Tag Archives: Not Comics

I saw The Wolverine

11 Aug

by Mike Hansen

The Wolverine argentina

Probably my favorite of the international posters, even if the tagline is as cheesy as U.S. posters: “Fugitive, Hero, Legend.” Really? “Inmortal,” indeed…

They finally got the claws right.

Every X-Men film has its nitpicky moments, giving long-time comics readers like me something to complain about (in the right company). The first couple of X-Men films get a pass, because they were at the very beginning of the superhero-film wave that didn’t really get going until the first Spider-Man movie. Both of them have a lot of good visual and character moments, but watching them now reveals a lot of stuff that would make me cringe if they were made in 2013. The near-franchise killer (despite its initial box-office success) X-Men: The Last Stand is still nearly unwatchable for me, with its odd and pointless creative choices. Likewise X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which clearly owed its limited success to the last bit of goodwill fans had for the material (not to mention the rough cut’s leak, marking the beginning of the end for MegaUpload and making it really damn tough for me to complete my AC/DC bootleg collection – but I digress…).

The Wolverine japan flag teaser

I usually like teaser posters more than later ones. For me, less is more.

X-Men: First Class was a big step back in the right direction, with its bold and ballsy 1960s Cold War setting and the kind of reboot no superhero franchise in any medium had seen yet: nailing down the premise’s origins in a specific time in history, despite the unofficial Marvel “ten-year rule” for its oldest characters (i.e., as of 2013, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man got their powers in 2003 – even though their first appearances were in 1961-1962). This kind of thinking has also led to creative disasters like DC’s New 52 reboot (although one of its few good ideas was Grant Morrison’s run on Action Comics featuring the early days of Superman), so it can be a fine line to walk between respecting and adapting source material, and just doing overpaid fan fiction. First Class also had that great, super-brief scene with Wolverine, one of the few times I’ve seen a scene designed as fan service really work. (Will its other choices, like an early furry Beast and using Cyclops’s brother, make sense in the long run? Time will tell…)

The Wolverine samurai

I think this poster was for the Japanese market. I dig it, especially its similarity to the new X-Men: Days of Future Past teaser posters.

The Wolverine has none of the problems of previous X-Men films. It’s a tight story set (mostly) during just a handful of days, some time after the events of The Last Stand (none of which are directly referenced, other than that Wolverine killed Jean Grey and is now haunted by this). The story is mainly Continue reading

Move over, Phoenix Jones: Seattle now has a Real-Life Super-Villain: Rex Velvet

4 Jun

by Mike Hansen

Rex Velvet symbolWhile Phoenix Jones and his Rain City Superhero Crime Fighting Movement have been in the news, courts, and comic-cons, it looks like one man has had enough: Rex Velvet, a.k.a. “The People’s Villain,” representing something called the Social Villains Alliance.

Some might find these videos disturbing… I find them hilarious:

So, is Rex Velvet who he says he is? On the one hand, the videos seem to be produced by something called Rocket Launch Productions. On the other… Velvet does drive a DeLorean.

And he did appear on Reddit the other day to answer questions from the public… Continue reading

Feds Still Clueless About Filesharing

19 Jan

by Mike Hansen

SOPA imageFirst, a special “Words ‘n’ Pictures” link: an easy-to-understand chart that explains why SOPA/PIPA suck balls.

I emailed my Senators (Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer) and Representative (Mike Thompson) urging their opposition to these bills.

Here’s an email response I received from Feinstein (or, more likely, her staffers):

Dear Mr. Hansen:

I received your letter expressing opposition to the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act,” commonly known as the “PROTECT IP Act.”  I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

The “PROTECT IP Act” (S. 968) gives both copyright and trademark owners and the U.S. Department of Justice the authority to take action against websites that are “dedicated to infringing activities.”  These are websites that have “no significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating” copyright infringement, the sale of goods with a counterfeit trademark, or the evasion of technological measures designed to protect against copying.

The bill does not violate First Amendment rights to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech.

America’s copyright industry is an important economic engine, and I believe copyright owners should be able to prevent their works from being illegally duplicated and stolen.  The protection of intellectual property is particularly vital to California’s thriving film, music, and high-technology industries.

I understand you have concerns about the “PROTECT IP Act.”  While I voted in favor of this bill when it was before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have also been working with California high-technology businesses to improve the bill and to address the concerns of high-tech businesses, public interest groups and others.  I recognize the bill needs further changes to prevent it from imposing undue burdens on legitimate businesses and activities, and I will be working to make the improvements, either by working with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) or through amendments on the Senate floor.

On May 26, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the “PROTECT IP Act” for consideration by the full Senate.  Please know I will keep your concerns and thoughts in mind should the Senate proceed to a vote on this legislation.  As you may be aware, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced similar legislation, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261), in the House of Representatives.

Once again, thank you for sharing your views.  I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.

…So it’s clear that, as an Old Person, Senator Feinstein doesn’t understand the structure of the internet or how overreaching laws can be implemented, regardless of their intentions. You’d think she’d have learned by now: SOPA/PIPA are a wish-list written by the entertainment companies, just like the PATRIOT Act was a wish-list from U.S. intelligence agencies (and we all know how effective that’s been at stopping terrorism). Either that, or Hollywood likes their politicians to be bought, and Feinstein wants more of their sweet cash. (All the more reason to ban private campaign financing entirely…)

Now, the Feds have taken down file-storage-locker site Megaupload and arresting its owners for piracy. Sure, these sites have been used to distribute copyrighted material by unscrupulous folks – but how is that the sites’ fault? Just like BitTorrent, these sites can be used for perfectly legitimate and legal purposes. (In fact, just this week I used Megaupload to send large files to a comics publisher of material that it owns, for its use. Exactly how is that piracy? Oh, wait, it’s not.)

BoingBoing (one of the best websites, period) has two more related Words ‘n’ Pictures graphics that are worth a look (here and here).

It ain’t over yet…

And Now, an Important Halloween Safety Tip

31 Oct

When you’re out trick-or-treating, be sure to watch for traffic… or this might happen:


Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

Before you all dress up, trick-or-treat, and/or party, enjoy one of my all-time favorite cartoons!


Ice-T Goes White & Nerdy

25 Oct

by Mike Hansen

Cover of "Pimp to Eat"

Well, if not white, then he’s still light enough to go Incognegro…

This was a strange-but-good surprise: Ice-T and friends going Nerdcore, rapping about technology and comics characters in addition to smacking a bitch. It’s weird to hear the Godfather of Gangsta like this, but it’s cool that he still has tricks up his pimp coat’s sleeve.

On my last CD-buying spree in San Francisco, I picked up the stellar album Pimp to Eat by Analog Brothers, a side project from 2000 featuring Ice-T, Kool Keith and others. The tracks are filled with tight old-school sounds from 808s and 909s, with the kind of crazy dope flow typical of Kool Keith’s all-over-the-place eclectic approach. With lots of comic-book references, like track 6 (“Analog Anilalator vrs. Silver Surfer”) and track 2:

(obviously NSFW lyrics)


Some more classic cuts: Continue reading

WORDS ‘N’ PICTURES: Adobe Photoshop Day Cream

24 Oct

If only there could be a way to shame the bad Photoshoppers who work on comics covers and movie posters.


Adobe Photoshop Day Cream

Is that really Madonna? It’s hard to tell…

Not Dead Yet…

11 Oct
The Life I Know

This has nothing to do with anything, but it might freak you out if you're a Spider-Man fan... (Image via Wikipedia)

Sorry for the lack of posts, folks – Real Life has been getting in the way over the last few days (that is, paying work, taking care of the family/house/pets, etc….). Regular service should resume later today or tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll get up some more contributions from my fellow contributors. Thanks for your patience!


WORDS ‘N’ PICTURES: Criterion’s Incredible Cover to THE GREAT DICTATOR

4 Oct


The Great Dictator Criterion cover

This edition was released back in May – I must have missed it because I’ve got the previous DVD edition, which is also excellent.

Charlie Chaplin made several good films after The Great Dictator, but this is his final masterpiece. Chaplin was the first major filmmaker to have the balls to criticize Hitler, well before the U.S. was ready to enter World War II. If you haven’t seen it, do it now – it’s one of the greatest films of all time!

Thank You, Mr. Oswalt

30 Sep

"I must use my powers for GOOD..." (Image by JASON ANFINSEN via Flickr)

Patton Oswalt appeared on Conan last night, and chose to talk about things that had nothing to do with his negative DC survey experience.

Of course, for all I know, he taped this segment before his meltdown at Meltdown.

But just to be safe, here’s a public “thank you” to Patton Oswalt for not letting the entire nation know about his bad comics experience.

(And yes, I’m aware of the irony of publicly talking about something I don’t want the public to talk about. I don’t believe THAT many people read this site yet…)


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