Sunday, May 29, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #4 Flyon, Skyger and Cheetair

Sorry about the lack of posts this week, been busy, but I have some fun things planned for this week so please check back!


The Sensational Set of Flying Felines!

People have short memories.


Remember when Flyon (world's first flying lion), injured from a fight with his arch nemesis Cheetair, managed to save the world from a speeding comet?

Of course you don't.

Remember the other member of the Sensational Set of Flying Felines, Skyger (world's first flying tiger) defused a nuclear bomb in the middle of Manhattan with his eyes?

Definitely not.

No, what everyone remembers is the Sensational Set being seconds late to stop Cheetair from destroying a building with his volatile missiles.




CHEETAIR


The awful, treacherous, villainous and overall jerk. The world's first trillionaire. Jealous of the Sensational Set's ability to fly, he has created numerous weapons of flight. With a limitless bank account, he has been able to create missiles that shoot almost as fast as the speed of light.

He once held the position of President of the United States, but it lasted only a few days because Flyon exposed him for selling Nuclear Arms to terrorists.

He has stated numerous times in his speech that it isn't safe for the world to rely on Flyon and Skyger to fix the world's problems. The Sensational Set has no issue with the world becoming more self-reliant, but, when duty calls they must answer. Cheetair has taken his opinion too far, trying to destroy Flyon and Skyger. He creates problems in the city, paying mobsters, arming drug dealers, helping bank robbers, all to try to force the Sensational Set into an early retirement.



FLYON

The more powerful of the Sensational Set. Some hypothesize that he is actually a being from another planet. He wears a mask to protect his identity, and he took Skyger on as his apprentice. Those that he has saved say he has a soft green glow about him, perhaps something to do with radioactivity.

A few weeks into Cheetair's presidency he revealed top secret photos of Flyon's creation. An Air Force plane carrying a Nuclear bomb lost control of its engines and crashed into an erupting Volcano somewhere in Africa. The radioactive lava shot across the valley, leveling entire forests.  Instead of melting Flyon, it merged with his genetic makeup.

Once Flyon learned of his powers, he has spent his life giving out justice.






SKYGER

It wasn't long after Flyon began his journey that he realized he couldn't do it alone. No one knows exactly how he found Skyger. Some theories say that Skyger was trained by reclusive monks that know the secret of flight. Others say that Flyon has shared radioactive lava with him. Some even say that hidden under his cape is a jet pack.

Regardless, Skyger has proved to be an essential part of the Sensational Set.


The next time you look up in the sky, search for the Sensational Set. Just a glimpse will give you luck for a whole week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mini Movie Review- The Beaver


As always I try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

I went and saw The Beaver with my wife on Monday. It's supposed to be sort of a comeback for Mel Gibson. Seems to me that Mel has a really big mouth when he is drunk. It also seems to me that his whole career has been somewhat tarnished because of his big mouth. My thoughts?

I don't watch an impressive movie trailer and say afterwards to my wife, "Oh man, he is such a good person, lets go see that movie right away!"

No, like most people I go to see a movie to be entertained, and I suppose sometimes to learn something new. Unless the movie is a biopic, the actor isn't playing him/herself. The actor is portraying someone else.

Obviously, I too have limits, it would be tough for me if the actor was a pedophile in real life. How could I focus on the story, when there is a gross creepy man(or a woman!) on screen pretending to be someone else?

Well back to The Beaver. Mel Gibson, as always is a very good actor. Jodie Foster is also a very good actor. I like the new Chekov from Star Trek, Anton Yelchin in just about everything he is in. He plays Mel Gibson's son in the movie, and they actually look a bit alike.

The movie is dark, darker than I expected anyway. I don't know why, but from the trailers, I thought it would be something different. Not to say I didn't like it, because I did, but I wanted it to be a little happier.

One part I absolutely loathe is a graduation speech at the end. I don't know what it is about graduation speeches in movies, but I almost universally hate them. I recently went to my wife's law school graduation and the speeches at those were NOTHING like the ones in the movie. This isn't the first movie I've seen a graduation speech and I was left thinking, "this is completely ridiculous, who would say this in a graduation speech?"

Don't let a bad graduation speech deter you though.

The Beaver isn't going to blow you away by any means. It's a good reminder that Mel Gibson is in fact a good actor(good person? I don't know him personally so I couldn't answer that.) The movie has some funny moments. I don't think it's a movie you have to rush out to see in theaters, but could make for a good Netflix rental.


3 out of 5 tree stumps

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CREATURE WORKSHOP #2 Pigasus


Name one mythological animal that has gotten the shaft more than Pigasus.  Name one!  Yeah, you can't.  Let's face it, pigs aren't pretty animals.  My wife will try to argue they are "cute" or "sweet" or "intelligent" but they are in no way majestic.  Through rare documents dated centuries ago, I can in fact vouch that Pigasus personally flew Perseus to battle the Kraken (not to be confused with the battle of the "cracklins" -- my wife insisted I include that).  But when they carved the statue of Perseus riding on the back of a pig, people scoffed and said, "yeah, right, like pigs could ever fly, that's not realistic."

When someone says to you, "Right, when pigs fly," what they are really saying is "Right, that will never happen."

HOW INSULTING TO THE POOR PIGASUS!

Despite the hate, Pigasus keeps trucking along...


Because there is almost nothing on the "unipig" variety of Pigasi, I will give you some of the finer points.

-Some pigs can fly.  Those that do are part of the Pigasi family.

-Some pigs have a single horn, like a unicorn, some don't.  Rumor has it, that all Pigasi at one point will grow a horn.  Not only that, there is a possibly that a farm pig you saw win the blue ribbon actually is a Pigasi.  Perhaps instead of becoming bacon, the owner should allow it to age, grow wings, and after hundreds of years, a horn.

ALMOST A CELEBRITY

I have close sources that tell me that Pigasus had at one point been portrayed properly in the new Clash of the Titans movie.  However Warner Bros changed its mind at the last moment.  I have located the following memo:

Dear Director,

Thank you for making this movie.  You are super good at making movies.  I really like Incredible Hulk.  Maybe we can play golf tomorrow?  

Anyway, this is a business correspondence so enough with the pleasantries.  The Board of Directors and myself have seen the concept artwork for the movie, and I have got to say we are thoroughly impressed.  Our one point of contention is the Pig.  What is a pig doing flying?  I think audiences will have a hard time believing in both the Kraken AND a flying pig.  Scratch it, or you're finished.

Warmest Regards,

CEO Big Wig


Such a shame!  Poor...poor Pigasus.

Sigh...what could have been...

Next time you pick up a Greek Mythology book, ask yourself, why not Pigasus?  Rick Riordan had a great opportunity to end the prejudice against Pigasus in Percy Jackson. I think it would have worked splendidly.

Your day will come, Pigasus.  Just wait.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #3 The BAMster!

Every once and a while there's an action hero that was so incredibly awesome that people still quote the movie...

"I'll be back." -Arnold in Terminator
"Yipee Kiyaa Mother ******!" -Bruce Willis in Die Hard
"When you're pushed, killing is as easy as breathing." - Sylvester Stallone in Rambo

There are some movies not even close to the popularity as the ones above but they still get great quotes.  Such as Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando.

"Going commando..." 

Wait...I'm not sure that one is in the movie.  And that isn't being really tough...going commando.  I'd hope Schwarzenegger didn't really go commando in Commando.

Here is the next action hero that will be stuck in pop culture references for generations.  Look out G-Force.  It's the...

Yeah.  I told you...it's awesome!

This Hamster is full of so much "Bam" that he is an entirely different species.  Yes, he is the BAMster!
Most hamsters use their cheek pouches to carry food.  Bamster uses his to carry an entire tank, weapons locker, and also grenades...lots and lots of grenades!

"Don't touch that water bottle!  It's rigged to blow!" -The BAMster!
"I'm gonna make you wish you bought a parakeet!" -The BAMster!
"Touch that chew toy one more time and we will see what gets chewed." -The BAMster!
"Eat sawdust!" -The BAMster!

One memorable scene from the movie:

RANDOM BYSTANDER
Hey, that mouse just blew up that house!

BAMSTER
I'm no mouse, honey...

Bamster spits something onto the foot of the bystander.  

RANDOM BYSTANDER
Eww... what is-


KABOOM!


Alright, well that's all I have for this doodle.  Any other quotes you think BAMster would make?  Sound off in the comments! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dark Knight Rises- Bane Revealed!

I read comics occasionally but my collection is small; I'm a bigger fan of the movies.  I am so excited for the Dark Knight Rises, the sequel to one of my favorite movies.  One villain in the new movie is Bane.  You might remember him from the so-bad-it's-good Batman & Robin movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger...


Yeah...he was really cool...


In that movie Bane was a mindless muscle-head wearing a luchador mask.  He just did what Poison-Ivy told him to and grunted, "BANE!"  What was the point of putting him in the movie, couldn't they just throw any muscle-head in there?  That movie really pissed me off, because Bane is one of my favorite Batman villains!

Anyway, I won't turn this into a rant about the Batman & Robin movie, that movie has already been bashed enough.  In the comics Bane is super intelligent, strong, and patient, very very patient.



My favorite Batman story arc is the Knightfall one.  In this, Bane comes to Gotham and stages a breakout of Arkham Asylum.  Joker, Two-Face, and other baddies are sent free and Batman is working around the clock to get them behind bars again.  Bane waits in the shadows while Batman's strength deteriorates.  All the while Bane knows Batman's alter ego is Bruce Wayne.  He wants to break Batman's spirits, and not only that, he breaks Batman's back.


Side note: I am glad Christopher Nolan didn't decide to throw in a Joker wannabe in the Dark Knight Rises.  I think it's a good idea to move away from Joker and do something radically different.  A villain that is a match for Batman both mentally, and physically.

When I first heard that Bane was going to be in this movie, I was so pumped!  I have been waiting anxiously to see what Bane would look like in the new movie, and finally we get a glimpse.

Yeah, this time Bane is serious...

There is also a picture of Christian Bale that has been circulating the interwebs.  The rumor is that this leaked photo is from a makeup test for the Dark Knight Rises after Batman had a confrontation with Bane. 
Oww...





Dark Knight Rises comes out July 20th, 2012.


Oh and this is me, in my luchador mask...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to Create a Terrible Movie Poster

Idioms!  Find lots of Idioms and turn it into something fantastic (sarcasm)!

I have a poster that I am working on, called "Last but not Leash," a pun on the "Last but not Least" idiom.  Pretty easy stuff. 

DEAF FROM ABOVE

Not all my titles are based off Idioms, sometimes other common sayings like "Death from Above."  Which is the basis for my Deaf from Above poster.

After titling it, I work on finding good (terrible) slogans.  "He had the voice of an angel... if only he could hear himself sing." Something extra cheesy that you can imagine a narrator saying during a preview.

That all fits with the Deaf from Above poster.  Sometimes I will add other slogans into it that I really liked.

After this, I do a drawing, what I want it to look like, the basic outline.  Here is my example:

Oh yeah, amazing right?
 
Then I give the drawing to my friend, Brando, who is a pro at Photoshop.  We brainstorm a list of cast members and then he finds the images we need and molds them into the poster.

I've got other groan-worthy posters on the way!  Please check back!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #2 Dragon on a Wagon

So I was saving this post for tomorrow, but because I am going to be busy, I am posting it now. 


YES!  A DRAGON ON A WAGON!


You might be asking, "Why exactly would a dragon need a wagon?  A dragon has wings."  To which I would reply, "A LOT OF REALLY COOL STUFF!"

When I had a radio flyer growing up, I took it all over the neighborhood with me.  Sometimes I would throw my toys in it, or take cherries from my neighbors tree.  I remember having jars of bugs that I found, or just whatever I found interesting, like rocks or branches.

One memory of mine is of my friend Aaron and I going down a steep street in the radio flyer.  He was a little older than me so he was steering.  When we started to pick up speed Aaron bailed onto a neighbor's lawn.  I was pretty scared, I hadn't steered before, and if I went to the bottom of the street I thought would get hit by a car at the intertsection.  I turned hard and the whole wagon toppled over.  I was left with scrapes and cuts all over my knees and elbows.  I probably would have just lied there on the ground crying, wallowing in self pity, but a neighbor at the bottom of the street came out to help me.  He had a beard and I rarely saw him, so he scared the crap out of me.  He only wanted to help, but I remember desperately heaving the radio flyer back onto its wheels and running away, back up the street.

Do you have any wagon memories you would like to share?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why I Stopped Reading This Book

I was reading a middle grade novel up until yesterday afternoon.  It was probably around page 115 when I finally had enough and I put the book down and said, "No more, I can't take it."

I respect my fellow writer, and that book is that author's pride and joy.  There is a whole series based off those same characters, and maybe the series gets better, heck, maybe even this same book gets better if I just flip the page, but I don't want to.

I can see reasons that the book is so successful, at least in small doses because there are some good parts.  I normally get through a book like this in a day or two, but I had been reading it on and off for a week.  I just couldn't get into it.  I had given up a few days earlier, but yesterday I renewed my vigor and forced myself to read some more.  I read a good chapter and started thinking, "Alright, here it's starting to get good," and then BAM!  Villain infodump.  Then I closed the book for the final time.

Main reasons for putting it down:

Multiple POV
-I really despise multiple POV when you hear one character's thoughts in a paragraph and then the next one you hear the other character's thoughts.  It always feels jarring, no matter who writes it.  Fablehaven did a good job with this: Seth and Kendra both had their own POV but it was either separated by chapter, or a clear break in the same chapter.  When they were both in a scene together you only got one POV, not two.

Maybe later in this book there is something that absolutely couldn't be done without multiple POV, but I'm not going to read that far to find out.  Think of Harry Potter: it's all from Harry's perspective (for the most part).  As for his good friend Ron Weasley, I didn't know exactly what he was thinking all the time, but the author usually made it clear enough that I got the idea.

Data Dump
This was the final straw for me in this book, information on the villain came in the form of a data dump.  Tons of information TOLD to the reader, not shown within a few paragraphs.  It's boring and reads like a textbook. 

This is just my opinion.  Now that I got thinking about Harry Potter...maybe I should read one...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #1 Parrot and his best friend Carrot

Another one of my soon to be regular features!  The Doodle of the Week!  I had a supervisor at work once that loved my silly post-it note drawings so much she had them all over her desk, stuck to the computer, on the edges of her cubicle, etc.  Anyway, I want to share some of them. 


I had to edit this one a little bit because it had smudges, so it doesn't look like much of a post-it note anymore. 

PARROT AND HIS BEST FRIEND, CARROT

As you can see, Parrot is telling his very good friend Carrot something hilarious.  Is it a secret?  Are they planning something?  You tell me.  Sound off in the comments!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mini Movie Review- Thor



One of the things I want to do on my blog is include movie reviews, book reviews and such.  Today I am going to post on THOR!  I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible.

Before I heard about the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I hadn't really planned on seeing this.  The trailers made it look really cheesy, and I don't think they gave the movie the proper justice it deserves.

To start off Chris Hemsworth, the actor that played Thor was absolutely perfect for the role.  I've heard that Kenneth Branagh was brought in to direct because of his role in Shakespeare plays.  It's a good thing too, because the things that Thor said could have come out ridiculous.

The special effects were pretty awesome.  Asgard is really picturesque, sometimes I wanted the movie to freeze so that I could look at all the little details.  The fight scenes were fun, Thor's hammer was pretty sweet too.

That said there are some problems in this movie.  I think Jane (Natalie Portman) didn't feel fleshed out as a love interest.  I didn't see any reason for her to like Thor besides him being proof that her science is correct, and lust.

The villain was solid, not spectacular.  All in all a very fun popcorn movie.  



I give it 4/5 Thor Hammers!  Go check it out!

What I am Working On

Currently I am waiting to hear back from all my test readers on the first book I will try to get published.  It is titled Leprechauna.  So far the response has been pretty positive from three of my test readers, but I want the book to be as perfect as possible before I start sending it out to Literary Agents, so I have at least one more revision to do.  I have assembled a list of about 70 Literary Agents that fit my criteria.

I have a previous book that I have no intentions of trying to get published titled Refusing the Dawn (No, it's not about Vampires).  It was more of a learning experience, and eventually someday I will do that book justice with a rewrite.  Leprechauna on the other hand has been easy and very fun to write.

While waiting for the feedback on Leprechauna, I am researching for my next project.  Books don't typically end with cliffhangers, so one of the main reasons that writing a series is difficult is because each book has to standalone. 


Yep, this is what I am reading right now

My next novel is about a magical blacksmith hammer (sounds dumber when I say it like that). It's a Middle-grade Fantasy.  So far I am having a good time creating the world for it and such.  Maybe this project will be on shelves at some point?  Gotta hope.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

BAD MOVIE POSTER #1 Deaf from Above

Another one of the fun things I do in my spare time is come up with terrible movie tag lines, sometimes these tag lines turn into crappy movie posters.

CLICK THE IMAGE FOR BETTER VIEW




Synopsis: Being deaf, Benny Horace (Bieber) has never heard himself sing.  At the urging of a neighbor he goes onto American Idol to show his talents to the world.  However he has prior commitments to his local church choir.  He could make millions after a major record deal and sing non-religious songs, but he would have to forsake those he loves.   His voice is so beautiful that those around him say...it's angelic.

CREATURE WORKSHOP #1 The Wolfrog


Creature Workshop: a place where animals, mystical creatures, plants or other things merge together to create an entirely different being.  I am planning on doing one of these about once a month. 


BEWARE, THE FOLLOWING MAY DISTURB YOU!
Due to the dangerous nature of these majestic creatures, only an artist rendition exists.  How did this person get the rendition, you ask?  I have no idea.  The depiction was found in an old gator hut in the southern part of the United States, deep in Wolfrog territory.  They are creatures notorious for their massive appetites and aggressive temperaments. 

The following is that depiction, probably drawn in the last moments of the artist's life, I present to you the only living rendition.



Scientists hypothesize that this is a male Bull Wolfrog.  Notice along the ridge of its back is a patch of mane.  Manes are exclusive to the Bull Wolfrog subspecies.  Their cousins of the Arizona desert, for example, are hairless and known for their nearly impenetrable scales.    

This Wolfrog also appears to have a long battle scar on his side.  Locals near the swamps in the southern U.S. have often reported the terrible sounds of Wolfrogs fighting for territory. 


WOLFROG SAFETY

Really there aren't many known ways to survive a Wolfrog attack.  However I am lucky enough to have a transcript of an interview I did with the foremost expert on Wolfrog Preparedness, Dr. Suze Norman.

ME: Hello, Suze, thank you for your time talking about the sensitive subject of Wolfrog attacks.

SUZE: You're welcome, thanks for having me.

ME:  So, for those that are going to listen to this, tell a little about yourself.

SUZE: I have a degree in Zoology from Oregon State University.  Originally I planned on studying more docile creatures, such as lions, bears, and such, but I was immensely fascinated in the subject of Wolfrogs.  My former partner, Jim, unfortunately died by the hands...err...mouth of a Wolfrog. He had collected some documents from the Narváez expedition during the 1500's.  No one really talks about the part when they went through Tampa Bay and ran into a pack of Wolfrogs.  Jim fought to get his works published, but unfortunately, Wolfrogs are a touchy subject for a lot of people, the media will not admit their existence, it's the white elephant in the room, no one wants to talk about it.  So his works were never published.

ME:  That probably makes things tough for you, in your studies, being able to feel validated?

SUZE:  It is, but my work is deeply rewarding, even if it is just for myself.  I have found some small publishers that might be interested in publishing his work.

ME:  That would be great.  So, let's talk Wolfrogs,

SUZE: (Laughs) Yes, let's.  Wolfrogs are nocturnal, so if for whatever reason, someone is crazy enough to travel in the Bayou at night, the best thing I can recommend is to travel by day.  Unless you are unlucky enough to stumble on a Wolfrog lair, you shouldn't have to worry too much during the day.  Now some say my ideas are a little crazy, but if you travel at night it's best to travel in a pack of three or four people, not necessarily to protect yourself--there isn't much that can be done if a Wolfrog attacks...(Long Pause) but really if you are with others, there is a better chance of survival, statistically speaking...say a Wolfrog catches your friend.  Well that gives you precious seconds to escape.

ME: Leave your friend?

SUZE:  The thing to understand is once a Wolfrog catches you, there is nothing that can be done.  Their powerful legs allow them to jump twenty feet in the air, their long teeth are so poisonous they can put the victim in cardiac arrest within fifteen seconds.   I'd say, its best to travel in pairs, because it gives you the best chance of escape.

ME: That's a bit grim...

SUZE:  (Interrupts) There's nothing cheerful about Wolfrogs, and I'm a blunt person.  If there are more people than four, the next best thing would be to split up.  With two groups traveling you can listen for the screams of the other group and avoid it.

ME:  What about guns?  I mean couldn't someone realistically shoot and kill a...

SUZE:(Interrupts) No.  Not realistic.  These are not gators.

ME:  Alright...well say you are by yourself?

SUZE:  By yourself?  Maybe make peace with God?  I suppose if you have a really strong will, you should run in unpredictable patterns.  Zig zags, hopping, sudden stops and turns.  If you find a bone, (preferably not your own) you can toss that and sometimes a Wolfrog has been known to succumb to doggy instincts. 

END OF INTERVIEW

That is all I am willing to share on the subject, the rest of the tape details the gruesome deaths of several well-known researchers. 

So, best advice to anyone, avoid the swamps of the south, and avoid the deserts of Arizona. 

Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I say it's my blog, but really it's more of a creative outlet for me.  I am a middle-grade author currently working on revisions for what I hope to be my first published novel. 

The story I am working on is about a boy that goes on a race with a leprechaun.  It is meant to be a fun book and not to be taken too seriously.

What I hope to do with my blog is entertain you.  I have a few ideas that you can expect to see from me shortly.  First I am going to have what I call CREATURE WORKSHOP, which will probably come about once a month.  You can expect a post for that a little later today. 

I am also going to post, maybe once a month, BAD MOVIE POSTER, which is just a poster that I designed and created, depicting a terrible movie that no one would want to see (at least I'd hope not).  You can expect to see one of these a little later today, too.

So welcome to my blog, enjoy your stay, and check for future updates!