Monday, May 31, 2010

MANic Monday 05-30-10 Lazer Eyes Edition

WARNING: Today's subject may cause damage to your computer screen, due to his acrazing (crazy + amazing... I just made that up!) Lazer Eyes. (That's what I'm calling them anyway!)ZAP!!! See?! They're unreal! Supernatural, even! Like a hypnotic blast of green goodness! (Not to be confused with Green Goddess, the strange salad dressing I always see in stores but that no one else has ever heard of, much less tried. Oh, my bad. Tangent.)
This blog was a special request by Katie. His name is Jesse Avery and he currently (I think) appears on Grey's Anatomy. Of more interest to me and some of my other readers, he will be starring in the upcoming Joss Whedon movie The Cabin In The Woods. Sounds like a horror movie, so I probably will never see it. But if I were, this would be the only real reason to.
"Does this shirt bring out my eyes?" "Sir, I hadn't noticed that you were even wearing a shirt... nor should you be."
Better! Don't you hate when you become famous and those embarrassing pics from some play you did in college surface? Oh bother! Could be worse, of course. At least they aren't "modeling pictures."
Oh, he was also in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: The Pants Strike Back. Er, I may have just added that last part. Anyhoo, another movie I have never and most likely will never see, although Cathy once pointed out that it has a no-brainer porn knock-off name: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties. But then again, for all I know, that actually HAS been made.
My! Drums and soccer? How well-rounded! Any college would be glad to have you!

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

WTFriday?! 05-28-10 Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars

I was totally going to do a follow up to my Super Powers blog with a blog about Marvel's rival toy line, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. I was prompted even further by Plaid Stallions posting the original catalog that Mattel provided to retailers to promote the line. Check it out!
DC already had a successful cartoon series to promote their line, so while they produced a comic book tie-in, it wasn't really that important and ultimately got deemed a "parallel universe" story that didn't actually tie in to the main DC Comics universe. Marvel did the opposite. Their Secret Wars series was a HUGE deal, to the point that their editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter, actually wrote it himself.In the 12-issue maxiseries, Marvel's biggest names, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four (minus the Invisible Woman, who was pregnant at the time) and The X-Men (minus Kitty Pryde who was busy sucking) were teleported to an alien world by an omnipotent force known only as The Beyonder, and forced to do battle with an assortment of the baddest Marvel Super Villains available, led by the diabolical Dr. Doom.

The series isn't exactly ground-breaking and the only real permanent impact was the introduction of Spider-Man's black costume:
Which ultimately turned out to be the symbiote Venom. Or as comic writer/illustrator Erik Larsen described him, "Help, my laundry's attacking me!" Heh! Allegedly, the black costume was created simply because Mattel wanted to produce a second Spider-Man in the toy line and this is what Marvel came up with.

As if there weren't enough super characters in the story, Marvel introduced three new female characters, including villains Volcana and Titania (who would ultimately become the She-Hulk's archenemy) and a new Spider-Woman, the Denver-based Julia Carpenter.
Julia's black costume would serve as the subconscious inspiration for Spidey's. Poor Julia... I don't hate her or anything, but there's really only one true Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew!
Poor Julia never amounted to much, as Marvel didn't really have a plan in place when they introduced her. She vanished after the series for quite some time. Eventually she teamed up with Iron Man and ended up dating him for a while and joining his 90s team Force Works. Jessice took up the Spider-Woman name and currently has her own series and is a member of The Avengers. Julia now goes by the code-name Arachne and lives in Canada. Poor lamb!

Anyway, whereas Kenner produced quite the extensive toyline with Super Powers, complete with all of DC Comics' biggest names, with logical weaponry and power actions, Mattel kinda just crapped out Secret Wars. Having already produced the Masters of the Universe line, they were the kings of the "let's just make a couple of unique figures and paint them differently to make a bunch of characters" approach. Not just that, but whereas the SP collection had the 12 biggest names in DC's roster, Secret Wars had an anemic eight. Captain America, Iron Man (who was at the time, James Rhodes, making him the token black guy, even though you can't tell), Spider-Man and Wolverine made up the heroic team, slugging it out with a redesigned Dr. Doom, Magneto (neither of whom included a cape, although they always wore them in the comics), Kang (the Avenger's time-traveling enemy, who wound up being the poorest seller of the bunch) and Dr. Octopus.
Also, whereas the Super Powers figures each had a unique action feature when you squeezed their legs or arms together, Mattel's idea for a cool feature was to give each character a shield, into which you could pop lenticular pieces, so that when it was inside, you could tilt the shield and the image would change from one to another. The "secret message" shields did NOT appear in the comics, but they did shoe-horn them into coloring books and such. Super Powers was much more heavily promoted, as every time anyone else picked up one of my Secret Wars figures, they'd squeeze their legs together for naught. "Isn't he supposed to do something?" Nope. Nuthin.

I'm totally not just dissing this line because I prefer DC Comics and their characters. These were just plain shitty toys. They were made out of bendy, rubbery plastic. The detailing on their costumes rubbed off if you looked at them funny. You'll never find a loose Iron Man figure where the yellow circle on his chest isn't rubbed off! And Dr. Octopus' tentacles usually broke off after about two hours.
The character selection was goofy... obviously, they didn't include any females or uniquely built males like Thor, The Hulk or The Thing because that would have required them to tool additional bodies and they were crapping these out on the cheap.The Marvel characters have a few vehicles in the comics. The Avengers zip around in the Quinjet. The Fantastic Four have the Fantasticar. The X-Men had the Blackbird (also known as the X-Jet). But for the toy line, Mattel just made up their own. Dr. Doom had the motorized Doom Roller, which I suspect was a cast off from the Masters of the Universe line. Both teams also had their own motorcycle, complete with enclosed sidecar. I must admit, I did enjoy the design of these, even though they were not actually from the comics. I probably used the cycles more than I did the figures. I think Batman and Robin used the Doom Cycle more than Dr. Doom did.The requisite playset was the Tower of Doom. Okay, look at the top where Spider-Man and Dr. Doom are standing. Notice how they are taller than the section they are flanking? Yep! The playset was TOO SMALL for the figures to fit in! Dumbasses! I ended up using this more as a base for Cobra and pretending the turret on top was the Weather Dominator from the GI Joe cartoon. The Joe toys were smaller than Secret Wars and thus fit the playset better. How do you screw that up?!

To top that, the second wave of Secret Wars figures which included black costume Spidey, was made up of characters who WEREN'T IN THE SECRET WARS COMIC BOOK!
The heroes were joined by Daredevil and The Falcon.
The Villains by Baron Zemo (in a fierce magenta costume with fur trim! You go girl!) and the newly introduced Hobgoblin, who included an awesome bat-shaped sky sled. Interestingly, the two new villains included new tooling... if they were going to go that far, why not pick bigger names? I mean, Baron Zemo? I didn't even know who that was at the time, although obviously I had to have him, due to his jaunty ensemble. In the little four panel comic on the back of the toy's card, he used some sort of device to make plants grow enormous, so I just assumed he was a plant-based character. Eventually, I learned that he was just a random generic mad genius character. Trimmed in fur.

Like I said, these toys kinda sucked, had limited selection and nowhere near the profile of the Super Powers collection, so Mattel stopped after two waves... in America at least.
In Europe three additional figures were produced, once again, featuring characters that DID NOT APPEAR IN THE SECRET WARS COMIC! The heroes were joined by Iceman, who did have a high profile due to this featured role on the Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends Saturday morning cartoon.

Two new villains were also added, The Constrictor:
And Electro:In addition, Brazil got two exclusive playsets:
Ha ha! Goofy as hell, but kinda whimsical! I mean, don't you wish you had Castle Spider-Skull?

So to wrap up, Secret Wars was kinda a lesson in how to NOT do a Super Hero toy line. They started off with some big names, but the poor production values and lack of diversity hurt them and then it seemed like for the rest of the waves, they were just drawing names out of Thor's winged helmet. The accessories were just made up and not based on the comics. And the gimmick, those "secret message" shields was stupid. Even so, the line has its fans. I mean, I got these pics someplace, right? But anyone that says they preferred this line over Super Powers is just a brainwashed Marvel Zombie.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Throwback Thursday 05-27-10 Adventures In The Wild, Wild World Wide Web

Man, remember the Dancing Baby? I LOVED the Dancing Baby!

But people took the original and set it to all kinds of songs like "California Love" and "Low Rider." They should still make them! It really never got old, at least to me. Also, remember how some people thought it really was a real baby? Probably the same people that think windmills are giant fans. Oh there really are people who think that.

The funniest thing is recalling how FREAKIN' long it took to download these stupid things! I mean, it took like 20 minutes to download a 90 second Dancing Baby clip! Or ANY clip for that matter and then once you downloaded it, it was like two inches by one and a half inches! Can you imagine trying to d.l. a movie back then? It would literally take DAYS! And then it would be smaller than the screen on my iPod (I have the Classic, not one of those new fancy pants Touches. I can't be limited to 64 Gigs! Are you nuts? That wouldn't even contain all my Kylie Minogue songs!)
Then came Napster. First of all, download speeds had to have improved significantly by the time this occurred, because I know it didn't take that long to d.l. songs. Oh my god, I lost DAYS to Napster when I first encountered it. I'm not even exaggerating! I could not go to bed, because I'd just discovered the key to the world's largest music store, where every song EVER recorded was available... for FREE!!!!!!! Not just "real" songs, but every remix, every live performance, every EVERYTHING was free for the taking! My mind reels at the memory. I mean, it's a helluva lot easier to get stuff now than it used to be (Oh you mean to get the one song I want, I have to buy this entire worthless album for $20? Huh. How about you shove that up your ass, while I download it for $1.29?) but even so, some stuff (like dance remixes) are still kind of hard to come by. Still... nothing compares to the free-for-all that was the original Napster! Too bad, I squandered a lot of it on like the dance remixes of Siquo's "Incomplete" or Ricky Martin's "She Bangs."

Isn't it scary to think that so many young people today GREW UP with that? Like, they have no memory of life sans internet! Krazee! Like, they have no idea how to use an actual encyclopaedia. "What's an encyclopedia? Is it like Wikipedia?" "What's a record store? You mean, to get songs, you had to go to an actual place, specially devoted to music buying? To listen to a song, you had to have an actual physical object that you put in a specific player? HUH?!" Sadly, not too much of an exaggeration!

I can't wait until that microchip in the hand technology gets more common. Screw those paranoid Big Brother is Watching nuts. Um, you're telling me, I can pay for stuff just by waving my hand over a reader? DONE! Sign me up! What about people who are all, "I don't want the government to know where I am at all times!"? Um, exactly where are you, that you don't want the government to know about? What if you wind up lost in the wilderness with broken legs?! You'd be lovin' that government monitoring chip then! But then again, if you're in the wilderness, you deserve what you get. That's why I stay locked securely and comfortably in, y'know, buildings. Nature. Boo. Overrated.

Also, why do we only have moving sidewalks at the airport? Let's put those everywhere! But then again, once they invent jetpacks and hoverboards, I guess moving sidewalks will be obsolete. So, yeah, just jump to those two things. Make it so!

Can you imagine going back to the early dial-up days of the Internet? Oh god! It would be like living in caves and using sticks and rocks as implements! Luckily, zombie apocalypse notwithstanding, we'll never have to deal with that horrific scenario. Huzzah! I'm going to download some stuff I don't even want and delete it... just because I can! Suck it, Me From 15 Years Ago! Aw, sorry, here's that new b-side by that brand new artist, Britney Spears, you've been looking for. Oh, and see how cute and wholesome she seems? Wait'll you hear what happens to her next...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bonus Edition: Daniel Craig Gay Scandal!

Daniel Craig Gay Scandal!
Hot (or rather HAWT) off the press from Perez (and what more reputable a source do you need?!) on May 15th (ahem, MY BIRTHDAY), rugged manly man Daniel Craig was BUS-TED making out with some dude that wasn't me in Venice, thus making him quite the rugged man's man. Happy fuckin' birthday to me! Raow!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tune In Tuesday 05-25-10 Parks & Recreation

What the hell, people?! How is this show on the verge of being canceled? HOW is it the worst rated network show in its time slot?! You mean to tell me, more people prefer fucking Rules of Engagement and Survivor to this slice of delightful brilliance?! Ugh, humanity makes me SICK!!!
This show is awesomely hilarious the way The Office was in its first couple of seasons when it was actually watchable. (Have you seen The Office lately? WTF?! That show SUCKS! And yet there's no chance of it getting canceled?! I mean, it's not Heroes bad, but still...)

#1 - Amy Poehler is a genius and everything she does is hilarious. Okay, not everything. But THIS is! She's slightly dopey, like Steve Carrel on The Office, but whereas Michael Scott is completely selfish, Amy's Leslie Knope is altruistic and idealistic. But HILARIOUSLY misguided.

And her supporting cast is brilliant as well! One of the best ensembles on TV!
Seriously, Ron Swanson is the BEST curmudgeon since Walter Mathau passed away!
And Aziz Ansari as the ridiculous wannabe playa Tom Haverford is funny every time he walks on screen!
At first, I wasn't a fan of sulk mistress April, because she just seemed like the stereotypically apathetic teenage character, but she's actually grown on me SO MUCH that I'm actually rooting for her in her awkward would-be romance with my TV husband Chris Pratt as clueless nitwit Andy Dwyer.
Whaaaaat?! He so cuddly! I love him! He's a MUCH more adorable dumbass than Matt LeBlanc ever was on Friends!
Rashida Jones as Ann tends to be the weakest link, but at least they ended her go-nowhere romance with Mark Brandanowitz. I LIKED his character, but they really seemed to run out of ideas for him really quickly, so he's being written out in favor of Rob Lowe's new character, who hasn't really done much except act weird.
Ann can be hit or miss, but overall, she's a nice element in the show, and I love that they admit she really should NOT be as involved in all the political goings-on on the show that she is.

I LOVE this show! It's one of like THREE network shows I still watch. (There's this, Glee and... huh, okay so maybe two.) Thursdays at 8:30, ya'll! Watch this shit!

Monday, May 24, 2010

MANic Monday 05-24-10 Puck Edition

This one is kind of a late, add-on bday prezz for Cathy, but here's a salute to Glee's resident asshole Puck!
It isn't everyday that one tosses out the phrase, "Jesus, _______ has sexy arm pits!" but that was exactly my reaction (and Cathy's and Beth's...) to the "Run Joey Run" video from the "Bad Reputation" episode of Glee a couple weeks ago. Observe:
SEE?! Raow! Here's some vintage mohawk-era Puck:
And some pics from his GQ spread:
And now for a BONUS, Mr. Schu from Vogue:
That's the only decent pic from that layout. The rest are focused on his "co-star" in the shoot, Blake Lively. Like anyone wants to see that!