Saturday, December 23, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Unhappy Anniversary

Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of Carl Sagan. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years.

I remember Carl Sagan from TV and the exceptionally well-done series Cosmos. He had a way of explaining scientific concepts in layman's terms, without ever seeming to talk down to people. He was very engaging and animated. His books were a joy to read and I highly recommend any of them for anyone even remotely interested in science. He was, truly, one of those people who inspired others to broaden their scientific horizons. He was a man respected by his peers from all over the world.

We are diminished by his loss.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Came Early!

I just received my Christmas present from Darren and what a beaut! It's the 13 inch DC Direct Aquaman figure! It's too cool for words! Here's a picture:

The most awesome thing about it is the detail! They got everything right... even the fins on his gloves (which didn't look like they were there from the pictures I had seen earlier) were there! I don't think I'll ever display it out of the box, but it sure is nice to look at! Truly a unique collectible for any Aqua-fan!

I'm gonna go find a good spot to display it...

See ya!

Aquaman by Craig Hamilton

This was colored by me (hence the simpleness of it) but I think it works. I just love that camoflage costume!


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Friday, December 15, 2006

A Little Sad...

Today I learned that scientists have recently declared the Yangtzee River Porpoise extinct. More in the link .

I'm reminded of something I read somewhere...
We haven’t been real kind to Mother Nature. Funny thing is… she doesn’t care. She’s had a lot of different tenants over the last few billion years. Someone or something new will pop up to water the grass and sweep the porch after we’re gone. We really need to start paying attention because the lease is almost up and we've got nowhere to move.

Makes a certain amount of sense, doesn't it?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wallpaper Duo: Green Lantern & Supergirl

I must be restless... I seem to be wanting to make these lately.

Perhaps it has something to do with being able to find nice hi-res scans of beautiful cover art... ;-)


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Green Lantern Wallpaper

Just something I threw together really quickly.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

A Little Bit Sick...

Well, winter is here and so is my cold!

I feel tired, cold, and weak, but what annoys me the most is not being able to breathe normally. A close second would be wearing a t-shirt to bed (because I have Vicks all over my chest and back). I hope it's over soon. I'm at the point where my senses of smell and taste are completely confused.

Hopefully I won't be sick for Christmas... How long do colds normally last anyway?

Stay warm and healthy! I'll post more when I'm better.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Trials of Shazam!

I'll be the first to tell you... I was never a huge fan of Captain Marvel. Sure, I knew who the guy was, what his powers were, and that kind of thing, but he was never a huge draw for me. I mean Aquaman was founding member of the Justice League of America for gosh sakes! Captain Marvel wasn't even on the team!

Like I said, I knew about the Captain and his family, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel Junior, along with Uncle Dudley and talking tigers. It was later I found the history behind the character. How he was created by a different company and was sued by the company that now owns the rights to him. DC Comics lawyers said that Captain Marvel was too similar to Superman and thus was copyright infringement. DC lost. Now the the Captain Marvel Family makes their home at DC and rather than fighting against Superman, he's carving his own niche in the DC Universe.

First off, this is one limited series that really has fans worked up. Reviews have not been favorable at all, most not liking the story thus far. I say the end of the series has been spoiled by the end of Infinite Crisis where we saw the new Captains Marvel. All that was left was the hows, which I think the series is attempting to supply.

It seems Billy Batson has now taken up residence in the Rock of Eternity to caretake the seven deadly sins, as the wizard Shazam did before him. Mary Batson has been left without powers and has suffered grave injuries, placing her in a coma. Freddy Freeman is still alive, and without the powers of Shazam. This is the story of how he regains his powers.

The artwork is by Howard Porter, who was the artist who started out the last, greatest version of the Justice League, the JLA. This time he puts a new spin on the work by giving it a painted look. Much different than Alex Ross though... It still appears like pencilled artwork, but with a brush's fine touch.

The story is somewhat predictable, in that Freddy (the former Captain Marvel Junior) needs to visit the gods who make up the Power of Shazam (Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas, and Mercury) and earn their powers from them. We learn that if Freddy doesn't regain the power, then it will be given to another family, setting up the adversary of the story. What family she's from and her true motivations are unknown, and that's ok - there are 12 issues to the series.

It's an enjoyable trip through what is the new state of magic in the DC Universe... Editorial have talked about setting new rules for magic, but we haven't seen much yet. Again, there are 12 issues. :)

Recommended reading.

Marvel Family Trivia: The Marvel Family had a very famous fan, a young fella by the name of Elvis Presley. His favorite was Captain Marvel Jr. and now you can see where the inspiration for his costumes in the 70's comes from!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Metal Men Wallpaper

And while I'm on the subject of wallpapers, here's the Metal Men by Jim Calafiore (who was also the artist for the classic Aquaman wallpaper posted on November 23rd).

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Another Classic Aquaman Wallpaper

Whenever I find a cool picture, I try to turn it into a wallpaper. I found a good scan of another very nice painting and decided it needed to be my wallpaper. Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Anniversary?

I hadn't seen the official 40th Anniversary logo until now, but to tell the truth, it's been such a low-key anniversary, I thought there wasn't a logo made for it. Well, there actually is, and of course, it features the original series Enterprise.

I recall a Star Trek phone being announced by Sona Mobile for release in October 2005. It was to be a replica of the Original Series communicators with all sorts of cool Star Trek network type stuff... games, episode viewing, downloading eBooks, that kind of thing.

It's now November of 2006 and I'm pretty sure the phone was yanked. Repeated emails to the company have been ignored. I doubt I'll ever see that phone.

On another weird note, William Shatner is riding another career high... He's got an Emmy for Boston Legal, has his own gameshow, and who knows what he'll do next? He released an album not that long ago... I want to say 2 or 3 years, but can't recall. He reinvents himself more often than even Madonna!

Yes, 2006 was a very different kind of anniversary.

Collection Complete

This week my Star Trek DVD library has been made complete with the release of the Animated Adventures of Star Trek on DVD. With this set, I have every episode of every Star Trek series and movie ever made. I've been buying these discs for so long it's hard to imagine not having a new release to look forward to.

I vividly remember the show, and even got up at 6:30 am to watch it on Saturday mornings. I haven't seen the shows like this since my Laser Disc player worked. I have the Animated Star Trek laser disc box set, but my player gave up the ghost a few years ago.

The set even has special features, which were fabulous! DC Fontana and others associated with the show all talked about the influence the Animated Series had on Trek canon. They feel, as I do, that it is a part of Star Trek canon. Mike Sussman, a writer for Enterprise, mentioned things he wrote specifically for Enterprise that were referenced in the animated series so they became canon. I don't know why there was ever any discussion about whether or not it was canon... it was written and produced by the very same people responsible for the 3 seasons of live action Star Trek, the original cast performed the voice work for the series (even going so far as to get guest actors on the original series to reprise their roles in animation). One other fact: out of all the Star Trek produced in the last 40 years (which adds up to 714 hours of television programming), the Animated Series was responsible for the only Emmy Star Trek ever won. It was a daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Television Program. And while later series were honored with many Emmy nominations, the Animated Series was the only one to bring home the gold.

So you can't tell me it doesn't count.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I Like Thursdays

Thursdays, for me, are generally good days. There's only one day left until the weekend and it's also my Dart night. I play in a league and every Thursday evening we convene at the Lion's Head Pub for food, drinks, and darts. It's a friendly group. I only wish I wasn't the lowest ranked player in the league. My friends all say that's normal and my averages are generally better than most newbies. My average right now is 12.07 (and last week was my worst week ever)... I want to break 13.00 by the end of the season, in just under 6 weeks. I never really played darts before joining the league, but can't imagine not playing now.

I've never played a bar sport in a league before – until then I had been a casual player of pool over beer. I was a pretty average player... I could never make bank shots though. I joined this league primarily as a way of getting out at least once a week for some fun. Kind of like looking forward to your favorite television show each week. Except that this involves alcohol and people throwing very sharp objects. I suppose every bar sport has an certain level of danger... in pool you could take an eye out with a cue, when playing barstool trivia games, you could actually fall off the barstool, and in Kareoke you could find yourself humiliated by singing a song you know should have stayed at home with you in the shower. I've seen darts hit the wire and bounce right back just as fast as they left, but I have yet to see a serious injury (knock wood).

I figure I never got into a bar sport league before because when I was younger my alcohol tolerance level was much higher, so I had to spend more time drinking. Now that I'm older and my alcohol tolerance is lower, I need to slow the flow of alcohol into my body. Ah well, at least I'm a cheaper date now.

I should get going to bed...

Good night!

Classic Aquaman Wallpaper

I ran across a good scan and decided to make a quick wallpaper... Enjoy!

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Where I've been

Although I only promised myself this blog would be a semi-daily sort of thing, I still feel like I should write in it daily. It's been a few days, so I'm feeling really guilty.

Perhaps I'll call it a night... After all, I don't want to bore people. If I don't have something specific to say, I should probably stay off line and keep it to myself.

Good night!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's That Time of Year...

This cartoon very accurately depicts what this time of year makes me feel like. In the USA, Thanksgiving is in November, rather than October, so I'm sure it seems even more jammed together.

Hawkman Wallpaper

Here's a wallpaper I made recently.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Superboy Conner Kent/Kon-El Wallpaper

Here's the link:


Star Trek Remastered: The Story So Far

Star Trek: The Original Series is being updated with new special effects. Each week I'll have a review of each episode and discuss the new special effects shots. To date, six episodes have aired. I'm going to post about these first six epsiodes as a whole and then with the next new episode, move to one posting one review per week.

The last epsiode to air was Arena, so I'll start there. The episode begins with this scene. In the original, it looked like this:And the new:

Notice the new crater, sky, and horizon?? Pretty cool!

And how about this shot of the Enterprise firing phasers at the Gorn Ship?

And the new:


The episode previous was I, Mudd. There wasn't much in the original for special effects shots other than the Enterprise orbiting a stock planet.

And the new:

Huge difference, right?

There's hasn't been an effects shot that I thought didn't belong. The team involved is doing a great job. That being said, they have already announced they will be using a new CGI model for the Enterprise. Which is wonderful, because I think the current model is much too dark! The Enterprise should have a whiteish-blueish sort of hull tone. Not the dark grey we seen in the pictures above. It really doesn't give us a clear look at all the detail the new CGI model probably has!

Look for the show to air on the weekends on most American channels. If you're in the Shaw Cable area, look for it on Channel 132 at 2:00 pm Saturday afternoons.

I'm sure I'll be purchasing these episodes when they're released on DVD, not only because they're HD ready, but also because I can't stand watching them on regular TV. Remember, these episodes were 51 minutes in duration. To air them today, too much has to be cut from the episode and it's really irritating for me to watch!! I'm constantly catching myself noticing the cut scenes and some of them are original special effects shots, which in my mind, defeats the point of remastering the effects in these episodes! But hey – I don't run a TV station in the 21st century, so I have no idea about the wickedness that must go on – in addition to badly edited programming!

There is a schedule available at that can give you more detail. I think the shows are great and there's something I didn't expect in every episode (like making the Gorn blink in Arena, or making the android Norman from I, Mudd look more like a precursor to Lt. Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Trust me – you have to see them for yourselves!!

Test Comics Review: Mystery in Space

First of all, I LOVE that DC has revived this series! It's an historic title that needs to be in print, just like Tales of the Unexpected, but that's another review.

I was blown away. Seriously. The book is just that good. Readers unfamiliar with Captain Comet will have no problem jumping on board – his origin and history are neatly packaged here.

The Captain's history is given a new telling with a few interesting twists, told by a talking dog. Yes, you read right, a talking dog. I know it sounds lame, but it really isn't. Get the issue and see for yourself.

So the reason the story is told from the dog's point-of-view? It's because our good Captain expires in the first three pages. But he gets better, obviously.

Rounding out the issue is a back-up tale featuring The Weird. The character last appeared in a Maxwell Lord JLA mini-series.

Credits for all the goodness in this issue largely falls on Jim Starlin. He pens each story and even though they take place in the same locale, it adds a new dimension to the stuff we see in the main story. Art is by Shane Davis, who I predict will become one of those hot talented artists. Davis' style works really well in this type of cosmic setting. Starlin created the character of The Weird over 15 years ago, it's only fitting he continue to tell tales with the character.

Heartily recommended!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Picture

I think this is one of the coolest logos Aquaman has had... It's reminiscent of his original logo, but with a modern take, much like his costume was while he appeared under this logo.