Archive for May, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize. The vagaries of the television industry are many, and it seems I spoke too soon: it turns out, ALL of the Threat Quality TV upfronts have been canceled before they will go to air. I am sorry Alan Tudyk and Fran Kranz, I am sure you guys will find work somewhere else (? Maybe?). The replacements for the upcoming fall season on CBS will actually be as follows:
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Man, there is nothing better than a periodic re-viewing of Batman: The Animated Series.

I honestly believe, before anyone is hired to write a Batman comic, they need to watch this show. Especially the later episodes. Because then there’d never be any confusion over Batman’s reasons for being.

Granted, that also means like 10 years of Batman comics (starting with the plague crossovers and ending after Greg Rucka wrote a Batman who let his bodyguard get stabbed in prison just to keep his secret identity) would never have happened.

But that’s okay, because everyone would understand Batman’s primary motivation a lot better. It’s not about revenge; It’s about caring.

No, seriously.  (more…)

It’s my pleasure to announce that Threat Quality TV has been contracted to produce five new television shows, which will premiere this coming fall on…oh, let’s say CBS.  Are you excited for the new CBS schedule?  You will be!

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OK, so as we were talking about, key to creating a good Justice League comic – y’know, AFTER putting a capable writer, artist and editor on it – is starting with an interesting lineup. But that doesn’t have to be the classic “Big Seven,” just because it worked so well when Grant Morrison suggested it.

So let’s play a game. It’s called “Build Your Perfect Justice League.”

But because at the end of the game, your dream-League should look like, y’know, an honest-to-god Justice League lineup, not just a random assortment of folks that are neat, I offer some rules/guidelines:  (more…)

So you wanna write a good Justice League comic, do you? Well son, it’s easier said than done. You’re gonna need three things:

  1. A clear vision of the kind of stories you want to tell
  2. An editorial regime willing to get out of your way and let you tell it, and
  3. A roster of characters that will make those stories sing.

Unfortunately, after reading a recent Justice League collection, it looks like James Robinson has none of those things. (more…)

In the past, I have put together serious considerations of which summer movies I’m going to go and see, but this year, things have been made more difficult.

This year, I’ve not only got to figure out which movies to go to – I have to figure out which COMIC BOOK MOVIES I’m supposed to choose, within the larger selection.

Sigh. It used to be so easy.

At some point, in the distant past, movies didn’t use to cost $11, you see. Tell your grandchildren that. But it’s summer movie season in 2011, and so we’re pretty well screwed. It doesn’t matter that I’ve sworn off seeing the 3D version of things, because I know by and large that’s just a waste of $3. This time of year where you’re not just watching a movie – you’re buying snacks, too.

“But Holland, why don’t you just grab some candy from the Target next to the movie theater?” Ohhh, you think you’re SO SMART, imaginary blog critic.  (more…)

Thome Thoughts on Thor

Posted: May 9, 2011 in Braak, comic books
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I saw Thor over the weekend, and there are some pretty good parts in that movie, which I will discuss. There are also some parts that I think could have been better, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie that didn’t have some parts that I thought could have been better. Art is an aggregation of imperfect efforts to achieve an unattainable ideal! So, to business.

[Oh, uh, spoilers and such to follow]

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Rain Boots

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Threat Quality
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I like the idea that, in England, rain boots are called “Wellingtons”, after the Duke of Wellington. 

This pleases me, because it makes me feel like that, in a nation so dense with history, by the time the Duke of Wellington got around to saving everyone from being conquered by Napoleon, essentially every conceivable aspect of British life was already named after someone.

“Well, your Grace, good job on that Waterloo business.  We’ve had to invent a new dish to name after you — it’s a kind of steak that’s been smeared with goose liver and then baked in to a pie (?), we think it might be very good.  And we’ve got…let’s see.  Rubber rain boots, the pull-chain toilet, and that black stuff that we use to pave the roads, if you’d like something named after you.”

“That’s it?”

“Sorry, all that’s left.”

“I guess the boots one, then.”

I’ve been on a bit of a Superman walkabout. Mostly, I’ve been trying to find the essential components – precisely what makes a Superman story feel “right.”

Here’s the best part of the Man of Steel-to-Birthright Clark Kent – he doesn’t have to try so hard. In fact, the Chris Reeves bumbling-dork Clark would probably be more conspicuous than the Clark that has been embraced as a part of the Daily Planet family: the nice Midwestern guy in a big city newsroom.

In other words, he’s “mild-mannered” – but that doesn’t have to mean the same thing as “meek.”  (more…)

The other day, I realized that I’d gone the entire morning and afternoon without once touching a keyboard. My phone uses a touch screen; my new MP3 player as well; and wherever I’d go shopping, I could use a self-checkout machine. Do I want to see a movie? Well here’s a touch-screen on the Redbox.

The touch-screen monitor used to be one of those obvious signifiers of the future in sci-fi shows. “Fringe” actually winked at that earlier in the season, when a case in the alternate universe involved a ballpoint pen, leading the team to wonder when the last time anyone used a pen was, since touchscreen tablets had been the norm for so long in their tech-advanced world.

But yeah. Touchscreens everywhere. No prob. Tablets? Give it a year or two, prices will go down enough that it’ll just be another appliance to buy.

Just me and my bros. Chillin'.

The future becomes commonplace so easily. And I like that. But I do believe we need to remember, the commonplace used to look like fricking magic.

It’s also forcing me to set my signifier ahead a little. From now on, I won’t believe we’re living in the future until I have my own giant robot to pilot.