This is it: A “Wizard” Remembrance/Reaction

This week, news that both Wizard and ToyFare magazine were being canceled hit the interwebs. I did my big college internship at Wizard and then scored a job there a few months later when I graduated from college. It was my first career-type job and it led to a ton of great friendships and terrific experiences. I wouldn’t be rocking a job I love at Dark Horse Comics if not for my time at Wizard, nor would I know so many rad, excellent and intelligent folks around the comics community, many of whom I consider great friends. Continue Reading “This is it: A “Wizard” Remembrance/Reaction”


All Day Pizza Buffet: Fight!

Yesterday, I was informed by Josh Wigler (aka J.D. Wigglesmith aka Jarsh Wiggleheimer) that he and Kevin Mahadeo (aka Kevin Mahoodoo: Master of Voodoo) were discussing who would win in a fight: The two of them or me. The stipulations, as they were explained to me, were that Josh would be armed with a pistol and Kevin would have a knife. I would be between the two of them, unarmed. Though Wigler and Mahadeo both agreed I would win this hypothetical fight—and I provided a few fairly graphic play-by-plays of how I would triumph—I figured a cartoon representation of how mismatched a brawl it would be might further solidify the results of Monday’s discussions.
Continue Reading “All Day Pizza Buffet: Fight!”


More Sketchy Galore!

Wizard Staffer David Paggi and former Wizard Staffers Rickey Purdin and Kiel Phegley have started a sweet sketch/art blog called Rowdy Schoolyard, which they’ve been updating super-regularly, so check it out!

Seeing their diligent posting of art made me realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my doodles (or “cartoons, if you will—I will NOT go as far as calling it art), so I snagged a few drawings I did off the corkboard by my desk and scanned them in for your viewing pleasure.


Can’t quite remember how this one came about. I believe former WU assistant editor Josh Wigler and I were joking around about how to make some classic cartoon characters realistic and this is what came from it: Chuck “‘Nam” Brown.

I’m on a real Ghost Rider kick now thanks to Jason Aaron’s badass run on the book. I just got the new Mighty Mugg of the Spirit of Vengeance and then did this doodle the day after.

The story behind this one goes back to Wizard World Chicago, when I shared a hotel room with Staff Writer Kevin Mahadeo. While checking in, desk attendant Leah coined the term when asking, “So, looks like you’ll be sharing a room with Kevin…um…Mahoodoo.” I chuckled and said, “Yes.” And since that day, Kevin’s nickname has been Mahoodoo. Also, Kevin’s a big stickler for DC Comics continuity, thus the battle cry.


[Review] ‘The Incredible Hulk’

By now you’ve probably seen staff writer Kevin Mahadeo’s review of “The Incredible Hulk” over on Wizard Universe proper, but what you may not know is that I too—yes, the loudest of monkeys himself—was also in attendance for the screener that Monsieur Mahadeo viewed. However, our plan to run dueling reviews (cue banjos) was foiled by the massive amount of work needed on the War Heroes Cover Competition voting and I was prevented from writing a timely review.

So, because being a “monkey” of a certain vocal distinction means I must voice opinions on certain things, I’ll opt for a later—and more casual—review of Green Genes return to the big screen…in the blogosphere!

And away we go…
And of course, heads up, ’cause there be spoilers ahead!

Straight to the point, “The Incredible Hulk” is a darn good flick that doesn’t just dig the Jade Giant out of the hole Marvel’s first gamma-charged flick dug for it (spoken from a guy who enjoyed Ang Lee’s take), but rockets it a Hulk hamstring-powered leap into the territory successful film franchise. The film kicks off with loads of nerd-nods to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark Industries, followed throughout the film by the original Hulk theme song, cameos from Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee and RDJ as Tony Stark, not to mention teases about Captain America, The Leader and the Avengers. If the movie was simply a preview of the greater Marvel Universe being setup with this summer’s Marvel movie fare, it’d be worth the price of admission, but luckily, the flick delivers some heart and a classic Hulk story as well!

All in all, there really isn’t much to pick at in “The Incredible Hulk.” It’s maybe got a few more gags than harsh critics can go for, but it’s a comic book movie summer blockbuster—some comic book cheese isn’t just nice, it’s necessary! You throw a gag about giant purple pants into a Hulk film and, as a big Hulk fan, I’m going to love it.

And hey—much as I liked it—it wasn’t a perfect film, but if my two main critiques are any indication, this film is going to be a crowd-pleaser.

My critiques?

First: not enough punching. Oh, there’s Hulking out aplenty and, yeah, the Hulk turns a police car into a pair of boxing gloves, but I could have gone for a bit more fist fighting.

Second: Hulk and the Abomination weren’t strong enough. I’m a fan of the Hulk being more like a natural disaster then a wrecking crew, and I wanted to see him and the Abomination tossing around taxis like dodgeballs and toppling towns like they were tidal waves! They’re strong and they do some damage, but I want a Hulk-level event, not just a jumbo-sized streetfight. Ok, I’m splitting hairs, because the final battle is a f—king awesome fight scene, I’m just greedy and wanted more!

Lastly: I got a “Hulk Smash!” but I really wanted this scene…

Abomination: [Hulk in headlock] “You think you’re strong?! You’re nothing!”
Hulk: “No! Hulk is the strongest one there is!” [Three punch combo puts the Abomination down before Hulk grabs him by the legs and slams him repeatedly into the pavement]

…oh, or a “Puny Human…”

In the end, I’d give “Incredible Hulk” a B+ to “Iron Man’s” A. Marvel’s two for two this summer and I can’t wait to see what they roll out next year!


“Son of Rambow,” and the telling of my trek into New York for its screening in New York

A few weeks back, I got the chance to head down into Nueva York to see a private screening of a little British film called “Son of Rambow.” While I loved the movie and will elaborate a bit more on why I did later, I figure a review or synopsis of the film is only going to tell you something that at least nine other Web sites could tell you. So, because I’m still new enough in this game to have the stars in my eyes after getting to see a “private screening,” I thought an account of my professional movie-going experience might be a little more interesting (other journalists and media folks, feel free to turn and leave the blog now or scroll on to another post—you’ve heard this song or danced this dance before).

“Son of Rambow” is a great film (don’t take my word for it, take the Sundance’s) about two young boys who become unlikely friends when they try to make their own action movie. One boy is from a religious group that forbids TV, and when he tries to help out a bully—who’s shooting footage for a young film makers competition and is being raised by his jerk brother since his parents have all but left the two alone—he watched a bootleg copy of First Blood as his first taste of the movies and becomes obsessed. The bully with the drive to make the film and the camera teams up with the goofy fount of imagination released from this timid kid after he sees Stallone in action and the two form a friendship and go about creating their film. Throw in a crazy French foreign exchange student, he production problems that hit every film managed by 11 year olds and the inevitable humor that comes along with it and you’ve got the supremely enjoyable “Son of Rambow.”

It’s got the laughs, tender moments and serious aspects to make it an extremely diverse film—I partially loved the film because it could access all those emotions—but in the end its a tale about childhood friendship and limitless imagination and a love for movies that we can all draw back to our youth. It was a really fantastic film, and as I first described it afterward, “If you have a heart, you can’t dislike this film.”

Now, as to how my attendance at this screening went down, here’s how it went:

Entertainment Editor Rickey Purdin got an e-mail asking if he wanted to send anyone to the screening. He asked, I said sure and so I was set for a trip down town.

The day of the screening, I left the office a bit early with staff writer Kevin Mahadeo—who was set to see a screening of Jackie Chan and Jet Li’s “Forbidden Kingdom”—and we headed into urban jungle.

After traffic and a search for parking, we arrived at the Dolby Building on 6th Ave.

We signed in, Kevin headed to a large screening room on the first floor and I head up to the twenty eighth floor where my smaller screening room was located (smaller movie, smaller screen).

Now here’s where it gets pretty cool….

So, i checked in again at the screening and pick up a press packet all about the film. The window in this office looks out on the city, twenty eight stories up and I realized this is the highest altitude I’ve watched a movie from short of an airplane and the occasional trip to Denver (which, sea level-wise is pretty high, though I wasn’t in a twenty eight story building).

After heading the the bathroom—for which I had to use a elementary school-style “bathroom pass” key, and yes, it was a rather bulky reel of film replica painted blue for the men’s room (pink for the ladies!)—I walked through two large doors into a small picture house that looked much like a nice home theater…only nicer…and twenty eight stories high.

I cozied up in one of the cushy armchair seats in the front row and sat amongst the other press scattered throughout the 20 seat room waiting for the film to start.

The film rolled, I enjoyed, I took an elevator down twenty eight floors and went home with a smile on my face after seeing such a pleasant movie.

That’s about it. It’s not the most super glamorous thing in the world but it’s still one of the fun little perks of the fourth estate. Hope that little window into my job was entertaining, and really do make an effort to see “Son of Rambow!” I’m a sucker for little indie films that leave you feeling good, but even if that isn’t your bag, everyone can relate to those childhood years of limitless imagination, friends without questions and the awe that all movies inspired then before we grew up, sat back and decided we’re all critics.


Last week’s send off to John Rogers’ ‘Blue Beetle’

Another blog post I meant to get up last week…

…was going to be an epic poem composed about the virtues and excellence of Blue Beetle as John Rogers run came to an end with the fantastically awesome “End Game” arc and its twenty fifth issue. Luckily, I got a chance to rave in last week’s Thursday Morning Quarterback’s Quick Hits about it, sparing you all the attempt at epic poetry, while giving me a chance to gush.
Here’s a snippet…

“I know it’s only March and big events like Secret Invasion and Final Crisis are still on the way, but I’m calling it right now: Blue Beetle #25 is my issue of the year!”

Being surrounded in the office full of other fans of the run, we hashed out some ways to get some good send-off coverage for the book after issue #25…

Indie Jones‘ Kiel Phegley did a retrospective chat with John Rogers on the book—seriously good read here, give it a look.

And Kevin Mahadeo featured Jaime Reyes as his character of the week in his new column obviously entitled “Character of the Week.” For the record, you’ll notice I called out Paco’s line of the week in QB on Thursday before Kevin did in COW on Friday…just saying. I mean—it’s not important—we both love the book and thought it was a great line…but I mentioned it first…just saying.

So, check those out and then go check out the past 25 issues of Blue Beetle, it was a heckuva a ride that you really shouldn’t miss!