Batfleck

While in Toronto last weekend, I only had internet access late and night and early in the morning. I went to the con on Thursday and lived my life in this weird information void where news could only be transmitted from human to human, or Canadian to human directly. With words. Actual mouth words. It was a slow and cumbersome analog form of communication that allowed WAY more than 140 characters. Still, not a single Internet wielding Canadian saw fit to fill me in on the day’s significant development in the world of cinematic geekery. When I got back to Andrew’s house that night I connected with his wifi, exhaled in a way that felt as if I had been holding my breath for 12 hours and asked Twitter if anything happened while I was gone.

The news poured out of my phone like a tsunami of nerd rage. “AFFLECK IS BATMAN!!! WHAT DOES ANYTHING EVEN MEAN ANYMORE?! DO WE STILL HAVE A GOVERNMENT?! A WORLD?! CAN MATT DAMON BE NIGHTWING BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE PRETTY SWEET?!?!” I popped out a few sarcastically outraged tweets (which, come the next morning, would have gained some popularity), and went to bed fairly confident that this casting revelation was, in several words, extremely very bad news.

Over the next couple of days I saw a ton of hate online directed toward Batfleck. “He’s going to ruin Batman like he ruined Daredevil!” “Ben Affleck is great in somethings and bad in others! How can he Batman if not perfect always!?”  “Gigli was a movie that made me throw up with anger and he was in that movie and he didn’t help me clean up the throw up!” A pattern was becoming apparent. The reactions all smelled of nerd fear. Nerd fear is different than nerd rage. Nerd fear comes from a place of hurt. Of past betrayal. Batman movies have been unkind to nerds (and humanity in general) in the past, and nerds were afraid again that Batman (a character who has been elevated via cinema over the last almost-decade) was about to betray them again.

My initial, honest, snark free reaction was, “It’s Bat-Clooney all over again! This guy is Hollywood royalty, he LOOKS just like Bruce Wayne ought to look and he has NO BUSINESS playing the ACTUAL Batman.” Then I realized that this Batman movie was ACTUALLY a Superman movie. More accurately a sequel to Man of Steel. A movie that was pretty god damn terrible, all things considered. Those things being !!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!  the story, the completely unnecessary way Pa Kent dies, the desolation of Metropolis at the hands of Superman himself, the character assassination of Superman at the hands of Superman himself in that he used those hands to assassinate Zod and toss his entire what-Superman-is-all-about deal out the window, the fact that America and the world do not consider him an uncontrollable threat and banish him from Earth at the end, the story, the writing, the story… I could go on. !!!END SPOILERS!!!

Affleck might actually be the best possible thing to happen to a Superman franchise that, so far, has left me hating their Superman. And Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor? This is a performance I have got to see. Talk about being in the “empire business.”

Have you seen my wife’s latest geeky jewelry creation? MOTHER EFFING LIGHTSABRE NECKLACES AND EARRINGS! 

lightsaber necklace and earrings

COMMENTERS: How do you feel about the Batfleck casting? If not him, then who? Well, OF COURSE Jon Hamm, but who else? Just Jon Hamm? Really? Ok, you’re right. He should ALSO play Superman because he should have all along, you say? Man, you are a smart person.

Comments (9)

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I could see Patrick Wilson doing a bang up job as the caped crusader.
I thought Michael Keaton was an awful choice to play a superhero but once he was covered in the bat suit, it was fine. And I enjoyed him in both movies.
So Ben can be the next Batman. If he stinks, they’ll be plenty more Batman’s to come! 😉

1 reply · active 94 weeks ago

dralou's avatar

dralou · 94 weeks ago

My thoughts exactly. And if it ends up being Bat-Clooney all over again, well. At least we will be laughing. Don’t let the bad movies hurt your fan-feelings, it’s not healthy.
With the understanding that this is a Superman movie, not a Batman movie, Bats is going to be a supporting player. Or not: they apparently haven’t written the script yet.
Diggy's avatar

Diggy · 94 weeks ago

It is the Batman/ Bond law of casting: fans are pessimistic whiny-pantses about the choice, until the movie comes out and everyone has a joygasm.
JonS253's avatar

JonS253 · 94 weeks ago

I still remember the tsunami of rage when Heath Ledger was announced as the Joker. No teen heartthrob could possibly portray the Clown Prince of Crime!!

Except then he turned in (IMO) the very best live-action Joker *ever*. (I haven’t yet decided if Ledger’s Joker was better than the animated Joker voiced by Mark Hamill, speaking of people you never would have guessed would be excellent in a role.)

Tree-Vor's avatar

Tree-Vor · 94 weeks ago

Personally I don’t really care all that much about the batfleck casting. While Batman and associated characters are in my opinion the best thing DC has going for it, I’ve yet to be impressed by a single DC movie. I’m sure I’ll earn allot of hate points for this but I’m not even a fan of the BatBale movies, I’ll spare you the details but basically my feelings on them is “meh no need to watch that again”. Ben Afleck is a decent actor with the right direction and I doubt he’ll do any harm to the movie. I’m more concern with it being directed by Zack Snyder because in my opinion his movies have good visuals but that’s about it. I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with me and that is perfectly fine and you have every right to do so but that just my opinion.
lttlsqrl's avatar

lttlsqrl · 94 weeks ago

To completely ignore batfleck, I hope that a Batman Beyond movie with Old Bruce played by a now old Micheal Keaton is a possibility.
When I got back to Andrew’s house that night I connected with his wifi, exhaled in a way that felt as if I had been holding my breath for 12 hours and asked Twitter if anything happened while I was gone.

Toronto Fan Expo 2013 Fancy Sketches

Soory I had a good time in Toronto, eh? I accomplished all of my goals. I attended Fan Expo and spoke to some nice northern Fancy Bastards, I ate 100% of Toronto’s meat supply at Korean Grill House (my actual favorite restaurant in all of the world), I wrote a musical about meat during that meal (much to the chagrin of my co-dining cartoonist friends), and I attended the Banana Bar Crawl (more on that in a second).

Big big thanks to Andrew of I Am ARG and Paul “Leftovers” Westover for hosting me for my Canadian Weekend. Additional thanks to the all the Torontonian(?) Fancy Bastards who came out to say hi and to the Cyanide and Happiness fans that I did sketches for.

Here are a few more things I drew at Fan Expo: A couple of D&D characters, a fractal penis (probably too sexy for work) and a photo comic I made this morning about David Willis on my phone from a plane that was trying to take off.

About that Banana Bar Crawl… I REALLY don’t like bar crawls. I like nice quiet evenings with friends. If we find a good bar with a good atmosphere and a good volume level, I like to stay there until everyone has drank 100 drinks, laughed 1000 laughs and fallen down into a pile on the floor which has to be pushed into the gutter with a large-ish broom. The Cyanide and Happiness fellows have been trying to drag me to the annual Dallas Banana Bar Crawl for years. Since they decided to have on in Toronto, and seeing as how I was trapped there, AND on the condition that they pay for all of my drinks, I agreed to 1) come along and 2) complain a little less.

Guys… oh man, guys… it was a fun time. I stepped out of my comfort zone and partied with my friends and about 200 weirdos in banana suits across 3 or 4 bars in Toronto and I had an amazing time. If you are in Dallas or Toronto and you are not swayed by my words, BE SWAYED AS ALL HELL BY THIS VIDEO EVIDENCE OF FUN TIMES

Have you seen my wife’s latest geeky jewelry creation? MOTHER EFFING LIGHTSABRE NECKLACES AND EARRINGS! 

lightsaber necklace and earrings

COMMENTERS: When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone, tried something you thought you’d hate and actually loved it?

Comments (15)

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Never. My comfort zone is freaking AWESOME!
Dio's avatar

Dio · 94 weeks ago

Wow, those lightsaber necklaces are cool! Does your wife make them for boys, too?

1 reply · active 94 weeks ago

if all you need is a longer chain just message her through etsy
4 lights is amazing!
my costume was accidentally left at the booth. my blessing and my curse.
I’m a bit confused on the Batman one… Why is he gloating to Supes about bagging the Joker

2 replies · active 94 weeks ago

seriously's avatar

seriously · 94 weeks ago

Maybe he’s gloating, because Batman’s archenemy can’t carry around a little green rock that turns him into a pussy like Superman’s can?
Allen's avatar

Allen · 94 weeks ago

It’s a reference to Good Will Hunting. (Matt Damon and, most importantly in this case, Ben Affleck were in it and wrote the screenplay.)
Gumbules's avatar

Gumbules · 94 weeks ago

Totally agree with tzeentchling. “There are 4 lights!” is brilliant!
zathael's avatar

zathael · 94 weeks ago

Never. My comfort zone is surrounded by cement fortifications and razorwire. The Guards on the towers have sniper rifles and have standing orders to shoot to kill.
Allen's avatar

Allen · 94 weeks ago

Is it just that imagines that restaurant as the one Supes and Bats hang out in in the How It Should Have Ended videos?

1 reply · active 94 weeks ago

Leshka's avatar

Leshka · 94 weeks ago

I thought so as well. Of course, he wasn’t saying “Because I’m Batman” so maybe not.
Well…I used to be a fairly distant sort and didn’t like being touched.

Then I decided to go to massage school because I wanted to heal people, and it turned out to be a pretty awesome decision.

neph sy's avatar

neph sy · 94 weeks ago

Hey, I noticed that Hijinks Ensue joined in with other comics like Girls with Slingshots, Eerie Cuties, etc.(through Hiveworks??)
Just wanted you to know that when I click on the Hijinks drawing, the LINK ISN’T WORKING to HijinksEnsue.
Google Chrome message is Oops Google Chrome could not find http. Did you mean Hijinksensue.com (this is a link that connect to your site).

Firefox message is: Firefox can’t find the server at http.

SDCC 2013 Fancy Sketches

Here are some sketches from San Diego Comic-Con. Enjoy them IF YOU DARE. I’ve barely begun to recover from last week, despite my tight regimen of sleeping 2 or 3 days for every day I’m awake and eating nothing but coffee and artificial sweetener.

Please visit my store and my sharksplode and purchase things. It would put a smile on the hole where my face used to be (I left so much in San Diego).

Also check out this story I posted on my Tumblr about a really touching moment I witnessed at SDCC this year.

Comments (10)

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Ceri's avatar

Ceri · 99 weeks ago

I always love your post-Con Fancy Sketches posts, and this contains some of the most awesomest yet!
Tony's avatar

Tony · 99 weeks ago

I think I could forgive Moffat for most* of Series 6 and 7 if he would work “The Sharknado has the Phonebox” into the 50th Anniversary Special…

*The episodes written by Neil Gaiman need no forgiving. Same with “Cold War” and all the time Jenny, Vastra, and/or Strax were on screen, and there’s probably a few others that weren’t overly painful, but they’re not coming to me right now. And then, of course, there’s things that even a Sharknado can’t forgive, like poorly compositing JLC screaming “Doctor!” into a bunch of clips from the old show, or pretending that a Weeping Angel Statue of Liberty makes any sense… or trying to cram that whole River Song mythos into like 2 exposition-heavy messes of episodes.

2 replies · active 98 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 99 weeks ago

I still don’t get how that whole “Statue-of-Liberty-is-really-an-Angel” thing was supposed to work. Did they steal the real statue and replace it with ne of their own?
Kayley's avatar

Kayley · 98 weeks ago

whereas I just kept wondering how it was supposed to move considering how many tourists would be looking at the statue at any given moment!
I read an interview where Moffatt said something like, “It’s a TV show,” to explain that particular plot device.
Cory's avatar

Cory · 98 weeks ago

Am I the first to point out the last panel should read as: “He asked David Willis and me to ‘draw what you see when you two are Skyping.'”?

Calgary Expo 2013 Fancy Sketches

I have returned from North of The Wall with a bag full of Canadian “money.” While I recharge my batteries, please to enjoy a few of the fancy sketches I did for the Calgarian Fancy Bastards.

Intense thanks to Keith for hosting me this weekend, driving me around Calgary and being a generally awesome dude. Additional thanks to the Blind Ferret crew for being my convention home base and taking care of business (every day/every way). Even further thanks to David and Wil for three straight nights of beer-fueled bro-down hangouts.

Now If you’ll excuse me, I need to go exchange all this ridiculous pastel, plastic currency for something I can actually spend. CANADIAN MONEY TRIVIA: All Canadian bills feature photos of actors who portrayed The Doctor in the classic Doctor Who series’ (Sylvester McCoy is on the $10), except for the $20 which features Hellen Mirren.

COMMENTERS: Speaking of The Sarlacc, which minor Star Wars character (from any movie, book or game) do you hope gets a starring role in the new Disney regime and why? If you say Jaxxon, I’m going to reunify all the little bits of Alderaan just so I can punch it to death again.

Comments (38)

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Skintick's avatar

Skintick · 111 weeks ago

I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing a full length feature on Jabba when he was younger (supposedly a bad-ass), Rogue Squadron, or maybe Boba Fett and that is only because the game was pretty cool.
nenslo's avatar

nenslo · 111 weeks ago

The gunner who let go the escape pod with R2D2 & C3PO inside. I always wondered if he was aware afterwards that he alone possessed the power to destroy the rebel alliance and the Light side of the force…
Blarrgl's avatar

Blarrgl · 111 weeks ago

R5-D4 needs a proper, that is to say canon, day in the sun.
lou's avatar

lou · 111 weeks ago

I’m sure there’s plenty of magic superheroes who act like stage magicians. Take Zatanna, who IS a stage magician in her day job, when she’s not rollin’ with John Constantine and Justice League Dark.
Stage magician superhero?
After “The Incredible Hulk”, Bill Bixby did play (kinda) one in the obviously titled “The Magician”…

“You wouldn’t like me when I’m… PRESTO!!!”

Ali's avatar

Ali · 111 weeks ago

Prince Xizor.
gratch's avatar

gratch · 111 weeks ago

It’s a little known fact that the design of Canadian money is based entirely around drinking. We color coded our money so that no matter how drunk you are you can still pay and receive change for your beer. Just hand the nice person behind the bar a purple bill and they’ll give you back a blue one and some coins. Frankly, I’ve always felt sorry for you Americans actually having to look at the numbers.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

jiynx's avatar

jiynx · 111 weeks ago

we went ahead and developed these things called ‘credit cards’ and their successor design ‘debit cards’, which function as an electronic key-signature authorizing transfers of money from bank to vendor.

you don’t even need to carry any coins or bills around, either.

ToxicBlade's avatar

ToxicBlade · 111 weeks ago

Dash Rendar

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

ToxicBlade's avatar

ToxicBlade · 111 weeks ago

because that game was awesome back in the day
lou's avatar

lou · 111 weeks ago

When the alt text said “road trip through the Dune Sea”, I thought of a STAR WARS version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I suppose Han Solo and Chewie acted like that in their early smuggling days.

1 reply · active 110 weeks ago

tom327cat's avatar

tom327cat · 110 weeks ago

Chewie took over piloting the falcon. I didn’t tell him about the mynocs. He would find out soon enough, poor bastard.
 Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 111 weeks ago

Fett & Sarlaac: We’re off on the Road to Mos Eisley!
Sarlaac: Your jetpack is chafing my hide! (Fett: Tell me about it)
Sarlaac: Whatever heroes we may face we haven’t any fear.
Fett: Sarlaac will digest them for the next one thousand years!
Fett & Sarlaac: We certainly do get arou-ou-ound!
Fett & Sarlaac: Like Luke and Ben Kenobi, we’re Mos Eisley bound!

1 reply · active 110 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 110 weeks ago

Damn that catchy tune!
HikingViking's avatar

HikingViking · 111 weeks ago

I’d like to see Abrams focus the whole movie on a small group of Imperial Guards who go on a revenge mission to take out high-ranking rebels responsible for blowing up the Death Star. Kind of like Munich, in space.

2 replies · active 110 weeks ago

xero's avatar

xero · 111 weeks ago

wouldn’t that be more Valkyrie in space since they would fail
lou's avatar

lou · 110 weeks ago

“Valkyrie in Space” would be more like a cadre of Imperial Officers plotting to overthrow the Emperor and Vader, which has happened at least couple times in the EU.
Jay29's avatar

Jay29 · 111 weeks ago

What’s a “site gag?”

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

It’s like a pedantic asshole comment, but different.
Admiral Piett. He started as Captain and one strangled Admiral and BAMMO promotion!

Wedge would be cool also and perhaps the son of Porkins, Porky.

Paul Turnbull's avatar

Paul Turnbull · 111 weeks ago

Thanks for the most excellent art Joel! When I had Nathan sign it he sat back a bit and said “Who drew this!!” I directed him to you. You’ve successfully helped me to pleasantly startle someone two years in row.

Come back next year so I can add to my growing collection (Am I allowed to call two a collection?) of celebrity signed art drawn by you.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Oh you had him sign the “2 captains” drawing? Sweet! Post a pic if you can. I hope he dug it.
Paul Turnbull's avatar

Paul Turnbull · 111 weeks ago

Here’s the “2 Captains” signed:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/turnbull/8703905480/

And from last year Wil Wheaton and the Van signed:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/turnbull/7122978237/

Liam's avatar

Liam · 111 weeks ago

Jar Jar Binks
Mr.Torgue's avatar

Mr.Torgue · 111 weeks ago

Kyle Katarn. Abrams may have to rent some explosions from Michael Bay to make it work though.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

+1 to this! Those games were the most excited I’d been about Star Wars since pre-prequels.
Not a character? I don’t care. I will watch it if they put an E-Wing in it.

There is no other way I’ll put any more money into this franchise.

I want Luke Skywalker to have a conversation with spirit Yoda.
CalgaryKeith's avatar

CalgaryKeith · 110 weeks ago

Don’t mention it bud! It was a fun weekend.
 Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 110 weeks ago

Thanks to this comic, I am going back and re-reading my expanded universe novels. Might even go back a bit further and read some that I skipped.
DH8's avatar

DH8 · 110 weeks ago

I’m hoping the space marine on a unicorn is an obscure reference to the “X-Play Musical”!!
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/15106/x-play-the-music…

1 reply · active 110 weeks ago

It is a reference to how a dude asked me to draw a car riding Robocop, riding a unicorn.

For Every Action There Is A Redaction

CRUISE FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 98/100 prints are sold!  Only 2 prints remain! I am expecting delivery of the prints any day now and they’ll start shipping as soon as they arrive.

I made a new eBook/iBook! It’s called “Sorry I Ruined Your Book Vol. 1” and it has over 180 pages of HE book 1 preorder/artist edition sketches with commentary on every drawing! Donation subscribers get it free and it’s also available to anyone for a one time “pay what you like” donation.

hijinks-ensue-sorry-i-ruined-your-book-vol-1-cover

Welcome to my life in a 24 hour geek news cycle. I remember when I was a kid and we weren’t able to know ANYTHING about movies or tv shows until we saw the trailers or commercials. Even then the message was very carefully controlled by the studios and producers. The stars never went on Carson and dished on who they beat out for the role or how many times the show runner got fired. We just took our geek media as it was presented without the burden of behind the scenes knowledge. Often times, shows I liked would get cancelled and I wouldn’t even know until it just never came back the next season. You’d read a one sentence blurb about a new Batman or Superman movie in a Wizard Magazine, and then… nothing. No idea where it went or why it never materialized. Of course, the irony of it all is that NOW you can find the answers to all of those questions online. I know exactly why Nicholas Cage was never Tim Burton’s Man Of Steel. Honestly, I’m just grateful for that one. We, as geeks, dodged a Batman & Robin ’97 sized bullet there.

I say the intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the media I choose to consume is a burden, but I really do enjoy it. I like the anticipation that it builds, and the satisfaction of being “in the know.” The burden part comes in when too much familiarity with the “sausage-making” process of geek pop culture can lead to unrealistic expectations and eventual disappointment, either from getting your hopes up too high based on 100’s of blog posts, interviews and YouTube clips, or from prejudging a project based on any of the aforementioned data distribution methods.

All in all the lowering of the barrier to information is overwhelmingly a good thing. As consumers we now have nearly as much privilege to information as would have been reserved for the people that actually worked on the projects themselves. But there was a (now lost) purity and innocence in finding out about a movie for the first time when you saw the trailer or the poster, and then not knowing anything else about it until you were in the theater 3 months later. I think it was easier to just like things back then without having to be an expert on them.

COMMENTERS: What’s you biggest “OMG IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO COOL IF THAT PERSON HAD DONE THAT THING OR THAT THING HAD EVEN HAPPENED AT ALL” geek movie/tv situation disappointment?