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I usually don’t do “and then I left for the airport” trip reports because, let’s face it, everyone has travel travails. Maybe I am just an old fart, but my trip thus far has been marked by breakdowns of service and civility that are annoying and, taken as a whole, alarming. Consider this an ode, then.
* To the woman at American Airlines check in who saw that my suitcase was broken and couldn’t be checked and when asked “Is there anywhere I can get a tool to fix it?” just looked like I’d asked her to clean my shoes with her tongue: Go to heck! (I saw a guy with a lanyard and he did attempt to help me, and knew what the problem was, but couldn’t fix it and advised me to go see a TSA person. In the end I fixed it all by myself, broken fingernails and all.)
* To the brilliant planner at American Airlines who decided that all lunches and snacks would come at a charge ($2 for those pretzels you used to get free) and then sold them all while I was asleep and then had absolutely nothing to eat on the plane: Go to heck! To the stewardess who just looked at me blankly when I asked if there was any food left like I had asked for a diamond ring: go to heck! (The nice lady sitting next to me did heed my pain and give me a Quaker Oats bar from her purse. Neighbor helping neighbor, it’s all we’ve got.)
* To the revoltingly annoying girl or 20 or so behind me who tried to hold her bulldog on her lap for the whole flight and when told she had to put it away begged and whined like a 3 year old, and then yelled at her mom like she was a slave, and kept kicking my chair: you are the bleak future of America.
*To the guy in front of me who had bad gas the whole trip: please use the restroom.
* To the woman at the rental car agency who, without telling me, gave me a giant LeSabre or something at Premium rental price, when I had reserved a compact: You are a bad person. (When confronted with the Boat of Car, appalled, I asked the old Latino dude cleaning the parking lot if this was a compact and he laughed. “Once everyone wants SUV…no more!” I had to wait half an hour for a compact to come in, because apparently with gas at $4+ a gallon no one wants a gas guzzler any more.)
* To the people at the Bonaventure who decided that my room would be the one with no room service menu or shower cap…GIVE ME A BREAK! I called two people to get me a room service menu, and they said there are none. Luckily the guy who brought up my eventual meal went and got one for me.
Maybe I am a demanding crank, but I don’t think any of my requests today were outrageous or should have been met by blank stares, hostility or deceit, I ran into an acquaintance, also here for the BEA in the lobby and he was chewing out a hotel employee because the wifi in the lobby didn’t work. Suddenly I felt one of those “Death Wish” yeah yeah, you go! moments. Someone was fighting back and I was proud!
On the plus side, I did see Keanu Reeves on the plane.Display Comments Add a Comment
Both my wife and I have rather annoyingly been struck with some terrible back pains at the exact same time. This is especially sucky because both of us are hobbling around the house like a couple of injured camels, complaining, whining, and generally being a pains in the butt.
Yep...lots of fun at the ol' Novak household.
I put a few new zombie designs up recently over at redbubble, including one just in time for the new Indiana Jones flick. Feel free to check them out.
This weekend in Japan, the Yakult Swallows baseball team wore throwback jerseys in their series against the Tokyo Giants. Back then, the Swallows were called the Yakult Atoms and had an Astro Boy logo on their jerseys.
Check it out here
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If you’ve been spending a little much time surfing the net and reading comics (be they capes or non-capes) and feeling a little too nerdy, this is the weekend to change up the routine. There’s MMA and Super Bowl to get your juices flowing.
First up the third UFC event in recent weeks, a mega-show taking place in their traditional pre-Super Bowl Saturday timeslot. The main event is a contest for the Interim Heavyweight Championship between former champ Tim Sylvia and ex-PRIDE titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. But, to many casual fans, the fight to see this night is the UFC debut of former WWE champion Brock Lesnar, who is taking on yet another previous UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir.
But that’s really just a warm-up to the big event of the weekend, Super Bowl XLII in Arizona. To make yet another pro rasslin’ analogy, the New York Giants are the scrappy babyface looking to take down the swaggering, arrogant heel, being the New England Patriots. New England, penalized earlier in the year for stealing another team’s signals and full of players often accused of playing dirty, is shooting for a perfect season, something not done in over 25 years.
Oh yeah, for those of you going to a Super Bowl party but not really caring about the game, the early buzz on the Big Commercial during the game is a Pepsi spot revolving around a couple of hearing-impaired guys looking for a buddy’s house. You can see the commercial online already here.
And, as THE BEAT mentioned the other day, there will be an IRON MAN trailer shown during the game, one of many advertising summer blockbusters.
If you really don’t care, there’s always PUPPY BOWL or the MYTHBUSTERS marathon to watch on cable instead.
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For those so inclined, take a break today from reading those comics or watching DVDs for today’s annual Hockey Day in Canada. (Apparently, it’s also Hockey Day in Minnesota, according to the Islanders/Wild telecast.) The Detroit/Toronto game may be in the books already, but there are plenty of games left tonight (including the Battle of Alberta).
Some of the better-known hockey/comics/nerdverse connections:
* Although people always associate PEANUTS with baseball, St. Paul native Charles Schulz was a big hockey enthusiast, owning a rink in Southern California and was even inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
* Todd McFarlane used to a partial owner of the NHL Edmonton Oilers and even designed their one of their alternate logos. And there was the Tony Twist Lawsuit.
* James Kolchaka and the Zambonis’ song “Hockey Monkey.”
* Hockey is a big part of Kevin Smith’s View Askew Universe, from playing rooftop hockey in CLERKS to the skating demons in DOGMA.
We know there are more but it’s almost time for the prime-time games to start on CBC. Gotta go.
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If you’re looking for a girl wh can really kick some ass, Nicharee “Jeeja” Vismistananda, star of the new MA film CHOCOLATE is the girl. It’s directed by Prachya Pinkaew, who made Tony Jaa a star in ONG BAK.
Sure the trailer’s promise of “Real injuries!” is a little disturbing, but Jeeja is amazing.Add a Comment
We love chronicling all the crossovers between our two favorite popular culture mediums involving giant muscled-up people hitting each other repeatedly: superhero comics and pro wresting.
Today, it’s an interview at Marvel.com with Friend of the Beat Shane Helms aka The Hurricane. There’s talk about comics and sports entertainment, including Helms’ all-too-real neck injury, which has kept him out of action for quite a while now.
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The comics industry was first shocked, then stunned and then just gobsmacked as news leaked out this week of the engagement of The Beat and writer Ben McCool, of Birmingham, UK.
“MacDonald’s constant posting about ‘DDGB’ always makes me chuckle,” said DC publisher Paul Levitz. “I hope that isn’t going to stop.”
“When The Beat runs all those beefcake pictures of Marvel movie stars, box office is guaranteed,” echoed Marvel e-i-c- Joe Quesada. “This could mean a real blow to our bottom line.”
Industry concerns over the removal of these and other popular Beat Fave Hotties regularly featured on the site were allayed somewhat when news of a prenup spread. “The Beat will not change,” a close friend of the couple revealed. “She will continue to post just as much silly crap as before.
“The only big change is that The Beat is now required by law to support Aston Villa,” the pal continued.
As for Beat regulars, Gerard Butler and Clive Owen, neither could be reached for comment.
Friends of Butler, say the 300 star has been in seclusion. “He’s completely gutted and has been driven to take a role as a widowed father of 7 who must chase a kitten through a zoo in order to win the heart of Sarah Jessica Parker,” said one insider.
Owen is said to be similarly distraught, and has vowed to devote his now-empty life to playing hard boiled tough guys who never smile or miss a shot.
McCool’s only comment was “Go Villa!”Add a Comment
Because The Beat is weak, a new still from MY NAME IS BRUCE. Another one here.
Technorati Tags: Bruce Campbell
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What have things come to, when even the precocious and eternally cute Hello Kitty is willing to settle a grudge by stepping into the squared circle?
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, in conjunction with Gente California and SANRIO Co., LTD., will present the first ever professional wrestling match for the Kitty World Order (KWO). On April 5, 2008, the cheerful Hello Kitty® and mischievous Kuromi® will meet inside the wrestling ring in a classic battle of The Good vs. The Bad. This match between these two beloved characters has been sanctioned by SANRIO Co., LTD. and PWG, and will be part of a live event that will feature PWG World Championship and PWG World Tag Team Championship title matches. The event takes place on Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 8:00PM at American Legion Post #308, located at 7338 Canby Ave., Reseda, CA 91335. General Admission tickets for the event are $20. Please visit http://www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com or http://www. gentecal. com for more information.
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Actually we used Duane Reade’s “Multi Eraser” knock-off, but either way, when your light switches are clean, you are clean.
PS: Thursday is pretty anticlimactic without Lost. Sniff.Display Comments Add a Comment
We all know that there are plenty of comics-reading athletes, from noted Superman fan Shaquille O’Neal to dozens and dozens of pro wrestlers. But, if we had to pick the scariest comic book fan of them all, it could easily be UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
The Brazilian Silva, who scored a lopsided TKO win over Rich Franklin last night at UFC 77 in Cincinnati, is a long-time Spider-Man fan and derived his nickname, “The Spider,” from everyone’s favorite wall-crawler.
He told this to the Daily Star last week:
I love comic books and I have every Spider-Man comic book series since 1984. I listed him as my hero as he is the only superhero that had bills to pay.
“You can mention Batman but he was rich while Superman was from another planet. But Spider-Man had to make ends pay here on earth!
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UGO asks Neil Gaiman, Ozzy Osbourne, Clive Barker, Brian Posehn, Tiger Woods and many others what may be the burning question of our times: Who would in in a fight: a minotaur armed with a trident or a centaur armed with a crossbow?. We’re betting on the centaur because they have TWO eyes.Display Comments Add a Comment
A few people have asked me what happened to my ULTIMATE FIGHTER recaps, but that was a one off thing. I missed the first episode of the new season, and was waiting to catch up to comment at all, but it took me until this weekend to finish going through the first seven episodes, and the effect was a bit underwhelming. This season’s fighters just aren’t outstanding, and lack compelling characters aside from Christian nutjob Dan with his “bathroom breaks” to preen in front of the mirror. (This year’s bathroom cam is a highly disquieting development.) Joey the deserter was just a big wimpy mooncalf, and even a sports psychologist knew he couldn’t handle the house, so his career was thankfully brief. Last season’s house full of banty rooster misfits was far more entertaining — maybe a melodrama and camera-time seeking freak like Gabe Ruediger and his high colonics isn’t such a bad idea.
That leaves coaches Matts Serra and Hughes for interest. Serra is almost too good to be true as the lowbrow guy from Queens who is almost eerily psychic with his ability to pinpoint other’s strenghths and weaknesses. Even his misfounded belief in Joey fits into this mold. And obviously, as a coach, he knows how to help his fighters pick on the weaknesses of their opponent and, more importantly, boost their confidence to the level they need in order to do it.
As for Hughes, while one can take glee in his total comeuppance from Serra (Serra’s team has won 6 out of 7 bouts so far, including many they were never expected to win) by the 7th episode, I actually began to feel a little sorry for him. Sure he’s a Bible-thumping bully and hypocrite, but he’s also been a great fighter for the UFC and this season is going to tarnish his image and he knows it.
Still, when you see Hughes giving one of his speeches about reaching down, and see the blank, fearful looks on his fighters’ faces, you know just how Shamrockian his performance has been thus far. Even if (as one would expect) Tommy whups Jonathan this week, Hughes will have only two fighters in the quarterfinals. He’s been more gracious than you would expect, all things considered.
And you have to admire how cunningly Serra is rubbing it in to Hughes by going in to comfort TEAM HUGHES fighters after they lose (Paul, Dan).
There were a few highlights in the first seven episodes: The first Peanuts strip was recreated when John Kolesci walked out of the room and someone said “What a nice guy! … What a shame someone has to beat the snot out of him.” And of course, Dana’s “Watch your head!” to J-Rock.
I dunno, maybe the TUF formula is getting a little tired. The quality of the fighters this year is certainly very green, and I can’t imagine any big stars coming out of it, especially in the competitive welterweight division. The most interesting part of catching up with this season was reading all the blogs about it, especially this from
Mac on Dan:
I’m not sure if he had ever done laundry before, but he ended up grabbing a giant wad of dirty clothes, along with various other random items, and tossing them directly into the washer with Paul’s clothes, mid-cycle. When Paul went to check his laundry, it was mixed in with a bunch of still-dirty clothes that weren’t his, and if I remember correctly, plastic zip-lock bags, an unopened energy bar, and loose almonds everywhere. The thing is, you couldn’t even really get that mad at him for it. Like I said, it was kind of like having a young child around the house. (One with ADDHD, anyway) You couldn’t get through to him by getting mad at him. Dan is just Dan. And we liked our crazy toddler of an Ultimate fighter.
PS: Oh there is one thing I forgot to mention…one of the reasons this season’s fighters aren’t very compelling is that they seem to have been cast for their rock hard six packs and not their “mental strategy” if you know what I mean. I’ll say no more.Display Comments Add a Comment
We’re late but heartbroken:
Mary Lillian Ellison, whose flying drop kicks, flying head scissors and hair-pulling “flying mare” body slams brought her renown as the professional wrestler the Fabulous Moolah, died Friday in Lexington, S.C., near her home in Columbia. She was 84.
She died at a hospital after shoulder replacement surgery and might have had a heart attack or a blood clot, said her daughter, Maryetta Austin.
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Everyone wants in on this comic book gravy train, and now New York Jets running back Darian Barnes is coming to the line of scrimmage — he’s teamed with a studio to bring his idea for a comic book to…the Internet as an animated series. Two trends for the price of one!
“This is like a dream come true for me, so I’m trying to stay even-keeled,” Barnes told The Associated Press. “It’s going to be big. When this project gets started, we’re going to get a lot of room to really make this special.”
The action-packed “National Triumph League” is centered on 10 teams of crime-fighting super-powered athletes called Triumphants, all with varying levels of talent and based in the likes of New York, Miami and Denver.
Wizard Entertainment CEO Gareb Shamus has left his position at the IFL, the mixed martial arts league he co-founded in 2006. Jay Larkin, a former Showtime exec, takes over Shamus’s positions.
The International Fight League, the worlds number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, today announced a change in its senior leadership, naming Jay Larkin acting Chief Executive Officer.
Larkin, who had joined the IFL as President and Chief Operating Officer on September 21, 2007, replaces IFL co-founder Gareb Shamus, who resigned his positions as chairman and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Shamus will remain available to the IFL as a consultant.
Taking a sports and entertainment entity from an idea to an established brand in 14 months is nothing short of amazing. Gareb should be commended for his vision and leadership during that period, Larkin said.
BTW, was that the most boring season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER or what? No one had any charisma but the coaches. George was the only one who acted like a professional. And this was definitely the most, er, “mentally challenged” cast yet. The two guys who wouldn’t train with Hughes? Look, I know Serra is the most loved coach ever, and Hughes is a dick/bully but come on - the chance to train with a great fighter? Why would you pass up a chance to maybe learn something?
OTOH, these two also sat around the house giggling like drunk schoolgirls. And then there was the “upper decker.” Poop pranks…bleah! Losers!
I never thought I’d say this but I missed Gabe Ruediger.Display Comments Add a Comment
Nerve approaches famous Brooklynites for sex advice — including cartooners Dean Haspiel and Molly Crabapple!Sacre bleu! Is there nothing this new breed of cartooners does not know!
Here’s a sampling of Haspiel’s wisdom:
A friend has invited me to join her at sex parties a few times. I always make up an excuse about why I can’t go, and she keeps asking. How can I politely tell her I’m not interested without sounding judgmental?There are some things you can just say no to. There’s a difference between someone asking, “Will you come to my birthday party?” and, “Will you come to my orgy?” An orgy is just not something everyone does, so hurting her feelings is not part of the equation — she’s asking you if you want peanut butter on your bagel, and you don’t.
I’m going on my third date with a guy whose birthday is this weekend. What can I plan that will be “birthday special,” but not inappropriately romantic?
Sleep with him. You shouldn’t really show your intense thoughtfulness or capacity for giving gifts so early in a relationship, but men always like sex.
It’s called Glamourpuss. It comes with posters and instructions (like “right click to save”) because readers may be internet unsavvy.
TCJ readers sum up the bafflement. The below poster is part of the comic, not an editorial comment:
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