Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Get some

Creativity linked to sexual success

Psychologists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Open University found that professional artists and poets have about twice as many partners as other people.

Their creativity seems to act like a sexual magnet.


But Dr Daniel Nettle, a psychologist at Newcastle University's School of Biology, said it is a double-edge sword.

"Poets and artists have more sexual partners but they also have high rates of depression," he told Reuters.


The study also showed that the average number of sexual partners increased as creative output went up. What the artists produce draws attention to them, which seems to enhance their sexual allure.


Motivation for me to get more writing done and start performing more...

fanboy musings

I love comic books. I love the escapism, I love the humor and melodrama, the angst. I love well constructed tales of two-fisted heroism and savvy social criticism crammed into 28 pages or so of four-color mayhem.

Love it. It makes me happy.

Which is why I have to agree with Mike on his assessment of the dialogue in All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. TM.

Now, without getting into the merits of Frank Miller's current writing ability or his tendency to repeat the same monosyllabic phrases several times over 4 pages, I think he's made his intentions on the book quite clear. And not in interviews. In the actual book itself. Now, it might not be your type of comic book. Perhaps you don't enjoy being laughed at or ridiculed after shelling out 3-4 bucks and waiting 6-7 months for the story. But, execution aside, I think Miller's setting up an actual character arc here with Batman, as well as Robin.

And to piggyback on Mike's comments, in the context of the story, Batman is not only trying to scare young Dick Grayson, he himself is a character in flux, an angry young man absorbed in his war on crime in danger of losing his humanity. This is a Batman who has not come into his own yet.

Let's take a quick historical look at who Batman was in 1940, before Robin burst into his life. Batman was a vigilante and a borderline psychopath who routinely killed corrupt thugs and enemies, without remorse or regret. Only after the introduction of Robin did Batman acquire his moral code and more acceptable ethical behavior. Seems to me like a Batman whose conduct is evolving is exactly the Batman of Miller's world right now. Maybe it's not just about Batman recruiting a little boy into his war on crime. Perhaps Miller is telling the story of a Batman who needs a Robin to temper him, who needs a Robin to protect his own humanity and prevent him from becoming like the common murderers he battles. This is a Batman who needs a Robin keep him from succumbing to the darkness of what he is desperately fighting against.

Perhaps All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder isn't about introducing the iconic characters of Batman and Robin as they are most famously known; instead, maybe it's about revealing the characters' journey, showing us how they became the iconic characters we know and love.

Or maybe Miller is simply laughing at everyone who ever liked his work when we were kids, slapping us around and screaming: "You can never go home again! Now watch me daterape your childhood. Slowly."

Only time will tell.

That being said, All Star Superman rocks all kinds of worlds and is all sorts of goodness which needs no further explanation. So there.

PS: A belated congrats and Mazel Tov to John Rogers on his latest endeavor at DC Comics. Can't wait to see an all-new Blue Beetle fight Lobo in a Japansese schoolgirl outfit. Now that's the kind of comic book madness I think we can all agree upon.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

where does the time go

And we're back.

What did you do this past Thanksgiving?

Only the turkey knows.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

juvie hall

TONIGHT! I'll let Kyria explain:

Pudding on Saturday

The shows have been going great so far, yes they have! And the best part is, there's still another chance for YOU to come.

Dont miss:

The Target Demographic in "Extra Pudding"

(It's a sketch show, but it is funny)

Kyria Abrahams! (From Jest)
Jay Bois! (From The Big Night Out)
Dan Newbower! (From VH-1)
Benari Poulten! (From School Ties)
Jason Reich! (From The Daily Show)
Erik Seims! (From Lit)
...and introducing Shirley Jane Temple as Miss Lulu Parsnips.

- Saturday 19 November, at Juvie Hall.
- 8 PM
- $8 (yeah, I know, but we gotta rent the hall)

Juvie Hall is located below the Gene Frankel Theater at 24 Bond Street, between the Bowery and Lafayette Street. (Take the B, D, F, V or 6 to Broadway Lafayette/ Bleecker Street.)

Drinking to be done after.

See ya tonight.


Thanks Kevin.

Go here to make your own.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fried, eh?

I have the worst study habits EVER. I swear, I'm a terrible student. I *SHOULD* be working on my full length play and the next 30 pages of my screenplay for school.

What am I actually doing?

Watching the teaser trailer for Superman Returns.

It's a little biazarre. It definitely gets me excited, but not for the movie they're trying to promote. The stirring , kick-ass use of the original John Williams score coupled with Marlon Brando as Jor-El narrating gets me psyched...for the original. Really, that's what this teaser does: it makes me want to see the original - perhaps even a digitally re-mastered, special effects enhanced version? It also makes me nostalgic for Christopher Reeve's iconic portrayal of the Man of Steel...irrational? Unfair? Yes. But I dare you to hear that score, listen to Brando saying "I have sent them you, my only son" and NOT want to see Chris soaring toward the camera.

Tying the new Superman movie into the original movie continuity is a great concept and that tug of nostalgia is a pretty powerful tool in garnering excitment... but it might prove *too* powerful, overshadowing the new film and reminding us that we'd rather be seeing the original classic, the one that first made us believe a man could fly.


Um, I should stop geeking out over someone else's movie and actually get back to writing my screenplay now...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

All Star Superman

Just get it.


Read it. And love it.

Packed with action, pathos, wonder, pseudo-science, iconic mythology and far-out concepts...oh, and FUN.

Lots of fun.

Well done, lads.

Bye bye Beowulf

Oh, hi. I didn't see you there. I'm Beowulf. Perhaps you've heard of me? My song will live forever.

And now I shall atonally sing "My song will live forever" for the next 73 minutes.

If someone asks you to go see something called Beowulf: A Rock Opera, don't. Just...don't.

No matter how intriguing the concept might sound or how hilarious the idea of a musical Beowulf might be, it's not funny. Well, not intentionally. Certainly not in a good way.

But his song will live forever.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Top Man

Once again, old chum Kevin brings us news, this time of the untimely demise of William Hootkins. You'll remember him best as Porkins in Star Wars. Yes. They named the fat guy Porkins.

But true geeks and connoisseurs of good film will also remember him as Lt. Eckhardt in 1989's Batman. And the fact that he also had a bit part in Superman IV: the Quest for Peace should be enough to immortalize him in the Geek "Bit Player" Hall of Fame, along with John Ratzenberger who managed to appear in both Empire Strikes Back AND Superman II.

But William Hootkins also played Major Eaton, a small-but-essential role in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. In fact, he is responsible for one of my favorite unsung exchanges in the movie, an exchange I often quote:

Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it now.
Indiana: Who?
Maj. Eaton: Top. Men.



Go to Juvie Hall

Tonight! I'll let Kyria explain:

The Target Demographic's "Extra Pudding"

Kyria Abrahams!
Jay Bois!
Benari Poulten!
Jason Reich!
Erik Seims!

We've got 45 minutes of sketch comedy for you tonight at 9pm in Juvie Hall. $5!

A big, luxurious, full-length production of “Extra Pudding” will take place at 8:00pm Saturday November 19. $8!

Juvie Hall is located below the Gene Frankel Theater at 24 Bond Street, between the Bowery and Lafayette Street. (Take the B, D, F, V or 6 to Broadway Lafayette/ Bleecker Street.)

be there and be square!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I'll prove it exists, and then I'll kill it!

From the AP:

A mythical monster, believed by some to have lived for hundreds of years in the murky depths of a Swedish lake, is now fair game for hunters — if they can find it. Authorities have agreed to lift its endangered species protection.

Hundreds of people claim to have spotted a large serpent-like creature in Lake Storsjon in the northwestern province of Jamtland, and in 1986 the regional council put it on a list of endangered animals.

But a government watchdog challenged the decision, saying such protection was hardly necessary for a creature whose existence has not been proven.

The regional council agreed to remove the listing this month, but declined to rule out that a monster lives in the 300-foot deep lake.

"It exists, inasmuch as it lives in the minds of people," the council's chief legal adviser Peter Lif said about the purported beast. "But I guess we'll have to agree that it cannot be proved scientifically, and then it should not be listed as an endangered species."

The so-called Storsjo monster was first mentioned in print in 1635. Hundreds of sightings have been reported since then. Some people describe the creature as a snakelike animal with a dog's head and fins on its neck. But no clear image of it has been captured on camera.

Storsjo monster aficionados said lifting the endangered species protection was a mistake, and appeared insulted by the decision.

"We are not fanatics," said Christer Berko, of the Storsjo monster association. "We see this as very interesting phenomenon that we unfortunately have not been able to document."

I don't know if this thing even exists, but if it does, we gonna make sure it don't!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans' Day wishes

To all those who have served and to those who continue to serve:

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Turn me on, deadman

One and one and one is three:

Got to be good lookin' cuz he's so hard to see!

Paul is dead man, miss him, miss him...

If I told you about the comic, I'd have to kill you

Thanks to Kevin for pointing me to this wonderful CIA-produced bit of psyops.

You see that shit there, to the left? They're giving the soldiers flowers and pies and shit! Now THAT'S how you encourage those former-Commies to treat ya when you liberate them. All you gotta do is SHOW them how to act when you save them.

The bit that disturbs me, however, is the little editorial note on the inside cover that reads:

This comic was produced by a team of American work-for-hire illustrators (now deceased)...

Now deceased! That's some hard core shit, right there. Now it really makes me wonder whatever happened to some of my favorite artists who were working in the 80s and then suddenly disappeared...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pirates. They're out there.

And we're ready for 'em with Reed Richards-esque technology:

As pirates armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades closed in on a luxury cruise liner off Somalia's coast last weekend, crew members fended them off with water hoses and an electronic device that blasts an earsplitting noise.

The device, developed for U.S. warships after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen, unleashed a piercing barrage nearly twice as loud as a smoke detector, while passengers huddled in a dining room away from windows. Capt. Sven Erik Pederson called for full steam ahead, taking the 10,000-ton Seabourn Spirit as fast as it could go. Pederson eventually outran the pirates, who were in small boats, and sought refuge in the Seychelles, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean.

''These guys bit off more than they could chew,'' said Bruce Good, spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. ``The ship is seven decks high and 439 feet long. It takes a certain amount of stupidity or audacity to attack something like that.''

The pirates approached in one, maybe two boats measuring 25 feet long about 100 miles off the Somali coast Saturday morning. The Spirit doesn't go very fast -- it has a cruising speed of just 16 knots, or 18.4 miles an hour -- so crew members countered with hoses and a nonlethal weapon called a Long Range Acoustic Device, Good said.

Developed by American Technology Corp. of San Diego, the device transmits a high-pitched, piercing noise in a directed beam, without affecting its operators or anyone outside its target range, such as the ship's passengers.

Long Range Acoustic Device. It's so rad, it's L-RAD. Take that, Pirates.

Happy Birthday, Jim Steranko

I'm a few days late, but I wanted to wish one of my all-time favorite artists a happy birthday: Happy Birthday, Jim Steranko!

One of the inspirations for Kavalier and Clay, Steranko's brief stint in comics in the late 60's has left a lasting impact and his legendary images continue to resonanate today. His Nick Fury is THE definitive version, as far as I'm concerned.

He had the perfect blend of King Kirby's jagged, explosive madness and Jazzy Johnny Romita's clean, beautiful linework, fusing the best elements of all the great artists (from popular to classic)and creating something uniquely wild-yet-realistic. A world of limitless possibilities, where fantasy and reality co-mingled in a sci-fi fantasia of heroism.

And his comic books were just plain FUN.

It's 1986 and I'm 9 years old. Somehow, I have the 2-issue 1983 prestige format series reprinting Steranko's legendary run on Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. There are no capes, no super powers, no rage-fulled mutants within these pages - and yet, I was drawn to these 2 issues, devouring them. The art, the storytelling technique, the vivid imagery and the overall wackiness of the concepts grabbed me, sucked me into this strange world of spies, danger, over-the-top villains, and outlandish gizmos.

To this day, Nick Fury remains one of my al-time favorite characters. And it's mostly due to the innovation and imagination of Jim Steranko.

His cover images tell more story than most comics tell in 12 issues these days. Evocative, moody, surreal and iconic, his images continue to inspire and allow us a glimpse into the magical world of what could be.

I leave you with one of my favorite Steranko covers - and if this Captain America cover does not give you a chill, then, to paraphrase Dave Campbell, you are a commie.

*images courtesy of the GCD.

Thanks for reminding me

Actual conversation, from a few weeks ago:

Me: First time I was at Galapagos, I had a great set - love that room.

Baron: Yeah, it's a great space. But the audience can sometimes be hit or miss; it's weird.

Me: Well, I've done a couple of sets there and - -

Dan: I've never had a bad set there.

Baron (without ANY hesitation): Benari has.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I just want to take you where I'm going...bah bah bah.

"I got a story to tell...!"

Peter Gallagher's first solo album, 7 Days in Memphis, debuts next week.

But this is not the first time Peter Gallagher has belted out a tune. Oh, no. Some of us remember back to a time when a determined Ray Sharkey molded a young impressionable Peter Gallagher into the rockstar sensation Caesare in the epic film classic, The Idol Maker. I highly recommend listening to the timeless hits of Caesare, blessedly archived on Peter Gallagher's own website. Seriously. To paraphrase James Lipton, this may be the most important movie ever made in the history of film making or even the world, ever.

If you haven't seen this movie, do yourself a favor and own it immediately. It will change your life forever. Cuz, uh, somethin' happened to me.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Metal Mayhem

I'll be at Siberia tonight. Why? I'll let our own hyperbolic Sam Walters, He of the Wounded Liver, explain:

What… what’s that rumbling sound? That swelling, now deafening peal of thunder?? Lord save us, it’s… IT’S… JOHN HENRY!! AHHHHHHH!!!! (And so on.)

Thursday, Nov. 3, 9 PM, at Siberia Bar, it’s time for more Crushing Rock from everyone’s favorite, curiously named Metal band. BUT WAIT! This time, John Henry plays sans drum machine! Heavy hitting Pat O’Shea will be filling in on skins providing a visceral element missing from last gig, after which everyone suggested we get a drummer and we were forced to acknowledge that two guys jumping around to a drum machine was “sorta gay.” Anyway, toast Evil with John Henry Thursday, Nov. 3, 9 PM, at Siberia Bar. Go on, try it!

It’ll make you feeeeel gooood! I mean, um, bad! Reeeeeal bad!

Siberia Bar
356 W 40th St .
(no # on door, but there’s a small red light over it.)
(646) 674-1710
(212) 333-4141

New song link! Yow!

when a cell loves another cell very much...

Just 'cuz they're cells, it don't mean they can't get it on:

Scientists Find Fossils in Sexual Union

This was no one-night stand. Scientists in India say they have discovered two fossils fused together in sexual union for 65 million years.

The findings were published in the October edition of the Indian journal "Current Science," which said it was the first time that sexual copulation had been discovered in a fossil state, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

But voyeurs will need a microscope to view the eternal lovers.

The fossils are tiny swarm cells, a stage in the development of the fungus myxomycetes, also known as slime molds.

The cells reproduce by "fusing," Ranjeet Kar of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow reportedly told PTI. Once the cells fuse, long, threadlike appendages known as flagella, are lost, he said.

Finding the fossils in a fused position and with their flagella shed, is evidence that the two cells were having sex, Kar said.

"The sexual organs being delicate and the time of conjugation short lived, it is indeed rare to get this stage in the fossil state," the study said.

The cells were discovered in a 30-foot deep dry well in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Wow. And you thought science wasn't sexy!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005