This weekend I attended the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo - also known as C2E2.
AS much as I love comics this was the first real comic convention I ever attended. It was beyond fun and was worth it just for the people watching.
I saw and met many famous artists, authors and actors. But for me the highlight was meeting Neal Adams.
The name may not mean much to you but if you ever picked up a DC comic book from 1967 or forward, chances are you saw the man's work.
His portrayals of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Green Arrow are still referenced today. During the 70's and 80's this guy visually shaped my childhood. My deep love for comic books has a direct and visceral link to the art of Neal Adams. I don't know if I can express just how much the scenes in my imagination were drawn by this man's hand. In fact when I close my eyes and picture Green Lantern, it is Neal Adam's version I see in my mind.
Meeting him and shaking his hand was just too cool for words. He was warm and friendly and for some reason he reminded me of my Grandpa. He was genuinely appreciative of my admiration and thanked me for my kind words. Now I have an autographed Green Lantern picture and I could not be happier.
It was a total fanboy moment......I was NOT cool or laidback about it...but I don't care.
I met Neal Adams. (skweeeeee!)
It is no secret that Baloo is my favorite Disney character of all time. I was thinking about his signature song this morning -
"Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Oh Mother Nature's recipes that brings the bare necessities to life"
You might think it is a stretch, but for some reason, this morning it reminded me of another one of my favorite verses:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Anyway, I liked the connection.
It is possible that I am still riding high from this movie but…..it might be the best thing Marvel has put out yet. It was absolutely the best Phase 2 movie yet. Better than IM3 and Thor Dark World. I think it was better than First Avenger. If you didn’t have a Steve Rogers man-crush before,…….whooo! Steve Rogers is the man!
The one thing- really the only thing – I had to criticize about Cap’s portrayal so far was the fact that we never really got to see just how and why he is the best hand-to-hand fighter in the world. When it is time to throw down – nobody touches Cap. We have seen him as an incredible athlete, we have seen him as a tough brawler, we have seen him as an acrobat, but Cap knows every fighting style – every one. This movie showcased just what a bad mamma-jamma Captain America is. There might be somebody that questions why you need Cap on a team that has power sets like Iron Man, Thor or the Hulk. This movie makes it clear why Captain America can go in all by himself and get the job done.
And best of all – Steve Rogers stays the awesome man that he is. “This is what’s right and I don’t care about the consequences.” And this movie does a wonderful job of showing WHY people follow him. This was simply the most note-perfect portrayal of Captain America ever. There was nothing lacking. This was MY Captain America.
And the story was incredible. The writers said they were inspired by the political spy thrillers of the 70's. You could really feel this influence. My favorite Captain America stories are the political ones. That is where he works the best. The writers knew that and worked to his strengths in every way possible. I don’t want to spoil things for you. Many times companies can say things like “The world will never be the same again.” They are not kidding here! When you think about the world that Marvel created with their movies and how everything is connected – the events of this movie will rock everything – EVERYTHING!
There were also so many great little Easter Eggs for comic book fans that I grinned like an idiot several times or would look at Terra and say, “Oh they just said……..” Of course she didn’t know why it was cool but trust me it was. The writers know their Cap history and their Marvel history.
This was also the best Black Widow ever. Scarlet Johansen in so comfortable in this role and obviously knows her so well. She gets some great scenes that show depth of character and why she is a top ranked super spy. Anthony Mackie will be a superstar after this movie. He steals every scene he is in. After Bucky, Falcon was the best partner Captain America ever had. It never really made sense to me in the comics. Here it does. They have re-written Falcon's origin story in this movie but it so superior to his comic roots that you can't help but understand why Cap and Falcon form an immediate and trusting bond. Robert Redford, well hey….you know…he’s Robert Redford. He was not phoning it in for a paycheck for sure.
I could just go on and on about this superior film. This was a great movie. Not a just great comic book movie – but a great movie.
Attention all Star Wars fans -
have you heard of this? A guy has presented a new order for watching the Star Wars movie. It is indeed quite interesting. He calls it
He makes an interesting case for it here: http://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested-viewing-order/
I admit it is a lengthy read but I was sucked in quickly. Even my wife - who has seen all the movies but is not really a fan - found it interesting and discussed the point made by the author.
Machete Order is thus:
•IV: A New Hope
•V: The Empire Strikes Back
•II: Attack of the Clones
•III: Revenge of the Sith
•VI: Return of the Jedi
Where is Phantom Menace? GONE! CHOPPED OFF!! It never existed! No Jar Jar? Hmmmmm...
I have not watched machete Order yet but the plan is in the works. My Brother-in-law just introduced Star Wars to his 6 year old son and has been doing it almost exactly in this order. My nephew has found a new obsession - as all younglings should when introduced.
If you have time, read through the link and give your thoughts.
Zack Snyder definitely turned the Superman mythos on it's ear with MAN OF STEEL. It has become quite divisive with fans. The sequel has been getting lots of headlines and fueled the interwebs for a long time now.
Hearing that it would feature Batman sent every geek into the stratosphere. I was beyond excited.
The internet almost imploded when it was announced Ben Affleck was going to be Batman. I was very puzzled...but not scared.
It was announced that Wonder Woman would be cast in the movie. More excitement. It is far beyond time the Amazon got the movie she deserves. She is on par with Bats and Supes. It's time everyone learned why.
Then Gal Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman. I was less than thrilled. Wonder Woman is an Amazon Warrior - a muscular woman with curves. Gadot is a pencil thin model. Still I was hoping they would put her through a strenuous muscle building regime so that she would look a little bit more the role.
Recently two more casting announcements were made. Jeremy Irons was cast as Bruce Wayne's butler and confidant Alfred Pennyworth. This casting I love. Irons is a spectacular actor and you could believe that this man with impeccable manners had a past as a soldier of fortune.
Then the big bomb dropped. Lex Luthor will be played by Jesse Eisenberg. Now I am completely confused and don't know which direction Snyder is going. I am really having a hard time imagining this skinny teenager as one of the most powerful men on the planet.
I was all for the casting in the first movie. Some of them were different but I could still see it. I am really trying to reserve judgment but the casting decisions for this movie are making me scratch my head.
Don't ruin my heroes too much here Zack.