Bardemic: Sherlock And Terror

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UPDATE: Enjoy a Skyfall themed LoFi comic

Like all who uncover a conspiracy, I am shocked that more people (as in ALL PEOPLE) aren’t obsessing over it already. I seem to be the only person alive who noticed that Silva, played by Havier Bardem, in Skyfall is just a redressing of Moriarty from the BBC’s Sherlock. It’s not even subtle.


DAMNING SIMILARITIES: Both are consulting criminal masterminds that offer their services to the highest bidder. Both go on and on about how crimes are all committed digitally these days and master hackers are more powerful than armed thugs. Both compare themselves to their enemy as an “equal but opposite.” Both offer to join up with their nemesis to rule the crime world. Both at least pretend to be gay or bisexual (it is unclear whether either character actually is). Both have a silly way of talking. This is probably just Bardem’s accent, but they definitely both have odd inflections and word emphasis.

THE MOST DAMNING SIMILARITY: Silva’s entire capture and and escape from MI6 plays out EXACTLY like Moriarty’s capture and escape from “The Reichenbach Fall” episode from Sherlock series 2. In each the heroes realize just as things start to go wrong (doors open/bank vaults open) that the capture was orchestrated by the villain. Both villains are housed in glass cells in the center of a room. Both villains just sit there all nonchalant waiting for their plans to take effect. Silva might as well have written “Get Bond” on his cell.

None of these points makes Skyfall a necessarily bad movie, but if you’re a Sherlock fan they will certainly take you out of the moment.

Skyfall was actually quite entertaining, but it certainly wasn’t without its shortcomings. First of all, it’s at least 20 minutes too long. There were so many opportunities to trim the fat, but I have to wonder if they left the pacing slow and even at time dull in order to maintain some sort of British cinema sensibility. A few nitpicks: there’s just too much Dench. There’s a decidedly decent dose of Dench and it detracts from the d… movie. Bardem is quite captivating on screen but he doesn’t show up until about halfway through the movie. When it’s over, if you really think about what Silva had built, what his motivation for killing M was and what he eventually lost, it’s pretty much impossible to understand his motivation for going through with it all in the way that he did.

After that list, I’m wondering what I actually liked about Skyfall. I guess I could say when it was moving, when Bond was BEING Bond, it was great. The whole thing at the end where we “catch up” to 1960’s Bond canon (Moneypenny, a male M, the Aston Martin, The Scottish roots, etc) seemed a bit odd at first but really I ended up finding that whole through line charming in a VERY James Bondish way. You’re supposed to take away that these first three Daniel Craig Bond movies are an alternate universe prequel of sorts, where we see Bond becoming the Bond that we met with Sean Connery. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to effect the next sequels, but I take it more of a nudge and wink than a strict re-un-de-also-reboot.

So where does Skyfall fall in the rankings? Certainly better than Quantum of Solace, but not as good as Casino Royale. And the Sherlock stuff goes way past an homage and into straight up plot left.


Also, what did you think of Skyfall? SPOILERS ARE OK in this thread since my entire review was spoilery.

Scalzi Comic Dare: All My Sweet Pitches

HijiNKS ENSUE PODCAST Episode 87 “” is live!

Alternate Title: Pitch Slapped
Alternate Alternate Title: Pitch Slapped 2: Pitch Better Have My Money

In the past, only Wil Wheaton has been deemed worthy to wield the power of THE COMIC DARE. This week, however, another was found who possessed the strength of will and the Strength Of Wil (TM) required to harness The Comic Dare’s awesome might and use it for its most righteous purpose: SAYING DUMB STUFF ON TWITTER THEN FORCING ME TO DRAW IT! That person, the Beta Ray Bill to Wheaton’s mighty Thor is noted sci-fi author, Internet opinions haver, and celebrated balding ukester JOHN SCALZI (hold for applause).

Scalzi occasionally finds himself in the precarious position of being asked by TV executives how to put things on our watching boxes that are not overwhelming terrible, reprehensible and offensive. So far they don’t seem to be taking his advice to heart. He had just one such meeting earlier this week at which he pitched original ideas for shows, and clarified via INTERNET SHOUTING that said shows would not involve “goats, vampires or sleuths with mental issues.” As we all know, these are the three cornerstones of modern televised shenanigans. Well, the last two are. The goats… must be an Ohio thing. Subsequently he issued the challenge to bring Sherlock: Vampire Goat to life and I, obliged by my 1000 year curse… uh, obliged.

TV is at an all-time weirdness juncture. It is currently producing fictional dramas and comedies that will certainly go down in history as “the best things humanity was able to accomplish before The Fire Ocean cleansed the Earth of all Mankind” (Breaking Bad, Sherlock, Game Of Thrones, Community). But it is also falling prey to a dangerous trend in which networks do not simply steal genre ideas from each other (“You got a cop show, a medical show and a medical cop show? We got those too! Suck it!”), but they now steal ENTIRE SHOWS from each other and put them on the air AT THE SAME TIME. Sherlock is a modernized version of A.C.D.’s Holmes and it is essentially perfect. CBS saw that show and thought, “Yeah! Let’s do exactly that right now while they’re still doing it try to stop us you can’t HAHAHAHAH!” And now we will soon have Elementary. House M.D. (which was also based on Holmes… so in addition to the remaking current shows epidemic, we also have the “Every show is about Sherlock Holmes” epidemic) was off the air for many 15 minutes before another 3 or 4 “I’m kind of crazy, but also brilliant, but it’s my craziness that lets me see the world in a particular way and catch things others miss and it also makes relationships hard and it also makes me seem like a jerk because I am” shows got the green light. Perception is the only one that comes to mind immediately, but I am almost certain and totally unwilling to further research that there are more. LOTS more. Is Numb3rs still on TV?

At least every network tried their hand at the “fairytales are totally real” genre this year. Vampires? Forget about it. The CW just started making “Twilight: The Horrible Show on TV instead of the HORRIBLE movies in the theater” before Edward even married that werewolf frankenstein or whatever happens in those things. I know that doesn’t fit the premise I’m trying to establish because I don’t think there are any other vampire romance shows besides The Vampire Diaries… oh wait, Trueblood. There you go. I’m still right.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that televised fiction is currently straddling the finest of lines between its crowning achievement and it’s most uninspired dreck.  There’s lots of middle ground, but most of it is so unremarkable it isn’t worth mentioning. By not being quite as bad and the worst stuff on the air, it becomes wholly forgettable. Save us, Scalzi! Save us from the Hollywood Industrial Machine that you are now apparently a part of! Oh, and call me about SH:VG. I’ve got some ideas for Moriarty.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to pitch your own “Current TV Trend Mashup” show idea.  

UPDATE: Scalzi speaks. 

Sherlocked And Loaded

My wife and I shotgunned Sherlock series 1 and 2 in three days. It wouldn’t have taken THAT long if she hadn’t insisted on feeding, caring for and paying attention to our child. A child who can almost open a the Pop-Tarts box by herself which essentially makes her self sufficient. When we finished the series I felt that strange mix of relief and anticipation that comes with totally immersing yourself in a particular fiction for days at a time. You’re satisfied to have completed your goal, but anxious for there to be more of it. More to consume. When something is THAT good, waiting months for new installments is like… well, it’s almost like a REAL problem. Which it is not. Still… HURRY UP AND GET ME BACK TO 221B BAKER STREET! There’s mysteries what need solvin’!

I feel like Sherlock’s immensely impressive powers of deduction would be wasted on someone like me who rarely leaves the house other than to run simple errands or go to the airport, and who posts nearly every detail of his goings on to the Internet. He’d step foot in my dwelling (presumably where I had either just been murdered or been accused of such), rapidly flash across the items lying about – my suitcase (still packed from my last convention), my office (the room where I keep my piles of things), the couch with a big my-ass-shaped divot in it and me with my makes-British-look-Jamaican skin tone) – mumble, “Booorrrring,” under his breath and let D.I. Lestrade take it from there. Then he’d go convince Watson to let him shoot a cadaver off his head with a canon and torment his brother Minecraft Mycroft until an interesting case presented itself.

I had a friend in my early 20’s that reminds me of Sherlock. He was smarter than EVERYONE in the room and was exceedingly frustrated with how much less intelligent everyone was than him. Of course this just made him seem arrogant and callous, when in fact he was just struggling to figure out how to relate to regular dumb people. He was the kind of guy that would give away all of his possessions then not have money for rent, or sell his car to pay for school, then skip all of his classes to read books about obscure, unused programming languages and small mammals. He was also one of my favorite people in the world. He even looked quite a bit like Cumberbatch. The only point to share all of that with you is to convey that one of the reasons I fell in love with the show Sherlock mere minutes after starting it (regardless of it’s incredible cast, superb writing, and sublime character development) was that I felt like I knew this guy and instantly understood what made him tick. I wondered if Moffatt had a friend like mine who inspired Sherlock or if he was just a culmination of his understanding of the human condition.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to share your thoughts on Sherlock. Did you ever know anyone like Sherlock who simply can’t relate to regular, stupid humans? Are you going to watch the US Sherlock show, Elementary, with Lucy Liu and the guy from Hackers? Well, don’t. It’s going to be terrible. What series did you watch via dvd, streaming or other bulk means that you simply couldn’t stop watching? “Just one more episode…”


HE Podcast Episode 85 just went live! Subscribe via RSS or iTunes

HijiNKS ENSUE at Fan Expo Toronto 2012

Toronto Fan Expo starts TODAY!!!  I’ll be there with Blind Ferret and booth #1244. More info HERE. The following weekend I’ll be at Dallas Animefest with Rob from Explosm.

THE END! The Eli/Boxcar Pete story is over! So is the comic! I’m done! Exclamation points! 

Actually the comic isn’t over, but I know a few of you are IN NO WAY sad to see Boxcar Pete go. Interesting thing about moving from single, self-contained gag comics to longer form stories is that when someone hates what you’re doing, they don’t just hate it for one day. They hate it, and you for days and days and days and let you know about it in the rudest ways imaginable. I will certainly be keeping the stories shorter (and possibly further apart) from now on, but overall I am pretty happy with how this turned out. I pushed myself to draw people and places I am not comfortable with drawing, and to draw poses that weren’t just two 3/4 turned heads talking at each other. Since this story line wraps up something that started in the Avengers arc (the first mini story line), I feel like the whole thing has a bit of closure. It seems like a mini “season” to me. Anyway if you liked it, I’m glad. If you didn’t and managed not to send me a rude comment or email, I’m also glad about you. You are why we are almost able to have a society. Everyone else is on my list.

I drew this comic at my friend Paul’s house in Buffalo. Later today were are going to drive into Canada to do battle with Frost Giantsgo to a convention. I know it’s sort of a throw away line in the final panel, but I have recently watched all of Sherlock and HOLYCOCKMOFFATS is it an amazing show. Really, it is just flawless. I could go on (and I intend to later) but for now it’s 5am and I have to drive across the Bifröst a regular bridge to Canada in a few hours.


Know What I’m Saying, Holmes?

UPDATE 05/18/12: Donation subscribers of any level will get access to an RSS feed with the full comic in it.

I am going to be at Dallas Comic Con this weekend with Randy Milholland of Something Positive. I will ONLY BE THERE SATURDAY. Randy will be there Saturday and Sunday. You can find us at table 132. I will have books, prints, stickers and sketch cards, but no shirts. Really testing the waters on this one. If you guys come out and make it a good show, I will probably be back next year in full force.

HijinKS ENSUE at Dallas Comic Con 2012

Here’s another stand alone to break up the continuity before the next mini story arc. Read more about the new direction I am taking the comic in and how you can help HERE if you haven’t already.

Gigantic thanks to everyone that has donated last week, especially to the new donation subscribers. If you enjoy HE and would like to see it continue and even flourish, I have added $2, $3, and $4 monthly donation subscription options. If you can spare $2 a month for a bunch of comics, I would consider you to be a pretty awesome type of person.

I am giving T-shirt ads in the posts a rest for a couple of weeks while I make some new ones, but why not check out The HE Store anyway? It’s still there.

Professional Science Doers project that by 2020 we will have moved to an entirely Sherlock Holmes-based entertainment society. Between House, Moffat’s Sherlock, Robert Downey Jr.’s steampunk bromance with Jude Law, and the new CBS Holmes series, Elementary, I just don’t see any way out of this inevitability. I say we all start investing in double-brimmed caps, pipes, magnifying glasses and cocaine before the crowd gets wind of this. And yes, I am counting any and all modern iterations of Jekyll And Hyde in this equation for obvious reasons. Or rather, for what are OBVIOUSLY reasons. Reasons that I have. Reasons that you should not question. Reasons involving scarves.

COMMENTERS: Do we need a new Holmes-boy, or is one Sherlock enough? Any thoughts on the upcoming House series finale? How are you hoping it will resolve? Personally I’m glad it’s ending now rather than dragging for another year. This last season really felt like a running start towards the shark with strong intent to jump. Otherwise, please make up more silly British detective names.