Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

We just had our first trick or treater--an adorable little princess--which means that Halloween has officially begun.

This little guy I've nicknamed Winston. He's not the happiest of chaps, but he does his job without too much complaining.

Happy Halloween, y'all.

(If you're bored and on the internet, you could check out this vaulted post - 7 Ways to Tell if You're Dating a Zombie.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quick and Dirty: Thoughts on Disney and Star Wars

Original photo by d.k.peterson of Flickr
So, I'm sure you've all heard the news that Disney, that gigantic evil corporation known as the House of Mouse, has purchased Lucasfilm, and with it the rights to the much beloved Star Wars series.  I'm sure you have questions, concerns, your mind is abuzz with the insanity that this news has fraught.  Afterall, I'm fairly certain that never nerd that runs the internet lost their collective minds when this was announced.

What do I think?

1) Let's look at the properties that Disney owns:  Marvel and Pixar.

Both have been doing GREAT lately.

Even if you count the lackluster Brave and Cars, and Cars 2's terrible performance, Pixar has an incredible track record.  And that's just Pixar.  There's also the Walt Disney animations studio, which has produced some pretty great movies--Tangles, the great new Winnie the Pooh, and the incredibly promising looking Wreck-It Ralph.  That means that movies like the animated Clone Wars series, and the Clone Wars movies, could actually be great under the right supervision.

Now let's look at the fact that Disney also owns Marvel, which has produced Thor, Captain America, the Iron Man movies, and The Avengers...I mean...these movies were great.

Even without Marvel, Disney has proven itself quite competent at live movies with films like Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure, and the much under-appreciated John Carter.

2)  George Lucas is a hate-filled miser made incredibly bitter and resentful toward the very people that got him where he is.

He has proven, time and time again, that he does not give two shits in a bucket what the fans think of his releases and "special editions."  He has absolutely refused to release the original Star Wars films on DVD or Blu-Ray, instead forcing the updated ones down your throat and insisting that you'll like it if you try it, like a parent forcing brussel sprouts on their kids.  He's on record as saying that he would never make another Star Wars movie because his poor wittwe feewings got huwt when everyone reacted to negatively to the updates...the prequels...the whorish franchising...the...well...everything he's done.

It's funny that his prequel movies are not only terrible, but actual serve as a parallel to his own career.  He starts so innocent and loving, and he made some great movies--not entirely by himself, but yes, he did, and we owe him much thanks for that.  Somewhere along the way, however, he became conceited and too high on his own stink and believed that he could do no wrong.  And where are we because of that?  The Star Wars Prequels and Indiana Jones 4.

In all honesty, I can see this only working out for the better.  It certainly can't hurt the franchise anymore than Lucas already has.

Also, since Disney also owns the Jim Henson company, does that mean we might be able to go back to Muppet Yoda, instead of that shitty CGI abomination?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Halloween: Fear of the Murderous Pig Face

It’s October!  That means it’s the month of Halloween!  In honor of one of my favorite holidays, I thought I’d do a few special illustrated blog posts with art inspired by the master of the dark, twisted, and bleak--Tim Burton.  Besides, he has that new movie out and all...

Today’s Post:

“Fear of the Murderous Pig Face”

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays for as long as I can remember.  It’s just a strangely awesome holiday.  In some ways, I think it was a way to express my nerdiness before I learned about things like cosplay and other stuff.  Beyond that, however, I loved Halloween because I loved dark stuff.

Growing up, I had almost the entire collection of Goosebumps.  I also watched the tv show as well.  My favorite of the tv shows was obviously “The Haunted Mask.”  It was just dark and creepy enough to be awesome.  Another personal favorite for actually legitimately scaring the shit out of me was “Welcome to Dead House.”

[I was also once scared by an All That skit in which goo made people stupid.  No idea why.]

Despite my love of all things dark and scary (including those amazingly terrifying books Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark--which I still have!), I actually wore relatively tame costumes.  One year, my mom made me a Batman costume (complete with the Lone Ranger mask used to cover my face).  Another year, I went a little more traditional and simply bought a Spider-Man costume.

I loved trick or treating.  I loved going out and showing off my awesome costume.  I always felt larger than life on these days, like it was the one day out of the year when I could truly be myself.  I never really had any bad experiences trick or treating.  No big kids really did anything to scare me.  No bullies stole my candy.  Sure there was the occasional trek up the mountainous driveway only to be rewarded with a single Tootsie roll or some bullshit like that, but most of my Halloween experiences were pretty positive.

Except one year.

One year my family was going door to door, just like always.  I seem to remember this was the year of the Spider-man costume, but it’s honestly been so long, I don’t really remember my costume.  I do remember my family owned a van at the time.  We pulled down the street of some innocuous little suburban neighborhood.  All of the houses were nearly identical, all of the lawns were neatly trimmed, and the night was just starting to result in some dew from the crisp air.  My dad parked the van and we all piled out and began hitting up each house, door to door.

It was the usual.  People would come to the door, ooh and aah at how great our costumes looked! and then give us a modest amount of candy.  Then, onto the next house.  And so on.

I strolled up to another house, cavalier and devil-may-care as I could be.  I rang the bell and waited, bag held slightly forward and opened expectantly.

The music from behind the door made it clear that some adults were having a party of some kind or another.  The door creaked open, and the previously muted sounds of the party surrounded me.  A couple slowly made their way through the door, the light from the porch obscuring their face, until, suddenly, I saw them: a haggard old witch-woman who cackled and stroked her warty face with her long, pointed nails, and--most terrifying of all--a man with a pig’s head where his head should be.

The reaction was so immediate, so viceral, I don’t think my family immediately realized what happened.  My feet were moving before I knew what was happening.  I muttered a very polite, very quiet, “N-no thank you...” and then sprinted across their lawn, ditching my own candy in a desperate attempt to escape the homicidal pig-man.  I actually sprinted across the road and was nearly run down by an oncoming vehicle.  I didn’t even notice.  I simply threw open the sliding door, dove inside, and cowered.

My mom and dad were laughing so hard at this, they could hardly breath.  They called to me and tried to get me to come back out, but I was terrified.  They finally had to get their daughter to bring me the candy.  I would only come as close as the edge of their yard.

Their daughter was dressed in a bright pink, sparkly princess costume.  I knew better than to trust her gooshey-smooshey, gumdrop princessy lies.  She and her family were psychopathic murderers, and they wanted to add me to their list of victims.

The man took off his pig mask in an attempt to show me that he was normal after all, but I didn’t trust him.  That street actually became infamous in my family.  For years to come, everytime we passed that street, my parents would point out that that was the street where I was scared so badly.

That was my story of trick or treating scares.  Do you have any you remember from growing up?  Any spooky Halloween related stories to share?  Let me know in the comments.