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    • return of the native?

    • Posted by roque on 26 Feb 08
    • god help me, it looks like I may be moving back to the U.S. within the next year and a half.

      and, god help me, part of me is looking forward to it.

      random photo: Mark Trail meets "Deliverance." srsly. not Photoshopped.

      you got a purty mouth
    • The Old Photoblag : 18

    • Posted by Ben on 26 Feb 08
    • Hotel Hamilton

      The scenic view from the foreigners district's prettiest hotel, The Hamilton Hotel. I really do forget why we were there. I think it was part of our Christmas trip. The area is known for quite a few things. Such as Hooker Hill, Homo Hill, the seediest bars I've ever seen and quite a few drunken ex-patriots and soldiers. The enormous US Military base is just around the corner in HayBanChon I believe. Though as we were leaving the base was being closed and moved to a less visible area outside of the city. Probably four times as large, but out of sight. Which is a scary thought because it took up a fucking huge chunk of the city.

      It's the only part of town that you can be assured someone will speak English, so I went looking for work there when I first got into town. I know, "Why didn't you learn Korean before you left?! Where's your cultural sensitivity?!" I left it in Victoria! Along with my brand new computer and most of my physical belongings. I didn't have that much time to pack you see. I moved to Korea because my life simply shifted there. No time for true mental preparation. I'm sure it wouldn't have helped that much anyway.

      Anyways, back on topic. I went looking for work there and found a few hits, but mostly drunken offers that were soon forgotten the next day. One little website set me on the right track, but only after two months of misses and a lot cartoon network. Being unemployed makes me itchy under my skin.

      Enough rambling. I technically only have twelve minutes left to post this, so bam.
    • Random Geek: Chess (1) - Right Left Right

    • Posted by TechnocratJT on 26 Feb 08
    • A recent interview asked Greg Rucka is he was a neo-con.

      He was asked, not to accuse, but rather to get the point out there that he was not. The question comes up from time to time on comic sites, the general progressive tilt of Ruckas spy fiction under the long shadow of Clancy and Bauer.

      Which is a damn shame, as the superhero espionage book Checkmate has been a sterling example of left leaning spy genre work. The genuine human loss, the questions of morality of right and wrong and being better then the monsters you fight, the value of duty - not to self righteousness - but to a protecting the good.

      And calling Superman and Alan Scott sir of course.

      How does that relate, well I will get there.
    • Internets gone!

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 25 Feb 08
    • My grandparents canceled hight speed internet and phone today, and I don't know when they'll be changing over to something new. Due to this, my internet will be sporadic at best for a while, leaving me mostly online when I'm working on class-related stuff, until I find other options of internet. FUNFUNFUN (not). I'll miss you guys and be back as soon as I can.


      Edit: Even though Warren has absolutely nothing to do with this, I totally blame it all on him. *nodnods* I could commiserate, but I'd rather point and say His Computer (er, Cellphone, actually) Started IT!

      Edit2 My twitter feed is over here.
    • Comments on the Academy Awards

    • Posted by Andre Navarro on 25 Feb 08
    • Well, this ceremony sucked, and I'm not talking about the winners, they were mostly fine. But let's talk about the winners first, then about the ceremony:

      Juno fortunately didn't win the categories it was ridiculously nominated for (Best picture and best director? Seriously?) and won one of the two categories it deserved to win (best original screenplay and best actress, it won the former).

      Bourne Ultimatum was remembered and received three technical awards. Yes, technical, but it was still recognition. It was, after all, a magnificent espionage film.

      "No Country for Old Men" won every important category it was nominated for, (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor), except for Cinematography, and it fucking deserved every single award. Brilliant film. I was very happy to see the weak There Will Be Blood received only two awards, for Daniel Day-Lewis and Cinematography, this latter one made no sense for me and I'll discuss it later. Lewis deserved it and I'm happy, but I didn't like seeing Johnny Depp walking empty-handed from the ceremony for the third time. His work on Sweeney Todd was absolutely brilliant and the movie is so much better than There Will Be Blood. I watched There Will be Blood again today just to make sure if I really don't like the film, and I couldn't make past the first one hour and a half. What a boring, uninspired movie. Fuck the milkshake thing, that alone isn't worth the ticket.

      I was happy to see "Once" receiving the award instead of those boring "Enchanted" songs. But the man did all the talking on the speech, leaving the woman standing there like an idiot. After the interval, Jon Stewart did the one right thing he did all night and brought her back to have her say.

      I haven't watched Golden Compass, but BEST VISUAL EFFECTS? Can someone tell me if that movie honestly has best visual effects than Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End? I doubt it.

      Also, I can't understand the Cinematography Award for There Will be Blood. No Country for Old Men is a fucksight better-looking and with much better camera angles. The shadows in There Will be Blood just hide the face of the characters all the time in an obvious, ugly-looking simbolism and the camera insists in slowly zooming in the face of a character as he speaks or does something. Sweeney Todd should have been nominated instead of There Will be Blood. The shadows in that movie and the colors getting gradually hotter are brilliant touches. Fortunately, Sweeney walked out with the Art Direction award.

      I don't have much else to say about the winners. Overall, they were good. But the ceremony, it sucked. Jon Stewart was hideous, his jokes were bad and he delivered them even worse. The opening of the ceremony was pathetic, just a pretty montage with no imagination at all, which made me miss Billy Crystal terribly. At least, it was short.

      But it wasn't a wasted night. I had fun, I was happy to see all the important awards go to No Country for Old Men. The only real disappointment was Lewis getting the academy award, when Depp deserved it more.
    • WonderCon 2008

    • Posted by tedcroland on 25 Feb 08
    • I usually go Saturday and Sunday, but this year I only got there for Sunday. I saw the Tim Sale panel first thing, and though that was very dry he had some interesting things to say. I look forward to the reprint of The Amazon and his own retrospective book coming in May. He also mentioned a creator owned book he wants to do, but the info was scant. I look forward to it anyway.

      I spent way too much money. The one thing that was a real splurge was the 13" Deluxe Martian Manhunter action figure for $40. The other stuff was just jerking off. Though I did get Blankets, Ronin, Avengers Forever and the Denny O'Neil Daredevil trade, all half off. Good deal considering I probably would have bought all four of those for full price. I think I balanced the mainstream and the not-so pretty well. I'm already half through Blankets.

      I got to talk to Mike Mignola for the third year in a row. It was funny because this year I was looking for Steve Purcell (creator of Sam 'N Max), who has been friends with Mike for a very long time. I really love Mike's work, but after three Con meetings, what do you really say to someone? So I said "Hi...this is going to sound weird, but have you seen Steve Purcell around?"

      It was odd. He was very cool about it, too, and he did get his accolades from me. Hellboy/BPRD is just about my favorite continuing series of books ever, so he gets much praise when I see him.

      Steve is friends with my boss at the comic shop, and she missed him on Friday so it was my mission to connect with him and get him in gear for a signing. Sam 'N Max: Surfin' The Highway just came back into print after about a decade of not existing, and the new edition is awesome. Now that we have like ten copies of the book the signing probably happen much sooner. I've been into Sam 'N Max since the original LucasArts game came out in the early nineties, and I've got a copy of the original printing of the collection at home, but I'm super stoked for the new printing. I can finally force people to buy it. There is rarely a complaint.

      It was a good time. Lots of 'Your Team' (still didn't beat the Phil Lesh Concert round, though) was played, and four sore bodies ingested Mel's and drove back to Sonoma County. I think between us we spent about half a grand, so it was a fruitful time for all. Though now we're all broke as fuck and I pretty much blew my entire paycheck that I the Con.

      I don't actually know if anyone cares, I'm just kind of decompressing.
    • New territory for me

    • Posted by Ted on 24 Feb 08
    • For a start, it still feels weird just typing my thoughts at the internet unasked, and by extension probably unwanted. I can't help but feel vaguely narcissistic/self-centred if I try blogging; it works great for people who have something valuable to say, or who do workblogs, or something like that, but for me it seems to be daft. I have no opinions I know of that haven't already been eloquently expressed by someone, somewhere. I have no work I've finished, let alone that's on the intarwubs...except a stint on a tiny, unheard-of webcomic a while back that, in hindsight, I'm not proud of, so a workblog is probably of limited appeal too.

      But there we go. I'm here now. I'm doing it because I honestly have nowhere else, besides 2 friends who I've talked to about this, to babble on about this; it's something that's exciting me.

      It's not just that I'm writing: I'm actually going somewhere with it. Usually, whatever I try to write loses focus very quickly, and falls by the wayside. Even some things I still like the ideas for, I just can't seem to make them stick. But this time, I actually seem to be getting somewhere.

      I'm planning a webcomic; I've finished and polished the script for the prologue (36 pages - I know, it's was planned as a lot less, but the characters took up too much space), have started writing the first chapter, and am almost 5 pages into the art. The story actually means something to me, which could be why it's working (on a relative level). Maybe I've just changed enough to stick to something; who knows?

      Whilst I've been trying to practice writing and drawing for the past few years, this is the first time I've managed to sustain a piece of sequential art, even this far.

      I'm excited, terrified, and hopeful.
    • Movie Review - Juno

    • Posted by Andre Navarro on 24 Feb 08

    • "Adorable". There is no better word to describe "Juno", the movie and the character. Good at heart but with a venomous tongue, Juno MacGuff is a girl who sometimes doesn't realize she's hurting people with her words, although she has no intention to. Smart and funny, it's hard not to love her. Especially, of course, due to Ellen Page, who I'm totally in love with.

      After a night with a guy called Bleeker, she gets pregnant. At first, she decides to get an abortion, but the clinic she goes to looks so sloppy and uninterested that she gives up. Then she finds a couple for adoption, and the movie shows us the slow process of gestation and what happens during that time.

      Next time you go to a strip club, my fellow reader, you never look at that woman in the pole as a brainless pair of tits. This imaginative, intelligent script was written by ex-stripper Diablo Cody, who has a great talent for writing dialogue ("You know how doctors are, honey: they like playing God and watching lesser mortals scream"). Creating a variety of interesting, tridimensional characters, Cody doesn't need to insert any scenes written exclusively to make you laugh; the humor in "Juno" is organic, it comes from the characters and their personalities. Also, Cody deserves a fucking medal for not adding one of those annoying ending scenes when the movie tries to tell you what's its "message", something very common in movies of this genre. No, Cody keeps stuff straightforward and coherent, and always with a careful balance of subtle humor and drama. "Juno" has several laugh-out-loud moments, mainly due to dialogue. "Oh, but nobody talks like that in real-life!". Of course not, that's why movies are great and why Quentin Tarantino is a fucking genius, so you shut the fuck up.

      Jason Reitman's direction is... correct. That's it. I don't understand why in the name of fuck he's been nominated for an academy award, and meanwhile Paul Greengrass and his "The Bourne Ultimatum" are left hanging. Reitman avoids melodramatic soundtrack and the editing is good. That's it. He adds way too much musical scenes, where we see a character doing something to the sound of a song. But his direction is simply... correct. This movie's quality is almost entirely down to Diablo Cody and...

      ... the cast. Let's start, of course, with Ellen Page, who'd already left me stunned with her absolutely amazing work in "Hard Candy". Incredibly talented, she captures perfectly the ambiguity of her character: she's smart and at the same time a little immature, although she thinks of herself as exactly the opposite. With great comic timing, Page delivers her line with naturality, and her difficulty to understand when she's hurting people is hilarious. The rest of the cast is brilliant too, with special mention to the adoption couple (Jennifer Garner in a good movie, wow), Juno's parents (J.K. Simmons!), and her best friend (not Bleeker, the girl, although Michael Cera acts nicely).

      Not worthy of "Best Picture", but it has a shot on the "Best Original Screenplay" award. It's, as I said, an adorable film, funny and charming without making any effort to make you laugh. Once again, Ellen Page proves what an amazing (and cuuuuuuute) actress she is, and Diablo Cody seems a promising talent. But let's not cover her in laurels yet: too early to tell.

      Now, for the academy awards.
    • Depression Meds

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 24 Feb 08
    • Why don't they make depression meds in more palatable forms? How about chocolate-flavored candies, or gummybears? I mean, they can do that to vitamins.

      edit: N/m. JT explained it was a stupid idea. Carry on, nothing to see here.