Think Only Tree

Update 09-03-14: GAH! Toronto Fan Expo was a ton of fun, but the preparation, time spent there, time traveling home and recovery have and ARE costing me greatly in terms of productivity. I am frantically trying to update/backdate new comics so there are 4 a week for every week. I’m doing my best. Luckily I don’t have much travel planned for the rest of the year.

My Patrons can view the original sketch for this comic [HERE]. 

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Calling all Whovians with holes in their ears! Just look at these Sonic Screwdriver earrings my wife made! 

sonic screwdriver earings matt smith elevelth doctor who etsy

https://www.etsy.com/listing/200762224/doctor-who-inspired-sonic-screwdriver

And I’m Just Now Waking Up

Current and Future Patrons, we are less than $100 away from unlocking more comics per week!

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Do me a favor, if you enjoy this comic, please check out my store, my shirts on Sharksplode, and my wife’s geeky jewelry on Etsy. It would help us out a great deal.

So this realization just hit me like Brad Pitt’s imaginary fist and I had to share it with the word. Both American Beauty and Fight Club follow nearly the same formula, hit the same plot points and have many parallel characters, yet (both being EXCELLENT films) manage to tell wildly different stories. !!!SPOILERS FOR BOTH MOVIES FOLLOW!!!

American Beauty And Fight Club Are The Same Movie

We meet a guy in corporate hell, he hates his life, he hates his job, he searches for meaning in the ideal of the American consumerist dream, but finds nothing there of substance. Just as he hits his breaking point he meets someone (real or imagined) who opens his eyes to his own bullshit. He has a meeting with his boss, almost gets fired, then blackmails his boss for a year’s salary. Free to live on his own terms, he does just that. He strips away the trappings of his old life and begins to pursue joy, meaning, purpose, etc. He turns himself into the person he’s always wanted to be. He starts to see the version of himself he sees on the inside out in the real world (more so in one of their cases). By throwing himself into his new journey, he loses touch with caring for the wellbeing of the other real people in his life. Realizing it or not, he gets in over his head with this new found clarity, get “killed,” THEN has an actual moment of clarity post “death” where he realizes his old life wasn’t as pointless as he’d come to believe, and his new life wasn’t the perfect answer to all of his problems that he’d thought it was. Then a Pixies song plays. Or it doesn’t.

Several people on twitter pointed out that Office Space fits into this theme as well. I’d say it’s a CLOSE match. Maybe 75% of the themes translate between Office Space and the other two. I would also argue that all three of these movies are perfect. I ALSO want to point out that all three of these movies came out in 1999, the year I graduated high school. The year I moved away from home and took control of my own life. What was it about the climate in America in 1999 that was so focused on “WE ARE LIVING A CORPORATE BULLSHIT FAKE FAMILY KEEPING UP APPEARANCES LIE?” I guess it’s because we sort of were.

FARGOne Conclusion

The Fargo TV series is really good. Like REALLY good, dontchaknow. My wife and I started shotgunning it via VOD based on numerous accounts of it being of high quality and damn, if it didn’t grab me right away. At first I was confused, thinking that it was a retelling of the original Coen brothers movie. A lot of the characters and many of the situations seemed to be analogous to the those in the 1996 film. Also, they both started with an onscreen message about being based on a true story. So was it the same true story, or two very similar true stories that happened nearly 20 years apart? Was Martin Freeman’s character supposed to be the TV version of William H. Macey’s character? They both had dead end jobs and got involved with criminals before quickly getting in way over their heads.

FANCY BASTARD BULLETIN! 
Tuesday June 3rd is my birthday (I’m almost positive I’m turning 33). If you like to help me celebrate, please feel free to check out:

The Patreon is honestly the greatest thing you can do for me in terms of making sure I am still able to do HijiNKS ENSUE as my full time job. Otherwise, I’ll happily take an Internet high five via Twitter or Facebook.

So, what was the deal? It turns out the answers to my questions were basically, “Yessss? But also noooo?” Fargo, the movie, is NOT based on a true story. There are a few true crime stories that might have been inspiration, but one of them took place in Connecticut, and neither of them are similar enough to the film to call it “true.” That was just a lie the film makers used when marketing the movie to a world that didn’t yet have immediate access to all recorded facts in their pockets. Bullshitting was easier in the 90’s. Likewise, the FX show is also NOT a true story. It’s a great story, but a false one none the less. After a few episodes you actually learn that Fargo the show is a direct sequel to Fargo the movie in that they take place in the same universe, and at least one plot point carries over directly from one to the next. It is ALSO a bit of a remake/retelling in that many of the characters and situations are TV-ised versions of their movie counterparts. It’s a bit confusing when you analyze it, but it’s also great TV. And I should point out that knowledge of the movie is in no way necessary to enjoy the show.

Now go have some hotdish, hon, and enjoy the nice, gruesome murders on the TV.

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I also made you this super cute Adventure Time/Doctor Who shirt. GO BUY IT! 

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ResurrXtion

You have to give it to Bryan Singer for realizes his mistake in abandoning the X-Men franchise, then taking the first available opportunity to COMPLETELY ERASE the one X-Men movie he didn’t direct from continuity. There were parts of Days Of Future Past that felt like he was just course correcting the damage done to the story, and there were other times that seemed like a giant middle finger, or Adamantium/bone claw to Brett Ratner.

FANCY BASTARD BULLETIN! 
Tuesday June 3rd is my birthday (I’m almost positive I’m turning 33). If you like to help me celebrate, please feel free to check out my Patreon campaign, my donation page or my Amazon wish list. The Patreon is honestly the greatest thing you can do for me in terms of making sure I am still able to do HijiNKS ENSUE as my full time job. Otherwise, I’ll happily take an Internet high five via Twitter or Facebook.

It’s still a relatively new film, so I won’t get into spoilers or specifics, but Days Of Future Past is now probably my favorite X-Men movie. In it, you finally get to see some things (mutant powers, character traits, relationships, etc) that have been hinted at, but somehow left out of all of the previous films. It just feels like a more complete X-Men movie.

For those that HAVE seen it: don’t you, like me, want to see an ENTIRE MOVIE set in that apocalyptic future? It was very intriguing and visually/stylistically quite cool. I’ve read that some of the original cast might make an appearance in Age Of Apocalypse (probably Wolverine, if I had to guess), but it seems like they are moving the franchise forward with the First Class crew from here on out. Age Of Apocalypse is supposed to take place in the 80’s, but I wonder if Singer (assuming he sticks with it) will keep them from every butting up to the first X-Men movie which was set in 2000. In that film, Professor X was already in his 60’s. I doubt James McAvoy is going to be able to pull that look off. Maybe they’ll do 2 or 3 more movies set in the 80’s to early 90’s, then close the book on this cast as well.

I am still holding out hope for a Magneto movie starring Fassbender. He really does step into Magneto’s skin and become that character fully. All of the conflict, the drive, the righteous indignation, the barely suppressed rage just flows out of his ever glance and carefully spoken word. I suppose I feel the same way about James Marsden’s portrayal of Cyclops, in that I give zero shits about Scott Summers as a character and I give the same number of shits (which is holding steady at zero) about Marsden’s portrayal of (to be clear) THE MOST BORING PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO CAN SHOOT A NUCLEAR CANNON OUT OF HIS FACE.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to discuss your thoughts on Days Of Future Past (without getting into spoiler territory), or X-Men movies in general (and the sliding/shifting/disappearing continuity). What X-Men storyline would you most like to see brought to life in film? What characters would you like to see solo films for?

The Bell Curve

Harry Potter fans: Check out my wife’s new Wizard Duel necklace! She’s also got a Kissing Pacman necklace and Game Of Thrones house necklaces for House Targaryen, House Stark and House Lannister.

Having a small child is like having an iPod with a very short playlist. Like 3 items are on this list AT MOST for MONTHS at a time. Also, that little repeat loopy arrow button is checked. It’s checked as hell. There are weeks when you would kill for all 3 items to be in random rotation on the playlist, but instead it’s just the 1 and the iPod has nearly infinite batteries and is able to achieve optimum volume at all times. For several months now, the Frozen soundtrack has been the ONLY item on the playlist that is a metaphor that is my human daughter child.

Luckily, the Frozen soundtrack is something I enjoy (in relative moderation… as I have recently learned). My daughter’s singing is also something that I enjoy. My daughter enjoying things and expressing her enjoyment of those things is ALSO something I enjoy. This confluence of enjoyable things sounds like it would leave me in a state of pure elation at all waking hours of the day. That is… often not the case.

The honesty in the comic above is that just when I think I can’t take any more of her belting “For The First Time In Forever” it loops back around from earsplitting and annoying to incredibly cute and heart warming. Regardless of where I happen to fall on the curve at any given time, I make sure to tell Kiddo that I like her singing. Luckily she seems to have inherited the old man’s sense of pitch, so her singing is LOUD but in tune. Another thing I’ve noticed is that she’s inherited my gift/curse for voice mimicry. I cannot sing a song without doing the original artists inflections, accents, tone, etc. She appears to be the same way, and it honestly makes me super proud. Not that this is some amazing gift, but just that it further illustrates that pieces of me are alive and running around inside of her brain.

COMMENTERS: What do you kids have on repeat ad infinitum? What did you have on repeat as a kid?