Saturday, September 30, 2006

Explore a Slightly Skewed Genius

Visit the Tim Burton Collective.

And you can actually find a forum there dedicated to Burton's movie about this guy, whose most famous work is now in glorious color.

More here.

The Man Himself (not Tim Burton, I mean)

And as portrayed by Johnny Depp.

Almost can't tell one from the other.

UPDATE: Give all your documents at work the Tim Burton touch with these.

UPDATE: Belated h/t to The Screengrab for the Burton links.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Obnoxious Loudmouth Deemed Sexy by Talk Show Queen

Via Hot Air: Oprah names Kos one of her sexiest men in the world


Does she mean The Candidate Stalker?

The Barge-In Neighbor With a Mouth Full of Nuts He's Saving for Winter?

Or The Dead-Sexy Nipple Stroker?

I guess one billionaire's definition of "sexy" doesn't have to fit everyone else's.

Vid caps courtesey Allahpundit via LGF.

Best News Headline of the Day

(with apologies for the obvious Dave Barry ripoff of this post's title)

I never knew they even left.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Saving Nickels, Saving Dimes

So I can eventually travel into space, thanks to Sir Richard Branson.

Check out this video from Virgin Galactic, appearing on

Expected cost for a two-hour suborbital flight? $200,000.

That'll be about 2000 jars of change.

Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Scientologists

They don't want to leave anyone out.

The 10th season of South Park premieres next Wednesday, October 4.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Return to Greatness

And a return to a mondo-geeky era of my early teens.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Doc Savage and his Fabulous Five!

I remember seeing the Bantam reprints of the Doc Savage pulp novels in used book stores. And it wasn't until I got a copy of a Marvel Giant-Size reprint of their first two issues of the Doc Savage comic, the ones that adapted The Man of Bronze (shown at right), the first book of the saga, that I became a Savage fan, a member of the Brotherhood of Bronze. A used bookstore not too far from my parents' house always had a steady supply of the novels (probably from boxes stored for years in some dude's basement, whose wife squinched her face in distaste when she found them and said, "What the hell is this? The Thousand-Headed Man? Ewwww, what's all that crap all over his body? And what's with the guy in the torn shirt?") I always managed to pick up a few when I'd stop by. At a quarter apiece, I got what I thought were million-dollar adventures for pocket change.

They were short reads, so I'd finish one every two or three days - a week if I was feeling lazy. Then Marvel came out with a black-and-white magazine, the first issue of which tied into the (embarrassingly corny) film version of The Man of Bronze.

That was the summer of 1975 - it was a Summer of Bronze for me.

My interest in the saga tapered over the next few years. I started reading more potboiler thrillers, and I found many of those while visiting the used bookstore looking for more Doc Savage books. I think the last one I read was The Boss of Terror while I was homebound from school during the Blizzard of 1977.

Had I grown out of Doc that quickly? Maybe. A year before, I read Black Sunday, and its plot with terrorists exploding a blimp over the Super Bowl seemed so, well, Savagish to me. Doc used Zeppelins a lot in his world travels (this was in the 1930s, when airship travel was common, until The Hindenberg became a big bag o' fire and chared metal). So why couldn't one of Doc's enemies hijack one of his Zeppelins and wreak some havoc where a lot of people were?

Sadly, we now know what sociopathic fantatics can do with any type of aircraft to anyplace where people gather.

But I had soaked up so much of the Saga during the short time I was with it: Doc's headquarters on the 86th Floor of the Empire State Building, Philip Jose Farmer's tongue-in-cheek biography Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, the imbued sensuality of Doc's cousin Patricia (and visiting the used bookstore frequently, feverishly almost, looking to see if anyone brought in a copy of Brand of the Werewolf, where she first appears), his aides - five brilliant professional men with oddball physical characteristics, but each one such a badass that he could kick your ass standing still.

In spite of my allged maturity, I still celebrate Doc, Monk, Ham, Renny, Long Tom, Johnny, Doc's cousin Patricia, and the pets Habeas Corpus and Chemistry. There's a quote from a famous Latin American author (I can't think of the exact words or who the author is) who gave an important piece of advice about writing. It says somethng about how you are not only full of all the good literature you have read, but you are also full of the comic books you read in your youth.

I still yearn to be lounging around the 86th floor, to ride in a Zeppelin or in a large airplane down to a South American country, or down inside a volcano or to a small Pacific island, and encounter a man with a thousand small heads glued to his body, or a fleet of giant bats.

It's all still with me. And it all still makes me smile.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a novel to write.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

If I'd Known It Would Have Been This Easy. . .

. . .I wouldn't have wasted my time trying to get into film school 25 years ago.

The best part, and I wish I had come across this when I was fermenting these dreams of making a major feature film, is this pair of sentences from the Kubrick quote:
The point to stress is that anyone seriously interested in making a film should find as much money as he can as quickly as he can and go out and do it. And this is no longer as difficult as it once was.
Indeed. If I weren't so incompetent with a camera (I'm not joking - I can't take a simple snapshot without getting a finger in front of the lens or moving the camera so slightly that the picture looks like something a wino sees before he passes out or cutting off the top of a subject's head or that someone's knees become the main feature of the shot or any other items from the list of What Constitutes a Bad Photograph, and I'm sure there's a list like that somewhere on the 'net), I'd rent a camera, some sound equipment, a grip kit, corral some dude to help me haul it around, and shoot a short. I've worked with layer-based editing programs, so I've got an idea of how to do post production. Easy, right?


Back when I was in college, sometime around my junior year, I got this wildass dream to go to film school. Not just any school, mind you, but the mofo mac daddy el grande supreme of flim schools: USC. I don't know why I picked that one out of all the others. I think because George Lucas went there or something. So here I was, attending a small state university in Kentucky with a double major in Radio/TV and English, and I thought I was just going to luck myself into USC's graduate program in Cinema.

According to Kubrick, all I would have needed was a good film camera (and somebody to operate it, of course) some other equipment, find some money (the hardest part) and the guts to just go ahead and make something. Anything.

That dream is more than two decades dead. It's ghost, though, sometimes shows itself and teases me. And I start to think: from my voice-over work and connections with the LMN, I now know a few folks who can shoot and do post-production.

Hmmmm. . .