Half a Month There on Foot

You will find me at the corner of Speed and Power

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

SW: 10.31.06

Oh rock, you always fail me.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Six-Word Samurai

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
- Alan Moore

Wired had this idea, and I think it's genius. Therefore, I'll run it into the ground for as long as I consistently remember to post. I'll not stick to just science fiction either.

I really love the Alan Moore story.

Today's from me: "Sunrise. At least I'm not dead."

Friday, October 27, 2006



Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gilmore Girls vs. Planetary OR Warren Ellis' own Rory

Who would've thunk seven years ago a TV show about a mother-daughter relationship would go toe-to-toe with a comic book written by a crazy Brit and illustrated by the most handsome man in comics (he's dreamier than your Patrick Dempsey, ladies) for my affections on a Thursday morning?


I'd fallen in love with Buffy. Not the SMG, as Amy/Jen/Jay/you thinks, but the show. I really really loved it. I was enjoying a fairly downbeat summer and found the a show that said, quite literally, high school is hell. And after that, yeah, it's can still be hell. But if you're dedicated, have friends, and written by really funny writers then you'll get through it.

... okay, Sarah Michelle Gellar had a little something to do with it. And a few years later she was guesting on another WB show called "Gross Pointe." Only I thought it was called "Gilmore Girls." And it wasn't.

Instead, I watched an episode of a show about a mother and daughter who behaved more like sisters. And there was a bitter and cynical guy with a ball cap who owned a diner. And a fat gay guy who wanted to run the town. And a dance school. And Kirk. And it was really really funny. And the story was well told, guided by some woman named Amy Sherman-Palladino.


Seven years ago I didn't know who Warren Ellis was. I vaguely knew he was a british comic writer who... swore? Drank? Swore and drank? He had a comic called "Planetary" coming out with John Cassaday (yeah, that guy who did that Western comic). It should have just come off as some kind of launch that would burn for a few issues then peter out due to lack of interest or the creative team moving on.

But there was something about the tagline: "Strange world. Let's keep it that way," and then "Archeologists of the Unknown." I was intrigued.

So I bought the first issue. It started off with a diner in the desert. The next shot is of an old waitress walking towards an old man in the white suit. "How's the coffee?" the waitress said. "Tastes like dog piss," the old man in the white suit said. The waitress said "Dog has got to go somewhere."

That does not read like an opening line of a bad comic.


I'm done watching Gilmore Girls? Why is this important? Because for the last seven years I've told people to watch. Friends, enemies, strangers, loved ones... all to ridicule, disbelief, and distrust.

Until you watched. And listened. And came to the Dark Side. Or the Friday night dinners.

Come on, when the show was firing on all cylinders it was on par with the best comedy and drama on TV, blending the two effortlessly in a sea of Preston Sturgesesque language. Fiction that, in lesser hands, would've teetered into camp or melodrama, but instead achieved something... more. And Amy Sherman-Palladino is of the show she created.

And now it's a bad cover. It's hollow. It's all the same actors and some of the same directors and musicians, but the show's creator is gone. And none of the leftover or new writers can make it sound like she's still there.

Planetary, however, had it's penultimate issue. And I loved it. With all the success Warren Ellis and John Cassaday have earned over the last few years, Planetary has gone by the wayside. It's not creator-owned, but it's kind of like Neil Gaiman and Sandman:nobody but Neil Gaiman does it because it's his story to tell. Planetary is Ellis and Cassaday (and Laura DePuy, now Laura Martin on colors).

Planetary works because it's two stories: the story of Elijah Snow and his quest to preserve the knowledge of the world, to catalog the strange, to ensure that there's a tomorrow to come. And it's also exploration of genre and style, not a cheap cover. It's a love letter to time periods and ideas, a dissection of times and places by a thoughtful, curious kid. Who is drunk on whiskey and weird goth porn. I thought for sure the series would have a few clunkers in there (alright, the 70s/new agey/botany/world harmony issue is just weird) but it never failed to surpass my expectations.

I really didn't have a lot of expectations with either of this "entertainments." Sure, Planetary hasn't amassed more than a little over two years worth of monthly comics since '99 while Gilmore Girls has gone through seven seasons, five and half incredibly entertaining seasons.

still has an issue left. I wouldn't drop it the way I'm done with Gilmore Girls.

Sometime down the line Ellis can unearth Gilmore Girls and remind me that it was entertaining. Of course, he'll make it x-rated and weird, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Intergalactic Planetary #26

Planetary will be ending next week. There's an epilouge that follows in #27, but next Wednesday we'll get an ending of sorts. I've been waiting for this since 1999, and at the same time I want this series to keep going for years to come.

From the Wikipedia link: "The idea of the series is to create a concise world in which archetypes of superheroes, pulp fiction heroes, science fiction heroes, and characters from just about every possible mass media format, live in one large universe while the Planetary team investigates them and ties together the ends. As Warren Ellis said in his proposal for the comic series: "[W]hat if you had a hundred years of superhero history just slowly leaking out into this young and modern superhero world of the Wildstorm Universe? What if you could take everything old and make it new again?"'

Planetary has been an exploration of popular culture in comic form. Ink on paper disecting Victorian-era adventure magazines, Chinese martial arts movies, sci-fi movies from the 50's, radio dramas from the 40's... Ellis and Cassaday fit a ton of stuff in 26 comics, all while creating something completely original while taking apart our shared past.

I am going to miss Planetary like I've never missed any other entertainment.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Will direct for food

Terry Gilliam is probably the reason I have as much interest in movies as I have. No foolin'. I was in the right place a the right time, and Gilliam put me there.

So if it plays here, I'll see Tideland. Not so much the Brothers Grimm, but this looks much more Terry Gilliam.