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Archive for the ‘Comic Books’ Category

Including web comics!

Oil of Olay

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

Way way way back early this morning, I posted a list of webcomics that I like, and I linked to one strip of Dinosaur Comics in particular that gave me many hours of enjoyment. The strip I linked to included the dialogue from an old commercial for Oil of Olay.  It was so complately random and so completely nostalgic, I remembered it instantly.  The strip was brilliant, even managing to incorporate the inflection in the voices of the actors.  I present, the best Dinosaur Comics strip possibly ever:

 

Ringing any bells?  Odds are, if you grew up in Canada or Australia, you’ve seen this commercial before.  If the strip didn’t jog any memories, here’s the real fun – the actual commercial.

 

 

This makes me smile a lot.

And as an added bonus, anyone recognize Miss Fitzhenry?  It might help if you pictured her blue-skinned and bald.

 

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Posted in Blogathon 2009, Comic Books | Leave a Comment »

The Boyfriend List #1: Spider-Man

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

As if you didn’t know this was coming.

Yes, people, Spider-Man is my number one boyfriend.  Peter Parker, the Amazing, Spectacular, Web-Of Spider-Man.  Those of you who have known me for any period of time will know that I am completely and utterly crazy about this web-crawling menace.  And why?  That’s easy too, if you know me.

I don’t believe in the great fantastic love story.  I don’t believe that relationships like the ones you see in romances really happen.  I believe that love is something more solid and steady as opposed to something hot and romantic.  I do, however, enjoy a good story about a great love affair, and Spider-Man has that x2.

The first great love of Peter Parker’s life, and the one I think was his “one” was Gwen Stacey.  Gwen was a sweet, sometimes simpering girl that  he was involved with while in college.  It shouldn’t be a spoiler to anyone at this point that as soon as Peter and Gwen found some measure of happiness, the Green Goblin swooped in and dropped Gwen from the top of the George Washington Bridge.  Spider-Man shot a web line out to catch Gwen by the ankle, but he was too late; the fall had already done its damage.

Every woman who followed was measured against her.  Peter never got over Gwen Stacey, the love of his life.  In fact in every story of an alternate reality where Parker is able to live out his greatest desire, the life he would choose if he could, Gwen is always alive and always with Peter.

gwenneckThe death of Gwen Stacey was one of the major turning points in Peter’s life.  From now on you could measure Peter’s life in the comics in one of two ways: before Gwen, and after Gwen.  He never got over the guilt he felt for letting her go, and he never stopped loving her.  And what makes it even sadder is that, although the Green Goblin is ultimately responsible for the death of Gwen Stacey, Peter’s attempt to save her is what literally killed her.

It wasn’t the fall or the altitude that were the cause of death; it was the sudden stop causing Gwen’s neck to snap.  It was Peter’s grabbing her by the ankle and stopping her fall.  Peter Parker was unwittingly and unknowingly responsible for the death of Gwen Stacey.  How absolutely tragic.

Once Gwen was out of the picture, the stage was set for Peter and Mary Jane Parker to finally get it on.  They’d known each other and been friends with each other all the while that Peter was dating Gwen, and when Peter sunk into a deep depression over the loss of his lover, MJ was there to take care of him.  She was the only one who was really there for him during this time, and eventually the friendship that Peter felt for MJ turned into love.

They had some rough times – like when they lost their baby, May – but Peter and MJ were together for a long time and although *I* personally never got over the loss of Peter+Gwen, I could see that Peter+MJ were a much more rock solid couple who really seemed to belong together.  I was happy for them, and really, I thought MJ was pretty awesome.

Spider-Man’s romantic relationships are only one reason why I adore him so.  The other, probably much bigger, reason that I love him is his completely consuming sense of responsibility.  He’s a norma guy with extraordinary powers, and while there’s no denying that he sometimes has fun being the web-slinger, he would much rather have anormal life with his normal wife, and not have to run off into danger and leave behind the ones he cares about.  But he does it anyway.  Because, if you’ll allow me one brief moment of cheese, he’s a hero.

Spider-Man is cute, smart, noble, funny, responsible, and dedicated.  He has all of my favourite qualities in a person, and a snazzy pair of red tights.  Sometimes the writers do some really suspect things with him, but overall he’s been consistantly entertaining and heroic, and I have always had a soft spot in my heart for a hero.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Boyfriends, Comic Books, Essential Melanie, Nerd Talk | Leave a Comment »

There was pizza.

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

I was distracted by pizza and don’t have anything ready.  Please enjoy this list of lists.

The Rap Songs I  Know The Words To List

  • Whatta Man, by Salt ‘n’ Peppa
  • Gonna Make You Sweat, by C + C Music Factory

Favourite Couples List

  • John and Aeryn, Farscape
  • Westley and Buttercup, A Princess Bride
  • Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey, Spider-Man
  • Henry and Clare, The Time Traveler’s Wife

Favourite Smells List

  • Citrus
  • Chlorine
  • Vanilla

Favourite Places List

  • My bed
  • A grassy park
  • Movie theatres

Favourite Other Melanie’s List

  • uh, none.

Stuff on My Desk Right Now List

  • Laptop
  • Diet redbull
  • Diet pepsi
  • one tim bit
  • Half eaten cookie
  • $3.37
  • Alfred

Stuff I Should Be Doing Right Now List

  • Laundry
  • Cleaning
  • Sleeping
  • Reading articles for Rape Relief
  • Watching Earth 2

Stuff I Want List

  • New tattoos
  • wii
  • Proper shoes
  • Monies

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Comic Books, Essential Melanie, Movies/TV, Nerd Talk | 6 Comments »

The Naming of Mayday

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

mayday3When my bunny passed away a few years ago, I suddenly had room for another animal in my life.  So I went down to the Toronto Humane Society and decided to adopt a cat.  A friend for Rygel, I thought.  How nice!

I went in and told them I wanted a female cat (less likely to fight with my male cat), who was declawed (in case they did fight, it would be fair), and who was either older or had been here for a while (less likely to find a home).  They said “We have one like that!” and lead me into the back end of the shelter and introduced me to this beautiful soft-furred lady.

As soon as they opened the cage and I gave her my finger to sniff, I knew she was mine.  She didn’t seem to be afraid of me at all; quite the opposite, she seemed to take to me immediately.  I took her home and kept her separate from Rygel so they could be introduced to each other gradually.

Later that day I thought about what I could name my new kitty.  Usually when an animal comes into my life, they do something that inspires a name, almost as though they were naming themselves.  But this new kitty wasn’t doing anything that made me shout Eureka!  So I decidd to take a different approach: I would write down a whole bunch of names that I thought were cute, put them in a hat, and pick one out.  Whatever name I picked out would apply to my lovely new kitten!

The first name I picked out was Gir.  Hmm.  Too much personality.  I chose again and got Miss Kitty Fantastico.  No, too long really.  The next name out was Muffins.  Ugh, really?  what was I thinking there?  In quick succession I also pulled out and dismissed Spot, Tattoo, Bunny, Zhan, Potato, and Sassy Pants.  Finally I picked out Mayday.  Oh.  Mayday.  Yes, that sounds really nice.  Mayday,  I like it!

And the name stuck.

For those of you who are wondering (it’s killing you, I know) Mayday is named after Spider-Man’s daughter.  Yes, Spider-Man had a daughter.  In regular (Earth 616) continuity, little May Parker was not long for this world, but in an alternate reality, May “Mayday” Parker is swining proud as the daughter of Spider-Man.

Also, she likes to sleep on my laptop and meow for no apparent reason.  I loves her.

mayday2

Posted in Aminals, Blogathon 2009, Comic Books, Nerd Talk | Leave a Comment »

The Boyfriend List #9: Christian Bale

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

It’s a fantasy list, so I’m allowed to be really shallow, right?

Bale is on here mostly for his affiliation with Batman, a character I have long found fascinating and sexy.  And the fact is that some Batmen are sexier than others.  Michael Keaton’s stellar turn at the role notwithstanding, Christian Bale just does it for me in terms of sheer sex appeal.  And I don’t even mind that he’s kind of a jerk.  Mind?  I kind of like it.  He’s a jerk about something that matters a hell of a lot to him, and I kind of have to admire that level of passion.

When I look at Christian Bale, I see an actor first, and then a hot dude.  In every role I’ve seen him in he’s been dedicated.  He seems to throw himself into his craft, and I find that kind of single-minded determination to be very attractive.  Of course that may say more about my own neuroses than about my fondness for the new Batman.

Like I said, his role as Batman is what really pushed him onto this list.  I’m a huge comic book fan, and Batman is one of the most fascinating characters ever created.  Like the actor who plays him, Batman is dedicated to his work.  He sees the world, or at least Gotham, as a problem to be solved, and not a place to live in, love in, laugh in.  There is little to no room in Batman’s world for frivolity or any really anything other than crime fighting.  That’s probably why it’s so easy to say that Batman is who he really is, and Bruce Wayne is the mask.

So, do I wonder who Christian Bale really is under his mask?  Not really.  The boyfriend list exists as a way for me to oogle boys that I think are cute, in one way or another.  I don’t really need to, or want to, know about who the boys are in their real lives.  I will never meet them, and I don’t actually know anything about them right now.  I know the roles that Bale plays, and I know he’s a very pretty boy.  Everything beyond that is created from my imagination.  It’s fantasy, and I like it like that.  Reality would only get in the way.

 

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Boyfriends, Comic Books, Movies/TV | 2 Comments »

The Webcomics List

Posted by melagee on July 25, 2009

I know, already, right?

Some webcomics you should read, include but are not limited to:

5) Diesel Sweeties

I’m not even sure how to justify this comic.  Maybe I don’t have to?  It’s a wildly popular comic and I enjoy it, but the fact is it’s only sometimes funny and often I don’t get it.  I think more than anything it’s the fondness for the characters that keeps me coming back.  I’m interested in what they’re up to, and the only way to find that out is to keep reading.

tesla

4) Hark! A Vagrant!

Oh, Kate Beaton, you are so close to being on the Girlfriend List!  Your comics are hilarious and off-beat, and you make history actually seem funny.  My favourite will always be the Tesla strip, which conveys his exasperation in such detail that I can’t help but giggle.  Who would ever think of surrounding Tesla with groupies?!  Kate Beaton would.  She’s one reason why I’m dissapointed that I don’t live in Toronto anymore.

3) xkcd

If you don’t read xkcd, or you don’t know why you should, I’m not sure what to say to you because I now think you’re an idiot.  This strip is consistently hilarious, even when you don’t get all the jokes, and the added bonus of smart makes xkcd an absolute essential.  This is a webcomic that inspires quotes among fans.  This is a webcomic that makes you feel smarter than you are, even when you don’t get the joke.  This is a webcomic that is just freaking hilarious.

2) Dinosaur Comics

Hello!  Meet the other reason I am sad I don’t live in Toronto anymore! (PS: there are actually more reasons!) Dinosaur comics is another one that is both hilarious and smart, but the hilarity in this one feels more personal.  Although I know that this is a super successful strip, I always feel like the type of humour is aimed more and me (and my kind) than at any mass audience.  You kind of feel like Ryan North is someone you could hang out with and be pals with.  Also, T-Rex is adorable. Also also, this strip gave me hours of enjoyment and caused me to seek out the commercial in reference.

1) Questionable Content

My absolutely, no doubt, unquestionably favourite webcomic ever.  I love this story so much.  It is frequently quite hilarious, but the really captivating thing about QC are the characters.  They’ve become so real, they even have Twitter accounts.  If you’re going to read this one, you have to go back to the beginning and work your way up to the present.  You cannot just wade in at any time.  This might seem like it makes difficult for new readers to get the hang of things, but the whole progression of starting from Day 1 and working your way to the end is so rewarding and enjoyable, I really don’t see it as a hindrance.

Posted in Blogathon 2009, Comic Books, Nerd Talk | Leave a Comment »

Star Trek: a different kind of “bold”

Posted by melagee on May 11, 2009

I saw the new Star Trek movie over the weekend, and when it was over my friend asked me what I thought of it. My answer was that I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked it, and it wasn’t really until I read another friend’s blog about the movie that I began to put my finger on what was wrong with this film.

I can’t deny that it was a good movie.  It was esplosions in space!  Who doesn’t love esplosions in space?  The problem is that when you consider it within the context of Star Trek, it failed to live up to the ideology that proceeded it.  Those things I enjoyed about the new movie are vastly and incredibly different from those things I enjoyed about “real” Star Trek.  This had sexy people performing sexy actions, and it included some very good impressions of familiar and lovable characters.  But “real” Star Trek is about humanity and the highlighting of different sides of ourselves.  It has always, to me, read best as a manual for how to achieve the perfect way of being in the perfect civilization.  And yes, it’s was sometimes heavy handed about it, but I could accept that.  This new version of Star Trek is almost exclusively about action, and while that makes for a fun movie, it doesn’t make for Star Trek.

I found some similar problems with Watchmen when it came out.  While a superficial viewing of the film revealed it to be an excellent film, it really was a horribly adaptation.  It was technically correct in representing what happened in the pages of the comic book, but there were so many things that happened in the comics that were cut out of the movie that the tone and message of the story was completely changed.  The Watchmen comic book was less about the adventuring of superheroes and more about the frailties and vulnerabilities of the heroes themselves.  Examples of this came in the form of Night Owl’s excess belly (which was trimmed down to a small and healthy pudge in the movie) and the reluctance Night Owl and Silk Spectre exhibited in fighting off a bunch of thugs in an ally (which became an exciting and sexy fight romp for the characters in the movie).  The actions were the same, but the motivations were vastly different, thus the message was corrupted.  Watchmen is an enjoyable movie, but it’s just not what Alan Moore had in mind when he wrote the comic book.

It’s the same thing with Star Trek.  Gene Roddenberry created a series about man’s ability to overcome his flaws and be a better person, and what we got in this latest movie was man’s ability to be awesome and kick ass, and it doesn’t matter how many catch phrases they lift from the original series or how many Red Shirt’s are killed on away missions, the message has still been corrupted.

Having said that, I don’t think it’s impossible for both versions of the story to exist simultaneously.  A new version of Star Trek does not diminish what Roddenberry created any more than a new Battlestar Galactica destroys the cheesiness of the original series, or a Scott Pilgrim movie destroys the homey grassrootyness of the comic book.   You can reject one face of Star Trek while continuing to embrace the other, and I do believe that’s what I will be doing.

Posted in Buds, Comic Books, Movies/TV, Nerd Talk | Leave a Comment »