Saturday, August 25, 2007

Warmed over aliens

Ah, TV aliens. Once so much funny clothing but now quite a lot of fancy make up but almost exclusively shaped like humans. Still, I don't think that the new makeup has really improved the aliens.

It's not that apparently only one ethnicity has ever survived on any alien world. That's part of the big background stuff you don't really see on a moment by moment basis. It's not that everything is in a non-alien language. To insist that your aliens speak among themselves in alien languages is just trying to be unnecessarily difficult.

It's the culture of the moment to moment that makes an alien actually alien. The ticks and fidgets that we all display. We tap our fingers, pace, wink, sniffle, and clear our throats. It seems aliens generally do too. They stress the same words and though a wink may be difficult for them to understand, but they're quite happy with the nods that aren't even universal among those of Earth.

There have been a few aliens with alien ticks, but very few. Possibly more quite early on when they did not have the luxury of really good masks. Sure, illustrate it with the back story and the mask, but sell it with the tendency to rub the hands rather than tap the fingers and all the other little things.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Penguins everywhere!

It looks like this Sunday I will learn something about the LA Times, since according to Berkeley Breathed:

Note to Opus readers: The Opus strips for August 26 and September 2 have been withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus' host paper The Washington Post. The strips may be viewed in a large format on their respective dates at

I expect to see it anyway, will they disappoint?

Meanwhile, I'm absolutely giddy to find out that once upon a time, Pat Oliphant had a comic strip. Tom Toles and Mike Peters too, but you probably knew about Mike Peters. I wonder what Tom Toles' was like...

Friday, August 10, 2007

better omens and worse omens

I still would really like to see what Terry Gilliam would make of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens (AKA The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch). Just sayin'.

Meanwhile as Stardust gets teased my flatmate is so filled with the impression that this is a future bomb that she has to say so out loud. She says she's generally up on the new coming movies and this one she knows nothing about except that the trailer gives her this impression.

I, on the other hand, have no idea what movies may be coming soon except there's one called Stardust (seems to be out) and another called Beowulf (coming soon) both of which are related to one Neil Gaiman.

Now I haven't pursued his output quite as much as Pratchett's (for years the only meaning his name had to me was "the other guy on the cover of Good Omens") and Stardust is among the unread. I don't actually know anything about it except I've liked a lot of the other stuff this fellow does. And he has good taste in coauthors for novels. When I see the Stardust trailer I see... well, actually, it does seem a little lame. I'm hoping that a one minute trailer just can't capture the intricacies that is good story telling. It seems like a reasonable hope.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hey, Gerry!

Not sure if you've been gerrymandered out of political relevance? Well, there's an easy way to find out, just take a look at your district. I know I certainly have been.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Making a meal of it

Mine! All mine! I finally have all of King of Bandit Jing. Well, not the OVA. It's just book 5 of the first series animated anyway plus da cool music. And I have devoured it whole already. Could be time to reread the whole thing?

For now back to Abe: Wrong for All the Right Reasons which is pleasant but quite filling so I seem to be reading only a few stories each day. The chapters are former minis after all, they had to pack a lot.