (a.k.a. Marvel Girl), Flash, Green Lantern, Thunderbird, Green Arrow, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Donna Troy… I probably could add to the list ad infinitum.

In 1988 DC offered readers the chance to vote to let the new Robin (Jason Todd) live or die in an upcoming issue. This was a very controversial idea and sparked all kinds of debate. Believe it or not the readers voted to have Jason killed… and it sold comics. In 2001 Marvel’s Colossus injected himself with the serum for the Legacy Virus, knowing it would kill him but would save countless others from the deadly disease… it was sad, and heroic… and it sold comics.

But, these heroes don’t stay dead.
Jean Grey is alive and well, apparently she didn’t die, but her body was taken over by a universal spirit which later tried to destroy the universe. Supergirl is alive. I don’t know how they plan to explain this one to me.
Jason Todd is alive… Green Arrow, Green Lantern…. I’ve even seen an X-Men comic with what truly appears to be Colossus gracing the pages (I haven’t actually bought an X book in a while so I could be wrong).

Donna Troy (Wonder Girl for those of you not in the know) has died and come back to life so many times I don’t know what to think. This month, she gets her own special: The Return of Donna Troy. To be fair DC should consider adding numbers to specials like this; The Return of Donna Troy part 347.

Here’s the thing: The storylines where these heroes have sacrificed their lives were significant (well, most of them). These stories affected your readers in such a way that they are sometimes considered to be defining moments in our lives. When you continue to bring these characters back to life again and again it lessens the lesson, lessens the experience, and lessens the value of the character, the comic and your company. Comic books are, in my opinion, an art form.

Superman and Lois Lane get married; Peter Parker and Mary Jane get married, Green Lantern’s assistant gets beat up for being gay; George W. Bush and Lex Luthor were both President of the United States; Green Arrow’s sidekick is HIV positive; Supergirl dying… this is life imitating art guys. These are stories that touch the imagination and make us think about the hard issues, the life issues, the happy issues, the sad issues. Don’t make cheap excuses to sell comics.

Welcome To Jamez in the Life

My normal posting site: www.urukhai.org/fortress is having some difficulties so I had to create this.