This week was a little light, but good things were pretty damn good. Here's the breakdown...
Friday Slice of Heaven
My Five-Page Comic Script Is Being Critiqued By Jason Aaron! - Holy crud. After the Comics Experience writing course wrapped up, all attendees were given a free month of the Comic Creator's Workshop, where all areas of comic creation can meet, discuss and post comic scripts to be critiqued. I received an email last Wednesday saying that there was a challenge at the Workshop to create a five-page comic script with one rule: all panel descriptions had to be no more than one sentence. The email also stated that all scripts had to be posted by midnight Saturday to be part of the challenge. I intended to enter, but found that I only had time on Saturday starting at 8:00 PM. I had been running a few possible stories through my head for a few days, but it wasn't until after two pints and lunch at the Hollister Brewing Company, and after the movie The Town that I got serious about the project and hammered it out over three hours.
Low and behold, mine was chosen to be critiqued by Jason Aaron writer of Scalped, Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine, Wolverine, Ghost Rider and many others. Even if he takes my script and kicks it in the nuts, and rubs its face in the dirt, I will be sad yet thankful that it was done by one of my favorite writers. You know, a sort of "thank you sir may I have another" sort of thing.
Aaron also gave some of the best advice that I have ever read at his "Where the Hell Am I" column at ComicBookResources.com. He stated, "If you ever wanna write comics for a living, the first thing you need to do...is not suck." It's as simple as that. Here's to hoping that my little five-pager doesn't suck. This news made me pretty damn happy.
Troll 2 - Okay, I can't believe that it has taken me this long to watch this ugly, thought deteriorating, poorly scripted, over acted, cheaply produced, beautifully gorgeous train wreck of a fucking movie. This was beyond monumental. The story is about an obnoxious little brat who talks to his dead creepy-as-hell grandpa--who should not be allowed anywhere near children--and who has told the whiny little tyke all kinds of bullshit about goblins. Wait a minute there Donist, you said this movie is about trolls, right? Well, the title has the word troll in it, but the short little poorly-costumed creatures are only ever called goblins. This is because...well...beats the hell out of me, but let's not ponder the details. Anyways, there's a daughter with 80's hair, who likes to dance horribly and reveal camel toe while lifting weights all night. She also likes to complain about her boyfriend, who is more 80's than she is, and who refuses to see her without the presence of his three guy pals, one of which he sleeps in the same bed with while shirtless. Ummm...okay. Anyhow, the mom is glassy-eyed nuts and the dad has a really bad haircut and likes to walk around with shirt unbuttoned down to his navel. Then, see, there are these
trolls goblins that live in the vacation town of Nilbog (think about it) and they try to get humans to eat weird cakes that turn human flesh either into a goopy ochre type plant-based slop that they can eat, or the human tissue turns into a meat/vegetable hybrid that they can eat. What the hell?!
Also, there's a witch with black crayon on her teeth, and the directors tried to make her look old, but you can totally tell that she is kinda hot and stacked under the horrible makeup. She wants to trick humans into eating her wares so that they turn into vegetable goo too. Creepy grandpa shows up at all sorts of weird times and under the dumbest circumstances, with some degree of rationale that still has me confused. Stone Henge gets brought into the whole mess somehow and the whiny brat confusingly saves the day in a manner that still has my head reeling. But, it is a hollow victory because everyone comes back to life...what the fuck!? Now I'm all confused and that feeling is priceless, since the entire movie flew by in no time at all and I enjoyed it immensely.
The catalyst for watching Troll 2 was that I heard about a documentary titled Best Worst Movie (to be released November 16 on DVD), which centers on the near cult following of Troll 2 and follows the actors and actresseses, the fans and with tons of other bizarre information. I cannot wait. Troll 2 is also currently streaming on Netflix. Watch it now, ya lousy bums!
Pride of Baghdad - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, with art by Nico Henrichon. I have come to the conclusion that any movie or book that has animals as the main characters--with the exception of Hotel for Dogs, Garfield, and Cats and Dogs--is going to have some serious shit go down, and I will be left feeling as if I were punched in the stomach 37 times. Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, Plague Dogs, Watership Down, We3, christ...need I go on? I'm already getting teary eyed. That said, Pride of Baghdad is an incredibly well written graphic novel, with gorgeous art that comes together in one of the most emotionally stirring books I have ever read.
The story is based on true events, and concerns a pride of lions who have been released from a bombed out zoo in Baghdad. They are left to struggle to find their way through a war torn Iraq and to determine if life was better in the zoo or now that they are free. The back story on each lion is all too real, and the events in the book happen all too quickly and are jarring yet realistic; especially the end.
I had to process this one for a while, and was nearly crying throughout the book, but I could not put it down or turn away. Excellent beyond what I can describe and I am all the better for having read it. War sucks.
Slice Into the Woods
Rutgers University Freshman, Tyler Clementi, Commits Suicide - Not only does this bullying shit go down in the K-12's, but it continues on into college at the very place where students finally hope to be able to start their lives anew. Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, and the roommate's female friend, Molly Wei, installed hidden surveillance cameras and transmitted shots of Clementi having sex to the web, invading the man's privacy for their own amusement. Clementi later committed suicide by jumping off a bridge as a result of his embarrassment.
At least Ravi and Wei are 18 and there is no question whether or not these evil assholes can be tried as adults. This kind of behavior needs to stop and bullying needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I am sorry that Clementi felt there was no other way to deal with the horrible behavior of these awful human beings.