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Practicing with sharpies in order to cut down on details and simplify the artwork.
The African Queen is the name of the boat that Charlie uses to navigate German East Africa, and the same boat that he and missionary Rosie use to flee the Germans now that World War I has started. Of course navigating unknown rivers is more easily said than done. This is one of my mom's favorite movies and is a lot of fun; however, it is somewhat dated and I can't imagine a modern audience taking to it.
This is one of my mother's favorite movies. In the latter half the 19th-century, a British column of some 1200 men are wiped out by Zulus resisting British colonialism. Arriving too late to join the battle but wanting glory, a group of Zulus, some 4000 strong, attack a small British outpost of about 100 men. This one battle played a key role in the shaping of South Africa. While this movie suffers a little from its datedness (people tend to die by making a funny face), this is a remarkable achievement both due to visuals and story. It is filmed in Africa where Zulus actually play Zulus (most having never seen a movie were taught to act by watching Western films and told they would be the native Americans). It is Michael Caine's first major role which he almost didn't get as he took on for his acting style this persona of clasping his hands behind his back; the idea being that his character would be used to being obeyed without having to gesticulate, yet the director felt he didn't know what to do with his hands. Just a little inside scoop there. This movie truly is a classic.
No. This Sci-Fi movie about how people stop aging and are using time as an economic factor is horrible and it is even more horrible that some people actually enjoyed it. Burn all copies and shoot those involved.
Contraband probably should be just that as it isn't a very good film about a former crook who, due to family obligations, has to make one last score. Guess how it all turns out?
Redesigning the site is harder than Mark! thought.
Yes, I got the tags correct, as this is a new group of superheroes outside of the DC universe--although many are very, let's say, familiar. Simone attempts to create a town wherein she mixes old school superheroes (often literally old) with those of contemporary mentality and have stories of mystery and excitement. However, the series was canceled and all the plot she was slowly going to build up was either throw at us or thrown out in a single trade's worth. What might have been an interesting take on superheroes and generational gaps quickly became a mess filled with unanswered questions and pointlessness. Sad.
I don't care if this movie is about as old as I am, it's awesome. It is the hilarious story of a NYC actor who, desperate to get work so he can fund his friend's play, dresses up as a woman in order to get a part in a soap opera. Things only get more complicated from there. Wonderful writing, acting, casting, directing, you name it; still as great today as when it first appeared. Look for it here.
I completely understand how this project got green lit: a bunch of criminals, including some sexy ones, often with rivalries against one another, do America's dirty works internationally (they're just a bunch of villains surely America can't control them), while internal power struggles take place over who has to control of this illegal agency. The problem is the writing is pretty poor. Forget that the fat and tough mastermind, Waller, has become Halley Berry (I guess they were planning a movie from the start) and that Vic Sage is not in the slightest Vic Sage (who in a different time and place was The Question), but the plots are not well thought out or executed and the characters superficial at best or don't ring true at worse. There are a couple of Suicide Squad titles and I don't know where this one falls in chronology, but I suspect it was quickly replaced by the Adam Glass version.
STEP 1: THE IDEA
Step one is probably the hardest step. How do you come up with an idea that is funny, original, and holiday-oriented when you have 2000 years (give or take) of Christmas Cards that came before? For some reason, this idea came to me in the summertime--so there was no last minute rush to get it finished this year! Typically, I doodle around on whatever scrap paper is available, and I try to figure out how to present the idea. Doodles tend to be rather small and loose
STEP 2: THE MOCKUP
Next comes the mockup, which is full-scale drawing where I work out all the particular details.
STEP 3: THE DRAWING
Next comes the actual drawing. I take an 9" x 12" sheet of Bristol (a heavy paper) and draw out the image in pencil.
STEP 4: INKING
Next I go over all of the pencils with ink. Some people think this means "tracing," but it's not. Inking adds a whole different character to the image. Since I had time, I actually created multiple versions with different styles to see which one I liked best. I also tried different pens and brushes.
STEP 5: SCANNING
Next, I scan the finished art into the computer. That seems pretty straightforward, but there's always some little snag that makes it take longer than it should.
STEP 6: CLEAN UP AND FORMATTING
I open the scanned image in a software program called Photoshop. This program allows me to manipulate the image and make it ready for printing. With Photoshop I added the colors and text. The border and card back I created in Illustrator a few years ago, and I re-used most of it this time around. Then I saved it in a format that could easily be printed.
STEP 7: PRINTING
Then it's off to the copy store to print the card. I had them print 2 images on a page of card stock and then cut the page in half. I was pretty happy with the card stock I got this year. Usually it's too flimsy for my taste, but this time it was nice and solid (of course that added 10 cents to every card, but oh well...).
STEP 8: MAILING
Then I just address, stamp, add something pithy like "Merry Christmas," and drop the cards in the mail. See how easy it is! Anyone can do it!
Hickman tends to come up with something really cool and then make me think he forgot to develop it. This story is about humanity fighting a war across time itself against an unknown adversary. Pretty cool, huh? So how come the story is little more than a clever idea devoid of the details and development that would lead it to actually being more than just a clever idea? Then again, maybe it is me, as I never feel time travel is written in any way that I can accept as potentially believable.
I admit I'm disappointed. Batgirl is one of my favorite superheroes, so I was happy to see her return with the all-new all-stupid 52, despite being incredibly disappointed that DC comics went back on their promise to keep Oracle (the crippled version of the genius library and superhero formally known as Batgirl). I was also pleased that this Batgirl does not seem as sexualized as the women in Simone's Birds of Prey comic title. The problem was, quite frankly, the story was not particularly interesting. There are really two villains in it, neither of which I've heard of before and do not believe I will hear of again because they were that boring, and while there is attempt to have Barbara Gordon deal with such issues as relationships (with family, friends, and potential of interest) and being back in the game after so long, I found the writing to be lackluster. Since I usually enjoy Simone's writing I am willing to give this series another look.
Nicky and Jess are two con artists who meet again after three years apart (due to Nicky fearing that being in a relationship with Jess will make him soft). So now the question is will Jess disrupt Nicky's con or--oh, whatever, it's a movie that thrives on twists and not knowing who is telling the truth. It's fine if you have nothing else to do and I wanted to see who was going to play Harley Quinn in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie (it's Margot Robbie AKA Jess and she is amazing looking (I guess she can act too)).
This is a pretty well-done origin story of how the beautiful, genius, daughter of police Commissioner Gordon goes from being a librarian to being the vigilante Batgirl. It is a little slow at points, and I wasn't thrilled with the villains Killer Moth and Firefly (I'm not saying they did a bad job with these two, just I didn't care that much for them), but the overall effect is quite nice and I'm very impressed that this is the first time I've ever seen a non-sexualized Batgirl (at least compared to every other version I've seen (thank you, Marcos Martin))--and let me tell you she still kicks ass! You don't have to run out right now and read this, but it should be on your to do list. As a librarian, I was a little annoyed that they danced around the issue that a library science degree is necessary for librarians and completely involves information retrieval and evaluation (for some reason the authors seem to feel they had to make her library, as per tradition, but didn't seem to understand what a library degree entails).
I know I said I was going to stop reading this comic about two people from (literally) different worlds that have been at war for generations, yet find each other, fall in love, have a kid, and proceed to be on the run for years from their respective governments who want to kill them. But the comic was in the library, and there are so few words on every page that it would be almost more time-consuming to not read it. Blissfully, some of the problems I've had in the last collection are done (I'm no longer thinking about having an affair, and you're no longer a drug addict, hooray, that was easy) and now they have to deal with new problems such as kidnapping, terrorists/ freedom fighters, and various other not at all subtle metaphors for our time, along with gratuitous sex and nudity. I can't say I enjoyed this comic, it is a pale shadow of its first incarnation, but like I said, it is almost more time-consuming to not read it.
Did you know that Bendis once did interesting and original comics? Seriously, Bendis doesn't focus on the blind vigilante, but the reporter Urich who is trying to find out what caused the mental problems to the son of the villain Leap-Frog (yes, I know!) and how DD might be involved. David Mack has some interesting art but it is very much Bill Sienkiewicz (or Boleslav William Felix Robert Sienkiewicz for you purists).
The subtitle is not exactly fair, they don't so much to exchange jobs as Etienne teaches a small vineyard owner about comics while making a comic about his experience taking a stab being a wine-maker. This work is quite beautifully drawn, and can be quite interesting--that is if you like wine and know anything about French comics. I, unfortunately, don't really fall into that category, so I didn't truly appreciate the work. I do think of others might enjoy it as a welcome relief from superhero comics.
This collection (mostly written by Paul Dini) was a bit disappointing. Other than the fact that it takes three femme fatales from the Batman series: the cat burglar Catwoman, the man hating plant manipulating Poison Ivy, and the brilliant and at the same time mentally impaired Harley Quinn, and has them attempt to go on the straight and narrow while dealing with leftover problems from their criminal pass, the stories seem to be all over the place as it was more of a collection of various ideas then a thought out series. The art is very much designed to appeal to adolescent fantasies as our three heroes are clearly supermodels (and who can't be told apart aside from hair and costume) and so many of the panels put someone's ass right in our point of view. I'm glad I read the second collections first or I might not want to continue, which is a shame because there were some interesting stories, just not enough of them.