Monday, March 29, 2010

No Deal

In a sad turn of events, the last remnants of Deal or No Deal will soon be gone from our screens, as the syndicated version of the show will finish out its run this spring.

Quite frankly, I'm not surprised. Almost everything that was fun and thrilling about the show went out the door when NBC cancelled it two years ago... the theme shows, the $1,000,000 (and sometimes much more) top prize, the families, the luscious models, and the hope that you would be picked to be a contestant from the tens of thousands who sent their auditions (myself among them).

But the syndicated show was hugely scaled back to accomodate a half hour version. With the exception of two of the originals, no more models. 28 hopefuls now opened the cases for a week with five contestants picked out of a random spin of a big roulette wheel (nuts to you if you were one of the five reserves who didn't get to play until the Friday taping), the top prize was only $500,000, no themes, no families... and as shallow as the show was on network TV, the syndicated version was even more so. The excitement was gone. I could speed through an episode in seconds on my DVR, depending on how soon the contestant had opened the top three prizes.

Sad to see it go, and on such a low note. It might not have been great TV, but at its best, it kept you glued to your seat.

So I guess Howie Mandel will be going back to putting rubber gloves over his head.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Death is Eating High on the Hog

After laying low for quite a while, Death got out a knife and fork and started going to town this week on some of my childhood idols... Peter Graves the week before, then earlier this week Robert Culp, and yesterday one of the comics industry's great movers and shakers, Dick Giordano. I was fortunate enough to meet him several years ago at a convention where he signed several issues of his classic colloborations with Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams on Batman. Sadly, I lost a few of those books in the flood of '08, but I still retained a few because they were in a box a few feet over the floor. His crisp inks could make the worst hack artist's pencils look good, and fortunately he was paired mostly with great pencillers... Adams, Bob Brown, Irv Novick, George Perez, to name a few. But even more so than his artwork, his generosity and ability to seek out new talent as an editor at DC Comics make his passing a great tragedy indeed. His work both on and off the page was a great inspiration to me, and I feel very fortunate that I had that one chance to tell him how I felt. Thanks, Dick, for all those great comics.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here's a way cool preview of the upcoming Doctor Who series coming to BBCAmerica on April 17th. Hope you likee!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Den of Geek reviews DOCTOR WHO: The Eleventh Hour

A spoiler-free review of the launch of the Eleventh Doctor's adventures can be found here

MARK AND DEE: The Letter, Part 1

A bit more dramatic episode this time around....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just Not Enough Drugs in the World....

For the last three days, I've been wrapped up with a crappy cold that has totally put anything that doesn't involve laying on the couch and watching movies in between sleeping completely on hold. For the first time months, I actually took valuable time off from work, but there was little else to do for it.

I can't believe Dee and I have had all these freakin' flu shots and I can still get my ass kicked by something as stupid as this. I think I'm going to demand a refund.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Phyllis Comes Through!

Well, the big Friday finale came and went with Phyllis Newman not torching the damning letter that has sealed the deal on Adam's skullduggery once and for all. Sadly, with the baby switch now out in the open for everyone save Ashley, who's in complete denial that her Faith is actually Sharon and Nick's baby, Phyllis went back home to her little girl, unsure of what will happen to her marraige. Nick returned shortly after, and Friday's climax left them pondering what would be next.

Quite frankly, after the many ringers that Sharon had put me through, I would take that luscious redhead in my arms, tell her how much her amazing sacrifice meant to me, then carry her straight upstairs and stay there for a week.

Okay, I wouldn't carry her. The woman stands at least a head taller than me on her bare feet. My back would snap like a twig, not to mention the obligatory hernia.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Will she or won't she...?

As I predicted, the entire Adam debacle on Young and the Restless was skipped over Wednesday to get everybody revved up for what proved to be a big nailbiter for both Thursday and Friday. Every one who ever got crapped on by Adam (which would be half the friggin' cast) showed up at the cabin to interrogate Adam about what he has really been up to all this time.

I personally was hoping that this would all take place back at the Newman ranch and that Victor would knock down a few brickwalls to reveal that torture chamber he kept in the basement waaaaaayyy back in the 1970's. But I would think that having Heather and Rafe there, being officers of the court, for the proceedings would have complicated things if Victor felt inclined to putting Adam in it. "Uh, Victor, why do you have a torture chamber in your basement?"

What we didn't see coming (and what seems to me to be a last ditch effort to wring the last little drop of suspense from this whole deal) is that Phyllis, Nick's wife who has had her own little history with honesty, has headed off a lawyer in possession of a last minute confessional from the evil Dr. Taylor to Ashley he dictated before he died that confirmed the whole baby switch that Adam is responsible for.

Phyllis, as cool as she has been of recent, is trapped in a rock in a hard place... doing the right thing and bringing this letter to everyone's attention and risking that Nick and Sharon may get back together, or remain silent and hope that the baby switch never comes to light. We were left with Phyllis preparing to torch the letter outside the cabin.

For what it's worth, I think Phyllis is going to step up to the plate and reveal that letter. Her character has come such a long way from her villainous origins, especially concerning her working with her son to save Amber last year. She has used her dirty tricks on the side of the angels in the past couple of years, and fans have firmly stood behind her when it's come to dealing with the whole Nick/Sharon mess.

And yeah, it's probably going to wreck her marraige to Nick. I say dump the guy and hook back up with Jack when the whole deal with Emily/Patty falls apart.

But that's a mess for another day...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Y & R Fans... Take a Break Today

Okay, Young and the Restless fans.... yesterday, the suspense built to an almost unbearable level, as nearly everyone to whom Adam Newman had done dirty put aside their own animosities toward one another to bring the little buggerer to heel, ending with Adam being lured out to the Abbott cabin by Sharon and quickly getting slugged into unconsciousness (presumably by his own father, Victor). It's obviously all leading up to daytime TV's biggest intervention....

And I can tell you you'll see none of it today. So if you have anything to do between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM, that will be a great time to do it. Because as sure as James Cameron knows where the blue food is, you will see absolutely none of that storyline today. The focus will be entirely on all the other storylines not tied to the Abbotts and the Newmans; Jena's capture and Lauren's torture at the hands of Daisy and Ryder, Caine's fate at his immigration hearing, the ongoing thaw between Tucker and Katherine, Lily's lab results, and Chance's continuing investigation into his frame-up.

So if you don't like those storylines, and/or you don't want to feel cheated out of what promises to be one of the highlights in the history of Y & R, don't even bother to tune in today. Cancel it out on your DVR, or take it off your VCR's programming schedule. I'm just trying to head off the crashing disappointment I know everyone out there's going to feel if you're expecting the Adam Intervention and it's nowhere to be found...

But, by diddily dern, I'd run over my own mother to see what's going to happen Thursday.

Monday, March 8, 2010

If this Day Got Any Better....

... I'd swear I wasn't awake.

Looks like I'm sneaking back into reading comics at just the right time, as DC Comics have just announced that one of my all-time favorite writers, J. Michael Straczynski, the creator/writer/producer of Babylon 5, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Changeling, and author of tons of books and short stories, is finally getting his long-awaited dream job: he's taking over the writing of both Superman and Wonder Woman, beginning with both titles' anniversary issues in June.

Joe's been waiting for this moment for his entire career, and this summer, already crammed with the returns of Iron Man, Kick-Ass, Tron, and Toy Story, as well as the returns of Spider-Girl and The Green Hornet to the comic shops, we're going to be nearing sugar diabetes levels of sweetness around here.

The Weekend I Really Needed

I am soooo worn out....

Very big, very busy weekend, lots of highs, lotsa lows, but it definitely kept me hopping. First off, I have to give a shout out to my computer guru, Randy, for helping me out with new hardware for the Black Beauty (the nickname for my computer), and a nasty advertising virus that glommed up just about everything afterward. To paraphrase the late, great Zelda Rubinstein, "This computer... is clean."

Terrific meeting with the Whoosier Network, and, as mentioned earlier, what a thrill it was as a group of science-fiction fans, to look up in the sky and see, in real life, something that not very long ago was considered science-fiction, and is now science fact.

The Oscars had some great moments Sunday, but was pretty much excrutiating to get through, and sad to say, it didn't help that Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin was just one awkward pairing. Neil Patrick Harris, the Music Meister himself, did a fantastic opening number, and he's got my vote to host the whole damned thing next year.

So... on this Monday and a special day off, I'm finishing up some DVD recordings, begin coloring and lettering the new Mark and Dee serial, right now known as "The Letter", pick up Mom from dialysis, and work on the new posterboard for the Whoosier Network meetings. Lord knows, it'll all be over with by tomorrow morning and my return to a full week of hard work at my mundane job. You gotta make every free moment count.

Yeah, and watch today's Young and the Restless. Sue me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The Whoosier Network got an amazing thrill as we watched with the Russian space station pass overhead, visible to the naked eye at 7:15 PM Friday.

Unfortunately, that was the same time that they scheduled the purging of their septic system.

"Hey, Sergei! Look at vwittle fat bolchovik standing in parking lot! Bet you 15 Euros I can nail heem!"

"That's why you graduate with honors from Cosmonaut training, Boris!"

"Bombs away!"

It's okay. Actually, it tasted like Buluga caviar... and some really bad vodka.

Sniff, sniff... wait a minute. That wasn't vodka....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welcome Back, Tom Beland!

It is with great pleasure that I just got word that one of my very favorite comics, True Story Swear to God, is back on the shelves with issue #12 this week. For those of you out of the loop, it is an autobiographical series about the lives of cartoonist/journalist Tom Beland and his beautiful wife Puertorican radio talk host and author Lily Garcia. This amazing couple met on a chance encounter during a weekend vacation at Disney World, and through many trials and tribulations (including Tom's decision to leave his beloved home in Napa Valley for Puerto Rico) made a life for themselves, ultimately getting married at Disney World as their guests.

This last year has been a traumatic one for Tom, as a home accident late 1n 2008 affected his drawing hand, rendering him unable to continue the comic for the longest time, as well as fighting bouts of deep depression. It is a testimony to Tom and Lily's love and the support of both of his families that Tom has finally been able to finish issue 12, depicting their wedding at the House of Mouse, with the promise of more to come in 2010.

As soon as I hit Indianapolis this Friday for the Whoosier Network meeting, I'm charging over to the nearest Comic Carnival and picking up #12, which hits the stands today.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back to the Grind....

Well, back to work today. Fortunately, I got nearly everything done yesterday that I set out to accomplish... the February Gallifreyan Gazettes are in the mail to our Whoosier Network members, got through a lot of the videoes I rented from Red Box and Netflix, and got a brand new brush for inks I'm just crazy to break in. Hopefully, I'll be out of there by 3:00 today and get the March GG wrapped up this evening, plus catch the Monday runs of Big Bang Theory, 24, and Damages and get them out of the way.

Also, I'm looking forward not only to tonight's American Idol, Lost, and The Good Wife, but also the new version of Parenthood, produced by Ron Howard, Brian Glaser, and Jason Kitims, who has been showrunning my very favorite sports drama Friday Night Lights. Tuesdays are starting to become as full a deck as Mondays.