2013-01-29-lo-fijinks-rad-brobot

Rad Brobot

2013-01-29-lo-fijinks-rad-brobot

Blind Ferret’s server got hacked, so the HE Store is down for now. Sharksplode is still fully functional.

I did a two part interview with the United We Geek podcast. You can listen to part 1 right here!

Adventures of the Gummi Bears was one of those 80’s shows where someone said (someone in this case being Michael  Eisner), “Hey, here’s a thing kids like. Let’s make a show about it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a food or a packaging material or an intangible idea or paint samples. Just make it all alive and add magic to it!” I always appreciated the lengths cartoon producers would go in the 80’s to make a show somehow appeal more to what they perceived children were. Like with the Punky Brewster cartoon, some guy saw a successful TV show about an orphan girl and her foster father and said, “Great premise, but let’s magic that shit up a notch! Bam! She’s got a fuzzy goblin from another dimension for a pet or whatever! 80’s cartoon producer guy, you’re a GENIUS.”

RSS CHANGES!!!

I’ve stopped using Feedburner since Google has abandoned it. The old feedburner feed will continue to work, but you should resubscribe using http://hijinksensue.com/feed/.

If you used to get HE in your email inbox through Feedburner, this service seems to offer the same functionality for free.

Just plugin the HE RSS feed [http://hijinksensue.com/feed/] and your email address.

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Great Geekspectations

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Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

“George Hurt You” shirts for men and ladies.

I have tens, if not elevens of opinions about J.J. taking over Star Wars. Most of them are cautiously optimistic. I could so very easily write an essay about the pros and cons of this regime change, about J.J. obvious love for sci-fi, story telling and iconic geek franchises, his proven (though sometimes shaky) track record, and his NOT being George Lucas (a quality which immediately makes anyone more competent to direct a Star Wars movie that George)… I could fill this page and a dozen more with STRONG INTERNET-STYLE OPINIONS, but I won’t.

As luck would have it, the night the J.J./Star Wars rumor broke I was appearing on a podcast to do an interview about HijiNKS ENSUE. Instead I spent the first hour or so expelling those aforementioned strong opinions. It should be up Thursday. I will post a link [RIGHT HERE] when it’s available.

COMMENTERS: Will J.J. be judged harshly by Star Wars fans or will he get a free pass for simply making a competent, non-embarrassing movie? Should one man be allowed to shape the future of both Stars, Trek and Wars? What if he just combines them? What will we call the conjoined franchise? Star… Stars? Sky Laser Havers? Space Goings On?

Though I go on an OPINION FRENZY in that podcast interview, I will be happy to offer specific opinions to those of you with specific “J.J. Wars” questions.

RSS CHANGES!!!

I’ve stopped using Feedburner since Google has abandoned it. The old feedburner feed will continue to work, but you should resubscribe using http://hijinksensue.com/feed/.

If you used to get HE in your email inbox through Feedburner, this service seems to offer the same functionality for free.

Just plugin the HE RSS feed [http://hijinksensue.com/feed/] and your email address.

2013-01-15-lo-fijinks-for-every-action-there-is-a-redaction

For Every Action There Is A Redaction

2013-01-15-lo-fijinks-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.

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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?

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Life With J.J.

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Geeky t-shirts by me and Wil Wheaton at Sharksplode.com! Woohoo! 

I want to preface this by saying I think J.J. Abrams has done more for elevating geek pop culture in the last decade than anyone in Hollywood, save for Joss Whedon. Thaaaaaat saaaaaaid… he has a bit of a tendency to shroud his projects in so much mystery that over enthusiastic geeks (his core audience) begin to obsess over every nuance and minute detail of whatever information he presents them with (in the forms of teasers, trailers, quotes, etc.). To make things MUCH worse, he KNOWS we do this so he pokes the bear at every turn. That shot of Spock “dying” in the Intro Darkness Japanese trailer was JUST TO FUCK WITH US. And who knows? He might be doing a “double secret fuck you” and having Spock actually die in the movie.

The shroud of mystery surrounding Cumberbatch’s villain character is even more ridiculous. They LOVE that we think he’s Kahn despite their insistance that he isn’t. Then they love that we think he’s Gary Mitchell. Then they release his character name and no one’s ever heard of it. But that could be a red herring too! They know we’re going to be frustratedly guessing until the film debuts, which CAN be part of the fun, but to this degree (as with nearly ALL Bad Robot productions past) the level of mystery and guessing and red herrings and clues and misdirections raise our expectations to such an unprecedented level that NOTHING they present us with as a final product can live up to those expectations. That said, Star Trek (2009) is a not only a perfect Star Trek movie, it is a perfect movie. And with that knowledge stowed away in my brain spaces, I am allowing myself (this time) to have essentially no expectations about Star Trek: Into Darkness other than an anticipation of big big fun.

COMMENTERS: Do you think the secrecy surrounding certain geek movies is getting out of hand? Are we more prone to fanboy disappointment when the layers upon layers of mystery don’t unravel in a way that meets our expectations? When did geek movie/tv pay off or frustrate you the most?

New desktop wallpaper for donors and subscribers! 

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We All Want To Change The World

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NEW LOFI COMIC! “Dumb And Number”

DONORS AND SUBSCRIBERS: The LoFi Comics aren’t showing full sized in the Premium RSS Feed yet. I’m working on it.

SEE WHAT I DID! I made a geek joke AND finished the 3 comic arc about how unbearably sick I’ve been all week AT THE SAME TIME! I’m not saying I’m great, but if you were to say it I would probably stand behind you and nod knowingly.

Revolution premiered this week. It is at least the 5th or 6th work of fiction I can recall from recent memory that deals with something akin to a worldwide EMP that knocks out all electricity, integrated circuits, electronic devices, etc. This is pretty well trodden ground, but that doesn’t mean the creators can’t tell an original story within a familiar framework. The odd thing (and the thing they damn well better expand upon pretty quickly as not to alienate their core target audience of over analytical geeks) is the show is proposing that the “laws of physics went crazy” so even though man has not magically lost of the knowledge of how to harness electricity, he cannot “begin again” as it were. Further more, mankind seems likewise unable to return to an industrial revolution era society… because of reasons. Reason that… will be explained?

None of the characters grabbed me right away. The main girl, let’s call her Katniss, because that’s exactly who she is (being dressed like Katniss and given a bow and arrow to run around with) seems… bland. Emotionally bland. Elizabeth Mitchell (who I enjoyed in LOST), seems to have a very truncated role, but that could change. Gus Fring from Breaking Bad is there, but without his accent, I just don’t find him as terrifying. Maybe he’ll slit someone’s throat for no reason, then I’ll know he means business.

All of that aside, as my wife pointed out, it was not nearly as boring at the recent crop of network sci-fi (Terra Nova, season 1 of Falling Skies, etc.) I am definitely going to give it a chance, but I feel like the pilot being filled with logic-holes is a bad start. Planes dropping out of the sky like stones is a neat looking effect. That planes don’t do that when they lose power makes it more of a distraction. That guns work, but internal combustion engines that don’t rely on computers don’t work raises further questions. Someone on Twitter suggested “spark plugs don’t work if electrons don’t work,” which would also imply that static electricity doesn’t work either, nor does MOTHER TIT-GRABBING BIOCHEMISTRY. All machines getting zapped is one thing. Building the show around the idea that electrons don’t behave like electrons any more pretty much means that everyone would have dropped dead on the spot.

With all of that in mind, I’m starting to think a REALLY cool idea for a show would be a post-global EMP world where they DO return to the industrial age. We still have the knowledge to mass produce cars and iPhones and jets, but without a single operational robot-controlled factory, or wafer fab plant it really wouldn’t matter. We would have to start over and work our way back to where we are today. The interesting part would be that there are those that want to get us back to where we were as quickly as possible, those that wanted to embrace the simplicity and those that want to go in a completely different direction. They would look at this catastrophe as a do over. I also like the potential for stories about the redistribution of power. When all electronic money vanishes in a blink, the rich and powerful become less influential than the common man. (To be fair, this was briefly touched on in the Revolution pilot). When you can’t buy people off, how do you influence them? I’d also like to see that maybe there’s one part of the work, either underground or otherwise secluded that was totally unaffected. They have solar power and super computers and backup of the Internet, and maybe a jet… IT’S RICHARD BRANSON! He’s the only one who still has tech! Oh man, I want to see THIS show now.

FANCY SKETCH DRIVE UPDATE: I am still drawing these things. A lot of you gave VERY generously and I am not content to toss off a quick sketch in the cases of $50 – $100 donations. I want you to have a nice piece of art for your troubles, so please bear with me and maintain both enthusiasm and patience. I’m getting a handful of them done every day, but I still have about 50 to go.

COMMENTERS: Did you watch Revolution? What did you think?