16th Sep2014

Wizard World Richmond 2014 – A $25 Show at Twice The Price

by Will

2014-09-13 10.46.50

So, that title isn’t too optimistic. At the end of the day, it was a good experience, but it wasn’t without its issues. I’d never been to a Wizard World show before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  Considering Wizard has been putting on shows for years, I expected a well-oiled machine, even if this was their first foray into Richmond.  I had been to the VA Comicon in Richmond, so surely it had to better than that, right? Right?! Why was I making the +2 hour trip to Richmond? One reason: to meet Jason David Frank, the original Green Power Ranger. After crossing meeting Stan Lee and Adam West off my bucket list, that left one person I wanted to meet. My Power Rangers fandom has been covered at great length, so this should come as a surprise to no one. This as the closest Frank appearance in years, so I talked Special Forces into joining me, and we made the trip.

2014-09-13 10.55.42

We got to the Greater Richmond Convention Center around 10, just as the show was starting. We didn’t prebuy tickets because we didn’t want to pay the online fee. This meant that tickets at the door were $55 for one day. That’s more than twice the Sunday price for Baltimore Comic-Con. Surely, I’d get my money’s worth, right? Or so I thought. We walked into the showroom and started to make the rounds. We were done by 11 AM. There just weren’t enough booths to fill up all the space.

They eventually put up a curtain so kids couldn't see all the vibrators

They eventually put up a curtain so kids couldn’t see all the vibrators

The first thing to know is that this is more of a pop culture show than a comic convention. This meant that there were only 2 comic vendors, and they were selling the kinds of books that would’ve been on Wizard‘s Top 20 List 20 years ago. Stuff like Venom #1 (not Agent Venom, but the original brain eater) and old issues of Uncanny X-Men. The rest of the vendors sold toys and collectibles – several of whom I’d just seen in Baltimore the earlier in the week. They seemed so pressed for vendors that there were some decidedly non-Con companies there, like Lasik and Adam & Eve. The local CW affiliate was there, promoting this fall’s new shows and giving away temporary Flash tattoos. Artists, like Neal Adams, Arthur Suydam, and Kevin Eastman, were scattered amongst the vendor booths.

At the back of the room were the celebrity autograph booths. In addition to Jason David Frank, there was Ernie Hudson, Sean Patrick Flanery, Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Cain, Ron Pearlman, Batista, Michael Rooker, James Marsters and Lou Ferrigno. Oh, and the guy who plays Slade on Arrow. On top of the admission paid to get into the show, you then had to pay extra for autographs and photo ops. These prices ranged from $30-100, depending on the celebrity. I was amazed by how much Dean Cain thought he could charge for an autograph, and I wasn’t alone, as he didn’t have much of a line all day. Oh yeah, Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager was there, and he didn’t seem to have much demand either. I mean, he’s one of the lesser characters of the most hated Trek show. What do ya expect? Cameras weren’t allowed in that area, as they wanted you to pay for pictures, so we didn’t linger there for long. Seeing as how my prepaid photo op with Frank (another $55) wasn’t until 6:30, we had to find some way to kill the next 7 hrs. We were gonna have to go to some panels.

Usually when I go to cons, I avoid the panels because they take up valuable showroom time, and most are recapped online anyway. Lately, I don’t even look at the con programming, since I have no plans to take part in any of it. This time, however, we had to go to some panels just to kill time. The first one that caught our eye was a 30-minute preview of Gotham, courtesy of Fox. It seemed odd to me that they would only show us 30 minutes of a 45-minute show, but free is free. The panel was from 12:00-12:30, and they didn’t get started until about 12:10. Before it starts, they tell us they had plans to show the whole pilot, but Fox had pulled it from them the day before. So, we’d now be watching a 20-minute preview sent by the network. What we ended up getting was a 10-minute future DVD featurette about the show and nothing else. People started leaving the minute we were told it wasn’t the pilot, but more people left during the featurette. I don’t believe that the Wizard World staff ever had the whole pilot because the pre-printed programs already mentioned that it was a 30-minute preview, which wouldn’t have been enough time for the pilot anyway. I think they always meant to show the featurette and just covered it up by saying Fox pulled the pilot from them.

2014-09-13 10.17.34

Once the Gotham thing was done, we went back to the show floor and made the rounds a few more times. Mainly, we’d stop by the CW booth to see if they had their prize wheel out again. It was at this time that I finally talked Special Forces into doing Sci Fi Speed Dating. If you’ll remember, about a year ago, TLC had a special called Geek Love, about sci-fi speed dating – an event that took place at SDCC and the New York Comic-Con. I guess the guy decided to expand, as here he was in Richmond, VA. We had passed his table several times, and he’d called out to us. I couldn’t do it, ’cause ya know, married, but SF was fair game. Once I agreed to finance it (it was free for women, but $20 for men), he finally agreed to do it. When I heard that it was $20, I blurted out, “These better be some top shelf women!” The speed dating host tried to shame me and replied, “And what if they aren’t?” My answer should have been, “Then I want my money back”, but I knew what he wanted to hear. I said, “Well, I guess that’d be alright, too.” Ugh. Anyway, when Mike was done, I asked him how it went. All he could say was “It was stupid! It was dumb.” So, I don’t really know what happened behind those doors…

Packed house for Adam & Burt

Packed house for Adam & Burt

While he was in speed dating, I went to the Adam West and Burt Ward panel, commemorating the release of Batman on DVD and Blu Ray. It was your standard Q&A, complete with stupid questions. One kid asked how many Batphones were used during the filming of the show, while some other folks asked Mayor West questions. No real juicy tidbits came out of it, but it was good to see them in a panel setting since I didn’t get that when I met them at Monster Mania last year.

2014-09-13 15.39.11

After that, we went to the Jason David Frank Q&A session, which was really good. He’s engaging and great with his fans. Like any Q&A, the questions ranged from good to stupid, but he had great answers and stories for all of them. He told us how he’d been invited to Neverland Ranch, but that it was OK because he was over 18. And he told us about how Amy Jo used to get calls from prisoners. In all, it was the best panel of the day.

When it was finally time for my pic with Jason, I was really nervous while I waited in line. Would I smile? Would I pose with my Morpher? I met him and he shook my hand. The pics were an assembly line, but he was nice and gracious the whole time. I told him it was an honor to meet him and shuffled off to pic up my print.

will west with green ranger

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

You didn’t come for all that exposition, though, did you? You probably came for cosplay pics. Well, here ya go!

Wolverine

Wolverine

 

Magna Defender from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy

Magna Defender from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy

 

2014-09-13 10.22.30-1

Harley & Joker

 

The Tick & Lil Deathstroke

The Tick & Lil Deathstroke

 

Um....some anime something.

Um….some anime something.

 

2014-09-13 10.38.42

Kick Ass & Hit Girl

 

No clue, but it was cool and ornate.

No clue, but it was cool and ornate.

 

Batman '66 & Catwoman

Batman ’66 & Catwoman

 

Last Airbender Aang

Last Airbender Aang

 

"MASTADON!"

“MASTADON!”

 

Ghostbuster

Ghostbuster

 

Nick Fury

Nick Fury

 

The friendliest Joker you'll ever meet

The friendliest Joker you’ll ever meet

 

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Supervillain Pirate Lasses

Supervillain Pirate Lasses

 

Boba Fett

Boba Fett

 

He is THE LAW!

He is THE LAW!

 

No clue, but it looked cool

No clue, but it looked cool

 

Loki

Loki

 

Firefly Jaynes

Firefly Jaynes

 

Arrow & Black Canary

Arrow & Black Canary

 

A black Harley! A Blarley!

A black Harley! A Blarley!

 

Steampunk Ghostbuster

Steampunk Ghostbuster

 

Zatanna

Zatanna

 

Rogue & Friends

Rogue & Friends

 

No clue, but it was impressive.

No clue, but it was impressive.

 

Bat Family

Bat Family

 

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

 

Katniss (?), Batman, Rogue, and Logan

Katniss (?), Batman, Rogue, and Logan

 

 Joker & Harley #3? I lost track.

Joker & Harley #3? I lost track.

 

Poison Ivy and Lisa from Weird Science. I love the look on that dude's face!

Poison Ivy and Lisa from Weird Science. I love the look on that dude’s face!

 

The second greatest Ranger of all time.

The second greatest Ranger of all time.

 

Batman & Storm

Batman & Storm

 

MEGATRON!

MEGATRON!

 

Ursula

Ursula

 

Gamora

Gamora

 

Cassandra Cain Batgirl

Cassandra Cain Batgirl

09th Sep2014

Baltimore Comic-Con 2014 In Pictures

by Will

Well, another year, another trip to the Baltimore Comic-Con. This year, I didn’t make it until Sunday, even though this was the first year it was expanded to a 3-day show. This meant that I missed all the Friday and Saturday excitement, but that was fine with me. I actually expected the con to be a ghost town on Sunday, seeing as how it was the opening home game for the Baltimore Ravens. While the game contributed to traffic woes, it didn’t seem to affect the size of the con crowd, as the show was pretty crowded, but not overly so.  If I’m doing m math correctly, this was my 10th year at the show, and the 15th anniversary of it overall. With that in mind, I’ve basically done all there is to do at the show. I’ve seen most of the creators (the guest list doesn’t change much from year to year), and I wasn’t really in a buying mood. So, I went to spend the day with my friends Jay, Emily, and Keith, and I took some pics as we walked around.

Poison Ivy and Emily

Poison Ivy and Emily

 

Cap and The Winter Soldier

Cap and The Winter Soldier

 

Green Arrow #1

Green Arrow #1

 

Falcon, with Working Mechanical Wings

Falcon, with Working Mechanical Wings

 

2014-09-07 12.28.53

I bought the DC poster about 4 years ago, and still haven’t figured out anywhere to hang it.

 

Jerry "The King" Lawler. He wanted $20 for a pic, so I had to take this one on the sly. He looks like Burt Ward if he'd stayed in shape.

Jerry “The King” Lawler. He wanted $20 for a pic, so I had to take this one on the sly. He looks like Burt Ward if he’d stayed in shape.

 

Really cool Bat Mite puppet

Really cool Bat Mite puppet

 

This guy was painting Groot on glass, via a lightbox.

This guy was painting Groot on glass, via a lightbox.

 

Yes, Superman is wearing heels. And yes, he was being led around by a leash. Emily's doing the honors in this pic.

Yes, Superman is wearing heels. And yes, he was being led around by a leash. Emily’s doing the honors in this pic.

 

2014-09-07 13.11.22

Hunter S. Thompson

 

Armored Wonder Woman

Armored Wonder Woman #1

 

Dark Phoenix, getting checked out by Crossbones

Dark Phoenix, getting checked out by Crossbones

 

I have no clue who these kids are, but I figure they're from some YA property, right? Anyway, Link's in the middle.

I have no clue who these kids are, but I figure they’re from some YA property, right? Anyway, Link’s in the middle.

 

Green Arrow #2

Green Arrow #2

 

Comic Fashions #1

Comic Fashions #1

 

2014-09-07 14.13.28

Comic Fashions #2

 

The Merc With The Mouth!

The Merc With The Mouth!

 

These are basically leaked cell phone pics from DC heroines. What, too soon?

These are basically leaked cell phone pics from DC heroines. What, too soon?

 

This was a really cool print that I probably should've bought, but it was easier (read: cheaper) to take a pic of it

This was a really cool print that I probably should’ve bought, but it was easier (read: cheaper) to take a pic of it

 

Batwoman, as seen on the DC Bombshells variant

Batwoman, as seen on the DC Bombshells variant

 

Cute Dazzler art

Cute Dazzler art

 

The owner of this booth gave me permission to laugh because she was Asian.

The owner of this booth gave me permission to laugh because she was Asian.

 

Friends of Humanity cosplay

Friends of Humanity cosplay

 

Dazzler

Dazzler

 

Robin & Hawkeye

Robin & Hawkeye

 

Lantern Spectrum. Red Lantern's a coworker from my TRU days

Lantern Spectrum. Red Lantern’s a coworker from my TRU days

 

Black Canary & Green Arrow #3

Black Canary & Green Arrow #3

 

Silk Spectre & Nite Owl

Silk Spectre & Nite Owl

 

Apparently, this bobok was sold in Urban Outfitters, which isn't the least bit surprising.

Apparently, this book was sold in Urban Outfitters, which isn’t the least bit surprising.

 

Armored Wonder Woman #2

Armored Wonder Woman #2

 

Zatanna

Zatanna

 

Tony Stark. You can't tell in the pic, but his arc reactor lit up.

Tony Stark. You can’t tell in the pic, but his arc reactor lit up.

 

Mad Hatter & Queen of Hearts

Mad Hatter & Queen of Hearts

 

2014-09-07 16.02.09

Harley #1, Harley #2, and Riddler

 

LARPing Mario & Luigi

LARPing Mario & Luigi

 

Thing

Thing

 

Wasp & Ant-Man

Wasp & Ant-Man

 

Harley #3 and the orange girl was covered in gold glitter

Harley #3 and the orange girl was covered in gold glitter

 

Joker & Harley #4

Joker & Harley #4

 

Crossplay Star-Lord, with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in background

Crossplay Star-Lord, with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in background

 

Mr. Fantastic & Human Torch. Theoretically, I guess you could say Invisible Woman's there somewhere.

Mr. Fantastic & Human Torch. Theoretically, I guess you could say Invisible Woman’s there somewhere.

 

Either Batman's texting Alfred, or he's on Tinder.

Either Batman’s texting Alfred, or he’s on Tinder.

 

Lydia & Beetlejuice

Lydia & Beetlejuice

 

2014-09-07 17.09.58

Dalek at the exit

In the end, it wasn’t the best Baltimore Comic-Con experience, but it was far from the worst. I didn’t really add much to my collection, but it was a fun day with friends and sights. Tune in next week, as I’m heading to Wizard World Richmond to meet original Green Ranger, Jason David Frank. There’s sure to be a few stories from that trip!

18th Jul2014

West Week Ever – 7/18/14

by Will

photovisi-download

oie_922142seDasWF9

Man, has this been a week! Let’s not waste any time and just jump right into it.

 

The female version of Thor – looks like a woman, acts like a man.

Marvel turned this into a “Don’t Read The Comments” week with two announcements. First off, they went on The View (wow, this is my second blurb about The View in 2 weeks. They ought to be paying me!) to announce a new female Thor. Then, they went on The Colbert Report and announced that Sam Wilson, AKA The Falcon, would be taking up the mantle of Captain America. Ugh. While some folks are applauding Marvel for embracing diversity, none of these things matter. Not at all. It’s shortsighted storytelling, because the same white dudes will be in the suits again by the time Avengers 2 comes out. The Thor thing doesn’t even make sense because they’re now treating “Thor” as a title, akin to “captain” instead of the dude’s name. Other characters have lifted Mjolnir in the past and that did NOT make them THOR. Why? Because it’s the dude’s name! If I take your car, I don’t automatically become you. I just become Will in Stolen Car. It’s going to be written by Jason Aaron, a writer I usually trust, but I just can’t get excited for this. He maintains that this isn’t “She-Thor”, as I guess that moniker would lessen the character somehow. No, this is THOR…who happens to be a She. I don’t even read Thor, so I’m not gonna let this get my blood pressure all high!

blaptain

As for Blaptain America (I really hope that catches on), it’s not a new concept to anyone who’s ever heard of The Truth – a miniseries from the early 2000s about the first Captain America, who happened to be black. THAT was controversial. This just seems like a retread. It could be seen as a well-deserved promotion for Falcon, but it doesn’t quite work. Instead of putting him in the white hero’s shoes, why not make his character more important in other ways? You don’t have to make him Cap in order for him to be front and center; you just have to give him more exposure on his own. Make him the leader of a team. Give him his own title. There are other ways. I’ve actually known about the Falcon thing for a few months, so I’ve had time to process it. Still, it doesn’t make any more sense to me now than when I first heard about it.

My biggest problem with all of this is that it’s being treated like Event Storytelling. In the 80s, something like this could’ve happened and it never would’ve gotten media attention. It would have been a storyline and then everything would return to the status quo. Since Event Storytelling got into full swing, every big change has to be reported to mainstream media, and then you end up with comments from the peanut gallery of people who don’t even read comics. The problem with this kind of thing is that it’s reported like “This is how things will be from now on”, while anyone familiar with comics knows that these attention-/moneygrabs are only temporary. Man-Thor and White Cap will be back. Count on it. I’ve been in comics long enough that I don’t fall for this stuff anymore, but it’s so tiring watching this cycle happen over and over in mass media. Superman’s Dead! Captain America’s Dead! Thor’s A Woman! Captain America’s Black! Give it a rest! At the end of the day, this isn’t some kind of “bold step” for Marvel, as everything will return to the way it was. The best we could hope for is that these gimmicks give the characters enough exposure to stand on their own when all is said and done. Like when Bucky took over the role of Captain America, it made him popular enough for his own Winter Soldier series. Maybe that’s what’ll happen with Falcon and She-Thor, and I guess that could be considered a “win”. Only time will tell, but I’m really just tired of the theatrics. If it’s a good story, tell it and it will stand on its own. Stop grandstanding for major media outlets. You’re trying to get a new audience into comics, but even if it works, they’ll be gone by the time you figure out what to do with these characters. Give it a rest, Marvel.

susan heyward

While we’re talking about comics and color-shifting characters, it’s been announced that The Following‘s Susan Heyward has been cast as Deena Pilgrim in the Powers series for the Sony Playstation Network. Powers is a police procedural, set in a world of superheroes, based on the comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. As much of a Bendis fan as I might be, Powers just never really grabbed me. Still, it has its fans, and this television series has been in the works for years. There was a pilot shot for FX, with more established actors in the roles, like Lucy Punch as Pilgrim, but FX passed on the show. Eventually, it resurfaced at Sony as part of the Playstation Network, and the roles are being recast. In the comic, Deena Pilgrim is a white character, but you can see that Sony’s going a different direction. The news hasn’t been promoted in enough mainstream outlets to measure much of a response, but you can be sure that you probably won’t want to read the comments when you find it.

Archie

Oh, I forgot another comic this thing week. Archie died. Yeah, he took a bullet for his friend, Kevin Keller,  a newly-elected senator who won on a platform of stricter gun control. I swear, not all comics have to be grim and gritty. I know that this occurred in Life With Archie, which is an alternative look at a grown-up Archieverse, but that seemed like the one area of comics that never needed to succumb to gimmick storytelling. Archie is Archie. There’s a band, Jughead likes hamburgers, Reggie’s an asshole, and Archie two-times Betty and Veronica. That’s all you need to know. If any comic title didn’t need to mirror real-world politics, it’s Archie. Comics are supposed to be fun escapism, and it didn’t get more escapist than the “Pleasantville” town of Riverdale.

tbbt

Some of you TV fans will be happy, as it’s looking like The Big Bang Theory is in trouble at the moment. I like the show, but I know it has its detractors. Apparently, the 3 leads make $350,000 per episode, but now they want to triple that. Yes, TRIPLE. In a way, I kinda think they deserve it, based on the ratings (it’s the highest rated comedy on television), but I know that Ashton was making about $800,000 per episode for Two and a Half Men, making him the highest paid actor on television. Back in the 90s, you had situations where the Friends were making about $1M per episode for the final season, but the television landscape has changed, and folks aren’t being paid that much anymore. In any case, the cast isn’t showing up for work, and CBS is scrambling to figure out what to do if negotiations don’t end soon.

"Obvious Child" New York Special Screening - Arrivals

The axe is coming down over at Studio 8H, as it was announced that 3 featured players and a regular cast member are leaving Saturday Night Live. Brooks Wheelan, John Milhiser, and Noel Wells won’t be enjoying a second season live from New York. It’s kinda sad, as the cast was too bloated to give anyone exposure (other than Sasheer Zamata), so I almost feel like they never had a chance. In a departure that makes me really sad, Nasim Pedrad also isn’t coming back, but this is mainly due to her role on Fox’s Mulaney next season.

Kumar

Harold & Kumar: The Animated Series is coming to Adult Swim. I dunno, but I feel like this is a day late and a dollar short. I mean, remember when Napoleon Dynamite came to Fox, and nobody gave a shit ’cause the movie was 9 years old? This feels like that. At least they got the original cast back, but I just don’t see this being a big hit.

146345417TH003_A_E_s_Storag

There’s good news and bad news coming from the Storage Wars camp. The good news is that, following the success of their special, Jarrod and Brandi are getting their own show, Married to the Job. The bad news, however, is that Mr. Yuuup himself, Dave Hester, returns on August 12th. I guess he settled his lawsuit against A&E, but the show must be in some kinda trouble if they crawled back to him. It’ll be interesting to see how the newer buyers like Renee and Ivy interact with him.

sam-and-cat-favorite-show-5

The show’s over for Sam & Cat, as Nick has cancelled the series. At this point, it’s still not clear if it was due to the pay gap between the two stars or if it was due to Jennette McCurdy’s racy pics. Either way, Ariana Grande can focus on her singing, while Jenette will have to look for her next gig.

woll

The Marvel news keeps on coming, as it was announced yesterday that True Blood‘s Deborah Ann Woll will be playing Karen Page in the Netflix Daredevil series. I know these things are supposed to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but outside of Rosario Dawson, none of the casting decisions have really gotten me excited. I hope the execution of this show is stellar enough to put me at ease.

EW1321-1322-Ultron

In movie news, we bring it right back to Marvel, as they scored the cover of the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. There we got our first glimpse at the movie version of Ultron, as well as some hints as to his cinematic origin. In Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, it appears that Tony Stark creates Ultron as a robotic defense system in order to give the Avengers a break. And, of course, this goes horribly wrong. I’m really looking forward to this movie, and I don’t have any qualms with the new Ultron origin, as it fits with what they’ve been doing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

roberto_orci

It looks like Saban may actually be throwing some money at the Power Rangers movie reboot, as it was announced this week that Roberto Orci has been brought on as executive producer. He’s got actual industry credits (Star Trek, Amazing Spider-Man), so this is certainly a good sign.

Kacy Catanzaro became the first woman to complete the American Ninja Warrior course this week. I don’t really watch this show, but I was in a sleep center doing a sleep study and it happened to be on. Anyway, it’s pretty incredible and I just marvel at how many places in the course I would’ve just given up and gone home. I really need to get in shape…


I don’t talk about it much here, but I’m a casual wrestling fan. I used to be more into it than I am now, but I still enjoy bouts in the squared circle. So, it was to my disappointment that my favorite wrestler at the moment, Brodus Clay, was released by WWE a few weeks ago. He was never gonna win the Heavyweight Championship, but he was still fun to watch, as he was just so lighthearted. It was especially great when he danced with his Funkadactyls. Anyway, I’m gonna miss seeing him, so let’s pour one out for the Funkasaurus.

marvel

I may not like the announcements they made, but there’s no denying that Marvel dominated the week. Folks are still talking about She-Thor and Blaptain America, while that EW cover took over social media when it was released on Wednesday. Sure, these changes won’t last, and everything will eventually go back to the way things were, but the goal was to get the spotlight on Marvel and it succeeded. For that reason, Marvel had the West Week Ever.

 

06th Jun2014

West Week Ever – 6/6/14

by Will

 

38acd3fc-ef1b-47ad-b33d-9225e4c5bd34wallpaper

 

oie_922142seDasWF9

 

hd-ted-movie

So, I finally saw Ted. I guess to commemorate the release of A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ted was brought back to Redbox and I was able to snag it during one of my many trips to 7/11 last week. In all, I really enjoyed it. Someone described it to me as a “live action Family Guy“, and it did not disappoint. I especially loved the world in which it was set – where folks just accept this sentient bear, and that he’s such old news that they don’t even turn and stare at this point.

tagteam

I also watched the pilot for Tagteam on YouTube. I never would’ve known about this had the Nerd Lunch Podcast not mentioned it last week, so I thank them for that. If you’ve never heard of it, Tagteam was an ABC pilot from 1991 that aired the night before Super Bowl XXV. In it, Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper play pro wrestlers who find themselves banned for life from wrestling because they wouldn’t throw a match. Without any real skills, they struggle to figure out what to do next with their lives. After foiling an armed robbery at their local grocery store, they decide to join the police academy so they can keep taking down bad guys. On their first case, they’re assigned to guard a witness to a murder, but they end up suspended when their veteran partners are attacked and the witness gets away. In the end, the two use their wrestling skills to take down the hitmen and deliver the witness to the courthouse just in time for her to testify. Ya know, given the era in which it was made, it didn’t suck. I guess ABC just didn’t get the ratings they’d hoped for. It had that Glen A. Larson style of violence, where folks are shot at but not killed. To me, however, the most baffling aspect was that Ventura and Piper were going to be working the undercover unit, having been midcard tag-team wrestlers in their former career. Sure, the average guy on the street may not recognize them, but eventually someone’s gonna say “Hey, didn’t I see you wrestle at the Garden?” or whatever.

0_0_3360422_03_800x600

On the Netflix front, I watched Women Who Kill, which is nothing like it sounds. It’s a standup special featuring female comedians. In all, there were four – Amy Schumer, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser, and Marina Franklin. If you know your comedy, you’re probably asking “who?” to that last one. As the only black woman on the special, Marina’s not as well known as her white contemporaries, which is a crime because she is hilarious. Amy has her own show, Rachel is a co-host of Upload with Shaquille O’Neal, Nikki was a co-host of Nikki and Sara Live!, but Marina’s biggest credit is Best Week Ever back in ’04. It just goes to show the divide in opportunities in comedy. Give Marina some work!

2983424-6_1280x1024

I’ve got more DVDs than I’ll ever watch in my lifetime, but I’m trying to make a dent in them. Since they’re short, I decided to watch a few of the DC animated movies. First up, I watched Batman: Under the Red Hood. The problem with these things is that they try to tell 6 month story arcs in 77 minute cartoons. Sure, a lot of those comics are decompressed, but the DVDs tend to tackle pretty major storylines that need a chance to “breathe”, so to speak. It’s been so long since I read the actual Red Hood story that I couldn’t tell you if it was accurate or not. The major beats were there, with Ra’s Al Ghul, etc, but it still felt rushed. My favorite part of the DVD, actually, was the Jonah Hex DC Short that was included on it. I think it’s because if you pay close attention, you’ll see and hear a cowboy motorboat a prostitute in the background.

Batman_Year_One

Next up, I watched Batman: Year One. Again, it’s been so long since I read the story that I don’t know how accurate it was, but it was an entertaining watch. It’s basically Jim Gordon’s story, and I didn’t even realize it he was voiced by Bryan Cranston until I saw the credits. My problem with the movie is the same problem I have with the comic: WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES JR?!!! Sure, the comic has recently tried to reintegrate him into continuity, but they made him psychotic and didn’t do a great job explaining where he’d been. I mean, this seminal storyline introduces the fact that Gordon has a kid, and then the next 25 years are spent ignoring that kid and focusing on Gordon’s niece/daughter, Barbara.

marvel_comics_doctor_strange_hd-wallpaper-1395986-the-five-actors-that-could-should-play-marvel-s-doctor-strange

It was a big week for director news, as Marvel announced that Dr. Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson. Derrickson’s mainly a horror director, and I’m not a horror guy, so I’ve seen nothing that he’s done. Next up, Josh Trank has been announced as the director of the first standalone Star Wars spinoff. Again, I haven’t seen Chronicle, but I’m looking forward to his Fantastic Four reboot, so I’m not all that familiar with his work. Meanwhile, the hunt is still on for a replacement for Edgar Wright on Ant-Man.

jamie-lynn-spears-the-journey-ep-cover

I’ve come to realize that Jamie Lynn is the more talented sister in the Spears family. Sure, everyone knows Britney, but a lot don’t realize she has a younger sister, Jamie Lynn, who rose to fame as the star of Nick’s Zoey 101. That all came to an abrupt end when Jamie Lynn got pregnant at the age of 16. Now 23, she’s embarking on a country career with the release of her first EP, The Journey. And if you like country music, it’s really good. Vocally, she’s an actual, talented singer, unlike Britney who does that whole breathless moan thing. Anyway, here’s her first single, “How Could I Want More?”

A Guy Love Reunion!

Links I Loved

Dave Holmes Revisits ‘U Can’t Touch This,’ ‘Poison,’ and Other 1990 Jams – Vulture

Mr. Serious Presents: Power-Ranking this Season’s 5 Freshman Comedies that Got Renewed – UnderScoopFire!

Baywatch Creator on Indie TV: A Producer’s Guide to Avoiding the Upfront Madness – Box Office Insider

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Nerd Thoughts! – The Robot’s Pajamas

America’s Best News Channel Is Owned by Arabs – Huff Post Media

12569192163_66e025cb79_z

This week, I did things a little differently. Ya see, nothing really stood out to me as having had THE West Week Ever, so I opened it up to votes on Twitter. Based on the suggestions I got, I was amazed by how different all of our tastes are. Orange is the New Black is coming back, but I’ve never seen it, so it doesn’t hold a ton of meaning for me. Sure, Reading Rainbow had a pretty incredible Kickstarter campaign last week, but ol’ literate Kunta Kinte doesn’t do much for me. Speaking of Kickstarter, a couple of smaller boutique toy companies also had a good week promoting their respective toy lines, but I knew next to nothing about them. Someone even mentioned Mario Kart 8, but I still haven’t played the GameCube version that I’ve been sitting on for years. Finally, @crookedninja recommended Ghostbusters. Eureka! I LOVE the Ghostbusters franchise! This week has seen an explosion of Ghostbusters-related news to mark the 30th anniversary of the franchise. First, the LEGO CUUSOO Ecto-1 set was finally released at retail, allowing fans the chance to build the famous car. Next, it was announced that the original film will be getting a theatrical re-release on August 29th, to be followed by a blu-Ray release on September 16th. Ghostbusters has often been called the perfect movie, but I’ve always been more of a fan of what the movie led to, i.e. toys and cartoons. I still have my Ghostbusters firehouse and proton pack, and I was a HUGE fan of The Real Ghostbusters. I’m actually kind of ashamed that I didn’t think of it myself, as the Ghostbusters franchise has truly had a banner week. So, for tugging on the nostalgia heartstrings, and for being all around awesome, Ghostbusters is having the West Week Ever.

11th Apr2014

West Week Ever – 4/11/14

by Will

4c70ccec-e4a1-4425-a401-3aa0fd61f1abwallpaper oie_922142seDasWF9

captain-america-winter-soldier-comic-con-poster

So, the week started out with me finally getting to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not only did I enjoy it immensely, but I have no fanboy quibbles with it whatsoever. I can’t, however, say the same for my comic shop guy. He pointed out that the Howling Commandos exhibit shouldn’t have been in the Air & Space Museum, seeing as how Cap had nothing to do with air and/or space. Touche. Anyway, we’ve all seen the movie, so I’m not gonna dedicate too much time to that here.

HBO's "True Detective" Season 1 / Director: Cary Fukunaga

I burned through as much premium cable as I could before Watchathon Week ended. I checked out True Detective solely because @OAFE made a Twitter reference about Alexandra Daddario’s breasts that I didn’t understand. Well, I’d also heard the show was good, yadda yadda yadda. As much as I enjoyed the characters and their struggles, I couldn’t follow the Yellow King case to save my life. Am I dumb? Did anyone else have this problem? I could watch another entire season of Marty and Rust, but I couldn’t give two shits about the case they’re working on.

house-of-lies

It turns out that House of Lies was, in fact, a part of Watchathon Week; they must’ve added it after I was already watching Girls. I finally finished the second season, and got about 4 episodes into season 3 before I passed out and Watchathon Week ended. I have a strange relationship with House of Lies. When the show premiered, I watched the pilot on Showtime’s website. At the time, I thought “Nobody’s as diabolical as Marty Kaan.” Then, I met someone who was. And he tried to take me down. I’m not even being dramatic. It was at my last job, and this guy just didn’t care who he hurt. He was out for himself. So, he threw me under the bus. My only solace is that I took him down with me. So, now when I watch House of Lies, I’ve gone from disbelieving Marty to loathing him. Still can’t fight the fact that he’s so damn entertaining, though.

Speaking of Don Cheadle, I’m not trying to constantly promote Arsenio, but I thought this was a funny clip:

hbo-silicon-valley.jpg

I caught HBO’s Silicon Valley on YouTube, mainly because it was a Mike Judge show. Now, I read Fast Company, and I like startup culture, but that show did absolutely nothing for me. Maybe I’m just not into the tech world enough to care. Guy creates music site with hidden potential, which sparks a bidding war amongst industry giants. I get that much, but it just wasn’t funny enough, especially considering it had TJ Miller and Kumail Nanjiani. I’d say I’ll give it another shot, but I don’t have HBO, so I guess it’ll have to wait until the next Watchathon Week.

undertaker-21-0-wallpaper-preview

Wrestlemania 30 was this week, and the day that I’ve dreaded finally happened: The Undertaker’s streak ended. If you’re not a wrestling fan, The Undertaker is a relic of a bygone age – when wrestlers had gimmicks and stage names. He dresses like an undertaker/goth priest/redneck biker, doesn’t say much, and has been an institution for almost 25 years. He’s my favorite wrestler because he’s the only one who harkens back to the old days. If he debuted today, his name would simply be Mark Calaway, and he’d have nothing special about him. Anyway, he had never lost at Wrestlemania, and his streak was 21-0. Now, before I get the people on here with the whole “wrestling isn’t real” argument, I know that. I’m not a moron. Still, within the confines of a storyline, you have to admit that a 21-year gimmick is kinda impressive. In recent years, Taker really only came out for Wrestlemania, and then spent the rest of the year in physical therapy. I mean, he’s a 49 year old man who’s been taking abuse for 30 years. That’s got to take a toll on a body. Folks have been expecting his retirement for years now, but I don’t think anyone actually believed he’d lose Sunday night. All eyes are on what his next move might be, as Sunday may have been The Dead Man’s last match. If that’s the truth, I know I’ll be sad, as he was a big part of my childhood. This guy took it harder than most:

Shocked WWE

1ba4_nerf_mortar_anim

Sadly, I have to make a correction from last week. It turns out that the NERF Nuke was, in fact, an April Fools joke. So, there will be no thermonuclear foam warfare in the near future. Sad face emoticon.

Links I Loved

Captain America is a Traitor, and Other Narrative Problems in the Winter Soldier – Reappropriate

Top 15 80′s and 90′s Board Games – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

11 Essential Ultimate Warrior Items Every Fan Should Have – UnderScoopFire!

That’s It, I’m Done with NECA – The Robot’s Pajamas

It’s the Mall Showdown: Old Malls vs. New Malls – Retroist

Colbert

In just a week since the announcement of David Letterman’s retirement, Stephen Colbert has been announced as the next host of The Late Show. As I said last week, I was always Team Leno, so I’m not quite sure how this announcement affects me. I’ve reached a point where I don’t really watch any late night talk shows anymore because the best stuff will be online the next morning anyway. So, it’s a bit of an antiquated model. Still, this is a big move for Colbert, whom I’ve always enjoyed when I caught his show (as opposed to Stewart, who I find smug and insufferable). I’ll definitely check out his first night and, who knows, this might be the show to make me tune into late night talk again. The Late Show doesn’t have the same legacy as The Tonight Show, but it’s still a big deal to be following in Letterman’s footsteps. There were very few people on my shortlist, and Colbert was right up there, so I’m not disappointed. I look forward to seeing what he brings to late night, and for that, Stephen Colbert had the West Week Ever.

07th Mar2014

West Week Ever – 3/7/14

by Will

 0d8559f2-30c0-47d5-bbee-ce5393070474wallpaper

oie_922142seDasWF9

IFC's Maron

So, this week I’ve been watching Maron on Netflix. If you’re not familiar, it stars comedian Marc Maron and it’s basically the same formula as Louie. The difference, however, is I find I relate to Maron more than Louis CK. I’ve never listened to Maron’s podcast, but I’ve heard a bunch of his bits and I find him really witty. He also has this self-loathing streak that’s kind of brave for him to be putting out there in public. So, I guess Maron has a vulnerability that I don’t see in Louis. It’s interesting they both ended up with the same kind of show, seeing as how they’re contemporaries and also had a longstanding rivalry. I’m sure it’d be easy to just write off Maron as a rip-off of Louie, but I think there’s more heart to it.

DrummondMcCurdy_opt

I never thought I’d have to do this, but I may have to strip a prior winner of West Week Ever status. If you remember, last year I bestowed the honor upon iCarly‘s Jennette McCurddy and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons. It seemed like a cute internet love story, as he had posted her as his “Woman Crush Wednesday” choice on Twitter, and they eventually ended up dating. Well, they didn’t live happily ever after, as McCurddy explained on Pete Holmes’s You Made It Weird podcast. She admitted that she only dated Drummond for the publicity and said that he was a bad kisser. Listening to the podcast, she doesn’t really come off as malicious, but she still aired their business in public. Drummond, seemingly, retaliated by “leaking” a racy photo that she’d sent him. He’s denying having anything to do with the leak, but she’s pretty certain that he’s the one who did it. Who knew that a celebrity relationship would end like this?!

arkham knight

This week, it was announced that Batman would be returning to next-gen consoles in Batman: Arkham Knight. I own Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, but still haven’t gotten Arkham Origins. I won’t be following Bats into this latest game, however, as it’s not going to be released on the 360, and I’m not planning on ever getting a PS4 or an XBone. Sucks, ’cause I’d really like to drive the Batmobile, as you’ll be able to do in this installment. Oh well, I’m sure I’m sure I know someone who’ll end up buying it and I can just play theirs.

arsenio

I swear I never set out to talk about Arsenio every week, but he keeps giving me material. I’m not sure if this has happened in other markets, but I noticed that our CW affiliate kinda cut some of his support once the second season was announced. You see, they had created a sort of “black bubble” to boost his viewership. When the show launched, its lead-in was syndicated episodes of The Middle. Someone at Channel 50 realized it had nothing in common with Arsenio’s target demographic, so in January, they started airing Judge Mathis at 10 . It was weird to see court shows that late at night, but I eventually got used to it. To ease folks out of Arsenio, they aired Cosby Show reruns after his show. This created said black bubble, as the shows were aimed at black viewers. Well, the bubble burst this week, as they took off Judge Mathis and now air Seinfeld in the 10 PM slot. I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish, as the Seinfeld audience isn’t the Arsenio audience any more than The Middle‘s audience was. They had created a nice little nest for Arsenio and now they’ve gotten rid of it (though the Cosby episodes are still the lead out). I wonder what the grand plan is for that 10 PM slot.

alg-conan-reaction-jpg

Speaking of odd programming choices, it was announced this week that Conan O’Brien will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards. This is most certainly a step down for someone who once hosted The Tonight Show. These aren’t even the fabled Video Music Awards that we’re talking about here – these are the MOVIE awards. Sure, Conan has always wanted to be hip, but the MTV crowd ain’t his audience. And it’s not like it was a contractual obligation from the network, as his show is produced by Turner while MTV is a Viacom network. Like the Arsenio scheduling, I wonder what the endgame is here.

upload

I stumbled across Upload with Shaquille O’Neal on Tru TV. Funny enough, everything on Tru TV is blatantly fake, but I gave it a chance because of Shaq’s cohosts – comedians Godfrey and Rachel Feinstein. I love both of them for different reasons, but it was painful to see them in this show. What is Upload? Basically, it’s Tosh.0 hosted by Shaq. And it’s even worse than it sounds. Since Shaq’s a lummox, Godfrey and Rachel are there to do the heavy comedic lifting, but they’re not given much to work with. Anyway, avoid this show at all costs!

Jean-Paul Aussenard

Speaking of bad television, last week Jim Parsons hosted what may be the worst episode of Saturday Night Live that I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t just unfunny, but it was weird in an uncomfortable way. He kicked off the show with a song and dance number about how he’s “not that guy” that he plays on The Big Bang Theory. Then, he spent the next 90 minutes essentially being that guy. So, I think he failed on that goal. I can’t say that I’m expecting better with this week’s host, Lena Dunham.

Anyone who’s ever been to this site knows that I eat this kinda stuff up:

I probably would’ve liked it more had he spliced in some PR footage for the visuals. It’s kinda weird watching him as he belts all those songs (especially when he kinda Britta’d some of them). Still, it’s pretty impressive.

Links I Loved
Thundercats LIVE! Was The Stuff of Nightmares – Double Dumbass On You

15 Things You Might Not Know About Star Wars – UnderScoopFire!

Jackie Robinson and the Mythic Black Superhero – Snoopy Jenkins

One’s career seems to be on the decline, while another seems to be on the way up. One seems like a moron, while the other is more of a Maron. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

lupita-2

Who had a week like Lupita Nyong’o? Sure, Adele Dazeem jokes aside, everyone was talking about Lupita’s award-winning performance in her first role. Now everyone’s speculating on what she’ll do next. Well, history and Oscar haven’t been kind to my people. Cuba went from Jerry Maguire to Boat Trip. Halle ended up doing The Call – from WWE Films, mind you. Octavia did a guest stint on CBS’s Mom. While an Oscar usually means the sky is the limit, for a black actor it usually means the limit is the sky.  I haven’t seen 12 Years A Slave yet, but I hear it’s powerful. So, enjoy your week, Lupita, ’cause it’s only a matter of time before you’re cast in A Haunted House 3 with the Wayans Bros. For now, however, let’s enjoy Lupita’s win by crowning her as having had the West Week Ever.

07th Feb2014

West Week Ever – 2/7/14

by Will

Fotor0206193325

 oie_922142seDasWF9

 

"I ain't no damn bean pie!"

“I ain’t no damn bean pie!”

Today in Black History, boxer Cassius Clay was bitten by a radioactive Muslim, transforming him into Muhammad Ali

Captain-America-Character-Poster

Last Sunday was the Super Bowl, and man did it suck. As many of you know, I’m a Denver fan by marriage, so it was pretty painful to watch. In the end, though, I can say that we had a good season, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It would’ve been nice if some of that team had made it onto the field on Sunday. Oh well, there’s always next year. The commercials were kinda boring, but folks have already covered the important ones (Radio Shack, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Amazing Spider-Man 2). I think my favorite was the Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer. I didn’t even see it during the game, so for all I know that version sucked, but the full length trailer was amazing. I’m really looking forward to that movie!

portlandia2

So, I finally finished Portlandia, and I was actually sad to see it go. I’ve read reviews that said the third season was one to skip, but I actually really enjoyed it. At that point, it becomes something of a “skitcom”, where there are still skits, but they’re placed around an ongoing sitcom narrative. Chloe Sevigny comes on board as roommate, and eventual love interest for both Fred AND Carrie. I like how the show didn’t even make a big deal out of the Carrie pairing. You’re left thinking, “Oh, I guess Carrie likes dudes and chicks. OK.” It all came to a head in the season finale, where Portland experienced a blackout. The show’s not over, as the fourth season starts on IFC at the end of the month. Sadly, I don’t get IFC, so I expect to watch it on Netflix in a few months.

broad city

Speaking of “skitcoms”, have any of you caught Broad City on Comedy Central? It stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, and it’s basically Girls only it’s funnier and you don’t want to kill all the characters. It started out as a series of web shorts, and then Amy Poehler decided to executive produce a TV version of it. On the first episode, the ladies found themselves willing to do almost anything to earn money for Lil Wayne tickets, and the drugs they’d need to go along with them. Last week, we found out that Ilana transports her weed in her vagina to throw off the cops. Yes, you read that correctly. I won’t say the show is “quirky”, but it’s definitely not like anything you’ve seen before.

DoctorDoom

It’s funny how we all have our prejudices and limits. It had been rumored that Michael B. Jordan was being sought after to play Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four reboot. At that point, a lot of fanboys were in a tizzy, saying “Johnny Storm’s not black! 60 years of storytelling supports that!” I thought they were overreacting, and felt that they should give Jordan a chance. Well, this week, it was said that they’re considering making franchise Dr. Doom a WOMAN! My knee-jerk reaction was “Dr. Doom’s not a woman!” Then, I caught myself and realized I was no better than the other naysayers. At the end of the day, I couldn’t give much of a shit about the Fantastic Four. I’ve always found them to be a boring concept. If a black Johnny and female Dr. Doom makes it exciting, then I’m all for it. So, I welcome you, boobed Doom.

BYU-NHiCcAApCYc_opt

While we’re on comics, the new, Muslim Ms. Marvel debuted this week. I discussed this when it was first announced, so I had to pick it up to see how it turned out. What did I think? I liked it. Kamala is an interesting character, and you can see how she struggles to reconcile her culture with her desire to be “normal”. My only “gripe” was that it doesn’t feel like it takes place in the Marvel Universe. Sure, the Avengers are mentioned, but only in fanfic and hallucination scenarios. In a lot of ways, it almost feels like this takes place in the “real world”, which would’ve been an interesting take on the character. I feel like she’s going to suffer once she’s dragged into Marvel’s next summer crossover. Still, the fact that she’s in New Jersey may create enough of a buffer to keep her from being “tainted” by all the heroes in NYC. Like the Runaways before her, perhaps Kamala can establish her own world away from the crazy action of NYC Marvel. I’m not sure I’m ready to make a monthly appointment with Ms. Marvel, but I’d definitely give the trade a shot.

CM Punk

If you follow professional wrestling, then you know that main eventer CM Punk has left the building. And I couldn’t be happier! I have always hated Punk and his whole straight edge gimmick. On top of that, he’s just never had the size that I felt was required of a WWE champion. I guess he stands out as a little guy amongst monsters, but that never made me like him. Plus, he reminded me of an old boss who I wanted to hit with a chair. So long, Punk!

Jay Leno Signs His New Book At 92nd Street Y

Last night was Jay Leno’s final, FINAL night on The Tonight Show, and that also means it’s the end of an era. I know that it’s not cool for the younger set to like Leno, but I’ve always admired his work ethic. On top of the show, he still takes his standup on the road during the weekends. He’s a man who really just loves to work. When the whole Conan thing went down, it was the cool kid thing to side with Conan. I did it, too. After reading both sides of the story ad nauseum, I find myself more on Jay’s side now. I mean, if you were about to lose something that you really loved, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to keep it? Even if you were kinda demoted, but they still wanted to keep you around? At the end of the day, Leno was loyal to NBC but never really got anything in return. He’s been seen as disposable TWICE in 5 years, even though his ratings are still strong. Conan’s a funny guy, but his humor was never gonna cut it with Middle America in that earlier timeslot. The things that made him funny, such as Triumph and The Masturbating Bear couldn’t come with him, and he never seemed comfortable in the role. Sure, they didn’t give him time to grow into the role, but he landed on his feet. Jay got his job back, and while folks hated him for how things went down, the ratings went back up. You can’t really argue with the numbers, even if you’re not a fan of the guy. I think Jimmy Fallon will be a great Tonight Show host, as he manages to charm everyone with his everyman demeanor. While Conan felt that he had earned The Tonight Show (and perhaps he had), Jimmy’s a guy who seems to always be grateful for what he has and for where he is. Even he can’t believe that he’s about to get the Big Chair, and that’s part of what makes it so exciting. Anyway, I’m looking forward to what’s next for all involved, but I know I’ll certainly miss what Jay brought to late night.

facebookfFacebook celebrated its 10th anniversary this week, and I didn’t even realize that much time had passed! Man, time flies. Anyway, to commemorate the occasion, users were given the ability to post Facebook Movies compiled of all the top pics and statuses they’ve uploaded since joining the site. I’ve been on since 2004, back when it was still called thefacebook, as Cornell was the 5th school to be allowed to join – ya know, before they let in all the riff raff *adjusts ascot*. I wish I could post my video here, but they didn’t add sharing functionality. Let’s just say that I expected a lot more stuff from my early days, and not as much recent stuff. To see my video, you’d think I’ve only been active with Facebook for the past year or so, with all my milestones having to do with my wedding. Yeah, it was a lovely day and all, but where are my zany pics? Where’s me running from the dragon? Where’s the pic of me dressed as every Marvel superhero at once? Where are all my skinny pictures?! Anyway, 10 years is nothing to shake a stick at, as it’s quite the accomplishment. If you’re reading this, you probably either got here from Twitter or Facebook, so that shows the power of social networking. So, to commemorate the impact that it has had on social media, Facebook had the West Week Ever.

 *Special thanks to Matt Guzy for the new site banner!

24th Jan2014

West Week Ever – 1/24/14

by Will

 fa8f6abf-6bfe-4c22-911e-68164061fa26wallpaper

 oie_922142seDasWF9

 

neal brennan

So, this week I spent a lot of my time watching standup specials. When all was said and done, I had watched three, but laughed very little. First up was Neal Brennan: Women and Black Dudes. Brennan may not be a household name, but he should be as he co-created Chappelle’s Show. Since the show ended, he’s been making a name for himself as a standup comedian, and he’s got some pretty funny stuff based around race relations and perceptions. His funniest bit is that he’s friends with a lot of black guys who call him “the N-word”. He says that it happens so much that he finds himself calling himself that word when no one’s around. You need to watch the special to get the whole gist of it, but it was pretty funny.

delia

Next up was Chris D’elia: White Man, Black Comic. D’elia’s most recent role was as Whitney Cummings’s boyfriend in Whitney, but he’s been doing standup for years. Most of his his act revolves around accents and how women are crazy. To be honest, I thought his Comedy Central half hour special was funnier, but I won’t hold it against him too much. This isn’t the special to watch if you want his best stuff, but if you’re already a fan, you should check it out.

hart

Finally, I caught Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain on Netflix. Kinda like with D’elia, this wasn’t his best work, but it shows that his act has matured, as he opens up about his infidelity and how it helped him grow as a man. There are a lot of funny bits in the special, but I expected to bust a gut. That didn’t happen.

portlandia

While I was on the comedy kick, I wanted to watch more, but didn’t feel like sitting through an entire special. So, I decided to finally give Portlandia a chance. I don’t say this much, but I think it just might be too white for me. I mean, I got a few laughs out of it, but it’s SO niche. I guess you could say that I came for Fred Armisen, but stayed for Carrie Brownstein – who has an aloof cuteness about her. I’m only 2 episodes in, but I think I’ll power through and see what the rest of the series has to offer.

tlc_waterfalls_a_p

It’s been sitting on my DVR since about October, but I finally sat down and watched CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. Before the jokes start, no, it was not a movie about The Learning Channel! I never really processed that TLC basically had the same career trajectory as a boyband. They released 3 albums in about 10 years and then disappeared. The movie suffered from too much creative license. Like The Temptations, events coincided too often in order to make the story more compelling. Left Eye’s dad dies the same day the girls are signed. Chili finds out she’s pregnant the very day she’s asked to rejoin the group. It also skipped a few important parts, such as Left Eye signing the girl group BLAQUE to her label, as well as R U The Girl? – the UPN reality show designed to replace the deceased Left Eye in the group. I still say the second verse of “Waterfalls”, with its oversimplification of HIV, makes no sense whatever.

Timonium

I started the week off by going to a toy show in Timonium, MD. In my mind, the show sucked. Pretty hard. The silver lining, however, was that I got to meet @smurfwreck and @shezcrafti in the flesh! Above is my meager haul from the show. Mr. Sinister only cost me $5, and he’s an addition to my X-Men Marvel Legends collection. Doom was carded and cost me $10 – he’s an addition to my Marvel movie figure collection. Finally, K.A.R.R. cost me $7, which was about half what folks were charging for it at Baltimore Comic-Con. I’d actually found K.A.R.R. a few months back, but @smurfwreck seemed to want it more than I did (I really wanted K.I.T.T. and hadn’t found him yet at that point), so I had sold it to him. Now that I have K.I.T.T., the “brothers” can now hang out on my wall together.

thriftj

Something hit a little too close to home this week. As you probably know, I tend to write a column called Thrift Justice, where I talk about stuff I’ve recently picked up at thrift stores. For quite some time, I was the only thing that came up in Google searches for “Thrift Justice”. Then, the other night, The Colbert Report decided to use the phrase in their The Word segment. It’s odd, because it seemed to have nothing to do with the topic at hand – the diminishing supply of execution drugs. After watching the segment, I’m hardpressed to understand where or how that phrase even entered into the discussion. Anyway, now my Google hits have been pushed down by political blogs linking to his segment. Too bad I couldn’t get any traffic out of the who ordeal. I had actually let the ThriftJustice.com url lapse, but the minute @OAFE tweeted that Colbert had used the phrase, I immediately renewed the domain – just to cover my ass.

AP_Sherman_140119_16x9_992

No one had a week like Richard Sherman. Even if you’re not a fan of sportsball, you no doubt know his name by now. Following the Seattle Seahawks’ NFC championship win, Sherman went OFF on Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers. We all joked that he “cut a promo”, like a WWE wrestler. He also decided to declare himself the best corner in the game. So, there were accusations that he was a “thug” and that his outburst showed a lack of class. Supporters have said that we have no idea the emotions he must have been feeling, and that we can’t judge him on that. My favorite thing floating around is the whole matter that Sherman graduated from Stanford, so “…not only is he not a fool, odds are he’s smarter than you and me.” Hold on there, sportswriter. I have an Ivy League degree, in just as useless of a major, so we’re probably on the same level when it comes to smarts. He’s just better at football. But I digress. All eyes will definitely be on Sherman during The Super Bowl, and he’s probably responsible for the creation of a few new Broncos fans. In any case, you couldn’t get through the news this week without hearing about Richard Sherman, and that’s why he had the West Week Ever.

23rd May2013

Thrift Justice – Hell Naw! Are You For Real?

by Will

thriftj

Do we really need an intro. Y’all know what this is all about. These are things I find in thrift stores. Usually, I write about the things that I buy. Every now and then, however, I focus on things that I simply HAD to leave behind. This is one of those posts. These are recent items that I just couldn’t believe I found, but felt would make great conversation pieces. So, away we go!

2013-05-13 10.05.54

Sure, Jakks eventually figured out how to make a decent wrestling figure, but those earliest offerings were hideous. This hails from the “Attitude Era” that I missed in its entirety, so I know next to nothing about Sable OR Shotgun Saturday Night. From what I can tell from this figure, Sable was just a wrestling groupie, right? She wasn’t a “Diva”, was she? Please tell me she wasn’t a Diva. She looks like someone’s slutty mom. She needs to take that chair packaged with her, and go sit down somewhere.

2013-04-25 18.47.24

Hehe. And notice that the seal is unbroken on this CD…

2013-04-18 19.08.01

I’m sorry, but no one has ever said “Man, I could really watch 26 hours of The Price Is Right today!” If they did, they’re probably a stoner, and can’t remember where they left this box set. I mean, really? I would watch a compilation of every episode where Barker did something sleazy to spokesmodels and women contestants, but just random-ass episodes? No, thank you!

2013-04-18 14.00.05

I’m amazed this thing actually exists. For those not in the know, this is Harry from Harry and the Hendersons. I’ve never seen the movie in its entirety,  but I was really into the Saturday afternoon syndicated show. The dad was the evil senator from the X-Men movies. That’s all I really remember about it. Well, that and that it aired along with What A Dummy! and Tiny Toon Adventures (before it was repurposed as a kids show).

2013-04-03 17.08.15

2013-04-03 17.08.22

This saddens me, as I wonder how it ended up being donated. It’s such a personal thing, and not something that would really sell to anyone other than its original recipient. As you can see, it’s some sort of CD to commemorate Mothers Day 9 years ago. Did Mom die? Did the family get a divorce? Did she finally get to the age where she started throwing away all the homemade gifts the kids made her over the years? I’m always curious when I see such personalized items being resold.

2013-03-23 12.10.47

2013-03-23 12.10.54

California Dreidels?! Can’t black people have anything to themselves?! First Elvis came along, then Eminem, and now this?!!

2013-01-19 01.07.59

OK, read this slowly, as it gets kinda good. When you get cards from a questionable source, always inspect ya deck! I saw this in a batch of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards I got, and noticed that it looked…janky. Look at the edges and borders. I don’t think this card is real. So, I grab a corner and start peeling…

2013-01-19 01.06.38

WTF?! It’s like finding Narnia! What’s under this nefarious cover?

2013-01-19 01.06.53

An entirely different card! There’s some kinda card shark on the Yu-Gi-Oh! scene! How does a tween turn to such a life of crime? Who taught him to do this? Has he already been shot in the face following a Chinatown game gone wrong? Why?! WHY?!!!

Welp, that wraps it up for this installment. I gotta Google “Chinatown Yu-Gi-Oh! shootout”. Come back tomorrow, ’cause it’s Friday, and you know what happens around here on Fridays…

02nd May2013

Thrift Justice – That Figures

by Will

thriftj

I’m an action figure guy. That really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but just in case you’re new here, I thought I’d let you in on that little tidbit. So, when thrifting, the main thing I’m looking for is some sort of cool action figure – usually to fill holes in my many odd collections. Here are a few I’ve found recently.

2012-10-29 23.44.47

Everyone remembers the various Playmates Star Trek lines, but the earlier Galoob TNG series gets no love.  Released in 1988, these 4-ish inch figures depicted all of the bridge crew (except Counselor Troi). There was even a role play Phaser and a shuttlecraft playset. When the line first came out, my mom bought my Riker and the Phaser from People’s Drug (it was the precursor to CVS in the DC area). I loved that Phaser, but it went through HELL. I still have it, but it doesn’t have a prayer of working, and I lost ever part that could be lost on it. Anyway, due to a time rift, Riker traveled back in time to fight alongside the G.I. Joes. Later on, I got Picard from a friend, and he joined Riker in his 20th century adventures. So, when I saw Worf (in his rare Lt. JG colors), I had to snatch him up. The odd thing about these figures was that their Phasers were molded into their hands. This is fine for Away Team missions, as they’re always at the ready. In bridge scenarios, however, it’s like everyone’s expecting a Shakespearean ending to things.

2012-10-30 00.06.10

This is probably the only Wonder Woman villain who matters. Get away from me, The Mary Sue! You know it’s true. Anyway, I bought the “classic” Cheetah, as she’s the one who resonated with me from the old Secret Society of Supervillains comic. I really had no desire to buy this one, but I found her for a dollar, so why not?

2012-10-30 19.46.202012-10-30 19.46.29

I’ve mentioned it a ton of time, but The Undertaker is my favorite WWE character. A lot of people are over him, but that’s exactly why I love him: his gimmick has no idea still “working” in the current WWE climate. It’s like when kids are way too old to still believe in Santa, yet their parents still go along with it (I was that kid, btw). The current WWE Universe is comprised of stars who USE THEIR REAL NAMES! If I were a wrestler, I’d probably be Bruce Williams or some shit like that. Yet, in the midst of all of these steroid case prettyboys, there’s a dude who we’re still supposed to believe comes from Hell, has a mangled brother, gets his power from an urn, and continues to return from the dead more times that Jesus, Jean Grey, and Wolverine combined! Anyway, the larger figure hails from the late Jakks era, after Taker married Sara, hence the neck tattoo. I’ve said it a thousand times, but my favorite Undertaker quote comes from the WWE Unscripted coffee table book. They ask him, “Given the success rate of wrestling marriages, what happens if you break up?” Even though it’s in print, you can still hear his voice saying it: “I guess I’ll have to find another girl named Sara.” Well, they did break up, but his next girl was named Michelle, and he had the tattoo removed. Next to him is a mini Taker who came from one of those little playsets. I just like him ’cause his tiny tongue is hanging out like a puppy.

2012-10-30 19.46.47

I never really collected a ton of Batman: The Animated Series toys while they were out. There were too many overlapping toylines, so I was still busy with the Batman Returns line when B:TAS debuted, and then I moved on to Power Rangers. Still, today’s kids have got no love for the show, as there have been 2 other animated Batman incarnations since then. So, these are kinda plentiful in thrift stores today. Usually, it’s just a bunch of beat up Jokers, but every now and then you can find a Scarecrow, or a Man Bat, or even a Catwoman. So, I’m currently fortifying my villains. I already had Riddler, Joker, and Two-Face from the old days, but I’ve since picked up Man Bat, Catwoman, Penguin, and this guy right here.

2012-10-30 19.47.01

I like Iron Man armors. I wasn’t always that way. Like most comic fans, I didn’t give a shit about Tony Stark until those movies started coming out. Then, I went back and read the “iconic” Iron Man stories (which reminds me – I really need to start doing Adventures West Coast again!), and realized I had been wrong. So, I’ve found myself buying up all the various armor figures I find. I think I have all of the 4″ Iron Man 2 Comic Series figures, and I’ve snatched up an cheap Marvel Legends I can find. I kinda hate that Rhodey’s missing his mask, but it’s still a cool figure.

2013-01-06 00.18.18

MEGO! I got this thing for $2. I was so shocked when I saw him, and snatched him off the peg. I couldn’t believe I’d gotten an authentic Mego, in pretty good shape for such a low price. I couldn’t wait to get on Twitter and boast to all of my followers about him. Until I got him home. You see, his left knee is busted, but you could really tell outside of the suit. So, he casually sits around, hoping that trouble comes to him. Still, he’s a good looking figure!

2013-02-08 22.46.34

I recently said that I secretly collect Marvel Legends movie figures, but that wasn’t the whole story – I also collect ML X-Men. As long as they’re not retail, I’ll pretty much buy anyone who’s even tangentially related to the X-Men franchise. This Storm has some stray marker streaks on her, but she knew what to expect when she left home wearing white after Labor Day!

2013-03-25 00.43.52

Yay! Power Rangers! ‘Cause we don’t talk about them nearly enough on this site. Anyway, I hate the price point of the 4″ figures, so I only buy them used or in gift sets. That explains Super Samurai Green, Dekker, and Samurai Yellow. As for RPM Red, there’s another weird collection I have. Ya see, I used to buy each season’s team, but I got to an age where I didn’t care as much and fell behind. Still, the key ranger in ANY team is the red one. So, if I come across the Red Ranger for a series I don’t already have, I buy him. One day, I may continue to fill out that team, but Red’s really the only one who matters. And the big Lost Galaxy Red is a Super Legends figure, with the same articulation as the MMPR Red figure that’s currently hard to find in stores. He’s got some play wear, but if you’ve ever watched that season, the “battle damage” is on par with what Leo put that suit through.

2013-03-25 00.45.55

Finally, we’ve got the 6″ Flame On Human Torch from the FF movie line. Again, this is Marvel Legends compatible, and he was $1. So I had to get him, and now my FF team is complete!

So, there ya have it. What figures do y’all collect? Be sure to share that in the comments!

Pages:123»