I see that you guys start hitting your refresh button around 1am my time here in Alabama. As you may well know, I update (God help me) around 3am CST US. I'm trying my best to get back to my Midnight - 1am schedule but as a freelancer, I find myself at the hands of an unscrupulous Mac from 8am through 9pm most days. Add in trips to the gym, food and Conker's and you find me sitting down to the Vexter at about midnight.
By the way, many have asked and YES, I am indeed the Mac Guy from that video the kids are so crazy about. Yes, everything I said in the short is accurate, just some of it relates to OS 9 and some of it OS X. It's a bit jumbled. Anyway, there you have it. And a new comic. What the hell are YOU doing up at 3am reading my webcomic for anyway? Go to bed!
Those amoral nasties are back - even if in a less impressive form - so Vexxarr responds. Really, my heart and thoughts go out to you guys. I know that as silly as it sounds, just knowing that you have friends out there - anywhere - actually helps. The green guy is pulling for you.
On a lighter note. Stargate SG-1 premiered and while the cast change is unsettling, the writing is the center of the show's strength and I can report that it remains strong. With Beau Bridges and Louis Gossett Jr. Joining the cast, the show might actually sink under the weight of all those golden statuettes these actors bring with them. As for Farscape fans, the inclusion of Claudia Black and Ben Browder should actually give you heart. First, you know where your cast is in the event of a second Farscape movie and second, you know they are at least EATING.
Over in Atlantis, SG-1's sister show, the reprise of a minor character as (hopefully) a recurring supporting one is par for the course and always a welcome surprise. The look and feel of both shows continues to impress me considering the actual monies involved (and in Canadian Dollars no less).
And of course one misses Galactica at one's own immense peril...
Robot Chicken's season finale was a tear-jerker wherein we discover that the show is indeed cancelled! ...but not really.
And the Wedding Crashers is a comedy that you should really, really drop everything and go see.
So the Union Jack is shelved until Liberation Day or whenever they finish the Red Dwarf movie (it could happen). But for the time being (an appreciative sort of fellow if a bit codgerly) I have placed a banner and link to we are not afraid. peruse the image vaults there for some nutty and heartfelt defiance in the face of the London (Nodnol) bombings.
People have been asking lately if I am British. Nope, I'm American but I take our friendship very seriously and want my buddies across the water there to know that I at least read, watch and cheer for them whenever such occasion warrants cheering.
Yes, the Union Jack down there and in my banner is tribute to those who died in the pointless and cowardly bombings last week in London. I'm not sure what those idiots thought they were trying to prove by murdering tourists and children. The English resolve under these circumstances is somewhat well known.
For that matter, last I checked, if someone wanted to illicit political change from within a country through terror, they made clear the specific source of the terror so people at least knew who to be afraid of.
"Brother, has the bombing weakened the spirit of our enemy?"
"Yes, brother, the infidels have pulled out of Sweden..."
But then again, we seem to be entering a period when the destruction and loss of human life has become the mission in itself. I'm not sure that these people actually want anything specific any longer.
I'll keep the colors in my banner up for the week then return to the normal black and white for a fresh start next week. Assuming of course that other gallant freedom fighters don't target aggressive daycare centers or ravenous woman's shoe shops in the meantime.
Before seeing War Of The Worlds with the much-maligned Tom Cruise, I have to admit that I had kept my hopes down. Reviews were poor to middling and alien invasion movies like ID4 had left a really nasty taste in my mouth. When I eventually made the afternoon showing with friends (not in the death grip of cynicism) I was surprised - moved in fact. This was not the film I had expected at all. Well, let me qualify that. This is WOTW, after all - there are no real narrative surprises. This is the H G Wells novel beginning to end. Both prolog and coda are voiced masterfully by Morgan Freeman. Surprisingly little was changed from the original text.
Still, the film that unfolds within the framework of this classic prose is, in a word, unsettling. I've described it to friends as Saving Private Ryan with aliens. It's a no-holds-barred exploration of man-meets-unstoppable-alien-menace and they are both unstoppable and menacing. Independence Day (ID4) was so full for spectacular pyrotechnics and whoopla that it was difficult to associate the fantastic light show with the toll in human life. Here, with WOTW, we see human tragedy meted out, person by person, by means of a meandering disintegration beam. It makes human beings go 'pop'. Neat, clinical and utterly, utterly revolting.
My favorite image from the movie has to be Tom Cruise and his panicked neighbors fleeing the tripod menace amidst a gentle, drifting shower of the torn clothing previously worn by disintegrated victims. The full scale of the catastrophe and Cruise's terror become clear when we encounter a surviving news crew. After a full day of wading through the wreckage and destruction of the Jersey Tripod, Tom sees taped footage of attacks on Washington and Los Angeles. Tom's only comment is "There's more than one?!"
WOTW is filled with both adaptation of and allusion to both the book and the classic film. Throughout, Director Steven Spielberg drives home the point that we are at the losing end of an extremely asymmetrical conflict. There is literally nothing we posses which can address the seamless power of the alien war machines. "When the tripods start moving, there's no more news from that area..."
We follow Cruise from town to town as he and his children flee the coalescing alien menace. We see the US military make an awesome stand against the alien war machines but to no avail. We wind up in the same farmhouse that served as the focus of the George Pal film's third act. Through it all we are only allowed to see as much and as little as one man would have been able to see himself. The ending of the film arrives exactly as expected and is no less satisfying for the certainty. It actually comes as a sort of relief.
There is one satisfying moment that celebrates the value of human tenacity wherein beleaguered soldiers get a crack at an unshielded tripod. While the scene seems somewhat tacked on and perhaps a bit patronizing, it is certainly a moment well earned by an audience held witness to two hours of wholesale human extermination on a personal level. While the closing moments of Spielberg's WOTW lack the whitewash scenes of churchgoers mobbing cathedrals like a Tokyo subway at rush-hour, Wells and Mr. Freeman are there to remind us of God's roll in our deliverance from alien extermination.
By the end of the film, I was spent. What I had seen was, in a word, unsettling. I felt just as I had after watching the fall of Baghdad for six hours straight. I had to keep reminding myself that the world was still intact and that the Teamsters at the Jersey docks had not lost even a day of work. Spielberg had taken my hand and walked me through a personal tour of all but total human annihilation. The toll, according to Mr. Freeman (with apologies to H G) was over a billion souls.
I can't say that this was a 'good film' in the sense that films of substance and importance often are. What I can say is that WOTW is a moving film in exactly the way that 'good films' often fail to be. WOTW for its part did remind me how fragile our world is. And how little it would take to rip its interlocking systems asunder. I was recently asked to hit WOTW for a second viewing. There is no doubt; I'll have to see this one again. But at the time I was asked, I wasn't ready. I needed a little more time in the sunlight with the world as it is before revisiting the dark and relentless cautionary of what it could so easily become.
As I notice, dear readers, that you hale from all parts of the globe I must apologize for my 4th of July antics. This is the day in which Americans band together and try to make cows extinct by means of heat and mastication. For my part, I'm enjoying a day off and looking forward to a few well earned hours of Conker's Live and Reloaded. I'll try not to leave anyone out and offer some Bastille Day silliness as well. I can make no solid promises for Brigit's Day or Oimelc...but I'll do my level best.
On a brighter note. My war with Pepsico and their lagging production of Diet Code Red seems to have rounded the corner. I now note that local gocers stock their shelves with Diet Code Red 3 to 1 over Just Plane Old Code Red and 2 to 1 over Diet Vanilla Pepsi. I appreciate your hard work in this victory. Now work harder!
Yes, basically buying a T-Shirt would be inner child support. I didn't start the comic as a financial endeavor but selling these shirts would go a long way toward keeping it running in a more timely manner. If, for example, I were able to rely on rent and utilities from this comic, I would go daily, stop bathing and never cut my toenails again. Ok, so there are trade-offs here. But Seriously, I want to sell the shirts so that more people can enjoy the comic and express their inner alien. Or robot. Whichever. The first offering will likely be a cute Vexxarr center front and the sales will go toward a second order of Minionbot and some more sizes to both.
I'm going to accept payments through paypal and mail order and I'll let you all know when the artwork is finalized.
Thanks and my inner-child wants more Diet Code Red.